Travelogue: Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery cafe

Nestled amongst the valleys of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales is the picturesque Thredbo Valley, home to the award winning Wildbrumby Schnapps distillery.

 

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Image credit: Wildbrumby website 

 

The 20 acre Wildbrumby estate boasts a Schnapps distillery, working organic raspberry farm, cellar and a quaint little cafe. The picturesque car journey there from Hill Top (where we stayed) itself was worth it. Lake Jindabyne was absolutely breathtaking, it was like we were transported to Switzerland.

 

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Image credit: bookjindabyneaccommodation.com

 

The entrance to the estate was interesting.  Austrian cowbells and horseshoes decorated weathered log fences, laser cut Wildbrumby signs proudly visible all around the vicinity, and the scenery surrounding the place is a sight to behold.

 

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Think Sound of Music. I can totally picture Julie Andrews singing here, or perhaps the Mother singing “Climb every mountain”

 

The inside of the cafe was very quaint but cosy. The main feature was the state of the art German-built distillery pot in the middle of the rustic cafe. It’s where all the final distilling takes place. You can tell by their menu and setting that the distillery has some sort of Austrian heritage. There’s the Farmers Pfandi, Austrian Beef Goulash, Kessler, Austrian apple strudels (which is totally different from the Australian strudels), lemon gugglhupf, Schnappygato, just to name a few.

 

 

Their Toby Estate ice coffee that the Mr ordered was awesome as it was aromatic and smooth, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed their Bambino cones. My ice chocolate was decent but nothing to shout about. Unfortunately, we weren’t a fun of the apple strudels, I think we still prefer the usual Australian apple strudel. We did love the bacon from the brekkie plate. Lol.

 

 

 

 

Mommy had a bit of fun tasting most of the Schnapps while daddy took the responsible role of being sober. My favourite was the butterscotch and peach nectar.

 

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Overall, it was a great experience for us. It’s rare that we get to enjoy a cuppa with the daddy without him being constantly on the phone busy with work. So we really treasured the moment.

 

I’d recommend everyone and anyone who is travelling to the Snowy Mountains to make the detour and visit this beautiful little place. We fell in love with the place, I’m sure most of you would too.

 

Wildbrumby Schnapps DistilleryCorner of Wollondibby Rd and the Alpine Way
Jindabyne NSW 2627 Australia
E info@wildbrumby.com
T 02 6457 1447 / F 02 6457 140

 

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Salon Review: J & K Hair Salon Perth

So, my hair has been breaking and falling ever since Littlest Warrior turned 4 months. After a month of unapproved leave from my Littlest charge, I finally got to have an hour off (Hooray for grandparents!) to go do something about the haystack on my head.

 

I am totally clueless about hair salons in Perth, and I don’t exactly fancy having my hair done here because as prejudice as it sounds, I don’t trust the locals with my hair. It’s true, Australian hairdressers just don’t know how to cut Asian hair. So I usually get my hair done whenever I’m in Kuala Lumpur.

 

But I really really really, like really needed a hair cut right now, and beggars can’t be choosers. After some research and recommendation by friends, it was down to between Tao or Hair and J&K Hair Salon. I decided to give the latter a try, just because it was easier to find parking compared to Tao. 🤣

It’s a few doors down from the Victoria Park woolies, so it was like, park at car park, walk 2 minutes and voila, you’re there!

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Owned by a Korean couple Aron and Alice, the establishment began back in 2010/2011, and they were already in the field prior coming to Australia. So as far as experience goes, it’s pretty decent. The store front is nothing to shout about, the interior is typical but cosy. Two Korean ladies rushed to served me as I made my way in. One asked me for my bag and jacket so that she may stow it away for me, while the other ushered me straight to the basin for a hair wash prior to the cutting session.

 

As far as hair massage goes, it’s decent but again nothing compared to many salons in Malaysia. The lady who washed my hair was very smiley and friendly, so that’s a huge plus point in my books.

 

Anyway, I requested for Alice as she was most recommended according to my research. She was very attentive and eager to please. However, I had no idea what type of hairstyle I wanted so I gave her the green light to cut it however she wanted. I always like to give free reign to the person cutting my hair, because they should know best what cut would suit my face. I did tell her though, that I didn’t mind it pixie short if it suits me, just so that she knows the extend I’d be comfortable with the length of my hair.

 

Being the nice person she is, she asked me every time she was about to make changes to my hair, like how do i like my fringe, how do i like my hair parting, etc. I guess in a way, that reassures both parties that things are going on the right track. I would say that she’s the “safe” type of hairdresser. LOL.

 

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Snip snip snip…

 

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Can you see how dry my hair is? Are those dandruff??!!!?!?!? Yikes.

 

Forty five minutes later……….. and $45 poorer. I didn’t walk out of the door feeling like a million bucks due to the past few hectic husbandless days, but I did feel a million pounds lighter and a few years younger. LOL. Plus, I have actually been getting compliments about my new hair look, so I guess it’s a good sign? 😊

 

Operation Chop Hair complete

 

Would I go back? Yeah, I would, whenever I need a “safe” trim or haircut. But I think I might just have to give Tao a try the next time I want a more drastic hair makeover. 😉

 

J & K Hair Salon

440 Albany Highway,

Victoria Park,

Western Australia

Tel: (08) 9362 6795

A lifetime reminder to myself about motherhood

If ever i had to leave myself anything valuable to get me through motherhood, it would be a lifetime reminder letter to myself. And it goes like this…

Dear Me,

As much as you try to be Superwoman and be there for everyone, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who went through hours of painful labour and unexpected birth injuries. It’s hard to put up a strong front when you’re mentally and physically exhausted from it all.

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You may feel like you’re neglecting your other children. You’re not. Because despite how much time you try to spend with your children to prevent them from feeling inadequate compared to the newborn, there’s only so much you can give before you run out of energy. There’s only so much time you can spare before you have no more time for yourself. There’s only so much love you can offer before you are left with an empty cup. So take care and love yourself first, only then you will have the strength to take care and love those around you.

As much as you try to be Wonderwoman and keep your house sparkly clean and everything organised, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who is going through sleepless nights to care for a newborn baby. It’s hard enough not to fall asleep standing during the day, and it’s definitely hard to move around without waddling like a penguin because of your sore bum and tummy.

You might feel as if you’re not pulling your weight at home. You’re not. Because no matter how you try to keep the house as neatly as possible, it’s mission impossible with a child and a toddler who LOVE to make a mess. There’re only so many times you can pack until you go crazy. There’s only so much energy you have to nag and move around, until you burst open your dams (and not to mention, stitches) trying to keep everything in order. Then you end up being a mess yourself, and needing more time to heal from the added injuries. So let it go, and go easy on yourself, only then you will be able to enjoy the new addition in the family and keep the household in harmony.

As much as you try to be Catwoman and get back into that awesome body shape, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who’s had her tummy stretched, her back strained, and her insides jumbled up to accommodate a little growing miracle. It will be hard to go back to your pre-pregnancy weight and body with all the stretching and straining.

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So instead of feeling down and ashamed that you haven’t bounced back in to shape like Heidi Klum through unrealistic (and need I mention, unhealthy) diets and postpartum exercise, you should embrace it, stretch marks, flabbiness and all. Your “battle scars” are what makes you a mother, a provider of life. For goodness sake, you had to carry a little being inside of you for nine whole months. But hell, it was worth it. The moment you get to hold that tiny little baby in your arms, you know it was all worth it.

Remind yourself, that it’s okay to feel weak, it’s okay to feel lazy. It’s okay to feel like you just want to get away from it all, shut the door and just lie in bed and sleep 24/7. It’s okay to feel that for the moment (and perhaps many more), that your newborn baby is your world, that you wish you could just focus on nothing but her. It’s okay sometimes to just say, “f*** it”, because you’re only human.

Surround yourself with with positive people and supportive family and friends. There’s no better way to get through motherhood than to have people who love and care for you, such as your mom and husband. They will be your biggest support  group.

