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What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 17 August 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

I have just the weekend ahead before I go back to work and I want to make the most of it, so today I plan on getting the laundry cleaned and decluttered, it's actually not too bad so it shouldn't take too long. And in the afternoon I want to give the outdoor setting a good clean, it has been neglected for a long time. Lovely Hubby very kindly pressure washed the whole outside of the house and the patio for me on Wednesday afternoon, so apart from the outdoor setting everything outside is clean.

We are expecting a very hot start to the week next Monday, with hot and dry northerly winds, so I will have to give the gardens a really good soak at some point, to give the veggies a fighting chance. Regular readers will know that I made a rookie mistake when I planted out our veggie garden for the first time, I planted way too much in one go, meaning we ate like kings from our garden and then it came to a screaming holt. Successive planting is what I am doing now but it is too little too late. Never mind, I learnt that lesson the hard way.

Tomorrow we intend to visit Aunty Brenda again, we went yesterday afternoon, Brenda is getting a bit more drowsy every time we visit, but she is rousable and joined in with conversation when she could. My sister is a talker, which, sometimes, is a blessing as it lets other people just listen and gather their thoughts and as she talks about mostly positive things so it lifts the mood. Aunty Brenda is now in the palliative care unit and we met her Doctor this afternoon, gosh is it just me, but they seem like kids, obviously the older I get the younger they appear. Non the less he was lovely, kind and took his time, what he didn't do was familiarise himself with her name before he entered, he also mustn't have read her chart as he didn't know what the "lumps" were in her forearm, they were the ports for dialysis.

I wonder sometimes, if I share too much here, I am a very pragmatic person and are usually under control of my emotions and thoughts. I can write and talk about our darling Aunt's current battle and then talk about what we bought, spent and ate this week in then same post, is that wrong? We all deal with difficult situations differently I suppose?

I also want to address the unbalanced nature of this week, as my mum would have said, we lived high on the hog, this week. We went our for dinner last Friday night to celebrate a few family members birthdays and we also had a night away at "The Star" last Sunday night. Not at all in keeping with our usual simple and frugal life but we both really enjoyed the experience. I guess it balances out in the end though as we've had baked beans on toast 2 times this week.

Now on with the other food we enjoyed this week-

What we bought

The few items from Coles

The Aldi shop

What we spent

Coles-$9.79
Aldi-$21.55
Simply Good-$48.45, sorry, no photo 

TOTAL-$79.79

What we ate

Friday-Our night out at The Bavarian 

Saturday-Baked beans on toast 

Sunday-Dinner out at The Imperial 




Monday-Baked Beans with an egg on toast 

Tuesday-Upmarket Tuna Pasta Bake with a green salad

Wednesday-Our son invited us over for home made fish and chips

Thursday-Sausages with roasted broccolini and herby mashed potato

Over to you Dear Reader, what was on your family table this week?

Two Years Ago-Here and Now

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 16 August 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

And goodbye to 3 weeks long service leave...

I can't believe how quickly that time has gone, it was a lovely mixture of holiday fun with camping for almost a week and wonderful overnight getaway down the Gold Coast combined with an early spring clean of our home. I love being at home, that is no secret and would love, one day, to be at home a lot more than I am now. There are plans afoot that will change our future and how we are currently living our lives. I will keep you posted on any developments.

Everyday for the last 2 weeks, was full to overflowing with jobs to be done, I wrote an extensive list of things to do and got the greatest satisfaction of crossing those jobs off. It wasn't all work though and I had the opportunity to spend time with my darling sister and our Aunty Brenda. Our lovely Aunt has decided not to continue with Dialysis and will be transferred to palliative care in the coming days. She fought the good fight for such a long time but the fall which resulted in a fractured pelvis (pubic rami) has knocked the winds from her sails, her lovely, small, close knit family are all here in Brisbane with her. I know she will be kept comfortable.

To save money this week I-

1. We were able to park on the streets surrounding the hospital while visiting Brenda as we visited on Sunday and Wednesday, Wednesday was the EKKA show holiday for Brisbane so the streets were quite bare. The parking is outrageously expensive, as it is in most hospitals. They have you at their mercy.

2. Only did a very small shop on Tuesday to keep us going till today which is our normal grocery shopping day.



3. Made a batch of muesli, I love this stuff so much, it is full of goodness and tastes divine. I am able to buy all the ingredients in bulk from Simply Good at Morayfield meaning no plastic packaging.


4. Made a loaf of 5 Minute, No Knead, Bread (pictured above) while the oven was on for the muesli, I baked the bread straight after. 

5. Made 3 jars of Lemon Butter from the last of our home grown lemons


Over to you, Dear Reader, how did you save money this week?

Have a lovely frugal day,
💗Fi

Two Years Ago-Hello Hello 

My Early Spring Clean

Thursday, 15 August 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

This past two weeks has seen me in full swing of a big declutter and clean of the entire house, I had made plans to use this time to do exactly this, so I feel good that I've just about finished it. I know it sounds crazy to have a holiday from work to work just as hard at home, but for my sanity, my home needs to be clean and tidy.

