Tuesday, 30 October 2012

in the garden : spring

in the garden

spring growth

spring beans

Spring has sprung and my garden is starting to grow. The snow peas have been strung so that they can wend their way upwards, and the beans may be just starting to stretch their legs too. My tomatoes are up but still not showing much enthusiasm. I wonder what effect these warm days will  have?

It's been a long time since I wrote about my garden, but if you're inclined you can take a peek at my previous posts here.

I'm heading over to add my post to Rachael's gardening community, perhaps you'd like to join in too?

Monday, 29 October 2012

overhaul

sandpit overhaul

What beautiful weather we had this weekend, which was a bonus because I thought that it was supposed to be bleak + rainy. I had an idea {since all of the lawns were already mown} to overhaul our sandpit and restore it to its former glory. It's an idea that has been drifting through my mind for a while {at least 6 months}, and it's taken a while for the planets to align {for us to have no other plans for the weekend}... but finally this weekend was it.

Le husbando dug out all of the old sand and cleaned all of the weeds and crap out of it, laid new {thicker} weed mat underneath, re-used the original sand on the bottom layer, and took a trip to the garden supply for some new sand.

Ahhhh, now it won't be so hard to entice the boy child outside and away from one of his screens! Next job... the rather shabby looking trampoline...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

finding a squiggly little rainbow

squigglyrainbow terrarium

la-la-love...

fan of the terrarium

I've been looking forward to sharing this for a while... but first I had to get my hot little hands upon it.

A while back I visited the Red Hill Market with my knitting girls {-1} and while we were on our way out, woozy with hunger and weary from the hours or perusing beautiful makers wares {dramatic, no?} the most lovely vision met my eye and I could not help but duck into the tiny world of squigglyrainbow ~ I was completely blown away to see that someone had tapped into not only my love of terrariums, but also my love of science equipment used in utilitarian applications.

... and seeing a tiny alice in those terrariums was so apt, because after seeing this little stall {and alas not having enough funds on the day to make one of these beauties mine} I was so inspired and jumped on down the rabbit hole {so to speak}.

On returning home it only took me a few days to contact Rachael and put in a custom order of my own, and obviously I needed a flask to sit next to the two litre one that I had just ordered, so when I spied a one litre flask at the supercool, I was quick to bring it on home with me.

Finally, after much fluffing around by me, I made it to rendezvous with Rachael at the Shirts + Skirts Market at the abbotsford convent, and purchase my very own {totally beautiful} terrarium.

She now has pride of place on my dresser, where myself {and others} can look at her till our hearts are full. I do not have the words to describe how much I am la-la-loving this beautiful little addition to our home.

If you too want a terrarium, or just want to admire Rachael's creations you can find her at www.squigglyrainbow.com, you can follow her Facebook updates here or you can visit her at these upcoming markets.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

a retrospective...

workshop

melbourne town

i have not stopped spinning this week.
i woke up on tuesday morning & realised that my week was pretty much over.
i have spent an entire day painting a room white so that i have somewhere to take photos.
i have weeded the front garden beds {think 2 foot long grass the entire length of our house}
i have mown all of the lawns as the weather this weekend is going to be crappy.
i may've had a birthday.
i've caught up with lovely friends and enjoyed their company.
i'm on top of the laundry.
i hung new curtains in the girls room {hopefully they will start sleeping better as a result}
i've eaten way too much chocolate {i'm blaming hormones}
and i've finally had a chance to go through the images that I took during my workshop last weekend.

hopefully i'll get a chance to catch my breath this weekend.

Monday, 15 October 2012

weekending {in style}

stables

I'm still laughing as I write this post, we had the most wonderful weekend away. It's not often that we go and stay somewhere with my parents, but this was a special occasion and a lovely chance to have dinner and a relaxed weekend, where we didn't need to drive home at the end of the night. Instead, we just trundled off to our extremely luxurious and beautifully appointed accommodation at the Merricks Stable Guest House.

