Do You Know About Yacon Syrup?

I’m always up for sharing new products I’ve found to help you out in the some-what confusing world of “clean eating”. Being big on not using refined sugar, I had to share this post with you. And if you’re trying to lose weight healthily, definitely keep reading!
Once upon a time, far far away (well, from me) in the Andes Mountains, there was a plant called the yacon plant. The indigenous people of Peru ate this plant for it’s nutritional benefits which include low calories and low sugar… in fact they even used it as a diabetic treatment and preventative. Not to mention it also acted as a pre-biotic which helps the intestines to function their best, while eliminating any toxins from your system. Many moons later, the whole world is lucky enough to know about this beautiful plant and it’s powers… and now we can all enjoy yacon syrup (I never claimed to be good a good story teller!).

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According to Wiki, a study in 2002 showed yacon syrup was determined to be a better antioxidant than enzyme solutions of potato, mushroom, and eggplant. In fact, another study also showed that daily intake of yacon syrup produces a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and BMI when it was given to to a study of obese women.
Sounds pretty good right? Toss the white grainy devil and use this natural sweetener instead while losing weight? Impressive.
But yacon syrup is relatively new to me. I’d read about it a long time ago and thought it may be similar to molasses which I’m not a fan of. And while it is treacle-like, it tastes way better than molasses and performs much better too! Recently I’ve had a bottle of it in my hot little hands and have been so excited to share with you how much I love it! 
I had lots of recipes I was going to try using yacon syrup in. But I haven been so busy and miss O is cutting a molar (where’s the rum? For both of us! I joke..) and I’m just too tired. So apart from stirring some yacon in my berry chia jam (in place of coconut sugar) I thought I’d try a pre-made recipe using the yacon. By the way, it worked perfectly in the jam 😉

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So today for lunch I tried this recipe (pictured above) from The Holistic Ingredient which uses yacon syrup and by golly it was good. I found the yacon syrup to be thick and sweet, but not over-powering. It’s hard to describe it’s flavour. But mix it into a smoothie or your desserts and you wouldn’t be able to pick the flavour of it out. 
(And psst, while we’re talking about The Holistic Ingredient, I really recommend her eBook “A Nourishing Kitchen” which you can purchase by clicking the picture of it to the right in my sidebar.)
I look forward to trying more recipes with yacon syrup which I’ll no doubt share on here.
You can purchase yacon syrup from here (delivery was super quick!).
To find out more information about yacon syrup click here
This was a sponsored post for Q Yacon.

Have you heard about this syrup? Do you like it?

Style Your Party – A Guide to Kid’s Parties!


I wish birthdays came around more than once a year. Or that it was acceptable to celebrate every 3 or 6 months of being alive. Especially now that I have a kid, because party planning is so much fun. The decorations, choosing colours and patterns or if you’re a hardcore party planner, a theme (much respect to you!).

Here’s a little secret to make your party planning easier: find a one-stop shop. And preferably, online because then you can sit and click without little people running up isles, and if you really want you could click away with a wine in hand (or a green juice, depends how you’re day has gone right?).
Little Boo-Teek is the perfect online store for everything kids (and a little something for mum too). It fits my one-stop shop rule and they also have a Style My Party range which I can’t get enough of. Check out some of the party decorations….
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I’m also loving this grass table mat which is not even $12! It kind of has a like a Alice in Wonderland feel to it. Imagine a bunch of little people sitting down to eat with this in front of them? Olivia would find it magical. Maybe it’ll get her eating more, god knows I need a new trick up my sleeve…
How about these colourful pom-poms (which I’m going to string up along my bedhead). LOVE these!

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I’d never seen this before but it’s such an awesome idea. A giant balloon filled with confetti. I would suggest having these outside though, or at least con the kids into helping clean the confetti up! No party is complete without balloons right? These would be cool at a wedding too.

And if you are a theme person, you could get some help with this kit (pictured at top of post), which includes, invitations, lolly bags, straws, stickers and more.

There’s a whole range of party ideas and products in the Style My Party range, so do what I did and bookmark it 🙂

Little Boo-Teek are also celebrating their 2nd birthday so there’s even more excuse to pop over and grab a bargain. Onto it, people, onto it! Check them out here or like their Facebook page here.
Do you find party planning stressful? Have you ever done a themed kids party?

This was a sponsored post for Little Boo-Teek.

Stormy Mother Nature

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Can we please take a moment to appreciate Mother Nature in all her glory? We often love her when she produces sunny bright days and curse her when it rains or floods… But the show she put on yesterday afternoon in Sydney was spectacular! 

Up here in the (lower) Blue Mountains it bucketed down and we had a beautiful lightening show with some very loud claps of thunder. Olivia was outside during the last storm of the afternoon and wasn’t one bit frightened of the thunder! She just looked up into the sky with wonder. 
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Our house is one of the highest ones on the street, our back deck is perched just high enough to see the city buildings faaaaar off in the distance. I envy next door more, because they had trees cut down and can now sit in their outdoor spa with a glass of wine and enjoy those city views. I’m talking TEENY TINY buildings about 70 kilometers away, way out on the horizon by the way 😉
I stood in the kitchen preparing dinner and watched the dark clouds roll in and drop over the escarpment, where the Blue Mountains drops away into the Nepean basin and then it kept on rolling out into the city. It was beautiful!

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Please note, images are not mine.

Taking Stock of February


Making: a scrapbook for Olivia. Should of started 16 months earlier… 1000’s of photos… send help!
Cooking: some new recipes from the 12WBT program.
Drinking: water. If I have bottles made up in the fridge I find I have no excuse 😉
Reading: Tori Spelling’s latest book. I’m a sucker for celebrity auto-biographies. 
Wanting: the pieces I listed in this post. Slowly saving…
Looking: clearer skin lately. Lay off the gluten and dairy again it happens within days.
Playing: with my girl any chance I get, it’s so much more fun at this age, it’s not just me dangling a toy in front of her face making stupid noises haha!
Deciding: what tactic to try for our 3 hour car trip tomorrow – leave when she wakes or leave when she is due for a nap and pray she naps in the car…
Wishing: for sunny days while we are up the coast.
Enjoying: life.
Waiting: for winter. I’m ready to snuggle and dress O in cute cardis.
Liking: colour,
Loving: nap time with the babe.
Pondering: the things I’m good at.
Considering: shorter hair.
Watching: Hoopla Doopla! Awesome kids show.
Hoping: for sunny weather up the coast.

Needing: sleep!
Smelling: an agave scented candle.
Wearing: Havi hongs til they break! Just got 2 new pairs delivered, phew.
Following: a couple of new “outback” bloggers.
Noticing: that teenagers don’t have any bloody manners these days.
Knowing: that my kid certainly will!
Thinking: money money money. What you think and feel will manifest.
Feeling: tired, lonely and in need of a break for most of Feb.
Sorting: through 8 bags of hand-me-down clothes for O from a lovely friend.
Buying: more Instagram prints!
Getting: impatient for the beach…
Bookmarking: gems/crystals on Etsy
Disliking: elderly people on the road. they probably shake their fists at us young’uns driving but I only ask to do the speed limit – I have a screaming child in the back!
Opening: more Instagram prints lol I love stalking the mailbox every day for them.
Giggling: at Olivia’s babble talk. I thinks she thinks she is really having a conversation with me lately!

You can view January’s list here.

Top 5 Current Lusts

It’s Wednesday today… also known as HUMP DAY. And boy am I struggling to get over the hump today.
Let’s be materialistic for a moment and look at pretty things I want to buy. That’ll cheer me up!

1. A ladder unit from Jumbled. Actually, I want everything from Jumbled. I love the mint colour and if I didn’t have a child with greasy little fingers that would pull everything off this, it would already be in my house. Actually, I can see Olivia sitting in this herself. Much like a cat would. I think it could make a great bathroom shelving unit too, while adding a bit of colour.

