Friday, 26 September 2014

How does your Garden Grow - Getting Ready for Summer

Posed this question from Ms Fork from WithaFork I went out and dug up (pardon the gardening pun) some photos I took of seedlings I planted in little egg shells because my compost farm was getting too cluttered up with eggs and I didn't want to add them to the regular trash.

To the absolute despair of my hubby, I find it hard to simply throw things into regular trash (hence the upcycling projects). It makes me feel guilty thinking how long things take to disappear into nothingness. Which is why he bought me my first worm farm (which I LOVE) those little guys are fantastic for turning anything from veggie peels to dog poo into good rich soil for the garden. Best thing is that rubbish goes in... and it disappears just like magic. But even my little guys struggle with egg shells. But they are still organic and are great to use in the garden. 

Plant Nursery:

You can even mark on the eggs when they were planted and what seeds are in them. And forget about having to squeeze them out of seedling planters you just crack the shell and they are in perfect pod shapes to plant in the garden. 

Finally egg shells are great for spreading around the newly planted seedlings to protect them from snails and slugs. The grubs don't like the feeling of crawling over the sharp edges of the shells so they don't start nibbling on the new leaves. Above are my planted tomatoes and zucchini plants happy to be busted out of their eggshell nursery. 

How does your garden grow? 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Animal Veggie Cakes

These ironically named veggie cakes may or may not contain any animals at all but it may be a good way to get kids to eat their veggies if they look like animals.

The little man had a play date yesterday and I had some free time in the morning so I thought I'd knock up some Animal Veggie cakes for him and his little friends.

Ordinarily these are super easy to make and considering I was juggling playing host to a lovely mum of a 4 year old and twin 3 year olds, my own 2 and a half year old little miss 5 week old and a temperamental oven, I suppose I should be glad that they didn't come out too badly. It only really goes to show that you really can't mess up this recipe even with the odds stacked against you. 

The best thing is that these little patties can be knocked up ahead of time and popped into the oven for 10-15 mins before serving. 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Easy upcycling Project 1: Quilt Cover from Flat sheets

My mum is here for a little over a month to help herd the Little Man and his brand new baby sister. She's also excellent at sewing (even though she refuses to acknowledge that my electric sewing machine is better than her manual pedal machine). As I'm usually quite timid about my sewing skills I take the opportunity of when she's here to supervise to do any sewing projects. Another benefit is that if I mess something up she can fix it :-)

However, even I haven't been able to mess up the sewing projects we've started during her trip. Which involves mainly sewing in straight lines.

Project 1: Creating a quilt cover from flat sheets that come in sheet sets

I have no idea why sheet sets these days always come with a fitted sheet, pillow cases... and a flat sheet! I mean who uses flat sheets anymore? Hubby is a traditionalist and says that flat sheets should be between the body and the quilt cover but how does one manage to keep all the layers lined up. I can't imagine keeping everything sorted in our bed let alone in Little Man's bed. In the morning even his quilt is all rummaged. So flat sheets are definitely out. So what to do with all those flat sheets that come in all these sets.

The good news is that if you buy a sheet sets for a king single bed that you'll have enough material in the flat sheet to make a matching quilt cover for a double bed. The only thing is that you'll need sheets from 2 sets to make it. Just cut them to the size of your quilt (+1.5 inches for the seam.. or thereabouts. I was measuring religiously and mum said "it's such a big piece of material you're not going to see it if you are off by a bit. Just wing it") then sew 3 sides together on the wrong side. Just leave a 3/4 inch gap between the sewn line and the edge.

Then just add buttons on the open edge. We salvaged a couple of buttons from an old jacket that was going to be thrown out.

The result is a "free" quilt cover that already matches your existing pillow cases. This is now our backup cover as we're moving into the nighttime potty training phase of toddlerhood and having spare sheets on hand is always useful.

We even had a little bit of extra material to make a play apron for the little man. 

I'll post about the upcycled apron in Easy upcycling Project 2

Friday, 2 May 2014

Soup weather

Is it soup weather where you are? Here in Brisbane, it's been grey and miserable which is just perfect for whipping up a batch of easy-peasy potato and leek soup.

We love soup in our house - it's quick, easy, nourishing and really just screams out comfort food. Just quietly, it's also a bit of a hit with toddlers (Ellie likes to add her own garnishes to her bowl for extra flourish).

Potato and leek soup

Well, what are you waiting for? Head on over to WithAFork to see how to create a potato and leek bowl of yum.

What's your winter comfort food?