Friday, April 29, 2011

My Sweet Family Life

So i'm again participating in the new " Sweet Life " meme brought to you by the gorgeous Melissa over at Suger Coat It. Basically Melissa wants us to celebrate the good things in life, the stuff that makes our lives worth living, and loving. This week, she wants to know about our sweet families...

 Those are my beautiful boys, who make me laugh, smile and burst with love everyday. Sometimes they make me cry  and want to tear at my hair, but isnt that part of being a family? And i've always been a believer that the bad/sad/frusturating times are there to help us appreciate all the good stuff even more. But its not just my fiance and my son that make my life sweet. No, i have to count my extended family in that aswell, with a special mention to my mum and dad... or Grandma and Poppy as they are now more frequently called.
Thats Flynn and my mum at Mayfield Gardens a few weeks ago. I think having grandkids keeps my mum young, because she spends so much time playing chasies in the garden or building block towers that she doesnt have time to ponder any " ah, i'm getting older! " thoughts. And she's always willing to help me out - whether its coming round for a visit, or taking Flynn for the afternoon so i can do something on my own, or whatever. She is one sweet Grandma. But the real sweet star in the family?

Pop. Flynn is in love with Pop, Mick admits to having a man crush on him, and i've always been a Daddys girl. My dad is the most giving person i know, whether it be time, or money, or advice... the man does it all. All the help he gives us - we, a young family, just trying to find its feet - is what helps make my life sweet. I think, without my dad especially, my life would be vastly, vastly different....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Polly Dolly - Royal Wedding Bells

Ok, so its time again for the Polly Dolly challenge, brought to you by the lovely Dani at Danimezza. A few weeks ago our Pollys got married, and we created a beautiful set for our beautiful Polly brides. This time our Polly is a....
Polly Dolly - Royal Wedding Bells

I thought yellow was an appropriate colour for what should be a nice, spring wedding - but i also think yellow is quite a "casual " colour, so i've tied in the dark purple shoes and fascinator to keep everything appropriately formal for a royal wedding. I've kept the jewellery quite simple so as to not overshadowed either the dress or the fascinator, so i've gone with simple shapes in silver and amethyst. Soft make up and a classic French manicure keep everything polished. So i've got my wedding outfit - please invite me Will and Kate!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

30 Days of Music - Days 11 + 12

These music posts dont seem to be getting too many comments so i feel like i'm doing them mainly for myself but anyhoo, i'll carry on... if only to prove that i can keep a theme challenge going for the required amount of time! So day 11...
Day 11 - For you, what song defines the 80's ?
Do i even have to explain this one? Title song from the biggest selling album of all time, geniusly talented ( if somewhat personally dubious ) artist....yada, yada, yada.

Day 12 - For you, what song defines the 90's ?
Because the 90's the decade i grew up, the one where i really started to love and appreciate music, where i started out a 6 yr old listening to teeny bopper pop and finished up a cranky 16 yr old girl rocking out to the Foo Fighters, Live and Silverchair.... i've had a tough time answering this one. However, i thought really hard and came up with this -

I think " All The Small Things " by Blink 182 sums the decade up for me because its kind of a middle ground between the boy band pop that i started with and the grunge/metal/rock boys i ended up with. Plus its a funny song and one that everyone at my school loved when we were in Yr 10. It might have been released in 1999 so it only just makes the 90's, but its the song that defines the decade for me...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Wanna Get Naked With Gok Wan!

