Monthly Archives: March 2011

Homemade, Handmade, Vintage or Repurposed – My Gift Challenge

Last weekend I received one of the most thoughtful and unique presents from my lovely brother- and sister-in-law. I loooove cheese, so they gifted me with this cute-as print above and a small wheel of the most delicious French cheese. Ever.

It stunk out their car on the way to our house, but seriously, it was worth it. Particularly for me, because I wasn’t actually in the car. And admittedly, when they first handed me the package I thought, “Why are they buying me manure?”

Anyway, these guys give really thoughtful presents all the time and it has inspired me to a challenge. Every gift I buy for the rest of the year needs to be either:

Homemade (by me or someone in this family)
Handmade (by an independent maker/fair trade/market stall)
Vintage (pretty self-explanatory)

Repurposed/Recycled (either by me or someone else)

I think it’s actually going to prove quite difficult, but I’m hoping it will also be super fun and allow me to get creative. Only drawback is it really requires organisation on my part, and when it comes to gifts, that is something I sorely lack.

Case in point: I had the idea to do a cross-stitch for Sparky for Christmas. It’s the logo of one of his old favourite bands from back in the day (Swedish punk – super fun!) and while I started back in October, this is where it currently stands:

Wonky and only half finished. And it’s not through lack of trying – I spend a couple of nights a week stitching away on this thing, it’s just so. time. consuming. Maybe it will be finished for next Christmas.

So I have tonnes of ideas, I just have to, you know, act on them.

And first things first, we have Easter coming up. So I’m going to brainstorm some sweet handmade/homemade Easter gifts for my nieces and nephews. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Meat-free Monday, on a Tuesday: Zucchini Pasta


This is one of mine and Sparky’s all-time favourite easy vege meals. We would eat this at least once a fortnight because it’s simple, quick, tasty and relatively cheap.

You’ll need:

3-5 anchovies (optional, but highly recommended. you don’t have chunks of anchovy floating around, it just gives a beautiful saltiness to the sauce)
1-2 red chillis or chilli flakes (optional)
olive oil
kalamata olives
3-4 good sized zucchinis, grated
pasta (fusilli is good for this but any short pasta is a-ok)
salt and pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, chilli and anchovies. Break the anchovies up with a wooden spoon.

2. Once the anchovies have broken down (a minute or two) add a couple of tablespoons of capers and a couple of good handfuls of olives. Cook for a couple of minutes.

3. Add some extra olive oil, salt and pepper. Add your grated zucchini to the hot pan and saute for a couple of minutes.

4. Drain your pasta and toss into the zucchini sauce. Stir to coat.

5. Serve with some extra olive oil, salt, pepper and a good bit of parmesan.

Seriously, so so good.

Weekend = Work + Fun

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday – it’s taken a bit of extra time to get over what was a massive, yet wonderful weekend. IKEA, bed construction, turf laying, dinner hosting, cuddles = Saturday.

Backyard Before.
Backyard After Turf.


Sunday we got free tickets to the zoo so decided at the last minute to make the trip in. So so so glad we did. It was such a pleasure spending the day as a family wandering around the zoo. Fresh air, lots of sprinkly showers (meant it wasn’t too busy) puddles to splash in, ammools to see. It was memory-making magic.

Happy-Making: Flashmobs

I love a good flashmob. In fact, Sparky tells me that I’m like Cameron from Modern Family, “It’s one of my life’s ambitions to be in a flash mob,” and I tend to agree with him aside from the fact that I am a straight lady.

I get all weepy and goosebumpy watching the good ones, and only mind a little bit that they’re getting all corporatised.

This Bondi one is cute and I love love loved the bus driver birthday flashmob in Denmark.

Anyways, we’ve got a massive weekend planned around these parts. A trip to IKEA, 60 square metres of turf to lay, catching up with the outlaws, maybe some painting…

I sincerely hope your weekend is filled with fabulousity. xx

3 Quick Things To Do This Weekend

Recycle aluminium foil, or, you know, make an elephant out of your scraps.

As you know, I’m all about the “do what you can do, when you can do it” mentality. So here’s 3 quick tips you can try this weekend, that actually do make a big difference over time:

1. If you take money out at the ATM, say no to a receipt. Over a year, this really adds up. (Just look at the contents of my purse for proof!)

2. Clean your dryer’s lint filter. Apparently a clean filter means it takes 30% less power for your dryer to run (and if you’ve had damp and humid weather like us recently, that is very good news.)

3. Use al-foil instead of cling wrap. You can recycle al-foil in your council pick-up (just make sure it’s relatively clean of food scraps and squish it into a ball so the sorters can find it.) If you want to know what else you can recycle in your council area, check this site out.