Sunday, August 4, 2013

Planning Ahead

Over the past month I have gone back to cooking a lot of meals on the weekend so that they are there when we need them. I found we were eating too many take-away dinners. Not all ways in the "McD" sense but often grabbing a cooked chook and salad from Coles on the way home from work - or something of the sort.

This has added quite a lot to our food budget as you can imagine, every trip to the supermarket is $20-$30. And on an already (I think) generous grocery budget this had become a major expense.

Hence the reason I have started planning again. I have made and frozen meals such as chicken fried rice, rogan josh, chicken biryani, lasagne, casseroles (all sorts), curried sausages and savoury mince. All of these are easy to cook, can have as many veggies as you want in them and defrost very very well, making dinner quick and cheap. Cheap as now I am not doing a full grocery shop and then doing another in bits and pieces throughout the fortnight. Lovely.

Do you freeze ahead? What recipes have you found that freeze and defrost well?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Doing Stuff

Brrrrrrr! Jack Frost has certainly started nipping at our noses here! 2 weeks ago Dad still had ripening tomatoes and now the asparagus is hibernating and the basil is gone.

I have finished Amelia's scarf and have mine about 1/4 done. Amelia's is called a cancan scarf - only took a day to do. Here it is:

It is pink, purple & navy
Last weekend also saw Amelia finish her artwork that she did for my sewing room. I think it looks awesome!
It's a cherry blossom tree losing flowers in the wind
Tomorrow I am off to Armidale for a drive and possibly a stop at Lincraft. Okay definately Lincraft, LOL!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hello and Happy Mothers Day!

Yes it's been a while. Yes I have missed blogging about somethings and nothings. But today, after having a visit with my Mum, I felt like crafting, sewing and cooking once again. Thank you Mum!

What a lovely day I have had. I laid in bed until 10 and it was good. I had breakfast with the kids and Dave and got two very wonderful gifts, a blue glass windchime and a purple kettle. Here they are -

Excellent Mother's Day stall gift chosen by Amelia
This is a metallic purple and I love it!

After we had breaky we headed out with a cake to Mum and Dad's place. She didn't know we were coming but she had just pulled a carrot cake out of the oven! (Which was absolutely divine with a lemon cream cheese icing - lush).

 I had a really good visit with Mum (as usual) and left with hands itching to do some craft or sewing. So when I got home I looked for a project - a quick, satisfying one. I found a sewing machine cover, which is perfect as both Amelia and I both need them.

This is mine, we will be finishing Amelia's this week, she would like a cover with pigs, so pigs it is.
I had to add a little material to the bottom as I got distracted by The Block and cut it 10cm too short! Idiot!! LOL! But I like it. I am thinking of doing a little backstitching around some of the flowers so they pop out a bit more. What do you think?

It would be something to take to work and do during lunch when winter comes in full force and the icy winds make you want to stay inside. Brrrrrrr. In the meantime I will cast on a dishcloth as I am running short.

What crafting are you up to?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fun & Free

I have been searching for some fun, free or cheap things to do with the kids during the year and came across - Geocaching.

You can sign up here at, a basic membership is free as is the iPhone app. There are literally thousands of caches waiting to be found. Located in rural and urban areas, you could easily break up road trips for a little treasure hunting!

We had our first go yesterday, it was a more urban cache and totally fun! The GPS took us straight to the cache site but it took us a while (about 30 mins) to find it as it was quite small and since it was our first go we weren't a 100% sure what it would look like.

In each cache there are also little trinkets, you can take one and replace it with another. In our first one we put in 2 old coins and took a glow in the dark star.

A treasure found!
Today we found another, this one only took about 5 mins to find! But it was hidden in a lovely location.

Gorgeous view on a very hot day
Next time we go geocaching I am going to pack a picnic and make a day of it. Other than any fuel it is a free fun family activity which makes a great change.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Love it! There is nothing as good as going out to the garden and coming back with an armful!
I went and pulled some carrots this morning (1 kg with the tops trimmed) and half a kilo of cherry tomatoes of varying sorts. Dont they look good?

Carrots are for my Mum and Sister
On Sunday I cut some of my rosemary where the "branches" (do I call them something else??) had started growing roots and transplanted them in a bed along the back fence. I read that rosemary can be grown like a hedge and this is what I am going for. That particular bed keeps getting over run by Brides Veil, a thin grass runner and I can not keep it out, so I am going to let the rosemary takeover - with a bit of help from moi.
Rosemary after her cut

Two new rosemary plants
Since Dave is making my new vege bed I can afford to give up that spot. I would like to be more organised this winter and have us eating solely out of the garden for our vege. This means more planning and less dreaming about the garden!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Summer is certainly here! We have had some really hot days here, well at least for us! Inverell usually has much milder weather and I am hoping that there is only another couple of weeks of the stifling heat and humidity to go..... really hoping. Got into the car at Tamworth yesterday and it said it was 36 degrees celcius. That's hot.

But it also got me thinking about what reminds me of Summer. For me it is watermelon, sprinklers, cricket and tennis on the telly, tomatoes, zooper doopers, sound of cicadas and the smell of bbq's.

Yesterday's cherry tomatoes from the garden.

Hard to believe in less than 8 weeks, we will be looking Autumn in the face. Still we have a lot more Summer to enjoy. I need to build another vege garden and it will be in a spot that gets nearly all day sun, work out how to make a compost pile, which seems very technical, and get my worms back up to maximum eating. I am counting on lovely weather on my week off to make these things happen, I think Dave has a list of his own too like fixing the leak in the shed and digging out the fairy garden. Only one more week till our week off work!!! Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year All!!!

No parties here last night, in fact I didn't here a peep. I did get up to watch the Sydney Harbour fireworks then went back to bed!

Today David and I have been cleaning the house, a very industrious start to the new year. Have a pile of stuff to take to the charity shop that got bigger today as we added more to the pile.

This is what I picked from the garden this morning, pretty good start to 2013I think. There is some rainbow chard, 2 potatoes, 2 zucchinis, carrots and some cherry tomatoes. Colourful and yummy. All the veg will be eaten tonight at dinner and the tomatoes with lunches or just as a snack.

I am hoping that this year will have more fun, more laughs, more gardening and less of the crappy stuff. I think being a bit more organised will go a very long way to getting rid of stress.