Friday, March 30, 2012

Little piece of sunshine

We had a magnificent day yesterday. An 'adventure' (as Angus says), filled with sunshine and laughter and so much love. Caught the bus, met my Mama in the city, wandered around the Botanic Gardens and enjoyed a spot of lunch by the harbour, at the Opera House. It was a perfect day, in every way. I love my Mama more than words will ever describe and the relationship she has with my boys, I possibly love even more. My heart could seriously melt watching them all together. So many happy moments captured through the lens once again and it was difficult to cull them down for this post... so in the end, I just threw in all of my favourites.

A fitting segue for me to graciously accept the sunshine award from two lovelies Veronica and Tammi. Thank you beautiful girls. I couldn't think of a better post to respond with my answers on. So here goes:

* Colour ~ Blue & Red
* Animal ~ The big cats... all of them
* Non-alcoholic drink ~ Water & freshly squeezed juice & Coke 
* Facebook or Twitter ~ Facebook
* Getting or giving presents ~ LOVE giving
* Flower ~ Rose & Frangipani
* Pattern ~ Spots & Dots & Gingham/Checkered
* Passion ~ Family & Friends & Music & Writing
* Number ~ 7

And now to pass the sunshine award baton on to five other gorgeous bloggers... if they so choose to accept of course:

Kymmie @ A day in the life of us
Teresa @ Amelie in Wonderland
Nicole @ Bubby Makes Three
Jen @ Let it go
Ashley @ Piper & Poppies

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Close Ups

In those first few weeks after becoming a Mama, there were fleeting moments when I wondered what I had gotten myself into. The enormity of it all hit hard and deep. And I battled through the minefield of no sleep and crying and settling. On high rotation it seemed. Breastfeeding was brutal. At least until week three, when a bout of mastitis saw me hospitalised for four days. With that, I was back at the beginning. Newborn and Mama learning how to do one of the most seemingly 'natural' actions known to humankind. Together. And eventually, we got there. Watching those sparkling, wide eyes as I fed, was all the reward I could ever ask for. From that point on, I grew to love feeding and I still believe those brilliant, big, blue eyes are the most perfect things I've ever created. Those... and the equally beautiful second set I was lucky enough to gaze upon as I fed, some two years later.

So today, as I looked around for something to shoot close up, there were no better subjects than the sweet faces of my boys. Children always look so flawless up close. No pesky wrinkles or imperfections, that come with age. Then as I sat down to tuck into my favourite lunch at the moment, I had to capture it's beauty up close also. Curried chicken pie from one of our local bakehouses... A.mazing! And the ivy covered trunks of a magnificent line of trees, which captivate me every time we walk past them. They needed to be snapped too.

Linking up with Faith Hope & a whole lottla Love for Snap It, on today's topic of: Up Close

Monday, March 26, 2012


It's a beautiful thing, to watch a tiny baby grow into a toddler and in no time, become a child. It is only to this point I really know, can really relate to and really appreciate. Right before the taint of school and all of it's influences set in. And I have to say, it's an incredible time in a child's life. The innocence, the understanding, the development and the pure, natural compassion. The world is raw, so black and white, in all it's cloudy grey. Amazing to be a part of. Every day my delightful Angus enlightens me, through his unique take on it all:

His preschool teacher is heavily pregnant. Feet swelling and understandably tired, she takes the odd day off from teaching. In the most matter of fact tone, over dinner one night, Angus quipped, "it can't be the baby causing Angela's feet to be sore" ... "the baby is not in her feet, it's in her tummy!"

We have an all too familiar scene in the evenings, with me squawking at the boys to wrangle them up for bedtime. One night last week, with an indignant tone, Angus snapped at me through gritted teeth, "Grrrrr, you can just... go on a holiday Mum!" perhaps one of the 'nicer' nasty things anyone has ever said to me.

Next morning, hastily ironing clothes on the run (as I do), Angus appeared at my feet holding his latest favourite trinket and casually informed me that "just like ironing is your favourite thing Mama, this is MY favourite thing". I obviously make ironing look fun... or maybe it's because I do so much of it. 

But the words that make me smile each and every time he whispers them to Felix as they part at the preschool gate, "Bye bye little guy, you be good for Mama today, Ok?" I do love this age and all the precious Angus-isms that go with it. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Almond Crisps

This weekend delivered some perfect, sun-drenched, Autumn weather. A lovely opportunity to catch up with one of my nieces for a good old natter. An enjoyable evening with a friend I haven't seen in way too long. We took in a fabulous film at the Palace Verona in Paddington, Elles is just one of the many amazing screenings being shown as part of this year's French Film Festival. Love a good foreign film and this one didn't disappoint. A few glasses of bubbly and some great conversation made for a top night out. 

Then right at the tail end of the weekend, I decided we needed some home baked bikkies for the cookie jar. My brief was something tasty and simple and of course working with ingredients I had at hand. So this recipe was chosen from a cookbook I purchased recently, Women's Weekly Easy Cakes & Biscuits... and they really are easy. Light and sweet and near impossible to stop at just one. Definitely an addition for the baked goods rotation. 

Almond Crisps

125g butter, softened
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (30g) ground almonds
2 tablespoons flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (180 for fan-forced)
Grease oven trays, line with baking paper
Beat butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until smooth
Stir in sifted flour and ground almonds
Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls
Place about 5cm apart on trays
Flatten slightly with fork to 1cm thick
Sprinkle with flaked almonds
Bake about 10 mins 
Stand crisps on trays 5 mins before transferring to wire rack to cool

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Old Beauty

The awe-inspiring St Mary's Cathedral is one of those landmarks I will always look upon with wide-eyed wonder. Part of the city I love and have lived in all of my life. Every time I drive or walk past it, I admire it, in all it's historic glory. An endless array of angles and lighting and majestic beauty. We took a stroll in the city today and although the skies were a rather dull shade of grey, any sky is the perfect backdrop for such a spectacular church. It is to me, in every sense of the word, old... and absolutely stunning. 

Linking up with Faith Hope & a whole lotta Love for Snap It on today's topic of: Old. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuckered Out

How I love my sleeping boys. Not just for how peaceful and relaxed and totally adorable they look. But for what their sweet slumbering represents. Downtime. When they're awake, they never stop and it would seem, nor do I. This weekend I was lucky enough to have not one, but two nights out with the gals and it was awesome. Dinner with my mother's group lovelies on Friday night and a birthday dinner celebration for another wonderful friend on Saturday night. So much chatter, a drop or two of bubbly and some time to spread my wings a bit.

However, as I always say, these nights out are a catch 22. The preparation they entail is extensive. I like to have the boys fed and bathed and settled before I leave. It's just the way I work. And when Felix completely flipped out on the Friday evening just as I was leaving, I made sure he was well and truly snoozing by the time I walked out the door on Saturday night. It breaks my heart to leave him crying, even though I know he is in great hands with his Dada. 

So by Sunday afternoon, this was the scene at our place. No Scott, as he was out on the golf course. An exhausted Angus sprawled on the lounge. An overtired Felix asleep in his high chair. And a slightly rundown Mama taking the opportunity to steal a cheeky nap while she could (and I did move Felix from his chair to snooze with me on the bed, for the record). 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Piggy Love

He knows the rules. He is not allowed to stand on stools or chairs or steps to play in the kitchen sink, at this stage anyway. His Mama worries he will slip and fall and hurt himself. He doesn't seem concerned in the slightest. He has a little friend and they work together. Partners in crime. All for the greater good. And that cheeky, fun-loving expression of glee when they succeed... priceless. I call this, Piggy Love.

Linking up with Faith Hope & a whole lotta Love for this week's Snap It, on the topic of LOVE.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Embracing change

Meal times were turning into a bit of a daily nightmare around here. Then about a week or so ago, I threw in the towel. Tired of having food pushed, refused or thrown on the floor, coupled with a filthy attitude... one night I turned the spoon back on the aggressor and walked away. To my complete and utter surprise, silence. Silence AND every last morsel of food demolished.

Sometimes I overlook when my babies are ready to go to the next stage. I don't always see it coming and certainly don't realise when it's right in front of me. Like a clingy mama duck, I ruffle my feathers and fight to protect and nurture and keep them close. But this little duckling is now twenty months old and I almost can't believe it. He will be two in such a short time and he WILL want to do things on his own, for himself. He WILL insist on this. Instead of battling it, I need to embrace it. Watching him feed his own hungry mouth these days, I couldn't be happier. Children really have an intuitive way of teaching themselves... and their Mama's. 


Monday, March 12, 2012

Comfort Food

Until recently, I never saw myself as a 'comfort food' eater. But lately, I am becoming aware that it is exactly what I am. It's what I do. I'm buying more packet chips, more chocolate, more icecream. And I couldn't care less. Instead of being worried or conscious of the things I put in the trolley, I throw them in with reckless abandon. I know this period will be short-lived and before too long I'll be back hitting the exercise again and being more discerning with my food choices. So while it lasts, I'm going to enjoy, dammit.

On Saturday night, a dear friend and I went to one of our favourite city restaurants. We have dined here often over the years and it is always so fresh and delicious and completely comfort inducing for us. Set on the edge of gorgeous Cockle Bay, we were even treated to the customary Saturday night fireworks display over the sparkling water. Sipping on moscato and chatting for hours over a meal that good, was a nice way to spend an evening.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Keeping with tradition

Today offered up about the best Autumn weather one could ask for. Radiant sunshine beaming down all over the place. Just the kind of day we like for the annual Food and Film Festival at The Spot. I say it every year, but it never fails to dish up a tremendous atmosphere, along with an array of incredible international foods and plenty of fun activities for the small peeps. A community I adore being a part of, a nice feeling to have for the place we call home.

My word, there is something about gozleme. Whenever it is on offer, I dive straight for the stall and order up a piping hot cheese and spinach to go. So, SO, good. If I could make it myself, I would. But I wouldn't want to ruin the gozleme experience, so I just enjoy it at every festival or market or show we attend, the good old fashioned way. Angus made it his business to go on the giant jumping castle as many times as his energetic body would allow. He was pooped after half a dozen or so sessions. Then he discovered the MLC Hot Shots running a mini tennis clinic for the littlies... and of course, he managed a healthy dose of racquet time there too. Felix snoozed. We strolled. A lovely afternoon of family tradition for all of us.