Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Or rather not spending. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but I haven't spent any money for three days and neither has Dave! We have made bread and biscuits and put what we had on sandwiches rather than buying cold meat or caving and eating lunch out. Dave will have to spend tomorrow as he has a physio session. But that's medical and I don't count it! Go us!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garden Plans

What to do, what to do? I don't like my front yard, especially in winter, but generally all the time. I don't like the roses that grow along the front of the house. I don't like the May bushes, I don't like the "lawn" area, I don't like the front garden that runs along the council footpath.
Here is my dead plumbago that I had such high hopes for just a month or three ago. Another reason to dislike my front yard.

Side passage. I am thinking just planting a bunch of natives and making a stepping stone path through to the side gate?

A friend said for a about $120 I could get a bobcat in, it's sounding very attractive. The only things in the front I like are my two lavenders, two moruyas and my apple tree. Its a depressing barren waste land. Grrrrr......

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Op Shop Finds & Saving Some Moola

We went to a Vinnies garage sale this morning and we got us some loot! I love love love a bargain!! We got a Holly Hobbie butter dish, which says Good Company is a Special Treat - how cute! And a cut glass bud vase, a decanter, 2 sherry/port glasses, a pretty rose plate, a glittery box and a coffee plunger.

And we got 2 pairs of cuff links and a nappy stacker for Megan. All for the princely sum of $5.80!!! BARGAIN!!!

As for saving money, this week I have done something rather radical (for me) and given my debit and credit cards to David. I got my spending money and that is it. Its not as though as I was wasting money on rubbish but rather that I would see things on special (eg socks, undies, tea towels, groceries) and get them, thinking that I had better get them now rather then later at full price, whether we needed them or not. So I am card free - only cash for this girl.

We also have emptied our drawer freezer and turned it off. The seal isn't working properly so its always running. We can squash everyintg into our fridge freezer so thats what we've done until we get the seals re-done. I thought this would be a good idea after reading that after the hot water system, refrigeration is one of the biggest electrical users.

At the library today we put our names on the list to get there energy saver kit to borrow. It has a tester that allows you to check the efficiency of all you electrical appliances. I hope our turn comes soon.

Lastly here is a pic of the material I put over a bit of the garden, its frozen solid! Wes spotted it when we were hanging out the wash on Friday morning. I checked the outdoor thermometre and it was minus 1. You can see a bit of the frost in the background. Brrrrrr!

In the Kitchen

This week in the kitchen it has been, as usual, delicious. The scones below were made by Dave, since he is the master scone maker around these parts. He has put in white choc bits. Yes they are as beautiful as they sound and look. I took one to work to have with my lunch and just warmed it up a little and the taste was extraordinary!

Today I made jam. Not that we are running out by a long shot but we had no "berry" jam left, only peach, plum, apricot and crabapple (aren't we hard done by?) I made 6 jars of each Raspberry and Mixed Berry, the house smells lovely.

Tomorrow I have a hazy plan of doing a batch of onion marmalade as I am all out of that one and I eat it on everything!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Gardening

What a lovely day! It was sunny and the wind was not so bad! The back deck was a real suntrap this afternoon, which I took advantage of. I emptied all my boxes into the wheelbarrow (thanks Dad & Mum!) and added compost, a little blood & bone and a bit of leftover potting mix and mixed it all up and refilled them. I planted garlic in them, Dad gave me a heap yesterday and now they are in their happy home.

Since we got a new wheelbarrow, Dave drilled holes in our old one, I filled it with dirt and planted pansies, just to give the backyard some colour, as it is very much all business out there.

Sadly this is all that is left of the loquat tree. The fly infestation was incredible last year and the flowers had the WORST smell I have ever smelt. We reckon they smell like death. The fly is the main reason it had to go, we had to put the tomatoes in the front yard just to get some. So now we have to think on whats going to replace it. I'm thinking wither an orange tree or another raised bed. Thoughts?

Dwarf peas are coming along, I spent two hours doing all the weeding which was completely relaxing, some days weeding is not a chore.

Dave tried to make a foccacia for the first time - this is obviously the before.

And this is after! We had some with dinner which was a slow cooked beef rolled roast. Everything was yum!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Wander Around

Today we went to my Mum and Dad's place at Ashford. They have the inside and out looking so homey that you wouldn't think they had lived there only 6 months! The wind was very cold today but it was warm inside! This fuel stove is lovely and warm! Mum's ben making some fab cakes in it and it's so nice to stand in front of.
This is Dad and my "Field of Dreams", our wheat 'field'. It looks great! And healthy!Mum still can't work out how we are going to turn it into flour and truthfully I haven't either yet in any detailed way but I will! So if anyone has a home flour mill I could borrow or buy let me know.

Brassica's with a tin can windmill.

Looking down - you can compare in a previous post and see the difference.

This is the newest garden so has only a couple of things in it.
Mum's is the chief chook looker afterer

This is NOT their egg pecker chook!

Looking up the back


I have managed to get a couple of things made. Which is nice as that side of things has beeen a bit of a struggle to fit in. I finally got Wes' curtains made. The rubberback is a nice thick one and was only $5 a metre. The girl serving us was very generous and we got nearly an extra metre! They have made a big difference and have made his room much warmer.

