Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 2 & 3 ~ 52 weeks to simplify your life

Week 2 challenge Define your personal values
really had me thinking!
It was another tough one that required some deep thinking.. no seriously!

Its taken me all this time to think about what I value and believe in and how best to put that into single words.
I asked my friend Miss Lauren, who knows me pretty well what she thought some of my values were and I must say she got most of them
(she's pretty awesome like that)

I found it hard to explain why they are important to me which may seem crazy but it's not easy trying to put some of your inner most feelings into words.

Please also remember the reasons behind these values may not be "techincally correct" but they are my interprutation of them, what fits into our lives and what I believe
which may be differnt to you and thats ok.

~ Respect to me is a big one, for me personally it shows you value and an admire a person.
That you are grateful for where they have come from and what they have done.

~ my family mean the world to me even when we fight the little family I have around me are extremly important.

~ Ahhh motherhood being a mummy is so important to me, I knew from a young age being a mum was what I was destined to do and as much as I love it and would never give it up it is by far the hardest job I have ever done and ever will do.

~ I wold be totally lost without my friends! with limited family they are the family I can choose.
And when I can't go to my family I have my friends they have been through everything with me!

~ I would like to think I am quite loyal to the ones I love
For me loyalty is about always being there for someone, not turning on them, not talking behind their backs
but standing up for them, fighting for them, understanding them
and even when there is pressure not to do these things you still have their back and you don't let your opinion be swayed.

~ This is something I have struggled with all my life and still do to this today! I hav'nt felt like I have been fully accepted in alot of friendship groups and last year was a huge eye opener as to why
It would seem that I think quite differntly to alot of people and there always seemed to be a catch to the friendship.
But for the ones who do take me for me, with no conditions, no judgement
I know will be there until the very end.

~ This is important to me because my brother & close friend are gay.
I would love to see them have equal rights to all the things as we "hetro sexuals" have.
At the end of the day we are all equal despite sexual preference or even colour, wealth or status.
I am aware equality is a much broarder issue but my take on equality for me is this right now I value this tiny piece of equality.

~ I thing understanding & compassion go hand in hand to an extent. For me you dont know what people are going through until youve walked a mile in their shoes but until then trying to feel for them is a way of comforting them. Its a way of learning and showing that you do care.

*Unconditonal love
~ I vow to love my babies unconditonally they are my children and I love them regardless of who they become.
I think putting limitations on them is suffocating and hinders their growth and personality.
To feel unconditonal love is to feel free.

~ I am ever so grateful for structure and routine its important in our (mine & my boys) lives for giving them some stability and direction.

*Self expression
~ I have loved being able to express myself and I hope my boys will also express themselves in ways they enjoy.
I think expressing yourself, your inner most you in differnet ways is a beautiful way of showcasing how special & unique you really are.
We were asked to rank our top 5 and I honestly just can't do it
All these values are important to me and life just dosen't "click" for me if one of them isn't quite right or I am having troubles with one.
Granted not everything is perfect and so far not everything has clicked all at once and I dont think it ever will but somedays things are smoother then others when all these values are just "ok"

Week 3 challenge Create a Family mission statement

This one wasn't as hard as such as my 2 little boys are a bit young to get involved
But when I was writing out all our Goals, aims, things to do and achieve for 2012
I came up with a line that summed up pretty much everything
And I would like to think it's our
"mission statement"
It may not be the most traditional of mission statements but it's definatly something I want to work towards this year and something for me to live by and pass down to the boys.

"Have more FUN, Take more PHOTOS,
Create more MEMORIES"

It's simple but it's us and to me all these things are Important.
I want my boys to have fond memories of their childhood
To be able to tell stories and show their families the memories we created.

Now that I have finally finished weeks 2 & 3 its on to week 4

Have you been linking up with Deb at Home Life Simplified and her challenge?
How are you finding it?

