Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Couch Grass Is Not My Friend

Couch grass has to be the worst plant ever. I'm sorry, I am quite happy to find a use for everything, but I challenge anyone to come up for a positive use for couch grass. It is a weed, no matter what place it is in!

This variation of the quote exactly describes couch grass!

It invades our backyard veggie garden constantly. For the past three years, I have told hubby that I WILL win against the couch grass and rid the garden of it entirely. He just shakes his head and lets me try. I have been determined that couch grass will not get the best of me. But I think I will have to concede defeat. It has beaten me! There is no way that I can eradicate it - I can only hope to keep on top of it before it inundates every other plant. This is not easy, as I am fairly sure it grows as soon as you turn your back on it!

Do you have couch grass? Or do you have a different weedy nemesis to battle?

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter

A day of celebration indeed!

May you all have a blessed Easter.

And just because I love vintage, here are some cute Easter images.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Good Friday Blessings

This is the blessing we sing at the boys' school for chapel. My prayers are with you all on this Good Friday.

May the Lord bless you today
And may He keep you in His care
Giving His peace to your soul
Even when times are hard
May the Lord's love flow through you
Just like a never ending stream
Knowing His hand will be there
When you call on His name

May He always shine on you

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Yarn Along - The One With No Knitting

Joining today with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Is this you?! It is definitely me, especially now that the cold weather is setting in. I could also add 'and watch Victoria' to the end of the mug as I am really loving watching my DVD of the Victoria TV series. Two episodes to go!

I do not have much happening on the actual knitting front as I have been sorting out my stash and winding yarn while watching DVDs.

But the book I am reading is so hilarious, I had to share it. It is one of those books that you find yourself chuckling away to as you read, even having uncontrolled bursts of laughter.

The book with the long subtitle: Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies (& Why We Don't Learn Them From The Movies Any More) by Hadley Freeman.

The book title comes from this quote - pretty deep and meaningful for an eighties teen movie!

Now, being born in 1970 means that these movies were the background to my teenage years: Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Dirty Dancing, Ghostbusters (the real one!), Trading Places, Coming To America, Weird Science, Top Gun, Risky Business, The Karate Kid and the list goes on!

I wanted to be Molly Ringwald so bad!

I think I may have Pretty In Pink to thank for my love of vintage clothing and repurposing clothes (although I so would have loved the dress as it was - not sure on the end result!)

It was an interesting observation made in the book that in eighties movies makeovers, the characters retain their quirkiness and individuality, whereas by the nineties, makeovers seemed to be more about making the 'ugly' misfit just like everyone else so they would be popular and fit in.
Could this be why teenagers from the eighties are happier to go their own way and forge a different path? Who knows!

The author also makes the observation that eighties movies are so re-watchable (is that even a word?) I definitely find that - it doesn't matter how many times I have seen a movie like Dirty Dancing or The Breakfast Club, any time it appears as a re-run I will find myself sitting up late to watch it again.

And always saying lines from these movies. Who doesn't say 'wax on, wax off' at least once in a while?! Or 'nobody puts Baby in a corner.'

I would love to hear what your favourite eighties movies would be, whether you grew up with them or have seen them afterwards. And which ones have you seen recently that just didn't live up to your memories of them? I'm afraid The Goonies springs to mind for me!

Here is a reminder - Top 100 Eighties Movies or 100 Eighties Movies You Must See. After reading this list, I need to get to the library and see which ones they have!

The lists do leave out some standout movies, like Stand By Me and The Outsiders.

And the first movie my hubby took me to? Our first date, actually. Platoon - what a romantic!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

My Top Ten Essential Oils

I want only the best, most effective, safest and purest support for my family. They deserve it! This is why I have chosen to replace so many of our health, beauty and cleaning needs with essential oils.
I LOVE these oils! 100% pure, no hidden fillers, synthetics or sprays, and sourced where the plants grow best, through ethical treatment of the growers and communities. An empowering health alternative. 
Everyone likes a top ten list, right? And I love my essential oils. So here is my list of my top ten favourite essential oils and why.

I'm only going to select from single oils, not the blends. Although all the blends are wonderful and I use them all the time.

1. Lemon

You cannot go past the basics and you definitely need Lemon essential oil in your life!

