Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wollongong and other shenanigans..

I have been kind of absent from my blog. Its just been that kind of busy around here... the kind of busy that you don't have ten minutes to write or even think about writing. And its not unpleasant busy, actually its been a lot of fun... we've had a family Easter weekend; my nephew who lives a few hours away from us came and stayed for a couple of days; we had a friends birthday that involved a few drinks at a really cool Mexican bar; and we celebrated our wedding anniversary by going away to Wollongong for a night. Why Wollongong you ask? simply because I have driven past it many times but never have I been. So we thought, Why not?

We stayed at a nice hotel with a great view from our balcony....

...well that part wasn't the best but the hotel room was and going out for a long lunch with my husband (while Lucy was looked after by my mum) was. We ate, we drank, and we ate some more. In the evening we managed to even dance at the Illawarra Hotel... we were the OLDEST people in the place and were wearing more clothes then anyone else, but after a beer or two we stopped noticing.

so overall a great couple of weeks was had... I forgot to mention the most important development by my gorgeous Lucy... she had started to use her push walker to walk around the house...much too soon I think!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Just for Anzac Day

I have decided to repost this gorgeous recipe for one of my favourite cookies, just because its Anzac Day and nothing beats some delicious cookies with a big glass of milk or a hot cup of tea. Hope everyone has a great Anzac Day and remembers the people that have sacrificed their lives for us to be able to enjoy it all in this beautiful country.


1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
100grams butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon Bi-Carb soda
handful sultans (optional)


Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, and place baking paper on biscuit oven trays (you will need 2).

In a large bowl, place the flour, oats, sugar, sultanas (optional) and maple syrup. Make a well in the middle and pour in the butter, the Bi-Carb soda and 50ml of warm tap water.

Now you need to get dirty and using your hand, get in there and knead the mixture, if after 2 minutes its still too dry, add just a dash of water and knead the mixture again. You want it all to stick together and be firm and not be runny.

Once you have played with the dough for 5 minutes, make little balls placing them on your tray at least 3cm apart. The size of your balls is optional depending on how big you want the cookies to be.

Once all your balls are on the tray, using the palm of your hand press down to make the balls only about 2-3cm deep.

Place in the oven for 10 min, the longer you leave them in, the crunchier the cookies will be.
Remove and enjoy! xx

PS. if you want an even healthier version, replace the sugar with dried dates or prunes (about 5 chopped to small pieces). This wont make the cookies as sweet but can make an excellent breakfast bar!

Thursday, 24 April 2014


image from

How many of you have gone to the Easter Show this year? What you think? Really, what you think?? Did you enjoy the queues? Did you enjoy the gorgeous smells of the animals? The millions of kids trying to get on a ride, trying to buy a show bag, trying to buy something to eat, or just running away from their parents?

I do understand that its a tradition here to go to the Easter Show throughout the Easter season, but REALLY unless you have kids and they literally have twisted your arm and guilt you with things like:
"all my friends are going",
"No one will like me if you don't take me",
"You don't love me enough to take me" etc etc etc..... 
so unless your kids are at the age when that happens, I say why torture yourself?
I have spent years going to the Easter Show with kids that I nannied and spend the whole time chasing them from this and that place (but I was PAID to do it!). I was SOOOOOO glad that this year I didn't have to do it. Lucy is much too little to appreciate it and I have saved myself my sanity and my hard earned money.

My opinion, if you have a choice because your kids are not asking to go, DON'T GO. There will be YEARS of being forced to go by kids that know how to guilt you into it and you will regret starting early.

Of course there are good moments and it does mean that the kids are so exhausted afterwards that they just collapse into bed. Though I'm not sure you will appreciate the peace and quiet because your just as exhausted as they are.

Happy end of school holidays everyone

Monday, 21 April 2014

Food Food and more Food

This Easter weekend I think I have consumed so much food (including chocolate) that I'm thinking of starting another blog all about diets and eating for health and not gluttony! But I might just start by stopping eating all the left over food (including THE chocolate) and going back to salads. Had a good weekend seeing the whole family, especially the ones that we don't see that often and catching up. Lucy also had her first serious try of an Easter egg which she loved and we took away after she took a big bite! Bad sugar habits starting already; although with the amount of sugar I craved while pregnant, I think the sugar addiction started early in the womb.

Everyone have a good Easter Weekend?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Our Easter way of painting eggs

We have had this tradition in our family forever. It stems from being Polish and celebrating Easter even more than Christmas, so since I was a kid we painted eggs on Good Friday. I can't imagine Easter without the eggs and without the painting.. and its not your ordinary painting, we use wax to create the design and food colouring to give the eggs colour.

