Katie

About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.
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Little Things

Blossoms

Clover

Juice and Flowers

Berries

Cake

1. The ornamental plum trees on our street are blooming! There are buds on our fruit trees too. Spring is well and truly in the air.
2. Cutie Clover sleeping with her tongue poking out!
3. Fresh juice and fresh flowers.
4. Those little sticks poking out of the earth are new berry canes. We planted berries all along one end of our house and cannot wait until they have grown and are fruiting!
5. Cake with cream and strawberries. Just because.

Sorry that things have been a bit quiet on the blog in the last little while. We leave for Europe in just over a week (!) so we’ve been busy tying up loose ends and getting organised for the big trip. We are so excited!!

Hope you are having a gorgeous week!

Katie xx

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Five Favourite Things (with Michelle of Hugo and Elsa)

Today’s Five Favourite Things guest is lovely Michelle of one of my very favourite blogs, Hugo and Elsa. With beautiful photography and gentle words, Michelle shares snippets of her life in gorgeous Tasmania. (I’ve always fantasised about moving to Tassie!) So here are five of Michells’s favourite things…

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What’s your favourite time of day?

I think morning, because of the potential a new day brings, everything is all new and fresh. Plus I’m still in my cosy pyjamas and there is coffee! Which is also my favourite!

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What’s your favourite thing to bake?

I have lots of faves, but right now I’m baking lots of victoria sponges. I love that you vary the flavour easily, say, go for vanilla or lemon or chocolate without any bother, then fill it with your favourite jam, or poached fruit and lots of silky whipped cream. I just invested in a set of sandwich tins, I used to bake it one tin then slice it in half before. I feel much more grown up now having the proper tins.

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What’s your favourite place to visit?

Cradle Mountain – it is so beautiful. I love walking through the alpine landscape and Cradle Mountain has such an interesting history. It’s so vast and so ancient, all your problems seem to vanish when you’re there. It just makes you realise how insignificant humans are.

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What’s your favourite ingredient to cook with?

Right now it’s eggs – I just love their versatility – which is a good thing as our girls are laying a lot at the moment. From cakes to tortillas, pasta or a simple boiled egg for breakfast, you can make so many meals with them. And because they’re from our girls, who have been fed scraps from the kitchen, leafy greens from the garden and bugs from the yard, there’s something symbolic about each egg and how it fits into the cycle of how we live our life.

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(Photo by Luisa Brimble)

What’s your favourite thing to read?

Cookbooks, I have piles of them all over the house. I especially love reading vintage ones. The unusual ingredients fascinate me along with the measurements used such as gills, pecks and bushels. They’re also written so succinctly – people knew how to cook then I suppose, it was more instinctive and didn’t need the processes explained in such detail. I like that.

I you fancy sharing your own favourite time of day, thing to bake, place to visit, ingredient to cook with and/or thing to read, I’d love to hear all about them!

Katie xx

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The Right Path

Egg

Camellias

Poppy

Happy Things

I’ve always been a worrier. I question everything, second guess decisions and fret about what the future holds, much more than I’d like to. Sometimes I wonder if we’re heading in the right direction and if we’re making progress, I question past choices and wonder how things might have been if we’d chosen something different. I worry, worry worry…

But then, I find myself painting the last coat of white on a rattly old window and I am reminded that this creaky house is ours. We own a house, and though it is old and shabby, it is full of love and music, the smell of pancakes and the sound of teaspoons tapping china as cups of tea are stirred.

I say good morning to the chickens and give them their breakfast, then I find two perfect, fresh eggs, and I am reminded that we are on the way to producing much of our own fresh produce. The glimpse of a green bud on the plum tree is a testament to the fact that one day soon our garden will be bursting with fruit and flowers.

I watch Reuben play with the dogs on the grass and I am reminded of how lucky I am to have found such a kind and happy soul to share my life with. Someone who is so perfectly similar to me and yet so totally, completely opposite to me, that we fit together like puzzle pieces. Somehow, miraculously, we found each other.

In these moments I know, with full certainly, that every choice we’ve made has been the right one (even the wrong ones) because they have led us here. We are exactly where we need to be right now. Our life isn’t perfect, but it is cemented in all of our dreams, all that we want for our family’s future, and all that we believe to be good and true. As times goes by my vision of a simple, mindful, beautiful life, grows clearer and my resolve to achieve it grows stronger.

