Saturday, 30 October 2010


There's been an organising challenge going on over at Down To Earth. You list the things or rooms in your home that you would like to challenge yourself to clean up and by listing them for all to see, you are held accountable for cleaning them up (I feel accountable anyway).
This antique meatsafe has been on my 'to do' list for ages.
This safe lived in our kitchen and has been the perfect dumping place for a few years.

(Please ignore the wall behind, I'm in the process of paint sampling).
The safe now sits at the top of our stairs on our newly painted floorboards.

Some more organising has gone on outside. My herb garden was transformed into pots during the week due to lack of sunlight where it originally was.

The pots are on our verandah in full sunlight now and I get to look at them while I'm doing the dishes every day.

Monday, 25 October 2010


I know I mention it often but I'm so proud of this young man.

He has been made captain of the West Gambier Under 14's cricket team for this season, it's a great boost for him and the responsibility he now has will be a challenge at times, but I know he will excel in the position.

Dan had try-outs for Kerr Shield last week and has been selected again this year.

Yesterday he had try-outs for Country Cup which is played over a week in Adelaide, he had a very good chance of selection this year, but unfortunately it all come crashing down.

He had to withdraw from the selection half way through due to an elbow injury he received playing the day before. This was a very hard decision he had to make, but it was the right one as we found out at the physiotherapist today.

Dan was so upset yesterday and in a lot of pain but he stayed and cheered on his friends while they were put through their paces.

So here is my very sad boy with his ice packs on.

And here is his strapped arm (he's smiling because it is completely numb)

Dan now misses a match tomorrow and his club games for the next 2 weeks then hopefully he will be able to play the first Kerr Shield game Sunday week.

Chin up Dan, it will get better.

Friday, 22 October 2010


makes 12 muffins:

2 cups self-raising flour
2 cups grated tasty cheese
1 large egg
1 cup beer

Toss the flour and grated cheese together in a bowl using a fork.

In another bowl, beat the egg enough to thoroughly mix the white and yolk. Add the beer, stir to mix briefly, then pour the mixture onto the flour and cheese. Fold together until most of the flour is dampened but do not keep mixing until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into 12 sprayed medium sized muffin pans. Bake at 220 for 10 to 15 minutes until nicely browned and until the centres spring back when pressed. Leave to stand in the tin for 3 - 4 minutes until they will lift out easily.

Serve warm or cold.

I also added some pesto to the mix, they were yummo and the kids loved them too.

Recipe take from Very Easy Vegetarian Cookbook by Alison and Simon Holst.

Sunday, 17 October 2010


This morning I decided to look a little further into why we seem to owe more and more on our credit card every month. Yes, of course I know I use it but what am I using it for? and how can I limit the amount of times I use it?

I think I budget pretty well, I have a spreadsheet that I allocate amounts to for every conceivable bill I will have over the course of a year, all divided into fortnights and kept in a separate bills account.

So what am I doing wrong? I'll tell you now that I went back through the last 3 months of bank statements. I allocate $350/fortnight to grocery and do a big shop once a fortnight. Unfortunately I tend to just pop to the shops for little extras after I pick the kids up from school or whenever and add those small amounts to my credit card. When adding up all of the small amounts over the course of a month, instead of spending $700 for the month, I am spending on average $1000!!!!! Yes, that's right $1000.

I nearly fell over backwards when I actually sat down and added up all of those little amounts. I try to cook most meals and snacks from scratch, we have chooks for eggs and I have a large vege-patch, so I'm not sure how this is happening, I do however have a few ideas.

Cash: I will be taking out the allocated amount in cash for groceries for the fortnight and after my big shop, have it sitting in a jar at home to use for any extras that may come up. I used to do this and it worked.

Meat: It is so expensive, I don't eat it but the rest of my family do and a lot of it. From now on, I will be cutting back on the amount of meat I use and instead of 1 vegetarian meal a fortnight, there will be 2 a week. There will be complaints for sure but they will soon get used to it.

Bread: I try to make my own but it usually is forgotten about until it's too late to put any on. I will be making more of an effort to cook a good, nutritious, grainy bread every day.

Kids snacks: As much as I try to make these snacks at home, they just don't stop eating!!! I have 2 of the kids that eat way more than me, they are always hungry but I will be adjusting what I cook and make more filling foods and plenty of them.

Delivered organic fruit and vegetables: I will have to stop this fantastic service, we simply can-not afford it. I usually can pick up organic veg from the supermarket a a very reasonable price and for the rest, I do have a wash to clean off any chemical residue.

So this is a list from the top of my head and I'm sure there is more I can do. If like me, you feel you are going backwards, take a look at where your money really is going, it may suprise you.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


I certainly have the renovation/shifting furniture around bug. Today after putting on the final coat of sealer on the stairs it was time to do something about our eating arrangements.

We have a tiny dining room which was actually our kitchen until about 8 years ago when we built on a new one. The dining room is also my sewing room and is in the middle of the house, no natural lighting and a bit of a walk-through from the lounge to the kitchen.

I don't like to eat in there as the table is normal piled high with sewing projects and it's very claustrophobic when we are all in there, so the dining room table got kicked out today.

Here is the sewing room/library/playroom now.

It's now an easier space to navigate through.

Now for the dining table. It's in the kitchen, it doesn't really suit the kitchen but I don't really care. The important thing is that we can sit around it and enjoy our meals together, the kids can do their homework or drawings and be able to talk to me at the same time and there's room to move!

The table needed a bit of dressing up and this quilt top is a perfect size.

I finally have my favourite cooking books back out in the kitchen too.

We don't have a lot of space in our humble little home so I try to think up new ideas to change it around to make it suit our family's needs.

Monday, 11 October 2010




I love the floor boards and the stairs are a beautiful redgum so we are just sealing them.
I can't wait to paint the walls, skirtings etc but unfortunately they will have to wait a few weeks until the finances allow.
Oh and Darren doesn't hate it so that makes me happy.

Friday, 8 October 2010


as to why we have left the floors unfinished for the last 7 years. We pulled up the carpet all those years ago and have been meaning to finish the floors but somehow just didn't quite get around to it. I now know why!!!! I was waiting to find the perfect finish. (Darren however has HUGE reservations about the whole idea)
This what I want for the top of the stairs and the bedrooms.
photo courtesy of soule mama

photo courtesy of door sixteen

That's right, white, well off white to be exact. The idea came from Amanda over at soule mama who is busy renovating their new 200 year old home.

The stairs will be sanded back to the original wood then varnished along with the passage below. The passage at the top of the stairs will be painted white. I'm also in painting mode for the walls (yep that green really has to go). Every room is a different colour atm, but that will be changing very soon and they will all become off white. Sophie's room is first, it will be sad to see all of the fairies and flowers be painted over but the time has come and I'm rather excited to start.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


This is what keeps the kids occupied when we visit my parents.

LOL!!! Lucky dad keeps enough scooters on hand for them all to have one each. He just had to wait a while to go down the street as the kids flattened the batteries on them all.
(Sorry for the really bad phone photos!)

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Time to plant some seeds. Pots were made this morning with 2 willing helpers (The other one slept).

For my plant markers, I recycle ice-cream container lids by cutting them up and writing on them.

Into the hot-house they go.

This morning's pickings from the patch. As you can see there aren't many peas, Sophie helped pick them and more went into her mouth than in the basket.

2 boys at work (the other one slept). Does being a 13 yo old boy mean you just sleep all day?

Sophie made some yummy morning tea....

and the chooks were perfectly happy eating up all of the weeds I threw in.

How's your day? I hope it's as warm and sunny as ours. I'm off to put some more clothes on the line in the sunshine :)

Friday, 1 October 2010


I bought this iron screen with planters to block off the view we have right into our neighbour's dining room. We had been wondering what to put up and were thinking trellis but I'm so glad I saw a picture of this in the junk mail.

I bought 3 plants today, the other 3 will have to wait until next week, the plants are going to look so good when they grow down the pots. I love looking out onto our verandah now and I don't have to feel like I'm spying on the neighbours.