Friday, 28 November 2014

Conscious Living - A Love List..

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.. Yogi Bhajan

List #003

I've been thinking a lot lately about unplugging once a week and by coincidence I came across this interesting article the other day.  In an ever connected world, sometimes it's really tricky to find a happy balance between the online and the 'real' world. It's something I'm looking forward to exploring in my goals for 2015.

I'm currently catching up on the third season of Gourmet Farmer and I'm just marveling at the beauty of the apple isle and the remarkable people who are making amazing thing happen there.  My whole family is from Tasmania, back almost five generations, but it's only now, in a different mindset that I'm personally beginning to feel a real connection to that part of the world.  The gorgeous Michelle  has some wonderful 'Behind the Scenery' posts capturing the beauty of the region.  I particularly love this one on Bruny Island

This short film just filled me with inspiration, such a beautiful, humble woman and an amazing little part of the world. 

A pocket full of seeds.. I just love this idea.

I just adored this gorgeous little film and interview with a gorgeous simple living Byron Bay couple.

I've mentioned how much Alys Fowler has inspired my love for gardening previously, particularly her series, The Edible Garden. Recently I discovered her fabulous articles and short films over at The Guardian.  She's got so many good tips and it's totally thanks to Alys that our blueberries are looking so happy at the moment.  

Creating a simple wardrobe has been on my mind lately, as I find myself rediscovering my personal style and transitioning from being professional to a mama and creative. I was fascinated by this article about successful people who wear the same thing everyday. The idea of a 'uniform' does make dressing seem to much less complicated.   I also love Tricia's six items challenge.  Perhaps something to try in the new year.  

This post by Lentil really moved me.. I just love what the lovely folks at Grown & Gathered are doing! 

Belinda's creative process and way of life is simply amazing.  I'm totally enchanted by this gorgeous short film.  

A little while back in a previous love list, I mentioned the gorgeous Notes to my Future Daughter that Catie of The Staple Store was writing on Instagram.  Well, it seems plenty of others loved them too, because Catie has taken an amazing journey to make these notes into a book. You can help make her dream a reality over here and also read a gorgeous interview with Catie over on The Bharani Effect

With December the first just around the corner, I've been thinking a great deal about embarking on our first conscious Christmas. This year we are endvouring to tread as lightly as possible, to be mindful, grateful, ethical and sustainable throughout the festive season.  From gifts and wrapping to food and decorations, we hope to begin new traditions and pave the way for a more joyful and meaningful Christmas time.  You can see a few of my homemade decorations above, straight from the garden and bound with hemp twine.  I'm looking forward to sharing more about conscious Christmas ideas in the coming weeks.  In the meantime you can find some great inspiration for a no waste Christmas over at 1 Million Women and I loved Tricia and Brydie's creative festive ideas too.  

Have you read or seen anything inspiring lately? I'd love to hear about it!
Wishing you a beautiful weekend!
Much Love
xxx

PS. You can find previous Love Lists here 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Power of Journaling..

These days my journal writing ebbs and flows.. Some days I'll write a little, some weeks I won't write at all.  I've noticed recently that my writing often synchronizes with the moon. I find myself wanting to fall deep within the pages during the new moon, when I'm full of ideas and creativity and as the moon swells and ideas come to fruition or other things take precedence, I happily put my journal aside and let life takes its course.  

It has taken me many years to find this balance, to understand the power of journaling and its ability to transform, inspire and manifest.  For a long time, I thought my journal had to be perfect and if I didn't write everyday, I wasn't being a 'good' journal keeper.  I was pressuring myself, to keep up, make it beautiful, to not leave empty pages or make mistakes. And the more I did this, the less I felt like writing.  Then my life changed forever.. and I couldn't write at all.  I didn't know where to begin or how to find the words and it was in those moments of grappling with life and rediscovering who I was that I realised I had to let go of what I thought a journal should be and instead create for myself a safe place, a creative nest to curl up into and feel at home.   

This is the power of journaling. When you allow yourself to strip back expectations and open your soul, a simple little notebook can become a true heart space, where you are free to explore and rediscover your soul's purpose.

For me, my journal is a truly sacred space.  A space that is all mine.  One that needs to be nurtured, treated kindly and taken on adventures. One that feels totally safe, a true happy place. And like creating a home, this takes time and patience, which I find is all part of the journey.  Since I've let go of those expectations to write daily, to put dates on my pages or even write in page order, I've found I'm so much more free to play and explore ideas.  I'm also happy to take time away and come back to those pages like an old friend, beginning right where I left off.  And with this freedom I  find an energetic vortex flows, allowing for creative abundance and a slipstream to the manifesting of dreams.  

Over the years journaling has become a significant part of my life and it's something I'd like to share more about in this blogging space next year.  So if there is anything in particular you'd like to know or learn more about, please feel free to leave a comment or email me.  

Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

These Days..Almost Summer

These days, as the afternoon and evenings melt into one, we wander the neighbourhood after dinner, play in the park and chat about future dreams and plans.

These days call for perfectly floppy wide brim summer hats.. So with a bunch of raffia by my side I set to work to make one of my own. 

These days, we enjoy weekend farm gate adventures and delight in the search for lovely local produce.


These days, it's stonefruit season, a sure sign that summer is on it's way.

These days, it's all about digging in the dirt..

These days we watch in anticipation as our little summer crop grows and our three sisters (corn, pumpkins & beans) reach for the sky.

Wishing you a wonderful week!
Much Love
xxx

Sunday, 23 November 2014

47/52..

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

Tallow: Morning 'happy little Vegemite' smile.. 

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

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

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Everyday Moments..

 A quiet moment rearranging the studio..
Currently on the mantelpiece..
Nothing quite like bread just out of the oven..
A desk full of inspiration..
My favourite romanesco broccoli..
Divine orange blossom..

Much Love
xxx

Sunday, 9 November 2014

45/52..

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

Tallow: Sundays are for gardening..

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Friday, 7 November 2014

In the Moment..

Right now, life is busy, exciting and full of possibilities. Ben and I both have deadlines looming and I feel like we are playing a game of tag team as we meet each other at the front door, discuss plans for dinner and exchange hats from work to home. It's a fascinating time of transition and as I was catching up on the washing today, I enjoyed a little time in the sunshine, let my shoulders drop and took a precious moment to embrace the day. 

And in that moment I got thinking about time, the fact that it's November, we've been back in Mildura for nine months, my daughter is no longer a baby, she's a little girl, she's walking, talking, passionate, funny, obsessed with the cat and a gorgeous, cheeky delight. And as I pack away the toys and wash another load of clothes, the days just keep on rolling by. Christmas will soon be here, another year over and whole new one on the horizon.  There's nothing like being a parent to remind you how precious and fleeting the days are and how important it is to be in the moment. 

I used to find myself caught up in the past, over thinking events and memories, wishing I'd done things a different way.  And if I wasn't dwelling there, I was frantically writing future to do lists, worrying endlessly about tiny details, anxious about things I had no control over.  And while that anxiety still gets to me a little some days, I'm really working on being present, finding that space to just embrace the day, no lists, no plans, just allowing the flow of the now to carry me for one place to the next, totally in the moment.   

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travelling" - Margaret Lee Runbeck

Wishing you a most magical weekend!
Much Love
xxx

PS. My happy confetti filled mail, is one of Kate's gorgeous prints. Such a sweet and super clever lunch lady! There's nothing like a big handful of confetti to remind you to live in the moment.  

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

These Days.. Lingering in Spring

These days, Spring feels so fleeting, I just want to linger in every beautiful moment. We meander down country lanes looking for local produce at farm gates with amazing jacaranda trees and day dream about a farm of our very own. 

These days, happy mail makes for a most wonderful start to the week.  A perfect Spring blouse for playful days from the gorgeous and super clever Steph.

These days, the park is the place to be (in the morning before the heat of the day sets in).  Everything is so exciting and little adventurous steps are taken to explore the big wide world.  

These days, local citrus is ripe, delicious and shared in abundance. Lemons are my absolute favourite and this bowl is waiting to become all kinds of wonderful treats.  

These days, the sweet scent of this local pure olive oil soap makes for a lovely way to start the morning. 

  And these days, farmers market flowers fill our home with Spring time beauty and fill me with joyful ideas.

Wishing you a beautiful week!
Much Love
xxx

Sunday, 2 November 2014

44/52..

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

Tallow: Always on the run!

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx