Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 31 - Kardinal

So Blogtober began with the Queen of the Night tulips and closes with a Kardinal rose.
The flower garden has changed dramatically over the month, and I may not have noticed how quickly if it wasn't for the blog.
I have captured snippets of our life, perhaps a little mundane at times, but it is all real, and where we are at right now.

I hope I can continue to blog more frequently, maybe not everyday but a few times a week. It has felt a bit like a deadline to meet each day, but I did enjoy taking photos and briefly writing to them.

Thank you for reading along and commenting. Glad to know people do still visit!

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day 30 - A Rob day

When Rob is at home with the girls their day is completely different to the one we share when I'm at home alone with them.

They clean the house. Bottle beer. He lets them get wet in the dog water bucket.

They pick flowers for me.

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They read different books.
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They play in the garden and get dirty and have muddy faces and hands.

When I got out of the car, two little girls walked around the corner of the hut with big muddy grins and we had a big hug together. He told me Elisabeth said "Mama" all day long.
A cliche I know, but it is a wonderful thing to love and to be loved in return.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 29 - Home day

Apart from a quick visit to the GP to check out Elisabeth and secure a medical certificate, we stayed at home. Poor Elisabeth is still suffering from her tummy bug. So my day consisted of frequent nappy changes, washing the dirty bedlinen from a midnight vomit in her cot, and trying to make sure she was getting enough fluids. The GP recommended any form including diluted cordial, jelly and icy poles!

She's been in remarkably good spirits despite it all.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 28 - One of those days

Today was a day when we should have looked at the teeming rain, wind gusts and snowy mountain and stayed in bed.
After a week off care the girls were keen to head back. So we braved the weather and headed off. Didn't start well when Elisabeth trampled fresh wallaby poop into the family day carer's living room.
Or the hour that Rob and I spent in banked up traffic due to an accident.
When I finally rushed into work and downloaded emails, I'd only just started working when I got a text from the carer giving me a heads up that Elisabeth wasn't feeling the best. We agreed to see how she was  after her morning tea but suspected we'd need to come back and pick her up. Elisabeth didn't perk up but fell asleep so we came and picked up the girls after her nap around lunch.

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She seemed happy enough at home, so Rob set about baking Anzac biscuits to keep the girls amused. But then tummy cramps set in and multiple nappy changes over a short space of time, and then a double melt down by the girls over dinner meant that we're all feeling a bit frazzled, and to be honest a little nauseous!

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Let's hope one day all I remember is the baking.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Day 27 - Roast chicken

It's nice to be able to cook again. I found it impossible with two babies, but now the girls are a bit older, often I can distract them with books or toys, or even get them to help a bit with prepping dinner.

We headed out in the morning to find a chook for dinner. So this afternoon, while Elisabeth napped, I talked Maggie through teasing the skin away from the breast and stuffing it with butter and tarragon.
Then rubbing the skin with olive oil, salt and pepper, before squeezing half a lemon over it and stuffing it in the cavity with some more tarragon and garlic.

I popped it on a bed of red onion slices and more garlic and into a hot oven. We baked some pumpkin as well, boiled some new pink eye potatoes and served it with asparagus and peas.

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A Sunday roast, a day late.
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I'm sure her namesake, Maggie Beer, would be proud!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


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Maggie: She has such an intense look into the camera sometimes!
Elisabeth: I have to admit that we think our girls are beautiful, but we are heartened to see their inner beauty too.

Joining in with Jodi's 52 portrait project.

A big weekend with a trip up north for the Walk for Prems. We were in today's paper and on the news tonight too (we don't have tv so hoping I made sense on camera). Will write more about it tomorrow. For the moment we're all a bit tired and I'm looking forward to my own bed.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 25 - On the road

We'll be travelling tomorrow, so here's a post I prepared earlier!

Thinking of our dogs, Nigella and Claudia, as they have gone to stay with my parents for the weekend. They'll be having a great old time!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 24 - Freesias and the first rose of the season

A quick Friday flowers post.

The freesias keep blooming, and although the coloured ones are striking, I think I prefer the creamy original "Grandma's Freesia", with a hidden golden throat.

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I picked my first rose for the season today. Elle.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 23 - First golf lesson

Rob has been keen to get the girls into golf. This afternoon was sunny and a perfect time for a first lesson on our lawn.

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Claudia is always keen to steal the balls.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 22 - Hot

Today was warm. We stayed at home keeping inside where it was cooler. Eventually in the heat of the early afternoon the girls were tired enough to go to sleep for a nap without much fuss. Elisabeth in her cot, Maggie next to me on our bed. After a quick tidy up of the living area and kitchen I joined Maggie and napped for the first time in ages. It was heaven.
Unrelated photos from today.

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The girls and their trikes. It's love. Maggie likes to turn hers upside down to "service" it, carefully cleaning everything.

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After dinner while I did the washing up the girls joined Rob in the flower garden for a feast of freshly picked alpine strawberries and some weeding. Have I mentioned how much we love daylight savings?
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Tomorrow is a public holiday thanks to the Hobart Show, so I am looking forward to a quiet day with Rob home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 21 - Picnic in the park

We had a surprise day together today, as our Family day carer was unwell, so I took the day off to be with the girls. It wasn't a difficult decision to make, especially with the perfect weather.

So we headed into town at lunch, picking up Rob from work and heading to one of our favourite parks in Battery Point with provisions from Jackman and McRoss. The girls enjoyed seeing their Papa in the middle of the day, and we enjoyed eating outside in the shade of some trees together.

