The bedroom is one of the most romantic rooms in the house. There's no TV to distract us from being present with each other. We usually have our heart to heart talks in here. It's very much a place that we live and I wanted to include the coziness of Christmas romance in here too. Lace is an important part of this year's theme but I've learned to use it sparingly. If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram you'll see the first version of this room which was just a tad over the top with lace. This is a more restrained, elegant arrangement that highlights the lace without letting it over power the room.
Paper lace doilies are cheap but add romantic texture. I found these in the bottom draw with the casserole and serving dishes. The ring box with a bow is the one that Sam gave me when he proposed.
The little clock belonged to my mother. There are memories of her in each room of the house because I need to feel her presence at Christmas time. The little leaf dishes belonged to Sam's mum. I want him to feel her close by at Christmas also.
The en-suite has been prettied up with festive trinkets. The gold tone lantern had been outside and was very dirty but it cleaned up like new with dish-soap and warm water. I placed it on a cake stand and sat that on the gold tray which lives in the en-suite year round.
I made a lace bow and attached some ornaments. Inside the lantern is a battery candle, some more of the gold swirls from a broken decoration and a necklace of pink quartz beads. On the tray below is a faux pearl necklace some pink things, washi tape in silver and a crystal. It feels romantically glamorous to me.
The perfume was a gift I gave Mum so it came back to me. I bought the trinket box when I toured Windsor Castle. That's a bit glamorous too.
Fluffy towels speak luxury to me. I chose my very best to display. Mum gave me the embroidered hand towel for Christmas about seven years ago. The grey with white polka dot towel is cute but Christmassy because it reminds me of falling snow. I scrounged a fat quarter from my quilt stash to add pink and gold tones.
This room took on a romantic glam theme as I began to decorate with what I had left after doing the rest of the house. I confess to spending $4.50 on ribbon to help this room have some softness and romance and $10 on this lantern from spotlight on sale.
Thanks to Arlynn's Country Craft Corner, I learned to make a funky bow. It takes a lot of ribbon but the effect is charming. This is nothing compared to what Arlynn creates but I'm grateful to her for all the inspiration her YouTube channel provides. She's such a sweet warm hearted person too.
Oh dear, the reindeer fell over. Didn't notice it when I took this shot. But never mind, I'll stand him up again. Being hopeful at Christmas is always a good idea.
Christmas at my desk includes little gift cards I gave my mother when I was at primary school. One hangs from the candle and the other, with the mini perfume bottle still attached, sits on some note pads.
When decorating my home for Christmas, I'm using my heart. I want to create a cozy retreat full of warm memories and a lovely space to create new ones. I'm thinking ,how does this make me feel?, when I finish and look at what I've put together. If I don't feel what I want to it gets changed. Several attempts are required for every vignette before I feel warm and want to smile but I know it's worth all the effort.
At a time when I'm thinking about spending time with my family and friends I'm also feeling the loss of those who won't be here this year. Decorating helps me cope with painful emotions. Doing what gives me joy helps to create a scale that is balanced. There's sadness and happiness. That's how life can be but it's okay.
I'm hosting Christmas lunch this year for Sam's and my families. I'm really looking forward to that and am currently planning the menu. Next week I'll be blogging about how I prepare for a traditional Christmas lunch for thirteen. I'll be including the menu, the shopping, baking and preparation schedules and my Christmas tablescape.
I hope you'll join me next week.
This last week I've been working on creating a romantic Christmas theme for the family room and kitchen. I told my girlfriend that I'd done a pink color scheme and she said, 'Oh so you've been out and bought a whole new lot of Christmas decorations.' I told her I didn't. The catch was I mustn't buy anything new. I had to make do with what I already have from previous years and make new decoration from my craft stash. I found a way to do it even though it was quite a time commitment. She's coming over next week to see it in person.
This is the corner below the TV. I painted the roses on the remote control box about fifteen years ago, but they still look fresh. I added my favorite Father Christmas. The nutcracker used to have a green coat and black boots but he was given a touch of romance and brought into line with this year's pink palette with folk art paint. I also painted the picture frame I found in the garage and put a piece of lace from an old curtain inside. That lace curtain certainly came in handy.
