Thursday, 5 June 2014

Hi all,

Just a quick note as I have seen that two new people have subscribed to receive email updates from this page today. My blog has now moved to

Unfortunately, in the process of moving to this new page I have lost the email addresses of those who subscribed to my blog previously. To continue receiving updates from me please go to my new blog page (link above), and click the subscribe by email button.

Thanks again x

Monday, 26 May 2014

I've Moved

Hi all,

Sorry for the long delay in between posts. I've been busy moving this blog over to wordpress (and giving it a bit of a makeover). This will be my last post from this site,  so please follow me over to to continue following me.

If you currently follow me by email I think you may need to resubscribe to my new site, just to be sure you actually receive my updates.

Thanks for all your support and hope to see you over on my new page xx

Friday, 11 April 2014

How much of Australia Have You Seen? { My Bucket List }

The latest Australian Traveller Magazine. Have you read it?

If your answer is no, than you must. A special collector's edition featuring the 100 greatest holidays in Australia. It is an inspiring and great read. Bound to give you the travel bug and have you wondering why you bothered going to Bali all those times for holidays and not somewhere in your own country.

How ridiculous is it that I've seen so little of Australia. Of my own country. My own backyard. I've visited and travelled the streets of more Asian and European cities than I have those in Australia. Ridiculous I tell you!

Living here in the Pilbara has shown me how little I know of my own country. How under appreciated it was in my own mind and how spoilt we are to live in such a beautiful country with such varied scenery. We have more stunning coastlines, mountain ranges and food regions than we can ever possibly realise and here we all are rushing off to Fiji, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the like.

For me having small children has really changed my opinion about travel to some of the more often travelled to countries that we as Australians tend to frequent. Sure it's more expensive to travel in Australia, but at least the water is safe to drink, you can eat the food from any vendor without question and you don't have to worry about the quality of healthcare if heaven forbid you or one of your children happen to fall ill.

Reading this issue of Australian Traveller has reaffirmed my growing commitment to travel and see Australia as much as we are able over the next few years. My list of places to go after reading through the 100 greatest holidays of Australia is long. Too long to list here. But the top of my bucket list, well it looks a little like this.

Lord Howe Island
Adelaide and the Barossa/Clare Valleys
The Bungle Bungles
The Ningaloo Reef Area
Byron Bay
Strahan and the Gordon River
Road trip the Pacific Coast from Sydney to Brisbane
Do the Gibb River Road from Broome to the Kimberley
Spend a long weekend in Daylesford
Visit the Greater Blue Mountains area
Swim in Wineglass Bay

Been to any of these places?
Love them?
Have somewhere else on your bucket list that you think deserves to be on mine?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Biter in Our Midst { To Bite or Not To Bite }

This cute little face. She really is our little bundle of cuteness, tickles and fun. While Amelie may be our pride, little Jessie is just pure joy (well mostly to both of those statements). An easy, sweet, but  shy personality who has quickly grown from our little baby into a moving, emptying the contents of my drawers toddler.

Jessie has eased her way in to our family in her role as the "poor" second child. Happily pottering around the house, exploring all of it's nooks, crannies and objects. She is always occupying herself. Her inquisitive fingers searching out the smallest of things to work and move. To empty.

This girl has learnt the art of adaptability. Moving past the scratching attack phase when she was a baby that was Amelie's desperate need for my attention. To winning over her sisters love and desire for attention by laughing and smiling at her funny dances and ways. Yes this girl is not silly.

But along with this adaptability has come the art of speed. While she may have been surefooted for some time, she now has speed. A running attempt at keeping her big sister from sntaching (again) the toys that she was happily playing with just a moment ago, from out of her hands.

There's only so much a girl can take. Even one with such a sweet nature. Before she bites back in frustration, literally. Yes we have a biter, and a very good one at that. While I don't like it, I can empathise. Amelie's constant snatching of toys from Jessie, and complete unwillingness to share makes me bite in the talking too loud kind of way also.

It brings back memories of my youngest brother, a prolific biter in his toddler years. I recall my parents constant no's, and tellings off that came to nothing. That was until the day my brother made the mistake of biting me in front of my Nanna while she was babysitting us. She'd heard about all of this biting, but hadn't witnessed it for herself. She did what a lot of old school sorts would have done, she bit him back, straight on the arm. I'll never forget it. And clearly neither did my brother. Who never bit another person ever again.

Mum was furious. Nanna was indignant. She felt she'd done Mum a favour, doing what should have been done already. All this biting in my house gets me thinking about the huge difference in parenting styles between our generation and my grandparents generation. My Nanna's one of the loveliest people that you would ever meet, with a great sense of humour in all parts of her life, but she certainly was a no-nonsense type when it came to discipline.

