Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time For A Visit

Posted by MANDI at 9:32 PM 5 comments
From the Tooth Fairy!!

The other front tooth is kinda wobbly too and we're wondering if we might be singing a certain song about Christmas and the wanting of teeth in the next few weeks... (and yes, that's chocolate on her face. She spent the afternoon at a birthday party and came home all sugar-ed up and covered in chocolate).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Just Stuff

Posted by MANDI at 8:13 PM 6 comments
I had big plans to run the final competition today but instead have developed the head cold from hell. From Hell people! My poor head is so stuffed up - I can't hear, breathe through my nose, swallow without wincing and my normally nasal Aussie twang is decidedly more nasal.

So, I'll get back to you on when the comp will run. Probably the beginning of next week instead (I know lots of you check in at work and I want as many of you to have a chance as possible) - I'll give you some advance warning because this comp is going to be short, sweet, fast and furious. Well, that might be a bit optimistic but it'll only run for a couple of hours so you'll have to get in quick once it opens. Stay tuned!

Oh and the head cold? We can firmly blame that on the girl child who battled asthma attacks most of last week which left me with a severe sleep deficit which in turn left me quite run down and susceptible to the bugs and germs floating around at the moment. Bloody kids.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Posted by MANDI at 8:30 PM 4 comments
Yay! Hubby's been (re)appointed as to a permanent position in his job. He had permanency years ago, then I talked him into getting a different job and we moved up to Red Dirt Central, then back to Perth again, then he worked in industry for a couple of years and eventually went back to his old job. But without permanency. And finally, all these years later (and after me promising that I will never make him move house or apply for jobs on his behalf ever again) he has his permanency back. And is attached to one workplace. Like, forever. Woot Woot!

Enormous relief all round.

Except for the never moving house again bit.

But really, all super-duper goodliness!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menus and Easy Meals

Posted by MANDI at 7:40 PM 3 comments
I know it's been a while since I shared a menu plan with you all. I'm still planning away with the best of them but the plans haven't been particularly exciting of late. I can't, in all honesty, say that this week is any more exciting but we're having a few dishes that we all like so I thought I'd add in some links to meals I've posted before for you to re-visit. Tonight's dinner is below and this week I'm also planning on Herb and Mustard Barbecued Chicken, Chicken Master Blaster  and a BBQ with this delish looking Proscuitto and Pear Salad courtesy of Melody at biglittlesister.

Jodi asked me for some easy Christmas dish ideas so I threw together something for dinner that I think would be a nice addition to the Christmas table. It would also be a good 'using up the leftovers' kind of meal too. It was delicious, a little bit different from a regular salad and it was also dead simple. In the interests of full disclosure I will point out that, as I was wanting the offspring to eat dinner I used some yummy beef sausages rather than chorizo.

Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad with Chorizo

1 bag mixed lettuce leaves
3 medium potatoes, chopped in half then each half into 8 pieces
1 red onion, quartered
3 carrots, topped and tailed, peeled and sliced length ways
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 5cm (2 inch) squares
2 handfuls of green beans, topped and tailed
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
feta cheese
4 chorizo sausages

Preheat oven to 200C. Place potatoes in large roasting dish, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with alfoil and bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Remove potatoes from oven, add other vegetables (except tomatoes) to the roasting dish. Return to oven and cook, uncovered for a further 30 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook a further 20 minutes until vegetables are browned and tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While vegetables are cooling, place pine nuts and sunflower seeds in a dry frying pan and gently brown over medium heat for 5 or so minutes. Set browned seed mixture aside to cool.

Cook chorizo sausages. Drain the sausages on paper towel and then slice them up.

Empty the bag of lettuce leaves onto a large serving platter. Arrange roasted vegetables over the lettuce. Add sliced chorizo. Crumble feta over the top of the salad and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and sunflower seeds.

Friday, November 18, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Posted by MANDI at 6:25 PM 1 comments
My wee girl has helped me select a winner - very scientific methods again, this time involving numbers, eyes closed, selecting a slip of paper and announcing that number 4 was the winning number. And the person who left the fourth comment was....

Drum roll please...


Congrats to you Sue. I'm sure your boy will think his new baseball cleats are just wonderful and I'm equally sure the household budget will be pleased with them too.

And for the rest of you... stay tuned. All is not lost. I've got one more comp coming up - it's going to be fast and furious and it'll be happening next week. Stay tuned.

Counting Down

Posted by MANDI at 7:14 AM 3 comments
Happy Friday peeps! It's a gorgeous sunny morning her in the hills, I've been out for my walk and am raring to go. What are you up to today? Is it the final day of your working week? Day off to do something nice? Or just catching up on all the chores before the weekend hits? Either way, I hope you have a great day.

Just a quick reminder - we're in the final hours of the competition for the $100 Rebel Sports giftcard. Scroll down a bit to the Prize-a-palooza II post and leave a comment to enter. Simple. 

