Wednesday, 27 March 2013


A few weeks ago Nuffnang Australia were running a competition to win tickets to the preview of the THE CROODS.  The lastest animation from DreamWorks. All you had to do was either tweet or instagram a photo or statement of 'the wildest thing either you or your kids have done'.

The very first thing I thought of was a photo I had of Master J and his buddy Master C with a python around their necks.  I just love the expressions on their faces - such a pair of little dudes.  Plus they're holding a python........and for me (who is terrified of pretty much anything that moves and is not human) that's pretty wild!!  So I fished out the photo and stuck it on twitter.

Follow me on twitter @mrsdplus3

Guess what??  We WON some tickets!!!!!  WOO HOO!!  I received 4 tickets to The CROODS preview at Fox Studios in Sydney's entertainment Quater.  The kids were SO exited when I told them, and of course we had to take Master C too, as he had been in the winning photo.

The journey there was a bit of a trauma as a.) I am TERRIBLE when it comes to driving in the city.  I become such a nervous nelly when I don't know where I am going and b.) Emily (my trusty Sat Nav) became not so trusty and decided to take us on a tour of the city!!  I knew when I saw the Opera House and Bridge for the third time that she was probably having a laugh at my expense!  "Are we there yet mum??????" they all called from the back.  "Nearly, nearly"  came my reply - trying my absolute best to keep my voice stable when all I really wanted to do was give Emily a piece of my mind!!!  If it wasn't illegal to litter I would have loved to have ripped her out the car and flung her into the bottom of the harbour!!

Anyway, with the help of my iphone and a MUCH more helpful Aussie voice on google maps, we finally made it - and only JUST in time.  I had to queue for almost half an hour to get into the car park (the Sydney Family Show was on that weekend too).   I started to panic a little that we'd never find a space when I had a genius idea!  I learnt out the window and called over to the car wash dude. Fluttering my eyelashes just a little, I asked "If I pay you to wash my car can we all get out here (in the middle of car park) and just leave you to find us a space??"  "PLEASE, the kids are so excited and we're about to miss out movie" (more pleading eyes).  "Oh go on then" he said "but it'll cost you 40 bucks!!  DONE!! We jumped out the car and ran!!

The movie was FABULOUS!!  I think I laughed even more than the kids.  I'm not sure what I enjoyed more though, watching the movie or watching Miss H.  It was the first time she has even seen a movie in 3D and her reactions were just too cute!!  "MUMMY!"  she yelled at the top of her voice "It's real - it's really real".  The colours and animations were incredible and at one point a whole bunch of fireflies looked like they were flying right into the audience.  Poor Miss H ducked her head to get out of their way and spilled her orange juice all down her top!  She was so mesmerised by it that she didn't even notice!

Of course the boys' best bit was when the Croods bum's caught on fire - they thought that was hilarious!!

So if you're looking for something to do this Easter with the kids I highly recommend you go and see THE CROODS - great entertainment for the whole family.

Thanks so much Nuffnang we had the BEST morning (eventually).  And I have a very clean car too!


Monday, 25 March 2013

Can you believe that March is almost over??? A quick update

It's week 9 of the school term and the last week of March already!!!  I've been pretty slack on here recently and have been itching to get on to my computer to write.  We've been pretty busy with two major events happing in our house this month.  

Firstly, we submitted our application for Permanent Residency in Australia last week - and phew!! what a relief it is to finally have it out of our hands.  We have lived here in Sydney for two years now and absolutely love it.  I can't think of anywhere else in the world I would rather bring up my kids.  However without permanent residency we run the risk of being 'asked to leave' at any point, which is a pretty stressful thing to have hanging over our heads.  The paperwork has been epic (7kg worth to be precise), but we have at last submitted and now we're just holding our fingers tightly crossed that we get accepted.

Sydney you are so beautiful
The second big event has been having Grandpa and Granny Beer to stay.  (Master J couldn't say the 'de' in de Beer when he was a baby, and so Granny and Grandpa 'Beer' just stuck).  The last time we saw Mr D's parents was about 3 years ago when Miss H was only 9 months old.  This has been a long anticipated visit and it's been wonderful having them around.