I am definatly loving having my thoughts pushed and I am even learning new things about myself already!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Piquing My Pinterest ~ The "awwww" edition

Because I'm still in that honeymoon head over heels stage of our new relationship
which by the way I hope never ends ;)
Im sharing from my
board again for
Tina Gray {dot} Me

So if you aren't all lovey dovey like I am right now look away now ;)
I have this now
and I have alot of weakness and he still thinks I am amazing
it's the small things.

we fit perfectly

I love this

we don't see each other all that much but I know we know whats in our hearts

and when the time is right This would be the cutest way to propose!
put it in the memory bank hunni ;)

Now all together now...
Gotta love a new relationship
I am in total bliss

If you love Pinterest and want to show off your latest pins dont forget to link up with
for her

Now if you would like an invite into Pinterest
just comment with your e-mail address
e-mail me at with your e-mail addy
*disclosure If you request an add I am not able to be held responsible for any lost time on Pinterest ;)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warm moroccan chicken, vegies and couscous salad

I found a recipe "warm chicken & couscous salad in a magazine
and I was all set to follow it to a tee
until I decided to do it a little bit differnt and actually started cooking it.

It turned out amazing!! So delicious!
So I am going to try adn share the recipe even though I ended up using the concept but changing alot of the ingredients.

Warm Moroccan chicken, vegies and cous cous salad.

2 chicken breast
Moroccan seasoning
Cherry tomatos
1 red capsium
1/2 a zucchini
1/4 butternut pumpkin
(could also use sweet potato instead or aswell)
1 cup of couscous
1 cup of  chicken or vegetable stock
(could use water too)

* preheat oven to 180-200o and add some oil to a roasting pan
Add cubed pumpkin, halved zucchini, capsicum cheeks and quartered red onion.
sprinkle with moroccan seasoning and roast for about 20 mins or until soft enough to eat.
* place 1 cup if stock/water into a pot and add some moroccan seasoning
Bring to boil
take off heat and add 1 cup of couscous.
Cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes.
Once liquid has been absorbed transfer to a big bowl and use a fork to fluff up the cous cous.

* add a small amout of oil to pan and diced/sliced chicken.
sprinkle with moroccan seasoning
cook until chicken is cooked through
I also added a tiny bit of stock to create a little bit more juice.
Take off the heat and add quatered muchrooms and cherry tomatos
(they wont cook as such they will just heat through)

*once roasted vegies are cooked/soft cut up zucchini and capsicum into smaller pieces
and put all roasted vegies into bowl with couscous
add cooked chicken, tomatos and mushrooms and baby spinach into the same bowl as couscous and vegies
Stir well.

*serve with a wedge of lemon and a drizzle of greek yoghurt.

It came out just divine! So refreshing and so yummy!
I just love when I find a recipe and I then turn it into something completley differnt and it actually turns better then I actually thought it would!

The best part is it's completly adapatable
You can use as little or as much seasoning as you like and add any kind of vegies that you or your family prefe.r Im sure sweet potato, squash and eggplant would be just fabulous in it too.

It will definatly be going onto my favourites list for the nights the boys arent home, for lunch or a really quick dinner once the boys are in bed.

Have you ever created your own recipe and have it turn out really yummy?
what was it?

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Piquing My Pinterest ~ The funnies Edition

It has been sooooooo long since I linked up with the divine Ms Tina Gray {dot} Me
and her linky...

Tina Gray {dot} Me

So I am BACK
I know I know you've all missed me showing my pins dont deny it ;)

This week I am sharing just a few pins from my


how cool are these?
I stole this pin from my lovely friend Miss Em ;)
I totally do this ;)


It so is!!!

Mmmmhmmm True dat!

Oh my gosh! Dont you hate that!

Well there you go lovelies my first Piquing my Pinterest of the year
Feel free to link up too and if you would like an invite into Pinterest
just comment with your e-mail address
e-mail me at with your e-mail addy
*disclosure If you request an add I am not able to be held responsible for any lost time on Pinterest ;)

What have you been pinning lately? are you obsessed too?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm a studying mumma now ;)

Wooot I got offered a place in the TAFE course I applied for
and of course I accepted
I am literally freaking out but am so excitied too!

