Raising Will


21 things a stay-at-home parent might like to know…

A friend of mine recently made the decision to take on SAHM duties full time and asked me for advice. ME! *laughing* I was flattered, but seriously – does any stay-at-home parent have any real clue about what the hell they’re doing?

But seeing as I’m apparently “a master at meal plans and budgets” *more laughing* and thought of by at least one other person as someone that could give advice on being a SAHM *more laughing*, I’ve put together a list of 21 things a stay-at-home parent of young children might like to know. Here goes…

1. You will have more housework to do just from the fact that you and your kids are home all day. More tidying. More dishes. More washing. You may not do it, but it will be there. Unless you have a housekeeper, in which case – send them to my house.

2. No matter how awesome you are, ‘painting’ will always be a pain in the butt to set up for the three minutes that your toddler wants to paint for. So just do it anyway. Their joy is worth it.

3. Online shopping is your friend. As is chocolate, wine and COFFFFEEEE.

4. Buy. All. The. Snacks.

5. Making muffins with your two year old is an experience no parent should miss.

6. One sink of dishes will take ALL DAY to finish, by which time you’ll have another sink of dishes to do. If you can, buy a dishwasher.

SAHM Adventures I

Finally napping | Masking-tape train tracks | There’s a screamy baby on the other side of that door

7. Stickers are the best invention for that one/two/three/four hours of terror that is dinner time. Give your toddler a piece of paper and let them go nuts. Also good is a handful of pipe cleaners and a colander. Simple things.

8. Prepare as much of dinner as you can early on in the day. Slow cookers are fantastic.

9. Buy more snacks.

10. Attempt to set up a safe area outside, so when your kids are going mental you can just show them the door. Add chalk and winner winner chicken dinner.

11. Sleeping when the baby sleeps is an urban legend. Add any number of other children to your equation and you will laugh in the FACES of the people that make this suggestion.

Sleep when the baby sleeps.

Sleep when the baby sleeps…. NOT!

12. Have a stash of little toys hidden to take on outings with you. The ‘new factor’ may just buy you the three minutes you need to ask the shop assistant about that beautiful sequinned dress in the window where are all the freakin’ twin-seater trolleys!? Snacks also work in this fashion. Related: Buy more snacks.

13. Meal Plan. It will save you time and money. I use this one from Kikki.K. Also, write shopping lists – whether you shop online or in-store, with children gallivanting around you will ALWAYS forget something, especially without a list.

14. Secure all your bookshelves to the wall. Nothing will prepare you for the horror of your two year old on its top shelf.

SAHM Adventures II

Washing. Never. Ends. | Painting FTW | Beware the Nap Of Doom!!

15. Get your hands on children’s movies.

16. A steam mop makes me feel so much better about my floors. Do yourself a favour and get one if you have tiles. THE BEST at dissolving all manner of sticky.

17. Try to make your own muesli bars, give up and then buy more snacks.

18. Try and leave the house/kitchen in a state of tidy before you go to bed. You will feel much better about things when you wake up in the morning and can get to the wine coffee without having to move last night’s toast-for-dinner-mess out of the way.

19. Get in the habit of always putting a load of washing on before you go to bed at night, and hanging it out/putting in the dryer when you wake up.

20. Try your damnedest to get to bed at/before 10pm each night. Everything will seem better after a good nights rest.

21. Cuddle your children often. It will keep you from selling them to gypsies.

Get Mum's Attention...

The Truth.

Now I KNOW this list won’t apply to everyone. And just in case you are one of THOSE people that feel like high-horsing it to the comment section, in the words of Adam Hills, ‘Don’t be a dick’. Us SAHPs need a laugh – and if we can’t laugh we have to drink/eat/run. And seeing as I don’t run, well, that just spells danger for my health. So, refrain from soap-boxing in this instance, puh-lease.

On the other-hand, if you’re after some other great bloggy advice for being at home with your cherubs, I confidently point you in the direction of Picklebums, The Organised Housewife, Mummy Musings and Mayhem, A Little Delightful and Patchwork Cactus. Some awesome resources for play (or if you just like to dream of buying all manner of crafty/toy/fun goodness) can be found at Educational Experience. For recipes to get the nutritious stuff into your babes, check out Annabel Karmel and Vegie Smugglers.

And if all else fails, you can sometimes get wine delivered with your groceries. Just sayin…..


A hello, a baby, and a great big wheel-barrow…

Why hello there!

It is me! I have returned!…… again.

So much has happened since I last blogged. And it’s been happening everywhere – my home, my neighbourhood, my friends, my mind and not least of all MY BODY! For those out of the loop, this should explain a few things:

Bump #2 at 12 Weeks

Bump #2 at 12 Weeks

Yes, that’s a baby bump you see. Our three is due to become four in early August. Here’s hoping it’s a little less fast-paced than Will’s entry into the world, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I’ve really been feeling the pregnancy this time around. Where it was a breeze with Will, this little one has been nothing but trouble (which I’m hoping is not a sign of things to come). And not trouble as in stuff-wrong-with-the-baby trouble, just trouble as in I-think-I-might-be-having-every-bad-pregnancy-symptom-under-the-sun trouble. The first three months were so icky-sicky that I struggled to do anything and Will was lucky he was bathed and fed most of the time. Poor little ferret – but he’s taken it all in his stride and is still as rambunctious as ever.

A rambunctious little toddler...

A rambunctious little toddler...

Onto my head though… It’s beginning to clear from the pregnancy fog, but (and you know I love metaphors) have any of you just found yourself piling so much stuff into your barrow that you begin to realise it’s tipping over? What do you take out? What should you replace? Do you really need that in there? Anyone want to help me push? Oh Bugger! The wheel fell off! That’s pretty much my head at the moment.

I have so many things floating around in my brain-space right now and I find myself getting to this barrow-about-to-floweth-over stage; that’s when big changes in my life happen. The last time my barrow nearly tipped over, we moved 250km to a new house; a new town; a new outlook. Looking back at some ‘barrow moments’ in my life, I’m beginning to realise that this might be how my head chooses its way. I pile all of these potential paths into my barrow and when it tips, the one that I manage to grab first seems to be the one true path that I was looking for and end up pursuing whole-heartedly. Kind of like the first thing you’d save if your house was on fire.

What’s in my barrow at the moment I hear you ask:

1. Knowledge is what I crave. Should I go back to Uni? Would Psychology be beyond me? How on earth do you muddle through the application process without your High School Career Advisor pulling out the stops? Could I handle a study workload with a toddler and a newborn?

2. Writing is my passion. Why have I stopped? Will all (yes, the whole handful of you) my blog followers still remember who I am if I came back to blogging? Do I really want to grow my blog into a business? I should really go to a conference/networking event and get my bloggy-mojo flowing (reading all the tweets about Digital Parents Conference 2012 is sending me greener and greener as I type). I’m craving some article-writing for happychild and I really should email the gorgeous publisher, Yvette. Must make time must make time must make time!!!!!

3. Creativity is happiness.  I think I officially have 1 million creative projects on the go. I really need to catch up on Project Life, do some sewing for our new arrival, and stay away from creative inspiration for a few weeks so I can be inspired to finish the stuff I’ve already been inspired to start!

4. Community is filling a gap I never knew existed. I’m throwing myself into roles in my local community and it’s a good feeling to be making our area just that little bit more awesome. Have I bitten off more than I can chew with a Project that I am developing through a Leadership Course being run by our local shire? Is it really as good-of-an-idea as it sounds in my head? Am I even really qualified to be considering this?

5. Life is hard. The house always needs attention. There are people to be fed and watered. There are not enough hours in the day, dollars in the bank or chocolate bars in the fridge. I should spend more quality time with my husband. There are too many loads of washing. Fuel and groceries are ridiculous and I should really make more of an effort to save money. 

Ranty brain-dump over. The worst part about running around with a giant, metaphorical wheel-barrow all the time is that you get tired. I really need to work out a different way of fielding my needs, wants, hopes and dreams. This barrow is getting too heavy to push at 5 months pregnant.

Do you cart around a ‘barrow’? How do you sort out what’s really important to your happiness?


*Image source: Happy To Inspire*


Mealy Monday #10 (on a Tuesday!)

Well yesterday was so busy, with lots of things going on for me and a poor little sick Will I didn’t have time to scratch myself. So much so that I missed Mealy Monday all together – so now we’re having a turbo Mealy Monday on a Tuesday! Hope that doesn’t fry your brain too much, but I guess that’s life with children isn’t it? You can be as organised as you like but as soon as someone gets sick that all goes out the window!

So here’s what the fam will be eating this week:

M: Pork Chops (I was out at a meeting so hubby fended for himself on this one)
T: Spaghetti Bolognese
W: Beef Stirfry
T: Butter Chicken
F: PIZZA!!! Because we haven’t had it for ages!
S & S: Chicken and Leek Pie


Will loves food!

Will loves food!


Be sure to check out some other handy sites to assist with your own menu planning:

The Organised Housewife

This Week for Dinner

Visit 'Vegie Smugglers'


Loathe | Like | Love #2

Another glimpse into the head of Will’s mum…

LOATHE | Time waits for no Mum and I find myself without a diary. For me this is like walking around with a lobotomy. And I know I don’t have a diary but I put off buying one. Because none of them seem right. I especially loathe trying to buy a diary now I’m a Mum because Will does not appreciate being wheeled around stationery aisles for hours on end. Nor do my feet (mind you I would gladly LIVE in a stationery aisle if it was at all possible). So my mission for the next few weeks is to resolve this issue. Said diary must be awesomely fantastic, classy and fit in my handbag without taking up too much room. It must be easy to write in. It must have to-do lists. It must have the week to a page, starting on a Monday. It must hold a pen. It must not open and spill its contents everywhere. Did I already say it must be awesome….? And yes, I understand it is May already. Perhaps I’ll start looking now for my 2012 edition…. Hmmpf! Suggestions?

LIKE | UrbanBaby. If this site delivered Pinot Noir and Cadbury chocolate, I would never leave my computer. Such gorgeousness for my William should not tease my purse so…. Especially with my new love as per below….

LOVE | Tea. I am digging Tea at the moment. I could drink tea on a plane. I could drink it in the rain. I could drink it over there. I could drink it anywhere! As Carl Barron once said – “You know you’re getting old, ’cause you get excited about tea!”

Secondly – T.U.P.P.E.R.W.A.R.E. It’s kinda like cocaine for housewives…. You find it really hard to stop after your first hit…..  Fortunately for my kitchen, and unfortunately for my bank balance – I think (just between you and me) that I might be addicted. Ah well… It could be worse… I could be addicted to shoes and bags…. Ah… wait…. DAMN IT!

And apparently today’s post was brought to you by the Dr Seuss and the letter T .

Facts About Tea!

Facts About Tea!

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Mealy Monday #9

Well hello there strangers! We return from our Tasmanian Holiday!

Will gets ready to trek Cradle Mountain

Will gets ready to trek Cradle Mountain

Fresh off the Spirit of Tasmania yesterday morning, today I have deftly faced two unavoidable problems that come with any lengthy holiday…. the seemingly mountainous pile of washing that has accumulated and a very empty, sad-looking fridge. After popping on a giant load of washing, I quickly got down to my menu plan for this week so I could get to the supermarket and fill my empty shelves – fridge, pantry and otherwise.

But before, I get to that – a quick look at how we fared in Tasmania over the last two weeks! I’ve whipped up a Best & Worst of our Tassie dining, so if you ever head over to the Strait to our most southern state for a bite to eat – you’ll know where to go and where not to go….

BEST BREAKFAST: Without a doubt – Moby Dick’s Breakfast Bar in Stanley. Fantastic, friendly, relaxed service and unbelievable value! If Waffles with grilled banana and genuine maple syrup doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will…

WORST BREAKFAST: After a horrificly sick boat ride over Bass Strait, I did not at all enjoy my Bakehouse Brekky Roll from Macca’s in Devonport. Mind you, you could’ve served me the best meal I’ve ever had, ever, and it would’ve ended up as worst breakfast winner. Macca’s was closely followed by the breakfast buffet at Cradle Mountain Chateau that set us back $25pp. Left me saying ‘meh’. Obviously, ‘value’ had decided that the Dove Lake Circuit was more worthy of its time and was out walking all morning…. as it does every morning…. and afternoon…. and night…. In fact, you won’t see ‘value’ anywhere near Cradle Mountain Chateau.

BEST LUNCH: We sadly lacked quality in our lunches until the last two days of our Tasmanian adventure. We thought we’d found our winner when we stopped by my cousin’s place for a spot of lunch. Bev whipped up a most gorgeous pasta with pumpkin, spinach, mushys and bacon. It was truly delish and she was certainly holding the Lunch Cup with her kitchen guile… Then on our last day we stopped at the Deloraine Deli in Deloraine. Absolutely fantastic lunch at a great price. Best Vegetable Curry I’ve ever had, and Jarrod’s ‘Ploughman’s Lunch’ was the best value cheese plate I’ve ever seen.