I'll be drawing the winner tonight and so far there are only 10 entries so the odds are pretty darn good. Good Luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not Quite

Posted by MANDI at 5:44 PM 5 comments
Offspring #2 has been bringing reading books home for a while now and her reading is coming along in leaps and bounds. She's got site words happening and is reading simple beginner books and, as the book-loving, English teaching mummy, I couldn't be more proud to see her growing and learning and loving it.

So today a new little book came home. The title is "Rhymes with Goat" and it's has a picture and a word for each page. Goat, coat, boat, etc. We sound it out - B - oat, boat. And then go onto the next one. We hit moat. M-oat. Moat. There was a picture of a castle with a moat and it was all looking good. So I asked her if she knew what a moat was.

"Yep. A 'mote control. You know, what you use to change the channel on the tv?"

Cue Hubby and I giggling and a quick explanation of castles, moats and their uses. She thinks the 'mote control is a much better idea.

PS Don't forget to enter my competition to win a $100 Rebel Sports gift voucher. Just scroll down a little till you reach the Prize-a-palooza II post, leave a comment and you'll be in the running. It closes tomorrow at 6pm so get a wriggle on.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNo is a no-no

Posted by MANDI at 8:28 PM 5 comments
Remember not so long ago when I got all crazy (okay, crazier!) and announced that I was giving NaNoWriMo 2011 a go? Well working on the plan that you write 50,000 words over the 30 days of November you're encouraged to aim for 1600 words each day. And at the end of the first week I had a grand total of zero words. Yep, zilch, zip, nada. Not a single word had made it onto paper and I totally beat myself up trying to work out how I could write 12,000 or so words in a way that helped the story I started last year (made it to 28,000 then) and made some sort of sense all inside a day or two. Then, finally, I had a brief moment of clarity and common sense and realised that, actually, I had a whole heap going on and I really, really didn't have the time, energy or will to take on one more thing. And the sense of relief was overwhelming. OVERWHELMING! And that helped me regain just the teensiest bit of sanity.

So I'm not doing NaNoWriMo 2011 after all. But I do love what I have written so far so I;m not pushing the writing idea entirely aside.

And I'm about to submit an enrolment application for a degree course for next year. And that's kinda crazy too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prize-a-palooza Part II

Posted by MANDI at 6:57 AM 17 comments
Yay, it's time for the second competition. Thanks once again to Mum's United and Soup for providing the prize and it's a doozy.

Up for grabs is a Rebel Sports gift card valued at $100. That's right, $100 to spend on whatever makes you happy at Rebel Sports. Need new shoes for netball? There you go. Need something to wear when you take up that class at your local gym? Here it is. Want some sports equipment for the kids? Well then you need this. And with the timing of this one I think it'd come in mighty handy for Christmas.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment. And it can be about anything at all - what you're doing today, what's for dinner tonight, what you did on the weekend, something strange or weird or wonderful that you've learned recently. Anything. Competition closes at 6pm (Perth time) on Friday 18th November.

Again, the winner will be chosen completely at random and you must be in Australia to be eligible. So get to commenting. And good luck!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Moments Like These

Posted by MANDI at 6:32 PM 10 comments
You know those little moments where the love of your life does something so extraordinarily sweet and chick-flick romantic movie-ish that your insides melt a little bit and you wonder what you did to deserve someone who loves you so much?

This is what Hubby served me for Sunday night easy-peasy, what can I find in the fridge/freezer, dinner.

Yes, I'm totally over-tired. But this make me smiley and teary and ridiculously happy all at the same time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday On My Mind

Posted by MANDI at 9:43 PM 2 comments
Wow, that was a busy day!

Offspring #2's class presented the school assembly today - soooooo cute. They were all dressed as dentists, teeth or tubes of toothpaste and sang a couple of songs about teeth and brushing. And to top it off #2 received an honour certificate. Very proud mummy moment there.

Then off to watch #1 competing at the interschool sports carnival. Not an altogether difficult task - sit in the shade of some lovely big gumtrees, surrounded by other mum friends from school, and spend a few hours chatting, catching up on the news and cheering for the kids.

Add in some cleaning, several loads of washing, a quick drink with a former boss visiting from interstate, home again in time for dinner and packing for a night away with the kids and I'm looking at the clock and wondering what happened to my day. The walk that started the day at 5.30am seems like a very, very long time ago.

Anyway, I'm off with the kids for a quick getaway so I'll be back early in the week with a new competition. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And The Winners Are...

Posted by MANDI at 8:43 PM 4 comments
In a very unscientific way I gathered together all of the entries

Crumpled them up and put them in a small bowl...

And picked out my three winners!

Huge congrats to RebeccaR, Andy Pandy and Jen. Please email me your details and I'll post your $50 ColesMyer vouchers off to you. Huge thanks to Mums United and Soup for providing the prizes.

