February 2014Life Love and Hiccups: February 2014
Life Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and Hiccups

Friday 28 February 2014

Weekend Rewind Blog Hopping Party 4 - The F### You Universe Edition

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You know you have gone so far into adulthood that there's no turning back - when your weekend plans get cancelled and you find yourself a little too excited. That's what has happened to me - a busy weekend suddenly looks very quiet and I am breathing in relief.

Autumn has decided to make a grand entrance and the forecast predicts rain on the weekend here in Sydney. But rather than getting all soppy over the end of Summer and lack of sunshine, I'm actually all wide-eyed and joyous at the prospect of a another weekend of PJs and slothing around in comfy yoga pants... yoga pants that have never actually been used for yoga mind you.

Now anyone who knows me knows that this is rather abnormal behavior on my part... not the slothing and sleeping bit because that is kinda normal for me, but the celebratory carry on over a rain prediction is rather out of character. You see normally I would be mouthing obscenities at the weatherman on TV (screaming them if the kids weren't around) and cursing the clouds for daring to interfere with my weekend plans, plans that usually involve cocktails and the outdoors (in no particular order). 

But the reality is my inner old fart has raised her head and is reminding me that I could really do with a quiet weekend to recover from this past week.

In case you were fortunate enough to miss my pain in the ass moaning and groaning on social media this week (ALL week) I have been mopier that the mopiest of kids. Stinking rotten head colds do that to me. 

And then... and THEN the Universe decided they would have some fun toying with me, because just when I thought I couldn't feel any worse than I did, they sent Auntie Flo knocking on my door. 

Sorry Dad, too much information??

But wait, it gets even better.... oh no the big kahunas in the sky were really on fire, because last night just as the Panadol and Gin and Tonic kicked in, the demons stopped stabbing at my uterus and I started to feel just a teeny weeny bit better, my husband started sneezing and coughing and announced that he has come down with it too.... the cold bit not the uterus stabbing ... just in case you were confused.

It was at that point I looked to the sky and stuck my finger up... you know the REALLY RUDE one as my kids like to say, and said a big "F### You".

Ohhhhhhh go on and laugh, one of us may as well have a chuckle because the truth is I can't even see anything even remotely funny about this cruel twist of fate as my sense of humour is so far up my ass at this point that even a 10 pound hash cookie could not get me laughing about this situation.

So. Can you now see why I am celebrating the prediction of rain this weekend? It is because I will stay inside with my cramping uterus, snotty nose and disease ridden family and we shall spare the world from having to deal with us.

Did I mention I get a little dramatic when I am unwell.

Anyways, thankfully it is that time of the week to link up with Bron and I for the Weekend Rewind. Link up up your favourite post from the past week and then pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. 

Here's some of the posts from last week's link up that either managed to put to put a smile on my snotty face or got my eyes running with tears ... yes even more leaky than they already were.

My heart broke for Jane and her husband and their beautiful daughter Milla as they struggle to deal with her anxiety. That family is so incredibly inspiring and I just want to wrap that little girl up in the biggest cuddle and tell the world to be gentle with her. 

I was in stitches reading about how Carla's daughter Amelie was asking her Daddy why he has such a big Vagina. It reminded me of how my boys once asked me if  I had played with my penis a little too much and that's why it fell off.

I decided that if it all gets too germy around this place of mine I am going to ask Lila if I can move into her gorgeous new wardrobe. Procrastinating pays off I tell you!

I added yet another project onto my to do list thanks to Katie and her fabulous knitted bunting.

I along with many other hearts swooned when Matt shared how he still makes his beautiful wife mixed tapes.

I was all inspired for at least a few minutes (until a coughing fit distracted me) by Jodi's tips on simplifying your home.

This weekly blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. It doesn't matter if you link up here on my blog or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella), cause your link will show up in both places.

Thursday 27 February 2014

Gorgeous Homewares and Cold & Flu Medication - a Dangerous Mix

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Helloooo I'm alive... if you could call it that.

