Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Home Day

Today is a home day for us. We usually try to have a least one a week. Our days are full and busy so it is nice to be at home, we stayed in our jarmies while we did some house work and pottered about. We did duck out quickly for some bread and coffee {not in our jarmies}, but other than that we have just been here. The little ones love it, they need a day to rest and just be. I had an old friend poping over for lunch, so the little ones played and watched a movie, while I made some soup for us all. It was only a quick visit, but oh so good to catch up. We chatted, ate and drank coffee. And then she was gone, the little people are sleeping and I have a moment to my own. I'm having another coffee, catching up on some reading, I might even prepare dinner and listen to some more Armistice. {Big thank you to my brother for suggesting I listen to them.} I am totally in love with this Mariachi style band. Can't get enough. I think you should listen to them too.



All in all it's a good day here, I hope it continues that way.

How has your day been?

x jody

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Scissor Happy


You know I'm a hairdresser right, well these days I can barely control myself when it comes to cutting hair, {especially if it's a family member.} If someone even mentions in passing, they need a haircut, their hair is too long, they are too hot, out come the scissors. And poor little Riley was the victim today. He was sweaty and sticky, he said he was too hot and his fringe was too long {possibly something he had heard from me..} So I got cutting right away. Even though I prefer boys with longer hair, even though I thought his hair look so cute the way it was, I couldn't resist. And this is what he ended up with.





Its a hazard of the trade I guess. Although he still looks like a little spunk to me. It also got me thinking about cutting my own hair shorter, I have been wanting a change for quiet a while now, but just not sure what I should do.. i'm too indecisive. It has taken me so long to grow my hair, but I feel it's a little boring.. I am thinking maybe an edgy type bob.. Mr S is sick of me talking about it and asking him, because he knows i'll complain when my hair is short too. 

So I am asking you, what do you think?

I am feeling scissor happy, watch out!





Monday, 28 November 2011

Little Red Preview


I was so excited to wake up to these stunning photographs this morning. A preview of our shoot yesterday with Bek from Little Red Photography {pop over to the blog if you want to check out the rest.} Thanks to Nat over at Tiny and Little I was lucky enough to win the session, it was such an amazing opportunity and I am oh so grateful. Although it nearly didn't happen, with the weather being so miserable and all the rain, but we pushed ahead and I am so glad we did. Bek is one of the loveliest people I've ever met and she really made us all feel so relaxed, we had such a fun time and I can't wait to see all the photos from the day.

Thank you Bek and Nat, we are all feeling pretty special!

x jody

Friday, 25 November 2011

Good Deeds


Yesterday I cooked and baked all day. So that today when I went to visit my friend with a new baby I could fill her fridge with homemade meals and treats. I loved it when I had my babies, food simply is the best present. And it gave me such pleasure to see the surprise and happiness on her face, that something so simple could change someones day. She didn't expect it at all and was so appreciative. It was lovely to spend time together and see her with that beautiful new mumma glow. I loved the snuggles and smell of her precious newborn little girl.

I am grateful I could help a friend and brighten her day, for the reminder that simple deeds are good for the soul and oh so rewarding.

Linking up with the lovely Maxabella, what are you grateful for this week?



Happy weekend!

x jody



image here.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Love Love Mae at Christmas

Ok it is no secret that I love love mae. My house is full of their delightful wall stickers. 
And now under my Christmas tree will be too. 


Check it out, super cute tea-bag printables.
Download free from the blog.
Love 'em.

x jody




Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Rustic Mini Pies

On Saturday afternoon I set out to making a big batch of our favorite mini pies for a friends party. It was her daughters second birthday on Sunday and these are always a hit. They can seem a little fiddly to make but once you get going there a breeze. I use a couple of different recipes from here and here for inspiration and then made up my own version using a mini muffin tin.


Ingredients
olive oil
600g chuck steak, cut into 2cm pieces
seasoned plain flour for dusting
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 carrot chopped
1 stick celery chopped
small handful of thyme leaves
200ml dry red wine
200ml beef stock
1 egg, lightly beaten
puff pastry
shortcrust pasty {I use store bought of both, but you could make your own, I used a packet or two of each, amount will depend on how many you make and how large your tin is.}

Method
Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
Dust the beef in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in a large heavy based pot over medium heat. Add beef and cook until browned 3-5 mins remove from pan and set aside. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrot, cook until just tender 3-5mins. Add wine and allow to reduce by half. Add stock and thyme. Add beef. Cover tightly with foil and lid and transfer to oven. Cook in oven for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Remove from oven, check seasoning and set aside until completely cool.



