Monday, 23 May 2016

Lunchbox Ideas (8)

Here I am with more healthy lunch and snack options after a long break, I wish I could say after a long 'holiday', but it was rather a very busy period due to other commitments in life. Most of these lunchboxes were prepared with the seasonal fresh produce, mostly homegrown, at the time. I hope you find them inspirational.

1. Lunch and Snack:
* Potato salad (boiled potatoes, capsicum, fresh mint, seasoning of your choice)
* Apple
* Blueberries
* Home-grown mulberries
Healthy school lunch ideas

Healthy fruit snacks

 2. Lunch and Snack:
* Stuffed vine leaves
* Pineapple
* Blueberries
* Home-grown mulberries
Healthy lunchbox ideas for kids

3. Snack:
* Sorrel leaves (packed with Vitamins A, C and more. Click here to read more.)
* Homegrown tomatoes
* Cucumbers
Sorrel, tomatoes, cucumbers

4. Lunch and Snack:
* Flat bread wraps with cream cheese, chia and sunflower seeds,
* Red capsicum sticks
* Strawberry
* Persimon
* Black grapes with seeds
Lunchbox ideas

To see the previous lunchbox ideas posts, you can visit:

#7
#6
#5
#4
#3
#2
#1



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Thursday, 7 April 2016

DIY Notebook Covers

I am over the moon about the fact that I am finally able to access to some of my photographs on my camera (I have been using my mobile phone's camera in the meantime)! The last time I was able to do so was approximately a year ago, so, it is one big fat YAYYY for me tonight! 

DIY notebook covers

These photos are of some of my fabric covered notebooks that I made for two lovely teachers of one of my children. These were relatively fun and quick projects to work on.  It was a good needed break from the sewing too. All I needed was some fabrics of my own choice, some decoration items such as pompoms, a hot glue gun and some scissors. 

DIY notebooks

The red one with the lace also has a little pink ribbon loop that not only looks good but is also functional. I particularly designed it for pens. The other notebook cover, the one in black and white, has pom poms, just for fun, of course. 

handmade fabric covers

I often really enjoy it when I can just look at my stash and come up with combinations and designs according to my taste and mood at the time. These were just that and they made lovely little gifts for teachers!

easy handmade fabric covers

handmade gift ideas

Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic week!





Saturday, 12 March 2016

1000 Piece Puzzle - The Stress Buster

As a mum of two, no, as an ordinary person and perhaps like everyone else, I go through some fun times or some stressful times in life for various reasons from time to time. I accept that it is a part of life and sometimes you can't do much about things (but, don't get me wrong, that doesn't necessarily mean that I gracefully and with open arms take them all in at all times). 

1000 piece puzzle

A few months ago, as I wasn't feeling the best emotionally, I needed something to take my mind off what has been bothering me. This 1000 piece puzzle came in handy at that time. I have actually totally forgotten about the puzzle which we had bought may be a year ago but it was just a perfect time for Mr Hubby to remember about it. I got working on it right away. 

African cheetah puzzle in progress

I have always been pretty fond of puzzles but I must admit, I had a few hiccups along the way. Firstly, I had set it on the floor when I first started it and that sure didn't agree with my neck and shoulder muscles (I surely looked forward to my weekly yoga classes more than ever before around then!). Then, I set it on the table but it took too much space and I chose to work on the floor again. Because I was unable to spend much time on it at a time as a busy person and a mother of two young children, it took almost a month before I could finish it. Therefore, it became a bit messy around the room. However, it was still totally therapeutic and I loved every stage of it. 

puzzle - getting there

Ever since I completed the puzzle, the kids started breaking parts of it here and there and working on it by themselves. At times 4-5 pieces, at times 40-50 pieces! (So, I have still not put it away yet). I think that is one of the most natural ways of teaching/learning and inspiring. 

African cheetah 1000 pieces puzzle

Enjoy something fun today!






Monday, 22 February 2016

A Fabric Pencilcase and a Journey Back to Good Ol' Days

Do you remember your primary school years at all? Do you remember your first school bag for example, or your school shoes? How about your hairstyle? (Ok, I see, the hair style could be a topic on its own, I totally agree. Great to look at the family albums for a giggle but for now, forget about this last question, lets move on. )


When I was a child, which I don't know when and how became a 'history', people -if lucky- had one school bag, possibly for the rest of most or all of their Primary school years. We had school books and notebooks that we had to cover and put a name sticker/label on before school started. Most people had a few older siblings to receive help from but otherwise, parents or in later years, some friends would sit down and would cover them one by one for hours. The labels had cute little pictures and depending on our favourite subjects or books, we would choose our most favourite label and stick on that particular book etc. It was a lot of work (especially for the ones that were doing the main job) but so much fun too.


I also remember how precious our school items and belongings were to us. We would have only a very limited amount of pencils and rubbers and would look after them as if they were made of gold. Even the tiny little pencils were used until it was simply impossible to hold anymore.

I remember, most of us at the time used small prints in our hand writing so that our writing would look neat while saving space in our notebooks for future use.


I suppose those were the good old days. Now, things have changed.


I now see that consumption is the hidden word behind most conscious or unconscious behaviour and it starts even before the babies are born, with the parents indulging their unborn children, -or rather themselves perhaps- with  the best of everything they can afford. I mean afford as in 'buy' because it often means buying; the best furniture with the right colour combination and the perfect amount of contrast, tens and hundreds of cutest clothing pieces with often some expensive tags attached, the who-knows-how-many pieces of shoes that most babies won't even get to wear more than once and so on. And the list of what we buy for our kids regardless of the motives behind only grows with time.


