Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the eve of the 1st day

Last year we did this for the first time. The mistake I made was not writing down the things I'd planned for us to do each day, at times leaving me sadly under-prepared in terms of supplies for making gingerbread houses, having lunch with friends etc. This year, I've noted the "events" of each day in my diary. They range from pancakes for breakfast, to going in to the city to meet dad for lunch and see the Christmas windows, to going 10 pin bowling - something we've been wanting to do for ages. It all builds the suspense and what is Christmas if not just the day but the build up to the day.

Other news ...... Ella has her first TWO wobbly teeth! We discovered them yesterday as she bit into an apple. Her two bottom centre teeth are wobbling, one a little more than the other. I can't tell you, I felt such pangs, it seems such a visible measure of her growing up and I love those teeth of hers! I must now begin new traditions and must search for ideas on teeth pillows, boxes etc. Does anyone have any ideas to share?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I love this site. I love the simplicity of the subject and the photos. It's my favourite meal of the day, although my breakfast most often involves some type of caffeine and some type of yeast item, nothing I could surprise you with photos of. I love mornings, therefore I love their meal-mate.

I've posted about my love for this treat before I know, but it's almost December and I realised this afternoon that I haven't baked any yet. They are on their third rise now, but should be ready to have with a cup of tea for supper. Mmmmmm. If you have never had a good one and you live in Melbourne, call me for I think mine are pretty good and I'm only too happy to share. For those of you who live elsewhere, here's the recipe.

I ask not why, but why not?

Monday, November 24, 2008


It's not far away from us, but for reasons I think we all understand I only visit IKEA a few times a year. This morning, can you believe we were actually too early to go in (it opens at 10am) and had to wait for the announcement "our beautiful IKEA store is now open" before the barrier was removed and we flowed in. I was a little embarassed at queuing for a store to open, not sure I've ever done that before.

As I mentioned, I only do this trip a few time a year for my IKEA staples and whatever else we may have grown to need/want in the interim. My staples are:

Plain white paper napkins; tealight candles; Ribba black frames in all sizes for photographs of the girls which adorn most walls in our house. Today I also added half a dozen feather cushion inserts (great value at only $7.95 for 50x50 size) to use as the stuffings for some gifts; Christmas wrappings; a new bath mat; that's about it. Free parking for only $119.00!
What are your IKEA staples?
PS Christie's posting reminded me that there is one more staple I bought, the role of paper for the girls easel - only problem with it is I find it tears very easily, like it's too recycled, if you know what I mean. Does anyone have another source for similar paper that's a little denser? does that make sense?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Favourite Passage No 3

This passage is from the book I've just finished reading, "The Dark Man" by Paul Auster. I like this passage because it reminds me, somewhat, of myself.

The passage is told by an older man who has recently lost his wife. He is talking about her to his granddaughter, retelling tales of what it was like in the early days of their marriage.

"All right, let me change gears here and think for a moment. What was Sonia like? What did I discover about her after we were married that I hadn't known before? Contradictions. Complexities. A darkness that revealed itself slowly over time and made me reassess who she was. I loved her madly, Katya, you have to understand that, and I'm not criticising her for being who she was. It's just that as I got to know her better, I came to realise how much suffering she carried around inside her. In most ways, your grandmother was an extraordinary person. Tender, kind, loyal, forgiving, full of spirit, with a tremendous capacity for love. But she would drift off every now and then, sometimes right in the middle of a conversation, and start staring into space with this dreamy expression in her eyes, and it was as if she didn't know me anymore. At first, I imagined she was thinking some profound thought or remembering something that had happened to her, but when I finally asked her what was going through her head at those moments, she smiled at me and said, Nothing."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I've never been athletic. I'm not BAD per se, just not good. I can catch a ball, run, jump, skip, but although my family were always a very active family, that didn't include team sports for me. My three brothers played cricket and soccer and we played a lot in the backyard. When I was younger we were always outside playing tippity cricket, we had a badminton court and there was a lot of rough and tumble.

I mention the lack of sporting motivation because I would never have thought I had any real stamina. I always marvelled at marathon runners, still do, for I wondered where they got the drive, the endurance, from. Since having children, however, I feel I certainly have more stamina.

Mentally I think I'm probably more fragile, or perhaps just more addled. Patience, not sure whether you'd characterise me as patient, but I can endure a lot, as I believe all mothers can.

I may be hungry at 10am because I only had coffee for breakfast, but I can fight the hunger until the girls are fed and Leila's napping and not eat until at least 2:00pm.

I can be bursting to go to the loo but I can hold on until I can just finish the vacuuming, make that night's dinner and finish helping Ella make a cardboard box town.

I can try and sneak reading a page of a gripping novel that was so hard to put down only to be interrupted and not go back to it until I'm in bed some 8+ hours later.

Being a mother, has helped me realise that I actually do have very good stamina, that there's a heck of a lot I can achieve in one day. I can't take all the credit though - Quists espresso blend has a lot to do with how I keep going and I would never downplay what an important part of my life, my every day, it is.
What vice keeps you going throughout the day?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Australiana 2

Pikelets for breakfast with (not necessarily though ours was) French raspberry jam.

1 cup SR flour
1 tbs of caster sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup of milk

Mix it all together, let it sit for a few minutes (maybe 5) then cook in small batches, pikelets about the size of ummm a segmented tennis ball, or smaller! Eat hot with jam.

