Posts filed under ‘Domestrivia’

Food Porn MeMe

PlanningQueen who is the most organised mama in blogland, tagged me for a Food Porn Meme. 

Now, I am delighted to talk about food – I’m a real foodie … I love reading about it, I love shopping for it, I love cooking it, and of course, most of all I love eating it.

So this MeMe has been tonnes of fun.

1. What food do you consider the best “date” food? In other words, what meal or food item do you think is sexiest to eat in the company of someone you would like to look sexy around?

Pizza. Seriously – I know this sounds terribly banal … but I met my husband at 21 so all my dating experiences were in my poor student days. Pizza restaurants, where you can bring your own wine, and eat a large piece of pizza, with your hands, while sitting in a dark corner … in fact, that was my first date with Hubby too.  Red wine and gourmet pizza to me is very sexy.

2. What well-known person would you like to share a meal with—with or without clothing. (saying whether or not clothes are involved is optional).
With clothing … the Dalai Lama. I would feel incredibly honoured to meet this holy man. I always adore reading interviews with him … in fact I posted about my favourite one here.

But this is supposed to be a sexy meme … so I’m going to choose the very sexy, if completely fictional character of Alan Shore from Boston Legal. Its not so much that he is physically attractive – he isn’t – but so smart, so confident, so intense …

3. What does your perfect breakfast-in-bed look like? (Food AND the details, please. Candles? Music? Flowers? Hot tub? Dancing girls?
Waking up at Vida – an eco retreat in the bush and one of my favourite places in the whole world.  Hubby beside me … I know that’s cliched but I adore him. The Sunday papers, a seriously good latte, french toast served crispy with berries and maple syrup. That’s it – that would be serious luxury. Oh, what motherhood does to us.

4. What do you consider the best application of whipped cream to be?
Brandy Snaps. Or scones, freshly baked with home made strawberry jam. Or on top of yorkshire pudding with lashings of golden syrup. Or with chocolate brownie. Or on top of a pavlova.  I’m a bit of a sweet tooth  … so why would I waste whipped cream any other way????

5. Oh-God-No, Biff, the yacht is sinking! You are sent to the galley to retrieve the food. What luxury food items do you snatch first? The champagne? The caviar? Smoked Salmon? Truffles? Chocolate? Or something else? 
I can survive without champagne. I can survive without caviar. I can even survive without chocolate. But should you dare to deny me a cup of seriously strong coffee in the morning, then you are a brave, brave person. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Now it is my turn to tag 5 people (is it just me or is this a bit too much like a chain letter?). As with Planning Queen, I am not 100% sure on the protocol for tagging other bloggers, so if I cross the wrong lines please let me know! And if memes aren’t your thing, that’s cool too.

So …  I have tried to think of bloggers that I know love their food! I tag …  Highway Cottage, (who does amazing things with home grown veg) Anthromama (who I challenge to make scrapple sexy!), TheGoodWitch, (if she can pull herself away from Ravelry), Megan at ParentingStyle (because I haven’t heard from her lately) and Nikki at Satisfying Journey (who might not be able to make Gluten Free Crusts sexy).


April 24, 2008 at 9:13 am 6 comments

Cheap at what cost


Its so easy to buy toddler clothes these days isn’t it? Just pop down to your local deparment store and you’ll find a ‘childrenswear’ section jammed packed with the latest fashion for tots.

The prices will be extremely reasonable, the colours will be exceptionally bright, and you’ll have the added bonus of a Barbie, Wiggle, or SpongeBob on every second item.

 Yuck yuck yuck.

I found myself wandering through a few large department stores at a mall the other day,  and came out extremely depressed.

To be fair, I’m a difficult customer to please. I have an obsession with natural fibres. I try to avoid anything made in China. I wont buy clothes with ‘logos’ ‘characters’ or ‘slogans’ – as Anthromama says “If I wanted to look at ads, I’d watch TV”.

So, that means that, with few exceptions, I can’t buy anything at the mall. The only thing I found that was made in New Zealand were some socks and tights made by Columbine – hooray for that.

I know I tend to preach, and I am sorry about that, but the abundance of poorly made, cheap as chips clothing breaks my tree-hugging-heart



Producing new clothing is incredibly wasteful of natural resources (do you know that it takes at least 2000 litres of water to produce a single cotton tee-shirt), and the sweatshop conditions in clothes factories are something none of us should be comfortable supporting.

As consumers, the power is in our wallets to create change.











April 19, 2008 at 9:44 am 5 comments

Sweet Pea


Fortunately, given my own talents in this area, My mother in law is an exceptional knitter. She whipped this pilot cap up while watching the rugby, using Sweet Pea’s cancer fundraising pattern.


