nesting

Guacamole season (and also a recipe)

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I have been trying to teach the children about seasons for fruit and vegetables. Late in autumn we had a “goodbye green grapes” party to enjoy the final bunch of the season, which was harder to explain than you might expect due to the plethora of gigantic, California-grown green-grapes that started appearing on grocery-store shelves…

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Sugar free?

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I have been trying to give my body a break from sugar. I like sugar a lot more than is strictly good for me, and also, it’s pretty hard to insist that my children have a healthy diet if I don’t model said diet myself. On Friday I made this sugar-free take on lemon meringue pie…

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Welcome, spring

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Pastel-perfect blossoms from the tree behind the wall and across the laneway are floating into our garden and carpeting the grass in pink confetti. The children are shedding layers, leaving trails of socks and stockings and cardigans throughout the house as they cast off the long, long winter and turn their faces to the warm…

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Getting neighbourly

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A group in Switzerland has come up with a simple and rather lovely way to use your humble letterbox to build community. But it’s not through the writing and sending of letters, it’s about sharing, and involves (gulp!) actual face-to-face contact. You know the old saying about popping into someone’s place to borrow a cup…

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Queen of the universe

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“She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.” ~ JD Salinger, “A Girl I Knew” Sometimes do you feel like you are trying – and failing – to hold the universe together? I don’t mean the WHOLE universe, of course (now wouldn’t THAT…

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Winter

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The trees that line our street are bare, their leaves rotting in brown, woodsy, rain-soaked piles in gutters and corners. We are spending more days inside. Baking bread, writing letters, painting, cuddling. Pumpkin, pomegranates, cinnamon, crumpets. Mandarins, red wine, sausages, cloves. Every morning I rise before the sun, readying the house for my still-slumbering family….

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What are the words to that song?

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Let’s talk about song lyrics, for a minute. Specifically, song lyrics that you get wrong, with somewhat hilarious consequences. I’ll start. 1. In high school, I thought Madonna was singing “Dress you up in Milo” rather than “Dress you up in  my love.” (Non-Aussie friends, Milo is a kind of chocolate drink powder that you…

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ANZAC biscuit recipe

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This morning Scout and I whipped up a couple of batches of ANZAC biscuits. We made the monster-sized ones you see here for us to eat on the weekend (and one for me at morning tea), then another batch of slightly more reasonably-sized biscuits to take to her friends at daycare. She was bursting with…

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7 indoor plants that are tricky to kill

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Recently I read one of those “5 surprising habits of happy people” type articles, and one of the five “happy habits” was keeping plants in your home. No real surprises there, of course. Plants are good for your physical and psychological health: they filter and purify the air inside your home, they give you something…

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Make this, naturally: blue & botanical Easter Eggs

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Here’s a lovely, last-minute tutorial for dying Easter eggs a stunning blue, and creating pretty, stencilled patterns out of leaves and flowers. Do you want to give it a go? There’s still time! The idea for this project came from my friend Pascale, who does it every year with her children. When they were little,…

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My people

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On the weekend as I walked home with Mr B, pushing the double pram with two tired but happy children whose bellies were full of yum cha and ice cream, we got chatting about “tribes.” That morning I’d spent two hours at the Melbourne Museum in the company of a lovely bunch of women, some of…

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Weekend links

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Do you have plans for the weekend? We are going to a black tie thingy on Saturday night and I need to buy a dress and buying a dress is no fun at ALL when you are a) on a budget and b) under significant time pressure. Am I right? #firstworldproblems Right now I’m looking…

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