Well it’s been a long time since I have posted anything. Mainly from laziness really but also poor time management. I’m getting my head around this working shenanigans And having three little ones. The littlest musketeer has been getting sick all the time.. The dreaded starting of child care and the beginning of winter- not a good combination! But he’ll survive. Everyone is happy and relatively healthy. As for working, it is good to use my brain and think about new things. In a new role which adds to the thinking quota. It has been challenging but in a good way.
The house organisation is ‘getting there’ I always feel like there is a constant mess, but I’m sure it’d be the same working or not! Mr Working Mum is enjoying his new role of child care and school drops which definitely helps. We are definitely lucky that has gone smoothly. Kudos to him!
Some things I have learnt or re-learnt..
-school lunches definitely need to be organised the night before.
-any big beauty regime is best done at night to allow for a quick shower in the morning! 😜
-prepared meals are a winner , reheat and eat or super fast meals to cook up. (A future post with ideas to come)but a staple is curry, beef or chicken with rice made on the weekend and just reheat.
-teach the kids the routine and everything goes much smoother. Most days.
Its school holidays here at the moment which means my return is happening extremely soon! Two weeks to be exact! Feeling ok about it actually, just making sure I have everything in place for school and child care drop off and pick ups.
I ordered new labels for the kids clothes and drink bottles today. I ordered them from Stuck On You. I’m not into Iron on Labels so I paid a bit extra and got the stick on labels that work on anything. That way in the early morning when I realise the jumper the littlest member has on doesn’t have a name on it I can whip it on quickly! Lots of cute designs and colours to choose from.
One more thing ticked off my list!
Yesterday we had a family outing to the zoo. It’s such a lovely place to visit and the kids love it. We ventured down to the Children’s petting zoo which we hadn’t done in a long time. Some super cute little critters down there!
Today was a trip to the botanic gardens for some energy burning fun and nature play. Tree climbing, leaf boat making and running. Perfect. And yes, there’s coffee! I’m starting to think I need to change the title of my blog to Coffee and Kids.. it seems to be the regular theme!
It seems winter has hit already!! Not quite but it sure feels like that. Everyone has the sniffles and the coughs already. What is it going to be like when really hits? We needed some sunshine today so after the school drop we headed down to the beach for some fun in the sun. We stayed on the grass and played footy and I enjoyed a take away coffee!
It’s the perfect spot for young kids and mums! Plenty of spots for a coffee and a bite to eat and so much space for the kids to run and climb on the new bench seats.So many Cafes to choose from for coffee including Cibo, Coffee Club and Cocolait. Some good restaurants and snack bars have popped up also.
The new water features were a good addition for the warmer days however today it was all about the birds having a bath!
So when you’re in need of some fresh air and the kids need a run around jump in the car, pack your ball and picnic rug and head down to the Square. There’s something about the beach that makes everyone feel better.
It was a great challenge to try a new recipe every day last week! I finished it off with a bang… Nutella Cheesecake!! Not the dinner inspiration I started out looking for but I saw it advertised on social media and wanted to try it for myself! I mean who doesn’t love Nutella. I personally could it eat it straight from the jar! I used the Nigella recipe. Find it here. Ridiculously easy to make and no baking requires so it was super fast! Mr 3 helped and was super excited to lick the Nutella spoon!
To summarise it was super easy and fast to make, but it needs berries and cream or something on top to break up the sweetness. It is super rich and sweet. Raspberries would be perfect.
The Challenge continues… read about it here! New recipe no 4 for the week was slightly clouded due to sick kids and no desire to go the shops. So it became a game of ‘what’s in the cupboard’? Still wanting to complete the challenge I found some beef steak in the freezer and went about investigating something new to cook. Enter good old Jamie Oliver and a few modifications and we have delicious Beef Ragu.
I had a few ingredients missing and added a few of my own.. So here’s my Recipe…
Easy Beef Ragu
1kg Beef Rump Steak chopped into small pieces (in thermie reverse sp 6 20 sec)
1 clove garlic
500 g of tomatoes chopped ( I had lots left from the inlaws!)
2 tblspn vegetable stock
500 ml water
2 cups of red wine
Blitz garlic and carrot Spd 5 for 10 sec. (or grate carrot and chop garlic finely)
In a large pot brown garlic and carrot. Add the beef and fry till brown.
Add stock, water, tomatoes and red wine and bring to the boil.
Add the herbs and let it all simmer until most of the liquid evaporates. (approx. 40 mins on low)
Serve with your favourite pasta.
Letting it simmer slowly until liquid evaporates makes the flavours stronger!
To sum up for the challenge, it was delicious and the red wine in it gave it a lovely winter feel. It takes longer than a bolognaise to make so its not ideal for a work night but it could be done. While its simmering away im sure there’s many other things to get done! Bath the kids while its cooking then eat!
As a long time lover of sweet muffins I was a bit apprehensive to try a savoury muffin. However I was pleasantly suprised! The original receipe I had used olives and sun dried tomatoes however the fridge was quite bare! So instead I used bacon, egg and zucchini with a pinch of rosemary. With the help of Mr. 5 on his pupil free day we whipped them up in Thermie and had a delicious lunch. The advantage is they freeze well, and the kids love them.. I say that’s a win! Here’s the receipe…
250g bacon diced
1 zucchini grated
1 cup SR flour
1 cup grated cheese
Sinply mix all together and spoon into muffin tray or muffin cases. Bake at 180 for about 30-40 mins until golden.
