Thursday, 28 February 2013

Just a little TLC was all it took

My little Miss H has been less than a barrel of laughs recently, in fact she has been a little madam!!  Almost every day in the last couple of weeks I've been told at least twice "I'm NOT your best friend!" The floorboards have also taken a bit of a battering with the amount of "left foot stamping" that has been going on.  It's quite exhausting!!  She seems to have gone from a little angel to a little devil overnight, without even the tiniest bit of warning.

I hate getting cross with her and it seems to end up being a bit of a vicious cycle -  She stamps her feet, I get cranky, she stamps her feet even more, I get more cranky and so on it goes....... until we're both unhappy.

I've been desperately hoping that it's just a phase and it's her way of pushing boundaries and asserting her authority (or trying to........ no one beats mummy! Not even Dad).  That is until I dropped her at Kindy on Tuesday and it was the WORST drop off ever.  She clung to me like a baby monkey and screamed leaving me to literally peel her off my leg and run to the door without looking back.  I did actually call the Kindy and hour or so later to check how she was and they said she was absolutely fine and playing happily with her friends.  Still....... it didn't stop that loaded arrow of mummy guilt hitting me right where it hurts!!

I couldnt stop thinking about it all morning as it's just so unlike her, and I remembered a conversation we'd had in the car on the way to Kindy that morning.  "Miss H" I said "you are just getting sooo grown up!  Can you stop growing please!"  "But I just can't stop mummy" she said innocently.  (I can't remember what promoted this conversation), but when we arrived at Kindy (just before the screaming started) she kept saying she wanted to go back to her old room and stay with the babies.  "Don't be silly"  I'd told her.  "you'll have so much more fun with the big kids in your new class".

I didn't put two and two together until later that morning and it suddenly dawned on me that she might be feeling a little bit left out now that Miss L is starting to make a bit more of a presence in the family.  Mr D and I wondered if maybe she was suffering from a bit of 'middle child syndrome'????  With me being the eldest and Mr D being the youngest, neither of us actually have a clue about middle child syndrome or if it even exists.  However my solution was just to give her a simple bit of extra TLC and so far it seems to have done the trick.  My smiley little Miss is back again!!

Yesterday we had a girls day and I cleared my entire diary (you'll be surprised how busy I am - Mr D if you're reading this!!!).  We played a very interesting game of mummies and sisters (I was the sister) and I did have to stop myself from chuckling at Miss H's vivid imagination   "Sister" she said to me "do you have a baby in your tummy?" "Oh no!" I reply (thinking that was the right answer).  "YOU DO Mummy!!" she said "just pretend!!".  "Oh sorry!  Yes, here's my baby in here" I point to my tummy.  "When's it coming out?" she asks.  "I don't know" I say.  "YOU DO Mummy!  Just pretent"  "oh Sorry!! In about two weeks".  "oh we must get ready to go to the doctors' she continues..........  (it was quite therapeutic being a kid again).

Next we did some painting - Easter Bunny style!! (at her request).  I had to have a quick look on pinterest for some inspiration and his is a great one for anyone else looking for a bit of toddler Easter craft!!

Printing our feet to make bunny ears! (wearing wings of course! and YES I had some on too)

The finished product.  Isn't it cute??

We also did some baking and I managed to get her to believe that these 'chocolate' balls were actually made out of real chocolate.  A stroke of genius if I do say so myself.  (ingredients are: almond meal, dried apricots, gogi berries and dates, a tablespoon of cocoa powder and some manuka honey.  All whizzed together and rolled in coconut).  Seriously yummy!!

Today I learnt a great mummy lesson learnt.  A little TLC really can go a looooong way!!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Traffic Light Brownies

This is another idea that I saw somewhere - Pinterest I think, but I just can't remember exactly where it was!!  Anyway I thought it was a great idea - and I'm very sorry for not crediting it's original source.

I've decided to use a lovely Nigella Lawson recipe for the brownies (which I altered ever so slightly for the thermomix), so if you're on any form of diet - look away now!!

A quick trip to woolies for the ingredients with two very enthusiastic little helpers!


150g chocolate (I used dark chocolate)
150g butter
3 eggs
280-300g sugar (I used the lesser)
1 tsp vanilla essence
25g cocoa powder
130g plain flour
A large bag of smarties (or M&M's)

Prep and Method
  • Set the oven to preheat at 160 degrees (NOT 180 degrees as I did without thinking and then had to wait for it to cool a bit).
  • Line a 20cm baking tin with baking paper.
  • Chop the butter and chocolate for 5 seconds on speed 5.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula.  
  • Melt the chocolate and butter for 2 mins at 60 degrees on speed 1.   Don't worry if there are still bits of solid chocolate in there - as Nigella says "there is nothing better than finding a sneaky lump of chocolate in your brownie".

  • Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence and mix if 5 seconds on speed 4.
  • Add the flour and cocoa and mix again for 5 seconds on speed 4.
  • Pour the mixture evenly into the tin (trying not to eat it in the process).

  • Finally get your 'enthusiastic' helper to sort out all the Smarites into traffic light colours ready to decorate!  Bonus points if they can tell you what the colours mean!!
  • Pop your beautiful brownie tray into the oven and bake it for 50mins.  Nigella says to take them out the oven 10 minutes early if you want your brownies to be a little bit gooey in the middle.  Which we did and they were DELICIOUS!!
The green Smarties seemed to turn yellow in the over - but no one seemed to notice!!
  • Once cooled, cut up and serve (and again try not to eat them all at once).

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Third week in Feb. Love Instagram!

I had a very bad start to last week when my beloved iphone was literally run over by a bus!!  I was doing my best at trying to do too many things at once (something that I do all too often and it almost always ends in disaster - when will I learn???)  Anyway whilst trying to find my keys at the bottom of my bag, manoeuvre the pram with one arm (because Miss L was insisting on being carried), trying to get the kids across the road safety AND attempting to end a slightly stressed out phone call with Mr D..........I put the phone down on the bonnet of the car,  FORGOT ABOUT IT, and drove off!!!

The rest is history I guess!!!

I could have cried!!  (in fact I really, nearly almost did)

Mr D wanted me to pick him up from the bus stop and as I went to call him to find out where he was, I realised in horror what I had done!  My heart dropped down to my toes  and I silently cursed my stupidity.

On the bright side (if there is one) and rather amazing, Mr D managed to track the phone with that fancy iphone tracker thingy and he found it lying on the road about 5 miles away!!  Not looking very happy - but working just enough for me to suck off all of my data!

It took a whole week before I got my replacement (thank you Apple for the repairs) and I think we both suffered a little.  Me - well, I just don't know how I ever lived without a phone!  Painful!  Is the best way I can describe it and poor Mr D got a few extra silver hairs added to his collection (which is really not that bad for a man anyway - kind of distinguished I think).

Instagram was back!  And just in time for a perfect beach weekend!

A mouth full of sand!! (and not me!!)

This is what she thought of me when I said no to an ice-cream!  She might not thank me for it, but she does have the cutest 'grumpy' face!!

Three little mermaids on the beach

Sunday swim club.  It was a spectacular day for it.

More beach fun!

Well that's it I'm afraid!  I am already doing so much better this week - my camera has been on overdrive......making up for lost time!

Anyone else had any phone disasters??  (oh and did I mention that my phone was only 1 month old!!!  Hence Mr D's silver hair increase).

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Reduce harmful radiation AND Increase your smartphone battery power with PONG! The smart cover for the smart phone! Plus a *GIVEAWAY*

Have you ever been concerned about the amount of radiation your body is absorbing from your mobile phone??  Or worse still...... how much your kids may be absorbing??

I have to admit it has crossed my mind, but as I don't think I could survive without my phone, it hasn't concerned me enough to want to give up my phone!!!

My kids are still too young to need a mobile phone, but they do use ipads (and itouches etc)  ALOT!!!  (in fact I have absolutely NO idea how my parents ever coped without them).

I was quite shocked when I learnt our bodies absorb between 48-68% of the radiation from these gadgets.  Gadgets that we simply cannot live without (well I would struggle that's for sure and I know I'm not the only one).  This is especially scary when I think of just how many years of this kind of absorption my kids are going to be exposed to!!  No one really knows the true extent of the damage it may cause us, but the World Health Organisation have said that mobile phone radiation is carcinogenic.!!!  Even big companies like Apple and Blackberry warn their customers to keep their phones at least an inch away from their heads.  Do you do this???

I was recently offered the chance by WORDSTORM PR to review an iphone case from PONG RESEARCH and I really was intrigued.  I did a little bit of my own research and I was super impressed by what the PONG cases can do.    It reduces the amount of radiation absorbed by the body,  and as a direct result it is aslo said to increase the battery life of your iphone/smartphone and increase your wi-fi and 3G/4G signal strength!

Well I don't know about you, but just the increase in battery life alone was enough to grab my attention!!

Both Mr D and I were impressed by the look and feel of this PONG case (mine is for the iphone5)

For some reason I was expecting a biggish and rather 'clumpy' cover to arrive (I thought it would have needed to be in order to perform all it's meant to).  However I was really pleasantly surprised to find a really sleak, slim and lightweight case.  It also has this beautiful smooth and soft velvety texture that you just want to keep rubbing your fingers over.  Even Mr D was pretty impressed with the look of it.  He hates all phone covers and doesn't use one at all - he says they make the phone too bulky to fit in his pocket!

