adventures · holiday · road trip · snow · winter

Our First Ever Snowy Winters Day. {2015}

 Winter; A lingering season. It’s a time to gather golden moments, embark on a sentimental journey and enjoy every idle hour. – John Boswell. 

Hello!
How was your Monday?
Mine was unbelievably amazing, best Monday ever! Albeit cold, but totally memorable & brilliant!
There is some super cold weather going on in the south eastern states of Australia at the moment, like very chilly! They are calling it the Antarctic Vortex. This weather is so wintry that places that don’t often get snow, get snow. Our town & towns close to us were predicted to maybe get snow, the last time they got snow was 30 years ago! So never in my lifetime and I was out of my mind excited! Unfortunately our town didn’t get snow neither did the town close by, but some towns about 3-4 hours away in the next state did. 
On Sunday they got snow, we wanted to go and see it but Trent had just come off night shift & it wasn’t smart for him to be driving that far while tired. We decided that maybe Monday we would go, depending if snowed again. We woke up Monday morning and checked out Higgins Storm Chasing on Facebook and sure enough it was snowing as they had predicted. When we flicked on the TV we saw the place we wanted to visit, they were doing a live cross from where the snow was and it looked amazing. We ummed & aahed on whether to go, it was a long time in the car, we had slept in a bit, would the snow be melted by the time we got there? We hadn’t prepared anything, should we go? 
Now I am not a spontaneous type of person anymore, not since having LuLu. I absolutely love having every single thing planned as a Mum, my life just runs easier when I am prepared & organised. Sure back in the day, give me a half hour notice for a crazy random trip – enough time to put my face on, organise a bag of basic essentials & be out the door. But now, the idea of that almost sends me into a panic attack. But that being said, Trent & I looked at each other and said, “let’s go!”. We figured that this maybe our only chance to see snow for a little while, both he & I have never ever seen snow and obviously neither has LuLu. I was mid way through getting ready and Trent said to me, “let’s pack a bag, just incase they think it will snow over night again”… My brain was freaking out, half was jumping around going “this is awesome, woo hoo – so excited” the other half was huddled in a corner hyperventilating into a brown bag going through all the things that needed to be packed & prepared & worrying it would forget something important.
Right, I threw my makeup on super quick (seriously, Homer’s makeup gun would come in handy some days!), pulled out our over night bag and tossed pyjamas, underwear, clothes, toiletries, chargers, everything and anything I thought we may need while spending a night away, while yelling out to Trent to feed the cats & dogs and make sure they have water. I think the time it took for me to get ready from deciding we would go to pulling out of the drive was maybe an hour, maybe a slight bit more – but it was record time. 
We were on the road, I was full of so much joy & anticipation. If you know me at all (like if we are friends in real life or you are a long time reader) you will know how much I’ve always wanted to see snow, every winter I pray for snow, I dream of having a white Christmas – I feel like the snow would be my type of season, like I day dream about living on a farm in a small sleepy country town where it snows. This is a massive deal to me! 
I was in tears when we drove out of the fuel station and started heading towards Stanthorpe – I was that over come with excitement. I couldn’t believe that finally, I was going to see snow and what made it even better was that I would share that first experience with Trent & LuLu and it would be there first time as well!
We travelled for 3 hours and reached the town of Tenterfield by midday, we stopped in the main street which was very busy. We found a bakery that had a few hot pies left (lots of places were sold out!), we ate our lunch quickly while talking to others in the store who had been to see the snow – they said it was lovely and still hadn’t melted – thank the Lord. 
After we had our quick bite to eat, we piled back in the car and headed up Mt. Mackenzie. 
And then, we saw it. The stark white stood out against the damp timber and grass perfectly, once again there were tears.
Now just so we are clear I don’t cry over anything, I am not a super emotional person, I am actually a bit emotionally hard I guess – but when special or overwhelming things happen or things I weren’t expecting happen, it hits me.  I am more likely to cry because I am happy than because I am sad. I am more likely to cry over an experience than a sad movie or book. This was a big moment, a bucket list moment. My whole life, since I was a child I have wanted to see snow – it just doesn’t happen where we live & it wasn’t possible for my parents to take all 4 of us kids to the snow, understandably. We went to lots of holidays to the beach instead, as it was easier & more accessible and that’s just what Queenslanders do – beach holidays. A lot of people I know who are my age are the same, growing up in Queensland, you just don’t really see snow unless your school does a ski trip down south. 
Anyway, the tears were there as I stared out the car window in awe of the beautiful crisp white snow. There was lots of “look Trent, look at that”, “LuLu look at the snow, brrr it’s cold out there”, “wow” and “this is the most beautiful thing I have seen”.
We got to the top of Mt. Mackenzie and jumped out of the car. We made sure LuLu was bundled up, we slipped socks on her hands because I couldn’t find gloves small enough for her and went to see the snow!
We took pictures, we held it, we just stared – it is so pretty. 

