Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Less Is More

I was in the mood for baking biccies this week, and decided to try out this recipe.  They're really easy to make and absolutely scrummy.  Little one enjoyed rolling them into balls and then rolling them into the rice bubbles, but of course, that is all secondary to licking the spoon at the end!

It was also an excuse to test out these colourful kitchen mitts, which are made here in Queensland (yes, locally made, not imported), and available here.  There are also matching double  mitts and pot holders available, which makes a lovely gift set.   

So, am I really just writing a post about oven mitts today? Of course not, there's something else on my mind. Over recent years, and especially in the opening of my business, I have become so much more aware of how convenience dominated my purchasing choices in the past, and how I wasn't seeing that each little purchase I make influences and supports the ethical or unethical practices of many companies and organisations.  

We are so spoilt for choice in this country, with designer homewares and clothing becoming increasingly more affordable to us, but at what price to people and our planet?  It's almost impossible for us to be sure about the working conditions and pay rates of the people who produce these items, but   all too easy, and tempting, to make a decision based on price alone.  But, really, although most of us are on a tight budget, we are in so much more of a fortunate position than many others.  

Where possible, if I can't be sure of where or how an item is produced, I tend to steer away from the item.  Do I really need that pretty set of teatowels  for only $5?  Or would I be better to pay a little more for a better quality one that's made here in Australia or through a Fairtrade organisation, and maybe have less teatowels?  

I encourage you, if you haven't already, to start asking more questions along these lines when you make a purchase, because wherever you can make an ethical purchase, it will count, and we have to start somewhere right? 

Is there a purchase you made recently based on ethical choice?


Friday, 24 May 2013

Grateful for the little things

That sound of biting into a warm, crunchy slice of vegemite know it right? I really noticed that sound this morning and there was something so enjoyable about it..maybe the crispness of this morning air accentuated the sound, but I think it was really more to do with the dead silence of the early morning, before the littlies were up. Most mornings are hectic and noisy, punctuated with sibling squabbles, so it was nice to have a short reprieve from that.  I was up at 4am this morning, which I guess is what you get when you try to cheat your body clock by going to bed early! Not to worry, it's the weekend, there'll be plenty of time to make up for it. 

Enjoying being able to make real coffee at home with my espresso maker (thankyou family for my Mother's Day present), and to drink it from a decent sized mug (I still have a few of these bicycle mugs for sale in my online store, Australian made too).   Although those espresso pod machines aren't very expensive, we've been quite frugal this year, so this was a luxury spend for us.  Have you noticed how much more enjoyable some things are when you go without for a while?  

The little one was not well this week, we're not sure if she had an allergic reaction or virus, but she came out in a rash on her torso and face, thank God for anti-histamines, that's all I can say! So all is well with the world, now that she's on the mend and back playing happily again.

Well, we have soccer this morning, then we're off to check out a second-hand desk for the lad, and maybe a nice afternoon walk if the weather stays fine. 

I think I might throw on a load of washing, it's the perfect windy day for it, and I'm also thinking of cooking up a warm beef pie with this recipe! 

Joining in with Maxabella over at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful.

What do you have planned for the weekend?


Monday, 15 April 2013

Sort of Finding Balance

Hello there..Do you sometimes look back over the week/s and wonder where the biscuits the time went? And then wonder where expressions like "where the biscuits" came from?  Ok, maybe that's just me going cuckoo..but I've had a few of these sort of weeks lately..except that I actually do know where most of my time has been spent..and it's definately not been on the computer, yep, ..just catching up on housework. 

I think I've been trying to make up for housework neglect, in fact I possibly (for a fleeting moment) almost missed housework, yes, that's how little housework I did (for a while there)...well lets not worry about exactly how long! The point is, I suddenly have had this feeling of needing to get everything sorted out..almost like that nesting instinct..but absolutely not that!  Something was definately up though one day when I found myself scrubbing the floors on hands and knees, hard bristled brush in hand..and enjoying it!  Not the getting dirty side, no, I think it was more about the getting lost in the moment side of it that I enjoyed, and now that I think about it, scrubbing the floor is just about the only household chore that cannot possibly be multi-tasked, yep, virtually impossible, I'd say!

Hmm, maybe what's really going on is that I'm sort of finding balance.  I spent so much time getting my business up and running last year, that, I admit, other things fell behind just a little.  Now that it's up and running, I guess I feel the need to get things back to normal on the home front, but not just that, to be more disciplined with the days and times that I work in my business, I guess it's all about time management really, which, I have to admit is not exactly my strongest point. 

How do you organise your time to keep everything in balance?


