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One mother, one day at a time

Saying Goodbye To Everything Is Edible

I’ve got to be honest with you folks, tonight I am sitting here so tired I can barely see straight. It has been a HUGE week and a busy weekend looms ahead; it’s a weekend filled with nostalgia as tomorrow we have our 6th annual Christmas party, something we’ve been doing since our second Christmas as a married couple, a tradition that I hold really dear. This weekend I’m also saying goodbye to Everything Is Edible.

Before moving into the new era I wanted to take a little trip down memory lane…

This blog began on NYE 2006, it was on blogger with a basic theme and it was very lame – if you’d like to have a laugh at me you can find my inaugral post here.

It didn’t take too long for me to get my act together and move to lifeasweknowit.blogspot.com and spend a stupid amount of time teaching myself CSS to come up with this theme…

Then over time I decided to move away from Life As We Know it to something more distinctively me, and The Architect came up with “Everything Is Edible” to reflect the stage of life that we were in with Bliss. I bought the domain http://everythingisedible.com and carried on my merry way.

Last year I made the move over to WordPress and with it, developed a new look for the site – this is what you would have seen up until a few days ago when the site was h*ck3d.

It would have been nice to have swapped over from that directly to the new look site, but it wasn’t too be. At some point over this weekend when you come to visit this site you will find something new in it’s place. There will be a redirect in place so you will find it and any email or RSS subscribers will have their feeds automatically updated unless something goes horribly wrong, please don’t let something go wrong!

I am feeling the most sad about losing the Facebook Page; the beautiful people who have been on my Facebook page for the past 12 months have been such an amazing community – full of words of encouragement and good humour as I look through all the comments from the past year I feel sad to leave them behind but, I hope that many of you will move with me to the new site and Facebook page.

At the end of this month I will have been blogging for 5 years and hope to blog for a long time to come and while I have no issues with the term “mummy blogger” I didn’t start out as one, and I’m ready for my blog to reflect more of me and less of me as mummy- does that make sense? I’m excited about the next phase of blogging and having a space that better reflects what this blog is about!

Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me…as I said I’m exceptionally tired right now but wanted to put this up and say thanks for reading, see you again soon!

Fri, December 2 2011 » Blogging, Louisa » 11 Comments

Where Is Jesus In My Blog?

I was planning to write a post tonight about how incredibly unprepared I am for the 1st of December (let’s not mention the fact that I am yet to buy a single Christmas present!) and how I thought that was OK because I think most of us are wanting to teach our kids about the non-commercial aspects of Christmas and being a bit simple was probably quite a good thing. And then I got into one of those wierd daydreams about what my funeral would be like if I died – wierd leap, I know (please tell me you occassionally do this too?) and I realised that the people who have known me in my past and everyday life would have a very different picture of me than many of those who read my blog and know me online.

People in real life would know me as a bit of a Jesus freak. Not in a preachy way (not since school anyway) but in a studied at Bible college way, was a Children & Families Minister and Authorised Lay Minister in a Church kind of way, and that up until Bear was born I was the Early Childhood Ministries facilitator for the Baptist church in the state of VIC.

Those who know me through my blog would possibly know that I have a faith of some sort – depending on how long and often you’ve been reading my blog – but mostly you’d know me as a Mum and possibly “bloggy/brandy type person”.

So why I am writing this? Because the people who could testify to my life would (I hope) say that Jesus is in my life, in my home, in my kids lives, in my husbands life – we don’t just go to church on Sundays but we are Jesus people.

Where is Jesus in my blog?

I’ve not been intentionally not talking about my faith, it’s just not been on my mind to blog about…I don’t even know what it would look like for Jesus to be in my blog – I know what I wouldn’t want it to be like – preachy, dogmatic, arrogant. Maybe it’s been my fear of sounding like that or perhaps more that it takes so much work and emotional energy to write thoughtful posts let alone a thoughtful post about faith that I’ve been putting it off…I don’t know. I don’t know what this means either but I just know that tonight I need to say Jesus is in my blog because he’s in my life.

