Saturday, August 2, 2014

this boy | my heart . . .






he is demanding and delightful. crazy and cute. he has a way of making himself heard above the constant noise of daily life. he ensures he is noticed even though he is the smallest. he has planted himself firmly in our family. when i pick him up his little arms reach out. they hook around my neck and he pulls me in close. if i'm lucky, he smacks his lips together three times, before pressing them squarely on mine. he seeks out danger at every opportunity. a hot oven. a sharp knife. something to climb high and leap fearlessly from. he is walking and talking at a rapid rate. racing to keep up. taking on the world. he leaves me utterly exhausted and equally elated.  

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{photos taken on our recent trip to melbourne. we had the pleasure of calling this gorgeous place home for the week}

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

when friends come to stay. . .


when you pick up where you left off all those years ago. when your children buddy up and find firm friends in each other. when you share so many passions. when you experience the coldest wettest run of days you can recall. when you have so much to catch up on. when you feast on plenty of good food. when every seat around the table is filled. when the house buzzes with excited energy all day. when there is calm and conversation at night.
it truly is a wonderful thing.

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{photos by tamsin. such a treat to hand over the role of photographer for a bit.}

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

at the olive grove | picking and pickling . . .






pictures from a wonderful long weekend at the olive grove. the cousins enjoyed catching up and spending some time together. i think we all did. i returned home with a bucket full of green jumbo kalamatas ~ picked by many hands, big and small. right now i've got them soaking in a brine solution. my first attempt at pickling. i'm using the method that judith used {you can find it here}. all going to plan, they'll be ready for eating in the next week or so. 

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{i'm so thankful that judith kept her blog. i can hear her voice when i visit there.} 

Monday, June 30, 2014

around here . . .


there's a chill in the air. misty mountain mornings. arms full of kindling. a fire to feed. breathtaking light in the late afternoon. extra blankets at night. there's are a trip to the nursery. holes to dig. trees to plant (chinese tallow, liquid amber, silver birch). renovations to the chook yard. a pile of bush poles to work with. there are fruit trees to prune. a worm farm being built. there's some kombucha brewing. a bucket of kalamatas pickling. there are mid-winter celebrations. wild and wet lantern walks. a baby who can walk (but chooses not to). there's end of term tiredness and tears. talk of plans for the school holidays. dear friends coming to stay. plus a little trip away.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

things i learnt from the whole 30 . . .


for the month of may sam and i committed to following the whole 30 program.

no grains. no dairy. no sugar. no alcohol. no legumes. for 30 days.

what we did eat, was a lot of meat and veggies. pleanty of eggs. some fruit. some nuts. healthy fats. good quality whole foods.

it's a fairly rigid way of eating, but for 30 days it's pretty achievable. the benefits were well worth it.

when you remove the bread, pasta and rice from your plate, there's a lot more room for veggies. i felt like i was really feeding my body. i felt good.

i ate a lot of food on the whole 30. three cooked meals a day. big huge servings. filling up at meal times put a stop to my all day grazing. (but because i'm still breastfeeding i needed a substantial snack in between meals too)

i spent a lot of time in the kitchen. making everything from scratch. mayo. sauces. bone broth. nut milk. i found a lot of great new recipes and realised there is so much you can still eat within those strict guidelines.

for the most part, i didn't really miss alcohol. a sparkling water with a wedge of lime and a few ice blocks was my substitute. enough to trick my mind that i was having a special drink. most days at least.

i now realise that when i drink wine it's the sulfites in it that make me feel like death the next day, more than the actual wine. i'll steer towards organic wine from now on, when i can.

i thought i loved dairy but it turns out i can live without it. it's like i've lost the taste for it. i'm making my own almond milk now. i'll eat a little cheese and butter here and there, but too much dairy makes my stomach feel sick.

i realised that gluten makes me feel pretty yuck. reading wheat belly a while back had already convinced me i was better off without it. cutting it out for 30 days sealed the deal.

when i eat well, i sleep well. i seemed to have more bounce and less drag. even with all the usual baby related night wakings, i woke up feeling fresh and ready to start the day.

eggs for breakfast is where it's at for me. a cook up in the morning rush is a bit of extra work, but well worth the effort. it keeps me full and fuelled like nothing else can.

