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We Almost Did It!

My wonderful friend offered to have Matisse for a sleepover tomorrow night so that Dan and I could go and live it up in the city. Cue bathrobe, bath, room service and um, sleep. Throw in some wine to keep it exciting. 

When she first offered I was all up for it, how exciting a nice night out. Working out logistics, her kid goes to the same child care. All was perfect in the world. 

Twenty whole hours later and I feel guilty. I’m worried she will be confused. It would mean dropping her off Monday morning and not seeing her until Tuesday night. We haven’t both been away at the same time but she would be hanging out with her bestie so I’ve got no stress there. It’s this thing, I just can’t do it. We have been given a free pass and I was requesting a luxury hotel, swisho food but I’ll miss her. Not sure who I’m worried for more, me or her. 

I know there is no time limit or magical moment when it is okay but I don’t think that moment is yet and I’m no way convinced it will be soon. Baby steps, we will do a sleepover when I can pick her up in the morning. Less stress for all, er, me. 

I start two weeks of training for  work tomorrow so that is also on my mind as I won’t be seeing her too much. Wish me luck 🙂

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For The Love of Shoes

We ventured out yesterday to get some shoes as the feet never seem to stop growing. It is awesome as I get to indulge in my love of shoes, there are so many cute designs out there that are less expensive than buying for myself. So I thought. If you go Supermarket style and compare cost per gram I’m not winning. They are teeny tiny little things and they’re upwards of $80 thankfully we have an outlet near us so it made it a bit cheaper. So we are all shopped up for 6.5 and before we know it she will be size 7. Not winning again. We did win however when she went bananas when we were purchasing them and the happiness took over. Cute shoes, happy child, happy Mum. 

Today we even made use of the boxes and painted them up. See making the most if it! Craft activity, tick.

 
We then cut up the calender my lovely sister-in-law gave to us Editlast year and sorted the pictures in to the individual boxes. I have made these shoes work for me 😉 She spent plenty of time sorting the pictures.    

 

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It’s Not What You Think It Is!!!

You are looking after yourself, thinking you’re fab, living the life and being healthy. You eat your vegies, throw in a bit of tofu, oodles of Zoodles (I’ll tell you about them later) and you think to yourself why not try a meal replacement shake? So healthy. We’re now feeling a collective appreciation for how amazing we are, resisting all of the temptations put in front of us. Ice-creams are even handed out to your desk at work and you said NO! Thank you, sigh, you love ice-cream. The days are getting easier and the moods swinging less, this is towards all but your husband of course as he incites his own shade of moodiness. Life is good. You are sitting there having a casual chat with a work colleague about the amazingness of life and how you love this new you and then she says it. ‘Have you seen how many teaspoons of sugar are in those meal replacement shakes? It’s around 5 teaspoons’ what?????? Here I’ve been thinking I’m doing the right thing yet I’m getting duped. ‘Diet’ products aren’t always what they say they are, read the labels I hear someone saying. Well… I did and now I’ve thrown my entire collection of very expensive, healthy, fix your life in 20 seconds products in the bin.

I hope you are all having a fabulous week.

I’ll get Matisse to introduce Zoodles for you.

   
   

  • Get one zucchini
  • Use a spiraliser and get the spaghetti strips going
  • Grab some paper towel and get the excess water out
  • Fry up in a skillet with a bit of oil and that is how you get Zoodles

    To leave on a happy note shedding the sugar has shed 1.7kg in the last week. 

    Note: not all meal replacement shakes are high in sugar. Some use sugar alternatives. 

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    Screw You Sugar!

    Day Seven and getting crazy

    Is it a seven day slumber, seven day itch? Or am I just a moody beep? Seriously what is up with this crazy need to come up with a recipe that has sugar in it? I’m feeling a little like the dude in ‘Trainspotting’ clawing at the walls, desperate to get out of the room he was locked away in. Totally melodramatic, I know. Seriously it’s only sugar. I have always been a little bit ‘in’ to it through my life, maybe a little bit too ‘in’ to it but my pregnancy brought on a true love of the stuff. I had no other devices I felt like I owed it to myself to have this one thing.