So lovely to have Granny & Grandpa 'Beer' here at last
The rest of this month consisted of lots of mundane, everyday activities sprinkled with lots of blue skies and stunning views.  I have probably put the kids in and out of the car a couple of hundred times ( I hate, hate sealt belts - Aaarrrhhh), done more loads of washing than I can count and settled quite a few sibling wars (you know the kind - big brother winds up little sister and then little sister screams.........).  It's also been the hottest March Sydney has had in 17 years, so I've sweated my way through all the above activities too.  However, I wouldn't have it any other way and here are a few of my favourite Instagram photos to show what we've been up this awesome March!

Miss L and I taking a walk to the caravan park where Granny and Grandpa 'Beer' have been staying
Master J teaching his little sis how to stand on a surf board 
So happy to be out of the pram and the carseat!! Waiting for Master J to finish school - her best time of the day
Bat Girl!   She loves playing dress ups and has started to involve her little sis by dressing her up too.
Granny 'Beer' having her first snuggles with her newest little granddaughter
Me at my workstation!! 
A beautiful sunset.  I got to sit and watch it on the sand dune whist Master J was at a disco in the surf club
Beautiful butterfly girl.
He is getting so grown up!!
More Granny 'Beer cuddles'
Sisters!  I love this one x
She did NOT want to share her green smoothie with 'Bonnie' the puppy
Mr D having his usual weekend nap on the lounge floor
First tooth to fall out!!
Absolutely loving the water 
cuddles with my big girl
A rare pic of me and Mr D taken by Grandpa 'Beer' (one of us is usually always behing the lens)

So I've just realised that this is probably not a 'quick' update at all.  I hope you all made it the end of this post.  I promise to write much more regularly next month.  And before I forget 


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Rocking kids finger food! Carrot, apple and chicken bites

A proper "bit of this and bit of that" dinner
My mother in law is staying with us at the moment and it's so great to have another set of hands and eyes especially.  Now they're yelling "Granny, look at me!" every 2 minutes instead of "Muuuuuum, look at me!" - heaven I tell you!!)

Anyway, she has told me that I am creating FAR TOO MUCH work for myself when it comes to dinners - especially with the kids.  Most nights, I cook something for Miss L, something completely different for Miss H and Master J and then more often than not, Mr D and I eat something else!!  I guess she might have a tiny point, but most of the time I just can't be bothered with the stress and drama of an argument.  (Besides, with my new friend thermomix, cooking most things is super duper easy now).

Keeping in mind that my kitchen "is not a hotel" (direct quote from the MIL) I have been looking for things to cook that are suitable for all of us - varying from a 9 month old baby, an almost 4 year old (fusspot) and a 6 and a half year old, Mr D (and of course something diet friendly for mummy).  Not an easy task (well I think so anyway).

The other day I tried out these MOST delicious chicken bites (for the small people) and burgers for us grown ups - and everybody loved them - RESULT!!  So I thought I'd share the recipe.  My recipe is for the thermomix but it can be very easily adapted to any style of cooking.


500g chicken mince 
1 red onion
1 tbs olive oil
1 large green apple 
2 large carrots (peeled)
1tbs vegetable/chicken stock concentrate (or some fresh herbs instead)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
bread crumbs (for coating)

  • Roughly chop the apple and carrot and grate for 5 seconds on speed 6.  Remove it from the TM bowl (or grater) and using clean hands squeeze out some of the excess juices.  Then set aside in a separate bowl.
Too much exces juice can made the bites/burgers very soggy!
  • Chope the onion into quarters and add to the TM bowl.  Chop for 3-5 seconds on speed 7, add the olive oil and then saute for 3.5 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 1.
  • Add all remaining ingredients (except breadcrumbs)  and mix for 15 seconds on reverse speed 2.

  • Using your hands mould the chicken mix into small balls or patties (or big ones for the grown ups), roll into breadcrumbs* and lightly fry until golden brown and cooked through.

You could also roll these into balls and make chicken balls as an alternative

These bites/burgers were so yummy and they make awesome baby or toddle finger food as well as delicious burgers served up in a fresh bun with some healthy salad.  The other great advantage is that you can cook up a huge batch and freeze them.

