Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day One

You don't have to be the brightest or the fastest or the smartest. I don't care if you're at the top or in the lead. You don't need to be most popular or best in show.

All that matters is that you have fun, surround yourself with good people and love the learning.

Enjoy the ride, kiddo. I think this might be just the thing we've been waiting for.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


There's an apple tree at the bottom of our garden, just behind the lemon tree. Last year it produced a handful of tiny apples that fell and rotted on the grass, so I declared it a dud. This summer has been different. There were abundant blossoms, then abundant fruit. They should have stayed on the tree longer, but we were advised to get in before the hordes of birds beat us to it.

The full basket has been sitting in the kitchen for a week; they're a bit sour for eating. Today I took to them with a peeler and knife. I made apple sauce, then apple oat muffins (via here, with chopped apple added before baking) for tomorrow's inaugural lunch box.

Half a basket left. I'm thinking pie.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Of all the crappy things that can happen to a 2.5-year-old, landing baby twin sisters would have to be up there. OK, there's illness and poverty and neglect, that would be worse. But from a toddler's point of view, to go from being the centre of the universe to having not one but two interlopers, that must be pretty rotten. Three years ago, this kid was number one, everything and all. And as much as her mother tried to ensure the two tiny additions would not impact her world too much, they did - a great deal. They were noisy and smelly and fussy, they took up lots of space, and they absorbed all the time that used to be hers.

They also hogged the limelight. People arrived at the house, looking over her shoulder to see the pair. Strangers gazed past her into the pram to gawk. We were stopped often and asked questions, always about the twins, rarely about her. But she didn't get cross and she didn't complain. She forced herself into view to tell people about the babies, her babies. She loved them and she was proud.

Nearly three years on, that not so tiny pair still get in the way, they're still very noisy and often quite smelly, and they've learnt to take her toys, tear the pages of her books, pull her hair and be a general nuisance. But still she loves them. Still she talks about them to strangers.

She was sad to know that she wouldn't be at preschool when her sisters start there next month. She wanted to be able to show them the ropes. As she heads out the door this week to start her first day of school, it'll be the first of many huge life steps she'll take, leading the way, and always glancing back over her shoulder to make sure they are following.

We snuck up to Sydney for a couple of days last week, my Lola and I. She called it our 'love weekend'. I walked the city behind her, letting her dictate where, what and when. I'm so grateful for those couple of days, just the two of us.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Lovelies

Counting down to the end of summer holidays, the first day of kindergarten, a very, very big year ahead for all of us...

1) Big feet, little feet.
2) A very special trip to the city, just me and my girl.
3) Ohhhh... I finally spent last year's birthday gift voucher. Ohhh...
4) I wish she'd play this independently during the day. She sets up the best games ever - right on bedtime!
5) Apple pickin'. A little early but we had to beat the birds.

Hoping all sorts of loveliness comes your way this week. I'll be taking lots of deep breaths. Lots.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Lola: My almost-kindergartner.
Pearl: Serious face.
Stella: A couple of days of mystery vomiting left her in a very bad mood.

PS Did you see what we won? Thanks so much, Jodi, for the incredible giveaway.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I See an Apple

"What are you investigating, Pearl?"
"I'm imbestigating an apple."
"And what do you see?"
"I apple."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Knitting: A tiny hat for a tiny head. Short of stalking the exit to the maternity ward, I'm not sure how to find out for sure if it's newborn size. For the first time in a long time, I have no very tiny people to call on.

Reading: A book about a precocious 5-year-old to a precocious 5-year-old (and loving every page).

Yarn Along here.

Monday, January 21, 2013


In amidst school holidays and heat waves and trips to Sydney and visitors and long days at home, I've been knitting. Always knitting.

I've restocked the shop with some of the sold-out items, and added a few new colours and sizes. There's much more to come.

Stay tuned for a nice little giveaway in the next couple of weeks to celebrate my birthday. And launching soon - a teeny-tiny range for teeny-tiny newborns. I just need to get my hands on one to play model. Awww! 

