Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tucker Tuesdays: Baking with Herman

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Last last year I was introduced to Herman.

Herman is a sourdough cake/bread starter that you can make and use at home.
I remember many years ago when I was a teen, my mum and her friends having something similar. The idea was that you had this batter on your bench. You fed and stirred it, then after so many days, you took some and baked with it, some you kept to keep going for the next batch, the rest you gave away to friends to start their own.
Well in a small community that soon wore off once the market was flooded and it soon died out.

Herman, however, you do not need to give away if you don't wish too. You can just bake with that portion instead.
Herman also goes by the name of Amish Friendship Bread.
If you'd like to read more about Herman you can find some fabulous information here and here.

A lovely friend sent me a starter but there are instructions to make your own. You can even make gluten free, sugar free and paleo versions!

So yesterday was my first day baking with Herman.
I kept my one cup aside to keep brewing.

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Then divided the batter into two. One I made the traditional Cinnamon, Apple and Sultana as 1 loaf and 10 muffins, minus the sugary topping.

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The second I only added half the sugar and 4 bananas and make 24 muffins.

They are absolutely yummo! I can't wait to keep baking with Herman. The flavours are endless.

Have you baked with Herman before? What are your favourite flavours?

Take Care

Monday, January 20, 2014

Menu Planning Mondays Link Up!

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Last week was an absolute scorcher! Cool change finally came on friday though.
I did know it was coming though. We always have one week in January where it is really hot. We usually get taken by surprise and end up eating far too much BBQ and takeaway.
This year I planned to make sure we have plenty of salads ready in the fridge, so we just had to grill some meat and away we went.
We also had the remaining amount on a voucher for the local Tavern to use one night too.

Mon ~ Shark (caught by our eldest) crumbed with salad
Tues ~ BBQ and salads
Wed ~ Thigh fillets in BBQ sauce and salad
Thurs ~ Out for snitzel night at the Tav
Fri ~ Pasta Bosciaola
Sat ~ Beef skillet casserole and veg
Sun ~ Fish and chips at the park for a family get together

Too hot to bake most of the week, but yesterday I did get to bake my Herman mix up for the first time. Come back tomorrow to see what I made, it was very yum!

Do you Menu Plan? 
Would love for you to share, 
link up below using the linky tool.
Don't forget to link back here so others can join in the fun too.
Feel free to grab my button to use too.

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Take Care

Monday, January 13, 2014

Menu Planning Mondays Link Up!

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This week we were back into a bit more of a routine. I even baked!

Mon ~ Pot Roast beef, crispy roast spuds, honied carrots and Cauli Brocc Cheese with gravy made from the juices
Tues ~ Birthday BBQ at mums
Wed ~ Mushroom Swedish Meatballs and veg
Thurs ~ Carrot and Zucchini Impossible Pie, homemade oven fries and veg
Fri ~ Meatball Pizza Parcels
Sat ~ Slow Cooker Curried Sausages
Sun ~ Corned Beef and veg with white sauce

~ Muesli Milo Bites
~ Wholewheat Banana and date muffins (substituted choc chips for dates)

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Do you Menu Plan? 
Would love for you to share, link up below, 
linking back here so others can join in the fun :)

Take Care

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Blog Planner

Last year I decided to print out a blog planner but I hardly used it.
There are some awesome blog planners out there but I just felt this year they weren't for me. But I needed something.....

Then I remembered the notebooks I had made for Christmas this year (posts are coming I promise) and thought I'll make one for myself!

The A5ish notebooks I got were $4 at Big W. They are made on recycled paper too which is great. I have PLENTY of scrapbooking supplies that I can use so my planner was very cost effective.

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I used Echo Parks This and That in Graceful

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I used my Stampin Up punch to make the tabs, just cut them in half.
Alpha stickers are a variety of Cosmo Cricket and Kaiser.
Each section has a few pages.

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I wanted a monthly calendar where I can write in my blog post titles to keep myself organised.
I searched for some free printable ones in A5 but couldn't find anything suitable, so I made a basic one myself in a spreadsheet.

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The back section is just for notes.
Tab was a sticker from the Echo Park range.
This will be for brainstorming and ideas.

I'm loving my planner so far. It sits in a magazine holder on my desk where I can reach it easy. Hopefully this will keep me motivated to blog better this year.

Take Care

Thursday, January 9, 2014

{January} The Simple Womans Daybook

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I have been having a read of the blog posts on and off for over a year at The Simple Woman's Daybook and thought this year I might just take part.

Outside my window ... The skies are blue, a few clouds are in the sky and there is washing on the line

I am thinking ... that I must start going to bed much earlier than I have been if I want to keep these early morning walks up

I am thankful ... having a lovely family night with all my siblings this week

In the kitchen ... I have Herman bubbling away

I am wearing ... Navy track pants, blue tshirt and sneakers

I am creating ... two patchwork granny square blankets for my youngest

I am going ... slightly insane during these school holidays

I am wondering ... what this summer is going to bring weather wise

I am reading ... Nourishing Traditions

I am hoping ... my Kombucha scoby and Herman starters survive

I am looking forward to ... Brian having the weekend off, trip to the beach no doubt

I am learning ... all about Kombucha and Herman Friendship Starters

I am pondering ... what recipes shall I try with my first batch of Herman

A favourite quote for today ... seeing as today is my first Daybook entry I'll go with my life motto. If it's important, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find excuses

One of my favourite things ... sitting with a cuppa tea and my crochet hook

A few plans for the rest of the week ... continue decluttering, spending some family time with the boys over the weekend, working on more granny squares

A peek into my day ...

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Our lovely local beach

Linking up with the January Edition of The Simple Women's Daybook

Take Care

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's Happening in {My Crafty Corner}

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Last year I decided that I was going to make Ethan and Eli a crocheted blanket each.
They spied some patchwork granny square blankets on Pinterest and decided that's what they wanted.
I started making the squares last year but really didn't get very far.
I really want them to be finished in time to be used this winter.

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So I made a plan. I counted up how many squares I have made. Decided that I'd like to have the rest completed by the end of March, so that I could spend April sewing the squares together and doing the edge. Hopefully done by Easter.
Some simple maths combined with the fact that I only do person crochet on weekends meant that I had to do 25 squares each weekend (29 on the last weekend). That is totally doable!
5 on a Friday night, then 10 each on Saturday and Sunday. Easy peasy! If I can do more great, that will help to make up for the odd weekend where I don't get much done or I might even finish early!

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This last weekend I managed to do my 25 plus an extra 6! I am keep in a tally in my planner so I know that I am on track.

Are you being crafty? What are you working on?

I'm linking up with Keep Calm Craft On {crafting on}

Take Care

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tucker Tuesdays: Recipe ~ Chutney Chicken Parmy Bake

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This is a very yummy, fairly inexpensive and versatile recipe. I have used chicken thigh fillets here, but you could use chicken piece or even sausages.
I have used Rosella Fruit Chutney but you can use whatever you like. Homemade would be fantastic.

Chutney Chicken Parmy Bake
Enough thigh fillets to feed your family
1 Tablespoon of chutney for each piece of meat
A few handfuls of grated cheese

Place meat in a casserole dish. Spoon over the chutney. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 180C until meat is cooked, about an hour usually.

Take Care

Monday, January 6, 2014

Menu Planning Mondays Link Up!

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Almost back to normal this week! I really miss Menu Planning over Christmas and New Year but it just makes sense not to do it.
I also had a spot of baking with 5 new recipes! 3 were awesome, 1 I actually haven't tried yet.

Mon ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise
Tues ~ Left over Bolognaise
Wed ~ BBQ and potato salad
Thurs ~ Hot Dogs
Fri ~ Chutney Chicken Parmys
Sat ~ Meatball subs
Sun ~ Easy dinner. Fish fingers and chips for the kids. Bacon and egg roll for me.

~ Choc Chip and Raisin Oatmeal cookies {variation on this recipe}

Do you Menu Plan? Would love for you to share, just link up below and make sure you link back to here in your post.

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Feel free to grab my button to add to your blog post

Take Care

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Pretty Planner

Yesterday I showed you how I am using my new Planner to accomplish my goals this year.
Remember how it was a very plain boring planner? Well I couldn't live with that. So I got out my scrap supplies and had a play to see what spoke to me.
This is the result

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Nothing fancy but much more attractive.
I used a sheet of Kaisers Base Coat, some Jilly Bean Soup alphas and a 6x4 from Fifth and Frolic.
I would normally have added more but this is a bit planner as it is, I don't need to be bulking it up anymore with stuff that will probably just get knocked off and ruin it anyways.

