July 29, 2014

stills // happy.

1 // sister love.
2 // good times aboard a ferry.
3 // waiting.
4 // walking.
5 // oh hi!
6 // cheeks.
7 // the tongue. always poking out.
8 // growth spurt means a return to daytime slumber.

apologies to any instagram followers if many of the above have already been seen, I haven't had the energy to deal with my slr camera lately!
♡ ashley

stills link up with em.

July 27, 2014

the most simple slow cooker bolognese sauce recipe ever with spiral foods.

My adorable apprentice ready to help cook up a storm.
 The slow cooker is one of the most used items in our home during winter months. I use recipes that ensure we come home to piping hot and homely meals. One that the kids and the grown-ups both agree on here is bolognese sauce and pasta. Night two usually sees mom and dad devouring leftovers on toast (sloppy joe like) and the littles eating a bowl each like a stew. Goodness and comfort together.

My recipe requires little prep and is cooked beautifully by the time we arrive home from work/play.

This time I had the pleasure of using Spiral Foods to make a tasty dish even yummier.

Spiral Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

500-700 grams grass-fed ground beef (Our favourite is here and they have some good reasons to choose grass fed.)
1 jar Spiral Foods Primavera Sugo
2 carrots chopped
1 chopped zucchini
1 chopped head of broccoli
1 chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp of each oregano + thyme
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf

// throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours

Boil a pot of water and cook your pasta. Our choice is the Spiral Foods organic brown rice penne (for the gluten free goodness!) drain when al dente

Top cooked pasta with bolognese sauce and grate parmesan on top.
Serve and devour.
Another yummy treat we had this week was the Dip and Toss Basil and Parmesan Oil.
We chopped a punnet of grape tomatoes in half and drizzled the oil on top. Serve with cheese and bread. Finger licking goodness.

Add the above to your meal plan this week. Your mouth will thank you.
♡ ashley

The clever folks at Spiral Foods sent me a trial pack of amazing sauces, pasta and dip and toss oils to sample and man alive have we savoured those goodies this week. The food mentioned above was provided by them but the opinions are mine. Plus, they have been around since the 70s and have a strong focus on organic food. Good enough for me.

July 25, 2014

what poppy wore // pumpkin patch.

suit // c/o pumpkin patch.

what is it about little bodies in little onesies? squishy, comfy and perfect.
if i was one again i would be sure to have a lovely collection.
especially one with spots and a built in birdy toy.

happy weekend folks.
♡ ashley

July 21, 2014

links to love.

Some inspirations found around these webs.

// an incredibly inspiring photography project.

// we l.o.v.e our ultrasonic humidifier. it doesn't use hot steam so is safe for little explorers and no mild can be made. plus we can use it to diffuse essential oil blends. i have been burning a blend of 2 drops each :: lavender, lemon + peppermint which is meant to help build natural immunity. we could use some wellness around here.

// these beautiful photos of mothers over the past 50 years show some things never change.

// how gorgeous is this maple toy camera! i have such love for handmade and natural materials for the girls to play with.

// create compost from dog poop. we are saving for this little number. speaking of compost, this kitchen compost bin does all the work without having to leave your prep area. clever. i am working on a post all about how to compost. we have learned a lot over failures and wins with our piles and keen to share the goodness.

// we have an abundance of coffee grinds in our home. this list of 15 creatives uses for coffee grinds is fab. not too long ago i had a cocktail while out with some girlfriends which had coffee grounds in it. that i would not do again. but thumbs up to feeding my plants and fancying my beauty routine.

// am already planning the move from cot to "big girl bed" for poppy. beautiful jess makes the most amazing linen. this duvet cover is on the "need" part of pops' 2nd birthday list.

Happy Monday.
♡ ashley

p.s. TWO more days to enter the Dharma Door giveaway for a hessian storage sack. would be a shame to miss out. ENTER NOW!

July 16, 2014

my movie // on wisdom with age.

It is the eve of my 36th year. t.h.i.r.t.y.s.i.x. I have been feeling, you know, "old" as I say the number out loud. Seriously? I saw Radiohead the very first time 22 years ago. It has been 18 years since I left high school. I started travelling 16 years ago. Time has somehow grabbed my feet from under me and skipped forward. I have lived every year but I feel like I have blinked and missed something. The beat has gotten fast and thumping. Every day rushing ahead until a week has passed, a month, a year. Another birthday. Another line. The grey hair. Old.

Until my sense of balance realised just how much time I have ahead of me. Not the years behind me. Those years are the building blocks. This point in life is so full of promise, see,  I am going to dive in. To stretch and grow. To build an even better foundation of blocks and bridges. To work on the things I have talked about doing for so long.

I started yoga this week. I have dabbled in it on and off over the years. I love the premise but the reality of my uncoordinated sequencing in previous dance and movement classes and shaky knees led me away from practice. This time, I am going to stick with it. In that very first class, for the most part I was able to block out the feeling that someone else was watching me. That it was about anything but what I could do. What I am capable of.

