Thursday, January 29, 2015

peppermint crisp tart

my lovely friend bianca is from south africa... and makes this amazing dessert that everyone makes back home. peppermint crisp tart. i've only had it twice, both times at her house, but decided to have a look online and see how hard it might be to make. it wasn't hard at all. so peppermint crisp tart it was! we were heading to a friends house, so i made it to take along for dessert.

you will need:
1 packet tennis biscuits (in australia milk arrowroots will do)
1 tin caramel top 'n fill
300ml whipping cream
3 peppermint crisp bars

blitz the biscuits and sprinkle half into your dish (no butter required - just place in loose and press down with your hand) 
whip cream until soft peaks form, then mix in caramel and 2 of the peppermint crisp bars, shattered into pieces
spoon half of the mixture onto the biscuit base and smooth out

sprinkle remaining biscuit mix onto the cream mix

and repeat again with the cream on to the biscuits

top with the remaining shattered peppermint crisp and refrigerate until you eat. best made the night before, to allow the biscuits to take in the mixture and soften

best to double the recipe - as it won't last long


Monday, January 26, 2015

young and free

australians all let us rejoice - for we are young and free

how blessed i am to live in what i truly believe to be the best country on earth. i could have been born anywhere on earth, but for some wonderful reason the lord blessed me with australia. 

it is a land of plenty, where we live in completely laid back harmony, in this amazing climate, with beautiful beaches, such unique landmarks and wonderful opportunities. how lucky i feel, especially on this day when we celebrate the arrival of the first fleet and the settlement of those who arrived from england, more than 200 years ago. our country is truly still young and will continue to grow in years to come - but i love it. i love everything it has to offer.

for a laugh check out this parody of outkast's hey ya - dedicated to "straya"

and some fun facts: 
-the kangaroo and the emu feature on our coat of arms as the both cannot walk backwards, representing our country that is always moving forwards
-of the top most venomous snakes in the world, 1-11 are found in australia, and 20 of the top 25 (we often joke that everything here wants to kill you.)

happy australia day to you all!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

eleven months old

it's that time of the month again, master joseph is another month older and growing up faster than i can comprehend.

this month, the young man finally started sleeping all the way through the night, without his top up. thank goodness for that! i was beginning to think it would never happen. i took him down from 10pm half an hour at a time over a few weeks and finally - we are here. yay! i also managed to cut out his afternoon feed... so we are making good progress! just first thing in the morning, before his morning nap and night time now. win.

he loves to smile and laugh with his daddy and also laughs non stop when madeline is around, let's hope their friendship continues once they are older.

he is crawling non stop, fast as anything - mostly in hot pursuit of his mama and standing up holding on to things whenever he has a chance. not on his own just yet, but we are definitely getting there. when he has his bath now, it's mission impossible to have him sit, he just wants to stand and grab anything in his line of sight.

doug started shaking his head side to side when joseph was watching him and now he copies and does the same thing. it is so funny, he grooves away in the car too, kicking his feet and moving away to the beat. what a little dude.

i love his smile and those dimples of his. he really is so adorable. he makes me want 10 kids, but we all know that isn't happening! haha. maybe another 2 at most.

he likes most things we feed him and loves to make a mess with his food - madeline was not nearly as messy... he looks like this after most meals. but definitely is happy when he has food in front of him. his favourite foods are sultanas, grapes and corn cakes. grumpy baby? sprinkle some sultanas on his high chair tray. fixed.

i love sunday dressups... we are always very careful to take photographs of both the kids in their sunday clothes to send to doug's parents, so i have them looking their best. it's so funny, i always thought that girls would be way more fun to dress up, but i am loving coming up with funky outfits for baby j as well. mix and match and see what i can come up with.

can't wait to see what next month brings, our baby joseph makes our whole family happy, because he is a little ray of sunshine! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

aaron is 40

i've been so lucky to grow up in a household with 3 older brothers. there is one with whom I have a special bond, of a very similar sense of humour and quite similar looks haha! here's a few things i love about him in time for his 40th birthday!
in 2003 I decided to move to brisbane and found out the hard way, that i wasn't really ready to start a life all on my own. i needed someone to help me and really thought I would not make it. aaron came one night after i had called him in tears and was everything a big brother should be. he held me tight, comforted me and made sure i knew everything would be alright. he was the sunshine during my time of darkness and i will be forever grateful for having him close.
i remember meeting various friends of his at the ward we attended in brisbane and one girl being so shocked that I was 19 and not a little girl... she said the way aaron mentioned me in conversation she thought i was a "little sister" not just a younger one.
i have always been proud to introduce aaron to others as my brother. he is a wonderful person, good and kind, with impeccable manners. we share many features and in recent years people have been amused to learn who i am at church activities here in perth, they have thought i looked familiar, but couldn't place it, until of course they learned I was "aaron's sister", which i am still frequently known as.
i was asked on a date by a rather handsome young man, who i must admit, i rather wanted to deter. i thought telling him he would have to ask my brothers permission would put him off, but he wasn't put off so easily. he simply approached aaron quite confidently and asked if he could take me on a date. clearly my sibling telepathic powers were not working, as aaron said, "of course you can, but why are you asking me, go ask her!" this young man and i were married a few years later, so i guess i should be grateful!
aaron is a wonderful human being and i am so, so lucky to be his little sister. 
happy birthday my brother! i love you! i always have and i always will. 
jade x

