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Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Avoiding the Baker’s Binge

This morning I woke up with the incredible urge to bake. I resisted, of course, much to my husband’s disappointment. I knew that if I gave in to my inner voice , I would be spending most of the day in the kitchen instead of studying like I should.

Birthday cakes are the exception

I am not the kind of person that will bake one item. I can’t just bake one cake or a tray of biscuits and leave it at that. Oh no, on and on it goes until the session is over from lack of clean dishes or complete physical exhaustion. Or until dinner time, whichever occurs first. This is what I call Baker’s Binge and I must avoid it at all costs.

Get out of my way...I'm baking

Let’s look at the other reason to resist the baking binge in my household. My family. I bake enough to feed a small village and they eat everything in site in one day. Like a cross between piranha feeding and watching Pacman. First, the sharks circle then, it’s get out of the way or lose a body part. Seriously, I watched them one day after the neighbour delivered a plate of freshly caught red claw, barbequed in garlic marinade. Gone in 60 seconds. They didn’t even sit down, this feeding session all took place standing at the kitchen bench. Scary. OK, in their defence, the red claw were to die for and I admit I did nothing to stop it and even played my part. Mea culpa.

This was gone in less than a day

Our friend has been living in Utah for two years now and came home for Christmas this year. He brought the family a huge bag of American chocolate goodies. Gone in less than a day. Back to the baking.

My family defends their positions by telling me that I do not bake often enough and they have to enjoy everything while it lasts, which is not very long. So  it is not quantity they want, it’s not even quality ( I do burn things occasionally and they scrape the burnt bits off and still eat it)  it’s frequency they want. Red is still complaining about the fact I only make trifle once a year for Christmas.’ Why can’t I have it more often break the rules Mum, go on’.

The very last Baker’s Binge I gave in to consisted of this:

  • Bacon and Tomato Quiche (2)
  • A batch of scones
  • Jam Drops ( 48)
  • Vanilla cupcakes (24)
  • Pizza Scrolls
  • Vegemite and Cheese Triangles and
  • Tomato and Cheese Triangles.

    Have you tried it?

This, of course, extended into dinner time after  the dishwasher was on for its second load. We had Chicken, pumpkin and parmesan risotto. Why on earth I decided to make that time-consuming, can’t-leave-the-stove dish I will never know. How my family ate that after sampling demolishing aforementioned items I will never know.

I must mention that in any one given day, there could be up to 10 people for dinner and with the children’s friends and neighbourhood kids coming and going, my baking is walking out the door with others. ‘Here, try these, my Mum just made them’.Yeah, knock yourself out.

Gołąbki 12

I have a plan. My next baking binge  going to have a theme. I am going to bake, cook and deliver a Polish Food feast to celebrate the Polish heritage on both sides of the family. The children have already expressed their disinterest in my cabbage rolls, called Golabki but I think I may win them over with the Pierogi. I have never made a Black Swirl Poppy Seed cake but I remember having that at my Babcia’s house when I was young. That woman could bake!

Yeah baby!

The Polish Food Pyramid courtesy of The Princess and the Pug.

I will now return to study, having avoided the Baker’s Binge and given in to the Blogger’s Bug. Have a great day.

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Finding the joy this Christmas

christmas 2007

Not my usual style, I know.

I am still trying to regain the joy in Christmas since my father passed away in September, 2010  and oddly, I have found this Christmas much harder to navigate emotionally than last. Perhaps now that I have more distance and perspective, it has hit me harder. I am not sure. Last Christmas seemed to go by in a blur. This Christmas I was painfully more aware of who was not amongst us. It has been almost 10 years since my Mother passed away.

I talked to my beautiful, sweet sister this morning and gained some more perspective, gained some more healing ground.

I realised that it is me who has to make new traditions for my family. I am no longer the child , I am only the mother.  Now that I have no living parents, that painful truth is all the more evident.

I say to all of you right now, enjoy every moment you have with your loved ones, whether it be Christmas or other. Each day is a gift and don’t take it for granted. Find a way to appreciate the positives in all people and don’t focus on the negatives. They aren’t important. Clearly, don’t endanger yourself physically or emotionally but find a way to cut through all the drama, hurts and insecurities that can accompany family relations.

I once had a friend who constantly complained about her mother to me. Her mother would in turn call me up and complain about her daughter. I will never know if either realised I was the very same sounding board for both of them  because I always respected their right to have their feelings heard and never betrayed any trust. For years that continued. What I did tell both of them at times though, was…You have each other and that is the gift. Nothing else matters, no matter how annoyed, irritated or hurt you may feel.

