Do you ever feel like internally you need to thaw out?
Apparently I do.
My soul feels frozen and numb.
Not necessarily in an evil or destructive way.
But none the less unyielding and unwilling to give.
I don’t exactly know what this means. It’s a new feeling for me. I’m usually so good at being introspective and understanding myself. I ask myself questions and give myself answers and seek the wisdom that comes from within.
But not now. Now all is silent and all I can do is wait.
Wait for my soul to thaw and movement to begin again.
I’m not even particularly sure why things are as they are. I’m a mum and life is busy. I work. I care. I tend to my growing babies. But perhaps I don’t tend to my own self enough. Life, marriage, work, mothering, home maintenance, family and friends all jostle for priority and carry their own ‘barbs of wire’ that scratch and sometimes draw blood if they are ignored.
I find it hard to nourish my soul and some days it screams for attention and love. I tell it to ‘shut up and wait’ because there is always something or someone else that needs my care and concern more than it does. This is not really helpful. After all, I’m sure all it wants is my kindness.
But even with my frozen soul, I feel a flicker of hope. Hope because I know a thaw is coming. I can sense it shimmering away just over the horizon. Waiting for the perfect time to spill over like sunlight and bring justice to my world. It will bring deeper understanding, answers, and fresh perspective. And that’s what we all need, right? Feelings and emotions will start moving again. Passing through and whispering their little secrets of wholeness into my being. Growth will happen and new things will blossom. New strength. New insight. New joy for life.
Expectations bring hope and from hope springs the delights of life.
I found this little fellow at my front door the other day. Happily resting in the shade of our porch from the heat of a summers day. Up close and personal shots of insects lead me to believe they are inspiration for every alien character on Dr Who and Star Trek.
And this funny little creation has built his home in my front garden. He patiently waits out the summer heat curled up in the large leaves, all the while keeping his fingers on the pulse so he knows when something delicious stumbles its way into his web of doom. (Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.)
If I could dive into a colour that colour would be indigo. I love it with as much passion as you can love a colour. Luckily for me, these crazy wild daisies grow like weeds around these parts and while they’re a bit small for diving into, their presence makes me happy.
I’m not sure who calls this home, and frankly, I’m not sure I want to. But I do wonder how it manages to make things so perfectly round in the hard dry summer lawn. Clever critter.
Beautiful bee doing your thing. Keep on pollinating and producing – loving your work.
All of these, plus many many more, were taken on my Galaxy Notes 5. I’ve been spending some child free/work free time playing with macros. I love the way macro photography makes you see things in an entirely new light. It opens up a tiny little world and makes is real to us monster sized humans.
You’re probably all aware that school goes back this week. The six weeks of summer holidays has evaporated away leaving only days of freedom before the uniform washing and lunch box making starts again for another year. Why does January ALWAYS go so fast?
It’s generally about now that I start to have a mild anxiety attack thinking about school lunches. I want to be one of those mums who pack healthy, sugar free, GMO free, wrapper free, glutten free (and maybe taste free) nude food lunches. You know the ones, people put them on Facebook and Pinterest to shame us mere mortal mums into doing all that extra work. But let’s be honest here, as good as my intention may be, within weeks of school starting the pre-packaged biscuits and muesli bars start creeping their way back into this family’s lunch boxes.
So when the peeps from SunRice contacted me recently to ask if I’d be interested in giving away two of their ‘kitted out’ lunch box packs it seemed to me that the goodies in the pack, and the Mini Bites themselves, might be something some of my fellow “mortal mums” might be interested in. So today I’m happy to tell you it’s giveaway time.
SunRice tell me that their products are healthy, bite-sized brown rice cakes made using the goodness of Australian, locally-grown brown rice. A tasty, fun, portion-controlled snack that has less fat than regular potato chips: easy for mum and dad and healthy for kids! Sounds okay hey. As you would imagine as a mum of three growing primary school aged girls I am always looking for cost effective, easy and nutritious lunchbox fodder.
The SunRice’s ultimate back to school ‘kitted-out’ lunch box pack giveaway
If you would like to win one of the two SunRice Mini Bites Back To School packs, valued at $170 each, simpy tell me your best ‘Back To School’ tip in the comments below. The giveaway is open until 12.00pm (midnight) on Tuesday the 2nd of February and the two best answers will be chosen as winners. You can see all of my giveaway Terms and Conditions here if you feel the need to read them. (ps: products may vary slightly from those pictured. )
What’s in the packs?
Good luck. My fingers are crossed for you. Both for smooth sailing as the kids head back to school for 2016 and the giveaway.
Wow … … … is this really happening? Am I actually sitting down and writing a blog post? It’s been a while crocodile but yes, here I am. You see this is what happens when you cross over from hobby blogger and start making a living in the online world. You start to lose contact with your first love and that’s not necessarily a good thing. (Guessing I will have to think about that a little more.)
Anyhoo, today my littlest was at a bit of a lose end, being school holidays and all, and started begging me to cook something with her. Grimacing at the thought of a messy kitchen clean-up I gave in and started digging through my collection of Cuisine Companion recipes waiting to be trialed. In the end we settled on these Chocolate Brownies. A friend sent me the recipe a few months back and it was the prefect opportunity to give them a whirl.
Chop butter roughly and melt in CC (3 minutes, 65 degrees at speed 4).
Add all of the rest of the ingredients into CC and mix (20 seconds, at speed 7)
Pour mixture into the lined slice tray and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Allow to cool before cutting into serving sizes and dusting with icing sugar.
And the verdict. These are truly delicious. Very rich and gooey. They would make a perfect dessert with a lucious drop of double cream. A lovely sometimes food that is so simple you could whip it up in CC to impress your friends for morning tea. Give them a go – I’m sure you will agree. You can also find more easy Cuisine Companion recipes by following this link.
Do you have a Cuisine Companion? Link up your favourite recipe in the comments so we can all share to CC lovin.
How cute are these guys? Well, I guess I might be a little biased, because these are the adorable human beings formerly know as the three little pinks. They have sure grown up hey! When I think they were five, three and one respectively when I started writing The Truth About Mummy I have to do a little double take and re-centred myself. To all those people who told me the baby/preschool years go quickly – you sure knew your stuff. These days I’m mum to three beautiful and multi-coloured young ladies.
Anyhoo, today isn’t really about walking down memory lane. It’s about Book Week. Don’t you love Book Week and the celebration of all things bookish? Well if I’m honest, despite all my pre-mum-life dreams about how much fun it would be getting costumes ready for school parades I really don’t enjoy the pressure of putting together three awesome outfits. Something seems to get a little lost in the translation from dream to reality. It’s actually hard work and frustrating. So this year I got some help.
And look at the results. These costumes are brilliant and the girls are all really happy with how they look and feel in in them. Winning without effort thanks to The Costume Box.
For me, this year is all about keeping things simple and not over stressing on the small stuff. It’s the only way I can find the balance between working, being a mum and having a life! If I need to order in costumes to make that happen then so be it!
So, thank you costumebox.com.au for these beautiful Book Week costumes. Hocus Pocus, beautiful Blue Butterly and Ariel the Mermaid are all set to go after our impromptu photo session last night. (Yes our back lawn is in desperate need of a mow – wanna come do that for me?).
Disclaimer: The lovely people at Costume Box gifted me these costumes for my girls to wear. No money was exchanged and all opinions expressed are totally my own. All photos are copy write to CazFilmerWrites and published with the approval of each child.
This post is brought to you by Finish Quantum Max Tablets Power & Pure
My morning routine usually works something like this. I get up six in the morning (unless insomnia is sleeping over, which case it could be anytime from two onwards) and stumble over to the bathroom. After navigating the obstacle course of pillows piffed on the floor the night before, I quietly close the ensuite door (in an attempt not to wake sleeping beauty from his slumber) and get myself showered, dressed and generally ready for the day ahead. Then I move on out to the kitchen to unstack the dishwasher and make the girls lunches before waking them up for school.
Okay, so this is where my dishwasher delima begins. In general terms, I love dishwashers. (Some love lamp – I love dishwasher.) I like the fact that they hide away all of the used dishes and I never need to have my kitchen benches stacked with dirty, messy pots, pans and plates. Well that’s the theory, but in reality I’m still training my family to put their dishes straight in, so let’s just say it’s going to be like that one day in the future. Then, after tea, it’s a nightly ritual for either me or hubby to do the final stack for the day and set the dishwasher to work – all ready for me to unstack in the morning.
But, over the past few months something has gone wrong with this process. Our dishwasher has dropped her bundle and her work has gotten sloppy. We’re talking leaving a gritty, dirty looking deposit on my dishes. Some mornings they actually seem to come out in worse condition than they went in. That is not satisfactory work. There is nothing that pushes my buttons more than an appliance, the was built with one job in mind, that doesn’t perform. Seriously. Why am I standing at the sink at 6.30am, hand washing fifty percent of my dishes when you’ve already taken your turn? We paid well over a $1,000 for you dishwasher, and we expect better!
I’ve tried all of the convention fixes. Sometimes they work for a day or two but the problem just keeps coming back. There is obviously something wrong deep within, that dishwasher cleaners just can’t reach. This all sounds a little sinister to me as in ten years of owning dishwashers the supermarket-cleaners have always done the job before. Anyway, what I really need is for my morning routine sanity to return. So, we’ve called in the big guns. Next Friday the dishwasher doctor is coming to visit, and I am praying he will be able negotiate and get her back to work. Perhaps she’s looking for a pay increase? Either way I’ll be sure to let you know how it all goes.
Has your dishwasher ever dropped it’s bundle? How did you solve the problem?
I am known as ‘the gift buyer’ in my family. I was born with the knack of seeming to know just the right present to suit just the right person. Well, in reality I don’t consider it a knack at all. It’s pretty simple really – I just ask myself what makes the person I am buying for happy before I start shopping. Once I’ve worked that out all the rest falls into place without much effort.
When it comes to buying for younger kids and newborns, most of the time these days I’ll head straight on over to Not In Shops. Because they combine two things I love. Lovely handcrafted and personalised products that you can’t find in the shops and supporting people who are stepping outside of their comfort zone to make a living from their passions. That is great stuff and something I want to get behind.
Today I thought I’d introduce you to what I think is a perfect gift idea for toddlers or preschool aged little people – especially if you’re looking for something that will live in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives. (Any grandma’s out there I am thinking of you!!) This book is totally adorable and the reason I know it will live in their hearts forever is because it’s all about their favourite subject – themselves.
The creators of Lost My Name take your child’s own name and use the letters to weave a story about a little person who wakes up having lost their name. They then go on a magical journey, meeting fabulous creatures, until they have collected all of the letters that make up their name. Can you imagine the joy on their faces when they start reading (or being read to) and realise they are the centre of attention in their very own book. Can’t you just see how their eyes will sparkle with surprise and joy?
A few months back Not In Shops sent me a copy of Lost My Name to review with my littlest pink. Admittedly she is seven now, so slightly older than the age group I’d recommend this book for, but she is still in love with it. The constant begging for me to let her take it to school for ‘show and tell’ has been a little wearing – but to be honest there is nothing more I love than kids getting excited about books, so I’ll let that pass. I think there is just something a little bit magical about having a book written about yourself.
This book would also make a very special newborn baby gift. Obviously, there are some complications here if you don’t know ahead of time what the baby is going to be named. But, if you’re able to wait off for a few days with the gift giving I think this is a perfect idea. We have a teacher at the girls school who is expecting in coming months and this is exactly what I am wanting to do for her.
If you like to find out more about Not In Shops or the Lost My Name book please head over to their website. The book costs $33.95 (including P&H) and the ordering process is very uncomplicated. All you have to do is complete the order form on the Not In Shops website with your child’s names and gender and then wait for it to arrive. I have found them very professional and received several emails updating me on our books printing and arrival times.
**I am an official Not In Shops blogger and love working with them to promote the beautiful and bespoke products to my readers.
Would you like to win a copy of Lost My Name for a little person at your house? Or maybe for someone else you’d like to inspire to love reading? Follow these easy-peasy steps to enter:
In the comments below tell me about either a book from your own childhood that still lives on in your heart or the most beautiful or unusual name you have ever heard.
Be kind enough to share this giveaway on Facebook and then, if you do, please feel free to leave a second entry comment.
Follow The Truth About Mummy and Not In Shops in any way you like (Facebook, Twitter, Feed, email or Pinterest.)
Please leave an email addressthat you check regularly – as all giveaways are redrawn if you don’t respond within 5 days.
Giveaway is open until Midnight 29th of August 2015
No entries will be accepted after this time.
All decision are final and based on skill not luck (not random draws here.)
(Check the T&C tab for full T&C).
Disclaimer: This is a review and giveaway. I received a free copy of the Lost My Name book to enable this review.
Do you know I have not even logged into WordPress for almost two weeks. Now that’s a sure fire sign that my life is swaying to the hectic side of the pendulum. As you know, I’m not a big fan of busy. I much prefer a slow ‘mooching’ approach to life. But that said it’s generally during the busy phases that things really start to happen.
A couple of days ago I was offered work with one of Ballarat’s local conference and accommodation centres, as their assistant marketing officer. Well using the word “offered” might be minimising the process slightly. I actually endured attended three interviews and used up more than my fair share of ‘sparkle power’ to make that ‘offer’ happen. Regardless thou I am well pleased with the outcome. Starting from mid next week I’ll be spending two six-hour days a week working back in the real world and flexing my marketing and social media muscle. In my imagination, this is going to be like having best of both worlds. Three days a week at home focusing on my Caz Filmer Writes projects ( and doing housework, family stuff, and getting back to the renovations) and two days out working in the real world. Now, if we could all just come together with prayer and fasting in the hope that this turns out as well in reality as I’m picturing it in my mind.
