30 Sep 2015

TAKING STOCK - SEPTEMBER 2015




There is a gorgeous breeze blowing today, the glow of the morning sun is kissing the flower petals waking them to their full glory. Spring is in the air, and I cant help  but wear a smile.

We have been taking things easy these school holidays, lazy mornings, movie nights and sleepovers. For teen number three this is his final school break EVER as soon he is graduating. I cant believe that we have made it to graduation number three. We are still in one piece and will only have one teen left at school come the new year....I cant even remember what it is like to have only child in school.


So as we celebrate the ending of another month gone by, I am joining the beautiful Pip of  Meet Me At Mikes  for Taking Stock

Making ; Plans for Christmas - its only around the corner you know
Cooking ; Quick and easy meals for school holidays
Drinking : Drinking wine from the beautiful De Bortoli Winery
Reading ; After Anna by Alex Lake
Wanting : To loose weight before my sons graduation
Looking : At paint charts again
Playing ; Music daily
Deciding ; Weather I should leave my hair longer or chop it off again
Wishing ; That loosing weight wasn't SO hard
Enjoying ; The Spring breeze knowing that before long it will be gone
Waiting ; To win lotto
Liking ; Pinapples and all things white
Wondering ; What my son will do after he graduates in six weeks
Loving ; My family whole heatedly
Pondering ; Life, and where it may lead me next
Considering ; A return to the work force
Buying ; Books, always books
Watching ; A whole lot of crappy Reality TV
Hoping ; For a not so scorching hot Summer
Cringing ; At all the people who hate on others
Needing ; More Fig jam and new sheets
Questioning ; Australian politics and wondering why we even bother voting
Smelling ; The gorgeous perfume of Spring flowers
Wearing ; My gorgeous new T-shirt from Ruby and Lilli and Jenni Eyles
Following ; Lots of new peeps on Instagram
Noticing ; That my boys really are growing into wonderful young men I am proud of
Knowing ; That tomorrow is a new day
Thinking ; Of going back to Yoga
Admiring ; How hard my husband works to take care of our family
Sorting ; My wardrobe
Getting ; My hands dirty in the garden and loving it
Disliking ; My brown couch
Opening ; My heart to new experiences
Giggling ; With my mum, on the phone and while shopping
Feeling ; Happy
Snacking ; On cake  Greek yogurt and fruit

beck xx

28 Sep 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Spaghetti Bake


SPAGHETTI BAKE


If there is one thing I can serve up for dinner that will tame the hungry tums of my teens, its pasta.
Spaghetti, lasagna, carbonara, it doesn't matter as long as there is heaps of it.

One dish that fills the dinner dreams of my teens, is my spaghetti bake. Made on the delicious Whole Grain Barilla Spaghetti, its high in fibre and has a low GI.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 pkt of Barilla whole grain spaghetti
* 500 grams of lean beef mince
* 2 cloves of crushed garlic
* 1 large onion diced
* 2 grated zucchini
* 2 grated carrots
* 1 800 gram can of diced tomatoes
* 1 tablespoon salt reduced tomato paste
* 1 teaspoon Italian spices
* Grated tasty cheese


Cook pasta as per directions on the box, leave to one side.

In a large pan coated with cooking spray, saute the garlic and onion until soft. Add the mince and cook stirring until brown.


Add the carrot, zucchini and spices and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring well.

Add all the other ingredients (except the pasta) and combine well, bringing the mix to the boil then reduce to a slow simmer.


In a large lasagna dish coated with cooking spray. Layer the mince and pasta (as you would a lasagna) topping with the grated cheese.



Bake in the oven at 180 degrees until the cheese is golden.


Enjoy

beck xx

24 Sep 2015

3 THINGS #1


I've been kicking back with the teens not doing much of anything this first week of school holidays. We've hardly even left the house except to restock food and to get the teens looking almost human by finally getting them a much needed haircut.
While they have been busy laying around playing computer games and sleeping, I have been spending time in the garden, reading lots of blogs and books and watching some crap TV.
I know, not very creative when there is a house to be painted, art work to design and make, and many a craft project begging to be started.

But...

I am enjoying the down time, because after these school holidays are over, its time for the end of year chaos to begin, and who knows when I may get the chance to frivolously throw my time away again.

This week I've been

Listening to...

Today's the day - P!nk
Scarecrow         - Alex and Sierra                                          
Wildest dreams - Taylor Swift
Wild                  - Troye Sivan



Reading...

The wild child - Casey Watson
After Anna      - Alex Lake

Styling Curvy
Babymac
Woogsworld
Styling You
Positively Present

Watching...


