Wednesday, November 30, 2011

on baby books

To continue on with the birthing topic this week, I thought I would share with you a list of the books I had found most helpful during the course of pregnancy and during that first year. I do think that on the topic of birth you can never be too informed. It is a special time and one not entirely in our control. 

After two natural, straight forward, but incredibly painful births, I wanted to aim for something different with the third. Reading helped me to change my mindset which in turn did give me the outcome I was hoping for.  Here are my favourite titles. Of course, I did not always agree with absolutely everything written, as I think all writing is best taken with a grain of salt. I believe that you take the information that is useful to you, your baby, partner and your instincts.

Active Birth - This classic explains why upright birthing is so much better for the birthing process than lying on a bed. Details of positions and exercises to practice.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - I honestly thought this was a bit "out there" at first, but this book really changed my whole outlook on the process.
Very highly recommended.

The Natural Way series - (scroll down the link page )babies, pregnancy birth - Great reading for a natural approach and an Australian perspective.

Birth Right - written by an Australian midwife, I picked this up at a discounted shop, but it was really well written and informative.

Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering (not pictured)  - though I borrowed this one from the library, this one was also very informative. 

The Happiest Baby on the Block - Practical and revealing on the topic of newborns, colic and adjusting to the outside world.

The Baby Book - Big on attachment parenting and covering a wide range of topics on babies first two years. A great reference on the developmental stages.

What were/are your favourite titles?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the no party birthday party

My favourite way to celebrate a birthday is to keep it a simple little affair. Just the five of us. A cake was whipped up that day, complete with a quick icing and five minute, old golden book mini bunting. (I used this recipe, doubled, substituting a little of the butter with coconut oil)  A few cards, a crown from the kids and a simple present was all that was really needed.  Though, to be honest, it does go a little over their head at this age. Older brother and sister certainly enjoyed the little party though. And one day, I expect Miss Violet will very much enjoy looking over her birthday photos.

Thank you to all those lovely birthday wishes yesterday. You really made our day!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Violet Jean - born one year ago today. Who can believe the year with our youngest little member of the family, has flown by so quickly?

While the bump was still smallish - around the 6 month mark

A (mainly) calm and drug-free four hour labour with midwives and Daniel, whilst the kid's slept in the next room.  It was 4:40 in the morning. A beautiful and healthy 7 pound 14 girl, which we already knew. It rained that morning and continued to rain all week, which was soothing and restful during those first few days. We enjoyed a few days in hospital as the only mother and baby in the ward. I was worried that I would forget all the baby skills.. it had been so long. But somehow it all came back so quickly.

I still can't quite believe it's been a year. Happy first birthday Violet!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

christmas links

our tree - 2009
How quickly is christmas creeping up on us this year? Here are a few of my favourite tutorials for this christmas.
  • Dreaming of snow this christmas? For us southern dwellers this or this may be the closest we'll get.
  • This christmas cake is on my to do list very soon. I've never "fed" a cake with brandy before.
  • A felty christmas tree decoaration.
  • Christmas tree bunting. A great way to use up those scraps and it doesn't have to be christmas colours either. Linen or whatever goes with your usual colour scheme would be very nice.
  • Variations of these hearts would make a sweet addition to the tree.

Friday, November 25, 2011

sewing space

The sewing corner is almost complete. You can see it's progress here. The gold frame is going to used eleshere in the house as I found the larger corkboard more practical for the space. A spray of black paint and some vintage sheet prettied up the corkboard. Suitcases hold some of the fabric collection. Next on the list is a sewing machine cover.  And curtains. But I never say finished because needs and tastes can change and I always feel that the home is a work in progress. But it is nice to have a pleasant, functional little space.

Hope you are having a lovely Friday!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

disaster pasta

Pasta and I go way back. Way back into the world of an Aussie meat and three veg family. Even back then I was always asking for pasta. I was like the food black sheep of the family. I was intrigued by Italian cooking and longed to learn how to make it. Back then  Mum's meaty spaghetti bolognese or pasta with a cream of chicken soup sauce were the order of the day. And certainly dishes that I looked forward to. To this day Mum's spaghetti is pure comfort food.

As a teenager I began to experiment with torn out magazine recipes and soon built a small repertoire of pasta dishes. Not so long after I met Daniel ( I was 19 and he was just 17) I invited him over for a home cooked meal. Daniel is second generation Italian, which strangely didn't sink in until I was halfway through the bolognese sauce. Was I crazy cooking pasta for an Italian? I must have been, but there was no backing down at that stage. So nervously the pasta was served and I was relieved that he  did seem to like it.  To this day he says it was just like his Mum's bolognese sauce. They do the say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

So with time, I was introduced to many more traditional pasta dishes from my mother-in-law. But I don't use a recipe very often these days, preferring to go with what I have and flavouring with fresh herbs, sometime fried vegetables. Sometimes a bit of cream. Sometimes a handful of feta cheese.

Last week I had a disaster of a pasta dish. Though not entirely my fault, but almost. Daniel had accidentally added the fried mushrooms and garlic to the boiling pasta which resulted in most of the flavour being poured down the drain with the boiled water. He was only trying to help!

So as you can guess we had quite a lot of this pasta leftover. Not to be wasteful, the next night pasta bake was on the menu.

I simply added about 8 or so eggs with a cup of cream and a little sea salt

 Mixed into the pasta with a few handfuls of vegetables. I added grated carrot, purple carrot and corn

Topped with grated cheese

Baked at 200 degrees until golden on top.

Best eaten al fresco. Bad and sugary alcoholic beverage optional.

Are you a pasta person?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

goings on

Whew. That was the sound of me breathing a sigh of relief. For my internet is back to normal which tends to make my day just that bit easier.  I am a creature of habit and internet woes feel quite unsettling for me.  I foresee a day of catching up with emails and perhaps catching up with a little blog between all that housework, school run and chasing after that crawling baby of course.

  1. A simple sewing project in the works.
  2. Feeding the new compost pile.
  3. Iced Ginger. The newest rose for my cut garden.
  4. Tuna pasta.
  5. Cut flowers from my in-laws garden.
  6. Seed planting.
  7. More christmas baubles using fabric from the vintage sheet swap.
  8. kitchen.
  9. Violet.
  10. Leftover egg whites = pavlova. Perhaps a little too decadent for an after school snack.

Thank you for your lovely comments and visits yesterday for my Flower Press interview.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

show & tell

I am not terribly happy with my ISP right now. My computer has slowed to dial up speed for the past few days which should  be rectified tomorrow. Hopefully. So I have been unable to read my usual blogs properly or leave comments. Emails have also been neglected and posting has become very time consuming. I am hoping to catch up with it all later in the week.

In much better news I am over at the lovely Flower Press blog today for a Show & Tell interview. See you over there!

Monday, November 21, 2011

wandering drive

Another Sunday, another drive. Though we did get a little ahead of ourselves. Perhaps a quick drive into our neighbouring mountains with a sleeping baby and no map was not such a good thing. Because sleeping babies do wake up eventually and sometimes are very grumpy to find themselves still in the car. No map can lead you far, far into the mountains with no real idea of where you are really heading.

Eventually we came to a risky river crossing with mossy, slippery rocks and a soft sandy bottom. Luckily we had the sense to turn around despite the belief that home was just over the next mountain.  Which for now remains a mystery. So we returned home, most of the day gone, but with a mixed feeling of adventure, tiredness and relief to be home.

How was your weekend?