Saturday, July 26, 2014

Milk Kefir

Milk Kefir Recipe



4 cups of full cream milk of your choice, whatever is available to you,
Raw, Pasteurized, Homogenised - if that's all you have, Also Goats milk is another great option.
1 Tbs Milk Kefir Grains
A clean Jar (5 cups) with lid or cloth cover.


Put your Grains in the Jar.
Fill a clean glass jar with 4 cups of fresh milk.
Stir gently with plastic or wooden spoon 2 or 3 times during culturing to move the grains through the milk.
Depending on the temperature of the day the kefir will be ready in 12 to 24 hours in the summer.
Winter could take up to 48 hours.
When ready the kefir will smell sour and the kefir grains float to the top of the milk. The milk will have thickened. Thickness will depend on the milk used and the length of time you leave the kefir to culture. You can culture for a longer time till the milk separates into curds and whey and then strain. Very beneficial culturing to this stage. Do not throw out curdled kefir milk. This is what it does. Stir gently to mix it up with the separated liquid and then strain, using the grains for a new batch of kefir.
These grains will multiply and you will have spare to share with family and friends.
You can use a plastic strainer (hard to find) or a good SS strainer. Do not use any other kind of metal in contact with the kefir as it will harm the kefir.
Hygiene is important as you’re working with a living organism.
Keep kefir out of the sun.
Never squeeze the grains to get all the milk out. (this will harm the kefir grains) Always keep the grains in milk.
If you care for your grains, making sure they have food, they will keep growing and you can have them for a life time.
If you wish to take a break from kefir, simple put feed them and then place them in the fridge, for up to two weeks.
Also you can feed them and put the in the freezer for longer storage.
Enjoy your Milk kefir with all it's wonderful benefits, and the many delights that can be made with it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Super Charged Food - Book Give away.

Open Until Midnight, Australian Time.

Here is the Link to buy this book now. 
I'm a book lover, but a slow reader. There are many books that I have really enjoyed reading and have helped me along my journey to health and well being.

Last week I found this book by Lee Holmes that fits so well into what we are doing with our health.

The recipes are gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar- free. Which fits really well into the GAPS, Paleo, Primal Living and generally 'wanting to improve your health' way of thinking.

A little about the Writer and the Book, Lee Holmes.

In 2006 Lee Holmes was struggling with her life- tired, unwell, struggling to gain weight (45kg or 99lbs) and her health was going downhill.

Over the next 12 months, she went from doctor to doctor, test to test in an effort to find out what was going on with her body.

Eventually Lee was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and fibromyalgia. From her prognosis onwards, life became filled with prescriptions for immunosuppressants, steroids, and anti-inflammatories which made her feel worse.

She needed a Change!

Fed up with being unwell and on a mountain of drugs she decided to go on a journey of discovery with food. This book is filled with information she discovered on that journey, as she learned to use food as her medicine and heal herself.

In the book Lee shares her top 5 foods for the Kitchen Medicine-Chest. Her top 10 superstar foods and how to use them. Also she makes reference to Detoxing and Natural cleaners for your home, and so many other useful tips and great advice for how to get started, giving your pantry and shopping list a makeover; and I must say the photos are gorgeous!.

Lee Holmes latest book is called "Heal Your Gut". 

Heal Your Gut is an informative, uncomplicated and achievable gut healing protocol which will inspire, motivate and bring about true healing to the body.

The natural four week protocol is not scary and honors the body as a whole. The healing program is divided into four phases for you to follow one step at a time.

The book connects with the emotional, stress and brain related aspects of gut health. Recognising the activity of cortisol in the body, meeting the Vegus Nerve, and really learning to belly breathe through fears and worries is just one crucial part to healing from within.

There are chapters covering the gut and immune system connection and the two-way interdependent relationship between the gut and the brain. The book also covers lifestyle factors which contribute to gut health such as such as cleaning products and beauty products.

So now it's giveaway time! 

I have TWO prizes to give away. 

One copy of "Super Charged Food" by Lee Holmes, 

and a copy of Lee's Latest E-book "Heal Your Gut". 

Buy Now

How to Win!

For your chance to win you can enter a few ways. Each way will give you a entry into the draw.

1. Leave a comment on the blog telling me which book you would like to win. 

2. Like me on Facebook, and leave a comment about which book you would like to win.

3. Tag and share with a Friend.  

You will get an entry for every friend you tag in the facebook post. 

