Tuesday, March 26, 2013


In order to prepare for the long weekend ahead I thought we needed to go SLOW for a day.

So here's how you'll find me today!
Slow paced, feet up, coffee in hand watching my little Rouge play.
Hope your having a good day xx

Monday, March 25, 2013

In the Lunch box - Coconut Chocolate Bites

Easter = chocolate!!

As a child I was never big on chocolate. For Easter all my siblings would get an egg of some kind, but I'd get something different. Something little but still special that my mum had picked out especially. One year it was the cutest little package of worry dolls that still sit proudly in my shadow box  today :)

But having 3 babies seemed to change all that! Now I'm the kind of person who falls for the chocolate bar conveniently sitting at the checkout. I'm the kind of person who orders a brownie and happily finishes it myself.......admittedly I'm no where near loving chocolate as much as my family does, but I'm on my way. Who knew being pregnant could change your taste buds too.

So this Easter, I thought instead of doing our traditional cookies, I'd make something a little different.
It's a recipe I saw on a blog (and I am sooooo sorry I can't remember which one, but will happily credit back if you've seen it too)

Coconut Chocolate Bites

Coconut -
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil (un melted)
2 tbsp honey
raw almonds

Chocolate -
2 tbsp coconut oil
500g dark chocolate chips

1. Mix the first 3 ingredients in a blender until it becomes a creamy paste.
2. Half fill patty pans or a silicon moulds and press in firmly.
3. Lightly press in almond (I ran out of almonds so used chopped figs as well, yum)

Melt oil and chocolate together then fill the rest of the moulds with the chocolate mixture.
Place in freezer for 2 hours then place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

Then simply place a few in the lunch box, place one next to your morning coffee or wrap up a batch and give them as a gift.  Happy Easter Everyone :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Making me smile this week

 - My proud Stooge showing off his beautiful first 'gap'.
- The largest 'large' coffee I've ever seen! Seriously!
- The perfect dinner for 2 prepared by my lovely Pip.
- My book worm in her element at the library (does it matter the books upside down?)
- The outfit Bib chose to wear one night we went out for dinner....so funny. Clearly we need to get out more!

What's putting a smile on your face this week??

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Seedling joy

The kids and I have been very busy of late, creating little seedling pots and raising vegies from seed for the school fair coming up. We are officially in charge of the 'beetroot' seedlings. It feels a little daunting really, knowing that if we don't have any luck raising any, the whole fair will be beetroot free. And well that just wouldn't do cause everyone knows - 'you can't beat a root'! (sorry had to be done!)
Luckily for us there is success. Our beets are coming up nicely in the little paper pots the kids have been making, and we've even been able to transfer some into the garden to get larger for sale day.

Our budding beets have given the kids a little confidence, so now anything they eat with a seed seems to be getting saved, dried out and put in seedling mix. So far they've tried pansy's, pumpkin, tomatoes, capsicum and even feijoa! Not sure how it's all going to grow but who am I to squash garden enthusiasm. You never know, this may be the beginning of a wonderful career.

Now all we hope is for the sun to be shining on our fair day and  for the seedling stall to be a winner.

What have you grown from seeds yourself? Any tips for us??

Monday, March 18, 2013

In the Lunchbox - date scone

I know this is meant to be where I write up recipes for the lunch box, but there's nothing wrong with popping one on a plate and enjoying it myself for morning tea......is there??  A little lathering of jam, a pot of lemon grass tea enjoyed from one of grandmas old treasured sets and I'm sorted :)

Date Scone

1/2 cup finely chopped dates
1/2 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cups s/r flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
30g butter
3/4 cup milk

Let dates soak in boiling water for 15 min.
Place flour, salt, sugar in a large bowl and rub in butter with fingers.
Using a knife, cut undrained date mixture and enough milk to make a soft sticky dough.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead quickly and lightly until smooth.
Use hands to press out dough evenly to 2cm thickness, cut into 5cm rounds.

Place rounds onto pregreased or lined tray and bake for 15min or until lightly browned.

Enjoy :)

Blooming Drought

New Zealand is experiencing it's driest summer in 6 years. It has officially been declared in 'drought' and there are many many farmers under real threat.  According to the Minister of Finance, Bill English, this ongoing drought may slash up to $2billion off the national economy.
Today on the radio I was brought to tears listening to a wife tell how her husband had, only last week, taken his own life. The pressure he was feeling, the loss he would have endured due to this drought was just too much for him to bare - just devastating. Sadly he wasn't the first and according to the government body reporting, he won't be the last either.
I then came home and was greeted by my garden full of blooms that have been relishing in this drought. Such a bitter sweet feeling.  So I grabbed the camera and thought I'd savour what could be the only silver lining in this nations drought.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekend pickings

This weekend saw us berry picking!

Raspberries, blackberries, blue berries and strawberries. It was fantastic. One for the bucket, two for the mouth. One for the bucket, two for the mouth.........yum!

Spending time together, enjoying the sunshine, having a laugh, creating another happy memory and picking enough fruit to stock the freezer for - I'd like to say the year - but I dare say it will last only a few months!

Seasonal, fresh, local and organic produce. Perfect.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

this moment

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. . - soulemama

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Best foot forward

School uniform. Check
School bag. Check
School hat. Check
Lunch box. Check
School shoes - not required. What??

As a child, my Bib hated shoes. We'd put them on, she'd take them off. We'd get her dressed, pop her in the car and by the time we got to our destination, her shoes and socks were long gone. She was just one of those kids. Mostly it didn't phase me, cause I do prefer barefoot myself and we do have a no shoes in the house rule, but there are times when you just have to wear shoes and look like someone loves you!

