Flavor of the Month {Cactus}

How can something look so cute & pretty but be sooo prickly! There is just something about a cactus that makes you want to touch it, but then regret that you did straight away… Ouch! (or is that just me?) 

These cute cactus finds will bring you all there is to love about cacti, minus the prickles.

  
1. Cute crotchet Cactus pots by CactoCactus

2. Little Cactus cushion cover by DaisyDaisyHandmades 

3. Cactus phone cover case available through Casetify get yours here 

4. Sunnylife neon cactus light available from Little Paper Lane

5. Sterling silver & opal inlay cactus necklace by Sunfacetraders

As always, my flavor of the month posts are not sponsored, nor are there any affiliate links. They are just items I’ve come across that I love & want to share with you. 

If you like this flavor of the month post you may also enjoy some of these previous ones too 

Donuts

Ice cream 

Rainbows 

                               LOZZIE X

Do you get the overwhelming urge to touch a cactus plant when you see one? Which is your favorite from the products above? Do you have a “flavor” you’d like to see me feature in an upcoming post? 

Share your thoughts here on the blog or over on Instagram or Facebook. I love to hear from you 

Fan Girl Friday #10

Hello Bright Ones, 

Can you believe another fortnight has rolled around already… & it’s almost March! 

I love March because it’s my birthday month but also because it’s Autumn & that’s my favorite season. 

Haven’t had a lot happening this week. We did the usual preschool run twice & I went to my dads earlier in the week to visit my step sister who is out visiting from Canada again for a few weeks. I’ve got some friends coming round for lunch tomorrow but apart from that it’s all been pretty ho hum, housework & wrangling the boys most days. I don’t mind the quieter weeks though. 

Right-o, so this week I’m highlighting two Instagram accounts that are just the bomb! 

1) Kellysnapshappy

Kelly’s feed is just so beautiful to look at & her photos are magic. 

However it’s her two hashtags that I really love & just had to share them with you 

#Kellyplayswithflowers 

  A lovely collection of words & images made using flowers that are both clever & lovely. 

& #conesbykelly

A selection of candy, flowers, food or anything else you can think of tumbling out of ice cream cones & it just works! 

  

I love her creativity & the execution of her ideas. Each one is so unique & beautiful. 

I promise her feed is worth a follow, so go & check it out. 

Secondly we have another aesthetically pleasing account by yet another creative soul,

Runnerkimhall

Her gallery is so pretty.  It is so calming & stunning. Her photos are amazing, as is her talent but it’s the captions she uses for each snap that just completes it. 

 

Trying to choose just a few images to convey & capture the beauty that is her feed is almost impossible as I love them all. But if you like what you see here, click on the above link to her page & you’ll find much more to love & lose yourself in her pastel dreamland. 
   
                                    Lozzie x 

What is it that draws you to follow an Instagram account? Do you like to get creative with your photos & props? Who are you fan girl crushing on right now? 

I love hearing your thoughts & comments so please share them here or over on Facebook or Instagram 


(Not so Red) Velvet CupcakesΒ 

  

I’m always looking for quick & yummy treats to whip up when having people over for morning tea or play dates & you really can’t go wrong with cupcakes (well you can & I do sometimes- I can stuff up packet mixes! I’m not much of a baker, but I’m trying) but kids & adults both love them, so they’re an obvious choice to please the crowd.  

So when I found a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes in the Thermostruck cookbook I thought it looked super easy, even for me, (yes the girl who cannot bake) & because I could use my Bellini (that I lovingly refer to as “the poor mans thermomix”) it would make it even quicker & easier too. 

However upon searching my cupboards I realized I didn’t have any red food coloring. Which by the way I was surprised to find is what made just a humble chocolate cake or cupcake “red velvet” I thought when people went on about how good red velvet cakes were they must have something super special about them, but really it’s just chocolate cake with colouring… Who knew? 

