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It's Time

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Hello Dear Reader,

I feel it is time for my little blog to come to an end, for a few reasons, namely time or lack there of it and not having too much to say anymore. When I first started blogging it was all about saving money while still living a lovely life and I really couldn't wait to share that with anyone who would read my blog, now days our budget isn't so tight and we have been able to relax a little, which is lovely. 

I'm not sad to say goodbye to the actual typing and creating a blog post, but I will be sad to say goodbye to my lovely readers and followers who have stuck with me even though some days the content of the blog post was maybe a bit boring or not what you wanted to read. 

I will leave the blog up for a while but will take it down at some point so maybe if you have a favourite recipe you could save it to your computer or a memory stick so you can refer to it at a later date. 

Thank you to anyone that took the time to leave a comment, it meant the world to me and kept me going in blog land and usually put a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I still post on Instagram as I find it very easy and quick so if you'd still like to keep in contact my Instagram page is called-stay_home_instead. 

Thank you, again Dear Readers,

💙Fi

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday, 20 May 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


Today I am just letting my mind run free-

It has been a long slow week, spent, as usual, between work and home. I had every intention of starting to clean the shutters and windows, I did get one done in our bathroom but then the wheels fell off that idea. I am in a bit of a slump both physically and mentally and I just don't seem to be able to get out of my own way. I have been sleeping so much better thanks, I think, to a new essential oil sleep blend that a lovely client of LH's gave to me, I am also dreaming so much so it must mean I am sleeping deep. 

One dream in particular has me thinking deeply, the dream started with me standing at the oceans edge and I could see big waves rolling in towards me, I wasn't frightened as I thought I could just duck under the wave and come up for air, instead I found myself right under the wave where it was very quiet and I realised that I was drowning, it was very peaceful and again I wasn’t  frightened. What on earth does that mean?


Another dream had me standing in my Grandparents backyard which slopes up a steep incline to the top paddock. Initially there seemed to be a beautiful vegetable garden but when I walked up to the garden I found it contained amazing flowers, so many beautiful bunches of flowers, already wrapped up, ready to sell. Again, where in the world does my brain get that from?


Those are the only two dreams I can remember but I know I have had lots more, I wake up during a dream and think to myself I must remember that one, but in the morning, no matter how hard I try I can't recall the dreams. I wonder why that is?


What are your Thursday Thoughts?

Have a lovely day,
💙Fi

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


It has been quite cold over the last few days and the days are drawing in earlier, I'm really not a huge fan of winter as the little woofs still expect their early morning walk. I must look like I'm ready for the snow, big puffy jacket, scarf, gloves and warm socks and shoes but it's the only way I can get out the door for the morning walk.


The little woofs now have their pyjamas on from dinner time till after we come back from our walk and Ninja is also seeking the warmth of the bathroom lights. I have bought in her mat from the lounge to the bathroom bench and there it will stay till spring. The upholstered cushion that sits on the bathroom bench even gets a hollow in it where Ninja sleeps all day long. Talk about spoilt.

We have been eating more hearty, stick to your ribs kind of meals this past week, including a change to our usual fruit, muesli and yoghurt breakfasts. Normally we eat this year round but lately we have been having an egg on a toasted english muffin plus weetbix, honey and peaches for me. The weetbix were left over from our camping trip so I want to use those up. I find my tummy is not growling for food again by 10am which is great. 

Here is what else we bought, spent and ate this week-

What we bought and spent




Aldi-$47.07
Coles-$25.40
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$15.46

TOTAL-$87.93-I can't remember the last time it was under $100!

What we ate

Wednesday-Tempura Whiting, steamed Basmati rice and choy sum

Thursday-Sausages, Mashed Sweet Potato and Upmarket Mushy Peas

Friday-Baked Beans on crispy Socca with grated cheese and some leftover sweet potato mash and mushy peas

Saturday-BLT's on homemade Panini

Sunday-Coconut Fish Curry with these easy wraps 

Monday-Creamy Prawn, Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Penne

Tuesday-Prawn Stir Fry

What did you make for your family or yourself this week?

Have a lovely day,
💗Fi

TwoYears Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday
Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Four Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Five Years Ago-Honey, Balsamic and Hoi Sin, Pulled Pork

A Sweet Potato Experiment

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


I have had a good crop of sweet potatoes over the last couple of months, from our raised garden bed, out the back near the compost bin. I really don't know the sweet potato growing cycle but a lot of the green leaves and vines had died back so on Sunday I set about to dig out the rest of the sweet potatoes and cut back the vine.

It was quite easy to do, I simply got my garden fork, dug deep and turned over the soil in lines from the front to the back of the raised garden bed. And this is what I found-

A big bowl full of lovely sweet potatoes of all shapes and sizes. I had already picked the largest of the crop so most of the small to medium sweet potatoes must have been the new season ones, never mind, for me, gardening is an adventure and I quite often get it wrong.

I then gave the soil a good soaking with seasol and topped it off with a good layer of sugar cane mulch, there were a few bits of new growth with roots attached so I have planted them back in the raised garden bed.

