Category: Reasons to smile

Our Festive Season Round-Up For 2014

festive season roundup feature

Hello and welcome back all you lovely people!

Happy 2015!

Hope the festive season was kind to you all and if it wasn’t know that I’m sending big cyber hugs your way, wishing that 2015 will be a healthy, safe and happy year for us all.

Taking a blogging break to be with my precious little family over the festive season was just lovely, we got to spend some great quality time together. Would you believe I gave up my iPhone for a day? I’m talking left it at home and went out without it for a whole day! (that’s huge for me) When we called into my parent’s house on our way home Mum asked if I got the message she had left me and I explained there was no phone with me, she said ‘what…. are you sick or something?’ I highly recommend trying it (just for a day), you won’t know yourself!

While I was on break I made sure I snapped up some happy pics I could share with you all.

I did mention some great quality time were spent together but with the great times also come the realistic, standard, run of the mill, family of 5, tantrums, melt-downs and timeouts (we All had a turn), I make no claims for 100% smooth sailing in this house, voices do get raised (mine a little too much according to Zadada), people cry (I do a good tear) and words that only 18+ people are allowed to say (that’s the rule in this house) get said occasionally by the 18+ occupants. All in all I think we’re pretty normal, that’s what I tell myself so I stay half sane 😉 The main thing I look at is that the good times outweigh those other times.

Now for those happy pics from the last couple of weeks (melt-downs don’t photograph too well so you’re in luck, only goodness today!)

It seems we have made a bit of a golden arches Christmas Eve tradition, dining in one of our local parks eating MacDonald’s before attending mass! Great option for when you’ve been working or Christmas feast preparing all day Christmas eve, last year it was cooking, this year it was work.

Christmas Eve 2014

After mass it was home to change into Pj’s, watch a few Christmas carols on telly, set up a plate for the big man in red, brush teeth and nighty nights for the little people. I think Zadada and I made it to bed by about midnight!

Christmas morning rolled around very quickly, the sun was up and we could hear little feet pitter pattering on the tiles up the hallway toward our bedroom (the signal for Zadada and I to rise and shine and grab a strong cup of tea!).

Christmas morning 2014

Now do tell me is it just me or do you find the packaging on children’s toys ridiculous?

How many zip ties, rubber bands, pieces of plastic and cardboard does it take to securely package a barbie doll or singing bird? Way too many for my liking!!

Packaging of toys

Zadada had his work cut out for him, Santa delivered a trampoline in its boxes, I secretly think he was happy to be outside creating while I was inside preparing for the day of visiting ahead.

Check out our furry Santa foreman.

Betty & the trampoline

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little bit of dress-up and affection!

Hound smooches

Lunch was spent with Zadada’s family at his Grandfather’s house, everyone brought a plate or 3 of something! I just love how food brings everyone together!

Christmas 2014 spread

Dessert I made a few things,  a special mention goes to Lucy from Bake Play Smile , I made a double batch of her turkey meatloaf with cranberry glaze, that way I had one for the lunch crowd and one for the dinner crowd (my family). My dad makes a mean turkey rissole with bacon so I couldn’t resist but to pop some diced, fried off bacon in the mix too.

Delish I tell you and very economical! Thanks Lucy xx

Lucy's Turkey Meatloaf


My gorgeous friend Jennifer recently steered me in the direction of a new couscous salad, I did road-test it during early December and it passed the tastebud/visually appealing test with flying colours, starring as one of my salad contributions for Christmas day. You’ll be getting the recipe later this week. Here’s a close up peek in the meantime.

Newest favourite salad

After lunch and clean up there was some time spent just sitting. One of those quality melt-down free moments!

Zadada and I

Christmas is huge with end of year parties, all the preparations, gift purchasing, the excitement, the stress (oh those meltdowns), the exhaustion, don’t get me wrong, I really do love Christmas but am glad it happens just once a year!

Speaking of once a year, Zadada (oh he’s such a great organiser of cupboards…….. really!) and I find this time of year a good time to declutter the kidlets  bedrooms, out with the old (donations were made) and in with some new!

Scary or what…… I’ve only just got rid of the last lot of clutter in the laundry this week! Clothing is next on the hit list!

Same time next year Zadada?

decluttering christmas 2014

Now the rest of the happy snaps are pretty well self explanatory. A few little notes, we are very fortunate to have our very own swimming hole on our property, I don’t often use it as I’m not a fan of walking through the paddock by myself with the kidlets to get to it. With Zadada home on break I made an exception and we spent a lovely afternoon/evening splashing and swimming. It was so nice to just sit and soak up what’s in our very own backyard and enjoy the company of the 4 most important people in my life.