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2. The BRIMNES bedhead. It’s ingenious… bookcase bedheads are nothing new. But bookcase bedheads that still let you lean against it are. I’ve been crushing on it (and the storage bed base in the same range) for over 2 years now. The top of it is flat but with a lip so nothing will fall on your head, and it has a hole in it to feed through the cord for your lamp. I just love it!
If only they made it in King size…

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3. Bohemian. Bohemian homewares in particular. I’ve always associated the hippy, bohemian style with the smell of incense and that is something I don’t want my house to be like. Taking in the fact that the Hubby likes white, black, and modern designs, and hasn’t had a taste change in styling like I have, I’ve learnt to use some key pieces of bohemian homewares to stand out in my home without looking like a hippie from the 1970’s threw up in our lounge room. A medium sized rug under the coffee table, a dream catcher in the kid’s room etc. And this photo frame – it’s a little Indian, a little pre-school colourful but very me right now. Need. Want. Please?
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4. This bracelet. Technically I just bought this but I’m still going to list it. It’s so pretty. I’ve been getting into accessories and jewelry lately, something I’ve not been too interested in before. I was never a girly type, never cared for jewelry – I was always outside getting sweaty and dirty or riding horses. Oh motherhood, how you’ve changed me! I’m also loving Louun. I want lots of their rings, so dainty and fine. I’m half Italian so chunky jewelry just enhances the wog in me, especially if it’s gold. That’s why I made sure the Hubby got me a white gold engagement and wedding ring 😉 This bracelet is borderline, but something about it has captured my eye. I posted it on my Instagram asking for opinions and it was a divided response. Too bad, I now own one!
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5. Top Deck. Because this Hump Day sucks. Chocolate fixes everything, right?

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Top 5 Bad Times Of 2013

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A lot of people have said 2013 was a shit year for them. Bad luck, failed relationships, dead-end jobs and whatever else that could go wrong apparently did. It made me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone. Because my god 2013 sucked for me. I’ve had some doozy years in the past (particularly 2006, 2007 and 2008) and 2013 doesn’t compare, but it still ranks pretty high in the shit-year stakes.

Not being one to focus on the negatives in my day-to-day life, this feels weird to list my bad luck, but here are my top 5 bad times of 2013:

5. My marriage struggled. Why isn’t this at #1 you ask?! Because, deep down I knew we’d be okay. But we had days where we were scared of where our marriage was heading. We had a lot going on this year, it really tested our marriage and friendship but in fact I can say it’s brought us closer together. My husband is my Partner In Crime, man.

4. We struggled financially. Hard. My FIL sacked my husband when our baby was born and we were on our own, starting a new company from scratch. But hey, we’re still here with a roof over our heads and marching on. But fuck it was hard times (and still is).

3. I was really unwell with post-partum hyperthyroidism at the start of the year. It affected me in ways I couldn’t even begin to describe to you. Once I got the diagnoses, I started homeopathic treatment and my levels quickly evened out.

2. We were blessed with a baby who didn’t sleep unless being walked in the pram. This equated to HOURS of exercise a day for me, and with the hyperthyroidism also on the scene it really took it’s toll (read: I headed for a breakdown). It was HELL. Apart from feeling resentment to my husband, and anger, anxiety and depression from sleep deprivation, I was a zombie for a good 6 months and barely have memory of my baby’s newborn life. We ended up going to sleep school (something I regret) but even they couldn’t help. Little Olivia just doesn’t like to sleep. And she still doesn’t.

And behold, the numero uno pitfall of 2013…..

1. We went through two bushfires. The latest bushfire on October 17th tore through my tiny town, trapping Olivia and I in it’s path. It was a terrifying expierience, and we honestly feared for our lives (which were really at threat). 200 homes were lost including many on my own street and the house behind me. We lost one of our sheds and had bits and pieces of property damage. We’re about to enter 2014 and it’s still having a daily impact on our town and ourselves (repairing, rebuild, clean up etc). We came off a lot better than so many people I know and I count my blessings and do what I can to help them but the lasting impact of a bushfire goes on for a long time. The silver lining is it’s brought our tiny community much closer together.

