May 2015Life Love and Hiccups: May 2015

Friday, 29 May 2015

Playing Hookie & Cheating - Yep I'm Guilty of Both This Week

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My son's school had their annual festival day today. 

It's one of those huge events with rides and bands playing and a load of stalls for you to spend oodles of money and plenty of opportunities for the kids to fleece you under the guise of 'but it all goes to supporting my school mum".

*Ahem* Yeah.

It's a community kind of thing, where all the parents chip in to make stuff and man stuff and hand over money and stuff to the kids and just generally ensure that it is as big a success as it can be.

We were also asked to provide baked goods... with strict instructions for them to be 'home baked goods' none the less.

That's cool, I don't mind getting my bakers hat on for a good cause... just not when my flipping son tells me at 8pm the night before!

So on the way home from sports training last night, a mad dash to the shops was required with a moaning teenager in tow to purchase some authentic looking replicas of home baked goods.

"They are supposed to be home baked mum" he whined to me as we trawled through the bakery section looking for rustic looking homey style stuff. "HOME BAKED" he insisted with an exaggerated eye roll.

"Meh, heaps of people will be doing this" I assured him. "I'll just make them LOOK home made" I added as I threw a mixed pack of king size muffins into the trolley.

And I did manage to make them look home made... well sort of.

I got up early this morning and took the muffins out of their packaging, roughed them up a little and wrapped them in baking paper and a cardboard box.

"See!" I declared as the teenager stood in the kitchen staring at me in disbelief.

"But that's cheating mum" he stated with shock and disgust dripping from every word.

So I added a note to the muffins, you know just to keep everyone on the straight and narrow and all that.

Pftt. Nailed it, kinda... sorta... yeah OK not really but whatever!

Apart from a little school mum cheating.. or as I prefer to call it 'working mum short cuts', I also broke another rule when I played hookie this week and gave myself an afternoon off work and caught up with some lovely bloggy friends at Hugos on Manly Wharf instead.

I had the pleasure of introducing these lovelies to the selfie stick.. much to the amusement of the waiters and other patrons.

What can I say... a bloggers gotta do what a bloggers gotta do and all that!

I figure this will probably be the last time I will manage a whole afternoon off for a while given we are about to throw ourselves head first into the renovations of our new venture, so why not do a proper job of it and wag it in style.

The sun was shining, the weather was warm and it was the perfect day for wagging by my standards... although if my kids are reading this - I will totally deny it all and I'll even add in this for good measure "children - wagging is WRONG. don't do it.. nothing good will ever come of it and you WILL get caught".

OK? 

OK!

Back row: Tessa Down That Little LaneBron MaxabellaBabs Patchwork Cactus
Front Row: Me, Jayde Little Paper Lane

I've been a bit of a crap mum this week. I have been cranky and bossy and pretty much flying the flag on behalf of the fun police. 

I just don't get how my children manage to lose so much stuff though - like mouth guards, mobile phones and one half of a pair of shoes! 

My patience has been running lower than usual (it's not normally high to begin with) and when the youngest boy threw a totally banned word at his brother this week, I completely flipped it and pretended to call the police on him.

YES yes I know it is wrong, and YES yes I know that it makes the police look like the bad guys and creates unnecessary fear and all that, but in my defence I...  yeah well OK I don't really have any defence except that I was shocked and desperate and I just really needed to make a point.

I'll go hang my head in shame now if it keeps everyone happy.

Fortunately there is someone in our family who knows how to set a good example - the lovely hubby.

When he brought home this bunch of flowers for me this week I heard our oldest boy tell his brothers 'take note you guys, Dad knows how to keep his lady happy'. 

He sure does and I just want to take this opportunity to thank him again - from myself and on behalf of our future daughter in laws. You are a keeper Carl!


How bout you - have you ever cheated on the 'School Mum' thing? 
You know like forged some homework for your kids or pretended that you baked when you really just unwrapped?
Have you ever played hookie from school or work? 
Do your kids having a habit of 'misplacing' a ridiculous amount of their stuff?

Alright, time to share some lovely links I stumbled upon this week just gone and spread a little bloggy loving around. 

This week is was so hard to narrow my picks down because man there are a whole bunch of inspiring clever clogs in the blogosphere. 

Here's just some of the things that caught my eye this past week.