Each day we take a few small steps forward. We are on the right path.

Katie xx

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Little Things

Clean

Camellias

Poppy

Egg

Books

Strawberries on Toast

Daisy and Clover

No Knead Bread

1. I’ve been trying some new green cleaner recipes. The only commercial cleaning products I have had to buy in the last few months are oxy-action bleach and dishwashing liquid. I wish I’d made the change sooner.
2. Our two camellia bushes are blooming. They were planted many, many years ago and have somehow survived intense droughts and years of neglect. Their blooms bring so much joy to grey winter days.
3. Sweet Poppy napping.
4. Our girls are laying again! They had a really tough first moult and were off the lay for quite some time. It’s so lovely to have homegrown eggs once more.
5. I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking good, nourishing food in the last couple of weeks. I don’t often follow recipes but I love beautiful cook books for inspiration when my motivation in the kitchen runs dry.
6. Strawberries, cream cheese and a drizzle of honey on toast, with a big mug of cinnamon tea. The perfect way to start a day.
7. We’ve been painting our living room. Clover and Daisy have been helping by getting in the way and brushing up against the wet paint on the walls. They’re so cute, it’s impossible to stay mad at them.
8. No knead bread. Yes!

Katie xx

Comments { 16 }

The Chicken Tractor

We’ve had a few questions about our chicken tractor, so I thought I might as well put a post together answering them all in one spot…

Beatrice Evie Tilly and Madge

Tilly (now Billy), Madge (now Matt), Beatrice & Evie.

Reuben with Agnes and Betty

Reuben with the new girls, Agnes (on the right) and Betty.

Our flock of four has undergone some changes in the last few weeks. Sadly, Madge and Tilly turned out to be Matt and Billy, and since we aren’t allowed to keep roosters in town, they had to be rehomed. They’ve since been replaced with two more sweet little Wyandotte bantams. Keeping up with the House of Eliott theme, our new girls are named Betty and Agnes. After some initial upset amongst the girls, they have now settled in with Beatrice and Evie really well.

We actually had a bit of a scare with Beatrice this week. She was very unwell and at one point I was quite sure we were going to lose her, but with some antibiotics, two nights spent in a cat carrier indoors (with a hot water bottle!) and lots of love, she recovered. She is back to her cute, friendly, happy self again now. Thank goodness! (She’s got such a sweet temperament, she’s a bit of a favourite around here.)

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Beatrice and Evie.

Chicken Tractor

Everyone in the tractor, watching me excitedly as I walk over with some fresh silver beet for them.

We first got the idea for our chicken tractor from an episode of Gardening Australia. Our girls have a small coop under our little apple tree where they sleep and lay. It’s big enough for them to wander and scratch about in, but they quickly denuded it of any greenery and we wanted to give them access to fresh grass, weeds, bugs and grubs, so they could scratch and forage. Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to, we can’t let our girls wander free range (because our fences are inadequate and our dogs would like to eat them!) so a chicken tractor was the perfect solution. The tractor allows us to give them access to fresh earth and grass to happily carry out their natural chicken behaviours, digging and fossicking, while staying safe.

On wet or windy days, and days when we aren’t home, the chooks stay in their coop, but when the weather is good and we are at home, we put them out in their tractor. We put them out in the tractor mid to late morning, so they have time to lay in their laying box before they go out, and bring them in just as it starts to cool off before dusk. We move the chicken tractor a few times throughout the day, so they always have access to fresh greenery, bugs and grubs to pick at.

The tractor itself is just a light weight run that we purchased from a discount store. Reubs originally planned to make one, but when we found the perfect thing for a great price, we snapped it up. We bought the run when we only had two chickens and though they are still very happy in their tractor, now that our tiny flock has grown, we are planning to upgrade to a bigger one.

And that’s it really! How we work our chicken tractor. If you keep (or would like to keep) chickens in a small backyard or a space that isn’t safe for free ranging, we highly recommend this system. The girls love having the chance to scratch for bugs and dig in the dirt, and we love hearing their happy, chooky noises from the garden!

Katie xx

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