Those Days

Healthy smoothie totally cancels the junk out. Right..?
It’s one of those days. I knew it would be at around 5am, when Olivia was stirring too much to re-settle back to sleep. She ended up properly waking at 5:30am and I have only myself to blame – I jinxed her. Last night at yoga I was telling the girls how Olivia has been waking around 6:30/7am which is considered a sleep in in this house. Since birth she has woken around 5am, with 5:30am being a sleep in! The last 2 or so weeks have been wonderful, getting up later, eating later, doing one good nap during the day etc. And I was proudly telling my girlfriends and the very next morning she wakes early. My fault.
I wouldn’t mind so much, if she wasn’t so bloody grumpy. 
So this morning I did a trip to the shops to post my parcel for the FMS Gift Exchange and picked up a block of Cadbury, half price. Fine, two blocks. Don’t judge me. I’m on struggle street today. For your information I’m yet to crack into them… I’m too busy inhaling the Cheezels pictured above. The shame!
I know I’m not the only one who uses food as comfort. Yet I still beat myself up for it.
It’s the one thing I’ve struggled with since changing our “diet”. We eat a mainly vegan and gluten free diet, and really try to eat no refined sugar. I make everything from scratch, from our morning cereal to our snacks, dinners and even our drinks. But when I’m emotional/tired/angry/struggling those foods don’t cut it. I really need to find an alternative! 
So much to do today. Cereal and jam to make, washing to hang out (yep, at midday) and a toilet to clean. But I think I might go nap with O!


Bad Blogger

I’ve been a bad blogger.

I haven’t written in awhile. I haven’t posted photos. I haven’t shared new recipes.
I’m feeling a bit stuck. Not necessarily writers block. I have plenty I want to carry on about! But I feel like I’m still finding my niche here. 
I’ve been blogging since 2002. That’s 13 long years. Sure I was a teenager when I started and I’m fairly certain no one wants to dig those posts up (teenage angst, what a riveting read that would be!) but still, I’ve been around awhile. A blogging veteran perhaps? Yet I feel like a blogging virgin. 
For starters, this is a whole new platform I’m using. Where I used to blog is going down the shitter. There, I blogged about more personal things and rambled about daily happenings. Here, I’m still trying to find my spot. I feel like a dog that goes round and round in circles before it finally finds it’s spot to sit down and snuggle in for the night. I’m that dog, still going in circles… and god damn it I want to SIT!
I just don’t feel comfortable here yet. But I also love it at the same time. I feel like I’m holding back a bit here, compared to my old blog. Perhaps because my parents know this blog address, hah!
I don’t have my usual old audience to write for. I barely get any comments, yet my blog stats are in the thousands of visitors.
Even my blog design… it still doesn’t feel right. 
I’m just not comfortable yet.
But please stick with me. I’m trying to stop circling and plonk my butt down and settle in like my bad dog analogy above. 

A Very Long Update

I’ve neglected my blog, yet again. But wait! This time my reasons are valid. Nope, not laziness, not writers block… none of that. Life has been upside down for me recently. Let me tell you why. A fire tore through my tiny town on October 17, a date I’ll never forget. 202 homes were destroyed with many more damaged. With less than 70 houses on my street, about 10 were destroyed. We must have angels looking out for us because our house is still standing, despite our yard, fences, and back shed being destroyed. The house behind us was lost, with 6 across the road gone and a further 3 on the other side gone.

It was down to luck, to chance… and the hard work of 2 male neighbours who stayed in the fire to save our houses. The other 5 streets in my town were all hit too, with people I know personally losing everything, including their home, cars, possessions and even their horses. It’s been a really devastating event. 

Unfortunately O and I were home when the fires hit. And it wasn’t your typical fire where you have 3 days to prepare and evacuate, with the fire fighters on the ground and in the air combating it. It was a freak fire storm, sparked by fallen power lines some 10 km/s away. It was 33C and winds were about 70km/h. I saw the smoke coming up where the fire started and within 30 minutes it was on my street. Where I live has only one road in and out, and is surrounded by gullys and ridges of thick bushland. That one road was engulfed in flames, so our exit was blocked. I started by sheltering in a house with a bunch of neighbours (and even non-locals), where we filled up bath tubs and got ready for the fire. We lost power and water and the bath wasn’t even half full by the time we decided to drive to the lookout, the furtherst north point in town. A month or so ago a fire had come from that direction, and we evacuted with about 3 hours notice. Itr never reached the houses  or main part of my tiny town, and the fire fighters decided to do a bit of a backburn. And thank god they did as it was now our safe zone, being previously burnt. 
It’s a tiny cliff edge, with a table and bench seat, on dirt and rock. 52 of us were down there, and a helicopter circled above us as the fire got closer and closer. We saw thick black clouds and plumes of smoke and heard a lot of explosions (we have a mushroom farm and a big garden nursery down here). We never once heard sirens – of course with the road blocked it meant no one could get in to save us or our houses. 
A fire truck did make it through, driving through smoke and flames. It was the only truck, with 4 men inside, to make it down for 2.5 hours. The moved 52 of us to a nearby acreage property that was fairly cleared. A friend and her baby and O and myself sat in that fire truck for over an hour before we went into the house with everyone else. We had to wet towels and put them on our faces and over our babies… which was impossible with O! The smoke was thick and burning my nose, eyes and throat. Flames were all around the house, with only 4 men outside saving the house (and us inside). 
It was over 5 hours until I was able to take O and myself to the arms of my husband and safety. It was the longest evening of my life. It started at 2pm and ended after 8pm. It was the scariest moment I have ever been through and I have never been more fearful for our lives as I was then. We are extremely lucky and blessed to not only have a home to go to but to even have our precious lives. 
The fire moved so quickly. It really was a freak fire storm. The bush had at least 10 years of growth since the last fire, plenty of fuel…
It threw me off for quite a while after. We stayed with my parents as we couldn’t return home without power, water or gas. Having help with O was wonderful because I’ve felt quite traumatized by what we went through that day. I’m slowly processing it all and feeling so grateful to have my family and home still.
In true Gen Y fashion I managed to take a few photos during the ordeal.
My token “panic” shot as I ran from my house.

The smoke was horribly thick.

Sitting in the fire truck, I see the fire race up the gully behind our “safe house”.

There were a couple other fires happening at the same time in my region and one was on Mum and Dad’s street, while we were staying there. It was a doozy and it was very lucky the wind was pushing it the other direction because it’s been 20 years since the bush in their valley has been alight. I was home alone with O again and had to pack the car in case of evacuating. 

Fire at my parent’s house.

There were 6 of these working on the fire at my parent’s.

What else has been happening? A few weeks ago we knocked down our beast of a water tank. Words to describe this eyesore are “massive” “concrete” and “ugly”. It took half a day and the base is still yet to be jack-hammered up. My clothes line will go where this once stood, and we will be re-turfing the yard, and taking the path up too. Eventually, we hope to do an extension on the back half of the house so I’ll have to relocate the clothes line yet again, but for now it’s given the backyard more space both physically and to the eye. We also scored a free trampoline from our neighbours next door. O is only 13 months but she squeals with delight on it, bouncing and flopping everywhere.
O and I, before the might tank was demolished.
The view from O’s room is actually a “view” now.

My garden is going great guns. I’ve been harvesting lots of spinach and lettuce. My strawberries have turned red within one day, it’s all pretty exciting. I feel really old that gardening gives me such pride and excitement  But there’s nothing like eating something that you picked from your own veggie patch! I think the ash has done wonders for the veggies actually.

O is growing up quick. As soon as she turned one, she started doing 100 new things a day. Well so it seems. Still not saying many words. I think she prefers to squeal and scream. It doesn’t help that I do it back to her. She has started giving her dolly and teddys drinks and food, and walks around with a toy phone to her ear saying “EH!” and “DA!” Of course I have to hold one to my ear too and god forbid if I put it down. She is hilarious. She makes me laugh every day! She also makes me pull my hair out but that’s okay

Three of my favourite things – yoga, reading and O.

Bullet Points

While the baby sleeps, I shall write! In bullet point form…

  • I’m really considering creating an eBook of recipes. I’m looking into the best programs to use and all that boring stuff. It’s been suggested to me many times by friends and strangers on Instagram and if I don’t rush myself or stress out about it, I think it’ll be worthwhile! It’s can be easily downloaded and even printed. Winning.
  • I’m sitting here with so many posts I want to write. So many stories and pictures I want to share. But I’ve hit a wall. I have to make a decision – do I share pictures of O or do I keep her face private and off my blog?
  • She is on my personal Facebook and personal Instagram account. Security settings for both of these are at their highest, but it doesn’t stop someone who can view them from saving or sharing them. This blog will have no filling, no back bone, no soul if I don’t. There’s no point in blogging!If I want to write more about my life and daily happenings, I will have to share O. She is my day to day life.
  • This morning I made the Buckwheat and Maca Pear Bread from The Whole Pantry app. The presentation isn’t the best, I got the batter all over the pears. And I had to cook it 20 minutes extra than the recipe said. But I’m quite proud of it, despite how ridiculously simple it was to make! It’s one of those creations that will impress everyone but only you know it only had 2 steps in the method, hah! I’m not a maca fan so hopefully the taste is disguised by the 2 whole pears I put in it. Yeah, WHOLE pears!
  • Veggies are growing like crazy. I have to bring some spinach and lettuce in tomorrow before they get eaten by some little critter. My strawberries never grew from seed 😦 Growing my own food is giving me the strangest thrill. There’s nothing more satisfying right now than watering them and watching them grow. They change so much in just one day. I’m even willing to try some flowers next. Ooh.
Okay that’s all for now!

I’m Back!

The local fire along a ridge at night time. Photo by Michael Bros.

Blogging rule #304 –
Don’t ever leave your blog for almost 10 days. With not even one word of an update. With no sign of life!

I do apologize! I was halfway through writing new posts – recipes in fact – when a fire came through our local town. It was very very close to taking many houses out. It turned cars and boats to mere shells, and flames were 15 meters above tree tops. My little town has less than 1000 people in it. The fire jumped the road and the northerly winds were gusting at almost 100km/h – straight towards us! So we left. It’s best to be safe when there is only one road in and out of our tiny town (that road being on a ridge top, surrounded by gullys of bush!). The police told us to leave, so we did, but we came back that night to sleep. The fire lasted for almost a week and now it’s raining so I’m assuming it’s pretty safe now. 

And then after all that hype and scare died down, my internet isn’t working properly. In fact, it doesn’t work at all on my PC and works whenever it feels like it on my laptop. I have no idea what it’s problem is, but all my “blog stuff” is on my desktop!

Let me make it up by promising you I will announce the winner from our Jack and Jill competition tomorrow in a brand spanking new blog post. If you haven’t entered yet, now is your last chance!
The fire approaching my house, before we evacuated.

What I’m Loving In August

  • Peacock Paintings. To be specific, water colour peacock paintings. I love the colours, the tail, the vagueness of water colour… And I love the slight awkward feeling to the word peacock. Ha!
  • Dream Catchers. It’s just calling me lately, I don’t know why. I don’t even believe in them. They’re pretty awesome though.
  • Prints. Is this one inappropriate? You know, for having a child in the house and stuff… Hope so, because I’m buying it.
  • Paper Lanterns. Even if they don’t light up, they’re still pretty and delicate and feminine and outdoors they remind me of summer and indoors they are just cool.
  • Nutritional Yeast. It’s my favourite popcorn topping and I’m also loving it in quinoa. Such a nice cheesy flavour (I really do miss cheese…) and it’s full of great B vitamins. It’s a vego’s best friend.
  • CO YO. This stuff is amazing. I love it. It’s a godsend for dairy free people like me. I’m going to attempt making my own coconut yogurt soon, just to save some money but this stuff is always in my fridge.
  • FatMumSlim. Everyone knows the blog. Everyone knows the Photo A Day thing. I’m still loving it all (despite never being able to complete a whole month of Photo A Day).
  • Earth Toys. Love the selection of safe, fun and educational toys on here. Not loving some of the prices. Still gets a tick from me!
  • Homemade Hippies. Oh what? Yeah, I’m shameless at the self lovin’!

Welcome to Homemade Hippies!

Homemade Hippies is a blog that has come to be after gathering an interest and following on Instagram.
Parenthood has brought the hippie out in myself and my husband and I’ve developed a passion for developing healthy meals and snacks using ingredients that nourish the body. What kind of recipes, you ask? Some key words that will give you an idea are raw, organic, vegan, superfoods, and most importantly of all… delicious.
I’ve been feeling it’s time to share our lives on a larger scale. And not just recipes, although that is the main concept of this blog. But also posts on parenting, humour, renovations, personal happenings and more. Of course to keep your interest I’ll add plenty of pictures. I’m hoping this little blog will be a bit of an all-rounder!
So please join us in this adventure. Have a look at my recipes, chuckle at us blindly doing this parenting thing, and be inspired to live a healthier, happier, homemade hippy life.