Thursday, December 29, 2011

Baby, me and a bug.

Yesterday morning I woke feeling queasy and unsettled in the stomach, yet put it down to a re-appearance of the morning sickness I have been experiencing for the last two months with this pregnancy. I attempted breakfast and rushed off to work, only to be met by more grumbles, gurgles, cramps and nausea. I lasted 3 hours at work before coming home and well to put it as pleasantly as possible...being very ill and bringing up all that I had tried to eat.

Luckily for me, not being a single mother any longer, I was able to spend the next 4-5 hours sleeping off my nausea whilst Nick and Stella played with blocks and drew crayon pictures. I can't imagine what I would have done if I was single and working, trying to juggle motherhood with working then throwing in the odd unexpected sickness. After plenty of sleep and very little food I am still feeling quite queasy but thank goodness the vomiting has stopped. I've come to the conclusion that baby#2 and I have caught a 24hr bug, but we'll push through it!

It's times like these (gruesome and unpleasant as they may be) that I think to the strength we parents possess on a daily basis. Day and and day out, we are caring for not only ourselves but for another, smaller human being. Sometimes even two, or three. We wipe little faces after bellies are full, scoff down some food quickly for ourselves then sing songs whilst changing nappies and clothes. After having experienced a year of single parenting, I cannot express how grateful I am to now have an extra pair of hands. The strength we possess as two parents rather than one on a daily basis is not doubled, but multiplied by the million. I now have a chance to catch up on lost sleep, spend an extra five minutes fixing my hair and even resort to an afternoon in bed when having come down with a bug.

Baby#2 and I are now sipping on hot soup and sucking on lemonade icy poles, I think we'll be feeling much better soon and we owe much of our thanks to Mr K.  
Partnered parenting is truly a blessing! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A word from the MIL.

I received these beautiful words folded into an envelope last week and have been waiting and waiting to share it with you. The power of family and the love and support that can result is a very valuable thing. Something I vow to appreciate forever.

The gift of family

"Call me old fashioned, but I do believe in 'the love of a lifetime', 'eternity' and 'one and only'.  I do because I live it. 

Perhaps I should introduce myself, I am the soon to be mother-in-law. Winter Loves MIL. However, I like to think of myself more as the Mum, the Grandma, the Confidant, the bubbachino maker and the "old girl" (At 48, I need to work on this one). 

Really, all I want for my children and their partners is to experience what I have been fortunate enough to experience for myself when it comes to the 'The gift of family'. You see, I live with the love of my life, Garry, and I am so very proud of the offspring and all that has come along since their arrival during the 80's. (tears in eyes). 

Most recently we observed Nick find that special someone and very quickly realised that this was the real deal and another happily ever after was looming. Although our time has been brief in the world of Nick and Nat, it has been warm and familiar...comforting really. Like the moments when you arrive home after holidays to see your pets or the family trinkets of your life right there, safely where you left them. Easy and relaxing like a good read of the newspapers on a Sunday morning. 

So imagine our reaction when they nervously, timidly, informed us after only three months together that our next grandchild was alive and kicking in Nats tiny belly. Shock? Dismay? trepidation? Actually it was quite the opposite. It was more a feeling of calm which settled over us, that Nick, with an action packed past, had found Nat, with an action packed past and together inadvertently they created a life together, while planning their life together. 

It sounds simple to me, but I have quickly realised that Gen Y have quite 'oldy worldy' opinions on such things. Hilarious really as I had always been led to believe that we baby boomers were the old fashioned generation. 

So, I explain it to others who look at me with eyes that say "Oh my god, are you serious?" quite simply like this; When a loved one dies; Your Mum, your Dad, a grandparent, sibling, close friend, as has been my unfortunate experience in life, a little light that keeps your soul ignited and warm dies right along with them. You are still the person you always have been but unexplainably different. When a grandchild comes along, as has also been my experience, a little light flickers and reignites inside bringing a joy and warmth that I can honestly say takes your breath away (tears in eyes, again). 

Nick and Nat are not only blessing this earth with a beautiful child, but they are now also responsible for another flicker of light warming my soul. And that is a beautiful gift, the gift of family."

With love, Mumma.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Care to share?

This weeks smile inducers...