Ok, maybe not literally naked ( although i sure could use a makeover ). So what am i on about? The gorgeous Dani over at Danimezza was lucky enough to not only meet but interview the fabulous Mr Wan, and she wants to share a special part of that with her readers - by giving away a copy Gok's latest book, " Through Thick and Thin ". To enter Dani's competition, we need to make a " positive body image " kind of post, and share our favourite body part with the world... and for me that part is this:
Yep, those are my shoulders right there. I have to say looking at them in a plain old photo they dont really look anything special but i really do like them. My shoulders and upper arms are quite toned, and have stayed that way even through pregnancy and weight ups and downs. As you can see, i have two small crows tattooed on my shoulders, and though some people think tattoos on women look cheap and nasty, i think mine only add to my shoulder-love. The tattoos, being crows ( who in various mythologies carry or protect the souls of the dead ) represent two people i have lost in my life, and i think they add a sexiness to my already nice shape. Its the same thing with my upper arms:
I love how toned they look in strapless dresses or singlets ( thanks a great weights routine pre-baby, and lugging said baby around since... ) and i love this tattoo. Its Chinese script and it roughly translates to " have faith in yourself ". Its there as an everyday reminder to never fall back into the black hole of depression, and to trust that i can do whatever i put my mind to.
So, to summarise ... Toned + Meaningful Tatoos = Sexy = Body Lovin'!

Monday, April 25, 2011

30 Days of Music - Day 10

Ok - todays prompt for the 30 Days of Music challenge is kind of hard.
Day 10 - For you, what song defines the 70's ?
Well, for someone who wasnt born until 1984 its kind of difficult to judge what defines an era i didnt live through. I really only have my parents album collection and the soundtrack of movies set in that decade to go off ( and, you know, what i know of history and what not ). So, with all that in mind, i'm going with this song...
Oh yea - " Rock and Roll All Nite " by Kiss!  There were so many genres of music prominent in the 70's so i went with Kiss because they were a little bit glam, a great big chunk of rock and had those amazing costumes that incorporated 70's fashion. I also think this song defines the decade where the focus moved away ( a little ) from the protesting of the late 60's/early 70's and onto more of a crumbling of those stifling societal expectations. You know, less of the traditions of the 50's and 60's and more of the " me, me, me! " attitude that would filter on into the 80's...
Ok, yep, kind of deep for a music post, but there you go. Thats my song. Play the video, turn your speakers up all the way, and rock on people!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Days of Music - Days 8 + 9

Another combination post, because yesterday being Easter Sunday i was a bit busy doing other stuff, and i just couldnt bothered trawling through YouTube when i finally did get a chance to sit down. But i digress - where am i up to? Oh yea, days 8 and 9 of the 30 Days of Music challenge. So wheres the music?
Day 8 - Whats the last song you listened to?
Thanks to Mick, the last song i listened to was " Need You Now " by Lady Antebellum. He was playing it on his phone while i ate my breakfast. If it weren't for him i would have had to have found a video for Josh Groban's version of " Crying " ( originally by Roy Orbison ) because thats the last thing i heard on the radio. I dont mind Josh Groban but i didnt like his interpretation, so i'm glad i got to go with Lady Antebellum instead!

Day 9 - Whats the earliest song you can remember from your childhood?
When i try and think back to music in my early childhood i remember roadtrips to the beach at Nelson Bay, around 4 and half hrs drive away - which means we needed a lot of music to get us through the trip. It was the late 80's but my mum and dad were teenagers in the 70's so we got a bit of AC/DC, a dose of Dr Hook...and a lot of The Eagles. And the one Eagles song that sticks out in my mind?
Oh yea, " Hotel California " - how many times i did hear this song on family holidays? Luckily its a fantastic song that i really enjoy, even to this day. If it comes on the radio while i'm in the car, i'll turn it up and sing along to the words i know. The Eagles rock!

My Sweet Life

So ... the wonderful Melissa over at Suger Coat It has decided that being postive and positively loving your life is the way to go. Your sweet life, as it were. And what she wants us to do is start celebrating our sweet lives ( if thats what we have ) by sharing with each other something that shows how sweet life is, or can be. So, in the spirit of joining in ....

He's slightly blurry cos he's running... go Flynny go!
That right there - thats a good summation of my sweet life at the moment ( minus my lovely fiance ). Thats sunshine, and the outdoors and my sweet little boy-monster. Flynn and I went on a little day trip with my parents to a 6 hectare garden two weekends ago, and although he looks rugged up in the photo ( dont you love his little jacket? ) it was a beautiful day. We strolled around in the sunshine, enjoyed the impressive manicured gardens, marvelled at the enormous house which made me feel like we were visiting Pemberley ( cue the " Pride and Prejudice " discussion... ) and laughing at Flynns crazy toddler antics.
Family, laughs and sunshine? Couldnt be sweeter than that....

