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

13 Jun 2017

CHANGES ARE HAPPENING


There has been something brewing in the back of my mind for quite a while now. Nothing extravagant unfortunately but something that is going to change the way our household runs right at this moment. Something that is going to require everyone who resides here to get up off their backsides and contribute more than they currently do.

Things are getting real around here much to quickly for my liking. My youngest son is only weeks away from sitting the QCE which means that I am not far off the end of my school mum days. That on its own is something that I am having trouble wrapping my brain around but the biggest thing is knowing there is a HUGE possibility that my baby is leaving home to attend University in Brisbane.

That is 953.6 km away                                                              
A 10 h and 45 min drive
Or a 1 h and 25 min flight

I really don't know how I am going to cope with this. Frankly I would like to bury my head in the sand and pretend that this is not going to happen, but the fact is it is going to happen whether I like it or not and very soon. What is making it very real and almost impossible to ignore is that price tag that is going to come along with helping my son reach his dreams.


I am not a mother who can sit by and watch my sons let go of their dreams. If I can, I will always try my best to make sure that they get as much as possible from this life. My ultimate dream is to make sure that my sons don't miss out, and to help them reach their life goals.

My baby son has a big dream, to attend JMC Academy to do a Bachelor of Film and Television. He has been aiming for this for the past few years and now it is within his grasp.


The dream, it comes with a hefty price tag, and so after much thought and weighing all the pros and cons up carefully, I have decided to try and re enter the work force.

On Thursday my Resume went out to all the available jobs that I am qualified for and now we play the waiting game with baited breath and nervous twitches with every ring of the phone. I do hope that it wont be long before someone takes a chance on me, that they at least give me the chance to Interview and that I haven't put myself out there nervously for nothing.

Fingers crossed

beck xx

Linking up with Kylie for this weeks IBOT

1 Jun 2017

TAKING STOCK - May 2017


The days are finally starting to cool down here. Some nights the blanket is needed which can only mean one thing, Winter is coming. Here in north Queensland  we tend to only have a few weeks of cooler weather in an otherwise predominately hot and sunny region. I am grateful for these weeks, the relief it brings is all sorts welcome.
The end of May is when the season starts to turn here, its when we finally start to get a taste of Autumn. Cool breezes and cooler mornings are delightful and better late than never. Its the one thing that I miss about living where we do, the different seasons and the changes they bring.

May was a busy month around these parts, and by joining in with Pips fabulous idea of Taking Stock, I present you with our monthly roundup....



