Taking Stock Feb 2019

Making: A vertical garden for herbs. It’s a new design I haven’t tried before, so finger’s crossed it works!
Cooking: Family dinner – always. Tonight it’s jacket potatoes.
Sipping: Dandelion tea spiked with medicinal mushrooms. Always.
Reading: A guide to kashering the kitchen (we’re nearing an intermediary conversation with the Beth Din and I want to make sure I know everything we’ve been taught so far, so lots of revision!), and also “New Age Judaism” but Melinda Ribner – It’s been enlightening!
Looking: Through all our photos from 2018, and turning them into a photo book!
Listening: The Fergies – a new band I heard last weekend at the markets.
Wishing: My seedlings would hurry up and grow!
Enjoying: Cleaning up (freak).
Waiting: For some answers on a special project.
Liking: My days with just Ahava and I. To be honest, I was kinda dreading it, and even though it’s not easy, it’s enjoyable.
Loving: Painting with Ahava!
Buying: Shabbat things – a kosher lamp, new high tech light bulbs Luke wants to connect to the wifi and turn on and off for Shabbos on a timer, and urn so I can enjoy hot drinks on Shabbat again!
Watching: Shtisel,
Hoping: My teacher registration comes through soon.
Needing: A good massage and a live in housekeeper. Either that or motivation…
Wearing: My favourite tree of life dress.
Following: Ahava around the house, picking up after her destruction!
Noticing: There’s a bunch of new people who’ve moved in down the end of our street or a neighbouring street. They’re young, and loud, and walk to the shops and back at night (it’s kinda annoying. Am I old yet?).
Getting: Older! I can feel it some days…
Saving: Gold coins. I try to alternate between putting the ones I find into the tzedakah box, and putting them into a savings box.
Opening: Final Cut Pro to edit some vlogs…
Giggling: Oh how I wish I giggled more…
Feeling: Productive!
Hearing: The wind – Cyclone Oma has been downgraded to a tropic storm, but she’s still making her presence felt and the wind is hectic!
Obsessing: Over how to make working work this year…

5 Tips for breaking your phone habit

Hello! I have a new video today (and a new resolution to re-post my videos from youtube to here more often!). One of my goals for the month of Shevat was to use my phone less, and stop scrolling un-necessarily. So I put together this video with 5 (okay, 6) of the tips I used to help me break my phone habit! I hope you enjoy it!


0. Turn off notifications on all your apps (bar maybe a few really important ones. I leave on my school app, gumtree (buying/selling second hand), and Pzziz which I use for sleep and it sends me a little reminder at bedtime!

  1. Put your phone up so you can’t easily access it from your pocket. Basically, treat it like a home phone!

2. Don’t have your phone in your room at night.

3. Have a full day away from your phone (hello Shabbat!).

4. Know what kind of relationship you want to have with your phone. Know why you’re trying to break this habit!

5. Use the time limit function within your phone.


Q:When are you most creative?
A: Usually in the middle of the day. If I’m not too tired then love to get creative in the evening as well, but usually the middle of the day is best for me!

Q: Fav youtube channels you subscribe to?
A: The Modest Bohemian, Lulastic HippyShake, Little Kosher Lunch, Mayim Bialik.

Q: Feel free to ignore this if you’d rather keep it private, but you’d mentioned about some health concerns. What are they and how are they going?
A: Hashimotos, Hypothy, IBS and food intolerances which lead to various vitamin deficiencies etc., like Vit D, mag, zinc, selenium and maybe more I don’t know of! I also have menstrual problems which we’re in the process of solving.

Q: Why did you decide to covert to Judaism?
Q: Why did you decide to convert Orthodox & not reform or conservative?
A: It’s hard to explain if you haven’t felt it before, but basically our souls were just drawn to it. Every little ritual, tradition, and piece of wisdom just felt so right for us.

There are lots of pretty practical reasons why we’d covert – the values of Judaism align well with us, we were previously Christians, so had experience with the Bible, and the Torah – though our understanding and interpretation of it at the time was severely limited. Now we feel much more free and like a light bulb has gone off in our head to see the truth!

