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

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 

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes haven't been the prettiest looking vegetable to grace our dinner table this winter but we have enjoyed the unique taste of these knobbly tubers. They can be cooked the same way you like your potatoes, my favourite being either roasted or fried in butter.

And on the health front, they are one of the better tubers to eat as they are surprisingly low in starch. Starch is very high in fellow tubers Potatoes and Yams (Kumaras are lower) and can have the same effect on blood sugar as refined grains and sugar.

As I am finding it hard to describe the taste of Jerusalem Artichokes to you because they are unlike anything I have tasted before, the best I can do is ...... Nutty, with the texture of a potato. I guess you will really have to try them yourself!

Weekend Wanderings.......

Off to the Devonport Craft Market on a drizzly morning to find some goodies.....