Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home Improvement- This is an adventure

Last weekend was a mammoth one cleaning, painting + organizing.
The house is in a mess at the moment and I've spent much of the week attempting to bring order back into the living areas. Two more bags are on their way to the op shop tomorrow morning and I've been ruthless with simplifying our belongings.
After swimming on Saturday Miss Two went to Nana's for a day of Springtime fun outdoors while her parents got the laundry ready for painting. Everything in the laundry went into the lounge and Ads got busy plastering and sanding the walls, ceiling and door ready for painting on Sunday.
I got some weird eye problem on Friday while cleaning the house when Miss Two went for her first day of childcare. My eye got so sore I began wearing a pirate eye patch over the weekend til Monday afternoon when they were able to treat and fix my eye. But l managed to clean the kitchen up, put away endless paperwork lying around + stack up the dry washing ready for folding.
Sunday morning after coffees at home, Dan helped Ads paint the walls, door and under the cupboards in the laundry. Terracotta pots were taken from the balcony and repositioned in the front garden ready for planting. Sim and Radha took Miss Two for a day of adventures in the hills. Front windows were washed and polished, the lounge vacuumed, floors washed + baskets of washing put away upstairs.
I made my Super soup for the boys for lunch with a haul of our veggies- cauliflower, purple broccoli, peas, snow peas, leek, carrot and potatoes soup. In the garden I planted a passion fruit. The peas, pea runner and snow peas were pulled out and the garden cleared ready for the weeks planting of Diggers tomatoes + mini heirloom capsicums that are going to sit next to the snow pea runner + Beetroot.
We managed two play dates this week despite Miss Two teething and have constant fevers. Lisa and Miss Ruby came by on Wednesday + we enjoyed Raspberry cornflake snaps, face painting, a picnic on the grass and a visit to the park in Montrose. It felt like an enchanted adventure.
We still have to move everything back into the laundry and put up hooks but it's slowly getting there. I've spent Wednesday and Thursday folding four loads of washing + getting our weeks dirty clothes washed + on the clothes horse to dry in the sunshine. It felt amazing at 5pm tonight when the chicken was in the oven to walk out the front, find all the clothes dry + have a moment to fold all the dry clothes and put them away. I think this weekend will be absent of washing YEY!
We were hoping to go to St. Andrew's market on Saturday morning for a Chai, some veggies and a pony ride but l think it's going to rain.
When Miss Two goes to childcare tomorrow l plan to sit down, iron fabric and sew a pinnie, some bunting for a little boy + make crazy crayons ready for a birthday party and the Etsy shop + do some gardening. I want to fill my new vintage beauty case I picked up last week for $2 with my sewing wares + my old school picnic hamper with the fabrics for the wedding quilt l will be starting next week. I also want to try to make some slow-baked Kale chips. But of course the day will start with boxing class and a visit to the local op shop in the hope of finding some vintage goodness.


How did you spend your week?

X Mummafox

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My take on the Caesar Salad- Tuesday's in the Kitchen

Sometimes there are nights where you want something quick + healthy. We all experience those nights where it's five pm and you still havn't thought about what you're making for dinner. Caesar Salads the cheats way is one of those meals. We grow our own Cos lettuce all year round and have this once or twice a week if we're busy. 

Ingredients
A Cos lettuce washed or 2 small Cos lettuce
6-8 Free range bacon rashes diced
1 smoked chicken fillet or a Roast chicken
4-5 slices of bread
3 Free range eggs
2-3 tsp of Olive oil
Caesar dressing
Yumm Original dressing

How to make
Slice the cooked chicken fillet thin slices. Wash and pat dry lettuce or use a lettuce spinner. I love using our lettuce spinner which we bought last summer, it keeps lettuce crisp and dry ready to eat. Sometimes I'll wash and spin the lettuce picked from the garden and just keep the whole lettuce spinner in the fridge till l need it. Our lettuce spinner actually folds down for easy storage when we don't need it. A worthy investment if you have the money.
Boil eggs in a small saucepan until soft/medium boiled. I've got one of those half egg timers you put in with the egg that tells you how long it needs. I'd say 1 minute to 1.5 minutes you want it slightly runny.
Cut bread into cubes for salad. Dice bacon and cook with a tsp or two of oil in a fry pan. Lightly coat bread in the remaining oil and toast in fry pan.
Dry on some kitchen towel.
Cut or tear Cos lettuce in bite size pieces. Mix everything together. Peel eggs and either slice or cut into wedges, the yolk should still be runny. Serve in bowls at the table.
Because I'm pregnant I can't eat traditional Caesar salad dressing as it has raw egg in it so I use Yumm dressings Original dressing. I confess I'm addicted to it and put it on all my salads. Their Thai Zing dressing is fantastic as a Yum Cha dipping sauce, stir fry sauce or on a noodle salad. 
Miss Two and Ads love Cardini's Caesar dressing for their Caesar Salads.
Everyone simply pours dressing onto their salads at the table and can choose a little or a lot of dressing.
Tuck in!

