#761 The nectarine crumble

I’ve found myself doing a bit of baking lately. Maybe it’s the slightly cooler weather, maybe I’ve found some more down time, or maybe I just found myself with a lot of nectarines these past few days.

Maybe I ‘accidentally on purpose’ found myself with a lot of nectarines. Anything to make…


This nectarine crumble. The recipe is originally a peach one, but really, anything goes. And when you eat it, the sugary sweetness of the nectarines complimenting so well against the soft baked pastry crumble, oh. Oh man…

Nom nom nom. Better than any bought sugary treat, because let’s face it, I know what went in there, as opposed to all those other things on the shelves.

Winning 🙂


#747 Library sessions no. 3

I was in a cranky-pants kind of mood this afternoon, which meant getting out of the house was absolutely necessary.

Baby girl came to me about half hour after finishing her lunch, proclaiming she was still hungry. Rubbing her tummy at me, in that low, testing, needy tone of voice, saying that tiny teddies would apparently do the job.

But little did she know I also needed a fix. So I raised her.

“Why don’t we go to the library, get some books for you, and have a babycino?”

PAUSE from her. “And biscuit?!”

I nodded. Really, my underlying meaning was also ‘get a coffee and sugar fix for Mum too.’

A little while later, and we were much more relaxed.



I found an interesting book on writing children’s books in my favourite aisle, and ended up borrowing it, because hey, I may just be able to finish one chapter of it now, what with baby girl at kinder 3 times a week.

I particularly thought one part was brilliant. The part on why you should write a children’s book included common reasons why you should not go into it, one of which was wanting to write an adult bestseller but thinking that a children’s book was an easier option to start with.

No?! Apparently that was wrong. I almost closed the book there, because that was HALF of my reason for going into this line of query.

But then I stopped. Thought. Kept reading.

A children’s book is harder to write, you say….

Challenge accepted.


#732 Holi-days

Ain’t being on holidays grand? I mean, it’s the best isn’t it???

I had this thought at the beginning of the holidays when I was all pathetic and sickly, and it’s a thought I commonly hold whenever life turns particularly shit.

I thought “I’m getting the crap over and done with early so that I can have an awesome holiday.”

And although this thought DID go through my mind then, I was so afraid of staying sick and being unable to do anything the entire time we were on leave together, because Murphy’s Law and all, that I was unable to entertain the awesome possibility, even for a second.

But, I was right. The holidays have been truly awesome now.

So much so, I can’t really pinpoint a stand-alone gratitude thought for today, hence my “holi-days” title.

So here it goes: so much gratitude in a variety of avenues.

  • Hubbie and I leaving kinder after dropping off baby girl this morning. Another girl gets out of her car with her Mum, sees us and yells excitedly “baby girl is here!”

Awww. Hearts BURSTING. Hubbie and I turned to each other with broad smiles, happy in the knowledge that there was someone whose day was immediately made better when our girl was around, and also, with the realisation that those two girls were going to have a really great day.

  • The MYER CLEARANCE FLOOR at Frankston. OMG. Hubbie and I have never paid (get it, LOL) much attention to level 3 of Myer at Bayside, maybe because all the yellow tickets seemed so tacky, and the racks shoved together made it difficult to shop, and let’s not add the ‘reject clothes’ mentality. If it was discounted that much, surely it was crappy, or there was something wrong.


Because we actually had time to devote to ourselves while baby girl was at kinder, we wandered over to Bayside with no real plans, and after a ‘normal’ Myer purchase, the sales assistant there told us that the Level 3 clearance floor had an additional 50% of all their red-ticketed items. A bit curious, we headed up.


We purchased a total of 7 clothing items combined for $100. Un-bloody-believable. For example, a skirt I bought which had been reduced to $15 already, from like, I don’t know above $50 or something, was $7.50.

$7.50! I had a cake at Chadstone the other week which was $7.95, that cheesecake cost more than the skirt I bought today.

The most expensive dress I bought was $32.50, with the original price being well over $150 – I’m wearing it to a wedding in 2 weeks. Yep. I am talking brands, good quality, at BARGAIN prices.

Friends do yourselves a favour and get over there. Sure the half-price off red ticket items isn’t a year-round event (ends Monday) but you will still always grab a bargain there compared to any other store. Incredible.

  • Sorrento to Queenscliff Ferry ride. We’ve been wanting to do this for a LONG time. And so the holidays helped us make it happen.


(approaching Queenscliff)


It was such a quick ferry ride, I feel like I need to do it multiple times! 40 minutes and a latte away (as their promo says…)


  • Finally, where we had dinner in Barwon Heads tonight. 3 years and 1 month ago we dined at Beach House, on what was our first little getaway with baby girl when she was a year and a half. Accidentally, we headed out tonight and found ourselves parked in front of the same restaurant.

Why the hell not? We’d had a great time last time which had ended in my fairly glowing review of the place then.


It was actually, perfect. And I sat at the table, sipping on a fine Cab/Sav/Shiraz/Merlot (yes it exists), thinking how I didn’t have just one thing to be grateful for today…

In fact, I didn’t know which thing was the stand-out to write about for my post here.

That’s when I gave a silent thanks, and took in the moment of happiness.

Here’s to more holidays. Cheers!




#719 Mini movie time

It was a full and fun day for baby girl and I, what with shopping, gift buying, babycinos and pink doughnuts to boot.


But none of that compares to the quiet moment we had after.

While purchasing one of our many things for the day, being the highly-anticipated new JT album (!) baby girl decided she too had to have a new disc. I told her no, as she already has about 35 DVDs (probably no exaggeration), but then I had an idea. I had a Moana idea.

Every parent under the sun asks me about this movie. They say “oh, has she watched Moana yet?” and when I reply “no,” they say “it’s really good.”

Really good.

But I figure she doesn’t need to be inundated with all the great kids flicks at once. I even held off on introducing her to Frozen years ago for that very reason (also to escape that highly addictive ‘Let It Go’ number).

But today, as she was asking for something, and I figured she had been so good for kinder yesterday… I picked up the Moana DVD facing us, discounted too. I mean, I had already decided, right? But that only made the decision easier.

When we got home, I put it on for her. And then I did something I don’t do often… I sat down. I told her I’d only watch it with her for 5 minutes, and then I had to go do “Mummy jobs.”

But it was a Disney movie. Which meant of course, it sucked me right in.

5 minutes later and I was almost sobbing, with baby girl turning to me with concern and saying gently “it’s ok Mama, it’s ok… her Tato find her.”


Time passed, and passed, and I was LOVING this movie.

It was really good.

After about 40 minutes of quality viewing time with my girl/my arse planted firmly on the carpet, I dragged myself off to go and prepare some dinner, or else all that would be on the menu was a whole lot of “How Far I’ll Go.”

Even so, I kept peeking around the corner to see the storyline’s progression, and then at the end when the food was all underway and getting going, I sat down to finish it off.


And though it had been a full day, of walking around, laughing, spending money and eating out, the most precious time had been with my girl, watching Moana from the floor of her play area.

The best things in life are free… (or $15 as was the Moana DVD… 😉 )


#709 The spider and the moth

Gratitude can often be found, in the strangest of places…

I have a non-visual story to tell, one that was the briefest of moments, and one that made me gasp in disbelief. But first, let me show you my day in photos.

Some days I stay home and do the washing. Other days are FULL.

This such day, was FULL. And visual.

We did lots of things, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done them all. The first included a visit to the Circus that is currently in town:


The first and last time I had been I was 8 or 9, so my visits between have been non-existent. Baby girl has never been, so combined, my desire to see it when the ol’ Silvers sign popped up in town, was deep.

