Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last day of Vegan Mofo

I made it!!! 31 day of blogging about vegan food! My first mofo! Yay!!

I thought that I would finish Veganmofo III the way that I started - with a picture of my goodies from a trip to the Preston Markets.

All for $38.15! I got:
6 Pears
1kg Bananas
4 blood oranges (a request from Tweenie)
Bunch coriander
7 Tomatoes
7 Lemons
11 onions
1 red capsicum
4 green capsicum
1 whole butternut pumpkin
8 purple potatoes (so experienced am I, I don't even know the proper name for them!)
300g baby spinach
1 bunch silverbeet
700g peas-in-a-pod (my absoute favourite - brings back childhood memories)
3kg brushed potatoes
1 bunch of spinach
2 cauliflowers
500g mushrooms
2 kumera
200g snow peas
6 heads of broccoli
15 carrots
2 small bags of red chilli
bag of pink ladies (For YM - only $3!)

I specifically got the potatoes, pumpkin and kumera for a 'Melbourne Uncup Day Before' Dinner party we are having at our friends house in Frankston on the Monday night - complete with dinner party attire! It's Indian themed food and I'm making Coconut Pumpkin Curry, Aloo Gobi (YM's favourite), and Chai spiced biscuits. I'm really looking forward to it!!!!

World Vegan Day tomorrow! See you all at the Melbourne celebrations!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Tofu Patties and a new, old cookbook

Today I went for a walk to my local op shop to look for a Jane Austen book. I didn't exactly find a book, rather a text that contains extracts from 6 of her books. Not a bad find, really. I also came across a heap of other book goodies. There is such a huge 'library' there. I found this book:

It's old, but Australian! Gotta love that!

Tonight the kids all had a Halloween disco for school to attend. Baby was first, then YM and Tweenie's time to rock on. So I needed to make an early dinner and I wanted to use up the veggies in the fridge. I made some Tofu Patties which were not very nice so I won't even bother adding the link. From my new, old cookbook I made Saute Zucchini. It was absolutely delicious! It was really simple, although I would never have thought to do it and ALL the children really liked it! Imagine! I'm not a big fan of tomatoes and I really liked it!
I also just fried up some mushrooms and they were tasty with it also!

2T oil
3 large zucchini, sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 tomatoes, cut in wedges (although I cubed mine small)
1/4t oregano
1/2C black olives (not a fan-omitted them)
salt (didn't use either)

Heat oil in frying pan and saute the zucchini slices. Add the onion after a couple of minutes and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, olives and salt. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve.

I've had a bit of a 'moment' tonight :( I am really, really missing Popeye. I don't think I will ever get used to this life.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Playing teacher at home:dipping my toe into home schooling

Ok, so again not an official veganmofo post but I'll use the logo anyway!!

Last night Tweenie was complaining about swollen glands in her throat. So when she woke up this morning I gave her the option of staying home if she chose. They never get to stay home when they are a little bit sick, I'm usually working full time and make them go to school (what a bad mother!). So she decided to stay home (no surprises there!). I told her we would do a little bit of learning at home and asked her what she wanted to learn. She suggested the maths book I bought her ages ago. And then talked about impressionism, which she is learning at school. I though that if she was already learning it at school we should maybe look into something different. She chose cubism (I'm pretty sure she just plucked this out of thin air, but that was ok). So I had a look at Art galleries in Melbourne and found that the National Gallery of VIctoria had little activity booklets for children to follow around the gallery and learn about a certain theme. Excellent, I thought! And Tweenie was more than happy to drop the cubism thing.

So, while I waited for the real estate agent to turn up we did a lot of maths and it was awesome to watch her face when she 'got it'! Its exactly the thrill I get when I teach full time. Then we got out a history book and we learnt about the slave trade in Africa in the 1800's. I came up with a couple of questions for her to research from this topic on the internet while I spoke to the agent.

Then we jumped on the train for an 'excursion' to the NGV. The themes we chose to look at were Persuasion by Jane Austen and Totally Wigged Out - people and fashion of the 1800's.

