Thursday, 2 October 2014


We have made some pretty big changes to our lives this year. We have slowed down the pace and we are finally catching our breath. I actually have more time to blog now but I have been finding so much other stuff to fill my time instead. This is what has been filling our days lately...
Watching the seasons change. As soon as Spring arrived this tree was buzzing! We could hear it buzzing from many metres away!

Growing massive radishes like this one. This one provided much amusement amongst my silly boys ;)

Noticing the trees transform with the arrival of the warmer weather.

Harvesting peas and eating most of them right there in the garden.

Enjoying long afternoons soaking up the sunshine and playing amongst the trees.

Making candles after sourcing all sorts of gorgeous vintage vessels.

Just a whole lot of growing, baking and creating. 
And a whole lot less busy! 
Cheers to that :)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Thank you Nanna

Thank you Nanna for the handmade clothes. I loved the matching outfits I shared with my cousin- it made us feel like the big kids in our own little club.

Thank you for the home cooking & the recipes you shared. I so admire the love & care you put into everything you made for us and I try to emulate that. 

Thank you for the old glomesh purse filled with shiny coins that you stashed away in the kitchen cupboard so we had holiday spending money. 

Thank you for our school holidays filled with swimming, Lego, trips to the shops, good food, walks to the park & games of tennis on the driveway. There was never time to be bored. 
Thank you for your pride in my achievements & joy in my successes.

Thank you for your stories and sharing your history. What a revelation the day you pulled out your old ration cards & marvelled at my unusual interest in them. I treasure them now. 

Thank you for coming down to Sydney for my 16th birthday party and the homemade sausage rolls & banana cake you brought along. I didn't appreciate it at the time as much as I do now- so extra special thank you for that. 

Thank you for being an example of elegance and style. You always had lippy and a smart outfit for any outing. 

Thank you for loving my husband and always commenting on the wonderful job he does to looking after us. Without you he would never have considered a career in teaching. 

Thank you for all that you do for my boys. I know you are always thinking of them & what they might like. They always appreciate the bingo spoils you stash aside for them. 

Thank you for being the capable, loving & strong presence you have always been in my life. I am grateful beyond words & cannot adequately express my love. You are an amazing role model. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

1,1,1 coconut cake

We have been making this deliciously easy cake quite a bit lately. When I tried to find a link to share with friends there wasn't one exactly right, so this is my own. 

Simple ingredients that are staples in our pantry, no additives, no packet mix, and quick! 

1,1,1,1 cake. 

1 cup coconut
1 cup SR flour
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup sugar 

That's it!! 
I halved the sugar quantity & we thought it was sweet enough once you add icing. It looks prettier with pink icing, but lemon icing is yummy. It also looks lovely baked in a round tin & put on a pretty cake plate for your next tea party. 

This one was made with gluten free flour & is not quite as moist as it usually is, but still tastes lovely. 

I have found similar recipes using plain milk but the coconut cream is so much nicer. You can add a bit of left over coconut cream to the icing too. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Weekend project- a treehouse!

There has been much discussion about the perfect treehouse location at our new house- finally one was decided upon. So we had a fantastic weekend project to get into action.

Here is a pictorial timeline of the treehouse progress:

Site supervisor with his apprentice.

Of course I can use a drill!!! Few tips from the hubby and I am a pro ;)

Coming together.

A rug for the floor of course. Recycled plastic and great for outdoor use. You can get your own here.

Hmmm downstairs potential- he is considering his options...

Outdoor solar lights and an upcycled light fitting. Views over the veggie patch- who could ask for more?

This garden was completely over-grown when we moved in. Eric has worked hard and discovered beautiful winding paths and the perfect tree!

An old pulley system has been rigged up for important deliveries- supplies, letters, secret codes, cake...

The downstairs area is in the process of being fitted out for a shop.... although still a very practical 'jail' when necessary 

With off street parking options this property is going to attract lots of interest on completion. 

