February 06, 2014

Seasonal fruit tart

Isn't this the sweetest fruit tart you ever did see. A delightful market find on a road trip around the North Island, New Zealand, Dec 2013.

November 14, 2013

An island holiday

A few months ago, at the tail end of Winter I went on a spontaneous holiday to Great Keppel Island with friends from down south in chilly Melbourne.  I've had the photos for this post ready for ages, but no words, so I kept waiting for a moment that felt right to write so I could hit publish. On this rainy night at home and in a week where words aren't flowing about the present moment, it felt like a good time to look back over happy holidays snaps, write something and share them with you. 
We spent four days tucked away on our island holiday and spent our days walking barefoot on sand, swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear water, making sandcastles and exploring different parts of the island. Nothing to achieve, nothing to rush towards, just the simple pleasure of living in the moment. 

It was so nice to spend such quality time with Emma, Matt and Finn again. Living miles away from each other we don't get to catch up that often and when we do it's usually only for a few hours or a day at the most. It was delightful to have days instead of hours together.  We didn't have to rush to madly catch up on all the news, instead there was more time to play, and be and laugh whilst conversation flowed.

And of course we spent a great deal of time eating, reading and sleeping. We made simple meals of eggs, fish, tomatoes, leafy greens, rock melon and papaya. It's amazing how good simple, wholesome food is when you slow down to really experience each mouthful. 

Each night after a cup of tea and a few squares of chocolate I curled up in my large tent on a wooden platform with my book and read until the generator was switched off precisely at 10pm and all was dark and quiet again on the island. Bliss!

November 06, 2013

44 Weeks of Gratitude

52 Weeks of More gratitude. More hope. More love. 

A few simple things I'm grateful for that made a week of mostly being stuck in my head, that bit lighter. 

A classic drink on warm days,  water, a good squeeze of lemon and a few sprigs of mint. 

Girls, Season 2 watched, or more accurately, inhaled, over a very short duration of time. 

Morning sunshine on our front verandah. I love sitting at the front door, sun creeping higher in the sky, birds flying from palm to palm,  slowly waking to the day.

Waking on Sunday morning to hear the news that there was a new baby in the world, and he was 8 pounds 8 ounces and named Ruben. Congrats to my beautiful friends Emma p and Matt! And of course to Finn, as he is officially now a big brother. 

A visit to West End markets in Brisbane. What an awesome local market. Stall after stall of good looking fruit and veg, fresh juices, and other foodie delights. It had a real community buzz, people taking time to stop and chat, to smile and draw you in to being a part of the market community.  

 And under the shade of a gorgeous fig tree live music played whilst people enjoyed what I hear is seriously good coffee!

And for my mama and papa and big sister.

52 Weeks of Grateful linking up with Kylie at Octavia and Vicky.

photos: lemon and mint water / morning sunshine on my verandah taken earlier this year in May. 

October 30, 2013

42 and 43 Weeks of Gratitude

52 Weeks of More gratitude. More hope. More love. 

Serenity and peace in the small town of Mullumbimby.  My sister and I took a quick trip to visit friends on the coast and spend a night in a peaceful abode in nature.

Mullumbimby continues to grow on me each time I visit. It's a beautiful town, but given the choice I've often opted to head to the coast around Byron Bay. Slowly this is changing. I'm noticing the energy and beauty of the surrounding hills and space around Mullumbimby and dig the feeling of the place.   Heck, there aren't that many places where you have a Day Spa right in the middle of town that feels like your far away in a tropical rainforest. The massage was bliss. If you're in the area I suggest you spend a few hours relaxing at The Kiva Spa.

And on to the peaceful abode. Simon and his wife, Susan (who was away in Bali) have a beautiful property with self contained accommodation next to the main house. Simon was welcoming and warm, the place, beautiful and serene and exquisitely decorated.

Simon shared his intentions of the space as a retreat for people to reconnect with themselves and the earth; his love of the natural world; the garden he has spent hours planting and caring for; the kookaburra's and his work as an astrologer.

We drank cups of tea on the verandah, read, ate and crawled into bed. The sound and smell of rain was my companion as I drifted off to sleep.

Before we left Simon shared an image he'd sensed when he first met me. I'm not going to share the exact details (sorry folks!) but it linked in with the incredibly strong feeling I'd had the night before pottering around the kitchen. A feeling of being incredibly grounded and a sense of coming home to myself.

A weekend of people, places and experiences I am very grateful for.

52 Weeks of Grateful linking up with Kylie at Octavia and Vicky

October 25, 2013

40 and 41 Weeks of Gratitude

52 Weeks of More gratitude. More hope. More love. 

Step inside the Happy Cabin. It's warm, cosy and a place where magic happens. October arrived and it really has been a magical month. Queensland at this time of year is divine. Days are warm and nights are balmy, jasmine is in the air and there's a relaxed vibe on the streets.

October is also my birthday month.   I'm not really a let's make a big fuss over me kind of girl and happy to celebrate in low key style - some good food with good company. Saying this I do also like a party and this year I got the best of both- low key celebrations and a party (that wasn't mine).

Birthday celebrations started on the night before my birthday. A Greek banquet dinner with my mum and sister at a restaurant that has a good reputation and feels more like you're in Melbourne than the Coast. If you've ever eaten good Greek food or been fed by a Greek family you'll know that they don't skimp on quantity or quality.  Feast highlights were melt in your mouth whole lemon snapper, Saganaki cheese, slow cooked lamb and a perfectly simple Greek salad with a whole piece of the creamiest fetta cheese placed on top.

Saturday, the day of my birthday, was a traditional family birthday celebration, a few presents and a cake with a single candle to make a wish. Oh happy days and nights. That evening a friend was having an 'Around the World' themed party, so I got to dress up, dance, eat and laugh but didn't have the fuss or pressure of it being my party!

The party was in full swing by the time we arrived. People and music spilled out into the yard. A yard that resembles a jungle of sorts, wild and untamed. Inside the big, old Queenslander was a place of warmth and life being lived right here right now!- happy party goers, a veggie feast, live music and a room full of crazy costumes. An around the world globe leotard worn with silver and black stripped tights was my personal favourite. Though by the early hours of the morning the leotard seemed tame as costumes were swapped and two tall gents squeezed themselves into genie costumes complete with sequinned crop tops and transparent harem pants. One chose to wear matching blue underwear, the other chose to wear no underwear, and instead improvised with underwear of sorts..a saucepan lid held tightly in place with rope. I'll let you imagine how that worked.

I danced and laughed,  drank a cup of bedtime tea (an unusual choice in the middle of a party!), danced some more before falling asleep as the party continued around me.

It was a beautiful birthday, thanks to my gorgeous family and friends. Thank you for making my heart swell with such joy, love and gratitude x

52 Weeks of Grateful linking up with Kylie at Octavia and Vicky
P.s. Kylie I'm sending you lots of love.