Before the class, a few days back, I read a great article about things that are stopping us from being happy. One of the points the author made was that we are not the stars in the movie of life. Sure, we have a script, but so does every other being. So we can't expect anyone to play a different role than the one they have. I have been busy for so long thinking someone next to me in a class, on a street, everywhere, gives a crap what I am doing. Not in a self-absorbed way, but a life stopping way. Insecurities reign when you think others are watching you. But I am realising, they aren't. Chances are very high they are watching themselves. And if they are watching it's because they haven't looked closely at their own script.

Worrying about others has stopped me from doing a lot in my grown up years. In case they judge me, I say the wrong thing, I fail.

But then I lost my dad. His life cut short. I won't cut mine short. It's time to build myself. For me.

Yoga will continue. I am also starting a women's swim class. Learning to master the manual mode on my camera. Reading. Making. Living.

2014 has been a rough trot, but I am changing the forecast. It is time to shine in my role. Letting those around me shine in theirs.

It feels good this growing up thing. Wisdom does come with age and I feel like I may have recently gifted myself some of that big picture wisdom that I have been missing along the journey.

♡ ashley

enter to win an AMAZEBALLS fair trade hessian storage sack here. 

July 15, 2014

Simple Dinner // Wholefood // Vegetable Pie.

Winter is hard here. Not that we are slogging through snow or hiding from frostbite. Just endless rain, cold winds, running noses and a general slog of cabin fever. It is exhausting. I try and balance these aspects with wholesome food. Eating things that warm our tummies and make use of what is both local and seasonal. The above photo does nothing to sell this meal. I was taking the photo in the throws of arsenic hour and had a three year old playing the role of Elsa in frozen with a one year old attempting to climb my leg chanting "dadadadada," pretty camera angles be damned.

Alas, I promise, this recipe is simple and delicious. Unless you don't like tahini. But who doesn't like tahini? I mean...

Vegetable Pie

4 tomatoes cut in quarters
1 red capsicum- roasted
1/2 cup tahini
juice of a lemon
400g roasted cauliflower
400g roasted sweet potatoes
-we added parsnip and pumpkin-
1 cup frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 175Âșc.
Put the tomatoes, capsicum, tahini and lemon juice in your food processor and blend to a sauce.
Combine the veggies in a large baking dish and pour the tahini sauce over. Cook for 25 minutes or until piping hot and golden. Devour.

Recipe adapted from Wholefood Simply.

♡ ashley

Have you entered our Dharma Door Fair Trade Giveaway. So divine. Pop here.

July 14, 2014

Simplicity Parenting // A quick toy tidy + A Fair Trade & Beautiful Giveaway.

I have referred to the book Simplicity Parenting countless times in this space. I love the premise behind it. The simple guidance of less is more in parenting (as is the case of all things) and that we need to invest in our children. Less stuff, more time, less noise, more peace. The goods.

Despite my desire to just have things simple, the battle is a constant one in our tiny home with toys and "stuff." I stand on the edge of worshiping design and pretty things and knowing that space is what I and my children need to have. So I make sure to keep things simple here. If a birthday is coming we pile up bags and boxes of items to donate, sell and throw (badly broken) and make more room than what we have coming. It keeps the peace.

I have been working on finding some good solutions to the toy box explosion that occurs regardless of my clearing the clutter.

A quick way to tidy but provide order in miss. four's space.

At the moment we have a Trofast in her closet with each bucket holding a type of toy. Duplo, a wooden train set, barbies and my little ponies, kitchen toys and fake food, Schliech animals and felt playmats/baskets for homes. The top of her closet has baskets with colouring books, craft kits, play-dough, and puzzles neatly lined side-by-side. This is our rainy day collection. In her bedroom sits a Stuva Storage Bench filled with dress-ups. On top is a cosy lambswool and her Sylvanian Families treehouse and little cottage. In the corner is a tee-pee we pull out for hideaway nooks some days. Finally, a doll's bed and a beautiful hessian sack of stuffed toys and dolls.

For the most part, the girls share these toys so it is more than enough for two little souls to keep amused. We don't really need all the toys we have but they are all played with and open-ended enough to grow with the girls.
The beautiful storage sack comes from The Dharma Door. The Dharma Door has searched the world for the most highly skilled Fair Trade artisans, using raw materials, to create modern style merged with traditional making. Bringing resources to remote villages, the ethical work of The Dharma Door provides a lasting opportunity for men and women in these villages to continue working in their traditional skills.

The Sari Hessian Sack is 44cm x 38cm and handcrafted in Bangladesh. It holds more than enough stuffed toys (never an easy feat!) and would be equally beautiful as a laundry basket or near the door to catch shoes and other such objects. There are a beautiful selection of other beautiful Hessian Sacks on sale at half price right now too.

The Dharma Door has generously offered one lucky winner 1 x Sari Hessian Sack {rrp. $79}
To win just leave a comment below that includes which item at The Dharma Door you most adore. For an additional entry follow @piperandpoppies + @thedharmadoor on Instagram. Just leave a separate comment with your insta name below. You can also enter via Facebook, just leave a comment on either. The winner will be drawn on Wednesday July 23rd and be notified via email. Open to Australian residents only.

♡ ashley
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