    Screw you SUGAR…….

    Yup, that was my screaming voice, she has officially lost the plot people.

    I’ve decided the only way I can possibly make myself feel better is to cook up some caramel popcorn and turn on the Netflix, I’m joking, seriously though I have actually been battling with this plan for over an hour. I’m in trouble.

    My actual plan is to research why sugar is doing this to me and take some power back damn it! I want the control back and I want to see what it has actually been doing to my insides. That was the best motivator to quit smoking and also knowing that I wanted a Matisse in my life.

    So here we go, come on a little ride with me, I so wish I had a glass of wine right now. Decided to give that the heave ho’ too after too much Christmas cheer. Green tea anyone? It’s infused and has a hint of lemon. Stop your judgement I’m putting the kettle on.

    Here goes…

    I’m not sure if you have heard about the comparison between sugar and cocaine, I feel like I am setting up a joke here, I am not. There is research proving that the former is more addictive than the latter according to healthline.com. I myself have steered clear of the stuff as I know I have a very addictive personality and I’m a good girl, yeah right but I knew if I was to indulge it would become a problem, Instead I have another problem, something much more accessible and a hell of a lot cheaper.

    I’m reading all of this information like it is new to me, it’s not but it is so interesting to have it spelled out to me, especially when I am open to listening about it. As I mentioned in my previous post ‘You Can’t Stop The Music’ I have a massive motivator in my husband. I have been so blind to how it affects him because my brain has become conditioned to crave sugar and like other drugs it is building up an intolerance. I’m sitting here thinking wow, I can’t believe I let something mess with my brain to a point where it is permanently altered and creating hormone imbalances. OLD! I had an old moment but it’s funny to see this 30’s me vs the 20’s me.

    The bonus to reducing sugars, especially refined sugar is that naturally sweet foods will seem even sweeter! Is there anything else???? This actually took a bit of a search as there is such a focus on the negative aspects of sugar which scare people enough not to bother with the benefits post reduction. I suppose this is because it is mostly obvious and well known:

    Weight loss benefits, if you don’t replace sugar with carbs.

    Your skin will clear up, this is something I notice straight away when I get off the ‘good’ wagon.

    Healthier teeth, sugar pumps those bacterial suckers up.

    Decrease symptoms of mental health and improve brain function.

    So we will see, writing this article has distracted me away from the bad stuff, made me want to pee due to the green tea and helped me to see it’s not a bad thing to try a good thing. I would call myself a bit of a wanker for promoting this but I make sure Matisse has nutritious balanced meals and Dan has low sugar dietary requirements so it’s about time I started to be real. Even if I am losing weight or exercising just because the Tim Tams fit within my calorie count for the day or I have exercised my ass off enough to gain more calories according to some App. It doesn’t make sugar any better for me, it is still sugar.

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    Taking The Plunge- Travelling With a Toddler

     

    NEW CALEDONIA

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    I was having a chat with one of the parents at Playgroup before our trip to New Caledonia when he asked me ‘so is the hotel child friendly?’ I thought to myself, what do you mean? Not wanting to sound like I truly had no idea what I was getting myself in to. The truth was I was scared to find out if it wasn’t child friendly. We had a massive trip ahead of us and playing it cool a little kept the anxiety at bay, slightly. Trust me I seriously went in to overdrive in preparation for the flight (busy bag queen right here) and packing but I needed to let go a little, mostly for my own sanity.

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    Running off energy before the flight
    The answer was NO the hotel was not child friendly. Firstly there was no room service and the hotel restaurant was decommissioned due to a downturn in tourism which left us with our Tuna tartare at 9PM as we arrived later than expected. Not the best start, we made up for it with a traditional French breakfast the next morning but I was worried the hurdles were going to keep coming at us for the proceeding two weeks. We had one room with a kitchenette and it was nice enough but no room for romance and well we could barely have the TV on as it was keeping the toddler awake. One of the days my husband went out and left the two of us to nap. The cleaner had left the plastic dish rack on the stove and I’m not sure if it was me or the little one but it was turned on and let’s just say we had the fire alarm going off and management at our door. I was beside myself that something tragic could have happened and well, it put things in to perspective, the rest of the holiday could only be better.

