June 2013Life Love and Hiccups: June 2013

Sunday, 30 June 2013

A Romantic Dinner at Home

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This post is brought to you by Target

I have a confession to make (yes, yet another). My husband and I are such homebodies that we rarely ever go out in winter unless we have to. And by have to I really mean you have buckleys of getting me out unless you drag me kicking and screaming.

It's too bloody cold for starters and sadly Ugg boots and fleecy PJs haven't yet made it onto the acceptable dress codes for most restaurants.

So if we want to have a date night / time to ourselves, it generally involves a home cooked meal and a movie on the couch.

Although I am too lazy to actually venture outside of the house, I am not opposed to making a little effort to make sure that our dinner has enough style and ambiance to warrant it being called a romantic evening and this meal is a sure fire winner in the sexy food stakes (apparently that is a thing).























































Garlic Seared Salmon 
With Wilted Greens and Creamy Mustard and Wine Sauce.

Ingredients
2 fresh salmon portions
4 sea scallops
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 cup chicken stock
2 spring onions
2 tablespoons white wine
115g butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 teaspoon of hot English mustard
Spinach Leaves
Baby Bok Choy
Olive Oil

Sauce
1. Melt the butter and saute with the garlic and spring onions in a fry pan
2. Add the flour, whisk gently until combined.and then remove from the stove top.
3. Slowly add the cream, wine and chicken stock and stir until it is all combined.
4. Put the pan back onto the heat and stir until your sauce thickens.
5. Add your mustard and stir in.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Salmon and Scallops
In a separate pan sear your salmon and scallops until you get a crispy glaze. Both the fish and the scallops cook very quickly so don't leave them for too long or the scallops will go rubbery and your fish will be dry.
You want the fish to be slightly underdone in the centre.

Wilted Greens
Gently wilt some Baby Bok Choy and Spinach leaves in olive oil.

To Serve
Simply drizzle the sauce over the fish, scallops and greens and serve with a little bowl of rice. (we add extra sauce to the rice too!)

An absolute must to ensure the night is a success is to either;
a) completely wear the kids out so that they are exhausted and flake out early
b) distract them with a really good movie in another room (yeah good luck with that one)
c) lock them in their bedrooms and pretend you can't find the key.

Just joking with option c ... although I have been tempted.


Cue the mellow music, light those sweet smelling candles and you have yourselves one romantic dinner for two.

Just a word of warning - decide on your movie choice BEFORE you start dinner as arguments over whether to watch This is Forty or Skyfall can kind of put a dampener on the mood.

Our romantic dinner table for two was dressed with homewares I sourced from Target. Some of the products I sourced are available in store and some of them you can get online as well. Below is a list of links to the actual or similar products.

1: White Dinner Set, 2: Linen look napkins, 3: Pumpkin Maple Tart Soy Wax Candles, 4: Chicago Cutlery Set, 5: Printed Tea Towels, 6: Red Placemats, 7: Crystal Look Glasses (available in store only)

Are you a homebody too or do you brave the winter chill for some alone time with your partner?

Friday, 28 June 2013

Shattered Dreams and Laying Down The Law - School Holiday Style

Pin It Day one of the school holidays is upon us and at the beginning of the holidays I always start out with such enthusiasm about what lays ahead for us.

These holidays were pegged as even more special than the last one, as last time I was trying to juggle a full time job whilst entertaining the boys.

But alas, there is a rule in life, set in stone by one Mr Murphy and not the one starting with Dan, although I think he also plays a very important role in the holidays. No the rule I am talking about it the one where you should never ever place too high an expectation on something, as inevitably you will be disappointed.

I should have known better.

In my mind the first day of the holidays would begin with a quiet sleep in on a cosy rainy morning. I would rise to some bright eyed kids eager to chat about the weeks that lay ahead while we sit snuggled over hot bowls of oats and honey.

You know I was doomed with mental images like that don't you.

My kids don't even like oats and honey, they NEVER sleep in unless it's a school day and instead I woke to this.


and wet dogs who had done this - ALL . THROUGH . THE. HOUSE.

And in place of the bright eyed chatty kids I was expecting, I got this.



And so I called a meeting among the troops. As one does. And I took the opportunity to lay down a few self preserving ground rules. The rules part was for them and the preserving part was for me and my sanity.

It was agreed that they would follow these guidelines during this holiday period, and when I say agreed, I really mean they will do as I say and not as I do kind of thing.

1. Do not get nits again these holidays otherwise it will be crew cuts all around.

2. Please do not eat the entire contents of our weekly shop in the first few hours and please do not sell our food on the streets or to the neighbours.

3. Please refrain from bleeding whilst I am on duty. Your father will be home by 5pm so please limit any blood inducing accidents until then.

4. If you insist on killing each, please do so quietly. The neighbours DO NOT need or want to hear such domestic disturbances.

5. Do not ask me what we are doing today before I have had at least 2 cups of my morning coffee. And then ask me once and once only and accept the answer without an assault of negotiations.

6. Do not constantly ask me for money. There is a budget and I am not budging on it.

7. Do not and I repeat just so we are very clear, DO NOT use the word bored in ANY context. You are children with great imaginations and an abundance of energy. Go find something to do that is legal and has the potential to fill at least a couple of hours.

8. Do not hassle me from 9.01am for lunch. Lunch will take place at 12pm and no amount of hassling will bring that time forward.

9. Do not breathe all of each others air, I cannot cope with the arguments over the lack of air supply for another single minute.

10. Do not change your clothes until they have changed colour from dirt or until the neighbours complain of the smell. I am still trying desperately to hold on to my Domestic Goddess crown.

So that's the basics anyway, there were a few other do's and don'ts bandied around, but you kind of get the gist.

What's your coping strategy for these holidays?
Are you stocked up on Vodka and chocolate?
Why do Cadburys and Absolut not run a loyalty program during the holidays. They could make a killing!


Thursday, 27 June 2013

June Reviews, Discounts and Giveaways - Winner Takes All!

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***Thank you for your entries. This giveaway is now CLOSED***
Congratulations to our winner Rachel K

This month's Reviews, Discounts and Giveaways are all about surviving the school holidays. We have things for feeding the kids, cleaning up after the kids, dressing the kids and feeding you a well deserved treat.

As per the new way I like to do things we these posts - the winner takes all. Cause I am greedy like that and I want to REALLY make someones day when they win the lot.

Let's jump straight into it shall we?

A METHOD NEW HOME KIT
No surprises that this little anal retentive clean freak and mother of 3 dirty boys LOVES her Method products. At the moment I am cleaning up a frenzy with the All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner in Ginger Yuzu.

Not only does it smell seriously good, this little demon cuts through all the mess on the kitchen benches and bathroom benches with ease and since I know it is made from non toxic and naturally derived ingredients, I can use it abundantly without any fear of poisoning my family.

Method have launched a brilliant pack called the New Home Kit, which is full of some of their most popular products and at $30.99 it is perfect as a housewarming gift or to just stock up on supplies for your own home.

This month the gorgeous gang from Method would like to give one of you guys the chance to win one of these fabulous packs that include the All Purpose Surface Cleaner,  the Eucalyptus and Mint Bathroom Cleaner, the French Lavender Floor Cleaner, Hand wash and Glass and Surface Cleaner.

Also just FYI until 30/06/13 you can save 20% if you buy 2 all-purpose cleaners. BARGAIN!




A CADBURY MARVELLOUS CREATIONS PACK




























Chocolate is everyone's friend and Lord knows we need a LOT of it to survive the school holidays.

The Cadbury Marvellous Creations are a combo of your fave lollies and chocolate and they soooo had me at the inclusion of Gummi Bears.

One lucky winner will receive 10 x 290gm big blocks of Marvellous Creations and 10 x 50gm blocks. Are your eyes popping?

The hardest part you will have if you win this pack, is deciding whether to share it .... excuse me BAHAHAHA ..... OR you can just eat it all to yourself when you are hiding from the kids in your bathroom.

Ummm I'm not the only one that does that right?



A FAST & FRUITY SCHOOL HOLIDAYS COOKING PACK




























Fast and Fruity are a cool new way to eat fruit. They are a tasty, pourable, 110% chunky fruit in a pouch. They come in three flavours be-licious berry and apple, golden peaches with a hint of vanilla and sunshine sweet tropical fruits.

The good news is there is no added sugar or preservatives, so that means - No hypo kids these holidays when they snack on these.

Can you say Hallelujah.

You can purchase these at Coles Supermarkets, but I also have a School Holiday Cooking pack from Fast and Fruity to give away and it includes 6 x 500gm pouches of Fast and Fruity in their three flavours, and icy pole maker, a sundae glass, Jelly Crystals and recipes to make Tropical Jelly Fruit Stack, Hummingbird cake and Icy Fruit blocks.




A BALINESE DRIFTWOOD HANGING




























I went nuts shopping in Bali. No seriously nuts, and I completely fell in love with all their beautiful homewares. So much so that I had to buy an extra suitcase whilst we were there to lug everything home.

I also happened to bring home an extra driftwood hanging in my bag which was just screaming to go and live with one of you guys.




AN ANGELIC  8 YEAR OLD



Just kidding! I would'nt swap him for a pool full of vodka.

My little guy recently made his 1st Holy Communion and I purchased his outfit along with a few other bits and pieces from this totally adorable online store Furious Kingston.

I am really not joking when I say that in my opinion, cools boys clothes are slim pickings at the moment. But I literally spent ages scrolling through all of the gorgeous outfits on this website.

I do't have a prize pack to give away from these guys. Nope - even BETTER!
This is one where EVERYONE wins because the fabulous team at Furious Kingston have offered up a 15% discount to all Life Love and Hiccups Readers for the next 3 weeks. If your little guy is in need of a wardrobe update - now's the time to start shopping.

