Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Healthy lunchbox filler: noodle pies

NOODLE PIES



Ingredients:
2 packets of 2 minute noodles, cooked to packet directions
2 eggs - beaten
1/2 cup cream/sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheese
2 cups of 'filler' (see below)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 160C 
2. Grease a muffin tray
3. Combine all ingredients and spoon into tray

Makes approx 9 large muffin sized pies

Filler ideas:



Pizza: diced fresh tomato, capsicum, carrot and salami
Vege: onion, carrot, zucchini
Hawaiian: ham, pineapple, zucchini
Tuna and sweetcorn with onion

Linking up with Maxabella Loves Weekend Rewind and Flamingo Toes Think Pink Sunday

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to make a mermaid tail

The things we do for kids, hey? 

A few months ago Miss Piggy asked me if I would make a mermaid tail. I, of course, was very non-committal, suitably vague and said something along the lines of, "Well, maybe in the holidays.." I hoped she would forget about it. She didn't. 

On the weekend I took a trip to Spotlight to buy some new blinds and Miss Piggy innocently volunteered to come with me.

When she mentioned a tour around the fabric section I began to smell a rat, but it wasn't until she produced a $20 note and said, "Daddy said I could buy the fabric for my mermaid tail," I realised I'd been conned. 

So we wandered through the dance fabrics and swim fabrics perusing all sorts of shiny, scary, sequinned type material until we found one that was just right. Green and shiny like Arials. Luckily it was on sale. 

On the way to the counter I reminded her mummy is a beginner with sewing, that mummy would try her best but couldn't make any promises - this mission was bound to end in disaster. At the counter Miss Piggy cheerfully announced to anyone who was listening, "My mum is making me a mermaid tail!".  All the ladies around the counter looked at me with pity and smiles. It seemed like an impossible errand. 

But today was a designated crafty day for Miss Piggy and ... guess what? By some miracle, we managed to make a mermaid tail!!! The stitching may not be grand - and it may have lost some of it shine on its first trip out - but we achieved our goal, nonetheless. 

Step 1: trace around the legs of the prospective mermaid, leaving a seam allowance. Trace onto folded fabric (right sides together). Make sure the stretch goes ACROSS the body. I traced all the way up to her arm pits - just in case!

Step 2: draw in the flume

Step 3: pin, cut and sew around the outside of your pattern, leaving the top and bottoms open
Step 4: turn right side out, mark and pin flume.Sew along the marked line.  I marked the shape of the tail in yellow texta, it rubbed right off the shiny fabric when I was done.


Step 5: cut strips along the bottom of the flume, being careful not to cut your stitching. 


Step 6: cut the strips into waves for that 'floaty' effect in the water


Step 7: try on! Enjoy! 

I scrunched and folded the top to form a waistband at the appropriate height, this allowed for some slippage in the water without the tail falling off. You could add elastic for the same effect. 

Here are some action shots:
 
We had to race straight over to Nana's pool to try it out!


Actually, this project was simpler than I thought. The only real issues I had was having the wrong needle for sewing Lycra. Luckily, after a quick 'emergency' phone call, 'Daddy' visited the fabric shop and brought home the correct needle during his lunch break - Miss Piggy can be quite persuasive, especially when it comes to her daddy!!!  

I wonder if today is a day she'll think back on when she is older? I hope so, it was a good one :) I'm happy I made her smile :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Timeout

A fortnight ago we did something completely selfish. We took a holiday WITHOUT our kids.

I say selfish, because I really did feel bad when I was telling my little people that we were going away in a plane, I felt bad when I booked a swanky hotel where the kids have never been and I felt bad when I asked the grandparents to take a night each in babysitting. 

I felt so bad, I almost considered cancelling! The plane tickets had been a prize (someone has to win the raffle!) and so I knew it would likely be a one-off experience - jetting off for a weekend in the city for some romance. I decided I had to do it. What's more, on behalf of busy parents everywhere, I had to enjoy it, too.

To be fair, since the kids the only 'grown up' holidays we've taken have been separately - a girls weekend here or a boys trip there. We've had the odd evening out together for a wedding or a 40th - but our kids had never spent more than a few hours out of a parent's care. After eight years of parenting, I told myself we deserved a weekend off.

