Monday, 1 February 2016

COOH

House roasted coffee, sweet potato chips and chicken burger.

Olivia and I were out doing errands in Curl Curl when I realised it was already lunch time, and that we haven't managed to have a ladies lunch with just the two of us yet. So, we drove down the road and stumbled upon COOH, an organic cafe that we were able to park right across the road from-which was important since a storm was threatening.

This relaxed little cafe is really understated and welcoming. Olivia and I sat at a lounge at the back of the restaurant, which was perfect for her first course (breastfeeding) and surprisingly comfy. My first sip of coffee I enjoyed the overall flavour, but did get a hint of bitterness. Still, it was nice to have a coffee that wasn't the standard boring crowd pleaser, and had a bit of life to it.

When I was ordering I couldn't decide if I wanted the chicken or the beef burger as they both looked great, in the end I went with the chicken burger for $12 which was absolutely delicious. It came with nitrate free bacon, cheese and avocado salsa, rocket and had just the right amount of lime in the tzaziki. All that for only $12 might just be enough to get me venturing over the Narrabeen bridge more often, haha.


10 month old food critic, Olivia.

I'm people watching mum, I can't pose right now.

Olivia has been a pretty tough food critic the last few days, but you wouldn't know it when she smashed her small bowl of sweet potato chips which only set us back $4. She even enjoyed the aioli that they came with-even though I scoffed most of it....I had to test that everything wasn't too hot or spicy for her.

The best thing about this cafe is that it proves that eating healthy, delicious food that hasn't been smashed by nasty chemicals doesn't have to cost a fortune. Organic and fantastic.

Friday, 29 January 2016

The Willows, Willoughby


The Willows at Willoughby was listed on a mums and bubs website that my sister-in-law frequently visits, and since we have a mutual love of food she sent me the link and asked me for a play date months ago. This week we finally managed to get there.

It didn't disappoint. The staff were so welcoming to all of us, even with our need for two high-chairs for my girls and room for my nephew's pram.The children were treated like the customers that they are, with the waitress taking the time to understand my two year olds order, and all the staff were smart enough not to put things in reach of my ten month old's go-go-gadget arms.

That said, this is not the place for a long lunch with the kids, because there isn't any where for toddlers to stretch their legs when mums want to keep talking, but the meals are perfect value for money, with plenty of options for the children...and they are made to feel special.

The all day breakfast is a winner. I had tomato, avocado and goats cheese on toast ($12), and chose to add two poached eggs for $4. I should have thought to state that I like SOFT poached eggs...when did hard poached eggs become the norm? It certainly isn't at my house, and it is something that annoys me when I'm out. My sister-in-law got the pancakes which were a cute little portion size, and looked adorable on the plate-no, we didn't manage to get a photo of that plate too, we have three babies. Lara and Olivia very happily shared spelt banana bread, and the best part of this was that the waitress suggested that one serving would probably be enough for them to share, she was right.

They serve Gabrielle Coffee which is a crowd pleaser, and on leaving we saw that they make the cutest little kids milkshakes in mini glass milk bottles. They have Lara's name on them for next time. It really is the small things that make a big difference. The staff at this cafe pride themselves on good old hospitality and it shows. It was a pleasure visiting.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

There Is No Such Thing As A Supermum

Yes, you read that right, the "supermum" does not exist. Sure, she exists in social media, but not in real life. Why am I writing about this? Because one of my besties (who has three kids under four), who is a great Mum, messaged me that I was a super mum because I'm managing to make succulent pots and candles at the moment. I think she is a supermum managing with three tiny humans. My immediate response to her message read something like this; "there is no such thing as a supermum. If I'm not being creative I don't feel like myself, and when I am making things I'm feeling guilty for not interacting with the girls enough, even though I know how important independent play is". I also know that it is very important for my children to see me doing things that make me happy, and I include them with the non dangerous parts of the processes as much as possible. Still mummy guilt is a very real, and very nasty thing. Without the added pressure of trying to do everything perfectly, as seen on Instagram-and I guess my feed doesn't help challenge that stigma....I might just have to see what I can do about that.

