Monday, 31 December 2012

New

I always have this excitement, fascination and anticipation of New Years Day.

What will the new year bring?

What can I achieve?

What will change?

How will I change?

What will the Kardashians do?

That last one is a bit of a joke (but seriously - did you hear Kim is preggers? OMG!) but I love thinking about how I have a clean slate and I can try things differently or even start new things!

I have written myself some little resolutions (I won't bore you with them all!) and a bucket list of sorts. The last year has gone so quickly and there were things I forgot to do!

The gist of my resolutions is to let go, have fun, live simply, live happily.

2013 has some big things in store for us.

We are planning a big move up the mountain (will be a complete change of lifestyle!), I am returning to study (but something new!) and we are going to work on growing our business together.

Today I sit in the sunroom of a beautiful little (still bigger than our house!) beach house in Wooli on the North Coast pondering, thinking and dreaming of what this year will bring.

Tomorrow we begin the drive back to reality and the hard work starts on trying to sell our house!

What exciting things do you have planned for 2013?

Linking up with Team IBOT today!

Welcome back everyone! x Great to see some new faces!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

No words come

I wanted to type up an end of 2012 post today but feel very overwhelmed and sad for a very special family.

Arlo - you are so so loved and have touched so many hearts. I hope you are at peace.

Paige, Steve and Billie - we are waiting here with open arms. X





Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A tribute to the most awesomest babe in the world!

So we had a rocky start, but Miss P must be the BEST baby in the whole world. She has been so much more laid back then Miss S was as a babe.

She "plays" on her own on the floor, she puts herself to sleep and sleeps over 10hrs most nights. We are very blessed. Very.

After rocking Miss S to sleep for most of the first year of her life, it seems we have really lucked out this time. Or did we learn from our mistakes?

I never tire of hearing silence after putting her down and go in for a peek and she is asleep.

Sleep gods, if you can hear me - thank you, thank you so much and I promise I will never take this for granted. Please never take this easy going baby away from me. Please?

I am serious. Please don't take it away. Ever.


Monday, 26 November 2012

Teaching children values

Miss S is nearly in her fourth year of living (it goes so crazy fast!) and I have begun to notice more and more how much she picks up on!

She loves to repeat things back to you and even recently told my brother in law what he was getting for Christmas! She has even repeated a few swear words. Obviously picked up from her father, I would never swear. Ever.

I swear.

We bought her a DVD the other day, Where the Wild Things Are, I thought it was a great movie and didn't put much thought into it - when we bought it home we realised it was a PG and there was some scary scenes in it!

All this has helped me come to the realisation that I need to start censoring myself, what she watches and listens to (maybe I should have started earlier!)

Mr G's first rule was no music concert DVDs doing housework - usually my music of choice is Pink or Gaga. To me, these women are empowered and love themselves and make me feel good about myself.

Whilst watching some other music videos on the weekend, I realised I switched the channel when someone like Minaj came on, but left it when someone like Chris Brown was okay.

It made me wonder what type of values I am trying to impart.

Do I want my girls to feel confident in themselves to wear what they want, to do what they want, to be constantly empowered to be the best they can be?

OR

Do I want my girls to idolise men who treat women like punching bags and sexual objects?

Some food for thought for you!

What are your views? What do you expose your children to? What values do you hope to instil on your children?

I am really interested to hear your thoughts on this.

Ciao!

Linking with the fabo Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Walking Contradiction

One of my favourite bands in the universe is Green Day. They brighten my mood and take me back to my teenage years frequently! Their song walking contradiction reminds me that I am quite the anomaly!

When I was setting up this blog I got a little stuck with my profile page - who am I? Every time I would think up a "label" I realised I wasn't quite this "label" or that "label". I am a walking contradiction.

* I am a hippy who loves V8s.
* I am a sugar hater who loves chocolate and lollies.
* I am a fitness freak who loves slothing around the house.
* I am a greenie who sometimes can't be stuffed sorting the recycling.
* I am a mum who loves nothing better than being alone.
* I am a minimalist who loves her "stuff".
* I am a buddhist who kills spiders and insects.
* I am a wholefood chef who loves fast food.
* I am a yogi who can not get my deep breathing right.

