Being A Mum · Recipes

Our healthy family menu Feburary

Round 2 ding, ding, ding!  If you were following along last month with my January meal plan, you will notice after week two I stopped doing recaps.  Why you ask? Well it probably has a lot to do with the fact we stopped following the menu.   About midway through week 3 everything got jumbled up we were low on cash (monthly pays suck) and so we had to make do with what was in the freezer and minimalist meals.  So this month we are trying again!  The menu may also look pretty similar to last month’s so if you have a great recipe that I should try please pass it on, the best place to do so is through my Facebook page www.facebook.com/onemumtoanother.

This month is going to be a little different and difficult for us as I am returning to work and starting back at uni all in one go! I’m building a freezer stash of food for out 14 month old so daycare lunches can be a bit easier. So far I’ve only got Chicken and Corn Balls and Lentil Patties in there but I’ve got a list of things such as sausage roll, scrolls, patties and other bits and pieces to get working on so you will likely see those pop up as I get them made.  Make sure you join the Facebook page or follow this blog so you’re updated.

Budget wise this month I’m going to aim for $600, my $500 budget was getting used up really quickly last month and I’m sure that I went over it as I stopped keeping track towards the end of the month.  I think I need to source myself a cow and some chickens as milk and eggs just take up so much of the budget.

Weight wise I’ve lost 2 kilos on this meal plan, progress slowed towards the end of the month as we had a few extra cheeky meals like chicken wings out of the smoker… o.m.g so good, and Matt made brisket burgers one night.  Keep in mind this 2 kg loss has involved a 5k walk maybe once a week… maybe.  So my exercise could be much much better.  Matt on the other hand lost 10kgs (it helped he had a competition going at work), he was exercising 3-4 times a week going for 5km runs or 20+km bike ride.  He did so well, he was very controlled with his eating too.  I think we need to run more competitions like this for all of us.

I also have included snacks or breakfast on this menu, as my breakfast usually consists of eggs and toast or eggs and bacon.  Snacks are usually yogurt, protein muesli bars or cottage cheese on ryvitas.   I’d love some extra snack ideas so if you’ve got a favourite let me know!

Here is our healthy family menu for February.

Let me know what you think.


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Being A Mum · Recipes

Chicken and Corn Balls

We decided to have a family dinner out last week and we ended up at sushi.  Rose generally loves sushi as there are so many different things for her to try.  She loves pork gyoza, some sorts of sushi, but this time her favourite was definitely corn and chicken balls.  I suspected it was because they were on a stick, but I thought I would give making some a go!

ingredients cc ballsI am currently on the hunt for things I can make and freeze as Rose has started daycare this month and it would make everyone’s life easier if we can pull her lunch out of the freezer the night before add a few fresh veges or salad and off we go, so when these chicken and corn balls would be perfect for that.

Rose isn’t the greatest eater sometimes she will just throw everything on the floor, I made these balls about half golf balls size and she ate 5.  She just kept stuffing them in, next time I’m going to hide more veges in them!!!  My husband also ate 3-4 off the plate while they were cooling so they must have tasted horrible!

Cooking ballsWhen I made the mix it was actually quite wet, which is why I added the breadcrumbs, however I’m not sure if I will do this next time.  Even though it was wet initially as soon as they hit the pan they formed great little balls.  Also make sure your hands are wet when you roll this out, otherwise you’ll end up with coated fingers which is very annoying.

 

Corn and Chicken Balls

Prep time:
20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 30 small balls

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 200g corn kernels
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 crust of bread or ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbs of oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Toast bread and then pulse in a food processor (to make breadcrumbs)
  2. Pulse onion and garlic (you could also finely chop)
  3. Finely chip spring onions
  4. Mix all ingredients
  5. Shape into balls and fry or bake (wet hands make this easier)

Let me know how this recipe goes for you!


