Thursday, December 29, 2011

What's My Chances?

Sign I stuck above the light switch in the kids' bathroom.

What's my chances?

Pretty slim I reckon.

Karen xx

Want to Lose Weight?

I was reading Diminishing Lucy's Lose Weight For Free Post and thought I'd jump on board too.

Given that I should lose about 25kg, I figured why not use the new year as a starting point? Yeah, yeah.....we've all heard that before. We've all tried that before. Only to give up within a few days. That's why I haven't made any New Year's Resolutions for the past few years. I always give  up.

One of the reasons I give up (apart from I can't be bothered anymore) is that I struggle to find recipes that we will all eat. I am not that great a cook. I can cook you a baked dinner or meat & three veg (sometimes even 6 veg). I can cook plain food whereas my husband seems to throw anything from the pantry into the pan & it comes out a masterpiece. The downside to this however, is that it is neither waistline nor budget friendly.

So I have signed up to My Special K & they are going to send me a customised eating and (dare I say it) exercise plan. Their recipes sounded tasty, shopable (is that even a word?), and cookable. The kids' tastebuds will be experiencing all sorts of new flavours.

2012 is my year. BRING IT ON!!!!

Join in - the more the merrier!

Happy New Year Everybody!!!!!!

Karen xx

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Baking Kind of Day

Filling in a rainy Monday, which, if the weather was behaving like summer, we would be swimming:

Shame they take longer to make than they do to eat!

What are you doing this rainy day?

Karen xx

Stop! Winner time!

Thanks to all the entrants for my Vege Twists Giveaway here. I certainly gained some fabulous lunchbox ideas from you. (I love lunchbox ideas - I used to do lunchbox workshops as back to school Tupperware parties when I was in the plastic business!).

The winner, as determined by 16 year old Zac (who is a dab hand with his own lunchbox) is:

*Bek*, whose comment about the kids having to make their own lunches resonated with him. Here's her entry!

"I dont do lunchboxes - the kids do their own - that way they cant whinge that they dont like whats in, but they take the usual sandwich or roll, fruit, bubble bar, muffins, what ever we have in the house...."

Look out for my email Bek, so you can claim your prize!

And make sure you all look out for my next giveaway in the near future.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate & Happy Days to those who don't.

Karen xx

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How's your fridge looking?

Every so often I like to run down the contents of the fridge and/or pantry to see if we can use everything up. It came from Simple Savings' $21 Challenge here.  I love the idea of the challenge - you can set your own $ amount, but the idea is to look at what you already have & work out what you can do with it, rather than just shop out of habit.

And Christmas is next week (yikes!) so we need to have as much space available in our fridge as we can. To house all that wine. beer. food.

And it's easier to clean if it is just about empty!

This is what our fridge looks like today:

Yeah, for a family of 6, there's not much in there. Lots of the bottles in the door are probably ready to be thrown out too, half used marinades, etc.

Top shelf: margarine, jams, Ray's wog foods (olives, chillies, etc) and the basket stops our cheese slices from getting lost in there.

2nd shelf: some wrap bread (has been open over a week so should prob be chucked by now), juice concentrate in 1st basket, cold meats (ham & salami) in 2nd basket.

3rd shelf: my water bottle - yay for me!

4th shelf: Up & Go drinks (teen breakfasts on school days - last day today!), strawberry punnet, cut watermelon in container & last night's leftovers in square white container (which have now been eaten for today's lunch).

Crispers contain a few carrots, some kiwifruit, a bit of cauliflower & a bit of broccoli and I don't want to get up to see what else!

Various sauces, mustards, marinades and drinks in the door. Along with eggs in their compartment up the top.

Fortunately the freezer below is fairly full and the pantry isn't quite bare yet. There is certainly enough to make a few respectable meals.

How's your fridge looking? I dare you to share - pic it, blog it, link it.

If I knew how to make a linky thingy I would, but I am a techno idiot so you will just have to pop a link in your post back to mine. Please?!


Karen xx

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Another Yummy Giveaway!


Yeah, you all know I am a bit of a foodie. Okay, make that a LOT of a long as someone else is doing the cooking!

I do love a snack or two and am continually searching for that elusive munchie that isn't detrimental to the ol' health. (Although that doesn't stop me from eating the munchies that are.....).

So I jumped at the chance to try out the new Vege Twists from The Vege Chip Company. They tell me that I won't have to twist anybody's arm to get them to eat these veges......and they were right. My kids scoffed them down quicker than I could say I don't know what.

Stuff you need to know about Vege Twists:

* they are a yummy cheesy flavour

* they are good for lunchboxes

* they are yummy

* no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives

* they are yummy

* 80% less saturated fat than regular potato chips

* they are yummy

* 100% gluten free = yay for those who are gluten intolerant

* They are yummy

* made from a variety of grains & contain lupin flour which is high in protein, dietary fibre and antioxidents. (that means ticks of approval from me).

* they are yummy

* Lupin flour also reduces appetite = feel fuller quicker & longer = less snacking on junk food (another tick from me).

* did I mention they are yummy?

The Vege Chip Company has been making healthier snacks with no nasty additives or preservatives for over 20 years, becoming a brand that Aussie families can trust. And they are an Australian company too. Yay. I like that.

The healthy snackies available from The Vege Chip Company are:

* Vege Chips
* Vege Deli Crisps
* Vege Twists
* Vege Deli Rice Crisps

You can get them in the health food aisle at Woolworths and Coles across Australia as well as in some health food stores. Recommended Retail Price is $4.99 for a 6 bag multipack.

I have a multipack of 6 to giveaway to one lucky reader. If you would like to enter, please leave me a comment telling me what you like to put in lunchboxes (oh, and you need to be a follower of my blog). Giveaway is open to Australian residents. Start now, ends Sunday 18th Dec at 8:30pm Sydney time.

Ready, set,.....GO!

Karen xx

Disclaimer: I was sent some Vege Twists to sample and write about. Opinions are my own. No other payment was offered or received for this post.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Christmas Meme

Linking to This Mummy Maze and Tina Gray {dot} Me for this one. Feel free to join in - please just link back to where you found it!

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate - I've also never tried eggnog (and it doesn't sound very appealing so I don't think I ever will).

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped, plus filling stockings.

3. Coloured lights on tree / house or white? Coloured. I like colourful things!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No - if you can't kiss me during the year, then you don't deserve to at Christmas.

5. When do you put your decorations up? First weekend after 1st December.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish? The traditional baked turkey dinner but we don't have a baked dinner due to the heat of summer in Australia. And my husband doesn't like turkey much and he does the Christmas cooking in this house. But I usually manage to cook some turkey in between what he's doing.

7. Favourite holiday memory as a child? Spending summers at Woolgoolga in our campervan. We would leave Boxing Day morning around 4am - 2 adults, 5 kids, station wagon with a campervan being towed. 12 hour drive. I don't know how my folks coped!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I can't remember.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, because that is my husband's Christmas (Austrian) so we do presents after dinner at whoever's house we are at. Then, because my side of the family is English, Santa comes overnight & the kids have Santa presents and stockings to wake up to on Christmas Day, then gifts from my side of the family.

10. How to you decorate your Christmas tree? How the kids do it is the way it stays. There are decorations that are years old, a couple of new ones, and some of the ones the kids have made over the years. The more colour the better. One string of lights on it too. No tinsel this year and it looks so much better.

11. Snow - love it or dread it? I think we all romanticise about a white Christmas. If we could have the snow without the cold slushiness, then bring it on. I could have a baked dinner too!

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, but it has been a LONG time. I learned when I was about 5.

13. Do you remember your favourite gift? Doll furniture individually wrapped. I don't remember the doll house, I just remember pulling present after present out of a huge Santa sack. Every chair was wrapped on its own. Every table. Every person. Every single piece. And they must have really been from Santa because my Mum doesn't remember it (and I know I would remember if I went to that much trouble wrapping pressies!). I would have been in the 4 - 6 age bracket I reckon. My memory from my childhood years is pretty non existent.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Being together with family for a meal. I am Catholic but due to our family celebrations being on 2 separate days, last year was the first year we have made it to Christmas Mass (that's really bad, because our eldest is 16 & has only ever been to one Christmas Mass).

15. What is your favourite holiday dessert? I'm usually so full after the main meal that I really don't need dessert. But I will probably have a piece of pavlova this year just because I can. And some of the fruit platter.

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition? Light looking. We live in a suburb where lots of people decorate their houses (including us) so there are many within walking distance. Which means I can drink a Christmas beverage as we go! Disclaimer - I have driving commitments 5 nights a week so I rarely drink alcohol - by having a drink as we go I am killing two birds with the one stone so to speak - please don't deny me my Xmas tipple!

17. What tops your tree? A blue, glittery star in the living room &  black glittery star in the formal lounge room. Yeah, we have two trees.

18. Which do you prefer - giving or receiving? Giving. I love seeing other people's faces when they open their pressies. And I pray to God that I have bought them something they actually like! All I want for Christmas is a box of chocolates. That's what I ask for every year. But I am getting a sunhat this year from one of the kids. I picked it.

19. What is your favourite Christmas song? Just one? Are you serious?! Um......Happy Christmas (War is over), We wish you a Merry Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, Little Drummer Boy (I hated that one as a kid).

20. Candy canes - yuk or yum? Yuk. The kids don't like them much either. Thank God!

21. Favourite Christmas Show? I work nights so I  miss most of them, but just once I would like to watch Carols in the Domain from start to finish. Or the ones in Melbourne from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl - we went to them one year when I was a kid.

22. Saddest Christmas Song? Happy Christmas (War is Over) - also my favourite. I think I must like to cry.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Karen xx