Saturday, 31 May 2014

Get some pork on your fork!

I have a serious craving for pork! A really serious craving, drooling at the thought of sticky pork ribs or salty pork crackling.
They aren't the healthiest of options though are they?
Since I'm spending $40 a week on bootcamp (when hubby isn't interstate) then I don't want to undo all my hard work by eating crap.

So off to pinterest I go to find some clean pork recipes and share them here and drool over them like I've just seen Channing Tatum in his birthday suit.



This I think will be dinner tomorrow night, mmmmmm looks so good, now I want pineapple too!

I would tweak this a little, instead of the sour cream I'd use Greek yoghurt as there are no organic options near me, certainly sounds good though!

It has been ssooooo long since I had meatballs and these sound delish, some go really dry when you cook them but I think the apple in these will keep them nice and moist



Egg rolls nom nom, I could never say no. These aren't crispy since they're baked not fried but that picture makes them look devine, I'm not sure about the ginger dipping sauce as I'm not a huge ginger fan but a plum or garlic sauce would work well I think.

Pork Mushroom Egg Rolls with Creamy Ginger Sauce

These are just a few of the many recipes that have had me drooling tonight.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Organising my home

I need to get my house organised. After my recent heroin relapse I made a deal with my social worker, she would help me get my house straightened up and help take a lot of the pressure off by hiring an organiser (so far this lady has been more hassle than good), I've been on pinterest tonight looking at ways to organise things and get my house so it doesn't look like I let a blender go off in every room without a lid.
I am not going to set an unrealistic goal, here you have to remember I have 4 children, 2 of which are 3 years old and often in hospital, I have bipolar and am currently unmedicated this causes lots of periods where I have no energy, we are a low income family. I have given myself 12 months to do it, it seems like a long time but I know it will end up going quickly.
My mission starts on Saturday which is my pay day.
Mission One aka month one: Kitchen/Dining
Our house is open plan(ish) so I'll include kitchen and dining as one.
Mission Two aka month two: Lounge room
Mission Three aka month three: Hall (we have quite a number of cupboards)

Mission Four aka month four: Bathroom/toilet

Mission Five aka month five: Bedroom one which is my girls room

Mission Six aka month six: Bedroom two which is my room

Mission Seven aka month seven: Bedroom three which is the twins room

Mission Eight: Laundry (the never ending cycle!)

Mission Nine: Shedding

Mission Ten: Front garden

Mission Eleven: Back garden

Mission Twelve: Keeping it all done!

So what needs doing in each? (I'm feeling exhausted just writing this blog, seriously!)
Kitchen/dining
- Throw away Tupperware that is missing lids/has no lids
- Throw away broken/incomplete appliances
- Sell or donate appliances that aren't used
- Sort through cupboards, throw away anything unused
- Sort pantry and organise it (get containers and labels!)
- Layby/buy new dining chairs/dining suite
- Sort drawers
- Go through boxes under the table (they've been there since we moved in!)
- Clean oven (the job I hate the most)
- Paint pantry doors (thanks to hubby half painting them)
Lounge Room
- Sort through cupboards
- Clean under couches
- Layby/buy new couch, if funds don't permit make/buy throws for couches
- Clear out fish tank accessories
- Wash curtains (think about new ones)
Hall
- Sort out bookshelf
- Sort out cupboards in entry
- Sort out linen cupboard
- Clean walls
Bathroom/Toilet
- Buy bin for toilet and teach people how to change the toilet roll!
- Sort through bathroom cupboards and drawers
- Clean grout
- Buy new toilet brush and accessories
- Sort bath toys
- Replace all toothbrushes


Girls Room
- Sort through toys
- Sort through books
- Sort through clothes
- Organise wardrobes and drawers
- Repaint bed
- New bedding (depending what I've found in the linen cupboard)

Master Bedroom
- Sort wardrobe
- Finish paying off furniture and fit in
- Buy lamps
- Sort clothing
- Sort drawers
- Fix door frame
- Paint door
- New curtains or fix old ones


Twins Bedroom
- Sort toys
- Sort clothes
- Organise wardrobes and toys
- New bedding and d├ęcor

Laundry
- Get on top of it
- Make a system
- Clean walls
- Rearrange
- See if we can possibly fit in a free standing dishwasher


Shedding
- Sort through boxes
- Sort through everything
- Make room for tools
- Make room for storage
- Fix up


Front Garden
- Redo the fairy garden
- Make it look pretty
- Have a wow feature
- Make it look like a garden
- Hidden area for bins


Back Garden
- Do dedication garden (a garden in memory of my children in heaven)
- Make an area for the kids toys
- Fix up BBQ/outdoor entertainment area
- Put up weatherproof roofing
- Sort out the rubbish dump aka the back bit of our garden
- Begin the veggie patch


I'll post likely add bits here and there and hopefully get some things done before it comes up, as soon as I get to the top of the waiting list I will hopefully be medicated again and not yo-yoing so much.
Before and after pics will be posted (no judging on the before!!)
I guess I should go do my dishes before I get too distracted on pinterest.
Hopefully some of you can join in with this and we can all show our before and afters.

Monday, 12 May 2014

How a lady named Kristy who I have never met or even spoken on the phone to saved my life

About 18 months ago I was watching the news and a story from the US came on the tv about a woman who had been locked out of her facebook account and had photos removed from her facebook page because of breastfeeding photos. In reality theses photos do not violate facebooks terms and conditions because they aren't nudity or pornography facebook states it supports breastfeeding and allows breastfeeding photos. So Kristy stood up and made everyone listen. 
I had breastfed my twins and got lots of negative feedback for doing so, I like this Kristy already. I joined her facebook page as a liker which is www.facebook.com/bfmamatalk
This is the video of Kristy on the news:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vo1D-2VSAT0

A few months after joining there was a post about needing admins to help out on the page as they get hundreds of questions from breastfeeding mothers every single day. I applied, I really didn't think they would accept me but they did.

I am a qualified birth worker and it has boosted my confidence in getting out into the community and helping women. When you're having a bad day and someone inboxes your personal profile needing help breastfeeding and getting a message a week later saying how you helped them so much does a lot for you, it's a great feeling.
Breastfeeding mama talk is growing rapidly and I am proud to be a part of it, Kristy is amazing, she puts in a lot of hard work to give women this level of support.
Breastfeeding mama talk to me now is not just a page I like or admin on it's my life line, the ladies behind the scenes are wonderful, I couldn't ask for a better bunch of people to work alongside. Kristy is in the US and I am in Australia. One day I hope we will meet! 

It may sound dramatic to say she saved my life, maybe have me a new lease on life is a better fit?! When I joined bfmt I was very depressed, this has as I said boosted my confidence, gives me a kick everyday from helping people, a purpose I guess you could say. I wake up excited to see who I can help today. Ive been talking about addictions this week and can say I am 100% addicted to bfmt and I have absolutely no intentions of changing that. 
Breastfeeding mama talk has a lot of outlets, we have a private group for those questions you don't want to wait until we admin see it or don't feel comfortable with it being on the main page, a page for teen mums, parents of children who have passed away at any stage, an adults sex page (female only) because we all have needs! A group for those of us trying to conceive, a group for step families and many more..

