Sunday, March 31, 2013

13/52: a portrait project

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

our tribe
Tully looking out at nature, 3 months
our tribe captured at St. Andrew's market
painting another masterpiece

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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter

photo sourced @tullylou

I hope you have a hop, hop, hoppy Easter. 
Enjoying the warmth indoors as the red gums sway in the high winds. My tribe have been enjoying hot cross buns warm and buttery + games. I hope over the long weekend you find an egg or two during the Easter egg hunt.

Have a great Easter everyone!

X mummafox

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Guest Blogging

I'm a guest blogger over at the blogs Makedosew and Hometoroost today.
An Easter gingerbread crafternoon.
Head on over to Lou and Sarah's blogs and take a look. They write such inspiring, crafty blogs.
I hope the eggs have been bought and you're ready to play the Easter bunny.

I've been doing last minute Easter and wedding anniversary shopping.
Now back to the sewing machine.

X Mummafox

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Victoria Sandwich Cake- Tuesday's in the kitchen

This year Poppyfox Hq wants to share recipes, DIY, sewing and craft ideas, holiday and travel posts, great reads and lifestyle posts with you.  To share guest bloggers that l love and follow + their skills, inspiration and passion with you. This blog is all about the simple life and one of those everyday rituals is taking the time to cook + bake and then sit and enjoy the fruits of our labours. I'm on a mission to get 12 guest bloggers for 2013 to share their lives with you.

Today we have guest blogger Lou Cox from Make,Do,Sew cooking a Victorian Sandwich Cake from the Women's Institute a bit like our Country Women's Association over in the UK. It's truly drool worthy. I first stumbled across Lou's blog when l started blogschool and now l follow it on bloglovin and enjoy sharing in the simple things with her. So take it away Lou....

I'm so happy to be able to share a recipe for 'Tuesday's in the Kitchen', Mandi writes such a great blog and I'm honoured to come and visit. 
You can't beat a classic, and this simple cake most beloved by the Women's Institute (WI) is a tried and tested favourite. This simple Victoria sponge is presented in many a country fair for the coveted first prize rosette. For me it just tastes blooming lovely, light buttery sponge, sticky sweet jam (you don't have to only use the traditional raspberry) and a light dusting of caster sugar, yum!

Here's the traditional recipe, I hope you like it.

you will need...

- 2 x 18cm/7 inch round sandwich tins
- Baking paper to line the bottom of the tins
- Set the oven to 180*C/350*F


150g (5oz) butter
150g (5oz) caster sugar
150g (5oz) self raising flour
3 beaten eggs
1tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
Jam filling (traditionally it's raspberry but I've used strawberry)
Caster sugar to dredge the top of the cake
Some extra butter or fat to grease your tin/s

how to make

1. Cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add the beaten eggs stirring in well.
3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until evenly mixed in.
4. Divide the mixture between the two greased and lined tins and bake for 20-30 mins in the middle of the preheated oven.
5. Test with a skewer to see if they are done, the skewer should come out clean.
6. Once baked, cool on a wire rack. Once cool spread on the jam and sandwich together.
7. Sprinkle the caster sugar on the top to finish.

alternatives and additions

- Square tins can be used, in fact according to some it's what was always traditionally used.
- Butter cream can be added as well as or 
instead of jam.
- Try blueberry, loganberry, strawberry or apricot jams for another taste sensation.
- If you want to dredge with icing sugar rather than caster, dredge away.
- This recipe is also great for basic sponge cupcakes.

If you like baking, crafting and generally doing 'stuff' then come and visit me at my blog, I'd love to see you! 
Thanks for having me Mandi,

Love Lou xxx

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter - Monday Link Love

I love Easter and we have been have been enjoying Easter themed crafternoons at Poppyfox Hq for a couple of weeks. It's all about glitter, coloured paper, neon, paper and glitter glue. Craft, craft, craft. 
I held a newborn at mother's group this morning. Spencer was lovely, soft and new. Easter has always been a time of new beginnings when Christ died on the cross, new life is celebrated and easter egg hunts enjoyed for all it's chocolate goodness.  
The sewing machine has been out so I've been cutting fabric while Miss Three paints. 
This week we are going to paint eggs, make carrot wrapping paper and calico bunny rabbits ready for the easter egg hunt.
It's been a stressful few weeks trying to get Tully to feed, put on weight and get well. I'm hoping we are over the hump. This week there's Easter gingerbread to bake with the little ones and orders to sew. The Etsy shop opens this week, it's going to start off small and I'm going to announce my first giveaway to celebrate the blog turning 1 in April and the Poppyfox shop opening. 
Easter is a time of new beginnings and here at Poppyfox Hq that is certainly the case.

