Tuesday, November 30, 2010

just in the nick of time



Here is a little make-shift advent calendar I created in about 2 hours flat with thrifted fabric and yarn. That's all I could muster with a two-year-old and baby afoot. Inside each little pouch I will put either a chocolate, a thrifted matchbox car, a handmade christmas ornament or other little surprises of the like. They won't all be filled all at once as there is only so much self-control you can expect from a curious toddler. But every night I will fill one up and North will start each new day off with a little magic. I can remember always having one of the paper advent calendars with the chocolates inside and waiting for Christmas in anticipation. I think this is a lovely way to explain the time (a very elusive concept for a toddler) we have to wait until Christmas. It's a very meaningful countdown this year as my family is coming all the way from Canada for a holiday together in Byron Bay. I cannot wait. My brother, sister and Dad won't have seen North or I for an entire year and they haven't even met Indigo yet!

There have been some gorgeous advent calendars throughout the blogosphere this week. I am loving all the inspiration.



xo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

urban garden discovery


We have passionfruit! At least, we have passionfruit flowers until the fruit starts growing. As a Canadian, I can't say I have ever seen a flower so exotic looking, especially in my own backyard. Because we get passionfruit as a regular addition to our weekly seasonal organic produce box, I have started experimenting with passionfruit recipes. Some of my favourites so far include-





What seasonal delights have you been enjoying?

xo

Friday, November 26, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo, no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.-soulemama

xo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the dirty dozen

Adam, the founder and owner of OrganicFood.com.au, has just started a wonderful blog fittingly called Muddy Carrots, filled with informative and interesting videocasts. This video talks about the 'dirty dozen', the twelve most pesticide contaminated fruits and veggies.


There are many more interesting posts over at his place, so when you get a chance, pop over to learn more about the foods you choose to consume.

xo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

cloth nappies FAQ



Good Morning!

I have had the honour of being asked to write a fortnightly guest post for the Modern Little Munchkins blog and today it is everything you'd like to know about our experience with cloth nappies.

Please head over there and learn all about our passion for bubble bums wrapped in cloth.


xo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i'm never baking chocolate chip cookies again

because the coconut lime chocolate chip cookies I just baked knocked all others out of the park!

Coconut Lime Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients
1 1/4 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp bi-carb
pinch of salt
1 cup toasted coconut (dry roast in a pan until golden)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw cane sugar

1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
juice from one lime

1 cup dark chocolate chips
zest from one lime

Directions
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
Add wet ingredients and combine
Add zest and chocolate chips last

Roll into small balls and place evenly (leaving enough room for spreading) on a baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just golden at 180˚C.


xo

Monday, November 22, 2010

OrganicFood.com.au giveaway winner!



After assigning numbers to all those who entered the OrganicFood.com.augiveaway, I then entered the numbers into the Random Number Generator and came out with

NUMBER 1 L: Hi there. Our favourite springtime meal is a soba noodle salad with lots of greens. Thanks for the chance.
L.

Please contact me at ecomilf[at]me.com with your email address and I will have Adam in touch about the wonderful gift voucher as soon as possible.

Congratulations and thank you for entering. A great big thank you to Adam from OrganicFood.com.au for having the giveaway and sharing the organic deliciousness!

xo

Sunday, November 21, 2010

come in!



If you're a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-olden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! - Shel Silverstein.

xo

I started my first child in cloth nappies when he was 6 months old and I always say, I wish I’d made the change sooner. I immediately noticed that he had a smoother and drier bottom, but above all else that huge pit the bottom of my stomach, caused by throwing away countless bags of disposable nappies, completely disappeared.


When other mothers see me out and about changing my little one they often have a lot of questions about how cloth nappies work and of course I am happy to unveil the mystery behind them.


How do they work? Do you need safety pins?

The most commonly used cloth nappy is called an MCN- modern cloth nappy. MCNs include the liner which surrounds and wicks moisture away from your little one’s bottom, the outside waterproof shell and an insert to absorb the majority of the mess. They are usually done-up with plastic snaps or velcro, enabling you to adjust the size according to your munchkin. I highly recommend pocket nappies as they are easy to put on, can be readjusted depending on the size of your baby, are highly efficient and easy to clean. They come with two pieces- a liner/shell and an insert. After being washed you simply insert the liner into the shell and your nappy is ready.


How many nappies do I need?

We have two sets of nappies in our home- a set of 14 for babies from about 1 to 8 months, and a set of 10 for toddlers from about 6 months to 2 years. You basically want as many as you’d need for two or three days/nights worth of changing. That way you don’t have to constantly be washing them. I always keep three in the nappy bag with washable wet bags.


How do you clean them?

My newborn is still only breastfeeding, so her stools are still sweet smelling and small. I simply throw the nappies into a dry bucket (no need for soaking) and on washing day I chuck them all in (as they are) to the washing machine on a warm and strong setting. They always come out looking brand new. Because our son was older, and on solids when we started him in cloth nappies, I used a biodegradable and flushable liner in the mornings (when I knew he was due for a bowel movement) to eliminate most of the mess. Then when it came to washing day I put them on a ‘quick rinse’ cycle before washing them normally.


How much are they?

They can range from $20-$40/nappy which seems steep, but I assure you it’s a rewarding investment. If you buy a set of 14 (that lasts you a year, or often more) for $25 each you’re spending $350. A box of approximately 100 huggies nappies costs $45. If you use an average of 6 nappies/day (a very modest estimate), you’re spending $985.50 a year on nappies. That’s a minimum savings of $635.50.



Any other tips?

I always tell people who are interested in using cloth nappies to wash, wash, wash them before they start using them!! The more they are washed, the more absorbent the fabrics become. So, don’t be discouraged if you experience a few leaks for the first week or two. For nighttime wear you have the option of adding extra inserts if need be, but I never felt the need for this.



I absolutely adore our cloth nappies. I honestly believe this is one of the greenest and most effortless changes we have made as a family trying to tread a little more lightly on this earth. If you have any questions about our experience with them please don’t hesitate to contact me at ecomilf[at]me.com. It’s never too late to make the switch over to cloth. If you have a one year old, remember you still have at least another year of nappies to change. Not a lovely thought, but a better one when you take away all the waste involved with disposables.




Saturday, November 20, 2010

reading...




definitely worth a read

xo

Friday, November 19, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo, no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.-soulemama


xo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

family values


a growing list of family values

to love one another through thick and thin
to be faithful, proud, honest and supportive of one another
to have respect, love, compassion and empathy towards all living beings- humans, animals and plants
to be passionate about learning, changing, expanding and growing
to have fun
to share
to plant, to grow, to get dirty, to harvest
to hug, to cuddle, to kiss, to touch

to forgive
to spend hours upon hours a day outside with nature
to eat wholesome vegetarian foods and nourish our bodies

to read, read and read some more
to enjoy being physically active each day
to have a quiet moment to oneself each day- whether practicing yoga, going for a jog, meditating, listening to music, having a siesta or reading a book
to reduce, reuse and recycle
to listen to music, to dance, to play instruments and to sing
to educate ourselves about different countries, languages, religions and cultures and to find the beauty in all of our differences
to be thankful for everything we have, especially each other
*****

What would you add to your list?

xo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

quick and easy homemade presents for toddlers

Do you want to treat some of your toddler's friends to a little Christmas gift but can't afford to buy a gift for every child in your Mother's Group? Here are some beautiful little gifts you can whip up in less than an hour.















Any other ideas to add? Would love to hear them!

xo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

for me


I went to my very first yoga class since I was about 32 weeks pregnant (5 months ago), and I felt a part of myself spark and crackle and alight. I have become attached to this thing called yoga throughout the past 7 years. It is now a part of me and I feel something is missing without it. My yoga practice changes and grows with me as I enter each stage in life. Most recently I have noticed that it cultivates in me all the qualities I want to provide and reflect on my children- patience, respect, compassion, understanding, peace and calm.

But most of all, it provides a spiritual release and outlet. A place where I am present in the moment without anyone demanding anything of me and I can reflect and be grateful for everything life has to offer.

I look forward to my practice. Even if it is in the wee hours of the morning. It will be a while before my practice becomes a part of my daily rhythm. But for now, I am satisfied with fitting it in when I can in between breastfeeds while the rest of my family sleeps soundly in their beds.

I am grateful to start the day with myself and to connect to my body, mind and soul.

xo

Monday, November 15, 2010

greek quinoa salad and a **giveaway from OrganicFood.com.au**

In celebration of Spring, I thought I'd share one of my favourite spring recipes and also present a lovely giveaway from OrganicFood.com.au.


THE RECIPE

Greek Quinoa Salad


Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 tsp salt
handful of basil, roughly chopped
handful of pitted and sliced kalamata olives
handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 block of feta cheese, cubed
1/2 cup fresh, shelled peas, blanched
1 carrot thinly sliced and halved
1 sm. cucumber sliced and halved

dressing-
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
crushed or grated garlic clove
1 tbs dijon mustard
tsp salt
tsp pepper

Directions

Rinse quinoa and bring to boil and then put heat on low and cover for 15 mintues, remove from heat and then let it sit for 5 more minutes with the lid on.
Chill in the fridge.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the quinoa and incorporate, mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over salad to taste. For more on the benefits of quinoa, see this past post.

THE GIVEAWAY
Family owned and run, OrganicFood.com.au delivers high quality, fresh organic produce across Sydney and Melbourne. Their fresh seasonal organic produce is bought daily at organic markets, minimising the time from the organic farm to your front door.


**Win a $20 voucher to use at OrganicFood.com.au**

TO ENTER: What's your favourite springtime meal? A fresh salad? A gazpacho? Sandwich? Melbourne and Sydney residents simply leave a comment below. All comments will be entered in a draw for a $20 voucher to use at OrganicFood.com.au.

The winner will be announced on Monday, November 22nd. A great big thank you to Adam from organicfood.com.au for the such a great opportunity and for providing us the opportunity to live cleaner and healthier, green and organic lives!

For more information on the benefits of eating organic food and the risks associated with genetically modified food see the OrganicFood.com.au about section for a plethora of information, including inspiring recipes and nutrition glossaries. You can also check out Adam's new blog, Muddy Carrots, to learn everything you'd ever want to know about organics.

xo