It’s Beginning to Feel a lot like Christmas


My oh my is it COLD out today! This morning I was greeted by this lovely message on my dashboard.

15 degrees!!! What?! Well at least now it does indeed feel like Christmas is just around the corner! Don’t get me wrong, I would welcome the 50 degree December weather back in an instant, but for some reason I just don’t feel like it’s Christmas time, unless I am surrounded by the frigid air.

Everyone who has been complaining about it being “too warm” for December has officially been granted their wish. I actually don’t really mind the cold all that much, since there is a soft spot in my heart for winter apparel and fashion. Snow on the other hand, that’s a COMPLETELY different story, no soft spot their. Actually there’s a real hard spot! Ha

Anyways, I got over the weather as soon as I walked over to my desk and saw this!


A present? For me? YAY! My boss decided to spend her weekend baking up a storm for her fellow employees, isn’t thoughtful?! Inside the box I found an assortment of oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies along with some Hershey kisses, my favorite! I definitely foresee a 4 o’clock coffee and cookie date later on.


Breakfast was quite typical this morning.


Plain Chobani 0% yogurt mixed with some ground flaxseed. Simple yet amazing.

Hope you all have a great day!

In you opinion does it need to be cold in order for it to really feel like Christmas?

Wedding Gifts In Modern Days

2016-10-21_110754Weddings are always momentous occasion filled with happiness, laughter and merry making. In the last two years, I seem to be attending a lot of weddings and hence gift giving became a common thing for me. Gone are the days when you would just go to any shop and buy whatever you feel like. These days a lot of thought and money goes into this process. Lucky for the couple as it’s like a bigger second birthday for them.

Wedding registers are probably the newest trend in this new era. Personally, this is my favorite because I don’t not have to rack my brain thinking of what are the best wedding gifts to get the couple. They already told me and gave me a long list to choose from. Just perfect! I make it a point to go early so that I can get something that is in line with my budget. It also gives me an opportunity to window shop for myself.

If there is no wedding registry, it is good to find out what the couple needs and try to make them as happy as you can. Do not buy gifts that make you happy, it’s not your wedding. You also do not have to spend too much but also never give cheap gifts.

Cash as wedding gifts is probably the most controversial one of the new trends. Some people find it distasteful but I think it is a great way for people to make sure that they do not get things that they already have. It is also more convenient for the wedding guests especially for destination weddings. It would be impossible to carry a whole fridge for the new couple who needs it. Just give them the money and they get to choose the exact one that they want. Weddings are also expensive and I’m sure the couple would appreciate some cash after all they spent.

Times have changed. The concept of wedding gifts in terms of what kind of gifts, where they are bought and how they are presented is now very different than in the olden days. We all should embrace it and get with the times.

My research before getting a slow cooker

Just like we are finding the right home to purchase for our family, it is the same thing with buying the right slow cooker. This is especially true if you are an avid cook for your family. Buying the right slow cooker will not only help the time that you have to spend on cooking but also the amount of energy that you spend. I’m currently making some research on the best slow cooker 2016 to buy here.

a-slow-cookerLuckily, every unit of slow cookers nowadays come with a manual book that we can refer to regarding the maintenance instructions and also the usage instructions. Unfortunately too, some people discard the manual book as soon as they get the unit back home, and they are left with no guidance on how to take care of their slow cooker. So, here are the simple basic tips that we can follow to maintain the life of the slow cooker.

First and foremost, do not ever remove the lid while the dish is still being cooked. If you do this, the heat from the cooker will be loss, and this will increase the actual time needed to cook the dish. Plus, it may also cause your dish to become diluted if the condensed vapors drop into your dish. Regarding your safety, removing the lid while cooking may cause the escaping teams to burn your face.

More information: Top tips of using a slow cooker

Secondly, you must consider the amount of energy that the cooker uses. If you are living alone, then it is okay if you wish to buy the one with high power since you do not have to worry on your monthly expenditure on the energy bill. However, it would be a different story for a family. You should get yourself the set that uses relatively low energy compared to its size.

