Fab five: hand washes

Ever since Alexander's arrival 2.5 years ago, hand washing became a bit of an obsession (thanks to all the poo-cleaning, drool-wiping, germs ridding associated with kids).  Al-cheapo hand washes from the supermarket no longer cut it as they left my hands dry and cracked so I turned to other alternatives that are kinder and gentler to the skin. Washing my hands now feels like a real treat. Here are five of my favourites...
Sonett Hand Soap Rosemary - the invigorating smell of rosemary is one my favourite scents of all time. It brings the green of the garden inside and helps me focus. This hand soap has a mild formulation that effectively cleans and nourishes. It is so gentle, I even use it to clean my body and face.

Musq Hand Wash Lemon Myrtle and Mandarin - A hand wash without any nasty chemicals that is good for my skin and our planet. The uplifting combination lemon myrtle and mandarin, enriched with the goodness of eucalyptus, tea tree and rosewood makes this hand wash an absolute treat for the senses.

Mor Essentials Hand and Body Wash Sugar Rose - A combination of soft sugary rose and tropical fruits, this scrumptious hand wash is hydrating and soothing even for irritated skin. Use together with the Hand and Body lotion to layer on that delicious scent.

Peppermint Grove Lemongrass and Lime Hand Wash - If scents can take you places, this hand wash transports me to an exclusive lush tropical paradise. It smells delightful and looks elegant. I'm always looking for an excuse to wash my hands when this is on my bathroom sink.

Crabtree and Evelyn La Source conditioning Hand Wash - I've always been a fan of Crabtree and Evelyn's divine concoctions of lotions and potions. Their La Source hand wash is no exception; it is rich lathering and pH balanced. I love that it is so luxurious to use and smells wonderfully reminiscent of crisp clean sea air.

In this moment

reading... emails and enquiries from clients! Yes my business has launched and the response has been most encouraging. I've even made a few bookings and helped a few families with their child-minding needs. 

watching... Alexander playing in the garden. He is most happy being in nature, playing with leaves, sticks, stones and dirt.

buying... more office supplies for my home business.

feeling... pretty chuffed and contented. It seems all is right in this moment.

busy... raking up all the leaves in the garden. It's a never ending task this time of the year.

wearing... cardigans, my favourite jeans and t-shirt. The cooler weather is upon us but the afternoons are still lovely and warm. Move away dresses and hello to layers.

listening to... the sound of Stu and Alex playing in the living room.

looking forward to... watching the Australian ballet perform Symphony in C this week. It's my Mother's Day present from my gorgeous mother in law.

cooking... a nourishing and warming chicken soup with carrots and corn for dinner tonight.

loving... how Alexander is now playing with all the other kids in our street. There are about 10 of them ranging from 2.5yo (Alex) to 12 but somehow they all manage to play nicely together with the older kids looking out for the littler ones. It is most endearing and lovely.


What are you up to in this moment?

Finding peace: faffing with flowers

How do you find peace?

If you've connected with me on Instagram, you would have noticed my hobby of faffing about with flowers and photographing them. It must have started over a year ago when I realised that our gorgeous wooden table that Stu made with recycled wood made a wonderful backdrop for bright flowers. While Alexander takes his daily nap, I'd wander about the garden for fresh floral pickings and then arrange them on the table before photographing them.
For some reason, I find this exercise very relaxing, soothing and fun; perhaps it unleashes the creative side of me, playing with different colours and textures. I also find joy in playing with different angles, and find it interesting how the sun's movements throughout the day casts a different sort of light on my arrangements. In any case, floral faffing brings me a sense of peace.
This Mother's Day, the lovely people at Flowers for Everyone wants to give everyone the chance to find peace on Makepeace Island (Sir Richard Branson's Australian home) this Mother's Day. They're giving away one lucky winner two nights exclusive and sole use of Makepeace Island for a family of four valued at $10,300. I guess that's pretty good way to find peace too. So make sure you enter the Find peace on Makepeace Island competition now..

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Flowers for Everyone. I was compensated for this post. However all opinions are my own.

More conversations with my 2.5yo

At 2.5 years of age, Alexander is quite the twonager.
Me: "Alex, don't spit your food out, that's not good table manners"
2.5yo: "Sorry, mate."

Me: "Good night Alexander, sleep tight, don't let the bed...."
2.5yo: "Quiet mum, too noisy. Wake everybody up."

2.5yo: "Stand over there, mum."
Me: "OK. But why?"
2.5yo: "Coz."

2.5yo: "Alex need money, mummy."
Me: "What for?"
2.5yo: "Buy ice-cream."

Apple and sultana pie

It's really starting to feel like Autumn; the temperatures are dipping, the leaves are yellowing, the days getting shorter. Our winter woolies have been dusted off, the crock pot ready for making warm stews and soups. And I have been busy baking warm delicious apple pies, served golden and warm from the oven with a hot cup of tea in hand. Oh the simple pleasures...
 Apple pie

Ingredients
10 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
80g sultanas
2 sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry
1/3 cup almond meal
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons raw sugar

Method

1. Line the base of a lightly greased 20cm pie tin with one sheet store bought pastry. Prick pastry with fork all over and blind bake for 8-10 minutes in 200 degree celsius oven. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Place apple and lemon juice in large frying pan. Cover and cook over medium heat for around 8 minutes until tender. Add caster sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and sultanas, mix to combine and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add an even layer of almond meal to the pastry base then add apple and sultana mixture.

4. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut one sheet of store bought pastry into 2-3cm wide strips. Arrange strips on top of pie to make a lattice. Press edges to seal and trim excess pastry. Brush with egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.

5. Bake in 180 degree celsius oven for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden.