Saturday, July 30, 2011

the world peace game

A 'Think Link' for your Saturday: Interesting thoughts and an insightful game for young kids at home and in school.

xo m.

Friday, July 29, 2011

{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

[We finally got him out safe and sound with a few sunflower seeds for coaxing in his tummy.]

xo m.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

low-sugar jam

A little late in the season, but here is what we did with all those strawberries we collected a couple weeks ago. Nothing like strawberry jam on crumpets in the morning sun with a cup of tea.

6 cups mashed strawberries 
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 cup honey or agave nectar (omit for no sugar added jam) 
9 teaspoons pectin

Sanitize and prepare jars by boiling in hot water and leaving to air dry.
Mash strawberries and add them plus the apple juice to a large saucepan on high.
Gradually add in the pectin.  
Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.  
Add the honey or agave nectar at a full boil.
Boil hard for a full minute.
Ladle the jam into hot jars.
If you are preserving the jam, place them in a large stock pot covered with water.  
Bring to a steady, gentle boil and cover.  
Boil for 10 minutes.  Remove the lid and let the jars stand an additional 5 minutes.  
Remove jars and allow to cool.

xo m.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

tree hugging

We went for a little wander and on the way collected a variety leaves. We then laid them out and began to identify the types of trees we had discovered. This activity is a little bit beyond North's level, but he had fun comparing the leaves in the book to the ones we discovered and he especially loved the leaf rubbings we did after identifying them all.

This is a fun, educational and simple activity to do in any location. It can be broken down into different activities- searching, identifying, colouring and can be stretched out the fill an entire afternoon.

xo m.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

another simple summer pasta

Ah, the joys of pasta! It's just so simple to throw together some fresh herbs, grilled veggies and olive oil fashioning a gourmet meal in as long as it takes to boil some pasta. 

To make this particular delicious creation:  place grilled peppers (from the new garden), and grilled eggplant, roughly chopped basil and sliced black olives on top of cooked pasta and dress with 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice and dried herbs de provence. For a decadent dairy-version top with goat's or feta cheese.

xo m.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

anyone else but you

An old favourite for your Saturday morning sung by Michael Cera and Ellen Page from the movie Juno. The original song was written by the Moldy Peaches.

xo m.

Friday, July 22, 2011

{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 m.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

cloth nappy review: real cloth nappies

One of ecoMILF's wonderful sponsors- Real Nappies, was kind enough to provide our family with a set of their nappies for little Indigo. Up until recently she has been using her big brother's old cloth nappies, but because she is so much smaller than he was none of them seem to fit properly, the elasticity is quickly going and as a result there was a whole lot of leaking going on. Since she started donning her new hot pink nappies there hasn't been a problem other than the usual cloth nappy big butt syndrome (which we happen to think is pretty darn cute). 

What I love most about these MCNs is the fact that you don't have to insert the absorbent cloth part into anything, they are just simply placed onto the cover. Real Nappies are made from 100% cotton and dry easily and quickly. Best of all, unlike our previous cloth nappies, Real Nappies guarantees that their nappies are made with such quality materials that they  promise their nappies will last through two children... too bad I am pretty sure we've reached our family population capacity.

Please check out Real Nappies if you're in the market for cloth nappies. Also read my previous posts about our cloth nappy journey, including why we made the switch, how easy it was and how rewarding it has been. 

xo m.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

thank heavens for hummus

We have the world's most picky-eater on our hands. She's just not that into food- much prefers hourly top ups of Mama's milk. So, when I do find a food that takes her fancy I take the opportunity to fill her up on it as much as I can. Hummus happens to be one of her favourites, which is perfect for this vegetarian lassy. Chickpeas are full of manganese, folate, protein, fiber and iron making hummus a supersnack for little ones. I am a huge fan of roasted garlic hummus or spicy roast red pepper hummus, but for her I keep it simple:

1 can of chickpeas (or 1 cup of boiled and cooled chickpeas)
juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 tbs tahini
1 garlic clove
olive oil
(water if needed for desired consistency)

Blend all ingredients into a smooth paste and use as a dip for sliced veggies or crackers or as a sandwich condiment.

How do you like your hummus?

xo m.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

how to make a bug motel

jam jar
a nail
natural materials- sticks, leaves, flowers
hammer nails into the lid of the jam jar to allow oxygen to remain in the jar

fill with natural materials and find a bug!

keep the jar in a shady, cool place and make sure to release your new buddy after a few hours so that it doesn't miss it's home too much

Sunday, July 17, 2011

a Canadian visitor

Black Bears are big fans of the garbage bins where we are, no matter how secure we keep them they always seem to find a way in. On a garbage run yesterday we happened across this beautiful bear. He was disconcertingly unafraid of us. It worries me when animals like this aren't scared off by humans... more for their future safety than for ours.

Just another day in Canada!

xo m.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

graham hill: why i'm a weekday vegetarian

A very interesting talk for those that want to dabble in vegetarianism for all the good reasons, but can't quite motivate themselves to take the plunge. For those who are looking for a middle way, this could be it.

xo m.

Friday, July 15, 2011

{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

For those in Melbourne this weekend, there is an eco fundraiser happening tomorrow to raise money for the Oncology Children Foundation. From the website: The 'Baby and Kids Goodie Swap" is

an opportunity for environmentally conscious parents to get together and trade clothes and other items that their kids have outgrown, while raising money for the Oncology Children’s Foundation. The event will be held on Saturday 16 July, 1pm to 4pm, at Leinster Grove Community Hall, 99 Leinster Grove, Thornbury.

