Friday, 28 February 2014


A birthday today, my birthday.  36 years old.  Slowly creeping towards another significant number.  I'm in no hurry though.  I'm enjoying my thirties.
I've been spoilt, lots of lovely surprises (and chocolate galore).  I'm going to try and string it (cheeky) out for a bit longer, a birthday weekend of sorts.
Presents opened - mainly by Tom - he loves a birthday, even if it's not his.  Coffee, sweets and savouries at a favourite café with a good friend and my little sidekick George.  Homemade card from Bell and a big bunch of flowers delivered to me by Mr H.  Swimming and hot dogs for tea, followed by a movie, popcorn and sweets.  And I'm having a bubbles or two.
It's been an easy day, a really good day.
Happy weekending everyone!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Sew sweet swap

Thank you to Cat from Catalina's cottage for organising such a great swap!

This the second swap I have joined in with.  Sew Sweet Swap.  A zippered pouch (or similar) with filled with yummy treats to be packaged up and sent to your swap partner.   I had a sewing lesson with Fiona last month on how to make one, so I had a good start but jeez, the zipper was a bit tricky.  Not to mention my swap partner was Cat herself, who has a Black Belt in pressure then?!

But like Cat said, it is all fun, and a great way to get sewing.  I made a quilted pouch (with dodgy zipper) and filled it with chocolates.  I also added more chocolate (to make up for the zip), material, ribbon, washi tape and a scented heart soap.  I love putting together the extras for these swaps.

My package was such a nice surprise.  A very sweet pouch filled with sweets and chocolates (eaten before I photographed them) material, Chai Latte syrup, yum and the most beautiful crocheted daisy chain.  You can't tell from these photos but part of the zippered pouch has been made with a vintage napkin.

I LOVE a good Chai Latte, now I can make my own.

Prettiest daisy chain I have ever seen..........

Thank you Cat for putting together such a beautiful swap parcel. xo

Happy week to you, I'm off to sort out my zipper technique.............

Monday, 24 February 2014


"A portrait of my children together, once a week, every week, in 2014."
 Sitting in the shade after dinner, it has been so very hot.  I am also beginning to realise that photographing them altogether is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I had some great shots for this week, but a certain someone is picking their nose in most of them!

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Friday, 21 February 2014

Retro cup love

A really lovely afternoon spent with a great friend.  We drank cool and refreshing drinks (it has been so hot) and chatted while the kids ran around the garden.
I ate her amazing homemade sundried tomato and red capsicum hummus with fresh bread, while she showed me how to make butter icing.
When the boys and I left she gave me a beautiful bunch of flowers and a box of Crown Lynn cups.  She knows me well, and knows how I feel about Crown Lynn cups.  Happy.
Thank you L.  I'm so lucky to have you as a friend xo

Joining Sarah Jane over at Chantille-Fleur for Tea party Tuesdays.
(2nd Tuesday of the month).


Thursday, 20 February 2014

A heart filled Valentine swap

This year is the year of the swap! I chickened out last year and watched on in envy with all the amazing and creative swaps floating about in blog land.  So this is the year I say yes!  And join in.  I have participated in four this month.  First up is Tracy's Valentine Swap.  A chance to send a parcel of heart themed treats off to a lucky someone and receive one too.

I was sent a wonderful parcel from Leonie - Kiwi at Heart blog - below is what I received.  A beautiful hand made card, cross stitch heart on canvas (such a clever idea) and my the most amazing flower bunting..........and you know how I feel about bunting.  There was also a huge bar of my favourite Whittaker's chocolate but that was eaten before I had a chance to photograph it all.  Oops.

Thank you so much Leonie for putting together such a crafty and thoughtful Valentines parcel.  Chuffed! xo

My parcel was sent to Chris from Loving Memory Bears.  You can see Chris's Valentines swap post here.
I made a felt heart with ribbon and put together a selection of heart shaped gingerbread cookies, chocolates, scented heart shape soap, heart patterned fabric and flowery ribbon.
I love receiving treats in the post but am really enjoying putting together a parcel too!