Thirdly, whenever you have finished cooking, you must never try to turn down the temperature of the cooker by pouring it with cold water. Other than dangerous, this actually will cause your lid, which is usually made of glass, crack and break into pieces due to sudden temperature decrease. As you know it, when the lid breaks. Therefore you need to get a new replacement.

Fourth, if you wish to clean your slow cooker set, just use a clean cloth and warm water or vinegar. These are already enough to clean the stains without scratching the inside of your cooker. Using direct water may cause your cooker to rust should any of the water droplets land on the metal part of the cooker.

Best slow cooker 2016 does not allow steams and vapors to escape during cooking unless we remove the lid for a while. When we do that, the accumulated and condensed vapors will fall back into the dish that we cook, causing it to become diluted, watery and the taste is also affected.

Regardless of the drawbacks, the benefits of using a slow cooker are relatively major compared to the drawbacks (Read the benefits here). That should encourage us to use the slow cooker, especially for those of us who love to multi-task while cooking. Perhaps, while waiting for the stew to cook for 4 hours, we can spend the time exercising, gardening or at least spend the valuable time with our family.

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Coffee Maker 2016

You’ve finally made up your mind that you need to buy the best coffee makers 2016. Probably you’ve never had one or the one you had broken down, and you need to replace it. This is a choice that you should take careful consideration of because at the end of the day, the coffee maker you buy will determine the quality of the coffee that you brew.


In today’s ever changing market, products are changing from one day to the next. What is ‘in’ today may not be ‘in’ tomorrow. Coffee makers are no different. We have a wide range in the market. Different sizes, different colors, different prices. With all the brands out there, it becomes even harder for a consumer to make up his or her mind. This article will endeavor to help you with handy tips on the characteristics to watch out for when selecting the good coffee maker to purchase.

Technology is great! However, if programming buttons and options are leaving you more frustrated than eager to drink your coffee, this may result in you making errors and thereby not enjoying your favorite cup of coffee. The good coffee maker is one that is not only up to date with technology but also user-friendly and simple to use.

Whenever you’re looking for a coffee maker, you want the one that has safety features on. An automatic on/off feature will go a long way in ensuring you not only save on energy but in case you are a forgetful person it turns itself off. Still, on the matter of safety most coffee maker come with a short power cord. Don’t buy any with a long power cord; the short ones are meant to reduce the risk of becoming entangled in or someone tripping over a long loose cord. This is extremely useful especially if you have children in the house who have a tendency of pulling and pushing anything movable. Also, where style is concerned to consider buying a coffee maker that flows with your kitchen decor; look out for (color and size) and you will do just fine.

I have always loved being a twin: Helen in Heels

Through blogging (don’t forget that L!) I have met some way cool people. Some I have had the opportunity to meet in real life (hi Fleur! hi Nikki!) and others I continue to love online in the hope of meeting them one day soon. One of those peeps is Housewife in Heels. My friend Sarah over at Slapdash Mama introduced me to the HiH blog my first week of blogging, and I was hooked. She is a gorgeous classy lady, only trumping that with her piss funny humour, and is the one responsible for that week when I left society and fell down the rabbit hole that was googling about “grey gardens”. Intriguing stuff, clear your diary and press “I’m feeling lucky Google”.

Housewife in Heels knows way more than I do about twins. Given that, well, she is one and has a twin sister. I learn heaps from the snippets she tells me about growing up with a twin sister. I asked her if she would be interested in writing something for Sit Down Mummy on being a twin. Given that many of the Sit Down Mummy readers are mummas of twins, but not twins themselves. Helen has come to the party (in heels of course)… check out her fabulous writing below:

I was born 5 minutes before my twin sister. Those 5 minutes meant I was the middle child of three girls- my 18 month older sister, and my twin who was 5 minutes younger. It may sound strange, but as much as identify with being a twin, I also consider myself to be the middle child- with all of the responsibilities of a ‘big sister’.

