Health. Primal Nutrition. Exercise. Motherhood. Sustainability & Creating various things.

Things That Happen When It Rains for Four Days........

My Winter blanket finally gets finished (a few months too late!)

A Sleeveless Vest for our April baby gets a very decent start

Christmas wrapping paper gets made in the garage by a little girl.

Then, when the rain stopped and we could play outside again we found..........

Two ripe Strawberries in our garden!

Gently Does It....

Now that Jacinda has entered toddlerhood (and experienced a few tantrums!) we are starting to learn about Gentle Discipline.

What stood out to me about this method was the concept of looking at the underlying need of the child that caused them to misbehave and correcting the situation on that level. For instance are they bored?? curious?? tired?? hungry?? in need of some fresh air and outdoor play??

I feel like I have a long way to go yet, but here are a couple of ways we have embraced the concept of gentle discipline so far.......

Jacinda's destuctive digging in the Vegetable Garden (including our first EVER nearly-ripe strawberry getting picked off the plant!!) was caused by her wanting to join in all the fun and be just like Mama and Daddy. So, an old nail box from Junk and Disorderly for $1 has now been transformed in to her own garden. If she happens to dig up the vegetables again, all we need to do is remind her that she can do gardening too, by picking the dandelions off the lawn and 'planting' them in her own garden.

This lovely crayon drawing on our chair happened out of a genuine desire to create, not to intentionally 'disobey'. I knew this would happen one day so we purposely choose to solely allow crayons for drawing as opposed to anything else that stains. That way, we can encourage drawing on paper, but shall any accidents happen, we won't lose our temper. 


Discipline aside, I haven't washed this off since it happened a few days ago because.... I actually like the innocence of her artwork and it reminds me of a phrase in The Idle Parent Manifesto ....

'Happy mess is better than miserable tidiness' 

Handmade Christmas Cards

This year I have decided to make my own Christmas Cards because I feel that the homemade touch always adds a little something special. Here's How.......

For 2 Cards you will need: 
  • 1x A4 sheet of cardboard 
  • 2x 30 cm lengths of ribbon 
  • 2x hand tied bows in a smaller ribbon 
  • Pencil
  • Scissors 
  • Craft knife (optional) 
  • Double sided tape 

How To:

  1. Using the Craft knife or scissors, cut the A4 sheet of cardboard in half to make the card.
  2. Zig-zag a 30 cm length of ribbon to form the Christmas tree design, while you are doing this use a pencil to mark a small cross at each turn of the ribbon.
  3. Cut and place a small piece of double sided tape on each cross you have marked
  4. Repeat the Zig-Zag design, this time pressing down at each turn to ensure the ribbon sticks to the cardboard.
  5. Secure the small bow at the top of the design with a small piece of double sided tape
If anyone else has any Christmas Card ideas, please feel free to share.

A Life In Your Hands.

A beautiful poem to remind me that my child is a reflection of myself......

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, she learns to fight 
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy
If a child lives with shame, she learns to be guilty
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient 
If a child lives with encouragement, she learns confidence 
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate 
If a child lives with fairness, she learns justice 
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith 
If a child lives with approval, she learns to like herself 
If a children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world 

Dorothy Law Holte 

A Different Sort of Advent Calender

I spent a bit of time today preparing Jacinda's first ever Advent Calender for the rapidly approaching month of December.

I was delighted to find these mini stockings in a local gift shop and am excited that we can re-use them for many years to come, as well as fill them up with healthy treats that Jacinda will love.  So-far I have popped in some tasty Frooze Balls (made from dried fruit and nuts), dried pineapple and some pretty hair ties.

If anybody else has Advent Calender ideas I would love to hear them.

The November Garden

We have recently moved house, this meant we had to empty our garden boxes and start from scratch again! 

So, our new November garden now contains Tomatoes, Lettuce, Beetroot, Strawberry, Basil and well as lots of Marigolds to keep the bugs away. I am particularly looking forward to growing the lettuces since we eat a lot of salads over the summer, it is such a simple pleasure to pop out to the garden and pick a few fresh leaves, and since they grow so rapidly in the warm weather I rarely need to buy more.

Also suitable for planting in November:
Spring Onions

Salmon Salad, Kelp and Iodine

Well, I'm now coming up to the 20 week mark of my second pregnancy and I finally feel like the days of exhaustion and morning sickness are behind me (hence the long absence of posts on my blog!)

Over the past months my diet has consisted solely of whatever eased the nausea. Usually that meant toast, so it felt good to whip up this fresh summer salad tonight!

