Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday's in the Kitchen- Chewy Chocolate Cookies

I've been busy cleaning out the pantry, cleaning the house and reorganising our little family nest this Australia Day long weekend. There might be an absence of Australia Day celebrations at our place and our family routine might be chaotic at the moment but there is such a peaceful joy when l open the pantry and it looks organised and ordered. I made a promise to myself to use what we had in the pantry with the goal of downsizing the amount of baking things, jars and condiments in our kitchen. It's incredible how many are sitting on our pantry shelves, in our fridge and also in our pull out drawer next to the stove.
So l checked out our ingredients and got out what we would need to make some yummy goodness. Chewy chocolate cookies perfect for this weeks play dates, outings and the surprise visitor or two.
I actually made these while we had family visiting, Miss Three was playing picnics on the floor and the washing machine and dishwasher were going. It only took 30 minutes all up. So if you want something simple, easy to do with kids or that doesn't take a long time, give it a go. This would be a great recipe for all those in the UK right now surrounded by snow or up in the north of the country here where it's raining and there are floods. It's a great comfort food treat, great with a cuppa or a hot chocolate. Thinking of you all experiencing extreme bush fires, floods and snow where ever you are in the world. I'm fortunate that it's a lovely 20 degrees here today in Melbourne and I'm thankful.

Macadamia + Dark Chocolate Chewy Cookies

Prep time: 30 min | Cooking Time: 18-20 min | Eating time: seconds


1 1/2 cups (225g) of plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
150g of butter, softened
1 cup (175 g) packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (165g) white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 free range eggs
1 cup of Macadamia nuts chopped finely
440g of dark chocolate, chopped or bag of dark chocolate bits

how to make
  1. Preheat oven 160 degrees for fan forced oven.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy 8-10 mins
  3. Scrape down sides of the bowl
  4. Beat in the egg and gradually add sifted flour, salt and baking powder. Stir till dough forms.
  5. Add chopped chocolate + macadamia cookies and stir well or use a KitchenAid until mixed through
  6. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough at a time into balls.
  7. Use back of a fork and press each ball slightly to flatten on the tray.
  8. Place on greased baking trays lined with baking paper, allowing room for cookies to spread.
  9. Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are golden
  10. Take cookies out of oven and let cool on trays prior to transferring them to a drying rack.
  11. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
I would love to know what you are baking- leave a comment below- send me a picture or recipe to share at poppyfoxathome@gmail.com.
Become a member of the blog and be notified of blog posts as they happen.
If you're interested in doing a guest post please get in touch and if you have a favourite recipe share it.
We'd love to hear from you.

x Mummafox

Monday, January 28, 2013

My dream surf shack

I have always had the dream of the perfect surf shack, somewhere to getaway. 
Ads and I have talked about getting a home a little bigger near the water with some land.
 My dream would be an acre of rolling land, an old coastal home or farm house renovated, wooden floorboards, white washed walls, open windows overlooking the hills or the surf and room for the kids to roam. 
A huge veggie garden, an art studio, chickens and some livestock and our own vines. Somewhere away from suburbia, a good hour from the city so Ads could still commute till he was ready to make a career change. Dream picks are down the coast, Flinders, Merricks, Mount Martha, Torquay, Jan Juc, Barwon Heads. Oh it's so lovely to dream, dream, dream.
On my design wish list are-Simple lines, clean living, danish furniture, natural and dark woods. Homemade touches with quilts and floor cushions.
A daybed on the veranda over looking a green, lush garden and the sea beyond. Natural light, vintage surfboards, wall art that tells the story of our little family.
Loads of space for our tribe and a living space where the beach meets the home. This week l came across some fantastic houses that made me drool.
A home with a feature wall of framed art and Danish furniture, like an Eames television unit that is on my wish list for our family nest to sit in our bedroom for all our treasures and our TV. A Eames couch, fold out day bed for the balcony. A old Danish natural wood bar to use in the nursery for a change mat and Tully's clothes.
I fell in love with this coastal home in Jan Juc. It made me want to pack my bags, drive down the coast and find somewhere to plant our roots. I've been looking for a old school surfboard to hang on our wall over the staircase for a while without luck. I was inspired by this Jan Juc home with it's surfboards, vintage furniture, a swing inside, a flourishing veggie patch, a wonderful round window that would be a dream to have in my abode.
A spacious living area with a Smeg fridge oh how l love thee, I would have you in powder blue for our kitchen, simple seating with electric fabrics that you could sleep on for the lounge or balcony. Dreamy Danish furniture, a David Trubridge light that I want, want, want!

Natural wood, vintage surfboards and functional design
Spacious rooms, white walls, wood flooring and vintage furniture

I love this room. The seating that is all about fabric, functionality and comfort. I might have to build something for the balcony. A Eames coffee table, white walls, and a Trubridge light shade.
Vintage desk and chair for the little ones and a felt ball rug
A round window I dream of having in my abode
I want this bookshelf for Miss Three's bedroom
Wood features, lovin the lamp shade and simple wall clock
An inspirational feature wall of art
Another Danish Parker Eames Unit drool, drool, drool.
Electric gatherings of art, plants and treasures that make a home.

What have you fallen in love with lately for your family nest? 
I'd love to hear what your wish  list is, shoot us an email, 
leave a comment or share a link or photo. We'd love to hear from you. 

x Mummafox

Sunday, January 27, 2013

04/52: a portrait project

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

Tully doing tummy time + Miss Three supervising
Having a wee talk
Miss Three and Tully 1 month old

a portrait of my people once a week, every week, in 2013 ~
i'm joining with jodi and taking part in the 52 project
Come join us

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- A new sewing project

This week I was asked to make a contemporary bespoke queen-size quilt for a very special grandmother. I'm excited to start such a large project over the next few months, collecting the fabrics, working out the design and blend of fabrics and then to cut the pieces and create a tapestry that will become a keepsake. Garden roses, touches of pink and yellow and a sea of blue and green hues. I'm inspired by the sunshine of summer, colour and the diversity of fabrics.

x Mummafox

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Miss Three enjoying face painting and a play date with
her cousin Charlotte at St.Andrew's market.
Tully 22 days old. Asleep after a feed.
It's a tradition to take the newbies to the Chai tent.

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

My week in Instagram

Time spent counting tiny fingers and toes, enjoying the sunshine, 
observing nature,  having cuddles + special time with my little people. 
Relaxing at St.Andrew's market with family, 
sipping chi, feeding Tully. Holding hands with Ads and Miss Three.
 There were pony rides, face painting, organic food and
 all of it spent with my favourite people.

What did you all get up to this past week?
x Mummafox

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chocolate Brownies- Tuesday's in the kitchen

I love chocolate. Miss Three does too so there is nothing more popular with our little family than baking something with chocolate as one of the ingredients where Poppy gets to lick the spoon. It's either afternoons spent doing craft, sandplay or baking in our household. This week we made Chocolate brownies. This afternoon it's going to be chewy chocolate cookies if l get the chance to bake with Miss Three, so watch out for that recipe next week. A tip for cooking with kids though make sure the bowl is sturdy, the utensils you are using are child size and that you have a sponge on hand to keep things clean. Miss Three is a great little chef but she's messy like all kids are. Today l thought l would share two brownie recipes with you that we like to eat. They keep well for a couple of days in a container if you don't eat them all at once. 
We have had a lot of visitors so the cookie jar of homemade gingerbread has been devoured, Adam's birthday cake's been eaten and there isn't much in the pantry so we really needed something to feed our many guests.
It's an easy recipe, it's yum, and young and old like them with a glass of milk, a pot of tea or with a hot coffee. I've also been known to heat a brownie till warm and eat it with a big scoop of ice-cream when the little ones are asleep. Naughty I know but sometimes you just can't help yourself, can you.

Classic brownie

Prep time: 10 mins |Cooking Time: 35 min | Makes 20 


280g unsalted butter, chopped
400g dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups (350g) brown sugar
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour

how to make

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. 
  2. Place the butter and half the chocolate on a small saucepan over a low heat and cook, stirring, until melted and smooth. 
  3. Allow to cool slightly. 
  4. Place the sugar, eggs, and flour in a bowl and mix well to combine. 
  5. Then add chocolate mixture, stir and combine.
  6. Stir in remaining chopped chocolate and pour into a lightly greased 20cm x30cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper. 
  7. Bake for 20-30 mins or until mixture is cooked through. Test with skewer. 
  8. Allow to cool completely in the tin.
  9. Dust with icing sugar.
  10. Cut into slices and serve.  Enjoy them with a pot of tea or warm them for 30 seconds in the microwave and serve with a scoop of ice-cream.


