Thursday, December 31, 2009

we're coming home!

This is what I'll be up to (when I'm not tending to the little one of course) during the 24 hour journey we're embarking on tomorrow.

Luckily, my wonderful husband will be traveling home with us this time, so I am not on my own... and I will be taking full advantage of that fact, let me tell you. I plan on watching one plane movie all the way through. Woohooo!! It's been a lovely vacation away with my family, but I am definitely looking forward to getting home and getting into our simple, daily rhythms.

See you on the flipside!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

summer snap mondays- on a tuesday

It's Monday where I am, so I am posting my summer snap today. For more summer snaps, head over here for a list of fabulous participants. Only a few more days left on holiday. We'll be back on the 2nd of Jan, although we leave here the 31st- combination of travel time and time difference.

This is a view from our backyard- yes, we are very, very lucky.

flowers for mama

Monday, December 28, 2009

What do Benji Madden, Jerry Seinfeld and Vincent Van Gogh have in common?

They're vegetarian.

To re-cap for those who haven't read about me and my bub's vegetarianism, I was vegan when I fell pregnant and switched to pescatarianism soon after. I don't really like eggs unless they are used for baking, use organic milk for cooking and eat Jalna yogurt on occasion. I'm vegetarian right now- lately seafood of all kinds completely repulses me- seriously the thought of fish makes me gag.

This video list of famous vegetarians is bound to surprise you - from great thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle and Charles Darwin to creative geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh. Vegetarian musicians include Little Richard, Pink, Andre 3000, Prince, Benji Madden and all of the Beatles. And it even boasts superstars such as Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt, Jerry Seinfeld, and Matt Groening (the creator of the Simpsons).

It's inspiring to see that for centuries intelligent, revolutionary humanitarians have also been passionate about animal rights. Being vegetarian does not make you a whacked out peace-loving hippy (although I am happy to be described that way) but one of the many people in history who has consciously chosen to live a life of peace, and who refuses to contribute to the profuse violence in the world.

For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love. --Pythagoras (6th century BC)

Sunday, December 27, 2009


My Mum whipped this up this afternoon to prepare for the day-after-Christmas hunger. You know when you overeat one day, the next you're a little extra hungry because your stomach grew. Neatloaf definitely hits the spot.

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green capsicum
2 carrots, grated
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tp majoram
1/2 tsp sage
2 tbs tamari
2 tbs dijon mustard
tomato sauce (see below)

Preheat the oven to 180˚ C
Combine all the ingredients except for the tomato sauce, mixing with a large spoon to bind them together
Grease a loaf pan and put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the top
Bake for one hour
Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving

Makes 5-8 servings (depending on the tummies at the table)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

i'm dreaming of a green christmas

It's still Christmas night here so bear with me while I post one more in the holiday spirit.

We are by no means eco-saints, but here are a few of the ways we made our Christmas a little greener than ever before:

A vegetarian Christmas dinner: rice pilaf, squash, veggie stuffing, peas, cranberry sauce, roast tofu and pumpkin pie.

All gifts given from our family were thrifted, handmade and/or homemade

We used homemade, re-usable, recyclable wrapping paper.

And we had a potted Christmas tree and biodegradable ornaments (gingerbread).

I imagine I am just about as tired as Santa is tonight, so I will bid you adieu. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Friday, December 25, 2009

merry christmas!

love, joy and peace

from our family to yours

xo .

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I can't get enough of The Birth House, by Ami McKay. I read it every spare second I get (basically whenever L'il B is down for a sleep and everyone else is scattered about doing various things). I am aiming to finish it tonight or tomorrow, so I will make this brief... when I get into a book I can't let it go until I've devoured it.

Back to the pages, to save time I'll quote The Quill and Quire's synopsis

"...The Birth House follows the travails of an early 20th-century Scots Bay midwife, Dora, and her mystical Acadian mentor, Miss Babineau. As a profit-minded doctor discredits her trade and a drunken husband assaults her body, Dora struggles to provide sanctuary and self-determination for the women of her village. Vivid with accounts of childbirth and cures brought on by herbs, prayers, and folklore, the book also works in some of the era’s more memorable events and phenomena. The First World War, the Halifax Explosion, the U.S. suffragette movement, the influenza epidemic, and even the craze for treating “hysteria” with vibrators are all seen through Dora’s eyes..."

Love! Love! Love! If you liked The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) then you will love The Birth House.

Happy Christmas Eve to all of you in Australia! (It's still the 23rd where I am).


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

in the rhythm of the needles, there is music for the soul- anon.

Finally! My very first knitted projects. As some might recall, I spent hours upon hours knitting a scarf that I ended up unravelling because it was filled with flaws and mistakes (being my very first knitting project). I planned on learning a thing or two from my Mum this vacation and that I did. We are still trying to figure out crochet as she remembers the basics but neither of us have a clue when it comes to reading the patterns.

I knit a little turquoise newborn hat- I wonder who will wear it... The pattern was generously sent to me by a lovely one pair hands. It is all garter stitch- perfect for my little beginner hands.

And my very first washcloth. Phew! It feels like I spent forever thinking and talking about knitting a washcloth. The pattern was courtesy of Jellyware's fabulous and beautiful tutorial. Looks like there may be a real chance I can join in her next washcloth swap- YAY!! (And I promise not to mess up the corner like I did on this one.)

I am so grateful to these wonderful women for sharing their knitting wisdom and knowledge with me. And to my Mama who taught me a few things, knit a few looser rows when my tension was too tight, found me a darning needle in the middle of nowhere, and made me lots and lots of tea to help warm my hands and my heart.

My man arrives tonight after over a week apart. Too, too long. I feel like a part of myself is missing. I can't wait for my hug and kisses!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

the banyan tree

uncle matthew and l'il b under a banyan tree

The banyan tree is a fig tree whose seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices of a host tree or other structure.

Older banyan trees are characterized by their thick prop roots which grow vertically into thick woody trunks which, with age, looks main trunk. Old trees can spread out laterally using these prop roots to cover a wide area.


*Banyans are revered in a number of different countries for their spiritual nature.

*Buddha is believed to have achieved enlightenment in India while meditating under a banyan tree, known as the Bodhi Tree.

*The Banyan is the National tree of India.

*In Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe makes his home in a banyan tree.

*Banyan trees are scattered across the island in the TV Series Lost, the characters often using the thick roots as a hiding place from the island’s monster.

*Paul Simon references the banyan in his 1990 song Spirit Voices, from the album The Rhythm of the Saints, singing, "We slept on the banks on the leaves of a banyan tree."

*There is a street where we are staying named after the tree because it is lined with Banyan after Banyan. The trees block out a lot of the light during the day making this tiny street more like a magical and enchanted forest.

*Most note-worthy of all, they are the best climbing trees in the world.

Monday, December 21, 2009

summer snap monday- no rose

There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu;

For in this rose contained was
Heaven and earth in little space;
[thing of wonder]

By that rose we may well see
That he is God in persons three,
Pari forma.
[equal in form]

The angels
sungen the shepherds to:
Gloria in
excelsis deo:
[Glory on high to God. Let us rejoice]

Leave we all this worldly mirth,
And follow we this joyful birth;
[Let us follow]

Alleluia, res
forma, gaudeamus,

We are not a religious family in the sense that we don't really follow one set religion or go to Church, but I am spiritual and a big believer in something "else". This is a less common Christmas song that has always stirred my soul. I sang it in The Toronto Children's Chorus. Here is a link to a recorded version of it if you want to listen. It really is gorgeous.

For more summer snaps head over to Jodi's to be wowed and delighted.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

serene sundays...

Sundays are a time for sleeping in, having late, long and wholesome breakfasts, sipping tea, reading the paper, planning the meals for the week, trips to the market, mending, cleaning, reorganizing, recharging, spending time with family and friends, reading books, playing in parks, taking naps in the sun, baking bread or any of the above in combination.

In light of this, I will categorize my Sunday entries as “serene sundays” and put up photos that describe my mood, thoughts, ideas, inspiration or general weekend goings-on, instead of writing an entire entry.


It's still technically Saturday night where I am, but here's a look at our first week of holidays with Papa (grandpa) and Bama (grandma). Dada arrives in two days- hurrah! We miss him dearly.

Papa, L'il B and Bama on the beach

The island we're staying on has a permanent population of only around 300. The fire engines thankfully are rarely used, so we get to have a close look any and every day of the week. I wonder who loves them the most...

Someone else liked vegan gingerbread even more than Santa

Decorating the tree. We still have to make our seashell ornaments once the whole family arrives.

Hope everyone had a peaceful weekend leading up to this crazy non-stop week.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

just in case santa is vegan...

Vegan Eggnog


2 ½ cups soft organic silken tofu (sometimes advertised as custard style)

2 cups organic soymilk

2/3 cup brown sugar or 1/3 cup agave nectar

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup cold water

1 cup rum or brandy (or apple juice with rum flavouring)

4 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon


Blend the tofu with soymilk, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar or agave in a food processor (or blender) until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, and gently stir in water, rum and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate. You can heat it in a saucepan before drinking if you prefer a hot beverage.

Vegan Gingerbread


1/2 cup cane sugar

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp bi-carb

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup soymilk

2 1/4 cups pastry flour


Preheat the oven to 170˚

Mix the sugar, ginger, cinnamon, bi-carb and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses and soymilk and mix well.

Add 1 cup of flour and mix well. Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough.

Roll a portion of the dough out onto a floured surface with rolling pin to 1cm thickness. Cut into shapes.

Transfer the cookies to the baking trays lined with baking paper.

Check after 8-9 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

stille nacht

the little one nestled, all snug in his bed

pajamas on, sand in between my toes

eva cassidy sings 'kathy's song'

mama teaches me to knit

hot herbal tea

nutcrackers and pomegranate seeds

stories from far, far away that still hold perfectly true



in heavenly peace