When I came inside I googled how to best to sprout sweet potatoes and this is what I found. Put the round or fatter end of the sweet potato in water suspended with three tooth pick so that half of the sweet potato is in the water, change that water every second day and within a couple of weeks the new growth, called slips, will start growing. Snap off the slips when they are big enough and plant out in soil. Lets see how this experiment turns out.


Tell use Dear Reader, what garden experiment has worked out well for you?

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

One Year Ago-I Think She Approves 

Butterscotch Brickle Ice-cream

Monday, 17 May 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


Have I got your attention with this mornings blog post title? Hope your not disappointed but there will be no recipe for Butterscotch Brickle Ice-cream, but stay with me. Growing up in the late 60's early 70's in Gympie, there really wasn't too many flavours of ice-cream available, the usual vanilla, chocolate and Neapolitan plus the occasion Have a Heart and Weiss ice block bought from the little shop up the vale, during out stupid hot summers.

Then one day Butterscotch Brickle Ice-cream came into our lives, I will never forget the aroma and how it tasted, smooth sweet vanilla with little nuggets of crunchy butterscotch brickle. it was one of the best things I had ever eaten at that point of my life. 

Now this is a bit of a stretch but stay with me...the loop that I walk everyday with the little woofs is planted out with lots of Australian Natives and every year from about March to May there is a particular wattle that blooms and guess what it smells like? The most divine Butterscotch Brickle Ice-cream, heady sweetness that takes me right back to our little kitchen in Gympie with the wood fired stove, pale grey laminate benches and bright orange cupboards. 


This wattle is a huge tree with pale yellow flowers that exude the butterscotch brickle perfume, it was particularly powerful this year, maybe because of the wonderful rain we received over summer. The Rainbow Lorikeets go crazy for the flowers and I'm sure the bees love them too.

The only downside is along with the wonderful perfume of these wattles there is loads of pollen and LH has had a terrible time with his hay fever over the last month or so, funnily enough yesterday when we went for our usual late afternoon doggy walk the sweet smell is all but gone so they must be just about finished releasing all their pollen. 

Sadly I have looked for this flavour ice-cream but have been unable to find it. 


How amazing that smells and aromas can have such a powerful affect on you, tell me, what smell, aroma or perfume connects you to a wonderful memory.

Have a wonderful day,

💛Fi

One Year Ago-Sunny Side up Sunday 

Two Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Three Years Ago-Beautiful Bordeaux, Day 9

Four Years Ago-A Morning at Jerry's

Five Years Ago-Chocolate and Cashew Bliss Balls

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 14 May 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I had Monday off as a little extra cheeky day to finish off my weeks break from work, so I have had a lovely four day work week. It takes me a while to get back into the swing of things at work but by yesterday I had caught up and felt happy I was adding value to my patients lives through the program I work for.

Home life is back to normal too, everything we used while camping has been cleaned/washed ready for our next getaway which hopefully will be a long weekend in the near future. Our van went back to Jawa on Monday waiting to be completely finished, once that is done we can start planning our next adventure.

One of my lovely readers, Kelly, put us onto a fairly local company who sells the lightweight walls for the caravan we have been waiting for, LH rang them on Wednesday and have ordered them, thanks so much Kelly, word of mouth is a wonderful thing.

Now on with how we saved money this week-

1. Juiced and froze an abundance of home grown lemons


2. Strained, decanted and stored some cooking oil I had used for cooking papadums in a glass jar to be used when cooking more papadums in the future.

3. Cut and roasted two pumpkins that I didn't want to go to waste. The first one was a JAP pumpkin that accidentally "fell off" the vine out the back near the compost bin. It wasn't ready to be picked but with roasting it and making a curried pumpkin soup out of it, it tasted just fine.


The second one was a Butternut pumpkin and when I picked it last weekend I noticed it had a small hole in it where it had been in contact with the soil, I simply cut out that bit, cut it up and roasted it, again for a curried pumpkin soup. It was totally delicious. 

4. Cleaned and tidied the fridge on Wednesday morning prior to the grocery shop that day, I like to know that I haven't overlooked anything. Love no waste.


5. Fed the compost bin all the fruit and veg scraps, coffee grounds and the shredded paper from the office 

I would love to know what you did in and around your home to save money this week, leave a comment if you like.

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

Wednesday Mornings Fridge

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Hello Dear Reader,

On Wednesday mornings, before LH does the grocery shopping for the week ahead, I like to give the fridge a clean and tidy to make sure nothing has been missed or overlooked. This is what it looked like after I had given it a spruce up-


Top shelf-peaches in mango syrup, cream, water bottles, sauces, pickles and capers, a jar of used cooking oil and an upside down bottle of scriracha to get every last bit out.
Second shelf-lots of condiments, sour cream, cocoquench and anchovies 
Third shelf-the dogs liverwurst and homemade dog food and a jar of jam
Bottom shelf-leftovers, celery and eggs

The crisper draw-a container of tamarind paste, 1/2 a red cabbage, 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 a lime (in the tomato container) I have been steadily using that red cabbage for a coleslaw every time I made fish tacos, it is still in good nick and is the gift that keeps giving. 

Have a lovely day,

💚Fi

What we bought, spent and ate over the last few weeks

Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Hello Dear Reader,

I have been super slack in the "taking photos of dinners" department over the last few weeks, but luckily I write down what we are having for dinner every night in my diary so I can remember what we've had. LH made my birthday dinner for me which was Char Sui and Sui Yuk and I made this Hot Sour Soup plus steamed rice and cooked the asian greens for our little family. LH didn't keep the receipts for the meat and asian greens which he bought at Aldi so the total won't be correct, but hey, eating at home will always be cheaper that dining out. My lovely daughter made me sticky date pudding for my "birthday cake" which we had for dessert. I didn't take a single photo of my birthday dinner either but it was a lovely night.

This post is for two weeks worth of how much we spent and what we ate, thereabouts anyway. 






Coles-$28.90 + $36.14
Aldi-$92.91 + $3.45 + maybe about $50 for the meat and veg for my birthday dinner.
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$13.15

Approx TOTAL-$224.55 for 2 weeks

Wednesday 21st April-Fish Burgers

Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd-Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Curry with steamed Basmati rice and Papadums

Saturday 24th and Monday 26th-Fish Curry with Broccoli, steamed Basmati rice and papadums

Sunday 25th and Tuesday 27th-Moroccan Spiced Shepherds Pie with roasted broccoli 

Wednesday the 28th was curried pumpkin soup

I made this Salmon, Potato and Sweetcorn Chowder on Thursday 29th and there was enough leftover for Friday, Saturday and also for two nights when we went camping. Sunday was my above mentioned birthday dinner. We sent the kids home with some leftovers as well as packing a container for each of us for lunch the next day to have after we had set up camp, it was a life saver. 

Camping dinners consisted of-
-The Salmon, Potato and Sweetcorn Chowder with toast x 2 nights 
-Rissoles, mini roast potatoes and salad (the mini roast potatoes are simply a can of spuds, drained and then sprayed with cooking spray, a good grind of salt and pepper and roasted in the air fryer)
-Snags, mini roast potato and salad
-Pizzas-there is a wood fired pizza van that visits the park every Friday night so we treated ourselves, they were totally delicious. 

Saturday we had Knackwurst with Sauerkraut on rolls (they were supposed be for our last night camping dinner but the Pizzas won) 

Sunday and Tuesday-Another day, another curried pumpkin soup

Monday-Tuna, Tomato, Olive and Basil Pasta

So sorry, Dear Readers, I have just read all that back and it is so messy, I hope you can make sense of it!

Hope you have a lovely day,
💚Fi

What's Happening in the Garden, May 2021

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


On Sunday, we both got into the garden and finally took out the pumpkins and the spent pumpkin vines. Any garden jobs always seem a lot bigger than they actually are before you start, or is that just me, but once we had made a start it really didn't take too long at all. Firstly I cut off all of the pumpkins, most of them are ripe and were ready to be picked but there are four JAP pumpkins that are probably not going to be any good as they started too late and are still quite green. I will let them dry out for a couple of months and see what they are like. 

So in the end the final count was-

9 Butternut Pumpkins and 2 Japanuts 

7 Jap Pumpkins but probably only 3 will be okay to eat, the 4 on the right were late bloomers and were taken off the vine too early

Now that we have bare garden beds again the next project is to fill those beds up with soil as the original soil has settled down so much that we are at risk of losing soil through the gapes of the concrete sleepers. When LH made the garden beds for me he lined the beds with a landscaping quality, woven material to stop soil from seeping out. Unfortunately along with the soil that woven material has also shimmied down, so we may have to come up with another plan to stop the soil from escaping. 




The citrus trees have produced a bumper crop of lemons and limes this year but the lemon tree will need a good cut back after it has finished fruiting as it has lots of citrus gall wasp damage and the usual leaf curl with an added bonus of sooty mould. I seem to be able to get every single pest and disease in my garden. I also had a tomato plant come up by itself near the lime tree, it is being well supported by the branches of the lime tree, no trellis needed. As it is so late in season I don't know if the tomatoes will ripen but it is probably the healthiest looking tomato plant ever grown in our garden. As you can see from the photo above I had two red papaya trees come up by themselves in one of the raised garden beds, again I just ignored them and let them do their own thing, hopefully they won't get the fungal disease that wiped out my last red papaya trees a few years ago. There is already baby fruit and more flowers coming on. Here's to ignoring plants that thrive!




And Ninja's side of the garden is humming along nicely. Everything had a really good haircut a couple of months ago and now it is coming back beautifully. I received a bee friendly seed kit for Christmas and finally got around to planting them out a few weeks ago. I have little baby borage and alyssum seedlings starting to grow in amongst the exisiting plants. 



And lastly here is some potted herbs, my Mock Orange plants and the Moreton Bay figs, I gave them a good feed of Troforte a few weeks ago and it has made all the difference. The final photo is of my ginger which I grew from a small knob of bought ginger after it had started to sprout. I am waiting for the green growth to die back then the ginger root will be ready to be harvested.




What's happening in your garden this month?

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi