Thursday, 30 January 2014

Some days I am the statue and some days I am the pigeon

Have you heard the saying "some days I am the statue and some days I am the pigeon" well that could not have been more true for me than today, I started the day very well the morning ran smoothly and yes there was some traffic to get to school but it was all good when we arrived at school and master munchkin was settled, a bunch of ladies and I wandered down to the cafe for a cuppa there we were sitting chin waging and laughing. 

After the cafe I had to run some errands in town and I have never caught the city hopper before and it was so much fun and it was free - who knew! my middle munchkin had the time of his life going up and down the stairs admiring the splashes onto the boat. See I was the pigeon I was having the time of my life once in town we had a lovely lunch and had a look around the shops before going back to get master munchkin from school and then.......

That's when my luck changed and I became the statue.

The bus showed up super late which made us late by 10minutes or so but I was running like a crazy woman pushing my pram and telling my 4 year old you can do it and he would say I am so fast mum but really we were probably running at the pace of 20 turtles. 

We finally made it, on our way we went only to find out that 1 million birds (quite an exaggeration) had pooped all over our car, we could not see through the windscreen, we drove to the nearest drive through car wash but not before people tooted their horns to wave and make fun at the state of our go go mobile (the statue) we were polite and waved back we chatted with the pedestrians while on the lights 

"yes yes the birds went to town on this one ha ha ha"

So here we are now I guess I am back to being the pigeon the kids had so much fun talking about all that poop on the car and our go go mobile is clean and shinny.

Tomorrow will be another day and of course I will park in a different spot.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Back to school

Today was the first day back at school, our oldest munchkin has started grade one, how time has flown it was only yesterday when I remember him being born, I still vividly remember the baby smell and now he is nearly six. 

This morning we talked about what the next year will be for him, all the new exciting things he will learn and discover. When we arrived at school he was so excited to meet his new teacher and to find out where he was sitting, you couldn't wipe his smile off his face when he saw his little mates. We left the children in the classroom and us parents had a lovely morning tea at the school. 

I baked a whole bunch of cupcakes for the staff at the school and it was hilarious to hear they are happy that the baking and eating feast is commencing again as my favourite past time is baking, but a girl can only eat so many cupcakes before looking like an oompa loompa if you get my drift, I love how they say it is bad for their waistline but let me tell you about these people they are all fab and fit so a cupcake here and there will not make buttons fly.
I picked my little munchkin this afternoon and he had a gift from the teacher to let them know the school classroom is a safe place, then on the way home we stopped at the park and bumped into some friends from school, we had a play and a chin wag, as we hadn't seen each other since the end of school last year, after a while it was time to go home for dinner and a bath.

As I write this post my little munchkin is all curl up on the couch with a book in his hand.

What a great first day of grade one.

For my little munchkin who is always so happy and smiley I love you so much.


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Memory land

This weekend was the long weekend to celebrate Australia Day, on Australia Day we had a very laid back day the munchkins and I baked some lamington's cupcakes and just potted around the Whitecottage Farmer Joe made a fabulous Delicious BBQ we had the tastiest Lamb chops in town. 

Wellington Point

A cold drink on a hot day
The view from Farmer's Joe old farm
The old neighbour's fence
Farmer Joe's Farm House
The following day we decided to drive to Wellington Point for a bit of sun and sand we packed the car as if we were moving house the kids packed every water toy they could find, the tide was low so no much swimming happened but the kids had a ball splashing in the mud.

On our way home we decided to go and visit Farmer Joe's old house you see Farmer Joe although not a farmer anymore he grew up in a vegetable farm in the Redlands we drove around and he showed us where his mum and dad farms and fields used to be and spent the longest time telling us all the farm stories how he would go and look for mud crabs or would ride his bike around the fields or to my horror how him and his friends would go at night and go cow tipping the munchkins laughed and enjoyed the stories .

Although the fields have now being replaced by all these incredible ocean view houses two things remains Farmer Joe childhood home and his lovely neighbour Charlie the Italian man who has been living in the same street for over 40 years as we drove onto the street there he was tending to his eggplants and vegie patch.

Well it was getting late and we could no longer ignore the fact that we all smelt like a fish pond so we returned to the Whitecottage after a hot shower and a BBQ the munchkins were put in bed, Farmer Joe and I are enjoyed a cup of coffee in our humble abode, 

The Whitecottage.

