Jingle all the way….

Thank you to those of you who have faithfully stopped by to read this little blog, be inspired, challenged and have some fun.  May you celebrate this Christmas knowing God’s Grace, Love and Hope. And may Jesus help you ………jingle all the way into 2013.

I think the coming summer break  is beckoning me to take a little blog sabbatical. I would love to know though what you like about 7mouths2feed, why you stop by to read, what things inspire and encourage you, what topics you would like to see. So please make my summer reading fun by leaving me a few comments and stay in touch.

Scrabble

I am not a big games person. But I am drawn to the relaunch of old school games, re-packaged for the next generation of kids. Think Uno, Yahtzee, Snakes and Ladders, Connect Four, Old Maid, Go Fish and Bingo. The stores are full of new versions for the Christmas rush.

But I am rather more attracted to the set of scrabble letters that are popping up everywhere – from poster prints, DIY craft to interesting name labels. Fuzzimo has a range of great free fonts and visual candy for you to play with and download.

Being Three

Being three and a bit means life is pretty good, most of the time. You still have an afternoon nap, even when you protest. You get to have baby cinos with Mum at the cafe, walk in the park, make great constructions from the art and craft box, lick the beaters when a cake is being made, play dress ups all day, dance, sing and laugh. You can jump on the trampoline, play on the swing, visit all the family pets while the big kids are at school, water the vegetable garden (and everything nearby), watch PlaySchool, help out with the shopping, the ‘jobs’ and cleaning the house. You can help cut the carrot and cucumber when we make a salad, you can talk to everyone who calls by, you alert us all when a new text message comes in, the phone rings or an email pings. You can work and iPhone, an iPod and an iPad. You ask after everyone when they come home at the end of the day, you can say grace, thank God for this”happily family thank you for this lovely day”. You are only three and a bit but you know so much about this little world.

Melbourne

I love vintage posters. Art. Asian. Advertising. This morning I was greeted by a fabulous selection of vintage posters but you know I cannot decide on what I want to have on my wall…..so I have been procrastinating. I love vintage posters for food, beer and wine. Then there are a range of fabulous fashion and shoe posters as well.

But Andrew McUtchen from Australian Vintage Posters has some real treats. Thank you Deisgn Files for my daily hit of inspiration. This is Melbourne – not the vibrant, built up city I know but a part of history nonetheless. Fabulous.

Dive Right In

So often we hesitate. We have a good idea, good intentions but fail to deliver. We want to try something new, ask for a raise, change something significant about our personal, family or work life but we put it off. We are driven by a fear of failure. But sometimes it is the reality that we didn’t have a go that haunts us – regret, disappointment. Life is here today for you and I, but who knows what the future holds. For later this day, tomorrow and beyond. Cease the day.

So make this day a day when you “Dive Right In”. Say sorry and amend a relationship, reach out to someone in need, get your haircut really short, try a new recipe, buy that new dress, apply for that new job, take the course you have dreamt about, start your own business, start your own bog(!), tackle the household chores with joy, tell someone that you love them. But just do it…..

Fashion Talks to Modesty

How short are your shorts?

Fashion has never liked being in conversation with modesty. They each have different agendas and aspirations. Fashion is dictated to by the trends, the seasons new colourways, patterns, fabrics, look and lengths. Modesty however, is concerned more with presentation, comfort and practicality. But the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

There are many occasions when fashion and modesty have a great time together. If you like design and fashion but you are also mindful of dressing in a manner that is flattering to your shape and not drawing extra attention to your womanly bits, then there is every chance you have an eye for great clothes and look good most of the time.

But you know there are also extremes. When fashion strides out, making a mark of the local street with all manner of outrageous designs. Similarly, modesty can become too self righteous and sport frumpy, old school cover-alls that are unfeminine and a design nightmare. Either way no one wins. And both fashion and modesty look ordinary.

As the mother of girls and as summer approaches I am scanning wardrobes and editing and collating clothes that fit well, are fun and fashionable but are not skimpy, short or too revealing. And I need to apply that to my wardrobe as well.

You may be new to this and think I am overacting. Once upon a time I would have reacted that way too. But there is good reason to work through the whole topic of modesty. I have found C.J. Mahaney and his wife on this topic very helpful. You can read a blog series and download them here.  Or visit the GirlTalk Blog and see how they have developed the discussion between fashion and modesty. Take the challenge and make Fashion and Modesty Talk.

Thai Green Rice Salad

This is a great fast rice salad that I am sure you will want to add to your summer entertaining menu. It was the result of some last minute experimenting before we had a party recently.

Thai Green Rice Salad
Ingredients
Cooked Long Grain Rice
Dressing
A bunch of Coriander
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Thai Green Curry Paste (Mae Ploy is a favourite)
Olive Oil
Lemon and Lime Juice
Soy Sauce
Brown Sugar
Garnish
3 Bunches of Broccolini
Green Beans
Sugar Snap Peas
Snow Peas….or a variety of greens you have on hand
Roasted Cashew Nuts
Fried Shallot ( available at an Asian Grocers)
Extra Coriander

Place all of the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined. Taste for balance and add more citrus juice, sugar or soy to taste. I like it to have a spicy sweetness. The rice will absorb a lot of the heat so the dressing can afford to be a bit intense. The Thai Green Curry Paste I use tends to be quite salty so go easy with the soy.

Blanch all the trimmed greens you have on hand. Refresh in cold water.

Combine rice and dressing and mix well. I find using your hands works best as you can ensure the dressing has covered each grain. Place Thai Green rice on a large serving platter and top with greens, cashews, coriander and fried shallots.

Serve with barbecued meats. A fabulous accompaniment to fish or chicken.

Be Silent

There are days when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and retreat. Find a dark, quiet room and have a long lie down. Shut out the noise, the demands, the requests and find rest.
But more often than not this idea of rest is elusive. It escapes us….slips through our fingers.
If I am serious about finding rest in the busyness I need to be prepared to do the following:
Get to bed early
Sleep
Sit down for five minutes when I have a coffee or cup of tea
Eat well, snack less
Play my favourite music and sing along
Walk, stretch, exercise my body
Read or listen to something encouraging
Find a space of my own to read, reflect, journal, pray each day
Be still
Be silent