Friday, 30 March 2012


Whats moving me and making me think this Friday afternoon.

I'm sure many of you have seen this already but it brings me to tears. I love a wonderful voice and even more so when it belongs to a wonderful person full of integrity. Loving it.

Also the hungry for change movie, which is free for 2 more days. And interesting watch which makes you think about why and what you eat.

I hope you find something that inspires you today too.

Thursday, 29 March 2012


 I made my first bread from my sourdough starter (which i started fermenting 2 days ago). I actually made this dough in the bread maker as my end goal is to make daily sourdough bread in the bread maker. They came out pretty well and most importantly, they rose! The sourdough flavour was quite subtle but definitely there and the crust was super crunchy, so a bit of tweaking needed but still a success. The rolls went perfectly with the rest of my dinner, red lentil dahl

with a side of steamed broccoli topped with lemon oil and chopped almonds. Isn't it pretty?

What a wonderful day today, i caught up on some housework then spent the early afternoon with other mums and bubs having a 'messy play' date. Today we made slime using cornflour and water and stripped the bubs off and let them go for it! Don't worry it was all done outside and it looked like a paint bomb had hit! So much fun and then an outside bath for them all to clean up, i'm pretty sure it was my bub's idea of a perfect day.
Then arriving home my little man was exhausted and had a champion 2 and a half hours sleep. Giving his mama some time to potter around, relax and catch up on a few things like

these carrot spice cookies i made from last night. Very important stuff.
Take care people. xx
Oh and i just started week 3 of the couch to 5k program! yay!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Bread geek glee!

Yay! look what was waiting for me when i got home! Squeee!

 My order arrived from my bread today. I only found them last week and was excited to try all the different things they have on offer, especially the sourdough starter. I've made sourdough before from scratch using wild yeast and fed it lovingly but let's just say i know what happens when it goes baaaaaaaaaddd. Sourdough starter goes bad like nothing else i've ever experienced. I woke up one morning and sniffed and thought 'oh no' the cat must have poo'd in the house and it must be feeling really unwell. So i got up and gingerly went to investigate but couldn't find the source of the smell despite an extensive search. But eventually i did find it when i opened the cupboard that contained my sourdough starter. Dear goodness the smell was horrific! I had to tie a towel around my face and run it to the toilet to get rid of it. Needless to say i went off sourdough for a bit and decided next time a controlled starter would be the way to go.
Wish me luck, i might need it!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Adventures of the breadmaker

My oh my am i eating humble pie. I have always considered with slight disdain the bread made in a bread maker. It's my own private little bit of snobbery, that and jam made in a microwave. There confession done. So now for the humble pie. I'm always buying multigrain sliced bread that is never very good and eating it every day. Although i can make bread very well from scratch it takes time, which i am quite short on these days. I also couldn't manage daily kneading due to some discomfort in my hands and joints. I finally decided that actually a breadmaker would have a place in my life right now. Regular bread with no preservatives or additives just all the goodness i choose to add, sounds like a perfect solution. So i put out the call and asked who had one stashed in a back cupboard they didn't want. Turns out my Mum did and she kindly sent it to me a few days later. So i decided to jump straight in and make a multigrain loaf, i followed the instructions and set the timer and in the morning i was so excited to hear the beep and open the lid to find this.

Um? What on earth? lol Not what i was expecting. I had to laugh, i had always thought breadmakers were fool proof, it would appear not! A review of the instructions and i realised i'd used dried yeast instead of active. Round two.

Small windowless building. Wholemeal loaves need bread improvers. Round three.

 Finally! A real loaf! Ironically with white flour and bran because i used all the wholemeal and seeds on the other loaves. Spurred on by success i also whipped up my favourite hot cross bun recipe using the dough function.

Yummy, warm straight from the oven, i had to make sure i tried one straight away, you know just to make sure they were ok for everyone else.....
I see much more good bread in my future and hopefully less windowless buildings.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Salvaged Saturday

Well it has been a trying week with my little man getting his first cold. He was trying so hard to get on with everything but was understandably clingy, cuddly, miserable and tired but unable to sleep. This motherhood caper is tough at times and this was a whole new experience and created a new set of skills to add to the motherhood library. Needless to say i'm feeling quite tired and a bit cranky myself. Today was a especially long and exhausting day for all of us and we were looking forward to a break by the end of the day. We nearly caved and bought takeaways but the better half took over the cooking and saved the day.

Crumbed fish and veges with crash hot potatoes. These potatoes were amazing! If you haven't tried this recipe yet, get cooking! I could eat a whole plate of these they were so delicious (in fact i could eat some of the cold ones out of the fridge right now!). Definitely a new favourite.
Feeling a bit revived i whipped up some berry parfait and some bliss balls (like a truffle made with dried fruit and nuts).

Hope your Saturday went well or if it was like ours i hoped it got salvaged too. Night everyone, put your feet and take it easy for a bit. xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Green with envy

Well the end of the summer crop is drawing to a close and the plants are all starting to look a little worse for wear. Last week we came close to the first frost of the year and the tomatoes took it badly. So this week i went out and picked everything that was left on the vines. Green, red and yellow tomatoes all went in the basket.

In considering what to do with them i went back to an old favourite, green tomato chutney. This is a classic from the NZ Edmonds cook book and definitely worth a try if you've never had it before.

Green Tomato chutney

2.25kgs green tomatoes 
6 onions, finely chopped 
1.25kg apples, peeled and chopped 
2 cups seedless raisins 
1 cup crystallised mixed peel 
4 cups brown sugar 
4 cups malt vinegar 
2 tablespoons salt 
1 teaspoon black peppercorns 
2 teaspoons whole cloves 
2 fresh chillies or to taste 

Put all ingredients except spices into a large pot. This recipe uses whole spices but it never have them so i always use slightly less of the ground variety. If you use the whole spices you need to put them in a muslin bag to boil with the rest of the ingredients and remove it at the end, if you use ground just chuck them in. Boil steadily for about 2 hours, stirring frequently until it reaches a thick jam like consistency. Pour into hot sterilised jars and waterbath for 15 mins. This is an all time favourite and is amazing on scottish oatcakes with cheese.

Because i had a mixture of coloured tomato i decided this recipe needed a more appropriate name.

Yum i'm hungry now, might go whip up some oatcakes. I know a few people who would be very keen on a jar of this!
Take care everyone. xx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

step by step

I was born into a family that lived a life of convenience. Plastic wrapped, pre -prepared, sachet mixing family. Vegetables were an over boiled necessity eaten because we had to not because it tasted like anything good. Meals were made out of packets, many things were disposable and refined to an inch of their life. As i got older i recognised both that my mum had a lot on her plate with 5 children and did what she needed to take care of us all. We were fed, clothed and loved. But i also realise how damaging this type of lifestyle can be to ourselves, our families and our environment. Because of this over the years i have strived to change my thinking and behavior about how i eat and live to make myself and the planet healthier.

I think if you have been born into this type of lifestyle you will understand the challenges that come with trying to reprogram your thinking. Sometimes i get so overwhelmed with all the things i feel i should be doing that i get overwhelmed and do nothing at all. I've been ready Rhonda's blog at down to earth and recently she talked about making small changes in your life that suit where you are now. She really is inspiring and this idea really resonated with me. And i'm so glad the simple living police won't be turning up. I want to cook everything from scratch, buy organic, use cloth nappies, make my own bread, yoghurt, cleaners and clothes. I want to recycle and reuse more, exercise more, garden more, work with my herbs, do more sewing and on an on it goes! Anyone else have a headache yet?

 So instead of trying to do everything and often stopping and starting these changes and eventually giving up in frustration. I've decided that each month i will try to make a few small changes to my life and stick to it. I'm hoping this way i won't become too overwhelmed by it all.

So for whats left of March i'm going to
- Start trialling cloth nappies (yes confession time, i have never used them!). I've bought a couple of cheap pairs of MCN (modern cloth nappies) and will aim to replace all disposable nappies i can each day with them.
- Make sure at least 25% of our purchased meat is organic and free range. This may not sound like a lot but around here organic meat is at least double the price of regular if not more so this is a small change to suit the budget until i can find a cheaper source and increase this.
- Cut out the coke zero, again confession time, i may have a small addiction to the terrible stuff.
- Continue with my couch to 5k program

So very small changes but achieveable and manageable for everything i'm balancing in my life at the moment with bub, home and work. I have sooooo many other things i want to put on this list but i will resist and focus on just this for now.
Does anyone else feel overwhelmed by all the things you feel you should do? Anyone what to join me with making a few small changes every month?

Take care everyone. xxx

Monday, 19 March 2012

Cup of winter

Well today really feels like winter is coming. Windy and raining with the beginning of the winter chill. Tonight is a perfect night for curling up on the sofa with a great cup of tea and something sweet. Enter, earl grey blue flower tea by the rapper's of the tea world T leaf. This is an old favourite and one of the first teas i bought when i started my love affair with tea many years ago. A traditional flowery bergamot earl grey with blue cornflowers for colour and a subtle scent. It makes me feel cozy and peaceful drinking this tea.

