Spring @ Pioneer’s

Spring. You are so elusive this year.
I feel like we’ll just have a few days (not a quarter of the year) of cool, breezy, sunny days in between cold winter and hot summer.
At least we have you today.
So we drove to the park after Mass. You would think we had to drive far to be spoiled by all these.
Not really. Just 5 minutes drive from home.
Great to see you again Pioneer’s Park.
My Anton likes you a lot!

Mork Specialty Chocolate

I was never a big fan of hot chocolate.
Coffee, a resounding yes.
I’ve had enough awful experiences from drinking coffee while nursing newborns. So I’ve decided to totally abstain from it. For the time being or until my will power yields in.
So when Tatay gave us a treat at Little by Little Cafe, I decided to try the Mork Hot Chocolate. It was served with sea salt, blossom sugar (whatever that is but it tasted nice) and the cafe’s own made marshmallow. All these for $6.50.
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I almost forgot it was hot chocolate I was drinking. I probably drank enough low quality chocolate drinks to distinguish that this one as superb. It tasted like coffee but had a sublime dark chocolate twist in it. I even liked it better than the 5-senses coffee brand served at the same cafe.
I love that it didn’t taste so sweet and doesn’t have coffee’s bitter after taste.
I have to go and visit Mork’s shop in Melbourne when José’s a bit bigger.
I’m so looking forward to that.

Back in Castlemaine

I was back in Castlemaine some time in July and August.

I attended my annual retreat and course there minus the kids.

It is one of those places you would want to go back to again and again and again…

It’s country living spoiled with great local shops, art galleries, historical buildings, and more…

Plus the joy of being alone with God is unimaginable.

Any walk around town is worthwhile.

Even the Old Castlemaine Gaol turned out to be a great find.

You have to try Governor’s Cafe located inside the old prison’s premises.

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I brought my friends to Das Kaffeehaus just across the Botanical Garden.

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Oh what a lovely time we had!

Beatrix: Always in My Mind

I have never loved a bakery as much Beatrix at North Melbourne. The Captain and I stumbled upon this gem on our 10th year anniversary.
I can’t stop thinking about it since then.
I don’t know if it’s the selection of absolutely delicious cakes or the great coffee or the homey ambiance that pulled me into it.
On the Feast Day of St Josemaria, the Captain dropped me off at the bakery to have some ME- time. I decided to tag along my two lovely introverts, Pio and Nina.
We had a cherry – chocolate layered cake and the calamity biscuit (filled with marshmallow and jam). We were all in 7th heaven.
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I told them that we will start a bakery like Beatrix when they are a bit older.

That was enough to hype them up!

Earthly Pleasure

I live for pleasure.

For sure.

So on the last day of the Harkies’ Term 2, we decided to celebrate with a homemade cake at the school despite the rainy and cold weather.20160617_115128

Before having our afternoon tea, my homeschooled kids and I explored around Belgrave. I love this place. Everything is centrally located. The church is a step away from the library which is right next door to a nice cafe.

Earthly Pleasure

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Now I know where to unwind next time we are in Belgrave.

 

I was definitely pleased.

 

Fitzroy Garden: We’ve Finally Met

We had vague plans of what to do last Sunday:
Hear Mass at the city
Have a picnic at a park
Drink great local coffee
So we heard Mass at St Mary’s Star of the Sea and met up with a family friend visiting from Singapore.
We had no clue where to go after that until we found ourselves parking next to the Parliament House. We walked a bit. And a bit more until we saw this grand garden right before us.
Just what we need for a picnic.
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We were looking for a picnic spot until we were drawn to this observatory.
Too hungry, we decided to eat at the closest bench we found. Mat on the floor. Lunch was unpacked.
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Ducks and birds were all around.
Then something pulled us to this old cottage house.
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The kids wanted to see the Fairy Tree right in front of the Tudor Village so we moved on.
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Fitzroy Garden is beautiful even in the midst of winter.
It is probably the best garden I’ve seen in Melbourne.
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We left soon and found myself trying these Sicilian pastries with my babyccinos.
What can I say?
It was one of the best winter weekends ever.

Seaford is Calling

It was a last minute decision to drive to Seaford that Anzac Day holiday. So off we drove past 3 pm after all our house cleaning were done. I just needed to get out of the house. You know me well.

I knew I had to stay up late that evening to finish ironing, feeding the kids, preparing lunch boxes and whatever is on that list.

But never mind.

I never regretted it.

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SEAFORD.

I forgot how breathtaking you are.

I can stay by your side forever.

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As Sasha pointed out “This is the best day ever!“.

From Country to City

The Captain got this weekend toll pass. That only meant we can go to the city upon my whim.

I was in the mood to go. I always get what I want from the Captain. So we drove.

Day off ni Inday.

First stop was Proud Mary. We had to taste those Ecuadorian coffee beans. Oh dear! It was like eating caramel without getting satiated with it.

Then we walked along Brunswick St. You can’t just pass by that street and not be enamored by it. Got some stationery from Zeta Florence.

Last stop was St Kilda. I just have to eat that Monarch’s Bakeshop kuggleholpf. It’s the best cake in the world.

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Don’t want to end the day but I left some kids with Tatay at home.  All good things come to an end. But then again, a long weekend is coming up. I can hardly count the days.

Food Truck Carnival

My father told me to enjoy my life. I thought I’ve always been having a good time. I may not be able to travel overseas or to other states of Australia but every weekend is an adventure on its own.

The Captain and I sneaked out of the house during quiet time last Saturday to check out the Food Truck Carnival at Akoonah Park.

Nice weather. Exciting dishes. Lots of people.

I felt like a typical adult again.

Most of the stalls had long lines of people dying to get a bite. We surveyed all around. There were Brazilian, Korean, Mexican, even Filipino food being offered.

We ended up eating Indian food. The line wasn’t too long and I know its hard to make these kinds of dishes.

Good food. Live music. No children to chase.

Just me and my hot date.

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This is what I call total enjoyment.

Pace Yourself

One of the best secrets I’ve learned, albeit the hard way, when homeschooling is to pace yourself.

Rushing to finish the subject matter as soon as possible often left me burned out. Apart from raising 6 kids, managing a household, I have a homeschooling job under my CV. Plus, I have a baking obsession.

Tough act to balance.

So instead of spending the rest of the morning at home. I decided to bring Sasha, Pio and Anton with me to Lysterfield Lake.

Sasha is crazy about water.

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Pio wanted to remake the Great Wall of China after reading history.

I just wanted to put my feet up.

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No one’s around but us, some birds and a group of cheerful grandmas.

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Nature is the subject of the day.

Tranquility is the moral lesson.