Friday, 24 January 2014

The End of the School Holidays

This week is the last week of the school holidays, they went way too fast, we have had so much fun, we have done day trips, we have gone away, to see the countryside and of course we have potted around the Whitecottage.
The time flew away but we achieved so much in this time, the boys are 5 1/2 & 4 years old so now they have started a new routine where they are now making their own beds in the mornings and tidying up their own room at the end of the day, although I got to remind them each day to do it, they are quite happy to do it, they also have their own washing basket, so for the last few weeks they now taking their own clean washing up to their bedroom put all the clothes away and bringing the basket back to the laundry.

It is very important for us that the children become as independent as possible and to help around the house we figure if they start when they small they might do it as they get older we will see time will tell.  One thing that has happened in the last few months is how polite and grateful they are when they receive something I just love how they say "Thank you papa and mum for getting this or that for me" and I think to myself how cute and wonderful to see and hear these words I will keep them close to my heart especially when they grow up and become royal pain.

The last few weeks have been crazy trying to see all our little friends that we could not see at Christmas time and just trying to have one last proper catch up before the crazy school season starts. For most of our little friends next week will be the first time they go to school, the start of prep and exciting times are ahead for all of them as for our little munchkins well our eldest is going onto grade 1 and our middle one is starting Kindy I am happy and nervous at the same time for both of them I am glad that I still have little miss munchkin at home she can keep me company and amuse me with all her mischievous behaviour. 
On that note...... Congratulations to all those cute little munchkins that are starting or going back to school
With Love

Friday, 17 January 2014

ENTERTAINING - Ladies that Brunch..... with children

Entertaining should be my middle name after Champagne-bubbles of course. Farmer Joe and I love entertaining at home we have done so since the day we got married, I remember the days when we used to live in our CBD apartment and would have loads of people for drinks and canapes and eventually the sing star (karaoke) would come out and well... there would be that knock from the building security to let us know to keep our off key singing to a minimum.

Fast forward to the present we do not have too many rowdy night soirees but we definitely do entertain a lot at the Whitecottage, we love having people over and I must say I quite enjoy the gatherings where the children are running around it brings back memories of my childhood.

I am lucky enough to have made amazing friends since the munchkins were born and we still meet on a regular basis for brunch and play dates. I must say I probably host brunch and playdates at least twice a week at the Whitecottage and why 
not us girls enjoy it and the children enjoy it.
I do not claim to be an expert on event coordinating but I know what works and what doesn't work for specific gatherings. The key to success for any gathering is:


for a small gathering such as today's brunch- prepare and organise as much as you can beforehand. We are having a mid morning (brunch) event. 

The day before I will bake a cake and prepare the table with all the plates, crockery, napkins and glassware.


In my experience I try to keep it as simple as possible to allow me to prepare the food quickly and easy and to sit down and spend time with my guests.

I also prepare the children's table with crayons, butchers paper and anything that might keep them occupied for more than 5 minutes.

 Today's menu

assorted sandwiches
Fresh fruit
Apple tea Cake

Children's menu

Vegemite sandwich
Strawberry smoothies
fruit Stick
I usually use ingredients that I already have in my fridge and pantry I like to keep it real after all it is all about the experience and the company.

I always do this. I prepared a small homemade gift for my guests, it is old fashion but believe me no one has ever complained for going home with a small cake or 1/2 dozen of eggs courtesy of my trusty chickens. 

In order to give my guests a departing gift I either bake an extra cake if I have the time or I wrap  the left over cake in baking paper tie it with string for that extra detail, and write a small 
thank you on a tag. Give it to my guests as they leave.


Apple tea cake

This cake I learnt while I was a teenager it is always a winner is old fashion, delicious and super easy to make.


65g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup self raising flour, sifted
1/3 cup milk 
1 granny smith apple cored and thinly sliced


20g butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 spoons caster sugar


*pre-heat oven to 160c 
*Place Butter, sugar, egg and Vanilla whisk wth an  electric beater until smooth
*Add SR flour sifted and milk and beat with an electric beater
*place the thinly slice apple in a pattern
*Bake for 30 minutes then check with a skewer it is done when the skewer comes out clean
*mix the topping ingredient together and then brush with a pastry brush over the cake while still warm.

Make a cuppa of coffee or tea and enjoy

The Cupacake Lady


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Potting around the Whitecottage

Today it was a day to pot around the Whitecottage of late we have been busy catching up with friends which I love but can be hectic. Our little munchkin started kindy this week I am sad and happy at the same time our munchkins are growing up so fast.

I quite enjoy potting around days especially today the weather was just right all the windows were opened the breeze came through, while I finished the washing and vacuuming baby munchkin had her usual morning nap and our oldest spend what it seem hours playing lego which is impossible when baby is around.

We ate some yummy food we spent some time talking about what 5 years olds are interested in, in our case Dinosaurs and Firetrucks. I am enjoying these alone moments with our eldest it is no long before the holidays are over and we are back to the hustle and bustle of daily routine.

