5 Sep 2017

DIY QUICK & EASY WALL ART - TWO WAYS !



With Spring in the air, it seems as though I have my craft and diy mojo back.

FINALLY !

I have no idea where it went, maybe it was just lack of inspiration, motivation or just plain lack of time. Who knows, but lately my mind has been buzzing with ideas for my home and that makes this crafty mamma very happy.

If your like me at the moment, you may have limited cash flow. Things are a little tight right now, which doesn't leave much for me to frivolously throw it around on unnecessary items.
So with a little imagination, I have come up with two ways to decorate the walls of my lounge room that are easy to achieve and are easy on the pocket.

Animal prints seem to be the go at the moment. There are so many beautiful artists out there creating such fabulous pieces of art work it is rather hard not to be inspired. My take on these is an easy way for you to get in on the animal themed wall art, without spending a fortune. 

ANIMAL WALL ART - OPTION ONE 



I found these gorgeous blank cards at Thrifties when I was buying a birthday card for a friend. They took my eye with how amazing each of them were and I just had to have them, and at $2 a card they were cheap enough not to break the bank. With the cards in hand I next headed to every woman's favourite store at the moment KMART  with the hope of finding frames that would fit the cards perfectly. 




And I had a win ... These frames were a bargain at $4 each meaning that in total my crafty diy project cost me $18 in total. Nothing to complain about there. 
The outcome ... is cheap, easy but a gorgeous way to get some art work on my bare walls.




WALL ART - OPTION TWO

Keeping in tune with the animal theme, I decided to make over this stag clock that I had hidden away. Purchased quite a long way back from KMART  I never got around to hanging it. 
Looking at it recently I decided that I no longer wanted to use it as a clock and my mind started ticking.



I began by pulling the clock mechanism out, then using some gorgeous vinyl contact that I purchased from Bunnings  proceeded to cover the stag.





The outcome is an unusual piece of art that was quick, cheap at $17 in total and very easy to achieve. It also makes me very happy to look at each time I enter my lounge room.





I had been after some affordable art for my lounge room, and these ideas were just perfect for what I was looking for. They look great, and were very achievable. Now I am on a roll and I cant wait to add to them.

beck xx

Sharing these diy tips over at www.kyliepurtell.com fot this weeks IBOT





31 Aug 2017

TAKING STOCK - August 2017


Hello there.

So its time for us to bid a fond farewell to August. This year is just flying by isn't it. It feels as though we just welcomed the cooler weather of winter and poof ! Here we are ready to walk on into spring. I have enjoyed this winter immensely. The weather has been absolutely perfect here in north Queensland, so much so that I wish we could have days like these all year round.

Anyway enough chatter about the weather, its time to Take Stock just like Pip did.


Making  progress in our back yard before the heat comes. We have been planting new native plants to attract more birds to our yard, re-planting the veggie patch and making time to clean out our enormous shed. It feels good to be almost on top of it all.
Cooking  some delicious new dishes courtesy of The Annoyed Thyroid and BabyMac
Drinking  coffee, lots of coffee. I have needed more than a kick start in the morning lately.
Reading  some fantastic books lately. Her Perfect Life by Sam Hepburn. Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris. I am really into the crime and thriller books at the moment, tho I did just start The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright. I let you know what I think about this one when I've finished it.
Wanting  to paint this darn house already but finances just are not allowing it at the moment leaving me very frustrated.
Looking  for books on the 5:2 diet. I have heard great things about it and I am wanting to read up on it to see if it is right for me.
Deciding  on Christmas presents for my boys. Are really at that point of the year already ?
Wishing  winter would last forever.
Enjoying  pottering in the garden and baking biscuits. Guess I'm showing my age now lol.
Waiting  for our dogs to out grow they annoying puppy stage of digging and barking. Grrrr.
Liking  all the spring flowers that are staring to bloom. I really love this time of year. It has to be my favourite.
Wondering  how hot it is really going to get here in Mackay this summer when we are already hitting 27 degrees here in August.
Loving  The Block 2017. I stopped watching the last few seasons. The contestants did nothing for me and it seem to move too far away from the original. This season however has me glued. Much better guys, stick to the winning formula.
Listening  to Busby Marou and of course Pinks new song What About Us  I just love it. What about her speech at the VMA's what a role model and not just for her daughter but for women all around the world.
Considering  cutting my hair again. I know, I know short, long, short. I should just make my mind up hey lol.
Buying  plants, presents, a pom pom maker, food and more food.
Watching  Suits. Why on earth has it taken me so long to watch it ? I mean come on ..... HARVEY !
Hoping  that the rest of the year goes by a little slower.
Cringing  at the state of my wardrobe. I really need to take some time and clean it out.
Needing  to wash my car. Seems nobody else will do it !
Questioning  our government. There is no need to spend all this money on a plebiscite for same sex marriage. Just pass the damn thing and put the money to better use. I don't know how this Country is running with our current government, I really don't.
Wearing  shorts that are way too big for me. I didn't realise how much weight I had lost since last summer. I have a long way to go but the idea of buying some new summer stuff has me slightly excited.


Noticing  just how close my boys really are lately. It warms my heart to see them getting along, spending time together laughing. Makes me think that I have done something right.
Knowing  time is getting closer by the minute until my baby graduates high school. 
Thinking  what maybe next on my horizon once I am no longer a school mum and all that comes along with that.
Admiring  women who know who they are, are successful and have purpose. 
Opening  myself up to new possibilities in life and hoping something good comes along that I can sink my teeth into.
Closing  cupboard doors, wardrobe doors and any darn door behind my husband. Hey mate.... I am not your maid nor your butler. It takes no more strength to close them or open them !
Feeling  a bit lonely lately. 
Dreaming  of a holiday. Its been two years since our last one and we haven't even made it away even for a weekend since.
Hearing  birds singing every morning. Its such a happy way to wake up.


Well there is my August. Did you have a memorable one ? Were you lucky enough to get away ? Did you cook something new and delicious ?

I love hearing about what everyone has been up to. Taking Stock really is a good way to record memories of months, even years gone by. Pip really was onto something when she started this up.

beck xx


29 Aug 2017

TODAY, TOMORROW & THURSDAY


I woke early this morning, it was still dark outside but the distant stirring of birds meant the day was about to begin. It is a big day, one that has been thirteen years in the making, there have been tears, there have been fights and there has been stress, so much stress. But here we are still standing, still pushing through.

A lot is riding on today, tomorrow and Thursday My baby boys future lays dependent on these three isolated days of his schooling life. All thirteen years of learning have reached their summit as he takes the most important exams of his life so far. The QCS {Queensland Core Skills}


I have mixed feelings about today, tomorrow and Thursday, on one hand its exciting to know that as a family we have reached this milestone together. That as parents we can pat ourselves on the back and be proud that all of our four sons have made it through grade twelve and have been able to do so with their heads held high. On the other hand today, tomorrow and Thursday brings us to an end of an era. No longer will we be the parents of school students. No longer the parents of kids who are struggling to make sure that all expectations are being met whether it be making sure school attendance is high, that homework is completed and that study is being done. Today, my job as a school mum hits its last legs, I am on the home run now, and to be honest I have cried tears of joy, tears of sadness and also tears of unease as I wonder if there is any more that I could have done to prepare my baby boy for these final schooling moments.


So today my darling boy,
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You can be proud of what you have achieved so far and all you can do now is march on into these exams and do your absolute best. I know that you have done all there is to prepare yourself for this moment and as your mum I couldn't be prouder.
I hope that I have done enough for you, that I have been supportive and encouraging, and that I have not done you any injustice. That over the years you have been able to count on me being their for you no matter what.
You are my last baby, my baby Ben, my possum. You have grown into an incredible young man and I cant wait to see what your future brings. Your dreams are big as are mine for you, and soon they will be within your reach. You can do it Ben, you can make your dreams reality. I have all faith in your ability to make it in this big wide world.


