Monday, 22 August 2016

Dear blog, today you are 9

Who would have thought all those years ago that I would still be here, tapping away at the keyboard, pouring my stories out?! Given my track history of not finishing things, I certainly didn't!

Over the last 9 years, I've written 1554 published posts (and 45 remain in draft for one day) 5281 people have left comments, and so many friendships have been made around the world.

I've used 6 different cameras, had 2 desktop computers, and sometimes blogged from the iPad or laptop. I've had 3 different craft spaces, 2 sewing machines, and been on 3 craft retreats. 

I've had 2 babies, driven 4 different cars, and had 1 car crash. Steve has had 4 different jobs, driven thousands of kilometres, and still makes me laugh.

I've been to Melbourne three times, been a bridesmaid once, and learned to love camping.

I've learned to code, been on Facebook almost as long as I've been blogging, and embraced Pinterest like it's google. 

I've started a business that failed, failed to start several ideas, and decided that keeping to myself is better than losing friendships.

I've defined my creativity, and explored creative practise, and cried more times than I ever thought possible.

I've taken over 80,000 photos, and shared over 2000 of them on instagram.

I've shared my heart and soul, and sometimes sold myself for not enough.

And I keep coming back, and showing up, and growing every single day.

Happy Birthday, blog.

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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Triple Chocolate Muffins

Muffins really have become my favourite way to bake over the last few years. Cake in less than thirty minutes? Yes, please!
And it's only really been in the last couple of years that I've done them from scratch. When a packet mix is $5 at the supermarket, and 12 muffins doesn't go very far between 6 kids after school, then finding a cheaper alternative is necessary.

But finding a good chocolate muffin has eluded me during that time. I found plenty of recipes that needed buttermilk, or lots of eggs, or ingredients that I just couldn't stretch to including, but the perfect basic chocolate muffin wasn't amongst them.

The more I've baked, the more I've learnt about baking. So I'm getting braver about trying my own recipes. And when someone says "I've been waiting for you to make the old muffins again" then it's a winner, right?!
makes 18 ~ ¼ cup muffins

Ingredients 
1 ½ cups self raising flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
125g butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup milk
½ packet dark choc chips
½ packet white choc chips

Method 
* place flour, cocoa and sugar in bowl, whisk together
* add choc chips to flour
* add egg, milk and butter to bowl, stir gently
* scoop into greased muffin trays
* bake 20min 180°C
Have you got a favourite flavour muffin? 

linking up with Land of  Zonkt and Boiled Eggs & Soldiers for #yourweeklyfeed
and Calm to Conniption, The Annoyed Thyroid and The Geeky Shopaholic for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole
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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Little Wuppy Worry Puppy

This product was gifted for the purposes of a review
RRP $AU 41.95
Growing up, I would probably have been considered an anxious child. I know I'm certainly an anxious adult! Try as I could to avoid it, I have passed some of that anxiety to my kids. Chloe spent a number of months going through the Headspace program to help with her anxiety, and I'm always investigating ways to support Natalie with her anxiety at the start of each new school year. So when I connected with Linda from Little Wuppy ® in a facebook group, I was eager to see how this product would help Natalie.

A former teacher, and anxiety sufferer, Linda combined her love of drawing and sausage dogs to create Little Wuppy® to support children in their anxious moments. Being able to talk about issues can help, and having a friend small enough to pop into a pocket or school bag is a great idea.
Natalie has had her Little Wuppy® for a couple of months now, so I asked her to tell me what she thought of it. In her words
I like that the back is comfy like a blanket. And it's my own personal secret teddy. I also like that I can tell her stuff when I'm sad or hurt. I told her when I hurt my ankle, and when my friends were fighting.
Each Little Wuppy® is hand-made in Melbourne, and comes with adoption certificate, kennel and stickers, and calico carry bag.
Lily the Little Wuppy® is currently sitting beside Natalie's bed, taking whispers in the dark and hiding them from the world. School holidays are fast approaching, Natalie's most anxious time (attending vacation care), so Lily is sure to be tucked into school bag or pocket for support.

For more ideas to support anxious kids, read this guest post from Ellen Jackson of Potential Psychology.

Linking up with Kylie Purtell for ibot.
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Monday, 15 August 2016

Hello Monday

hello reading I've really been loving reading lately. I've decided that if I finish a book, it means I love it (life is too short to finish reading books you don't like) I've just started reading "The Frozen Dead" by Bernard Minier for my book club next month.

hello floordrobe I'm thinking it's time to admit defeat, and sort out the spare bed in our room, and find some clothes to wear! Not only is Sophie thinking about having her own bed (at least for day sleeps), but I have no idea what clothes I own that actually fit me these days, or whether I want to wear them.

hello gardening I realised last week as we got stuck into cleaning up a garden bed that we've lived in this house for 9 years, and never actually done anything with the gardens, except promise ourselves that we'd get to it one day. Well, we're not waiting any more, and plan to get stuck into each and every part of this messy space called a backyard.

hello weird weather heat yesterday has turned to rain clouds and wind today. Not that I mind the cool change, I just can't find my jumper, again!

hello Monday, a new start every week. 

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Monday, 8 August 2016

Hello Monday

hello clear blue skies winter seems to be sticking around these parts for a bit longer. Which is perfectly find by me. If only i could actually find the pile of spare blankets that I promise myself every spring I will move to a safe and easy location.

hello action I've fallen into a bit of a trap over recent months. I write elaborate plans here each week, I plan out content calendars each month. And then I get to the end of the week or month and look around and wonder what I've actually achieved. The missing vital ingredient is taking action. Now to figure out how to actually take action.

hello pen pals I joined in with Fat Mum Slim's #ohsohappymail project a few months ago. I was a bit slack and took ages to post letters to my pen pals (one I was to write to, the other I received a letter from) but didn't expect to hear anything back. Until letters turned up again from both of them! So this week, I'm going to sit and write back to both of them.

hello weariness I get a good 7-8 hours sleep every night. And I'm walking the dog at least once a day for 20 minutes (Douglas or Steve walk her the other times) And I've been reducing my sugar intake again. But I'm still weary. Not tired, drained. I think I need a holiday.

hello Monday, a new start every week
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