Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

It's the weekend ... and this week's links ...


 Things are winding down round here. The kids all finished school last Tuesday, basketball is finished, the last cricket match was this morning and the last tennis match tomorrow. Swimming is still going but The Little Girl had a bad cold this week so I had a bit less running around.

The weather is lovely here today. The Boy and Hubby are out netting the fruit trees and later this afternoon we'll have a swim and BBQ dinner ... I think steak sandwiches. Tomorrow is The Boy's birthday party. We are not quite a month late but his birthday was followed by two weekends of Victorian Qualifying Swim Meet for The Little Girl, then a Sunday afternoon viewing of The Mockingly Part 1 for the girls and I, so this was our first opportunity. Five friends, pool, party pies and sausage rolls, a movie, ice-cream cake and massive amounts of sugar. Should be fun.

Here's my links for this week ...

1. Here's a fun 2015 reading challenge.

2. Love this DIY wall organiser.

3. I'm thinking about what I want to do for documenting next year. I really like some of the ideas in this plan.

4. Pip is embarking on a Year of Australian Writing Challenge in 2015. While I won't be joining in I will be keeping on eye on her posts for some good Australian books starting with this list of Australian Literary Awards.

5. Holiday Writing Prompts.

Have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

This week's links ... and my aching legs ...

The first flush of flowers on our new climbing rose.

I turned 43 this week and I'd decided a while ago that this would be the week to finish my goal of running 10km in under 60mins. We had an early morning wakeup in the form of a massive thunderstorm that blew over in time for The Little Girl to go to swimming at 6:15am and then I went to help cook 140 egg and bacon muffins for the club's State breakfast. Driving home I was tossing up whether to run or not. I've not been feeling fantastic this week and on Wednesday had a bout of vertigo which usually takes a couple of days to get over, plus my fitbit says I only got 5hrs sleep last night so I was tempted to skip it but decided I may as well do this thing.

Last km was a killer ... but I completed in 59:52 ... not as fast as I would have liked ... but mission accomplished. And I've decided 5km is probably my favourite distance to run.

Anyway ... the links ...

1. Bullet Journal Series: The Complete Package. I'm still using my bullet journal and loving the flexibility as it constantly evolves according to my needs.

2. I have some money from the relatives for my birthday to buy an indoor plant and would really love a fiddle-leaf fig but don't want to spend my money on something I may kill in a couple a months. If I do decide to risk it I will take this advice.

3. 101 List Prompts for your art journals.

4. These DIY peppermint bath salts for friends and teacher gifts are such a good idea. I'm thinking on a smaller scale may work for The Boy's school KK gift because it has to be homemade and non-food.

5. Decadent hot chocolate mix. Maybe a special family night in?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

This week's links ...

Pork buns

1. We made pork buns last week. We were all home in the afternoon, we had leftover roast pork that had already done quite a few lunchbox sandwiches, and I wanted to do something a little different to celebrate the end of a long running dispute. I ended up with about half the meat left over after making the buns and I felt they did need more meat in them. If I do make them again I'll make sure I force more meat into the buns.

2. The Week in Texts. With a bit of tweaking would make a change in the project life album.

3.  This week I tried a new slow cooker recipe Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken which was a winner.

4. DIY wood base terrariums.

5. Free guided journalling pages.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Family Bonding


A jet of water shot in the face from about 20cm? That's what we call a special father-son moment.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This week's links ...

It's hot and windy here today. I've had a virus this week and am now on antibiotics and not feeling that special but I did take The Big Girl out this morning for a successful shopping trip to buy a dress for her social that's coming up soon ... looks good and on special which brought it well into our price range. For the rest of the weekend I must do some writing, there is a basketball game this afternoon and Swimming Club Sprint Champs for The Little Girl and The Boy, but thought I'd post some links here while I have some lunch and get my head around what I need to write ...

1. Homemade miracle cleaner ... useful for The Boy's cricket whites?

2. The kids don't mind a bit of vegetarian and I've been adding some vegetarian meals into our regular rotation but with their sport I want to be careful ... here's a list of 12 Complete Vegetarian Proteins. And as a bonus this Keralan Curry was a hit and it has rice and chickpeas which together make a complete protein.

3. No matter what I tell myself it seems that I just can't escape my haphazard approach to the veggie garden but here's how to do it properly ... 6 Steps for Planning Next Year's Garden.

