winging it mum

Life is full of surprises

Do you ever have those moments in life where you raise your eye brows out of sheer surprise? Surprised as to how a situation has played out, or surprised at the outcome of an event and even surprised at someone’s particular response to life. Recently I have found my little eye brows have been working overtime!

Here are a few things that have got me working out my brows:

  • Elijah my little 17 month old has been hard to keep out of the water this summer. He loves wadding pools, baths, swimming pools and especially the beach. With this in mind we have started swimming lessons. We have only had two lessons to date but I have found myself in the pool holding the little one that is screaming his lungs out. Up go my brows – out of shock that my little man doesn’t like me shoving him under water and in response to the pain my ears are being subjected to!

  • Winging it Mum has become a Chinese translator. Having lived in Taiwan for 2 years sometime ago has resulted in me now being a shy speaker of  very average Chinese. I can ears drop; out of curiosity and get the gist of a conversation but when it comes to me talking I am an uming and ahhing mess. When a Chinese conversation is in play it’s the one time that I am lost for words! (I am sure those of you that know me are raising your eyebrows at the thought of me lost for words!) That aside I am now assisting Jas’ kinder to communicate with a Chinese Grandmother who does kinder pick up – this is a definite eyebrow raiser and they go even higher when I am understood;)

  • Since last weeks Winging it at dinner time post  and all the encouragement I got from you guys, I have been working hard at menu planning, writing an extensive shopping list and being conscious of the money being spent on food etc. Life in our household has already improved as I feel I am no longer just winging it. I am raising my eyebrows as a small step forward has bought such instant and satisfying results! I am using my Kikki K weekly planner, doing a huge weekly shop and a top up later in the week for bread, milk, fruit and veg. I had planned all my meals last week and may not have stuck to the actual planned meals but used the ingredients I needed to. In doing this plan it highlighted for me that I like some flexibility in my week, so this week I have used sticky notes with meals written on it so I can swap them around when I cook each meal without making my planner look messy:) This area is still a major work in progress but I am happy with my progress.

  • This year I am determined to communicate and keep track of events on our family calendar better. Yesterday, I flipped over to March to enter a date and I saw on March 1st it had written special treat! Major eyebrow lift here!!!! Brett has made a surprise but welcomed entry on the calendar and won’t give me anything more! Will fill you in on more on this after the event!

  • Everytime the kids get sick I am shocked (enter eyebrow raise) at how they can be happy and healthy one minute and then in the next they are snotty, watery eyed kids! Time and time again the speed at which this happens is alarming yet each time I am shocked! This week both kids have been hit by a cold and I am currently fighting one off.
  •  I recently joined a gym. I am loving going and trying out new classes and pushing myself. Being more of a morning person, I have even gone to the gym at 6am several times and am enjoying even these classes/workouts – definitely a surprising eyebrow raising start! 

  • Brett came home from work the other day and his driver’s side mirror had been smashed and there had been a pretty good effort made at ripping the whole thing off his car. After chatting with our mechanic we realised to fix this would cost – wait for it ………$900!!!! Feel free to raise your brows too!!!!! Luckily we have insurance (and our excess is less than that) but it took sometime to get the repairs happening and after a week and a half we should get it back.

So these are just a few of the surprises that have taken place in my life over the past two weeks! Have you been exercising your eyebrows too? Or how do show your surprise? What are some surprises that you are facing at the moment? Let us know;)

Em xx


No roses here!

We don’t do Valentine’s Day at my house! There are no bunches of red roses, boxes of chocolates, candle lit dinners or hallmark cards here. I think it is important to tell your loved ones that you love them daily and not just when the shops tell you to. Somewhere along the way the meaning of this day has been lost.

This year, I had been thinking a little more about love in the lead up to Valentines. I want to raise my children to be able to express their love naturally and authentically. I have been touched by some of my friends who have chosen to celebrate real love, in their families this Valentines and not in the commerical way. With my recent thoughts in mind and my new found inspiration. I decided this year – we would celebrate Valentines but in our own way!

Love is Patient. Seriously, I see this kind of love in action daily. Those that know my husband know him to be one of the most patient people around. He needs to be. We have a “dressing room” in our bedroom. For a long time this space was curtained off and used as a nursery for Elijah when he was born. Recently, it has been a secret haven for well anything and everything – a real dumping ground. I have struggled to get or keep this area clean. It has been in the too hard basket for me to be honest, I haven’t known where to start. I know that this area frustrates Brett and so my plan was to show him my love by finally cleaning up the space and giving him the study nook he has wanted.

