Colours of Darlinghurst

colours of Darlinghurst || cityhippyfarmgirlcolours of Darlinghurst || cityhippyfarmgirlcolours of Darlinghurst || cityhippyfarmgirlcolours of Darlinghurst || cityhippyfarmgirl

colours of Darlinghurst || cityhippyfarmgirl colours of Darlinghurst || cityhippyfarmgirl

The suburb of Darlinghurst (in Sydney) is one of those delicious suburbs where every where you turn there is something else to see. An afternoon of wandering and it was the colours that were jumping out to me.

Oh Sydney, how I do love you lots.

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Ferragosto

Ferragosto || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Ferragosto, the festival where all things Italian are celebrated and done so in a big vibrant noisy fashion that you just can’t help but get taken in by. I wasn’t sure whether things would still be running by the time we got there. Pushing by all the crowds, gripping my kid’s hands, I obviously needn’t have worried.

Despite having arrived in the middle of the afternoon, we easily squeezed in some Fiat 500 ooohing, icecream eating, coffee inhaling, pizza consuming, dance watching, tracked down the wonderful Five Dock City Farm (and all their amazing goodies), the end of a movie, while still getting home before sunset with a tray of cannoli in my lap. That’s a win right there I think.

Ferragosto || cityhippyfarmgirl.comFerragosto || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Ferragosto || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Ferragosto is an Italian Festival held annually in Five Dock, Sydney.

In Italy, it’s also a public holiday on the 15th of August.

Imagination, Nature and Coffee (don’t forget coffee)

Hornby lighthouse || cityhippyfarmgirl

Can I let you in on a tiny secret? Lately I’ve fallen completely in love again, in love with the city in which I live. I’ve always had a soft spot for it, but lately? Lately it’s been something a little different. Utter city love.

So what do I put this down to? To be honest, I think it’s coming up for some air after years of intense little people parenting. There are countless joyous, beautiful moments that have shaped the person I am today and I’m incredibly grateful for, but there are also moments when it’s a bit of a slog.

While my kids are still pretty young and certainly still need me a lot, things have become a bit more flexible these days. With that flexibility, opens up a more doors in what I can do with my kids, (five hour car trips for weekends away are no longer the prison sentence they once were.)

So what’s this got to do with falling in love with my fair city? Well with the kids, we’ve been playing. Mostly during the weekends but occasionally we also cut loose the military precision of a week day afternoon as well. They are the perfect age for having little adventures fuelled by imagination and nature around them, and living in this stunningly beautiful city by the sea that I’m totally in love with? Well we don’t have far to go.

Here are 3 of some of the best family friendly places to visit in this fair city.

1. Centennial Park

Why you should go? Nature calls

Cost? Nothing

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It’s well established by now that kids often don’t get outside enough, Nature Deficit Disorder, it’s most certainly a thing. Antidote? A really simple bike ride or scoot around Centennial Park. Climb a tree, let growing young bodies drape themselves around the top branches of a tree. Go wandering through the swamp, look for possums and marvel at the fruit bats. Run down hills, leap from rocks to rocks, play soccer, fly a kite, collect things, tip toe through the forest- if you are quiet enough you might see a tiny fairy.

Ignore the designated kids playgrounds in Centennial Park, the whole 189 hectares is one beautiful playground just waiting to explored.

2. Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

Why you should go? Social outing

Cost? Whatever you choose to eat, or just go for a little wander around the medicinal garden that is part of the grounds.

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Cafes. We live in a very cafe culture time. Whether you have kids or you don’t have kids, there’s a good chance cafes factor into your life. Coffee obsessed some might say. I’d say well yes, yes I am! Sydney is lucky in that there are countless different types of cafes to choose from. From tiny holes in walls with stools to perch on, to family friendly places with resident animals to entertain the kids. Whatever your coffee cafe wish is, Sydney is bound to grant it.

Cafes also play an important part in being an almost extension of the increasingly decreasing back yard for many families. I could go on and on about the social importance of cafes in big cities, however lets stick to the what’s what, and Kitchen by Mike it is. There’s cake, there’s coffee, and there’s lovely tables overlooking the garden, which is perfect for the kids to explore in.

3. Hornby Lighthouse, Watsons Bay

Why you should go? Imagination kick starter

Cost? nothing

Hornby Lighthouse is located in the Sydney Harbour National Park, this place doesn’t feel like you are in the city of Sydney. I’ve always had a soft spot for light houses (thank you Enid Blyton) and if this place with its old fortress, cannons, red and white light house, and rocks to leap from, doesn’t ignite a multitude of possibilities for the kids imagination, I would say go seek out some Enid Blyton books quick sticks.

