Friday, 31 December 2010


to show you our crazy Christmas Eve photos as embarassing as they are, they just might give a little insight into our strange little family.

here's some other shots to prove we can act normal.


Kyle is here for 3 weeks. I have missed this boy so much, he has grown heaps in the 8 months since he left. He is now over 6ft tall!!!! He only turned 14 in November and poor Dan feels shorter than ever standing beside his cousin.

The kids got a wii for Christmas and one of the first things Sophie did with Kyle was rope him into playing her dancing game.

Monday, 27 December 2010


Here is a look at the edible side of our front garden. We live on a large corner block and our front garden extends right up our hill, no-one knows which door is our front door as we really have two.

Over the course of this year, I have been planting out edible plants and trees into our existing ornamental garden. We have a rather large vegetable garden in the back yard as well as the hot-house, fruit trees and a chook yard, but I have been running out of space for the zucchinis, so I thought why not plant them in the front.

Sometimes it's hard to think out of the square for example, I wanted to plant passionfruit and kiwifruit but really didn't want to put up fencing for them as in the past they have toppled over. We have a large wire fence going right around our property, why not use it instead? An ah hah moment happened today and we now have these fruits in our front yard.

Come take a wander with me around our edible front yard:

Grapes, two varieties: Marroo and Red Globe.

2- way Apricot: Trevatt and Moorpark.

2-way Apple: Golden Delicious and Granny Smith.
We have our first apples from this tree this year, I'm not sure what variety they are yet though.

2 Lilly Pilly, I am hoping to make jam from these.

Chilean Guava.

Passionfruit: Panama Gold.

Kiwifruit: Male and Female.

Almond: Self Fertile.

Zucchini: 3 Golden Arch Crooknecks.

Sweet Potato: 2 orange potatoes.

Herbs: On the front verandah.

Artichokes and Alpine Strawberries: Soon to be planted out.

Last but not least, my worm farm, yes it's in the front yard too, happily living in the shade.

A year ago we had nothing edible in our front yard, what a waste! Future plans are to plant out the rockmelon and watermelon that I am growing from seed at the moment and in Autumn to dig up more of the yard for more fruit trees.

If you got this far, well done. It was a long one, I will wander around the back yard soon.

Friday, 24 December 2010


These tasty desserts are for our little family tonight as we celebrate with our traditional pre-Christmas dinner.

We are going to my parents for lunch tomorrow and 3 of my sisters will be there so I made them some toffee nut crunch for a little Christmas gift.

I made my yummy beetroot dip with two different dippers this year, this is always a hit.

The salads are :
Smashed Potato


Beans with almonds

I wish everyone a very safe and merry Christmas. Thank you for all of your support and comments throughout the year, they all mean a lot to me.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010


One thing I love about Christmas time are the nuts. It's the only time of year we can get nuts in shells down here. They are fresh and yummy and there's something about having to crack them open to get the yumminess out that appeals to me.

My Dad gets it, he knows where I'm coming from. The rest of my family ask why I can be bothered when I can get perfectly good shelled nuts from down the shop. What can I say? It's something I look forward to every year, Dad and I will be busy cracking nuts open on Christmas day and gobbling them all up and the rest of my family will get none because they laugh at us.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


You would think that it is winter down here. 14 degrees, that was our top temp for today. I'm not sure where summer is, but I sure hope it gets here soon.

I spent the afternoon cooking some yummy 'winter' meals and some biscuits for the kids.

Jam Drops

Bread Sticks made with Artisan bread in 5 minutes dough.
I brushed the sticks with olive oil then added salt, rosemary and sesame seeds.

Broccoli and Asparagus soup.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Everyone's tummies are full and happy, now it's time to cuddle up in front of the fire, relax and have some family time.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


It was my intention to start the school holidays with baking bread every day, spending at least half an hour in the garden every day and plant something one day a week. That was turned upside down pretty quickly as I was called in to work every morning this week due to an emergency. Next week I finish up both of my jobs until February so I will have no excuse and I am so looking forward to just being home with the kids, baking, gardening and hopefully some more renovating.

