Saturday, April 30, 2011

Love Stories

This week I am grateful for love stories. Just like Wills & Kate... or William & Catherine... or the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge (now I'm just confused). Thankfully, I am not naive enough to believe that real love stories always fall into place just perfectly, as they are often depicted in the movies. But something about the royal wedding last night simply restored my faith in the kind of love I believe in. Witnessing their declaration, on such a grand scale, poise and confidence oozing from bride and groom, filled my heart with joy. Indeed, the road to true love did not always run smoothly for these two. I think this fact makes them both even more endearing, to the billions who watched as the magnificence of the occasion unfurled.

It got me thinking of love stories, a little closer to my heart and home. My grandparents. Married for sixty five years... SIXTY. FIVEYEARS. Before both moving into a nursing home, at ages 87 and 85. Passing away, within a year of one another. Together... always. My own parents. They have been married for almost 52 years. Now I know their journey has been anything but smooth. However, to me, they are the ultimate love story. Without all the glitz and glamour of a royal couple, of course. I'd like to think of Scott and I as a love story and sometimes I do. Though I am far more realistic about my own love story, maybe being a part of it clouds the fairytale notion somewhat. I am still very much in love with my hubby, so that has got to be a good sign.

And as long as genuine love stories continue to exist in the world, I will have faith and be ever grateful that they do. 

Joining in with the delightful Maxabella to spread the word on love stories.

Friday, April 29, 2011

(Wedding) Fever

Well there is nothing quite so glamourous as two sick tiny tots. My poor little boys have both been struck down with a nasty coldy/fluey type virus. All three of us spent last night bunkered down in the lounge room. Angus and I slept on a lounge each and Felix in his rocker... as he only seems to get some sleep in this when he's crook. There were periods of comforting, holding and settling, with both boys. Then (I think) around 1am, we all lapsed into an exhausted state of slumber.

If it's one week I could seriously do with a bit of sparkle, romance and escapism... it is this week. Aren't I fortunate that there just happens to be one helluva royal knees up this evening!? I am really looking forward to watching the big event on tele. William & Kate exchange their vows, the guests, the carriage... THE dress! I am preparing myself for one big cry fest and hope the rain stays away for their historic moment. I have a sparkling moscato chilling in the fridge, which will go down just nicely, after our fave pizza takeaway for dinner. We like to class it up around here.

I've seen gorgeous pics of some very special days around the blogosphere today, which have inspired me to dig out a handful of my favourite snapshots from my own big day. The most magical day of my life. Ah yes, wedding fever... THE best kind of fever.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What goes up, must come down

For the entire Easter break, I was riding on a high, in my happy place. It seems only fair that I am now serving some time in my... not so happy place. Today was a mish mash of tears and tantrums, rain and gloom, frustration and housework. Angus is unwell. Again. I kept him home from preschool, as his nose had a constant stream of gunk flowing (too much info) and there was no way I would send my little man in such condition, to a place where he can't choose to rest or play, when he feels like it. I lost count of the number of times he bellowed, "My nooooooose, Mama!". Between Felix's ample string of dirty nappies (again, too much info) and Angus' fuller than full nose, I felt quite ill myself.

It would also appear that Felix is in the early stages of getting sick. He has a raspy cough and is a tad irritable. In saying that, he is still a bundle of energy and a pure delight with his infectious giggles and squeals. I'm crossing my fingers it only touches Felix in a moderate way. Add to the overall feeling of sickness around the place, the mountain (or maybe more appropriately volcano) of dirty washing spilling from my laundry. The rain seems intent on sticking around for a while yet. Little breaks of sunshine teasing me momentarily, only for the dark clouds to slide back in and release another massive downpour. So, my living room is a chinese laundry right now. It is funny how on days like these, our place seems... Ooooh 50% smaller than it actually is. The walls closing in around us... and our washing draped furniture.

However! I came up with 8 small highlights out of a decidedly sucky day... thank. heavens. for highlights on rough days:

* The floors are looking fantastico! Clean, clear and smelling apple fresh. This little exercise also kept both boys amused for a good half an hour, as they followed me around cleaning.
* A chance to catch up on some blog reading... in between adjudicating arguments over toys, books and the tupperware cupboard.
* Hitting up itunes and purchasing 15 new tracks, past and present, all music that inspires me. I. Love. itunes.
* Plenty of left over Easter chocolate (may or may not be considered a good thing... today, it was a good thing!)
* The fact Angus' horrible chesty cough is breaking, which surely means he is getting closer to being well again... yes, this even counts as a highlight, of sorts.
* Staying in my warm tracksuit and ugg boots all day... so gooood.
* The boys playing peek-a-boo under a blanket and laughing themselves silly over it.
* This photo, taken on a property not far from where my friend lives. Something soothing about sunsets, I adore them.