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Appreciate your mom more, she’s not getting any younger yet she still offers to help take care and cook for you for one whole month. She busies herself the whole day just so that you can lie in and rest more,  and you’ll notice that she tires more easily than previously. Yet, she’s still here for you and doing the best she can so that you have it easier. There’s no love that is more selfless than a mother’s love (thank you and I love you mom).

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Love your husband more, because without him you wouldn’t be getting through motherhood as blessed as you always had it. He cries when you’re in pain, he breathes for you when you’re in labour, he smiles for you when you’re having your baby blues, he compliments you when you’re feeling “unpretty”, he bends down on one knee to help you get dressed, and he keeps you sane when you’re overwhelmed with, well, everything. There’s no love more comforting than a husband’s love (I love you, and I’d still choose you in a heartbeat for all my next lifetimes to come)

Treasure your children more. They have been nothing but amazing lovely little beings. They’ve been self entertaining for the past whole week to allow you resting time since you brought back “Nemo” into the family. They’ve been more than understanding when Nemo’s cries could be heard throughout the night, they slept through it all LOL. Even though you will have a slight challenge when it comes to Little Warrior no longer being the “youngest in the family”, this too shall pass. She just needs some time to adjust, and she will get through it like she has now. There’s no love more genuine and pure than a child’s love. (You my children are my greatest pride and joy, and you will always be my greatest achievement. I will always love you all to the moon and back)

 

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Lastly, love yourself more. You have more than shown your worth, by being… just a mom. Listen to your heart when it tells you to love yourself first. Enjoy time to yourself and “Nemo” when your mom tells you to just focus on recovery, baby and nothing else. Be grateful when your children tells you they love you and they adore their little sister. Let them help you get up, and fuss over your “sore bum and tummy” because it’s okay to be loved. Most importantly, believe it when your husband tells you that you are worth it, because despite your scars and “wear and tear”, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Lots of love,

2017 Me

Reblog: A Wonderful Family Getaway: Lilly Pilly Cottage Farm Stay @Gidgegannup, Western Australia

I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since we’ve been to Lilly Pilly! We’re seriously missing this little quaint cottage, and fingers crossed we’ll be able to make another trip there before Nemo is born. Anyway, here’s a recap from our wonderful experience there is 2014.
Nestled in a secluded farmland among towering Jarrah trees, the Lilly Pilly Cottage embodies the spirit of an ultimate Australian Bushland experience.
This homely, fully self contained little cottage has three comfortable cozy bedrooms, catering up to eight people. Since there were only five of us (one being a toddler), we had plenty of extra space to, well, waste. It’s a pity that in the midst of all the excitement, I actually forgot to take pictures of the rooms, but I did manage to take one of the lounge, which is equipped with a fireplace! How awesome is that?
Within the hundred-acre land, only thirty-five acre is utilised as a farm, an organic vineyard and two cottages; the rest of the sixty-five acres are kept in its natural form of Australian bushland. In the farm you will find a flock of sheep, some horses, cows, alpacas, and chickens. Patrons are encouraged to join in during feeding time every morning and evening. That particular activity quickly became Little Miss NAPB’s favourite time at the farm getaway.

 

 

 

 

 

“This is how you feed the chickens, daddy!”

Say “ahhhhhhhh”

 

“You gotta open your mouth before eating, Baa Baa Sheep”

Poor Baa Baa Sheep getting impatient while Little Miss Perfectionist attempts to sort out the hay, LOL

Such a proud moment for us that Little Miss NAPB was brave enough to be in such proximity with the animals

Being the farmhand of the day also meant that Little Miss NAPB had to help out with raking and transferring of the haystack prior to feeding the cow and bull.
A huff and a puff… Stacking the hay sure is hard work!

And some random shots of the cottage’s surrounding…

The organic vineyard
 
Overall we had an awesome and memorable experience at the cottage, and would absolutely love to return again. But perhaps not till sometime later in the future. It’s not exactly cheap at roughly AUD$550 for a two night stay, but I guess if the accommodation was shared between two to three families, it would definitely be worth it. Of course, if you were to stay for a week, the price per night would be much cheaper as well.

