Monday, 20 June 2011


Yesterday, we had an absolutely marvellous afternoon with some of our very dear friends, Steve and Tanya. We are all a tad addicted to Masterchef, and all enjoy dabbling in the kitchen.

As such, we decided that the after-church-lunch we had planned should be turned into a cooking and eating extravaganza.

We carefully chose our five (!!!!) courses… and don’t worry, we didn’t eat them all at once. Our cooking and culinary adventure lasted about nine hours or more.


We did our shopping, and organised our groceries by dish.

First on the menu was a delicious cheese and spinach cob dip, made by Tanya. It was so yummy and we were clearly so hungry after church that it was the one dish that didn’t get any photos. Sorry! But rest assured, it was delicious, and we polished off the entire thing.


Peter got the rice ready for the sushi, and it cooled while we ate our cob.


After Tanya cleaned up from round one, we got started on the sushi.


Our sushi was filled with chicken schnitzel, capsicum, carrot, avocado, mayo and pickled ginger.


Peter was our sushi expert, and he trained us all in the art of sushi-rolling. We all got to have a go.













Once the sushi was rolled and resting, Steve and Tanya got started on their famous chicken tandoori pizza.


Steve was in charge of the dough, and Tanya worked on the toppings.


The chicken was marinated in a mix of tandoori paste and natural yoghurt. Instead of tomato paste spread on the base, it was a mixture of mango chutney and natural yoghurt. Divine.


The pizza is topped with the chicken, zucchini, capsicum and ladyfinger bananas. The banana was such a great compliment to all the flavours, and helped to take a bit of the bite out of the spicy tandoori.

While the pizza was cooking, we cleaned up, chatted, and played some songs on the piano.


Mayana amused herself by watching ABC Kids and playing with Bono.. who is a border collie x great dane. Mayana loves him, even though he is taller than her!


Once the pizza was done, it was time for round two…


We ate the pizza and sushi together, with a side of Jamie Oliver salad.

At that point, we were very full, and came to the realisation that we probably should have been eating miniature portions. Oops.

Tanya, Peter, Mayana and I took Bono for a walk, while Steve got started on stage three: Maggie Beer’s roast chicken, as featured on Masterclass a few weeks ago.


Dinner was delicious. Steve did a fantastic job on the chicken. It was perfectly seasoned and mouth-wateringly moist. He served it with parsnip mash and roasted garlic. Yum!

You’d think by this time we would have been stuffed to the brim. Well, we kind of were, but we’d been talking about and looking forward to dessert all day long. So we let our food settle for an hour or so, then I got started on dessert.

I came up with a very fabulous concoction which I named, “S’more French Toast”. Which basically is a french toast sandwich, with chopped cadbury chocolate and marshmallows inside of it. I served it with a very yummy orange syrup.


It was very delicious (even if I do say so myself).

After that, we sat very still for a very long time. Then, when we could move again, we hugged Steve and Tanya and thanked them for such a wonderful afternoon/evening, and rolled ourselves home.

Steve and Tanya are just about to take off on a 6-month travelling adventure, but when they come home, I can’t wait to do it again!

Impromptu Crafting

We had the most lovely afternoon of impromptu crafting last week.


Mayana brought her basket downstairs and we filled it with flowers and leaves and other pretties from the garden.


We took our goodies upstairs and organised all of our pieces.


Next, we rolled out some contact, sticky side out. Then we went to work sticking down our pretty flowers and leaves.


Mayana had such a good time. She kept exclaiming, “We making stuff together! We all playing together!” Something about the three of us all sitting down together working on a project really made her happy.


Then we carefully picked up our artwork, and stuck it onto our front window.


It looks so beautiful with the sun shining through the colourful leaves and flowers.


It looks so beautiful, and I wonder how long it will be before the colours start to fade. I don’t really mind though, because then we can just do it all again!

{quality time}


Sometimes being a working mother is really hard. I get so jealous of my husband being able to spend all of his time with our girl. She is at the most wonderful age, where she is so inquisitive and clever and discovering new things all of the time. I’m totally blown away watching her learn and she amazes me every day. She’s talking oodles now, and I love our time in the afternoon when she tells me about her day, and we go outside and chase the chooks together or play games or rice or whatever else she wants to do.

But boy, do I miss her. I’m so glad it’s holidays soon, because my heart has just about had enough of being away from her so much.

