From garden to kitchen: peri peri sauce

Last week we experienced rain like never before. For four days, non-stop torrential rain pelted relentlessly down on Sydney. It was cold and it was wet. And had me craving a hit of chilli with some delicious warming food. So I got down to making a batch of peri peri sauce from scratch with homegrown chillies, lemons and limes for peri peri chicken dinner one night.
Peri Peri sauce


8-10 red chillies, stemmed and roughly chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup parsley leaves
3 tablespoons lemon and/or lime juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt, to taste


1. Roughly chop chillies, garlic and parsley

2. Add all ingredients to processor and blend until smooth.

3. Pour into container and store in refrigerator for a few hour for flavours to infuse before using.

Playing tourist - Singapore 2015

As you may know, Stu, Alexander and I visited my parents in Singapore earlier this month. Last time we went back was exactly a year ago when Alex was just a wee baby and had no idea what was going on. This time though, he was able to enjoy the holiday more and better appreciate the experience.

We played tourists and went to see the sights like we've never been to Singapore before and it was pretty refreshing to see the country through Alex's fresh little eyes. Here are a few highlights from our trip...
One of the first thing we did was to go on a play date with an old friend of mine and her two little girls. We went to the water play park at Sentosa for a fun filled morning of splashing around. This was followed by lunch on the beach where the kids had a jolly good time playing in the sand. Then Alex discovered the water and insisted on going for a swim! Again!
Another attraction at Sentosa that we visited and loved was the S.E.A aquarium where Alexander literally jumped off his pram and pointed excitedly at all the fish and sharks in the tank on arrival.
Us adults enjoyed it too.The aquarium was like an underwater wonderland, filled with colour. I found it soothing and calming to watch the coming and going of the fish, particularly the Open Ocean experience when divers fed the glittering schools of fish. It was truly magical.
We also made a trip to the Singapore zoo. But Alex was entirely unimpressed with the animals. Exotic white tiger? Meh. Giraffe and zebras? Not interested. Elephants of Asia? He couldn't care less.
And then we found a water play area complete with slides and Little A was in his element. Giggling and squealing and laughing and constantly going "Again? Again?" down the waterslide. It was not only fun but also a great way to cool off from the hot and sticky weather.
 Have you been to Singapore? Which sights did you enjoy there?

Tips for road tripping with a toddler

I've mentioned more than once before and I'll say it again: traveling with a toddler is hard work. So why do Stu and I keep going away? Clearly, our sense of wanderlust and Alex's joy at discovering new sights and experieneces seems to make all the effort worthwhile.

Personally, I much prefer road trips to flights, as there are always stops to be made and sights to be seen along the way, while with flying, we're pretty much 'trapped' up in the air for hours on end. Land Rover has asked that I share a few of my road tripping tips with you today, so here goes...
Research best route - By best, I don't always mean shortest. Are there any rest areas, parks or places of interest along the way to break up the journey? Which route is best for the time you're travelling?

Roadside assistance - Picture this scenario: it's dark, and you're in the middle of the countryside, miles away from the nearest town. Everyone in the car is exhausted, and your restless toddler starts crying and screaming and then...the car breaks down. I honestly can think of few things worse, so for me, roadside assistance is a must so I'm never stuck in the middle of nowhere with no help in sight.

Plan your trip around toddler's sleep - Alexander naps for two solid hours everyday around midday, so Stu and I always make sure to leave approximately 30 minutes before his usual nap time. The steady motion of the car on the highway always lulls him into sleep quickly and we get to drive in peace for two hours.

Allocate plenty of time - If the trip usually takes one hour, make sure to give yourself two hours to get to your destination. Because DELAYS happen. I remember clearly the time we were driving to the airport in Tasmania to catch a plane home and Alex had a dummy spit and we had to stop to pacify him. And then he had a major poo explosion that had to be cleaned up, resulting in us arriving at the airport late. If our flight flight hadn't been delayed, we would've missed our flight for sure.

Entertainment - Play kid music, read a book, provide fun finger foods and/or new exciting toys to keep your toddler amused and entertained. Better yet, have an adult sit next to the child at the back to keep the child company.

In this moment

Hello! Sorry for the hiatus. I've been away in Singapore visiting my mum and dad with Stu and Alexander. I'd honestly thought I would do some blogging from there but simply ran out of time. We are home now and settling back into everyday life. Here are a few things that are happening in this moment.
a bit of creative flower play
reading... The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort. What a crazy sex driven and drug fuelled life! And so strangely compelling and captivating. I'm loving the book as much as I loved the movie - which was A LOT.

excited about... watching Giselle by the Australian Ballet this Saturday. Look forward to seeing the costumes, and getting lost in the magic of it all.

planning... not to travel for a little while. Holidaying with a toddler is hard work.     

watching... My Kitchen Rules online. So many episodes to catch up on! 

wishing... for a new Jaguar XE. Have you seen their Sports model? So sleek and so modern and oh so powerful. Adding it to my luxury wishlist.

celebrating... Stu's birthday. My love is on the wrong side of forty.

cooking... steak and chips for dinner tonight. A nice change from the last two week's all Asian menu.

feeling... pretty glad to be back home. While we had a great time in Singapore, it's nice to come home to a familiar routine.

loving... the weather. The mornings and nights are cool but the brilliantly warm sunny afternoons makes my heart sing. Definitely one of the best things about Autumn.

collecting...crystals and minerals. My mum gave me her small collection to get me started. Will share soon.

Fab five: facial serums

With the cooler months looming ahead, keeping my skin hydrated has never been more important. The crisp cool air, plus the drying effects of heaters makes my skin more susceptible to feeling tight and looking dull, so tender loving care in the form of a facial serum is an absolute must. I highly recommend these five...
Tula Naturals Soothing Oil for Face and Body - I'd mentioned before I suffered from a bout of perioral dermatitis late last year and the treatment left the skin around my mouth and nose extremely dry, red and patchy. Tula Naturals' highly nourishing blend of oils gave my skin immediate relief from dryness and kept it hydrated when everything else seemed only to aggravate my condition. It doesn't contain any essential oils, making it suitable even for distressed, sensitive skin.

La Mav Pure Argan Oil - I think it's safe to say argan oil is fantastic for hair, but did you know it works wonders for the skin too? It is a great moisturiser; non-greasy and readily absorbed by the skin. It also boasts of healing properties - perfect for repairing damaged cracked skin and preventing any further irritation or dryness.

A'kin Pure Radiance Rosehip Oil - Deeply moisturising but easily absorbed; I love using this at night prior to my night cream and let it work its magic as I sleep. It has a strong herbal smell which I find quite calming. Skin feels softer and smoother with each use. Tip: It's super concentrated so a little really does go a long way.

Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum - I was initially quite doubtful of this  water-based, oil-free serum ability to moisturise my dry skin but was very pleasantly surprised to find how super hydrated my skin looks and feels! And because it is water-based, it literally just melts onto my skin and plumps it up after patting it on. This is a great one to use in the hotter months as it leaves zero greasy residue.

Dermalogica C-12 Pure Bright Serum - Pregnancy and all the crazy hormones that came with it had left my skin pigmented, especially on the cheeks. I gave this brightening serum a go, without very high expectations but was amazed at the difference it made and how quickly. It gave my skin a healthy glow immediately. Skin looks clearer, brighter and the spots and ugly pigmentation have lightened with time. This is an expensive product but well worth every cent.