I want to get my hair cut off.

I feel like Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite. You know the bit where he gets really hot so he shaves off all his hair.

imageIt’s just too long for summer. And I figure what better time for a new look than the new year.

imageDon’t worry, I’m not going to shave it all off… But I’m definitely getting it cut.

Maybe I’ll get something like this…

Or something like this…

I’d even consider something like this, but I don’t think it would really suit me. And Sam probably wouldn’t like it…

I’m also going to save my pony tail and donate it to make into a wig.

Do you like short or long hair? How do you think I should cut my hair? Would you ever donate your hair to make into a wig?

Happy Christmas!

This is one of my favourite Christmas songs. (I don’t know what it’s got to do with an Australian Christmas, since it doesn’t snow…) Every year mum would play it on piano in the lead up to Christmas. It’s so beautiful!

Happy Christmas!

Gold Christmas Garland.

I love Christmas. I love most things about it (except for how much money is spent and wasted – is Christmas really just about presents?). I love that Christmas is about the incarnation, Immanuel – God is with us. I love spending time with family and friends. I love all the food. I love looking at the lights, making presents, and decorating the house (which is what this post is all about).

I wanted to make some sort of sparkly gold garland to string up at home, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. I saw a few different ones on Pinterest, but none really took my fancy. So I wandered into Spotlight and spent half an hour browsing the craft isles. I finally found some shiny gold and some sparkly cardboard, and a big circle hole punch (I thought a big star would be better, but in the end I really liked the simplicity of circles).

When I got home I cut a bazillion circles out (and some that weren’t quite circles):

imageThen I went to my mum’s house and used her sewing machine to sew down the middles and join them together into one long chain.

imageI really like them. They’re so shiny and bright and Christmas-ey!

image I ended up blue-tacking them to the wall, because I couldn’t get them all to just hang nicely and all be facing the right way. They kept spinning around so you’d see lots of white backs. But then it got really hot one day and most of them fell down, so I got less precious and just let them hang how they would.

Mum made me this angel ages ago. I think she’s really sweet:

imageAnd here’s my Christmas tree. It’s a Norfolk Island Pine in a pot. It lives outside most of the year but we bring it inside for Christmas:

imageHappy Christmas everyone!

New and improved chocolate sourdough muffins.

I’ve been tweaking these muffins over the last few weeks , but now I think I’ve finally come up with the new and improved version. They’re so good, you can’t even tell they’re gluten-free. I made these with orange essence and rind, but if you don’t like the choc-orange flavour combination, just omit it.

There is a bit of preparation with these muffins in that you need an active sourdough starter to make them. Mine is fed with (mostly) brown rice flour. Sometimes I add buckwheat, quinoa, millet or sorghum flour too. See here for more info on how to make your own gluten-free sourdough starter. You also need to let the flours and yoghurt sit together overnight (or for a few hours at least) to get the natural yeasts going through the flours – that’s what makes them so fluffy!

imageIngredients: 

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups yoghurt 
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 85 g rapadura
  • 250 g rice malt syrup
  • 100 g cocoa
  • 120 g olive oil
  • 130 g melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • rind of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 eggs

Instructions: 

  1. Combine the sourdough starter, flours and yoghurt in a large bowl and leave overnight, or for at least a few hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease 2 12 hole cupcake trays.
  3. In a clean bowl, mix rapadura, rice malt syrup, butter, oil, extracts, rind, salt, baking soda and cocoa together. (I did this by hand).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Gently stir the chocolate mixture into the starter mixture and mix until smooth (or you can do this with a stand mixer if you like).
  6. Pour into cupcake pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Cool on wire racks completely before eating while still warm.
  8. These muffins can stay in a sealed container for a few days, but will need to go in the fridge if they’re left for more than about three. They also freeze well.

 

 

The HanMade Christmas gift guide!

I like making things, and I especially like making presents. And since there’s no better time of year than Christmas for giving presents, and since there’s only 19 sleeps till Christmas, I thought I’d share a few fun ideas for interesting Christmas gifts you can make.

1. Homemade ginger beer. I’ve been making this for over a year now, and last year I gave some finished ginger beer, as well as a ginger beer making kit as presents.

2. Homemade chocolates. I might try making some little chocolate balls this year. Maybe like these ones.

3. Photo magnets. I know they’re not technically home-made, but at least they’re personalised. I made some for myself a couple of months ago, but I reckon they’d make great gifts for certain people.

4. Coasters. I like these ones with maps, these fabric ones, and these crochet ones.

5. These sweet bath fizzies.

6. Fun and colourful animal bookends!

There’s just a few fun ideas for you. And now for something completely different:

 

Instead of getting wrapped up in the materialism of Christmas, why not give Really Useful Gifts. It’s crazy that Australians are expected to spend $8.5 billion on presents this Christmas. Probably half those presents will be wasted. Imagine if we spent half that money on chickens, or healthy mothers and families, or teacher training. Imagine all the good that could be done!

And could there really be more to Christmas than Santa and presents and getting together with family? I think so.

 

Grandpa.

grandpame(Grandpa and me.)

My Grandpa died last week. The funeral was on Monday. I’m sad he’s gone because I miss him. He was the nicest person, and was always so happy to see me.

I remember he always used to tickle us after we finished tea and we’d try to escape but would be trapped under the table by the grown-ups legs! I remember doing puzzles with him on the floor of their lounge room. I remember lots of visits to their house where we’d walk down to see the train, play dress-ups with their old clothes, have picnics at the park, pick carrots and strawberries from their garden.

He was very sick by the end, and was very ready to go. So in a way it’s a relief – he’s no longer suffering but is with his Saviour.

This was the last hymn that we sung at the funeral, with my aunty and cousin playing piano and guitar. It was so beautiful to hear everyone singing so loudly and joyfully.

See you again, Grandpa.

xoxo