Monday, September 26, 2011

The Nap Time Bandit

Nap times in the Dalli Cottage are becoming increasingly frustrating for me - and highly entertaining for a certain toddler who resides here (I wont name any names except call her the Nap Time Bandit).  You see, I have our laptop set up on our dining table adjacent to the said toddler's room so I can sit and observe the little one's antics and prevent her from getting out of bed and playing with her toys.  Thanks to this little Bandit - I am now addicted to Pinterest due to waiting it out until she goes to sleep....yep that's right - I am blaming a nearly-two year old for my addiction.  Bad mum right??

She is cheeky - she will cunningly place one leg outside the bed and wait for a reaction from me.....if nothing, she will then place her other leg over, ever so slowly as to not grab my attention and then act like a statue.  If no further reaction she makes a run for it.....which usually results into me finally realising and the rest I will leave up to your imagination. 

She will lie with her bum against the wall and her feet in the air and drum out a song with her heels, she will climb on her bedhead, she will play peek-a-boo with her pillow and she will bang her teddy (Elmo) hard eyes against the wall....all while waiting for me to relent, declare my patience shot and label it a "No Sleep Day" - because I have done that once in her 23 months of life....and clearly she has never forgotten it!!

The last few days has been a contest of the fittest, strongest and most patient.....who is willing to wait it out the longest to watch the little one's limbs stop moving and to hear the songs and chatter cease.  Once asleep - she will sleep for 2 hours of deep, beautiful sleep to re-energise those busy little feet and mind. 

Perhaps I am holding onto these daytime naps like I am holding onto the little bit of baby she has left.  Maybe she is trying to tell me "I'M NOT TIRED MUM".....but then the 2 hour snooze doesn't really back up her declaration does it?

God Bless her little Bandit cotton socks.....and please god, let these daytime naps last a tad's not too much to ask is it??  Really??

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's for Dinner at YOUR place?

After the awesome response to my What's for Dinner at YOUR place? question on FB yesterday, it sparked a little idea in my preggo brain.  I loved all your recipes and I absolutely LOVE that you want to share with me.

I always find that coming into the warmer months, I am flicking through my recipe books - ear-tagging yummy recipes and trying to be new and creative for my family.  So why don't we start to inspire and share recipes with each other? 

E-mail me with your most favourite recipe (I am increasingly curious about these 'Porcupines') and I will be sure to blog about it....and hopefully MAKE IT TOO!!

So to kick it off, my delicious dinner from last night was Zucchini Slice and I am more than happy to report that my ever-so-fussy daughter ate it without a tantrum and Heath even called from the tractor to tell me how delicious it was.  I actually made Macie some special 'cupcake' ones and placed the rest into a lamington tin.  Seriously - the easiest dinner ever and absolutely perfect with a little salad!

Recipe handed down from my Mama

375g Zucchini (usually 2 big ones)
1 large Onion
3 rashers of bacon
1 cup grated chedder cheese
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup oil
5 eggs
Salt & Pepper 

Grate unpeeled zucchini coarsely (I use a little food processer that I have to make it quicker), finely chop onion (I throw this in the food processer too!) and finely chop bacon also.  Combine zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese, sifted flour, oil and lightly beaten eggs - and then season with salt and pepper.  Pour into well-greased pan (I use baking paper) and bake in moderate oven for 30 - 40 minutes until browned. 
Serves 4 - 6. 

Apologies for the awful was obviously only impressed with the salad!
I am a lover of all things Balsamic so I always place a generous dose of dressing over my slice aswell.  For Macie, I gave her a Zucchini Cupcake with strips of cheese, carrot, capsicum and cucumber and am still in shock that she ate it without ANY complaints!!!  This is definitely a very rare occasion in the Dalli Cottage.

So, if you feel like joining in on the fun - please feel free to e-mail me at with your favourite recipe!  In the meantime, I will share with you my creations and hopefully they will inspire you!

