Tuesday, May 17, 2011

hello again my old friend

it has been a few weeks since i've sewed... a problem machine and changing my sewing table left it to be a dump zone for the past few weeks.

so lovely to spend some tidying it up ready to attack some project this week.

on the cards? cushions, dolls clothes and  cute pencil/whateva cases.  lets hope my self diagnosis and fixing of my machine holds up!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

healthy muffin munchies

reading a women's health mag at the doctor's office today and came across some great healthy flavour filled muffin recipes i wanted to share with you all...

source: australian women's health march 2009

mood managers: papaya & pineapple muffins
'..packed with nutrient-dense complex carbs...to help your brain ramp up production of that "woo-hoo!" chemical (serotonin). the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts and flaxseeds may offer additional protection... they combat moodiness and irritability and nourish the whole nervous system.'

1.5 cups wholemeal flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup tinned pineapple, drained
1 cup cubed papaya
1/3 cup yoghurt
1 egg, beaten
2 tbs canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. preheat oven to 190degC
2. in a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon
3. in a food processor or blender puree pineapple, papaya and yoghurt. mix in egg, oil, sugar and syrup.
4. combine pineapple and flour mixtures; fold in walnuts and cranberries.
5. spoon batter into paper-lined muffing cups. bake for 20-22mins or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. cool on a wire rack.

heart guards: apple and cinnamon oat bran muffins
'pectin fibre in apples, oat bran and vitamin E rich canola oil are loved by cardiologists because together they lower both total and LDL cholesterol and keep blood sugar levels under control.'

1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
4 tbs canola oil
1 apple, shredded
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. preheat oven to 175degC.
2. in a large bowl, whisk together bran, flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. in a separate bowl, whisk together egg and oil until smooth. stir in shredded apple, apple sauce and sugar. combine mixtures and fold in pecans.
4. spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups. if desired sprink oats over muffin tops. bake for 22-25mins or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. cool ona wire rack

engine starters: date and oat muffins
'...the natural sugars in the dates and prunes give you quick energy but blood-sugar regulating B vitamins in the oats keep it flowing slow and steady so you don't spike and crash.'

1.5 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
2 heaped tbs canilla whey protein flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
14 dates, finely chopped  (about 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
4 tbs grapeseed oil
2 tbs golden syrup
1/3 cup prune juice

1. preheat to 200degC
2. combine oats and milk in a bowl and let soak. in a separate large bowl, mix flour, whey protein, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and dates.
3. in another bowl, combine egg, oil, golden syrup and prune juice. add to oats mixture, then stir in flour mix.
4. spoon batter into paper-lined muffing cups. bake for 20mins or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. cool on a wire rack.

flu fighters: carrot and ginger bran muffins
'carrots are rich in immune-boosting vitamin A, zinc-packed pumpkin seeds ward off infection and apple juice contains sniffle-stifling vitamin C. another weapon: yoghurt... its good-for-you bacteria provides defence against microbes.'

1/4 cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup wheat bran
1.25 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbs molasses
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1. preheat oven to 190degC
2. boil juice over high heat until it becomes syrupy. set aside and let cool.
3. in a large bowl, whisk together wheat bran, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ground ginger
4. in a separate bowl combine reduced juice, egg, yoghurt, carrot, fresh ginger and molasses. combine mixtures and then fold in pumpkin seeds.
5. spoon batter into paper-lined muffing cups. bake for 18 to 20mins or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. cool on a wire rack.

PMS busters: banana, yoghurt and walnut muffins
'bananas provide cramp-busting potassium and vitamin B6, a hormone regulator that may help reduce water retention, depression and other PMS symptoms... yoghurt delivers calcium and vitamin D: the dynamic duo has been shown to slash PMS symptoms by up to 40%. add magnesium-rich walnuts... the mineral which may reduce irritability and stabilise blood sugar.'

1.25 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup walnuts

1. preheat owven to 190degC
2. in a large bowl whisk together oats, flour, flaxseeds, baking powder and baking soda.
3. in a separate bowl, combine eggs, yoghurt, bananas, syrup and oil. add flour mixture and fold into walnuts.
4. divide batter into paper-lined muffin cups. bake for 20-22 mins or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

best buys

have come to the realisation i should perhaps share with you only my favourite bargin buys so as to not overload blog inboxes...

so here's this weeks best buys...

wooden pin toys - the lot $2 at local wellspring op shop
plans for these to line a shelf somewhere in my future bub's room.
we're talking years away... don't get excited just yet!

wallpaper sourced by my wonderful mum at her regular op shops
 in toowoomba. she's fabulous.
she knows how much i love green-ness. 
and my lack of luck in sourcing wallpaper for crafting.

