Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Few of My Favourite things (2)

We've had Tap-Tap for years now. I umm'd and aah'd over it for some time... from memory it was $39 which 8 plus years ago felt like a HUGE amount on a simple toy. Figures that make you CRINGE, stay in your mind for years LOL I've since come to realise it's one of the BEST value things we've bought if you work out the hours use it's had! Ah ha! I see it's another item that has come down in price! Not by loads but every few dollars counts, right?

Every now and then I've been tempted to add another set so 2 children can play at once but I think part of the great vaule is that it IS one child only. The child is learning and loving to play by themselves. Siblings are great in some activities and it's wonderful to have company but it's equally important - for both their development and a mother's sanity, that they learn to enjoy activities by themselves too!

The suggested age range is 4-7 years... our experience has been about 2.5-8 years and after about 8, the kids still like showing the younger ones some ideas of what pictures to create.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A moment in time

At about 2.10pm today, this is what was happening here while I was throwing dinner together...
Enjoying time and a book together

Nj wanted afternoon tea so he's making banana pikelets

Timothy and his crocodile face

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BBQ Chicken & Bacon Pizza


Our delicious lunch today - Pizza with a crispy spelt and coconut oil base topped with tomato paste, small amount of BBQ sauce, BBQ roasted chicken, mushroom, pineapple, cheese and bacon.

Recipe for the base:
Mix together 2 tsp dry yeast, 1.25c spelt flour, 1tsp sugar, 1/2tsp celtic sea salt, 1.5tb coconut oil
Add 1/3 cup very warm water (just cool enough to hold a finger in for 10 seconds)
Mix well and leave to rise
Roll out to the size of your pizza tray - I just used a large slice tray.
Use extra flour as needed to aid with rolling.
This recipe is very thin!
Allow to rise again on tray OR do as I did and top as is!

I added about 1.5 cups diced chicken, 1/2 cup bacon strips, 4 good sized mushrooms, 2tb tomato paste, 2tsp bbq sauce, 2 rings of pineapple (chopped) and cheese as needed. Next time I might add a sprinkling of herbs.
Chicken down the bottom so as not to dry out and bacon on top so it gets cooked well.

Very popular and fed 1 adult, 2 primary kids, a 4yo and a baby. NO leftovers... so when making for the family I'll double it up!


Monday, June 18, 2012

A Few of My Favourite Things... (1)

We've been home-schooling since 'the beginning'. This is the 5th year. I wanted one of these pencil sharpeners for a couple of years before I got one and even then I resisted because of the cost - $50 at the time! It's come down a little since then, but still not cheap.

I ended up getting it with birthday money from my mother-in-law... Now, after a few years use, I have NO regrets! Birthday money is great for things like that... items you'd love to have but seem extravagant. NOW though, I'd quite happily buy it from the home ed budget because I've gotten so much great use out of it and it will last for many more years to come.

What have you 'splashed out on' for home schooling and are now so glad you did? Anything that seemed like a good idea at the time and you now really regret?

PS I *think*/*hope* I have removed the word verification from my blog... can someone let me know please? They are getting harder and harder to read! If spam becomes an issue I'd rather just mod all comments than make you fry your brains figuring them out!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Poached eggs

(FYI... life has been super busy and this post has been sitting here for almost a week, 3/4 complete! The family has disappeared for a couple of hours so I am determined to finish it off!!)

I've only ever tried poaching an egg once before this last week, and it didn't go so well. It was more like scramble-poached egg. Not the desired result!
So when a friend on FB showed her perfectly poached eggs, I had to ask HOW??? I did what she said and ...

Ta Daa!!
One perfectly poached egg! (The only things missing are the smoked salmon which is now on the shopping list and some baby spinach leaves, which are now growing in the garden)

What to do?

Bring water to the boil (I found about 3 inches worked well) add a generous splash of vinegar (1-2tb?) Make sure it comes to the boil again, swirl to get a whirlpool effect then crack the egg into the middle of it, quite close to the surface of the water. Wait about 2.5-3 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon, or as I did, with my Tupperware whisk. The yolk remains runny... just try it a couple of times to work out the timing for what YOU would personally call 'a perfect egg texture'. Enjoy!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Days 7-8

Yes, I stopped at day 7!! But the day after is always good to know about too I reckon :)

Day 7
Pretty much the same. Generally just feeling really good. If/when I do this again, I think it would be better/easier to do it with someone else IRL or online. Much better, yes.

Day 8
Total of 3.2kg down... assuming it's fluid though possibly some real weight in there too as calorie intake was not high. I'll check again at the end of another week and see what's happened with it.
I had a couple of glasses of milk to start my day - I'm liking the 'not feeling feral' in the mornings so I think I'll keep with that.
Biggest thing I've noticed is that my stomach has shrunk so I'm feeling full waaay sooner than ever before in my memory. I'm eating smaller meals than the kids and feeling great... so I think I'll keep with that too!

Breakfast ended up being 2 glasses of milk and a hash brown... that was it!
Lunch: Good ol' tomato soup and a slice of vegemite toast
Dinner tonight: Ravioli bake that I made a couple of night's ago, and some salad. VERY much looking forward to it!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Days 4-6

Whoa! Life has been busy - I should never think that I'll just get up and post here in the morning... I don't think it'll ever happen!

Day 4 ~ Thursday
Pretty easy again and meals for others were not getting to me so much. Over 2kg lost and  my ankles have much less of an indent from the tops of my socks, at the end of the day!

Day 5 ~ Friday
The same as Thursday mostly? I didn't need to cook meals today - just reheating leftovers for the kids lunches and heating up a meal I made on Thursday for the family dinner so that probably made the day quite bearable food-wise

Day 6 ~ Saturday
Started rudely with a MAJOR leg cramp in the wee hours of the morning. I then stayed up for about an hour till I was more certain it wasn't going to re-cramp once I fell asleep again. Back in bed just after 5am for a couple more hours sleep. Over 3kg lost now!! Ankles looking much better though still room for improvement. I'd say there's still at least 2kg fluid in the legs that could go. Food wise fine - I even managed to make Pete a favourite of mine - poached egg on muffin with cheese & tomato - just because a friend told me how she successfully poached eggs and I REALLY wanted to give it a go while it was still fresh in my mind!
I've had a small amount of Celtic Sea Salt 3 times today, to help ward off the cramps... just a small dip of the finger tip. A very strong salty flavour but not enough to be horrid.

Over these last few days, drinking quantities have remained consistent in both water and milk. I'm wondering how much fluid might come back once I stop the full time milk??
Energy levels have been normal still, which is great.
One great thing I have noticed is that I no longer feel YUCK in the mornings - woo hoo! While pregnant I don't feel great first thing, feel like I REALLY need to eat something so I do. I feel GREAT while I'm eating and then about 30min later I'm feeling horrid again. This is probably about 5 days a week. So far with the milk, I haven't experienced this once! I might feel a little off and have my morning milk but after that, nothing goes downhill - it's great! My stomach obviously likes the ease of digesting the raw milk!

Almost at the end hey! Am looking forward to Monday, and also to just doing the week's meal planning on Sunday night!!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today's Lunch

Might just  be the best ever cauliflower cheese bake I've ever made!

before baking

Smells amazing, kids are all loving it... think I'll add it as a regular to the winter lunch menu. I don't know what made me think of doing it as a meal - till now it's always accompanied a main meal, like a roast dinner. Successful enough today for it to be a regular lunch meal on it's own.

Today's sauce was made with a spelt flour roux but next time I think I'll try it with almond flour, to keep it grain free and hopefully that will work out just as well

(I waaaant soommmmmmmmeeee!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 3

Rather boring on the milk end (thankfully!)... still drinking the same amounts of milk / water. Still serving up foods I'd like to be eating - though possibly the 'craving' for it is a little less? Though I did start a list of meals today that crossed my mind, to make for next week when I'm eating again. Haha - maybe that helped lessen the cravings?

Energy levels fine - today a no nap day and I'm feeling good.

Almost half way through now. 4 days to go... seems like a long 4 days ahead still though!

