Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

This week in the kitchen...

The Mr. caught a load of garfish so I made Thai fishcakes (sorry no pictures of the actual fish cakes - I was too busy eating them!)  I'm a big fan of garfish for a couple of reasons: firstly they are sustainable since they are small and prolific; secondly they are really good for you since you can eat the small bones which are a great source of calcium;  and most importantly they are very yummy!  Since I was making the fish cakes for the kids I popped the gar through my grinder (after I'd gutted them and removed the heads and spines) on the fine setting to make sure all the bones were thoroughly crushed.  

The Mr. also caught some crabs which we used in a creamy pasta sauce.  The kids had great fun playing with the live crabs and examining all the different parts.  I think it's really good to get them involved with their food so they have a sense of where it's coming from.

My new favourite way to use excess veggies from our weekly veg box is in calzones.  They're a bit easier for the kids to manage than a regular pizza and you can hide things like rainbow chard, that they wouldn't normally be too keen on, inside!!  Plus the left overs make a great packed lunch for the Mr. to take to the building site the next day.

As always shoot me an email or comment if you'd like more info or recipes for any of the above.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I like big butt(on)s and I cannot lie...

This is my take on the Oliver+S Sunday Brunch Jacket.  I made it with some linen I bought while we were in Japan and I bound the seams with some pink and white stripy cotton I had in my stash.  The jacket is supposed to have four little buttons (a bit like a band jacket) but the proportions looked a bit off next to the small polkadots so I switched them for one big button.  To be honest I couldn't really be bothered sewing four button holes and I doubt Minty would ever sit still long enough for me to do them all up anyway!  

Apologies for the slightly crummy photos - my pneumonia patient wasn't interested in moving to a better lighting situation so we had to make do!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Conversations with Minty... lessons in generosity


Minty decided she wanted to wrap up one of her (half used) sticker books as a present for her best friend Aerin...

Me: you know if you give it away you won't get it back.  If you give it to Aerin she will get to keep it.
Minty: that's ok.  I don't mind.  I like to give things away.
Me: that's a good way to be.
Minty: I like to give away Turi's things to me.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Turi enjoys the birthday balloons in his PJs (our new family uniform)

Sorry for dropping off the radar.  Minty has pneumonia.  I thought pneumonia was just one of those things like scurvy that parents use to threaten you into being more sensible, 'if you don't put your jacket on before you go out you'll catch pneumonia!'.  Apparently people actually do get it in 'real life' too.  She should be fine - just needs to have plenty of rest and antibiotics.

While I was gone I turned 29.  I spent the night of my birthday sleeping on the floor next to the toilet while my insides tried to find their way outside.  No I was not hung over.  Just another lovely side effect of the (swine/avian/rodent??) flu we've been fighting for the last three weeks.

29 is a funny age.  It's the last year before I turn officially 'old' and I feel like I should be making some kind of bucket list for my 20s.  Strangely though I can't think of anything to put on it.  I'm not sure whether that means I'm happy or just boring.  To be honest I feel pretty old already.

Just this morning I found myself listening to Alanis Morissett's Jagged Little Pill.  The album was released back when I was an awkward, angsty teen and at the time Alanis was the embodiment of cool.  Now I find the songs whiney rather than relatable and as a mother the whole album is a little scary.  It's like a musical warning that if I mess up my kids enough, when they're adults they'll write songs about how it's all my fault 'we'll love you just the way you are… if you're perfect', while they fling their greasy hair about, bum cigarettes, get into kabala and have an eating disorder.  Clearly I am mentally middle aged.

One thing I am going to try and do this year is take better care of myself.  I know it's a cliche but since having the kids I've put my health as a low priority.  For instance, in the morning I'm usually so busy making sure everyone else eats a balanced breakfast, that I end up scoffing a piece of toast and a coffee while I bundle everyone into the car.  From now on my body is a temple… so only come worshipping if you bring offerings of chocolate!  I jest… (sort of)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

why I had kids...

IMG_3631.jpg IMG_3636.jpg

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tablecloth cubby house

I've been wanting to make an under-the-table tablecloth cubby house for ages now but it isn't really practical at our house.  Our dining table currently doubles as the Mr's work desk so we don't really want to encourage little people to hang out there.  So when a friend was trying to come up with a present for her daughter's fourth birthday I seized my chance and talked her into it!  To be fair, she was a little apprehensive about the scale of the project and I cajoled her into it with my excitement and enthusiasm.  I may have even used the phrase, 'it will be quick and easy!'.

In hindsight I wouldn't exactly say it was 'quick'.  It took quite a bit longer than I thought it was going to and there was a lot of math involved as we nutted out all the sizes from my dream house sketch!  But seeing as we were working on it as a collaborative effort it wasn't too bad and I think the end result was worth it.  The kids had great fun at the party popping in and out of the new cottage!

The main structure of the house is made with a bunch of old sheets.  We used purple for the 'roof' since it was going to have food on top and we didn't want it to look instantly dirty.  There are four chair flaps on the sides so that most of the chairs can still be pushed under the table when it is in use.  The door is a gorgeous floral vintage sheet and the appliqued flowers are made with some liberty scraps I had in my stash.

If I'm honest I'm pretty unhappy with these photos.  They don't really do the play house justice (it is even more adorable in real life!).  I didn't really have the right lens on my camera and the kids weren't really in the mood to cooperate amongst the party revelry.  I might have another go at it another day but for now I'm trying to relax and not be so much of a perfectionist!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


For the kids' playgroup snack this morning I made these carrot muffins.  But in an epic moment of parental failure I put walnuts in the muffins… it is of course a 'nut free' playgroup.  So rather than risk causing anaphylaxis in someone else's child I rummaged in our empty pantry for an alternative.    Poor Minty and Turi ended up with a torn up tortilla left over from last night's dinner… and I forgot their drink bottle.  We were 40 minutes late.  I'm pretty sure the kids looked like victims of serious neglect, and their sad faces upon opening the lunchbox aroused pity from the other parents, who were kind enough to share some of their own kid's lunches!  So on the cosmic parental report card I think I'm scoring a D minus today.  Oh well - I'll try and make it up to them tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Sorry for the disappearance last week.  The whole family was struck down with the flu and I spent most of the week comatose on the couch.

These are some photos I took before we all got sick.  I realised it is seriously hard to take good shots of kids jumping on a trampoline - especially if you are also jumping on the trampoline with your camera at the same time.  This is clearly a skill I need to work on.

Here is my favourite conversation with Minty from the week, which happened while I was trying to give her some sage advice about relationships:

Me: you know your friends will still like you even if you stand up for yourself sometimes

Minty: but sometimes they'd like me to sit down