Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Midwifery 101 with Gloria Lemay

I’ve been sitting in on Gloria Lemay’s Midwifery 101 classes, which are a great intro course into midwifery, and joy of joys, she’s announced another series of the same classes starting in January, at a time suitable for those in the European, African, Asian and Australian time zones.

Check it out HERE. The classes are weekly for 20 weeks, starting on the 24th of January, until the 6th of June 2011, and unbelievable value at $140, I highly recommend anyone interested in birthwork to join; students, midwives, doulas, pregnant mamas.

Proceeds from the class are going to support the current legal challenge to birth rights led by Lisa Barrett

Sunday, 26 December 2010


At Littletree’s request, we had a sort of Christmas celebration here… though we did it in honour of Mithras.

Since we now live in a village with established friends and neighbours, Littletree had accumulated a hefty stash of presents under her “tree” (well, I think compared to the average Christmas-celebrating Aussie family, it was pretty minimal, but for us it seemed huge).


I think there was about a dozen presents, though admittedly four of them were from me ;) Littletree was hugely impressed, especially considering the only time she’s ever gotten Christmas presents before was two years ago, when she got two presents (last year we managed to avoid the whole affair by being at the World Rainbow Gathering in New Zealand).

Littletree’s Christmas wish list contained: a photo album; a yacht; a trip to India; and funky t-shirts. We already got her some t-shirts at the op shop last week, and we’re going to India next year… a yacht was out of my budget, so I got her a photo album, and a gift card to have photos developed. She was so happy to get that! I also got her a small box of her favourite chocolates and a coconut


Her godmother sent a chemistry set


Our neighbour gave Littletree a Ganesha colouring book


A friend from rainbow sent us all little hanging decorations made from origami cranes


And she also got a few assorted trinkets from her friends in the neighbourhood.

I even got a present! The ever-gorgeous Lady Demelza sent down a magical box full of goodies, including this awesome bumper sticker for me:


Women & midwives united – PEACE AT BIRTH – PEACE ON EARTH – bringing honour & trust back to birth

An excellent sentiment :) Merry Season to everyone!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Hand Made Presents

Being that we live in Australia now, and I’m all for participating in the local culture, customs and traditions of wherever we happen to be, I decided to give a few of our friends and neighbours Christmas presents this year.

Of course, I’m still me, so rather than going to buy random stuff to wrap up, I made special batches of my organic chocolate truffles in various flavours – the new favourite is Chilli-Citrus.


I folded some origami gift boxes - little-known fact about me: I did four years of Japanese in school, but I can’t remember more than a few words and phrases. I do, however, remember how to make origami gift boxes.


The end result was fantastic; a cheap and easy way to create beautiful, effective gifts… and the best part; even better than being home-made, nourishing, organic treats… they’re DELICIOUS!



Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Village Christmas

It’s that time of year again, and we went to the village Christmas picnic, which was really lovely


We hung out with our friends, and sang carols, and ate yummy food while the kids all ran around


“Santa” came on the village fire truck again, for those who remember last year, when Littletree was too polite and well-mannered to push, and therefore missed out on getting a treat from Father Christmas, this year she learned to push her way to the front and make herself known to the jolly red-suited fellow and emerged from the throng triumphant.


Not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but she did share her well-won booty with some other kids, because despite really wanting to get something from “Santa”, Littetree isn’t really all that into gratuitous candy consumption.

We ended the evening like just about every gathering in the village; with a bunch of friends jamming and making great music


Saturday, 18 December 2010

I got my iPad!

The Apple iPad I won in the Nuffnang blogger challenge arrived!


It was very exciting to get it finally, though being Apple, opening up the box was no big deal and the instructions were somewhat non-existent


I did work out how it works (mostly)


I’ve been having lots of fun playing with the various Apps =D

And Littletree is enjoying it too!


So a big thanks to Nuffnang for hosting the competition!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Luscious Visits

*for some reason, this post didn’t go through last week when I sent it originally, so I’m re-posting*

We’ve had such a steady stream of friends, visitors, houseguests, couch surfers and random hippie folk staying at our house since we got back from the last Australian Rainbow Gathering!

