Parenting | Lifestyle | Food | No F--king Idea

Month: November 2018

The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein

The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein

Swedish authors are incredible. If you haven’t read a book by a Swedish author, do yourself a favour – buy one and read it immediately. I was first introduced to Swedish authors when I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It took […]

Baby Shower Supplies

Baby Shower Supplies

Whether you are going all out and hiring a venue and catering and the whole shebang, or if you are doing something at home with a budget, your baby shower can still ooze fabulousness, instgrammableness and loveliness! I have always loved hand-making as much as […]

The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies

The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies

This coming Saturday is our baby shower, and over the weekend Pete and I were all systems go. Over the weekend, Shari and I did a huge shop for all of the food for next weekend, as well as ordering the balloon bouquets and buying napkins and plates and decorations and everything else in between. We also visited a few clothes shops to try and find me a dress for the occasion.. alas, my boobs proved far too problematic. Nearing a G-cup now (…yep), my maternity bra has its work cut out for it. The thick straps are a godsend for my back but also mean I can’t wear anything with a thin strap. The high cut of the bra again, an absolute dream for me but it means that pretty much everything I wear has to have a high neck cut. I did try some dresses on without a bra to see if it could work.. It can’t. Not at all. No. Shari and I both learned that there is definitely such a thing as too much breast.

Yesterday, Pete spent most of the day outside getting our garden and outdoor area ready for the barbeque. He gurnie-ed (I don’t know how to make that a verb), and weeded, and mowed, and raked and anything else you can think of that is an outdoor domestic task. He did it all and the place looks freaking immaculate.

I, on the other hand, made about a thousand cookies.

I have really gotten into my baking lately, especially since purchasing fondant icing tools from ebay among a plethora of different shaped cookie cutters and letter embossers. I ordered a baby shower set of cookie cutters last month that included a bib, a onesie and a baby bottle. I also love anything that is homemade (we all know that by now) as well as anything personalised. So, I am so chuffed to share The (Oblivious) New Mama’s Personalised Baby Shower Cookies!

Vanilla Snap Cookies

Ingredients – 

185g butter

1 cup caster sugar

1 and a half tsp vanilla extract

2 and a half cups of plain flour

1 egg

1 extra egg yolk

Method – 

Blend butter sugar and vanilla in a bowl or food processor

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth dough forms

Dive the mixture in half and roll to about 5mm thick on baking paper

Refrigerate for about ten minutes

Using your cookie cutter, cut out cookies and bake until a light golden colour

Icing

I have tried a few different ready-to-roll icings now but have found that the Coles brand one is the easiest to work with and, therefore, gives better results

If you are wanting to work a colour into the icing, tear the icing into chunks and place in a bowl

Squeeze as much colouring as you want onto the icing and knead until it is consistent the whole way through

On baking paper, roll the icing out to the desired thickness and use cookie cutters or icing stamps to shape icing

Dip your finger into some water, rub onto the back of the icing and press gently onto cookie and let set

For our baby shower, I tried to stay away from everything being BLUE. Instead, we are going for a more natural palette including a lot of whites, light browns and dark greens. It is a very rustic theme that we are going for, and I will be adding pops of blue throughout the decor including a couple of blue balloons, blue lollies and some light blue napkins. I wanted to keep that theme going with the cookies however I did make more blue coloured ones just to add that little bit more blue to the mix.

This may sound completely lame – but I am definitely past the point of caring about how soppy and love-dovey I sound – but I loved making these for my little man. I loved creating the ‘Baby Boyle’ cookies with our son in mind, and every time I finished a batch I would run down to Pete in the yard and show him and we hugged each time and then he would say, “For our little man” and rub my belly and then we would kiss. It’s just such a simple touch that adds so much warmth and love to a baby shower, and come on – how freaking adorable are they?!

If you or someone you know is having a baby shower and would like to order some The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies please shoot me an email or a direct message on Instagram. There are boy and girl options and I can customise orders to pretty much whatever your heart desires!! I would love to be a part of your special day in the sweetest way possible!

77 days until due date

77 days until due date

This week has felt extremely long. The weather hasn’t been too hot and yet it is affecting me a lot now (even still, please refrain from uttering, “Ooooh pregnant through summer” to me. I don’t appreciate it and am fully aware that I am pregnant […]

Baby Shower List(s)

Baby Shower List(s)

Lists are my favourite. I have mentioned that several times. Lists give me direction. Lists allow me to plan. Lists let me know when I have achieved things. I have several notebooks that I use specifically for list-making. Planning a baby shower, it turns out, […]

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

I am a huge Jane Harper fan. Huge. Sitting alongside Kate Morton, Holly Ringland and Liane Moriarty, Jane Harper is not only one of my favourite authors, but she is one of my favourite Australian female authors. These women are who I look up to, their work is what keeps me going when my motivation waivers or my confidence drops. These are the women whose careers I respect and aim for and admire.

Jane Harper burst onto the literary scene with the 2016 best-selling The Dry, and then followed it up with the 2018 hit Force of Nature. These two titles completely changed how I see the Australian landscape, both the physical and the mental. The way that Jane Harper was able to capture the entire Australian psyche between the covers of her book is something well beyond my own comprehension. She managed to completely dissect and celebrate this country whilst reminding us of its power, its expanse and its unforgivable nature.