Giveaway starts Friday 25th of July and Closes On the 1st of August, 
with the winner's being Announced on the blog and on facebook on the 4th of August. 
Oh and you can Answer with both books. 

Lee Holmes is a Certified Holistic Health Coach (Institute of Integrative Nutrition), Hatha Yoga Teacher and Whole Foods Chef. She is also the author of three best-selling books Supercharged Food, Eat Yourself Beautiful, and Supercharged Food for Kids Lee’s website encourages S.O.L.E food; sustainable, organic, local and ethical. It features delicious anti-inflammatory recipes, information, news, reviews and menu planning ideas to make it easy for people to enjoy a satisfying, wholesome and nourishing diet. She created a petition to improve food in hospitals in Australia and as a result a healthier menu has been introduced by the Minister for Health. In addition to passionately creating change at government and policy level, in 2013 Lee won the title of Health Influencer Blog of the Year. Lee’s favourite anti-inflammatory recipe is Smashed Sardines and Avocado on Chia and 
Flaxseed Loaf. If you would like to hear more from you Lee you can follow her on facebook.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blueberry Kefir Cake

So here's my recipe for the Day.

Blueberry Kefir Cake
125g Butter, or Coconut Oil
1 Cup Sweetener of your choice, sugar, honey, Stevia( you don't need a cup of stevia)
3 eggs
2 Cups plain flour - you can use white or wholemeal, Spelt, we like the wholemeal Spelt version Better.
3 Tsp. Baking powder
3/4 Cup of Kefir or yoghurt
1 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen.

1. Preheat oven to 180c. Grease a round spring form Cake tin. 
2. Using an electric mixer, or whisk, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to combine.
4. Add half the flour mix (flour and baking powder, and half the kefir, stir to combine.
5. Add the remainder of flour mix and kefir and stir until combined. Be careful not to over work the batter, just until combined.
6. Spread mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with blueberries. Press blueberries in slightly.
7. bake for 50 mins,or until a skewer comes out clean. If the top of the cake seems to be getting too dark, cover with foil.
8. Let cool and sprinkle with Icing Sugar.

Eat and Enjoy! The better the Ingredients the better more nutrients.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pen Friends - Homeschool Activity

 Pen Friends 

One of the challenges that I face sometimes when it comes to homeschooling is to make writing fun for my children. I see it as a need in our family that they are able to hand write well. To get good at something you need to practices.

In the early years of their education I use an Abeka workbook to help me with teaching them the skill of writing and forming letter and words.  Which for us has proven to be useful in our household, and has helped several of my children learn to read. However  once they are reading well they do get bored of it. So I have come up with a number of ways my to help my children learn a love for writing. (that is still a work in progress with some of them)

One of the ways we practise our handwriting skills is with Pen Friends. 

I am also trying to teach my children to BE the type of friend that they would like to HAVE.  All my children love to get letters in the mail. So we are learning that if you would like to get letters in the mail, then you also need to be someone that writes letters to other people.

So this is where pen friends come in handy.

This year I have made a concerted effort to help them grow and develop qualities of a good pen friend.

The first quality would be "someone that writes back".

It can be very discouraging when your children spend the time and effort writing to people that don't write back. So to help avoid some of that, I have gotten several pen friends for my children. They have a least three friends there age, and a few relatives that they can write to. Relatives are good, because they will often pop a card, postcard, or letter in the mail in return.

I have also scheduled a time in my homeschool week for letter writing. For Us Monday is the day! It's the beginning of the week and we get the most done on that day. I also know myself, while I LOVE to fly by the seat of my pants, if I don't make time for things to happen in our crazy, lovely home, sometime they don't get done. Or months have gone by and we suddenly remember that we haven't done, or have missed out on..... So for me I HAVE schedule and make time for things that we REALLY want to do in our lives.

It is the beginning of term 3 for us, so Monday was the day we sat down and made cards for our pen friends. The children had great fun. This time we made and sent one off to every pen friend on there list, because I did get a little slack in my schedule in the last month of last term. So just to bring us all update on everyones pen friends there are lots of letters going out from our house this week.

Having Pen Friends doesn't have to be something that is hard and tiresome, you don't always have to write a big long letter. Often we will be out shopping and find that we card or a postcard that they can easily fill in a send.

For us Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents are really good value when it comes to getting letters back.

