Gingerbread Buckwheat Pancakes

Gingerbread buckwheat pancakes - so yum!As I sniffle into yet another tissue this morning,  I am both nostalgic for the weekend we made these beautiful, warming little winter breakfast pikelets and yearning for next week when I step out of the plane into the welcoming warmth of the Bali sun.

Winter gives me all the feels.

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A little trip to Bendigo Woollen Mills (and THAT vanilla slice!)

Bendigo-12

I love Bendigo – I go there every chance I get, and I make up any reason to go.

That reason is usually that my yarn stash desperately needs something from the Woollen Mills, but we all know that’s a lie. I DO need it though. Honest.

Have you been? I used to go there a lot when I was a kid. Let’s take a little stroll:

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The Dusty Bookshelf Challenge – Level: Fail

the dusty bookshelf challenge

Along with 95% of the population, I’m struggling to understand how it’s April already and the year has gone so fast. What happened? Did I fall through one of these? Can it stop?

The challenge of finally reading the books I’ve collected over the years is like, a quarter over and I’ve had a very slow start. I blame it squarely on the fact that the books I was reading were not setting my motivation ablaze, and thus has led me to surreptitiously put the unfinished tomes on the op-shop pile and shrug my shoulders in defeat.

Here’s how it’s gone down (and down and down) so far:

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Taking Stock

Taking Stock

Joining in with Meet Me at Mike’s, not stealing broth.

Making : Nada
Cooking : Risotto, lots of pasta, banana pikelets, apple pie, chocolate custard, and soup.
Drinking : more herbal tea
Reading : Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine, and The Wind in the Willows to the kids.
Wanting : To never have to vacuum carpeted stairs again as long as I live.
Looking : At tram timetables.
Playing : Lots of make-believe. I’m often a baby. Who isn’t allowed to talk…
Wasting : Time, searching for the perfect thing.
Sewing : Nada
Wishing : I got more sleep.
Enjoying : The warmer weather, and being within delivery distance to many, many cuisines.
Waiting : For Christmas. Is that bad? I LOVE IT! When can I start showing the kids Christmas movies?
Liking : Stuff
Wondering : About the effects of some changes.
Loving : Homemade chips – our oven is GOOD.
Hoping : That nobody gets me up in the middle of the night.
Marvelling : At how long you really can go on with interrupted sleep.
Needing : to find the Apple TV remote.
Smelling : Yogurt. Smalls is onto her second bowl.
Wearing : Black leggings, grey top, grey jumper, everyday Uberkates.
Following : The Saturday Paper
Noticing : Lots of motivating things
Knowing : That there is a time for all things. And for some things, that time is not now. Also: pens are not bikes
Thinking : About those tiny little feet. I’d forgotten exactly how tiny! (From the post Things I’d Forgotten About Having a Newborn). It appears I forget a lot. Probably because I’m
Feeling : Tired. heh.
Bookmarking : A whole bunch of resources for you. I put together a list of all things I recommend – from home and organisation to blogging. All stuff that’s made things so much easier for me!
Opening : Up my fortnightly newsletter again. News, meal plans, subscriber giveaways, and more! I had such fun doing it last year I thought I’d revive it now that we’ve moved and are almost back into the land of the living. You can sign up here.
Giggling : At this (in addition to being horrified) #turnt
Listening : Against Me!, all the podcasts in the world, my kids fighting.

Tiny Feet

Sergeant Tiny Feet, reporting for duty.

What’s happening with you?

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The story of the 12 towels

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 7.46.45 amThe other day I was reading this post by Brooke at Slow Your Home. I had just donated the bulk of our towels to our day care centre, who had specifically requested them. But it was one of those things I’d never thought to donate because towels are useful, you know? They’re not dust-gathering trinkets. And while we didn’t even have 12 towels, we did have too many.

Prior to our Melbourne move, we purged a lot of stuff. And when I say a lot, it wasn’t even a lot because we didn’t have a lot, but it was a lot to us. When I saw the kind of house we were moving to, I kept a few things back, thinking they would suit the interior of the house, and because we were moving to a bigger place, we didn’t need to get rid of anything.

Then spring happened, and I felt a major purge coming on. We were going to move whether we were forced to or not, and I was determined to choose location over size, which meant a smaller place in walking distance to things we wanted to be near. Which also meant getting rid of even more stuff.

I opened the linen cupboard and realised almost all of it could go. I had kept cot sheets because I didn’t know what kind of bed we would be getting for Smalls, and I heard the sheets could be interchangeable. Every single one of those cot sheets were a gift, or hand-me-downs. I hardly bought any baby stuff new, come to think of it. I probably wouldn’t have donated towels if someone hadn’t mentioned it, but once they did, it opened the floodgates. Suddenly aprons, pillowcases, extra sheets – all of it, was gone. I have never had trouble giving away baby stuff (I am done, yo), and Smalls hasn’t been in a cot for more than a year. We brought no high chair with us to Melbourne, no change table, no nothing. The minute it looked like she possibly didn’t need those things any more, they were gone.

I’m not overly sentimental with things, I do keep what is important, but a lot of stuff I had was op-shopped because it was pretty or it reminded me of my grandmas. I packed it away lovingly and sent it off to Savers. I don’t buy a lot of “stuff”, and I don’t even get a lot of stuff sent to me, being a blogger. I am an unapologetic book-buyer though, because I have issues.

The first time I purged, just before packing up and moving interstate, I realised that I never once thought about those items again once they were out of the house. It gave me the reassurance I needed to part with more things. As Brooke said: “Not one single thing do I think of and say, ‘Oh, I wish I still had that,'”, and I agree. Mostly because I’ve forgotten what I gave away in the first place. But I have not needed any of it, even though some of it was useful.

Are you a hoarder? A free-and-easy purger? (If you are, tell us all your secrets!)

 

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

These are the Golden Days

Image credit: oliverstwistytales.com.au

Image credit: oliverstwistytales.com.au

The other day I was buying one of Smalls’s birthday presents, and I couldn’t resist getting myself a little something too. This These are the Golden Days print sums up pretty much exactly how I feel about parenting my two- and three-year-old right now.

They are hilarious. And totally adorable. One serious, verbose, sensitive, kind, and completely incapable of having the wool pulled over her eyes. She is sharp as a tack, that one. Doesn’t miss a thing. Is an interesting conversation partner, and has just started drawing circle people with sticks for arms and legs.

The other is a big-toothed grinning menace, who never says the first half of her words, who sits on the toilet fully clothed but makes the “pssh” noise like she’s actually doing something, mangles “sandwich” like you wouldn’t believe, and randomly hugs me and strokes my hair. She puts her hand under my chin and says “orright?” and then toddles off on her tiny legs.

Neither of them can pour their own cereal or make their own sandwiches, so we’re nowhere near out of the Intensive Parenting Woods (I hear that’s where the Big Bad Wolf lives), but it’s also not the 24-hour-a-day onslaught that is a newborn (or toddler and a newborn, heaven help me).

Next year is Kinder, and the year after that is SCHOOL OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP and I’m right in that spot where I could freeze time and hang out here forever, making playdough and baking cakes and buying tiny shorts. These guys are fun and interesting, and while still totally toddler-irrational from time to time (not to mention the picky food issues), they are a joy to parent.

Remind me of this when someone’s stolen the other one’s eyeliner and someone is out past curfew with their phone turned off.

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Just Ace

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A few things I think are just ace lately. With apologies to Grinspoon.

Sooooo nobody told me that pyjamas that feature leggings are far superior to baggy trousers (not these baggy trousers though, just so you know). I bought a set from H&M and was so disappointed when I put them on and found them rather legging-like. Then when I got into bed and slid my feet down to the bottom, my pants didn’t ride up around my knees. This is genius. No cold calves for me!

Well that’s a lie, there’s plenty of cold everything for me when I have to get out of bed multiple times a night, but what can you do. (I can lock them in their bedroom, yeah?).

Spring is apparently on its way, according to some hardcore Melbournites. Which means I made it through my first winter thanks to ducted heating, and ducted heating.

I’m heading to the PBEvent conference on Thursday, and if I make it through this time without sounding like a sleep-deprived goat, I will consider it a success. I have a costume for the Friday party, plenty of Nurofen, and nobody making me get out of the bed in the middle of the night to give me cold calves. Maybe just the cold shoulder after I deliver my presentation breaking everyone’s hearts and dashing everyone’s dreams. It’s tough being the bearer of bad news, but someone’s gotta do it! (How’s my attempt at a pleasant, neutral face. It looks like murderous rage.)

I have discovered the wonder of Aussie Farmers Direct bringing to my door before I wake up all the things my children demand 400 times a day. And I’ve bitten the bullet and ordered my groceries online a few times now, which streamlines my to-do list like nobody’s business. I was trying to go out and patronise all the people doing good non-supermarkety things, but I had to admit defeat (or order a clone of myself) so some weeks all the supermarket items are belong to me.

I usually avoid watching videos, but you can’t avoid the ice bucket challenge these days. I’ve watched two people get knocked out and that’s about it. Except for this one, which I watched in its entirety, and died laughing. So many new catchphrases for my silly little mouth. I CAN’T SWIM!

I don’t know about you, but a desperate and sad Robin Williams taking his own life has knocked me for a six this week. It feels different to other celebrity deaths, like it’s hit us all hard. This comment on a post about David Letterman remembering him is exactly how I feel. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one feeling so weirdly upset by this:

Also, like a lot of people, I am imposing a moratorium on all things Robin Williams as of this moment. I just… can’t with the constant grief. Over the past week, I’ve broken down in tears at least three times a day, and a good solid ugly-cry after watching ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ last Tuesday. Celebrities die, and it never hits me except in a selfish way (‘Oh damn—no more new work from so-and-so for me to enjoy’). Williams’ death keeps punching me in the fucking gut.

Adam Hills’s response to the Westboro Baptist Church threatening to boycott Robin Williams’s funeral is the best.

And Wil Wheaton at ComicCon giving a young fan advice about handling bullies is spot on.

I watched the first season of True Detective and fangirled out pretttttty hard. I don’t have much time/patience for TV these days, but this show was brilliant. Look at my pathetic excitement on this post – god, even just looking at the picture is making me want to shout “I’m not emotionally ready for this to be over!”

Everything Eden writes is Just Ace every day, but lately her pen has been turbo-charged. I can’t even describe anything of it, so I will direct you to go and read. Everything. As much as you can. But don’t miss This World is So Hard to Live in, People are Dropping Like Flies, and Peaches Dies of an Overdose in Front of Her Son; Smug Mothers Everywhere Polish Their Mirrors. What a life. I love her fiercely.

On a lighter note, this was funny.

What have you thought was Just Ace recently?

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!