A long weekend in Launceston

A long weekend in Launceston

Last month I took a little solo holiday in Tasmania. The purpose of the four day break was to make a surprise visit a dear friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen in nearly two years. The trip was a little momentous for me too, as it marked the first time I’d ever been away from Paul overnight, and it the first time I’d properly travelled since the COVID pandemic erupted.

In the lead-up to the mini-break I won’t deny that I was a little nervous about it all, but I came home refreshed and rather excited to return with Adam and Paul in tow, as Tasmania really is something quite special…

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What’s making me happy: March

What’s making me happy: March

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this last month. March 2020 signified the start of the global response to COVID-19 and what was to become months of not faring far from home. Now in March 2021 for us in Australia, life feels a lot different a year on. While some things are still of the table (international travel mainly), we are living pretty normally again. Domestic travel has resumed with gusto, most people are back working in their offices, and the use of hand sanitiser and using QR codes to ‘check in’ to businesses has become almost second nature.

For me this month has really felt like the start of new beginning. The start of this new life, where COVID exists, where the wheels have to keep turning. This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Raspberry and chocolate hazelnut swirl muffins

Raspberry and chocolate hazelnut swirl muffins

I woke up the other day and the morning light outside looked different. The harsh, bright light of the summer had gone, and in its place was a slightly mellower, more golden glow. Right on cue, the change of season had arrived. The time of year where there are cool mornings and warm afternoons; bare legs and long sleeves; and golden leaves and green grass. That change of light also changed my mindset about food – suddenly frozen icy treats didn’t seem appealing, but something warm and pudding like – yes please.

So one afternoon I whipped up a batch of muffins. Half trusted recipe, half made up recipe and I’ve discovered they’re just the thing for these early autumn days…

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An afternoon with the Drinks Professor

An afternoon with the Drinks Professor

Adam and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day, but this year we were lucky enough to be able to secure a babysitter for a couple hours, so we treated ourselves to an afternoon out. One of favourite pre-baby holidays was a mid-summer’s trip to South Africa where we hung out at the beach, drank wine in the mountains and indulged in some amazing food. Obviously recreating that trip is out of the question at the moment, but our little date felt very reminiscent of those lazy South African days…

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What’s been making me happy: February

What’s been making me happy: February

This time last year Australia was coming to grips and saying farewell to an unforgettable summer. There’d been immense bushfires, extreme heat and huge swathes of the eastern seaboard had been shrouded in thick smoke for weeks on end. In comparison, this year has been mild, rainy and now it’s COVID-19 which is top of mind.

While we’ve still got a couple of weeks of February left, there’s already been hints of the change of season – and as many of you know, autumn is my favourite time of the year. I hate wishing away time though, so instead of looking ahead, l want to concentrate on the now, so here’s what’s been making me smile this month…

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Something to share: the miscellaneous collection

Something to share: the miscellaneous collection

It’s been a long time since I wrote one of these posts and it’s mainly because there hasn’t been one standout find I’ve wanted to share with you. Normally it’s something I’ve read, watched or discovered that feels a little under the radar. It’s something I’m always bursting at seams to tell others about. I was feeling a little dismayed at all, but when I started to think about it, there were a few ‘little things’ that have put a pep in my step recently. Everyday items, that are new to me, that have quickly become favourites. And really, it’s often those small objects that you use day in, day out that make the biggest difference…

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Pesto pasta with meatballs

Pesto pasta with meatballs

Not long after Paul was born my mum, dad and brother all came to visit. One night my brother whipped up this pasta for dinner. Still recovering from childbirth and breastfeeding around the clock left me very hungry in those early days and this dish just really hit the spot that night. I can remember going back for seconds and then tucking into another bowl again the following day for lunch.

It’s become a regular meal at our house since and when my brother was in town recently he kindly offered to make this pasta again, knowing it’d be a winner. It really is a very simple meal, but it’s quick (can be thrown together in around half an hour), satisfying and toddler friendly…

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What’s been making me happy: January

What’s been making me happy: January

Hello! It’s nice to be back writing after a slightly longer than expected break. Christmas and New Year didn’t quite pan out how I had expected, with a rather debilitating virus and a couple of cases of conjunctivitis forcing our little family into hibernation mode. Apart from hospital, doctor and pharmacy visits, we did little over the festive period apart from rest and recover. I won’t lie, it wasn’t the merriest time but we’re all happy and healthy now and for that I’m very thankful.

It’s hard to believe we’re three-quarters through the first month of the year already and I know for many – particularly those in the U.K. – it’s been a pretty tough start to 2021. Now more than ever, it feels important to celebrate and appreciate the small things in life, so on that note, this is what’s been making me smile in January…

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