Leave me a Comment

Let me know your pen friend experiences? Or things that you do to help encourage your children to develop there handwriting skills.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mother & Baby Feature

August Edition 2014
Last Month I was in contact with Mother & Baby magazine, about doing an article and telling my story of surviving Placenta Previa & Percreta, for a number of reasons.

1. To Share awareness of the condition,

2. The risk factors, 

3. Encouraging women to think twice about an unnecessary c-section, and 

4. To help find more survivors and those currently pregnant with the condition.

Today My story can out in print! 

So the story is a very shortened version of my story, as of course there is a word count limit, but hopefully it will create some good exposure for the condition and the Hope for Accreta Foundation.

Since Surviving, I have in many ways made it my mission to help other women avoid it, and support those that have it.

Being pregnant is meant to be one the of most joyous times of  a women's life, but with a pregnancy condition, it can be one of the most stress times in her life.  For me that was the case. I love having children, and would do it all again for my blessings. However there is something to be said about living with fear and worry, "Will my baby survive?", "Will I survive?", "Will this be the day that is all falls apart?".  All are thoughts that are very real, it isn't a pretend fear that you can just shrug off.

While all those fears subside when you hold your precious baby, for some that moment never comes. Even when it does come, the stress, anxiety, and worry can effect the rest of your life for some time. Many women with the condition will go on to suffer PND, or PTSD. Both of which can effect the joy and the way in which you interact with you baby, and with your old life.

I am very thankful for the support of many people, and good friends that helped us get through. With out good friends to be listening ears, a shoulder to cry on, and ready and willing to give a helping hand, I'm not sure how we would have made it through.

I am however very glad we did, and we can now work towards helping make a difference for others.
Don't forget to get your copy of Mother & Baby and check out the article.

Monday, July 21, 2014

21st of July - Weekly Round Up.

Welcome to this weeks round up.  

Here is a recap of the most popular posts from the week gone by. 

Sitting in number 1 spot of the most popular posts this week is.....

1. My Full Story of Surviving Percreta.

This of course was a very challenging time in the life of my family, and writing about has been a great blessing for me in sharing my story with many.  

You can read that story here. 

2.  In second place this weeks is, 

Planning your Homeschool - Setting Goals. 

Having been a homeschooler for the last 5 years, I have learnt for me, spending time planning has been helpful in getting  a hold of 
what we are doing for the year. 

You can read that post here.

3. Sitting in third this weeks is my post on, 

Being Silly With Your Children.

I personally often need a reminder to take time out from my busy day to be silly and just have plain fun with my children, as I get caught up in what needs or should be done. 

Have a read of that one here. 

4. Fourth this weeks is 

Beef and Bean Casserole

Who doesn't like to have a hearty warm Casserole in the middle of winter. 

Recipe Here. 

5. The final place this week goes to ......

Sour Dough Crepes with Caramelised Pineapple.  

A Tasty Treat for the Sunday Morning Breakfast, a quick dessert, or just another way to use up your extra sour dough starter. 

You can find that recipe Here. 

I hope you have enjoyed there Highlights. 
Why not leave me a Comment and let me know what your favour read was. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Guest Post - Kerry Jensen

Staying positive in the face of the negative

This is a guest post by Kerry Jensen who over the last several years had to face many challenges. I asked her, "How have you kept a positive attitude with all the chaos that is going on.  Here is her story. 

Kerry Jensen
I guess you could say, that life for me over the last 3 years has not been an easy road to travel. In 2012 my husband and I were expecting our third baby, our third precious Son.

At 20 weeks gestation, they discovered my blood pressure was sky high, and then began a road of medications, weekly checkups and scans. We went for an ultrasound scan one day, only to be sent straight to our doctor at the hospital, he shut the door and sat us both down.

He looked at me and said "your baby is in danger"

My blood pressure was still sky high, I had pre-eclampsia, and to add to it, there wasn't enough fluid surrounding our baby. We were admitted to hospital that afternoon, and sent down to Hobart- 4 hours away from home, to a bigger hospital that could handle premature born babies. At 28 weeks, after a terrifying rush into theatre for an emergency c-section, and a very quick goodbye to my terrified husband, I had my third Son. 

He weighed a very tiny 617 grams. 


His skin was transparent. He looked like a skinned rabbit, and we could hold Him in one hand. He was surrounded by tubes, cords and monitors, and spent the first 4 months of His life in the hospital.

