Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

I am grateful today.

Grateful that I am finally settling in our new (well, not so new) church.
Grateful that my baby is healthy and happy and growing well
Grateful for my wonderful husband
Grateful that I got to do most of what was on my to-do list today
Grateful for my husband's work, even though I do not like the hours he has to work
Grateful for my family, their support and love

and - Grateful for God's love and care (nowhere near as much as I should be, but I am grateful nonetheless)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crafty Ideas

I see lots of things in shops and on the internet that I would love to have.

And some of those things I think "I can make that"

And so, for once, I actually did make something I admired in a store

And here it is


It is just a photo frame with the glass taken out, I have put fabric in folds and secured it and put the back back in. It cost me $2 for the frame from an op shop, and nothing for the rest, as I already had the fabric.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears - Oh My!

I have decided to make a lion cake for Ryan's first birthday, as he has a favourite toy that is a lion. I was toying with just doing a 2D cake with a lion picture, but I decided to be a bit more adventurous.

I decided to make a lion out of fondant icing.

And here he is:

A front view

And the side

Thanks to this You Tube Tutorial

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Planet Cake


This image courtesy of Planet Cake

I would love to go on a Planet Cake course.

They make the greatest cakes, and they have great courses to teach you how to make them.

Like this one
It is a weeks of intensive cake decorating! Yes, it costs $2000, but I would love it.

So I will dream about it, but I cannot afford it... well until I win the lottery anyway :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Capture - Flowers


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Here is a detailed shot of my favourite table cloth, I love the stitching in the flowers

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My bouquet from my Brother In Law's wedding

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why Processed food is bad

Courtesty of 100 Days of Real Food http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/10-reasons-to-cut-out-processed-food/

10 Reasons to Cut Out Processed Food

1. Processed foods are an illusion, often appearing to be healthy (with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are in fact the very thing making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick, and fat.

2. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – four of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us – “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food” according to Michael Pollan.

3. Making smarter (and sometimes more expensive) food choices now may reduce your healthcare costs later in life.

4. Why would one want to eat a processed food-like substance that is scientifically designed to never rot?

5. The food industry has proven that it is not very good at seasoning our foods by adding way too much salt, sugar, and/or oil to almost everything.

6. When you eat white bread and other foods made with white flour (which is a highly processed version of wheat) you are basically consuming empty calories with far less nutrition than the whole-wheat or whole grain alternatives.

7. It is estimated that up to 90% of processed foods* in the supermarket contain either a corn or soy ingredient in the form of an additive under a variety of different names. Now how is that for eating variety?

8. Cutting out processed foods could lead you to experience a variety of personal health benefits such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.

9. Rather than counting calories, watching fat grams, or reducing carbs for “healthy eating”, simply eat whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry. It certainly is less complicated.

10. It just makes plain old sense to fully understand what you are eating, be able to pronounce everything on the list of ingredients (if there is a list), and know exactly where that food comes from…don’t you think?

*Statistic courtesy of a food scientist interviewed on the documentary “Food, Inc”


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

I am grateful for this past Saturday, my Brother In Law got married, my Husband and I both were in the wedding party, and we had to get my parents to take care of my 5 month old daughter. Rona wont bottle feed, so my parents had to trail us all day, and I ended up having to feed her in wierd places like the lobby of the Catholic church and in the middle of a park.

I am grateful for my parents, who did a fantastic job that day
I am grateful for my beautiful daughter, who was so very good, and took it all in her stride
I am grateful that my Brother in Law is now married to a wonderful woman
I am grateful that we now have some beautiful wedding photos

And here is a beautiful photo of the cake topper :)


Sunday, September 19, 2010

What I am making today...

I am making a fondant lion for Ryan's 1st birthday...

Here is the tutorial I am using, thanks teafortwobakes

Friday, September 17, 2010

Food, Inc.

I have just read Food, Inc. by Peter Pringle

I know there has recently been hype about the movie of the same name, but this book is about the good, bad and the ugly about Genetically Modified (GM) foods.

This book was an eye opener for me, I was in high school when all the media exploded with the dangers of GM foods, and how the government should ban it etc. So, I thought I was against GM foods, but more ambivalent than passionate.

And the premise of the book is:

GM foods have a great potential to improve and save the lives of those in developing nations, but this has not been done as the Western world is the one with the money and scientists to modify foods.

United states agriculture has become genetically uniform and therefore is potentially vulnerable to diseases, more so than before when the crops were more genetically varied. But the crops have become genetically uniform because scientists have developed crops that produce more and are less suseptable to damage from the machinery used in farming.

So, I am not sure about GM foods now, but I am better informed. I am going to keep my eye out for more information and keep looking into what is happening to our foods.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Rules for the real food challenge

Real Food Defined (a.k.a. The Rules)

Below are the rules of what we can and cannot eat during our 100 Days of Real Food pledge. If you are taking the 10-Day pledge you will follow these same rules.
What you CAN eat:

1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
2. Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
5. Seafood (wild caught is the more optimal choice over farm-raised)
6. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
7. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
8. Also check out the Real Food Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes

What you CANNOT eat:

1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
4. No deep fried foods
5. No “fast foods”
6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken
7. Beverages will be limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!

