Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Meet the Monut!!!

I love a good sweets hybrid ... brookies, cronuts, dookies, cruffins, pakes, dangels. If they are both delicious on their own, the chances of them being double as good mashed together is pretty high.

Today I'm adding to the list with the Monut. It's a muffin crossed with a donut. I have tried countless times to make my own donuts. I want that deliciously fluffy inside a crispy outer shell, tossed in copious amounts of cinnamon sugar. I could eat 100 of them, especially when they are warm. But I have yet to be able to get that sort of results at home.

When making donuts it involves a dough, which then involves proofing and rolling and cutting and more proofing. And that's all before you get to the truly difficult part of cooking them in oil.

Even when I think that I have the perfect looking donuts, I dunk them into the oil only for them to come out tasting oily and undercooked.

Well that is what makes this recipe so amazing. They actually taste just like donuts and better yet they only take a few minutes to actually make!!! These don't last very long in my house, I'm talking I don't even thing they even have time to go cold sometimes.

So without further ado, here's the recipe...

200g Plain Flour
1 1/2tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Salt
1/2tsp Nutmeg
1/2tsp Cinnamon
150g Sugar
70g Coconut Oil (at room temperature)
1 Egg
250ml Milk

50g Butter
1/4cup Sugar
1/2tsp Cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180 deg C and line a muffin tray with patty pans.

In a bowl combined the dry ingredients.

In another bowl add the egg, milk and oil (make sure it is pourable or you'll end up with lumps in your batter). With a whisk mix up the wet ingredients until they are all incorporated.

Add in the dry ingredients and whisk them until you have a smooth mixture.

Divide the batter equally between the 12 cases. I use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop and it is almost perfect.

Bake for 20-25mins or until the tops are crispy and golden.

Combine the sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl.
*Tip* You can keep any leftover cinnamon sugar in an airtight container for later use (it tastes amazing on toast...)

Melt the butter in the microwave.

As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, coat the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar. I like to do this when they are still warm, as it slightly melts the sugar and gives them an extra crispy top.

And that is it! They are so quick and easy to make. I do hope that you will give them a try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite pastry hybrid is....

Friday, 16 June 2017

Taking Beautiful Maternity Photos ... YOURSELF!!!

Today I'm to share with you how easy it is to take these beautiful silhouette maternity photos OF YOURSELF!!!!

If you are like me and ...
a) never seem to get around to getting professional photos taken (not to mention in the small amount of time you are pregnant in)
b) don't have the time to go to have a photo shoot
c) don't want to spend the money on professional photos
d) want beautiful, lasting photos to remember your pregnancy by
e) are not a big fan of showing your stomach to the world...
then I have the perfect solution for you.

I have done this photo shoot with both my last two pregnancies. I took these photos in the comfort of my own home, by myself, it took be about 15 minutes, and I want to share with you exactly how I did it and what I learnt along the way.

First of all, to give yourself a silhouette you are going to need to find a large bright door or window.  This maybe in a bedroom or in the living room it doesn't really matter. You may need to move some furniture out of the way to ensure that you are getting an unobstructed shot. If you don't have one in your house perhaps there is one at a family members house.

The first time I did this I didn't use anything behind me, but I don't think they came out quite as well. So I suggest finding a white (or any light coloured) preferably flat (but mine was actually fitted) sheet. Give it a bit of an iron to get any creases out of it (or if you are really clever you can use one of those iron sprays that just magically make creases disappear!!!). Then find a way to hang it up on in front of your window. You can do this by pegging it to existing curtains, but I don't have curtains (it is always on my to do list to do!), so I hung some string from the blind and pegged my sheet to that.

To get the best silhouette effect you don't want to have any baggy clothing on, so I opted for a tight singlet and some tights (you know, not what you would normal head out wearing, but it will give you the best shot). Then you can do your hair however you like it, but I loved the look of the messy bun in the silhouette.