I could never see myself biting one of my children. But I can't help but wonder as I'm pulling a lunging biting child of her older sister whilst passing toys back to their rightful owner at the same time, am I doing this right?

All this makes me think of this quote we've all seen floating around Facebook and the web.

Discipline is so fuzzy to me sometimes. So many rights and wrongs. Reports and studies. I've read my stuff. I love Dr Laura Markham's book "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids" and her AHA parenting website. I'd like to think I know my shit. And yet I'm still confused between what I know worked in the last two generations of our family and what I know isn't accepted now as ideal discipline.

In the words of my Mum "parenting was easier when there were no rules and all these books telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing." (Let me just say now we had a good childhood and were not in any way over disciplined in a physical manner. Just in case you were wondering).

So while I break up another tussle of who's toy is mine and belongs to whom to prevent any biting from going on tell me.

Are you an old school or a new school type of discipliner?
Listen to your Nanna's advice or over-think yourself with all the books and should nots that are out there?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A Photo Safari { A Daddy Day Care Weekend }

The start of my part-time job has meant my husband is now caring for the girls on his own for large parts of the weekend. While I'm enjoying being at work, and also the break from the chaos of having two toddlers at home, a part of me also misses them too. Wondering how they are, what they're doing or where they are. Of course I know they are completely fine with their Dad, but still......

Luckily my work morning is peppered throughout with endless photos from my husband of their whereabouts and mini-adventures. There is something to be said for Daddy day care, while he might forget to brush their hair and teeth in the morning, it is effortlessly care free, completely unplanned and relaxed. Though the state of the house when I arrive home is often also a sad reflection on this.

While my working hours are only short compared with those in full-time work, I have a new appreciation for Mum's who manage to work part-time, manage a house and do day care/school pick ups. Because let's face it. When you finish work at work, you return home to just as much, if not more work.

I can't help but wonder if it's all worth it!

A Sunday morning for Amelie and Jessie at Ophtalmia Dam.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

What's On Repeat This Week { Noosa }

Noosa......nope not the place but a great Indie singer whose voice reminds me a little of Ellie Goulding and Lana Del Ray. Loving her song "Walk On By'"  at the moment. Plus the middle part of the song sends my girls into a dancing twirling spin which is always fun to watch!

After a few listens you're going to have a hard time hitting stop.

You can listen to it here.


A Book Club

As you may or may not know by now I am a huge reader of books. And I love to own them not borrow them. In the beginning I started of a slow reader, needing extra help and encouragement at home to learn how to read.

But by fifth grade I was a devourer of books. Reading all the books worth reading in our primary school library, and forging a librarian's pet relationship with Mrs West our school librarian in the process. Mrs West set aside all the new books that she knew I would enjoy, letting me read them new before anybody else's little hands were all over them. I'd read them quickly, and then they would be returned to the library for the rest of the school population to trash and doggy ear. Perhaps it's this start to reading that I can blame for my ongoing "need" to read and own a book in new condition over library borrowed.

However, over the last three years there has been a sharp decline in the amount of books that I read. First I was Mum to one, then to two and now this blog. It has left me with very little spare time to read books. But this year I wanted to make a small goal, to be a little more committed to reading, actually making time for it, rather than just waiting for the free time to appear. Which it never does. And that's when my good friend Meegan suggested something I'd been considering doing for sometime myself (but never felt brave enough to do), starting a book club of her own.

I get the sense that this is going to be the kind of book club that I've often wanted to join. I love books. I love a heavy bit of literature. But I don't need any chapter breakdowns, over analysis of plot lines and characters or discussion of symbolism and pulling apart of paragraphs. Hell I don't even know what I am talking about, that was all the way back in pre-tertairy English. And I've left all of that there.

Now I want to read a book and say I either enjoyed it or I didn't and for those reasons to be simple and straightforward. Which is why I think this book club and our monthly meetings are going to be a perfect way for me to have to read a book in a certain space of time. Relaxed. Over a few wines. And look I'm clearly not going to go hungry at these catch ups either, particularly with my tendency to over nibble.


Our book this month is Five Quarters of The Orange by Joanne Harris. Most known for her earlier novel Chocolat, which was later made into a movie. And yes I bought the book despite the library being able to get numerous copies in for all us.

Ever been part of a book club?
Was it a casual drinking wine type affair or all wordy and studious?
Read Five Quarters of The Orange?

Monday, 31 March 2014

I Live in A Mining Town { Could You? }

Could you live here?

Before moving here, I would have answered no. No bloody way. In fact I did discount ever living in a mining town in a handful of particularly heated conversations with my husband. But now I find myself living here so I can't quite say that anymore.

March marks nine months of living in Newman for us. And it has gone surprisingly quick. I won't lie, living here has been an adjustment. There are some BIG things I really miss about the outside world. And occasionally, you might just find me suffering a case of the Newman Blues. A slump that seems to infiltrate slowly into your psyche, leaving you feeling down and questioning what the hell you're doing living in such a place.

But ultimately, you have to make the most of your situation. And while perhaps sounding a little too similar to some older members of my family, ultimately, you just have to get on with things and make the most of what you have and where you find yourself.

Source Pinterest ie. I have no idea. Apologies if it's yours.

So where am I attempting to bloom? Newman, a place where there isn't nearly enough rain for most of the year (which can sometimes make blooming difficult). A 12 hour drive from Perth, and just over 4 hours drive from the coast. We're not near anything really (if you don't count some lovely national parks). We're in mining country. It's ridiculously hot for too long a part of the year, and it's a little red dirt dusty.

So what changed my adamant I never want to live in a mining town mind, and brought us to living in such a place, far from home? Family. My exhausted self who was tired of looking after two children on her own every second week while her husband was away working. And the fact that financially we needed me to be back at work, at least part-time, and I simply wasn't ready or willing to go back there just yet and leave our girls in daycare.

So this was the compromise. Two years in a mining town. Our rent paid for us. Utilities paid for us. A huge change in our lifestyle that allows me to continue being a stay at home Mum. While also having my husband home every night to help out with the night waking and 5pm cooking tea everybody is tired and messy hour.

It was a big choice, and one which we've chosen to look on as an adventure. We've had our down moments, but have never truly regretted moving here. While the day to day of living in such an isolated place can be difficult at times, the different experiences we've had, and the chance to bond as a family unit on an everyday basis, and for the first time, have all made this decision to move here the right one.

So what is here? Well there isn't too much in the way of shopping, eating out or any of those sorts of things in Newman. It is certainly expensive to get out of town as often as you might want to or need to for your own sanity, (if you thought Perth was expensive then you should accommodate yourself with Pilbara prices). And in all honesty there's not much to really occupy yourself with as an adult here (you either occupy yourself with your children, the gym or the pub after work hours, unless you're doing distance study or have a blog!)

But what has kept me sane, and made my days both bearable and  enjoyable has been the friends I've made since moving here. The Mum's and children who we catch up with for playdates, run into at Kindermusik, at our dancing lessons and playgroup. Who help fill the hours in our day. While some might talk of cliqueness, I've personally experienced nothing but friendliness and support since living here.

Mostly we're all in the same boat. Missing family. Missing civilisation. Sometimes not at all. Sometimes a lot. There are times you just need to have a big whinge to get over it and move on already. I'm lucky enough to be able to say that I have people I can whinge to openly, and not be judged for it. That's a good friend right there.

I know that there will be a part of me relieved to leave this town. But the longer I am here the more I realise how much I might just miss living here too. It will leave an indelible imprint on me as a person. An enjoyment of being in the outdoors (by that I don't mean our backyard or the park), and a taste for 4WD'ing and the simpler things that come with that, which weren't ever a part of who I was before moving here.

The red dirt really does start seeping it's way into your blood. It is a different land up here to the Australia that I knew previously. You can't describe it until you've been here and travelled it's gorges, rockpools and stunning coastlines.  It's undeniable, living here can be harsh and brings with it some difficulties, but it is a beautiful part of our country. In some ways, the true spirit of Australia can be felt here, more than it can in any other place I've lived or visited. While some cities might have buzz and energy, travelling this part of Australia shows you it's true heart.

I know that when we do come to leave here, that I will take many fond memories of our time here with me. Of the experiences that we shared as a family. The adventures that we had, the places we explored and the friends that we have met.

If you move here, don't spend your time sitting on the couch, in your backyard or driving around town. Get yourself a 4WD and get out there and enjoy it (never thought I'd find myself writing that in a sentence!)

We definitely won't regret our time spent living and exploring this part of the world.

Think you could live here?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

What's On Repeat This Week { Radiohead }

"music in the soul
can be heard by the Universe"

Inspired by The Lover List's Tuesday Tunes.

If you haven't visited Brooke from The Lover List, then you really should. She has a wonderful blog and great choice in music. You will be inspired and you will end up making purchases on your iTunes. Credit card be warned.

