Sunday, February 28, 2010

koalas and cherry stew

We spent the morning at the Koala Conservation Centre here on the island. Such a fun morning out.

It has recently been renovated and it is such a vast improvement. The old visitors centre was basically a grotty shed complete with huntsman spiders and the occasional marauding rodent. Highlights used to include taxidermy koalas and 'hot nuts' (pretty much the only food they used to sell). Nowadays the building is about four times the size, has it's own cafe and although the taxidermy remains it has been placed tastefully behind glass. I do miss the old building as it had a certain rustic outback charm, but considering the exorbitant price of entry tickets the sleek new centre certainly has a lot more to offer. I should probably also mention that I'm married to a wild haired ranger so I don't actually have to pay to get in.

Minty loved running wildly along the tree top boardwalks searching for koalas. Turi wasn't as impressed and spent most of the outing asleep or crying in his sling… oh well.

I just wanted to point out Minty's groovy trousers. They were made by Madeleine Somers, a Melbourne designer whose range is called Cherry Stew. It's so nice to be able to dress Minty in fun locally made clothes. Check out Madeleine's blog to see some of her other funky clothes. (In case you were wondering the top is Alex and Charli.)

And some gratuitous shots of the kids in the car on the way home...

Disclosure: I wasn't paid or compensated in any way for mentioning any of these products - I just genuinely liked them and wanted to share them with you!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hooray for clean sheets!

I've heard people say that there is nothing better than a freshly washed quilt, all crinkly and fresh... personally I can think of a few things. Some days, however, in the battle to keep the house tidy, and small people happy and content we have to count small victories. And so hooray for clean sheets and quilts today! This is the floor quilt I made when Turi was born. The fabric is mostly Heather Ross mendocino, lots of pretty mermaids, octopi and seahorses.

And here is a picture of my tiny dancer enjoying the afternoon sunshine. She's wearing another Sublime hand knit from her granny.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Turi's stylish new ride?

I've had a crush on these Sakura Bloom slings ever since I saw this precious video...

Now that they are available here in Australia I am really tempted. I'm sure Turi would love to snuggle up in such a stylish ride.

Only trouble is I already own three slings. And so I pose the question, how many slings is too many?

In my experience each of my slings has different strengths and applications. To expect one sling to perform all functions seems unrealistic. It would be like expecting to be able to wear one jumpsuit for every occasion for the rest of your life (something that really only seems plausible in sci-fi films).

For now though I think I'll just have to covet this sling from afar...

Disclosure: this post was not sponsored or paid for in any way

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

terribly two - Minty runs away in a cute hand knit

OK I'm having some serious disciplinary issues here at the moment. Minty is intent on running away from home. She tried to make a break for it 5 times today. And when I say 'run' I do mean it literally. She sprints off down the road and I can hardly keep up with her. I'm really at my wits end. I can't turn my back for a second or she is off. She slipped out the front door while I was taking out the rubbish, dashed away from me while I was loading our library books into the car and ran away twice on the way home from the park. She even made a dash for it while I was taking these photos. One minute I was snapping away taking pictures of her in the front yard when suddenly she picked up the pace and was off sprinting down the street with no shoes on. She made it the full length of our street before I finally caught hold of her.

At least she was looking seriously cute while she was running. This is a cardigan my mum made for her. Such a sweet shade of pistachio - she looks like a tiny grown up if that makes any sense at all. The pattern is the Sublime sugar plum cardi and is knitted in sublime baby cotton kapok dk.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

something to make you smile...

Minty and I are loving this video. Doesn't it just make you want to wear some aqua sequins?

Monday, February 22, 2010

two - an open letter to the birthday girl

Dearest little Minty,

it seems like a lifetime ago that you were born and I held you for the very first time. I could not have imagined the sweet little vagabond you would be by two. What is like being Minty and two?

At two everyone is still your friend. When someone pushes you at the park, or the boys pull your hair at play group you don't cry, as all of life is still a joyful game. You are yet to be pinned down by expectation and conventions. Meal times are often spent dancing around the table rather than sitting at it. When someone tells a story you feel like it is being told to you alone no matter how many other kids are in the room. You can often be heard shouting 'NO WAY KNOWN!' at the top of your lungs as you dart around the furniture at full speed like a wild pig trying to escape capture. You still think no one can see you when you hide under your 'disappearing cloth' (a red hanky), and that when you ride your rocking horse you are going so fast that no one can catch you. You dream of flying like (Mary) 'Poppins'. You LOVE to dance, turing somersaults and trying to do the splits. You can climb like a monkey, using your toes to grip the bars of the baby gate and launching yourself over. When we play hide and seek you sit on the couch with the couch cushion on top of you so all I can see are your toes. You are a caring little soul, sharing your food with your toys, wrapping them up, burping them and tucking them into bed.

I can't wait to spend another year with you and watch you grow...

Love mum xoxo

The cake: double chocolate chip cake with raspberry butter cream frosting.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

on my desk today

Here's a sneak peek at what I've been slowly working on in the past couple of weeks. I thought by outing myself here it might give me the motivation I need to get a wriggle on with these. Hopefully I'll have pictures of the final products in use sometime next week.

Check back here tomorrow to see pics of the giant cupcake I baked... that's right people I said giant cupcake...

Friday, February 19, 2010

sibling rivalry (no children were harmed in the shooting of this post)

This photo nicely captures Minty and Turi's relationship at the moment.

And a little Turi love just because he is beautiful!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

in which we make dumplings and I accept that my child is not a genius

Today little Minty had her two year old assessment at the health centre. Let's just say she doesn't perform well under pressure. While we were in the waiting room she was prattling on saying, 'health centre' and other equally articulate phrases but the minute we went inside for the assessment she became a virtual mute. The health nurse brought out some crayons and asked her to draw circles and lines but Minty sat quietly clutching her crayon and looking at her like she had three heads. Of course when we got home Minty got out her crayons and paper and created me a lovely picture. I feel like I spent the whole assessment making unconvincing claims about all the things she can do at home. Never mind... I'm not really sure why I always feel the need to impress. Minty will always be my sweet, funny, angel even if she does decide to give her best impression of Marcel Marceau when we are out in public.

For dinner we made 'pork' dumplings inspired by a recipe we found here. I had a little bit of beef mince left in the fridge so we used that instead of pork. I can't get over how easy this recipe was. I had always been a little intimidated by dumplings and had never considered making them myself but seriously guys this was basic. Not to mention the fact that it was such an economical meal. With a tiny bit of meat (150 grams was enough to make 8 dumplings) and some asian inspired veggies thrown on the side we had a really quick and yummy dinner. The prep work can be done ahead of time - I managed to make the dough and filling in a rare moment of peace when the sun and moon aligned and both children napped at the same time, then bunged them in the fridge until I was ready to do the assembling at dinner.

I have to admit that Minty did need a little coaxing to eat these. I told her the meat was a present wrapped inside the dough and somehow this made the whole meal much more appetising. Her complete aversion to spring onions however continues and whenever she found one tucked into the meat 'present' she looked at me aghast as though I had slipped her a little arsenic on a powdered doughnut a la 'Flowers in the Attic'. I'm wondering whether to persevere or find some substitute next time I make these.

If we can overcome the spring onion issue I'm thinking dumplings may well become a regular on our dinner menu.