Monthly Archives: September 2014

Easy Friday night dinner.

September 26, 2014

Being a Friday night in our house usually means take out as we are all over the place with the girls activities. However, as its the holidays and I haven’t left the house in days I figure that these Chicken and Cheese Chimichangas  I found over on Taste.com are looking pretty good for dinner at my place tonight.  Pretty good footy food too if you’ve got your evening planned in front of the TV. Whatever ya’ll up to, enjoy the start of your weekend guys. 37568_l

Lemon slice.

September 22, 2014

So its the start of school holidays and if you’re anything like me you will spend a good majority of them hearing…. “I’m hungryyyyy”… So here is a slice thats so easy its laughable and if you’re nicer than me you can even let the kiddies help you out with it.

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Crush one packet of Granita biscuits in the food processor (or put the packet inside a clean tea towel and let the kids belt it with a rolling pin) and add the zest of one lemon. In a small saucepan melt 100gr unsalted butter and half a tin of condensed milk together and let simmer for 2 mins. Add this to the biscuit mixture and stir until combined. Press into a lined lamington tin and refrigerate for an hour or so.

For the icing you will need 2 cups of icing sugar, 25gr softened butter and the juice of the lemon you zested for the base. Mix together and spread over the base. Throw back in the fridge until the icing has set. Its not a hard set icing, and it will have a little give to it so don’t expect for it to set rock hard.  About an hour is all you’ll need.

Cut into as big or as small pieces as you like and away you go. Deeeelishhh. Will last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge. Doesn’t last any longer than 2 days in my house though!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mums in Business.. Katie Liddle

September 19, 2014

We are up to number 5 in this series where we take a closer look at the mums who are in business for themselves.

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1. Who are you and what is it that you do?
I am Katie Liddle. I was born and bred in Geelong, and have just recently returned. With a husband who works in WA on a fly in/fly out basis, we decided that it was time for our girls (aged 8 and 4) to have more family support around them. I own and am the creative director of the handmade couture brand Vintagebubbles. It stemmed from my love and passion for fabric. It has now transformed into a thriving business creating unique clothing for girls aged 1-5 years. All items are designed and made by myself in my home studio.

2. How long have you been in business?
I have been in business since 2005, It began as an idea to sew a few items for my girls and as they say.. The rest is history.

3. How did you get your start?
I have to thank social media for my big break and Facebook in particular. Being able to sell a product while sitting in your PJs is awesome.

4. Whats the one thing you can’t live without?
My daily coffee

5. What was your last big purchase?
Thermomix, well it was my hubby’s purchase. 😛

6. So, the kids are in bed, the washing is sorted…. what do you do?
Attend to my business…. invoicing, updating website, answering emails or watch telly if a favourite show is on.

7. Whats the best part of owning your own business?
I get to set my own hours and can work around my time to attend school or kindy.

8. Whats your ideal Saturday night?
Been so long but having a flyin/flyout hubby, having him home to have take away Thai is lovely.

9. Ever had any major business disasters?
My gosh heaps, but what doesn’t break you makes you stronger in my books. I am learning everyday on how to do do business!

10. Words of advice for any mums who might be stuck in a rut?
Depends what type of rut…..but I am a believer that it is ok to put yourself first ahead of your family somedays. I think us mums forget about ‘our’ time when we have a family. Do something everyday that is a) for yourself and b) that makes you smile.

If you’d like more information about Katie’s Vintagebubbles you can visit the website or follow her on Instagram.

The truth on this whole parenting gig.

September 17, 2014

PhotoSo, yesterday a very good friend asked me what this weeks article was going to be on? My honest answer was…. I dunno… I can’t be bothered, I have no motivation and quite honestly I can’t be arsed. Her reply … Well, write about that then. So thats what I am doing.  It probably won’t be my finest writing but it will most certainly be my honest. I don’t make a habit of sugar coating things so this will be no exception.

We all know it. That feeling of I just can’t be bothered. I have had it now for a few weeks and its starting to get a bit old really. I blame part of it on nearing the end of term, when everyone needs a break. A break from the constant get up and do the same things every morning to then having to the same things every afternoon. I also blame it on my complete inability to sleep properly, nothing new here.. I’ve always been a shit sleeper only now its much worse. Then theres the issue of my weight. I need to lose about 10 kgs but do you think I can be bothered with that either? About 3 years ago I lost around 20 kgs and stopped because I felt I had done enough but now Ive got the fat woman chasing me again… So sick of her, I will go as far as to say I hate her with everything I have. It really is a motivation thing though isn’t it? Once it eventually hits you, you’re alright.. Its just the waiting for it to come.  I know what I need to do,  and I know I can do it, but sometimes when I should have a salad, I just want a quick sandwich (on white bread) dammittt!

There is also the fact that I am having issues with my middle daughter right now. She is 8 and the most challenging human being on the planet. I adore her obviously but at times I am afraid to say I don’t like her very much. I know that sounds awful, but like I said… I’m being honest. She will have me.. a 37 year old, strong, no bullshit woman in tears within about 5 minutes flat. I will feel deflated, lost and an utter failure at this whole mothering job. No one sees what I see with her, and it is frustrating beyond belief. Having said that though, she is the most gorgeous, energetic, funny little thing and a complete lunatic that endears herself well to everyone she comes across because of her nature. I sometimes look at her and think “Why can’t you be the same person all the time, instead of being like Jekyll and Hyde?”  We are now in the process of having some things sorted out which hopefully will make things a little easier for the both of us.

It is just exhausting being everything to everyone though isn’t it? Sometimes its exhausting just all the lying you tell the kids.. “Oh that painting is lovely”… No.. its not really, its just scribble! “Oh that loom band bracelet that looks just like the other 564 you’ve made is awesome!”  “Oh that cartwheel was amazzzzzing!” I mean really… we all do it, and if you’re shaking your head at me because you think I’m being horrible then maybe I’m not the person for you.

It goes without saying that being the mum is the most important job, but we are also so many other things with so much going on in our over-worked brains.  We do put excess pressure on ourselves Im sure of it. Making sure that everything gets done for the children, spouses, household, pets, school, business, bills etc.. throw in that we have Christmas coming up and then BOOM, the mind is literally blown up.

What about all the crappy jobs we have to do? Little things that annoy me so much like when the girls take their long “white” school socks off and throw them in the wash half inside out and half in a ball.. Or how they take their undies off and get them to be wound up like a rope truly is a talent I’m not sure they share with any of your kids?  Even just the crud that sits in the kitchen sink plughole that no one else sees, and do NOT even get me started on the toilet paper rolls. When I walk outside shortly I will look at the car and see that the bird shit that’s all over the bonnet from 2 weekends ago is STILL there… Looks like it will be me who has to clean that off.

I know it’s not just me who has all this to contend with, we all have to do it. Usually I just need a bit of space to myself. A good coffee and sit on the beach with an orchestra, or even just a piano piece in my ears and I come good again, but even that at the moment just seems too hard.

I am not writing this for sympathy, nor am I having a little pity party for myself.  I am just putting it out there that there are many of us mums who do have a bit of a hard time occasionally and thats ok. We need to be there for each other and support one another, like I have said many times before… We are all trying to do the same job. No one is better at it than anyone else, we all do what we think is best at the time.  If you’re having a hard time, go talk to another mum. Chances are they will get exactly where you’re coming from. They may not be able to fix anything, but they can listen, nod and smile and that might be all you need. Sometimes this whole parenting gig is great, it truly is awesome and I do love being a mum more than anything.. I honestly do… But sometimes….. It’s bullshit.

 

Mums in Business.. Sara Kasteel.

September 12, 2014

This is our 4th interview in this series and today we have the gorgeous Sara. Read on and find out about her and her beautiful business.

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1. Who are you and what is it that you do? I am Sara Kasteel. I am a beauty therapist and what I do is make peeps feel and look gorgeous! I am also a wife and mum of three, so when I am not pampering I am pandering to the whims of my gorgeous lot! My business is Little Miss Gorgeous Beauty Therapy in East Maitland NSW. Our little beauty therapy salon has a lot to offer! Our services range from advanced skincare treatment using our own LMG Skintherapy Skincare and offering anti ageing treatments like micro needling, microdermabrasion, and skin rejuvenation using IPL for pigmentation. We offer all beauty services such as special occasion/ formal/wedding makeup, tinting, waxing, threading (for facial hair and brow shaping) mani/pedi, shellac nails, ear candling, relaxing treatments like massage and body scrubs, spray tanning, facials, ear piercing, cosmetic tattooing for brow enhancement or creation, IPL hair removal, lash extensions, brow extensions. We also offer Tween Peacock Pamper parties! (6-12yrs maximum 7 children) these are pretty special as we only offer one or two availabilities each month, the children learn about self care and relaxation and at the end get some glitter and gloss on lips and nails and afternoon tea, then get to dress up in our special Peachick Dresses for a makeover photo, kids LOVE it, and we are told at every pamper that “This was the BEST party ever! ” We also do private and personal Intimo bra fitting! There is nothing quite like an amazing bra to make you feel gorgeous!

2. How long have you been in business? I have been a beauty therapist for 21 years. LMG has been opened two years in its own store, but was evolving for about ten years before that. It started as a home salon while my eldest was a baby, and grew into renting a room in a pharmacy and now the children are grown enough, it’s now an entity of its own. I am proud of how my last ‘baby’ is growing!

3. How did you get your start? After I left high school I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life and worked in record stores, pubs and cafés!  After being surrounded by hospitality my whole life and having aspirations in high school to be a journalist or a lawyer I was embarrassed about holding my dirty little secret of ‘just wanting to make people feel and look gorgeous.’ Mum sat me down after a year and told me that I couldn’t work at Daydreams Coffee Lounge forever and demanded that I tell her exactly what I want to do with my life! That was when I blurted out my secret desire to do Beauty Therapy. The next week I was enrolled to do my course!

4. Ever had any major business disasters? No.Thankfully.

5. What was your last big purchase?  I’m about to purchase an amazing new machine for the salon (that is probably the cost of three kidneys) and it will change lives! Well, nearly! Its a surprise so I can’t actually tell you about it yet, so you’ll have to wait a few weeks 😉

6. So, the washing is done and the kids are in bed… What do you do? Run an aromatherapy bath, make a cup of tea and lay in the bath reading about anything. Depending on my mood, it can be Buddhism, or decluttering, how to grow your business, or self development or it might be a novel if I am feeling overwhelmed and just want to chill out although often it’s two week old school notes! I lay in bed and read about beauty stuff on the internet, googling products, and treatments and of course…. FB :) When I have exhausted that, I then usually start googling Tiny Houses on YouTube. I really, really want one! Just for me, in my backyard, to go and runaway to every now and then!

7. The one thing you can’t live without? My work! I love it! I am so much more of a better and more present mum when I am working! I just don’t love being a full time home maker, I am happy to do it part time tho,lol! I am so lucky to have a job that I adore! I still love going to work and seeing all of our beautiful clients. I get variety in my treatments every hour, so am never bored, and get to chat to so many people in a day! Our salon is a little haven where women can come to get some pampering, “look gorgeous AND feel gorgeous”, it’s almost a little bit of nourishment for your heart and soul. A lot of the feel good stuff is intuitive, We often cosy a client up and pop our eye massager on, tuck them in, and let them lay quietly in the dark with the music playing and a hand massage and cocoon them for a bit if I think that they might need some extra TLC. I put a lot of love into my treatments as do the girls!

8. Any favourite online shops? I always have buy stuff from The Home, they keep really great homeware brands and I will often buy cushions and cool stuff there. I never buy clothes online as I am the laziest shopper ever! I try my best to shop locally to support other local small businesses, so I LOVE Lizzys Life+Style, Vintage Iris, Princess Scallywag for gifts, Twig and Moss for arty stuff!

 
9. Best way to spend a Saturday night? Hanging with my family, my own and my siblings and their families! We have lots of laughter and stories and sometimes singing, and dancing, and being crazy. It’s always big fun! A night out with girlfriends is also great for the soul!

10. Advice to mums who feel like they’re stuck in a rut? Firstly, know that you aren’t alone! Even though it can feel lonely at times, being in the throes of overwhelm, you will get out! I have been in that rut. When my dad suddenly died,  I had two little girls 18 months and three, my family completely shattered, a brand new niece, it felt like not only was I overwhelmed but EVERY person that I would normally go to for propping up were all grieving too and just trying to get on with stuff and there really did feel like nobody to talk to. I had some good friends, who would drop everything to pick me up from the bathroom floor when I had locked myself in once the kids had gone to bed, so I could finally just bawl and they helped sometimes. Secondly just acknowledging that it’s actually OK to feel like crap sometimes, and that if you do, it is your body telling you to slow down a bit, and maybe go and cocoon for a bit. Be mindful of feeling like this, because if you get it early, you can get out of it more quickly in my own experience. A day or two in pjs every now and again does not make you a bad mum! Thirdly, exfoliate. Imagine you are buffing away the overwhelm and leaving the shiny you underneath, then moisturise and mindfully apply your cream, so you acknowledge this tiny bit of self care! Get your brows done! Seriously, a brow makeover with a tint, threading and shaping can have you feeling a million dollars straight up! Put on a bright lipstick, get dressed and do your hair. Go out into the sunshine! Even if it’s just to sit in the sun in a cafe while you have a coffee or take the kids to the park. A little bit of effort can make a huge difference to how you feel! Sit in the sun and breathe in the fresh air and breathe out the overwhelm. Give yourself some loving and nurturing, honour yourself first, so that you can be the best mum to your kids! My kids and I listen to an app at bedtime called Relax and Sleep well, by Glenn Harrold. I swear by it, being the thing that got me thru the hardest times, it’s a little bit of reinforcement for your subconscious to just get up each day and just be AWESOME! Fourth- Hug your kids and your partner. Afterall, they are the most important thing and the reason why we do what we do!