I was offered my highest preference which was
Diploma in Events
I dont know all the finer details yet but I am hoping it will still be external, part time so i can still work and still spend lots of time with the boys.
I am so looking forward to doing something just for me and using my brain again ;)
Not to mention setting up a desk and wait for it... Stationery shopping!!!
Woohoo! Bring on Kikki k hehe

Its definatly going to be a battle juggling everything I need to and still being the best mummy I can be 
I am determined to make it work.
I need to make it work
Its for our future.

The most exciting part about all this is it finally feels like some of my dreams are starting to come true!
Despite a few battles, 2012 seems to be off to a pretty amazing start!

Is there any other mummas out there that will be studying too this year?
Or any mummas who have some tips for me?
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our list of Goals, aims and things to do and acheive in 2012 :)

On new years eve 2011 I sat down once the boys were in bed and started writing.
I had printed off the 2012 goals printable from the gorgeous Bianca of a little delightful
and it was the perfect time to figure out what I wanted to do in 2012.
2012 is our fresh start its all about creating NEW memories.

I havn't made resolutions as such I've just written a list of things I would like to do better and more of
Things that will help me connect with the boys better
Projects I want to comeplete
Steps to make me a better mumma and look after me better
I guess you could say Its just a mish mash of a lot of things.
I wont blog them all as there is quite a few and a bit of detail but I would love to share some of them.

* Continue de-cluttering and try and actually stay on top of it
My main areas I need to be focusing on are

- the master bedroom
- the dining room particularly my craft area
- the boys baby clothes and things.
I am also participating in the 52 weeks to simplify your life challenge by the gorgeous Deb over at Home Life Simplified
*Create a Command centre.
Inspired by Tina Gray {dot} me command centre & Five Little Reasons school launch pad
As we are only renting at the momment I am hoping to make a portable version of a command centre and already have some ideas swirling around in my head.
I need a central place to keep everything thats important especially when Master J starts kindy in February.

* Cook and create/craft more
- I want to start cooking more from scratch
- organise my recipes better
- cook healthier snacks more often
- grow our own vegetable garden
which will end up being a container one so we can take it with us when we move.
- scrapbook more and maybe even get some project life happening
- finish projects I havn't started
- actually do more projects that I've pinned on Pinterest

*Put even more time into the boys
I will admit I dont do enough of the small things with them

- turn the TV off more and spend more time just being with them on their level
- find more one on one time with - more cuddles and less saying "in a minute"
- read to them most nights

*Put more time into me
I firmly believe a happy mummy equals happy children
I have always put my boys first and always will but there are somethings that I need to do for me and find the time to put me first without putting them 2nd

- find a little bit of time for the things I enojy
ie reading, crafting, blogging and scrapbooking
- find more time to exercise
- look after my skin better
I am totally guilty of not drinking enough water and not taking my makeup off at night

2 of my biggest personal hurdles and things I hope to at the very least work on and make some progress on are
- my body confidence
- learn to love myself inside, to trust I am good enough.
this one will help me all round to be a better mother and a better girlfriend

*Put more time into "us"
these goals are for the 3 of us as a family
- more family outings, the beach, the park and walks/rides.
- eat at the table and the outside table more
-more craft and cooking together
-start our memory jar

*Continue blogging
I want to continue to blog but I find I put myself under so much pressure trying to find something to write and finding a good "network" system that I'm really going to try and relax a little more.
- blog with less pressure
- restart my Diamonds in the rough posts
about finding the good in each day and maybe even turn it into a linky - we'll see how confident I become on that one ;)

*Continually nurture my new relationship
Alot of the points I had written down will help this along but I have already decided to not let things get "comfortable" I want to keep an element of the spark & excitiment we have now alight for years to come.

- keep talking especially for me and my insecurites
he has been amazing thus far and I know will continue to help me every day
- Dont let the one on one time lapse
on the weekends the boys are with their dad.
Try and have fun dates or date "nights"
- Continue being understanding
- Just let the universe guide us into what it has planned for us with no pressures or rushing things
we both need to just enjoy this time and the foundations we are building.