I'd love you to join me on Facebook too!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Lovelies

Another week's worth of lovelies for your enjoyment:
1) She always has to do it herself.
2) Another tart - caramelised onion, mushroom and goats cheese*.
3) Very special order. Can you imagine having feet that small?
4) Muddy puddle jumping (after relentless heat and relentless dry)
5) Marinating feta. Do you do it? Chopped parsley and mint, lemon zest and olive oil.
6) Baking with the Queen.

I'm off to do a little sewing while the house is quiet. Wishing you all a lovely week.

*The recipes for this tart, and last week's tart, are for my monthly contribution to Kidspot Kitchen. I promise to share them here soon.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Lola: "I'm in love with beetroot," she said.
Pearl: Hiding.
Stella: I'm not sure I can say with any certainty that her eyes are still blue.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Visit from the Queen

I've mentioned my dealer before. In other circles she goes by the name of the Craft Queen. Every time I see her, she hands over a bag or two of booty. This week she paid us a visit, and she didn't disappoint.

I've known the Craft Queen, aka Nicole, since high school. Craft runs in her veins. She grew up in a gingerbread house adorned wall to floor by her incredibly crafty mother. Together they would patchwork and scrapbook and quilt the days away. No teenager had a tidier, more beautifully decorated room. There was a running joke that our friend Ollo avoided coming to visit because he was afraid that while he was inside sipping tea and passing the time of day, Nicole's mum would be outside decoupaging his car. It never happened, but it would've been bloody good.

I've used Craft Queen buttons on many of my handknits - see here and here and here and here. Her wooden and coconut buttons are my favourite, but I think I'll be trying out some of the new Fimo ones soon. She also supplies an enormous range of ribbons and papercraft supplies, and there's a huge shipment of washi tape on its way.

My girls had a wonderful couple of days entertaining, and being entertained by, the Craft Queen. Lola has very happily taken on the Craft Princess title, disappearing into her room and her restocked craft cupboard to make stuff. Last I looked, there was a pair of cardboard spectacles and a new cuddly toy called Fluff.

Disclosure: The Craft Queen didn't ask me to write this post, and while she does provide me with an endless supply of buttons and ribbons, she didn't pay me either. She did, however, 'accidentally' leave two huge tins of home-baked biscuits on my kitchen bench which I discovered long after she'd skipped town...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Little

"Or make an omelet but leave it unfilled and unfolded. Flat, round omelets are quiet, and a little serious."

I think I might be a little in love with this book, and this writer. Tamar Adler speaks of food in a way that sings to me, with poetry and humour and great common sense. I am not yet halfway through, but already I am saving my broccoli stalks and taking pause before cracking an egg to consider my intentions.

I might also be a little in love with this yarn, soft and calm and coloured this time. I am knitting a special order of hat and boots for a baby boy in New Jersey. One boot to go and it'll be on its way, in time for the February chill.

Joining in with the Yarn Along.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Honey Plum

Remember that tree? Turns out it's a plum. I was out there the other day, looked up, and saw a little yellow fruit. Then another, and another. A few days later they were red, soft and sweet. 

On the weekend I picked a handful. Gazed at them on the kitchen bench for a while. Decided to make them into a cake.

A honey plum cake for a wet Sunday when the heat finally broke and things started to feel a bit normal again. Normal, not necessarily because of the drop in temperature, but because I was in the kitchen, baking.

Rich and squishy honey plum cake

100g butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup milk
squeeze of lemon juice
tiny plums plucked from a tree in your backyard on a hot summer's day

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin.

Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add honey and egg and continue to beat. Add flour, milk and lemon juice and beat till smooth. Don't worry if it curdles a bit.

Pour batter into cake tin. Cut the cheeks off your tiny plums and scatter them over the batter. Don't worry about getting fancy - they're going to sink. Place tin in oven and cook for 50-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out cleanish.

Allow to cool slightly in tin, then remove to a rack. Invert onto a plate to reveal the sunken plums. Drizzle with extra honey, and eat.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Lovelies

Some loveliness from a hectic, and hot, week.

1) Slow-roasted tomato and ricotta tarts. Yummy scrummy.
2) Our little low-tech juicer.
3) In the mail - squishiest, softest alpaca blend yarn.
4) Doting aunty/godmother.
5) Breakfast of champions - homemade muesli, homemade yoghurt, and blueberries plucked straight...from the supermarket shelf.

Wishing everyone a lovely week. 


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