After my smart ass bragging about how I cleaned and organised the house whilst suffering from Man Flu, the universe decided to teach me a lesson and kicked my ass with the biggest dose of the lurgy that I have ever had. Hence why my snotty nose and puffed up eyes and I have been feeling rather sorry for ourselves and went into hiding with a big box of tissues and a shitload of icy poles.

Earlier this week though, before I collapsed in a heap from my female equivalent of man flu, I was invited to the launch of the Freedom Autumn / Winter 2014 range.

Given I was as high as a kite on Cold and Flu Tablets I am surprised I managed to aim my camera anywhere let alone actually take any photos.. But I did because well just LOOK AT ALL THIS GORGEOUSNESS.

The launch took place in one of those divine inner city terraces. You know the type you walk past and kind of linger on the sidewalk out the front trying to get a sneaky glimpse inside to see what wonders are hidden behind the walls.

This home didn't disappoint and with it's moody distressed walls and sophisticated palette it was the perfect backdrop to showcase the gorgeous jewels that make up the new Freedom seasonal range.

Now I have no idea what the technical terms are for the various decorating styles. I am a mere suburbanite who is a devout lover of home wares and is dedicated to decorating my home on a budget. I am also the one that humiliated herself by pronouncing Faux as Fox so that should really highlight to you my lack of professional knowledge.

Faux / fox, whatever.... fox would have been totally accurate in describing this bedroom scene which I feel head over heels for, as it had a distinctive woodlands feel to it complete with Paper woodland characters crafted by James Gordan.

I was very very tempted to curl up in that bed... no, really, I don't think you understand just how tempting it was.

So rather than me ramble on and try and use terminology that I have no qualifications to use, let me leave you with these images and I'll go back to my box of tissues and feeling sorry for myself. You will however now understand why I will be hitting my local Freedom store hard this winter... like really hard!

Here's some of my top picks, items that I will be seriously lusting over until they come home to live with me.

http://www.freedom.com.au/homewares/lighting/table-lights/23399693/tre-table-lamp-metallic-copper-colour-metallic-copper-colo/http://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/default.aspxhttp://www.freedom.com.au/homewares/decorator-accents/floor-rugs-mats/HTML Map
You can check out all the new lines over on the Freedom website, but I take no responsibility for any loss of control you have.

*Please note this is not a sponsored post, I was guest of Freedom and someone who is a dedicated Freedom Shopper. All opinions are my own but my interpretations may have been influence by cold and flu medication.

Monday 24 February 2014

I Have Man Flu AND Issues...

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My caring sharing youngest child recently decided that his stinking head cold was far too good to keep to himself and so he decided to pass it on to me to also enjoy.

Friday night saw me in a right old state fighting the first fever I have had in years and years. It wasn't exactly the Friday night I had planned when I headed out that morning to buy some sushi and prawns to make a romantic dinner for the hubby and I.

Bless him though, the dear man sent me to bed that night and served me my prawns and sushi on a plate with a side of Panadol and then went back downstairs to attempt to keep our generous little darlings as quiet as possible so I could sweat and shiver and moan in peace.

Saturday morning arrived and although we had broken the fever the first tell tale signs of a head cold were saying hello and again my hubby insisted I go back to bed and rest.

Now a sane person would not have thought twice about taking him up on the offer.

A sane person would have grabbed the remote control, a pile of mags and run before the offer is withdrawn.

Sane I am clearly not.

Nope, instead of making the most of a genuine offer to rest and recuperate I instead decided to get up and rid the house of all the unseen germs. The bleach was in hand as I worked my way from room to room annihilating those disease spreading bugs from every possible surface.

I held back from disinfecting the children, but I'd be lying if I said that a Pine-o-clean dip wasn't seriously considered.

Once the sterilisation procedure was completed I set about vacuuming the house, sorting out the office, cleaning out the pantry, rearranging nick knacks and mopping the floors. I was as good as possessed by an urgent need to clean everything.

