it's cold so cheer up with cushions

May 30, 2012

Winter will be here in a few days (brrrrr) but what better way to cheer oneself up than with a bit of redecorating. It's only taken me, oh, about 2 years, to get our range of cushions photographed and available for purchase online. 

The cushions are available as covers only to save you postage. But if you are like me and will leave the cover sitting at home indefinitely while you get around to buying an insert, then never fear, for I have listed some lovely plump inserts in the store also. I'll even stuff your cover for you, so all you have to do is unwrap your parcel, place the cushion in a cozy spot, and relax with a cup of tea. I'm very excited about our new inserts, they are made from 100% recycled drink bottles - every insert saves 30 bottles from landfill! 

This is just a small selection of the cushions available - for the full range please visit our Made It store.

simple living: weekend inspiration

May 25, 2012

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens" - Kahlil Gibran.

simple living: a story about a cat

May 18, 2012

On Sunday night I had a cat follow me home. I found him sitting in a garden in a public place, meowing loudly. I bent down to say hello and he came over and jumped on my lap - I then noticed how skinny he was, and that despite his affection he was in some distress. I went in search of some food and water and watched him eat it faster than I can eat a piece of cake (now that is saying something!). By now I was getting somewhat attached to the cat and could not leave him there, it was clear he was lost or abandoned. So with the help of a friend I boxed him up and took him home with me.

He was quite an inquisitive cat yet you could sense his confusion about what was going on. He meowed and meowed but every time I bent down to pat him he would stop, and start purring instead. He just needed some love, affection and some food to be content.

And it got me to thinking - humans and animals are not really that different in our basic needs. We both need somewhere warm to shelter, something in our bellies, and a bit of love and affection. When you look to nature, you will see that everything is provided for the natural world to keep doing what it's doing. The sun will always come. Rain will fall. Animals and plants will be born, live their life, and meet their death.

And so will we.

Now, if the universe, or God, or whatever you choose to call it, provides everything for the plants and the animals, then why not us? Why do we feel the need to complicate things, to endeavour for so much when in actual fact we really need so little? Have we have lost our belief in something greater than us, that collective 'energy' that always has our best interests at heart?

I have learned many lessons from the little black cat that came into my life this week.

Lesson 1: Have more faith that everything will be ok.
Lesson 2: I have everything I need right now to be happy in this present moment.
Lesson 3: I do not need to worry (so much) about the future.

Love sweet love banner by Victorian Station on Etsy

Perhaps the biggest lesson I've learnt is to show more love, not just to those people who are most important in my life, but to all living beings. We are more connected than we realise, and love is a wonderful thing that we have in endless supply, so why not share it as often as we can?

Happy weekend x

PS. For those wondering about the fate of the little black cat, I took him to the vet on Monday morning and through the wonders of technology (and micro-chipping) we contacted his owner who was very excited to know his cat had been found after 2 months of being away from home! I love a happy ending : )

diary date: markit @ fed square

May 17, 2012

One week to go! Pop next Sunday 27 May in your diary for Markit @ Fed Square.

You'll find Rabbit & the Duck in The Atrium - we'll have a few new things and lots of your favourite things, so do stop by and say hello : )

simple living: the beauty of a cup of tea

May 11, 2012

Image credit: Pumpernickel and Wry.

I'm a big tea drinker and always have a thermos of herbal tea sitting on my work table. Usually I just throw in a tea bag and some hot water and I'm done. Simple.

But recently when I was visiting a friend and asked for some herbal tea, they popped outside to the garden and picked a few leaves of lemon verbena. I'd never had lemon verbena tea before - it's so soothing. I'm now on the hunt for a lemon verbena plant of my own.

And perhaps, just perhaps, I'll need a pretty new vintage tea cup to drink my tea in. I'm particularly fond of this Queen Anne one from Pumpernickel and Wry on Etsy.

simple living: homemade paneer

May 4, 2012

Image credit: IndianSimmer on Flickr.

I love cheese. And I love Indian cooking. In my quest to simplify and make more things from scratch, I've been learning how to make my own paneer. It's so simple! Here's what you do:

Bring 3 litres of full-cream milk to the boil. Make sure you stir it so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Nobody likes burnt bits of milk in their cheese.

Just as the milk comes to the boil, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon. I've also used bottled lemon juice and it works just fine, you may need slightly more though. You'll know you've used enough when the solids start to separate and the liquid turns a clear yellow-greenish colour.

Leave your saucepan to sit for a few minutes to allow the curd to separate and clump together.

Strain everything using a very fine mesh sieve. You can line the sieve with cheesecloth but I'm too lazy to do this.

Slowly press the cheese with a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible.

Press your cheese into a container, and put in the fridge until you need to cook with it (ideally I would use this cheese within a day or two).

I love to have panfried paneer with some veggies. Another favourite recipe is Malai Kofta - fresh cheese balls served in a creamy tomato sauce. I use a recipe from the inspirational vegetarian chef Kurma Dasa, there is a copy of the recipe on the Happy Dacks blog (cute blog name!).

Happy cooking!

raindrops and rainboots

May 2, 2012

It's a chilly, rainy, wintery day in Melbourne - just perfect for pulling on your favourite pair of wellies and stomping about in puddles, or the garden.

I've just bought myself a new pair of floral rain boots from good old Target, but I also have quite a liking for these beauties....

1. Pink Check Wellies from The Welly Shop (UK).
2. Marine Stripe Gumboots from Wellies Online.
3. Red Stripe Rainboot from Target (US).
4. Red Petite Gumboots from Wellies Online.
5. Purple Spotty Rainboots (I loved these but couldn't find where to buy them).

Perhaps the rain is not so bad after all....

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