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!!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

' Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild"

No, neither of my daughters are called Harriet. But they do occasionally, drive me a little wild. "Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild" is the title of my favourite children's book at the moment. And it's by the lovely Mem Fox.


As a reader of children's books, it is entirely appropriate as a parent to have your own favourite book (in my opinion). The one you hope they might pick. Or that you might suggest to read at bedtime. And this is it for me. Not because I'm driven wild every day, but because I just love the sentiment of this story.

Everbody has one of those days. Where your cajoling voice starts with a patient tone in the morning, and ends with an almighty bang. Say around 4.30-5 in the afternoon. Those days, where you've repeated yourself one too many times. Where somebody broke something special in the house. You've stepped on toys and had to pack away toys more often than you care to remember. Or you've served up food to a toddler who declares without even having tried a mouthful, that she would "never ever, EVER eat this," (yes she's a Charlie and Lola devotee). And promptly refuses to take a bite. Of anything.

And on days like that, where I really wish I hadn't gone and yelled, I turn to this book. It makes me feel good about myself again. Because nobody ever means to, or wants to yell. And of course, nobody, Harriet included, can be perfect, and on their best behaviour all of the time. It happens to all of us. Even the most patient, and the most well behaved. This book, is like a big warm hug to myself, as well as my daughter. A reminder, that I'm doing my best. That I'm a good Mum. And my best is more than good enough. Even with the occasional stormy moment.

Have you found a children's book that really resonates with you?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Stuart's Pool { The Bumpiest Ride Yet? }

I love a weekend where we get the chance to do a little road trip and sightseeing. It's a long day. And it always makes for a quiet catch up nap day on Mondays, but they are worth it. Everytime.

Our trip to Stuart's Pool, was one of the rockiest and bumpiest rides that we've done so far. Ungraded roads (read lots of bumps, holes in ground), steep hills up, steep hills down. We really tested out our little bumpy car, and maybe our daughters in the back seat too. Really, a car needs a lift kit to be able to drive over such surfaces, with more ease, and less risk. And ours doesn't have that.

Does it sound like I know what I'm talking about? Well I really don't at all. But I will say, in the short time that we've been up here, that my husband is 4WD'ing like he knows what he's doing. And I'm mildly impressed with his newfound driving skills. Though it does help, when travelling on such bumpy roads, to do so with someone in the know. Insert Mark. Who knows what he's doing. Or at least more than we do. Which isn't hard at all.

We were given some friendly advice from a driver by on his return back from the pool. The road ahead was very uneven. And with our cars, it might be best for us to first walk the bumpiest parts of  the track, decide where to place ours tires before we start driving. And he was right.

So there was lots of this.

And that.

Checking of depths.

Checking of tracks before we ventured up.

Or down.

Before finally finding ourselves at Stuart's Pool.

These drives are always scenic. In fact, the drive is one of my favourite parts of the trip. I don't 4WD, so I can really take in the vast, undulating landscape that is this country. There are times being up here where I just can't stand living up here another day. Particularly with all the hot weather. But trips like this, always remind me, how lucky we are to live here and be able to enjoy this part of the country.

Have the chance to get out and explore somewhere new on the weekend?

Hope this post hasn't been too 4WD'ey. It wasn't meant to be!!!
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