Friday, March 16, 2018

End of a week...

It seems this week chose to roll along at a faster pace than I'd anticipated. 
But some weeks are like that. 

I prefer slower weeks with relaxed hours that seem to linger longer, giving the soul and body a bit more time to unwind and relax, regardless of chores or work or visitors or sunsets.

Gathering plums on sale before the season is over has me stalking the supermarket and fruit shop so I can make a few extra jars of my plum & cinnamon jam, hopefully to see us through winter and spring. Seriously, I would choose this jam over any other and because of that it never lasts long in our house. Which is why over the next week I'm planning to double what I usually make.

Rosie came by this morning and I also invited Debbie, a new acquaintance from our Gentle Domesticity group, to visit as well. 
The three of us had a lovely morning tea, sharing stories of younger school days, the endless heat, floods, sewing, education, family and other 'getting to know each other topics' whilst sipping cappuccinos and feasting on fruit cake, matrimony slice and some lovely biscuits Debbie had brought along. 
We even stitched a bit too. 
I sent them both home with jars of plum jam which I do hope they enjoy as much as we do. 

Yesterday I spent the morning at Blossom's, filling my heart with granddaughter love and lots of cuddles. My darling daughter is glowing, in spite of the lack of sleep and if you saw her you would say "Motherhood definitely becomes her". 
Ross is home on paternity leave which has given their little family time to bond with Rafaella, and that lovely bonus of sharing more of the parenting load has drawn them closer than ever as a couple.

Cully May loves being a big sister to Rafaella.

Earlier in the week I was reading about Miracle Spray for home cleaning on Annabel's blog and decided to make some as I genuinely prefer products without harsh chemicals but haven't really liked what I've tried in the past. 

This one was different, and I cannot imagine using anything else now!

With five very simple ingredients, all found in my pantry or the local supermarket, 2 litres of Miracle Spray ended up costing about 80c to make.

I decanted some in to a spray bottle...

... and as I was doing this thought it would be a good idea to take this first batch in to Blossom, and the wonderful thing about that was when I gave it to her yesterday and showed her the ingredients list she said, "Mum, that's amazing! I was only just thinking the other day that I hate using chemicals around my daughters."

When I came home I made a second batch for myself and decanted some of the mixture into two spray bottles so I could keep one in the kitchen and one in the laundry. 

It's funny, though. The smell of eucalyptus is so fresh in my spray that I keep looking for things to clean. Before the girls arrived for morning tea this morning I even wiped down all the dining chairs, something I rarely think do, but what a blessing that was as I discovered one chair had many faint little Cully May fingerprints (from peanut butter and pasta sauce) which I'd not noticed when she was here.

If you'd like to make your own Miracle Spray the recipe is HERE.

On Wednesday I needed to pick up a prescription and decided to have a browse through the newly opened op-shop (St Vinnies) next door to the pharmacy. I found a lovely little $1 crocheted blanket, about 16" square, for nineteen month-old Cully May to wrap her dolly in, just like Blossom wraps Rafaella. 

When I gave this to her Cully was the happiest little munchkin around, and for much of the three hours I was there on Thursday she'd bring dolly and blanket to me, asking "wrap dolly blank?" I'd wrap her dolly and she would gather dolly to her chest and rock back and forth for a few minutes...then remove the blanket and come back to me so we could repeat the wrapping of dolly all over again. Her attention was only diverted when I changed Rafaella's nappy and then her chatter switched to, "get nappy, dolly poooooo!" ...and therein lies a whole 'nother story.

But back to that op-shop.
They had a good selection of books and very well priced too. Any three books for $5 said the sign above the wide bookcase and these were my take-home bargains...

I have already ear marked three of the potholder patterns for gifts (and my own use) so I'll be spending a few hours next week digging through my scraps and gathering other supplies to start sewing. 

But what I loved most was the Bible. All through it are excerpts from the writing of C S Lewis, pertinent to a passage of Scripture on the same page. The Bible appears new and the font is large and easy to read, it falls open and stays open too.
I collect Bibles, and did not have an NRSV version, so this was a wonderful blessing!

I am going to make a cover for it over the weekend and have already completed the stitchery, which is Easter Sunday inspired. In fact, I'll be sharing it with you this Sunday as gift pattern.

