18 December 2014


new years resolution
So you might remember THIS POST last year, and if you don't....go ahead and read it, I'll wait here while you do. Done? Good, let's do this....I figured before I started on my list of stuff for 2015, I figured I'd let you know just how much of this actually didn't happen.

1. I hope I do not have to attend any funerals this year, so please no dying anyone I love

FAIL.... While a friend did pass away around the beginning of the year and we didn't attend that funeral because it was just too hard for us, we did attend a funeral last week.

2. I really truly don't want any food poisoning, don't know anyone who does, but just sayin....

WIN....This did not happen....I did discover that I had some food allergies though that made me sick, technically wasn't food poisoning though.

3. I'll be really really upset if Hart of Dixie gets cancelled this year (they always cancel crap I've just gotten into)

WIN....Hart of Dixie is still alive and well (insert happy dance here). Season 4 just begain and I am a super happy little Dixie Fan....yay!

4. I hope to lose all that weight I found last year.....permanently. So I would be really bummed to stand on the scales and see the number go up instead of down.

FAIL FAIL FAIL .... I don't wanna talk about it....

5. I don't want to get locked out of the house, it's just a pain really, I'll have to climb through a window, and honestly....I'm gettin too old for that crap
FAIL.... We had to climb through the window 2 times this year, not because I locked myself out accidentally, but because I lost our house keys, which I happen to do a lot, and we had to leave the house without them. Can't leave the door unlocked, so we, and when I say we, I mean Monkey, had to climb through the windows and let us back in.

6. It would be devastating if I dropped my phone and smashed it, so let's not have that happen thanks....it's my life line

WIN... Not only did this not happen, but I got a new phone.

7. It could be really bad if I forgot I had an extra child with me and forget to take her home with me like I almost did tonight......sorry Baby Bear......Auntie Vic is just not used to having 2 kids

WIN... Didn't happen to me, but it did happen to my sister who went shopping and forgot that she had a newborn baby and a pram with her. Give her a break....baby brain and all that good stuff that new mums have to deal with. Plus have I mentioned she has 5 kids.

8. I don't want my air mattress that I love to lie on and watch movies on Family Movie Night to get a hole and deflate.....it's the third air mattress I've bought in a year.
WIN.... My trusty, now not so new air mattress is still alive and kicking. Despite the fact that we used it a lot this year, I managed not to murder it9. I don't wanna end up at an expensive restaurant that sells really crappy food.....I hate that! So many expectations.....so disappointing!

WIN....Mostly because I didn't go to any fancy restaurants this year. On a side note, we did eat at the theme parks when we went to the Gold Coast, and while the food was a little more on the ick side, it was quite expensive. I don't count that as a fancy restaurant though, so I'm taking that win.

10. Could be a real bummer if my house was demolished by a twister, not that we get that kind of weather here, but a funnel was photographed in a town a couple hours from here last week....global warming!

WIN....My house still stands. There have been no twisters, or even strong winds that blew past our way. At this point we are probably in more danger of being washed away in a flash flood. It's been pouring down rain there for 3 days. Not a twister though!

11. I absolutely DO NOT want to end up finding myself pregnant this year....which technically is impossible right now due to my single status....but there's a whole 12 months ahead....who knows....I could actually meet someone, get married and end up pregnant by the end of the year....and if that were to happen.......I won't be happy!

WIN WIN WIN.... While pretty much every other woman in my family found themselves "in the family way" this year, and I do mean "every other woman" (my sister, my sister-in-law and my niece). I remain very unpregnant and extremely happy about it!

So there we have it..... 3 FAILS and 8 WINS. Looks like 2014 was a fantastic year!

15 December 2014

101 in 1001

101 in 1001 days

I had real plans for getting into the kitchen and baking a cake for you today, but I'm already sitting here in bed, feet up, munching on a bowl of grapes, so the likelihood of that happening is pretty low at this point.....I'd actually rather be a lazy cow and sit around fantasizing about the things I'm going to do right now than actually go do things. 

I did manage to get to the supermarket today and buy the ingredients....so hey, we're half way there.

