mylittleredcaboose

Jgirl’s Daddad (Grandad – Bman’s Dad) recently ordered her a baby chino when we were having lunch at a local cafe. Having to exit quicker than planned due to Eboy’s sudden need for his bed, my little Jgirl had to have her first “to go” baby chino!

After finishing it and loving her cup, Jgirl said “We have to go home and wash it so I can play with it”.

Being rushed to get little Eboy home and looking at the chocolate stained paper cup I replied “No, I think we will just throw that out”.

To her despair she replied “We can’t throw it out, someone made it!”

With this one statement I realised that my little lady of 3 has a better sense of what it means to be a global citizen than do I at 32!

Bman and I are starting to realise that we need to live our lives more sustainably and make wiser decisions as consumers, parents and global citizens. What will that look like for us? Stay tuned to see.

Over the last few weeks it has looked like this:

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A bath I found and dragged down the street (during a hard garbage collection) to extend our vegie garden:)

 

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Craft supplies for the kids gathered from Reverse Garbage and library books inspiring craft ideas for the kids too:)

 

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Some of our new cleaning supplies and cleaning guide to reduce the use of chemicals in the house:)

 

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our date night book (bent and chewed on by eboy!)

Grandma Frog was set to babysit.

Cooked dinner for kids and Grandma Frog.

Kids in bed.

Bman and I were good to go……….

Here lay the problem. We hadn’t really locked in where we should go!

Bman had planned to go to Cutler and Co. A restaurant we both were keen to go to but I wanted to go “not on a school night” – hence not then.

I wanted to use the entertainment book! As explained in a previous post we bought the book so we could to nice restaurants at a good price. So being our first date night since purchasing the book I wanted to use the book!

We thought we shouldn’t go too far as Eboy had been teething and we thought we should be semi around for Grandma Frog is disaster struck!

After calling a few places and them not having room for us we thought we would hit Lygon street to a restaurant in the Entertainment Book. We went to restaurant in the gold section of the book (fine dinning section) and it was really an average experience.

The food was ok – nothing special and we were thrilled that weren’t paying full price for it in the end. Bman also ordered the better dish as mine was a large lump of meat that was pretty dry and he ordered fish that was great.

The environment was ok – some bad artwork and we were sitting in an awkward booth type seat. The actual kitchen was out in the open and we could see the chef’s cooking that was the best bit.

What we learnt from this:

  1. Life is short – I needed to not be so determined to eat out at a place from the entertainment book. Bman and I have a list of places we would love to go to but I was determined to follow through with why we bought the book! As a result we had an average night out – lucky for me the company was great!
  2. Planning is good – We should plan where we are going to before hand eg. so we can make a reservation
  3. Practice will make perfect – Oh well we will need to have more date nights so we get better at them:)

jgirl's party idea!

My little Jgirl has just celebrated her 3rd Birthday. I love to throw a party – it’s the event manager in me. Her first Birthday was a huge event full of our friends, her second birthday was a “master chef” party for her friends, where they all cooked mini pizzas and took home their own apron, for her third birthday the plan was to throw her a tea party.Jgirl has inherited my love of entertaining, she mentioned to Bman and I on several occasions that she wanted to have a balloon and boxes party. We told her it sounded good but I kept planning the tea party.

We hit at least 8 different op shops collecting tea cups and saucers (which proved to be more difficult than I thought as both cups and saucers were priced so high!). The plan was that each child would get to take home a tea-cup and saucer of their own and a crochet cupcake. The birthday cake was going to be simple, I made cupcakes for all the kids to decorate and then we’d put them on a cake stand and the candles would go on the top.

Known for always over catering the pressure was on to make lots of nice food. The plan was to make heart-shaped sandwiches, sausage rolls, savoury muffins, pizza pin wheels, fruit, jelly cups (in tea cups lent to me from my mum’s best friend), mini cupcakes, chocolate spiders and dip.

A few days before the party Jgirl reminded us about her plan for having boxes and balloons.

Oh she remembered that – oh no we hadn’t really considered this. So I asked some of the Mum’s to bring a box for the kids and my mother in law managed to get 10 boxes from her work and we bought some balloons.

There would be boxes and balloons at this party despite us not really knowing what we were going to do with them!!!

In the end the highlight of the party I think for all the kids and parents alike was Jgirl’s idea of the boxes and balloons. The room was full of boxes and balloons – an instant hit with the kids. The entertainment came from most of the parents taking turns in running games and songs etc that would involve the boxes and balloons. I must say we all rose to the occasion and I laughed lots at our cooky ideas and the kids had a great time.

My “follow through” lessons learnt from this party were:

  1. to listen and value my kids and their ideas
  2. kids don’t forget what you say
  3. it’s important to honour what you say to them
  4. don’t be surprised if their ideas are more fun than yours!

Bman and I both knew it was time to commit to having regular date nights. When you have two little ones it is so easy to fall into the trap of just hanging out in front of the TV at night or sitting together but both being on laptops etc. Having never really in our 10 years together been strict on setting deliberate “us”time, I felt we needed to do this for each other.

I had an idea that we should commit to heading out to a great restaurant for an experience every two months.
Why every two months?

  1. I wanted to create a goal that was achievable.
  2. Nice restaurants aren’t cheap so I was being practical.
  3. This provided ample opportunity for flexibility eg. sick kids, babysitting, work etc
  4. Gave us time to look forward to it.
  5. Time to dream and scheme 🙂

In preparation for these events I bought the entertainment book for Greater Melbourne. My thinking was that this could not only give us some ideas for new restaurants to try but we could also save 25% off the total bill or buy one main course and get one free.

I think the greatest t challenge for us in this is that Bman and I have different ways that we assess what makes a restaurant great. For me it’s about the food and the service. Bman finds the environment crucial.

So stay tuned to hear about our date nights and quest to find great restaurants!

20110704-082129.jpgGreen Thumbs? Not really unless they are covered with the filling of peppermint chocolate or paint from the cubby house we are doing up at the moment (more to be said on this in a later post).
But today was the day I decided that my little Jgirl and I would start our veggie garden. This is not my first attempt at growing veggies. My previous attempt used 4 wooden boxes found in a hard garbage collection, filled with lettuce, strawberries, zucchini and tomatoes. Overtime as my garden began to die so did my enthusiasm. I have also tried unsuccessfully to grow my favourite herbs.
Recently, I have felt the urge to give it another crack. Motivated by my desire to live more sustainably, by thinking it would be fun with the kids and well to see if somewhere deep down I may have inherited my parents’ have green thumbs.
Sometime ago I thought to use an old wheelbarrow belonging to my parents to be the home for my veggies. This wheelbarrow was so well used that small holes were appearing in its barrow. This idea of mine was a winner, as we wouldn’t need to interfere with the established garden in our rental property. So after picking the wheelbarrow up on the weekend and bringing it home I was determined to follow through on this idea of mine!
So Jgirl, Grandma Frog, Eboy and I set off for Bunnings this morning (only two days after picking up the barrow might I add!) to buy some veggies and soil. We lined the wheelbarrow with a hessian bag, filled it with a mix of organic potting mix and some organic compost, then we planted our crops. We are attempting to grow Bok Choy, Silverbeet, Wombok, mixed Lettuce and Snow peas. In some smaller pots we planted Cauliflower, Broccoli and the remaining lettuce.
So it is finalised we have decided to grow…………will they grow? well that depends on Jgirl, Mother Nature, the possums and myself!
(Please note further follow through is required for this project as I think I will need to get some chicken wire to keep the possums away from them at night)

 

Here it goes…..

After an idea that I wanted to be a blogger and well thinking about what on earth I could blog about and procrastinating for ages I suddenly find myself posting my first post right here, right now.

Well actually last night I thought it seemed like a good idea to start this blog.

AHHHHHHH if only so easy. After brainstorming my blog name for about an hour, then signing up (which was surprisingly easy), to setting up my blog template and changing my mind several times etc. Well then it was time to post – which coincided with the time my body started to tell me to go to sleep! So my loving husband uploaded this picture – a random shot on his computer, typed some random letters posted it and I was meant to go off happily to sleep. To which my brain said “as if!”. I then went onto thinking about what I could post on and so on.

Why is something so easy sounding so hard?

I am a self-confessed “ideas” gal.  I am a dreamer, you know a blue sky thinker. My mind is constantly dreaming and scheming up new concepts and particularly business ideas and/or things to do.  My greatest flaw though is that I don’t really do anything with these ideas. They may just be a fleeting thought or they maybe something that I chew over and try to nut out the details of and then well leave it there.

I can happily say that I haven’t always been this way. I have been described as a driven and determined (those who really know me would probably say stubborn!) and my name actually means “industrious” for goodness sake. As a child whilst most played mummies and daddies or doctors and nurses I ran a business from my cubby house called the “Hawaiian Hut”. We cooked and served food and beverages to some faithful regulars, be them my toys. I expanded our operations to include a drive through window and later home deliveries. If you came to my place as a youngster you may have thought you were coming to play but I had news for you – you were working at shift at the hut!

Even as I was approaching the end of high school I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted to run my own 5 star hotel chain. I had organised my own work experience during year 9 & 10 into hotels. I worked casually in the hospitality industry. I even set myself a 5 year plan at the age of 17.

My 5 year plan:

  1. I was to complete my VCE with excellent result
  2. I was to get into University to complete a Bachelor or Business in Catering and Hotel Management
  3. My course would include a cooperative year (industry placement) in which I would live overseas and work.
  4. I would travel the world
  5. I would work at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

So did I achieve all of this I hear you ask???

To the letter, it all came about in a wonderful way.  I received the highest possible marks I could – given the subjects that I had selected. I got into Victoria University to complete my course (the best uni offering the course at the time). I lived in Whistler, Canada for 12 months working at the amazing Chateau Whistler hotel, then traveled for 3 months after completing the co-op year. Whilst working in Canada one of my friends made a connection with a key person in the Sydney Olympic committee and from that I managed to get a job working in the athletes village in Sydney for the Olympics and Paralympics. Mission accomplished thankyou very much!!!

So how did I get here?

To this place of all ideas and no action.  Who knows I have lost track.  What I can tell you is that I am now happily married with two gorgeous kids . I like to stay in 5 star hotels – not run them:) I love event management and teaching, both of which I have pursued professionally. I am blessed and hope I don’t take that for granted. As I begin to teach my little lady more about life I really want her to be persistent and I need to model that in my life for her sake. So begins this blog.

My aim with this blog is to start to improve on my follow through!

There it’s been said and you need to keep me accountable to this.  To get things past just being an idea and making them happen.

So come along for the ride as I chug along like a little red caboose trudging up a big hill:)

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