Anyway, as I didn’t have the colouring I dubbed them “Velvet Cupcakes” & to substitute the red colouring I decided to add choc chips, because that’s a suitable replacement isn’t it? Besides, everyone knows most things taste better with choc chips or sprinkles, am I right?

So here’s my adaptation of the Thermostruck Red Velvet Cupcake recipe 

My (Not so red) Velvet Cupcakes suitable to make in any thermo cooker.

Makes 16

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter – cut in cubes (80g)

400g can condensed milk

1 cup self raising flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons cocoa powder (16g)

1/2 cup or a big handful of dark or milk choc chips (depending on taste)

Method

Preheat oven to 180β€’c Line cupcake tins with papers or silicon moulds. 

Place all ingredients except choc chips into the thermo bowl. 

Mix on speed 4 for 2 minutes or until well combined. 

  

Add choc chips & gently stir through with a spatula or spoon. 

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases & bake for 15 mins. Stand for 2 minutes & then transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

We ate ours as is & they were delicious, but you could ice them with cream cheese frosting or any chocolate icing if you wish. It might pretty them up a little & help hide the cracks, if you get any (see, still not quite nailing this baking thing yet πŸ˜‰ 

  
       

However you have them, Enjoy.

                               Lozzie x

What’s your “go to” recipe for quick & easy entertaining over a cuppa? What’s your favorite type of cupcake? Did you know food colouring was what made Red Velvet, red? Do you have any baking fail stories to share? 

Tell me, tell me… Leave a comment here on the blog, over on Instagram or Facebook


Fan Girl Friday #9

Hello Bright Ones, 

Phew, another week down. Time just flies on by doesn’t it. We’ve had a good but busy week here again. We took a scenic drive on Sunday to explore a bit more of our area & had lunch overlooking a dam. It was so pretty & picturesque out there. 

Monday we had a lovely play date with friends. Took a walk to the local cafe &  enjoyed some yummy treats before we walked through the gardens & fed the ducks.

It’s the second week of getting into the routine of the preschool run here & even though it’s going well, I’m exhausted. Maybe it doesn’t help that I’ve been up most nights with a sick little bub this week too though. 

So I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend. It’s meant to be quite hot here so happy to just lay low.

Now getting onto Fan girl Friday & since its been awhile I’m highlighting two blogs this week. 

  

First up we have 

The Annoyed Thyroid 

Sam is such a sweetheart & her blog is full of fun, inspiration & waaay too many yummy treats that are dangerous for my waistline! 

As her bio says, she’s “living & loving life after cancer & looking on the bright side” & that, she certainly is. 

She loves running & has participated in many fun runs & half marathons in some awesome places around the globe. My favorite was when she was in Disneyland & even wore a mini mouse skirt as part of her running ensemble & the lucky lady is headed back there later this year to do it again! 

Sam co-hosts a weekly link up “Down the Rabbit Hole” every Saturday along with some other lovely ladies, where they share some awesome link lists & invite you to to do the same or just share a favorite post from the week. It’s a great way to discover some other awesome blogs & interact with the blogging community. I love how she always includes the “national day of…” in her lists too.

A few of my favorite posts of hers include:

101 things in 1001 days 

Choc chip honey cake

Thermomix Fudge 

Taking Stock -Feb 

I could honestly list a bunch more links to all her awesome recipes & words of wisdom posts along with down the rabbit hole links, but it’s best if you just head on over to her blog & check it all out for yourself. 

Next we have Toilets aren’t for Turtles

My brother in law actually got me onto this blog & I’m glad he did cause I love it. 

Tackling parenthood with honesty & humor, as it should be. I love Rachel’s posts & will often laugh out loud whilst reading them & also think to myself oh my gosh this is sooo true! 

She’s a mumma of two & shares the highs & lows of parenting & all it entails with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

A few favs include:

First child vs Second child– funny cause it’s true! 

Some days I just suck at parenting – this could be me on any given day! 

10 reasons living with toddlers is like being at the zoo

10 signs you’re a Fitbit freak – as I’ve just recently pulled mine out again I found this hilarious 

If you liked those, there’s sooo much more where that came from so pop on over to her blog & read more hilarious posts like an episode of Ben & Holly Reimagined or that time she bumped into Commando in a children’s change room. 

                                        Lozzie x 

How’s your week been? What are your plans for the weekend? Who are you fan girl crushing on right now?

Tell me everything by leaving a comment here, here or here. I love hearing from you 

Fit & Fab Feb

I’ve been overweight pretty much my whole life. I love sweets, I love savory. I love food! 

I don’t love exercise & don’t really do any (unless you count chasing kids around & walking to the mailbox & back) I don’t & hence this is why we are where we are now. 

I’ve tried many different diets over the years, weight watchers, body trim, lite n easy & celebrity slim, just to name a few and whilst they’ve all resulted in weight loss, as soon as I start to eat normally again the weight slowly but surely creeps back on. 

I’m not the heaviest I’ve ever been but I need & want to lose weight obviously, but I also want to improve my overall health & fitness. I have TWO very good reasons for wanting to stick around here for awhile. I want to be able to participate in their lives more & be a good role model for them as they’re getting older. 

But I’m tired of the yo-yo dieting, of counting calories & forking out ridiculous amounts of money for the next latest & greatest quick fix. So I’ve declared this month to be “Fit & Fab Feb”

  

I know if I’m going to do this properly it needs to be lifestyle change & I need to go slowly. I’m hoping by making little changes throughout the month they’ll be easier to achieve & maintain. Of course when the month is over these goals won’t stop, I’ll have hopefully set myself up in creating healthy habits that I can continue & then slowly start to introduce a few more. 

So this month my focus is on 

*starting the day with warm lemon water

*drinking more water throughout the day

*moving more- aim to exercise at least 3 times a week 

*cut down/cut out processed foods where possible & eat more fresh & healthier food choices 

*no soft drinks for the month

*try to reduce amount of sugar in my tea or drink more herbal blends that don’t require it

That said, I’m also going to allow myself to slip & not beat myself up when I do. I’m only human so if I don’t make the best choices every now & again that’s ok… it’s a lifestyle, I still have to live. I still want to enjoy the odd treat or meal when out with friends or on special occasions & not worry about it. But it’s about balance & being aware & making better choices more often. If I’m craving chocolate, I might have 2 squares of quality dark chocolate instead of scoffing the whole block. When I want a snack, instead of reaching for a sugary, salty packaged treat, I’ll aim for fresh fruit, nuts or something homemade if I really REALLY want it. 

So 10 days into the month & so far, so good. I’m going well. I’ve enjoyed a night out with friends where I indulged in pizza & wine-guilt free. I’ve been walking my son to & from preschool & getting out for the odd walk when I can. No soft drink has passed these lips & I’m eating more fruit & veg. I also lost just over 1/2 a kilo in this first week so I’m on my way to feeling & being “Fit & Fab” 

Anyone want to join me in making some little changes this month that can help you feel the same? 

I’m ready. Bring on the rest of Feb…. 

                            Lozzie x 

Do you do diets? Are you on one now? What are your tips or tricks for helping you lose a few kilos? What’s one thing you can focus on this month to help you feel healthier? 

I want to know it all, so leave a comment here, come say hi on Facebook or Instagram or all 3! I’d love to hear from you. 

Cutting the apron stringsΒ 

It’s been a big week for us around here as our eldest baby Peanut started preschool. 

  

I’ve been quite emotional about it these past few weeks leading up to this day, shedding a few tears at just the thought of my little boy out in the big wide world all on his own. I’ll admit I even cried whilst watching a certain Abc4kids show about a little bear starting school for the very first time. Damn that Justine Clarke & her emotion stirring melodies! 

