Common Chaos Chronicle

Not everyone can lay claim to the ownership of their very own MONSTER SQUAD!!!

Keeping up with the Jones’ March 31, 2011

Filed under: Introducing..... — commonchaoschronicle @ 10:55 pm
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Melbourne.....

Ahhhh 10 years ago I was used to pollution, smog and neighbors that were so close that we could hear everything. And yes, I mean everything. The hustle and bustle of suburban life in Melbourne was very much the norm for me.

Then it happened. Mum and Dad moved out of home and left me to fend for myself in the big smoke. They totally screwed up my grand plans of moving out of home and making my mark on the world out there. How Freaking RUDE!!!

Anyway, Dad had retired and mum wanted to move back to the country where she had grown up. So off they went on their retirement adventure. I got in the car one weekend and drove the 3 long hours to visit them.

Big difference to melbourne.... Our cosy little town....

I fell in love with this pretty little place.The streets were so wide, the houses had backyards, people in the street said ‘hello’ even though they had no idea who I was.

I was so keen on it I stopped in at the real estates to check out some houses…. Living here would be like a relaxing holiday compared to Melbourne.

Then I found my home….. It was instant in my mind what I had to do. Transfer from my job in Melbourne, buy this cute little house and enjoy the holiday….. Ahhhh the serenity……

Now back to reality…..

What I hadn’t counted on was the severe culture shock that was about to hit me…. hard.

Everything seemed to go slower in the country and it drove me nuts. I couldn’t buy anything that I wanted or needed here. People weren’t friendly at all. They were clicky, and not excited about welcoming a newcomer into their social groups. I felt like the worlds biggest outcast. Something had to give….

Yep you guessed it….. my hips, my back, even the elasticity in my skin. I met Brian and had kids. 🙂

The Monster Squad....

Having children in a small country town is the perfect friend magnet. All of a sudden you become approachable for a reason. You get put into social groups with others that understand what you’re going through and that are actually interested in your existence.

Through these groups I have met some amazing women and their families. Thanks to my children and their activities I have met even more of these women, that have turned into life long friends… Ladies you know who you are!!

But here comes the downside….

In Melbourne you are anonymous. In the country EVERYONE knows you.

You can’t fart without someone gossiping about it. You can’t shop without people gawking at you. You most certainly can’t buy a pregnancy test in peace, that I can assure you.

There is definitely a stigma around what you look like, which part of town you live in, what kind of car you drive and what clothes you wear. Then it moves on to who you are friends with, what sports you play, where you work…. the list goes on.

So for the best part of 4 years I tried to play the game for fear of being left with no friends again. It’s not easy keeping up with the jones’ and it has been a long road to finding ‘ME’ again.

We went through many a tough time with unemployment, financial worries, expanding the family, death of relatives etc all whilst we put on a brave face, faking our way through social situations like we were on top of the world.

Then enough was enough.

I couldn’t do it anymore, it was causing more damage than it was worth and it had to stop. So began the long journey of recovery. An acceptance of who we are, where we are and what we want from life.

I am pleased to say I am well on the other side of it all now and my confidence is booming.  I don’t need the

Its ME!!!

acceptance of some 2 bob snob to make me feel like I belong. I am happy with the life we have created for ourselves, stranger’s looks of amazement when we’re all out together will no longer bring on the sweats and I couldn’t care less what street we live in, what car we drive or what shop I buy my kids clothes from.

I am happy, my family are happy and we are loving life right now!

Thank-you to the little birdy that informed me of some truths. Thank-you to the lady that was so desperately fake it prompted me to write this post and Thank-you to my dear dear friends that couldn’t give a bugger about anything other than being my friend.

We are who we are.

No amount of faking can change that.

Life’s lesson learned.  🙂

 

Monster Squad Meal Planning Week 2! March 30, 2011

Filed under: Menu Plans — commonchaoschronicle @ 6:06 pm
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Meal Time Mess!!!

 

Ahhh it’s that time of the week again… Meal planning madness…

 

I’m really feeling a little uninspired about cooking this week coming, so I have tried to plan quick and easy meals to prepare.

 

Last week when I did the shopping I kept within my budget but somehow ended up doubling up on some items. 🙂

 

That means that tomorrow morning when I hit the supermarkets, I might actually SAVE some money!!!! How exciting!!!

 

Just goes to show that with a little time, planning and organisation you really can make a difference with your budget. LOVE THAT FEELING 🙂

 

 

 

 

So here goes:

 

Thursday

Lunch: Dims Sims

Dinner: Fettucine Bolognese

 

Friday

Lunch: Take-away snacks as we will be out!