Betty showed us all how much she loves the water and a body board too!

Then there is just the other stuff, playing at home, dinner on the trampoline, pretty flowers home grown and gifted to me by Zadada’s Nan, new bed linen, New Years Eve at the beach with lovely friends, drinks creek side, sparkler fun,

Swimming hole 2014

Just relaxing

surfs up Betty


Dinner on the tramp

Homegrown flowers

New bed set

New Years Eve 2014

New Years Eve 2014 2

drinks and snacks creekside

some sparkle


Betty & Blake Dec 2014

I was guilty of having cake as my second course of breakfast on more than one occasion!

2 lovely ladies at our local bottle shop introduced me to a sparkling Sav Blanc….. I’ll be buying it again very soon, loved it!

When you live on a farm there is always other work to do, I snapped the pics of the cows,  Zadada and his grandfather ready to do some delousing on my way to dropping Blake to a friends house.

cake for breakfast

Sparkling Sav

cows ready for their delousing

the delousers

And of course there was a touch of baking and family trip to the cinema, if you haven’t seen Paddington you need to, it was such a feel good family movie that everyone applauded at its end, I don’t think I’ve experienced that since watching Titanic at the cinema all those years ago.

a touch of baking


So how did you fare over the festive break? Were there any meltdowns at your place? Did you have fun freeing those toys from all their packaging? Do any decluttering?

Hope you got to enjoy some quality family time too.

So good to be back. Here’s to a gorgeous 2015!

Stay tuned for the couscous salad recipe later this week.

Until then…..






Hello and welcome back all you lovely people! Happy 2015! Hope the festive season was kind to you all and if it wasn't k...

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Show Weekend Minus One Zadada

show weekend feature

Life has been hectic around these parts of late but I should add GOOD hectic!

When everyone is well and happy (which they are at the moment), I really have no complaints, no major ones anyway.

The weekend just past saw lots happening, here’s a little rundown:



Zadada took a well deserved break away beach camping on the Sunshine Coast with some mates (he had an early 2:30am start). He sent me a picture of the sunrise he woke up to and their camp site. Mother nature at her best!

Zadada's view

The kidlets had grandparents day at school which also entails a visit to our local agricultural show (the show just happens to be in close proximity to school and school just happens to hold Grandparents day the same day the show is on, all very convenient, the kidlets love it, not sure about the grandparents??? Thanks Mum, Dad, Uncle Brad and Aimee for taking them xx)

My brother and his gorgeous girlfriend got engaged!!!!! (very exciting)

The kidelts got taken trick or treating by Kaymac (my sister) Friday night (an extra bonus that was not in the program, I will say spoilt!)

I worked and after a full days worth of excitement  with all the above action we didn’t get home until after 9pm.

If you are a spider lover please skip the next paragraph.

Entering the family room on our arrival home I was quickly made aware (thanks Ella, you’ve invented some good dance moves) of a huntsman spider scaling its way along our ceiling, we haven’t had one visit for yonks (of course he had to choose the weekend I was flying Solo!!). It took drowning him with insect spray, a big whack with my shoe, my heart pounding and 3 kidlets hiding in the bedroom (they hate spiders!!) to get that spider sorted, phewwww ! Just call me Spidermama, it’s amazing what you’re capable of when you don’t have any Zadada’s around!

Then it was bedtime for the kidlets at least! I still had all the stock standard unpacking ahead of me (just another day hey!)


More show time!

It’s become a yearly tradition when show weekend rolls around, we go and when I say we, the kidlets usually go for a few hours with Mum and Dad on the Friday (Grandparents Day!), Zadada (who loves our agricultural show) has been known to go to the rodeo on the Friday night (that didn’t happen this year) and then when Saturday rolls around we usually go as a family!…… ‘Show Groupies’ I think we’d be classified as!

This year we were down one Zadada and he was missed (it’s just not the same flying solo!). To be honest I would have been quite happy to give it a miss this year but there was no way our 3 little munchkins were going to let me get away with that notion!

We hit the grounds of the show around 3 and caught the wood chopping final straight up,

Wood chop final

then found the snake show, we got to see a red belly black snake, a death adder and an eastern brown, after 5 minutes I’d had my dose of snakes for the decade, ‘lets move on’ I said.


I was so very grateful when an hour after our arrival Mum and Kaymac phoned and said they’d like to join us. Extra sets of hands are always warmly welcomed. We all went and checked out some much more pleasant creatures.

Animal nursery

Alani got to enjoy a lot more of the show this year, especially now that she has fully graduated from the stroller, becoming Miss independent and using that little pair of legs to walk everywhere, speaking of that little pair of legs, Alani had her sights set on the Bungee trampoline (that’s what the big kidlets call it), just check her out, not half proud!

Bungee Tramp

We then had a quick squiz at what the locals had been creating and it wouldn’t have been complete without viewing some baking!

Thinking maybe I should pop an entry in next year!

Display pavilion

Next up was a first time ride on the whizzer for Master Blake. Kaymac was happy to be the attending adult while I got to snap up their fun!

The first time whizzer rider

The rest, well it speaks for itself here you go…… (check out the happy threenager, a day out wouldn’t be complete without a little meltdown, this was the good picture)

A quick mummy snap


horse action


hooking ducks

Of course we finished on a high note……FOOD!!!!

Blake tried his first ever Dagwood dog with no ill side effects! The girls settled for some hot chips and a slice of Grandma’s Pizza!

Dagwood dog experience

I headed straight for some vegetarian food I enjoyed so much last year. When you’re on a good thing…….. and dessert was a must!

Zamama's food experience

We had a lovely afternoon and evening the only thing missing was our Zadada.

I managed to sneak us home before dark though I did have someone in tears because we missed the fireworks, and I did kindly and calmly explain you can’t get what you want all the time! Half way home that little 7 year old in tears was sound asleep.

Stay with me there’s still a bit more…….


You don’t think I’d let a weekend pass without creating in the kitchen do you?

We started with an experiment, a ‘Gummy Bear Ice Cream Slice’, Blake was my assistant. This little treasure will be starring on the blog later this week.

Ice cream slice

Then I moved onto my big project for the day a Number 1 birthday cake for a sweet little girl named Lyla. A double quantity  of butter cake later as well as a quadruple batch of butter cream icing and I had operation birthday cake sorted! I use the patterns in the original Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday cake book to shape out my numbers. Love that book, so do the kidlets.

During this little project Zadada arrived home and it was hugs all round! I know it was only 2 nights (actually 2 and 1/2) we just missed him lots and were so glad to have him home safe and sound.

someone special's number 1

And the last creation in the kitchen on Sunday was a round of homemade pizza’s for dinner! This time it was Ella’s turn.

Pizza making

Now to perfectly round a post like this off I thought we’d end things with a little pink tongue!

Betty just loves Locky and Locky has been so patient with Betty, it’s so much fun watching their little friendship unfold.

furry kids

And that my lovelies was our weekend.

How was your weekend? Do you like going to agricultural shows? Create anything in the kitchen? I’d  love to hear!

Until the next time……


Life has been hectic around these parts of late but I should add GOOD hectic! When everyone is well and happy (which the...

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Betty’s First Week!

As a lot of you would be aware we recently decided to add  a new furry friend to our family, a little female Moodle. You would also be aware it has taken us quite some time to choose her name……..but finally we I have made a decision (Zadada said ok) and we’re going with ‘BETTY’.

Betty 28

Betty has now been a permanent resident for a whole week and I will say each day she has been with us a little bit more of her personality gets revealed, she’s just a little sweetheart who’s been welcomed with open arms (I will add here we still have one three-year-old adjusting to her presence, little puppy claws and teeth can be a bit scary at times, we’re getting there).

Betty 34

We’ve never owned a small dog before and I have to say we’re embracing it (as I said one little three year old will get there), as I type this post Betty is sleeping soundly on my lap and I’m loving every cuddle like this that comes my way ( my turn happens when the kidlets are all in bed), don’t get me wrong with the small dog thing, we love our BIG Zapuppydog with all our hearts and wouldn’t trade him for the world, being able to have both makes me feel very fortunate. As a little girl all I ever wanted was to live in the country and own a dog and now here I am living in the country happily married with 3 children, 2 dogs, a cat, 3 guinea pigs and  20 head of cattle give or take (there are some babies on the way!).

Betty 30

Now getting back to our newest little addition I couldn’t resist but to snap up every moment possible from her first week here with us. Apologies for the abundance of images, I just couldn’t cull them down any further than this.

Betty 22

Betty 25Betty 24

There’s been a few socialising lessons taking place and so far everyone has behaved. David the cat looks from a distance but hasn’t got close enough for a picture yet.

Betty 23

Betty 15

A certain little someone likes to spend quite a bit of time at my feet, she’s even had a little yap at me when I move away as if to say “please come back!”

Betty 29

Betty 32

Betty 31

And speaking of feet little Betty has a slight fetish with one Zadada’a ugg boots…..thank goodness I got rid of the old ones!

Betty 7

Betty 12

There’s been lots of playing……

Betty 18

Betty 20

Betty 21

Betty 17

Betty 16

Betty 11

Betty 19

Betty 6

And lots of cuddles and sleeping.