Set up your camera using a tripod if you have one, or if you don't (I didn't at the time) improvise. Here my camera is sitting on top of a few books, on top of a wooden box, on top of a stool, on top of my coffee table. Whatever you need to do to get it at the right height.  If you don't have a camera and instead you are using a phone or iPad just make sure that you are using the back camera to get the best pictures.

Now you want to find the best place to stand. I was bound by my window panes. I wanted to make sure that there was a clear shot behind me. I am lucky that my camera can connect to my phone so I was able to use my phone screen to position myself in middle of the sheet. But you could always just take some practice shots to find the best one, or use the front camera of your phone while you do the set up.

Then just use the timer on your camera to take the photo. Tip ... use some painters tape or masking tape to mark your place on the floor so that once you set the camera you can get back to where you are meant to be standing.

Now you can play around a bit with different poses until you find one that you love! It may be that the most awkward feeling pose looks the best. I liked that look of the ones with my arms back further, I think it showed a better silhouette of my stomach because you could see my back as well. It was a bit uncomfortable, but I stood with my front arm bent back and my hand on my hip and used my stomach and leg to hide my other arm down my my side.

If you have other children, don't forget that you can get them involved as well. Or you could even take some of the same photos with your baby once it is born as a bit of a before and after.

Once you have your photos you are ready to do some editing. Don't let this bit scare you. I edited mine right on Instagram using the custom filters. You don't need to spend $$$ on photo editing software when Instagram is giving it to you for free. There are plenty of other apps as well you can download to edit photos but I will show you how I did mine.

First you need to transfer your photos from your camera (that is if there are not already on your phone). I use my camera itself to do this as it has WiFi, but you could but them onto a computer and either email them to yourself or use Google Drive.

Once you have them on your phone, choose you favourite and open it up in Instagram. First of all I like to use the filter "Moon" to make the photo black and white. Then save the photo either by the 'Save as Draft' feature or post it using the 'Direct' option to yourself and save it to your phone.

Now you have a copy of the photo in black and white. You can just leave you photo like this and you are done, but I like to give it a little more depth.

So open your black and white copy in Instagram. At the moment move from the 'Filter' options to the 'Edit' options. If you have never used these to edit a photo before it is very simple. Instead of using on of the premade Instagram filters you can make your own. You simply tap on each of the different tools and then use the slider to find the exact amount of that filter you want.

I will tell you what I did, but it will be personal preference and will also depend on your original photo the exact numbers you want to use. It's just fun to sort of play around with this until you find how you want the photo to look.

Brightness (-8)
Contrast (-40)
Warmth (-20)
Saturation (25)
Colour - Shadows (dark blue - double tap [40])
Fade (40)
Highlights (40)
Shadows (50)

This one I made with a little more of a blue wash, but that it completely optional. You can keep it grey by not adding in the colour.

There you have it. Gorgeous FREE silhouette maternity photos, that were easy to take yourself and took hardly any time at all to edit. 

I love these photos, I'm so glad I have them to remember my pregnancy by. I had so many compliments on them. I only wish that I had taken them with my first two pregnancies. 

I hope this has help you to see how easy it is to take beautiful photos. Let me know if you end up taking some silhouette shots like these, I would love to see them #labellingchaos on Instagram.

I hope you are all having a lovely week, until next time...

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Save $$$ on your WEEKLY SHOPPING

Hi Guys

Just wanted to quickly hop on to tell you again about how much I love doing my weekly shopping at Coles and collecting points with Flybuys.

If you want to get up to date with all that I have talked about before head on over to my post or YouTube video.

But today I thought I'd just let you know that they have HEAPS of offers available at the moment which will save you so much $$$$.

When you sign up for Flybuys they will send you emails when new offers start. All you have to do is click "Activate" and you can earn the points back when you shop.

I spent $240 at Coles this week with my grocery shopping. It was a little more than usual but I had a few more expensive things I had to stock up on (damn you oil!!!!!).

But in saying that I received 7645 bonus points from Flybuys on top of the 240 normal points. 


