Friday, October 28, 2011

Grateful #23 – What are you thankful for this week?

Sometimes being unwell is just the remedy you need, you know? It forces you to slow right down, look after your body, listen to the early bed call, and take the time (or make the time) to rest, instead of rushing around madly. And even though you feel utterly wretched, sleep and love and tea mean that you’re stronger and better able to climb back on top of daily tasks when it all passes on.

With that in mind, this week I’m grateful for:

Hand sewing. At the beginning of the week when I felt broken and stuffed up and in need of at least ten years of sleep all in a row, I started on a small, lovely project for the doting Grandmothers for Christmas. All propped up and comfy on the couch, with water, endless boxes of tissues, and a life-saving movie on for the babes, I began to embroider - what a relaxing, wonderful skill! All those small, neat stitches, a simple design, and the makings of a (hopefully!) treasured present.
But the sweetest part? Judah climbing in and snuggling under the covers with me,  and measuring his hands against the embroidered pattern, just in case he’d grown while I was stitching…

Renovating. Ok, it’s not my real house – but a simply-designed wooden dollhouse I found on Ebay for an absolute bargain, and started working on this week in preparation for Lou for Christmas. I’ve been having a ball painting and planning and researching (you’d be surprised how many people take the redecoration of a dollhouse very seriously), but I’m keeping it simple: a lick of paint, some new upholstery on the wooden furniture and bedding (plastic-y pink fabric is out!), and a change of clothes for the peg-like dolls. Lou has a real love for small, pocket-sized things, and I’m bursting at the thought of her playing with this lovingly restored treasure on Christmas day.

What are you grateful for this week?

Ps. Want to play too? Link your grateful post back to the very clever Maxabella Loves, or write your grateful list in the comments section below x

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baking = Serenity

I bake a lot when I’m stressed.

It’s something I realised over the weekend, after a particularly challenging morning with the kids, a whole stack of sewing to somehow speed through, and what seemed like hundreds of tedious household jobs to somehow squeeze into the mix. Without really thinking about it, I put some music on, and got out my mixing bowls, some eggs, the flour – and while I chopped, fried, mixed and waited, I was aware of how much calmer I’d become. And how much more achievable all those tasks seemed to be.

I know it was probably just the act of having a small window of time to myself, but lately, it’s gone hand in hand with cooking, and I’m not necessarily complaining – and actually, neither are my family. In the last week alone, stress has led me to bake two gorgeous batches of sultana, honey and oat slice, a lovely silky lemon tart, and a hearty loaf filled with roasted pumpkin, feta and crispy bacon (spread with a little garlic and chive dip – divine!).

How do you deal with stress?


Image from here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let them eat cake!

Take lots of daydreams about sweet, pretty cakes, simple sketches and carefully knuckled out patterns, the softest wool felt, cups of tea and Italian biscuits, and an afternoon of wonderful conversation, and this is what you get:

The newest addition to our market line-up for Christmas this year are these delicious petit fours (6), beautifully boxed, and ready for hours of the sweetest pretend play!
Pre-order your box today – only $25 + postage; or if you’re in Brisbane, pick them up at one of our local markets….


Ps. Waiting on supplies to arrive in order to finish the last cake. But I’ve sketched out a Neapolitan-style petit four, garnished with banana and kiwi fruit – if I can figure out the best way to do it!  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The times they are a changin’

Lots of things change within a year.

I’ve been thinking about this all week – how we ever-so-slowly change and grow, and how nothing really ever stays the same. And today - because it’s my birthday, and a gal can do what she likes on her birthday (within reason, of course) – I thought I’d write a post on a few of the random things that have changed over the last year, like….

  1. I now like leeks, spinach, and kiwi fruit. I’ve also been able to drink full cream milk for the first time in nearly ten years, and am experimenting with the after-effects of eggs, after not eating them since my late teens. So far, so good. And how good are eggs?!
  2. My feet are no longer made for heels.
  3. My new ultimate favourite homemade dessert is lemon tart. It wins hands down over chocolate every time. I also had my first ever macaron about six months ago. Oh goodness.
  4. I never used to wear jewellery – but over the last year, I’ve slowly been buying handmade beads and brooches and things, and it’s so lovely. Easiest way to add a bit of brightness to a well worn outfit.
  5. I haven’t written in a journal for a whole year today, and it’s the first year in more than twenty that I haven’t.
  6. I’ve learnt to really trust my creative instincts over the last year. The things that I have a great ‘gut feeling’ about are the things that others love just as much as we do.
  7. I had my first filling and first tooth extraction this year.
  8. I used to be totally fine with drinking instant coffee, until we found a stove-top coffee percolator in the cupboard, left behind by the previous owner. Oh, how good it is - the smell of brewing coffee first thing in the morning, the real jolt of caffeine, and perfectly frothed milk. I admit it: I’ve definitely become a coffee snob.
  9. Since our house seems to be a shining beacon for all things beastie, I’m delighted to discover that I’m no longer afraid of crazy long snakes or big-as-your-hand spiders. It was proven this week, when a carpet python curled up at our front door, and we had our first mega huntsman for the warmer months appear in the bedroom. I took photos of them both.
  1. Somewhere along the line this year, I realised I was happy – like really happy, for the first time, ever. You know that wallowing-the-goodness-of-life kind of happy? Where you live in a technicolour bubble and life is full, beautiful, brimming with possibility. It’s put a soft, rosy glow on the year that has been, which is the best way to step into the year that’s ahead.  

Thank you for indulging me, dear readers!
Do you have any random things that have changed over the last year? Tell me!  


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bloomin' Gorgeous!

I’m about to head out to do some weeding, but thought I’d quickly show you what’s been going on in the garden over the last few weeks. I wish you could see it in its budding glory – all the beds are full up with flowers and vegetables and bees and worms, and the recent rain seems to have a booster built into every drop – things are growing at the most magnificent pace!

How is your spring garden looking? Have you planted vegetables too?


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grateful #22: What are you thankful for this week?

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.
But in amongst some out-of-this-world temper tantrums (toddlers – sheesh!), was the loveliest, food and wine filled holiday spent in the company of the most wonderful people. It’s given me so much to be grateful for this week, including….

The comfort and contentment of home. We had the most delicious time away, and absolutely loved exploring and spending time with our beautiful family in Adelaide. But how nice is it to come home to familiar spaces, well loved things (and to a beloved husband who was lonely without two rambunctious children)?
We arrived home late, on a warm, clear night, and as soon as the bags were inside, I crawled into our bed with the smile of a happy traveller. In the morning, I couldn’t help but marvel at the growth in the garden (our tomatoes and snow peas are in bloom!), and even allowed Ella, our stinky mastiff, to lie smiling on my feet.
I baked, drunk tea, and pottered; did loads of laundry and watched a snake wind its way around a tree in the garden. I took up my needle and began to sew.
I like travelling, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a homebody at heart; and it made me even more grateful for our patch of the world, and all the love and life it contains.

Lyra. The littlest and loveliest of our family turned two a couple of days ago – Lyra (or Lou) spent the day in a sea of colourful balloons and pink wrapping paper, talked loudly, giggled and squealed, ate dreamy vanilla cakes with chocolate butterflies perched on top, drew all over her legs and face with new felt-tip pens, and was loved up by lots of people who think she’s just the bees knees (Judah, on the other hand was so distraught that it wasn’t his birthday that he spent most of the day crying, and/or stamping his feet with the injustice of it all; which is actually pretty funny).
But our sweet Lyra-Lou – goodness, I love her. She wakes with a smile on her face every morning, charms the socks off anyone who meets her, and is just the loveliest, most delightful little person. I spend all day thinking about how very, very fortunate we are to have this precious girl as our own, and how much light and love she’s given us in the two short, blink-of-an-eye years that she’s been here. And that she’s my child: my heart almost bursts with gratitude.

How about you? What are you grateful for this week?


Ps. Want to play too? Link your grateful post back to Maxabella Loves, or write your grateful list in the comments section below x