I thought wouldn't it be nice to have another Quiet Life pattern to share but this time with a simple spray of daisies?
And once I'd drawn it up and stitched it another idea came to mind - what would it look like in pastels?
So back to the fabric shelf and thread collection. Now I don't know which one I like the most, though there's really no reason to choose...I can like them both!
My thought process is to finish one as a bookmark, with the block turned vertically so the flowers stand tall and the wording runs down the side.
My second idea is to feature the other block just as it is shown in the photos on the pocket of a tote bag because I use a simple tote every Sunday morning when we go to the market - they're wonderfully useful.
If you'd like to stitch your own version of a A Quiet Life in Flowers use the link below to download the pattern...
This past Sunday I once again did a lot of meal prep for the week ahead and just as last week it took me four hours. Now, it sounds like a lot of time to spend all at once standing in the kitchen chopping, blending, baking, making...but what a lot of time saved through the next week. I am never wondering what to make and I don't have any food wastage. We are also saving money and not succumbing to fast food or many sweets.
If you're interested I might do a little PDF each week or two with some of the recipes I make?
This weekend I made a huge cous cous salad with carrots and green beans I'd roasted with garlic, plus a heap of other ingredients all quickly chopped and added in. The dressing (lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, grated garlic, cumin powder, salt and pepper) is kept separate because my husband takes this to work three days and I'll have it a few days as well for lunch so it only gets dressed just before eating.
As there was an abundance of green beans I also made a favourite side dish with soy sauce, sesame oil and roasted almond flakes.
This is so delicious! I added it to my cous cous salad yesterday with fresh avocado, vegan cashew parmesan that I make myself and simple pickled onions.
We've got some lovely zucchini growing in the garden so I spiralise it into noodles and they become the base of another lunchtime salad - a raw satay salad which is another yummy meal.
The satay sauce is made by throwing a bunch of basic ingredients in the blender and I toss it through just before serving. The sauce stays fresh in the fridge for up to ten days.
I also made more tomato pesto (which we had with mushrooms and angel hair pasta on Sunday night) which can be kept for at least two weeks in the fridge but it never lasts that long as it's so good on a homemade pizza base or mixed into chick pea patties.
Breakfast is taken care of for hubby through the rest of the month with a large supply of homemade granola. I don't make it very sweet because we do much better health wise with minimal sugar - in this mix I used 1/4 cup raw honey to 750g oats. I also added cinnamon, dried fruits, shredded coconut and macadamia nuts.
Blossom loves my sprouted buckwheat granola and has been gobbling it since she was a little girl so I often make a large batch in the dehydrator to keep her going for a month or two. Made this way buckwheat groats need to be soaked and rinsed numerous times a day until the little groats sprout (in our tropical climate this takes no more than 48 hours) then they are mixed with cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut oil, LSA mix, cashews and dried fruits before going into the dehydrator for six to eight hours.
Fresh almond milk is easy to make. I soak the almonds on Saturday night and make the almond milk in just five minutes the next day. We are dairy free and this tastes better than anything from a carton.
This week for our treat I baked a batch of Rosemary, Sultana and Macadamia cookies.
Snacks at home for me are really important because if I don't have healthy choices on hand I'll nibble on things that could trigger a migraine so I have written myself a list of good options and two of my favourites are apple, carrot and celery sticks dipped in almond butter (I cut up the carrots and celery on Sunday and store them in a glass jar with water - they stay fresh and crunchy this way)...
...and peanut butter, banana and raw local honey on brown rice cakes.
Quite often I'll have one of these snacks around 3pm when I need something to carry me through to dinner time. Oh, and did you notice my little white French press?
I drink a lot of mint tea as we grow four varieties in the garden but I was finding it annoying having all those little green leaves floating in my tea cup so I thought a little coffee press to use for herbal teas would be smarter...
Other things I prepare are containers of shredded carrots, chopped onions, shredded cabbages, salad dressings and cooked brown rice. I also chop matchsticks of vegetables to use in hubby's rice paper rolls and roast pumpkin and garlic for a quick soup. All of this makes dinner times so much easier!
I share all this just in case it helps you with ideas in your own time saving meal prep. You may not eat like we do, you may not be ovo-vegan like me, or you may have food allergies or might not like some of the foods I make, but just one idea can often springboard into many others that you used to make or that you can learn to make now.
Having that big AHA moment a couple of weeks ago about simply eating what we really enjoy and making foods we find ourselves always going back to has been incredible for my kitchen time and also for my menu planning.
Using fresh basic ingredients that are already in my pantry, fridge and freezer and spending a half day once a week doing the bulk of ingredient or meal prep has lifted a burden from my shoulders - it's also made this long season of chronic back-to-back migraines bearable.
Other things at home have included purchasing a new rug for the living/dining room. The old one was grey and black and worked well in the house we lived in eight years ago but it sucked life from this home. The new rug is much bigger too, and has added some homely warmth across the cream tiled floor.
I bought a new book which funnily enough I saw Jes from Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth had also purchased. I think we'll both enjoy it!
If you've not visited Jes before let me encourage you to drop by and say hi. She has so much about homemaking on her blog, it's a treasury of ideas and projects.
I'm going back over many of the areas which had a deep clean a few months back - or was it closer to the start of the year?
The inside of the washing machine got a good scrub as well as the gasket and the laundry area in general was freshened up.
My zygo cactus has flowers which makes me happy because it only blooms once a year. I think it loves living in the sunshine and warmth of the laundry window...
I also cleaned and reorganised two kitchen drawers, scrubbed the oven and grill, and moved plants and cookbooks around - some plants to the garden, some to the compost (sadly two died), and a few books to the op shop.
Tomorrow I'm off to the hospital with Blossom for her checkup while Ross stays home with their two girls. As these visits usually take hours I'll pack some healthy snacks for us to enjoy in the waiting room. Of course we will never run out of things to talk about so the hours may pass more swiftly than we think.
Bless you lovely ones! I hope and pray this week is not burdening you in any way but that each day holds pockets of JOY which lifts your heart and may even cause you to break out in song.
Choose JOY over anger or disappointment or frustration or conflict. A very sweet friend of mine whose name was Joy passed away recently and if ever there was a woman who lived up to her name it was Joy Coey. Her example right to the end was to be a beacon of joy and brightness and kindness and love - she will be remembered by many, many people in just that way. So let us all choose JOY and walk in a manner that lifts another's heart and does not tear it down.
Go HERE to read previous blog posts in the Quiet Life series.