Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Super healthy gluten free muffins

I read in a food magazine recently [which one I can't recall] an idea for a healthy muffin:
Just mix the dry ingredients from a chocolate cake packet mix [I used gluten free] with 2 cups of mashed pumpkin and bake as regular muffins.
That's it. Pretty amazing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Knitted scarves with more fancy yarns

After my recent scarf knitting success, Miss 8 and Miss 6 asked me to make them a scarf too. So I found a feathery blue yarn [to hide the dropped stitches that were inevitable] and made this up in a few days. Then we found a purple popcorn yarn and I knitted this one:

I am amazed at how quickly I've remembered how to knit. Of course, these are all plain knit. No purl or fancy stitches for me. I may try my hand at some more knitting while the weather stays cool.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Home made laundry powder

For a long time now I've been wanting to make my own laundry powder. The more I read about the fillers and foaming agents that are added, the more I think I do not want those things in my clothes, and those of my family. So last week I had a go, and it really does work.
I just used my food processor to grate one bar of laundry soap, one bar of Sard wonder soap, 1 cup of borax, and 1 cup of washing soda. From my reading you don't need the Sard soap, but my kids are such grots I feel I need the extra stain removal powder. I made a batch up without it, and it washed okay, but didn't get the worst of Miss 1's shirts clean. This lot, with the extra soap, works brilliantly.

It doesn't suds up like store-bought powder, so it's fine to use in a front loader. You only need 2 teaspoons in a front loader, and 3 teaspoons in a top loader. This batch is going to last me ages. VERY economical.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Organising my laundry [or I am obsessed with my labeller]

I have been organising cupboards non-stop since the school holidays started. Getting things out of the shed and back into the house, finding things not seen for months [or longer]. One room that was really bothering me was my laundry. Since the renovation it is an amazing room, and should have been amazing to be in, but it has been our dumping ground since January! It took a day and a half, but now it's beautiful again.

It all started because my new washing machine was being delivered this week. I needed to make space for the delivery guys to be able to get it into the room. And I didn't want to be embarrassed when complete strangers came into this most horrible messy room in my home.

To reward myself for the hard work on clearing the bench and floor, I started to organise my cupboards too. I love to organise cupboards, it's one of those things that brings me joy [strange, I know]. But a cupboard isn't organised to me unless it's also labelled. Otherwise it doesn't stay that way. I sorted the linen cupboard [above and below]: The overhead cupboards:

And the cupboard under the bench and sink also contains baskets and labels:

The funny thing is, now I have a lovely laundry, I've caught up on my washing, and I'm motivated to keep up to date. Having a pleasant room makes it easier to do. I hope this is a turning point in my love-hate relationship with the washing.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

puffy painting

While doing some blog-hopping just before the school holidays, I came across this blog and saved the idea for a possible holiday activity. We had a go the other day, when we had some friends over, and it was truly fabulous. I had 7 kids here ranging in age from 23 months to 13.7 years [the 0.7 is important] and they all REALLY enjoyed this quick and easy craft.

Can I suggest a couple of tips BEFORE you sit down with the kids to do this:

- cut out a LOT of cardboard ahead of time [they go through it pretty quick] I'm sure paper would work, but it would be messier to get in to the microwave.

- use cotton buds instead of paint-brushes [it makes for quick and easy clean-up].

- I made up 6 batches in 6 individual ramekins, then we added the food colouring in primary and then secondary colours, helps to reinforce this with older kids, and the younger ones love the surprise when red and yellow make orange for example.

In each ramekin put 1 tablespoon of self-raising flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 3-4 tablespoons of water. Mix into a nice smooth paste, then add your colour!

When your masterpieces are complete, microwave on high for 20-30 seconds.

That's it.

Fantastic, cheap holiday fun.