Thursday, March 31, 2011

She Learnt What?

Posted by MANDI at 7:07 PM 4 comments
I have a feeling that the lessons that were supposed to be learnt from the anti-bullying workshop run at the kids' school today kinda missed its target. Why would I think that? Let me set the scene for you...

After school, kids climbing in to the car.

Me: Hey #2,  how was 'Bye Bye Bully' this morning?
Offspring #2: It was good but we didn't really get to do many 'tivities. (aka Activities)
Me: Oh? Was it a play that you sat and watched? You know, like a tv show?
#2: Yeah, it was like that so we didn't get to join in.
Me: So did you learn something from watching it?
#2: Yep. They showed us how to be mean to people and how to be a bully.
Me: Ummmm..... I don't thing that was quite what they were aiming for. Did you learn anything else?
#2: Oh yeah, I nearly forgetted. If someone's being a bully you should go and find someone else to stand around with.
Me: Okayyyyyy then.
Meanwhile Offspring #1  is laughing him self silly at his sister's interpretation but does manage to control himself long enough to interject that no, it really wasn't trying to make all the kids be bullies and it was all stuff he'd seen/been told/had workshops on before.

So glad I paid $5 for each kid to attend that useful learning activity.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Posted by MANDI at 7:30 AM 2 comments
Have a look at who was supervising me hang out the washing before work this morning.

Luckily he seemed satisfied with the job I was doing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Baking

Posted by MANDI at 3:00 PM 5 comments
I stumbled across a delicious looking chocolate cake over at Trish's place yesterday. She's revamped her blog, Eat Shoot Blog,  and it's all rather fab so do yourself a favour and go have a little look see. You'll find the recipe for the cake here.

This household very much enjoyed the before and after versions of the cake mix and, having just polished off a piece for afternoon tea, (okay, very early afternoon tea!) I feel that I'm in a position of authority to say GO. MAKE THIS CAKE NOW! Yum.

Just a note, mine took a bit longer than the suggested 40 minute cooking time, closer to 55 minutes really.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This Kid Cracks Me Up

Posted by MANDI at 2:24 PM 6 comments
My girl is home from school again today - she is much better but I didn't think she should be at school until we'd got some real food into her belly. So a rest day filled with tv, colouring, reading stories and a little bit of 'school work' has been had.
I just asked her if she wanted to do some more colouring and giggled wildly at her reply.
"Ummm.... no. I'm not really fond of colouring, thankyou."
Just as though I'd asked her to have tea with the Queen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Should Have Known!

Posted by MANDI at 7:42 AM 3 comments
When my girl got up to go to the toilet four times before 3am  when she normally wakes up just once, right around 12.30each and every morning, I should have known something was up. I really shouldn't have been surprised to have her arrive at my bedside at 4am telling me, "Mum? I don't feel very... BLEUGHHHH!" Really, really shouldn't have been surprised. But, somehow, I was.

Maybe it's because she hasn't been sick for ages. Or maybe it's just because I find a lot of things surprising at 4am. Because, you know, I'd normally be asleep then!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Posted by MANDI at 9:28 PM 2 comments
Is it really wrong to be glad that Packed To The Rafters isn't on? I know it has a huge following but, man, I can't stand that show. Even better, I'm enjoying its replacement hugely. But please, tell me our ten year high school reunion wasn't that horrible. I had a ball but I was somewhat hideously drunk which may have contributed to the level of fun-ness!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Monday Musings

Posted by MANDI at 9:44 PM 2 comments
It is amazing how long a box of tea bags last when one cuts down one's tea consumption from approximately 14 cups per day to 3. It's also amazing how much better one feels. Who knew?

Hubby's arm is no better. In fact it appears to be getting worse and the doctors' best form of treatment appears to be writing him scripts for anti-inflammatory drugs, that wreak havoc on the severe gastric reflux that they diagnosed, and telling him not to use his arm. Yeah, not exactly confidence inspiring. He saw the doctor again today and she told him there was nothing more she could do. Well colour me happy that she spent all those years in medical school and can't do something, anything - even, heaven forbid, refer him to a specialist like he's asking - to help a fit, healthy 38 year old man who has torn the ligament off his arm bone. I bet if he was a footy player they'd be doing something to fix his arm quick smart. And maybe, just maybe,  remembering that the meds they're prescribing? HE CAN"T TAKE!!!

