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

Off The Needles.....

I am using these cold winter evenings to cuddle up with a cup of tea and my next knitting project.....a patchwork blanket with an assortment of textures.

My inspiration is coming from Erika Knight's book 'Knit and Purl Stitches' a reference book I stumbled accross in the library that clearly explains how to knit an array patterns. Seeing the new textures appear before my eyes is very rewarding and is giving me the motivation to knit at least one square a day.

Homemade Vapour Rub

Due to it being the cold season, we have all had a stuffy nose lately.

So, I concocted this vapour rub to put on before bedtime......

Ingredients for 1 application:
 - 1/4 tsp Coconut Oil
 - 2 drops Eucalyptus Oil

Mix together and apply onto chest and back

The June Garden

There hasn't been much action in the garden lately.... the cold weather caused a lot of our herbs and salad greens to die off. But, I did notice these little beauties making an appearence! in the background there are some carrotts who are thriving pretty well too.

We are going to some more planting and, since it's June, the options are......

  • Carrotts
  • Turnips
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions
  • Garlic


Thanks to Crossfit Birkenhead I finally feel like I have got my pre-pregnancy strength back. I have been going twice a week for the past couple of months and truly believe it is one of the best exercise classes out there (and I'm a ex-personal trainer!).

A Crossfit gym is quite old-fashioned in the sense that it comprises of equipment such as barbells, kettlebells, a pull up bar, medicine balls and skipping ropes, there's no gimmicks here -  just the basics, which also happen to be the most effective.

The 45 minute workout starts with a strength component, this is usually something along the lines of a 'clean and jerk' or 'clean and press' a.k.a Olympic weightlifting but on a MUCH smaller scale! then you go onto the workout of the day. The workout of the day (W.O.D) is a circuit that incorporates a few exercises using various equipment and leaves you huffing and puffing to say the least, the exercises and number of reps are changed daily to keep things fresh and stops you from getting into a plateau.

There are many things I like about Crossfit.....there is the functional exercise, the competitive environment to help push you along, the broad range of exercises and the high intensity workouts that leave you feeling refreshed without making you feel drained for the rest of the day.

Check out this video to get an idea of what a Crossfit gym looks like.

'Honey Sticks'

Little Jacinda has been having a go at drawing...... She got these 'Honey Sticks' for her Birthday and we love them because not only are they made in New Zealand but they are made also out of beeswax, so it's not a big deal if she decides to chew on them (which has happened twice) ........and they smell deliciously sweet too!

Single Dish Roasts

Roast Lamb with Pumpkin, Jerusalem Artichokes and Beetroot

The onset of wintry evenings and our desire to eat natural wholefoods has led us to having lots of yummy roast dinners!

I previously avoided roasts as I had the preconception that they were difficult to make and involved lots of washing up afterwards. That was until I discovered how to do a delicious and easy 'single dish roast', we now have them a couple of times a week and the leftovers make a fantastic breakfast or lunch too.

Here's how.....
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C
2. Put Meat in a large lasagna dish and leave to cook for 30mins
3. Add your choice of vegetables, giving them a toss in the meat juices
4. Place back into the oven for 1 hour


Pantry Makeover.....

I now wish I had taken a before photo of my pantry as it was previously a bit of a bomb-site to say the least.

Over the past few months I have had an eye out for glass containers in the Op Shops to store our dry ingredients in. I have slowly built up a collection and am now loving how I can see in a glance what I need to put on my grocery list....with the added bonus that it looks much better than the plastic packaging and containers that were here before.

I also labelled all the canisters with some colored tape that I got at the Devonport Craft Market and a white pen so that their is no confusion between things like baking soda and baking powder!

Living in a TV-Free Household

3 years ago we decided that we wanted to be a TV free household.....and 3 years on I believe it was one of the best decisions we ever made, mainly because we have done so many wonderful things to enrich our lives during the time previously spent in front of a screen.

Since Dave is a huge soccer fan, we are currently borrowing a T.V during the World Cup. At first I was excited to be able to have some nights in watching T.V, but the novelty wore off very quickly, when I realised just how immune I must have got to our calm and peaceful home.

The adverts were the thing that got me thinking first. I realised that for the past 3 years I have never known what shops have been having sales or what some of the minor news headlines have been. Up until this point I'd never noticed I was missing out on this information because it was irrelevant to my life, and to be honest I would rather not have that knowledge cluttering my brain. It then occurred to me that being T.V free may just have had something to do with the ideas and clear thinking that I have experienced lately.

The next day, I put the T.V on for the second time, this time to watch an old favourite 'Home and Away' while I was making dinner. Now, usually little Jacinda loves to do her own 'cooking' while Mummy does, she gets out all the pots and pans and has a great time! but today I watched her beautifully creative play come to an abrupt halt while she stared, motionless at the screen. It felt eerie, like she was in a trance, I thought she would snap out of it in a couple of minutes but when she hadn't moved after 15mins I missed my playful little girl too much, so off went the T.V and back she went to her 'cooking'.

When we mention that we don't have a T.V the most common response is "So, what do you do in the evenings?" the answer is right in front of you. It's the writing that you are reading, the sewing and knitting projects that are mentioned on this blog. It is also the knowledge I have gained from reading books and listening to podcasts, the wonderful evenings out with friends going to the Pub quiz night or out for dinner, the uninterrupted thinking I have done while out for an evening stroll or soaking in a hot bath and the great conversations I have with my Husband over an evening cup of tea.