Touching snow together for the first time.
The 3 of us at Mt. Mackenzie seeing the snow.
Very icy snow at Mt. Mackenzie – Tenterfield N.S.W. 

Once we were back in the car we headed a little bit down the mountain and pulled over on the road side to a place with some snow for us to play in. We made a tiny little snow man and LuLu had fun playing! On the mountain there was some rain & the wind was so cold it cut right through us, I was so glad we had layered LuLu up & I had bought her a lovely lined raincoat at the start of winter! 

Patting her little friendly snowman. 

We had seen it, bucket list item checked off. 
We now had to decide do we continue on to Glen Innes or head back home. There was no snow predicted over night so it was likely we wouldn’t be spending the night away. It was 1:30pm, if we headed back now we would get home at a reasonable hour. But we had come so far and I had heard Glen Innes was beautiful and had some nice snow. So we drove the 1 hour and as we reached Glen Innes we noticed there was a lot of heavy drizzly, very icy rain – almost sleet, that rain had melted all the snow. I was a little sad as the photos from earlier in the morning had looked lovely. We decided to drive through KFC and get a hot chips to share and guess what, they were out of chips! Argh, I prayed this wasn’t a sign that our day was taking a bad turn. 
Trent quickly went into the tourist information centre and he found out the highway to Ben Lomond had just opened in the last half hour. I had seen so many beautiful photos online of this area and apparently the snow had just stopped falling there just before lunch, I had spoken about visiting there during the drive but thought it maybe too far. But Trent decided we would head there for a quick look, it was a gamble as we didn’t know if the snow had melted there too. But boy, are we glad we took that risk. 
We saw so many beautiful sights, the country side was just covered in beautiful white snow with little tufts of golden grass poking through. Black cattle stood out against the white snow that covered the hills and it just looked magical. Everything was so picturesque and absolutely breath taking. I could’ve have spent hours just staring & taking photos of the incredible sights. 

1 degree!! Brrrr… That is chilly!

We pulled over to a nice little area of beautiful snow and took some stunning photos of our darling girl, photos so she can remember this exciting trip. Trent & LuLu then made a giant snow ball! 

Snow turns people of all ages into children, we saw so many families having fun times in the snow – snowball fights, building snow men & just laughing and smiling – it was lovely to see!
We drove a little further – we saw beautiful paddocks blanketed in snow, giant snowmen (one was 9ft tall!) and snow on the roofs of a church and some houses. It felt like it should be Christmas! The New South Wales country side just looked magical, breathtakingly magical. 

Seeing snow on a roof was bit of a novelty for us! It looked like something out of a Christmas movie!

After seeing the most stunning sights, taking endless photos and having the most amazing day, we decided it was time to make the 4 hour drive home.

Goodbye beautiful snow.

We called in for a quick McDonalds dinner at Glen Innes (LuLu hates happy meals – this was her 2nd one ever, she nibbled at her apple slices, had a few chips and drank her water! Thankfully I had packed lots of yummy/healthy snacks for her!) 
We arrived home around 9pm, exhausted, amazed & happy. LuLu had travelled really good, this was the biggest day of driving she has ever done. All up we would have driven around at least 10 hours that day, which is insane and she happily sat in the back, occasionally napping, calling out to the animals she could see with the sounds they make & telling us stories. LuLu was such a great little travel companion & is such a joy of daughter. When we saw snow each time we would ask her “what do we do in the snow” and she would reply “brrrr”. So sweet!
This day trip was a dream come true for me, it may not have been the thickest snow but to me it was beautiful, I once again was just in awe of one of God’s amazing creations. Like wow. I am so thankful that Trent was on days off & that he is happy to take LuLu and I on such fun & wonderful adventures, he gives me the confidence to be a little more spontaneous with LuLu and helps me realise even if everything isn’t planned 100% I am still ok! 
This was just a perfect day, it truly was, we experienced a proper Winters Day.
Wow. 2 days later and I am still smiling about it!
(Sorry for the overload of photos in this post, it is super difficult trying to only pick a few!)
Enjoy your week and if you have been at the snow this season or anytime show me your photos! Tag me in them on instagram (@ModernWifeLife31), tweet them to me (@ModernWifeLife3) or share them on my Facebook page! I would love to see them!! 

