Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This week I am grateful for.... a healthy living challenge

Earlier this week, I blogged about an exciting offer from Soup Marketing to take part in a new program hosted by the Heart Foundation. Mums United is encouraging Mums across Australia to unite in their quest to raise a healthy, active family. This project couldn't have come at a better time and for that I am very grateful! I have been ummmming and aaaaaahing for months now about returning to a healthier and happier lifestyle. With a burgeouning business and two little cherubs I just haven't been able to set a date and commit. Oh how simple in form motivation can sometimes be!

When my Soup pack arrived I excitedly set a number of healthy living challenges for myself and my family for the month of November. Starting with me, and my dream for months now: getting off the couch and into running 5kms. The C25K program is very simple in premise, and amazingly simple in execution. Start with 20 minutes, three times a week and alternate 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking. The program follows the concept of interval training and promises to have you running 5 km in just nine weeks. 

If you're like me and feel a little allergic to running, I guarantee you will be surprised! I downloaded the C25K iPhone app (there's many, I chose the one from Bluefin software) and it gives me handy prompts while pumping out my favourite tunes. Early Monday morning I pulled on my trusty joggers and set out for my first run in........ erm five years....? By Wednesday I was already addicted to the rush of early morning exercise. Ahhhhh adrenalin, how I have missed thee! Week 2 of C25K is much the same as Week 1 and I'm secretly hoping that this fresh burst of exercise will help me in my ultimate goal of shedding some unwanted kilos just in time for summer.

I hope you too are having a week to be grateful for. Why not pop on over to Maxabella Loves and share in the fun xx

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mums United and a healthy heart challenge

Life, in the most part, has been overtaken lately with a flurry of fabric, needles and thread. Miss Goodie Two Shoes has been a life changing and exciting challenge, but as my business has evolved my healthy living has been the first to drop off the list. Gone are my early morning walks and weekly sessions at the gym, to be replaced with bleary eyes, a strong coffee and evenings spent sewing arms and legs. Healthy lunches for the family have been slowly replaced with muesli bars, peanut butter sandwiches and arrowroot biscuits... beans and spaghetti have featured on the dinner menu more often then I would like to admit. With the weather warming I have been promising myself a return to healthy eating and daily exercise, but where is the motivation and enthusiasm when bedtime is rarely before 1am?

Then came a very exciting offer from Soup Marketing to take part in an exciting new challenge hosted by the Heart Foundation. Mums United is encouraging Mums across Australia to unite in their quest to raise a healthy, active family. Through my project with Soup I have been asked to set some healthy living challenges and to report on my progress, the perfect opportunity to remain motivated! We got off on a good start today, replacing our usual sugar laden morning tea with some sliced fruit and these delicious raspberry muffins from the Heart Foundation website.

Raspberry Muffins


1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup blueberries
60g (1/4 cup) margarine spread, extra
1 cup (250mL) reduced fat milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence 


1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a 12-cup non-stick muffin tin with muffin cases.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl. Mix in sugar and blueberries. In another bowl, combine margarine, milk, egg and vanilla. Mix the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined, using no more than 16 strokes. Spoon mixture into prepared tin. 
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly. 

I hope you too are having a healthy start to the week. Be sure to keep an eye on my blog for details of how you can join me in Mums United, and be in with a chance to win $350 in Myer giftcards thanks to Soup!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life in the country

Grey skies in November and the thunderous roar of a lightning storm  aren't something to celebrate when you live on a farm, but there is something about the magical landscape. Golden crops against the blackest of skies, pitter pattering of rain and that delightful smell of wet gravel roads.

Harvest will be upon us all too soon, for now I am drinking in the peace, quiet and tranquility.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

I heart the handmade community: episode II

When I created Miss Goodie Two Shoes, I anticipated I would meet some gorgeous and talented girls across Australia and develop a network of 'business' friends. I was so excited about becoming a part of the handmade community. What I didn't anticipate was developing some very close and valuable personal friendships. Friendships with girls who have enormous hearts, amazing talent and inspiring lives.

I have previously blogged about some of these beautiful girls and the delightful businesses they have created. It's high time I shared with you a handful more. 

In the first spot is a very special girl who takes the hard work out of shopping handmade. My gorgeous friend Kristi from LivvysLoves stocks a stunning range of handmade goodies, enabling you to shop till your hearts content all in the one place. At LivvysLoves you can buy beautiful handmade clothing, dolls and everything in between!

The second lovely lady I'd like to introduce you to is Monique from Willow Mae. She makes the most beautiful dresses, skirts, ruffles (just the mere mention of ruffles sets my heart aflutter!) and accessories. Monique and I are currently working on something very special for Miss Goodie Two Shoes fans, and I have to tell you I am very very excited to be creating with someone so talented!

A final mention for the week is my beautiful friend Kristie from BOO! Designs. She makes absolutely stunning, fantastically unique clothing for little girls. The attention to detail in Kristie's clothing is exceptional, and as a testament to her talent, her fan base is booming! You must take a peek at her recent collection of spooky outfits especially for Halloween.  

