31 Aug 2017

TAKING STOCK - August 2017


Hello there.

So its time for us to bid a fond farewell to August. This year is just flying by isn't it. It feels as though we just welcomed the cooler weather of winter and poof ! Here we are ready to walk on into spring. I have enjoyed this winter immensely. The weather has been absolutely perfect here in north Queensland, so much so that I wish we could have days like these all year round.

Anyway enough chatter about the weather, its time to Take Stock just like Pip did.


Making  progress in our back yard before the heat comes. We have been planting new native plants to attract more birds to our yard, re-planting the veggie patch and making time to clean out our enormous shed. It feels good to be almost on top of it all.
Cooking  some delicious new dishes courtesy of The Annoyed Thyroid and BabyMac
Drinking  coffee, lots of coffee. I have needed more than a kick start in the morning lately.
Reading  some fantastic books lately. Her Perfect Life by Sam Hepburn. Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris. I am really into the crime and thriller books at the moment, tho I did just start The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright. I let you know what I think about this one when I've finished it.
Wanting  to paint this darn house already but finances just are not allowing it at the moment leaving me very frustrated.
Looking  for books on the 5:2 diet. I have heard great things about it and I am wanting to read up on it to see if it is right for me.
Deciding  on Christmas presents for my boys. Are really at that point of the year already ?
Wishing  winter would last forever.
Enjoying  pottering in the garden and baking biscuits. Guess I'm showing my age now lol.
Waiting  for our dogs to out grow they annoying puppy stage of digging and barking. Grrrr.
Liking  all the spring flowers that are staring to bloom. I really love this time of year. It has to be my favourite.
Wondering  how hot it is really going to get here in Mackay this summer when we are already hitting 27 degrees here in August.
Loving  The Block 2017. I stopped watching the last few seasons. The contestants did nothing for me and it seem to move too far away from the original. This season however has me glued. Much better guys, stick to the winning formula.
Listening  to Busby Marou and of course Pinks new song What About Us  I just love it. What about her speech at the VMA's what a role model and not just for her daughter but for women all around the world.
Considering  cutting my hair again. I know, I know short, long, short. I should just make my mind up hey lol.
Buying  plants, presents, a pom pom maker, food and more food.
Watching  Suits. Why on earth has it taken me so long to watch it ? I mean come on ..... HARVEY !
Hoping  that the rest of the year goes by a little slower.
Cringing  at the state of my wardrobe. I really need to take some time and clean it out.
Needing  to wash my car. Seems nobody else will do it !
Questioning  our government. There is no need to spend all this money on a plebiscite for same sex marriage. Just pass the damn thing and put the money to better use. I don't know how this Country is running with our current government, I really don't.
Wearing  shorts that are way too big for me. I didn't realise how much weight I had lost since last summer. I have a long way to go but the idea of buying some new summer stuff has me slightly excited.


Noticing  just how close my boys really are lately. It warms my heart to see them getting along, spending time together laughing. Makes me think that I have done something right.
Knowing  time is getting closer by the minute until my baby graduates high school. 
Thinking  what maybe next on my horizon once I am no longer a school mum and all that comes along with that.
Admiring  women who know who they are, are successful and have purpose. 
Opening  myself up to new possibilities in life and hoping something good comes along that I can sink my teeth into.
Closing  cupboard doors, wardrobe doors and any darn door behind my husband. Hey mate.... I am not your maid nor your butler. It takes no more strength to close them or open them !
Feeling  a bit lonely lately. 
Dreaming  of a holiday. Its been two years since our last one and we haven't even made it away even for a weekend since.
Hearing  birds singing every morning. Its such a happy way to wake up.


Well there is my August. Did you have a memorable one ? Were you lucky enough to get away ? Did you cook something new and delicious ?

I love hearing about what everyone has been up to. Taking Stock really is a good way to record memories of months, even years gone by. Pip really was onto something when she started this up.

beck xx


29 Aug 2017

TODAY, TOMORROW & THURSDAY


I woke early this morning, it was still dark outside but the distant stirring of birds meant the day was about to begin. It is a big day, one that has been thirteen years in the making, there have been tears, there have been fights and there has been stress, so much stress. But here we are still standing, still pushing through.

