Our Incredible Shrinking Act!

Tanya released an impressive 16cm from her waistline, whilst Andy dropped a whopping 17cm from his hips!

All in just 30 short days with no exercise!

How?!?!

Simply by using these magnificent Nutritional Supplements to nourish their bodies.

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We’ve known for a very long time that modern Western farming practices have severely affected the nutrition within the food we eat, that’s why we need to supplement our contemporary diet to put back all the good wholesomeness that is simply no longer there. We want to be ACTIVE ELDERLY – that means we need to INVEST in ourselves NOW whilst we’re reasonably still young!

Enter Isagenix!

The first thing you need to understand about Isagenix is that it is NOT just another weight loss shake. It is a highly concentrated super food of Nutrition! There is a bounty of independent diverse Scientific testing to back it up!

By flooding our bodies with the Nutrition that they need, we are able to reboot our systems! When our bodies receive the correct Nutrition, they naturally release the toxic fat stores they’ve built up – hence weight loss is simply a pleasant side affect of good, healthy Nutrition.

We are now full of life & vitality!

We love these products so much our goal is to share this fabulous Nutrition Program with as many people as possible because it’s all about putting the nourishment back into our bodies that modern farming practices have taken out!

Have a good snoop around our website by following the below link, where you can check out all the products & the Science for yourself in your own time before using the contact page on there to drop us a line & have a chat about how to Live Your Best Life!

You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to others.

http://www.TeamFilak.isagenix.com

Christmas Message 2016

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Upon reflection 2016 has been one heck of a year!

It began with us squeezed into living in our caravan in the trailer hood with plans only to travel. We soon found ourselves in a wee unit on Mornington Peninsula before eventually moving again making me a Goddess on a Mountain Top!

Mini Me had her first real year of homeschool under government regulations & was so proud of herself for passing her first Ballet exam! The cream on her little cupcake was, however, to be invited into the competition Troupe for next year.

We’ve also suffered some terribly bad lows riding in the ambulance with lights & sirens blaring to the hospital with my extremely ill child is a feeling I hope so many of you will never experience. To watch helplessly for an entire week as she lay in ICU unable to breathe for herself makes me ever so grateful for our medical professionals.
Not long afterward I too found myself in the exact resus bed at the hospital when I suffered a life threatening asthma attack as well, poor Hubby!

We went along to the Melbourne truck show with an intense feeling that we were to meet our destiny there. And we did! Several months later, after a lot of hard effort & behind the scenes set up, we were able to triumphantly announce the opening of our very own family company!

As we settle into this new groove of our life, we’re looking forward to what 2017 will bring us – it’s bound to be a ride!

So, from our fam-bam to yours, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Fabuliciouz New Year!

See you back online in 2017!

I got it all so terribly wrong!

Or should I title this post – How I have managed to sabotage my own blog!

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Some eagle eyed people among you may have noticed that my countdown to the Web Show launch has disappeared from both the blog & accompanying Facebook page. I was ever so wrong to have started down that track at all.

In fact, after a year of sharing my home cooking recipes with the world, I’ve now discovered I have obliterated every rule in the big book of blogging to ensure my complete & utter failure!

So what have I done that’s been so drastically disastrous?!?! Read on, dear friend, so that you may hopefully avoid your own such scenario.

Firstly I followed this philosophy –

A year from now you’ll wish you’d of started today.

I took that quite literally & launched into creating my Facebook page to share my recipes. We were living in Milly, our vintage caravan, at that stage & had just arrived in Melbourne. I didn’t have any cooking equipment or space at all but that didn’t deter me. It wasn’t long before I upgraded to creating this blog to spread my home cooking even further.

We weren’t settled anywhere at that point of start up. We were still nomadic with no solid plans & basically I now look back in hindsight to realise that I just wanted something to be stable no matter where we went.

In this past year we have had 3 different addresses throughout Melbourne.

