Friday, 25 November 2011

Tips to reduce food waste

  • Keep the trimmed ends from carrots, celery etc, and freeze them. You can then use them in making a vegetable stock

  • You can cut and cook the stalk of the broccoli too

  • If you have old wine, freeze it in ice cubes, and use it for cooking

  • Cook the seeds of  pumpkin

  • You can dry tomatoes in the oven and store them in olive oil (voila, 'sundried' tomatoes).

  • Use older fruit to make a crumble

  • Freeze old bread, and you can use it for bread crumbs, croutons etc

  • You can use sour cream or cream cheese in mashed potato

  • Blend parmesan and old bread for parmesan bread crumbs (good for on veges.)

  • Chop fresh herbs and add to an ice tray with a little water. Use the ice cube in cooking when the herb is required

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Child Poverty in Aotearoa

I had heard the stats. I knew child poverty was really really bad here. I have studied the facts in some of my uni papers. But I was very keen to see the recent doco by Inside New Zealand 'Inside Child Poverty.' And it brought the 'reality' of the situation home to me. It made me upset and angry.

Our child health ranking puts us at number 28 out of 30 in the OECD.

One of the main problems here is household crowding. Many poorer families live in cold, damp, moldy overcrowded houses.
These damp, overcrowded houses cause mass illnesses for children living in these houses. Poverty illnesses include Rheumatic fever, Bronchiectasis, Skin conditions, Scabies, Osteomyelitis and lung abscesses (pus in the lung). All of the above are preventable diseases, and these especially impact children under 5.

The other problem is that we don't feel we 'owe' anything to children - we focus on the parents. Children aren't given free lunches in school or free after hours health care. The Poverty Action Group believes government legislation discriminates against children with parents on a benefit- as they receive no extra help, as opposed to children with working parents, whose families can receive up to $60 a week in tax credits. Legislation focuses on parents not children. We don't value Dads having parental leave, and we don't value parenting as a real job.

Lots of people like to blame the parents in these situations (dole bludgers! having too many kids! not looking after their kids!) However looking at the historical situation in New Zealand, we can see how we have ended up at this point - government policy decisions.

New Zealand used to be a Socialist country. This means that we owned all our assets, we had a strong welfare system, and our welfare system was based on the proviso to give people equality and dignity as equal with the majority of New Zealanders. Our economy was regulated by the government and it was strong. There were lots of jobs, and food was not expensive.

For different (and complex) reasons our economy got into trouble - because of overseas factors, and because of our (Muldoon- National) governments decisions. By 1984 we were in big trouble.
Have you heard of Rogernomics? This is when Roger Douglas (Labour) decided the way out of debt was to sell our assets and use the capital from that to pay off the debts. Also, he decided to make the government have much less say in our market and economy, creating a free market, and GST. The idea of a free market is that wealth will trickle down. However in NZ it created a selfish society, where the income gap grew larger and larger.
(I'm showing the parties these decisions were made by, to show we can't just blame the right or left wing parties alone.)

Over time, our attitude towards welfare had been changing, and now it was more of a 'minimum to live on' ideology. In 1991 there were huge welfare cuts. Unemployment and food prices began to rise, along with poverty diseases.

So in short, New Zealand used to focus on the people, now it focuses on money and economy, which is hugely impacting the people.

Even those not on welfare find it hard to get along. Personally, Matt and I earn a good amount, but we have to strictly budget for our food and expenses, to pay our rent. Saving for a home deposit-? It will take years and years and years. Our income is only just higher than our outgoings, and we both have good jobs. I can't even imagine what it would be like if we had children as well.

The doco presents children's health and poverty not as a political issue, but a moral and ethical issue.

New Zealand needs to start to focus on preventative healthcare, not crisis healthcare. We have to stop discriminating against kids whose parents are less well off. We need to get kids out of damp and unhealthy homes. We need to value parenting and give mums and dads (paid) time off after a child is born (14 weeks is a joke.)

We should be collectively ashamed that these preventable diseases and poverty issues prevail. We should be angry that our country doesn't act like it values children. We need to realise this is an ethical and moral problem, which we are all responsible for.

With the upcoming election in mind, I have included links to the major parties policies realting to children. National focuses on 24 hour healthcare (great!) but thats about all. (Also, see National thinks only Mums might need Plunket's health line. What about Dad's?). Labour and the Greens have more comprehensive policies, which focus on many issues this doco presents.