At the airport we both admitted to feeling a little lost. For the first time in eight years, we queued side-by-side and silently, we checked all our luggage through and we read in the departures lounge. We live in a largish country town, so of course we knew half a dozen of the fifty passengers on our plane. A couple of them mentioned, "You look lost... where are your kids?!" We weren't tag-teaming like usual, one kid-wrangling while the other juggled five travel coupons and assorted nappy/toy/overnight bags.

And... it felt good! It felt calm, it felt relaxing. I found that I liked it.

On our little child-free trip, we walked ridiculous amounts - I clocked over forty THOUSAND steps in forty hours. We did things the kids would have found boring... like visiting the gallery and having quiet coffees (OK, J found those things boring too). We also did things that we knew the kids would have loved (eating ice-cream and riding the glass lifts) and promised to let them do those next time we visit the city.

We slept, we joked around, we went out in the evenings for dancing and drinks. We shopped in places that had many, many shiny breakables, shops that were too narrow for a pram and shops that *didn't* have a toy section. 

We remembered how good I was (when my hands were free of children) at dealing a loud slap for his impertinent remarks**. We felt young. We felt connected, we really looked at each other for the first time in months and appreciated one another. If you know my husband, you know he's one of the best - and I sometimes forget  just how lucky I am.

Then.. we came home to our children (who we had missed) - happy and ready to face another week of school drop offs, speech lessons, basketball training and missing ballet shoes. 

We have promised we won't leave it another eight years before we prioritise some quality time together. 

_________________________________________
**It's our 'thing'. He insults, I slap. We both enjoy it, honest!

Linking up to IBOT on Essentially Jess

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

P!nk

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to see Pink performing live.

After such a stressful year, I really needed the 'escape' from reality that a trip to the city with 'my girls' entailed. We stayed in a nice hotel the night before, slept in til nearly noon (can't remember the last time that happened) and then got ready for the concert.

It felt like being sixteen again. We talked and sang and did our hair and got way too excited about our special night out. Instead of ringing our parents to let them know we were OK, we rang our husbands to check our children were OK.

Yes, we did have matching PJs - it was a girls' weekend, after all!!!
 
Part of me wanted to be the sensible grown up who sat on an elevated seat and could relax while watching the show. But the part of me who loves a live act, who gets a thrill from arriving early to get a great view won out. We took the train from the city to the venue, arrived in the pouring rain. But not even soggy hair could dampen our enthusiasm.

We were right in front of the stage and it took a bit to stand our ground, but we ended up in almost perfect position to see the show on the stage and above us in the air.

Not everything was to my taste but it *was* a spectacular show. I found myself marveling that someone (who herself is just five weeks younger than myself) could have that level of energy, creativity and stamina after motherhood. It was every bit as entertaining and wonderful as her previous show, I found myself wanting to go again the minute the curtains dropped.

I relived so much of my young adulthood through her set list. I can't think of another singer who has meant so much to me over my adult life. The anxiety, the self-doubt, the love, the loss, the misery and the joy that being a grown up brings... she nails it every time. Don't let me Get Me, Most Girls, Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)... I sang my guts out and loved every minute.

"Just Give Me A Reason"(feat. Nate Ruess)
 
Right from the start
You were a thief
You stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts of me
That weren't all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them

Now you've been talking in your sleep, oh, oh
Things you never say to me, oh, oh
Tell me that you've had enough
Of our love, our love

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
We're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

I'm sorry I don't understand
Where all of this is coming from
I thought that we were fine
(Oh, we had everything)
Your head is running wild again
My dear we still have everythin'
And it's all in your mind
(Yeah, but this is happenin')

You've been havin' real bad dreams, oh, oh
Used to lie so close to me, oh, oh
There's nothing more than empty sheets
Between our love, our love
Oh, our love, our love

 Our tear ducts can rust
I'll fix it for us
We're collecting dust
But our love's enough
You're holding it in
You're pouring a drink
No nothing is as bad as it seems
We'll come clean

 Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
That we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

Oh, we can learn to love again
Oh, we can learn to love again
Oh, oh, that we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

To me, Just Give Me a Reason to me is the best song on the latest record. It just says everything *I* have learned about love, but way more elegantly than I could ever explain it. Makes me fall in love with Alecia Moore's song writing just that little bit more, and makes me want to hug my husband just that little bit tighter.

If she does another concert tour, I'll be there. Even if it means wearing depends, I'll be standing as front-and-centre as I can afford, singing along.

Are you a fan? What's your favourite song? And does anyone else think the song Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely) is the perfect harried mother anthem?!

I love reading your comments, thanks for stopping by :)