Monday, November 29, 2010


Since our family increased in number about 2 months ago (how time flies!), meal planning has not really been on the radar. This is partly due to fantastic friends who provided us with meals nearly every night for the first couple of weeks, and then a couple of meals a week for the next few weeks. These meals, combined with our freezer stockpile and the occasional take away kept us going until we were able to contemplate evening food preparation again*.

The strategy that seems to be working for us at the moment is having a list of meal options for the week, rather than having particular meals assigned to specific nights. That way, I can decide what we're going to have in the morning once I know what kind of night we've had and how revolting everyone is likely to be by the end of the day (myself included). I've been including a few options that rely on me making it to the greengrocer or deli or fish shop, a couple of freezer stockpile options, a couple of meals that we can pull together from the pantry and garden, and if all else fails, there's always take away!

I've only been managing 3 or 4 options at a time up until now, but I'm hoping to start coming up with a week's worth of options soon (7 plus 2 extras in case the whole week is good, or we have more revolting days than expected!). This week, some friends brought us a very exciting box of fruit and veges from the market that we'll use as a starting point**. It was full of asparagus, basil, potatoes, garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, several mangoes (yum!!), and other summer fruit that's just starting to appear. I'm thinking that one meal might be a thai basil stir fry with asparagus. Mmmm.

I'll try to get a list of options for the week into the sidebar over the next few days, though my ability to follow through on a thought at the moment is a bit pathetic, so it might take longer than anticipated!

I'm also very keen to give Vic's Random Recipe challenge a go, but I might wait a few weeks before adding that to the mix. It sounds like great fun, though, and a very good way to get more use out of some of my underused recipe books.

*I enjoy cooking, so contemplating cooking was one of the things that has been relatively easy to reintegrate into our new lives, once we worked out some of the logistics of dealing with two children during the craziness of the pre-dinner hour. It's the rest of the housework that's still suffering, and is likely to continue to suffer for weeks (if not months) to come!
**Very useful for limiting possibilities when your decision making ability is as impaired as mine is at the moment...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A mystery sock

Half way there!
I was aiming to have this one finished by early November. A couple of weeks late, but not a complete blow out (as could quite legitimately be expected given my track record...).

It's mate has been cast on, so I might have a full pair by the end of summer! Assuming second sock syndrome doesn't kick in...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My creative space...

...should be involving variations of this:
Using lovely soft BWM cotton in Sepia (a sadly discontinued colourway for the 2011 collection), you'd think these quick little Christmas gift projects would be just the thing right now, but the call of the socks is too strong. So close to finishing the first one, I can't wait to see how it looks finished and on my foot!

Visit more creative spaces at Kootoyoo.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Yesterday I made my first-ever batch of soap. I used Jodie's basic recipe which is very user-friendly for the soap-making-novice! I added fresh lavender from the garden and geranium essential oil as my flavourings, and it smells lovely, even though I was a little light handed with the essential oil.

The fresh lavender might have been a mistake, but I don't have any dried lavender (maybe I should dry my own?? Any tips?). We'll see if the fresh stuff works OK, I guess! The geranium oil (one of my preferred scents) would have been lavender oil if mine had had any scent left, but it's a little bit old. I might have had it since before I was married, which was 12 and a half years ago... Ahem.

I can see lots of soapy Christmas presents being given out this year!! Thanks Jodie.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

my creative space

In the last week, I finally managed the last step on this little vest for my daughter. It's been wallowing in the I'm-so-close-to-being-finished-that-I'm-being-ignored pile for several weeks, and has now been set free into the land of toddler wear. Maybe it would rather it stayed in the pile?
It's perfect for those Spring/summer/autumn days that are not quite warm enough for just a shirt, so it should get lots of wear over the next few months (when it's not waiting for another wash!).
It's also perfect for keeping an eye on those pesky chooks to make sure they're scratching around and laying eggs appropriately!
Pattern: Eden's Adam by Tikki (size 2 vest) - I would highly recommend this pattern (Ravelry link). It has excellent instructions and is a REALLY fast knit (see below).
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply in Bracken (123g, or comfortably less than one 200g ball)
Sticks: 3.5 & 4.5mm circs
Timeframe: 16 September 2010 to 1 November 2010. Actual knitting time was 8 days, which is quite incredible given that I AM the slowest knitter in the universe. I think the speed was due to a really straightforward pattern and the urgency associated with an imminent birth. Productivity increased exponentially in the month before the arrival of daughter number 2!
New skills learnt: Long tail cast on (desperate internet search involved here!), and jogged garter stitch in the round (easy to follow instructions provided with the pattern).

Ravelled here.

Lots of great creating can be found a Kootoyoo. It's well worth a visit!