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Being A Mum

The things I love about you, my little love

I wrote a blog a few weeks about what we need to stop saying to new mothers, and my cousin raised an interesting point, yes we should reword our support to new mothers, but we should also try to focus on the positive aspects of parenting rather than all the negatives.   So this blog is just that, because I think that is valid point as well.  We need to hear and empathises with mums about their struggles and hardships, but we also need to celebrate the little beings we’ve created and let their warmth seep into our bones!

I love how cheeky you are, when you discover good joke and just giggle about it.  Or when you hear me coming behind you and take off down the hallway giggling.  You make me laugh so much. You have a beautiful friendly nature and you love a good laugh!

I love your kindness when you see an open mouth and decide you should share your dummy with me by jamming it my mouth, and then you laugh so hard when I won’t let you have it back.  You never get upset when we play this game, I admire that at a such a young age you realise this is just a game and you’ll eventually get your prize back.  I love how you’ve started bringing me things you know are mine, a cup off the table, my mobile phone and you’re so proud of yourself when you do.

I love how when you hear the shower door creek you come tearing down the hall way trying to take off your clothes just so you can jump into the shower too.   I love our moments in the shower, when we laugh and laugh over generally nothing.

I love how you love to celebrate, every achievement, if I finish reading a favourite book to you or singing you a song.  You celebrate with clapping and cheering.  The other day in the playground I told another little girl how clever she was and out of nowhere you appear clapping and cheering.  So cute.

Rose on the dining room table 2I love your curious nature even if it does mean you’re turning me grey and taking years off my life.  I love that you’re keen to explore your world, or investigate every new thing you see.  I hope you always go through life exploring, investigating and questioning things around you. How else will you learn and grow?

I love your fuzzy little head buried into my neck even if it is 2am and your hair is going up my nose.  I love how when we’re in bed together you pester me until I roll over and give you a cuddle.  I love that you want to give me a cuddle in the first place.

Being your mum I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve learnt how to function quite well with minimal sleep, I’ve learnt how to deal with anxiety about your wellbeing, I’ve learnt how to be more patient on our difficult days, and how to sit back and let you explore the work without having to hover over you (depending on where we are of course!).

The biggest thing I’ve learn in these last 14 months, I would take you unhappy, sad, whinging, crying, angry, cranky, fussy and unpleasant ANY DAY, over not having you at all.


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Being A Mum · mental health · Recipes

Week 2 recap January meal plan

I was much more organised for week 2 of our monthly meal plan, however some things still had to be juggled around.  Although I do need to apologise as I’ve taken no photos this week! So slack. I have however created a Facebook (One Mum to Another) site for my blog I’d love to have you come and follow along there too.

Monday night meat free finally happened and we had a really delicious haloumi salad, with pomegranate seeds and a really nice citrus dressing.  Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this recipe, but if you would like it you can find it on Facebook at Sally Baumann – The Inspired Dietitian.  This one will reappear on our menu again, at first I was a bit doubtful as making the whole thing including the dressing took ages.  However now the dressing is made it will take half the time and it was so so good.

Tuesday night was a simple night, with steak & vegetables.  100g of steak for me and 150g for Matt, it gets a little arduous weighing out meat and carbs, but doing this often makes me realise how much we’re over eating.   I also made a sweet potato pure for something different.  I added butter, salt and spring onions, we had this with beans and broccoli.

Wednesday night we tried the Lamb Curry, I actually forgot until I was half way through making this that it needed to have lentils in the curry.  Rather then run to the shops I used 1/2 cup of rice (brown or white), which I think worked really well.  It was really nice, and a healthy option for a curry, although it was quite carb heavy so maybe only every now and then!  It made up 6 meals, which I love as there is dinner, lunch and two for the freezer.

FooiesOn Thursday Matt and I headed out to the Foo Fighters concert!  Which meant we had to leave our active little monkey with my brother and sister in law.  Our way of saying thank you to them is to always try to make them dinner.  Really Matt just uses it as an excuse to get the smoker going.  So while not on the menu we had pork ribs, potato bake and a salad. This ended up being our treat meal for the week as majority of the week was pretty good.  The concert was awesome too!

Friday night was of course Australia day so for dinner we had some beautiful lamb chops and salad.  It wasn’t exactly what was on the menu but you know these things need to change sometimes!