At least half of my childhood memories involve my twin. We were shy growing up. The kindergarten teacher was concerned that we never played with anyone but each other. When we did make friends, they were always mutual friends. We shared best friends from 4 years old, and to this day continue to share best friends. In year 2, a decision was made for my sister and I to be placed in separate classes. I don’t remember if this upset me at the time, but retrospectively I think it was good decision, to give us independence.

I have always loved being a twin. I always had a playmate and a confidante. We were never competitive. I have always been happy for her achievements, and she has been happy for mine. We fought a lot – pulling hair, biting, pinching each other – but it was always short-lived, and would be resolved by the ‘victim’ deciding how many punches the other needed for retribution.

There was also the ‘twin things’. I’m not much of a believer in paranormal, but there has always been an element of telepathy with my sister. Perhaps it’s because we have spent so much time together. But I actually believe it’s more than that. For example, we used to play games guessing the number that the other was thinking – and we would guess the same number much more often than we should have. Also, there are so many coincidences such as buying the exact same pair of shoes and bag on the same day with no prior discussion about the items/ shopping. There are countless examples such as this. There may be nothing more than coincidence to these examples, but I like to think that there’s something else going on.

There are some downsides to being a twin. Growing up, outsiders (and sometimes even our family) often lumped us together as “the twins”. We hated being referred to as ‘the twins’. We were individuals. Imagine if everyone always referred to you by your last name –e.g. “the Smiths”. The comparisons were also difficult. Imagine being told at age 12, that you were the ‘fat one, but don’t worry because you’re more social’ by a classmate.

It’s also a little awkward when you’re confused for your twin in public. It still happens. Even yesterday, a mother of a classmate of my twin mistook me for her. In the back of your mind, you’re asking yourself, am I meant to know you, or are you mistaking me for my twin?

We are similar in many ways, including our looks, voices, and personalities. But there is one major difference. She is gay. Even though we are genetically identical, I don’t believe it’s a choice for her. Anyway, she is getting married in March next year, and I am so happy for her. I love her and can’t imagine life without her.

The best stand mixer for I used for baking

Apart from the love of baking or creating the delicacies fit for Kings and Queens as she prefers to call it, most recently I was tasked with finding a suitable wedding present and at the top of my best friends list was a stand mixer and not just any mixer but the best stand mixer 2016 has to offer.

Having known her for years, I understand that baking had been passed down by her mother as was done before her through her grandmother. This was not going to be an easy quick fix task, so I took some time to do the research and explore as many avenues as possible. As many of us can relate, I cranked out my laptop and did some searches, read magazine articles and even asked around a few bakeries I frequently went to and the donuts did really help with my ‘investigation’.


After a couple of weeks, I came to the conclusion of a top three possible candidate list but one being above and beyond better than the rest. So using traditions from Greek origins and the recent Olympics, here are the three medal winners:

Bronze medal – “Breville scraper mixer pro”

Giving the right amount of power for any particular task, this innovative mixer includes handy features like load sensors and a pause feature but it’s scraper paddle is its standout feature as it is meant to get all the bits of batter and icing from the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Silver Medal – “Cuisinart SM”

Of the three winners, it was the mixer with the most powerful motor and with a variety of extra features and handy attachments, its versatility made it stand out from the pack.

Gold Medal – “Kitchenaid Artisan”

This was the best and pardon the pun but the crème DE la crème of mixers with a large variety of attachments as well as an assortment of colors to choose from. Its ability to do more than any mixer on the list and in addition to its powerful motor, it was the most requested mixer as a wedding gift according to a popular wedding magazine which made the choice fairly simple.

Needless to say, she loved the gift and it has refunded for itself a few times over with the amount of cakes I have helped sample (bake).

Tough Mother

A few months ago my friend from work L said “hey mate, I’m entering a fun event in August, would you be…”
My answer before she had even finished… “YEP I’m in… what is the event?”

I do that a fair bit. Drives hubby insane. I think I mainly do it because: a) my friends are way cool and have way cool ideas, and b) as a working mum of 2 year old twins, I don’t get much free time that fits in well with friend time so jump on any chance to catch up with friends when I can.
A race + catching up with a friend. Perfect combination in my books.

The event was Tough Mudder. A 20km obstacle race. You might have heard of it? Although new to the Sunshine Coast, it has been getting a fair bit of air play here in Qld. I have done other obstacle races, adventure races, surf races, surf boat races, outrigging races, running races, and triathlons. But this was different. And very special.

The event was Saturday just gone. A week later I am still on a high.

And without further delay — here are the reasons why I loved my Tough Mudder experience hard!
1. It was promoted as a challenge, not a race.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows I am not a fan of focusing on racing times/places. This is for a number of reasons and past experiences. I love races and training with a race goal. But I love them for the experience and do not give a shiz where I come.
Tough Mudder put a big deal on communicating to everyone entered that the event was a challenge and not a race. And that looking after your own team and other teams out on the course was key. They even made you take a pledge on bended knee. Which sounds dorky now but was very cool 1 minute before the race started.
They didn’t even take official times of the event. Can’t say that happens in many big sporting events these days.
Post-race this stopped the questions that I hate. No “where did you come” questions. No “what was your race time” questions.
And meant for all the questions that I adore hard. ”How was it?”. “Did you have fun?”. “What was the best bit?”.

2. The challenges were way cool and BIG.
Unlike other obstacle races I have done, I think the challenges in Tough Mudder would be near impossible to replicate yourself. They were large-scale, built with machines, and some were scary as feck. I jumped into and had to swim underwater in a pool of just ice, I got electrocuted 12 times, I jumped and free fell off high beams into dug-out pools, and I crawled under ground in pitch-black sewers of muddy water (whilst singing Wilson Philips ‘Hold On’ to keep me calm). And that was just 5 of the 20+ obstacles. Looking back, I am amazed at some of the things I did that morning.

3. Mah teammies.
I was in a work team with my friend L, her hubs D, and some guys from work. Such an amazing fun group. Everyone looked out for each other and pushed each other along, figuratively and literally. Getting in with the right group is the key to a race like this I think. Massive props to L and D for teaming up with en spouse without a divorce on the cards post-event. I am not 100% sure if hubs and I could do the same in such an event. Maybe we should try one day. Or maybe we should just stay happily married. Ha.

4. The atmosphere.
There were plenty of good vibes! It was all a bit American but was perfect for the day. I mean come on, who doesn’t love climbing through mud with the Smashing Pumpkins blasting in the background and someone on a microphone egging you on?! Tough Mudder has super fun vibe. I wish I could bottle it and sniff a bit each morning.

5. 5star organisation and logistics.
Out of all the races I have ever done, this event is the best organised. The logistics and organisation that goes into this race is premium and despite the huge numbers of people competing, in my experience on the day it was all so easy and I could not have wished for anything different. Parking = easy. Registration = walked straight in. Bag drop = 2 seconds. Race start = pumping. Race nutrition = water, sports drink, and bananas in abundance out on the course. And bins for rubbish all along the way.* Finish line = cross, picture, solo, beer, high-five. Showers = OMG they had the BEST setup for showers. Aus race organisers and even Aus music festival organisers could get a lot of great ideas from these guys.

Would I do it again? You bet.
I think anyone could do Tough Mudder, if they wanted.
The key is finding the right group to do it with.
I am going to hit up my 60+ year old dad to see if he will join us next year.

If you are interested in this sort of thing, on YouTube you can view the official short video of the Sunny Coast Tough Mudder race or a guy (SurfShacked – who I don’t know) has put up a really cool GoPro video (14min) of ALL the Tough Mudder Sunny Coast obstacles (he filmed it as he raced – wow).

I am backing up this weekend for the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon. Once again, for fun.
Hubs and I are running with the pram. And our 2 year old twins.
It could be a disaster. Or it could be unreal fun. Will soon find out.
Have a fun weekend. xx

Time to Camp Out!