So these are just bits and pieces of things I would like to achieve, create and happen in 2012
They will obviously change thoughout the year as things happen and of course I will always be adding as new things come along and as 2 lives merge but overall 2012 is going to be a fabulous year.
Its full of new things, excitiment and so much hope.
and I'm feeling focused and refreshed, ready to tackle it one step at a time.

All I can say is....bring it on and let the writing begin!

What kind of goals have you set or what things do you hope to acheive in 2012 for you, your family and your children?

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meal Planning Wednesday ~ posted on Thursday ;)

The Organised Housewife

I'm back on board with posting my meal plans with The Organised Housewife
so this weeks meal plan goes something like this
Thursday - something from the freezer
I've just been through the freezer and have made a list of everything we have so there is plenty to choose from.
Friday - Mexibake ~ recipe from Planning With Kids
Saturday - Dolmio slow cooked chicken with tomato and italian herbs served with pasta
Sunday - Mummas meat pie and roast vegies
Tuesday - Homemade sausage rolls
Wednesday - Warm chicken and cous cous salad
just me for dinner

Baking - more 2 tone choc chip cookies and Im going to attempt some muffin sized apple pies

I am trying to get right back to homecooked and get into the kitchen some more after the boys were slightly "insane" after chirstmas as we had slacked off
but as you can see there is alot of homemade stuff so I know what's going into our food and into our bodies.

Also I dont necassarily cook those meals on those days its mainly a guide and a way to pick easy meals on our busiest days but I absolutly chop adn chanage days if I feel like it

Whats on your menu this week?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 1 ~ 52 Weeks to Simplify your Life

As I've said in many of posts thus far 2012 is a fresh slate for us
So when Deb from Home Life Simplified created an amazing challenge
52 weeks to simplify your life I jumped on the bandwagon!
This challenge fits perfectly with our fresh start so here we go!
you can read all the details if you click on the links above

Week #1 Challenge: Create a list of everything that went “right” in 2011

*Watching Master J and Lil C get closer and closer everyday
*Returning to work
*Master Js speech going to the next level
*Master J finally starting to ask "why" about everything
*Cohen taking his 1st steps
*Starting a fresh at Christmas time
*Finding friends in amazing places
*Nurturing 2 of my most important friendships with Miss Em and Miss Lauren
*Friendship dates with Miss Jodie
*Learning how strong I really am
*Uncovering my love of cooking
*Really getting the hang and loving Meal Planning
*Developing a closer relationship with my "adopted" mumma
(my mums friend who I can go to whenever I need as my mum is living in the USA)
*Getting down to pre Lil C weight
*Meeting a man that is understanding and caring
*Returning to blogging
*Finally learning to stand up for myself a little bit more
*Taking a huge leap and applying for TAFE
*Inspiring people with my cooking and crafting
*Finding my crafty bug
*Master J getting accepted into early pre-entry Kindy!
(due to his speech)
*Getting closer with my nana, aunty and little cousins
*Creating new traditions and actually sticking to them
*being able to take 13 months maternity leave to be at home with my boys
(I was only able to take 3 months with master J so this was HUGE for me)

This was a hard task for me 2011 was not a good year for us
It was full of ups and downs and they were quite extreme
But looking at this list I think I've found the good in most of our situations.

Now to start thinking about Week 2s challenge
I think this is going to be another difficult one but I shall give it my best.

If you like this idea of this whole concept dont forget to jump over to
and join in
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Friday, January 6, 2012

Recipe Book - Yummy Kiddie Treats

I found my cooking/baking mojo yesterday and totally got stuck into making some snacks for the boys.
Master J is constantly asking for food at the momment and because he is the apple of Lil C's eye right now he is right behind him with his chubby little hand out wanting something too!

So these recipes are  all really easy and yummy and fairly healthy... I guess
well except the cookies but at least they are homemade right?