Remove pastry from freezer and allow to thaw a little. Use about an 8cm diameter glass or cutter to cut shortcrust pastry into rounds, line a 24 hole mini muffin tin with the pastry and return to the fridge until needed.
Meanwhile use another glass or cutter about 6cm in diameter to cut puff pastry into rounds and refrigerate until required.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Divide pie mixture into among pastry cases, brush edges with eggwash and top with puff pastry rounds. {I had enough mix to make a few of trays so I just repeated the process a couple of times.}


Press edges together, you can use a fork if you like and trim some of the excess pasrty. Brush tops with eggwash.


Cook in preheated oven until golden and cooked through approximately 15-20mins.


Serve warm with tomato sauce or homemade relish. They are a little rustic looking but seriously delicious and very satisfying to know whats gone into them.

Maybe I should start catering?


x jody

Monday, 21 November 2011

Playgroup Break-Up


It has been a long time coming, but finally I think its time to officially break-up with my playgroup. 

We were joined together when our first babies were born as a mothers group. After the initial council sessions we opted to say on and make our group into a playgroup, using the facilities at the health center instead of having to go to each others homes. It worked well for a long time and as a new mum with no mummy friends it was a savior in the early days and has always been so good for the little ones. As time went on people dropped off, went back to work or simply stopped coming. Our group was always changing, it got smaller, then larger again when new people joined and second babies arrived. All the while the leader of the group remained the same, she had fallen in to the position because no one else wanted it, obviously we became quiet friendly over the years. She is not your typical leader type and I always felt there was some uncertainty about her, she seemed distant and I could never quiet read her. I always felt compelled to go, even if I didn't feel like it, just because I thought it was the right thing to do. And that's what I have done up until now.

Lately though things have been different, i am not quiet sure if it is the age the kids are at, or that the group has gotten smaller once again, but the dynamics have changed. In fact we haven't been now for a good couple of weeks. Riley had a really unpleasant time last time we were there and left in tears. It all came down to a lot of not sharing going on. I know it can be a difficult age, but I like children to share or should I say I like parents to encourage their children to share {I know this lesson is a tough one to learn} I really don't think it is fair if I am trying to teach my son to share and other children are allowed to snatch and hurt my little man with not even a word spoken by their parent, which was happening constantly. Poor Riley was heart broken that I would not let him get away with doing that to another child and it was continually done to him. 

He was so upset he asked to leave and we haven't gone back since. And to be honest neither of us has missed it. Riley hasn't even asked about it and I have filled our days with other things, play-dates with friends and people I want to spend my time with, friends with children who are kind, compassionate and share with my children and who benefit from time spent together. 

So now is the hard part. I have made excuses, avoided messages and calls from the so called playgroup leader. Avoided the conversation, the confrontation of why I am no longer attending the group. Tomorrow is the day, playgroup day, I know I will have to speak to her. I know I can't go back now, to much time has passed, it's to far gone. But I don't know what to say, I am not sure what I should do. Do I be honest and tell her its because her child makes it unpleasant and won't share with mine? {sounds so petty now} or do I make up some random excuse?

Help! What should I do? 

Do you go to a playgroup? What is it like?




image here.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Busy Days


Life has been busy here over the last couple of days. Play dates, friends, working, parties, catch ups, cooking, coffee, wine and lots of food as always.
I spent an evening making lots of my rustic mini pies for a close friends second birthday party, they were a hit! recipe to come later in the week.
We also took Riley to his kinder orientation on Saturday {is it unusual to have it on a weekend or is it just me?}  Anyhow, my little boy is growing up. I can't believe he'll be off to kinder next year. Although I know he is totally ready, he loved it there and didn't want to leave, so I guess that's a good sign.

Busy days, good days. I am tired. I think we all are.

How was your weekend?

x jody

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Walnut



Melbourne friends, I just had to share this one with you.

x jody



Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Enough Already






I know you are all thinking what a mean Muma I am. But seriously, Lyla has been whinging non stop all week. Mostly about nothing, a little dirt on her feet or a little water on her top.  I know all the reasons why she is being like this. It still doesn't make it any easier. So now I am whinging to you and I feel a little better.

