One of the best things in the world is unlocking your front door and smelling the scent of a pine tree that's been basking in the sun all day.
It is midsummer. The nights are short and the days are long. I can't help but think back to our first Christmas with Max- the long dark evenings, the coldsnow. A world away now.

Teepee tea party

A visit from Aunty Biffy meant a tea party in the teepee. Quite a mouthful for a two year old.

Comfort food

This is an attempt to recreate one of the delicious dishes made for us by a friend. It was her grandmother's recipe. She keeps promising to pass it on to me, but I am too impatient. I adapted this recipe, and it turned out really well. It's the ultimate comfort food, and a real sweet treat. Perfect for a new mum.

Cardamon rice pudding

3 cups full cream milk
1/3 cup basmati rice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Bring milk, rice, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes, by which time the rice should be tender. Then add sugar and apricots and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Toast almonds under the grill till lightly browned. Sprinkle over the rice pudding. Serve warm.

So much thanks

Over the past eight weeks we have received so many meals from mums. Our mums, our friends who are mums and the amazing mums who belong to our Playcentre. Pies, lasagnas, roast chickens, fresh loaves of bread, curries, cakes, brownies. Simple, wholesome, everyday food that each of them has taken time out of their busy schedules to cook and deliver to our door. Too many of them were eaten standing while trying to bounce a non-sleeping baby. Or eaten late at night after he finally did go to sleep.

I am so deeply grateful for these gifts. It has been wonderful at the end of a long, tiring day not to worry about getting a meal together, and know that something savory and good for my family to eat will be on the table. Thank you all so, so much.

A boy on a quilt

 Max at one day, one year and two years.

On my window-sill

Little huisjes from Holland, a pair of pukekos that my brother made and two little windmills- salt and papper shakers we were given at our wedding. And flowers, picked by one of Max's little friends from her family's garden, in celebration of Iggy.

With a little baby and a busy toddler, and a husband who's had a heavy workload- life has been very full. And it's now December, which means Christmas, and family, and sunshine. So much to look forward to.