Sweet Dreams

About six months ago, Angus started dreaming. Of course, he didn't realise it was dreaming, but both Scott and I knew the fantastic nocturnal tales he spoke of, were exactly that. I will always remember the first. With wide eyed wonder, early one morning, he announced to me that, "last night there were ladies dancing in my room Mama". One part of me, a little uneasy, the other part, just bursting to bottle his cuteness and keep it with me forever. Since then, he has entertained us with a host of wonderful stories, including dogs nibbling his toes, huge waves outside his window and the most recent, a cat... who sits on the chest of drawers in my room AND doesn't wear any pants! Who knew cats wore pants?!

The last few nights, the poor little guy has been restless. The terrible cough he had a few weeks back, has made a return. It's a horrible, hacking, disturbing cough. We know it too well. He ends up in our room, on a large cushion next to our bed. Scott has dubbed him 'the labrador'. Which I think is kind of fitting, given how he wanders in, not making a fuss and curls up right next to my side of the bed. But tonight, we are on the lounge. In an attempt to curb the coughing fits, I am keeping him upright and as comfortable as possible. 

I don't think I've ever known tiredness, like I have since having children. A couple of hours ago, I was watching something nondescript on tele. Next thing I know, I'm waking up with a 20+ kilo child on my lap, snoring soundly, Scott has gone to bed and the opening credits of Titanic are rolling across the screen in front of me. No concept of time or how long I've been laying in that spot. When one of my darling boys is suffering like Angus is at the moment, routine turns upside down. How I hope he finds his way back to the land of sweet dreams, really soon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Place

We caught up with some good friends today. Friends who have shared many wonderful milestones in our lives and a few low points too. Likewise, we have shared their moments, wide and varied. Catching up with this family is always good. They are fun, easy going, fuss free people and their children are like an extension of my own two boys. I truly adore them.

Fletcher, is one year older than Angus, almost to the day. As soon as Angus was born, these two had a connection. Sure, they bicker and squabble. Tell tales on each other. And bossy boots! Between the two of them, they generate enough self righteousness to power a small country. At the end of the day, they are best of mates. Whenever they part, they always give each other a gigantic hug... which at times turns into a tackle... but it is their thing and that is who they are. Fletch apparently asked the other day if Angus could be his cousin, which I thought was rather touching coming from a 4 year old boy. I am pretty sure if Angus understood the concept of cousin a little better, he would return the sentiment.

So today, after a beautiful lunch, we took the boys (and their baby siblings) to the park. Where they ran and played and climbed, until the weather decided to turn on us... in typical coastal squall fashion. As we walked back to the car, rain soaking us to the skin, I felt content. It's been a lovely Easter/Anzac break, having Scott home, spending quality time with family and friends. And despite the dreary weather for the most part, I don't feel as though we have missed out on anything. We have made the most of all the fabulous things and places on offer. This weekend I have been in my happy place.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I will remember them

It seems almost fitting that the weather here today was dull, bleak and lifeless. I can remember many a damp, grey Anzac Day in years gone by. I recall the Anzac Day when I was about 12. My Dad waking us up in the dark of night and literally frog marching us off into the dawn service at Martin Place. I will never forget that day. My Dad quietly reassuring us that it was an important event to experience and that we really had very little to complain about, my two youngest brothers and I. He was right.

I don't pretend to know alot about the various wars, the battles fought or the lives lost. All I know, is there were too many. Way too many. Too many families left without their father, husband, brother or heaven knows, their son. Whether the cause they were all fighting for was worthy, or not, those brave young men and women, marched on. All of them, changed forever. It is rare to find an Aussie whose family were not affected by war, in some capacity. Scott's grandfather and two of my great grand-father's served this beautiful country we live in today. A free country, brimming with potential everywhere you look.

