Thursday, 31 March 2011


Hands up if you know what Breyani is!

Ok, I can't see but I am pretty sure that most
of you don't.

Breyani is the South African version of a rather widely known dish: Biryani, a rice dish closely related to Pilaf. There are many different kinds of Biryani, originating from many asian/eastern countries but what I know as Breyani is probably a mixture of the Malaysian and Indian varieties.

Wherever it comes from, however, it remains a delicious South African memory and something I've been craving for a while now. And so I decided to try my hand at making it myself.

And found that making Breyani is an art form, one that I may never master. :(

Anyway, I did take photos, and the end result was, if not quite right, still yummy so here goes:

First, I mixed up my spices.

I have to tell you that The Man's spice collection is rather extensive. I'm meant to be the primary cook in our house and I have no idea what he uses all of these for!
I used -
A touch of Chilli Powder, probably a quarter teaspoon
Half a teaspoon of Garam Masala
1 clove of Garlic
A quarter teaspoon of Ginger
Half a teaspoon of Coriander
A pinch of Mint
And a dash of Turmeric.

I heart Turmeric...

I then set my rice going. Apparently you need to partially cook it in stock with a few leaves and sticks in it.

I didn't have quite the right stuff for it but I did manage to stick some Cardamom Seeds into it along with some Cloves, a Bay Leaf and yet more Turmeric. And lots of beef stock powder!

I think this jug is doomed to be yellow for the rest of it's existence.

Apologies to Brigette, who kindly gave it to me (along with half her kitchen when they moved to Aus!)

While that cooked I heated some oil and butter in a large pot and fried up the spices and some onion.

I added some cubed beef, carrots and (against my better judgement) some potato.

I have a thing about serving two carbs in one meal.

It's against the rules in my house, can you tell how badly I was craving this that I would cave myself?

By now the smells are awesome!

When the rice was ready to be added (remember partially cooked, still a bit of crunch) I poured in half of that mixture, then a can of chopped tomatoes, half a handful of dried coconut and a can of peas.
And then the rest of the rice mixture.

The idea is to layer it. And this is where it all went pear-shaped.

Not enough rice and too much moisture.

This is why I say its an art!

Once all the rice had cooked properly and it had stood for a while it was ready to be served.

Serve this with a bit of chutney and a salad if you feel guilty about the oil and butter.

I'll be making this again, once I've perfected the recipe of course!

The kids didn't like it...

I think I'd better work on refining their tastebuds.

The Burb!

Please don't ask what kind of accent The Frog has developed, between his South African parents, kiwi friends and neighbors and Nickelodeon/Playhouse Disney, it's quite a melting pot!

But here he is...

...feeding his 'purple baby' the burb (translate: boob)

And no.

No... by the time this child is 21 he will have no dignity left.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Ernie's Visit

 Miss Tayla came to visit the other day and
accidentally left Ernie behind.

The Frog took very good care of him during his stay.

Yesterday he went home - Bye Ernie... Come again soon!

Big Blogger Meet-up Again

 Ever notice how other kids' toys are always more
interesting to your kids than their own?

I don't know when my kids last saw the toys in the bottom of their toybox!

Yesterday, the WHG Blogger group congregated at my house and the kids had an awesome time in the playroom! And the TV wasn't even on...

PaisleyJade's little one was climbing in, and Neetz's  was following close behind!

SimaJ's two boys had fun rummaging around too.
While all the bloggers munched on these decadent yummies.

Leonie's Ginger Crunch was awesome! And The Frog loved TracyP's grapes (SO glad that his granny had to deal with the consequences...)

And we inspired a friend of mine to start a blog too!

Can't wait for the next Blogger meeting!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Frog's Big Adventure!

My Frog,
Sometime about two weeks ago you decided to make yourself an earring, like mommy makes earrings, and put it in your ear. It was a good thing we went to the doctor that friday when your sister was sick and, when I told him your ear was bothering you, he took a look.
He found your ‘earring.’
He told us that we would have to go to the hospital to get it out.
Daddy and I called it your big adventure. We were going to the hospital so that you could have a big adventure and then we would go to McDonald’s to buy ice cream. You found it very hard to go until after lunchtime with nothing to eat or drink, but you were so good and so patient.
The funniest moment was when we were talking about the big adventure before you had to go to sleep and you told me that you didn’t like the big adventure. I asked you why and you replied:
“Because I have brains! And brains don’t like big adventures!”
It made your daddy and I laugh!
In the end, you won’t remember your big adventure. You fell asleep in my arms after I read you a story and only woke up after it was all over. Daddy and I were very proud of you and all the nurses were very impressed that you were such a good boy.
Love you my Froggie!

A Brother's Love

The man and I are not the only ones
falling under Blossom's spell.

It seems The Jord is too.

His favourite time of the day with her is first thing in the morning.

He really enjoys cuddling her and talking to her while I get breakfast and lunchboxes done.

And watching their relationship develop is a very precious thing.

 He is such a proud big brother and you can see by how careful he is with her, how seriously he takes his morning responsibilities.

I loved taking these photos and I know I'm going to treasure them for years!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Does this make me a Bad Mommy?

Ok seriously, we had just gotten back from the Mobile Library and Blossom was fast asleep in the sling.

Everytime I've tried to get her out of it and transfer her to the bassinet, she has woken up, so today I decided to leave her in there.

And hang her from the doorknob.

Don't tell Plunket.

She was fast asleep and as far as I could tell there were no major dangers present. She looked fine.


Something didn't feel quite right about it to me. I felt like a bad mommy - as though I was seriously neglecting my child.

So what do you think? Am I a bad mommy?

For those who think I am let me reassure you: after taking these I couldn't leave her there unsupervised, so I took her out.

She woke up.


Friday, 18 March 2011

Just for Frills!

These are proving to be quite popular!

Anybody else want any while they are part of my creative space?

Email me if you want to know prices.

Things I'm Loving Number Seven!

A crazy Jord who
loves being a clown!

An oh-too-cute Frog who loves to copy his big brother.

A precious little Blossom who has decided, just this week, to start giving us the most gorgeous smiles. (Photos to come)

A new baby - one of my preggie friends had her baby last night. Welcome baby Keelan! Can't wait to hold you!

A granny who is giving us a partial night off. (WOOHOO!)

My messy house (yes I love it anyway) and friends who don't care and drop by for a visit anyway.

Yet another good friend who puts her life on hold and carts me (plus two children) around looking for craft supplies.

A great new find that means I get cheaper veggies!



Linking up with PaisleyJade today because:

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.


The Best Baked Beans Ever!

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The Best Baked Beans Ever | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond

Seriously, if you have to eat baked beans, this is the only way to do it...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

My hourly rate.

There has been recent talk lately among people in my life about me getting a job.

We live on one income that The Man works fairly long hours for. And it only just about covers everything. Most months are a struggle and our budget often involves creative juggling of bills.

And so, a second income would be very very welcome.

But (how did you know that was coming?)

Childcare in New Zealand is exorbitant. The government subsidises childcare for most people and for most it isn't really a problem. (In fact, I suspect that the subsidy is the reason for the high rates in the first place)
However, those subsidies are only available to New Zealanders with Permanent Resident status. We only have work permits so we don't qualify.

From what I've gathered, the hourly wage here is between $15 and $20. Remember that.

Childcare averages out at $6 per hour. After (and before) school care is about $5 per hour.

If I worked a 40 hour week, say 8 to 5 - I would be charged for 10 hours of childcare per day for Blossom and The Frog and 4 hours of after school care per day for The Jord. You still have to pay carers for the time you spend travelling to and from work.

That works out to $140 a day, $700 per week.

I do receive $80 per week's worth of government-subsidised childcare for The Frog.
$620 per week.

I would be paying $15.50 per hour in order to have a job. My entire wage would be gone.

What would the point be? I would be going to work to give someone else the privilege of watching Blossom grow?
And so I think of it like this: I stay at home in order to SAVE the family money. Make sense?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

LAM Method?

Oh stink!

While discussing possible contraceptive methods with my midwife
we decided that, not wanting to muck around with powerful hormones, the LAM Method was what would suit me best.


In order for it to be truly effective I would need to practise the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.

Brace yourself when reading this. Apparently this involves lots of babywearing (something I thought only hippies did until Blossom had her first colic episode two nights ago), co-sleeping (my thoughts on this here), and they even go as far as to suggest that not even a stroller should come between mother and baby.

I'm sorry.

I've gotta say that I've never done the whole attachment parenting thing. Seriously, as a concept, it goes against the ultimate goal of parenting in the first place, which is: creating  independent human beings.

But, I've had to learnt to be flexible this time. Blossom seems intent on carving her own path in life and not following in her brother's footsteps. This is something I would encourage as much as I possibly could - if she wasn't keeping me on MY toes...

A Ride on Mother's Back: A Day of Baby Carrying around the WorldBabywearingMoby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier, SlateBabywearing: The Art (And Science) of Wearing Your Baby

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.

It was extremely finicky BUT

It worked!



I'm thinking...

maybe, just maybe...

I've lost the plot?


I suppose this is the price you pay for playing a sport that involves hard leather balls travelling at high speeds...

This is the second time this has happened this season, but this injury is a bit more serious.

The Man still can't walk on it.

It's swollen, sore and, a trip to White Cross and one x-ray later, the Doc's haven't ruled out the possibility of a fracture.

For The Man this means that, sadly, cricket season is over for the year.

For me it means I get my husband back on weekends (and the two night practices every week).


(sorry babe)


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