There has been much debate in our fam-bam of whether it’s time to plant roots, which we do agree that it is, but then the inevitable question of where has been swirling about us ever since. There are many beautiful locations around this great nation that hold a piece of our hearts hostage with loved ones everywhere! However, sometimes opportunity chooses you!

Melbourne appears to be financially good for us. After so very many years bouncing around the nation in an extremely unstable industry, Hubby retrained & has started a new career. We have gone from scattered messed up reluctant nomads to very focussed Company Owners!

Meanwhile, whilst all this has been flourishing, our Mini-Me has suffered through atrocious health issues which are still ongoing. What a roller coaster of emotions!

So, what did I do so wrong to have possibly killed my blog in my first year?

I’ve taken on too much!

I wasn’t focussed in what I wanted to achieve with my blog at the start. This has left my followers confused. Constantly changing direction, I believe, has cost me dearly with not growing. People don’t know what to expect from me therefore they don’t know if they want to follow me or not. Thank you to all who have chosen to give me a go, it’s greatly appreciated.

This first year has been one of complete & utter upheaval in our lives & I’ve allowed that to flow over into a very scattered blog. This is why I now recommend to all new bloggers, have focus! Because I lacked focus, I also broke another golden rule of blogging – I’ve been a hermit. Blogging is an online community. I haven’t reached out to that community because I haven’t known what I’m doing myself, I’ve just been trundling along waiting for a moment of clarity!

What has prompted this introspective? It’s time for me to pay up for another year of hosting this blog.

That means I had to make the decision to continue on or simply let it go.

After a year, most bloggers have successfully collected a large number of followers & are able to take off in another direction. I don’t have favourable figures at all. Despite entering into the saturated genre of food blogging, I alone must take full responsibility for this.

After a lot of soul searching, I’ve decided to give myself another chance. I do believe there is room for my Nostalgic Humble Ingredient Cooking. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of coming up with new culinary offerings each week & my fam-bam have loved chomping them! I do need to get realistic with how busy my life is though to maintain the focus of this blog with consistency. Therefore, I shall be posting recipes 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

I will still share our vintage van conversion in separate posts as well. I’m a Chocolatier & I can’t wait to get back into my sweet creations for all the fabuliciouz people here on our beautiful mountain.

Roll ’em!

We are fast discovering that there is so very much more to creating a Web show than just pointing a camera & screaming ACTION!

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Perhaps it’s the OCD perfectionist streak we all seem to share that’s causing us to procrastinate on the filming of our web show, but we do want to look a wee bit better than an average home movie. Don’t get us wrong, we’re certainly not going to be anywhere near professional television standards, yet we desire to produce a quality show that we can be proud of.

Why bother at all, I hear you say?!

Whilst we don’t have any delusions of grandeur to rub shoulders with the celebrity chefs (although how cool would that be?!), it is quite a simple answer to this often asked question –

It’s just a bit of fun!

Maybe no one will watch our wee show at all, we won’t lose a sheep station over it, but maybe somebody will watch us & be entertained or try one of our recipes or even be inspired to escape to the simple life themselves. That’s the fun, exciting bit, we just don’t know.

We love to share what we’re passionate about with the world but we don’t wish to become enslaved to the show needing to pump out an episode every week. To overcome this issue, we’ve paid attention to how those professional shows do it – with pre-determined episode numbers in neat series blocks with a gap in between.

Our web show will be canapé sized at 5 minutes each, give or take, as let’s face it, nobody watches YouTube clips much longer than that! Each one will consist of a recipe & then whatever we happen to be up to around the place, you know, our lifestyle kinda segment. I think that’s the one where it could get quite comical with our amateur antics.

We’ve invested in a tiny camcorder with tripod & are busy planning our episodes to bring you the most joy receiving a glimpse into our life on the mountain. Look out for more details about when we start to shoot!

Mini Garden Starter

Building our Home Farm is going to be a HUGE job lasting the summer,

but we want fresh, home grown food NOW!

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So how to we satisfy our hunger whilst waiting for the main course? With a starter, naturally.

