I have an admission to make.
I am not a Domestic Goddess.
Sometimes I have no idea what I am doing in the kitchen.
This week I needed to flatten some chicken breasts to make Chicken Kiev.
I don't own a meat mallet so I went into the garage and used my ingenuity...
I have an admission to make.
I love the childlike imagination and naivety of Gareth. At age 9 he has some really funny conversations with his Dad. A recent one went like this...
Gareth: Hey Dad, me and my friends have set up a band!
Byron: That's great Gar. What are you called?
Gareth: Blue Lightning.
Byron: Brilliant. Who's in it?
Gareth: Me, Tom, Owen and Darcy.
Byron: What instruments are you all playing?
Gareth: Well I'm the trumpeter, Tom is Saxophone, Darcy's probably singing and Owen... Well I'm not sure
what Owen's doing. I think I just forgot for now...?
Byron: What about a manager?
Gareth: Why do we need one?
Byron: Well you know, to book you gigs, do your promotions, handle your fans, stuff like that.
Byron: I'll be your manager Gar. I'll do all that for you.
Gareth: Oh Thanks Dad!
Byron: ...for a fee.
Byron: You know, I'll take a percentage of profits. Lets say 20%
Gareth: Er...Um.... I'm not sure Dad. How about 5%?
Byron: Nah Gar, Let's compromise, Let's meet in the middle, let's call it a straight 25%
Gareth: Ok, Thanks Dad. You're the best!
I love being inspired by other women's blogs. I read so many brilliant ideas and love how women all around the world are proud to share their ideas and encourage others to have a go too.
My most recent follower is Mum of All Trades and when I followed the link back to read her blog I saw a fantastic step by step guide to making black and white silhouettes of her children. I grabbed my phone and dragged the kids kicking and screaming to the nearest window (Joke!) They are obliging kids so when I showed them the blog post and asked if they wanted to try making ones of themselves they were happy to pose for it.
I used my phone to edit the contrasts but then I found it easier to transfer the images to my home computer and used the free website Picmonkey (A similar site to the now closed down Picnik) I was really excited with the results. Especially when I showed Sian and Rhiannon and they had trouble picking which silhouette was theirs!
Nowhere to go
But escape into another world
Until you look at your watch
And it's back to work reality...
I am strong
I am disciplined
I am a list maker
I am a menu planner
I will write out detailed shopping lists
I will not deviate from them
I will control my finances well
I will not be tempted by random and spontaneous purchases
I will not...
I will not...
"Alphabet Soup Pasta?"
It looks so cute...
It's only $2.49...
I have no idea what recipe to use it for...
I'll just buy one...
My blog friends will surely have lots of clever suggestions...
They will leave inspiration in my comments box...
You will, won't you....?!
Byron has been hankering after a day in Sydney for a while now. On Sundays in New South Wales families can have unlimited travel anywhere buses, trains, ferries all for just $2.50 a person. The last few Sundays have been busy with other things already happening so this weekend there were no excuses, we were Sydney bound!
We called in to Ben and Jerry's ice-cream shop and then sat on the wall of the beach eating delish cones of Coconut Seven Layer and Chocolate Peanut Buttery Swirl.
Next we walked along the waterfront and past the sea water swimming pool carved into the rocky shore line. It honestly looked inviting despite the fact that summer is a distant memory!
At the end of the coastal path is Shelly Beach. A gorgeous little beach covered in crushed shells. The kids started finding the most beautiful pieces of shells and sea-smoothed glass and balancing them on my jeans leg. Soon I couldn't move for fear of disturbing their precious collection! Sian made Byron and myself use one hand each to scoop up a handful of shells and then place our hands side by side to create a "heart" Easier said then done! We were a bit uncoordinated and kept laughing and dropping the shells and blaming one another for not making the right shape with our hands but eventually she managed to take a great photo which I'm sure we will treasure for many years to come (if we can just forget about the chaos and accusations while taking it!)
My friend Jo recently made a fun retro apron. The description on the back clearly states... "Come hither while I bake us some cookies"
Today was such a fun day. It started with a text from a friend suggesting Fish and Chips at a local park. I knew it was my last work-free day of the kids school holidays and I was aware that there were some friends the kids hadn't managed to meet up with yet so I asked Julie if I could pass the invite out to some other friends too. Her text response "Yeah the more the merrier!!!" was the start of something big...
I sent an email out to mums of kids that were connected through school and sports and encouraged them to spread the word. The replies came in quickly over the next few hours with lots of people excited to catch up. The weather forecast was for rain showers and I hoped it was wrong. I woke last night to heavy heavy rain on the window and lay tossing and turning wondering what we could do as a Plan B if the wet weather continued.
I shouldn't have worried. As the morning progressed the grey thinned out, the rain was gone and the smallest glimmer of sunshine pushed through the clouds. Text messages beeped constantly on my phone checking we were still meeting and then at 1pm we pulled up in the car-park, hot chips and calamari rings in take away boxes and picnic-rug and chairs in the boot.
Over the next hour the group grew and grew as more and more mums arrived and set up their chairs and passed around food and the kids whizzed back and forth in a blur only stopping for a drink here, a cup-cake there. Mostly we were Mums but we had one Dad sitting back and soaking up the sunshine too. At one point Monica decided to count how many of us had come. We lost count a few times but the end result as the blog title suggests was approximately 15 Mums, 41 kids and of course David!
Getting a group photo was Monica's idea and it took a lot of co-ordinating to get our kids to gather in one place. I ran around trying to round them up with promises of a big multi-pack of chips to be shared out afterwards but that only seemed to encourage kids we didn't know offering to join in the photo too! Eventually they gathered around the big tree. Some were climbing high in the branches but all of them were there somewhere as the mums yelled "Cheese!"
In Kelly's words "Today proves the best things in life are free - fresh air, friends and fun"
It's great seeing my kids interact with their cousins. Living two hours away from them seems like a long way if you compare it with friends with families living around the corner but knowing we used to live on the other side of the world makes us appreciate that two hours is not far at all! This weekend we caught up with them and had fun using a free sandwich cutter that came with some cheese slices. It turned an ordinary sandwich into a mummy cow and a baby one with only the smallest sliver of crust left behind.
I should follow based on who they think I am.
Check out suggestion number one: Lunatics Society!
There is an App you can use on your phone that can either be seen as really useful or as step towards becoming a stalker. It is called "Find my friends" and allows you to share your position with friends phones for a limited period of time (ie while at a large sporting event or concert) or permanently. The permanent option is really good if you have no secrets and don't mind your other half knowing where you are at the click of a button. Before you decide to give it a try you should know it is not infallible.
Sometimes I do a different job for my hospital. Instead of being based on the Rehab ward providing patient care I drive around seven hospitals in a 50km radius of my work assessing patients who are suitable to come to us for Rehab. Byron can see when the car is moving and often checks in with me to see how my day is going.
One day I pulled in to a McDonald's for my lunch break. I needed a quick caffeine hit and was tempted by a chilled coffee with a mountain of cream and hot fudge sauce. I hid in a booth to drink my indulgent treat and took a long sip with eyes closed and felt the sweet goodness swirl over my taste buds.
* Phone beep*
The moment was broken. It was a message from Byron. "Everything OK?" Smartarse. I was sure he had checked where I was and knew not just that I was in mackers but probably knew what I had ordered and who had served me. This
According to Find my Friends I had spent the last half hour in Charlestown Police Station!