Monday, 30 May 2011


Recently, Kim from petit pas did a guest post on my friend Talia’s blog. It was a tutorial on how to make your own t-shirt scarf, and I was inspired.

So today, I hit the op-shops and came across the perfect shirt, a very large jersey cotton men’s shirt with no side seams for $4.50, in red. Wonderful!

The project only took me about 10 minutes. I had to make a few changes to Kim’s tutorial though, because I have no sewing machine at the moment (the beautiful Husqvarna I’ve been baby-sitting for the past 4ish years has gone home to its Mama *sad*).

Whereas Kim cut the strips completely off, I left them all attached. So I cut to about half an inch off the edge. Then I cut a little strip off the left-over piece of t-shirt and tied and knotted it round and round the piece that was joining all of the strips:


I’m happy with the finish, and no sewing! Easy peasy Smile

Here’s my brand new $4.50 cotton jersey scarf:


I quite like it…

What do you think?

point + shoot: Visitors



We were very lucky this weekend to have our very good friends (and Mayana’s Godparents) Daniel & Katherine visit. We love to spend time with them, especially since they spent the first 2 years of Mayana’s life living in the UK. Mayana loves them and is pleased to now have a real-life relationship with them (as opposed to a skype-based one).

Mayana, of course, had to take them to see the sights in Hervey Bay. So we picked up shells and ate fish and chips and talked and laughed and had an absolute blast.

It was an excellent weekend, and I hope they’ll come again soon!!

You can join in for point+shoot over at Sunny + Scout!

yum yum yum! {Pea & Ham Soup}

I’m not a huge soup fan. I think it’s the texture and the sameness of every mouthful – but I seem to always get half way through a bowl and then my stomach turns and I can’t handle the thought of another mouthful.

I do have a few exceptions though… number one being soup of the pea & ham variety – and most especially when my Oma cooks it.

Unfortunately I don’t have her recipe (yet) but I did try my hand at pea and ham soup tonight. And I’m pleased to say, it turned out to be most delicious (though not quite so delicious as Oma’s of course).


It was super easy – I did it in my slow cooker but I’m sure it would be just as good in a saucepan on the stove. This is what I did:

  1. Rinse a packet of dried split peas.
  2. Chop up 2 carrots, 2-3 sticks of celery + 2 mediumish onions.
  3. Put the vegies in the slow cooker, and sit a smoked ham hock on top.
  4. Pour in 2 litres of liquid. I used 1 litre of salt-reduced vegetable stock and 1 litre of water.
  5. Put on the lid and cook all day.
  6. About a 30 minutes to an hour before you eat, remove the ham hock and cut the meat into smallish chunks.
  7. Use a stick blender to puree the soup, then put the pieces of ham back into the soup.
  8. Cook a little longer with the lid off to help it thicken a little.
  9. Serve with garlic bread!


If you have trouble eating it with a spoon, a straw is always a good option!

Friday, 27 May 2011

A Day at the Show

I LOVE going to town shows. And I had heard that the one in our new town was actually quite good. So we decided to make good use of the show holiday and actually… erm… go to the show!

When we had been telling Kami (my mum) about this on her spontaneous visit last Sunday afternoon, she told Mayana that she would give her some money – to have a game on the clowns and buy a show bag. We didn’t think Maysi was listening because she didn’t respond. But the next morning when Mayana woke up, she said: “Kami buy Na-na some money for show. Gonna play clowns and buy bag”. She’s full of surprises that kid!

She’s been excited about it all week… not only about the clowns and the bag, but the fact that there were going to be animals there too, and best of all… other kids!

Today was the day, Mayana was elated. I’m pleased to say that the show more than lived up to her expectations. She. Loved. It.


She had her game with the clowns (and won a bright orange stuffed whale)


She bought a packet of white chocolate frogs. I hope she forgets about them. They’re really yummy.


She bought the Wiggles Showbag she’s been dreaming about all week (thanks Kami & Opa!)It’s a pretty cool showbag.. lots of cool educational-type bits and pieces that aren’t crappy in quality, plus a lunchbox and drink-bottle and NO LOLLIES!


She got to pat a really big cow. The animals at the show made her very happy. For some reason, she had in her head that she was going to see pigs at the show. Only problem is they don’t show pigs at this show. And she was kind of insistent. By a stroke of pure fate, at the moment when she started to crack the sads because Mummy had said there were no pigs, we walked past a small arena where a PIG RACE was about to begin! That totally made her day.


And then we found the animal nursery. And she pretty much thought she had died and gone to heaven. This goat was eating straight out of Mayana’s hand, which she thought was absolutely hilarious.