Here's How....

Smoked Salmon
Lettuce Leaves
Sugar Snap Peas
Lightly Steamed Fresh Asparagus (had to leave this out tonight as I forgot to buy it, aaargh!)
'Kelp Salt'

Method: Place all ingredients in a big bowl and toss.

  In New Zealand Iodine supplements are advised for pregnant women, however I have chosen to get my Iodine in the natural form of Kelp. This 'Kelp Salt' is a mixture of Sea Salt and Kelp Flakes and is a simple way ensure adequate Iodine.

Spring Sewing

The arrival of spring means that clothes are getting lighter (therefore easier to make!) so I made a little spring dress for my girl using this lovely simple pattern from Leila and Ben


This little video clip about Paleo Nutrition (Grain, Sugar and Dairy free) because it explains nice and clearly what it's all about.

Welcome Spring!

Yay, It's Springtime! and I can feel my whole spirit lift a little because the sun is shining and the trees are blossoming

A season for........

Beautiful Flowers
New Life
Spring Cleaning and decluttering the house
Walks in the late afternoon sunshine
New Goals 
Enjoying the sun's warmth on your skin for the first time in months
Longer evenings

Lessons from an Unfinished Knitted Blanket

Well, it's officially the last day on Winter and I have still not finished knitting this blanket!

As I got out all the knitted squares today, to see how far I have to go, it got me thinking about some of the qualities I need to be a knitter, such as......

Patience: Because good things take time and great things - a lot longer! if I want to experience the satisfaction of hand knitted goodies, I need to exercise my patience a lot more than if I was to buy commercially produced goods.

The willingness to start small: To learn & to make mistakes so that I can tackle bigger, more complicated projects in the future.

Organisation: To plan ahead and allow myself the time needed to finish projects so that I can use them before the season changes (unlike my blanket)

How to get Crackling to Crackle

As the winter draws to a close, we have been enjoying one of our favourite meals, a Pork Belly Roast. It took me awhile to perfect the art of getting the Crackling to Crackle but this winter....I got it right!

Here's how........

  • Pork Belly Roast
  • Sea Salt
  • Vegetables of your choice

  1. Preheat Oven to 180 degrees
  2. If it has not been done by the butcher already, make some scores in the fat about 1-2 cm apart and rub in some sea salt.
  3. Place to Pork in an oven proof dish and roast for 60 minutes (may need a bit longer if its a big cut of meat).
  4. After 60 mins, take the meat out of the oven, remove form the dish and place your chosen vegetables in the dish so that they cook in the meat juices
  5. Place everything back into the oven for 45 mins, tossing the vegetables every-so-often so that they cook evenly
  6. For the final 10-15 mins, turn up the heat to 220 degrees until the fat starts to form bubbles and turn really crispy.
  7. Enjoy!

A Guest Post....

Today I have written a guest post over at Meagan's blog, EcoMilf. You can see it Here

Unfortunately it's been a quiet week here on my blog, as I have been unwell, but I plan to be back in action next week.

When Retro Sheets become a Place Mats

A little while back in This Post I showed you how I made a Change Mat from thrifted retro sheets. By following the same instructions (minus step 3) and cutting the fabric smaller, these retro sheets have now made their way onto our dining room table!

Embracing Winter

Last Week, when I wrote about T.S Wiley's book 'Lights Out' I touched on living according to the seasons and in particular winter, since we are currently experiencing winter in this part of the world.

The intention of winter is to slow down to rest and restore for the upcoming spring. Many species of plants and animals embrace winter by doing just that, bears hibernate, trees stop producing fruit but in the western world there is rarely any difference in the way we work and live when the season changes.

This got me thinking...... what are some ways that I can embrace winter and live according to it's restful nature?

Firstly, I believe that it is important to eat according to the seasons, our bodies are not built to eat summer  fruits in August, that's why you won't find them on the tree in the backyard. Instead, I need to follow natures lead and eat what it has provided for us. By growing my own vegetables or shopping at the farmers market this is a simple task, but as that is not always possible in the age of convenience we live in, I need to make the effort to learn what vegetables nature provides for us and eat accordingly.

As for our daytime activities, this term Jacinda and I have had a pretty quiet schedule in order to differentiate from the other seasons. We have stopped the swimming classes she was doing over the warmer months and have left open the other days for casual outings such as Library story time, going to the playground or meeting up with friends for a play. This leaves us plenty of leeway to have a quite day at home to rest if the weather is nasty or either one of us isn't feeling 100%.

