Sunday, November 18, 2012

giveaway time...

it needs a name

paul has been in training for 
another marathon

looking for an alternative
to those sickly sweet, artificial energy gels

i created a snack with

raw cacao
organic honey
organic peanut butter
organic oats
kale powder
naked ginger
coconut oil
chia seeds
medjool dates

it was delicious, chocolatey, sweet, nutty and wholesome
perfect as an in between meals snack that satisfies you for longer
great for kids too - if nuts are not an issue

bonus: its all raw and no cooking is involved

post your suggestions for a name
the one we like best
will win a 250g bag of bars

good luck!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

road trip treasures...

i wasn't looking forward to the drive home
nearly 3 hours of dreary
lifeless bitumen

i asked my dear friend and gelorup (bunbury, western australia) local
if there were any places i should try and catch on my way home

she told me about a quaint shop and cafe in a chapel
ten minutes drive in the opposite direction
of my journey

i decided to take a punt
off to boyanup i went

and i was delighted with what i found

a surprise find in the tiny town of boyanup, western australia
french country-inspired homewares and clothing
filled the bright and airy interior
of what used to be 
a church

jo, the owner
started the business just over a year ago
and hasn't looked back
travellers come from everywhere
just to stop by
and enjoy a cafe au lait and macaron
should they fancy

i enjoyed a buttery vanilla cupcake
one of a selection of baked goodies
made by Jo's friend

frenchy stuff..heaven!

be sure to pop by the next time you are heading to the south west
 (or heading to the big smoke)

you will find them  at
33 South Western Highway

heading northbound
i passed a few gorgeous little towns
this one was one of my favourites
brunswick junction

driving through i caught sight of
the original
peters creameries

its dairy country here
beautiful hills
and references to cows EVERYWHERE


my final stop was in the old logging town of

as i cruised through the town i spied
a small but well stocked
antique shop

vintage cutlery
it was a steal
i just love them

i guess my trip home wasn't so dreary, after all

bearded bards ahoy!...

jack carty & josh pyke

this weekend i drove 200kms to bunbury
to catch a 30 minute set

if thats not dedication
i don't know what is

i went with my friends Natalie and Steve
who had never heard of either singers

we dined at the venue where they would be performing
almost empty when we arrived
we asked to be seated
and of all the empty tables we could have had
they seated us right NEXT to josh and jack
i nearly fainted

josh cast a glance my way as we approached
probably noticing my ukelele hanging off me
probably worrying i would try and ask to jam with them
probably thinking '..of all the empty tables they could have had..."

i could not bring myself to even look at them as we ate
much less say hello

josh is better known
but i was really there for jack

a fresh faced sydney-sider

with a big vocal range
and voice that just pulls you in

his latest offering "break your own heart"

has been playing non-stop since i got it three weeks ago

have a listen 
if you like

Thursday, November 8, 2012

burnside organic farm...

walking up the driveway i catch sight of 
some large and content chooks
strutting about and digging for grubs
the way nature intended

and before that the large organic and biodynamic vege garden
bursting with life

tuscan cabbage
rainbow chard
giant beetroot bulbs
garlic chives
passionfruit vines

all ready to be picked and eaten

the clever folk at Burnside Organic Farm
also produce commercial crops of

zinfandel wine

on arrival we were given some freshly laid, still warm, free range eggs
we set about harvesting some gorgeous greens, herbs, beetroot and carrots

and feasted on a lunch that was every bit as nourishing as it was scrumptious

think a big herby frittata
sauteed kale and silver beet
crisp salad of lettuce with grated beetroot and carrot dressed with
honey from their nine hives, and 
unfiltered, freshly pressed olive oil from their neighbours

the vegetarian in our family declared it the best meal that had ever passed his lips

besides all that we were inspired by their self sufficiency and passion for organic produce
and are now planning our humble vege patch at home and how we can produce more for ourselves

the kids played and laughed and explored to their heart's content
they fed the frisky pigs
 dexter cows and their calves
noticed all the little things

and muddy puddles

oh yes
they loved the muddy puddles

plans are already in the making to return

anaconda adventure...

last weekend the four of us
travelled to our state's south west
in search of an adventure race

just for the kids

and it was AWESOME

they ran

and ran approximately 4.5 kilometres through an obstacle course of hills, beach, slippery slides, nets and water

they were rewarded at the end with a shiny medal and hot chips

what more could a kid want?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

paradise found...

after a tumultuous few months
i decided to treat myself to some time out
my friend Danielle came along
it was her first overseas holiday in 12 years

we decided to spend 7 days in that island paradise of Bali
less than four hours away by plane

how do i begin to describe our time there?

just see for yourself


The Royal Beach Seminyak Resort

Puri Sunia Resort, Ubud

Creating original silver jewellery with a master silversmith, Mr Wayan Sunarta

Art and culture ::: history ::: tradition 

new friends ::: risking on purpose! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

wedding bells

my little brother married his beautiful bride in September
there was a traditional chinese tea ceremony that was filled with lots of FOOD, 
laughter, and love
the bride was stunning
the flower girls were precious and excited
i've not seen my mother look so happy as she did that day
i had the honour of making the wedding cake
my first ever
dark chocolate & raspberry mud on top
white chocolate & orange blossom mud on the bottom
it was pretty good for a first effort, i think
what a joyous weekend that was

images by Charles Ho and Winnie Lai

Friday, September 21, 2012

i feel it in my fingers, i feel it in my toes...

i finally found a RARE photo
from when we first met
all those years ago
wasn't he handsome?


i was 21
he was a worldly (to me) 28

softly spoken
did i mention handsome?

i knew he was husband material 
about two minutes after we first met
(i don't know why it took so long)
he was washing dishes, vacuuming and reading a bedtime story
to my friend's young daughter

for him it may have been when i used to turn up in
 fluffy, cow-shaped slippers...
late at night...bearing ice cream...
offering to spare him of the agony of two-fingered keyboard poking
with my speedier typing of his uni assignments

i remember moving in together just weeks after we started dating
it never felt crazy or impulsive
there was simply no other way to be...
except together

that was sixteen years ago
 and today marks the day we sealed the deal
on 22 September 2001

since then its been a wondrous, beautiful journey
travelled together
made lovelier, livelier and louder now
with the addition of two cute and crazy little people

let the magic continue...

happy anniversary, my darling

yours forever


Monday, September 17, 2012

ode to tom...

brother to 14 
father of 5
grandfather to kate, thomas, emily, megan, lily, ben and sean
friend to countless others
and the love of nancy's life

we are all going to miss you
a hole in our hearts 
a void in our lives
now filled with cherished memories

the big laugh
the impish smile
that twinkle in his eye as he told another one of his jokes

love always, and rest in eternal peace

Thomas Joyce
6 .6. 1942 - 17.9.2012

Monday, September 10, 2012


its taken us seven months
to finally get around to 
re-painting and repairing the lounge room at the front
completing its conversion into our new
master bedroom

there was much sanding::spak-filling::plastering::painting::polishing::varnishing

the dust is still settling

the top photos are the walk-in wardrobe, waiting to be fitted out.
 the maroon and yellow HAD TO GO
now its clean, crisp and waiting to be prettied up

i assembled the bed myself today too
i am not the most efficient and skilled at DIY projects
but somehow
with determination
fuelled by the imminent return of my love
who has been away visiting his family in ireland for two weeks
i did it

my hands look like those of a labourer
cuts, broken nails
roughened skin
but it feels GOOD

the fun bit is next
decking it out with my favourite
pretty things
pictures of my loved ones
bitsy furniture
making it a romantic and cosy

Sunday, September 2, 2012

nature's riot

every year we wait patiently for spring
heralding new life
a bit of colour injected into the landscape

the amazing range of wildflowers
that spring (pun intended) up
dazzle with their intense

the ones i like are usually
non-descript and tiny
the thrill is spotting something in amongst the show-offs

kings park is the place to be
over the next couple of months

i get boring whenever we head out there
as the fancy camera comes out and gets a good workout

everlastings are my favourite...

whats yours?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

the centre of our universe...

he is the core of our family

he is there for every
grazed knee and
wounded heart

he makes us laugh louder
and more often

the love he envelopes us in
is fierce and theres nothing like it

we are everything to him
and he, to us

love you like crazy

Happy Father's Day

Friday, August 31, 2012

seaside salve...

i've been feeling a little fragile
missing my love
missing his warmth, smell and voice

life's chaos is the same while he is away
but there is no one at the end of the long day 
to work out its kinks and knots with

today i felt drained and in need of some joy
so i decided a visit to the sea was in order


a lovely place far away enough to feel like we are escaping
but close enough to home so its do-able in a couple of hours

we took in the roundhouse
a tunnel underneath led to a beach
fossicking through tumbles of seaweed for cuttlefish bones

watching the waves lap in and out
breathing in the salty fresh air

stumbling across a gallery featuring lovely local art
with two artists in residence painting away while we watched

grumbling tummies led us on to our dinner
familiar smells led us to a nearby chippie where we got our squid rings, chips and 
battered barramundi

more exploring afterwards
climbing pylons on the beach, following old railway tracks
finishing with over-the-top sundaes

the sun had just set
and the rain clouds rolled in before we could find shelter
we ran through the rain
shivering, ducking and weaving
 in the dark through ancient norfolk pines
till we found our way back to the train station

they are tucked up now
warm and dry in their beds
little smiles on their faces
and the sunshine is back in my soul

Sunday, August 26, 2012

those wings are growing...

Miss 7.5 & Mstr 5
how the heck did that happen?

i've been getting glimpses of what my
little people will be like as
BIG people

i want a 'freeze' button
to stop time
and relish who they are now

Friday, August 24, 2012

strings and poetry

there are so many superlatives swirling in my head
about this man that i don't know what to say first

lyrical genius, gifted with strings, the humblest performer, and just a gorgeous creature

it was his music that first inspired me to learn the ukelele
although he plays the guitar
(its much easier for me to learn the uke!)
but the songs I play are all his

i took three friends with me this week to listen to him play
i could barely contain my excitement
when he finally appeared, he worked his magic
charmed the crowd and made us laugh and cry
all at once
it was heavenly

my friends were instantly smitten
(see? its not just me!)

the day before, i took the children to watch him perform for fans under 18
lily is a chip off the old block
she spent the whole time grinning at him from the front row
and afterwards
brought him a note with a big cut-out heart and a declaration
of love for his music

we'd previously had discussions
about whether i should bring my uke for him to sign
he insisted i bring it with me to the grown-up's gig

so i did
felt a bit sheepish
fussed about what I should wear
silly me

after the show 
we were the last to see him
gracious and sweet he was to me
thanking me for my support 
i threw my arms around him and planted a big one on his bearded cheek - 
an uncontrollable impulse!

before signing my uke he started strumming it
unfamiliar with it 
he asked me what to do
and when he began strumming the very first song I ever learned
i was almost in tears

do yourself a favour
look him up -

what is it about the people that we admire
that moves us in such extreme ways?