Monday, January 19, 2015

a trip to clackline

there have been massive amounts of bushfires north of perth this past week. it's been awful, with so many homes threatened and people having to leave with a risk of never coming home. my poor husband has been out helping with the problem that come afterwards, that the wooden power lines need to be replaced. not that we have anything to complain about, our home is safe and we are well, but when he comes home late, covered in ash, i am certainly sympathetic.

i felt like a night off from climbing (often whiny) children was in order, so last night i took the kids to my parents house in clackline, where they played with nanna and grandad and i sat back and enjoyed the surrounds. (...would you believe they even have wireless internet now?! this is new)

it's the first time we have been to visit since they came home from their mission a month ago and to be totally honest, it's like they never even left. there are little bit of mum everywhere, and it's so nice to come home to.

i wish i had have taken my actual camera with me and not just my iphone, but i couldn't resist taking some snaps as i walked around with joseph hanging on my side. there is just so much to see!

dad made this little chair and as it's perfect madeline size, she has decided it must be her designated chair.

a gorgeous wire bird cage my mum made years ago... if you look carefully, there is a twisted wire dragonfly on the side closest to the camera.

their newest bird bath

outdoor sinks, some of which actually work i believe.

a little man made from terracotta pots that sits under their trough filled with fish and water plants.

a fountain in the car port, pumped through an old water pump. so cool.

the people who were renting the house whilst mum and dad were away left this gorgeous mat for my parents... so suits my dad!

and... my newest disovery, filing that away, for next time i need some vintage items. so cute, right?

i could spend days looking at everything and probably still not see it all, i love mums collections... she can find anything a home - and she has certainly passed that trait on to me! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

taytay's bday

it's our tayla's birthday today! we just got home from family dinner in baldivis and as usual had a blast! 

tay "let me" make her birthday cake, so i went to the blue velvet cake recipe i tried a few years ago and made it again. it's a great recipe, you should give it a try. i've tried making it in other colours too and it came out okay... 

happy birthday crazy kid. we love you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


last night we spoke about forgiveness during family home evening. as i am sure any one else with young children knows, it can be difficult to keep their attention for anything in depth - so we either read a gospel story that follows with a little video, or have a discussion where we talk about something we want madeline to learn. 

her response was priceless... and needs to be documented, something to drag out at the 21st birthday perhaps? "maddie do you know what forgiveness is?" "yes. it's when you don't hit yourself with a planet. i need to go see jesus. when i hit jesus, he said go away from me (she said this really stern and in a loud voice making it even funnier) don't hit people and daddy. that's what the problem is."

we were laughing so hard. what a little nutter. at least fhe is never boring in our house!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

baby myra's blessing

today we were so lucky to be there when my beautiful friend alex's new baby myra was blessed. alex and i have been friends for as long as i can ever remember, so it's wonderful that we can share times like this together. she has the sweetest little family and a great husband who loves her like crazy.

i got to take pics too (what a busy picture weekend! haha) and loved it. they are very photogenic and make me look good.

myra is such a gorgeous baby, very sleepy and content and alex is a fabulous mama... her older girl evie is just lovely too!

if they are all this sweet dear alex, you better have ten! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

wade & deb's wedding

today i had one of the coolest experiences of my life. for the first time, i was the one and only photographer for a wedding. an awesome wedding. do you remember wade and deb? i did an engagement shoot for them in august last year... and their mothers liked the photos enough that they wanted me to do the wedding photos! that was pretty exciting for me. of course i said yes and now, it's all over already :( and the editing begins... i was asked not to share more than a few pictures (beacause they want to see them first...), but this one certainly had to be shared! i just love the colours they chose. the beautiful pastels and the vintage feel to the wedding (you'll see more of that when i can share more pics and include some from the reception)

our family is very close with the fepulea'i family, in fact people often mistake tayla (front left) and doug's sister dominique for sisters. i had taken a few standard photos of the bride and groom with family and got to adding the girls in with everyone else. i called out for them and next thing i know, the two of them (totally unrehearsed) go and stand directly in front of wade and deb and start throwing up gang symbols. it was so funny, that i had to edit this pic and pass it on to them. it's just so them, especially with nifae rolling his eyes and vivienne just laughing. it's how it always is. 

but the icing on the cake of the day, was totally this shot. years ago when doug and i got married, i had a vision of one picture and knew i would be completely happy with my wedding photos as long as i got that one perfect shot. i did. very similar to the above in the whalers tunnel underneath the round house in fremantle. i tried to copy that shot here and it worked! perfectly. i was looking the whole day for that one shot that would just have that wow factor. we had been cruising around the golf course snapping shots and were almost back at the club house for the ring ceremony and reception to begin, when i saw to one side, this tunnel. i yelled at our guide to stop and quickly dragged wade and deb into the tunnel for one more shot. and i am so glad i did. what an amazing shot! it was such a great day and i am thrilled i could be a part of it!

to the bride and groom!

Friday, January 9, 2015

les misérables

doug and i just got back from les miserables at the crown theatre - 

it never ceases to amaze me how much effort must go into a production on that scale. i have been to see a small scale production of the show a few times in the past at the regal theatre in subiaco and saw the full set once years and years ago, as in years ago (when i was a teenager, that's how long ago...) but the full set is just incredible. all the cast move seamlessly around the stage, moving and packing props as they go, while the lighting seams it all together to ensure a smooth run. 

it is certainly a show i could watch time and time again and was so thrilled with my christmas present from my love! it is still in perth for quite a while, so if you are umming and ahhing, stop it and go book your tickets here.