Pinterest Friday: Big Berry Room #1

18 Oct

Hey folks! Bit of a cheeky way to let the cat out of the bag, but we’ve moved house. More on that later. In major troubleshooting mode, but these things tend to cascade until I’m formulating colour schemes while feeding a baby at 4am. Issue number one is new curtains for the girls’ rooms (note, that’s rooms, plural). Which means a whole redecorating avalanche. With huge props to Mandi from Vintage Revivals, whose colour scheme I’ve basically stolen, here’s what we’re lookin’ at:

Citrus Spectrum Little Girls Room Palette[3]

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All this and more poppet-worthy pretties here

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Kaffeeklatsch: Meadow

9 Oct

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So, the lastest episode of “I rememeber when this used to be blah blah before they changed it and made it shit”. EXCEPT! This time it’s actually been made bloody marvellous. Prince Alfred Pool used to be a dive, and not in that springboard kinda way. I spent many a hungover Sunday sucking on a Frosty Fruit and soaking up some sunshine, semi-catatonic by the poolside when it was my local. However while I’m feeling quite worse for wear in the way only parenthood can manage, the pool has been reinvorgorated in a major way, and there’s a rocking little cafe attached called, sweetly, Meadow.

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They have all the yummies a girl could ask for including brioche french toast with coconut ice cream. Yes indeedy that’s ice cream for breakfast thankyouverymuch.IMG_9802

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What you really want to know about Meadow, is that while sipping your trendy acai smoothie out of a mason jar (yawn), you overlook this baby:

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It’s a perfect little playground within yelling distance and it makes socialising with kids not death. These two connoisseurs gave it the thumbs up…

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Since it’s connected to the pool, it’s open proper early, plus rumour has it there’s free entry to the pool for the next little while. Get your skates on. Frosty Fruits not included…

Meadow
P
rince Alfred Park
Chalmers St Surry Hills

Holiday

30 Aug

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So after that fairly miserable post, something happy: holiday snaps. We played with butterflies, cuddled crocs, made enough sandcastles to populate an empire and just chilled out (while we weren’t feeding/settling/dressing/bathing/cursing/cleaning small people).

Palm Cove is kid heaven.

The Sleep Post

27 Aug

It had to come eventually, didn’t it?

So the Little Berry turns six months old this week. It seems she is a bit of a shit sleeper. Or, that her sleeping habits make me feel like shit. It’s the way our culture works, right? Good babies sleep like the dead. Bad babies are the ones that continue to call for you at night, to drag on your breast, arch their backs, to wail at an ungodly frequency. But we pretend (is it pretend?) that we love the closeness. The intimacy of those moments in the deep dark, just you and your baby. But it’s not intimate. It’s exhausting and messy and wet and heavy and did I mention exhausting. But the alternative is just admitting you hate it. Which just makes you feel more miserable. And the next step after that is that you have to ‘change’.

“Just stop feeding at night. She’s old enough to go six or seven hours without a feed,” says the sleep expert.

Except the sleep expert doesn’t hear that wail. After six months of crappy, interrupted sleep, it’s simply unfathomable to let that cry go on when it rings out in the dead of night, inches from my head. My bed feels poisoned by that cry. I can’t make love to my husband in that bed. It is a place for crying and feeding and wet nappies and scrambling for lights (but not too much light, shit, wrong button, shit, shit).

No, I am wired to respond and so it feels, that like a puppet on a string I rise to vainly pat and shoosh against the flood of angry sobs before giving in and again, feeding, with the quiet monologue still playing “just change it, ” as I have a little cry, quietly because maybe after this she’ll sleep.

Every time, it feels like giving in. Although it isn’t supposed to, is it? Aren’t I just responding the needs of my baby? Isn’t this a good thing? Schedules and routines are a Western construct! Babies have such tiny tummies, they need to feed at night! The thought flutters by, that surely the tummy is in proportion to the rest of the body? It’s not like the tiny tummy has to hold food for a giant?

In my twenties, girlfriends clocked insane hours at their top tier law firms and merchant banks. The lack of sleep was part of the glamour. But there ain’t no five figure bonuses in this job. Just a feeling of being sleepless, a failure and alone.

Confessions

22 Jul

This post originally appeared on the fabulous KIDsize Living

My daughter received her first birthday party invite from a preschool mate this week, and I almost exploded with glee. But I confess, it was not from motherly pride that my little darling was making friends (I’m pretty sure everybody got one), but because I adore kids birthday parties.

I am that person. I love me a cake pop just as much as a good ol’ slice of fairy bread. I’m a nocturnal baker, one-handed pom-pom fluffer and I can bang out bunting by the metre.

Not with me? Here’s a list of all that’s good about small people parties:

#1 Eating cake
The basic essence of the thing. Cake, and plenty of it. For the sake of the children, of course.

#2 Champagne before midday
Maybe it says something about the circles I move in, but a nice glass of bubbles is thrust into my eager grasp no matter what the shindig start time. 10am? OK, put a splash of OJ in there for appearance’s sake.

#3 Crowd-sourced child minding
There is a critical point where enough kids in one place means they entertain each other and I don’t have to, and birthdays provide the crowd. Add a bouncy castle or a face-painting Aunty and we’re on.

#4 Perving on other mums in their natural habitat
You know you’re curious. Does Archie’s mum have hand-towels in her bathroom? What will the party-bag lolly philosophy be? And those pre-procreation friends are nursing hangovers in the corner? They’ve got tales to tell…

#5 Post-party naps
Parties are exhausting. Time that sugar crash right and I’m guaranteed a nap from the poppet – and quiet cup of tea for me – when we get home. I’m going to raid the party bag while there’s no one looking.

Coconut Un-Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting

22 Jul

Once again I have to start by apologising for the crappy quality of this post. But the splendiferousness of this cake refuses to go unrecorded. It’s a coconut pound cake with pink icing, whipped up for a picnic with my fabulous mothers group. It’s a proper beaten cake, no melt’n’mix here, but sometimes a girl’s gotta step it up a notch.

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Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake, courtesy Martha Stewart

I made a double batch of this mix and baked two cakes to layer…

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
175g butter, room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
1 big teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, toasted

Pre-heat oven to 170

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar for, like, ever. Add vanilla and eggs one at time and beat, beat beat. Then add flour mix in three lots, alternating with butter milk, just gently to combine. Pop in a cake tin and bake for 60 mins. It’s cooked when a skewer comes out with a bit of a crumb on it.

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Then ice the puppy with Fresh Strawberry Icing, made with 1 cup of strawbs, pureed, strained, reduced by half and cooled, then beaten into 1 cup of butter. Add icing sugar a cup at a time til you get to teeth-tingling territory. I stop at about 5 cups.

Wish I had a pic of the Berry-decorated beauty it all her glory but I promise it looked like a million bucks. Then it got DE-VOURED.

 

Honey Jumbles

26 Jun

Time is of the essence for me at the moment. No mincing words or extra pics, and no time for icing on these honey jumbles. Lucky they taste bloody good just as they are.

honey jumbles

Disclaimer: There is an hour’s wait involved in these. I know, I know. Do the first bit without telling your toddler.

1/2 cup honey
60g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsps milk

Bring the honey, butter and brown sugar to the boil.

Then cool for an hour or so or until thick (sorry!).

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees.

Sift dry ingredients over cooled butter mix and stir to form a dough. Add the milk as needed then knead lightly. Either shape into rolls and trim neatly into little pillows, or dump dollops unceremoniously onto a tray (can you guess which method I adopt?). Bake for 12-15 mins.