Monday, 30 January 2012

Wholefood kitchen

So a few days ago i signed up to the wholefood kitchen course that is being run by the very talented Heather of Beauty that moves. It was very timely that i have come across this course now. My beautiful son is now 6 months old and during my pregnancy with him i developed overwhelming cravings for highly refined food and had an aversion to vegetables. I went from eating reasonably healthy foods and 2 salads a day to gagging at the sight of a raw vegetable and wanting to eat processed cheese slices (something i haven't touched or wanted to touch since my childhood). Since my son was born i've been struggling to get my life and eating habits back into balance and i'm looking forward to a new world of healthier more holistic approach to food and eating. There is still a few days to sign up if you're interested i'm sure you won't regret joining us on the journey.

I've taken my first step tonight by putting on a loaf of wholemeal bread on to bake. It's a yummy everyday no-knead loaf that has served me well over the years but which i haven't made for quite awhile. I also diligently took photos of the process to share and have now discovered my camera cable has been left behind from my holiday so i'll have to wait a few days to share my recipe with you all. Take care and go well.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Home again, home again

Well i've just arrived back from a wonderful week with the family. Its so good to spend some time outside my usual routine, kick back and relax. The baby lapped up all the attention from his cousins, aunties and uncles. He's such a charmer and couldn't stop smiling and flapping his arms in excitement, right up to the point he would fall asleep exhausted from it all. It was also a great opportunity to introduce him to a world of new things. He got to see and touch ducks, chickens, peacocks, piglets, puppies and kittens. He also got to see a live bee display, its so awesome to see his little eyes light up with interest at something new. They really are precious little people these babies. He also got to try pineapple and melon for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it and we spent our last night away chilling in the spa. On the drive back we were lucky enough to stop in at the NZ body art festival and have a look around, wow some people are talented. It was great to see them all getting prepped for the show later that night, really interesting as i've never seen anything like it before.

So today we arrive home happy, tired and thrilled to be back with the better half (and best daddy). And tomorrow when i catch up on some sleep i'll tell you all about my new project coming up. Take care everyone.

Friday, 27 January 2012

This moment (with Soulemama)

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments  for all to find and see.

A little early for us here in New Zealand who are about to start a busy friday.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Road tripping and chickens!

                                                                 Loving baby toes!

                                                Loving tea in a good china cup!

This week, the baby and i set out on a road trip. I can't say it was like the road trips of my pre-baby days, there was no music blaring but we did get to have a leisurely lunch at a camp ground we found along the way. It was a child's paradise (and some adults, like me, too!) with free roaming chickens, ducks and peacocks everywhere. They were super friendly and would all eat out of your hand and let you pat them. Of course they were also so friendly they would also eat your lunch if you turned your back! On holiday for a few more days visiting with the family so i'll see you all when i get back.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Chestnut and vine month 2

Over the last few days ive had the pleasure of working on the second month of my block of the month project chestnut and vine. It's luscious, autumn coloured fabrics are edible in rich reds, golds and block. It makes me happy just to work with it.

The sawtooth border is made using this strip it fabric and cutting using a 2.5" template (see lower right hand corner). This creates two-toned squares which look like they have been pieced together.
the sawtooth border is then sewed to the edge of the panel i made in Month one . And these gorgeous red vine edges really make it.

All together now and looking amazing, cant wait for next months installment.

Well the baby and i are heading off in the morning for a trip to see my sisters. I cant wait to catch up and let Cohen be spoiled by his aunties and cousins. Have a great week everyone.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Mother's little helper

No this isn't a post about coffee, alcohol or illicit drugs. I know, disappointing isn't it? (just to clarify yes that was sarcasm!) This is about something a little more socially acceptable which helps me through a stressful day. Some good quality dried chamomile....

Combined with these beautiful dried rosebuds, makes for a light fragrant tea to soothe the nerves.

Time to take a few minutes out while the baby is sleeping to rest and recharge. Blessings xx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Summer Sunday

There is a degree of irony in this title, as although it is a sunday and is summer, you would hardly know it. Lately its been wind and rain at the height of our 'summer' and about 19-21 degree's C. So it felt like a great day to be inside, cooking stewed apple for the baby, tidying up a bit and making this ahhh, scone.

Well its supposed to be a scone. I intended to make a pinwheel type scone filled with homemade raspberry jam, stewed apple, raisins and cinnamon. All was going well, the scone dough was rolled out and smothered with the filling. It looked delicious but it turned out to be nearly impossible to roll, so there was no way i was going to try cutting it. The result more of a turnover type scone, which doesn't look too pretty but was delicious nevertheless and perfect with a cuppa tea on a slightly chilly summer day.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Brew of the week - Monks blend by tleaf

Am i the only one who sees the name tleaf and thinks of a rapper? Ok, not the most masculine rapper name i'll admit but rather amusing to think about all the same. Anyway another delicious brew this week, one i discovered a few months ago when i went for high tea with a friend for my birthday.

Monks blend by (gansta) tleaf is described as having 'vanilla pieces, jasmine blossoms and earl grey combined with a mingling of green tea'. Sounds pretty good doesn't it. What comes to mind when drinking this tea is a bouquet of flowers, its very fragrant and 'pretty' tasting. I personally can't pick much of the vanilla flavour but the jasmine is quite prominent.

I can imagine sharing this with friends on a light, summer day, or equally it would be nice shared in front of a winter fire. Its a lovely delicate brew and i think it;s nicer brewed for the full five minutes to experience the full fragrance. As nice as it is i wouldn't call it an every day tea, its floral flavour and scent makes it nice on a special occasion but would be too much if you had it too often. In saying that though drinking it can create a brighter feeling to your day and transport you to somewhere more peaceful for a few minutes, which if your dishes and washing needs doing, can be a very nice thing. Or if you do what i did and add a couple of mini cranberry and white chocolate cookies to go with it, even better.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Not superwoman

Having been a career focused person before having my baby i often find myself still trying to control my day with lists of 'to do' items, plans and intentions. Often getting almost none of it accomplished i get frustrated at the lack of time in the day and not being able to just get stuck into something until its done. I really should have learnt by now that that's just not how babies work and i need to slow down and take a breath. When my son was born he had feeding problems, as well as reflux, colic and cow's milk protein intolerance but none of this i knew until he was nearly 6 weeks old. What i did know is that he cried a lot and didn't sleep. We would routinely be up every 30mins to an hour through the night crying (both of us), eating (both of us again) and settling. I probably looked a lot like this but with socks.

But I remember looking at him once he had finally fallen asleep and despite it all (including my 4 hours of broken sleep each night) i adored him, he was the most wonderful thing on earth. In hindsight i think it was lucky i didn't lose my mind and that he didn't get put out with the recycling. I loved him but he was a hard baby. This was my crash course in 'you can not control everything 101'. I would get up every day and think all i want to do today is catch up on the washing and dishes, baaahhh wrong, not happening.

Initially i was distressed by it but i quickly learned to adjust my goals to things like - wear p.j's all day, attend to all baby's needs every time he squeaks and cuddle and stare adoringly at baby whenever possible. It was a revelation, breathe, stay in the present, deal with whats happening right now and don't think about what might happen later. It was lifesaving. So today i was rather surprised that 5 months on i was back to square one and i had a list of 10 things to accomplish in my day as well as care for baby and catch up with a friend. Inevitably i got to the end of my day and was so annoyed that i had once again not completed my list and then i realised what i had done today instead. I had cuddled, loved and played with my son until he giggled and squealed with delight. I had got up, got dressed, caught up with a friend and done a bit of housework. Not a bad day in my books. I suppose in life its all about perspective, whats important and whats not. Take the time to breathe and enjoy whats happening right now. And at the end of the day i'm sure my 6 month old will forgive me for not making his new bean bag or toy box today, i'm sure he'd thank me for the giggles and love instead. I think i can live with not being superwoman.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Brew of the day

Those who know me well know of my somewhat fanatical love of tea. Not any random tea bag but good quality well brewed tea. The smell, the ritual and of course the taste. Luckily for me i have a bit of a collection to chose from so i thought i would share some of my favourite brews for those out there who share my love of tea. Todays brew is Harney and Sons Tower of London tea.

Now first up i must say this is a more expensive tea that i would usually purchase, at $24.95 a tin for 30 tea bags it was a bit ouchy to buy. But i was lucky enough to get some on sale so thought id try it and i can tell you i'm sooo glad i did. Having tried many teas and brands over the years i didnt expect to be surprised by a tea, but surprised i was and pleasantly so. I can see why its so expensive it is divine and that is no exaggeration. It has a mellow smooth taste with a delicate honey and bergamot flavour. So subtle but so delicious. As i'm extremely good at following instructions (ha, yeh right) ill share my experience about brewing this tea.

I usually brew tea leaves but this tea comes in a gossamer type bag which is nice if your having a busy day and don't have a chance to brew a pot. If you try this make sure you brew this tea for the full 5 minutes, i'm a rather impatient person and like to get things done quickly so i'm often tempted to swish it round and take it out early. But not this tea, the flavour changes immensely between 3 and 5 minutes, take it out too early and it won't have those delicate notes which make it so special. And for the price you want to make every tea bag count! I take solace in the fact its still a much cheaper indulgence than other things like my better half's whiskey collection. I think this might have to be a birthday treat each year for me. Oh and let me share the view i had while enjoying my cuppa.