Almost eighteen years ago you came into this world completing our family. We love you unconditionally, every single one of us. So take this and our support with you into these exams today, tomorrow and Thursday and smash it just like I know you will.

Love mum.
xxxx

Linking up for this weeks IBOT with Kylie over at www.kyliepurtell.com

22 Aug 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON - Jess Crawford ARTIST


Art is one of the great pleasures in life. It is something I love to surround myself with, and I believe that life would be very sad and boring without it.
Instagram has been a fabulous window for me to find some fabulous Australian artists, artists that I may never have had the pleasure of finding other wise.

One of those beautiful artists that I found and followed was Jess Crawford  An original mixed media artist, Jess's beautiful artwork demands attention. Stunning and exciting, it drew me in, in all its colour and glory.


SPOTLIGHT
JESS CRAWFORD



Jess lives in a small country town in South Australia with her 
husband and two gorgeous sons.
Her art journey in mixed media began in 2013
when she was given the "BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER"
year long painting tutorials.
The training she had was not just tutorials but the birth 
of Jess's own authentic expression 
into the world of art.


There are many fabulous ways that you can make one of Jess's pieces your own. Her website has a link to her store where you can purchase beautiful works to hang in your home, buy notepads, cards, wrapping paper and even jewellery showcasing Jess's original artworks. You can also commission Jess to create a custom order just for you. 





And if you have ever needed something extra pretty in your life each month, subscribe to Jess's BRIGHTENS THE WAY subscription box.

In each box you will receive 

* an A 5 size post card to put on your wall
* 4x6 inch greeting card
* an A 5 size notepad to write all your dreams that brighten your way every day
and 
* a surprise to add to your stationery collection {like a cool pen or funky gift tag}



Jess has also just announced that she is releasing a beautiful calendar for 2018 showcasing one of her art works for every month of the year. Pop on over to her website to pre order your calendar or subscription box now. You will not be disappointed.



Here is how you can follow or contact Jess so you can see for yourself just how talented she is.




Sharing this spotlight on the fabulous Jess with Kylie today on IBOT.

beck xx

15 Aug 2017

MINI CINNAMON "DONUT" MUFFINS


Are you a sucker for donuts ?
Are you a fan of muffins ?

Then check these babies out....

If you bake one thing this week make it these little bites of heaven. They are AMAZING ! and as per usual I found the recipe while scrolling through the magical world of Pinterest, and I just had to make them, taste them and now share them with you.
The original recipe is from the fabulous blog Chocolate Chocolate and More There are so many delicious recipes on this blog so go check it out.

Mini Cinnamon "Donut" Muffins 



2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Topping

6 tablespoons melted butter 
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and stir through.

In a separate bowl, whisk gently together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently through until just combined making sure there are no large lumps left in the mixture (small lumps are fine)

Fill greased mini muffin tin 2/3 full and for 15 minutes in a moderate oven.
Remove and allow to cool.

For the topping - melt the butter and in another bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Dip the top of each muffin into the butter, than coat with the sugar mix.

Keep refrigerated.

Enjoy.

beck xx

Sharing these little bites of heaven over at Kylie Purtels for IBOT

9 Aug 2017

MINI CHEESY MUFFINS


I am constantly on a mission to find ways to keep the fridge full of tasty snacks for my hungry crew of boys. I always have fruit on hand, but lets face it, that is not always enough to keep a growing boys growling stomach satisfied. Believe me !  So I am always looking for cheap, easy and moderately healthy snacks to fill their bellies.

These mini cheesy muffins are a huge hit with my tribe and so easy to make. Great for lunch boxes ( if they last that long ) or just to snack on they are made with ingredients that most of us already have at our disposal.

