His favourite toy

Meet Ellie. She has (clearly) seen better days, but that's because she is Alexander's favourite toy. Like seriously, she is the. Most. Favouritest. Ever.

Alex is so attached to Ellie to the point where he screams when she falls out of the cot, and he wakes up and cries multiple times at night when she's been in the wash and is hanging out to dry. Since he was four months old,  Ellie has been his constant source of comfort. He chews on her to self soothe and places her over his head as he puts himself to sleep. He giggles every time he sees her. And even though I bought other completely identical 'Ellies', he knows they are not the same.
When I was little, I too used to have a favourite object/toy that I was dearly attached to. I still remember it; a cream coloured baby bolster pillow that I would chew on and suck on and cuddle to sleep. It had a really...unique and wonderful smell (but only to me) and I would cry buckets whenever it went in the wash because it would take days for it to smell right again.

Stu had Goggi. It looked a bit like Humpty Dumpty and was handmade by his Grandaunt Martha. It had a green and white body, orange arms and legs and brown buttons for eyes. Stu's mum told me he used to wail unconsolably and point at Goggi when it was hanging on the hills-hoist to dry.

Do you remember your favourite toy?

Kitchen inspiration

Stu and I have decided that we will extend our house in the next couple of years, which means our current kitchen will get knocked down. So I've been compiling a little list of what we would love to have in our dream kitchen. When The Kitchen Place asked me to share this list with you, I happily said yes.  Read on if you're interested...

1. Marble benchtop for kitchen island. I love the look of marble, however, as it is very porous, it is not the most practical material for a working bench. Our compromise? A marble benchtop for the kitchen island to be used as a showpiece of that space, and stainless steel for the working benches where all food preparation takes place.
2. Bespoke tapware. I would so love something that looks old fashioned, is understated but offers a point of difference from all the commercial tapware in the market.
3. Walk in pantry. I've been dreaming of having more storage space for a very long time now (sad but true). Mine would have a combination of shallow shelves so everything is in view and allows for easy access, as well as deep shelves for open baskets.
4. Dark tiled splash-back. I'm loving the idea of a dark statement wall in the kitchen, which will also pick up on the dark tones on the marble island bench top and contrast nicely with stainless steel appliances and working bench tops. Best of all, it will be great for hiding stains!
5. Statement lighting. At the moment we have very discreet down lights in our kitchen which works well as the space is quite small. Ideally our future kitchen will be much bigger so it will be lovely to have a couple of hanging pendant lights that makes a bit of a statement without being too flashy.
What does your dream kitchen look like?

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by The Kitchen Place, one of Melbourne's most experienced kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovation experts who can bring your vision to life with expertise, creativity and professionalism.

In this moment

reading... catching fire. Watched the movies and now I'm into the books. So glad to finally be reading something other than parenting books.

excited about... my childhood friend visiting from Singapore. Lots of catching up to do!

ordering... a waist leash. Am going to try walking Frankie and baby together for a change. I've been told waist leash is the way to go as it will keep my hands free to push the pram.

planning... a short farm stay or a weekend by the beach. I need a quick escape.

watching... Modern Family season 3 on DVD. Still my favourite family on TV.

dreaming about... a clean house and more storage space.

listening to... Smooth FM. And being happily oblivious to what the latest trends in pop music are.

feeling... rested for a change. Bub slept in for 3 hours today!

wanting... to get my core strength back. I found a pilates studio with a creche so I'm back at pilates. Feels. So. Good.

grateful for... my lovely mother in law who minds Alexander once a week so I can have a break from mummy duties for a few hours!

loving... warm winter woolies and a crackling fireplace in the evenings.

Lemon lime tart

'Tis the season to be zesty, it seems. Our mandarin tree has finished fruiting for the year but various citrus-y goodness are still popping up in our neighbours and friends' backyard. And lucky for us, we were given some as there was an abundance. On the weekend, I decided to make some lemon lime mini tarts.

Oh boy, they taste so good. It has just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the sourness of the fruits and has a lovely burst of tang to it. Mmmm.
Ingredients ((makes four 10-cm tarts or one 24-cm tart)

1 sheet shortcrust pastry, thawed
Grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
Juice of 3 limes
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 cup caster sugar
150ml thickened cream
Icing sugar, dusting (optional)

Method

1. Grease and line fluted tart tin(s) with pastry. Trim excess pastry. lightly prick bases with a fork. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F) and blind bake for 15 minutes or until pastry is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2.  Strain juice and zest of lemons and limes through a sieve and set aside.

3. Whisk the cream, eggs, yolks, sugar and strained juices in a bowl and whisk to combine. Skim off froth from the surface and pour into prepared tart shells.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool then, dust with icing sugar to serve.

Ten months

Sarah over at Chantille Fleur recently posted a gorgeous video of her wonderful life on the farm, complete with sheepdogs, chooks and little ducklings in bows. I was so smitten with her video, I decided to make one of my own. It was so much fun!

So this month, I'll let the video do all the talking. If you would like to see what ten month old Alexander has been up to, click play on the video below. Totally worth 49 seconds of your time....I promise!



Music: Heads up by Karen O and the Kids