7 charm square pack giveaway

School holidays are here and that means sleep ins, lazy mornings, play time at home and a few weeks to relax. It also means getting my house in order and getting rid of the last of the boxes since we moved in.  So while I’m busy with my little people (and my house) I thought I’d do a little giveaway for you. 7, yes 7 different charm square packs which even the beginner sewer or quilter could join together to make one big huge quilt. Or just use them for lots of smaller quilts. Charm squares are just 5 inch squares of fabric and I think this would be such a great project to join them all together for a big patchwork quilt.

Anyone in the world can enter, just leave a comment telling me what you’d make with 7 charm square packs. Entries close this Sunday 28th September. Good luck…………………………….and if you’re on school holidays too then happy holidays.

gluten free choc chip cookies

I still haven’t found my cookbook that came with my Thermomix but I do love the cookie recipe that you can find in there. I’ve made it gluten free and with raw sugar and it tastes just as good. Read the label to make sure your choc chips are gluten free if you’re making them gluten free. If you have regular plain flour at home then just use that. You won’t be disappointed.

mmmmmm choc chips! Anything with choc chips is a winner in this house! And if you’re a bit of a cookie fan I have a couple of other great recipes like choc chip, coconut and raisin or chocolate pretzel cookies or a real favourite are some cinnamon choc chip cookies. Enjoy………………………………..

gluten free choc chip cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 40+
What you'll need
  • 250g butter
  • 180g raw sugar
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 350g gluten free plain flour (I use White Wings)
  • 40g gluten free self raising flour (yep, White Wings again)
  • 200g choc chips (if you are making these gluten free read the label for gluten free)
  1. Place raw sugar into Thermomix bowl and process 10 seconds on speed 9. Add in butter (room temperature) and vanilla and process for 20 seconds on speed 4.
  2. Add in eggs and process 20 seconds speed 4.
  3. Add in flours and process 40 seconds speed 4.
  4. Now add in choc chips and process 1 minute, closed lid setting and the knead (wheat/bread) function which will mix in those choc chips. Or you can empty out the mixture and mix in the choc chips with a spatula. Whatever you like. Your thermomix will make some funny noises but it's all good.
  5. If you don't have a thermomix then use caster sugar and cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add in the eggs and mix well. Add in the flour and stir/mix until combined then tip in the choc chips and mix so that they are throughout your cookie mixture.
  6. Roll into small balls and bake in a 180 degrees oven (190C if not fan forced) for about 10-15 minutes or so.
  7. You want them to be slightly golden but not overcooked. They are a little soft when they come out of the oven and I just leave them to cool on the paper on a cooling rack.
  8. You'll get a few trays of cookies out of this one recipe and the cookies never last more than 1 day. As in everyone eats them.


how to survive those first weeks with a newborn

On Monday our littlest member of the family will be 6 weeks old. Now usually that is when I start to feel a bit more normal and settled. And I kind of do feel that way. And in other ways I am still on the couch feeding for a lot of hours and adjusting to a slower routine. And today I realised that usually at the 6 week mark (with the exception of our last little guy) the baby would have been baptised. I still have the forms here just like the envelope from the hospital to register his birth and all of those fun jobs that I just haven’t gotten around to.

But since this is the 6th newborn that we’ve had I thought I’d put a few tips up that help me get through the crazy days (and nights, oh the nights) of life at home with a newborn.

1. Lower those standards

Babies are all consuming and need you unless they are sleeping. So get ready for the house to stop looking like a show home……mind you if this isn’t your first baby then you stopped that show home stuff long ago. You’re going to spend a lot of time feeding and holding a baby so I’ve been spreading out the jobs that I would usually do in 1 day over a few days. The stairs in our house hadn’t been vacuumed since I got home from the hospital until this week which is unusual for me but just not a priority. So chose your priorities (hot shower when you can get one) and let the housework slide a little.

2. Keep the fridge and pantry well stocked

I am so hungry. Sooooo hungry. I’ve been putting healthy snacks in this week so I can stay away from the tim tams and also because as soon as I’ve finished feeding I am just hanging out for something to eat. I love nut butter on corn thins or rice cakes, almonds, trail mix, fruit, a bit of yoghurt, homemade biccies and whatever I can find. OK today i had pretzels and m&m’s in a bowl together! And if a friend or someone in the family is coming to visit and they say can I do anything for you ask for milk, bread or something to eat as it saves having to go to the shops for one or two things.

3. Get the big kids working

One does the sweeping, one does the dustpan and broom. No tv until the playroom is cleaned. Helping with the dishwasher and so on. You’d be surprised what even your littlest ones can help with even if it’s just packing up a toy box so instead of doing everything yourself make this the time that everyone pitches in to help out.

 4. Get out of the house

yesterday I ducked out to a lunch for a few hours with other mums and it was fabulous. Just to get out of the house and off my couch and have a change of scenery with my little man. Do it. Whether it’s joining a mothers group, playgroup, walk somewhere or a trip to the local shopping centre for a walk around and a coffee just get out and do it. My trick is feed the baby, change the outfit and nappy and go go go. Don’t waste any time just get on the road and go.

5. Always have the nappy bag well stocked and by the front door 

A little something I learnt with the twins was always having a well stocked nappy bag and when I get home I’ll top it up with nappies and wipes, check I’ve got an outfit. It can be a drama herding everyone out of the house let alone just a new baby so having the bag ready to go at the door is one less thing you need to worry about. And it means you won’t be caught out while you’re out without enough nappies or a change of outfit. And boy have I been out and had the mother of all nappies that needs to be changed. This nappy bag is 4 years old and still going strong.

6. Muslin wraps are good for everything

Use it as a burp cloth, cover up if you want to while feeding, drape it over the pram to keep the sun off, change a baby on it, sit on it, lay baby on it as a playmat and just a few weeks ago when baby decides to do a big poo that goes up his back just before you need to go up to communion at mass well just wrap up baby to hide the poo up the back of the jumpsuit and deal with the situation shortly afterwards. So many uses and the bigger the better. The muslin that is.

7. Do a load of washing a day

This is something I already do it but it can get out of the control quickly and we had a bit of a singlet situation recently as I was changing so many outfits and the new nappies I was trying were leaking a little and we had so much rain. Most baby clothes are light coloured so aim for a load a day. Who knows when you’ll get to fold it and put it away but at least baby has lots of fresh outfits and you’re up to date with the baby stuff. I still remember when my aunty and nana came over when I had newborn twins and folded some laundry for me. Oh was there a lot of laundry in those days.

baby clothes out to dry

8. Keep a sense of humour

You’ll need this later on as your kids grow up but definitely keeping a sense of humour even when you’ve had no sleep is really important. On those days when every time I put the baby down and then he starts crying I’ll  think about the funny side of putting a baby down sleeping then he wakes and doing it again and again and again like this mum and it’s kind of funny! It’s so easy to snap at everyone in the house when you’re so tired and feel like you haven’t done a thing all day but trying to keep it light and happy works for me.

9. Keep the vacuum, dishwasher and washing machine going when baby naps

None of our babies have liked peace and quiet so keep the background noise going and let baby sleep to it. I think you can even get white noise on a cd to help babies sleep so there is definitely something in that.

10. Use your sling 

Often the only way I can get anything done is by using the sling. I use either a soft sling like the hug a bub or my ergo around the house and can hang out some washing or bake a cake. If you’ve got a cranky baby on your hands then try the sling at home. And take it everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11. Get some sunshine

Take that morning or afternoon tea break outside in the sun. I just feel so much better when I can grab 10 minutes in the sun. Here we have the birds singing all day and usually the only time I read the local newspaper cover to cover is when I have a baby in the house. So get a bit of sunshine and it gives you a change of scenery and some fresh air without being too far from baby and what needs to be done.

12. Find clothes that fit

I love to get out of my maternity jeans as soon as I can. I have a lot of clothes in my wardrobe that suit the inbetween stage – things like smock tops, loose dresses, elastic skirts, big cardigans – and I just feel better when I’m out of maternity clothes. You can pick up some great stuff on ebay if you don’t want to pay full price or buy jeans in a size or two bigger than your usual size. I’ve bought a pair of jeans and some great loose pants since having my baby and I feel much happier in them than if I was in my maternity jeans. They are 2 sizes bigger than I’d usually wear but I didn’t pay too much for them and they will be great while I get back into shape.

CR t-shirt for $22

13. Ask for help

Whether you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, sad, depressed, struggling or have a lot of emotions or perhaps just need an extra pair of hands tell someone. Whether it’s your hubby, a friend, a mum from school, the class parent, your parents or your child health nurse or doctor. When you have a new baby there are so many changes and you spend so much time along with this new little person. It’s easy for emotions to be all over the place or to feel like you’re a different person or just that you would love a bit of help. So definitely speak to someone even if it’s just to get something off your chest.

14. bath, feed and bed

just like we love a nice hot bath and bed so do little babies. I love to bath baby at 8.30 or 9 and give him a big feed then wrap him up and put him down. you can get a few hours if you’re lucky ( I repeat if you’re lucky because it doesn’t always work) but after a long day and if bub has been up a lot then it can work wonders.

and 15. treat yourself……….

chocolate, your favourite magazine, online shopping, a pedicure (I have been known to take a baby or toddler on my lap if necessary), a wash or blow dry (goodness knows my hair has seen better days), new lipgloss…whatever makes you happy keep it up. We all feel a bit better when we look after ourselves and it’s so important to do when we’re looking after a new little baby.

new birkenstocks for summer

What’s your top tip when you have a newborn?????????

gluten free lemon tart

I almost wanted to call this tart – ‘you won’t believe it’s gluten free lemon tart’. It is so good. So good that I’ve had 3 slices in one afternoon and had to hide it in the fridge so I don’t eat any more. The original recipe comes from the current issue of Home Beautiful which I’ve made gluten free and adapted to the thermomix.

and I was drawn to the recipe because we have loads of lemons and other citrus fruits in our yard. Plus I’m eating anything and everything and was just hanging out for something homemade out of my oven.

If you’re not into gluten free or have regular flour at home just use good old plain flour in the recipe. If you make it gluten free then you’ll want to use a good gluten free flour like White Wings (my favourite) plain flour which is a perfect substitute cup for cup in your favourite recipes. Not sponsored but when we started making gluten free food in our house that was the top tip from my readers and they were right.

I made this all in the thermomix but you can use your food processor, kitchen aid or go old school. Whatever you have. The ingredients are simple but the taste is gorgeous and worth the effort of making your own pastry and the steps involved. The trickiest thing about this tart really is the cooling down and refrigerating. Good luck with that. I didn’t last. I took these pictures after an hour in the fridge.

And this recipe was great to make with a new baby because of all the waiting time – pop the pastry into the freezer, feed the baby, pop the tart into the oven, feed the baby and so on. That and the baby swing which was rocking my little guy in the dining room.


5.0 from 1 reviews
gluten free lemon tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 8
What you'll need
  • 150g (1 cup) gluten free plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 150g butter (cold and cubed)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp ice cold water
  • 4 eggs
  • 140g raw sugar
  • 300ml cream
  • 125g (1/2 cup) lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  1. Place flour, icing sugar and butter into thermomix bowl. Process on speed 3 or 4 for about 40 seconds.
  2. Add in egg yolk and ice cold water (I place some water in a glass in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes) and process speed 4 for 1 minute until the mixture comes together into a ball.
  3. Tip out of bowl onto some glad wrap, roll into a ball then flatten into a disc and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.
  4. You can make your pastry using other equipment by rubbing the butter into the flour and icing sugar until you have breadcrumbs and then add the egg yolk and water until your dough comes together.
  5. Roll out pastry onto a floured surface and flour your rolling pin too. You want to roll it out bigger than your pie dish/tart tin. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin and carefully lay over your greased pie dish/tart tin and gently press into the dish/tin.
  6. I like to crimp my edges and remember your pastry will shrink so try to have the edges finish right at the top of the dish/tin.
  7. Pop into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
  8. Using some baking paper and rice or beans blind bake your tart shell in a 190 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. Remove paper and beans and bake for another 10-15 minutes in a 180 degree oven. Leave to cool
  9. Make the filling by processing the raw sugar for 10 seconds on speed 9 (this turns the sugar into caster sugar). Add in the eggs, cream and strained lemon juice and process for about 30 seconds on speed 4.
  10. Alternatively if you don't have a thermomix then use caster sugar and whisk all ingredients together.
  11. Carefully pour your lemon filling into your tart shell and bake for 30-40 minutes in a 180 degree oven. If your pastry starts to overcook then drop temperature to 170.
  12. Your tart is done when the filling is almost set, you want a bit of wobble and it will be the centre of the tart.
  13. Remove and cool on a cooling rack leaving the tart in the dish/tin. once cooled slice and eat or refrigerate for at least an hour or two.
  14. If you're going to make this ahead of time then you'll want to leave it out for a little while before you slice it as the bottom of the pastry can stick to the dish/tin once it's really cold. A little tip would be to remove and place the tart on baking paper once its cooled or bake the tart on baking paper.
  15. I used a pie dish because I just love using them compared to a tart tin but you want to use a dish/tin about 23cms in diameter.
  16. Dust with some extra sugar when you serve and cut with a clean sharp knife for each slice.
  17. Enjoy.


one month

It’s hard to believe our little guy is a month old already. He’s still keeping me up all hours and my TV watching is off the chart. I often fall asleep feeding then wake up to an informercial or Good Morning America at some crazy hour. Sometimes it will be 5am and I think oh well better have a coffee and start the day. And just when I think I am so tired he gives me a big smile which makes everything perfect.  I’m adjusting to the new amount of washing and we’ve  had sausages in bread for dinner a few more times than usual  but no one is complaining about that and pasta in the thermomix makes life really easy for me too.

And it’s funny taking him out as a lot of people ask if he is a good baby.  Of course he’s good! All babies are good. Imagine if I said ohhh he’s bad! But he is very good. We’ve braved mass all together as a family and swimming lessons and I’m back doing the school and preschool run again and everything is just starting to fall into place…………..no craft time, mind you but I’ve picked my next pattern and itching to cast on.

And a big thumbs up for the latest release from Bendigo….Athena. It’s lovely and soft with gorgeous colours too.

And that’s about it. I’ve slowly typed this with my left hand while feeding my little guy and am becoming quite the expert at doing anything and everything with one hand while feeding a baby…………..

Lullaby Knits

Some of you have probably worked out that I have a bit of a thing about knitting for babies. And I can never have enough pattern books. And with a new baby in the house there is no better excuse than to have another book to add to the collection.

Lullaby Knits by Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard is probably one of the prettiest knitting books that I’ve purchased. And truth be told, I’ve purchased a few in my time.

The patterns are sized for newborns up to aged 2 and are a mix of 5 ply, 8 ply and aran. I love this. I’m not one for knitting in 4 ply (because it takes too long) so I love the variety and if you love Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino then you will love that it’s the designer’s choice for 5 ply.

These patterns start off with a very simple large cable jumper (you might call it a sweater)

and then move on to fancier cables and lace patterns. This book is perfect for those who want to move on from straight garter or stocking stitch and there are some advanced patterns in the book but I think there is a nice mix for everyone. Probably not for the absolute beginner but once you’re feeling confident then I think this book is for you.

All up this is just a gorgeous book, published last year and a really beautiful knitting book to add to your library at home. I picked up my copy at amazon.

my first trip to Costco

I think I’ve been saying for quite a while (like since the first store opened) that I wanted to visit Costco. I didn’t envisage taking my littlest 3 on my own there but I did. We survived and I’ll be back. Did I take any photos. Oh well the phone was in my ergo to take photos but juggling the big trolley, an almost 4 year old who didn’t want to sit in the trolley or hold my hand or the trolley meant that I took 2 photos.

image source SMH

Before I headed off I asked on my facebook page for a few tips. My readers know everything and are the best people to ask (am I right or am I right?). They said – make a list, know your prices, go on a weekday, take someone with you or leave the kids at home (I failed that one but in my defence my helper had to cancel that morning so I had planned to take an extra pair of hands).

It was a bit of a drive from our house (especially when the directions had me end up on the wrong street and have to find my way back to the store) but easy enough to do on a school day. Parking was easy, I got there at about 10.30 and parked 3 rows back from the lift, a man was finishing with his trolley so I was able to load in the kids and head off to the store. I did my membership at home ($60) and took in my print out which did save a little time but there was still a queue and no one serving us when we first got there. The husband of the lady behind me (who I had started chatting to) got to the desk and told them they needed someone on memberships and that hurried things along. So I probably spent 10 minutes in the queue and getting my card. And then we went in.

First up were cute outfits for toddlers/preschoolers at about $13 each so we got 2 of them for preschool. Some cute busy books like Monsters University, Palace Pets that have toys inside them and are great for our speech therapy and helping at home with speech. $10 each and are very handy for church so we got a few of them.

Then I had no idea where to go, at this point emerson threw all his duplo out of the trolley and a kind staff member came and helped me pick it all up and then I managed to drop it again everywhere. He was very kind and helped me and off we went. Picked up some lollies, some snacks for school and then a few of the food aisles and nappies and wipes. At this point I met up with the lady I’d been chatting to at the membership desk and she came to see how I was going and gave me some tips and products she likes.

Now after a while I couldn’t find the bakery section and my little miss wasn’t keen on walking close by me so we picked up some summer pjs and tshirts and headed to the checkout. The queues had died down so there was only one person in front of me, I had no idea which side to stand on as your trolley goes one side and you go the other but the staff were all very helpful and nice and I said it was my first time! I paid and then we were out of there. Those trolleys are big and take up some room so it did take a bit of time to get out there but we did. Now I didn’t buy a lot of food – missing from this photo were a big bag of ruffles chips, a 1.2kg bag of snakes and a big bag of violet crumbles. You all know where they have gone, except for the snakes which are in the pantry and will last us a long time.

That coconut flour was only $5.99 a bag which was probably best buy of the day and the choc chips were another best buy at $11.89 which will keep us going a while.

We had a hot dog and a lemonade, another kind man walked over and got me some straws, easy to find a table to sit down and then we were in the car and I sat in the front and fed the baby before our long drive home.

