Thursday, 31 July 2014


Once it turned cold our champion egg layer Roseanna stopped laying.  She went through a broody stage, then she started to shed feathers.  After a bit of online research I learnt that egg production can cease with declining day lengths.  This bit of info here also made perfect sense -

"Molting and egg production are not mutually compatible, so when molting occurs, egg production ceases. A rest from egg laying allows the hen to restore its plumage condition by shedding old feathers and growing new ones. At the same time, the hen’s reproductive tract is rejuvenated, allowing it to increase its rate of egg production and produce higher quality eggs when it returns to lay. Under natural day lengths, molting tends to coincide with the change in season so that hens molt in the fall after they cease egg production due to declining day lengths".

Then in the weekend there was talk of Sunday Roasts if the chickens were not going to be productive............they must of heard because Monday while I was feeding them and changing their water I noticed a kind of grass hut under one of the peach trees and inside hiding sat two eggs.  I noticed later that day that Roseanna was sitting in there.

She has laid previously under the Asparagus plant but it is looking a little bare so she has found a cosier spot I think for the cooler months.

Betty our older one does not lay and the two younger ones are almost near the age where they will start to give us eggs.

So if there is talk again about turning my girls into Sunday Roasts I may have to start "planting" eggs to keep the troops happy! Wink!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The garden share collective - July

July is flying by and this is my very overdue July Garden post.  I've been harvesting in the garden but have yet to replant.  I have weeds that need pulling and soil that wants turning.  I didn't use any of my garlic and chilli spray this month and it shows, there are a lot of holes in the outer layers of my cabbages, bugs don't seem to bother the kale.  Strange.

I'm still finding my feet with my new part time job and making sure all the other day to day things are getting done.  The weather hasn't been great so I haven't been in the garden as much as I should.  I spending more time in the kitchen when I have spare time.

I have picked the last of the celery, some of which I have frozen to be added to soups and stews - the smell of home grown celery is so noticeably stronger and you can really taste the difference too.

There has been a burst of green capsicum growth and small bunches of broccoli.  The savoy cabbage is coming along nicely (this grew really well last year too).  The kale is looking strong and healthy.  I need a few more Kale recipes though so will have to ask Google.

Now I need to put in new plants for the coming months and just spend a bit more time getting my hands mucky.

Growing in the garden I have:

Savoy cabbage
Strawberries - STILL!

Herbs - none at the moment.

Expecting to harvest/sow:


To do list:

Same as last month..........

Weeding and soil turning.
Another spray of my chilli and garlic spray.
Sheep poo in both gardens.
New plantings

Happy gardening!


Joining in with Lizzie from Strayed from the table.

"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."


Sunday, 27 July 2014


"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Tom - he is turning into quite the protector, always concerned about George and wanting to know if he is happy at kindy and has friends to play with. 
George - loves kindy, loves life.  Such a free spirit this one.  As long as he has a full tum and something with wheels in his hands, all is right in the world.

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Thursday, 24 July 2014

A list

Making:  hot chocolates with a side of marshmallows and biscuits.
Cooking: poached eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach for breakfast......when time allows.
Drinking: right now a cold glass of local chardonnay.
Reading: the news online, more than I should and getting upset, so hard not too.
Wanting: new shoes - but not finding any I like.
Looking: at my poor neglected garden.......this weekend I will give it some attention.
Playing: racetracks, planes and cars.  As you do when you have little boys in the house.
Deciding: on a holiday destination for the next school holidays???
Wishing: I was a morning person.  I'm ALWAYS the last one up in our house.
Enjoying: cosy evening fires and DVD deliveries.
Waiting: for the next batch of DVD's - love online deliveries.
Liking: that we are going out for dinner in the weekend.  Can't wait.
Wondering: about ideas for our wedding and thinking we should look at setting a date.  Exciting.
Loving:  my weekly pay packet.
Pondering: if it is too early to start putting things away for Christmas and where to hide them.
Watching: Breaking Bad, Modern Family.....oh and Planes and FROZEN.
Hoping:  my little man's tummy bug hurry's up and leaves.
Marvelling: at how much energy a certain little boy has on not a lot of know who you are.
Needing: some nights of un-interrupted sleep.
Smelling: clean washing drying in front of the fire.
Wearing: "nice things" a few days a week for my new job.....and our neighbour not recognising me!
Following: the Garden Share Collective - and finding motivation to get back into my garden.
Noticing: more grey hairs.
Knowing: I'm right 95% of the time and Mr H the other 5%
Thinking: I hope he is not reading this.
Feeling: busy, full and content.
Admiring: my neighbours caravan.  I want to put it in our garden under the apricot trees.
Buying: Birthday pressies for someone who turns 40 next week.
Getting: into the groove of working part-time, and trying my hardest to be organised.
Bookmarking: online recipes, homeware sites, and holiday destination ideas.
Opening: emails to find lovely messages from other bloggers.  Bloggers are awesome!
Giggling: at the "toilet humour" of small boys and joining in.
Feeling: goosed.

A list via Pip.

Monday, 21 July 2014




"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."

 Back to kindy and school for these two today - bit of a shock to the system with an early start after having two weeks of lazy mornings.  I'm already thinking ahead to the next school holidays......hello Term 3!

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Weekend baking


 I now do most of my baking in the weekend and tend to bake more in Winter.  I like to hide out in the kitchen Saturday and Sunday afternoons, while the kids are outside running around, tucked up inside playing or watching a movie.

Today was grey and a little bleak, and with heaving fruit trees over the fence it was time to get into the kitchen for a bit of baking time.

Tom was keen to help out so we made an Orange sponge cake with icing along with currant and citrus biscuits.  Both recipes we used were just a basic sponge and biscuit recipe that I changed a little and I needed to use currants as I seem to have two bags of them in the cupboard.

 Bell is at her cousins tonight and the boys are in bed early.  Mr H and I are working our way through the "Breaking Bad" series on DVD so we will watch that this evening while enjoying a takeaway Curry.

Sunday I'm hoping to do a bit of over due tidying in the garden, blitz the housework and make sure everyone is sorted for going back to kindy and school on Monday.

Hope you are having a good weekend where you are. xo


Friday, 18 July 2014

Out East



We are nearing the end of the school holidays here.  It has been a really good 2 weeks, and as usual it has flown by.
Today we took a drive around the coast, just an hour north of our town, where the landscape turns a little wild and rugged.  Green rolling hills, sheep and cattle galore.
The wind was freezing so we layered up and ventured out for a walk along Tolaga Bay Wharf.  The boys loved it, Tom treated us to his version of the Haka.  I clung onto little hands in the hope that no one would go "swimming".  It is a popular spot for wharf jumping and fishing over summer.  We will come back again when the sun is warm and shining.
The views are breathtaking, even when it's cold and a little grey.
Afterwards we headed into the small town nearby for pies (with the best ever buttery pastry), hot chips and steaming cups of coffee.
According to Tom it was "the best day ever"................and I couldn't agree more xo

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Easy little bread

I've tried a few different bread recipes my favourites being No Knead bread and a Nut butter loaf (delicious but expensive to make too often) - with the No Knead bread I found it's always best if it is eaten straight away as once it cools it can be quite hard.  I tried this Easy little bread recipe from my Grans Kitchen cookbook and it makes a delicious loaf, firm on the outside and super soft on the inside.  It went down a real treat.

If you haven't made bread before this is a really good starting point.  A perfect everyday bread, yummy with sweet or savoury toppings or just with a good swipe of butter.

Easy little bread

You will need:

1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Melted butter and oil for brushing


Mix the flours, oats, and salt in a large bowl.

In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the honey and set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast blooms and swells a bit - 5 - 10 minutes.

Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.

Brush a loaf pan generously with some of the melted butter and oil. Turn the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C.  Brush with oil and butter and bake the bread for 35-40 minutes or until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Remove from oven, and turn the bread out of the pan quickly.

Makes 1 small loaf.


Sunday, 13 July 2014


"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Tom - A Sunday drive to a look out point in town, a clear blue winters day, the views were stunning.  He loved it up there.
George - this little guy (with the possum eyes) can walk for miles!  His stamina astounds me.  We found a path at the top of the hill and followed it down into the bush, on and on we ventured through fallen leaves and boggy mud.  He loved it and promptly fell asleep on the car ride home.

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Friday, 11 July 2014

Luscious lemon slice

I had a friend come over one afternoon this week with her three girls for an overdue catch up, some serious tea drinking and baked treats.

I had been out all morning and needed to make something quick before they arrived.  I tried this lemon slice recipe and it was delicious.  The next time I make it I'm going to add a little more lemon juice and some grated rind as I prefer a more a lemony taste.  Even a lemon icing drizzled on top would be good.  It only takes a few minutes to prepare and 30 minutes in the oven.

Making treats like this makes me realise how much I love good old fashioned baking using butter and sugar.  Yum!

Luscious lemon slice

You will need:

1 cup self-raising flour
½ cup caster sugar
60 g butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
60 g butter


For the base: sift flour into bowl, add sugar, stir well to combine. Rub in butter and add egg to form soft dough. Press two thirds into tin.

For the filling: place all filling ingredients into small pot and cook over low heat till thick.  Pour the hot filling over the dough in tin. Crumb remaining dough over top.

Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes.


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