Clockwise from Left to right

1. Savoury Parmesan French Toast - Oh HELLO! Sunday brunch sorted thanks to Dancing Through Sunday. Never in a million years would I have thought to make savoury French Toast... until now!

2. I have been completely lusting over tulle skirts lately so when I spotted this DIY Tulle skirt from A Beautiful Mess, I took it as a sign from the universe that I need one of these in my life.

3. I have a major style crush on the whole Scandi theme, and so I have spent a lot of time lately pouring over images of Scandi style decor and this one shot by Hannah Blackmore Photography and styled by Claudia Stephenson for Adore magazine sent my lust into overdrive.

4. Last but not least - everyone needs a Neon cactus in their life.. you know just because! This DIY Neon Cactus by Shrimp Salad Circus is now officially on my project list to do list.


I also just wanted to do a special shout out for the gorgeous Leah from SnappyStreet Photography who launched her new website this week.

Leah's work always leaves me lost for words - I freaking love her style and her eye for photography.

You can also follow Leah on instagram here.



OK you guys, time to introduce you to this week's fabulous guest hostie - Jenni from Styling Curvy. For those of you who haven't yet discovered Jen for yourself, she is one big bubble of gorgeousness so make sure you pop on over and say hello.

Image Map

Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella Loves) or Kelly's (at A Life Less Frantic ). It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.

Have a great weekend you guys.


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

How To Completely Screw Up The Diet

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OK so just in case I didn't tempt you to screw up any diets last week with the Chilli Cheesecake or Devilishly decadent Hot Chocolate... I am going to give it another shot today with this delicious winter comfort food.

Oh who am I kidding? I could smash a couple of these come winter, summer, or full moon.

What?

Don't you know that you feel less guilty about eating this stuff when you manage to con other people into eating too?

Don't judge me! ;)

The diet starts Monday!


INGREDIENTS

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp raw sugar
1 litre water

METHOD

Peel and core apples and pears and slice up. 
Add to the pot with the water, cinnamon and sugar.
Bring to the mixture to the boil and simmer until apples & pears are tender.
Let the mixture cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then strain excess water.

INGREDIENTS

Your stewed apple mixture
6 sheets of thawed puff pastry
cinnamon sugar
1 lightly beaten egg

METHOD

The apple turnovers are as easy as this;

Use a small bread and butter plate to cut circles into sheets of thawed puff pastry. 
Dollop some of your apple and pear mixture onto the centre of the pastry circles and sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Fold the circles in half and seal the edges and brush with a lightly beaten egg.
Bake in a 180 degree oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with whipped cream and enjoy.



Tuesday, 26 May 2015

We FINALLY Have A Home

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Creative Workshops
Exciting days you guys - we, and by we I mean DTLL workshops, has finally found a home.

Originally we had chosen a place at Mosman, a gorgeous little studio in a quiet area. But then we went and outgrew the space... before we even signed the lease.

DTLL Workshops
You see once we committed to bringing this business dream of ours to life, our confidence bloomed along with the ideas and we decided that if we were really going to give these dreams a good go, we needed to give them a home where they could have space to grow and become everything they were destined to be and more.

And so the hunt for a bigger space began and we had visions of an industrial space with loads of light and room to move. A place we could makeover and soften aesthetically with beautiful furniture and decor and a whole load of creative energy to boot.

Warehouse Conversion

Warehouse Conversion
So our new space at Brookvale on Sydney's Northern Beaches will now not only be home to the creative workshops, but to a whole creative hub with retail space, a photo studio, a business workshop mentoring space and creative hot desks where others can come and use the space to work and be inspired.

We are so buzzing and can't wait to share with you the process as we transform this empty canvas and get stuck into the many DIY projects we have planned.

Have you ever brought a dream of yours to life?
Do you have a dream just waiting for its turn?

Warehouse Conversion


Monday, 25 May 2015

A Stunning New York Loft Apartment

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New York Loft Apartment
We all know what a nosey Parker I am right?!

I mean it is exactly why I ask so many questions and love to wander around my neighbourhood and sit and people watch at cafes.

I want to know about how other people live, how they go about their day and how they interact with others.

It is one of the many reasons I am so obsessed with home magazines - because I get to sticky beak inside the beautiful homes that belong to other people and then imagine myself there... on their clean white couch drinking hot coffee and watching reality slop.

If I were braver - I would probably be one of those people who rock up to open house, just so I can have a gawk inside other people's homes, but sadly for me and lucky for them, I'm not that brave.

