Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I Can Do on Very Little Sleep

I have had one sleep deprived weekend. Emily has a cold and although it's nothing serious, it's hard to breath through runny nose when you still suck on a dummy all night. I believe the last decent nights sleep I had was last Thursday.

This morning she woke up at 4am and decided that it was time to get up and play. After an hour and a half of warm milk, back patting and lullaby's I put her in my bed. Half an hour of kicking and mucking around later I decided stuff it, we're up!

Saturday night Emily told me she wanted Macaroni Cheese for dinner....either that or it was Macca's. In two year old speak they both sound the same. Anyway I thought I'd do a little experimenting. We had no macaroni and I have no idea what cheese goes into it so I cooked up some spiral pasta and cauliflower. Then I sweated off some chopped leek and garlic and poured in some cream, grated Edam & Chedder cheese, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I mixed the sauce with the pasta and cauliflower.

Emily did her first bit of cooking by sprinkling the breadcrumbs, cheese & rosemary mixture on top.

Then I popped it in the oven for 15 minutes till the top was golden. Emily wolfed it down and we even had enough leftover for Sunday lunch, which was good because I was definitely too tired to cook.

To kill some time today, and to burn off a little excess toddler energy, we went to the park. Finally Emily can reach the peddles on her tricycle and it was nice that she actually sat on it without insisting on jumping off and pushing it herself.

I'm loving this stage that she's at. It's all make believe and pretend play. She watches everything I do and if I'm sweeping the floor, she has to get her little broom out and sweep too.

With a huge week ahead including the Kids In Style expo next Friday, I really hope she sleeps well.

How was your weekend? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Miss Emily

Emily is at both a gorgeous age and one that totally does my head in. How a two year old can have this much attitude at such a young age I have no idea! For the last week I've heard "my turn!" and "No, mine!" at least a thousand times.

And the drama! If you move something to the wrong place, or you try to help in any way, you'd think the world was ending. There's head down, face burried in her hands, thrashing about and screaming.

But tonight I just had to laugh. Emily has a couple of 'babies' that she has really taken to playing with lately. Every night while I'm cooking the dinner she lines them up, reads them a story, and then one by one changes their nappies. At first I had no idea what she was doing when I saw this.....

Apologies for the poor photo. Just after I tried to sneak this pic with the IPhone she totally cracked it at me for daring to take a picture of her!

Yes that's right, she has socks on her hands. But to her they're not socks, they're gloves and every time she changes her babies nappies she has them on. At childcare they read stories to the toddlers and change their nappies with gloves on. It seems Emily has created her own childcare center in our living room and it's complete with a naughty corner. While I was having a shower this morning I heard her telling one of the babies to "sit here!" and "Sshhhh!". I think she might have got that bit from me......

I'm totally loving her embrace of this new make believe world. It reminds me of when I was her age and everything was fun and a game. She has no idea of bad things in the world, of loss, of sadness. All she know is eat, sleep, play and love.

She is learning new words every day and mumbled sentences are starting to become clear. She now has friends at daycare who wave to her through the window when we arrive. A little red headed boy named Dean rushed over to us yesterday and said "Emawee ball!" and gave her a green ball. She was absolutely delighted and turned to me and said "bye", waved and ran off with him. It was totally adorable.

I know it won't be like this for long and I'm totally going to soak up every moment of it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nobody's Daughter

On the front page of The Border Mail today (our local newspaper) was a story about two teenage girls aged 14 who broke into a house and several cars in my parents street. It happened at about 4am and these girls had a mother, home alone with her children, cowering in the bedroom while they ransacked the house for car keys, money and iPhone. 

The headline of the story is Family in fear as home ransacked but girl, 14, is....Child No One Wants. I don't know these girls and what their backgrounds are, but I have to ask the question, where the hell were their parents and what were they doing roaming the streets at that time of the morning? I truly believe that if your under the age of 16 and the sun is down, you should not be roaming around unaccompanied by an adult. It's not just for our safety, it's for theirs too. 