I spent four hours in the garden yesterday and barely made a dent. But we filled up the trailer and did a tip run so I must have done some good. I spent another hour and a half outside today and found the old chook pen. It was buried under about 5 years worth of some creeping vine thing. Vine thing is now filling up the trailer. I won that battle!

The kids are currently addicted to The Brady Bunch. Hilarious but true. They sing the song, provide running commentary on the plot lines and provide me with a rundown of the moral of each episode. I've always loved The Brady Bunch and let's face it, it's pretty wholesome viewing so I'm not going to stop them watching it. Have you seen some of the stuff that passes for kids tv at the moment?

As an aside to that I have discovered that I have a, until now completely unknown, mini-crush on Mr Brady. Wrong on so many levels. But what can I say - he has lovely eyes, and his voice is rather lovely too, and yeah he's cute. And he's just so gosh darn nice. I'm making myself laugh just thinking about it but there you go.

I got offered a job today. Out of the blue. Sadly it didn't quite tick all the boxes and I turned it down but it was still flattering to be asked.

My boy did a standardised spelling test earlier in the year. Disappointingly his school didn't feel the need to share the results with the parents. Luckily I disregarded that and asked his  teacher for them, finding out that his spelling age is two years above his chronological age. In other words, his spelling is on par with kids two years older than him. Or put more simply, he's doing really well at spelling. Yay for the boy! Oh and last year's teacher who told me that the boy's ability across the literacy area was 'very average' and got annoyed that I didn't agree with him? Ha, stick that Mr Teacher.

In other boy news I found myself parroting my mother the other day. We visited the library and when we got home he was eager to read his books and not so eager to do the few chores he had. After a gentle reminder or two to put the book down, followed by a not-so-gentle reminder or two I pulled out my Mum's old line: "If you can't get on with your jobs I'll put the library books on top of the fridge." He looked at me, somewhat puzzled, but did as he was told while I wandered off laughing at myself.

To balance things up and give you some girl news: She was wandering about singing to herself this afternoon but I couldn't quite make out what she was singing. Upon further investigation it turns out she very much likes the song 'Sleep Caroline'. You know, the one by Neil Diamond. She even sings the "bom, bom, bom" bit.

Yes, Mum really did used to do that - I've always been a bookworm and putting the new library books out of reach was one way of getting me to do my jobs, play outside, etc. She also used to dole them out one per day. If I misbehaved too bady I didn't get a book for that day. But seeing as how I was an angelic child...

Why is there nothing to watch on tv on Monday nights? And why did they stop showing Vampire Diaries? That was my guilty pleasure. Crappy story lines, pretty girls, even prettier boys. What's not to love there?

And on that note, goodnight!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Posted by MANDI at 8:49 PM 4 comments
We've done our traditional Fast Food Filthy Friday - home made hamburgers for dinner, no bath for the kids - and now the kids and the kitten are fast asleep, Hubby's catching up for a beer with a friend and I'm about the hit the couch and indulge in some crappy television

I am so looking forward to the weekend. We don't have any big plans and I'm hoping to enjoy some down time and get a few chores done. Hubby tells me I'll be driving the compactor tomorrow afternoon - another side benefit of his injured arm! - and then we'll be setting up the new water tanks. My boy has his first training session for footy season, my girl has swimming lessons, playdates are being organised and I have some baking to do. So, despite no big plans, it'll still be busy.

What are you up to for the weekend? Fun, boring, or duty?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I've Got Nothing

Posted by MANDI at 8:18 PM 4 comments
I am absolutely stuffed tonight. Work isn't letting up in the hectic stakes and my sweet hubby had another trailer-load of sand waiting to be shovelled when I got home tonight. Because he's hurt his arm he can't do very much and shovelling is a total no-go zone. I'd already done one trailer-load on Monday night but luckily I didn't end up having to do the whole lot tonight, just most of it! So I shovelled for 45 minutes and then, because I wasn't quite worn out enough I went for my evening walk. Almost 4 km's in just under 30 minutes. Yeah, I kinda rock.
Then I came home and cooked dinner, checked homework, listened to reading and wrangled kids into bed.
Now I'm about to do the dishes and if I'm still awake past 8.30 I think it will nothing short of miraculous!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Posted by MANDI at 8:03 PM 4 comments
What am I grateful for this week? YOU!

I'm so lucky to have such wonderful friends who read my blog. Who leave me lovely comments, are encouraging when I try new stuff and jump right on board when I ask them to 'like' the new facebook page I set up for the blog. Some of them are friends in real life, some are what Hubby calls my imaginary friends. In other words I haven't met them but I've come to know them through blogging or facebook or a myriad of other ways.

Thank you my lovelies! You're awesome and I love you all. Mwah xx

And if you haven't liked the page yet and you'd like to, here's the link!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Right Time, Right Place

Posted by MANDI at 2:09 PM 4 comments
I spent the morning being parent-helper in my girl's pre-primary (kindy in the rest of the country) classroom and ducked in to grab some groceries on the way home. I think we're gong to have to start rationing bananas - they're up to $9.98kg and I hear they're heading up towards the $18 mark. I'll still be buying them, after all I'd much rather the kids have a banana than a cookies or cake, but I'll also be directing the family towards the other fruit in the fridge too.

As I was trundling around fruit and veg section I found the 'cheap' rack and it was bursting with bargains. I picked up this bag of nectarines for $1.40. They're deliciously ripe and begging to be eaten -I'm thinking we'll have some for dessert tonight and I might dig out a Nectarine Cake recipe that I've had floating around for a while.

This bundle of vegies - an orange capsicum, green capsicum, a couple of squash, two sweet potatoes, 4 carrots, a turnip and a swede  - was also $1.49.

My girl takes a piece of fruit (or veg) to contribute to the share plates for morning tea each day at school and sometimes I really struggle to come up with something more interesting than an apple,orange or carrot. And with the previously mentioned rationing of bananas I'm not giving any of those babies away! These bargain buys should get us through the next few days very nicely indeed and provide a bit of variety on the share plate at the same time. Two birds, one stone. Awesome.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Baking

Posted by MANDI at 9:49 PM 3 comments
And cleaning, washing, moving bricks, yelling at kids, ironing and a bunch of other stuff!

I broke out my new cookbook and, as mentioned in yesterday's post, made some yummy muffins for the kids lunchboxes. These apple and cinnamon muffins are seriously delicious. So delicious that my girl announced that chocolate was no longer her favourite - these muffins are instead. High praise indeed!

Apple and Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins
from The Thrifty Kitchen by Suzanne Gibbs and Kate Gibbs

makes 12 (I got 18 nice sized muffins)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Granny Smith apples, cored
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180C and butter a 12-hole muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, beaten egg, milk and oil together. Finely chop one apple. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and stir in with the chopped apple until just combined (take care not to overmix). Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Slice the remaining apple and arrange on top of the muffins, bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden. (I didn't put the extra apple on top - I figured the kids would just pick it off and throw it away!).
3. Combine the caster sugar and remaining cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove muffins from oven and leave to stand in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar while still hot. Serve warm or at room temperature. (I didn't do the cinnamon-sugar thing - I didn't think they needed to be any sweeter and certainly didn't miss it from the end product. If you wanted to fancy them up it'd make them a bit prettier but I don't think you need it taste-wise.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Nice Little Bargain

Posted by MANDI at 3:17 PM 2 comments
We were wandering through the shops this morning, after swimming lessons, when I saw one of the little stores I quite like was closing down. And it was having a 40% off sale. I thought I might be able to find a few things that could be put away for birthday presents and the like later in the year. No luck there though I did find a gorgeous and HUGE clock that I absolutely loved but it wasn't in the right colours for our house (and I couldn't quite convince Hubby!). But I did find a cookbook I'd been after for a while. And with 40% bringing it down to just under $30 I thought it was worth a little Saturday morning splurge.

And these are what I'll be making for the lunchboxes this week. They look delicious.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cleaning House

Posted by MANDI at 8:12 PM 3 comments
Okay, I decided that I missed Red Dirt Mummy too much to give it up. So I spent hours, literally HOURS, this afternoon trying to resurrect the old RDM blogger site. I did give it a bit of a facelift and clean up but still had trouble with the actual posting - more trouble than it was worth. I made the decision to stick with this blog instead and have now spent more hours giving it a spruce up and I'm pretty darn happy with the result. I've bought all RDM blogger posts over to here. Still working on the Wordpress one but I fear I may have to just let them go.