I'd best sign off for tonight as Mr E is ready to take me for a drive beside the beach now that the sun has set and the air is cooling. Then we'll come home and share dessert (chocolate brownies with raspberry coulis) before settling into our new couch to watch a movie.

He has a big day tomorrow with a new hobby (lawn mower racing) and I have to work as it's Stitchery Club day and there's a lot to do. Sending out issues to all Club members, updating the Club webpage, uploading separate patterns to the shop, new photos etc will take all day. 

So tonight, this lovely early autumn night, he and I will enjoy just being together.

I pray your weekend brings special moments too.



Kay said...

Oh my, you have done very well with your thrifting. the books are an absolute bargain. I will have a look at your natural cleaning recipe, I too decide recently that tI wasn't happy about using so many chemicals but buying special eco friendly sprays are so expensive over there. x

Little Penpen said...

Jenny, the girls are beautiful and I'm sure they have brought all kinds of 'happy' into your lives. The books you found at the thrift store look wonderful. I just starting reading a book about CS Lewis and his letters to people. It will take me awhile to get through it, but has been pretty interesting so far!

Happy2Stitch said...

Jenny, I don't normally comment on blog posts but do love reading them and especially your blog. You seem to be such a lovely person with a beautiful family. I have tried many of you recipes and they are always a success. I would love your plum and cinnamon jam recipe if you would kindly share it.
Many thanks Diane

Nanna Chel said...

'Lawn mower racing' that is something I haven't heard of before, Jenny. How wonderful to live so close to your two lovely granddaughters and to see them grow. That must make you very happy. The weather is cooling down now here in the south and I hope the humidity has eased for you up there in the tropics and that there aren't too many mozzies after the rain. I just watched the Cowboys lose to the Broncos by a whisker tonight so there will be a few disappointed fans up there at the moment.

A Notion to Sew said...

Sounds like a lovely week, indeed! I echo Happy2Stitch's (Diane) request for your plum and cinnamon jam recipe. When I was growing up, my parents had a plum tree in the backyard. I ate all the plums before they could go into jam! I look forward to your posts every week, thank you for sharing with us.

Debra said...

I made my first batch of Miracle Spray this morning, and like you, I'm looking for things to clean! This batch is scented with eucalyptus, but I plan to experiment with other scented oils as well. This was a wonderful post, and I am especially thankful for it since I asked about natural cleaners on your Gentle Domesticity Facebook group earlier this week. Thank you, again, Jenny!

Jenny said...

So many beautiful family things to enjoy! Don't you love seeing your grown children as parents. It is one of my most favorite things!

My husband especially is a huge CS Lewis fan & has pretty much all of his books. I'll look for this Bible for him. I had not heard of this version before & would like to know how well you like it.

Your granddaughters are so precious.

Allie-oops Designs said...

That picture of Cully May and Rafaella made me laugh out loud with delight - Cully May looks so happy with her real life dolly, lol!!! SO precious!!! Love the story of the blanky and dolly. I really love your new couch, I think I need one of those, lol!!!!!! Enjoy your time with hubby!

Brenda said...

Hello Jenny; I got such a wonderful feeling and a big smile seeing the picture of your Granddaughters and then reading the stories about the blankie! I am so happy for you and for your family, the love you share and the laughter that bonds with the love. I recently tried a new home cleaning recipe that was a half and half mixture of White Vinegar warmed in the microwave first and then poured into a bucket or spray bottle and you added the equal amount of Dawn Dish Soap. My bathroom shined! Plus, I forgot to say that it said to spray and leave for awhile...depending on your own judgement ( I left mine for a half hour) and then went in scrubbed lightly and rinsed and my bathtub and so forth looked fabulous. My family and I are trying to use natural cleaners more and more. So anyway, I sure hope that you have a blast making and eating your jam...yummy, my husband makes delicious jams and jellies). Plus, have a great time with your new books and with your Husband today!

Anonymous said...

Of course, the picture and stories of Cully May made me smile. It shows how much she has grown that her sister really does look like a doll when she holds her! I'm glad their family has had this new bonding time, too.

