Talking as Fast as I Can – by Lauren Graham


If you want to catch up for a coffee with Lauren Graham, this book is for you.  Like probably 99.9% of the readers who picked up this book, I read it because I love Gilmore Girls.  As if the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life wasn’t enough of a good thing, I wanted more.  I wanted to know whether Lauren Graham was anything like Lorelai Gilmore, and spoiler alert: she is.

Lorelai Lauren writes like she talks.  Fast-paced, entertaining, conversational, the book is extremely easy to read (I did it over three nap sessions, and my bubba doesn’t nap for long at all).  The highlights for me were:

- Anecdotes about Lauren starting out as an actress (no, the roles did not just land in her lap, so much went on behind the scenes with a lot of odd jobs, training etc.);

-Her thoughts on being single before she paired up with Peter Krause (it was refreshingly honest and something most of us have thought about at one time or another, without the Hollywood pressure thankfully);

-Her thoughts on writing, including the Kitchen Timer method (which is something that Don Roos passed onto Lauren – it’s a great method to try if you want to develop a writing discipline or just to get writing); and

-Of course, all the inside goss on the filming of Gilmore Girls (both the original series and the new episodes on Netflix).

There you have it.  No, the book is not the next War and Peace (nor does it attempt to be) but it is honest, Lauren wrote it herself (no ghost-writing here), and it does extremely well for a book of its genre.  Perfect to read on the plane, or by the pool on your next island getaway.

Rating: 3.5/5

Easy Mid-Week Dinner: Rosemary Chicken with Vegetable Stack

My hubby and I are trying to eat healthier, aka. more colours on our plate.  We came up with this.  It looks pretty, is easy to whip up (everything in the oven) and tastes surprisingly good.  Oh, and it’s the first time we used the rosemary from our little rosemary plant! :)  I’ve separated the recipe into chicken and then vegetables – in case you want to cook one and not the other.


Rosemary Chicken

1. Buy a pack of thigh cutlets with skin on (approx 6 in a pack). (We find that you can only get this at Coles and not Woolies).

2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

3. Place the thigh cutlets in a roasting tray.

4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary (I tore the leaves off roughly from the stem), salt and pepper (don’t be too stingy).  I imagine the results would be better if you massaged the oil and salt and pepper into the thigh cutlets, but I didn’t cause I was a bit lazy and it still worked well.

5. Put it in the oven, and roast until golden brown (approx 30 minutes?)

Vegetable Stack

1.  Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

2. Slice eggplant, capsicum, roma tomato and sweet potatoes into thickish round discs.

3.  Line baking tray with baking paper, and place vegetables on top (don’t overlap).

4.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

5.  Bake in the oven, until it looks done! (approx 15-20 minutes?)

6.  Stack them all on top of one another :) You can garnish with basil / other herbs if you wish, but I didn’t.


Easy Peasy Chicken Soup (to fight off the flu)

Melbourne weather is doing its darn thing again – hot one minute, cold the next.  Thanks to this wonderful up-and-down, the flu is ripe.  A few days ago, I had a scratchy throat.  My hubby had a headache.  And bubba had a runny nose.  I’m hoping that we can stop this nasty cold/flu in its tracks, before we all come down with the full-fledged version.

And so, we tucked into this VERY EASY chicken soup.  It’s adapted from the Rachael Finch website; she’s got some great healthy recipes on there.  This recipe makes use of only a few ingredients and you can put it on the stove a few hours before dinner time and tadaaaa dinner is ready (ie. you don’t have to cook during bubba’s fussy hour).  Brilliant.  It also doesn’t make use of chicken stock – so it’s more like a bone broth which I think is even better for you.

Here’s how it goes (serves about 4):

1.  Get a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Cook carrots (x3 diced), celery sticks (x3 diced) and onion (2 x medium diced) with garlic (4 cloves crushed) until translucent.

2.  Add chicken (1 whole uncooked organic chicken) and cover with water (about an inch from the lid).

3.  Cook for 2 – 4 hours (the longer you’re going to cook it, the lower the heat).  I cooked at low-medium heat for about 2.5 hours.

4.  Break away pieces of chicken, add salt and pepper to serve.

We ate this with some brown rice to make it more filling.

Play: Playdays Indoor Play Centre

Coming up with outings for a ten month old can be tricky.  Ten months is that wonderful age where I feel like we’re coming out of the haze of the newborn days.  Don’t get me wrong; newborn days comes with its own sweetness:  newness, delicacy, drunken-sailor milk-fed looks.  But ten months old is FUN.  Naps for Miss E is down to two, and there’s a bigger stretch of “awake” time which finally allows for some decent form of outing!  Shopping centre trips (whilst easy and fun for me) are getting to be pricey (shopping and eating out = dangerous).  I also want Miss E to be out of the house and moving!  So we decided to try Playdays, an indoor play centre for pre-schoolers.


Entrance fee is $8 for bubba’s age (free for adults), $7 if you become a member (as of November 2016).  The place is basically an indoor netball court, fitted to be a play centre.  There are a few locations, we went to the one at 350 Blackburn Rd, Doncaster East Victoria 3109.

Our experience:

There was heaps of space!  Miss E looked beside herself at the vast amount of space; she crawled excitedly everywhere.  Some of the equipment was aimed at an older age group, but there was plenty enough for her to do.  The ball pit was a hit.  As was the general soft slopey play equipment.  She also sat in one of those cars, which she manages to move around with her legs.  At her age, she needs to be closely supervised (some of the older kids can also be a bit rough).  There’s a “cafe” there where Mums can order a snack, a hot drink etc.  But think more like the Kiosk at the pool, rather than the local cafe.

We had a good time there, and will likely visit again.  $8 is probably a bit steep for a weekly visit, but every now and then it’s a good option.  I probably wouldn’t take bubs at any younger an age; 10 months is quite a good age.  Miss E got a good workout and slept soundly after!  She had heaps of fun.



Putting Together a Wardrobe that Works for you (while Nursing)

Pre-pregnancy I looked upon the concept of ‘Mum outfits’ with disdain.  Why do I need to change my style just because I’m a Mum?  I mean, am I not essentially the same person?  The same person, with an expanded heart.  I’ll wear my pre-pregnancy clothes, thank you very much.

Now 10 months into this parenting gig, I understand a bit of the ‘why’ to Mum outfits!  Not only does it save me time (from thinking and going through endless style combinations in my head), but I feel different as a person…and my old clothes just didn’t feel much like me anymore.  Clothes (aside from the very practical function of keeping us from being naked) should make me feel happy and good about myself.  Having a few key pieces which I love and feel great in post-birth was  a real mood-lifter (retail therapy much?)  Those newborn days were brutal.  I felt frumpy, tired, stressed……and it seemed like I was nursing all. the. time.

Here are the things which have worked for me, after a lot of trial and error in the past 10 months:

1. Soft tees that are slim-fitting but not fitted

I’m not a fan of nursing tees.  The all have that funner flap thing and I find that the material clings to me in all the wrong places.  And the bra indentation shows through?  Maybe I’m doing it all wrong?  Whatever the reason, I’ve never been able to make it work.  Some people swear by button-ups as an alternative but I found it too exposed for my liking.  Generally, it was more discrete to just lift up a regular tee, and as my bubba’s head grew, she basically covered most of me anyway….

Most tees worked, but I found the black long-sleeve top from Jac and Jack the best.  I lived in that thing and never wanted to wash it.  Gross I know.  I can’t find it online anymore (I bought it years ago) – but it was something like this.  The only nursing tee which worked for me and was somewhat still flattering was this one from Mamaway (on sale).

2.  Well-fitted Jeans

For the first few months I lived in my maternity jeans (a H&M bargain number which is no longer available, but a similar one is at the link) and a RIPE pair.  At the nine months mark, I bought a pair of regular JBrand photoready jeans (a splash item that has been on my wish list for a long time).

3.  A Light-weight Anorak

I found a light-weight anorak to be very slimming, a great cover-up when nursing and a fantastic transitional piece that can be used post-nursing (until the weather gets colder anyway).  I have the Everlane version of this in navy.

4.  Sunnies!

I love my aviators.  They instantly make me feel more pulled together (even when I’m totally not).  Basically any sunnies which fit your face shape is a goer.

5.  Lovable Maternity Bra

Man, it’s hard finding a good nursing bra.  I wasted my money on quite a few that now sit in my closet collecting dust.  Spend the extra time to get it fitted by someone who knows their stuff.  Yeah, it’s a bit weird.  It’s a bit awkward.  But it can save you a ton of money.  I got mine fitted at Ripe maternity (they did a brilliant job).  I also got a fitting at Bras n Things which didn’t go quite as well.  Anyway, my favourite is the lovable maternity bra in black and nude.

If I lived in the US I’d love to try the Storq maternity bra which looks super comfy and does away with all the clips n things (which is super handy when you have a very impatient bubba).  But the shipping costs makes it kinda not worthwhile…….so I never took the plunge (no pun intended).   Some people like to go for the maternity bras which don’t look like maternity bras, like the Elle McPherson nursing bras.  They definitely are pretty.  But as bras aren’t cheap, I’m all for getting the ones which goes with everything….hence the lovable version which works well under tshirts, dresses, anything really.

6. Slip-on shoes with Good Grip

In the early days, bubba was always in my arms…..and you kinda need both arms to hold babies (one to hold them, and one to support their neck).  So slip-on shoes were definitely the easiest.  And as I am not the most agile person in the world (read crashes into walls, falls down stairs, trips for no reason), good grip was essential.  I basically wore my Bensimon tennis flats all the time.  They go with everything and I can just slip them on hands-free (got mine at Nordstrom).

7. A Pretty Diaper Bag

A lot of people go with a non-diaper bag (just chuck a cute change clutch into any large washable handbag) or even a backpack.  Personally I preferred a diaper bag because 1) it’s an excuse to buy an extra bag :P and 2) I didn’t have to pack and unpack all the time…..and none of my normal bags were generally big enough for me.  I have both the Storksak Noa Nappy Bag and the Mimco Lucid Nappy Bag.   I love them both, but probably prefer the Mimco one just a tad bit more, simply because it’s BIGGER.  The Storksak one has an insulated compartment which helps keep the milk good for a certain number of hours.  PS Sometimes you can sometimes grab these at a steal on Ebay where you can get unused ones going at a discounted rate cause someone got given two at a baby shower!

8.  A Ring Sling

My bubba didn’t love the pram.  And wanted to be held all the time.  So the only way that I could go outside the house, and/or do chores was in the ring sling.  I have the beautiful Sakura Bloom linen one.  Sakura Bloom also does some wonderful silk ones – which look absolutely amazing.  But I found the linen one practical and bubba loved it.  As bubba grew older we gradually transitioned to the Tula carrier which was perfect.

9. Delicate Jewellery

Little hands likes to pull at things – so no long dangly earrings.  Or massive crystal rings which are a scraping hazard.  Delicate stacking rings like this is perfect.  Still on my wish list.

What about you?  What was your go-to in your new Mama days? x

No Emotions are Off Limits

I have a very vocal child.  It’s so much better now that she baby babbles; it has dramatically reduced the amount of crying time, as she progressively learns to communicate in other ways.  But when she does cry, it’s not a whimper.  It’s a heart-wrenching, everything-thrown-in kinda wail.  When this happen, I’m flustered.  And I’ve found myself saying to her more and more, ‘It’s okay.  Mummy’s here.  There’s no need to cry.’

But today I take pause.  When I’m sad, I want to tell other people about it.  Anger, frustration, elation and everything in between are valid emotions.  No feelings are off-limits.  Maybe there is sometimes a need to cry.  Maybe it’s better to teach her that all emotions are valid and to name these emotions, instead of always rushing to shush them.  Maybe (when her basic needs are met) sometimes she needs to wail and for me to understand that, to get it out of her system.  Maybe she’s someone with a knack for language and communication, and I need to teach her to use that to her advantage.

Don’t know where I am going with this.  Just random musings this Thursday…..

On Babies and Sleep

The four-month sleep regression.  I don’t know if it’s a “real thing” or if it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby if you think about it too much, you attract exactly what you fear will eventuate.  Whatever the theory, our little bubs went through it to some degree.  We also transitioned her to her cot from her bassinet around the four month mark AND transitioned her from her muslin swaddles to her sleeping bag (as she was rolling a heap!) at the same time, so maybe it was too many changes at once.  Childcare was looming in the not too distant future and I didn’t want her to not be able to sleep on her own.  It hurts me to think that she might have to cry herself to sleep in an unfamiliar place for her naps.  So I was determined to help her to sleep.

Sleep is one of those touchy subjects, somewhat emotionally charged (like breastfeeding I find).  I read up on ‘cry it out’ methods, controlled crying methods, responsive settling methods, no-cry sleep solutions to everything in between.  We even got a sleep consultant (who was very helpful).  In the end I found that no one solution worked for us.  It really depends on your baby’s temperament and your own temperament (what you’re comfortable with) and a lot of trial and error.  I know that the mantra is that consistency is key, but for us understanding our child in a particular moment was the key.  Some days, she would ache to be held — I could see that she was insecure and scared, we would rock her to sleep on those days.  Some days, she didn’t want to be held or rocked and just wanted to be left to ‘do her thing’ — so we let her whinge a bit and she self settled.  If there was anything I learnt, putting a baby to sleep is more of an Art than a Science (just like everything else baby-related really).

I found these lines from a blog post useful:

In my experience of parenthood, these things have been consistently true: 1) Nothing changes completely overnight. 2) Nothing stays the same for very long. 3) Everything takes more patience than you think it might but usually it’s patience you manage to find. 4) Keep chugging along for long enough and you’ll eventually get to pat yourself on the back for having a tiny human who’s taken to sleeping, or eating, or peeing in a pot.

Full blog post is from Reading my Tea Leaves here. 

PS. I’m happy to note (that for the time being), she’s sleeping a lot better now at the six months mark and would put herself to sleep for most naps!  Maybe she’s finished her leap.  Or teething doesn’t bother her as much.  Or I pulled back on the dairy.  You know what?  I don’t know why.  It’s unlikely anything I did ;)

On Brushing my Teeth

A visit to the dentist was the monumental event of last week.  It took a lot of coordinating.  Mr T and I organised back to back appointments and took turns rocking the baby in the waiting room while the other one got their teeth examined and cleaned.  All in all it was a success as far as baby juggling goes (she was pretty well behaved).

It wasn’t so much a success in terms of my teeth.  I have sucky teeth.  Have always had sucky teeth.  I swear I brush my teeth twice EVERY DAY, like you are supposed to.  And I floss.  And yet it stands that I have fifty million fillings.  Mister T on the other hand is a bit more lax.  He will beg to differ, but I suspect that some days he doesn’t brush his teeth at night at all.  If he does, he must do it in secret.  And yet he has perfect teeth.  No cavities.  Life is so unfair.

To console myself, I took to retail therapy.  Because obviously a nice electric toothbrush will totally get rid of my cavities.  For those who are interested, I got the Quip subscription.  We’ll just wait til November when the next visit is – I’m sure I’ll have perfect teeth by then.

PS we recently changed insurance funds.  The dentist that we like is their preferred provider, and for the whole visit there was no out of pocket fee!  Now might be a good time to re-examine your insurance funds.  For years, I was too lazy to compare – sometimes it pays to be aware!


Last week was a big week.  There were some tears.  And feelings of being overwhelmed.  Being a parent sometimes leaves you feeling a little raw, in the best possible way.  The week came with it the realisation that something needed to be changed; I decided that I should make gratefulness a more salient part of my life.  As a step towards this, I’m sharing (explicitly stating more as a reminder for myself than anything else) five things which I am grateful for this week.


These blooms, because even though they are getting to be slightly over-bloomed they light up our living space.  We are still in the middle of unpacking from our move (unpacking with a little one is taking triple the time!) and there are boxes everywhere.  These flowers calm me and help make the space feel like home.


These Mars Bar slices, shared over great conversations with other Mums.  I’m grateful for my mother’s group and for their friendship.  (PS I made this from the easiest recipe ever – check it out HERE.)  Not the healthiest, but little bites won’t hurt. (Much) ;)


This little wooden crate for helping us keep track of little bub’s toys.  I bought it from Kmart (best store ever!); I think it was originally meant to be a garden box.


This watch – representing time.  I’m thankful for hubby’s workplace.  For their understanding.  For flexible work arrangements.  It’s important to us that hubby gets to spend time with little bubs from an early age.  A parent’s presence in a child’s life is important.  It also gives me a much needed breather.


This babyroo visualisation book, because seeing our little girl’s name printed in black and white makes it seem all the more real! (silly I know).  And also because after babyroo, she takes the longest naps ever :)  Teaching her the value of a good day’s work and a good day’s rest!

What are some of the things that you’re grateful for this week? x

Habit Matters

‘We are what we repeatedly do,’ says Aristotle.  Age old wisdom.  Easy to understand, but difficult to implement.

Lately, I’ve become more aware of my habits.  That anything I do from sleeping in, to not picking up after myself, to getting angry when someone cuts my lane is keenly observed by a little pair of eyes.  It scares me to the core that she may pick up on those moments that I’m not so proud of, and replicate them and/or repeat them back to me when she starts speaking!  I also know myself well; that I lack consistency and perseverance.  So I’ve decided not to take too big a leap all at once.  Instead I will adopt one new habit every 66 days.  Science (and Huffington Post) suggests that’s how long it takes to establish a new habit.

So my habit this month is to:

Drink a glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning.

Why?  It’s supposed to be good for my health.  You can check out the specifics here on the Positive Health Wellness website. 


After these 66 days, I will pick up a new habit.  

You’re most welcome to join in this – comment below so we can keep track! :)