But before you go laying praise on me for my unselfish act of martyrdom, this was not something I did out of love or devotion. The fact of the matter is I am really just a germ phobic nut job doing what she does best... being a germ phobic nut job.

My gorgeous dad delivered a huge pot of homemade chicken noodle soup (thanks Daddy) and with the germs running from the house squealing like little girls and my belly full of flu fighting hot stuff I awoke on Sunday feeling very smug in the fact that it seemed I had beaten the bug.

I even went so far as to celebrate my victory with a couple of Gin and Tonics by the pool.

Cocky huh!

Tonight the smugness has been wiped from my face and replaced with red eyes, a runny nose and a constant reminder every time I sneeze of exactly how weak my pelvic floor is.

I have man flu and as you know man flu is sooooo much worse than a head cold *ahem*.

Worse still is the fact that I have man flu in a week that is ham packed full of commitments and there is a nada chance in hell of me retreating to bed and resting with a Foxtel marathon.

Why the hell didn't I take the offer when it was on the table? What is freaking wrong with me?

Whinge over.

Have you got any miracle head cold cures I could try?
Do you go on a germ blitzing cleaning frenzy when you are sick instead of resting?

Friday 21 February 2014

Weekend Rewind 3 - Replaying The Best of Aussie Blogging

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Since last weekend was rainy here in Sydney we had the perfect excuse to lay like broccoli and do not much at all. The kids went to town on the playstation, the hubby went between surfing and slothing and I planted my tush on the couch and caught up on some serious bloggy reading.

We didn't get out of our PJ's at all on Sunday and nor did we care... except when the pizza guy arrived but even then I just shoved the kids towards the door and said "Pizza's here, go get it".

What? Kids are ALWAYS in their PJ's so no one was going to judge them.

Summer's nearly over I say with regret. It's rolled around so quickly don;t you think? The cardies are coming out every other day and the leaves have already turned golden and started clogging up the pool filter.

On the overcast days I've started thinking about winterfying the house as a means of distraction from the absence of the sun. It's a good distraction given that to do this properly it involves hours of research on Pinterest and numerous trips to the home wares stores to take pics for my mood board. It's a fair trade off for having to say farewell to the sleep ins and lazy days and hello to the windy wet sidelines and crappy cups of canteen coffee that is just around the corner.

This weekend is being dictated by sports. There's a surfing comp on which means the hubby will be gone for half the weekend. There's some pro skateboarding expo on at Bondi Beach and the kids are begging to go, and then there's the 2 hours of Rugby grading which means that somewhere we will need to fit in a trip to the shops to fit up the squids with some new boots and padding. Not really the most exciting kind of shopping.

My Sammy is starting Rugby this year, moving across from soccer. My cute little fidget midget who blows over in the wind. God help any child that tries to squash that child because I really cannot promise that i will not run on to the field an tackle them myself. He will be padded, like REALLY padded, but I'm still nervous and have been drilling into him that if the ball lands in his hands then forget any fancy tactics, just run like Forrest and get the hell out of there.

Noooo I'm not at all nervous about this.... much.

I loved reading through all of your posts you linked up last weekend and here's just a few of my faves I wanted to share.

Zanni over at My Little Sunshine house had me wanting to just slow the hell down and soak up the quieter moments in my day with her beautiful post The Gentle Lull of Motherhood.

Kate had me literally on the end of my seat with her post The Girl In The Blue Dress - the horror of nearly losing your husband on the way back from registering your marriage - I cant even imagine.

I whooped with joy and relief with Kate when she was given the All Clear diagnosis and the news she had beaten the big C.

I get so sad and shitty that there is ever a need for anyone to come out of the closest because no one should feel they have to hide their preferences in the first place. I was reminded of this with Dee's post Just Like Ellen and Ellen .. I'm Gay . I mean seriously what year are we in, everyone should feel free to share who they love. It is love, perfect glorious love!