I have a few friends who are mums and doing amazing things, whether it be starting up their own businesses or focusing purely on mothering and doing great activities with their children everyday. I see them as amazing, yet, I don't see myself as amazing, and it takes them to point out that it doesn't matter that my house isn't as tidy as theirs because we have a veggie garden that they wouldn't even dream of looking after. My point is, we need to learn how to focus on our strengths, instead of comparing ourselves to others and telling ourselves we need to do more. This is something I have to keep reminding myself of in this fast paced world.

So the "supermum" that you see making candles and succulent pots at the moment, currently has a kitchen bench with enough room for food prep only because we have a gorgeous, big kitchen. I wouldn't even attempt making candles whilst being a mum of two toddlers if we hadn't renovated our kitchen last year. And the backyard table where I'm making concrete pots, and planting up and propagating succulents is non-usable, with no order whatsoever, it is totally doing my head in....I'm blaming this on Kmart for not having a shelving ladder in-stock that was listed as available on their website. Sometimes it's healthy to blame someone else.

This is life; these things have been sitting on my bench for three days,
as I've been making candles in stages-and I'm still not finished.

I'm a real mum, who has to move a whole heap of crap out of a background before I even consider taking a photo....and then if you look hard enough you will still see stuff in reflections. Doing things I enjoy, and having fun with my kids is more important to me than a super tidy house and garden.....but that doesn't mean I won't try and fake being a domestic goddess.

The real supermum is the one that is happy and has fun with her family. We are all doing the best job we can, and we all need to support one another on the good days when we get heaps done and feel like superwomen, and on the bad days when bedtime can't come soon enough.

My last thought for the day, is to remind myself to think of all the things that I have achieved during the day, rather than focusing on what still needs to be done. The power of positive thinking should not be underestimated.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

In The Veggie Garden

Today's harvest....Olivia needs a straw hat in her size.

Summer is so rewarding, my veggie garden is pretty neglected, yet we were able to harvest enough from it today to make a green smoothie...and if Baxter hadn't have been left in the veggie garden area unsupervised for two minutes the other day we could be enjoying a complete garden salad....but that Labrador knows when the tomatoes and strawberries are right for the picking.

This morning the girls and I got outside nice and early before the heat hit. With Olivia in the ergobaby, and Lara stomping around in her gumboots we harvested a nice little collection of leaves and a cucumber to make a green smoothie...including a green tomato that the hose managed to bash off the plant. We enjoyed silverbeet, rainbow chard, parsley, mint and cucumber all from our organic garden, with the addition of store bought lemon (our tree needs some love), ginger and a last minute addition of banana to take away the bitterness of all the greens-for me lemon, mint and ginger do this nicely, but it doesn't pass the kid test.

Current cucumber situation. Happy day.

Since I know I struggle in the heat, and rarely feel like eating much, I made a big batch of green juice and put it in a reused passata bottle in the fridge. It looks pretty fancy and delicious to me, and often prevents the 3pm slump. A glass of veggie juice at that time seems to help me power on through to dinner, bath and bedtime with two adorable, energetic toddlers.

Reused glass bottle full of homegrown, homemade green smoothie. Winning!

On a side note, the frangipani tree that has been waiting for me to break down into small branches and pot up (for months now) isn't doing too badly with neglect. It is literally laying on the pavers, out in the sun, amongst the weeds and flowering....what are the chances of me getting to it whilst the babies sleep today, amongst all the other jobs?

Neglected frangipani tree in flower-yep, this is real life, there are weeds in my pavers.

Now that I've finished my tea, and Lara and Olivia have stopped protesting sleep it must be time for me to go and do poop patrol in 33oC....and then I will do some more jobs in the veggie garden. Prioritising sucks!