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

Weekend Wanderings.......

A walk around the block with 'Trolley'...... it took us a very long time as Jacinda stopped to investigate letterboxes, gates, leaves, flowers, dogs, cats, other children and even rubbish who knew there was so many interesting things on our block!

Homemade Wrapping Paper

It's Dave's Birthday on Sunday..... I like the thought of Jacinda making a present for his birthday, but since she is too little we thought a nice little way for her to give would be by making the wrapping paper instead. I simply got some brown paper from the post office and let her loose with the crayons.....


Xanthe White's book 'Organic Vegetable Gardening' is my inspiration and my bible when it comes to growing vegetables in New Zealand. I don't know what i would do without it!


Today I am having a rest from blogging as I have a rare opportunity to spend the whole day sewing, creating and generally just having a breather while Jacinda spends some time with her Grandma.

See you tomorrow x

Why I don't Follow My Nutrition Plan 100%

Awhile back I posted about how I was going to trial eating Sugar, grain and dairy free. Due to the reading and research I had done into nutrition.

It has now been 6 weeks since changing the way I eat and I have noticed a remarkable change in the way I feel. The biggest change I have noticed is that I can now last for about 4 hours after eating without hunger or sugar cravings when previously I would be unbearably hungry after 2 hours. I have also noticed that my energy stays consistent throughout the day without an afternoon crash, that I previously battled with.

Meal preparation took a bit of getting used to (so did black coffee!) but with a bit of creativity and the willingness to change it is now effortless, a typical day would look something like this:

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs and a black coffee (it doesn't seem like much food but it really fills me up)

Lunch: Leftovers from the previous nights dinner

Afternoon snack: Nuts and fruit or Sesame Crackers with peanut butter

Dinner:  Meat (cuts that have a higher fat content) and Vegetables

Supper: Maybe some fruit if I feel like it

Eating this way has made me realise just how much grain, dairy and sugar the majority of people consume.  When eating at a cafe or at someone else's house it was virtually impossible to stick to my plan. This was the biggest challenge I encountered with eating this way. I tried to think up ways that I could politely avoid consuming sugar, grains or dairy even reading articles and various blog posts about the topic........

But then I thought about it in my own time and have come to the conclusion that, for me food serves 2 purposes; the most important is to nourish my body, so the majority of the time I will prepare meals that fit in with what makes me feel energised and well. Secondly, the preparation and sharing of food is an expression of love and friendship, so I am going to embrace this, be balanced and enjoy food that is prepared for me, nor will I force those that I prepare food for to conform to the way I eat because what works for me, may not work for another.

In the words of William Wolcott, author of 'The Metabolic Typing Diet' "Dietary Solutions need to be tailored to the individual beacause what works for one person, may have no efect on another person, and may make a third person worse"

Warm Apple and Boysenberry's with a Pecan and Walnut Crumble

Once a week I like to make my family a little treat in the form of a wholesome homemade dessert. This is what we had last night......

Warm Apple and Boysenberry's with a Pecan and Walnut Crumble
Serves 4

2 Large Apples
2 Cups of Boysenberries (de-frosted if using frozen)
1/4 Cup water
1 Cup Pecans
1 Cup Walnuts

  1. Pre-Heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Peel the apples and cook them in the water untill soft  
  3. Place the cooked apples and boysenberries in a heatproof dish
  4. Place the Pecans and Walnuts in a food processor or blender and blend untill they resemble breadcrumbs
  5. Add the nut topping to the fruit and cook for 20mins
Tastes great with a dollop of Greek yoghurt

Weekend Wanderings.......

8:15am: A quiet cafe with a long black, good books to flick through, the smell of fresh basil and the warmth of the sunshine in a corner at Hinemoa St Cafe, Birkenhead Point. Bliss.

Herringbone Texture Knitting

I am currently knitting a patchwork blanket and using a variety of textures for the squares.

This Herringbone Texture would have to be my favourite so far and isn't too tricky for beginners, like myself.

Here's how:

sts= stitches

Cast on a mulitpe of 16 stiches +1

1st Row (right side): (K2, p2) twice,  k1, p2, k2, p2, *k3, p2, k2, p2, k1, p2, k2, p2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2

2nd Row: P1, *k2, p2, k2, p3, k2, p2, k2, p1; rep from * to end

3rd Row: K1, *p1, k2, p2, k5, p2, k2, p1, k1, ; rep from * to end

4th Row: P3, k2, p2, k1, p1, k1, p2, k2, *p5, k2, p2, k1, p1, k1, p2, k2; rep from * to last 3 sts, p3

Rep these 4 rows

Tick Tock, Tick Tock......

I am currently reading Tom Hodkingson's book 'How To Be Free' and felt particularly inspired by his chapter about 'Throw away your Watch'.

Tom describes an expensive watch as a "Golden Handcuff" since the more you need a watch, the more you are chained like a slave to time.  His analogy "In the olden days Jack and Jill simply went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. As they did so, we can imagine that they enjoyed a pleasant walk through nature's bounty and perhaps a chat along the way. Nowadays, Jill turns on a tap and Jack goes out to work in order to pay for taps, water rates and plumbers" also makes me think that we are missing out on simple pleasures while we rush around trying to keep up with the clock.

I have been a watch wearer from the minute I learnt to tell the time and feel a little lost if I don't wear one. So, last week when I gave being watch-less a go it felt strange to me. I don't think it's possible to be completely oblivious to the time, so I carried my cellphone with me while I was out and set a reminder message if I had the need to. But I did find that not having the time staring at me from my wrist did make me live with more intuition. For instance, I ate when I felt the first pangs of hunger, concentrated more because I was free from the added pressure of a clock ticking away to tempt me into taking short cuts, listened to Jacie intently and learnt what she was saying with her little noises and I even had a long chat with a shop keeper about amber beads when I would ordinarily rush out the door.

Because after all...... 'Time and 'Life' are synonymous.

Experimenting in the Kitchen

I had a whole lot of half used packets of ingredients sitting in my pantry, so I experimented by putting them all together to make muesli bars. I was very happy with the result as it uses all natural ingredients and is a yummy little treat for lunchboxes

I think I will name it 'Odds and Ends Muesli Bars'

1 1/2 C Dates
1 C Rolled Oats
1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C shredded coconut
5 Tbsp Honey
4 Tbsp Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

  1. Combine all dry ingredients and divide in half
  2. Put half in a food processor or blender and whizz
  3. repeat with the other half (if you do it all at once it won't blend properly)
  4. Mix in the coconut Oil, Honey and Peanut Butter
  5. Press into a tray and refrigerate far a few hours or until set (if it's a bit crumbly, add more honey)

Welcome to my Felt Store

For awhile now, I have been busy improving my sewing skills, making things for both Jacinda and myself and finding out what works and what doesn't. I had the hope to one day sell my creations...and now it is here!

I am starting very small, there is only 3 items up to start with, but I am feeling lots of motivation to spend my evenings sewing, so that I can grow my collection - so watch this space.

My desire is to create Children's clothing, using simple designs to keep them affordable and preferably using quality Upcycled fabrics. I love cutting up Op-Shop clothing and turning it into something stylish! but it's not always possible to find what your looking for, so some items will be made from new fabrics.

Click Here to check out the Violets In May Felt Store!

Did You Know That.....

" Ivan Illich once calculated that if you add up all the time you spend on a car, including the trips to the garage and the time spent earning the money to buy the fuel and maintain the vehicle, and divide by the number of miles you travel, then your average speed is 5 mph. You would be faster on a bicycle!" Tom Hodgkinson in 'How to Be Free'

On another note, my Felt store is sadly delayed again. I am patiently waiting for the go ahead - watch this space.

Felt Store Preview

I was hoping that today would be the day that I could launch my online Felt store, where I will be selling my homemade creations but Sadly I will have to wait one more day.

I will however, give you a preview of my first 3 items that will be listed...

'Ribbon Dress' size 6-12 mths

Upcycled denim pants with applique size 0-3mths

'Ribbon Dress' size 12-18mths

Weekend Wanderings

A outdoor workout in the late afternoon sunshine

Weekend Wanderings

Chasing Birds at the park on a Sunny day


This Crafty Mama's little corner of the world.....

The July Garden

Okay, so it's not the most impressive photo...... We spend yesterday afternoon getting our hands dirty planting our broccolli, cauliflower and beetroot.

Our Broccolli and Carrotts from the other garden box are ready to be harvested as soon as we run out of the produce bought this week at the Farmers Market. I am SO looking forward to serving up home grown vegetables to my family....such a good feeling.

Time Banking

Check out this little clip about the Time Bank in Lyttleton, a village just out of Christchurch New Zealand.

Such a wonderful concept!

Lyttleton Timebank Video Clip.......

A Good Ole' Cup of Tea

Dandelion Root Tea

I don't know what it is about a Cup of Tea but this heart-warming drink just seems to make everything feel better.

When alone, it slows you down for a moment to gather your thoughts or to be still and cherish what is in front of your very eyes.

A 'Cuppa' can also be a simple offering to a guest, an invitation to stay and chat, to share inspiration together, or smooth out problems that may be in the way.

Amber Teething Necklace

Poor Jacinda has swollen gums from her molars coming through which means it's time to wear her Baltic Amber Beads. She has worn her beads for each tooth that has surfaced so far and I can honestly say that they have helped her manage the discomfort of teething.

Baltic amber beads are a lovely natural way to relieve the discomfort of teething. The warmth of baby's skin releases healing oils to provide a natural analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory properties. I am pleased that we are able to go through teething naturally...needing only the beads and Weleda's homeopathic teething powder to ease her pain.

The individually knotted beads will break if they happen to get caught on on something and the beads will not scatter, reducing the risk of accidents. But as I feel uneasy with Jacinda sleeping in her necklace, our bedtime routine now involves doubling up the beads around her ankle, so that the amber keeps working it's magic all night long.

Weekend Wanderings - Sun 4th July 2010

Swinging at the playground on the Devonport waterfront

Weekend Wanderings - Sat 3rd July 2010

 Colourful Carrots at the Parnell Farmers Market

Merino Baby Swaddle

Superfine merino wool is such a lovely fabric for babies in the wintertime. It's soft and stretchy, breathable, machine washable and toasty warm!

Unfortunatly, most of the merino clothing in store comes with a hefty I went ahead and created my own merino swaddle - extra large so that it can wrap around baby a couple of times to provide extra warmth. All it takes is a simple hem around the edges to stop the fraying.

This swaddle is going to a friend of mine who will be welcoming a baby boy into the world very soon.

They Just Don't Make Them Like They Used Too......

After a very long and frustrating shopping trip last week searching for toddlers shoes I was starting to sound like my Grandmother, shaking my head and saying "They just  don't make them like they used to..."

What we were searching for was something like this...

A little pair of covered in shoes with hard soles for walking in and made from leather to keep little feet dry.

These were my very first shoes, a pair of 'Jumping Jacks' that I wore as a little girl. Jacinda has been wearing them lately, but sadly they are getting a bit tight.

We searched far and wide, in all price ranges, but all we found were canvas shoes and Mary Jane or ballet style shoes that didn't cover the top of the foot. I did consider Gumboots, but since Jacinda is on the smaller side, there weren't any in her size.

We came home from our shopping expedition empty handed, but I did look online and found a little pair of leather boots with rubber soles from Hoof. They don't look quite as beautiful as her vintage 'Jumping Jacks' but they will do the important job of keeping her little toes toasty warm and dry this winter.

If you do know anywhere that sells quality children's shoes I would love to know.

Emma x