The Modern Mother is forever seeking self-improvement. I think it’s a generational thing – for me, a new week is another chance to get it all right. Do you relate? Here are five things I am thinking about this week that just might change my life. Would love to know yours – let me know.

1. Moisturise the back of my neck

This sounds shallow, but its not, especially considering the time we spend on our faces.  Is it because it’s ‘in our face‘? It’s like doing the front of your hair but forgetting there is a bird’s nest at the back. The skin on the neck is super-delicate and the first area to really show its age. I am going to remember to extend my serums, moisturiser and sunscreen down my neck and behind and across my décolletage.

2. Bring back word of the day

This resolution will not be received well. There will be raised voices and a tween-mutiny but I am determined to fight through said resistance. Here is how it works. Each member of the family is given a week of new words to come up with. They can’t be words like ‘OMG‘ or ‘whatever‘. They should be eclectic, exciting, and deliciously unknown ones that we can learn how to spell and use when appropriate.  As I will be the only one wanting to play this game,  I will start us off. Our word of the week is ……

portmanteau (Listeni/pɔrtˈmænt/,; plural portmanteauxa new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings. Example:  ‘smog‘ is a blend of ‘smoke‘ and ‘fog‘. ‘chuckle‘ and ‘snort‘ are the parents of ‘chortle‘. ‘brangelina‘ is the product of ‘brad‘ and ‘angelina‘.

Fun, huh?

3. Embrace tween-hood

We are in a whirl of One Direction-ism this week due to a certain boy band hitting town this weekend. We talk and listen to them ad nauseum, allow Louis to drift into unrelated conversation and are hushed into a code of silence every time they appear on TV.  Given this extreme behaviour, it is easy to roll one’s eyes, shout at each other a little and attempt to switch to Keith Urban. Until you cast your mind back to yourself as a tween. Remember the adrenlin-rush you felt at the mention of your idol’s name? The endless countdown to the concert and the 24/7 “I can barely think straight” behaviour? The fact I staked out Boy George’s hotel, complete with braided hair and fingerless gloves means I have no right to eye roll. Instead I resolve to immerse myself in her excitement and enjoy it. Very few of us can boast a boy-band free past, least of all me. Here’s the chance to relive it a little and totally make her day.

4.  Wear heels

I have fallen into chronic flat shoe-wearing territory. Yes they are dead comfy, but my legs look 100% better with an extra inch or five. With our family history of bunions, who knows how much longer I will be bump-free and high-heel able? This week I am going to make the most of my feet in their current state, and step out in really fabulous heels, no matter what I am wearing. Blisters, rolled ankles and all.

5. Get a grip and make them dessert

I am pretty pushy when it comes to healthy eating  –  I am a bit of a downer actually. This week I resolve to loosen up a little and make delish desserts so my kids have a taste of that traditional way of eating that I got to experience. To start, I am highjacking cookrepublics old fashioned apple crumble – but making a few healthy adjustments. You can take the health freak out of the kitchen …

Have a great week everybody x

Old fashioned apple crumble

(adapted from cookrepublic)

serves 4


For The Filling
  • 450g apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp almond meal
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g brown sugar
For The Crumble
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 300g almond meal, sifted
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • maple syrup to taste


  • Preheat oven to 180C. Butter a 9 inch ovenproof dish.
  • To Make The Filling
  • Place fruit in a large bowl. Sprinkle with maple syrup, almond meal and cinnamon. Mix well with a spoon and set aside while you make the crumble.
  • To Make The Crumble
  • Place almond meal, salt, nutmeg and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Take a little butter at a time and rub into the flour and sugar mixture. Keep rubbing until all the butter is used up and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Spoon fruit mixture into the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle crumble on top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until top is golden.
  • Serve warm with greek yogurt (or ice cream if you are feeling the pressure).
PS Thank you to gorgeous Melbourne Modern Mother Monique who sent in this pic. She cooked my braised white beans, turkey, kale and parmesan recipe and had major success. It looks sooo much better than mine! Go M!