Who am I really?

What I really want to know is - do you fit in a box? Who are you?

'til next time!

T

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

7 Nos in 7 days

Okay kiddies - it's been a week! A week!

Just so you can appreciate how hard this has been for me so far, here is a detailed list of the things I have turned down so far:

1. New "jogging" music from iTunes.
2. Many many cute outfits for the girls (see below)


Can you imagine how freakin ADORABLE my girls would look in these outfits!

3. Kikki-K released their Christmas range!
4. Charlie & Me had an online sale for swimwear and Pippa NEEDS swimmers!
5. A FABULOUS market find dress for myself.
6. New (used) cloth nappies from a friend.
7. A new Kitchenaid cookbook (the one I bought is RUBBISH. So RUBBISH)

My sister has also been reminding me that she is NOT participating in NO spend NOvember and showing me the photos of said purchased items. Can anyone say Beeeeeeeatch?

What have you missed out on buying this week?

1st outfit is from Bella Boheme http://www.facebook.com/bohemian1?fref=ts 
2nd is from Dashes of Love http://www.facebook.com/DashesofLove?fref=ts 
3rd is from The Kitchen Table http://www.facebook.com/thekitchentable.1

Sunday, 4 November 2012

5 years later

On Saturday Mr G and I celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss. An entire 5 years of bliss, no fights no unhappiness. All BLISS. I swear.

As we flicked through our wedding album last night we reminisced about what has happened in the past 5 years!

5 years ago, we didn't:


  • have any children;
  • have a thriving vegie patch;
  • have a nicely painted grey house;
  • have more than two niece/nephews (now we have 6!);
  • have a silly security guard brother in law;
  • have our X-trail (which now seems squashy with 2 baby seats!);
  • have our own business;
  • have to think about anybody but ourselves;
  • have to travel more than 10min to see our close family.
Times have certainly changed, mostly for the better but naturally, we have had some trying times also. 

5 years seems like such a short amount of time - how did all this "life" happen in it?

Where were you 5 years ago?

Monday, 29 October 2012

NO spend NOvember

I love shopping!  This is not a secret.

Spending money is so easy - especially with the wonders of Facebook and Paypal. Not to mention the excitement when the mailman delivers! And not because he is rexy sexy - definitely not!

My most recent purchases include frilly nappy covers, a new lunchbox and a BEAUTIFUL tablecloth. I have no doubt that once all my parcels arrive - I will LOVE them! But the buddhist in me asks - do I really really need them?

Here is the crazy thing - my purchases last month (without me actually sitting down and figuring it out like a smart person) would have totalled at least $500! That, my friends, is completely and utterly riDONKulous.

So that is why I hereby declare November - NOvember, no internet shopping for me!

"How easy!" I hear you exclaim! I shall preface by saying that I am CONSTANTLY on the net, CONSTANTLY. I breastfeed, I am often a work widow and I have a smartphone (do I need anymore excuses?).

My Facebook newsfeed is flooded with gorgeous pretties for my girls and myself! But I do know that shopping out my boredom is not the way to continue!

Plus the organiser in me will need to finish my Christmas shopping ASAP! So I am "allowed" to buy christmas presents but not from the internet and I have a set list of everything left to get!

Do you think I can do it? Any tips for me?  

Signing off crazy ex-internet shopper.

T

PS. I would really appreciate it if all of my favourite FB stores would not post nice pictures of things for me to buy! Wait until December I plead with you!

PPS. I still have a day left in October - what can I buy?

PPPS. My get out of jail free clause allows me to shop at Woolies online (I have 2 kids - give me a little leeway!) and Loving Earth online (where I buy some organic food goodies).

Monday, 15 October 2012

Hiatus

Blogger informs me that it has been approximately 2.5 months since my last blog.  I have an excuse, and it's a pretty good one!

I have been busy. Too busy. With this.



This photo can be deceiving, it may look like a super super cute baby but it also comes with the following: accidental homebirth, nappies, breastfeeding, hospital stay with infection, reflux, nappies, lots of internet shopping, chocolate, older sister dramas, low milk supply, returning to work, whining almost 3 year old, low weight gain and ........ more nappies.

