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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

Home

Monday, 10 May 2021

 Hello Dear Reader


Sorry it's been a while, I got busy getting ready for our camping trip up to Noosa North Shore last week. We took delivery of our Jawa Infinity Escape Hybrid Caravan on Friday the 30th of May and left for camping on Monday the 3rd of May, which was also my birthday. We had intended to leave on the Sunday but it had been raining on and off over the weekend so we decided to leave it another day so we could set up camp in the dry.


The actual inside of the caravan is unfinished but Jawa kindly let us take it away as we had already booked and paid for the weeks camping fees. The inside twin burner gas stove is still unavailable as are the light weight walls for outside (they attach via the sail rail to the wind-out awning) as well as the dust minimiser system. We knew the caravan and camping boom was big, but it seems that every caravan company are run off their feet and are finding it hard to fill orders in a timely manner. I think Covid 19 has changed the travelling world completely and everyone, including us, wants to stay and see their own country.


The van is called a hybrid as the back pulls out to accomodate the king size mattress and the top pops up, it is such a great design and has loads of storage both inside and outside the van. Best of all it is easy to put up and take down and only takes about 15 minutes to set up the van. Unfortunately the sides that we were sold instead of the lightweight ones we had ordered were not a good fit for the sail rail in the canopy and we were only able to get one wall to fit correctly with LH having to MacGyver the other wall so it would not only fit but also protect us from the wind. 

We had a lovely week away and caught 44 whiting plus 3 bream in total, all were quality fish so we have been able to add lots of fish meals to the freezer. The weather gods were very good to us also with the days a heavenly 24 C and the nights got down to a low of 12 C one evening but the van is so warm so we were in bed that night very early. 



As usual I can't walk past a piece of rubbish on the beach and unfortunately I could have done it all day, every day. So I limited myself to one full bag of rubbish each day, there was the usual water bottles, lots of rope, plastic bottle caps, bait plastic bags, bits of cars, shoes, thongs, babies toys, tiny bits of broken up plastic of every colour of the rainbow, face masks, plastic meat containers, tennis balls and too many party balloons including their plastic ribbon. 




LH even found a FAD which stands for a Fish Aggregating Device, washed up on the beach one morning, he thinks it was from outside of Australian waters because of what it was made from (Bamboo) He attached the rope to the truck and hauled it above the high tide mark to make sure it doesn't do any harm to sea or bird life. 




So, that's what we've been up to and tomorrow it is back to work for me. Our next week long break is in August for our wedding anniversary and we also want to do one or two weekends away before that. Hopefully the parts for the van won't be long and then we can have a complete van. 


Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday 

The Completed Outdoor Area and Refreshed Driveways

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

This is a big project that has been on our "to do" list for many years but we kept putting it off as we  couldn't find a company that would grind back the existing stamped concrete. Then one day I was sitting in traffic and I saw a truck and on the side was the companies name "Captivating Concrete Solutions" so I thought I would give them a call. Eddie, the owner, answered and after I explained what needed doing he promptly came the next day to give us a quote.

He was so helpful and said he had a machine that grinds back the exisiting finish before applying the new one, he made it sound so easy. He bought colour samples and we chose one called "Mocha Latte"which is a light cream colour with a darker speckle through it. 

We eventually want to paint the outside of the house a similar colour to modernise it a bit so the colours between the house and the driveway will blend better in the end. Truth be told I never liked the stamped concrete and always thought it was way too yellow but we put up with it for over 17 years.

Here is what the driveways looked like before the makeover-

Stained and ugly stamped concrete on one driveway

And plain old concrete on the other 

This is a glimpse of how the outdoor area looked before, it was the same stamped concrete surrounded by black aluminium fencing


And this is how it looks now-

Clean fresh and bright driveways

I just love how modern and new it looks

We finished re-oiling the outdoor setting and I bought cushions for the chairs from Kmart

We removed the black aluminium fencing to open up the space and moved the pot plants around so that it looked more balanced.

We love how it turned out. 

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi