Beer, Food and Music Art

Amazing music mural and my man.

I promise these blog posts won’t all be about food and beer but it is one of the things I am passionate about at home. So experiencing new food and wine and a whole range of outdoor eating options in in the North East of the US is exciting. My man brews his own beer, so being able to sample other local beers made her in Minneapolis is a treat. 

Daily Beer Selections.
Hand made Californian Nori Rolls with sauces….
And my little people love sushi rolls, so we will now we will be able to give these little Nori rolls a go. Confession. I watched rather dubiously as the pimple faced, beard growing dude took our lunch order and then proceeded to make our Nori Roll – an amazing roll. The sheet of nori is rolled with the rice on the outside and there are all number of tricks and tips to make sure it rolls well and doesn’t stick to your board or fall apart. It will definitely be on the menu when we get home.

To travel or not to travel

Adventures are hard. I am out of practice. So a 24 hour journey has been demanding. But it is always demanding isn’t? People waiting, tired, anxious. People leaving, saying goodbyes, anticipating change or a new life event. I watch people as I travel and wonder about their lives. Why does the young woman sitting next to me travel alone? How can the guy in front watch movies back to back for the entire flight? There is the married man with ear plugs, eye mask and blanket, the very large couple that really need an extra seat to accommodate their combined girth. And the young families with the baby. I hear the cries but can mostly ignore them. But I feel for the Mama pacing the aisle. I have been there! Breastfed a baby for what felt like an entire flight to the UK, just to get her to sleep. So it is physically demanding travelling when you are child free, healthy and in good mind. Imagine flying overseas because you have news of the death of a loved one?

Anyway, we have arrived…. and we have a day of exploring ahead of us.

Spring into Adventure

Image from Oh, Joy

My life is very ordinary. Really. We are a busy family, juggling school runs, sport and music activities, work and study. I am sure you know what I mean. Making dinner in between taxi runs, making sure everyone is organised and prepared. This week has been a mammoth effort in preparation. My man and I are about to travel overseas to somewhere warmer. This autumn girl will farewell leaves and cool winds and welcome springtime in Northern America.

So while a big part of me is excited. I am also a little overwhelmed. Both sets of grandparents are working as CEOs of our family home. I have prepared a manifesto of our life and you know what – on paper it looks busy, really busy. I realise that all of these little notes and forms and to do lists I keep in my head, day to day. No wonder sometimes I feel foggy and a little s.t.r.e.s.s.e.d!

I am really hoping to be inspired while travelling with my man. I will miss all five of my children so much, but I know we need to do this trip. To be inspired, excited, taken outside of our comfort zone and experience new things together. All of our family in fact. So if you pray – ask God for protection on us all, a real blessing for the grandparents and kids as they do life together. And new joy for a new season. Why not travel with me? Read the blog or follow me on Instagram: 7mouths2feed

Bon Voyage!

Making Sushi

My boy snapped a shot of me the other week making nori/sushi rolls for school lunches. We like variety in our lunch and endeavour to try new things with the kids. If I have rice on hand I find making these little rolls no more trouble than making a sandwich. Plus these Japanese lunch treats fulfil the no bread lunch dream. Do you find your lunches burdened by bread? My top five no bread lunches for school:

1. Japanese Nori/Sushi Rolls
2. Egg and Bacon pies – pastry free
3. Salad in a bag – a zip lock bag full of salad love
4. Thermos of home made soup
5. Oven baked Chicken Drumsticks with dipping sauce

Would you care to share your school lunch ideas for our 7mouths2feed?

Oh, Mr Darcy

I got you didn’t I? Colin Firth aka Mr Darcy had you wondering what this blog post was all about. Well it is quite simply how the British communicate. Are you a Brit? Have you ever lived in the UK and wondered about the language, tone and speak of your British companions. We lived in London many years ago, and in fact my eldest started school there. He acquired quite a nice British accent and we had our everyday conversation marked with words like ‘brilliant’, ‘tea’ and ‘you right’. Words that Australians find difficult to accommodate. I made the mistake once of taking my kids to visit a neighbour for tea, thinking it would be coffee for me and chocolate cake for the children. But the kids were served early tea or dinner really. The children sat at table for a meal of fish fingers and chips. Well, who would have thought?

Our time in London was amazing and we found great friends in a very short time. This was quite unusual I am told as the Brits have a reputation for being a bit standoffish.

I know Australians have their own peculiar relationship to language. Our words are at times strained and strange. What have your experiences of British language been?

Talk about Sex

Apparently the sex talk that many parents fret about needs to start early. Way early.

I have been reading it in the media, on blogs I visit and I hear it from my kids. The sex talk should not be all mystery, magic and fairy tales.

If you want your kids to know the facts about sex, puberty and relationships tell them in detail yourself.

Bust the myths that online porn is how you learn about sex. Bust the myth that teen magazines are the most reliable source for body and relationship advice. Bust the myth that your kid’s friends know the facts.

As parents we need to step up. We need to talk sex. Make it normal, real. Celebrate it as a part of life that is a real blessing. Be real about the hard bits and messy bits. But be real about the commitment to love our kids as they journey the changes, to be there by their side.

We Do Nanny Day

Epiphany. Chaotic mornings and frantic evenings. Family feuds. Change of mind.

What if I went about my morning routines imagining that I was the nanny to these five energetic, gorgeous children? How would the mornings be different? Would I change my tone when I speak to the kids, asking them again to pack their bag? Would I comment on the thick, beautiful hair they have as I smooth it into a ponytail rather than impatiently brush and pull their hair into a quick school updo? Would I ask each child what they would like in their lunch instead of choosing a one size fits all option and telling them that is what is packed, no choice? As the nanny would I offer hugs and kisses, an encouraging pat on the bag and words of encouragement?

I think the morning might be so radically different that the kids may not recognise me. Are you like me and turn into superwoman on a mission, goal oriented and focused on the to do list? Are you so consumed by getting all the tasks done that your forget about the human element and how each child is feeling? Do you even ask what they have on for the day and how you can help them?

Perhaps I have the wrong mindset, I ask the wrong questions or give the wrong instructions, I assume they don’t hear me, won’t follow instructions the first time or are helpless and will only respond to words at full volume!

The bottom line is that they will all get to school, wearing their uniform, fed, watered and ready with books and lunch. I may not have the kitchen bench tidied or the dishwasher packed, I may not have had time to put on lippy and find the shoes I wanted to wear, but it really shouldn’t matter. Happy kids may well start with a happy Mummy who has time for them. And maybe rethinking the way I see the morning will facilitate positive change. So tomorrow, I become the nanny.