30 September 2014

This child of mine

The constant evolution that is Homeschooling has meant that there have been a few changes around here as of late. The most important being that Lachlan, my very gregarious and funny almost 5 year old, has decided he's ready to start school.
    He has been asking for a while and I've placated his request with workbooks and the occasional printable, reluctant to have him start so early and to be honest not ready myself. These tentative first years of homeschooling Izzie have seen massive learning curves for me, scraping approach after approach. We have finally found our groove and I was enjoying the simplicity in our days that came with it.

Almost two months ago however, Lachlan blew me away by writing his name and age perfectly, he was even holding his pencil correctly. This from the boy who thus far has refused to even draw a picture. It made me realise that not only was he ready, but that I was being remiss in holding him back because this was when he WANTED to start. This is a fundamental part of why we chose to educate at home. To nurture a love of learning, In their own time, at their own speed. And so here we are. He does his writing and reading patiently and with intent, then decides he's had enough for the day and goes off to make train tracks and climb trees which is wonderful and exactly as it should be. The transition has been an easy one but not without me feeling somewhat exhausted occasionally. In time we will add some arithmetic but he's always been a part of our science experiments,baking and so on so there's no rush. This gorgeous child, so gentle in nature. When he hugs me at night, when I catch him holding his baby sisters hair out of her face in the back of the car because of the breeze, I wonder how it came to be that I would be blessed with such a son. I look forward to the lessons I have to learn from him and once again thank the guiding force that led me to this homeschooling path.

28 September 2014

Scrummy Sunday


Ham & Cranberry Sauce Crustless Quiche

I thought I might share some of my fail proof recipes. These are family friendly, easy peasy, and good for you. So today I'm sharing my go to quiche recipe. My husband and I enjoy this together when the children are in bed as they dont seem to like quiche at the moment (more for me!!!!). I serve it with a big salad which my husband drowns in mayonnaise while I enjoy it with a simple acv and olive oil dressing. 

All my recipes are really flexible, add whichever veg you have to hand and more or less to taste, chuck in some cream to make it richer. The ham is easily subsituted for more vegetables, adding Mushrooms and crushed garlic to the onions when Sautéing is yum!! Anyway, you get the picture, this is just the base recipe that I've adjusted and perfected over time. 

Ham & Cranberry Sauce Crustless Quiche

Serves two generously with salad or four with other sides.


1/2    Onion, Finely Diced
1/2    Red pepper, Diced 
3/4    Cup Brocolli
1/2    Cup Grated Cheese 
100g Diced Ham Nitrate free if possible.
6       Eggs (7 if small )
3/4    Cup Milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4    tsp Mixed Herbs 
3 heaped tsp Cranberry sauce (I use ocean spray because there are only two ingredients)

Preheat oven to 200°C /392°F
(I dont fan bake quiche as I find it makes the edges cook too quickly.)

Grease 24cm/9.5'' dish with butter.

Sauté onion in 1/2 tsp of butter. Meanwhile add brocolli, pepper, cheese, ham and any other veg you wish to the dish.  

In a separate bowl or pyrex jug whisk eggs, milk, and seasoning. Add to dish and use a spoon to redistribute ham and such.

Using a fork whisk the cranberry sauce in a mug briefly then use a fork or spoon to add through the quiche. I find shaking the fork carefully the best way of doing this :)

At this point I usually add slices of tomato over the top but didnt have any this time.

Cover with foil or baking paper and bake for approximately 30 minutes but check after 20mins as oven temperatures vary and remove foil/baking paper. 

Serve and eat immediately. 


26 September 2014

This Home

My husband and I met, were married and had a baby in the space of just over one year. Since then we've been pretty nomadic, trying to find our place in the world and at the same time going through massive personal growth. That growth and all its emotional turmoil has made our marriage so much stronger and luckily has moved us in the same direction, on the same path. We both yearn for the same things, one of those being our own property. A place to raise our children, live sustainably and away from modern convenience. But alas with four children and one income we are just living on a hope and a prayer with that one.

So in the mean time its about making our rental houses comfortable for my family. For a long time its been an internal struggle, the need to nest, and create a retreat but that in feeling this way I was succumbing to consumerism, materialism and probably a few other 'isms'. I'd visit friends and sit on their plump furnishings with 'unnecessary' cushions, throws and nic nacs and note how welcoming and homely it was only to return to my 'shell' of necessary items; a couch, a table, beds and so on.

Over time after seeking and questioning and asking for guidance, I now know that a woman's calling to motherhood doesn't begin and end with procreation and nurturing, it is the child's rearing in its entirety, and part of that is creating an environment that is safe, warm and enriching. From having books to pour over and lose yourself in, to a snuggly bed to retreat to after a days adventures. And so we teach our children there is nothing wrong with enjoying these gifts so long as its sustainable, second hand or handmade and bought new as a last resort.

This is the longest we have ever lived in the same house, we may even have our second Christmas here! I birthed my fourth baby right here in the living room and I shall be sad to leave. But in the mean time I will do my very best to decorate and care for it so that it may reflect the love that's residing inside, Our home. Our sanctuary.

24 September 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar - A cure for all that ails you?

It is mentioned in the old and new testament. Hipprocrates treated his patients with the stuff in 400 BC, and prior to that the Aryans, a tribe that roamed North Europe and Asia were noted to consume a 'soured apple wine'. These are a few examples of recorded use for vinegars throughout history.

So what is it and what can it do for you?

Well, Apple Cider Vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made by a two step fermentation process involving apples, bacteria and yeast. If unpasturised it will contain the "mother" once matured. Bragg's explains best what the "mother" is ;

'The mother is the dark, cloudy substance in the ACV formed from naturally occurring pectin and apple residues - it appears as molecules of protein connected in strand-like chains. The presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed. Vinegars containing the mother contain enzymes and minerals that other vinegars may not contain due to overprocessing, filtration and overheating.' - Braggs FAQ Page www.bragg.com/

 The benefits of apple cider vinegar come from it’s powerful healing compounds which include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes.

Acetic acid is what gives vinegar its distinctive taste and is a powerful Antimicrobial and antifungal, this is why it has been traditionally used in cleaning,disinfecting and for infections. It's brilliant in the treatment of Candida overgrowth as it kills the yeast and promotes a healthy environment for Healthy bacteria to colonise forcing out the majority of the remaining yeast. 

I use Braggs Organic and purchase it here  http://goo.gl/9cEbfZ . I take one tablespoon in organic apple juice upon rising and preceding every meal.  I do this to benefit from its health promoting qualities but mainly to encourage bile production and stomach acid production. My children have it almost every day to support a healthy immune system.

It can be taken in distilled water with or without honey, in Organic juice, salad dressing or topically.

It is safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, in fact I would whole heartedly recommend it as it can provide relief for morning sickness. I personally would start with a small amount and slowly work up to a tablespoon if you havent already been consuming it due to its detoxing properties.

Here's a list that shows some just a little of what ACV can do for you;

Support a Healthy Heart
Relieve Muscle pain
Improve Digestion
Stengthen immune system
Regulate Blood Sugar
Aid Diabetics
Detoxify the body
Aid weight loss
Reduce Bad breath causing bacteria
Stop gallbladder attacks
Increase stomach acid

And here are some other conditions that are believed to benefit from the consumption or topical application of apple cider vinegar-

Restless leg syndrome
Athlete’s Foot
Kidney Stones
Vaginal Irritation
Animal Care
Blood Pressure
Hair Loss
Sore Throat
Acid Reflux
Salad Dressings

So as you can see Apple cider vinegar is a powerful health product that you need in your home, even taking it once a week will benefit you and your families health. 

Do you have ACV in your home?, Do you love it as much as I do?

Disclaimer- Please note I am not a medical professional, these are my opinions only. Always consult your doctor or midwife :)

22 September 2014

Celebrating Spring Equinox with Children

 This is the first year that we are being really intentional in our celebrations for Spring Equinox. It falls on September 23rd for 2014 here in the Southern Hemisphere whilst for those of you North of the line it will be the Autumn Equinox.

So in case you dont know, Equinoxes occur when the axis of rotation of the Earth (N & S poles) is exactly parallel to the direction of motion of the Earth around the sun. This only occurs on two days of the year, and this means that the hours of daylight and darkness are equal (12 hours) all over the world.

Pagans celebrated the spring or vernal equinox as the festival of Ostara, the fertility goddess, and used the symbols of the hare and the egg to honor the deity. The date of Easter is determined by the first full moon after the vernal equinox.


Spring Equinox signifies lighter mornings, warmer days and marks new beginnings in Agriculture.
Its is also a time when life is all around us with baby animals and surprise returnings of crops. 
I like to 'spring clean' my home, rid us of the old and dusty, weed my garden and welcome new growth and fresh starts. 

Coincidence that I start this blog a few days before the Equinox? I think not!

Hello Carrots, we weren't expecing you!

I really want to provide my children with traditions that will ground them throughout their days. Sometimes life can feel like a hard slog which is why it is so important to celebrate and be joyful whenever we can. Spring is such a blessing after the coldness of winter and the children are already making use of the extra daylight with new secret dens in the garden and the renovation of old fairy homes.

I will post an update later in the week on how our days goes, in the meantime here are some links with more information and to help you mark tomorrow meaningfully with your family.





Do you celebrate the Equinoxes? What will you be doing tomorrow? do share :)

21 September 2014

New Seasons

Hello and welcome to my new blog! I know im talking to no one right now but positive thinking and all that!

This is a new beginning for me, welcoming the vulnerability, the unknown..

Spring Equinox is almost here in NZ. Im looking forward to celebrating it with the little ones and creating some new traditions. The light streaming into the kitchen at breakfast is marvellous!


We have seedlings almost ready to be put into the ground, a new chicken coop is taking shape, and im so excited by our most recent local discovery, Raw Milk. Filling my freezer with Agee jars full of liquid gold, oh the possibilites, and likely disasters of homemade yoghurt, milk kefir and so on.....

 It also gives me an excuse to make copious amounts of granola……