Butterscotch, white chocolate and pecan brownie


2.5 cups of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of butter, softened
1 1/4 cups of packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 free range eggs
1 cup toffee/butterscotch bits (Werther's chewy caramels, chopped)
2/3 cups of white chocolate bits
1 cup chopped pecans

how to make

  1. Preheat oven 160 degrees for fan forced oven/ 180 degrees regular oven.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy
  3. Beat in eggs and gradually add sifted flour
  4. Add chocolate, caramels and pecans and stir well
  5. Spoon into a 20cm x 30cm tin and bake in an oven for 35 minutes 
  6.  Leave to cool in tin
  7. Dust with icing sugar and cut into slices.



I would love to know what you are baking- leave a comment below- send me a picture or recipe to share- here or email- at poppyfoxathome@gmail.com. Become a member of the blog and be notified of blogposts as they happen. If you're interested in doing a guest post please get in touch and if you have a favourite recipe share it.
We'd love to hear from you.

x Mummafox

Monday, January 14, 2013

A photo essay- 52 portraits for 2013

a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

I have joined Jodi over at Che and Fidel this year in the 52 portrait challenge- to take a photo each week capturing my little tribe. I follow a lot of blogs and l noticed a few were participating in this challenge and it got me thinking about what my New Years resolutions were going to be and this is one of them.
To try something new, to grow my readership, to add to my blog, to capture the beauty of everyday and my family through photography and the written word.
I love the idea of doing a photo essay over a long period of time of the kids. This is my chance to see over the course of a year how Miss Three and my little newborn Tully change, grow and become ultimately their own creative individuals.
Join Jodi and the 244 of us in the 52 A Portrait a week project or just follow here and I'll keep you all posted.

The story so far-

x Mummafox

A Kitsch Wonderland- Monday Link Love

This bedroom is a vintage fantasy for little people.
 Filled with colour, vintage toys, a collection of trinkets and tons of character.
A place where fairytales are true, toys come alive and anything is possible.
 I stumbled across this a few weeks ago and just needed to share the vintage loveliness with you all.
Have a great Monday Everyone.

X Mummafox

Sunday, January 13, 2013

02/52: a portrait project

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

Miss Three working the dress ups.
Tully wrapped up and ready for bed.

a portrait of my people once a week, every week, in 2013 ~
i'm joining with jodi and taking part in the 52 project
Come join us

x Mummafox

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My week in Instagram

There have been play dates, lots of visitors, cuddles with Tully, 
crafternoons, family BBQ's + picnics at the park.
Special smiles, funny faces and first experiences between Miss Three and Tully. Like holding Tully for the first time, gentle kisses on his cheek as Miss Three says goodnight and them holding hands when we are in the car. There have been cuddles with some of our favourite people, birthday cake and celebrations for Ads who turned 37 this week. A new sand pitt  for our family nest for Miss Three and first bath times with Tully at home.
Today all is quiet.
Some outdoor sandplay, lunch outside and a glass of white wine with Ads as Miss Three plays in her sand pitt and with chalk and Tully sleeps peacefully upstairs at last.

What did you all get up to this past week?
x Mummafox

Reflections on a growing family

It's been two weeks since Tully came into the world. I can honestly say I love my little family more than ever. I'm getting use to feeding, broken sleep and juggling entertaining a toddler and burping a newborn.
There are mornings when coffee and a hot shower are the only things that gets me through. I've felt immense mother guilt when I've become frustrated by lack of sleep, toddler tantrums and wind that just doesn't seem to go away with burping Tully. When I can't just pick Miss Three up when she's teary and give her cuddles because Tully's in my arms. When she needs food and the toilet and l just don't know where to put Tully while I'm running after her. Or what do l do with both of them when the phone rings, Miss Three starts singing at the top of her lungs, the dinner on the stove needs attention or the washing needs to be hung out. The joys of trying to remember feed times, reminding Miss Three to go to the toilet as we are still in the midst of toilet training, attempting to get dinner on the table before 7pm and the kids to bed by 9pm.
Oh the juggling act.
The internal struggle between the love you feel for your children and the resentment at the loss of your freedom or even the ability to pee without a child needing to be entertained, feed, disciplined or acknowledged. But I also know that as a mother you can't be everything and achieve all that needs to be done so I'm attempting to be kind to myself. Motherhood can be deeply rewarding but also one of the lonelinest jobs out there. 1am to 4am is the worst time at the moment when the family is sleeping, I'm exhausted and dreaming of my pillow and Tully is up feeding and unsettled with wind. It's easier the second time round but going without sleep just isn't fun when you are 35 years old. Gone are my twenties when l bounced out of bed and could function on three hours sleep while going out at night and working two jobs.