What have you been cooking lately? Have you got a favourite recipe. Share it here or email at Poppyfoxathome@gmail.com.au, I'd love to hear from you.
Happy cooking.


X Mummafox

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Our week in Instagram

Spent recuperating from tummy bug, 
reading Franki, 
Having chai + a catch up, 
gardening,
 ice creams + chalk drawings, 
Spring days, op shop finds, 
a play date with Gran 
+ Miss Two's first day of childcare ever.
 A full, colorful week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Typography, Olive + Teal


I hope everyone got the chance to enjoy the sunshine this past weekend. You know it's Spring when the birds wake at 5:30am + blossoms and buds adorn the trees.
I've been sick with a tummy bug since Sunday morning + have spent my time sleeping, trying to keep up with a toddler, blog reading and dreaming of all the lovely things I want for the new nursery. Miss Two came down with the bug after dinner on Saturday + we were woken at 4am in morning to her being sick in bed and crying out that she needed mummy and daddy. l am so proud that she could communicate her needs, tell us where it hurt and let us help her it's a lot easier looking after a sick munchkin when they can talk.
I applaud my hubby for the wonderful doctor and house elf he made over the weekend. He not only cleaned the kitchen, kept the place from going under and managed to get the walls plastered and ready for the new blinds being installed Wednesday. He started doing the loads of washing, shrubbed the bathroom and shower, grouted and sealed the shower and made me soup before l conked out in bed upstairs. He even cared for Miss Two when l couldn't get off the couch. I am truly lucky to have a hubby willing to look after two sickies without complaining one bit.
So whilst l lay on the couch dying, I explored Typography posters, alphabet artwork, colour + a little birthday goodness for some inspiration. I have to come up with some ideas for the baby shower in November and found this wonderful DIY here which I am going to defiantly do to celebrate that we are having a BOY! And once l know the colours of the party some painted branches would look great with foliage and l love this too.
I think l have the colour scheme decided for the nursery + love the idea of a wall of picture frames in black and white in a room where wood features. Our Birch Stokke cot will reside in the Study come nursery and there are teak book shelves and an Ash grey couch that folds out to a double bed for guests. I'm thinking painting the walls white will be the first step in having a clean slate to decorate.
I love the idea of wood and pastels, which would have been great for Miss Two's room although we went with a nature theme of green, white, wood and a touch of yellow in her artwork and bedding. Nearly three years on and she still loves her room as do we but for a boy's room l think apple green, pale blues, white, grey with touches of yellow and black might give it a boyish look without it being to busy and cluttered. I've been busy putting my wishlist together on Pinterest.
Our little family nest has changed a lot over the 10+ years we have been here and l love our furniture. We just have to make our living spaces multipurpose which can be tricky.

Have you been busy feathering your family nest with design?
I'd love to know what are your favourite things at home.
Feel free to share it here, and here or email me at PoppyFoxathome@gmail.com.
I'd love to hear from you.


X Mummafox


Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Snapshots


A playdate, 
a day out, 
sunshine, 
great friends,
 beautiful friendship,
 flowers, 
trampolines 
and even some cuddles.
 Perfect!





Have a great weekend everyone!


X Mummafox

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homemade Sausage Rolls- Tuesday's in the Kitchen

Today I'm sharing my take on sausage rolls. 
After swimming class on Saturday we harvested from the garden and made sausage rolls. It was a fun, family activity + toddler friendly. 
I've gotten into the habit of using veggies in everything and it's great for making sure everyone eats their veggies. I made enough for lunch and to freeze in small containers for future meals.

Ingredients
450 grams Sausage mince
4 celery stems
5 carrots
3 red onions
2 large zucchini's (or 3 small)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp of a tomato or fruit chutney
2 eggs
3 tsp of breadcrumbs (optional)
6 Pack of Puff pastry


How to make
Chop/dice finely red onions and celery. 
Grate carrots and zucchinis and place them in a bowl.
Defrost puff pastry and set aside. Mix sausage mince with vegetables, an egg, breadcrumbs, chutney, salt and pepper to taste (if you desire add herbs or a tsp of curry powder).
Place a sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut horizontally into two. If you like more pastry on your sausage rolls use a whole sheet.
Spoon small teaspoons of the mixture along the centre of each piece of pastry. Fold over a long side of pastry, brush with egg, then fold other side over to enclose, slightly overlapping in the centre, and make a long sausage shape.
Repeat with remaining pastry and filling to make 4 rolls.
Place rolls, seam side down, on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour until firm.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
Carefully cut each roll into seven pieces. Brush with remaining egg and place on baking sheet.
Use a sharp knife to make 2 small slits on top of each roll or use a fork to make holes in top of sausage rolls (to prevent rolls from splitting).
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and puffed.
Serve warm with the tomato sauce or chutney.