Thank you, Farmer Ray, for your generous hospitality. We will definitely meet again!
And thank you Goong Goong and Popo for the treat to this amazing getaway!
Lilly Pilly Cottage
Gidgegannup, Western Australia

Love Your Family Challenge: My little “Nemo”, my shining star

This may come as a surprise to many of you, as we’ve managed to keep it under wraps for the past few months. I guess fate has it that it’s time to share the good news. We were planning for a third baby, but didn’t expect it to happen THAT quickly. Nevertheless, it came as a pleasant surprise.

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Even before it’s birth, “Nemo” (a nickname given by Big Warrior) has already became the family’s shining star, guiding us to greater heights in life. This is the year where daddy will be embarking on a new business venture, mommy will be given more parenting responsibilities, and both the girls will be upgrading from one sibling-hood level to another. It will be an exciting journey ahead for all of us. 

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As if chasing 2 monkeys around isn’t enough fun, I must have been mad (or drunk, or drugged) to agree to a 3rd one. LOL. I’ve never in my life imagined myself having 3 kids, but it somehow happened, and surprisingly, I wouldn’t change it for anything. 🙂 Even though they drive me up the wall at times, they melt my heart and touch my soul most of the time.  

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With the universe (husband), a moon (Big Warrior), a sun (Little Warrior) and a star (“Nemo”) by my side, I think it’s safe to say that my life is officially complete. Hopefully people will stop asking me if I plan to have another one. So I’ll say it again, “Nemo” marks the completion of our little family of 5. Unless of course something unplanned happens…. :p

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 What do you think? Are you team Mustache or team Pouty Lips? 🙂

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Second Daughter, my sun

Unlike my eldest who is calm and easy, this little munchkin is a ball of energy and sunshine. She is the one I go to in time of stress and when I need some “soul lifting”. Always smiley and cheerful, one look at her and all my troubles melt away.

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My little warrior has always been an independent, happy-go-lucky and easy baby. She was born under water via water birth, so the whole birth process was very gentle and calming. I’m not sure if it’s coincidental, but compared to Big Warrior’s first month as a baby where it was filled with cries and discomfort (due to stiff neck and some not-so-gentle physiotherapy, not to mention the inexperienced parents trying to adhere to silly parenting books), Little Warrior mainly nursed and slept peacefully through the first year. She was always smiley and giggly. Her trademark sunshine smile melts hearts wherever she goes.

I’m blessed that both my daughters adore each other. Little Warrior looks up to Big Warrior and constantly wants to follow her every step. As a result, this cheeky little bubba began walking at 9 months of age, all because she wanted to chase and follow her big sister around.

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I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful and amazing children, but I must have done something right. I can only hope that I can be the mother that they deserve.

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How can you not go “awwww” with this face?

I love you, my little sunshine. May you grow up happy and healthy always.

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Eldest Daughter, my moon

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There’s never been a day where I don’t count my blessing that Big Warrior is my daughter. Since the day she was born, she has consistently brought joy and love to the family.

Like the moon, she is calm and reserved by nature. Whenever the day gets overwhelming and fast-paced, all I have to do is to be in the presence of my eldest and my stress level decreases almost immediately. When I get too far ahead of myself, she helps keep me grounded and brings me back to planet earth. She brings much needed peace to my life, something that I love so much about her. As her father puts it, she is like an antidote to our stressful lives.

Having said all that, our parent-daughter journey was not an easy one. She was never the typical child. She wasn’t those bubbly giggly babies, she never really smiled. She had fears. A LOT of fears. Like, she had a fear meeting strangers, she feared the bath, she feared being away from the boobs, she feared anything that involved touching her head, etc. It was never an easy journey trying to appease the public perception that babies should be passed around, or that babies loved “peekaboo” games. I had to endure criticism from people, including some family members, that my child isn’t well taught or that my parenting skills were questionable. As a first time mom, simple criticism like that strikes hard. But luckily, with the ever supporting husband, I pulled through. Fast forward 4 years and the help of alternative healing, she’s now a strong, happy and cheerful child.

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I’m forever grateful that she is my firstborn, because she turned a new mother who doubted her parenting skills, into a strong confident lioness who is unafraid to protect her cubs in anyway possible.

