Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Blogging World

I'm relatively new to blogging.
It was something I started when we left Perth to begin living the residential life in a mining town. To help keep in touch with friends and family, who we now live far away from. But also in large part, to allow myself to feel that I was still part of a life that exists outside of this town.
Before starting my own, I rarely read blogs, if at all. I knew nothing of this online world. The internet world for me consisted of a too often spot of online shopping, and Facebook. With an occasional check of my email.
I have always been a voracious reader. But having children, has meant little time to read like I used to. Books take longer to finish, magazines can sit unread for days at times. I just don't have the space in my day, to read as much as I want to.
What I have found, is that reading blogs, is now a perfect match to my time poor self. Small snippets of thought, different voices, able to be enjoyed in just a few moments. With an endless choice of topics to choose from, and styles of writing to learn from and enjoy. From recipes, to montessori, fashion. All can be enjoyed in small moments in your day.
I love the momentary escape, that reading one can give to my day while I'm enjoying a small window of time to me. If I'm lucky, while also drinking a still HOT cup of something caffeine. The chance to read and connect with others, in the midst of what are often busy dusty days, can sometimes be the small breath of something different, that I just needed.

Some blogs that I enjoy spending my time with
How we Montessori - The first blog I've ever followed, long before I started my own. A great blog for age related, Montessori based activities, that are easy to be applied to home play.
Baby Mac - This is an all round lifestyle blog. Lots of topics, plus she owns an enviously beautiful home. Lots of lovely photos. I just enjoy this light hearted blog.
Hugo & Elsa - A small taste of Tasmania. With stunning photography and food.
House Nerd - Everybody loves peeping into other peoples homes, and this blog peeks into some amazing ones.
Che & Fidel - I love her notes on practicing simplicity
Strayed from the Table - For anyone needing inspiration to grow their own vegetables at home.
Bungalow Bliss - Follows a home renovation on a Californian Bungalow, and all the twists and turns of life that occur along the way.
A Little Delightful - This blog always leaves me wanting to buy what she posts. Oh, and make oreo pops.

What I am missing. A great blog about books that I really click with. And surely, there must be a girl like me somewhere, enduring the same red dirt lifestyle that I am, and writing about it.
Know anybody?
What blogs do you enjoy reading?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Little Red & Toby

Another hot, sunny afternoon. This one spent lazily in the backyard. A chance to sit back and relax, while the girls occupy themselves in their small wading pool, splashing around and cooling off.
The girls being somewhat, penned into their wading pool, doesn't just give me a little break. But also their treasured companions. The fifth and sixth members of our families. Perhaps, you could say, the most hard worked members. Meeting demands, the need for cuddles, comfort and company, not just through the day, but all through the night. I, at least, get to sleep in my own bed, without little fingers and hands searching for me. Looking for my eyes, nostrils and ears to poke and explore.
Little Red and Toby, as they're affectionately known, have taken a slightly harder battering than usual since moving to these parts. They're dropped in the red dirt regularly. Dragged in it. Crawled over by dirty knees. Held by dirty hands. And all the while, rarely allowed out of sight for a wash. They are looking, a little worse for wear. Slowly turning a slight shade of pinky red. But then maybe we all are. And we've just not realised it.

These two, are truly treasured possessions. Watched over by everyone. Needed so much, that they can't ever be lost. Rarely allowed beyond the house, or car. We have found an identical twin to Little Red, who can fill in at a moments notice,  if ever needed. But Toby. He's our only. We did find a twin for Toby. But he was just too new, shiny and white to ever be able to fill in without a certain someone noticing.

Both girls chose their own comforters. Their own favourite toy. Neither were the toy, that I thought, or hoped that they might love. I am often surprised, and was slow to appreciate, the strong emotional feelings that they both have for their little friends. How much comfort they bring, especially during what must feel like, long nights on their own in their beds.

Enjoy the well deserved break you two. You can have a wash soon, I promise.
Do your children have a must go everywhere comforter? Did it survive all that love without being lost, torn or worn out?

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Family Table { Our first harvest }

The vegetable garden, has yielded it's first harvest. Yellow cherry tomatoes. They have been slowly ripening over the last week, and today I decided, they were yellow enough. Ripe enough to eat.
I planned to make a salad with them for our dinner tonight. To celebrate our first taste of home grown vegetable.

But my eldest daughter had other plans. Quietly eating, next to all of them, while they sat in the small blue bowl I'd left them in. Well, they were for eating I suppose. And who could blame her. Once I tried one, I completely understood. These were the most sweetest tasting tomatoes that I'd tasted in a long time. I'd forgotten what a "real" homegrown tomato tasted like.

It's a rare thing, for my children to spontaneously eat vegetables like this. Perhaps the novelty of watching them grow for weeks and picking them together, made them all that more enticing to eat.
Whatever the reason, I'm pleased to see her eating them with such joy.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Mine Tour

I wasn't going to post this post.

It's so unglamorous. But then, so is this place. There's no point pretending it's any better than it actually is. Looking at these photos makes me wonder, what are we doing up here exactly? This part of the world, this lifestyle, it's really not me at all. Or us. But, this is the reason we're here. Living in such an isolated place. Mining. My husbands work.

A family day at the mine. A chance to look around the office and area where my husband works. To see where all that red dust, which settles on everything and everyone in town, comes from.

Doesn't it just make you want to move here?!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Garden Share Collective { Our Vegetable garden at 7 weeks }

A monthly (and my first), post for the Garden Share Collective. Started by the lovely Liz from The Strayed Table to encourage more people to grow their own organic food. A blogging community, who share a garden update about their own vegetable patches, big or small. What is growing, what has been harvested and what has made it to the do-list.

Well, my garden at seven weeks young, is slowly blossoming. We created it, to both grow our own vegetables, but to also instil the joy of looking after, and watching plants grow with our two young daughters. It is our first vegetable garden. We are growing vegetables, sunflowers and marigolds from a mixture of seedlings and plants.


Our climate is a little on the hot side in this part of the country. Most days are in the high 30's. And, at the moment, it keeps getting gradually hotter and hotter by the week. Despite this, with twice daily watering, it still continues to thrive.

What do we have growing in our garden at the moment? Yellow and red tomatoes, cucumbers, purple runner beans, zucchini, chilli's, parsley, lettuce, coriander, and corn. We also have a potted Valencia Orange tree, lemon tree, and a New Norcia Olive tree which were relocated with the rest of our belongings from Perth. We had a limited amount of seedlings available to choose from when we first planted the vegetable garden, and as my brother was helping us with the construction of the vegetable garden, he was the one who quickly chose seeds and seedlings to plant. A lot of things that were on my shopping wish list to plant and grow, were not in stock unfortunately. The joys of living in a remote part of the country. You can read my post about the making of our vegetable garden here. As time goes on, I hope to be more organised in what we plant to eat at our table. I can already see, that we're going to have more purple runner beans than our small family could ever need. We haven't quite found a balance of planting that works for us yet. But this was a vegetable garden, planted in haste, before the temperatures became too warm. 

What do I have on my to do for next month. Some more considered planting, basil, carrots, and spring onions. All of which I use often in the kitchen. And to look into a small compost bin system for our food scraps. And, of course, a little bit of weeding. They grow as quickly as our vegetables.

'Til next month!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Mr Mo

It's November. Which means it's Movember time. The annual, putting down of the razors, and shaping of the facial hair, all in the name of charity. All in the name of changing the face of men's health. That being, prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health.
I just love what the Mr Men series of books have unveiled in time for this annual charity event, a tache-twirling Mr Mo.

Isn't he the cutest! Almost makes me want to grow my own Mo.
My husband is still undecided if he will repeat last years attempt at growing a Mo. Last year's was somewhere between the undercover and the trucker style mo. Personally, I hope he does, it's a great cause. Aside from minor pash rash, it's fun to watch a carefully constructed Mo grow. But maybe something a little softer and wispier this year would be nice. More like Mr Mo's.

20% from every Mr Mo book sold will be donated to Movember. So if you can't or won't grow a Mo, maybe this is the best way to go! You can buy Mr Mo here from Puffin books.

The Family Table { The Recipe Journal }

"Family ties are precious threads, 
no matter where we roam. 
They draw us close to those we love, 
and pull our hearts toward home."

My recipe journal. A handwritten walk down memory lane of food shared. The best of the best recipes, that I've eaten throughout my life. It was something I started after seeing my Mum's own recipe journal, on one of her trips to visit us. The sort of sentimental possession that travels only in your hand luggage. Too precious for a suitcase. Too irreplaceable if lost.

Flipping through the pages, I always feel nostalgic. Dinners remembered. Moments shared from a younger more simple time. Recipes that I associate with their "true" owners. That are shared seldomly, and only with a select few. My recipe journal, is a testament, to the large, extended family that I was lucky to grow up with. Of strong characters who lived, and still live, long fulfilling lives. Passing down stories. Recipes. Of people still present. And of people who have passed on, but who's presence is still felt in conversation.

Food, and the sharing of food, has always been a large part of my family. It has shaped my memories in more ways then I realised. It makes me sentimental for certain people, who made a recipe their own, in such a way, that nobody can ever quite make it as well. For those afternoons, of endless cups of coffees around Nanna and Grandads table with chocolate cake.

Voices speak to me through their individually, distinctive handwriting. And confirm, that this recipe was theirs, to be shared and enjoyed by others.

Eating around our family table, now that we are together as a family every night, feels more important to me now than ever before. So many of my family memories, from my childhood, involve sitting down together, sharing food, talking. It is something, that I also want to pass on to my children.

Don't get me wrong. My daughters are two and a half years, and fourteen months old. Dinner time is often a rowdy, noisy, messy affair. Consisting of a little gentle coaxing for my eldest, who is often full after 1 or 2 mouthfuls, as only a toddler could be. And sadly, on those days where everybody has reached breaking point by dinner time, and toddler and adult tantrums loom, we might just be watching Peppa Pig while eating too. Whatever works, right? But the aims there. To create that family feel. To create our own family traditions and ways of doing things. There's no gourmet fair cooked daily here. Just good home cooked, mostly healthy meals, with lots of flavour, that aim to feed and please all 4 of us. Without fuss, in a minimum amount of time.

At our table, there is one recipe, that everybody loves. That the girls both eat seconds of (a rare occurrence). My recipe, that I'm now known for in our house. And it has even made Mum's recipe journal. Worthy of putting my name in front of. Hope it's as popular in your home.

Carla's Oven-baked Tuna 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.

A family table series. That I aim to blog about regularly. Sharing thoughts,occasional recipes and memories, of all that occurs and has occured around our family table.

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