My word, we are lucky. I simply cannot imagine sending any. single. one. of the men in my life off to war. It chills me to the bone to even think about it. So today, I tried not to. Instead, I was thankful for all those who served our land and continue to serve our land. We visited Scott's parents in the morning. I hung out with my boys. Scott trotted off to the pub, with his brother and some mates, for a spot of two up and to watch the footy matches. And I made these crunchy little biscuits, to enjoy in the comfort of our lovely home. I will always remember them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Marathon Easter

We started the day with our very first Easter egg hunt. This year Angus fully understands all things chocolate and I have to admit, I have been waiting for this time to come since... oh, he was born! I have been a bit of a sweets nazi since day one and despite being branded a meanie by friends and family, I have stood strong when it comes to indulging him with all the naughty stuff. But not this year. Scott and I enjoyed every egg he discovered, every excited little expression and of course the happy child with a basket of loot afterwards. Magic.

Then, it was time for Mama to hit the sand. I simply need to keep my exercise momentum going... even on Easter Sunday and especially after my lazy, post Christmas lull. By about my sixth lap of Coogee Beach, everything burned. My legs, my feet, my back. Even my face, covered with sweat and wind swept. I was so ready to call it quits at that point. But then I thought of the young lady who was swimming 60 laps of Bondi Beach today, to break some kind of world record and I said to myself "suck it up princess" and went on to complete 10 laps (or 5km!). It was all worth it to see the sun finally break through the clouds overhead. Quite the start to my Easter Sunday.

For lunch, we cruised on up to the Northern Beaches, for a delicious meal at the Newport Arms. That place is a parent's dream. A child friendly mecca, with large tables, huge undercover seating area AND a playground... complete with sand. All this, as well as a picturesque view over Pittwater. A fine location to spend our first Easter as a family of four... and the first year EVER that we haven't had to rush somewhere to meet people or go to someone else's place for lunch.

Post lunch antics on Newport Beach, with a game of catch using the velcro mitts and also a little frisbee action. Then, as Angus never lets us get past a playground (he has a radar for these things), we spent a good chunk of time making the most of the facilities there. Both boys were extremely worn out and slept soundly the entire trip home. What a way to do Easter Sunday. 

From Home...

to Coogee...

to Newport Arms... 

to Newport Beach.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Special Gifts

Already, this Easter weekend, we have been spoilt. Our visit to Nana & Pop Johnson's place yesterday, saw the boys returning home with a bunch of gorgeous goodies. Not unusual after a trip to Nana & Pop's, but there were some extra special gifts in this lot. One of which is a beautiful book called Rainy-Day Duckling. As a child I was fascinated by changing picture books. I think I only ever had a couple of them, but I remember them being the pride and joy of all my books... along with the pop-up collection. Rainy-Day Duckling, is one of those books. Spectacular illustrations and a heartwarming story to match, it is a most welcome addition to our ever expanding library. Like myself as a child, Angus seems completely amazed as the pictures morph before his very eyes.

Another gift making me smile, is one I received. A small ceramic egg. I spotted the little cutie while shopping with my Mama a few weeks ago and mentioned how sweet I thought it was. Then what should I receive as part of my Easter package... the very egg trinket box I had admired. Looking at it makes me happy. The colours of the flowers in the design, the delicate butterfly, the gold coloured rim around the middle of the egg. Which just so happens to open up and reveal a handy hiding spot, for all things precious and miniature. A very meaningful Easter keepsake to treasure for years to come... and with far fewer calories than the edible treats! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

All Good

The past couple of days have been a wonderful intro to the Easter weekend festivities. Yesterday, Mama and I hit the Royal Easter Show, Felix in tow. I decided not to take Angus this year, as quite frankly, it is hard work. We wanted to wander around at our own pace, see our favourite attractions, like arts & crafts, cake decorating, paintings & photography and of course, the animals! Significantly harder to achieve with a 3 year old in the equation. It was a glorious sun shiny day and my aching feet last night proved that we had certainly made the most of our 5 hour stint. We also made the most of the CWA's magnificent scones. Wow-ee, those ladies know how to bake! I am such a little piggy, only thinking to get a shot of my delicious plate after I had devoured half a scone. Nothing stands between me and a devonshire tea.

