Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Polenta pancakes of awesome

3/4 cup polenta
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
A pinch of salt 

Pour boiling water over polenta and allow to sit for 5 or so mins. Combine the eggs and milk and stir into polenta mixture. Stir in flour and salt and mix until smooth.

Heat a heavy based pan & grease with a bit of butter and olive oil. Over a moderate heat, cook as you would  regular pancakes. 

Enjoy with butter or as a side instead of your usual carbs. 

Sneaky zucchini cake

Mr. 2 is going through an "EWW THAT'S YUCK!" stage.. If its green, it's yuck. So I've decided, while also offering him his regular dinner-type veggies, I'm going to do some sneaky veggie hiding too. 

I went looking for a "veggie cake" recipe & stumbled upon this fantastic recipe over at scandifoodie.blogspot.com. I have adapted it to make it nut free- so here's my version:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

3-4 zucchini (about 250g grated)
450g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp mixed spice
180g chocolate
225g brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sultanas
125g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml milk

Preheat your oven to 180C and grease a large cake tin (23 cm). 

Squeeze out excess water of the zucchini by placing in a clean tea towel & squeezing. Sift the dry ingredients, except the sugar, into a bowl and add sultanas. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and set aside. Beat together the eggs, sugar and butter. Beat in chocolate and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture and the milk & when combined, add the zucchini.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a a skewer comes out clean.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Morning : a non fiction narrative

A sharp thud between her shoulder blades and her eyes spring open. Then another, and another. Violently tearing her from the deep, dark solitude she escapes to in the wee hours of morning. 

The searing pain lingers as she realises where she is and what on earth is going on. Toddler feet. Toddler feet jabbing her back like some kind of blunt weapon. "OW OW! STOP IT, STOP HIM!" She attempts to say with some kind of authority, although in her half awake state she has little chance of sounding coherent. Turning to face her attacker, sweeping his legs back under the doona in one swift, surprisingly coordinated movement, she takes in his face. His lovely face, smiling, sleeping. 

What might he be dreaming? Perhaps her vertebra were a trampoline or a splashy puddle? Maybe all that remained on her back was the ruins of a magnificent sandy masterpiece? 

Smiling to herself, she pulls that warm little body close, breathing in his sweet toddler morning breath, his hair and the faint smell of laundry powder on his flannel pyjamas. Her heart swells. 

She forgives her attacker.

*written as part of Blog Fast- http://www.katesaysstuff.com/2013/07/the-blogfast-club-morning.html?m=1

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Winter upcycling challenge for charity : It's a thing!

Hello dears,

I had an idea.. Seeing as there are quite a few of you crafty people around these parts I thought we could perhaps try and do a good thing with our great skills and creativity!

It's pretty cold in Melbourne right now so this challenge is inspired by trying to keep warm!

Here's the challenge outline:
Make an item that helps you keep warm

It must be made from mostly upcycled/reclaimed materials

It will be auctioned on my blog and the proceeds will be donated to Green Collect (*see below for details)

I will choose a random contributor to win a great prize (details TBA at a later date)

Submissions will be accepted until August 31st 2013

Please email me at gomumma(at)gmail(dot)com if you would like to be involved!

I would love you to get involved and for you to share this with your crafty friends. I don't have a massive pool of crafty readers so please tell your friends and share on your social media pages if you think you know people who might want to show off their skills and raise money for a great charity!

Lovely upcycled products made and sold by Green Collect

Thursday, 11 July 2013

We recorded a song for you.. and Ms.Clare Bowditch

Hello friends!
Please enjoy this little song Mezz, Byron and I recorded. This is our entry for Clare Bowditch's Winter Secrets competition. Enjoy! Feel free to click "like" if you're so inclined!


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Nice things in pictures...

Family celebrating over Japanese food. Three birthdays; Pop, Little Bro Dave and April.

My latest crafty endeavor- a huge latch hook rug of Mary and the baby Jesus.. totally kitsch and wonderfully awesome!

Me and my wee doppelganger

 A secret recording project with Mezz & Baz.. will be revealed very soon! Stay tuned!

Ash & Mezz selfie.. We've recently re-discovered the value in making time to spend together. We've now been best mates for 15 years. I'm very much looking forward to going to the Women Of Letters event that is happening later in the month with Mezz. We used to sleep over at each others houses and have teenage adventures on trains.. Now we do grown-up things like go to literary events. Haha.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Let me tell you about my Nan

Taking the lead of Pip from meet me at mikes, I'm going to tell you a little about my nan..

Beryl is her name.. She's always hated being called Beryl and has gone through phases of wanting to change her name.. Angela was one she liked. 

She's funny like that. 

In fact she's just funny in general. Loves a laugh and to debate. She finds it frustrating when people have strong opinions about things without having a reason and loves to hear what I think as long as I am willing to justify why. We have had our disagreements but what I love about my nan is that she adores me no matter what. And I adore her. 

She's full of old fashioned sayings like "Just let me get my hat 'n pants on", meaning "Let me get ready to go" and "We'll, this isn't buying the baby a new dress!" Meaning "we're not being very productive are we?" And "goodness gracious groceries".. I find myself saying them often. We chat like peers.

She goes through phases of having crushes on good looking fellas on TV.. Like the boys from  Il Divo. And spends most of her time playing on her iPad.. She and pop upgrade whenever a new version comes out. She doesn't get out much. In fact, I think it frightens her a bit these days as her mobility is quite limited and she is scared she'll fall. But the iPad really keeps her connected. I love it. Even though she harasses me to play my Words with Friends turn. I like to keep her keen. 

We spent most afternoons and many many sick days off school at nan & pop's place and we were spoilt rotten with lots of love and kisses (and choc wedges). Every afternoon after kinder nan would pick us up in her gold Mazda 626 and she'd take us to Chaddy (a big shopping centre to the south east of Melbourne city) for warm double chocolate muffins (with two butters). She'd always let us eat her cappuccino froth. 

Her love and affection has extended very naturally to my children- and she loves our foster daughter just as much as she loves the two that came out of my body. 

There's so much more to say but I'll leave you with a few lovely pictures instead. 

Nan & I circa 1990

My adorbs little brother Dave around the same time as the last pic 

Nan & I last year.. She was upset with us for taking it as she hadn't "arranged her face".. I think her face is fine.

A typical scene at Nan's these days..

Tell us about your nan! Go visit Pip at Meet Me At Mikes to read about Pip's nan.


Monet's Garden at the NGV

I was still in bed when Molly excitedly ran into my room all dressed up (in this super cute mis-matched outfit that only Molly can pull off) saying "I'm ready to see Monet's Garden Mummy"...

The kids have been learning about Monet at school. I'm really impressed with the school's art program. They begin learning about art genres and influential artists right from prep and Monet's "Waterlilies" is one of Molly's favourite paintings. They of course still get to play with paint & pastels but their work is inspired by the work of the artists they're learning about. You should see some of the stuff they produce!!

When I saw the advertisement for the National Gallery of Victoria's most recent exhibition "Monet's Garden" I knew it would be a must-see these holidays.

There was a point on Monday night where I thought I was going to need to cancel and go in to work as one of my staff came down with a chest infection and it was looking like there would be no one to cover the shop. I was at work long after closing, calling everyone I could think of to try and fill the shift.. I got quite upset actually. I really didn't want to let the girls down.. At the last minute it was sorted! So off we went on Tuesday..

The kids always love a train trip to the city. That alone would be enough of an outing for Richie. Pulling into Flinders Street Station it hit me that I was about to see the artwork from one of the most influential artists in history. I was totally buzzing!


Neither of the girls had ever been to the NGV so it was all very exciting. Don't you think this photo of the girls touching the glass water wall actually looks a bit like a Monet? Yes?! I do!

I took a sneaky photo inside the gallery.. I felt very naughty! There were a lot of security guards lurking around so I was stealthy.

The exhibition was very well set out. It stretched over four rooms. The first showed paintings from his early years and also a very special treat, two portraits of Monet and his wife Camille by Renoir! The middle room featured the middle years, the next the later years and the final room was an amazing cinema room which played an absolutely stunning film that was recorded only last year at Monet's Garden in Giverny. 

We actually did a fairly quick first walk through and then after seeing the film of the garden, went back and saw the paintings with a new perspective. I really didn't expect the girls to connect with it as much as they did. I should give them more credit but you just never know with kids. Molly was so intrigued with Monet's story. Particularly his progression from the early years where he painted with fine detail to the later years when his eyesight was so badly affected by cataracts that his art became very clunky and childlike, and then, after he had cataract surgery his work became more recognisable again. It was completely fascinating to see the world through his eyes. 

I think it was a bit of a revelation to the girls to paint as you see... To not view objects as just objects but to see the colours, light, darkness and shapes and not to worry too much about the detail if you don't want to.

April spent her time wandering from work to work reading all of the information. This is actually quite a big deal as it was only a few months ago at the museum she was saying she hated reading information and she just wanted to look at stuff. In this case, the story is so important in understanding the artwork so I am really glad she decided to give it a go. Needless to say, she was also captivated and very much inspired.

Here are a couple of happy snaps we took before we left.

Here's Mol hanging with Claude

After the exhibition, feeling freshly inspired and positively right-brainy, we headed across to the Botanic Gardens where we attempted to see things as Monet saw them. Molly made me take lots and lots of photos so she could paint them later... Here are a few.. 

Have you been to see Monet's Garden yet? I'd highly recommend it!

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