And……..Over a Year Later

What a neglected little space you are!  Last time we met we were in Washington DC enjoying the holiday of a lifetime.  So much has happened over the last year.  
I thought about opening up the laptop and tapping away at the keys almost every day but something always got in the way.  Life really.
Why come back you ask?  
Well something pretty exciting is happening over here at Splendid Things HQ.  We are expecting Baby No. 2 in just 9 short weeks!
We are all so thrilled and can’t wait to meet our new little bug.  I swear things have gone a lot slower this time round and 9 weeks feel like forever away. (but of course it will be here before we all know it)

So there will be new baby to share, 4 and a half year old Gus to watch become a big brother and  hopefully lots of Splendid Things to discover together.  I think even husband will be joining up for a post or two 🙂

It feels so good to be back and I can’t wait to share more of our little life through this space.

Much Love

Lil x

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The One Fine Baby Event

Last Saturday, after chilling out for a bit too long (coffee, pyjamas etc) I made a split second decision to get on the train and head in to the Sydney Technology Park to go to the One Fine Baby event, and I’m so so glad we did!  It kept us out of the cold for like 4 hours, Gus got to meet Peppa and Dorothy and Sam (he was the 2nd yellow wiggle for a while), and most importantly got to see (and buy) some AMAZING independent and handmade vendors.  It was so refreshing to be in a place where everyone was interested in the same decor and ideas and fashion that I am!  
Lots of creative types and families.
It was fantastic!  I kept some of the vendors cards.  They are inspiring in themselves.
It is no secret that I want to move into the online world and I’m in the process of setting up my own shopfront, so meeting and talking to so many people that are already ‘living the dream’ was definitely and eye opener.  I’m just itching to really get into it.
That’s what I came home with.  I’m surprised that the above where all that came home with me as I seriously could have bought 
one of absolutely everything.  It was all THAT good!
These wall decals are from This Little Love. We are totally inspired to re-do Gus’s room and these will just be the icing on the cake!
I could not not get this tee from Infancy.  I love it, Gus loves it.  We’re all happy!
The laundry bag is also from Infancy.  A pop of neon for Gus’s room AND a place for his dirty clothes. 
(we are into the I want to change myself faze so lots of clothes)
I LOVE this Maisy book from The Super Cool. Gus has already started to use it while we all have dinner, and he will actually 
sit with us 
until we have all finished, just doodling away!
Pretty cute, huh?
I finally got my hand on one of these.  I have been loving from afar for a long time now.  I haven’t figured out what to store in it yet.  
But it’s kind of awesome all by itself!

Below is a few snaps of what we got up to while we were there.  I would recommend this event to anyone who is pregnant 
or has young kids or bubs.  Everyone in the family was entertained and Gus got to go on TWO trains, so little boy’s day made!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!  We are off to a Scottish Kaylee tonight!
My FIL is the drum major in the Sydney Thistles Pipe Band.  They are so much fun.
Lot’s of dancing and laughing and being proud of our Scottish heritage, and my FIL cause he kind of rocks on the drums!

Love Lil xx

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A Productive Day

Today was one of those days when we got s*#t done!  I love those days, don’t you?
I always daydream that I will spend all day on the couch, watching foxtel, drinking coffee, eating yum, naughty food, but being busy, 
and up early is really better, isn’t it.
After walking up to the local coffee ( insert hipster) shop, we hopped in the car drove to Bunnings 
(where Gus slept!!!- ahh that blissful hour when you can wander at your leisure)
spent too much money on plants and then took a rested Gus to the park for a run around.

 Things that happened at the park:  1. Gus had a ball and pretended to be a pirate, we realised that the park is awesome 
(good equipment and good view) and I fell, and I mean fell off a swing for the first time in my life.  Ross laughed for a good 5 minutes.

Then it was home to plant the plants and hang stuff up on the wall.
I’ve got some photos to share of our dining room area if you would like to have a sticky.
I’m really happy with how it has turned out and is the first room in our house that fells finished. 
(this is our 3rd year in our home.  Procrastinator much?)

All the furniture and knick knacks have been collected over time and sort of just ended up together in this room.  The Parker phone table, sideboard and fold down desk are all thrifted and there is a list below if your interested of where we got everything else.

Yellow Vase – Target (no longer available)
Small Candle – Kikki K (no longer available)
I’m so glad that we have waited and decorated and put together a room that we absolutely love!  
Colourful, bright and happy, I can’t wait to spend more time in there with my little family.

What’s your favourite room?

Love Lil xx

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Cottage Pie with Leek and Cauliflower mash

I LOVE carbs!  Like adore them.  Some of my childhood friends used to call me ‘Potatoes and Bread’ cause it’s all I used to eat.  I will choose mash and pasta and rice over protein any day.  But eating (more like devouring) this pie that Ross cooked on the weekend, I think I’m a convert.  
Who knew that putting leek and cauliflower together would make a mash to rival the original?
Seriously you have to try this Pie.  It feeds 6 people and total carb content is 13.3g!
Shut Up!  It is true, and delicious.

Cottage Pie with leek and cauliflower mash.  Serves 6

50g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 slim carrots, trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced
2 sticks celery heart, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1kg lean minced beef
200ml red wine
1x400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
sea salt, black pepper

600g leeks (trimmed weight), thickly sliced
600g small cauliflower florets
freshly grated nutmeg
a bunch of slim spring onions, sliced
150g small cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat half the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the sliced and chopped vegetables and herbs, and fry for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly coloured.
Add the meat, turn up the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it changes colour.
Add the red wine, chopped tomatoes and puree, Worcestershire sauce and some seasoning.  Bring to a simmer then cook over a very low heat for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nearly all the juices have been absorbed.
Keep a careful eye on it towards the end to prevent it from burning.  Tilt the pan and skim off any surface fat, then taste for seasoning.

While the mince cooks, start making the mash.  Place the leeks and cauliflower in a large saucepan with 150ml water, dot with the remaining 25g butter, add a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt.  Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover and cook over a low heat for 15-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until very tender.  Tip the contents of the pan into a food processor and reduce to a puree, seasoning with nutmeg and more salt if necessary.
You tend to get the best results if you do this in a couple of batches.

Transfer the mince to a shallow ovenproof dish or roasting tin, pressing down to level the surface.  Spread the mash on top.  You can make the pie in advance, in which case leave to cool, cover and chill.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan/200 degrees electric.  Toss the spring onions and cherry tomatoes with the remaining tablespoon of oil and scatter over the surface.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the vegetables on top are golden.

Oh, and for all those healthy’s out there, it has 43.8g protein.

We enjoyed ours with some veggies and a glass of vino.

Enjoy!  Love Lil xx

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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to my love!  This is the third time you’ve got socks and undies on a Sunday 🙂  Oh, but you are the best Daddy to our Gus.  I sometimes think that Gus was sent especially for us, you know?  He is loud and crazy and as obsessed with technology as we are!  Watching you two together makes my heart just about burst!  We love you so much and are so thankful for all that you do for us xx
I also want to say thank you and Happy Father’s Day to both of our Dads.  You are both so selfless and giving of your time, your advice and a laugh or a hug when we need it.  Gus is so lucky to have a Gaga and Pappy like you two.  We love you xx
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there today!  Hope your getting spoilt rotten and not having to cook the BBQ for once!
Love Lil xx

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The one where we go to the Australian Museum

This was Gus at the museum, like the whole time!  We were so excited to take him to see the Dinosaurs!  We had it all planned out.  He would run around, pointing at all the different types of skeletons, calling them all Buddy and Tiny (Dinosaur Train) and we could get some cute pics and he would LOVE it………..FAIL.

Gus was so excited on the train (sorry, ‘Mumma it’s Dinosaur Train’) eating his little donut treat and pointing things out to Ross on the way.  He chatted to us and pointed to us some more on the walk through Hyde Park, but as soon as we entered those grand old doors of the Museum….ZZZZZZZZ.  Out like a light.
Usually Ross and I do a happy dance when Gus naps, but the one day we are jumping out of our skin excited to take him somewhere new?  He crashes.

I haven’t been to the Australian Museum since a school trip back in the early 90s.  And you know what?  It hasn’t changed.  Ross and I walked around with Mr Sleepy sleeperson for 2 whole hours.  We got to see skeletons and rocks and stuffed birds.  I’m usually a massive museum girl.  Like I’m the boring one that looks at everything and reads every description.
But even I couldn’t get into it.  The cafe saved us for the last hour with lattes and banana bread.

Finally the bug woke from his slumber and we practically raced up to the second floor so Gus could witness the wonder of the Dinosaurs.  First thing he sees, a stuffed Sabertooth Tiger and he screams and I mean SCREAMS the place down.  He spent the rest of our visit clinging to either Ross or I with his head in our necks. 

Here’s a few grainy iphone photos of our ‘interesting’ time at the Museum.

^Just in case I forget what a funnel web looks like over summer! (scaredy cat mum)^

The rest of our afternoon was awesome though, I have to admit.  We strolled down to the Opera House, realised it was way too touristy and then wandered around the Rocks markets for a few hours.  Oh, how I love a good market!  So many great stalls and I also got to enjoy a Rock’s market institution, Corn on the cob on a stick!  Yum, yum buttery, salty goodness!

