1 Dec 2016

TAKING STOCK - November 2016


I never truly believed that as you got older the years would go by much quicker, boy was I wrong. But here we are at the pointy end of the year, when we all feel exhausted and drained, ready for a break then a fresh start.

School is over, the weather is heating up and with summer just around the corner its time to get the pool and air conditioning into tip top shape. Its also time to get  ready for a visit from Santa, and deck the halls with decorations and cheer.

November was busy, but we made through...



Making  room for our son to move back home after two years.
Reading  The House Of Memories by Monica McInerney
Wanting  Rain. Its been a while since we had good soaking rain. The grass is crunchy and everything is beginning to brown.
Looking  for more good books to read, or TV series to watch. What do you recommend ?
Playing  the Dixie Chicks in my car and Adele while I am cleaning house.
Deciding  on meals to cook for the remainder of the year. I tend to loose my kitchen mojo at this time of year. I am constantly asking Santa for a private chef, but he never delivers. I must not be a very good girl.
Wishing  for a white Christmas that I know will never come.
Enjoying  having my son back home, I never thought he would ever move back. Unfortunately it is because he will be out of work in ten days which isn't good, but I am loving every minute of it.
Waiting  for my husbands holidays to start. I have a long list of chores for him to do.
Liking  the lazy mornings that school holidays bring.
Wondering  if Summer is going to be as long and as humid as last year ?
Loving  that it is almost Christmas.
Considering  what direction I want the blog to take in 2017. I've been quite absent this year and I really want to turn that around.
Buying  Christmas presents, candles and food. Always food to feed those hungry boys of mine.
Watching  Newsroom. We were a few years late to the Newsroom party but what a fabulous show. I couldn't believe that it was only three seasons long !
Hoping  for another beautiful Christmas full of love, joy and memories.
Cringing  at the road toll here in Mackay. Three young lives lost just this past weekend.
Needing  to win the lottery.
Questioning  or rather not questioning my son anymore if he has his lunch box, does he have homework. Gee I love school holidays.
Smelling  all the gorgeous Spring flowers.
Wearing  the coolest clothes possible to beat this horrid heat.
Following  the blog, Instagram feed and Snapchat of the gorgeous Kristen Mittler / Old Joy. She brightens my day with her posts.
Noticing  recently just how tall and mature my boys are getting, they grow up way to fast don't they.
Knowing  that I will be spending many a day floating in the pool this Summer.
Thinking  about what the New Year will bring with it.
Admiring  how hard my husband works.
Sorting  clothes. Those to throw, those to donate and those to pass down.
Getting  very frustrated with our dogs digging up the back yard.
Disliking  all the businesses that are closing down and putting people out of work.
Opening  the box of Christmas decorations and taking a walk down memory lane.
Giggling  at my sons annoyance at hearing Christmas carols in November.
Feeling  hot and very lazy. I really need some motivation.
Snacking  on carrots and hummus.
Helping  my two eldest boys move house. AGAIN.
Hearing  my boys laughing together and feeling all the feels that it brings.



How was your November ?

beck xx


31 Oct 2016

TAKING STOCK - October 2016


I have been a little to busy to blog lately. With life powering on at such a fast pace, its like I have been left behind in the race unable to keep up.
The months are just powering through this year, how is it already the end of October ? My youngest son has only four weeks left of year eleven and I am so overwhelmed and anxious about it all. I never dreamt that my journey through motherhood would fly by so quickly.

Anyway, back to taking stock. I love Pip form Meet Me At Mikes idea of taking stock. It's such a wonderful idea to reflect on the month that was and keep record of all that you do and experience. So here we go...




