21 January 2015

I-phone randoms

Perhaps it is nesting, or perhaps it is the ‘luxury’ of having a  little extra time now that I have started maternity leave, but I am finally getting around to crossing things off my to-do list. Nothing too grand, just the little odds and sods that I always mean to get done, but then promptly forget about 1.37 seconds later.

One such task was clearing out my phone photos (oh and backing up my computer photos, but that’s a task for another day).  I’m not completely hopeless when it comes to transferring photos from my phone to the computer, although they do tend to build up quickly so a transfer was certainly in order!

And I couldn't help but smile at the rather random assortment of photos from the last few months that I found along the way (many of which you may have seen pop up on instagram)….

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The ‘array’ of sweet treats I made for a recent party….cherry ripe slice, lemon slice and rocky road.

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2. My basil and mint – that is still going strong!

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3. Attempting to beat a cold with the most veggie-packed juice I could find.

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4.  Fun at the Mogo zoo

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5. Making the most of delicious summer fruits (and chocolate covered cashews!!!)

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6. Brunchin’ at home.

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7. A reflective start to the New Year.

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8. My new ‘fit’ toy.

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9. And a new ‘baby’ present.

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10. Always a kid at heart Smile 

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11. Beautiful blooms from my work colleagues!

What about you? How do you manage your phone photos???

19 January 2015

“build your own” chicken and chorizo tacos

Well, lovely people, I am rather excited to realise that I only have two official work days left until my maternity leave starts. Sure there will still be some business accounting duties (and the like), but no official “real job” duties for 4 whole months?! The longest period I think I have ever had off since entering the workforce all those years ago (although I suspect caring for a newborn and toddler will hardly be ‘time off’….)

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One thing that I am looking forward to over the next few months is getting my groove back in the kitchen. And on this blog. For pregnancy this time around has been tainted with a lack of motivation in the kitchen (and fatigue, generally), both of which I am keen to dispense with!

One evening recently, though, I did find a little cooking mojo.

Inspired by a recipe in the latest Donna Hay magazine, these “build your own” chicken and chorizo tacos soon graced our dinner table. And I loved the ease with which the meal came together…

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Simply Рchorizo and chicken mince saut̩ed with various spices (nb. the recipe called for chilli at this stage Рbut I left it out owing to the youngest member of our family - preferring instead to serve a bowl of chilli sauce with the other taco filings.)

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And those fillings were rather scrumptious indeed! Black beans (rinsed), coriander, sour cream avocado and lots of fresh lime for squeezing.

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Finished with some warm wholemeal tortillas, and we were left to build our own!

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Even the little Miss got in on the action (although her aversion to anything green continues……)

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A great family meal all round!

What about you? Have you cooked anything fun in the kitchen lately?

13 January 2015

Chilli tuna pasta

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As I hit the second half of the third trimester, I find myself wavering between days of insatiable hunger, and days of having no appetite at all. I seem to recall feeling a similar way towards the end of my pregnancy with Charlotte…

Needless to say, a lack of appetite = a lack of motivation in the kitchen. And the humid days we’ve had of late have not really lent themselves to slow roasts or even turning the oven on!

Instead – I’ve been looking for quick meals. Ones that I can throw together simply – before I give into lazy temptation and just have toast or cereal for dinner (yes the carb cravings continue).

One such meal was this tuna chilli pasta – which I found in a recent Donna Hay magazine.

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Simply – beautiful tomatoes, warmed with chilli tuna, parsley, red wine vinegar and lemon juice / zest.

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Tossed through cooked spaghetti…..and we were done.

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Yes pasta seems like an unusual choice when it was about 32 degrees outside, but this dish was actually really lovely. It was light, and fresh, and the chilli-infused gave the pasta just the right amount of spicy-kick.

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Definitely one to add to our repertoire!

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What about you? Do you have a favourite pasta dish in the warmer months?

07 January 2015

Christmas 2014

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I am sure that for many of us, Christmas is starting to feel like a distant memory, as we all settle into the swing of the New Year. However, this year we had a particularly lovely day, and I feel it would be a little sad to leave the photos and memories stored away in their files without sharing.

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And besides, it is always nice to have a blog post to reflect back on in the years to come.

