Sunday, July 31, 2016

Slow and grow.

The flu bug that has been circulating since the beginning of the season has finally caught me. I dont know if it had something to do with our little outing to Impendle last weekend. Or as with life.. things eventually catch up with you. Either way since Wednesday I have been totally and utterly fluish. Not quite the right time of the month either. Working in finance makes for month end to be the most important time of the month and I need to get the new newsletter out for our Season’d Kids Corner. I thought that just maybe the weekend would allow for that. But, after a meander around the backyard on friday evening, before it really was to cold to carry on, I decided that it would have to be an even slower weekend than planned. And, of course with Rob hovering around and checking in every few minutes to see that I was OK nothing too extravagant was going to take place.

When I talk of extravagance I talk of dabbling in the kitchen. Meandering through the bigger of the veggie gardens. And well you know… my extravagance. I did not get to stock the Home Stall with a few new more bars of homemade soap that had been planned and I had hoped to try out another bread recipe. This time Potbrood was on the cards. Rob, had planned to have a little family braai on Saturday evening and I thought that it would go well in the braai in our little potjie pot. Well, it was way to cold for my chest – and doctor Rob ordered me to the couch and he managed to feed and nourish us all without the help of… well me. 
I am blessed, really!

I did watch a few mindless girlie movies through the haze of the sinus congestion.. which is coming right with the help of my trusty tissue salts No’s 5 (Kali Mur – for colds, coughs and mucus congestion) and 8 (Mag Phos – for cramps, spasms or in my case headaches!) In severe cases, as I found myself in, I sucked on them every half hour. I added 2 drops Basil, 7 drops Eucalyptus and 1 drop Pepperment to my much loved “old fashion” essential oil burner and found the combination to be amazing giving instant relief. Not quite the happy aroma that a more citrus combination would add to the home, but it does give some clarity to the air around. oh and plenty of a variety of fresh vitamin C helped too.

I studied a little more on companion planting for Strawberries. I have the mind to start a bed in the bigger veggie garden just for them. I thought we could plant with bean teepees and if I find the right Rose add one too. The leaves of Strawberry aid in digestive problems, which I thought would be perfect for me. I have suffered so in the past. I seem to be fine during my pregnancy but I am not sure how it will be once baby is born. And well… Strawberries are just so delicious no wonder they are food for the Gods!

I also cast on for a little Knubblechen… I made one in bright milkshake pink for our god daughter just after she was born, which she snuggles up to every evening in her cot. I thought, our StarSeed could do with one too and since we have no idea what this little soul will be I thought a natural forest colour would be perfect. I love that it is shaped like a star. Stars are my protection sign - I may even add it as a child’s gift to my store.

I hope your weekend was beautiful and filled your kind of extravagance. Sending each and everyone of you happy.. loving… healthy juju for the new month of August my dear ones.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rainbows and Ojo de Dios.

I have never really been one for bright colours. I find I’ve always gravitated toward the more natural greys and browns and of course plenty of black.

But, for some unknown reason there is something here. Don't ask me how or why I decided that I’d use up all the bits n pieces of wool left over from various crochet projects that Oumie had and just keep knitting up a little lap blanket? It’s not quite finished, I am contemplating how to edge it. What do you think I should do?

As I went along I added colours to a couple of bamboo shoots from the forest and wound up the same colour inspiration for a bigger version of the God’s Eye, also known as Ojo de Dios, that have been keeping my hands busy through the last bit. They have been adding decor to our home and little gifts for special friends.

These little ones are made with bamboo skewer sticks and are a little more refined looking than the bulkier version on cut knobbly bamboo from our forest. I prefer the more rustic looking ones. I have loved the calm almost meditative trance I have gone into weaving them up. And, on the upside I have been using up all the little balls that gather and take up space. I’m sure Rob will be happy and may just fund a few new balls of wool on our next outing into town. He really doesn't get it. Do your better half's get it?

NOTE to self… dear self – selfies are not really your thing. But, in this instance I thought I’d like to share the size of this Ojo de Dios that will be accompanying my Rainbow chakra coloured inspired blanket. Sorry about the fuzziness...

joining up with the beautiful ladies over at nicole & ginny’s link up.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Snow in Impendle.