While all this has been percolating around in the world of possibilities I also had two interviews for a project management job, which apparently I didn’t get. But how could I know this as they chose not to notify unsuccessful applicants – even though we dragged our sorry arses in there twice! Are you hearing my attitude? Sorry – but I think that’s rude. After all a phone call doesn’t take long or cost much. (Hashtag Grrrrr). And just to keep it interesting I also got offered six days emergency administration work at the girls school. I’ve never worked in a school before and despite thinking we needed to evacuate the first time I heard the bell go off, I loved it. It’s been a while (read many many years) since I’ve done pure admin/reception work and I have to admit I kinda felt like I was playing a huge game of pretend. How could you not love doing that?
In my own true introverted style thou, right now I am in desperate need of some time to some time to settle back and reflect, ponder and plan. (And if I didn’t have a family and home and I’m pretty sure I’d find that time.) I want to think this through and establish a routine for my working days – both at work and at home. One thing I have realised is that I need to put some boundaries ar
Chocolate cake. Need I say more? This recipe the simplest, best textured and nicest chocolate cake I’ve made (or eaten) in a long time and it’s so easy to make in the Cuisine Companion that you probably won’t believe it. I’ve struggled to find the appropriate person/place to credit for the brilliance of creating this recipe – this link is as close as I’ve come. Once you’ve made it you’ll probably want to say thanks too.
As with all of the recipes I post if you just want to print it out and avoid my pretty pictures and explanation, head on down to the bottom of this post. But for those of you who like some explanation and visuals – read on. You can find more family friendly Cuisine Companion recipes here. You might also like to join this facebook group Loving the Tefal Cuisine Companion.
Turn your oven to 180 degrees (160 if fan-forced). Line the base of a larger sized cake tin with baking paper and lightly grease the sides.
Insert the ultra blade into your Cuisine Companion. And then add all of the ingredients into the bowl! 170g butter, 4 eggs, 250g milk, 300g SR flour, 370g brown sugar, 40g cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Work at speed 8 for one minute. Scrapes down the sides of the bowl and then work at speed 12 for 20 seconds.
Pour the batter into your cake tin and cook for one hour 0r until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean (without uncooked cake batter on it.)
Remove the ultra blade from your Cuisine Companion bowl and get the little people to clean the bowl for you. This cake mix almost tastes like chocolate pudding – so frankly try stopping them!
Once cooled I iced my cake with a classic mix of butter cream icing. I reduced my usual recipe by 3/4 to suit the cake size – as I didn’t really think we needed the sides iced as well as the top!
Butter Cream Icing 1/4 cup of butter 15g cocoa
1 & 1/4 cups if icing sugar
1 tbs of milk.
Mix this well by hand.
Disclosure. My Cuisine Companion was gifted to me and I have agreed to post recipes for your enjoyment in return.
Perfect Chocolate Cake for the Cuisine Companion
A simple and beautifully textured chocolate cake to make in your Cuisine Companion
My consistency as a blogger sucks right about now. Yeah, I know. It’s one of the golden rules of blogging BE CONSISTENT, but then again I have never really been one to follow the rules – so I guess I can let that slide.
Life has been all kinds of crazy around here for a few weeks. The type of crazy where you mix looking after two elderly parents, one with Dementia and one with Alzheimer, with school holidays, job interviews and freezing cold weather. Can you see the picture? Oh, we’ve been having some moments. You know those ones where you choose to laugh because the only other alternative is to cry. Hang on, there was this one time where I actually did both. And it was surprisingly cathartic.
This is only momentary madness though. Life will return to our version of normal, which only includes one elderly parent, fairly soon. School went back this week as well which means in a couple of days I’ll find time to indulge my introverted nature and take some breathing space for my soul. Then life will feel a little more harmonious and a little less crazy. (It’s relaxing just thinking about it.)
Despite the general neglect going on around here, I am very happy to report that my Kidspot Put Yourself On The Map (#shareaustralia) post has been chosen as one of the top 20 posts in the competition. Meaning I’ve now been commissioned (now that’s a word that makes you feel like a true online creative) to produce and expanded version which will be published on Kidspot. Thank you Kidspot. I can’t wait to start work on the 10 best family adventures to be had in around the beautiful town of Ballarat. So seriously chuffed to have my work recognised in this way.
Most of my other writing work is falling a little behind. I have posts that should have been posted and emails that should have been answered. But that too will happen. Perhaps not overnight – but it will happen (she says as she shakes out her long flowing hair). So, if you’ve been waiting on me please know I haven’t forgotten you and I’ll be back in touch soon.
