24 June 2015

Just Things…

For some reason, things have a way of piling up on my table –pens, books, bills, odd bits of paper, a battery charger,  stickers…. Yeah, not a pretty sight.  Sometimes, though, they make for a pretty picture.  I was playing around with my phone camera and accidentally set it off and got this shot. I kind of like it.


23 June 2015

Raspberry Muffins

I first tried these raspberry muffins at my friend’s.  Though I love to bake, I am not big into cakes and cookies or anything sweet (I’m more into savories). It’s quite rare that I love anything sweet and these muffins are one of those rare exceptions.  So yummy and, what’s more, so easy to make!
Raspberry muffins

· 2 cups flour (if using self-raising, then only add 1 tsp baking powder) · ½ - ¾ cup sugar
· 2 tsp baking powder · 1 tsp salt
· 1 egg · ¾ cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
· 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter) · 1 cup additional optional ingredients (raspberries, mashed banana, coconut, etc.)
  1. Preheat oven to 400oF/ 200oC.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients and the optional ingredients and stir just until moistened. Do not over-mix. You want all ingredients just combined.
  4. Place a good-sized dollop of the mixture into muffin cases.
  5. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown.
The best part about this is that you can try different combos with the base recipe.  I’ve only ever tried it so far with raspberries and parmesan (separately batches). but you can be sure I will be more adventurous and will try some of these: 
  • Raspberry + coconut
  • Cheese (Parmesan or mature cheddar)
  • Carrot + spice (grate carrot very finely; ginger and cinnamon work well, but only use a tsp of each)
  • Blue cheese + shredded spinach or broccoli
  • Chocolate (break a large dark chocolate bar, rather than use choc chips, and add a tsp of vanilla essence)
  • Cranberry + pine nuts

17 June 2015

Nature Walk

The pack.

Walking the trail.

I love this trail.  Not too difficult, lots of green.  A natural path, as opposed to paved, cemented ones.  Plenty of shade.  Rock pools along the way, even a waterfall.  The trail branches out into several other trails, which I hope to explore further once the weather cools down some.  I’ll probably take the kids back and chill at the rock pool this summer.



15 June 2015

End-of-Year Hike

Josh’s Scout troop had their last meeting for the year last weekend.  It began with a hike in the morning at one of my favorite trails.  We’d been having some really hot days, but we got lucky that morning.  There was a gentle breeze and because there was plenty of shade along the trail, it was actually quite pleasant.  We stopped at a rock pool around noon. The kids had a blast.  The boys were splashing about, trying to catch fish and tadpoles.  The girls sat on the rocks, dipped their feet in the water, but pretty much stayed dry.  Not so the boys.  They were soaked!


On the hike back to the school where they “camped” for the night, they spotted an injured butterfly along the trail and decided to “rescue” it.  They moved it off the path onto a grassy patch on the side, so that it would not get trampled on.


10 June 2015

I am not a big breakfast person.  Usually a glass of milk or a cup of tea does it for me or at most a bowl of cereal. Sometimes I plan ahead and make some overnight refrigerator oats. For this month’s theme, I decided to be a little bit more creative with my breakfast fare.  To my usual cereal of blueberry bran flakes with chia seeds and hemp seeds, I decided to add some raspberries that I have been planning to use to make breakfast muffins with. For good measure, I also threw in a tablespoon of kefir grains, because my grains are multiplying like crazy and I don’t feel like throwing them away.

You will hardly ever see me have bread –any bread, –with my breakfast. I am just not a bread person.  Even with bread (and pretzels) as pretty as these ones here, which were available at a buffet we had one time at a hotel.



What do you normally have for breakfast?

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09 June 2015


Still weeks away, but we are slowly counting down the days until school is out.  There are still dictation quizzes to prepare for, homework to be handed in, appreciation gifts to make… well, just your basic end-of-school stuff to work on.  Despite this, I’ll have to admit that we are already in a bit of a summer holiday mode.  I can’t wait until our real summer holiday starts!


03 June 2015

Cactus flower

The last month of the school year and things are busier than ever.  Instead of winding down, things seem to be piling up.  School trips, Scouts activities, birthday parties… Oh, let’s not forget summer.  Planning for our trips and things to do.  In the midst of it all, I drink my tea and try for a zen moment.


02 June 2015


When the weather is hot and humid, I normally don’t feel like baking.  But.  My little miss, as part of her math homework, needs to set up a store and sell something.  She decided that she wants to sell cookies.  So we made cookies - Monster Cookies (Almond Choc Chip Peanut Butter Chia Oatmeal cookies).  I am using the word we loosely here.  She did help with adding the sprinkles, though.


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