A glorious winter's day today. The peeps were keen to escape the coop for some good clean fun. Mud and puddles are always first class on our dirt road after rain and today the mud was extra sticky due to heavy tractor traffic. Perfect.
Stomping in mud::
And collecting stray worms off the road to bring home.
Why do worms always appear on the road after the rain?
Ancient wisdom sure rings true. This week has been so cold and so grey and now really wet. I've always loved winter but this year, I'm not so sure. Trying to keep the cold out and our spirits up, we're surrounding ourselves indoors with yellow and orange. Keeping warm with comfort food. Soup. Tea. Toast. Summer's preserved golden peaches and apricot jam. Glowing log fires. Hugo cut and pastes, rolls play dough and builds worlds. Happy to be inside for now. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for the imminent arrival of a package of fun from here. Please hurry.
I'm glad we managed to dash out the door during the precious three hours of clear blue skies on Tuesday. We spent some time in the park to just run around and climb ancient pine trees. Then we noticed the first sunny yellow wattle blooms. Right on queue, just after the solstice. A timely reminder that despite the cold, the sun is surely on its way back. Please hurry.
Spiced chocolate with quince and vanilla bean cream cheese frosting?
Orange creamcheese cake with orange blossom frosting perhaps?
Golden vanilla filled with dulche de leche and about to be smothered in milk chocolate?
The cupcake menu at the Mothers Market proved so popular we sold out early! Awright!
I tried very hard not to spend all my money, truly I did. But there's so many talented Tasmanians at the market I couldn't resist just a few super lovely things. I mean, *cough*I have to do my bit and support local artists and crafters don't I? A lovely purse from clever Mlle La Revolution Des Cache-pots, and toasty wrist warmers from crochet superstar Michelle at two and six. Chatting to gorgeous stall holders, along with delicious food from Mondo Mama, Bree, sigh, meant all in all, another ace market.
I'll show you my new treasures during the week, but in the meantime, some behind the scenes snaps to share. Taken in my super talented and lovely cupcake partner, Jo's fabulous kitchen.
Sadly, no leftover cupcakes for me, just truckloads of cuddles from the little ones who missed their mama. Sweet enough for me!
We're having a spot of bother with our internet connection, so postings will sporadic at best for a while. Please enjoy this cupcake until normal programming resumes.
PS Do you like the Sturt's Dessert Pea embroidered on the doiley? My great grandmother Winifred made it. Such tiny delicate stitches. Winifred had eleven children and lived on a farm in South Australia. I'm so in awe of her handiwork and totally astounded that she even had time for making beautiful and useful things like this. Goodness, can you imagine the washing!
As I was packing away the cot sheets recently, I came across a set that I love and was unsure what to do with them. Not only do I really love the fabric, they brought back a flood of happy memories, as packing away baby stuff often does.
Now Lexi wrote an amazing post last week and it included her experience of mothers' groups and how it didn't work for her, and I was really sorry to read that, and comments by readers with similar experiences, because my mothers group was a much needed lifeline for me. I would have found it pretty tough without a good support team in those early motherhood days, and I was lucky to be part of a super nice group.
Every week we'd meet in the park, at the pool, at someone's house or a cafe. We lived in Leichhardt, Sydney's Italian heartland and the high street was one long strip of cafes and restaurants. We'd descend on some unsuspecting cafe, with prams, nursing mothers, crying babies and all their assorted paraphernalia, 12 decaf lattes and 12 glasses of water. We'd sit for what seemed like hours, chatting, laughing, sharing, sympathizing. No topic was taboo, no question went unasked, or unanswered. I would have gone mad without our weekly get togethers. But what I remember best of all is our regular nights out. Given where we lived, we were never short of great local places to go, so we'd get out of our track suits, leave the babes with their dads and hit the town. Lot's of wine, lots of food, lots of laughs. Very happy memories. Gosh, I really miss them.
Which brings me back to the sheets, one clever mama, Heidi, used to make super stylish baby stuff to sell at the local farmers market, and as I packed away these favourite sheets she made, they made me smile. They were soft and loved and filled with happy memories, not just of my babies but of good friends. What to do with them? Inspired by Angie's post about up-cycling flannel sheets into pajama pants, I got to making a pair of what I'm calling Heidi pants. Me! I Did! Today! Using the instructions in Amanda's book, I actually made Hugo a much needed pair of Heidi pants (catchier name than recycled cot sheet pants don't you think?).
Yeah, they're a bit wonky, but these pants are winners on so many counts. Hugo's happy with a pair of mama made Heidi pants, I'm reminded of good times when I see them and I'm pretty pleased at my first attempt at actually sewing something that my children can wear. Yeah!
Cheery Chrysanthemums. Beautiful blooms for early winter and so very easy to grow. Words cannot describe just how wonderful it feels to pick an armful of flowers from my own garden:: but amazing comes pretty close.
Thank you to the hostess with the mostess Cindy and to Fuzzy Dragons for this week's bloomin' theme.
P.S. I am sooo excited that thismovie is on tonight, I loved Noel Streatfeild's books as a kid (I was a ballet nerd) especially Ballet Shoes and Curtain Up. I didn't know any of them had been made into a movie...Yippee!
Winter's arrived well and truly and the grim weather, along with a little one with gastro, has kept us indoors for a few days. It's very cold and the sun hasn't been seen for days. We're all starting to feel a bit down, a bit bored, with a severe case of cabin fever. An inspirational visit hereand here to read some wise mama words instantly put me in a better frame of mind for winter.
Yesterday's visit to Hoppo Bumpo's got us baking a huge batch of scones. So good with melted butter and jam. And this morning over at Leah's house, a fab link to no cook play dough the small ones can make themselves. Oh hurrah!
Funny enough, within minutes of kneading, Elsa was calling out "you've got 30 minutes left guys" and Hugo announced that he was making gnocchi. He was making a text book version that would make any nonna proud, certainly Hugo could give Alex Herbert a run for her money in the playdough gnocchi stakes. Soon they were off, building a kitchen, making stoves out of whatever they could find and cooking their little hearts out in a mystery box challenge.
The results, strawberry tartlets with beeswax cherries and the gnocchi transformed into lemon biscuits with cherries on the top. Easily in the top three. Delicious!
With magic little creatures like this in the house, I think winter's not going to be so bad after all.