I am sure future posts will offer further elaboration for you!

Is that a good enough excuse for you?

T xxx

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

YES

In writing this post and sharing photos with you I am hoping to inspire you to just say YES. 

YES you can climb by yourself (under 1yr)


YES you can stand at the top of the stairs and climb down yourself (1yr old)

YES you can taste the paint (18mths). 

YES you can explore rocky lookout on your own (18mths)

YES you can wear your party dress on a bike ride and go through the huge muddy puddle (2yrs)


YES you can climb up to where your Daddy is on a 6ft high mezzanine with no boundaries around it (this one had me pooing my pants!) (2.5yrs)

YES you can climb under Daddy's car in the puddle (2.5yrs)

I believe that my saying YES sometimes it shows that I trust her and I am allowing her confidence to really develop. It also doesn't devalue "no" and "stop", I use these in serious situations and I always tell her what I expect of her when we are out. She also asks me now if it's okay for her to do something "Mummy can I go in the water?", "Mummy can I touch the bird?" My heart always swells with pride when she does this. 

Before we go for walks I say to her "what do you do if Mummy says stop?" and she will show me how she stops. If we have to cross the highway I explain to her that I have to carry her bike and hold her hand crossing the road. Sometimes this results in me holding a screaming toddler and a bike whilst crossing the road BUT she knows the rules.

I don't know if this works for all kids but it really works for us. I realise my next child will probably be a terror who doesn't listen and runs onto the road but for now I like this delusional state where it's my parenting and trust of Miss S that have helped form her this way. Don't tell me otherwise!

If you are looking for some more inspiration I would recommend visiting one of my favourite sites for ideas - Play at Home Mum.

So hopefully you can draw some inspiration from this, does it really matter if your child's party dress gets some mud on it? Share your moments with me! I want to hear all about them!

Tata.

Mrs G.

FYI - I am always always always close by and supervising. Yes she has hurt herself, but she has learnt from that too. 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Keeping the Romance Alive

Since having Miss S, time seems to have moved so quickly (she is already in her 3rd year of living!). Some weeks it feels like I don't see Mr G at all, and when do see each other - I get to whinge about the banalities of my day and he whinges about work.

This is not healthy for either of us. This year we decided to have monthly date nights and we managed a few before finding it hard to fit in, and also it felt like we were constantly bugging our babysitters for help!

So when Mr G had a super busy June and I realised we were having a baby like tomorrow - I organised a surprise night out in the city!

Cue 5 star hotel, Nana babysitting Miss S and a full 24 hours to talk about adult things!

We arrived to have our car valet parked and then we were upgraded to a suite! I have always wanted to hear "we have upgraded you today".

Upon entering the suite (which literally was bigger than our house!), soft music was playing, candles were everywhere, rose petals scattered and canapes were waiting whilst the Moet was chilling on ice!

It's not something we can do all the time (our credit limit wouldn't let us!) but it was seriously needed.

I personally think it's extremely important that you keep your relationship alive by doing little things like this. Not only for our sanity but for your little ones to see.


What do you do to keep your relationship in tip top shape? How do you demonstrate a healthy relationship to your kiddies? 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Organising Queen

One of my personal strengths (if I do say so myself) is being extremely organised.

It started as a basic skill - simple to do lists EVERYWHERE.

I wanted to share with you some of my tips on keeping yourself organised, I have utilised a couple of simple but effective systems in my house.

* An awesome Erin Condren life planner. It is set out PERFECTLY for what I need plus its colourful and personable.
* Cleaning Schedule - definitely not set in stone though. Some days I throw it out the window!
* Massive calendar so everyone in the house knows exactly what is going on when.
* Meal planning. We are now trying this on a fortnightly basis. So far so good. :) Its nice not to think about dinner each night - its already decided!
* Routine cards for Miss S. She doesn't refer to them every night but its a good reminder for her when she "forgets".


My number one tip is not to let everything get on top of you!

Every morning I try to have a semi-plan to my day. Whether my plan is to do nothing or to do EVERYTHING - I find the day flows better for me when I have an idea of most things I want to do.