So from the get go this was my plan. After breakfast, I started on the area with the kids playing in the room too. I had lost track of time and suddenly realised we had to head off to Mother’s Group. I was packing the kid’s snacks and lunch. Jas and Elijah were playing loudly, frantically and loving running around the island in our kitchen. I nearly stood on them several times and asked Jas to run out of the room so Elijah would follow. Then I would be able to complete the process in peace and without stepping on them. I don’t think I was even heard. I repeated myself and then somewhere from within I found myself loosing it and screaming out of the kitchen! I too was starting to loose the meaning of the day!

I re-grouped. Finished packing the snack and went into their room where they were again happily playing. I handed over cheese to them (food they love!) and apologised and thanked Jas for helping me. Jas then performed a “cheer up dance” for me. Her expression of love!

Later in the day after Jasmine’s short nap we baked some white chocolate and cranberry cookies. So yummy! Jas loves to cook! Often, I struggle when we cook together in the kitchen with my lack of patience. However, I wanted to show her that I love her and to spend some special time with her. My patience test kicked in as predicted but I was prepared for it. Then Jas, Elijah and I made a card for Brett. Jas loves to write letters and make cards so this was another opportunity for her to express love in her own style!

The story ends happily. I got the impossible done! Brett got a huge surprise, I was cheered up by my dance, we made a card and we got a great batch of cookies:) I was once again reminded that love is patient!!!! To top it off Brett presented me with one of his home made icy poles and we sat together watching Packed to the Rafters.

No roses here but plenty of love!!!

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If you do in your family share with us what you do?

Em xx

Just before he arrived home 🙂

after an hour or so of use 😉

made with love xx



Winging it at dinner time

When it comes to preparing dinner for my family I definitely wing it. Breakfast is a no brainer. Lunch can always be thrown together; a salad, soup, left overs or a trusty sandwich. But dinner is a whole other story. I get to the afternoon and at some point I am prompted by my rumbling tummy to start to get my head around what is for dinner. At this point, I don’t get a rush of excitement, but rather I get a heavy burdened feeling; like someone who has forgotten something important. It’s not like a day goes by that we don’t eat dinner; so why the shock at rumble time! Perhaps it’s shock because yet again I’ve forgotten to plan dinner! I can’t even blame the kids for this as I suffered from serving winging it dinners ever since I first moved out of home. At rumble o’clock to cope ABC2 is turned on so my 3 1/2 year old is taken care of but the greatest struggle is to provide the “duddles, duddles” that are demanded of me by my little man. So I head to winging it headquarters (aka the kitchen) sometimes with bubba in my arms and food bribes for him at arms reach. Do you serve winging it dinners?

For me winging it dinners have come to be due to my lack of organization and inspiration in this area. I’ve tried a few things to help me improve in this area. For inspiration: I got given a subscription to Donna hay, but only a few recipes have made it into my repertoire – as the kids get older I hope I can add more, but in the meantime I have stopped the subscription. Taste has an iPhone app that looks good, it’s installed on the phone, but it’s unused! Friends told me about a planning with kids website/blog. There are great tools and ideas there but they are still on my to do list. I have a Kikki k weekly planner that I thought I’d use but haven’t persisted. So yes it’s been a struggle that I am yet to overcome. I do get it right sometimes but more often or not I wing it. What has worked for you? Help me!

Not only do winging it dinners create undue stress in our lives but I know it wastes a lot of money. When I do a big shop I get food for a few meals but would never plan for a whole week. So I buy things that I am not sure I need or know how I will use them. Then later in the week I have to do a top up shop where I buy more than what I planned to.

I have stumbled recently across the $120 food challenge. After reading the introduction to the cook book I was curious and purchased it. The challenge was birthed out of Sandra Reynolds’ circumstances. She only had $120 a fortnight to live off. She has put out a book of tips and recipes that challenge people to come up with their food budget and stick to it. I literally have just bought this book and have found the before you cook section to be great and refreshingly practical. Literally that is all I have read at the moment but I am looking forward to trying some recipes too.

This winging it dinners mum wants to reform! I am letting you know this so you can keep me accountable!!!