The PONG cover IS slim enough and it fits the phone like glove getting the seal of approval from a very fussy Mr D!  It also comes in a range of colours to suit just about anyone, and the ipad version has this really cool folding origami style back that turns into a stand.  Too clever!!  Check out their website at PONG RESEARCH for more information.

Which is your favourite?

So here comes the science.  (As I am really not a techie kind of person I will do my best to explain it in simple terms)

1. PONG smartphone & ipad cases reduce the amount of radiation exposure that enters our bodies

PONG is currently the only phone case on the market that has been proven to reduce the amount of radiation that enters our bodies.  There is a really thin antenna system that is imbedded into the case which redirects the radiation away from our heads and back into the phone.  Clever hey??

Image credit

This brings us to:

2.  PONG smartphone & ipad cases optimise signal

This is always a good thing in my book!  I'm sure we've all had a moment or two when we are trying desperately to send a message and we have to wave our phones above our heads or climb up the nearest hill to get some decent signal!!  Well,  by stopping half of the 'signal' from being literally lost in our heads/bodies, the pong smartphone case actually increases the signal we get on our phone!  Even more clever!!

and finally 

3.  PONG smartphone and ipad cases conserve the battery power of your devise (by quite a bit - I tried and tested it) 

Now this bit I could actually test out myself.  Over a 24 hour period I took screenshots of my iphone's battery life using my old case.  I started at 7am with a fully charged battery and by 3:47pm that afternoon my battery had died!!  (So frustrating that it doesn't last longer).  The following day I did the exact same thing with the PONG case and I kid you not.........I got almost 3 hours more battery life than the day before!!!  AWESOME!!

The PONG case comes with a screen protector and a cute little cloth to keep it smudge free.

I really have been very impressed by this cover.  With the amount of time that all of us as a family spend on phones/ipads (including playing games and watching youtube videos) I really don't think I'm going to take my chances with radiation any longer!

If you would like to win your very own PONG case for your phone (valued at $59) then all you have to do is simply enter the PONG GIVEAWAY below.  It's free and won't take you a minute - what do you have to loose???

Make sure to check out the PONG RESEARCH facebook page too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I have not been paid to write this review and all opinions expressed are my own.  Unless otherwise stated all images are copyright to Mrs D plus 3.  I would like to thank Kate from Wordstorm PR and PONG Research for giving me the iphone 5 cover that I have used for this review.*

Monday, 11 February 2013

And it really IS a good picture!

This evening whilst I was cooking dinner for the second time.... (earlier today I made an amazing Green Thai Curry, but I underestimated just how hot it would be!  Hence dinner number two as my beautiful curry was too 'burny' for the kids).   Anyway, whilst I was in the kitchen, Master J yelled out to me "Mum, come in here and look at us!  This will make a really cool picture! '  Not sure what they were up to, I grabbed my phone and walked into the lounge.

This is what I found!  Master J was so right - it really IS a good picture.

This post was brought to you by Memories Captured.  Linking up on Writing, Wishing

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A roundup of the first week in February (already!!!) in pictures. Love Instagram!

This week we have had the most beautiful summer days - February on the beaches has certainly lived up to its reputation.  I've also been very snap happy with my iphone, so I hope you're ready for a long list of pictures.  Here is our week - love Instagram!

Girls lunch in Manly

Last Sunday I spend the afternoon with the girls, sipping cocktails and watching the ocean at The Manly Wine Bar to celebrate a good friends birthday.  If you're ever in Sydney you really should drop in there.  It is one of my most favourite bars - right opposite the iconic Manly Beach, it's mixture of ocean views, old fashioned retro decor and awesome food is not to be missed.  It has such a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere that you could loose a whole day in there - and it's policy to accept board-shorts and bikinis too if you so wish!!

How good does this dessert look???? 

Seems I wasn't the only one watching the view!  Even after  almost two years in Aus they still give me some serious heebie jeebies

Do you like my new hat?

Pretty little toes.  A pedicure date with Mummy

Can you spot the rainbow?

I love Wednesday's with my girls
Spagetti pizza

Another quick and awesome Thermomix dinner.  Left over Spagetti Bolognese on fresh pizza dough with cheese and fresh basil.  

How lucky are these two little munchins - look at that view!!!!!

A scooter and an apron.

We decided to have and impromptu BBQ dinner at the beach one evening as the weather was so lovely. Something that we really have to do more often.

I just LOVE these photos

The girls just had an absolute ball together playing in the lagoon mouth whilst Master J was doing his nippers class on Saturday afternoon.  Now that Miss L is crawling she thinks she is a real little clever cloggs

She really is a beach baby!