 Making a lot of mess while organising my home. It feels good to be done with the clutter.
Cooking a lot of every day boring meals. When this time of year rolls around, its hot and I cant really be bothered with trying to wow my family.
Drinking Chai Lattes like a mad woman. I am SO addicted to them lately.
Reading The Girl In The Red Coat. I was kind of left underwhelmed with this book. The ending was disappointing and I just expected a little more. I guess I am a fussy reader.
Wanting Time to slow down.
Looking forward to the slow mornings of Summer holidays.
Deciding weather of not to go all out this Christmas as I usually do, or to bring it down a notch or two. I'm not sure I have the energy to get into it this year.
Wishing that Christmas was a little further away.
Enjoying the calm moments in my garden lately.
Waiting for some good news for my boy who as of December fourth is out of work.
Liking chocolate a little too much.
Listening to Adele, and getting a kick out of some pod casts lately.
Buying not much at all except what is needed. I have been really boring good on the shopping front lately.
Watching a whole lot of time wasting reality TV
Hoping that we can hold onto this beautiful Spring weather for a few more weeks before the dreaded Summer humidity hits.
Needing some more quality time with my husband. We have had some wonderful weekends lately and I am hoping that it continues.
Questioning myself.
Smelling Spring everywhere I go. The flowers, the morning air and Spring showers. My favourite time of year.
Wearing shorts for the first time in years and loving it. Not sure how others feel about my big butt in them, but I cant see it and that is all that matters.
Following some really beautiful Instagram and Snapchat accounts. So many of their posts take my breath away.
Bookmarking some new recipes that I may try out for Christmas.
Disliking all the nasty carry on between bloggers lately. Why do some of them and their followers feel the need to put others down. We are all just sharing our thoughts and journeys. We may not agree with everybody but that does not make them wrong. We should be holding each other up, helping each other and sharing the love.
Giggling at my sons and their antics. They never fail to make me laugh.
Feeling tired, more than usual.
Helping my son to look for a new job and keeping his spirits up. He has so much to offer and I know that the right job/position is just around the corner.
Celebrating my youngest sons efforts to become the 2017 school captain. He has made us so very proud no matter the outcome, I do hope he snags this feather in his cap though. We find out tonight at the annual awards night so stay tuned.
Embracing wild hair and not spending so much time drying it in the morning,  letting it dry naturally and embracing the outcome.




beck xx



18 Oct 2016

AROUND HERE LATELY


Hello there.
Life has been busy, been good and a little overwhelming all at the same time.

So much has been going on around here. As many of you would know, Masters Home Improvements is closing its doors. That means many job losses including my sons. There are currently so many people out of work here in Mackay that finding work is more than difficult, so with the lack of job unavailability my boy is moving back home, and I cant wait. Selfish maybe but I am excited for his return.

I celebrated my forty second birthday last month, and I am still unsure where all the years have gone.
I love celebrating a birthday, being surrounded by family, its completely invigorating.

 


With the weather warming up, trips to the beach are happening again. How I love the salt air and sand between my toes, my go to happy place.



Hubby and I took time out this weekend to go look at land for sale. It has been a dream of ours to live on a small property just our of town, to live a clean and natural life away from the bustle of town. It is still just a dream though, but one that we will not let go of just yet.





Its already getting hot and humid here, I must be the only one who is not looking forward to summer. I miss living where you experience all four seasons. I do love where we live, who wouldn't, it just seems the summers are getting longer and hotter every year, or maybe its because I am getting older. Whatever it is I thank my lucky stars for our swimming pool and air conditioner.

beck xx

Linking up for IBOT this week over at kyliepurtell.com



22 Sep 2016

ONE DISH SAVORY LAMB CHOP BAKE


It's been a while since I posted one of our family go to recipes, and while preparing this one last night for my hungry mob, I figured it was a tasty dish well worth sharing.
Having a large family, I am always looking for meals that don't need a lot of preparation, and the less pans that are required, even better. This meal ticks all those boxes and appealing to everyone in my family.

One Dish Savory Lamb Chop Bake
Prep 10 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour


* 4 onions cut into wedges
* 750 grams of baby potatoes halved
* 4 carrots quartered
* punnet of cherry tomatoes
* 8 small lamb chops
* 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
* 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
* 1 clove of crushed garlic
* 1/4 cup tomato paste
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 200 degrees (fan forced).
Place potatoes, carrots and onion into a large baking dish. Add chilli, garlic powder and olive oil and mix together thoroughly making sure all vegetables are coated.
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Place tomatoes and chops on top of the vegetables and return to oven for a further 15 minutes.

Meanwhile combine stock, crushed garlic and tomato paste stirring well.
Pour over the top of the chops and again return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.


This dish is healthy, filling and satisfying. The fact that is all cooked in one dish is just an added extra bonus.

Enjoy

beck xx


7 Sep 2016

FATHERS DAY 2016


What is it with kids and their opposing nature when a parent tries to gather them for a photographic memory of a special day ? Is it really such an imposition ? I mean it's not hard, you stand, sit, pose, smile. Thanks we are done and move on. But every single time damn it it's an effort.

Fathers Day this year was no exception.