Saturday night was a simple dinner of beef Kofta wraps with salad, we judged a BBQ competition that day so neither of us were very hungry but I felt like I need something small/light.   For the beef koftas I added beef mince (500g), garlic (2 cloves), parsley (2 tbs), onion powder (a sprinkle) and salt (a sprinkle).  We then had these in low carb wraps with salad.  Quick, easy, simple!

Sunday was Porcupine Meatballs this dish is a meatball with rice cooked in tomato soup like sauce.   Make mine from scratch and rather than a tomato soup I make a spaghetti based sauce.  I usually make a big batch of this one as it freezes well and tastes good. I did take some photos of the meatballs, the photo at the beginning is of my daughter stuffing her face, I’m glad she liked them!

Recipe for Porcupine Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 2kg mince
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • Italian herbs
  • Tsp Salt

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tubs tomato paste
  • 500ml beef stock
  • salt and herbs to taste.
  1. Combine the onion and garlic and blitz with a bar mix (you can also finely chop if you don’t have one. Save half of this mix for the sauce.
  2. Combine half of the onion and garlic mix with the mince, brown rice, herbs and salt.
  3. Form meatballs and refrigerate until ready.
  4. Fry the onion and garlic mixture in a large stock pot for a few minutes, then add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and the beef stock. Stir and wait for mixture to heat. Season with salt and herbs to your personal taste.
  5. Once the tomato sauce is simmering add the meatballs. DO NOT STIR. If you need to rearrange your meat balls gently shake the pot.  If you sitr at this point you will break up the meatballs and end up with spaghetti sauce.
  6. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, you can now stir your meatballs and check the level of sauce in your pot. I found as my meatballs cooked they expelled a lot of moisture and my sauce was very runny. If this happens simmer for another 10-20 minutes uncovered until desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Serve with steamed veges

When I portion out the meatballs I usually do 4 to a container which made 10 serves, however in hindsight 3 is probably enough for my serve.

Budget: We spent $82 this week, which gives us a running total of $468, that gives us $32 left in the budget… We may go over is a little.  Positively we still have lots of chicken breast and steak in our freezer so other than a vege/salad top up we’ve almost got everything we need for this week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s meal ideas.  Keep an eye out for week 3’s recap and February meal plan coming soon!


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Being A Mum · mental health · Uncategorized

Judging my first BBQ contest

My husband Matt is an avid smoker, a couple of years ago he started with a big ugly drum smoker and has since progressed to a few different types.  So I am no stranger to smoked meat, except for 9 months when I was pregnant and just the smell of it made me want to vomit.  Thankfully the first thing he smoked post pregnancy was the best bit of brisket he’s ever cooked.  As some of you know we’ve been trying to eat healthy lately (our monthly menu), so we started the day with 4.6km run/brisk walk (we fell 400m short of 5k). Then we left the baby at Grandma’s and headed off with Matt’s brother and sister-in-law.

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Matt warned me coming into the competition that I needed to pace myself, everyone is hungry during the first round which is chicken and tend to eat too much meaning they are too full for the last beef round. I was told if I b*tch out I won’t be invited back haha (by him).  So expectations set!  We judged at the Mooloolabah BBQ Festival and the Australasian Barbecue Alliance were the judging authority at this judging event and most important trained us on how to judge BBQ well, so we learnt all about what to look for in a box, how it should be presented and many do’s and don’ts of the competition.  The most important thing I took away from this training is that everyone spends a lot of money, time and energy attending this event and we need to judge with integrity and fairness, and respect the effort that’s gone into the products.

Chicken JudgeThe first round was chicken handed in between 12:55 and 1:05, our table was lucky and scored 5 pieces of chicken.  I think the first piece I had was the stand out the skin was perfect and didn’t pull off the piece it wasn’t took saucy and was nice and juicy.  The last piece we had, had this amazing coated and fried chicken wing that was so so good, naturally they got an extra point for that.  I did find some of the sauces washed out the chicken a little and nobody likes a face full of skin as you’re taking a bite.  However the chicken was a strong start.