So I am resigned to a life of getting my fix from magazines and beautiful websites, websites much like this one belonging to Resolution: 4 Architecture.

It was this site that I stumbled upon after I fell down the Internet rabbit hole the other night and it was also where I happened upon this incredibly gorgeous New York Loft Apartment - Wadia.

It's still free to dream isn't it? Cause I am pretty sure that this one is out of my budget... like a galaxy out of budget.

If pictures of beautiful New York loft apartments and wall upon wall of white with not a hint of a grubby hand in sight is your thing (it's totally mine) then drool away lovelies and Happy Monday to you!

Could you see yourself living there? Does it float your boat?
Do you have a thing for New York Loft apartments?

New York Loft Apartment



New York Loft Apartment

New York Loft Apartment

New York Loft Apartment

New York Loft Apartment

New York Loft Apartment

 All images are from Resolution: 4 Architecture


Friday, 22 May 2015

The Day I Became a Bonafied Stalker

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I have two words - Miranda and Tom.

OMG did I lose it or what when Tom went into Miranda's bedroom and they started getting it on.

I mean lose it in a good way of course.

I was all "Yes, Yes YES, about bloody time and good riddance Sascha".

If you are a fan of Wonderland then you will know exactly what I am talking about.

If you don't watch it then you could probably be excused for thinking that I am some kind of voyeuristic weirdo.... because in this case you would be totally right.

I have been waiting for those two to get it on for soooo long now.

I mean come on, everyone knows those two totally belong with each other in the same way that we know vodka belongs with lime, marshmallows belong with hot chocolate and my credit card belongs in my husband's possession.

Yes, I am that obsessed with the show.

In fact I haven't been so obsessed with a weekly TV show since Nina and Patrick finally got their act together on Offspring, and the chances are that if Offspring was filmed in Sydney like Wonderland is then I would probably have sunk to the depths I did today in honour of that show too.

"Oh Sonia, what did you do?" I hear you ask.

Well ahhh I kind of became a bonafide stalker today, that's what I did you guys.

Yup, today I took my obsession with Wonderland to a whole new level and I even dragged my partner in crime - Tessa along for the ride too.. like literally!

Tessa and I went to an event together today and on the drive in there we were talking at a million miles an hour about how thrilled we both were that Tom and Miranda had finally gotten together... you know, like they are a couple of people we actually know and are genuinely excited for and all that.

So the event today just so happened to be at Coogee. THE Coogee where Wonderland just so happens to be filmed.

Coincidence huh?

I call it fate!

Better yet - when we pulled up to where the event was being held, would you believe it was right next to the park where Tom and Sascha kind of sort of got married and then didn't on Wednesday night?

I know right!!!

Of course after the event was over we... OK I ... had to go and take it one step further by insisting that Tess and I drive around until we actually found the apartment block where the show is filmed and then we stood in front of the place and took a zillion photos like raving fan girls.




People that were waking along the street were actually laughing at us, like we were some kind of crazy stalker fans... which in some ways we kind of are.

Oh alright - in every way we totally are... or at least I am!

Whatever.

I'll own it.

Today I became a fair dinkum bonafide stalker.... for all of ten minutes.

That's sort of forgivable... isn't it?

Are you a fan of Wonderland? 
Have you ever been totally obsessed with a TV show?

*ahem* let's move on shall we and check out some of the awesome links I came across this week from you guys.



http://morethanadored.com/2015/05/14/tips-tricks-for-an-awesome-blog-schedule/http://www.boiledeggsandsoldiers.com/2015/05/lunch-boxes-over-100-ideas-to-fill-the-lunchbox-all-on-a-free-printable-just-for-you/http://www.mrsorganised.com.au/2015/05/09/flat-pack-freezer-meals-how-to-make-the-most-of-your-freezer/http://www.bakeplaysmile.com/how-to-make-salted-caramel-frosting/Image HTML map generator

Clockwise from Left to right

1. Have you ever st down at your computer and said "What the hell am I going to write about today"? I have and this is why I loved Sarah from More Than Adored's post about creating an awesome blog schedule. If you would like to get a little more organised in the blogging department - then this post it for you.

2. My kids have had Vegemite sandwiches for lunch 3 out of 5 days this week. I was spare by lunch orders today, but next week is a fresh start and thanks to Victoria from Boiled Eggs & Soldiers I have a printable with 100 lunchbox ideas to keep me inspired. I highly recommend anyone who is responsible for lunch boxes, checks this out.

3. Whilst we are on the subject of food - I want a freezer that looks like Sandie's freezer from Mrs Organised. Sandie's post is all about flat pack meals and making the most of your freezer space and my OCD loving heart was practically orgasmic about this.

4. And OK so 3 out of my 4 links this week are food related - what of it? As soon as you check out Lucy's Salted Caramel Frosting then you will know why I could not leave this out. Three words - to die for!




Alright time to party people, but first let me introduce you to this week's fabulous guest host - Kim from Land of Zonkt. 

I freaking adore this girl and I have been lucky enough to get to know her in person as well as through her blog and if you haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting her, then you will just have to take my words for it and believe me that she is every bit as awesome and creative and bubbly in real life as she is on her blog.



Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella Loves) or Kelly's (at A Life Less Frantic ). It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.

Have a great weekend you guys.



Thursday, 21 May 2015

No More Snoring... For Real!

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If you are ever tempted to punch your snoring partner in the nose whilst they sleep - then read on my friends because this is one product review that could quite possibly save your relationship… and you from punching your loved one.

Brought to you by Nuffnang & Omega Pharma

I frequently get asked if I would like to review products on the blog and to be honest I am such a cynical cow at times that I often go back to the person asking and say “REALLY??? You really want me to go there?”

The problem is that over the years I have been sucked into buying many a gimmick and they are usually something I have seen on one of those infomercials! You know mops that promise to clean your kitchen and cook you a gourmet dinner, and tummy wraps made by companies that swear you will have Kate Hudson’s abs with no more effort than working your way through a packet of Cheetos from the comfort of your couch.

More often than not I am left with major buyer’s remorse, a garage full of crap and an extra layer of cynicism to my already thick coat.

This product does not fall under that category and for once I have been floored.

You see my beloved hubby is a snorer.

A floor shaking, window rattling back of the throat rumbler and I frequently find myself punching him in the back, rolling him on his side, tickling his lips until he wakes up and stops snoring... and that’s just on a good night.

On a really bad night I will send him to the couch for his own safety with a blanket and his pillow tucked under his arm… the same pillow that I am so tempted to do something very illegal with to stop him from snoring.

I am not even joking.

If you live with a snorer then you know just how ferociously agitating someone snoring can be when you are tired and just want to sleep but can’t because they are snorting in your ear.

I have literally been reduced to tears on some nights and driven to the point of frustration where even his loud breathing is enough for me to go into a full blown meltdown.

Some factors can trigger or worsen snoring such as smoking, colds and flu and excessive weight.

My poor hubby has a deviated septum thingy… yes totally technical I know.

He could have it fixed, but he is a wuss and is afraid of needles so we have paid for at least two referrals for the surgery and he is yet to make an appointment… and so he continues to snore.

Now if you think I am cynical when it comes to mops and shammies and wraps and miraculous skin cream made from the venom of a snake… then believe me when I tell you that I practically deafened myself with my own laughter when I was asked to review an anti snoring spray.

Admittedly I was tired and emotional after a particularly rough night of snoring, but come on… how many of these products have promised to end our frustrations and have failed to deliver?

Too many.

But this one is different.

Silence Anti-Snoring Throat Spray actually worked and to be honest I am even more surprised than you that I am sitting here writing this post because I was convinced I would be going back to the company and saying “Sorry, but you don’t really want me to write what I really think about this product do you?”


Yet I have been proven wrong this time and I am more than happy to shout it from the rooftops.





There are quite a few anti snoring products available these days and most of them are nasal devices that are designed to help the air move freely into the nostrils. That’s all well and good but the problem is snoring is caused by friction of the tissues in the throat and so a product that works on the throat seems like a better option.

There is a whole load of medical terminology sitting on a piece of paper in front of me that explains how Silence Anti-Snoring Throat Spray actually works, but the long and the short of it is that it uses a unique Bio-adhesive formula that covers and lubricates the throat to prevent the friction of the tissue that causes the snoring.

Unlike the other anti-snoring throat sprays out there, Silence remains active throughout the night.

And I can vouch for that claim because I have had THREE peaceful night’s sleep in row WITH the hubby in bed next to me.

All I care about is that fact that it works and to the helpful team at Omega Pharma who created this great product – where the hell have you been all my life?