Stories like this raise the question of whether parents should be held accountable for their child's actions. Clearly in this case one of the girls parents is refusing to take her back. On the one hand I say teach this rat-bag a lesson and let her sit in detention for a couple of days until she realises how serious her crime was. On the other hand I truly feel sorry for her that she has no-one showing her love and trying to help her with her behavioural issues. 

This girl is barely a teenager, probably has no idea of the terror she caused this mother and her two children, as well as the rest of the street who heard the commotion and woke to a street full of police the next morning.

Last year my sisters were travelling home to Canberra from my place after Emily's 1st Birthday party. They had decided to put the 5 children they have between them with their partners in the Torago, and get some sister time and peace and quiet for half the journey home in my older sisters Ford. As they travelled up the main road a 13 year old girl came straight through a give-way sign and hit them side on pushing them into a telegraph pole head on. The force of the accident was huge and we were so lucky that air-bags deployed and injuries were not too major. Luckier still that no one was killed and that all the kids were in the Torago behind them. 

This 13 year old girl came from a single parent home and her mother worked night shift. She had an eight year old friend in the passenger seat and they wanted to buy lollies from Coles and watch DVD's for the afternoon. Their mother, who was exhausted after pulling a 10 hour shift the night before, refused to take them to the supermarket so while she was asleep the girl took her mothers car. 

The actions of that girl had such a domino affect. She was charged with several offences and had to appear in juvenile court. Her mothers car wasn't covered by insurance as the driver was an immediate family member and unlicensed. It also didn't cover the damage to my sisters car. This single mother already struggled to make ends meet and now she was down a car and had to pay costs for damage done by her daughter. 

This mother did nothing wrong. When she arrived on the scene her primary concern was that her daughter wasn't injured and that no one else was seriously hurt. She was doing her level best to nurture and bring this girl up in a decent environment and I remember her commenting that the behaviour was unlike her daughter. 

Teenagers think they're invincible. They have raging hormones and often act before thinking. How can we ensure they stay safe and do the right thing? I remember what I was like and if I'd made up my mind that I wanted something, no one was going to stop me. How do we ensure that our youth understand the consequences of their actions and should we hold parents accountable when they break the law? Do we leave it up to the magistrate to make individual calls depending on circumstances or do we have a blanket rule for all? 

What do you think? 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sneak Peak Summer 2012

Something a little different today and more in line with my passion......

I thought I'd share some of the Summer 2012 kids range coming out with a sneak peak of some of the stock I'm getting into my new shop. I also thought it's time to reveal the new name!

Deciding on a business name is really, really, REALLY hard! There were loads of options to choose from but you want to sound original, have the right "feel" to the name because it can dictate your logo, image and ultimately type of customer that walks through your door. 

After a lot of debating, back and forth with friends and family I finally chose this name:

And this is my new logo. You like?

I've signed quite a few labels already and will be looking at more at the upcoming Kids In Style Expo in Melbourne. So here's a sneak peak at some of the designs coming out for your kids this summer. 

Some very cool sunglasses by Babiators

Gorgeous singlets and matching headbands by Fawn & Milk

Summer Mary-Jane's by WALNUT Melbourne

How adorable is this jumpsuit in dusty pink by Baobab

Boys aren't forgotten in these stylish organic cotton unisex harem pants and pine needle print tee by Baobab

Fun and practical for play. Chemical free with 100% organic cotton. Emily definitely needs one of these navy play-suits by Baobab.

I've got your cool dude covered with Freshbaked. Sizes 3 to 14. 

This dress is perfect for year 6 school dances or parties. It comes in sizes 3 to 14 and it's by Freshbaked

New to the kids market is Milk & Sugar. Pretty prints and available in sizes 0000 to 0. I'm in love with this new label!

Totally on trend, the boys range of Milk & Sugar is very special. 

Another new comer. The Letter M specialises in sizes 8 to 14 and it's so refreshing to find a Tweenie label that's both young, on trend and still age appropriate. 

Natural hues are definitely in this summer for Tween's. How greet would your 12 year old look in this number by The Letter M at her school formal or Christmas Party? 

So that's my preview of Summer 2012. I think this season is going to be huge and I can't wait to hear what you think of it. 

A Blissful Weekend

What an absolutely glorious weekend! It helped that I got loads of sleep, something that is normally unheard of in this house. Emily was away at her Daddy's for the weekend so I took full advantage of the peace and quiet.

Waking up this morning I just had to go for a run. When my husband and I first met I was running 7km a day (I know that's not much for some but for me it was a huge achievement), but since Emily was born and with all the problems we have been going through at home, the running has been put to the side.

I felt so good to get out in the fresh air. And boy was it fresh! 2'C fresh! Even the cows were huddled under the trees and I could hear the white frozen grass crunching under my feet as I ran across the paddock and into the reserve.

When I got home I couldn't help but notice my garden and the sun shining on it. Even though everything has been pruned and the leaves are long gone from the trees, you could still see color and life everywhere.

My Mum calls these winter roses and says she just wishes they'd straighten up and hold there heads up.

This precious angel has survived more gardens than I can remember. She has been with me for about 15 years now and looks magical under the white Camellia.

These beauties popped out there heads in the sunshine last weekend. They were such a lovely surprise as I didn't even know they were there. I must remember to plant more surprise bulbs around the garden this Spring.

So what better way to finish the weekend than with a Sunday Roast? Silverside is a seriously underestimated cut of beef. 1.5kg cost me a mere $7.00 and would be enough to feed a family of six. I knew the best way to do it justice would be to slow cook it all day in my late Nana's crock-pot. Just seasoned with salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil and I cooked that sucker for 8 hours. The result.....juicy, fall-apart on your fork, salty silverside served with roasted root vegetables and green beans. Delicious!

Those beautiful daffodils looked lovely on the table at dinner tonight too.

It was truly a glorious Sunday. How was yours?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back to Work

Back at work today and I've been flat out busy. It pissed down rain all day and i really thought there would be no one about and it would be an easy day. Instead I had customer after customer and a million emails and admin jobs to catch up on.

Not that I'm complaining. Being busy is good. The day flew by and before you knew it I'd picked up Emily, served take-away chicken for dinner, bathed her and put her to bed.

I've been playing with logo's for the new shop all night and my eye's are beginning to get sore. Do I do a colored logo or a black and white logo? Do I put a picture on the side or faded behind the name? So many options and I'm terrible at making up my mind on these things.

I'm so excited about the Melbourne Kids In Style Expo coming up on 3rd August. I've booked Mum and I into the Art Series hotel - The Cullen. Mum was an art student and teacher back in the day and it's right up her alley. She'll love all the art deco furniture and original works on the walls.

Tomorrow I've got a little more stock ordering and re-organising to do, and endless amount of paperwork and hopefully get this artwork sorted. It's going to be a really busy 6 weeks ahead so this chest infection better hurry up and get better!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Being Sick Sucks

It totally sucks being sick. I haven't been ill for well over 12 months so this is really unusual for me. Being self employed and a single mother brings a whole set of new problems when i get sick.

For example, last night in the midst of a major coughing fit a list of things went through my mind such as should I call an ambulance, should I call my mother, should I call my ex, am I just a big hypochondriac, what if I stop breathing and die and no one finds Emily for two days? It was scary.

Today for the first time I had to close the shop and put a sign up saying I'd be back tomorrow due to illness. That has never happened before.

The doctor has diagnosed me with Pleurisy so it's rest and a lot of antibiotics for me. If I don't get better by Thursday I have to go in for tests for Pneumonia. I seriously thought I'd just go in and he'd tell me I got a head cold on top of my bronchitis.

So I'm totally feeling sorry for myself, lying on the couch with nothing to watch on TV and I know I only have a certain number of hours before my whirlwind of a two year old gets home and totally exhausts me.

Time for some quick shut eye and hopefully feeling better when I wake up......

Friday, July 6, 2012

Missing My Angel

It's my first weekend without Emily as she's gone to her Dad's for the next two nights. I have just realised that all my friends are either married and/or have children so distracting myself with dinner and drinks is not going to work.