Let me know if you have any rocking recipes that will suite the whole family??

*You can use shop bought breadcrumbs or make your own.  I made my own using a recipe from page 14 of the Thermomix Every Day Cookbook.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Welcome to Australia Stanley

Meet Flat Stanley!!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine in England (who's little boy, Master C, just so happened to be Master J's best buddy when we used to live in England), contacted me asking for a favour.  Master C, who is also in year 1, was doing a class project that involved making 'Flat Stanley' and sending him off to another country where he could have some adventures and then make his way home to report back!

We were delighted to be involved and once I told Master J all about Stanley, he couldn't wait for him to arrive, and kept checking the post every day.
Stanley's arrived!  The big smile says it ALL!
Welcome to Australia Stanley
Stanley arrived all tucked up in an envelope with a set of instructions and we couldn't wait to show him around.

"Dear Master J

As part of our learning we have made ourselves a flat Stanley, based on the story of a little boy that is sent on an adventure.  Master C has decided to send his flat Stanley to you!  Please look after flat Stanley and tell us about his adventures.  Maybe he could come and spend the day with you at school or work, maybe you'd like to take him with you on a special trip and send us some photographs or information about where you have been or maybe he could find out about your home!  When flat Stanley is ready to come home after his adventure, please could you put him in the enclosed envelope, add some stamps and and pop him back in the post box.  When he arrives back to us we will find out about your adventures together as a class!

Love Master C"

Flat Stanley with Class 1R
Our first stop was to take Stanley to school.  Master J's teacher was absolutely thrilled to get involved and set aside some time for the whole class to learn about Stanley.  Master J got to do a 'special' news presentation to the class telling them all about Stanley and where he came from.  After looking at some pictures of Master C at school in England, the class learnt all about the differences between School in England and school in Australia.  (I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at their discussions and the kids just loved learning all about what kids their ages did at school in another country.  They then each drew a picture of something they do at school in Australia and we popped them all in an envelope ready to go back to England when Stanley has finished his adventures.

Poor Stanley brought the English weather with him - but he still had fun at the beach luckily.
We put Stanley in a bucket to stop him from getting blown away by the wind
Miss H held Stanley's hand just in case he was scared of the seagulls.
Of course Stanley had to visit the beach before he went home.  The first day we took him to the beach just happened to be a pretty cloudy, grey day and we all had a chuckle that Stanley must have brought the chilly English weather with him.  He didn't seem to mind though.

Stanley also learnt how to scooter and skate board and he went on the ferry to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House before we said goodbye and popped him back in the post.

Safe travels Stanley, we hope you let us know about your class in England.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The day I became Mrs D

The new Mrs D
Miss H is very into weddings and 'marrying' at the moment and poor Mr D has had to get down on one knee and propose at least 15 times over the last couple of weeks.  "Again Daddy!" she squeals "Lets do  marrying and you have to be the handsome prince".

It's all come from a combination of watching Cinderella on TV too many times (it's the current favourite movie - and thank god we've moved on from Dora!) and watching Mr D and I tied the knot.  I got our wedding DVD out for her a few weeks ago and she has been memorised by it.  I haven't watched it for a few years now and when I first put it on for her, I ended up bawling my eyes out.  "Why are you crying mummy" Miss H asked me curiously "they're just happy tears honey" I tell her.  She looked a bit confused, but thankfully accepts that and then goes on to say "Mummy, you were a real princess!!" (which of course sets me off again!!)

Planning a wedding is such a huge task and looking back through my photos I can honestly say that it was everything I wanted it to be.

Although I've lived in England for over 20 years,  both Mr D and I were born in South Africa so there was really no doubt that that was where we wanted to get married.  I had my heart set on a place called "Granny Mouse's Country House".  It is just around the corner from where my grandparent still live and I have such vivid memories of playing in the Chapel and marrying my Barbie's there when I was a little girl.

Mr D and I flew out to South Africa to hunt for the 'perfect wedding venue' but I knew all along that it would be at Granny Mouse.  Even Mr D fell in love with it with he saw it.