The weather was perfect


The fathers day photos of my hubby and our sons were not the best this year


I don't know where they came from, but seeing these beautiful draft horses taking these folk for a ride
up our street was something you don''t see everyday

Linking up for a not so Wordless Wednesday 

beck xx

23 Aug 2016

BAD MUMS - CONFESSION TIME


Last week I got to see "Bad Moms Mums". I laughed, I cried in parts, and I laughed so hard I cried. I may have even peed a little. Its so much fun being a mum, isn't it. 
If you haven't had the chance to see this film yet, run don't walk. I am calling it. Its the BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR.

Parenting is challenging. With many good and bad moments to be had. I have had my share of both, but think that I lean more towards the bad mum more than the good.

It's confession time....

I am the mum of four sons. four happy, healthy grown sons. They are the key words that I want you to remember. My sons are happy and healthy.

Back when my third son was born, We lived in a small Queensland mining town where everybody knew everybody and everyone's business. We lived in another state to all our family, so parenting although was rewarding, was very tiring because we never got a break. They were happy times with many wonderful memories created, but there were also a few memories that I wish I could erase as well. And in one instance, I had my very own film worthy "Bad Mum" moment.

Back then when picking up my eldest son from school, all the smaller children would gather at the playground playing games together until the bell rang when they would all return to their mothers who were busy gossiping by the water fountains. On one particular day, I gathered my boys quickly into the car as it was Friday and my eldest boy had the first soccer game of the afternoon and it was always a rush to make it on time. On arriving home and unloading the car of its kids and bags I realised that I had returned home with only two children. I had left my two year old at the school !

I panicked, I was crying with an ugly man face as I piled the two kids back into the car breaking every parenting and road rule to get back to the school as soon as I possibly could. Visions of what could have happened to my little boy were creating havoc with my mind. The car flew into the parking lot at a speed that can only be described as illegal, and there at the gate with a fellow mum who knew that I would return in a fit of distress was my little man happily waving to me with a dirty face and an icy pole. I squished him so hard planting so many kisses on his sweet face vowing never to do it again....

It's confession time....

I did the same thing on two other occasions to the very same child.

So there you have it, my Bad Mum moment/s confessed to all. Not everyone will have a bad mum moment as bad as this, and some of you may even be able to beat it. The point is we all have them. We all have a moment or two to be ashamed of, but let me tell you, when you get to where I am now and your kids have grown up and reached an age where you know they are happy, and so far safe and sound, the Bad Mum moments will become memories that you will be able to look back on with a smile on your face and think....

Did I really do that ?

What are some of your Bad Mum moments ?
Are they as bad as mine ?

beck xx

Linking up with Kirsty for the final I must confess 






22 Aug 2016

PARENTS SOMETIMES NEED FAMILY TIME, EVEN IF THE TEENS DON'T ALWAYS AGREE


I asked my kids to gather for a family dinner last Monday night. I just really needed to be surrounded by my family after having such a sad week. Sometimes as a mother you just have a yearning to gather your chicks and keep them close. This was one of those times.


I never ask much of my kids, they are pretty darn lucky if truth be told, but when I do ask, I expect them to grant me with their presence and a smile wouldn't hurt either.
When I asked my tribe to commit to a family dinner they all agree. I know right ! My eldest two who no longer live at home were happy to come over for a free feed for a family dinner and by all accounts the youngest two were willing to play along as well.


It didn't go to plan. I should have realised that gathering the teens is no longer as easy as it used to be.

I get it, I really do. I was a teenager once way back when, even if my kids don't quite believe me.
When your a teenager, family time can be a drag especially when you would rather be off doing something "cool" with your friends. But sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and give family night a go.

Things started off great, there was laughter and all the kids were getting on well. It was music to my ears and just what I needed. Dinner was almost ready when things went down hill.
A car load or two turned up for teen three and he left, he didn't get that he was bailing out on me, he could only see the fun that he would having with his mates, much more fun then hanging with the family. I regret now that I didn't make him stay but at the time, after such a crap week an argument with one of my kids was not going to happen. So I let it slide. This gave teen four all the power he needed to eat in his room away from the rest of us.
I just didn't have the energy to fight. I backed down and gave away all my power, and became the parent I never wanted to be. I let my kids get away with walking all over me and it didn't feel great at all. I am so not proud of my parenting lately.

Surely it is not too much to ask for a family gathering other than at birthdays and Christmas. Surely I haven't raised full on selfish humans that no longer want to spend time with family. It hurt, and I cried later that night, I felt like a failure as a parent.