“Everything’s magical when it snows. Everything looks pretty. The clothes are great. Coats, scarves, gloves, hats!” – Lorelai Gilmore.
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food · housewife · recipe · winter

Recipe; Roast Pumpkin Soup.

Hello my lovely friends!

Boy is it chilly or what? And it’s going to get colder! A cold snap is headed our way in a few days… So I am here with a delicious meal idea that will keep you toasty warm!
Roast Pumpkin Soup! 

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Roast Pumpkin Soup.
Now this recipe is for a Thermomix, but you could easily just use a big pot on a stove top and a stick blender. Sorry it’s a bit vague, I kind of made it up and it’s just been in the notes on my phone & I adjust them each time I make it! But the last 2 batches of this soup I’ve made have been perfect! 
 
Ingredients;
  • 1 Parsnip 
  • 2 onions 
  • 2 potatoes 
  • 1000g – 1500g of your choice of pumpkin (I’ve used Butternut, Jap & Kent – all taste great!)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A little bit of olive oil
  • Stock (it is up to you whether it be chicken or vegetable) I use 2 tbsp of the Quirky chicken stock paste & 1 tbsp of Vegetable stock paste. 
  • 500g of water or until the consistency is to your liking – we like a thicker soup.
  • 100g of pouring cream. 
  • Seasoning of your choice.
  • (I also added 2 carrots to my last batch just to add in extra veggies as I was feeling unwell, it didn’t taste any different, so if you wish to add in a few carrots to get more veggies into this soup it is fine!)

Steps;

  1. Peel and cut all vegetables (I leave my onions and garlic whole), space out on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and some seasoning if you like, but DO NOT OVER SEASON, it is better to season at the end when you can taste and adjust. It is very easy to over salt this dish especially if you are using a Thermomix with stock pastes. I do a very light sprinkle of roast vegetable salt on my veggies.
  2. Roast vegetables at 180-200 degrees for 1-1.5hours (until veggies are soft) make sure to turn veggies occasionally. You may have to remove the onions & garlic early so they don’t get too roasted (burnt!).
  3. Once the veggies are soft & nicely roasted start adding them in small batches to the Thermomix (or pot) and blend until smooth, then add more – blend and keep repeating until all veggies are smooth and combined. I start by blending the onion and garlic first so it is chopped up very fine, then the parsnips & potatoes & finally the pumpkin.
  4. If using a Thermomix add 3 tbsp of stock paste of your choice (I use 2 of quirky chicken and 1 veg) and 500g of water. 
  5. For non Thermomix users; 1 Tablespoon of Veggie stock is apparently equal to one stock cube. Basically if I wasn’t using the Thermomix stock paste I would add in my favourite stock in stages, stir & taste – if the taste was to my liking but the consistency was too thick I would perhaps add water, but try to only use stock. The water added in the TM recipe is because the water & stock paste = liquid stock. Sorry I can’t be more helpful in this step! The stock paste made in a Thermomix is hard to compare to anything from a shop, it is amazing.
  6. Cook soup for 15-20mins at 80-90 degrees, speed 2.5 (I cook mine on speed 3 sometimes but be aware that it can get hot and a bit splashy sometimes) 
  7. If on stove top heat soup for 15 minutes and stir occasionally.
  8. Blend on speed 4-5 for 10 seconds after it has been heated. (Be careful of splashes!)
  9. Add cream.
  10. Blend for 30 more seconds gradually increasing speed from 1-8.
  11. If your Thermomix is too full to safely blend at speed 8, just blend at a speed you feel is safe. Sometimes mine is a bit full and I only go to speed 5 because soup splash burns don’t sound like fun to me! 
  12. Season to your liking. I find if I use the Quirky chicken paste stock it adds a lovely flavour & it also adds enough saltiness. Cumin is a nice addition to soup but add it in slowly and carefully because if you season too much it’s hard and pretty much impossible to fix. Trust me! As mentioned above I also like roast vegetable salt. Onion salt can also be added.
  13. This recipe can be frozen, we freeze half the batch to have as a quick & easy dinner when Trent is on days off. I freeze it in a ziplock bag so it can freeze flat in my freezer. I just slide it out of the bag and into a microwave safe bowl to reheat (you could also reheat it on the stove top). Trent said this meal is the only meal that tastes as good reheated as it does freshly made and I agree!
Sorry this recipe isn’t exactly perfect. I just go by taste, I’m not a food blogger so writing recipes isn’t my strong suit!
But I can assure you this soup is delicious & lovely and will warm you up! So I hope it has given you at least a basic recipe to work with! I have made this countless times, LuLu loves it & finishes her whole bowl. Trent likes it & I have also cooked it twice for my Mum and she loved it – which says something because she is incredibly fussy and will not eat anything she doesn’t like!!
A perfect addition to this soup is some fresh bread, I make a fresh loaf before the soup so we have lovely homemade bread to dip in the soup – but bread from the bakers is just as nice!

