4 Jul 2017

CHICKEN PARM MEATBALL SKILLET


Its that time of year again where you look for and crave comfort food. Not only does the consuming of such foods warm the body and the soul, but they also warm up every nook and cranny of  the coldest of homes as they bubble away on the stove.

Feeding a large family brings with it all sorts of problems. With everyone having an array of different tastes, it can be hard to please everyone, every night.
One meal that does get the thumbs up and mouths watering when I dish it up is Julie Goodwin's recipe for Chicken Parma. Easy and delicious, this recipe puts the local pub Parma to shame. Try it for yourself, I dare you to disagree.

So while scrolling through Pinterest the other night I came across a meal that I just knew would be enjoyed by everyone at our dinner table, I just had to give it a whirl.


CHICKEN PARM MEATBALL SKILLET




500 grams chicken mince
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 large egg
salt & pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
800 gram can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Extra Parmesan & parsley for garnishing
Crusty bread & pasta to serve.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 

Make Meatballs - In a large bowl, combine chicken mince, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, half the garlic, egg and season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined, then form into meatballs.

In a large oven proof skillet, heat half of the oil over a medium heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining oil to the skillet and saute the remaining garlic until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and stir until combined.

Bring to a low simmer and then return the meatballs to the sauce, simmering for a further 10 minutes.

Top with mozzarella and bake until cheese has melted and chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with remaining Parmesan and parsley, serve and enjoy.


This dish was such a hit that it will be on high rotation in our home during the Winter months. All plates were licked cleaned at the end of the meal proving that once again Chicken Parma can warm you up even on the chilliest of Winter evenings.

Enjoy 

beck xx

* You can find the original recipe on this website HERE


Linking up for IBOT



3 Jul 2017

JUNE - Health and Fitness Update


Updating my health and fitness each month is about making myself accountable. Not every month this year has been smooth sailing, but writing it all here is making me asses each month, making me aware of the things that I need to improve, and those that are now coming second nature to me. 

Thankfully Junes monthly challenge was an easy one for me. I love stuffing myself with fresh fruits and veggies. I always have, so I know that I do get a good intake of fruit and veg for my health.

Fitness wise. I need to kick it up a notch, to find the time and also put in the effort. I know that I have become lazy where deliberate exercise is concerned. Not good I know.
Can you believe that at one time I attended the gym six days a week without fail. 

Drinking water has become second nature. At one time I would go days without drinking a glass of water. I just didn't enjoy it. Now it has become my main liquid intake, and its one habit that I am happy to have succeeded in. 

Next month it is all about downsizing my portions. 
A few years ago okay make that four years ago I lost a lot of weight. Downsizing my portions was a big factor in my success. Back then I purchased a smaller sized dinner plate to serve my meals on and so I will be pulling it out from the back of the cupboard to use again. 

Please don't ask me why I didn't continue using said plate. Plain and simple, I thought that I had won the battle and would not return to my miserable self again. 
Guess what...
I did and that is just life !

I hope that your fitness goals for 2017 are going well for you, and that you are enjoying the changes that you are making no matter how big or small they may be. Now please excuse me while I go put on my joggers and make myself go for a much needed long walk.

beck xx



1 Jul 2017

TAKING STOCK - June 2010


Here we are again, the first day of a brand new month. Gee this year is whizzing by, I remember being told that as you get older time passes by more quickly, but this is getting mighty ridiculous. Seven months into 2017 and I still feel as though nothing that I set out to do has been accomplished. Do you feel that way too ? The upside being that we still have six months left to get our butts into gear and tick off a few things on this years bucket list.
At least we have the gorgeous Pip to thank for Taking Stock, to remind us that even though we may not be getting the big things in life accomplished, we are still making many small things happen within our every day lives.


Making ; more time to spend pottering in the garden. The cooler months give me so much more energy and motivation to get out and about in the fresh air.
Cooking ; dinner every single night, and biscuits every weekend. Feeding five hungry men is a challenge.
Drinking ; G & T's. I know I shouldn't be but, well, you know....
Reading ; My Mothers Secret by Sheila O'Flanagan and The Good Girl by Fiona Neill.
Trawling ; Instagram and Snapchat for fabulous new accounts to follow.
Wanting ; for call backs to all the jobs I have applied for.
Looking ; for new recipes. I am always on the hunt for new easy and delicious meals to fill my hungry crew.
Deciding ; if I should cut my hair. Do you think that a new style would make me look more professional ?
Wishing ; that the days would slow down a little. Before long it will be summer again yuck My last baby boy will be graduating high school and then Christmas will be upon us Noooooo
Enjoying ; my Winter garden and the pops of colour.
Waiting ; for the chance to prove my worth.
Liking ; that is school holidays and the horrible lunchbox is hiding in the kitchen draw.
Wondering ; how much life is going to change around here when and if I start working again, and when we no longer are the parents of a school student.
Loving ; having my two eldest sons home. Yes it is still going pretty smoothly for now anyway
Pondering ; life and everything that we could have, should have done differently over the years.
Listening ; to all the nineties music of my teenage years and reliving the memories the songs provoke. Thanks Spotify.
Considering ; getting my herb garden up and running again.
Buying ; food. Always buying food.
Watching ; Mad Men and loving it SO much. I only have four episodes left to watch.
Hoping ; that I will find the perfect hall runner soon.
Cringing ; at some of the music that I thought was fabulous back when. LOL
Needing ; coffee coffee and more coffee.
Questioning ; myself and why I am finding it so difficult to loose weight at the moment.
Smelling ; freshly mowed grass, Winter rain, the first coffee of the morning and the scent of candles.
Wearing ; my PJ's for more hours in the week than I should.  I am still doing the school/work runs in them of a morning. I really must stop this
Noticing ; just how grown up my boys are these days and getting a little weepy about it.
Knowing ; that it is just a matter of time before all my boys leave home and leave me wondering what is next.
Thinking ; about changing the name of my blog but not knowing exactly what would be involved. Mrs Clueless over here
Admiring ; women who seem to have life all worked out, and wondering what their secret of faking it till they are making it is.
Getting ; tired of my cranky, horrible back neighbour. I so wish that he would move.
Bookmarking ; new blogs to read. There are so many awesome bloggers out there left for me to discover.
Opening ; the fridge and wondering where all the food I just purchased has gone.
Closing ; cupboard doors after my husband EVERY SINGLE DAY ! It is just as easy to close them as it is to open them dear........


Feeling ; like I am going to be roundand chubby for ever.  ^

Hearing ; my boys laughing and loving that they are all so close.most of the time
Celebrating ; my blogs fifth birthday. Welcoming a new fur baby into our home and my decision to return to the work force hopefully finger crossed people.

So that has been my June. I must also say that my ability to stick with my healthy eating and fitness plan has gone way out the window this month. I have no one to blame but myself of course so I am calling myelf a June fitness failure. Lucky for me July arrived today which gives me a brand new month to get myself back on track.

There is always tomorrow.


How was June for you ?
Did you do anything special ?

beck xx




29 Jun 2017

EDUCATION.COM - Make Learning Fun and Easy For Your Child.


If your like me, the education of your child/children is extremely important and giving them the best start in their education is essential.
Learning doesn't come easy to all of us, but the team at Education.com have taken learning to a new level, providing fun and interactive ways to help your child learn. 

When Jennifer from Education.com approached me and asked if I would like to publish a fully prepared activity exclusively to craftypjmum  I jumped at the chance. 

Here is an example of what is available:



What's My Number?


It's important to have a good understanding of numbers and their values. This guessing game combines logic with number sense. It suits all ability levels, as players' questions can be simple or complex. All you need is a deck of cards to get started with this fun math game! Work in teams or individually, with any number of players. Why not invite the whole family to play?


What You Need:
Deck of playing cards with the face cards (jacks, queens, kings) removed




What You Do:
  1. Have the first clue-giver draw one card from the deck at random.
  2. Tell the player who correctly guesses a card earns that card and the right to be the next clue-giver.
  3. Encourage the other players to take turns asking mathematical questions in order to figure out what card was drawn.
  4. Let the clue giver know that he should respond to each question with a yes or no answer.
  5. If the guessing players get stumped, the dealer should give out a few mathematical hints. (e.g. if you add 5, subtract 2, and multiply my card by 3, the total is thirty)
  6. Have the current clue-giver pass the deck to the new clue-giver.
  7. Play until the deck is depleted or set a time limit and when time is up, the player with the most cards wins!

Pop on over to Education.com and learn more about this great program, and put your kids on the right path to learning with guided lessons.
With over 30,000+ teacher-approved educational resources.
Engaging games, songs, worksheets, Interactive exercises and many more.
Easy to use on their own, with parents or teachers.


* this is not a sponsored post 

27 Jun 2017

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE




It is true, I have always been a cat person. Cute and cuddly, I just cant go passed all the fury goodness. This week I took my cat loving to new heights and our family welcomed a brand new fur baby into our home. So I guess it is only fair to give myself the title of crazy cat lady and my family, well they totally agree....


Abby { Old Nana }

She is the original fur baby.
The leader of the pack.
Abby is almost eleven years old and with the nick name of  "Old Nana" you can imagine that she tolerates nothing from anyone. This includes the two newest additions.
She is lovable, gentle and will cuddle up to anyone provided that she is in the mood.
She does have some very bad habits though....
She loves to eat salt and vinegar chips and BBQ shapes.
She is not allowed to eat these by any means but sneak them as much as she can.


Penelope { Penny; Guts }

Penny was only six weeks old when we fell in love with this tiny fur ball. Now she is two and I cant imagine life without this beauty.
She has spent two years trying to befriend Abby without success but she never gives up on her will to win.
Penny is noisy, I have never heard a cat meow so much.
Every single night Penny goes through what we call crazy hour. She goes absolutely crazy running around the house like her tail is on fire.
Penny is a proper princess. She demands to be fed before I have my morning coffee and needs to be settled at the foot of my bed before I snuggle down for the night.

Nancy;

Nancy is our newest addition joining our family last Friday.
She is two years old and we adopted her from the RSPCA after she was abandoned.
She is so sweet, preferring the males of the house to me at the moment, but she is slowly warming up to me.
Abby is not bothered with her at all. I think she is to old to care anymore. Penny however is very curious. She follows Nancy everywhere. This house is her domain as far as she is concerned and gets quite upset if Nancy sits in any "her" spots.
There has been no fights between any of them that has caused any concern, so for now we share our home with three very different but very beautiful little ladies that make life far from boring.

Linking up for this weeks IBOT with Kylie 

beck xx

FIVE YEARS




Five years ago I pressed published on the first post for Craftypjmum. You can read that post here 
Short and sweet, I welcomed you guys to read a handful of amature posts that maybe someday some of you would click on and read.

Imagine my surprise when you did read them, and even more surprising, some of you are still here reading my offering of useless ramblings. If I am honest it is all kinds of wow and I want to thank you for sticking around.

I wasn't sure how long this blogging adventure would last for me. But as the years have past it has bought so much joy for me as I essentially write an online diary of my life. Maybe one day, when I am old and grey it will help remind me of the adventures that my life has taken me on. But until then I am happy to continue oversharing useless pieces of information with the hope that you will all keep clicking on the links and reading them.

Thank you all so much for the past five years of joy, especially you JULES because without your help none of this would have gotten off the ground.

beck xx

20 Jun 2017

WINTER IN MY GARDEN


Now that Winter is here, gardens tend to get a bit bare. Most plants stop flowering and go into hibernation, leaving gardens to struggle in beauty.
Living in North Queensland however, I find Winter the perfect time to potter around in the garden. The temperature is perfect to prepare the beds for our harsh summers that bombard us with super hot dry conditions leading up to Christmas and the long wet season that usually follows.
Though we may not be lucky enough to grow the same plants as in the cooler zones during summer, our mild winters give us the advantage of growing them in our mild winter, and with so many gorgeous tropical plants at hand, our gardens here can supply us with beauty all year round.




Succulents thrive in our hot dry conditions, and by moving them out of shaded areas and into the winter sunshine, they will continue to put on a spectacular show. I just need to cut back on the watering.


Petunias are the perfect annual to add colour in any garden. With so many varieties available they are all kinds of stunning. These ruffled ones are my favourite and the colour is amazing amongst all the green.




                Natives bring beauty to any garden. I really need to plant some more at our place.


And who cant go past the classic rose ? This yellow rose has been going great guns for about four years now. It is the first one that I have had success in growing and it brings me so much joy. I love bringing the cut flowers inside and waking up to one by my bedside.

How does your garden grow in winter ?

Linking up on this dreary winter day with Kylie to bring some colour to your life...

beck xx

CHICKEN PARM MEATBALL SKILLET

Its that time of year again where you look for and crave comfort food. Not only does the consuming of such foods warm the body and the soul...