Happy birthday Darby

How are you three????

I feel like all of a sudden he’s grown up. A uke was the obvious choice for a present. He loves his bittaaar.

He was a bit unwell yesterday and still recovering today. We had a belated party down at the park with Chance’s school friends and he kind of fell asleep like this.

After that party (more on that later) we headed home to continue the celebrations with some of our nearest and dearest. Which included his Minions cake!

I’m not going to lie guys. I’m pretty damn happy with my efforts on this one.

And he loved it too if course. Gosh there’s so much to say about such a little guy with such a huge personality. We just adore this kid beyond words. He is kind and generous and curious. So curious. And we encourage that wonder and joy of discovering new things as much as possible.

Darby you are a treasure. Happy birthday nugget xxxxxx

Farewell BBQ

Even though we are not leaving for a couple more weeks (gosh that’s frighteningly soon) we had our farewell BBQ on Saturday and it went a little like this.

Quinn: “Mama, is our BBQ going to be epic?”
Me: “Yes darling. Yes it is.”

We hired a jumping castle for the 25+ kids and they had a ball! (This was early on in the piece when there were only a dozen or so kids)

And a little bit later on

There’s always a bit of a slow start to these events I find. By 1pm we had pretty much done all the chopping and preparing that we could do. We had decided to serve our much loved pulled pork with crunchy noodle salad on sliders, mini hamburgers with our homemade tasty BBQ sauce, and twice cooked lamb wraps with tzatziki and cous cous tabbouleh.

Turns out that at service time, I needed all hands on deck! Thankfully my gorgeous friends Sian, Sarah and Nadia were at the ready, with Hayles kindly refilling my Mimosas. Unfortunately the only photo of the production line I got is blurry and not great. So here’s one of me instead!

As if I did it all on my own! These girls are the absolute best if  you don’t mind me saying so.

Life will suck a little without them. Okay. A lot. Pretty much all the good times I have had over the last 2 and a bit years have involved one, more, or all of these ladies. They get me and they get my family and they love me and I’ll absolutely treasure the time I’ve had with them.

Leaving them is going to be hard.

Anyway, back to the party! The pulled pork sliders were incredible as always

And the lamb wraps were a massive hit, as were the burgers (no photo though!)

Desserts were a-plenty and a-mazing! (See what I did there?!)

Kate’s chocolate and berry cake was just the best!

The afternoon was leisurely, the evening stepped things up a notch, and fun was had into the night. We finally got to bed around 1am, happily exhausted. I would have liked more time just to sit and chat, but it’s often the way when you’re the host. Hubs outdid himself in the meat cooking department, and my crew upstairs really helped me not get too overwhelmed, and made my life a thousand times easier.

One of a few farewells coming up I’m sure. I’ll be sad to leave. That’s all.

Forgotten High Teas

I can’t believe I never got around to blogging about the other two St Joey’s High Teas I attended. Here’s the one from the first year we were here. So gorgeous!

Last year’s one was a bit more low-key but equally lovely with the added bonus of my dear friend Sian who had just moved to Rocky a few months before.

The usual suspects came along and there was so much yummy food on offer!

As I mentioned, this year was a smaller affair, but no less lovely. And a few new faces to boot! The lovely Hayley and Sarah.

A year on and still glamorous as ever!

(Side note, I bought this dress the day before at Salvos… and it has pockets!)

I even had myself a super cute date!

I’ll miss my yearly High Tea with these ladies! Thanks for the lovely memories xx

The food post: Cairns 2017

The food and coffee situation on our Cairns holiday lived up to the expectations we had. And exceeded them. Here we go.

This is the K-mann’s back area set up, with cooking on coals and a pizza oven. There was am abundance of yummy nibblies and I think my kids ate their weight in pistachios while we were there.

Dessert early in the week – a date and nut slice that had chewy and crunchiness.

The worst photo of the best brisket imaginable.

This caramel slice nearly undid me

BBQ chicken wings with rice and shredded cabbage. This got messy and awesome.

Daily (hourly) coffee made with love.

Honestly there were so many good dishes for the week, and all lovingly prepared, from the delicious Vietnamese chicken baguettes that greeted us on our first night, to the (absurd) number of coffees we consumed daily, to an incredible chocolate meringue dessert very early on, to pancakes made to our individual liking on the final night.

Good food with great company and tasty wine is the best recipe.

Homeward bound

We are having the best last day of our holiday. Yesterday was a long hard slog of driving with the first 450km done between 9am and 4.30pm then we visited friends in Ayr before hitting the road again at 7.30pm to do the last 300km to Mackay. Somehow we did that in 3 straight hours and arrived at our lovely motel at 10.30pm. The kids had been asleep for hours so we were all awake until midnight but that’s fine. Everyone slept well until nearly 7 and I put ABC for kids on while Hubs and I dozed until 8. Then it was into the pool for a while before walking a block down to the Mackay water park.

A friend had told me how great it was so I always had this planned for our last day. You guys, it was so awesome. And huge! This is only one part of it!

There was a cafe on site which I was a little skeptical about but Mama needed a coffee.

After drinking Shane’s lovely brew for the last week I wasn’t expecting much from this one but this was so fantastic! Strong and hot. Just how I like my coffee. And my man.

Sorry. Got a bit side tracked there… ❤❤❤

We planned to have brekky somewhere and the menu looked pretty good – they specialised in pancakes and had eggs Benny and even a burger for Frith so I thought why not!