Arguably as a result, I see that today's children are so much less caring with their blessings. It is often a 'given' that parents buy so many school uniforms (and seriously, what is it with the uniform prices these days? They are astronomic!) because things get 'lost' often. How about all those pencils and other stationary bits and pieces that never make it until the end of the year even though it looks like a life-time supply at the beginning of the year? If you are a parent of a student these days, I have a strong feeling that you know what I mean.


Anyway, the point is that the pencilcase in the pictures above is one of my son's many pencilcases. Some is too big for school, some is too small, some works perfect for the car trips, some is great for home. (Talking about indulging much?). By the way, in case you are interested in trying your hand at a small sewing project, or simply you just want to make your own customised pencilcases for your loved ones or yourself, there are many great tutorials on the internet. Don't roll your eyes, I promise, working with a zipper is not as hard as you have always thought. Just give it a go and see it for yourself.

Note: The colours of the pencilcase were chosen by Mr. Junior and I just added a few extra touches to it. I must admit, this one small pencilcase made him quite happy and proud (he loves it when he gets an opportunity to tell his friends that his pencilcase was made by his mum).





Monday, 15 February 2016

Lunchbox Ideas (7)

Yes yes, I know. It has been ages -and felt even longer!- since I was able to post anything here the last time. Even though it might have looked like a big break here, it was actually a very busy period for me. Life was in its full swing on this side of the planet for sure.

The new school year has started a few weeks ago Down Under and even though I love spending time with my children during school holidays and that we all really enjoy not having to rush in general; reality has already kicked in and we like it or not we have already adapted to our school-day routines well.

Below is some more inspiration for your in case you are looking at healthy variety and are happy to try new recipes and combinations. You can find the links to the previous lunchbox idea posts at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

1. Lunch and snack:
* Cucumber dip (finely chopped cucumbers, natural yoghurt, a small pinch of salt, some dried mint and some fresh mint leaves for decoration).
* Flat bread chips (Lebanese/flat bread cut into triangle shapes and toasted until crisp).
*Purslane (Never underestimate this edible weed. It is full of Omega 3 just to say the least. Read more about it and get some recipes here)
*Grapes
healthy lunchboxes for kids


lunch ideas


2. Lunch and Snack:
*Pasta salad (pasta made from the night before. In the morning, I added some raw red capsicum, lightly blanched peas, and some dried mint. Feel free to add your favourite seasoning).
*Fruit salad (fresh garden grapes, some plum and nectarine slices)
*A salad (toasted halloumi, home-grown cherry tomatoes and home-grown basil leaves)
homemade food ideas for kids

healthy snack ideas for lunchboxes

3. Lunch and Snack:
*Some organic rice crackers and spreadable cheese
*Home-grown celery sticks, homegrown-cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese cubes
*Pear
Lunchbox ideas by home of homemade treasures

4. Lunch and Snack:
*Sandwich (meat balls, green salad eaves, cucumber slices and spreadable cheese) (in a foil wrap in the picture below)
*An apple (cut in half)
*Carrot sticks
*Two types of grapes
Homemade lunch for school lunchbox

Healthy lunch ideas for kids

Previous lunchbox ideas for you to check out:
#6
#5
#4
#3
#2
#1

Saturday, 14 November 2015

RECIPE: Cinnamon Bites

Here is a recipe that a friend of mine has given me. She actually sort of forced me to try some of these that she had made at a time and place I would normally not to do so but she was quite confident that it was all worth it and I would not regret it. I had to give in and tried it there and then. She sure knew what she was talking about. This is a very quick and simple yet a pleasant recipe (and taste) requiring the minimum ingredients that it would be a shame not to share with you. The recommended cut size of the cookies make it even more desirable as you can just have a few or even a small handful with your coffee or tea and you are likely to feel satisfied without having to feel guilty about your indulgence. 
 
Recipe: Cinnamon cookies in bite sizes

Ingredients: 
1 packet (250g) unsalted butter (kept at room temperature)
1 egg
2 tablespoonsful of caster sugar
2 tablespoonsful of ground cinnamon
Self raising flour

easy, quick, and not much sugary cookies
Before baking

Method:

In a small to medium sized bowl, mix the sugar and the cinnamon and leave it aside.

In a large bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients. Add flour slowly until the dough becomes soft but not sticky.

Take pieces of the dough and make long rolls. The thickness should be about the thickness of an average index finger. Once baked, it shrinks in length and gets thicker a bit (see pictures above and below to see the difference of before and after baking).

Cut diagonally about an inch in length.

Bake in a baking paper lined oven tray in a preheated oven at 180C. When the colour changes to much lighter (see picture below) and the dough pieces are hard, turn off the oven and the tray out and let it cool a little. The idea here is that it is warm enough to make the sugar&cinnamon mixture stick but is cool enough not to melt the sugar.

Once it is at the right temperature (not hot, not cold), put a handful in the sugar&cinnamon mixture, roll them around by giving the bowl a gentle shake and then take them out. Keep repeating until all the remaining cookies are covered with the mixture. Once totally cool, you can place them in an air tight container and store them for weeks.

easy, quick, long lasting cinnamon cookies
After baking


Monday, 9 November 2015

Natural Grout Cleaner

Here is a recipe for a natural homemade grout cleaner. 

7 cups of water
Half a cup of baking soda
1/3 cup of lemon juice 
1/4 cup of vinegar

Method:
Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray the surface you need to clean. Wait for a few minutes and then scrub.