Dinner: Satay Chicken & Veges on White Rice

 

Saturday

Lunch:Party Pies and Sausage Rolls

Dinner: Roast chicken tortilla Wraps & Oven baked Chips

 

Sunday

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Sizzle Steaks, Scalloped Potato & Corn Cobs

 

Monday

Lunch: Tin spaghetti with soldiers! (Soldiers are toast slices cut into 3 strips)

Dinner: Homemade Hamburgers, Curly Fries & Packet Pasta

 

Tuesday

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Family Movie Night – Take Away – KFC

 

Wednesday

Lunch: Pumpkin Soup & French Stick Bread

Dinner: Lasagna from the freezer (Last week’s vegetable laced lasagna) & Crunchy Potato Wedges

 

 

 

This week I am going to add an afternoon tea element to my meal plan. On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays the kids have no activities and come straight home from school absolutely starving…. or so they say….

 

So this weeks options for afternoon tea include

 

* Microwave Popcorn

* Cheese & Vegemite Saladas

* 2 Min Noodles

 

 

So that’s the Monster Squad Meal Plan for this week. Check in next week for some more meal ideas. I hope it has inspired you to start your own plan! 🙂

 

 

We’re on Facebook too!!! March 28, 2011

Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog. If my post’s interest you and you’re keen to keep up to date with the

The Monster Squad - Nov 2010

Monster Squad, find us on Facebook and ‘Like’ our page.

Here’s a link directly to our Common Chaos Chronicle Page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Common-Chaos-Chronicle/167928966591552

Are you just loving the blog? Why not share it with your Facebook friends?

Here’s how…..

Once you are on the Common Chaos Chronicle Facebook Page,

* Highlight the web address on the top of your browser page.

* Press copy.

* Go to your wall as though you were going to update your status.

* Click on ‘link’ and a http/ bar will appear.

* Click in that bar and press Paste.

* Then Click the ‘Attach’ button.

* You can then write a status update with this link.

🙂

Hope that helps!

Thanks again to my Family and Friends for their support and constant guidance! You Guys ROCK! xoxox

I look forward to hearing from many new readers aswell in the future!

 

Monday Motivation #2

Filed under: Getting Organised... — commonchaoschronicle @ 6:53 pm
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One of my Digital Scrapbooking Pages from last weeks List!

Argh it’s Monday again!!!

I have been so super busy this past week, that I didn’t quite achieve all of the things on last Monday’s list. That’s OK because I will just put them on this weeks list along with a few other jobs I’d like to catch up on!

So here’s what I would like to achieve on top of the regular jobs this week.

* Clean off the Verandah.

* Decide on a Scrapbook Project and get it underway.

* 5 Common Chaos Chronicle Blog Posts.

* Go shopping for Winter Clothes.

I’m not going to go over the top with extras this week as each task is almost a day in itself! I can but try! 🙂

But for now, I’m off to put some kiddies to bed!

 

Monster Squad Meal Planning! March 27, 2011

Filed under: Menu Plans — commonchaoschronicle @ 8:37 pm
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Hungry Jai

Weekly menu planning has not only saved me a fortune at the supermarket, it has solved the common issue of wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles with not a clue of what to serve up for dinner.

 

I have also found that planning the meals in advanced has allowed me to be more organised and prepare much healthier, filling meals.

 

I sit down of a Wednesday evening once the kiddies have gone to bed and I plan my following weeks menu. My menu plan starts on a Thursday each week as this is the day I do my shopping.

 

When planning the menu I have to take into consideration after school activities and other family commitments and schedule in meals that have appropriate preparation and cooking times.

 

I hadn’t considered posting my menu plan before now but I must thank Katrina from The Organised Housewife for her inspiration 🙂

 

 

Here is this weeks plan.

The beginning of our Lasagna

THURSDAY

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Honey Mustard Chicken on White Rice

FRIDAY

Lunch: Tin Spag Jaffles (Toasted Sandwiches)

Dinner: Lasagna & Wedges

SATURDAY

Lunch: Hot Dogs

Dinner: Honey & Sweet Soy Stir-fry Chicken with Hokkien Noodles

SUNDAY

Lunch: Steamed Dim Sims

Dinner: Beef Casserole (Slow Cooker). Mashed potato & Mixed Vegetables

MONDAY

Lunch: 2 Min Noodles

Dinner: Ravioli & Garlic Bread

TUESDAY

Lunch: Sandwich

Dinner: Pizza – Movie Night

WEDNESDAY

Lunch: Leftover Pizza / Sandwich

Dinner: Chicken Schnitzel & Creamy Scalloped potato

I must confess to not being much of a Baker, however I do occasionally have a go. This week I saved a massive amount of time preparing the kids lunchbox snacks when my mum offered to do the baking. 🙂

She prepared

* A chocolate cake

* A double batch or pikelets

* A batch of Blueberry Mini Muffins

* A batch of Banana Mini Muffins

I individually wrapped these items and popped them into the freezer. Each day when I prepare the lunch boxes I will just pull out what I need from the freezer and it will be defrosted well before they eat it. Saves time and money on lunch box snacks. These snacks should last 2-3 weeks 🙂

So that’s it for this weeks plan.

