A Morning at Don Cuthbertson Reserve


Yesterday I took Scarlett down to a park we hadn’t been to before, even though it is just around the corner – Don Cuthbertson Reserve.  It was quite pretty with a big lake and lots of ducks.

It’s funny how as soon as the old stale bread is meant to be for the ducks, it suddenly becomes very appealing.  After chowing down on the duck bread, we had a big walk, gooed and gaaed over some very cute ducklings and enjoyed a play on the playground equipment.

Another successfully busy morning = easy nap time… hurray!


Hey ducks, you want some bread…?


… well too bad cos I’m gonna eat it!



Telling tales – mum it was him that stole my bread!


“He’s got a funny face!”  Well yes I suppose he does!






The cute little family we met 🙂












3915web“A plane!”  Spotting a plane is always very exciting!


“I see it Mummy!  A plane!”


She’s so freaking cute!


This looks deceptively as if Scarlett is going down the slide.  Scarlett doesn’t do slides.  She is actually climbing a very short way up and scooting down a few centimetres, which is actually progress for her.


As you do.


Poor little owie knee from taking a tumble.


“Don’t want photooooooo!”




These Small Hours – The Reason Behind The Blog Name Change

I started this blog three years ago, when two little pee lines changed my life.  I discovered I was carrying a very surprise pregnancy and I started the blog to share my experiences.  I called it “Life After Two Blue Lines” – because those two lines seemed a watershed moment to me, a defining point in my life of before and after.

pregnancy test

I wasn’t wrong.  For the next 9 months my life revolved around my pregnancy, and for the next year or two after that my life revolved around the challenge and adventure of reconciling myself to the realities of motherhood and embracing the journey it entails.  I haven’t used this blog nearly as much as I should have – as much as I wish I had – to record that journey, but it has been here nonetheless as my little place of self-expression and discovery.

becoming mum

Lately, however, as I grow into my role as mum, I have begun to feel confined by the name “Life After Two Blue Lines” as I feel it defines me and my life purely in terms of motherhood.  As I grow into this new life, I am able to slowly remember that I am a mum yes, first and always, but I am also more, I am also else, I am also other.  I am also still me – a new me, a growing me, a changed me… but still me.  Still me whole unto myself as well as being “Mum”.

At the end of the day I think my life story will always be defined around the incredible power of those two lines.  And me the mum and me the person will always be completely, utterly and inextricably intertwined.  And yet I feel it is important to maintain a sense of myself, of my own passions and interests, besides the wiping of bums and cuddling of a sweet and cheeky little body.

me and camera

The title “These Small Hours” comes from the lyrics of the Rob Thomas song “These Little Wonders, which has always spoken right into the core of me.  From the moment I hear the first bars, the first few words, I feel my shoulders relax and I start to remember what life is really about.

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don’t you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to
we’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours

these small hours
still remain

 To me this simple, beautiful song sums up so much that is important to me.

It sums up parenthood – how the beauty of it lies in the small hours – these little wonders – the simple magic of the day to day.

It sums up life – not the big excitements and achievements – but the small hours, the ordinary, the RIGHT NOW where all of life exists, where our lives are truly made.  It reminds you to cherish each day and see what is special in each moment and to remember what is really important –

– It’s the heart that really matters in the end.

And it sums up my approach to photography, my absolute passion for it, my desire to document all of those small hours, those tiny ordinary moments and little wonders that make life so special, so that one day, when
time falls away
these small hours
these small hours
still remain.

I’m afraid that in the end – I will only just remember how it feels.

I want to capture and celebrate the small hours.  I want to remember to dwell always in the small hours and see the little wonders that dwell there.

Scarlett laughing

I want to never forget
the way I feel right now.

{Recipe} Healthy Berry Muffin Bars (Cane Sugar Free, Dairy Free)


Yesterday I had a punnet of blueberries in the fridge that weren’t being eaten, some strawberries approaching the end of their days, and 2 year old having an uncharacteristically early nap.  Basically the stars had aligned for me to get my baking experiment hat on.

I like play around with recipes to make them a bit healthier without losing yumness.  Cos healthy is good, especially with a fussy toddler, but if you ain’t got yumness, there ain’t much point, in my book.

I’m rather pleased with how this one turned out!  You can make it in a normal muffin tin but I thought a muffin bar/slice was just a bit different and fun.  I based it on this blueberry muffin recipe.


The muffin is not over sweet and I really like how the subtlety of the flavour allows the berries to shine.  You could definitely play around with using different fruits in this one – let me know if you come up with a yummy variation!

My version is cane sugar free and dairy free, but you can adapt to taste and preference.  Although I have to say, it’s pretty darn yummy as it is!



1 3/4 cups flour (I used organic white flour, I may try wholemeal next time)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup organic pure maple syrup (or 1/2 cup cane sugar if you prefer)
1/2 tsp Heilala vanilla paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 small punnet of blueberries (around 1-1 1/2 cups)
3-4 medium/large strawberries, chopped


1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a large bowl, combine milk, oil, egg, maple syrup and vanilla.
4. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.  Do not overmix.
5. Fold in blueberries and strawberries.
6. Pour into greased or lined slice tray (or muffin tray).  Cook until lightly golden and an inserted skewer or knife comes out clean.  In my oven this was about 30 minutes but it will depend on the tray you use and my oven can be a bit slow, so just keep an eye on it.