If you would like more information on Silence Anti-Snoring Throat Spray – you can visit their website here. You can even order it online right now from the Omega PharmaE-Shop here.


Otherwise head to your local pharmacy or Coles supermarket (where I got mine) hand over your $24.95 and rejoice in what has to be one of life’s greatest inventions.

 Do you live with a snorer?

How do you cope?

Will you give this a try?


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Most Devilishly Decadent Hot Chocolate Ever

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If you are currently counting calories then please be warned.., this is no time for you to be visiting this blog.

Yep that's right.

Hello, I love and thank you for dropping by, but what I am about to share with you would be considered nothing but cruel if you are trying to watch your weight.

Read on at your own will.

Hot chocolate... mmmm.

As far as I am concerned there is no better way to brave the cold weather than by snuggling up on the couch with a book or a movie and a really good cup of hot chocolate.

Now I don't mean to blow my own trumpet...

Ooh whatever, yes I totally do!

My kids tell me that my devilishly decadent hot chocolate is the best they have ever tasted.

OK so they haven't really tasted that many hot chockies from anywhere else, but I am totally claiming it anyways and I'm gonna shove the crown on my noggin and run with it.

If chocolate is your thing and you are ready to indulge your taste buds, read on to see how I throw together one mean mother of all hot chocolates including a special ingredient that I swear by.

The following ingredients make one mug of decadent hot chocolate. Simply multiple the ingredients by the number of people you are making it for.

2 tbs Cadburys hot chocolate powder (or similar)
1 mug full of milk
Thick chocolate topping (my special ingredient)
5 marshmallows
1 wooden skewer
Ready whipped cream
1 flake or mini flake

I like to make our hot chocolate the old fashioned way on the stove top.

Place your milk into a saucepan and add your hot chocolate and over a medium heat, bring your milk mixture to just under a boil whisking it to create froth.

Pour the chocolate topping in a generous amount around the inside of the rim of your mug so that it drips down the inside.


Place five marshmallows onto a skewer ready for dipping.


Pour your chocolate milk mixture into your mug, top it with whipped cream and crushed flake.


______________________________________________________________


Now all there is to do is find a comfy spot, dip your marshmallow sticks into your hot chocolate and enjoy.

Stay warm you guys.

Are you hot chocolate fans in your house?
Do you have that one special ingredient that you swear by in your Hot Chockie recipe?






Monday, 18 May 2015

A Heart Full Of Courage

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Carl (The Hubby)
"This little guy deals with anxiety every day. Not a good morning going in to play a HUGE team in rugby as he is half their weight and 12 inches shorter and he plays front row, hooker. So proud today as he faced his fears and actually took down a few big props and was on the middle of the break down after his anxiety settled. His team won in the end and he played his little heart out. Now resting with his favourite fan. #dogslife #gotigers"

I popped on to Facebook this morning and when I spotted my hubby's photo and comment (above) in my feed I melted into one big gooey mess of pride.

Pride for the fact that this little guy of ours overcame a massive weekend which saw him struck down by the most crippling anxiety attack caused by a complete lack of confidence.

And pride at just how much my beautiful husband adores and is inspired by our little boy.

This kid of ours is small and in comparison to his older brother and even his younger brother who is bigger than him too. He may be small, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in heart.

He plays the position of hooker in his Rugby team - a front row position that sees him sandwich between two props that are almost double his size and facing the opposing front row who I can only imagine look terrifying in size from his lower to the ground eye line.

The kids on the teams they play often laugh when Sammy runs out onto the field and lines up in front of them because he really does look much smaller when standing next to his team mates... but with out sounding completely biased - he is one hellava little pocket rocket whose determination knows no limits.

His anxiety got the better of him this weekend. 

Nerves set in and his body was wracked with the physical symptoms that anxiety presents - shortness of breath, heart palpitations and the sheer panic and sense of impending doom that anxiety manifests.

He fought it though, and rather than give in to it he somehow managed to get himself onto the football field and played an incredible game, not only facing off to kids that where double his size and weight, but bringing them crashing down.

He was exhausted when he got home. 

The aftermath of both the game and the anxiety completely zonked him and he spent the afternoon sleeping it off on the couch.

Damn he is one brave kid and my husband - well he is one awesome Dad and they both inspire me beyond words.

Sorry for the gushiness but capturing these important moments in time and sharing my pride is after all one of the reasons I blog in the first place.

Rock on little dude. You are our hero.