 You can see it's well loved! the stocks are getting low!

 Pretty picture isn't it
 And with my new tea strainer given to me by a lovely friend. Ah she knows me well.

And to top it off, the wonderful better half has just lit the fire. Life can be pretty good at times.
On another note i was surprised and amused to read Heather's blog at beauty that moves and see that she is going to start the couch to 5k program as i just started last week. If you haven't heard about it couch to 5k (C25k) is a training program to help you start running and build up to running 5k in a achieveable, safe manner. I've just completed my first week and although it was tough it wasn't as bad as i expected and i feel pretty good so far. Since having my son i've been feeling a bit sluggish and feeling the need to move my body more and gain some strength. So wish me luck on this journey. I'll keep you all tuned as to how i'm doing.
Take care people. xx

Saturday, 17 March 2012

starry skies and glittering eyes

"Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." 
Roald Dahl 

When i was young i used to think stars were magical and i would stare for hours dreaming about what it all means and the secrets they contain. Actually i still do that now as an adult. So when i came to making a special quilt for my first baby i knew i wanted stars. I hope he will look at stars and dream the way i did. I hope he sees magic, possibility, wonder and joy. I hope his imagination will run wild and he will venture into the world with glittering eyes and a heart full of possibility. 
I love my little boy. xx 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Red riot

I love meals that are as much of a joy to look at as they are to eat. I love bright vibrant colours which lift my spirits and let me know they're full of nutrients and goodness. This recipe fits all those criteria.

 Look at those colours shine! Purple cabbage and red beetroot make a stunning combination.

 Add some chopped onion and fresh coriander
Mix in a simple chilli and lemon dressing.
 Top with sunflower seeds
And dig in! Totally yummy, crunchy, zesty and fresh.
And what better to follow them up with but some freshly baked banana, oat and jam muffins. A nice way to spend a Friday night curled up on the sofa with some stitching, hot cocoa and a delicious sweet treat.
On another note i attended my first embroidery guild meeting last night and it was so inspiring to see what those talented ladies were producing. Time to dust off some beautiful embroidery threads in my cupboard and get inspired. The threads and i will see you tomorrow.
Take care everyone. xx

Thursday, 15 March 2012


That seems to be what my life is all about these days - juggling. I used to be a list person (and at work i still am) but at home with my son i'm having to find new ways to balance my day. With meeting the needs of my little man and managing the home my own interests have taken a definite back seat. I find it so hard to do things for myself in the day, even just 15 minutes of doing my own thing. But by the time ive sorted the dishes and housework that just can't wait and prepped meals, i'm back in mummy duty again before it all starts again. I read many blogs in particular Soulemama, Slow living essentials and Gooseberry Jam and marvel at the organisation of these women who have multiple children, yet manage to do crafts and preserving and in some cases homeschool. It's amazing and gives me hope that it's just about finding the right way to balance things. So today taking inspiration from Amanda Soule's recent knitting while bathing the kids post i thought i would try some craft while caring for my son. It was somewhat entertaining as he love's to help by taste testing all the fabric and climbing all over his mama and giggling.

It was lovely, not overly productive, but just the right balance. I was there with him, present and attentive and in the gaps while he played i got to do something for me. Success! I'm actually looking forward to having him rolling around in my fabric collection and 'helping' his mama more.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Bush babies

What a wonderful way to spend one of the last hot days of summer, bush walking with my playcentre group. The sun today was really hot, so we donned hats and sunblock and met up with all the other mums at the local park which has a lovely native bush area at one end. Such beautiful trees, i love looking at huge trees and thinking about all the things that have happened in the time they have stood. I wonder what they would say if they could talk?

 Pram train
 My curious little man loves looking at everything around him.

The walk back home. Looking at that sky, isn't it amazing. It's just one of those days where i want to stand and stare at everything in wonder. Mother nature can produce some truly spectuclar sights. We are so lucky here in NZ to have such a temperate climate. Although where i live it isn't uncommon to have all seasons in a day. Brilliant sun, then torrential rain and thunderstorms all in the same morning aren't unusual, but i love that too. I hope wherever you are today and whatever you are doing you take a moment to enjoy the wonder around you, breathe and be thankful, i know i am.
Take care everyone.