And now I shall tell you a story, about a teenage girl in a hotel room in Darwin in 1996 on a school camp. I was that girl (did you guess?) and I remember as clear as anything the room where I was, the Bible I had with me and most significantly, I remember God telling me (not audibly, but personally) that I was to spend my life serving in vocational Christian ministry (ie my job would be working in the church). At the time I was in a Sydney Anglican church and so there wasn’t the option of becoming an ordained minister, but I knew that being in the church was where my future was. Over the 15years since I’ve moved in that direction, done ministry traineeships, Bible college, come to a theological viewpoint (which is to say, I think the Bible says it ok) that women can be ordained but that that’s not where I am at personally right now. It was only this year when I went back to the Baptists when Bear was 4 months old (who by the way – wonderful employers!!) and had a mini-meltdown going back to work with a 3yo and 4month old who were both at home with me at the time (yes, I now recognise that was not a very sensible thing for me to do) when I realised I could still be called to ministry but work doing something else through this very unique season of life. It was only then that I kind of fell into social media/blogger engagement consulting – which I love, am good at and can work around family life (yay, yay, yay!)

But it doesn’t change what and who drives me, so if I die and you happen to go to my funeral – whether you’ve known me in the past in the present or simply online I want you all to know the same thing about me – Jesus is in my blog, because He’s in me.

Wed, November 30 2011 » Family, Louisa » 11 Comments

How To Be A Happy Mum

How are you feeling today? Happy? Flat? Excited? Stumped? I’ve got something super lovely to share with you today that’s bound to get you smiling.

The incredibly gorgeous and wonderful Naomi, from Seven Cherubs, has dedicated a big part of her own life to the pursuit of happiness, and sharing practical ways to encourage others to join her. Her latest (and possibly greatest, thus far) way of doing this has been to release an ebook called “Pockets Of Happiness“.

Pockets Of Happiness, how to be happy, Naomi Ellis, Seven Cherubs

Naomi says,

I am a seeker of happiness. Meaning: I am on a journey to discover what really makes me happy. Since having children I have felt the importance to seek for this happiness in a greater capacity.

For some people happiness comes easily, for me not so easy. I really have to work hard each day to find and see the good in my life and I have to remind myself that the enjoyable, fun time in my life is now. That there is no need to wait for it,happiness can be for me today.

My goal and journey is to find that happiness now. To reach a place where I feel content with my life just the way it is and to not rely on people or things to give me what I need to feel happy….

My hope is that this book will help you find small pockets of happiness each day and allow you to learn more about what makes you happy.

 

This is a book that lives up to it’s promises! What’s more it’s easy to read, not to long and very affordable at only $4.95!

A couple of my favourite sections in the book include the idea of borrowing happiness when you are just too tired and overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start, and the very practical happiness activities that Naomi has lovingly included.

Follow this link to buy Naomi’s Pockets of Happiness ebook

 

The Pay It Forward Giveaway

Today I’m giving away 4 copies of Naomi’s book and all I ask of the winner is one simple thing, to pay it forward. You don’t have to giveaway 4 copies, but if you win this ebook then please buy at least one that you can give away to someone else. Naomi is such a giving person, I really want to embrace that as we embrace happiness.

To enter please leave a comment below about anything to do with happiness, this ebook, why you’d like it or who you think you could give it to.

I will draw four winners on Sunday 4th December.

Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book and let Naomi know that I wanted to write this post. While she kindly offered some books for a giveaway I declined as I had already hatched my little pay it forward plan.

Tue, November 29 2011 » Being A Mum, Blogging, Family » 3 Comments

Social Media and Australian Women

How much time do you spend online? What do you spend that time doing? Are you a blogger and if so, are you curious about whether your readers are influenced by the things you say?

Yesterday Kellie O’Brien from Three Lil’ Princesses and Mum PR and I launched a survey looking into Social Media & Australian Women. We will be sharing the results with everyone publically once we have them and hope that no only will they be really interesting but hopefully useful for bloggers and small business owners.

I have embedded the survey below and have also been sharing via twitter and Facebook, as has Kel. There are two things we’re asking of you.
1. Take the survey yourself. There was feedback on Easy Peasy Kids’ facebook page yesterday from someone who took it and said “Been over and filled it in. Didn’t take long.”

2. Share the survey with your female friends, colleagues and family members. You can do that either by directing them to this blog post or by sending them to this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6FZTBNV

Thanks so much for your time, we really appreciate it! Oh, and I almost forgot – we are giving away a $200 Coles Myer Gift Card to one lucky person who responds to the survey.