Feeling a little weary as the year drew to a close, we opted to keep things low key this festive season. Many of the gifts we chose for friends and family took the form of vouchers, and we tried to keep our ‘social calendar’ to a minimum.

Christmas Eve, however, was set aside for carols, family time and this year – gingerbread house making.

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I purchased the ‘kit’ from Kmart (I think it was) – and added extra icing and lollies along the way (well the ones that weren’t quality tested by my ‘helper’, that is).

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The finished product was a little rough around the edges, but it was a fun project nevertheless.

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Christmas Day itself, was equally quiet, relaxing and rewarding. C got a visit from Santa overnight, and seemed positively thrilled with her toy kitchen!

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C wasted no time in making us all “bacon and eggs” for breakfast, before eagerly  unwrapping the other presents she found under the tree (and had so patiently left alone over the last month). Needless to say, she was thoroughly spoiled!

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As for Christmas lunch, this too followed the ever-emerged ‘relaxed’ theme. We had Mr BBB’s parents and sister over, and with everyone contributing a dish, I didn’t even need to turn my oven on!

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Taking colour inspiration from some gorgeous bon bons I picked up from David Jones, we had ourselves a blue, white and silver Christmas table.

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Just waiting to be adorned with the real stars of the show – Christmas lunch!

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On the menu? Christmas Ham, turkey, homemade stuffing, prawns, eggplant / feta salad, potato salad and a caprese salad.

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For dessert I made a raspberry, rosewater and pistachio semi-freddo (although it set rock hard so perhaps not the best…..). Luckily we had lots of other sweets to keep us happy (think chocolate shortbread, fresh berries and stolen).

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And, although I missed out on champagne this year – our mocktails (apple and ginger syrup with sparkling mineral water) – turned out to be a refreshing alternative on what was a humid Christmas day.

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Overall, we had a beautiful day – filled with good food and good company. 

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And its hard to believe that this time next year – we will have a 10 month old joining the fray!

What about you? How did you spend Christmas Day this year?

05 January 2015

A New Year

My approach when it comes to a New Year, seems to have changed over time. I’ve moved on from setting myself a list of goals, or aims, preferring instead to focus on one particular thing. For I’m not one to buy into fads, or crazes, and if it is a fitness goal (for example) that I am after – well I don’t need the 1st of January to come around before I set my sights.

I do, however, love taking the opportunity at the start of a new year to reflect on the 12 months just past and think about what worked well, and what worked not so well. And, it didn't take a lot of discussion between Mr BBB and I this year to decide where we really failed in 2014.

Work / life balance.

Or lack thereof.

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(A rare moment ‘away’ in 2014)

You see we didn’t take any real holidays during the year, and my ‘part time’ hours looked more like ‘full time’ (while Mr BBB’s ‘full time’ hours were just plain crazy). Running a small business brings with it is own set of complications – and too many evenings and weekends were spent pouring over the books rather than quality time as a family. Then there were the countless fertility tests and IVF processes, that saw us in doctor’s rooms more than we would have liked.

And while neither of us are afraid of hard work (and obviously our IVF struggles are looking like having a happy ending), we also know that a life solely focused on work is just not sustainable.

Nor enjoyable. 

Particularly when we are about to welcome a new member into our family(and knowing just how quickly a baby turns into a toddler!!).

So this year we have made it our family goal to actively seek balance. More quality time spent as a family – and doing what we can to ease our workload pressures.

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Be it a weekend picnic, or play time at the park. More time for exercise, good food and catch ups with friends.

And, if we are really lucky, a holiday!

What about you? What is your goal for 2015?

25 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Today has been just perfect.

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A lazy morning, spent watching the littlest member of our family run around the house and be thoroughly spoilt by our nearest and dearest.

A long relaxed lunch – for which no oven was turned on, and no kitchen stress was encountered.

An afternoon spent chatting over apple / ginger mocktails, followed by homemade semifreddo and stollen.

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A day spent in the company of family, and also being able to touch base with our loved ones further afield via more ‘modern’ means.

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I hope that you all had a splendid day – and found comfort in family, friends and food. For we certainly were lucky enough to.

I would also like to say a big ‘thankyou’ for all your support during 2014, and I look forward to continuing this blog (starting with a full Christmas recap!)  when I return in the New Year.

Until then…stay safe and Happy Baking!