* Not just another wedding blog, Elizabeth Anne Designs is a BEAUTIFUL wedding blog. I could sit and adore for hours and hours and hours. 

* Tattoo tumblrs really take my fancy for a light read when I cant sleep or need a rest. This is the newest one I have found; We call it art.

* This Etsy store sells the most intricate, delicate and lovely Mexican paper banners and flags. I found it via a wedding related search and have fallen in love with the chandelier banner.

* This was one of my Christmas gifts from Nick, I love it. It is so very fitting!

* I have finally joined Pinterest, I am still trying to navigate it, but cant wait to start pinning some seriously pretty things. Follow me, or look at my boards (when I create some) or whatever it is that you do on Pinterest!

Monday, December 26, 2011

From us to You.

Merry Christmas

I hope your day was full of quality time with family and friends. I hope you ate until you couldn't eat anymore, and laughed until you rolled on the floor. I hope your babies slept and your toddlers smiled.
From my family, to yours.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mr K's Shortbread: Recipe for Success

I welcome myself back to the blog to share with you the recipe used to create our Christmas shortbread in this post.

I find this to be the most simple, clean, cheap and of course, satisfying recipe I have yet to come across.



500g butter
500g plain flour
200g caster sugar
2-4 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat fan forced oven to 180 degrees (360 fahrenheit) & line oven tray(s) with baking paper.

2. Cream softened butter and sugar with clean hands in a large mixing bowl until a thick "paste is formed. 
(I find the softness of the butter to be a crucial part of a successful recipe. Too hard (refrigerated) and it will not have the ability to be creamed with the sugar creating a lumpy and uneven texture & too soft/melted which will create an unstable and unworkable liquid. I find the best method is to slice butter into 1-2cm pieces and rest on a chopping board while measuring the other ingredients.)

3.  As palates vary, fold in the desired amount of vanilla extract to suit your liking, until combined.

4. Add the flour (unsifted is fine) and fold into the mixture until combined and evenly distributed. A ball of dough should form in the bowl once this step is complete.

5. On a floured bench, knead the dough lightly before rolling. 

6. Using a rolling pin (or anything somewhat cylindrical) roll the dough to a 50mm thickness and trim the edges, creating a large square of dough.

7. As we decided to place small squares in jars, and after getting frustrated with a knife, I found it fast and easy (and overly enjoyable) to use a pizza cutter to cut the dough to the required size.

8. Once cut, pieces were placed on trays & trays & trays and placed into the oven. Oven heat was then reduced to 150-160 degrees (celcius) 302-360 (fahrenheit).

9. Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown. (I found some pieces towards the edges of trays were required to be pulled out early due to the airflow in the oven.)

10. EAT! EAT! EAT!

A fast and simple way to create a recipe for all the family to enjoy this festive season!

I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope this can bring lots of happiness and full bellies into your little corner of the world!

Until next time,

Mr. K

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Born for Boon.

Its no secret I love Boon! I've posted about my love for Boon here before, but haven't purchased anything else for quite some time. This week however, I am in love with my mail man.

I ordered some babylicious new Boon plates and bowls in an effort to break Stella's current food strike. What toddler wouldn't want to eat out of gorgeous colour combinations like 'grape and kiwi', 'cherry and berry' and 'raspberry and tangerine'. Not to mention they are BPA free, dishwasher safe and throw and drop proof. And they arrived this morning! It's easy to see why I get so excited about some baby gear.

So far our Boon collection included the suction catch bowl, the snack ball and the squirt spoons. But, we lacked anything suitable for an older toddler. So now we are the proud owners of the saucer plates and the interlocking plate and bowl set. I test-drove them tonight and low and behold... the food was eaten!

Not only is it exciting for Stella to eat from colourful and practical feeding gear, but its exciting for me to fill them up with colourful food!

And whats very dangerous? That I have just discovered a new range available in Boon. Oh look out mail man!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gift guide for little musicians.

Stella has become more and more intrigued with music. She will move and groove to any kind of tune that plays and strums Nicks guitar whilst singing a little tune. She really does have ryhthm! More recently we have started getting out the big keyboard for her to accompany Mr K on the keys. We can spend a whole afternoon playing the instruments, singing songs and having a dance. Its one of my favourite things to do as a family and I just adore seeing my little musical bunny enjoy herself so.