Variations to recipe
For vegetarians try substituting sausage mince for grated carrot, pumpkin, spinach and a ricotta mix. You can add any veggies you want to the mix I've done a curry version with corn kernels and the above mix and it was really yum. 
Sometimes I'll make a double batch and half the veggie mix, add meat to one portion and ricotta to the second portion. Cook them as above on the same tray but make sure you make a different pattern on each type so you know which ones are veggie and which aren't. Great for play dates, lazy days, picnics and party food.
I had two for lunch today while Miss Two had a sleep. 
I'm enjoying the quiet for however long it lasts.

If you have any recipes to share write to us at 
PoppyFoxathome@gmail.com,
 I'd love to hear from you.

Happy cooking.


X Mummafox

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The great garden experiment # 2

It's been a perfect Spring day today to enjoy the sunshine, some scootering on the driveway, pulling out old veggies with Miss Two's help and fertilizing the soil with blood and bone + worm wee ready for planting.
I pulled the Brussel Sprouts that just didn't produce. The broccoli bed was finished so Miss Two took delight in stripping the leaves off the plant and watching me clearing the space.
The last of the carrots were harvested. Thursday I'm going to do a carrot, potato and curry rice frittata with some Cos lettuce from the garden or with some mini homemade chicken pies.
I'm tempted to do Tempura too over the weekend it's the kind of spring meal I enjoy with my little family after a day spent in the sun. I might even buy some Matilda Bay Beez Neez (Honey Wheat Beer) or I.G.P (Aust. Cloudy Ale) beer that I was introduced to when we visited the Matilda Bay Brewery for a friend's birthday on Saturday just to go with my fav Asian meal.

During the great overhaul-
Two snowpeas runners were stripped + I'm tempted to keep the frames up for cucumbers.
Miss Two and Ads are growing tomato seedlings. Ads is the experimental science buff so it was the perfect bonding activity for them to do together. This is how he did it- Ads cut 8 toilet rolls in half and using four takeaway containers made some holes in two of the trays and placed them inside a tray without holes. That way when you water the seeds the water runs through to the bottom tray to ensure the cardboard doesn't fall apart + the water doesn't go everywhere.
They planted- Black Russians seeds, Tiny Tims, Roma's, Gross Lisse to add to the garden along with a Diggers variety from last year that came up near our front door. The tomatoes will be planted where the carrot bed was as it gets loads of sun and borders the walk way for easy pruning, staking and harvesting.
We have been mindful to teach Miss Two about taking care of the environment and recycling. What a great example of recycling for our little people as we get to use plastic containers and toilet rolls for seed raising over and over again. And when the seeds come up you just take the half toilet roll, make a whole in the diet and ant directly where you want it to grow. I'll keep a seed raising photo diary and share it with you.

I'm going to plant the sunflower seeds with Miss Two soon but I'm cautious as it's been so wet so I'll wait till the ground dries up. Tulips and daffodils continue to grow foliage.
Currently in the garden there is:
Celery, kale, silverbeet, lettuces, peas, snow peas, beetroot,
parsnips + a line of cauliflower and broccoli.
Herbs: Parsley, oregano, olive herb, chives, coriander, mint, apple mint, sage, nasturtiums and of course my glut of garlic seedlings.

What's in your garden?
Are you planning on starting your Spring planting?
For those that gave me their addresses to send sunflower seeds they will be in the post tomorrow.

Happy Gardening and let me know how it goes.


