31 October 2011

point + shoot {weekend la la}

We visited my mum at her new house on Sunday. After three difficult years, it seems she has found her place. Her place to be herself, to enjoy, sit back and breathe in. This house, this land, it suits her perfectly.


Buddha in the garden.


The kids checking out the cubby house. Most recently, it's been used as a chook house! My mum is planning to restore it to it's former purpose, and maybe raise it up... it's a little snake-ish.


This is the view from the back yard. Sigh...


Gate down to the creek, where her water is pumped up from.


Bees making sweet honey.


Look at this gorgeous old pot belly stove!


Oh, I love this new home that is now part of our family. I just felt so much joy as we turned in to the driveway. As we drove down to visit, we realised we had not been in the area for almost three years, since my parents seperated. So little has changed, yet so many changes have occured. We drove the tiny winding country roads, the green just bursting out at us, and it felt like home. Again.

The kids played with old toys and books that my brother and I used to enjoy. O loved peeing out on the grass. We spotted koalas and we tried to pat the cows. We played electric guitar and M laughed hysterically as she played with a harmonica. I am so looking forward to my kids enjoying building memories in their grandmother's house in the years to come. Beautiful visit.

Joining in with point+shoot over here.

How was your wekend? What did you get up to?

28 October 2011

The most beautiful girl in the world

Just because, well, she is.
The most beautiful girl in the world.
Ridiculously divine.

27 October 2011

What's for dinner?

After the monumental effort to come up with last week's menu, this week we managed to come up with seven meals quite quickly. OK, we cheated one night!

Ribs (Itay) /kangaroo steak (me and the kids) with asparagus and salad
Rice paper rolls and prawn & pork wontons
Honey, soy and sesame chicken with satay sauce, rice and vegetables
Steak sandwiches
Fajitas
Fish and chips
Dinner out
All these dinners are standards in our house, no new recipes this week. The braised chicken last week was actually quite delicious, with flavours of smoked paprika and lemon.

What is for dinner at your house this week?

26 October 2011

Easy Banana Muffins

Seriously, this is the easiest and most delicious recipe for banana cake ever.  The kids love to help with this one, and it uses minmal kitchen stuff. Less washing up!

125g butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
2 to 3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/4 cup of milk

* melt the butter, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan
* add mashed banana, stir through
* add eggs, mix in well
* stir in flour
* add milk, mix lightly
* pour in to muffin cases or a loaf pan or a cake tin
* bake at 170 degrees for (up to) 40 minutes.

Notes:

*I freeze any bananas that are going black, then defrost, peel and mash for this recipe.
* The muffins we just cooked took about 25-30 minutes. I think is depends on your oven, so keep an eye on it.

Photos straight out of camera - an activity while the boyo was sleeping. I love her apron and glove, so cute! A birthday present from my cousin and family.





So, no photos of how they turned out. Let's just say they were delicious!

And she loved playing with the rest of muffin cases while they were cooking.

25 October 2011

What I'm reading right now

Here's another pile of books. What I'm reading right now, intending to read or just finished.


Skinny - Ibi Kaslik. An interesting read, am only a few pages in so far.

The Book of It - Bev Aisbett. A friend recommended this one, it's 10 steps to conquering anxiety. Originally she suggested it to help M, but I might find it useful myself. Yet to read this one.

The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak. OK, I'm stalled on this one. So many have said this is a fabulous book but for some reason, I'm stuck on page 57 and I can't decide whether to keep going. Thoughts?

Four of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris - I've now finished book 11 of this series. Love them. I am a latecomer to this series and I haven't yet watched the TV series. I will definitely be hiring this to watch though! Addictive reading.

Mud, Sweat and Tears - Bear Grylls. This is one I'm yet to read. His TV show makes me cringe and laugh all at the same time. I figured his story would be an interesting read.

real living magazine - I love my subscription to this magazine!

What are you reading at the moment? Do you think I should keep going with The Book Thief?

24 October 2011

point+shoot {weekend la la}

Another Saturday at the beach... But this time, we spotted an enormous starfish! I wish I had thought to include something to show the size of this amazing creature. I've never seen one so large. I'm trying to think what to compare it to... OK, it was about the size of an A4 piece of paper. Big, right?



Do you recognise this skyline?


Another pic of that very cool starfish.


No great photos from the farmers market, I had O on my hip at the same time. But how cool is this one above: the guy is wearing a welding face mask and protective gear because he's mixing a huge vat of fresh popcorn.


Sunny rockmelons.

I'm including this photo of O because in the last week, it seems I've only posted photos of the girl!

What else did we get up to?

Itay had a surf.
We visited the farmers markets.
I did a bit of work.
We did the shopping.
We cooked and did the dinner prep for the rest of the week.
We wiped one little boy's nose and listened to him cough.
We raced same little boy to the toilet a million times. Yep, we're in the midst of toilet fun!
(He's doing brilliantly, with only a couple of accidents in two weeks.)

How was your weekend?