Friday, April 22, 2011

30 Days of Music - Day 7

Wow - cant believe i've made it a whole week! fair enough, i've combined two days prompts a time or two but the point is i've stuck with the whole challenge thing for a week. Yay for me and my consistency! Anyhoo...
Day 7 - What song do you listen to when chilling out?

Umm, chilling out - whats that? No, seriously, when i do get a chance to chill out its usually with Mick and Flynn in the house aswell, and its usually with the tv on and a book/magazine/laptop. So i really didnt have any idea what to do for this one. And then i remember that time before i was partenered up and when i didnt have a small, demanding toddler running my house and i recalled that i quite often liked to put 5 discs in my cd player and let them spin. Sometimes i even did a theme day - like " The All Goo Goo Dolls Day " or " All Country Music, All The Way " or " All Movie Soundtracks, All The Time ". So, bearing that in mind, i decided to go with a song off a Broadway musical soundtrack, one that makes me happy and uplifted and that i like to play every New Years Eve -
" Seasons Of Love ", from the musical " Rent ", which i saw on Broadway in December of 2004 and have loved ever since. The video is actually the opening credits of the film version of the musical, so its a slightly different version to the one of my cd, but i love it just the same....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

30 Days of Music - Days 5 + 6

So...because yesterday was Polly Dolly day and by the time i finished putting together my set i was completely blogged out... i didnt do yesterdays " 30 Days of Music " prompt. So excuse me while i mash two days together and catch up a little, ok?
Day 5 - What song do you listen to when your sad?
The first song that came to mind for this one was Johnny Cash's version of " Hurt " ( originally by Nine Inch Nails ). And if i'm not sad enough before i even start to listent to this son, i end up in tears anyway because the combining of the pounding piano and the emotion in Johnnys voice just bring me undone. A brilliant cover by an absolutely brilliant and legendary artist....

Day 6 - What song do you listen to when your angry?
When i'm angry ( or upset/angry...whatever ) i like to either lock myself away in my room or go out for a drive and pump something loud, rockin' and vaguely metal-ish - which, since high school, has quite often been something by Linkin Park. " Hybrid Theory " was one of my favourite albums in Year 12 and i've enjoyed their stuff ever since ( even though some of the new stuff is a bit more tame than the older songs ). So i could have picked maybe 90% of the Linkin Park back catalogue to fit this category but i decided to go with " No More Sorrow " off their " Minutes To Midnight " album. Please enjoy.

Polly Dolly - Girls In Glasses

Yay - its Polly Dolly time again! And its all thanks to the wonderful Dani over at Danimezza. This week Dani has been shopping and, inspired by a great pair of spectacles she found, she'd like to know how our Polly would wear her....

Polly Dolly - Girls In Glasses

I was really happy to get to do this one - for those who dont know, i'm a dispensing optician by trade, so i spend everyday at work helping clients pick and choose the perfect pair of glasses for them. I really enjoy the fashion aspect of the job and i'm thrilled whenever someone comes in and wants to get something a bit funky, or a bit different to what theyve normally had. And i really, REALLY love selling people colour. So many people that wear glasses are in a bit of denial and just want something inconspicuous, or " plain black that will go with everything ". So i really enjoy having a client who isnt afraid of colour - like Miss Polly here. I've gone with a cute red Rayban frame, which though a very bright colour becomes practical for daily wear because of its classic shape. I've done a dressed up nightime look on the left - with the gorgeous Jason Wu dress and some great booties - and a paired down daytime look on the right, to show how one pair of great glasses can work with all kinds of looks. However ... i really do advocate an " eyewear wardrobe " ( which is easy for me to say, seeing as i work in the industry and own at least eight pairs of frames... ). If you can afford it, why not?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30 Days of Music - Day 4

Good morning and welcome to Day 4 in my participation in the 30 Days of Music challenge. On Day 4, i need to tell you:
What song do you play when your feeling happy?

