Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Every Little Bit Counts - My Breast Cancer Fundraiser

My fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation has come and gone for 2013... a small, intimate, high-tea style gathering with my closest friends.  It was an afternoon of pretty antique crockery, bite sized savouries and sweet treats and lovely company and I did all that I could to pay attention to small details for my guests.

Blogging has taken a back seat over the past few weeks as the lead-up to last Saturday was spent crafting, preparing food and tidying the house (with two little helpers in tow).  With a timeline of 'to-dos' for each day, everything was slowly checked off in an unusually stress-free manner.  When I finally put my feet up on Saturday night though, I couldn't help but reflect on how quickly the afternoon had whizzed by in comparison to the days spent getting things ready.

Every year, I have the same debate as to whether or not to host another fundraiser, knowing how much energy and effort is required.  However, reading through the Pink Ribbon Day campaign material and the heartbreaking stories of those affected by this disease, my decision is an easy one to make...

I do this for myself and for my two precious girls.. for my Mum and sister and friends and all the females in their lives... so that one day, the National Breast Cancer Foundation's goal of zero deaths becomes a reality...

I do this because every little bit counts...

All photos by me (with the exception of the place setting shot taken by my friend Maya)

Monday, November 25, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Grace: She is definitely Asha's favourite member of our family...these two have been such good friends ever since Grace was a little baby.

Sophie: The frown and the pout which make their appearance right before a little fiery outburst or tantrum.

Joining in with Jodi

Monday, November 18, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

At a party on the weekend, I kept getting asked who the girls looked most like... "Grace is definitely you," they would say, "It's so obvious she's your daughter".  They were certain Sophie had my hair, but unsure as to who her features most resembled...

...I see myself as a two year old... I'll have to drag out some old photos to compare...

Joining in with Jodi

Bron's unique take on her portraits last week had me smiling...

Monday, November 11, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Sophie: Playing out the back, cuddling up to her big sister... she has become Grace's shadow, copying her every move lately and always a compliant playmate...

Grace: As quick as she's growing, sometimes I forget just how little she still is...

Joining in with Jodi

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Rhythm Of Our Days: Saturday Market Stop

There is a slight chill to the air as we bundle into the car early on Saturday mornings, making our weekly visit to the markets to stock up on our fruit and vegetables while Paul is out bike riding.  It has become a ritual and one the three of us look forward to once the weekend arrives. At this time of morning, the roads are beautifully quiet and the journey we make with a Play School CD to sing along to or an Enid Blyton talking book to listen to is an unusually peaceful one.

We park the car, feed the meter and hold hands as we cross the street and begin to wander.  Clutching my shopping list, the girls follow a few steps behind me.  We stick to the same few sellers and over time, have come to know who offers the sweetest strawberries, the longest lasting lettuce and the perfect-ripeness bananas. We do a loop, collecting what we need, occasionally stopping at The Herb+Tea+Spice Shop, flower stand or secondhand wares seller Refound.  Our final port of call is to buy four of our favourite mini-cupcakes. Sophie is always after the pink lolly-topped version, while Grace chooses what she thinks looks prettiest on the day.

I love the feel of the markets at this time of day... no busy crowds and only a sprinkling of tourists... mainly locals doing their grocery shop as the stall holders begin their day.  It is a relaxed atmosphere with friendly faces and our hour browsing (in between making sure the girls aren't getting under people's feet) is for the most part relaxing.

On our journey home, we point out all the landmarks we've come to recognise... the Fremantle Prison, the 'church house', monument hill with its colourful flower beds, the netball courts, the golf course and so on.  It's become a bit of a game as we see who can remember what's coming up next. Occasionally we'll stop at a garage sale, call into an op shop or run an errand.  However usually, the girls are itching to get home and have fun with their Daddy.

By the time we pull into our driveway, Paul has long since returned from his ride.  I flick on the kettle and as it boils, begin to unload our bags and prepare morning tea.  It's a standard joke now that every single week, Grace tries to trick Paul, pretending we've forgotten to buy him a cupcake.  She thinks it's hilarious.

And then, with my tea poured, we all enjoy our delicious icing topped treats and get ready to continue on with our Saturday...

For the past few weeks, we have been enjoying the ceiling of everlastings in the market yard, part of the Under The Wildflowers upside-down exhibition... 
We are hoping to purchase a bunch to bring home when the display comes down and the flowers become available for sale.  
There are at least ten of the frames above currently suspended in the market courtyard... the effect is breathtaking.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Apple Blossom Pie - Dorothy's Recipe

Of all the recipes that have been handed down in our family from generation to generation, the one of my Nanna's I've always been especially fond of is Apple Blossom Pie. And so a few weeks back, as I flipped through my recipe books and came across it, I decided to recreate that little bit of history... I brought it as dessert when we had dinner at my Mum's one night and between four adults and two little girls, we devoured the entire pie.

Here's my Nanna's recipe (with my adjustments) for you all to try...

Apple Blossom Pie

1 baked pastry case (shortcrust)
2 large (or 3 medium sized) apples
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
pulp of 2 passion fruit, strained to remove seeds
½ tin sweetened condensed milk (approximately 200g)
juice of 1 lemon
yolk of 1 egg
1 level dessertspoon gelatine
juice drained from cooked apple made up to ¾ cup of liquid with apple juice 
1 egg white
pink food colouring
whipped and sweetened cream

Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a saucepan with the water and sugar and simmer until the fruit is soft. Drain the syrup away - reserve it for the 3rd layer, adding apple juice to make a total of ¾ cup of liquid. Add gelatine, stir well and set aside. Puree the cooked apples until smooth, add passionfruit pulp (I strained mine to remove the seeds, although the recipe did not state to do so). Cool. Once cold, place in pastry case and refrigerate. For the 2nd layer, combine the sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolk and lemon juice and beat in an electric mixer on medium speed. Spread over the apple and passionfruit layer and refrigerate. For the 3rd layer of apple blossom topping, wait for the fruit syrup/gelatine mixture to cool and become partly set. Add a pinch of salt to the egg white and beat until stiff in an electric mixer on high speed. Colour a pale pink. At the same speed, add the partly set apple juice and continue beating until thick. Pile on the pie and decorate the edge with sweetened cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I used a pre-bought shortcrust pastry case above.  However, this recipe definitely better suits a home baked one.  

Monday, November 4, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Sophie: With hot weather this week, the good old slippery dip was hauled out again for some water fun. Minus a nappy, I managed to squeeze Sophie into the same swimsuit from the beginning of the year. She had a ball playing with her big sister and could be heard calling out 'my turn, my turn' repeatedly.

Grace: Mothering the little sheep she won on the fishing game back at the Royal Show.  Tucked carefully under her wing, she talks and tends to him.

Joining in with Jodi

These beautiful captures of Eulalie and Marguerite and Milina's three lovely photos all stood out to me this week...