Friday, March 22, 2013

the sweet and the sour of marriage...and Lemon Almond Cake...

TheHusband and I are thirteen years into marriage
Like all good Fairy tales it has a storyline that dips and soars - and more often flat lines. 

The hero leaves the toilet seat up, clears his throat while he watches TV and frequently acts like a Bachelor.

These actions (and many more) cause the heroine so much grief she can't believe she married such an imbecile.  We'll save her mood swings, failing eyesight and diminished sex drive for another post.

Less Beauty and more Beastly...

The bad can overwhelm the good and make it seem very hard. Which it is.

Marriage is work.

Extenuating circumstances aside, it can require more effort to stay and keep going than to move on.

When you struggle and wonder if leaving would be better.

When you dream of having the bathroom to yourself, or long to read a newspaper that hasn't been decimated and strewn around the house before you get to it. When you are reduced to being annoyed by the way he even breathes. 

Then try to remember what it was like when you met.

The serendipity that brought you together. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

finding the Fizz when all you feel is Frazzled…& the best mayonnaise recipe...

image: TheUrbanMum
Marriage for TheHusband and I is a little like flat lemonade at the moment.

Sweet enough but not much in the way of sizzle.

The Festive Season whirl and long stretch of Summer Holidays shoved our needs as a couple aside.

School is back in swing and routines are busy, even so we need to make time for us.

Although if I am honest the daily grind of ho hum can bury deep the reasons why “us” is great.

So I’ve booked a weekly babysitter for Thursday DateNight.   Just the two of us.

It won’t be too complicated; less opportunity for things to go off the rails. 

A champagne for me and a beer for him at the local… 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

tastes like heaven...Dutch Apple Pie...TheKidsFood School easy...

Image:  TheUrbanMum

Dutch Apple Pie, fills the house with smells of comfort.  Home baking reminding me of my Oma.

This recipe is for anyone who loves biting into a crisp sweet pastry, encasing the tart magnificence of cooked apples.

It is also for anyone who ever felt nervous about making pastry.  Too hard, too time consuming…

This recipe is child’s play.
Image:  TheUrbanMum
Made by TheYoungSon whilst at home on a not quite sick day; more a need of a pyjama day.
We both had a slice of the finished product for lunch, with whipped cream of course.  Lashings of it!

Quick enough to make as an after school activity.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Albert Slice – a treat to celebrate the Queen’s fabulous wardrobe - oh & the Diamond Jubilee…

Image: TheUrbanMum


I really do like the Queen. 

I am not talking about the politics – whether or not you like the Royal family.
No – I simply wish to declare her as a fabulous woman of style.

What is not to love about her glorious wardrobe of hats and handbags?

The rainbow of coats and sensible shoes.

Lipstick immaculate - never a hair out of place.


I grew up in New Zealand singing God Save the Queen…

My Dutch family adopted their new Country with fervour. 
Blending their favourite Continental cuisine with the English tradition.

Raised on afternoon tea slices and cakes and cream teas. 

So this post is in honour of celebrations this year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

I made Albert Slice – named I guess for The Queens father.  It is a lovely old fashioned slice.  Robust enough for the lunchbox and pretty enough to serve for a special treat.


TheUrbanMum xoxo



125 g butter                                                1 cup cranberries (or currants)
¾ cup sugar                                                2 cups plain baking flour
2 eggs                                                        2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. golden syrup                                      pinch salt
¼ cup milk

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.  Beat in syrup. Fold in cranberries. Then add flour, salt, baking powder, alternatively with milk.  Mix until combined.

Spread into a lined slice tin.  Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes, until set.
When cold ice with pink icing sprinkled with coconut.  Cut into squares.    

Monday, April 16, 2012

vitality - the best tonic for ageing well...oh and good nails & hair help too...


I've been pondering ageing recently.

In relative terms I'm still young; but changes are afoot.

Some I don't mind; like the thicker skin I've developed and the ability to speak the truth often.

I don't love the few extra kilos that creep on when I let down my guard for a minute.

I really dislike that it takes twice as long to lose them. 

Strangely though, as wrinkles appear and my hair begins to grey I actually feel better in my skin.

I have never shied away from the options available to maintain a semblance of youth.

I always said that if I needed it I would go under the knife,  hell I'd go the whole carving set if I thought it might help. 

But as that sweeping statement drifts closer to becoming reality I wonder if that is the path I will take...I'm beginning to suspect not.

I'm experimenting with growing the colour out of my hair.  The blond was becoming yellow and the darker options were ageing against my skin

I won't stop minimal injectables; I don't need to wear a frown line. 

But I don't indulge so much as to keep people guessing as to my real emotions. 

I have spent time recently in the company of older women.  All of whom look fabulous. Not just for their age, they stack up well against any number.

I leave their company and wonder what it is about them that I find so inspiring, so truly invigorating.

I've concluded that it is their vitality. Their total engagement - in the conversation, in their interests.  The effort that they make that seems almost out-dated.

Except it's not.

Elegance is timeless, as are manners and a quiet self confidence

Add to that great hair, groomed nails and a healthy fit body and you are pretty well set.

Develop a certain je ne sais quoi to your style. A sartorial elegance as it were.

Then you've got it nailed.

Like Linda Rodin pictured above.  Maybe a little thin, but so chic.

She is in her ‘60’s and beginning  a new career, developing a fancy, schmancy facial oil.  I think I have a girl crush - she nails it with her style.  And apparently she does it all with a minimum of fuss.

Oh and go and see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - these gorgeous friends of mine tell me it is a wonderful feel good tonic - whatever your age.