I swooned all over Lila's gorgeous Hand painted Love Pillows. I mean how could you not, they were soooo sweet and I feel a pillow painting marathon coming on again soon at our house.

And last but so not least I was inspired to start renovating after reading her tips and soaking up the pics of Cas's gorgeous renovated bathroom.

Ok it's time to get the party started this week and so along with my beautiful friend and co host Bron, we would like to invite you to link up your favourite post from the past week. Then as you do at any good party, hop around and mingle with some of the other gorgeous blogs who have linked up. Man that sounded so formal didn't it? 

Well it's not formal, just fun and it doesn't matter if you link up here on my blog or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella), your link will show up in both places. 

The party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday nights at midnight so get linking.

What have you got planned for this weekend?
Do you or your kids participate in any weekend sports?

Little Bits Of Happy - This Week's Dopamine Hit

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It's been a while since I have done a little bits of happy post, for no other reason then I have a memory like sieve and I clean forgot all about it. I'm good at that... forgetting things. Falling over and forgetting things are two of my great talents in life.... oh and I can burp the alphabet too but I don't want to brag ;)

Today I'm sharing the little bits that have been giving me a dopamine hit this week. I like dopamine and yes I know dopamine hits are generally short lived and leaves you desperately looking for another fix. But quite frankly my care factor is zero - I'll take a dopamine hit over a kick in the ass any day.

Here's some of the bits and bobs that came into my possession and gave me my buzz for this past week.

a: Lemon Grass and Lemon Mrytle soap. This stuff smells like heaven. I have spent the last 24 hours sniffing it non stop and it was $4 bucks well spent. OK $8 buck cause I brought two. One to use and one to sniff.

b: I couldn't resist these gorgeous shopping bags from Bed Bath and Table. $4.99 each and they will make the grocery shopping so much... so much... um prettier to look at? Whatever. I like them.

c: My $10 buck bunch of Harris Farm flowers just because it's Friday and I like to treat myself with a bunch of florally foliage every Friday.

d: The cutest damn cupcakes I have ever seen, given to me by a beautiful friend at school this morning. She made them the clever chick and look they are yellow chevron... I mean just look!!!

e: A Jingly Jangly pom pom key ring from Table Tonic in the most divine colours. These make me happy jingly in my hand. Very happy indeed.

f: I stumbled across these gorgeous little dishes from Bed Bath and Table and whilst I actually brought them for a friend they continue to make me happy whilst I wait to give them to her... and then hopefully they will make her happy. Two dopamine hits for the price of one. Bargain!

g: Happy mail - a divine smelling Burnt Fig & Cassis candle by Kaz in the most stunning organic ceramic dish. A lovely surprise from an equally lovely stylist who borrowed a prized lamp of mine for a shoot in House and Garden.

h: A pile of fresh new magazines just waiting to be sniffed.... *ahem* I mean waiting to be read... right after I sniff the freshly printed pages of course.

i: Another fabulous piece I bagged myself from Table Tonic in Avalon. A clutch that I have been eyeing off for quite some time and for $25 bucks, it was a no brainer - this baby was coming home to live with me happily ever after.

Have you had any dopamine hits lately? 
Have you treated yourself to anything special just because it made you happy?

Don't forget to link up after 8pm tonight with Bron and I for the Weekend Rewind.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Where's My F***ing Ommmm?

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Who knew that creating a more zen version of me, one with something called 'an inner stillness' would be so freaking hard to do?

I've read the books... Good LORD I have read so many of the books about enlightenment and the power of meditating and mindfulness and yadayada and it seemed so damn achievable to transform myself into someone a little more balanced. But let's face it, what the heck was I thinking when the reality is I have enough trouble keeping my balance on my own two feet and the only way I am ever still is when I'm in a carb induced coma.

I'm convinced the universe is trying to sabotage the relationship between me and my ommmm.

The week before last I tried floating in the pool with my eyes closed and focused solely on my breathing. I had Pravana Spa sounds from Bali blaring from the speakers and enough Sandalwood burning to make smoke signals.