WORST LUNCH: Officially the saltiest tomato soup on the planet was served to me at Lake St Clair National Park Visitor Centre. I almost had to drink the entire Lake St Clair afterwards. Blah! Honourable mention goes to the day we forgot to have lunch. Indeed, I would’ve rather not eaten than had that soup served to me again.

BEST DINNER: This award goes to Felon’s Restaurant at Port Arthur. Fantastic Value, Fantastic Service, Fantastic Menu, Fantastic Everything. Starting with the Pan fried Tasmanian lamb served on a fresh goat’s cheese salad with crisp Turkish bread, I was pleasantly surprised. And when mains came along I was certainly spoilt – Warm pumpkin, Huon Valley mushrooms and feta tart served with fresh salad, poached pear, tempura vegetables and pide bread. All for $39 dollars. Couldn’t fault it (we won’t discuss why the chef decided that ‘tempura’ vegetables suited that particular dish – but it was delicious all the same). Jarrod’s dishes were equally awesome. Special Mention goes to the Leatherwood Restaurant on board the Spirit of Tasmania. If only it didn’t all come back up again…..

WORST DINNER: This was hands-down the easiest title to award. 1964 called and said they wanted their menu back. I was expecting Gordon Ramsay to walk around the corner any second filming an episode of Kitchen Nightmares… We only went to this place because everything else was booked out – and there was a reason this one wasn’t. Over-priced, horrible food, mediocre service and all with a name-saked view that couldn’t be seen in the dark. If in Stanley, avoid the Nut View Restaurant like the plague. Epic Fail…

So with those titles out of the way – here’s what our bellies can look forward to this week:

M: Freezer Night
T: Burritos
W: Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
T: Beef Sausages with Veg & Mash
F: Scotch Fillet with Salad and Chips
S: Chicken Parmas
S: Oven Baked Fish & Chips

Be sure to check out some other handy sites to assist with your own menu planning:

The Organised Housewife

This Week for Dinner

Visit 'Vegie Smugglers'

Leave a comment

Mealy Monday #8

 Merry Mealy Monday to all! It’s going to be a great week. Our family is all very excited to be heading to Tasmania on Saturday night where we will no doubt be eating lots of delicious food and most likely drinking a few glasses of fabulous wine! Can’t wait. We will pull into Devonport Easter Sunday – so Easter Bunny will have to get his wetsuit on, so Will can get his first Easter Eggs!

But amongst all taht excitemnet is the five days where we will need to eat at home – so menu plan here we come! Firstly though, a recap on last week. We’ve been hit with a cold snap so it called for lots of cockle-warming dishes. Tasty Cottage Pie, Creamy Tuna Mornay, Fruity Beef casserole…. mmmm…. I’m getting hungry just typing about them! I’ve uploaded the Cottage Pie recipe to our Recipes Page so be sure to check it out – along with all of our other featured recipes.

I’ve also uploaded to the Recipes Page the Smartie Biscuits I baked the other week. I whipped up another batch this week with some of the mixture I had in the freezer – they would be great for kiddies during the school holidays. The smarties just make them a little bit special…

Now for our pre-holiday week’s meal plan! Let’s see what on the menu:

M: Garlic Prawns with Rice and Steamed Broccolini (a couple of cold’s have appeared this week – Garlic should give them a knock on the head)
T: Left over Tuna Mornay with salad
W: Butter Chicken
T: Freezer Night
F: Fish and Chips
S & S: Delicious fare from the Isle of Tasmania!

So with that – A reminder that Mealy Monday will return on May 9th, and I hope that everyone gets into the Easter spirit! Se below for some piccies and a few links to my Meal Planning Guru websites!

Perfect for wintery nights: Cottage Pie

Perfect for wintery nights: Cottage Pie

The very delicious Smartie Biscuits!

The very delicious Smartie Biscuits!

The Organised Housewife

This Week for Dinner

Visit 'Vegie Smugglers'


Mealy Monday #7

Aloha to the start of yet another week. With Easter just around the corner, I am getting excited about four things: My Easter Party on Thursday 21st (Thanks to Easter Bunny & Tupperware), pretty Easter decos, chocolate and shipping the family over to Tasmania on the 23rd! Woo hoo – so pumped…

Will continues to be a trooper at eating food. Who would’ve thought when he was so terrible a few weeks ago – lol. He’s loving sultanas, yoghurt and toast with peanut butter at the moment – so easy. Imagine if my meal plan consisted of that for the week. I wonder if anyone would notice? Hmm…. I think I’d have one confused hubby.