Making : More of an effort to get those small jobs done around the house that usually get put off for another day.
Cooking : Jam Drops and a few more new recipes, its time to get my cooking mojo back.
Drinking : Way to many glasses of coke zero and wine and not enough water.
Reading : Slow Bleed by Tim Alder. This is the first Tim Alder book that I have read and now wont be the last. A page turner from the start.  A missing son, a kidnapper who's dead. An unusual description that caught my eye.
Laughing - At the Real Housewives of Sydney.....Seriously !
Wanting - A new rug for the dining room and not having much luck in finding what I want that doesn't cost the earth.
Looking - For the perfect piece of art to hang in my lounge room that is screaming out for some colour.
Wishing - That making choices in life was a lot easier than it is. Why do we make things harder for ourselves when it comes to getting what we really want in life ?
Enjoying - The cooler weather that has finally hit North Queensland. It always takes a lot longer for Autumn to show its face around here,
Waiting - For my bathroom to finally be finished. I really need to get it painted but need the tiling to be finished and the new lighting to be put up. Come on hubby get a move on !!!
Liking - Being on top of the housework and washing. Lets hope it continues.
Wondering - If every choice that I have made so far in life have been the best choices for my for me and my family. Things have been weighing on my mind lately.
Loving - Netflix. How did we live without it for so long ?
Pondering - Life, and how we end up where we are by the choices we make and if we have always made the best decision. Do you ever wonder where you would be instead if just one of your life choices were different ?
Listening - To Ryan Adams, Adele and lots of old eighties and nineties music since I gave in and downloaded Spotify. Again, why did it take me so long to jump on board with this fabulous app ?
Considering - What colour curtains to purchase for our living room. The ones we have now are definitely on their last legs and will not survive another washing.
Buying - More indoor plants. I have finally {without speaking to loudly} found a few that I am managing well and keeping alive for longer than a few months. Still working out the maiden hair fern though. I am determined to win this plant over as well.
Watching - Making a Murderer. Gossip Girl {yes I am late to the party there} and the final episodes of Pretty Little Liars. Another show that I swore I would never watch but got sucked into anyway.
Hoping - That the new seasons of Shameless and How to Get Away with Murder hurry up and come on. I am having withdrawals.
Cringing - At the behaviour of Athena X Levendi on the Real Housewives of Sydney. My goodness I do hope that women is not always like the person she betrays in that show. She is almost unbearable to watch.
Needing - A holiday desperately.
Questioning - Donald Trumps win in the Presidential Election still.
Smelling - The roses that have bloomed in my garden. They have been going fabulously this year.
Wearing - Jeggings from Kmart and wondering why I am forty two and just finding out how fabulous jeggings really are.
Noticing - That the early mornings are getting much cooler by the day and enjoying it immensely.
Knowing - That the year is passing very quickly and that my last baby will be finishing school soon, leaving me a school mum no more. Not sure how I feel about that to be honest. All kinds of mixed emotions are floating around in my head and heart.
Thinking - What my next chapter will hold once I no longer have school kids at home.
Admiring -  How so many other women seem to be living their dreams while I am still struggling with what I want out of life. I feel as though something big is missing and yet I am not sure what.
Getting - Tired of all the car trips I seem to be taking lately for my sons. I always seem to be sitting in car parks.
Opening - A new loaf of bread every single day. Why why why are my family always wanting to be fed ?
Closing - The windows when we go out and sleep at night when hubby is away for work because break ins are soaring where we live unfortunately. Can you believe that a family was home watching television with the lights on and yet some horrid person still tried to break into their home. What is the world coming to ? Really !
Feeling - So much sadness for the families caught up in the Manchester bombing. What kind of sick freak would knowingly target a place that would be full of innocent children. I cant seem to understand why people can do these horrific things.
Hearing - My kids laughing together and getting along. That makes my heart happy.
Celebrating - Mothers Day with my family altogether was lovely. Having my sons around on such a day was lovely. Also this month we celebrated son number three turning nineteen. How did we get here so quickly ?
Pretending - That the world is not as crazy as it is and keeping to my own little bubble. How nice would it be for the world to live in peace.
Embracing - My family daily and reminding them how much I love them. You just cant be sure what is around the next corner for anyone.

Well there was my May broken down into a few sentences. I hope that the past month was kind to you and yours. Can you honestly believe that today is the first of June and that we are six months into the year already. Its okay for time to slow down, no really....Please slow down.

beck xx

31 May 2017

MAY - Health and Fitness Update



Unfortunately May was not a good month as far as my health and fitness goes. I kind of fell off the wagon so to speak, things had been going so well too.

This month I had the best of intentions to walk everyday as was the task for May. I failed miserably. I got so caught up in giving my home a much needed clean from top to bottom that I let my walking slide and only went for a walk on the odd occasion.

It wasn't just this months challenge that I failed on either. My sleep pattern was shocking which led to poor food choices multiple times, I drank one to many coke zeros and not enough water, and I downed one to many glasses of wine which I had all but stopped drinking except on the odd occasion. All this made me feel quite sluggish and ashamed of myself since I had been doing so well.

The only up side was my weight didn't go up, how I don't know but for that I am very grateful.

June is the month of eating more fruit and vegetables. This one shouldn't be a problem at all as I enjoy eating quite a variety of both. I also want to make amends for May and make more of an effort to walk everyday, even if it is only around the block.

So as of tomorrow we are six months into the year. how did that happen ? It is quite frightening how fast the months are passing by. I guess on the scale of things I haven't done to badly with my health and fitness goals for 2017. I knew when I started that it was going to take more than a year to undo all the damage that I have done to myself, and although I wish that the weight would drop of at a much faster pace, I know that essentially I am on the right track and for that I am learning  to be proud on myself and not beat myself up instead.

How are your health goals for the year going ?
Are you still on track or like me taken a wee step backwards ? I hope that if you have fallen slightly off the path that you haven't given up but kept on having faith in yourself and your ability to succeed no matter how long it takes.

beck xx




28 May 2017

GRANDMA'S JAM DROPS



Sunday, the day of the week that seems to fly by faster than any other. I have spent my morning in the kitchen whipping up baked goods for the dreaded week ahead. The usual culprits that help make morning and afternoon teas a little more enjoyable. An iced sponge, two dozen muffins and about one million of my grandmothers jam drops. Okay, maybe not one million but enough to make my families eyes bulge. They are easy and delicious so I thought that I would share the recipe with you in case like me you get the urge to bake.