Lamb JudgeLamb was up second handing in between 1:55 and 2:05, once again we were lucky to get 5 pieces.  I was discussing my scores later with Matt because I noticed on one box I thought looked great he had scored it an average score.  He pointed out all his reasons which were valid, as were mine… we ended the conversation on the fact that everyone has individual likes and things that appeal to them.  This is why these competitions have so many judges because things tend to even themselves out.  Lamb wasn’t my most favourite round, there were some tender pieces in front of me however some had some weird flavours!

Ribs JudgeThird up was pork ribs, Matt was so looking forward to this round, he loooves pork ribs and couldn’t wait to try them.  Some had a great bite, but the flavour wasn’t there, some had a tough bite but great flavour, personally found some a little too sweet as well, but that’s my personal preference.  I think if anything I could say sauce is good but don’t over do it, remember the star is the rib.

 

Beef JudgeLast round of the day was beef, even to my amateur knowledge I found this around a little bit underwhelming.  The first bit I tried looked good however it was tight. The second piece didn’t have as defined colours in the meat, but it was not as tight and little more tender, however I didn’t really like the flavour, the burnt ends on both of them were ‘meh’.  The last two were beef ribs, including some beef cheek, which had a completely different texture to brisket, one had a more tenderness and flavour than the other, but again nothing was amazing.

At this point I just want to reiterate if you’re a competitor in this competition I know how much work and money you’ve put into this, I know you take a lot of pride in what you do and it can be so frustrating and crushing when something doesn’t go to plan.  This is only my opinion.

One of the highlights of the day was meeting different people and discussing their BBQ knowledge.  I’m very envious that I wasn’t at Port Macquarie to experience the chef’s choice submission of carrot cake and we met Tex from Smokin’ Gun Texas BBQ located in the Glass House Mountains.  Matt has eaten there before and thought it was amazing, so if you’re looking for good BBQ on the far north side of Brisbane make sure you pay them a visit.

I’m definitely looking forward to judging again, I felt like a learnt a lot and we had a great day out.


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Being A Mum · Uncategorized

Babies don’t sleep, it’s a lie!

The only preorder I had for my baby was that I got one that slept.  That is the only thing I wanted chubby, skinny, tall, short, intelligent, not so intelligent.  I didn’t really care I just wanted one that slept because I loooove my sleep.   I could have easily slept between 8-9 hours on a week night and longer on the weekend.  Boy did I love a sleep in too, those lazy mornings when I woke up around 8:30 and then played with my phone for a while just no where to be or to go.  So that was my only request a baby that slept.

Ha

Ha

Ha

Well the baby gods didn’t heed my prayer in fact they thought, life has been too cruisy for you thus far lets us shake it up a little!   Now I want to preface this story with the fact that I know things could be much worse, ok.   In my quest to help my daughter sleep better I have discovered some absolutely exhausting stories of mothers who’s children sleep no where other than on them until they’re 2,3,4,5,6.

Sleep againIn the first 6 months of my daughter’s life I have never been so completely utterly exhausted. I was so tired it felt like my bones were tired.  I’d fall asleep on the couch at 7:30 every night but without fail when the baby was sleeping during the day it would take me         20-30 minutes to fall asleep as well. Of course, Rose was only sleeping 40 minutes on her own if I was lucky, so I would only just get to sleep when she would be awake again.  There is nothing quite as painful as only just falling asleep and hearing your charge start to stir. I remember thinking this wasn’t what I had signed up for I wanted all the good parts not bone tired exhaustion.  Before you have a baby, when you think about what it will be like to have a baby, you are well rested, even when pregnant all that ‘tired’ is not as bad as when the baby actually arrives.

