environment

DIY Freshener for the Home

Why buy spray cans and fresheners for the home and bathroom. It really is cheaper to make your own and far better for the environment as well.

Not only can you avoid using harsh chemicals but you have a lovely natural fragrance from the essential oils, which are easily purchased in bulk.

Here at the home by the sea, I do like to care for our environment, even if it is a small contribution on my own home turf.

Toilet Freshener

10 Homemade Recipes for Beauty Products: DIY Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray 2

 INGREDIENTS:

  1. 15 drops bergamot essential oil
  2. 10 drops lavender essential oil
  3. 10 drops lemongrass essential oil
  4. 2 Tablespoons of rubbing alcohol (eg. Isocol is fine)
  5. 4 oz. distilled water
  6. 1 teaspoon of vegetable based glycerine
  7. A manual spray bottle to store it in

DIRECTIONS:

1. Fill a small spray bottle with water and rubbing alcohol.

 2. Add essential oils and glycerine then replace top and swirl gently to combine.

To use:

Before you leave the bathroom, give the bottle a shake then spritz the water around three or four times.

That’s it!

[Source and photo credit: http://www.freebiefindingmom.com/10-homemade-recipes-for-beauty-products-diy-poo-pourri-toilet-spray/]

A Home by the Sea
food

Lemon Yoghurt CupCakes

Speciality delicatessens and bakeries in my part of the world offer Lemon Yoghurt cupcakes to die for. Mostly they come from one or two bakeries, ones that are Italian in origin and their product offerings. Yet, it seems that the Lemon and Yoghurt Cake may have been French in origin:

Grandmother all over France are renowned for Lemon and Yoghurt Cake. In French, this cake is called Gâteaux de Mamie, which translated is: Granny Cake. The part of the story I love, is the way these French grandmothers measure the cake ingredients – with yogurt jars!

https://thecafesucrefarine.com/french-grandmothers-lemon-yogurt-cake/

You can try that version of the recipe out at this site.

This week, the cake for #onecakeaweek comes from Best Recipes, however, I wanted to produce a cupcake experience, rather than make another ring cake. My ingredients vary slightly from the French version in that there is more yoghurt and sugar, but less eggs and oil. Yeah – nah! – probably evens out, doesn’t it?

LEMON and YOGHURT CAKE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups fine or Caster Sugar – I only used 1and one half cups
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 cup Natural yoghurt
  • 2 cups Self-raising flour or plain flour and baking powder
  • extra leftover lemon juice

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix rind, oil, eggs and sugar with a fork.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
  3. Pour into greased ring tin or lined cupcake pans and bake at 180C for 30 – 40 minutes – more time, for the ring tin.
  4. Poke holes in the top with a toothpick and drizzle few drops of lemon juice for extra tang. Not too much or the cake will go soggy.
  5. Leave to cool and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Variation: I added Pearl Sugar and an Almond on the top prior to baking. White chocolate chips could also be added for an extra measure of decadence.

Donna Hay, Australian cook and Cookbook Author, uses almost an identical recipe to mine, but decorates the cake with icing and strangely of all, thyme leaves. If you want to try that variation?

More lemon cake recipes from other bakers are found here

#OneCakeaWeek

tree lined road
blogging, environment, writing

Sunrise and Sunset at the Beach

The morning sun rising over water can be one of the most invigorating feelings for the spirit and the body. Stimulating, within us, a bundle of potential energy to begin our day.

Sunrise is a time to bear witness to the opening of the universe’s portal to eternity. Untouchable and surreal.

When the sun breaks over the low, scudding clouds that persistently hang on the horizon, we are blessed with a fleeting splendour of golden rays that nourish in our spirit endless possibilities.

After hours of restful slumber, being present and mindful during a sunrise brings feelings of anticipation and promise: a myriad of potentials for a day we have yet to explore.

Sunsets

The amazing thing, about where I live, is the experience of both sunrise and sunset over the water. This is the beauty of living on a peninsula, with sea water on three sides.

The evening light show that Mother nature provides, is more often subdued than her morning counterpart.

More mellow, the tones of sunset can be at times be ever so thrilling, so excitable you cannot look away, lest the magic of what you are seeing, disappears.

Mostly laid back energy, the sunset is evocative of our time to chill out, to prepare for the evening and its accompanying slower pace. The light show nature lays out for us in a glorious sunset such as this, changes from a deep luminescent orange and gold, to a deep purple and hot pink.

The artist that is our Mother Nature is the consummate colour harmonizer. Sunset colours blend seamlessly. She never gets it wrong!

Life at my Home by the Sea is always satisfying.

Reaffirming something I have been waiting my whole life to experience.

I breathe a deep breath of satisfaction.

Sunrise
blogging, home

A Midlife Sea Change – Is it for you?

Right now on Cresting the Hill, you will find my post as guest blogger for Leanne’s MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series.

In this series, bloggers discuss what we are doing to make the second half of life the best half of life. Arguably, the best years of your life?

My house move to the Home by the Sea turned into a better than expected lifestyle change just the way I had dreamt of it. Read more about my sea change.

A Home by the Sea
building, home

Wait there’s more to come

Our little estate by the sea is set to grow and thrive. The developers have not just built houses. They want to build a community.

The development will also include a shopping and dining precinct.

I am looking forward to it. No fixed date yet, but it will include cafes, a fresh food and small market and a ancillary health suites. Good for those wanting to retire by the sea.

Some people are concerned about the high density that more development may bring. To me, it is part of living in an attractive part of the world. Near services, close to a major capital hub, or at least within commuting distance, and a waterfront lifestyle.

For many that is paradise. And of course, it represents profits for the developer, who commenced the original part of this peninsular development about fifty years ago.

Any development always represents a tussle between losing the natural environment and the needs of a growing population, and an economy that pushes and supports progress and profits. How to balance the two?

Not easy.

There is a community group that is opposing the increase in height from 5 stories to 7 stories for mid to high density townhomes and apartments.

Am I concerned? Normally I would be, and if it was right on my doorstep, yes I would absolutely be against it? But really they are arguing about air space. The air between five and seven stories!

In New York, air space about floor level has a price, and can be transferred, bought and sold, just like any real estate lot! Can you believe that?

As far as environmental concerns go, the debate between five and seven stories is not so relevant, but it does set a worrying precedent.

What are your thoughts on development? Pros? Cons?

building

Change and the New You Challenge

Day 18 – Spend time with those you love

Does I need a prompt for this? Absolutely not.

It is the most precious time for me. My family. My children. My dog. There is only one of each of us, in one moment, in one space. Make life special.

Approach each second with loving kindness.

Day 19 – Celebrate how far we’ve come

Definitely some positivity in this prompt.

Look back but only to see how far you have come, how much you have grown.

Almost one year ago, we embarked on a new path in life. A year of new chapters and starts and of course,a few hiccups along the way.

I have never felt like making a #seachange has ever been a mistake. Perhaps others might disagree.

For me staying ‘put’ would equate to to stagnatation. In stagnation, disappointment and regret thrive and life ebbs away til the only thing left is routine or despair.

Be brave. You have almost nothing to lose if you embrace some change in your life.

If you do not have the luxury of changing your environment:

Change perspective

Change attitude

Change preferences

Change thoughts

Change your life

blogging, building, home

30-day New You New Year challenge

I’ve been working my way through this challenge mostly every day, but sometimes every second day. After all, life does get in the way of blogging challenges at times, doesn’t it?

Day 14 – Done
Day 15 – disconnect from the phone
Gosh so many of us seem to spend inordinate amount of hours on the phone. Either in scrolling social media, doing work, reading emails, reading books, scanning pictures or social media.
It’s endless and the phone seems to take more and more of our valuable communication time. I have even seen older people are scrolling through phones at coffee shops, bus stations or on trains. Even my 90 year old mother in law sends texts and uses an ipad.
Can a human race no longer tolerate boredom or sitting with nothing to do?

That valuable time to imagine, to dwell and to think.

Have we completely are we on the way to completely eliminating that from Society because we must be occupied 100% of the time?

 Today I thought of it about that and read the prompt.  I managed to disconnect my phone, no strike that, didn’t manage but chose to disconnect from the phone for about 8 hours at work. 

It is not so hard to disconnect from the phone for more than that length of time, at work. However, I am still working on a screen.

When i have a social engagement the phone is away in my bag and ignored.

I do not check the phone while I am out with lunch with friends or having a coffee with a mate. Do you?

blogging, home

New Year New You Challenge


I have been remiss in posting the last week, so here is the catch up in one post:

Day 3 – Remove negativity – I am often trying to do this, even when the world rallies around handing out negative vibes everywhere. This week has been particularly trying as my son has had some incredible challenges which have not been easy to watch. But all the more reason to roll on to

Day 4 and 5 – Message someone special and Think of the Positives – Completed

My positives included a variety of things but especially being able to enjoy a restful and relaxing Christmas now that the hard work of getting the new house ready was 90% complete.

Is a home ever really finished? There always seems to be some little thing that needs doing in one’s home? Weeding the garden and attending to plants is a never-ending task; a shelf needs to be put up, photos attached to the bare Snowy Mountain white walls and there are still some boxes to unpack…. but we are concentrating on the positives here so my mind drifts back to Christmas.

Day 6 – Smile More

Very good advice

I have the key to the door! The house is finally mine!

There were plenty of smiles on House Handover day – and every morning I wake up in this new house and look around at the fruits of our labour over the last year. It is a joy every day to live in this place. Sunshine, cool breezes, away from the bushfire threats and tonight, glorious rain! I felt like recording the sounds as it is a sound we so rarely here at the moment.

This one’s smile is pure heaven

Day 7 – Cook a Healthy Meal – completed

Before cooking in the oven

I made these yummy vege frittatas with ricotta and parmesan cheese. Delicious. They freeze well too.

Day 9 – Take a long walk – I walked for 90 minutes – that should do it.

Day 10 – Do Something New – Still debating about what I can do…. I did co-start and join a Ladies Walking Group in my area. Yes, that ticks the box for this day.

Day 11- Read a good book – I finished reading Mons Kallentoft’s crime fiction novel from Sweden – Autumn Killing. A good twist at the end was a surprise. Not a bad read but I couldn’t focus on it properly as I started reading it so many months before.

Roll on Day 12…..



blogging

What I am grateful for

30 Day New Year New You Challenge

Day 2

I am grateful for:

  • My beautiful family
  • My health – we take it so much for granted until we don’t have it
  • A lovely home to relax in
  • Small moments of pure joy
  • The luxury of having enough basic needs
  • Employment
  • Good Friends both near and far
  • The blogging community
  • Special friendships that teach me valuable lessons
  • Laughter – it really is good medicine
  • Challenges that help me grow
  • The opportunity to holiday to chosen destinations
  • My dog and the Schnauzer Community
  • Discovering my Passion in Art
  • The ability to be able to give back
  • Education – we never stop learning
  • The love of my children, husband and dogs
  • Clean water
  • Free speech
  • Mobility and Eyesight
  • Communication via the Internet – it has opened up the world
  • Visionary altruistic people in leadership

What are you grateful for?

building

It’s All Happening at the Home by the Sea

The workers have really ramped up the action a notch.

This is happening just outside our backyard, right now.

Perhaps the tradies are getting a bonus to finish before Christmas? the MotH asks.

Tradies or Tradesmen?

I’m not sure if other countries call workmen on construction sites:-‘tradesmen.’

We don’t either.

In Australia we always like to shorten things, especially names, so tradesmen and not called tradesmen, but “Tradies.”

If someone says they will, “See ya in the arvo,” or “See you thissarvy”– they don’t mean they will meet you in some seedy bar in town, they mean they will see you after lunch, in the afternoon. If I was to say to a friend, see you in the afternoon, I would almost sound British!

But I digress.

Tradies might be Electricians, Carpenters, affectionately also called ‘Chippies,’ Plumbers, Crane drivers, Tiler’s, Glaziers, Concreters or anyone that performs a trade and often this is related to construction.

These guys and girls, do a certain amount of study at a vocational college but most of their training is practical, on the job. It is usually an apprenticeship of three or four years. They are often very fit, strong and heavily tanned young men and their language is often colourful.

So whatever you do, when you visit Australia and the Home by the Sea, don’t ask for few ‘chippies’ with your meal! See you later on thisarvy!

P.S. There goes on view to the East!