i didn't weigh myself for the 30 days. instead i tuned into the other changes going on in my body. i noticed how my foggy head cleared. how my clothes fit better. how my energy levels were steady and carried me through the day.

i'm not sure if it was the absence of sugar or grains or dairy (or maybe all three), but i lost the sticky out belly bloat that usually haunts me. i felt lighter too. even with all the meat i was eating.

i discovered that i love licorice tea. all of my life i've only mildly tolerated herbal teas. this is one i truly enjoy.

i bought a couple of new cookbooks (this one and this one) and found a lot of new recipes to try.

the amount of meat i was eating on the whole 30 felt like too much for me. i think i function best with a few meat free days in my week. i was happy to go back to simple soups and salads for lunch.

since we finished the whole 30 i've been baking a lot of healthy treats from wholefood simply. easy recipes which are generally grain, sugar and dairy free. i can recommend this banana bread recipe. (i make it up as muffins and keep them in the freezer for lunch boxes)

at the end of the month i'd lost 3kgs. that wasn't my main motivation for doing the whole 30, but definitely a bonus!

possibly the biggest thing for me was breaking my deeply ingrained food habits. the sweet something at the end of a meal. the all day grazing. the way i would unconsciously finish off what the kids had left behind. the tired and emotional eating. i feel like i've rebooted that part of my brain.

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when i first heard about the whole 30 i thought it sounded ridiculous and extreme. then after a while i got curious about people's claims that it had changed their life. i'm glad we did it. it has definitely shifted the way we eat and the way we feel. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

reflections on blogging | five years and 500 posts. . .


it was 5 years ago today that i hit publish on my first blog post ~ and by some sweet stroke of serendipity, this is my 500th post.

when i started blogging aila was 18 months old. we were living in the city with a dog called hudson, a cat called patrick and a chook called lucy.

blogging helped me to find me. it let me hone in on my passions. it gave me an opportunity to think and talk about the simple things that made my heart sing.

for a long time i blogged without anyone in my 'real life' knowing.

blogging helped me find the beauty in the world around me. through the lens of my camera and my words, blogging shaped my thoughts and taught me about gratitude.

blogging helped me to find you. it connected me with people all around the world who cared about the same things i did. from chooks to sewing to op-shopping or homebirth. it felt wonderfully affirming to find that tribe.

blogging let me show off the things that i had made to people who cared {and saved my husband from having to pretend that he did}.

when we packed up our city lives and moved to the deep south, my blog came with me, and so did you.

blogging has enabled me to keep a record of the little details of my days that i would have otherwise forgotten.

blogging has given me somewhere to put my photos, so that they are not lost forever in the deep dark depths of my external hard drive.

there were times when i could have happily blogged every day of the week. there were times when i struggled to blog once a month.

most of my blog posts have been written from my bed with a sleeping baby by my side.

sometimes i wonder why i blog. sometimes it feels incredibly narcissistic. often when i'm writing a post i wonder who cares?

mostly though, blogging has been a positive influence in my life. it has become a part of me. i'm not sure it's healthy to feel so attached to something, but i am.

at times i've come very close to bidding farewell to my blog. but right now i feel like i'll be sticking around here for a bit longer.

it still amazes me that hundreds of people pop by each day to read my random musings. they choose to visit this little corner of the internet. a place where i dump pictures and words and discuss the mundane minutiae of my days.

most people that visit this space are from australia. but there are also visits from belgium, bulgaria, brazil, the united states and the united kingdom, canada, spain, new zealand, iran, france, germany, ireland, rwanda. . . all corners of the globe. {hello!}

wherever you are in the world, a big, warm, heartfelt thank you for taking the time to visit. to comment. to email. to link up. to connect in some small way. it really has made the whole experience that much richer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

resurfacing . . .


something has shifted. i've felt it in the last week or so. glimpses of goodness. moments of deep to the bone happiness. energy. motivation. patience. the fog has lifted, ever so slightly. i no longer feel like i'm dragging myself through each day. i'm doing more than just surviving. it's a convergence of things. a first birthday. some clean eating. a little bit of sleep. i'm coming up for air. i'm noticing the beauty in the world again. i'm starting to feel like me.
My Photo
i'm rachel. i'm a thirtysomething mother and wife. i'm a maker of things. i'm an op shop trawler. i'm a gardener of sorts. i'm a champion tea drinker and scone baker. loving life on the south coast of western australia.