Perfect place for family picnic, a swim at one of the nearby beach coves and a cracking spot to watch the sun go down.

Three very different places to hang out with your family in this beautiful city of Sydney. One for the banishing of any Nature Deficit Disorder niggles, one for a social outing (importantly added coffee for the adults) and one to kickstart little imaginations.

Now the question is…what shall we do next weekend?

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This post is part of Voices 2015 and #shareaustralia

Seasonal Eats- The Winter Edition

brussel sprouts || cityhippyfarmgirlbeetroot || cityhippyfarmgirl

The eggplant and basil have slowly slipped away and been replaced with potatoes, brussel sprouts and beetroot. Meals are being planned around pumpkin, mandarins are being snacked on and kale? Well kale is fairly consistently there.

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. I feel that we are incredibly lucky living in an area that has such abundance in food varieties, despite the different seasons. The cooler seasons where in some parts of the world, the eating would start getting incredibly restrictive, here just gives us a different array of colours, tastes and still we get to keep it relatively local. That right there, is pretty damn wonderful.

Some delicious things to look out for coming into the winter season

beetroot (roasted and turned into dip)

broccoli (served olive oil and awesome salt)

cabbage (sauerkraut yes please)

cauliflower 

daikon (pickled)

kale (sausage rolls yes indeed, recipe to come for that one)

leek (leek and potato soup)

potatoes

carrots

limes

mandarins

quince

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What’s cooking in your kitchen at the moment? Is it now the beginnings of Winter or Summer for you?

If by chance you live in Sydney and you would like to try out a seasonal-delivered to your door fruit/vegetable box- OOOOBY is offering any readers $15 off your first box if you type in CITYHIPPYFARMGIRL as a referral code. 

The lure of the shutter

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A recent morning at one of Sydney’s beautiful beaches.

What was different about this one though, I was meeting two others there to take pictures. Who else would be eager to get up in the dark part of the morning to take some snaps? These two rockin’ women- Jerusha and Rachael. I give a thousand thanks to social media for connecting me with others who also enjoy the lure of the shutter.

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If you are in Sydney and also enjoy the click of a shutter, Head On is currently running throughout May. If you haven’t been to see anything yet, I’d say hop skip and jump to your nearest gallery. The pictures are bloody amazing.

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ps. This is what happens when a wave catches you by surprise…whoosh!

When it storms, I bake

cityhippyfarmgirl.comfetta and pesto sourdough scrolls || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Gumboots and an umbrella weren’t really going to cut it over the last few days here in Sydney.

Sydney, Newcastle and the Wollongong area have all copped a battering, and while the storm has now lessened, the clean up is going to go on for a lot longer.

After adventurous soggy walks to school in the mornings, there wasn’t much else for me and the small one to do but batten down the hatches, read stories, and do what I can with not much food in the cupboard.

Thanks to bread baking being a wonderful part of my life… we certainly didn’t go hungry, (fetta and pesto sourdough scrolls).

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Some pictures of the storm can be found here.

Seasonal Eating and Earth Hour

It’s Autumn here and while I’m still waiting to feel any big seasonal shifts in the weather, there has been a slight change in what’s gracing my kitchen bench. Seasonal changes in our food are one of the things that get me really excited. I love having things in abundance, eat them in everything and just when I really don’t want to eat them any longer, the season changes and voila! A new vegetable to embrace.

Others who are also embracing all things food and farm related is Earth Hour this year. It’s on again this Saturday, and this time they are focusing in on farmers and how environmental changes are impacting Australian farmers and our food they grow. (They’ve also put out a cookbook to go along with it- with all proceeds going back to Earth Hour’s work.)

How about you? Are you doing anything particular for Earth Hour this year? Or enjoying eating any particular seasonal or local foods?

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OOOOBY– a super easy way to get some seasonal goodness delivered to your doorstep if you live in Sydney. If you have been thinking about signing up but haven’t quite done it yet. OOOOBY is offering $15 off your first box if you type in CITYHIPPYFARMGIRL as a referral code. 

Earth Hour

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An excellent local drop…Krinklewood

Creative Consumption

This weekend was a long time coming, and boy was it worth the wait. Those two days were an absolute cracker. You know what the excellent thing about social media is? Connecting with amazing people in an online environment all over the place kind of way. You know what the next best thing after that is? Meeting them in real life and hanging out doing things you are all interested in. Also throwing a delicious sprinkling of creativity into the mix to keep you going for quite awhile. Yep weekends like that? They rock. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The weekend originally came about over thinking of the multitude of wonderful creative courses that are available around the place, without the exceptional price tag. Everyone has something to offer and things for others to learn from. In a collaborative type environment, ideas, options, thoughts, creativity can be expanded on. All those things jumped on and most beautifully run with. (At the very least, encouragement from some like minded souls, and a little recharging of the batteries.)