For just a moment I thought I had it, I'd freaking nailed the being still / meditating / mindfulness thing. My senses were alive and I was completely present and in the moment until a duck flying overhead shat on me and in turn shat all over my ommmm. True story.

I have tried meditating at home with headphones on to block out all the surrounding noise and activity, but given I can't even go to the toilet by myself without kids or dogs banging on the door, I wasn't really surprised that it took all of about 5 minutes before my youngest started prying my eyes open with sticky fingers to ask me to make him a Nutella sandwich.

I have Yoga pants, actually I have at least 3 pairs that are super comfy thank you very much. But I cant do Yoga - partly because I am about as unco as you can get, my limbs bend to the right positions but don't bend back again AND I have a habit of farting when I'm relaxed which is kinda mortifying when you are in a quiet echoey room full of blissed up Yogies.

I've tried downloading some guided meditations onto my iPod and listening to them as I go to sleep.

On every single occasion something has happened to break my concentration - a child attempted to pee in the dog's bed and needed redirection, the dogs started barking at the possums outside my window, the husband broke the mood by pissing himself laughing and asking "What the F##k are you listening to?"... or the gentle tones of the female voice talking about white lights and warm healing water literally relaxed me to the point I was asleep and snoring within minutes.

Despite how hard I find this, the stubborn cow in me is refusing to give up and is insisting on becoming enlightened ... or at least lightened a little.

So now I'm turning to you for advice - do you meditate, know of any good apps or books or have any tips that will help me? 
My inner ommmm will be ever so grateful.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

It's Not Quite What I Imagined...

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I have always thought I would have at least a couple of girls in my litter. I think I've told you that before haven't I?

When we first started trying for a family I used to day dream about dance classes and cute little tutus, pigtails and boy bands yadayadayada.

To say I was shell shocked after finding out I was having boy number would kind of be an understatement. It wasn't quite what I imagined but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Clearly there are no tutus in this house. Nope not a single one and instead of car pooling to ballet and tap classes, my afternoons and weekends typically revolve around ferrying kids to any kind of stereotypical boy game that involves balls.

Soccer balls, rugby balls, basketballs crowd the grass in our front garden and the word 'balls' frequently comes up in conversation.... even THOSE kind of balls are open for discussion in this household, although in our house they are called nuts.

What I didn't realise at the time was that whilst I was dreaming of dance concerts and pastel room decor, my husband was dreaming about one day having his very own little surfie gang.

Click here to read more about Carl's dream that came to life...

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Are You Intimidated By The Cool Group?

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There has been loads of discussion in our house lately about 'Cool Groups'.

I'm not really sure if it is because of all the American teen movies my boys have been getting into lately or if it is the fact that one of them has started High School and therefore is perhaps witnessing the natural course of social hierarchy that occurs at that age.

But whatever has led to this subject being a hot conversational point right at this moment is neither here nor there, as all of us at some stage of our life will most likely find ourselves questioning the hows and whys of the enigma that is the cool group.

Whether you relate it back to a time when you were intimidated by a particular group, wanted or still want to be a part of one, or you are simply curious to how they tick - there is no denying that 'cool groups' generally evoke some kind of emotional response, be it good or bad.

When I was in high school, the cool kids both excited and terrified me.

They were the group of older kids that sat perched on the hill and you hated having to walk past them because one of three things would happen... you would be ridiculed and forced to drop your head and get away from them as fast as you could for the sake of your dignity, if you were lucky one of the nice ones among the group would call out to you and you would be invited to sit with them and made to feel special, or possibly the worst case scenario was that you would be completely ignored and made to feel not worthy of their attention at all.

Even as a grown up, I'm aware that 'cool groups' definitely still exist. The more grown up versions can be found pretty much anywhere, the bar, the beach, outside the school gates at pick up time and as a group together they seem to have this undeniable confident glow, something that can be very tempting to want to be a part of.

