Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just one of... those days

Today kinda sucked. Angus finally had his appointment with an ENT specialist. And as suspected, he has rather large adenoids and fluid in both ears. Which will require him to have the adenoids removed AND grommets put in. He has always had a bit of a darth-vaderesque way of breathing and when he gets a cold, it really messes with his sinuses. So we thought this might be on the cards, but the reality of it all hit me this morning, with full force. And my generally positive approach, wavered. 

Add to this, a classic terrible two temper tantrum display from Master Felix, who rolled one outburst into the next, culminating in BOTH of us crying and screeching at each other by the time we made it back to the car. He seriously howled his way from the specialists office, through the shopping centre and all the way home. I had an elderly lady "tsk tsk" at him for being "so noisy" as I hurried along, face burning, eyes stinging. Why are people so unkind?

So, the operation is booked. I have a month to get my head around it all and try to calm. the. heck. down. I admit, I don't do these things well. Thankfully, this is the first hospital procedure either of the boy's have ever had. And for this, I am so so grateful. I think Angus' doctor said it best when he told me to "go home and have a wine", as I left his office. And bless him, he even understood that two year olds are just like that... and my two year old is like that... and then some!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Orange Cake

As a child I had a pretty strong dislike for orange cake. My Mama was always baking treats for us kids and I can recall turning my nose up at afternoon tea, if I came home from school and she had baked orange cake. What a brat! Now I don't know if my taste buds have matured or I have just become a bigger piggy when it comes to all things sweet, but I now really love orange cake. In saying that, this one is the first I have ever made. And it was so completely simple and lovely, I had to share. Soft and delicious, with just the right amount of citrusy zing. Perfect for afternoon tea... in my opinion... and the boys actually liked it... obviously not quite as fussy as their Mama was. 

Orange Cake

150g butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
3/4 cup (120g) icing sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 160 degrees (fan-forced). Grease deep 20cm round cake pan
Beat butter, rind, caster sugar, eggs, flour and milk in medium bowl with electric
mixer on low speed until just combined
Increase speed to medium; beat about 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth
Spread mixture into pan; bake about 40 minutes
Stand cake in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool
Combine sifted icing sugar and juice in small bowl; spread over cake

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday Funday

I remember the days when those first hot, sunny, Sundays following the Winter months, meant hitting the golden sands to work on my Summer tan. Because back then, a sun-kissed glow seemed so incredibly important. These days, Sundays are all about wearing an energetic two year old out, so he sleeps soundly at nap time and accompanying a four year old to yet another lovely birthday celebration for yet another little friend from preschool. My social butterfly continues to amaze me, with his ever-increasing confidence and larger than life personality. Watching him running around with his friends, taking part in magic tricks and parachute games, in the big old church hall, made me very happy indeed. And when it came time to sing Happy Birthday & cut the cake... I couldn't help but capture the sunny glow streaming through the lovely large windows. I really love these images. These are Sunday to me now.

* Thank you so very much for all the wonderful words of support and encouragement through your comments and emails, on the launch of my newest addition Button Tots. Means the world to me xoxo

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Birth of Button Tots

When my role at work was made redundant last November, I felt partly relieved and partly lost. After thirteen years with the one company, I really didn't know what was next for me, career wise. Scott and I, keen for another child, decided to make two thousand and twelve the year to extend our brood. And in January, we were right on track, with the all positive two blue lines. But by the end of February, life threw a little curve ball and our plan wasn't meant to be. I struggled with the aftermath for a good few weeks. And after much soul searching, I was determined to do something to keep my mind busy. I explored options to become a personal trainer, an idea I have toyed with for a long time. I enjoy keeping fit and healthy and think I could successfully encourage others to do the same. But at this point in time, it's not feasible to devote the hours and effort, when my prime focus is the boys.

So out of the blue, I purchased a selection of pretty bits and pieces and started sewing little cuts of fabric and cute buttons onto baby singlets. At night once the boys were asleep or when Angus was at preschool and Felix was napping. Back in March, it was fantastic therapy for me. A distraction for the overactive mind and a creatively fulfilling distraction at that. And as the weeks went by, I made more and more and just kept adding to the collection. Until I started to think that maybe I could pop the sweet creations onto my friend's little ones... and my little ones. From that point the concept of Button Tots was conceived. As is the way with these simple ideas, eventually, they begin to grow and grow and before you know it, you're in full swing and throwing yourself into it wholeheartedly. With terrific support from beautiful friends and family, one starts to believe they can do anything.

After many delays in progress and plenty of second guessing myself, Button Tots was finally born this week. Whether it proves to be a success or not, I am not concerned. Because this year, I have been lucky enough to work on something that I enjoy and derive great satisfaction from. And that is more than I could have hoped for.

So if you're interested in taking a peek, please pop on over to the brand new Button Tots Facebook page and give it a 'like'... if you like what you see that is. I've also created a store at, currently with a small selection from the range... more will be added over the coming weeks.
And if you think friends or family might like what they see too, don't be afraid to share the Button Tots name around.

And boy, did I have fun shooting this gorgeous lot... my darling Button Tots Babes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Boys

So the weekend came and went and though I was thrilled when Scott arrived home on Monday afternoon, I really had very little time to miss him while he was away. I made a point of keeping busy and wearing my little dynamos out as best I could. Which naturally led to wearing myself out in the process. It is fair to say that my boys have stolen my heart totally. They are such hard work and have the power to drive me bonkers, though each night as I placed them into their beds and the house went quiet, I could not have felt luckier to be their Mama. Solo parenting isn't easy, but I do find it exceptionally rewarding. Like that feeling of being dog tired is actually worth it. We went along to a local Eco-living fair on Sunday and whilst I personally didn't get a great deal out of it, the boys most certainly did. And so we were ALL happy. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Better Homes & Gardens

The boys and I are flying solo this weekend, with Scott away on a golf trip for four days. Needless to say I am searching for things to do to keep us all occupied, whilst at the same time keeping relative peace among us. Last week I received a very thoughtful invitation in my inbox, for tickets to the Better Homes & Gardens show. It is rare for me to receive this type of lovely offer and knowing I had an extra long weekend of entertaining the littlies, I jumped at the chance to snap a couple up. Unfortunately my dear Mama is unwell at the moment and was unable to join us for the fun yesterday. So my little bundles of energy and I went along and checked out the scene.

The boys had a good time in the Kid Zone, creating up a storm on the rather impressive arts & crafts table. They jumped on a springless trampoline... of which the sales guy and girl had no hope of selling to me, with our tiny courtyard. And then met some very sweet furry friends... they may have more luck persuading Mama into bringing one of these home in the not too distant future. For the adults, it was a mecca of house and garden and cooking and appliances. If I had been sans kiddies, I could have really let my hair down, but I was just happy to be there and soak up the atmosphere. And I discovered for the first time ever, just how good Weight Watchers food tastes. Because of course free food at a show is an instant hit... and it was YUM! Definitely something in it for everyone and we were ever so grateful to receive the tickets. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pad Thai (with chicken)

There are a great many meals I love to devour, yet are too nervous or lazy or time poor to make myself. So when I find a nice easy recipe for one of my favourite take away dishes, there is no excuse but to give it a crack. And tonight, I finally whipped up a delicious Pad Thai for dinner. I've been gobbling this one down for years, but this is my first attempt at it. Simple, tasty, an absolute winner. I found the recipe on the back of the Erawan Brand rice noodles packet... they are gluten free too... and I tweaked the recipe slightly to suit, but this is my version.

Pad Thai (with chicken)

200g pad thai rice noodles
300g cooked chicken, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp chopped spring onions/shallots
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bean sprouts, soaked in water

Cook chicken in frying pan, in batches, then set aside
Boil pad thai noodles for 6-8 minutes, until soft, then drain
Fry crushed garlic and spring onions/shallots gently in
 peanut oil until transparent
Add all the remaining ingredients except the egg and 
bean sprouts and continue to fry
Add egg slowly and continue to mix
Add the drained bean sprouts and continue to fry for 30 seconds

Sunday, September 9, 2012


A blustery day served as the perfect accompaniment to the annual Festival of the Winds on Bondi Beach. The sky a magnificent sight, full of colour and shapes. Teddy bears and lizards, tigers and aliens. A wonderland for young and old. The boys made the most of the fabulous free entertainment, wearing themselves ragged on the jumping castle and play gym. And we all made the most of family time together, on a beautiful sun-shiny day. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spring Tribute

When the sky is grey and the temperature cool, it is easier to let things get the better of me. This is what I have learnt over the years... and even more so since becoming a Mama. So it stands to reason that with the onset of sunshine, warmth and long days, my mood improves dramatically. Today, we took things really slow and steady. Woke up gently, ate breakky peacefully, pottered around the house doing a few chores, then meandered the streets to a local park for some play time. We read and napped and watched ABC for kids in the afternoon. Spring time is good for us. Good for me. It makes me a chirpier Mama. And wearing new clothes makes me feel good too... this tribute to Spring on my legs made me smile today, an explosion of floral is always great for the soul... even if it is a little louder than I would normally wear.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I took the boys back to The Wiggles exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum today. Because I have heard non-stop Wiggles talk ever since the first time we saw it... because as far as entertaining the kids goes, this is one of the best value for money excursions we have been on... and because, we can. Afterwards we met a friend for lunch and enjoyed catching up over a feed. Then what is one to do when the mercury is pushing the degrees into the high twenties... strip down to one's smalls with all the other kids... of course. We sat back and couldn't help but chuckle at all the little munchkins running around in the Spring sunshine. It's been a long haul this year, but I feel like Summer is on it's way. And I like what I feel.