So easy and delicious! I’m now a savoury muffin convert!
One thing I’ve been dabbling in over the years is menu planning. I’ve always wanted to do it ‘better’ so I set myself a challenge to do a meal plan each week then do one big grocery shop for the week. Well I did it!! I went once to the supermarket and did not step foot on one until the following week!! I’ve done it now for 3 weeks and it’s fabulous!! The best thing is I seriously spent less money on food and there was no wastage. All over the Internet you’ll find weekly menus and plans.. Anyone can make one! I needed to make sure that the meals chosen were gong to be eaten by all members of the family. Sorry Mums but I’m not one for making separate meals for the kids.. So I asked them!
I literally asked each member including dear husband to choose one meal. I was immensely surprised by the results. Not only have the meals been healthy but everyone has enjoyed eating ‘their choice’. Each night the kids seriously discuss who’s choice the meal was and who’s meal it is tomorrow night. At first I was unsure what they might come up but some of their choices have included lasagna, burritos, chicken kebabs and cous cous and chicken curry. The kids love having some power over what we eat and it makes for a great discussion with them! Give it a try, see what meal plan your tribe comes up with!
I’m hoping to develop a spread sheet for weekly plans in the near future. 😳
Picture this, cold coffee waiting patiently to be drunk, baby clinging to legs demanding Weetbix, Mr 3 having a passionate debate about not eating or getting dressed, Mr 5 can’t find his left shoe as he runs around with only jocks on. A typical morning in our house and as of Monday we now have the thrill of getting out the house by 8:30 with hopefully everyone dressed and fed.
In order to save precious moments of sanity in the mornings I am making sandwiches to freeze and pre chopping fruit and veggie sticks to last at least a few days. In the evening I will pack the lunch box with fruit and various snacks and put the whole lunch box in the fridge. In the morning all I have to do is pull out the box, add a frozen sand which and we good to go! The sandwhich defrosts by lunch time with the advantage of staying cool.
Some sandwhich fillings are not good for freezing–
-anything with salad, it has too much water content and when it defrosts it makes the bread soggy!
However there is so much more you can freeze and if you are so inclined you can add your salad in the morning or send it separately.
-ham and cheese
-chicken and mayo
-tuna and cream cheese/mayo
-vegemite and cheese ( a staple in my house!)
-fritz, sauce and cheese
-schnitzel and cheese, pickles
The options really are endless, the big tip though is to butter your bread. This stops the bread going soggy on defrosting. I have found that snap lock bags work best for freezing as they are much easier to get airtight and stop freezer burn. I pull out the frozen sandwhich and put straight in the lunch box and reuse the bag!
I wouldn’t keep sandwiches in the freezer longer than 2 weeks but for an exercise that takes 10 minutes to pre make a pile of sandwiches it’s a huge time saver in the mornings. Chuck in some chopped up fruit and sultanas and walah!
Everyone has one.. It’s usually ridiculously untidy in my house.. Hopefully in everyone’s! The plasticware aka the Tupperware cupboard! I have. I have been trying to sort out the dreaded lunch box situation for Mr 5. In the last few weeks I have purchased 4 new lunch boxes trying to scout out the best option. It would help if the cooler bag that was chosen (because it had rockets on it!) was a little more spacious. I do believe I’m over thinking the situation!! 😂
So in order to try sort the best box I had to organise the dreaded cupboard- to fit all these new containers.
what an assortment of randomn lids and containers that didn’t match! Isn’t it amazing how things disappear? Maybe the same fairy that steals odd socks takes lids?! So I played match and ditch and made it all look pretty. I didn’t keep anything that didn’t match!
Still didn’t solve the lunch box negotiations but at least it’s organised!
Remember that feeling of bringing your baby home for the first time. The pure happiness, the nerves, the joy, the excitement and apprehension? Five years on and its not forgotten, just remembered with happiness. Turning five feels like such a milestone. So independent; no nappies, no naps just negotiations and new adventures. The start of our schooling life, new friends, new skills. It’s a strange feeling to think that it feels like yesterday that we had this beautiful bundle and our lives changed forever, but it also feels like a lifetime ago. As parents we have learnt so much, things we’d do again and things we wouldn’t. It’s an exciting time, turning five, they really are little people now. They walk, talk, play independently (most of the time!), have their own hopes, dreams and visions. Some things are easier now they are five, going to dinner is no longer such a drama however, some things are harder, long walks with the baby in the pram with time for your own thoughts is non existent!
This is not a blog post about saving time or cooking a meal (although Mr 5 as requested Mexican Monday!) but purely a reflection on life as a parent. It sure has its ups and down, but I wouldn’t change it for the world, although I would love to reduce the brotherly arguments!. It is an emotional time for me having my eldest turn 5. We are so proud fo the person he has become so far. He is emotional, caring, funny, and clever. He is no longer a baby, however will always be my baby..