A piece of me - part 3

This chapter is thankfully very dull compared to the last 2.  
Chapter one - http://lifeonbothsidesoftherainbow.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/a-piece-of-me-part-one.html
Chapter two - http://lifeonbothsidesoftherainbow.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/a-piece-of-me-part-two.html
who had come and saved us that day was amazing, my daughter loved him. We had seen him a number of times at P's house and he admitted he had always liked me, I asked him why he didn't say anything, he said because the way I was raised you had a boyfriend and you don't interfere with somebody else's lady. It shocked me, the men I'd been around all didn't care if you were single or taken as long as they got laid.
L found me a house where M had no idea where I was and he moved in too, he was living in his car so I figured with it being a 3 bedroom house he may as well have a roof over his head too. 
Within a matter of weeks my room became his room too. He still didn't know I was an addict. I wasn't using much now, I felt really safe with him and didn't need to block many things, I paid for my habit by shoplifting and selling the stolen stuff, something he also didn't know about. We had been together for about 6 months and I told him, I told him every single little bit there was to know about me.
He was upset, he made me promise to stop using. He said he would leave if I continued. This was in October of 2006, fast forward a little to December 2006, I had kept my promise I had stayed clean and straight for 2 months, he told me how proud he was and pulled out a ring, that night we got engaged.
Since I made that promise I will admit I have relapsed a few times, one time very recently, each time I have regretted it. The last time I relapsed police got involved, other organisations got involved to help me with my struggles, I also found a sponsor and have attended a few NA meetings. I don't feel a pull to the drug anymore unless I am having a really rough time. I am a survivor of drug addiction. It will not beat me, I beat it. 
L and I have now been married for 5 years this year.

A piece of me - part two

This is the second time I'm trying to write this, the iPad glitched and I lost an hours worth of writing :(

This next chapter begins in australia, I hadn't touched drugs since moving here, it was a struggle to even get cigarettes here. At the time you could legally buy cigarettes in England at 16, here it was 18. Getting clean had been hell but I had become used to the idea of having a baby at 16 since he was due in February and my birthday is in January. Getting clean was hell, I thought I was going to die but it was worth it, I hung it on for my baby. Me and him would take on the world, I was finally gaining someone who would love me and I could love back, I would cuddle him, feed him, look after him. I wasn't sure where we would live, we would find an organisation that would help us but I was going to build a great life for him, make him proud to call me his mum.
This all turned upside down when I was 25 weeks pregnant and gave birth to Anthony, he was so small, yet perfect, we would make it through this, everything would be ok, I had him, he was mine, nobody was going to take that away. The universe however had other ideas and Anthony James grew his wings at 3 hours old.

My world was destroyed. Crushed, broken beyond repair. My head was spinning so fast. D had been over in australia visiting with his mum and had been at the hospital the entire time. He said he needed to get away for but about half an hour after Anthony had passed, I didn't care,I wanted to be alone. I wanted my son. He came back a few hours later, I was locked in the toilet slashing my wrists with a razor blade, he knocked on the door, I told him to go away, he said he had a present for me, I said I didn't need presents I'm going to be with my son. It didn't take him long to break the lock, all I remember him saying was quick before the nurses come and injecting me. After that a nurse never left my side until I was discharged. Not long after D and his mum had to go home, back to England. My habit started again, I only knew one way to fund it, could I do it alone? I soon learnt I could, there are horny men everywhere.

Fast forward to when I was 17, I has enrolled in a new school, making a good, honest, clean go at my life. I had promised my son I would make him proud of me and that it what I was going to do. It was July 2nd 2004 and I'd been dragged to the movies by friends to watch Shrek 2, this is where I met M. Instantly I fell for him, by the end of the night we had exchanged numbers and became inseperable. July 10th 2004 was a friends birthday party, we all drank way too much and M and I ended up sleeping together, little did I know at the time my 2nd child had just been conceived. It was all in this week I was kicked out of school and subsequently kicked out of home. I moved in with my friend C and her family who later became my adopted family.
C thought she was pregnant but was too scared to do a test, she had bought a twin pack so to help her through the process I said I'll do one if you do one, never had I expected to see 2 lines clear as day, hers was negative, mine was positive. So what started as just helping a friend be brave enough to pee on a stick turned into me discovering I was pregnant. I was 17, M was only 15.
My adopted mum didn't like M and one if the conditions to me living there was that I stop seeing him. I was in love though, I snuck out and lied about where I was going to see him, I even got him a job where I was working so I could see him. Then one day my adopted dad, R, came and sat me down outside as I was having a cigarette and said "mum said you have to leave, you lied to us" my heart sank. I never thought I'd be kicked out for trying to have a relationship with the father of my baby, after my first son being conceived through rape having an actual family for my baby meant a lot to me, more than others around could possibly imagine. It broke my heart that I'd hurt the family who took me in, the family I'd longed for all my life and I'd stuffed it up, little did I know I'd need them more than ever a few months later but was too embarrassed to reach out after hurting them.
This is another reason these posts are hard to right, my adopted mum is a follower on my page so chances are she will read this and learn of just how screwed up I was. I never stole from them, never meant to hurt them, reading these posts will hurt her. Mum if you do read this, I am sorry, I wish I had have listened to you, I wish I had have pulled my head in and treated you with the respect you deserved, not back chatted, done more housework, spent more time with you, sitting here in tears right now just wanting to hug you and tell you I love you. If I had have listened to my adopted mum then I wouldn't have to write this next section.



I'd never been around domestic violence, not this way. I'll never forget the first time he hit me, it was not long after we moved in together in October 2004, roughly 6 weeks after I'd left my adopted mums house. It was a punch straight to the face,he told me he was sorry and that he didn't mean it. I believed him. I was 21 weeks pregnant when he threw a tv and me and narrowly missed me, 24 weeks when he stabbed me 3 times with a screwdriver, once in the leg, twice in the back. This is the scar on my leg 10 years later.

The violence got worse. At 26 weeks I was rushed to hospital where I was then transferred to another hospital over an hour away that had a NICU as I'd tested positive for being in pre term labour, the contractions were getting closer and all I could think was that what happened with Anthony was happening all over again. Thankfully the amazing staff stopped my labour with a lot of medications and I was put onto bed rest. I was discharged  a few weeks later. The violence started again shortly after I returned home, I was thrown through walls, held down and choked, slapped and punched.
I believed that when the baby arrived he would change, I had nobody to turn to, I was scared to leave.
My daughter was born April 25th 2005 and 41 weeks. We picked him up from a nightclub on the way to the hospital.
Nothing changed. I rang my biological dad one day for help, I needed to get me and my baby out, his exact words I will never forget "you made your bed, you lie in it" he hung up. That taught me not to reach out for help, keep going alone, one day it will stop.
It did stop one day. We were in the car we didn't have our daughter she was at M's mums for the night, the car had no fuel, we pulled into a service station and filled up, he jumped in the he car and took off, great we just did a petrol run. He was angry because I said I wanted to go home after that, he started driving erratically. He pulled up at a shop and told me to stay in the car. I rang my adopted sister C whom I had lived with that time and put my phone in my lap so she could hear but M wouldn't know I had called anyone, he was hitting me, he was scrapping the passenger side of the car into poles, telling me I was going to die that night. Eventually he got bored and drove us home, we drove straight past our unit there was police everywhere, C had called them. He dropped me off down the road and told me to walk home, pick up something and not tell them he was sitting down the road. I walked to my house and collapsed to the ground, police ran to me, of course I told them where he was. The police filed an intervention order against my will, I was scared, if he thought I'd done it he would kill me, his mum had our daughter, I needed her back.
We had court the next day and I dropped the intervention order down to a limited order so that he could still live in the home, I truly believed after that he would change. Again I was wrong.
All the violence had made me hit the drugs again pretty hard and start working the streets again so that I could be numbed out from it all, it barely hurt if I was loaded, it didn't even scare me if I was loaded. Pretty soon getting punched and choked until you pass out had become a part of daily life. He didn't care that our daughter was around or even in my arms.
I had started a new school, I was determind to finish high school. I met a girl named P who I became good friends with and would stay at her house as long a I could before knowing I had to go home. One night M and I got into yet another arguement, he broke my nose and my hand, I rang P, she said stay there get as much stuff as you can we are coming to get you. She lived a half an hour drive away, a car pulls up in my driveway 10 minutes later with P and a guy I'd seen around at her house a few times, she went straight to the baby's room and grabbed her, L grabbed my stuff and helped me into the car.
That is the night my daughter and I broke free.