Cheese and herb mini muffins

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
the herbs arent in the recipe I just added them for something extra i just used italian/mixed herbs

Mix all ingredients together
spoon into mini muffin tins
cook at 230o for approx 8 minutes
I think I left mine in for 10

Apple Muffins

2 cups SR flour
1/2 tsp salt
4tbls sugar (i used brown sugar not the soft stuff the coarse sugar)
1tsp cinamon
1 cup of milk
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted butter/margarine
1 cup grated apple/fruit
I used a whole green apple and a pear

sift flour, salt, sugar and cinamon
add milk and beaten egg
mix lightly
stir in melted butter/marg and grated apple/fruit
mix just long enough to combine ingredients
pour into greased muffin tray filling them 2/3rds full (or as full as you like really lol)
bake in a hot oven (180o-ish) for 20-25mins

2 Tone Choc Chip Biscuits/Cookies
makes about 40!

125gms/1/2 cup butter/margarine
1 1/2 cups of soft brown sugar
2 tsps of vanilla essence
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bi-carb soda
150gms dark choc bits (i used milk choc bits)
150gms white choc bits

preheat oven to moderate 180o brush two oven trays with melted butter or oil and line with baking paper
using electric beaters beat, butter, sugar and essence until light and creamy. add eggs gradually beating well after each addition
using a metal spoon fold sifted flour, bicarb soda and choc bits into creamed mixture, mix until smooth
drop level tablespoons of mixture onto prepared trays allowing for spreading (i found mine didnt spread too much really) flatten mixtrue slightly
bake for 12-15mins or until lightly browned and cooked through
transfer to wire rack to cool

*top right - 2 tone choc chip cookies
*middle - cheese and herb mini muffins
*bottom right - apple and pear muffins

I found I was able to whip these all up while Lil C slept and Master J was occupied with the iPad
(thankyou playschool art maker app!)

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keeping memories ~ 2012

It's no secret that 2011 was a pretty up & down kind of year for myself and the boys.
So for me 2012 was all about starting a fresh.
I've set a page full of goals, aims & dreams, all acheviable and all exciting.

The motto that seems to cover most of the other goals for our family is:

"Have more fun, take more photos and create more memories"

I love reflecting back on days we've had, remembering the warm fuzzy feeling or the smile on the boys faces 
and now with a new man and his daughter apart of our lives I thought remembering all the fun and adventures we will be having this year we needed a differnt way of documenting these.
Something fun and creative.

Where do you find such inspiration?
Pinterest of course ;)

And what did I find?
There were so many gorgeous ideas.

This one below was the first one I stumbled across awhile ago
which is a jar full of all the things this ladies children were saying.
I pinned it to my board for things I wanted to do ASAP
and never got around to it!
But I have finally found the perfect time and reason to do it!

Then when I searched "memory jars" to see what other inspiration I could find 
all sorts of gorgeous creations came up

Which has inspired me to create MORE memory jars ;)

As I love scrapbooking I thought using the scrapbooking ideas would make our jar a little bit more special but base the idea on, what I would say is the "original."

And I did just that, which resulted in...

I used a jar from a cheap shop, scrapbooking paper, removeable scrapbooking stickers, twine and a white luggage tag.
I think it came together beautifully
I decided to pop something inside to give it a little bit more interest.
The letters inside are the first letters of our first names
(all 5 of us)

Now all we have to do is fill it with photos, ticket stubs, bits and pieces and little notes about... well anything really
It can be a short note about our day or a funny thing one of the kids say
or just an emotion from a certain day.

When New Years Eve rolls around again we will sit down and go through our jar
reminising on all the fun and good times and perhaps some of the not so good too.

I would like to think its going to be a family traditon for our "new" blended family.

I can't wait to see what adventures we get up to this year
2012 is going to be a fabulous year!

How will you be keeping your 2012 memories?
Photos, blogging, journals, scrapbooking or maybe some crafty way?

*edited to link up with the Organised Housewifes Love it, Like it, Link it Party
The Organised Housewife