It reminds me a little bit of WaldorfMama’s gorgeous Waldorf Pilot Caps. WaldorfMama wrote a beautiful post on how important knitted hats are for little ones –


I feel very strongly about keeping babies and children warm.  young children do not have a fully developed sense for temperature (their own or that around them) so they are dependent on us to dress them appropriately.  And since the majority of warmth leaves via the head, this means keeping their head covered.  Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education and it’s inherent philosophy, believed that one of the most critical gifts we can give a child is to ensure they have sufficient warmth by keeping their head covered…which ‘keeps the inner soul warm’


Sweet Pea’s designed this lovely pattern as a fundraiser when her 5 year old nephew was diagnosed with Leukamia. So, if you are looking for great cause and an excuse to do some knitting – head on over and pick up the pattern.

April 16, 2008 at 4:08 am 2 comments

Off the wagon

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008



Forgive me readers for I have sinned. I’ve flunked the challenge – big time.


Earlier in the week all was going well. I was feeling virtuous. I had bought some pants and some tops for Munchkin, but they were second hand and absolutely necessary given the change in weather. I was looking forward to reporting in today with a clean conscience.


But then I saw this beautiful Happy Birthday Banner at Waldorf Mama.





And then I decided I had to order one. Given the shipping delay, Bluebird Baby’s waiting list and the fact that the NZ/US exchange rate is at an all time high I decided to throw the challenge aside and order one. Its not necessary. Its going to come all the way from the US. But its so so beautiful and will become a family treasure I know.


And then the home phone broke.  I work from home, I need a phone. And – despite my own personal mission not to buy anything made in China (unless its second hand) – it seemed impossible to buy a phone not made in China. And second hand phones take too long to get.


And then an online friend said she had sourced some great fabric and was making little girls trousers if anyone was interested. I was. I ordered two. I was out of good excuses here – they were cute. I love WAHM made stuff. I was only going to buy them on May 1.


So I think I’m officially ‘off the wagon’.


Lets see if I can do better this week.

April 13, 2008 at 7:25 am 5 comments

Baby Stuff I Love


When it comes to buying baby stuff, it really is a jungle out there. There are just so many gorgeous things to choose from. I was helping a newly pregnant friend put together her baby shopping list this week, which got me thinking about all the things that may be slightly outside the mainstream but that I think every new parent should have.


As an aside, for those of you that are interested, I found this great article on the Waldorf approach to newborn baby care.


So just for fun, here are my top picks for crunchy new baby essentials.




Firstly, may I recommend a hammock rather than a cot. Its ideal if you are intending to co-sleep as it gives a baby somewhere safe to sleep for naps, and is a perfect alternative to a port a cot as you can hang it from any door frame. Naturesway hammocks accommodate babies well past 1 year, so you will get great use out of it.

I also have to mention the wonderful merino GoGo bags – you can see from the photo how beautiful they are. Its a real shame they are now made in China, but they are exceptional quality and I really haven’t found another sleeping bag that comes even close.

Out and About



Whether you are AP minded or not, a sling  is a blessing not to be under-rated. I love my DulceandZoet sling, but I suggest you try to get in contact with a local babywearing group to see different slings in action. In New Zealand, check out Intenational groups are listed at

Even devout baby wearers usually end up with a pushchair.  If you are looking at pushchairs, give serious consideration to a Mountain Buggy. Made in clean green New Zealand, they have a great range of options for attaching bassinets, car seats, toddler seats, and they stand by their product even years down the track. We have a second hand ‘Terrain’ model, and I’m totally in love with it.

Toys and Things


I have to confess we bought a rather revolting Tiny Love baby activity gym – where the baby lies on her back and looks at dangling synthentic fleece toys. I think it was a contributing factor to Munchkin’s very flat head which took months to come right.

But if I knew then what I knew now, I would have chosen one of these taggy floor mats from TagYourBaby.  It might be made of a synthetic material but this is one case where I don’t mind – little babies spill a lot, so polar fleece does come into its own for a playmat.

You can buy some very beautiful wooden and cloth toys appropriate for little babies. They will quickly start putting things in their mouth, so natural and preferably organic materials will be so much nicer.

Baby Care


Its very anthroposophical to like Weleda products for baby, but that aside they really are lovely . I am a big fan of the calendula nappy hange cream. I also love the smell of ecostore baby products, especially their divine baby bath. And once baby starts teething, I think an amber teething necklace is a worthwhile investment.