As for my recipe book collection.....I felt like I was lying to you giving you a photo of my neatly displayed's all a lie.  This is the one cupboard in our kitchen that is without a door (more on that another day) so I have everything *cough* "neatly" (NOT) stacked on top of each other as I have no room anywhere else.  Here is the uncropped version......and I didn't tidy it up beforehand.....can you tell?? ;) 

Jen - please don't have a panic attack seeing this - Jen is the Gundi version of Martha Stewart with the MOST organised kitchen I have ever seen!!!!
One day I will get my cupboard organisation and door.....for the meantime, I just prove to my visitors and myself....that I am as real as they come!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend One of Silly Season

Sorghum Plant 2011 begun this week - meaning that the husbo starts to spend more time with the Tractor and the days are just a tad bit lonely here in the Dalli Cottage.  My friends and I joke about "Farmers Widow" season where we meet for coffees more often and linger at the park for a while longer. 

Needless to say, when it's Silly Season on the farm - I always seem to get my creative on which has been hiding in my belly with this baby ever since I fell pregnant.  Thankfully, now I have met the 17 week mark, I appear to be able to manage the day without the need for a 2 hour snooze with Macie - so this weekend has been fun to get my paint clothes on and set the mind ticking with ideas.

Ever since we have joined the kid's rooms together (joys of living in a small cottage) - I have been wanting to make the kid's 'spaces' individual and special to the child.  Obviously, I am waiting on confirmation from our 20 week scan for the baby however I wanted to make Macie's space both special and magical since she is so happily sharing with her new sibling. 

We managed to score a very cheap chest of drawers at a Garage Sale a while back that just needed a dose of TLC and a few licks of paint.....and since I was playing the "Farmers Widow" role - I decided that this weekend was the time to do it. 

With my trusty apprentice who has a fascination of paintbrushes and screwdrivers - we set off to sand, paint, and then 'decorate' this otherwise bland chest. 

Thanks to my newfound addiction to Pinterest - I researched many 'chests', 'drawers' and then came across some fantastic 'Mod-Podge' creations....and the seed was planted.  I tried to explain my vision to Heath...."Butterflies in a swarm, mod-podged on with a lacquer over the top"......after some very in-depth conversation of me trying to explain what mod-podge was and Heath not getting the gist AT ALL....he left it in my hands.  Aint he kind?

I am happy to report that as of this afternoon....this is the work-in-progress Flutter Flutter Chest of Drawers.  The butterflies are only stuck on for the meantime while I get my hands on some modpodge and some funky drawer handles....

It's a work-in-progress that has successfully kept us entertained all weekend.....

Now what to do for the rest of the Silly Season.....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Now that Macie is dancing on the "Nearly Two" line - we are getting some whopper words and one-liners from her.  Some make us laugh, some make us gasp and others just make our chests puff out with pride.  Yep - that's right folks....she's all ours...the giggles, the temper and the mouth!!

The best over the past few weeks are...

"Hi, How are you going?" when she picks up the phone....exactly like me!

Reciting the word "Strategic" over and over after hearing me cursing myself for not being more "Strategic with where I place my keys".  What the?

The constant question of "Whats That?"

If you ask her to do something that she doesn't want to - she will reply with "NO WAY" without hesitation.  If it is something she really doesn't want to do - she will say it over and over again until she thinks we have got her point!

Heath has taught her to say "HURRRRY UP MUUUUM" whenever I am putting on my makeup.

I have taught her to say to Heath..."COME ON DAD - WE HAVEN"T GOT ALL DAY!" when we are waiting for him on the Tractor.  She is still working on perfecting this....but Daddy gets the point!

Instead of saying Kangaroo....everything is "ROO".

If we come across a Dam....she goes "Snap Snap" because Crocodiles live in water especially on farms....did you know that? ;)

She gets right down to eye level with Milly the Puppy and says in a really high-pitched squeal "Pup, Pup, Pup" all while patting her knees.  Some days Milly responds....other days she sits and pretends she never heard a thing.  Perhaps our dog is smarter than we think?

If she hears anyone crying or upset, she will become very concerned and say "She/He's Sad".

Any baby she comes across whether real, a doll, a picture on a Nappy Pack or a baby on TV is called "Archie" after her new baby cousin.  Archie is a busy boy! 

