Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Another free Quiet Life pattern...

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.

Loving hugs

Go HERE to read previous blog posts in the Quiet Life series.


Aunt Carol said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us so much helpful information. I have not been as successful as you in cooking for an entire week but I am getting closer to that goal. Your posts are always so calming, too. I look forward to doing the embroidery and may make a few into bookmarks for my Bible study group. Blessings to you and your family❤️ Carol

Pink Rose said...

Hi Jenny I love your reference of Joy and you are so right ,such a sweet beautiful friend,who sure did spread her Joy where ever she went. I love how you are preparing your food in advance ,love the snacks that you have I am going to try these . Hope you and Blossom have a lovely time together when is she due Jenny I have forgotten. Your free stitchery is so pretty Thankyou,stay safe and take care my friend xx

Tania said...

A PDF with some of your recipes would be lovely Jenny. I love seeing what others eat, it gives me ideas and your food always looks refreshing and delicious. The warmer weather is around the corner so it wont be long and we will be enjoying more tasty salads, we still eat salads during winter but the taste is just not there, especially in tomatoes.

This week I wrote up a menu plan until the end of August, for the first time in ages. It feels so much better knowing what is for tea/dinner everyday. I had gotten out of the habit since my last child left home. I might even give your preparation method a try, even if only for a couple of days to start with.

I love both of the pattern colours you tried out, the pastel one is very soft and pretty. I like the idea of a book mark, even a pocket on a simple bag sounds lovely too. I have my sewing machine out and ready to sew, my crafty space is taking shape and hopefully it wont be long and I will be able to spend time creating until my heart's content. It was one of the things on my contentment list this week so I have been busy sorting and organising to make it happen.

Your new rug looks wonderful and that book sounds like a great read. You have reminded me that I need to give my washing machine a good scrub. I have a twin tub, so not to hard to keep clean. A good dose of vinegar and hot water usually works well. I love zygo cactus's, they always put on such a show. My mum has a big plant and it is stunning when in flower. Sadly I killed the one I had, I must remember to get another piece from mum's plant and see if I can grow another one.

Love Tania xxx

JES said...

Thanks for the kind words! We are definitely on the same page “literally “... ❤️😊 All of your recipes look fresh and delicious and healthy! I would love them in PDF 😋

Bailey said...

What a lovely post! You made me so hungry reading about all the things you are preparing for future meals. Yummy yummy! I get so inspired when I read your posts. I'm trying very hard to get my house in order but it is really a mess. I have such little energy that I can only accomplish a little bit at a time. But I live in hope that maybe one day our house will be neat again.

Love your new rug! Such wonderful colors.

I have three cactus, each a different color. I think the flowers match yours. They are all getting old and one doesn't look like it will last much longer.

Good luck to Blossom for a good checkup!

Thanks for the new pattern. You have a way of making such simple and beautiful designs!

May the Faeries Shine Upon You Always!


Tammy said...

Wonderful post today Dear Jenny. Thank you for the quiet life stitchery design . I love the pastel version; but the red version screams my name today... Your foods sound delicious. My husband demands meats at each meal and heavy comfort foods. I so wish we could eat simpler dishes . Especially cooler dishes this time of year and lighter ones too...I hope Blossoms appointment goes quickly for you all and everything with the babe is good as well as being good for Blossom too.... I know the girls have got to be over the top excited to get a brother

Denise said...

Your meals look delicious! Maybe someday you would please share your recipes? I love reading your blog. It's so simple and easy and how life should be.

Carol said...

So enjoyable reading your posts. If you do the recipes, please include the green beans with the almonds, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Carol said...

Forgot to add that I'm losing my zygo cactus. I transplanted it to a larger pot and it started going downhill almost immediately. I hope to save enought "leaves" to start over because I adore these plants. Do you use a special soil mix for yours?

Julie said...

I love both versions of the Quiet Life stitchery Jenny ... cannot choose a favourite. Thank You for sharing it my dear friend. Gosh sometimes I wish I could reach into my screen & try a little taste test of some of your food - it always looks so delicious. My friend Shirley purchased that same book & has just lent it to me to read ... I am "rationing it to myself" each day with a cuppa !!! What a treat. xx

Jenny of Elefantz said...

No I don't. We have a few of them and they thrive but I think it's because they love the tropical weather.

gail said...

Hello Jen, thank you for your very sweet embroidery pattern. Will make lovely gifts for special friends. I too would like very much to have your recipes in PDF format. You also bring such joy each time I see your name pop into my inbox. I have suffered greatly with severe migraine at times and sympathise with you. May you have a blessed week. Gail.

Anonymous said...