I’m trying to make sure that our time together… after school and on weekends… really counts. I make a point of trying to make memories with her, and of her because this is all just going way too fast. The biggest part of who I am is a Mama, and I’m struggling so much with the fact that that part of me is being so neglected. Thank the lord I’m a teacher and I get to have a couple of weeks of full time doses of Mayana every couple of months, or I think I’d drown.

Life is good, my work is good… but sometimes, my heart aches just a little too much.


Firstly, apologies for being so absent. Work has been hectic, crazy, busy, insane and exhausting. And blogging has been one of the first things to be neglected. It was that or Mayana, and I’m not really wanting to be in the running for worst parent of the year award…

Last weekend, it was the drizzling and cold and miserable… weather-wise at least. In my house it was fun and loud and laughing and music and friends. We had visitors! So many that they had to be spread out across my house and my sister’s house – for sleeping purposes anyway.

It was so much fun.


We had coffee at a new coffee shop.



We talked and enjoyed each other’s company.


Mayana sipped her *FREE* babycino. Not many places do them for free anymore!


Took ridiculous photos as only our family can.


And the boys attempted planking.

We walked the streets and poked around the very cool 2nd hand shops here, we ate lots of awesome food, including a lasagne that my dad and my husband made completely from scratch that stood about 25cm high. Man it was good. We walked the 1km pier at our nearby beach town.

Oh. And we applied for a loan for a new car. Must remember to write more about that later.

We did so many other fun things, but I was so caught up in the fun that I didn’t manage to take too many photos.

I love long weekends. And I love having visitors to spend them with.

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Cupboard of my Dreams

So you might remember a while ago that I was trying to convince my husband that we desperately needed the delightful 1940’s style retro pantry cupboard from a local second hand store.

A few weeks ago, the day before payday, I finally got him onside. I went to work, and he went to purchase the cupboard of my dreams.

That afternoon, he picked me up from work with a sad, dejected look on his face.

“It was gone, wasn’t it.” I said.

“I’m sorry, someone had already bought it,” he replied.


I tried not to dwell on it but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t incredibly disappointed. I REALLY wanted that cupboard. But it obviously wasn’t meant to be.

The next day, my darling picked me up from work, and was in more of a hurry to get me inside than usual.

I walked up the stairs, through the door, and there, before my eyes was this:

My beautiful, dream cupboard. Yup. My husband had lied to me. What a lovely, lovely lie! I think this is probably the second-best surprise he has every pulled off for me (the first being his proposal).

From there, we spend a week or two with paint chips blue tacked to the cupboards, trying to decide which colour to paint it.


Eventually, we chose our favourite shade, and the perfect new handles, and one evening we finally got to work with the sanding and the painting. Even Mayana helped out!



The doors came off and we went to work!


I was so excited the whole time we were painting. Pete couldn’t stop laughing at me.


After 3 coats, we were happy.

And here it is. My very beautiful, retro kitchen cabinet.

My dream cupboard:


Isn’t it wonderful!!

My husband ROCKS!

Point + Shoot: I {heart} our back yard!

We had a lazy weekend… well apart from the 4ish hours I spent supervising the SAT exam, which may or may not have been was the absolute most boring four hours of my life! At least I got paid for it!

Anyway… the afternoon was lovely. We got fish and chips from our local take out and whiled away the glorious afternoon picnicking and enjoying our beautiful backyard.


Taking self-family portraits in the afternoon sunshine…


Practicing our sweet flying skills…


Working on my new scarf…


And quietly giggling at Mayana’s futile attempts to cuddle Nanna Joy and Aunty Judy (the poor loves)…


How was your weekend? Why not head on over and play along at Sunny + Scout?

New Feature

I hope you have had a lovely weekend. I sure did. More on that later.

I just wanted to let you know that I have created a new feature on Live. Love. Create. Imagine...
If you have a little look up the top there, just below my header, you will see that I have a new page link, "Free Printables". Thanks to the wonderful Talia who directed me to a free hosting service, I have made available the toilet training charts I have been using with Mayana. I would love for you to be able to use them too! I've doctored them a bit, so they don't have Maysi's name on them anymore, and I have options for girls and for boys, as well as two stages of toilet training. So go on and have a look... I'm pretty proud of myself!

And stay tuned, because I've been getting a bit  creative on the old computer lately, making some fun educational -type things to do with my girl, so you never know what else will pop up under that page!!

Let me know how you go with it.

Zoey x

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