Friday, December 30, 2011
It also comes in Apple Pop which is a fabulous colour combination. I love it so much I'm considering buying it as well... And it also comes in blue and pink... Decisions decisions!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
First they dress me up like a candy cane....
Then they dress me up as a pudding....
Thankfully they didn't dress me up as a pavlova!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We had a fab time - lots of food (if anyone has any tips for what to do with about 6kg of leftover ham, please let me know), laughter and relaxed good times with family and friends. I think Baby G enjoyed her Christmas - she certainly got loads of presents and cuddles from everyone!
I was very blessed this year. Irrespective of the giftage, I got to spend the holiday with my parents, Mr K and Baby G: all of my favourite people! I have to say that this Christmas topped off a very good year for the Kitties. I am so thankful for all our blessings and the fact we were able to share them with our loved ones.
I hope you all had a fabulous time over the holidays. I wonder what 2012 has in store for all of us!
PS: I am not joking about the ham... It's seriously huge. And we ordered a small one! It was so large we didn't even bother cooking the turkey...
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
One of the great advantages of modern technology is that you are always online. I often find myself during the long hours of breastfeeding (Baby G really likes taking her time) browsing the internets looking for pretty things on my iphone. It's so convenient. And dangerous.
For example, last night I was sitting there, well after Mr K had gone to bed while our little dumpling finished her supper (very slowly). I'd Facebooked, I had forumed, I had answered all my emails (one handed, no mean feat)... So I drifted towards the sites I sometimes frequent - my favourite online stores.
As readers of this blog will well know, I have a very soft spot for Leona Edmiston dresses. I haven't bought many recently but this one caught my fancy - and at $95 I think it's a bit of a bargain.
Luckily I know my credit card number off by heart and within moments it was mine. The jury is still out as to whether it will look a bit too Gold Coast Granny for me, but if all else fails it will be useful for our trip to Palm Springs and Las Vegas next year.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
When it comes to Christmas trees, I have to admit I am a traditionalist. For me, it's the real deal. The smell just makes Christmas for me. So fresh. However, real trees take less ornaments than fake ones - their branches are floopier which means you can't overload the tree. A definite disadvantage.
We support our local scout troop with the purchase of our tree and the visit to select the tree is a family affair now, taking Baby G to make the crucial purchase with us. You can see she was most excited about the prospect:
But by the time we made it to the scout hall, she had abandoned her responsibilities in favour of a nap. Oh well - luckily I am a pro at picking trees and wasn't relying on her expertise.
This year I have gone minimalist - partially because out tree is a little smaller than usual (I went for shape over height) and partially because the cats have a tendency to remove ornaments from the tree so I avoided putting anything breakable on it, and fewer ornaments on the lower branches (practice for next year and a crawling baby). I started with the silver ornaments and some of our favourites and when I was done, it just looked... Well, finished. Mr K said it needed a bit of colour so I added what red baubles we had and filled the gaps with red bows. And Voila. Done.
I admit I have an awful lot of Christmas decorations going spare this year - all packed back into their boxes. But the tree is somewhat reflective of our Christmas: low fuss, minimal, focused on the important stuff. And I honestly can't think of anything better.
Faux Fuchsia luffs a fat bid and so do I. These beauties came from Country Road last year. A very good investment.
Mr K and I in felt - we need to get a Baby G to complete the set!
Do you prefer a real or fake tree at your house? What smell says Christmas to you?
Monday, December 19, 2011
I'd buy these in a heartbeat but I have nowhere whatsoever that I could wear $1000 shoes. Really. Not even I can justify that at the moment. Even if they had my size on sale at Saks I still couldn't justify buying them. Also, I do believe my feet have expanded ever so slightly during my pregnancy so it's a purchase that would definitely need to be tried on before parting with the cash...
But they are ridiculously pretty. Ahhh - so nice to look!
Friday, December 16, 2011
Being a mum is hard work. Harder work that I ever thought, despite my many Mummy friends warning me about how challenging life is in those first precious weeks. Despite the many difficulties I have encountered breastfeeding (too numerous and tedious to discuss here, including but not limited to two bouts of mastitis, recurrent nipple thrush, ongoing pain, low supply, intense guilt and a windy baby which requires me to remove vast numbers of things from my diet), the one thing I try to do every day is have my afternoon cup of tea. Despite the challenges of the day, I find it soothes and relaxes me, recharging the batteries for the witching hour and the evening ahead.
My tipple of choice at the moment is T2's French Early Grey. Intently floral and perfumed, it is a medium-bodied black tea with pretty petals and slivers of fruit that play with classic bergamot in a refined infusion. With hints of peaches, apricots and zesty citrus, it is complemented by a field of sunflowers, rose, cornflower and hibiscus.