This was the best fun! There is still so much more scope for the imagination- who knows what it will become next weekend. 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

My Junior Master Chef- Round 2:part 1

I don't want to leave you all in suspense- no doubt you want to see what team 2 came up with tonight. 
Well I don't know about you but I have a feeling that Drew & I may have taken things a little bit too seriously last night ;) 

Here is our menu & theme tonight. Beautifully made menu & we are all excited to find out what 'Dog Park' might entail. 

Our entree:: Chicken & Vegetable Dippers.....with very interesting presentation. 
Delicious! This dish earned two thumbs up from the judge (are you noticing that he has a very consistent approach to scoring).

MAIN:: Hotdogs

Sausages cooked to perfection & a choice of sauces impressed all. In fact we were also offered BOTH sauce options at once- woohoo! Sparing no expense here. 

DESSERT:: Dog Park!!!! ????

The judge's first question was 'what did this represent?' Thank goodness he asked! Our junior master chef explained that the choc mint ice- cream represents the grass at the dog park & the chocolate mousse........ Well!!! As I said Drew & I were way too serious in our approach. 

This was a fabulously hilarious dinner enjoyed by all. How could we possibly compare the two meals?

 The judge is very wise & declared it a tie!! 

Friday, 23 May 2014

My Junior Master Chef Rules- Round 2

A few months ago we set a family cooking challenge- I wrote about it here.  Since then we have moved house and we have finally settled in which meant that the boys have been demanding another cook-off.
We switched up the teams this time and set to planning.

First up is team 1- Mum and Drew.

Again, we tried to plan our meal around the things that are most likely to impress our judge. We also had to decide on a theme. After much deliberation we came up with 'European Holiday' as our theme and we planned to travel around Europe with each course.

Join us on our journey:

Passport menus- created at the very last minute in between prepping food. We weren't as organised this round and it was a bit trickier cooking on a Friday night because we didn't have the whole day to plan and prepare.

ENTREE:: Ravioli
Our entree started in Italy with chicken, basil and ricotta ravioli. This was Drew's first attempt at making pasta and he did a great job. We rolled the pasta beautifully thin and Drew was in charge of making the filling and assembling the ravioli. While we fussed about with the menu our tomato sauce thickened up a bit too much, so we decided to quickly create a butter and basil sauce instead. It was delicious!!!

MAIN:: Schnitzel
We travelled to Germany for our main and for Andrew's favourite food- Schnitzel!!! He breaded it all himself and added a lovely little secret ingredient to the crumbs... grated parmesan. Nice addition! The tomato sauce we made for the entree was perfect dolloped onto the plate to have with the schnitzel- great save. We added some crispy potatoes and fresh asparagus and our main was served.

DESSERT:: Profiteroles
Over to France for dessert, although our full bellies needed a short stop over before we could manage our dessert. I was in charge of dessert, but it was all Drew's idea ;) I used this easy recipe. We got the choux pastry going before our entree and they were baked and ready to go after the entree was served. I managed to whip up the creme patissiere (with real vanilla beans too) in between courses and we just dunked them straight into the melted chocolate once they were filled. There were grand plans for some gorgeous drizzling effects, but by that stage we were a bit over it and happy to just eat them! 

The overall verdict???
The judge gave each course..... two thumbs up!! He obviously approved.
We are handing it over to team two now and we can't wait to what they come up with and especially what the judge has to say about their cooking. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

The Tree Change

I just checked to see when I last wrote- I knew it had been a while, but I hadn't realised how much time had slipped through my fingers. That's what happens when you move house.

We have done something quite exciting but not too drastic. We have moved to the outskirts onto a farm, but still only a short drive into the city (although somedays that drive doesn't feel very short).

We are surrounded by trees, fresh air and joy. We are all more relaxed, feeling more creative and enjoying the simple pleasures. There is still lots to explore and uncover in our new surrounds and we can't wait to see what we find. Autumn has been the perfect time to come back to nature- everything is so crisp- the air, the colours, the light.

We are all content and not missing suburbian life at all, or our old house, but it is all there waiting for us if we change our minds. Do you think we will?

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