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A Day in the City

Thursday, 28 February 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Something a little off topic today, although I did weave some of my frugalness and green activism into the day. On Tuesday I had to travel into Brisbane City for a course for work. I had seen this course advertised and was interested in the topic, however when I saw it was at the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital I hesitated to apply as I really dislike travelling into Brisbane, especially on a week day.

But then my senior suggested I go, so I made plans to attend. I caught the train in and walked from a slightly further away station so I could get some walking in to add to my 1000 km in a year challenge. I packed a lunch and snacks as I didn't think it would be catered for and took my water bottle as well and used my Go-Card for the train fare, as it cheaper and more convenient than a paper ticket.

Still quite empty, my local station is the end of a line

I left home at 7am to catch the 7.20am train from our local train station, there are 23 stations between our local station and Bowen Hills station and takes just under one hour to travel. As the train travelled further down the line it filled with school kids and workers all heading into the city for the day, at every station more school kids and workers got on so it was quite full with every seat taken and lots of people were standing as well. Of course everyone had their head down looking at their phones, there was no conversation and no eye contact. I love to people watch and also watch the scenery go by so I made sure I got a window seat.

I was super pleased to see that the education centre was right at the very front of the hospital, I had visions of it being very hard to find, so this was a relief. I found the conference room easily and was the first one there, signed in and chose my seat.

It was an interesting topic and one which I will be able to implement in my role as an Allied Health Assistant. The course was catered for, which was so lovely, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea was all provided and the quality was just lovely. I had bought my tea and my KeepCup so I used those instead of teabags and the single use cups available.

Not too sure if they were a cupcake or muffin but they were lovely

The fruit platter was very fresh

And the sandwiches were also very fresh and delicious

There is a beautiful park across the road from the hospital with bench seats dotted throughout, it would be a lovely respite for people either working or visiting the hospital, it is well maintained and very tidy and clean.

I emptied my tea ball into one of the gardens 

I left the pen and the pad behind as I didn't need it 

I have to say I was very nervous about travelling into the city and also attending this course, even though I would be with other Allied Health Assistants, some of whom I knew already. I am such a creature of comfort and I love my daily routine, anything slightly difference sends me into a tail spin. I had checked and re-checked the train timetable so many times to make sure I had it right, but even that didn't allay my fears of missing the train. Once I was seated I relaxed a little but really didn't take a full breath until I was in the conference room at the hospital. I'm weird like that!

So, tell me, what sends you into a tail spin, how do you moderate your emotions?

Have a lovely day,


What a Lovely Surprise

Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Lovely Hubby and I do not give each other anything material for Valentine's Day, we both feel it is just a big commercial rort. However this year he did something quite out of the blue and totally unexpected.

On Valentine's Day morning, after breakfast, he asked me if I had any basil growing at the moment, I said no we didn't, as it was just too hot and also that the shops probably didn't have any for the same reason. I then asked him what he needed basil for, he said he was just wondering. I didn't give it a second though and just got on with my morning.

In the afternoon when I got home from work, he said he had a delivery coming for me, I was immediately suspicious and thought "Oh no!!! I hope he hasn't bought me flowers" as I think they are a huge waste of money! I then spied in the crisper draw a zucchini and a large tomato and again asked him what they were for as I knew we hadn't bought them in the weekly shop. He really didn't give me an answer and I began to doubt my memory, had I put them on the list and forgotten?

Later that afternoon, I was cleaning the toilets, when LH yelled out that the delivery was here, I thought, here goes, just be polite and take the flowers!!! What greeted me was a lady at the front door and a big box in the lounge room. I was so taken aback that I didn't even introduce myself to this lady, but I did immediately know what was in the big box. The new model of Thermomix.

LH has a client who is really into her Thermomix and he has been telling me about her Thermomix adventures for ages now, and every time I thought, what a lucky girl to have the new model, but my old one was still too good for me to consider upgrading. The Thermoserver, the Cook-key and the Thermomat were three items he told me about and how good they were, well now I have those as well. Talk about brownie points for life!