Unlike its two predecessors, The Lost Man does not involve Aaron Falk – the detective we were first introduced to in The Dry. Though I do love the Aaron Falk character (and ay have a slight crush on him that I don’t understand), The Lost Man completely held its own without him. Following the Bright family, we are taken the furthest into the Australian outback that Harper has taken us before where we are thrown right into the action with the death of one brother and the confusion and grief that brings his remaining two brothers.

What follows is a wonderfully descriptive mystery of figuring out how Cameron Bright met his demise way out near Stockman’s Grave. We are taken to the far corners of the Australian outback and introduced to the inner workings of a small, country town. Not only that, but the brilliant and suspenseful edge of the family drama that weaves its way through the book is in a class of its own. The Bright family’s dynamics are expertly examined, with the added intrigue and stress around what it is like for the farmers and property owners who are way ‘out bush’. The Lost Man grants us access to an Australian life that many of us will seldom know and with that in mind, Harper is educating us about our own people. And I love it. Harper’s writing brings more atmosphere than should be possible with the written word, proving for the third time around that she is absolutely a force to be reckoned with.

There is always a risk when reading a thriller, a family-drama or a mystery novel. I find that even if I am thoroughly enjoying the book, there is a niggling voice in my head wondering whether or not the major twist, the reveal, the conclusion will be worth it. I want shocking. I want unpredictable. I want to be saying, “Oh my god, yes.” When it comes to Jane Harper, however, there is absolutely no risk. The mystery stays with you right until the very last page, even when everything has been solved and sorted and pieced together. I finished this book with the same enthusiasm and excitement with which I started it, and that is rare.

Even though the descriptive language is constant, and for any other writer would be overkill, each and every sentence is necessary and relevant. Nothing is left behind. There has been a huge surge in the domestic/family drama and sexy thriller genre ever since Girl on the Train, but Jane Harper’s works stand completely on its own not only in the Australian market, but internationally as well. It is so rare that this country, its population, its vast land and its uniqueness are captured in a way that pays homage to its reality.

Enter, Jane Harper.

Entering the third trimester.. 84 days until due date

Entering the third trimester.. 84 days until due date

Well – we made it! I am 28 weeks today, marking the start of the third and final trimester. THE HOME STRETCH. All things considered, I am feeling pretty good! I definitely feel heavier and getting on and off the lounge and in and out […]

Summer Reading List – so far..

Summer Reading List – so far..

Where do I even begin?! Seriously. This year may have been hard, and challenging, and completely gut-wrenching at times, but it has also been rewarding and the most life-changing, transformative period of my life. And, I do feel that Summer 2018-19 is going to be […]

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

I first came across The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society  when I was working in Angus & Robertson in Chatswood. It was a new release and I remember reading the back of it and feeling immediately drawn to the main character, Juliet Ashton. She is a witty writer stumped by a sever case of writer’s block. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance he’s acquired a book Juliet once owned – and, emboldened by their mutual love of books, they begin a correspondence and she is introduced to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and its members (a colourful bunch). Juliet, emboldened and inspired by their letters opts to visit the island of Guernsey, a trip that completely turns her life upside-down.

I don’t know how I didn’t realise it before, as I flicked through the book many times during my shifts at Angus & Robertson, but the book’s story is told in its entirety through letters. Normally, I steer extremely clear of books that aren’t comprised of simple chapters – the odd letter here and there I don’t mind, but I have never been able to stick with a novel that isn’t just plain ol’ storytelling. Until now.

Not only am I madly in love with the edition that I have of Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society which I picked up second-hand from Gertrude & Alice in Bondi, but I really enjoyed this story and the way it was told – at least for the first 60-70% of the book..

Overall, I think that the book was intriguing, interesting and really beautifully compiled. Readers are actually able to derive a lot of detail from the letters which I wasn’t expecting, and the story flows really well. For me though, I need all the other text around the letters and the dialogue to really grasp a story. I have always been told that I am a very descriptive writer, and maybe that is what I subconsciously look for in a book as well. I love reading about the intricacies of an English garden, or the sound of waves crashing against a cliff face or in-depth descriptions of the way someone looks. I felt that that was missing in this book. The voice of a narrator allows for unbiased descriptions, allowing for the reader to completely control the imagery the words evoke for them whereas I found that I couldn’t picture things as they were described when it was with the voice of one of the characters. Towards the end of the book I also found that I was skipping letters from the characters whose storylines I found boring.. which isn’t a great sign.

I won’t end on a negative note though. I really loved the character of Juliet and how sassy she was. I found that I could relate to her whilst also wanting some of her traits to be my own. I also found myself very invested in her relationships with the men around her, and loved that I didn’t know who she was going to end up with. I also really want to acknowledge how different this book is, it is unlike anything I have ever read before and that deserves mentioning. For a book that had a lot of things working against it for me personally (letter form, historical setting, references to war – none of which I enjoy reading about), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society was a beautifully written book, and I want to comment on the ending, but I won’t for fear of ruining it for those of you want to read it.

Gestational Diabetes Test

Gestational Diabetes Test

Yesterday, as some of you may have seen on instagram, I had to go into hospital to have the Gestational Diabetes Test. Taken from Diabetes Australia, “Gestational diabetes mellitus (sometimes referred to as GDM) is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Most women […]