Monday, August 7, 2017

meal planning monday.

boy has it been a while between drinks when it comes to meal planning monday posts... as in, well over a year, oops he he!
turns out this moving to the country and having a baby caper tends to mess with one's ability to organise meals... well that's not necessarily true, we've been eating just fine, but it does cut into the time you have to find pretty pictures and tappy-type up posts for blogs.

anywho, enough dwelling on the past, time to get to planning!

a snap of the calendar whiteboard on our fridge, filled in with a month of meal plans

as you can see from the picture, rather than work on a weekly schedule, bb and i sat down and nutted out a whole month!
i'm hoping it helps free up brain space and means that we should only have to do one or two grocery shops for the month, which we can then supplement with fresh fruit and vegetables from our local. not to mention, it should help stop our favourite meals from becoming boring.

now i'd best be off to write up some lists, i've got some grocery shopping to get done!

how do you go about meal planning these days?

Monday, July 10, 2017

green love.

it's been a wee while since i shared what was going on out in the garden, but what a perfect time to share now that everything has well and truly slowed down a bit!

lemon tree, full of lemons!

the lemon tree is absolutely laden once again... best get to some lemony baking i think... lemon butter, curd, tart, cake! oh the possibilities!

despite it being super chilly outside, there are one or two things ready to go into the ground...

little broad bean seedlings poking their heads up out of the seedling tray

a few broad beans...

and some sugar snap peas too!

sugar snap pea seedlings, in desperate need of a plant out!

hopefully they're ok with our frosty mornings once i get them in the ground!

these little lettuces are coming along slowly, with some wee beetroot in the foreground too.

garden bed with tiny beetroot sprouts, butter crunch lettuce seedlings, and established kale and rainbow spinach plants in the back

and way back there at the back, some kale and rainbow spinach keeping us well supplied with greens to put into soups and pasta sauces and well, just about everything to be honest!

in this bed, we've got a good mixture of stuff! hopefully the combination of lots of different leafy bits will keep the cabbage moths confused and give everything a chance to grow nice and big without getting eaten to the ground by caterpillars...

a section of our patch, featuring big butter crunch lettuces, garlic and cauliflower plants

wish me luck on that one he he!

what's growing in your garden at the moment?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

plastic free july.

a little collection including a reusable coffee cup, a stainless steel water bottle, a stainless steel straw and cutlery set and a crocheted mesh bag

it's july (!!!) and this year, i've decided to join in with the plastic free july challenge, in a bid to reduce some of our consumption of single use plastics...

i'm definitely on board with reducing the big four, being straws, plastic bottles (such as water and soft drink bottles), plastic bags and coffee cups, but i've set myself a few additional challenges too!

the first is to cut down our use of disposable nappies!
we've got a good stash of cloth nappies ready to go, so it's just a matter of making sure they're what we reach for when it's nappy change time!
BR> the second is to avoid the drive thru. nothing we buy there is any good for our health, our budget, and the amount of single use plastic that you end up with is crazy town!

the third and final challenge i've set us, is to start a collection of soft plastics that are unavoidable at this stage, to recycle at our new local redcycle point. not buying food items in soft plastics would be the ideal situation, but i definitely don't have time to be home-making everything we need at this stage in life he he.

are you joining in with plastic free july too? what are your favourite things to do to reduce waste?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

taking stock.

baby head looking out for whales at the beach, dressed in a mama knitted milo vest beautiful beaded shawl snapped at knitting group sewing the bind off of the bottom of my cardigan avocado on toast with a cup of tea, big glass of water and a mug of broth knitting away on a milo vest in the beauty shop waiting for a massage

and just like that, it's nearly been a month between drinks! despite having blogging on the mind, i've been neglecting to actually sit down, with my laptop and get to typing. and then of course, the longer it went, the harder it seemed to get back to it.
but i just couldn't let it go any longer!

a little taking stock action, as a means to catch y'all up on where we're at, and to get me back in the game he he!

Making : lots of things, since i last posted, there's been a couple of milos off the needles, and a cardigan for myself. not a lot of sock knitting though so i'm running a bit behind on my pair of socks a month plan...

Cooking : some pretty terribly boring meals to be honest. even a truly terrible one. off my game in more than one area apparently he he!

Drinking : too much soft drinks. back on that bandwagon unfortunately. time for some cold-turkey time.

Reading : blog posts! for the first time in a while, my blog reader is empty! tempted to add a few new blogs to the reel... any recommendations?

Trawling : the real estate app. my heart loves a fixer-upper.

Wanting : to get motivated, set up some routines... my brain is instantly rebelling against any boundaries i give myself at the moment though. good on ya brain.

Looking : around at my trashed lounge room. how does a 9 month old make so much mess? he's not even crawling yet!! Deciding : what to do with the afternoon. need to go op-shopping for some curtains for ag's room and have some friends i want to catch up with too. can we do it all? we shall see he he!

Wishing : time would just slow down a bit! we're midway through june already!

Enjoying : baby giggles. how can you not?

Waiting : for said giggly baby to wake up. hopefully after a bit more of this post gets written he he.

Liking : this chilly weather. the fire is going, we can rug up in woollies, so cosy!

Wondering : what we should have for dinner. probably need to add grocery shopping to that list of things i want to do this afternoon!

Loving : re-watching game of thrones before the new season starts next month. i do it every year as my memory is terrible!

Pondering : lunch options. vegemite and avocado on toast is on high rotation at the moment.

Listening : to a kookaburra outside.

Considering : a wee road trip tomorrow.

Buying : things to keep us cozy. hopefully some curtains to keep the warmth in for ag's bedroom. and a door snake to keep the drafts out from the front door!

Watching : the fifth season of orange is the new black. taking it a lot slower than in previous years... hard to binge watch shows with a baby around!

Hoping : the kookaburra doesn't wake the baby. little ag is not a happy chappy when he gets woken up from naps!

Marvelling : at just how quickly the days disappear. what have i even got done today?

Cringing : at my inability to get my shit together some days.

Needing : to clean the oven. it's terrible!

Questioning : what it means to be feminine...

Smelling : not much at all. blissful when you're thinking about poo many many hours of the day.

Wearing : my new cardigan constantly. oh and handknit socks. all day every day.

Noticing : birds. specifically rosellas on my drive home this morning. they were hiding all over the place!

Knowing : that things will work out eventually.

Thinking : about bulk shopping. what we could use and such.

Opening : the fire door to put more wood on.

Closing : some of the 8 trillion tabs open on my phone.

Feeling : the cold a lot more already this winter. last winter i was pregnant, and although it seemed cold at the time, maybe it kept me cosier than i realised!

Celebrating : my little bro getting a new job. well we did over the weekend anyway he he.

Pretending : i haven't deleted a couple of these prompts... it might have happened, oops!

thanks pip for the little list to get me back into this blogging lark! now to keep it up!

Monday, May 22, 2017

why.

homemade soup and bread for lunch

i've been listening to the slow home podcast for quite a while and the episodes always get my mind going, thinking about things in different ways and from different perspectives as well as giving me lots of ideas in ways to slow down and simplify...
last month though, brooke and ben spent the month (on mondays) talking about their 'why's', as in why they do what they do. the values and beliefs that shape their long and short terms goals and daily life too.

i loved this concept, so have been doing quite a bit of thinking about it...

the first part of the podcast series introduced the concept of what a why is, the ways that it can shape your life and world view and in the second part of the podcast series, the how-to begins.
brooke recommends writing your eulogy. what would you want said about you at your funeral? what parts of your life would you want people to remember?
after a bit of pondering, i realised that what i would want remembered of me, is my hard work to make our house a home. a warm and safe place that is welcoming and nurturing. and despite working hard at this, to have had time to be there for those that need me, children, partner, family and friends.
they're the things that are important to me.
the third segment involves pulling values out of that eulogy, boiling it down to a couple of key words to help shape those everyday decisions and the fourth makes recommendations of how to use those values to actually shape those everyday decisions.
the values i gleaned were home and quality time, and i'm really already starting to think about them when i'm making decisions on the daily.

have you ever worked on an exercise like this? are you a slow home podcast listener too?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

wool gathering.

woweeeeeee! what a weekend!

the weekend just gone, marked the hosting of the inaugural wool gathering event at tarndie, and boy was it a great one!

i spent the weekend, wearing an apron, helping out to ensure everyone was having the best time they could be! though those tasks kept me pretty occupied, i managed to flit around and take a fair few photos too!

the event started out pretty nicely for us "staff" (helpers and teachers) with some beautifully motivating words from karen, and some bubbles with a side of tea and a spot of knitting.

bubbles and tea around the dining table while karen says a few words the very start of a milo vest for ag with a glass of bubbles and a cup of tea

before we got settled in to start welcoming folks at the registration desk.

bonnie and kate getting the registration desk set up

after some dinner, and (hopefully) a good night's rest, the attendees flocked back to tarndie on friday, saturday and sunday for some excellent woolly classes.

shawl shapes class with clare in full swing around the dining table sue's short row class participants crowding around to get a good look spinning up a storm under janet's watchful tutelage a pair of newly skilled hands, feeding the fleece into the twist briony showing off the depth of dye on a skein, all the way to the core of the yarn! beautifully coloured skeins, drying on the clothes horse

knitting, spinning, dyeing, and that was just what i managed to snap photos of! there was also weaving, crochet, embroidery and farm touring happening too!

with all that fun, thankfully there was still a bit of time for resting (knitting) too...

saffy the collie resting outside the tarndie cafe window

unless you're saffy the dog, then there was LOTS of time for resting!

after a slow few days this week to recover, i'm really looking forward to getting started on next year's event! one or two kinks to iron out, and then next year's should be even better! can't wait!

Monday, May 1, 2017

a tale of two socks.

around this time last year, i was talking to a friend and together we were trying to figure out a problem she had come up against while sock knitting. she wanted to keep her pretty yarn for the instep and upper portion of the sock, and use a plain, contrast colour for the sole as well as the heel and toe.
after a bit of brainstorming, we came up with a solution!

fast forward a year, and i've knitted myself a pair too to test our theory.

vanilla socks with the toe, sole, heel and ribbing knit in a slate grey yarn with the remaining portions knit in a self fair-isling yarn in blues and greens

these are my two-toned vanilla socks. quite the success i think.

i used this vanilla sock pattern as my basis (as i have for almost every pair of socks so far this year... it's a great pattern!) and went from there!

vanilla socks with the toe, sole, heel and ribbing knit in a slate grey yarn with the remaining portions knit in a self fair-isling yarn in blues and greens

the basic premise i used was to begin the socks, knit the toes in the round as per the pattern, and then when it came to knitting the body of the foot of the sock, i split my stitches into sole and instep stitches. i knit the sole first using the same yarn as the toe, backwards and forwards, slipping the first stitch of every row. i continued knitting backwards and forwards, completing the gusset increases and then the heel, before moving back to the instep stitches.
using my fancy yarn and the instep stitches i had on hold from the toe, i began working backwards and forwards again, to create the instep but instead of slipping the first stitch of each row, this time i picked up the slipped stitch from the sole in the corresponding row, and knitted (or purled) it together with the first stitch of my instep row, using an ssk decrease or a p2tog.
once i'd knitted the full instep and had picked up all of the stitches along the sides of the sole and heel, i went back to working in the round, continuing to work with my fancy yarn.
i decided to do a contrast ribbing section too

vanilla socks with the toe, sole, heel and ribbing knit in a slate grey yarn with the remaining portions knit in a self fair-isling yarn in blues and greens

they were a little slow going for me, though i think that was all to do with my mind!
i think i was a bit scared of them not working, and having to pull them out.
i had a stern talking to myself though, it's only knitting, not brain surgery! it's ok to make mistakes when they're so easy to fix! and look how well they've turned out?!

they're aaaaaalmost perfect... unfortunately, they're a wee bit big on my feet. damn!
not to worry though, i'm sure there's someone out there with bigger feet than me he he.

what do you think? would you give these a go?