Last weekend we had Luscious over to stay with A, her 2 year old boy, which was great, we even got to celebrate her birthday! (Naturally I made some decadent yummies)

36 lea birthday

It was great to get to connect, and share life in our village

28 ice cream

 30 ice cream

and share hanging out by the Laundromat while we dried laundry, since it rained about the whole time they were here

Though we didn’t get to do all that much since I came down with a yucky head cold and spent half their visit in bed feeling miserable.

At least A had lots of fun with Littletree’s rollerskates

41 skate

Fun times!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Happy Hannukah

*for some reason, this post didn’t go through last week when I sent it originally, so I’m re-posting*

A Short photo-essay of Hannukah 2010

10 hannukah

12 hannukah

25 hannukah

27 Hannukah

31 hannukah

33 hannukah

35 hannukah

As far as holidays go, it’s really not all that big of a deal, but it is nice to light the candles and sing a little song every evening, and to feel part of a tradition.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Midwifery Monday

I started hosting morning teas for my clients and any pregnant women or new mums in the area to get together and have a birthing-focussed women’s circle.

It’s been really lovely to sit with women and have a natter, and very convenient for me when I have 4 clients all approaching due – this way I get to see them all at once, rather than seeing each one individually every week, and I can answer everyone’s questions at the same time, rather than repeating myself over and over. Even better, the mamas all talk amongst themselves too, so they get to share and connect with each other.

02 midwifery circle

Its great for the mamas who’ve already had their baby to share with the pregnant mamas, and for everyone to be able to talk about their experience, and know they’re not alone. And we all get to fawn over the cute babies, and I get to see them as they grow.

03 lohwana

I’ve also been listening in on Gloria Lemay’s new online Midwifery Classes, which are awesome – I highly recommend them to anyone interested in midwifery or birthwork, they’re incredibly affordable and open to anyone. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

mmm Chocolate Truffles!

Lately I’ve been exploring the possibilities of Ganache, which is a kind of luscious chocolate and cream stuff – I used it as the topping for the amazing cake I made last weekend.

But my favourite use for ganache is as a base for Chocolate Truffles. It’s also a great use for the alcohol-soaked goji berries that are a by-product of the organic goji liqueur I make.

It’s so easy (and so amazingly decadent) I’m almost ashamed to share the recipe, but in the spirit of sharing, here it is.

Start with finely chopping 225grams organic dark chocolate

39 chocolate truffles

Then bring a tub of organic heavy cream to the boil, and immediately pour over the chocolate.

40 chocolate truffles

Let it sit for a moment so the chocolate gets melty, then whisk it till it’s all smooth

41 chocolate truffles

At this point, you can add some alcohol, rum is traditional, but I put in 2 tablespoons of my goji liqueur as well as a good helping of the soaked goji berries. You can put in any flavourings, fruit, finely chopped nuts, etc. Experiment!

42 chocolate truffles

This is the crucial step: you have to test the mixture to make sure it’s good. try dipping fresh-cracked macadamia nuts, spoons, fingers, almonds, dates, banana chips…

43 chocolate truffles

Finally, (if you’ve got any left) let the mixture sit to set enough to form into ball-shapes. You might need to put it in the fridge for an hour or so – watch out it doesn’t get too hard.

Using two spoons (or a melon baller), form the mixture into bite-sized roundish shapes

46 chocolate truffles

then roll in cocoa powder, or whatever you like – powder sugar, finely chopped nuts, coconut, etc

47 chocolate truffles

Set the balls on a baking sheet and let them set in the fridge. Store in an air-tight container (if you’ve got any left to store)

48 chocolate truffles


Sunday, 5 December 2010


Friday afternoon found me busy making a luscious, decadent, organic, rich dark chocolate cake for my friend’s 50th birthday


I was just in the middle of piping melted chocolate into lace sails when my phone rang…


It was someone from Nuffnang to tell me I’d won the Christmas Blogger Challenge with my blog post entry (Making Decisions in Seven Easy Steps).

I started screaming and jumping around frantically (as you do)


I managed to get dark chocolate all over the place (as you do), the poor woman on the other end of the phone probably got a burst eardrum (sorry about that), I was so excited to actually WIN something big.


So a massive thank you to Nuffnang for holding the competition, and for being so awesome in general. I really had a great time making my entry, it was lots of fun :) and I can’t wait for my iPad to arrive; I’ll definitely let you all know when it gets here!

Oh, and as for the chocolate cake…


It was a huge success, despite the distraction


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Funky Green Love Pants

I got a wonderful gift in the mail from my beloved friend Ariad at Rainbow Love Farm: a pair of the funkiest crocheted pants ever


I’ve been wearing them just about every day, they’re super comfy, everyone comments on how awesome they are, and they look fantastic with my favourite green tunic dress over the top

P1050303 P1050304

So for all you folk out there drooling over my pants, you can even get your own! Ariad has a shop where she sells her fabulous hand-made goodies, The Rainbow Emporium, check it out :)

Meanwhile, I’m gonna put on some funky music and boogie the night away, coz these pants were made for dancing!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Making Decisions in Seven Easy Steps – Nuffnang Blogger Challenge

Regular readers might have noticed the new ads I have on my blog the past couple of months – they’re hosted by Nuffnang and so far I’m super in love with them; it’s a great blogging community and they have great support.nuffnanglogo

As it turns out this month they are holding The Nuffnang Christmas Blogger Challenge, which is:

Pick out the best blog post you wrote in 2010, and write a blog post which links to that post and explains why it’s your favourite.


The prize for this is an Apple iPad, which would be SUPER AWESOME to win. My first computer was an Apple: an Apple IIe to be precise. It was possibly the best computer ever made. But now there’s an iPad out there and I would so dearly LOVE to win one, not only because it’s really cool, but because early next year we’ll be going on a round-the-world trip to Argentina for the next World Rainbow Gathering, then to Israel for Littletree’s 8th birthday, then to India, because it’s Litteltree’s big dream to go to India, and if I had an iPad it would be so much easier to keep up with blogging along the way.

But the challenge… to pick out the best blog post from 2010. Whoa. I have 110 blog posts so far this year – it took a couple of hours to read through them all and select the contenders for best post. Another few hours were spent in whittling it down to a short list of 10 posts. I ummed and ahhhed for ages.

Should it be Of Rainbows and Sunsets, which has awesome pictures and encapsulates my life and my blog quite well, or should it be Surprise Flower, which is short and sweet? Should I go for something funny, like When Life Gives you Bananas or what about something that showcases Littetree’s cuteness and intellect, like The Question of Invention? And don’t forget midwifery-related posts like Beautiful Birthing.

machineStuck in a conundrum, I decided to go about this in a rational, scientific way. Obviously the solution would be to build a Decide-A-Tron like the computer they made in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to find the golden ticket.

So I got out all my tools and set to work to build the ultimate machine! Unfortunately, just like the computer in the movie, it failed to yield the correct answer.


Perhaps I wasn’t being scientific enough. I tried to concoct a super elixir that would give me infinite wisdom


Still undecided, it seemed I needed to be more methodical, so I went for the Tibetan Deduction Technique demonstrated by Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks

It turns out (as would have been evident to anyone who knows me), I never managed to hit the bottle at all.


I realised that since this is about my favourite post, I would have to delve into how I really feel about it, tuning in to the heart rather than the head, so I had a sitting with a Tarot-reader…


I now know that there is a tall, dark stranger and an Apple iPad in my future, but as to which blog post is best, I was still in the fog. Clearly, I needed to connect with my own inner being. I sat in deep meditation and asked a pendulum…


The final answer still not coming to me, I went to my Guru and Master… Littletree. She just laughed at me, and finally we went with my best blog post for 2010: Faerie Shoes.

I love this post because it’s a little humorous, it has nice pictures, and in one brief snip gives a neat look into my life and what my blog is about. And it’s the post that’s gonna win me the competition, which will be the best Christmas present ever! Best of all, we’ve decided to celebrate Christmas this year, so it will be extra excellent to have a cool present under the tree.

So, everyone, tell me what you think; how do you go about making tough decisions?