As soon as i read this prompt, one song popped straight into my head - " All I Wana Do " by Sugarland. I get the feeling that some of you may never have heard of Sugarland ( who are great country music duo ) and this would be the part where i get to prattle on about eclectic my tastes are. That, however, shall remain to be seen with my future video choices. What i will say is this a sweet country/pop song thats fun and sexy and great for singing along ...all the things i want to do when i'm happy. Hell, i've even started playing this song when i want to GET happy - you know, like on Monday mornings on the way to work. And this song will definately be making the playlist for my wedding reception, simply because its so joyful and makes me want to get funky with my fella  ( as influenced by lyrics such as " I dont wana get baby, lets turn off the phone ... " ). What song gets you in the happy mood?

Operation Slimdown - the " Wooty Woo! " Edition

Ok, i'm cutting to the chase here, no mucking around like usual - I'VE DONE IT!!!  Wooty woo! yes, i have reached my 10 kg goal. In fact, i've lost 10.3kg in 14 weeks. So in a little over 3 months i have achieved the goal which i gave myself 10 months to achieve ....and i'm kind of proud of that. Although i consistently lost weight every fortnight, it hasnt been super easy. The first two weeks were a little difficult - i had the occasional temptation ( like my BIL's birthday cake... ) but also just coming up with meal ideas ( especially for lunch at work ) that didnt involve any bread, rice, or pasta was a bit tricky.

And i have slipped and slid a little, in places. I'm constantly tempted by Portuguese tarts from the bakery near my work, and i will put both hands up and admit that i dont do enough exercise ( although my incidental exercise makes up for it ...a bit ). But i'm happy with the way i've done things and i'm happy with where i'm at. I have already said that i would like to push on from here - officially 67.5kgs - and get back down to at least 65kg. The smallest i've been in my adult life was 61kg and even though at the time i thought i had a rockin' bod ( which i did ) i look at pics now and think maybe i had a bit of Lollipop Head Syndrome going on ( for other examples please see Beckham, Victoria and Bosworth, Kate ). So 64/65kg might be a good medium for me...

Now that the official goal has been met " Operation Slimdown " will cease to exist in its current form. This means no fortnightly updates, and no fortnightly measurements with a tape measure ( although i will keep a constant eye on those damned scales... ). Thanks to all you regular readers and commenters for supporting me on the journey, and good luck to the rest of you who are still pushing on!

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Days of Music - Day 3

Todays prompt:
What song has the highest play count on your iTunes?
Now, before we get to the clip, let me just say this - i dont have an iPod. I mean i do - i have a really old iPod Shuffle, one of the tiny square ones - but i dont use it. Havent used since i stopped goingt to the gym. Consequently i dont really have any playlists on our iTunes and most of the music is Micks. So what gets the most plays?
Naughty By Nature - " Holiday ". I know this one came out when i was in high school and its a great track to dance around the house to, but its definately more of a " Mick " song than it is an " Amy " song. Still, if i had an iPod i still might have this on my playlist, just for a bit of dance-y fun!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

30 Days + Music = Challenge!

Alright, so i may be a little late jumping on this bandwagon but after discovering that the very funky Tutu Ames is doing a 50 day music challenge i thought " hey, thats something i'd like to get in on! " .... except that i dont think i could quite keep it up for 50 days, so i decided to go with the 30 Day Music Challenge thats being touted on Facebook ( search it... its got its own page ). I planned on starting yesterday except that i went roadtripping for the day with my parents and Flynn to a beautiful, HUGE, manicured garden ( pics and post to come! ) so today i'll be catching up with the prompts for days one and two of the challenge.

Day One: What is your favourite song right now?
Cue " Party Rock Anthem " by LMFAO -
I am just loving this song right now - it makes me wana dance, and the film clip is a total cack up! Its not a song where you have to think about the lyrics, you just listen to the beat and go with it. Its fun, and right now, fun is what i'm into...

Day Two: Song that was #1 when you were born?
Ok, when i Googled this i got some conflicting results for the week of my birth, so i went with the song that was #1 the year i was born...1984 -

I have to admit, seeing as this was released the year i was born, i hadnt really heard the original version until i heard - and loved - the remixed version used in Baz Luhrmans " Romeo and Juliet ". But, thanks to Baz, i love this one too - Prince is definately funky, and kind of edgy and just a little bit " What the?! " ... which are all the things which make this song great...

So, lets consider my blog a jukebox of my personal favourites for the next month. There will be other posts too, of course, and maybe more than one a day sometimes. If you feel like playing along, go check out the page on Facebook and getting your playlist happening!
*Edit* A couple of people mentioned they love " Purple Rain "...but that was the wrong link! It was supposed to be a video for " When Doves Cry " which means that my " Romeo and Juliet " reference now makes sense!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Polly Dolly - Wedding Belle

Time for this weeks Polly Dolly challenge - the brilliant fashion meme brought to you by the lovely Dani over at Danimezza. When i saw this weeks challenge i got just a little excited, because this week Dani wants to know what we'd wear to our....

Polly Dolly - Wedding Belle

So - i'm getting married in 6 and half months so i was a little bit enthusiastic to get in there and create this set. Seeing as i've already bought my beautiful wedding dress and the only one i could find that was similar wouldnt clip to Polyvore, i decided to do an alternate to what i'm actually wearing. That is, i've decided to style a set with a short, cocktail length dress ( instead of a full length gown ). ( Also, we are actually having a cocktail style reception, but i've gone traditional full length gown instead ). Anyhoo, it took me ages to settle on this Alexander McQueen dress, which mirrors my "real " choice in that it is also Grecian-inspired. The braided updo compliments the style of the dress and the natural toned makeup is flattering to the overall look. I've also stuck with the royal blue/yellow-gold theme we are using in November, hence the gorgeous t-bar shoes, sapphire jewellery and my dream bouquet. Throw in the perfume i will wear on the day and the song i hope to walk down the aisle to ( " Bless The Broken Road " by Rascal Flatts ) and there you go - my kind-of, sort-of almost-close-to-the-truth wedding set!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baby Lovin'

Welcome to another Blog This! challenge...and yes, i know its been ages since i've participated in one but i thought, seeing as i'm a member of the writing staff over there, it was about time i put my hat in the ring in a challenge again. ( If you're an Australian blogger, and you dont know what Blog This! is, please go click on this linky right here and check us out - and sign up! ). This fortnights challenge is a photographic post - the Blog This! team want has gotten bit clucky and we want to see babies or kids - whether the pic is of you, your kids or some random children you borrowed off the street....

Aww.... look at that chubbins right there....aint she cute? ( The correct answer is " yes " ). Yep, that chubby cheeked little muffin there is me, Baby Amy, when i was about 6 months old. And yes, I am sitting in a flower basket, because it was the 80's and thats what Pixie Foto thought was cutting edge back then. Please not the awesomeness of my fluffy hair, my toasty home-knitted cardigan and my great big baby smile. Apparently my mum had this picture taken and entered me in a baby competition - which i did not win. But come on, look at Baby Me? How could you not vote for cheeks like that?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wishful Thinking

I wish i was finding it easier to get past this.
I wish random little things didnt turn my mind to you.
I wish i didnt have to see your car driving around town, or worry about bumping into you somewhere.
I wish i'd never met you.
I wish, in my heart of hearts, that i really believed that.
I wish you hadnt made me feel so bitter. I want to be a better person than that.
I wish you hadnt lied, and kept up that lie, leading me on.
I wish you could see that thats exactly what you did, instead of denying it, and then giving me no chance of showing you evidence of the fact.
And i wish i hadnt found those photos. I simultaneously love and hate the way photos can call up memories. Memories i wish i didnt have.

