Saturday, May 28, 2011

Red Door!

Our door is finally hung! This is Dave's baby, he has put one coat of primer on it and 3 coats of topcoat. He was really worried that the previous door could be quite easily punched or kicked in. Now this door is solid. You can actually feel the weight when you swing it open.

We have also replaced the handles. The last one had a knob style handle on it and it was completely annoying.

Here is our solar hot water system. We timed it today and it got full sun from 7.00am to 4.00pm (at least as we didnt check after that). So we are looking at at least 9 hours of full sun a day. Woohoo! It is electric boosted and we are now on off peak which we werent previously, David would have to physically switch our hot water on/off at the switchboard to save some money.

This is the hot water holderer and pump. It holds 400L, we decided on the big unit because it was only marginally different in price from the next one down which was about 300ish L and this was only about $60 more. Isn't it beautiful?? LOL???

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another Weekend

I started working fulltime last Monday and it has made for a few changes, some I have done, some are works in progress.

I have started cooking the next nights dinner. So tonight I am cooking a beef and potato pie for Mondays dinner, I will just have to cook a few veg when I get home. It seems to be working well, I have been using the slow cooker alot and Wes has been helping out too which is great. Last week he made a couple of batches of biscuits for the school lunchboxes!

I am also slowly going through and organising everything so it will be easier to keep tidy. I have done Amelias cupboards and wardrobe, the linen cupboard, pantry, spare room cupboards, utensil drawer and the plastics cupboard. I am also - and I can not believe this - up to date with the ironing!!! Yay!!! I always feel like I am on top of the housework if the ironing is done, whether I am or not.

Our solar hot water system was installed on Friday. I went out and hugged it! Everytime I see our panels it makes me happy. It will be interesting to see what the next electric bill is, and how quickly the rebates come back.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Doesn't it look good? Mum gave me half a Gramma on Thursday to make pie. This is the first time I have made it and I have to say it was yum. I have had gramma pie once before but so long ago I couldn't actually remember what it tasted like.

We had two friends over for dinner (Dave made pizzas again adding a pepperoni one this time and they were just as fantastic as before) and they knew what it was meant to taste like and loved it. Donald even took a piece for morning tea at work! The pastry was the Lazy Jane one Mum gave me years ago from I dont know where but the filling I got from Best Recipes. I would definately make this again.

Markets are on this morning, so we will be going down to grab our fruit and vegetables. I really do love spurning Coles and Woolies when I can, their fruit and Veg prices are mostly ridiculous.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nice Stuff

Lots of nice things today! My Aunty Wilma sent me a food processor!! It is great and I have already made a whole orange cake with it - so yum!

Here is the homemade part of Mum's mothers day present. She will need it with our current temperatures, which have been Brrrrrrr!

Wes and I picked our two pumpkins. These were the ONLY ones on the vines. Though I planted them in the wrong spot altogether and these two only grew cause the vine took its self into a more sunny position. I just realised the photo is blurry, obviously I wont be getting a phone call from National Geographic to do the cover shot anytime soon...

This is a great book. It arrived in the mail from my wonderful, gorgeous, fabulous sister Megan (did you like that description Meg?) and it is good. I am definately trying the oven dried tomatoes and the red onion marmalade. There is even a method for doing ccandied citrus rind which would be a different thing to try.

In other news it looks like my job may be going full-time. Which would be good moneywise though time wise perhaps not? I guess its just juggling stuff around to fit a new routine.

Paid all the bills and have stuck to the budget which shouldnt be hard since we have been only doing it for 1 day but sometimes you can start snicking in stuff straight away - i know.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wayne Swan and Me

Who would have thought we would have so much in common! We are both putting forth our budgets tonight. Of course I am pitching mine only to Dave but still... lol! Though I am hoping we will get back to surplus (other than our mortgage) before 2013.

Dave and I kind of go in cycles of spending, for a while we will be very aware of our money then we slide in to Mr & Mrs Spendy Pants. I think we are heading the spendy way again, so we are focussing on the budget again. Focussing on sticking to our menu plan. Focussing on saving.

I am also going to do a spend diary for the next fortnight. I am writing down every cash, eft and any bank transfer from thursday. I am hoping for a few no spend days in there too.

It so easy to spend. You see something and suddenly you can't imagine life without it. Or you see a little thing that only costs a few dollars so you get it and then you see another liitle thing that's only $4 or $5 and then your at the till forking over $20! I find this happens to me a lot when I go into Coles. I will buy stuff that I don't need plain and simple. I got to stop it!!!

BTW the federal budget doesn't really effect us in any immediate way though it may trickle our way in time.

That's my money jumble for tonight!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Especially to my mum Joan - I will give you your gift on Thursday when I see you.
Dave and the kids got me a tonne of dirt for mothers day. I was pretty happy with it, we all had a turn behind the shovels.Wes weeded the garden bed out for me too.

Here it is filled and with pansies, cauliflowers and two different broccolis in it.

Amelia got me this from the school stalll. Its very cute.
Peach tree has a new home!

New home for strawberries

Fairy hole filled

New mat for back door - only $2 from Bunnings

The plastic moths from last year are back in action!

Looking back at the house

Dinner! Dave's pizzas were so good we got him to make them again!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Update on List

As you can see the pickles are done, though it does seem runnier than usual for her recipes (A Year in the Bottle), I followed the recipe exact...well I will see how it goes once it is cool.

I have pruned the roses, though some might say decimated them. I think you are either a rose person or not and I am not. When we moved in here I though I could be but its just not happened. Don't get me wrong, I like them when they come in bunches but not so much the growing as a plant. Just not for me.

I transplanted the strawberries, sowed more carrot seed, planted the onions and cleaned out the linen cupboard. Dave and I pruned the crepe myrtle and tidied the deck up too. I even got some weeding done so my list is looking good for completion this weekend!

Dave made this for lunch, the right side is BBQ Hawiian Chicken and the left is Ham and Olive. They were divine and we have some left for dinner!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weekend List

I was so happy with being able to check off my Easter list, that I am giving it another go.

Clean out linen cupboard
Make choko pickles
Find gramma pie recipe
Move strawberry plants
Plant red onions
Sow more carrot seed
Prune roses
Tidy deck
Bag leaves for mulch
Fill fairy garden hole

I wont be making Brandied carrot jam as Dave couldn't resist have a nip - not that I am surprised mind. And I do have a few other things I would like to do such as plant our dwarf peach in the ground rather than the pot its in. But they are only if I get to them.

In other news looks like the federal government is going to slash the rebates on solar panels/solar hot water in the Budget. Apparently its working TOO well and TOO many people are taking up the solar effort. Isn't that ridiculous?? Shouldn't that be a GOOD thing? Arghh, its so upside down logic that it does my head in. The worry is that if a large enough number have solar then there wont be as many people buying electricity they electricity prices will go up even more. I say that the state government needs to buy back the utilities and start working for us again!


I have finished two discloths for my buddy in the discloth swap over at Rhonda's Down to Earth blog.
I did a basketweave pattern and...

one with a 'C' on it as my buddy's name is Claire! I hope she likes them. I will post these of on Monday as she is in Texas, not Texas Queensland but rather the one in America. Not too sure how long snail mail will take? Guessing about 10 days???

This is what I see as I sit on our back deck. It is lovely out there today and that is where I am taking myself to as soon as I am finished here! I think I will end have to make a cuppa to enjoy in the sun.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Solar and Savings!

Winter is certainly coming! Brrrr! Monday night was one of those nights where until you go to bed or jump in the shower I could not get warm! This morning all I could see was fog outside. I love having four seasons!

We still haven't got a date for our solar hot water system to be installed, though they did say they would put us up the list 'cause we having being waiting on them to organise their finance. See we paid a 25% deposit and then have 2 years to pay the rest off interest free. We are actually hoping to pay it off with our tax return. I hope it's soon as our HWS is crappy, with us only getting about 200l of hot water from a 415l tank! We also got the electricity bill yesterday - $528, thats about average. Thankfully we get money taken out every fortnight for that so we only owe $53. It will be interesting to see how much of a difference the solar makes as they say hot water accounts for 40 - 60% of the electricity. I heard that the cost of electricity is going up something like 17% which would take my $528 bill to $618ish! ouch! Though I have heard of people - people we actually know - getting bills over $1000!!! I think I would resort to candles!!!

I have cleaned out Amelia's cupboard and cleaned out 3 garbage bags of clothes! Some went to be passed on to a friend and the other to vinnies and a few school things to the clothing pool. Thankfully Amelia is tall and that alone save me $80 yesterday! The school is phasing out the winter uniforms with one pleat in the back which usually sell for $30, they are going with the 2 pleat in the back design from now on (though most kids will be wearing the older ones for years) they sell for $60. Luckily they were selling the old size 10's for $20 each and while they are the tinest bit big they fit her lengthwise perfectly. I grabbed two and saved $80, and a friend gave me some pants and blouses for her that their daughter had outgrown so that is money saved too!

Muesli Bars

Maiden voyage of my love heart cake tin

Organised sewing gear! Finally!