Monday, August 3, 2015

I do love a good salad

'They' say that breastfeeding helps you lose weight but sadly, that's never been my experience. Although I always lose weight during pregnancy (35kg with my first pregnancy and 15kg with each of the next two), I maintain or gain during breastfeeding. I have to assume it's partly due to spending so many hours (many, MANY hours) sitting down feeding and partly due to forgetting to eat until I'm starving and then reaching for whatever is quick and easy, which usually means processed and unhealthy. 

Of course, it's not just a matter of maintaining my shape (which is round. Definitely round, lol). I am my baby's sole source of nutrition so it's important that I'm getting enough nutritious food to be able to pass on the good stuff to him. 

So okay, I've eaten a ridiculous number of muesli bars from the kids 'school snack' box in the pantry and okay, I ate a teaspoonful of Nutella last week (we had run out of bread. As if that excuses it, haha. But I swear it was the best thing I've ever eaten). But I've also been making a huge effort to eat my fruit and veg. About two-thirds of my fridge contents are salad ingredients, mainly pre-prepped so I can throw together a salad quickly. 

And I've been making fruit platters for after school when the kids are starving. Chopped fruit seems to get eaten more readily than whole fruit- that applies to adults as well as children! 

Here are a few snaps of some of the things I've eaten this week (not including the muesli bars and Nutella binges, lol) 





Monday, July 27, 2015

Perfect choc chip cookie recipe


There's nothing quite like a hot cup of tea on a cold winter's evening. Except maybe a hot cup of tea with a bicky on the side. Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside; these chocolate chip cookies are perfect. 


Ingredients:  
0.5 cup salted butter 
0.5 cup brown sugar
0.5 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla essence
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup choc chips 
(All half-cup ingredients are equivalent to 125 grams) 



Method:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 celcius (160 fan-forced) and grease a baking tray or line it with baking paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a bowl mix the softened butter (I mixed over a sink of warm water as it was particularly cold in our house) with the sugars, egg and vanilla essence. 

3. Stir in the flour (you may find it easier to use your hands towards the end). And then mix in the choc chips. 

4. Roll small balls of the mixture (bouncy ball size) and place on the baking tray. 

5. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 10-15mins (biscuits will still be soft). Cool on the tray for a minute then transfer to a cooling rack (I pick them up with an egg slice)


I honestly have no idea how long these will keep for. Mine always get eaten before they get a chance to go stale. Full batch is approx 4000kcal and will yield 20-40 cookies, depending on size of cookies. 

So not an every day food but a delicious and fool-proof recipe for when you feel like something yummy! 

Enjoy xx 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Don't be afraid of 'hard'

I'm incredibly lucky to have a job where I work from home, with many tasks carried out over the phone or internet, although this means that I never actually see a lot of the people who I regularly deal with. Because of this, some people were not aware that I was pregnant until recently and some were not even aware I'd had a baby.  In fact, one lady only found out this afternoon so there may still be people who don't realise. 

The general reaction has been a sort of politely bemused horror. 

I was induced on Friday the 26th June and I worked until a little past 5pm that evening and then went into hospital at 8pm, as booked.

I responded to two calls on the Saturday and let the rest go to voicemail. Our little boy was born on the Sunday morning, I went home Sunday afternoon and napped that evening while my husband sent out the schedule. We don't send out a schedule Monday night but the next schedule, the one on Tuesday night, I did myself. 

I basically took one day off work. 

Is that because my husband is selfish or lazy? Not at all! He was (and is) willing to do whatever he can to help me during these early newborn days. But he knows what I'm like when I have made up my mind on something. Anyone who stands between me and my goals will be annihilated, lol!


He has helped in lots of other ways- school runs, grocery shopping, cooking.  But I like things done a certain way; it's much easier to do them myself. Besides which, 'wahm' is part of my self-identity. I don't see why two things which are important parts of my life can't co-exist. 

And I guess that's the answer to when people keep saying "I don't know how you do it!". I've never expected it *not* to work out and so I just do it! Sure, I guess it can look hard, when I have an invoicing deadline but can only type with one hand because I'm feeding a hungry baby who never seems to be full! But if I stopped and thought about how hard it could be, I'd be wasting valuable time and letting myself be defeated before I'd even begun. 

The fact is, hard does not mean impossible. Hard means it takes effort and so it must be something important, something you really want. Frankly, life is too short to waste time on the unimportant stuff. 

So work hard,
Play hard, 
Make the important stuff happen and enjoy the life you've created for yourself xx 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Struggletown

Life with a newborn can be challenging, between the sleep deprivation, the constant feeding/changing/holding and the shift in family dynamics. 

I have to say, though, I think we've handled it all pretty well. Hubby hired a temporary replacement for himself at work so he's been here to help out and the girls have been on school holidays so although there have still been work tasks and employees to meet at 7:30 each morning, our days have been fairly relaxed and unstructured. 

But then there was Monday. 

I came down with a cough and laryngitis Sunday evening so I was feeling rotten. Baby N decided to give up his 4hr sleeps. One of the guys didn't turn up for work and had his phone turned off so at 7:35am hubby had to throw on his work shirt and go to work. It was the girls first day back at school, so I had to get them ready and do school drop off on my own. And then the washing machine broke!!! With most of baby N's size 0000 clothes inside!! Argh! 

Somehow we managed the school drop off and then I got to use a laundromat for the first time in eleventy billion years. 



It's actually quite charming in its own way, don't you think? 

By some miracle I actually had the right quantity and denomination of coins! Hurrah! And the laundromat supplies the washing powder. So it really wasn't so bad. 

Sadly I haven't been able to fix my washing machine, which is older than my children, so now I get to spend my hard-earned cash on a new machine. And Baby N is still relishing cat naps. And constant feeding. But if we can get through this week, we can easily get through the weeks ahead, right? 

Right!! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Welcome baby N!

Our gorgeous little boy arrived in the early hours of Sunday 28th June. 


This is him at 2 days old, cuddled up to my finger while we napped together. 

He had his check-up with the child health nurse today and has gained 330gms and almost 3cm in length in the last 11days. Wow! 

He's settling in really well and everyone is besotted! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pregnancy app: Glow Nurture

This is my third pregnancy (yep, still pregnant) and I tend to have fairly easy, comfortable pregnancies so I didn't rush out and buy or borrow any books this time. In fact, I forgot to pull out the baby books I already own until three days ago! But one thing that I *have* used to help me through this pregnancy is the Glow Nurture app and I can't recommend it enough. It's free on the Apple App Store and is so comprehensive. 



You fill out your profile and the app creates a bunch of articles, reminders and to-do lists for you daily. 



You can track your health info (weight, blood pressure etc), add reminders for appointments, create a time-lapse photo slideshow, chat to other expectant mothers on the forums and get a daily update of your baby's age, size and length. 



None of it feels like a chore and you can skip over whatever you don't feel like using. For example there's a daily log that  asks you about your weight, pregnancy symptoms etc so that you can refer to it during antenatal appointments. I started out filling this in but then decided not to, since I'm generally pretty comfortable in pregnancy and don't have any aches or quirks to record. 



I prefer to use the app to remember how far along I am (brain like a sieve), to see bub's approx size and to check out the articles which are updated relative to your gestation (there's different ones relating to your body at X weeks, baby at X weeks and reminders for X weeks) 



Glow also has an ovulation tracker but no app for after birth, like 'what to expect' and other pregnancy app developers, which is a real shame. I'd be quite interested in trying out an eat/sleep/change type app and/or one recording baby's weight and growth and I think that the people at Glow have a good grasp on what makes an app useful and user-friendly. Still, it has been very helpful for during pregnancy and I'm sure the old hair-lackey-on-the-wrist still works well for tracking breastfeeding, haha! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

40wks

Well, today is my due date. 


Definitely no sign of baby! I'm quite certain I'll need to be induced like I was with my other two. 