And as for the evenings, I naturally prefer to stay warm and cosy indoors to read, watch movies, have long soaks in the bath, knit, sew, chat over a cup of tea etc... I do still enjoy a late night out with the girls, but the majority of the time I will embrace the restful nature of the wintertime. And of course.......look forward to the spring! 


Sorry, no post today.

My body is telling me that it needs to rest, so it's best that I listen to it.

In Lieu of Gladwrap

As much as I dislike buying plastic, this little tackle box from my local Hardware store does make a fantastic lunchbox and eliminates my need to buy Gladwrap.

Thai Green Chicken Curry with 'Cauliflower Rice'

This Asian inspired dish is a favourite when it comes to eating Grain, dairy and sugar free. The 'cauliflower rice' is an easy alternative to rice and can be substituted in any other dishes where rice is normally used.

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Chicken thighs, chopped up
1 tsp green curry paste
1 tsp chicken stock
1 tsp ground coriander
1 400ml can of coconut cream
green beans
can of baby corn or bamboo shoots

1. Heat coconut oil in a pan and saute chicken until slightly browned

2. Add curry paste, cook for 1 minute, than add coriander and coconut cream

3. gently simmer for 30 mins

4. Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower and grate it up so that the texture resembles rice.

5. Add the beans and corn/bamboo and simmer for a further 5 mins

6. Serve over the 'cauliflower rice'

Weekend Wanderings.......

A basket full of goodness from our local Farmer's Market 

Weekend Wanderings.......

Another drizzly August afternoon means cuddles on the sofa while reading Nursery Rhymes

From Boring Beige to Pretty Pink

My 365 Days of Nothing New Challenge is going pretty well, I have cheated a few times but the majority of the time I am being thoughtful and thrifty with my purchases. 

One of the best things about my challenge is that it inspires me to be resourceful. In the past I would of just bought a new top when I needed one, but in this instance I had to think outside the square.

So, with a packet of fabric dye from the local pharmacy, my old beige top has been transformed into a new pink top!


This gorgeous Swedish Film 'As it is in Heaven'...... It is a story about Daniel Dareus, a highly acclaimed composer, who moves back to the small village of his childhood when his health suffers as a result of the high demands of being a famous musician.

After some hesitation Daniel takes over the running of the local church choir. Since he is an incredibly creative person he doesn't do things the traditional way. For some, Daniel's ways bring them a joy that they've never known because they are able to break free from the limitations imposed on them from the conservative local church, but for others Daniel is a considered sinner by misleading the members of the choir. The film focuses on the rift he causes in the village and how the community responds when someone decides to break free from tradition.

Unfortunately there wasn't a trailer with English subtitles to be found, but I have put the swedish version up so that you can get a feel for the film.

'Lights Out' by T.S Wiley

I have just finished reading T.S Wiley's book 'Lights Out' a fascinating read about how humans have adapted to the longer daylight hours created with the invention of the light bulb.

Wiley writes about the way we lived thousands of years ago. The longer daylight hours of the summer months produced a hormonal response that induced sweet cravings, giving our bodies the desire to forage for summer fruits. As a result we would eat as much as we possibly could, so that by autumn we would all be looking a bit podgy!

But this extra layer of fat was no problem to our health at all, in fact it was very necessary because winter was on it's way. When we lived in the wild like this, both food and sunlight was scarce during winter meaning that we humans would spend the winter nights sleeping from sunset to sunrise and our days conserving our energy so that we would last until Spring. Our source of fuel would be that extra layer of fat we acquired over the summer and if we were lucky, some meat from another mammal or some green vegetables.

Then, in 1879 when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, the world changed. We could extend the hours of daylight with the flick of a switch! This opened up many possibilities to humans, but what we didn't know was that this artificial sunlight was tricking our bodies into thinking it was summer all year round.

Now, we are perpetually living with the hormonal response that results from long hours of daylight and induces sweet cravings. Hmmm.... quite a problem!

What this book got me thinking about the seasons, in particularly winter, since we are currently in it's midst.

How do I follow Winter's lead when it comes to eating?

How do I embrace the restful nature of Winter?

and What shall I do (or not do) in Winter to differentiate it from the other seasons of the year?

I'm going to leave you with those thoughts for now and come back to you with mine on another day.

Emma x

Dancing Like They Did In the Old Days

Jacie has started to show signs of identifying rhythm by rocking from side to side, nodding her head and saying "Do do do do" when music is playing.

So, we have started to play music around the house more often, and having a good ole' dance around the living room. Secretly, I think I enjoy it more than she does!

Here are a few of our favourite tunes ......

and a slower one....

