Monday, December 12, 2011

Conversations with three year olds

'mumma? It looks like it will rain'

'yes...the clouds are very grey'

'what you said?'

'I said the clouds look very grey'

'what?'

'the clouds...they look very grey'

'grey?'

'yes'

'yes...like toy story'

What the??

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quick Lunch.

These days it's hard to arrange three meals a day that everyone in the family will eat and will also be kind to my two-baby waist line. So I approached things from a different angle. I'll stop munching on the left over pieces of peanut butter sandwiches and half eaten pasta the kids no longer want, and I will actually sit down and make myself a little something special - and healthy.



I found these little numbers in the supermarket the other day. Vita-Weat Lunch Slices. Ok, so they're just crackers, but they're fancy schmancy crackers and I am a princess and deserve the very best that life and Arnott's can give me. I loaded these up with hummus, cucumber, thin slice of cheese, tomato and rocket. Bring it on!

Not bad for a frazzled mother of two looking to get into a pair of jeans she hasn't worn since they closed the Cadillac night club down. I hope my generous serving of tonight's Osso Bucco wont ruin all this hard work.

The kids and me.

Here's a little photographic update of the kids. Time has just flown recently. Really flown. I feel like this year is a massive blur and all I have to show for it is these two little munchkins who are now just that little bit older and soooo much cuter.



:: We head to the park a lot. Swing. Laugh. Fall over. Being away from our renovating nightmare means Bens gets more done and I stay a little more sane ::



:: I'm in love with a new supermarket. It's called LaManna. Amazing produce, fresh Australian only fruit and vege and the best cannoli hands down! In this picture, Tom expresses his love for the place ::



:: We ventured to the Big West Festival the other day. Annie, Tom and I rolled down a grassy hill and bopped to hip hoppers. I love this side of the city ::

I realise I haven't updated this blog in awhile. I am feverishly trying to get another job and that means ever last second I have is spent emailing, meeting or calling. Hopefully something pops up soon and life can have some kind of routine again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Doing it Italian Style.

I was given a pasta machine for free. I was very, very excited. I've been waiting for a few days now to try it out, and with kids asleep today is that day. First things first, the dough.

3 cups 00 flour
4 small eggs
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt

You're meant to put the eggs in the centre of the flour pile and slowly incorporate into a dough mix without breaking the 'flour walls'. My first attempt was pitiful. Here's my second attempt.



I managed to wrangle this into a dough that looked wonderfully like pasta dough. I used my index finger to mix. Is there nothing the index finger cant do? The dough should not be too dry or too sticky. Tick. It it should bounce back when poked. Tick. And it should look like Jamie Olivers...:(



For this delicious pasta I will be making a roasted red pepper sauce. Peppers were $2.80 at the local supermarket and I couldn't resist a nice big bag for our pizza, Vietnamese stir fry and of course, this dish.

Simply char grill the peppers, peel off their skin and whiz with roasted pine nuts. To see a full recipe go to this awesome site. I will be making little ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta. I'm always looking for more vegetarian dishes, dishes that don't require me buying any ingredients outside my weekly shop, and of course, something that hides vegies for the kids. This dish really does do all those things.



Annie absolutely loved making pasta. We were very careful with the fingers people!







When I saw how well the pasta had turned out, I popped down to Seddon Wine Store and got us a lovely Italian red to go with. My best idea so far!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Brand Junkie: Push and Go Teddy

Tom turned one on Friday. I know, right? Like, where did the last year go, huh? It flew by and I have a little post I want to dedicate to just him in a few days. But before I do, there's something I wanted to share. My sister gave us money to buy Tom toys we thought he needed at this point in time (love it!). We were able to choose his gift. Make sure it was right developmentally. And of course, insure that it didn't beep, bonk, flash, whiz, zoom, or sing. I bought two toys at Baby Bunting from the Tolo Toy range and was very happy with the results.



He got this ball with hidden Teddy that pops up when you push the button. Cute!



And Push and Go Teddy.

Here's a little video of Tom and Annie learning how to share like the civilised human beings that we have raised them to be.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting busy with it.

