Aug 28, 2013

Around here: Spring clean

The other day we had our house valued and before the valuer came over, we decided to have an intense organising and tidying session. I spent about 4 hours running up and down the stairs, hanging washing, finding places for all the items that have no home in this little place.

Oh MAN. What a difference it makes.


Once it was all done, it was like instant Spring. I'm pretty sure August is still technically Winter down here, but the sun came out, the birds were singing, lawn-mowers were going and everything smelled of freshly cut grass. Awesome. Here are some photos from that day after the tidy-up.
 
  Amy's colourful, fresh abode // Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog 

Amy's colourful, fresh abode // Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

Amy's colourful, fresh abode // Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

Amy's colourful, fresh abode // Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

Amy's colourful, fresh abode // Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog
 
I'm still working on some art for the wall over the couch - something I'm painting on that big canvas. I used to paint allll the time but right now I feel really out of practice, so it may take a while.

We've been spending some time looking for bigger places to live (somewhere with a dining area would be nice) but suddenly I'm enjoying our little nest again and I'm not sure I'm ready to leave quite yet!






Aug 23, 2013

Positive Friday: Dutch hearts

Dutch candy love hearts // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

Dutch candy love hearts // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

Dutch candy love hearts // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

Dutch candy love hearts // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

Happy Positive Friday!
(or Thursday as it may be where you are...)

Wishing you all the happiness of a bag of surprise sweets from the Dutch candy shop.

(Which is quite a lot).





Aug 22, 2013

In ma belly: a healthy breakfast post

I don't think it's going to become a habit, but I've been getting really interested in healthy cooking lately and want to share this one recipe for a low-GI, protein-rich breafkast cereal. It's EASY and you can make it with a whole range of different things depending on what you have available.


Here's what I start with:

Healthy high protein, low GI breakfast cereal recipe 
Raw nuts (I've used cashews and walnuts. You can use any nut you like) and 2 types of seeds. I've used sunflower seeds for magnesium but if I had them on hand I'd also throw in chia seeds, linseed, whatever.

Whiz them up in a processor to a cereal-type consistency....
Healthy high protein, low GI breakfast cereal recipe

Like so. I've mixed mine separately so I can use them in different things, but you can just do them all together.
Healthy high protein, low GI breakfast cereal recipe

Mixy mix.
Healthy high protein, low GI breakfast cereal recipe

You end up with something like this:
Healthy high protein, low GI breakfast cereal recipe

Then throw in a handful of toasted oats. I roast mine on an oven tray with rice-bran oil (the healthiest oil for cooking as it has a high smoke point). You can also keep them raw but I think toasted is nicer.

Healthy high protein, low GI breakfast cereal recipe

Traditional museli is mostly oats with other things added - but in this case we're changing the ratio to have less oats than any other ingredient. I put in just enough to make it look like cereal. At this point you can add dried fruit etc to sweeten it, but I'm trying to make this REALLY low-GI which means no sweeteners at all. 


Healthy high protein, low GI breakfast cereal recipe
           
I find most bought snacks are processed or sweet. You know all those ground nuts and seeds you made at the start? You can whiz them down into a fine powder and use them to replace some of the flour/sugar in cookies and other baked treats. But maybe that's a recipe for another time.

Anyone else struggle to find healthy snacks?





Aug 21, 2013

Everyday I'm shuffling

...my furniture.
You?

Things that have shuffled lately:
The rag rug has made it's way to the couch. The colours make me happy.
Colourful living room and rag rug on sofa // by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

My easel and a canvas I'm working on have shuffled into the lounge, where the leather chair used to be (we sold it as it was too small for us tall people and we never sat in it). The canvas was taking up a tonne of space in our little office so now it's filling the big void in this corner. (I was hoping this painting would go on the wall over the couch above. We'll see when it gets finished.)

Colourful living room and rag rug on sofa // by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

And, kinda cheating, these roses have shuffled onto the coffee table from the supermarket. They're the exact same colour as the huz proposed to me with (a sort of neon peach). And for 5 bucks? Woop

Colourful living room and rag rug on sofa // by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

What have you shuffled lately?





Aug 19, 2013

Sweet spot: Martha's Pantry

There's a Cafe in our neck of the woods that specialises in everything pink and frilly and quaint. Not in a tacky way, but in a high-tea-and-cakes-like-your-grandma-did-in-the-50s kind of way.

Martha's Pantry, Wellington NZ // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

And also in a milkshakes-you-can't-finish-plus-every-girl's-dream-of-sparkly-butterfly-cupcakes kinda way.

Martha's Pantry, Wellington NZ // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

And in a proper-Wellingtonian-coffee kinda way (but served in floral china with pink polka dot serviettes).

Martha's Pantry, Wellington NZ // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

Martha's Pantry, Wellington NZ // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

Martha's Pantry, Wellington NZ // Amy MacLeod, Five Kinds of Happy blog

Spending quality time with 3 generations of female relatives who we rarely get to see was even better. I love family time!

Speaking of cute Cafes, I suppose the vibe at Martha's Pantry is a little bit similar to Sweet Pea Cafe which you may remember from this post. So much goodness. Wellington is a huge cafe-hub and we are very fussy about the quality of our coffees. Lucky there are so many funky, artsy cafes to enjoy!