Oh - and most importantly, I'm only getting up for the loo once a night... I was rather afraid it would be more often. It's not the getting up that bothers me so much as I go back to sleep pretty easily... it's the house being so cold at about 10 degrees!! Yeah, I'm a wuss :-)

On a totally different note, a friend popped over this afternoon for a lovely couple of hours. Best part of my day!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 2

That's 2 of 7 days down - will I make the 7?? I seriously wonder! The preparing of foods for others is NASTY!! Think I should have put us all on the milk cure at the same time! I can't think of any boring enough food to feed everyone on, that I wouldn't want at the moment!

Drank about the same milk & water as yesterday - same total volume but about 150ml less water and milk instead.
Energy levels are fine... I'm getting up at my usual 5.30am and holding out till 9.30/10pm at night. Today I had a nap but yesterday not - but that's normal life for me anyway!
I did have a couple of small, mostly painless leg cramps last night. I usually get them late pregnancy anyway and they're usually a whole lot more painful than these. I have found that increasing my milk intake in the past has reduced the cramping, so we will see what happens this time!

Results I'm seeing so far... fluid retention seems to be decreasing... I'm 1.3kg less today which would have to be all fluid. I carry too much fluid in my more recent pregnancy's and there's more fluid I can afford to lose. So yes, I'm drinking about 4L a day and losing fluid!

What results can one expect from doing this? Seems the results can be quite varied. This article expands on what is available from a Milk Only diet. Of course, raw milk in your diet on a regular basis is sooo good for you anyway. God knew what he was on about when He spoke of a land of milk and honey being a good thing! It sure wouldn't have been pasteurised milk!!

What I'm hoping for... I'm doing it as a general detox and improvement of the gut (the most important part of our immune system)... along with the hope of reduced edema (fluid retention)... reducing the possibility of developing gestational diabetes (I've never had it but keep getting told that the older I am, the higher the risk) and I'll be following my milk week up with a low grain diet for the remainder of the pregnancy to help with this. I'll also take any of the 'beauty treatment' effects I can get! haha!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 1

I have almost survived Day 1 of The Milk Cure. Minutes from now I will be in bed and that counts it as DONE!

Has it been hard? yes and no.
Milk was easy to drink of course, nothing tastes so good as a glass of raw milk! The hardest thing I had to fight was habits. This is not like a diet where you can 'cheat' with a little bit of something and then spend extra minutes exercising to make up for it... this works because ALL I'm having is the raw milk. I cooked 3 dinners tonight... one for today, another for later in the week and then a spinach & ricotta lasagne because the cheese we close to use-by. It's in the freezer for next week, when I am eating again. I don't think I could bear serving it up and not eating even a little bit! So today I couldn't take a bit of golden crunchy cheese off the top or even taste the best looking scrambled eggs I ever made, for the kids lunches and I certainly couldn't indulge in a slice of the most perfect looking spelt loaf I'd made in a while and enjoy it with butter *sigh*. I should keep a wish list of foods I want to eat next week LOL

How much did I drink? Surprisingly little. I'm wondering if it might increase in the next few days. I drank milk when I was hungry and drank water when I was thirsty. That meant 6ooml for breakfast-ish, 600ml for lunch-ish, 300ml late afternoon and 600ml for dinner-ish. I say ish because I spread it out, drinking slowly till I'm full and not hungry again.

Biggest surprise today - was how THIRSTY I was... once I was fully satisfied with milk each time, I was THIRSTY!!
Milk total today was 2100ml and water was about 1750ml... I struggle to drink that much water anyway and no way in this COLD weather we're having with the arrival of winter. Odd!

Hardest thing... the after dinner habit of something sweet to nibble on once kids were in bed and dishes done. I seriously debated with myself for at least 5 minutes as to whether I would ditch the idea of The Milk Cure in exchange for something sweet!! I didn't give in thankfully.

And so tomorrow will be another day... day 2


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pocket Money

 Someone asked about pocket money on good ol' Facebook and my answer was so long and detailed I thought I'd share it with you here, too. Over the last few years I keep hearing friends asking 'what to do, what to do?' about it and even I was asking for a while... this is what we've developed and I LOVE it.

(direct copy/paste of my FB answer):

Yes for pocket money – better they learn spending mistakes with small amounts of money

What for – we have 3 categories they get a designated amount for. Spend. Save. Give.

Over the last 20months, the older 2 (now 8.5 and almost 10) have been given $2.50 each week. $1 for spend, $1 for save and 50c for give. Timothy has had 50c = 20c 20c & 10c... only because others were getting pocket money. Before this there was no pocket money happening in any decent way because I couldn’t find/figure out a system that matched with our values of hard work, family participation, long-term wise money management.

Spend is what they can spend when they want to, pretty much on what they want to. If they want a larger amount of spending money, they can save up their spend category. We give them the heads up of big event they may want to save their spending for. Sometimes on a big spending occasion... like a family holiday, we might give an extra $5 or $10 ‘just because’ we can. They also love to use their ‘Spending money’ for buying gifts for people.

Save – gets banked every time it adds up to $10. They have their own accounts and this money is for long term savings. Car, house etc. We’ve passed on our ‘cash only for getting a car’ value, and they’re excited to be saving towards these things. It is not able to be withdrawn for other purposes and this is not negotiable. Sometimes they choose to put birthday money in the bank too. Same rules apply.

Give – they can give to offering etc as desired. During children’s talk in church there is an offering box and the money put in here supports 1-2 sponsored children.  Sometimes they like to give extra from their spending money to this or to other giving opportunities... fellowship offering at church (a once a month offering  to be used for people who come to the church for financial help), red shield appeal and so on.

They do not earn this money (spend/save/give). Most importantly, I don’t want them to ever think they’re doing anyone a favour by doing the household jobs they are expected to do because they are a part of this family. This list is LONG. Washing washed, hung, folded, away, vacuuming, bed stripping, new linen on, cat feeding, collecting the mail, kitchen bin & recycling daily, big bins to and from street weekly, vegetable preparation for meals, setting table, clearing table, dishes away, groceries in from the car – and more! These are just a part of normal life. I refuse to be a part of them ever thinking that doing these things is anything more than real life. Secondly... Pete and I do all these types of things and don’t get paid!!

If they want extra money or we want extra jobs done... they get paid for extra jobs. Jobs that fit in this category are jobs that it might be reasonable or normal for others to pay for anyway... Gardening jobs like edges, raking etc and eventually lawn mowing will be added in here, car washing, window washing and so on. A figure will be named for the job i.e. $3 to trim the edge of the nature strip, reduced to $2 if I have to point out bits not done. Sometimes a bonus... Nj was offered $2 for cleaning out the chook shed this week. He did such a great job in work and attitude (was meant to shovel out everything on the floor... did that PLUS cleaned out the nesting boxes then set up new nesting boxes AND shovelled up the pathway to the chook house that was covered with an inch of revolting chook sludge) that we upped it to $4 to bless him for his blessing! It’s times like that, that I can see the way we handle jobs around here IS training good hard workers! (Nj’s biggest weakness has been that he’s easily distracted from any job and he has severely lacked in diligence and excellence in what he does) Extra jobs might come up once a month, on average, at the moment.

We are about to increase pocket money to $5 per week for M & Nj and put Timothy on $2.50
Increasing because they ‘get’ the system and it works for all, and I want to increase the things they are responsible for buying.

And there you have it – the “House of Bogwitz Ethos & Practice of Pocket Money”. Can you tell we’ve had a few years to think it over???? (over think it even??) (minus all the ‘oops, I forgot to mention’ bits, that I’ll think of later)

Friday, June 1, 2012

and stop ???

Doing the maths here and it looks like I only have enough milk for 5 days :o(

So... after actually starting this morning, it looks like I'll have 3 more normal food days and then start with the milk on Monday. It means that when I finish the 5 days, the next lot of milk will be ready for collection and I'll be able to continue and do at least 7 days straight.
but better than only figuring it out a day or two from now?
(and starting was heaps better than I thought it might be... I don't usually start my day with milk! I might from now on though)