I was cleaning out the bottom of Flynns wardrobe on Friday which, despite being his cupboard, is actually the storage spot for all of my old bills, correspondences and paperwork. There was plenty of crap in there that just went straight into the re-cycling bin but amongst it all i found a folder of photos of me and my ex-best friend. I wish i hadnt found them. For those of you who are new around here or those of you who missed it - my "best friend " dumped me late last year, saying she just didnt want to be friends with me anymore. There are, of course, more elaborate details to it than that ( me sending her a text announcing my pregnancy, her not speaking to me for a month or so and then saying i shouldnt be having a baby, "forgiving " each other, then me being ignored after she fell pregnant and gave birth to her own child and me expressing my disappointment and anger about it here on my blog... you know, just to name a few )but basically, in the end, it came down to the fact she didnt want to be friends with me anymore because, apparently, i'd changed. Not knowing how, or when, this change had come about she said she didnt really want to talk about it, but that the first time she noticed the so-called change and was annoyed by my behaviour was late 2008.

Stumped, i mulled things over. I pondered what i'd done, when i'd done it; i cried myself to sleep some nights and i cried in the shower most mornings for weeks on end; i talked things over, to myself, trying to figure things out. And then, after all that, i re-read through 2 years worth of emails.... and thats when i realised. She lied to me. Despite my angry and ill-thought-out blog post which was pretty much the beginning of the end ( and which i regret ), despite how angry she was at me for it and despite how many insults she threw at me, horrible characteristics she attributed to me.... SHE LIED. She lied to me for over a year and, in doing so, manipulated my feelings. She made me feel like the lowest being on the face of the earth for something as simple as a text message....BUT SHE LIED. She lead me on, and i have proof. I found it, with the photos. A copy of an email ( in regards to some advice i asked her for ), dated 25th March 2009, which ends in the following paragraph:
P.S. At the end of all this, I love that you value my opinion so much, but it IS your life and only you know how you feel so only you will know what's right. Either way I will be there for you no matter what happens. Mwah Mwah

LIAR. She said that, 5 months after i supposedly changed and offended her with my behaviour. 5 months after she realised she didnt really like me anymore. Why would she say that, if she didnt mean it? Why would she then still email me, the same old friendly chat, but deliberately go out of her way NOT to see me when she came home for the weekend? Why would she then, after " the text " and supposed forgivness, play happy friends with the rest of our peers but ignore me? Because she's a liar. And she lead me on, and manipulated me into thinking we were still close, and just waited til all that negligence and ignorance did my head in, and i made a mistake, so she could end the friendship but still be the " good guy ".

And, to be quite frank - thats not fucking fair.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Polly Dolly - In The Trenches

Welcome to the first week of the 2nd year of the Polly Dolly challenge - the brainchild ( and very big success! ) of the lovely Dani over at Danimezza. This time around, at the start of a brand new Polly year, Dani is thinking autumn fashion, and she's thinking our Polly's might need to invest in a .....

Polly Dolly - In The Trenches

Now, i already used a trench two weeks ago, in the " floral " challenge, so i had few other trench coat picks waiting in my saved items folder. I used a dress last time so this time i wanted to make my trench coat set a bit Audrey Hepburn inspired - slim fit jeans, mock turtleneck and cute flats, and incorporating this seasons neutrals to keep it all fresh. The trench itself is quite a classic cut but in a beautiful terracotta colour. And, just for a splash of colour, i've gone with a gorgeous baby blue tote, which i think works with or without the trench. A slick high pony and natural makeup finish the look off. I see Polly wearing this to the office on casual Friday - cute, comfortable and classic!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Friday Feast

Good morning and welcome to another Friday Feast. For those playing along at home ( or for those who want to ) Friday Feast is a fledgling link up ( which is so fledgling it doesnt even have a linky yet! ) where we each share a favourite recipe - sweet or savoury, dinner or dessert, budget or blue ribbon. It doesnt matter, as long as its delicious!

