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…
Continue reading “What’s been making me happy: December” →
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…
Continue reading “Sweet potato salad” →
After months of fires, smoky conditions and heatwaves, I’m rather glad this summer is over. Although it’s been a special time for catching up with friends and family, and watching my little boy grow and develop, I’m craving cooler nights, cosy days and hopefully a bit of rain.
I watched the sun set on this unforgettable season in a local park, on a picnic blanket, watching the world go by…
Continue reading “So long summer” →
Hello February! The first month of the year seems to have passed ever-so-quickly. That last week of January though… it was hot and dusty and all around pretty ordinary to be honest – but in between there were a few sweet moments.
Here’s a look at what the last seven days has looked like for me…
Continue reading “The week that was” →
We’re halfway through the first month of the year, and with that halfway through summer as well. Here’s what’s been making me smile this month…
Continue reading “What’s making me happy: January” →
Can you believe we’re more than halfway through February already? Where is this year going, it feels like it’s genuinely zipping on by.
It’s time to take a look a what’s been making me happy this month…
Continue reading “What’s making me happy: February” →
“She often climbed up the hill and lay there alone for the mere pleasure of feeling the wind and of rubbing her cheeks in the grass. Generally at such times she did not think of anything, but lay immersed in an in an inarticulate well-being.” – Summer, Edith Wharton.
Last year I started noting down every season a few things that were making me smile. Most of the time they were little observations, kind acts or simple pleasures to do with that time of the year. I loved writing those blog posts and found the act of sitting and writing about these little things really cathartic. It was such a good reminder, that even during what feels like a standard week/month there are moments of magic in the ever day.
So in 2019, I’m upping the ante. Every month I’m going to stop and reflect on what’s making me smile, starting with January…
Continue reading “What’s making me happy: January” →
A few months back I treated myself to a copy of the National Trust cookbook. Adam and I had National Trust membership while we were living in England and I have so many fond memories of spending days exploring the Trust’s beautiful old houses and stunning gardens.
We hosted a group of friends this weekend gone for a summery barbecue and I turned to my National Trust cookbook for some seasonal inspiration when it came to dessert…
Continue reading “Plum and vanilla slice” →
Daylight saving or ‘summer time’ arrived in our part of Australia the other week and with it came the start of gloriously long, light evenings.
It’s given me a renewed energy for the warm weather ahead and instead of coming home from work feeling tired and ready to hunker down for the evening, I find myself wanting to potter about and get little jobs done, so they’re not eating into my precious days off.
One job though, I’m finding less of a chore and more of a wonderful little ritual…
Continue reading “The evening water” →
It’s been an absolute scorcher in south-eastern Australia over the last few days. Wagga Wagga hit 40 + degrees on both Saturday and Sunday. I haven’t experienced that sort of warmth since the summer of 2015/2016, so I really felt it!
It always amazes me that while one part of the world can be experiencing extreme heat, others can be gripped in the midst of extreme cold (east cold of the United States and Canada, I’m thinking of you!) In the days leading up to the weekend my Instagram feed was full of northern hemisphere dwellers preparing for a cozy weekend.
While they were channelling hygge in the traditional sense, I thought I’d go about creating ‘summer hygge’…
Continue reading “Hiding from the heat” →