Please leave a reply below if you have any questions about what is okay to eat during your pledge.
10-Day Pledge Alternatives

If you feel that you have the will, but not the skill to do the 10 Days of Real Food pledge then here are some general lifestyle changes to consider instead…

1. Read the ingredients label before buying anything. For years, if I even looked at food labels, I was reviewing items such as fat grams, calorie count and sugar content. While this may be important to some, the best indicator of how highly processed a food is can actually be found in the list of ingredients. If what you are buying contains more than 5 ingredients and includes a lot of unfamiliar, unpronounceable items you may want to reconsider before buying.
2. Increase your consumption of whole foods especially vegetables and fruits. I am sure you’ve heard similar advice a thousand times, and I hate to tell you that it couldn’t be more true. This will help to displace the processed foods in your diet, and will actually make your food selections in general very simple. No more counting calories, fat grams, or carbs when your only concern is selecting whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry.
3. Buy your bread from a local bakery. I actually used to eat white bread, but what I bought for my husband from the grocery store was what I thought was whole-wheat bread. When we finally checked the ingredients and found 40 different items on the list, including white flour and sugar, we decided it was time for a change. Why would there be so many on the list if it only takes a handful of ingredients to make bread? We since started buying our bread from Great Harvest Bread Company. Not only do they grind their own wheat every morning, but their honey whole-wheat loaf only has five ingredients – whole-wheat flour, water, yeast, salt and honey.
4. In addition to your bread choice, when selecting foods like pastas, cereals, rice, and crackers always go for the whole-grain option. And don’t just believe the health claims on the outside of the box. Read the ingredients to make sure the product is truly made with only 100% whole grains – not a combination of whole grains and refined grains which is unfortunately how a lot of “whole grain” products are made. The white flour or other refined grain alternative is simply high in calories and low in nutrition.
5. Avoid store-bought products containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and those “that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients” according to Michael Pollan. Despite the mixed research on if HFCS is really worse for you than good ol’ white sugar, it just happens to be “a reliable marker for a food product that has been highly processed”.
6. Don’t order off the kids’ menu. The next time your family is out to dinner try to avoid the kids menu. Those selections are most often things like pre-made chicken nuggets, fries, and pasta made with white flour, among other things. Instead try assembling some sort of side item plate (like baked potatoes and whatever else your kid will tolerate) and/or try sharing some of your meal.
7. Visit your local farmers’ market the next time you need to restock your fridge. According to Michael Pollan not only will you find “food that is in season, which is usually when it is most nutritious”, but you will also find a selection of pesticide-free produce and properly fed meat products. It is also better for our environment to purchase locally grown products as opposed to the supermarket produce, which travels on average 1500 miles from the farm to your plate.
8. Lastly, to once again quote Michael Pollan, he says to “eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” If you had to peel, chop and deep fry potatoes every time you wanted French fries then you might not eat them very often. Only eating “junk food” such as cakes, sweets, and fried foods as often as you are willing to make them yourself will automatically ensure the frequency is appropriate.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You Capture - Photographer's choice


This week it is Photographer's choice :) So I thought I would walk around the house and see what I could see


My beloved books :)


The view from my deck at sunset


I have taken a photo of my husband's action figures from Starcraft..... what a lovely thing to look at while working in the study


My shoes from my Brother In Law's wedding on this coming Saturday

Mercy House

A blog I love to follow We are that family has a new ministry: Mercy House

What a compassionate and brave mind came up with this! This family has pledged to open a maternity house in Kenya.

I am awed and jealous of their faith and ability to step out in faith, I can only pray my faith grows this much.

Please check them out, and support by prayer, spreading the word or supporting their shop

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

I am grateful for:

*The rain, Australia is in drought (for the past decade) and I am so grateful for the rain today
*My beautiful daughter, who is now 5 months, I am grateful for all the time I get to spend with her, being a SAHM
*That my husband is on holidays this week
*That my BIL's wedding is finally coming all together, it is this Saturday

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chow Mein

500 grams mince
carrot, celery, onion, 1/2 a cabbage and any other vegetables you have lying around
100 grams brown rice
1 tsp curry powder

Brown mince
Chop up vegetables and put into wok, cook until cabbage is reduced.
Add rice and curry powder, add water so that the rice can cook sufficiently (remember that brown rice needs more water than white)

Serve when rice is cooked

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Butter Chicken

Here is a great make-it-from-scratch recipe

25g butter
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed (or 3 tsp of crushed garlic)

1/2 tsp each of; ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
Pinch - 1/2 tsp of chilli, depending on taste (1/2 tsp is hot)
400g cubed chicken meat

100g tomato paste (I am needing to make my own)
3/4 cup of cream

Mix the spices together and add chicken meat and set aside.

Melt butter and saute onion and garlic for 2 mins. Add chicken and saute for about 5 mins. Add tomato paste and cream and simmer gently for 5 mins.

