Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Not a nail-biter

I want to publicly announce that today is the day I stop biting my nails. I've bought some nail growth hardener stuff and just put on the first layer. It's a bad habit I want to break so I'm starting right now. Here's a photo, and I'll check back in a week...hopefully with slightly longer nails. Wish me luck!

Something else that has been on my to-do list for longer than forever has been to design my own tattoo so last night I stopped thinking about it and sketched a little drawing in my diary giving me something to work with from this point onward; no more procrastinating! It's my life, I want one, so I should start making it happen. 

Come at me, 2016! 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Your oracle cards revealed!

Using the Vintage Wisdom deck this week. 

Card One 
This card is asking you to take time to find a quiet sanctuary within yourself and face what is bothering you, so that you may accept it and in turn free yourself from any negative thought processes. If something continues to be difficult for you it is because you aren't honestly facing the issue so you that you can resolve it and find a calm balance once again. 

Card Two 
Patience is something we learn and relearn throughout life, nomatter what our age, because we are constantly faced with situations that require us to stop and simply wait. Perhaps you are rushing ahead of yourself right now? Perhaps you are wanting something that is not yet here, and need to slow yourself down and enjoy the process. Your treat will come in good time when it is meant to, or when you have properly earned it. No sense stomping your feet, channel the energy into being productive.

Card Three 
New Beginnings 
On the brink of 2016, a new beginning awaits! Unburdened by the past and with nothing to hide you shall see yourself soaring into a beautiful new world. The seeds of change have been planted, change is upon you. You may find yourself feeling nurtured and accepted, loved and free. Now is a good time to break the old habits and let yourself go. 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

The accidentally-sage-infused tea pot cozy

 I have had this pattern for two years and typical me leaves it until Christmas Eve to make it up, finish it and blog it before Christmas slips away for another year (and they are slipping by faster and faster aren't they?). This is my accidentally-sage-infused tea pot Christmas pudding cozy; it smells very strongly of white sage oil and I'll tell you why. I started this about two months ago with the intention of using it on our teapot as a decoration (and to keep our tea cozy) but then it was promptly forgotten about and lay unfinished and in pieces on my desk. As I was tidying in my zen room yesterday I found it again and set it as a goal to complete before Christmas day. But I noticed that one of the yarn tails was trailing off into the top of my oil burner which was filled with white sage oil. The burner was bone dry as the oil had soaked down the yarn tail and into my crocheted pudding pieces thus infusing my cozy with a calm and cleansing scent. And now I have an accidentally-sage-infused tea pot cozy. I could wash it, but it smells nice. And hey, now I'll have both the tea AND the sage to clear my thoughts. Win win, right?

From myself and my family I hope you have a beautifully festive and food filled Christmas!!

Tash Xxx

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Crafty friend adventures part two

Following on from 'Crafty Friend Adventures Part One' I bring you Crafty Friend Adventures Part Two! This week we decorated coffee jars because I've caught the decoupage bug and honestly I can't get enough of it. Two plus sides to this: firstly I finally have a use for the glass jars I've been collecting (hubby keeps asking why I have so many, other people collect glass jars too, right??) and secondly it gives me an opportunity to use my many books of scrapbook paper...which I also happen to collect without much intention for its usage. Now my Sharpies have somewhere to live, whoop! I was impatient and shared a photo of these to Facebook already so you've probably already seen them but here they are again!

Here is something you won't have seen yet, do you remember that paper mache tissue paper and twine lamp I was making in Crafty Friend Adventures Part One? I let it dry completely, added lights and voila! All I did was pop some battery operated white string lights under the opening and I've made myself a meditation lamp. I love that the cream coloured tissue paper was given it a warm glow and is thinner in places creation a nice variation. It really was so easy to make. And the best part is that it's totally portable! I can move it around the house.
Last night was 1920's fancy dress Christmas feast night and it was pretty amazeballs if I do say so myself. Two days of cooking was worth it in the end. The whole thing came about because I wanted to make a Charlotte Rousse...reason enough to invite friends over for a dinner party, right? Everybody left over stuffed and happy with home made fruit mince pies in hand, I'm quite pleased with how it all worked out. The roast took a little longer than I was expecting but all was well. We had cheese and crackers, and mini home made quiches for starters as well as some delish gingerbread. Main was a roast pork, pan gravy, green beans in white sauce, garlic creamy mash and balsamic slow cooked vegetables with fresh buttered bread, then for dessert we had Charlotte Chantilly Framboise which actually ended up as a frozen dessert rather the light Bavarian cream type dessert it was supposed to be. The original recipe came from my Mastering the Art of French Cooking (yes, the Julia Child one!! I bought both volumes two years as a gift to myself) and whilst the recipe itself was beautifully written and easy to follow I still managed to stuff it up. Egg-heavy recipes and I don't get along.... the first one ended up as a big yellow sticky mess because in the three seconds it took for the mixture to go from warm to hot the eggs cooked. FYI sugary egg yolks when over beaten and cooked turns into a mixture stickier than toffee!! That still doesn't explain why it ended up as a frozen dessert, well, about that. I was supposed to force the berries through a metal sieve to make the puree at the beginning BUT I discovered I didn't actually have on and improvised with a tea strainer from our pot. A very sore hand and three punnets of berries later I finally had enough for the recipe. I could tell it was looking a bit thin but figured it would be ok. So when it came time to 'fold' in the beaten cream and puree into the egg mixture it was too wet and flattened out the air. I've learnt a lot though! I'm confident that when I make it again (and I will be, it was delicious!) that it will be perfect. It's a fine art beating the egg mixture and then the cream to the right consistency otherwise the whole thing won't set, which is what ended up happening. We wrapped the whole tin up in cling film and popped Charlotte in the freezer first thing in the morning and had it frozen. So fresh tasting, full of raspberry and strawberry flavour and not too sweet it tasted much like fresh frozen yoghurt. Everybody enjoyed it and that is the main thing. I also checked another recipe off my eternal to-cook list... Fruit mince pies! They were pretty easy surprisingly! Although the pastry did turn out a little too thick, I'll definitely roll it thinner when I make them again.

The table was dressed, we were dressed, and the whole thing was great fun. Paper plates, plastic cutlery, and plastic cups of course ;) I made them look swanky.

Can I just take this opportunity to say how truly thankful I am to be living in such a beautiful house, in a beautiful area, surrounded by beautiful friends? I am lucky to have met some kind and strong women and it's a pleasure to have them in our lives.

Today is just a quiet day at home. I have a crochet rainbow unicorn to make, some tarot studies to do, and I've made it a most important task to choose a batch of photos from the thousands on my laptop to print out tomorrow and start putting in an album. In the age of smart phones we take SO many photos, but we don't make hard copies of them the way we did a few years back. I want to start working on an album while hubby is home on holidays and before he leaves for two months at the beginning of next year.

And no, I haven't thought about what that will mean for us yet and I intend on staying in denial until after Christmas.

Tash Xx

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

'Tash in 2016' Dream Board

I promised myself that next year will be different. The events of this year could unfold in the exact manner all over again next year; the difference is going to be how I prepare myself to handle those events. With the ever-gentle and genuinely butt-kicking help of Leanie Dawson's fantastic workbooks I have drawn myself a dream board with all of my 'sacred words' that I want to invoke in the new year. My main word 'capable' I wanted to feature most in my day to day life but once I started truly thinking about the ways I wanted to feel next year, the words just kept coming. And so my sacred word dream board came to be. I debated sharing it here because it is such a personal thing but I know that with your support I will be all the more capable. 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Your cards revealed!

Friday's Oracle Card Reveal 
This morning I asked you to choose which card stood out to you most significantly, this is your intuition guiding you toward the message you need to hear. Here are your cards! If none of them really truly sang to you, don't worry. It simply means you aren't in need of a nudge from the Universe right now. Also, I apologise for the poor photo quality today! I hope you can make out the beauty of this deck. It truly is stunning. 

 Card one: 'Clear Out The Old'
Clear Quartz
Time to let that shit go! As the saying goes 'clear away all that no longer serves you' There is a lot going on in your mind and perhaps in your life right now that is taking up unnecessary time and energy. Release some of these blockages to allow some new experiences.
Clear quartz brings clarity to communication and can help clear your mind. 

Card two: 'Pause' 
It's no good to wander off into the dark unknown with no clear intention. Take a step back, and stop for moment. Regroup yourself and allow yourself some time in the sunshine!
Amethyst is a stone of calming and of meditation.

Card three: 'Celebrate Differences'
Every soul on this Earth is different and has its own purpose in life; it's these differences that make us all unique! But we are all made of stars and that ties us all together. Appreciate the differences in others and perhaps you'll start to see how those qualities opposite than your own may be of use and can be learnt from. 
Labradorite tempers the negative side of our personality and brings out the best in us. 

If a particular card didn't call to you this time, don't worry. There is always next time! It may interest you to know that I didn't reveal these cards to myself until after I'd chosen a crystal for each one. Crystal healing works in conjunction with the tarot and oracle cards very strongly, and often the two pull energies toward one another in very obvious ways!

Was your oracle message helpful to you? Let me know! 

Tash Xx 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Crafty friend adventures part one

Today we got our craft on! I found a friend who likes to do crafty things like me. Hooray!! WE SHALL MAKE ALL THE THINGS! Peppa Pig was on TV for the littlies who weren't interested in watching it, and the baby insisted on being held for the most part but we did try and make stuff. So what are we making here? Well, Jaimie is making a giant Christmas light glitter ball with plastic cups (and doing battle with a stapler in the process, probably getting RSI, and realising her ball is going to be MUCH bigger than anticipated), and I am gluing tissue paper and cotton twine to half a balloon to make a lamp shade. After thinking about it, I realised I didn't actually have a lamp. So now I'm going to have to buy a lamp... or just stuff it full of string lights and sit it on my desk. First I'll have to see if it survives the drying process and being removed from the balloon *bites fingernails nervously* The kiddies needed naps after about two hours but it was a good excuse to stuff our faces with caramel slice, drink coffee and chat. Otherwise I'd just have been stuffing my own face with caramel slice and drinking coffee by myself. And the finished products? Well you'll have to wait for crafty friend adventures part two!
Tash Xx

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Angel aura and opalite wand

 Not really much of a blog post tonight, just a whole lot of photos to show off my new shiny. This beautiful angel aura and opalite wire wrap wand came from a yummy little Australian Etsy boutique. I'm drawn to silver, pearls, anything rainbow, white crystals, diamond-like things (and real diamonds), and glittery things so I was basically powerless to resist as I perused for pretties! Angel aura is used in crystal healing and in aiding with connecting to our angels. When used during meditation it can bring you peace and serenity, can be used to assist astral travel, and intensely heightens our connection to our spirit guide, and can help unearth our past lives and ancestry. It also helps to ward off anxiety and panic attacks, and is generally loving and gentle. I held it in my hands and felt such a strong connection, and straight away fell in love. I hope you'll enjoy its beauty as much as I do Xx

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Crazy Sexy Love Notes

The newest deck for my collection arrived this morning! After the disappointing experience with The Rainbow Oracle I wanted a beautiful oracle card deck that was uplifting, colourful, and filled with love (and with correct spelling this time). I'd seen this one being used around Instagram and popped it onto my wish list. Sadly my local crystal and tarot shop will no longer be getting any business from me due to the extreme mark ups in prices so all my shopping will be done online from now on directly from the supplier where possible. 

This deck is just what I hoped for! It's vibrant, juicy and just right. The cardstock is nice and thick, too. And I do love a matte finish. I'm excited to do a read with it; prepare to be inspired, self! Ha. The absolute perfect companion to use with my Leonie Dawson 2016 Shining Year workbooks. Woohoo! 

Only a little hooking to report this week. I've just been so busy with the kids and life in general that I haven't had a lot of spare time for crochet. That, and my wrist has been hating on me a bit lately. These little guys aren't finished yet as you can see, but I needed an excuse to use my lightbox again. Oh yeah! I DIY'd a lightbox. It doesn't look pretty but it freaking works like a dream!! THANK YOU Youtube instructions :p I tore the tissue paper by accident while trying to construct it so storing it with two little people around will be a challenge. Good thing they're so easy so if the worst does happen I can just make another. You know, with all my spare time *snort* 

 I wasn't planning on reading for myself for some time, I've been struggling to be honest. But as I walked past my craft room this morning I felt drawn to my RWS deck. I picked it up and suddenly felt my spirits lift. I pulled a card for 'beginning', 'middle', and 'end' for today and WOAH. All majors! I don't think we're dealing with the day to day here. This little spread washed away the doubts and reaffirmed my place in this spiritual journey that I'm on. The placement hints that I may have The Wheel of Fortune and The Hermit in the wrong positions, as it stands we have an 8, 10, and a 9. I've chosen to leave it though, it came to me this way for a reason. Justice is my birth card, so right away I see myself. I am reminded to trust my judgement and sense of fairness. It tells me that my outer self has reached a place where my needs and goals are being met, but my inner self is now in need of balancing. The Wheel of Fortune is a huge flashing neon sign saying 'NOW IS THE TIME!'. Everything is in my favour, the stars are aligned, and the time is right to begin working on these positive changes, and the perfect time to work on finding myself. The Hermit represents the completion of the first half of the journey. Intuition and wisdom can be found by finding time to be alone and to meditate. It's time to let go of preconceived fixed ideas that are holding me back from moving on. I've been putting off allocating the time to truly be alone with my thoughts because I rarely get through it without interruption but perhaps it's time that I try again.

I took one more card out of the deck as a confirmation card and guess what it was? The Empress! The card of plenty, motherhood, perfect home life, comfort, balance, love and nurturing.

Well now I feel like the Universe really does have my best interests at heart! Xx  

Friday, 4 December 2015

I will not let you body shame me! #beYOUtiful

On Instagram last night I shared something, not thinking it would gather much interest in the sea of posts with the same #beYOUtiful hashtag, but it did! (81 notes, and 35 comments) So  much so that I feel overwhelmed with the love and support I've been shown and all without a word of nastiness or hate. I want to share it here as well and elaborate a little more on it.
This is my stomach, the photo taken on my iPhone at around 10pm last night to upload onto IG as a part of the beautiful warriors challenge presently going on. We share real and raw facts and images about ourselves based on daily prompts. You can find out more about the challenge by checking out Cuchira.

The prompt for the day was to go nude but I couldn't bring myself to do that, so instead I posted a photo of a very sensitive area of my body.

This is what accompanied it:

"I'm not going to be naked. Not fully because I can't. But what I will share and will share PROUDLY is this. This is my stomach right now, after carrying and giving life to two beautiful babies. What do people see when they look at me? Well of course that I'm fat, and I have ugly crooked teeth, among other things. And if I'm honest that is how I see myself. At least from the outside. What is inside however is a soul who is searching for its purpose in this life, and striving every day to be a better person however I can. I have always been the larger friend in the group, and that person who people keep around to make themselves feel better about their size and looks. I look back on photos of a younger self and want to vomit. At my lightest I was 61kgs, and a size 10 but even then I was curvy and never 'stick thin' or 'ideal'. 
This year I found @anastasiaamour, and she changed everything. I no longer choose to place value on myself, or my abilities as a human, or as a mot
her, on my appearance. I also no longer consider myself an object that must appease to others' senses of beauty. 

Could I be healthier? Yes, I can. But only to FEEL good for myself, and not to LOOK good for you. 
It's not easy seeing all these lovely goddesses post their bodies on Instagram tonight, but it doesn't matter that I think another person is perfect and that they have 
nothing to worry about. That's silly, it's none of my concern. People are always going to have insecurities and it's not my place to judge another's as they might judge me. 

Mums, if you're there... Don't let me be on the only with tiger stripes to show tonight. You've earned yours, and you are a goddess just like me.#selfacceptancestartswithyou#Tigerwhohasearnedherstripes#bodyimageisimportant#weareallfabulous #beyourselfalways"

I received comments such as 
You are fucking awesome💜 
Love this Tash!!! So proud of your stance!! I feel your courage through your words!! Positive thoughts your way....for the rest of the day!!! 

Love this!!! Radical empowerment is what you just showed!!! And yes honey... Earned!!

And this one from my body image idol, Anastasia Amour

"This post is amazing - I'm so so proud of you!"

Anastasia then went on to share my image and my words on her Facebook page (see it here)
I am truly touched by all these words of empowerment! Mummy-tummies are not something to be ashamed of! And we need to stop this idea that the changes our bodies go through when pregnant and after childbirth are  bad changes, or something to be hidden away. They simply aren't. Not everyone gets stretch marks, and of course you don't have to have been pregnant to get stretch marks. I am personally prone to them and have had them since my teens, even at a size 10 I had them! No amount of slathering on shea butter or coconut oil stopped them from appearing. I will repeat over and over and over again for as long and as loud as I need to: YOUR BODY IS YOURS, AND YOURS ALONE. Whatever you do to it, however you treat it, whatever you think of it is all you. Nobody has the right to ever make you feel like you are not entitled to the amazing, beautiful, and perfect you that you are. We only get one skin in the lifetime and it is worth learning to love it! Xx

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Sweet and sexy gingerbread.

What started as an innocent gingerbread decorating session with a friend soon turned into this...
Here is Sonia popping her piping bag cherry! 
"Should we give them boobs? No, that's immature" *cast glances at one another before the giggles break out* "Let's give them boobs"
What started out as some basic decorating soon turned into creating debauch, spicy and somewhat naughty ladies  

This one will give me nightmares. I tried drawing a face on with writing chocolate but it all went horribly, horribly wrong!! 

Oh my! 
"What ARE you??"
It all ended in a slightly disturbing and macabre way...That poor dismembered gingerbread was promptly eaten to end his suffering. 

We aren't sorry. We had lots of giggles this afternoon and it basically just reaffirmed that there are people in the world as strange and unusual as myself. In the best possible way!

And here is the delish gingerbread recipe that I use every year. I got two notes of appreciation from hubby's work for the batch I sent in on Monday this week, if that's anything to go by! NOTE: I now add two tablespoons of ground ginger because I love that spicy taste. The royal icing is actually made from the Sweetopia recipe (it dries so hard you could sculpt with it!) which you can find by following this link: Royal Icing Recipe



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