You know it's summer when your fridge has a running supply of mangoes. Last summer mangoes were running out our door like hotcakes because they were Romy's choice of solid at the time & she would get so sad when she ate them all. Last christmas she threw the tantrum of all tantrums possible for a 9 month old that could only be silenced with a mouthful of mango! This season she couldn't care less about them, which means there is more for Luke & I. In my house growing up we didn't have a mango tradition like some of my friend's families did, but you did have to be quick if my parents were cutting them up because they were always snapped up quickly. I am not a summer fan but I do get a tiny bit excited for this time of year to roll around for mangoes and evening strolls.
Friday, 19 December 2014
Friday, 12 December 2014
Do you guys remember the days when Lauren Brimely flooded your instagram feed with her delicious snacks and recipes? I do, and it makes me a little sad that she is taking a break from the internet because I miss her creatively plated up mid week lunches. One of my favourite recipes she shared many moons ago is her insanely delicious chickpea chocolate chip cookies. These. Are. Tasty. Each time I make these cookies I try to experiment with the recipe & add something different & for this batch I added some medjool dates. You guys, I cannot stress how easy these are to whip up, especially if you already have all of the ingredients and a spare five minutes.
- 1 x tin of chickpeas, rinsed
- 1/2 cup of almond butter
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup of oats
- 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
- dash of sea salt
- 1 x teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips
- When combined to a cookie dough consistency, min in the chocolate chips with a spoon
- Wet your hands & form into balls & flatten
- Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes
Easy, huh? These are the type of cookies that you can whip up twenty minutes before you have guests over for morning tea, and yes, that is how things usually roll at my house right before a play date! Enjoy your weekend!
Friday, 5 December 2014
And it doesn't stop there because a few days after you have recovered from your Christmas food coma, there is the NYE anticipation to process; finishing projects, setting next years goals & crossing that last thing off your 2014 to-do list. So last week I decided to try and deal with the New Year anticipation in a calm way so I don't feel overwhelmed about not exactly getting everything crossed off of my list for this year. In fact, I'm pretty sure that mid way through the year I abandoned it because we had a few spanner in the works situations. I wrote my 2015 goals in my notes on my phone and have been casually adding to it when I think of something & I'm feeling really positive about already having set them. I have a few last bits and pieces to get for Christmas and a tree to put up next week and then I'm ready to enjoy this wonderful time of year.
Thursday, 4 December 2014
1. We've had a couple of wet weekends here in Newcastle, so up went the wigwam
2. Trying my hand at making toddler friendly snacks
3. My current project I've been working away on
4. Day trippin'
5. I wish I started this book earlier, Lena Dunham is modern wordsmith!
6. Changing things up around our house
7. Building houses
Thursday, 27 November 2014
It's my birthday in two weeks & these things would make turning 26 neat, especially the black Status Anxiety shoulder bag. It's been on my mind for weeks now.
Friday, 21 November 2014
Reading: Just about to start 'Not That Kind Of Girl' by Lena Dunham. The last couple of weeks this book has been popping up a lot on my Instagram feed, with very mixed reviews. So I am keen to get stuck into it & see for myself. Lena Dunham isn't in my top five favourite celebrities or anything, but when I'm in the mood for watching 'Girls' I really enjoy it & I like her jokes & sense of humour.
Watching: New Girl. I watched almost half of the first season when it first aired on tv here in Australia and I liked it, I just wasn't into it at the time. Especially with the onslaught of kooky indie girls that seemingly transpired because of the Zooey Deschanel fascination. But now that the show isn't so new - and I ran out of other things to watch - I thought I would give it a go & I am glad I did. Schmidt is saaaa funny!
Listening to: Taylor Swift '1989'. On repeat for almost two weeks now. My favourite tracks are Style, I Wish You Would & Bad Blood.
Loving: Wednesday night farmers markets. The farmers markets are generally on a Sunday morning here, but now that I work on the weekends I don't get to go (but luckily for me my sister buys my nuts & apricots for me if she's going!). For the lead up to the Christmas period there is a special wednesday night farmers market so of a Wednesday afternoon we've been getting to go for ourselves & to get our nuts, apricots & bagels.
Working On: Kitchen curtains. I got my mum to sew some simple calico curtains that I could paint a simple pattern on for my kitchen. It is most definitely a work in progress!
Eating : Salad rolls. When the warmer weather kicks in Luke & I usually have salad rolls for lunch, we occasionally have them all year round, but they just aren't as satisfying in the colder months of the year. Also, cheddar and pickle bagels from the markets.
Looking Forward To : Finishing up my Christmas shopping! I was able to have a couple of hours to myself earlier in the week to get the bulk of our Christmas shopping done & I am pleased to say that with the exception of a secret santa present & a gift card I am almost finished! Luke & I set the goal of having all our shopping finished by the end of November and I am almost positive I'll be able to achieve that in the next few days!
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
I took this photo while I was nursing Romy on our first morning at home together. I had no idea how to hold a newborn, I had never held one before - in fact Romy was the third baby I had ever held (& the first two were during my pregnancy!). Holding a newborn is a juggling act masked by joy; theres making sure the baby's neck has enough support, finding a good spot to rest their little limbs & setting yourself up in a comfortable position so you don't upset their little souls with all of your wriggling. And then there is the am I holding them right? do they need to be burped? and the lurking don't drop the baby anxiety. Initially, holding a newborn can be a bit of a thing. But then with weeks of practice you're a pro, & think it is a little funny when you're visitors get nervous to hold your newborn - because it's easy peasy to hold them, right?!
In the last month or so I've met two new babies; my cousin's little girl, & our friends little boy & both of those little bubbas were tiny! I thought tiny newborn Romy who had arrived 5 weeks early had prepared me for all the small babies in my future, but I was wrong. Because Romy grew bigger and then I became accustomed to holding bigger & bigger babies and now I have a toddler and the waking every two hours to feed phase is long behind us. And now I get it when other parents say 'oh, I don't remember that phase'. During my pregnancy I would ask my mum & her neighbour lots of questions about their experiences as new mothers & both of them rendered little information from their mummy memories trying to explain that there are so many different stages & phases that some parts of it get lost altogether. And that wasn't something I could understand at the time because this new exciting thing was happening and I was so set on being able to remember it all.
I'm not entirely sure babies are like bicycles, I guess I'll have more insight after baby no. 2 (much, much farther down the track!), but when I was nursing my cousin & friend's babies I felt completely clueless like I had never done this before & was asking them if I was holding their babies right. Which I had other mothers ask me when they held Romy for the first time, & I remember thinking to myself 'why are you asking me I don't know either!!!'. And if I can forget those initial awkward moments where you're adjusting to holding this brand new baby bean in your grips this soon, I am pretty sure that with a few years gap in between my newborn days I'll be feeling this way again. But for now I'm quite happy with the sporadic toddler hugs Romy rewards me with!
Thursday, 13 November 2014
I must admit, for the breakfast shift I don't often opt for the most creative option, it's usually cereal or toast. But last week I picked up one of these convenient Nuby 'section plates' that are darn handy for adding variety in at meal times.
I like to give Romy a couple of different things for lunch on her plate so she gets a little bit of everything & is more open to trying new foods. The past couple of mornings Romy hasn't really been too interested in her bowl of cereal, so this morning I did something similar to lunch and gave her a breakfast variety plate - which was a success!
Romy ate yogurt topped with a light sprinkle of muesli, a small handful of black currant weetibix & milk, banana fingers & orange slices. The last week or so Romy has been much more interested in fruit and has really taken a liking to orange slices. She still however will only eat bananas if they're cut into finger pieces rather than circles. Oh well, as long as she's eating them right?!
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
A couple of weeks ago I started to indulge in the idea of updating my frames as I'm needing to update my prescription pretty soon anyway. The last time I updated my prescription I went from having two pairs of different frames to just one all round pair, so this time around I will be investing in two separate designs. There have been more than a couple of times that I have cursed myself for only having chosen one set of spectacles when they have hindered a choice when buying a new dress, and most definitely after the initial new glasses hype has died down. Plus, its never a bad idea to have a spare set incase of unforeseen incidents which is another reinforcing decision to get two pairs this time. Each morning when I wake up, Romy is shoving my glasses off the bedside onto my face, and her little uncoordinated toddler hands sometimes use too much force and I worry that she's going to break them. I'm really leaning towards the colourful Roxy specs, they're all business at the front and a teenage sleepover on the sides! They would definitely add a quick splash of cute to your face without being OTT. And the Sherry frames is my 'sensible' pick.
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Well, November just snuck up on me over the weekend & it wasn't until Sunday that I realised that October was done & dusted. That tends to happen this time of year. I think I have slightly begun getting a little too focused on the fact that yet another year is coming to it's grand close, & thinking about everything that goes along with that. What will we do for NYE? How long will we go back home for over the Christmas period? What can I quickly cross off the list before the new year? All of those thoughts are beginning. And I know what happens next because this happens every year, but this year I am not taking any of those unnecessary stresses that this time of year evokes. I didn't get around to setting up a sweet, sweet dream nest in our bedroom - & that is okay! I'll put in on my 2015 goals & be super impressed with myself that I have been really focused the last two weeks and have kept busy & kept moving forward.