Yummm!!!


I hope you all stay toasty warm during this chilly cold front that is about to hit us!!

1 degree! We are going to get down to 1!! Brrr!! 

If you make this soup I would love to see your photos or hear what you think! Tag me in your photos or leave me a comment on social media!
Stay warm & have a lovely weekend!

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2015 · winter

A quick hello & Winter has arrived!

Hello!
Sorry… Once again it’s been a bit of time between blog posts… When life gets busy it gets busy!! 
But I’m trying to work on my schedule/time management. My biggest struggle with this blog is giving myself the time to sit down and write. I always find something that I should be doing at home or with LuLu instead of just writing. I currently am typing this while LuLu has her afternoon nap. I made sure I got all my jobs I normally do while she naps done while she was awake, so I could sit down and say “HI”! while she was asleep. 
I struggle with finding the time to write a post purely because my computer is in my study which is in the opposite end of the house from LuLu’s bedroom and play rooms. (I am not a fan of writing posts on my phone) I like being near her & interacting with her all day & when I’m not with her I am normally keeping our home presentable, cooking or we are out & about. But I think it is important for me & well all Mummas to take time to do things we enjoy. So I am trying to force myself to have more time for this. 
Writing this blog is something that brings me so much joy, I love getting messages & emails from my friends & readers saying they love the content & they enjoy reading this. And I want to continue doing so, I am so incredibly thankful for my ever so patient readers. I am aiming to do at least a blog post a week from here on in, aiming/hoping/trying… Even if it is a simple post – I am going to try!
Two of my upcoming posts that are almost ready to go are the much requested baby/toddler food recipes & a mess free/indoor craft for toddlers. 
I don’t think I know everything about parenting but I truly enjoy inspiring other parents with new ideas for their little loves! I am no expert, but I do love being a Mumma & a wife – to me it is my calling. Everyone has different paths in life and I respect that but this is mine & I am so thankful for it. Being a stay at home Mum & a housewife truly makes me happy & I love to write, so combing the 2 is a really wonderful past time for me. (I also love shooting & getting to hunt, so slipping that in occasionally also makes me happy!)

So anyway while I am here I should do a bit of a catch up… 
Life is currently flat out crazy busy & chaotic, as always! LuLu is now 19 months & cutting 2 molars – my poor little love, but she is handling it like a trooper most of the time. Trent just was on days off & is now back on day shift. Winter is here & I love it! I braved the cold this morning to duck out and get some photos of the beautiful frost. (Beautiful but annoying because it killed off a few of my succulents!!)

I am in love with that last photo!! Tiny bit proud of it… 
I love Winter time – do you? I love the fashion… I love being bundled up & I love bundling up my little LuLu!
One day, one day I dream of having a white christmas! I feel so Christmassy when it gets cold… 
Anyway friends I thought I would quickly post this just to say hi & I am working on some future posts. Like I said I am aiming for at least 1 post a week from here on in! 
Of course I would love to hear what you want to read, so please leave any blog post requests or questions below, or on Facebook, Twitter or email me! 🙂
Thank you & have a great afternoon!