I really do feel that wherever possible newborns should be dressed in organic cotton – here’s some of the reasons why. It is expensive, but its one place that I think it is necessary. Second hand organic baby clothing has fantastic resale value on eEbay and TradeMe so if you think of it that way its not actually that costly!

For little ones, all-in-ones that snap all the way up the front are the easiest things to get baby in and out of. In colder weather add a cotton or wool singlet underneath, and a pure wool cardigan and hat for outings, you’ll be set for most weather.

While many people will advise you not to buy too many clothes in newborn sizes, you willeasily go through three changes of clothes a day. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of the night with nothing to change baby into! 


I could write a whole post just on cloth nappies (OK, OK cloth diapers for those of you in the USA).  The best advice I can give you is to find your local ‘nappy network’ – I know there are online cloth nappy communities in New Zealand, Australia, UK and US – and probably elsewhere as well.

My top pick for a little baby is a simple prefold and cover system. I love  bamboo prefolds (I use the double layered bamboo inserts – they are perfect as prefolds. For covers, wool is hard to beat. Its breathable, incredibly waterproof, and a lovely natural fibre to use. Its just a little more work than PUL but really, not as much as you would think. These are my favourite wool covers because they are just so pretty.  

I found the most useful information I found on cloth nappies came from the fabulous Snazzipants website. In particular, for newborns they say that “we usually recommend that to stay sane with your first new baby, you use disposables for the first couple of weeks. New babies are really small, and if you are going to have a fit issue, you are going to have it right at the beginning when your baby has teeny tiny chicken legs. And very explosive poo. Not the best mix!”

There is tonnes of cloth nappy information out there, and it can all be a bit confusing. But its only because they are so cute and so much fun – really, they are actually very easy to use.

I’d love to know what your favourite baby things are, so please leave a comment with any ideas that you have.

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April 8, 2008 at 7:33 pm 5 comments


Summer is officially over here, with the end of daylight savings. I have to admit to being a complete grinch about daylight savings. I hate the idea of arbitrarily changing time. I hate feeling mildly jetlagged for a few days afterwards. I hate the hassle of changing the clocks around the house. And now I have a little one I hate trying to get to ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back’.

Well, with that off my chest I thought I would share my confessions on the buy nothing challenge. With the weather suddenly colder, Munchkin’s wardrobe is badly equipped. I pulled down her winter clothes from last year, and thankfully one woolen cardigan and one woolen vest still fit.


I bought this gorgeous top from Anenome prior to the challenge, but it still leaves us seriously short for cold days.

So under the ‘emergency’ instructions from Crunchy Chicken I am endeavouring to buy second hand. I bought one little top last night on TradeMe (Ebay NZ), and have a few other things on my watchlist. I think a few winter basics count as essentials surely!

On a completely different note, I also came across this wonderful looking ‘anthroposophical day nursery’. Anthromama mentioned it to me and it certainly looks like something extremely special. Sadly its about 6 hours away from us, but I found their website fascinating. To me, if you have to put your child into a daycare situation, this is the ideal. Biodynamic meals. Individual care for tiny ones. Plenty of space. A beautiful garden. Steiner’s indications in action. Of course, if you object to being told what nappies to buy and what bottles to use it might not be your cup of tea.

From their website “It is surely every child’s right to grow up in a garden filled with flowers and herbs, vegetables and fruits, where they feel the grass under their feet and are surrounded by the beauty of nature’s creations. The awe of a sunflower towering above them, or the sound of mother hen chortling to her bevy of chickens, are experiences that can only enhance and strengthen the sense of life as well as the child’s relationship to the natural world”

Wishing you all a wonderful week.

April 6, 2008 at 9:11 am 5 comments

Material Girl

I hate to think of myself as materialistic, but I am a spender. A fritterer. A waster of money, time and energy finding new fripperty to spend my money on. 

Its been three days of enforced frugality on this buy nothing challenge, and I can’t say I’m enjoying it.

I am savouring the enjoyment of the last few things I bought prior to my decision to reign in my inner Material girl, and thought I would share with you some of my treasures.


Firstly, Munchkin’s first Waldorf doll. If I was more Steiner-fied I would have made it, but she would probably be 16 before she got one. Isn’t she beautiful?

PhotobucketThen at the craft markets I bought one of these cute pots, with what looks like a very resilient cactus planted in it. I have a terribly black thumb but it doesn’t stop me buying plants. I’m sure that’s some kind of abuse to plant-kind.


And I have to share with you the illustrations with you from Gerda Muller’s Autumn. They are so lovely. It is a beautiful book to own.


I fear it is going to be a long month.

April 4, 2008 at 9:20 am 4 comments

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