If you were lucky enough to be brought up listening to your parents music, than it really can be the soundtrack to your life's memories. Childhood car trips listening to Dad's Sultan's of Swing tape (boy was repeat an annoying thing then), Mum's car trips with Simply Red, hauling dug up armfuls of pesky ragwort up the hillside of our paddock with the No Mercy album playing loudly on the back verandah for all to hear (a good reason to dump your bundle and get back to the end of the paddock and as far away from that noise as you can). Watching Nanna dancing like she's drying herself with a towel at impromptu family ABBA dancing parties (my Uncle is married to a Swedish girl, so we can be excused over that one).

It is no secret in this house that I'm a lover of music. I listen to anything. I listen to it often. And if I happen to be driving on my own sans children, I listen to it loud.  My playlist is wide and varied. I do not discriminate. You will find Enrique Iglesias, Neil Young, Pavarotti, Ministry of Sound and everything in between. 

But what I am is a repeater of music. Yes I will get to the end of my current favourite song, and I will hit that repeat button over and over again. And as often as I can get away with (surprisingly some people find this attribute annoying). Listening to my Mum's music playing over and over again while she is in the shower tells me that this might be a genetic thing ( I never need to hear Sail Away With Me by David Gray ever again in my lifetime, sorry Mum!) So I don't bother fighting this urge.

Posts like these, will be an occasional sum up of what I'm listening to on constant repeat at the moment. Whenever something makes me hit that repeat button over and over again, I promise to share it with you. Aren't you glad?

So what song inspired me to start this today. 

House of Cards by Radiohead. An oldie that I somehow missed and happened to hear only for the first time yesterday. My use of the repeat button has made up for that since then don't you worry.
You can listen to it here

This song makes me think of an old flat mate of mine, who I'm lucky enough to still call a good friend. Miss your company Kathy. Sending this one out to you with memories of laying on the couch with Bono stalking me. If I'd been there in 2007, we would definitely have listened to this while sharing one last drink before going to bed.

Love music?
Have a song or album that takes you back to another place?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Orange and Almond Syrup Cake

I've had several requests for this recipe after I used this cake in my Cup of Tea with Me Post. So here it is, and also in it's true uncropped image. Unlike the one I had to use previously. A lesson to never turn your back, however momentarily, on a delicious looking cake when you have a peckish husband roaming around the house.

Orange and Almond Syrup Cake

2 whole oranges
250g almond meal
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tspn baking powder

60gm freshly squeezed orange juice
80gm caster sugar
80gm citrus marmalade

Place oranges into saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer very gently, with lid closed for 45 minutes. Remove and discard water. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
Once oranges have cooled, remove top and bottom of oranges, and cut into pieces.
Place all cake ingredients into food processor and process until mixture resembles a smooth batter.
Pour into tin and bake 40-45 minutes.

Once cake is out of the oven you can prepare the syrup. Place orange juice, sugar and marmalade into a small saucepan and over low heat continually stir the syrup until all of the sugar is dissolved. Using a skewer, pierce cake multiple times before pouring over syrup and allow it to absorb before serving.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Returning to Work { The Paid Kind }

For the last three years, I have been lucky to be able to call myself a stay at home Mum. It has been the hardest, most exhausting, and rewarding job that I've ever had the pleasure of calling mine. At times pre-children, I had considered some of my previous bosses to be a little bit on the unreasonable and difficult side of things, but these two daughters of mine have out-matched, out-bossed and surpassed any dentist that I've ever had the displeasure at times of working with (my "real" profession is that of a dental hygienist).

Other bosses may have demanded and asked me to work faster, to clean more peoples teeth in my day, encourage patients to buy this, suggest that they may need this filling replaced. But none have ever accompanied me on my every toilet trip, sat on my lap every time I tried to eat my breakfast or lunch, ate my food right of my plate, or laid on the floor and kicked and screamed at me when they found out they couldn't have their own way. They didn't follow me around all day, assisting and micro managing me in everything that I did. They haven't woken me in the night and kept me awake for hours on end, or consistently interrupted and needed something every time I try to have a conversation with somebody else. They haven't tried to snatch my phone out of my hand mid-sentence because they want to talk to Grandma, leaving me having to walk around aimlessly (whilst talking) so that my phone is out of their reach. And no dentist has ever kept me so busy that every cup of coffee I tried to drink was lukewarm by the time I actually had the chance to sit down and enjoy it. If they had, I would have quit. One finger style.

Yes, these two little angels of mine. Sweet as they can be and as delightful as they are for most of the day, have worked me harder than anybody else has ever done previously.

I don't need a job, I already have one. And it is more than full-time. But it doesn't pay so well. And sometimes, a little break from this job, might not be such a bad thing for me. Because God knows it's hard to get a break at home. If Mum's in the house, she is always needed for something. Regardless of where I try to hide, or how boring I try to make myself seem.

So I'm returning to casual work, to have a break from what I now consider to be my "real" job, being a Mum. The fact that it pays, is an added bonus. And blissfully, it's not of the dental kind. I don't think I'm quite ready, nor have the head space for that over-scheduled, busy world just yet.

A stroke of good timing has landed me a casual job at our local visitors centre/cafe/gift shop. A chance to meet some of the relaxed holidaying folk who visit and pass through our town. A real departure from my dental background, but one I'm looking forward to. Now that I'm a Mum, I no longer feel as career orientated as I used to, and still dream (like so many of us do) of a job that I could do from home during school hours.

In the meantime while I'm still working on that dream, I'll happily clean, make scones, serve coffee and chat to grey nomads. All the while enjoying the chance to enjoy uninterrupted adult conversations, and hopefully a little peace and quiet from toddler banter. It doesn't read like work to me at all really.

Have you returned back to paid work?
Found it's a nice break away from home? 
Or just added to the chaos?

Monday, 17 March 2014

Doing Less and A Girls Only Picnic By the Sea Shore

A lazy weekend. One spent mostly on our own while my husband was away on a boy's camping trip. There was a time when my husband worked fly in fly out from Perth. Leaving me with our daughter, then eventually our two daughters, every second week.

Now that my youngest Jessie is older, I no longer feel daunted by caring for our two on my own. Despite this, the same old worried feelings that I often felt when my husband was working away, crept back in. What was I going to do on my lonesome to keep these two entertained? Even with a morning spent at the local pool with a friend, it left plenty of empty time to fill.

What I have learnt from similar anxious feelings like this. That when you have a strong urge to do more, often the best choice is to do less. What could have been a weekend full of outings and catch ups with friends to get us out of the house, became something completely the opposite.

We baked. We ate what we had in the fridge and cupboards. We played. I kept things simple; meals, activities and expectations of myself. I didn't rush through the household chores. I stayed in my pyjamas for longer than I would normally. We just did less.

And what I found. More calm moments. More stillness. More concentration in the girls play. Less tantrums and end of day raggedy behaviour.

It all reminds me of conversations had with my Nanna and my Mum. About times past, where not everybody drove cars, and trips out of the house with children were weekly ventures. Not daily rushed affairs to get out the door to dance lessons, play group. music and other such things. While the boredom of that type of living seems stifling to me, I can see the positives in it. More chances for children to just be. To play in their own little world. 

The truth, that sometimes that need to be social and busy, is more our own, and not our children's. Before this weekend I wouldn't have considered us to be "over-scheduled" in regards to the girls planned activities. But now I can't help but wonder if we might be. Just a little. 

Our afternoon trip to the "sea shore". Imagined and created by Amelie. A bike ride to the shops to collect food for our picnic. A rug to stop the sand from spoiling our food. Talk in hushed tones due to a nearby sleeping baby. Endless cups of tea. It was delightful.

Do you find doing less makes parenting easier?
Or are your children better when they're kept a little busy?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Oven-Baked Tuna and Tomato Risotto

With a husband away camping for a long weekend it's been just myself and the girls. I worried that the girls might have missed their Dad (he has been out of phone range, so we really haven't heard from him at all). But things have gone more smoother than I expected.

I won't say that they haven't missed him. But they have been their usual selves, playing happily together one minute and snatching toys from one another the next. All of which was a huge relief. Nothing worse than trying to calm a toddler and trying to explain the reasons why we can't call Daddy today.

So after a busy morning at the pool with friends and over tired children this afternoon, it called for a simple filling meal tonight. Our go to. One that everybody eats without complaint. 

Oven-baked Tuna and Tomato Risotto

875ml chicken stock
10g butter
2 tspns olive oil
1 medium brown onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
425g can tuna in oil, drained gently
1 cup frozen peas
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbspns lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C, or 160C fan forced.
Bring stock to boil in medium sized saucepan. Meanwhile, melt butter with olive oil in large saucepan, cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Add rice, stir to coat in onion mixture. Stir in hot stock and tuna.
Place risotto mixture in a large shallow baking dish, cover with foil. Bake in oven, 15 min, stirring halfway through cooking time. Uncover, bake another 20 minutes. Stir in peas, top with tomatoes, bake uncovered, about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from oven, stir in lemon juice.

Hope yours was a relaxing weekend x

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Yellow { and The Power of Colour }

My emotions became the better of me during the week. I found myself in a slump. An emotional slump. A blogging slump. I was in a mood. And a very negative one at that.

I was over the constant 40 degree heat day after day after day, over the repetitive sameness that can be living in this town at times. Over being stuck in the middle of nowhere. Annoyed that it's costing the four of us $6,000 to return home to Tasmania for Christmas. I wanted to be back in amongst civilisation. Visit the beach. Visit a trendy cafe. Be anywhere else but here.

