Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spinning Around

As part of a yucky bug, I've been suffering from the worst vertigo this week. It's been a bit like living with a permanent case of travel sickness or having a major hangover without any of the fun bits beforehand :-(

So with as little movement in my day as possible, I've been...

~ reading The Storyteller~ listening to quiet, quiet, quiet music
~ making easter goodies to go on Little B's easter tableau
~ watching the boys renovate our "new" secondhand boat after work and school. It's been quite the DIY project.
~ crocheting a new hot water bottle cover for when the cold nights start to bite

Now I'm just hoping to be up and able for the Easter weekend :-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We heart Banjo the Carob Bear xx

Little B is allergic to so many things that often he either has to miss out (a big no no when you are six) or magic mama has to try and re-create things as best she can. And I have to say this generally involves food and I work hard at making things from scratch (I make a mean fake freckle for a tea cup biscuit LOL).

But after only one term at school, this need to fit in has made itself even more apparent. Our school has no formal policies on birthdays and in an open prep classroom there are 48 birthdays to be had this year. Thankfully we really only have to experience 24 of them!! And experience them we have - they primarily revolved around a bag of chocolate frogs, chocolate biscuits and birthday cakes.

At kinder and now school, we have always had home-made cupcakes in the freezer at the office, so Little B gets to celebrate when things are brought in. But we have since discovered (sadly in retrospect) that this is too hard for the teachers to follow through with.

My next try was to present them with a jar for Little B containing small containers of bubbles, individual shortbread biscuits and plain white marshmallows (so he could pick one thing). Which was novel and exciting and seemed to be working.

But you can imagine delight when we recently discovered Banjo the Carob Bear. He is a little carob teddy bear (not unlike a branded chocolate frog). He tastes divine, is oh so very cute and Little B loves that he looks like he is eating the same thing as everyone else.

These have made their way into Little B's treaty jar at school and now he doesnt spend birthday time, sitting with nothing while the rest of the kids munch on. Plus I love that they are made by a small South Australian family business in Port Elliot (where my grandparents live).

** Disclaimer: I am in no way sponsored or affiliated with The Carob Kitchen. Just one very happy customer :-)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Slow Living Diary February 2013

I’m excited to once again be joining in with Christine from Slow Living Essentials for a monthly reflection of slow living. I really enjoyed last year looking back at what I had done and achieved. I also like the accountability and vainly hope it might inspire me to blog more often :-)

NOURISH: I’ve been bulk cooking snacks for school (jam oat cookies, amaranth pikelets, museli bars) with great success. I also make a batch of egg custard at the start of the week so Little B can take some as well in his lunchbox. I’m currently still trialling some kind of savoury scroll/scone – I’m nearly there with the recipe.

And I have to say the days when what's on our plate is either grown by us (vegies), made by us (bread) or from somewhere local (tiny local butcher using local meat) just gives me a total buzz.

PREPARE: I’ve been using the last of our zucchinis to make Hot Zucchini Relish (recipe courtesy of Rohan Anderon’s Whole Larder Love) as well as blanching and freezing any green beans that don’t make their way straight into dinner. I’ve also been making, using and freezing copious amounts of chicken stock. With Little B at school and prone to picking up every bug that goes around, I’m trying to keep his immune system fighting fit and healthy by adding stock to all our soups and casseroles.

REDUCE: I’ve been doing lots of decluttering a la Flylady's focus of the month (swapping clothes Little B has grown out off with friends, getting rid of any old toys or things we don’t need). I managed to swap Little B's old car seat for a fantastic maslin pan for jam making (I was so very proud of this LOL).
GREEN: I’ve had great success with this conditioning treatment from Maria at Econest:

'Blend 1/2 ripe avocado, 1tsp avocado oil and 1 egg yolk until smooth, then spread throughout hair and leave for a few minutes before rinsing. Excellent for fine or dry hair'

As I grow my henna out and embrace the greys, I’m finding my hair that bit more dry. As challenging as it is socially more than physically, I’m intent on going back to my natural grey even though I’m only 35!!

GROW: So far this summer, I’ve kept us in potatoes, zucchini, squash and beans. I pick beans every day so far (one of the few vegies Little B isn’t allergic too). We also harvested and ate the last of the blackberries and have just eaten our first few apples off our apple tree. But the vegie garden itself looks sad and needs some tender loving care after this hot hot summer.

CREATE:  Not much going on creatively. I keep plodding along with my hot water bottle covers. I've only got one square left of this one, then I can sew it all together. I’m hoping they’ll all be finished for winter.

DISCOVER:   I’ve really enjoyed The Little Vegie Co’s Guide to Backyard Farming – I love to read about gardening and I’m happy if I only learn one new tip. In this book, I learnt three :-) I succumbed and read Sweet Poison: Why Sugar is making us fat by David Gillespie. I’ve avoided this book for ages and I thought I didn’t want yet another thing or bandwagon to “worry” about, but it was a great eye-opening read. The irony is Mr B read it cover to cover and has totally taken it on board (suffice to say he’s not a health foodie kind of guy).

And for fun I’ve been re-reading my way back through the Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood. Gotta love Phyrne xx

ENHANCE: I’ve been using my excess zucchinis and squash for good and not evil LOL. Granny B’s work set up an impromptu foodswap and I’ve bartered our excess for cucumbers, eggs, tomatoes and strawberries. It was such a great thing to be part of and I hope it happens next year as well. We’ve been trying to walk to school as much as possible as well.

ENJOY: Little B started school this month for the first time. Quite a momentous occasion for us!! And it’s been going well so far – though he has been super tired!! But February is also the month of birthdays for our family so there’s been BBQ’s, home-made ice-cream cakes, canoeing, picnics, and our 11th anniversary!! Full of love and laughter.