This week, i thought i'd go with something sweet:

Fruit and Nut Slice ( originally found in Recipes + magazine )
395g can sweetened condensed milk
125g butter, chopped
1tsp finely grated orange zest ( omit if you arent a fan of zest )
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
250g plain biscuits ( such as Arrowroots )
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 1/2 cups dried fruit of your choice
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1 1/3 cup milk chocolate melts

1. Grease 26x16cm base baking pan and line with baking paper, leaving over-hang at edges.
2. Combine condensed milk, butter zest and juice in small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until butter melts. remove from heat.
3. Process biscuits into fine crumbs. Add biscuit, coconut,dried fruit and nuts to condensed milk mixture. Stir to combine. Press and smooth into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hr.
4. Melt chocolate in microwave on medium setting in 30 second bursts, removing and stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate over slice to cover evenly. Let cool for 30 minutes or until chocolate is almost set, then cut into squares to serve.
I've made this slice quite a few times for my mums group meet ups or morning teas, and i gave my dad the recipe so he could make morning tea for his secretaries at work, and it always gets a great reception. Its moist and a bit chewy and nice and sweet with the fruit ( i usually use dried apricot and cranberries, but you could throw in sultanas or glace cherries aswell ) and the best thing about from the cooks perspective? Its no bake! Plus, it uses ingredients that most of us would keep in our pantries, or that we might have left over from something else. Plus, it keeps for 4-5 days in the fridge - although i'm sure it will be all gone by then!

What about you? Do you have a recipe to contribute this week ? Go, do your post, and then come back and leave a link to the post in the comments!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Have No Words...

Image from here

The urge to write
It is insane
A buzz inside
My fertile brain.
The subject which to
Touch upon?
An idea once had
But now is gone.
" Bloggers Block "
The proverbial name.
"Baby Brain "
Is sure to blame.
The urge to write
But no words yet...
This stupid poem
Is all you'll get!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Operation Slimdown - We're Getting There...

Seriously - are you people getting tired of reading about " Operation Slimdown " yet ? I know i'm only doing a diet/exercise/body post once a week but it seems like i'm forever writing about it... anyhoo, yea yea, its Tuesday again so its time for the fortnightly update on where my weight loss is at. Behold - the stats!
Bust: 91cm - down 1cm
Waist: 75.5cm - down 1.5cm
Hips: 97.5cm - down 0.5cm
Bum: 102cm - up 0.5cm
Thigh: 62cm - down 0.5cm
Weight: 68.6kg - down 1.1kg

I'm really happy with that, seeing as i've felt like i've been slacking off a bit. Maybe it only feels that way because i was sooooo strict with the my eating in the first few weeks? I'm not sure, but i'm coming to realise that its ok to have a bit of chocolate, or a small bowl of icecream, or even a yummy yummy Portuguese tart ( mmmm...Portuguese tart... ) a few times a week if i'm keeping everything else under control. Which i am - my portion sizes are much smaller than when i started my third attempt at " Operation Slimdown ", i'm eating way more vegies and i find that i'm not craving rice or pasta at all. I have a nice low-GI muesli for breakfast most mornings ( i occasionally indulge in peanut butter and toast! ) and a wholemeal sandwich or leftovers for lunch. Dinners are my favourite though - you know how i love pour over my cookbooks and magazines and i've really enjoyed some of the new, healthier, dishes i've come across. As has Mick - he hasnt exactly been on a concentrated " diet ", but through healthier eating and a very physical job he's managed to lose around 10kg in the last 3-4 months. Go us!

And now? I'm 9.2kg down in 12 weeks. Only 800g to go until i hit my 10kg goal that i set as my New Years resolution. I'm kind of amazed that i've been able to come this far in a relatively short period of time ( you know, seeing as my original goal included a November deadline.. ). Once i hit the 10kg mark, i would like to push on and reach 65kg - thats roughly how much i weighed when i met Mick, and i think i looked awesome then, so thats the next step in the dance... fingers crossed i lose the 800g by next weigh in though!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Knives and Forks and (S)poons...

So - my normally voraciously appetited son went through a stage last month where no matter what i tried to give him for his dinner, it was being thrown off his plate ( or the spoon knocked from my hand ) and onto the floor. He went from being a baby who would eat pretty much anything to a squirming, screaming, messmaker who was refusing food he loved only the day before. Out of exasperation i started giving him a sandwich, some cheese and some fruit for his dinners, but i knew that the scrimping on the vegies couldnt last too long. To be quite frank, dinner time was doing my head in. Mick and I, being first time parents, had no idea what the bloody hell was happening but we sure as hell knew we needed to put a stop to it ASAP. So, as a first time parent, how do you figure this type of conundrum out? You ask your other, older, wiser mummies. And, thanks to my wonderful work colleague, "Aunty " J, we found a solution....we eat at the table, at the same time.
Mr Flynn, munching on a strawberry...

I know - you're reading this now going " uh...duh Amy! " and yes, in retrospect, it all seems so simple to me too. See, i was feeding Flynn on his own, and then Mick was giving him a bath while I cooked our dinner. Even though he was refusing his own food ( the same yummy chicken-and-rice, stir fries and spaghettis that he's always enjoyed ) Flynn would then happily totter over to us while we were eating and demanding stuff off our plates. I explained all this to J and she just looked at me and smiled and said " He's a big boy now - he wants to eat with you ". Doi! Of course he does! Flynns been able to say " big boy " for about a month now and has been doing all kinds of other " big boy " things, like bing allowed in Daddy's garage or being able to walk into the shops ( very slowly ) holding my hand.... of course he wanted to eat at the table with the grown ups. So that night i went home, cleared off the end of our dining table ( yes, we're guilty of eating in front of the tv watching "Neighbours" instead of using the table... ) and proceeded to cook dinner at a time suitable for us all to eat together. That was last Monday, and we've had a blissful week of Flynn eating most of his dinner and throwing none of it on the floor.

Most nights he's eaten the same meal as us ( except when its been a bit spicy ) and he's going really well. I give him a little bowl of stir fry ( for eg ) and he sits quite contentedly, picking up chunks of chicken and bits of vegies and gulping it all down with copious amounts of milk. I even gave him his own little plastic fork last night, just to see how he went...and he was stabbing the little chunks of meat like a total pro! You know, except that he holds the fork like a tiny caveman and has no table manners whatsoever... even better, Flynn even asked for more vegies! He'd picked out all the capsicum and beans in the bowl and was left only with chicken. When he saw me eating a bean he pointed and grunted and i asked him " Do you want some vegies? " and he points again and goes " bej- ees! ". So now, not only do i have a child who is eating his dinner without throwing it AND is interested in starting to learn to use forks and spoons ( or " poons " as he calls them ) but i have a 15 month old who wants more vegies.

Toddlers - they're so weird!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Feast

So - i didnt have much of a response to my idea last week to start a Friday Feast link up. For anyone who missed it, i'd love to start a weekly link up where we contribute ( and thus exchange ) our favourite recipes, whether they be sweet or savoury, simple or gourmet. The budding chef in me would love to find more family and budget friendly recipes, but anything you like would be great! That being said, i didnt have many takers for the idea last week but that wont stop me starting it as a weekly post for myself. Who knows - perhaps it will evolve?

So, this week, i thought i'd start with one of my favourite quick, easy and fresh recipes: Sesame Crusted Salmon with Coleslaw.

Sesame Crusted Salmon With Coleslaw ( serves 2-4 )
* salmon fillets ( get one pieces for each person you'd like to serve )
* 1/2 cup of sesame seeds
* 1/2 small white cabbage, thinly sliced
* 1 large carrot, grated
* 2 sticks of celery, chopped finely

1. Putting the 1/2 cup sesame seeds on a small plate, coat both sides of each salmon fillet with seeds.
2. Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in frypan. Place salmon in, seeded side down.
3. Cook for 3- 4 minutes both sides ( or until cooked to your liking ).
4. In the meantime, mix chopped cabbage, grated carrot and chopped celery in large bowl.
5. ( This is where i alternate from time to time... ) Either dress coleslaw in store bought coleslaw dressing or mix 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce with 1 tablespoon of lime juice, for a refreshing Asian style slaw.

And that be it - those proportions are all from memory. Because i only make this meal for Mick and myself, we usually end up with left over coleslaw for the next days lunch, but if you think you'll need more, than just up the amount of vegies by another half or so. Couldnt be easier!