Old fashioned lemonade

Old fashioned lemonade

On a grey, cool morning just the other day I decided it was time to pick the first lemons from our tree. Big, bulbous fruit had been ripening on the branch for a few weeks and the lemons looked and felt just right. If you’ve been around here for a little while, you’ll know I love pretty much anything lemon-flavoured and normally when our tree bears fruit I gravitate towards making a dessert. After trawling recipe after recipe though, I just couldn’t find anything that really whet my appetite. Then one night I got a real hankering for proper old fashioned lemonade. The type that’s a cloudy lemon colour and not too sweet. The type you’d drink out of a straw from a nice glass, sitting under a tree on a sunny day while picnicking, Enid Blyton The Famous Five style. Again I trawled through recipes until I found one that had minimal ingredients and could easily be rustled up with little notice.

The end result hit the spot perfectly…

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The week that was

The week that was

It’s been a rather quiet seven days for me, as I stepped away from the normal routine to care for Paul who was struck down last week with a combination of viral and bacterial infections. As the week went on though the cheery, cheeky toddler returned and I tried to make the most of the one-on-one time we had. It’s been a week of glorious weather, of subdued pottering and of heightened perception of the world around me.

This is how my last seven days looked…

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What’s been making me happy: April

What’s been making me happy: April

April is possibly my favourite month of year, mainly on account of the weather. The mornings are now brisk, sometimes shrouded in light fog, but the days are clear and bright, and by mid afternoon gloriously warm. The countryside is green, the deciduous trees around town are starting to colour and there’s often the scent of wood smoke in the late afternoon, as people stoke their fires ready for the evening ahead. The temperatures, the vistas, the scents – it all make me feel incredibly content.

There are also a few other things that have also made me smile this month…

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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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