Posted in Baking, Camping, Children, Children's Parties, Chocolate, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Camping themed 5th party

Camping was not my theme of choice for this year, but Little Miss K wanted camping and I liked the theme so camping it was.  I initially wanted a Book Worm party.

Quite a few of my friends said I was insane to go with Camping…Maybe insane was not quite the word they used, but mad was mentioned more than once, as was tempting fate. Our family record with camping is not a good one. We have been camping 4 times since Kaylin was born and 4 times we have ended up either at the doctors or casualty or both.

I decided actual camping and a camping theme party were vastly different and went with it anyway.

Here are the photos.  (I am quite proud of how it turned out)

The Birthday Girl and Door Stop
The Birthday Girl and Door Stop

She was very excited that I made them both out of icing and that they were both on the cake….

The Party Table - Camping
The Party Table – Camping
Camp Kaylin - Camping themed Cake
Camp Kaylin – Camping themed Cake
Mix your own Trail Mix
Mix your own Trail Mix
The party pack Backpacks (each guest was given a little torch inside)
The party pack Backpacks


The backpack party packs, there was little torch inside each
The backpack party packs, there was little torch inside each


I made these little backpacks using a little paper bag and some ribbon.  It was actually much easier than I thought it was going to be.  Just make sure you find the paper bags with the flat base.

Campfire Flames aka NikNaks
Campfire Flames aka NikNaks

This is a disposable braai – but the grid was unnecessary as were the legs – so you could just use an aluminum roasting dish.

Wraps or Bedding Rolls
Wraps or Bedding Rolls


Bear Poop......
Bear Poop…… (chocolate, need I say more)

So this is what I did differently this year, than any of the other years.

Firstly – the biggest I did not have it at home.  Oh bliss – why did I ever do them at home before.

Secondly – I paid a little extra for the decor.  I looked through their themes, and then chose the closed to the theme I wanted. This is actually the venue’s fairy theme but I told them I did not want any fairy stuff just the woodland look.  I then made everything else to suit – red and green.

Thirdly – all the baked good are box mixes. I love making the little figures for the cakes, but dont actually like baking.  I find it stressful.  This was a lot easier.  Next time I might even just buy a pre-made cake and decorate it.

And then that is about it – once it is over you just pack up and go….

I have also realised that my daughter is nearly as bad as I am when it comes to planning birthdays in advance. She has already told me what themes she would like for the next 3.

Posted in Baby OL, Cats, Children, Chocolate, Comrades Marathon, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, Training

Currently I am….

I have seen this on a few blogs lately and have decided to do it as well.  Mostly as a catch up but also as some badly needed inspiration


Currently, I am…

Reading:  Running and Stuff by James Adams on my Kindle.  My sister worked with this man in London and suggested I read it.  I have only just started so can’t really comment but so far so good.  It is about ultra-running and if you are into that, then you will probably enjoy this book.  I have read a few books lately but can’t think of what they are.  I am terrible with titles and authors.

Listening to:  Whatever is on in my car, normally “The wheels on the bus……”  I used to listen to 5 FM but since Gareth Cliff left I have not been listening to it much. Also I spend a lot less time in my car now that I work from home.  I still take Little OL into school, but she has started requesting “her movies”  She means her CD.

Laughing at:  Little OL – I love how her language is developing and how she describes things and the stories she tells. She is like her father though, and does not talk that much, so when she does its really cute.

Little OL

Swooning over:  Succulent gardens….. I can’t even believe that I am writing that!


Planning:  On hiring a new nanny, although now we are looking for less of a nanny and more of a cleaner.  Possibly only 2 days a week although I don’t know what we will do when I travel to the various expo’s.  My mom normally comes with me but we might have to hire somebody to work the expo and have my mom stay and look after Little OL.  I hate having to interview people!

Eating lots of:  Lindt 70% Chocolate……..  LOTS!!

Excellence 70%

Feeling:  Excited, happy, nervous, proud, betrayed, stupid and cross all at once.  The excited, happy, nervous and proud part are life in general. The betrayed, stupid and cross part is just last week – nothing serious and I will get over it in the next week or so.

Discovering:  That I love Ultra-Running, but I am not good at training.  I need to get my butt back into gear and hit the roads again.  Please don’t tell anybody, but I think I want to run Comrades Marathon next year.  I just need to figure out a way to have a stand at the expo and run the marathon and have somebody at home to watch Little OL.  Unfortunately with Mr OL’s job it is not possible for him to take the time off to watch here and as he works 40km outside Port Elizabeth, in Uitenhage, he is not able to get back in time to fetch her from school.  Thankfully I have a year to figure all of this out.

Looking at:  Granny square blankets on Pinterest…. How hard can it be???

Wearing:  Boots, it is just about the only thing I love about winter.  That and I totally love the winter sun. Especially when it is cold outside and you find a patch of sun somewhere – I am like a cat…..

Cooking:  Tonight I made an awesome Butternut and Carrot soup – I surprised myself – especially as I just used left overs…. We had a roast meal on Sunday and had left over butternut and carrots.  I put it back in the oven and roasted/caramelised it a bit more tonight.  I then put it in a pot with some cream, milk, veggie stock and a little cayenne pepper.  I boiled it for a little bit and then pureed it.  Oh my word!  The roasting made it taste great.  I really hope it is a soup I can recreate.

 Wondering:  How I can convince Mr OL that his clothes really don’t need ironing….  I would put off hiring anybody at the moment if it were not for the fact that Mr OL wants ironed clothes.  He is fussy like that 🙂

Trying out:  Various recipes from the Tim Noakes Real Food Revolution and Low Carb Living for Families.  Who knew you could do so much with cauliflower….

That’s about it from me for now.  What are you up too?

Thanks Julia, Mrs FF, Lynette and Robyn for the inspiration


Posted in Baby OL, Children, Chocolate, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Shaken and stirred!

I am sure that there will be many times while Little OL is growing up that my confidence will take a knock and that I will feel like “a bad mother”. This however is the first one, well first major one that has lasted more than past her next smile, cuddle and kiss.

I know that in the bigger scheme of things it is nothing serious. We found out that she was anaemic early, there is no long term damage and it can be “fixed”.  However it has shaken me.  I have always been pretty good with her diet and although I know that this is not entirely dietary related because of the worms it does come down to a lack of nutrients.

I have always been very strict with sugars and processed foods. She did not have commercially bought cereals when she was a baby and even at her first birthday party did not have any sweets (or even any of her cake).  Until she was about two she had never had sweets, chocolate or juices (fruit juice or sodas).  Her snacks were all healthy and her food all homemade (or from Wollies which I figured is the same thing…. J)  I did however realise that she drank quite a bit of milk, but figured it was good for her.

Now I am beginning to question everything.  It sucks!  I am taking another hard look at her diet.  I am cutting down on her milk intake as well as her carbs.  I need to find a way to get her to start enjoying her greens again and eating her veggies.  At school they  say she eats them no problem, so it is just at home.

I need however to get more organised as I need to have a meal ready just to warm up when we get home at 5. Little OL is starving then but if I wait then she won’t eat.  I have been using my slow cooker lately and just putting it on when I leave for work in the mornings so that it is ready when I get home but need to look at other ideas as well.  Maybe putting some of the meal I (or Mr OL) cooks the night before in the fridge for her or something like that.  I have been looking at various meal plans and ideas online (any excuse to search Pinterest…..), but just need to find one that works for us.  The reason I have not done this previously was that Mr OL did all our cooking (he adds too much spices, chilli and salt for Little OL). The nanny or I prepared all Little OL’s food and the nanny would then feed her before I got home from work.  Easy!  Now I am nanny less and Little OL is in school full day.  It has really thrown a spanner in the works.  I know if I prepare a full meal plan I will end up being the one to do all the cooking.  I don’t want to take that on as well.

Do you have a system that works for you?  Do you work from a meal plan or just throw something on when you get home?  Ideas please…..

Posted in Baby OL, Baking, Chocolate, Cookies, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Cookies, cookies and more cookies

You would have thought that by getting unlimited wifi at home my blogging might have increased.  As you can probably tell, that did not happen.  I have realised that I don’t do internet at home.  When I am at home and Little OL is awake then I will spend the time playing with her.  If she is asleep then I like to do something a bit more creative.

My latest obsession – cookies!  I am going to blame Hayley for this.  After she posted her delicious condensed milk stamped cookies I realised I needed to try them out. And then I realised that I also needed one of those stamps.

Cookie Stamp

So, in the past couple of weeks I have made Hayley’s condensed milk cookies, a short bread biscuit (stamped), a white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie and a chopped nut and choc chip cookie.

Chopped nuts and choc chip cookies

I have also put back most of the weight that I lost!

Little OL has also discovered the joys of licking the spatula!  Hmmm cookie dough.

Finger Licking Good

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Chocolate, Crafts, Family, Food, Ordinarylife

Advent Calendar

This year I decided to do an advent calendar for Little OL.  I am not sure if she will understand it or not, but worth a shot.  After scouring every corner of the internet (pintrest) I saw the idea of using wage packets on Harassed Mom’s site – what a brilliant idea. In fact I pretty much “stole” her whole idea.  I used the same printables as she did for Cameron’s packets – which can be found HERE.

My main problem was what to fill them with.  After our chocolate fiasco that was a definite NO NO.  In the end I have put in little packets of biltong, dried fruit, raisins or biscuits.  This is pretty much what Little OL would have for a snack in the morning anyway, but now she just has more fun getting it.

