Friday, 30 September 2011


I've had to re-visit my budget this month. A couple of things have happened like us changing our loan to buy Darren a 4WD as his car was finally beyond repair, and in the same week, Dan came home from school with the opportunity to go to England for 3 weeks to play cricket for the school in 2013. So as you can see, we are taking being frugal to the next level. Last week I was offered 2 more part time jobs but I simply could not fit them in with my other jobs and family life, I was hoping to get an extra morning at one of my jobs but the lady I work with needs her days also at the moment. Oh and lets not forget that in March next year I am driving the kids to visit my sister in Muswellbrook and then heading north for another 7 hours to take them to the Gold Coast. This trip has been in the making for years and we had already paid for accomodation in Queensland before this other stuff came up.

So I looked at our budget and I have to say that I'm pretty happy with it, it's an excel spreadsheet with every conceivable amount that I have to pay throughout the year divided by 26 to give us fortnightly amounts to save. I have now decided that there are some things that I should keep at home as cash so I can't spend over what I have.
I made up these pouches originally to sell at my market but as I looked at them yesterday, I thought how perfect they would be for money pouches. I stamped some linen, cut it out and hand stitched the panel to the front of each pouch. I love the way they look and I will happily keep my money in them.
Our other way of saving is this tin. Any spare change now goes into it as well as all of the can recycling money and my market money.

I am really looking forward to the challenge of saving all of this extra money and I know we as a family will make it happen with just a few little changes to our lives.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


So sorry for not being around much but I have been flat out busy preparing for markets (as seen over at SUE*SEWN).

Today I really need to concentrate on preserving excess vegetables. Here's my list....

:: freeze avocados - mash avocado, add lemon juice & freeze in portions.
:: dry mushrooms - dehydrator.
:: zucchinis - make vege bake and freeze in portions.
:: carrots - blanche then freeze.
I will also be making soup, slow cooked curried sausages, bread and cakes for school snacks.
I've also shelled peas and blanched broccoli and made a huge pot of chicken stock in the pressure cooker. I'll be doing it this way from now on, it's so fast!
I don't think I will get the rest done today, too much other stuff to do.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


I feel so lucky, here's what I received from family for my birthday. I have to admit I picked out my presents except for the ones in the last photo.

MY VERY OWN PRESSURE CANNER!!!! This will be awesome for all of my preserving.

This hand-painted canvas is huge, I wish I could properly show you the texture. It's gorgeous, is perfect for our lounge and it was 1/2 price :)

Some new flats that I desperately needed, also 1/2 price.

and lastly my very special presents that the kids bought me. Lachie got me one of my favourite movies, The Castle. He knew that I'd been trying to find a copy of it for a long, long time. Sophie bought me the magnet, it's so sweet and so thoughtful. Dan gave me a big hug, I love that he still wants to hug me.

Monday, 12 September 2011


Just when we had a plan financially, Darren's 4 wheel drive died for the last time yesterday when he was fishing. We simply can't spend any more money on it, it doesn't owe us anything, we've had it for a long, long time but I wish we could have gotten a few more years out of it :(

On another note, Lachie left on his school camp this morning, he was so excited as this is his first camp. I miss him already :(
Sophie got her tap dancing results back, she was so happy as she was highly commended for her exam.
I am spending my last night as a 40 year old re-doing our budget to try and save money for another fishing car for Darren.

Good night everyone, when I wake up tomorrow I'll be 39 LOL. Sophie believed me when I told her that :)

Sunday, 11 September 2011


10 years ago I was feeding my baby in front of the television when the channel had a newsflash. A plane had flown into one of the twin towers. I remember thinking "how is this possible?" As I watched the tower burn, another plane crashed into the second tower. All I could think as I sat there was "what are the odds of that? Did something happen to the flight paths?" It took a second or two to register that this was not an accident.

10 years ago my way of thinking was changed
10 years ago I mourned for so many people
10 years ago I sat numb, not being able to understand how this could happen in my world.
10 years ago I cried, as I still do today.