He has never done anything so outrageous but I just love this new machine and I have been using it everyday. Sorry about the cinematography, it's a bit wonky.

I am still in shock at his thoughtfulness and craftiness at organising such an amazing gift for me, this will do me for the rest of my life.

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Veggie Shepherds Pie-this recipe is still the most popular recipe on my little blog!
Two Years Ago-One Pan Cheesy Chicken and Veggie Dinner
Three Years Ago-Controlling Weeds in the Garden

What's Happening in the Garden-February 2019

Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

"The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry"

Well, ours definitely have! Remember the plans we had of planting out the garden, with our first crop of vegetables, at the beginning of March? That's not going to happen for one very important reason, we simply haven't had enough rain this summer, which is heartbreaking and extremely annoying, our water tank is almost empty again and out new water tanks which will be arriving soon will be good for nothing until it actually rains.

So plan B is to just let the pumpkin vines take over and keep going until they expire. At least the garden soil is being covered and not so exposed to the, still very hot, sun. So far we have harvested two beaut pumpkins which both weight exactly 3.8 kg, to say I am thrilled is an understatement. I have been visiting my pumpkins every day watching them grow and harden to form these beautiful big pumpkins. I have another 3 smaller ones plus there are new ones forming all the time. I just give them a helping hand by hand pollinating them.

The Fiddle Leaf Figs are doing well, I keep cutting the top section off one as soon as it gets a bit too long and I then just stick it into another pot. It takes a while to form roots and then off they go. I grew the original plant from a tiny seedling that I acquired from an established plant. 

We have eaten all but one of our home grown pineapples, these spiky tops will be replanted soon 

Our dogs Lulu and Pippa are never far from us when we're outside

The Moreton Bay Fig I saved is so healthy, it is destined to be a Bonsai. Our future Son-in-Law loves the art of Bonsai and he can't wait to get his hands on this one. And can you see the pomegranate at the back, it was originally bought by our son to Bonsai, that didn't happen and now it's a big healthy tree, there are lots of pomegranate on it this year, I think they look like lanterns.

This is where the 4 x 2500 litre water tanks are going. This is where our passionfruit vine used to grow, it has been sacrificed for the water tanks.

What the above space used to look like in 2017

My lovely Kaffir Lime tree 

The original veggie patch out the back of the shed, it still has sweet potatoes, rosemary, lemongrass and our compost bin

The Lime Tree is doing okay, it is still not completely happy, it only has one lime on it this year

Our Lemon Tree handled the transition from pot to garden bed much better than the Lime, it has lots of fruit that are just starting to change colour

One of the smaller pumpkins not quite ready to be picked

Gold Dust/Pollen from a male pumpkin flower

A baby pumpkin at the base of a female flower

Job done 

Remember the Avocado seed I sprouted? Look at it now

How it looked just after sprouting

So at the end of the day, I will just have to be patient and wait until we have enough water to support a big productive garden. If it rains in the next couple of weeks I may start off a garden bed of herbs, I'll just have to wait and see.

How is your garden going at the moment? What are you growing and harvesting?

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today-last day of camping

Creamy Herb and Garlic Dip

Monday, 25 February 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Just a quick little post this morning. I had some wholemeal flatbreads that needed using up, so I went ahead and cut them into little triangles (well, kind of triangles) and oven baked them with a little spray of rice bran oil and a good grind of salt.

So then I needed something to dip the crunchy little triangles into, so that is how I this little recipe was born. All I needed to buy, as a starting point, was a pack of cream cheese, the rest I had at home already, so frugal wise I was very happy. Thank goodness for the few herbs I grow.

I made mine in my Thermomix but this simple dip could be made in a food processor or indeed, by hand.

Ingredients for Creamy Yoghurt and Herb Dip, clockwise from top left-1 x 250 gram pack of cream cheese, 2 tablespoons natural yogurt, 1 spring onion, a good handful of parsley, 1 garlic clove and a small handful of mint.