Grandma's Jam Drops

250 grams soft butter
2/3 cup of caster sugar
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 egg
2   1/4 cups of plain flour

Jam of your choice

Method

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter until creamy and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just mixed through.
Gently add the flour a little at a time and beat through until smooth.

Roll the mixture into small balls and place onto a greased tray.
Press the back of the spoon into the  mixture to make a small indent into the biscuit and fill with jam of your choosing.

Bake at 150 degrees until slightly golden.
Cool on a wire rack then refrigerate.

These tasty cookies will go down well with every one in the family, and are also quick and easy to make when unexpected guests drop by.

Enjoy

beck xx


26 May 2017

DISCOVER YOUR NOOK - Grab my code for a fabulous discount


Love to shop for your home ? Then I have something for you....


Who doesn't love beautiful, good quality home wares and furniture. Shopping for my home is an addiction. I like my space to look pretty, feel homely and I love to change things up quite often so life doesn't get boring. Basically, my home is my sanctuary, where I am most happy.

My Instagram account is a virtual library of beautifully decorated homes. I just cant get enough, its like peeking into the windows of beautiful homes all over the world. Its inspiring and where I get most of ideas from.
Sometime ago I came across a fabulous business account that I just had to follow.

Discover Your Nook  is a fabulous Sydney based business founded by the dynamic brother and sister duo Rebecca and Gibson Pham. Constantly left disappointed by having to choose from either the mass production of discount department stores, or the bespoke products that were expensive, the duo saw a gap in the market for on trend and sophisticated, yet affordable products. So together with their team they are here to help you Discover Your Nook.




I am excited to tell you that the team at DYN have generously welcomed me to their family and together we are offering YOU my readers and Instagram followers a fabulous 10% off their website.

How awesome is that !!!

Don't waste any time. Pop over to their site now www.discoveryournook.com.au and discover the piece/pieces to make your nook truly beautiful.

Just make sure that you use the code "BECK10" at check out.
This offer is valid until JUNE 30th 2017

Happy shopping, and please tag me in your post when your purchase has arrived in your hands.

beck xx


23 May 2017

RAISING YOUNG ADULTS




Young adults are no longer children, but "adults in training" that are living at home and still under the "guidance" of their parents or guardians. It can be a difficult process nutting out and enforcing rules that are grown up enough to keep the "kids" happy but strict enough to give the parents peace of mind. and to keep the household running smoothly.

We are currently in the process of some major family changes which have us treading carefully in some areas to keep the peace but still ensure that expectations are being met by everyone.

Currently I am  in the thick of what I believe to be the hardest stage of parenting yet. I wont tell you that having four boys under the age of six was easy because it wasn't. Nor am I going to tell you that I breezed through the terrible twos and teen years without incident because that would be telling a lie. But what I will tell you, is that every stage of parenting I have experienced to date has been a heck of a lot easier than dealing with four young adult men that are all head strong, independent and are all currently finding their feet in this crazy adult world.

Our two youngest boys are at that "I know everything" stage. At the ages of seventeen and nineteen they can be absolute nightmares delights. Attitudes are soaring at these ages and it is easy to butt heads.
My eldest two sons have recently moved back home after living on their own for almost two years. A return to the family nest was not exactly what they wanted but was kind of forced upon them because of job losses and all the backlash that comes with being out of work. Naturally they were used to doing as they pleased without the worry of mum and dad sticking their two cents in, but with the return home that all changed.

Usually, I am a micromanaging freak. I like strict routine and order. More often than not, my ducks are in a row to scared to stray. But right now I am having a difficult time setting limits. I am worried that I am being too lenient, or if I am expecting too much from my sons. Its a fine line to be walking and I'm always afraid that I am not treading carefully enough.


Its a hard job this parenting gig, and up until a few years ago I thought that I was passing with flying colours. Now, I am not quite sure that I am meeting all the criteria of a good parent.

Am I ....

Guiding them in the right direction ?
Praising them enough for their efforts ?
Trusting the decisions that they are making ?
Expecting them to live the life that I want them to lead instead of the life they want ?

There is so much on the line when raising young adults. So much uncertainty on both sides. So much pressure to be the perfect parent or child.
While my control over my sons lives is waning, I know that they still need my support and guidance. It is just a matter of finding a balance between taking to much control and letting go completely.

