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Archive for May, 2011

I have had the dreadful flu that hubby brought home from work. It sneaks up on you and you wake up feeling like poo. A few cups of tea would make me feel better and I think by the time I go to bed I’ll be ok. Then when Baby C wakes for her early morning feed my throat is on fire again. This has been going on for 10 days. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

So I haven’t taken many photos of things lately. I’ve been far too lazy. However, I’ve still been pretty busy with the following:

Pureeing food for Baby C and freezing it in our ice cube trays (need to buy proper baby food containers)

We received a whole pumpkin from Aussie Farmers and (other than butternut) D and I are not big fans. So I pureed and Baby C loves the stuff! Here she is scoffing down a pumpkin and apple combo:

Yummy!

I’m also still mixing in ripe pears with pureed carrot or pumpkin.

Making soups

I received half a cabbage and haven’t really been eating that many potatoes. So when I saw this recipe for Cabbage, Potato and Bacon (realising I had lots of packets of bacon in the freezer) I felt I had hit pay dirt. I chucked all the ingredients (bar the parsley) in the slow cooker and it turned out alright. Just what we felt like with sore throats and chesty coughs.

I have also had two goes at chicken and vegetable soup in the slow cooker, both times using a left over baked chicken carcass. It’s a PITA fishing out the bones and the little vertebrae mostly just get spat out (classy) during consumption but otherwise this is a tops way to use what would normally be thrown away.

I have also been drinking bottomless cups of Nerada green tea and *gasp* cuppa soups but only Continental brand as Unilever are slightly less evil than Nestle.

Baking

Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies modified (of course) with walnuts instead of pecans, real butter because Nuttelex tastes like arse and I skipped the whole cocoa and water and just added more chocolate instead. I used Lindt white chocolate squares (with the soft centres) and Green and Blacks 70% cocoa Fair Trade block as that’s all I can really get in the supermarket.These turned out amazing and can only use caveman drool faces to describe how delicious they are.

I wanted to experiment more with the gluten free flour left over from the brownies. Had some macadamias floating about the cupboard and thought “cookies”! Annoyingly, you can only buy Nestle white chocolate chips at Coles so the White Chocolate and Macadamia biscuits I baked last night are evil. 😦 But delicious! I’m going to stock up on baking supplies at Darrell Lea when I’m next at Warringah Mall.

Anyway, took some photos last night of the biscuits:

A little over-browned but generally yum

I have had the time to take a few baby photos:

I love how relaxed Baby C is here - just chillin'

I found time to apply some nail polish:

Revlon Midnight Affair

I like dark colours when my nails are short. This needs three coats to look nice; two coats looked like I had painted my nails with blue Gatorade. Without flash:

My hands were so dry last week my knuckles felt grazed and crusty. I had to apply Apricot Oil on the flaky bits at night and hand cream a dozen times a day to fix it. Every time I washed my hands I applied hand cream and when you change 6+ nappies a day and use the toilet yourself that adds up.

Last night, I was sick of feeling sick and wanted to have a grown up night.

I expressed a bottle for Baby C and asked D to make some martinis. We had camembert, garlic bagel crisps and olive sourdough:

D used orange rind in the martinis which added a little something-something:

After these I cooked a rolled lamb roast with baked vegetables and garlic. It turned out so good and went fabulously with the Tamberlaine Cab Sauv hubby found at the local bottlo. The only thing was that Baby C decided she didn’t want to go to sleep. So we didn’t really get the grown up night I wanted.

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A rant about Coles

So I usually go to Coles once a week for a few bits and pieces, mostly cupboard foods. Since we started using Aussie Farmers we have reduced our spending at Coles or Woolworths by over $100 per week. Today I went in to purchase a few little treats as my bestie is coming for a visit on Thursday and I’ve been feeling pretty sick the last few days. After an active weekend, I spent yesterday in my trackies and uggs drinking tea and feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to make some fruit with jelly to cheer myself up and the all-natural Aeroplane jelly flavours were 97 cents each. But low and behold the tinned fruit section is monopolised by Coles brand products. Excluding all the one serve packaged stuff and the usual SPC pears and peaches, all the exotic tinned fruits are Coles brand. There are are few Admiral tins and Admona pie fruits but very little choice. You can no longer purchase Admiral lychees, strawberries or passionfruit pulp! So I didn’t buy anything! It’s going to get to the point where all you can buy is Coles brand everything and that’s when the prices will go sky high as they have eliminated the competition. Grrrrr! And most people won’t even notice what is happening until it’s too late.