Lyla, enough already.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Park Days








And just like that the weekend came and went. 

Another week closer to Christmas.

Is it just me or is time passing particularly fast?

Hope you all have a lovely week.

x jody



Friday, 11 November 2011

Scissor work


I'm a hairdresser by trade and have always worked Saturdays in the salon, even when the little ones were babies. I have worked in the same salon for eleven years and am lucky to have a boss that is so flexible and makes it easy for me to work a few hours here and there. This week I started working Thursday nights too. I loved it. I love that its the type of job that I can do part time. I loved being out of the house by 4:30pm, missing dinner, bath and bed time. I loved catching up with old clients and friends, laughing, talking and doing what I love. It was refreshing, it made me feel good and made me feel like me. And for this I am grateful.

Joining with Maxabella once again. What are you grateful for this week?

Happy weekend.

x jody



Choc Banana Mini Muffins


I have been making these quiet a bit lately. Perfect for little hands. The recipe is from an old Delicious magazine, although I have tweaked it a little. Its so tasty, easy and quick to make. You know me, I like easy.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
2tbs sunflower oil
1/2 cup natural yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 mashed banana

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a 24 hole mini muffin pan with paper cases. {alternatively you could use a regular muffin pan.}

Mix the flour, sugar and chocolate together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, yogurt, mashed banana and milk together. Fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined, taking care not to over mix {add a little more milk if the mixture is a little dry}. 

Spoon mixture evenly into the muffin pan, then bake for approximately 15 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5-10 mins, then turn out.

Best served warm. 

I also use the basic recipe to make muffins in different varieties too. Other favorites at our house are raspberry and white chocolate and peach with white chocolate. Just replace banana with 1/2 cup of fruit.


What have you been baking this week?


Happy Friday!

x jody



Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Baby O






My lovely friend has been visiting from San Francisco with her hubby and her gorgeous little lad. It was so wonderful to see them and meet baby O for the first time. He is such a handsome little man, so active and busy but yet so chilled and relaxed, much more than my kiddies ever where. Although their time here was fleeting and we only really caught up a handful of times, Riley and Lyla were besotted by him, the cuddles were great and there was a lot of love as you can see.

They are on the plane heading home now. It makes me sad that they live so far away and we don't get to see much of each other. Even more so now we all have children. But that's the way it is.  Luckily we live in the age of skype!

You will be missed.

Bye bye sweet baby O.

x jody





Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Garland Love


I have been spending quiet a bit of time over at A Beautiful Mess lately. 

So so many beautiful things. 

I am particularly loving this fab tutorial - 10 Ways to Make a Garland

Pop over and check it out if you haven't already. I want to make them all.

x jody


Monday, 7 November 2011

Shambles

Today i went on a bit of a rampage, cleaning, sorting, chucking, bagging. I have felt the need for a big clean out for a while now, but have kept putting it off. Today it happened, without me even knowing. I had folded all the washing in the house and was attempting to put it all away, this is not something i do very often, we prefer to live out of washing baskets and piles. As I was shoving things in draws, I remembered why I usually avoid doing so. Our storage sucks. We haven't got build in robes or a dressing room. Lyla's clothes are in a section of my draws and now none of my things fit anymore. It pretty much cascaded from there. I decided I have to get on top of this once and for all. We have an old small wardrobe in our spare room we use for storage, which would be perfect for Riley, Lyla's things can move into Riley's cupboard and I can have my draws back! Sounds simple right? Unfortunately not the case, well I guess it could of been but I have a way of always making things more complicated than they ought to be. Anyhow, today I spent hours cleaning out the spare room, emptying the wardrobe and sorting through everything in it, packing things into boxes to hopefully move out to the shed, I even managed to sort through all our clothes and got a nice collection for the op shop, I filled bags with rubbish and put things where they belong.

Now the wardrobes are clear, I have have to start thinking about sanding and painting {which I will probably make Mr S do}. For Lyla I am thinking yellow, its no secret I love yellow, i'm thinking something sunny and bright. For Riley I am not quiet sure what I want to do yet. Tonight my house is in a shambles, evidence of a job half done overflowing in to our lounge room, but I will face it all again tomorrow. For now I am just happy that things are happening, I am motivated and am ticking things off my project list.

What things are you ticking off your list at the moment?
Do you like yellow too?

x jody





Sunday, 6 November 2011

Eleven


This weekend just past, marks my eleventh year living in Melbourne. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone and yet it feels like i have lived here forever. 

I made the move when I was only seventeen. I had been seeing Mr S for a couple of months, we had been doing the long distance thing, travelling back and forth. How we met is a somewhat crazy story, which I think I'll leave for another day. I was young and in between jobs not sure exactly what I wanted to do, so decided to come down to Melbourne to see if I liked it...  and I never looked back. 

It was such a big move. I'm not even sure how I did it. When I think back it surprises me, the things I have done, gone through and over come. None of it would have been possible without Mr S, my gorgeous husband. It's as though fate brought us together, we have been through so much and it has only ever made us stronger and bought us closer together. I was meant to be here. And although it has been difficult being away from my family at times, and so very hard for them. I know it was the right move for me. I followed my heart and it has bought me more happiness than I could ever have imagined. 

Here's to eleven more. 

x jody



image here.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Ice-Cream


This week my healthier eating plan went out the window. There was delicious ice-cream in the house, I ate it and am grateful for it. Ice-cream is my weakness and one of my great loves, if it is in the house I will eat it, I have no self control. And although this doesn't sound like something I should be grateful for, I am. Ice-cream makes everything better. I love it. It was nice to indulge and treat myself, I will go back to my healthy eating next week or maybe I won't...

Joining in with Maxabella, what are you grateful for this week?

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

x jody


image here.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Two Cheeky Monkeys










These two little monkeys are forever jumping on their beds. They strip the bed bare and jump like two crazed little people. They love it so. Often during the day I hear them sneak off to their room, they find something to climb on and turn the light on. One holds said item, one does the climbing, it's a team effort you see. They have just started this working together thing, they even play together more often than not, its a new phase and I think it is oh so sweet. Even if they are getting up to mischief, I think it is cute all the same. So you know what I do? I let them jump on the bed. I let them make a mess, have fun and go a little crazy.  It wares them out and you can see they are having just the best time. It gives me half an hour peace and it's good for them, they are learning to work together and when I hear the chatting and laughter drifting from their room it makes my heart melt. I love them so.

Do you let your little ones jump on the bed??


x jody

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Love Love Mae. .


I am totally in love with the new Love Mae range of melamine dinnerware. 

Isn't it just delightful? Pop over here, to check it out.

While your there check out their lovely blog and grab yourself one of their sweet free desktop calendars. 

You won't regret it. 


x jody



Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Gaytime Ice-Cream Cake

This cake is regularly requested for birthdays at our house. Everyone loves a Gaytime. It is super easy to make and tastes so so good, maybe not so good for the waste-line but that's what birthdays are for, right? Although I probably don't think it's an original idea, I kind of just came up with it myself when challenged by Mr S a couple of years ago, {each year he likes to think of elaborate and unusual ideas for cakes he wants me to make for him, because clearly I have nothing better to do}. It is tradition in our house to get whatever cake you wish on your birthday. This one has become a family favorite, best of all you can make it ahead of time and there is no baking involved! 

So here is my basic recipe, you can add any extras you like and tweak it to make it your own.

You will need
Cling film
A pudding tin or any old cake tin will do.
Make day ahead to allow time to freeze.

Ingredients
8 Gaytime ice-creams
2 Liters of vanilla ice-cream
Half a packet of chocolate biscuits crushed



Method
Take ice-cream out of the freezer and allow to soften but not melt completely.
Line the cake tin or pudding tin in this case, with cling film, leave extra to overhang the tin.
Place softened ice-creams around the edge and bottom of the tin one at a time. Remove sticks and squish into place. Kind of flatten them a little to line the tin, making sure there isn't any gaps.


Once tin is fully lined with the Gaytime's pour in half the softened vanilla ice-cream. Add a good layer of crushed chocolate biscuits {or whatever you want.} Then add the remaining vanilla ice-cream on top.


It will look like this. Return to the freezer overnight or for at least a good six hours.


To serve, invert cake on to plate, the tin should remove easily. Remove cling film. Add any other decorations or things you like.


For Gilbert's birthday we added some extra vanilla ice-cream over the top and a little snowboarder just for fun!


So there you have it. Embarrassingly, ridiculously easy. Delicious. Guaranteed winner. 


Do you have a birthday cake tradition at your house? What do you ask for on your birthday? What is your favorite cake? 


x jody




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