    No glamour shots on this island!

    So there we were in our stinky hotel room with a child that slept for a solid 2.5hrs right in the middle of the day, no child minding service or room service and zero chance of romance. We had to get out of the town, Noumea was totally different to what I was expecting. After visiting Vanuatu a few years prior and loving the laid back atmosphere there I was expecting the same in Noumea. The pictures led me down the garden path a little but I was up for an adventure.

    The activity bag followed us everywhere

    We went to the travel agent and unfortunately hit their closing period of 12-1pm, everything closes at lunchtime. We took advantage of this break and had a sneaky beer while little miss was asleep in the pram. Oh yes, we managed to get her napping on the run. I was watching the clock a little as I wanted to get all the booking for the next 10 days done while she was still asleep, she read my mind, clock strikes one and she is awake. We get in to the travel agent and quickly realise we have a language barrier. It was in that moment that I had my AH HA! Moment, oh yes that’s right, I am a Mum now I should pre book these things so that I know everything is going to be O.K. I should have known from the look in people’s eyes when I told them before we left that ‘oh no! We are only booking the first three days’ that I should have been more organised. They knew, damn them, but sometimes we have to learn for ourselves.

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    No more photo’s!!!!

    Five seconds later after all of these thoughts ran through my mind another travel agent walks through the door. Oh, she said, you don’t speak French, come over to me. Sigh of relief. She booked everything for us to spend the remainder of the holiday touring the whole of New Caledonia, right to the top. I was beyond excited as this was the adventure I was after. Next step I needed to book a car. Note to self, next time book a car from the airport then you have the independence to explore. It’s a different kind of adventure with a child.

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    Sightseeing in Noumea

    Without a navigator for the car, thanks Dan, we get convoyed to our first stop in Bourail by a lovely local. From the bustling Noumea we were now in paradise, amazing. Dubbed as an eco- resort with lush green foliage and rolling mountains surrounding we had a sigh of relief as we came up the driveway of the Betikure Parc Lodge. Here was the holiday we were after. Matisse enjoyed playing with the owners dog’s mostly by yelling ‘puppy’ at the top of her lungs and as soon as any interest was given she ran screaming. Bourail itself was quiet, we hit a public holiday so there wasn’t much on while we were there but the beaches were the bluest of blue. We had great fun playing and walking along the sand until the rain hit. Just like that, it hit us and we ran. Baby in arms we sprinted to the car, sand all over us we jumped in and that was it. Beach over until next time.

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    Saramea Couldn’t have been more beautiful

    Kone’ was more inland and a much more established town, it had traffic lights after all. Dan was super excited about his plane ride organised for the next day and we managed to score a bit of a date night. A restaurant right at the front door of our hotel room. Wine and a buffet what more could we ask for, I was so full I couldn’t stomach another drink after dinner. The next morning Dan comes back to the hotel full of beans, he had just flown a plane and couldn’t contain his excitement, he had a bird’s eye view of the ‘Heart of Vu’ and he got to fly a PLANE! By his French only speaking co-pilot who claimed he was an instructor. I was completely jealous but fear had stopped me going and I wanted Matisse to have at least one parent in case something went wrong. I regretted letting that stop me but I think I would have crapped my pants if I went up in that very small plane.

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    Another day, another Dan flying a plane!

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    Pool at our door, restaurant just to the left of it

    We hit the road for Plage de Poingam and that full stomach turned out to be a dodgy one, we had a few stops where I had to talk to the nature. Thankfully it was all upwards, I don’t think I could have coped with the alternative as it was a long windy drive ahead of us.

    Relais de Poingam, a basic camp right on the beach with traditional huts and outdoor bathrooms. No Wi-Fi, no Television no air con but it had a pool. Even with all of our sickness, Dan too, this was such a highlight in the context that it made us stop and see what was right in front of us. Thankfully it wasn’t the dangerously positioned coconut trees right at our front door, we did google death by coconut at one stage in our trip. It was the nothingness, the beautiful adventures down the beach with our bodyguard, Roger, the local dog who slept on the job. We were safe and at peace, even when we tried to walk to the other island with a child on one hip. Yes the water became a little dangerous and being that it was Mother’s Day and I had previously felt utterly rubbish it was so nice to have a bit of fun. The women who run the camp work tirelessly to ensure their visitors have a comfortable stay within a traditional environment. Even with their meat heavy nightly feast they provided us with delicious fresh produce that never left us hungry.