This month I am going to focus on putting out positive energy, because, how lucky are we to even be here really?! I recently read this pretty cool interview with Brian Cox where he talks about the possibilities of there being other civilisations in the universe as extremely rare so we should see ourselves as being very lucky to even be here. And we should harness that information & start behaving differently. Which is a heavy kind of existential thought, but it you take it down a notch it is a simple & uplifting one.
Thursday, 30 October 2014
1 First ponytail. Ever.
2 Some of my extended family were visiting Newcastle, so we had a family catch up at my sister's house
3 My bff & I went to see Miley, it was ah-mazing! It was a shame my phone had no battery & I couldn't take any of my own pics though ( source )
4 As part of my sister's annual birthday week we made Greek inspired mezze for her birthday dinner
5 Romy grew some serious curls this month & picked up a bunch of cool stuff from The Wiggles
We kept ourselves quite busy this month, it's a little bit of a shame that I didn't take many pictures from our daily adventures though. I must remember to pack my camera more for November (yikes, that is only a couple of days away!!).
Thursday, 23 October 2014
In the last year or so I've made a conscious effort to buy better presents for family & friends for birthdays & other special occasions. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I bought horribly bad presents before, but I noticed a bad present buying habit of mine that affected my choices - plan early, act late. So I would find myself with a few days to sort it out, and more often than not would end up wrapping the most convenient option. After I came to this realisation, I decided it had to end because I love buying presents for other people, I love the whole planning aspect of it and pondering what my presentee will like for their special day.
Just before Christmas last year I came across a Christmas present buying method one blogger had adopted for their shopping last year - theming their presents. Genius right?! Now, when I say 'theme', don't think Disney Princesses on Ice kinda theme, more like, oh you like the markets? cool! I'll gift you a bunch of cool shit from the markets type theme. And incase you find yourself stuck for gifting ideas, I thought I'd make it into a blog post to help you out! First up..
Do you have a coffee fiend friend? Sure you do! I've selected a couple of neat suggestions for varying types of caffeine junkies, & factoring in varying types of present buying budgets. While it isn't always the best approach to have in mind while present shopping, the above suggestions are things I would like to receive, as a coffee fiend myself.
For a simple birthday gift, or low key office Chris Cringle a coffee mug is always a safe bet. And if your presentee & yourself have an 'in joke' together, you can personalise the mug with that. My sister received a coffee mug as a 'handing in her thesis' present from a work colleague that had a Marnie quote from GIRLS on it, I think that is a killer gift - practical and personal. Should you find yourself with a little extra money in your present budget because your mug of choice was on sale, you could easily chuck in a packet of chocolate coated coffee beans for something extra. But if you find yourself on a really tight budget, why not make a batch of homemade biscotti up for your presentee!
If your presentee already has a coffee making device like a percolator or French press, but will buy their coffee in ready ground bags, take their morning coffee to the next level with an inexpensive coffee grinder. I have this particular grinder and use it at home to grind my coffee beans every morning. If you know what type of beans your presentee likes, pair the grinder up with a small bag to get them started. My top pick from this suggestion list would be an espresso machine. And if you like coffee too then everybody wins! It may seem like an outrageous present, but you could always get others to pitch in too for a group effort. This particular machine is definitely affordable, & makes a pretty tasty cup of jo. I bought one last year, & have saved myself a lot of money from not buying multiple takeaway coffees during the week.
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
This little yoghurt faced warrior is having a melt down, in fact for the past three or so weeks she has been having a melt down. I know they tell you all about the terrible twos and tantrums, but they didn't tell you it would be this difficult - and Romy isn't even two yet! I know that she is just trying to sort her feelings out and is trying to communicate with us, and I know how frustrating it can be at times when I am poorly trying to explain something and it isn't getting across, so I understand. But it's the high pitched squeals that hold that same piercing note for what seems like great lengths of time that get me. I thought those unsettled newborn cries broke my parental ear drums in, but they were just warming me up for what was to come. My friend Elle was telling me a few months back how she had been reading something somewhere about toddler behaviour and how this time in a person's life is generally the most violent you will ever be, & I remember really listening and tucking that tid-bit away. But it has only now really resonated with me as Romy has grown into that boisterous toddler that uses her entire body to communicate.
If her plate gets caught under the tray of the highchair, that warrants a tantrum. And if she stays in the highchair one second too long that also warrants a tantrum. Brushing her teeth & hair = tantrum. Sitting in the pram = tantrum. Anything that doesn't involve The Wiggles, the park or food = tantrum. Her outbursts in the highchair are (if I have to choose!) preferable because she doesn't tend to hurt herself while having them, whereas if she was walking around and got upset she will instantly be on the ground rolling around and on the occasion hitting and kicking anything in reach. The more I try to calm her down and resolve the situation, the worse it becomes so I approach the situation by letting her get it all out of her system and being her calming spot to cool down. And that works for us (at least for now).
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Reading: 'The Neighborhood' by S.K Epperson. I came across this author when I was first loading my kindle up with light reading a couple of months back and snapped up her free kindle novel 'Green Lake', which was one of the easiest books to digest in a couple of sittings, & 'the neighborhood' is much the same. If you read Goosebumps as a kind, then you will definitely love this ladies novels that are in a similar vein for an older audience only the monsters in her novels are your neighbours.
Watching: Veep. Oh, you too?! Awesome! How good is it!!!! My sister was raving on about it for a good couple of weeks before I actually gave it a go, and boy oh boy am I glad I did! It took me a couple of episodes to get into the groove of the shows pace and humour, the jokes are short sharp bullets of sass one after the other. By the time you have finished laughing at one quip, there has already been four more. I cannot recommend this show enough! Gary is my favourite, he has the BEST awkward faces and I love how utterly clueless he can be at times. And his bag! Go watch it!
Listening to: Taylor Swift's 'Red' album to wait out the 1989 anticipation. I normally can either take or leave her music but after coming around to her latest single 'shake it off' I have a renewed respect for how light hearted her music is, and I like being distracted by her love woes on my drive to work on the weekends.
Loving: This spring weather. The first week of spring was a sad & miserable joke that luckily has made a turn around. These past few weeks have been wonderful, I love this time of year where you hardly notice the weather and you aren't hot or cold. And I especially love spring now that day light savings has started and our afternoons aren't spent rushing around to fit in an afternoon walk before the sun goes down. If Luke isn't working a split he usually finishes around 4.30pm, giving us heaps of extra day light to go for an afternoon walk before the sun sets at 7pm.
Working On: Making Romy's room a sweet space that she can play in. At the moment her bedroom is purely a sleeping haven, and a place for bits and pieces and bags of clothes she has grown out of. So bit by bit we've been de-cluttering and transforming it into what it should be - a simple toddler bedroom.
Eating : Quinoa. During the colder months Luke & I tend to shy away from making quinoa dishes, but now that spring has sprung we're filling our plates with quinoa fattoush once again! I even tried my hand at making quinoa fritters last week and they were delicious!
Looking Forward To : My friends wedding, seeing my extended family on their Newcastle visit & a night in the city with my bff to see Miley.
Saturday, 11 October 2014
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Once upon a time I foolishly thought that table centrepieces weren't that overly important to create alovely space. But in the last year or so I've realised just how essential a finished table top is to create a cohesive vibe between life & decor. Each space is unique and in some cases the one size fits all won't work, so work with your space & find ways to complement it. And if all else fails a nice scented candle in a sturdy jar will also do the trick!
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
( source )
Today I started to rearrange Romy's bedroom, cleaned the bathroom & I vacuum sealed my unworn clothes. We're currently going through that period in our home where we're finally getting around to replacing & rearranging things in our house post-move. We moved into this rental about six months ago, & because we were unorganised for the move we unpacked things for the sake of unpacking them quickly and gave little thought to how we really wanted things to be. So that is where we're at right now, room by room slowly de-cluttering drawer by drawer to obtain a better organised living space.
Monday, 6 October 2014
I mentioned in the first Toddler Meals post I shared in August that Romy's nap time is smack bam in the middle of the day and she doesn't wake up until around 3.30pm, but lately with this bout of teething I've been getting four hour naps out of her. So by the time sleeping beauty wakes up, it's actually not too far off dinner time. So we started giving her a 'little lunch' around 11-11.30 am, and a lighter 'lunch' after her nap. So basically she eats two small lunches & sleeps for 3+ hours - she really is living the toddler dream!