Joining in with point+shoot over here with Lou.

22 October 2011

five delights

If I had a day to myself, I would need just a few delights to make me happy.


The beach. The day would be sunny, warm and the water would be clear and blue.

A very, very good book. After a dip in the ocean, I’d squeeze my hair out, take a sip of water and lie back in the sunshine and devour my book. Dip in ocean. Read. Repeat.

Seafood for lunch. Eaten in a café overlooking the ocean.

Afternoon… I would relax on some comfortable pillows and a soft cotton blanket on the grass, maybe in the shade if the day was quite warm. I’d still be reading and I’d have a glass of green tea infused with jasmin petals by my side. I’d have quite a few squares of bitter dark chocolate too.

beach. books. seafood. green tea. chocolate.
Five delights.

Imagine a day all to yourself. What would your five delights be, on that day?

21 October 2011

Whirly girl

She is... growing up. So beautiful. So fiesty. So opinionated. So creative.




Look at that hair! (And the boy is beyond cute too.)

Her waking moments are fulled with craft, colour and creativity. She dances and sings constantly and many of her converations are held in song. She has a temper which flicks like a switch and she cannot seem to calm her outbursts. She sobs in her room, croaking "I can't sop crying, Mummy", and she needs a reminder to use her yoga breaths to calm her self.

She asks hilarious, thought provoking and downright annoying questions. "Mummy, did Julia Guillard tell the sushi shop owner to put the Sushi Train here?". That one had me almost had me snorting soy sauce out my nose!

She sleeps well these days, taking herself to the toilet and putting her music back on if she wants it. She sleeps with a bedraggled pink poodle these days, who is desperately in need of a wash. She no longer uses her beloved button however... she has begun to suck her thumb at night. Seriously! Any ideas to stop this?

She is extremely particular about clothing and has just started to show interest in other colours, besides the dreaded pink. I know better than to buy her shorts for summer, it's dresses and skirts with her, all the way.

She is affectionate, challenging and maturing so fast. Love you, little big girl.

20 October 2011

What's for dinner?

I'm still loathing meal planning, shopping and cooking. Oh, for the days of "what will we have for dinner?" just hours before the actual consumption of food... and eating what ever we wanted! I know I need to snap out of this attitude quickly, holding on to these feeelings and loathing even the idea of a necessary task just seems to make it all that much harder.

This week:

Lamb cutlets with salad and garlic bread
Butterflied chicken with lemongrass, ginger & chilli rub with potatoes and vegetables
Pasta with caper, olive, anchovy and tomato sauce
Lasagne with ricotta and fetta instead of Bechemel sauce plus salad
Baked fish, spiced potatoes and asparagus
Home made pizza
Braised chicken in broth - a new recipe

What are you having for dinner this week?

19 October 2011

Orientation

Big school! My girl was super excited in anticipation of her orientation morning at big school yesterday. She dressed herself in all her pink finery and we bundled in to the car. We dropped O at daycare first and then I answered a million questions on the seven minute drive to school. We found M’s name sticker and then waited out the front of the classrooms.

When the teachers announced it was time for the Preppies-to-be to head in for a story, M stoood up, gave me a couple of hugs and then walked in, all by herself. Some parents were taking their kids in to settle them, some children were upset and didn’t want to go in at all. My girl, this girl who cried each morning for three years at daycare, merrily skipped in, all by herself.

I smiled. I grinned. My girl! The parents headed upstairs for a chat with the Linguistics teacher, some info and tips about starting school and then tea and coffee. Soon enough, the hour was up. My girl was peering out, waiting excitedly for me. “Look what I drew! And I did board sticking and a story and I met a girl but I don’t remember her name and which class will I be in and can I stay here today and Mum can you smell that? Is that flowers that smell pretty?”. Phew. She likes it. She likes it!

We bought her some ginormous uniforms. She tried them on at home that afternoon and I cried. My baby. Seriously! She looks so GROWN UP. Like a school kid. I imagine her coming home from school next year, wispy hair, socks fallingn around her ankles, paint on her hands. I hope she’ll tell me what she did that day and what made her happy and sad. My baby is going to school next year and boy, is she ready!

17 October 2011

point+shoot {weekend la la}

Ahh, Sunday. Beach Sunday. Yum Cha Sunday.

After a hail storm on Saturday afternoon, waking up to sweet sunshine on Sunday was just bliss. After a slow start, we headed to the beach. The water is warming up and the kids are in their element. It has taken a few years, but M is finally just loving the water. To her Aba's delight, she is getting in to the little waves on her new birthday body board and is becoming more confident.

O was in a grumpy little mood and didn't want to play in the rock pools. This photo below cracks me up!

Here she is, body boarder's stance:



We love Yum Cha. The kids love it too, and their tastes are expanding each time we go. We often go for Yum Cha lunch after a morning at the beach. yum!



How was your weekend?  I hope it was a lovely couple of days for you.

We have M's Orientation Day at "big school" today, much excitement here!
Joining in with point+shoot over here.

