Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bernie Siegel

Hi everyone. I am currently on 'holidays' but I needed to bring my iPad with me to do some study. I have just listened to a lecture by Bernie Seigel. He is totally awesome. So if you want to do something nice for yourself today, go to: I hope you enjoy exploring his site. Bernie says 'there is nothing more important in life than LOVE. I agree. Hope you are happy and well. Take care. Lots of love, Julie xxoo

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


We are heading off on Saturday for a couple of weeks on a little family holiday. There are bags to pack and things to organize so I won't be back here until we return.

Thank you for your support with your lovely comments this year. I REALLY appreciate it.

Wishing you health and happiness.

See you soon. 

Lots of love, Julie xxoo

Monday, July 16, 2012

growing gratitude

Right now I AM:

~ very grateful to Rhonda Hetzel at Down to Earth blog. Rhonda mentioned my blog as part of her post on suggested weekend reading. Thanks to Rhonda I had many new visitors to my blog on the weekend. A couple of new people left comments on my blog and I received some lovely emails. Thank you Rhonda and thank you to the people who visited.

~ feeling thankful for all the washing and cleaning I did on the weekend. Not the nicest way to spend the weekend, however it's a great start to the week.

~ homemade bread served with butter and honey or soup.

~ winter flowers

 ~ all the lemons on our tree

~ more winter flowers

~ the beautiful blue skies we're having.

 ~ relieved the plovers have left. Two plovers made this nest (below) in our front paddock. We were happy to SHARE our three acres with them, but they took over the lot. I know they were just being good parents by protecting their four eggs, but they were here for about 4 weeks. Every time we stepped outside they would screech and swoop us. Every time I went outside to hang washing on the line they would swoop me. The same when the boys wanted to play outside. I couldn't do any gardening. On Friday or Saturday the eggs hatched. Sunday they moved on, this new little family of six. Off they all waddled, out the front gate and away. Such peace now in the yard. Thank you.

~ grateful to my hubby and boys for collecting wood for our fire.

Linking up with Lisa at Hullabaloo Homestead  for 'growing gratitude.' Due to the time difference Lisa's post should be there tonight or tomorrow morning Australia time.

Lisa says:

.:Beauty and simplicity surround us all the time and are things that I try to embrace as often as I can slow down to see. Every Monday I will be posting…a “growing gratitude” post. Basking in our own state of gratitude as well as the gratitude of others always seems uplifting to me. Plus, I always love a good positive start to the beginning of each week. I will put a Mr. Linky at the end of each week’s post in hopes that some of you may want to join in this mindfulness journey with me. You can formulate your own posts however you want to…lots of pictures, or none; lots of thoughts, or maybe just one profound one. The main gist is to share whatever you are feeling grateful for in your life…right now; here and now; in the present. I’ve included a button as well, so if you’re interested, you can grab a button and link back to each week’s post. So let’s begin, shall we?:.

I too think a gratitude post is a lovely way to start the week. Thanks Lisa for the suggestion. 

I hope you have a lovely week. Thanks for reading. xxoo Julie

Sunday, July 15, 2012

bread making tutorial

Ingredients: makes one loaf

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or sugar)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 cup oil (your preference)
2 1/2 - 3 cups whole wheat flour


In a glass measuring jug, combine warm water, honey and yeast. Whisk to dissolve. Let this sit for about 10 minutes until yeast becomes frothy on top. (see below)

While you are waiting, measure the flour ( 2 1/2 cups) and salt and place in a large bowl. If you have one, use a bowl that is plenty big enough, so you can later knead it in the bowl instead of on the bench. This makes cleaning up easier. Mix together. 

Form a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the oil and the yeast mixture when it is ready.(proofed)

The mixture will be a little bit sticky. 

With clean hands, knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, adding more flour as needed.  Use just enough flour so that it comes together. You don't need to knead the dough for very long. I knead ours for about 1 minute. Form into a ball in the bowl.

Take a little bit of oil in the palm of your hand and lightly coat the bread dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm, draft free spot to rise. In winter I put ours in front of the fire. Leave to double in size (approx. 1 hour). 