So when does it all become too much? There are so many things I want to achieve every day. I wake up with great intentions and a plan for what I want to get done and before I know it, it's dinner and I haven't even cooked food for our meal.

I need to be organised yet find myself floundering at around 5pm, not really prioritising things and I fall into a heap. I get cross at the kids and I don't feel in control. Anything I haven't achieved during that day just goes out the window as I have too much to do the next day to fit it in.

In typing this out I think I need to take a breath, prioritise and stop being a control freak. LOL

So what to do about it:

* a day to day housework chart
* menu plan
* set times for gardening, planting, gym etc.
* use my diary effectively

Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


I pulled our garlic crop today, the tops were starting to die back and with all of the rain I didn't want it to rot in the ground like last years crop.

It is happily swaying in the breeze under the front verandah, I wonder if the neighbours think I'm a little odd!

I grabbed a small handful of strawberries from the patch before the birds and earwigs got to them. You have to be quick around here. The day I took the photo of my 3 little cherries, along came the birds that afternoon and ate them, next time I will net them when they are green!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


I tend to talk more about the boy's sporting achievements than Sophie's dancing. I think that's because I rarely get to take a photo or see Sophie dance as we are not allowed into class.

On the weekend, Sophie had her end of year concert, she has been dancing since she was 3 years old and loves every moment of it. Sophie has always danced Ballet, last year she took up Tap as well but this year swapped Tap for Jazz. She has decided to go back to Tap next year and continue with her ballet also.

During the year Sophie did her first Ballet exam and received a distinction for her efforts. There are only a few hand picked pupils that get to sit the exams, so I was extremely proud of her and I hope she gets to do another one next year.

Here are a couple of photos of my little baby dressed for her concert. As much as I can't stand to see make-up on her, I know it is a neccessity for showing up her face on stage.

Friday, 10 December 2010


when two of my babies have their birthdays. For those that don't know, I have Lachie and Sophie's big day on the same day, three years apart.


Lachie has now reached double figures and Sophie is 7 and I am spending tonight looking over baby photos.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

OH MY!!!

It has been a while since I last posted, sorry about that. I've been trying so hard to get Christmas and birthday gifts made that I completely forgot to chat to you all. The gym is going great, I'm really getting back in the groove and am going 6 days a week. My fitness is once again improving and I'm feeling stronger every day. I've dropped 4kg in the last 3 weeks and am well within my healthy weight range but would like to drop another 4 just as a buffer.

The garden is growing like crazy as are the weeds. We are having the weirdest start to Summer, it's very steamy and tropical, nothing like we are used to down here. I'm busy picking and planting out veges. My cherry tree has 3 cherries on it. YAH!!!! The tomatoes in the hothouse are huge and are taking over and my carrots and lettuces have bolted thanks to this silly weather. I will plant more carrots over the next few days. The next job will be to pull the garlic which is dying off nicely and make a commitment to plant something every week so there are never any empty beds.

Thursday, 25 November 2010


When I turned 40 a couple of month's ago I fell into a bit of a hole thinking that I was doomed to be 40 and frumpy and feeling pretty yuck inside and out. The last couple of months have not been easy around here, a lot has happened and I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself.
I woke up yesterday morning and thought "this is it, no more". So I have started closely watching what I eat and more importantly how much I eat and I have done something I swore I would never do again. I joined a gym.

After working at a gym training and instructing clients, I never wanted to set foot in one again. Don't get me wrong, I loved the work I was passionate about helping people and was and still am addicted to fitness. It was all of the behind the scenes stuff I resented, I have never met so many vain, bitchy, self centred narcissists in all of my life. I couldn't believe how horrible gym employees could be.