It's a light and uplifting way to break the afternoon. For me, it's a treat in a cup and a few precious moments to myself in an otherwise chaotic and busy life. Moments I savour and revel in and I love I can share them with such a delicious brew.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Being a new mum means that lots of things have slipped for Christmas this year, the number one for me being the Christmas baking. I have made my favourite yoyos (still to be iced) but that will be it for baking I think. It's just too hard (read: impossible) to find a block of 3-4 hours that is required to bake cookies at this point. Mr K is still keen for me to bake a special type of Latvian gingerbread called Piparkukas (literal translation - pepper cookies), but we'll have to see on that one - I might trade a leave pass for a pedicure to make them...
In an attempt to still have some yummy Christmas treats for our holiday guests to indulge in, I have turned to a local producer of cookies for help. Cookie Constructions bake divine Gingerbread houses and cookies for the holiday season and cookies all year round. Roulla Yiacoumi, a freelance technology journalist who I have known for years, is the creative talent behind these divine creations. She has a background as an architectural model maker which for me is a must have when you are talking serious gingerbread houses!
Cookie Constructions uses top quality ingredients and confectionery and all of their creations are hand made here in Sydney. They support local manufacturers, with more than 90 per cent of their raw ingredients and confectionery made in Australia. They also use confectionery made in the UK, US, Germany, Spain and Holland. They do not use toothpicks, skewers, or other inedible bits to hold thei creations together: they are edible right down to the cake board!
The Christmas gingerbread houses are available in two variations: classic and surf shack and in three different sizes, perfect for everyone. I have ordered a medium classic, being a bit of a traditionalist, but I thought the surf shack looked very cute. Don't fancy gingerbread? The houses also come in chocolate cinnamon cookie!
At other times of the year, Roulla makes other creations - keep an eye on the website for seasonal treats and specialties. And at any time of year you can get a hand made cookie pram filled with cookies, a perfect gift for a hospital bound new mum!
If you are based in Sydney you can still get your hands on a house for this Christmas - orders close Friday at 5pm! Next year I might find time to bake my own creation but for this year, when time is at a premium, I am thrilled to have found a fabulous producer of quality gingerbread houses, and I can't wait to demolish ours!
Pity about the price - at 981 pounds it's a tad out of the price range at the moment. Plus it's not particularly practical for a stay at home mum who needs to take a suitcase of stuff with her every time she leaves the house...
Nevermind - a girl can dream, right?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
One such food is Artisan du Chocolat's No 1 salted caramels. There aren't words to describe how good these things really are. Originally invented in 2003 by Gerard Coleman for Gordon Ramsay’s menu at Claridges, these tasty morsels are sweet liquid caramel with a pinch of Noirmoutier island’s grey salt, captured in a bitter cocoa dusted shell of intense dark chocolate. They are so bitter, so salty, so buttery, so sweet. So Yum.
I could eat them all year round but that would mean they might lose their "specialness". So I keep them for Christmas. I may share my box, I may not. But I will enjoy every last one I eat, you can be sure of that.
Artisan du Chocolat ship to Australia using Fed Ex so there is still time to get your mitts on a box of these beauties before Christmas. Order a couple - they make brilliant hostess gifts. You won't be sorry. Plus they deduct the VAT from the cost of the item so the 13.50 pounds per box becomes 11.25. I'll take my discounts where I can get them!
And if you are particularly adventurous, they make a number of different flavours. I think the original is the best, but I was definitely tempted by the spiced fig. Very Christmasy!
Do you have a special Christmas treat you don't like to share?
Monday, December 12, 2011
But if these happened to appear in my stocking, I wouldn't be unhappy...
They are from Kailis - one of the most innovative jewellery brands out there. Kailis made the "O" pearl pendants for Oprah while she was in Australia last year. And at $5650, they are very good value I think! You can even wear the hoops by themselves - two pairs of earrings for the price of one. Bargain.
And the best thing? The earrings come with a matching pendant. Perfect for my birthday.
In reality, I think Mr K and I will talk about my Christmas present in January. We're a tad busy at the moment to organise anything, bar a few presents for G. Plus I already got everything I wanted this year. Baby G is enough of a present for any girl.
What is on your Christmas list this year? I think I'd like the Philippa Sibley book Desserts, a smile from Baby G, someone to cook dinner and some of that sleep wouldn't go astray...
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Anyone remember this onesie I just had to have from Not on the High Street?
Well, I bought it and it arrived today. The quality is insanely good. The onesie itself is made from a beautiful thick cotton and the colours are beautifully vibrant. It's a smidgey bit bigger than I thought it would be but the rate baby G is growing it should be a perfect fit at Christmas. I promise to post photos of my little Pudding after she wears it!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
This year it's all the more special, having a little person to shop for and pamper. I've tried very hard not to buy too many things for her (given she has no idea what is actually going on) but I couldn't help purchasing a few choice items...