Unlike in high school I don't think there is so much of the nasty game playing any more, although that's a very wide statement so I could very well be wrong in some cases. So why is it that wherever I go there is always a crowd that I would be just as nervous of approaching today as I once was with the group on the hill in high school?

I have spent a bit of time thinking about this lately as I prepare to navigate my way through this subject with my own kids.

I'm a fairly confident individual, successful enough in my own right and pretty much secure in who I am, so why should I feel intimated by any group at all?

There lies the answer - for me it is the group part that scares me the most and quite possibly most of us. It is the fear of rejection upon approaching a group or a fear of not belonging or fitting in. People grouped together always look tighter, almost clique like and I think that's the bit I find more intimidating more than any coolness factor of the people within the group.

Truth be told I would find approaching a group of non-coherent stoners at the skate park just as intimidating as I would approaching the trendy hipster crowd at a beach side bar. In fact I think approaching any group of people on my my own is completely intimidating.

If you were to pull the 'Cool Group' from high school or from anywhere aside and dissect the group as individuals, I'm guessing you would find that maybe 5-10% are assholes who think that by hanging with someone they think is cool makes them cool by association, and the other 90% are just everyday awesome people to happen to be hanging out with other like minded awesome people and don't even realise that people view them as cool.

They are flesh and blood like you and me, they too need to wipe their bums and get spinach in their teeth and they most likely share the same insecurities as we might do. The fact that they wear the right clothes, hang out at the right places and use the right words doesn't make them any cooler than the next person, it's how they treat the people outside of their group that really makes them cool.

And so my advice to my kids and to myself for that matter is to forget the 'cool' bit about any group and focus on getting to know people as individuals rather than who they are when they stand together. Running within any particular crowd doesn't make you cool, and if it is a sense of belonging you are after then form your own group of friends with common interests rather than just trying to hang out with a group that you think look like fun or hope will bring you some credibility.

And remember that the coolest people are the ones who make others feel welcome, who notices the person standing on the sidelines and invites them to join in rather than being exclusive.

I'd rather be that kind of cool person than hanging with an in crowd and simply being cool by association.

What's your take on Cool Groups? 
Were you or are you a part of one or had an experience with one?

Monday 17 February 2014

Everyone Loves a Tart!

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Our weekday dessert menu for the kids don't typically get much more exciting than some sliced up bananas and custard, a bowl of yoghurt or an icy pole.

They don't complain.... much, but then they do beg me every now and then for something a little more exciting.

The simple fact of the matter is I'm lazy when it comes to cooking desert, actually I'm not a fan of the whole cooking dinner thing full stop so you want something exciting for desert? Bahahaha.

I'm happy to spend a bit of time making something fancy pants on weekends when sports practise, homework and shepherding three kids into bed on time doesn't takes up every last skerrick of energy the day hasn't already drained from me, but even then I will always go for the quick and easy option.

For the life of me I just can't get my head around cooking for hours for a herd of boys who literally hoover it all up in minutes. The least they could do is chew each mouthful 50 damn times and sigh a lot right in unashamed bliss? Right! So glad you agree with me ;)

And so today I bring you my fellow under appreciated chefs, a quick desert that you can make in less than 10 minutes... even on a weekday... with a baby or toddler attached to your leg. NO bull!

I promise this is not one of those, oh this is just so easy and you can whisk it up blindfolded with a baby on the hip and a conference call to China running on your speaker phone blah blah blah kind of recipes where you are lied to from step 1 because the whole thing is freaking impossible unless you have spent years in cooking school. This is seriously that easy.

I have neither the energy nor the heart to lead you down the garden path so you are just going to have to trust me on this and just make it OK? OK!

*Please excuse the crappy iPhone image of my tart but it did not last long enough to be photographed properly.

Friday 14 February 2014

Weekend Rewind Blog Hopping Party - The Valentine's Edition

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Hellooo there lovelies and Happy Valentine's Day to you... if you are so inclined otherwise Happy Friday and cheers big ears. 