I made Amelia this skirt. Its a Burda pattern, which I have now found I dont like that much to work with but it is done now. I bought this pink cord a few weeks ago, last week I asked Amelia did she want me to make her a skirt to wear for her walkathon. She happily told me that she was wearing trackpants to be warm, which I was happy with - one less thing to do. Then Thursday morning comes and she tells me how tomorrow she is going to wear her new skirt......Um that would be the one I didn't make. So that was Thursday night taken care of and it turned out ok. The skirt yoke is done with a orange and pink paisley.

She did 13 laps at the walkathon.


Italian night was a roaring success! We are thinking of having another themed night very soon. Maybe Greek or Indian. Everything was so delicious and everyone had fun cooking. Here are a couple of the dishes; This is Bron's penne e fungi con prociuetto. The sauce was gorgeous, made with Parmesan cheese melted and reduced in chicken stock. This is something I will definitely be making.

Dave's world's famous lasagna.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


For once the weatherman is right, it's raining. We have had about 20mm or so since this time yesterday. I am loving it - keeps the below zero temps away! Here are our Cauli's and Broccoli's ~ they have been going really well and haven't yet been mauled by the caterpillars. I have been trying to get out there every couple of days and brush any eggs off them and squish any baby caterpillars I see.
This garden is a bit of a jumble, its got parsnips, carrots (I hope), purple carrots - which I read about in Grass Roots and just wanted to try, beetroot - both the regular and the coloured varieties, a few onions and a couple of pansies. A real mixed bag.

My celery are growing well and the dwarf peas have pods on them. I am going to use some of my silverbeet tomorrow morning to make this recipe from The Witches Kitchen. Looks yum.

The Italian night's menu is shaping up real nice! Bronwyn is doing Penne con Funghi e Procuisetti and a Berry Tiramisu, Jody is making Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni and a Tort di Mele, Dave is making a garlic pizza and a lasagna (claiming its his world famous lasagna) and I am making a Fettuccine Carbonara. Sounds fab doesn't it? Plus we bought some Italian wine. Its going to be such a fun night!

Hope everyone's having a good long weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This Week

This week has felt rushed. I don't think it actually has been but I have felt rushed, like every time you are doing something you feel like you should be doing something else. Does that make any sense??

Mum and Dad came over on Sunday, Mum cut out some squares for my quilt. And the lovely woman did a heap of ironing for me too. What a great Mum! Below is the pineapple upside down cake I made for morning tea - it was yum! I have had to use my dryer this week. Which I don't particularly like as I can just SEE the dollars flying out of it. I did a load of wash this morning and got home and they were still wet! I shouldn't have washed as it is freezing today.

This is Tuesday nights dinner - beef meat pie - and a quick Madeira cake for the lunchboxes. Last night I made the kids sausage rolls for lunch today and is there anything more disappointing then having something homemade come home? Amelia wasn't keen on them and only had a little bit. At least Wes came to my rescue and loved them!

I was having a whinge about there isn't much in town for my age group to do, so I organised for two couples to come over for dinner on Sunday. It's an Italian theme and everyone's bringing something so no one bears all the cost. I haven't decided what to cook other than Dave is making a garlic pizza to be eaten as garlic bread would. I think Jody is going to make Cannelloni!!!!

With the long weekend ahead I have GOT to set sometime aside for sewing and appliqueing and maybe some jam making. I need more time!!! LOL!!!! I end up planting primulas in the dark tonight. I hope they take ok. Now I am off to menu plan and write my grocery list - the joy never stops around here!

Mystery Solved!

The plastic bag mystery was solved when MultipleMum from And Then There Were Four left a comment! Thanks! It was slowly killing me thinking about it. As for the plastic bag challenge - I have only had one bag come into the house and that made it in by me being unprepared. Actually maybe the count is 2 as Dave let the butcher put our meat in one. So yeah two. I have had to send Dave out to the car for our reusable bags and on one occasion we carried our groceries in our arms to the car! Thankfully it wasn't too many!

I have got the bags permanently in the car as well as carrying an enviro bag in my purse all the time. Its working.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Telstra - Changing your life!

Tonight I got a call on my (non-telstra) mobile. Since I was baking a cake I let the call centre lady do her spiel. She asked me questions about my current phone, which was a present and is also prepaid so I only pay what I want, and then told me about this great offer she had for me - for only $36 a month I could have this great phone and all these 'free' calls!! So I asked how long is the plan for? Ahh 12 months I was told. So I said "say i spend $20 a month on calls, that would be $240 a year, but your plan will cost me over $400 for a phone to use just like I already have, wouldn't that cost me at least $160 a year more??? Poor girl had to agree. As she signed off she told me "Sorry we couldn't change your life tonight"

I think I will survive.

Plastic Bags

I am a massive blog surfer! Those listed on the side are only a fraction of those I read, mostly daily. I love having a little peep in other peoples lives and hearing their messages of what they feel personally in touch with, what they love and what they do. Its great!

I recently read on one blog that the blogger was going to try and have no plastic bags come into her house (I have tried to find the exact post and failed though I will continue to search so I can give the right person the shout out) for a week. I am not a massive plastic bag takerer so I thought I would give it a go. I started today and had to say no to three plastic and one paper bag. I said no to paper as well as I didn't need it as I was reading my Grass Roots mag before I even left the news agency. One shop wanted to put a little deodorant in a grocery bag sized plastic bag! Crazy!

I have to say Yay to Target Country though as they will only give you a bag if you pay for it! Though quite frankly those bags rip if you look at them so you are better off with out them I think. I really will have to remember my reusable bags, so wish me luck!

I am still searching for that blog! Grrrrr!