Thursday, 20 November 2014

Finding Mindfulness in Morning Tea - Zucchini & Lemon Bread..

We've found ourselves a new routine, Miss Tallow and I, well, for this week at least.  Afternoon naps have all but disappeared, so now during that sweet morning nap, is my time to 'get stuff done'.  And this week I've found myself in an interesting space, in a joyous creative overload.  With deadlines out of the way and Christmas approaching, I'm full of ideas and don't know which one to tackle first.  Thank goodness we found a bigger dining table last weekend, because that's where you'll find me this week, surrounded by twine and leaves, notebooks and magazines wishing I had an extra set of hands (and ending up with four half finished projects and no where to eat dinner).  Yesterday as I was boiling the kettle for the third time (does anyone else do that, boil the kettle and then completely forget about it),  I realised I needed to slow down and really be mindful of this precious time, rather than rushing in and trying to achieve everything at once. 

So today I started things differently, I picked up the stray toys in the living room, I light a candle, rolled out my yoga mat and took 20 minutes to nourish my body.  This in itself transformed my 'get stuff done' time into a blissful moment of calm.  Afterwards as I made myself a cup of tea and quietly enjoyed the last piece of zucchini and lemon bread, I noticed how much clearer my intentions for the day were and while I made a little creative list (the only way I ever remember my ideas) I noted what I could do today and what needed more time.  All of a sudden this simple morning tea ritual was transforming from a frantic, 'quick do it while you can', to a mindful and nourishing experience.  

As I complete my first to do (sharing this wonderfully easy and super yummy recipe with you), I begin to realise that each action, every daily experience can be done in a way that brings joy, enhances and even romances the everyday.  For me, it's taking the busyness out of the day, slowing it all done. It's the delicate imperfections of my favourite handmade mug and using fine china just because. It's listening to soul embracing music, burning a beautiful beeswax candle and enjoying something homemade and nourishing for morning tea.  It's in those details, so easily forgotten, that make those everyday moments, just that little bit more blissful. 

Zucchini & Lemon Bread (adapted from this recipe)

2 cups of plain flour
2 tsp. of baking powder
2 free range eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of organic butter *
1 1/3 cups of sugar (I used a little less)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of organic natural yogurt (I used this one)
About 1 cup of grated zucchini (I used two small zucchinis)

Preheat your oven to 180C and line a loaf tin. 
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. 
In your favourite large mixing bowl beat the eggs, then add softened butter (or oil) and sugar and mix until well combined. 
Add lemon juice, yogurt and lemon zest to wet mixture and combine well.
Gently fold grated zucchini into wet mixture. 
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and combine everything into a lovely batter. 
Pour batter into loaf tin and bake for about 40 - 45 mins, until lovely and golden (or a little longer if needed**) 
Serve warm with a lovely pot of tea. 

 The loaf keeps well in the fridge in an air tight container and stays lovely and moist for 3 -4 days (if you can make it last that long). 

Notes: 
*I think coconut oil would be a wonderful substitution (unfortunately I didn't have on hand, but will definitely try it next time) 
** Mine took 50 mins  to bake as my oven only has a bottom element


What do you like to do to add a little bit of bliss to your day?
Much Love
xxx
   

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Everyday Moments..

 The prettiest purple pom poms are exploding in our garden..
My little dirt girl, always busy helping in the garden..
Sunday baking.. Zucchini and lemon bread (recipe coming soon)..
Foraged emu flowers on the kitchen window sill.. 
The makings of our first Conscious Christmas.. 
Happy trellised tomatoes growing by the day..

Much Love
xxx

Sunday, 16 November 2014

46/52..

 "A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: Fascinated by the magpies on the roof and collecting treasures in her new favourite basket..

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Back to Basics - Conscious Living.. (An Update)

Over the past two years I've learnt so much about getting back to basics and living more simply and yet, in some ways I feel like we've barely scratched the surface.  The first thing I realised was that living simply is not always simple, it takes time, accountability and a complete shift in thinking. The rewards for making the changes are incredible and inspire me everyday, to learn more, read more and connect with like minded souls walking this beautiful path.  We began this journey two years ago, when we packed up our little old cottage and set off in our caravan headed for a new way of life. You can read my first back to basics post here, when we'd just planted our first little garden and were starting baby steps to living a more fulfilling way of life.  Looking back now I'm so glad I've documented our process and I feel we've come such a long way.  But each day is a new one and there's so much more to learn and explore and that's what is most exciting of all.  Here are a few of the ways we've been working on to live a more conscious life.   

Conscious Food
Food is an area of our lives we've made really big changes in. These days wherever possible we shop local, buy organic and of course grow our own food.  We are really working on using everything we have, buying less and loving making as much from scratch as possible and learning new skills all the time. Most of all we are full of gratitude for every meal and the beautiful harvest we are our garden provides us.  

Conscious Fashion
Fashion was the first area I began  making changes in two years ago and these days I'm passionately committed to my ethical fashion journey and only purchase ethically made and thrifted clothing for myself. I love to know who has made my clothes and supporting fellow makers is such an important part of this path.  Over the next year I hope to slowly make the switch for the whole family too and can't wait to make more of Tallow's clothes myself.   
Conscious Home 
Every day we learn new ways to better our living environment and what works for us.  From recycling, thrifting and upcycling to composting and changing from plastics to glass, bamboo and stainless steel, the list seems almost endless.  Mindfulness plays a really important role in our daily lives and finding a balance in the everyday maintenance of keeping a simple and happy home.    

Conscious Cleaning
Becoming conscious about the products we were using in our home become really important when I was pregnant with Tallow. I'm so excited that we are making our own washing liquid, dish washing liquid and all purpose cleaner using natural ingredients and essential oils.  Using simple tools, made with love from sustainable materials also makes daily chores that little bit more special. 

Conscious Living
Each day we make conscious decisions to ask questions, consume less and we enjoy what we have.  We make do and mend, take pleasure in simple adventures and prioritise time together as a family. Although we do have a television, we rarely watch commercial stations and limit our consumption of daily advertising. We love to immerse ourselves in improving our skills, learning new things, reading widely and engaging in conscious conversations.  
Each of these changes, some easy and some far more complicated weave together to form a beautiful tapestry and a richness to the everyday that I've never before experienced.  Our goal two years ago was to rebuild an intentional life, one that truly nourished our souls.  While we are far from achieving all that we want to, the journey really is the dream and each day we grow a little closer, learn a little more and tread that little bit lighter on the earth that nourishes and supports us. 
I know many of you are on similar journeys to our little family and I'd love to hear about what you're doing and what's working for you.
Much Love
xxx