Easy and yum!  Let me know if you try it!


23 Months: Entering the Mine Zone


My little ragamuffin is now 23 months old.

The first time she went without a nap was on her 20 month birthday.  From that point on she started getting her toddler on more and more.  She’s not a tantrumy type girl.  But she’s still a toddler.  She is certainly exploring the concept of things being “mine” or belonging to different people.

I think I must be weird because I love it.  I love her feisty little “MINE!”, I love seeing her mind tick over and discover the concept of ownership.  I love that when you touch or tickle her she cries “No dat’s MY nose!” or “No dat’s MY foot!”.  She has a strong sense of bodily autonomy and ownership and I love that.


She likes her personal space.  If another child starts getting to far into her personal space without her permission, she starts saying firmly “No!  Stop!  Get away!”  She is shy and wary with people she doesn’t know and takes quite a while to warm up.  Which is always strange to me, because with us and people she is comfortable with, she is an utterly zany, crazy little person who is a laugh a minute.


She is a talker.  She talks in full sentences and has done for at least the last month or so.  Things like “I want toast” or “I fink its dry now” or “mummy is dat yummy?”  People often comment on how clearly she speaks.

For all her strength in the linguistic area, she is slower on the gross motor skills.  She only mastered climbing recently and was very proud of herself.  She has only just figured out that you can climb off the bed by turning around backwards.  She stills needs my help to climb on a rocking horse or those little toddler push bike things.  Her mummy is more of a bookworm than an athlete so maybe she takes after me 😛


She spent about 2-3 months obsessed with The Wiggles.  Then she got a Hairy Maclary DVD and watched that a million times.  Her latest obsession is Peppa Pig.  Through all of these fickle changes of heart, however, her longstanding love is Angry Birds Toons.  She will beg for “Angy Birds ona iPad” and we will find her the videos online and she will beam from ear to ear.



She does still nap most days, although will sleep in sometimes and then skip a nap that day.  However she now doesn’t go to bed until around 9:30-10pm.  She has stamina!  She still loves our bottle cuddles and she still goes to sleep on my lap with a bottle and dummy and I put her in her bed once she’s a sleep.  I know the day is coming all too fast that she won’t need my cuddles anymore.  So I enjoy, while I still can, the warm weight of her growing body on mine, watching the slow descent of her eyelashes onto her cheeks.


She is a fussy sparrow eater.  She likes to graze and very rarely eats a dinner-type meal.  Vegies are a no go, although luckily she likes a lot of fruits.  All I can do is try to make sure her grazing snacks are as healthy as possible and keep offering dinners and vegies and eat them in front of her.


Although I love her exploration of the concept of “mine”, obviously that doesn’t mean she gets her own way all the time.  If something isn’t in fact hers, then it is my place to step in and guide her around the concept of ownership.  We are getting there and I think the most important thing is to keep your expectations to an age-appropriate level.  It is totally normal for a child to not understand the idea of sharing until after the third birthday.  I find that often in the heat of the moment she may get upset or whingy, but then next time she sees the object or enters a similar situation, she will say something like “dat’s Daddy’s one”.  It’s like her little brain has been processing it all in the meantime and it’s kind of cool to observe.


I can’t believe she is almost two years old, but then, on the other hand, she is certainly moving past the level of a one year old and in that respect, her being two totally makes sense.  She is feisty, funny, empathetic, strong willed, attached and yet independent.  She always wants me close by but she wants to do things for herself.  She is just an awesome, awesome little person.  I adore this age (even if she wears me out sometimes!) and I adore her.


Chocolate Chunk and Chickpea Biscuits


I found this rather interesting recipe on the Stay at Home Mum website (see original here) and had to give it a go.  Chickpeas are wonderfully nourishing and I love trying to find ways to make treats healthy.  I adapted the recipe slightly and I think it would be easy to play around with your own ideas.

I had mixed reviews from these biscuits.  One mum asked me for the recipe while a little boy told me they were “yucky”.  Hehe!  Personally I like them, they taste healthy in a really satisfying way with just the right amount of chocolate sweetness.



1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used coconut sugar, a more nutritious alternative)

3/4 cup butter

2 large egg whites

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 can (420g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups choc chips (I used one chopped up packet of Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate and 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs)

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

3/4 cup raisins or sultanas

2 cups wholemeal Self Raising flour

1/2 cup oats

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

1/4 teaspoon salt




Cream butter and sugar.  Process chickpeas, vanilla and egg whites in a food processor until smooth then add to the butter and sugar.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to form a thick dough.

Form into biscuits and place on baking tray.  I just used my hands.

Bake at 180 C for 11-13 minutes or until golden – they will still seem soft when you get them out but trust me, this makes for the perfect soft texture.


Would love to hear what you think if you try them out!