We all ambled down to Merricks on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed a relaxed afternoon and a beautiful dinner with my sister + brad. I have no idea what my kids were up to, but they were entertaining themselves so we all got to sit and chat, and even discover little tit-bits about each other that wouldn't have surfaced in our normal, rushed catch-ups {"robyn : hopefully you'll sort your car our more smoothly now!"}. Unfortunately, I didn't pick up my camera all afternoon, so no documentary evidence, but I will say that dinner was amazing, the ambience and the company delightful, and it was such a luxury to walk the 30 seconds 'home' to my bed.

the morning after

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On Sunday morning I woke to a crisp + sunny morning, and in my relaxed state was content to wonder around with my camera in hand and take in the sights. The view across the hills from the property hasn't failed to take my breath away yet. Such a beautiful spot.

The kids were pumped to be able to head out to the chickens and collect the eggs that would then become their breakfast. After we enjoyed a huge breakfast we sat and perused our various media {newspaper or smashed iPad!} and then we surprised Dad with a {slightly early} birthday cake, and were then surprised in-turn as robyn had unknowingly placed trick candles on it! After the candles were blown out there was tons of smoke coming from them, then they started lighting again. The kids were riveted {as were the rest of us!} and the cake then became as much theirs as Dad's, with all of them trying to blow these candled out {which kept re-lighting}... i'm still laughing that brad {who knew about the trick candles, and had tried to warn robyn earlier} kept his poker face on for the whole thing.

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joke candles

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Eventually, they got the candles to stay extinguished, and moved on to presents.

the bee suit

Angus + I had been out the morning before and visited bob's bees up in eltham to get dad a bee suit {as opposed to a bee suit} which we all gave to him as a group present. He was chuffed with this, particularly because he has recently started his beekeeping adventure, and up until now has been wearing a few layers of normal clothes, which is a bit scary when doing maintenance on the hive which revs the bees up a bit. Interestingly, while I was at bob's I asked why all of the bee suits were white, and was told that it's partly a traditional thing, but also because bees are wired to protect the hive against bears stealing the honey, and if you wear dark clothing then the bees are more likely to see you as a threat....

as an aside, have you seen the beautiful honey harvest video on the Kinfolk vol. 2 iPad download?... if not, watch this {it's beautiful}


Honey Harvest from Kinfolk on Vimeo.

After all of the birthday excitement, we found ourselves with more leisurely pursuits, such as polishing gold lanterns hoping for genies, wandering the grounds admiring the gardens and produce, and other more energetic pursuits...

genie?

exploring

chasing

caught

Thanks for the invite Robyn + Brad, we had a fabulous time! xx

Thursday, 11 October 2012

what we ate for dinner...

preparing dinner

For some time now i've lost any mojo in the kitchen {especially at dinner time} we've been eating the same ol' for ages and ages... spaghetti w. meat sauce, plum sauce chicken stir-fry, sausages + mash, roast chicken on sunday or monday nights, take-away one or two nights each week, and fajitas {or similar} on friday nights.

.

.

.

Boring!!!

.

So last Saturday we got up in the morning and sat around the kitchen table with some of my favourite cookbooks and seasonal food magazines {i keep all my delicious magazines in month order, septembers all together, octobers all together, etc. it's great as I can just pull out a pile of relevant season mags when I'm looking for inspiration} drinking tea, and flicking through magazines looking for some new, healthy and inspiring meals to cook.

We have been trying to eat foods that the kids will eat and BLAH I'm so sick of beige meals. Pasta, rice, mash spuds, any fatty beige take-away... so we decided to suit ourselves. Those kids of ours really need to expand their palates, so it's what we dish up or nothing.

Tonight I didn't have a recipe, but I did have a lamb sirloin {backstrap} and an idea that I wanted salad with orange chunks in it... so for the first time ever, I trusted my instinct {and experience} and created a salad. It contained baby spinach, sliced up snow peas, sliced up celery, chunks of orange, crumbled feta, and toasted slivered almonds, all topped with the sliced up medium backstrap.

dinner

nom. nom.