Mon, November 28 2011 » Blogging » 4 Comments

5 Reasons The Octonauts Make Great TV for Kids {& Giveaway}

The Octonauts are a team of underwater explorers who have taken the pre-school world by storm with their fun catch-phrases, quirky personalities and brave adventures. Explore, Rescue, Protect! Anyone?

Because I try to limit the amount of TV Bliss watches, I am also careful about which shows she sees and I’ve been really impressed by this show. This is a good thing because, as I’ve mentioned before, Bliss is a devoted fan of the Octonauts!

Here are 5 reasons I think The Octonauts make great TV for kids…

1. I Bliss learns stuff! I have learnt a ton about sea life and Bliss has too – I’m always impressed by the way they integrate the non-fiction elements into the story in a way that’s fun and engaging.

2. It fosters imaginative play. Bliss can play “Octonauts” for hours and hours and though her characters have the same names as the ones in the show, the way she develops their personalities is a world apart. I love watching her explore her imagination and make up a whole world that she is so wonderfully captured by.

3. There’s no bad guy. I love that everyone works together, making their own unique contribution without it being saccharine.

4. Following on from the above point, there’s a great lesson in empathy that runs through each episode – with the characters having to see the world from someone else’s perspective. I love that!

5. The length! Each episode runs for around 11-13minutes. It’s enough time for me to get a load of washing on the line, or make a quick phone call without the episode finishing in the middle of it. It’s also easy to you can watch x number of episodes and then the TV goes off.

If you’ve never seen an episode before you can catch them on the ABC4Kids website here: The Octonauts or you can enter to win one of 3 new release DVDs of “To The Gups” below.

Octonauts, The Octonauts, Octonauts DVD

 

First prize is a copy of The Octonauts: To the Gups, Bananas in Pjamas: The Majic Trick (not yet released but will be available instore from Dec 1)  and Yo-Gabba-Gabba (not yet released but will be available instore from Dec 1) . Total RRP $60

Second prize is a copy of The Octonauts: To the Gups RRP $19.99

Third prize is a copy of The Octonauts: To the Gups RRP $19.99

 

To enter please leave a comment below telling me about the favourite kids TV show in your household. The winners will be drawn after 5pm on Sunday 11th December.

Winners must have an Australian delivery address.

Sun, November 27 2011 » For The Kids, Giveaways » 33 Comments

An Open Letter To Jackie O

Dear Jackie O,

I’ve been watching the discussion taking place on twitter today about the latest outburst of obscene behaviour from your co-host Kyle Sandilands; you know, how he called someone a “fat slag” and threatened to “hunt her down” because she didn’t like some TV show of yours the other night.

I admit I’ve never been a listener of your show, though I do remember you from back when your co-host was your ex husband, the equally vile “Ugly Phil”. The few moments of it I’ve caught have been enough to leave me disgusted, but clearly you’ve had good ratings and have been on air for some time now.

I could never understand why you wanted to work with such jerks, nor how your show stayed on air after your interviewed a 14 year old girl about her sexual experiences. It was bad enough you sat by and let that happen, but that you did nothing when you were told that she had been raped and Kyle proceeded to ask “so that’s the only experience you’ve had?” was truly disgusting. I do wonder if you have a new appreciation for just how terrible that was now that you’re a mother…

It leaves me very disappointed with humanity that so many people have kept tuning in and making your show viable.

But I get it. If you get ratings, then you get to stay on air.

What I haven’t been able to get is why you are still on air with Kyle. You’re very pretty and blonde and happy – we can all see that you don’t look like a nasty person. I’ve often wanted to ask you, to say in solidarity “hey love, do you really think this is a great idea? Don’t you realise that when you stay silent you condone his behaviour, don’t you realise you get tainted with the same brush?” But now I realise, you do know – you know exactly and you don’t care.

Of course we all see that when he says something shocking you do a little giggle and “try” to interject or lighten the mood but it’s pathetic, and your ongoing partnership with Kyle tells me is that you don’t give a shit about anyone or anything but yourself. It tells me that you’ll stick by Kyle and the network, because they are offering you what I can only imagine are the big bucks. I no longer wonder, like I have in the past, why you stick around because after listening to you laughing while Kyle called someone a “fat bitch” I know why.