4. I may surprise the ids sometime with some homemade chocolate rice puffs.

5. Plantagram. 4X4 foot veggie garden planting guides.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

This week's links ...

1. Another book list ... 100 Books to Read Before You Die. A good mix of books. I've read 46.

2. I'm refashioning my mornings at the moment, I won't be doing everything in this post but some good ideas in 6 small changes to your morning routine the will transform your entire day.

3. Warren Buffett's 2 list Strategy. Pick the 5 most important things on your list and then avoid at all costs the other 20 until those are completed. Good advice for those of us that may procrastinate on them oust important things by doing other "useful" stuff ... that would be me.

4. I'm wondering what this no churn cheesecake ice cream would be like.

5. The Official Week in the Life starts next week. I've completed this once and I'm thinking about joining in this year, although it's quite likely that i'll get partway through Tuesday, see someone's WITL post and remember that I was supposed to be doing it. Maybe I'll set an alarm Monday to remind me?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

List #7: What we did on a two week holiday to Pt. Lonsdale in September

1. Day trip to Pt. Addis
2. Lizard hunting.


3. Have a slice bake off.
4. A manic game of backyard basketball.
5. Card games.
6. Play Forbidden Island.
7. Climb the trees at the front beach.
8. Find a geocache.


9. Make apple muffins.
10. Play a life size version of Forbidden Island ... also known as make it round the point at low tide. We had one abortive attempt and made it on the second try.




11. Lunch at Charlie Noble.
12. Practice Golf with Grandma.
13. Eat ice creams at Queenscliff Harbour.


14. Visit Grandpa at Vinnie's where he volunteers.
15. Hide and seek at the Uncle's.
16. Lunch at Driftwood.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

This week's links ...

1. I just planted my tomato seeds in toilet rolls that are sitting in my laundry but looking ahead this might be useful ... Trellising tomatoes.

2. I really like the idea of this alphabetic/numeric photo-a-day list.

3. I'm more of a visual person, so I've been experimenting with my note taking and journaling to incorporate more visual interest. Sketchnoting Tips ... and here.

4. Good questions to wrap up your day in this journal.

5. 31 Days to a Meaningful Morning. I found this series during the week and am following along.

Friday, October 17, 2014



Narrated iMovies seem to be the foreign language project of choice this year ... we had my house (in Mandarin), my fashion show (Italian) and the Chinese teacher noticing all the cute pets in the house movies has now set a pet assignment.

Photos needed to be found of Harry so I directed her to my old mac that has all our photos prior to 2013. That was all good but she wondered where the older photos were ... she couldn't find any of him as a puppy.

"Oh, those are all on film"
"What do you mean"
"What like video"
"No, I mean film, you know with negatives."
"How can you not know what film is. We didn't have a digital camera until you were 5."

So today I rummaged through the boxes to find the right photo album and while I was there pulled out an old film cassette.

"See, you stick this in the camera, take 40 photos, then take it out and down to the store to be developed. You pick your photos up after a couple days to see what you got."
"What do you mean"
"There was no screen to check your photos."
"What? That's silly. What if you took all blurry photos."
"You did your best not to."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

This week's links ...

Crazy, crazy week here getting back into school routine, plus with training duty for basketball and a team managers meeting on the nights that The Boy and The Little Girl also needed to be at swimming ... luckily Hubby is in the country this week. It's a lovely day here today. I spent some time watching The Boy at his first cricket match and planting some seeds in the vege garden.

Now on to some links ...

1. The ultimate Beginner's Guide to Street Photography.

2. Guide to the Easiest Indoor Plants.

3. How to make English Muffins.

4. We had this Beef Kofta last Saturday. It was yum.

5. Daylight savings also started this week, so getting up has been extra fun. I should take this advice ... A Gentle Guide to Help you wake up earlier.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

This week's links ...

It's a beautiful day here today, it would have been perfect for the beach but we are back in Melbourne so it's gardening day and then later I'll take The Little Girl to her long distance swim meet. First 400m freestyle race for her so that will be interesting. The Big Girl is painting the fence and The Boy is helping Hubby put mesh up behind the fruit trees. I have already completed my job (pruning) but I may head out again later to plant some summer vegetable seeds. Anyway ... the links ...

1. Stepables - plants for paths and walkways ... if the mondo grass between our steppers doesn't take, I'll need this.

2. Day in the Life Process. (with ideas for expanding it to WIL).

3. A collection of beautiful free PL cards.

4. Emergency Ingredient Substitutions. If you're anything like me you often start making something (or can't be bothered making a run to the shops for one ingredient) and find you don't have everything you need. Here's a list of substitutions. It could also come in handy for allergies I guess.

5. Free day planner downloads (registration required)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Exploring Pt. Addis

While down at the beach we went on a day trip to Pt. Addis which is just past Bell's Beach on the Great Ocean Rd. We found the information in the Best Walks of Geelong, the Bellarine and the Brisbane Ranges and decided to do the Koori Cultural Walk and add on the Ironbark Basin and Jarosite Headland. We picked a gorgeous day and headed off in two cars. The kids made sure that we would be coming back to the beach before they started up the bush track. The Koori Cultural walk has signs along the track with information on how the indigenous people lived and used the plants in the bush.


It was a good time of year for wildflowers.



The track wound up and down through varying habitats.


Every now and then we'd break out of the bush and be treated to stunning views.

 The cliffs are unstable so these viewing platforms come in handy for a place to rest and enjoy the view in safety.


We completed the Cultural Walk quickly and decided to continue on, we were a little unsure which direction to take until mum spotted the Tiger Snake Breeding Area Sign.


 Our directions were to turn left. We set off and wound our way along the coast and up the headland. At one point the vegetation was encroaching heavily on the path and going up the headland the path was badly washed away.


We missed the top viewing area but luckily I snapped this...


before we found ourselves heading downhill through bushland. We hit the major path at a T-intersection as described in the book. There was sign on the track we had just emerged out of ... track closed. OOPS! We are quite sure that there was no sign on the other end though. The next part of the track was fairly steep uphill but well maintained before it flattened out to run behind houses back to the Ironside carpark. We left the kids and uncle eating lunch at the picnic tables and walked the 2km back to the beach carpark to pickup up the cars. I think the kids may have mutinied otherwise. Since we were in the cars we drove up to the Point and had a look


then stopped at the toilets (drop toilets and not nice, but luckily mum had some hand sanitiser) before parking back in our original carpark so the kids could have their swim and play on the beach. We stayed near the stairs end where clothing is not optional.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Project Life 2014: August

It's been a while since I've finished a whole month but here's August. It was a low photo month so I've done 3 pages.
2014 PL Aug pg 1
I started with some photos from the vege garden. The journaling is modified from this blog post which you may notice sat forgotten in my drafts folder for a while. I also included a story about the coconut that came in our CERES box. White card stock on journal cards is from Jubilee by One Little Bird. August calendar is by Jillian McClenahan and is available as a free download
2014 PL August pg2
This page features the journaling from my around here blog post with a few modifications and additions. For privacy reasons I blurred the photos of The Little Girl at the athletics carnival and The Boy with his soccer team and used CZ Design privacy labels.
2014 PL Aug pg3
The last page are photos from the trip Hubby and The Boy took to Mt. Buller so The Boy could compete in the inter school snowsports championships.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

This week's links ...

1. I've just finished making a Double Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova for The Little Girl's birthday cake and am looking forward to tucking in later tonight.

2. Must Read books ... I've read one, The Help.

3. My indoor plants are doing very well so this post "How to Divide House Plants" may come in handy soon.

4. A bumper list of movies to watch with kids.

5. I've written a couple of unsent letters in the last couple of months (a good way to get something off your chest when actually getting it off your chest may do more harm than good) ... here are a whole list of prompts for a letter journal.

We've had a lovely day watching the AFL grand final while indulging in champagne, dip and cheese, playing The Little Girl's new game, a run some cooking and just generally enjoying the beautiful weather. I hope you weekend is full of lovely things too.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Taking Stock September

PicMonkey Collage

You can pick up one of Pip's Taking Stock List and join in if you like.

Making : granola in the slow cooker.
Cooking : old favourites.
Drinking : water. The wine cellar is bare and I've decided to have a pause on restocking.
Reading: Romans commentaries (I just handed in a paper) ... but also Love Does (OK) and The Idea of Perfection which I'm not loving.
Wanting: a resolution so we can move on.
Looking: at a bird catching worms in the lawn.
Playing: Forbidden Island ... or we will be on Saturday, it's the Little Girl's birthday present.
Deciding: which articles to write my critical reflections on ... anything over 20 pages got the first round chop.
Wishing: someone would go to the supermarket for me.
Enjoying: a quick getaway down the beach for Father's day.
Waiting: to see whether the cricket club can get a team together for The Boy.
Liking: not having to do the school run.
Wondering: whether the seeds I planted on the weekend will be any more successful than the Autumn lot.
Loving: the thought of 2 weeks down at the beach.
Pondering: how we can see things so differently.
Considering: the wisdom of agreeing to The Boy's choice of cake to cook ... my floors and benches are not happy.
Watching: The Block.
Hoping: to get The Little Girl's expedition done these holidays.
Marvelling: At the confidence of the kids singing into head mikes at The Boy's school musical.
Needing: a solid night's sleep ... although I've been giving it my best shot.
Smelling: daphne at the front door to my parents house a Pt. Lonsdale.
Wearing: running shorts ... a couple of days have been warm enough to ditch the skins.
Following: this series on Maxabella loves.
Noticing: that my weekly lists are getting longer.
Knowing: I better let go of some of those things.
Thinking: Where will it end?
Admiring: the Little Girl's ability to get A's on her music exams ... grade 4 violin this time.
Sorting: priorities.
Buying: Supplies to make this and this. Which both turned out yummy and were very easy.
Getting: skype phone calls from China.
Bookmarking: seeded oat bread.
Disliking: massive thunder storms with hail stones at school pickup, flooded roads and no umbrella.
Opening: a packet of seeds that arrived in the mail from Diggers.
Giggling: at Dog house diaries How Babies Make Decisions.
Feeling: like some fresh air.
Snacking: on Thai style sweet chilli cashews.
Coveting: a fishpond for my courtyard to replace the half dug hole in the dirt.
Wishing: they would be reasonable.
Helping: The Little Girl pack for swimming camp.
Hearing: the wind whip around the house (we've had some wild weather round here)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

List #6: The Little Girl's Guestlist


1. Tamsyn
2. Tara
3. Samarra
4. Jaquie
5. Sophie
**Alison, Hannah and Kate couldn't come.

We had to pull a birthday party together at the last moment (3 days notice) because we decided we just better have one or it wouldn't happen at all. With most of her friends having birthdays in September and October and three weeks school holidays over this period it can be hard to get a date. So it was spa, homemade pizza dinner, ice-cream cake and the movie Inkheart before a reasonably early night so The Little Girl could make her 6:15 swim session the next morning.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The winter vege garden ...

looks not bad from this angle ...


but the rest of it is not looking nearly as good. These are a mix of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower that I bought as seedlings and planted out. We've been eating home grown broccoli this week.


As for rest, I have some straggly onions, about half the broad beans sprouted and none of my snow peas or sweet peas that I planted along the fence have emerged from the ground. I did have major issues with some kind of animal pulling up the pansy seedlings and digging up seeds. In the last week or so some carrots have popped up, the coriander is big enough to cut a few leaves for a garnish and an unidentified plant that popped up and then quickly overtook the neighbouring coriander. A wander out to the garden this week and a closer inspection revealed the radish bulb poking from the ground. It's quickly grown very large so I pulled it and it will be sure to spice up my salads this week.


So overall not a total loss ... we'll see what else decides to pop up in the next month. It's time now to start planning our spring plantings ... there's plenty of gaps to fill.

This week's links ...

1. May try this yoga pose.

2. I have a few corners that could do with an elevated plant. One of these DIY plant stands might be just what is needed.

3. A really easy way to improve your food photography.

4. Imposing artificial times constraints to get more done.

5. Let go of the unnecessary.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A most ridiculous cake ...


Three floor washings. Myriad chocolate finger marks on my cupboards. Wondering if I should have agreed he could make it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A short getaway ...


A boy sick on the way nearly derailed our plans, but with no further recurrence we enjoyed our mini break.

Joining with Abi.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Adventures with a Bullet journal: What's in the journal July 2014

In July I decided to try a bullet journal for recording all the little bits and pieces of my life in one place. I've worked my way into a bit of a routine, and apart from my monthly, weekly and daily focus pages (which I plan to write about in another post), I also have some collections, book notes and other bits and pieces. I've found it useful to see how other people are using their journals and so I figured why not add my experience to the conversation.

  • Bible reading plan. I'm following the girls plan from youth group so we can have a conversation about it sometimes. I just glued this in.
  • List of ideas to try, things I'm concerned about. I go through my daily journal pages each week and transfer to here anything that has popped up that I don't want to tackle in the next week or month.
  • Our 4 week rotating menu for Term 3.  Bullet Journal - Term 3 Rotating menu
  • List of vouchers and their expiry dates.
  • Notes from a study skills seminar I attended with The Big Girl.
  • Goals brain storming session.Bullet Journal - Goals Brainstorming
  • Specific goals for the next 6 months that came out of my brain storming session.Bullet Journal - 6 month goals
  • Notes on Brene Brown's Daring Greatly. A highly recommended read. I only note down things that I think are really worthwhile and my notes on this book filled 3 pages.
  • Some general information for the unit I'm studying this semester and a plan of attack for the assessment tasks. Bullet Journal - Romans plan of attack
The fact that I have everything that is on my mind in one book is a great advantage to actually writing things down. If I had to think where to put something I might not write it down at all and then it would probably be lost as it gets crowded out by the huge variety of things jostling for my attention.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Around here ...


Enjoying ... a little taste of Spring at the end of winter. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were beautifully sunny and warm for this time of year.

Congratulating ... The Little Girl on her 3rd place ribbon in the Yr 7-8 C 1500m at the GSV athletics last week (5:50). Out of the year 7's in all four races she was 4th. She also ran in the Yr 7-8 B 800m and came 6th (2:50).

Playing ... the last match of the season. Basketball for The Big Girl and soccer for The Boy. 

Registering ... The Boy for cricket in summer.

Wishing ... the school did not require iPads for little boys who have not yet developed the responsibility to use them well and avoid the many temptations put in front of them.

Packing ... well some of us, for trips to the snow this week.

Listening ... to extra music practice in preparation for an upcoming violin exam.

Anticipating ... less early mornings now that the school athletics season is finished.

Drowning ... under the massive amount of reading required this semester.

Planting ... two climbing roses outside my kitchen window.

Eating ... choc chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. Homemade by The Big and Little Girls.

Running ... after a week off with a virus I did two runs last week.

Booking ... accommodation for our road trip to central Australia next July. The only nights left to book are the first night and last night on the road back to Melbourne.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This week's links ...

1. My winter vegetable garden is not going that well, I'm sure some kind of animal is getting in there ... next time I plant seeds I might try this trick to keep the animals off.

2. How to make a film about everyday life.

3. The Gamegal has lots of games to play, including lots of printables.

4.Yoga Hacks: How to undo the damage of a desk job. My increased work hours and very poor posture are taking their toll.

5. Why it's so hard to catch your own typos.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The soccer coach.

Those of you who are regular attenders round here will know that I adopt the twenty words format quite often, being an easy post that transfers well into our Project Life album. The meme originated with Abi and this week it's that time of the month when she hosts a linky, so now would be the perfect time to join in with your own post.


Working out player positions. It's just one part of her role as coach of her school's Junior B Soccer team.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Homegrown passionfuit


A couple of very late passionfruits were our first so we picked them while green and finally they were ready.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

This week's links ...

1. 10 Ways to Savor a Slice of Simplicity.

2. I often reuse glass jars and I currently have a whole variety of glass jars with the labels half hanging off so this homemade goo gone may be just what I need with no nasty chemicals.

3. How to Build a New Habit: Strategy Guide.

4. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime ... I think I've read 33 of these.

5. Would I ever do more than remove the mess on the bench around the dish before photographing food? I'm not sure, but here's 5 Time-saving Tips for Food Photography if I ever do decide to produce some of my own tempting food photos.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Month in Numbers: July 2014

Month in Numbers is a meme hosted by Julie at Notes on Paper.

9 = the number of nights Hubby was at home.  Two almost 2 week trips with just over a week home between. He decided to try China Southern Airlines on his second trip. Airplane food is not exactly something I usually look forward to but I was very glad that I did not have to front up to the French slippery fried eggs.

2 = the number of hours of sleep The Boy said he got at the Kidschurch "sleepover". His favourite part? Going to Bounce. This was not good a good lead up to the 4:30am wakeup to go to the ...

97cm of snow at Mt Buller. It's been quite a few years since there has been that kind of coverage in the July school holidays. Hubby accompanied The Boy to the time trials for his school snowsports team. We also wrangled a spot for The Big Girl on the bus so she went with them and tried some snowboarding.