I made a list of new upcycle projects I need to finish lets hope the weekend brings us good weather.

Today was a relaxing day I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

What do you do on your potting around days, would love to hear?.



Sunday, 12 January 2014

Our escape to the country

This past weekend we left the Whitecottage and drove to our mini escape to the country. Our friends were celebrating their son's 5th birthday and they asked us to stay, which we jumped at the offer.  Our friend well let's called them the country lady and the country doctor They have two wonderful munchkins a dog called Henry and a modern country home to die for.

We arrived at the party, what an amazing thing to see a wonderland for little superheroes, The decorations were spectacular the food so delish all the superheroes were busy at work trying to get all the baddies, the party came to an end and you would think the kids would be stuffed like a duck but no they were full of beans Jelly beans I suspect.

I spend quite a lot of time talking to the country doctor's mum let's called her Sue what a great lady she is so much fun to listen to, she worked in a cattle station as a young chicky babe and now works as a one woman show running a Clinic in remote Queensland It is incredible all the years of nursing experience she has, how she has to be nurse, midwive, radiographer and the jobs go on and on and what's more she actually enjoys it as we were talking she mentioned to me that in a couple of hours she must catch a bus for 11 hours to get to her job the next day.

It was that time of the day dinner time we made a quick easy dinner my new dish in the menu a bit of Jamie Oliver and a bit of the Cupcake Lady pizza (check it out on the blog) and a quick green salad. Sue was getting ready to depart to the bus stop but not before she showed us her skills of kneading the dough a skill she learnt in her teens at the cattle station.

Well this morning was a day of bushwalking, eating Dr D delish food had a play in the garden and it was time to make our way, we made detours to sight see, buy fresh produce and I even managed to do some vintage ware shopping.

I dedicate this post to my wonderful friend Mel who is a great mother, wife, friend, home stylist, party planner and Registered Nurse she is working helping people as I write this post.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

A day of Craft and Baking

This morning we had grand plans to make our way to the park and have a play and a picnic, the munchkins love love the park, and me I don't really mind it, I make myself a takeaway coffee and just sit and watch the kids burn some energy, most time that we go to the park we bump into friends so it ends up being a really fun day.
Well not today it looks like it is going to pour down with rain any minute so the park is cancelled, in a way it’s good because I have had an allergic reaction to something and I look like I have just had a full face of fillers and collagen, my face is swollen to say the least, I was going to show up to the park like that episode of sex and city when Samantha had a face peel and looked like a scene from a horror movie so thank god for the rain gods - we will not go to the park and in return I will not scare some poor children.
What to do on this rainy overcast day crafts and baking of course, the munchkins second best past time and for moi well my favourite past time, baking and cooking that is how I got the nickname "The Cupcake Lady" for the reason that I bake most days and I am a keen collector of cookbooks and I love inventing my own recipes.
So if you need us we will be super busy creating arts and craft and of course enjoying something delish.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Morning Rituals

First Job for the day
Because there are always hungry munchkins first thing in the morning

I truly love these Chicky Babes

Our gift from our Chickies

Watering the plants the most relaxing morning ritual
Morning Rituals I have a few rituals that I do when I wake up I am a woman of habit and don't mind following a formula if you must call it that and I figure why change it if it's not broken.

I wake up early not by choice if I had a choice I would stay in bed until dinner time and would only get up for loo breaks but since I am the chief in charge of the Whitecottage and the munchkins during business hours, after hours, and when Farmer Joe arrives from work I am the co-pilot of this madhouse. 

I must say I am enjoying the last few weeks without the stresses of running children to school and Kindy but even with all the mayhem I woudn't have it any other way I actually enjoy it, yes it is routine but it is definitely never boring.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

It is time to say Goodbye........To my Gumboots

Today I got up and started to do my morning rituals to feed the chickens and to water my garden to protect them from the heat, I use my trusty Gumboots and they have finally  called it a day I bought them when we first moved into the Whitecottage, The Whitecottage did not look like the way it looks now, it did not have a garden for the exception of some really overgrown Lilipillies it has taken 4 years, a labour of love really.

