Thursday, March 5, 2015

Three things Thursday

I read something once about parenting that said the days are long, but the years are short. I think the same can be said about weeks, as every time I sit down to write my Thursday posts, I think, Thursday already?!



1. Jimmy is having his christening in a few weeks. I've been looking around for a suitable outfit for him for what feels like forever. Until I had a baby boy, I didn't realise how hard it is to shop for clothes for them. Girls are totally spoilt for choice with lots of cute small outfits, boys, not so much. If all else fails, I have managed to find a cute set of (what appears to be pyjamas) clothes with a collar, buttons and all other things which check the appropriate boxes. Let's hope it doesn't come to that (although frankly at this stage I'm ok if it does!).

2. This week has been hard has both children seem to be going through a bit of a sleep regression. While Jimmy in no way at all sleeps through the night, I can at least usually rely on him now to have a decent long stretch of about four hours. Not so lately as he is back to waking almost hourly. Ellie also seems to migrate to our bed on most nights. Cue zombie like mama. If coffee didn't have such a dehydrating affect on breastfeeding, I would be having it way more often than my necessary scant cup a day right now!

3. On that note above, sometimes the day just calls for a sweet treat, am I right? I chose a macadamia tart as although it's pretty much the same thing, it just sounds way more healthy than a 'caramel tart'... yes?


Happy Thursday to you!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What do you do with a glut of eggplants?

Well, not much else is growing so well, but my eggplants continue to produce prolifically.

A combination of the alternatively heavy recent rains and the lovely sunny days has resulted in an absolute eggplant-palooza in one of my garden beds.


Yesterday, I harvested the ones here, and there are still at least as many still on the plants, and a plethora of flowers too.

At least we will be kept in eggplant supply for awhile. Aren't they just lovely, shiny and plump?


A pity I don't have a local gardener friend I can swap produce with. So... what to do with the bounty? I already have some roasted and frozen, and I'm over lasagne for awhile.

How do you eat your eggplants? How does your garden grow lately?



Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: MU Australia, Library of Flowers field kit

Recently, the people at MU Australia were lovely enough to send me a Library of Flowers Field Kit to try. MU Australia specialise in niche bath, body and home products of classical design and high quality. I chose The Forest - a bath goods collection containing a triple milled soap, body scrub, shower gel, hand creme and a lip nectar.

The Library of Flowers brand designer Margot Elena has done a wonderful job creating scents inspired by nature - opening the package was a lovely smelling experience. Apparently, although I am not cultured enough to pick it (nor am I a beauty blogger), the top note is oak bark, middle note is arctic moss and bottom note is white sage. Take my word for it, it smells nice!



I love the packaging - the bamboo container is quirky, and the product labelling is bright, cheerful and very contemporary.

I especially loved the hand creme. With a toddler and a newborn, I am constantly washing my hands, and so I need something to stop them drying out. This hand creme ranked highly for me, absorbing easily, smelling gorgeous and not being greasy. The coco and shea butters, along with macadamia and avocado oils made me feel conditioned and soothed with lovely soft hands to boot!


I try to avoid heavily scented shower gels and body scrubs as Jimmy doesn't seem to like them on me, but I couldn't resist trying these ones out. The shower gel wasn't drying at all due to the shea butter, bee balm and jojoba oil used. The body scrub was a great texture - medium sized beads were perfectly sized so that I felt I was getting a good scrub, but gentlly as well. Afterwards, I was smooth and clean and not overly perfumed either.

I'm not a huge soap fan (Mr Fork usually gets given all mine) but I dutifully unwrapped the fine perfumed bar and was just a little smitten. Children and dogs mean I wash my hands constantly so I left this one beside the sink for a little washing luxury. The coco butter base meant I was nicely cleaned without being too dry afterward.


I had to fight Ellie for my lip nectar (she loves her gloss!) as I was such a fan of the honeyed peach. It has a lovely aroma and left my lips soft without being greasy or sticky.

The Library of Flowers kits retail for $64.95 from MU Australia.
Disclaimer: Although I was provided with the Library of Flowers kit for free, I was under no obligation to write a post. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Three things Thursday

There's been a bit of blog silence this week. It wasn't particularly intentional, just that life got in the way a bit.


1. Jimmy has been a bit ill over the past few days. I suspect it's something that Ellie brought home from daycare (thank you germ fest!). Nothing serious, but as he is still breastfed, I've been taking extra care of myself to help look after him - plenty of water, probiotics, vitamins and rest. I'm hoping to pack maximum benefits into his milk but it's hard for me to get as much rest as I should and look after myself when there is still a toddler to mind and a house to run.

2. Mr Fork and Ellie came home from weekend swimming lessons bearing a surprise bunch of oriental lilies (my favourites!). They were closed when I got them and they're gradually starting to open now... every time I walk into the kitchen they smell amazing.  Hooray for pretty blooms!


3. I know I'm late to the smoothie bandwagon, but how amazing are they? I had a delicious one recently - a vegan, paleo friendly salted caramel smoothie. I know, right?! Ingredients, which are just sort of added to taste were: dates, cashew butter, maple syrup, sea salt, coconut milk and ice. Blend. YUM! If you were into them, you could add half a banana too (I loathe bananas).


Do you have a favourite smoothie recipe? Care to share?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Three things Thursday

What a week! I feel like this one just flew by.


1. Since last Thursday, two of my friends have had babies. While I'm quite sure that Jimmy is my last baby, there is something to be said for meeting a brand new tiny human for the first time, and that special, unique baby smell!

2. I've done quite a bit of eating of sweets over the past week. To start, Mr Fork and Ellie got me some vegan cupcakes for Valentine's Day. Then we went on a family outing for more churros. Finally it was Shrove Tuesday this week so of course Ellie and I had to celebrate with pancakes, and quite frankly I think pancakes are best with maple syrup all over them! Luckily I'm breastfeeding constantly so I don't really have to be too concerned with calories and can just revel in the consuming of them.

3. Today is Chinese New Year. 2015 is the year of the sheep (some call it the year of the goat but I think it's a sheep). We had a family dinner at Mr Fork's parent's house last night, and that kicked off the festivities, which will go for another two weeks. As always, I love this time of year - there is lots of food, family, socialising and traditions that I love for my children to be a part of. Also, did I mention food? Ha!


What has been the high point of your week?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Recipe: Sourdough pancakes

I'm a bit loathe to really call this one a recipe, since it's just a frugal and economical way of making sure that the bits I discard from my sourdough starter Lorenzo are put to good use.  Because frankly, I'm cheap like that.

Sourdough starter is a wonderful little thing, with a personality all of its own. Sometimes Lorenzo is bubbly and active and other times he sits there like a smelly blob. I'm yet to figure him out completely (in fact I'm yet to make a loaf I'm completely happy with too). What I do know is that he requires regular feeding, and along with that regular feeding comes frequent discarding too. Waste isn't really something I'm ok with, so Ellie and I did some investigation and decided sourdough pancakes sounded amazing.

We've made several batches now and I think adding the starter makes them really delicious - they seem to rise beautifully and make equally good sweet or savoury versions. With today being Shrove Tuesday, I thought it a great opportunity to share. Also, I'll take any excuse to eat pancakes!


Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 portion sourdough starter (I'll use 'portion' and take all other measurements in reference to that)
  • 1.5 portions milk of your choice (I used almond)
  • 1 portion plain flour, or a little more if you prefer your pancakes thicker (this will also depend on the hydration level of your starter)
  • pinch of salt
  • tablespoon of coconut oil
Method:
  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl (ensure the coconut oil is melted first).
  2. Heat a frypan and add a small amount of coconut oil. Pour the batter in and cook on both sides until lovely and golden.

Notes:
  • I don't add sugar to my pancake batter as Ellie changes her mind constantly about what she wants atop them. Sometimes it's maple syrup and fruit, sometimes vegemite (yes really). So I leave the mixture plain and let the toppings be the star. You could easily make a sweeter batter if that's your preference.
  • I make small pikelet sized pancakes as that means I can do more of them at once, to feed the Fork hoards faster. Larger ones are also delicious.
How do you eat your pancakes?

Friday, February 13, 2015

I want choice, not obligation

So it's February, already, and there seems to be a common theme out there in the real world right now. Everyone is talking about their existence in relation to whether they have someone, don't have someone, want someone and so on. It's coming up to that time of year again isn't it? You know what I'm talking about... THAT day.

Valentine's Day. Oh yes, that day is well on the way. Pink and red abounds... in all the stores. In heart form, in bear form, in cards and streamers and balloon form. Pink is cute. Red is cute. Pink and red together is just a little sickening and makes me feel a bit like I've eaten a whole coconut loaf on my own.

Mr Fork and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. I get cross at him for spending exorbitant sums on flowers that have been marked up for the occasion. Don't get me wrong... Girls like flowers.  I like flowers. Oriental lilies are my favourite. The pink ones especially. They are not that expensive. Except on Valentine's Day, when you have to practically sell off a kidney to buy them. So I'd rather get flowers on a day where he doesn't feel obliged to buy them for me but instead gets me flowers because he wants to.  Besides, there is something about the weirdly perfect flowers sold on special occasions that is odd. Give me the perfectly imperfect version anytime!


With that in mind, Valentine's Day is still a day to celebrate love, whether that's with a partner, children, fur children, best friends, or even yourself. So I've put together a list of suggestions for celebrations that don't have to cost a fortune:

  • Go on a picnic. Pack a nice spread, load everything in the car and eat outdoors for a change. It might be just me, but I think food tastes nicer outside!
  • Bake cookies or other sweet treats. You don't have to eat them all yourself, you could share them around with coworkers and friends... but who doesn't love a little sugary indulgence every now and then?
  • Take a bath (or a shower if that's your thing). Pamper yourself - wash your hair, exfoliate, cleanse and use all those nice bath products you've been saving for a special occasion.
  • Sit down. That's right. Put your feet up. Do absolutely nothing. Sometimes, it's nice to do nothing alone, but you can be companionable and do nothing with other people too.
  • Have a conversation. A real in depth conversation about an interesting topic. Remove all electronic stimulation. No TV, no phones, no computer or iPads. 
  • Go for a walk. Go outdoors, enjoy the scenery. Take the family, take the hounds and go walking. If you're really lucky you might meander back via a local cafe and grab a coffee and a sweet treat along the way!
How do you celebrate love? Got any Valentine's Day plans?

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