This week has flown by faster than a buttered bullet... which is good considering it is now Friday but I'll be super pissed if the weekend flies by just as quickly.

I had such a good time reading through all the gorgeous blogs that linked up with Bron (Maxabella) and I last weekend for the Weekend Rewind. It was awesome to see some of my regular faves in there and I loved visiting new blogs I had not yet had the joy of discovering.

I was having major girl envy over Emma's Baking Party for her daughter's birthday and my ovaries were throbbing fro Tahnee's gorgeous video of her pregnant sister. I was getting all nostalgic at Claire's with her post about mixed tapes and I may have had an extra toast or two in honour of Carolyn and her b'day milestone!

A couple of people mentioned raised the point of the dreaded Captcha last week... you know that thing that forces you to squint at the screen and try and copy the nonsense numbers that are floating around before you can leave a comment. We all love getting comments, but we need to make it as easy as possible for our readers to leave them. Maybe thinking about turning the Captcha word verification off for your linked post. If you are on Blogger and stuck with how to turn it off - here's a good tutorial I found for you.

Alright, so let's do it again and get this blog party cranking. Since it's Valentine's Day today, we thought it would be fun if you linked up a lovey dovey post of yours from the past whenever... anything to do with love will do us, we are not picky... just suckers for love!

I'm planning on spending my Valentine's evening snuggled up on the couch with my precious hubby and boy's stuffing our faces with Malteasers and watching Seventeen Again... AGAIN... 
Thank God for Zac Efron for saving me from falling into a teen movie coma.

As for the rest of the weekend, I'll be indulging in some big time butt planting and some major stuff all. If anyone needs me I'll most likely be curled up on a couch somewhere indulging in a little blog hopping. 

Simply link up your favourite post from the past week and then hop around and say hi to a couple of the other gorgeous blogs who have linked up. It doesn't matter if you link up here on my blog or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella), your link will show up in both places. The link will close on Sunday nights at midnight so get linking.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

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As I dawdled to a meeting at Manly Wharf yesterday I spied these 3 taking a bit of a dip.

From a distance they looked like a couple of teenage kids splashing around in the water and generally just having a lark, but as I got closer I realised these were a group of women languishing in their glorious Golden years. 

They were laughing and gas bagging and laughing some more and I couldn't help but to stop and stare. They were mesmerising. The pure joy on their faces, the carefree stuff the world cause we are going swimming attitude literally made me beam from ear to ear.

I'm sure the other passer byers thought I was some kind of weird stalker woman standing there grinning at a couple of old ducks. I didn't care, because as I watched them frolic around in the water I realised I want to be them. Ok not exactly right now, but I want to be those women when I grow up.

I want to go swimming with my girlfriends without a care in the world. I want to sit with my gals and drink tea or G&Ts laughing at each other's flatulence and sticking a big finger up at time and the way it insists on trying to age us.

Watching these 3 I realised that although our bodies will one day grow old, our spirit doesn't need to reflect the wear of time. It may be a little wary or a little wiser, but I am willing to bet it sure as hell would want to dive into that gorgeous water with it's fellow soul mates.

Why spoil its fun and act your age? Who made the God damn rule book that says you have to act your age anyway???

That's my thought for the day. How's your day going?

Don't forget to come back at 8pm tonight to link up your fave post from the week with Bron and I for the weekly Weekend Rewind linky party.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Making Fruit Fun For Kids

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This post is brought to you by Coles

Fortunately for me my squids are fruit pigs. And by pigs I mean they literally cannot get enough of the stuff and the evidence to this is the frequent sightings of me in my local Coles stocking up on their faves and shouting at them to "Stop pinching the flipping fruit before we pay for it". They don't get that you can't just help yourself to the grapes and cherries that are on display ... sorry Mr Coles... I probably shouldn't admit that in public should I? :)

Anyways, it wasn't always a love story between all 3 of my boys and fruit. My youngest was a picky little bugger and was a complete nightmare when it came to introducing new fruits. He was stuck on the basic apples, oranges and bananas. To get around this we were forever having to turn his plate into some kind of artistic master piece to convince him to chow down on something new.