The most part of our weekend was pretty much quiet.. and cold! We were warned after a week of unusually warm temperatures for the Season. Saturday found us in doors snuggling on the couch in between bouts of Rob cooking a delicious Curry and myself baking in the kitchen. Josh was attending compulsory rugby at school and afterwards heading home with a friend for the evening so they could finishing off their editing on their video making project. And Garren, well he spent hours building his Macarno sets – and making mess in every corner of the home he decided he would feel more comfortable in at that moment.

Even Rob lay lazily on the couch in front of the tele. A sight that never happens in our home. When the weather changes like this I dont find myself feeling guilty adding a few extra rows to my knit projects either.

Sunday we woke late to darker skies and plenty of well needed earth quenching raindrops and a freeze to the air that we haven't had yet this Winter. So, naturally I checked into my news feeds and there as we suspected were beautiful pictures of all the snow updates around our Midlands area.

We couldn't miss the first snow of the season that was not even an hour away and yielding something substantial enough to reach out and touch.

So, off we went to take beautiful pictures and make exciting memories of our own.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beer Bread.

Bread is the staple of many today in South Africa, as it was in the past. I find that it’s a go to for toast with eggs (from our girls in the coop) in the morning for breakfast, sliced with cheese and variety of different toppings for lunches and even as fresh warm side-dishes with our evening supper. If we dont have bread in the pantry cupboard at all times – it's and absolute disaster. The boys lives just would not carry on further than that moment.

A couple of months back my Bread Making Machine went on the blink! Something to do with the turning thingie on the motor ma-gadget. Ok, so I was kind of lost when Rob tried to explain it all to me. So, the bits n pieces have been taken to a clever human who, when has a few moments in his busy day, will wind it or something. It’s been a while and said human is extremely busy. So, I have been trying my hand at a few handmade varieties.

Now, I know that most bread recipes call for hours of arm cramping... and kneading of dough, and then a whole long other waiting period of letting it all rise just to smash it all down again. But, frankly sweet people, this ol’gal just doesn't have the patience for that these days. The longest time I’ve spent waiting for a bread is for my One Pot Bread but that really doesn't have much leg umm arm work.

Beer Bread.

REALLY… what more do I need to say here? it's oh so quick and perfect as a side dish for those good ol’ traditional South African braais – right? And the man sure feels like he has contributed to the whole bread making process by sparing you one of his bottles of beer.

So, ovens on to 160 degrees Celsius to warm up while you busy yourself around the kitchen getting all your necessary ingredients and grease your loaf tin.

In your mixing bowl add 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, half a teaspoon bicarb (baking soda), 3 teaspoons baking powder and 2 tablespoons sugar.

(I then add a quick blessing… please note this is optional… *insert-twinkly-eye-sparkle-here*)

Now, pour in your fizzy beer and watch the magic bubbles. Fun – right?

Give it a good ol’ mix and then a quick ol’ knead and pop into your greased loaf tin. The whole shabam goes into the oven for 60 minutes and then... well.... wait. I'm sure there is plenty to keep yourselves all busy with  now, like clean up the mess (not always the most fun part).

Once done turn out to cool just a bit and then slice and slather with copious amounts of butter and OR (like I did) add my homemade caramelized onion jam!

Easy – right? Who said you couldn't make homemade bread? Let me know how yours turns out?

This delicious post is shared with the all the beautiful humans over at The Homesteader Hop.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

All the precious moments.


Don’t you all just love this time of the year when all the school photographs of your little souls get sent home?

I love the slightly skew tie and the wonky wisps of hair that have gone astray, with the slightly too long hair covering the ears (I’m surprised I never got a letter about that!) oh and the BEST of all - the happy cheesy handsome grin.

I only have a few more years left of these moments to share. Unless of course he humours me into his high school years. But, if he is anything like his older brothers, I really don’t stand a chance.

It seems the moment they walk through their High School gates all these kind of innocent fun memories to share fall away. They embrace this new adventure of their growing years as their own… And these little moments that I could be sharing are just a right ol’ pain in the butt for them.

You know what? I pretend to understand and I really do respect their wishes and let them be. So that dear ones is why there aren’t that many shares of the older brothers. I have been asked on numerous occasions what they are up to and they are both experiencing their adventures in their lives their way. And we all have to acknowledge and respect this.