Thank you for being my daughter, and thank you for being such a wonderful 姐姐 to your little sister. I will do my best to make your growing years as happy and positive as possible.

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Husband, my universe

I rarely participate in those Facebook sharing activities or challenges, but somehow this one struck a cord. I thought it’d be meaningful for me to keep a copy in my blog as well.

So…. I’m meant to post photo(s) of my family for 7 days to celebrate Family Love. And naturally, my first post is dedicated to my soul mate, my husband, my universe.

There’s a reason why he’s always the first one I thank or think of when it comes to “giving-thanks-to-those-who-made-a-difference-in-my-life” kinda thing. He surpasses everyone and anyone, simply because he is the only one who has really taken time and effort to love me for who I am, and not what he hopes me to be.

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He’s been there through my emotional ups and downs, and stood by me even when I wasn’t the easiest or nicest person to be around with. Years of unresolved and bottled up feelings are never easy to let go, but he never once gave up on me. Instead, he has always encouraged me to be better, and to learn to just, live and let live. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it is more manageable and doable with him around.

He is supportive of everything that I choose to do, even when it goes against the norm, like going into the water with me during my water birth session with #2.

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He makes parenthood and marriage joyful and satisfying because he’s hands on, and never thinks of himself above me. He treats me with equal respects as I do him. I’m not saying that our lives are perfect. There are times when we argue or have bad days, but he always make sure it doesn’t go unresolved before the night is over, and apologises first (sometimes) even when it’s not even his fault.

I could go on and on with this. But I’m not going to, because I’m not here to persuade anyone else to agree with me as to how awesome he is. As long as he knows that he is loved and appreciated, that would be all that matters.

I’m forever grateful to have found my soul mate this lifetime. I would be blessed if fate brings me back to you for all the other lifetimes to come. I love you hubby and thank you for being my universe, holding me up whenever I need you.

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The best decision I ever made, was to say “Yes, I do”

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*Pre-wedding image credit: Daren Chong Photography

The Mother’s Day I was hoping for

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

 

I’ve been slacking in the updates department, but I reckon that the blog deserves an update on this special day.

 

I woke up today not expecting anything, really. Because really, my everyday life isn’t so bad that I had to wish for something to only get it during special occasions. But I was silently hoping for, I don’t know, maybe just some peaceful moments alone where I could put my feet up and read my book? Or maybe some breakfast in bed? Or just a whole day lazing in bed doing nothing? You know, a day where I don’t have to nag at the 2 little monsters running around the house, a day where I don’t have to crack my brain (or what’s left of it) to find the answers to Big Warrior’s questions about life and what not. lol.

 

However, in reality, I woke up to 4 not-so-tiny-anymore arms around me and a snoring husband in bed. Ah, life is so blissful… not. As I was contemplating waking up to prepare breakfast for the household, Little Warrior opened her eyes… and smile. Darn those motherly hormones, who would have thought one could be willed to do anything with just a simple smile in the morning?

 

We chatted for a while, her blabbing really, and me asking her what she wants to eat and telling her about what today is. She then decided to sit up and pointed at the other 2 sleeping beauties and proceeded to wake them up. Little did I know that the husband was actually semi-awaked, observing us through his tiny slit of groggy eyes. He smiled when I looked his way, and wished me Happy Mother’s Day and told me he’s going to cook me breakfast. I looked at him, happy that he was trying to start the day off doing something special for me. I didn’t need any superficial gifts, I could have gotten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and he knew that (thanks to Gary Chapman’s 5 Languages of Love, we managed to identify what clicks for us). Mine were words of affirmation, acts of services and physical touch. A simple greeting, an offer to prepare brekky, and a hug would have been just what I needed.

 

So after brushing my teeth, I headed out to the kitchen to be greeted by this, and a hug. My 3 love languages officially checked for the day. ❤

 

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It might not seem special to anyone, because it’s really just scrambled eggs, but it was special to me. You see, my husband makes the yummiest scrambled eggs in the whole wide world. And this time, he was trying to make it into a shape that resembled a rose (he admitted to checking out a few youtube channels yesterday night lol), how sweet is that? ❤ ❤ ❤  Darn wifey hormones, oh wait, is there even such a thing as wifey hormones? Gah.