Here is what I have bought so far:
A personalised wooden name puzzle - okay so her name isn't Olivia but you can buy a puzzle for your baby with it's name personalised. They charge by the letter (so shorter names are cheaper) and it comes with a great wooden storage box from Mooo.
A Violet rag doll from Alimrose. I first saw this doll on their Facebook page and had to have it. Eventually it was tracked down at The Hip Infant. She looks just like Baby G so of course I was thrilled!
This penguin hand puppet from ChunkiChilli at Not On The High Street. I have blogged about their rabbits before. I have to say I found it very hard to choose a toy from their selection but eventually we settled on this one.
I still need to buy her a book so if anyone has any suggestions they would be gratefully received. Especially something that can be bought online as I am allergic to the shops at the moment!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
This recent event, and the realisation that Bonds now sells directly online to customers, prompted a bit of a spending spree yesterday. It did, however, take me three goes to get everything into my shopping cart - a few interruptions like feeding hungry babies and making dinner got in the way - but eventually I made my purchases. However, given busy mums are likely to be the target demographic for the Bonds online store, I do wish they wouldn't purge your shopping cart after 20 minutes. I found myself coming back to it again and again to add things to my cart, only to discover it had all disappeared. I would think not many Mums would have the half an hour altogether required to sit and trawl through the site. But it's a small complaint for what was otherwise a fairly easy experience.
As a launch bonus, Bonds are currently offering free standard shipping on all purchases, plus 10% off each item you purchase if you like it on Facebook. Worth doing - between special offers and the "like" bonus, I saved $52 off a $220 order.
Some of my favourite things from the order:
These gorgeous cord overalls. Okay, so I know I am getting ahead of myself somewhat but a few people have told me that when she starts crawling she needs good overalls. So I bought these in the hope that they will be great quality and I can just buy more of them. The green ones are very cute too.
This cuter than cute onesie. I love the divine little birds.
This cool striped coverall. G looks fab in pink so this was a must have for me.
I also bought some practical wondersuits and nappy covers for summer. Hopefully it will start to get warmer soon so I can break them out! I can't wait til everything arrives!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
We are having Mum and Dad and Mr K's Aunt at our place for Christmas this year. It will be tres casual but lots of fun - good food, lots of presents, a real tree. All the good stuff.
Baby G has about a gazillion outfits to wear to celebrate the festivities, so in the spirit of supporting the downtrodden retail economy here in Australia, I made a purchase during the week. Something nice and new. From Blue Illusion, I think Faux Fuchsia would approve.
It's not particularly breastfeeding friendly but it is embellished and very comfy - I figure I can get a few hours wear out of it. At least. It will make a change from my regular outfit of tracksuit pants, breastfeeding top and cardigan, and I have a great pair of wedges I can wear with it. Because if you can't go all out and get dressed up at Christmas when can you?
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Every single item is designed, made or selected by a UK based independent small business, whose passion for quality, innovation and style shine through in every little detail of their products. Its the perfect place to find that special gift or present for hard to please friend or loved one.
Plum Pudding Onesie from LittleChook. Already in the shopping cart - Kaching!! She will be wearing this on Christmas morning I think...
Keep Calm onesie from Jack Spratt Baby. So cute!! Will get this a little bigger for next winter I think.
Hand knitted rabbit from ChunkiChilli. I love knitted toys for babies - they are so beautiful. This seller makes monkeys, elephants, bunnies, pigs... And a fab range of hand puppets too! So many beautiful, slightly quirky options!
I could spend hours on this site - really! It's wonderful and I anticipate many of the gifts given by moi this Christmas will be purchased here.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
As you will have noted from my most recent posts, at the moment I am all about the easy options. As much as I still love to bake, with a baby who doesn't really like to sleep much during the day you need to pick your battles carefully. Very carefully.
I still need to do the washing, eat breakfast etc. so when I do get 15 minutes to myself (somewhat of a luxury at the moment), I look for maximum impact baking options. This is one.
Unashamedly plagiarised from the brilliant Clothilde at Chocolate and Zucchini, this is a fabulous cake. Delicious, moist, tasty, and most of all, easy. Plus we have a large number of raspberry plants bearing fruit at the moment - yes, already! I can't wait for the height of summer when we will be inundated with luscious ripe fruit, bursting with flavour. Unfortunately I only had half the amount required to make this cake but that's better than nothing. And I am determined to make this cake with wholly home grown raspberries before the summer is out.
You can use the measurement device as described - Dairy Farmers does 125ml pots of plain yoghurt, or you can just use a half cup measurement like I do. Either way, it's delicious.