Betty 26

Betty 14

Betty 9

Betty 8

Betty 4

I will add there have been puppy poos and wees in the wrong places but also in the right places too, I’m very grateful for a house that has tiled living areas, I think the toilet training will just take lots of time and patience. All in all little Betty is doing just great and she’s added another dimension of happiness to our little family. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on her progress.

If  you have any puppy tips I’d love to hear them.

Stay tuned mid-week for a yummy baking post that involves lemons!

Until then……..



As a lot of you would be aware we recently decided to add  a new furry friend to our family, a little female Moodle. You...

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Car Chats……..Round 8

Car Chats with Zamamabakes

Hello there lovelies! Hope the school holidays are treating you all kindly. Week 1 flew past for us with, planting gardens, home visits from cousins, baking with m&m’s (you’ll see them on the blog later this week), kidlets enjoying a movie day with a Nan and an Aunty (I got to go to work), catch ups with special friends at the park including lunching at the golden arches, buying new school shoes, lunch out with Grandma and Pop (I got to work again!!),  Birthday breakfasts with Great grandparents, baking a slice, Monster Jam outings for one Zadada , one Blake and a little friend, little friends sleeping over and meeting my cousins fiancé for the first time (one threenager has been asked to be flower girl and one threenager is beside herself with excitement!!) I can’t believe we fitted all this plus all the ordinary stuff into one week, time definitely flies when you are having fun…..I just love school holidays, I think I gain a good hour more from each day (even though I probably waste it), I feel myself racing just a little bit less!

Getting onto our ‘car chats’……..

A hot topic that’s been getting tossed around the car is what to call our new Puppy!!! Yes you read it right! We are adding to our family, Zapuppydog, David the cat and our 3 guinea pigs are gaining a new furry sister!!! We just haven’t come up with a name for her yet. I was kind of hoping that maybe you guys would lend a hand with that. Just to give you a little visual she is a Black Moodle which is a Poodle crossed with a Maltese terrier. She is a belated Father’s day gift for Zadada  the whole family is going to enjoy! All going well she will join our family sometime within the next two weeks! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated with a full debrief once she arrives.

The other ‘car chat’ that has stuck in my mind this fortnight would be one that Blake and I had, just out of the blue he said “Mum, sometimes I say the wrong thing when I talk to people, when they say hello to me I say good thanks”. This little observation of his made me smile and chuckle as I couldn’t tell you how many times the same thing has happened to me over the years. I explained to Blake that we get so used to communicating in a particular way that it’s like we’re on autopilot, sometimes our mouths speak faster than what our brains can think.

I went to work and was telling my work colleague Cathy about it, she said “it’s a bit like when you’re walking down the street and you think you’re being waved to by a person up ahead,  you politely wave back only to realise they’re waving to their friend behind you”. Cathy’s comment then made me think about the social situation of when you experience that moment with a friend/acquaintance/work colleague, you know the one when you’re not quite sure if the person is going to hug or kiss you or if you should kiss or hug them? Life is full of little surprises and awkward moments. Human interaction can be very entertaining and educating at times!  All these types of moments usually make me smile afterwards, I kind of shake my head at myself and call myself a goose along with whatever else springs to mind! Welcome to the world of unpredictable Blake!

So lovely people what’s been chatting, have you experienced any awkward, surprising moments of late? Have you gone in for that non-responsive hug and ended up having to make it look like you’re doing some kind of new dance move?

Remember the big issue, I want to hear any name suggestions you have for our new little furry family member!

Until the next time…..



Hello there lovelies! Hope the school holidays are treating you all kindly. Week 1 flew past for us with, planting garde...

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Project Pretty Up & A Round Of Bubbles

Project pretty up

I’ve been wanting to do something with our front entry for ages and finally with the help of 3 little kidlets and one Zagrandma my wanting turned into some doing!

The inspiration

I’ve had this bowl (a very special bowl as it was my late Nanna’s Scone mixing bowl) of petunias and pansies growing since about April and they haven’t looked back, maybe just 3 or 4 times when I’ve forgotten to water them every now and then,  but a quick drink soon fixes that, they’ve bounced back every time! I make no claims to being any type of green thumb but I do love fresh flowers and plants growing.  Considering I’ve managed to keep these little treasures plugging along I thought I’d try my luck with a little bit more green thumbing, a ‘Pretty Up’ outside our entry!

The final straw to motivate me was last seeing this post last week here Of Babymac’s, that really got me wanting to do something with some plants and flowers. Gosh that girl can take an awesome shot and write a great post!