An easter bunny, using vegetables to make gift wrapping
+ cookies for those that love to sew
found here, here and here
egg art and sunshine bites
found here, here and here
tarts, bunny decorations + pink lemonade
found here and here
Playrooms, eggs and bright bunting
found here, here, here, here and here
art + crafty inspiration
found here, here and here

What are you planning on doing to celebrate Easter. 
Eggs to decorate, bunnies to cut out or special stories to be told? 
I'd love you to share what you're going to do to celebrate this special season.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

12/52: a portrait project

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

3 months old, curious, happy and playful

Peg art outback in the Sunday afternoon light 

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


Autumn days filled with cloudy skies, defused light, 
High winds, rain and colder weather. 
Getting the chance to put the fire on and snuggle under homemade quilts.
 Enjoying the sunshine and outdoor play when there was a break in the weather.
Easter themed crafternoons, neon stickers and watercolour paints. 
Dreaming of holidays when my little family nest will get an overhaul. 
Tully put on weight finally this week + he is such a happy little boy. 
3 months old yesterday. Long legs swinging in his bouncer and smiles for his sister.
Playdates, jumping in puddles, exploring the garden, 
face painting, baking and sandplay. 
There are Poppyfox orders to sew, fabric to cut and a pinnie + quilt to make. 
Sibling play with Miss Three making a cup of tea for Tully
 from her play kitchen for the first time. 
The smile Miss Three received was priceless.
Every smile, sound and family moment is treasured.
We made time to make a grown up dinner Saturday night. 
Japanese tempura, nori rolls, cold beer, a great friend over and
 our make on a ginger cheesecake. 
Sunday focused on the simple life, warmed hot cross buns with strawberry jam. Couchtime, hanging the washing out as the kids played. 
Setting up a tee pee reading corner for cuddles and reading.
Making beds, venturing to a baby market for organic goodies for the little ones
 + enjoying a slower pace. 

What have you all been up to? 
Stumbled across treasures at the oppy, or spent time with some special people? 
Have you treasured those little moments that often go unnoticed, unappreciated and forgotten? We'd love to hear from you.

x Mummafox

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Espresso Panna Cotta- Tuesday's in the Kitchen

Sometimes it's good to take out a treasured recipe book down from the shelf, open it's sacred pages and make something just for the grown ups. I have the habit of cooking for the tribe and not my dear husband who is often stuck with casseroles, stirfry's, pasta and snack sized food loaded with vegetables. I've got my favourite deserts that just make everything feel better. I've been a bit depressed this past week as nursing Tully has been a challenge, with him resisting feeds due to pain with reflux and not putting on weight so when we took the time to make something special for when the kids are asleep it was a real treat. My husband got into the kitchen made this little number and I was besotted. Panna cotta is one of those deserts that is a winner with everyone and you can add pretty much any flavour to it but Espresso panna cotta is just for the adults. It takes little time to make it but takes time to set.

4 leaves of gelatin
Almond oil or a neutral oil
50g Caster Sugar
2 cups of milk
1 shot of espresso
Moulds for the panna cotta

how to make
Make one shot of espresso and let it cool. 
Brush 6x150 moulds with oil to coat. 
Dissolve 50 grams of caster sugar in 2 cups of milk or buttermilk. You could also use one cup of milk with one cup of cream. 
Soak 4 leaves of gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes till soft. 
Squeeze gelatin leaves and drop into hot milk and swish to dissolve.
Add the shot of espresso and stir into mixture.
Let milk cool a little before pouring gently into moulds.
Dip mould into hot water for a few seconds, then turn out onto cold plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.

You can add a vanilla bean to the milk mixture when dissolving the sugar mixture. Or add chocolate instead of coffee for a good chocolate desert for the whole family. Whatever flavour you add it's meant to be savoured and enjoyed!

