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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What’s been making me happy: December

What’s been making me happy: December

Well, here we are in the last month of a year that I think no one will forget for a very long time. The last 12 months have been incredibly testing for many and while 2020 will be farewelled with much gusto, the challenges that come with dealing with a global pandemic won’t magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. I sincerely hope however, that we take away a few lessons from this last year: the importance of family and friends, of of fresh air and being outside, and of good health. Simple pleasures, but ones that fill your heart and head with joy.

Here’s what’s been making me smile this month…

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Sweet potato salad

Sweet potato salad

The festive season is upon us and in Australia that means hot days, cold drinks and lots of alfresco eating. When the weather’s warm, I crave salads – not so much the stock standard lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and carrot variety with a basic supermarket vinaigrette, rather ones with cooked vegetables and pulses, nuts, herbs and creative dressings.

This sweet potato salad was first introduced to me at a family gathering many years ago. The recipe from another family, but so impressive at its first tasting that it’s been written down and recreated by my grandmother, mother and myself ever since.

I’ve taken it to barbecues, picnics and Christmas Day celebrations and it always receives rave reviews, so if you’re after a new salad to try this summer, perhaps this is one to consider…

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What’s making me happy: November

What’s making me happy: November

November has felt particularly long. It’s been a combination of factors, namely Adam working out of town for an extended period; and a bout of sickness that saw Paul, myself and then Adam collapse in a heap all within about 24 hours of each other (I won’t elaborate, except to say family gastro is not fun!) So while I never like to wish away time, I’m rather glad to see the end of November.

Despite the challenging days, like always, there have been moments of joy – this is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Year two

Year two

This month marks Adam and my second wedding anniversary. Given the current set of circumstances we now find ourselves in, it seems so very surreal that this time two years ago we were in England, making our final preparations for the day and getting ready to welcome guests from all over the world to gather, celebrate, embrace and party all together.

Last year we didn’t worry about presents – we had a newborn, and being able to sneak off for a few hours to have dinner by ourselves while one set of grandparents babysat felt like a gift in itself. This year I suspect we’ll do something similar. Adam’s had an incredibly busy couple of weeks, including a stint working out of town, so quality time together and a nice meal out will be ample celebration.

In saying that, I read online that the traditional second anniversary gift of cotton is meant to signify comfort and strength, threads woven together much like the interconnectedness of marriage. I thought that was really lovely, and for Adam and I it felt very apt for this year of marriage…

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