Both were very fascinating topics! From this Tweenie has now gained an interest in Jane Austen and wants to read one of her novels! So we picked up the other 2 kids from 'real' school and headed to the library. Unfortunately all of Jane Austen's novels were booked out and some were not even due back until December! Shame! There was a teenage fiction novel of her's that would have been perfect and it was available but it was nowhere to be found! Even the library staff tried to find it to no avail. Looks like I may have to buy the book, which I was really hoping not to - to save money! Maybe I'll have a look in the op shops (that'll give me something to do tomorrow).

So Tweenie really enjoyed today and I am hoping to do it more often. I would really love to have them home full time. Being in the education sector myself, I am really becoming disillusioned with the education system. I love the fact that we can follow whatever path the children want to learn about, rather than what the school says they should learn. We can go at the pace suited to each child, rather than learning the same concept over and over, just to make sure the weaker kids 'get it'. They get real life skills. They are interested in what they learn. They can be socialised through external activities like scouts, sports etc. There will be NO bullying by other awful children (only their siblings haha). We all get a lot closer as a family. Plenty of one-on-one time.The list could go on.
The negatives are that the children will be around 24/7 (also a positive). Not much me time. Won't be able to earn money. Not sure how Popeye would feel about it, especially supporting us financially.
Maybe I could do a bit with the children on weekends, or maybe pull them out on the days I don't get work. Part time school/home combination is also acceptable through the education department. It's all really early days. It would certainly solve the problem of the children having to change schools every few years when we move with the Navy, the teachers taking a whole term to get to know the child (happens every year to every child), teaching to the test (thats the whole curriculum!!). Oh, so much to think about! I also found a forum for ADF families who home school! There is a wealth of knowledge out there.

Do you have any opinions about home schooling?


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Silverbeet Pizza and Chocolate Banana Mousse

WTF?? Is it midnight? Am I sick? How come I'm posting so early??

Actually, I'm not really sure why I am able to post so early today, as opposed to other days when it is almost midnight before I get a chance to write.
I'm just extremely happy that I can!

So earlier in the day I made some basic pizza dough and left it to rise. I found a recipe for swiss chard, onion and tofu pizza to use up the silverbeet I had. The recipe combination sounded weird, but I thought I would give it a go anyway.

The recipe requires the pizza bases to be pre-cooked for 15 minutes but I don't recommend this. Have a look why:

Mine blew up like a balloon and here in this photo I have removed the top and now it looks like a pizza bowl! Luckily I had two lots and I pre-cooked the other one for only 5 minutes.
The rest of the recipe was really easy. I like how it turned out. The kids enjoyed it also. It's a very interesting way to use up silverbeet!

Before I made the pizzas I made this Chocolate Banana Pudding. It needs about an hour in the fridge. It requires 2C of silken tofu. So after I picked up the kids from school we walked to Woolies (well, Safeway, but I'm from W.A and some things you just hold on to!) to pick up 2 pkts.
So I stick one packet into the blender, all fine and dandy. Then I go to put the other one in and it looked like this:

It didn't smell too good either! And it was FULL of water! Its expiry date wasn't until the 25th of November! This is definitely not right, is it?
Anyway, I chose not to add it to the blender, so our dessert only had about 1C of silken tofu. And lazy me didn't scrape down the sides of the blender and a lot of the cocoa was still dry on the sides. I didn't mind, though. I thought it probably balanced out the lack of tofu.

Tweenie and Baby had a couple of tinned mangoes on top. It was delicious and I would definitely make this dessert again. It was so quick. About 3 minutes!

I'm feeling a little better today. I did manage to get up and at 'em, although it was a bit later in the day. I organised for a real estate agent to come around and appraise my house for renting and I have another coming tomorrow morning. It's an exciting, yet nerve-wracking time for me. I know I have made the right decision but...


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banana Loaf Cake and a lazy poorly day

OMG, I have had such a lazy day. I'm not sure whether me being a little poorly is any excuse!! I'm sure that if I had actually left my bed for other reasons except to pee, I would have not felt so bad! So, I have made a pact with myself, and I write it here for all to see, that no matter how bad I feel tomorrow, I'm getting showered, dressed and occupied! I need to because my house is trashed - the children always seem to take advantage!

So tonights meals was fried rice again. I used the sweet corn rice recipe that I used before and also added the vegetarian pork because the kids asked for it. (Note to self, I must see how much protein that stuff has). Tweenie organised the rice. The rest is so quick and simple. Remember when I thought I should have a fall back plan when I wanted to have take-away or can't be bothered cooking? I think I have found THE recipe! So very quick and pain free.

I was searching for a quick recipe for Tweenie to make after dinner and came up with Nancy's Banana Muffins. So easy, too!

She turned it into a loaf cake instead of muffins. I thought it would be quicker and less messy (it was nearly her bed time, too!).
It has no oil (which is a bonus because I have TOTALLY run out of every oil I use!) and only 1/3C marg. It is quite tasty. Tweenie is really good at making stuff! I LOVE this age! (she's just turned 11).

While lazing in bed reading blogs and playing on Facebook, I caught up with a friend from WA. She called me and we talked for soooo long, about an hour-and-a-half!! Hope she's reading this now - thanks for the chat K!

Vicki from Vicki Vegan blog is trying to organise for us all to catch up at the WVD this Sunday. Looking forward to that!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Tofu and Vegetable Pie

This afternoon I sent Tweenie into the fridge to see which vege she wanted as the main ingredient for tonight's dinner. She came back with 'Cauliflower'. Hmm, not my favourite, although I am learning to love it through the fantastic recipes I have been trying in the last 6 months.

So I googled, and I Supercooked and I googled some more. I wasn't finding anything that tickled my fancy. Nearly gave up and thought about telling the kids to make toasted sandwiches! Anyway, thought I'd have to rethink the main ingredient. And I came up with a Tofu and Vegetable Pie (I wanted to use the fresh tofu I picked up at the Asian Grocer), plus I used up the rest of the corn on the cob and steamed some cauliflower and add the Instant UnCheese-it.

The kids really liked it and it was nice, but a little boring tasting - like it was missing a little something (I didn't use the 'chicken' seasoning, maybe that was it??). I liked the taste of the fresh tofu though!

Ages ago, my friends A & C ( who took us out for lunch at Soul Mama) lent me The Uncheese Cookbook. That's where I had made up the instant uncheese. I made it up in a snap lock bag and it has sat in the cupboard for a while. I pulled it out tonight and realised that I couldn't remember how to make it so I just boiled some water in the kettle and added a few tablespoons to it. It worked out well, and Tweenie even steamed herself some more cauliflower in the microwave so she could have some more cheese sauce.

Yesterday I posted that I had four days work this week. I went in today, and after school I got a call saying that they didn't need me for the rest of the week as they had finished all the testing they needed me for. Shame :( Was looking forward to that cash. I have also picked up something from the germy kids and I am feeling like absolute CRAP for the FIRST time this year :(
I may just spend the day in bed tomorrow. I wish Popeye was here to look after me - I am really missing him tonight.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trying a new ingredient

Tonight I thought I would try using the Vegetarian BBQ 'Pork' (or cha siu as Steph from Vegan About Town informed me - I love learning new things) in a stir fry.
I fried it up first and tasted it prior to adding it to the sauce and I really liked it. I don't usually use mock meats but I'm not against it. I really don't see any problem with using it, as I don't associate it with trying to replace meat. I do try to avoid using it because I imagine it is so processed.

Anyway, I made a stir fry, as I mentioned, and used this teriyaki sauce recipe. It was very nice and especially easy to make. On the back of the cha siu (see, I'm learning!) it also has a recipe for a sauce, so I might try that one next time.

The noodles are from the asian shop on High St also, and were so cheap - like $1.20 for 500g!

Took the kids to the pools today, met up with G and her boys and the kids had a blast.
I have a really sore throat at the moment and I totally believe that it is from all the talking I have done in the classroom for the last 2 weeks. I've spent the last 6 months at home on the internet (read:not talking much) and teaching really gives the throat a workout!
I've got 4 more days teaching this week...


Goodies from an Asian shop

Saturday. Market day. Before we hit the markets we had a look in one of the little Asian shops on High St. I was specifically looking for red miso paste to make smokey miso tofu from Vegan Yum Yum. I couldn't find red miso paste but I made it anyway, and it turned out yummy to eat on its own and I'm looking forward to eating it tomorrow in a sandwich or wrap. Here's what it looked like before I put it in the oven.