So no lychees for me! 😦

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My little angel is teething! 😦 It’s made my life hell for the past two weeks. Just when we think they’ve settled down, we have another rough night with no sleep and a terrible day follows.

What’s worse is that she seems to be ok on the weekends. So we’ve been able to catch up with friends and family, which is great! But then it comes time for Mummy to get house stuff done during the week and suddenly there’s no need to nap more than 30 minutes during the day. Sigh!

Here’s a photo of Baby C all dressed up for brunch the day before Mother’s Day:

I'm 1000% cute!

We didn’t do much for Mother’s Day. Daddy was very helpful and did all the nappy-changing etc and I decided at 10pm that I was having a bath. I lit some candles added some bath salts and soaked and scrubbed my way to baby-smooth skin.

The washing worked out so this outfit came together a little too easily:

Mummy went cray-cray with the matchy-matchy

Maybe it was the lack of sleep but I thought putting the purple wondersuit over the purple singlet and nappy and then wrapping in purple muslin before reading from the purple bedtime story book was fun.

I found these in the supermarket the other day. Normally, I make my own soup (and I will eventually get around to it) but these are all natural and oh, so convenient for lunch when there’s no left-overs in the freezer:

LaZuppa soups

Despite the teething, Baby C has finally taken to eating solids. I’ve been microwaving fresh pears and mashing it up with Bellamys Organic Baby Rice. The Little Girl has been gobbling down almost a whole pear! And not just spitting it back out again either. It’s all very exciting!

On Saturday night, I went out for drinks for Miss M’s birthday. Miss Holly and her Englishman were there and I hung out some of with Miss M’s lovely work friends and their partners. We were upstairs at Garden Brasserie in the bar area. I ate dinner before I went out but Miss Holly and J kindly shared some olives, garlic prawns and buffalo mozzarella salad with me.

My Review skirt got an outing. I went the easy option with a black basic singlet, black opaques and black suede heels. But mixed it up with a little green:

Cropped out the mess since D doesn't know how to zoom

  • Alannah Hill cropped cardigan,
  • Supre thick strap singlet,
  • Review skirt,
  • Faith shoes,
  • Olga Berg bag.

I also indulged in not one but three cocktails. I tried the Pash N the Garden (Vodka, Elderflower, Green Apple, Passionfruit & fresh-pressed Lemon), a dry martini with Tanqueray gin and the Champagne Mojito. The cocktail bartender was excellent! When I ordered my martini he asked how dry I wanted it and got it spot on! The only downside with Garden Brasserie is that I think they need to invest in a Glassy. Seriously, $22 an hour on Saturday nights for some 18 year old school leaver is a lot cheaper than buying more glasses and generates a lot more good will than serving drinks in the wrong glass type. At one point, the excellent bartender was seen rushing about the bar stealing certain empty glasses from tables in order to serve more drinks. Meanwhile, the low tables in the lounge area were overflowing with glasses!

Sunday morning I got up early with Baby C as Daddy had been feeling unwell and needed a lie in after the late night on Saturday picking me up from Neutral Bay.

We were expecting my Dad and Grandma for lunch so I popped a Lilydale chicken in the oven at about 9.30am. After D woke up, I went out for fresh bread and large takeaway coffees.

Baby C and Grandad

The chicken turned out great! And we enjoyed sandwiches with salad and Grandma brought a tea cake for afters. Baby C was a perfect little angel and slept while we ate.

To round off the weekend, I started preparing the Best Vegetarian Lasagne for a visit from my dear friend E. Of course, the bechamel took no time at all because I was so prepared and D had to help with the stirring so it didn’t form a skin while I made the red sauce. Anyway, it worked out perfect and tasted great, if I do say so myself! E brought an amazing lemon tart with Gippsland Double Cream for dessert; decadent and delicious!

So despite a significant lack of sleep, it was a great weekend!

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A day in my shoes

Inspired by yesterday’s post on Sass & Spice I thought I would post about a typical week day with Baby C. We don’t really have a routine as such.

Anytime from 6.30am onwards is Daddy time. This means if Baby C stirs before 7.30am (when Daddy goes to work) it’s Daddy’s turn to get her up, change her and play until it’s time to go to work. I’m not a morning person so, while I’m normally awake and ‘snoozing’ during this time, this means I have chance to wake up in my own time and Daddy gets to see his daughter a bit before work.

If Daddy rides his bike to work, he leaves at 7.30am (otherwise he leaves at 8am) and Baby C is put in bed with me for breakfast and a cuddle.

I’m usually up by 8am and have a glass of orange and mango juice with my porridge. Baby C will play on her mat and roll over onto her tummy.

