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Showing posts from April, 2014

A wedding and a family photo

Just a lovely family photo we managed to capture at a wedding we were at over the weekend. This was the best shot we had of both kids looking a the camera (although we had a mini photo-bomber in the background).We don’t have many family photos of all of us in the frame altogether at the same time. The last family photo we took was over five months ago.Most of the time the photos we snap are of the kids, or with just one of us in the frame. I’m usually the one behind the camera 99% of the time. Not because I’m particularly camera shy, but I’m generally quicker at pulling out the lens to capture a moment before it disappears. Classic blogger attribute I suppose.Here are some other lovely snapshots from the wedding we attended… the couple had pretty vintage theme for their wedding with flowers in mason jars and bottles, wooden, crates, doilies and various old style bits and pieces.My parents happened to be in town visiting and were happy to babysit, so we were able to head out to the rec…

Mummy the Lumberjack

For the longest time, we have let our rosemary bush in our backyard grow out of control.We had planted it in quite a prime spot in the garden because I thought it would be nice to have easy access to fresh rosemary whenever I needed it for recipes and cooking. And we were told that rosemary would a terrific herb to plant as they are very hardy and easy to grow.Little did we know the monster it would grow into.Like the fabled enormous turnip, this rosemary bush just grew and grew and grew!The biggest problem was that it became somewhat of a hazard and kept growing across the walkway leading to the backyard and play area. Quite dangerous for little children, actually.I decided that it was finally time to destroy this monster.It was a pretty scary looking thing actually. The top of the bush stood even higher than our fence, and it had creepy octopus like tentacle-like branches extending out everywhere.I got out our pair of garden shears (it was all we had) and started hacking away at the…

Creepy crawly things

I generally consider myself to be a fairly strong and stoic person when it comes to yucky stuff. I have quite a high tolerance level when it comes to the poop factor, and I hardly blink an eye when dealing with my children’s vomit, blood and other bodily fluids.But when it comes to bugs and insects, I turn into a whole other creature.Whenever I encounter a spider or cricket or any type of creepy crawly, I am reduced to a quivering damsel in distress. And my hubby will have to swoop in as my knight in shining armour to remove the offending creature.But I have this uncanny ability of surprising myself.This week, while I was plucking some oregano from the garden, I stumbled across this horrifying creature…A wriggly, wiggly little caterpillarMy first instinct was to run away screaming at the top of my lungs. But then my family day care educator mode suddenly took over. I immediately saw a learning opportunity right before me. So I carefully picked up the caterpillar with a spoon and trans…

Growing up too quickly

You know the saying about parenting a first child versus a second or third child? Well, I’m now really experiencing the difference first hand….It wasn’t a conscious decision really. In fact, I had set out determined to treat each child equally and offer the same level of serious attentiveness to baby #2 as I did with baby #1.But I eventually I had to accept reality. Parenting a second child is just totally different from the first time round.For one thing, I’ve learnt to let things go a lot more and just go with the flow. No book or article can ever factor in every single situation when you now have more than one child to look after. Secondly, I realised that baby #2 has an older sibling she wants to copy and follow. So often she will naturally want to try to do things that are seemingly ‘advanced’ for her age. Thirdly, I’ve learnt that babies are not just helpless creatures that need constant protection and hovering over. They are also just children growing and exploring the same as an…

A birthday party for our cuddly friends

Nathan has recently been completely obsessed with birthdays. Since celebrating his third birthday (pirate style) last Christmas, it’s now become one of his favourite topics.We’ve also attended a couple of birthday parties earlier this year (both major show-stopping events) which simply added to the whole appeal and grandeur of the entire affair.Almost every night, when tucking him into bed, he’s been asking who’s birthday is coming up next… His? Daddy’s? Mummy’s? His friend Sophie’s? And he goes on and on about it like a broken record.So on a whim one evening, I suggested maybe it might be his favourite stuffed toy Quack-Quack’s birthday next. His eyes immediately lit up and he latched on to the idea on the spot. He told me all about what Quack-Quack wanted on his birthday… cake and lollipops and chocolate and sweets (you get the idea). He then went on to tell me that his second and third favourite stuffed toys’ (Bao-Bao the hamster and Hoot the owl) birthdays were coming up too.So we…

One of those women we love to hate?

With the whole myriad of things I’ve been taking on…. having kids, cloth nappies, cooking, sewing, blogging, running a family day care… it’s crazy how I’m still managing to juggle it all and keep all the balls going. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve now become one of those women we love to hate. But the truth is, behind that seemingly pristine looking front, is a huge mess of dropped balls all over the place.Family meal at the kids table Mango session for breakfast #mangoes #breakfast #brekky #saturdaymorningA post shared by Serenely (@livingserenely) on Mar 28, 2014 at 7:04pm PDT So here is an honest reveal of the reality behind my shiny looking blog…I now make my family live straight out laundry baskets to save time on folding clothes. I blame this inspiring article. As long as no one is noticing mentioning the wrinkles, I think we’re good.Our dining table is now gathering dust because we’ve started eating together at the kids table in the kitchen to save time on cleaning up. I figured it …

The easiest four-ingredient cookies

I recently discovered this great recipe for the easiest cookies using just four basic ingredients. It was so deliciously simple that I simply have to share it with you.When I first read the recipe, the amount of sugar seemed excessive when combined with the sweetened condensed milk. But actually the sweetness turned out to be okay. Don’t forget that you are combining it with five cups of flour to make a massive batch of cookie dough. Though I think you should be able to reduce the amount of sugar slightly depending on the types of additions you plan to mix in.This mega batch of cookies lasted us for over a month, I actually kept the dough in the fridge and baked the cookies in three separate batches as I didn’t have time to bake everything in one go. Whenever I wanted to bake a batch, I just took the dough out of the fridge 15 minutes earlier to let it soften a bit before working with it.Easy Four-Ingredient Cookie RecipeIngredients
395g Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
500g Margarine or Bu…

My two little daily reminders

When I was pregnant with Grace, people kept giving me dire warnings about the many issues I would encounter dealing with sibling rivalry, fights and tantrums. I admit that I got pretty stressed out about the whole thing.But since the arrival of baby Grace to our family, I kept waiting for the drama, the tears, the meltdowns. But there honestly hasn’t really been any. Sure there are some days that seem longer than others, but nothing that really resembled all the dire predictions I was expecting.On the other hand, our days are filled with plenty of giggles and belly up laughter. There is no one else in the world that can make baby Grace laugh so much apart from her big brother.Grace has become Nathan’s little shadow, following him everywhere, wanting to get stuck into whatever he’s doing. And Nathan more than welcomes his little sister’s company, and often seeks her out to join him as well. My heart always brims over with joy whenever I see them together.I don’t claim to have done anyt…

I love verge collection season

It’s the time of the year again in our area for folks in the neighbourhood to clear out unwanted at items from our homes for our council’s bulk refuse collection service. I always find it interesting to see the different bits of trash and treasure along the verges in the neighbourhood. I have a bit of a scavenger streak in me, so my scavenging eyes spotted quite a few finds (all in surprisingly pretty good condition) as I was driving around. Big score for my family day care set up!
Our outdoor play kitchen #play #outdoorplay #playkitchen #playcooking #familydaycareA post shared by Serenely (@livingserenely) on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:12pm PDT I love verge collection season... picked up these three items for zero dollars! #bargainfinds #vergecollection #toys #freestuffA post shared by Serenely (@livingserenely) on Mar 28, 2014 at 10:27pm PDT Outdoor chalk board drawing #outdoorplay #chalkdrawing #familydaycareA post shared by Serenely (@livingserenely) on Mar 31, 2014 at 9:13am PDT
Please t…

Talking about my wedding day with my son

A few weeks ago on one ordinary morning, three-year-old Nathan happened to notice our wedding photo on display in our dining area. That photo had always been there but for some reason, it was only that day when Nathan really took such an interest in it.He asked many questions about it.Why are you dressed like a princess mummy? And why is daddy like a prince?Because that was when mummy and daddy got married.Why? Why do you want to get married?Because mummy and daddy want to be together.Why? Why do you want to be together?Because we love each other.And so on, and so on… (as you can see, we are very much in the thick of the “whys” over here).It was actually the very first time he was asking about the concept of marriage. So I brought out our wedding photo album to show him. He spent ages fully engrossed in poring over each photo. This morning Nathan asked a lot of questions about our wedding photo hanging up on display. So I brought out mg wedding photo album for him to look at. He was fu…

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