Saturday, September 22, 2007

Breakfast at 'netti's

Those of you not local to me will most probably not have heard of Brunettis, but should you ever come to town, be sure to look it up. The coffee is fantastic, the cakes, pastries and biscuits amazing and the experience never disappoints. The two biggest girls in this house love going there although dad would probably be happy to vary our breakfast venue occasionally! I always have two cafe lattes and two cornetto con marmelatto. Ella has the custard bomboloni and a baby cino and dad goes for something cooked and spicy. There is gelati to tempt and take home treats for later.

Leila isn't quite into it, only nibbling and dropping tit bits on the floor and was more interested in bothering Olive when we got home. Gorgeous weather here - hope it is where you are too. Today is a relaxation day and tomorrow we are tackling the destruction of our bathroom - I'm over it already!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A First for Me

What first was it you may ask. On the weekend I decided Leila could try some custard so I bought some custard powder and she loved it - why wouldn't you? Today I was looking at the box and for who knows what reason I was pulled in a direction I have never experienced before - I was drawn towards a recipe on the side of the custard powder box! I admit I am a little bit of a food snob and would never normally even consider a recipe of this sort. Perhaps I've read too many of the likes that appear on a Just Right cereal box here (Just Right is a combination of dried fruits, oat flakes, rice puffs etc) for Just Right Meatloaf! It's as simple as a regular meatloaf recipe with onions, meat, seasonings and a cup of Just Right!

Anyway, today we decided to give it a whirl and voila, a plate full of custard creams! Now, however, I don't fancy them. Does anyone else experience that? I enjoy the making but when it's done I'm not that interested in eating them. Ella, however, would gladly devour the plateful if given half a chance.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

House Eats Cash

I know this isn't news to some of you, but as this is our first home and we've only been here for just 3 years, we're still surprised by what a hungry beast this homeowning business is. Thankfully ours isn't a house that demands you spend cash because it's falling down, more because you can no longer stand the daggy cabinets and manky laundry.

Last weekend we stripped out the kitchen, toilet and laundry and when we reached the end of that long day we all felt quite vulnerable we were so tired. We're so lucky that my dad is so go getting, is there anything he can't do? I'm going to save photos of this side things until they're completed - the in progress shots I'll save you all from.

The girls and I decamped to my parents for most of this week where all around the grapevines are bursting into leaf. While we enjoyed coffees and lunches out poor dad was left home in a semi demolished house and the builder forget to turn the gas back on so it was without heating and no stove either. Things look a little less crazy today and tonight there will be more than a frozen dinner waiting for him.

Both the girls also seem to have missed their home space, although were perfectly content at nan and pa's. They play so gorgeously alongside each other, most often in big sister's room. Leila is starting to want to get in on whatever Ella's doing which frustrates big sister a little but golly gosh she's so terribly patient with her baby sister. It makes me so proud to see how good she is with her, so loving and generous. We have been very lucky with how much they've loved each from the day dot, it doesn't seem to be a given for all families but in ours the girls just adore each other and we them.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mudcake Kind of Day

We had such a lovely weekend at my parents place in the Yarra Valley. They are so supportive of us and our two gorgeous girls. We go there and have such a relaxing time, everyone is so happy and my man and I got to have a lovely dinner out together for a few hours. Having even a small amount of time as a couple alone so reinvigorates you to face the challenges of a small babe.

I have decided that I should focus more on the moment, as I used to when it was just Ella and I at home. We used to spend almost all our days doing crafts and focussing only on the fun stuff. With a second small girl in the house, one who as a baby has been much more challenging than her sister, I have found it far harder to enjoy the moment and have been focussing much more on all my chores and how I never get them all done. The house is never as tidy as I'd like, the washing is never put straight away, dinner is most often only thought of just before it's time to eat. As a result it's so easy to feel constantly inadequate as I focus on those menial tasks rather than the bigger job that is my girls.

Our renovations start next week and when the house is much cleaner, newer, organised I do truly hope that it will be easier to keep on top of the more mundane tasks as getting things done won't demand as much effort.

Today is a gorgeous day, so I decided that there wasn't anything that couldn't wait. We put the blanket in the back yard and my big girl and I lay and cuddled in the sun. Leila choked on some leaves and grass for a while and then started climbing on us. Attention then turned to mud pies, the final products I'm sharing with you here. I feel so much better for that short hour of our days. Ella get flithy and needed a bath but kept saying "we must do that again mum" and I felt so much happier for those words. I was reading Soulemama this morning and the excerpt from her upcoming book. I so agree with Amanda, I remember clearly activities I undertook in our gardens as a child - vividly. I remember building numerous structures for my Barbies - stone and mud houses and holes lined with plastic and filled with water for swimming pools. I certainly want the girls to have memories like that of their own, dozens of them. I must remember those memories of my own the next time I feel that mopping the kitchen floor is more pressing than making mud cakes with my girls.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Despite a location that means they get little attention, we have our first peas set!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Get Your Bananas Here!

It was one of those days.

I probably have visitors like this in my fruit bowl every couple of weeks. I know that some of you like yours this ripe, but in our house they continue to blacken until I do one of two things - make them into a smoothie or a cake. As the weather has turned cool again, my thoughts turn more to a hot cup of tea and moist slice of banana cake/bread.

I use Jane Grigson's recipe, from her fruit book and it always turns out beautifully and stays moist for as long as it lasts - which isn't long! Her recipe includes walnuts which I often subsitute for pecans (I prefer them) but this time I was out of nuts, so went plain old banana.

My Family

I have seen other children's drawings of their family, but very recently Ella has started drawing her own. For Father's Day at kinder they all made little ceramic tiles with magnets on the back and drew their families on the front - so gorgeous.

Today she drew us all on her 'Sketcher and as it so quickly disappears I had to capture it on film.