Lemon, like all the citrus oils, is uplifting and energising and is a great mood enhancer. It can overcome mental fatigue and help in decision-making. Lemon is calming for someone who is emotionally overwrought and helps to instill a positive mindset. Diffuse Lemon in the morning, either alone or in a blend, and you can't go wrong! It will also act as an air purifier.
Lemon has powerful purifying and cleansing qualities as it is antimicrobial and antiseptic. Use it to make your own bathroom cleaners, dish soap, laundry detergent, carpet cleaners and more. I will be sharing some recipes for the cleaners I make in future posts.
Healthwise, Lemon acts as an astringent so is particularly good for teenage acne. It is an excellent detoxifying oil and can help to clear phlegm and treating the symptoms of coughs and colds when diffused, especially if used with Eucalyptus.
I would call Lemon the go-to oil! If you can only have one oil, make it Lemon for its multiple uses.

2. Lavender

Lavender has a long history of use in beauty products - think of Yardley's English Lavender which was launched in 1873. But of course, Lavender had been used for centuries at home before its use in commercial applications.

Lavender essential oil could be considered the opposite oil to Lemon as, whereas Lemon is invigorating and great for waking you up, Lavender is calming and useful for bedtime. Lavender is calming and relaxing and will promote restful sleep and ease tension.
Diffuse at bedtime or make a lavender water spray to spray on your pillow or bedding before sleep. Make some Lavender bath salts or add a few drops of oil to your bath before bed and you will drop off to sleep in a heartbeat!
Lavender is associated with healing of the skin. It can be used to ease sunburn and to ease the pain of burns and other wounds as it prevents infection and promotes healing. It is also helpful in the treatment of insect bites as it can relieve the itching.
All in all, Lavender is definitely on your must have list!

3. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil is another oil with a long history.

Peppermint has a high menthol content, which is responsible for its contradictory warming and cooling properties. It is a 'strong' oil and as such care needs to be taken when using with children and those with sensitive skin.
Diffusing Peppermint will help to clear your mind and enhance concentration. It can also help when you are needing some insight and clarity when planning new ideas or taking in new or difficult information. Thus it is good for use when studying.
Menthol is an effective nasal decongestant - just take care when using with young children. Do not use direct inhalation with them or someone with sensitive nasal passages. Its head clearing properties also make it useful for treating tension headaches. A cold compress using Peppermint oil can clear a headache.
A spray made with Peppermint oil and water is very cooling on a hot day and can help relieve the discomfort of sunburn. Keep it in the fridge to make it extra cooling.

All of the above are the reasons why these three oils - Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint - make up doTerra's Beginner's Trio Kit. I would definitely start my journey into essential oil use with these three.

4. Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

Tea Tree or Melaleuca essential oil is sourced right here in Australia. It has been used by the indigenous people of Australia for centuries and they shared its properties and uses with Captain James Cook.

Most of us probably already know of Tea Tree's antimicrobial, antiseptic and antifungal properties as it is widely used in a number of products. In 1923, a study found that Tea Tree oil had an antimicrobial activity of 12 times that of phenol (the current product in use). It is helpful in treating wounds and infections. Tea Tree oil is also of great use when added to cleaning products. I add it to my homemade liquid handwash too.
Like Peppermint, it also has head clearing properties and can diffused to help with coughs and colds and to purify the air. It has strong immune-building qualities and is helpful for those with chronic illness or those who have trouble fighting infections.

5. Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil is called the King of Oils.

Frankincense promotes feelings of calm and peace, stilling the mind and aiding in prayer and meditation. It helps to focus your energy and improve concentration, so is useful for students. Diffuse Frankincense to dispel anxiety and release stress and to promote feelings of overall wellness.
Frankincense is wonderful for mature skin and can help reduce skin imperfections, such as wrinkles. It is also useful to help with minimising the appearance of scarring, due to its skin rejuvenation properties.

6. Geranium

If you are after the best beauty oil, Geranium essential oil would be it!

Some people don't like the scent of Geranium as it is quite sweet and floral and it can be cloying. But used in small amounts, it adds a lovely floral note.
Geranium has various beautifying properties and promotes healthy, glowing skin and hair. Add a few drops to your regular moisturiser for smooth, blemish free skin, as it regulates the production of sebum. Add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner for silky hair.
Diffuse Geranium to calm the nerves and lessen stress. It relaxes the body and balances the emotions, lifting the spirit and fostering peace and well-being.
A little Geranium goes a long way, so it is an oil well worth purchasing.

7. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is similar in some uses to Tea Tree, but is worth having for its own benefits.

Eucalyptus is useful for opening the airways and promoting clear breathing. I use it for my son's asthma and hay fever. It is used for coughs and colds as it is a decongestant. When you have a cold, drip a few drops on the base of the shower. The warm water will release the oil in the steam and ease your breathing. It is also an effective insect repellent and can be used to relieve muscular aches and pains.
Due to its purifying properties, it is useful for purifying the air and for cleaning surfaces.
Eucalyptus can lessen tension and promote relaxation. It is considered to be an oil of renewal and can cleanse negative spirits and feelings of conflict.

8. Ginger

Ginger essential oil is probably best known for its use in motion sickness and digestion problems.

Ginger is a warming oil and such is good for stimulating circulation. This also means it is helpful in dispelling cold symptoms. Inhaling Ginger oil can help reduce feelings of nausea, so take some along on a long car trip.
Diffusing Ginger can increase clarity and determination so is useful when suffering apathy or indecision.

9. Cedarwood

Cedarwood essential oil has a warm, woody scent.

Cedarwood has a skin clarifying effect. Due to its astringent and antiseptic properties, Cedarwood is useful for improving oily skin and hair, such as acne and dandruff, as it helps to reduce oily secretions.
Due to its camphoraceous properties, it is an effective insect repellent and can be used to deter moths.
Cedarwood is a grounding and balancing oil, so can be used to soothe the mind and body and promote feelings of well-being. It is frequently used in massage therapy for this reason.

10. Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil is another of the citrus oils.

Bergamot is one of the most popular oils for use in perfumery and gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavour.
Bergamot is purifying and cleansing to the skin and is useful for treating wounds and acne. Used in conjunction with Lavender and Tea Tree, it can be effective against cold sores and shingles.
Bergamot is unusual in that is has both calming and uplifting abilities. I include Bergamot in my top ten for its emotional uses. Diffusing Bergamot can have a slightly sedative effect so it is useful for depression and anxiety. It has been found to be effective in patients suffering from eating disorders. Bergamot can restore joy and encourages the release of pent up emotions, particularly when used in conjuction with Lavender.

So that is my top ten. As you can imagine, it took me a while to narrow it down - and if you asked me next week, my top ten may be different!

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils or just want some beauty and cleaning recipes and diffuser blends, I share them all on my Facebook page. I would love you to come and visit me there! Sometimes there are even giveaways!

And just to start you off, here are some diffuser blends using some of my top ten oils.

And with this one, just replace the Lime with Lemon.


Please remember that while essential oils are a natural product, caution must be exercised in their use as they are extremely potent. Please heed the below cautions and use essential oils safely.


Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Joining today with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday.

On the weather front
Rain, rain and more rain! That being said, the whole of last week was sunny and warm. What a blessing for our week away at the beach. We definitely went away at the right time as now it is starting to really feel as though winter is on the way. The fire is lit and I have brought my camp kettle out of the cupboard to use on the wood heater. Bliss!

Do not expect anything deep here - I am definitely in holiday reading mode! Lots of light, enjoyable reading. Last week I made my way through three books - it is amazing how much reading you can do when you are not worrying about the laundry (that has definitely caught me now though!) and you are only cleaning a teeny tiny cabin. And the boys were happy to dig in the sand and explore rock pools for hours.

So I read:
Threads of Love by Judith Miller - historical romance in which a young girl is sent to be a nanny for children who have lost their parents. You can guess what happens! Enjoyable easy read.

The Chocolate Tin by Fiona McIntosh - historical romance set during and after WWI in England. Based around the chocolate tins that were sent as Christmas gifts to the British soldiers by Princess Mary. This became very much a side story though to the life of the main character. Very enjoyable read as it twisted off in a whole new direction, which, although predictable, was well written and kept you in suspense. I am looking at the library for some more of this author's books.

The Fence by Meredith Jaffe - written in 2016 and set in this time. Wicked humour in this one - loved it. Kept my interest the whole way through. Based on new neighbours and their argument over a new fence between their properties, which rapidly escalates into a full-on war. Such a simple subject choice but it is used to show how our behaviour can be so ridiculous at times. The ending is brilliant.

The Accidental Time Traveller by Sharon Griffiths - sort of a historical romance I guess, as the main character travels back in time to the 1950s. I am only halfway through this one and it is not grabbing me as much as other books. That being said, I am still finding it enjoyable, especially all the little slip ups Rosie makes in mentioning things from the twenty first century that just weren't talked about in the 50s.

