Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday, monday.....

Flowers in our house today.....
Don't mind me my lovelies, if a have a little bit of a brag about the sensationally sunny weather we are having here in Brisbane at the moment. It is winter and we are experiencing 25 degree days! Heavenly I tell you.....
We had the busiest of weekends, catching up with family and visiting the 'country cousins' - three of the cutest kids you could meet. Country air is good for the soul people. The big backyard and fantastic cubby house with accompanying slide and swing, proved to be a huge hit.
Dominic was in his element. And, I only have one night shift which I am seriously excited about!
As for the ranch, last week I had a company called 'The Art of Hanging' come and professionally hang all my photos. Seriously, although it might sound a bit indulgent having someone professionally hang your frames, the stress of hanging 20 frames yourself and making sure the frames are straight is simply not worth the effort. The end result is fantastic! Not to mention the fun we (I) had arranging things.
I have also found myself thinking/daydreaming about indoor plants and plants to hang on our verandah. Preferably plants that are 'un-killable' and can survive the Queensland humidity.
I am in love with ferns - Boston and Maidenhair. Here are some photos that have inspired me from pinterest.
Oh, to one day be able to keep a maiden hair fern alive for longer than a week!  So delicate and lovely.
FRONT PORCH  - Different take on Boston Fern    Photo Gallery: 2010 Princess Margaret Showhome | House & Home
gotta get a boston fern for my front window...
Click on the pictures for the pinterest links.....
Come on, tell me you don't imagine what plants you want to have hanging on your verandah too?
Or is it just me? - ok, so it is just me ;)
Happy monday friends

My little techno turkey....

Ahhhh, friends. Here is a post I wrote last week that couldn't be 'posted' due to technological difficulties. Read the story below - it will all make sense. :)

'Techno turkey' (from here on in, aka TT) is the nickname my sister has affectionately given to our two year old. No phone or piece of technology seems to be off limits to my 'little ray of sunshine'. He can navigate an iPad screen better than my husband - although I am not entirely sure that this is something to be proud of. I also found him listening to gangster rap on iTunes the other day. You know how you can listen to snippets of songs? He had just woken and I had left him innocently sitting on the couch listening to Justine Clarke, while I prepared his afternoon tea. When I returned, he was on the iTunes website listening to something by 'Flo Rida'.
Clearly not my proudest parenting moment and obviously TT needs to be more closely supervised - point taken.
Anyway, lil TT loves to mix things up a bit - you know what I mean?
My poor mother didn't receive a text message for over a week after allowing TT to 'mix it up' on her iPhone. After further investigation, it came to mum's attention that her phone had been placed on aeroplane mode - yes, TT had struck again! He also likes to randomly call people and send blank text messages to unsuspecting family and friends. Some friends which we haven't heard from in years. Imagine our embarrassment in having to explain 'we are so glad you are well but, no we didn't call. It was the TT. He sends his regards'.
In short, we haven't had Internet access for over three days. We have had many a deep conversation with a multitude of 'techno tosser's at Telstra, who all concluded that we needed a technician to come to our home because alas, there was something wrong with our netgear - what is netgear?
If only TT could have explained :)
Telstra confirmed that our appointment would be today, sometime between 10 and 2. Excellent I said. Right in the middle of the day, when TT needs to run laps of our local playground.
Never mind, we stayed at home doing laundry, blowing bubbles, playing chasey and waiting for the Telstra technician to arrive.
 Of course the technician arrived at 2. His appointment lasted all of about 3 minutes when he confirmed that although our modem was lit up like a Christmas tree, it wasn't actually communicating with the Telstra network cause it had been turned 'off'. I had flashbacks of finding TT lurking by the computer on Wednesday morning, banging the keyboard and playing with the mouse. Apparently he pressed a few buttons too - good grief. The embarrassment I tell you!
The technician couldn't have cared less. He also confirmed that our network keeps cutting out (something we have also complained about to Telstra) and that this needed further investigation by the 'Media Services' team. Seriously, where do they get these names?  Apparently they too will pay us a visit at some point. Lucky me.
You have to laugh - it is kind of funny. The technician made me feel like a complete idiot though. I felt like I needed to show him my CV to prove I wasn't a complete loser, just a mother of a technological genius ;)
So, how have you spent your day today? Has anyone out there wasted their time today too?danielle kroll

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chocolate chip cookies..

So lovely readers, my intention had been to make these delicious choc chip cookies earlier in the week. I had it all planned. I would make them early in the morning when the light was perfect and do some 'Donna Hay' styling and photography but alas, this is the real world. Instead, I have whipped these up at 5 o'clock this afternoon, the light is shite and instead of doing 'Donna Hay' styling, I have had to request the assistance of a toddler with very sticky fingers :)

We have been eating healthily (or whatever you want to call it) for a couple of months now and we are reaping the benefits - weight loss (which was never the purpose but a welcome benefit) and heaps more energy. We are loving experimenting with wholefoods, eating more veggies, fruit and protein. Of course, we are still allowing for treats, but with a healthy twist.
Since having Dominic, I have spent lots of time researching healthy food options for him, not because I am wanting to be precious and restrict his sugar intake, quite the contrary, but because I want to be able to provide him with nutritious, wholesome food made at home.
I purchased this gorgeous book written by Jude Blereau when we first introduced solids called  Wholefood for Children
I have referred to it often and still find myself pouring over it for inspiration.
Jude's chocolate chip cookies feature regularly as a delicious morning tea treat in our household.
As the delicious smell of maple syrupy goodness wafts through our house, our tummies grumble in anticipation - yes, they really are that good! They are not your regular large choc chip cookie. They are small, chunky and have a bit of crunch - delicious. The maple syrup adds just a subtle hint of sugary goodness. These cookies feature in Jude's book, Coming home to eat – Wholefood for the family, published by Murdoch Books, Australia (p.175). For further information about Jude, just click here and read her blog here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
wheat free/dairy free/vegan
Makes 20


150g (5 1/2 oz / 1 1/2 cups) rolled (porridge) oats
155g (5 1/2 oz / 1 cup) raw almonds (skin on)
125g (4 1/2 oz / 1 cup) plain (all purpose) white spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
170g (5 3/4 oz / 1 cup) chocolate chips
125ml (4 fl oz / 1/2 cup) almond oil or flavourless coconut oil (melted for measuring, if solid)
125ml (4 fl oz / 1/2 cup) maple syrup
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
To make

Preheat oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Spread the oats on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately tip into a bowl to stop the cooking process. Spread the almonds on the same baking tray and bake for 7-10 minutes, taking care they don’t burn.
Put the oats in a food processor of blender and grind to a coarse meal. Tip into a mixing bowl. Roughly grind the almonds and add to the oats. Add the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips and whisk through to combine.
Mix together the almond oil, maple syrup and vanilla, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix to form a dough.
Spoon tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking tray, then flatten and shape into neat circles 8mm-1cm (3/8 – 1/2 inch) thick.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until ever so slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the tray for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

I suppose these cookies are meant to last a week or so in an airtight container, but they never seem to last that long around here! Cook them and let me know what you think.
Hope you are having a good week

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Inspiration everywhere .......

 The world of blogging is such a tremendous place for inspiration and this week, my imagination (as usual) has been in overdrive. The Design Files featured Tim Leveson and Libby Knott's home earlier this week. The simplicity of this home, the art, attention to detail and obvious sense of family and informality, has had me crazy with ideas for our shanty. I love houses just like this that have not been 'converted' into contemporary monstrosities, but exude so much character and warmth. Have a look at the divine photos below - divine I tell you!

Click on the photos for links to The Design Files

Similarly, Design Sponge has also been tormenting me with ideas for our little garden. This week they featured 'A London Home filled with Travel finds'. Quite literally this home and gorgeous garden brought a tear to my eye :) - look at all the colour! Flowers in pots on mass really pack a punch don't they?


Click on the photos for links to Design Sponge ...

Disappointingly, I discovered on the weekend that the area I was planning to turn into a veggie patch, is in fact a paved area which has just had a shallow layer of soil dumped on it - seriously what is the go with that? Anyway, I am now definitely turning my attention to growing things in pots, particularly vegetables. It is funny that after a couple of months now of living in our shanty, we are still discovering sneaky little things like this, that we would have never noticed on inspection ;)

What has inspired you this week?  ....