And for those of you who missed out... watch this space, I've got a couple more competitions to run courtesy of Mums United and Soup and the next one will be going up next week!

Two Hours Left!

Posted by MANDI at 3:59 PM 1 comments
Quick, scroll down and leave a comment on the Prize-a-palooza post to be in the running to win a $50 gift card. There's only two hours left and, at the moment, I've only got about 7 valid entries. Go to it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Hero

Posted by MANDI at 8:33 PM 4 comments
Or Gratituesday, on a Monday!

Thank goodness Hubby borrowed my car when I got it from work today. And thank goodness it ended up with the tyre parked exactly how it was. And thank goodness he looked at the tyre and realised that it was split in four places (or almost all the way round) and, in his words, was 'set to blow'. So he drove home very, very carefully and promptly changed the tyre and loaded the old one into his car so he can get it replaced tomorrow. He said that he really didn't think I would have made the trip to and from work tomorrow without it blowing out, and because it was a front tyre it could have been pretty darn dangerous. But I don't have to worry about that anymore, because he fixed it. Like I said, my hero.

Don't forget to enter the first of my competitions sponsored by Mums United and Soup here. It's super easy, there are three prizes and it'll be drawn on Thursday so go do it, quick!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Posted by MANDI at 9:21 PM 12 comments
Remember me talking about October being the month for Mums United? And asking you all how you were planning to be a bit healthier and a bit more active in October? Well, thanks to the extremely kind people at Mums United the very lovely Dana at Soup has sent me some quite fabbo prizes to give to you my lovelies!

So what have I done to be more healthy and active in October?
I've gone back to taking my lunch to work - we have a lovely canteen/mess on site but I found I couldn't help but have just a tiny bit of the pasta salad/chocolate eclair/potato bake. So back to my ham and salad sandwiches and I feel a hundred times better for it.
I'm still walking in the mornings but haven't added anything extra. I have found an aqua-zumba class that sounds like awesome fun but I know I need someone to go with me to actually get me there.
I tried to get Hubby and the kids onto low fat milk and failed dismally. But I tried.
We also tried one of the low fat cheeses that Mums United recommended. Sadly no-one in my family liked it. Not even me. To be honest it tasted like cardboard. We do however like several other low fat cheeses so we'll be making the switch to them permanently.
I cooked a cake using margarine instead of butter. Ummm.... sorry, not gonna do that again.
We switched to margarine as our every day spread for three weeks. And then we switched back. There were several reasons but not least on the list was taste and the number of additives that, as a mum, really concerned me.

But for now.... on with the prizes!

 Trying new products that are healthy can be pretty expensive and I'm sure that, just like me, you're all struggling to keep the bills to a manageable level. To help out out in this area I've got three Coles Myer gift cards valued at $50 each to help you out with your grocery shopping. All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me why you'd like to win one of the gift cards. How easy is that?

So get to commenting and I'll get to choosing the winners. Please note that winners will  be selected completely randomly, you need to be in Australia to win and that entry will close at 6pm Perth time on Thursday 10th November.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grumping Along and Venting

Posted by MANDI at 8:37 PM 5 comments
I've had a shocker of a day so please forgive the whining and grumping that make up this post. It started with badly behaved children (my own) progressed to a spectacularly bad bout of ugly parenting (again, my own)and, with work in the middle, ended with me trying to help the boy-child with his homework. Which is actually the point of tonight's grumpy post.

Offspring #1 has a new teacher this term. Can't be helped, his regular teacher is unwell and they have someone filling in for her for the rest of the year. He's been given a book report to do that, to my mind, is more in line with what I'd expect of a year 8 class (he's in year 4). The part that really gets up my nose is that it was given as a 'completely at home, no time in class' task. Fine and all, but surely it would be a good idea for the teacher to know what book the kids are doing their report on. The fact that #1 has chosen a fairly lengthy, detailed novel that took five days to get through and now needs to talk about characterisation and themes with no assistance or checking on by the teacher has me seeing red. Back in my teaching days,when I assigned tasks like this I also set mini-due dates. For example: It's due in two weeks but by Tuesday you need to have notes on two characters and by Thursday I need to see your notes on the three themes in the story and by the following Monday... We also would have done extensive work on character, themes, etc before they had to do it on their own. You know, provide them with the scaffolding to let them actually succeed at the task they're doing.

To top it off, #1 was told he would be presenting his talk at the beginning of next week. We were working along to have him all done and dusted for that date. He arrived home today having a panic because now he's supposed to do it tomorrow and he hasn't finished all the work or practiced it. Ummm, not gonna happen. I've written letter to the teacher explaining that he will not be doing the talk tomorrow but will be ready to do it on the date he was assigned and that she should ring me if that's an issue. I think I've worded it fairly nicely but, to be honest, I don't actually care.

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