What I don’t know is why noone else ever says this; why none of the mainstream media ever comment on your complicity in these events. I suspect it’s got to do with the aforementioned “pretty blonde” thing but I’m fed up.

I am not writing this because you’re a woman and you should show some solidarity, nor because you’re using the pretty blonde thing to scoot under the radar on these issues. I am writing this because as the co-host of the show you are the only other person with a voice and you’ve failed to use it.  Of course, Kyle is 100% responsible for his actions and comments but so are you. Your failure to speak up makes you equally guilty.

It’s not too late Jackie – it almost is, but you’ve probably got a chance left.

How are you going to use it?

 

Wed, November 23 2011 » Opinion » 89 Comments

Bringing Baby Home

Bringing your baby home is such a momentous experience! When we brought Bear home last year, it was a hugely emotional day for everyone…the start of a whole new chapter in our family.

Today I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, care to join me?

todder new sibling

 

toddler new baby, siblings

 

new baby

 

family, toddler new sibling

It was a beautiful day…

Do you remember bringing your baby/ies home from hospital? What stays with you the most about the experience?

Wed, November 23 2011 » Being A Mum, Family Life » 5 Comments

5 Housekeeping Tips For The Domestically Challenged

If you’ve been reading this block for a while or if you’ve ever been to my house then you’ll know that I am no suzy homemaker! Here are five of my tried and true tips to do the absolute bare minimum when it comes to housework…

1. Do it straight away. It will always be easier and take less time if you just tidy up straight away.

2. If caught out, shut the door. What else is there to say but when you get that unexpected visitor or when it all gets to much, grab the nearest washing basket and stuff, run and shut!

3. Flowers are a great distraction…but make sure you bin them when they start to shed/die!

4. A clean and clear kitchen table and toilet go a long way to making your appear in control and clean…ish.

5. Know your strengths and if you can afford it, outsource.

housekeeping, domestic distaster

And as with most good things in life, do as I say not as I do.

Are you a domestic diva or a domestic failure? What’s your best housekeeping tip?

Tue, November 22 2011 » Being A Mum, Family, Family Life, Louisa » 10 Comments

An Open Letter To Pregnant Women

When you are pregnant and then a Mum, you are bombarded by stuff – stuff you “need” to make your life easier, to make your kids happiers, to keep your home pretty.

I paid $10 for this facewasher.

Yep $10 for that stained piece of cloth! I was seduced by how soft it was, how white it was and how pretty the embroidery was (embroidery that is now causing holes to form) and so I splurged. I paid $10 essentially to wipe my kids butts. Worth it, hey?

There are so many things you can buy when you are having a baby and a lot of them are very expensive. I’m not saying be stingy, I’m not even saying be cheap, heck I know that sometimse it really is a case of “getting what you pay for” I’m just saying be real – don’t buy into the idea that you have to have the picture perfect nursery, or the prettiest or most expensive item available. Your kids won’t care what clothes they wear, what pram they ride in or what you use to wipe their butts! I’m 100% certain that a $1 washer from target would have fared just as well as my $10 one but I got suckered into the idea that having beautiful things is good and more than that, that buying things would help me stay in control; that even though I felt totally out of my depth I could go shopping and spend money we didn’t have on things we didn’t need.

A few years and another kid down the track I’ve learnt something some women know all along – my kids could care less if their clothes are from target or GAP, new or second hand, heck most of the time they’d be happy to run around naked! They do care that they are loved, fed, safe and enjoyed – they want to play, laugh and learn and they want to do those things with me!

What crazy expensive and unnecessary things have you bought? Go on…you can tell me :)

 

 

Mon, November 21 2011 » Aussie Culture, Being A Mum, Family, Family Life, Opinion » 19 Comments

How To Make A Rainbow Cake {& Giveaway}

rainbow cake, rainbow cake recipe, how to make a rainbow cake

Rainbow cakes are all the rage at the moment - they are simple and hugely effective and this one was a great hit at Bear’s recent Circus themed 1st birthday party! Making one is time consuming but with just a few little tricks up your sleeve, a very easy and appealing party cake. Here’s how you can make a great cake without being a professional baker.