I had been a bit lazy of late and let certain areas of the home become untidy and not as clean as they should be, so I typed out a full list of what I wanted to do in each area of the home and just started at one end and worked my way through. I started in our bedroom and did the following-

-Stripped the entire bed, that means every pillow (I have lots of throw pillow) and pillow top mattress protector, laundered these and vacuumed the mattress
-Pulled out the bed and vacuumed under the bed
-Wiped over the entire bed frame
-Wiped over the skirting boards
-Cleaned the sliding glass doors and tracks
-Wiped over the shutters
-Wiped over, tidied and decluttered the tallboy plus wiped over the TV on top
-Wiped over the wardrobe doors and the door to the bedroom
-Pulled out shoes and some storage boxes from the bottom of our open hanging wardrobe and vacuumed and mopped this tiled area plus the skirting boards
-Vacuumed and wiped over the chaise lounge
-Dusted the photos hanging in our bedroom

You can see how thorough I was, methodically cleaning, dusting, vacuuming everything in sight, this method continued through to our bathroom, the second bathroom, the 3 toilets, the dining room, the kitchen, the lounge and then the sewing room. I now have just the office and laundry to go, I am hoping to get them done today, I am so glad the majority of our home is set right, clean, tidy and decluttered.

Here is some of the items that went to one of the Op shops on the Peninsula-







And here are some photos of what the spring cleaned areas look like now-

Our bedroom

My sewing room AKA the dumping ground, why yes, that is a big brown bear! My late MIL had a thing for big stuffed toys and the kids won't part with them. The bed frame, behind the sewing table, will eventually be put together when one of the kids rooms is cleared of their belongings and behind that is a set of Japanese Shoji doors, our son bought them years ago on a whim, our future SIL will utilise them in his shipping container "shed" on their block. 

Our dining room


So, in a way, I'll be going back to work for a rest! I am so glad to have had this time at home and just get stuff done. For me, nothing can compare to a clean and orderly home. It doesn't have to be perfect all the time and in reality, it isn't, we really live in our home, but it's wonderful to have it so clean and tidy just at this point in time.

Have a lovely day,
💕Fi

Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-Fudgy Chocolate Cup Cakes

Our New Garden Plans

Wednesday, 14 August 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

We are in the process of sprucing up the other side of the garden, I guess you would call it the business side of the garden, where the hot water system, air conditioning units and the clothes line are, it is also our little black cats "Ninja" side of the garden. We installed a cat run with fine mesh covering the whole side so she is safe from our two Jack Russell's, Lulu and Pippa. Unfortunately our dogs are natural born killers and wouldn't think twice before attacking her, if they had the chance. Just yesterday, I had the unfortunate job of cleaning up the terrible mess left behind, from the dogs interaction with a beautiful and docile blue tongue lizard.

The photos below are what it used to look like, large overgrown and very spiky plants and long grass that used to take up a lot of footpath too. We chose completely the wrong types of plants to plant here. Those spikes were at eye level, it's a wonder no one was ever impaled!




So far all the plants and rocks have been remove leaving old spent soil which still has to be wheelbarrowed out then some new garden beds formed using left over concrete sleepers from when LH made the raised garden beds on the other side. We will then plant out a cat friendly garden with cat grass and cat nip. Hopefully she will enjoy it. I have also moved all of the potted pineapple plants around that side, yes they are spiky but at least they are not at eye level. 




Over to you, Dear Reader, what do you grow on the"business"side of your home?

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-Op Shop Bargains

A Little Night Away

Tuesday, 13 August 2019
Hello Dear Reader,


On Sunday, Lovely Hubby and I drove down the Gold Coast for the little night away to celebrate our 32nd Anniversary. We did go away camping recently but due to inclement weather we were actually packing up and coming home on our Anniversary, not very romantic or the way we intended to celebrate it.


So, while LH was away fishing on Moreton Island I received an email from "The Star" where we had stayed, overnight, last year. They were offering a very good deal for overnight accomodation, buffet breakfast and a late checkout of 12pm. I thought it was a great idea as the last time we stayed there we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and also thought it would make up for the calamity of having to pack up and leave on our special day, while away camping.


The drive down was hassle free with traffic flowing well, so much so, we arrived a little early, about 12.15pm, but as our room was ready they allowed us to access our lovely room, I chose the hinterland view as opposed to the ocean view as it is the cheaper option. We popped our bag in the room and went down to the "Garden Kitchen" for lunch, we both chose a light lunch as we had booked into "The Imperial" for dinner that night and didn't want to have too big a lunch.


You can look at the menu's for all the restaurants online so we had already chosen what we wanted to have for dinner that night, a bowl of Hot Sour Soup each followed by Peking Duck and San Choy Bow which uses the rest of the meat off the Peking Duck. Those two dishes are probably my most favourite Asian foods and I would order them for my last meal. We were given two Mango Puddings for free as a lovely light dessert too which just finished off the dinner beautifully.