The real housewives of OC      ( I know, forgive me this sin )
Americas next top model
My big fat fabulous life
Criminal minds


beck xx

23 Sep 2015

10 WAYS TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY


Some days you wake up and all is right with the world. The sun is shining, birds are singing, the coffee is good and the house is clean and tidy. It's days like this when you just know that your in for a fabulous day.

But there are other days, days when you wake up with a mild headache that threatens to turn into a whopper of a migraine, the coffee tastes like dish water, your running late and the kids haven't let up since their feet hit the floor. It's days like these when you wish you could roll over and stay in bed.

We all have off days, days when we have no choice but to soldier on and face the battle, but there are a few small things that we can do to brighten even our darkest days. Simple things that wont be a cure for the blues, but might just bring a smile to our face and make us feel happier for even the slightest moment.

*  Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and go for a gentle morning walk. Breathe in the fresh air and try     to clear your mind. Try to forget what is waiting back at home/work for you.


* Take a long  relaxing bubble bath.

* Read a good novel, even if its only one chapter. Books can take you away from the every day life.

* Keep journal and write down your thoughts.  

* Pop some corn and put on your favourite movie.

* Try to expect less of yourself. The washing and cleaning will be there tomorrow. Give yourself a        break now an then to take care of you.

* Buy yourself a beautiful bunch of flowers.


* Light some sweet smelling candles.


* Spend some one on one time with your partner.

* Hug your family, this is by far the best way to brighten your day. Love and be loved by the special      people in your life.

You most likely will be able to come up with many more ways to brighten your day, but these are just a few of my favourite things that can give you a kick start. There are so many simple pleasures out there for us to enjoy. We just need to give ourselves the permission to take time out and enjoy them.

What are some ways that you relax to brighten even the dullest of days ?

beck xx




22 Sep 2015

DEAR MUMS


I WANT YOU TO KNOW A FEW THINGS ....

Your whole world revolves around the tiny humans you brought into this world. Everything around you changed as soon as you welcomed them and held their tiny faces next to your own. Once you walked through the front door, your little bundle of joy cradled in your arms, you became a fierce protector. That, besides love becomes your first instinct. To keep them safe and sound.
Your whole life will revolve around this little one, it is a path that you will never stray from. Those primal instincts, once kicked in are impossible to shake. Your child will ALWAYS be your number one priority, nothing and no one can stand in the way of how deeply a mother loves her child. You literally have a deep burning desire to keep them close, forever in your sight, out of harms way.

Form your prospective this will never change, you believe you have a life time of bedtime stories and fairy tales.
But your little beings grow up, and as they grow you are suddenly faced with the fact that these little beings are little people with their own dreams and ambitions, and your hold over them will slowly loose its grasp.
You yearn to keep them close and forever in your sight, but as they grow, and spread their wings, they need the chance to fly, not because you want to let them go, but because it is the natural course of  growing up, and you have to release them, let them follow the path to live the life that is destined to be theirs.


As both of you grow, their comes a shift in dynamics. Your young one will realise that they still need you, that life is hard at the best of times, that they still need your support and guidance.
Yes it is different, but the fear that your child has outgrown you begins to pass as you realise that no matter what, you are the sunshine of their life, a gift full of knowledge, their one true best friend that will never let them down.

Believe me when I say they are still the babes that you cradled late at night, the babes that reached out to you when they fell grazing their tiny knees, the very ones you fought to protect from the harshness of this world,

 It's just different and no less important.

So as you tuck your angels into bed tonight, brushing back their wisps of hair. Take the time to stop and focus on those tiny beings that you hold so close to your heart, because before you know it
the years will have passed, and your little one will have grown into an independent young adult.
They will always be in need of you, always need a hug, a kiss, a listening ear. For in reality those grown up babes will be forever in need of their Mum.

beck xx



21 Sep 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - School holidays


School holidays are underway which means more time in the kitchen. Having a house full of hungry boys around 24/7 means the cupboards are forever  bare.
Baking can be a lifesaver, however over the years I have learnt to make more than one of each thing I bake so that I can freeze one for later.

Tomorrow I will be hitting the kitchen again with the intention of stocking up the fridge and freezer to keep the hungry tummies full and happy.

These are  just a few things that I will be whipping up this week.


Chicken and fennel seed sausage rolls
Milo cake
Zucchini slice
Easy pizza scrolls

Have fun these school holidays with your hungry hoards.

Enjoy

beck xx


20 Sep 2015

INSPIRED


It's been a big month for me so far. I've been busy, that goes without saying, but personally I have had many a light bulb moment with how I perceive myself.
I've been on a tough journey weight wise for the past year and I've really struggled to accept myself for who I am and not what I look like. I've made myself physically sick at times wondering what people are saying, or thinking. Putting a lot of pressure on myself, hating myself, and believing me to be unworthy.