Now if you don't know Flybuys will reward you with redeeming your points for all sorts of things. From electrical items to travel, but what I like to use my points for is Coles gift cards. Gift cards are redeemable at a rate of 10,000pts = $50.

That means for my grocery shopping alone this week I earned $38.25!!!!

You can also earn Flybuys points by linking your card to your Fitbit, Medibank, Budget Insurance and AGL accounts. As well as other stores like Adidas, Kmart, Target and OPSM.

This post is not in any way affiliated with Coles or Flybuys, I'm just sharing with your how I save some money each week and how you could be too.

Happy Long Weekend Everyone!!!

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Quick Tips .... Pancakes for a crowd

Is it just me, or do others find that when you make pancakes for breakfast for the family you never actually get to eat any yourself???

I stand in the kitchen making pancake after pancake, servicing demanding children as if I was the head chef in a Michelin Star restaurant.

Well those days for me are a thing of the past since I discovered a few helpful tips that now means I even get to eat (at least some) of the pancakes.

If you're interest in an amazing pancake recipe check out my previous post.

Tip #1
Forget about making 100 little bite sized pancakes for your little pikelets. I make the biggest pancake that will fit in my frying pan. And I actually use two pans at once. They are going to get cut up anyway, so I feel like I may as well use each cm of my pan.

Tip #2
Use a pizza cutter to quickly cut up your pancakes into bite sized pieces. It makes it so much easier for little ones to eat and so much less messy. The pizza cutter glides across the pancakes as it would a pizza so it is so fast to slice them up.

Tip #3
Pancakes freeze really well. Somedays, when I'm not particularly rushed for time, I will make up a double batch of pancake batter. Then I will make heaps of my giant pancakes, cut them up, and divide them into snaplock bags. Then if someone requests pancakes during the week (or more likely I've run out of milk and bread) I can pull out some frozen bags, heat them up for a minute in the microwave and voila ... your pancakes are served.

Another use for freezer pancakes if for lunchboxes. Before freezing I spread some peanut butter, nutella, butter, vegemite, or jam on my giant pancakes, sandwich two together, and then slice them into 'pizza slices'. Then into the freezer to be used in lunchboxes when needed. They defrost like they have just been cooked.

How I achieved a DRUGFREE LABOUR - 8 tips to help with pain during labour!!

Today I want to take a minute to talk to you about labour...

I'm a firm believer in doing labour your own way. If you want every medication under the sun, I hear you. If you want to try and do it "drug-free", good for you. I don't preach anything to anybody. I'm not here to tell you what to do, I'm simply here to give my advice and share you story. Labour and giving birth is a very personal experience that can not only be different for every person, but can be different every time.

I have had to opportunity (with four labours under my belt) to experience many different sides and forms of labour. I've done it with all sorts of drugs and I've done it naturally. The only way I haven't done it is through a cesarean (well, not yet!!!).

It is something that I'm asked about a lot, and I love to share what I have learnt along the way, and what helps me in hopes that it may help someone else.

First of all, labour is bloody painful. Let's not sugarcoat it here. It doesn't matter how you do it, it's going to hurt. You may think some people may have a higher threshold for pain, but don't let that fool you into believing it doesn't hurt for them. And don't underestimate yourself. I went into labour with my first with very low expectations about my threshold for pain, and I feel like that held me back. I didn't think I would deal very well with the pain ... and I didn't.

First I want to tell you about my first labour, as I believe that I learnt the most in this labour.

With my first baby I noticed on my due date that I was 'leaking' and went into the hospital to be checked out. I was sent home and told to "see how it goes". The next day I went back into hospital with the same issues. I was told that my waters were in fact leaking and I was sent home again with an appointment to be induced the next morning if I didn't go into labour overnight .... I didn't. As we headed into the hospital the next morning, I had started to have some cramping pains. As my waters were already technically ruptured they went straight in with the syntocinon (this is a hormone that is put through an IV in your arm. It mimics labour to start contractions).