It’s not that I’ve never been away from him for any period of time before. I have, many times. He regularly spends nights at both of my parents places (which he & I love) & I went back to work part time when he was a yr & a half old but my mum looked after him on those days at our home (thank goodness for hands on, involved grandparents-I do know how lucky I am!) 

Its just a very different thing leaving your child in the care of family members, who they know well & have one on one time with as opposed to with people you & they don’t know along with a whole bunch of other kids you don’t know in a foreign enviroment. It’s a big step for this mumma & all parents sending their precious babies off to daycare, preschool or school for the very first time. It’s hard!

At 4.5 yrs old most of you are prob thinking well it’s about bloody time!! And yes as he’ll be going to “big” school next year we thought it WAS about time to get him used to a routine, to start making some friends in our new area & to assist in his personal development on the whole.

So Wednesday was D day & besides the usual 29 requests to hurry up & get shoes on & go brush his teeth etc he surprised me with being pretty good & actually being ready on time. I made sure I was well prepared for the day with my waterproof mascara on & sunnies ready to go!

We walked to preschool, chatting about all the fun he was going to have & what kinds of things he might do throughout the day. As we got closer I felt my heart starting to race & had to fight back the tears, but I couldn’t cry yet & definitely not in front of him. 

As we walked into his room one of the carers came & said hello & took him straight off to play with some playdoh and another little girl already there. He went along happily without even a glance back which made me both happy & also a little sad. I went & sorted out the last of the paperwork in the office & the director asked if I was going to go back in. I said yes of course, I wanted to say a proper goodbye & make sure he was ok for me to leave & ensure him I’d be coming back. 

He was playing with some Lego & I sat & played for a few minutes before saying its time for me & your brother to go now, but we’ll come back in a little while to pick you up. He looked a little sad & was very quiet but gave me a big hug goodbye (which is a very rare occurrence these days) & that alone was enough to start the tears welling up, so I quickly gave him a big squeeze back & told him to be good, have lots of fun & I’d see him in the afternoon. As I backed away trying hard to not let those tears fall, I glanced back at him & in that moment, through watery eyes he looked so small. I managed to get out of the gate before a couple tears fell down my cheek, but upon remembering I had to walk back home, along the street, you know, where actual people could & would see me, I managed to contain it to just a few tears & not do the whole big ugly cry, I’d save that for at home. 

I treated myself to a chai latte at the local cafe to mark the occasion- I would have liked something a little stronger but figured at 9am that would probably be frowned upon!

Once home, the house was quiet, albeit briefly as I still had Pumpkin to keep me company & as I sat & finished my chai I thought of my little boy & hoped he was having fun, was making friends & wasn’t scared. I rang them at lunchtime just to get an update, being that it was the first time ever he’d been in an environment like that without me, although I think it was more to put my own mind at ease & apart from being told he’d had sand thrown in his eye, (accidentally cause you know, kids!) that he was having a great time & settling in well. I could relax & breathe a little easier after that.

Hubby & I both went & picked him up a little earlier than finishing time & we found him happily playing in the sandpit with lots of other kids. He said he’d had a good day, the teachers gave me a good run down of what they did & how he’d been. 

Walking home he told us all about a story they’d read, but then proclaimed in typical toddler boy fashion that everything else was “stupid”. He looked very wiped out & I said to him after having such a big day we’d have an early dinner & early night so we could have a good rest & then get up & be ready to do it all again tomorrow (That would be the real test, if he was happy to go back again the next day) He just looked at us & said “oh I hope it’s school holidays soon cause I’m exhausted & need a break” this, after his very 1st day!!! Hubby & I just laughed. 

                              LOZZIE X

Did you send a little one off to school or care for the very first time this year? How did they go? Did you need ALL the tissues or ugly cry in front of anyone? Do you have any stories or memories from your first time at school when you were younger? 

I want to hear it all, comment here or over on Facebook or Instagram