A weekend of simple living

I love weekends where you can just go with the flow, with no firm plans made. This weekend was particularly nice, with kids getting along with each other and spending time outdoors. The girls collected lemons off the trees and wanted to make lemonade from them. It was actually quite delicious, better than the lemon slice I tried to make a few weeks back which was a complete disaster.

homemade lemonade

 

homegrown lemons and papaya

lemons collected off the tree, and some papaya, and a bowl of pumpkin seeds ready for the veggie patch

The local strawberry farm opened their farm shop to the public this weekend and I bought the plumpest sweetest strawberries I have ever tasted. The smell of strawberries in the shop is just so mouth watering. I’d have a hard time working there. The kids devoured them in seconds.

fresh strawberries

The neighbour invited us over for drinks saturday afternoon and the kids played while we chatted and drank wine. After dark the kids went inside and played chess! Very civilised, unlike us grown ups. The husbands had sore heads in the morning! Sunday was spent outside working on the veg patch again. My son has a ‘get rich quick’ scheme planned by growing and selling herbs at the gate. I’ll keep you posted on that little project.

veggie patch

Pumpkin soup was made for lunch with pumpkin bought from the farm shop. Twelve eggs were collected from the chooks, then a fire was started at the bottom of the paddock to burn off some of the lantana we cleared. The kids played in the paddock with the chooks and there was huge excitement when one of the chickens found an enormous spider and ate it. The kids were fascinated!

IMG_5441 IMG_5461 IMG_5443

 

in the paddock

the kids have even worn the dog out

Then of course the kids decided we couldn’t have a fire without marshmallows.

IMG_5456 marshmallows on the fire

 

ride on mower fun

Hitching a free ride back after a good day in the paddock

Dinner was organic butterfly lamb bought from the farmers market, with roast potatoes and veggies, followed by a movie and bed, feeling tired and content.

I hope you all had a good weekend. Thanks for all your comments on my previous post. I will post more info on those cushions in my next post as so many of you liked them. I will also be sharing my spare room makeover ūüôā

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Five on Friday

Hello again, linking in with Amy at Love Made my Home, five randoms from my week.

Buying – lovely cushions from Eumundi markets. Made from recycled plastic bottles! The fabric is just like very thick cotton, you would never know.

colourful cushions

Collecting – lovely fresh eggs from my chickens. Just look at the size of this big one we got this morning. Poor chicken! It was so big I couldn’t close the egg box properly!

free range eggs

Lunching – at beautiful Noosa. A special treat to catch up with some friends before school holidays begin.

Noosa beach

Walking – at the beach now we have fine weather again after a week of rain. I have a serious laundry issue at my place.

Mujimba beach

Making – some bunting from fabric I have laying around. It will go in the spare room once I have finished doing it up. There’s a bit of a beachy theme going on here.

fabric for bunting in blue

Have a lovely weekend! I Hope you can visit the other bloggers joining in with five on friday this week.

 

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy from Love made my home, this week I’m sharing five wonderful things from our short break away to Stradbroke Island.

We wanted to take the in laws away somewhere where we could see a bit of wildlife, do a spot of fishing, and really just enjoy a quiet break away from normality. Stradbroke Island is the best place to get away from it all. The Island is situated just south of Brisbane in the Morton Bay region, just a 45 minute ferry ride from the mainland. The island has 5000 permanent residents, but in the summer holidays it peaks to 50000 people! I really cannot imagine how that many people can fit in such a small place. As we were going out of season it was lovely and quiet, we felt we had the place to ourselves. We stayed at Sea Shanties, in two cute, well appointed beach cabins by the water. Wild koalas were frequent visitors to the site. In our 11 years in Australia we have never seen Koalas in the wild until now, so this was fantastic. I was snapping away with my camera like a tourist on overdrive.

Wild Koala on stradbroke island Koala in a gum tree

We did the North Gorge walk which was just stunning. You can look down from the cliff tops and see sea turtles and rays swimming down in the water. It seemed pretty rough down there, like a washing machine with surf and sea going in all directions. The beaches were amazing with miles and miles of soft white sand and turquoise water. Apparently the beaches are notorious for sharks and friends have often seen huge sharks very close to shore. We didn’t spot any though, much to my son’s disappointment.

A kangaroo followed us along the coastal path

Kangaroo on the coastal path

North Gorge stradbroke island North Gorge Stradbroke island

 

danger sign stradbroke island cliffs

Scary sign on the cliffs.

stradbroke island beach

This beautiful beach was just a 10 minute walk from Sea Shanties

beach walk

Hunting for starfish

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Wild dolphins cruised past the site daily. They came right up to the jetty at night when we put the light on for fishing. They obviously knew this spot was an easy place to get a free meal.

