Laugh Make Nurture Organise Play

This is an Australian based online magazine that is also full of gorgeousness.
Issue 12 is full of great kid’s room ideas,  box pull toys to make with your little crafters and some fabulous book reviews for kids. Don’t you love picture books??

Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence

When you are hungry…you eat.

Jesus did not come to give us bread, but to BE the BREAD of life.

Check out the trailer for Desiring God’s new feature film
 Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence

This is an awesome reminder of our need for Jesus, no matter what our circumstance.


Painting your house

We have finally committed (i think) to doing some much needed painting in our family home. It is a daunting task because the ceilings are high and the spaces are big. It is times like these that I feel grown up – like purchasing carpet or a new dresser or car. These are things that your parents used to do right…not me?
The task at hand it to decide on colour or what exact colour of neutral we will use in our space.
So here are a few things that inspire me right now.
Love the neutrals here, the timber and the much coveted David Bromley art work.
My passion for red….can you have too much of it?
Simple botanicals – white on white.
Playful colours, textures, fonts and maps in paper.

The Bridge

I “used” to read a number of craft and design blogs. They simply inspired me each day – the pretty images and resourcefulness of wonderful women from around the globe. But the busyness of family life has meant that I don’t really allow myself the luxury all that often. Until yesterday….

Anna Maria Horner is a mother of 6 children, she is young(ish) and a wonderful fabric designer and artist. Her blog is a perfect mix of inspiration and family reflection. She builds a relationship with her readers. We feel as though we know her, although we don’t, really. But I stumbled across a recent post and was moved to tears. Her family of 6 may have been 5. Everyone has a story. Life is not perfect. Our choices are not always the right ones or the best ones.

But this blogpost depicts a choice for good. A choice for life and family. It will surprise you.
Children are God’s greatest blessing”

All images from Anna Maria Horner.com

Never wake a sleeping baby…..

After talking about sleep for more than a decade I am sad to say we are still fixated with that question in our home. The youngest has “been sleeping through the night” for a few months now, but in recent weeks has started to wake at 4 or 5 or 6am. A combination of signs suggest she is teething – fever, fingers in the mouth, yucky nappy, general grumpiness. This photo was taken a week ago when all the trouble started – on this evening she was very happy to fall asleep in the arms of her Ah Kung.

Hazel Green

I have been meaning to write about my friend Jackie for a long time now. It seems appropriate as we approach the mad Christmas season (yes…it is not too early to write that gift list and shop!) that I should introduce you to some absolute loveliness here at home. Jackie is one smart, creative, intelligent woman. Not only is she a busy mum of three children but she is single handedly starting a crafting revolution in her home town. Hazel Green is a divine store full of handmade treasures and beautiful yarn. Whilst all her products are in her online shop, it is the one to one encounter with Jackie that makes every visit special. She has amazing knowledge of her products and she will encourage even the most reluctant knitting shy person to take up some Lantern Moon Needles and a ball of Alpaca wool.

If you love wool and Liberty and linen and Florence Broadhurst…..look no further.

I will let you explore her blog and online shop at your leisure and perhaps I will see you at Hazel Green soon….

Holiday Mode…..

Officially it is school holidays. We have already had a family stay, a great dinner with friends and sent the oldest two off on an ESA camp. But today is Monday and it is raining.

These times together are quiet unpredictable. Kids are tired. Expectations are high and vary considerably from the norm to the ridiculous. As I write one child is sleeping and the other two are attempting a scratch painting. Making meatloaf is also on the agenda for the afternoon.

I would love to curl up on the couch with my book or finish my knitting. I have a scarf you see that was started in May (post Mother’s day) and now it is Spring. If I complete it this week I may have a chance of wearing it! It is a lovely combination of alpaca, silk, mohair and wool…in warm shades.

Watch this space!

Eggs Eggs Eggs

We have three lovely Isa Browns who are back laying eggs for us each day – if the black crow doesn’t get them! They are part of the family now, although regular care for them waxes and wanes.

Needless to say eggs feature on the menu quite often and as a family we love eggs for breakfast. But the amazing thing about using our very own eggs to simply poach for breakfast with homemade sourdough or a crusty white loaf, is simply how bright, perky and fresh they are. Really. Amazing.

If you have poached eggs before and had them collapse or spread in the warm pan of water then the eggs you have used are far from fresh.

My 5 tips for great poaching:

  1. Use the freshest eggs you can get your hands on
  2. Use a deep pan of water
  3. A good shlock of white vinegar helps to “set” the eggs  when they enter the water
  4. Create that famous whirlpool with your spoon before gently pouring the eggs into the pan
  5. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve the egg – nothing worse than wet sloppy eggs!
One of the breakfast dishes we all enjoy is poached eggs with a crunchy, fresh salsa. This may contain finely chopped celery, red capsicum chilli, salad onion, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, basil, parsley, coriander, red wine vinegar, a dash of lime juice or palm sugar. Experiment to achieve that balance between spice, sweet and sour. Combine all ingredients and serve on top of your egg.
This may be me longing for something Asian inspired at breakfast time.

It’s a Donna Hay Day….

I remember when the first ever issue of Donna Hay magazine hit the new stands. My girlfriends and I were in awe – everything was so beautiful. Presentation. Presentation.Presentation. But could it last?Would Australians be happy to pay for this magazine…..well apparently the answer is yes. Donna Hay has become a household name – well in this house anyway. The kids love her books and we buy her kids issue each year simply because its gorgeousness inspires.

Of all the magazines and books I read I continually come back to several standout recipes in her old “Off the Shelf. And this is another sweet treat. And Chocolate to boot.

What I adore about her Basic and Speedy Brownie is it is just that – so simple you might laugh out aloud at the recipe. Furthermore, it uses cocoa powder and not chocolate so I am usually assured of having all the ingredients at hand.

And it is here you see her “Special made Simple” motto come into its own – a large handful of frozen raspberries and you have a delicious dessert. The basic mix can receive other goodies too – nuts, jersey caramels, white chocolate chunks. It can be made in a square pan or as individual cup cakes.

What ever you decide it won’t disappoint. My only tip is that I prefer the texture when I mix it by hand – perhaps it is not as smooth but there is a great ‘fudginess’ to them.

Donna Hay Basic and Speedy Brownie

Melt 250g butter and process with 1&1/3 cups sifted plain flour, 2&1/4 cups sugar, 3/4 cup sifted cocoa powder, 4 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon baking ppowder in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a lined 20cm square cake tin and bake at 170degc for 50 mins.

These are fantastic and never fail.