Two

Two

Last week Paul turned two. We spent his actual birthday, just hanging out as a family. There were presents and video calls in the morning, and an afternoon spent at the park. This weekend past we had a little party for him (well, as much of a party one can organise within the current COVID restrictions). There were lots of ‘bloons’, a construction inspired cake created by Adam to reflect Paul’s love of ‘diggies’, and plenty of playing with some of gifts he received from near and far.

He’s changed so much in the last 12 months. Now a boy, rather than a baby. While getting to that first birthday felt like such an achievement, for both him, and Adam and I – it almost feels like this last year has been even more of an accomplishment…

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What’s making me happy: September

What’s making me happy: September

Well here we are at the three-quarter mark. It’s been a funny old year. At times it’s felt like the ‘before’ with mask-free mingling and interstate holidays, but often, particularly in the last little while, the uncertainty and worry that dominates our COVID era life has been omnipresent.

Still a new season is upon us, and with that brings hope and light. In recent weeks there have been beautiful reunions with friends, great achievements by loved ones and a newfound appreciation of small-talk with strangers.

This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Chocolate brownies

Chocolate brownies

Sometimes you just have one of those days. Those sorts of days when nothing terrible happens, but little thing after little thing happens and you get to a point where need a bit of a pick-me-up. I recently had one of those days and these chocolate brownies certainly helped. They’re decadent yet easy to make. Chewy, crunchy and goey all at once and can made and baked within a child’s naptime – if that’s when you need them the most ;)…

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Something to share: the iso edit

Something to share: the iso edit

COVID lockdown continues in my part of Australia, and will continue to do so for another couple of weeks at least. It means, apart from work and my once a week trip to the supermarket for groceries, life is centred on home and our immediate surroundings: the park in our suburb and the nearby walking tracks we use for exercise and fresh air.

It’s a strange and surreal time, so I thought for this latest edition of ‘something to share’, I’d focus on things that are helping during this period of isolation: comfy clothes, a tipple of something delicious, and a fun social media account to get lost in…

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What’s making me happy: August

What’s making me happy: August

August has turned into quite a month. It started with catch-ups with friends and exploring local parks. It’s ending with working from home and shopping for essentials only. The one week lockdown that was recently announced for regional New South Wales has turned into two and it’s anyone’s guess as to when restrictions will be lifted.

Despite the recent onslaught of statistics and information relating to this latest COVID outbreak on Australian’s eastern seaboard, I’m still finding little joys in the every day. Now more than ever, it feels like that’s important and should be celebrated.

This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Lockdown life

Lockdown life

After more than 12 months of relatively ‘normal life’, in this COVID era we now find ourselves living in, regional New South Wales was placed in official lockdown this weekend past. It’s a situation many of you know well and with it brings a sense of anxiousness – about what we’re dealing with right now and what might come over the weeks and months to follow.

At this stage the lockdown is set to last seven days, but as recent history has proven these lockdowns often get extended. Last time we were in lockdown at the start of this COVID crisis, I was on maternity leave with a baby a few months old, Adam’s business took a huge hit and it was really stressful not knowing what the future had in store. This time round, I’m an essential worker, Adam’s business has evolved to assist in times like these and Paul is an active toddler full of words, opinions and adventure. In some respects it feels like we’re in a better situation this time round, but with that position comes a whole heap of new stresses too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges this next week will bring, and also how to go about processing this current state of uncertainty too…

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The 2021 project

The 2021 project

About 11 months ago, Adam and I decided to embark upon building a new house. To be perfectly honest, we probably thought come August 2021 we’d have moved and be settling in to our next home – but we still haven’t actually broken ground yet.

There were delays that were out of our control, which pushed progress back by a good couple of months. At one stage we nearly abandoned the project altogether, it just felt like we were running into hiccup after hiccup. In the end though, we just couldn’t walk away. We loved our block of land and decided we just needed to ride with the speed bumps. And now we’re getting tantalisingly close…

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Berry clafoutis

Berry clafoutis

I love having a few recipes in my repertoire that I know I can always whip up at a moment’s notice. There’s something very satisfying about being able to pull a few key ingredients out of your fridge and pantry and then bringing them together to create something a little special. Enter berry clafoutis. Sounds dead fancy, looks amazing straight out the oven (because let’s be honest, sometimes we do want to impress), but really is quite quick and easy to make.

If you’ve never encountered clafoutis before, it’s essentially a custardy-like flan, studded with fruit, which originated in France. It’s traditionally made with cherries, but virtually any fruit can be used. For this recipe, I had blueberries and raspberries that needed eating up, so in they went! It’s not too sweet, is light and creamy and can easily be dressed up. Really, what’s not to love…

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What’s been making me happy: July

What’s been making me happy: July

Midwinter is upon us and it certainly feels like it. This month has been damp, cold and over the last few weeks the COVID situation in New South Wales feels like it’s gone from bad to worse. Deepest, darkest winter is certainly living up to expectations. On the flipside, the rain’s been good for the garden and local farmers; there’s been ample time for snuggly stories with Paul; and I’ve been able to wear my favourite jumpers on repeat. So there’s that – and a few other things too.

This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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