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On the inside I pasted in a few 3x4 cards from Fifth and Frolic that spoke to me.
Cards that would inspire me as the year goes on.
Again on a base of a different sheet of Base Coat by Kaiser.

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The inside back page I have left plain, just covered with a sheet of the same Base Coat I used on the inside front cover.
Here I can put notes etc that I want to keep through the year.

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I didn't have another sheet of the Base Coat that I used on the front, 
so I used a different sheet of Base Coat instead. 
This one looks like linen.
Again I've popped some 3x4's from Fifth and Frolic that inspire me.

So that's it. All stuck down with a bit of double sided tape. No glue which makes life easier. Hopefully it will hold.
Pretty simple but much better than the bright blue of the original.
Some thing a little more personal and pretty unlike this rather masculine household.

Do you like to alter notebooks or diaries? 

Take Care

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Planning my Goals to be Successful

Last year I set a nice sized list of goals and didn't get much crossed off. I never really made them a priority and hence they didn't really happen.
This year my list is similar, with a few alterations, but I am aiming to work on every single one of them!
How? Well I discovered this awesome diary, thanks to Cate, who bought it last year after I had already ordered my 2013 diary.

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It's not the prettiest diary, but I soon fixed that.
{see tomorrow's post for all the deets}
Yeah it's quite a large diary, but at this stage in my life I am home most of the time and don't need something that will fit in my bag.
Although if needed it will fit easily enough. I'm a mum, I have a huge bag.

It is full of fabulous planning pages that you can see in more detail here, just scroll down a bit.
I am using two in particular.

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This is the monthly page for February. Each moth has the same page. There is also an almost exact page for the whole year. The only difference is that instead of a weekly breakdown on the side it's monthly.
I love how it has sections for each aspect of my life. Of course you can relabel these sections if they don't suit you.
I have written in all my goals for the year in their different sections. Then when planning my monthly goals I reference back to the monthly one.

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This is how the daily sheets are set up.
Side by side and mirrored for easy use. The spiral bind allows for the pages to be turned back to back for ease of writing for left and right handed peeps.

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Along with a typical timed section there are sections for different aspects of your life.
I have a column for my personal and home stuff. Blog and business stuff. Then another I will use for my forum moderating at Down To Earth.
I love that this has a Journalling section. I'll no doubt find this invaluable when I Project Life this year.

I plan to sit down for about 10 minute each night before I go to bed to play my day and write down any notes in the journalling section.

I am really hoping that this will allow for me to plan to meet my goals much more efficiently this year as well as be more organised.

Do you have a diary or planner for this year? 
How do you make it work for you?

Tomorrow I'll show how I prettied this baby up to make it more 'me'.

Take Care

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Goals for 2014

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Many of my goals from last year have made a reappearance in this years goals.
Last year I had great goals. Goals that I could have easily achieved. But I didn't plan for them.
This year I have a plan. I'll share that tomorrow.

Simple Living
~ Reduce waste by using leftovers more effectively, making the most of what we have, scraps into greens waste (we don't have a compost), watching packaging
~ Brew Kombucha
~ Bake with Herman
~ Make soft cheeses
~ Make soap
~ Sew napkins and possibly hankies too

~ Be a better friend - call and write more
~ Spend more 1 on 1 time with the boys
~ Don't yell so much
~ Have more fun

Kids Development
~ Jolly phonics in the summer holidays
~ Ethan practice writing his name in summer hols
~ Eli writing
~ Ethan Lego maths in summer hols

~ Declutter
~ Maintain house using weekly goals
~ Deep clean using weekly goals

~ Finish boys crocheted blankets
~ Start our blanket
~ Project Life and Scrapbook 1-2 a week
~ Learn to knit

~ Walk 5-6 days a week
~ Improve health via nutrition
~ Use essential oils such as Thieves

~ Blog 5 days a week

Have you set Goals for yourself for 2014? Would love for you to Share. Link up below or leave me a comment :)

Take Care