I am still watching Victoria. I didn't get a chance to watch any while we were away and it is due back at the library. Looks like I am in for some marathon nights!

I'm hoping
To be able to convince my family that devices are not all that necessary! Unfortunately hubby included. There have been numerous books published about going back and living without modern technology of whatever sort, and believe me, I have probably read them all! Even in the book I am currently reading, The Accidental Time Traveller, in which the main character is a reporter, she admits that it is not a detriment to not have news feeds constantly at your fingertips. It is actually a blessing and makes for a much calmer workplace.
But the boys have literally become addicted to their devices and I can pretty much source any arguing directly to either phones, Xbox or TV - sharing them, who is on when, that sort of thing. I would love to call a complete withdrawal of all devices but hubby isn't on board for that (although he can see the problems they cause), so it will have to be a time-based withdrawal.

I don't know when this statistic is from, but I would say it would be a higher percentage than that and it is affecting them younger and younger.

How do you all manage device time?

I'm learning
I'm trying to learn how to simplify my life and rid myself of all the extra baggage, whether it is physical (think decluttering!) or mental (worrying over nothing, getting depressed over things I can't change, etc).

This will be a long work in progress!

I took knitting away with me, but I actually didn't even get it out of the bag. Must be the first time ever! As mentioned above, I mainly read. So still knitting away at a few bits and pieces and sorting out yarn.

And I will try not to do this (but let's be honest, I probably will!)

Grateful for
My lovely little house and farm. It is always lovely to go away, but I find it equally lovely to come home again. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am and complain about it being too small (especially as oldest daughter is asking if she can move home again to save money!), but it is a gorgeous little house and I have a whole eight acres to play with.

I am definitely guilty of hitting the boys with that old chestnut - 'be grateful, there are children that have nothing.' But I also have to remind myself of that and make sure I am being thankful.

Dreaming of
Same as last week - always dreaming of my farm plans! Lots of colour planned, so many flowers in my head. Happiness is lots of flowers!

Favourite photo
Rock pools at Point Lonsdale.

Devotional, scripture, key verse

Not really a verse; just something to remember!

Have a blessed week, everyone!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Funny Things Kids Say

Children say the funniest things!

This was in a book I was reading recently - the children were asked to write a prayer during their RE class. This is what a seven year old boy wrote:

'Dear Lord, it must be hard for you to love EVERYONE in the whole world. There's only five in our family and I find it a struggle.'

So then I thought I would take a stroll through the internet - I googled  kids' funny prayers' and heaps came up!

I don't know if these are set up, but after spending the majority of the last twenty years with kids, they are certainly like the things kids say!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Today is the first day of the school holidays here. Yay! I am looking forward to a lovely relaxing two weeks, squeezing in five days away as well.

On the weather front
Autumn is here! It has been raining on and off, so I haven't needed to water every day. The temperatures have cooled down and I lit the wood heater for the first time last week. Looking forward to some gorgeous autumn days.

I am currently reading The Illiad by Homer as part of my long-running hope to re-read classics.

Very excited that my turn FINALLY came to have Victoria Series One from the library. I watched two episodes last night. I was very tempted to keep going, but it was after midnight. I find that a real problem with watching series - it is SO difficult to turn it off!
I recently read the book by Daisy Goodwin (who also wrote the series) and loved it. I am a real Anglophile and British royal history is a real love of mine.

I'm hoping
That we all have a lovely, relaxing school break and a blessed Easter.

I'm learning
To bloom where I am planted. This seems to have taken me a VERY long time to accept and act on. But I am really trying now to live in the everyday moments and not wish my life away, hoping for things that it is fairly certain will never happen.
I always vacillate between trying to accept where I am and wondering why all the positive affirmation stuff, like 'dream big and it will happen' never does seem to happen. Does anyone else feel this way?

So I am trying to adopt this as my new motto!

Mainly knitting projects at the moment - and attempting to sort out my yarn stash and finish stashing it on Ravelry.

Grateful for
A very special day spent on the weekend, celebrating my granddaughter's first birthday. It was a very precious day.

Dreaming of
All the huge plans I have for the garden/farm, now that the weather has cooled down enough to get stuck into some hard work without melting! There are lots of tree planting plans in the works.

Favourite photo
It will have to be a birthday one, won't it?!

Grandbaby with her youngest uncle!

Devotional, scripture, key verse