Why not indeed.

Darby’s reaction when this came out was “is it my birthday!!???”

You could order 2 pancakes for $5.90 and then add whatever you want. Chance got strawberry jam and bacon. This load of bacon was $1.50.

My eggs Benny was absolutely perfect in every way. Mmmmmmm crispy bacon.

And the burger? Hubs couldn’t finish it! And it was only $12! I think he would have been able to eat it at dinner with a beer or two perhaps ☺

We got all that delicious food and two (more) coffees for under $50. Such an amazing brunch and no need for more food for the day. Coffee, yes.

If you are ever near Mackay it is well worth the visit. And it’s just off the highway so a very easy detour.

Now we’re on the final leg of our trip home and I’m feeling very content and full of goodness. There is a long to do list waiting for me at home, but for now, I have my world in the kombi, the clouds are keeping the drive cool, and the tunes are good. It’s a sweet life.

Happy birthday Chance

My big boy turned 7 today. What a champ. Then and now. Aw my baby! ❤❤❤

I made him this fairly dodgy monster truck cake that I was almost embarrassed of, until Hubs asked me “Does Chance like it?”

He. Loved it.

We had a little party for him Friday night  over at the K-mans with his favourite dinner (hot dogs) and a piñata and pass the parcel.

(Super dodgy dark photos dammit)

Today, his actual birthday, has been spent in the kombi as we make our way back south.

How gorgeous is this kid!? He has really stepped up into big boy status since Julius came along. I really need to just let him do his thing more and try to step back because he’s got it covered. He’s learning so many new things and I’m learning so much from him at the moment and it’s hard letting go and watching from the sidelines. But he’s doing just great and it’s wonderful seeing the person he is (fast!) becoming.

His dinner request was Maccas (easily pleased!) and they are all drifting off to sleep as we do the last leg to Mackay for the night.

Good night my darling boy. You are such a gift to us all and we love you so much.

Road trippin’

We are here. We arrived in Cairns last night at 8pm. We left Rocky at 2pm Friday and after stopping in Mackay for dinner (and a pee stop somewhere before that) we arrived in Bowen around 10pm. 565km in 8 hours. Not bad going with four kids and a couple of stops.

The kids set up

Ocean View Motel just outside of Bowen

We pretty much just got up and left on Saturday morning and started heading for Townsville around 8am. It took close to three hours to do the 200km drive thanks to roadworks but the kids did so well! We got there and let them loose in the water park while we caught up with friends and family there. It was 2.5 hours very well spent.

After buying sushi and iced coffees we left close to 2pm and were half an hour out of town when we realised we needed fuel. So annoying! So we stopped and of course the kids needed to pee and Darby woke up from his deep sleep he was in. After some stuffing around we finally made it to Innisfail around 5pm and stopped for dinner.

We were all getting pretty much over it by this stage but still had 120km to go!

We had to keep going! We got back on the road around 6 and I ended up sitting in the back seat with the kids. Jules was inconsolable but happy with me there.

Frith and Jules having a quick break in Innisfail.

That last leg was a doozie bit we made it! So day two was 523km in 12 hours. Yes 12. It was pretty crazy towards the end but we made it and it is glorious to be on holidays with our people. Our incredible friends who we adore and wish we saw more of. So we are just soaking it all in. And enjoying the amazing Air BnB house. Seriously. The main bedroom and cot are nicer than our own bedroom at home!

It’s going to be an amazing 10 days. I’ll keep you posted!

One on one time

It’s tricky to have individual time with four kids, and at this stage Jules doesn’t count which means I get heaps of one on one time with Darby. But not much with Chance or Quinn. It’s definitely something I will be working on in the coming months. I have this thing about everything having to be fair and equal with the kids, but I’m learning that a) it’s not realistic and b) it’s not how the world works. I also feel like it’s been preventing me from doing special stuff with just one kid so I’m slowly letting that go.

With that in mind, I took Quinn out yesterday and we had coffee and cake. Well I had coffee and apart from the three bits she gave me, (forced portion control!) Quinn had cake. And juice. We left the four (stinky) boys at home and it was really lovely and relaxing hanging out with my baby girl. Who goes to school next year. Huh. How did that happen?

What a view

When we started talking about how to renovate this house two years ago, this is EXACTLY what I had in mind. Beautiful deck with our beautiful view that I can enjoy while preparing food for family and friends.

This is potato salad prepared in “Nanny’s potato salad bowl” and Nanny’s serving spoon with Quinn Maria pretending not to notice I was taking a photo.

I’m going to miss our beautiful house and neighbours more than you know. Pancakes on the deck with my world.

Fat and fit

It’s all relative I know, but I’m feeling quite big in my skin at the moment. I really thought I would have shifted some of this baby weight by now, as I’ve been back at the gym for 7 weeks. But it ain’t budging.

Sure, it may have something (everything) to do with what I’m shoving in my gob, but I do still feel a bit cheated! Everything is hard at the moment with my spare tyre sitting around my waist; even exercise. Actually especially exercise.

My knees have been screaming at me the last few weeks and I’m sure it’s because of the extra weight. It’s so easy to say that I need to start eating better but it’s so hard to do.

We are starting our next challenge at fit mum’s in 10 days and I really want to try my very hardest to match my food efforts with my gym efforts. In the meantime, if I’m going to be fat, at least I’m going to be fit!! And hopefully I’ll fit into my jeans again soon….