I hope you enjoy these old favourites as much as we do.

White Fish, Mussel and Chorizo Stew

Something extra tasty for these chilly nights.........

Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, Chopped
1 Chorizo Sausage
1 Cup Vegetable Bouillon
1 x 400g can of tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large handful of chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
about 450g of flaky white fish, cut into chunks
8-16 mussels
1 handful of black olives


  1. In a medium sized pan, heat the oil and add the chopped red onion & garlic. Cook until soft.
  2. Add chorizo & vegetable bouillon and simmer for 10 mins
  3. Add tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf and simmer for a further 10 mins
  4. Gently mix in fish  and mussels & cook for a further 10 mins
  5. Toss in the olives and enjoy!
Note: I didn't have a red onion or parsley when I took this photo, so this one is lacking some colour.

Weekend Wanderings.......

Didn't wander very far today. Instead, I spent a restful afternoon on the couch with my knitting, 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson, 'The Girl That Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson, Peppermint Magazine and The Devonport Flagstaff newspaper.

Weekend Wanderings.......

Sweet Chai Lattes at 'Little and Friday' 

Cash Purses

About a year ago, we switched to using cash to keep control of our everyday expenses, and it has been working brilliantly for us. The only problem was that the cash would get mixed up in my wallet and I would lose track of how much I had left in each spending category.

Then, last week I was stoked to stumble across this easy Lined Zippered Pouch Tutorial, it was a great project to use up some fabric scraps and solve my little problem of mixed up banknotes.

Now, I divide our money for the week into 4 categories:

Tucker: Groceries, Coffees and Cafe Lunches ( I also pop my drivers licence, eftpos & library card in here)

Good Times: Sewing & knitting supplies, Things for the house, Gardening supplies, DVD hire and  Outings

Mama's Treat's: Clothes, Haircuts, Girls nights out, Makeup and Shoes

The Not-so-Often: Mobile Phone top up, Doctor/ Dentist/ Osteopath appointments, Gifts and the unexpected


Megan's inspriational blog EcoMilf, I have been reading it for about a year now and always look forward to her daily posts.


"Be the Change you Want to See In the World" Mahatma Gandhi

I read this quote a couple of days ago, in a different context, but it got me thinking........

Everyday there is a little girl watching Dave and I. She is absorbing everything that we do, say, feel and think. When I do something as simple as hanging out the laundry, she is by my side handing me the pegs because she wants to be 'Just like Mama' when I talk, she babbles away and tries to copy some of my words, even laughing 'Because Mama did'

But when there is something on the horizon that is making my heart race and my anxiety levels sore, she clings to my leg because Mama in not at ease. Then, when I lose my temper she bursts into tears and drops to the floor devastated because in her innocent little mind, she has done nothing wrong, she can't understand why the person she has complete faith in has suddenly become full of haste towards her without reason.

Children learn from example, I look at myself I see traits from both my Mother and my Father and it makes me wonder what am I teaching my child? Am I teaching her how to live a calm, peaceful and balanced life, regardless of adversity or a chaotic, unbalanced life that can be thrown off-center by circumstances? All I need to do is set the example for her learn from.

I must admit, I am usually on the more calm and peaceful side of the equation, but the times when chaos does strike I want to be able to "Be the Change I want to See in the World" so that one day, when I am old and grey I can sit back and watch my girl being that change.

When Retro Sheets become a Change Mat

I saw some fabulous 1970's floral sheets in the Op Shop and simply had to make something with them! so I put together an easy little change mat to put in my nappy bag.

Here's How......

What you need:

  • Lightweight cotton for the inside of the mat 
  • Contrasting cotton for the outside of the mat
  • Thin quilting batting for the inside of the mat
  • Ruler 
  • Fadeout fabric marker 
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Iron 
  • Sewing Machine 
1. Measure and cut the two fabrics and batting to your preferred size (approx 70cm x 114cm)

2. Pin the batting to the wrong side of the fabric you are using for the inside of the mat and sew them together using a 10mm seam around the entire piece

3. Using your fadeout marker and ruler, mark the lines to quilt the batting to the inside fabric at even distances. Then machine stitch down the quilting lines you drew.

4. Pin together the quilted piece of fabric and the contrasting fabric for the outside of the mat with the fabrics right sides facing each other and the batting on the outside.

5. Machine stitch along all sides using a 10mm seam and leaving a 15cm opening on one side.
6. Clip the corners to a 45 degree angle 
7. Turn the mat right side out through the opening.

8. Top stitch around the entire mat, securing the open piece with the top stitching