This recipe is very flexible - you can use more cream or less cream and top up with water. You can cut down on the tomato paste or boost it to your taste.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Real Food Challenge

I am doing the Real Food Challenge

The hardest thing, is definitely missing chocolate :( I admit, I am a chocoholic, and I know that I had let it get too far for me, this challenge was a great kick start to not eating any chocolate. But I made it, no chocolate at all! I had a tremendous headache on the third day, I think from withdrawals from the caffine, I shudder to think how much chocolate I ate to make me have withdrawals.

It was a little tough to find local meat providers, but I managed to find one, which is great. Local fruit and veges were much easier, there is a local greengrocer and we live on the edge of the "rural" part of our area, so that was perhaps the easiest thing about the pledge.

I definitely will be more intentional and conscious when choosing food from now on, there is so much junk on the shelves of the supermarkets. Cooking from scratch is so much healthier, and saves money, I am determined not to use any jars of pre-prepared sauces etc.

My health, well, I have lost 2.5kgs, which is great! And I am feeling healthier in myself, especially when I am not eating so much junk.

So here is to a healthier, more intentional me :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Food for the challenge

Okay, so I have worked out my meals for the 10 days, I will share a few with you.

Shepherds pie - it was always pretty processed free, but this time I am making my own stock.
Omlets - I cannot wait, I love omlets
Honey Soy Stir fry - I again, fairly processed free, but I need to make sure I source local meat and veg.
Butter Chicken - I have a chicken farm close, so can get some good, local chicken easily.
Chow Mein - I have worked out how to do it without any "meal bases"
Apricot chicken - have to make it a little differently, I always made mine with a sachet of French Onion Soup
Hamburgers - Fairly easy, just making sure that the bread is whole wheat
Spaghetti Bolognaise - I am going to try to make my own spaghetti

and many more, but I am feeling very optimistic on making it through the 10 days

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You capture - Signs


This week's theme is "Signs", so I thought I would post the signs I have around my house...


Some bible verses to memorise while I brush my teeth


A bible verse to remind me when I leave the house


And my "control centre"for the house, full of signs to remind me of all I need to do

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Planning for the Real Food Challenge

I am going to do the 10 day Real food challenge
I need to make sure I plan for this, I have taken stock of my pantry and freezer, figuring out what I need to get rid of, and we will see how we go.

I need to now decide what to cook, I am looking at recipes.

There are lots from American sites, and I am going to see what fits into our likes/dislikes, and what I can source locally. I am looking up websites like

I cannot wait to try out new recipes, and get healthier :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

A day in the life

I thought for the fun of it, I would record everything I do in a day.... so here goes:

Fed Rona
Got Dressed
Changed Rona's nappy and clothes
Ate Breakfast
Cleaned teeth
Played with Rona
Did the dishes
Put a load of nappies on to wash
calmed Rona
Made bed
Hung up washing
Turned Laptop on and checked emails
Put on another load of washing
Changed Rona's nappy
Sang to Rona
Hung up the load of laundry
Put away dried dishes
Took food out of freezer for dinner
Fed Rona
Settled Rona
Sat down for a couple of minutes
Started this post
Got Rona up (she doesn't sleep long during the day)
Changed Rona's nappy
played with Rona
Got the dry laundry down from the line
Folded said laundry
Put the laundry away
Ate lunch
Wrote shopping list
read a couple of pages of the Lord of the Rings to Rona
Settled Rona
Wrote email to Husband
Got Rona up and changed nappy
Kept Rona happy as she was still tired but would not sleep
Fed Rona
Put Rona in the baby swing to keep her calm
Changed her nappy again
Checked some websites
Started dinner
Washed more dishes
Took laundry down
Folded laundry
Put laundry away
Served dinner to Husband
Ate dinner
Sat down for a couple of minutes
Had a shower
Fed Rona
Changed her nappy
Settled Rona
Watched TV
Go to sleep

I think I have left some stuff out, but that is the essence of a "restful" stay at home day

And I wonder why I am so tired :/

Saturday, September 4, 2010

10 days of real food

I have decided to take the challenge, 10 days of real food.

The challenge is here: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

While I don't agree that the guidelines are necessarily the greatest, I think that having a challenge to make sure that unprocessed foods aren't eaten for a little time, it should make us more attentive towards what we eat.

I will be starting soon, and will blog about my progress.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Society, body image and becoming counter-cultural

First, here are some articles on the subject, food for thought

What can happen to sexualised girls, and how to prevent it
Too much, too young? Retailers still selling over-sexualised clothing to kids
Body & Mind: Your Mirror Image?
Bratz V. Barbie: Are Our Little Girls Growing Up Too Fast?

I have been thinking, the best way to get Rona to be counter-culture is to surround her with women who strongly demonstrate good body image and strong Christian values.

One of the best ways is for me to demonstrate these qualities. I need to work on my body image, I personally struggle with society's expectations towards women and how best to work this out in my life.

Obviously, a relationship for Rona with God, is the most important thing for her life, in this area or any other.

I just pray that God will give me wisdom in guiding Rona through this and many other minefields.

You capture - Morning


Here is my morning - playing with my wonderful 4 month old daughter. She has a beautiful serious face when she is playing