A lot is riding on today, tomorrow and Thursday My baby boys future lays dependent on these three isolated days of his schooling life. All thirteen years of learning have reached their summit as he takes the most important exams of his life so far. The QCS {Queensland Core Skills}


I have mixed feelings about today, tomorrow and Thursday, on one hand its exciting to know that as a family we have reached this milestone together. That as parents we can pat ourselves on the back and be proud that all of our four sons have made it through grade twelve and have been able to do so with their heads held high. On the other hand today, tomorrow and Thursday brings us to an end of an era. No longer will we be the parents of school students. No longer the parents of kids who are struggling to make sure that all expectations are being met whether it be making sure school attendance is high, that homework is completed and that study is being done. Today, my job as a school mum hits its last legs, I am on the home run now, and to be honest I have cried tears of joy, tears of sadness and also tears of unease as I wonder if there is any more that I could have done to prepare my baby boy for these final schooling moments.


So today my darling boy,
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You can be proud of what you have achieved so far and all you can do now is march on into these exams and do your absolute best. I know that you have done all there is to prepare yourself for this moment and as your mum I couldn't be prouder.
I hope that I have done enough for you, that I have been supportive and encouraging, and that I have not done you any injustice. That over the years you have been able to count on me being their for you no matter what.
You are my last baby, my baby Ben, my possum. You have grown into an incredible young man and I cant wait to see what your future brings. Your dreams are big as are mine for you, and soon they will be within your reach. You can do it Ben, you can make your dreams reality. I have all faith in your ability to make it in this big wide world.


Almost eighteen years ago you came into this world completing our family. We love you unconditionally, every single one of us. So take this and our support with you into these exams today, tomorrow and Thursday and smash it just like I know you will.

Love mum.
xxxx

Linking up for this weeks IBOT with Kylie over at www.kyliepurtell.com

22 Aug 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON - Jess Crawford ARTIST


Art is one of the great pleasures in life. It is something I love to surround myself with, and I believe that life would be very sad and boring without it.
Instagram has been a fabulous window for me to find some fabulous Australian artists, artists that I may never have had the pleasure of finding other wise.

One of those beautiful artists that I found and followed was Jess Crawford  An original mixed media artist, Jess's beautiful artwork demands attention. Stunning and exciting, it drew me in, in all its colour and glory.


SPOTLIGHT
JESS CRAWFORD



Jess lives in a small country town in South Australia with her 
husband and two gorgeous sons.
Her art journey in mixed media began in 2013
when she was given the "BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER"
year long painting tutorials.
The training she had was not just tutorials but the birth 
of Jess's own authentic expression 
into the world of art.


There are many fabulous ways that you can make one of Jess's pieces your own. Her website has a link to her store where you can purchase beautiful works to hang in your home, buy notepads, cards, wrapping paper and even jewellery showcasing Jess's original artworks. You can also commission Jess to create a custom order just for you. 





And if you have ever needed something extra pretty in your life each month, subscribe to Jess's BRIGHTENS THE WAY subscription box.

In each box you will receive 

* an A 5 size post card to put on your wall
* 4x6 inch greeting card
* an A 5 size notepad to write all your dreams that brighten your way every day
and 
* a surprise to add to your stationery collection {like a cool pen or funky gift tag}



Jess has also just announced that she is releasing a beautiful calendar for 2018 showcasing one of her art works for every month of the year. Pop on over to her website to pre order your calendar or subscription box now. You will not be disappointed.



Here is how you can follow or contact Jess so you can see for yourself just how talented she is.




Sharing this spotlight on the fabulous Jess with Kylie today on IBOT.

beck xx

15 Aug 2017

MINI CINNAMON "DONUT" MUFFINS


Are you a sucker for donuts ?
Are you a fan of muffins ?

Then check these babies out....

If you bake one thing this week make it these little bites of heaven. They are AMAZING ! and as per usual I found the recipe while scrolling through the magical world of Pinterest, and I just had to make them, taste them and now share them with you.
The original recipe is from the fabulous blog Chocolate Chocolate and More There are so many delicious recipes on this blog so go check it out.

Mini Cinnamon "Donut" Muffins 



2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Topping

6 tablespoons melted butter 
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and stir through.

