Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cute Chickens

How cute are our next door neighbours chickens?? :-)

Imagine our surprise on playing in the backyard yesterday and seeing these darling bubbas crowding around the fence. I think I was more excited than Little B. Such a cute use for a chicken coop too.

So we puppied ourselves out and these darlings will be here for the next few weeks, until they go off to their forever homes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I love and adore Brussel Sprouts but it hasnt always been that way. I used to avoid then like the plague due to memories of soggy foul tasting things from school camps. Then I found a recipe for roasted brussel sprouts in Heidi Swansons cookbook "Super Natural Cooking" and I was a convert. Funnily enough so was Little B. He likes nothing better than a bowl of brussel sprouts which shocks people no end when they visit.

I've also found once outed as brussel sprout lovers, people come out of the woodwork to tell me all the funky little ways they cook them. And I find them the most universal veggie during winter - they work on their own, in soups, stews, and even stirfrys.

Here is an extended version of Heidi's recipe, but for something quick I just throw them into a bowl, with some olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Then I roast away till they look cooked and we all scoff them :-)
And I had the most hilarious conversation with an older lady recently at the greengrocer. She told me that brussel sprouts were too expensive at $4.95 a kilo. Considering how many I could get if I bought a kilo, it's an absolute bargain if you ask me!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

{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.  Inspired by soulemama



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Go back to where you came from

Last night SBS started screening "Go back to where you came from", a 3 part series which follows 6 Australians who have taken on the challenge to live like refugees for 25 days. The actual journey they take, takes place in reverse from home to detention centre and so forth backwards to the point of origin of the refugees flight. During this process, the participants have no access to their mobiles, wallets or passports. The rest of the series will screen tonight and tomorrow night.

I can really appreciate the setup for this experiment and the pyschology behind it. A lot of thought has gone into challenging the participants pre-conceived notions as well as racism about refugees. When I was at uni, I was lucky to study under Dr Kathy Betts, who has been studying immigration and refugees for the last thirty years. Her subjects opened my eyes in ways I didnt think possible about refugees, camps, boat people, immigration as well as multiculturalism.

As a young adult student who hadnt really stopped to notice or focus on these issues before, I became more caring and passionate about the refugee process and issues, especially those that befall women. These subjects motivated me to actually act on world issues that were important to me, like sponsoring children, donating to projects like the Hamlin Fistula & Relief Fund or Medecins Sans Frontieres, and joining places like SAIL to support the work they do for refugee families in Australia.

I guess what struck me most last night was the sheer naivety of some of the individual Aussies. Their lack of knowledge about world issues that can result in refugees fleeing their country of origin was startling and the judgement that most refugees are looking for an easy way out in a good economy, was in stark contrast to the experiences and openness of the refugee people and families they met.

Go back to where you came from is re-screening on SBS 2 this Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 9.30pm.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Toxic free makeup??

With work has come the need to wear makeup again. Which is fine in itself but I have terribly sensitive skin and have not been able to find something eco, toxic free that suits my skin. So I've been following a sort of no poo method for skin (ie just washing my skin with water and not using moisturiser). It's worked reasonably well but could not remove my Inika mineral foundation powder.

So my favourite cleanser at the moment is oats. Just good old fashioned oats, soaked in water and then mooshed together and gently pressed against my skin. I got this tip from the last Peppermint Magazine and it works amazingly well. I suffer mildy from rosacea and this reduces and calms the redness. It also takes off my makeup...yay!!

But its been a while since I've worn full on makeup (other than going out at night for special occasions - again not high on my to do list). So after reading Sarah Wilson's post on toxin free makeup, I started using Ere Perez Chamomile eye shadow. These are really gentle on your eyes and easy to wash off. I then top it all off with Dr Bronner Naked lip balm.

I also use Coconut Oil as a hand moisturiser and in a pinch a lip balm. Especially with the weather so cold and drying at the moment, I find coconut oil especially great at keeping my skin soft and hydrated.

The only thing I'm still on the hunt for is a good daily moisturiser. I've tried so many different things (Moogoo, jojoba oil, coconut oil to name a few) and I just havent found anything natural, toxin free that I dont react to. I'd love to find something natural to use and have found some books with natural face care recipes to keep trying until I hit the right one :-)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

this saturday i'm grateful for lovely bosses

Do you ever just have weeks that are topsy turvy?? That's been my week LOL. I started my new job this week and as luck would have it, it fell on a week Mr B was away for work. But Little B and I muddled through working out a new rhythm for preschool drop off (I only work when he is at kindy).

So this Saturday I'm grateful for...

* lovely bosses - what can I say, my boss is ace!! She's nice, family friendly, supportive and has given me the best training this week.

* going to bed with Little B - I was so tired my first day of work that I just climbed into bed and slept with Little B when he went to bed on Tuesday night *giggle*. No hubby to worry about, and hey those chores could wait.

* winter solstice - Little B has been preparing his lantern all week and tonight we are off to the winter solstice lantern parade. I get to watch my lovely belly dance teacher and fellow students perform tonight at the same event and I cant wait!!

Check out Maxabella loves for more grateful goodness...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So whats a girl to do...

when she is finally allowed out of bed?? Plant fruit trees of course. With my bed rest over and only a few aches and pains left over from my hospital test, I simply couldnt resist the sunshine :-) Mr B and his trusty post hole digger dug me my required holes and so I planted away.

We now have a dwarf black cherry, an almond tree and a Mariposa plum tree added to our mini orchard. I just need to move our ballerina apples when they finally drop all their leaves.

I'm also waiting on some more half wine barrels to come. Then I can plant some more blueberry plants and our first raspberry canes. I've been inspired by all the luck people seem to have with growing their own raspberries - so hope they will do well here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

this saturday i'm grateful for coffee & chips

I spent most of yesterday in hospital having amongst other things a lumbar puncture. I have to say if you ever need a lumbar puncture, dont be scared or frightened by all the bad press. Does it hurt? Yes and mine took 4 goes BUT I think having a baby hurt more LOL. With another 24 hours of bed rest ahead of me, this Saturday I'm grateful for:

* coffee & red rock chips - caffeine? check. sodium? check. Both to fight off the potential post lumbar puncture migraine (and yes it does work).

 * my comfy bed - replete with flannalette sheets, a pile of books and my resident cat and 4.5 year old

* my loving family - I'm being thoroughly spoilt by my gorgeous husband, my loving mum and my darling little boy. Who can resist being "read" stories to in bed or the whole family squishing in for a gabfest to keep me company.

Check out Maxabella Loves for more grateful gems...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hilarious but true..

 Picture courtesy of
I had my first cup of coffee today at the ripe old age of 33 :-) was actually quite nice!!

I've never felt the urge to drink tea or coffee, though prior to going dairy free, I have always been partial to a nice cup of hot chocolate.

But I have to drink coffee prior to a procedure in hospital tomorrow, after it and the day after it. I cant stand soft drink like Diet Coke or Coke anymore, so it was coffee or hiking in to the hospital for a caffeine injection. I dont know about you but I'll take coffee over an injection anyday!!

Plus since it's supposed to stop the bad side effects of said procedure, I'm happy to drink coffee for 3 days, rather than being bed ridden and unable to stand up for 3 days. Viva coffee!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Breaking Free

You know there is something quite cathartic and freeing about getting rid of all your possessions. Reading blogs like Miss Minimalist, you can see that living minimally can be really positive.

The hardest things I’ve had to let go (in no particular order): my wedding dress, some flamenco dance shoes made for me in Spain, a couple of paintings which had sentimental value. I will admit to having shed a tear or two for my books – not a huge collection but a well read lovely jumble of novels (fiction and non fiction). Funnily enough, I only intend to replace a few of these books and will continue my practice of borrowing books from the library.

Initially the thought of throwing out or recycling our entire house was really depressing. Probably because it was a shock not a choice and also because it feels overwhelming. But you can look at as a form of reinvention. So often we work with what we have accumulated over the years. Now we have a choice about how we wish to represent ourselves.

I personally have found the positives outweigh the negatives. My wardrobe is miniscule and I don’t have a huge urge to increase it. Other than the odd “need” like a winter jacket, I am happy with my small repertoire. Not having belongings means that we are thinking hard about what we do or don’t want at our next house.

We have managed to get some groovy secondhand furniture from family – currently we stand at a brilliant old wooden dining table, an antique meat safe (I think this would look great in a sewing room LOL), and a side table which is made from an old singer sewing table.

We have a handful of precious items that will be sucked down in plastic, double taped into a plastic box and stored at my MIL’s. These include Mr B and my first teddies, Little B’s first t-shirt and socks, and some important personal docs that we cant get rid of (like our degrees).

But overall, this process now feels liberating, refreshing and like a renewal of life after such a slightly challenging period in our lives.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

this saturday i'm grateful for great music

It's been a long week away from home. Not far enough to be a holiday or mini break, but too far to make it easy getting back and forth to local stuff like kindy (took us 1.5 hours each way on public transport last Wed). So this Saturday I'm grateful for...

* great music – I am so in love with this CD right now. And the good news is Seeker Lover Keeper are coming to play near me soon – I hope to get across and see them live.

 * enclosed balconies – this balcony was great with louvres for airflow and shade. If only it hadn’t been such a cold snap, breakfast would have been great. So we settled for afternoon tea instead :-)

* coming home – sure it’s Granny B’s house but it’s always nice to come home. And as our substitute house we have loved coming home to our beds, the garden and the lack of road noise.

Check out Maxabella loves for more grateful ladies...