I remembered just standing in the backyard although not huge we had plans to create a cottage garden and a vegie patch, with that in mind I bought my first pair of Gumboots they only costed $15 from Target although I have some fancy gumboots much to Farmer Joe's pain - Wallet pain that is!! but none of those gumboots have brought me so much happiness and pleasure like my el cheapo gumboots have, they are not just gumboots they signified the dreams I had for our family home and for us as a family to have our forever home to have an edible garden I started to learn about permaculture.
Four years on and the garden is a work in progress and it has a long way to go and my trusty Gumboots will now reside in the vegie patch as a reminder of what they meant to me and this Garden. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Party is over

Kitchen essentials - this Weeks book Bill Granger - Bill's Basics,  I change the books very often depending what i am cooking I don't discrimate I love cookbooks and the freebies cookbooks I get at the supermarket
The Cupcake Lady's most precious possession

For our Chicky Babes who thanks us with daily eggs
Coffee Cart-Everyone is welcome to make themselves a cuppa

After what seemed to be a lifetime of eating, drinking bubbles and hosting parties at the Whitecottage the party/ies is/are officially over, well I mean is over, but it just means we don't have any more parties to schedule or to host but I am always keen and ready to party.

Usually after the new year we drive up to Bargarra Beach to see the turtles hatch the kids really enjoy it and it is good to be in a resort but not this year Farmer Joe has to go back to his paying job so the Cupcake Lady and the munchkins will stay at the Whitecottage and of course I am writing a list of jobs appropriate for 5 & 4 year old, the jobs will be sort of au pair to homestay meaning keeping an eye on baby munchkin and doing light housework for food and a roof hahaha. I will keep you posted how that goes.

My poor oven has worked overtime in the last 6 weeks so I am glad to say that Farmer Joe has given it a really good clean, I know you can call those dudes and they come and make your oven look so sparkly but I figure I have a dude and the cleaner so I figure 1+1 = Farmer Joe is on oven cleaning duties I must say he does a pretty fantastic job he takes the door apart and do what oven cleaning dudes do I can not give you the specifics as I make myself scarse while the job is in process but one thing I know by the time Farmer Joe is done the oven looks like the day I bought it and it is ready for another beating.

In a way I am glad the parties have come to an end I was like the local restaurant lady cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, do you get my drift there was always something to wash, something to put away something being taken out for cooking. 

I am taking a well-deserved rest from kitchen duties well at least for 2 days so I will let you know how long before I start baking again.

I present you my clutter free kitchen I wonder how long it will last........


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Tonight's Dinner - A bit of Jamie Oliver and a bit of the Cupcake lady's Pizza

Today has been a day of R&R , I decided to make Jamie Oliver pizza base and used whatever I had in the fridge and pantry for topping and what a Fabulous Combo. I hope you enjoy it too.

Jamie Oliver's Pizza Base (30-32 diameter in size)


1 1/2 mugs of self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 mug of tepid water
a good pinch of salt
a good lug of olive oil

Place all ingredients in the food processor, whiz until smooth.
Place some flour and roll the dough into 1 cm thickness
Place on the pizza pan or oven proof pan.


I used as toppings ingredients I had in the Fridge and pantry, but the sky is the limit for tonight's pizza I added:

tomatoe paste (A MUST) 
Mozzarella cheese
Red onion
Fresh sage leaves 

COOK- the pizza under the grill for approx 6 minutes or until cook
GREEN SALAD - cherry tomatoes, fresh leaves, red onion, radishes.
I made a simple vinaigrette  by adding some balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt shake well and pour over the salad.


The Cupcake Lady

Friday, 3 January 2014

Our day trip to Toowoomba

We went for a day trip to Toowoomba we just love it up there such a quaint town and so close to Brisbane we have found the most gorgeous country and shabby chic style stores it is my idea of heaven.

The other reason I love visiting Toowomba is that our friends lives there The Country Lady aka Mel and her family, I met her about 11 years ago we worked and partied together as young chicky babes well fast forward a bit and we both have munchkins of similar age and we both have a passion for decorating, and cooking and we can spend the longest time talking and dreaming about all fun things.

Yesterday the weather was fabulous up in Toowoomba not crazy hot we drove first thing in the morning it is only a 1 1/2 drive but it takes us the longest time as the kids always want to stop to talk to the Emus on Marburg, they are just fabulous such big birds and those gorgeous eyes and lashes ENVY 101.

We had a play and morning tea at Queens park, and across the road there is a gorgeous restaurant we popped over to get some coffees, just a beautiful morning and the kids were so excited to see their friends and the park it is picture perfect we even found some pine cones Mel placed some treasure under the cones, the kids were super excited to go on a treasure hunt.

It was getting hot so it was time to go to Mel's place, her house is my idea of heaven, it is country modern and the house backs onto a bush area, we took Henry the dog for a walk, I rode a bike which I wasn't sure if I could still ride one.  The kids had fun making mayhem, Farmer Joe had an afternoon snooze and we ladies had the time of our life drinking cold green tea and reading magazines.

A great day with great friends.................. not a bad way to spend a weekday right?