This is how we roll.

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I wanted to share how OB and I spend our time when we’re having a ‘home day’, like today. 

Cooking – This is a no brainer around here and a must on a home day. We regularly go for a pancake or cookie recipe as they offer the best ‘helping’ options for OB. Today, we made apple and cinnamon muffins, though, and they were delicious. 

OB is starting to recognise the packets for the bicarb soda and the baking powder and calls the vanilla essence the ‘secret ingredient’. It’s pretty cute. He also gets to practice cup and half cup measures and his pouring technique. 🙂

Puzzles – These have been hugely popular around these parts of late. The picture above is of an Around The World puzzle that makes a full circle of people from all around the globe holding hands. I liked the sentiment behind that and it is beautifully illustrated, too. We have many puzzles from the op shop as well that are a little more challenging and are best tackled when a certain little one is fresh and energetic. Tired and puzzles is not an awesome combination. 😉

Reading – Oli has a huge collection of books and would sit for hours in the one spot if I had the time or patience to read that many stories each day. Stay at home days are really great for snuggling on the couch with a stack of books. OB gets to pick two stories at night before bed and he always picks the really long ones. I’m mostly OK with this. Seb and I put a long picture rail underneath OB’s window to create a little library, if you will, so the books would always be accessible. I rotate these ones as the rail doesn’t come close to holding them all. We are currently working on creating a house-library in the new study area with a  big book case and snuggly reading chair. OB (and I ) are very excited about this little home improvement. 

Outdoor play – dirt. trampoline. chase dog. repeat. 🙂

Craft – OB loves to paint and use textas, on anything. He is very creative and we often end up in a sea of pipe cleaners, paper plates, glue, glitter and paint. Yes, it’s messy, but it’s just mess. OB and I have had so many great belly laughs over creations and ideas at the craft table. We will always be a little bit crafty in this home. 

These are the more ‘stuctured’ activities and in between these we sing, dance, tickle, throw tantrums, wrestle, play trains, raise our voices and always love each other at the end of the day, no matter how high he frustration levels have reached earlier on. Sometimes, if it’s really hot or he is tired, all OB wants to do is watch a Thomas DVD and that’s OK, occasionally. Its all about moving on. I have a lot of fun with OB and 85% of the time he is just damn good company and an excuse to get paint on my eyebrows. 

Peace.

E.x

 

 

making memories

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Another weekend has come and gone. They really are flying by at the moment due to a bunch of cool things happening which, i guess, is pretty awesome. I try really hard not to wish away the week in order to get to the weekend faster. I’m guilty of doing this a little as it’s the weekends that I have with both my boys.

My focus recently has been on doing simple thing with purpose. Choosing a great place to picnic, for example, or deciding on a new route to walk the dogs. The task really isn’t the focus in this activity, it’s about doing it with purpose, being in the moment and making memories out of beautifully simple times. There are two driving factors in this new focus. The first is Oliver and just how receptive he is to new and stimulating activities. In two days he will be exactly three and a half years old. (wow! Also, how did that happen?!) He is so smart and observant that I need to be really careful about the way I phrase something and I have to make sure that everything has a context so it can be fully understood by him, the way it is intended. He has a wild imagination as well and can often put two and two together and get five, if that makes sense. But I digress. I want him to be engaged in meaningful and delightful activities that stimulate that little mind even more and build his confidence to try new things without worry about failure. This is something that has come up recently, a reluctance to try something a little ‘risky’ in case it doesn’t work. I’m trying to overcome these fears by engaging him in a wide variety of activities, from swimming to baking, to helping with planting and cleaning. It can’t hurt, right?

As well as simply wanting to create nice memories for him, I want him to see value in simple things, and to understand that simple and cheap, if not free, can be just as entertaining and fun as expensive, new toys or take away food. On a very basic level, I want his ‘normal’ to be home baked cookies and cakes and pasta sauce made from scratch. I want him to see the connection between the vegetables and herbs we grow and the food that is on his plate. I don’t want it to be a novelty to see me in the kitchen sporting a polka dot apron, covered in flour and grated carrot. Oli commented on how I “spend soooooo much time in the kitchen.” He said this with a cheeky grin as I handed him a warm chocolate chip cookie. That’s where I draw these simple pleasures from, knowing that these moments are helping to create a healthy world view, and plate for Oliver.

The second reason for the ‘simple things with purpose’ motto is my relationship thrives on it. I am so proud to have just celebrated my first anniversary with Seb. I have never been happier and our relationship gets stronger with every passing day. These simple little activities that we share together or with Oli keep us involved in each other and help to find new things that we can both enjoy. This Saturday just gone was a wet and miserable day outside, but not in our little place! Oli and I made paper plate masks while Seb played his guitar along to the radio. We played marble races and made a chocolate cake. It was perfect. Perfect.

Here is a simple little challenge- Set the table before the meal. Nothing fancy, but a couple of place mats and a shared bottle of water (or wine!) in the middle can make a huge difference to the sense of occasion given to a meal. It’s simple and so worth the tiny extra bit of effort.

 

Peace.

E.x 

Random and Recent – Weekend Edition

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  • My boyfriend is amazing and brought me a super sweet bundle of gifts including Mad Men DVDs, jewellery and a rose among other things.
  • Picnics were the theme of last weekend. We surprised OB with a picnic at his favourite park on Sunday. He was so stoked and we had the best time. We kicked a ball around, OB rode his scooter and I walked along side so we could chat for the whole little walk/ride. It was magic. 
  • I am becoming a vegan baking fiend and it’s probably not going to help my bum/belly/hips. I’m trying to decide if this bothers me. 🙂
  • My backyard grass is back down to a safe height. It was getting a little nuts and I kept losing my dog in it. OK, so not actually as he’s HUGE, but it was bad.
  • I love staying home with my peeps.
  • Being even just a little bit organised makes a huge difference.
  • I started thinking about some of the winter pieces I really want to get before it actually gets cold. I enjoy planning a little ahead so that hopefully I have enough time to choose things that I really love. Does anyone else do this? 
  • Over the weekend I also gave serious thought to my next tattoo. Gosh darn, I love tattoos. 🙂
  • Sushi with your best friend is pretty awesome.

E. x

Make these. Now.

vegan patties

Howdy. I don’t know about you but I HATE wasting food. I save all the little left overs from one recipe to hopefully find a home for it in something else. This often dictates what’s on the menu for the evening.

In the past, I had the best of intentions but always forgot about certain things only to discover later the avocado that had turned to liquid or my left over lentils were morphing into something all together different. I have since solved this problem by keeping a very simple and clean fridge. I also invested in some decent tupperware containers so I could store little things safely and actually have a chance to use them up. As I make almost everything from scratch, my fridge usually just contains raw ingredients, so things are easily identifiable. 

With this in mind, I went to my fridge this evening and found 1/4 of a pumpkin that was nearing the end of its edible life and some lentils that I had soaked overnight for another dish but got the quantities vastly wrong, hence the leftovers!

I came up with the following recipe as a way of using these two key ingredients up and I have to say, they’re awesome. I make patties quite often and many turn out so-so. Give these a burl and let me know how they go down. 🙂

Pumpkin and Lentil Patties

1/2  of a green onion – finely diced

8-10 med mushrooms – finely chopped

 2 tbsp Olive oil

1/4 of a medium pumpkin – roughly chopped

1 cup green lentils

1/2 cup w/meal flour

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

small handful fresh basil

2 tbsp dried, mixed herbs

salt and pepper to taste

Sunflower oil for shallow frying

1. Boil water and cook pumpkin until soft (you will be mashing it up).

2. Cook the onion and mushroom in the olive oil until soft and cooked to your liking.

3. Place cooked onion and mushrooms into a medium sized bowl. Add lentils, flour, breadcrumbs, mixed herbs and combine. 

4. Drain and mash the pumpkin. Add to other ingredients. Stir until well combined. Taste, lick your lips and then add seasoning as desired.

5. Heat sunflower oil in large, shallow pan and lightly fry batter to desired size. Voila.

I served mine simply on mixed lettuce and cucumber slices with a sweet chilli sauce to accompany it. For Oli, I cooked smaller, almost nugget sized patties, some halved cherry tomatoes, slices of avocado and a little tomato sauce for dipping. 

This batter seemed to be a better, more ‘sticky’ consistency and therefore translated into a patty that stayed together very well. I’ll be taking the leftovers to work for a quick lunch tomorrow. I love looking forward to lunch!

P.s these are vegan but no one will know if you don’t mention it and you can surprise all of your carnivorous mates after they have sung their praises. 

Peace. 

E. x

Try one.

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Here are some simple things (some bigger than others) that I have done in the last 6 months that are helping me live a happier, simpler life.

I have gone back to being vegan. I have been an avid vegetarian for ten years with a block of veganism in there somewhere. This time the fit is right and I am so happy to be back. 

I walk a lot. I try and plan little things around walking to and from somewhere, making the experience not only enjoyable but useful, too.

No TV. I made the conscious decision to not buy/acquire another TV when I separated from Oli’s Dad. It’s actually been about 18 months now since I’ve had one in the lounge room and I LOVE IT. Or, more to the point, I don’t miss it at all. Seb sometimes likes to drop the fact that I’m vegan and don’t own a TV into conversation with someone I’ve just met, just to see their reactions. Strangely, many people think having NO TV is more ‘extreme’ than being vegan. People are funny (and addicted to crappy television).

Cooking. So I obviously cooked before the last six month period but I have really got into it in a big way more recently. I made two resolutions this year and they were to use my keep cup all the time and avoid buying any mass produced cookies, instead making them all at home. And let me tell you, I have been a cookie making mad woman recently. If you follow my Instagram feed (@fawn_tastic) you will have copped an eye full of cookie no doubt. They are so easy and delicious when made at home and this way I know exactly what goes into them. Vegan cookies are deli! 

I got a Keep Cup. Mine is a ceramic polka dot one. Don’t be jealous, just go and get yourself one. Now. If you drink as much take away coffee as I do, you’ll be doing the planet a HUGE favour. And…they look so cute!

Create. Garden, paper, paint, canvas, pegs, glitter, yarn, fabric. Whatever your thing is, creating is good for the soul, far better than mindlessly watching TV and usually yields something pretty for your home and is so much fun.

Lastly, I find something to inspire me everyday. Don’t get me wrong now, I have shitty days like everyone else but I make the conscious decision to find a silver lining, to latch on to something beautiful and use it. Because really, life is awesome, wonderful and down right beautiful.

 

Peace.

E.

Currently Vol.2

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Listening to- a mix tape from Yen Magazine as well as Seb trying to keep up with Jack White’s Blunderbus album. (Keep trying, my love)

Planning- A HUGE garage sale and my first ever international trip! I don’t want to give away too much just yet as it is still very much in it’s initial planning stage. It’s very exciting, though and I am just itching for adventure! 2013 is going to be my year.

Meals that are based around seasonal produce and only bought from a local farmer. I’ve found a fabulous place in Seb’s town that grow everything themselves. How fantastic would it be to get year round, local, fresh fruit and veg and know that you’re supporting a family farm? Very. This makes me immeasurably happy.

I’m also doing heaps of planning at work as I am in charge of an important part of the organisation that is going through some change and growth at the moment. Exciting days!

Thinking about- Still heavily on my mind is sustainable living and taking the next step to living the lifestyle I dream of. My edible garden is going well though and has provided much flavour over the last fortnight.

I’m always thinking about photography and beautiful images that capture my imagination. I’m so inspired by others these days. There are just so many talented people out there and the internet means we can all feed of their creativity. Woohoo.

Looking forward to- Autumn. These stinking hot days can pack up and leave already! I hate summer at the mildest of times but this year has had me just plain angry. I want cardigans and florals and cute little boots….NOW.

Reading- I’m still persisting with The Laughing Clowns but have been very distracted by Beci Orpin’s Find and Keep book. It makes my crafty side do a little dance and I get all kinds of happy and inspired.

Making me happy- Seb.

 

Happy Monday.

E. x