 

Thanks again to THE ORGANISED HOUSEWIFE for her inspiration!

The Organised Housewife
 

Let’s play Vegetable Hide & Seek!!!! March 25, 2011

Filed under: Recipes On A Budget! — commonchaoschronicle @ 11:21 pm
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Levi waits for his take-out dinner 😦

As the main shopper and cook of our household I am growing very tired of the constant whingeing and whining from one child or another (that includes the HUSBAND!!!!) that they don’t like ‘this’ or they don’t like ‘that’ at meal times.

It’s quite literally doing my head in.

As a mother and wife I want to provide them with nutritionally sound meals that they enjoy, but this has become more than just a challenge.

In the last 6 years we have spent more money than I care to count up and put on stacks of weight due to consuming convenience & pre packaged foods. Why? Because it’s quick and because it’s easy.

I don’t like to cook, I’ve never considered myself to be anything more than a ‘hack’ in the kitchen and I was fresh out of new and interesting ideas to appease the hungry mob. So I decided it was time to ask for help and get some ‘home cooking lessons’.

 

A dear family friend was more than happy to step up to the plate and give me a few pointers.

The sauce spiked with vegetables...

 

My criteria:

It had to be within the budget.

It had to contain vegetables.

It had to be somewhat convenient.

 

So her suggestion was a Bolognese Sauce and we would use it to make up a large family lasagna. Hmmmmm YUM!

Now here comes the fun part….Not only did we create the most delicious tasting sauce known to mankind, we did a little blending of ‘this’ and some more blending of ‘that’ and before we knew it, the sauce was more vegetable than mince meat and there was no way of ever even knowing it!

That night I served up this delightful smelling homemade lasagna to the Monster Squad. Bare in mind that they had only ever eaten the prepackaged frozen variety before….. AND THEY LOVED IT!!!!

Even asked for seconds!!! So for the first time in years I had found something that all of them would eat without complaints! 🙂

Now the kids were none the wiser but Brian knew I was up to something. The king of “I don’t eat veggies” was on to me and my sneaky plan to poison him with goodness….. He demanded to know what I had stashed in this ridiculously delicious meal…. So I let him have it…

Ahhh the secret hidden ingredients...

 

In that sauce I had hidden:

My massive bowl of blended vegetables!

* Carrots

* Zucchini

* Pumpkin

* Broccoli

* Mushrooms

* Onions

* Red & Green Capsicum

 

 

Yes that’s right folks the man who doesn’t eat his vegetables had admitted defeat and said he loved the lasagna!

 

That’s what I call SUCCESS!!!

Add the veggies in once the meat has browned.....

 

So now when I make up a batch of sauce I make up a monster sized pot of it. I use it in my lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, on Baked Potatoes and will try it with a mexican feel sometime in the future. It freezes perfectly and makes the evening meal convenient when the sauce is already prepared and ready to go!

 

 

Thank-you my dear family friend, I cannot wait for your next session of cooking ideas and advice! 🙂


 

How do I store my………… LEGO???

Filed under: Getting Organised... — commonchaoschronicle @ 9:31 pm
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Our bubble car!

Today I am going to share with you my Lego storage system. If you have read my introduction to Jai post you would be well aware that this child is obsessed with Lego. You name it, he want’s to build it and he want’s my help.

A crazy police truck creation!

My frustration with the Lego came about when we had it stored in a large storage tub. Everything was jumbled up and mixed in together, making even the simplest build project difficult and time consuming.

To top it off, often the only way to find the piece you were looking for is to upturn the entire tub spreading lego from one end of the room to the other.

I do love the old spread a bed sheet out on the floor and go for your life method but it is far from suitable in this house.

With a baby on the loose I had to come up with something that made playing with Lego safe, but also allowed me to be involved in a much

The Stopper Cabinet Storage System!

faster fashion. Long gone were the hours of just sitting down and fiddling with the blocks. I had some serious time constraints to consider!

I went to a shop called STORE, where I came across these totally fabulous storage systems. Wait…. it gets better….. They were reduced to half price!!! LOVE A BARGAIN!

Anyway, These systems were located in the Automotive / Garage area of the shop. I am assuming that they are designed to be filled with nails, screws and that type of thing but they certainly do the Lego trick!

It even has top trays for tiny bits and pieces!

So I sat down one evening and started sorting. I knew if   things were colour coordinated

and if similar things were placed together it would save me hours of time when building with Jai.

Jai's Lego all sorted into the drawer compartments!

The best thing about this system is that the drawers have a stopper pull bit on them that stops the drawers from sliding open when you’re carrying them around. Great thinking if you ask me!!!

 

Similar systems can be found in shops like Supercheap Auto and some Hardware chain stores.

Jai LOVES it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the Lego in your house gives you a hard time (nothing quite like stomping on a sharp block in during a pitch black midnight dash to the toilet :-0 ), give this storage and sorting method a try!

And now….. Im off to build!!!