However despite all this and the magic and jazz and what-not, baby girl spent the first half of the show begging me for popcorn after seeing others eating it, and then after the interval as she ate said-popcorn, she then proceeded to ask me repeatedly to go home.

Sigh. That’s my girl for you. Sitting for a couple of hours for Frozen on Ice was difficult for her, and that’s one of her favourite movies.

But the best part of the morning? When I took a handful of her popcorn, and she calmly and firmly said to me “no Mama, no more, that’s enough.”


Oh how I LOLed and LOLed.

Second up after lunch was a café and park visit. These I love as they are merely a short walk across the road and down a street to a local strip of shops that sit near a park. I feel so local, so integrated in the community when we head over like that. First we stop for a caffeine injection


And then we head over to the playground to get her play off some steam


It was hotter than expected though, so we didn’t stay too long.

The evening gave us an opportunity to cool down and unwind, as we got super close to nature. Boneo Maze and Mini Golf are doing a special month-long Summer event that ends in about a week, called Lantasia, which showcases lit-up lanterns and light installations along their park grounds and tree walks, as night falls.



This was also interesting and inventive, chilled and relaxing too, and would have been more so if baby girl didn’t have to go to the toilet twice while in the middle of one such long walk, and since there is only one lot of toilets in the café, it meant we had to go ALL the way back down the walk to get there. But there was a Vintage Carousel too, so that kind of made us forget the annoying-ness of the former.


All of today’s events were super exciting and fun and made for a very tired and spent baby girl by day’s end, leaving me grateful for a multitude of reasons… but one thing stood out to me today, and it was the most unexpected thing, that I am still in awe of the memory in my head.

In between the park and the Lantasia lantern walk, baby girl and I were chilling at home, doing this and that, and I went to head outside and hang some washing. (I even do it on FULL days, you see).

I got to the door, and could see there was a moth sitting on the security door which was outside of the glass sliding door I was about to open. I scrunched my nose in disgust, as saying that I have a strong unpleasant aversion to that gross insect is an understatement, but I also wondered why the hell it was there then, since it was about 5:30 and there was still hours left ’til sunset – they were more a dusk/night insect.

As I opened the sliding door, the sudden movement made it fly away, and I was satisfied until I saw with dismay another moth fluttering crazily nearby the wall of the house, near a window.

What, another one? What was this? I watched it carefully as I stepped out, careful in case it flew towards me, or worse still for the long-term, in case it flew inside the house. It hovered, fluttering gently though erratically as moths do, and I kept my eyes trained on it, holding my washing with me, as I slid the door closed behind me, this moth flying in the bottom corner of the window frame… until suddenly there was a movement of black. And a spider suddenly crawled out of an indistinct hole in the corner of the outside window frame.

I watched as it grabbed hold of the moth – it all happened so quickly I can’t actually believe what my eyes saw – and then the fluttering came to a slow halt. There was a fellow scurrying of black legs, and the spider disappeared with its catch, back into its invisible-to-the-human-eye, hole.


Had I been 5 seconds later, I would have missed the whole thing. And instead, here I was, watching two insects I care very little for, suddenly become a David Attenborough documentary before my very eyes!

Had either insect been in our house, I would have ‘gotten rid of them’ without concern. Both cause me alarm, more so moths, because with their erratic flying they can cross a room in seconds, and I don’t like that. Spiders are somewhat easier to contain.

But when I saw that spider today, not only catch its prey, but in doing so, rid the exterior door of moths?

I was impressed.

I said to Hubbie later on, as I retold the story, “when you next spray bug killer around the house, avoid that window frame.”

My buddy lives there.

My buddy the spider.

He looks after the moths for me. 🙂

And so concludes the story of the spider and the moth.



#690 Coffee/Park/Beach break

Long story short… I was pissed off.

Short story long… following the splashback tiles going on in our kitchen just before Christmas, I still hadn’t had a chance to apply the grout sealer/protector, to keep them cleaner and protected against any guaranteed future splashes, squirts and splatters that would occur while cooking.

