Eco-Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Eco-friendly father's day gift ideas on Veggie Mama
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Yes, I can’t believe it’s almost September, either. 2015 is the fastest year I think I’ve ever lived. And that includes two years with newborns… I don’t even know how that is possible.
But September it is, and that means Father’s Day. And also Smalls’s birthday, but that’s a story for another day! Father’s Day comes hot on the heels of Lunchbox’s August birthday and it’s a stretch for me to find just the right thing when he never bloody wants anything, and I find myself running out of ideas for Father’s Day. I find a few themes work well: coffee, food, books, and sport. I hope my picks for this year sparks a few ideas for you too!

 Father’s day letterpress card printed on an antique printing press using 100% recycled cotton tree free paper.  Designed & hand crafted in Brisbane. $7.95 Get it here.

Alter Eco dark chocolate with sweet pastured butter and celtic sea salt – a bar to melt over. Organically grown, fair trade, GMO-free, gluten free. 70% cocoa, 80g bar. $5.95. Get it here. (Buy one for yourself while you’re at it!)

We go through so many water bottles in this house – it’s outrageous. The Mr is well overdue a new one and we like Kleen Kanteen, made from BPA-free, food-grade stainless steel. $26.95. Get it here.

↣ Dr Beegood’s tattoo preserver is rich in Tasmania’s leatherwood beeswax, honey and moisturising plant oils to help protect, soothe and heal your tattooed skin.  100% natural, safe and gentle.   Handmade in Tasmania by Beauty & the Bees. 40ml tin. $23.50. Get it here. Will most probably be used by me as he doesn’t bother putting anything on tattoos, most of the time. Crazy.

We used to play Finska in the lovely Queensland summer sun, so hopefully Melbourne plays along this year. Based on the ancient log throwing games from Finland, I still haven’t got the hang of it yet. $75. Get it here.

I’ve been dying to get the Mad Millie specialty cheese kits ever since I saw one in the shops. The boxes contain everything for the intermediate cheesemaker to create gourmet specialty cheeses at home (even vegetarian rennet! Double thumbs up). Includes reusable equipment and quality ingredients that are free from artificial flavours and preservatives. $135. Get it here.

Another thing we don’t have enough of – Keep Cup Brew limited edition is a tempered glass reusable coffee cup with a cork band that is beautiful to hold, antibacterial and insulates your hand from heat. $30. Get it here.

I’ve never heard of Beer shampoo, but apparently it’s very conditioning, especially good for dry hair, little hair, flaky scalps and dandruff. Ultra-convenient, shampoo bar no fuss hair care loved by all who try it. I think it would be rad 125g bar. $11.50. Get it here.

There aren’t many weekdays until liftoff, so make sure you get your orders in toot sweet – although Biome provide the option of express (next day delivery) shipping if you get your orders in by noon Mon-Fri, which should help you out if you find yourself in the “last minute” category! *cough cough* me.

Do you already have Father’s Day sorted? 

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A Cup of Tea With Me

Veggie Mama

Poking my head out from 70 loads of washing to peep in and see how you are all doing? Seriously, it was only me gone this past week and I don’t know how I have managed to amass so much laundry. Hopefully it will be back to my extremely unrealistic goal of trying to do a load a day washed, folded and put away. Does anyone even actually do that? Do you?

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Around Here


So much drawing. Always with the drawing.

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About that one time I got attacked by monkeys in the Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

About that one time I got attacked by monkeys in the Monkey Forest, Ubud, BaliThe day started out like any other during our time in Bali. We awoke with the roosters at our  beautiful villa, ate our gorgeous breakfast poolside, and probably read a book in the sun.

Our villa manager was taking us to Ubud that day, to show us the places her guests usually like to be taken. We bought silver jewellery at the market, wandered around the temples, that sort of thing. We were having a cold beer and iced coffee (not together, gross) at Cafe Lotus, overlooking the Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati and the large lotus pond, when we asked our villa manager where our next stop on today’s trip would be. She told us the Monkey Forest before heading up to see the Mt Batur volcano, and while neither of us are keen monkey-lovers, it seemed the thing people did when they went to Ubud. We’d had dinner with some Australian friends a few days earlier and they said it was lovely – the monkeys even sat on your shoulder and ate bananas. To the monkey forest we went.

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A Cup of Tea with Me

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What a quiet week it’s been. Hunkering down from the cold (the cold the cold THE COLD) and getting our arts and crafts on (or arse crahts, if you remember our Facebook conversation from a while ago. Four year olds are rad!). We have enough watercolour paintings to walllpaper the entire upstairs level so you could say its been productive.

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Kickass Chicks: Ruth Bruten of Gourmet Girlfriend

As I sit here watching my kid eat the 875th Vegemite sandwich for the week (no strawberry or mandarine on the side thanks mum), I’m excited to have Ruth on the blog today as she’s helped me no end with the thought of getting good food into unwilling children.

Ruth is a mum of 5 boys, and is an absolute machine in the kitchen. She blogs at Gourmet Girlfriend where she shares recipes, music, and family tales. Every post is like sitting at her kitchen bench with a cup of coffee and a good piece of cake while having a chat – which I’ve literally done, so I can say so with authority!

Those of you who know her will be nodding your head – especially those of you with small children who eat like birds. Ruth is so warm and reassuring, quirky and colourful, and it brightens up my world just knowing she’s in it. She’s been there, done that, and told us all not to worry about it!

As much as I always wanted a large family, I feel good with my two girls. But Ruth is one of the only people who will really make me stop and think… can I add a few more? ;-)


Who are you? 

I’m Ruth. Sometimes GG. Sometimes Mum.

What do you do?

I blog at Gourmet Girlfriend where I share recipes and thoughts on my world as a mum of five boys.  I run my own small business –  teaching cooking classes , making Gourmet Goodie bags, and I have some other things to add to the mix in 2015!

Why do you do it?

I do it because it is important for me to be ‘me’. Whilst my job as mum always comes first- I see one of the very most important jobs I can do as a Mum is to teach my children how important it is to invest in yourself.

Why is good food so important to you?

Good food is important to me because I believe in people and our planet –  and by eating good food we are doing both of those things a very big favour.   The health of ourselves is tightly meshed with the health of our planet. The two are inseparable & I think they deserve our attention for the sake our children.

Are there times where you think you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?

Every. Single. Day.

What was it like when your kids were small and you wanted to get nourishing food on the table?  

It was stressful – like it is for every single parent out there.  Only a couple of days ago a good friend was asking for advice about her picky toddler and how to handle her fussy eating. I sent to to a post I wrote right back at the start of my blogging days. It is still my most visited & referred to post. Essentially it is about letting go of the stress & focussing on the time together at the table.

(Ps here is the post! and this post “What Really Happens at Our Dinner Table” is the one I love and I know it’s helped a few of you. Weet-Bix for dinner FTW!)

Have there been rough patches where you doubted yourself? What did you do?

I doubt myself every day. I wear the Crown of Self doubt. Well maybe it is more like a PomPom garland of self doubt…….  It is always people around me that I admire (like you!) that make me feel better by telling me it is normal and to keep on keeping on.

How do you make creating good food work with your family and your lifestyle?  

For me it is a way of life.  It is my life. We shop together as a family- mostly at Farmers Markets. It is an unquestionably delightful way to gather the sustenance that gives us so much joy.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I get up at 5.30 to exercise and shower before waking my biggest kids at 6.30 to get them off to high school. We sit and eat breakfast together before they head off. Round two starts after they have left with the littlies getting up at about 7.30 to get ready for school at 8.45.

I work from my home office from 10-2 every day- sometimes longer. During that time I may be writing recipes, designing recipe cards, packaging orders, writing blog posts, designing or delivering classes. Then I pick up the littles at school at 3 and bring them home. I often have to travel across town to manage the high school lives of the big kids. I am often not home until 7pm. Then we have dinner. Then bed time for the littles and organisational stuff for the bigs before they go to bed about 9.  Somewhere in amongst all of this I cook and clean and do the laundry (sort of!) . Then I collapse in a heap in my bed & read for a while before I go to sleep. I’m tired just writing this schedule!

Would you recommend having five kids to others?


What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

No kid ever grew up and looked back on their childhood saying  “My childhood was so happy because I grew up in a clean house”.

Vegemite or peanut butter?

Vegemite – I’m a Salt hound.

Thanks Ruth!


Mo Wyse and Shannon Martinez of Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli
Cath Young of My Bearded Pigeon
Lorraine Elliott of Not Quite Nigella
Cate Bolt of Foundation 18 and Pretty Fkn Embroidery
Kelley Sheenan of Peppermint Magazine

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

A Cup of Tea with Me


There’s frost on the grass, Triple M on the radio, and the sound of trams trundling past – there is no doubt about where I am on this Thursday morning! It is so good to be home.

Sure I’m wearing a handmade poncho on top of an entire winter outfit, I have socks inside my slippers, and can often be found sitting on the stairs because it’s the warmest part of the house, but it’s home.

Speaking of which, I saw this the other day:

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The working mum dilemma

I think I’m in Portland now. I don’t know, I’m writing this from the past. I’m going to assume I am and republish this post from back when I only had one kid and obviously more time in the day to worry about DA FUTURE.

The future is here, kid. And it’s better than you imagined.


Things have been ramping up in real life lately as I prepare to take my first steps on the journey to my PhD. I love my job, and being an academic is something I’ve always dreamed of – even though it took me a long time to get here and I chose probably the most roundabout, man-shortcut path.

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Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!
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