Thursday, 8 December 2016

Garden Tour #1

I said I was going to have a break, but I keep thinking about what to put in my next blog, so I thought I would do a quick update with a video tour of my garden. Its a bit rusty as its my first attempt, but let me know what you think.

And I forgot to show the seeds/seedlings that will take up the bare space you see around the garden. As always a work in progress.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Taking a break.

I feel like I have nothing to say. Each day I think to myself, I really should write up a blog post but to be honest I feel I have nothing interesting to talk about. I think I am going to put the blog to bed over the warmer months and just enjoy the days. If I am inspired I might visit, but otherwise I think I will see you again sometime. I will keep uploading to facebook perhaps, so if you don't already follow me there pop over and like my page - Simply by the Beach, talk to you soon C, x

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Pressure and pleasure.

The days are getting longer now that daylight savings has started and while that’s great for all the extra ‘things’ I need to get done it also seems to mean the wee ones go to bed later. So not sure if the extra time is making any difference… First day back at school last week for the 2 bigger bubs so I thought an early night would be in need, but no. While they were tucked in early they still managed to play in hysterics for the next hour before they finally seemed to nod off. I have had all these jobs saved for when they go to bed but not once have a managed to get any of them done yet at night. They are still waiting for me in the morning and I am trying to find the time in the day to get them done. I spent the good part of 3 hours scrubbing out the bathroom the other day and still haven’t quite finished. We pulled the vanity out to replace with a new one and I thought it a good opportunity to give a thorough clean before the new one went in. I cleared everything out and scrubbed away. Still haven’t finished the floors (scrub the grout mostly) which I know right now it is something I should do today to tick it off. I am known for being a bit of a procrastinator so I will be surprised with myself if I actually manage to do this! No pressure…. Talking of pressure, speaking with hubby the other night we got into discussion about our training/exercise routines. Now since the kidlets have come into our lives, exercise has really taken a back seat for me. I used to be an everyday kinda girl and good at it too. I love to compete and really challenge myself. I still have it, but not as much as I’d like. Hubby is always very supportive of me doing whatever training I want but I always have the ‘excuse’ of the kids and he mostly seems confused by this. By no fault of anyone I have placed this pressure on myself. I am a stay at home mum and this is my ‘job’. No matter what fun and personal stuff is out there I always – always feel that my first responsibility is at home and to make sure the washing is folded and put away and the bathroom is scrubbed and the kitchen is sparkling, the veggie garden is growing and producing all our amazing food. And you know what, it is never finished – not for me anyway and the pressure I have placed on myself that I haven’t completed my work makes it very hard to move onto the other things in life that I also enjoy. I occasionally manage to do some other things I enjoy other than ‘housework’ but boy do I feel guilty for it every time!! I need to work on letting myself do things for myself without the guilt. I can tell myself this now, but whether I can actually do it, well, let’s see. Thankfully I have a very supportive man in my life and even though we often disagree on many things somehow we always seem to come around to the same place in the end. This personal pressure has never really been understood by either of us for years but finally I think we have had a breakthrough and hopefully things are going to improve. 

On my window sill... attempting to propagate rosemary and waiting for my pineapple top to sprout some roots.

Beetroot Relish.

Turmeric Paste for Golden Milk.
An egg from each of my girls.

The best book I have read in a while.

Bunches of Kale on my bench.

Fluro orange pumpkin from my garden.

The beetroots that turned into relish.

The view from my living room today.

 Now onto some lighter stuff. As the days get longer so are they warming up. The garden has lots of new beautiful shoots everywhere and pretty flowers attracting all those beneficial bugs to help my garden grow. I had a total failure with a round of seeds and was absolutely gutted as I wasted some precious heirloom varieties that were my only ones. I didn’t use the right potting mix for the seeds to grow and thought I would feed them seasol instead. Well that is absolutely what you don’t do. Apparently little baby seeds hate seasol and it is not a good substitute to use with plain potting mix. I have tipped all the seeds that were still in the pots into a bigger pot with all the nourishing soils and food they need and maybe just maybe the ones that were still kind of in tact will grow. I have plenty of garden beds ready for the new plants to go in and still pulling heaps of the winter stuff out as we go, feeding the family with this amazing organic and fresh food. I have reduced my spending on store bought veggies again as my garden provides pretty much our entire vegetable requirements. I spent last weekend planting another round of seeds and when I look at them all in their little pots I wonder if I have enough space to put them all. I have had problems trying to make sure I get every last little seedling a home and end up over crowding that particular variety. Something else I need to adjust in the garden this season. It is nice to have an abundance of food as I love to give it away too, but I am hoping this year I can be a bit more conservative on the amount I plant out. One other thing I’d like to mention, not sure if its on the upside or not, but growing all this amazing not genetically modified goodness that self seeds or ends up in the compost also continually pops up in the garden everywhere! I am 'weeding' out perfectly good stuff it feels. Mostly tomatoes and pumpkin I think, there are soooo many! Hard going isn't it.....