But that is slowly changing....

In recent times I found the beautiful Jenni Eyles blog, where she blogs about life and style while bringing tips to empower you in your every day life, for every day women. This gorgeous woman is inspirational. And if I could I would reach out and give her the biggest hug.

Sitting down one morning with a coffee and my phone, I found that Jenni had added me to her closed group BODY LOVING BABES on Facebook.
Instantly it peaked my interest, and boom, there is was, just when I needed it most. Women from all walks of life coming together to uplift each other, encourage each other and supporting of each other. Not everyone is curvy, not everyone is struggling with the same things in life, but that is okay, because thanks to Jenni, we are all sharing and getting to know each other and being there to uplift each other just like the sisterhood should.

So from me to you Jenni, thank you. Your blog and Facebook group have allowed me to see how badly I have been judging myself, that I will be able to overcome life's challenges with time and commitment, that I just need to believe in myself and take it one day at a time.

So please if you haven't already, do yourself  favour and pop on over to Styling Curvy and read about Jenni, and her incredible journey. I can guarantee that she will inspire you just like she has inspired me, and I promise that you will visit her blog more than once : )

beck xx



14 Sep 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Chocolate Brownies


Hello again Monday, we can hardly keep up with how fast you are. Another weekend done and dusted. We had a really one this time around. Movies and family time, there is always other weekends to catch up on yard work. Isn't there ?

X Factor is once again gracing our screens, I'm kind of excited to be seeing a new panel of judges this year. Who doesn't like a bit of James Blunt and Chris Isaak ?
Last night as always didn't disappoint. There were some really wow moments, and of course some not so wow moments. If you didn't watch it, lets just say that Sia's Chandelier copped a beating or two.

This weeks Monday Munchie recipe is a favourite of my boys. So I'm sharing with you a recipe for the best Chocolate Brownie ever.....



CHOCOLATE BROWNIE

* 250 grams melted butter
* 2 cups caster sugar
* 1/2 cup plain flour
* 3/4 cup of cocoa
* 4 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a slab tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl melt the butter, then beat in the sugar slowly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg has been added, and until the mixture is glossy.


Gently add the flour and cocoa to the top of the egg mix and beat slowly until all ingredients are mixed well and the mixture has a high gloss. Add the vanilla and again beat through.



Pour the mixture into the prepared tray, and bake for 30 minutes.



This is an easy recipe, and has ingredients that are always in my pantry.
If you give them a whirl, I hope you enjoy.

beck xx



8 Sep 2015

WHEN MODERN TECHNOLOGY FAILS


Technology is a fabulous thing, something we have come to rely on in almost every part of our day to day lives. But what happens when technology fails, where are we left then ???


Our family has been seeing the same Doctor since we moved to Mackay in 2001. That's almost fifteen years of trusting, comfort and faith.
Late last year, unforeseen family circumstances saw our much loved family GP pack up and move, leaving us to start over. It was easier to stay within the same practice, as all our records were there, and I also didn't have the time nor the energy to search for a new GP.

If your anything like me, seeing a new Doctor sends chills up your spine, leaves your stomach doing flip flops and your anxiety at an all time high.

Let's face it, I become a highly strung mess.

So imagine how many people, just like me had very high stress and anxiety levels when we found out that the Doctors surgery had, had a technical malfunction.
The end result....
EVERY single patient file was gone, vanished into thin air, deleted from the system.
Test results, medication files, EVERYTHING GONE !

The test results that had been done at other clinics would still be able to be tracked down. Phew !
But what about all the little things that add up and make a persons medical history complete ?
Our new GP is not at fault, but he doesn't know his new patients quite like his predecessor. Yet.

It has been a very difficult process, a long winding road that many have had to travel.

Medication wise, we were all advised to bring in what we had, whether it be current prescriptions, old bottles with the labels still attached so that the Dr could make new records of what his new patients were suppose to be on.
How frightening would that have been for the elderly, it was disconcerting for us.
I cant begin to imagine how this error has affected them.

So when it all boils down to it, is technology all that it is really cracked up to be ?
Should companies not be backing everything up in case things like this happen ?
Do you think the good old fashioned way of keeping written patient files on hand should still be around ?


Technology is a wonderful thing, but can we afford to put all our trust into a machine ?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT





7 Sep 2015

I MUST CONFESS - Fathers Day



Fathers Day is a day to show appreciation for your Dad, and celebrate all that they are. To celebrate the ones that help us leave our mark on the world.
They are our roll models, our hero's who give unconditional love and someone to turn too when we are in need.

I made the best decision of my life when I accepted the proposal of my man, he is the light of my life, but most of all the best father to our four sons. I could not have asked for anyone better.


I have a wonderful Step Father that I love with all my heart, he has always been there for me throughout my whole life, he is as far as I am concerned, my father.
The relationship I have with my biological father is non existent, so watching my five men interact over the years, grow and learn together, explore the world and become best mates that share such a close bond has been an absolute privilege. My boys are so very lucky to have their Dad, and I am one very lucky lady.



But.....

I must confess that Father's Day almost went by without being celebrated in our home this year, it almost slipped by right me. It wasn't until Thursday that I realised it was only three days away. Boy this year is flying by. Thank you Kmart, without your cheery advert, I may very well have been celebrating Fathers Day a week late !

Ooops !

Linking up with the gorgeous My Home Truths for  #Imustconfess

                                       

                                         I Must Confess



MONDAY MUNCHIES - Croissant Berry Bake



I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. It was a quiet one around here, but that was just what we needed. Yesterday we celebrated Fathers Day with a big family dinner, all of us together finally sitting around the dinner table laughing and enjoying each others company. I cherish moments like this now that the boys are older and mostly living their own lives, well the oldest two anyway.
Dinner was lovely, we all ate so much, I think we rolled into bed.

I used the opportunity of a family dinner to experiment again. This time I trialed a new dessert, which went down really well.  Love it when I am onto a winner. Croissants and strawberries, how could I not win ?



CROISSANT BERRY BAKE

Ingredients

* 4 croissants
* 1 cup of berries (fresh or frozen)
* 1 packet of cream cheese, softened
* 2/3 cup of sugar
* 2 eggs
* splash of vanilla
* 1 cup of milk

Break up the croissants and place into the bottom of a greased oven proof dish. Top with the berries.



In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Gradually add the milk.

Pour over the the croissants and berries, and refrigerate over night.


Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes, or until set in middle and golden.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with ice cream.


was unable to take an after picture of the finished product, as the hungry hoards demolished the dish before I had the chance.

Enjoy

beck xx

3 Sep 2015

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL


If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you would know that hubby and I have been away for the past three weeks. It was absolute bliss, but now we are back, slowly adjusting to the home routine, which is not as exciting as sleep ins, lazy lunches and discovering a new city. In fact four days after returning to our mad house, it's like our adventure is a distant memory.


The teens did really well on their own, better than I initially expected (previous times I have been greeted with a not so orderly home) but credit where credit is due, they deserved a big pat on the back and their favourite meal cooked for them too show my appreciation, they of course got a few souvenirs and lots of hugs and kisses, I missed them, and was happy to find that they missed me to.

The one thing that has kept me busier than a bee since our return is the washing, folding and ironing. Seriously.....mount washmore nearly broke me, I'm slowly getting to the end, and clean undies and sheets are ours to enjoy once more YIPPEE


Our first full weekend home, before hubby returns to work, will be spent tackling the yards and gardens. Boy, are they a mess. But that's what happens when you go away for extended periods of time. In no time at all the gardens will be thriving and the grass green and mowed once more. Well that is the hope anyway :)


I'm slowly getting all our photos in order, and remembering all the smallest details of our trip away so that I can share our adventure with you.
For now though, mount washmore is still calling my name, people keep demanding to be fed and appointments must be attended.
So in the meantime, enjoy the beginnings of Spring, and spare a thought for those of us in North Queensland that have just about seen the end of it before it has barely had the chance to begin.

beck xx


1 Sep 2015

RINGING IN SPRING


Hello Spring, I can't believe it's time to welcome you already, you really caught me off guard this year, sneaking up on me so quickly. Did Winter show its face at all ?

September is my birthday month. I still find it hard to believe that I will be turning 41 in just 27 sleeps, and honestly it is not even something that is at the forefront of my mind, I mean I am finally learning that age is just a number and it is how you feel that really counts.

My all time favourite season has always been Spring. It signals all things fresh and new. New life blooms, jasmine sings with heady fragrance and blue skies stretch as far as the eye can see. Trips to the beach become a regular and cool evening breezes a pleasures.
Spring in all its glory has been showing its face here in north QLD for a few weeks now, peeking as always a little earlier than most other states.





I hope the next few months as you thaw out from Winter bring much joy, new life and many adventures your way. I look forward to sharing my Spring adventures with you, and hope that you will join me along the way.

beck xx

FIVE PLANTS THAT HELP TO REPEL MOZZIES

Summer is just around the corner bringing with it long lazy days by the pool, backyard BBQ's with family and friends and the return of ...