Gâteau au Yaourt à la Framboise
Recipe courtesy of Chocolate and Zucchini
2 tubs of plain yogurt (one tub is 125 ml, which is the French standard, which amounts to 4 oz, or half a cup)
Use one of the empty tubs to measure out :
2 tubs of soft brown sugar
1/2 tub of oil
3 tubs of sifted flour
1/2 tub ground almonds
You will also need :
1 Tbsp baking powder
a good pinch of salt
300 g raspberries (fresh or frozen -- no need to thaw them if they're frozen)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Copiously grease a 9-inch (22 cm) round cake pan and line with baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, the oil and the sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. In a medium bowl combine the flour, the baking powder, the salt, and the almonds. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three or four additions, and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
Alternatively, use your food processor to mix the batter, adding the ingredients in the same order as indicated above.
Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Cover evenly with half of the raspberries. Pour the other half of the batter, and arrange the other half of the raspberries on top.
Put into the oven to bake, for 50 to 60, until the top is springy and a cake tester comes out clean. If it looks like the top of the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil for the rest of the baking time. Let rest on the counter for at least ten minutes -- I repeat : let rest on the counter for ten minutes -- then run a knife around the cake to loosen it, and turn out on a rack to cool completely.Delicious served with King Island yoghurt or plain with a cup of tea.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
If I didn't already have this necklace, I'd be burning a hole in my credit card to get this new issue from Mimco. They are almost identical, other than the new one only has four strands of pearls rather than 5 and a different (although still vintage inspired) clasp.
Does that make it different enough for me to indulge? Hmmm... Dilemma. Tis a smidge pricey at $249 though...
Friday, November 4, 2011
Last week, Georgie had her first professional photo shoot. We were given instructions by the photographer to have her fed and settled for her arrival, which I timed to perfection.
Except Baby G didn't get the memo.
Feed - check.
Nappy change - check.
Settle - nope.
She spent all but the last half hour of the session wide awake. We tried feeding her, singing to her, sitting in the dark with her, swaddling her, rocking her, feeding her again... Nada. So we had to work with what we had. Which was a very awake, alert baby.
The photographer, Karen Coulstock, did a brilliant job in somewhat trying circumstances. I can only sing her praises - she never got flustered and kept the mood light for these increasingly frustrated parents.
And the result? Karen posted a few of the shots as a sneak peek on facebook yesterday and they are stunning. So beautiful. Baby G looks so serene, you'd never know she'd spent the morning squealing and peeing all over everything. It's amazing.
Don't be fooled by her angelic looks...
I don't need sleep...
I can't wait to see the full selection of shots!
Monday, October 31, 2011
The other day, Georgie's Grandpa (my dad) came to visit.
He lives just outside of Melbourne but came to Sydney to ride on a steam train for the weekend around country NSW (too long a story to explain properly) and will be back next week for a longer visit with the family.
In my delirious, slightly sleep deprived state (I say slightly because Georgie surprisingly loves sleeping at night so far and won't even wake for a feed) I decided to bake a cake for his visit. And a quiche, but that's a different story.
My dad is a big fan of cake. But even in my haziness I knew it had to be an easy cake. No layers, no creaming, no whisking. Big bang for buck. I might be tired but I'm not completely dumb. I know my limitations in the current marketplace.
How much easier does it get than throwing all the ingredients into the kitchen whizz, pouring the batter into the loaf pan and baking? Not much, I can tell you... I timed it and it took precisely 8 minutes from starting to putting the tin in the oven. Awesome.
The cake was absolutely delicious as well as being ridiculously easy. My dad loved it too and so did Mr K. I highly recommend you try it out - you won't be disappointed.
Orange drizzle cake
Adapted from Taste.com.au
250g unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
2 tbs (40g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (225g) icing mixture, sifted
Juice of 1/2 orange
Squeeze of lemon juice
Zest of one orange, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 11cm x 24cm loaf pan.
Chop orange (including skin) into small pieces. Discard any seeds. Process in a food processor until finely chopped. Add butter, flour, caster sugar and eggs, then process until mixture is light and smooth. Pour into pan. Bake for 40 minutes until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before icing.
Meanwhile, for the icing, melt butter and add to icing sugar, orange zest and orange and lemon juices. Stir until you have a soft icing. Cool slightly, then spread over cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.Kitty xx
Sunday, October 30, 2011
35 hours of sporadic labour. It does bad things to your hair, people.
Snuggles with Granny. It's a wonder anyone else got a look in! There is already a special bond between these two extraordinary ladies, and I see much spoiling in Baby G's future...
Snuggled in Daddy's arms. She spends lots of time there.
What's that?? There's a sale? I'll just try and make my way out of this blanket and we can go!
Baby G's first car ride. She slept the entire way home from the hospital. Awesome.
Some people might say wind - I say early smiles. You be the judge.
I don't like mittens!! But I refuse to stop scratching my face! I desperately wanted to get her in this outfit - it is almost too small for her. That'll teach me for buying 0000 sized clothing for a 9 pound baby!