15 October 2011

In sickness and in health

My little guy is in his cot, sleeping. It's early for him to sleep. Who knows how the rest of the day will play out. He woke up this morning happy and smiling, snotty as usual but he seemed himself. We headed out to do our shopping and by the dairy aisle, he was sad and floppy. He became progressively sadder and looked unwell, and we raced to finish the shopping. He fell asleep as soon as we lay him in his cot and now I sit.
For me, sick children are one of the hugest challenges in this role of parenting. I worry, I sit up, I listen out. I can smell an oncoming cold on my child's breath. I am sure most parents feel this same heavy weight when their children are sick. And I cannot even bring myself to imagine what it is like those families who experience extremely serious sickness and disease in their lives. Health is just so ridiculously important, isn't it?

It will be a very quiet weekend for us, I am sure. After the fun of birthdays and reunions, we have nothing planned and so we'll snuggle at home. Here's hoping the little boy is back to himself very, very soon.


14 October 2011

Glow

Once upon a time, I used to dance. I went to dance parties in warehouses and clubs and I loved, loved, loved to dance. I could never seem to track down the person who sold the glow sticks though. Seriously, they've always been a mystery to me and when I did get my hands on one, I kept in in the freezer afterwards. I'm not sure if this is an urban myth, but I was told that the freezer "kept the glow". I'm pretty sure it didn't, it just meant that when we defrosted our sharehouse freezer, we just had lots of really cold coloured plastic sticks.
Now I know where the secret stash is held. The junk shop, otherwise known as the $2 shop. I went crazy. I love glow sticks! We played with them in the bath and ran around the house with them. I played with long exposures and then we hid them around the room. What fun! The glow stick, de-mystified. 


11 October 2011

sunset + surprise

Driving home from kindy a few nights ago, I saw this beautiful light pouring down just as the sun was setting. I took a quick photo with my phone and then zoomed in for another shot.


Just look at this second photo - can you see the moon there? I'm not sure what that red aura is, a trick of light.


Isn't it gorgeous? I was amazed when I looked at the photos later and spotted the moon.

Since joining Instagram, I find myself taking more quick photos on my phone and seeing the world in a slightly more detailed and interesting way. I stop more often, look closely and absorb the quirky stuff that makes up my world. Are you on Instagram? Let me know - I'm @blythe_life and I'll follow you back.

10 October 2011

point + shoot {weekend la la}

This was a very pink weekend. The 5th birthday party celebrations were just about as pink as can be, and she loved every minute!





My creation. She requested a princess castle almost a year ago and here it is. My first attempt at baking and decorating anything remotely complicated. Although it is indeed very dodgy, I am proud! There are lumps, bumps, a ridiculous backwards lean and would you check out the engineering on the turrets?! Regardless, she loved it. At bed time, as I kissed her goodnight, she told me she nearly burst in to tears when she saw the cake. It made my day. I'm so glad it made hers. Happy birthday, darling M. I love you this much.

Joining in with point + shoot over here with Lou.

7 October 2011

Pomegranate

Aren’t these little jewels pretty? Pomegranate seeds. Last week was Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year. We celebrated in a low key but lovely dinner with two couples who are also “Ausraelis”, that is, Aussie girls and Israeli guys. There are a few reasons behind eating pomegranate seeds.
According to my research, one of the traditions is to eat a "new fruit" – meaning, a fruit that has recently come into season but that we have not yet had the opportunity to eat. This ritual reminds us to appreciate the fruits of the earth and being alive to enjoy them. A pomegranate is often used as this new fruit. It is also hoped that our good deeds in the ensuing year will be as plentiful as the seeds of the pomegranate.
I find out something new every time we celebrate a tradition, no matter how low-key our approach is. And this one is lovely... And it tastes fabulous too!

Somewhere, over the rainbow

I arrived home after the high school reunion on Sunday afternoon, tired beyond belief. I'd had a few hours sleep but I was just exhausted - the kind of tired when you know you shouldn't be driving and oh... I have to parent. And I have to parent well, because my kids haven't seen me since yesterday and they want to do stuff. We were outside doing some stuff, when M pointed out this rainbow. The simple delights of an afternoon at home in the backyard.

I was still tired, but what a pretty sight.

6 October 2011

Part 4:: The Wedding in Israel


Here we are, our family of four, all polished and scrubbed up.


  Me and my man.


The kidlets. M in her element, O looking slightly doubtful and
also M may be squashing his hand a bit. Or maybe even really hard.


Flower girl extraordinaire!


The little dude. The tie was a bit of a lark, it came with the shirt and I never thought he would wear it. When he saw Itay putting his on, he jumped to grab his and was thrilled that he and his Aba both had ties on! He actually wore it all night.


Safta Mattie (Itay's grandmother) with M and cousin Noya.


Me and my little chomp.

The bride, my new sister-in-law, Hani. M was enraptured, she stroked the bride's dress and followed her around all night. "Mummy, when I grow up I want to be a bride just like Hani!"