Cauliflower flowering.

An heirloom variety of Capsicum, not sure what if anyone can tell me.

Bees visiting my calendula.

Ruby the poser.

Rhubarb gifted from my mum.

Radish setting seed.

Broccoli in flower.

The jungle up the side of my garden. I pick from here everyday!

My second batch of seeds doing better.
In the kitchen I have been a bit on the slack side, probably because I am not over abundant in food from the garden yet and trying to figure out what to do with it all, but I am managing to whip up some delights. A hit was my turmeric-golden milk paste. I ending up selling some small bottles to a few friends that follow me on facebook (you too can here if you dont already). I still have heaps of turmeric so should do another batch soon. I also had heaps of beetroots waiting for me so I made up some delicious relish and gave some to my sweet neighbour too. I need to do some baking but lately the kids seem uninterested in what I make so it almost goes to waste. So frustrating when the wee ones will eat it one week but not the next. Keeping it exciting you might say....I sometimes think ordinary will do me just fine, haha. Anyway, the littlest kidlet fell asleep on the couch, so I am going to try and get as much as I can get done while she sleeps, talk soon C x

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Adjusting days.

My Aloe vera has set flower.

More seeds, hopefully to attract some beneficial insects and add pretty colour.

New growth on our passionfruit that is waiting for a home.

Cauliflower about to flower and set to seed hopefully.

Lots of strawberries coming on.

Baby broccoli.

Our puss Daisy hanging out in the garden with me.

New shoots on the fig tree, hopefully we get some fruit of it this year - 5th year.

Watermelon radish about to got to flower and seed.

I am trying some new adjustments to my days. At the end of the month day light savings will start here and I am looking forward to it. It really does feel like there is more time in the day and now that the wee ones are getting older too the time change might not bother me as much. Plus with our renovations we replaced all the windows - which now have no curtains or blinds and guess what, the youngest still manages to fall asleep with all the light of day pouring in. I used to think they would only fall asleep if it was dark in their rooms. That's how it was for the last 6 years. Anyway, as I was saying, my days. I spend most of the day running around like a chook with its head cut off trying to get as much as I can get done, just like most mums I am sure. But something needed to change. Firstly, of course there is this blog I love to write, but it was certainly not feeling enough love and then also catching up on all the other blogs I love to read and throw in a little web surfing too. I used to try and write when my youngest was having her day sleep, but now I find I have lots of nagging jobs that fill that time with ease. So I have set the challenge to get out of bed in the morning earlier. Hello day at 5am! Now the trick is to make sure I am super duper quiet as I really don't want to wake the kidlets up. I swear that if they hear a single peep its all over and the day begins for us all. So I get up and tip toe out to pop the kettle on then continue my tip toe down my beautiful new internal stairs to go to the loo - the toilet upstairs is just outside their room and while its not necessarily a noisily affair, the flushing can often be a risk factor! TMI? Then its back up to make a cuppa and settle in on the couch for an hour or so to enjoy some screen time! And so this is day 2 and here I am managing to fit a snappy blog chat it! (Spoke too soon, my buddy boy has now joined me, 5.38am - thankful for abc iview and peter rabbit!) Better make this quick now..... I am now extremely motivated to get our room downstairs finished. I really just need to clean all the stuff we have stored (stuffed!) down there to allow us to tile the floor. Give the place a paint and then it would be pretty good to go. I can already see my little tea station setup down there and hopefully the quiet sounds of sleeping will continue for a little longer! Not today though, the demands have started and first breakky is requested. Talk soon, C x.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Yay, Spring is here!

I am so glad winter is over and Spring is here again. It feels like I have been waiting for 3 months for the 1st of September to come around just to get back into the garden good and proper! I did plant a few sneaky seeds about a week ago and have kept them nice and snug inside and today a few more joined them. I got stuck into turning over the beds that have been resting and adding some home grown compost for a boost, the perfect home for our next round of spring beauties. I ordered some flowering plants online yesterday too – I know, not exactly inline with my idea of an ‘edible’ garden, but I chose flowering plants that are suited to being cut and add that life and freshness to a home. My Nana used to always have fresh cut flowers everywhere – especially in her fridge! I think a lot of what I imagine from my garden in some way or another is stemmed from a memory of my Nan or a way for me to connect with her, she was an amazing gardener! I have missed her everyday since her passing over 4 years ago. Love you Nan x

The renovations are still happening! We have had a bit of a break from all the contractors, enough time to tidy up all of their mess! We are getting the engineer in next week to talk about our new balcony - the bit I am most looking forward to. I am so glad because it looks like it will be up before summer holidays! I have pretty much written the rest of the year off as too stressful and as such I am spending less time here writing about it all. I must say though, that spring time finally coming around has invigorated me so you might be lucky and hear more from me more than I expect ;) .

I am still trying to do as much as I can from scratch and have managed to make a new batch of soap - this time I remembered to put the essential oils in so it smells lovely. I still make Kombucha and a new one - Milk Kefir. All our food is still cooked from scratch and surprisingly still gathering something from the garden for every meal. Our rainbow chard is still going from last spring, it just keeps on keeping on! I also mixed up a batch of Tumeric tea for hubby to take to work - using our own home grown tumeric and ginger. Time to shoot, one of my fave tv shows is about to start - Selling Houses Australia. Talk soon xx.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

The never ending story

We are still at it. The reno's seem to never end. The scaffolding has been up now for over 6 weeks and I am over it!!!! Thankfully - nice weather permitting, it will be down next week and we can start the cleanup. There has been a lot of work happening around our joint lately and it should all pay off - I hope.... I can hardly even remember what it was like before everything. I have tried to take photo's here and there to remind me, but it just seems like it never was sometimes. I am so happy that upstairs and downstairs is now connected and the house seems whole. That was a biggy for me and every time I go downstairs to do the laundry I think how grateful I am that I dont have to walk out the front of the house with my dirty laundry for everyone to see anymore!!! We are hoping that next week will be the end of contractors intruding in our space for a little bit. I just want a bit of privacy again. We are not finished however, and still have the balcony to add. It is going to take a bit of time though as we need to get an engineer to do up some thingy's for us and put back into council. I am hoping that it will all be finished though before summer, so that I can lay out there and enjoy all the hard work we have put in and finally de-stress!

Reno's, before rendering. Gorgeous new front door down stairs.

add a bit of render..... 

our beautiful blackbutt timber internal staircase.

A bit of the view from our living area.

The mess out back

scaffolding has trashed a lot of my poor garden
 This last week saw some pretty hectic weather come our way and much to my dismay my poor garden suffered. When the wind howls through from the south the garden she cops a bit of trouble. The north side of the garden has the best drainage and most things grow the best there, however when the southerly comes through it is the most unprotected part and a lot of the plants suffer. I'm not sure my broad beans will recover, only time will tell. Funnily enough thought the brassica's seem to have been unaffected at all and are continuing to thrive. Most of the garden has, as you know, received little attention whilst the reno's have been happening, but thankfully there is still plenty going on and its providing everyday. I had a friend off load some lovely garlic and tomatoes last week and thankfully they have braved the bad weather and are coming along just nicely. I do look forward to more days back in the garden, only soon I'll be able to turn around and see our lovely renovated (exterior) house as well!

Sugar snap peas and parsnip

garlic sprouting between the kholrabi and fennel

The fennel got a bit burnt after the heavy sea winds

basil burnt after the heavy sea winds

and the broad beans burnt from the heavy sea winds....

more branches down after the crazy weather

gifted garlic taking nicely in its new home

cabbage sprouting in all its glory

gooseberry delight

coriander, flat leaf parsley and dill growing amongst the self seeded mignonette lettuce

the bundled  pots not happy whilst reno's are on!

some chookie treats growing out back

That face!

Homemade ferments, Kombucha, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and milk kefir

my new toy for running
a piece hubby has been working on

Hubby had his check up with the neuro-surgeon last week and things are going along and healing marvellously for him! He has been back at work, although he cant drive just yet and is back into his usual hobby's. Just today he picked out some of his old paintings that he started some time ago and is, as we speak tinkering away at them again. I am so grateful everyday that he has pulled through this accident and things look positive for the future. Life it feels is getting back to us. Of course these blasted reno's are still interfering, but I am back to getting a couple of runs in - and now I have a new toy to use too, and things are feeling good! The kids are happy everyday - none of 'all this' seems to bother them at all! What more could one ask for. Anyway, talk again soon xx.


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