His First Hat

After getting out of the hospital our lives were filled with the care of our three boys, and constant trips to the doctors and hospital to make sure Ethan was ok. Then in 2013, I spent five long weeks in hospital, on oxygen support. 

The doctors assumed I had pneumonia, but after the 11th try of antibiotics weren't improving my lungs, they suspected an auto immune disease. After a muscle biopsy, and daily test's, it was confirmed, my immune system was trying to shut down my lungs, and muscles.

I've learnt to walk again, been through almost a year of physio, chemo and intense steroids. 

Well, how do I look at the positives in all of this? 

They say, whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.  I've walked a lot of this journey, kicking and screaming for the ride to stop. I've begged for answers, and prayed until I had nothing left.

I wanted to run away, but couldn't. I was broken.

So where did I put my trust? 

In the only one who was big enough to deal with these health issues, and strong enough to hold my pain. God. I found it easier to dump it all at His feet, I met Him face to face. He accepted me as I was, a broken wreck, needing a miracle. Life didn't get easier, but my faith became stronger!

I learnt to see the small positives in every day,

I became thankful instead of fearful. I stopped seeing myself as a broken wreck, and saw what God saw... the potential, and the worth. I started eating well- healthy foods made a huge difference. I stopped needing to have everything under control, organised and clean.

We stopped with the sterile environment and swapped it with FUN. I became creative, and the joy came back. Life is only what we make of it.

Choose to see the positives!.

If you have enjoyed reading Kerry's Guest Post, the leave her a comment, and you might like to follow her continuing journey to healing on Facebook. Here

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sour Dough Crepes - With Caramel Pineapple

Sour Dough Crepes - with Caramel Pineapple.


2 cups of Sour Dough Starter,
2 eggs, 
2 TB honey, (or sweetener of your choice)
1 TB Cinnamon
coconut oil, butter, ghee.
Extra honey to taste.
1 Pineapple, fresh or canned (if you can't get fresh)
Homemade Yoghurt or  Coconut Cream. 


1. Combine all ingredients, in a pouring jug. 
2. Heat a pan, and add your oil or butter. 
3. Once warm, start adding the batter, creating the desired crepe size. 
4. Once bubbles start to appear in the batter, you now your crepe is ready to flip. 
5. Cook for a few minutes on the other side, and then serve. 

Carmel Pineapple

1. Cut one whole Pineapple into pieces, 
2. Cook Pineapple in a pan with coconut oil or butter, and honey to taste.
3. Keep stirring as it cooks and heats through.
4. Once you see the pineapple starting to soften, it's ready to serve.


Serve crepes with pineapple and homemade yoghurt or coconut cream.

- Christina

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Setting your Goals - Homeschool planning

Over the next few months I'm going to sharing with you my tips for planning your homeschool, giving you an idea of how I go about making plans for my family each year. So today is....

Step One: Creating your Goals

  • What are your goals for homeschooling?  

Knowing what you stand for, and what you hope to achieve will help you know where you are going,  what tools will fit YOUR homeschool, and will help you stay on track when the winds of change come your way, which they inevitably will. For example, you might go to a homeschool group, join a online group or two, read some blogs and websites, all of which will be filled with great ideas. There are so many resources and ideas out there in the world that you could use, but not all of them will fit YOUR homeschool. So defining your goals, how you want to teach, how your children learn best,  what will fit into your schooling day, what your schooling day will look like, etc. are all decisions which will help you refine what will work for you, and what won't. A lovely idea isn't any good to you if it won't work in helping your family and will quickly become more of a burden to you than a help.

1.  Why are you choosing homeschooling or home education?

People make the choice or decision for many many reasons. What was your reason?

* It's no good if you choose to home ed because you want your family to spend time together, but then you construct your homeschool in such a way that you are always on the run from one activity to the next and the only time you spend together is in the car or around the table at night, exhausted.

2. What lifestyle do you want to create for your family?

If you want a structured lifestyle, then a structured curriculum might be the way to go for you, however If you wanted a more relaxed lifestyle so you could be a bit more free to be able to take advantage of the different things that are going on in your local area. <   >Or you might like to be a mix of both.

3. What skills do you value and wish for your children to learn?

Is it Cooking, Gardening, Building, Craft, Sewing, Caring for Livestock, Horse Riding, Etc.

