It’s that time of year again!

Get ready to Deck the Halls & Jingle those Bells!

It’s my FAVOURITE time of the year!

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Well after a whirlwind few weeks, we have moved house yet again! Hence why I’ve not been online! Moving is stressful at any time of the year, but right on top of the Festive Season?!?!?! Let’s just say I don’t want to be doing that again EVER! I still don’t have a working oven in the new place so we’ve been living on BBQ & whatever I can manage on the cooktop burners for our first week here, but hopefully, we should have that issue resolved shortly.

I have ‘enough’ of my kitchen unpacked now to get back to doing what I love ~ cooking up a storm to share with all of you on my blog. My Fam-bam are happy now too as they’re the ones who get too greedily devour everything I make.

And just in time too! Because today I start my Christmas Gifts From The Kitchen series! HOORAH!

Over the next 3 weeks, I shall be bringing you fabuliciouz festive culinary treats that you can whip up at home to surprise your loved ones this year with edible presents. Choose to either give them separately as lots of little gifts or combine a wee bit of everything into glorious gourmet hampers! You may even wish to use some of them as your offering on a share plate table as the parties kick in.

After our 3 weeks of Gifts From The Kitchen, I will then be launching straight into my Christmas Feast! This year is a whopper so you definitely won’t want to miss that! Plus, something EPIC is coming up which I can announce to you all at the end of the month ~ you won’t want to miss that one!

So, without further delay, let the Merry Christmas season begin!

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Finding Me

Every storm in your life is followed by a Rainbow.

After a long absence, I am back! I would like to thank each of you for not giving up on my return & to the new people who’ve joined us on our journey here in this past month, seeing new followers during such a hard time was a beautiful ray of light which spurred me on.

In this past month, Hubby’s health has deteriorated. Thankfully his heart is fit, strong & undamaged. Unfortunately the same can not be said about his lungs.

He has suffered for many years with recurring pneumonia & frequent lung collapses. During all his recent testing, medical teams have discovered abnormalities inside his lungs. He struggles to breathe & is finding it increasingly difficult to do things that we formally took for granted. He is now undergoing testing for Lymphoma (Lung Cancer). Whilst neither of us have ever smoked, he was exposed to some pretty nasty chemicals during his aviation career. The doctor’s tell us we are at the start of something – we just need to figure out what.

With everything happening between Hubby & Mini Me, I was quite taken aback when one of the teams expressed concern for my well being. They were all in total agreeance that I am burnt out. After much encouragement I have been persuaded to start looking after me so that I can better look after them. A respite from my daily grind, as it were. So I am back with my passion for the kitchen in reinvigorating this blog & I have also enrolled in something I’ve been wanting to do since before Mini Me was born! I am about to begin Belly Dancing classes!

This coming year is going to be hard, we’ve no doubts about that. We have a battle to prepare for & we will fight! And we will be fine.

 

I’ve been interviewed!

I am so completely chuffed & humbled that another blogger would want to interview little old me about our life!!!!!

Check out the full article using the link below 🙂

http://wisdomandwonder.com.au/2017/08/30/real-australian-homeschools-tanya-the-dance-mum/#comment-96

 

Taking Mini-Me to the Extreme!

I’m back! Did you miss me?

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What a time we’ve had of it! I think Hubby & Mini-Me were tag teaming to see who could break me first!

Hubby is doing better after his heart attack but still a way to go on his recovery. The problem arose after an accident in our digger whilst at work. He sustained a broken rib & bruised kidney. Unfortunately, somehow, this led to an infection, Influenza A, pneumonia & all resulted in a heart attack. We choose to see the positive in this, however, for the heart attack has exposed a rather serious heart condition which we can now make appropriate lifestyle adjustments for.

Meanwhile, Mini-Me dropped weight rapidly into a critically low area, ringing alarm bells! Her Nutrition was good with adequate calorie intake for her ballet training so the hunt was on to solve this mystery ASAP!

Every parent fears the word Leukaemia. We were so incredibly relieved when her test results proved negative…..but then what was causing her weight to free fall where no matter what the doctors did, they could not stop it?!

Never underestimate having a bloody good Paediatrician on your side.

Several tests later & we have a break through – Coeliac Disease!

Thank goodness I am already all over this (like Hubby on a cupcake!) having it myself. I recall though, several years ago now, the almighty learning curve of the Gluten Free Diet! I am just so enormously grateful that I got to trial & error on myself instead of my precious child. It was actually such an incredible relief to hear the words Coeliac Disease over the alternative!

Now that they are both on the path back to good health & I’ve been medically ordered that I am NEVER allowed to EVER get sick myself with these two, I have finally had time to breathe. That is always a dangerous thing for me as then I have the time to think!

When Hubby had his heart attack, I became suddenly aware of how truly precarious my privileged life as a Homeschooling House Wife really is. This is the lifestyle that we worked so hard to place ourselves in a position to achieve & maintain before having Mini-Me. Yet it could all be snatched away from us in an instant.

I confided my feelings to my beautiful Ballet Mum tribe. They’re such an extremely supportive & truly empathetic group of ladies. Upon the realisation that reigniting my former career would be unsustainable, a suggestion was made for me to return to study. Train for something new, something that I love, something that is meaningful to me, something that will restore my financial confidence.

Searching for my great unknown, I stumbled across a piece of advice that said something like Find Your Purpose – we’ve all seen this cliche emblazoned everywhere, but what made this one different to grab my attention was that he went on in the video to actually say HOW to find your purpose! Pay attention to what you always think about, always watch, always read, always listen too. I don’t think I need to issue any prizes to anyone for guessing what my brain is obsessed with! FOOD!

But……as well as food, I am equally invested in my family’s health! So not so quick there on the old Culinary School route peeps 😉

I’m leaning towards finding something to do with Food, Nutrition, Health, Elite Performance & Optimum Clean Living. I just haven’t found it yet, but I will.

Life’s Lessons

Everything can change in the blink of an eye,

or in the beat of the heart.

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Why have I been M.I.A?

My most gorgeous Hubby, my Soul Mate & Life Partner became very ill with pneumonia which then caused him to have a Heart Attack.

Sitting in our lounge room on that night, receiving sporadic information from the hospital, starring worriedly at our most precious child, I could not contain the flood of tears or the absolute terrifying fear which held me firmly in it’s clutches. I wrote him a text to his phone that night –

I don’t want to do this without you!

Mercifully, he was already in the hospital for his pneumonia when the Heart Attack struck. Angels had even guided a nurse to be standing at the foot of his bed actually looking at him when it happened. He received the help he needed immediately. For this, I shall be forever grateful. I still have my darling Hubby by my side.

This heralds in the start of a brand new Life Chapter for us as we learn a different way to live Post Heart Attack. Luckily, we don’t have to change much, yet.

When you’re reminded just how extraordinarily fragile life actually is & how it can be snatched away from you in an instant, all of your carefully crafted plans suddenly blur…….

Neapolitan Marble Cake

It’s a classic which is now rarely seen,

but the swirls of pink, chocolate & vanilla are well worth the effort.

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It has been a chaotic week! Last Wednesday was Mini-Me’s birthday so off we popped to Melbourne Zoo which lays claim to being the oldest zoo in Australia! We treated her to an exclusive behind the scenes member’s tour before exploring the zoo at our leisure until just after lunch when she got to have a close encounter with her all time favourite animal by feeding the Giraffe in it’s enclosure. She was just so deliriously happy & her delightful giggle is simply magic to my ears as well as my heart.

The rest of the week was spent in absolute panic as I madly threw together her party which we hosted at our mountain top home on Sunday. Twenty hyped up children having the time of their lives & the snow machine went down a real treat! Their limbo moves were super impressive & let me tell you, those tiny ballerinas have a mighty mean swing on a piñata! Food was plentiful but, of course, the star of the culinary show is always the birthday cake!

Mini-Me loves Neapolitan Ice-Cream so I took my inspiration from that to wow her when we cut open the cake.

Bung into your mixer bowl 125g of room temperature softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar & a teaspoon of vanilla. Cream that until it’s nice & fluffy.

Add in 2 eggs, but one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold through 2 cups of self raising flour & a pinch of salt alternating with 1/2 cup of milk.

Divide the mix into 3 bowls. Leave one plain, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa to another & a few drops of pink food colouring to the third. Give them a jolly good mix.

Layer the 3 batters into a well greased cake tin & use a sharp knife or a bamboo skewer to create swirls.

Whack in a 175c oven for an hour.

You can serve this cake plain, dusted in icing sugar, with buttercream or even covered in ganache! Let your imagination run wild!

What If…….?

I wonder what would happen if I put down all of this toxic self doubt I have burdened myself to carry?

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Over the past year, you have been following me on a journey of self discovery as I stumble my way along this culinary pathway. It certainly has been a roller coaster!

I would dearly love to evolve & grow this blog into a wee web show, yet every time I begin, some of you may recall I came very close to it last Christmas, I end up sabotaging myself as the horrid seeds of self doubt sprout & spread their evil tendrils.

I get all excited & pumped up – I plan, I experiment, I practice what to say & then I let that little voice in my head take over!

  • You’re being ridiculous
  • Who on Earth would want to watch to you
  • Who do you think you are
  • You’re a nobody
  • You’re not a chef
  • You’re not pretty enough for telly
  • You don’t know anything
  • You can’t plate up
  • You’re food isn’t fancy enough
  • You’re not good enough

I’m sure you are now getting the picture. Food is my passion. It’s what I want to share. It’s all I want to do.

It’s true, my food is not fancy, it’s not fine dining & I’m certainly not good enough for MasterChef!

I’m just a stay at home mum living on my mountain top with a strong desire, a dream if you might, of sharing my simple food from my humble kitchen.

To learn the knowledge of our Grandparents generation of how to grow my own food, how to prepare it with great love & to enjoy a blissfully uncomplicated life.

Is there really anything wrong with that?

Am I alone in my desire for simplicity?

Would you watch me?

Mid-Life Crisis!

Is it just me or is everyone faking this whole life thing?

I mean, I never expected to reach the age of 42 & still be absolutely clueless about my direction in life!

Just when we’d made the decision to move to the Gold Coast to be near to our family & friends, life has thrown us, yet again, another plot twist.

Mini-Me has been selected to become a Classical Soloist Ballerina! Now that is EPICALLY huge for her to receive this wonderful opportunity & is a real achievement in reward for all her extra hard work she puts in towards her Professional Ballet career. I know, I know, she’s only 6 but she has known what she’s wanted to do practically since birth! This kid is Born to Ballet!

I simply can’t fathom how focussed & together she is as I’ve always been a total screw up mess my entire life. Yet from the moment she slipped her delicate toes into her first pair of ballet leathers at the ripe old age of 3, she has been destined for greatness.

Now, in Australia, if she was to be focussed on becoming an elite athlete in the sporting arena, nobody would bat an eyelid at us making serious family life choices based on our young child’s career, however, as her talent is in the Arts, people have been less understanding. As a Professional Ballerina, she will be an elite athlete of incredible abilities!

But, back to this whole Mid-Life Crisis thing……

I’ve been quite strongly guided lately to return to writing. I had another blog, a few years back, which was far more successful than this one, which I shut down for various reasons. I had thought about starting another whole new blog, in addition to Food Forage, in order to do this. The problem is that I already struggle with the high demands of my small fam-bam to get the time to even do this one properly! I’m sure you’ve noticed my sporadic posts which is what is to blame for my lack of success here. So, what shall I do in order to write again?

I’ve decided to do these random open diary entries to you, a glimpse into my madness if you like, as my Fam-Bam Files category & see where we go from there.

I’m desperately trying to rediscover who I am now as more than just a wife & mother. I’m sure a lot of you have been here before me! Who I was before Mini-Me came along simply is not who I am anymore. So who am I now?

This is why I believe I’m struggling to make real, deep friendships here in Melbourne. I’m very difficult to get to know as a person, not because of any ‘walls’ as I simply don’t have them, but because I am so extremely open about being so lost. People get confused by my being so very scattered. I’m always into something new every time they turn around & I’m an all or nothing sort of gal! I only have 2 speeds, either completely obsessed or completely uninterested. So yeah, I’m not the easiest of people to be friends with as you never know what I’m up to next! At least I’m never boring.

All I know for sure is that I am being guided to make a return to my writing & also my healing. I am a Seichim Healer but haven’t healed since before Mini-Me was born. I’d also like to reignite my passion for watercolour painting, even though I’ve never actually been any good at that. Plus my chocolate work is calling me louder & louder to create again.

But where, oh where, shall I ever find the time for me?!?!?!?!

Easter in Eden

Sometimes all you need is to spend some time in a beautiful place to figure it all out.

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After 5 ever so long years living in exile as somewhat reluctant nomads, it’s finally our time to go home.

Before leaving on our beautiful holiday, we had a knowledge that something BIG was going to happen to accommodate a shift in our mindset.

You know that feeling you get when you just know that something EPIC is about to happen?!?!

Well, as soon as we arrived back on our beloved East Coastline we felt the definite shift in energy as we continued to drive further north. The energy of the East Coast is so much lighter & more gentle than anywhere else in the country we’ve been. It’s what matches our own personal energies which is why we tune so harmoniously to it. It’s home, It’s us, We need to return.

Every day we blissed out with our toes in the sand as we made our

Life Plans so effortlessly, so easily, so carefree.

It all came together in such magical clarity that we simply can’t be wrong.

All of our answers simply fell into our laps as we attuned ourselves completely to the lovely East Coast energy.

We will be actioning our plan over the coming months ahead of moving home to the ever so fabuliciouz Gold Coast & hope you will all enjoy this transition as we share snippets of what will be our final nomad relocation.

Once we’re home, that’s it, we’re done!

Miss Milly has already been SOLD, our camping gear is next followed by miscellaneous items that we no longer require in our lives.

Whilst we will forever treasure this time spent exploring our Nation, we are beyond looking forward to going home to our loved ones, back to our beloved East Coast energy & enjoying our unique Gold Coast Caldera lifestyle again.