The books look like a wonderful find! I had forgotten tomorrow was club day, and so I have something to look forward to for the weekend perusing! Thank you. Your home looks so inviting and comfortable, Jenny. Thank you so much for the recipe. I've been looking for a cleaner like that - I didn't find soda and vinegar to be quite enough, and didn't know what else to add. This is great!

That jam looks wonderful in the beautiful jars. Now when I give away jars, there's no pretty fabric and bow - and sometimes not even the ring, just the jar and the sealed lid. LOL You are really such an elegant person. I'm glad someone new is added to your get togethers. What fun for all of you to have new friends!

Julie said...

Another beautiful post Jenny - thank you. Funny that you mentioned Miracle Spray as I had bookmarked the recipe to make up at some stage after seeing it on Annabelles blog. Your Jam looks so delicious!! Your new couch is very lovely & I think I can see cupholders?? Now - lawnmower racing?????? Goodness me - sounds like fun. I can provide the long lawn if they should need a venue for practising :-) Have a wonderful weekend dear friend ... bless you & those beautiful grandaughters of yours. Thanks for all the pleasure your blog brings me Xxxx

Karen said...

Ah, dear Jenny, I have had a week of vomiting and diarrhea - no fun. Just now looking at blogs and you have blessed my spirit and my soul as I have read yours - beautiful grand daughters, wonderful words, lovely pictures. Thank you.

Glenise said...

Thanks for the Miracle spray. Will have to make some. Your granddaughters are adorable. Cully May has the most gorgeous smile. She reminds me of my firstborn daughter. Always happy and she loved and helped care for each of her 3 siblings as they came along and she still does even in her mid forties. I can see Cully May becoming a strong and nurturing young woman juxt like my eldest despite the hard knocks of live. Both Cully May and Rafaella are adorable. You have been blessed. 💖

Ondrea said...

Mmmmm plum and cinnamon jam sounds lovely. That is a beautiful pic of Cully May with her little sister. She looks so proud. Good on you making that spray cleaner. I used to make my laundry detergent using lectric soda, eucalyptus and velvet soap. I use eucalyptus spray in the bathroom/toilet instead of those room sprays. I also use tea tree oil spray a lot. Never used those other artificially fragranced sprays. Love that table runner on your coffee table.

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Your jam sounds delicious and those books were such a great find!
I'm intrigued about the lawn mower racing. Did he win?

Createology said...

Every time I see Cully May’s sweet smiling face it brings me JOY. How fun to teach her how to wrap her dolly in a blankie. Jam does smooth the taste buds. You are amazing in all you accomplish in a week...even when it goes quicker than we like. You and Mr. E are very romantic and how refreshing these days. Blessings and Thank You Jenny Dear...<3

Leeanne said...

Jenny Plum and cinnamon jam sounds so good! Your granddaughters are indeed gorgeous. I make that cleaner too, a dear friend gave me the recipe years ago, it's nice with lavendar oil too.

Deborah said...

Hi Jenny, what a fun and informative post!!! Beautiful granddaughters💝 The jam looks yummy😋 Thank you for link to natural cleaner! You are one busy lady! Thank you for sharing the joy in which you live your life❣ I know it's coming from The Lord in you💝 Wonderful inspiration❣🎼💐 Smile, Deborah:-)

Montse said...

Tienes unas nietas bellísimas Jenny ,son preciosas .La mermelada de ciruelas tiene muy buena pinta ,yo la hice el verano pasado de higos ,me encanta tu nuevo limpiador en spray ,lo probaré !!!!!!!!
Besos y feliz semana.

Janice said...

What a delightful post. Cully May looks so happy. I've printed out the cleaner recipe and will have to give it a whirl. Chookyblue's next door neighbour is into lawnmower racing and Mick had a go on his version. I tried to email you the little video, but the file was too large. It looks like great fun.

gracie said...

The girls are adorable. Once again a lovely post.

KingsailK said...

Thanking you so much for your LOVELY upllifting blog!!I so lovee it!!🙏😊♥

Winifred said...

Didn't you do well with those books. Such a bargain!

SOunds good to be avoiding chemicals will give it a try.

Love the photos you post of the girls, they are such blessings aren't they.

Well you're enjoying your autumn but spring is sloqw coming to us here in Europe. Never mind the days are getting longer & the hour goes forward tomorrow so even better.

God Bless