Rose was also a little baby which meant she needed to feed regularly so I was generally up every 2-3 hours at night.  I was coping kind of, but people around me keep suggesting I should go to a sleep school because you know past 6 weeks babies should be sleeping through the night… definitely by 3 months.  No, no, no, if this is you, if people are telling you there is something wrong with you baby because they’re up this much at this age… just no.  It is completely normal, in fact I believe it’s completely normal for babies to wake up through the night for many nights, weeks and months.  We need to stop putting so much pressure on new mothers to conform to these archaic ideas, babies wake for a cuddle because you know they’re vulnerable, more commonly they wake to feed because you know small stomachs!  Just roll with it, however if it is affecting your wellbeing then get help.  Or try to understand why they’re waking up.  Sometimes I found I just needed to give my daughter a minute or two and she would resettle. I wanted her to learn she was safe, but if she needed me to reassure her I was there.

You can probably tell I’m not a ‘cry it out’ mum, personally I believe this is a negative experience for everyone, to have to shut your emotions off from your baby and be ‘tough’ or ‘strong’ just doesn’t sit well with me.  I’m also not a fan of sleep training. Human babies are the most vulnerable newborns in the world.  They have zero defences and are just sitting ducks for a predator.  Hence why babies have an intrinsic want to be with you all the time, you are their protection!   It took me a while to come to this conclusion, I tried to settle my child on her own, I patted, rubbed, I left her to cry once… it only took once because I picked her up and she clung to me like she was terrified and sobbed.  I never did it again.  Being a mum is tough job please don’t feel like I am judging you if you have used these methods, I was totally on board with them too, until I actually had a baby and now I feel like I know a little better.  Don’t get me wrong it can be just as exhausting co napping with baby, as you still don’t have time to do anything and sometimes you don’t feel like you get a break at all.

Eventually I just realised I needed to go with it, so until Rose was 5 months I held her for every nap.  I watched a lot of TV and read a lot of books, around 5 months I was able to get her settled on the bed next to me, so I could teach her to go to sleep with me there, but not on me.  She would wake up see me there and go straight back to sleep.  At 5 months Rose was still waking up 3 times a night, this btw is also completely normal!   Around 9 months I noticed one day she rolled away from me and did not wake up for 2 hours… It was at that point I decided I would put her in her cot every nap once she was asleep and see.  Just like that she slept for 1.5 hours in her cot alone. I. Was. Free!!!  But I was so used to sleeping with her I didn’t know what to do!

Still sleeping on meI had to change my whole perspective on babies, sleep and my ability to get things done.  The necessities had to take priority and the things I wanted to do well they got forgotten, this time doesn’t last forever and I am grateful that I took the time to cuddle my baby when she needed it. She’s now 14 months old, and she still wakes up once a night for a bottle and goes back to bed.  It sucks but its manageable at the moment, her nap lengths are all over the place but mainly two naps a day for 1-1.5 hours in her cot alone. I like to think I’ve taught her that our bedroom is safe space, she is safe, and I will always come for her, even if her nap is only for 20 minutes.

Society sets us up with all sorts of expectations for babies, there is an old school way of thinking that immediately starts pushing a baby away from their mother.  They need to sleep alone, play alone and my favourite ‘crying is good for their lungs’.  My baby doesn’t cry much but I can tell you her lungs are perfectly fine.  Don’t feel pressured to do any of these things, it will all come with time.  You won’t be pinned under that baby forever, and when they don’t want to cuddle with you anymore you will miss their warm snuggly bodies.

Oh blackout blinds and a noise machine helps too!  It can be any kind of music I find that it helps her sleep as it cuts out background noise.


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Being A Mum · Recipes

Week 1 recap January meal plan

So if you don’t know it by now the best way to succeed at healthy eating and spending less money is to be organised, organised and well organised… this week I was not.  You can find the original plan here, however it has changed around a little!

Meat free Monday ended with myself and Rose sharing Italian sausage and fennel ravioli (which was very good) and Matt ate later that night as he was helping his mum move. Thankfully Matt also bought home some ham, so we were able to have ham wraps the next day and not waste money or calories on other food.

Tuesday night I had dinner with a friend and Matt had chicken wings for dinner so you know this week is going well so far… not!