In the meantime, amidst all the madness a few other little rays of sunshine have been lighting up my life. I’ve had two fabulous local job interviews for part-time project management and marketing work, which I’ve strangely enjoyed. I have a second interview for both; so fingers are crossed I’ll be adding some new endeavours to the Caz Filmer Write’s bow soon. We’ve also established a PR & Social Good group for Ballarat Bloggers and I’m loving linking our local bloggers up with fun and interesting local attractions and businesses and seeing the social media synergy start to bubble away. I love social media synergy! It’s seriously so cool to see the way it develops an individual personality – every single time.
So there we go little blog. You no longer need to feel neglected. I have written all over you – much more than I intended to write actually. And I am once again reminded why I have this space and just how much I love to let words fall out of my fingers. There is something so fancy-free and peaceful about letting all of your words go on a blog. Do you find that? Is it what keeps you blogging too?
This page is the home for a growing collection of time-saving family recipes either written or converted for the Tefal Cuisine Companion. All of the recipes are in plain-speaking English written by local Australian food and family/parenting bloggers and should be a perfect way to help you get the most out of your Cuisine Companion.
If you have a recipe you’d like to add from your own blog please leave a link in the comments below. If you have a great recipe you have created or converted yourself but don’t have a blog of your own to post it on please also let me know as I’d seriously enjoy trying it out myself and posting it here on Caz Filmer Writes (with full credit to you) so we can keep sharing the Cuisine Companion loving.
Easy Family Cuisine Companion Recipes for Aussie Families
Tips For Getting the Most out of your Cuisine Companion
Work hard at getting between 3-5 recipes your family enjoys eating and you feel comfortable making within the first month of owning your Cuisine Companion. You’ll fall back on these all of the time when life gets busy and they will save you so much time and effort that you will fall in love with your CC again and again. Risotto is always an easy place to start. (Caz Filmer)
Since being gifted my Cuisine Companion a few months back, I’ve been on a mission to convert simple easy family meals into Cuisine Companion recipes. Because what I really need from this little machine is less time and effort in the kitchen. Can I hear an amen to that!
Tuna mornay is not the flashest of meals, but it is one that is easy to turn to when time is limited and the pressure is on to get tea on the table. I’ve played around with this a few times now and I’m finally happy to add it to my growing collection of easy Cuisine Companion recipes.
If you just want to print out the recipe and avoid my pretty pictures and explanation, head on down to the bottom of this post. But for those of you who like a little more explanation and some visuals – read on.
What You’ll Need
Tin of tuna (425g)
Grated cheese (50g)
Garlic (2 cloves)
What you’ll need to do
Insert Ultra blade into the Cuisine Companion (CC). Add a quartered onion and two quartered cloves of garlic and process them for 10 seconds on speed 12. Scrape down sides. Check to see if you are happy with how small the pieces are and process for a further 20 if you think it’s necessary.
Add the oil to the bowl and cook on Slow Cook1 for 5 minutes. (130 degrees).
Swap over to the whisking blade and add the milk and flour into the bowl. Process this at speed 6 for 1 minute without any heat. This will mix the flour and milk and remove even the slightest hint of lumps from the sauce. Yay for that!
Add the butter into the bowl and process this at speed 4 for 8 minutes at 90 deg. When it finishes you will have a perfect white (bechamel) sauce.
Once the sauce is finished swap to the stirring blade. Add in your tin of tuna and the grated cheese. Work on Slow Cook 3 (20 minutes/90deg.) When there is only 4-5 minute remaining you can peas, corn or other easy cook veggies if you’d like to.
Enjoy with rice and veggies or however you like your Mornay. Lately, I’ve been serving ours up the stir-fried or steamed veggies rather than rice – just to mix things up a bit. Either way it’s delicious.
I think you’ll agreed that was a pretty easy way to get a very high-quality Mornay on the table. I was reminded just how much time CC does actually save me this week when I inadvertently lost (read threw in the rubbish bin) the rubber ring that seals CC’s stirring shaft. It was back to standing at the stove and actually cooking for me. While it probably only took ten or fifteen extra minutes to cook in the old-fashioned way, what I really missed was being able to do other things (like write a blog post) while CC does all of the stirring and chopping work. Thank goodness there is a new rubber ring on its way to our house at this very moment.
I hope you enjoy this easy tuna mornay recipe. Please come back and let me know how it works for you.
Disclosure. My Cuisine Companion was gifted to me and I have agreed to post recipes for your enjoyment in return.
Easy Tuna Mornay for the Cuisine Companion Recipes