Thursday, 12 December 2013


Almost here!
I get very excited about wrapping presents. 
Almost more excited about the wrapping than whats inside. I just find that something simple, wrapped beautifully- sings so much more to me than something extravagant wrapped in supermarket paper.......
I guess that is just the odd way I can be sometimes.
I like the simple pleasures.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Organized chaos may be, but still chaos.

I am starring keenly at my diary this week. I need to be far more organized than I know how to be. Let me give you a quick run down....

Today is the 12th. That is 13 days till Christmas.
In that time I need to finish packing up the house, do all my Christmas shopping, plan a Christmas celebration banquet for over 160 people, move house and clean this rental property up for the final inspection, oversee and pull off that banquet and- all this on top of my everyday life that is actually fairly full already. Did I mention we are down to one car?! Help!

Somewhere in there I need to follow up on a specialist appointment for Princess Squirmy, re-enroll her in swimming class, attend 2 Christmas events (separate from the banquet) and figure out the bus timetables so that I can do all of the above.


A peace that transcends all understanding

Yet- this is where I stand. In that peace. I know if I can just keep my focus and not loose my head, everything will work out. At this point I am eager to just get settled into the new place. I'm going to buy myself a beautiful bunch of flowers, put them in a vase and place them in the middle of the dining room table. Then I am going to turn on the oven and bake myself something that makes the whole place smell like home. 

Till then......I'll try to enjoy the chaos.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Loosing is Winning

Luke 17:33, "If you cling to life, you will loose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it."

I have eased into motherhood like a woman getting into a cold swimming pool. With all the grace of that grimacing squealing beauty dipping her toe in and removing it several times before convincing herself if she can just get her toe used to the water then may be she can start on the foot. 

Actually at this point I feel like I'm in the deep end and I don't know how to swim. Instead of swimming around and having fun, I'm clinging to the side looking longingly at the sun bathers on their towels laughing and sipping cocktails.

All of them.

Okay okay, that's not exactly the whole picture either, and I don't think anyone is a least not because they don't have kids.
But there are certainly days when my feelings lean that direction. And that's when my thoughts wander back to Luke 12. 
On the days when I feel like I am loosing at everything. I've not answered messages, phone calls or emails. On the days when people are ringing me regarding those messages, calls and emails because now I am hold them up. On the days when the washing is beyond piling up and I realize that my husband has been wearing the same work clothes for far to many days. (poo-ey!!) On the days when I only eat one meal......dinner......AND only at 9pm. On the days where I mixed up my dates and times and left someone important sitting in a cafe for an hour and a half before leaving (late) for their next appointment. On the days when you are so tired English thinks second speak the window somewhere out...........

On the days when I look around, throw my hands up and say, 'today I lost'. I lost the war on being a good friend, worker, wife, daughter, but the days I chose to loose at all these things, are the days I win at being a mum.  
Of course there are days where I have had to choose to loose the mum battle and win a different battle, but mostly its the first one :)

I am learning that to win in one area is just to loose in another area and that every minute I need to look at all my battles and decide which one I am going to win in that moment. 

So I stand here reminding myself not look backwards longingly, but to walk forward, enjoy the swim and remember that to while winning is actually loosing, loosing is always winning too.

I'm going to go now and discover what I lost while I was writing this blog ...... I think whatever it was just went down the toilet bowl......Oh Help!!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I have this problem where I make twelve or so cups of tea a day but only actually get to drink one or two. Actually I should say I start making twelve or so cups, but most end up sitting in a sorry state on the kitchen bench until I ditch them and start again. It's one of the small things I never saw coming in regards to motherhood. 

I confess somewhere in my head I wondered if I would have time to learn to paint, or finally learn to play that guitar in the corner of my lounge room. I wouldn't say I went so far as to expect that I would be able to do such things, but I certainly entertained the thought that it might be possible. As per usual, I was wrong.

I read on something the other day about a family with fourteen children.....FOURTEEN!! I cant even find time for a cup of tea with one! 


The thought of attending a painting class has become a distant memory. For now I will just try and remember that there is a half made cup of tea on my bench and if I can finish making it I am doing well. And if I can manage to drink it while it is still warm, then we are having a great day!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

We have been blessed enough to live in some really lovely locations since we have been married.  Despite not always having the pay check to match, somehow we managed to to land ourselves near the city and near some lovely cafe strips. Although we haven't been able to make full use of the restaurants we do wander down regularly for a cup of coffee. 

Granted the last house we lived in for a long period of time was a bit of a hole. It had shag pile carpet that I think was once meant to be cream, (who puts down cream carpet in a rental house anyway huh?) late 70's decor in the kitchen and bathroom, and just for fun, if it was raining and you were on the loo, there was a crack in the ceiling that would drip on your head.

However it was a lot of fun and we made it work. 

At the peak of each summer we would drag our mattress down stairs where it was cooler. For a month of the year we'd sleep in the lounge, drink loads of chilled cheap white wine and watch piles of DVDs. There was a stage for a while there where we acquired a second hand record player, I completed the look with a lava lamp and a bean bag and we would lay back on a Saturday night and listen to Dire Straits or Pink Floyd. Making the most of those shag pile carpets :)

Last week, in the midst of organizing for a fundraiser (sorry I should add as I was packing the car up the day before the big event) I got a call from our rental agent informing us that the owner wanted to move back in. I have to say while I understand this is the life of a renter, still, my heart sank.
I have so enjoyed living in this light airy house with its beautiful wild-flower-filled garden and it's closeness to everything important. 
And there that element of this is where I had my baby girl and brought her home to her first bedroom.
Where she took her first steps.
And perhaps even one of the first places that has actually felt like a home.
Such is the life of a renter

So my dining table will be moving. I hope that we will enjoy the next place just half as much :)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Raw Hazelnut and chocolate cake

Red Velvet, Red Velvet, Red Velvet! I really like Red Velvet cake! And recently there has been a lot of it walking through my kitchen. Actually if I was to be honest, almost too much. In fact, I have been giving it away. But this you already know from previous posts. So I had some friends for lunch this week and having had enough of cakes, (at least for a week or so- this is not a permanent state- I promise!) I was craving something a little different. 

This is what I discovered. 
Raw cake. 

I can't say I discovered as much as say- it's everywhere and I just decided to make it. Because it is everywhere. It's like, soo hot right now (yes, I did intent to sound like a 14 year old girl) But it IS so hot right now. All the cafes are serving it. Out with gluten free and in with raw food! 

Honestly, fads make me a little suspect. It feels like in the last 5 years Australia has become gluten crazy. I guess the whole carb thing wore off. Anyway, rightly or wrongly I have become a little stand off-ish when it comes to such things. Raw food however, or at the least raw sweets, have definitely clicked with me. I ate a raw orange macaroon thingy the other day and it was divine (Note to self; must find a recipe for that.)

Apart from the fact that these treats are pretty expensive to buy OR cook, I can see myself becoming a pretty big fan. yummo!

Raw chocolate and hazelnut cake;

The recipe I used is.....HERE, although I did swap the cacoa powder for just Cocoa Powder and not quite as much either (2 tablespoons) and I think I just ended up using normal sugar too. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Sometimes Ill be walking through a green grocer and Ill look at something and start salivating. As I did this weekend. Yesterday it was the silverbeet that jumped out.

Actually silverbeet is a childhood favorite of mine. Heated just enough to wilt it, then let a nob of butter melt over and coat those delicious dark leaves in silky goodness. I have no desire to eat silverbeet any other way. 
As I was approaching the checkout I remembered reading THIS the day before and ran back for a zucchini too. Though I skipped the cheese and bread, I thought the zucchini looked good enough to shine just on its own.

Just to complete the meal, Princess Squirmy went down for a significant nap so I was able to have a sit down lunch AND eat it hot(!) whilst enjoying the sun (and what a beautiful warm sunny day it was too) warm my bones and tickle my skin.

Simple pleasures I tell you, are just bliss.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

This week at the Private dining room........

Halfway across Europe for a coffee and cake

Two days ago I made a cake for a friends daughters birthday and finding myself with some left over batter made up a couple of mini cakes, one of which I took down to the neighbors in exchange for a cup of coffee and a yarn.

Whilst I was there some friends of theirs popped in and it was made known to me that the man in this party, who was half Scottish half Dutch- a potent cocktail that matched my own genetic recipe, was a bit of a cake monster himself.

"Oh yes", I was in formed by his wife, "Its the Dutch in him, the Dutch are all cake crazy! obsessed! They'll travel halfway across Europe for a piece of cake and a coffee- not even a meal, just the coffee and cake! Its all they talk about, cake, cake, cake, cake ,CAKE!"

As she threw her hands up in the air, half in amusement, half in dismissal, somewhere deep inside me there was a resounding "ohhhhhhhhh!"

It all makes sense now........

I'm off to the kitchen to make another two cakes now :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

This week at the private dining room.......

Pink Bottle Brush

This week has been an inside week. It has been dreary and damp with occasional pockets of sunshine to tempt you with the prospect of emerging from the house cave. The garden however has exploded with colour and every time the sun pokes its head out I run outside to gather the latest bloom explosion to decorate the cave with.

I am not a bottle brush person normally, but these fluffy pink lovelies have captured my heart.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

For the love of pots!

A few months ago I heard a rumor about bringing out a new magazine. Naturally I was interested to see what they would come up with especially when I heard about some of the collaborators. Much to my delight the magazine is lovely! Even better was the fact that if you could cook the cover you stood a chance of winning some gear for your kitchen.  

These little babies are not something that would usually come out of my kitchen, but when I spotted these babies being offered as a prize I was immediately fumbling around desperately for a pen to scribble down a shopping list. My current pots require me to keep a screwdriver in my cutlery draw for regular tightening, not to mention they have become pitted inside (not the most hygienic) so new pots are pretty high on my wishlist right now.

Don't know if I'm in with a chance but, here's hoping........

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Keeping me up

It is nearing midnight and I should be well asleep.
Instead I am pottering away on the computer, occasionally glancing over my shoulder to take inspiration from my old wooden dining room table. This shift has long been on my mind but tonight around 11pm I simply decided it was time. I started my old blog not entirely knowing where I was going with it, I just sort of started. Over time direction formed and the more it formed the more I realized that 'body, soul and syrup' just didn't embody that direction. So here I am, midnight looming over me and a mind full of inspired words and pictures......why is it that my creativity seems to go into overdrive so late at night?

So raise your glass, (or in my case- your half drunk mug of earl grey) because here we go.......again