So here I am, the camping fever is already building up. All the preparations have been made meticulously so far. My family and I want to make the most of this vacation. Everything is set; the food; the hiking gear, basically everything we are going to need.

Now I need to know on what my babies are going to be sleeping on. The previous picnic and camping experience we had (at that time it was only Steve, my husband, and myself) makes me cringe. We had to make do with sleeping on the tent floor and like is common knowledge with a night spent on bare floor, it doesn’t matter how beautifully the lawns are mowed or how nice and soft they have advertised gardens to be, you wake up feeling like you spent the whole night on a night-running marathon.


Then to make matters worse you wake up too early and the only thing that will save you is if the advertised ‘spectacular view of the sunrise’ is not a misplaced phrase. Come to think of it, nowadays even backyards are referred to as ‘spectacular gardens’. Am hoping against hope Steve chose a nice place. he said he would surprise us and honestly, sometimes his surprises leave a lot to be desired.

Not that am complaining, but sometimes I think men ought to have been given better judgement. Anyway, I digress. I was going to pack in our old mattresses when Baby Nathan, (God! this boy is eleven! I need to stop calling him Baby!) comes to my rescue.

“Mom,” he starts, then gets carried away on picking his nose, a habit which gets under my skin like nothing else ever has! At some point am tempted to ask Steve if he did that because am so sure this, he did not pick from me! “I came across a good camping air bed with frame. ” More nose picking. “Don’t you think they could lessen the baggage?”

My word! Why had I not thought about that all along! This could be just what my family needs to make the picnic memorable and less cumbersome.

More on air mattress:
Finding the perfect air mattress size

From the last four years I am using air bed

When I was young, we carried hold all in trains, and it was mandatory. We had a few air beds rolled into that with pillows. Back then, the trains did not have good quality cushions, if at all. But most, it was my mom who was scared of us getting bitten by bed bugs or infections from whatever it was the previous occupant had used. We always got the assignment of inflating those beds, for which we used a pump of course. The real fun was watching all that air being slowly released from the bed before it was packed in again in that small holdall.


My mom also used the three air beds she had to accommodate guests, and they always complained of backache on the following day. As children we never understood, and my mother could only be apologetic about the inconvenience.

When I married, one of those air beds was given to me, which my husband promptly rolled into a neat bundle and pushed up in the attic. The air beds he bought looked neater and could be stacked up if needed to offer seating arrangement in day time. So I never complained. These air beds were slightly wider than what my mother gave me. These could also be stored neatly in the cupboard. About four years ago, one of the two air beds breathed its last, and so began our hunt for best air bed. We were surprised that air beds these days are not confined to picnics or travel. Instead, they can be used everyday. I asked my husband if they can also find me air bed that will be cooler to touch in summers, and warmer in winters. My husband laughed and said they have already built in the air pump. It is only matter of another 25 odd years for a heating element and cooling element to be included. We decided we will use these beds everyday provided we could find them to be more comfortable than our foam beds, which make it difficult for me to clean under them.

So we began our search for the best air bed for everyday use. We were not sure in the beginning what we were looking for. Looks matter but I am old now, and I prefer a bed that is easier to sit and climb. We also wanted a much wider bed though we were not sure whether the king size would look alright in our bedroom. The air beds these days come with frame so they look neater as well. Durability and comfort matters too. The salesperson was kind enough to patiently tell us what we should be looking for, though she mentioned it all indirectly. For example air beds being light are likely to slip on the floor, even if there is a frame work. Now, why didn’t I think of that! Or that the surface has to be comfortable. I would have used a thinner mattress as the surface of air bed is usually difficult for spreading bed sheets, and it is all slippery. But the one we found has flocked top to prevent such slipperiness. I was told it is waterproof. Now why would I need that feature on bed, I thought. But I took whatever they gave with both hands.

Finally, we bought a 78 inches by 58 inches bed, which is about 19 inches in height. I wish it was slightly higher, but it was the best air bed for everyday use that was around when we bought it.