Now I know we’ve rented all this land, 3/4 acre, which is quite a daunting prospect to learn upon for complete novices with lofty aspirations but we’re not entirely clueless.

Whilst renting standard properties, small units & caravan park sites, we’ve been able to grow ourselves small potted gardens of edible bliss. Pots have always been our go everywhere solution to our insatiable appetite for growing our very own produce.

Having lived all over Australia, we have had many different experiences, with mixed results, of what & when we’ve grown things in our food gardens over the years. This beautiful mountain of ours on the outskirts of Melbourne, I think, will prove to be our biggest challenge yet!

It would appear we have moved into a very definite micro-climate! 

How have we made this discovery? Through the best network available no matter where you may happen to be – simply asking the locals. Most gardeners are happy to have a chin wag about their precious soil babies & only too accommodating to pass on their hard earned wealth of knowledge. You’d be an absolute mug not to utilise that absolutely free information which has saved us many mistakes over our travels.

We’re used to being able to grow anything at anytime in the magnificent volcanic soil of Australia’s Caldera region, but here, we’re actually going to have to learn a trick or two about gardening. So we’ve decided to start our education this season with our tried & true method of a Mini Potted Garden.

The trick to using a portable garden bed is layers going up.

Make sure it’s in a nice sunny spot & whack a trellis in the back of it for your climbers to reach for the sky (we’ll be planting tomato & cucumber but I wouldn’t mind adding in some peas to that mix as well). The middle layer is where you bung in the medium sized bushes like Basil, Capsicum & Chilli. Down in front is reserved for the low lines, we’ve got radish & beetroot going in this year.

Apparently, this mountain is a good month behind the rest of Victoria to start the growing season & ends a solid month ahead of the rest too so our time to harvest is short, but we shall have food from our garden to our kitchen! We’re determined!

Compost Curiosity

Way up in the back corner of our Home Farm, underneath a drooping tree, we found hidden treasure!

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When we were dreaming of this sustainable lifestyle change, we eagerly leapt upon any old scrap of information we stumbled across out there. Ever so slowly, we managed to sift through all the ooohhhhssss & aaaahhhhhhhhsss of what we romanticised our life would be like to what we actually thought we stood half a chance of really achieving.

I mean, we wanted fields of Lavender (Munstead variety for culinary purposes, of course), a herd of Jersey cows to make cheese & ice-cream, chickens for eggs, a pony for Mini Me, Alpacas (just because I’ve always adored them), multiple vegetable crop gardens, an Apple Orchard for making Cider, pigs for our own pork, a petting barn for kids, mushroom cave & the list goes on!

What a menagerie we would have if it all came true!

One of the more interesting ‘herds’ we planned upon was investing in a worm farm. It certainly seems like the perfect sustainable solution for a rather tidy little cycle. Kitchen waste goes in the top to feed the worms who in turn break it down into a rich liquid to pour onto the plants in the garden to grow into more beautiful food. What could be simpler for novices?!

Then we stumbled across a rotted out structure under a tree in the far corner of the property. Peeking around the falling down walls, I was surprised to discover a rather new looking compost bin. We don’t know anything about compost. We dismissed it quite early in the process as being far too complicated for people like us as you can get it really, really wrong. Our motto has always been to use what you already have therefore, we simply have to give it a go.

I, mistakenly thought, that everything could just dump on a compost – WRONG! Thank goodness for Google! I ever so narrowly avoided my first composting boo-boo. So, cooked food scraps should not go on the compost as they will attract animals, also, tea bags should not go on the compost either! Who woulda thunk it?!?! Just to clarify, loose leaf tea from the pot can most definitely go on the compost but not the bags, unless you’ve got specifically designed bags to decompose. If normal tea bags are put in the compost they won’t break down so you’ll need to bust them open before you use the compost, or better still, bust them open at the start & just put the loose tea leaves in there to begin with.