IMG_5356 dolphins in the sea

 

I took my crochet with me to get some of the granny stripe blanket done. Sitting by the water basking in the winter sun with my crochet and a cuppa was just idyllic.

crochet granny stripe by the sea

 

We watched the most amazing sunsets, with the sky changing colour by the minute, displaying the most intense shades of orange and blue. We could enjoy this while cooking in the outdoor kitchen at night which was great, as we felt like we were camping, but had the comfort of a proper bed and shelter at night.

sunset

My daughter photo bombing the sunset shot

sunset on stradbroke island

I hope you enjoyed my five little snippets from Stradbroke Island. Its funny looking back over these pictures as it looks warm and sunny, but it was absolutely freezing!

Please go and visit the other bloggers joining in with Amy this week for Five on Friday.
Have a lovely weekend.

A new arrival

Things have been busy around here. We have a new addition to our household. A chocolate labrador puppy, named Kess. We had a rough first night with her, but since then she has been very good, apart from the nipping and chewing everything in sight.

chocolate labrador puppy

We took her to the beach for the first time last weekend, but she wasn’t sure what to make of the water.

puppy at the beach

My daughter loves her and is very good with her and patient. I think they will become best friends.

dog walking

Here she is, exhausted from her beach trip, pushing up a few zeds. Does that look comfy to you?

puppy sleeping

Last weekend it was Mothers Day here in Australia. I had breakfast in bed brought in by my son sporting a silly face. The eggs were fresh from the neighbours chooks, so yum.

breakfast in bed, mothers day

One of my Mothers day gifts was this gorgeous cake stand. Of course I had to bake a cake to put on it.

cake stand

I baked a gluten free sticky date pudding, more like a cake in looks, but served warm with hot butterscotch sauce and cream is definitely a winner. You can find the recipe here.

gluten free sticky date pudding

We are lucky to have inherited a mandarin tree with our new house. Lovely sweet mandarins from a tree so laden with fruit its bending over.

mandarins, home grown

And finally, I have decided to start a granny stripe blanket to reduce my yarn stash. Its gone quite cool here as we head into winter. Well, cool in the morning and evening, but lovely in the daytime. I don’t suspect for one minute that it will be done in time for this winter. I reckon, going on my current crochet speed, it will take me a year. I thought about starting a granny square blanket instead, but the thought of stitching all those squares together put me off. I will keep you posted on my progress. Its the biggest project I have ever tackled so wish me luck!

yarn balls

Have a lovely weekend.
T x

A birthday and a beautiful day out

Its been a busy start to the term, so busy I haven’t had time to sit down and write at all. Seriously, I do not know where the time has gone and how on earth I managed to work as well as run a family when I was back in Sydney. I have blogged less since the move when I supposedly have more time! During the holidays my little one turned 6 so we had a day out at Maleny botanical gardens. A great place up in the beautiful hinterland with fantastic views and gorgeous gardens, and a huge tropical bird aviary. We happened upon it by accident when we were down at Mooloolaba beach and¬†we bumped into a man with a giant parrot. As you do. He was promoting the place and handing out leaflets.

view to glasshouse mountains

View to glasshouse mountains from the gardens

 

We got there early as the kids were itching to go. They were not disappointed, and went straight to the little petting zoo to stroke the animals.

petting a mini pony

I had a read of the reviews on trip advisor where visitors warned that the birds do land on you during the aviary tour and to keep sunglasses and jewellery hidden away else the birds would swipe them. Trip advisor is great for handy tips like this.

boy with parrot on shoulder

We all had several different birds land on us. They were a bit shy at first but as soon as the tour guides called to them, they all came flying down. Their colours were amazing.

tropical bird aviary

The tour lasted about 30 minutes or so, which was long enough, as towards the end we’d had enough of birds landing on our heads and trying to eat our hair.

macaw parrot on head

The weather was perfect and the gardens stunning.

IMG_5147Maleny botanical gardens IMG_5148

I love guinea fowls and they had a flock of them wandering about the place. I wouldn’t mind keeping some myself. Apparently they are good for keeping away snakes as they chase away the bigger ones and eat the baby ones. They also eat fly lavae to help control the fly issue in summer. You can let them roam free and they roost in trees at night and forage for their own food. They also sound a very loud alarm when predators are near. An animal that does not need cleaning out or feeding and is useful¬†sounds pretty good to me.

IMG_5153 Guinea fowls

I love the old cart wheels they had laying around the place. This photo was taken outside the loos would you believe.

old cart wheel against stone wall

The following weekend was little one’s birthday party which we had at home and yes, I did finish the pi√Īata in time! It took forever for the kids to smash it though, I should have done fewer layers on it, but I was worried it would smash on the first hit.

soccer ball pi√Īata

They played pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey, and did a scavenger hunt around the property. We had cake and then finished with a play in the tree house. The weather was perfect which meant the party could be held outside, so no mess to clean up.

6 birthday cake

Last week I had a mini tidy up of the front door area, which was very neglected, with my plant pots full of dead weeds after the hot summer. I went to bunnings for a few bits and picked up two geraniums. Apparently a good choice for someone like me who can’t seem to keep plants alive. My hubby tells me water helps with that. He also says when our new puppy arrives the plants will have to go else they will be chewed up!

geraniums and lemons

I picked some lemons off a tree I found in the paddock on a¬†detour back to the house from the chicken coop. I’m not sure what to do with them now. One was used with some garlic to flavour a¬†roast chicken. I should try and make lemonade, or some lemon curd with them.