Yesterday afternoon, Angus had his 'Easter Bash' at preschool. It was quite the par-tay. Scott and I arrived to pick him up, planning to stay a few minutes and expecting to see a few tables with chips and lollies and the odd easter egg. Instead, we discovered Angus' preschool likes a spot of entertaining. Beer & wine laid on (yes, alcohol at a preschool function, hmmm!?) and the food. Oh. the food. The BBQ was firing with a selection of burgers, sausages and vego treats. The kitchen producing plate after plate of skewers, rice dishes and curry. It really was a feast for the senses. The directors are a husband and wife team. When I expressed my gratitude to them for putting on such a fabulous spread and celebration, their response... "oh this is nothing, just wait until our Christmas party". Well... I think I just might. Maybe it's my newbie status, being a part of the preschool community, but functions like this are pretty cool. Even if they are crawling with 80 something kiddies.

Today, the boys and I visited my parents for a beautifully relaxing day, munching on hot cross buns and playing in the garden. Scott plays golf on Good Friday every year... and goes to the NRL footy game in the evening. His Dad, brother and lots of mates have been doing this 'boys thing' ever since I met Scott... and probably even before that too. SUCH boys! Angus had a grand old time throwing and kicking the ball with his Nana in the yard, climbing the trees and getting completely spoilt with Easter gifts too. Felix lapped up time on the lawn, to roll and explore in the warm Autumn sun. A good Friday... yes indeed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tears for a prince

Sitting on the lounge this morning, feeding Felix his bottle, I caught a snippet of the Sunrise show. It is nothing special to see a story, or a doco or an entire program dedicated to William and Kate at the moment. They're everywhere. On every channel. Across network and Foxtel. The world appears to have gone mad in a flurry of pre-royal wedding excitement. I must admit, it is difficult not to be swept up by it all. My inner sticky beak and love of weddings/fashion/all things pretty, is quietly busting to be released... and it will be, come next Friday evening. I'll be watching, along with millions around the world, as a piece of royal history is made.

But one thing I haven't anticipated or prepared myself for, are my emotions surrounding this event. Those damn Mama hormones, that seem to crop up every time there is a mention of marriage and children. Love and loss. Mama's and sons. So this morning, as I watched a 3 minute segment, specifically focusing on William and his life journey to this point, I cried. Until today, I hadn't considered that the young prince will be marrying his beautiful princess, without his Mama there to share the moment. The thought of this makes me so sad. Thanks Sunrise, for bringing it to my attention at this point, I'm sure I would have cried buckets throughout the wedding anyway. But I'm now reminded of the added significance of William and Kate's special day. 

I suppose it's every mother's fear, that they may not be around to see their children grow up, marry, start their own families. I know for sure, it is one of mine. I try not to dwell on it and if it ever springs to mind, I quickly push it way back to the dark recesses, where it belongs. Poor Diana, she missed out on so much. She was a wonderful mother, who adored her boys. As the story wound up, a comment was made about how Diana would be there, at the wedding, looking proudly down on them. Not quite the ending I needed to hear, with my already tear stained cheeks, heavy heart and my little boys sitting by my side.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's the little things

Lately, I thoroughly enjoy a full day at home. The weather is just about perfect at this time of year and our place feels especially bright and comfy as a result. I like being able to catch up on washing, folding, bits and pieces that are often difficult to get done on days when we're racing around. I love to potter. I feel at peace when Felix is having a nice, uninterrupted, three hour nap, in his own bed. The familiarity of home. It's a blessing. It really is.

Relaxing days at home also lend themselves to plenty of fun, imaginative, hands on play. Lots of puzzles, car games, ball throwing, play dough AND painting! I am a bit of a stationery nut. Always have been. Stickers, pens, paper, pencils, stamps. The LOT. Nowadays I have also taken a shine to kid's craft, of all kinds. Angus is particularly passionate about art and craft at the moment. I think the onset of preschool has enhanced his creative side and he is content to scribble away on pages and pages of fresh white paper. Painting is definitely at the top of his list at present. So when wandering through Target last week, I stumbled across a fab find for my crafty fellow.

How I love Crayola and it's vast array of activities... it appears still at 1980's prices. I am sure the cost of their goodies is on par with what my Mama was paying back when I was a wee tot. I found an awesome paint set with 4 pots of colour AND 2 pots of glitter paint. Yes. Glitter paint! FABULOUS! Plus a small paint brush included. On sale... for $4.40! True to my bargain hunting roots, I snapped up 4 sets of those babies, for my craft stockpile. Because on days like these, there is nothing better than a little treat of new paints to feed that creative appetite. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Loving Lasagna

So after my dinner time freak out of last week, I decided it would be beneficial for me to get back to basics and call on an old faithful, to shuffle back into the meal rotation. And I'm SO glad I did. I am quite sure I've rolled this Lasagna recipe out a hundred times, or more. It was part of my staple diet throughout both pregnancies and is one of our absolute favourites during the cooler months. With the weather over the weekend offering up the perfect conditions required, I broke out the trusty lasagna sheets and started creating...

Easy Lasagna

250g instant lasagna sheets
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 carrot (grated)
2 sticks celery (finely sliced)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
500g beef mince (can also be substituted with diced chicken breast for a tasty variation)
5 tbsp tomato paste
1 400g tin diced canned tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated tasty cheese
Grated parmesan cheese (for topping)

Meat Sauce

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic, cook until soft. Add beef mince, cook until brown. Stir in tomato paste, canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover and simmer gently for 20 mins.

Bechamel Sauce

Melt butter in another saucepan, stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes over gentle heat. Remove from heat, stir in milk. Return to heat, stir until thick and smooth. Season with salt & pepper. Add grated tasty cheese, stir over low heat until cheese melts.


Preheat over to 180 degrees. Place a layer of lasagna sheets across bottom of a lightly greased baking dish, followed by a layer of meat sauce, then a layer of bechamel sauce. Repeat order, ending with bechamel sauce layer. Sprinkle generously with grated parmesan cheese.
Bake for 35 - 40 mins.
Allow to stand for 5 mins before serving.

Whilst it isn't the prettiest lasagna I've ever seen, it did taste mighty fine and had Scott snooping around for seconds. Of course a meal of this size is just begging to be utilised as a leftover option during the week... another big tick for my old faithful. Bellissimo!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tonight I am grateful

Tonight, on this chilly, windy, misery of a night... following the wettest April day in a decade, I am grateful for not having to be anywhere... but here

No dressing up. No battling the elements. No waiting around in the rain for cabs and NO losing my car spot in our street, right out the front of our place, because I have taken on designated driver status. Just home with hubby, watching these two cheeky rascals wrestling each other to bits. Couldn't wish for anything more. Pure and simple.

Lovely to be joining in with Maxabella and all her other grateful posts this week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dinnertime Dilemma

"Mama, what are we having for dinner tonight?". Not a particularly complicated question. Nor an unreasonable one. Though as those words were uttered from my 3 year old's mouth this morning, sitting in his car seat on the way to preschool, it was enough to make me cringe behind the steering wheel. Lately... and this week in particular... I have been struggling with a case of the dinnertime dilemma. 

It is not uncommon for the evening to be considered as the toughest period in a Mama's day. I hear it ALL the time. When I'm in the thick of those witching hours (because they are hours), I do try to remember that I'm not alone. There is a whole world of Mama's out there, going through the same ritual as I am. Day in, day out. I guess what has bothered me so much about my dinnertime dilemma this week is how unenthusiastic I am to even think about cooking. Dread may not be the appropriate word, though it would come close to describing how I feel at the thought of tackling a meal plan, preparation and execution. Ergh!

There are a number of factors I believe are contributing to my recent dilemma. 
Firstly, Felix is on the go. He is no longer a stationary baby, content to be plonked down in the one spot for hours on end. Now, as dinnertime rolls around, I have a 3 year old and a confidently mobile boddler (still a baby, not quite a toddler). So, boddler and 3 year old now wrestle, squeal and argue... often all in the one motion.
Secondly, my organisation and timing towards the evening meal leaves alot to be desired. I am easily distracted, become flustered very quickly and quite often leave the preparation to the last minute. Therein finding myself in a flurry of kid's dinner/my dinner/Scott's dinner/washing up/tidying up/bath time chaos.  
And probably most significantly, Scott's arrival time. Between 6.45 and 8pm. With no set time, from day to day. The best he can do is update me once he leaves the office. This single factor impacts on the other factors more than I care to realise. However, there is not a great deal I can do. He is working hard and strives to get home as quickly as possible. It is important I remember this.

