Hi Beautiful,

Thanks for dropping by Stripes & Espresso – the musings of a mama.

If you would like to keep reading my musings please head over to my #mummyblog EMMY for all things family, life, kitchen loves.

Always with love





Today is my first time solo as a mama of two.

Just me and my babes.

This is what happened. First Hubby left for work. Then Oliver cracked it.

And I mean a full-blown, massive, wack me in the face meltdown. While I was trying to hold and calm him down, [not the easiest feat as my non-existence stomach muscles haven’t held anything over a few kilos since my c-sec] in the background I could hear Isla ‘ooh those lungs have developed in the past week’ give it her best crack too.

All I could do was dive in.

Well take a a few pictures first, I mean seriously how could I not? Look at those eyes.


Anyway I felt like a superhero [maybe the double shot flat white had something to do with this]. Settling my babes off to sleep [well Oliver is still playing in his cot] but calming them both down was a great achievement.

Motherhood has some seriously challenging moments. There are times when I just want to shut the bedroom door, put on The Smiths, dance in my undies and block out the noise just get away from it all.

Today I decided to dive in. Stay calm. Take some photos and then blog about it all.


Aside: The Smiths may or may not have been playing while I wrote this post.


Today I made bread. I have made bread in the past and it was lovely because it was rustic and homemade. But it was always a bit doughy and honeslty just not perfect. Nothing like the warm baguettes I’d collect every morning and that smell of fresh bread that filled my apartment.

This afternoon I was instantly transported back to my tiny apartment off Rue Lepic. Slightly different; there was no cobbled bustling streets and no ‘pardon’ as people walked about; instead there a hills hoist, a trampoline and a toddler running around.

But there was that smell of freshly baked bread and it was pretty much perfection.

Buckwheat + Seed Bread

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100g buckwheat, 40g poppy seeds, 20g pepitas, 360g bread flour, 10g salt, 20g olive oil, 7g instant yeast, 350g lukewarm water.

Method a la Thermomix 

1) Place buckwheat and seeds in TM bowl and mill 1minute/speed9. Scrape down the sides

2) Add water, yeast, salt, oil and flour to TM bowl and mix 10seconds/speed 7.

3) Knead dough for 2 minutes on ‘kneading’ setting. I found the dough was very runny, so I added another tablespoon of flour and kneaded for an additional 1 minute.

4) Transfer dough to a clean floured bench and light knead into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap and a clean tea towel. Leave to prove for 40minutes or until the dough has doubled it’s size.

5) Punch the middle of the dough with a fist and then knead lightly into the shape of the loaf. Place the dough on a lightly floured baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for another 30 minutes or until it’s doubled in size.

6) Pre-heat the oven to 210 degrees.

7) Bake for 40minutes. If you tap on the base and the bread sounds hollow it is ready. Cover with a tea towel and leave to stand for about 10minutes…if you can wait that long.

Voila bread that will make you feel like you’re in Paris.

As always made with love.


NOTE: In an attempt to use up everything in our pantry and reduce food wastage I used ’00’ flour…so yes this recipe does contain gluten. But I tried to be a bit experiemental and make the loaf more wholesome by adding in buckwheat and seeds. I used the thermomix to mill my buckwheat and seeds but you could just use buckwheat flour, food processor/blender and knead ye old fashion way.

a story about another bump

I’ve found writing and blogging to be nearly impossibly since the arrival of Oliver. It is not that I don’t have time to myself or that I don’t allow myself time to write. I certainly do and I am proud of the balance I have achieved. I take time out to listen to the rain on our tin roof. To watch hubby and O play in the back yard while I cook dinner. Or sometimes I just vege out ‘you know lay like broccoli’. Bonus points for guessing that movie reference.

But for some reason I have found the writing just hasn’t happened. I want to change that as I love reading back on old posts, it’s a moment in time that is great to reflect back on. Especially these few posts in a story about a bump. Alors…here is a story about another bump. I am now 24 weeks with bump number 2, the same stage in my first pregnancy as when I started this blog.

Last time 24 weeks was when ‘project bed rest’ commenced and lasted 10 weeks until the arrival of Oliver.

This however, is not project bed rest. It’s a little hard to do nothing when you have a toddler running around, giggling in his tee pee, climbing up on chairs and thinking you’re a rockstar. Yes I do believe that at this stage of his life O thinks both hubby and I are rockstars. I also believe this will change very quickly so I am making the most of household celebrity status.

Whilst I am not on strict bed rest I am aware that if I attempt to be a super hero it’s possible I’ll be admitted into hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy. Obviously this would not be ideal. Maybe this time around is ‘project slow down and try to put my feet up’. As my bump grows and Oliver makes my heart melt just by being Oliver I thought I might give writing a try again.

So here is my story about a bump. And a toddler.


I have tried a few times a week to get words on the page. For months I have tried. I am never happy with them, the words that is.  I get on a roll and bless his little cotton socks Oliver is awake and ready to party. I’m no good writing at night when the world is quiet, I like the tweeting birds and the steady flow of buses to remind me that I am in a city (not just in a far away in a little suburb).

So again I sit and try to write.  

Everybody says that having a baby changes everything. They also say ‘don’t wake a sleeping baby’, ‘oh they grow up so fast’ and ‘don’t listen to opinions form your own’. These people, these everybody are very right! Everything has changed since pre-Oliver. Honestly I was prepared for the physical changes but I am not sure I was prepared for the emotional changes. I am so calm. Much less stressed. I am a bajillion times happier. I am more conscious. Sensitive. Open. Recpetive. Loving. Positive. I am also incredibly emotional. I cry (happy tears) at the strangest things; watching The Voice, nappy commercials, hearing Oliver speak baba, vava and my favourite mama. What a bundle of emotion!

These are all great qualities. Honestly I am a better woman. But I am a changed woman.  

These changes have also radically jumbled my relationship with food. Donna Hay and Julia Child’s have been replaced by Lola Berry and Nat Kringoudis. Cake recipe books replaced by Paleo recipe books. Double shot espressos have been replaced with green smoothies, though I still love espresso and like to indulge in a good singe origin if I am out and about. I don’t eat ice-cream anymore unless we make it with frozen fruit and although this is tasty is certainly doesn’t contain cream…Much to my hubby’s disappointment bad bad brownies are out Belle Gibson’s grain free, dairy free, sugar free vanilla & almond cookies are in. Though sometimes I cave and make him chocolate sauce pudding and I am trying to find ways to make this one a bit healthier…

I didn’t expect becoming a mum would change the way I cooked, prepared and thought about food.

To be honest I always felt like I was pretty healthy overall; I truly loved cooking wholesome food, picking veggies from our garden and using seasonal produce. I loved cooking from scratch, using every bowl, spoon, pot in the house and loved when something is in the oven filling our home with deliciousness.  But upon reflection maybe I was a bit heavy handed with the butter, oil, salt and shhhh don’t say it sugar! Don’t get me wrong I will always have my beef bourguignon and eat my butter too, but my awareness has shifted to include more whole foods into my kitchen and more colour. 

My desire to cook for my family has now been replaced by a desire to nourish my family.

So that is where I am at this moment. Finding ways to nourish my family. 






I have been somewhat absent from the online world since my son Oliver arrived. Unless you count my few hundred #babyspam Instagram photos of said son. Lets just say that sitting down in front of a computer; writing about delicious food adventures has not been my number one priority. Writing about food still isn’t my number one priority, but I seem to have found a bit more time in my day; let me introduce ‘super hour’ or ‘super two hours’ if you’re lucky. The magical time in the morning when you put your little one down to sleep (AND they go to sleep AND then stay asleep) for enough time to get things done; things like writing!

Yet even though I have found more time, I have struggled when it comes to writing. What do I write? I am not the first person to every stumble at a keyboard, but when I started this blog I had all these great food ideas I wanted to share. These food ideas are still rumbling around in my head, but something has shifted. I know it is cliché, but having Oliver has been life-changing in a way I am only just beginning to realise. What I do, how I think, what I eat, it has all changed. My daily life is filled with constant love and gratitude beyond my ability to describe. Being a mother is the most wonderful thing I have even done in my life; I have so much purpose.

I know I am very blessed and feel very grateful every moment of every day.

I read this great idea about writing down everyday one thing you are grateful for and at the end of the year you have an entire jar filled with gratitude! I think this is beautiful and although I didn’t start in January 1, I am going to start today.

I am incredibly grateful to be O’s mama.

What are you grateful for?

Always with love


Photography by Bridget O’Brien Mirabird