 

To be very honest, it would have been a major challenge if he needed to come up with something every special occasion. He already cooks half the nights in a week, he’s the breadwinner of the house, he helps me with the kids every day, he lets me buy whatever I fancy (to our budget of course) even when it’s not Mother’s Days or birthdays. So really, I’ve been lucky to have been showered with love most days of my married life. Thank you hubby, I know I don’t say it often enough.

 

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The day proceeded as usual, with an extra small treat in the evening. A specially prepared Young & Living Peace & Calming infused bath by the hubs, while he took care of the kids’ bath and sleep time. He even found time to help finish off my left over laundry. ❤

 

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Today was perfect. Even though it wasn’t much far off from our usual routine, because I still had to nag the kids to pack away their toys, tell them to be nice to each other, prepare dinner, do the laundry… But it was still perfect. Plus, Big Warrior has been going on with her current phase of “Mommy-ah! *waits for me to look at her direction* I love you!” the whole day, so it was kinda sweet. Annoyingly funny, but sweet. I know I don’t show it enough as well, but my little darling rascals, if you ever get to read this post 10 years down the road, know that even though mommy might seem mean at times, I still do love you very very much.

 

 

Now the kids are sleeping, and I walk into the room thinking, what was I really hoping for on Mother’s Day? And then I realised, the most ideal Mother’s Day, would actually to have a day like every other, where I get to spend the day (and night) with my beautiful family, because deep down, that’s all that really matters.

 

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Have a blessed Easter, everyone!

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Big Warrior proudly holding her gigantic Easter egg painting, and her Easter egg basket, complete with a hand-made chick and an egg. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am that she’s attending a Waldorf school. The educators there make everything so meaningful and precious. They take the time to explain to the children the meaning and origins of Easter. It’s not about egg hunting, or chocolate bunnies, their school is never superficial in that sense. It’s about rebirth and new life. So instead of making the kids go on an egg hunt, they plant new seeds and bulbs around their school yard, and give blessings on new life. Each new plant carries new life from within, and slowly and steadily, it grows onto full blossoms in Spring. Doesn’t that sound much more meaningful than just gobbling down chocolate eggs?

And then there are the yummy hot cross buns, a symbol that represents the rock which was rolled across the opening of the cave in which Christ’s body was laid. The recipe for the buns are essentially Sultanas mixed into a bread dough, which relays the bread and wine aspect of the Last Supper. I’m not a Christian, nor am I a religious person, so I’ve always known Easter to be just a day for chocolate binging. LOL. But now knowing what I know, even I can begin to appreciate the beautiful meaning behind Easter.

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If anyone is keen on making some hot cross bun, here’s a recipe from Collette Leenman.

HOT CROSS BUNS

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 cup slightly warm milk

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups fine wholemeal flour

50g butter

50g brown sugar

1 cup sultanas

Stir the yeast into the milk and add the egg and 2 tablespoon flour. Mix together and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rub butter into the flour and mix in the sugar, spices and sultanas. Combine this with the yeast mixture and knead well, adding a little more flour if necessary to form a soft dough. Leave in warm place, covered with a damp tea towel for an hour.

Grease an oven tray and divide dough up into buns to place on tray. Leave room between each as they should nearly double in size when baked. Leave for another 10 minutes in a warm place. Make crosses on buns using a white flour and cold water mixture of thick glue consistency, which can be applied with an icing forcer. Bake at 190 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. While still hot, brush with a glaze made from 2 tablespoons of white sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoon boiling water. These buns are best eaten hot.

Overall, it was a wonderful long weekend for us. We’re grateful for friends who’ve made effort to keep us entertained and fed while Duke’s away for work. They’ve helped keep me sane for longer. 🙂

And not forgetting a picture of Little Warrior (gotta be fair, hey), waiting patiently outside my shower while I took a quick buffalo rinse. I must say she did look quite comfortable there, don’t you think? LOL.

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Ahhh, what can I say, I’m blessed to have such wonderful children to keep me entertained.

 

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