I've been keeping busy of late qith a few little projects. All of them have to have purpose (present etc) and be cost effective (using left over material if possible). Annie has a friends birthday party on Sunday. The mum asked me awhile back to make her daughter's doll a little cot quilt.I finally got around to it, but decided against the quilt and for a little sleeping bag instead.





For the inside I used some toweling that I had left over, all the pieces zig-zagged together to form one piece big enough to take on this project. It was so easy and cost effective and I figure not to bad to wash either.

For the fabric I tried using a mix of things I already have in my limited stash. I think the colours work pretty well together. I just hope shes not bitterly disappointed that it's not pink!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The long and the short of it.

Where does the time go???

With the small touches of sunshine we have been having, the kids and I have spent less time indoors making cubby houses and skipping through the internet. Hence this lovely blog as had a little quiet time. But I'm back, and there is so much to share I can't even wrap my head around where to begin.

There are lots of crafty projects to show, house improvements to parade and random Annie-isms to share. But all in good time my friends.

I just quickly want to share this while I'm here: on my to do list I mentioned making something for Miss Annie. Here's a little dress I have been dreaming of making her for months!





Cute, easy and straight out of a Japanese pattern book (thanks for the loan, Leslie) Unfortunately, it's just a little long, so I will have to keep it for next winter. The good news is that it was super easy and I just love the fake little pockets and her 'busy bee' buttons.

Stay tuned...I will be back. xx

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sample Pots.

After choosing the colour for our house, finally, we had all this left over sample paint. So, I put my creative juices to good use and together, Annie, Tom, Maggie and I made 'BrockExpress' - an overland train that holds more stuffed toys than you can shake a dummy at. Fun was had by all.


:: Annie took the role of chief designer. You'll notice all her favourite people were on board...Dora, Santa, Boots, and Jeff the purple Wiggle ::


:: Tom discovered fruit while Annie coloured in ::


:: Someone tried to board the train without a ticket, ahem (Maggie) ::


:: Ahhhh, that's better. All the kids happy and in one place! ::

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear Natasha.

I had someone ask about the cottage on my header. I wish I could say it was mine. Well, it's in the family and I stay there ALL the time, but we don't own it. My husband's parents do. They built when they bought their farm as a shed come guest house. It has a beautiful little kitchenette and upstairs bedroom, but my favourite place to sleep is right in front of the coonara on a very windy night. Natasha, if you need more specific details on how it was built etc drop me a line with your email and I'll get back to you.

Busy Bees.

Quick House Update:

We managed to get just a bit more done on the house recently. The front has it's first coat of well thought out paint colour. We went with Duck White (a kinda beige grey). Very happy with the results.





Quick Craft Update:

I have been visiting my local op shop quiet a bit and collecting doilys for a lamp shape tutorial i saw on pinterest.





Quick Tom Update:


He wants to stand ALL THE TIME. Problem is, hes just not ready for it. So, its either me holding him, the couch or the coffee table. It's the only way he'll stay happy. Standing. Up right, thank you very much!


::nappy off time is 6pm every evening. Tonight they were playing doctors. Tom was meant to be the visitor, but he got all aggro and was told to leave immediately::

Quick Annie Update:

When she's not losing her mind over something (yep Tantrums have started) she is wonderfully cute. Today I asked her.

Am I Tom's mumma?'

Nooooooo.

Am I Annie's Mumma?

Nooooooo.

Well, who's mumma am I?

Bens.


True dat!


::Don't even ask about this photo. I told her cotton bubs where for her ears and next thing I turn around and she's all, 'look at my earrings Mumma'. I was very quick to say 'Don't push them in to far honey, your brain will fart'::

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kingsville to Yarraville

Walked to the train station to catch a train to work and these are some of the things I captured on the way.









What does your daily walk look like?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Progress People!

It's been such a busy time for us lately. Very, very tiring. On top of having two children under three, we are been renovating and trying to get our business up and going. That's three pretty huge things all at the one time. Renovating, kids, own business. Needless to say Ben and I are just so knackered from it all. I don't get a break from wrangling two small kids, and he doesn't get a break from renovating or working to spend time with those beautiful kids. It feels like we will never get off this ride.

However, there is good news to report. We decided recently to give the house one last big surge of effort before summer comes at which point we will cease with big reno projects and just do some 'family time' some pottering, visits to the zoo, beach, family, friends. You know...living a little. With the 'kind-of' end in sight, our spirits have been lifted. I took the kids to my mums on the weekend so that Ben could tackle the front weatherboards and start the front fence. Once that front of house looks a little neater we will ease into simpler times. I can't wait.

Here is the house before the weatherboards were changed, complete with fully restored original windows and a new (old) fully restored entrance way and door.



Half the weatherboards up.



Our little Victorian dream starts to take shape.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My work list.

Prompted by Leslie I have decided to blog my craft work list as it stands today. Phew! There is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Hopefully an upcoming craft weekend will help to knock a few off. I am especially excited about making Annie and Tom a puppet show! Stay tuned.



Winter Jacket for Miss Annie (ASAP)
Finish black dress prototype.
Start mueslin Pattern pieces.
Make puppet Theatre.
Make puppets. (Heads already done, see above)
Kit scarf for Annie (soooo late with this!)
Start master bedroom quilt.
Do a few more blocks on scrappy quilt. (long term project)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ommmmm....



On Saturday I took my very stressed-out self to the local Buddhist Centre and started a meditation course. I've been feeling very hormonal when I've been ovulating and just before my period, and it's getting to the point where I can be unbearable to be around. So, rather than moan about it, I thought 'come on Em, let's do something about it.'

I Googled and found that I am not the only woman who found that after having two kids my PMS has become ridiculous and a real hindrance. Many, many, many other women feel the same. Anger one minute, laughing the next, crying about a minute later. Not. Fun.

So, my plan was simple: cut back on caffeine, alcohol, eat better, drink more water, take my vitamins EVERY DAY, and try yoga or meditation. The local Buddhist Centre had a 'first class free, four other classes for only $20' you can't beat those odds. Buddha himself would say it was a sign!

There was a very interesting mix of people there. Mostly women (who have probably ALL read 'Eat, Pray, Love') and of course the few men. One looked like he had just been released from Jail and this was part of his parole conditions. 'Relax, and the demons will go away...' But we all had something in common. We were just gobsmacked by our teacher. She spoIe about the constant feeling we all have that 'If I just had this I would be happy. if I just went there I would be happy. If I just did this I would be happy'. Expecting happiness to develop because of outside forces is guaranteed failure. Happiness must come from within. Or so I'm sold. I mean, told.

After a very awkward 1st lesson in Tai Chi, we had our first meditation session. I can't report feeling very enlightened. But then, I didn't expect to straight away. It was nice just to sit in the one spot for awhile. Still. No one needing me. I concentrated on my mind. It wandered. I thought about what I would make for dinner that night. I resented the fact that Ben would need to do the house renos ALL weekend and I would have to wrangle two kids on my own. I thought about how I would walk home...'past that great coffee shop, I'll grab a latte, surely Buddha is all good with a little treat or too! Man, I'm hungover' OK, back to breathing. In. Out. In. Out. 'should it be a big breath or just a little one. I'm feeling light headed. Back to the breath. In. Out. In. Out. White light in. Grey light out.'

And then I thought I would pretend the Grey light was the hormonal stuff happening in the pit of my womb. White light in. Bad, bitchy, PMS, lunatic Grey light out. It started to feel purposeful. Even peaceful.

Until I started thinking about coffee again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Life recently...in pictures.

Here's how we spent today:



Home made muesli.




Boulangere
and meat balls for dinner. Yum and Yum. Thank you Master Chef!



I used my Menu planner today, which I won from this lovely lass. It's already proving very useful!



And HORRAY! we've had our entrance way put in. (door yet to be painted)



And of course, I spent a good deal of my day being Mumma to these little bottle loving sweet peas.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Global Financial Crisis Carrot & Coriander Soup

If you're anything like our family, you're probably watching your money. The economic climate at the moment is chilly, and as such I choose to warm my family with cost effective soups. This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and it rocks.