 Do you know of any other great swaps coming up?
I think I have it sorted now,  start on the making straight away and post off as early as you can.  I tend to leave everything till the last minute..........but I'm getting there.
Will share more swap goodies with you soon.
Excuse my photos,  using an old camera at the moment.  My camera that George threw in the fish tank is now well and truly dead........waiting for a new one.  This one is driving me mad!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A space to sew

I'm sorting out my sewing space this week.  I've realised it is best to have a dedicated space with everything set up and to hand if I'm going to keep on with my sewing.  The dining room table is not ideal as everything needs to be packed away for meal times and I tend to be quite messy when I sew as I like to spread things out.

So I have taken action - I have gate crashed Mr H's man cave next door, which was in a previous life the play room and then Bell's room before we had the flood in August last year.  I ordered a carpet square and had it over locked so if we have any more "water issues" it can be rolled up and things moved just encase the creek over flows again.

In recent months Mr H has put in a dart board, and it has become a dumping ground for toys and bikes etc.  So I had a clean out, installed the bikes in the sheds, moved the dumped items to the op shop or into the newly cleared out separate storage area.

Presto!  Sewing space.  I have promised Mr H I will keep my bunting and "granny stuff" to my side.  I've put my desk in front of the chimney breast, so come winter it should keep me warm.  I get a lovely view of the garden too, so I can keep an eye of the boys while they play and I sew.

Sew school started last week, and I have a bit of catching up to do.  So once the kids are in bed, I can pop next door and sew, sew sew!

Looking forward to showing you photos of the finished room when I'm done!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Last week, this week........and a party

Last week was busy!  Loads going on, a good kind of busy.  Driving everywhere with the kids, running errands, finishing off blog swap parcels and preparing for Tom's party.  He turned five on Valentines day - where does the time go?!
Saturday was party time.  We had a blast.  Kept it simple with a sausage sizzle and plates of watermelon.  For the cake I just baked a chocolate cake in a roasting dish.  Easy!  We hired a bouncy castle and face painter.  The piñata was a hit.
Sunday morning was spent playing with new Birthday toys.  We wandered up to our neighbours at midday for Sunday lunch.  I took a freshly baked cake and a jar of my homemade plum jam with us.  Such a nice feeling to be able to hand over something homemade.  After lunch we went and explored some of the 230 acres of farm land they have.  Much of it by golf cart which the kids just loved. 
This week we are visiting friends afterschool, a birthday to attend, my sewing space to sort out along with some catch up time with my Sew School work.  My sister arrives from Brisbane..........I feel like there is something else I'm meant to be doing???  I'm aiming for gardening time too.  And I need to clean the house.
That's me, how have you been?  Looking forward to spending a bit more time writing and reading blog posts.  Just love this space.
Have a lovely week, won't you?!

Sunday, 16 February 2014


"A portrait of my children together, once a week, every week, in 2014."
 Chilling in the early Sunday evening light............. it has been a really busy week and even busier but fun filled weekend.  We are all shattered!

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Gluten free sandwich bread

I was having a look through the Petite Kitchen website for some healthy lunchbox ideas for the school lunches when I came across the Gluten free sandwich bread recipe.  I like the idea of Gluten free but have never come across a bread, made or store (EXPENSIVE) bought that I like.

This recipe has only a handful of ingredients and was really easy to make.  But.......I'm NOT sure I would call this sandwich bread.  To me it is more "loaf" than bread.  I enjoyed it smothered with butter and washed down with a cup of tea.  Bell preferred it this way too.  The nutty smell is divine and you can really smell and taste the banana, so I think it would limit what fillings you would use.

Tomorrow in the school lunches I'm going to pop in a sandwich each using this "bread" with butter and jam and see if they like it.

It will definitely be a recipe I will continue to use, and add in other nuts and seeds.  I thought I may have left it in a little too long but when slicing it up it was super soft and not dry at all.

Lovely but give me a big chunk of white bread any day!

Gluten free sandwich bread

1 cup of almond or peanut butter
1 ripe banana, sliced in to pieces
2 free range eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

a handful of seed for decorating (optional)

Preheat the Oven to 180°C, and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, add the nut or seed butter, banana, eggs, baking soda and vinegar. Using a potato masher, mash all ingredients well and mix together until mixture resembles a smooth paste, you can also do this in a food processor.

Spoon the batter into the loaf tin and spread out until even on top. If decorating with seeds, scatter them evenly on top. Pop in to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before inverting on to a cooling rack.

