Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If you haven't yet taken the time

If you haven't yet taken the time to watch the 33 minute film I posted here yesterday, then please make the time soon - NOW even. (if you're reading blogs, you can probably fit this into your day okay!)

Lives are being saved by this film, of this I am certain. Please watch it :o)


Monday, September 26, 2011

The lollypop

A lollypop surfaced in our house about 2 weeks ago and it was quickly asked by every short person 'Whose is it? Can I please have it" to which I quickly answered (so as to end any discussion) "No you can't, it's mine"

Well Timothy (3) just can't handle it LOL

Every time he comes across it, an average of 2 x a day, he brings it to me "Here you go mum, I got it for you"!!!!!

Someone else is moving it too though, I don't know who... but it was placed by the computer today and now it's gone again... never mind, I'm sure Timothy will find it tomorrow.

Do you think I should stop the torment and let him have it?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Someone has my 'bothereds'

Hand them back please??? All I have is my 'I can't be bothered's!

2nd day in a row GRR LOL

Dishes to do, floors to clean, optometrist appointment to attend, bookwork and reading to be done AND I want to get my seedlings planted! Some of them anyway... wonder-hubby needs to do more weeding before I can do them all :)

I pushed past it yesterday and got done what needed doing... including rearranging a couple of things in my kitchen. Which looks good now, so I am pleased. Melinda even said to me that it 'looks bigger'. If you know my kitchen, you'll know that that is bordering on being a modern day miracle!!

MUST find my 'bothereds'... I think they're hiding in the clouds so I hope the sunshine comes out soon :o)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Treasured Moments

It's been ages since I've taken one of the kids out for one on one Mummy Time so today I followed through with a promise to take Timothy out. I asked him what he wanted to do and he picked "Brown cake with brown icing pleeeease Mummyyyyyy".

After we found cafe #1 to be closed on a Sunday we headed to Zagame's and I let him pick from their cake fridge. He picked a cookies and cream cheese cake. We had a fun time chatting, eating, watching other people, eating, chatting and more eating. I really ought have taken an 'after' photo of that plate too! (and his face LOL)

I'm going to link this in to Treasured Moments because that's just what times like these are - treasured! Check out Erin's Blog to follow Treasured Moments and join in when you can.

Hubby and I had an at home date night on Saturday night - a movie and chinese takeaway...  and little Charlotte even settled for the night more easily than she had in ages. It was nice to enjoy that time together without tackling one of the many tasks on the ever growing To Do List. The evening did confirm for us though, that we are needing to purchase a new dvd player... why oh why don't they last!?!

How about some plans for more Treasured Moments? There's nothing quite as special as family but girl friends are nice to have too - so I've invited a handful to come over this Tuesday evening for a fun evening... very much looking forward to that. Planning such a thing isn't always easy, guest list wise. Especially in a tiny house. Maybe I just need to do more of them again.

I'm also starting to pencil out ideas for the coming summer... picnics with the children, raspberry picking again and so on. Plans must be made or things don't happen!

PS Yes, this is the same Timothy as pictured in my blog header on the far right... time for an update there I think. Hoping to get my head around that one soon :o)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some Recent Happenings

Shared glee opening a favourite DVD on her 9th birthday at the start of August ~ Swiss Family Robinson

A little fuzzy because sitting in a rocking chair, holding a baby and taking a photo is NOT a still event!

Mid-chat... she's a girl for sure!
She's in there somewhere - the boys LOVE playing with her

One of Timothy's favourite things to do is wash dishes :o)

Just noticed the boys hair - they've both had hair cuts since these photo's were taken and now have a style that looks more like Charlotte ;o)


Cutting the grocery budget # 2

Another Idea...

Add in a couple of 'dollar meals' each week or even more often... depending on how much you want to save and for how long in balance with health.

Dollar meals for me, come in at about $5 for the meal. For the whole family.
A couple of examples: Tomato Pasta Bake: 2/3 bag of pasta 66c, cooked plus a jar of stir through tomato pasta sauce $1.60, 2/3c shredded cheese on top 80c. Additions to this can be a drained can of tuna in spring water and/or a cup of frozen corn kernels, or some gently fried onion & mushrooms or stir fried literally 'whatever vegies are leftover in your fridge'. How about a Vegie Fried Rice... a couple of cups of rice, steamed, a few eggs diced after being 'ommeletted' (my word LOL) and then some diced vegies - whatever you have in your fridge which for us seems to be capsicum, mushroom, broccoli, carrots along with some onion and frozen peas/corn/beans. A few splashes of worcestershire sauce or whatever you like to use and you're done!

Spend some time brainstorming low cost meals you can make for your family! Baked beans on toast is about $4 for our family - including 2 large cans of baked beans... and if your family won't eat what you feed them, then you've bigger issues on your hands than dollar saving!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Desk for ME!

At last! As of last night, I have a desk! Happy Happy Me :o)

What do you think?

 These last 14 months are the only time I've not had my own desk space in (brain ticking....) over 23 years!!! As you can imagine, I've really missed it. And now we live in a shoe box and have added 4 children there is not much space at all and I'd all but given up on it.

There was a corner of the kitchen that had the old desktop PC which is 'going somewhere other than continuing it's life with us' and I'd laid claim to that spot for my sewing machine. No, I am not what you could call a sewer by any stretch of the imagination but I want to learn and sew more.

We went to Ikea on the weekend and I had to wait for Pete and the kids for a few minutes and ended up drooling over the desk section. And would you know it? One spoke to me!!! It was saying "Pick me pick me, I can do the job!". Pete didn't take much persuading, and voila! I have a desk. No space for my sewing machine to be left out all the time, but hey, I have a desk :o) and I will learn to get the machine out from time to time. Now there will even be space on the dining table for it because my desk stuff won't be taking up one end of the table *blush*

You think it won't look so clean for long?

Wrong thankfully - the special lid means the desk surface is hidden whenever needed, how cool is that?

This is what it really looks like when in use!

Similar to the school desk I had in grade 4 with a container under the lid but different because the front of the space underneath also lifts up. It's the storage space that is the desk surface.

The inside of the lid has pockets and is a pinboard!! There will be menu plans etc there before the week is out When I want visual peace in the room - very important in a tiny house - I can just close the lid!

I. Have. A. Desk.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cutting the grocery budget

This is not always straight forward because you have to be able to live with yourself too! I could feed our family on about $100 a week long term if I wasn't so determined to go with the health benefits we've discovered of raw dairy, high protein and best practice preparations of grains and other foods.

However, sometimes I'm happy to switch to 'budget' of our dietary needs or 'super budget' and not do too badly in the health department. $100 a week for the 6 of us would be a 'super super tight budget' and wouldn't not have much room to consider our chosen food health. So something like that would only be a short term 'we need cash now' option. Usually I spend $200 a week on groceries for the 6 of us - yes, Miss Charlotte does count as nappies and formula are in there! $200 a week allows us things like smoked salmon, free range eggs and plenty of meat... so that's not too tight and gives me room to trim it down a bit if I want money for other things.

Here are some really easy ways to shave the grocery budget
-Toilet paper... I'm amazed at what people will spend on toilet paper. I use to go on the guage of 50c a roll being a good deal. Now with thicker fancier toilet papers it's not a good deal as you end up using more of those!! We use Aldi 16 rolls for $4.99 which is 31c a roll which saves us over $113 a year - on just one simple item. If I wanted to save more, I quite probably could. Because of different roll lengths and thicknesses, the best way to calculate cost & savings is to try different options for a week and see how many rolls your family goes through in a 7 day period and work out your costs from there.
-Dishwashing liquid... again, you need to test how long a bottle lasts you to figure this one out. We were using one skin friendly one (you can't get such a thing from a supermarket btw) and were going through it too fast. All this year I've been using a new one and have been dating my bottles. One bottle at $23 dollars lasts me 14 weeks, so $1.65 a week. I'm pretty happy with that, especially as it had been up around $3-$4 a week. I've used cheaper ones but they're loaded with chemicals I don't want on my dishes. We do a LOT of dishes here as we cook from scratch and I'm really happy with how this one is going. Again - you need to do your own testing/assessment based on how many chemicals you're happy to have on your plates and what you're willing to spend.
-Don't throw out food. Buy a capsicum at $6 a kilo? Half of it doesn't get used and goes in the bin? The capsicum you did use, just became $12 a kilo, which you'd have never paid in the first place! Dish small serves and allow for seconds instead of uneaten portions going in the bin. Cover a meal and make sure it DOES get eaten later.
-Home made 'takeaways' can save a fortune... Pizza from the shop is $17 for our family or about $10 with  frozen slightly topped bases and our goodies added... Fish n chips about $25-30 from the shop or about $13 oven baked. Choose to adjust your taste buds accordingly. One takeaway a week turned into a home done one can save over $500 a year! What would you do with that $500? Work out your own 'no time to cook'  meals that will help you save on takeaway, like frozen spaghetti sauce and shepherd's pies, and your own 'we want a treat for dinner' options like spring rolls, oven baked fish, dim sims, pizza etc. Put the thinking cap on, then remove these items from the regular menu plan so they become the treat or time saver you want them to be.
Just doing these things saves us $700 a year which means I can either a) buy higher quality foods like smoked salmon etc OR b) I can use the cash for other things... and that's not all the savings that are available either!

There's a whole lot more buzzing around in my brain but this is it for starters... remind me if I forget to come back to it!


A crispy start to the day

It was just 11.1 in here this morning at 5.45am! Almost half an hour later I've managed to get that up by 3 degrees so it's still chilly but feels warmer in here than the passage way. Makes me chuckle to think that in a few months it will be too warm for me on a regular basis :)

I'm nutting through how to best manage the summer heat, at the moment. Heat = stress on the body = an MS trigger. I know I can't solve it, but I sure can plan and work towards doing my best with it.

In the mean time, I need to work out how to best use TODAY! Normally I spend my Wednesday's at my sister's, caring for her 2 boys along with my own children. Today I'm not because my back still isn't good enough. It's quite a different feeling from last week when my sister and her family were away and I knew in advance that I was having the Wednesday off... it really was like a day off... but the last minute thing like this - not quite the same, is it?

I have a looong list of things I'd like to be doing here but I've been around long enough to know that in between caring for a baby, directing the children and resting & exercising my back, that I won't be getting a looong list done.

So instead my list for today looks like this:
1. The basics of food/clothing/sleep for the family
2. Back rest and exercises for me
3. Make and bake pasties

and that my friends, will make today a success :)

(ooh - it's 14.8 in here now!!)


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blogging Sideways

Yep, seriously. I am bedridden with a sore back and so am looking at everything sideways AND typing one handed so this is a little slow. That's okay though as I can't DO anything else!!

Pete has been back at work for 3 weeks now and that has been a crazy time of adjustments. I feel like I am finally getting on top of it, only to be now out of action. I've done my back like this 3 times before. The first time I was in bed about 5 days after a trip to the hospital. The second time was only a day and the 3rd time... I can't remember!

So many things have been happening here - good things, photo worthy things, big decision things, cute things... and more. I'm going to have to wait till I'm upright again though before I can get to blogging about those. And find some blogging time. That's the big thing I've noticed with Pete being gone... there is NO time! Some would protest that though and mention my frequent Facebook status updates LOL... well what can I say other than FB is easy. A no-brainer. I play NO games on there, I won't even look at them. The laptop is open ALL day, with 20-40 different tabs in use including FB and status updates are just 'thinking out loud' :)

Time now to try walking again and do some back stretches...