I made the decision to join Jetts Fitness, they are opening down here on Saturday and I am getting what I think is a great deal, no start up fees, no contracts and a reduced fortnightly fee. So for $9.70 a week I can workout 24 hours a day with no bitchy employees around the place. There will be a couple of people there in day hours and that's okay.

So, frumpy 40 will be gone and fabulous 40 will take it's place.

I look forward to my new adventure going into very familiar territory and can't wait to let you know how I'm doing, and it's a lot safer than continuing with full contact karate.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


I love homemade stock, the bought variety just doesn't do it for me.

I am at the moment cooking up a free range chicken to have as cold meat and salad for dinner tonight. It's so easy to use up the leftovers and make up some yummy stock to freeze.

Here is what I do.

1 chicken carcass
1 onion
1 carrot
fresh herbs (a bay leaf, parsley, thyme)
black peppercorns
1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and add enough water to cover. Bring to boil over a low heat, skimming the surface every now and then to remove any fat or scum.

Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours then strain through a fine sieve. Leave to cool and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Friday, 12 November 2010


Are you sick of me talking about cricket yet? Sport is such a huge part of our lives and it takes up every weekend from Friday night through to Sunday evening for now. I really need some time in my garden, hopefully I'll find some soon enough.

Back to the title of this post.....
Glenn McGrath is in town for the weekend and the boys in the cricket program at the high school were lucky enough to meet and talk to him this evening. He is even nicer in real life and what an inspiration he is to the kids.

Of course I came prepared, I bought new cricket balls today for him to autograph and some white card for the boy's cricket albums. I'm not sure if I was supposed to let Lachie meet him but Glenn saw him right away and asked him to come up for a photo, the big boys didn't seem to mind. Lachie will get to meet him again on Sunday at a charity game he is playing, unfortunately I won't get to see him in action as I will be in Naracoorte with Dan for Kerr Shield all day.

Both boys were so happy to meet him and I think Lachie will be sleeping with his ball for a while.

On the pieces of card, Glenn wrote To Lachie (and To Dan) OOH AAH!!! (and signed)Glenn McGrath. How cool is that.


Our home has been the house of sickness lately. I can't believe how sick Sophie and Lachie have been and Dan's still struggling with his elbow injury, oh, and Darren has the dreaded "man flu".
I caught Heidi up on our table the other day, she was so scared and didn't now what to do once she got up there and certainly had no idea how to get back down.

Lachie has been playing cricket for under 12's and D grade with the big boys, check out the men behind him that he played against, he still managed to make 2 runs.

Lachie has been so sick and last weekend he ended up in the emergency room, tests were taken and we were given conformation Wednesday morning that he has whooping cough. There hasn't been a lot of sleep for myself and Lachie and between him and his sister, I've seen enough vomit to last me a lifetime.

Anyway, enough on that, on Monday night Lachie insisted that he wanted to still try out for the under 12 country cup cricket squad, (remember at this stage we had no idea he had whooping cough) The poor boy was vomiting in the warm ups, yet refused to come home with me. Usually for these squads, the older kids are picked but to our surprise, Lachie has made the preliminary squad at the age of 9 and with whooping cough!!!! We are so proud of him. Next Monday night is the final squad pick to play in Adelaide and we are trying desperately to get him well enough to make the team.

So with everything going on, Dan played in his Kerr Shield squad on the weekend, his team made 245 runs to 18 runs for the other team, yes it was over pretty quickly that day. This was Dan's first game back with his injury and his elbow handled it quite well, but unfortunately during the week with school cricket he injured it again. We will be getting it taped by the physio tomorrow morning to hopefully get him through his match tomorrow and Kerr Shield again on Sunday.

Saturday, 6 November 2010


I am reading Sweet Poison at the moment, it's an interesing book and not really light reading, but so far nothing I didn't already know through previous study I have undertaken.
I have a few addictions I want to break when it comes to sweetened food and drink and hopefully after reading both these books I will understand my cravings a little more and learn how to substitute successfully.

I'll keep you posted on this one.