We’ve started to top up our inherited compost but have absolutely no idea how we actually extract the rich stuff – that’ll be a problem to figure out when we need it!

Melbourne’s Country Playground

After so many years spent wandering the nation as somewhat reluctant nomads,

have we finally found our nook of Australia to settle down in?

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We have lived from top to bottom & side to side of this great southern land we call home. We have roamed & loved, tasted & explored every possible climate available in a bid to find where we belong. At every new location, one of the very first things we do is to visit the local information centre.

Although these centre’s are catering to the tourists who arrive, they should never be overlooked by new residents to a region. We have found they are the best place ever to resource everything you need to get started in your new environment. Grab all the flyers & tourist trail maps of everything you’re interested in & then make contact with one of the friendly staff. Tell them you’ve just moved to town & they will fill your head with all the local’s only hot spots! Plus you’ll get bonus information of where the locals meet up to connect & chat about what’s happening. This is absolutely vital when landing yourself into rural or remote Australia.

So, our brand spanking new home is on the absolutely stunning Dandenong Ranges. Quite often overlooked for our iconic Yarra Valley neighbour, we’ve noticed a very clever marketing tactic by the local tourism bureau here, a blending of the names to produce the Yarra Ranges!

The trail map, pictured above, is first on our hit list to explore (we’ve already done some places) so, naturally, will be sharing our family outings with you.

We’re about an hour away from the Melbourne CBD and there are loads of day trips you can take up this way from the tour people, but personally, I would hire a car & really get out to explore all the little farm gate stalls to gather together a fabuliciouz hamper of fresh goodies!

However, let’s get back to the question at hand………..Can we finally settle down to grow some roots of our own?

We are adoring the novelty of 4 defined seasons in the south & the mountain feels like a world away from the city. There is ample work within a reasonable commute whilst we are able to maintain our country lifestyle. We have one of the world’s premier wine regions on our doorstep to compliment the outstanding food bowl produce from the rich soil. The spoils of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities are within easy reach for our picking. We are surrounded by an eclectic mix of people who reflect every region we’ve passed through to get here.

Our journey is no longer a destination. 

Driving Miss Milly

A Dream becomes a Goal when you take Action to Achieve it.

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Yesterday we brought Miss Milly home! She is now resting comfortably beside the holly bush on our Home Farm.

Hitching up in the caravan storage did take a wee bit longer than anticipated. Her jockey wheel latch had completely shattered! This meant we needed to improvise to get her on the road!

Dragging out the jack from the back of our trusty Toyota FJ Cruiser, hubby got his workout with spinning the handle to lift Milly high into the air before I used my eagle eyed judgement to guide him back onto the tow ball. Our hitching up distance calls are rather comical for any onlookers, often producing giggles, but best not written down for posterity 😉

Then it was my turn for some upper body exercise as I spun the handle to gently lower the old girl onto the car as hubby secured her. We were on!

What was Mini Me up to during all this? Well, she had discovered the stash of chocolate bars in mum’s handbag………

Dragging Milly up the steep, narrow mountain road through the National Park rainforest saw us in such high spirits. All of this long awaited, dreamed & multiple planned for lifestyle truly is materialising as reality right before our eyes! As well as the eyes of the extraordinarily long traffic queue stuck behind us, sorry about that.

So what shall become of Miss Milly now that she is finally basking in the lovely sunshine of our mountain Home Farm?

My friends, I have a dream!

It’s been a dream I’ve been boring people with for about 20 years! I have always longingly desired to open my own Teahouse. Whilst I’ve come close to it a few times, for various reasons it never quite got over the line. Clearly, a traditional bricks & mortar establishment is not the right avenue for my glorious Teahouse!

Quite a few years back, we used to enjoy being a part of the market stall community. We loved our time on the market circuit, setting up at a wide array of locations 3 times a week to sell our wares. It was vibrant, exciting & just a whole lot of fun. We remember looking enviously at the stallholders who had converted caravans into their commercial kitchens as they could simply open & close the server hatch each market whilst it took us 2-3 hours of set up & pack down each day.

