Tuesday, 18 March 2014

#100daysofhappiness

I have joined this challenge!!

http://100happydays.com/

Only because I thought it was a lovely, happy thing to do every day. I thought I might update the blog weekly with the pics I put on Instagram.

Here are days 1- 7:

Day 1:
A quiet moment for a coffee by the fig tree in the autumn sunshine.

Day 2: 
The joy that packaging up a party in a box brings. 

Day 3:
These confetti balloon have been going strong for weeks now!

Day 4:
A quiet day with my biggest boy included a little bit of pampering with our favourite hairdresser. 

Day 5:
A lazy morning with tea & magazines.

Day 6:
A beautiful bouquet from my beautiful baby boy. 

Day 7:
We now have two future rock stars in the family. 

What a lovely way to reflect on some lovely moments of joy amongst our frantic packing in readiness for a new house- I needed that!! 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Junior Masterchef Rules!


The kids in the house have devised a new challenge. A cook off!! Campbell is the judge & the two junior master chefs split up with a parent on each side & we battle it out in the kitchen.
There was some serious planning going on. Recipes selected, menus designed & created, tables laid out. 

*Team One- Melissa & Jonas
*Team Two- Eric & Andrew

Round one....
Jonas decided on a transport theme because he desperately wanted to create paper airplanes with the menus. He was very clever about considering what the judge would like the best so he decided on these key ingredients: Camembert (Campbell's favourite but also Joe's), chicken nuggets and Nutella! Yep...and all if that around a transport theme! 


So here is the menu Jonas typed up:



We won't pretend that we weren't aiming for extra points for the 'Campbellbert'. 


I was so proud of Joe's determination to do it all himself! I tried so hard to back off as he peeled and chopped the veggies- he did it all so well. He really didn't need any help from me.

He even set the table and had very clear ideas about how he wanted it all to look- in fact he sent me back up to the shops to get some flowers for the table. Luckily we already had the IKEA transport fabric.


And the entree is served. Joe coated the camembert himself and I just had to cook it for him

                                   

The main is served and the judge gave it two thumbs up. Joe even made his first ever homemade garlic aioli...he also told our customers that it contained RAW EGG!!




Hard at work adding the nutella to the crepes as soon as they came out of the pan. 


And then creating his little airplanes before delivering them to the table.
The judge was happy at the end of service, but we had to wait until our opponents could cook before we heard our scores.

Round 2:
Andrew made it all about Star Wars and used the cook book he got for Christmas to help him devise the menu. He did an awesome job of designing and creating the menu.



Our starter was Yoda Soda with ice-cream.

In between service on both nights we played 'Who Am I?' to fill time.
Our main arrived! Delicious Obi Won Tons in a tasty vegetable soup. It was good!
Dessert!

Who doesn't love a good old chocolate crackle?

So guess what the judge decided? 

Of course he couldn't pick favourites and decided it had to be a tie. He thoroughly loved being given such special treatment all weekend- he especially liked the fact that nobody else could eat until he had given his review of the dish.


Monday, 24 February 2014

Highs and lows ::

Today has been a day of such highs & lows. It was especially lovely to have those highs today.

My beloved turned 40 today and you know I never waste an opportunity to create a party.

But today was also the day we said our farewells to my lovely Uncle. It's hard to get in the mood for a party when you are feeling so sad. It is so emotionally draining trying to hold it all together. My heart was breaking for my beautiful Auntie, who has lost the love of her life. It was uplifting to listen to the stories about this precious couple and to realise that the impact they have had on my life, has also been shared with others. My Uncle's way of making sure that he found a snippet of time to check in on me, to ask questions about my life and to share some of his thoughts and ideas, was something he did with others he cared about. I have always felt like a got a bonus set of grandparents with my Auntie and Uncle. In my tiny little extended family they have always been a constant for me, but also for my husband and children. It is very, very hard to realise that there is now a very big gap in our family unit and it is a void we could never fill. The elders of my family are getting older and it is a hard thing to come to terms with. I am so grateful that we had our chance to say our own special goodbyes and I can only hope that he knew how important he was in our lives and how terribly he will be missed.

I also took the time to visit a grave while we were at the Cemetery and leave behind some love. A grave that was far too small- there should never be graves so small. It is all the more important to deliver some love to those little ones. It was a moving experience for both of us to take a moment to reflect on this little person who was so perfect in every way and is so loved by so many.

Once it was time to collect our boys from school we shook off the solemness and added some cheer to our day in order to celebrate an exciting milestone. It is such a significant one this year. It marks a shift to so many new things. With Autumn almost upon us I can feel the change coming with the change of season. The shedding of the things that held us back, the change of colours, the cooler air- new opportunities and challenges. It is worth celebrating even with the lingering air of sadness.

There was no time, or energy, for baking. Who doesn't love donuts right!!


What's not to love about confetti balloons and a pile of presents!


Time for donuts and pressies before swimming lessons....


These sweet boys set straight to work after swimming to create a taco feast for Daddy. They decided that Tacos would be the ultimate treat for dad on his birthday ;) 





They took such care to set the table all by themselves too. I love the little display they created with the Superhero cards they wrote for their Dad. We have such gorgeous boys and Campbell even saved the very last Taco shell for Dad! Happy 40th to my darling husband. I know you will forever remember this day, and I hope the abundance of love showered over you is the bit you remember best of all.