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    We managed to keep her laughing

    Our drive to Hienghene took us from complete relaxation to absolute terror. Thin winding roads through the mountains with speeding trucks, poor Dan had to seriously concentrate to keep us all safe. We almost had a head on with a bus as it came careering around the bend on to our side of the road. This was all after our little detour of four hours and getting bogged in the middle of no-where with no phone reception, mud, dirt and awful heat. Why I said yes to explore the road that not even Google knew, I’m not sure. We survived. Why we tried to drive through the mud a second time at a different angle and then proceed to get bogged again, I’m dumbfounded. After getting out of the mud we then realised we had to turn back to the camp as we had forgotten some important medication. The day was draining, beyond belief but the hotel we stayed at was beautiful. It had beer, a pool looking out to the beach and hamsters running around the garden. The most expensive pizza possible and an early night, we were happy to get moving to our next stop.

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    The rest of our trip was mostly uneventful, we wished that we had spent more time at Poindimie. Our last day there took us on a boat to Aqualagoon which provided an eco-tour and walk across the island it was all in French and partially interpreted by another tourist. We went snorkelling and Matisse had a little friend to stare at as we all hung out on the white sands, anything that didn’t involve winding roads we were happy.

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    Our last days were spent at another traditional camp in Sarramea, just as lovely as the other but we were spent. It was time for this little family to head home. We were blessed by a lovely big nap from Matisse on the plane. I couldn’t watch anymore Frozen or Big Hero Six but had been forever thankful during our desperately sick days to have it as a distraction.

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    Plum Tuckered

    Lessons learnt? The activity bag is a great idea and stop stressing, bad things will probably happen but you will always bounce back. With our first overseas holiday done it is on to planning the next one. We’re thinking about staying local and tackling Central Australia. Have you had any holiday mishaps travelling with your family? It is amazing to think that we are only at the start of our holidaying journey, I can’t wait to create more memories, even if they are a little scary.

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    You Can’t Stop The Music

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    Hello there,

    ‘Hello’ has been on high rotation over the last few weeks, Matisse even gave it a whirl. Mostly the word hello was repeated over and over but it is very cute to watch, especially when she adds in a bit of expression. I have always appreciated Adele’s music but the lyrics resonated with me more so with this song as I traipsed along to my home town of Adelaide.

    Welcome to 2016, what a whirlwind two weeks it has been. I decided to take the break and have a breather with my family. It was worth it but Christmas holidays seem to be busier than ever at the moment. Between Christmas day preparations at my parent’s house, six adults and three children under the one roof with many more visiting at any one time, it was managed chaos but so much fun. We spent our last night at my brother’s house in the hills and I found myself tear up as we left, the party over yet again as we all divide across the country, my sister in Sydney and us in Melbourne. Seeing the kids play together and have such a natural bond pulls at the heart strings every time, making me yearn for that forever closeness. I will stop being emotional and indulgent as I realise I am very fortunate to have my family around, period.

    The time flew but we made the most of it, endless family celebrations and trips to the beach. I didn’t even dip my toes in once. We did go to the local pool which was a fantastic opportunity to escape from the awful dry heat, I do not miss that.

    This year made more special as Matisse knew what was going with the Christmas celebrations and she absolutely adored playing with her cousins. This year I endeavour to take more power in the kitchen and now have the helping hand or blade of a food processor, finally the fear of seeing me close to losing a finger got Dan to the shops.  Mum and Dad gave me a voucher to the Australian Writers’ Centre which I will utilise at the end of the month when I take part of the Creative Writing Stage 1 course.