"the best foot development occurs when children go barefoot and it's important to remember that the primary role of shoes is to protect the foot from injury and infection. Shoes that are stiff and compressive can cause deformity, weakness and loss of mobility - children should be barefoot as much as possible under the age of 12 for healthy foot development" - Leading Podiatrist Bronwyn Cooper with an expertise in footwear.

When Bib first started school we headed out to find a pair of school shoes that would support her foot for the 6 hours/5 days a week she was going to be wearing them, hopefully last the year and NOT cost the earth. We were recommended Clarks (like all Aussie kids are!) but it turns out Bib's foot is not from the original cast mould and Clarks don't actually make a shoe to fit her? Ahhhh. Luckily we found an English shoe company that caters for the 'wider' foot and $130 later, she has shoes! So much for the not cost the earth!

So, for the last 2 years, every morning Bib has been getting ready for school. Get dressed, shoes and socks on, suncream, hat, brush teeth, brush hair and we're out the door. Normal right.
Then we get to NZ, and we're told shoes are optional? What does that mean? Optional? Do I need to buy a pair or not? Apparently not. There are kids walking to school in sandals, crocs, runners, and then others in nothing at all. Perhaps it the strong Polynesian influence in NZ, I'm not sure but  I have to say it feels weird!

As you can imagine, my Bib is in Heaven! She's LOVING the freedom. The fact she can run around with NO shoes simply makes her smile. It almost feels a bit naughty for her I think :)
So when I came across these 'barefoot sandles', I simply knew I had to buy them. I knew my little barefoot gypsy girl would LOVE these. And she did. They are now her most favourite pair of shoes and she's even allowed to wear them to school. Imagine her smile now!!

No matter how old you are, the right shoe can be the difference between happy, healthy feet and absolute misery! Wouldn't you agree?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In the Lunch Box

Crispy Coconut Cookies

125g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 coconut
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
extra coconut

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Mix butter and sugar in a bowel till smooth and creamy.
Add egg, coconut and honey and beat in well. Sift in flour and baking powder. Mix well.
Roll small amounts into balls then roll into the extra coconut
Put each ball 5cm apart on lined tray and bake for 12 mins or till golden.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weekend in review....

Weekends are so much fun. I love them. I love the relaxedness (is that a word!) of them, the business of them, the knowing you can do as much or as little as you want for the next 2 days!  For us, it's the only time we get to spend time altogether as a family doing fun things. And our move to NZ has made for even more fun planning. We have made a list of things we want to do, see, explore, stay visit etc while we are here and we hope to spend our weekends doing all of the above......one. by. one.

This weekend we thought we'd check out Matakana Village. We heard it's a local market held every Saturday for good (organic mostly) food with a little handmade on the side. It was about an hours drive from our house so not far at all.

They were fantastic. So many beautiful, fresh, local foods and supplies it was hard to select just a few to buy from. And the lay out was fabulous. I haven't seen anything like it at home, but would be such a great thing to set up. It felt almost like what I imagine a market would have felt like back in old trading days. Simple but lovely.  We came away with beautiful blue cheese, olive flat bread, smoked garlic, organic homemade salami and an eggplant plant for the garden (much to the kids disgust!)

Then one our way home we took a little detour to discover Snells Beach. Unfortunately the tide was too far out for swimming, but it's never too far out for adventuring and having fun.

Perfect way to spend a Saturday if you ask me!

What do you like to do on the weekends? Do you support your local markets? What stalls draw you in?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Geo Fun

This week has found me home with Stooge suffering from the chicken pox. Luckily he had the vaccine when he was 18 months so only got a very mild dose,  but it still means quarantine until the spots have scabbed over.

So what a perfect time to pull out one of my 'to do' games I've had in the back of my mind for ages.
A Geo Board! It will give him a chance to be still without being bored. You have no idea how important this is for our Stooge!

First I went to the hardware and got some peg board (they only had a large sheet, so I had it cut in 3 with the the idea of using for presents later in the year perhaps)
Then I bought a packet of 2.5 cm screws with bolts and threaded them through in a grid pattern.

So for an inexpensive $8 I now have a game that everyone enjoys, is open ended (you know I love those!) and uses up all those odd rubber bands that I've collected over time.

Best $8 ever spent. It's kept them ALL busy for hours and somehow they are even able to all play and share it at the same time - who knew it was possible?
Did you have a geo board when you were young? Do you have any other 'still' games you could suggest for us?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

In the Lunch box

I have a huge loathing for food that is sold as a 'packet within a packet'. Not only do they have a huge environmental impact, but I have found these foods contain more sugar, have a higher salt content and generally contain more artificial flavours, colours and preservatives which my kids just don't need. Interestingly, they are usually more expensive to purchase too?

So every Sunday I (with the kids help!) do a little cook up to make things for the lunch boxes for the week ahead. Typically I will do a double batch just to ensure I don't get caught out by the end of the week.

So from now on I thought I'd start sharing what we're cooking to perhaps give some ideas and help your house become less packaged too. Some weeks it will be sweet, sometimes savoury.....but always fuss free and always yummy :)

Here's todays batch of cooking:


200g butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/4 cup corn flour
about 1/4 cup of strawberry or raspberry jam

Preheat oven - 160 degrees
Cream sugar and butter until pale then beat in vanilla. Add sifted flours and mix on low until mixture comes together. Using your hands form dough into a ball and chill in fridge for 15 mins.
Roll about a teaspoon into a ball and place on lined tray. Press an indent in the centre of each with your finger and fill with a little jam.
Bake for 15 min or until golden.

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