Simple indulgance.

Really, there is nothing like a good chocolate cake.  It brightens all bad days, adds joy to any celebration.  I do belive, it is one of my all time favorite things. 

This weekend we needed a little indulgence to break the grumps.  Tired children due to late nights....tired Mama from a sick child......and perhaps just a little too much red wine....

Solution?  Chocolate cake! 

I do believe this is the best recipe I have tried.  Its indulgant, the icing is amazing.  (with THREE blocks of butter, it is in its own league!) Pair it with thick jersy cream and berries and you have a dessert fit for the Queen!

It was so good infact young Henry couldn't resist.....cheeky little mouse.....

Here is the link: Best chocolate cake ever.

It was so good, I even had it for breakfast.  Because that is the joy of being an adult right?  There needs to be the occasional perk for all this hard work - Ha!

Much love,

A weight off!

Finally I have submitted my final assignment in for the semester.  My goodness what a weight off!

Now I can focus on home, on work and the boys.  What a challenging semester.  Not in a bad way, but it was completly and utterly all consuming thats for sure.  Im glad to be done, and proud I have done it. 

Im looking forward to having more spare time at home.  To do the things that have slipped, or that I havn't had time for.  I look forward to fluffing up my nest, to reading books for fun (what a novel idea!) going to bed early and to stop having to push quite so hard to get things done.  Until next semester that is. 

Home is such an important place for me.  So often underrated.  Its where friends can come to relax, to celebrate, to share their struggles.  Its where family is nurtured and grown.  We laugh, we cry.  Foughts are had, and more importantly resolved.  Where love grows strong, where we get to be truly who we are. 

Yes it's good to be home again.  In both body and mind. 

I have finally started the quilt I have wanted to sew for our bed for years.  Its not going to be complex, simply a collection of fabrics from my stash sewn into a big raggedy quilt.  How I have missed being creative with my hands.  I have decided my next craft once the quilt is done is going to be knitting.  I love yarns, natural fibres.  The beautiful clothes that are created from them.  I would love to be able to knit well.  So I'm going to learn.  Great Granny is a wonderful knitter.  I'm going to go and visit her one night in the city, bring her dinner and get her to teach me.  it will be good for the both of us.  She is an amazing woman.   

 This is what my morning looks like, chilling on the couch.  with coffee close by, reading occasional books, messing about on the lap top knowing there is nothing I "need" to be doing apart from exactly that. 

A beautiful older friend from church dropped off these flowers picked fresh from her garden this morning, just to brighten my day.  I love the generosity of country people. 

I love sage.  I love it as a herb, I love it as a flower.  Its tough and so well suited to our hot climate.  I will certainly be planting more of it as we establish our garden.  What a show it puts on! 
These giant holly hocks are amazing.  They come up like weeds here.  They are all ready to burst into flower, these ones are about 8ft tall.....the dogs had a little dig in that garden bed....sigh.

I bought this beautiful lap quilt from our local church fair.  Completly beautifully made by a very talented sewer.  $30, I simply couldnt walk past it knowing I had the perfect place for it.  I had a bigger quilt on there but it would drape on the floor when I wrapped it around who ever needs a cuddle.  This one is the perfect size. 

Our cammomile is in full flower, so once a week I harvest it and dry the blooms for tea and what not. 

Much love,

simple days.

The big boys are back at school this week.  So its just been me and this little guy.  Oh and about 500 loads of washing - gah! 

Bliss.  Midday naps, tea parties, books and days simply hanging out at home.  Goodness I needed it.

Oh....and assignments, uni, work and the rest of the real life important adulting that needs to be done to keep the wheels running in this place.....But lets just focus on the blissful bits shall we?

much love,

The second bedroom and the cost of our decisions...

I'm not going to lie, the last few weeks I have been thoroughly over renovating.  I have been fed up, longing for a clean, tidy, fresh space.  I have been grumpy and irritable and emotionally tired from the realities of it all.  I have been ready to throw in the towel on more then one occasion. 

Sometimes I look around at friends building brand new beautiful homes, then I look at our little shabby, dusty old cottage......Sometimes the green eyed monster rears its ugly head.  Even when we know we are making the right decisions both for our family and financially, it's still challenging.  The reality is that sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side.   

Even though we know in our heart of hearts its not, it doesn't stop the mind wondering.  People look at what we are doing and exclaim how much they wish they could do it too.  Mind you - some think we are utterly crazy, ha!   

But the truth lies that underneath it all, is that there is always a cost to every single decision we make. 

We bought this house cash, so we have no home mortgage.  We are paying down our business mortgage as hard and as fast as we can.  Its tough.  When we are doing a big job, like finishing a room, we don't all eat together.  Grant works as hard as he can to get the noisy work done before the boys go to bed.  I will often eat with the kids, do the rest and work late to clean up.

We often work really long days.  We own a business and that in itself is long hours and a lot of work.  Grant works full time there and is often up until midnight working on the house.  I work and study and am often up until midnight reading or doing assignments.  Its tiring, its exhausting and its not sustainable for long periods.

But that is the cost of a big fast push.  Its how we tend to work, perhaps not ideal, but it comes out of necessity.  We focus wholly on a big project, then try to smash it out.  The catch is after its done, we allow ourselves to have a good rest and re-charge.  Now we have done the boys room, we will simply potter about on the garden for a bit.  Finish a few odd jobs, go to the beach, catch a movie, take the dogs down to the local river.  Have big hearty family dinners again and rest and chill out.

But this is the cost of being free of a home mortgage before 35.  If you choose to have a big fancy home, there is a cost to that too.  You will have a big fancy home that has an equally big fancy debit. 

All decisions we make have a cost.  I find knowing this really helpful in how we lead our lives and how we prioritise our values.  Is the cost of the decision going to be worth it to us? 

- Do I stay in a job I hate?  Or do I take a risk and find a new job and explore a new path? 
- Do we have children now or later?
- Do we buy a little house in a good area or perhaps a larger house a little further away? 
- Do we buy new and spend more or something older and do it up over time?
- Do we shop for fun?  Or do we look for fun elsewhere and challenge society's perception of what fun is?
- Do we follow the path of least resistance in our lives?  Or do we search our heart of hearts and work towards creating our own unique life that resonates with our souls - despite it looking different from those around us?

What is the cost of maintaining the status quo vs the cost of change?  

For us, living in this little old cottage, working hard renovating......the cost of reduced financial pressure, of me being able to follow my call to ministry.  The cost is worth it to us.  It wouldn't be a decision that resonates with everyone - and that's ok too.  However, that doesn't mean it is easy. 

But then again, most things in life worth doing aren't easy.  They stretch us, they challenge our beliefs about us and the world we are in.  They grow us, and that growth and shaping is truly a beautiful thing.    

Grant built a simple stand to help with putting the ceiling up. 

Gussy choose orange - and it gets a thumbs up!

The boys "helping" Grant. 

I'm not sure who is more excited - the boys or I.  I was in beginning to decorate before the floor was even laid! 

It may not be Pintrest worthy, but they finally have their own cosy space.

And they are oh-so happy about it!

Much love,
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