I have so many more businesses I'd like to mention, so I'll be back again next week with another sneak peek of some handmade beauties and the gorgeous girls I'm so lucky to now call my friends xxx

Friday, September 2, 2011

This week I am grateful..... that spring has sprung

Spring has sprung and noone is more excited then me! The first day of spring marks one of the most exciting days of my life, the birth of my little boy Oscar. How can he be three already?

 Spring also means our farm is a burst of colour with vibrant signs of life. What better way to celebrate an extra special birthday and the first day of spring then with a frollick and some fun in the gloriuous sun.


 I hope you had an enjoyable start to spring, and you're getting some of this gorgeous weathe. I am playing along with Maxabella loves, this week hosted by the lovely Emily from The Beetle Shack. Why don't you pop on over and share in the fun xxx

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Miss Goodie Two Shoes

This weeks wordless wednesday is dedicated to some of my favourite Miss Goodie Two Shoes creations, recently auctioned for Oscar's Law. It's been an incredible three months since the Miss Goodie rollercoaster began. I have made so many gorgeous friends, and learnt so much about myself. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next three months is going to bring.

Pop on over to Faith, Hope & a whole lotta Love to join in the Wordless Wednesday fun.

We reap what we sow

Okay, I'll be honest. I don't have a green thumb, I tend to either kill plants from kindness, or from neglect. I don't seem to find that perfect balance in between. I dream of being surrounded by the gorgeous sights and smells of a rich country garden, just so long as someone else knows what they're doing!

 So you can imagine my delight this winter as I've watched my little vegie patch grow and flourish. We've had a few hiccups along the way with some pesky aphids and hungry caterpillars, but I'm pleased as punch to be finally picking delicious, vibrantly coloured vegies from my garden.

Today's harvest was some yummy broccolini, cabbage and beetroot.  Yum!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bathtime fun

Where has the time gone? This month my little princess is turning one, and a few days later my little prince will be three. 

Three of the most amazing years of my life.

There isn't a moment I don't reflect on how truly blessed I am (and yes, even when I'm up at 2 am, or spending two hours convincing a toddler to go to sleep!).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oscar's Law

There are times in your life when you see and hear something that affects you so profoundly you can't breath. You carry a knot in your throat and a feeling of sickness in your stomach. You cannot escape the overwhelming feeling of sadness, hopelessness and rage.

I saw and heard that something this morning, and I am still haunted by the images and sounds. If you don't have the strength to watch this video, I don't blame you. I'm not entirely certain why I chose to watch it myself. I normally shy away from ANY depiction of animal cruelty because I quite simply do not cope. Animals are like children, they are loyal, kind hearted and innocent. I passionately believe that ownership of an animal is an honour, not a basic right. I was raised to believe that animals are an integral and important part of a family. They deserve love, respect and protection; protection from people who harm and more importantly, protection from people who exploit. Sadly, the laws and regulations developed to protect companion animals in Australia are grossly inadequate.

As much as I am regretful for watching this horrifying video, I am heartened to learn there is a campaign attempting to abolish the factory breeding of dogs.
 Oscar's Law is a very simple campaign: it enables everyone to make a stand and tell the Government that "we do not want companion animals factory farmed anymore” and "we no longer want the pet industry to mislead us about what is acceptable for our animals”.

Oscar's Law aims to abolish the factory farming of dogs, ban the sale of animals from pet shops and online, and insist the Government run a proper campaign on responsible animal care. What I think is most important to distinguish between, is the breeding of dogs and the farming of them. It is downright unethical to treat dogs as a commodity rather then a treasured friend.

I wholeheartedly support the abolishment of pet shops. I have seen firsthand the consequence of irresponsible and callous breeding for the pet shop trade; seriously malformed dogs that have resulted from generations of inbreeding. Its frightening to now realise the environment these poor animals were bred in. If there is just one message taken home from this post, I hope it is how powerful we can be in abolishing the ill-treatment of these poor animals. Next time you, or someone you know, are looking for a new member of your family please consider adoption from a shelter. Take a stand against the farming of companion animals.

Please join me in rallying for Oscar's Law.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Collaborate for a Cause

Apologies for being so quiet here at A Country Wife. It has been calamity jane in our household the past few months. Despite my love of winter, and the delightful weather that it brings, the sudden change from balmy days to freezing nights has brought with it continual illness. Our run of bad luck began in May with a nasty virus, and has just ended with two cases of whooping cough, and a horrid flu complete with ear infection. To say I am looking forward to a few weeks of peace, quiet and happiness is an understatement!

Despite days and nights of coughing, fever and tears, I have managed to continue creating and building Miss Goodie Two Shoes. I was recently asked by the designers from two of my favourite handmade businesses; Yumminess Textiles and Giovanna to collaborate and create some special donations to a charity auction called Collaborate for a Cause. The amazing Jen from Ainslee Fox Handmade is the brainchild of C4AC, and she has done an outstanding, inspirational job of pulling this auction together. One small idea is now a charity auction featuring over 200 businesses, 114 items and an astounding $14 000 currently raised for some well deserved charities! To say Jen is a superstar is an incredible understatement!

The auction finishes tonight at 8pm EST and I'd love if you could pop over and support the generous work of my beautiful and talented friends. Amongst the gorgeous items on offer, you can find my Miss Goodie Two Shoes here

and here

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Today I am grateful for... watching the sun rise

Most people hate winter because it's cold and often inclement, but that's exactly why I love it. I love to rug up in front of the fire and eat lots of yummy comfort food. I love that when I get up in the morning, my view is of fog rolling across the paddocks and a winter sun rising. I love getting dressed in soft wool jumpers and oversized coats. Most of all, I love snuggling under the doona with my warm as toast little man and giving him eskimo and butterfly kisses.

This morning, I love that we got a little visit from our neighbours, and despite the freezing cold underfoot I creeped out to say hello.

I hope you too are having a day to be grateful for. I am playing along with Maxabella Loves, come along and join in the fun!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Celebrating 100!

Well look at that! A Country Wife has reached a very magical milestone - 100 gorgeous followers! Thank you so so much to everyone who joins me here each week to share in my life and love of the country. I can't believe how much my life has changed since joining the blogging world. Inspired by so many of you, my inner creativity has bloomed and I literally bounce out of bed each day (okay, well most days!). A Country Wife has been the start of so many special friendships and such an exciting future.

I thought as a little tribute to the number 100, I'd share some 'top 100' trivia with you.
  1. The most beautiful woman of all time is Audrey Hepburn, followed by Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett. Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you have no arguments from me.
  2. According to IMBd, the most handsome man in Hollywood is Jonathan Rhys Meyers, followed by Brad Pitt and Jude Law. No surprises then that Jude Law is welcome to park his slippers under my bed any time he likes!
  3. The number 1 box office film of all time is Avatar (2009), yet I won't mention that I'm actually still to see it *blush*! When adjusted for inflation, the top film of all time is Gone With the Wind (1939). Goes to show you can't beat the golden oldies.
  4. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) is the number 1 worst movie of all time. I guess it's just as well I've never heard of it!
  5. The most popular dog breed of all time is the Labrador Retriever. Oh absolutely, who can resist a cuddle with a big fluffy bear?
  6. The most popular girls name of all time is Mary, whilst the most popular boys name is James. Now doesn't that give new meaning to 'biblical proportions'?
  7. According to Forbes Magazine, the worlds richest person is Carlos Slim who boasts a mere $74 billion fortune. He trumps Mr Gates for the second year running, of whom has a lowly $56 billion to his name. So tell me, what on earth does one do with that sort of money?
  8. Perhaps they buy a few of these. At a recommend retail price of $1 700 000, the Bugatti Veyron is the worlds most expensive car. 
  9. If you're looking for a career change, now is the time to become a software architect. It is the top ranking job in the US according to level of pay, growth prospects, stress levels, security, flexibility, satisfaction and benefit to society. And here I thought being a mum would have trumped the list!
  10. And finally, a top 100 list dedicated to... blogging of course! With an impressive daily traffic count of 820 000, or 24 million people a month, Digg is the most successful blog of all time. So what does it mean that I've never heard of it?  Political ticker CNN and the The Huffington Post follow behind with 303 000 and 283 000 viewers each day. Blogging really is a technical revolution!
So while I doubt my life will ever reach a top 100 list, I'm just super chuffed that I've reached 100. I can't wait to see what the next 100 followers will bring xxx

Monday, June 6, 2011

I heart the handmade community

So much blogging to catch up on! Soooo many things to say, I didn't realise just how much I'd missed my little blog until I'm now starting to write again. To make it easy, I thought I'd start with a tribute to some delightful handmade businesses and the beautiful girls behind them. Some I knew before the creation of Miss Goodie Two Shoes and have been blessed with getting to know them better, others have welcomed me to the handmade community with open arms and have been an amazing inspiration and given me endless support. Most of all, each and every one of these girls creates the most divine handmade goodies!

So without any further to do.......!

In the first spot is a gorgeous girl that I have previously blogged about, but who needs another mention simply because her artwork is the most gorgeous I have seen. Jess from Art Candy creates the most beautiful canvas boards and prints, I have a twelve strong collection of her artwork, and I'm still greedy for more!

The second lovely lady I'd like to introduce you to is Alana from Yumminess textiles. She creates the most beautiful ruffles and coordinating outfits, and never ceases to make me smile with her cheeky sense of humour. I was lucky enough to snap up four pairs of her divine ruffles during her last market night, and I'm counting down the days until I can buy more!

While on the subject of ruffles, I must pay mention to the divine Lisa Lou from Little Lou Lou - Handmade children's fashion & gifts. She recently opened an online store amid a frenzy of excited ruffle fanatics and is responsible for my ruffle obsession!

A final mention for the week is my beautiful friend Kate from MISS KIKI of Cherry Blossom Lane. She gives life to the cutest little cloth dolls who are just bursting with personality. My favourite little girls are from her recent 'English Cottage' collection, and I'm pleased as punched to say we now own a little Miss of our own.

I have so many more businesses I'd like to mention, so I'll be back again next week with another sneak peek of some handmade beauties and the gorgeous girls I'm so lucky to now call my friends xxx

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