Baby Girl Items

IMG_2544.jpgInstagram has definitely connected the world in a lot of wonderful ways such as me being able to find boutique small businesses that I would never have come across had I not used hashtags or spent a few time looking around on insta! Below are some of my favourite baby items for our new little one that I am loving!May 9 _ The Red Room +1-202-555-0143 tickets@jazz.mail.com.pngone- Linen Bow (3 little crowns) | two- Jumpsuit (Zara) | three- Cashmere Set (Zara) | four- Amie Dress (Jamie Kay) | five- Beret (Janie & Jack) | six- Muslin Swaddle (3 little crowns) | seven- Tiny Girl Gang T-shirt (Jean and June) Picture source here  | eight- Newborn Moccasins (Freshly Picked)

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Due to a natural phenomenon called humidity all flowers and bananas (random I know) in our house are dying/rotting at an extremely fast rate! I’ve had rotten banana’s in my freezer for weeks now- we buy them over the weekend and by Tuesday or Wednesday no one will touch them which means they then sit on the bench for another 2-3 days until someone peels them and throws them into a ziplock in the freezer! Two weeks ago I made banana bread- this week I made banana and chocolate muffins. The recipe is for Taste.com which means it’s super simple and you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard already!

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup choc chips (milk, dark, white- pretty much whatever you would like)

How To

1. Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan-forced.
2. Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients.
3. Add milk, eggs, mashed bananas and butter in to dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix ingredients until just combined. Stir in choc bits. Don’t beat the mixture or the muffins will be tough.
4. Line a muffin tray with paper cases. Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm on top when lightly touched
5. Leave in the tray for 3 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.

I assumed that I had muffin paper cases- I assumed wrong.. chances are Ava was playing with them and has misplaced them.. anyways.. I found a tutorial online from The Kitchn for using baking paper to make cases- they actually turned out pretty well.

Connecting with Baby No.2!

IMG_0104I saw a picture on instagram a few months ago of two pictures side by side of a baby. The left was a beautifully designed picture of a baby with a super cute outfit on against a white fur background with a little place card that read 2 months old (similar to the photos Greg and I took of Ava as she grew from 1 month to 1 year old). The picture on the right was another baby the same size with only a nappy on with a post-it note stuck it’s forehead which read “2 months old.” The bottom caption was first child vs second child. Greg and I had a big laugh about it because already this pregnancy is so much different to our first! We would watch the week by week videos together one night a week, Greg would come over and feel Ava kick any chance he got. I washed her clothes months early and had the diaper bag packed for weeks this time around I have been so busy working and keeping a toddler alive I haven’t had the chance to really do anything baby related.

IMG_0110I’ve written a checklist on my phone of things I need to grab but that was about it until Tuesday last week. Last Tuesday I decided I needed to get some clothes out and start washing them to try and connect with the idea that we would have another baby in the house in a few short months! It was surreal pulling out 0000 and 000 clothes for this baby that is not yet here with us- the clothing looks like doll items! I washed and dried so many things- we still need to wash the singlets and whites and then there’s the bassinet to wash and the car seat to install.. the list seems to be never ending.

IMG_0112Do you have any tips on how you connected with Baby No.2? I can imagine that we’re not the only ones struggling to really focus on another baby coming to our family when we have a very active 2.5 year old!

Baby Adelaide

Recently I became Aunty to a beautiful little girl over in Perth! My best friend of 25 years had her first little bundle of joy. When we were over there a few weeks ago I was able to spend a few hours taking photos of this beautiful baby girl.. all the heart eyes you guys..It took a lot of hard work to not post all 200 photos!!

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32 weeks pregnant..

This week I celebrate 32 weeks of pregnancy..

I wanted to give special honour to my husband and every husband out there who has journeyed through many months of pregnancy with their wives.

For every meal that has been cooked..

Every tongue bitten when we demanded just one more thing from downstairs..

For every foot rub and back rub..

For every run to the grocery store or rearrangement of schedule because we absolutely just cannot get up..

For every bath time and bed time routine, for every early morning when you whispered to our kids “let mum sleep I’ll play with you..”

For every compliment when we just can’t stand the sight of our ever changing bodies..

While we physically and mentally journey through growing a baby I can never understand the struggle to walk that road with us and not be able to take some of the pain or be able to share in the uncomfortablity of it all..

For every prayer you have prayed over me and your child to be..

For every offer of early morning coffee to help get me moving..

Thank you for loving the wife of your youth when she is so far buried beneath the weight of pregnancy and for journeying through many months of the recovery process at the end of it all.

You are more than just a champion, when I look at you I see the Lord and His love!

I love you more today than yesterday.

Large Birthday Cake Recipe

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A friend of ours made the birthday cake for Liz’s 30th Birthday- he used to work as a pastry chef at a restaurant in Perth for many many years! I managed to get a few photos of the process and the recipe- It tasted absolutely amazing, including the off cuts throughout the process! He has scaled down the recipe however you may need to scale it down a little further for a more “home” sized option.

Birthday Cake Recipe (Large)

The recipe is divided up into sections as it’s quite labour intensive. This cake fed at least 50 dessert portions.

