Monthly Archives: April 2011

world figolli day update

Just a quick figolli update – croup has drowned out all fun and cooking at our place at the moment. So when we get our house full of happy healthy girls back – figolli will be made with vigour and joy. x

graduation fun

Two interesting things happened at graduation.

The first was while the guest speaker gave his address to the graduates.  It was, in many ways, a typical graduation ceremony address.  Motivational, inspirational, challenging and broad.  During the first half he told a beautiful story about the power of dignity and how the simplicity of treating an individual with grace can change lives.  The second half of his speech challenged those of us graduating to pursue big dreams and take risks.  To take what we have learnt and to apply it to our lives with vigor and immense energy. I liked what he had to say and the way he said it.


…while he was speaking I was acutely aware that I could hear my baby girl crying at the back of the auditorium.  She was doing her ‘I am exhausted and need to sleep but I can tell that something really interesting is going on and I don’t want to miss it’ cry.  Probably very distracting for everyone else, but for me it was heart-wrenching and distressing. It took all my self-control to not stand up, run down the aisle and get her.  But it made me realise that there is no ‘next big step’ or ‘big risk’ to now take, unlike most of my fellow graduates who were pursing new jobs and new adventures.  This is my life. My husband and little girls are it.  And that loving my family is all about  pursuing big dreams and living life with enormous energy. It was nice to realise and it is something that I embrace with delight.  I have spent so much energy attempting to discover and define what I am meant to do with my life, that perhaps I have actually missed the point. The point is that innate and deep response in me to run to my baby girl when she was crying.  So I am sure that the rest of the ceremony was very interesting and inspiring, but I don’t recall much of what else happened.  I was to busy contemplating how good life is and how lucky I am to be surrounded with such good friends and be apart of such an extraordinary family.

(Oh, and the second interesting thing that happened at graduation was that I won the Academic Achievement Award for the post-graduate and masters programs!!  So kids, the lesson is, hard work does pay off!! Who knew?!)


Today I graduate. Today ends a massive chapter of my life. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have studied and to A for making it work for our family.  I wasn’t going to officially graduate (ie. robe up and go to the ceremony) but A convinced me to do it.  He said it was important to celebrate and to acknowledge.  I appreciate his sense of occassion, even if I don’t feel it to be necessary.  But I do want my girls to see me graduate.  I want them to know I accomplished something, that I value study and education and that they were a part of that.

As I write this PlaySchool is on in the background, bubba is sleeping in her rocker and my 3 year old who has been sick and miserable all week is snuggled on the couch drawing.   I just organised for my dear friend to come have tea and crossiants.  I am attempting to read Dante’s Inferno for Book Club.  World Figolli Day is just round the corner.  And life is good.   So this chapter goes on, and it is sweet, and I am glad.

(image for here)

things I wish someone had told me – about babies

A friend of mine is having her first bubba in a few months.  Hooray! And like most expectant mums she has spent countless hours trawling the internet for all the ‘essential’ knowledge for this momentous occasion.  However, when she rang for a chat the other day she was obviously frustrated by, firstly, the enormity of the information available, there is an overwhelming amount, and secondly, by the niggling feeling that most of the  info was irrelevant anyway.  So she asked me to compile a list of things I wish someone had told me before I had had my girls.  Here is what I came up with, I’m sure there is more, but this was what popped into my head first. Hope it helps K!

The most expensive nappy is not necessarily the best nappy (and if I dare, cloth nappy’s are awesome and not difficult – give them a go).

If someone offers to cook you dinner or bring you food – say yes.  If someone offers to help – call them.

Sleep when bubba sleeps.

It is ok to say no to visitors – especially in the hospital. Really it is ok, say no.

Mother’s instinct is real. Trust your gut.

Babies cry – a lot. Don’t freak out. Deep breaths.

Talk to someone other than your partner about how you are.

Find someone to tell your birth story too – in graphic, minute detail. Trust me – it’s therapeutic and you’ll want to.  Blame the hormones if you must.

You are not neurotic, pathetic, anal, or silly, and if any professional treats you as such – walk away.

Talk as loud and as long as you like about how cute your bubba is – because it’s true.


(image from here)


Things that are reminding me of lovely childhood moments.

Green tomatoes from our plant, soon to be made into green tomato chutney.

The perfect way to store treasures, from here.

And finally – oh my word!!

I grew up reading Golden Books and regularly buy them for the girls, so could this be the perfect dress?  Extraordinary. Please go and check out more of this dress and see the process of creating it here. It truly is amazing.

world figolli day

As I have gotten older I have thought much about the events and activities that defined my childhood and my idea of family.  Birthday’s were always marked by a cake of our choice from the classic Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book, Christmas with the extended family involved opening presents in chronological order of youngest to oldest, and Easter always, always, involved the Bendigo Easter Procession with the spectacular Sun Loong Chinese dragon.  There was safety to be found in the knowing of what was going to happen and there was boldness in the owning of a tradition.  I knew what to expect and when to expect it.

Some of those traditions have stayed staunchly the same, some have been discarded and some have evolved into something which better expresses who I am today.

Since the girls have come along we have searched for new and significant ways to mark events and moments.  Or in some cases, we have held tight to the tradition that marked our own childhoods.

This Easter I have decided to introduce a new tradition into our household.  I am going to get in touch with my inner Maltese, which, quite frankly, does not exist, but I’m going to give this a try anyway, and participate in a Maltese Easter tradition – the making of figolli.  Gourmet Worrier, whose blog is inspiring and delightful in equal measures, has launched World Figolli Day, and I am jumping on that bandwagon.  Figolli are iced biscuit sandwiched together with a mixture of sweet ground almond and orange blossom water, made into various shapes.  Often the shapes are symbolic, being ancient symbols of fertility or traditional Easter eggs or rabbits.  As the lovely Gourmet Worrier says herself, ‘The idea behind World Figolli Day is that you turn off the television and get off the couch and head into the kitchen with your kids, nieces and nephews and have a bonding session with some dough and royal icing and hopefully pass on a few Maltese culinary traditions whilst your at it’. Perfect!

I want to attempt to make figolli that is symbolic to our little family, which could be a bicycle, a book, a baby or a horde of  little girl shaped biscuits!  I’ll let the girls decide and keep you updated with photos.

So get on board – go check out Gourmet Worrier and sign up.  Here is the recipe that I am going to use and here is some inspiration.

(image from here)




crazy days

What a crazy few days.  A little like a rollercoaster and a lot like hard work.

So here are few things that have made me smile, late into the night, when I am awake when I should be asleep, when I am thinking when I should be resting.


Yes we do  (from here).

tiny white daisies

This afternoon’s project, from here.

From the fabulous site, ‘book lovers never go to bed alone

Wray Castle. We used to row a boat from where we lived on the other side of Lake Windermere over to the castle and have a picnic on the grass.    Those picnics were usually followed by a pint at our local with friends which rolled into dinner and more pints before a stroll around the village before heading home.


Oh, and something else that makes me smile is knowing that we are going to one of my favourite places for dinner tonight – Pizza Espresso.  Pear, gorgonzola and speck pizza for me tonight! Yay.