Monday, April 25, 2011

Show and tell

During my absence from my blog in February, I was actually busy knitting for a new arrival!........

No not for me! haha.... these knits were sent to England for a good friend and luckily in time!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Just Roared with Laughter

Oh the joys of Kids at home in the holidays.....

I say

"Please stop that Big  J,  I can tell you have been up to something with that cheeky laughter..."
( the irritating cheekiness kind  )

He says

"Oh I can't help it Mum, sometimes my heart just races really fast, and the laughter just needs to come out!" ( Dead serious )

Then ....... I couldn't help myself.... I roared with laughter,
Big J followed!   

Love it!....... even if on day 1 they are already driving me around the bend!

Baked Healthy Goodness..... Yummm

This recipe was recommended to me by friend, but everytime I wrote it down, I got it wrong.... and the results?  Well not perfect.

Then another friend lent me some recipe books over the weekend, and I found it. 
This is the ' Healthy Raisin Loaf ' in Jo Seagars cookbook
                                                                         ' Jo Seagar Cooks'.....

The Dark Muscovado sugar, gave pockets of caramelised molasses goodness, and you can toast this too!

I added a few tweaks to it, because the lack of ingredients in my pantry.... I think it turned out pretty good.... yum yum!

1 Cup of Rolled Oats
1 Cup of Bran Flakes
1 Cups of Raisins or Substitute
( eg sultanas, apricots etc original is 2 cups )
1 Cup of Dark Muscovado Sugar
( original recipe is 2 cups of Raw Sugar )
2 Cups of Milk
2 Cups of Self Raising Flour
( or alternatively use plain flour and 3 tsp of baking powder )

  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius.
  • Grease or spray a large loaf tin.
  • Soak the Rolled Oats, Bran, Raisins and Sugar in the Milk for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour, and spoon into the tin
  • Bake for 1 and half hours
  • Cool on a wire rack

It didn't last long!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Loving this Week

This week I'm loving spinning!

my first spool filled

I have had this spinning wheel since my 21st Birthday, but last night was the first time I have used it.
 A handful of wannabe spinners ( me included ) brought along our spinning wheels to craft group,
 soooo after last night
and a couple more hours today,
 I think I have finally got my rhythm! 
Apparently I just need to light the fire, get cozy and spin away....

Also loving my chooks, they are still giving us plenty of delicious eggs, but best of all they are a free gardeners!

They have scratched up, and weeded half of my vege garden, ready for winter planting.  Love you chooks!

Loving these leggings....
 I used some of the fabric I scored op shopping see here

I got the idea from dana-made-it found here

And loving that a local friend introduced and lended me her snap press, etc so that I could try to make my own pocket nappy....
I'm hooked!
So after a shared Greenbeans order, I am all ready to sew up a set of my own.... thankyou :)

And lastly, I'm loving this

Whats so special about this?
Well its just one of the many projects that Mike has started to complete on his to do list....
 apparently more renovations this weekend......

Crossing Fingers!

I'm Linking up to paisleyjade
go check it out!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Food Budget

This post is for anyone that needs a little help with their food budget.
A few people have asked me how I feed my brood on $150 week budget.... well this post is for you.

Before I start, I have to say that I do go over every now and again, but often that is negated by being under every so often.
We also have chooks, a vege garden
( although coming near to an end, must sort this out! )
and have enjoyed foraging over summer for fruit
 ( our fruit trees are still young ).

We live in a small rural community where we have one New World supermarket, and one Four Square.  Unfortunately food prices are way above average in our community, so many either deal with it, or do a big food shop when they are in a big city.

And like many of you,  I almost weep when I walk down the supermarket aisles... its definately getting tough out there...
so here is what I do to feed my family without compromising too much nutrition..........

  • Menu Planning!

( Hubby made this for me! People always laugh at the house rules.. hehehe)

It really is the key to successful budgeting, it stops you from doubling up on your grocery shop, and putting unneccesary items in your trolley.
Also you aren't caught short when dinner time comes around and the... "whats for dinner" at quarter to six happens, so what do you do?  you rush down to the fish and chip shop, sound familiar?
 sure does for me!

So every sunday I wash down my board and plan the next
 7 days  menus.
This is based on what I have in my cupboards and freezer.
Then I write a list of things I need to bake for the kids lunch boxes.
Once this is complete, I write a shopping list of what I don't have at home to complete the menus and I stick to it!
 ( this can be hard but your wallet will thankyou :)

As you can see above, I like to remind myself the day ahead,
 what needs to be done in order for the following days meal to be completed, eg: cook more rice for one meal to use the next day.. or soak chickpeas for hummus for the following day.
This really saves you being caught short!
Been there many times before.

  • Because meat is so expensive, ( and mince ain't cheap here either )
I try and buy whats on special, and often buy extra to freeze...
I have a rule.  If it is more than the $10 dollar mark total, I will try and make the meat last for two dinners.  I will do this by adding more vege ( courgettes/carrots are good ) or beans, red lentils (these are very good to bulk out mince dishes
Thankyou Destitute Gourmet! you can find her site here )

  • I try and bake and cook as much as I can, and I use recipes that don't use huge amounts of butter, and make large amounts, basically good value recipes! 
 Also making biscuit dough that you can freeze in log shape, really helps as a quick fix when you can't be bothered baking or baking a extra cake to freeze.

  • I make my own cleaners,
 Megan at Mousehouse has a great series on this.
And although this isn't a green cleaner, my mum always makes a spray using about a teaspoon of Handy Andy ( or pams equivalent ) with water to the top, in a spray bottle, certainly makes it go further.

  • Have you tried washing your hair with baking soda? and then conditioning with cider vinegar?
Well the secrets out.... I have converted! Definately feels weird at first but you soon get used to it and the results speak for themselves.  But note: make sure you thoroughly wash out the vinegar! hehehe

  • Having a vegetable garden and planting fruit trees, really is worth it.... and even though it can be hard work at times, its rewarding... even if next summer all you plant is a one courgette plant..... try it!
  • Lastly if I go over my budget one week, I will try and make up for it the following week. 
 (This can happen when butter is $3.99 a block, so I stock up.)

Like me, there are going to be items in your shop that you just won't compromise on, for us its milk! 
 But by planning ahead and getting creative with my cooking,
 I have managed to accomodate this in my budget.

I have to end this by saying, I am not the most organised person ( my family can vouch for that ), but since using this system, I have seen how much I can save and now it has become a personal challenge for me ( borderline obsessive ) and when I cook something for my family that they really enjoy, and hasn't cost a arm and a leg
 it gives me warm fuzzies!

What do you do? love to hear.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Downsized Cardigan

With the cool nights, and cool days already arrived I needed some more warm woolies for Lil Miss.

I love to knit, however I needed something now!
soooo take one Adult cardy ( shopped from my wardrobe )

Cut it apart, sew back together......

Give your kid some chips!

Take some photos...

Voila! All set for winter

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things I'm Loving this Week

I'm loving that even though Middle B had to picked up this week early from school

( first filling from Dentist, have keep an eye on him, brushing his teeth )

 it was a welcomed change to my rountine, it was only the previous night I had been thinking, too often my conversation with the kids mainly consists of:
"pick up this"
"do that"
"hurry up"
"goodnight love you, go to sleep!"
sure I listen to their day, but thats usually as they follow me around the house.... so, the other day I enjoyed Middle B's company,
 so special. 
 And ..... Bonus for B, Dad picked him up.
 That day he hit the jackpot, because Dad was installing a sign at the Army Museum... so good fun climbing all over the tanks... and one on one conversation with Dad.

Also loving that my craft group are planning a spinning night next week,
so finally I can get some expert help from long time spinners...
I look forward to getting good enough to spin up some of this

And loving making my own dishwasher powder from 
this recipe from Mousehouse by Megan ( lots of other recipes there too )
and when I told my craft group last night, notebooks came out and recipes were written down.

Also loving this Lil girl

One of many beauty sessions

She loves to have her hair blown dry, she backs up backwards to sit on my lap, ( so cute ) and enjoys every moment of it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Proud Mummy and Crochet Triumph!

I wish I was at assembly the other day, because...
 not one,
not two,
but all three of my boys got a certificate!

 I am so proud, just wish I was there..

Big J has become so independent in his school work, homework and all.... he comes home, reads some of his novel... then works on his assignment for that week.. I'm going to enjoy this while I can.

Middle B has always struggled with school, but his charm has made up for it in the past.  But with his 3rd year of school, its all caught up on him and he has really struggled.... so I am so happy that we are seeing a breakthrough with his reading... although there is alot more work to be done.... but well done my man!

Little J, only a few weeks into school, and really we were quietly confident that he would do well.  I am glad he finally got a certificate, because he always looked sooooo dissapointed every time (my heart breaks) one of his brothers received something for good work and not him.... boy do I remember those days!

And I have had my own breakthrough this week.... I can crochet!

I finally figured it out, with the help of youtube.
I can sew, I can knit, but I had been trying to crochet for years... maybe being a lefty had something to do with it? 
Mike's mum has tried to teach me, but no luck.... I just always seem to be cackhanded.....
Anyway now I look forward to making some scarfs for Lil Miss like this..

or this

or something like this

and even though we have loads of beautiful crochet blankets, courtesy of Mikes Mum, I would love to try and crochet this..

I have had this in my Ravelry favourties for ages so gorgeous,
and you can find some great crocheting tips on her blog here 

Also might learn this Crochet African Flower

I can see these cushions on my lil girls bed when she moves out of her cot

Image source : Rose Hip.typepad great eye candy and you can find the pattern for the above squares

Maybe a set of these for the boys?

And I can't forget me..... one day I might actually be able to make something like this

And the list could go on!

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