So what the hay am I going to blog about then??? Well it occurred to me sometime last week that I have NEVER made a 101 in 1001 list. Can you believe that? Well I can because I am so not the most structured person in the world. In fact I'm the total opposite of that. My friends are all grown ups with routine and some semblance of order in their lives....not me, routine bores me and structure makes me feel caged. Unfortunately, this means that I am not the most productive person though which drives my friends and family crazy. I eventually get stuff done....emphasis being on the eventually!

So I thought maybe, 101 in 1001 might help get me motivated to get some things done.
Starts 15/12/2014

1. Get a new sofa or repair the old one
2. Finish the ottoman in the living room
3. Finish the bookshelves
5. Buy a new rug for the living room
6. Re-decorate my bedroom
7. Organise the laundry
8. Buy a new dining table set
9. Get Monkey's home education schedule organised for 2015
10. Get a new freezer
11. Buy a garden shed
12. Buy new curtains for the house
13. Buy a rug for the kitchen floor
14. Get new knobs for the bathroom vanity
15. Finish sewing the memory blanket I started 5 years ago
16. Get our yearly budget done for 2015
17. Teach Monkey how to budget her allowance
18. Start a savings fund to cover vet costs for Caramel
19. Put $100 a week into our savings account
20. Organise mum's finances for her
21. Do our holiday budgets for the year
22. Don't spend money on things we do not need
23. Plan our meals for the month
24. Cook and freeze our meals for the month
25. Sign up for a swagbucks account
26. Try to only shop at places I can collect flybuys points or rewards central points
27. Get Caramel microchipped
28. Get Caramel desexed
29. Buy Caramel some toys
30. Get a new larger fish tank so we can do #
31. Sell our excess fish and fish tanks
32. Buy tickets to see The Lion King in Melbourne
33. Go on a cruise somewhere (anywhere)
34. Go to Melbourne Zoo
35. Go whale watching
36. Visit family in Canberra
37. Take Monkey to Mogo Zoo
38. Take a holiday for our extended family this year
39. Go on a road trip with my bestie
40. Book an appointment with a new doctor 
41. Go for yearly check-ups
42. Make sure Monkey gets her vaccines
43. See the Osteopath
44. Get around to booking physio appointments
45. Start the Reboot with Joe program
46. Have a better sleep routine
47. Buy a treadmill
48. Start our "No Junk" 10 day challenge
49. Start a personal journal
50. Start a prayer journal
51. Get my drivers license
52. Watch Gilmore Girls from start to finish
53. Read The Mysterious Island by Jules Vernon
54. Bake 3 recipes I found on Instagram
55. Make a photo book for everyone in the family with pics of dad
56. Have friends for dinner once a month for 6 months (jan / feb / march / april / may / june)
57. Colour my hair
58. Get a new hairstyle
59. Exercise every day
60. Do something just for me once a week
61. Ring a friend once a week to say "Hi"
62. Create a customized case for my tablet
63. Create a customized case for my phone
64. Actually use my diary
65. Bake a successful Lemon Meringue (mine always fall apart)
66. Have a pedicure
67. Plan a girls weekend for all the girls in our family
68. Donate to a good cause
69. Help raise money for cancer
70. Take mum to visit dad's grave
71. Buy a really good Graphics Tablet for her art studies
72. Plan a trip to Moreton Island as a surprise for Monkey (she loves that place)
73. Plan a sleep over party
74. Leave a suprise gift under her pillow
75. Buy her a samsung tablet for her school work
76. Take Monkey to see her first concert "hopefully Taylor Swift)
77. Move over to Wordpress
78. Read Pro Blogger
79. Write a post everyday for one month
80. Be more consistent with my posts
81. Be more social with other bloggers
82. Plan my posts a week in advance
83. Don't change my blog template for an entire 6 months (at least)
84. Create products for an online store
85. Create a new blog planner for 2015 / 2016
86. Actually use twitter
87. Paint mums house
88. Help mum buy some new furniture
89. Buy all my nieces and nephews a gift for no reason
90. Send my sister a card and a gift for no reason
91. Write my brother a letter
92. Sew some curtains for mums house
93. Send my nieces some surprise gifts in the mail
94. Plan "Family Day" 2015
95. Visit dad's grave and leave flowers the next time I go to Canberra
96. Visit Floriade night festival in Canberra
97. See a fireworks festival in 2015
98. Go to the beach at least 5 times
99. Throw a party for all the kids in our congregation for no reason
100. Perform an anonymous random act of kindness
101. Host Sunday afternoon "Movie Afternoon" for our friends

Clearly I have a lot to do....what about you? Do you have a 101 in 1001 list? If you do leave me a link, I'd love to read it!