Advent Calendar
1st December
Posted in Baby OL, Children, Chocolate, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife

Sugar High!

I have been pretty strict about what Little OL eats.  She has never really had chocolate or sweets and even at her first birthday party when I had them in the party packs she was not given them.  Wicked mommy I know.

She had her first cupcake a last weekend and a marshmallow a while back.  Generally she only eats a bit and then wants fruit or raisins anyway.

On Tuesday night I decided to walk with her to the corner shop.  She loves going for a walk and holding my hand and seeing all the dogs and birds and things in the street.  I did not need anything but though I would buy her a Chomp.  We walked there, I bought the chomp and we walked home.  I let her carry the Chomp home, and it broke in two from being slightly manhandled. When we got home I gave her the smaller of the two pieces.  I figured a little bit would not harm her – she is 21 months now.

OH MY GOOD GLORY!!!!  That was at about 5:30pm.  At 7 pm (standard bed time) I tried to get her to go to bed – it was going well, until she suddenly started bouncing – literally – on her bed.  Saying “ump, ump mummy, ump, ump”.  Translation – Jump, Jump!  Normally she will moan a bit and then go down – or hand us her bottle say “ni, ni” wave and that is it.  Not that night.  She said Ni,ni. And then again and again.  She would get up and run around her room, climb in her cupboard and laugh.  If I went back in the room she would run and cuddle me and kiss.  Mr OL came home and asked if she had had sugar or something?  Uhhhh, oops.  Yes.  We eventually got her down at about 8:30!

At 1am she woke up again and repeated the above.  She was laughing and wanting to play. She was kissing and cuddling and being generally very cute.  But it was so not appreciated.  1 am is BED TIME.  This carried on till after 4am.  Yes, for 3 hours she was trying to bounce on her bed and on me.  All she wanted to do was “ump, ump”.  At 4 I sms’d my sister and told her I was not going to be able to meet her for a cycle and went and got a Little OL a bottle of milk.  That worked (for a while) and she went to sleep.  Waking again at 6:30 – with a very interesting hair style.

Bad Hair Day!

All I can say is that she is NEVER EVER having chocolate or sweets again – EVER!  She only crashed at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon – 20hours after having the chocolate. 

Breakfast on the counter waiting!

When I plan on going cycling at 4am I pack and prepare everything the night before.  This day it did not get used!

Lord help me when she starts Day Care next year – at the moment I have total control

Posted in Chocolate, Ordinarylife, Running

Step away from the chocolate!!!

Normally when I am anxious or nervous or generally worried about something I lose weight so what the hell is wrong with me at the moment.  I am eating like a horse! 

I have that nervous, anxious feeling in my stomach but instead of feeling nauseous at the sight of food or going for a long run I am trying to get rid of the feeling with chocolate, white bread and basically any other junk that I can lay my hands on!  Not good. 

I need to start exercising again – my knee feels better, so maybe if I go into it slowly this time things would be good. 

This weekend – definitely!!!!

Posted in Baby OL, Chocolate, Family, Ordinarylife, Running, Training, Training

Feeling Blah!

I am having one of those days when I am just feeling BLAH!  There is no other word for it.

Not happy, not sad, just BLAH!

I think it is because my ITB’s are sore – and yes both knees.  I guess I have been doing too much too soon.  Typical, I don’t do anything in 1/2 measures.  On Sunday I ran 20 km, then 10km on Monday and 9km on Tuesday.  Today I rested.  Jumping up to those distances from basically nothing probably was not the best idea.

So, it has been the foam roller and I are now good friends.  I am determined to get this right, but I might have to postpone my goal of running a marathon in December. There in another one in PE in January so I suppose that is not too bad.

Other than that, well not really sure…  I want to eat – lots, mostly chocolate!  But then don’t want to because of that dratted mirror at my mom’s house (and the scale in mine that says I have gained 3 kg’s in the past 2 months). 

But it is not all doom and gloom.  My little one is an angel and soooo frikken cute!  My mom keeps laughing at me because I was never all that sure that I wanted kids.

Photo Credit

Posted in Chocolate, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Running

Seems to be working

So my “While my husband is on cooking course I get no dinner” Diet seems to be going rather well.  I have lost 1kg since he started the course. 

Just shows how much we actually ate for dinner if I can have a nougat bar each night (yes, my new dinner) and still loose weight.  (Have I mentioned that I am addicted to Wedgewood’s Macadamia nut Nougat)  I am now officially lighter than I was when I fell pregnant.  Unfortunately I can’t say the same about my shape or fitness levels – which to me are much more important.  Although at the time I guess I was ridiculously fit.  Oh to be in that sort of shape again…