We're always up for trying different methods to try & achieve success at meal times, & currently the two-part lunch method is working best for us. Before we implemented the 'little lunch' - which is different from a snack - we were finding that after a long nap & a late lunch come dinner time Romy just wasn't overly hungry, and it was making us all frustrated. I really didn't want to accept that we had a fussy eater, because I think that you can get a little too deep into the 'fussy eater' hole and it ends up giving the 'fussy eater' power to pick and choose & ultimately they won't try anything new. So before we gave into that idea, we tried a different method & it was that simple. Now (most) evenings Romy will eat her dinner, which has taken a lot of stress out of the evenings.
I know this looks like a lot of food to be 'little lunch' but it is actually only a small amount. On this little lunch plate is one slice of cheese cut into super small pieces, grated apple, a couple of strawberries cut into smaller pieces and a small slice of toasted homemade banana, blueberry & orange bread.
And as you can see, the grated apple was not a hit. Romy cannot get her head around apple, every time she tries it she pulls this shocked look as though she is thinking, "what the heck have you given me!". Every. Time. So I tried a different approach and grated the apple to serve and she still wasn't sold on it. You win some you lose some right?
Friday, 3 October 2014
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Most coffee mugs last about a year or so in my house, we have a coffee mug chipping curse in our kitchen cupboards I'm beginning to think. Most recently my favourite lemongrass coloured mug that I picked up for a raging price of $2 at a home wares clearance sale last year acquired a chip rendering it basically useless now. I see a chip and I know what happens next. And because it is my favourite coffee mug I have to replace it with something that is a little bit cuter, and something that Luke won't silently claim. The Ron Swanson mug above would be perfect, but Luke & I both share a love of RS so I can just see what would happen there. So I'll have to keep that one in mind for next Father's Day & use it during the day when Luke isn't home! I am loving the jade disolve mug currently at Freedom, it has that set of mugs at a holiday beach house feel to it, and even though I'm not into the beach, I really like it.
Isn't this year just passing by so quickly?! Especially the last two months, we have been moving at a fast pace here that I didn't even realise the first of October had already been & gone until yesterday. This month is going to be wonderful because our good friends Renee & Simon are getting married! Renee has been sharing her wedding planning over coffees with me for months now, and she has some pretty neat ideas underway that I can't wait to see it all put together in just a couple of short weeks! Also, a handful of my extended family will be visiting Newcastle for a wedding & during their stay we'll be having a little get together at my sisters new house. And then I'll be going to see Miley with my bff in the city. And at some point we'll be squeezing a visit in to go meet our friend's new baby boy that was just this second born.
And just lastly, a couple of things from last month; 15 Ways To Be A Good Human Today, The Girl With Three Boobs, 33 Reasons Why Mighty Ducks Is The Best Movie Trilogy Of All Time, Stay Away From Microwaves, and this great Homemade Body Scrub.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
1. We broke in our juicer for the first time since purchasing it almost two years ago. Why did we wait so long?!
2. Family pizza night at Aunty Ash & Uncle Al's house
3. Grazed knees is where we're at right about now
4. Day visits from Oscar & Renee
5. Books before bedtime with Daddy
6. Busting out the Boleslawiec tea cups for morning tea with Elle
Monday, 15 September 2014
For the past couple of weeks I've been obsessed with making these super simple kale chips as an afternoon snack, and some days I make a batch up as my lunch. I've previously avoided making kale chips because whenever I've googled 'simple' recipes they always end up requiring multiple ingredients I don't already have in the pantry, and I'm not very confident to improvise with recipes just yet (unless Luke is here to help me!). Kale is a vegetable we usually buy each week, and after we scored a plentiful bunch a couple of weeks back I started to get the kale chip nagging itch again. I looked through a handful of helpful recipes but ended up going rogue and making my own simpler version.
All you need to have on hand to make these simple kale chips is a couple of leaves of kale and coconut oil. If you don't have coconut oil you can use olive oil instead, I've made batches using both and they do the same job.
1. Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees
2. Roughly tear up your kale leaves into small pieces discarding the stem. I found it was much easier & less time consuming to just tear the pieces off the stem rather than cutting them up with a knife. The smaller the piece of kale, the more likely it is to get burnt so keep your kale pieces relatively bigger
3. Heat a heaped teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan over the stove. If you're making a bigger batch of chips you'll obviously need more oil than a teaspoon
4. Using an oil brush, lightly coat the kale pieces with oil on both sides
5. Lay out the kale pieces on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep your eye on them, kale chips can be pretty easy to burn. You don't necessarily have to season your chips as they already taste great on their own, but if you do prefer to season them try sprinkling a little bit of taco seasoning for a little bit of bite. Or salt, salt is good too!