In a separate bowl, whisk gently together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently through until just combined making sure there are no large lumps left in the mixture (small lumps are fine)

Fill greased mini muffin tin 2/3 full and for 15 minutes in a moderate oven.
Remove and allow to cool.

For the topping - melt the butter and in another bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Dip the top of each muffin into the butter, than coat with the sugar mix.

Keep refrigerated.

Enjoy.

beck xx

Sharing these little bites of heaven over at Kylie Purtels for IBOT

9 Aug 2017

MINI CHEESY MUFFINS


I am constantly on a mission to find ways to keep the fridge full of tasty snacks for my hungry crew of boys. I always have fruit on hand, but lets face it, that is not always enough to keep a growing boys growling stomach satisfied. Believe me !  So I am always looking for cheap, easy and moderately healthy snacks to fill their bellies.

These mini cheesy muffins are a huge hit with my tribe and so easy to make. Great for lunch boxes ( if they last that long ) or just to snack on they are made with ingredients that most of us already have at our disposal.

MINI CHEESY MUFFINS



2 cups of self raising flour
2 cups of grated cheese
2 eggs
2 cups of water


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. 
Prepare mini muffin tin by sparingly spraying with olive oil.

In a bowl and the flour, cheese and mix well.
In a suitable jug, beat the eggs and add the water, stirring well to combine.
Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of cheese and flour, and mix well with a metal spoon.
Spoon mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.


So easy and so yummy. Give these a whirl and I will guarantee they will be a hit.

Enjoy

beck xx







8 Aug 2017

EDUCATION.COM - A World of Fun Learning



A few weeks a go I shared with you a post from education.com. You can find that post  HERE  They are committed to helping your child fulfill their learning potential no matter what stage of learning they are at. Concentrating on educating children from prep to grade five, education.com provide your children with in-depth understanding of reading, spelling and mathematics, just to name a few.

There is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to education. Each child has unique challenges and goals and education.com offers many different resources to help meet the educational needs of your child.

Together with education.com I am happy to share with you one of the worksheets on offer, to show you and your child that learning doesn't have to be a struggle, that it can indeed be a fun way to raise kids' confidence in learning.

Dive into an under sea adventure with this fun maze
from Education.com !

Find more great resources for kids here.



Answer at the end of post 

How fun was that ? Education.com has more of these activities on their web site along with many more fun and exciting ways to learn. Head over and sign your child up today and show them that learning doesn't have to be a chore.


You can sign up 
HERE and put your child on the right path to learning 


beck xx

7 Aug 2017

JULY - Health and Fitness Update



July July July where do I begin. 

I failed my self challenge for about half of the month. Then I had an epiphany of sorts, gave myself a good talking to and stopped dishing myself up so much food. Since then...
Success !

I've started drinking more water again and enjoying it.
Who knew !

Eight months in and still not a great physical change but inside I am starting to feel much better. I am sleeping better, I have more energy and even though you cant really tell as yet I have lost a few kilos. 

This past week I literally woke up and told myself enough is enough. Its time to ramp up this challenge and make it worth its while and I started exercising. 
And guess what...
My legs and arms feel as though they are about to fall off but I feel good. So good in fact that I look forward to my session each day. 

For the month of August, my challenge is to go meatless. I know that I cant go full on vegetarian. (I love meat way to much for that) but I am willing to go there and give it a go for the sake of the challenge. I am going to have to do a bit of recipe hunting for this one, as I just know that my family of men are going to turn their noses up at any food that does not contain meat.
On that note, is there such a recipe that is full on vegetarian that will fill my families bellies ? Please help a sister out with this one if you can.

As for everything else, I will continue to drink plenty of water, eat smaller portions and exercise each and every day. The year maybe eight months in and nearing its end (crazy) but I think that slowly I am getting a hang of this better, healthier living. 

beck xx

2 Aug 2017

EASY CHEERIO SLICE


Looking for something tasty, easy and fairly healthy to serve your tribe for afternoon tea or as a lunch box filler ? Then this no bake slice is the perfect thing to satisfy the sweetest tooth without added sugar and takes only minutes to whip up.

This easy cheerio slice cereal bars are kid friendly, but also a tasty treat that even the grownups will enjoy with a cuppa.


Easy Cheerio Slice

* 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter 
* 1/2 cup honey
* 3 cups of cheerio wholegrain cereal 


Line a slice tray with baking paper.

