Bloggers sharing love and happiness

I returned home from the second day of my new job (Yay! very excited!) today without a drop of energy remaining.  It is so hot and humid here at the moment that the only place to be is in cold water.  Even an ice cold soda doesn’t bring much relief.  I have learnt, today, that I will have a number of special needs children in my class from Monday.  I am very excited to meet them, but I am afraid of not being the teacher that they need me to be.  I hope that I will make their school year as seamless and enjoyable as possible.

Feeling drained, I decided to check my blog while sipping ice water, and was met with a wonderfully encouraging comment.  To my surprise I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by darkjasm from .  Thank you for visiting my blog, and sharing the love by nominating my post for this award.  You are very kind and have given me new enthusiasm to continue blogging.

Even though I have read that many people receive this award, I am very grateful for its encouragement.  This award is by new bloggers and for new bloggers.  It has German origin and translates to “dearest”.  Its a way of sharing the love in the blogosphere.

 Liebster award rules:

1.  Thank your nominator and link to their blog.

2.  Answer your nominator’s 10 questions (find them at the bottom of this post).

3.  Nominate 10 other blogs, each of which should have less than 200 followers.  Notify them of their nomination.

4.  Come up with your own 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

My nominator’s 10 questions (and my answers):

1. What is your most favorite food?

This is a very difficult question for me to answer because I love all good food.  I particularly love Italian food.  If I had to eat one type of food for the rest of my life I think it would be pizza. 

2. Why?

Because you can change the toppings according to what you feel like – and it’s an excuse to enjoy cheese.  We have a local restaurant that makes a Monster pizza with chicken mayo, bacon, feta, pineapple, pepperdew and avacodo – amazing!  Or on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, preserved fig, feta, caramelized onion, butternut and chilli! How can you go wrong. 

3. What is your idea of “me time”?

Time spent doing things that make me feel relaxed:  painting, playing music, lying on the grass, cooking, crafting… anything like that.  Spending time alone, doing something that gives you the chance to clear your mind of any negative energy.

4. What comes to your mind when you hear or read “Indonesia”?

An exotic place that I am interested to learn more about.  

5. What is your favorite color?

Green.  It is neutral but inspirational.  

6. Which one is your favorite post in your blog? (a link please?)

My favourite post is on Making vintage-looking signs.  It was the post for day 3 of the zero to hero blogger challenge.

7. Why?

I originally started my blog with the intention of sharing ideas and discoveries, particularly crafts; and prior to this post I hadn’t done that.  So this is my favourite post because it’s what I really want to share.

8. Which post is the hardest one to write? (another link?)

My first post of this year, because it was full of disappointment; I had just learned that I did not get the job I had set my heart on.  I had also discovered that a “friend” had used our joint efforts raising funds for a charity for personal credit.  I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t get any credit (I genuinely did it for our selected charity and didn’t want to be identified), I was disappointed that she had used what was supposed to be a charitable (emphasis on the reason behind the fund raising, not the people behind the fundraising) effort as a personal pedestal.

9. What is the reason behind your chosen theme?

I haven’t really isolated a theme yet, but I’m getting there.  I would like it to reflect the type of things I am interested in and the type of person that I am.  People should get an idea about who I am by glancing at my blog.

10. What do you think about this award?

I think it’s a brilliant idea.  For me it came just when I needed encouragement and I’m sure it spreads the happiness wherever it is shared, so keep sharing!!

My 10 questions for the blogs I have nominated:

1.  Choose one word to describe you.

2.  What animal do you identify most with?

3.  Why?

4.  Why did you originally start blogging?

5.  If you could choose only one activity (besides the fundamentals like eating and sleeping) to do for the rest of your life, what would it be?

6.  Your house is on fire, what is the one thing you will save?

7.  What is your biggest wish for yourself?

8.  What is your biggest wish for others/the world?

9.  What advice would you offer new bloggers?

10.  What motto/quote/saying speaks to you most and why?  


I know it’s a lot to read and respond to, but please share this award with other bloggers who are starting out.  You never know whose day you will have made cheerful.

Thank you for the love.  

Now I’m off to nominate 10 other blogs.  Check in again to see who they are.

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Zero to Hero Blogger challenge: Day 3

Okay, so the main motivation behind me starting a blog was to share my ideas with the world; particularly crafting ideas/experiments.  Since I have been crafting quite a lot recently, I have a bit of catching up to do.  In the meantime I will share my favorite idea with you.  

