We spent the afternoon swinging. As the sun slowly left the sky and the air began to cool, we lingered there, underneath the house until Dave arrived home and the weekend officially began.
For the next two days I plan to ignore the washing basket, wear shoes in the house so I can't feel the crumbs underfoot and indulge in my family. Because for me, at this point in time, they are completely irresistible.
A warm breeze blew as we walked the local beach and watched dolphins frolic with bleached haired surf rats. The children ran ahead only stopping to collect shells or greet passing dogs.
We happend upon a little sand cliff, you know those ones that crumble as you approach the lip? They we stayed, playing until sand encroached on bum cracks* and salt water formed a crust on our skin.
We've found the magic. It's in the water, in the air and in the spring breeze.
See ya Winter.
It's exactly one year ago that I wrote this post about Post Natal Depression. I just re-read every single comment and it reminded me of how much I adore bloggers and blogging. Good times, bad times, we're all here.
As the warmer months approach our chook feeding ritual has become even more delightful. Each morning and each afternoon we pull on our gumboots and trot down to the coup in convoy, kitchen scraps in tow.
While the chooks are distracted by fresh food, the kids collect the eggs.
As the years come and go our rituals change and evolve. There is something ever so comforting about simple, mundane routine.
You know those moments when you are completely overwhelmed with love for your children? Like when you creep into their room to the rhythm of their breath and plant a smoochy kiss on their warm, soft cheek and all of a sudden, there you are, transfixed by their complete and utter perfection.
In that moment there is nothing to do but exhale so deeply that your chest is empty, ready and waiting to be filled with clean fresh love air.
Yes, I said 'Love Air'. Obviously I just made that up, but you know what I mean don't you?!
Oh, I just had one of those moments.
My first born. Still as perfect as the first moment he was placed on my chest. Young man, I have endless love for you. truly endless.
We collected blocks, mixed mortar and laid them. The sun was still rising as we excitedly began building our wood fired pizza oven.
In a quest for some kind of self sufficiency, we've decided to dedicate much of our front yard to vegetable growing. Spring is approaching and we are eager to have a large usable plot to feed our family. The asparagus is shooting after just a few short weeks and the snow peas are finally flowering. Soon enough we'll have tomatoes, egg plant and garlic at the ready, we thought a wood fired pizza oven would be the perfect companion for such summer delicacies.
So we started building one, naturally.
Over the coming weeks i'll share with you our progress (and spare you the mini squabbles).
Watch this space.
p.s my kids are cute (even with boogers) and my husband is hot. just sayin'. Oh, our front yard is also a mess... ramble ramble ramble.
p.p.s am i over doing it on the photo front? too many pics? It's just that i'm obsessed with my new camera.
We love art and craft here at The Beetle Shack, so much so that sometimes I actually allow the kids to make a mess and get into it. Corn flour Paint/ Paste is a super quick and easy way to keep them entertained. Here is the basic recipe for you to add to your 'kids craft' pinterest board!
So it's a little lumpy and kind of transparent but i've never had any complaints from my young ones about that. Corn flour paste is easy to make, seriously cheap, incredibly practical and so much fun to use. It easily wipes away from the benches and washes off clothes too.
All you need is corn flour, water* and colouring.
And it alleviates the problem of the young ones using up all of my studio supplies.
Go on, make some and let the kids go to town... or really go mental and make some Oobleck.
To enter simply like Sole Society on facebook and be a follower of The Beetle Shack (via GFC, see the little blue button to your right) and leave a comment below. In your comment please include which styles you would like (yes, you can choose any two) and what size* VIEW THE FULL RANGE HERE.
For an extra entry share this post on any social media platform - ie. facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter or write a blog post about it. One extra entry per share.
Winner will be chosen one week from today an be announced right here on this post, so make sure you check back.
We've been watching the growth of this sucker for months now. It's been the pride of our very dismal winter harvest and last night, it was the pride of our very delicious dinner*. As a celebration of this glorious fennel, The Beetle Shack's facebook page has gone green (and so has my hair). We're now eagerly awaiting the harvest of our first ever asparagus crop - it's only been about 3 weeks since we planted and now we have this!!
I'm cleaning out my drafts while the kids sleep- It must have been the shame that prevented me from posting this one. Needless to say, I haven't been jogging since.
I'm not one of the lucky few who looses baby weight (or any weight) easily. For me it lingers... for... like... ever.
Recently, my dad and I decided it was time to start jogging again. It'd been about 3 years since we had sweated it out on our favourite fire trail. So i dug out my sneakers and we set off.
It was not quite like it used to be. I remember an easy run, a little bit of chatting, tiny bit of racing and me always winning. Not this time Gadget. I almost died. Dad, 3 years on - still strides it out with the best of them.
As I was choking on the fat that surrounds my throat I had a moment of intense clarity. I realised that maternity bras to not offer adequate support to loaded milk jugs and that post baby bums require their own supportive device.
Recently I mentioned that the kids and I were going to take some extra time to spend together. Last tuesday we blew off play group to make Gingerbread Fish.
We took our ugg boots and track pants to the local supermarket to stock up on essential ingredients. Ground ginger, glazed cherries, preserved fruit peel, almonds and shiny little bobble thingies made their way into the trolly. Zeph took the opportunity to run a few laps of the isles while the lady baby left a trail of sultanas wherever we went.
Once home we gave our fish shaped sand toy a thorough cleaning (no crunchy bits please) and got to work.
ooh, it was good for my soul to dedicate every single second of the day to my two rascals. As a reward (for me) they both slept??!! Success feels good.
If you want to skip school and make fish biscuits, here's the low down...
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm fish cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
For the past month or so, we've been exploring ideas surrounding organic food and it's impact on the environment. We've been eating organic and local (but i've neglected to write an update- it's coming) as much as possible and have discovered some excellent brands/produce that fit under the 'ethical eating' banner.
Last week on a drive to the Hunter Valley we went to visit Tamburlaine, Australia's largest organic wine producer. Their wines are made exclusively from organic grapes which results in flavours that clearly represent the growing area and eliminate any risk of harmful chemicals.
There is nothing stuffy or pretentious about their cellar door - it is simple, humble and focused on bringing exceptional organic wine to the public. We were greeted with warm smiles and our children were welcomed with colouring in sheets while Dave and I tasted a selection of reds. The gentleman who was looking after us informed me that their wine should stand on it's own merits, the fact that it's organic should't really some into play. And it's true, the wine is wonderful - organic or not.
But there is that huge juicy bonus of knowing that the wine we're drinking is completely free from chemicals and has been produced in a way that nurtures the local environment.
If you're interested in learning more about organic wine, the Tamburlaine website is exceptionally informative.