Add peanut butter and honey to a large saucepan and sit over medium heat. Heat and stir until mixture just starts to simmer.

Stir the cereal into the peanut butter mix until evenly coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared slice tray and place in the fridge to cool and set.


Once set, cut slice into bars and store in the fridge. 


These have certainly gone down well in my family and is something that I will continue to make and keep in supply. 
Give them a go with your family. I am sure they will enjoy them as much as mine.

Enjoy

beck xx




1 Aug 2017

TAKING STOCK - July 2017


So today is August 1st.
We are now into the eighth month of 2017. Can anyone tell me how this has actually happened ?
I mean wasn't it just last week we were ringing in the new year ? My mother once told me that the older you get the faster time goes.

Huh.
Seems she was right.

Pip had a great idea when she started Taking Stock. A monthly post of memories if you will. The good, the bad and the down right ugly. Everything that adds up to make the month that was.


Making - Plans for new gardens in the back yard. Hoping that our dogs are now old enough to leave well enough alone. That is the trouble with pets sometimes.
Cooking - Only six nights a week now that my eldest son has taken to cooking on one of his days off. Now if only I could convince the other members of my family to cook dinner once a week I would only have to cook on the weekends.
Drinking - Water and red wine.  Mmm Must give up the wine again.
Reading - THE PARTY by Robyn Harding. I cant stress enough how fabulous this book was. It had me sucked in from the very first page. I have my fingers crossed that this will become a movie. Do yourself a favour and read this one.
Wanting - A holiday desperately. We actually haven't been anywhere since our trip to Melbourne. That was two years ago.
Looking - For work. Its a slow process with so many others also in the same boat.
Playing - Candy crush. I know, I know pathetic.
Deciding - On paint colours. It is a big decision.


Wishing - I had a spare twenty thousand dollars so that I could send my son of to uni next year without financial stress.
Enjoying - These beautiful Winter days and cool nights. I am not looking forward to our long hot Summer. It is not that far away truth be told.
Waiting - Always waiting for my boys in the car. Same car park different day *sigh
Liking - Being busy, getting stuck into things around the house that sometimes get neglected.
Wondering - If the renovations on our house will ever be finished.
Loving - All the new growth on my indoor plants. Seriously they are going nuts !
Considering - Buying a new rug for under our dining room table, but don't know where I would start looking for a square one. Any ideas ? Anyone ?
Buying - Shoes and outfits for going on interviews. I didn't realise how much my mum wardrobe had taken over my life.
Watching - Housewives of New York City. This season is THE BEST !
Hoping - That I will soon see results of the diet and exercise that I have been throwing myself into. Its time to bring this old chick back to life and wave goodbye to all the damage that I have done to myself.
Needing - A few extra hours in the day. I am sure that I am not alone there.
Smelling - The sweet scent of Spring in the air. I hope we can hang onto it a little longer this year before feeling the full force of the North Queensland Summer.
Wearing - Shoes and not just thongs. My goal is NOT to have that thong tan line on my feet this year.
Following - Some amazing new accounts on Instagram lately. Maybe I will share my favorites in another post someday soon.
Thinking - About buying myself a pair of new ear rings. It has been way to long since I got something new and shiny for myself.
Admiring - All the ladies out there that have not let mental stress get the better of them and let themselves go. I am so mad at myself right now. I just hope that I can undo all the damage.
Getting - Nervous about my baby boy moving away next year. Time has just gone by way to quickly.
Opening - My eyes to the fact that not everyone in this world is genuine and stand by what they say.
Giggling - At Yummy Mummies...How is that even real ?
Feeling - Happy and enjoying spending time with my husband in the garden. Its nice to see the progress we are making together no matter how slow going it is.
Snacking - On apples and strawberries. I am trying SO hard to be good and stick to a strict diet.
Helping - My parents out while they are away by looking after there home and my mums gardens. That is the one things my mum has always had no matter where they live, beautiful gardens.



So that was July around here in a nut shell. Busy but easy going. I still cant believe how fast this year is passing us by. Have you done anything exciting ? Been anywhere ? Read anything that you think I might like ? If you have, please share.

beck xx

Linking for IBOT with the lovely KYLIE

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