Parents get the raw end of the deal sometimes. Kids don't seem to get that parents still need them, still need to spend time with them. Even though they have grown, matured and become their own person. They are still their parents children and occasionally it is nice to spend time together as a whole.


beck xx






3 Aug 2016

ENVIOUS


It doesn't matter who you are, there is always something in life that makes us envious. You know that old saying "the grass is always greener" its true, there is always something no matter how small, that we all wish was ours. For example wanting to be as thin someone or wanting curly hair instead of straight....
You get the drift.

For me, it's my home. I love my home but it doesn't really live up to the dream that I have always had. If only it was bigger, more open, more stylish. If only the kitchen was white, if the bathroom was finished, if the dogs hadn't tore up the back yard.
If only....
There are so many spectacular homes on Instagram and Pinterest that bring out my inner green eyed monster. I mean I am not naive, I know that people only show the "perfect" parts of their home I do that as well and that behind the scene is a messy kitchen or a lounge room floor of unfolded washing, but it gets me. Every single time.

I mean just look at these images.

imgfave.com
lizmarieblog.com
Styleyoursenses.com
Image source unknown

Utter perfection, beautiful rooms that are just not mine. Sigh maybe one day the renovations will be finished, the walls will be painted and my garden will consist of more than dirt patches and wild dogs. Until then I will keep dreaming of my perfect home and keep pinning those rooms that make me ever so jealous.

beck xx

1 Aug 2016

TAKING STOCK - July 2016


I really do love PIP's  idea of Taking Stock. I enjoy looking back at the month that was, the things that made it special, the new memories we have collected. I also love to read other Taking Stock blog posts to sneak a peak into moments of other people's day to day lives. It's a great way to connect with others in this big wide world.

July has been a long month, Tradesmen in and out of our house, making mess, giving me a headache. A birthday to celebrate and many new books read. I am actually looking forward to August, a fresh month, a fresh start, and more memories to be made.

Here was my July...

Making - School lunches again. Three weeks into term three and I am SO over it.
Cooking - Lots of warming comforting food in the hope that we can at least pretend its cold outside.
Drinking - Lots of Chai Tea. It has become my latest addiction.


Wanting - Winter to show its face here in North QLD . With the lack of cold weather this year, it is almost certain that we will be in for a stinking hot long Summer.
Looking - At and crushing on all the beautiful rooms on Instagram decorated in different shades of white. How on earth do they keep them clean ?
Playing - Old reruns of Rosanne. I think its funnier now that I have my own dysfunctional family.
Deciding - On paint colours for the house and getting absolutely nowhere.
Wishing - That we lived somewhere where Winter exited.
Enjoying - Walking again, its been great to start some form of exercise again.
Waiting - On news about the place my son works at. Praying it stays open and no one looses their job.
Wondering - If my kitchen will ever be finished.
Loving - Fresh sheets, hot bubble baths and red wine.


Pondering - Where our money is being spent lately and thinking we need a new budget.
Considering - Taking this horrid body back to yoga but not sure I could face the shame.
Celebrating - My sons 23rd birthday, and wondering where his childhood days went.


Buying - Another $200 calculator after my son has lost his already.
Watching - Housewives of New York and The OC, There Goes The Motherhood and The Kettering Incident.
Cringing - At the obsession of Pokemon Go.
Needing - Another cup of Chai.
Questioning - The meaning of life and my place in it.
Smelling - The fresh salt air of the ocean and freshly cut grass.
Wearing - Summer dresses in Winter and PJ's on the school morning school run.


Following - A lot of home decorating blogs and instagram accounts so that I can gather ideas for my own place.
Noticing - That my youngest son is now taller than me and one of his elder brothers. Not only am I the only female in the house, but I am now also the shortest member of my family.
Admiring - The discipline of fit and healthy women. Knowing that before I hit an all time low I was just like them and the struggle to get back is very real.
Sorting - Through this crazy head of mine and trying to let go of things that I cant physically change and trying to concentrate on the things that I can.
Getting - Frustrated at my everyday routine.
Coveting - A bottle of the finest perfume.
Disliking - All the mess that the tradesmen left us in when they fixed our kitchen. Leaking sinks, a dishwasher hooked up incorrectly and an unfinished floor.


Feeling - Very lonely. Hubby is gone a lot for work these days and all my boys are busy with there own "social lives" being a mum left behind is not all that great. Why did my boys grow up so fast ?
Snaking - On biscuits and feeling very guilty about it.
Helping - My parents out by looking after their home while they are away.
Hearing - Birds singing of a morning and loving their sweet song. Hearing crickets in the evening and them driving me crazy.
Reading - Quite a few new books this month. Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica. The One Who Got Away by Caroline Overington and The Accident by C.L.Taylor. I have just started reading the long awaited new book by Liane Moriaty, Truly Madly Guilty and I am just loving it.