Granny Mouse's stunning wedding chapel nestled in the middle of the beautiful Natal Midlands countryside
A typical Midlands Sunset
My flowers were an obvious choice too as my Grandpa is a farmer and has a beautiful protea farm just around the corner from Granny Mouse.  The entire colour scheme of the wedding was based around these beautiful flowers.  It was so special knowing that my wedding bouquet were full of grandpa's flowers.

Me and my Grandpa overlooking his Protea Farm
My bouquet with three of Grandpa's stunning protea's in the middle
After  a year of careful planning and several trip back and forth to South Africa from England, our big day finally arrived.  I had told Mr D that the ONE thing I really, really didnt want on our wedding day was rain!  And boy oh boy DID IT RAIN!!!!!!!  Not just any rain, but the biggest and heaviest downpour you can possibly imagine.  The sky went as black as night, there were hailstones bigger than marbles tumbling out the sky and water was rushing down past the Chapel in small rivers.  In fact I believe the Chapel was actually leaking!!

Poor Mr D - he was so worried that I would be totally stressed out by the weather but in fact I couldn't see any of this.  I was tucked away with the my girls and a glass of bubbles - trying to squash down my nerves!!

Our ceremony was due to start at 3pm and of course that is exactly when the thunderstorm arrived!!  (Funny actually as that is the time  Master J finishes school and if its going to rain it will almost always be at 3pm!!).  So I didn't actually arrive at the Chapel until almost 4pm, when the rain disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared.  A typical African thunderstorm!  You would never have guessed that it had been the most spectacular morning of sunshine while we were all getting ready, and luckily I managed to sneak in a few of our photos before the sky turned black.

I'm really not a big fan of my 'self portrait' or 'selfie' as its called these days (I'm too self critical), but I do love this one.  My dress was hand made by a lady in Australia (way before we ever knew we would be living here) and it had to be sent all the way to England, only to be packed away and flown all the way to South Africa.

My two gorgeous flower fairy nieces.  The little one kept whispering to me "Aunty Robs, it's going to rain!  I can see the rain!!  It's coming......" LOL and how right she was!!

I was a bundle of nerves by the time I got to walk down the isle.  My dad whispered "are you ready?" and as I looked over at him to say "Yes" I saw that he had tears streaming down his face!  "OH god, not now, not now, not now"I thought - biting my tongue to stop my own tears from making my mascara run down my face like the rain!  It was one of the hundreds of 'moments' from that day which will stay with me forever.

About to walk down the isle
The ceremony it's-self will always make us laugh!!  It was comedy to the core (unintentionally I might add).  The minister that I had prepared everything with pulled out at the last minute and sent a replacement on the day (who neither of us had met before).  We only found out when he arrived that morning so there was really very little we could have done about it.  It was only the second wedding he had ever performed and he clearly didn't have a clue!  When repeating my vows (which just seemed to go on and on and on and on and on) he said "Will you promise to make Mr D his breakfast every day for the rest of his life".  SILENCE!!  I didn't answer because I thought he was trying to make some kind of joke (I could also hear my bridesmaids sniggering behind me, making it very hard for me to keep a straight face).  After what felt like a looooong silence, I realised that he actually wasn't joking!!  So one of my (many) vows was to make Mr D his breakfast every day.  Unfortunately (for Mr D) I have just not managed to keep this one - Ooops!!

He then finished off by saying "With the power invested in me, and in God and in Jacob Zuma (the South African president)  I now pronounce you husband and wife.  I kid you not!!  There were several other classic's that he threw in there too, but those stories can wait for another day.

How amazing is that window with the VIEW??

A little cheesy but we had SO much fun!
So that, in a nutshell, is how I became Mrs D.  D for de Beer and D for diamonds (a girl can dream can't she???).

There is not a single thing I would change about our wedding day, making it truly perfect.  It wasn't just the day that was perfect but the people that came too!  I can honestly say that our wedding party were AMAZING and I will be eternally grateful to them all (especially my mum and my girls).

To top it all off we were featured in the UK Magazine "Wedding Flowers" under their real life wedding feature.

What do you remember most about your wedding day??