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It's meant to be even warmer tomorrow, so on our way home we went shopping for bathers and rash tops to go with their new paddling pool.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 20 - Lemon linguine

I have written about this pasta before. So I won't repeat the recipe. Needless to say it is very easy to make, even with the girls about, and even easier to eat.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014


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Maggie:  As I said last night it was warm enough for post dinner play on the terrace. The girls had their dinner all over their clothes, so I stripped them off to nappies and singlets. Maggie is such a ragamuffin.
Elisabeth: In the next photo she is poking out her tongue!

Joining in with Jodi's 52 portrait project. Only ten portraits left for the year.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18 - Burgers and ice cream

A day shopping together at Bunnings, the girls were highly excited by everything there. We ended up with a paddling pool so they don't have to sit in plastic tubs anymore!

A lazy afternoon. Which ended with an early dinner of Rob's home-made pork & veal burgers (made with grated apple, fresh sage and oregano), served on a Pigeon Whole Bakers brioche bun, topped with bbq onions and Rob's tomato relish. With a glass of home brew and the bifold doors open, Saturday night jazz on the radio, we thought life doesn't get much better. Except then there was the chocolate ice-cream.

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The girls were happy to potter around together on the terrace after dinner.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 17 - Spring garden

These are probably not the best photos of our flowers. But with fading light I ran out to capture some of the blooms in the picking garden.

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Iris, Ranunculus, Geum, Poppy. Everything is a bit wild, and my original colour beds (white, pink, red, burgundy/blue, orange and yellow) have become a little mixed, but that's ok. I like it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 16 - Toys

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Nice toys are beautiful to look at.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 15 - Baking up a storm

I'm hosting a fundraising morning tea on Friday at my work for Life's Little Treasures Walk for Prems. So today I baked 36 Chocolate Guinness cupcakes, a big lemon coconut cake and iced a zillion tiny gingerbread feet. The feet are the same size as the girl's feet when they were born. I'll try and take a photo on Friday. I also squeezed in making a batch of Nutella panna cotta for tonight's dessert, and they taste fantastic, but sadly need a bit more gelatine as they came out of the mould looking a little reminiscent of a cow pat.

The girls were so patient with me, and were happy to help juice lemons, or ice a gingerbread foot each (well actually just eat the icing).

So no new photos today, but another from yesterday.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 14 - Sisters

It's late.
I've been up since 5.45am.
I nearly didn't pick up the camera tonight, but I'm glad I did.
While Rob was cooking some ocean trout on the Weber, I watched our daughters.
It doesn't get much better than this does it?

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 13 - Granola

To be precise home made granola. We use a recipe in Nigella's Feast - she credits the recipe to Andy Rolleri of the Pantry in Fairfield Connecticut.

I had been experimenting with reducing the amount of sugar in it, but after a bit of a failure last time I decided to return to the original recipe. It is so good! I'll just have to reduce the amount I eat at breakfast.

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My slight modifications to the original recipe in Feast

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
175g (200ml) apple compote or apple sauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup golden syrup
4 tablespoons honey
100g (3/4 cup tightly packed) brown sugar
2 cups whole almonds (or hazelnuts or any other nut you'd prefer)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 cup coconut flakes

300g raisins (or sultanas or other dried fruit)

Heat the oven to 170 degC.

Mix everything except the dried fruit and coconut in a bowl. I microwave the honey and golden syrup so that it's runny.

Spread out the mix onto two baking trays covered with baking paper.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. I watch it carefully as it can burn easily, after 15 minutes use a spatula to turn the mix over, and add the coconut flakes on top.

Allow it to cool and then mix in the dried fruit (which I inevitably forget so end up mixing in a handful each day into my bowl).

Serve with milk, greek yoghurt and fruit compote (today it was the rest of the apple compote I made for the mix).

Thanks Andy and Nigella.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


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Maggie: Such an imp. 
Elisabeth: The moment after she was laughing like a loon. Almost a "Maggie" look.

Joining in with Jodi's 52 portrait project.

A lovely warm Spring day at the hut today. Lunch with family (home-made burgers and coffee ice cream), then a bit of water play (sitting in plastic cake containers of water), and a quick ramble up behind the waterworks reserve in the late afternoon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 11 - On this day last year

Today we have been fairly lazy, a late trip into the city for  Pigeon Whole bread and the best doughnuts, and meat from our favourite butcher. A chicken is roasting in the Weber as I type. So there were limited opportunities for a new photo.

We often play this game just before we go to sleep. Rob and I will sit in bed and scroll back to a year ago on my phone camera roll. We giggle at how small the girls were. How we marvelled over the milestones of rolling over and sitting up. It never gets old does it? Watching your children grow up and change, and yet at the same time you realise they have been the same little characters all along. It is particularly meaningful to us given their rough start to life. I can still go back to those terrible gut-wrenching, heart-aching moments when we had to consider one or both of them dying in the NICU. I hope that we always treat every day with our daughters as a gift, no matter how tired we are, or how trying they are!

So I scrolled back in Lightroom to find these photos of the girls exactly a year ago.

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The October #huttwins monthly portrait in black and white. Maggie on the left, Elisabeth on the right.
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The girls on the play mat, Elisabeth in the foreground, Maggie at the back.
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Thanks for indulging me in that trip down memory lane.
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