rebooting…

Imagine how convenient it would be?! CTRL-ALT-DEL on a ‘not so fabulous’ day, or event, or husband (did I just say that aloud…. sorry Wilbur – it’s that 5% of the time only…). 

As we speak, my fifth child (if I don’t count Frank the thermomix and Harry the camera, oh – and Betty the Kitchen AID) – Douglas – my 2010 iMac, is rebooting.  He up and got himself a new hard drive today. Wiped clean of the old shemozzle, and in went a new one. So easy.

Unfortuantely, he is taking his sweet time to reboot (typical male!), 40-odd hours to go – and that was 6 hours ago. He is now sitting somewhere between 16 and 38 hours to go – can’t make his mind up. I am just thankful that he will now operate as specified.

If only rebooting was as simple as replacing a hard drive.  For me – it’s a good few weeks of exercise, sleep and good food. Not having to do the school run also helps.

I just had five weeks to reboot.  you know – get myself ready for another semester of study.  Two semesters to go, then apparently I’ll be an actual nurse – not just a ‘mum-nurse’ – you know – the incredibly efficient band-aid applier, the ‘you’ll be fine, it’s just a scrape’ diagnoser, or even, the ‘have a drink of water – youll feel much better’ therapeutic treater.

It seems that since I am most of the way through my degree, I have all of a suddfen become the unofficial ‘diagnoser’ of the house. 

The other day was a five band-aid day, and that was all before 8am – and only on one child.

Back to my ‘rebooting’ – I am all set for this semester – it’s going to be THE one.  Apparently, the Vice-Chancellor, or Dean or some other spectacularly well-educated person, hands out a ‘very important’ medal to the person with the highest GPA in the graduating class.  Nothing like aiming high – but if you don’t see me for the next twelve months – you know what I am doing. 

Make sure someone reboots me every now and then though – I might need it!

How do you reboot?

today…

Today was one of those days where I wanted to shout out to the world, but wanted to keep it to myself as well!

Confused?

Back to yesterday. Driving to school, a young bloke (driving his girlfriends car), drove into the back of our car. Specifically the big, tough, towball. No damage to our car, but I am tipping his girlfriend will be cross at the damage to her car (no hanky panky for him for a while….). Being my first ever accident, I took all the girls home to have a mental health day. That, and my back and head were sore – and well, I was in tears.  No matter how big or small it was, the girls and I got a jolt, and were out of sorts for the day. 001-mornington-peninsula-photographer

Today – I felt lucky.  Yesterday could have been worse. He could have been driving super fast and pushed us into the oncoming fast traffic. All manner of things ‘could have’ happened – but they didn’t – thankfully.

Today – I went for a run. It was haircut day. I treated myself to a most delicious lunch and a matcha latte (am not convinced that it was tasty, but apparently – ANTIOXIDANTS!). Let’s focus only on the raw snickers bar slice instead.

I sat and gazed at the water. I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the calm, but also wanted it to myself- so serene it was (until the squawky birds visited). Very calming – just what I needed.

Then I picked the girls up.

sigh.

By the way – my previous post TOP THREE FAMILY ACTIVITIES ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA, was selected as a finalist in the Voices of Kidspot PUT YOURSELF ON THE MAP competition. Exciting yes? The 20 finalists will have their top “TEN things to do in their corner of the world” posts added to the Kidspot blog – so keep your eyes peeled!

cook // paleo vegetable curry

Oh how I LOVE food. Maybe a little too much.  Whilst I was studying last semester, I ate.  I ate like a woman possessed. I think I ate too much. Not always the ‘healthy’ stuff.  possibly a whole lot of ‘sometimes’ stuff.  Whoops  I am paying for it now! (#mythighsaretouching #ohthehorror)

Usually, I eat paleo-ish. The -ish bit allows chocolate (and stuff!).paleo vegetable curry

On this particular day, I whipped up a most delicious paleo quinoa (Yes – some people do not ‘do’ quinoa when paleo-ing… – that’s not me!), cauliflower, spinach and coconut milk curry. I posted a photo, and the recipe has been requested – multiple times!

paleo vegetable curry

Here it is.  It is super simple – I use Frank the thermomix. There are Frank-less cooking options as well.  Enjoy!

paleo vegetable curry
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Ingredients
  • enough quinoa - I usually just throw in a couple of handfuls (left overs are yum!)
  • 2 eggs
  • enough cauliflower - ¼-1/2 cauli (not very specific I know, but really - you can add whatever you wish!) - chopped into florets
  • handful of spinach
  • ⅓ eggplant - diced
  • 1 tin coconut cream - I use AYAM
  • curry powder - your choice as to how hot you wish to make it!
Instructions
  1. Steam quinoa in TMX basket (20 mins, varoma, sp 4)
  2. When there is 14 mins left on the timer, place your eggs in the basket, on top of the quinoa - they will 'hard boil' nicely
  3. As the quinoa is steaming, add cauli and eggplant into Varoma dish - place on top of TMX at the 10 minute mark)
  4. Once quinoa and vegetables are cooked - whack them all into a thermoserver (or a large bowl)
  5. Peel your eggs, and chop into quarters - add to quinoa and vegetable mix
  6. Add your spinach leaves to the quinoa mix - stir through - it will wilt 'just right'
  7. No need to wash TMX bowl (WIN WIN!)
  8. Add curry powder and coconut milk to TMX bowl - cook 8 mins, 80'C, Sp2 (can also saute some onions and garlic first, if you wish)
  9. Poor the cooked curry sauce over the quinoa mix, and stir through.
  10. Enjoy!

Note: I sometimes cook sweet potato as well – I put it in the varoma basket at the same time I put my eggs in!
Non-TMX owners:
– Cook quinoa according to packet directions.
– Steam vegetables in a steamer whilst you boil your eggs underneath
– Curry sauce – mix coconut milk and curry powder in saucepan – heat it through – no need to bring to the boil (don’t forget to saute onions/garlic first if you wish!)

Give it a shot – it’s perfect for a quick lunchtime winter meal or even a post-workout meal (if you are that way inclined!)

Let me know if you make it!

top three family activities on the Mornington Peninsula

We are super lucky to live in this part of the world – it’s akin to an endless holiday (when you forget about the endless school runs and lunches….). Gorgeous bay beach on one side, rough, thrilling ocean beach on the other, with beautiful hinterland in the middle – all ripe for exploring. There’s a multitude of activities for all tastes – eating, climbing, sailing, walking, coffee-ing, flying, swimming, horse-ing, surfing…. the list goes on. Today – I am going to share with you, my top three FAMILY oriented activities that can be enjoyed, right here in our backyard, rain, hail or shine!

Never fear for the weather – these are fabulous activities in the winter too!

1. Moonraker Dolphin and Seal Swims.

This is a massive hit for everyone. An outstanding Tourism Australia award winning business, Moonraker offers and experience like no other. Operating from Sorrento Pier, with an office in the hub of Sorrento, Moonraker is AWESOME for a family day out.

Summer weather means snorkelling with the seals AND dolphin, in our very own Port Phillip Bay. An experience not to be missed. All gear (except bathers!), is supplied and fitted correctly, and an in depth demonstration and instructional talk is given. No need to be a super star Olympian swimmer, and children are well catered for – there are ‘noodles’ and various other flotation devices to hang onto – rather than clinging to a parent’s neck (and slowly sinking them in the process!). Nourishment is available on board, plus a complimentary hot drink to warm you up post-swim. The vessel itself is magnificent – hot showers and excellent toilet facilities (we all know that weeing in the wetsuit is a “no-no”!)

Winter means jumping aboard for a sightseeing tour along the coastline, spying on the gorgeous homes of the rich and famous, visiting the seals, and spotting dolphins and humpback whales. A stop across the ‘other side’ at Queenscliff for fish and chips is a treat – for we get to view the guardian to our Bay, the treacherous Port Phillip Heads.

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My girls LOVE doing this – whip on over to the website for pricing details – you won’t be disappointed!

2. The Enchanted Maze

This glorious wonderland is located in the hinterland of the Mornington Peninsula, at Arthurs Seat. Pack the family, a picnic, and plenty of energy – you will need it!

The Enchanted Maze has something for everyone. The gardens and grounds are divine, with spectacular sculptures ‘popping’ up all over the place.

The adventurous are catered for with an ‘tree surfing’ experience (An exhilarating nature-based ropes adventure. Experience the ultimate green room as you climb and surf through the trees. Test your skills on the bridges, walls, nets and an 8m Tarzan swing. )- there are differing experiences for all ages and sizes, and the BIG ZIP! “Reaching high speeds and spanning 2 zip-lines over 270m in length, the Big Zip will take you on an exhilarating ride across the stunning parklands at Enchanted Adventure Garden. Including Victoria’s longest zip-line at 170m, the Big Zip delivers a thrilling zip-line ride at heights of 20m above the gardens and ornamental lake. “ – get on board!

Tube sliding is ‘unreal’ (according to my children), and exhausting – all at once (fabulous for the drive home, when all are asleep!). The mini-mazes and adventure games are top notch, whilst the gardens and hedge mazes are perfect to lose yourself (and your rambunctious family) for a while. There’s a lolly shop (for the extra energy requirements!) and cafe on site.

Have a look at the fun!

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Truly – it’s well worth visiting. A full day can be filled, and mountains of fun can be had! General admission price included mazes & gardens, tube slides, canopy walk and the spooky 3D indoor maze. The BIG ZIP and tree surfing are add-on activities. Gift passes are available, and there is an annual membership also available – well worth it. Visit the website for pricing details.

3. Junior Rangers

This is another favourite of our family. Anything that is cost-effective (i.e. – FREE!), outdoors and educational, gets a big tick from us.

“The Junior Ranger program encourages kids to explore Victoria’s amazing parks with a real park ranger. Junior Rangers can take part in cool activities like rock pool rambles, historic tours and spotlight night walks.” What’s not to love!

We participate in this program each school holiday period – there is always something different on offer. WE have been able to explore Point Nepean National Park, and learn about our local history – including our involvement in WW1, and our quarantine history.

The Junior Ranger Program is run by Parks Victoria, and there are a range of activities operating throughout the State.

The rangers guide us on the activity – they are incredibly knowledgeable, and so so patient – answering ALL. THE. QUESTIONS. Oh the questions. They make learning fun – and memorable.

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After each session, the children receive a certificate and badge- always a winner! There are weather-ready activities each holidays – and did I mention that they cost NOTHING!

Point Nepean is at the ‘end of the road’, through Portsea – you cannot go any further without venturing onto The Rip…. not advisable. There’s plenty of exploring to be had either before or after the Junior Rangers session – explore the underground tunnels, forts and gun placements used in World War 1 (see where the first shot was fired in WW!!), tour the Quarantine Station and cemetery, walk to Cheviot Beach, where Prime minister Harold Holt disappeared. Ride your bike to the tip of the Point, and view The Rip – it’s an awesome sight. Watch the ships move in and out through the mighty Heads over a picnic lunch. For those who do not wish to use their legs as transport, there is a bus that runs down to the Point, stopping at various locations along the way.

The Junior Ranger program is a fabulous way to have fun, explore, and learn about our history – all at once. There’s a program near you – over each of the Victoria school holidays – so check it out!

Of course, there’s a million things to do on the Mornington peninsula – these are but a few of our favourites, but these are the ones that show you ALL sides of our little corner.

Have fun!

WIN // three days in, and they are exhausted…

Oh golly gosh. 

Three days into the school holidays, and this is what I am working with….

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See those cherubs?  They are a picture of exhaustion.

Not two minutes before this seemingly zen-like photograph was taken, there were tears. Apparently someone hit someone on the head and someone else threw a thong at someone. No idea who ‘someone’ actually is….. but we shall go with it.

These two went on a joint sleepover last night – first one for Milla, and Murphy (a seasoned campaigner) has now spent three of the past four nights in houses other than her own!

Even though the day was gorgeous outside, the only thing that could bring calm to the house was a movie.  In the middle of the day.  Don’t judge me.

We have a moderate collection of movies, as we tend to not go to the theatre (four kids equals a lot of popcorn!), so we wait and purchase the DVD version, or we download (when we are not on super limited internet).

We are often on the lookout for a new one, so when our favourite folks at 20th Century Fox contacted me, thinking I might like to share some digital goodness with my readers – I jumped at the chance!

The super cute movie HOME launches on iTunes today (July 1).  To mark the release of this epic DreamWorks Animation extravaganza, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is offering five iTunes access passes to my readers.
 
Yay – perfect for exhausted un-zen-like children.
 
(the iTunes blurb…)
Based on the critically acclaimed book “The True Meaning of Smekday” by Adam Rex. In “Home” an alien race invades Earth and uses it as a hideout from their mortal enemy. When one lowly alien accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a teenage girl. The two become unlikely buddies and embark on a comical globe-trotting adventure to right his wrongs, in which our alien hero learns what it really means to be human.
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Let’s make it fun – you need to work for your prize!

The first five to answer correctly (on this blog post) “which musical superstar plays the character of TIP?”, wins a digital access pass to HOME – the movie. 

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 Go!

If you miss out, never fear –  get your own copy of HOME on Digital HD, download your copy today: http://apple.co/1FPRmVY
 
HOME is available on Blu-ray & DVD, July 8.  Check out my page next week for more giveaways!

My girls are super excited to see this one – we will be watching it for sure!
 
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