Of course, my systems have flaws and don't always motivate me but they seem to be working pretty well for now!

How do you stay organised?

Friday, 29 June 2012

Internet Village

When I was pregnant with Miss S (3 years ago!) I joined an online forum of likeminded women who were all pregnant and due at the same time. 

There were some differences and many a learning experience but essentially I have found a group of women (some of whom I'll never meet) that I love and cherish on the internet. 

If you had told me that this would happen 5 years ago I would not have believed you. I didn't think I was the "type" - which is what exactly I don't know! 

There have definitely been some trials and tribulations, which one would expect from a group of pregnant hormonal women! 

In learning the perils of first time motherhood these women were my sanity - there to chat when up feeding at 3am, there when there was a funky spot, there when I needed a laugh, or a vent or a pick me up. 

After catching up with my fav internet bestie last week it got me thinking about all of our children - the generation that comes after meeting each other on the internet. Will our kids become friends on the internet? Will they forget about each other? Will they get married? Will they fight and think their mums are weirdos? 

I can't tell you. 

What I can tell you is that - without these women my adjustment to motherhood would have been a lot harder. In this day and age, mothers don't have the support and help they need from family (for various reasons!) and sometimes that late night chat is just what you need. 

They say it takes a village to raise a child, well I want to say thank you to my fav internet village and I hope one day Miss S will too. 

Future besties?
This time around I joined a new "due in" club, what started as 70 women with many differences has become a group of 10 ladies who I have started to love, cherish and appreciate for their wisdom. 

I hope my advice and knowledge helps them as much as my first group have helped me.

Peace out ladies. 

x

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Guess what?

I am finally convinced that we are actually having a baby - we tried to conceive for 4 months and I am currently 29 weeks pregnant but its only just hit me. THERE IS A FRICKEN BABY IN MY UTERUS!

Long weekend plan for us was to paint the nursery/storage room. So naturally, we were too slack and lazy and ended up only sanding and washing the walls. BUT aside from the smell (oil of cloves aka Nana smell) it's coming along!

Then on Saturday night I got sick - cramps and nausea. YUCK. Mr G was fabulous. He rubbed my back until I fell asleep! The fact that I actually let him touch me when I was in pain and I listened to him when he suggested things to make me feel better - really gives me faith about us actually working together in this labour.

Today we had a fancy smancy 3D scan and I think it has really bought it home that there is a child in there! 

See - it's a real baby! 


It's SUPER exciting the second time around, there is something magical about knowing what's coming (at least as much as you can) and being able to remember the first time all over again. 


I have finally gotten a new sewing machine foot so I can start being crafty again! I have picked some GORGEOUS Cat in the Hat material to make some curtains. 

We don't know what the sex is and it makes it a little hard to buy clothes and things but the things we have purchased are super cute - and I can't wait to see them on the baby!
Not to mention that my baby, yep. My baby girl is going to be a BIG sister. What will she be like? Will she love her bro/sis? Do we have enough love for another one? 

We will find out in 11 weeks (or more!) how we all work together! 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Daredevil Children


Obstacle course time! We have been wanted to do this for a while - we believe in encouraging Miss S to explore anything she wants to and also to take risks in her play. 

When we go for walks, we encourage her to walk on walls (she always wants to hold our hand!) and we jump over things all the time. She is quite confident doing things like this but will always let us know if she isn't. 

Some things work, some things don't. 

Miss S was hanging from a tree branch on the weekend, and LOVED "falling" into big piles of leaves. In the end it was all about the fall for her! 

Then on Sunday she was climbing on our lounge and decided to dive over the arm. Sorry. Not such a smart choice missy! There was crying, but no broken bones and I am sure (WELL I HOPE) she learnt a lesson! 

Here is our little obstacle course, I would love love love to keep it down permanently but it would kill the grass! What do you think? Have you done something similar? I want to see it! Personally I think next time we need to up the ante! This was too easy for our daredevil!





If you are really serious about your sun protection - this is the way to go. DER.



Wednesday, 16 May 2012

19 things you NEED to know



Pardon? What did you say? You want to know more about me? Well since you ask - here is a comprehensive list of all things you didn't even realise you wanted to know about me.