Simply use the promo code BLOGTASTIC at the checkout to receive 15% off your order.

Don't forget to say hi to the Furious Kingston team over on Facebook so you can stay up to date on all their latest news.


Alrighty folks, if you would like to win the Method New Home Pack, The Fast and Fruity Cooking Pack, The Cadbury Marvellous Creations Pack and the Balinese Driftwood Hanging, all you need to do is follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below.

You can get up to 5 entries so get cracking and Good Luck.

Oh and as for the school holidays? May the Force be With You!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Slight Industrial Infatuation

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So I am a little infatuated with Industrial design and decor at the moment.

I have these little infatuations that consumer me every now and then and obviously I don't have the dosh to makeover my home every time my tastes change, so I do the next best thing.

I waste hours pinning pictures of my latest crush on Pinterest.

As you do.

This month I am crushing on industrial homes, industrial furniture and industrial anything.

It suits the darker tones of winter and warm lighting against the rich tones of wood, steel and brick has a kind of cosy urban feel to it - don't you think?

Ahhh it will be but a fleeting phase for me I'm sure, but in the meantime, here's a little industrial eye candy for those who share my current crush.

image sources; one, two, three, four



image sources; five, six, seven, eight



image sources; nine, ten, eleven, twelve




image sources; thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen




image source 1image source 2


Any particular style you are crushing on lately? 




Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Excuse Me Whilst I Take This Moment To Gloat

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One of the many things I seriously suck at is staying on top of the laundry, which is a common complaint I believe among many of us.

For years my husband took the lead when it came to this job and I kind of dabbled a little, putting a load on here and there.

My lame excuse was I worked such long hours, so I just simply didn't have time. But the truth was I was severely allergic to it.

Kinda.

Not really.

Since I am now the Domestic Goddess of this abode *choke vomit*, the laundry keys have been handed over to me.

Now I am not one to gloat .... Bahahaha.

Ok correction, I am not one to gloat unless it is about something that is totally gloatable (IS so a word), and I happen to think that this is one of those occasions that should be deemed sincerely gloat worthy.

I have defeated the mighty Mt Washmore.

Yep you heard it correctly. I smashed that pile of washing and ironing and for the first time in Oh EVER,  every single piece of clothing belonging to all five of us has been washed, ironed, folded and put away.

That's not a major accomplishment - it's a freaking miracle for this household.

Let us not look too closely at the quality of the ironing as I have yet to master my technique (aka ANY technique). But its done to what many would class as an acceptable manner and man does it feeeeeeel good!

The kids and the husband have been instructed to stay out of all dirty situations, avoid dirt, wear bibs and to wear the same clothes at least until they smell so bad it begins to alienate them from their peers, because I want ... correction, I NEED this feeling to last.

It's totally a gloat worthy event wouldn't you agree?

Now if someone will PLEASE explain to me - what order should you iron a shirt in? Collar first, top back or sleeves?


Got any tips or tricks to help me stay on top of the washing?
Come on - spill your secrets.... Please!


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Cheers To Online Friendships

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If you had asked me 18 months ago if I would include a whole host of women that I have never actually met in real life among some of my most special friendships, I would have laughed at you.

I mean, how can you be friends with someone you have never met right?

Well if you spend time in the blogosphere either writing or reading blogs, you will know that its not only possible, it happens every single day.

Sometimes you meet up with these people you have connected with and you immediately jump straight to the comfortable no need to get to know you stage, because you already feel like you know them so well. And so the friendship just blooms from there.

Sometimes you have not yet had the opportunity to meet your online friend, but it doesn't matter one iota. You connect pretty much daily anyway, probably more often than you do with a lot of your traditional friends you have known for years.

Tania is one of the gorgeous women I have met online through our blogs and damn it - I am so proud of this girl. Not only has she created for her family the most stunning coastal styled home, she has been gutsy enough to take something she loves doing (designing jewellery) and turned it into a business, a business that I have an inkling is going to do great things.

Recently Tania's home was featured on the cover and spread across pages and pages of the new Australian Coastal Home magazine and when I received my copy in the mail I was totally fist pumping the air in excitement for her.



Tania has a HUGE heart, a kind heart and is one of the most genuine souls I have ever been fortunate to have come into my life. So this post is a little ode to Tania and her business, cause you know - I want EVERYONE to know just how awesome she is for yourselves.


You can purchase Tania's jewellery at Etsy here, but be warned - you will have a tough time narrowing down your choices.

I was beyond touched when I opened a special birthday parcel from Tania. A gorgeous tassel necklace and the most precious bracelet bundle that sums up EXACTLY where I am and hope to be in my life moving forward. Living the Dream.



But don't just take my word for it, check out Tania's blog Scandi Coast Home for yourself. She is every bit as gorgeous as I have described her and more, and I challenge you not to feel like you have known her forever.

OK Love fest over. I have washing and ironing to do.

Have you made any special friendships or even found love with someone you have met online?
Did you have a penpal as a kid?