The T.V will stay for now and we will surely enjoy watching World Cup Soccer matches, but we will be keeping it switched off otherwise and going back to our  peaceful and creative home and being thankful that we are now more aware of just how how precious that is..........

2nd Knitting Project - A Stripy Scarf

After completing my very first knitting project, a plain coloured scarf in garter stitch, I was eager to tackle another project - this time with the added challenge of a stripe.

My completed scarf will be given to my Father in Law for his Birthday this week. It's by no means perfect, but it sure does feel great to be giving a handmade gift.

3 Wise Men

Nutrition is a personal interest of mine. I can spend hours upon hours reading and listening to material about all different aspects of the subject. My top 3 favourite sources of information at the moment would have to be Sean Croxton's Youtube Channel and online radio show, Mark Sisson's blog 'Marks Daily Apple' and Paul Chek's audios and videos as well as his written Articles .

From all the things I have read, watched and listened to from my "3 Wise Men" (including speaking to both Sean and Paul in person over the phone!) I have come to the conclusion that I will cut all sugar, grains and dairy from my diet for 30 days. Alternativley I will eat meat, eggs, coconut and olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds which are all the foods that Mother Nature intended us to eat.

I am doing this because I want to experience first hand what it feels like to eat strictly natural foods, without any of the processed foods that western culture has introduced. I know it will be hard as I need to adapt from what is familiar to me but I am so curious about how my body will respond, that I am up for the challenge!

30 days is my chosen amount of time to make a decision as to whether or not I will continue to eat this way long term, as I believe this is adequate time to overcome addiction from carbohydrates and sugar, detoxify and feel within my body the effects of eating this way. Although, I must admit that I have a head start as I gave up sugar back in November, It took me 2 days of feeling tired, lethagic and strongly craving sugar but was worth every moment as I no longer crave it. At all.

I will be sure to let you know the results of my experiment.

For more reading (and videos) on this subject check out.....
Mark Sisson on grains
Sean Croxton on Fat loss
Paul Chek on The Last 4 Doctor's You Will Ever Need

365 Days of Nothing New Update

Well, I'm up to day 82 with my 365 Days of Nothing New Challenge and I have been going pretty well if I don't say so myself! 

This photo is of a few recent thrifty purchases: A New Zealand made pure wool jersey for Jacinda from the local Op shop for the grand price of $1!, a glass canister from the Hospice shop that I am storing my white vinegar in and a pair of barely worn Keds off Trade Me

I also have a confession.....I bought a new pair of jeans.....and a suitcase for our U.S.A trip in September. But apart from those two things I am enjoying being more aware of what I purchase and the unique things that I am finding.

Quote of the day......

I came across this passage while reading "The ABC of Enlightenment" by Osho and I simply had to share it.

"If it brings joy, do it. Whatever brings joy to you will bring joy to others too. Sometimes it may not be very apparent, but this is the fundamental law: that which brings joy to you is bound to bring joy to everybody, and that which brings misery to you is bound to create misery for others, sooner or later. Be utterly self-full, and remember that in being self-full, you are serving humanity. There is no other service. All that goes on in the name of duty is ugly. Duty is a four-letter-word - avoid it! Do things out of joy but never out of duty. " Osho

Playground Pants

The arrival of cooler, wetter weather also means damp and muddy playgrounds!

Jacinda loves to go on the swing and crawl around on the grass, and I don't want to stop her fun just because her pants are getting wet and I read somewhere once "There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing" and I couldn't agree more, I would much rather have her play outside in the cold wearing warm clothing then stay inside getting bored and grumpy. So I made her these waterproof pants to put on over her usual pants to keep them clean and her cosy. 

I thought upcycling a parka from the op shop would be ideal, but since I couldn't find one, and this was a project I needed to get done quickly, I went for a lightweight nylon.

Here's how......

1. Make a fold in some waterproof fabric.

2. Using another pair of pants as a guide, fold in half and outline with a marker. Remember to make it a bit bigger to allow for seams and the extra room needed when wearing over another pair of pants.

3. Cut out the piece of fabric you have just outlined.

4. Pin your cut out piece onto the fabric and cut out another identical piece.

5. Pin the two pieces together with the right sides facing each other.

6. Sew down each side seam, backstitching at each end.

7. Sew the inseam, backstitching at each end.

8. Use pinking shears to trim the seam allowance.

9. With the wrong side of the pants facing you, fold up 1/2 inch at the bottom of each leg and press (remember to use a low setting on the iron due to the synthetic fabric). Then fold up another 1/2 inch and press. Pin along the folded edge.

10. Machine stitch the folded-under edge, backstitching at beginning and end.

11. With the wrong side facing you. Fold over 1/2 inch at the waist and press. Then fold over 1 inch and press again. Pin along the folded edge.

12. Making sure to leave an opening for the elastic, machine stitch the folded over waist edge, backstitching at beginning and end.

13. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread through the waistband by pushing it over the pin and inching it forward. Make sure to keep the other end of the elastic free from the fabric.

14. Lay one end of the elastic on top of the other and machine stitch together

15. Slip the elastic inside the waistband and machine stitch the opening closed, backstitching at beginning and end.

16. Time to go outside and play!