With it being school holidays I decided on Monday it would be now or never. I got on the phone to Zagrandma told her we were coming to town to buy some planting supplies and that if she wanted to we would love her to join us. She was up for the challenge.

We popped into a couple of our local shops JH Williams, The reject shop (love that shop so do the kidlets) and our palliative care op shop.

With supplies and kidlets (including a bag of hot chips) all packed into the car and one Zagrandma at the ready we headed for home for  ‘Project Pretty Up!’

I will note at this point that a pack of $2 bubbles was purchased from the reject shop, here’s the events of Monday afternoon.

bubble fun 2

chasing bubbles

Learning the art of bubbles

helper 2 on the trolley

helper 1 supervising helpe

helper 1 planting

a rare pic

project pretty up shaping up

waterer 2

some more treasures

one of my favourite pieces in the garden

One of my favourites

The finished ‘Pretty Up’. Not majorly fancy but better than it was!

I’d just love to find a happy welcome door mat now! Any suggestions?

Project pretty up complete

And I’m still not quite sure who enjoyed the bubbles more?

Thanks for all your help Mum! I’d be lost without you xxxx

Zagrandma chief bubbler

So lovelies any green thumb tips for the little plants would be gratefully taken on board. I’ll try to keep you posted on their progress!

What activities have you been getting up to these school holidays? I’d love to hear.

I’ve got a yummy old fashioned dessert post still to come this week and next week there’ll be a recipe post using m&m’s, fun and yum for the kidlets! So stay tuned…

Until then…….


I've been wanting to do something with our front entry for ages and finally with the help of 3 little kidlets and one Za...

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School Holiday Flashbacks!

School holiday Flash back collage

School holidays are upon us. Term 3 is virtually done and dusted for another year, can you believe it?

Our 2 big kids are heading off for their end of term treat day, they tell me it’s a day where they do no work and get to play games……. Oh to be little again!

With Zadada working full-time and me working part-time there is always the organisation of care for the kids during the holidays. Fortunately we don’t have to organise too much as we have 2 sets of very supportive grandparents close by , whom we are extremely grateful for as they always come to our rescue during school holidays, we truly would be lost without them. Usually the Grandparents will brave a Movie, have a little shopping day or do a park adventure with the kidlets.

On the days I don’t work, in between the general house running I try to do a little outing with the munchkins.

These holidays I know we’ve got one 9-year-old booked in for a 4 hour football clinic and that’s about the only thing we’re locked right into. I’m thinking if the weather stays as nice as it’s been lately we’ll have a beach/park day in the mix and hopefully get a few good quality home days in there too, you know the ones where you all stay in your Pj’s til late morning (well that’s what we do) and it’s great, no rushing, no panicking, no yelling (from me to hurry up and get in the car or we’ll be late)………just days where you can RELAX and not think about school schedules, it’s great!

In case you were curious I thought I’d share a few school holiday ‘flash backs’ from over the last 12 months……

Just click on the titles and you’ll be delivered to the post.

Baking A Savoury Scroll

Savoury scroll

A Great Way To Kick Start The School Holidays

Family trip to Brisbane Museum

Home Days And A Batch Of Marble Cakes

Marble Cupcakes

School Holidays, Tea Cups, Saucers and I’m Hungry!

Tea Party for 2

An Outdoor Adventure As A Family of 5 Plus One Furry Friend

Outdoor family adventure

A Kidlet Friendly Slice For The Holidays

Easy slice

Our Fiji Family Adventure

Fiji Holiday

What ever you get up to these school holidays I hope you do enjoy some quality family time because life in general and our children’s childhoods are too short and precious not to.

Until the next time……


School holidays are upon us. Term 3 is virtually done and dusted for another year, can you believe it? Our 2 big kids ar...

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School Holidays, Tea cups, Saucers and I’m Hungry!

I Just love school holidays and the whole notion of no ironing school uniforms, making lunches, homework and no afterschool activities, we have extra time up our sleeves and I don’t know about you but I almost hear my brain sigh from the little bit of relief.


What I love most of all when we are on school holidays are home days, days where  Zakidlets and I might stay in our PJ’s until mid-morning or later and yes we risk the fact that someone unexpected may call in, do you know what?……… you have to take us how you find us!

