Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gotta love fresh fruit and veges

I just love my local fruit and veg shop. It's run by a little Italian family and they are always so lovely. When I was pregnant the older man who owns it used to carry my fruit and veg out to the car, and now when I go there with Jett he moves my basket around the store if I look like I'm struggling to carry it and a wriggling little boy who no longer wants to be carried but still cannot walk, and then out to my car afterward.

I find it so satisfying carrying my groceries home in a big cardboard box rather than plastic bags - I'm taken back to my childhood when I look at those boxes (growing up in country Victorian meant we earned our pocket money in school holidays picking fruit and veg). Ah the memories :) Funny how you gloss over it when you get older. At the time it meant you were covered in dirt, smelt of something gross like rotten onions, grapes or garlic, had to dodge spiders, and watch out for brown snakes. Yet, they're still good memories!

So I'm off to make minestrone soup. I know - it's the middle of Summer and my southern counterparts are sweltering in 40 degree heat, but it seems my extended family and I might be fighting a cold so I want to stock up the immune system and deliver it round to the family members who want some tomorrow. Besides if I keep the air-con on I can imagine it's cold out rather than muggy... it is rainy after all :P

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And we're open for business!

Yay! Beckybean is now open for business in 2009. It's probably a bit shameless to be plugging the store on my blog but I'm super excited as three of my bags are now up on our site. And it appears one of my bags was picked by Etsy Admin to be featured on the front page, so it's had loads of views. Double yay! I'm so new to all of this that I'm still a bit excited about the whole process and probably don't have a grasp on the proper blogging and Etsy store etiquette yet (so sorry!)... It just feels good to be creating and sewing these lovely little bags.

Each bag will be named by its maker - Bec tends to name her bags after characters or general references from Enid Blyton books (her favourite childhood author), while all of mine will be 'foody' names (my other passion in life!).

This year we're going to try (?) and upload our bags in small 'collections'. This week is market totes and hopefully by the beginning of next week we'll have a little collection of reversibles up. So stay tuned for more bag goodness :P

Eye Spy... something beginning with 'J'

I'm beginning to think my Eye-Spy Sunday is really my Eye-Spy Wednesday. I keep being super busy on the weekends that it seems to take until today to do my post.

So I seem to live in a house of 'J's - me (Jade), our boy Jett and my husband's middle name is John. But trying to find a pic I want to put up proved quite difficult...
But here it is - Jett having a sleep yesterday. I love the way he curls up with his legs and looks so small in our big king size bed. Always gives me the warm fuzzys to see him looking so peaceful.

My other something beginning with 'J' is joy - the feeling I had when my lovely husband gave me this beautiful orchid this morning for our 3rd wedding anniversary. I just love it. Pre-Jett we often would buy orchids for home, and it was the flower of choice on our wedding day, so I'm well-happy he gave me something so thoughtful and simple. He's a keeper :)

Thanks Lauren for picking this weeks theme, and head over to Cindy's site to play along.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A new year and a birthday party to boot

I can't believe it's already mid-January. Happy new year everybody! Yes, again I'm 3 weeks late and this isn't my first post for the new year but I finally feel I'm catching up with everything, including blogland. I'm super excited about 2009 - this year I'll be helping my lovely sister with her Beckybean shop which should be great fun! I've made two market totes in the last week for my mum and aunty and am keen to whip one up for myself, before we really need to start stocking the shop.

As some of my readers may have read on Bec's blog, her birthday was last weekend, so we had a little family party. Bec decided on an 'Asian' food theme for the day, which I was very happy with. As with all of our get togethers the food was sensational and in abundance. Dishes included san choi bao, steamed dim sims, fresh snapper spring rolls (certainly a massive highlight for me!), cupcakes and I 'volunteered' Kym to make his spicy beef and rare beef salad he picked up from his time at Green Papaya a few years ago.