Thursday, 28 February 2013

One Of Those Weeks

It's been "one of those" weeks.. constant rain, testing children, unexpected challenges, and copping the brunt of other people's impatience and rudenes..nothing life shattering, just enough to push me to my limits, but nothing a little chocolate (most of a block) couldn't fix!

I'm so grateful to have lovely girlfriends to vent with and to help get my mind off things, amazing what a cuppa and a change of scenery can do!

Grateful for a husband who just takes over when I have "nothing left in the tank", and literally collapse on the couch.  This is rare for me, but it happened this week, everything caught up with me!

I'm grateful for the weekend too..there are no plans in schedules to follow or places to be..I'm hoping to sneak in a little "me time", and maybe a change of scenery with a day trip (no point waiting for the rain to stop, looks like its hanging around for a while).

What are you grateful for this week?

Joining in (it's been a while) with Maxabella over at 52 Weeks of Grateful.


Friday, 15 February 2013

What We've Been Up To Lately

What we've been up to lately..

It's been a while since I posted anything..what a busy few weeks we've had..

We've settled back into the school routine, yep third week down already! And I've started as playgroup leader one morning a week, which is quite demanding, but rewarding. Man, I feel as though I work fulltime, ..managing to keep things flowing for now..but we'll see how long it lasts, he he!

Baking cheesecake for hubby's birthday, of course not without setting the oven on fire!..and then putting it out quicksmart..with a cupful of sand (somebody later suggested a wet teatowel would have worked too, and probably a lot easier to clean up, but hey, whatever works at the time right?). Anyway, the cheesecake turned out perfect in the end, as it happened, I learned you can pull it out of the oven 3 times, and it makes no difference!  Think I'll make more cheesecakes - Yum!

Oh, and let's not forget that we're getting ready for our very first market..that's right..The Mummy Tree Markets - Chic Inspired Unique..can't wait..there's still so much still to organise, and only one week to go!  Here are the details if you happen to be in Brisbane next Saturday and are looking for a nice afternoon out.

It will be a fantastic afternoon of shopping and family fun, and our stall will be in the undercover area.  I'm looking forward to showing off some beautiful locally made and designed wares, meeting lots of lovely people and doing a little shopping myself.  

How do you like to shop?  Online, markets, large shopping centres, locally?

x Sam

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Two Weeks To Go

I can't believe we only have two weeks left of school holidays. For us, the time has been flying by!

How nice it has been to sleep in, not have to organise lunches, uniforms etc, to not have to be anywhere at any particular time. I've been fortunate enough to have hubby home for three weeks, which has made such a difference.  We've had lots of little outings, mostly to stay cool - trips to the beach, to the pool, all ending with an ice-cream! There've been bike rides, bushwalks, inflatable pools, and a little technology thrown in, ok more than a little, but I feel like we have a pretty good balance happening with that.  

It hasn't all been r & r little store has kept me tucked away in my office far longer than desirable, but all so necessary to get set for 2013. It's been a bit of an eye opener, this working from home thing, difficult to draw boundaries, and hard to know when to "put the tools down" so to speak. I expect when school goes back I'll be able to settle into a better routine, something I'll have to work on if I'm to achieve a better level of balance in 2013.

Aside from the challenges, I'm loving my job, especially supporting other little businesses, and being surrounded by beautiful things..things that are made locally, things that are unique and made with love..

Handmade Doll

things that are sustainable and made ethically..

Vroom Fairtrade Toy

When new stock arrives, I'm like a kid opening presents, it feels like Christmas allover again..

But lovingly wrapping them and posting them off to their new home is even better!  

Just over two weeks until school is back..what do you have planned?


Friday, 4 January 2013

Fresh Start Inside & Out

I love a New Year, don't you?  
It's a fresh start..something that is needed sometimes.  
I love that it coincides with summer too because there's something about summer that spurs me on to put my thoughts into action..

For me, at the moment this means taking better care of myself, on the inside and outside..

For the inside I'm enjoying..

Delicious salads like this one above with salmon and pearl couscous (from Australian Good Taste).
 Can you believe I only recently discovered pearl couscous? I had this salad at my brother's place Christmas day, and had to make it at home, absolutely delicious as a side salad or as a meal.

For the outside, I'm enjoying..

Organic Skincare for face and body
This handy little travel pack from Absolutely Gorgeous is available at my online store, and contains everything you need to kickstart your skincare regime for 2013.  Australian made and owned, it smells and feels delicious on the skin.

Plenty of natural and ethical products in my online store, something I'm growing more passionate about each day.  There'll be lots more of them popping up throughout the year, along with some great offers.

Enjoying days at the beach, plenty of sunshine, getting outside and all the naturally good things Summer has to offer.  

Here's to fresh starts and naturally good things in 2013!