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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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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What’s making me happy: October

What’s making me happy: October

October’s felt both long and short. I’ve had a really, really busy few weeks at work which has made the time feel like it’s whizzing by. At the same time though, the entire household’s been sick which has made some days feel oh-so-drawn-out. In between it all, there’ve been some lovely moments though – here’s what’s been making me smile this month…

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Spring vegetable and goat’s cheese tart

Spring vegetable and goat’s cheese tart

This tart is one of those dishes I don’t make nearly often enough. I always thoroughly enjoy it, its ingredients are fresh and flavourful and it’s surprisingly filling. It’s a wonderful combination of crunchy pastry, creamy goat’s cheese, crisp greens and herbs. For me though the standout ingredient is tarragon with its almost aniseed like flavour. It’s herb I don’t use often, but it gives this tart such a wonderful lift.

The creator of this tart is Wagga Wagga based commercial cookery teacher, Sara Morley. Sara shared it, many years ago, as part of a regular ‘foodie’ segment she had on ABC Riverina. I can remember tasting a sample on the day she spoke about the recipe, telling Sara how delicious it was. Sara kindly shared the recipe with me, so now I feel it’s time to share the recipe with you…

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What’s making me happy: September

What’s making me happy: September

We’re three-quarters through the year, and I can’t quite believe we’re on the cusp of that countdown towards summer, Christmas and the end of the year. September seems to have just flown by. Adam’s business is the busiest its ever been, my weeks are split between ‘work-work’ and ‘home-work’ and it honestly feels like life is moving at double speed at the moment.

While downtime feels like it’s been particularly hard to find these last few weeks, I’m trying to find a balance and to look for the beauty in the everyday. This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Reversing the rut

Reversing the rut

A couple of days ago I woke up just feeling off. Not physically sick, rather mentally exhausted. Nothing major had happened, but I think a combination of me having a nasty respiratory infection a few weeks back, Paul having a few off-colour days, Adam being the busiest he’s ever been with work and finding a new routine with work and parenting had just taken its toll. I was in a negative head-space and as a result was turning to routine to provide stability. At the time I didn’t realise it, but that routine wasn’t really helping. I was more like a hamster, stuck on a wheel, just going round and round. The same things over and over again. Instead of taking each day as it came, I was becoming too focused about what needed to be achieved on my ‘to do list’ and was giving myself little down time to just be.

Thankfully Adam recognised the nasty cycle I was getting into, and with one simple suggestion he helped me reverse the rut…

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