Unfortunately I didn't think to get the camera out fast enough and missed my chance to snap some of the dishes - as you can see by the above pic, the rare beef salad was a hit as there wasn't much left! The spicy beef proved to be a bit 'spicy' for most, but we all persisted as the flavour was just so damn good. One of the perks of being married to a chef is we get treated to some superb dishes every now and then :D

But I really cannot go on enough about just how tasty everything was though. The clean flavours of everything meant it was possible to eat quite a lot (yay!) and not feel disgusting afterwards (even bigger yay!). Matt even made Bec a yummy chocolate birthday cake - the first time he's done this since they've been together some 10 plus years! Matt's food is always great but desserts are not normally his 'thing'. Nor does he want them to be... What an act of love! I'm sure Bec going on each year that he has never made one for her had nothing to do with it at all :P

As you can see by the pics, the cupcakes certainly got Lee's and Kate's approval. And what birthday party would be complete without a bounce on the trampoline???

This last pic is one of my favourites from the day - it's of Bec holding one of her new presents from my aunty - how gorgeous is this pink tea cup?

Hmm...writing this post about food has got my tummy rumbling - off to the fridge for some chocolate I think :D

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Eye Spy... a taste of Summer

Most definitely my favourite time of year! Kicking off with the 'crazy Christmas' season, the 'wind down and relax' of January, and then the 'back into the groove' February where we savour the last dregs of Summer. Well maybe that's not entirely true - we do live in Queensland and the season does last a little longer here but hey, it's not 'technically' Summer is it?

So what reminds me of Summer? Definitely most things water. Swimming with my niece and nephew (and now Jett) in my parents and aunty and uncle's pools. Cranking up our outdoor spa and relaxing after a busy day with Kym (and now Jett...). Kym and I talking about how we really should go to the beach given it's only an hour away... As you can see by my pic above, we finally made the trek down last week. And of course, RID for all the lovely mozzie's and midges that frequent this part of town.

A close second is Summer food and drinks. Christmas parties, birthday parties, mangoes, peaches, grapes, fruit smoothies for breakfast, chilled Champagne, iced tea, green papaya salad, fish, cold beer... I could go on but I won't.

Lastly, but no less enjoyable for me, are the '5pm thunderstorms' of the wet season - well, what we still have of a wet season because of global warming :( Those stinking hot and humid days followed by a massive downpour are always so welcomed, provided you're not one of the unlucky ones driving... This pic is of a golf-sized piece of ice that landed at the back of Kym's work at the start of Summer.

Thanks so much to Anastasia for picking this weeks theme, I really enjoyed it! Check out our host Cindy's site to play along.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eye-Spy : Something Id like to try in 2009

Wow, there are so many things I'm wanting to try this year. Where to start, where to start...

- I want to learn how to make PJs for Jett (actually I'd like to know how to follow a simple clothes pattern for that matter).
I have this great fabric I found at an op shop that is still in it's original packaging. It was a single sheet set and I plan on using this. My last attempt at a clothes pattern was nearly 15 years ago in textiles at school and it was for a skirt made from some horrible synthetic material that I really thought I would wear (shudder to think what it would have look like had it worked)... but the waist was so big it wouldn't even hold up. I have my fingers crossed that my next attempt will be more successful!

- Make an apron for me - my sister has some lovely homemade ones that I'm always envious of when I go over and we cook, so I'm determined to try my hand at one. Being married to a chef and waitressing many years ago, means all of my aprons are the super practical - black with a pocket at the front, or plain white that come nearly to floor.

Oh hang on, we do have one that was given to us - it has a print of 'the only gay in the village' (David) from Little Britain... Not really one I want to parade around in when we have people over for a meal. It's certainly up there with the aprons that have boobs on the front... So a new 'girly' apron for me would be grand!

- Learn how to paint some simple kids pictures on the blank canvases I brought nearly two years that lie around the house begging to be used... (I have mentioned previously I'm a big procrastinator right?)

- Oh and I think one that I continuously have to tell myself to do - try to learn how to be more patient :P

I'm sure there are many other things which right now I cannot think of. Write a cook book of 'homestyle' foods we know from our generation before the recipes are lost in our minds, figure out what's going to make me enough money so I can keep being a fulltime stay-at-home mum (I think this is where sewing with Bec will come into it), learn another language - something other than the few Italian words I know - 'Mi chiamo Jade' and 'Dario non e sempre in ritardo'... (Bec I'm guessing you should get this last joke??). Ah, so many things and not enough time to do them in :P

Thank you to Red Chocolate for picking this great theme, and of course to Cindy for hosting.