I dug around in my linen press to find some pink pillow covers. I also discovered a pretty rose patterned throw which I put over the back of the couch.
I made the wreath using baubles that I painted using folk art paint. I mixed shades of red and burgundy with a pearl white to get varying shades of pink. I made lace ribbon by cutting strips from the before mentioned, the old lace curtain which I also discovered when exploring the linen press. I used hot glue to stick all the ornaments and lace in place.
The gold scrolls came from a broken Christmas tree that was made up of them. I broke them all apart and wove them in. I like the lux effect they add.
Last year I spent ages hot gluing wooden pegs together to make stars. This year I painted them and made mini lace rosettes from the curtain strips, scrap ribbon and glued faux jewels in the middle. I tied the stars onto a strip of bias binding from my quilting supplies to make a garland for the wall behind the couch.
That curtain came in handy when I looked around for a lace cloth for the coffee table. I folded it into a triangle and then halved it and cut it to size making a round piece of fabric, much like cutting paper for the bottom of a round cake pan.
Santa in his sleigh was given a makeover too. I used the same paint as for the baubles to lighten his coat and make him a pink Santa.
Fiddler Santa was given a pink coat also. I sat him next to framed card from last year and a hunk of pink quartz which is meant to give off love energy. Well, it is romantic Christmas after all. The lace cloth is one of my mother's special handkerchiefs.
The kitchen only has a few decorations as there isn't a huge amount of bench space. I added poinsettia picks to the pots of faux sage that sit next to the stove and hung pink check and pink and red striped tea towels over the oven handle.
On the window sill above the kettle, I placed a reindeer that I dressed up with a bow and painted bauble. On the other side is a sign with some ribbons, lace and a pink holly pick to make it more romantic.
I always have roses next to the sink. For Christmas I used a bunch in shades of pink and added some berries and a Noel sign. I teamed it with a Christmas dome and bowl with a pink candle. The water bottles are mine and Sams. I thought they looked cute standing there so I didn't put them away.
The lights over the island bench got some festive attention this year. I added picks that I found at Savers a couple of years ago. I added white paint to give them a frosted look and painted the deep red berries and fruit a lighter shade of blush pink.
I'm hosting Sam's and my family for lunch this year. I wonder what they'll think of our romantic pink Christmas theme? The good news is the decorating is done for this part of the house and I haven't spent any money. That's right, zero dollars. I'm feeling proud of that. I only need to think about making a plum pudding and buying a huge turkey.
Next week will be the last in the Romantic Christmas series when I show you the master bedroom, en-suite and my study/guest bedroom. Again, without spending any money so there will be more home made decorations being used.
Thanks for dropping by to see what I've been doing to get ready for Christmas.
In past years I've enjoyed a traditional red and gold themed tree but this year I'm newly engaged and so a romantic tree fits my mood.
I sprayed the tree with a can of white primer that I had on hand. It didn't turn the tree white but created that frosting of snow effect which I'm happy with.
The white rosettes are DIY. After watching a YouTube video from Olivia's Romantic Home I made these romantic decorations from old lace and scrim curtains, tulle and blingy bits from my scrap-booking supplies. If you'd like to make them too, here's a link to her YouTube video .
I went through my ornaments collection from years past and selected the pinky reds and every shade of pink I could find. I cobbled together some ornaments from broken things but I don't think you'd know it I didn't tell you.
I shopped my home for romantic elements to use as tree ornaments. I found stems of pink silk roses that once belonged to my mother, I also found the peony roses from Kmart used in a previous post. From my jewelry box I chose long strands of pearls (which are my go to necklaces) and around the house I selected picture frames with Sam and one of my kids when they were little. In the craft cupboard I found a length of lace which I draped like a streamer down the sides of the tree.
Lastly I added an old pink blanket as a tree skirt and put some pink gift boxes on it with a pink Santa and rose gold reindeer. The green box in the middle I painted and decoupaged years ago, to be used as a Christmas card box. I love the romantic Victorian feel this tree, created with timeless elements of roses, lace and pearls.
I didn't spend any money to get this look. Well not much, beside the candy canes which need to be fresh, I just used what I had. I have to say it makes me happy to have this girly, pink and ruffly tree where I spend so much time. I can see it whether I'm cooking dinner or relaxing later on with a Netflix Christmas movie.
Next week the Romantic Christmas series will continue with decorating the kitchen and family room.
We saved money in the bathroom while still updating it in the modern farmhouse style. My design plan for choosing floor tiles, wall paint and new fixtures consisted of the farmhouse basics, contrasting whites and grays combined with natural elements.
Originally I wanted to gut this room and put a freestanding bathtub under the window and bring the vanity around to where the bath is. But our budget didn't allow for the expense of redoing all the tiling and plumbing that would be required to alter the layout.
I loved the existing grey and white marble look tiles so it wasn't necessary to paint them or re-tile. The timber vanity doors provide a natural element and a contrasting warmth to the cool palette.
The bath and shower were in good condition so we kept them but updated the floor tiles with a more modern large grey tile. The vanity unit is very low. Originally it had a set in sink making the problem worse, so we had a new quartz bench top installed over the old counter top and sat a new basin on top, bringing it up to a functional height. New taps all round made a huge difference.
I swapped out the curtains for shutters and painted the timber frame white to match. The walls were painted in the same soft grey called Windswept Beach that we used in the rest of the house.
A new ceiling light in my beloved chandelier style gives this room a a touch of the romantic. I have to squeeze some romance in there somewhere.
The original long mirror spanning the length of this wall was replaced with a very budget friendly Kmart mirror that suits the modern farmhouse style.
Replacing the shower screen's opaque, wire mesh, ripple glass with clear glass opened up the space and made the bathroom feel larger than before. You can also see the pretty tiles including the woodland feature tiles scattered through the bathroom.
I can live with the old fashioned soap dish even though I would love a wall niche for the shampoo bottles and soap. Sam and I shower in the en-suite so this is really a guest bathroom and the shower is rarely used.
Even though I wasn't able to do a full makeover I feel the bathroom now suits the rest of our modern farmhouse/romantic home. I'm very pleased at being able to achieve a lovely space while staying within our budget.
If you'd like to know more about this renovation, leave a comment and I'll answer you as best I can. Oh also, there's one small change I made that I didn't point out. Can you pick what it was?
Thanks for stopping by the blog.
Cup cakes remind me of birthday parties and sunny afternoons. They are cheerful additions to my afternoon cup of tea which I have religiously at 4pm every day.
An easy and quick little treat that tastes of sunshine and happiness is remarkably similar to the wheat flour ones I fondly remember from my childhood.
These, pictured above,accidently ended up with strawberry flavored icing but they still taste lovely.
1 cup gf self raising flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (gives the mix some body)
1 tsp gf baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup margerine
1/2 cup milk
Finely grated rind and juice of one orange
1 tsp vanilla essence
Gf icing mixture
1 tsp margerine extra
Pre heat oven to 160C fan forced. In a bowl, combine margerine, sugar, eggs, orange rind and vanilla essence. Beat until they look like fluffy custard.
Alternatively fold in dry ingredients and milk. Spoon two heaped desert spoons of the mix into patty pans and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
They are cooked when golden on top and spring back when tapped.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
To make icing, put a cup of icing sugar icing mixture into a bowl and add 2 tblspns orange juice and a tsp of margerine. Beat together with a knife until it makes a paste. Add extra juice if too thick.
My icing mixture turned pink when the juice was added because I'd used strawberry flavored by mistake. If you want pink icing like mine just add a drop of pink food coloring.
Spread icing over each cooled cup cake.
These cupcakes were a hit with my Dad and sister who came for lunch the day I made them. The mix made nine but it could make a dozen if you use less mix in each patty pan.
Recipe for an afternoon treat:
A pot of tea, your favorite tea cup, a good book and two cupcakes.
Thanks for stopping by,
A couple of months ago, Sam asked me out for breakfast. When we'd finished eating he suggested we visit the jewelry shops so I could show him what sort of rings I like. We'd talked about getting married one day, but that morning it suddenly got very real.
We strolled along the mall stopping at jewelry shops and trying on some rings. I was happy with all of them. Then we tried on the one. He loved it too and surprised me by purchasing it on lay-buy. When the sales woman asked it we were engaged yet he said a firm no.
I walked on air to the car but had to steady my nerves because the waiting had begun. I didn't know when or where the proposal would take place. My inner, insecure bitch whispered, he can still change his mind. No matter how often I told her to shut it, the thought would creep in late at night.
I figured that he wouldn't propose until just after or before Christmas, having totted up how many payments over how long. That way I could stop thinking about it until then.
Sun streamed through the bedroom window the morning of what was to become the big day. Sunlight always uplifts me and boosts my sense of optimism. Sam who is always up hours before me came into the room and asked if I’d like to go to Pelican’s Landing restaurant for lunch that day.
I assumed it must be because he has Thursday’s off work and it’s such a lovely day. Of course I was delighted because Pelican’s Landing in Williamstown is where he took me on our first proper dinner date, so it's a romantic spot for us.
We arrived at the restaurant and were shown to a table next to the water overlooking the pier. As usual he asked me what I’d like to drink. I wanted something bubbly to go with the sunshine and the view and the treat of being taken out for lunch. He ordered two glasses of Prosecco. That surprised me. He always gets a glass of Shiraz.
When the glasses came we clinked glasses as usual and he said ‘To us’. Again a surprise. Normally he’ll say ‘Tanti aguri’, or ‘Saluti’.
A moment after I sipped the crisp Prosecco he said, ‘There you go,’ as he put a mauve ring box tied with a satin ribbon on the table.
I gasped and looked to him to see his expression. He looked purposeful. He was doing it. I'm totally caught off guard. After nearly five years of being together, two of those living together while buying a house and doing it up, he was making the ultimate romantic commitment.
‘Will you marry me.’
An explosion of happiness hit me. Tears welled and I struggled to speak. I thought I said yes. I kissed and hugged him and then turned my attention to the box.
I undid the packaging, stopping occasionally to wipe away tears and put the ring on. It sparkled in the sunlight and threw rainbows of light across the white linen table cloth. It was stunning. I was bewitched.
‘Are you going to say Yes?’ Sam asked.
Wait, what? Didn’t I say Yes?
I think I did, but he was having a moment too and it didn’t register so I had to make sure the message was clear and not lost in the moment.
‘YES! Of course I’ll marry you. (pause) I will marry you.’
We kissed and hugged some more. Those sweet heartfelt kisses in front of a restaurant full of people, were emotionally very intimate. I forgot about the other diners and where I was. It was just like I'd read about, my world shrank to just him, me and our moment.
I looked at my ring about about ten times a minute as we ate our lunch and desert. After we walked hand in hand along the pier, recreating our first date. Later that day we had great fun ringing our family to share our happy news.
Yesterday I shared the news on Facebook and Instagram, the response has blown me away. Thank you so much to everyone who expressed their congratulations and wished us well. It's very touching and means so much.
But it you didn't see the ring yet. Here's a picture for you.
Thanks for stopping by to read our proposal story.
I've been waiting so long for spring to arrive. I began preparing the garden for it months ago in Autumn. New garden beds were created and planted. Being on a tight budget meant I couldn't afford advanced plants and that I needed to wait for my seedlings and baby cuttings to grow into plants. Not all the seedlings survived the winter. Only a few alyssum remain, but the pansies in wooden crates are doing really well.
The cuttings I stuck from from a pretty hydrangea have grown beautifully. No flowers yet, but the three bushes are expanding before my eyes.
My mother was a keen gardener so I had the privilege of playing in a gorgeous garden as a child. Mum's idea was to make little pictures in the garden when deciding where to plant things. I've followed her lead as best I can making the Fuchsia, that I rescued from a strangling vine, a center piece. Despite getting nipped by a late frost it's bushier than ever before.
I've planted a standard dwarf lilly pilly and glauca pencil pine either side of it. In front I recently planted white and yellow flag iris.
I lifted those just last week when thinning out a large clump in Mum's garden (which I maintain for Dad). They are already settling in. There are new green shoots sticking up past where I cut the old leaves. I must get a stronger stake on the lilly pillies, they're getting quite top heave with lush new growth.
My sister gave me some lambs ears from a substation clump in her garden. I grouped lots of bits and pieces and popped them in a couple of months ago. They looked pretty straggly to start but look at them now. The weeds are growing really well too, next job is to clear them out so they don't compete for water and nutrients.
This side of the back garden is coming along nicely. It's the view from my family room, kitchen and dining room. On warm mornings I take my mug of tea out to the back veranda and just look at everything.
This view of the whole back garden shows the gap where a Liquid Amber was. We had to take it out because the roots were blocking up our storm water pipe. I was so worried that I'd be sad but I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. The way the sun travels across the sky to the right of this garden angle means that I can put a vegetable garden there.
I can imagine tepees of climbing beans and potatoes in the foreground. Perhaps I'll plant some zucchini and pumpkins too. Sounds like work but I think it will be fun. I'll do a summer update once it's all underway.
Hope your enjoyed my spring garden tour. Thanks for stopping by.
Eleven years ago, I sat on a bridge the quaint little village of Shere, Sussex, England. I'm happy and relaxed two weeks into my first overseas trip. But I didn't begin that way. I was determined to go but very nervous. You see, if I wanted to do it, I had to go alone.
I'm so glad I was brave and made the leap. I saw so many wonderful things and had the best holiday ever. I later found out that Shere had been used as the setting for a couple of romantic comedy movies at least. What fun it was to see the pub, where I had eaten lunch, in the movie The Holiday. I relived memories eating a delicious meat pie with crisp pastry in that charming Old English pub.
If I'd been too scared to leave home I wouldn't have the memories. I was scared before going, it was nerve raking at times but it was absolutely worth every minute. I have some tips to help you make up your mind to just do it.
Decide where you want to go.
There's no point going somewhere for the sake of it. You'll never press the next button on that flight you're looking at. It has to be your heart's desire. When I went to England it was because I'd wanted to go for twenty years. I got married instead of travelling and the bug never left me. In the mean time I became a huge Jane Austen fan and I wanted to visit Chawton, where she lived, and see Bath where my favorite of her books, 'Persuasion' is set.
Take a solo holiday in your home country first.
I didn't start of my solo travels with an overseas trip. I worked up to it by accident. Most people don't know this about me but I get anxious just leaving the house. It took an invitation to a wedding across the country, that I really had to be at, to travel alone. I boarded the plane from my home city of Melbourne, Australia to Perth, collected my luggage, hired a car and navigated a strange city to my accommodation all on my own.
I wasn't calm but on high alert most of the time, however I think that is a good thing. You need to be more aware when travelling alone. There isn't a second set of eyes to help locate the things and places you're looking for. I found my own way to the wedding and enjoyed a brilliant evening with family. So glad I did it. The next day I drove through Perth on my way South to have a couple of nights in Fremantle. The hire car was great because I had everything with me on the back seat within easy reach, snacks, drinks, maps and information about where I was booked in for that night.
I learned that I could have a wonderful time alone in a country where I understood the language and it was still using a currency I was familiar with. I learned to deal with the mechanics of managing my suitcase drop-offs and pickups and filling out hire car contracts and gained confidence in making decisions on my own.
Plan your trip.
For each holiday I've taken alone, I always have everything booked before I leave home. I spend a lot of time researching on line to see where I want to go and what the attractions are. I book my hire car if I'll need one, train tickets and or airport transfers, and all the accommodation. I also download maps of where I'm staying and what I will be doing.
Make sure you have your phone sorted for travel. Check with your company to see what the costs will be to keep using your own phone for google maps, texts and calls. It may be cheaper to buy a new sim card on arrival and use your sim just until you get it.
Be alert and know where your things are.
Money is important when you're alone, you have to have back up so I keep most of my money in a money belt under my clothes.
I take my wallet and passport in a smaller bag that I take to the loo with me when I'm on the plane. When walking around looking at the sights, be it Fremantle, Australia or Milan, I wear an across the body bag and have it always in front of me. I never have it at the side or worse still on my back. Backpacks maybe easy to carry but never have valuables in them, like your camera or phone, because they're too easy to slit open by thieves. When having a cup of coffee or lunch in a cafe keep that bag on your lap. Don't take it off and put it over the back of a chair. Far to easy for it to get swiped.
Take a bus tour when you first go to a foreign country.
England isn't really that foreign to an Aussie but, it has different money, there's the British Accent to get used to. It also has really busy roads and is much more densely populated. The benefit of joining a tour on arrival included being met at the airport by the tour company, so no trying to find a cab or navigate public transport. Secondly I got to see a lot of London as we drove. I became familiar with the roads getting ready for my self drive holiday when the tour finished.
A tour guide is a valuable resource. They can answer any questions you have and will help you find anything you need. You don't even know what you'll be asking until you're there. Your curiosity will be ignited and it's great to have someone who knows all about where you are and what you're looking at.
The Tour took me to some really amazing places that I wouldn't have thought to go, like Stonehenge. It was more amazing than the photos on line show. Also we went to Sir Walter Scott's house, Abbotsford, so totally charming. I absolutely loved the bus tour that over delivered on expectations. I chummed up with a couple of other women travelling alone on the tour, in the evening we'd all talk about what we'd been doing that day. Excellent and I highly recommend this.
Be adventurous, well what is adventurous for you.
I'm not suggesting bungy jumping, I mean doing what is scary but not unreasonable. Like driving in London. This was more challenging that I like to admit. But I want to keep it real. After the tour was finished I picked up the car a short walk from the hotel I stayed in. I felt like it was the first time I'd driven a car. I got used to it fairly well but it never felt like driving around Melbourne. It was also better though because it was exciting. I had to do it so that I could visit Jane Austen's house and walk around bath for as long as I like. Later I got to sit in the Jane Austen Center tea rooms without having to rush and catch the tour bus.
First night of driving around Jane Austen country on my own I parked my hired Fiat and took a photo. We'd survived. It was the days before selfie sticks so I don't have a lot of me in my photos but I have glorious memories.
I went from Melbourne to Perth then I went to England and after that I took a huge leap and went to Thailand. It wasn't really a huge leap but it certainly felt that way.
Thailand was an adventure. I saw an elephant during the drive from the airport to the hotel. Oh my word, I was way out of my comfort zone. But the things I had learned about being a solo traveler really helped. I knew that fear was really a friend. It gave me adrenaline to be alert and excitement to experience something completely new. I came home feeling so grateful for the opportunity to visit a land where the people are so nice and helpful.
To sum up, do your research and take every precaution. I didn't go out at night alone and was always alert and careful when traveling but oh the wonders I've seen. For me it was absolutely worth the effort, to feel the fear and do it anyway.
The Scottish Billionaire's Secret Lover was inspired during my solo travels in England. So who knows, you might even get inspired to write a book.
When it's the end of the shopping week and I'm wanting to use up the vegetables that haven't yet been eaten, vegetables fritters is an easy and tasty meal to put those leftover pieces to good use. I served them with what was left of my salad vegetables tossed in a ranch dressing.
There's a bonus recipe for my GF ranch style dressing at the end of this post.
I have often enjoyed zucchini fritters when out for breakfast, if they are a gluten free version. This recipe is inspired by them. I add some curry to give them a little bit of something extra but other than that it's just the vegetables that shine. Cooking them until the fritters are deep golden to almost burnt adds a lovely caramelized flavor to this easy to knock together recipe.
It makes enough for two hungry people for lunch or six if being served with eggs and bacon at breakfast, which I think would be great with chutney. Mmmm love chutney.
The above picture shows all the ingredients which I'll also list below with the exception of garlic. I added that after I took the photo. I cut up the onion and capsicum, but grated the other vegetables. I had a zucchini that had seen better days, but it was fine. I just cut off the brown bits on the skin. I had a small piece of pumpkin and half a sweet potato floating around the veggie crisper so they were added too.
Normal recipes for zucchini fritters get you to drain the liquid out. I decided to leave it in and use that as the water for binding with buckwheat flour and the egg. I put in a teaspoon of baking powder also to give it some lightness.
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 med zucchini grated (about a cup)
1 cup grated pumpkin
1 cup grated sweet potato
1 clove garlic finely chopped
one tsp curry paste of choice ( Coeliac sufferers should not use the brand in the picture it may contain traces of gluten. I don't know how I missed that when making them, but I was okay so dodged a bullet. )
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
olive oil for frying (About two to three tablespoons for a crispy fritter)
Preheat the pan over medium heat and add the oil. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. At first it will seem too dry but keep mixing the liquid will come out of the vegetables and make a nice batter.
Drop large serving spoon size dollops onto hot oil and spread out with the edge of the spoon, as I show above. Fry over medium-low heat until brown and set on the bottom. Turn and repeat. Keep hot in a low oven while you cook the rest.
I served our fritters with a simple ranch salad that I put together from iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion and ranch dressing that I mix for myself.
Bonus recipe GF Ranch Dressing
My ranch dressing is made from store bought GF mayonnaise (about quarter of a cup), a squeeze of lemon juice, a dessertspoon of Parmesan cheese and a teaspoon of gluten free Worcestershire sauce. I mix it all in a small glass bowl
Comment below if you have a favorite veggie fritter recipe to share. I'd love to be inspired. Do you have a secret ingredient that you like to add? Before you go, don't for get to share this link with anyone you think might like to read it.
As soon as we settled into our unit on the Campapse river we went for a short stroll to stretch our legs and breath the country air. We were staying a short walk from the historic section of Echuca. A bit tired from the drive, we decided to leave a full explore until the next day.
While walking around the town and port area you can hear the clip clop and low clatter of draft horses pulling carriages of tourists. The joy for me is to watch them as they pass and feel the peace of the olden days when a slower pace prevented life from becoming frantic. Our ability to hop in the car and rush to the shops at the last minute means we will but in the days of horse and cart, you made do with what you had and I guess, it was a calmer existence.
The whole historic shopping precinct of Echuca has lots of antique shops and boutiques. It's here we went the next morning. There’s a lolly shop that I am proud to say, I didn’t go into but I did pay a visit to the Christmas shop. This year it greeted shoppers with archways festooned with shiny ornaments. I cannot resist a archway. I was drawn in to discover the magical ornaments.
At lunchtime we drove across the river into NSW and through the town of Moama on our way to Morrison's Winery. We lunched on the deck next to the Murray but it was quite low and we couldn't see it very well. The food was amazing though and sitting under market umbrellas sipping apple cider in the warm sunshine was heaven.
It's so nice being able to take as long as you like over a drink and a meal and just enjoy being outside. I didn't feel like a glass of wine so I went for an apple-cider. It was delicious served over ice in a wine glass. I think I'll always drink it this way from now on. I love the name of it too, " My Mates".
We decided on a quiet evening in after enjoying a day out and about. The vote was for pizza for dinner. The next day we headed back home but stopped at Kilmore for some lunch at a cafe called Rose Cottage. It had a sweet garden on one side full of roses yet to bloom but the daffodils were putting on a lovely show.
We were really blessed with the weather. It was warm and sunny with a cool breeze that didn't make you cold, perfect for travelling.
It was lovely to be back home and that first night back in my own bed was magic. I guess that's the benefit of having a short break, you're happy to go and happy to come home again.
I can recommend Echuca as a place where there is a lot to see and do. I've barely touched on what's available there in this post. But if you want a holiday that you can mainly rest and just go for a wander when the mood strikes then this is a great place for that also.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, recusing roses and planting new ones.