"Sorry Mummy" when she realises she has overstepped the line or after some time-out. 

The list is endless...and I am going to make a conscience effort to journal and remember these magical and hilarious times!

Times like when I find her in the dryer....and instead of getting narky at her....I laughed.  What the hell - it was funny and she wasn't in danger.  Plus - wouldn't this smile make you laugh too??

Children are the reason why people all over the world are smiling....they are innocently the very source of happiness and I am so glad that I have my very own dose daily. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My creative burst....

Today, I have managed to do more than just play with Macie and sleep.  Yep - I am happy to report that I climbed a ladder with a hammer in hand, hung special bunting for Macie's room and rearranged just a tad. 

I even got my craft on just a little bit and made Macie a quick hair clip holder.  Seriously - this is the easiest thing to do with a canvas from your Dollar Store, cute ribbons and a hot glue gun.  Admittedly, Moo did have one before however I wanted to revamp it up and use reds and 5 minutes later - here it is! 

I purchased this Canvas from a cheap store for $6.  All you need to do is choose your ribbons and measure to size. 
Glue the ribbons to the inside of the canvas....
And have your very own pretty Hair Clip Board for under $10. 

Since Macie is going to share her bedroom with the baby, I am looking for inspiration to make this room gorgeous aswell as give them their own spaces.  In order to do so....I joined Pinterest.

If you are looking for know where I am.  Either addicted to "Pin-ing" or admiring my beautiful flowers from my beautiful friends for my birthday......

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I {don't really} HEART SPRING

Spring has arrived at the Dalli Cottage and with the warmer weather it brings longer days, the gorgeous flowers and my birthday which is something I always look forward to each year.  This year was no exception with a magical day with my family in Toowoomba for the Carnival.  It was the kind of day where you love seeing your children grow up to appreciate simple things like watching Carnival Parades on her Daddy's shoulders and relishing in the beauty of a water iceblock to cool you down.  I always get sad watching Macie grow up....but on Saturday, I loved it - and I know she did too!

As the butterflies begin to hover around the beautiful flowers - I am also starting to get the occasional flutter of butterflies in my stomach to remind me that I am incubating our darling little miracle.  We are heading to the 'half-way' mark - and hopefully everything will continue to swim along without too many issues. 

Family Snap - with Baby Mac at 18 weeks.
But with all the glorious-ness of Spring....also comes the reality of the warmer months on a farm.  The times where life gets busy with the planting of the Summer crops, the endless weeds, the relentless bugs attracted to even the light on your overhead stove...but mostly, the snakes.  I am sad to report that on Day 20 of Spring, we have had our very first big and cranky snake in our yard that came from under our house, across the lawn, around our shed and under our car.  It was so cranky that it was striking our wheelbarrow in our yard just for being in the way.....EEK!

However I am more than happy to report that Milly Puppy saved the day with the constant barking to alert us!  Thankfully she was in her little pen so she couldn't show me how brave she was (as I think the ridiculously cranky snake would have won the war) but she did so well with letting me know that it was in the yard!! 

Every farmers wifey will now know what I am talking about when I say that it is now a neccesity that I scan the yard to survey for snakes and look left and right before I walk out the door.   Or when you mistake the garden hose for a snake and have a minor heart attack each time!!

Yay for Spring.....Bring on Autumn!! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 seconds of fame....

A few months back I was contacted by our local magazine and asked to be part of an article which would shine the light on WAHM.  Of course I jumped at the oppurtunity and was very excited to see the article published in their high-quality and beautiful Spring Edition.  I was also very humbled to be standing among such successful and friendly mums who had been on the journey. 

Admittedly, since falling pregnant, my sewjo has gone out the window and my sewing machine has been idle - but that's ok.  I had the most amazing 12 months of creating, sewing and selling my wares to beautiful, kind and caring customers.  I have met some absolutely amazing business owners where we have laughed about our sleepless nights and the constant guilt of not spending enough time with our kids. 

It has been rewarding yet hard work.  I encourage any mum who is just 'thinking' about starting a business to jump in and have a go.  It's fun, challenging and rewarding.  It gave me a sense of purpose and kept me thoroughly entertained when my hours on the farm seemed endless.