MINI CHEESY MUFFINS



2 cups of self raising flour
2 cups of grated cheese
2 eggs
2 cups of water


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. 
Prepare mini muffin tin by sparingly spraying with olive oil.

In a bowl and the flour, cheese and mix well.
In a suitable jug, beat the eggs and add the water, stirring well to combine.
Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of cheese and flour, and mix well with a metal spoon.
Spoon mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.


So easy and so yummy. Give these a whirl and I will guarantee they will be a hit.

Enjoy

beck xx







8 Aug 2017

EDUCATION.COM - A World of Fun Learning



A few weeks a go I shared with you a post from education.com. You can find that post  HERE  They are committed to helping your child fulfill their learning potential no matter what stage of learning they are at. Concentrating on educating children from prep to grade five, education.com provide your children with in-depth understanding of reading, spelling and mathematics, just to name a few.

There is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to education. Each child has unique challenges and goals and education.com offers many different resources to help meet the educational needs of your child.

Together with education.com I am happy to share with you one of the worksheets on offer, to show you and your child that learning doesn't have to be a struggle, that it can indeed be a fun way to raise kids' confidence in learning.

Dive into an under sea adventure with this fun maze
from Education.com !

Find more great resources for kids here.



Answer at the end of post 

How fun was that ? Education.com has more of these activities on their web site along with many more fun and exciting ways to learn. Head over and sign your child up today and show them that learning doesn't have to be a chore.


You can sign up 
HERE and put your child on the right path to learning 


beck xx

7 Aug 2017

JULY - Health and Fitness Update



July July July where do I begin. 

I failed my self challenge for about half of the month. Then I had an epiphany of sorts, gave myself a good talking to and stopped dishing myself up so much food. Since then...
Success !

I've started drinking more water again and enjoying it.
Who knew !

Eight months in and still not a great physical change but inside I am starting to feel much better. I am sleeping better, I have more energy and even though you cant really tell as yet I have lost a few kilos. 

This past week I literally woke up and told myself enough is enough. Its time to ramp up this challenge and make it worth its while and I started exercising. 
And guess what...
My legs and arms feel as though they are about to fall off but I feel good. So good in fact that I look forward to my session each day. 

For the month of August, my challenge is to go meatless. I know that I cant go full on vegetarian. (I love meat way to much for that) but I am willing to go there and give it a go for the sake of the challenge. I am going to have to do a bit of recipe hunting for this one, as I just know that my family of men are going to turn their noses up at any food that does not contain meat.
On that note, is there such a recipe that is full on vegetarian that will fill my families bellies ? Please help a sister out with this one if you can.

As for everything else, I will continue to drink plenty of water, eat smaller portions and exercise each and every day. The year maybe eight months in and nearing its end (crazy) but I think that slowly I am getting a hang of this better, healthier living. 

beck xx

2 Aug 2017

EASY CHEERIO SLICE


Looking for something tasty, easy and fairly healthy to serve your tribe for afternoon tea or as a lunch box filler ? Then this no bake slice is the perfect thing to satisfy the sweetest tooth without added sugar and takes only minutes to whip up.

This easy cheerio slice cereal bars are kid friendly, but also a tasty treat that even the grownups will enjoy with a cuppa.


Easy Cheerio Slice

* 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter 
* 1/2 cup honey
* 3 cups of cheerio wholegrain cereal 


Line a slice tray with baking paper.

Add peanut butter and honey to a large saucepan and sit over medium heat. Heat and stir until mixture just starts to simmer.

Stir the cereal into the peanut butter mix until evenly coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared slice tray and place in the fridge to cool and set.


Once set, cut slice into bars and store in the fridge. 


These have certainly gone down well in my family and is something that I will continue to make and keep in supply. 
Give them a go with your family. I am sure they will enjoy them as much as mine.

