Monday, February 28, 2011


Morning! Or is that afternoon? Yep, it is, oh boy time is flying past fast today.  I like Monday's though, it's a good day to have a think about the week ahead and do some planning to make life easier. One of the things I give some thought to is feeding my hungry brood so I'm trying to stick to a weekly meal plan. And then there are school lunches & after school snacks..

 On Monday's two of my girls head to Ballarat for dance classes so I try to bake something for them to take. At home two other kids need after school fuel, one stays home and the other is off to callisthenics tonight so they will be hungry too! An old fave is muffins. I use the Every Day in the Kitchen recipe (one of my most used cook books) and tweak it. 

I'm sure you have a good muffin recipe too but for those who don't this one is fool proof and really simple.

Basic muffins

150g (5oz) self-raising flour
pinch of salt
100g (3/12 oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125ml (4 fl oz) milk
3 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
(I double this recipe and make two separate batches)

Preheat oven to 180C (350 F)

Mix flour, salt & sugar together. Add vanilla, milk, butter and egg(s), and beat until smooth. At this point I divide the mixture in two. Today one batch will be banana & chocolate so  I added one banana, mashed, and a handful of choc chips.  The other muffins will be raspberry & white chocolate so to the other bowl I added a good handful of frozen raspberries and a smaller handful of white choc chips.
Yum! I bake the muffins in patty pan cases, in a muffin tray, easier for the kids to eat on the run & not so much washing up. Yay!

You can virtually put anything you like in & cinnamon, blueberries, pear, walnut, sultana's..whatever you feel like. Do you have a favourite snack recipe? I am going to try and post one every week, I'd love to hear about yours too.

So what else is happening? We have a broody duck! Can you see her in her little house?

There she is, all nestled up, sitting on a big pile of eggs,

and not the least bit interested in anything else. She does get off her nest in the morning for a little stretch of her pretty orange legs, and a drink & nibble, but other than that it's all about the eggs. This leaves our resident nutbag, Freddie, at a bit of a lose end. So guess who has been hanging out on the deck? Yep, you guessed it. Part duck, part dog, part sociopath.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, the light at this time of the year is magical and I love the change in seasons. Although it's sad when summer fades, today being the last day, I do enjoy the peace & beauty of autumn. Lets not even think about winter that's a scary thought!

Today there is much excitement as Rosie is trying out calisthenics this afternoon. She has been cartwheeling her way through every day lately and can't wait to learn more! None of our other girls has tried calisthenics before so I"m not sure what to expect. I guess we'll find out at 4.30!

You may have noticed a lack of creativity in my blog lately. I haven't been sewing much and haven't felt the need, maybe the drama's of life lately have taken up all my head space. Anyway, I"m kind of excited because I have finally found a new project. I'm going to try to make Rosie a doona cover using thrifted & vintage linen. I have a big pile to choose from and as I love my own mismatched bedcover so much I'm going to try for something similar. I'll let you know how I go!

 Wow, it's almost time for school pick up...better fly out the door! Before I do though I want to thank you so much for all your good wishes & concern for my mum. It was really lovely to read all your heartfelt comments and to know that there is so much love & kindness out there. I feel alot better today,I think it's been a matter of processing what might have been and just giving ourselves time. I still can't believe it, what a terrible and sad thing to happen. To think that Mum was touring beautiful Christchurch just before the quake..unbelievable. We are so lucky.

Take care lovely friends, hope you are having a happy Monday, see you soon xo

Saturday, February 26, 2011


That my mum is safe and well and home with us again.
Where would we all be if she had never come home?

For cups of tea, chats & debriefs, cuddles & colour in her sunny kitchen.

For time together, for not having to go through what so many others have, & are.
I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am,
or how sad I feel for those lost, hurt or grieving.

For a visit with Charlotte, a splash, a chink, an hour or so with my beautiful daughter is moving quickly into a world of her own.

For shining girls who light up my life,

for a proud & sparkling preppie,

for simple things like pikelets after school on the Dorothy plate.

For love, in all it's forms. For the opportunities to be with each other,
share our lives together, to fight & make up & make mistakes, and forgive.

For flowers & blue skies, for green hills & butterflies, for soft sheets & good books,
for dinner out with sweet friends, for kind words from a warm town,
for the flashes of beauty & joy that slip into every day.
So much to be grateful for.

I'm playing along with Maxabella, are you?
Hope you have the happiest of weekends,
see you soon xo

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


You may have heard of the earthquake that has just rocked New Zealand. I am sitting here in front of the news, shocked and saddened for the people affected. I am also scared for my mum who is in Christchurch today at the start of a week long holiday.

I have just heard from her that she is ok, she said it was very scary and that the ground is still rumbling & shaking. I don't know if her friend is ok yet,  I am waiting by the phone to hear from her xo

Update: Just heard that Mum & her friend are sitting with many others in a city park, cold but wrapped in blankets. I can only imagine what it must be like, poor Christchurch looks like a bomb has hit it. Thinking of all those who are trying to cope with this disaster, my heart goes out to them. Thanks for your kind thoughts & comments re my mum,  xo

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book love

I've always loved reading, it's one of the great pleasures of my life. I remember being in grade 2 and finishing all the readers for the whole year in the first term, such was my love at an early age. Mark is a big reader too and we are happily passing this wonderful love affair with words down to our kids.

All of them were read to as babies & toddlers and they continue to love & treasure books. There's nothing better than snuggling up at bedtime and finding ourselves immersed in another world, a world of words & ideas & often amazing images.

Something I have been really enjoying lately is reading to Lucy. At ten she is a very confident reader but we have both been benefiting from my reading books to her in the evening. As well as being a relaxing and peaceful thing to do it's also been a bonding time and a way for her to learn about the world and other experiences & ideas.

We are both loving the very beautiful book, I am David, by Anne Holm. Did you read it as a child? I did but I'm finding I had forgotten quite a lot of it, or perhaps I didn't take in some of the finer details when I was younger.  It is such an amazing book and brings up so many questions about humanity & life, I think both Lucy and I have been a times quite affected the challenges faced by David who has to struggle on by himself in a world he doesn't really understand. At almost eleven years old Lucy is about to enter the next part of her life as a pre teen and it's good for us to explore some of the ideas & themes presented in I am David together, and also to share a special time with each other. I wonder what our next book will be? Do you read with your kids?

Bill has always been into books and spent yesterday afternoon re reading a favourite.  
I know that ipods and wii and computers & all the other electronic devices are always going to be
popular but I'm so glad my kids have books in the lives too,
a love of reading is truly the gift of a lifetime.

Besides reading we also got to spend some time outside in our garden over the weekend.

It's so strange seeing green grass at this time of year, it's usually so brown & dry. Our tomatoes are starting to turn red,

and there is so much else to eat and enjoy. Zucchini's, basil, parsely, red onions, carrots, strawberries...yum!

Oh and the logan berries that creep over our neighbours fence!

Max is very cheeky and in a typical cocker spaniel way he likes to raid the chook yard for scraps. Here he is is with half an apple, good score!  On a sad note our beautiful quince tree has broken in half and is torn at it's base. It is probably my favourite tree in our garden and I have been waiting patiently for it's gorgeous quince's to be ready for me to make into jelly. I hope it will survive and keep growing for many years to come, it's such a special tree.

What did you get up to on the weekend? Hope it was fun! It's very cold in Daylesford today, almost like a winters day. The children went off to school in shorts and skorts, I bet their little legs are freezing!
Hope you have a great week, see you soon xo

Friday, February 18, 2011


...a little girl with a wobbly tooth, wiggling it, waggling it, talking about it all day and night.

The excitement of the tooth fairy coming with a silver bell, a note, a gold coin and fairy sparkles, oh wow!! 

Rosie being so thrilled and showing everyone (and I mean everyone) at school her gold coin.  She is loving school now and has made lots of friends and has settled in really well. Phew.

Other happy things....the light in the garden, almost autumny but not quite. Dapples, ripples, splashes of shadow. Birds darting here and there, loud cockatoo's patrolling the sky.

My mum & Sunday, a beautiful connection between two special girls, both clever & colourful, original and loving, funny & kind. 

Baby kittens next door, snuffling for milk, warm and cosy in the bottom drawer with their mumma.

A school pool night, fish & chips on the grass
on a warm afternoon.

Splashing & playing,

and hanging out with friends.

I'm also loving walking around Lake Wendouree and our own Lake Daylesford, so many beautiful sights. I'll have to take my camera next time.  Fridays, friends, pasta sauce with home grown garlic, 
chooks in the back yard, chooks in the front, Brooklyn (have you read it?) and the new unopened Country Style magazine that is sitting on my bed, waiting for me and a cuppa to join it later.
What are you loving at the moment?

Hope you have a happy weekend, 

see you soon xo

Monday, February 14, 2011

The day of love

Do you ever wish you could fly away, up into the blue sky? As I child I always wished I could fly and I still sometimes dream I have wings. There is a lot of bird activity in our garden & area lately as fruit is ripening and hungry birds come calling.

2011 is kicking into gear as Charlotte gets settled in Melbourne and starts her course today. She is loving her little apartment and it's cute balcony, and her plant, Larry. (Hi Larry, if you're reading this.) Char's friend moves in too on Friday so she will have company, and I'm sure, alot of fun!

I'm thinking especially of Charlotte today as it is a bit on an anniversary for us. Nineteen years ago today, on my own while studying in Darwin, I found out I was having a baby! It was a day that changed my life forever and just thinking about it makes me go a tingly and goose bumpy! Valentine's day has a special meaning for me, truly a day of love. Happy Anniversary Charlotte, I love you!

Ballet has started back in Ballarat on Saturdays and with it a new grade. Rosie is in Primary now and it feels a little more serious. She loves it, although she is pretty tired after her first week of school.

Back at home our garden is looking so lush and green after all the rain. So different from a 'normal' summer.

I'm hanging out for the apples to ripen, although they are a little flecked and marked they will still taste great and be fab for school lunches!

Zucchinis, yep, we've got a ton of them. For some reason each plant has gone totally crazy so we are eating then in every way possible. Yesterday we had zucchini bread and zucchini soup, not together though, there has to be a limit!

The kids are loving being outside in this beautiful weather we have been having. Such big blue skies and sunny days, bliss! Here is Daisy getting some loving from Rosie.

Hope I've got some worm tablets in the cupboard!

School is going well so far with the usual settling in, new teachers, classes etc. It takes time at the start of each year to get back into it doesn't it?

Today I plan to spend some time outside in the garden, tidying up and doing some long over due jobs. Can you see two ducks under the apple tree? Yes, two, not three. Sadly we lost one of our gorgeous ducks a little while ago as she had a prolapse due to laying eggs when she was too young. It was awful and distressing and I was glad to find she had passed away quite quickly overnight as it was not nice to see her in pain. The other two have been looking for her, particularly her best friend, which has also been sad. At least Freddie & Zsa Zsa have each other.

So it's Valentine's Day, I hope you get some love today! It's also a brand new week and I hope an easier one for me as I did find last week pretty intense with lots of changes and adjustments. I'm looking forward to enjoying some more sunny days and blue skies. Hope your Monday is a happy one, see you soon lovely friends xo