Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Thursday, 11 July 2019

The Joys of Home

Hi dear readers,
sorry it's been so long since my last home update, but here I am again :) 

I've been enjoying some beautiful wintry days here at the little homestead. We harvested all the feijoas but I didn't bottle any this year as we were too busy with the renovations. Anyway it's all finished now and our lives have returned to normal :) We lead a very quiet, simple life here and all that disruption was very difficult.
The new bathroom is a real joy. I never thought we would ever be able to afford to do much of anything with the other bathroom, so that part of it has all been a wonderful unexpected joy. The picture isn't that clear but the walls are painted half sisal. Its a lovely pale coffee colour. We also got a new bathroom door.
We've lived at this house now for 13 years and our old bathroom was actually just an old kitchen unit with a sink..very shabby. However I tried to pretty it up with a nice shower curtain, I painted the cupboards, put fake flowers in a vase etc etc. and some pictures on the walls. I always tried to keep it very clean. I think if something smells fresh and looks cared for, its more welcoming. It's always good to accept our situation, be thankful for what we have, and then think how can I improve this room with the resources that I have, especially when you have a limited budget.

We also painted the small hallway and laundry half sisal too. My laundry room
feels so fresh now. I still have to paint a little cupboard under the sink and then it will be complete.
I added a little piece of art to the wall, it a picture of a beach I used to go to as a child when we lived in a different part of New Zealand. We moved to the North Island when I was 14 years old and the picture is from the lower South island. It's a lovely memory of my childhood and playing for hours in the rock pools with my sister.

Home Joys: Cooking 
Theme: Inexpensive, quick, easy recipes

~ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ~
Recipe 1.

I wanted to share this recipe as its so delicious, stays moist and is good to pack in lunch boxes. It's also a great way to use up an excess of ripe bananas. My husband loves it. It's from his book 'Amish Friends' ~ Wanda E. Brunstetter. It's a whole lot of very good recipes from Amish cooks. Let me know if you try it :)

~ There's just something about fresh baking cooling on the bench that I find comforting ~

~ Recipe 2. ~
~ Trim healthy Mama style coleslaw ~

We eat this coleslaw quite a lot. Cabbages are inexpensive where we live and go a long way and if you have carrots in the garden like I do, your halfway there :)  I use a lovely spice mix called 'Italian dressing mix'. I got the recipe and the free jar top printable label from a lovely blog site called 'Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth'. Sadly Jess is no longer blogging, but thankfully she has left her beautiful blog up. It's a truly lovely peaceful place to visit with so many wonderful tips, encouragement and resources to support those who strive to live a simple Christian life as a homemaker. I've included the link to her lovely blog and also the recipe for the seasoning mix. Do try them. I made all of them and think they're wonderful. On with the recipe....

 ~ Homemade Coleslaw (sugar free) ~

1/4 head of cabbage - thinly sliced
1 med size carrot - grated
2 sticks celery - diced
1/4 red onion - diced fine

 3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons alternative sweetener (I use a mixture of 1 teaspoon Stevia to 1 Cup Erythritol). I think this is called Gentle Sweet substitute.
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Italian dressing mix (thanks Jess)

Mix the raw prepared vegetables together, pour over the dressing and mix well. Place in a serving bow or covered bowl and refrigerate for later use. We enjoy this with many different meals, but my favourite is alongside chilli. I normally will have a couple of corn chips and no rice, but this time I made an exception. I usually grate over a little cheese, then a good dollop of Greek yoghurt and a garnish of parsley = delicious :)

~ Recipe 3. ~
~ Simple Quick Tasty Versatile Quiche ~
I first started making this quiche when my children were small. They always enjoyed it and I would use either a can of tuna or small packet of bacon (which I would cook slightly and chop).
This time I used tuna. It's very quick to make if you remember to get your pastry ut of the freezer in time or you could make your own, as I often do. I like homemade pastry with real butter and wholemeal flour best. This quiche is lovely to make when one is asked to make a meal for someone in need or to take to a church luncheon. I've always had good feedback about its good flavour.

~ Basic Quiche Recipe ~
4 - 6 servings

1.5 sheets of flaky pastry
1/4 red onion - diced fine
1/2 - 3/4  Cup grated tasty cheese
1 Can of tuna in oil - drained
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
6 eggs
chopped fresh parsley

1. Spray oil or grease a round or square pie/quiche dish. preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Lay the pastry in on the paper, so it comes up 2 sides of the dish. Cut the 1/2 sheet of pastry in half again and use to make sides for the other 2 edges. Seal well. 
3. Spread the diced onion over the base. Then add tuna, parsley and grated cheese.
4. In a medium size bowl beat all the liquid ingredients and the eggs together. Season it with a good amount of fresh black pepper and some salt. Pour this over the base. I use a fork to make sure it runs through to the bottom of the other ingredients.
5. Bake for 45 minutes until risen and slightly browned. I normally poke the top after about 20 minutes. It lets some steam out and seems to cook better.

I served this tonight with steamed potatoes and green beans.

about to go in the oven :)

~ Other activities ~

~ Family: Our oldest granddaughter Lily celebrated her 9th birthday. When I look back through this blog I have a picture of her when she was just 1 1/2 :) following me around while I picked black currants in the garden. Now she is such a big girl who loves God, chickens, reading and her new sister Laura Joy...and eating ! She has a special gift with animals and even helped her cousin Alex hold a chicken for the first time after quite a bit of gentle coaching and a reward of a handful of jellybeans and 50 cents for his courage - lol. Such a character !
~ 9 year old Lily ~ such a farm girl :) ~

~ Laura Joy - sweet little sister ~

~Reading: I decided I'm not going to check any books out of the library for a while as we have so many books of our own. I especially love Amish novels and have quite the collection, so I'm slowly making my way through some of the ones I haven't read for a few years. I started the Rose Trilogy series last night:

~ Movies: We watched this movie last weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I especially loved the child that played the part of Christopher Robin. he was adorable and his acting was just brilliant. If your a fan of Winnie the Pooh stories then you'll enjoy this true story about the author's life. 
My only critique: I didn't really like the mother (not the actress), but just the mother in general. I also didn't like the actor who was chosen for the role of the grown up Christopher Robin. He just seemed too different from what the little boy was like. Let me know if you've seen this film. It's not a children's movie (in my opinion).

 This one is for children though and is also lovely.

 I'm always busy here at home with homemaking, my family and my soap business, which sees me either making or packaging a lot of soap these days, plus all the other products I make. I feel very blessed and thankful to be able to work from my home which I love. Thank you Lord. 

~ Lemon Poppy Seed Sea Salt Bars ~

Well that's all for now dear readers. If you stop by and would like to leave me a comment that would be wonderful. I love hearing from you. Blessings to you all,

~ Linda xo ~ 


  1. Hi Laura! Just found your lovely blog :-) Those recipes look delicious, thank you for sharing them. Beverly Lewis is one of my favorite authors, I've loved all her books. Your bathroom looks wonderful! Hope you have a great weekend!


  2. Hi Jill, thank you for your kind words :) Blessings to you ~ Linda


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