Breakfast was included in the deal and we headed down for breakfast about 9am the next morning, we went to the "Harvest Buffet"and we weren't disappointed, the view onto the pool area was beautiful as was the hearty breakfast we both had.



I know this is not very frugal or indeed thrifty, what it is though is something we are able to do every now and then, while being careful with our money most of the time. It was a really lovely getaway made even more special by lovely food and lovely company.

Where do go for a little getaway?

Have a lovely day,
💗Fi

Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-Living a Small Life

Light and Fluffy, Sour Cream Pancakes

Monday, 12 August 2019
Hello Dear Reader,


I had about half a container of light sour cream left over from when I made this Beef Stroganoff recently and as I dislike waste of any kind, I though I would put the rest of the sour cream to good use.  Now what to make? I felt like pancakes for breakfast the following morning so pancakes it was. I mixed this very simple batter up after dinner one night and let it rest in the fridge overnight.

I do this with most of my pancake batters, when I can, as I find the batter relaxes when it has time to sit and you end up with really light and fluffy pancakes and that is exactly what these are, so very light and fluffy and not too sweet, I topped them with soft butter, berries and maple syrup.

As it was just me at home last week I had these for breakfast most mornings, they re-heated beautifully in the microwave (just 10 seconds is all they need) topping them daily with a lovely medley of berries and of course maple syrup. By the way, I always buy our berries from Aldi, they always seem to have the best quality at the moment they have huge, plump blueberries by a company called "River Run Farms". I have never seen such huge blueberries!

Now on with this delightful and easy pancake recipe.

Ingredients for Light and Fluffy, Sour Cream, Pancakes, clockwise from top left-
1 1/2 cup of plain flour, 1 cup of milk of choice, 2 tablespoons castor sugar, 1 teaspoon of bicarb soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 a cup of sour cream, 1 egg at room temperature and 1/4 teaspoon salt 

Whisk the wet ingredients together and sift the dry ingredients 


Now add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well incorporated, let sit for at least an hour and overnight if possible 

Cook in the usual way

Serve warm with whatever you feel like

Make them today!

Have a lovely day,
💗Fi

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday
Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today-still away in Alaska

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 11 August 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful for some time spent with our Aunty Brenda, yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately she had a fall at her care facility last Tuesday and has fractured her pelvis, ironically she never had a fall at home. Needless to say she has had enough, she has told everyone her wishes and as she is of very sound mind, her sons will honour her wishes. We will have to see what this week brings. What ever happens, she is one amazing lady, they just don't make them like that anymore. Strong, independent, informed, opinionated ( in a really good way) and just an all-round beautiful lady.


What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,
💙Fi

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-Divine Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownies

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Hello Dear Reader,

Last weeks menu was very simple. as it was just me for most dinners and as I wanted to keep it simple I had my favourite breakfast for dinner or three nights running, which is a perfect egg on smashed avo toast with danish feta. I must admit though, as delicious as this dinner was, by about Thursday, I was looking for some green veg!



Yesterday I continued with my early spring clean and gave the lounge and hallway a thorough deep clean, I now have the office, sewing room and laundry to finish off and then (except for the kids rooms) I have cleaned the whole inside of the house. As I said yesterday, I don't love cleaning but I do the feeling afterwards. Knowing that everything is clean and orderly makes me very happy. Simple things!


Last night we went out to a place in Brisbane called The Bavarian, to celebrate a few family birthday's including Lovely Hubby's. Our future Daughter in law's Brother and Mother also have birthday's in August. It was a very busy and noisy restaurant and bar, not really our scene but entertaining, non the less.


The food was delicious and even though they were insanely busy the service was pretty prompt. The Bavarian is famous for their Pork Knuckle, I couldn't eat that much so settled for some German Sausages with Sauerkraut, Potato Salad and Mustard. It was totally delicious and not too big a serving. We all finished off with a lovely cake that our future DIL had organised for everyone.


Now on with the rest of the food-

What we bought



What we spent 
Aldi-$36.63
Coles-not pictured, $32.42 for a couple of bunches Lilly's, creamed corn, corn kernels and a potato (for the Bacon and Corn Chowder) a couple of small bunches of asian greens and a bottle of Fairy DW liquid. 

TOTAL- $69.05

What we ate

Friday-Corn and Bacon Chowder with toast

Saturday-Tempura Whiting, steamed Basmati rice and the last of our spinach from the garden

Sunday-Just me-I made an asian omelette, steamed Basmati rice and asian greens

Monday to Wednesday-Just me-Egg on toast with smashed avo and feta, simple and delicious 

Thursday-LH got home this day and we had some Pea and Ham soup from the freezer along with a Socca

And that's a wrap, how much did you spend this week on groceries? 

Have a lovely day,
💗Fi

Two Years Ago-No blog post today