One of my new years resolutions was to be a bit more organised with our grocery shopping etc and cook more good dinners for us during the week. Another of my resolutions (carried over from last year, oops) was to go through my boxes of magazines and get rid of those that I no longer need - I must de-clutter!
So this year I've been going through lots of old foodies magazines and recipes I'd ripped out of newspapers or written down on scraps of paper and get them sorted out. All the recipes have been stuck into my recipe journal and I've thrown out at least a box full of magazines so far.
This has led to the discovery of new and some long lost recipes which has been inspiring our meals lately.. over the last couple of weeks we've had Potato, goats cheese and pine nut tarts, Malaysian fish and rice salad, Salmon with beetroot risotto and horseradish cream, Char Siu lamb with caramel rice and tonight Salmon with tarragon butter and potato salad. Not to mention Nigella Lawson's chocolate choc-chip cookies or Sacher Torte.
And of course, Matilda has been baking up a storm too. Her particular specialty is water served all over the top of a high chair (one day I'll do a post without a photo of her).
Now if I could just do the same for all my house magazines.
Holidays are good.. but so is coming back home to really get stuck into a new year.
Baking, playing and even getting some craft time in.
After missing my Melbourne craft nights for way too long I've started monthly Brisbane craft nights up again. Some family and friends came over for dinner and craft last Tuesday night and we ate plently and talked plenty. A little bit of crafting got done - my cousin finished this cushion cover with some ace new fabric from ikea (think I might need to go and pick some of that up) and the rest of us.. well at least we worked out what projects we're going to be starting in time for next month's craft night. Yay for craft nights.
I have been doing some little bits and pieces of sewing myself, when I can get Matilda asleep for longer than 20 minutes, or when I am not falling asleep by 8.30 at night. A little while ago I made this pirate and a bib for a friends new tiny baby boy. The pirate was made using the pattern for Miss Buttons, just changed around a little bit and with a hat added on.
Hopefully there'll be lots more crafting in my future... I'm thinking now that Matilda is well and truly eating solid foods that she might start having a decent nap in the afternoon after lunch. Even if that means she doesn't have a nap in the morning it would be heaven to get an hour or so of uninterrupted play time for me :)
We've also come back from holidays to be spoiled by my aunty who has just returned from a holiday to the UK. Amongst lots of other goodies, Matilda was given the cutest pair of ruby slippers and my presents were in this tesco bag with lady bugs that I love (even though it's probably incredibly daggy to carry it around if you actually live in the UK).
Of course we've also been watching the horrible fires in Victoira. We used to visit some of those parts of Victoria quite often when we lived there and it's just unbelievable to think of so much destruction. I can't imagine what those families and communities are going through, we've been thinking about them all. And then also the families in north Queensland whose houses have been destroyed by the floods. So much going on... We've got a jar out at the cafe collecting people's change to donate to both of these disasters. Hard to know what else we can do.
We've been back for two weeks now, but better late then never.
We had an old school style caravan park holiday. The family have been going to the same park for about 15 years now (and it was a different one for the 10 years before that) for the entire school summer holidays, even though none of us have been in school now for quite some time. We go with a few other families and hang around mainly eating and swimming. Occassionally we do something a bit more energetic like fishing or going for a walk, but you don't want to push it.
We celebrated Australia Day with everyone else in the park.. Australian flags, scones cooked in a camp oven and lamingtons.
Matilda took her first boat trip up the Broadwater and we found a little spot on South Stradbroke Island for a little picnic and a swim. The wind picked up and it got a bit rough as we headed home and I was a bit worried about how Mats would cope with it, but she actually fell asleep! She's a bit random at times :)
It's so nice to some time just hanging out all toghether and not having to worry about being somewhere or getting any work done. Ready to head back down to the coast for another holiday really.
I read this book while we were down at the beach. The Partisan's Daughter was boring me to tears (I really don't care what happens to the people in that book) and I had nothing else to read... but one of our friends had this book and handed it over for me to read. The catch was that I had to get it read in 2 days because they were heading back home and had promised to lend the book to someone else. Reading this book in 2 days was no problem at all, it's amazing.
I knew the basic history of Afganistan and the background to the Taliban etc but this book made me so sad and angry about all of it. And I don't think I had really realised previously that the Taliban came into power until 1996. 1996! Such a sad situation and such a sad story in this book. It's so interesting though and a great read. Now I'll have to go find the Kite Runner because I haven't read that yet either. Read this.