10 December 2014


It's been a big week and I am completely zonked (new word I'm trying out, definition: exhausted). So I was sitting here trying to write my list of 5 things for the September Farm link-up and all I could really come up with were things I don't wanna do.....so here they are, 5 Things I'm Never Doing Again

Drinking watermelon soda ever again. In case you missed my post about it..... Why that even seemed like a good idea at the time I have no idea...well okay, I do know....I like watermelon and I like sugar, seems pretty simple to me. NOPE! If you like weird tasting stuff, this is the drink for you. Strangely enough, I don't like weird tasting stuff, so I won't be EVER ever not ever, buying this drink again!

Making a new years resolution - I loathe new years resolutions. Why oh why do people torture themselves with this every year. You're not gonna do it, you know you're not going to do it, because if you were serious about doing it, you won't wait until the New Year to do it....you'll start NOW.......and there's also that 0% chance that I will actually do any of the things that I would put on my list. (this post could so go the wrong way right now, but clearly by "it" I mean changing your life). Check out last years post....

Painting the house - Curse all those home reno shows that make this crap look like just about the easiest thing a person can do to give their home a fresh face....and curse the people on that show for being so good looking while they do it. 

Painting your house is a special kind of never ending torture.....first there's the whole cost of buying paint, then there's the whole prepping for the paint, and the you have to paint....and then if you super lucky, pretty much every muscle that you never knew existed will hurt for a good solid couple of days....and if you forgot to buy the "eco" paint....you're house will also stink.

Having a baby - My sister and sister-in-law both had babies this year, you'd think everyone would be happy with that, but nope, suddenly I'm the slacker whose not keeping up with the Sturgiss women. My sister has 5, while my sister-in-law now has 2....I come in last in the "keeping the family name alive" stakes.....I'm okay with that.

It's like this, I have a perfectly awesome pretty close to perfect 13yo who by some weird chance I happen to get along with great. Our home is peaceful, there are never really any major issues between us. I also get to have 8 hours of sleep every night and I don't have to clean up poopy nappies or make like a cow and flop my boob out every time someone needs a feed. 

I'd like to believe that none of this happened by chance, that I really am an awesome mum. I don't need another kid in my house to test that theory. I'm good thanks.

Using Blogger - Yes my friends, I've decided to make the leap over to Wordpress in January. The new blog is almost ready and it'll launch January 1st. I'm excited and sad at the same time. Blogger has been my thing for a long time, and making the leap over to wordpress is a little scary. There will a post about this closer to the date, but it's just another thing I will not be doing ever again.

What about you? Do you have something that you are never doing again?

08 December 2014


Sometimes I like to live dangerously. Not always, well not most of them time....but every now and then I will see something that I have to try out. This always freaks Monkey out, she hates it when I decide to "experiment" with new foods. 

She stands there in the supermarket with this look on her face, shaking her head saying "no mum no". Clearly that kid hasn't figured me out in the 13 years that I've been her mum because the word "no" to me is code for "do it, do it, do it".Sometimes I wonder who really is the parent in our house, she's so more grounded than I am.

So we're standing in the supermarket two days ago looking for treats for our Friday night movie night, and I spotted a new product that I decided just had to be tried. Watermelon Soda. Think about it, watermelon and sugar...perfect right! I love watermelon, and I love sugar....how could that possibly go wrong.

Monkey was standing there saying "no mum", which of course meant "yes that looks delicious mum", so I happily popped a bottle in the trolley and went my merry way, totally convinced that I had just discovered the most awesome thing ever.

We would talk about this moment forever....the day Vicki discovered Watermelon Soda.

Turns out, when Monkey says "no", I should really listen. It was not awesome, not even a little bit. Even the ants that moved into our house over a year ago that will eat pretty much anything, including our toilet paper (what's that about??), will not touch the watermelon soda. It's really that bad. If there was a "smelly feet soda" I'm pretty sure it would taste better. 