Prices – you were right that not everything was cheaper, I almost bought a big box of cherry ripes for someone who loves cherry ripes until I saw that they were $40 for the box. I also saw a huge banana bread but at $19 for the loaf I could easily make a nice fresh one at home for much less. So do pay attention to prices before you chuck it in the trolley. All up I spent $304 but that included 4 t-shirts and 6 sets of clothes/ pjs for the kids that I have put away for Christmas and I thought the Osh Kosh summer pjs were great quality. These sequinned tees were $9.99 each.

And my favourite camera was there too………

So the verdict? I loved it. I think my first trip was more just to check it out, work out what I could buy in the future, confirm that I probably don’t want to take my littlest 3 with me again (surprise surprise) and I also got the idea that it would be great to go before little lawson’s baptism and the next birthday parties. I wouldn’t go for my regular shop but I think for a few big stock ups and for parties then it will be worth my while. I also like the jumbo bags and boxes of products which when you have a big family will be great.

Tips for next time. I’ll take 1 little person with me and try to leave the rest at home. I will make my list and work out where everything is. I kind of walked in and just went left and did about a third of the store so next time I’ll try to see more. I’ll take a few more photos. I’ll make a list. I’ll mentally add up the tally as I go and I’ll empty out my pantry, fridge and freezer before I go so I can stock up.

And that was that. I hope to get back in about a months time and will follow my tips. I also love Costco Mum on Facebook where you can see people’s purchases and what’s in store.

What are your tips? Have you been? Do you go regularly? Do you have a Costco near you? 

We love My Little Pony POP + a giveaway

Brought to you by My Little Pony

After 2 weeks of solid rain I have been pulling out all the stops in the toy and craft department. Different toy tubs, colouring and I’ve even made play dough from scratch. Something I haven’t done since my twins were little. Anything to keep little people entertained while I look after our new little bub. So I was pretty glad to have a present for my girls stashed away in my craft room for yet another rainy day. Well except that the sun came out so we got to play outside for a change.

My Little Pony POP is new and so much fun as you just don’t open the box and play with your pony. Instead you create and decorate your own My Little Pony by popping it out, putting it together and decorating.

You don’t need any tools or glue to put the ponies together and there are very clear instructions that my big girl followed. And she liked being able to do it herself, nothing like getting a toy and having to wait for a grown up to put it all together. This is very child friendly with an age guide of 4-8 but trust me I can see the older girls wanting to make these cute little ponies too.

All of the girls thought this was lots of fun and even helped our littlest miss create her own too. And this really kept the girls busy………..so much so that we started outside with our morning tea and ended up having lunch outside still decorating and playing with the ponies and trying different hairstyles and tails.

And anything goes with hair going on as tails, different wings to add and loads of stickers. And who doesn’t like stickers.

If you love a bit if craft or you know a little person who does then you’ll love My Little Pony POP. I also think this will make a great present and with a small pack starting at $6.99 there is something for everyone. So keep your eyes out for it at the shops. And My Little Pony fans will be happy as all of their favourites can be found in the POP range – Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity.

And I have a set just like we received here to give to one lucky reader…..that’s a My Little Pony Multi Character Pack and a My Little Pony POP Sweet Shoppe playset (total value $65). And take it from me that you will be very popular with the little ones if you win this.

To enter simply tell me or share a photo of you or your little ones getting crafty and creative or perhaps it’s a photo of a special My Little Pony fan.

You can upload your photo into the comments or share it with the hashtag #mlppopretromummy (share it on Instagram or Facebook) or if you want to go old school you can email me (retromummy@hotmail.com) and we’ll share them here for you.

{I will choose my favourite entry when the competition closes on the 12th September. One entry per person, the giveaway is open to Australian residents only and full terms of my giveaways can be found here.}

just starting to feel normal again

Flicking through my instagram photos I can see that lots has been going on and life looks like it’s back to normal. And it is and it isn’t. We are trying to do all of our normal activities but my reality is lots of time on the couch feeding my little guy or having him fall asleep on me. And who wants to move when you have a snug little bub on you fast asleep. I don’t.

But today I got out of my maternity jeans and pants, put on a dress and some leggings and actually felt a bit more normal. So I’m thinking I might need to go through the wardrobe and see what other dresses I can get into and just make the break with the maternity jeans and stretchy pants to feel a bit more normal more of the time.

And two weeks of solid rain has not helped when everyone is cooped up inside so on Sunday the sun was out and so was the washing………..well not a lot of washing as our septic system was playing up  (as in it caused a blackout for a few hours on friday night!) so I did the essentials and had to let it all pile up until we got it fixed.

There was a teeny tiny amount of knitting on the weekend as I try to get this little cardy finished. It’s the raglan sleeved cardigan from debbie bliss baby knits for beginners and is a real favourite of mine. The wool is Bendigo’s Colonial and the blue is just fabulous. It’s going to be super cute whenever I get around to doing the buttonbands. Sometimes you can’t beat traditional patterns like this one. It’s knit in several pieces and there are ends to weave in but it just looks so smart and is always satisfying when it’s finished. Whenever that will be. And if you’re a Bendigo fan did you see that they’ve just released a new yarn called Athena yesterday. Looks lovely.

And there has even been some baking as the twins needed some cupcakes for school. I used my trusty thermomix recipe here and my cream cheese frosting and had wanted to do the tiny teddies in jelly rings which makes them look like they are in floaty rings for swimming but could we find any at the shops. No. So it was just plain tiny teddies on top and the recipe does 24 cupcakes so we had some delicious snacks at home for all of 1 day before they were all demolished.

And I have to share this super cute outfit that I picked up for my big girl recently from Target. She went through a stage of not wearing dresses which made it hard to dress for church in summer but I think we’ve turned a corner. She loves this dress and jacket and $55 for the two was a bit of a win. I have this crazy idea that I’ll make them some dresses and skirts for summer but we’ll see how we go. The fabric, patterns and machine are there ready and waiting for me. And if you think that’s crazy then wait till I tell you about the new yarn I ordered to make all my girls a little summer cardigan or bolero to wear with their dresses and skirts. Oh yes. I’m already thinking about what it will be like to get right back into my craft.

And that’s been a few things going on around here……..just 3 more weeks to the 6 week mark when I officially feel normal.

nearly 3 weeks

Well our little guy is nearly 3 weeks old and the time is flying by. And it’s funny how many things I forgot that little teeny tiny babies do. Like big pooplosions that require a change of outfit and bedding. Yesterday I had to wash the bassinet mattress too.

big stretches and a little smelly going off at the same time, little vomits on your shoulder that drop onto the floor as you walk off and you then discover later when you walk back, how you become an expert at doing everything one handed….I can even kick the dishwasher closed using my foot after packing it one handed. The arms up above the head and the ability to get those arms out of being swaddled. And just when you think you’ve gotten them off to sleep and you think phew, we did it and you walk off and start to do something and you hear the crying. Yep that. Oh and going back to having a nappy bag that needs to be fully stocked even if you are just ducking up to the shops for a quick trip. Yep that too.

It really is funny the things I’ve forgotten but for all of the logistical stuff that is required when you have a new baby there is just that absolute love that you have for the newest member of the family. Every time we have a baby it feels like they have just always been here with us. We fall into our regular routine and we can’t remember a time when our latest addition wasn’t with us. That’s probably why we are always growing our family. We love bringing a new baby into our family, everyone gets along with everyone (99% of the time) and we get though the newborn days because we know it gets easier.

lunchbox cookies (gluten + dairy free)

I wasn’t really in the mood for baking while pregnant but seem to be making up for lost time now that little lawson is here. And so I spend quite a bit of money on gluten free dairy free cookies for preschool lunchboxes at the start of the week and decided that it was definitely time to make my own recipe and do cookies for preschool. And so here I have for you……………..lunchbox cookies.

These aren’t melt in your mouth buttery cookies but were gobbled up by everyone and you’ll get 3 trays of cookies from one batch of dough which I think is fabulous as nothing ever lasts in this house. Now you won’t need anything fancy to make these and can find all of these ingredients at your local supermarket.

And you can add whatever you like to the dough or keep it as is. I did a tray plain and then added some choc chips for the rest of the kids. And please read the labels if you are making for gluten free/dairy free diets. I have tried the Sweet William choc chips which you can find at the supermarket and they are gluten and dairy free and would be great in these cookies.

Now I like to freeze some of my dough and it’s so easy to do. Just place some of your dough in the centre of a sheet of baking paper and twist both ends in opposite directions and in no time you’ll have a sausage of cookie dough all ready to pop in your freezer. I like to slice it while frozen and bake for perfectly round cookies.

4.5 from 2 reviews
lunchbox cookies (gluten + dairy free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 36
What you'll need
  • 125g dairy free margarine
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • ½ rind of an orange or lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 350g gluten free plain flour
  • 1 cup sultanas or gluten free/dairy free choc chips
  1. Slice off rind in strips from ½ an orange or lemon. Place in thermomix bowl with sugar and process 10 seconds speed 9.
  2. Add in margarine, eggs, maple syrup and process 10 seconds speed 4.
  3. Add in flour in 2 batches and process 20 seconds speed 4 each time with a scrape down of the sides in between.
  4. Add in sultanas or choc chips and process 15-20 seconds on closed lid setting and knead function.
  5. Roll dough into small balls and place on a lined baking/cookie tray, Press down on each cookie with a fork and bake for about 20 minutes in a 180C oven until cookies are lightly brown on top. Leave to cool a few minutes on the cookie tray then place on a cooling rack.
  6. These won't last long.
  7. If you don't have a thermomix then grate your rind and add to sugar, cream the sugar and margarine then add in the eggs and syrup and mix well before adding in the flour. Make sure the flour is mixed through evenly and then you can add sultanas or choc chips or whatever you like and bake at the above temperature.




here’s one I made earlier

I have just finished putting the buttons on this little cardigan and am loving it.

