Sunday, December 9, 2018

Hello sun balm

Bring on summer I say. Swimming, picnics with friends and summer fruit here we come. 

It takes no time at all to burn between the hours of 11 and 3 here in NZ. We try and stay out of the sun and water in the middle of the day but a good sunscreen is still a vital summer item. Our kid crew (10 of them!) can stay out there (between the surf lifesaver flags) boogie boarding for hours. Super fun but not so fun for our skin. 
We've tried so many different kinds of natural sunscreen. Some are too greasy, others smelt awful or were chalky white with zinc and impossible to rub in.

I have been working with the lovely folks at Goodbye organising a giveaway for Do Good Jobs, NZ's ethical job listing site. I've collaborated with Becky and Ramona from Goodbye before through my work with Organic NZ and they're the nicest of people. We're a big fan of their Goodbye Sandfly and Goodbye Ouch around here and I was thrilled to find some sun balm in our letterbox last week. Thanks, folks
Perfect timing as we had a camping trip planned at hot pools the next day. Me and the boy both tried our sun balm. Verdict? A big thumbs up. It smells delicious - very different to the usual. It worked a treat, especially obvious with the boy, who spent almost five hours in the water and on the waterslides. One thing. I wouldn't take it to the beach. I'd apply before going down. I think sand would stick to it. It is absorbed into the skin pretty quick though - say 5 minutes. We'll be applying it before we head down. Sunscreen needs to be applied 10-20 minutes before you hit the water anyways.
My skin felt great after using it too. The little pot is just the right size for the handbag so you never get caught out. 
Pop over to the Do Good Jobs facebook to enter the giveaway HERE - you could win one of a few packages of natural insect repellent, goodbye ouch and sun balm. Giveaway closes on the 12th December and is for those with NZ postal addresses. Good luck!

Friday, November 23, 2018

A week of Essential cookbook lunches

The boy found a cookbook at the library that led to a week of fabulous lunches. I love it when you find something that sparks a flurry of creating. It can be a new set of colouring pencils, a cookbook, a song or a new journal. I'm not talking about kids here either, we can all do with a creative outlet. Boring grownups included! Hours were spent pouring over Annabel Langbein's Essential cookbook. Googling just now has revealed there's an Essential 2 out as well. 

One day we had tapenade on fresh sourdough bread. The kid made the tapenade and a friend made the sourdough. It was simple and so good. I thought you might like to make it too?


I clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
finely grated zest of a lemon
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup olive oil
Parsley leaves to garnish

Place all ingredients except parsley in a food processor and whizz to form a smoothish paste.
Easy and yum!
It lasts for months in a jar in the fridge. Ours didn't last the day!

Recipe adapted from Essential by Annabel Langbein (Jed took out the capers and anchovies). 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Introducing: Pakaraka Permaculture

A few Sundays ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Niva and Yotam of Pakaraka Permaculture for a feature article in the summer issue of Organic NZ Magazine. Watch out for lots of tips and insights into market gardening and a fab life. - It sounds like a great issue, I'll let you know when it's out!

Niva and Yotam are three seasons into their highly successful organic market garden and are passionate about food production and sustainable living. We had to be careful to stay on task. Toward the end of our time together we kept veering off into the realms of climate change and how to communicate the importance of changing policy and shifting human consumption of the unnecessary. A topic I have spent years thinking about and taking action on. As you might have too. (More on that in another post shortly.)

Pakaraka Permaculture run market gardening and homesteading workshops and internships. It's a beautiful setting, just outside Thames, Coromandel and these two are talented teachers. They have a full schedule runnnig this summer, get along to one if you can. 

I love it when you meet new people and walk away friends. Especially ones that produce the best salad ever.  I've eaten a lot of salad in my time and I can vouch for that!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sneak preview - Pattern review: Coastline top

All you non-crafty sewy types might want to scroll on by this one!

Sarah from SewKnitLove posted a request for pattern reviewers for their new Coastline top on facebook and was swamped in hours. I was lucky enough to be among the chosen. In all my years of blogging and sewing I had never done a review. A friend and fellow sewist down the road was a reviewer too and it was super fun to swap stories along the way. You get a sneak preview before the pattern is launched, lucky you!

It's not a pattern I would have chosen but I love the finished result and have worn it three times since I finished it ten days ago. I'd definitely go with fabric with good drape so the peplum isn't too poufy. I took in the peplum slightly with this in mind. I am not sure what the edits will be for the final pattern so I'll save detailing any hacks until it's released. I'll post a heads up when the pattern is available for sale. 

I used a navy silk linen blend (yup, from Fabric-a-brac again!) with pretty good drape with navy Japanese cotton gauze for the handmade bias binding at neckline. It's an awesome top for spring and summer, I am pairing it with jeans and saltwater sandals mostly. Love the feel of the fabric and the shape. 
Thanks, SewKnitlove crew!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Flashback Friday: seven years ago

Flashback alert. 
One of my favourite places online had a thread about the times we'd lost our kid/s.
Okaaaay, so out of context, that sounds terrible but let me just say, for those of you who aren't parents or haven't spent any time with small people, let me just say, it happens!

My kid was pretty much within sight for years on end but he did manage one spectacular bunk. He's not one to do things by halves. Here's my comment from that thread:

I always always knew where he was. Until one day I didn't. We were at home so I checked the garden, nope. Called and called. Nope. Checked at the neighbours, not a peep. Stopped panicking for a deep breath and thought about where he could be. Hmmm. Checked the front door coat rack. Yup. Handmade Stop/Go sign, gumboots, helmet, radio and high-vis vest missing. Went down our road and around the corner and there he was, in full little-guy road working regalia, stopping traffic for the roadworks he loved so much, being beautifully cared for by a group of roadworkers and just generally being a total star. He knew the dudes working the road as we'd been out there watching a bunch and they were so great. They even insisted on taking a photo with him. It took all my self control not to completely freak out at my boy, I had been so scared. We talked about it later, once I could breathe again.

The original stop/go, little-guy roadworker blogpost is HERE.