Here's some things I wish I had know about. If you are given syntocinon...
... your contractions will start immediately. And not the "early labour" pains that you may have read about in the baby books. It pretty much takes you from no pain to mid range pain in a very short amount of time. BE PREPARED!!!

... they like to closely monitor the baby to ensure that it doesn't get too stressed out with all the new contractions, so they will hook you up to a little contraction monitoring machine via two elastic straps around your stomach. One will measure the contraction, the other measures the babies heart rate. This means that there is no wondering around the labour room to help you ease the pain of contractions. You have to stay in one spot.

... they count how many contractions you are having over a period of ten minutes. If there are too few they may up the dose of the syntocinon. If, like in my case, there are too many, they tell you that there isn't a whole lot they can do about it because if they turn down the syntocinon it may stop the labour completely.

So there I was. My first experience into labour. I had gone in with the dread that I wasn't going to be able to handle it, I was put on a drip that put me BAM into labour, and my body was contracting 10 times in 10 minutes. It didn't take me long before I was at my peak. I wanted out. I started to panic about the pain. I tried the gas ... I didn't like it at all. I wasn't breathing it in properly and the taste it left in my mouth made me gag. I had an internal check and the midwife told me that I was only at 3cm dilated and there was still a long way to go ... PANIC ...


The lovely calm midwife told me that we should start with pethidine and see how I felt after that. Pethidine is a synthetically made drug similar to morphine. I agreed and in went a needle into my thigh. I expected some relief, but nothing came. I asked the question that I should have perhaps asked beforehand, "how long does it take to start working?" .... The dreaded answer ... "about 20 - 30 minutes". I almost fell off the bed. At the rate that my contractions were going, I was still going to have another 30 contractions before this 'might' take the edge off the pain.



As I said before I went into this with low expectation of my abilities and I had completely lost control of the situation. I was in so much pain and I all I wanted was it to stop. I told the midwife I wanted an epidural. She tried to talk me around to waiting a little longer, but I wouldn't have a bar of it. I didn't need to be some sort of labouring hero here, I just didn't want to be in pain anymore. The midwife agreed and in came the anaesthesiologist who started rattling on about side effect and such, which to be honest I have no idea what they even said. So if you are interested in knowing the side effect I suggest you read up on them well before you are in the middle of labour.

This is where it gets a bit interesting, and this was something I realised later on. As I sat there on the edge of the bed, getting the epidural needle inserted into my back, I was very still. Actually to be honest, I was in and out of sleep. At one point I think my husband was sort of holding me up. Now, I have seen a lot of episodes of One Born Every Minute (a UK based reality TV show that has cameras set up in a busy labour ward), and not many people sit still while the epidural is being put in. From the contractions to the fact that they are literally inserting a giant needle into your back, there is a lot a pain involved, which makes it a little tricky to sit still.

As I said before, it wasn't until I looked back later, that I realised that in the time that it took the midwife to get the doctor and the doctor to get the anaesthesiologist and the anaesthesiologist to get the drugs and needles organised, the pethidine had started to kick in. This was my turning point. As I reflected on my birth, as I sat cuddling my new little baby in the less painful days following my labour, I came to the decision that if I had given the pethidine time to come into affect, I may have been able to continue with just that. It gave me the power to believe that maybe I could have done it without the epidural. Maybe I was stronger than I thought.

Why???? I hear you asking. Would you bother going without the epidural. If you don't have to have the pain of labour why bother?

Let me explain the rest of my story...

What I knew about the epidural before that first labour, I have to admit was not a lot. It was a needle in your spine that took away the pain. That's all I knew.

Again here are some things I wish I had know about ...
... once the epidural is inserted into your spine, a small tube comes up over your shoulder and you are give a little button to push to give you another boost. This button is capped. From memory it was something like 7 times in 15 minutes. It didn't matter how much you pushed it, it wouldn't give you any more than 7 boosts in 15 minutes.
... they will come at you occasionally with a small ice pack, which they will hold on different parts of your body to test the whether you are numb.
... you are lulled into a false sense of security. I sat there, finally free from the crippling pains of the contractions. I chatted with my husband and mum, I ate grapes and drunk lemonade, and we all waited for something to happen. I'm not really sure what we were waiting for to be honest, but several hours later I was given another internal check and we were told I was at 10cm and we were ready to go!