Now then… we have 5 years left of sharing with this soul… yes I am counting the seconds…

And approximately 3 month to go to welcoming and sharing a new little life with you all.

That’s the way we will rock n roll around here.

Cherish all the precious moments….. the wonky wispy hair… the gorgeous cheesy grins…… and the fleeting childhood moments…

Monday, July 18, 2016

Homemade XTRA-FAST Pizza

So… PIZZA….. !

I’ve never really been fond of them at all. I'm not sure if it had something to do with the base or how the filling all mushed together. They just never really rocked my boat.

Well until…. now…

I have a confession to make. I just cant seem to get enough of them… smothered with olives….. sliced mushrooms… sprinkled with chillies… bubbling with cheese….. ALL of these on my newly discovered homemade PIZZA dough base. And, you know what? It's like so super fast to whip up. Right in the now - super fast and delicious rocks my boat. ESPECIALLY when I'm craving!

The Pizza dough literally takes 5 minutes plus mixing time and then however long for your to smother it with your toppings and then another 10 or so minutes in the oven. So tell me, how long is that? 20 or so minutes? OK, maybe 30 at push…? mm? still faster than pizza delivery – right? Just as I thought.

Every time Ive shared a Pizza on Facebook or Instagram Ive been asked for the recipe. So I thought it was time to get it up on the blog, saved and on the ready to be shared and for easy reference.

Homemade FAST Pizza Dough Recipe

Right so get those ovens preheated to 230 degrees Celsius.

In a bowl stir up 1/2 tablespoon sugar, 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast with 1 cup hot water. Let it all rest for 5 minutes.

Add in 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tsp salt (yes, you can use the sunflower oil variety, I have, but trust me, its a whole lot more yummier with olive oil – dont ask me why – it just is – try it?) Then slowly add the 2 and 3/4 cups of all purpose flour.

This batch makes 1 large normal base dough or two on the thinner side (I prefer my base on the thinner side with extra toppings).

Add all your toppings and pop into the over for about 10 to 15 minutes.

I think initially keep an eye on it from 10 minutes in and of course depending on the thickness of your base and how much topping. It wont take long until you are a pro at it.

Slice and CONSUME…… oh yes and try not to start looking like a Pizza (that there is a round preggie belly not a pizza belly!! – that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!)

Oh yes.... and dont forget to share too…!

Happy Pizza Pie Day... (everyday)

this scrumptiously delicious xtra-fast pizza dough recipe was shared with the beautiful people on The Homesteaders Blog Hop

Thursday, July 14, 2016

8 turns around the sun.

On a cold Winter’s morning at 6.40 this soul came Earthside. We have traveled eight times around the sun since then. I sit here and type this and think where has all that time gone. Did I live in each moment as I intended and promised him that morning he was born? I like to believe every minute was lived that way but as I look back and think… gasping with panic… surely not already EIGHT!!! And then, I have to remind myself that yes he is growing and yes I am riddled with all sorts of hormones which are mainly contributed by the belly at present.

Do you know that I was up and about before he even stirred this morning. And it was a late start as I had to make my way to the hospital for the last of the bloods and glucose testing, so the need to be at work didn't matter today. He slept right through and didn't budge. A sign of another year past and a new chapter for him with slightly different wants, needs and expectations. Eventually the Grandparents couldn't hold out any longer and made their way through and awoke him.

He chose to spend the evening in our bedroom with us. I wonder how much longer he will want to do that?

He chose his favourite meal of macaroni and cheese (mom’s way) and his birthday cake of melted Bar One and Strawberries. All very specific and all with a slight tone of small adult poise. No “baby” birthday party this year but rather a gathering of something small and precise with just a handful of his best friends and just maybe a sleep over?

But, there is time for that. We are still in school holiday mode so operation very grown and big boy birthday gathering will commence at the end of the month.

There were NO toys to add to his coffers this year but rather a wrist watch with his name engraved on it and a few items of clothing. An art set to come when we make our way into to town this weekend, oh and a journal.. not a diary.. a journal. All precise, all thought out, all with purpose.

I cant wait to see what the next eight turns around the Sun will bring.
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