We had one glass each, pretty sure Monkey threw hers down the sink....but I had to drink mine because it was my idea to buy it, and because I hate wasting stuff....and because I really did not want to admit to Monkey who had told me it was a bad idea, that it really was a bad idea. Pretty sure she knows, because the rest of that soda is still sitting in the kitchen untouched. Unloved, and unwanted. Poor soda.

So that my friends is the story of Watermelon Soda and why we will never drink it again. Has it curbed my desire to try new food combinations that find their way to my supermarket shelves. In a word, NOPE! 

I saw a bottle of Fruit TIngle soda today that I was totally gonna buy, but Monkey was giving me that look and since we're only 2 days out from my latest experiment and I couldn't even begin to convince her that this one might be better....it'll have to wait. 

What's the last thing you tried out that didn't go so well?

05 December 2014


Part of the reason you didn't hear much from me last month was because I was super busy spring cleaning our house. It was time. There's been a lot of stuff that I've been hanging onto for one reason or another and in November I decided to just be ruthless and get rid of it all.

Interestingly enough, no where near as much fun as I thought it would be....I was thinking more along the lines of dance party with a mop...not an episode of hoarders, which is exactly how it turned out.

In case you're wondering, I don't care about Santa or the Easter Bunny.....I wish the Cleaning Fairy was real....

I had "stuff" from every room is our house piled up high in the Dining Room. We couldn't go in there for weeks, and let's not even talk about how embarrassed I was when a friend dropped by and insisted on going into my dining room which I thought I had cleverly hidden behind a closed door. She took one look at that pile, and my "we're spring cleaning" comment fell of deaf ears. Mortified!

In other news I've invited that friend for a movie afternoon this weekend just so she can see that we REALLY WERE SPRING CLEANING!

Anyway, let's get to it shall we...

My bedroom - In my bedroom I cleaned out the wardrobe and donate 2 bags of clothing to goodwill. I took a small table that had just been sitting in my room with clothing piled on top to pack away, and I placed that in the spare room as a side table.

Monkey's Bedroom - I cleaned out Monkey's wardrobe and donated some of her clothes that no longer fit to goodwill and some of them to friends who have younger children.

In Monkey's room I also sorted through all the toys, puzzles and games. Most of it went to charity or to my brother who has small children. 

Spare Room - It's actually easier to tell you what we kept in this room because we donated pretty much everything that was in there to charity, including 1 wedding dress that I bought a gazillion years ago because it was $30 and I thought that was a bargain. We sold a spare printer that was still in the box for $20.

In this room we kept the single ensemble bed, a large barbie doll house (for my niece when she comes to stay) and the barbie accessories.

Living Room - In the Living Room I donated all the puzzles (6) and 2 board games, I donated the old curtains that we had in there and bought fresh news ones. I also took the 2 large bookshelves that we had in there and placed one in Monkeys bedroom and one in the spare room so those rooms now have some where to store the things that we kept.

Kitchen - I cleaned out all the cupboards. I donated all plates, glasses and mugs that were not part of a set and I threw away any that had chips in them. I threw away tupperware containers that were no longer in good condition, and containers that didn't have lids.

After I cleaned the kitchen out, I bought and installed extra pantry storage to keep spices and packet mixes etc neat and orderly. I also installed some extra storage for the lids of my cookware.

Donated to charity or friends - 4 bags of clothing, 2 boxes of toys, 6 puzzles, 2 board games, odd dinnerware, odd cups, mugs and glasses, exercise ball, dvd's, books, spare linen, 3 pairs of shoes, 1 bedside table, fairy lights, 2 pairs of curtains, 2 sheet sets, 

Sold - Printer $20, elliptical trainer $50

Thrown Away - 2 old vacuum cleaners (not working), an old microwave oven (not working), 2 broken glasses, 1 broken mug, george foreman grill that was no longer working, lots of paper from stuff that monkey and her friends have drawn on or used, old homeschooling stuff we no longer needed to keep, 5 tupperware containers, 2 containers without lids, 8 tupperware lids with no containers

I still have the laundry to finish. I didn't want to start on the laundry until this month because I still have to paint it as well, so I figured I could get all of that done at the same time.

Not a bad effort huh? In December I have plans to get the laundry done, finish painting the rest of the interior of the house, and simplify our fish tanks (which is code for go from 5 to 1), and simplify our spending, we've gotten a little out of touch with our budget lately.

How about you? Any plans to simplify something this month?

Not Entirely Perfect

03 December 2014


This here handsome fella is Caramel the cat, formally known as "puss puss" and "here kitty kitty". You see Mr Caramel here has been hanging around our neighourhood for a while now, he had a home in a house across the street from us. 

adopting a cat
The poor little guy always looked a little underfed and unhealthy, but because he had owners and they had a reputation for being "unpleasant people", I decided that we would keep our distance for a while and just leave scraps out whenever we saw him.

He's always been a funny little guy. When we first met him, he was very shy and ran away whenever he saw us, which made my cat loving kid crazy....er than she already is. She so desperately wanted to play with him, and he so desperately did not want to play with her.
adopting a cat
I don't raise quitters in my house though, that kid of mine persisted and eventually befriended this gorgeous boy. They became such good friends, that whenever Caramel sighted us from a distance he would just come running and meowing all the way....hilarious to see. When he sees Monkey, he just drops whatever he's doing and comes running....he's that excited to see her. Which I can totally understand, you know, being her mum and all, she can be pretty awesome most of the time.

A few months ago, Caramel's owners moved and left him behind. Don't you just love people who care that much about their pets? In case you didn't catch the sarcasm there....no I don't. Why bother adopting a pet if you are not prepared to take good care of it....ugh makes me so angry.

Anyway, I digress...in this case, for Caramel, it's a blessing in a huge "we've been waiting for this moment" kinda way.
adopting a cat
We hadn't seen him in a few weeks. So when he turned up last week looking very thin we were surprised. We thought maybe, just maybe his owners had done the right thing and come and taken him home. Nope, I guess some people are just ....well I won't say what I'm thinking.

The poor little guy has, according to other neighbours been getting by on whatever he can catch and the kindness of strangers.

Not any more though, as soon as I found that out, I went to the supermarket and stocked up cat food.....I promised my girl some time ago in one of those moments when I would just about say anything to stop her from talking about this cat, that if he ever needed us to step in we would. How could I ever say no to that adorable face?

Well we have, in an over the top, we're so excited kinda way. Cats need stuff ya know, cool stuff, like heated cushions to lay about on all day and think deep thoughts.

So here he is, the newest member of our little family.....Caramel the Cat!

win corelle brushed dinnerware

01 December 2014


plan a dinner party in 5 days

(scroll down to see if the winner of the Corelle Dinnerware is you....)

We've been so busy all week because I decided to plan a dinner party in five days. Crazy? Maybe, but it was so fun. So this is the point where I tell you that I forgot to charge my camera before all the guests arrived...so if you read the Plan A Dinner Party in 5 Days post from last week and you were hoping to follow it....add "charge camera batteries" to your list of things to do!!!

That said...I did get photos of the table BEFORE the guests arrived....so you get to see it in all it's prettiness before my guests got there and messed it all up...lol
partylite symmetry trio
We decided on day one that we wanted to have a country charm to the dinner decor. So I went with really simple decor items like the Partylite Symmetry Trio that I filled with chick peas and grain and simple white flowers with tins as vases.

white flowers
Speaking of gorgeous things, how much do you love the little placecards we used? Monkey got busy on Thursday night sketching pictures on each one of them, I can only say that the money I spend on her art lessons are definitely not wasted! 
dm home place cards
chocolate lovers wine
corelle brushed dinnerware
Our dinnerware was a mixture between white items I already had in the kitchen and the new Corelle Brushed Dinnerware collection. I only had enough of the Corelle brushed dinner set for 4 and I had 6 guests attending, so I had to get creative. I think ultimately it suited the whole "simple, country" theme quite well.
corelle brushed dinnerware
What do you think? I was quite happy with what we accomplished in such a short time, I mean planning a dinner party in 5 days on a shoestring budget is a seriously big undertaking, especially if you have a million other things to do that week, as we all do. 

We managed to pull it off though, and so can you....and to help you to do just that, the lovely people from World Kitchen are not only supplying you with a 10-step list to hosting the perfect dinner party, they are also giving one of my readers a set from their Corelle Brushed Dinnerware collection (valued at $120). Yay!

You've probably heard the name Corelle over the years or even used it. My mum and grandma both had Corelle dinner sets when we were growing up. It's the dinnerware that they usually set at the "kids table" because it's more durable and less likely to break than normal dinner sets.

About the Brushed Dinnerware Collection...
True to the Corelle brand, the collection is break and chip resistant with legendary strength
and durability thanks to its signature Vitrelle glass, which is non-porous and designed to
withstand even the harshest kitchen conditions. This unique glass technology ensures the
collection is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.

Corelle’s affordable and robust glass dinnerware has been a household staple for over 40
years. Revolutionising the market in 1970 when it introduced its break, chip, and scratch
resistant technology, the Corelle brand has become recognised worldwide

How to win it....
So you likey and you want to win one, because let's face it....free stuff never goes out of fashion...all you have to do is tell me your most creative dinner party idea for this dinnerware. The more creative you are, the more you have a chance of having the mail man knock on your door with a delivery. So what are you waiting for? Get to it....



This post was brought to you by the party people at World Kitchen

**Giveaway is open to Australian residents only**



So I think it was about Thursday last week when I decided to plan a dinner party.....for this Friday night! Not sure what I was thinking....dinner party no worries, but 5 days to plan and execute it.....hmmmm.....why do I do these things!

Day one is going to be busy....actually let's be honest, so will day 2,3,4 and 5. So let's get started....


Guest List - Figure out who you're inviting them and invite them ASAP! I know it's not a lot of notice, but you'll probably have a good idea which one of your friends would possibly be available. I do recommend keeping the list small....say 6....remember you only have 5 days to pull this thing off! For our dinner party I sent out the invites via text message (I'm just classy like that), because I don't have time to hand out paper invites.

Theme - Will there be a theme? If so, it's important to figure out which one because you are going to need to plan a menu and decor to suit. With 5 days to plan I personally would choose a pretty simple theme. Simple can still be nice.

Menu - Plan what you are going to serve to your guests. Now is probably not the moment to start testing out new recipes...go with tried and true eats that you know how to cook, and you know how long it takes you to create. If you can, choose options that you can prepare a day or two before so you won't be running round the kitchen like a maniac on the day of the party.

Playlist - Every party needs music to help create the mood....you need a playlist that will play for the duration of your party, and if you've chosen to go with a theme, you will need music that fits with that also. This is something I would do at night, instead of sitting and watching tv this week.....sort your playlist!

Inventory - Make a quick list of the dinnerware, serving ware and cutlery that you will need and make sure that you have enough for all your guest.....if not, you may need to go out and purchase (or borrow) extras. 


Clean Your House - I know that this is the most boring part, but if you clean the house today you will only have to maintain it for the rest of the week which frees you up for getting stuck into the party details.

Make this an excuse to give your house a good scrub....some ideas...spot clean walls, wipe finger prints off light fixtures, dust skirting boards, dust window sills etc....you get the general idea right?


Groceries - Write a shopping list of all the grocery items you will need for your menu, make sure you take into account quantities so that you will have enough for all of your guests. 

Beverages - Stop by your local liquor store and purchase enough wine to share with your guests. It's totally up to you, but I always allow for 1.5 to 2 glasses for each guest. I know it's a party, but I want my guests to get home safely so I choose not to serve more than that.

Inventory - Remember that inventory you took on Day One? Well this is the day you are going to purchase or even better, borrow the items you need. Glasses, dinnerware, decor, flowers etc


I try to leave day four for setting up the table, decorating the room and doing whatever prep I can for the meals. I try to choose food items that I can prepare the day before if I can.

Also do a quick tidy up and vacuum today because you are not going to have time tomorrow.

Go to bed early and get a good night's sleep.

Today is the main event, hopefully you got a good amount of sleep last night so you are fresh and ready to spend the day preparing food to serve to your guests. 

Wanna see how it all turned out....Plan a Dinner Party in 5 Days - The Main Event