> Mr G and I got together when I was 17.
> My star sign is Cancer.
> I go MENTAL if I don't have me time.
> I am interested in tarot.
> I dream of being more crafty (watch this space).
> I love the Real Housewives of any city.
> I hate cats.
> I think french fries dipped in thick shake should be classified as a meal.
> I believe ALL people who love each other should be able to get married.
> I hate not making my own money.
> I am obsessed with Tori Spelling and her family.
> If I try to stick up for myself, I always make things worse!
> I snore like a mutha trucker.
> I hate gardening, the stupid weeds just grow back!
> I care TOO much about what other people thing.
> My favorite singer is P!nk.
> I love yoga.
> I am in awe of the fact that getting poo or boogers on my person does not bother me in the slightest anymore.
> I currently have 2059 photos on my iPhone. 

Don't you love how instagram gives you a nice glow in photos? I look like an angel! right? 

I would love to hear something random about you - share with the world! 

Monday, 7 May 2012

Pebbles Crunching

Sounds of brakes and engine slowing down.
Pebbles meeting tyres in the drive.
Dog: Barking, waging, excitement plus. Finds nearest shoe for mouth.
Car door shuts.
Miss S: "Daddy!"; runs to front door, opens it and yells out for him.

My favourite time of day. What's yours?

Disclaimer - followed closely by any kind of sleeping, on the couch, daytime, night time, on bed, on floor. Not fussy.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Eco-Gs

In an ideal world we would all live on a couple of acres and have access to everything you need to have a successful vegetable garden to encourage sustainable living.

I am a "greenie" at heart but have always been quite lazy about it. Mr G and I have visions of grandeur. We imagine ourselves river cottagesque - only ever eating things grown in our own garden, drinking organic beer whilst watching our children play in the yard in their bamboo cotton clothes.

Instead I find myself thinking - how annoying that you have to wash the vegemite out of the jar before recycling it! Really? That's absurd! I need sunlight to dry my nappies, when there is a dryer? What the?

Since I have unloaded a couple of things and organised my life a little better I have more time to make our house more eco-friendly. On our immediate to do list is:

> Monthly meal planning to assist in less wastage and use fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season.
> Taking care of our vegie garden instead of expecting it to take care of itself.
> Buying some reusable snack containers - instead of glad bags!
> Recycling EVERYTHING that I can. Including vegemite jars.
> Less car use. 
> Use vegies from the garden.
> Using reusable nappies and wipes FULL time with new baby. 

Our long term goals include:

> Chickens!
> Solar power.
> Water tanks.

I have included some photos of our vegie garden (from December!), unfortunately we seem to have many problems with animals (possums? slugs? rats?) eating everything but we WILL solve this problem! 













Any suggestions or helpful hints? 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Cockatoos and decisions made

I have been struggling a little lately about what to do with my life. I find it it so hard to let go and just enjoy being a mother because I feel like I need to plan for my future. 

I am currently studying my Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) via correspondence. This degree covers ages 0 to 8 years so I figured I could teach at a preschool or at a primary school. Unfortunately, I have been finding it difficult to study online and I don't feel like it's the right way to study for me.

So I decided to try to attend university here in NSW once my new bubs is old enough. Only catch is the NSW degree only covers 0 - 5 years so that limits my career options. So to continue with Early Childhood or move onto primary?

I wanted to share with you how I found the answer...

I walked to pick Stella up from her kindy yesterday and we had to walk up to the shops. Stella is (mostly) very cooperative and I allow her a little freedom when walking so she is always very well behaved! 

Except for this day. 

Tantrum city. 

Molars. I hate them (they are the devil! DEVIL!!!). Once we cuddled and sung ALOT I knew I would have to use distraction techniques all the way home.

It was dusk so all the local cockys were out and making a ruckous! I pointed some out and we went on a hunt trying to spot more. 

Stella loved pointing them out! I decided that this distraction technique was working!

Next step - flapping like birds down the highway on the way home. Sometimes you just have to let your shame go!

THEN we found a feather! Perfect! We talked about wings and how they help the cockys fly. 