But then I love this pattern. Ravelry tells me that this is my 5th one I’ve made.  It’s the Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss which you can find for free online here. It’s knit all in one piece from the back to the front and then you pick up the stitches for the ribbed collar and you are done.

I used Bendigo Luxury 10ply in cream on 5mm circular needles and I just used the one 200g ball which was handy.

Ravelry details are here.

It was a bit of a craft run this morning with the school drop off. Keira had a secret project that I did for a friend at school and will share later on and tillie took this cardigan in to give to her little friend for his little brother, baby Albert. Now that they are both finished it means I can start something new and I’m thinking some knitting for my girls in cotton or spring cotton might be just the thing.

lemon + blueberry cake (gluten free)

I bet you weren’t expecting a recipe any time soon. I wasn’t expecting to share any but feeding my little guy makes me hungry and there are only so many muesli bars, bananas and biscuits I can eat. So a cake, hot out of the oven  on a saturday afternoon is just what I needed. And it was so good that I had to share the recipe………………….here it is after a bite. And this wasn’t the only piece that I had.

The trick to baking a cake with gluten free flour is finding the right flour and leaving your cake to cool before you slice it. Thanks to my readers I started using White Wings gluten free flours which are perfect. Closely followed by the macro gluten free flours from Woolies.

This cake is light and moist and still tasted great the next day after church.

5.0 from 1 reviews
lemon + blueberry cake (gluten free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
What you'll need
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • 125g butter or margerine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup shredded or dessicated coconut
  • 1½ cups self raising gluten free flour
  • 1 cup blueberries
  1. Place sugar and lemon rind in thermomix and process for 10 seconds on speed 9.
  2. Add in butter, eggs, juice, milk and flour and mix for 20 seconds, speed 4. Scrape down once in between.
  3. Pour into a lined cake tin and top with the blueberries - don't press them in just sprinkle evenly on top.
  4. Bake in a 180 C oven for about 35 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
  5. Set aside. I leave it cool 10 minutes in the tin then lift out and cool on a cooling rack. When cool sprinkle some icing sugar on top and enjoy.



miss kate giveaway time

After heading out yesterday to the dentist (I needed a filling after part of a wisdom tooth fell out while in hospital – don’t you love the timing!!!!) we are having a home day. And the washer and dryer are running overtime as I get used to doing laundry for 8 after a few days of heavy rain. Little lawson is keeping me up all night so the bags under my eyes are pretty big but once I’ve given him a big morning feed I manage to put him down for an hour or two, have a big coffee, eat and get a few things done. And here I am at the computer just before 9.30am getting a few things done. Giveaway time! I’ve uploaded the lovely Miss Kate fabrics into my little shop here and thought I’d do a little giveaway ……..

Now you might not know this but the last 2 fabric giveaways I did were won by some lovely ladies over in New Zealand…………….so let’s see where in the world this winner lives. I’m giving away a jelly roll and charm square pack of Miss Kate by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. And you can make one of my favourite quilts with this combo (if you add a bit of white fabric) which has a charm square at the centre and surrounded by strips from the jelly roll. It is just gorgeous and you’ll find a few patterns on the net for it. Or you could make whatever you like……………………..this combo gives you a few possibilities.

on keira's bed

So to enter just tell me where in the world you would like to live and why!!!!!!!! You can live anywhere in the world to enter and just one entry per person and we’ll select someone next Thursday 28th August. Good luck……………………….

a birth story

I love hearing about other people’s birth stories but don’t think I’ve actually shared one before. But everything went so smoothly this time around and was probably the most relaxed I was (maybe because I’ve had some practice at this) so I thought I’d share. And it all starts with the photo in the gown before I get wheeled down to theatre. I love having the before shot.

But really all the excitement starts the night before when you try to get ready, make sure everything is done and try to get some sleep. Like you can sleep knowing you are going to have a baby early the next morning. In the end I got 2 hours sleep in emerson’s bed and was straight up again at 3.30 to get dressed, sweep the floors and head out the door super early at 4am. We arrived at the hospital, up to the ward like we’ve done all the times before, quick shower, they give you a little shave before theatre and then you can relax until they come to wheel you down. The hospital had made a few changes to things so that the dads can stay with their partners and this included getting a one size fits all onesie instead of having the usual blue scrubs. You might not know this but I’m 5ft and married a 6ft 3 big guy. We’ll always joke about the time he had to get into the OSFA onesie and couldn’t sit in it. Yep, it was just a bit too short for him. Anyway the advantage is that he stays with you for almost the whole time so it’s a good thing………..they might just need to get some XLs in for the tall guys. And no he didn’t want a photo in it.

Retro daddy was dozing off in the corner until 6.15 when I ‘suggested’ he make a cup of tea and wake up a little. Quick practice on how to use the camera and then we met the anaesthetist. Now from my first OB appointment my biggest concern this time around was getting the spinal or epidural in the right spot. The last 2 times they have had a good go in my back 4 or more times trying to get it in. I met the lovely anaesthetist and for the first time I had a lovely lady. She suggested we go with a spinal rather than the spinal/epidural I’ve had the last few times. They had tried to get my records but they were over in another building so she would try to get the right spot and do a spinal. If there were complications or the surgery went for longer then they’d put me to sleep. I said I didn’t want to sleep through the birth and she reassured me that it would only happen after I’d met the baby and he was taken off. OK then I can do this. So then we were wheeled down.

They put the local in my back and then the spinal, and she got it right the first time. Woohoo. I knew that meant I wouldn’t have the back soreness that I’d had the last two times. I was wheeled into the theatre and the bright lights gave me a little panic so another quick prayer for a safe delivery and everyone was getting ready and introducing themselves to me. At this time I started to feel a heaviness in my chest and a bit short of breath. They fixed me up with a bit of oxygen and then I just knew I was going to throw up. I told them I was going to be sick and then the uncontrollable throw up started. I had to tip my head to one side as I couldn’t sit up or move and I kept apologising after each time. They’d say please don’t apologise then I’d throw up and say how sorry I was. after about 5 quick throw ups I felt great. No chest pain, my blood pressure adjusted and I actually felt really great and let everyone know that.

Retro daddy came back in and I said did you see all of that? no he’d been waiting outside the door until they were ready. And he sat down and they began and about 5 minutes later I heard my baby cry. It was magic. It always is. The tears come to your eyes and you get to see your little baby for the first time and I always kind of lose my breath in the excitement of seeing this beautiful baby. It really is a miracle how babies are created and come into the world and to have a 6th baby is just a dream for our family. And for the first time they actually passed the baby over to me so I could touch and kiss him before they cleaned him up. It was so special.

they took him away and the cord was cut and he was cleaned up.

And then he was brought over to me and I got the longest cuddles I’ve ever had in the theatre. It was perfect. He looked exactly like tillie and emerson did when they came out and was just perfect. No matter how straight forward your pregnancies are there is always that worry that something might go wrong or they might have some breathing or heart problems (and we’ve been there before and it’s terrifying) but he was absolutely perfect. I kept thinking they are about to take him back but they didn’t, I passed our little baby back to daddy and after a little while longer they went off to the nursery and I went to recovery.

Recovery was 45 minutes and I was very alert and everything was fine. My uterus was the size of a netball and still quite big but since it’s the 5th time I’ve done this I knew what to expect. I was feeling great and just so happy that everything had gone so smoothly. I was the first in theatre for the day and the first in recovery which was kind of nice. I’m used to being in there with people coming out from knee reconstructions or older people so it was nice having the room to myself. I told the anaesthetist how happy I was that it went so smoothly and I’m so happy she got it first time and that I was glad she was on for the day. Before I’d left recovery, one of the staff in the room asked if I had a tv (oh I haven’t heard that one before!).  Everything was great so by 9am I was back in the room with our new baby.

The rest of the day I was a bit sleepy and then my blood pressure got really low so I was back on the oxygen and a little something for my nausea but apart from that recovered really quickly. The rest of the family came in to visit just after lunch. The girls were absolutely smitten with their new baby brother, the boys were excited to meet him and then were ok to do other things and leave it up to the girls to be near their new little brother. I had great intentions to get a photo of all us together in the room but it just didn’t happen. Bringing in 5 little ones to the hospital was a big job so sometimes I’d just have 2 or 3 of them in there with me during the week.

And that was Lawson’s first day in the world. We are trying to get back into routine at home, lots of feeding and I’m determined to breastfeed past the usual 6 or 8 weeks that I last. Things are a bit quieter on the home front with 3 at school and 1 at preschool so I’ll just be laying low and focusing on feeding my little guy and being at home with family. So far so good. Late night feeding did reveal that we have a mouse in the house so we’ve set up some sonic repellents (thanks to a reader for the tip) and a mouse trap and hope that we can get him soon. I like to watch tv at night/early morning while I feed but I don’t like to share the lounge room with little furry creatures scuttling across the floor.