Some other craptastic moments to note? Many issues with the in-laws, and losing (but also finding!) a lot of friends. It was my sickest year yet – about 4 times in the space of 3 months. We didn’t celebrate Christmas (gasp). There was one more shitty piece of life that had to get thrown at me before the year is out. On Saturday we were happily driving along to the public pools to take Olivia for a swim at 8:30 in the morning and I get pulled over for the first time ever. Apparently I was driving unregistered for 3 weeks despite going into the RTA to register my car earlier in the month. I was given a $600 fine but I’ll eat my hat if I’ll be paying it! It was one of those moments where I had to laugh  (afterwards.. I was pissed off at the time!). It was just so fitting! One last piece of bad luck before the year was out. I should of known!
I blame the fire for a lot… Emotionally it took it’s toll on me. It also manifested in a physical way (stress, anxiety, illness, pain etc). I feel like I’ve healed a lot lately though. But it really showed how psychological stress can present into physical stress. We are amazing beings.
There is theory that 2013 was destined to be a bad luck year because of the number 13 in it. A quick Google of the meaning of 14 has shown that the coming year will supposedly bring passion, conflict and is associated with the constructed use of freedom. What does that even mean?!
You want to know what I think 2014 is going to bring? Whatever you want it to bring.
I’m excited about the new year. I don’t make resolutions. I do, though, set clear intentions of what I want for/from the new year. I read many predictions on my horoscope for the new year and every bloody website said the same thing – another shit year. I refuse to believe it. So here is what I’m making 2014:
A calmer, more positive me. Belief in myself and my dreams. Reaching my goals, working my ass off for what I want. Supporting the husband in all his ventures. Possibly a relocation. Plenty of good health. Laughter and love. House renovations. An abundance of money, paying off debt, becoming financially comfortable again. Blogging regularly. Blogging BIG! My homewares business becoming very successful. Precious time with my daughter. A love-filled marriage. New friends. New memories.
Lots and lots of manifesting on my dreams. 
How was 2013 for you? 
What intentions are you setting for 2014?

Guess Who’s Back

Exactly one month since I last posted. I could write a whole paragraph about why I’ve been absent… busy, lazy, overwhelmed  etc. But it won’t change anything. You might not even believe me. On with the show, I say.
What’s been happening around my neck of the woods? Business, family, home. That’s what.
I’ve been throwing my all into my homewares store (link now on the menu bar) and manifesting big dreams on it. Okay, small dreams (I can barely cope with preparing dinner, I don’t need big dreams just yet). Lots of pretty stock has arrived for 2014 and the hardest part is reminding myself that keeping one of everything for myself won’t make money.
Since opening the store and shopping for products to sell, I’ve realized how much my taste has changed in the past year or so. If you asked me 3 years ago what I liked I’d say modern, sleek, black and white. Minimalstic. Clinical, almost. Now I’d say my style is bohemian, retro and lots of colour…. based on a modern slate 😉 Ever evolving, huh?
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I’ve been in a state of purging lately. At home, I mean. I’m sick of the junk, the toys, the random shit we don’t even use or need. Hubby and I are still on the purging mission, currently working on the big shed we have out back. It feels good. It feels cleansing. It’ll be a nice way to start 2014 – fresh and prepared.
I had a weird hiatus from the kitchen, opting for bought snacks (read: unhealthy) and quick easy dinners, usually from packets or frozen. I’ve been getting back in there lately though. I made a pretty nice green smoothie with spinach, blueberries, maca powder, a bit of agave, black sesame seeds and coconut water. The veggies have been growing like crazy too. Capsicum, hairloom tomatoes, cucumbers the size of your arm (seriously), and plenty of corn, lettuce and rocket. Love being self-sufficient!
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Night-weaning commenced last Saturday night. Olivia feeds to sleep with warm mumma milkies and has since she was 6 months old. On this long awaited night (you can only imagine!) she suddenly grabbed a dummy from the counter and laid in my arms and sucked it to sleep. She’s never taken a dummy, even as a newborn. Overnight I rocked her back to sleep instead of letting her feed. She didn’t ask for it once. Night two went the same way but with more effort to go back to sleep and a few tears overnight. Night three was better than night two but still worse than night one. Night four she had a rough time to fall asleep, many tears and screams but still, she didn’t feed to sleep. But overnight she became inconsolable and sleep deprivation was getting the better of me so she fed two or three times. Night five, last night, was horrible. For more than 2 hours she was pretty much hysterical, in my arms. In the end I fed her to sleep and let her feed overnight when she stirred. I felt shitty. We’d gone backwards. I caved. It had failed. Yadda yadda.Wrong. 8 months of feeding to sleep doesn’t get undone in 5 nights. Give the kid a break. Try again tomorrow night. Play it by ear. Day by day…
I do dream of the day we can have a bed on a frame again (as opposed to on the floor like currently) and be free to roll into any position I want. It’ll come, right?
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This blog has big plans for 2014. I have big plans for this blog in 2014 😉 2014 in general will be big. I feel it in me waters! You better keep an eye on it. And please leave me a comment. Show me some love?