x Mummafox




Monday, September 10, 2012

Pregnancy + vibrancy- Monday's Link love


This morning was spent enjoying Mother's group, our local cafe for a coffee, the library and the shops to grab a few things including a ex-rental of Nemo which led to Miss Two and I doing the happy dance and jumping with happiness.
I'm six months pregnant this week and the bump now gets there before l do. Having only put on six kilos so far, it's still a challenge to see my bump grow and be OK with it after losing so much weight. Having been a much bigger girl five years ago, l never want to go back there so I'm trying to stay present and mindful of what I am eating and how l feeling about my ever changing body. 
I'm beginning to feel more connected to being pregnant and we are starting to dream of how things will be in the new year as a family. I can't wait to have Tully in the baby sling and wander down the beach with Miss Two and Ads and enjoy the summertime as one big, happy family. Have morning cuddles in bed while l breastfeed. Introducing Tully to the world. Spending lazy summer days under our vintage shade umbrella's while Miss Two splashes and plays in the backyard while we BBQ and bubs sleeps in the moses basket or hammock. Exploring the world of another little person with Miss Two along for the ride. But most of all we will be together for a month when the baby arrives and it'll be a special time to bond and enjoy our little family nest together. 
I need to create a space and do something to give voice to this pregnancy, perhaps get a day to so a Jungian Sandtray of my pregnancy story like l did when pregnant with Poppy. Or plant something symbolic in the garden- perhaps a blueberry bush near the lime tree or a mini fruit tree bordering the carport to embrace the new life growing in me.
Tully kicks all the time and l think l freaked Ads out the other night when he felt the baby kick over and over again. I think he is going to be either a football player or a yoga instructor. I don't think men can comprehend the immense beauty and struggle of pregnancy, that tug of war of being amazed at growing a life and yet the desire to want your body back. However, it's lovely watching Ads spend time talking to the bump, dreaming of all the things to teach the two munchkins and what he hopes for our family of four.

Today's link love makes me smile, it's as simple as that. It about colour, personality and vibrancy, the drumbeat to this crazy life l live. 

I checked out Mesop's new range in Fitzroy the other day and picked up a new cardie in brown, it's all about layering these days for me. I'd love a vintage floral suitcase for my hospital bag, I found several l liked here, here, here and here. And dream nappy bag ideas (because one can dream) unless l make one myself which is more than likely, a custom leather bag here, and a Nancybird wonder here.
I've been taking some time to dream of things for the new nursery and after purchasing a lamp from Bird Textiles last week l think our colour scheme will be natural wood, white, green, grey with touches of blue. We already have a Stokke cot in Birch, a green bird mobile, a green and white lamp and a ash grey couch to go in the Study/nursery. 
So colourful pillows, storage, wooden crates , wire baskets + nature themed artwork have been on the top of my treasure hunt list, I'll post a baby wish list in a week or so and share all the things l have been dreaming of. 
Don't forget to spread the word about Poppyfox to your friends I'd love to do a giveaway soon and once we reach 200 likers on Facebook I will, so let your friends know. Join me on facebook, pinterest, at the Year long get together group and here. 


What have you been up to in the Spring sunshine?
How was your weekend?


x Mummafox



Saturday, September 8, 2012

My week in Instagram- the low down

My week began-
with a cake + trip to the snow for Father's day.
Then our days were spent with friends, at boxing class, in the playground, in the garden, out in the sunshine + laughing with Miss Two.
I've been trying to embrace September silliness the focus of the Year Long Get Together group on fb. By the way feel free to join it it's a great experience in self awareness of the simple things.
I made crazy crayons for the shop + spent lazy afternoons doing craft with Miss Two.
Taking the time to smile, laugh and love. I've been mindful of forgiveness this week.
Planting, harvesting, cooking + eating from the garden.
Cleaning and continuing the great home improvement mission before the new year.
Still so much to do.
Enjoyed 3 hours alone on Wednesday putting 5 baskets of clothes + things away thanks Steph for babysitting my little birdie.
I tried to enroll Miss Two in a day of childcare only to find out Thursday's are booked till next year!
We have been brewing home brew, making homemade stock, sausage rolls and a tagine, reading a book or two + enjoying afternoon cuddles on the couch.
Miss two now falls asleep in her big bed at 7:30pm to the sound of daddy's voice reading the Encanted Faraway Tree + mummy giving a back rub. No more battles like before.
The baby bump is growing, 23 weeks on, I'm starting to rest when tired and to select a couple of things to focus on a day. I've spent my nights under my Winter's Nest quilt resting + reading.
It's a sewing week next week-
a Wedding quilt in reds, grey and blues. Then Charlie Sling bags + bunting to finish. Reversible pinnies + simple shift dresses to cut out.
I'm slowly getting there but it all takes time, I guess that's the life of a stay at home mum + a pregnant one too.

How has your week been?
What silliness have you been getting up to?
Are you going to have an adventure this weekend?

Happy Friday Everyone.





Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bird Textiles - It's closing

For those that know me I have followed a company called Bird Textiles for years.
I've travelled to Byron alone, with my friends Sophie and Bel over the years and explored the treasure trove that was the Slingfings and then Bird textile Studio not to mention her early market stalls at the Bangalow market.