A wide range of local businesses that endorse sustainable living and natural parenting will be in attendance. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids along and there will be plenty of fun activities on offer for them. There will also be door prizes, giveaways and samples.

Michelle Morgan from River of Song will perform “The Permie Song” as heard in the documentary movie Anima Mundi.

Tickets are $25 at the door. Admission is free for children. Entrance includes a free organic cordial.

For further information visit:

xo m.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the vegetable patch

Since my parent’s garden went in last week, we have been spending a lot of time inside this little enclosure. I am amazed at the amount of time North can spend in here spraying with his spray bottle (a homemade natural bug repellant- recipe to come), digging in the dirt, picking dead leaves from the plants and of course, tasting berries. What a blessing to be experiencing Canada in this way. I will come away from this with an even bigger appreciation for vegetable gardening and the valuable lessons it brings to my children.

Looks like we might be making another trip to the hardware store when we arrive home to purchase one more vegetable bed in time for Spring... ,Honey?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a 12 minute dinner

Fresh, healthy and delicious. This is a great last minute meal that is sure to please.

cherry tomatoes
baby spinach or rocket (arugula)
bocconcini cheese or silken tofu for vegans
olive oil
chopped herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil

Cook the penne to al dente
Toss with oil, herbs, cheese and raw veggies

Easy Peasy. Thanks Mum!

xo m.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

29 things.

today being my 29th birthday i thought i'd share 29 things about myself

1. i got this idea from one of the beautiful blogs i subscribe to- apples with honey
2. i avoid as much as i can: putting doona covers on doonas; swimming in the ocean; eggs because they make me think of raw ovaries and generally revolt me; nightclubs, the people who frequent nightclubs and refined carbohydrates
3. when i eat refined carbohydrates (especially white bread) i become irrationally emotional
4. i feel most at home and at peace beside a lake
5. i am so grateful for this life and how blessed and lucky i have always been and will always be... but don't think i come even close to grateful enough for it all
6. i have on many occasions had a 6th sense and had spirtual premonitions that have convinced total non-believers of another realm
7. i feel guilty everyday for any amount of dairy i consume and would like to find the will (and miracle substitute ingredient) to remove it finally and completely from my diet (tips?)
8. if i could do it all again, i would have taken biology
9. i am a do-er, but my husband will tell you i am not detail-oriented... i beg to differ!
10. i always put 1 tsp of extra yeast in bread recipes and 1 tsp extra of baking powder in baking recipes to be sure things come out well-risen
11. i am not a morning person. i need everyone to be out of my room, if only for 1 minute, so that i can step out of bed in peace and with some space
12. i am terrified of heights, sharks, bears and plane crashes
13. i can't bring myself to join any more social networks- facebook, twitter, pinterest and a blog- isn't this enough?!
14. i definitely prefer the australian winter to the australian summer, that said, i defintiely prefer the canadian summer to the canadian winter
15. a palm-reader once told me i am an 'old soul' because i have frighteningly wrinkly hands
16. i am a certified hatha yoga teacher and children's yoga teacher
17. in university i majored in international development, and double minored in philosophy and world religions
18 .yoga is the closest i have come to joining an organised religion
19. i believe we choose our lives, our friends and our family before we come into this world inorder to learn what we need to
20. my children are tv-free, but i watch some shows on occasion. favourites include glee, seinfeld, modern family and river cottage.
21. look up the qualities of a cancerian and you will know me through and through
22. the farm sanctuary video is what converted me to vegetarianism in a serious way (i dabbled before that) and i haven't' looked back
23. i am a homebody who is social: come to my place any time for tea and baked goods!
24. i lived in south korea for 6 months and taught english, ate kimchi and drank far too much soju
25. i have been paid to shush- in the hallways of a musical theatre school there are hall moniters who are paid to keep the school hallways quiet (there is a whole lot of tapping and singing going on), we were called 'shushers'
26. i went to said musical theatre school in new york city for a year and half to study singing, dancing and acting, turns out, i am still a talented singer but no amount of training could help me tell my left foot from my right or teach my brain to send any sense of rhythm to my feet at all
27. my favourite flower is the peony
28. my 11th grade law teacher told my parents i was too much of an idealist. i still am. i believe in the possibility a peaceful world. i do
29. i believe more than anything that we are always doing the best we can, given the circumstances, but at the same time we should always challenge ourselves to make changes, live outside the box, question ourselves and take responsibility for our actions and the ripple effect they create

xo m.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

gardening on a whole new level

from this
to this

A late start to an exciting summer garden. My parents have built some raised vegetable beds at the back of their cottage. Luckily, they've had a little help growing the seedlings in a nearby garden centre greenhouse and were able to plant a couple months later than usual.

Today we only put a small dent in the planting. There is everything you could imagine in this gorgeous garden: blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and strawberry bushes; cucumber; zucchini; green and yellow beans; cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, green pepper and carrots, basil, tomatoes and baby tomatoes and every type of lettuce you could ever imagine!

Stay tuned for more pictures this week.

xo m.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

let it be me

Almost 3 weeks into Canada and we are definitely missing 1/4 of "us". North says at least three times a day that he wants a "Dada hug". Indigo's only word continues to be "Dada".

And, as for me... I miss my best friend and the love of my life. B- I love you and think of you countless times each day.

Love, love, love. xx

Friday, July 8, 2011

{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 m.