Once we got home we googled images and videos and watched them in the wild, playing guitars and even dancing to Backstreet Boys (he was good!)

To finish off we videoed ourselves making cocky noises! Here is the finished product for you:

video


We relayed our stories and lessons learnt to Daddy when he got home. 

I was so proud that I managed to let go of any hang ups about myself and just go with it, finding things to elaborate more on what we were learning and just having fun! 

The wonder, the excitement, the fun, the shame (or lack of it) - of course this is the age group I want to work with.

Once bubs is born, I will start studying again but for now I start my life as a "cheater" SAHM (I work as a bookkeeper too!)

I am apprehensive and nervous but also so excited and I have started to feel so much more relaxed about my life now. 

I look forward to sharing more toddler lessons (for both me and Stella) in the near future.

Ciao for now.

T x

PS. Normally I would have about 50million photos to share with you but I was too focused on  Stella to even think about it! :)

Friday, 13 April 2012

Smussssshed.

The only way to describe this week. Smushed. I had a luscious five whole days were I got to share parenting duties, relax, rejuvenate and even fit in some couple time with a movie (American Pie - you have got to see it!)

Then something happened, its called Wednesday. I was back to trying to fit EVERYTHING I have to do into 3 days. 

So today - I decided to give up. I'll call it Easter recovery...

I gave up trying to clean, I gave up trying to finish my uni work for the week, I gave up on trying to sort out our business lives, I gave up on fighting day naps, I gave up on trying to decide my future career, I gave up on thinking about my new baby to do list.

And just browsed blogs and pulled funny faces with the little bug. 



Sometimes you just gotta. 

Routine and normal life next week. 

Peace out. 

x

Thursday, 22 March 2012

10 Things I Have Learnt Today

  1. Just because you are full doesn't mean you don't need another hot cross bun.
  2. Just because the bedroom door is shut doesn't mean she is asleep.
  3. Just because you think it will be a quick trip to the shops doesn't mean it will be.
  4. Just because you are considerate of other drivers doesn't mean others are considerate of you.
  5. Just because you are excited to get out of the house doesn't mean said driver won't make you cry.
  6. Just because your 2 year old usually is a dream when shopping doesn't mean she always will be.
  7. Just because you can threaten said 2 year old with no purchase of flashing lights slippers does not mean she will do what you want.
  8. Just because you are generally fit and healthy doesn't mean you should carry 2 year old around around a Westfield.
  9. Just because you ate McDonalds whilst 2 year old is asleep in the car, doesn't mean it actually happened. 
  10. I can make impulsive shopping purchases that work. Orange + me = match made in heaven. Even if you think I look ridiculous, let me live with my delusions for one more day PLEASE.





What did you learn today?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Our Play 'Philosphy'

I have no professional experience (yet!) but here at the G household, we believe in play. Quiet play, noisy play, messy play - all kinds of fun. We try to let Miss S guide us but I also find lots of ideas from various mum websites.

I don't like to impose too many restrictions, but I must say sometimes when I see the mess (ie. rice EVERYWHERE) I have to restrain my inner OCD. I try to put down mats or drop sheets to capture the mess and make cleaning up easier.

Miss S also makes mess but she helps clean it too. I think thats an important lesson to teach - you can have as much fun as you like (providing you aren't hurting yourself or others) but we do need to clean up afterwards.

I thought I would share a couple of messy things we have done (in photos).

Likes to paint herself!

Chalk drawing on back pavement

This one was hard for me - a rainmaker. This is S inserting the rice. EEK. Keep vacuum nearby. 

There is definitely a reason she is mostly naked when painting!



Baking!

Cubbies with cuzzies!

Beads, beads, beads

Helping Mummy make dinner

Coloured rice! I don't think I have any "AFTER" photos!

Jelly! I hid some animals for her to find, and she still managed to eat ALOT.
Pretty party dress + puddle.
I don't religiously plan something every week for us to do, I keep a list of things I want to do mostly compiled from Childhood 101Play at Home Mum and The Imagination Tree and kind of pick something once a week (a little less lately - new baby is sucking the life out of me!).

Miss S is only 2 so she doesn't usually initiate any craft activity, but she is starting to so I will definitely be guided by her in the future.