I've put together a quick gift guide for little musicians you may know this Christmas and in the process had some ideas for Stella myself.


* Jingle feet by Robot Holidays

*  Natural wooden zylophone by smiling tree toys.


*  Antique wooden childrens grand piano from Simply Chi.

*  Lullaby renditions of Christmas rock classics by Rockabye Baby

 * Musical Baby App for iPhone.

 * Baby's musical hands App for iPad.

Happy musical Christmas days! 

A moment.

 I'd like to take a moment to say Thankyou to everyone for their congratulations and warm well wishes. I am so grateful to have not only the support of friends and family, but the support from complete strangers. People whom I have never met, yet stumbled across in this blogosphere...other digital mamas and papas.

I am so excited to be sharing this journey with you and cant wait to bring weekly and monthly updates along with the exciting countdown to baby #2 gracing us.

Monday, December 19, 2011

An announcement

 The word on the street is...

...Is that we are having a baby! 

We are thrilled, excited, surprised, nervous, elated, clucky, content and proud.

Happiness to the Eye

I snapped these photos a while ago and have been meaning to share them for quite some time. It really is the little things that bring happiness to the eye around my home. Something as simple as a brightly coloured rose just blooming or some pretty new thrifted silverware,crystal and glass.

I like to use simple and vibrant colours around our home along with plenty of black and white. Anything that reflects light such as mirrors, silver and glass seems to brighten everything and allow the sun to dance in all directions.

Interior designers have long known that room decoration affects mood. What pretty things do you surround yourself with to induce a state of calm and happiness? Is it a certain smell you like to burn? A lamp you like to have lit? Or a colour you have in abundance? The psychological effect of  your home decor truly is amazing. Who would have thought that adding a colour or moving a vase could actually improve your mood!

A Christmas DIY

 With all the Christmas organisation going on around this house, it leaves a little extra time to let the mind wander to more interesting things. Things like creative projects and DIYS. What better a way to spend an evening than baking, crafting and creating with your loved ones? One night last week, Nick and I set to work making small Christmas gifts for our family and friends. We giggled and chatted whilst baking, taping and taste-tetsing!

Over time, I have quite the collection of glass baby food jars and wanted to put them to good use. We decided on a cute, packaged up jar of homemade Christmas shortbread. It was a small and simple gift that was low on cost and totally handmade.

I washed and scrubbed all the baby jars and dried them thoroughly. Then it was a matter of simply wrapping gold paper around the jar, taping, then adding a cut off doily tied with twine. I had cut out 'tag' shapes in card, written greetings on them and also attached these with some thread. Its as simple as that!

...Almost!  Nick, being the better chef out of the two of us, baked 25 small serves of shortbread. (He will share his recipe with us later on) We then placed around 7 pieces in each jar and covered with a small circle of cling-wrap. And there you have it! A Christmas DIY.
Baby jars + shortbread + gold paper = Sweet Christmas gifts.

Giving something handmade this Christmas has helped to quell my unease with the excess of materialism and consumerism surrounding us at this time of the year. Call me a party pooper, but I just cant help but think of how much wrapping paper, how many store-bought cards and how much packaging ends up in landfill come boxing day. I wander through the shops and see people bickering over prices and the quantity of products, I see tired, over-stimulated children nagging at their parents for the latest version of 'such and such' and the must-have brand of 'such and such'. It makes me feel deflated and if honest, quite nervous. I don't like thinking of incredible amounts of waste and flamboyance in purchasing. Don't get me wrong, I too enjoy giving. I get excited about the buzz that hits stores in the form of carols and decorations, but there is something about this excessive gift-giving that makes me incredibly uneasy. I think it partly comes from growing up in a household of not many "things". At times, money was stretched and material things were sacrificed, it bought me up with a conscientious mind of waste, want and need.

Giving handmade and using recycled resources makes me feel good, I often hold onto supplies and bits and bobs for this purpose entirely, so that I can re-use it to create and give. If you are creative minded and enjoy crafting, why not do the same this Christmas? Make your own decorations, create your own gifts. Buy less and give more, all it takes is a few resources and some time in 'the zone'.

Happy handmade Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Care to share?

I thought it was about time I shared with you some things I am "oooh-ing" and "aaaah-ing" over. There are so many inspiring creatives out there that I struggle to keep up to date with all the beauty!

