Travels up North

Continuing our adventures in Melbourne for the rest of the week I caught up with my friends for playdates with the kids and of course. In St Kilda we had lunch at Dr Jekyll – my friend and I had the perfectly poached eggs with sumac and other delicacies. The kids scoffed down a lamb sausage roll. I caught up with other friends for fish and chips on Sunday and a dinner at their place on Thursday evening.

We enjoyed a TacoTuesday celebration with our good friends after a lovely chilly winter stroll to the beach to view the amazing sunset. Our dinner was enhanced with the New Zealand speciality pavlova with lemon curd and blueberries.

Later in the week, we met another friend for lunch at Supernormal – an upscale Asian restaurant in Flinders Lane. The boys enjoyed ramen and I enjoyed a super tasty lobster roll and raw kingfish and citrus sashimi and I drank the Fake Bews which was almond, pineapple and bitters which was very refreshing, I actually do miss having bitters as a drink option so I grab the opportunity when I am back home in Oz.

Oh and here is the Totoro crochet I made for my nephew! This guy took longer than I planned and was made in Adelaide, Melbourne and completed in Brisbane!! I do love the way it turned out in the end as I was a bit concerned as I ran out of grey yarn so he has black gloves on plus the grey tones change with the tail and the ears as the acrylic I was using throughout only made it to the bottom of his body.

The trip to the sunshine coast to meet the many animals Millie, the dogs Sailor and Leo and the koala. The kids had a blast together playing hide and seek in my sister’s house.

Our beach time at the Sunshine Coast is super special as the day we planned to go to Noosa – which I do not recommend even though it is so beautiful, it is packed with people and parking is hard to find. After the plan, I read that you can park at Sunrise beach and then walk to Noosa through the National Park and catch the bus back, such a cool idea for a day trip. The kids love the water so they were in for a swim, it was too cold for me!! I love the many vistas of just being at the beach and it makes me so happy to be there.

After the rain the day was spectacular and we went for lunch at the Chenrezig Institute in Eudlo, which is the hinterland up in the mountainous region of the Sunshine Coast. The energy there was just mellow after wrangling the children the time we had up there was chilled out and the lunch of a vegan shepherds pie, steamed seasonal vegetables and salad was so warming. Their temple for meditation space would have been perfect if the kids would have joined in though it looked like there was a workshop happening for the day. I would happily go back again and volunteer in the future.


My sister and I have had such a special time together and it was wonderful to be hanging out at her pad in Buderim with a super cold pool which would be amazing in the summertime. I know the time we spend together I have to cherish but as I will be coming home next year, I can make it up over the winter to escape the Melbourne chill and enjoy the time together with my nephew.

Thursday was a big day out to Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World – these pictures captured the fun we had with our aviary tour and the parrots hanging out with us. The gardens were fun to wander around and provided many picture opportunities of the three cousins! The views of the Glasshouse mountains from the gardens was just the best. Oh, the female red-tail black cockatoo was a highlight for me and she just enjoyed her perch way up high observing everyone!

In the evening we went to Mooloolaba to Elixiba a plant-based restaurant and dining experience for a friends birthday. I was so excited to see a sparkler on her raw cheesecake with berries that we all tried. I had this cool colour changing cocktail called the using house-made chameleon lemonade. The food was fresh and tasty and the coco-mari a rif on calimari using coconut shreds was so moreish.

Our last day up the coast was to visit the farmers market and to enjoy a potato rosti I had only heard about and was hanging out to try. This was the spanner crab omelette with the crab caught off Fraser Island served with Asian herbs and chilli, absolutely divine and disappeared in seconds! And then it was time to say goodbye to Aunty where we took the train back to our place in Redcliffe to be with my family and enjoy some chilled out time at an Air Bnb with a highlight of Christmas in July coming up on Sunday.





You gotta have faith…


Sometimes you have to have faith that the universe is unfolding as it should (I found this stone today at work, I put it into a plant where someone else would find it!). Sometimes your patience will collapse and you feel overwhelmed by what is going on especially when it has involved work, study, work, study and park then finally a cocktail!


Observing nature on my bike rides have slowed me down in my routine of work, exercise, cook dinner, try and study and do it all over again the next day. This symbolism from nature has got me slow down and take notice (even though I am really enjoying riding fast uphill!)

My eating habits have included way more protein as I have been exercising more and the plan is to build more muscle – yes I can feel it in my legs but the arms are slowly getting there. The midsection needs more work but hey I love food too much so whatever! My new fave is Beyond Meat, it is a plant-based protein made from the latest vegan protein – peas. I found the fake chicken which has a very good texture and was perfect with some pesto and brown rice pasta. The burger I really enjoyed on top of rice with veggies and pickles. Other sources of protein have been poached eggs, now that is too easy to cook with veggies, salad and sauerkraut! And marinated tempeh in balsamic which was very tasty when grilled, that is in between some corn tortillas with a handful of cheese for a quesadilla with guac and salad. My body is feeling much better now that I am eating some grains again and I am so happy with how healthy I am feeling after eating clean for the last 2 and a half months.

Now with this eating/exercising routine, I am allowed a cheat day away from the calorie counting and eating grains, salad and protein. I went out with my friends for a birthday dinner Friday night and it was so good to try a new restaurant, Cucina Venti Italian food with local and seasonal ingredients. The salads were amazing, our table of mostly vegetarians enjoyed the flatbread, zucchini cake, salad and the saffron fish was absolutely delicious. The cocktails were perfect and to top it off the dessert was absolutely divine with tiramisu and a chocolate fondant cake plus a mango sorbet. It was certainly an excellent night out with the ladies eating tasty food. Thanks to AU for taking the pics of the food and sharing them, I am doing what I enjoy most about eating out and that is taking pics of my food – thanks for the memories!!

Oh, there is that snail again – telling me to slow down and take it easy! This week is teacher appreciation week and I have been collecting flowers for my daughter’s school as well as receiving flowers from our students today with flowers from their gardens. I am so thankful for all the families and what they do. It is wonderful to be recognised for the hard yards that go into every day. The kids really enjoy themselves and I love watching them grow over time! I am truly grateful that I have this opportunity to work at such a special school with such an active community.


In between everything with my time out at the park I have been crocheting with yarn that I have found from old projects with small balls that I have kept over the years and adding yarn that I have recently acquired from FabMo that I could not resist because it was neon yellow!

The universe has a way of letting me know that I need to keep it together and carry on because as soon as I felt that little bit of doubt things fell apart around me, for example, the kids fell sick and took time out of school – lucky my husband could stay home and then boom, I was transported into my old life with taking the kids to their activities plus work, no thank you! It is funny only then I realised that this intense life is not so bad after all, at least it is busy and the time is flying by! We will be going home when the time is right there is no need to feel so upset and have to uproot right here right now. Signs became apparent that it is OK to feel this way and when our house is ready in Melbourne then it will be time to go. I am ready now to leave but there are good things that can unfold before your eyes like a good night out with friends, a peaceful bike ride, calm days, time to study, support from family, connections to your children and just pure and simple time together watching Australian movies. Going with the ebb and flow of life is all that matters really.

A piece a Week – Getting back into the swing of things via Micro Greens!

This week after a week away in Hawaii it was tough going getting back into the swing of things. So much to catch up on and time for creativity was limited to the kitchen. I have found a love of salads and all things micro green coming into spring. So the inspiration from Hawaii was high and reflected in the dinners this week.

The grilled shrimp is from the Zippy Kale Pesto I found on – I used a rice noodle instead of pasta noodles and added radish, micro greens and lemon zest, yummo!

Grilled Shrimp on Kale Pesto noodles with micro greens and radish

The kitties missed us so much when we were gone that they lay with us when we were relaxing on the couch in the evenings. We missed them too ^..^


 I started a crochet hat for my friend many times and finally worked out how to do it after many attempts and tutorials online. The eureka moment was when I found out how to actually work the stitch of the front and back loop. And then I could get on with it – I am still working it as there is other work to be completed for the Arts Focus Sewing session this week at school!

A hat for my friend

 Finally we enjoyed some incredible lentil tacos for dinner towards the end of the week with this incredible recipe. I accidentally added coconut oil to the lentils as they were cooking and that made such a tasty addition to the lentils and shitake mushrooms.The miso herb sauce I used kale instead of herbs and on top the salad of radish, carrots and microgreens. Oh so fresh.

Maybe it is the yoga classes I am checking out at the moment too! I went to my neighbors class in Palo Alto which was wonderful as my friend is a super amazing yoga teacher and I really felt it in my shoulders and body the next day. Later in the week I went to another local yoga studio downtown and enjoyed a hot yoga class – I did not realize how much I would enjoy it, now I am going back for more! I was enjoying the beach yoga in Hawaii and now it has had an effect on my exercise routine!

Lentil tacos with micro greens and salad

A piece a Week – A Crochet UFO Pouf AKA Footstool

This week I managed to make the inside pillow for the crochet pouf I had been working on for a while. This project has taken a few weeks to do the crocheting part but the pillow was made up this week so I am using this project as my Piece this week. There is a fair bit of weaving to do on the top as well so this really is not fully complete (sigh…) Though it will pass as a project that is – done, I have a birthday party to prep for this week!

This pouf was inspired by a footstool from the CB2 catalogue – it was knitted in massive yarn which looked great and was over $100. So when I realized I had a fair amount of yarn in my stash (surprise, surprise!!) I thought it would be perfect for such a project. This was the pattern I followed to get the general idea for the pouf and then took it from there with the yarn ends I had.

I am really enjoying the weaving part of things as the yarn is yarn I had from when I made a cardigan for my little one when he was a wee one and by the time I completed it, he had grown!! It is an acrylic wool blend and so durable which is perfect for this project.

What I found amusing most of all was when I was working on it one day and someone asked if I was making a hat and I said no it is a pouf – they just looked at me blankly and walked away. Maybe you have to be from an European origin to understand that a pouf is something that you rest your feet on in the lounge room. I really enjoyed this project and it will be fun to have a few thrown around the floor just to sit on.

The stuffing for the pillow is made from an old crib duvet and some old clothes that were not good enough for Goodwill, it all fits well with my upcycling theme for this year. So grab your bulky yarn scraps and big crochet hook and crochet in the round using the pattern above and before you know it a great little footstool or large pillow is there for the floor.

The UFO Pouf which is now loved by the kiddos  
The B side of the UFO Pouf
Top of the UFO Pouf 

A piece a week – the Hideout Crochet Hat

As my project this week had to be portable I decided I wanted to crochet something… Crochet is a new thing I want to really hone in on this year – getting crafty with the hook! I have a work in progress at the moment and that is a big pouf for the lounge but that one is a long haul project and is getting there slowly. This week I found some amazing hand spun merino a friend of mine gave me from her trip to Australia. It was very interesting to crochet with hand spun as the weight of the yarn is so varied from worsted weight to super bulky and it feels so good in your hands. I did not follow a pattern this time and just went with the flow of what was happening with the yarn and the size of the hat to see what came through. I think that without following a pattern I understood the stitches a bit more and learned to work with shaping the piece. I have called this hat the Hideout Hat named after the lodge we stayed at in the peaceful Eldorado National forest.

Wearing the hat in the evening light 
The Hideout Hat in amongst the snow – I loved the snow! 

A piece a Week – A Damask Upcycled Tote for my Crochet Pouf Project

This week has been crazy busy with the start of the week with a trip to San Francisco with my son’s 3rd Grade class for their storytelling and book writing field trip to 826 Valencia a writing center dedicated to supporting ages 6-18 with their writing skills. The kids had such a fun time collaborating together to create a story called ‘Food Fight on Planet Bakery’. Everyone had a character to work on and it was amazing to watch the story unfold before your eyes with help from the kids. The kids were given paper to complete their own ending for the story and this was sent up to the Captain to be ‘approved’ and read out to everyone. After the ‘approval’ the kids books are bound and given to their teacher to be given out back at school. We had lunch in the city and then had a play at the playground with this awesome merry go round / spiderweb structure that the kids just loved at the Mission Playground and Pool. It was a bit of a crazy thing to do after I had eaten but I could not resist as it looked like so much fun! At one stage it was so hard to get off that I felt my lunch coming up from my tummy :/ After this fun day in the city I had two other errands ahead of me till my evening finished at 8:15pm – whew!
The next day I did my ceramics class which balanced hump day Wednesday very well. I love playing with clay and we were learning about under glazing this week. This is my third week and it is such a fun thing to do as each week I am learning to relax with the clay and just play – I hope my pieces come out well after they are fired and glazed. I learn to appreciate how much work it is to make ceramic objects that I admire. 
Thursday it was Arts Focus day and volunteering at school teaching the kids sewing and lucky for me the afternoon was free for some creative tasks. I found this pattern from the book Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara and the fabric is from my last trip to FabMo straight out of a fabric sample book. It is so luxurious. I was so thankful to have some time to do some sewing this week as my usual work day was volunteering with the field trip. Lucky this project did not take much time and I did learn a new way to finish the base of a tote bag which I love! I am making a crochet pouf / foot stool for my lounge as a crochet practice project this year – I like to use the hook instead of the knitting needles sometimes. With ends of yarns from other projects it is coming together slowly.
Now to the weekend and it is relaxing with a hike with friends tomorrow…
Front of the tote with the yarn inside

Back side of the tote bag with batik handles