Instead I'm sitting on the couch with the laptop, nursing a pretty bad chest infection (thanks for passing that on Em), and watching Masterchef. I'd be sipping some red wine too except for the heavy dose of anti-biotics I just took.....

On the one hand I'm really disappointed that I've no-one to hang out with this weekend, but on the other hand it'll be a nice break to be able to catch up on much needed sleep and get some work for the new shop done.

I'm missing Emily like crazy and every where I look there are reminders of her. The slippers she left in the middle of the lounge this morning when we were running out the door to childcare, the doll house she got for her birthday last weekend that still hasn't made it's way to her bedroom and the baby doll that she's been busy trying to change nappies with lying on one of the chairs.

Life will never bee the same now. Every second weekend I'll be missing my little girl. Every second weekend I'll be trying to fill my time with things to distract me.

But I'll adapt, and I'll get on with it because that's what I do.

Who else can rock red and purple together??

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Very Belated Freakin Weekend Recap

I started writing this post on Monday. Then I got sidetracked with a sick toddler, shop sale, buying and other stuff. Anyway, this is what you should have got on Monday.....

A trip to Melbourne, a sick toddler, a birthday cake & a new baby. That was my weekend.

It started Thursday (yes I know it's not officially the weekend but any time I am child free and not in the shop is a weekend to me) when I drove to Melbourne to check out a bunch of children's clothing boutiques, wholesalers and shop fitting places to get ideas and buy for the new shop. 

I stopped off at a little place in Moonee Ponds that I won't name because I don't plug businesses that are rude to me. Whilst she had a lovely set up and I got some great ideas for display, the owner was less than helpful and spent most of her time behind the counter chatting to what sounded like a friend on the phone. 

I did love the little dolls cradle and Tiger Tribe Owl Mobile though. Had she been more helpful I may have purchased it for Emily's birthday......oh well, you snooze you lose!

After visiting several shops and a couple of wholesalers I checked into my hotel and got ready for my girly night out. I finally found a blue Esprit top in the Myer sale before I left and it was a perfect match with my blue suede shoes. Hair and make-up done I was ready to rock and caught up with my girlfriends for a scrumptious meal and loads of laughs in St Kilda. 

Clearly bored I started taking selfies in the hotel room!

My bestie that I was supposed to meet up with has been sick for the past week with an allergic reaction to a medication she's taking and nothing was helping it go away. She had to miss our dinner and was so miserable at home. On Friday I stopped off at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio and picked up some Salted Caramel Ã‰clairs to cheer her up. 

If you're ever in Melbourne you must check it out! Talk about a sweet tooth's heaven! 

After that it was a quick stopover at Shop for Shops and Ikea for some shop fittings and then on home to my little girl who had been sent home from childcare with a 38.5'C temp. While I was away she had developed a chest infection and there's nothing worse than being in another state while you little angel is home sick and just wanting her Mummy. 

After spending Saturday in bed for most of the day she seemed to brighten up briefly on Sunday for her birthday. It may have been the massive amount of gifts she was given.......

For dinner I cooked an amazing slow cooked coriander and cumin marinated leg of lamb in my Nanna's slow cooker. I love that my friends think it's some kind of cool retro piece I purposely bought when in actual fact Nan left it to me. She was the one who gave me my passion for cooking so I love when I can utilise something of hers for big family meals. 

Next I started on the cake. This is another recipe of my Nanna's and I'll put it up on the blog tonight. It's called Beat It Bake It Chocolate Cake It. I don't know who came up with the name but it's been passed down from my Nanna to my Mum to Me and it's such a simple recipe where you throw all the ingredients into the bowl, turn the mixer on for 3-5 minutes and then pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Viola, rich fluffy chocolate cake! 

I took inspiration from the Melbourne trip and Googled a Salted Caramel Frosting which was delicious!

It went down a treat, even though she mostly tried to grab the candle and didn't have much of an appetite. Dad (also known as the Chocolate King) and I loved it! 

So that was my was yours?