A cheerful little package arrived in the mail today too. Not for the birthday boy, but for me! Oh how could the timing have been more perfect! A gift of love and generosity for no other reason except to share some joy. I most certainly did feel that joy. Thank you my friend xxx


My goal is to find a sunshiny spot for lunch tomorrow to show of my gorgeous little lunch bag and cutlery :)
And this little ray of sunshine was in my fortune cookie on Sunday night. Well alright then!!









Monday, 27 January 2014

Resolutions

This year I have resolved to write more letters, notes and cards. Not just emails, text messages or facebook posts- but real handwritten letters on actual paper and sent in real envelopes.

I love paper and stationery and always spent all of my pocket money on new pens, pencils and pretty paper. Remember Granny Mays?? I used to spend many hours pouring over all of the gorgeous things and sometimes I was even able to leave with a fancy new smelly rubber to add to my collection. Sometimes it was all so pretty that I couldn't bring myself to use it. I am not going to let that happen with this gorgeous gift:


All the way from Italy!!! I saw the photo of the shop and it looked like something on Diagon Alley. I was giddy with expectation when I was told that a gift had been purchased from that very shop. I have had it for months and was just a little bit too scared to give it a test run. I thought it was going to be much trickier to master than it was. And the truth is, it was just too perfectly gorgeous and I didn't want to spoil it. It was given with the intention of me sitting by candlelit to write my first ever novel in the style of Jane Austen- or at least to have fun using it. Isn't it the most incredible present- I adore it. 
How rude of me to wait so long to send a thank you letter sealed with wax.

I used to love writing letters when I was a kid and there was a frequent flow of letters between my cousin and I for many years. When I moved away for High School my primary school bestie and I kept the letters flowing until we got to uni. I guess life got busier and more complicated and I changed addresses frequently! I found out last year, via facebook, that my lovely friend passed away. I was so very sad that the letters we had shared had disappeared in one of those address changes over the years. I had kept them for a long time and used to pull them out to read them from time to time. Our only contact had been through letters, but I knew her so well and I miss her.

This Christmas I was given this letter writing set by another thoughtful bestie who loves me:


I am sure that the letters I sent to my childhood friend was on this very paper!

I really feel like the universe is trying to tell me something.

Over Summer I have started to write notes and postcards and encouraged the boys to do the same, which they loved. I am going to have to put all of this ink and paper to good use.


I have a stack of stamps ready to go and I really need to perfect the art of melting wax. I have ink all over my hands and a blob of wax stuck to my elbow- I need practise. 
 If you would like the happy surprise of a personal letter in the mail, I would like to send you one. Send me your address and I'll try to think of something interesting to say in a legible hand. 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Guest blogger!!


Hi! This is Andrew, I'm doing this blog post for Cooper!!


All my Futurama stuff...




Some LEGO figures and big superheroes!

I hope you like all my stuff. One day you should come over and see it in person. 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Sydney

Today we played tourists in our own town. We have visited every capital city except for Darwin- top of our list now!

We have visited the Botanical Gardens in Adelaide 3 years in a row, but not in our own city. Crazy huh! Sydney really is the most beautiful city. I am still so impressed when Circular Quay appears through the buildings. The glimmer of the water always brightens up the end of George St. There is always something special going on around the Opera House and it is just stunning...always so pretty. We just take it for granted and we admire so much about the other cities we visit. We always appreciate the slightly slower pace and easy parking when we are far from home, but Sydney is amazing. The buzz and the hustle and bustle is exciting. There is just so much to see too- never a city to be done in one day.

When we told the boys that we were going into the city today (it was a bit of a whim with no preparation) they asked "which city?" So accustomed they are to leaving one city one day and appearing in another a few days later!!!

So here is our day:

China Town for lunch.


Always fun to get a table outside and watch the world go by.


After lunch Eric had to get to a meeting in Pitt St so I set off with the boys to explore. First stop Circular Quay for ice-cream- perfect!




After a rather unfortunate experience with a street performer who counted to three!! Cams hates it when they count (especially when they demand super enthusiastic audience participation) and we always stand at the back ready to run so the other boys can enjoy as much of the show as possible. This one ended in a MAJOR meltdown. I had no idea his swear word vocabulary was so impressive!! As you can see he was still not happy by the time we got to the Opera House (he also knew he was in very big trouble for swearing so impressively). There was a great deal of remorse and very sincere apologies to everyone by the time we got to the Gardens.




I really don't think that we have seen anything as lovely as this in any other capital city.


yes Campbell is reading.....




meanwhile......

Naturally!

Eric's meeting finished and we rejoined in Hyde Park to explore the Festival- my boys were more interested in admiring the Archibald Fountain. Joe declared loudly "put some pants on" as he inspected the Minotaur under attack. Bahhhh my children have no culture!

Maybe this is why???? I promise you this was not the reason for Eric's meeting!! Looks a bit suspect though doesn't it :/ Look closely at the signage in this photo.....


Our day was made complete with another visit to our favourite feature at Darling Harbour...the filthy fountain outside the toilet block...aww Sydney is grand!!!


Joe decided as we walked back to the car that he didn't need a shower tonight because he just had one. Yep- all class in my family!  

If anything this experience would require two showers with extra soap- he settled for one bath with bubble bath and soap. I have excellent bargaining skills.

Thoroughly exhausting with so many places to visit on a another day. The boys walked some good distances today...and Campbell did HEAPS of reading.

What are your favourite spots to visit in Sydney?
 
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