I'm planning to be back posting regularly and I'll be attempting to lure all the old RDM readers across to here.

Now I have to go make a cup of tea and get ready to watch Grey's. See? Not much has changed after all!

I Am...

Posted by MANDI at 11:07 AM 1 comments
eating banana cake and enjoying every single mouthful. I'm thinking there's gonna have to be an extra 4km walk fitted in somewhere today!
I'm not falling off the wagon again. I've made a deliberate decision to enjoy a small piece of cake and then eat carefully and sensibly for the rest of the day. The old me would have scoffed two pieces of cake, felt sick, then gone back for more later.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Posted by MANDI at 7:25 AM 3 comments
Yesterday was hectic so I'm sneaking this in first thing Wednesday morning.

As I said, yesterday was hectic. Hectic. HECTIC! I worked back late and raced home to grab in washing and get dinner on thinking I'd have to sacrifice my walk to make a meeting at 7.30 that night. Instead I arrived home to kids playing nicely and a Hubby getting dinner sorted. I did grab the washing in then chucked on my sneakers and took off for my walk and got back to dinner being served. When we'd finished eating Hubby wrangled the kids into the shower while I showered and dressed for my meeting and then headed out leaving him to do the bedtime stuff.

So, today, I'm really glad to have a wonderful husband who steps up when I need him to. Especially one who steps up without me having to ask.

Thanks Honey. I love you. xx

Monday, March 7, 2011

Warning: Gratuitous Kitten Post

Posted by MANDI at 1:16 PM 2 comments
What is it about cats and comfy places to sleep? Spike is only 10 weeks old and he's already found the best place to nap.

Sadly for him the ironing pile is no longer there. It's all ironed and put away so he's had to settle for the couch instead. It's a hard life alright - sleeping, eating and no chores!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oh. Hello.

Posted by MANDI at 4:03 PM 2 comments
Sorry, it's been a while. I feel like I have lots I want to say but... time gets away and then I can't decide if I want to say it anymore and, truth be told, I miss Red Dirt Mummy way more than I thought I would. I'm still thinking about what to do about that.

In brief dot point,here's what's been happening:
- kids are both good. Badly behaved right this very second, but otherwise fine.
- I'm feeling very much over the whole motherhood gig right now. I need a babysitter and a couple of hours away from both the house and my offspring VERY badly. But it's not likely to happen anytime soon so I will just have to, as the saying goes, suck it up Princess!
- work is Flat Out. I hardly every manage a lunch break - lunch is snatched at my desk while I work furiously to get tasks done before yet more people arrive at my door with demands I can't meet. It's exhausting and my head spins the whole time I'm there. Sadly it means I think about work a whole lot more than I should when I'm not there too.
- Hubby has hurt his arm quite badly so, along with being a wee bit bad-tempered because of the pain, he is terribly frustrated by all the things he can't do. Not pretty.
- Further to that all work on the house has come to a grinding halt.
- The new kitty is growing nicely. He's cute and fluffy and purry and we're all slavishly devoted to him. I would however like if he would stop weeing on my bed. Yes, you read that right.
- We had a stompingly good storm earlier in the week. It was all rather exciting with massive rain, spectacular wind gusts, an amazing thunder storm and trees falling down all about the place. There was so much rain that the nearly-empty water tank filled up inside less than 30 minutes. It was all very exciting right up until the power stayed off for 30 odd hours and everything in the freezer partially defrosted resulting in it all needing to be thrown out. Also the kitchen ceiling at Mum's place cracked and partly caved in because of the amount of water that hit the roof and I had to deal with the housesitter and the insurance company in her "I'm on a lovely long holiday on the other side of the country and I won't be back till April" absence.  
- And partly because of the stress at work, the lack of power, dealing with Mum's place and a lack of attention to detail I completely fell off the healthy lifestyle wagon this week. Like, I'm lying in the muddy path having been run over by the wagon's wheels, kind of fell off. So I'm beating myself up about that and feeling crappy.

Sorry. This isn't a remotely sunny side up kind of post but I feel a whole heap better having just spewed all that out. So I guess it kind of served a purpose.

And to borrow a phrase from Kim at allconsuming... onward!


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