I've found it quite easy to make a menu plan during the winter, but now in summer this just doesn't seem to work as well. With the produce from our home garden really going strong, I find it necessary to plan meals around whatever is ripe & ready to eat. I really like the idea of doing meal prep & think this could work for some of the ingredients that are used so frequently. You mentioned food storage containers that you found at KMart. Would you be willing to share the name/brand of these? I've done some looking & find that prices do seem quite high & would love to locate something more friendly to a budget. I'm trying to make our meals more plant based & really appreciate the ideas & photos you have shared. If you have any cookbooks to recommend it would be most welcome. I live in the United States so what is available to you may easily be different that I might find. Still love to hear what has worked for others, saves money from purchasing cookbooks that have few really good recipes. Thank you for the lovely stitchery would certainly make a very nice bookmark! - Diane in northern Minnesota

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
That's the fun thing about handwork...there are so many styles and colours to like and create with !
Your kitchen is an abundance of colorful joy indeed :)
Love seeing what's on your counter as well :) There's a blue Corning ware(?) dish that shows up....I remember seeing that by my Grandma's and parents home :)
Contentment, part of a quite life be cherrished and enjoyed.
Thanks for the lovely blog posts full of photo's and creativity !

Anonymous said...

Hello Jenny,
I have recently found your blog and am really enjoying it! Thank you for your lovely pictures, thoughts etc and tips for a quiet and peaceful life!
In the past my Mother suffered from migraines and she tried many things, adjusting her diet etc, so I'd like to pass on this small bit of information....
Peanut butter: "Not just peanut butter, but all nuts can be headache or migraine triggers for some people. Again, use your headache diary to see if nuts are a problem for you," advises Kostidis. The culprit in nuts is again tyramine. And you may need to watch out for all nuts and nut butters. Tyramine is also in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Since all nuts have tyramine, if you have this headache trigger, snack on something else and have your PB and J sandwiches without the P.

Take care and best wishes from Holland

FlourishingPalms said...

Well, YOU sure do bring joy and lift my heart! I always feel like I've stepped back in time, for a bit of a slow-down, when I read your blog posts. It's so pleasant to learn all you do to live a healthy life. Since I'm not our family cook, I wouldn't benefit from your recipes, but if I DID, I would sure want to eat as you do. Though without a garden, fresh produce doesn't come easily into our household. I've heard about making almond milk and that's very intriguing. Also, Blossom's favorite buckwheat granola looks interesting. I don't have a clue what buckwheat looks like, or where it's possible to buy it, but gosh, sprouting it too?! Well, I can't imagine. Clearly, you have introduced me to new things! I admire you for keeping such a tidy home. I'm the sort that does what must be done so as to have more time for sewing and quilting. Thanks for sharing! You're the epitome of a life well-lived.

Susan said...

What a lovely post. I always enjoy thinking about food, and seeing what you are cooking. I know you had some tips here that will be helpful to me when thinking about snacking. I've been eating loads of watermelon all summer, because I get it free from a friend, and it is so good. Other than that, I don't know that I've eaten all that healthy, though I did cook a few things that were pretty tasty. Thank you so much for this little pattern. It is something that can be tucked away on almost anything one makes, from a mug rug to a tote bag. Just a little bit of cheer each time one sees it. That rug makes an amazing difference in the room. I'm so glad you found it.

Allie said...

Well I love that quiet life design - already printed and in my "Jenny" tote! I'll use the same fabrics that I'm using for Psalm 23. Meal prep has been non-existent around here lately - Jeff is laid off this week and everything's a mess, lol. Oh I'm so sad to hear about Joy, I'll be praying for her family!!!!!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

There's no brand, they are just the generic containers sold at Australian Kmart (from China).

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I don't have a nut issue, its mostly oranges, dairy, certain herbs, chocolate and the weather - mostly the weather here in the tropics. At the moment my migraines are all weather related and there's no cure for that. x

Miriam said...

Thank you very much for all the work you do for sharing thoughts, pictures, patterns and everything you post on the blog, Jenny. Thank you.
Big hug,

GetSewing said...

The pickled onions look interesting. Where did you get that recipe? How many almonds did you use to make that pitcher of almond milk?

Jenny of Elefantz said...

It's in my recipe files. Will share it soon. I soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse them, then add to a blender with four cups of water. Strain the milk through a nut bag and store in the fridge.

cheesesmouse said...

Thank you for all these ideas, dear Jenny. I would love to have some of them as PDF. You are so creativ. May your migraine disappear. Thank you for taking the time to share these things with us. Be blessed. Heike from Germany

Winifred said...

Gosh you get through so much owrk Jenny I don't know where you get the enrgy. Must be all that lovely home grown food!Looks delicious. Recipes on a pdf would be great. You are so generous with your help, thank you.

Hope the hospital trip is not too long. I remember when my son was a baby & we had to take him every few weeks for check ups we had to be there for 9am & were there all day! On a good day we got out by 4pm! Take care Jenny