    New Year’s Eve was spent between Seacliff and Glenelg then home for cocktails and poker, guess who took the crown? I have a wonderful poker face after a few drinks, sober not so much. Glenelg provided a bunch of entertainment. The kids loved the concert down on the beach, boogying their little hearts out until we dragged them away. Having the excuse of getting them to bed meant we escaped before the New Year’s Eve crazy descended.

    So many highlights and fun times but the greatest pleasure was getting out with Dan. We don’t get to do it very often at all, I think this is our second night out by ourselves since our gorgeous girl came along and boy did we enjoy it. We didn’t party hard or stay out too late but having that one on one time and just hanging out chatting was amazing.

    After attempting something fancy along Hindley St, I know that just sounds plain wrong but there is one there, unfortunately it was all booked up. We went all Melbourne style and searched the laneways. We stumbled across a teeny tiny little bar called the Pink Moon Saloon. It is long and skinny and fits in only a small amount of people but they had tasty food and an even better signature cocktail. We had to pretend to be a little bit cool while hiding the parental tired glare and luckily the friendly staff made us think we pulled it off. Next up we had some Saki at a new Japanese bar on the corner of Leigh St. I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore, it is undecided if it was the Saki that did it or the 5am wake up. Our child decided our Christmas present was to experience more hours in the day. Thanks Matisse can I sleep now?

    Now we have a new year it’s time for new things, I’ve decided to join Dan and limit my sugar intake. It’s about time. He has been living with it daily for the almost three years so I thought I could at least join him for January and see if I can make it a part of my daily living. Addictions are funny things and they sometimes stop you from seeing what is happening right in front of your eyes. In my case we have the sugar addict and the diabetic. Not the best combo. We spent our early relationship enjoying our weekly lazy hungover Sunday mornings covering stacks of pancakes with honey and sugar. Me the weight bearer and my husband remaining his slim self. Nowadays we don’t share these experiences so much but I have definitely been able hold my own, especially through pregnancy and early motherhood. So far, I have been doing okay. Maybe a little aggravated but I could put that down to many things. I’m interested to see the changes in my mood mostly as I have relied so heavily on sugar as a pick me up when I have been tired. I’m not in to quitting sugar as there is sugar in many healthy foods so I’m excited to be looking for the better alternatives.

    I hope you are all well and that 2016 is looking to better than the last. Has the New Year inspired any changes for you? I’d love to hear about them if you want to share.

    Xx MummaKate

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    You Can Still Be Amazing!

    When I got pregnant with Matisse the world went in to slow motion as my vision was impaired by a rose coloured filter. It revolved
    around feeling sick, feeling weird and crying about EVERYTHING! I
    was so happy to be pregnant that none of the yucky stuff mattered.

    After the baby was born the sleep deprivation kicked in, my brain
    and my ambition gave me notice. They completely resigned and I was left a body, a big old feeding machine.

    I went back to work when Matisse was sixteen months old. I needed
    to claim a little bit of me back and be a bit challenged. Initially I was full of ideas and driven to maximise my time at work but it
    wasn’t long before it was obvious to me that working two days a
    week wasn’t getting me anywhere.

    It started to affect me and my confidence dipped. I was dreading
    going to work. I felt so torn, between Matisse and a job that quite frankly wasn’t challenging me and rather than getting that little
    bit of me back I was feeling more lost than ever before.

    Dan on the other hand was going great guns career wise. I was
    playing the supportive wife role and talking him up to my Mum when he turns to me and says ‘You can still be amazing’. My facial
    response was priceless, I’m far too used to my husband being
    sarcastic. But instead he gave me the biggest tool to empower
    myself, self-belief ‘I can still be amazing’.

    In my 20’s it was ‘I’ll always be fabulous’ but now I’m moving for bigger and better. Every day I say this to myself and each day I say it my ambitions are building higher and higher.

    What is your amazing? How does it look to you? Now with the New
    Year coming on ever so rapidly it’s the perfect time to make those first few steps. Each year I take it like it’s a clean slate, a
    time to start fresh and get inspired.

    I decided to look at work on a smaller scale and build skills
    within my current role. Now that is looking to change completely in 2016 and I’ll be more challenged again. My being amazing isn’t
    about fireworks or becoming a new me, it’s all about maximising my current life which I am happy with.

    I have started writing again and am building my blog MummaKate.
    Next year is going to go to a whole other level. I’m going to
    complete my novel, even if I have to glue myself to the chair. I’ll also be working towards making the blog more interactive. Most
    importantly I’m going to make the most of this life, we only get
    one go at it after all. I’m going to take the amazing and run with it.

    Thank you so much to all who are following my blog, you are driving me to write more and follow my passions. The biggest gift of all.

    I hope you have an incredible Christmas with lots of fun, love and laughter and that 2016 brings you all of
    the happiness in the world.

    XX MummaKate

     

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    Christmas Cheer That Turns to Christmas Fear

    What do you get somebody who has cared so beautifully for your child all year? Do you think it is necessary?

    There is this fear of being that person that doesn’t care enough, if I don’t care they will stop caring for my child. Isn’t that how it works? Sometimes I just think too much about most things. Welcome to my life. 
    A friend who works in Child Care said it’s certainly not expected (except when your child is a monster) but absolutely no chocolates, there goes my original idea. Another said wine as their child would send anyone to drink…. Sometimes that rings true in our household too. 
    This is the first time I have been faced with the idea so I went with home made, not too over the top. Matisse helped me, by that I mean stirred sporadically, tried to eat everything in sight and screamed for cuddles a majority of the way through. But we got there 🙂 and she is proud of herself. We have our cookies made and Palma’s Pantry relish bought, I’m set. 
    When this…..

      

    Becomes this….

      
     

    ✨Merry Christmas to all of Matisse’s teachers and yes I’ll probably throw some wine in too✨

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    Stranger Danger!

    I went to Taylor Swift last night and it was amazing. It’s funny how over time you change and your music tastes vary. I definitely wouldn’t have admitted to liking one of her songs in my 20’s, well my catalogue is increasing, as is my age. Not only is her music appealing but I’m happy for Matisse to listen to it.

    Taylor made mention of the crowd being amazing. I’m sure she says it at all of her concerts but the way she delivered the message was impressive and very clear that she has the ability to truly communicate to the youth market. She impressed upon the crowd that what her view of ‘being cool’ was how they were reacting to her music by dancing freely and having fun, living in the moment and enjoying life. I much prefer this version of cool than the alternative.

    The place was full of kids and the staging was impressive. There were fireworks and the lighting was faultless. Her show spelled superstar but she was gracious and effortless which is a refreshing breed of celebrity. Unfortunately the sound wasn’t amazing as it was an outdoor stadium but it did’t take long to be transported to Taylor Swift Land. Opening with ‘Welcome to New York’ and closing with ‘Shake it Off’ the night was complete.

    So why did I call this article ‘Stranger Danger’? Well this Nana does’t get out too often. If I do, I normally grab a cab but with the hustle and bustle of the city I caught a train. Having had a deeply moving discussion earlier in the day regarding violence against woman I had my high alert on.

    It was 11:30 PM on a school night and the crowd dispersed leaving myself and a man. He may well have been a perfectly normal, lovely engaging individual. He could have been a potential friend but I was scared especially when he crossed to be on the same side of the road as me. I started walking faster and faster, I looked as though I either needed to get home to the toilet or trying ever so hard to get the most distance between us.

    He had gone another direction and I thought I was fine and then he re-appeared at the other end of the shops. What was my next plan? I crossed to the other side of the road, shit, it’s darker I thought if he follows to this side I will walk in to someone’s front yard. My friend had said to message her when I got home, instead she got a call. ‘Remember when I was pregnant and I got lost in the back streets and I was scared?, I’m kind of scared again walking home can you be on the line with me until I get home?’. I felt safe again.

    I got home and I was still a little bit rattled, why? you may ask. Jill Meagher is why. She was just walking down a street and tragedy befell her. An absolutely innocent well trodden route that she would have done time and time before and then one day she was there at the wrong time. There were too many times when I had walked home late at night after a few too many drinks and I am so thankful that I didn’t get to meet that wrong time. I hadn’t had a drink last night and I was well aware of my environment and felt that I was capable of walking the ten minutes home along a main road but in hindsight next time I may just get that cab.