In saying that, I agree with the presenter that this isn't just a political issue. The whole government needs to pull its socks up, get over their differences and work together for the betterment of our children.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A very crafty Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching, and Christmas means presents. (Well, obviously it doesn't just mean presents, but its a big part of it). Luckily in both Matt and my family we are doing secret santa, so buying presents for one other adult each, as opposed to about 16 adults (phew!). Of course the kiddies get presents as well, but there are only two so far, so thats not too hard. Who doesn't love getting little girls presents??

This year I am doing a lot of crafty gifts. Crafty gifts are great because they are fun to make, they are made with love, you can put personal touches on them, and they are generally way  cheaper than bought gifts. I thought I would share some crafty ideas with you, so you can have a crafty christmas. Crafty gifts can also be in supplement to a bigger bought gift.
(Note to any family reading this: I am not sharing what I may or may not be making you, so don't worry, your gifts are still a surprise!.)

DIY coasters

Blackboard coasters, and I love the look of these lace coasters - so easy and pretty.

Epsom Salts

Perfect for the bath lover, and easy to make. I would present it in a nice jar.


I saw these candles in iko iko and knew I could make them myself (I haven't yet, but I will.) You can go thrifting looking for old open top jars or old (thick) wine glasses, and use them. Candle making can be dangerous, but it is doable. There are lots of tutorials, here is one.

Make your own Book

You can design your own photo book, recipe book, baby book, poetry book... the list goes on and on. You can design it online and get it sent to you. I recommend using Blurb, which is high quality, reasonable price and easy to use. I would get onto this soon as I don't know the time it takes to deliver. I am using blurb to do our wedding photo book, I haven't finished yet but I can't wait to see it! I know people who make a book a year with family photos etc, which I also think is a great idea.

Chilli Sauce

Who doesn't love Chilli sauce? This is something you could make in bulk and give to all the rellies. Add cute jars and you're done! Recipe here.
You could also make dukkah or marinated mushrooms.

Photo calendars

Photo calendars are great gift ideas for parents or other relatives. Or make one for yourself of your favourtie photos! At the moment Whitcoulls and Kikki-K have the diy-photo-calendars for about $20, and you can just print out your photos and stick them on. Easy!

So thats all for now. I hope you like my ideas! I am excited to share what I am making my family as well, but that will be after christmas :)

Monday, 21 November 2011

30 day photo challenge

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with fifteen facts about yourself.
(um- nah, this is narcissistic enough as it is!)

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

Day 04 - A picture of your favorite night.

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory.

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item.

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh.

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate.

Day 12 - A picture of something you love.

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist.

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die.

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you.
(People who inspire me are people close to me, I don't feel comfortable putting their pictures up. Most people I meet inspire me in some way, so if you're reading this, you're probably one of them!)

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity.

Day 19 - A picture of you when you were little.

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget.

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at.

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change.

Day 25 - A picture of your day.

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you.

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of.

Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile.

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss. 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mess it up

My Grandmother is quite a tidy type of person. The type of person who will tell me off if I left my pajamas on the floor  for 20 mins (my bad). My Mum is similar but a bit diluted -tidy, but not averse to natural day-to-day clutter (she'll tolerate it for more than 20 minutes anyway. Probably less than 60 though).
I am again more diluted on this tidy issue. I am happy to leave things for a few days before I get to it. And as our house has minimal storage, it can get a bit cluttered. I was getting a bit worried about my lack of housekeeping nous until I saw this shop. This shop made me feel a LOT better. This is a legitimate shop in Wellington central;

This is really the shop, and not a shot of a Chch post earthquake shop

Really hope this exit is not legitimately needed

Walking in this shop was a tad challenging

I liked a look of a lot of these books, but daren't try to get one at the bottom of  a pile for fear of starting a shop-wide domino tumbling effect

The shop also had gems like these (things that admitedly should have been thrown out with the advent of the new millennium.)

Be healthy and have sexy frizzy hair like me!

This magazine is 60 years old!

Ah I think I'll just look at these pics anytime I am feeling like our house is messy.

(This post is dedicated to Daniel, blog fan and good friend)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...