When the dough has doubled in size ( above) press the dough down to remove the air. I just press it down, rather than  'punching it down' as it's usually called. 

Using a little bit more flour, and working in the bowl, knead it a little longer and form into a loaf shape. 

Place the loaf into an oiled, glass loaf pan or a lined metal tin. ( approx.11cm  x  22cm - it doesn't need to be exact ). Cover it with the damp tea towel. Place this in a warm spot to rise until it has approximately doubled in size.(approx 35-40 mins.). 

Loaf before rising and doubling in size....

Loaf has doubled in size......

Bake in the oven at 180 ' C ( approx. 350 ' F)  or 160 ' C in a fan forced oven for about 25 - 30 mins. When the loaf is ready it should be a nice brown colour ( as below) and when tapped it should sound hollow. Leave it in the pan for about 5 mins. before turning out onto a cooling rack.

 Loaf after baking.....


Thursday, July 12, 2012

this week i'm loving

 homemade bread.....

homemade yoghurt.....

 this honey and it's presentation......

the sunlight that comes into our home in the mornings....

 my morning ritual. Rolled oats cooked with banana......

knitting and doing a bit of yoga.....

I have changed my blog name back to the original name. No big reason, I just prefer it. 

So...... what have you been enjoying this week? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

yarn along

On the knitting front I'm still knitting dishcloths in cotton yarn.

Yesterday the postie was very kind. He delivered the book AND the magazines I ordered. I have only read a couple of pages of 'Everyday Blessings' so can't comment yet. However looking at it as I walk past makes me feel good. I love the title and the front cover.

I wasn't sure about ordering Taproot. I wondered how relevant it would be to me, here in Australia, but on first glance it seems to be relevant to anyone interested in the simple life. I love the front covers. I love the pictures. I haven't read anything yet except for the publisher's letter and he has certainly drawn me in.

Jason Miller (publisher) writes that within the magazine's pages are "the seeds of a revolution." " is the kind of revolution that's happening in people's homes, backyards and neighborhoods. People are taking stock of what's really important in life. They're reviving the skills of their grandparents like gardening and canning, sewing and knitting. They're meeting neighbors and creating community."

There is no advertising in the magazine either. So far I'm really impressed with it.


Some pages from Taproot magazine.

This last picture wouldn't co-operate. It should be sideways (landscape). 


Linking up with Ginny over at Small Things for Yarn Along.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

blanket + sunshine = happiness

It is a beautiful, sunny winter's day here today. I took my blanket outside into the sunshine. I lay down on my blanket, soaking up the warmth. I let my body relax. I slowed my breathing and concentrated on this for a few minutes. I repeated a mantra, let go, let go. I relaxed into my blanket, into the soft grass underneath. Relax, relax. It felt so good just laying there and letting go. 

After a while I did some gentle stretching. Stretching whatever parts of my body I felt like stretching. Stretching gently, letting go. It felt good.

While out there on my blanket I did some thinking. Why do we feel guilty when we take some time out for ourselves? Some of us spend our days giving to our children. Some of us spend our days at work, giving to others and to our job. Some people do both. Sometimes we give and give until there is nothing left.

The thing is, we also need to give to ourselves. We are also important. We need to be happy and healthy so we can give to others. We need to be happy and healthy so we can have a happy and healthy life.

Think of yourself as a rechargeable battery. When the battery has run out of charge, it is flat, it has nothing more to give. It needs to be recharged so that it has more energy.YOU also need time to recharge. You also need to recharge so you can give some of your energy to others. 

Everyday it is important to recharge YOUR battery. Everyday it is important to do something for YOURSELF  that makes YOU feel good. 

It doesn't need to cost money. It might be sitting outside on a blanket in the sun. You can do this while watching your children play. It might be reading a magazine or a book while your children play in a sandpit. It might be going for a walk while your partner watches the children. It might be lighting a candle, having a nice hot cup of tea or a bath. It doesn't matter whether you do it alone or with your children playing around you or watching TV. The important thing is that you do something that makes you feel good. Do it daily. You'll be surprised at how the littlest thing can make you feel so good.

xxoo Much love, Julie xxoo