Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Favourite Girl In The World

The morning I snapped these photos, we were off to visit Nana. Little lady was babbling away in the back seat and I was rush, rush, rushing, after dropping the boys to school and trying to keep up with the dozens of thoughts that run through my mind at any one time. When I turned around to glance at my girl, she had hold of one of her brother's Fireman Sam trucks and catching my eye, she returned one of her million dollar smiles. She then proceeded to hug the truck close to her neck and face, patting it like it was her baby doll. I honestly sat there for a minute and just held onto that moment. The sweetness of her and the little personality she is revealing to us, a fraction more every day. These are the times I want to remember the most. Because I think times like this one are the kind that I remember from my own childhood. When my beautiful mum would say to me, "you are my favourite girl in the world". And she could say that to me with complete abandon, after raising six sons before me. And I get it now, more than ever, because it's exactly the way I feel about our darling Bonny. 





Thursday, July 23, 2015

Zucchini Slice

I used to make this recipe years ago, when Angus first started eating solid food. And I've been meaning for it to make a comeback in the meal rotation for a while. But with Winter upon us and little appetites being affected by illness and teething, it was a must to whip one of these up to have at the ready. Because that is the brilliant thing about this slice, it is versatile. It can be eaten hot or cold...and is delicious either way. Great as a snack to take on the run or have as a meal with a side salad. The vegies can be substituted with any number of alternatives...just add a cup of peas, corn, capsicum, spinach, shallots, cooked pumpkin or sweet potato. And of course, bacon or ham also go down a treat for a tasty addition. Perfect for children and adults...and I can confirm it gets the nod from fussy 15 month olds with sore gums too! Definitely putting this one back on high rotation. 

Zucchini Slice

1 onion, finely chopped
2 large zucchinis, grated
1 cup cheese, grated
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup olive oil
5 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Method

Lightly fry onion.
Combine zucchini, carrot and cheese in bowl. Add onion.
Sift in flour, then add oil and eggs. Season with salt & pepper. 
Pour into greased (or baking paper lined) pie, quiche or slice pan.
Bake at 180 degrees (160 degrees for fan-forced) for 40 minutes. 



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Five Years

A friend once said to me that a child's birthday is as much a celebration for the parents as it is for the child. At the time, I smiled and nodded along, having very little understanding of how true that statement actually was. On the weekend we celebrated Felix's fifth birthday. Our spirited and loving middle child. Never before has that notion felt stronger than it did as I reminisced the past five years. Five long, challenging years, filled with just so much of everything. As I sat in the park and played cars with Angus, while Bonny napped in her pram and Felix occupied himself just near us, I felt a fond twinge of nostalgia flood over me. I remembered the day before Felix was born five years ago so vividly. Those days when our family was small, in comparison to now. When my attention was directed onto one little being. How simple, in hindsight, things really were back then. And how complicated, at times, things are now. It was poignant that I was able to spend that hour or so sitting in the warm Winter sun, playing cars with my big boy. A fitting way to reflect. Then the following day we all lost ourselves in the excitement that is turning a whole new number. A number Felix has been waiting to turn for such a long time. And he enjoyed every moment of his day. From their footy games in the morning, to his party with dear friends in the afternoon. Seeing his little freckle dusted face filled with joy meant everything to his Daddy and I. We've travelled a bumpy road with our beautiful boy and learnt more than we ever thought possible in the process. Definitely something worth celebrating. 




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sands Of Time

It's hard to believe we are back in school holiday mode, following a rather difficult last few weeks of term two. We lost a good friend suddenly just over a month ago. A remarkable human being, the husband of our beautiful friend and father of two delightful children, who are so close to my boys. Within days of the tragic news of our mate's passing, my own amazing Mum was admitted to a nursing home. What was a gradual deterioration in her health, all of a sudden became quite rapid. I have heard of that type of thing happening, but it has always been to someone else, or someone else's family. The stark and incredibly harsh reality when it is one of your own, a person so intrinsically linked to everything you have ever been and known, is almost too much to bare. Whilst it is still raw, early days, my family and I are endeavouring to come to grips with the new "normal". Even when everything feels painfully abnormal. In between moments of crippling sadness, I am immersing myself in the beautiful family Scott and I have created. The days are long and often not easy when raising children, but I am determined to find something positive in each new day. Taking photos of the things that make my heart soar is getting me through right now. Today, it was our picnic lunch, play at the park and wave watching on our breathtaking coastline. And I'm pretty sure the kidlets enjoyed themselves too. 

(I have started up my Instagram account again, after a long hiatus and would love to follow any of my readers who are also on there. Please feel free to leave your account name in the comments or send me a quick message if you can. I am there as @all4.love, please join me). 





Monday, June 8, 2015

Best (& easiest!) Banana Cake Ever!

We've created a habit here (or it seems I have set an expectation), for the boys to have a little afternoon treat, post school...every. day. More often than not, it consists of a Baker's Delight finger bun or store bought piece of cake or sometimes just a couple of Arnotts bikkies. But occasionally, I have time (& enthusiasm) to bake something from scratch, which is a nice surprise for all of us. I had one of those moments last week and fortunately, had to look no further than the fruit bowl for inspiration. Without a doubt the easiest, most delicious banana cake I have ever made. The vanilla icing really compliments the texture and flavour of the cake. Absolute winner with all the boys in the house...and with me too!

Best (& easiest) Banana Cake Ever!

125g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 ripe bananas mashed
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup milk

Melt the butter, sugar & vanilla in a medium sized saucepan
Remove from heat
Add mashed bananas & stir through until just blended
Add egg & mix in well. Stir in flour, add milk & mix lightly
Bake at 160 degrees (fan forced) for approximately 40 minutes.

Vanilla Icing

200g soft butter (or margarine)
1 1/4 cups of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients together for 4 minutes or until light & fluffy.



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Nana's Garden

My little fairy in the garden. Tiptoeing through the Autumn leaves on the grass I myself tiptoed across as a little girl. My childhood home. These pictures fill me with so much joy and love and I know they will mean the world to me and my girl in the years to come. My beautiful Mum, Bonny's adoring Nana. Time cannot alter these moments. I'm going to hold onto them forever. 









Friday, May 15, 2015

After The Storm

A few weeks back we experienced a once in a decade weather event. It was the mother of all storms and lasted for the best part of two weeks. Crazy strong winds and an absolute deluge of rain. Our local park saw a pretty significant sized tree unearthed at the roots, much to the delight of the kids in the neighbourhood (perfect cubby house opportunity). And strangely enough, our area wasn't even close to being the worst affected.

One place that really did bear the brunt of the wild and woolly conditions was the beach. Literally tonnes of sand was lifted and blown every which way. Coming to rest on footpaths, grassed reserves and even inside beachfront dwellings. So the operation undertaken to reconstruct the beach was somewhat mammoth. I have not seen anything like the number of diggers, tractors and every other type of earthmover in the same space all working at once. Let alone on a (usually) populated beach. Thinking the littlies would get a kick out of the display of action, we wandered on down for a peek. Felix was in a bit of a mood and seemed more interested in what we would pickup for lunch. And Bon Bon was just content with the breeze on her face and the sun shining down. So I think the 'big' kid ended up gaining the most satisfaction from our little adventure.