Anyways, I found some very INTERESTING stuff at this shop! A whole fridge full of vegetarian/vegan foods. Very exciting!
We picked up:



(so cheap $2.20 for 750g!)
as well as a few other things. And I didn't even get upstairs!
I managed to pick up a bunch of basil at the markets for $1 as YM has been asking for it for AGES!!! He wanted Tweenie to make the basil pesto she has been raving about ever since she made it at school.

I got a whole box of apples again and I sat down in front of a movie to peel them with a knife, chop them and ended up stewing them to make apple sauce.
I got a heap of stuff at the markets today. We got home and I felt energetic so I defrosted both my upright freezer and the top freezer of my fridge/freezer (wow!), cleaned out the fridge to fit in all the new stock and then cut, washed, trimmed all the veges ready for cooking and eating.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mr Natural's Gourmet Vegetarian Pizza

Tonight we were heading down to my Sister's place in Seaford. Every time we head down that way, we pass the Mr Natural Vegetarian Pizza shop and I decided that we would stop for a pizza and check it out.

The 3 kids got a small each and piggy me got a medium pizza. I chose the pumpkin pizza after a lot of deliberation. Minus the olives, of course! And with the addition of the vegan cheese instead of the feta.

Tweenie wanted to try the potato pizza, but somehow that got a bit mixed up with Baby's pizza. Maybe it was because we were having a good chat with the lady who worked there.

Tweenie's pizza (which was really Baby's with extra stuff for Tweenie)

Baby's pizza which was really Tweenie's. Confused yet?

YM's pizza.

The pizzas were yummy although for the 3 small and 1 medium pizza it cost us nearly $45! The extra cost for vegan cheese is a killer. I would definitely return (to try the other toppings) but not as often as I would like as it is a bit costly for a scrooge like me!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not a food post! How I went vegan

So, here's the thing. Couldn't find anything I wanted to cook for dinner. Got paid today so contemplated getting take away (but had already had a nice warm shower and did not want to get dressed!). Felt like Mac and Cheeze which we only had a few weeks ago. I was really trying to have something different every night for this month but, oh well!
So we had Mac and Cheeze, which the kids LOVE! I made some raw balls for the kids for school tomorrow but they needed a little more maple syrup (pretty sure this is not raw, but better than oily/marg in a cake) but I had run out. So they tasted ok, but not the best we have made.

So, because I have nothing foodie to post tonight I thought I might share my 'transformation to veganism' story.

It is not really an exciting story :)
I had bought the book 'Skinny Bitch' by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnoui, thinking it was yet another 'get slim quick' book. I had no idea what it really was about. I was horrified when I read it! I felt like I had known about the things they talked about but, like most people, I chose not to bring it to the forefront of my awareness.
When I finished reading it I said to Popeye - we were driving in his car -(and we had only been seeing each other for a few months) "I'm going vegan."
He said, 'When?'
I said, 'Now.'
He said, 'Can it wait til tomorrow because I have a nice meal planned for dinner?'
I said, 'No'.
And that was that. Vegan overnight. Although I have to say I was a very unhealthy vegan for about the first year. I even put on quite a bit of weight during that time!
I do have to add that I was never a really big meat eater anyway. None of my family are. We all ate lots of chicken (and other 'white' meat). Before reading this book I had never even considered going vegetarian at ANY point, let alone vegan. (I HATED salads - and still do!)
I have had mixed reviews from family. Popeye's family accommodates a few vegetarians already so I don't feel I was really too much 'hassle' there.
My dad, a former bodybuilder, a PT and still heavily into muscle growth etc, really expressed 'his' opinion about how essential it is to eat meat to get all of my required protein. As time has progressed, I have had a few forwarded emails from Dad discussing the benefits of abstaining from meat. Maybe he has started to come around (or maybe he is not really reading what he forwards on!).
Most of my family, including Popeye, thought that it was a faze I was going through and I would soon be back eating meat.
Well, guess what? I'm not! And I think they know I am serious about it now!

