Wednesday, July 29, 2015

first grading

These kids all worked so hard. It was Jed's first karate grading so we weren't sure what to expect. Two hours of hard out karate at the grading, a bunch of training and orange belt!
It was a good day. I loved seeing how proud they all were. I've watched some of those kids arrive with what looks like pretty low self confidence and seeing them find their place in the dojo and watching their heads get carried higher as they go through training is nothing less than special.
Jed is trying to get me to go to the women's karate class but I dunno if it's my thing. 
I think the Free dance Sundays might be more up my alley! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

mini clothes peg shooters

 The King of Random delivers again. Hours of fun to be had making these. It does take awhile to whittle the wooden clothes peg but it is worth it. Especially if you get to fire a flaming match. Sheesh! What's not to like. And yes, we had water nearby and aimed for a safe target outside for the flaming match trial. 
Jed made an awesome bullseye target for inside and worked out that if he dipped the end of the match in paint and then aimed at the target you could clearly see what score you got. Otherwise it moves too fast for you to be sure. In retrospect that would have been better outside. Ahem. Luckily it was a waterbased paint. 
You can see the video tutorial on how to make these and other fun stuff on the King of Random's website HERE.  The last KoR craze to hit the house was the matchbox rockets. I blogged about them HERE.  Grab a few supplies and bookmark for a rainy day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

weekend adventure

My boy and I did a little roadtrip to stay with friends in the Coromandel in the holidays. We picked the coldest few days ever, gulp. I had my fingers crossed Jed's cold would be better by the time we went. It was, kinda and we had the go ahead from our friends, so we were off. 
Sheena and I worked together at Greenpeace, and shared a house and we went to every festival going the year before I was pregnant with Jed. Those were the days of choosing sleeplessness (rather than having it enforced by babies/small children), dancing all night (with other grownups, rather than with small people in the kitchen), spending more time in tents than at home and being aided and abetted by a can of V on occasion. Gak and shudder! Years on, we are both mama's and it was so cool to hang out. They've just moved into to a fabulous earthwalled house on a hill overlooking the ocean. It felt like coming home to me. That bathroom with it's compost toilet brought back so many memories of so many wonderful places and friends through the years. We had our own sweet caravan which worked so well for us. Every now and then Jed would take himself off to read or have a lego build by himself. In the evenings we'd bundle up, light a fire, drink red wine or kombucha and watch the sunset over the sea. Bliss.
We had a blast. It was so cold the frost was massive each morning, the animals water was frozen solid and it was pretty exciting for the kids to explore and make frost balls. We went crystal hunting on the beach and brought home some amazing rocks with crystal caves glimmering inside. 
Epic weekend folks, heartfelt thanks. xxx

Sunday, July 19, 2015

birthday prep

I love how much care this kid puts into his birthday plans. It's all about bringing his people together and sharing good food this year. Oh, and the dressing up and games. I'm looking forward to it. Japanese theme! Think ninja's, samurai, kimono, temples and lots of sushi. He researched the kanji he wanted to have on the invites. It means spirit. Written authentically with quill and ink. Of course. He decides how it all rolls and we try and make it happen. It's a fascinating process. There's a fun few weeks ahead. xx

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The best baking

Every recipe I try out of Gywneth Paltrow's It's all Good cookbook is a winner. The Bummer Bar is no exception. I think it's a terrible name, but sheesh they taste good and there is so much goodness in them. This recipe comes from her best friend, Mary, who runs a pop up kitchen in LA called Treat Street.
These are vegan, gluten and refined sugar free so if we're going to a gathering where folks have a diverse range of dietary choices, these bars tick all the boxes.
I am famous for flying out the door without having breakfast on busy days...these bars do the trick nicely as a breakfast bar too.

Bummer Bars

1 and a half cups quinoa flakes
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I like to grate mine fresh)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I use the fresh root but double the quantity)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1/2 cup prunes or apricots (I use dates or whatever dried fruit is on hand)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (we don't really do pecans in NZ, I use almonds)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a brownie pan with baking paper.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pack the mixture into the lined pan. Pack it down firmly with a spatula. Bake for 1/2 hour or until firmed up and golden brown. I like mine a little chewy still rather than crunchy. When cool, lift the bar out by the baking paper and slice into squares.

Easy and so very good.