Home days are pretty casual around here sometimes we bake, sometimes the 2 bigger kids go exploring out along the creek in our slightly larger than normal backyard, there might be a movie in the afternoons, sometimes we do BASIC craft  (nothing that requires too much intervention on my part), on the odd occasion we have been known to get a bit fancy decorating thongs like this day here , then there are the whatever days when I have things I need to get done around the house, Zakidlets have to make their own fun and to me that’s what being a kid is all about, you can’t be entertained all the time (I do get that now as a Mum… sorry Zagrandma!).

kidlets baking

The girls particularly enjoy having a little tea party for morning or afternoon tea, their older brother has been known to join them on the odd occasion too. Previously we always used a plastic tea set, that was until a gorgeous school mum told me her idea of purchasing cheap 2nd hand teacups and saucers from the Op shop, we found a set of 4 for $4 and it has been one of the best $4 I have spent. As far as hygiene goes, how different is drinking from a 2nd hand teacup  any different to one you would use at a café, (just make sure you give them a good wash/scold before you use them).

tea set

The girls think they are little ladies at a café when we use the set and the beauty of it all is that if a cup or saucer breaks it doesn’t matter, we know where to get more and all foe a good cause. We have now upgraded from water to real tea (they get decaf). We still use a little plastic milk jug but I’m thinking a little treasure hunt may be in order these holidays to find a ceramic one.

Girls tea party

Milk pouring

food selection

If we are not having a home day generally that means I am working (as most Mum’s do these days)…. but Zakidlets are very fortunate to have both sets of grandparents close by who happily volunteer their time to help Zadada and I out with childcare, we are extremely grateful for all the support they give us!

I do try to do a couple of out and about things with Zakidlets, like going to the park, beach or both, we might have a play date at a friends house or our own and sometimes as a treat we’ll go to Maccie D’s (the golden arches restaurant) for a lunch treat. Last school holidays all 5 of us went to Brisbane Museum with some friends we had a great day out, take a peek at our adventure here. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have some fun.


I will add that during school holidays especially when we are at home if the attention is not directly on Zakidlets they are either hungry or bored, I assure you I do feed and water them on a regular basis and if I walked into their bedrooms I could easily find at least 10 things they could do (when the bored complaint gets pulled out I generally suggest donating their toys to charity!). I’m pretty sure I used to say similar things to my Mum, I guess I had to have a turn on the other end of the stick sooner or later and you know what?…. I wouldn’t change it for the world!


Oh, just in light of the tea set topic. Last holidays we had a lunch date with Zadada and while we were at the café I couldn’t help but notice the centrepieces they had on their tables, tea pots with herbs growing in them, I just had to make one of my own and here it is, the good news is it’s still alive a whole term later, probably because it’s mint and grows like a weed (my kind of plant!).

Tea pot herbs

What do you get up to during your school holidays? Do you have bored, hungry kids at your place too?

I hope your school holidays are off to a great start!

I’m off  to experiment with some Chorizo and Haloumi patties now……if they’re a hit you’ll be seeing them.

Until then,




I Just love school holidays and the whole notion of no ironing school uniforms, making lunches, homework and no aftersch...

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Dreams Do Come True Even For Zapuppydog’s!!!

Stick retrieval

By now I’m sure most of you are familiar with our furry pooch Zapuppydog! If you’re new to Zamamabakes I’ll fill you in a little. Zapuppydog plays the lead role of family pet. We do have a cat called David and 3 guinea pigs Cadbury, Rainbow and Sarah but somehow they don’t provide quite the same entertainment one Zapuppydog does, you only need to view the post I recently did about him here to understand how much he makes us smile.

About 2 weeks ago Zadada and I noticed our furry friend rolling himself silly down the hill in our backyard. I’m talking rolling in a way that would put him in contention for being selected as a doggy gymnast if there was such a sport for animals!

rollingand rollingand still rolling

I think you get the idea.

We discussed a proper bath was in order, by proper I mean using some form of animal wash and our aim was to find one that had some anti-itching benefits.

Now you may find this a little coincidental but I had the lovely people from Dr Zoo (the same people who do the MooGoo skincare range) contact me to ask if I would like to review some of their pet products, 3 in particular aimed at itchy dogs, plus another one to help ward off bugs that like to hang around pets. No prizes for guessing what my answer was! ‘Your timing couldn’t be better’, I replied.

The products

Dr Zoo products are made in Australia. Dr Zoo are passionate believers in ‘TRUTH’ labelling listing all ingredients on the products.

As one of the Dr Zoo team members said to me ‘Like skincare we think that people should know what they are putting on their pets skin, so they can decide for themselves whether it is the best they can be using, especially for pets with sensitive skin or allergies. We also make sure everything we put in the products is edible, as we know how much pets love to lick themselves’.

Having used some of the MooGoo skincare range for myself I had no reservations in using these products on Zapuppydog.

Pampering day along with the Dr Zoo Products arrived. Zapuppydog got the best pampering I think he has ever experienced. We do live on a property so generally his bathing consists of swimming in our fresh (very cold) water creeks. Not this time, the whole family got involved, and there was warm water!!! Zapuppydog lapped up every single minute of undivided attention, take a peek…….