I'm staring at Mount Washmore piled on my kitchen table wondering how I'm going to find a moment to fold, iron and put away the assortment of clothes, fabric and bedlinen just off the line. I finally went through my wardrobe and threw out four garbage bags of clothes that l just wasn't wearing and shoes, whilst slightly frightening it was liberating to see space in my wardrobe and on my shelves. I'm looking at my sewing machine fondly thinking about how to begin the creative process again. I've got a couple of weeks before I have to complete a quilt order and get things started back up again. At least the dishes + vaccuming are done and the chocolate brownies have been dusted with a glimmer of icing sugar begging to be eaten. Miss Three is playing and happy, Tully's asleep upstairs, Ads is home from work and finally on holidays and I've just set up a second sandpit in the front yard for the little ones that was kindly given to us. I know l am not alone in feeling overwhelmed by motherhood at times, overtired and yet strangely satisfied with my little family.

I read a really article by blogger Amy Morrison this week that made my battle with mother guilt a little easier. I thought l would add it here as it made my motherhood experience feel a little more managable and hopeful.

If you think about it, if you had a baby thousands, if not hundreds of years ago, you would have had your mother, all your sisters (all of whom were probably lactating) and your nieces all taking care of your baby. They would help with food preparation, show you how to manage and make sure your baby wasn't eaten by a bear. Your kid's feet probably wouldn't have touched the ground until they themselves would be able to carry around an infant. Back then, the point of a child was to have free labor in the fields and someone to take care of your old ass down the road, and not much more.
As for the past generations that like to tell you that they raised six kids on their own and did it without a washing machine? Well, sort of. Keep in mind child rearing was viewed pretty differently not that long ago and you could stick a toddler on the front lawn with just the dog watching and nobody would bat an eye at it -- I used to walk to the store in my bare feet to buy my father's cigarettes when I was a kid. As a mother, you cooked, you cleaned, but nobody expected you to do anything much more than keep your kids fed and tidy.
My grandmother used to tell the story about how she forgot my mother at the grocery store in the early '40s. She walked up to the store with my mother sleeping in her carriage, parked it outside with all the other sleeping babies (I'll let that sink in), went inside to do her shopping, then walked home, forgetting that she'd taken the baby with her. She quickly realized her mistake and walked back and retrieved my mother, who was still sleeping outside the store.
There were no flashcards, there was no sign language (unless you were deaf), there were no organic, free-range bento boxes -- your job was to just see a kid through to adulthood and hope they didn't become an idiot. Hey, I'm not judging, and I'm not saying one way is better than the other, but I'm just saying that we are part of a generation that considers parenting to be a skill. Like a true skill that needs to be mastered and perfected and if we don't get it right, we think our kids suffer for it -- and that's hard sh*t to keep up with. That's not to say other generations didn't have it tough or think parenting was important, but there just wasn't the same level of scrutiny that could be liked, tweeted or instagramed all at once.
You are in the trenches when you have a baby. To the untrained eye it seems pretty straightforward and easy -- you feed them, you bathe them, you pick them up when they cry -- but it's more than that. It's perpetual motion with a generous layer of guilt and self-doubt spread on top, and that takes its toll. Feeling like you also need to keep on top of scrapbooking, weight loss, up-cycled onesies, handprints, crock pot meals, car seat recalls, sleeping patterns, poo consistency, pro-biotic supplements, swimming lessons, electromagnetic fields in your home and television exposure is like trying to knit on a rollercoaster -- it's f*cking hard.
We live in a time when we can Google everything, share ideas and expose our children to amazing opportunities, but anyone that implies that they have it figured out is either drunk or lying (or both), so don't be too hard on yourself. Your job is to provide your child with food, shelter, encouragement and love, and that doesn't have to be solely provided by you either -- feel free to outsource, because they didn't just pull that "it takes a village" proverb out of the air.
Mommy and Me classes, homemade lactation cookies and learning Cantonese is all gravy, and if you can throw them in the mix once in a while, good on ya, Lady. I have about 9,000 things I've pinned on Pinterest and I think I've done four of them, which is fine by me, because those are above and beyond goodies, and not part of my just-scraping-by norm. It's an amazing and exciting time to have a baby right now, but always keep in mind, no one has ever done it like this before -- you are pioneers that have to machete through the new terrain. Chin up. Hang in there. And remember, you're doing a great job.
I'm off to conquer Mount Washmore and see if l can see the kitchen table cleared before dinnertime.
x Mummafox
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