Thanks Shelli (Shelli Morse Design) for the pic!

So go and get yourself a copy of Border Living and read about our journey plus the inspiring journey of so many in our region.  It's so refreshing to see so much talent on our border. 

This journey may see me leave the sewing machine behind and take up place behind the camera.....the world is my oyster....and newborns have captured my heart! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Keeping it Real

Another week has gone...all without a blog post, a photo or even a whisper from me on my blog.  Once again I profusely apologise for my is busy but it most certainly isn't getting in the way - I have been making sure of that.  In fact, last week was filled with playdates with friends, lingering coffees, bathing in the sunshine and a doctors appointments.  It was the kinda week I love....the ones where I feel blessed to have so many terrific things to do and I feel satisfied when I fall in a heap on the couch at the end of the day - because that means I have done something constructive with my day and week.

This week brought another fabulous oppurtunity my way in my photography world - where I got to photograph the most amazing set of twins.  These little darlings decided to greet the world early so we decided to photograph them on their due date.  To be honest, I was nervous about photographing twins - but it was hands-down the best experience yet.  They were so content and my heart melted when I saw them both smile as I placed them together for a snuggle!  The twin relationship is so evident already - and I can't wait to watch these beautiful children blossom. 

One thing I truly love about photographing newborns is watching the relationship grow between them and their mothers.  Watching their cries settle when they can smell their mum or watching their breathing slow down once they realise that they are in their safe place.  This shoot was no different.  Magic was certainly in the room for these much-loved twins.  It makes me crave the day when I become a Mum of two - and experiencing life with a newborn again. 

This week I received the most amazing e-mail from a friend from school.  We haven't seen each other since the day we walked out of the school gates but yet we have remained firm friends and keep in regular contact thanks to Facebook.  She is generous and kind and always writes to me to tell me what is on her mind.  This week was no exception.....

"Hannah I just wanna tell you you are the mum to be! Congrats on newly gestating foetus!!!! Everybody always says 'have you seen hannah's photos/baby clothes/how happy and gorgeous her family looks?" thought I'd let you know since being a mum can be a thankless task sometimes but people really do notice from afar. Your happiness is infectious. Great to hear you are expanding the brood. Amazing. Xxxx big love buddy, keep it real."

I love the "Keep it Real" makes me realise that I am doing the best job I can do - even when I feel like Macie has been in tantrum mode for the majority of the day or I feel like I have raised my voice one too many times.  Or when I may have snapped at Heath too quickly and perhaps admittedly blamed my preggo hormones a little too much!!  Life at the Dalli Cottage is as real as it gets - we are real, we are human and we are far from perfect.....but we are happy, content and willing to face the road of parenthood and childhood together. 

There is so much pressure from society to be the "Perfect Mum" with the best dinners, cleanest house, happiest/smartest/sportiest kids and on top of need to look like you have things 100% under control 100% of the time. 

I say Stuff's a lot more fun just to "Keep it Real". 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Fathers Day to the best Dad in the world...

Another Fathers Day has passed and it made me realise just how lucky Macie and I are to have someone as thoughtful and caring as Heath in our lives.

To start a tradition - here are 10 things I love about Heath.  Warning - I am in the sappy, feel-good mood.  Apologies in advance if you feel the need to puke!

1.   He only calls me 'Hannah' when I am in trouble.

2.   He blows me away with his love for his family daily.

3. Although he fights to maintain his 'Hard Ass' personality - the longer he is a Dad, the softer he becomes.

4.   He is a fantastic cook.
5.   He teaches me to be strong and not to stress the small stuff.  He wipes away my tears and fills my heart with confidence to be the best mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend.

6.  He can make Macie giggle for a good 10 minutes non-stop.
7.  He can make me erupt into full-blown laughter even when I am raging-mad at him!

8.  He smiles at me every morning and showers me in kisses. 

9.  He makes me realise that I am more in love with him than the first day I met him.

10.  He is makes beautiful babies!!!

Happy Fathers Day.  We love you to the moon and back.  X