The wetting of the furthe shampooscrubbingrinsingdryingFamily effortblow waveirritable skin balmCleanClean and sleepy

Did you notice Zapuppydog  got a blow wave!!! Dreams do come true, even for Zapuppydogs!

The end result was one calm, furry, sleepy fellow who we treated to an inside nap for a few hours just until we were certain he was completely dry!

We have now been using the ‘Itchy Balm’ for 10 days just to the area we suspected was irritating Zapuppydog and I can honestly say the acrobatic shows have ceased, it would seem these great products from Dr Zoo have definitely made a big difference in soothing the irritation!

For the record the products smell so good and feel so gentle that I think I would be tempted to use them on myself if ever I ran out of my own, I’m serious!!!

You can purchase a ‘Ditch the Itch’ pet pack here online or alternatively find your nearest stockist here using the stockist finder. For the ‘Lose the Groupies’ little treasure you can purchase it online here.

You will not be disappointed with any of these products they’re awesome!

Until the next time….

Zamamabakes and Zapupppydog is squeaky clean!!!





By now I'm sure most of you are familiar with our furry pooch Zapuppydog! If you're new to Zamamabakes I'll fill you in...

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3 Days Of Fun & 4 To Come!!!!!….. How Was Your Queen Bee Weekend?

Kingscliff Boardwalk

So nice to have a +1 day!!!

I wish every weekend consisted of 3 days and then a 4 day working week……wishful thinking. You’ve just got to take what you can get! We’ve had a lovely weekend, minus a few mini meltdowns along the way (Zamama’s included!!), I’d think something was wrong if we didn’t have those!

There’s been lots of fun including the launch of my geometric shape giveaway! If you haven’t entered you really should, you can do that here.

Comfortably consumed! We had a family of 5, day out adventure, incorporating the purchase of a new Steam Mop (prioroties!!.. my old one blew up) to balance the retail misery (for 3 kidlets) a park visit and scooter ride at Kingscliff helped (I would have heard about it otherwise!), the fresh air was great for everyone.

Visits from Grandparents and Great Grandparents were warmly welcomed with a DVD game of Family Feud (an oldie but a goodie),  loom band challenges (great work Zanan), shoulder rides (thanks Zapop), and speech practice (Zagrandma volunteered her ears), time was well spent all round.

A good selection of food was enjoyed and experimented with too. An Apple Curry and a Salted Caramel Slice with a twist, you have my word they’ll be coming to the blog very soon. Pop Cracknell’s Date Cake had a look in too for Cup of Tea and Slice of Cake Time.

The 2 household vehicles were cleaned to be recognisable again (it’s been a LOOOONG time between washes and vacuums, I do confess to finding an avocado in my car that resembled the head of a baby reptile, not pretty and for a split second scary!!)


Family FeudApple curry prepgood companyloomingphoto experimentingloving lifeMotorbike ridingCuppa timeTime fora chatDay tripScootering at KingscliffPark PlayPelican feastsKingscliff looking prettytaking 5 home funMr Square eyes!Speech practiceGrandma and Pop walksbath timeWho else?Mmmmmm!

So how was your Queen Bee weekend? Maybe it was go, go, go or perhaps you had a nice relaxing couple of days, I’d love to hear about it!!

I’ve got a busy but fun week ahead of me. Zadada and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary (not quite the patch on my Parents 35 years of marriage, but not a bad start!!), we’re planning a date night for Saturday. Thursday I’m looking forward to joining baking forces with the gorgeous Kaileen from Style2484 and her quest of Cakes4Charity, I’ll be making my Nanna Mac’s Moist Chocolate Cake with a side of Salted Caramel Sauce ! Friday night Zagrandma and Kaymac have invited me out to our local ‘Foodie Friday Food Trail’. Certainly not my standard run of the mill week (somewhere in there I’ll be squeezing in Mothering, Wifing, Working and Blogging) but definitely one I’m looking forward too!

Hope you all have a great start to the short working week!

Stay tuned for Zapuppydogs date with Dr Zoo.

Until then…..


So nice to have a +1 day!!! I wish every weekend consisted of 3 days and then a 4 day working week......wishful thinking...

