Sunday, May 31, 2009

Worlds Biggest Morning Tea

On Friday, we celebrated the Biggest Morning Tea at Dana's from Twiglet. Thanks Dana for hosting the gathering and inviting us along. It felt good to contribute towards such a worthy cause, particularly one so close to home. Dad died of cancer last March and I did spend a great deal of the morning thinking of him, in between sips of tea and nibbling scrumptious sweets (I can just see him rolling his eyes at me!). It was also nice to put more names to familiar faces from the park and village! And to meet Leslie from onegirl because it's just to much fun to meet creative, interesting people and because she's Canadian of course! (nice for Elsa to meet another part-Canadian little girl living nearby!). And, I won the lucky door prize/raffle prize. Wow, Dana put together such a fantastic package with items from Aunty Cookie, Gemma Jones and (of course!), Twiglet. It was such a treat to win the package and I know I'll enjoy every last bit of it.

We enjoyed making some scones to take along too. To do so, Elsa simply HAD to wear her Dada's favourite golfing cap - her favourite.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another Special Birthday

Today is the birthday of my only nephew that lives in Melbourne; he's now 6!!! And yesterday we joined my sister and co. for his birthday party. Elsa is in-love with this particularly cousin (and his sister) and thinks that just about everything he does is THE BEST! So, after a week of talking about his upcoming birthday, a morning of gift-wrapping and dropping into Queen Vic. Markets to buy the remainder of his gift on the way to his party, she was already very excited. Queen Vic. Markets is about a 10 to 15 minute drive from home and though we were only there for 45 minutes or so yesterday morning we were reminded of why we should make an effort to get there more regularly. Anyhow, my nephew has just started playing soccer so we grabbed an FC Barcelona outfit for him and some lollies to aid the cake decorating. It's our job to decorate his and his sister's birthday cakes each year (well, it used to be our job to make them too but since Elsa was born, decorating is about all we can offer!). This year we worked off the jungle cake from the Women's Weekly Kids Cookbook. It seemed to go down okay. And the soccer outfit fits! He also enjoyed the new book we gave him; 'Cowardly Clyde' by Bill Peet.

Markets, Peas and Ponchos

Elsa and I made it to South Melbourne Market this week (very early one morning!) to exchange Dino's birthday slippers (they were too big), buy some fish (got some beautiful flathead and salmon) and share a 15 minute respite over chai and 'baby coffee' (as Elsa calls it) before dropping into Wool Baa to grab some knitting needles that I need to make a cotton hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
This week, Elsa also discovered the joys of peeling and eating fresh snowpeas. She ate an extraordinary number of them. Love it! And she wore the poncho that Yiayia made for the first time. Initially she really enjoyed "twirling" in it but it eventually became too restrictive and she asked me to take it off. By lunch time as we were leaving play group, she wanted it back on...she's slowing wearing it in it seems!

Monday, May 25, 2009


After a busy birthday weekend, our household woke to find that Dada is under the weather. While he spent the morning in bed, we made (more!) rice pudding (another double-batch), some turkish-style wholemeal bread, that took the day to rise before being baked and another cake. Yesterday, we made an ouzo cake for Dino's birthday and today we made what we've called "cake for the day after a birthday" :). It's actually the vanilla cake from Apples for Jam, which has become one of our favourite cookbooks. The vanilla cake is lovely and moist and set to be a staple in our birthday (and post-birthday!) celebrations.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


A hat for Elsa made from 'Opal' yarn. I like the way it comes out in pattern, making it look like you put alot more effort into it than you did! I made Mum socks from a different colour combination for her birthday last year and she likes wearing them. The hat is a 2nd birthday gift for Elsa and I can't wait to see it on her in a few weeks. I did sneak it on her for a quick photo today and hope that she'll enjoy rediscovering it on her birthday. The pattern is free here.

Mum's birthday socks

BIRTHDAYS SO FAR (and other things)

The end of May is a busy time for us with the birthdays of my sister's children and Dino Dada's birthday too. So far we've celebrated one niece's birthday and Dino's, both this past weekend.

For Dino's birthday, we woke early and Elsa watched the aeroplanes from our bedroom window while Dino contemplated turning 37 and I considered all that lay ahead for the day. We eventually rose and had yummy toasted pancakes (left over from our Saturday breakfast courtesy of Dada) and a gift opening session. Dada recieved sheep skin slippers to replace the old pair that between us we've completely worn out, a 2 cup stainless-steel stove-top coffee maker to replace our old 2 cup aluminium version (most times we just don't need that 6 cup one we have tucked away!) and lastly, a pair of knitted fingerless gloves by moi for those cold mornings when he catches the train instead of riding (the wool wouldn't be great for the days he rides - sweat and wool don't tend to mix, unless you want something felted!). We also had a long Skype call with Dino's sister and her family in Toronto. We got to see our niece dancing, which was a real treat.
We enjoyed a tapas plate at home before heading to our lunch time birthday venue. This year, we met up with the Richardsons from Bendigo for lunch and general exploration of the gardens at St Erth. Last year for his birthday I gave Dino a Digger's Club membership and we were yet to visit either Heronswood or St Erth. Now that we have, I think we'll be back very soon. Elsa just loved running around the gardens, playing in the autumn leaves and (most of all!) eating the scones, sipping on Mama's chai and cuddling the kangaroo sculptures.
Elsa just LOVEd playing with Henry and Archie again. She talked about them most of the way to St Erth and ALL the way home.

She particularly liked the baby kangaroo. We really do need to get to either the zoo or Healesville Santuary and introduce her to a real one!

Just because we wish...

In my mind, nothing better than autumn colours
Dada's birthday started early with Elsa in our room watching out the window for aeroplanes and birds and cats and anything/anyone else that might pass by

Playdough making - purple colour, grape smelling this time

Our contribution to my niece's birthday cake: the pinata cover for the cake. The idea was taken from the Australian Womens Weekly kids cake book. It eventually covered a tasty cake that was covered in lollies and was itself covered in a range of yummy sweet stuff stuck on with more melted chocolate. This one's high on the list for Elsa's 3rd birthday next year. Apparently the kids at my niece's party enjoyed cracking this chocolate mould open and devouring the sweets.
Helping Mama put the finishing touch on the rice pudding - her Yiayia would be proud! I feel as though we make this constantly; it seems to go as soon as I make a batch, which has to be a good thing but wow!, we go through a lot of double batches in a seemingly short space of time

Just exploring at the park with the puppy; Elsa chasing Gnocchi who is pretty much a black and white dog to the right in the shot

Shortbread cookie-baking; I'll have to post this recipe one day because it's so easy and perfect for cookie-cutting; and EATING!!!
Bread making time; we've been making a turkish style bread once a week for the past 4 weeks at the request of Dada who loves taking it to work to have with his lunches (and we enjoy eating it at home too!)


Well, for a while at least! Time to catch up on some entries that I haven't got around to posting over the past few months due to the havic Dot #2 has been playing on my body. Still, lucky me! Given that the worst of the morning sickness seems to be behind me, I have no more excuses. Here's a flash back to some of the things we've been up to over the past few months, minus the bathroom time! :)