*gluten free
*grain free
*wheat free
*dairy free
*nut free (if using seed butter)

Joining Sarah Jane over at Chantille-Fleur for Tea party Tuesdays.
(2nd Tuesday of the month).

Monday, 10 February 2014


"A portrait of my children together, once a week, every week, in 2014."
 Strawberry feasting...........

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Saturday, 8 February 2014



We finished the enclosure this morning, and were able to release our Bantams into their run.  They have plenty of space to forage and snoop about, and the shade of two peach trees to enjoy as well.

There is a shed attached for them to roost in, along with the nesting boxes.

Katy Pecky is still running about in the vineyard, not sure if we will get her back anytime soon.

Meanwhile Betty and Roseanna seem pretty happy.........will keep a close eye on them for now though.  Just incase they are plotting their escape!

Thanks so much for all your helpful advice on yesterdays post, really, really appreciated. xo

Friday, 7 February 2014

Hello ladies!


We have some new residents.  Thursday morning our neighbour Jill delivered three beautiful Bantams from her property, where she has them free ranging on her land.  She has plenty to spare and will be delivering another three this weekend.

After clipping the wings (thank you Em and Jason) we let them wander around their spacious new surroundings............and they escaped.  Have you ever had to chase bantams/chickens?  They are fast.  After much commando rolling among the vines (me), Mr H managed to catch two of them, the last one is still missing in action somewhere in the vineyard.

Mr H will finish the enclosure tomorrow morning (higher fencing is needed) and then we can let them out of their holding cage.

So for now I would like to introduce you to Betty (with the dark brown neck feathers) and Roseanna - fingers crossed we get Katy Pecky back.

And we have already had 2 eggs, one of them was laid while on the run!  How clever is that?!

Do you have Bantams?
Care to impart your Bantam wisdom on me?
Any helpful tips, hints and links?
Happy weekending to you!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


"A portrait of my children together, once a week, every week, in 2014."
I'm trying out some new strategies for the new school year.
One of them being a really early dinner- feeding them their main/biggest meal of the day after school, when they are at their most hungry is working out really well. 
After dinner it is outside with an ice cream or ice block and play time.  Bell will do homework and then comes outside to dance and run around with the boys.
A light supper of sandwiches and fruit after bath time followed by an earlier and less hurried bed time.

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Garden Share Collective

This is my first time joining in with Lizzie from The Strayed Table for the monthly Garden Share Collective.
"The Garden Share Collective is a group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills. Creating a monthly community to navigate through any garden troubles and to rival in the success of a good harvest we will nurture any beginner gardener to flourish. Each month we set ourselves a few tasks to complete by the next month, this gives us a little push to getting closer to picking and harvesting. The long-term goal of the Garden Share Collective is to get more and more people gardening and growing clean food organically and sustainably."

My camera is not playing ball today so my photos above are not current - I will however share my most recent garden photos in next months collective.

Growing in the garden I have:

Courgettes - just planted today

Herbs - basil, coriander, parsley, flat leaf parsley and a rosemary hedge.

Fruit trees - plum, apricot and peaches.  The plums and apricots have finished but the peaches are just starting to ripen now.

Expecting to harvest/sow:

Lettuce is ready.
Tiny tomatoes are starting to show.
Plenty of strawberries.
Peaches are a week or two away from being ready to pick.

To do list:

Put straw/lawn clippings down in the small vegetable garden.
Monthly weed and soil turning.
Trim back the rosemary hedge.
Plant in savoy cabbage again - this did really well in the large vegetable garden.  They were huge!
Large vegetable garden - currently empty but composting under layers of lawn clippings.  This needs to all be turned over.  I'm planning a garden path through the middle and a good layer of garden mulch put through in readiness to plant in the winter vegetables.  Would love to have this vegetable garden ready for planting by the end of February.

I would love to know how other gardener's stagger their plantings so that not all veg is ready at the same time???

I've also been planting up empty pots with pretty flowers.  We are on a vineyard so are surrounded by a lot of green.  I like to have colour around and being able to pick bunches for inside the house.  My marigolds around the washing line have flourished.  I have cut my small hydrangea plants right back and lots of new growth is coming through.  Roses continue you to grow, all year round.

Looking forward to next months garden update..........with plenty of photos!  Have a great week. xo


Joining in with Lizzie from Strayed from the table.

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