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A Quick, Tasty Sunday Dinner With A Dash of Morocco!

dinner is served

Another week down? Can’t believe we are already heading into week 6 of this school term!! The last week has seen quite a bit of action in the Zamama household. Starting all the way back with last weekend, Zadada was away in Sydney for 2 nights, it was great to have him walk back through the door on Sunday afternoon as 3 little kidlets and one Zamama  missed him lots. I will say we had some gorgeous company (Zagrandma, Kaymac, Uncle Brad, Zagorgeous Aimee and Zachick) on the Saturday night which helped take little minds off Zadada’s absence. I made a batch of Easy Beef Cheeks and they were a great hit and dessert was a mini ice cream, chocolate slice sundaes with Salted Caramel and Dark chocolate sauces. It was so lovely to spend quality time with beautiful people while enjoying a delicious home cooked meal!! On Sunday we  had a little creek side picnic in the backyard, Zapuppydog joined in too.

picnic and locky

We’ve also had swimming, scouts, pirate shows, preschool, school, state of origins and gym. I’m trying to spruce up the family room with some geometric shapes & colour. So in between working, blogging and Mothering I tried to make some headway, I’ll keep you posted with how everything shapes up in that department. Do stay tuned because in the very near future I have a Colourfulful little Geometric give away happening, bit exciting…… I have 3 gorgeous online businesses involved.

I managed to submit my entry into Mamamia’s competition , you’ve got to be in it to have a chance don’t you? The good news is I will be sharing the recipe I created to enter the competition with all of you next week! Trust me it was deeeelicous!!

Even though our week was pretty busy (I know there would be busier for some) that’s just how life is at the moment (I really wouldn’t change a thing except add a few extra hours in the day!).

Remember the smallest thing can make someone’s day, try it out if you haven’t already. My challenge to you for the week ahead, give out 3 genuine compliments to 3 different people! Giving is living lovely ones!

I hope all of you have had a good week too!

Enough of my waffle….. I believe I have a recipe with a dash of Morocco to share. This little treasure is a great one for the whole family and the beauty of it is that you can prep most of it in advance. It was a fabulous hit a couple of Sundays ago with our whole family of 5 (when the 3 year old at least attempts something new I refer to that as a hit). I give full credit to the lady who inspired me to cook this from her recipe book, that lady would be Jane Kennedy and her recipe book (The one I got for Mothers Day) is called ‘One Dish: Two Ways’   she gives you one dish with the option of making it two ways to suit little and big people. Love your work Jane!

Dinner done

Moroccan Beef Kebabs With Couscous

Must Have Ingredients:

2 Zucchini cut into 3 cm thick rounds

600g beef rump steak trimmed cut into 4cm cubes (this was delicious, chicken would be great too)

1 onion cut into wedges 1 cup couscous olive oil for brushing

8 bamboo skewers, soaked for 30 minutes (you can also use metal skewers)

Ingredients For Adults:

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons chopped mint 2 teaspoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1 teaspoon flaked almonds (I love almonds so I used extra)

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I just used ground nutmeg)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch cayenne pepper

pinch of ground cinnamon

1 Tablespoon olive oil


1. Thread Zucchini, beef and onion alternatively onto the skewers and divide onto 2 plates.

2. In a heatproof bowl, prepare the couscous according to the packet instructions. Fluff it up with a fork and divide into 2 portions.

3. Preheat the grill of your BBQ to a medium heat.

Dish 1, For The Kids:

Lightly brush the skewers with olive oil, season with salt and grill for 3 minutes on each side (for medium), or until cooked to their liking. Keep the Couscous plain and serve with the juicy beef skewers.

Kids Dish 1

Dish 2, For The More Adventurous Taste Buds:

While the couscous is still warm, add the lemon zest, mint, parsley and almonds to one portion and stir with a fork. Cover and let stand for 1 minute or more.

In a bowl, combine the spices with the oil. Season with salt and brush the spicy mixture onto the adults’ skewers. BBQ for 3 minutes on each side (for medium) or until they are cooked to your liking. Remove the beef, onion and zucchini from the skewers and serve on the fragrant couscous.

skewed Ready to go brushing BBQing dinner is served

You so need to jump on the wagon and make this dish. We’ll definitely be making a return visit but next time as I said above I’m going to try chicken Breast instead of the beef.

We are planning to give Zapuppydog the best bath he has ever had in his doggy life this afternoon, he’s been suffering from some itchiness, I’m talking conditioner involvement!! The great people from Dr Zoo coincidently asked me to review some of their Itchy Dog range (I said yes please!!). There will be a full post to come on this little treat for Zapuppydog, hopefully we can kick that itch for him!!

Tonight’s dinner is going to be Enchilda’s, Zadada’s request!

In the meantime keep smiling and remember that compliment challenge 3 for 3 different people. I’d love to hear about it, just comment below.

Have a great weekend!!

Until the next time……


Another week down? Can't believe we are already heading into week 6 of this school term!! The last week has seen quite a...

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