I decided today was as good a day as any to finally pack my hospital bag and put the baby seat into the car. Job ad goes up tomorrow to find someone to replace hubby so he can replace me from the 24th or 25th. Yep, I'm working until 41wks, oh the glamour of the work-at-home lifestyle ;o) 



I'm feeling really good though. No aches and pains, don't feel uncomfortably large. I had a weird, emotional day yesterday, the only one I've really had all pregnancy. I sent hubby a text while he was at work, warning him that I was hormonal and emotional and that even if he didn't like what I cooked for dinner, he had better pretend it was great! lol. It was vegetable casserole with cheesy dumplings and he either really liked it, or really pretended well. 

It's so exciting to think that within the next week and a half our newest family member will be here! 

xx 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

30 weeks

I did a little disappearing act for a while there!! 

I had the best intentions of running the 'my week' linky regularly and blogging regularly but then life threw me a curve ball. 

For almost the past 12 months I've been plagued by unexplained health issues. They only occurred periodically but without any warning so the time between episodes was spent worrying about the next episode. And what it all meant. 

It grew worse and I became convinced I had ovarian cancer. My doctor had a range of possible causes and for basically all of them, the treatment required me becoming infertile. We had always planned on having another child this year (with our youngest starting fulltime school) so that was an idea that needed some getting used to. Actually, it was pretty devastating.

Of course, suspicions are nothing, we needed answers so my doctor referred me to a major women's specialist hospital here for scans and assessment. Unfortunately it's a busy hospital and the earliest appointment I could get was eight weeks away. Eight weeks. May as well have been a lifetime. I felt so helpless and cried myself to sleep in my husband's arms more than once. 

Well, I had the scans and my guess wasn't far off. They're not cancerous but I do have plum-sized benign tumours on each of my ovaries. I'll have surgery on them later this year. 

But first, I need to meet someone special: 


Yup, hidden by all the other stuff going on was this little guy. Miraculously unaffected and perfectly healthy. I can't begin to describe how lucky I feel. So the last few months have been spent getting my head around everything and then preparing for his arrival. Because a lot of my symptoms are still unexplained, and because of the tumours, I have to have scans every few weeks on top of my normal antenatal appointments. I grabbed my Kikki-K planner the other day to start putting them all in, and I realised the bookmark was still on the date of my big scan- February 19th. 

So that's my big news. I'll leave you with some pics of my 30wk bump: 


Laura xx

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Week 4/52

Welcome to my first "My Week" link-up party!

Confession: after umm-ing and ahh-ing I finally bought my planner inserts less than two weeks ago so that's why there wasn't a post for week 1,2 or 3. 

To join in, you just need to blog about the week that was. This link-up is designed to highlight your planner or project life layouts but even if you just blog about your week with text or photos, you're welcome to join in. Once you have finished your blog post, add it to the link-up list below. The link-up list will be open for new additions for a week (I may change that for future posts) and if you think you won't get your photos printed and complete your Project Life layout in that time, you could mock up your layout in the Project Life app.

Please spend some time visiting other blogs that have linked. If you want to find previous "my week" linkups you can use the "my week linkup" tag/label. And I would love it if you could add the "my week" button to your blog sidebar or in your post so that other people can find us and join in.

Okay, let's get started, shall we?


This week was pretty slow, we're soaking up everything that we can from these last few weeks of school holidays. There were a few things that needed to be done, like getting a tail-lift on one of the trucks serviced and getting an important invoice finished and dropped off, but mostly I'm happy to tackle the big but not time-critical tasks once school goes back. 

I'm using the Kikki-K medium time planner inserts and... I don't really like them. It's hard to see in this pic but they're on quite strongly coloured paper and that makes decorating harder. This week I just threw a strip of discount-store washi across the bottom. 

Some of the more memorable moments from our week. I'm using the 'honey' kit (which was the first Project Life core kit I bought) and I mocked it up in the Project life app.

I look forward to seeing your posts!

Laura xx

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Welcome to 2015

A very belated Happy New Year to you all!