Green Curry
Green Curry

Right Wednesday night we can do this! Wednesday night we had green curry with cauliflower rice and a low carb wrap. I was really happy how this turned out, I absolutely love ‘Maesri Green Curry Paste’ in a tin, however this is way too hot for Matt, this time I used ‘Valcom Authentic Thai Green curry paste’ which I bought at Coles. I will definitely use this one again as it had a great flavour and the heat was mild-medium. I had intended to use coconut flavoured carnation milk as a lower calorie alternative to coconut milk but I couldn’t find any. So I used one tine of carnation milk and one tin of light coconut milk. I also fried off the curry paste in coconut oil for more flavour. I threw in some extra veges but next time I’ll double those as it could have used more and made the cauliflower rice…re thinking this one though cauliflowers are $7 each at the moment (although I found one at Aldi for $4.70)!! Although I think I may have curdled my curry, if you know how I’ve done this please let me know!

Green Chicken Curry
• 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (I used 4 this was too many)
• 1 Jar of Valcom Authentic Thai Green curry paste
• 1 tin of light coconut milk
• 1 tin of carnation milk
• 3 chicken breast
• ½ broccoli head
• 2 med carrots
• ½ red capsicum

Cauliflower Rice
• Whole Cauliflower
• 1 tablespoon of rice bran oil
• 3 garlic cloves
• 1 onion
• Salt to taste

Blitz cauliflower in a food processor until just processed, fry onion and garlic, add cauliflower and fry turning regularly for 10 minutes add salt to taste.

I followed the instructions on the curry paste bottle but I doubled the recipe and added the veges after the chicken was cooked for a few minutes. It made up 7 meals, and due to there being no carbs in the curry we had a low carb wrap as our bread. Bonus Rose looooved it and couldn’t shove it in her mouth fast enough the ‘rice’ not the curry!!!!

Thursday night we had to switch the menu around but we had chicken tenders with seasoning on wraps with salad. Healthy-ish but very tasty and a lot cheaper than takeaway.

Friday night beef burrito bowl!

• Steak for however many portions covered in Fajita seasoning.
• ½-1 cup of lettuce
• 1-2 table spoons of grated cheese,
• ½ cup of black beans
• 1/3 cup of corn and tomato salsa (small can of corn, one tomato, ¼ finely diced salad onion, coriander and salt to taste)
• 1 wedge of lime each

PizzaSaturday night, everyone was looking forward to homemade pizzas our one cheat meal for the week! They turned out really well, we used a herb base from Aldi, along with some pork meatballs, prosciutto, basil, mozzarella and leggos pizza sauce. Matt used the Akorn and it onyl took 10 minutes to cook!

 

 

Sunday night ended up becoming leftover night.  While this puts the menu out of wack I’d much prefer to use up what we had left in the fridge rather then waste it.  Rose had scrambled eggs, with black beans and the corn and tomato salasa. Matt had an ommlette with some other bits and pieces.  I had some left over Pizza.  In hindsight it was perfect for an easy Sunday dinner.

Budget: This week we’ve spent $386, however its unlikely we wil need to spend anything next week unless it’s for milk, or something I’ve forgotten.  It does only leave with me with $114 left for food this month so we will see how we go.  Keep an eye on Mummies Group for #weeklymoneysavers, starting this Wednesday.


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Being A Mum · Recipes

Our healthy family menu for January

At the moment we are a single income family and money is always tight in our house.  So as a way of saving money we are trying to limit our food expenses, as we were spending $700-$1000 on food every month.  My aim by doing a monthly menu is to lower our monthly food bill to $500.  It also takes the stress away from deciding what is for dinner and hopefully we will have our shopping done and Matt won’t have to stop at the shops on the way home every day.  I have also been told due to a health condition I have I need to get my BMI to 30 before they will consider taking me off the medication I am taking.  Great motivation to eat healthy and lose weight as I don’t want to be on blood thinners all my life!

CompletedThere are 4 of us in our house hold 2 adults, 1 13 month old and our fur baby, majority of the meals on the menu can be shared with our baby aka toddler (Mumma’s in denial), however I do have a stash of things in the freezer like lentil patties or mini rissoles so if we’re having a curry I will steam her some veges and defrost some of those, she also loves baked beans and scrambled eggs, so if we need something different for dinner those things make great alternatives.  You will also notice that the next days lunch is usually the night before’s dinner.  I just find it is easier to make a little extra for dinner rather than make a whole new meal for lunch.

I’ve finally managed to convince my husband Matt that a meat free Monday would be a great idea!  Not only is a different change to a regular meals, often times meat free options are cheaper than meat.  Even 12 free range eggs averages around $6 or a can of legumes $1-2 depending on where you’re shopping.  So this month we’ve added a meat free Monday dinner, which means that Tuesday lunch is also meat free.  I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes and reporting back.

While we’re trying to eat lean and healthy through the week we’ve included a cheat meal every Saturday night.  Sometimes we’re going to make this at home as Matt has a smoker, a Kamado Akorn and a Webber Kettle.  This month we’re going to try some home mad pizzas in the Akorn and Matt is already a master at smoking meat and making home-made burgers so we’re starting to realise we’d be better to make our meals at home then spending twice as much eating out.  However sometimes no one wants to do the dishes!

This is the link to our menu ‘January Month Menu‘ I’ve only included breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Our morning and afternoon teas alter each week and we have things like yogurt and fruit, cottage cheese on Ryvitas or a muesli bar.  I’m trying to reduce my coffee intake at the moment, I usually make home-made   which are lower in calories than store bought ice coffee but there is still a lot of calories in milk, so at night I’m trying to have some berries or fruit after dinner rather than a coffee.

Each week I’ll do a summary blog including the simple recipes which are in my head and therefore I can’t give you a link too!  Make sure you follow the blog so you’re updated when they’re posted.


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Being A Mum · mental health

365 Days ago my Grandma passed away

It’s taken me 365 days to finally write this blog, it has also been 365 days since my Grandma passed away.  She was 99 years old, having just celebrated her birthday on the 29th of November, and welcoming who would be her last great grandchild she saw born on the 24th of November. She was so looking forward to the birth of my daughter, every time I saw her she asked me if I’d had the baby yet even when I was only half way through my pregnancy and I will never forget the day she finally got to meet her.  Grandma had 5 children, 13 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren, 45 people exsist becuase of her.  Grandma was well and truly ready to go, she always told me the heavenly father was waiting for her, and she was confident where she was going after she died.  On the 13th of January 2017 she peacefully passed away in her sleep.

My grandma’s funeral was in Dalby, approximately 2.5-3 hours drive out of Brisbane, and as we had an 8 week old, my husband suggested we go up the night before the funeral to make our travel a bit easier.  My mum suggested we stay at Grandma’s house as no oneGrandma and her daughterswas going to be there. I was looking forward to spending the night there, I had so many memories of playing in the garden, eating dinner at the big dining room table and watching tv with everyone in the lounge room after dinner.  What I wasn’t prepared for was that everything in the house exactly the same and yet not what I was looking for.  The people I’d come to see, to remember, weren’t there anymore.  Grandma didn’t greet us at the garage, there was nothing cooking in the kitchen, there was no familiar shuffle down the hallway and Grandpa still wasn’t sitting in his chair by the tv. It’s been 17 years since my Grandpa died, and every time I visit Dalby I can feel his presence missing.

I remember that night sitting in Grandma’s spare room, with my mum and sister, just laughing. I cannot remember what we were laughing about but it was certainly hilarious.  I also remember going to bed that night just wishing for one more night. One more of Grandma’s home cooked dinners, one more conversation with my Grandpa, one more trip down to the old train in the park (which has also long gone), just one more night just to be with them both.  I often tell my husband to cherish his grandparents, visit them often spend time with them, because there is no going back, death is so permanent there are no second chances, no last words, no more dinners.

Finally, regardless of how old someone is when they die their family feel this loss, there is zero comfort in you saying well she was 99 and shrugging, even when it is meant with condolence and sympathy.  I knew my grandma was going to die, it was no secret to any of us, but knowing this didn’t make it hurt any less, I don’t grieve for her any less, I don’t miss her any less.

I’ve realised through writing this blog that I’m still grieving for both of my grandparents, and I’m not really sure that it will ever stop.  I personally think that grief is lifelong, once we’ve made a connection with someone they never really leave us.   We do find joy in life again, we take pride in accomplishments and laugh until we hurt but there is a part of us that is always sad that they aren’t here with us.  Human connection is a powerful, everlasting thing.

It’s normal to struggle with grief after losing a loved one, but if you feel like you’re not able to keep your head above water, or you aren’t finding joy in your life anymore, please go and see someone or talk to a friend about how you’re feeling.  We all grieve for different amounts of time and in different ways, but when you can’t see a light at the end of tunnel maybe you need a little extra help to see it.


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How have we ended up here?

Curried Lentil Patties with Leftover Veg

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Being A Mum

How have we ended up here?

  • “She will love it”
  • “It’s will be awesome for her development”
  • “They only cry for 5 minutes then they’re fine”
  • “It’s good for her to play with other children her age”
  • “You don’t want her to be a social pariah”
  • “It’s only tough for you, she’ll be fine”
  • “I guarantee you, you’ll walk away crying”

I really could keep telling you all day the different comments I’ve been told about my daughter attending day care for the first time.   It’s expected, it’s normal, it’s tearing my heart out.   Someone asked me today if I was ok, she noticed I wasn’t quite myself and thankfully she asked me over messenger so she didn’t have to deal with the blubbering mess that followed.  In 3 weeks, my baby starts her transition into care and I am NOT ready.  I’m desperately grasping at straws so I can afford to stay at home with her not have trudge back to work, but nothing is a quick fix.  Every source of online income takes time to build, nurture and finally earn money.

ROse hair outI am more than just a breeder, am an achiever and I have so many things I want to achieve.  However now I have this little person who I don’t want to leave behind.  I want to take her with me, everywhere I go, our lives are so entangled and I love that.  I don’t want to walk away from day care jumping for joy and clicking my heels as I feel like I’m free, because she doesn’t make me feel like I’m trapped.  I love every minute at home with my baby, she makes me laugh, she keeps me on my toes, she’s exhausting and I even want to be with her when she makes me want to pull my hair out (even when she isn’t doing it for me).

 

Somehow in our society we’ve made it a norm to pack your kids up and shuffle them into day care for strangers to care for, it’s not a matter of if you’re returning to work, it’s only a matter of when.  I also understand that many mothers do this under duress.  I cannot tell you how many mothers have told me they cried on the first day, the second day and possibly all week.  Eventually everyone gets used to it and they all tote the party lines I opened with.

I had another mum ask me when we were discussing me staying at home, ‘don’t you need an outlet’?  Frankly no, I blog, I sew, I meet a mother group once or twice a week, and I’m also working with an amazing woman who’s working toward connecting mum groups so mums of all different aged babes can find each other and enjoy a play time and socialising together.  It’s amazing to see how many local mums we’re connecting in our community.  This is also making it harder to go back to work because my life is full right now, I know that next year, err.. this year I’m going to be so busy with work and university that I’m going to have to sacrifice some of these things I love doing for myself and my daughter.

If you’re a mum who loves work or free time, and loves day care because if gives you that opportunity, please don’t feel I’m criticising you, or that I judge you for that.  I’m maybe a little bit envious that I’m not looking forward to going back to work more.  I’m sure that leaving your baby wasn’t easy for you either.  I guess I’ll look forward to the future, where I’m sipping coffee peacefully at my work desk enjoying 10 minutes of silence before the day starts.   Or the lunch time that I can spend the whole meal at the table only focused on my food.  Or all the things I can buy with the extra money I earn. Ha!


Like this blog?  Click the follow button or enter your email address to get regular updates.

Check out my latest blogs below:

Curried Lentil Patties with Leftover Veg

Finding my way back to myself

What we need to stop saying to new mums

Check out my Etsy Shop:

Green Apple Threads