Well thats it for now, I’ll save my dishcloth finale for my next post, you’re probably sick to death of them by now! I Hope your week is going well.
T x

A goal and a half

Hi Everyone! Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post, and welcome to the new followers here, lovely to meet you. I am always amazed and happy that anyone would be to remotest bit interested in reading my ramblings on here, its so nice of you all to visit and leave such nice messages. Thank you. Now for an update, I have actually managed to compete one of my goals for the month – climb a mountain! A slightly moderate one, due to taking the three little people with me, but a mountain nevertheless. Mount Coolum.

Mount Coolum

It was hard to get a decent photo of the approach, but i do like these dramatic cliffs

It was a perfect day for the trek, a little bit breezy, which was good to keep us cool, and beautiful and sunny but not too hot, a nice pleasant 25 degrees.

Summit mount coolum

Here I am with little one at the top. We went at a reasonable pace, stopping on the way to admire the amazing views. We got up there in under 30 minutes. The views at the top are fantastic and you can see for miles, up and down the coast and out to the hinterland.

summit view mount coolum

We treated ourselves to some ice creams afterwards (part of the bribe to get the girls enthused about the climb) and had a bit of a wander at Coolum Beach to stretch out the jelly legs. Back home I felt I deserved a sit down with a cuppa and some crochet. That brings me to my next goal, to finish the dishcloth gift set for my mother in law. I have started a spotty one this time.

tapestry crochet spotty dishcloth

Its going quite well, although I think I have made it too wide and I have too much white space either side of the dots. I will keep going though, rather than unravel and start again. Tapestry crochet is getting pretty addictive, there are so many designs to play with and colour combos. last night we all nestled on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn to watch black beauty, the 1994 version, with a very young David Thewlis, and Sean Bean (yum!). I cried at the end, typical me. Much to the amusement of my son.

I hope your week is going well! T x

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy from Love Made My Home, my five on friday this week is five goals for the month.

Finish handmade dishcloth gift

I am making a set of three crochet dishcloths for my mother in law who is coming to visit from the UK at the end of the month. I thought it would be nice to give her a handmade gift that will be easy to pack and transport back to England. I bought some 8ply cotton recently to build up my supply of pretty bright colours.

cotton yarn colours and a crochet heart

I finally mastered a harlequin tapestry crochet pattern!

harlequin crochet dishcloth

I will need to make the third cloth to complete the set and I’m not sure whether to do spots or zig zags. I’m really enjoying this technique, but it did take several tries before I got it. I will add in a crochet scented heart pouch and some hand cream. Hopefully she’ll like it.

crochet dishcloths

Make a Pinata

We recently went to a 6 year old birthday party that was just so perfect. Perfect because it was a simple, no fuss affair. They set up a slip n slide out in the back yard for the kids to whizz down which was great fun. Then the kids played in the pool, then jumped out for a game of pass the parcel, followed by a homemade penguin cake, and then a whack of the pi√Īata they had made themselves in the shape of a pig. My little one said it was the best day ever. She wants a pi√Īata in the shape of a soccer ball for her party in a couple of weeks. I was relieved she didn’t come up with something more elaborate. I think I can manage that. This will also keep the kids entertained as a school holiday activity.

Climb a mountain

Its cooled down a bit this week, and as we still have a week of school holidays I have warned the kids that we’re going to climb a mountain. I’ve had a mixed response from them, but I know once we’re out there they will have a good time. There are a few to choose from and I hope to do them all eventually.

glasshouse mountains

view from Mary Cairncross scenic reserve

mount coolum in distance

Do something for myself

I’m a bit bad at this, as most mothers are. I think its because we focus on the family so much it feels strange to remove yourself from that environment and take some me-time. We’re not used to it. Yes I do my crochet and things I enjoy, but usually when I’m waiting at soccer training or outside school, or while watching a movie with the kids before bed. Squeezing it in when I can. I should do something relaxing and special. A manicure maybe or a facial would be nice. I did buy myself a sweet little pineapple doorstop the other day, 7 bucks from k-mart! It makes me smile when I prop open the door every day.

pineapple doorstop

See the sunrise at the beach

We are lucky to be close to many beautiful beaches on the sunshine coast. I am up early everyday at dawn, but never made it to the beach. Its lovely here first thing in the morning especially when the mist sinks low over the fields, its really pretty. The beach is magical too and I have this urge to see it in the morning when there are few people around.

mooloola river

Early morning at the river, Mooloolaba

Maybe you have some goals for the month. This is the first time I’ve written them down, and somehow it makes them seem more real. Like they are set in stone, so I must¬†do them.

Thanks to Amy for organising the five on friday link up. Please go and visit the other blogs joining in this week.