I'm hoping the dinnertime rut I'm in will pass or at least ease up, very soon. I don't enjoy feeling this way about preparing meals for my family. I don't like feeling guilty for not wanting to put more effort into the food I make. I need to get my cooking mojo back, in a BIG way. Thankfully I was able to answer Angus' question this morning, with a spirited reply, "It's pizza tonight!"... and there will be plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night too! At this point in time, I look forward to our Take Away Friday's more than ever. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

There's no business, like Show Business

Yesterday, I took the boys along to the Sydney Family Show. We met up with my old friend and her little girl, who just so happens to be 10 weeks older than Angus. They have been great chums from day dot and they always have an absolute ball together. They appear to have a certain affinity with one another and it is super cute to watch their interaction, now they are fully fledged three year olds. Like a couple of old bingo partners.

The Family Show is equivalent to the poor cousin of the Royal Easter Show. Everything is just a little bit more... compact... with a tad less variety. But it does try. And what is lacks in size, it makes up for in fun. Especially for the little ones. They're not too bothered if the rides are smaller, stalls are shabbier and the entertainment is lower key. Seeing their delighted faces as they go round... and round... and round on a ride is all the satisfaction we need as Mama's. Oh! and it's free entry, which has to be a plus.

Angus is a classic when it comes to rides. He approaches them with an air of bravado, a sense of knowing just what he is getting himself into. It is only when the ride takes off... or is about to take off... that his defensive instincts kick in. Always too late of course. He was adamant he wanted to ride on the 'mini' Ferris Wheel and even after double... triple... quadruple checking whilst waiting in line, he was still as keen as mustard. Even as the seat took off up into the air, he was doing ok. It was only when the man controlling the wheel stopped it, to do a change over of kiddies at the bottom, that Angus started to freak out. And I mean, FREAK OUT. We could hear his screams of "get me out"... "I want to to GET OFF", from the ground below. I was half panicking, half nervously laughing. I could see him trying to get out of his sash. My friend and I calmly yelling to sit tight and hold Lilly's hand. Once it was moving again, he settled, but had another little moment just before their seat was unloaded at the end of the ride.

After the Ferris Wheel, he proceeded to ride on 6 more rides, with little hesitation and plenty of enthusiasm once they were off and flying/spinning/bouncing. It's anyone's guess exactly what goes through children's minds, but I'll never stop trying to figure it out.

It was a beautiful day, with my friend, her children, wandering around together under sunny blue skies. A pit stop for a yummy lunch at the Fox & Lion Hotel, in the grounds just next to the Show. Then back to the Show for some time in the precious farmyard nursery, an icecream and a play in the playground. If I could choose a perfect Wednesday, this would be it and I'm sure the kiddies would choose the same. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good Old Fashioned Sunday

The weather over the weekend felt as if it were trying to squeeze every last drop of summer leftovers out, with an explosion of sunshine and warm temperatures. Well, until Sunday afternoon that is. Then it turned on a decidedly chilly, blustery, wintery scene. Just to keep us on our toes. We managed to spend alot of time outdoors, exactly how we like it.

First thing on Sunday morning, I was back into my sand running, on glorious Coogee Beach. It has been... ahem... too long since my last sand run. I have been beyond slack and made many, many excuses (all quite legitimate, in my eyes), but something had to give. I have been feeling sluggish, lethargic and very unfit lately. I know running is the best cure for me. I've been here before. Weekends are the only time I can actually make the effort, as Scott is around to watch the boys and I can get out and about early. I am determined to stay on track and focused from now on and... dare I say... keep up the intensity throughout the rest of Autumn AND Winter. The toughest months of all for outdoor exercise.

Sunday afternoon saw my boys and I heading out for a picnic, despite an apparent change in the weather brewing. We intended to head up to the Northern Beaches for a bit of a change. Then heard of all the traffic chaos in and around the Sydney CBD due to the World Triathlon Championships and opted to stay a little closer to home. It's been some time since Scott and I went to Watson's Bay, but we've always enjoyed the fish & chips down there, so thought it would be a nice spot. It was the perfect choice for our Sunday arvo. Ball games in the park, time in the big playground, a little exploration adventure (led by Angus), the yummiest fish, chips, calamari and salad. And what Sunday afternoon would be complete without a soft serve from the whippy van?! It's been years since I had a whippy... and I think Mr Whippy's prices have even stood still. Good old fashioned value. Good old fashioned fun.

Very pleased to say that although it threatened to bucket down on us, the rain didn't start up until we were driving home. Two sleepy boys in the back. Two happy parents in the front. A great day all round.