Random Ramblings

I had all good intentions of posting a ‘5 things Friday’ – but here we are on Saturday and no such post was written. But there have been a lot of little happenings of late, and I just returned from a lovely facial + massage combination (cashing in a Christmas gift certificate, thanks Amanda!), and am feeling particularly relaxed. So a sneaky little blog post it is…

Adventuring? We had a great time at the Circus last weekend. Little J was enamoured with the lights, sound and action from the very first minute (and we discovered that she is a huge fan of popcorn too!)

img_1076Oh and the clowns were a big hit also – so much so that we are now the proud owners of a slinky and a cheap necklace…

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Creating? We finally finished our family photo wall! It has been on the to-do list for years now, and I am so chuffed to see it come to life. The idea being that we add a new family portrait to the line up each year.
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Feeling? Very much like this year is slipping by all too fast. We had an activity evening at C’s pre-school last night, and little J wasted no time in joining in the fun. It seems like only yesterday that I was wheeling her to the preschool in the pram, and now she is out running around with all the big kids.

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Smiling? At Miss C’s ever-developing art and writing skills. Not a day goes by where she doesn’t pull out the textas and create us a masterpiece. On this occasion it was a ‘get well soon’ drawing for her Nanna, complete with self-portrait, her grandparents, two horses, a pig, a bull and a lion!
img_1128 Baking? Two big batches of rocky road with my little ‘helpers’. Although I think they did more bowl licking than anything else….
img_1064Missing? My sunglasses. If you know me, you know that I am never without them.  I remember taking them off as I walked into work on Friday, and putting them in my bag, but they are now nowhere to be found. And I’m well and truly feeling as though I am going (sun-squinty) crazy!

Indulging? In addition to the facial + massage I got this morning, I also got my nails painted. I saved the beautician from the horror that is my runner / walker’s feet – and opted to have my fingernails painted instead. Something I almost never do – but I must say I’m quite loving the look.

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Although I suspect kids + chores = they will be chipped in 6 hours!

But now, time to enjoy the rest of the weekend (and keep looking for my sunnies….)

5 things Friday

1. Spring is here! And I could not be happier to see the trees blossoming (and the daylight hours growing) . I’m not so happy that I’ve managed to pick up what seems to be a head cold / virus though – particularly as 5 days later the symptoms remain and I’ve now completely lost my voice?! img_96212. And although I do love Spring, for it means we’ve survived another Canberra winter, it does herald the arrival of a neighbourhood foe…..aka the swooping magpie. I’ve been religiously checking the Magpie Alert website and so far no swoopers have been spotted on my walking routes, but that doesn’t stop me flinching / cowering / shaking everytime I see a magpie nearby.

The fear is real, people!

3. Note to self: Do NOT fill up the lolly jar when you know you are sick. I tend to crave sweet foods when I am under the weather – which means this (once full) jar has been taking quite a hit these last few days.

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4. A favourite moment of the week? Watching these two crazy kids race laundry baskets around the kitchen bench again, and again, and again.

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Who needs toys right?

5. Another ‘proud mama’ moment? Seeing how far Miss C has come in her writing. Every evening as I cook dinner, she sits at the bench and practices her letters and numbers, and is loving being able to write us little letters.

img_9922 The cuteness!

5 things Friday

Happy Friday lovely people!

I’ve been meaning to post since Monday, but work has been rather hectic and then  some surprise guests arrived into town, so here I am 5 days later finally with a spare moment to hit the keyboard.

It’s perfect timing for a 5 things Friday though.

  1. We are in love with the newest addition to our hallway – namely some Ikea shoe cabinets to store all the school bags, daycare bags, nappy bags and handbags that were cluttering up our entryway.

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Clutter be gone! Or hidden, at least…

2. These two are obsessed with climbing into our bed as we get ready in the morning.

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Cuteness overload.

3. Adding to the cute factor? Watching both girls at a recent dance class. C has been attending for a few years, and J will be starting classes next term.

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4. Current love? This double cream camembert from the Nowra Farmhouse.

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5. Eaten alongside? A glass of Pinot Gris.

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Yes despite the freezing temperatures outside, I am still reaching for white wine instead of red. And while I normally lean towards Australian Pinot Gris, this one from Marlborough was not bad at all!

What about you? What are you eating or drinking lately?

5 things Friday

I know, I know. Two posts in one week! That has to be some kinda record for me right?!  But I’m working on improving my blogging routine, so here goes! Perhaps the colder weather has got something to do with it? For even the cat is picking the warmth of home over her usual daily adventures outside…

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1. While my two girls definitely enjoy playing outside, they are seemingly happy to take little adventures inside too. Particularly when they can transform our dining room into a cubby house…

IMG_46572. Also on the cards? Lots of baking and creating in the kitchen. With a side kick who is more than happy to help when she realises there is chocolate involved…
IMG_46343. I *finally* finished J’s “first year” album, and I could not be more pleased. I did one for C too – and they have been such a great trip down memory lane (and great gifts for the grandparents!)

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4. Currently loving? These lunchboxes from “Yum Box”.

IMG_8406They are definitely not the cheapest, but they are sturdy and easy to clean (win for me!). C also loves the novelty of the compartments and always directs, with great precision, what must feature and in what compartment.

5. We have a rather ‘free’ weekend coming up, which is pretty damn awesome. A parents’ night out and a degustation dinner just *might* be on the cards too…Can’t wait!

What about you? What are you up to on the weekend?

5 things Friday

I think its time to bring back an ol’ favourite series. To capture the happenings of late, without the need for an entire blog post on each. For while blogging with regularity is proving to be a bit of a challenge at the moment, there certainly has been a lot going on!

  1. Little J has become quite the climber. People, chairs, tables, dishwashers…you name it.  Generally with a big cheeky grin while she makes her ascent. Needless to say, we are constantly on the lookout for what she might climb next.

IMG_7429 2. Climbing aside, it is so very lovely to see our girls’ friendship blossoming. Sure there are the occasional spats, if C tries to take something from J, or vice versa, but for the most part they seem to really enjoy each other’s company (and I’m pretty confident they are already conspiring against me!)
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3. After two ‘rained out’ sessions, and despite a cranky 15 month old, we managed to get our annual family photo session done for another year. I am completely in love with how the pictures turned out, thanks to the talented (and patient) Melissa Ellis Photography.  Some favourites…

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4. We are really enjoying the opportunity to explore our local region lately, by taking lots of hikes and family walks.  I headed along the Cooleman / Chapman Ridge the other week, up to the Mt Arawang trig, and will be sure to post about it soon!

IMG_0314 5. On the agenda this weekend? STAYING WARM! I knew Winter was coming, but it feels as though it arrived overnight. The beanie and gloves are out, and the sandals have been retired. Being the Summer-lover that I am…..well let’s just say I am not a fan.

What about you? What are you up to this weekend?

What the photos don’t tell you…

A picture speaks a thousand words. Or does it? I had this thought recently, when scrolling through my albums. For while the photos therein conjure up so many memories, often it is what the photo doesn’t show that is the most memorable. Take these recent photos, for example… 1. Photo: Two gorgeous girls, filled with sisterly love. IMG_1354 What the photo doesn’t show? The meltdown from both that occurred no more than 2.5 seconds after the picture was snapped. 2. Photo: An awesome family walk up the mountain. IMG_1374 What the photo doesn’t show?  C searching for trolls when we crossed a couple bridges.  Adorable! 3. Photo: A family walk in the morning sunshine. IMG_1492 What the photo doesn’t show? The endless negotiation with a spirited 3.5 year old who got bored of sitting in the pram about 10 minutes in. And, the fact said child insisted on wearing slippers, and gloves, then demanded that I fed her rice crackers while I pushed the pram(because she apparently forgot how to feed herself?). 4. Photo: A smiley happy swaddled baby. IMG_1396 What the photo doesn’t show? It was 4am. Enough said … 5. Photo: Fun at the supermarket. IMG_1431 What the photo doesn’t show? C running around the shop playing hide and seek with another little girl who also had a trolley. And declaring that they were now ‘best friends’. 6. Photo: A gorgeous ‘fog covered’ view from Mt Ainslie. IMG_1469 What the photo doesn’t show? Just how peaceful and mind-calming this walk was. With little J snoozing on my chest, and the silence. 7. Photo: Mum and baby cuddles. IMG_1499 What the photo doesn’t show? The fact that little J vomited on me seconds later. 8. Photo: A morning bike ride. IMG_1590 What the photo doesn’t show? Miss C losing interest in riding her bike, and me carrying it – while pushing the pram – for 2 kms. Goes to show that you can’t always trust a photo eh?

The ABCs of me

I’ve seen this post doing the rounds of the cyber world and, always loving to learn a little more about my blog-friends, thought it would be fun to complete. A- Age: 34 (although I always have to stop and think when asked this question…for my brain still thinks I am younger haha) B – Biggest fear: Birds. And this turns into a fully fledged paranoia when spring and swooping season arrives. To the extent I will not walk along new paths unless I am 100% sure there are no swooping birds. IMG_1826 C – Current Time: 10.23am. D – Drink you last had – A sugar-free redbull. Yes it was another early morning today. E – Easiest person to talk to – Definitely the husband. Unless I am sleep deprived, then I suspect he would not say the same thing. F – Favourite song: Well my choice of music has been commandeered by Miss C of late – as she insists we put on Ed Sheeran whenever we are in the car. Needless to say I have heard “Thinking out loud” on repeat for the last month…. IMG_0170 G – Grossest memory: Being puked on (by Miss C) in the middle of a restaurant, repeatedly. Resulting in a very squishy, smelly and hasty exit! Seriously, it was even in my shoes! H – Hometown – I grew up in Melbourne, but am now very happy to call Canberra my home. I love how surrounded by the bush we are,l with so many great walks so close to home! IMG_5735 I – In love with: My little family (awwwwww) J – Jealous of: Those with endless hours to exercise. K – Killed someone: Um…no??!! L – Longest relationship: My current one! Almost 11 years and going strong! 3-4518 M- Middle Name: Michelle.  My Elvis-loving Mum wanted “Lisa Marie”, but my Dad drew the line… N – Number of siblings: One brother and 3 half sisters! O – One wish:  I truly wish that everyone can find happiness. P – Person who you last called: I made a work call. Q – Question you’re always asked: “How do you fit it all in?”. With the help of family and very early mornings lol R – Reason to live: Family. Fitness. Good food. Great wine. IMG_4045 S – Song you last sang:  See (f) above. Actually, I lie. It was the Wiggles theme song. T – Time you woke up: Today it was 5am. Yesterday it was 4am. Saturday it was 3am.  See (q) above lol. U- Underwear colour: Purple haha V – Vacation Destination: Holidays? huh, what are those??? We do have a cruise planned for next February though (can.not.wait!) W – Worst habit: Caffeine. Addicted. X – X-rays you’ve had: Hmm I can’t remember any from my adult life. I think I may have had one on my foot when I was younger, but it didn’t reveal anything broken. Y – Your favourite food: Seriously, I could not pick just one – I love most food! If I had to narrow it down I would say cheese, pizza, hearty slow cooked stews, spicy chicken salads.  And all the fun stuff. IMG_4292 Z – Zodiac Sign – I’m a Gemini through and through. So there you have it, a little further insight into me. Although you probably could have guessed what most of the answers would be.

Life. Lately

Well I’m sure you’ve noticed that its been a little quiet on the blog-front recently, and there are a few reasons for this. First, technology has been kicking my butt. There was a blogger / writer issue that prevented me from posting. And my elation at getting a new phone was short-lived when the backup / restore process didn’t work – and despite hours attempting to fix it, I ended up having to transfer everything across pretty much manually. Talk about a time zap! IMG_5735 Second, and perhaps more significant, is that I’ve returned to work. Part time for now, and mostly from home, but I walked back into some pretty complex issues that have seen me up before 5am most mornings. And, of course, there is family. Settling into a new working routine with not one but two littlies has its own set of challenges as you will appreciate. But we’ve survived the first week – and I am pleased to report that we’ve come out the other end relatively unscathed. IMG_2429 So needless to say that blogging has taken a back seat these past few weeks. But it is a creative outlet that I cherish, and I don’t have plans to stop anytime soon. Just seek your patience as we work out the new ‘normal’ and find our rhythm again. IMG_3775 In the meantime, we are trying to ignore the fact that it has been in the minuses most mornings, getting out for as many walks in the fresh air as we can. For fresh air seems to be the perfect therapy for stressful times (and a good way to counteract all the chocolate that has made its way into my day lol!!!) What about you? How do you deal with stressful weeks?