Last week saw some delicious chicken recipes and an impulse batch of cookies which were amazingly yummmm.You can find the recipe for Lime, Paprika and Honey Glazed Chicken on our Recipes Page.

Onto this week, I’ve planned some wintery-warming dishes because of the chilly weather we’ll be experiencing (is that weird that I check the weather forecast to plan my menu? Hee hee). There’s nothing like a steamy casserole with some crusty bread at the end of a 15 degree day…

M: Creamy Tomato, Pumpkin & Baby Spinach Penne 
T: Cottage Pie with Steamed Broccoli
W: Leftover Pie
T: Sausages with Vegetables, Mash & Onion Gravy
F: Fruity Beef Casserole
S: Fried Rice
S: Tuna Mornay with Green Salad

Merry Monday everyone, and don’t forget to check out the links below to some Meal-Planning Gold Mines….

Lime, Paprika & Honey Glazed Chicken

Lime, Paprika & Honey Glazed Chicken

The Organised Housewife

This Week for Dinner

Visit 'Vegie Smugglers'

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Mealy Monday #6 (Part 2)

In all my haste to churn out yesterday’s post before the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala started on TV, I completely forgot to share some links to my favourite Meal Planning Resources. So here they are:

The Organised Housewife

Check out The Organised Housewife for tips, ideas and motivation to help you and your household become organised. Katrina also hosts Meal Planning Sundays where other bloggers can link up to her meal plan post and share their own. Full of great ideas!

This Week for Dinner

Visit Jane's site 'This Week for Dinner' and get access to her meal plans as well as those of all her readers. Hundreds of meal ideas all in the one spot!

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Mealy Monday #6

Why hello there Monday! Nice to see you again, kinda. It just means there’s one week less I get to spend being a full-time stay-at-home-mum. Boo hoo.

But how can anyone stay negative with the gorgeous autumn days that have been gracing us here in central Victoria lately. We had such a busy weekend that I almost forgot to menu plan for this week. And it wasn’t until this morning that I realised I hadn’t even taken any food shots of last weeks dinners. Nor have I whipped up any recipes for this week’s post. Bah! Might need to pay The Organised Housewife a visit and get my act back into gear.

So this week’s meal plan, as rushed as it was, is…….

M: Spaghetti Bolognese
T: Lime, Paprika & Honey Glazed Chicken
W: Freezer night
T: Mish’s Chicken Pie
F: Leftover Pie
S: Stirfry Beef & Noodles
S: Creamy Tomato, Roast Pumpkin & Baby Spinach Penne

And for all those who like a picture with their blog post, here’s a shot from our fantastic weekend:

Will chills out with our friend Jesse

Will chills out with our friend Jesse

Make Your Own Shopping List Today!

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Taking the sting out of Grocery Shopping: Make a magnetic take-along shopping list

Hello everyone! It’s looking like a fantastic day yet again and I’m filled with motivation to do things – Woo hoooo! Thanks to The Organised Housewife and her Daily Task lists I’m never short of things to do…

So, onto today’s post! Yesterday I detailed my family’s Aldi adventure in the hope of saving more money and to help keep within our weekly budget, but one of the big contributing factors I’ve found to help me save money, no matter where I’m shopping, is to write a shopping list! My standard shopping list is a piece of A4 paper grabbed from the printer and folded in half (to A5 size). I’d then write up a few columns and list out all the ingredients required from our weekly meal plan. I would then go tromping around the house with my list and pen checking all the rooms/cupboards for other things we needed.

Now to tromp around the house writing on a piece of paper is difficult and although it’s exciting trying to decipher my scribbles when we get to the supermarket, I imagine my deciphering time could be better spent elsewhere (like buying a coffee with the money I saved when grocery shopping at Aldi). I also loathe trying to cross out groceries whilst we’re shopping; trolley handles do not make good tables and my hubby doesn’t like it when I use him to lean on either. Enter my new, fabulous shopping list!

To make one for yourself, you’ll need an A5 clipboard (I got mine at Officeworks $1.99), some self adhesive magnets or magnet strip, guillotine and/or scissors, pen, and some print-offs of our fabulous printable – the Raising Will Shopping List

Click to view Printable

Click to view the 'Raising Will Shopping List' Printable


Things you'll need

Things you'll need: A5 Clipboard, magnet strip, pen, printable copies and a guillotine (not pictured)

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