This recipe is for a 6 layer cake made in a26cm by 26cm tin. Many of the recipes you will find online will suggest that you use icing in between each layer – I used a cream filling which I recommend for lighter, less sickly sweet finish.

INGREDIENTS

Cake:
12 eggs
9 cups of self raising flour
3tps vanilla
750g butter
2 cups milk
3 cups castor sugar

Icing:
500g copha
2bags icing sugar
water
2tsp vanilla

Cream:
500mL thickened cream
vanilla & sugar to taste

What you will need:
baking paper
baking dish
tray/board to serve on covered in alfoil if needed
freezer room
mixmaster

MAKING THE CAKE
Make up the batter above and divide into 7 bowls (yes, 7 layers for a 6 layer cake) – if your mixmaster isn’t big enough to accommodate that number of ingredients then make it up in two batches.

Take your first bowl and divide that batter in to 6 smaller bowls of cups. Get your food dyes and very very slowly (one drop at a time) add colours to each bowl until you have worked out the shades you want for your cake.

rainbow cake, how to make a rainbow cake

Getting the right mix takes time and you don’t want to colour each bowl only to find out you’re not happy with the strength of the colours. Once you are happy with your colours, go through and colour the other six bowls accordingly.

Tip: Using gel die will give you the best colour but you don’t need to use gel, the supermarket variety is fine too.

Bake each cake for 15minutes (we have an older oven so it took closer to 18mins per cake). If you aren’t icing them immediately, wrap in alfoil or clingwrap and place in freezer.

MAKE THE ICING
To make the icing put your room temperature copha into a mixing bowl and beat – slowly add the sifted icing sugar until you have a buttercream consitency. You will need to add water to the mixture as you go along to help create the right consistency. You are only going to need a thin layer of this icing so you can be liberal with the water – the goal is to have a buttercream feel to it that’s easy to work with – the water is the key to getting the copha to work like that.

Why copha? Copha is white which will give your cake the best effect. Butter will obviously make your icing more of a yellow colour.

Tip: If you haven’t got your copha at room temperature put it in the microwave to melt. It won’t soften in the same way as butter but don’t worry that some of the copha will melt completely during this process – as long as you have enough to cream then the melted copha will work in the same way as the water.

ICE THE CAKE
In order to stop the cream from absorbing into the cake and losing that lovely white center look you will “crumb coat” each separate cake before putting it together. Crumb coating is when you put a very thin layer of icing over the cake to stop the crumbs from getting into the icing and making it look speckled.

Tip: Before icing, chill each layer of cake in the freezer – this makes them easier to work with and ice.

Take your first layer of cake from the freezer, take a knife and spread a very thin layer of the icing all over it – you want to cover it completely (don’t worry about the sides at this stage) before adding the cream.

Complete for each layer, remembering to crumb coat both sides of each cake before adding the cream.

how to make a rainbow cake

Once you have a completed cake, crumb coat the top and sides of the cake – this will help stop any crumbs from getting into the final cream finish.

crumb coating, rainbow cake, how to ice a rainbow cake

If you aren’t serving the cake on the same day cover the cake and put it into the fridge and do the final step on the day of the party.

The final step is to cover the entire cake with a layer of thick, whipped cream. You can add some sugar and vanilla to taste to the cream if you wish. Whip the cream until it’s quite thick, you want it to hold its shape and be easy to work with. Cover the cake with the cream and voila! Finished…a simple, beautiful rainbow cake!

You can find more tips on how to throw a circus party here.

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

I use a handmixer to bake with and thanks to KitchenAid, I am very please to have a beautiful Kitchen Aid Artisan hand mixer (RRP $119.95) in pink to giveaway to one lucky reader. Perhaps you can use it to make your own rainbow cake?

KitchenAid Hand Mixer Artisan Pink

If you’d like to win, please leave a comment telling me what you love to bake.

You don’t have to share this competition on facebook, twitter or stumbleupon but I’d love it if you did.

Ts & Cs.
1. Winners must have an Australian address for delivery.
2. Prize will be drawn on Wed 30th November.
3. One entry per household.

This competition is listed at Online Competitions

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Sun, November 20 2011 » Being A Mum, Family, Family Life, Giveaways, Louisa » 159 Comments