Wednesday, February 27, 2013


This boy loves to help. So while we were madly picking, preserving and freezing our garden produce in preparation for our seachange, Noah wasn't too far away.

And because he's quite the helper, friends and family have picked up on this. So at Christmas and Birthday time, he has acquired a few aprons. Cloth ones, and plastic ones; ones with cars and trains on them.

But the one he chooses when we're cooking? This one: it's frilly, girly, cute, feminine, anything like the lad.

It's the one I bought before we renovated our kitchen, because it suited the new colour scheme. Not because I intended it to be worn. It was just to hang in the kitchen corner and be pretty.

So, why this one?

"Because it's not stiff, and it fits me just right," he says.

When you're three, practicality wins every time.

Do you have aprons for your little helpers? Are they frilly and pretty, or plastic with trucks on them? Do tell!

Monday, February 25, 2013


It's been over for almost two months. And not much has changed around here.

On 1 January 2012, I stopped buying new stuff (Buy Nothing New - BNN). I didn't think I was a big consumer anyway, but just wanted to think more carefully about what I did purchase.

Looking back on the year, there were days when I was sick to death of it. Usually they co-incided with the day I had 'nothing to wear'. Some days I was on fire. The other days, I relished in this whole BNN thing.

It was a slow change. Why, it took the good part of a year to get use to it. Then I went a step further when I decided I need to purchase smarter. That's when I started making dish-washing liquid, washing detergent, and looked at what I was purchasing which was disposable, like gym memberships, and even tampons.

Now it's over, what do I think?

Sunday, February 24, 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Noah: I am always amazed at the amount of bumps, bruises and scratches that cover your body. Everything you do is 100%. Even your accidents!
Madison: You are so adorable, and yet so serious. When did you grow up so quickly?

Linking in with the lovely Jodi @ Che and Fidel.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


You know those favourite articles of clothing that you love, but then forget about during winter while it's lying in the bottom of your drawer? Well, that is this dress. Bought for the large sum of $20, it was a favourite of mine, but hasn't been worn all summer until today.

Such a shame really, because it's flattering, doesn't need ironing (super bonus!), comfy and breezy on a very warm day. This might sound so very old fashioned, but it's a dress my husband likes to see on me. He has a thing for fitted dresses. "They suit you," he says.

Even my six year old even told me that he liked this dress today. So, I'm going with it, and am so glad I checked the bottom of my t-shirt pile.

And on a whole new topic: while I was having a sneaky snap, the boys got wind of what I was doing and decided to pop in right after their bath...

Thursday, February 21, 2013


It's true: I've been keeping something from the blogosphere.

It's not a bad something. In fact, it's very, very good (and just a wee bit exciting).

Last year, we were both due long service leave, but we didn't know what to do with it. We could have renovated our house (it's happening slowly), and we could have travelled the world (but the kids are too young). We were undecided, but knew that we didn't want to do nothing for three months either. We both would have died of boredom, and felt like it was an opportunity wasted.

Which meant that a whole year passed without us doing anything about it.

Last year we fell across an idea. (We have lots of ideas, but this one just stuck.) It was an investment in our future, one that we discovered we could afford in the long term. And it's something that should be a whole lot of work, and a heap of fun.

We purchased a beach cottage - an 1860s bluestone whaler's cottage to be exact. It's in the perfect location. The catch is, it's a renovator's dream and needs lots of love. Luckily we have time (and a few skills) for that.

We have been in the throws of planning, preparing, and purchasing building supplies. It's been mad, it's been busy, and most of all it's been exciting! We love seeing a dream becoming a reality.

So, in just under two weeks' time (!!!) we make a move near the sea for a little while.And we will be sharing it here, with you too. Because renovating sure is newsworthy around here!

Are you a renovator?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



This post comes with a warning. A delicious warning! The batter is so good, I couldn't stop eating it. And when they're fresh from the oven... words can't describe the crunch, the gooey chocolate, the soft centre.

And perhaps I have made them more than once this week. They just went that quickly. Possibly, the batter; possibly the finished product. Either way, these are too good not to share.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Madison: While fixing the chain on his bike, he is distracted by the circling dirt bikes nearby.
Noah: Discovering the joys of an underground world, he had to see what happened if he dropped dirt in there, and enjoyed listening to his own echo.

Linking in with the lovely Jodi @ Che and Fidel.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013



Oh my. This is what I made for last week's Food Club. The theme was Gourmet BBQ in celebration of Australia Day. I was so inspired by a bunch of Australian-themed desserts. This was so good, and worth sharing. Just a little bit evil (okay, a LOT). Your hips probably won't thank you, but your taste buds will. Besides, we don't eat this sort of luxury all the time, right?

Monday, February 11, 2013


 Carrot sticks with hommus | Cheese & Sanitarium vegetarian deli slices bagel |
Rice snacks in Sour Cream + Chives | Sugar-free afghan biscuit | M&Ms in Crispy

Sunday, February 10, 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Madison: Pondering on a cuttlefish bone.
Noah: The excitement as we reach our beach destination!
I'm joining in with Jodi @ Che and Fidel.

Friday, February 08, 2013


Ah, Food Club. How I love you. How could I not with this amazing Gourmet BBQ menu that we enjoyed last weekend...

Cranberry & orange iced tea
Ale (yes, from the bottle)

Salmon & avocado bruschetta
Peach & prosciutto & goat's cheese bruschetta
Pita bread chips with mint, dill & coriander yoghurt dip

Minced chicken yakitori skewers
Grilled Zucchini with yoghurt, orange and pomegranate salad
Barbecued corn with tomato and almond salad
Barbecued asparagus salad
Salmon steaks
Middle eastern lamb meatballs with dipping sauce

Citrus summer salad
Grilled peaches with crumble topping
Honey pots with meringues
Strawberry cheesecake

Already we must wait another month before indulging like Queens. Yet we wait. How much to look forward to!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


When the fruit trees all became ripe at the same time, there is only so much eating you can do before alternatives need to be sought.

The attempts to stay on top of the fruit load would have seen us (and our neighbours and friends) looking like plums or nectarines. We just couldn't keep up.

So, my dear sweet husband got busy. First he started with the beetroot. Then the plums. And nectarines.

There was plum jam, stewed plums, cold-packed plums. Plums with rhubarb. Then nectarines in syrup.

And as he preserved, we were madly picking more fruit until there was no bench space for anything other than beautiful red preserves.

Most are labelled now, and put away until eating time. It was a little crazy there for a while. But now we are satisfied in knowing that nothing was wasted, there is plenty of lovely food in our pantry, and we (and others) can enjoy stone fruits and beetroot for the rest of the year.

Do you preserve your garden produce?

Monday, February 04, 2013


A lot can happen in a year. Just 365 days, and how it can feel so long ago, and yet it be just yesterday all at the same time.

Last week was a first for so many kids around Australia, not just in my little home. The first year of more beginnings - a new class, a new teacher, new friends, new surroundings, new things to learn.

In the last year Madison has learned to read, do is two and five times tables, can have a basic conversation in French, sing at least 15 new songs. He's discovered the joy of running, playing basketball, soccer, tennis. His swimming has finally clicked. He is confident, lost his cute chubby bits, and so much older.

He is taller. He sings songs I don't know (I'm thinking Gangham Style with the words slightly amended "Heeeey, chips 'n gravy... yum, yum, yum, yum, yum), plays oh so rough, and is such a boy.

When he looked at these photos, he noticed different things: "Mum, look at my long hair, my old backback and my surfing necklace. I miss it [because it broke]. Also, I loved those sneakers. They grew out of me."

This is life. And it's going by so quickly.

What changes have you noticed about your children in the past year?

Sunday, February 03, 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Madison: He and his cricket bat were inseparable during Australia Day long weekend as he learned how to play just a little bit more.
Noah: Why not shout and sing at every opportunity? Life is to be lived loud!

Linking in with the lovely Jodi @ Che and Fidel.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


When the days are hot, and the nights are cool, light cardigans are definitely necessary during summer. Especially in Melbourne. Perfect for a Gourmet BBQ (menu and food will be shown on Wednesday).

This cardigan has been hanging in my cupboard, unworn, for such a long time. Three years ago, I bought a pair of pants and jacket from Ojay, and because I spent over $100, the cardigan was a 'freebie' with the purchase. It was definitely not something I would have thought to purchase voluntarily, but the sales assistant told me how versatile it would be. So, I kept it just in case.

Three weeks ago, I had to fly to Perth for work, and voila, it was rediscovered.