Sponge layers (3)
11 Eggs
250g Castor Sugar
250g Plain Flour

Whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, gently fold through sifted flour, and spread thinly on baking trays. Bake 170 degrees 7-10 minutes

Almond Japonaise Layers (2)
250ml Egg Whites
100g Castor Sugar
250g Almond Meal
250g Icing Sugar
25g Flour
25g Cornflour

Dry mix almond meal, icing sugar, flour and cornflour well. Whip whites and castor sugar until stiff. Gently fold dry ingredients through. Spread thinly and bake 180 degrees  10-15 minutes.

Lemon Curd
200ml Lemon Juice
8 Eggs
250g Butter
250g Castor Sugar

Combine all ingredients and gently cook over water until thick. Strain and chill.

White Chocolate Cream
150g White Couverture Chocolate
100ml Cream
1 Litre Thickened Cream

Boil cream (150ml) and pour over chocolate. Gently stir/whisk until melted and smooth. Cool overnight (not in fridge).
Whip cream (1 Litre) until stiff, and fold through chocolate mixture.

Sugar Syrup

1:1 sugar and water and a little vanilla, boiled together and cooled

Berry Layer

Approx 400g fresh raspberries

To build

  1. Start with a layer of sponge (skin removed) and brush lightly with sugar syrup.
  2. Spread lemon curd over the sponge – about 5mm thick.
  3. Add a layer of Japonaise.
  4. Spread with White Chocolate cream – about 5mm thick, and cover evenly with halved fresh raspberries. Add a thin layer of the chocolate cream to just cover the raspberries.
  5. Repeat this process again, finally adding a layer of sponge as the fifth/top layer.

Decorate with fresh meringue, toasting it with a gas torch.

Enjoy!

Surprise Birthday

IMG_8957IMG_8958IMG_8959IMG_8960IMG_8961IMG_8962IMG_8964IMG_8966IMG_8968IMG_8969IMG_8970IMG_8971IMG_8972IMG_8974IMG_8975IMG_8977IMG_8979IMG_8980IMG_8981Over the weekend we went to a surprise 30th Birthday in Perth for my best friend of 25 years! I managed to get some really good photos of her as she walked into the surprise party- I hope you enjoy!

It was a beautiful night filled with lots of tears and laughs!

The restaurant was located in the MasonMill Gardens. There were flowers galore as well as a few kangaroos- perfect for a kitchen tea, bridal shower or even wedding reception!

Another day at the beach!

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We absolutely love the beach- Ava has inherited the traditional Aussie love for the sun and sand and it absolutely makes my heart smile!

We were in Perth over the weekend for a surprise 30th Birthday so we naturally had to find some ways to entertain Miss Ava..

This beautiful beach is at Hillary’s in Perth! If you have young children it’s a great area with a playground, man made beach, inflatable water obstacles, slides that lead into the water and shade cloths!

Choc Chip Banana Bread

The way this pregnancy is going – if I see an ad for Banana Bread chances are I’m going to be making it this week.. I saw an ad for wonton soup last night- you better believe it’s on the menu for dinner next week! It’s as if my brain is taking craving cue’s from the things I’m seeing rather than what it actually wants or needs! Not that I’m complaining but it is very strange!

Today’s recipe comes from Jenna over at Butternut Bakery- It’s a great recipe for Banana Bread that’s tasty and super moist!

Choc Chip Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups ripe and mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips- I used regular choc chips.

HOW TO

  1. Preheat your oven to 325F (160 C) and grease and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugars until fully combined. You can either use a whisk or an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
  4. Add in your mashed bananas followed by the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
  5. Once all of your wet ingredients are mixed together, fold in the dry ingredients. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and spread it even. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top if you like.
  7. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let it cool completely before removing from the pan. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.

Jenna has some great ideas over on this post about how to quickly ripen bananas. What I normally do is as I get bananas that over ripen- I peel them and add them to a ziplock in the freezer. You can use them for banana bread or smoothies as you need them.

Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe- Sweet Potato Boats!

IMG_8628If you live in the States or have ever visited you will know of the restaurant Texas Roadhouse. They have amazing bread rolls with cinnamon and butter as well as amazing sweet potato sides! One of my favourites is the sweet potato, cut open and slathered with cinnamon butter.

Greg has been doing the Daniel Fast this week so I’ve been looking for recipes that are vegan friendly- dairy free, meat free etc

A really simple recipe that we love and is super filling are sweet potato boats!

Here’s the recipe!

Sweet Potato Boats

Ingredients

  • Sweet Potatoes (one for each person)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • a few Tbsp of Almond Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

How to

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes.
  3. Cover each sweet potato with Vegetable Oil in a thin layer and poke with a fork numerous times all over
  4. Wrap each sweet potato individually in aluminium foil,  and place on a baking tray in the oven. Depending on the size of the potatoes they will take approx 45min-1 1/2 hour to soften. To check if the potato is done insert a knife or fork through it- if it glides smoothly you are ready to rock and roll.
  5. Take the potatoes out of the oven and allow to cool for approx 5 min.
  6. Open the potato parcels up and slice open the sweet potatoes to have two halves. Using a fork or knife disrupt the smooth flesh to make ridges and divots.
  7. Place Almond Butter on each side of the potato flesh, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Enjoy!