Tuesday stopped me dead in my tracks…..

A phone call from my husband revealed “They’ve been hit again, it’s really bad…..Christchurch has just had another earthquake“.  My heart sank to the pit of my stomach and I struggled to make sense of it.  Back in September when the first quake hit, it was the middle of the night.  One fatality….a heart attack which arguably might have happened regardless of the quake.  People kept saying “We are so lucky, it was the middle of the night and no one got hurt….so, so lucky…..”

This time, it’s pure devastation.  Lucky for us, all of our friends and family have been accounted for.  Some have been lucky with their homes untouched, while others have faced destruction and loss.  It seems everyone knows at least someone, who knows another person, and through those degrees of separation (or rather connectedness in this case) have experienced loss of a loved one.


There are over a hundred fatalities to date and more than 200 people missing, plus people which they believe to be “trapped” in buildings.  It is pure and utter destruction.  No mercies have been saved for the people of Christchurch after enduring months of aftershocks and trying to get back on their feet, this has been the ultimate blow.

And here we sit….in Auckland in the North Island,  feeling utterly and completely helpless as to what we can do.  Feeling guilty even, for the clean running water and solid shelter that provides a safe haven for us while our comrades experience the worst.

Olivia touched my heart deeply when she scrawled these messages not long after the quake happened….





























Kids are complex beings…there is that serious side that comes through with a thirst for knowledge and a need to show that they understand what is happening.  And then there is the core….the pure and treasured soul that wishes it could wrap Christchurch up and take all it’s troubles away.

I felt that in my girl….and in her note that she so needed to write and it touched me deeply.

Yesterday I felt as though my girls were feeling the energy that has gathered over New Zealand like a heavy cloud.  People are watching and waiting as the rescue efforts continue.  Don’t get me wrong, there is an equal and opposing energy (remember that theory from science class??) which is that of pure generosity and hope as fellow countrymen pull together and with fervent community spirit try and lift Christchurch to it’s feet.

There are events like The Great Sunday BakeOff where people will collect baked goods and have them transported to Christchurch.  Then there is the offer of emergency accommodation on Quake Escape which provides a database of accommodations around the country offered for free to give those a break from a city in despair.  People are doing what they can.  We have offered a room, it’s the least we can do and I have decided to share the wealth through our efforts in  Cooking for Change by hosting and event in the coming weeks to raise money for the quake and to share the contents of my jar with the relief fund.  It’s what I can do……albeit small, it all adds up!!

So with our hearts heavy and feeling restless, I decided to take the girls for spin down one of our neighborhood hills in their wagon.  After a calming bath, I loaded them in the wagon and the feeling of fresh air streaming past their faces made for a happy and soothing time.















And as we sped down the hill, the girls gasped for air as the wind rushed past their faces.  It made me think of the freedom they have and how awful it must have been for those people trapped in confined spaces in those buildings….even if only for an hour….gasping for air…and fighting for their lives.

Let every BREATH you take fill you with freedom and purpose….and think of those who sighed one last breath in this horrific tragedy.  Take a breath for them, fill your lungs and let your heart sing with gratitude for the moments you have with your loved ones and the security that you have.

LIVE, because you can… because living is worth more than it’s weight in gold.















How good does it feel to just let go??















I’ve decided that in my quest to LIVE a better life by instilling more sustainable practices in our household, I will add to that a goal of what I call “Do ONE thing”

“Do ONE thing”….

In a time frame suitable to your needs to make a change for the betterment of yourself and your family.

For me, it’s one thing a week.

So last week was the addition of our bee hives.  The week before that was making up baby wash for the kids.  This week, it’s the simplest, easiest method to make yogurt with no fancy equipment and the healthiest results.

The lady who runs our raw milk operation gave me some amazing Caspian Sea yogurt today.  She told me to put it in a jar, add my luscious raw milk, cover it in muslin to let it breathe and sit it on my benchtop for 10 to 12 hours until it sets.  Really can’t get any easier and it is absolutely gorgeous.  Thick, luscious, tart, creamy yogurt with live cultures and made with the best milk around.





























I have to say that I was happy to have a use for all those muslin wraps which Lily no longer uses.  They come in handy for cheese making and now for covering my yogurt!! I was wondering how to secure the cloth and found one of Lily’s and Ruby’s little bracelets kicking around on the kitchen shelf….that’ll do!!!

This evening found me whipping up some delights for a friend who has just had a new baby.  I love the satisfaction of giving a new Mum some homemade treats to nourish that healthy appetite that comes with breastfeeding!!

I made the spicy peach chutney last week and some fresh ricotta cheese from the raw milk and thought it would be nice to have some savory crackers or biscuits to go with them!!

I made a lovely batch of Cheese and Walnut biscuits which I adapted to “Cheese and Sesame” biscuits and they are lovely! Definitely going to be a staple in this house!

Oh, and before I forget, I am proud to say that I have found a great storage solution for my homemade breads which also doubles as a good way to recycle!!

I have been buying bulk bags of organic flour which come in cotton bags.  I got the idea of a cotton bread bag from a favorite blog of mine called Homestead Revival.  Click here for the tutorial if you are into sewing and feel inspired to make your own!!

Seeing that I don’t have a machine YET….I had a lightbulb moment when I finished my first bag of flour and realised that I had the perfect solution.  So I washed the cotton sack and it now resides as my storage bag for fresh baked bread, which then in turn goes into a tin for added protection.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure”-Oprah Winfrey

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Every Breath You Take

  1. Cole Reply //

    Morning Stephanie- a lovely post and sentiments after such a hard time in your country. Do one thing- so simple- I love it!

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