We also resorted to naming fruit after his favourite superheroes and cartoon characters and so Batman Bananas, Astro Boy Power Pops (blueberries)  and Yoshi's Mega bombs (apples) were frequently on the menu as a way of getting his daily fruit requirements into him.

Did you know that kids age 4-11 should have 1-2 serves of fruit per day, and our teens and preteens age 12-18 need 3- 4 serves?

These days (thanks heavens) I no longer need to come up wacky superhero fruit names each day, but my younger two still like me to get a little creative with the way I present their fruit to them and I like to embarrass the older one by putting them in his lunch at school... cause I am totally evil like that.

Here's a few of the ways my boys love me to dress up their daily fruit. Oh and trust me, each of these only take a few minutes to put together... really, I kid you not.

The apple cups are actually a lot easier than they look and I promise you will earn yourself some major brownie points with the kids when you serve these up. Simply cut an apple in half, scoop out the core and centre with a melon scoop and then fill with chopped up berries, grapes and pomegranate. You can add a little dollop of  frozen yoghurt if you want to go the whole hog.

There is nothing difficult about these little babies and they are the perfect treat for little hands. Just thread banana slices and strawberries onto a skewer and surround them with grapes, blueberries and any other berries you can get your hands on. We call them islands because they kind of - sort of look like little islands floating in a sea of berries... I said kind of OK.

Melon balls, strawberries and grapes spiked onto some straws and paddle pop sticks. Quick and easy lemon squeezy... or something like that.

Truth be told I had never made these watermelon slices before today. I had seen a number of versions on Pinterest and I've been busting to try. Just use a love heart cookie cutter to cut out the heart shape in the watermelon and fill it with another heart shape you have cut out from your rock melon or honey dew and you are good to go with these quick and easy lovey dovey melon slices.

Perfect for a Valentine's Day treats and bonus points for the the fact that these make for a totally cringe worthy addition to my boy's lunchboxes. For the win people FOR THE WIN!

These Pineapple treats are absolutely divine when frozen and are the perfect alternative to your usual icy pops. A Pineapple ring with a melon ball dropped into the centre and some blueberries for eyes. Pop them in the freezer for an hour or two and watch the kids devour them.

I know that the warmer months are usually all about the gorgeous summer fruits, but as far as I'm concerned you can't go past tomatoes and cheese on toast for a quick after school snack or cheats night dinner. The trick is to use both tasty cheese on the bottom and Parmesan cheese grated on top to make it taste like a toasty pizza treat and they will scoff the lot and come begging for more.

There's no denying that fruit is such a quick and easy after school treat and dessert and a fabulous way of getting the essential vitamins natural fibre into your kids all year long. To ensure that you get the best quality, best nutrients and the best price, make sure you choose produce that is in season and even better - on special.

As a parent of fruit pigs I am very happy to hear that Coles are dedicated to helping us Mums and Dads by making their fresh produce more affordable. Big tick Coles!

Did you also know that around 96% of Coles fresh fruit and veggies are grown in Australia? Yep, they have an 'Australia first' sourcing policy which means they will only ever import fresh produce if it's not in season or available locally. Another big tick Coles!

If you would like to find out more about their sourcing policy you can view their sourcing chart online here.

There are literally gazillions of fruit and veggie combos that you can come up with to make fruit fun for the kids, but if you need a little inspiration check out the video below or visit the Coles blog here for loads more ideas.

SO let's have a little fun shall we? Get creating and share your fresh fruit faces images for a chance to win a $25 Coles fresh Produce Gift Card. 
Tag your pics with #fruitfaces and share them on Twitter, instagram or on the Coles Facebook page

Are you guys fruit eaters in your household?