Em xx



Closet Swap – A thrifty initiative

My darling husband stumbled onto a brilliant iPhone app that excited me (Please keep reading even if you don’t have an iPhone or iPad as you could go to their website and do the same things as mentioned below)!!!!! The app is “Closet Swap“. It is a free app that has been set up by Channel four in the UK. What I like about this application is that it promotes people to look in their wardrobes, chest of drawers etc and come up with items that they no longer need or items that they would be willing to lend to others. After taking photos of these items you are able to upload them in your virtual closet.Your friends are able to do the same and then you can start the process of swapping items with each other. I guess a drawback is that to use the app/site you need to have a Facebook account.

Further to this, Closet Swap encourages you to host your own Closet Swap parties where you can do this in person. The site/app also allows people to look up maps to find where the closest charity shop or vintage shop is etc. In my current exploration of the map it appears to be only a map with nothing labeled but I was able to mark places on the map. Closet swap allows you be able to put out a SOS type call for a specific item that you needed for say a job interview or fancy dress party. How clever!

I guess what excited me about the app is that I would be encouraged to practice sustainable fashion and can even learn more about this through their site. Clothes I no longer like, fit into or need could be given to others who actually need or like the items of clothing. Gone would be some of the guilt that comes with having purchased items that are just sitting around and doing nothing. What a great way to pass on kids clothing and even maternity clothes!

Would I actually use this app/site and put my closet out there? I would like to say yes but to me it sounded like a bit of work and that it would only be a success if other people I knew used it. Would you use the app/site of Closet Swap?

I love the concept of having a Closet Swap party. Those who know me, know that I love to host a party, it’s the event manager in me! I would make it a fundraiser too eg. Donation on entry. People would bring along items they’d love to give to a new home and bag to put in items they’ve picked up! Sounds fun hey! If I threw a Closet Swap party would you come? Let me know;)

I think what I liked about the app/site was more the concept. It got me thinking creatively about what to do with items that I no longer want or require. I regularly give clothes to the op shop but there are some items that I would love to pass onto someone I know so these sentimental items are still in my world. I love giving away my old clothes or my kids stuff and the feeling you get when you know these items will be used and are appreciated.

Recently, I have seen an increase in people being creative in passing on their second-hand items. Like photographing items and putting them on facebook for friends to “like” eg claim. What are some ways that you pass on your unwanted clothing? Leave a comment so we can get inspired!

Em xx

closet swap site


In a blink of an eye

In a blink of an eye is an expression used to demonstrate a short period of time. An instant, a second, a jiffy, a heartbeat or a moment. This is an expression that I could use often when referring to my experiences in mothering.

In a blink of an eye:

  • I went from being a teacher who could manage up to 27 kids in a classroom; to being a new mother who struggled to know how to manage one little baby
  • the amount of sleep I got was no longer something I had control over
  • my life changed for the better
  • my ability to love grew dramatically
  • I was blessed beyond words
  • I found myself giving a sympathetic smile to other mum’s with screaming children
  • chatting about the consistency of poo became a natural and common discussion topic
  • the shoulders on my clothes became permanently covered in drool, food, snot and other UFOs
  • I became a mother of two
  • my kids crack each other up! (as seen in the photo of one of their giggling photoshoots)

Ha ha that was fun and by no means is that all I could come up with there! What are some examples that sprang to mind as you read these? I could have gone on forever:)

But I think you get the drift. Life changes when you become a parent. We get around 9 months (at the most) to prepare our minds and houses for this change. But I remember after hearing Jasmine’s cry when she was born, only then did I realize that my life would never be the same again and nor would I want it to be!

Over the last month or so Elijah has again brought this expression to life for me in many ways. He is 16 months old and a blast to be around. In the blink of an eye he went from occasionally walking to walking. He went from saying 4 words to about 20 in a flash. He went from standing next to me to inside my friend’s house to being out side by himself and jumping on an enclosed trampoline!!!! In a blink of an eye he was covered in his nappy rash cream from head to toe, not forgetting to mention he had coated his mouth too;) (NOTE after calling the manufacturer of said cream it was determined he hadn’t coated his insides as none of the excessive consumption side effects came to be!). It’s amazing how quickly and fast they grow!

Jasmine starts kinder on Friday! Ah it seems like only yesterday when Brett and I carried her into our house and looked at each other as if to say now what do we do? In what feels like a short time has actually been three and a half years of joy, laughter, tears, anxiety and love.

I can’t wait to hear your blink of an eye reflections! Also thinking especially of those of you who will be sending you kids off to primary or high school for the first time this week! I can’t imagine what you’re feeling!

Em xx