I was watering our potted herbs out by the washing line yesterday and this little green tree frog popped up from under the parsley fronds. Now that the weather has finally begun to settle into a cooler almost-winter pattern the herbs are flourishing and these cute frogs can come out to play.
Our tropical winters are like spring and it's evident in the flourishing of both flora and fauna around our area.
I'm considering a trip to Bunnings tomorrow to buy some more herbs and then we can refill our empty pots with a variety of flavour-full culinary greens. I'd love to plant them directly into the garden but as we'll be moving on in about four months it's best to keep them in pots for now.
We spent another exhausting weekend walking through open houses and driving around various neighbourhoods to look at other homes for sale which weren't open.
I honestly did not think this endeavour would be so stressful. The weighing up of building our own place and carrying a big mortgage well into our 70's, as opposed to buying a small established home on a decent size block for around 40% less mortgage may seem a no-brainer, but with the royal commission into banks at the moment (here in Australia) it's actually easier to get finance to build than it is to purchase established if you're a first home buyer like us.
But, we're fairly determined to go the established route and not be saddled with a mortgage that will see us do nothing more than pay it off for the next 25 years. We just have the find the right house within our budget so if you pray, please offer a little prayer for us about this. xx
Blossom loved the embroidered cardigan I made for her birthday!
Ross was away with work so Mr E and I took fresh baked lemon and raspberry muffins along with our gift to her house early Saturday and spent the morning chatting, playing with Cully May, cuddling little Rafaella who is goo-ing and gaa-ing all the time now, and checking out her new slow cooker/pressure cooker.
All of us were so relaxed that the hours passed quicker than we'd planned and as we hugged goodbye near morning's end dear Blossom declared it one of her favourite birthdays ever.
Driving away to begin our new list of homes to view hubby and I thanked God for the gift of our youngest child and the love, respect and honour she shows us every day. We are indeed blessed to be her mum and dad.
A surprise parcel of the new Tilda range 'Sunkiss' arrived in the post last week from Fiona at Tilda Australia. At first I felt a bit overwhelmed designing with the fabrics because free time right now to 'play' with quilting or machine sewing is rare (I have a few tunics still waiting to be hemmed after many weeks) but my husband reminded me that in the midst of all this time consuming house hunting, the embroidery design business, family responsibilities and home making, I needed to make time to have fun...and sewing is fun for me, so I am working on a new embroidery design for July which will feature some of the Sunkiss prints.
I'm also working on a project for later in the year and found I could use Sunkiss in that as well which fortunately mixes business with pleasure. Yay! Win win.
Healthwise we've continued following a grain and dairy free menu, although I did have bread at the weekend to 'test' my body's response and there definitely was one. On Sunday morning (after two pieces of bread the previous day) my joints were aching again and my feet were so painful that walking was not fun at all, especially when we had seven open houses to view that day.
Back to grain free for me. With all that's going on right now it's best that I stay as pain free as possible.
Not sure if I've mentioned it before but hubby and I have been using mega-vitamin therapy for almost a year now and it has honestly kept us going when nothing in the past had worked. We have seven specific supplements each day which includes 3000 mg of vitamin C, 2000 mg of magnesium and 750 mg of niacin among others. The thing we've noticed most is recovery time from illness or wounds is very fast, especially head colds which we bounce back from within 24 hours.
Balancing our year long mega-vitamin intake with this recent grain/dairy/sugar free diet has given us the added physical benefits of reduced join pain, better sleep, dramatically reduced incidence of migraine and increased clarity of thinking.
If we were doing this house-hunting/business/teaching/family/homemaking life without those health changes we'd be flat on the floor - just like we were for many years. Obviously not all health issues are eliminated but by not having as many to deal with I'm able to function better with the ones I still have.
In the kitchen recently I've made the most delicious raw cherry ripe slice (here's the last piece!)...
...and cherry, almond and amaranth rock cakes.
Being time poor I haven't been able to write up any new grain, dairy or sugar free recipes yet, and as I'm still experimenting that's a good thing because I'd like to refine them first, but the rock cakes (above) are a tried and true recipe I've shared in the past.