Every year my mum would get out the wax and melt it on the stove and we would use match sticks to slowly dip into the wax and create patterns on the eggs. Mostly it was the females of the family that participated and the kids. Once in a while one the guys would attempt as well and pretend they didn't enjoy it even though they usually did.

This year my parents have moved away too far for us to just go for the one day to paint eggs so my sister is hosting the event, and even though my little Lucy is too small to enjoy the experience as yet, I cant wait to show her how it's all done when she is a bit older.

I do believe that some traditions are worth keeping and it is an important way to remember the past and keep it moving forward. My husband and I are from two different cultures, so it can be hard to combine traditions but keeping things from both our pasts is important too.

Happy Easter Everyone

hot wax melted on the stove

using long sticks to mark eggs

scraping eggs when they have been painted

finished product

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Pumpkin and Lentil Soup

The weather has been getting cooler and cooler and I like nothing better than a nice hot soup to warm me up. So I thought I would share this recipe that I have made up ages ago, its pumpkin soup but more filling and delicious. The recipe makes around 4 big cups and my little one loves it too. I use wholemeal toast as croutons for her and nice warm rolls with heaps of butter for us.


500 grams pumpkin (I like buttercup, chopped into chunks)
1 cup lentils (I use red variety but others work well too)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
coriander and sour cream (optional and to serve)
oil spray
salt and pepper to taste


  • Over a medium heat in a soup pan, spray oil onto the surface and throw in the onions and garlic. Stir until onions go clear
  • Throw in the pumpkin and stir for a minute.
  • Put in 3 cups of water and bring to boil. Put in lentils and reduce heat to low
  • Let cook for at least 25 minutes and then until pumpkin is cooked through
  • Take of stove and using a hand held blender, whizz contents until smooth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste and serve with chopped coriander and a dollop of sour cream 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

a weekend of searching for the perfect bag/nappy bag and the Aquarium

This weekend I have been on a search for the perfect (nappy) bag. I'm finding it actually really hard because I don't want a bag that actually looks like a nappy bag but a bag big enough to be able to take all the extra stuff that I carry daily. I'm talking a lot of stuff, my stuff, my daughters stuff and on occasion the stuff of a 12 and a 7 year old! So it needs to be big... but comfortable and not look like a big and roomy bag. That's just in case I need to throw all the baby and kid stuff out and can still use it as a normal bag on the off chance that I go somewhere without a child in tow!

So, you say Impossible? I say a challenge! so below are my top pics so far, let me know what is your favourite I'm finding it hard to decide?!

Bag 1 from Storksak (Elizabeth tan leather bag)

Bag 2 from Maranda Lee

Bag 3 from Lust Nappy bag (
Also took the family on an outing to the Sydney Aquarium. It was raining so seemed like a great idea... it took an hour in a queue to get in but Lucy loved it and in turn so did I and hubby. Was worth it just seeing her gorgeous face light up.

Hope everyone had a great weekend

Friday, 11 April 2014

Should a nanny discipline kids in their care?

Discipline is an important topic to discuss that should be seen as a priority between a parent and their nanny. How much power should a nanny have to discipline kids that are not theirs? Teachers are continuously having more and more disciplinary power taken away from them. 30 years ago a teacher could use a ruler to hit a child's hands if they were not behaving and now they are not allowed to raise their voices just in case its considered 'bullying'. So what about a nanny? A nanny is not a teacher but often looks after kids that are school age, so what rules should apply to a nanny? A nanny is not a parent but cares for a child in the same capacity as a parent. So if the parents smack their children, should the nanny as well or is she to follow other rules?

I always thought this was an important subject and one worth talking about. I have looked after children with parents of different opinions when it comes to discipline and I think its paramount that discipline is discussed in the first meeting. I have always been of the opinion that a nanny should never raise a hand to a child that's not her own but should respect the disciplinary measures that the parents followed (as long as the child is not being abused that is!).

So what is your opinion on the matter? If the parents you work for asked that you smack the child as a disciplinary measure, would you be comfortable to do it? Would you work with parents that smack? 

Smacking is the most violent form of discipline, but what other forms of discipline should a nanny be  allowed to perform? what about the naughty corner (or a version of it)?  or taking things away as a disciplinary measure? Or should the nanny leave all forms of discipline to the parents and only report bad behaviour?
Would love to hear all thoughts?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Hot Apple Pie

This recipe my husband first made for me when I was pregnant and for some reason craved Apple Pie. It has since become a family favourite and its delicious, so if you like apple pie give this version a go, its taken from Jamie Oliver and slightly changed.


for the filling

5 large apples, (I like the non sweet variety, peeled, cored and cut into eights)
3 tablespoons Demetra sugar
1 teaspoons ground ginger
handful of sultanas (optional)
1 lemon (juice and zest)

for the pastry

250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
pinch salt
1 lemon
125g butter
2 eggs
splash of milk



  • preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • In a food processor put the flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice, cut the butter into cubes and put into the processor, pulse for 30 seconds scraping the sides that stick.
  • crack an egg into the mixture and the splash of milk and pulse for another 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the sides.
  • move mixture into a bowl and using your hands work the mixture into a ball, wrap in cling foil and place into the fridge

  • In a pan on medium heat, place the cut apples, sugar, ginger, lemon zest and juice. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until apples are partially cooked.
  • remove from heat and let cool. Add Sultanas and mix again

to make the pie

  • dust flour onto a clean surface and take half of the pastry and using a rolling pin roll the mixture into a bigger shape of the pie dish till the pastry is about half centimetre thick 
  • grease the pie dish and gently place the pastry onto the dish making sure the dish is covered, if rips happen just patch them up
  • Place the filing mixture into the dish 
  • Roll the other half of the pastry mixture once again into a bigger shape of the pie dish and about half centimetre thick
  • gently place the pastry on top of the pie dish and using your finger and thumb crimp the edges folding the excess pastry around the edges.
  • gently separate an egg to use the yolk and mix the yolk with a splash of milk. Using a pastry brush, wash the pie with the egg yolk mixture. 
  • with a knife cut patterns into the pastry to let the filing breath while cooking
  • place into the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown
I like to serve with ice cream or cream... Enjoy! xx

Monday, 7 April 2014

How do you settle your baby to sleep?

I think that this is an important subject and I know that I personally have spent some time on Google trying to find the best way to settle my little one. The information out there is so vast and so varied that its always hard to know what method is the one that will work the best.

Lucy is a great sleeper overall but there have been times (like while a tooth is about to break through) that is has taken me ages to get her down to sleep, and on occasion she will only sleep for 40 minutes before waking and then we have to do it all over again. So, I don't have any magic solutions to settling your baby or knowledge of which is THE best method to use but I will share with you the ones that have worked for ME (and not necessarily every and each time) with Lucy and the kids that I have looked after previously. There are also some methods that I know of that I haven't used but have friends that did and they recommended them. So here it goes, let me know if you agree??

soothing to sleep

When you have a new born on your hands I think settling to sleep is completely different to when they are 3 months, 6 months or 9 months old.
Newborns will need to feel you close by and settle the easiest and best when they are laying on top of a warm body and when they are being fed, either by breast or bottle. It is quiet reasonable and easy to transfer the sleeping baby to their own bassinet/cot with the knowledge that you and the baby will be up again in a couple of hours. I find that the only thing that will keep your newborn baby awake and upset for longer then necessary is hunger, dirty nappy, body temperature (either too hot or cold), colic or sickness. Once you realise what is causing the problem with settling to sleep you can try to fix it. And I'm afraid sometimes babies just like to cry.

6 weeks +
bed time routine

When your baby reaches 6 weeks, I personally believe that establishing a bed time routine is very important. The routine can be different for everyone but should be repeated everyday. Babies love knowing what will come next and thrive on a routine. This is especially true when it comes to settling your baby to sleep.
From around 6 weeks, you can start teaching your baby the difference between night and day so that YOU get to sleep longer at night too.
At this stage we introduced to Lucy a bath and a massage before bed and made sure to repeat it daily.
There are many books out there that will empathise the importance of a routine to a good night sleep. These books tell you when to feed the baby and how much sleep they should be getting, I'm sure you have read them all, but I believe that repetition is the most important part, so make sure that you pick something and stick to it.
Anyway I have gone off on a tangent, once you establish a routine for your little one you can encourage sleep in the following ways
- making soft shhhh sounds (or any form of white noise)
- feeding your baby to sleep
- rocking your baby to sleep
What I have done previously is a mixture of all, after feeding I would pick baby up and rock her while making the 'shhh' sound in a quiet room. Then before the baby fell asleep I would put her to bed and stand over her with my hands on her tummy saying 'shhhhh' until she drifted off before leaving. Now this worked for me and I must say sometimes I had to stand over that cot for a good half hour before she fell asleep but after 2 weeks she was so set in the routine that as soon as I put her down she would close her eyes and fall asleep.