43 years for this man. Yes, he managed to be in the country for his birthday.


5.15km run in 30:03min. I completed the Couch to 5km on the 7th of July and decided to continue on to complete the 10km. I'm mixing it up with intervals, easy runs and the longer runs from the Couch to 10km app. I want to increase distance and speed. Total distance run this month 42.38km.

3 books read. 

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a short time I thought this might be one YA that broke the mould with the ending, in spite of that very enjoyable conclusion to the series.

 Gathering Blue (The Giver #2)Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Written at a level suitable for preteens or younger teens this was a really easy read but as usual Lowry gives us something to chew over.

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal RecoveryHow to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Recovery by Ron Klug
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a re-read for me but it was a while since I'd read it originally and I'd actually forgot a lot of it. Highly recommended book on the topic of keeping a journal. Covers not just writing daily entries but also using a journal to help goal setting, daily devotions, recording the past and more. Also tips for "harvesting" your journal once you're finished.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Make your own yoghurt in 7 easy steps.

homemade yoghurt

Homemade yoghurt has a beautiful light and silky texture and creamy taste that sets it apart from the store bought variety, and it is really very easy to make. Here's how ...

1. Pour some milk into a saucepan. I use a medium size saucepan and about 600-800ml of milk which makes enough for about 1 week's worth of yoghurt for me. You will need a thermometer. I use a milk thermometer which is handy because it clips onto the edge of the saucepan.

homemade yoghurt

2. Heat on the stove to 80C or 180F. This kills any bacteria already in the milk. This is the hard part ... 80C is just before the milk boils over and makes a mess so don't forget about it. If it does boil over it will not effect your yoghurt but you lose some milk to the mess on the stove and cleaning milk off the stove is not fun ... yep, I've done it more than once. While it's heating you can add sugar, honey or vanilla if you want a sweet or flavoured yoghurt. When I began making yoghurt I did this and gradually reduced the sugar content as my tastebuds became acclimatised to the lower sugar content. I now just make plain yoghurt, which apart from the reduced sugar has the added bonus that I can use the yoghurt both on my breakfast and in savoury dishes.

homemade yoghurt

3. Turn the heat off. Let the milk cool down to between 38 and 42C (100-110F). This is the temperature the the yoghurt cultures grow at. Too hot and you'll kill your yoghurt bacteria, too cold and they won't grow. If you do forget your milk at this stage and it drops below 38C just turn on the heat again to get it back to temperature. I normally skim the skin that forms when it cools off the top of the milk.

4. Now you need a little bit of yoghurt as a starter. I use a small amount of my previous batch of yoghurt but starting out you can use a store bought yoghurt with live cultures. I've used Jalna and a few other brands. Just make sure they contain live yoghurt cultures and you should be good to go. I use a heaped teaspoon of yoghurt and mix it with a little bit of the warm milk in a small bowl. It's easier than trying to stir the yoghurt into a big pot of milk. Don't go crazy here, if there's still small lumps of yoghurt, that's fine.

homemade yoghurt

5. Pour this yoghurt/milk mixture into a clean container. I prefer to use a pyrex container because it's glass with a tight fitting lid, but plastic tupperware type containers or glass jars would be fine. Once you've done that pour in the rest of the milk from the saucepan and give the whole lot a good stir. 

homemade yoghurt

6. Now you want to keep it warm for about 8 hours. I wrap it in a towel and put it into a cooler bag. I used to put a heat pack in the cooler bag as well but then my heat pack spilt and I haven't replaced it. If you've got one you can use it, but it's not necessary. If your house is very cold then you might need it.

homemade yoghurt

7. If you are making the yoghurt in the evening, I often make mine after dinner, you can leave it overnight and your yoghurt will be set in the morning. This batch I made mid morning and put it in the fridge at 8pm. I usually let it set for anywhere between 8 and 14 hours. Once it's set you don't want to stir or shake the container as that will break down the structure of the yoghurt.

homemade yoghurt

And that's all there is to it. Cheaper and yummier than store bought, and much easier to make than you might think. I think my first batch failed, mainly due to the fact that I was trying to gauge the milk temperature by feel but since then I have only had one batch fail and I've been making it several times a month since early last year. If you want to give it a go my recommendations are to use a thermometer and if a batch does happen to fail, buy new yoghurt to use as a starter.