In the TM bowl, add all ingredients 

Blitz for 3 seconds on speed 8 then give everything a really good scrap down

Then blitz again for 20 seconds on speed 4

Spoon into a serving bowl and serve with cracker of choice

If you can, let the dip sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavours mingle, it is a super easy and very delicious dip.

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-No Post Today-Still Camping

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 24 February 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful for having sharp knives in the kitchen. Lovely Hubby is a mad keen fisherman and as such, having a really sharp blade to fillet the fish is a must. He has a huge selection of knives for that purpose and I too have a large range of knives for the kitchen.

But I only really use these three-

The top one is a vegetable knife from I.O.SHEN and is fantastic for chopping, slicing and dicing of all vegetables, it is especially good on hard pumpkins and sweet potatoes. 

The middle one is a chefs knife from Tojiro, another Japanese brand. I love to use it for finely cross chopping herbs and finely slicing vegetables

And the bottom one is a paring knife from Tojiro, I use it for finely slicing garlic and ginger, removing the intestinal tract from prawns and top and tailing snow peas. 

Over to you, what are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today, still away camping

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 23 February 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Well, the fickle cyclone Oma is still just hovering off our coast line and I really don't think anyone can predict what it's next move is. Unfortunately there has been no rain which is so disappointing, I was really looking forward to a downpour to saturate the soil.

My fishermen had their Bass fishing competition cancelled due to unpredictable weather, which of course they were disappointed with but better safe than sorry. The Bass competition was to be held at an inland Dam that wouldn't be unaffected by tide surges however I guess they still had a duty of care for the anglers travelling to and from the area.

So this weekend we are going to do a bit of tidying up in the garden, we'll go and buy some meat from Jason's Quality Meats at Brighton, I'll be in the kitchen at some point steaming some veg for the dogs to add some goodness to their dinners for the week ahead, there's washing to do, some shopping at the bulk store sometime today and I'll be hosting a family get together tomorrow so our daughter can see everyone. That should keep us busy.

Now on with the food-
What we bought

Shopping from the Northside Discount Fruit Barn

Coles shopping

The Aldi Shop

What we spent
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$44.58
Marjax Meats-not pictured, I forgot to take a photo-500gram Rump-$14.40

What we ate

Friday and Saturday-Falafel wraps with salad and tzatziki 

Sunday-Pan Fried Reef Fish with Creamy Dill Potato Salad

Monday-Tempura Whiting, steamed Basmati rice and Choy Sum

Wednesday-Stir Fry Prawns with steamed Basmati rice

Thursday-Meatballs in White Wine and Mushroom Sauce with Broccolini

Your turn, what are you doing over the weekend and what was on your family table this week?

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today (Away Camping)


This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 22 February 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

And hello Cyclone Oma, heavy winds started at lunch time yesterday and rain is expected sometime today, they're being generated by tropical cyclone Oma that is bearing down on our northern coastline. I pray that everyone in the possible strike zone stays safe, that there are no casualties and homes are not harmed.

I'm not worried for us but I would love it if we got some rain, you know real rain that will really wet the soil, we'll see what happens over the weekend.

We've had our darling daughter down this week as she is guest spotting in another studio in Brisbane. Both her and her partner are taking turns at doing this throughout this year, establishing their brand down here in preparation for when they move down early next year. As always she is a delight to have and is just an extension of me. I love her dearly.

Here's what happened on the frugal front-

1. Made another batch of flatbreads, they take very little time to come together, use very few ingredients and cost just a few cents to make

2. Made another batch of muesli

3. Popped our uniforms in the dryer for a couple of minutes then hung them up straight away, this eliminates the need for ironing.

4. Made sure all the leftovers were used up in a timely manner. I put any leftovers in clear containers or glass bowls to make sure they are visible

5. Rode to work every day, I don't know about today, the wind would blow me backwards, so I think I'll ask Lovely Hubby to drop me off and pick me up today.

How's your week been? Anyone reading that is feeling the effects of Cyclone Oma? How did you go on the frugal front?

Have a lovely day,

One Year go-The Start
Two Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today-Away Camping