I have learnt so much and have even started to dabble into raw foods. I feel we are all eating the best we have ever eaten, and we are DEFINITELY healthier than ever before! We hardly ever visit a doctor (in fact, only once this year - to get a referral, and one hospital visit when Tweenie sliced her finger open on one of Popeye's sharp knives - he's a chef).

Becoming vegan was the best decision I have ever made. As a bonus, it helps animals and the environment as well!

What's your story?


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zucchini is coming out of my ears!

On Saturday we got to the Markets VERY late so we didn't have much choice left. It was 15 minutes before closing and the stallholders were getting rid of the last bits of fruit and veges. I managed to pick up a dozen zucchinis for $1! So I have been trying to find yummy things to do with them before my pets (the worms) get to eat them.

So I found this recipe for Vegetarian Chilli on the Supercook website (there is a bit of a theme going on here with the Supercook website this week!). I know most of you will have your own chilli recipe you use, but I haven't got 'one' yet and found this one to be SCRUMPTIOUS! Every single one of my babies LOVED  it. I used up 2 of the zucchinis in this recipe, changed the 2T of cumin seeds to 2t (still could taste it but not overpowering - too much spice makes for whingey kids!). I'd also add MORE sweet corn as I am such a fan of this vegetable (that's because I am such a sweet tooth!). I didn't have an extra can of whole tomatoes so I left it out, but next time I would try it with 2 cans of chopped or some fresh chopped tomatoes. Other than that, I think this recipe is a keeper for us. Maybe it will be my 'signature' chilli! ha

Oh, and I had a TINY bit of left over rice from last night that I added right at the end.

I went to the 'Nong today to help my BIL with his website. I tried to find the new Vegesafe cafe for lunch (was suppose to be on Foster St), but could not find it ANYWHERE! Very disappointed as I was hoping to see what they had, give it a go and review it. If it is there it is hiding and not very noticeable - if a vegan looking for it can't find it, how are the general public going to go! Shame, really, was looking forward to it.

On the way out my sister and I stopped at Savers. Wow, that is a big store! Very neat, orderly and set out. Lots of kids clothes too, so I promised that I would take the kids there one day (they'll love it!). All we pulled up in a parking spot and were putting some coins into the meter, an average looking, nicely dressed bloke came up to us and said that he had just had his wallet stolen and really wanted to buy a jacket in the Salvos (that store was right where we parked) for $5 and could he swap some cigarettes for $5. My sister said she had no money but I knew I had a $5 note and although I am on government benefits (dole bludger!) I reached into my bag and handed him some money. He looked at me, took the cash, started to walk off, then turned and said thanks. Then he started to walk in the OPPOSITE direction of the Salvo store! Rude. Anyway, we went into the Savers store and after 10 minutes in there the same dude walked up to us and was about to give us the same line again but you could see in his face he recognised that we had already been suckered into  handing over money and he promptly turned and got the hell out of there. You, know, it really annoyed the crap out of me because 1. I have NO money (I haven't been paid for the teaching work yet) and 2. It makes me think twice about helping out these people who REALLY need help. I bet he makes more in a day than I get from the government with 3 kids in a week! So wrong and again, I feel embarrassed that I got suckered in again!

Slime ball.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cake and Curry

Another recipe from the Supercook website. Tonight we tried Peas, Potato and Eggplant Curry.

It was really yum and even fussy Baby liked it tonight! Added bonus! I needed to cook it for a little longer than it suggested to make the potatoes soft. Maybe a nuking in the 'wave before hand?? Either way, it was quite nice.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with eggplant. I cut it into little cubes and covered it in salt in a colander and left it for an hour or so. Then I rinsed it off and used it as required. This is the second time I have tried to salt eggplant and I believe it has helped it to taste better, even though I have read on many blogs/recipe sites that putting salt on eggplant is not necessary. It is something I will continue to do.

Again we tried the 1 Pan Fudge Cake to see what happens when we cook it for the required 25 minutes and it really was a complete failure :( Delicious, but under cooked this time! The kids will still eat it, though! Having said that, Tweenie made a passing comment when I cut them a piece to take to school tomorrow that she actually preferred the raw treats! Imagine that! So I'll try to make some for her tomorrow (I gotta stop being so lazy! It's just that without a food processor it takes sooo long!!) I feel more comfortable with the healthy food choice that is the raw date balls, instead of cake like this 1 Pan Fudge Cake that requires 3/4C of OIL! Not good!

Anyway, til tomorrow


Monday, October 19, 2009

Stir fry and 1 Pan Fudge Cake


I'm watching Good News Week as I post, and the panelists were talking about how chickens only have one 'exit' hole. Tom Gleeson said 'An unfertilised egg is really just a convenient period'. AWESOME!!! That's pretty much what I say to people about eggs!!! Got lots of  eeeww's and screwed up faces, but also it hopefully got a few people thinking!! Nice one, Tom!

Anyway back to the post.

Recently, when I discussed in a previous post that I would like a website that you can just put in the ingredients and it spits out a suggested recipe, Vegetation came to the rescue and suggested I try Supercook.
It is a really good site. Once you sign up you can add the foods in your kitchen and it will suggest recipes from all over the web. You can even exclude items!! So then you only get vegan recipes! NICE!

So we tried a few recipes tonight. First, for dinner we had Stir Fried Sesame Vegetables with Rice. This got rave reviews on the website and it was REALLY nice! said it served 4 people, but I think it would barely feed 2. I had a tiny, tiny serve and the kids had a small serve and we really did not have enough to feed us all. So I would probably triple this recipe next time.

You can see how tiny my serve was!

While I was making dinner, YM was in charge of making 1 Pan Fudge Cake. The beauty of this cake is that it is made IN THE PAN!!!! No dishes!!! How cool!!

Ok, so, we ended up leaving this in the oven for 50 minutes instead of the 25 minutes the recipe states. BUT, after eating it, and noticing a small vein of 'fudginess', I totally believe we overcooked the cake. It seemed WAAYYY too runny at the 25 minute stage, but next time I'll get it out and let it sit and see if it fudges up more, because the fudgy vein is DELICIOUS!!!! Also, even though it says to do it in an ungreased pan, I may try lining it with baking paper. Although, maybe if I only cooked it for the 25 minutes it may have come out easier. I'll try it again tomorrow.

So, Monday over, work tomorrow. It is suppose to be 28 degrees tomorrow so I may get to wear a skirt :) (one of my goals is to wear a skirt or dress once a week). I'll see how I feel in the morning when I put it on!
How gorgeous was today's weather??!! I made the most of it by mowing the lawn, trimming up my roses and taking the kids for a bike ride (while I jogged) to Coburg Lake. Tomorrow I also have a 'handyman' coming to check out the tiling I need done in the bathroom. I have got a bit of work to do to get this house ready for rent early next year. Hopefully, they don't want to charge me too much!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Couscous with Lentils and Butternut Pumpkin

Tonight we had Couscous with Lentils and Butternut Pumpkin. I made a few changes and also found that they asked for too make water in the couscous so it was a bit sloppy, but still quite nice (the water evaporated in the pan at the end anyway).

I've just been chatting to my friends in Frankston (via email) and we have organised a Pre-Melbourne Uncup dinner at their house (on the Monday night before the Cup day), with us all getting dressed up to the nines! I'm so excited! An opportunity to dress up! Woo hoo!

I took the kids swimming today. I spent about 20-30 minutes with each one individually to teach them to improve their swimming. I would like to do this at least once a month, with the aim of 1 per fortnight. This all came about because the kids' school sent home a note for swimming lessons - $65 per child!!!!! WTF!! In W.A, the government obviously believes that it is important for all children to be able to swim and they subsidise the swimming lessons so all we pay is $1 per lesson! Even on the school holidays, they subsidise the lessons for the same price. Here, it is going to cost me nearly $200!! And as a teacher I know how it all runs (I know they are doing a good job, I'm not dissing them here, just making a point). They have 8 (YES, only 8!!) 30 minutes lessons, sharing their time with up to 10 other students and on the last day they spend the time 'playing' and having fun. I don't really see the value in that!!!!!
So I have decided to make a conscience effort to teach my children to swim. They have all got a good basic swimming level so that helps. I am a reasonably good swimmer myself so that helps too! I downloaded some swimming lesson plans to help with the progression, and I think I will help them more than if they do it once a year at school.

On a lighter note, I recently came across the website Day zero - 101 projects to do in 1001 days. I contemplated doing the full 101 projects (chosen by me- my goals) in the 1001 days (which is about 2.75 years), but I couldn't come up with 101 goals!! So I decided to make it to suit me and type up my list (I  have about 50 of them), add to them when I think of a new goal, and aim to complete my list in the next year. I also found an article called 'Thirty days to Success'. In it Steve Pavlina talks about 'testing' goals for a 30 day trial period. He even discusses how he went vegan by giving it a 30 day trial. So I have incorporated this theory in some of my project.

Here is my list:

detox for 5 days straight (0/5)
lose 10kg (0/10)
eat no refined sugar for a week (0/7) 
go jogging at least twice a week for 1 hour for 4 weeks (0/8)
do at least 1 weight session per week for 4 weeks (0/4)
do cardio at home at least 5 times a week for 4 weeks (0/20)
do 100 sit ups per day for 4 weeks (0/28)
do 50 push ups (on toes) per day for 4 weeks (0/28)
give myself  a weeks’ break then repeat the above
try a bikram yoga class
drink 3L of water a day for 4 weeks (0/28)
take all supplements and vitamins for 4 weeks (0/28)


gather supplies to take to orphanages when in Bali
donate blood

learn more Auslan
take an art class
take a  photography class
learn a new word weekly to use in conversations 


Try eating/cooking with 10 new ingredients (0/10)
complete veganmofo by posting every day of the month 


grow something from seedling to eating

watch the sunset
watch the sun rise
delete Facebook account
Have a game night
host a dress up party
read 10 new novels (0/10)
wear a dress to Shani’s wedding 
get my palm read
get a tarot reading
take the kids overseas
have 50 tv free days (0/50)
have a board games night
cook for people and get dressed up (have a dinner party)
attend a dawn ANZAC service

make a time capsule with the kids to be opened in 20 years
take the kids to the pools for ‘swimming lessons’ at least once a month


wear a dress or skirt at least one a week (0/62)
wear heels at least once a week
get another tattoo
write a will
dye my hair an outrageous colour
use moisturiser daily
tan at least once a week for 4 weeks (0/4)

To be completed Dec 25, 2010

Obviously, I have a few gaps and I will fill them in as I go.

Sorry for such a long post, but I have to get it out publicly to be accountable.


Mini Muffins, More Op Shopping and an Orange in the Guts

Ok, so weird title, I know, but I will explain them all one by one.
Firstly, thanks to those who posted comments to my dilemma of whether or not to wear 2nd hand leather goods from op shops. I also did some research last night and the jury seems pretty much divided 50-50. So, I have temporarily come to this conclusion: I don't believe (at this stage, feel free to convince me otherwise) that I am adding to the demand of leather by buying 2nd hand goods. It sits well with my beliefs in recycling and reusing before buying new. I won't go searching for 2nd hand leather goods to buy, but if something happens to appear that seems to be just what I need, I will definitely consider buying it. Although, a little part of me feels a bit icky having a dead animal on my feet...

So this morning Tweenie and Baby decided to make some mini muffins. Here is a picture of the mini's in Baby's seven-year-old hand. So tiny and cute.

They adapted a recipe from Vegan a Go-Go.

Today went  headed towards Preston Markets and the local library. I had planned on only a $20 budget at the markets today, mostly to get fruit for school lunches. So we walked down High Street as I wanted to look for a dry cleaner to clean a couple of the dresses I bought yesterday for my cousin's wedding. On the way we stopped at a few more op shops and picked up a couple of more bargains. The last place we stopped at was Scrooges. The kids found some clothes for themselves there and we all started chatting to the lady behind the counter. It started off her asking how to say my name (it was on the credit card), to the origin of my name (NZ) and ended up finding out that her sister AM lives in Geraldton (WA) - which is where we moved from. I said that I worked at Geraldton PS, and did her sister's kids go there. Turns out they did, we know them, one of the kids was in Tweenie's class, and I lived next door to AM's best buddy - so I knew her sister REALLY well!! It is such a small world!!! It also turns out that AM and her boys are due here tomorrow (or should I say tonight, since it is again past midnight!), so I left my number for her to call if she wants to catch up! I totally believe there was a reason why we started to chat to the lady there instead of saying thanks, and leaving! Weird!

OK, now for the orange explanation! Just before I got on here to type this post, I thought I would duck across the road to the petrol station to binge on some skittles and fanta. It doesn't happen very often, since I have lived here this year, I have probably been over maybe 3 times (including this time). Unfortunatly, they had no skittles (what's with that??) so I left with nothing. As I got to the kerb to cross the road, a P plater's car cruised around the corner onto the main road on which I live. It was only metres away so I waited for it to pass before I crossed the road. The next thing I know, the passenger had thrown an orange at me and it hit me in the stomach!! WTF!!!! I hear about this stupid shit happening all the time but it has never happened to me! Check out the pic.

Can you believe that? I let loose on Facebook for a little while and I feel a bit better now. Maybe it was a sign. Telling me off for trying to have refined sugar/a binge session/lollies/unhealthy foods or whatever. I am glad that it wasn't an egg or something, that would have really pissed me off more to have to clean myself up! It was sore internally for about an hour afterwards, but seems to have settled down now and it is mostly my pride that is hurt.

Sorry for all the swearing tonight, I am just a little annoyed!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

2nd Hand Leather: To Buy or Not To Buy?

That was the dilemma I faced today and I didn't know how to answer it.
I haven't bought any leather since turning vegan. I have a pair of leather boots that I owned pre-veganism, which I still wear, although when they are ruined they will not be replaced.
While rummaging through the treasures of a couple of op shops today, I was confronted with a pair of shoes that would be perfect with the dress and cardi I found. Unfortunately, the shoes are leather. I had an internal fight with myself. I would NEVER buy anything new (leather), but could I bring myself to buy and wear 2nd hand leather?? Was I adding to the consumer demands and the need to kill cows, skin them and produce leather products? Could I justify the purchase of 2nd hand leather as a way to reduce, reuse and recycle in a bid to reduce waste, help the environment and reduce my consumer footprint? AARRGGGHHH! I was feeling quite sick inside and riddled with guilt. After my internal struggle I still hadn't come to a convincing conclusion and I thought I would ask around (that's you guys) and maybe do a bit of research myself to find a definitive answer. In case you are wondering, I bought the shoes deciding to look into the subject further and if I decided that I did not want to be a part of the 2nd hand leather movement I could always donate them back.
So, what do you think? What is your stance here? I would love to hear everyone's opinion on this to help me make up my mind on the subject.

Anyway, I'll post the pics of what I bought (and love) tomorrow! Since the kids and I got home quite late  tonight from our shopping trip we quickly cooked up some schnitzels for dinner.

I only wish our plate looked as yummy as the one on the box. Unfortunately, that was not the case! It was just slapped between to pieces of bread! Well, it was late!

And since we have past midnight on this side of the world...65 days to go


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin Pasta and a Whale for Lunch

This morning, while everyone was getting ready for school/work, Baby was making her lunch. She came into my room and showed me what she had done to her sandwich.

She had drawn a face on the wrapper because she thought it looked like a whale! How cute! She also grabbed her mermaid blanket to show off the 'whale' in its natural habitat.

She's very creative, my Baby!

For dinner we had a very simple, but tasty and filling dish of Pasta with a Pumpkin sauce.
Apologies for the damn awful photo (I'll make it small!)

Last night, in preparation for tonight's dinner, I roasted three-quarters of a butternut pumpkin in the oven. Tonight I fried some garlic in a pot and then pureed the garlic and pumpkin and tossed it through the spinach fettucini. Basic, filling, even if it was quite boring. The other quarter of the pumpkin is for tomorrow night's dinner.

I also whipped up an apple cake from The Joy of Vegan Baking. It's fat free!

Tomorrow I don't have any CRT work planned, so unless they call me early in the a.m., I should be able to have a free day. I think I might hit my local op shop and try and find a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding back in Perth in November. I suck at buying clothes, actually. I am used to buying for my kids, not for me. So it should be interesting!

Fingers crossed for op shopping (although if I get a call I'll go in - I need the cash!)