Also, what do you think of the new look? I’m loving it sick.

Those Days

Healthy smoothie totally cancels the junk out. Right..?
It’s one of those days. I knew it would be at around 5am, when Olivia was stirring too much to re-settle back to sleep. She ended up properly waking at 5:30am and I have only myself to blame – I jinxed her. Last night at yoga I was telling the girls how Olivia has been waking around 6:30/7am which is considered a sleep in in this house. Since birth she has woken around 5am, with 5:30am being a sleep in! The last 2 or so weeks have been wonderful, getting up later, eating later, doing one good nap during the day etc. And I was proudly telling my girlfriends and the very next morning she wakes early. My fault.
I wouldn’t mind so much, if she wasn’t so bloody grumpy. 
So this morning I did a trip to the shops to post my parcel for the FMS Gift Exchange and picked up a block of Cadbury, half price. Fine, two blocks. Don’t judge me. I’m on struggle street today. For your information I’m yet to crack into them… I’m too busy inhaling the Cheezels pictured above. The shame!
I know I’m not the only one who uses food as comfort. Yet I still beat myself up for it.
It’s the one thing I’ve struggled with since changing our “diet”. We eat a mainly vegan and gluten free diet, and really try to eat no refined sugar. I make everything from scratch, from our morning cereal to our snacks, dinners and even our drinks. But when I’m emotional/tired/angry/struggling those foods don’t cut it. I really need to find an alternative! 
So much to do today. Cereal and jam to make, washing to hang out (yep, at midday) and a toilet to clean. But I think I might go nap with O!

Bad Blogger

I’ve been a bad blogger.

I haven’t written in awhile. I haven’t posted photos. I haven’t shared new recipes.
I’m feeling a bit stuck. Not necessarily writers block. I have plenty I want to carry on about! But I feel like I’m still finding my niche here. 
I’ve been blogging since 2002. That’s 13 long years. Sure I was a teenager when I started and I’m fairly certain no one wants to dig those posts up (teenage angst, what a riveting read that would be!) but still, I’ve been around awhile. A blogging veteran perhaps? Yet I feel like a blogging virgin. 
For starters, this is a whole new platform I’m using. Where I used to blog is going down the shitter. There, I blogged about more personal things and rambled about daily happenings. Here, I’m still trying to find my spot. I feel like a dog that goes round and round in circles before it finally finds it’s spot to sit down and snuggle in for the night. I’m that dog, still going in circles… and god damn it I want to SIT!
I just don’t feel comfortable here yet. But I also love it at the same time. I feel like I’m holding back a bit here, compared to my old blog. Perhaps because my parents know this blog address, hah!
I don’t have my usual old audience to write for. I barely get any comments, yet my blog stats are in the thousands of visitors.
Even my blog design… it still doesn’t feel right. 
I’m just not comfortable yet.
But please stick with me. I’m trying to stop circling and plonk my butt down and settle in like my bad dog analogy above. 

A Very Long Update

I’ve neglected my blog, yet again. But wait! This time my reasons are valid. Nope, not laziness, not writers block… none of that. Life has been upside down for me recently. Let me tell you why. A fire tore through my tiny town on October 17, a date I’ll never forget. 202 homes were destroyed with many more damaged. With less than 70 houses on my street, about 10 were destroyed. We must have angels looking out for us because our house is still standing, despite our yard, fences, and back shed being destroyed. The house behind us was lost, with 6 across the road gone and a further 3 on the other side gone.

It was down to luck, to chance… and the hard work of 2 male neighbours who stayed in the fire to save our houses. The other 5 streets in my town were all hit too, with people I know personally losing everything, including their home, cars, possessions and even their horses. It’s been a really devastating event. 

Unfortunately O and I were home when the fires hit. And it wasn’t your typical fire where you have 3 days to prepare and evacuate, with the fire fighters on the ground and in the air combating it. It was a freak fire storm, sparked by fallen power lines some 10 km/s away. It was 33C and winds were about 70km/h. I saw the smoke coming up where the fire started and within 30 minutes it was on my street. Where I live has only one road in and out, and is surrounded by gullys and ridges of thick bushland. That one road was engulfed in flames, so our exit was blocked. I started by sheltering in a house with a bunch of neighbours (and even non-locals), where we filled up bath tubs and got ready for the fire. We lost power and water and the bath wasn’t even half full by the time we decided to drive to the lookout, the furtherst north point in town. A month or so ago a fire had come from that direction, and we evacuted with about 3 hours notice. Itr never reached the houses  or main part of my tiny town, and the fire fighters decided to do a bit of a backburn. And thank god they did as it was now our safe zone, being previously burnt. 
It’s a tiny cliff edge, with a table and bench seat, on dirt and rock. 52 of us were down there, and a helicopter circled above us as the fire got closer and closer. We saw thick black clouds and plumes of smoke and heard a lot of explosions (we have a mushroom farm and a big garden nursery down here). We never once heard sirens – of course with the road blocked it meant no one could get in to save us or our houses. 
A fire truck did make it through, driving through smoke and flames. It was the only truck, with 4 men inside, to make it down for 2.5 hours. The moved 52 of us to a nearby acreage property that was fairly cleared. A friend and her baby and O and myself sat in that fire truck for over an hour before we went into the house with everyone else. We had to wet towels and put them on our faces and over our babies… which was impossible with O! The smoke was thick and burning my nose, eyes and throat. Flames were all around the house, with only 4 men outside saving the house (and us inside). 
It was over 5 hours until I was able to take O and myself to the arms of my husband and safety. It was the longest evening of my life. It started at 2pm and ended after 8pm. It was the scariest moment I have ever been through and I have never been more fearful for our lives as I was then. We are extremely lucky and blessed to not only have a home to go to but to even have our precious lives. 
The fire moved so quickly. It really was a freak fire storm. The bush had at least 10 years of growth since the last fire, plenty of fuel…
It threw me off for quite a while after. We stayed with my parents as we couldn’t return home without power, water or gas. Having help with O was wonderful because I’ve felt quite traumatized by what we went through that day. I’m slowly processing it all and feeling so grateful to have my family and home still.
In true Gen Y fashion I managed to take a few photos during the ordeal.
My token “panic” shot as I ran from my house.

The smoke was horribly thick.

Sitting in the fire truck, I see the fire race up the gully behind our “safe house”.

There were a couple other fires happening at the same time in my region and one was on Mum and Dad’s street, while we were staying there. It was a doozy and it was very lucky the wind was pushing it the other direction because it’s been 20 years since the bush in their valley has been alight. I was home alone with O again and had to pack the car in case of evacuating. 

Fire at my parent’s house.

There were 6 of these working on the fire at my parent’s.

What else has been happening? A few weeks ago we knocked down our beast of a water tank. Words to describe this eyesore are “massive” “concrete” and “ugly”. It took half a day and the base is still yet to be jack-hammered up. My clothes line will go where this once stood, and we will be re-turfing the yard, and taking the path up too. Eventually, we hope to do an extension on the back half of the house so I’ll have to relocate the clothes line yet again, but for now it’s given the backyard more space both physically and to the eye. We also scored a free trampoline from our neighbours next door. O is only 13 months but she squeals with delight on it, bouncing and flopping everywhere.
O and I, before the might tank was demolished.
The view from O’s room is actually a “view” now.

My garden is going great guns. I’ve been harvesting lots of spinach and lettuce. My strawberries have turned red within one day, it’s all pretty exciting. I feel really old that gardening gives me such pride and excitement  But there’s nothing like eating something that you picked from your own veggie patch! I think the ash has done wonders for the veggies actually.

O is growing up quick. As soon as she turned one, she started doing 100 new things a day. Well so it seems. Still not saying many words. I think she prefers to squeal and scream. It doesn’t help that I do it back to her. She has started giving her dolly and teddys drinks and food, and walks around with a toy phone to her ear saying “EH!” and “DA!” Of course I have to hold one to my ear too and god forbid if I put it down. She is hilarious. She makes me laugh every day! She also makes me pull my hair out but that’s okay

Three of my favourite things – yoga, reading and O.