Enjoy

beck xx




1 Aug 2017

TAKING STOCK - July 2017


So today is August 1st.
We are now into the eighth month of 2017. Can anyone tell me how this has actually happened ?
I mean wasn't it just last week we were ringing in the new year ? My mother once told me that the older you get the faster time goes.

Huh.
Seems she was right.

Pip had a great idea when she started Taking Stock. A monthly post of memories if you will. The good, the bad and the down right ugly. Everything that adds up to make the month that was.


Making - Plans for new gardens in the back yard. Hoping that our dogs are now old enough to leave well enough alone. That is the trouble with pets sometimes.
Cooking - Only six nights a week now that my eldest son has taken to cooking on one of his days off. Now if only I could convince the other members of my family to cook dinner once a week I would only have to cook on the weekends.
Drinking - Water and red wine.  Mmm Must give up the wine again.
Reading - THE PARTY by Robyn Harding. I cant stress enough how fabulous this book was. It had me sucked in from the very first page. I have my fingers crossed that this will become a movie. Do yourself a favour and read this one.
Wanting - A holiday desperately. We actually haven't been anywhere since our trip to Melbourne. That was two years ago.
Looking - For work. Its a slow process with so many others also in the same boat.
Playing - Candy crush. I know, I know pathetic.
Deciding - On paint colours. It is a big decision.


Wishing - I had a spare twenty thousand dollars so that I could send my son of to uni next year without financial stress.
Enjoying - These beautiful Winter days and cool nights. I am not looking forward to our long hot Summer. It is not that far away truth be told.
Waiting - Always waiting for my boys in the car. Same car park different day *sigh
Liking - Being busy, getting stuck into things around the house that sometimes get neglected.
Wondering - If the renovations on our house will ever be finished.
Loving - All the new growth on my indoor plants. Seriously they are going nuts !
Considering - Buying a new rug for under our dining room table, but don't know where I would start looking for a square one. Any ideas ? Anyone ?
Buying - Shoes and outfits for going on interviews. I didn't realise how much my mum wardrobe had taken over my life.
Watching - Housewives of New York City. This season is THE BEST !
Hoping - That I will soon see results of the diet and exercise that I have been throwing myself into. Its time to bring this old chick back to life and wave goodbye to all the damage that I have done to myself.
Needing - A few extra hours in the day. I am sure that I am not alone there.
Smelling - The sweet scent of Spring in the air. I hope we can hang onto it a little longer this year before feeling the full force of the North Queensland Summer.
Wearing - Shoes and not just thongs. My goal is NOT to have that thong tan line on my feet this year.
Following - Some amazing new accounts on Instagram lately. Maybe I will share my favorites in another post someday soon.
Thinking - About buying myself a pair of new ear rings. It has been way to long since I got something new and shiny for myself.
Admiring - All the ladies out there that have not let mental stress get the better of them and let themselves go. I am so mad at myself right now. I just hope that I can undo all the damage.
Getting - Nervous about my baby boy moving away next year. Time has just gone by way to quickly.
Opening - My eyes to the fact that not everyone in this world is genuine and stand by what they say.
Giggling - At Yummy Mummies...How is that even real ?
Feeling - Happy and enjoying spending time with my husband in the garden. Its nice to see the progress we are making together no matter how slow going it is.
Snacking - On apples and strawberries. I am trying SO hard to be good and stick to a strict diet.
Helping - My parents out while they are away by looking after there home and my mums gardens. That is the one things my mum has always had no matter where they live, beautiful gardens.



So that was July around here in a nut shell. Busy but easy going. I still cant believe how fast this year is passing us by. Have you done anything exciting ? Been anywhere ? Read anything that you think I might like ? If you have, please share.

beck xx

Linking for IBOT with the lovely KYLIE

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

DIY QUICK & EASY WALL ART - TWO WAYS !

With Spring in the air, it seems as though I have my craft and diy mojo back. FINALLY ! I have no idea where it went, maybe it was jus...