A little Q & A – Cooking and Eating

The lovely Gary, who blogs over at Yummy Lummy, nominated me for the Liebster “award” some time ago (ahem…..7 months ago….oops). But knowing how much I love reading Q & A posts – I figured it was better late than never to answer the questions he’d posed. Particularly when they are about two of my favourite things, cooking and eating! So here goes… 1. What’s the best meal you’ve ever cooked? Oh boy – this is a tough one. But if we are talking ‘most requested’, then it would have to be my rocky road! IMG_9520 For it always seems to be a hit. 2. What’s your favourite meal?  This really depends on the season, for I seem to favour light flavoursome salads in the warmer months, and hearty slow cooked stews in Winter. If I’m honest, though, my all time favourite meal is probably pizza – in all its versatile cheesy goodness. And my current record stands at having it for dinner for 5 days in a row (when we travelled through Italy, nonetheless!) IMG_0217 The best pizza in Naples.  Washed down with some vino served in a plastic cup, of course Winking smile  3. What food makes you remember your childhood? Oh where do I begin?? Mum made a mean chow mein, and Dad worked his magic with curried sausages (well, curried anything, actually). But what I remember most fondly were the ‘theme nights’ our family would have . Italian night would be pasta with Italian music blaring in the background, or Mexican night would see a big pile of tacos in the middle of the table and at least one person wearing a sombrero. Then there were the ‘back to front’ days where we would have dinner for breakfast, and pancakes or cereal for dinner. Oh and let’s not forget birthday parties at that other ‘’Scottish” restaurant…. IMG_0040 4. What is your dream meal? I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to meals. For a big platter of good cheese and meats, washed down with some fine wine, is sure to put a smile on my face. IMG_5285 If I was to request one last meal, it would probably have to be a multi-coursed degustation. For how could I choose just one course!? 5. What recipe are you planning that you’re excited about? Not so much a recipe, as an ‘afternoon’ I am planning. I’ll give you a hint: it coincides with a special American holiday and is sure to be particularly calorie-laden…. IMG_1373 6. Share something unique/weird about you in the context of food. I have a couple. But my weirdest is probably that if I have a bowl of mixed nuts, I have to eat the broken ones first – then make sure that there are an even number of the various types of nuts. Oh and a handful of M&Ms or skittles must be eaten in colour order, from lightest to darkest… IMG_1406 A little OCD no? 7.  Name one food person who you admire and why? Hands down, Jamie Oliver is my celebrity chef crush. I love his approach to fresh food – and that he talks in “sploshes” and“handfuls” and also “wazzes” things up. My style of cooking for sure! IMG_0733
8. What is your favourite kitchen appliance and why? Ok this is too hard to narrow down to just one – for I have so many gadgets that I am in love with.  My stick blender is, however, getting a good workout recently, with it being soup weather and all… IMG_9468 9. Name one technique or strategy that is working well for your blog right now? I’ve only very recently created a Bake Bike Blog facebook page, and I must say I am really enjoying the quick connectivity it provides (although I am far from tech-savvy so it is a bit of a work in progress….) 10. Name one food related app or tool that you can’t live without. Instagram = addicted. You can follow me @bakebikeblog1. What about you? What is your dream meal?

Taking stock – April 2015

I’ve seen this little ‘think tank’ doing the bloggy rounds (thanks to Amanda for the initial inspiration!) and thought it was a perfect way put some concise thought into *life* right now.  For the days with a newborn in the house can be a little like groundhog day, yet they seem to be filled to the brim at the same time. So here goes… Making: Our 2014  photo journal Cooking: Thinking about soup and oat damper for dinner tomorrow Drinking: Caffeine Reading: Blogs Wanting: More time for exercise Looking: At all our photos from 2014 Playing: Peek a Boo with the little one and tea parties with Miss C IMG_1570 Deciding: When and where we should go camping next Wishing: The witching hours would not appear each evening Enjoying:  Newborn cuddles. Waiting: For the delivery of hairclips I ordered to arrive so I can tame Miss C’s crazy hair! Liking: The fact I still have a month of maternity leave Wondering: If the cooler weather is really here to stay Loving: My little family IMG_3597 Pondering: When I will get to the hairdresser next Considering: Whether I should have a second lunch Buying: Gumboots for the ‘puddle lover’ in our family Watching: Sons of Anarchy – season 2 IMG_3617 Hoping: That tomorrow is warmer and less windy – so we can walk outside! Marvelling: That this little newborn of mine will be 11 weeks old this week?! Cringing: The fact I *only* have a month of maternity leave left Needing: Coffee Smelling: That wonderful newborn aroma. Wearing: Sweat pants. Following: So many awesome friends on instagram etc Noticing: My computer is running a little slow Knowing: That I should probably get it checked out Thinking: I’m tired. Admiring: All those working mamas out there Sorting: Photo after photo for our family journal Getting: A numb arm from the weight of a sleeping baby Bookmarking: Too many recipes that I want to try IMG_3616 Coveting: A new lens for my camera Disliking: The colder weather Opening: A gorgeous letter received from my grandfather. 96 years young! Giggling: At C’s never-ending jokes and impersonations. Feeling: A little anxious about returning to work Snacking: On cheese and crackers Wishing: That time would slow down, just a little. Helping: My husband with his bookkeeping. Hearing: The sound of the rain and wind outside.
What about you? Have you ‘taken stock’ lately?