Saturday, February 28, 2009

A touch of Nigella ...

I stumbled across a fabulous blog called A Dash of Cinnamon - it is full of gorgeous cakes. They are amazing. I wish I could ice cakes properly. I can cook but not decorate. My mum rescues my cake decorating efforts.

One of my earliest memories is visiting my grandma at her work when she worked at Foodtown in New Zealand (like Woolworths). Her job was to ice the cakes. It is an art!

A Dash of Cinnamon also has dinner ideas, brunch ideas and a recipe for a VERY yummy looking flourless hazelnut cake... I can feel the kgs piling on since finding this site...

Honey, I Shrunk Grandpa!

It is because of my dad that our kids have rather wild imaginations. Sometimes I find them sitting in the timber boat in the garage pretending that they are out at sea, complete with their life jackets on, other times they are setting up a beach in the lounge room - shells, towels, umbrella etc. Their latest escapades have been based around Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Big Cook, Little Cook and The Borrowers. You can imagine their delight when Dad discovered a brand new BBC show called Grandpa in my pocket. My kids have been carrying around Fisher Price Little People this week pretending that it is their Grandpa and Granny.

I don't know when it is due out for release in Australia - we are screening each new issue of Foxtel's CBeebies guide. I am so pleased that there is another BBC show that they will like - Milly was starting to sound like Dora ...

Friday, February 27, 2009

What's your Style?

Hamptons White Wash?
New York Loft?
Nostalgic Nest?
Sleek "New Earth"?
Sophisticated Retro?

The Sydney Morning Herald had an article today about identifying your interior style. There was a quiz - one of those ones that is "mostly a's, b's" etc. Hopeless with me - I answered one of each - but it was interesting seeing what questions they used to try to pigeon hole the reader. I love this snap - sophisticated retro. That's me ... maybe with some nostalgic nest, mixed with some hamptons white wash. I don't know .. I think I have my own style!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Working mum secrets part two ...


I have shopped online for all sorts of things over the past 10 years. My first online purchase was from in 1999. I have dabbled in ebay, although not much anymore unless it is somethings that I can't find anywhere else. Having purchases delivered really does make such a difference, even more so now that I have kids.

We have struggled finding a decent fruit and vegetables supplier until now. My problem is that I compare all product with that which is found in New Zealand. My recent find is I am only sorry for those of you not in Sydney's north west that they don't deliver wider. The best produce I have seen in a very very long time. It is a fabulous feeling to find a supplier that you can be confident in and know that I can tick that box, no more shopping around. Fresh, delicious fruit and vegetables delivered to my kitchen - HOORAY!

Webstore update...

One of the joys of my role is that I get to chat with suppliers of our gorgeous products. One of those people is Sam from Little Chipipi. She is not only talented but delightful as well. Her range of wall stickers are fun, happy and look great on the wall. Here is a sneek peek at one of her new designs. We will have them online very very soon ....

A new laundry

I am looking at new designs for our laundry. At the moment it is an utter waste of space and ugly. I would rather like one like this found on designinc (foxtel). The layout and the colours would work well in my home as my kitchen is duck egg blue, greys and soft lilac (sounds hideous but somehow it works!) and the laundry is off the kitchen.

(How cute is the chandelier! I figure that the laundry is really my space so should be a place that I enjoy. Really regretting right now letting my parents put their chandeliers out for council cleanup a few years ago...) Time to go "oh well..."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ICE (In case of emergency) Campaign

My mum just sent me this forwarded email:

We all carry our mobile phones with names & numbers stored in its memory but nobody, other than if we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call. Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency? Hence this 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) Campaign.

The concept of 'ICE' is catching on quickly. It is a method of contact during emergency situations. As mobile phones are carried by the majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name 'ICE' (In Case Of Emergency).

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were always mobile phones with patients, but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognised name for this purpose. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital Staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored as 'ICE'.

It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc.

Celebrity Sophie

Harlow Ritchie wth Sophie the Giraffe

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kids Art

Milly paints every day. It is her 'thing'. We now have a good system where it is relatively controlled. This is my favourite. It is called "You and me at park". Milly was given this mini easel and canvas from cousin kris kringle last Christmas. It sits on our tv cabinet.