I've corrupted many with my love of the brand and especially the fabrics.
I have two hook bags put away for a mummy/daughter present for Xmas for my Miss Two.
I won a $200 gift voucher last week and treated myself to some incredible fabric for a new wrap skirt and to add to a patchwork single bed quilt for my family nest.
I own numerous items (i confess more than a dozen) of clothing and homewares which adorn my little nest and me.

Miss Two's bedroom was inspired by the green Seed pod lamp I purchased when I found out I was pregnant. I just bought a matching one in Olive leaf fabric for the new nursery to inspire me with bump no.2.
The Bandu tube dresses have seen me through my overweight, thinner, then pregnant and new mum times. I remember Rachel measuring me and custom making my dresses when I needed a little more length or size. I even wore one of my dresses even to my hens and have travelled overseas with them. They are treasured items in my closet. My wrap skirt, dress' and headscarves are regularly worn out and about or when lounging at home.

Well Rachel after ten years is closing her doors. Bird textiles will be no more after the 8th is September. If you want to grab a unique, ethically made, beautiful garment, lamp, cushions or gift get over to http://www.birdtextile.com.au/
and check out the online shop.
She's closing her doors on the 8th of September and items are up to 70% off. So well worth having a look.
So it's with a heavy heart I share this news on PoppyFox but I'm excited for the new journey Rachel's going to be on supporting and promoting artisans that create ethically, organic and locally made products.

Congratulations Rachel (Aka mummabird) I can't wait to see where this new beginning leads you.


X MummaFox

Monday, September 3, 2012

The great garden experiment

I've been busy heralding in Spring in the garden.
My front lawn absent of grass and full of veggies always makes me smile.
Potatoes were sewn after we came back from a day at the snow yesterday.
A perfect way to end father's day.
I'll post photos of our snow adventure later. The day + trip to Lake mountain was a brilliant and magical wonderland with sunshine, no wind and a very happy munchkin flying down the slope on her toboggan.
My little snow bunny.
Now back to the potatoes + garden update-
I used a bunch of hardwood stakes, a hammer + some flower wire to encircle the potato frame and l then secured it with gardening ties to keep its shape. The square, high enclosure was filled with 5-10cms of organic compost and 8 pieces of seed potatoes placed in the bottom with the sprout facing up. The potatoes were covered over and patted down ensuring no light gets in because if potatoes poke their heads up out of the dirt they can turn green and become toxic.
The trick is to keep filling the potato foliage with dirt to promote potatoes to grow and get more out of your crop. I always use a dirt and straw ratio in layers.
I used potatoes in my pantry that had begun to sprout. I cut a 5cm piece with the sprout off the potato, put it on a piece of kitchen towel to dry and then used it to start the potato bed. Easy peazy.
I then planted three garden bags with other seed potatoes I'd prepared earlier on my footpath.
Pak Choy, several varieties of lettuce and more spring onions were added as well to the garden to ensure we have a good harvest when the weather is warmer.
My carrot and parsnip run are providing yummy treats daily and Miss two has been enjoying them raw or in our meals. She's been known to pick our snowpeas on the way to the car and munch happily on our way out somewhere.
My snowpeas are doing well I harvested this morning and had two cups full ready for salads + stirfry's. The first planting of Broccoli is continuing to shoot small florets perfect for quiche, salads + stirfry's and my leeks are nearly ready to pick. Kale, silverbeet, cos lettuce + beetroot will continue to find their way onto our plates for another couple of weeks.
I would love to try Beetroot risotto.
The garlic seedlings are still small but green and healthy and I've just left them alone to do their thing.
Daffodils + tulips are poking their green leaves up through the succulents near the letter boxes it should be fun to watch them flower. And our blueberries, raspberries and lime tree are budding ready for Spring.
You can see the change of season in the growth that's occurred over the last week.
I found healthy tomato plant at the front door that I have staked ready for summer.
Little sunflower seedlings have come up from last season which was a nice surprise when I was looking through the garden yesterday.
I'm going to ready a section where the carrots were for tomatoes and basil.
I'll try and plant tomatoes, zuccihinis and cucumbers soon if i can find some room.
And once again I'll plant patches of sunflowers to encourage the rosellas and parrots in the area and brighten the place up over summer. It always makes Miss Two and us happy when we look out the window. I seed saved last year and collected a couple of hundred seeds of all different varieties and colours, so this years it'll be pot luck with what colours + varieties go together as I dried them together in one big jar.
It'll be interesting to see how many grow.

What's growing in your garden?

Are you getting ready to plant a spring garden?

If anyone needs sunflower seeds for the garden shoot me an email, or comment here- I'm more than happy to share.

Happy Monday everyone!




x Mummafox
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