What says home, be it Australia or elsewhere, to you?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Australiana 1

Everyone has different ideas of what is typically of their own country. As far as Australia is concerned there are the externally typical such as Kangaroos, Ayres Rock (excuse me, Uluru), Koalas, Sydney Opera House etc. Then there are the icons for those who actually live here or are from here. For me, this is one of them, a very Australian treat, a plain sponge filled with pure whipped cream and topped with passionfruit icing. I confess that my recipe for icing failed me - it soaked in and ran off rather than sitting sweetly on top, but my defence is that my heritage is not Australian hence I couldn't ring my mum (although I'm sure my mum in law would know).

A lovely family dinner (which always makes Leila say "YEAH MUMMA FAMILY DINNER") with french bubbles (as all birthdays demand) and a belated birthday cake, the aforementioned passionfruit sponge made by yours truly.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is 39 too many

candles to have on a cake? I hope not because that's how many Ella intends to put on my birthday cake today.

My honey bought me some gorgeous Danish ceramics - he knows what I like. Can you believe though, I have to work on my birthday, how much does that suck?!

Thanks mum, thanks dad, and everyone who's touched me since the start, you know who you are xx

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I'm not very current these days - I don't know what meme stands for, or if it stands for anything. Browsing too late at night I came across this on Posie gets Cosy, thought I'd give it a shot as I find these types of exercises insightful and revealing. A One-Word-Answer meme, sounds perfect for us time/energy-challenged folk (okay I added an extra word here or there - I can't think TOO hard).

Where is your mobile phone? Ummm
Where is your significant other? Jogging
Your hair colour? L'Oreal
Your mother? Proud
Your father? Humble
Your favourite thing? Thinking
Your dream last night? Renovations
Your dream goal? Self-employment
The room you're in? Bedroom
Your hobby? Writing
Your fear? Regret
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Self-employed
Where were you last night? Here
What you're not? Dishonest
One of your wish-list items? Time
Where you grew up? SE
The last thing you did? Dishes
What are you wearing? Nighty
Your pets? Dead
Your computer? Slow
Your mood? Pensive
Missing someone? Always
Your car? Dirty
Something you're not wearing? Socks
Favourite shop? Aesop
Your summer? Here
Love someone? Yes
Your favourite colour? Green
When is the last time you laughed? Today
When is the last time you cried? Today

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sweet or Savory?

Because she's so kind

a lovely parcel arrived with this morning's mail bringing a smile to my face. Pina sent me the most gorgeous parcel with some handmade goodness for me and my lovely girls, as well as some Slovenian goodness!

Pina is very interested and passionate about the history and beliefs of the native American Indians and she made me a beautiful dreamcatcher. She sweetly said she felt sure I had sweet dreams already, but here was something to aid in ensuring that they kept coming. It's gorgeous, so fragile, but sturdy - if the contradiction makes sense to you. It's now hanging on the picture wall which faces Geoff and I as we lie in bed. The wall is covered with pictures of the two of us and the girls (who hold most of our lives dreams) so an apt place for it to live. The girls also received a beautiful bath mit each with a lovely bird (which won't go swimming in the bath) attached (that's not even mentioning the chocolate and a little cook book).

If you haven't had a look at Pina's blog, you should. Not only is she a very generous, compassionate and kind person - she's very interested and interesting, takes great photos and should be employed as a full time staff member for the Slovenian tourism board! Thank you - so much xx

No need for words

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunny Days

10 years of marriage marked with 4 days away spending time as we did when the 10 years began, just he and I.

We hiked to secluded beaches where we were the only ones on the beach; we had drinks poolside by candlelight; we swam in one gorgeous pool and at four perfect beaches; we snorkelled with parrot fish and sea turtles; we went sea kayaking and drank champagne as the sun set; I was massaged and scrubbed; we ate well and drank in moderation; we swam by lamplight after dinner; we read books; we had the time to talk and the quiet to listen. Of all the sweet things he said to me, the one that made me smile the most was "you're still the best decision I've ever made".

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Time for change

I'm not generally into politics. I care what happens in my world and those of others, but I don't follow it as closely as some of our friends, my knowledge is certainly lacking in matters of policy. I was very enthusiastic about the final ousting of our own little Johnny and felt extremely dissapointed in my countrymen when he was re-elected in the previous election. I found myself thinking Someone I know must have voted for him????

This year I have been one of many outside the US who has followed the elections and been excited by the prospect for change - a change so badly, badly needed for so many reasons. Today, we're excited - I even danced a little jig along with the CNN coverage, well done and fingers crossed for brighter days ahead.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Flutter, flutter

Life has been very busy of late with dad not around much due to crazy work timelines. Today has been a quiet family day for that reason and also we'll be leaving the girls with my parents tomorrow and heading off for our 4 night without children break. This time 10 years ago I was writing placecards, making little bags of treats for placesettings, and counting down the 48 hours until my wedding day.

Due to the quiet nature of our day we did a sweep at home. You always want the children to win and as I won 1st and 2nd and Leila 3rd, we told a little white lie and let Ella have 2nd place. I know they have to deal with losing but not yet and not when it's just us - some lessons can wait. Did you back the winner?