Do you have any advice that can help me with this stage in my parenting journey ?

beck xx

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








22 May 2017

ISAAC DANIEL, TODAY YOUR 19




Isaac my boy, today you are nineteen.
The past nineteen years have been a whirlwind. It seems like only yesterday that you were born, bringing so much joy and mischief into our family. When I first laid eyes on you I fell under your spell. You had me wrapped around your little finger from the very first moment you gazed into my eyes. I fell in love with you hard. Your big eyes, chubby cheeks and your determined personality, you had all the charm.  And as the years have passed you have only wormed your way into my heart even more.



Never a day goes by that you don't bring a smile to my face, that I don't think about you without my heat bursting. Every single day since the day you were born you have added something amazing and crazy to my world. Having a son like you makes all the heartache and hard times that come with life all worthwhile. Everyday I thank God that we were blessed with you, that I was chosen to be your mother. I still can't to this very day imagine what our lives would be like without you.


Suddenly where a little boy used to be, a young man stands full of so much promise. Isaac you have given me so many reason to be proud, but none of them compares to when I tell others that you are my son.


Today, I wish you all the happiness in the world. That you open your arms and heart to all that life has to offer, and that you never give up on your dreams. The world is your oyster my boy. Live life to its fullest and never doubt your ability to succeed.


Happy birthday Zack Attack, may everything that you ever dreamed of become yours and that you face life head on with opened eyes and an opened heart.

Mum xx


16 May 2017

MOTHERS DAY 2017


That's now twenty three Mother's Day celebrations under my belt.
Twenty three years of snuggles and sloppy kisses.
Twenty three years of my heart bursting with a love that I never really understood before I held my first babe in my arms.
Twenty three years of putting four little boys first and hoping that I have given them their every need.

From that first skin to skin contact my boys stole my heart. They wasted no time in wrapping me around their little fingers, looking at me with eyes so trusting and full of love. My heart was theirs, and it always will be.


I sensed a slight shift this Mothers Day, things are slowly beginning to change. I always knew there would come a time when the dynamics of family life would change, when the boys would be wrapped up in their own lives, not wanting to be constantly tied to family obligations. They are after all grown up now and lead very busy lives.
I was still showered with love, given many hugs and was lucky enough to be given some beautiful gifts. My morning was perfect, but once all the Mothers Day motions were over, we all went our own separate ways.

And you know what, I was just fine with it.



I have reached the point in mother hood when my kids are no longer at the age when the bribe of ice cream is good enough to keep them happy and willing to spend an entire day with me.
I remember my teenage and young adult years when it was a "big deal" to be forced into anything that I didn't want to do. When it was boring to visit the grandparents, or be dragged to the nursery so that mum could buy more plants and bags of potting mix.
Those days, well they have arrived, and I am willing to let it go. To allow my boys to make their own decisions. I know that they love me, I know that they care. Besides, I knew that my Mothers Day was not over as with the promise of pizza I knew that we would be back together in no time and would continue to celebrate over dinner.

And that is exactly what happened.

So as the years continue to fly by, and times continue to change. I am happy to take this ride that is mine at the moment, for I know that as more time goes by things will continue to evolve and come full circle and it will be my boys that will be in my shoes in the future.

I hope that all you beautiful mamma's out there had a fabulous day with your loved ones. I know that I did, and I hope that your every need was fulfilled. That your coffee was so strong the spoon stood up by itself and your toast was so burnt it resembled charcoal, but the love that you received was worth every slurp and bite and that you were game enough to take.

beck xx

Linking up with Kylie for IBOT 

30 Apr 2017

APRIL - Health and Fitness Update


April you wanted me to fail in a big way with my health and fitness challenge, and although I did indulge more than I intended too at Easter, I am still quite happy with where I am at.

Four months in and I am still going strong. If you have read any of my other health and fitness posts this year, you would know the journey that I embarked on in January is following this month to month challenge that I found on good old Pinterest in the hope to to become a more healthier happier me. My goal is to ultimately loose weight, but in a way that changes my bad habits into good ones that I can manage and make stick to recreate the me that I use to be.
I am pleased to say that I am still drinking mainly water with only the occasional sip of juice or soft drink. I will never be able to quit coffee  Breakfast is still a challenge for me, but I am eating it more than before, just not every day. Sleep. well lets just say that that is an ongoing drama, I want to be a good sleeper, who doesn't, but right now it seems like an impossible dream to conquer.

That brings us to April and the challenge to keep a food journal. Yeah um, it didn't happen. It started well one day only  and went down hill from there meaning it didn't happen again
I don't know what it was about this challenge that I couldn't make happen. Its not like it is a time consuming task, and it wasn't a difficult task either. I kept my notebook and pen handy with all the good intentions in the world. I just failed to keep it going. Its as simple as that.

So now it is time for May's challenge. Walking every day. This is one that I am looking forward to as with the cooler weather finally showing its face here in North QLD, it makes it easier to enjoy exercising outdoors. And with walking being my most favourite way to exercise, you can bet that this is a challenge I will be able to make happen without failure.

So how is your fitness challenge going this year ? Have you been able to stick to what you planned ?
Are you on the way to a healthier happier you ? Or are you one of the good people who are always committed ? I am jealous of you if you are : )

beck xx


17 Apr 2017

EASTER 2017



Easter passed quietly for us this year. There was no big fan fare or gathering of the tribes for a big Easter feast. Just each of us doing our own thing to relax and unwind before leaping back into the routine of work and school. It was good to just hang with the boys, watch a show on Netflix, do a bit of gardening, a bit of cooking and of course gobble down a chocolate egg or two.


On Good Friday we devoured delicious hot cross buns for lunch, and homemade fish and leek pie for dinner.
The weather was perfect and has finally turned. We had our first peak at Autumn which decided to show its face over the past few days. It has been welcomed with open arms.


With three out of four of our sons adults now the "Easter Bunny" no longer makes an appearance. Instead, placed in our kitchen is a large bowel filled with chocolate mini eggs and sugary sweet treats for the teenager who doesn't eat chocolate is he even my child? 



My parents came over on the afternoon of Easter Sunday, mum bringing with her, her traditional gooey chocolate cake slice for afternoon tea, and by the time they had left I for one was all over and done with chocolate.


I hope that each and every one of you had a beautiful Easter with your family and friends. That you all made yourselves sick with chocolate and celebrated the occasion with love, warmth and tradition. May you go fourth on the coming days remembering these past few and continue to show each other love and support and not just reserve it for these special occasions.

May we all live in peace and remember the real reason of Easter. HE LIVES.


beck xx

11 Apr 2017

PLEASANTLY SURPRISED


When we became a household of six again, I thought the last of my sanity was about to walk out the door. I mean how were we going to co-exist as a full house after so long ? Would it even be possible to calmly have my four boys living together under one roof once more ? I was excited to have my nest full once again but I wanted a smooth transition, not one filled with drama and dare I say it a lot of sibling fighting and rivalry.


I knew that it would only be natural that my boys would butt heads. The youngest two had become used to being the only kids at home and had formed a peaceful duo that was about to be tested in a big way. For the oldest two, they had to learn to live at home with not only their younger siblings but also with their parents, and the household rules that would come along with that. That is a big step, a huge learning curve. Would it even be possible after all this time ?


It has been a little over a month now since we have re-entered this family status as a whole unit, and I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised and very proud of my sons. Not once has there been any bickering. There have been none of those sibling fights that make me want to tear my hair out at the roots. It has been a calm, smooth transition that has delighted me to no end.
Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that world war three could be just around the corner waiting to explode in my face.


I know that nothing can and will stay smelling like roses forever. All it could take is a side way glance at the wrong moment to bring our calm household to its knees, but for now I am going to bask in the glory that our train has so far stayed on its tracks. That we are living in harmony without a dark cloud in the sky. It is a mothers prerogative to praise her family when it is due, and to cross all her fingers and toes, hoping that the smooth sea that her ship is sailing on stays that way.

fingers crossed ... beck xx

Linking up for this weeks IBOT with the gorgeous Kylie






10 Apr 2017

ONE THING - Clean windows


I can see clearly now. Well I can at least see out of my windows without a smudgy mess staring back at me. I finally got around to cleaning all the windows of our home for my #onething this week and now I am wondering why it took me so long to do so.

If you read and follow along with Beth of Babymac and I am sure that you do. One thing is where you complete a task that is not on your everyday list of getting things done. It is your other list, the one where you have a long list of things around your home that needs to get done, but takes longer to get through.

I do wipe the front windows over maybe once a fortnight, and while watering the plants I give them a quick squirt with hose, but this week they all got a good going over. Windows, tracks and sills. I got into all those nooks and crannies where dirt and dust settle and now they are as clean as they can be. I'm sure it wont be long before they will need doing again, but for now I am basking in the glory that is clean windows.





There is nothing like the satisfaction of completing a long overdue task. I have a long #onething to do list that will most likely take me the better half of the year to complete.

Do you follow along with Beth and her #onething ?
What was the latest one thing that you have completed ?

Happy Monday : )

beck xx

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