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Posts Tagged ‘home’

Blanket I discovered this crocheted blanket at a little church run op-shop. It’s one of those op-shops that’s only open one morning a week and only the locals know about it. I was told that the lady who made this blanket passed away peacefully at home two weeks ago at the age of 83. She had kept active with her crochet and was quite renowned for her handiwork in her church community. It’s nice to know the story behind a blanket. Lego My son keeps producing the most extraordinary lego creations. For some time he followed the instructions meticulously…but like every great artist has kept his style evolving. The past few months have been an era of unbridled creativity. His vehicular creations have extraordinary names like “The Flying Audiologist” in a homage to a recent medical check-up. MintOur mint plant was on death’s door so I gave it a generous scoop from our compost and a good watering. There’s obviously something magical in our compost, because here it is a few days later completely reinvented with a new lease on life. Kitty My daughter has become quite attached to this stuffed cat and sleeps with it every night. It’s called “Kitty” and is getting pretty worn and smelly…but I love this thing.Homemade Golden Rough

This is a wholefood version of a Golden Rough. It’s completely natural, raw, organic and vegan. But don’t let that put you off…it tastes amazing. I will be posting the recipe soon. BooksThese past few weeks I have been quietly amassing a little stash of books and get a ridiculous amount of pleasure at the thought of reading these. There’s nothing more decadent than ignoring the 1001 things that need to be done and reading a novel in bed.

Vintage sheets

And finally…watching vintage sheets hanging on the line in the sunlight. And how do you know that a gorgeous little floral number is vintage?

Vintage Sheet Tag

Check the tag. Made in Australia’s the giveaway.

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Five Ways with Lilly PilliesLilly Pilly TreeDown our street and around the corner is a rather majestic Lilly Pilly tree, whose branches hang over a little lane-way.  Many Lilly Pilly trees are native to the East Coast of Australia and carry striking pink edible fruit. This vitamin-C rich fruit formed part of the diet of coastal Aboriginal communities. The fruit is quite acidic and tangy…I would describe it as being similar to a not-yet-ripe green apple with the texture of crisp watermelon. I’m surprised that my children snack on the fruit straight from the tree, undeterred by the sourness. While eating native foods is becoming much more common in Australia, it’s still not very widespread. Given the overabundance of this little native fruit in our lives recently, I’m pleased to present my top five ways with lilly pillies.

1) A native substitute for fresh flowers.Lilly Pillies in a Vase

2) Lilly Pilly Smoothie. Pictured below is two freshly juiced organic apples, a small organic banana and a cup of pitted lilly pillies blitzed in the food processor.

Lilly Pilly Smoothie

3) Table Decor. A sprig of lilly pilly tied with brown twine to a white cloth napkin.Lilly Pilly Table Napkin

4) Lilly Pilly Muffins. I adapted Donna Hay’s recipe for Blueberry Muffins to make the Lilly Pilly Muffins pictured below.DSC03833Lilly Pilly Muffins

5) The way nature intended…from the tree to the mouth.Toddler holding Lilly Pillies

A note on cooking with lilly pillies

If you’re planning to eat and/or cook with Lilly Pillies, please note that there is a hard little seed in the centre of the fruit, pictured here.
Lilly Pilly Seed
It’s easy to remove the seed by squashing the berry between your fingers. The prepped lilly pillies should look something like this.Pitted Lilly Pillies
This image shows diced lilly pillies in muffin batter. Cooking the lilly pillies makes them sweeter and more palatable.Lilly Pilly Muffin Batter
This NAIDOC week embrace some lilly pillies into your life!

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Muddy Puddles

MP1We’ve just emerged from two weeks of torrential downpour in Sydney and the worst cabin fever I’ve ever seen in my children. This week the sun is back and the only evidence of rain is in the form of irresistible muddy puddles.

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You can feed a family of four a satisfying meal for $5 in less than 15 minutes. It’s not sexy, it’s not fancy and you may not want to serve it at a dinner party…but it is:

1. Healthy

2. Cheap

3. Filling

4. Quick to prepare.

5. Easy to conceal vegies.

5. Passes the trifecta baby/toddler/adult tastebud test.

Tuna Pasta is our ‘go-to’ meal. The quickest, easiest, mid-week meal in my cooking repertoire. It’s the meal I go to if I’m considering ordering take-away, as the ingredients are always in my pantry. Works just as well with any vegies!

Tuna Pasta

Ingredients

1 x 700g jar homebrand pasta sauce

1 x 400g tin homebrand diced tomatoes

1 x 185g tin homebrand tuna, drained

1 packet of homebrand thin spaghetti

1 brown onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small zucchini, grated or blitzed in food processor

1 small carrot, grated or blitzed in food processor

Cheese to serve

Instructions

1. Cook 3/4 packet of pasta in a large pot of boiling water.

2. Brown onion and garlic in a large saucepan.

3. Add sauce, diced tomatoes, vegies and tuna. Simmer while pasta cooks.

4. Serve with cheese.

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Two kids, two cats, countless boxes and we finally made the move from a two bedroom flat to a three bedroom house. Only a few blocks away, it may as well have been to the moon. It’s the first time I’ve moved since I’ve had children and it was a crazy, exhausting experience. At the end of moving day I realised I’d worn sneakers with jeans all day in my own personal homage to Jerry Seinfeld. A defining fashion moment in my life. My husband now has a beard for the first time because he hasn’t been able to find his razors for a month. At some point we’ve just had to embrace the chaos.

We’ve been in our new home for two weeks and things are starting to settle into place. The house is gaining some semblance of order and cleanliness, there’s food in the fridge and I’m not thinking twice about where the the bread or sugar or nappies or big saucepan with the lid or spatula or scissors or cat food is.

I haven’t looked at my Reader for a month so am looking forward to catching up on all the news in the blogosphere.

Now if only I could just find my glasses…

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I’m a little ambivalent about succulents, but when you plant one in a vintage tin kettle…it’s ooh la la très chic!

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At the risk of sounding like a crazy Lego lady, here is another Lego-related post which will appeal to those people that love to organise.

Since the Lego revolution took off at our place we’ve been keeping all our Lego in one big ol’ plastic tub. This was causing my husband and son no end of frustration as it would take them forever to find an elusive piece lurking in the nook of another piece. I googled Lego storage and was amazed by the number of people who were obsessed with finding the perfect sorting and storage system. I was most inspired by Jen over at I Heart Organising. She uses the Ikea Trofast system for sorting and storing their Lego pieces. I decided to use the Trofast storage system, but with different labels aimed at a younger child. I wanted visual, easily-identifiable labels so that my 3-yeard old could be responsible for sorting and packing away his own Lego.

So here goes:

You will need

2 x white Ikea Trofast frames + 12 small Trofast storage drawers with lids.

Cutting board, ruler and stanley knife/scissors.

Small roll of contact paper.

Assorted paint chips from a hardware store in the colour of your Lego pieces.

A colour print-out with 2 x Lego logos and imagery of lego accessories (my printable here).

A small white label with the word Instructions printed on it.

Instructions

1. Assemble Trofast frames and wipe clean the exterior surface of storage drawers with a damp cloth and dry (this will assist with contact paper adhering to the surface.

2. Decide how you would like to categorise your Lego collection. We sorted into Baseplates, Instructions, Minifigures + Accessories, Wheels + Vehicle Windows, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, White, Grey, Black and Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces.

3. Source Lego logo + label imagery and insert onto an A4 sheet for colour printing (or use Lego Organisation Labels). I sized and cropped my Lego logos to approx 9 x 5cms and the drawer panels to approx 10 x 6cms. You will also need a separate written label for the Instructions drawer.

4. Using a cutting board and ruler, cut the logos, colour paint chips and imagery to size.

5. For the drawer with the Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces I cut colour paint chips to size and then divided them into four and stuck a piece from each colour together with tape before placing onto contact paper.

6. Cut pieces of contact paper into rectangular panels slighter larger in size to the colour panel. My contact panels were approximately half a centimetre larger than the colour panel around the diameter.

7. Peel off contact backing and carefully place paper labels onto sticky side, then adhere labels onto the drawers.

8. Sit back and enjoy your handiwork!
Oh and it also creates a handy little display for all those wonderful Lego creations.

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It’s been a busy month in this neck of the woods. We’ve had interstate visitors. First my sister with her husband and one year old son, then my mum and my other sister with her husband and three boys. My little girl has started walking. She took her first wonky steps at 10 1/2 months and now she can trek across the length of the room like a drunken sailor. I’ve been collecting and organising all my no-longer-required baby items to sell at the Baby and Kids Market later in the month and toying with the idea of coming out of retirement to make a few bibs to sell.

At some point during the month of June a niggling little seed in my head turned into an epiphany. Since I started blogging 6 months ago, my house has not been as tidy as it usually is. I don’t spend a huge amount of time on my blog, but in a house with a baby and a toddler…time is a valuable commodity. According to the currency of my life at the moment, each blog post equals one load of laundry that didn’t get washed, dried, folded and packed away.  In fact, the load of washing featured in the photograph above could have been done in the time it took me to draft and publish this post.

So for the next little while instead of blogging 2-3 times per week, I’m going to be blogging more sporadically…according to the state of cleanliness in my house.

In the meantime, to commemorate 6-months of Roar Sweetly, here’s some thoughts on blogging:

Best things about having a blog

  1. Having a creative space to document interesting things in my life.
  2. Getting to know a lovely blogging community.
  3. Improving my skills in photography, photo-editing, design and layout.

Worst things about having a blog

  1. It is surprisingly time-consuming and addictive.
  2. Worrying about having photographs of my children online (will their images appear on the side of a Japanese bus advertising cereal in two years time?)

Interesting Bits n Bobs

My top post of all time has been Donna Hay’s Classic Baked Cheesecake, though I find it odd that such a huge amount of people have visited and left without a comment.

The three strangest search terms that have led to my blog are:

  1. 5 inch heels inappropriate
  2. I didn’t rinse my lentils
  3. Multi-legged bugs

In the last 6 months I’ve been honoured to be nominated for several blogging awards by fellow bloggers. As part of accepting the award, it is a requirement to pay the award forward to other blogs, sometimes to as many as 15. Truth be told, I was always terrible at chain mail which is why I am the tardiest blog award recipient in the world. So here is my official thank you and shout-out to the blogs that were so kind as to think of me.

The Accidental Housewife who nominated me for the Liebster Award

I stumbled across Mrs Accidental’s blog when I was very new to blogging. Mrs A is a former soldier who is now busy raising two little girls. She proudly wears an apron at home and provides a recipe for the best home-made washing powder here.

Dreams of Home who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award

I love this blog because it’s like a version of me living in England. She raises a little boy, loves to craft and has a great eye for design. Her posts are gorgeous.

Frank’s Place who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Frank served in the United States Airforce for 22 years and is now busy at home raising a small family. It’s great to hear a dad’s perspective on things.

That’s all for now!

Roar Sweetly

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Peak Hour [pēk ou-er]

n.

1. The period of the day during which family activity in the home is at its highest, children are at their neediest and parenting stamina is at its lowest.

Peak hour in our house is usually between the hours of 5pm – 7pm. It’s a period of heightened activity when multiple meals are prepared and served, eating is supervised, food messes are cleaned, baths are run, children are washed, teeth are brushed, protesting bodies are dried, pyjamas are sourced, children are dressed, hair is combed, beds are prepared, books are read and endless negotiation over lights out and sleep.

Each day when the clock ticks over to 5:00pm I have a moment of pre-emptive exhaustion. It is incomprehensible that we will survive the next few hours.

To my ongoing amazement, we always do.

Then after that last protest is heard and silence finally descends upon the house, all the things I have been adding to my ‘after the children are asleep’ mental to-do list throughout the day, just dissipate with exhaustion.

Peak hour is hardcore. It’s for people with nerves of steel.

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We have a lovely neighbour that dotes on our children. She spends time with them in the garden, buys them little presents and sneaks freddo frogs to our son when we’re not looking. She’s their honourary Aunty.

On the weekend she gave this little tea cup to our daughter. She told us that she’d seen it in an antique store years ago and fell in love with it. She bought it just in case she had a daughter. Now with her one boy all grown up, she wanted to give it to someone special. I couldn’t think of a more perfect gift for a little girl, or boy for that matter.

Since my son turned two, we have started having regular ‘tea parties’. We lay his table with a tablecloth, set napkins and serve tea with cake. I think it teaches him table manners and the enjoyable ritual of sharing a cup of tea. He has a groovy United Nations mug his real Aunty bought him back from New York. It will be great when my little girl can join our tea parties too.

And speaking of tea, saw this little find, The Vintage Tea Party Book, at Gleebooks:

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