Nanna-Joy and Aunty Judy don’t let Mayana cuddle them (which is unsurprising really, Mayana kind of kills with kindness, if you know what I mean), so this was a pretty special moment for her. Oh, and that absolutely dripping-with-cuteness crown was what she got from a lucky dip.


Yes, Mayana was a HUGE fan of the show.


And she was asleep before we even got out of the carpark…

Ps. One of the most exciting things about the show for me was realising that we were walking right beside Governor General Quentin Bryce and her entourage (which by the way included a guy who was wearing two fairly hefty guns under his jacket and one of those spy earpieces with the curly cord that goes down the back of your neck).

Pete may or may not have semi-stalked her to take a sneaky picture for me.


Cool huh!

Checking in on the big girl.

It’s nearly been two weeks since that auspicious day when Mayana gave up her beloved dummy and became a big girl.
I am SO proud of her! She cried for her dummy at the afternoon sleep time of that Monday, and has only asked for it once since then. I just pretended like I didn’t know what she was talking about, and she just shrugged and cuddled Stella instead. I honestly cannot believe how EASY it was for her to get rid of the dummy (she seemed so dependent on it), and I’m so glad we made the decision to go cold-turkey with it.
Maysi got to go shopping for some big girl presents when she threw her dummies away (that was the deal). This is what she chose:
A big girl Tinkerbelle cup; a Wiggles toothbrush, and a big girl book about going to the toilet (are you sensing a theme here?).
Our next step in this journey to Big Girl is to get past this toilet training hurdle. Mayana has been partly toilet trained for some time now, but she just hasn’t clicked over to no more nappies. Admittedly we may not have been committed enough to it, but we’re really trying to get more on top of it. When you do put her in “Nudey-bums” (her self-concocted word for undies), she is usually quite good, but you do have to be reminding and asking her a lot (which I know is completely normal). I think having Easter away and slacking off a bit and just using nappies because it was easier has taken us a few steps backward. But we’re ready to jump right forward… so we’re trying this:
big girl chart
This chart is blu-tacked to the bathroom wall, and every time she goes to the toilet she gets a star (two for number twos!). When she lands on a balloon, she gets a lucky-dip prize. The prizes include stickers, a colouring book, a reading book, a pair of slippers and a matchbox car – only she doesn’t know what’s in Mummy’s Special Present Bag of course.
So far, it has been quite a motivating tool. We are up to seven stars, and I think once she’s been able to pick out that first present her motivation will probably increase quite significantly. I am very much looking forward to not buying anymore nappies, and to not changing anymore of her increasingly stinky nappies. So cross your fingers for us that something clicks soon! (And that Pete can stay committed to putting her on the toilet every half hour through the day while I’m at work…)
Also, I would love to put my potty prize chart up as a free printable (minus the Mayana of course), if anyone could give me any hints on where I can host the PDF file?
I’d love to hear some of your toilet training stories and tricks!!

EDITED: You can download a PDF of my potty prize charts HERE

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Country Girl

Country Girl

Country Girl by pezoma featuring leather boots

Although I'm a long time stalker of Danimezza's Polyvore challenge, I've never participated before. But tonight, I decided to join in for a couple of reasons:
1) as a super sneaky procrastination technique... I really should be doing some work right now.
2) Because it's more interesting than watching The Origin right now (ahem.. go Queensland.. or whatever)
3) as a die-hard McLeod's Daughters fan, this week's them inspired me. 

So here it is, my very first attempt at a Polyvore challenge.

Monday, 23 May 2011

my {very} beautiful family

After Tjalara’s gorgeous wedding, my family decided to take advantage of the wonderful afternoon sun and the lovely countryside and take some impromptu family portraits…

Here are some of my favourites:

Jell and kev's wedding


Methinks I need to buy some more photo frames…

Point + Shoot: Getting My Craft On

I unearthed my crafting mojo this weekend. I whipped up two very cute handmade items, of which I am very proud:



This very cute cowgirl skirt for Mayana, complete with lace trim, very cute belt loops and the most gorgeous cowboy print panel.


And this awesome pin cushion, which I love. I got a set of six of these very lovely brown cups and saucers for $2.00 at the Salvos. Cute idea, no?

Play along with Point + Shoot over at Sunny + Scout Smile It’s easy!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Make your own Mayo… (Seriously, do it now!)

I’ve posted before about how since we’ve had our own chooks laying our very own delicious fresh eggs, I’ve been experimenting with some egg based cooking… pasta, mayo etc…

And today, I’d like to show you how darn easy it is to make your own delicious Mayonnaise! It’s SO yummy and only takes about 5 minutes!

For the basis of your mayo, you will need one egg and one cup of oil.Some recipes say to just use the egg yolk, but I actually find it yummier with the whole egg (plus who can be bothered separating the egg, and I never know what to do with the leftover white!).


Ooh look at that amazingly yellow fresh home-laid free range egg yolk! Have I mentioned how much I love having laying hens?

Make sure you use a really light tasting oil. The first time I made it, I used extra virgin olive oil and it was super overpowering. Now I use extra olive oil and it’s perfect. You can also use something like canola or sunflower or vegetable oil. Whatever floats your boat.

These are the other ingredients you will need for your mayo:


From left:

* Red wine vinegar. I’m pretty sure you could use other types – maybe not plain old white or brown though I could be wrong. Next time I plan to experiment with balsamic.

* Salt. Let’s face it, salt makes everything taste better.

* Lime or lemon juice. I usually use lemon but this time I went for something a little different. You really need something acidic like it though to cut through the oil, and it makes it taste a whole lot better.

* Garlic. This probably isn’t necessary, but in this family we love garlic so much that we go through a jar of minced garlic probably fortnightly.

* Dijon mustard. This is a pretty important ingredient. When I made my first batch, I really didn’t want to put it in because I don’t like the stuff. At all. BUT I had to concede that it just doesn’t taste like mayo without it. And it doesn’t make the mayo taste mustardy at all. So please put it in.

The first thing you need to do (after you crack your egg) is to put a little slosh of red wine vinegar in with the egg, and a couple of twists of the salt grinder. I don’t actually measure anything (except for the oil) when I’m making the mayo, but I reckon I put a bit less than a tablespoon of vinegar.

Beat up your egg. I use a stick-blender, but I have done it by hand with a whisk before and it doesn’t take too long.

Then you need to add your oil. I have heard that when you’re doing it with a stick blender you can add it all at once. I wouldn’t recommend it because the one time I tried that my mayo didn’t thicken at all and I had to tip it down the sink. Epic fail.

My advice is to add it a little bit at a time. Maybe like a 5th of a cup at a time? Then beat it until it’s combined before you add the next bit.


By the time you’ve added about half of your oil, you’ll find that your mayo has started to thicken and look really mayo-ish.


Once it starts to look thick, you can add your oil more quickly.

The next thing I do is take it out of stick blender jug and put it into a bowl… it’s time to make it taste good!

I use my wonderful flessenlikker (which is Dutch for jar-licker and is a seriously awesome invention.. every kitchen should have one!) to help me scrape every last bit from the jug.


Next, you add your flavoursome ingredients. I usually start off with a squirt of lemon (I know very scientific measurements there), a couple twists of salt, a teaspoon of garlic and a teaspoon of Dijon. I usually end up adding more of everything – especially the Dijon. I think I end up with about 3 teaspoons of that.

You really just need to keep tasting it once you get to this bit. Add something, stir it in, taste it… you’ll know what you need more of and your taste will probably be different to mine anyway.

And that’s it! All done!

I promise you, it’s super easy and once you’ve made it and tasted the real thing you’ll never go back to the bought variety!


Mayana agrees, and won’t let even the smallest amount to go to waste..


According to various sources, homemade mayo should be stored in the fridge and consumed within about a week (though we’ve been known to eat it within a fortnight).


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

point + shoot: newlyweds

On the weekend, my very lovely friend Tjalara married her prince charming, Kevin.


She made a very beautiful bride, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone glow in quite the way she did…


The wedding was absolutely beautiful, with lots of butterflies and lots of purple. The wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses were all designed and made by the bride’s very talented sister, Rhaman.


Congratulations beautiful Tjalara – I’m so happy for you and love you very much!

(Please pop past Sunny + Scout to join in!)

Monday, 16 May 2011

My very big brave girl

This morning:


My very big girl threw her dummies IN THE BIN! We had been talking about it for about 10 days now.. counting down the sleeps, and today was the day. She gathered up her many, many dummies, and marched them off to the bin all by herself.

Apparently she was plagued with regret at around naptime today, and our girl did not manage a sleep today without her beloved dummy.

But tonight, with the promise of a shopping tip with Mama tomorrow afternoon for a special big girl present that she can take to bed instead of a dummy, our girl went to sleep with minimal fuss. I’m so proud of her.

winter breakfast


Porridge (cooked by my marvellous husband, no less), topped with chia seeds, LSA (ground linseed, soy & almond), pepitas (pumpkin seeds), almonds, a dollop of apple puree and a dash of cream.

Oh my.

Can you imagine anything more delicious on a frosty winter’s morning?


Kindle Convert

I never thought that I would be the girl with the electronic book. I’ve always loved books – the stories in them, the feel of the pages… pretty much everything about them. I never imagined I’d give up the paper variety.