TheUrbanMum xoxo

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

stop with the Easter Eggs & Fasten your Running Shoes…come for a ride on TheUrbanMum’s high horse

Image:  NamasteShopper

Yee ha - girls buckle up, I'm riding in on my high horse.

Just why am I galloping around?

Well I like to share – I’d love it if you came on up.

There is room for all of us…


I may have mentioned my love of morning exercise - no doubt not gaining many friends along the way.

I’ve gone on (and on) about how good it makes me feel.  Offering a fabulous start to even the most potentially crappy day.

A kickstart to your metabolism doesn't hurt, sets you up for wise food choices.

Fires all those little fat burning gremlins that mostly lay dormant.  Waiting for any opportunity to expand and make your jeans tighter.

Oh and over indulgence of the kids Easter eggs will do that to you too.

Just saying.

All that aside I truly exercise for my head not so much my arse.

A sleepless night is swept away with a little sweat. Keep up with the demands of your life with a little running shoe shuffle. 

Your AM efforts will keep on giving.

When I wake up these days my face is a scary reflection of someone much older than I feel.  (Well okay at 6.00am I also feel bloody old – but work with me).

An hour later the circulating blood lends me a youthful glow and my cheeks are back up near where god intended them to be - rather than somewhere closer to my chin.

Before you decide you want to hit me and snuggle deeper under your doona let me tell you that below my lycra clad surface...lays a sloth.

My default position would be curled up with a book, in bed, scoffing a piece of toast dripping with peanut butter.

But to go there would be be a slippery slope to over indulgence.  I'd feel sluggish and just drag through the day.

So against Lady Gaga’s pronouncement, I wasn't born this way. It's become my routine through force of habit.  And now I don't think, or bargain with myself - I just get up and do. And feel great.

If only I could lasso that counterproductive peanut butter habit and fling it away.

Well I didn't say there wasn't room for improvement.

Need more encouragement, a place to begin?  Have a look this website Run Fat Bitch Run! 

Go forth and sweat. I swear you will learn to love it - in time.......

 TheUrbanMum xoxo

Monday, April 2, 2012

paradise lost - a Cake Bake, Sponsor a Child...Fiji Needs You


Poor, poor FIJI.

Wracked with widespread flooding and a potential cyclone on the way.

Nearly 200,000 Australian’s visit Fiji every year.

Many of us love the magnificent climate and kind people.
As a child my family lived in Suva.  Now my children visit.
It’s magic has us in it’s grasp.  Once it gets under your skin you don’t forget. 

Fiji is already a poor nation with a standard of living way below what we enjoy.

If you feel touched by their plight think about how you might assist;

·         A Cake Bake at school or work. Fijian inspired Cake to get you started.

·         A gold coin donation drive.

·         Gather up old sporting equipment or clothing, so many people are left with only the clothes they stand up in.

·         A Book Sale.

·         Sponsor a Child

Or if that seems all too daunting keep an eye out in the media for official organisations collecting funds on behalf of this nation.
We are all busy & stretched.

But as you know – every little bit helps.

Vinaka vaka-levu

TheUrbanMum xoxo

Monday, March 26, 2012

baby steps for tackling a growing problem…. & why parents need to cook...

Image - livefromBelgrade

I feel this post is going to be preaching to the converted.

If you are a reader of my Blog then I assume you have a vague affinity with food.
But I can’t help it. 

I need to say it…
There is a trend at the moment. Other blogs, in the media – just a feeling I get.

It seems to be the thing for some women to declare themselves unable or unwilling to cook.  Rather like a badge of honour.
A little feminist take. 

Along the lines of “I am too busy, too dis-interested, it’s not my role – to cook”.

·         I understand when you are living alone – the task of preparing a meal for one is daunting, boring, hard to manage.

·         I recognise that when you work and return home at an hour when you want to collapse; your appetite has all but fallen asleep anyway.

·         I am absolutely in the firing line of prepping lunch boxes to have them return untouched.  I see the look in The Boy’s eyes when the meal I have prepared does not meet their approval (as an aside, TheHusband for all his faults is eternally grateful for any meal, he cooks too sometimes).

But a parent who WON’T cook?
(before anyone gets all high-horsey please note I did not make this entirely a female centric comment).

If you can read you can cook.
If you have children – you should cook.

This of course does not mean you want too.
But can’t is different from won’t – is it not?

TheUrbanMum xoxo

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

one woman's trash = anothers Smart Shopping - & healthy (relatively speaking) Chocolate Chip Slice...

Image - TheUrbanMum

I go for quality over quantity – every time – well for clothes at least.

(If we are talking food – that’s another matter and post entirely – I defy you to stop at just one piece of this Chocolate Chip Slice).

I shop well.  Indeed so well that when I find one of my Smart Shopping goodies, I feel it would be a disservice to leave it on the rack. 

More often than not, I snap it up and it comes home with me…

I am also very good at editing my wardrobe.  Selling the fancy stuff on eBay or dropping the rest off to clothing bins.  I love that in a world of disposable & cheap manufacturing, some things live to see the light of another day.  One woman’s trash – and all that…

It can get a bit tricky as the definition of the Quality/Quantity thingy can be subjective.

For example my idea of forgoing the quantity in order to buy quality does not match the TheHusband’s understanding. Otherwise why would he have asked this last night?

 “Why do you need another pair of shoes with little heels and pointy toes”?

It had been a long day.  I simply didn’t have the strength to respond.

Image - TheUrbanMum

I wore them today.

TheUrbanMum xoxo