It had been bugging me, as not only was the tile grouting not sealed, but the oven was still moved forward because of this, and we were only allowed to use the front stove points. Also, certain corner and nearby cupboards were made harder to access, and all in all I just wanted to seal the tiles and move the oven back so everything was nicer and easier to use.

But when I sprayed the sealer on, and then as ‘per the bottle instructions,’ went to wipe the excess off the tiles an hour later… it came off, kind of. Remaining on the tiles were these annoyingly faint spray marks, ALL over the tiles as they had dried. I soon learnt they did not come off easily, AT ALL.

So after several hours, of first using paper towel with water, then paper towel with vinegar, and then a soft scouring non-scratching sponge with vinegar, I got MOST of it off.

Stuff that. I honestly couldn’t care anymore. I had probably removed most of the grout protector with my cleaning too, but I HONESTLY DIDN’T CARE ANYMORE.

I sat down at 3pm on the couch with a huff. I could hear baby girl in the nearby room playing with her toys so I sat breathing for 5 minutes. Still getting over being seriously pissed off. Then I got out our shoes, with baby girl asking me “Mama, where you take me?”

“I don’t know honey, let’s just go somewhere.”

Somewhere, led us to the Main Street with holiday-makers galore. I had to wonder if Hubbie and I were such sore thumbs when we used to weekend it over here…

And first, was the caffeine/sweet-tooth break.


Ahhh, my sweet. As I stirred my coffee salaciously, I started to unwind.

Next, a short walk down the block to the big park by the bay. Baby girl swung for what felt like forever, and I let her. She too had been stuck inside as I had gone ape-shit on the kitchen tiles.

But I needed that BIT more ‘ahh’ time. I convinced her into a walk up to the water views at the end of the street… and then as we approached the ice cream van parked along the street, she convinced me into an ice cream.

What the hell. It was Summer, January, I had had an annoying few hours of the day, and although we weren’t on holiday just yet, I sure as hell was feeling those holiday vibes rubbing off on me from everyone else.

We wandered over to the lookout, sitting on a nearby bench, with the clifftop drop just metres away from our feet.


Baby girl slurped her quickly melting ice cream, I helped her, we clutched on our hats as they both almost flew off our heads, and then I turned my attention to the vast expanse of water in front of us, breathing in the negative ions of the water, which if we’re being honest and literal, is actually POSITIVE.



The wind nearly swept me away, but where I didn’t go, my problems and worries and all my annoying moments of the day, went. And then back to the park, for some more swinging fun…



#632 Melbourne Cup coffee

So, a little while ago in a post far, far away, I said I would count all the ways in which I love coffee, and I would happily spend my life doing so and expressing it here in this gratitude blog.

Enter today peeps.

I mean, I didn’t plan on going down Main street. I promise I didn’t. But a chore I had to do fell through, and here baby girl and I were on Cup Day, dressed up, in the car, with nothing to do.

She asked me as I turned into our fave strip “Mama why go here?”

I was silent for a long while. I wanted to surprise her. “I just want to see what’s open.”

In true literal and toddler fashion, she then proceeded to point out every single shop that was open.

After circling the block a couple of times, I made up my mind. And we headed on over to a local fave for a quick stop on this public holiday.

We missed Hubbie/Dad very much. Baby girl expressed her desire to share a biscuit with him. But somehow she managed to get by, and downed her babycino, while I treasured my chai latte, and then together we smashed an Oreo muffin, NOT pictured because you know… smashed Oreo muffin.

It wasn’t life-altering, it wasn’t squealing with excitement fun, and it wasn’t the bestest thing I had ever done. But it was a precious moment that I was grateful to be sharing with baby girl, and as long as it is something to be enjoyed, it is enough.

And then also, as I always say, it’s the little things.

We then went home, and discovered with happiness that Hubbie was on his way home, let off his work shift earlier that day.

We didn’t win in the 3pm race, but we won in the most important one 🙂