1 onion, chopped
450g carrots, washed and sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1.2 litres vegetable stock
handful chopped coriander
nutmeg to taste (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
singe cream (optional)
1 lemon

Heat oil and add garlic, carrots and onion. When onion starts to soften add coriander and salt and pepper. Cover with stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 mins. Add fresh coriander. Whizz the soup, add nutmeg and serve with a swirl of cream (optional) and a squeeze of lemon juice**

** this really makes the soup sit up and slap your taste bubs into submission. Dont make it without adding your little squeeze of lemon people!



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

exciting prospects.

It's been such a busy period for us lately. I have found that getting a moment to blog about sewing is almost as impossible as finding a moment to sew! But, in the craziness of house renos, small children, new family members and breakfasts, lunches and dinners I have managed to get a few things completed.

A friend I used to go to school with contacted me via facebook and when she learned I did a little sewing, she asked me to make her a feeding cover and some spew rags. I was more than happy to oblige. There was no brief really except that she is having a little girl.





Excuse the light in these photos. That's how little time I had to take them :)

In all things inspired, I found this golden nugget. I am about to attempt my second vintage dress but with my own modern, personal twist. Wish me luck. I have no idea how to alter patterns, or how to finish dresses neatly, but I'm learning.

TO BE CONTINUED: Will post a picture of the first vintage dress I made recently. Even if the invisible zip still isn't in!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tommy Boms.

Little Man...



Who would believe you're 8 months old. I would say that times flies, but really those first 6 months dragged and were hard and wonderful all at once. I am happy to say that now you are sleeping through which makes my life so much easier. You are a delight to watch, sitting quietly playing or talking to yourself. You love just being in the family I think. Getting a quick smile from Mum or a big hello from Dad. But hands down, your favourite person is Miss Annie. You follow her around the room with your eyes. Waiting for her to look at you, play with you, smile at you. I've often been in the other room and can hear the two of you laughing. When I come to investigate what's so funny, it always just ends up being you two, just enjoying each other, and getting a good hearty belly laugh from hearing the other one giggle. Delightful!

You can sit up now, roll over, feed yourself (messily) hold your own bottle (hooray!) laugh a lot (see below) and talk talk talk talk talk. You don't make any sense but the sounds are so colourful I have no doubt you will be as vocally capable as your big sister. Nana told me this morning that last night when you stayed at her house, you were chatting to yourself at 1am in the morning. When she went in to see you, you had rolled over on your tummy and where head butting the top of the cot. She popped your dummy in, the chatter subsides and you roll back into the land of nod.

If I could I would bottle the sweet, sweaty smell of your neck. My favourite place to kiss. It's a national treasure. So warm and soft and irresistible. Keeping growing my boy, but stay innocent and pure and mine.

video

Much love...Mumma xx

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Determined to be One.




Nickname: Tommy-Boms or Little Man

Favourite Foods: Bananas and Custard (sometimes together)

Favourite Drink: Milk and whatever mums holding.

Sleep: 7pm - 6am

Favourite Toy: Henry the Goat

Favourite Person: Miss Annie

Personality traits worth noting: Determined little buggar.

Likes: Rolling, sitting, chewing, smiling

Dislikes: Not being older, waiting for his food.

Favourite pasttime: Watching Maggie.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The things she says...

Driving on Citylink, passing various advertising billboards, Annie spots one she likes...

'Beer! Beer Mumma'.

'Yes Annie, beer.'

'I like beer Mumma.'

'Really?'

'Dada like beer?'

'Yes Annie, Dada like Beer'.

'Mumma like beer?'

'No, mumma don't like beer, yuck, yuck, yuck'.

Giggles 'Mumma like beer'.

Statement. Fact.

Momentary silence.


'I love beer Mumma'.

It might have something to do with this...



or even this...



AA said she's too young to start at the moment, but they'll pop her on the waiting list.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A wonderful weekend.

Instead of renovating this weekend, we did something novel. We spent time as a family. And it was wonderful.


Seddon Festival at Harris Reserve


Annie got to pat Moo Cows, her all time 'oh my gawd how awesome' day time activity


Tom chilled in the pram, pointing out that once again he was being ignored


Sunday was 'ice-creams-bigger-than-your-head' at Williamstown



In between all of this I managed to also get some sewing done. Another hooter hider order which I will share here very shortly.