So there you have it. July all wrapped up. A month that had its ups and downs leaving me very much looking forward to August and all that it will bring.

beck xx






26 Jul 2016

LET THE OLD LADY SLEEP



The truth is out.
I am getting old.

Late nights never used to bother me, and I could get by on a few hours sleep. These days however it's a different story.

We have an easy going household. We welcome the boys friends with open arms. Our house is constantly filled to the brim most weekends. It means noise, lots of it and many a sleepless night, but in the end we as parents are at peace knowing that our kids are safe and not in harms way.

On Thursday night, Mr 18 had some mates over. You know the age ( I vaguely remember ) fire pit blazing, music pumping and beer, plenty of beer and a late night pizza delivery. They enjoyed themselves, immensely. Me, I couldn't wait for my head to hit the pillow and enter dreamland, but with all the noise and chaos it was impossible.



On Saturday night, it was Master 16's turn to turn our house into a party zone. A hand full of teens playing an "in depth" game of Dungeons and Dragons. It's serious business people. Loads of pizza, chips and sugar was needed to sustain such a drama filled event, only to be interrupted by a Pokemon hunt. Dear God WHY ??? I thought I was done with Pokemon years ago. I honestly do not see the attraction.



Is it just me who needs more sleep these days ?
Does anybody else require more sleep now that they have aged gotten older ?
I just want to scream sometimes for the boys to...


LET THE OLD LADY SLEEP ...

BECK XX

Linking up with the gorgeous kylie for this weeks IBOT

19 Jul 2016

WE HAVE A KITCHEN (well almost)


If you saw someone doing cartwheels and heard loud whoops of joy across the land this past week,  it was most likely me !  FINALLY we have a full functioning (however still not quiet finished) kitchen for the first time since Easter. After almost four months of frustration things are finally, well almost normal around here, but not without drama of course.

For those who are not up to speed, our hot water flexi pipe in the kitchen burst, flooding our kitchen. At midnight, while hubby was away (of course) the night before the long weekend of Easter. Luckily one of my boys were still awake or we could have been in a whole lot more of a mess.
We spent the whole of Easter with giant, loud dehumidifiers, heaters and fans to dry everything out. Not my ideal way to spend a long weekend. Our flooring that was laid just a little over a year ago was water logged, the kitchen cabinets cracked and swelled which led to the granite bench tops giving way along the joins, and the dishwasher packed it in also. As I said, we were in a mess....


All I can say, is thank goodness for insurance. Well to a degree anyway.
Yes we only had to pay $100 excess and the rest of the $19,000 + was covered, but in what reality do the insurance companies and contractors think its acceptable to leave a busy family without a full functioning kitchen for almost four months ?

Communication between us and the contractors was little, and left us with many unanswered questions. I lost count of the amount of people who turned up to take photos and measurements all telling me that "work" would be starting soon. Soon came and went, no work was started but plenty more measuring was done.

You would think with all the measuring that they would get it right !



In what felt like a never ending saga, the work finally begun and I thought that all our issues were over. Oh how wrong I was....
You would think that with all the contractors (never the same one) that came to measure and photograph our damaged little kitchen, that every would be cut to fit without error. Sadly however this is not the case....
Our glass splash backs that were measured and remeasured countless times were cut too short in one place, and our flooring didn't "fit right" said the so called professional who has left the job unfinished because he couldn't work out why the last piece of wood wouldn't fit, and the plumber left leaks.

When something doesn't fit, lets just leave it unfinished !

After all the measuring, the glass was cut short :(

Is it just me ? Or is this unacceptable ? Should it just be fobbed off as an "insurance" job ?
All the money we spent and the hard work hubby put into the renovation in the first place only for this to happen is heartbreaking. I just cant bare to think of it. I just cant.

So just a reminder to everyone who has taps in their kitchens and bathrooms with flexi pipes. CHECK THEM REGULARLY people.
Apparently this is a common occurrence, they give way without notice and you are flooded. We had no idea about that this could happen until it happened to us. So be vigilant and keep check.

Linking up with Jess for IBOT

BECK xx


AND THEN THERE WERE THREE

It is true, I have always been a cat person. Cute and cuddly, I just cant go passed all the fury goodness. This week I took my cat lovi...