Monday, 25 February 2013

Floor pillow fancy

Finally it's finished! The giant floor pillow i posted a pic of a few weeks ago finally has the central buttons sewn in. After a few misadventures i have learnt some important lessons - while nylon thread is wonderfully strong it will rip through your fabric in a heartbeat if it is tensioned too much. A sad lesson to learn when the center of the points ripped through and i had to try to repair it. It's not perfect but most of the damage is hidden by the central button and hopefully won't rip further.

It really is lovely though and after my initial reaction on finishing it - It's huge! where on earth are we going to put it! - I'm pleased to say it lives right in our lounge, we use it every day and love it.


Saturday, 23 February 2013

This moment with Soulemama

{this moment}

. . . . . . . . . . 
{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.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Slow down, be still, be mindful

Sleepiness was the theme of the day after an uncharacteristically early start from my boy in the dark wee hours. He's usually a late sleeper like the rest of us and usually doesn't stir till around 7.30 - 8. So this was a bit of a shock to the system and made me think back to the newborn days when every day seemed to start in the dark. Needless to say by 8am he was a sniffling mess and needed to head back to bed. So the day routine was thrown out the window with much crying, sleepiness and out of sync naps and wakings.  I found we automatically went back to our newborn survival tactics of living in the moment and took each change as it came.
I can happily say we have survived and i think the culprit is a brewing cold so we will just ride it out for now.

I remember the stress of the newborn days. This little man had colic, reflux and cow milk intolerance. He was so hungry all the time but feeding caused him so much pain that we couldn't consider planning a minute ahead. We literally had to live minute by minute until the pain became more controlled and the rather impressive projectile vomiting reduced many months on.
Oh how tired i was in those early days and months. My mind was a constant fog. I couldn't make a sandwich or get on a load of washing in a whole day sometimes. Yeh ok, many times.

But i don't look back on those days as depressing or horrible. 
Stressful as they were it was the best lesson of  my life.

Be still mummy
Slow down mummy
Housework really can wait 
Be mindful
Live in the present
Love this baby
Nourish yourself

As i thought back on all this and remembered how it all felt i thought, yes, this is what i need today.
Slow down
Be still
Let the housework wait
Live in the present
Be mindful
Cuddle and love this child
Nourish yourself

So here i sit at the end of the day, tired and walking in a daze and taking some time to nourish myself with a healthy dinner, some time to think and of course a good cup of tea.

Thankyou all for being here with me today in this moment. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Green zebra cakes (or zucchini and chocolate)

Like a lot of you on this side of the world we are currently being inundated with zucchini from the garden. We've been eating steamed, boiled and saute zucchini, zucchini slice, quiche and fritters and still we have more. Recently a friend mentioned one of her favourite ways with zucchini is in chocolate cake.

Now i'm not usually a fan of the whole, grate veges into a cake to make it healthier. I believe cake has one purpose in life - to taste good, really really good....
But given we are at risk of being overtaken by marrows i thought i'd give it a go.I had low expectations but i was pleasantly surprised, this cake is amazing. So amazing i think it will be my go to chocolate cake recipe from now on. It's like yummy chocolate cake but super super moist.

The little green flecks is where it gets the name green zebra cake. I thought it was a cute friendly name for the little ones i know. I used this recipe here . The cinnamon tastes great in this cake and isn't strong at all but i really didn't like it with mixed spice when i tried it.

The only change i would make is maybe to use a little more cocoa. And don't leave off the chocolate chips they work perfectly. A great cake though and it stays super moist for days.

Your little ones will love this. Not a crumb has been wasted in this house.

Have a great week everyone. xxx

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

In the moment

I love that moment when you can feel the change in the season coming. The sunlight streams in through the windows but the air is gentle and crisp, foretelling the coming autumn. Although many people love nothing more than a hot summer's day, it's not the time of year i enjoy the most. The generations of Scottish blood and the position of New Zealand under the hole in the ozone layer means the heat of the sun is a formidable foe.

But that crisp bite in the air fills me with glee. Autumn is coming! As i sit here with my knitting, which is finally taking shape, watching an episode of Larkrise to Candleford  ( thankyou Soulemama for introducing me!) i feel calm and peace wash over me. A change of season, time moving forward to new pleasures.

Time to head outside with the little one and get a few minutes of sun before this season passes me by.

Blessings to you and your family.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Floor pillow

My mammoth floor pillow is almost complete! I just need to buy even more stuffing and a couple of buttons. But so far I'm pretty happy with the result.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Hollandaise weekend

Well we're only just in February and i've managed to tackle another of those things on my - 'should get round to trying that list' - Hollandaise sauce. The motivation was definately there in the form of leftover ciabatta rolls, leftover bacon and fresh eggs. Yep i totally couldn't resist that.

Also the baby was cranky and it was a great way to get the other half to take over while i escaped. The promise of favorite foods being dished up is always a winner in this house.

So onto the sauce. For a start a quick look around the internet gave me many different recipes and methods. I decided a simple blender recipe that would fit the bill and off we went.

Firstly i melted the butter and set it aside to cool a bit. In the meantime into the blender went 3 egg yolks and 1 T lemon juice.

Blended till the colour turned pale.
Then i slowly poured in the melted butter in a slow stream, blending the whole time. Then at the end i adjusted to taste by adding a little salt and more lemon juice. How easy is that?

Creamy, thick hollandaise sauce.

Then onto the plate with bacon and eggs. Delicious. I still have a little tweaking to do, as with many things there are subtle differences in the recipes which give a slightly different flavour and i like my sauce a little more tart. But seriously hollandaise is pretty delicious no matter how it comes and oh the perils of having to eat eggs benedict again and again till i get it perfectly right....

Yet again i'm reminded how easy some things that seem complicated can be. I've thought about making hollandaise and mayonnaise so many times over the years and it took me less than 5 mins to whip up. I'm still yet to try mayonnaise but will be giving it a go soon.

Also if you're a fermented/ cultured food fan, watch this space. The other half has been experimenting again and has some cultured zucchinis living in my pantry. He'll be over here later this week sharing his latest project.

I hope your weekend is going well.