But around the time of my birthday, I decided to some research into e-readers. I discovered the Kindle, and decided that I would love to give it a go. So when my very lovely parents got me one for my birthday, I was thrilled. I LOVE it!


The Kindle is easy to use and easy to read (even in direct sunlight). It isn’t backlit, so doesn’t put extra strain on your eyes. You can make the text bigger and easier to see, and it holds stacks of books. Plus, Amazon has a great range of electronic books, including a lot of the wonderful Christian fiction that I love to read. Best of all, e-books are so much cheaper!!

Currently on my Kindle I have 11 books, 3 dictionaries and the entire Anne of Green Gables series. Anne of Green Gables was the first thing I bought. The entire series for $1.99. You can’t imagine how happy that made me.

I love that I can carry it around in my handbag – it weights next to nothing – and pull out a book at any time. I also love that when I get to the end of Anne of the Island, I don’t have to get out of my warm bed to go to my book shelf to try and find Anne of Windy Willows… because it’s right there at my fingertips. I love that I don’t have to have a stack of books next to my bed anymore to suit my mood… they’re all there, filed up in my pencil-thin Kindle. I LOVE it! I think the only down side is that I’m not brave enough to take it in the bath… so paper books have to fulfil my need for long bubbly baths with books.

I also made it a very cute little home to live in, just to add to its charm..


Isn’t it he lovely?

Seriously though, if you have been considering buying a Kindle, I would very highly recommend it. I was having a play with some other brand e-readers in s store the other day (they were all more expensive than the Kindle), and in my opinion the Kindle is far superior, in look, feel and technology. The buttons are quicker to respond and the text is clearer. It’s a really great product.

And now I’ll stop going on about it.

But I just thought you should know. I love my new Kindle.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Hello lovely readers.

I have a million blog posts to catch up on – I have lists on my phone and ideas in my head. And far too little time. But in drips and drabs, I will get through them all.

You may have noticed a little change on my blog… (well, unless you’re reading this in a reader, in which case you probably haven’t). I have made a change to my name!

I started thinking about it when I went to the Blog Meet, and realised that I felt dorky saying, “I’m Zoey from Ramblings of a Wife and Mama” – partly because it took forever to say, and because I don’t want to be thought of as a rambly blogger, and also because I know that there are quite a number of blogs hanging around out there that contain the words ‘ramblings’, ‘Mama’ and ‘wife’ in the title.

Plus, I’m not *just* a wife and mama, and I try to blog about so much more. So I wanted a new name that was more me.

So, welcome to “Live. Love. Create. Imagine…”

The place where I blog about the life I live, the things and people and Lord that I love, the things I create and dream and imagine about…
Apart from the name, not much else has changed!

So if you have my blog as a link on your blog, would you pretty please be kindly enough to change my name?

Thank you darlings!


Monday, 9 May 2011

Point + Shoot: Maysi the cleaning lady


I hope she’s always this eager to help with chores!

If you want to join in for Point + Shoot, pop into my lovely cousin Louise’s blog… it’s easy peasy!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all wonderful mothers!

I had a very lovely day with my favourite girl and boy.

This morning, I was awoken by a very lovely little voice wishing me a, “Happy Mummy’s day Mummy!”
And a tray of delicious poached eggs with bacon and a cappuccino… in bed! Oh how I love my husband! It was so delicious that it was all gone before I registered the fact that I hadn’t taken a photo! Oh well… he’ll just have to make it for me again!

Mayana had chosen me some lovely potted herbs and a great big bunch of flowers for Mothers Day, although she got a bit confused and started singing Happy Birthday to me.


Mayana also made me a beautiful card. She is fascinated by letters at the moment, and is become quite good at writing the letter ‘M’. She writes it a number of times in a row and tells us that it says, “Mayana Joy Shanae”


Our church had a fellowship service in a park just up the road from us, so we walked down to it and had a very lovely morning. Our pastor had asked me to speak about motherhood from a young mum’s perspective.

I talked about how Motherhood has taught me some amazing lessons already, about trusting in God, and about the father-heart of God. I also spoke about how Peter and I are bringing up our daughter in the ways of God, and how I see my role as a mother in relation to the parable of the talents. How I want to invest into my children’s lives, and to have God say to me, “Well done, good and faithful mother… I have entrusted these children to you and you have been faithful to me.”

Preparing for sharing my little message got me feeling very sentimental, remembering the days of my pregnancy and those early months of Mayana. What joy she has brought to us since her very conception!

After church, Mayana napped and I lost myself in the world of Kate Morton… (more on that soon!). When she woke up we went to buy some pots to plant my herbs in, and whiled away the afternoon in the back garden.

I have had a very lovely Mother’s Day, and am feeling very blessed to be the mother of my wonderful daughter and the wife of my incredible husband.

Life is good!


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