Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Garden excitement!!!

We picked our first tomato!! Well by we I mean Brian and Eli did lol Eli at it and loved it!
Photo is a little blurry. Rather hard to get a 3yo to keep his hand still :)

Take Care

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Garden update

I found something very exciting when I went to water my tomato plants this morning.

COLOUR!!!! Yep a couple of the cherry toms have started to turn red!!!

My other cherry tom sits in the shade just a tad but she has finally started fruiting!

The Gross Liste toms are coming along too, slowly slowly

Take Care

Monday, November 26, 2012

Turning a Cot into a Daybed

My boys have had those flip out foam sofas to sit on in the family room until now. But they are getting really grotty and yuck.
I have been dreaming of getting them a cheap sofa instead but the budget isn't stretching that far, and won't for quite a few months yet.
Then I thought today, I have a cot/toddler bed sitting in the shed. Have tried to sell it a couple of times, but no bites. So why not turn it into a day bed for them!

 Before, including mess

 The boys chillin'
I put a flannel sheet down on the mattress fist then one of my crocheted blankets.
The Humphrey pillowcases and the pillowcase behind the Cars cushion are from when I was a kid!

Have you repurposed a cot before??

Take Care

Friday, November 23, 2012


Recently I have found myself pondering about next year. Pondering about what it will hold, but also about what I want to happen next year. What my goals will be.
I am not one to make resolutions, but I do like to set myself a focus and goals for the year.
I try to look at all the areas of my life and set 1-2 goals for each.
Areas like
~ My relationships
~ Kids learning and development
~ Simple Living
~ Health
~ Blogging
~ Craft
~ Housekeeping

Another area I have been looking at is my moderating duties at Down To Earth. I love this forum, it's just like home to me. Rhonda and the mods have been working hard behind the scenes recently and have had a bit of a re jig of the forum and have introduced 4 new mods in the last week or so. It's growing so much!
I have some ideas for different challenges that I plan to run next year and I am so excited about them. There are some other fabulous ideas for learning new skills and swaps being bandied around too, next year is going to be amazing!
To be the first in the know head on over to the forum and sign up. Such a wealth of information and a fabulous supportive community I have never seen in a forum before.

Have you begun to think about next year yet? Do you have goals?

Take Care

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Menu Plan 22nd November ~ 5th December

{Potato Pie ~ recipe coming soon}

Our second to last frugal fortnight! Starting to get a little tired of the same meals over and over.
But I did make the most scrumptious Potato Pie the other night. I'll be recreating it again this week, but using mince instead of gravy beef and will work out a recipe for it. This week I sort of winged it.
I haven't been making too many desserts or baking either. Had quite a few bar cakes in the freezer so we've been eating those with some custard for dessert when we've felt like it.
Found a few recipes that I like the look of that use Quinoa. I've never used it before or tasted it. Will check out the price of it this week and if it's not too expensive for our current budget I'll make a few new things with it this fortnight.

Thurs ~ Pasta Carbonara
Sat ~ Baked Spuds
Sun ~ Meatloaf
Mon ~ Tuna Mornay Bake
Tues ~ Snitzels and veg
Wed ~ Pizza {extra baked for lunch boxes}

Fri ~ Fried Rice and Marinated Chicken Wings
Sat ~ Sausages and veg
Sun ~ Potato Pie
Mon ~ Fish fingers
Tues ~ Omelettes
Wed ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise

Do you menu plan? Would love for you to share, just link up below

Take Care

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lunchbox Inspiration

Ethan's lunch box today
Fresh mango
Apricot yoghurt
Mini quiche
Leftover drumettes from last nights dinner
Banana Oat Cup
Banana pikelets
Dried apricots, sultanas, goji berries, craisins and banana chips
Rice crackers, cheese and cuccumber
He also has a water in his water bottle to drink

Take Care 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mince Stroganoff...Sorta

I have cooked many different stroganoff recipes over the years. Some from scratch, some from packets. My fave would have to be the Chicken Strog recipe from one of the Symply Too Goo To Be True cookbooks. But this time I didn't have the much needed can of light evaporated milk. So I decided to wing it. It's not a true strog but it's still a yummy dish. I didn't add any cream etc but you could easily do that if you wish.

Becci's Mince Stroganoff
500g beef mince
1 onion, diced
3/4 brown bag of mushrooms, sliced
2-3 teaspoons of crushed garlic
2-3 heaped dessertspoons tomato paste
2-3 teaspoons beef stock powder
4 tablespoons paprika, or to taste
1 Ltr water, approx
1 Tablespoon cornflour

In a large fry pan brown off the onion and mince until onion is soft and mince is brown. Add the mushrooms, cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the garlic, paprika and tomato paste, cook a couple of minutes.
Add the beef stock powder and water.
Allow to simmer, covered for about 30 mins to make it all nice and tender (I let it cook while I did the rice and veg).
Add more water if the mix is too dry. We like ours rather saucy to go over the rice.
Taste for seasoning. Thicken by making a paste from the cornflour and a little water, stir through.
Serve with rice or buttered noodles.

A couple of notes. If you have a nice liquid beef stock use that instead of the stock powder and water. I added a little water at a time for a little while then poured the rest in. The amount you need might vary.
Remember this is just a recipe I whipped up last night so all amounts are approximate.
Of course change the amount of garlic and paprika to suit your taste.
Add cream, sour cream or even a little milk if you'd like.

Everyone loved this last night. It was very strong in flavour, not spicy though, just the way I like it, so if you prefer milder flavours play with the ingredients or add some dairy to tone things done.
The youngest two scoffed this down and I think they could have easily eaten another bowl if there was more. Next batch will be double!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Love Lunchboxes!

I was a very lucky girl last week to be drawn as the winner of Organising to Make Life Easiers Rubbermaid Giveaway.
Ethan has his lunchbox but Eli's been wanting one too, so this was just perfect.
I love it. I love how it all snaps together and how many of the items can be mixed and matched.
The only thing I don't like is that it doesn't come with a cooler bag, but I am sure I'll be able to find one when all the fancy lunchboxes are out with the back to school sales soon.

You can see how it all works in this little clip.

The large salad container has this fantastic little insert where you can put the tiny container of salad dressing and any other salad bits like croutons or dried noodles so they don't get soggy.

The insert also fits perfectly in the sandwich container. I can my boys loving having some dip in the salad dressing container with some crackers or carrot and celery sticks.

I loved packing the boys lunchboxes last night. Even though Eli will be at home all day I thought it would be good to have it packed to make getting snacks etc easier.

 Vegemite and cheese sandwich, orange

Cuccumber sticks, rice crackers, dried apricots, sultanas, raisins, goju berries, cranberries, Laughing Cow cheese, apricot yoghurt

Ethans lunchbox:
yoghurt, rice crackers, pickled onion and cheese sandwich, orange, cuccumber and Laughing Cow cheese.
Ethans also has an apple for fruit time at kindy and will be home at lunch.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Menu Plan 8th ~ 21st November

We have been doing really well with out frugal budget so far. Pretty impressed with it.
This week I discovered a local lady who is making up scrummy fruit and veg boxes. I'm really hoping that I'll have enough left over from shopping that I can order a small fruit box to be delivered on our off week to get us through. Fingers crossed!

I don't really need to do much baking this fortnight, still plenty of bar cakes in the freezer, but I am out of muffins etc for kindy, so will have to concentrate on stocking them up.

Our menu plan:
Thurs ~ Sausages in bread
Fri ~ Pasta Carbonara and garlic bread
Sat ~ Homemade Pizza
Sun ~ Baked Spuds
Mon ~ Roast Chicken (pieces) and veg
Tues ~ Mince stroganoff, rice and veg
Wed ~ Marinated lamb chump chops and veg (on sale this week)

Thurs ~ Chicken Parmys and veg
Fri ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise and garlic bread
Sat ~ Devilled Sausages and veg
Sun ~ Fried Rice and Marinated Chicken Wings
Mon ~ Homemade meat pie and veg
Tues ~ Savoury Impossible Pie, Smashed spuds and salad
Wed ~ Hamburgers


Apple Slice
Apple Crumble
Creamed Rice

Do you Menu Plan? Would love for you to share it, just link up below!

Take Care