4. What are your educational goals with your children?

For me, I aim to create independent learners and thinkers, and not just rote learners, so I am working towards teaching them how to learn something they don't currently know, and interactive thinking about what they are learning. I am also trying to build discerning learners, as not everything that is presented as truth actually is.

5. Do you have a particular passion or topic area that you want to share with your children?

For example, you might have a cultural background that you want your children to learn about, or special interests that you feel are important for your children to learn, like growing food to feed themselves?

6. What are you family goals for the year?

Do you have some particular things that you as a family are working towards for the year?
- it could be living with less.
- Giving more to charity.
- A family trip.
- Growing enough food to feed yourself.
- Start a business.

The list is endless.

7. What goals do you have for your children in each subject area?

  • Reading - e.g. reading independently
  • Writing - e.g. effective letter writing
  • Math - e.g. learning multiplication
  • History - e.g. Learning some local history
  • Science - e.g. Doing experiments 

  • Art - e.g working on learning painting skills
  • Music - e.g. Music appreciation 
  • Handicrafts - e.g. Wool Crafts

  • Spiritual - e.g. learning bible verses
  • Emotional - e.g. learning to express feelings well. 

  • physical - e.g. good body health
  • Social - e.g. learning to introduce yourself to others
  • Financial -e.g handling pocket money
  • Home skills - e.g. learning skills in cleaning. 
  • Business skills - e.g. learning to type on the computer. 
You might have very different goals for each of your children, some might be same.

So what are your goals?

Did you find this useful? Leave a comment to let me know what you thought.  ~ Christina

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Be Silly With Your Children!

Are silly with your children?

Silly faces
As Mothers we often spend a lot of time thinking about the day to day things.

* Making sure everyone is dressed
* Are they warm?
* Are they feed
* Is the food is healthy?
* Is the house is some what tidy?
* Have done the school work ?

Getting the bills paid, running the errors, and all the other serious stuff that we have to think about in our busy lives.

With all this busy-ness we can often forget to be silly with our children. Spending time just playing and letting go of the stress is both good for them and good for us.

When we smile and be at least a little silly our brains release endorphins which make us feel good, and in return it does wonders for our stress levels, and the general health of our bodies.

So in saying that, what do you do to be silly with your children?

Here are our top 5 silly things that we do with our children. 

1. Turning the music on loud and Dancing it out. 

What ever type of music you like, whether is be worship, rock, pop, the sound track from Frozen. Turn it on and just sing and dance it all out.  This is also a great way to get exercise, and you don't feel like you are because you are just having fun together.

2. Family Opera! 

When things get stressed, and trouble is brewing, you can turn that around by singing. If you come to our house you might be lucky or unlucky to find us singing the mundane tasks we are doing.  "I'm doing the dishes, wash off that food..." at the top of our lungs.

3. Making silly faces. 

Children love pulling silly faces,  and it's a great way to try and make each other laugh. Use your iphone, ipad, computer, and play with how silly you can make the photos look. But you don't need technology to have a "Silly Face Competition".

4. A tickle fight. 

There are very few a live that don't like even a little tickle, and the sound of your children laughing is one the best medicines for the stress of the day.

5. Reading a Book!

The book can be silly or not, but just by doing the voices you will be bringing the story alive for your children and creating a fun experience for you all.

SO the next time you are feeling that tension is high, everyone is fighting, then do something silly with your children to help you all feel good.

Please leave me a comment. I would love to know what silly things you do with your children. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Beef & Beans Casserole

In Winter here in Australia, So time for some tasty hearty warm Meals! 

Beef and Beans Casserole
3 Cans of Tomatoes, or 15 frozen Tomatoes
5 tb Worcestershire sauce; we use organic one
1 piece of beef casserole steak, diced
1 Can or equivalent Kidney Beans, (or any other beans)
3 Cloves of Garlic, crushed or diced
1 Onion diced.
Mixed Herbs
Salt and Pepper
Mixed Veggies, I use Carrots, green beans, peas, Swede.
You could add whatever you have on hand.


1. If using Frozen Tomatoes, put them into the slow cooker to defrost, after they are melted down a little you can pull the skins off.
2. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, and add enough water to cover the ingredients. Let cook for 5 or more hours. Add salt and pepper to taste, before serving.
You can serve as is, Add a dollop of Home made Sour Cream, serve with Mashed potatoes, Rice, Pasta. We enjoy it with mashed Cauliflower.
Enjoy your winter meals!