Gus got to ride on the Dinosaur Train again (city rail) and made friends with pretty much any passenger that sat near us on the way home.  God did he crash that night though, a sign of a successful day out for any 2 year old.

Oh and here is a pic of Gus as a tiger, cause its adorable any way you look at it!

Did you ever have plans in your head that didn’t quite turn out the way you thought they would?

Love Lil xx

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What my iphone saw

Just a few iphone (and instagram) snaps from the last month or so.  My window display and customer wall from work are there, my NEW CAR too.  My gorgeous boys and my family (would you look at my nieces and nephew!) 

After scrolling through these pics I know for sure that my Gus is a HAM!  Oh, and my boys look SOOO much like each other!

Love Lil xx

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The Port Arthur Ghost Tour.

The photos speak for themselves.  It was cold, it was wet, It was spooky.  But by gosh it was A LOT of fun!  Especially since Ross was the lantern bearer who’s job was to stay at the back of the group and make sure every one was ok.  

Did I have a ghostly encounter?  Well that’s for me to know……….

If you are ever in Tassie.  Please Go.  You will love it!

Love Lil xx

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Tassie Adventure Part 2

Our second day in Tassie was awesome.  We spent the night before in the hotel, having drinks at the bar and then an AMAZING dinner by the warmth of an open fire.

   // I got to sleep in till 10am.  That’s right 10am.  ( I know, unheard of).
      Got a few quick snaps of the view from our hotel room and then it was off to Richmond
       for coffee and thrifty browsing.//

    // Our transport for the weekend 🙂 //

 // The oldest bridge in all of Oz.  1823.  They really don’t build things like they used to.//

    // The gorgeous little village of Richmond.  It is very ‘English’. //

     // Us xx //

// We visited the miniature village of 1820’s Hobart.  I thought it would be lame, but it was surprisingly fun and informative.  And I thought this romp in the haystack was hilarious! //

          // Sometimes the best lunch is Pumpkin Soup and crusty bread at the local Pub! //

The view of Pirates Bay on the way to Port Arthur.  

It was such a wonderful day.  It was so great to just meander and potter around the antique and home ware shops, coffee in one hand, your loves hand in the other.

Mini Breaks are kind of the best aren’t they?

Sharing some eerie photos from the ghost tour tomorrow.

Love Lil xx

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Tassie Adventures Part 1

 Last weekend Ross and I were lucky enough to escape down to Tasmania for a few days.
 Gus got to spend some quality time with my parents up in Bathurst.  It was the first time that Ross and I have spent more than one night away from our Bug, but we got to spend a few much needed days together, relaxing, eating and SLEEPING IN!

We flew into Hobart quite early, picked up the rental car and headed to our Hotel (The Rydges Hobart) ran around the hotel room like excited kids and then headed down to the Hobart institution ‘The Salamanca Markets’.  I have been looking forward to trawling the stalls for some time.  Handmade, fresh produce and vintage all in one place!

It was FREEZING! it was wet, and did I mention freezing.  We popped into a warm, toasty pub to have lunch way earlier than we normally would just to get out of the rain.  The markets were still really good to wander through.  I bought the cutest vintage felt hat to cover my frozen ears and a personalised puzzle for Gus.

                // The stalls between downpours.  So pretty under all the autumn leaves //

               // A quick walk up to Myer to buy beanies and gloves and scarves, Oh my! //

And because we weren’t quite cold enough we decided to drive up to Mt Wellington.  We wound up the road watching the temp fall from 11 to 7 to 3.  At about 2 degrees and 5 kms from the summit we noticed it was starting to rain.  But the rain wasn’t wet, it was icy, it was snow!!  This was kind of excited because my husband has never seen snow, never.
I have never seen him jump out of the car so quick, taking photos and trying to catch the snow in his hands.  When he got back in the car his cheeks were frozen, but his smile was awesome!

      // The temp outside just before we got out at the summit. Us two smiling like idiots. //

                     // The SNOW!!! //

                                   // More snow. //

                  // Have you ever seen such happiness when your absolutely freezing?  //

 // I grew up in Bathurst, where the normal winter temp is about 4 degrees, and I have never
     been as cold as I was standing right there.  Maybe leather leggings weren’t the best idea    
     for Tassie? //

Our views on the way back down the mountain.  Rainbows always make me smile.

Thank God that our Hotel room had a spa, where we spent the next hour defrosting.

Part 2 tomorrow. (I felt like I was scrolling and scrolling with all the pics in one post)

Love Lil xx

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