* This sweet, sweet Tumblr belonging to a fellow digital mama. I love looking over her pretty vintage finds or glorious manicure designs. She is the definition of sweet, she lives and breathes it!

* I've really missed catching up on the readings of this wonder woman and her family. She raises two children, works, maintains a marriage and manages to do all whilst looking super glamorous. I finally caught up on a few months worth of posts whilst having a date with my couch yesterday afternoon.

* These dinner plates and tea-cups made me squeal over enthusiastically aloud. They are too-flippin-cute! Want, want, wantity want!

* Have you checked out Amanda Mocci illustrations yet? This is the artist that inspired my tattoo, she is one talented lady and all her illustrations inspire me. I think it is safe to say that my next tattoo may also be an Amanda Mocci masterpiece!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another year older

Apparently it was my birthday last week. If it wasn't for the efficiency of Facebook for reminding me of such things, I would not have remembered. Being so busy and pre-occupied with the life of being a mother, a partner and a worker...this year seemed to just roll around unexpectedly.

However, my Fiance Nick, made my day incredibly special from start to finish. It began with a sleep in and a cooked pancake breakfast special. I even woke to find a pretty doily birthday wish on the wall (doily announcements on the walls are becoming quite the tradition in this household!) We had lunch with my soon-to-be-in-laws and I was showered with lovely gifts. Then it was ice cream out of town and a relaxed family afternoon at home.

 These are some of the totally sweet gifts I recieved, along with an updated wardrobe and a long overdue trip to the hair salon. I am ever so lucky to have this little family bringing happiness into my life each and every day, that is my real gift. The gift of love and family.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for...

Stellas first ice cream. Watching her eat it was better than eating it myself. She held it like a seasoned ice-cream eater and gave herself a white creamy moustache. Although she didn't last long eating it, I think that perhaps, maybe, possibly... she enjoyed it. Just a little!

One of the many things I swore upon before giving birth to my child, was that he/she would only eat natural and organic food. I told myself that I would avoid giving processed food or food with additives and preservatives at all cost. In my head I seemed to have this vision of a perfectly well behaved child sitting at a table eating greens without even a hint of mess. This, was one of the many things that I like to call "Pre-baby delusion".

When reality started to become, well, real...many things changed. Not only was my child messy and fussy but I also found my own opinions and ideals changed. I went from being over-controlling and naive to being realistic and relaxed. Needless to say, my child does have the occasional sweet-treat or quick fix. But, as long as she is healthy and more often than not eating home cooked, preservative free, natural and fulfilling meals, then I too am happy. I'll let you in on a little secret... If you look in my handbag and find her lunchbox during a day out shopping and running errands, you will usually find some store bought crackers and a pre-packaged jar of Heinz fruit puree.

I don't think its a matter of lowering our standards as parents, but more about learning as we go along. Our ideals may change slightly, but our morals and values usually remain stable.

So after a going off on a very long tangent, my conclusion is; let them eat ice-cream. And let them smile whilst you eat one too!

Strength, Wisdom and Warfare

Remember me talking about a new tattoo in the planning stages that I was very excited about? Well, Its here and ready to be shared!

I found this Amanda Mocci piece on her website and immediately fell in love with it. The artwork depicts Athena; the goddess of strength, wisdom and warfare. Strength and Wisdom are two distinct attributes that I feel I have gained over the past two years. Through turbulent times of single parenting and separation along with filtering friendships and forming relationships. The beautiful picture represents perfectly to me, who I strive to be.

After two and half hours of magnificent work by a local tattoo artist, I now have this. And I couldn't be happier with it! I am hoping to return shortly for a colour session and a further touch up and fine-tune. I have chosen natural and earthy colours to shade through the wings of the owl and the windblown hair of the girl. I cant wait to share the final finished product with you!

Christmas is coming!

Tinsel and glitter mean Christmas and family, and this year couldn't be more perfect. Stella had her first tree adorning experience and we are playing 'DJ Santas' dance track on repeat. The shopping has been completed and the present lay prettily-wrapped under the tree. Being organised feels so...relaxing!

This year, I am looking forward to a memorable and joyful day with family friends. What about you? What do you have planned this year? Are you organised? Or still running the mad season rush?

'Tis the season to be jolly!