Sunday morning sunrise!  One advantage of being woken up by the kids at 6:30am

Sundays are such perfect family days

Watching the waves with Daddy

Friday, 8 February 2013

Liebster Award number 2

Last week I was lucky enough to receive my second Liesbster Award from the lovely Lisa at Mummy Manifesto.  It made my week being nominated again, so thank you so much Lisa.  I think this is such a lovely award in the blogging community as it really shows recognition for each others talents and it's a fabulous way of discovering new blogs to read (which is hard to resist for me as I'm ALWAYS in the lookout for new blogs).

To find out a bit more about the Liebster Award (and a little more about me), take a look at my First Leibster Award

Here are the great 11 questions that Lisa had for me.  Are you ready??

1.  The 'worst' compliment that you have ever received?

Well this one I remember very clearly.  Back in the day when I was working as an Inflight Beauty Therapist for Virgin Atlantic, I was in a bar in Hong Kong called 'Dusk till Dawn'.  (If anyone reading this has even been partying in Hong Kong, you'll remember this place for sure!!).  It's one of those bars that you always end up in at the very end of the night (or early hours of the morning).  I could go on and on here (memories flooding in), but must get back to the point in hand!!  One particular night I was there a nice looking pilot attempted to 'chat me up".  After the initial pleasantries he leaned in and said "You look like the kind of pretty girl that would make a wonderful housewife!!!!!!!!"  Enough said!

2.  Your favourite midnight snack?

Not sure I'm able to stay awake until midnight these days, but if I could it would have to be peanut M&M's or white chocolate Malteasers.  (Actually pretty much any chocolate would do).

3.  The hardest thing about blogging is?

For me as a busy mum of three, I'd say it would definitely have to be finding the time to do it!  Coming a close second would be keeping up with social media - if I'm not careful that can be the biggest time sucker of all!!

4.  The one character trait that you hope to pass on to your children?

Mmmmm this is a tough one!  I'm not good at self compliments.  I think I am a pretty good listener, which is something that I definitely got from my mum (she's the best).  I really hope that all my kids learn how to be good listeners. 

5.  Your favourite birthday celebration so far?

That has got to be my 30th Birthday.  We were still living in England then and being a January birthday it was ABSOLUTELY freezing   There was so much snow that we only just made it home from a family lunch.  The following week Mr D booked a beautiful boutique hotel in Cornwall where we went with a group of our closest friends for a long weekend.  Despite the snow everywhere else, the sun was shining in Cornwall and we had the most awesome weekend chilling out together with great wine, great food, great views and great company.

England can be spectacular in the winter

6.  The one character trait you hope you partner passes on to your children?

That one has to be patience!  Mr D has loads of patience - so much more than me!

7.  The one bad habit you wish you could get rid of?

Biting my nails!  This is a terrible habit that I have had on and off since I was a little girl.  I remember my dad saying he'd give me 50c per nail if I stopped biting them.  It worked!!  For a little while anyway.....

8.  Camping or hotel?

Hotel for sure!!  I am just not a camping kinda girl!

9.  Name one blogger you want to meet in real life and why?

Mmmmmm this one has me thinking!  I think I will have to say Che from Indieberries.  I love reading her blog and she just seems like a really funny, cool kinda chick!!

10.  Your signature dish in the kitchen?

I don't really have a signature dish as such but Mr D certainly has.  His spaghetti Bolognese rocks!!

11.  Your most treasured possession?

This may sounds slightly cliched but I have three!  My children for sure!

So there you have it!  Now it's my turn to nominate some fabulous blogs that I think deserve a bit of Liebster Loving.  Make sure to pop over and check them out too.

1.  Teapots and Tractors
2.  No more pastrami
3.  Dad down under
4.  Bliss amongst the Chaos
5.  Have a laugh on me
6.  Easy Peasy Kids

And last but certainly not least, here are my 11 questions I have for them.

1.  Who is the boss in your house.  Mum or Dad?
2.  Where is the best place you've taken the kids on holiday and why?
3.  Tea or coffee in the mornings?
4.  Which social media platform do you enjoy the most?
5.  Can you share one fail safe kids lunch box idea?
6.  What is the first thing you notice when meeting new people?
7.  Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kinda person?
8.  What is your favorite ice-cream flavour?
9.  What are you most passionate about?
10.  If tomorrow was 'date night' for you and your partner, where would you go?
11.  Where is the furthest you've ever been from home?

Well, thats it!  I've really enjoyed writing this post, so thanks SO much again Lisa from nominating me. Don't forget to visit Lisa at Mummy Manifesto and all my lovely Liebster nominees to find out how they've answered my questions.