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Showing posts from July, 2013

How to make soft blocks for young children!

I have a couple of new nephews in the family and wanted to make a birthday present for one of them. I had thought of blocks for a while but wood was too hard for me to"make" them from and since he will more than likely put them in his mouth, they needed to be made of something that could be mouthed and them washed if necessary. I spotted this cool tutorial for cloth covered foam block and thought I'd give it a go...


Here's what I did...

I bought a colourful animal print material from my favorite op shop for $2!

Then I went to the local rubber shop and bought a couple of off cuts for a couple of dollars as well. I bought this shaped piece so that I had as little cutting to do as possible - maths and straight lines are not my specialty!

Once i sat down to cut my squares out I realised my pattern was not on a grid pattern so I couldn't just cut 'em out! I cut a square of card that was the same shape as the front of one of those long pieces of foam and used it as…

What I did with excess eggs!

We host international students, which is great fun. Recently one of them went back to her home country leaving behind three dozen shop bought eggs! We have a rather large number of chickens and so eggs are not in short supply in any case. After we had made mini quiches, a bacon and egg pie and did a bit of baking, I was at a loss at how to get rid of the last dozen before they were no good. I was reading a book about pickling and found a recipe for pickled eggs and decided to give it a go...

Here's what I did...


First, I boiled up the eggs. As you can see these ones are on their last legs. A fresh egg lays on its side when you put it in a pot of water. The older it is, the further it sits up until it finally floats - where most people recommend that you throw them out. have a look at this link for more detailed information about egg freshness.

Then I put traditional pickling spices into the two jars.

Peeled garlic, broken cinnamon sticks, mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill, bay leav…

Identifying dooner (or duvet) inner sizes without pulling the linen cupboard to pieces!

I know that there are people out there who manage to keep their linen cupboard all neat and tidy, year after year, to the envy of people like me - who don't!

I have a friend who has a linen cupboard that looks like a shop display with it all colour sorted and displayed in categories divided into boys, girls, Mum/Dad and Guest room. - I'm not like that at all.

When we moved rooms a while ago, I had 10 years worth of linen collecting to decide what to do with... I was great at culling the excess donner covers and pillow cases (you'd think I was running a hotel with all the linen I had collected!) and donated a huge amount of them to the local second hand shop.

One of the issues that I have is that when I am looking for a certain size dooner inner I cant tell what size it is until I open it out and then I fold it back up and put it on the top of the pile and, within minutes, I have mixed up my neat piles into a mess.

This needed a solution! Here's what I did...

First I st…

Slowing Down the Slow Living Essentials way - June 2013

I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for over a year now! And in 2012 she started a monthly round up to record on our blog, how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I have been doing this since she started it at the beginning of 2012 and really get a lot out of it. 


NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. 
Baking a bit and cooking from scratch is the norm still. I'm loving the winter and a chance to get out the crock pot. Lots of soups and stews on the menu with a chunk of home made bread... Mmmmmm! I have my first sour dough loaf proofing on the bench at the moment - lets see how it goes!


Shortbread, cheese and coconut biscuits and basic choc chip!

Oh, and we made a batch of home made peanut butter too - very yummy!
PREPARE:Stockpile and preserve.  One of our students went back home and left me with three dozen bought eggs that she had…
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