Pretty stunning, aren't they. Courtesy of the better half after our date on the weekend. Lovely to look at and a beautiful perfume to them as well.

I hope whatever you do today you get a few minutes to have a nice cup of whatever you fancy.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Weekend perks

Today was the first day in a while i got to go back to bed for a sleep in while the better half took care of the baby and introduced him to the exciting world of electronic and engineering videos on utube. Im sure baby Cohen appreciated it, i know i certainly did. And my day just kept getting better with the most delicious lunch.

Zucchini fritters with salad veges from the garden with the most divine zucchini relish we made a few weeks ago. And a few added olives and crumbled feta for good measure. Definately a little more OTT than our usual sandwiches for a weekend lunch but every bit as yummy as it looks. Although the zucchini fritters did come out a little mushier than i like.

And given the amount of zucchini and now marrows we are now growing i will have plenty of time to perfect my zucchini fritter skills.

Zucchini's really are a delicious vegetable but they do grow incredibly fast. We have had them fried, steamed, pickled, boiled and stuffed and some nights i dream about how to use up the surplus of zucchini. I wouldn't really be surprised if i woke up one morning to find they had trailed across the lawn and were now making there way in through my bedroom window.

If your like me with excess zucchini i can recommend this zucchini relish recipe. It was really delicious with a nice tang. I did reduce the sugar a bit though to 3 cups of sugar as was recommended in the comments. The finished result was a beautiful yellow/ green relish which is perfect with anything but especially nice on burgers and with hot dogs and sausages. Definately a keeper.

After lunch it was time for playing with the baby before heading out for a very over due date with the better half. All in all a lovely way to spend a weekend. Its days like this it feels good to be alive.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Quilted chestnuts

Its been a busy few days at our house with my little man having had a hard few days with moving teeth. Poor wee fella just didnt know what to do with himself most days and neither did his mummy. So there was lots of cuddling and singing and playing. I did however manage to grab a few minutes at the end of the day to finish up the quilt block ive been working on for the chestnut and vine quilt. Isnt this vine fabric just beautiful! And the finished block shows how lovely it all looks when it comes together. I cant wait for next months installment which should be arriving any day. Im determined thats this time i will actually complete a block each month, rather than store them in the cupboard for months.... ok years!

I also managed to get to the shops for some more sewing supplies for my next project of fabric toy buckets. Its amazing how a trip to the craft stores never finishes with me buying only what i came for! There really is some delicious fabrics out there. I hope you managed to find a few minutes in your day to do something you love too.

One small life: Bring on the wine (whine)

One small life: Bring on the wine (whine): Some days parenting sneaks up behind me and smacks me on the head. Just when your getting a handle on it, and start thinking im a calm, pati...

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Bring on the wine (whine)

Some days parenting sneaks up behind me and smacks me on the head. Just when your getting a handle on it, and start thinking im a calm, patient, parent, bam reality hits me. Yes your a good parent but i think i lot of it is luck that my son is so kind to me. Today has been lots of crying, screaming and generally frustration (mostly the baby). But its 5pm so bring on the wine! On a more cheerful note, im very excited about my new quilting project. Im loving the log cabin quilt that Sam at All things quilty is working on. Its beautiful colours and patterns are inspiring and i cant wait to see the finished project. My new project is called chestnut and vine and is a block of the month project im doing through my favourite quilt shop. It has beautiful reds, golds and browns in a style which is beautiful but something i might not have chosen previously. I have to confess i have a fear thats been holding me back, an irrational fear of machine applique but after a few problems ( that may have required 10hours of unpicking... hm.. cough) i have nearly finished my first block and the result is actually pretty good. Just in time for this months block which should be arriving any day. I hope you all get some time this week to do something that makes you happy, and if your week doesnt go so well i hope you have some wine chilling too.

Just need to finish the edging and give it a good iron!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Where do i start? Right at the beginning i suppose. And as it appears with a crying baby who is interupting my first post. Oh well its a beginning never the less.

And im back. I became a mother last year and for the first time in my life i got to take a breath. I know many of you will scoff at that, babies are hard work but its certainly a different kind of work to slaving for a pay check. I actually really enjoyed my job and the late nights, long weekend and being forever on call. But having my son was the most amazing moment of my life and caring for him has shown me how much i have lost touch with myself and who i am. In those moments when he was finally asleep and i was sitting on the couch in a zombie-like state with a cup of tea i started to remember who i was and what i liked. To start with i like tea, good tea and over cups of freshly brewed tea i remembered i love to sew, i love to quilt, i love to read and walk and talk and laugh. And thats how it started, the road back to me.