This event is impossible to forget. Lives changed forever even across the other side of the world. I remember that my good friend took me out to lunch the day after 9/11 for my birthday. We just sat unable to talk, we ate in silence as we both knew that if we spoke we would once again burst out crying.

Daniel was 4 when this act of terror happened, he was at kindy and it didn't matter how I tried to shelter him from 9/11, it was everywhere, on every channel, people talking, they even discussed it at kindy. I never wanted that to happen, he was upset enough just hearing it from others. He could sense how upset people were and he had nightmares thinking that the bad man was going to crash a plane into our home.

While I felt so incredibly sad and venerable, I made my first doll size quilt to be sent as an anonymous gesture to a family affected by 9/11.
These quilts were made by quilting groups hoping that the families receiving them would feel some small comfort in knowing that although we were on the other side of the world, we were thinking and praying for them.

Life goes on, the human spirit truely is amazing.

Thursday, 8 September 2011


For those who know me, I stick to a pretty tight budget. Not only do I enjoy keeping our finances on track but I believe that a good budget is essential.
When it comes to food I love a bargain as much as the next person, but lets face facts, to get that bargain who is it hurting? I could talk about fresh produce and the pathetic amount farmers are paid for their goods and how supermarkets hold them to ransom but I'm pretty sure most readers know that already. What I really want to say is that we should be paying more for good quality, nutritious, fresh food. It should be put in the budget as a priority and cut out some of the not so neccessary things on there.

Some people complain that eating healthy is far too expensive, really? Look at all of the health issues related to eating a poor diet all of your life, think about how you feel on the inside, not so great I bet. The same people that complain to me still manage to buy new clothes and shoes on a whim, yet just can't see how eating so much processed junk is affecting them and their families.
So where this is leading is, I have decided once again to take on my weekly box of fruit and vegetables from Ecologie Organics. I used to get these boxes delivered but with a lot of health issues with my parents and the travel related to that, I found I was wasting too much food. I am now back on track with cooking everything from scratch and can't wait to get our first box on Friday.

Of course being organic costs more and so it should. I will be suplimenting my delivery with vegetables from our own garden and a weekly trip to our local market to pick up any extras we may need. I find I am spending less time and money in supermarkets, I don't have the need to buy much at all from them as I can get most foods from specialty shops around town. The quality is better and fresher and I am also buying as local as possible.

So think about what you are eating and what you are paying for food, if it's cheap processed junk or even cheap 'fresh produce' from a supermarket someone is paying the price.

Monday, 5 September 2011


Who would have thought that a type of cabbage would be so yummy as chips? They are delicious.

edited: I've been asked for the recipe so here it is.

1 bunch of kale
1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp sea salt.

Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees, wash and dry kale (I used a salad spinner).
Tear kale into chip size pieces.
Pour olive oil over hands and gently massage it through the kale.
Add sea salt and toss to combine.
Lay out the chips on a tray in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the crunchy chips and place tray back in the oven, keep removing the cooked chips every 2 minutes or so until all done.


Sunday, 4 September 2011


To all of those wonderful Dads out there.

This is my wonderful Dad, he has taught and given me so much over the years and I love him with all of my heart.
My Dad is not a well man, to see him suffer is so hard but I will give just about anything to have more father's days with him. So Dad, have a wonderful day, you are my rock, I love you xxx

Now onto another amazing father. I am in love with this man, he laughs, plays and takes care of us and is just a hands down wonderful Dad.
the back of a card that Lachie made Darren. We all had lots of giggles over this one, cheeky boy!!!!!

Friday, 2 September 2011


I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to take the plunge into making my own soap. I've had all of the supplies sitting around for a year or so and yet just didn't take the step of actually making the soap.

It was so quick and easy to make and so very cheap. I fork out quite a bit of money for good quality animal free soap and when you add this up over a year, my goodness, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner!

This soap should definately keep me and my family clean for a while and when I am down to the last 5 or so bars I will make sure it's on my list of to do things for that week so we will always have a constant supply.

Now just to wait out the 4 to 6 weeks until it's ready.