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Showing posts from January, 2013

Matcha Green Tea Macarons

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Last year, just before the xmas break, one of my workmates bought something interesting from the local asian food shop. He's heavily into all things Japanese, and enjoys cooking, although he probably would deny that he's quite good at it. Some of the meals he brings for lunch smell absolutely delicious! Anyway, he called out to me from his desk, and held up a package of matcha powder (green tea powder) to show me. I was delighted and immediately demanded to know where he'd bought it, and the next lunch time i headed out to Kongs to acquire one for myself.

I knew exactly what i wanted to do with it - matcha green tea macarons. I saw these in France but it was my first time discovering macarons and i had no idea what matcha was. I think from memory i went with a raspberry one instead :)

And today, i've made some :) I sprinkled the tops with some black sesame seeds to complement the flavour of the green tea.

As we've moved house and i'm using a new oven for this …

Giant Rainbow Cupcake - our smash cake trial

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I had planned for some time to do a cake smash session with Ethan for his first birthday. The photographer who took his newborn photos was going to start doing cake smash packages, which included a giant cupcake. However, she's moved house and was planning to build a studio at her new place, but her husband injured his back so the studio is on hold. She still does the newborn shoots but obviously doesn't have room for an active baby without a proper studio.

So, i've been looking into buying a backdrop, and perhaps a strobe light and softbox, and setting up my own. I've got no idea really what i'm doing but my photographer was kind enough to share with me the brands of her equipment, and hubby is a photographer (but prefers natural light shoots so has sold all his studio gear) and can help me with setups and all my questions.

Starting off with the easiest part though, i bought a giant cupcake cake tin from Big W ready to make my own giant cupcake. After a little …

Building our home: Ready for demolition

Our tenants moved out this past weekend and have returned the keys, so our house is now ready for demolition. We've been over a few times and pegged out the backyard with the intended locations of our future pool and alfresco area, and worked out where the house will sit in relation to the current house. It's not much bigger on the ground, but the house we're building will be two storey. We've also discovered we'll be able to keep two of the trees in the backyard so we'll have some lovely shade. It does mean we'll need to rethink where we want to grow vegetables, as the trees will block too much sun for most veggies to grow well.

The building company have not yet come back to us with prices for the extras we wanted quoted. So much for our job being rushed through as a priority! They say the prices might be back within two weeks, but their usual time is 2-3 weeks so we don't consider that much of a rush. Ah well, as soon as we get them back we'll be …

He's been on solids for a week now...

And it's going well!

After the first two days where he'd cry and turn his head away every time the spoon came near, he got the idea that the spoon had something yummy on it. Since then he's learning to open his mouth a bit wider and then close his lips when the spoon is in. It's still not perfect; he doesn't open it wide enough (just like he did when first learning to breastfeed!) and sometimes his teeth close on the spoon so we have to wait until he lets go before removing it, but this will come with practice. So pleased he's actually now eating happily!

He really likes the smooth texture of the mango, and i've had success mixing things in it - porridge so far, and this morning i tried Weetbix, but he's not appearing to be hungry at breakfast time so i'll try that again for lunch. I think he'll like it. I'm going to make some chicken and mango, and chicken and apricot puree, and will stew an apple to get some different tastes for him to get…

Selection meeting (pre-start)

We had our selection meeting (also known as pre-start) on Monday. We had the same girl we'd seen at the showroom on Saturday, and she'd been through our documents so was much more up to speed with what we wanted. We also discovered that although certain choices from the standard range were highlighted orange, it was not a forced choice but rather just what was specified in our agenda and we were free to choose others. We mostly were happy with those choices however so stuck with them and only changed a few.

We rocketed through the suggested 5-6 hour meeting in 2 1/2 hours (including a 15 minute break for me to express!). I think doing the hard work on Saturday and then sitting down Sunday afternoon and going through the choice booklet and addenda really helped.

Waiting now on quotes for things we've changed. We wanted a price on a spa bath for our ensuite, stone counter tops in the kitchen, extra lights and powerpoints (the downstairs lights need to be finalised now becaus…

Starting puree at 9 months

We're going a little backwards here, but baby-led weaning just doesn't seem to be working for us. Apart from a slice of apple or a rice cake, he'll pretty much just take a nibble of any other food and then throw it on the floor. What he's not eating, he's replacing with breastmilk, and i'm having trouble keeping weight on myself let alone him. It's just too much for me to keep up with the demands of a nearly 10 month old's entire diet. Not to mention i get really tired these days and i think it's due to a lack of energy, i'm struggling to eat enough to sustain both of us.

So when i cut up some mango on the weekend, i popped it into the food processor and pureed it. Last night hubby put bub on his lap, put a tiny bit of puree on a spoon, and held it near Ethan's mouth. He saw it, clamped his lips together, turned his head away and arched his back, and then cried. As his mouth was open to cry, hubby popped the spoon in. Oh the faces! But then …

Pre-selection building meeting

A few years ago, hubby and i bought a block. It had a very run-down asbestos/weatherboard/brick house on it, which we did a super quick renovation on ($7000 worth, and we did the whole lot ourselves to save money) and rented out. We were always intending to knock the house down and build a new house, but it was a matter of selling our current homes to be able to borrow enough to build. We've now got to that stage, and just before xmas last year we had our pre-selection meeting with the builder.

At that meeting we went through some of the options that they had in their showroom. They have drawers full of handles, samples of wall rendering, roofing, balustrading, bricks, and a kitchen and bathroom setup with examples of taps, drawers etc. We went home with a 100 page selection book with what we needed to choose from before the selection meeting (also known as pre-start) and a 20 page addenda which was specific to our building.

Hubby took our plans to the lighting shop they recommend…

On the journey to VBAC

For the last nine months, i've been researching VBACs - vaginal birth after caesarean. I've:

panicked about uterine rupturereassured myself with the statistics and what to do to decrease riskrealised there's other more likely risks eg PPH yet these do not preclude first time mums from being able to birth at home, so it's purely scaremongering by the medical board that VBAC means 'not low risk'got over that fear - a VBAC is just another birthexplored options for homebirthing with a midwifedespaired of finding one that was willing to take on an HBAC client with the current witch hunting of midwives going against the AMA, RANZCOG and ACM guidelines on 'low risk only' homebirthshave started to give up on the idea of finding one who would take that on as well as be comfortable with a possible breechrealised that if i did employ a midwife i'd constantly be on the edge, hoping nothing would change her mind and make her suggest i transfer, like last time whe…

Trouble with solids - BLW vs spoon feeding

I did a lot of research during my pregnancy and after bub was born, and one of the items i researched was how to introduce solids. Baby led weaning really appealed to me, mostly because i wouldn't be force feeding him and hopefully that would then reduce his chance of developing fussiness with food as a toddler/child. There was also the bonus of not having to fiddle about pureeing and freezing small portions of food, figuring out when he was ready for the slightly chunkier purees, then the rough mash etc, and the advantage of not having to bring food with you when out, as baby can eat what you're having (within reason of course - i'm not about to feed him my laksa or vindaloo, but he can have a piece of chicken or cucumber from my chicken salad).

We started off fairly well, his first meal at five and a half months was slices of avocado and apple. He didn't get the idea at first, i used to tap the tray near the snacks to bring his attention to them and he'd pick the…

My struggle with recurrent blocked ducts

Rather than making a post each time i get a blocked duct, i'm making one post with all the things i've tried and what works best in preventing and in treating blocked ducts.

Preventing blocked ducts:

Drink 8 glass of clear fluid a day (not including soft drinks): This for me seems to prevent the milk from getting too thick and causing a plug in the ducts.

Lecithin: 1200mg 3-4 times daily. It's thought to keep the fats in the milk from clumping together.

Check boobs partway through a feeding for lumps: If any are found i treat as for a blocked duct.

Check boobs in shower: If i feel a blockage starting i treat as for a blocked duct.

Don't wear tight bras: This may seem obvious, but one of my feeding bras fits me well in the cup, ie has room for when my boobs are full, but the elastic A frame to allow the cups to drop down is a bit tighter. It's fine on one side, but the other boob is slightly bigger and the frame presses... not enough to cause a mark on the skin but e…