12 weeks +
Different versions of Controlled Crying

Controlled crying sounds like a scary concept but it doesn't have to be. There are so many different opinions on the subject and also different versions of controlled crying but I will share the version that has worked for me. The most important result of settling a baby after 12 weeks, is teaching them to self settle, which can be very hard and it is where controlled crying comes in. Once a baby learns to self settle your life will become so much easier and sleep time will be a breeze (about 80% of the time...babies are so unpredictable).
I have done controlled crying for my baby and for most of the babies that I have looked after, and it does work. It can be stressful for the parent but you can tweak it to make it less stressful.
So this is what I do after following the night time routine; 
I put the baby to their cot fully awake and leave the room. If the baby cries I leave them to it for 2 min (I time myself, because 2 min feels like 10 when a baby is crying!) then I enter the room and try to sooth the baby by touch without lifting, if it doesn't work I pick the baby up and sooth quietly in my arms. Once the baby is peaceful again, they go back in the cot and I leave.
Now I do this 3 times, first time leaving for 2 min, then 4 and then 8...  (a friend of mine did a version of this method but went in every 30 seconds of the baby crying and it still worked) always timing myself and making sure baby is happy and peaceful before starting again. If the baby stops crying for a minute and starts again, you start timing again from the quiet period.
If after the 3rd time the baby is refusing to settle and you feel like your about to have a melt down with all the crying, I usually go in and after settling the baby I  sit by the cot with my hand on the baby making a 'shhhh' sound until the baby falls asleep. I try not to lift the baby up at all and if they get up, I just put them down again (this can be for a VERY LONG time). But you will find that your baby will fall asleep eventually and every night will get easier until you don't need to do it again.

Once your baby learns to self settle, your life will get easier and you will find that it was all worth it. There will also be times of disruption as babies go through teething and sickness or just have nightmares, but the majority of your evenings will not be spent settling your baby.
So let me know what you think and what methods worked for you?

Photos courtesy of Claudio Raschella Photographer

Friday, 4 April 2014

Does Lucy look like Prince George?

So this is not my opinion, I personally don't think Lucy looks male or Royal but in the last week I had 5 different people at varying locations coming to me and telling me she's a little Prince George... so I will let you be the judge...what do you think??? Does my daughter have a little Royal Blood in her that I don't know of?

My gorgeous Lucy

Image courtesy of New Idea... Prince George
All opinions and comments welcome!???

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

can you be a mummy and a nanny??

I have been thinking about this for a while now... I have been a nanny for over ten years and worked with many different kids. I loved my work but what happens now? My daughter is only 9 months old and I have been lucky enough that I can do some after school care where I get to take her along with me. Even though I'm really grateful that I can do this, it isn't full time work and not enough for it to be a long term financial solution.

I cant imagine going back to working long days (and nanny hours are long) looking after babies and children while my little one is in childcare... so what happens to a nanny once she has kids of her own? Do I need a career change? I would love to hear what other people have to say about this?

Ideally I would love to take my little girl to work and look after other kids her age at the same time, but would parents be willing to hire a nanny that brings her own child along? I have talked to a few parents and most are not that willing to have a nanny with a baby, which is fair enough (you don't bring a baby to the office) but what I did find disturbing was that some parents are not even willing to hire you if you  have a baby that is in child care... NOW that's what I would call discrimination.

All these questions and I don't have many answer. I do know a few nannies and the majority that do have kids of their own, leave work and do something else. Some stay home to look after their little ones solely, others look into a completely different direction. So is being a nanny a career or just a temporary position that will eventually become impossible to carry on?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Love these meatballs and they are so easy to make. I especially like them on top of steamed veggies like pumpkin, cauliflower, carrot, broccoli and some potato...yum! I make mine using pork mince but you can use beef mince or chicken mince. Also lovely is combining both pork and beef mince, whichever protein you use, the recipe is delicious. My little one loves them too with some mash and peas, she attempts to feed herself but you can just imagine how messy that can be!
The recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes cooking and serves about 4 adults. Enjoy :)


for the balls
500g pork mince
1 spring onion finely chopped including the green bits
1 egg
handful of coriander finally chopped
a sprinkle of a herb mix (optional)
a gentle sprinkle of dried chili (optional)

for the sauce
a can of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped


  1. Place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and using your hands mix them up making sure that all ingredients are combined. Once done, using your hands make into small balls and place on the side.
  2. In a hot pan add a splash of oil and one by one place the balls. Once they are browned on one side, gently turn them around and brown the other side.
  3. Once the balls are nicely brown on all sides, toss in the can of tomatoes, the onion and garlic and half a glass of water. Toss the mixture so all balls are covered in the sauce and let cook on a low heat for 40 minutes, mixing every ten minutes or so
  4. Remove and serve with pasta or veggies or potatoes. You can freeze some too if you have too much. Enjoy