If you would like more info on Little Miss Gorgeous you can follow them on Facebook.

Celebrity demands…

September 11, 2014

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So, heres something that has gotten up my nose today (apart from good old spring air) is the list of celebrity demands whilst they are travelling. This was noticed whilst reading an article regarding a hissy fit thrown by Ariana Grande over a spray tanning gun or somethingbut as I read on I became increasingly annoyed at the bullshit that some of these people carry on with. Firstly I will point out I understand that these people generate money through their specific talents.. then of course that money generates more money.. and so on…and I do not begrudge anyone of money if its been earned well. I love people who are good at what they do and go about their business without causing controversy and being a complete pain in the arse..but these ones who have “diva demands” just shit me. Now obviously I don’t know if these are true or not and I hope that its all just a load of rubbish.. however, I fear its not. Heres a short list..

Nicki Minaj.. 24 bottles of Dasani water.. 12 ice cold, 12 at room temperature.

Madonna.. New toilet seat at every gig, and likes to be surrounded by white roses.

Justin Beiber.. Doesn’t want people to speak to him… (no problem here loser)

Paris Hilton..Live lobsters ready to be cooked on demand.

Kanye West.. Drivers to wear only 100% cotton, and will only use Versace towels.

Jennifer Lopez..Everything around her to be white, A staff of 75 even down to a coat carrier (carry your own damn coat geez)

Mariah Carey..Once was reported to want 100 white doves and 20 white kittens when she arrived somewhere.

The list is endless and as I said I’m not sure its all true but reallllly??  The sense of entitlement that these people have astounds me. What makes you so important that you can request this? You can sing..well done, You can act..congratulations. Doesn’t mean you get to be a douchebag. I would think if you were famous and money wasn’t too much of an issue that you would want to be known as a decent person. I read recently that Robin Williams asked the director of any new movie he was due to appear in to hire 25 local homeless people. They could be given odd jobs around the set and the directors were encouraged to do the same for every movie they made after that. Maybe there are a load of actors that do the same, who knows… I hope there is.

All I know is, these people are not curing cancer. They are not saving lives. They are not on the frontline fighting for their country. They are entertaining us, thats all. This is why as a mother, I make sure that my girls know whats going on in the REAL world. To be aware of things like terrorism, poverty, earthquakes, flooding, war, drugs, homelessness, illnesses etc. Things that are real, not what popular culture deems as important. You count your blessings every single day.

Mums in Business… Lena McKechnie

September 5, 2014

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This is our third interview in the Mums in Business series, and this week we head down towards the beautiful Blue Mountains area and chat with this gorgeous cake decorating extraordinaire. Very grateful for her time.

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1. Who are you and what is it that you do?1. Lena McKechnie, cake decorator and craft nerd.  I run Savvy Cakes by Lena, providing designer cakes, cookies, glassware hire and styling.
2. How long have you been in business? I am currently in my 3rd year of official business and my 6th year of caking.
3. How did you get your start? Being a mum to twins born late December, I made my first cakes for their first birthdays when the bakeries were shut – I had no choice! I then hit the Women’s Weekly books and found any excuse to create a cake and did my first fondant cake at a course at Planet Cake in 2009 and I was hooked. Since then I have undergone extensive training and loved every minute. Then I registered my kitchen so I could sell cake legally.
4. What is the one thing you can’t live without? Coffee!! Although I’ve weaned myself down to one cup a day and I am trying to convert to green tea. I love coffee!
5. What is the hardest part of juggling business and being a mum? The hardest part is the physical act of juggling! Switching hats literally in minutes, it’s crazy! I try to work only during school hours but there are times I am making cookie dough while helping with homework. As long as everything on the list gets done by the end of the day, it’s all good!
6. So, the washing is done, the kids are in bed.. what do you do now? OMG Pinterest! I’m such a cake tragic, always searching the latest trends in cakes, dessert tables and party themes. I love it. I have a list as long as my arm of cakes and themes I want to work on. One day!
7.  Ever had a massive business disaster? No major disasters as yet! I am a planner.
8.Do you have a favourite online shop? My favourite online stores would be Lark, Sweet Style and Miss Dot. They are simple and beautiful and right up my alley.
9. Describe your regular day? Alarm goes off at 5:35 and I’m generally up at around 6. This is my quiet time for a cuppa and I do jobs like folding and ironing while watching the news until the girls are up at 7-ish. Then it’s time to get them fed and ready for school.
Two days a week I help out at school first thing and I might buy supplies etc in the morning too. Then it’s home to work on orders for the week or prepare for orders in coming weeks until 2.30 when I pack up to go and get the girls from school. As I work from home, I can hang washing or do other jobs if need be. Once the girls are home we chill out for a bit and then do homework and then dinner at 5:30-6pm. The girls generally go to bed at 7:30 and at busy times I will work straight through. I usually answer emails and enquiries at night when they’re in bed and then bed for me at 10.30-11pm. My hubby also owns/runs his own business so he’s out of the house usually for 12 hours a day. Again, in busy weeks I can be in the kitchen until midnight but I think it’s important to have that time with the girls after school. I miss them!
10.  Words of advice for mums struck in a rut? Do what you’re good at. Do what you love. Make your own rules. Re-invent and make it work for you, rather than you working for it. Sounds way easier than it is!

You can follow Savvy Cakes by Lena on Facebook  or Instagram or visit her beautiful website.

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A message to the bullies..

September 2, 2014

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So, I have a bit of a problem… Actually, we all do. We hear about bullying every day but its usually in regard to the school yard, sports field or cyber bullying, but I want to talk about a different type. A type that should know better. The adult bully…. Women in particular. It happens primarily in the workplace and online and the thing I want to know is why?? Are you threatened by another woman’s success? Are you feeling so inadequate in your own life that you feel the need to hone in on another woman’s life and make her miserable? Or is it just in fact a good old case of the green eyed monster?

Who knows what your problem is but the amount of adult bullying I have noticed amongst my own friends and strangers online in public forums is horrendous. Women being bitches all over the place. Again I ask the question, why?

What happened to being happy for someone else’s successes? If they put in the hard work and copious amounts of hours that you know nothing about, why don’t they deserve every accolade received? If they got promoted and you didn’t… maybe they deserved it! Mayyyybe… they didn’t sleep with the boss… I mean, does that even still happen? Perhaps it does I have no idea, but surely the amount of women who don’t sleep their way to the top surely outweighs the ones who do! They do not deserve the silent treatment or being bitched about in the hallways. Grow up.

As for the online bullies or “trolls” as they are now referred to…Its very easy for you to be a faceless, shameless, coward behind a computer screen isn’t it? You can say what you like and not have to face your victims voice nor tears. You can say whatever you like. You must be so proud of yourself.

Go on any social media site or any public forum in general really and it won’t take you long to find one woman being a complete and utter bitch to another. I remember once being involved in an online debate through a very popular page on Facebook in regard to breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding. Wow…. didn’t it get real nasty real quick, and over what? Honestly, as long as the baby gets fed, isn’t that all that matters? More to the point, as mothers, shouldn’t we be trying to support each other? We are all trying to do the same job… and its a fucking hard one. Its not a competition.. we won’t come out of it with a medal. We are just trying to do the best thing for our children, but the viciousness of some of these “ladies” is nothing short of appalling.

What I find worse is.. Aren’t you meant to be setting some kind of an example to your children? Would you be happy for your children to read your vicious words of public ridicule to other mothers.. or to even just other people. We are trying to stamp out bullying amongst our children, yet it seems there are no consequences for the adult bully.. be it online or in the workplace. Why is this tolerated?

Turn on the television and watch the news. Look at the atrocities occurring in the Middle East on a daily basis and see people who have REAL problems. The success of another individual or their choice on how to live their life, or how they choose to raise/feed/discipline/educate their children has nothing to do with you.

So really………Just shut up.

Pottery Barn.

082614-pb-flipper3.jpgYesterday I posted the link to the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue which has the most gorgeous ideas for our little people, well.. today its our turn. The Decor and Cushions menu alone is enough! Nice ideas for Christmas pressies for parents, friends, work colleagues or even just for yourself. Go have a look!

Pottery Barn Kids..

September 1, 2014

AU_0731_SuperCats_KidsSo, I’m just sitting here doing some work and this appears in my inbox. The Pottery Barn Kids catalogue. When I like things I need to share them with you all , so go grab a coffee and have a browse. So many gorgeous things, keeping in mind its only 15 weeks or something ridiculous like that until Christmas! I am loving that patterned pink chair for my 4 year old, and the zebra print beach towel for my middle one, and the beanbags for my eldest ones bedroom…. For those with little bubbas there is a section all of its own for you too. I must admit I have not looked there because I do not need any more babies!