Q: How do you stop yourself getting overwhelmed by the conversion process?
A: I’m not very good at this!! On a practical, everyday sense, I have been practicing regular Jewish meditation, and that’s been very calming and helping to not being overwhelmed in general, and therefore with conversion stuff as well. I’ve had a few conversations with friendly lately and when explaining the changes we’re going through they liken it to doing a University degree. I whole heartedly agree with this connection, because firstly it’s quite an intellectual experience – lots of learning, memorising, learning a new language, critical thinking skills, problem solving etc., and then also because of the amount of time it takes. Really, I need to devote time to “study” every day, and take classes, etc. The reason this has helped me is because I know it’s not just ME who’s feeling overwhelmed with this, it’s actually like that for most people (or at least most people with a job – even if that’s homemaking, a spouse, kids, and a life…), and it is also a great reminder for me that there is an END in sight! One day this won’t all be new things that I’m constantly learning, these things will be habits, and natural, and my way of thinking and being will be transformed. And that’s a comfort to me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. G-D willing it won’t take as long as a University degree though!!

Q: What’s the toughest part of converting?
A: This leads on well from the last topic. I think a lot of people think that learning kashrut, or incorporating masses of daily prayers into your life, or dressing differently might be some of the toughest parts, but that’s not what we’ve found. Don’t get me wrong, there are struggles with all those things, but I think it’s the spiritual, emotional, and habitual changes you’re making that are the toughest part. It’s the constant stretching of yourself and what you believe. It’s not the physical way you interact with the world that’s hard, it’s changing your mindset about WHY you’re doing it. kashrut isn’t just a diet preference, it’s understanding G-D’s heart, and desiring him, and committing that way. And then dealing with transgressions you make along the way. A lot of that internal stuff it’s so explicitly taught either, so this is your own personal work you have to do on top of the practical parts.

The other difficult part for me is aligning my other values with Judaism. Usually it’s fine, but sometimes there are cultural differences (not halacic) within Orthodox Judaism that grate against my other values like environmentalism etc.


Daily Vlog // Wednesday 29th Heshvan 5779 // 7th November 2018

Hey hey! Daily vlog time (is there anything else lately? No, no there’s not. Because there’s no time for anything else when you’re making a video every day!).

Today is mostly about cracking open a coconut, which went on all day really  while we did other bits in between. It was mostly Eli’s project as he is a keen life investigator, but we all had a go at different bits.

Daily Vlog // Tuesday 28th Heshvan 5779 // 6th November 2018

Something different again today (may or may not be due to not filming much of anything else in the day despite it being fairly busy!) – a book review!

I’m reviewing Mamaleh Knows Best by Marjorie Ingall which was given to me by PJ Libraries as part of their Summer Reading Program. Spoiler alert: I gave it like 4.5/5, so I definitely think you should grab a copy and read it, no matter if you’re a mum, dad, Jew, non-Jew, it doesn’t matter – this book is great for all parents!

Daily Vlog // Monday 27th Heshvan 5779 // 5th November 2018

Today’s vlog is a little different – I’m experimenting with just following one process of the day rather than the little snippets of the day I’ve done in the previous videos.

We made these kosher tacos, including the tacos from scratch which was lots of fun. Luke gave me a tortilla press as a gift for Sukkot, so I’m glad to try it out. We made these with corn, so they were gluten free, and we cooked with meat, so of course everything was dairy free as well.

Definitely going to add these to the menu again (hopefully it won’t take so long to make the tortillas next time if I don’t have so many helpers!).

Daily Vlog // Sunday 26th Heshvan 5779 // 4th November 2018

Sunday! Such a full day. I skipped Saturday because it was Shabbat. 🙂

In our family we love to do “date days” to have one on one time with each of our kids. This morning my husband took the younger kids out, and I had some one on one time with our eldest son. We went to a coffee shop to do some drawing, and then came home to do some art journaling. My parents stopped by on the way to the airport (they’re travelling for work for a few days), and then we had a relaxed afternoon watching Paddington 2, eating popcorn, and and playing some VR.

Daily Vlog Friday 24th Heshvan, 2nd November.

In today’s video:
* Opening our Judaica package. New hand washing cup, kippot, and a necklace for Ahava (she gets a bit jealous that the boys get to wear kippot, so we bought her this as her own special Jewish thing!).
* Mama & Eli time while Ahava sleeps.
* Picking up some supplies for Shabbat from the bulk store.
* Shabbat prep!

Daily Vlog Thursday 23rd Heshvan 5779 // 1st November 2018

Hi everyone! I’m having a go at doing some daily vlogs for the month fo November! They’re only going to be a few minutes long, and will hopefully help me to improve my video work, and by a fun little documentation of bits and pieces of our life right now.

This first video is for the 1st of November – the 23rd of Heshvan on the Hebrew calendar, and it includes a bit of a tour of our garden, Ahava’s wonderfully silly singing and dancing, and making some bone broth noodle soup for dinner! Enjoy!