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How it all came together… A group of instagram and online buddies coming together in Sydney. Accommodation was through AirBnB, which served as a bed for our interstate friend and a place for us to gather during the day. Cameras? Yes, they were essential. Awesome food brought in for the first day, and awesome food sought for the second day. Win win there.

Creative challenges, sharing of knowledge, a wonderful goodie bag to be taken home each, and more laughs squashed into a two day period than I’ve had for a long time. So. Damn. Good.

For anyone else who has looked longingly at a seemingly unachievable course that they would love to do due to finances, where they live or just general unsureness.

Jump in, create your own course. Find some like minded people and bring it all together. Collaboration is a wonderful thing, create what you want rather than staring wistfully in from the side lines.

Like I said, this weekend was a long time coming, and there were rather a lot of speed humps along the way. But it was worth every bump, and there are already plans for another.

Wonderful places we went, and awesome things we utilised

AirBnB

Eveleigh Markets

Dumbo Feather

The Grounds, Alexandria

Salt Meats Cheese, Alexandria

Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery

Koskela, Rosebery

Mitchell Rd Antiques, Alexandria

Clovelly Beach

Three Blue Ducks, Bronte

Suzie Q, Surry Hills

Eat Local Challenge- The End

At the beginning of this year I set out to find out more on my local food and what was available around me, living here in the city. I wanted a little challenge. Not a big one, but something to get me thinking a little differently.

I already supported a lot of local eating. Receive a weekly vegetable box delivered through OOOOBY. Was a frequent lurker at many of the city’s farmers markets, and knew which brands to head towards when in the shops.

So what did I learn from doing this? Well, number one, I would say, catering five sets of tastebuds to local eating is a little tricky. If it was just me, no problem? Two adults? Still pretty easy. Add three kiddos, slightly more complicated, but definitely doable.

Another thing I really valued after doing the challenge, is spices. I love spices, and there are bugger all of my favourite spices grown around Sydney. Sure I can do with out them, but a life long deletion? Hmmm….

Using tumeric, curry leaves, garlic, lime, chilli and salt were really important in the local dishes I made for extra flavour oomph. The Murray River Salt while technically not really local at all, I looked at it as knowing where it came from. 

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl So what now? Now that the year has come to an end, where do I go from here with my local eating?

At this stage I’m not actually sure, (which might sound rather wishy washy) but I do think to do these things long term a gradual change is better. As you’ll have more chance of sticking by the changes, and that really is what I’ve done over 2014. Gradually introduced more local food options to our family’s meals, gotten to know some different companies and played with some different food alternatives to the tried and true ones I usually reach for.

Ive enjoyed doing it, my family didn’t notice any vast differences to our meals, and now that Pepe Saya has been introduced to our lives…well, there’s no going back now is there.

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Interested in creating your own Eat Local Challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim this year was to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month. These can all be found below.  

Eat Local Challenge #10

Eat Local Challenge #9

Eat Local Challenge #8

Eat Local Challenge #7

Eat Local Challenge #6

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Rosemary, Thyme and Zucchini Bread- ELC#10

rosemary, thyme and zucchini bread || cityhippyfarmgirl

rosemary, thyme and zucchini sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’d tried to keep away from the bread for this challenge, but as I’m coming to the end of my year long challenge, it seemed appropriate that a bread dish slipped in.

This bread has actually been made a few times as it seems to hit the spot and eager mouths make short work of it in this household, (which you can’t really ask for much more than that can you?)

Now a big factor in what I make is really what arrives in my vegetable box once a week. I like cooking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get completely bogged down with the old faithful line of (and lets face it often relentless) …”what are we having for dinner?” Getting a locally sourced vegetable box, helps make that decision, as you really do just have to use what they give you!

So where did it all come from?

Flour- Demeter Mills, Gunnedah

Salt- Murray River Salt

Zucchini- Rita’s Farm, Sydney

Thyme- my window sill

Rosemary- my courtyard

Olive Oil- Lisborne Grove, Hunter Valley

rosemary || cityhippyfarmgirl

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 Interested in taking the Eat Local Challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

Eat Local Challenge #9

Eat Local Challenge #8

Eat Local Challenge #7

Eat Local Challenge #6

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl