Saturday, June 18, 2016

birthday weekend

Hurrah on having reached the ripe "old" age of 34! Honestly, I swear it keep getting better - 34 is SO much more fun than 24 was! I'm actually excited for 44 haha

Evie picked a bunch of flowers for me, they had to be pink ones apparently! These lillies smell beyond amazing - the girls at Hello Petal always do beautiful work <3

My birthday haul from my nearest and dearest was a true testament to how well people know me! heh 
Special favourites are the Karen Walker+Blunt umbrella from my parents, and the "Beevolution" original print from my sister. V has bought me a gorgeous bedside lamp but it's on back order

Seafood extravaganza with obligatory champagne for lunch yesterday - the three of us did a good job demolishing this!

When it's 15 degrees outside but you really want to wear your Camilla dress...

Curls for days!

A BBQ with some gorgeous friends last night was the icing on the proverbial cake

My lovely parents are taking me out to dinner next week when they are back from New Zealand - this will be our first time taking Evie out to a flash restaurant for tea, pray for us haha


milk & co at the woolshed

I have been following with interest the social media updates for the new Milk&Co cafe which has been set up at the Woolshed at Yallah. We headed out on Sunday morning to give it a try.

I think most locals have been to at least one bush dance at the old Woolshed in their lives, things definitely looked different out there today! Seriously loved the decor - very on trend.

Lovely assortment of flowers by Gypsyflora...

Milk&Co cafe had a nice assortment of sweets and cakes. There was food over at another counter, by FineSpun. We had a look at their breakfast and lunch menus, definitely keen to come back and try them out some time.

We waited rather a long time for our coffee, and ended up getting it as a takeaway but it was only the second day open so totally understandable - and the coffee was good, well worth the wait! More importantly, the staff were cheerful and helpful even under pressure. We were offered a refund for our wait. It's good customer service like that which ensures people come back - we definitely will!

Apparently the babycinos were also top notch! I'm sad we didn't make it out there on Saturday as they apparently had a petting zoo!

Definitely worth a visit next time you're in the area

Sunday, June 12, 2016

35 weeks, 35 books

Working in the same building as the city Library has meant that I have been making good use of my membership, and have become something of a frequent borrower.

After so many months of veging in front of Netflix of an evening before collapsing into bed, it feels uh-maaazing to be back into reading again. I can practically feel the old synapses firing up 😂

So I've decided to set myself a challenge of reading a book a week for the remainder of the year (or the equivalent of), from May to the end of the year.

My list so far, as at 12th June:

1. Philomena, Martin Sexsmith
My book club decided on this as our latest read, and whilst we are yet to meet to discuss (we take a rather ad hoc approach), I really enjoyed it. So sad though! Beautifully written.

2. The Wife Drought, Annabel Crabbe
I found myself nodding and noting down quotes through most of this book!

3. Call the Midwife, Jennifer Worth
All of the three books by Jennifer Worth (aka Nurse Jenny Lee from the series) were so fascinating and easy to read - Worth has such a compelling style and turn of phrase, she writes in a really likeable way, and the people she describes in these true stories just leap off the page.

4. Shadows of the Workhouse, Jennifer Worth

5. Farewell to the East End, Jennifer Worth

6. All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior
This was a really insightful and interesting read. Highly recommend for anyone raising kids.

Currently working my way through The Gender Trap and The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat

Anyone else doing a similar reading challenge? Care to join me?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

update on Evie's room - toys and books, organisation and space

Our living space is small. It works for us, we're used to apartment living and we really like it - but we simply do not have the space for dozens of toys, nor do we have a "toyroom" or a den to chuck them all in. And as I refuse to have a living area which resembles a toddler rave party, Evie keeps her toys mainly in her bedroom (luckily it is the same size as our master bedroom so she does have a lot of space in there).

I spent a few hours on Friday going through Evies toys and books, trying to organise things and make a bit of space.

Book storeage is my bete noire - the biggest struggle is trying to keep them tidy but still accessible for the kiddo. We have a small upright bookshelf from Aldi which holds a small selection, the rest are at toddler height in her built-in. And no matter how I arrange them, she is compelled to pull them all out all over the floor to get to one mofo'ing book! 

As you can see here, after tidying these seconds earlier she has pulled half of them forward to get the one she was after. It's not her fault, just not an ideal set up. I have seen a fantastic idea for a child-friendly book tub on legs, I am angling to have V make it for me (maybe in our next life when he's working during the day like a normal person and not perpetual vampire shift? hahaha sigh)

Stuffed toys are mainly in her bed - heaven forbid you try to get this kid to sleep without one of her "little friends" in there with her. They all have names and assigned spaces in her cot hahaha Thankfully I have managed to convince her to relegate a few of them to her lovely dolls' bed.

That teepee was such a great buy - it's rather larger than I would usually go for a kid's item but she loves snuggling up in there on her sheepskin with a book.

Any excess stuffed toys I manage to siphon out of her bed on the sly are stored in the bottom drawer of the tall boy.

The dolls' pram and the doctors kit are two much-loved items, that get played with daily.

This cardboard popup Paris came with the copy of Madeline which my brother gave to Evie for Christmas. It tends to get populated with little Schleich animals, and complicated scenarios are enacted involving hedgehogs swimming in the Seine and a lamb eating the flower seller's wares.

The dress-up basket in the background doesn't tend to get used all that much unless Evie has a friend over (especially her cousin who is a bit older and really into dress-ups!) 

That's pretty much it in the way of toys - poor deprived child hahaha Being limited on space is a great excuse for politely telling people not to buy birthday gifts! Until I can wrangle V into making that book bin, I think we are fine for now

Monday, April 18, 2016

weekend slow-down

The weekend has already been and gone, so I'm a bit slow off the mark - in my defence it's been flat out around the traps lately.

The tone for our weekends easing into the cooler weather has been slow and laid-back, just what we need with so much happening in the week.

This one is at an age where she is happy to play independently, but moreso lately she wants interactive play whether that be with her little buddies at daycare or mothers group, or with V and I. It's quite sweet, and certainly no skin off my nose sitting around in my jammies with a cuppa on a chilly Saturday morning. 

V has been working night shifts 6 nights a week, with Saturday the one night he doesn't work, so we took advantage of this and went out for Japanese for tea...

Meaning that the chicken I had in the fridge needed to be cooked the following day. Rather than roast it for just Evie and I, I decided to make it for Sunday lunch. It was rather well received by husband and child! hehe

Leftovers were turned into a slow cooked soup for our dinners - 11/10.

It was otherwise an uneventful weekend, which I rather like. V has been sleeping during the day of course, so Evie and I made a blanket nest and read her Brambly Hedge books...

And baked gingerbread with lemon icing.

Rounded out with a quiet Sunday evening of newspaper reading for mum and toys for bub, with the sun going down early and in spectacular fashion over our courtyard.

Here's to taking it slow, and enjoying every moment 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

rice pudding

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's perfectly well and she hasn't a pain,
And it's lovely rice pudding for dinner again!
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

I remember loving that A.A.Milne poem as a child, and Evie seems to find it just as funny when I read it to her.

Thankfully she doesn't have the same aversion to rice pudding as the little girl in the poem, as its one of my favourite treats to make for the family - quick and easy, all the ingredients tend to be to hand, and it's not overly sweet.

I use my late nana's recipe...

Rice pudding (serves 4)
~ 4 cups of milk
~ 3/4 cup of white basmati rice
~ vanilla bean, split and scraped
~ 1/4 caster sugar
Combine milk, vanilla bean and rice in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until the milk has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove vanilla bean and stir through sugar. Serve topped with grated nutmeg.

We had some last night with stewed rhubarb, really seasonal stuff.

Perfect Autumn fare!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

pausing to reflect - april already

Can we all believe we are into April? 8 months since we settled and moved into our dream home. 4 months since I stated my new job (oh my goodness, how I love my job!) And less than 6 months before our little girl turns 3! Life is for the most part good and bright.

Every Friday I hit up the produce markets in the mall (plus coffee, yew!)

Last week's haul!

Soup weather is officially upon us! I've been making up a batch several times a week - highlights so far have been roast tomato, mixed vege and Heidi's leek and broccoli []

Cosy in a bowl!

V has started a new project at the airport and he has been working nights...

I won't lie, it's not been an easy few weeks. He is struggling big time with adjusting to the hours and being able to sleep for long enough during the day - I hate seeing him so tired and worry that he's going to fall off a crane or something! And it's really difficult having a toddler in the house when he's trying to sleep. Evie isn't a loud child, she doesn't squeal or make obnoxious noises, but ber voice is naturally quite high pitched and when she gets excited it can raise in volume. And it breaks my heart to have to ask her to use her inside voice all the time, and having her ask me whether she can go talk to daddy - having him there in the house and not being able to see him. We will get there. In the meantime, any tips from you shift workers for dealing with sleeping and eating properly? <3

At least we have him home which is always the preferred option!

I'm using my night-shift evening to good effect and poaching some pears for tomorrow morning's porridge. Night