I found myself on Pinterest one night (when I should have been in bed sleeping). Pinning wildly. Surrounded by so many beautiful and inspiring images and ideas. And I was reminded of the power of colour to lift and brighten your mood.

Yellow truly is "my" colour. I find it so uplifting and happy. You can't help but think good thoughts when you look at images such as these. They are certain to put a smile on your dial.

What I'm clearly realising, is that I need more splashes of yellow in my life and home. I've always coveted a yellow dala horse so it's probably time I tried to find one. And while I continue to try and convince my husband that we should paint our dining chairs yellow, I might just have to settle for some yellow nail polish, for now. But mostly what I need is to buy a house with stairs, because of all these images, the yellow wall papered stairs are my absolute favourite. Instant happy.

Do you have a colour?
Does it brighten your mood?

Linking up with Sonia from Life, Love and Hiccups and Maxabella Loves for their weekend rewind x

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A Cup of Tea With Me

Hello there, welcome to My Yellow Heart. If we haven't met before, and you're joining me through Pip's Blog With Pip linkin, then it's lovely to meet you and thanks for stopping by.

On a whim, I enrolled in the Blog with Pip course to improve my blogging skills. It has been a busy last few weeks. I've met a lovely supportive group of fellow bloggers who have inspired me to continue what I'm doing here, to do it better, and in a more creative and smart way.

Pip has been inundated from endless questions from all of us, and is truly the most patient person you could ask for. Teaching a group of people how to get your own blogging host, domain, change to wordpress is no easy task (one I'm still in the process of changing). Something always goes wrong, codes don't work, or it can simply feel overwhelming. Nothing has been too much to ask of Pip, at any time. She has been a huge support.

If you're considering enrolling in the next intake of the Blog with Pip course, please do. I can't recommend it highly enough. You certainly won't regret it.

My final assignment, to end our blogging course with. A way for you to get to know me a little better, if you don't already. So please feel free, to pour yourself a cup of tea, enjoy a piece of orange syrup cake and sit with me. I even brought out my special tea cosy, a gift from my Nanna especially for the occasion, and I don't do that for just anybody in 40 degree weather.

And for those in my blogging group who are amazingly crafty, know that this knitted, or is it crocheted (I'm not actually sure about that one, I think crochet) tea cosy from my Nanna might be as close as this blog gets to a knitting needle for quite sometime yet.

1 } Name, state and a bit about what you do on a daily basis.
I'm Carla, and I live in the West Australian Pilbara. Think lots of red dirt and dust, hot weather and stunning coastlines. I like to look at it as our red adventure. I am a stay at home Mum to our two spirited daughters Amelie and Jessie. What do I do on a daily basis? Well I pick up endless amounts of toys scattered on the floor, tidy, cook, do craft, play dolls, build up ups and clean (occasionally). And while I might complain about it some days, I really wouldn't want to have it any other way.

2 } Favourite things to do.
I enjoy cooking, pottering around home, reading, music and writing. Living in this part of the world has really inspired us to travel and see new places while we're living here. Getaways to the coast, day trips to all the amazing rock pools and national parks that surround where we live is definitely a favourite thing to do for me at the moment. The landscape is amazing and so different to what I grew up surrounded by (I'm originally from Tasmania).

3 } Favourite place to be.
I miss walks along the beach. I miss a cool sea breeze. The beach is easily my favourite place to be.

4 } Favourite things to eat and drink.
I love seafood. And I also really love it when somebody cooks for me, then I really don't mind what I'm eating! I'm equal parts tea and coffee drinker and I love nothing better than a glass of wine, or a vodka lime and soda (fresh lime only please).

5 } Favourite inspirations.
I'm inspired by people who take risks, and make big changes to achieve their dreams and get to where they want to be. I love listening to peoples hopes and plans for themselves and their families.

6 } Something I want to know more about.
I'd love to know more about my Portuguese family history, but lack of time and language barriers have made things complicated so far. On the to do list.

7 } Some favourite blogs.
I enjoy reading lots of blogs. Some inspire, some give me a taste of that beach lifestyle that I miss, others give me house envy or food envy, or simply just make me laugh. I love some of the more well-known ones such as BabyMac, Maxabella Loves, Tales from A Happy House, and Life, Love and Hiccups. But I also really love some of the smaller blogs such as A Little Bit Country, Teacups Too, Honey and Fizz, House Nerd and Cake Crumbs and Beach Sand.

The blogging world is like a rabbit warren, you can so easily get lost in it and find yourself up at 11pm and still reading!

Find yourself doing the same?
What are your favourite blogs to read?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Simple Apple Loaf

If you're anything like me, than variety and trying to encourage yor children to eat different things is important to you, especially when you have a toddler who is picky about what she eats. 

Anybody would think that we had a pet monkey at home with the amount of bananas that are eaten in our house at times. It is the only reliable food that my youngest will eat some days. While it's not the end of the world, and she is of course thriving and healthy, I can't help but feel a little worried and annoyed about a diet that consists of bananas, milk, ritz crackers (which must have nothing on top), tuna, scrambled eggs, sausages, rice and porridge. Oh yes and chocolate, she can bring herself to eat that.

So I am always attempting to smuggle in any other fruit, aside from banana, or vegetable into any dish I can, in the hope that it might actually be eaten.

This loaf passed Jessie's lick test and is also enjoyed by everybody else. It has become a bit of a go to, there's nothing in the cupboard recipe. We always have the ingredients in the kitchen and it's so delicious and simple. And never dry.

Apple Loaf

2 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tspn mixed spice
1/2 tspn cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 eggs
4 medium granny smith apples, grated with their skin still on (I've also used red apples, and it still tastes just as nice)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 14x20cm loaf tin.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, spices and salt.
In another jug or bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add in the apple and mix until just combined.
Pour mixture into the loaf tin, smooth the top, scatter over flaked almonds (optional) and bake for 50-55 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. (Cover with foil if getting too brown around 35 minutes).

This is a Veggie Smugglers recipe. I can't recommend Wendy's cookbooks highly enough if you're struggling with a picky toddler. I'd love to say that my girls devour their salads and vegetables, but they just don't, as much as I've tried. Her recipes are great at sneaking as many vegetables as you can into your children's diet. I know that some are anti this idea of sneaking fruit and vegetables into food. But I believe more in exposing children to different tastes and textures, and creating a love for that taste, which will hopefully lead to them being able to eat them in a less sneaky form in the future.

That's how I choose to look at it anyway!!

Enjoy x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Offspring { Please Come Back Patrick Reid }

Did you catch the preview of the new season of Offspring this week?

Season five hasn't even started, and already I find myself quietly crying over the preview. How beautiful was it. And the most adorable and sweetest of babies (who even looks a little like Patrick). And the Proudman family. Billie. I still recall her line in the final episode at the pool where she says to Nina, "I'll cover you. If you can't love this baby, I'll love it until you're ready." Gorgeous. All of it.

With or without Patrick, the show will always be amazing. And as much as I love Billie, my girl crush on Asher Keddie, as herself in real life, and as Nina will continue. But what I really want to know is, where are you Patrick? And please come back. Even if it is a Bold in the Beautiful style resurrection from the dead. I seriously won't mind. Maybe you have just been off hunting for bears again. I will happily forgive the complete lack of plot line. No questions asked. No explanation necessary. Just come back.

I don't know what to expect, or how I'm going to feel about this upcoming season. I can't imagine Offspring without Patrick. It's like a little bit of grief that I'm still learning to accept and live with (yes I know, he isn't a "real" person, thank you caring husband for reminding me). This season is going to be a tear jerker. The playing with the handmade rocking chair. All the missed moments. It will continue to be the only show, where no talking or disruption of any kind is allowed while it's on, excepting the ad breaks.

In the meantime, while I patiently wait for mid May to come around quickly, all I think I can realistically hope for, is that Nina's constant daydreaming continues throughout this upcoming season. So that I can see Patrick a few more times. Preferably without his top on. Or smiling. Exactly like this.

Hope I'm not asking for too much.

Any guesses on what Nina (and Patrick) might have chosen to name their daughter?

Linking up with Life, Love and Hiccups and Maxabella Loves for their Weekend Rewind.

Monday, 3 March 2014

A Photo Safari { Our Weekend }

I'm doing a four week blogging course with Pip from Meet me at Mikes. It is keeping me a little busy. Tweaking html, setting up to change my blog over to wordpress. My to do list keeps growing longer and longer. And it's all computer related, which isn't my strong point. So finally I'm getting around to completing and posting my first mini assignment. I opted out of the first assignment, which was to post a podcast of yourself on your blog. Let's just say, I did the podcast, and I didn't like the sound of my own voice. Better I stick to writing.

So here it is. My first assignment, which is in truth the second assignment. A photo safari. Five photos that capture my weekend.

Ordinary moments. A nothing special weekend, where lots was achieved around the house and yard. Those kind of catch up, tidy up weekends, that sometimes you need to have every now and again. That completely describes ours.

We recently celebrated our wedding anniversary, and I am loving the colours in the flowers that my husband gave to me.