As always, December was a CRAZY month at work- everyone tries to get all of their stock out before the end of year but customers keep changing their minds about availability because Christmas-related events keep cropping up. Consequently bookings get added and cancelled and added and amended and I have to try and keep track of it all. On top of that we had the girls' first dance concert, some health issues for me, work christmas functions (both hosting and attending),family Christmas functions (both hosting and attending), one employee move overseas so the whole process of recruiting new staff, the usual school end-of-year things, several birthday parties and then school holidays.

Phew!

We were lucky enough to get a few days off in a row over Christmas and then a few more later on January so after the busyness of December and with my health issues, we decided to take it easy. It was really, really hot here in Perth this summer so along with beach trips and pool trips, there was lots of time spent under the airconditioner playing lego.

Some 'treasures' the girls found for me at the beach
January started with a party at our house, then the girls had a week of swimming lessons. We went on an Ikea trip and bought some frames and hooks and other things it has been too hot to bother putting up.

I'm back into the swing of things at work (although my office looks like a bomb went off) and we're mostly set for back-to-school supplies.

I feel like I can stop and breathe again! lol

I have a few plans for the blog this year, including an update to a weekly series which will kick off on Australia Day (January 26th). Like usual, every Monday I'll post "my week" in the form of a look at my planner from the week just ended. But now it will be a linky so you can all share your week in planner or Project Life form! So I hope you'll check back on Monday and join in. I'll post reminders on social media too, just in case anyone forgets.

I'm also looking at a little cosmetic update for the blog. So don't be alarmed if you see a few changes.

Well, that's it from me for today.

Laura xx

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What I read: November


"cookbook" by Matt Preston
This was a birthday present from my husband because he knows how much I love cookbooks. I don't know if it's weird or normal, but I will read cookbooks from cover to cover in bed at night. I haven't made anything from this book yet but there's a recipe that includes caramelised white chocolate that has blown my mind. I've bought the white chocolate already, I'm just waiting for the opportunity to slow oven-bake it and try it out for myself! In fact, that's probably how I'll use this book- pulling elements and pieces of inspiration- trying techniques and flavour combinations- but I can't see me making many of the recipes exactly as described. But that's what I like about it. There are lots of salads, lots of tips and shortcuts, lots of new ideas. If only they could have left out the innuendo and "my ancestor who looks like me wrote a cookbook" injokes it could have been almost perfect.




"I am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai
I bought this book with a giftcard I received for my birthday. Like many people, I've been fascinated and inspired by Malala for a while so this is a book I've looked forward to reading. It mainly concentrates on the political situation leading up to Malala's shooting rather than the changes to her life afterwards. The thing I found quite surprising (although I don't know why) is that Malala is a very normal girl. Although one of the top students in her class at home, she is very average compared to her new British school peers and like all teenagers, there's quite a bit of normal self-centredness that shows through. Not that these are a slight against her, I simply it to show that despite the calm and sophisticated Malala we see in the media, this happened to a normal, vulnerable girl which makes it all the more heartbreaking.




Monday, November 17, 2014

My week 46/52

This week saw me knocked down for the count with some kind of virus. My joints ached, my eyes felt hot and dry and my energy levels were somewhere around minus fifty. I managed to get quite a few things done but not without several attempts and a LOT of effort. Seriously, most of them were simple sitting-in-front-of-the-computer tasks but the effort required to move from the loungeroom or bedroom or kitchen to the office was Herculean! 


There were a few other notable events this week- my youngest daughter had her first ever news day at school. Our school places a lot of value in public speaking so from Pre-primary onwards the students take part in speech contests. My eldest had just delivered her speech and so my youngest decided to write her own speech. It was an A4 page covered in lines and lines of writing- mostly the letters 'a' 'b' and 'm' but grouped to look like words. She was very proud of it so then she was very excited when she discovered the next day that she would really get to talk in front of her kindy class (although she won't make a speech until next year). 


This week I just used some cheap "deco tape" brand faux washi tape with a toadstool design. It is really cute though and the colours are really bright and rich. I mainly used a BIC 4-colour pen for writing because: virus. I'm still in my Kikki-K and I'm not sure if I'll switch back to a filofax for next year or not, or maybe I'll split into two planners next year- personal and work.