You know those vintage looking signs that have become so expensive?  I have always loved them, but have never been motivated enough to actually fork out the cash for one.  I figured, why should I when we already have wood and paint lying around the farm – for free.

My first attempt was a bit messy, but still effective.  I simply painted the wood to look old and then painted the word free hand.  However, I wanted something a little more convincing; I wanted to have a printed word on my sign.  My first thought was to make a stencil, but after accidentally cutting through one letter too many I got over it.  I then remembered a technique we used as children to transfer magazine images on to paper – rubbing turpentine on the back to transfer the image.  It didn’t stick on the wood, but it gave me an idea.


How to make a vintage sign

Let’s first talk about the painting.  There are many ways to get the “aged” look, but I like shortcuts.  

step 1:

Lightly sand your piece of wood.  

step 2:

Use slightly diluted paint to paint the whole piece of wood.  I used acrylic pva because that’s what I had.  Pale colors are best for vintage.

step 3:

Lightly sand your piece of wood to thin out areas of the paint and reveal the plain wood underneath.

From here you could repeat step 2 and 3 using a second color.  It is important to wait for your sign to be completely dry before going on to step 4.  Sanding the edges of the sign is quite effective, as paint would naturally chip off first towards the edges.Image

step 4:

Choose the word(s) for your sign.  Type it.  Flip it horizontally (so that you’re reading it backwards on the screen).  Print it.  

I used the good ol’ paint program on the computer to flip the word horizontally.  I’m sure you could use a program you already have, nothing fancy shmancy needed.  We have a dinosaur computer and it worked.

step 5:

Spray a thin layer of clear spray paint onto your sign.  Place your printed word face down into the wet spray paint and rub the back of the word.

step 6:

Dip a paintbrush in water and brush the back of your paper until you can see the letters through the paper. 

Don’t make it too wet, as it will tear in the next step and possibly make the ink run.

step 7:

Use a blunt object (I used the back of my paintbrush) to lightly scratch over the back of each letter.

This is just to ensure that the ink has in fact transferred to the wood.  Don’t scratch too hard, as the paper will tear easily and ruin your word.  Be gentle.

step 8:

Peel off the paper.  TA-DAAA!  I like to spray over with clear spray paint to make sure that ink goes nowhere!!



There you have it.  Have fun and be creative.  Happy signing!



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Zero to Hero blogger challenge: Day 2


Today’s challenge has us revisiting the name and tagline of our blog.  Since I did that about 2 days ago, I think I’ll just explain myself.  I started off with the name “country wanderer”, but then it felt like the title was too much about me.  I was looking for a title that explains that I’m new to farm life, and is more about projects and experiences than myself.  Enter moo.mentum.  I’m sure the “moo” needs no explanation.  And momentum?  Well, hopefully I’ll be gaining some of that as time passes by.  Simple as that.  My hope is that the title in itself says what it needs to.

If you’re more interested in what I intend this blog to be about, check out yesterday’s zero to hero blogger challenge entry.

Thanks for visiting.

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zero to hero blogger challenge: Day 1


This photo was taken at Big Day Out in Perth in 2012 (can’t believe it was almost 2 years ago).  I am on the far right.

Nicole in a nutshell:

1.  Teacher:  I teach multiple grades at what started as a home-school but continued to grow.

2.  Traveler:  I lived in Perth, Australia and Umea, Sweden for 6 months each (and loved it).

3.  Nature enthusiast:  living on a farm and loving being a part of life here.  If I could, I would never go into town again.

4.  Animal lover:  I keep chickens and other animals.  At the moment I am taking care of a baby chick (in the house), and have just weaned a baby goat that thinks it is a human.

5.  Dabbler:  I like to fiddle and create things.  Often a mess, but on the odd occasion it turns out quite wonderfully.

6.  Resourceful:  I use what I have and make what I don’t have as much as possible.  I would love to become entirely self sufficient one day.

7.  Musical(I like to think):  I play a few instruments and would love to be able to play more.

8.  Opportunist:  I am always looking for new ideas and things to do and take advantage of.

9.  Adventure racer/mountain biker etc (that’s new).

10.  Happy to live the life I am living.

Why should you read my blog?

Because I might just discover a pretty awesome idea that works, and would be more than willing to share it here.  I often make silly mistakes, which end up being a lesson in themselves.  I have varied interests and am bound to strike on something that you also find interesting at some point or another.

I am blogging to keep track of my ambitions, attempts, discoveries and failures.  So that one day I can look back on them and re-use the ideas that worked and learn from those that did not.  I also want to connect with like-minded people around the world.  Who knows where it could lead me, but its an available opportunity and I would be a fool not to make use of it.

I will be writing about a lot of crafting and recycling ideas, as well as ideas on making money, living sustainably, keeping animals, cooking and baking, and hopefully travelling.

The main goals of this blog in 2014 are to connect with people with similar interests as myself.  I would like to hear about other people’s experiences and ideas, and be inspired by them.

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Hello 2014 – resolutions are realizations + 1st rant of the year.

“Happy New year!” I’m sure you’ve heard and said that without meaning a damn thing, but then again, so has everyone else.  This year I have decided to mean what I say, I will not wish someone a happy new year if I don’t genuinely wish them to have a happy new year.  I am not going to say, “I am fine thanks” if I am not.  Simple as that.  This year if I have something to say I resolve to say it.  I have spent 2013 getting frustrated, keeping it to myself and quietly dealing with it; telling myself that the fact I feel this way so easily is a reflection of the type of person I am.  So here it is right now:  I am mad.

It’s not even a week into the new year and I have already felt betrayed, which annoys me even more because I am trying not to allow the actions of others to have an influence on me.  Cheers to my first rant of the year.  I will embrace the “type of person” I am, whether I am flawed or not!

Last year a “friend” suggested that we start competing in adventure/Mountain biking races together.  I was keen.  When discussing it with the rest of our racing team we decided to dedicate our training and races to raising funds for a sanctuary which was dedicated to protecting an endangered species; they are doing miracles, but are in need of financial assistance.  We named our “organization”, and launched a page on facebook.  Since I wasn’t working at the time, I did all the admin; set up the page, the email, the paypal account etc etc and spent time typing letters, asking for sponsorship and being turned down.  I foolishly got myself into debt to get mountain bike(which I love)!  We trained every day and took part in as many races as we could, including a hectic adventure race.  Personally it felt very good to know that I was capable of completing challenges like that, and that was enough.  We had raised a good amount through working together and each putting in an effort, but now my “friend’s” true intentions have been revealed.  We raised R15 000, which is more than many people in our country earn as a salary.  But she went ahead and donated it in her own name!  I genuinely did all of this to raise money for the conservation, so I didn’t want any credit, but I am a bit confused as to why she would do that, when all our contributors donated money in the name of the organization.

Now I’m left wondering, am I just a jealous fool?  Have I really been betrayed or am I just over sensitive?  And I am constantly reminding myself that regardless of who donated the money, at least it did go to the place it was intended for.

But this is my year.  So I will not be involved with people who make me feel the way I feel now.  I have found a wonderful reminder on Pinterest, which pretty much explains my resolutions for 2014 – take a look at the image below and see what resolutions it inspires in you.

Here are mine:

1.  Be honest when considering what I would have done in the same position.

2.  Do things for the experience, not for the recognition.

3.  Remember that if there is no chance of failure, what I am doing is not enough.

4.  Do what makes me happy.

5.  Spend time with people I you love and who love me.

6.  Live a full and exciting life – a life I am proud of and happy to look back on.

7.  Know my limits and try to beat them.

8.  Do it when I have the motivation, do it NOW!

9.  Think about the real reasons behind someone’s actions, before reacting to them.

10.  Infact, don’t REact at all.  Act.

11.  Take a risk once in a while.


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Hello big quiet empty house… and INTERNET!

Christmas is a terrible and a wonderful time of year.  Wonderful for an endless list of reasons, and that’s not even counting the presents.  Terrible, because once you hit about 24 December you are completely broke; wallet’s empty and accounts are approaching their limits.  Also because, after all the festivities, there comes a time to say goodbye to all the wonderful things.

This year we have moved into the family farm house – belonging to family who now live in Australia.  For the first time in over 5 years they were able to celebrate Christmas here in their own home with us.  It was a beautiful Christmas.  But yesterday it sadly came to an end, goodbyes had to be said and they are now back on the other side of the world for another year.  The house has never felt bigger, emptier and quieter than it does now.

Anyway, I find that keeping myself occupied helps me not to notice the quietness as much.  But since Christmas I have been so fat and lazy that I simply couldn’t bring myself to actually DO anything.  Where do I go? The internet.  The internet is phenomenal.  It doesn’t matter what kind of a person you are, what you are interested in, or how much you know – there is always something to be discovered online.

I am in love with the idea of self sufficiency, living in harmony with nature, recycling etc etc.  So my internetting usually ends up somewhere either green or crafty.  Since yesterday afternoon I have stumbled across a few sites that may make you think again before “bla bla bla-ing” at the next mention of greenness.  

Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to check them out.  Browse around, click on things, whatever.  Come back and let me know if you’ve found something inspirational or worth sharing.





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Healing with Aloe

We have recently planted a herb garden.  Since most of the things that I plant soon wilt and die, I decided not to get too excited about this herb garden until it started looking a little more promising.  Well, weeks have gone by and we now have a herb jungle growing out of our garden.  NOT what I had expected!  Anyway, we now have a ton of herbs… What on earth do you do with a ton of herbs?

So I decided to buy a herb book and have since become quite experimental.  It turns out that many of them have strong healing properties if used in the correct application (yes I also thought this was a wish wash, earth people idea until I tried it).  But now I’ve become some sort of herb maniac, running to the garden with every sign of ailment.  The can also, of course, be a delicious addition to certain dishes.  

My favourite plant in our herb garden at the moment is the wonderous ALOE.  It produces a soothing gel which can be used to treat burns and other skin complaints.  It can also be painted onto your nails if you have a nail-biting habit, as it has a strong bitter taste and tends to dry out the mouth.  Beware of the leaves, as they can be a potent laxative if consumed in incorrect dosages.  The plant becomes increasingly powerful as it gets older.

If you are lucky enough to have  an aloe plant, they are fairly simple to take advantage of.  Simply break a small tip off the leaf and rub the exposed interior onto your burn or wound.  This creates a protective seal over the wound and helps the skin to recover without blistering.  Apparently aloe can also be used to treat things like eczema and fungal infections, like ringworm.  Aloe gel is also a gentle soother for sunburn and insect bites.

If you would like to make a convenient, ready-to-apply gel, this can be stored in a sealed container for up to a month.


You will need an aloe vera leaf, from the top of the plant, and a soothing essential oil (lavendar).

If using lavendar essential oil, the correct ratio is 4 drops of oil for every 50ml of gel.

Peel the leaf to extract the gel.  Place the clear gel in a blender.  once blended, add the oil and mix thoroughly.  Pour this mixture into your sealed container and store in the fridge.  


Ensure that you have correctly identified your plant before attempting to use it in the suggested manner.  The aloe plant can be potent if used incorrectly.  Keep the gel away from fabric, as it will stain.

Happy healing!

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wonderer or wanderer?

I absolutely love languages.  Words amaze me.  I could spend hours discussing unusual words and how ordinary words can be made to sound so mesmerizing just by saying it in another language.  A nutshell study of languages will demonstrate what a miracle they are.  Take any word, google translate it and see how it is transformed.  It just goes to show how remarkable and diversified the human brain is – even though we all share similar needs and desires.

My “human” brain, however, sometimes seems quite strange – even to me.  I often find myself dwelling on a thought, one which would reveal me to be completely twisted if anyone were to observe it.  Then again, it also takes me to wondrous places and leads me to enlightening conclusions.  It is not difficult to keep it entertained.

A thought which I stumbled upon, when listening to First Aid Kit’s version of “Tiger Mountain Peasant song”, was the comparison between “wonder” and “wander”.  Since first hearing it, I have been stuck on that thought.  Though I know the difference between the two, I found myself drawn to those words.  To wander is to drift along and go somewhere without knowing your destination, while to wonder is to entertain a particular thought.  “Wonder” feels mystical to me – it leads you to thoughts that give you a feeling of wonder, or amazement.

For a short while I considered calling my blog “country wanderer”, because I am now living on a farm and I have absolutely no idea what my role is and how I am going to survive – I am so lost.  Everything I do is without knowing, without a destination.  So, though I am rooted to one location, I am a figurative wanderer.

I finally settle with “country wonderer”, for the following reasons: Everything in this new life on the farm stimulates my imagination.  I know there are so many opportunities here, I just need to have time to wonder and explore all avenues of thought about them.  In turn I am led to new ideas, possibilities that fill me with a sense of wonder.  The things I have already experienced and seen on the farm are absolutely beautiful, and I am absolutely overflowing with ideas, expectations and anticipation.

This blog is going to dance about my life and discoveries here.  From farm life, animals, homesteading and home making, to frugal, sustainable living and figuring out how to make a living, while living in the sticks.  Wish me luck!

“Not all those who wander are lost”.

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