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Monday, 28 January 2013

The Dinner Series.

Recently I have been involved in many conversations surrounding dinner ideas for toddlers. I don't know about you but I struggle for new ideas that provide the nutrients our growing little girl needs and are easy to prepare and cook. Most nights Audrey has a modified version of our dinner but there are nights where Luke and I may have a cheeky take away pizza or thai and obviously we don't want her eating takeaway. Those are the nights I stand in my kitchen and pray for something to jump out at me!

I thought surely there are other mummas out there with the same dilemma so why not share whats going on in our kitchen and maybe introduce some new recipes into yours. I hope to post a quick and easy dinner idea once or twice a week and on tonights menu is sweet potato fritters, hope your little one enjoys.

Please excuse my recipes, I am by no means a chef or recipe writer...

Sweet Potato Fritters
1 sweet potato
1/2 zucchini
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn (we only had frozen tonight)
1 egg
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
2 tbsp cottage cheese
1 cup cooked quinoa
Coconut oil cooking spray

- Peel and cut sweet potato and zucchini into squares, add peas and corn and bring to the boil.
- Once veggies are soft drain the water and add egg, garlic, cottage cheese and quinoa*
- Mash all ingredients together and roll into balls.
- Heat pan to medium heat and spray with coconut oil (or any cooking spray, we prefer to use coconut)
- Place balls in heated pan and "squish" with spatula.
- Cook until browned.
- Let fritters cool (we don't want any burnt little mouths) and serve with salad or veggies or even on their own.

Combine 1/2 cup of quinoa to 3/4 cup water and place them both into a pot.
Add a pinch of sea salt and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to low and place on a lid.
Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed into the quinoa, seeds will become translucent.

Finished product
A willing helper

And a very willing taste tester!
She didn't leave a crumb on her plate = success.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Afternoon Delight.

Today our very dear friends came over to celebrate, well nothing really, we just haven't had the time with the silly season to sit down and have a good catch up. So what better excuse to open a bottle of red and indulge in some beautiful cheeses. The afternoon was full of laughs, stories of travel, memories of the past and the boys making plans to conquer the world of truffle hunting...

There is nothing better then catching up with friends who make you laugh, who challenge you to be a better person and who love you. Unfortunately we were having that much I forgot to pick my camera up to take some photos of us all. So here are some photos of the food and of course our little frog enjoying her Aunty Tash and Uncle Geoff.

Love, Elle.

Experimenting with goats cheese

The perfect platter
Grant Burge, always a favourite
Strawberry & Basil water
Pretty red straws

Something refreshing after all the cheese

Sneaky Daddy!
Playing with Uncle Geoff
Trying to steal Geoff's cheese
Red Velvet cupcakes with tea to finish


"A portrait of Audrey, once a week, every week, in 2013"

From the day we brought you home you have always loved the shower. You would happily stay in until your entire body is wrinkled from the water. Sometimes its nice to have a shower instead of a bath, although there are no toys in the shower there are always plenty of cuddles! If you have had a big day there is nothing better than resting your tired head on your Daddy's shoulder while the warm water runs down your back. And that bum, there are no words for that bum!!!

- Joining in with Jodi and a world of talented bloggers -

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Music To My Ears.

I always knew Audrey would be musical having Luke as a father, he can literally pick up any instrument and teach himself how to play it...

Audrey loves to listen to Luke play the guitar. She prefers the songs at the start and end of kids shows to the actual show itself. She loves to play her tambourine, drums and maracas and can often be found in the kitchen banging a wooden spoon on a bowl. But her absolute favourite thing to do is play our (very old) piano, she would happily sit there for hours if I let her. I always watch in amazement as she gently presses the keys with her chubby little fingers and sings (if you can call it that). She never bashes or hits the keys and her tongue is always out and to one side for extra concentration!

I often wonder who she will be as she grows up but I know one thing for sure... There will always be music in her future.

Love, Elle.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Manic Mondays No More.