A piece of me - part one

First of all I'd like to apologise if this post is a little hard to follow, my plan is just to write what I think as I think it. I have a lot of things I just want to get out. I am struggling a lot and am keeping it all to myself to the point I will burst so I am hoping by just spilling it all here I feel a little better.

There are parts of me that people closest to me don't even know, or I am unaware they know. Parts of me that family nor friends know. Parts that I have buried in hopes that it can be forgotten, really I feel like a fake by doing this, not healed like I thought I would.

My past isn't pretty, I do regret it, would I change it though? I don't know, parts of me would but a part of me says I wouldn't be who I am today without it - although at times that really wouldn't be a bad thing.



Jealousy is something I find creeping into my life a lot. Looking at people younger than me who own their own home or have build, own nice flashy cars, have been to university, nice furnishings and savings. I have none of that, I'm 27, I rent, my car is 20 years old (toyota landcruiser thankfully they're built to last!), I have studied but not at a university level just a tafe level, the only nice piece of furniture I have is my new bed and that won't last long with my kids and I'm lucky to have a dollar by pay day let alone savings. It often feels like my sister rubs it in and often makes me feel like a failure. I have a safe, secure roof over my children's heads isn't that important? I may not own it but we have a great relationship with our landlords and the only thing that would force us to move was if they were to sell the house and they certainly have no intentions of that in the future, maybe we can even own/build our own house by the time they make that decision.



Another part of my life that I have never told exactly how it is to many people, I think my husband is the only one who knows the 100% truth. This is a massive part of my life and one that has changed everything forever. I was always a rebellious child, smoking and drinking by age 13, experimenting with drugs by 14 (only weed and prescription pills at this stage), boyfriends my dad didn't like and being sexual with them (not intercourse). I met let's just call him D at 14 and began seeing him as well as my boyfriend let's call him A, I couldn't pick between the 2, my parents hated both. D's grandparents lived across the road he was easy to see, he was a bad boy, it made him attractive to me, he had lots of money and showered me with gifts, I loved the attention. A was sweet, he cared, he was gentle, very different from many 16 year olds, his family were also lovely and very accepting of me, I felt safe and wanted. I know being with the two was wrong, I was young, having issues at home and not feeling the emotional needs I should have from there I guess is my only reason.
D lived with his step dad, his step dad gave off a vibe I didn't exactly like but was really nice to me and encouraged D to spend time with me and spend money on me. He would buy my cigarettes and alcohol everyday, he supplied my pills, it never occurred to me at the time how he would get them, I didn't care. 
About 6 months after I met him I discovered both D and his step dad were heroin addicts, I had never picked it, I didn't know what the signs were. My own addictions were the only addictions I had ever been around (excluding cigarettes), not long after I discovered it D asked if I'd like to try it, it was a day my dad and I had a huge fight, I was upset and hurt, D said the heroin would make me forget it, how could I resist? The first few times he injected me until I was confident enough to do it myself. A few people I have told this story too have judged me, how can a 14 year old afford to be a heroin addict? As I said before this family seemed to have endless supplies of money, it didn't take long for me to learn how they could afford my habit as well as their own. 


Fast forward now to shortly after my 15th birthday, walking home from a friends house late at night, a neighbour, the school nurses son came out from his house and grabbed me, he raped me and told me he would hurt me if I told anyone, he also told me he knew things about me that he would tell my family if I told anyone, why would I tell my parents anyway? They wouldn't believe me, they never believe anything I said. Heroin numbed this out for me and became my way to cope, my way to sleep without nightmares or flashbacks. Helped me not feel dirty. I spent more and more time at D's house and used more and more. This is where I discovered why his family had money and could afford our habits. I was now told I had to start contributing. How could I? I wasn't allowed to get a job. It was 2-3 months after the rape, I was still using, I was stupid, I was numb, I wanted to ignore it all so it would go away.
We will teach you tonight how you can earn your keep or you'll have to stop coming around I was told. Stop coming around? I couldn't do he hat, I didn't know anywhere else I could score from. A already wanted nothing to do with me, I'd lost all my friends, D was all I had left. 


The next chapter begins, one that I never tell anybody. I am now deeply ashamed of this part, at the time it was a matter of survival, a way to feed my habit. I was told to dress nicely, which for me at 15 was when I look at it now provocatively. We drove to a part of town I had never seen before, it wasn't dark yet but it was just before dusk. D's step dad stopped the car, D held my hand tight, he was shaking, he even had tears in his eyes, I still had no idea what was going on. D's step dad told me to get out of the car, I did, he wound down the window and said I'll be back in a few hours, here is what to charge, if the cops come keep walking.
The note he handed me read this:
Handjobs £5
Blow jobs £20
half an hour £50
hour £85
Nothing without a condom.

I'll never forget that note, forever etched in my mind, his scrawl with those prices on it, I panicked, what do I do? I wanted to run, where was I? Then the addict in me kicked in, I can't run, I have to do this, I can't score tonight if I don't. This is where I began selling my body for heroin. 
D's step dad took everything I earnt everyday and gave me heroin in return, making a profit for himself of course, I later learnt he had a number of girls doing this for him. THIS is where the money came from, this is how they could afford a habit. 
I was getting into a lot of trouble at home for never being there, skipping school etc, then a few months later my parents moved us to australia where I had to learn to survive on my own, a heroin addict and pregnant. I've been called a lot of names for using whilst pregnant, only a true addict gets what state of mind my head was in at that time.


Saturday, 3 May 2014

A family of 6 living on $600 or less a month (foodwise)

 
When a lot of people find out how little we spend compared to others on food they automatically assume I a) don't feed my children, b) don't have a healthy or balanced diet or c) think I'm crazy

Now c maybe up for debate but I certainly do feed my children and we eat very healthily and a very balanced diet.

Here is the receipt from my latest shopping, this doesn't include fruit and vegetables either or toiletries because I forgot the toiletries and I shop at a separate fruit and vegetable store so add another $80 on there.
 
 
So lets call it $190 for arguments sake. This $190 now includes all groceries, meats, fruits and vegetables and toiletries :) This is to last us 2 weeks, to calculate that to a month you have $380.
So what do we eat for $380 a month?

Here is a fortnightly example, I double batch so you will only see a week. This way I just cook double and have a meal ready for next week. If it cannot be frozen I just simply make it again the next week, buying in bulk saves money!

Breakfasts consist of:
Slow cooked oats - I do mix it up a little with different variations like cherry and almond or banana and blueberry.
Eggs and vegemite soldiers
Smoothies
Yoghurt and fruit sprinkled with some oats although I Plan on making my own granola one day
Scrambled eggs with baby spinach, capsicum, garlic and tomato.
For quick and on the go I have these breakfast muffins handy.

Lunches are generally:
Scrambled eggs with baby spinach, capsicum, garlic and tomato
Salad wraps with poached chicken
Poached eggs on homemade bread
Frittata and salad
Yogurt and fruit
Vegetable sticks and fruit with a homemade dip

Our dinner menu is:

S- Homemade pizzas - the kids love participating
S - Turkey chilli con carne with brown rice
M - Pumpkin soup - great winter warmer
T - Rainbow Chicken - I also add kale to this
W - Pea & ham soup - another winter classic
T - Fajitas - I do add a mix of beef and chicken here
F - Sweet potato & pear soup - can you tell I love soups in winter?!

Snacks generally are nuts, fruit, raw vegetables and yogurt.
School lunches are a little different but I'll do a new blog post on those.