$5 set of wooden kitchen canisters -
from yesterdays brisbane suitcase rumamge
i plan to use them for storage on top of my fridge.
got to be effective with storage in a small kitchen.
i like the use of wooden items to warmify and calm the use of colour
in my kitchen/dining room.

$3 indian decorative bowl from local wellspring op shop.
bit different to my latest 70s johnson of australia plate collection
added to my kitchen but i think it helps to be the decorative step
between my wooden pieces and colourful bowls etc.

and there is my spending ration done for the week! oh dear. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

memories for my mum

had my mum come with me to the suitcase rummage yesterday. so lovely to share the experience with her, especially on mother's day, as we love searching through each other's bargins and vintage buys when we visit each other's homes.

it's also her 50th birthday coming up next week so have been going over her lifetime of photos for my sis to put something special together for the day.

it made me want to share with you who this beautiful lady is to me.
a photo blog dedicated to her.
so here are some of my favourite photos of her collection that captures the mum i know and love.

cute, loveable, happy kid

i'm sure my sis and i got some of our love of school
from our mum. obdient and eager to learn.

a lover of animals - pets have always been family.
a lover of family and making great family memories.

a little bit cheeky.

it takes a special lady to love a quirky guy like him. :)

a gorgeous bride and loving wife.
proud mum to her twins.

playful mum

always planning family adventures for great times
and memories together.

love this... my mum and my nanna.
the laughs that happen when you get
the women in my family together.
have great memories growing up of my mum, aunty and nanna
getting in hysterics laughing at the silly things they do at
family occaisions. great memories.

a reluctant pillion passenger to my dad's love of riding.
she now has her own leather jacket.
dad and i are so proud.
connected us to our new zealand heritage

proud mum to her now married daughters

very excited to be a grandma to my nephew.

mum, carer, supporter and friend.
me, mum and my sis.

happy mother's day, happy birthday and thanx for being my mum jules.
love you to bits.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

hello sadie

it seems i have a sadie house wife theme for this months brisbane suitcase rummage!!

yep... hear that johnny farhnem classic singing in your head now!!

have been collecting aprons, pot holders and oven mits to take up to brissy on the weekend.
here's some of my favourites....

and while we're on our sadie pieces around the house wanted to show you a favourite apron of my own...

this comes from a great aunty of my hubby. its still starched and looking fabulous. i can't bring myself to wear it while cooking as i never want to ruin it! love it so much.

i've come to wearing aprons while cooking and sewing lately. am loving feeling like a 1950s housewife. i'm coming round to thinking i would have loved to live in that era! but being home by choice, not because i have no other option available to me.  i've studied, worked. and now i'm ready to play house, build a big vegie garden and sew from home. i'm taking one day at a time stepping towards that dream! bring on hubby finishing uni!

wishing you some happy moments around your home this week. blessings, nais.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

grace in casino

no, not a day gambling but a unique op shop experience at a nearby town, casino nsw.

a lifeline store next to where i've been working is one of my regular haunts.  was in there and found a new table runner (see below) which is one of my most fav finds ever as i just love butterflies and don't often find tasteful butterfly pieces to match my home.... however that is not the story... back to it... was admiring the doilys looking for something cute and quality to add to mum's collection.  a lovely lady came up and spoke to me... her name was grace... she offered for me to come out the back and look through their boxes!! of other doilys and handiwork.  its always feels like sweet forbidden territory entering into the back room of an op shop... such a buzz... feels like you'll get an even earlier peek at amazing finds before they make it to the shelves and other hunting eyes.

she slowly unrolled... yes she stores the 'something special' ones on plasitc and paper rolls... she is the one that takes them home, soaks them for stain removal, starches and irons them... and still sells them at great prices. such care is taken.  as we went through 3 boxes (i had to get going by that stage!!) she, and gradually another 3 ladies helping in the shop that day gathered round, described the techniques and errors of the doily creators' ways.  'oh this one has been knitted and then crocheted'... 'oh dear, they've ruined that one by using too many stiches on the edging'... 'oh i remember that pattern'... i was surrounded by a lovely group of old ducks who were capable of all my needlework and sewing dreams!

despite my subtle hints that i would love to learn from such skilled ladies, it took till i was almost finished my transaction and out the door for grace to offer to teach me.  she then shared that she has 12 grand-daughters and none of them have an interest or appreciation of the skills of their generation. i think she was stoked to see a young person take the time to share this joy with her. 

while i was in there, i was thinking how much of a buzz my mum would get having this experience.  grace offered to have my mum come to the back room and delve through the boxes herself when she visits. she introduced me to the manager, told me her volunteer schedule and such was my day. 

i picked out a couple that i thought mum might like. but the real buzz was being able to show an interest and share the appreciation for the hours of work that went into these delicate creations.

thank you casino lifeline and st vinnies for my few finds from that day...

and most of all, thank you grace.

carton seedlings

my dad passed on this idea to me.

another use for your build up of old egg cartons - a great seed planter which you can plant straight into the ground limiting the risk of damaging your seedlings on transfer to your garden as the roots will grow through the moist egg carton once planted.

here are some of my seedlings in progress and my brocolli in the garden - proof the transfer is successful!

may days

a rural drive, learning guitar from my old hymnal, flowers and fruit - my favourite table toppers, and a glorious morning at the beach.

welcome to the start of my may days. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

free living challenge - 'it's over' wrap up

 a belated happy easter to you all!  with family visiting and the subsequent recovery time for me i'm a little delayed in this final post for this challenge.

goal... to abstain from spending hobbies - to focus on finding daily joy in no cost living.

my final days of free living joy....

quite a lovely time to have this challenge end. easter when we celebrate the amazing act of Jesus in his sacrifice for us to live free from our brokeness in a personal relationship with God.  and anzac day when we celebrate the sacrifice of our fellow Australians and New Zealanders for us to live free in our amazing country. 

for all Australians i feel anzac day is one of the most spiritual experiences no matter what your faith and belief.  went to our local dawn service. there is a beautiful peace, thankfulness and feeling of community at these services. 

other easter/anzac weekend free living adventures included....

gardened.... with the help of my gorgeous nephew...

my first attempt at hot cross buns.  hmmm... need to find the right recipe for gluten free flour!! bit of a 'the blob' look happening...

made dolls clothes from my collection of materials for a rubber doll my mum picked up for my nephew who's younger brother is due in august...  so cool to see him cuddle 'his baby'.

made some herb bouquets for some friends...
the rain has turned my parsley and coriander into super bushes taking over my carrot and radish rows!

and enjoyed the overcast, rainy days. picnics in the car were a favourite of mine in the last days of april... just had to get out of the house. was lovely to go and sit at different sites around town to take in the weather...

and there we have it.  free living challenge for lent in 2011 complete...
with only 1 or 2 little hiccups!

it's given me a focus of being more creative with the resources i have around my house - in cooking, creating, in giving... i've really enjoyed going back to hand made gifts of sewing projects, hand made cards, extra vegies or herbs from my garden and pickle or jam creations.

i've become more aware of how i spend my time and now get out and about more... whether it be for walks or rides, to be more intentional with time spent with wonderful people through my week and being more aware of what is happening in my community... for free events to get out to and for ways to be involved in looking after the people and environment in which i live.

contentment is something i believe we are all searching for.  i hope sharing my adventures and thoughts through this journey has made you think about where you find fulfillment in life.

i look forward to sharing more of my days with you. sending you blessings for your week and year ahead, nais. x.

citrus glut

only had my lemon tree for 12months and haven't had any fruit yet, however our local fruit market had great prices on lemons and limes this week so had to take advantage to stock up.

froze them up ready for future use if mine aren't yet growing and when they aren't such a bargin at the market.

hope you're making the most of your citrus gluts. nothing like fresh lime or lemon juice for a fresh salad dressing. :)

pickled radish

we grow radishes for my hubby as it's a fav childhood memory of his picking a fresh radish straight from the garden to crunch on.

not one of my favourites however we've had super radishes growing so have needed to harvest them before he's gotten to eat them all so needed to find a pickling recipe.


2 cups radishes, sliced, ends removed
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tblsp salt
several dashes herbs of choice
2 cloves garlic
8 cloves

1. slice radishes; set aside
2. place one clove garlic and four cloves in each of two medium mason jars; slice open garlic a bit if it's a large clove
3. combine vinegar, salt and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
4. add herbs to vinegar mixture
5. pour vinegar mixture over radishes in a large bowl; stir until all are covered
6. transfer radishes to jars, and then cover with vinegar mixture. top off each bottle with enough white vinegar to cover the radishes
7. put in fridge, let sit for a couple hours/days, and enjoy.

found this one online here which suited the ingredients in my cupboard however want to try another one with coriander, ginger and peppercorns next.

actually quite enjoying these now they're pickled! great in brown rice salads and on sandwiches. i'm a convert!