The only difference with these ones is that I used dried sour cherries last week instead of my usual dried cranberries, but you could use whatever you like. They also have a small amount of coconut palm sugar which is way healthier than refined sugar.
I've made a good supply of beef bone broth and divided it into a few 500 ml containers for the freezer as this makes a nutritious base to soups, stews and casseroles.
Hubby loved this spicy Beef and Chorizo soup I made in the slow cooker. It was loaded with fresh veggies, crushed garlic, grated ginger and grated turmeric, chilli and herbs. A powerhouse of nutrition...
Most days for breakfast now we make a bowl of fresh berries with a big dollop of coconut milk yoghurt and 1/2 a grain/sugar/dairy free cacao flax muffin (which I make in a coffee mug in the microwave and takes just 1 minute). It's delicious, filling and healthy. Can't ask for more than that!
Mr E 'loves' kombucha tea and whenever we're out and about he buys a bottle, but they're not cheap. I don't mind him getting them because it's gut-healthy and a far better option than bottled soda, but I thought there's a better, more budget friendly way to do this so...
...I went to our local health food store and purchased a kombucha scoby and have my first 2 litre jar of kombucha tea brewing away. Once I get this under my belt I can have 2 or 3 jars brewing at a time so my beloved can drink kombucha as often as he likes.
You know, there's a lot of things I'd like to learn, techniques I want to hone or improve upon, but basically I've been lazy in pursuing them.
Whilst watching Masterchef Australia the other night something a contestant, Hoda, said really resonated with me about learning to do things ourselves. It was in regards to a particular ingredient (kataifi) which she had always purchased premade. She said one day as she was using this ingredient to make Kanafeh (a middle eastern dish) she thought to herself 'it can't be that hard to make' so she watched how it was done on YouTube and ever since has made her own! Even the judges who came by her bench as she made the kataifi were impressed.
I couldn't stop thinking about the simplicity of learning things these days through thousands upon thousands of varied blog or YouTube tutorials which cover everything from crochet to bonsai to watercolours to making kataifi...and that's when I decided to make my own kombucha.
Some of my friends use YouTube for tutorials all the time, in fact my dear friend Fee has even started sharing tutorials on her YouTube channel. My husband uses YouTube tutorials at school and for those many Jeep repairs, and I'd even uploaded a few stitchery tutes in the past when I was hosting a Christmas sew-a-long.
However, it's a new thing for me to actually watch things there apart from the odd music clip but I'll slowly begin to explore once I've compiled a list of the skills that interest me.
What about you? Where do you go online to learn new skills or to improve on the ones you have already?
I've always liked the quote "God is nearer one's heart in the garden than anywhere else on earth".
It's from a poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney and inspired my new set of designs for the next issue of The Stitchery Club.
We'll be stitching a beautiful garden sampler along with four other designs.
Touches of applique appear here and there, even a heart of lace, and a few golden seed beads bring summer sparkle to a wheelbarrow of blooms.
Which is your favourite?
Last year I designed a garden themed issue as well and it was very popular so I've decided all new members who join The Stitchery Club before the 16th June will receive this March 2017 issue as a free gift, emailed to them within 24 hours of joining.
They can be stitching garden delights while they wait for the new June garden issue to arrive!
Would you like to know more?
Each issue is a PDF file emailed to your inbox on the 17th of each month.
You can join and leave whenever you like - stay a month, a year...that decision is yours and there are no penalties.
I'd best be away now.
The washing is ready to be hung on the line, my floors are in need of a thorough vacuum, the back patio needs some attention and I have a chicken to thaw before roasting it for dinner tonight.
And after that there's some stitching waiting and part three of a new Agatha Christie mini series to watch while I embroider. A jolly productive day I'd say.
I hope yours is too.
PS: Blogger are not forwarding comments via email at the moment so I haven't been able to reply to comments from the last blog post. Decided that's just not on, so I've added the 'reply' option below and I'll respond there until this glitch is resolved. xx