Tag Archives: garden

Get your filth on in the Mud Kitchen

21 Dec kiki mud kitchen

mud kitchen collageKelly over at Be A Fun Mum is always so inspiring. She’s a beautiful mother. Thoughtful, thought provoking and gentle.

Not to mention fun.

She totally lives up to her name. Whenever I do anything super fun I think of her so when I set up my mud kitchen I dropped her a line straight away.

I’m down with dirt. I’m down with mud.

I can be a fun mum too.

Some things in life are quite simply meant to go together.

Gin loves tonic, a pie lives for sauce, feet adore massages and children delight in dirt.

A friend of mine was talking about setting up a mud kitchen in her garden complete with muffin trays and wooden spoons and my initial reaction was of fear of mess.

I’m often prone to this fear.

Then I thought about it.

I’ve been working on my acceptance of messy play for as long as I’ve had children and I think for the most part I’m winning. I can mix the Play Dough colours now without so much as a shiver, and when I find paint all over the children, and floor, I can now laugh rather than freak out… too much.

Texta/crayons/pencil on the couch or walls still gets me where it hurts however, but I imagine nary a parent out there is down with furniture enhanced by toddler graffiti.

The more I thought about my friend’s idea, the more I realized that the mud kitchen is actually quite genius.

To read more about setting up my mud kitchen pop over to Be A Fun Mum here.

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

I’m extending my freebie offer to keep up the Christmas spirit.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

The garden fairies.

9 Oct Holsbys garden fairy

I couldn’t even tell you the last time I sat in a patch of clover and a made a daisy chain without a care in the world.

Something so tiny, so meaningless, became a magic moment in time. I let all my worries seep into the grass beneath my bum and I was just present with my babies.

We just sat in the garden before we began our day and we made daisy chains and laughed and cuddled, and broke the chains and made new ones.

It wasn’t expensive, it wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t messy or educational.

It was just time.

Moments in time.

Holsbys garden fairyHolsbys garden fairyHolsbys garden fairyHolsbys garden fairyHolsbys garden fairyHolsbys garden fairy

If you liked this post be sure to like my Facebook page or follow my twit twaddle @theholsbys to ensure you can always keep up with the Holsbys.


Hooking up with the Wordless Wednesday crew at My Little Drummer Boys, andTwinkle in the Eye

And the winner of the Least Practical DIY Outfit goes to……

8 Feb

 the offending wallthe offending wallgarden wallthe render wonder mix!making the renderapplying the renderrendering the garden wallfinished rendered garden wall!



Linking with With Some Grace for Flog Yo Blog Friday.

From my garden to my table – Warm beetroot salad.

18 Jan beetroot harvest

beetroot harvestOne of the redeeming features of living in suburbia is a big garden.

I always dreamed of having a vegetable patch, not because I’m adept at farm husbandry nor even possess a particularly green thumb, but because I wanted to teach my kids about where food comes from.

Thus far our lettuces have been prodigious and our spring onions have certainly sprung. Our truss tomatoes are also worthy of a special mention as there is nary a day that we can’t harvest a luscious, sweet fruit from the vine.

beetroot harvest I’ve had my eye on the beets for what feels like months……the leaves were fab and green, then died, then grew again, and the beets themselves, well…… they’re organic.

I was expecting greater things from my first round of beetroot. My Dad said to pull them when they were the size of snooker balls, but they sort of stopped at an assortment of testicles and eyeballs. I kept hoping for another growth spurt, alas, I think they’d done all they were gonna.

I shuffled a few around in vain hope that they would do something spectular but thus far they’re looking sad, with the leaves lying down and resting (not dead, resting).

This is one of my favorite salads of all time. It’s super easy, quick and tasty and spectularly good for you. I would like to add at this juncture that it also make a fascinating talking point for potty training toddlers, because it is most startling to a novice.beetroot salad ingredients

I admit that I usually make a much larger amount than this but my yield was a tad paltry.

Mess with the amounts to your taste. I like lots of nuts and tangy balsamic.

What you will need :

  • one bunch of baby beets or a few large beetroots, leaves intact, washed.
  • a small handful of walnuts
  • a chunk of fetta, add to taste (I’ve used sheeps this time but whatever tickles you)
  • a splash of olive oil
  • a splash of balsamic, or a squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

beetroot salad
What you need to do :

Preheat oven to 180C

Wash beets and remove, but save, the leafy tops. Wrap beets in foil and place in hot oven for about 30 minutes (depending on size. These took only 15 minutes. Give them a poke and if they yield , they’re ready).

When cooked take out of oven and leave to cool. Take off foil and slide the skins off with a firm thumb.Discard skin and foil.
Chop beets into desired size.

If your beetroot is store bought, your leaves will need to be chopped a bit.
Mine were still little and tender.
Add olive oil to a large fry pan and toss in your leaves, stirring until just wilted.

Chuck in some balsamic or a squeeze of lemon juice. Add beets to pan. Break your walnuts up a little and toss them in, season and take off heat.
Crumble your fetta through, and voila!

Warm beetroot salad loves steak, pork, chicken or fish so it’s super versatile. Roast some potatoes, steam some beans and you are well on your way to food nirvana!

beetroot salad finished


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