For the last few months Mondays have consisted of waking up before the sun, shoving food down my family's throat (plus half a litre of coffee down my own) and rushing them out the door to get to school and work on time. To say Mondays have been less then enjoyable is a major understatement! Today was a little different though... We snuggled in bed till 9am, we enjoyed our coffee and ate breakfast as a family, we stayed in our pjs till after 11am and pottered around the house singing and playing games. You may be wondering how this was possible, I am not on holidays or sick and the Australia Day public holiday isn't until next Monday. You see towards the end of last year working full time plus caring for my family really started to take its toll. I was miserable and run down, I felt like my family was coming second, I had no energy and no motivation to do the things I loved most. Then late one night while trawling Pinterest I discovered the following quote:

"In order to spoil your children spend twice as much time with them and half the money"

That small sentence changed my perspective on life. I was working so hard to provide my daughter with the best of everything but I wasn't spending any quality time with her. My husband and I were like passing ships in the night and we rarely got to sit down and enjoy each others company. I made the decision to cut back my hours and adopt living simply. All the blogs I follow talk about living a simple life, with little need for material things and being happy with what you have. Upcycle, recycle, reduce and reuse, be self sufficient (as much as we can in suburbia) and learn to love the life we are living, this would be our families new motto.

So today we made the most of our day, we ate all our meals outdoors, we went for a walk to feed the ducks, we read stories, we baked a beautiful (simple) dinner together and enjoyed a long bath. Life is too short not to enjoy it and money doesn't make you happy. Now love, love can make you happy...

Love, Elle. x x x

1. Mmmmm lunch
2. Enjoying new tastes
3. Helping to make sweet potato and salmon fritters
4. Having a sneaky taste of Keens Curry Powder
5. That wild hair

Sunday, 20 January 2013


"A portrait of Audrey, once a week, every week, in 2013"

This week saw you battle your first tummy bug and it broke my heart to see you so sad. Your beautiful cheeky smile was hidden under a constant frown and many tears. I was so worried as I watched you turn away your food and it felt like you were shrinking before my eyes. Thankfully after a few days you were back to yourself, eating us out of house and home and that cheeky smile quickly returned. Others may wonder why I chose this photo of you for this weeks portrait, the truth is I want to remember all of you not just the happy you. We will share good times and bad in our life together little frog and they will all hold a special place in my heart.

- Joining in with Jodi and a world of talented bloggers -

Saturday, 19 January 2013


I am the oldest of three and there is twelve years difference between myself and my baby brother. Today sees that littlest of brothers turn 18 and my goodness this makes me feel old!! It feels like only yesterday I could hold him in my arms, we would snooze together on the lounge in the hot Queensland summers and I would watch him play and day dream his days away in our backyard. I remember his first day at pre school and his transition to "big" school. I remember the day we found out he was diabetic and being so proud at our he handled it with maturity beyond his years. I have always been mesmerised by his old world ways and love of everything 80's (sometimes I think he was born in the wrong decade).

Today as we spoke on the phone and I wished him all the love a big sister could he told me he was venturing out clubbing tonight to celebrate. "Clubbing"! The last time I went clubbing Destiny's Child was in the top ten and my skirt was shorter than I wish to remember...

So here is to my baby bro, may your grown up days be filled with happiness and adventure. May you love and learn, may you grow and prosper. And may you never forget the love of your big sister.

Love, Elle (Sissy to Zac) x x x

Thursday, 17 January 2013

What's In A Name?

Luke and I decided on names pretty early into my pregnancy and we didn't really stray. We dabbled a few times but we always came back to Audrey for a girl and William for a boy. At our 20 week scan (after much deliberation) we decided to find out if we were having a little boy or girl. We gave the sonographer a card and asked her to write the sex inside. After our scan we drove to our little spot on the hill in Kiama, we sipped hot chocolate and with shaking hands we opened the card to reveal the gender of our baby.

"IT'S A GIRL! Congratulations!"

From that day we would talk to her and call her by name. I would sing silly, made up songs to her (I quickly realised not many words rhyme with Audrey) and the bond between the three of us grew even stronger.

In my last trimester, as my due date was approaching, I started to think about nicknames. I never really had a nickname till I was in my twenties, Luke on the other hand has about six. I decided really liked Aggie, I definitely didn't like Auds and I couldn't really think of anything else. Fast forward a few weeks and our beautiful little girl arrived. A few hours after she was born Luke started referring to Audrey as his little frog and I had no idea why. Apparently from Luke's view outside the tub, when Audrey was born she reached out with her tiny wet hand and grabbed hold of my chest. She held on so tight it looked like a little frog holding onto a rock and the image stuck in his mind. I wasn't too excited about the idea of my little girl being called frog and quickly dismissed it. As the months flew by and Audrey grew I tried calling her Aggie but it just didn't feel right. Then a few weeks ago I needed to get her attention so I called her frog, Luke has been calling her Frog since day one, and of course she turned and gave me the biggest smile! So frog it is, our little frog.

Today as I packed away the toys from a day of play I looked around our house and I realised she was always meant to be our little frog, it just took me a little longer to realise it...

Love, Elle. x x x

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Bug.

The start to this week saw an unwanted house guest make itself at home in our home!! On Monday night around 9pm we could hear muffled crying coming from Audrey's room, Luke went to investigate... A few moments later I heard "Oh god, its everywhere!!" I rushed down the hall to her room to be met by a pungent smell and the sight of my darling girl sitting in a pool of vomit. She was covered, it was through her hair, her hands, her feet, she couldn't even open her little eyes (she is a belly sleeper). Without speaking Luke and I looked at each other and sprung into action. Luke grabbed Audrey and headed for the bathroom. I stripped her bed, threw the linen in the laundry and rushed back down the hall to the bathroom (stripping myself at the same time). I jumped in the shower with our very distressed little girl while Luke went to sort out the massacred linen and re make her bed. After we dressed her and gave her plenty of cuddles we put her back to bed and she fell straight to sleep. We weren't sure if she just had an upset tummy or her first tummy bug so we made ourselves a cuppa and waited. We didn't have to wait long, our cups of tea barely had time to cool before we heard her crying and so began a long night of tears, changes of clothes and cuddles.

It is heart breaking seeing your child upset and unwell, you wish with all your heart that you could take their pain and it wasn't long before my wish came true! No sooner had Audrey started to get back on her feet the next day, I was in the bathroom re-acquainting myself with the toilet. Memories of 9 months of morning sickness swam in my head...

Thankfully we are now all on the mend. The past few days we stayed indoors and enjoyed the comfort of our little home. We read books, we had cuddles on the lounge and we slept. It seemed to be everything we needed to make a full recovery.

Love, Elle. x x x

Sunday, 13 January 2013

About A Boy.

Six years ago I met a special boy who stole my heart. This week saw him turn 32 but unfortunately he had to work so our celebrations were postponed till last night. There are many reasons I love my husband but here are my top ten plus a few snap shots of our dinner at The German Club and our stroll after to try and walk off those kranksy sausages...

1. His smile (and as we grow older, his smile lines)
2. His sense of humour and his laugh
3. His love of all things musical
4. His laid back attitude, no matter what life throws our way
5. His love and compassion for animals
6. His patience with me
7. His brain (he is very intelligent although he doesn't like to admit it)
8. His love of knowledge, if luke is interested in something he will not rest until he knows everything there is to know.
9. His sense of family, nothing is more important

And last but most certainly not least

10. His love for our daughter, he is Audrey's hero and they truly are the best of friends

Love, Elle. x x x


"A portrait of Audrey, once a week, every week, in 2013"

There is a special little fish & chip shop in Balgownie that we always visit when we go to see Nanny K and Da. It has been there for as long as I can remember. The lady, Ana, who owns it always yells "hello larve" as we walk in the door and you always smile. You wait patiently for our order on the coloured bench and read old copies of The Realtor with your Daddy. When you hear Ana yell our order "four dollar chips larve" you help Daddy pay and give Ana a big cheeky smile. With your chippies in hand we head off to Nanny K's for cuddles, fun and an old fashioned chip sandwich.

- Joining in with Jodi and a world of talented bloggers -

Saturday, 12 January 2013


I recently learnt of an amazing project named the 52 project. The idea behind it? Take a portrait of your child each week for 52 weeks. Instantly I was attracted to this, I am always looking for ways to increase my photography skills and what better subject to practice on then Audrey. But I was also daunted by the idea. Would I have the time? Would my photos be good enough? Would I remember to update my blog? I do always have my camera close by... And it would be lovely to have a collection of memories at the end of the year... Than a lovely friend and wonderful blogger, Ashlee from dearlola.blogspot.com.au, gave me the gentle push I needed to commit.

So here we go, the first of 52, wish me luck...