It was good.

Monday, 8 October 2012

road trip

road trip

We've been back a few days now, but I'm {embarrassed} to say that we're all sick {or are recovering}. The first day of term 4 today, and we didn't make it out of the house until our doctors appointment at 3:30... we've all had tonsillitis this time, and it's been passed from one to the other. Angus will make it to school tomorrow I think, but the girls aren't ready to join the world again just yet. So in lieu of much happenings, here is our road-trip from the beginning of last week.

old town

gold mining

gold panning

old school

We headed to the gold mining town of Ballarat and stayed a few nights. While we were there we spent a day at Sovereign Hill, something that I remember fondly from my childhood. This time is was about them though, and we paced the day so that they got the most out of it. As we walked in the farrier was shoeing a horse, so that was a hit with Daisy, then we ambled up the street looking in a few stores, that was a hit will Nanna, then we went on the Secret Chamber tour down in the mine, which was a hit with both Angus and I, then we went and ate a much needed lunch, followed by panning in the river and then {Nanna!!} bought the kids all harmonicas {not such a hit with me} but definitely a hit with Mia, then we trundled up the hill, dodged the horses, and wandered around the old houses, then we took the kids to the school {and that was such a hit we had trouble getting them out again}.

We enjoyed superb weather, and was finally convinced to head home when our feet were sore and our wallets empty. When we got back to our apartment the kids were hell bent on having a swim in the 'solar' heated pool {*cough* we're in Ballarat, what Sun!?!} so they manned up and paddled around the edges until they turned blue and I told them to get out before they got hypothermia.

On the last day we packed up {and after a minor flat car battery glitch} headed out to Creswick. I would have loved to go bush walking in the forests out there, but alas neither my kids nor Nanna were keen on that at all {so lovely hubby of mine, be warned, this is something that I want to do with you next Autumn} instead we stopped at the Creswick Woollen Mill so Nanna could have a peek, while the kids enjoyed a snack {doesn't that photo at the top just remind you of road-trips from your own childhood}. Then we headed off and found the Tangled Maze where the kids and I wandered around for an hour, enjoying the sun and all of the gorgeous plants in the maze.

alpacas

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fields of gold
Then is was off to Daylesford for lunch and a stop at the ice-cream shop before leaving it all behind to make our way back to the big-smoke.

I read a great quote on not without salt while we were away... "vacations with kids are not for relaxing, they are for building memories" and it was something that stayed with me the whole time. We walked a lot, talked a lot, grumbled a little, had our ears worn out, but when we got back the thing that stood out the most was that we had a great couple of days doing something different, and the kids have a heap of wonderful new memories.

and I must say a special thanks to Nanna for not only funding a major part of the holiday, but also for spending a couple of days amongst the chaos of 'us' - thanks mum! xxx

Monday, 1 October 2012

my space

Breakfast

Stick Twist Bread

Kinfolk Vol. 4

My weekend was full of music like this, played at my volume, while I enjoyed a weekend at home. On my own. I didn't answer any questions, or break up any fights, I just enjoyed some space.

I had time to sit and read, I enjoyed dinner with my parents on Saturday night, I woke up at five-thirty on Sunday morning... and rolled over and went back to sleep until eight.

It wasn't all lolling about though, I cleaned my house like a woman possessed. You can now see the floor of the laundry {and it's clean}, all of the clean clothes were folded and put away, the kids wardrobes have been cleaned out and they now have {only} the correct sized clothing in them. I took advantage of the end-of-season prices and free shipping offer on pumpkin patch and ordered Angus some new clothes, I made beds, washed delicates and woollens, vacuumed, mopped and dusted.

It feels really good to look around at an organised and clean home.

We're off adventuring for a couple of days, so maybe it will stay clean?...

See you when we get back.