Not long ago I read a story about a girl whose parents submitted her artwork to a gallery without telling them that the artist was a toddler. There was an uproar. I have to say (completely biased) that I would love a large version of this on the wall. I can see Milly and I on the right of the canvas under a blue sky with lots of other kids there :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I came across my swatch watch as worn in the 1980s today. It once had one red strap and one green strap. Very cool. I wonder if I can buy replacements ...

Gorgeous nurseries....

I am loving Design Inc on Foxtel's How To channel. One of their recent projects has been this nursery. I LOVE the fabric on the chair and the matching artwork on the wall (they commissioned an artist for it). Gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Years Resolution

One of my news years resolutions was to not buy any more books, but to re-read or read for the first time books that are on my bookshelf.

I wonder if it counts if I buy new books for my husband and then read them after him? I am busting to read Kate Grenville's latest book, The Lieutenant. Her first novel, The Secret River I loved (it was also a gift for Kirk). I read it when he wasn't. It was a a fascinating account of what life was like in early Sydney. I have studied Australian history but other than Playing Beatie Bow, I don't recall having read a novel based in early settlement times.

Kate's description of the harshness of the Australian environment, her portrayal of the Aboriginals and the early settlers made The Secret River a turn pager. I did skip some sections though, her description of the brutality of some of the early settlers made my stomach churn.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Working mum secrets ...

I get asked each and every day how do I run a business and be a mum to three kids under 6 (two of whom are with me full time).

Secret one: find a caterer that suits your families needs!

I love to cook but finding the time to cook with school runs, phone calls, emails, home readers, bath time etc is tricky. I am also a reasonably fussy eater - can't stand processed foods - only because my brothers, sister and I have been spoilt to have a mum who is an awesome cook (some people just have the knack of understanding flavours). So we had a dilemma. Come in Corella Catering. Their frozen meals are yummy and nutritious and when I work it out, I don't spend that much more than I usually would. There is no wastage and the kids eat them! Can't underestimate how important it is to find meals that are eaten ...
I have had the opportunity to taste their delicious cakes- I pre order our meals so I am not tempted as I stand at the counter! They have a great gluten free range ...

Weekends are my time in the kitchen and we do LOTS of baking - enough to fill the cookie jar for the week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Soundtracks of my life part 2

My mum's name is Eileen (Milly is Emily Eileen), we have had so much fun with this song!

Whilst finding it on youtube, I discovered lots of different versions, including more recent ones. It seems like yesterday that Dad would tell me that the original version of 1980s songs were better than the current. How did this happen - I am now saying "I remember the original!"

1. It's got to be perfect by Fairground Attraction
2. Girls just wanna have fun (can't believe that Miley Cyrus has covered this! this song should not be touched!)
3. Thriller by Michael Jackson
4. Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen

All these songs came out whilst I was in primary school. The 1990s were so boring in comparison!

To do list ...

Love this find. A tool to write lists (have a few of those) and it is PRINTABLE!

I should be plugging the pretty mummys favourite MAGNETIC notepads - but this one is rather nifty.

Click here

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Soundtracks of my life...

You know those songs that make you stop and remember. Some even send this weird shiver through my body like it is not sure whether it is 32 (current age) or 8! Those songs where the feet start to dance like there is no one watching!!

One of those songs is the theme songs from Electric Dreams by Phil Oakey (1984). It is probably my favourite sentimental movie. As kids we loved it. We were in awe of Edgar the computer. I was in awe of the female lead. I wanted to be just like her. I wanted long permed hair, a big baggy white sweater be able to play the cello and fall in love with a guy like Miles! At the time I was having piano lessons. I was so excited when my piano teacher let me learn the minuet by Bach. Even more excited than learning to play the Country Practice theme!

My dad is an IT teacher. We grew up with apple computers in the house - before they were trendy. Computers were capable of anything ...

ABC Radio, Valentines Day & SMH

Somehow I became a dag. I have stopped listening to ABC 702 radio because my mum has rung me and told me to listen to a segment that I might be interested in, I listen to it because I like it. I enjoy listening to Deborah Cameron, James Valentine and Richard Glover! I love the conversation hour with Richard Fidler. I even miss James O'Loughlin in the evenings.

Yesterday my mum told Thomas that he should print out a copy of the free Valentines Day card from the 702 website link. I already had. It is a great idea - an artist has drawn a Valentines Day card for all to print and give and is encouraging all to donate the money they would have spent on a card to the Bushfire Appeal. Click here for the link and then ring the Australian Red Cross on 1800 811 700 to donate to the bushfire victims.

Further to my conviction that I am a dag - I enjoyed listening to the free Life is Beautiful CD in todays SMH.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


My cousin Michael (awesome photographer) took this snap at my youngest brothers wedding in Melbourne last June. I love his photos - some people definitely have an eye for detail and break the world down into shapes rather than whole objects.

My other brother's wedding is this April. Can't wait to see what they have chosen. Paul's was set in a country setting in Warrandyte, Victoria, David's will be held in his old school's chapel in Sydney. My brothers have good taste - their partners are gorgeous and delightful.

It is 13 years since Kirk proposed today at St Albans Hotel (outside under a tree) past Wisemans Ferry (the day before Valentines Day). It has been quite a journey - I am one lucky girl :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coles & Bushfire Appeal

I just received an SMS from my lovely friend Cass whose dad, brother, property and cattle were caught up in the Victorian fires over the weekend telling me to shop at Coles this Friday, 13th as Coles will donate the profits of the day to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. Confirmed with Coles that it is correct.

I have been deliberately living in a bit of a cocoon regarding the fires as I haven't wanted the kids exposed to the images any more than necessary. Words cannot describe just how horrific the whole situation is. It is beyond belief.

Shopping at Coles on Friday is the least I can do.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My favourite things for Henry :)

Henry is delightful. One very easily pleased baby and we are constantly rewarded with smiles, giggles and chatter. He loves his big brother and sister and can engage in conversations for ages.

I discovered Lil Fraser wraps for him - thank goodness! I have had lots of customers recommend them to me for him. He is another big baby (8kg at 16 weeks). All three of my kids loved to be wrapped before nah nies time. It seems to be their cue - would often smile as they were being wrapped. Lil Fraser wraps are my top find this time around. Big enough for Henry, soft and attractive. He can still be wrapped well despite his size. Another future wallaby front rower!

I have been pleased though with my other wrap selections for Mummy's Favourite, each have served a purpose. Baby Origami (fabulous for keeping him wrapped snugly as a newborn), Lalito (perfect for hot summer days), Babyushka (great weight- perfect for keeping chill off him when out and about on Summer evenings), Oobi (perfect for hot days as well as a throw over the pram when the sun is out) and Fishlilly (gorgeous prints!)

Henry's favourite toys are:
1. Sophie the Giraffe
2. Nicki Baby grabbing toy
3. Alimrose Monkey squeaker
4. Bruno Bear

Kids paintings

Our art line is full already! This is in our hallway near the kids bedrooms.

2009 is the year I am going to take photos of the kids art work (keeping only the favourite favourites in a box). At the end of the year I will either print them into a photo book (what I want to do) or burn them to cd (what is likely to happen!)

First borns ...

I find this book fascinating. I have never read it cover to cover, but I am often 'dipping in' for a bit of a browse.

It is a great read for anyone - def not just for parents, but it does shine some interesting light on why some people behave the way they do. Michael Grose looks at relationships that people have and how birth order affects this as well. In marriages, between friends, siblings, parent / child ...

Quote from the jacket:
"Did you know that first borns are more achievement orientated and responsible than those born after them? That middle children are most likely to buck the family trend? That later borns are more gregarious and easygoing than their older siblings? Or that those born last are often babied, affectionate and uncomplicated?"

Kirk and I are both first borns (I have 3 siblings, he has 1). It explains quite a bit :)

Great conversation starter!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hard decisions ...

Won't write in depth about it, but we had to withdraw Thomas from his school, after only three days in Kindy. Very sad about leaving his friends behind and some gorgeous mums, but sometimes hard decisions have to be made and if we don't go into bat for our children, who will. Kindergarten kids should be nurtured.

And SO grateful to the new school for accepting him. I think they are rather lucky to have him - but they will find that out for themselves :)

So .. need to go and iron on more of those labels from I thought I was so organised!!!