Hope you see something here to inspire you!

T

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Sugar Free Birthday Cakes ???

My name is Tara and I am addicted to sugar.

Since reading David Gillespie's Sweet Poison I have been on a rampage to try and rid sugar from my family's lives. I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone but for me - it just seemed right. Get rid of sugar = more energy. Get rid of sugar = less moods. Get rid of sugar = lose weight. There is plenty more reasons and I highly recommend everyone read the book - the amount of "hidden" sugar in food is absolutely ridiculous (rant about big food chains to come at a later date).

I was fully prepared to commence the sugar free quit plan when I fell pregnant. I am sure it is completely fine to quit sugar whilst pregnant (your body doesn't actually NEED sugar to function) but with morning sickness rearing its head I could not let go of my morning juice! So I set out to do this slowly...

I am an avid label reader now, and LOVE experimenting with new no sugar recipes. There is a great ingredient called Stevia. Stevia is derived from a plant (I think in Africa) and it is a sugar substitute. It is similar to Splenda, Equal etc without the nasty chemicals. I should mention that Stevia hasn't been around for a long time so a lot of studies have not gone into its effects.

In January and February, our family has 2 birthdays, just after Christmas! Its a mad mad time of year! So in my wisdom I decided we needed sugar free cakes and I would convince everyone who ate them that life was ok without sugar, you could survive and you could still have yummy food.

This is where I should mention that whilst Stevia claims to have like for like measurement for sweetness capabilities in his VERY sweet. VERY.

I set about making Stella's 2nd birthday cake, a Humpty Dumpty cake. I know, I know, I don't know what possessed me. I substituted half of the sugar with half the amount of Stevia and then used the other half of sugar. It took me all afternoon and after I had finished I had a very wonky looking Humpty but Stella loved it! Thats all the encouragement I needed.

The likeness is just unbelievable right? RIGHT?

On the big day Stella devoured her bit of cake, loved loved loved it, and noone complained. Except me. Inside. I hated the taste and it was so dense. I was very disappointed! I must not have used the Stevia right. Hmmmm....

Andrew's 30th approached and I decided to attempt a red velvet cake (I had seen it on many U.S. reality shows - very cool!). With Andrew's cake I decided that I better just use all Stevia instead of sugar, 3 cups worth. Yep. Its funny to think that even though I was so down on sugar - I had no issues using 60ml of red food colouring!

We went out to dinner at the local pub with friends and family and COMPLETELY FORGOT about the cake! So we took it home and ate it the next night. I should say Stella ate it the next night.

Looks can be deceiving

It was inedible and I had to spit out the cake I had put into my mouth. Disgusting does not even begin to describe it. It was metallic, so dense and so so sweet. The whole lot went into the bin.

To say I was disappointed at my first sugar free cake attempt would be an understatement, but I feel that I learnt a very very important lesson, people like me (awesome) should not attempt to substitute ingredients. Never. Ever. Ever. Follow the recipe Tara or your own birthday cake will be ruined!

Does anyone have any sugar free cake recipes?

Tata for now!

Tara

PS. if you actually need good cake ideas - maybe visit from friend Crittle. Her kitchen rules! http://crittleskitchen.blogspot.com.au/

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Welcome...

Hi, Hi, Hi!

My name is Tara and this is my first time blogging. Actually its not. Yep. I already lied - in my first sentence! I started a blog last July but it was too depressing! Now I am in a better place I am ready to share some of my life with you all!

What will my blog be about?

I plan to post about many different things - kids, cooking, baking, crafts, relationships, fashion, beauty, gossip, organising life and stuff. Yeah - plenty of stuff.

Will it be interesting?

I think it will be. I guess I like to think I am unique and different and everyone will love to read about my life. Truth is - it may be boring. EEK.

So why write a blog then?

Well I really enjoy writing, I have always kept a journal and poem book.  I also really enjoying reading blogs - I learn sooooo much from other blogs and I hope I can inspire and help some people with my writing.

I don't know how I will go and whether or not I will keep at it but I hope too and I hope it will be a wonderful experience.

I'll blog ya later!

Tara