Friday, March 29, 2013

good friday

Hot cross buns in the backyard with the girls from up the road.  Tree climbing and dressing up and playing wizards and princesses and cats!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

6. flowers

I love flowers but they're soooo unresponsive you know?
I'd much rather photograph something like this...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

5. something I miss

Yep I kinda miss working.  This is a photo of the TV.  Funny thing is that soon after I took this they let me know that they want me back, just one day a week at the moment but it's a start.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3. what I wore today

 Haha I think my 30 day photo challenge is actually a 30 week one ;o)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

turning it around

Last week started out kinda cranky.  Not that I mentioned it here of course.  Generally I just take photos of happy, yummy things.  I was feeling a bit shut in (literally with the kitten not allowed out yet), lonely and weird about not working.  Perhaps a bit hormonal too.  Okay yes quite hormonal.  I realised that what I really needed was some time hanging out with other women/mums/friends.  When the boys were small we had lots of social engagements each week, mainly music, play group, toy library, YMCA.  When I was working last year I had lots to do and people to chat to.  This year I've realised that if I'm not in paid work, then I need to make an effort so that I don't become a recluse. It would be quite easy to spend far too much time online or playing video games (!) and alone.

So Simone and I met up for coffee on Wednesday and then she came over to do some sewing on my machine.  The idea was for me to do the sewing but I made her do it!  Mwahahaha (that's my evil laugh).  I vividly recall being terrified of sewing and NanaRobyn gently forcing me to give it a go.  Now I love to sew and I'm so pleased that she did.  Simone got the hang of it really quickly.  Perhaps one day you'll get a machine of your own Simoney?  It was so nice to hang out and chat and (watch her) sew and I got to do it again on Friday with Pippa!

Pippa is a lovely friend that I met through blogging at the end of 2011. She brought her (two) machines and whipped up a dress for herself (so impressive) while I spent ages making a recorder case for #2.  Pippa encouraged me to try sewing a button hole as it was definitely out of my comfort zone.  I thought that I might use Velcro instead but I'm pleased that I gave it a try.  My first ever buttonhole, so proud. 

Having friends over is also a great excuse to do baking!  I made the super quick brownie (recipe from Simone), and then the peanut butter chocolate cookies (at the top) from Alison Holst's Very Easy Vegetarian cookbook.  So delicious (recipe here on someone else's blog).

Friday, March 8, 2013

circle garland in progress

 I've been inspired by Little Minx to make a circle garland from old picture books.

 I have quite a few tatty books that I use for crafty projects.  Mostly picked up from school fairs and op shops.  I buy old Tintin books from the library too and use them as gift wrap.

 The boys and I used the circle punch to cut out a whole heap of Noddy pictures tonight.

I'll sew them up to look a bit like this.  This one has been hanging in the dining area since the Christmas decorations came down.  I like the idea of doing a really colourful one as the space is pretty neutral colour wise.  I think Noddy will go in the 7 year old's room.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

before and after

 Inspired by Apartment Therapy's January Cure, I've been making a few changes here and there around the house.  The biggest project (which we've been saving up to do for a while) was to get our table and chairs restored. They are finally done and looking gorgeous so I have to show them off.

 and after.

Here are the grotty, stained, wobbly, dinged up chairs before...
 and after.

2. this makes me smile

Big boys who still love to snuggle and play with their special soft toys.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

watermelon ice blocks

buy cheap fruit ($1.50)
 scoop out the flesh
 freeze in ice block moulds

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I am smitten

New nephew 8 days old
I love how short babies' arms are.

Monday, March 4, 2013

DIY almond milk

By popular demand (specifically Simone and PaisleyJade) here is a step by step how to make your own almond milk.  As #2 is dairy allergic and I'm lactose intolerant I usually buy the 1L cartons of almond milk. I'm quite enjoying making my own now though.  It helps that I don't have any tv work on at the moment so I can spend more time in the kitchen!  When I'm working many of the domestic goddess things, like bread making,  have to be put on hold.  So here goes...


1 cup almonds
3 cups water
2 Tbsp honey or other sweetener (optional)

Soak the almonds overnight in a jar or bowl of water.  You will have left overs (good to snack on or in salads) so you can use less if you like.  They swell up a bit.

Put one cup of soaked and rinsed almonds into your blender.

Add 3 cups of water and about 2 Tablespoons of honey/maple syrup.  You can make it unsweetened but if you're used to the packaged stuff you'll need a bit of sweet.  A pinch of stevia powder is a healthy option.

Blend blend blend!  If you have a high powered blender then you can get the almonds to a very fine grainy texture.  It's fine to drink like this or have on cereal.  My friend happily has hers quite chunky.  In regards to blenders I have an OmniBlend V blender and it's really great. We use it every day for our smoothies and it does a good job.  You can see my new red food processor too! It really makes a difference having good kitchen gear, my old old one was shedding plastic bits into the hummus! 
So If you want a totally smooth nut milk you're going to need a straining bag.  You can buy them at a whole food store or find a cheaper (paint strainer) version on trademe.  The raw food chef I learnt from swears by the paint strainer bags so that's what I bought.  I've heard that you can't get them in NZ paint shops which is why I mention trademe.

Pop your straining bag into a jug or large jar.  It has handy elastic around the top.

 Pour all of the milk in.

See how creamy it looks now?

 Squeeze and squeeze until the milk is in the jug and you're left with a mostly dry bag of almond mush.

Drink up!

what's new pussycat?

This is the new family member that arrived while I was out of town.
Meet Hobi (combination of Hobbes and Obi).
He's super cute and it's nice to have a pet again.