I don’t have the gift of being hurt, annoyed or irritated with my mother or father anymore.

Our unofficial Christmas present

Eddie the rainbow lorikeet

Meet Eddie, the rainbow lorikeet that had the misfortune of being hit by a car, bouncing off it and then being hit a second time by my husband’s ute. My husband rescued him just before Christmas  and we thought he wouldn’t make it after being hit twice then surviving a hot car until my husband finished his shift at work. If ever there was a bird that deserved to live – then it’s Eddie. Here he is two weeks later and refuses to leave the cage thank you very much but I’m fine here.The children have tried two unsuccessful releases. We will try again in a few days.

Failed release attempt No. 1

      Our family has quite a tradition of rescuing animals. My sister started it with

      rescuing joeys from injured kangaroo mother’s pouches. My children grew up

      with that joey. Next was a wedge tailed eagle that she made a stand for  and

      hand fed.

Wedge tailed eagle in flight03

Wedge tailed eagle in flight

Dizzy Lizzy rescued a baby possum whose mother had been killed and nursed it

before handing it to WIRES. The Princess rescued a kitten and reared him when

 he was 4 days old, his eyes weren’t even open properly. He had been dumped byThe common Brush tailed possum Trichosurus vul...

 the mother and forgotten, probably when she was trying to move her entire litter

to safety.  “Lucky” is still with us today. Cosmo is also a foundling ( and some days

he is so naughty I wish someone else would find him!)  discovered as a puppy,wandering  through traffic. Many “found” posters later and he is still with us.

We have rescued a water dragon, a Shingleback  lizard ( Red called him Komodo) and a baby pigeon called Cheapa who fell from the nest and was abandoned by his parents. I couldn’t read a newspaper or use my computer without his curious pecking.

Shingleback <i>Tiliqua rugosa</i>

Shingleback Image via Flickr

I am so glad that my children care about and care for animals. I was looking for Ash ( our resident baby lorikeet) the other day as his cage was empty. I should have known better. I needn’t have worried. For there, under Bieber’s arm was the little green baby lorikeet, fast asleep.

Why I won’t be nominated for mother of the year

We are well and truly in the thick of school holidays here, in Australia. I am a mother to Master 6, The Princess, Bieber and Red. I am also studying my bachelor degree in education and have an essay, an Eportfolio and two other assignments due in three weeks. My husband works night shift. It is two weeks before Christmas and we have a guest arriving from overseas on Monday that we haven’t seen in two years. These are the makings of some fairly weird, ill timed and poor choices in parenting at the moment. We have no routine, bare cupboards and children coming and going in all directions. It is complete and utter mayhem.

I am pretty certain I won’t be nominated for mother of the year. Here is why:

  • Our Christmas tree has been sitting bare for two weeks and was only assembled because The Princess dragged it out of the garage and put it together. We decorated it yesterday and afterwards decided it looks like a dog’s breakfast. Red arrived home from Rockhampton last night, took a brief look and said “Tree looks good”. I said brief
  • There is nothing under the Christmas tree except for three skipping ropes, unwrapped. I have not done any form of Christmas shopping, baking or decorating except for the tree ( and we all know how that turned out)
  • Actually, I lie…there is an advent calendar I made for the children. It is missing days 16 – 21 because Red and my husband ate the treats when I was making it. I bought more treats but never got around to make days 16-21 and the children ate the treats this afternoon when all their friends were over.
  • We have been staying up watching movies and not taking notice of the time. My husband got home from night shift at 2am and we were still awake. The children were hyped up and we were subjected to animal noises and giggling until 2.30am
  • It has been 3.5 days since my children ate vegetables

    This looks about right

Image via

  • Getting like this

...and this

...and almost as bad as this

  • I let my children stay in their PJs until the afternoon, sleep in and eat chocolate for breakfast. So did I.

Image via

Just like this

  • The Princess has become a better house keeper than me
  • I have not cooked a family meal in 3 days
  • Bieber had a friend over this afternoon and I forgot to shut the bathroom door. That was very nearly a horrific moment for all of us.
  • We missed our craft activity morning at the library because we stayed up, danced to music and watched movies together
  • I have not read a book to Master 6 in 7.5 days
  • We ate meals at 8pm 3 days this week
  • Bieber actually did a little shuffle on stage at his graduation ceremony after he received his senior award. I believe this is because I did not give him a pep talk beforehand and I don’t bat an eyelid when my children shuffle : in the library, car park, grocery store, hospital waiting room or wherever they feel the beat. Threshhold of acceptance = high. Setting of boundaries=low
  • Master 6 wanted to know why his clothes drawers were empty today
  • I did not know it was Friday today. All day.


Image via

Image via

Not me

I had no clue what day it was!
  • I let The Princess talk me into letting her watch a horror movie  and then she was so scared she slept in our bed. She has not done that in 3 years.
  • We are running out of essentials. We never run out of essentials. I could not run the dishwasher tonight because there were no tablets left.

The funny thing is…I do not feel bad. I do not feel guilty( see my post Mother Guilt).  The children are smiling, laughing, enjoying themselves and pitching in with things around the home. They are capable, smart, creative, polite and respectful. My husband is not admonishing me but supporting me.  Things are not planned, regimented, ordered or even done around here. I’m OK with that.

Not me

Not me

Image via

You’ll never guess what I got you for Christmas


This  week, while searching for some gift-giving inspiration, I came across some useless, unusual, funny and just downright odd gifts for Christmas. We all have hard to please/got everything people in our lives which makes gift sourcing a challenge. I am here to help.  Here are a few of my finds:

Wasabi lip balm

For all the lip balm lovers out there. The gift that will ensure your recipient curses remembers you for this very  unusual gift. I wonder how hot it would be.

Indoor fireworks

For the person in your life that can’t seem to  do enough damage  get enough out of the outdoor variety. Would be useful for colder climates, on the days that limit your entertainment to the indoors. I would recommend  for homes with high ceilings and plenty of space? Actually, I don’t  recommend them at all (please see disclaimer).

Inflatable cactus

This would be a great gift for those that kill plants, can’t have plants or miss their desert home. The beauty of this gift is that it is maintenance -free and only requires plenty of hot air at the beginning. You inflate it then leave it.  I know lots of people like that.

Vomiting man pen holder

It’s practical, it’s funny and it’s pink. What’s not to love?


Puppy  Tweets

Come on! This is adorable and thoughtful. A gift for the pet -obsessed person in your life.  Who wouldn’t like to get a tweet from their dog?


Nose soap dispenser

Another practical, funny gift. I would give this gift with green- coloured liquid soap to maintain authenticity. A wonderful addition to any modern bathroom. Your gift will be the talking point of any Christmas party.



It’s stylish, it’s practical and it’s safe. Hands -free talking for the cell phone enthusiast. Giving this gift says “I love you and I want you to be safe”. Not practical for texting – but you shouldn’t be texting and driving anyway!


The Knork

Sounds cool huh? It’s a  fork and knife in one. Give a set. I can see this becoming a popular verb as in “Have you knorked today?” or “I’d love to knork that piece of fruit”. Really, I can.



The Peekaru

I have to admit this kind of creeped me out at first but, I can see the practicalities of this gift. It’s stylish and useful for those cold days out with baby. It also provides a bonding experience between mother and child and will be the envy of all passers-by. A great gift for all the fashion conscious attention seekers living in cold climates.


The giggling Mona Lisa Pillow

A great gift for all the art lovers in your life. She giggles when you squeeze her. It ‘s soft, it’s clever and it’s ironic.



That wraps up (pardon the pun) this post for today. I hope I have given you some ideas for the hard to please person in your life. Merry Christmas.


Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure that accurate information is provided on this site, I make no representation about the quality of these products. In no event shall I be liable for loss of limbs, damage to property, loss of friendship, psychological or emotional problems that may arise from the provision of this information.


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I would just love to put your family in Canada.

Image retrieved from

A conversation with my Canadian friend this morning delivered this unusual albeit hilariously funny snippet of banter:  “I would just love to put your family in Canada at the moment and see how you all fare” followed by an evil giggle. Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore this friend and enjoy learning all about where she lives which is reciprocal I might add however, at the moment Edmonton, Alberta is experiencing -29 degrees c with some ridiculous  wind chill factor which I guess would make it about -39 degrees c and I live in Queensland, Australia.

Location of Queensland on Australia.

Image via Wikipedia

I have never had a white Christmas. We swelter, swim and eat seafood and salad not turkey and pudding at Christmas. I have only ever seen snow when I was in Orange, NSW and it was just  a poor excuse for snow, really. I have never been skiing. I have never travelled overseas. Yeah! Put the inexperienced Aussie chick in Canada in the middle of winter? I have an idea. Come here to sunny Queesnsland. Right now. Our summer. That will sort you out. Love ya K x

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