Depending on when she first woke, Baby C is usually getting tired by 8.30am. We cuddle and read a story. Then she is wrapped and put in her cot with a white noise app. playing on Daddy’s old iPhone and I walk away.

Once she’s asleep I close her bedroom door and have a shower, get dressed, blow dry/straighten my hair and maybe a little mineral make up powder and mascara. I also put a load of washing on or hang one out or pop towels in the dryer. I have to get all the washing done by 2pm when the peak electricity period starts. I might also boil some eggs for lunch and eat a muesli bar.

Baby C is usually awake again by 9.30 / 10am. This is when I have been giving baby rice cereal mixed with pears and boiling water. After a new nappy and clothes we go out for coffee. Sometimes this is just to Favourite Things nearby otherwise we take the pram and pick up a few groceries. In which case, we go to Coffee Guru at Dee Why Grand.

I eat lunch when Baby C sleeps around midday. I will usually start dinner in the slow cooker at this time too. Otherwise, I will take photos and blog, surf the net or watch TV shows that D hates like Gossip Girl. I usually like to watch Glee with Baby C as she loves the music and when I sing along like the Gleek that I am. 🙂

After the lunchtime nap, we might go for a walk in the pram if we didn’t go out in the morning. If it’s raining we might play noisy games with singing and dancing and the activity mat. I have been helping Baby C to learn to sit by gently pulling her into a sitting position and showing her how to balance upright with me ready to catch her when she falls left or right or back. To wind down again we have kisses and cuddles and read a story.

Depending on how long and how late the afternoon nap goes, Baby C might have a late afternoon nap before Daddy gets home at 6 or 6.30pm. Then it’s bath time! We have a very deep bath with a glass shower screen so while Baby C is little either I or D will get in the bath with her and the other will set out her clothes. After the bath, Daddy has quiet time with Baby C with a story and cuddles and bedtime. This is when I make dinner or finish off anything to go with whatever is in the crockpot.

We’re usually eating dinner by 7pm and might get an episode of something in before Baby C wakes up for her feed. Once she’s topped up, Baby C will usually sleep until midnight.

Some nights I will dream feed at Mummy and Daddy’s bedtime, other nights I’m awake until midnight anyway. On a good night, Baby C might sleep from midnight until 7am. Other nights she might feed at 10pm and sleep til 3am. Most of the time she feeds once after bed time, and midnight, 3am and 6am. I will always get up during the night as I’m not working and I’m breastfeeding anyway. I’m pretty good at going back to sleep now. The 6am is the hardest but sometimes she sleeps from 3am to 7am, that’s nice too! If we have a few restless nights in a row I feel tired but most of the time I can get through the day with one coffee and my vitamins.

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On Wednesday I met D for lunch at Navigator Warringah Mall. I ate the Prawn and Avocado Caesar Salad again. It is the largest salad you have ever seen. You get a dozen char-grilled Tiger prawns and half an avocado on top of a Caesar salad with the works; bacon, home-made croutons, anchovies, a boiled egg, parmesan, bite-sized chunks of cos lettuce and a delicious home-made dressing. I can’t finish it! I’ve tried and failed twice now. Even D couldn’t help me as he barely finished his lasagne. And we were both still completely full at 7pm that night! This is even more surprising if you know how much shopping I did and D rides his bike to work and back every day. Astonishing!

Luckily, I dressed in loose, comfy clothing:

  • Portmans shrug
  • Asos maternity shirt (I’ve finally caved and the non-maternity version is in the post)
  • H&M tights
  • Pulp shoes
  • Necklace is from a gorgeous gift shop in Singapore Airport – Madame Butterfly
  • Thomas Sabo bracelet
  • Usual rings

I also did an excellent job on my eye make up:

Unforgiving natural light

  • Highlighter – Revlon Vintage Lace
  • MAC All that glitters
  • MAC Star Violet in the crease
  • MAC Violet Underground Eye Kohl
  • Diorshow Mascara

I didn’t really dress appropriately for clothes shopping. All those buttons are so infuriating to undo and do back up half a dozen times in one day! I started at Big W looking for bits and pieces for the Little Girl. I really understand why I never go to Big W. The place was a bomb! And they always, always have a Wendy’s or Donut King out the front. So not only does it stink of grease, you have to wade through a sea of fat people just to get inside!

I left in a huff and went into Best & Less. Now this store is under-rated. I always buy some great basics when I’m there. I picked up some more underwear for myself as the last few pairs I bought are still going great guns. I also found two lovely sleepsuits for Baby C. I could have bought several but I limited myself to one white and one pink. They both made from two very different poly/cotton blends. The white one is a fine velour type texture and the pink is a soft fleece. They are far superiour to the itchy polyester sleepsuits from Target. Babies need cotton, I don’t understand why you would even make children’s clothing in polyester! Poor little things.

I did eventually make my way to Target and picked up a gift for D’s sister and a great sheet set for Baby C. It’s a high quality cotton set and it’s a lot larger than the Kids Line Olivia sheets set we have already.

I went into DJs and upstairs to look at flat ballet shoes for myself. However, I was waylaid but the lovely new babywear section and picked up two pairs of tights (pink and white again) and a cute pink and white striped hat.

This is the stash of things for Baby C minus the sheets which are already on the cot:

Click image to see more detail

  • 2 x Baby Biz from Best & Less sleepsuits
  • Max & Tilly beanie
  • Red Robin white tights with broderie anglaise bum ruffles
  • Pink hearts tights

Forgetting to look at shoes, I left DJs via the exit next to Review. I thought I would be safe to just have a quick look. Unfortunately, it’s never safe to ‘just look’ in Review. The SA is very good at her job and I walked away with this stunning skirt:

Review Luella Skirt

The light doesn’t really show the true colour so here is the photo from the website:

To qualify for the promotion, I also purchased a black wrap knit cardigan to wear with the skirt. This outfit was intended for a wedding we are going to next month but it will probably have to do double duty for another wedding in October. In my defense, it’s very hard to find appropriate wedding attire when you are breast-feeding.

I decided that the skirt needs an outing and my friend’s birthday drinks is at a cocktail bar in Neutral Bay next weekend. While Baby C was occupied with ABC2 today (I’m a bad mother, I know) I was playing around with different outfits.

Outfit 1

I was surprised about how much I like the green bag. I’m not sure about the shoes, they’re not quite the right colour and together they might be a little OTT.

Outfit 2

What do you think? Green bag with the blush pink Nine West shoes (rather than the dazzling Zu shoes)?

Tucked in?

Or a different shirt altogether?

I have a black thick strap singlet top but thought that was too boring and predictable. At first, I didn’t like how Review styled it with a cream knit top but it is growing on me. Maybe a blush pink knit. I think blush pink makes the fuchsia look even more vibrant.

I think it would look also great with this top:

But then I would definitely need blue shoes. Specifically, these prohibitively expensive Louboutins or slightly more reasonable Manolos:

Christian Louboutin No Prive Riche Manolo Blahnik Campy

And that might send D into apoplexy.

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Red Portmans cropped cardi, H&M white t-shirt, Sportsgirl jeans, Wittner shoes

Itti Bitti Tutto modern cloth nappies - cute yes?

Itti Bitti Tutto modern cloth nappies - cute yes?

Inside of the nappy - buildable absorption means these dry fast

Inside of the nappy - buildable absorption means these dry fast

Portmans shrug, Portmans long-sleeved T, Sportsgirl jeans, Pulp shoes

Easter Sunday Breakfast

We had guests for dinner on ANZAC Day so Easter Sunday was spent in Mass Tidying Expedition Mach 1.

Baby C finally has her room completely cleared of Mummy's and Daddy's junk

I even cleaned up my cupboard a bit:

A tidy jewelry shelf for once

Meat skewers don’t look this pretty when they’re raw.

Haloumi and vegetable skewers ready for the BBQ

Didn’t get a chance to photograph the cooked versions as I was occupying a certain Baby who shall remain nameless, because she didn’t want to miss any of the action by going to bed. Also, everyone gobbled them down quick smart.

Before we fired up the BBQ, I served a trio of dips with green beans (which are hugely popular), carrot sticks, black olive sour dough and flat bread.

Bread and dips and crudites ready for eating

The dips were baba ganoush (eggplant dip people!), red capsicum hommus and a feta and spinach dip with rocket substituted for the spinach as there was none to be had anywhere. The Greeks bought it all up in bulk for Easter Spanakopita, well that’s my theory anyway.

On the Tuesday public holiday we introduced Baby C to the world of spoons and bowls:

Baby C was not well impressed

Wednesday I headed out for a coffee and a few bits and pieces to make these Macadamia, white chocolate and raspberry muffins.

Portmans shrug, black longline long-sleeve T, H&M black tights, Pulp shoes

This is what SR flour, caster sugar, macadamia oil, white choc bits, frozen raspberries, macadamia nuts, buttermilk and one egg looks like before they become muffins:

Gather round ingredients we are making muffins

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients

Oven time!

Muffin mountains

I made a soothing Thai Green Curry with kingfish; it was yum!

Thai Green Fish curry

That’s it for now!

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