We watched our big girl ride all the way down the street, and all the way back home for the very first time.

I managed to get through the ever increasing pile of hand washing that was accumulating in my laundry. Anybody else noticing how so many more clothes are now hand wash only? Even children's clothes. It's getting a little ridiculous.

Amelie sat through her first movie, The Little Mermaid. And was mesmerised. (See I told you it was an ordinary type weekend). Me, I couldn't move on from the fact that The Little Mermaid was made in 1989. What?!!! I swear it was the 90's. Watching this movie with Amelie, made me feel rather old.

A little bit of painting with water.

All intertwined with endless cups of tea.

There is something about taking photos of ordinary moments in your weekend that can really make you appreciate the magic and simplicity that is your life. And make you feel entirely grateful for all that you have. Thanks for this assignment Pip, I will definitely do this again x

Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Yellow Wedding Day { Our Fourth Wedding Anniversary }

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. Looking back through the wedding photos it feels like a small lifetime ago. A wedding can really capture a couple sometimes. A moment in time, where you're both looking your best. Toned, tanned, not sleep deprived and wearing the best dress that you will possibly ever get the chance to wear in your lifetime. As much as I love our life, and our family now, a part of me feels quite nostalgic about how we were back then. Life was certainly more simple when there was only two of us to worry about.

We rarely look through our wedding photos. Of which there are a ridiculous amount. But I do always find myself glancing through our album on our anniversary. It was one of the most magical days that we have shared together as a couple. And one of the most special, alongside having our daughters. It wasn't a perfect wedding. There were a few hitches, some family dramas, missing boutonnieres. But in the end, none of it mattered. Then or now. 

What did matter to us. That so many of our friends and family made the effort to be a part of our day and share it with us. Particularly since we were living in Perth, I had lived and still had friends in Melbourne, and on top of that we were getting married in Tasmania. With all our important people scattered all around the country, it was indescribably special to have them all in the same place, at the same time. And for us.

Who knew how much thought and time it took to plan a wedding? Certainly not me. Particularly when all I'd really wanted was a little garden wedding, morning ceremony and lunch/brunch reception at the local surf club overlooking the beach. No speeches. No formality beyond the "I do's." No first dance in front of everybody. All of that isn't me. I didn't want to be the centre of attention in a big wedding. But, the big wedding was what my husband really, really wanted. That and a cupcake wedding cake. And in the end, he really, really wanted it, more than I really didn't want it. So the big wedding and the cupcake wedding cake it was. With as many compromises on all that formality as I could sneak in.

It should come as no surprise, that the girl with the yellow heart, might have had yellow as her colour of choice for her wedding day. I toyed with other colours, but in the end there was just no other colour I really wanted. And so I dressed my oldest friend, my best friend and my half-sister, all pale skinned and dark haired, in a colour not ideally suited to any of their complexions.

We married at Mum's house, in her garden. Built by our family in the early 1900's. Mum had an arbour already set in the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony (not sure what she had been planning all those years ago). Followed by a dinner reception. The weather was perfect, the beach looked stunning. Mum's garden, after all her hard work, looked amazing. We were very blessed to have the day that we did. And I managed to find, and surprise my husband with the VW split screen kombi that was his dream wedding car. 


My last check in the mirror before the ceremony. I love this photo because I wasn't aware that my Great Great Grandfather who built this house, is watching over me in the photo.

And my tips for you, if you happen to be in the midst of planning a wedding.

Choose your wedding photographer wisely, they're worth spending money on. Don't get caught up in all the small details, your wedding doesn't have to be styled like one out of a wedding magazine (seriously those wedding magazines and pinterest have a lot to answer for in regards to bridal stress ). Choose your bridal party carefully, it's your big day, but it won't change a persons behaviour or feelings about your wife to be! In the name of honesty, (which I feel is important considering that I have included a photo of the bridal party), while my bridesmaids are still an important people in my life, the same can't be said for my husband's groomsmen. It wasn't peachey perfect on the day. And it isn't now. That's life. Which leads me to my next tip, don't let any issues, family or otherwise, stop you from enjoying your day (and your married life!) Relax and have fun. More than anything, I wish I had been more composed and relaxed, particularly during the big moments like the ceremony. My knees were literally knocking.

If you're planning a yellow wedding, I hope I have given you a little inspiration. 

Happiest of anniversaries to my husband. In you, I have always found someone who has loved, supported and accepted me for who I am. For better or worse. For that I will always be grateful.
Love you x

And now to the important questions.
Isn't yellow so happy?! and
Does anybody know anyone selling a split screen VW kombi?
We're in the market for one for Sunday drives after living here.
A much nicer drive than any 4WD!!
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