Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Long Weekend

For one reason or another, the Easter Post I had planned for last week didn't quite eventuate, so a very belated Happy Easter to you all! I hope you had a great weekend.

We had a wonderful few days. Whilst the children and I spent last Thursday enjoying the first day of School Holidays recuperating after a very busy Term 1, Daniel went game fishing with the lads to celebrate Nate's Birthday. 

They caught a big one!

Good Friday was spent preparing and feasting on the above Tuna - Brandy flambeed Tuna with cream sauce. 

There was also the baking of Hot Cross Buns, with a 4:3 vote in favour of using choc chips instead of Sultanas/Raisons. The glaze was slapped on them while still on the tray and a quick photo taken before they were demolished within seconds.

We decided to walk off the excess chocolate in advance of Easter and enjoyed a lovely walk on Mt Wellington to Silver Falls on Saturday.

The Graffiti was legible and thought-provoking.

The highlight of the walk being the discovery of this village of Toadstools. Aren't they amazing? I saw one of these red fairytale mushrooms in Canada once but had no idea that we had them in this country. 

The sight provoked a group happy dance.

Another happy dance was done that evening when the Easter Bunny decided she better start the Easter shopping and discovered not only were there still Lindt Gold Bunnies and almost-expired Cadbury's mini eggs left at the discount store, but also 4 different coloured baby chicks. I don't know about you but as soon as I saw them I felt compelled to buy a different colour for each child (except for Flynn who would just want to eat them) and arrange them into the nests I made last year, like so.... 

Easter Sunday was a very casual affair consisting of a scavenger hunt in the pine trees and the eating of copious amounts of chocolate. Not a single Easter craft in sight this year. I felt a bit slack, but no one seemed to notice or care and I just didn't see the need when the handmade toys I made them last year were still going strong.

Luckily, the chicks in the nest were a triumph!

We took a drive on Monday to historic Oatlands and spent some time walking around the town, visiting the historic sites and playing down by the river. 

It's one of those towns on the highway between Hobart and Launceston that you need to take an exit to get to and in all my 14 years of living in Tasmania and driving along that road, I had never taken that exit. I'm so glad we finally did as it was just gorgeous.

There's a possibility of a little weekend away camping for the ANZAC Day long weekend if the weather plays nice but other than that I'm looking forward to spending the next 2 weeks of School Holidays just relaxing at home and letting everyone recharge the batteries. Hopefully, some reading and knitting will feature too.

Have a great week!

Mel xxx

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hello Autumn

Autumn is here. It has technically been here for 6 weeks but it doesn't really feel like Autumn to me until the leaves turn red, daylight savings comes to an end and I start fantasising about switching on the underfloor heating. I was very tempted to do just that today but we are going to try holding off until June. It'll be beanies and an extra blanket on the beds until then.

It's been a lovely weekend just pottering around the house and a visit to the local farmers market this morning. I was chatting to the local Alpaca grower and it re-kindled my desire to get back on the spinning wagon that I started way back when. I spent 2 afternoons at the local Weavers and Spinners Guild when I was pregnant with Flynn and despite the ladies being ever so patient with me I just couldn't get the hang of it. I think I might have to give it another go. I've definitely upped the ante on the knitting productivity and expenditure the past 12 months so even the Mr is coming around to thinking we could be saving money with the purchase of a couple of Alpacas.

We spent an epic afternoon in the garden today. Our house paddock is still very much a work in progress so when I say gardening I mean there were chainsaws, weed killer and two massive bonfires to burn the piles of shrubbery leftover from when Dad was here at Christmas. The area in the front of the house was unusable due to overgrown shrubs and trees which also blocked the entire view but Dad wielded his magic and transformed the jungle into a rough cricket pitch and half soccer field and now that you can see the whole view I don't know why we were "umming and ahhing" for 7 years over the decision to clear the area. 

We settled in around the fire pit afterwards and had curry for dinner and toasted marshmallows for dessert. I don't know why we don't do this more often, the minimal clean up alone would make it worthwhile. The only thing to top off the evening would have been a soak in the outside bath next to the fire, a glass of red in hand and a sky full of stars. Unfortunately, there is still not enough water in the tank to meet the requisite water height in the tub and it was overcast anyway. Maybe next time.

How was your weekend? Any Spinners amongst you? Is outdoor bathing your cup of tea? Do you love Alpacas?

Mel xxx

Friday, April 11, 2014

Above the clouds

The first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning is the Sun rising over the Coal River Valley through the triangular window at the end of our bed. 

We've never had curtains in the bedroom here and love being woken up by the view and enjoying some quiet moments before the pitter patter of ten little feet come traipsing up the stairs.

The Sunrises at this time of year are particularly beautiful and occasionally I take photos of them and share them on Instagram.

Sometimes the Sunrise is special enough to warrant its own blog Post like the other day when we  awoke to this amazing sight - the thickest, most incredible fog I have ever seen. It went as far as the eye could see and felt like we were living above the clouds. Over bowls of Porridge we watched it slowly recede until it hovered just above the river where it stayed for another hour until it was time for School. It felt like Autumn had finally arrived.

It's raining today and I couldn't be happier because the tank is filling up and I will be able to hold off getting water delivered. It seems crazy to have to pay for this one thing that nature provides for free but the reality of living in the second driest Capital of Australia and not being hooked up to the town water supply means about twice a year we need to fork out $120 for water. 

We still have another 3 days left of School next week before the holidays and I think we are all feeling the effects of a very long first Term of School. It will be a nice, quiet weekend ahead. Friday night is always movie and popcorn night here and then I'm thinking a whole bunch of nothing for the next couple of days. I might even tidy my desk and put the 2014 Calendar on the wall.

Have a lovely weekend friends! 

Mel xxx

Monday, April 7, 2014


Image found on Pinterest, sorry I can't find the original creator.

My brain works a bit like the diagram above. If I have a book to read, I will either love it to bits and read it in a few days flat, often with an all-nighter in there to finish it off, or it will sit on my bedside table for 7 months and then go into the 'one day, probably never' pile.

Due to having these slightly obsessional tendencies, if I become hooked on a particular TV Show and there is an option to watch the entire Series in one hit, I will do just that. Two weeks ago I started watching the first episode of Breaking Bad and sure enough, 10 days later I emerged with the entire 5 years worth of episodes under my belt and the heavy eyelids and enhanced vocabulary to prove it.

Part way through my Breaking Bad marathon I considered having a little pause. Tiredness was creeping in and no one could find matching socks but then I reasoned that the sooner I just get to the end of the Series the sooner I can get on with my life. Binge watching seemed more efficient than the slow burn of an episode a week for 5 years. The only problem with this intense way of viewing is that you become completely absorbed in the Show and desensitised to bad language and criminal behaviour. If one of my friends knocked on the door right now and told me about their illegal Meth Lab, I'd be more likely to respond with "Yo! Is it the blue stuff? How much for a teenth?". 

Seriously though, it was a great Series with a fantastic cast of morally compromised characters and if you can get past the disturbing subject matter then it makes for captivating viewing. Did you watch it? Are you also worried there is going to be a rise in illegal meth labs springing up around the world as a result of this show? I'm still workshopping my feelings after watching the Finale the other day. I'm particularly disturbed at how upset I was with how the show ended. It was the 'right' ending but after all the bad stuff Walt did, I still just really liked the guy and wanted it to all work out favourably for him. Or maybe I just felt a connection to the actor himself, which may be why I was thrilled to read that Bryan Cranston plans on writing a memoir revealing the secrets and lies he lived with over the course of the 6 years of filming Breaking Bad. Yes!

Why everyone is obsessed with Breaking Bad

Anyway, The Game of Thrones Series 4 premiered Sunday night in the US (today, our time) so that will keep any Breaking Bad withdrawals at bay. Or so I thought! Game of Thrones is now only available to watch on Foxtel in Australia and will not be available for purchase through iTunes like the previous 3 Series were. We don't have Foxtel. Neither do my friends or the majority of people in this country. As a result, no doubt there will be a multitude of sites on the internet where you can download and watch the episodes illegally. This is not good. The only option is to wait until the end of the Season and buy it in the shops, a useless option because everyone will be revealing details of the show and talking about nothing else but Game of Thrones for the next few months. What to do? Moral dilemma. Or maybe I'm just still in Breaking Bad mode. If you are interested in seeing the funny Game of Thrones recap trailer doing the rounds on the interwebs, you can see it here.

Speaking of obsessions, I think a good indication of a burgeoning knitting obsession is going to the movies to see The Book Thief and spending the whole time drooling over the beautiful hand knitted items worn by the characters and hoping you will be able to find similar patterns on Ravelry so you can create the same wardrobe for your children. So much wardrobe and knitting eye candy in this lovely film. 

Images from here
I do not wish to live in war times but I would swap the cheap, mass produced clothing available now for their everyday clothing in all it's handmade and knitted glory in a heartbeat. 

I thought I'd better give my knitting a little break on the weekend and get stuck into tidying the household so I re-arranged my yarn stash. It's an 'installation' of sorts. It's by no means an excessive stash but I have nevertheless undertaken to reduce it before entering another yarn shop. To reduce my stash the only solution is to engage in more knitting. I will then have to replace my stash to keep the 'installation' looking pretty. Win win :-)

Another obsession to enter our household is the rainbow loom bracelet obsession. It has been part of our life for 2 weeks now and not since the arrival of Minecraft have I seen my children so absorbed in something. Eleanor was stopped at the Salamanca Markets on the weekend by a stranger who wanted to photograph this riot of colour.

The children come home from school, gather in the blue room for YouTube tutorials and make bracelets for each other and their friends and then spend lunchtimes swapping them with their mates at school. I'm not particularly fond of picking up thousands of coloured rubber bands all over the house but for an activity that has kindness and generosity at its core, absolutely! 

Just look at their little faces. They are completely obsessed. 

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

Any obsessions in your household at the moment?
What are you looming? Knitting? Watching?
Did you watch Breaking Bad?
Are you a Game of Thrones fan?
Can you recommend a new Series for me to watch?

Have a great week!

Mel xxx

Monday, March 31, 2014

Where's Flynn?

Hello 16 Months. I remember you.

You're that age where, if you have a quiet but fast and adventurous toddler, the number one question in the household becomes "Where's Flynn?!".

It's that age where you are straight out the door like a shot and within 30 seconds can be found amongst the chickens, trying to give them a hug

Come back!

or grabbing pellets out of the bag to feed them

Or the dog

Or you'll be climbing up the stairs, knowing I'll be right behind you


Or you'll be opening every single cupboard and rearranging the contents. The spice cupboard is your favourite. 

Or you'll be 'helping' with the laundry

Or playing with the water cooler or anything except the box of toys available.

Or pushing every single button on every single appliance in the house.

Or climbing onto all the furniture.

Or getting onto the trampoline to kick the ball.

Or playing in your little red wagon.

Busy Boy.

Thank goodness we both get a chance to rejuvenate during your daytime nap

before starting round 2 in the afternoon :-)

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