... they take the booster button away from you and calmly tell you that we will now let the epidural wear off (WEAR OFF!!!!) and wait until I have the all encompassing feeling to push!!! Well first of all I was shocked that the epidural didn't cover the pushing part. I felt like someone who had gone to the movies only to be told that my ticket was only good for a seat in the theatre and not the movie itself. Secondly the feeling never came. And as time ticked on I noticed that the midwife had started to constantly check the clock, watching me as if I was about to explode at any moment.

So we sat and we waited a little longer, and the 'push' feeling never came, and the epidural was not wearing off.

The decision was made that I should start pushing even though the epidural hadn't wore off and see how we went. Well ... it didn't go great. I pushed for near 2 hours with no success. We would watch the monitor to see when I was having a contraction and I would try and push. I had absolutely no feeling and no idea how to get this baby out of me. And with every push the midwife would try and tell me to 'push into my bottom!' a nice way, I feel, of telling me that I wasn't pushing properly. 

Nothing was happening. The baby was moving forward a little with the contraction and backwards as soon as it stopped. I was exhausted and defeated. My baby was getting distressed and I couldn't do anything to get it out. It was truly upsetting and I felt like a failure. A doctor came in, I was cut, a ventouse (which is a small vacuum with a plastic cup that attaches to a babies head) was inserted and as I had my next contraction my baby was sucked out of me.

Here's photo of me ... looking like absolute shit!!!

So this was my story. I decided afterwards that the epidural had completely slowed down my labour, and had made pushing my baby out need impossible.

Of course it doesn't happen like that for everyone, but that's how it happened for me.

My next three labours I did drug-free. Not really intentionally, I never go into a labour believing I know how it's going to go. And I have never gone through the birthing centre (which is a program at my hospital, devoted to those who want to have a natural birth, with water births and such), for the pure reason that I tend to beg for the epidural at the very last second ... hahaha

So after all of that, if you are even still here reading this, here are my actual tips and advice on how to give birth naturally.

Understand that a 'pain threshold' is nothing but a state of mind. If you go into labour believing you have a low pain threshold, chances are you will. And it may take you a labour or two to really understand what your actual pain threshold is, once you take away all the preconceived ideas of it.

Labour will not last forever. The pain will not last forever. There will be an end, and the prize you get for the hard work will all be worth it. Always keep that in mind. An hour will pass, the night will give way to the morning, and before you know it, it will be nothing but a (painful!) memory. If you don't believe me, ask yourself why people go back and do it a second or third or however many times. You completely forget almost instantly, and you are left with a feeling of accomplishment. It doesn't matter how you do it, whether it be naturally or via a cesarean, you still did it, just like thousands of women before you.

The pain of labour comes from the contractions. And contractions ebb and flow. Whether these contractions have started naturally or have been induced (which mine have been EVERY TIME!!!) they have a start and end. You just have to feel for it. Here is my most asked question of those who have seen photos or video of me during labour ... "how do you look like that when you are in labour?" I believe that I go into a bit of a mediation like state. It is how I deal with the pain.
So here is my first actual tip ... count your contract length. When you feel the contraction starting take a deep breath in and then count each breath it takes until the contraction is over. This is why I lay so still during labour. I put all my concentration into counting my breaths and it really does help me. I know from past experiences with any pain that it doesn't help to cry and scream, sometimes it actually makes it hurt more. If I know that my last contraction lasted for 35 breathes, all I have to do the next time is breath 35 times. I close my eyes and I count ... 10 breathes, 25 to go .... 20 breathes,15 to go .... 30 breathes, 5 to go. Of course they won't all be exactly the same length but it will give you something to do, and something to take your mind off the pain.

Clary sage oil. My midwife told me about this during the 41st week(!!!) of my second pregnancy. I can't say I knew much about burning oils, nor did I really believe in such things but this changed my mind. The midwife told me to get some Clary Sage oil, and also some Raspberry Leaf Tea tablets to help bring on my labour naturally. At the time I was ready to try anything. So I went straight from my appointment to a health shop. *Note... Clary sage oil does not smell particularly lovely, however it is not all that bad, and now every time I smell it, it takes me right back to being pregnant. I burnt it, I bathed in it, I massaged it into my body, I put some on my pillow, I even put it on a tissue and walked around with it in my bra.
Well, let me tell you that neither the clary sage oil or the raspberry leaf tea helped to bring on labour. Not with my second ... or my third ... or my fourth. Even though I was using them from 34weeks with my third and fourth pregnancy. I have since done more research into clary sage oil. First of all, if your body is not ready to go into labour, no old wives tales or oils will work. However, clary sage oil does help relax the mind and body and soften the cervix, which in turn helps you have more effective contractions once you are actually in labour.
I truly believe now that it helped me during my labours, they were so much quicker than my first, and I felt so much more relaxed and in control.
Which brings me to...

Control ... Stay in control of yourself. Pain is all a mind game. Don't let it take over.
There is a quote by A.A. Milne that says...
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know." and it couldn't be more true in this sense. You have no idea what you are capable of until you do it.

Listen to your body. Forget what the midwives are telling you and truly listen to your own body. Since I'm not one to be throwing myself around and screaming I am able to feel what is happening inside my body and I can actually feel as I move into different stages of labour. 
I discovered this during my second birth when I finally felt that 'urge to push' they kept talking about during my first labour. My body was telling me that this baby was coming. As it was my second labour I had started to panic again as the pain increased. I told the midwife what I was feeling, she did a internally check and told me I was only 6cm and I wasn't ready yet. Suddenly I couldn't help myself. I was pushing. I was yelling for the epidural. And I was doing everything in my power to stop my body with no luck. My baby was born within a few minutes. I tore, only slightly this time, which I later realised was because I had pushed so quickly and so hard. Turns out that you can go from 6cm to 10cm in the matter of a minute.
Now I have discovered that I can tell when my labour transitions, I can prepare for it. If I can feel when the contractions intensify I know that my cervix has dilated more and that my labour is progressing. There comes a time when it is more painful to hold back from pushing then it is to let your body do what it wants to do. Your body generally knows what it needs to do.

A little bit of TMI, during my last pregnancy I was actually induced 2 weeks early due to the fact that I was measuring at 48cms instead of 38cms. I had been having some digestion problems and it turned out that my bowel was severely enlarged and there was a risk of it rupturing. I hadn't been able to go to the toilet for weeks and I was terrified that I was going to have to go in the middle of my labour. And that is exactly what happened. During the labour I knew that I needed to go to the toilet, but I also knew that a lot of people mistaken that feeling for the urge to push so I knew the midwife wasn't going to let me get up and go to the toilet. I had been labouring for a few hours and knew that I had gone into the final stages of labour before I needed to push, but I knew there was something 'blocking the way'. Well I will spare you the gross details but in short once the blockage was out of the way my baby came right on out.

Listen to the midwife. I know, I know I just said forget what the midwives say. But this bit is important. When your babies head is crowning it is an art form to get the rest of it out without tearing. But the trick is to listen to the midwife. They will most likely tell you to stop pushing when the baby's forehead is out and they will carefully guide the face out. This bit is very hard to do. I think I heard somewhere it described as a "burning ring of fire", and that pretty much sums it up. But if there is any advice you take, let it be this. Try with all your might to stop pushing and breath for a couple of seconds. It is for the best. It is so much nicer to spend the moments after birth bonding with your baby, instead of being stitched back up again ... sorry ... TMI again!

Just remember that it isn't a competition. The 'prize' is the same for everyone no matter how you do it.

I hope this is helpful to you. Whether you are an expecting Mum, or you've already had your children.

I love reflecting on my labours. It is such a special day that I will always hold close to my heart. It is the first day you will meet a person you will love unconditionally for the rest of your life. It is magically and nothing can top it. 

Monday, 5 June 2017

ORGANISE - Linen Closet Clean Out

Today I'm tackling my linen closet! It has pretty much been a "just throw it in there" sort of cupboard since we install the PAX system about 4 years ago, so to say it needed some TLC was an understatement. 

My first steps of the reorganise was to pull everything out. And I mean everything. Seriously, I was so shock at how much came out of this one little cupboard.

I found...

13 Hand Towels
6 Blankets
13 Wraps
14 Tea Towels
10 Face Washers
6 Towels
6 Quilt Sets
3 Bed Sheets
1 Bassinet Sheets
4 Cot Sheets
Various Pillow Cases (which had no matching bed set :/)
1 Cot Protector
1 Mattress Protector
1 Teddy
1 Library Bag
Various Papers
Car Seat Extensions
Mobile Phone Parts

The configuration of our Ikea PAX system is a 37cm deep cupboard, with a 50cm section on either end of two 100cm sections. In the past I have showed you my first cupboard which is home to my First Aid Kit, my second cupboard (the double) which is home to my Second Pantry, I am yet to show you the third (another double) which is where we keep all our craft and office supplies (the reason being it is also in need of some love and attention), but today I'm showing you the last cupboard in the line, the linen closet.

 After I had taken everything out and done a little inventory. I went ahead and culled a lot of stuff and put it in a donate pile. I just didn't feel like there was ever a time that I would need to have 14 tea towels!!!!

Then I found an empty container to store all my full sets of bedding. The quilt cover, the fitted/flat sheet and the matching pillow cases. This box is going to live in a new home in the top of a bedroom robe. 

Don't forget the label...

Once the space was cleared out I was able to allocate drawers and create some labels so that everything stays organised and everyone knows where everything lives.

I have also made a video of this so if you are interested watch down below or check out my channel Labelling Chaos.

Quick and Easy Chicken Meal in Under 15 Minutes

I love any dinner that I can whip up in under 15 minutes and this is definitely one of them. Not only is it super fast and easy to make, it is actually as great base for a few different meals so it's great for making up a big batch of and using for multiple dinners.

The base is a creamy chicken mix which can be used on top of pasta, with rice, or as a filling for chicken pies. A lot of the time I will make up a huge double batch (for my 6 person household) and we will have creamy chicken pasta one night, and then chicken pies with mashed potato the next night. They actually taste like completely different meals but they are exactly the same recipe.

So today I'm gifting this simple recipe in the hopes that your family will love it as much as mine do.


100g Butter
100g Flour
500g Milk
500g Chicken Stock
250g Frozen Vegetables
400g Tin Mushrooms in Butter Sauce
BBQ Chicken
Salt and Pepper

Add the butter to the thermomix bowl and melt for 3 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.

Add in flour and cook for 3 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.

Add in the milk and chicken stock. Cook for 6 mins/90 degrees/speed 4. After about 2 minutes add in your mushrooms in butter sauce (this step is optional if you want your mushrooms diced up. If you want them to stay whole wait and add them in with the chicken).

Add in the chicken and the vegetables and cook for 5 mins/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1.

Serve on top of pasta or rice, or use as a filling for chicken pies.

Note- For chicken pies line a pie dish with shortcrust pastry. Add the pie filling. Cover with puff pastry and cook in a preheated 200deg oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Don't forget to check out my YouTube channel for a video of this recipe ... and SUBSCRIBE to my channel so you don't miss an upload!!!

If you are confused as to what a Thermomix is, I will leave a photo and a link down below to the machine on Amazon as I'm not sure where they are sold where you live. In Australia you find a consultant and buy through the Thermomix company. They retail in Australia for about $2000, when I bought mine they were running a 24 month interest free deal so I paid for mine at about $20 a week.

A Fresh Start on a Budget