I can’t believe it took us so very long to see the blatantly obvious solution sitting right in front of us!

Use what you already have!

Miss Milly shall now be transformed into the most stunning Vintage Bohemian Teahouse for the enjoyment of mountain market go-ers serving Gluten Free High Tea for people to be able to relax in eclectic style to truly soak in the alternative vibe of our beautiful Dandenong Ranges.

A Thorny Issue.

My destination is no longer a place,

rather a new way of seeing.

– Marcel Proust

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Last week I shared with you a photograph of a once pre-loved but now abandoned veggie garden & chook shed at the back of our rented Home Farm. Well, I’ve been watching this spot all week long & guess what I discovered?! It only receives about an hour of sunlight in the late afternoon each day! It is overshadowed by extraordinarily tall pine trees, along with a smattering of gum trees, that simply block out all the light. Now I don’t know very much at all about this whole gardening caper, but I do know that plants need sun.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the chook shed rambles this oh so prickly tangled mess that honestly looks like it could have a fairytale princess trapped somewhere in the midst of it awaiting her prince to rescue her! What an evil looking beast! And wouldn’t you know it, that is the spot where all of our precious sunlight falls all day long!

So, on Saturday afternoon I dragged the hubby up the back yard to show him this development. It was the first opportunity he’d had to actually go up there since we moved in! Mini Me was so uber excited to show him the compost bin we’d discovered under a tree & then where we can house our chickens. He was quite impressed with the chook shed actually. The structure itself is still fairly solid so just requires a wee bit of chainsaw gardening to the overgrowth surrounding it & we should be able to tidy that up nicely.

Then the clincher – da da dum! I spun him around to face The Thorns!!!!!!!

Surveying the situation, Hubby agrees that there is a lot more land in there than we ever anticipated being able to cultivate. He also sees my vision of just how this particular area would work for us when finished & how the layout would also have aesthetic appeal in addition to being practical. I was nervous he’d say I’m dreaming if I think we are at all capable of taking on such a massive job, but, to my complete & utter surprise, after a long pause of stroking his Genghis Khan (baby beard as Mini Me calls it) facial growth, he uttered those famous last words – “Shouldn’t be too hard”!

Just wait for the Spring time bush……can anyone else hear the Benny Hill theme tune????

Meet Milly

Part of our home farm master plan is converting our vintage van into a commercial kitchen.

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Our 1973 Millard Caravan is a 21 foot beauty! We actually lived in her for a whole year whilst we were roaming, seemingly lost, in this big wide land of Australia which we call home.

You can see by the picture, we had a pretty sweet set up going on.

Our travel plans had always been about trying to find home. Where did we want to finally plop ourselves down & plant some roots? We’ve been the length & width of this great nation & to a certain degree, still can’t categorically say we’ve arrived……yet. We’re going to give the Dandenong Ranges a good crack though.

The question had always loomed over us of “What about Milly”? What would we do with our precious home on wheels after our nomad days were done?

We’ve been through many ideas in our heads of what would become of her & even listed her for sale for a time, but no sensible offers were made so we accepted that she is now a part of our family. Yet still the question remained of how to utilise her now to benefit us the most.

Quite a few years back now, I went to a wee culinary school here in Melbourne & became a Chocolatier. More recently, you would of noted the couple of cake classes I’ve attended since arriving into Melbourne to set up home.

In Australia, to be able to sell food for consumption you need to prepare it in a licensed commercial kitchen which has really strict rules. Of course renting our home farm, we won’t go through the lengthy & expensive process to register this kitchen inside. However, we’ve seen a growing trend of savvy entrepreneurs converting caravans into these commercial kitchen spaces that they can then take anywhere with them they go! Absolutely brilliant! We’ve got the van, so why not give it a go?!

The first step will be to haul Milly out of the van storage she’s currently relaxing in & drag her up the mountain. Wish us luck!