If you have a recipe you love, have tried and think we would enjoy send us an email at, become a member of the blog + leave a comment. If you would like to be a guest blogger get in touch we would love to hear from you. 
Next week we will be having our first ever guest blogger Lou from Make, Do, Sew.
 It's going to be fantastic.
Have a productive day in the kitchen and may this Stephanie Alexander recipe become a favourite in your household like it is in mine.

x Mummafox

Monday, March 18, 2013

11/52: a portrait project

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

My tribe
Their spirit shines through
The love they share
The curiosity they have in one another
These are my little ones

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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Have a wonderful and joyful St. Patrick's Day.
May the leprechauns share their luck, adventure and gold with you
You find a Shamrock or two
The Guinness flow into a bottomless glass
And the Irish Stew be warming
Ours smells amazing the ultimate comfort food for St. Patrick's Day.

x Mummafox

Photo sourced here.


With little ones recovering from illness, 
unsettled and restless in sleep, it was starting to take it's toll on me.
 It's been a tedious few weeks. 
Then the sun came out again and with it hot Autumn days 
and afternoons of dabbled sunlight moving across the sandstone pavers. 
The sandpit and blackboard mat got a workout. 
There were crafternoons, dress ups, movie marathons + sibling play. Treasured moments of Tully laughing, kicking his legs in his bouncer. 
Playdates with friends + a birthday party. We perfected coffee panna cotta, 
Miss 3 helped make cookies. 
Harvested the last of the summer heirloom tomatoes for salads + cheese melts.
New flowers appeared on the capsicum and zucchini plants in the vegetable garden and as the cool change came so did the rain. 
We slept last night under quilts listening to the steady patter of rain falling. 
The earth is moist and ready for digging over soon.
The sewing machine is out and our Sunday spent playing picnics with softies on the floor, eating warmed hot cross buns, reading in the tee pee tent.
 Sewing up some Poppyfox orders. Organizing my sewing patterns for clothing to sew over the next few weeks for the shop. 
A glass of Guinness + Slowfood Irish stew for St. Patrick's day and watching the Wizard of Oz on our couch. 
What have you all been up to?
Happy St.Patrick's Day everyone.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday's in the kitchen- Zucchini muffins

Since making the new year's resolution and goal to sit down for a 5:30pm dinner.
Meals need to be easy to organise and prepare. With both my little ones are sick, it's hard to organise things when they need you. My goal this week is to bake supplies, make summer pasta sauce with the last of the tomatoes in the garden, sausage rolls + zucchini muffins for the freezer. I swapped a bowl of summer heirloom tomatoes for a bunch of zucchini's as my plants havn't produced any zuchinni's yet.
Anyone who grows them knows when it's a good season you have to many that you struggle to use them all. Years ago I started making sausage rolls with vegetables including grated zucchini.
And Cheese, Bacon and Zucchini Muffins are tasty, great for freezing and portioned for easy, quick meals. I started to pack one in a container for car rides for Miss Three.
This is my take on the Zucchini muffin.


2 cups (220g) plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
65g butter, melted
2 free range eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2-3 grated carrots
2-3 mushrooms finely diced
1/3 red capsicum finely diced
1 onion finely diced
1/2 cup of diced cherry/drop tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup (90g) grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup (30g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 rashers bacon diced
Salt + cracked pepper to taste
Pinch of herb salt if you have it.

Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 30 minutes

How to make
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 12 muffin tray with cooking oil spray or use Silcone muffin cases like I did.
Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl stir together the butter, egg, milk, zucchini, veggies and garlic until well mixed. Mix the flour mixture into the milk mixture about 1/2 cup (125ml) at a time, stirring between additions, until the flour mixture is incorporated.
Fold in the cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes and diced bacon, and pour the mixture into the prepared Silcone muffin cases.
Cook in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow muffins to cool slightly before removing from muffin cases, serve warm.

Alternatively, place on wire rack before placing into containers for freezing.
I serve these for lunch or dinner with a side salad or vegetable sticks for Miss Three.

If you have a recipe you'd like to share, become a member of the blog, email me at or share a link or comment below.
We'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for those that have been leaving comments, it makes my day.

x Mummafox

Monday, March 11, 2013

10/52: a portrait project

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

Miss three joyful playing with sand + water
Tully sleeping soundly, 10 weeks 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

My week in Instagram-

The days and nights filled with ongoing illness
watching two little ones grumpy and unsettled
it's been exhausting + I've kept things simple
there have been lots of story times + joyful moments
a normal home life
the end of summer days, the heatwave remains
sunny afternoons in the sand pitt 
dreaming of a sea change
sibling play, watching kids while they sleep
sneaking in the odd glass of cold white wine
gardening + planning out a Autumn planting
a birthday party, dress ups and BBQ's
I long for the rain to fall and a cool change
so l can sit, concentrate and sew
tully turned 10 weeks old
Miss Three continues to create + imagine
 and colour our family nest
it's amazing watching the family grow.

x Mummafox

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The great garden experiment #6

the summer garden coming to a close
Australian summers are all about beach combing, swimming days, bare feet, picnics in the great outdoors, gardening, enjoying the sunshine and cloud watching. It's just been so hot lately. We have stayed inside with the air conditioning venturing out when the shade comes across in the afternoons so we don't get sun burnt. I've longed for beach days but with a newborn l haven't wanted to risk Tully getting heat stroke from to much sun and heat.

The heatwave has knocked my garden around which isn't a great surprise. It's a result of no rainfall, longstanding heat and all day sun pelting down on my seedlings and plants. Oh I've watered but it hasn't helped much and l have excepted that this summer isn't going to be a heavily productive one for all of my crops. 
The tomatoes have gone crazy and are coming to the end of their season. I've harvested a good 20+ kilos of summer heirloom tomatoes. But no zucchini's as yet, the plants are still green but struggling to harvest with no fruit. My squash has just started fruiting and l will be ready to harvest in the week. I got a bowl of beans before the bean runners got fried. l have seeds already dried for next season's planting + sunflower seeds for next year.

pumpkins, sweet peppers and squash 
After having so many tomatoes in various colours and varieties, I found myself looking into the fridge for a snack only to find no little red morsels only little yellow pear tomatoes. I can't believe I've gone through the lot.

It's amazing how years gone by it was hot but plants seem to hold their own, with these current heatwaves little has survived. I harvested three kilos of mixed potatoes from my potato wire enclosure not a great result but they are tasty. And a bowl of lush purple eggplant that we had three ways. A eggplant salad with a yoghurt dressing, an eggplant pickle and in a hot curry. I was surprised that my pumpkins, capsicum and zucchini plants are still alive, there's hope I might have a small crop still to come. It's always a gamble about what will grow and succeed. 

My lime tree and blackberry after a long water have bounced back. After I spent two afternoons pulling my tomato plants, potatoes, beans and corn out I've left the garden to rest. I've been waiting for the long weekend with the plan to dig in blood and bone to recondition the soil and give it a really good water. I'll need to wait another week or so before l dig it over again and start planting or I'll kill the seeds with to much fertiliser. 

The neighbors are moving out next-door tomorrow along with the cats so I'm praying my garden once again becomes mine. A space where I can plant seeds, water and mulch knowing it'll all be there in the morning. No more morning surprises of garlic dug up in my garden or seedlings crushed + trampled.

harvesting eggplants, potatoes + a flowering lime 
With both my little ones being sick the last two weeks everything has been put on the back-burner. We've has so many medical appointments that a long weekend with ads home is needed. It's been a bit crazy with illness impacting on my little tribe. Perfect example, tonight after enjoying homemade pizzas on our webber we had to call an ambulance as Miss Three slipped + head butted the corner of the couch and put a dent in her forehead. She might be waking up to a black eye but she's going to be OK much to relief of her parents. Life with the tribe has been eventful but you just keep keeping on. 
Miss Three is excited to start planting in the garden with me. I'm looking forward to planting out carrots, kale, leeks, broccoli and autumn seeds with Miss Three and getting the ground ready for a bumper autumn/winter crop. There are two bales of hay waiting to warm the ground as the weather cools.

I also want to get the worm farm and compost bin going again with the change of season. 
I envisage this taking a couple of weeks as it's a bit of work and lets face it the little ones come first. Autumn is such a great time, with the mix of warm, rainy and windswept days in the garden when the leaves change, the wellies come out, the ground is turned over and new planting begins. 

What's happening in your garden? 

x Mummafox

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