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Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 24 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,


Today I am grateful for this amazing sunset that we saw on the way home from our early dog walk yesterday afternoon. We went early as it was just so cold all day and of course just got colder as the day went on. I was right, yesterday broke records for being the coldest May day in Brisbane since 1980, Brrrr.

I hadn't actually taken my phone with me and all the way home this sunset just kept on getting more and more amazing, once home I raced inside, got my phone and then stood in the middle of the road to get this shot.

What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,
๐ŸŒ‡Fi

One Year Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Two Years Ago-How I Cook Asian Greens
Three Years Ago-Fish and Broccoli Laksa
Four Years Ago-Everyone Needs a Rest Day 

7

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 23 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

BRRR...oh, baby, it's cold outside....it is currently 12 C but overnight it went down to 10 C and today it will only reach a predicted 16 C, I don't think I can remember such a low day time temperature for here, maybe it will be a record low. I will finish this post soon and take the little woofs for their morning walk, it takes us about 20 minutes to the bridge and back and we usually see the same people every day at the same time, also out walking their woofs.

After our weekend breakfast of eggs, smashed avo, feta and smoked salmon on toast I will start the washing, there are two loads today, I also want to clean up the patio and outdoor setting, I think I will use a dustpan brush in some warm soapy water on the timber outdoor setting to give it a thorough clean up.

Also on my list for today is a quick vac including the lounges and the door tracks, I want to pop out to Spotlight and buy some fabric to bind my current quilt with and lastly all the gardens will need a good deep water, we did get some rain but not a lot and yesterday a very dry westerly started blowing so everything is quite dried out. That should fill out my day. What are you doing today?

Now on with the food of last week-
What we bought

The Aldi Shop

Fruit and Veg from the Northside Discount Fruit Barn 

 A couple of items from Coles, if you're wondering what the liverwurst is for, I sneak Lulu's heart tablet in a small spoonful of it for her, twice a day, Pippa gets a little bit of the liverwurst spread on a little bit of cracker...oh the things we do!

What we spent
Aldi-$81.58
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$12.22
Coles-$6.60

TOTAL-$100.40
What we ate

Friday-Baked Beans on Toast, this is the variety we had that night

Saturday-Char Sui and Sui Yuk, our lovely Son picked this up for us when he went to the Asian grocer at Aspley, we served it with steamed basmati rice and asian greens  

Sunday-Slow Cooked Calamari with tomatoes, olives and artichokes served over egg noodles 

Monday-Prawn Stir Fry 

Tuesday-Pan Fried Turmeric Snapper with Upmarket Mushy Peas and sweet potato chips

Wednesday-Tempura Whiting with steamed basmati rice and asian greens 

Thursday-Prawns in Mustard Cream Sauce with Mashed Potato and steamed Broccoli

What was on your family table this week?

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’—Fi

Three Years Ago-Beach Patrol 
Four Years Ago-New Fruit Trees 
1

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 22 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I can't waffle on too much this morning as I am starting early, a work colleague of mine needs to attend to some personal business so I offered to do their hours today. Here's how I saved money and tried to get ahead this week-

1. Started off some more asian greens to sprout in water, these ones are Bok Choy and have grown so much already. The first lot of sprouted Choy Sum have been planted in the Vegpod


I gently snapped off the outer bits of the choy sum before planting the baby veg

2. Made another batch of vanilla yoghurt, I can tell you this never gets old. Creamy, thick and rich in real vanilla, it is divine and probably the main reason I get up of a morning. 


3. Finished installing the last of the water tanks, the initial outlay is expensive but over time it will save us money as the water charges in our area are shockingly high. Once they have filled with rainwater we will have 150000 litres of water. We had some gentle rain yesterday afternoon and into the evening, I wonder how much water has gone into the tanks.


4. Ate fish and prawns from the freezer for three meals this week, LH catches, cleans and cooks the fish and prawns.

Tempura Whiting

Pan Fried Turmeric Snapper 

Prawn Stir Fry

5. Packed my morning tea and lunch for work everyday, I also make sure LH has lunch for the next day, it is usually leftovers from the night before. I store everything in glass see through containers so nothing is missed or overlooked. 


Today's morning tea and lunch-toast and peanut butter and a muesli bar for morning tea and I made a quick fried rice with garlic, ginger, spring onions, broccoli stem, kim chi, a beaten egg and left over rice, I then added a couple of splotches of oyster sauce and scriracha hot sauce. 

How did you save money this week?

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’šFi

One Year Ago-Blah and Yuk 

2

It's Finally Finished

Thursday, 21 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I first mentioned the goal of re-vamping our little black cat's, Ninja, side of the house, back in January of 2019, I wanted to create a safe and inviting place for her to call her own. LH has chipped away at this project for the last year and a half and finally, it is finished. It wasn't really a priority to LH because, hello, fishing, is so much more appealing! I can't blame him, this project did involve some very heavy lifting and we did have such fierce heat over the summers of 2019 and 2020. I am so happy and grateful to LH that I can finally tick this goal off of our 2020 goal list.

Here's a little video of what it used to look like



And what it looks like now


Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’šFi

One Year Ago-A Day Out at Bellis 
Two Years Ago-I'll Be Right Back
Three Years Ago-Here and Now 2
Four Years Ago-Chocolate, Toffee, Caramel Sauce
1

Wednesday Roundup

Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

And welcome to half way through another week in May 2020. Last Saturday saw the relaxing of our Covid 19 lockdown laws and on Sunday I popped out to Bunnings to pick up some seeds and seedlings to start planting out our autumn, winter and spring veg and herb crops. Leading up to Bunnings there are three sets of lights and it took me forever to get through them, there was so much traffic and once there, Bunnings was jumping with people out in droves and dressed to the nines. There was a big line up waiting to get in and a security guard shouting out the reminder to stay 1.5 meters apart and only letting a few people at a time when a few customers exited. I was in and out in about 45 minutes with most of the time waiting to get in or waiting at the cash register.

I then spent the rest of Sunday afternoon planting out the seeds and seedling, giving everything a good water in and then cleaning and tidying up the yard. I was quite exhausted by Sunday evening but really happy with everything I achieved that day. Here is what else has been happening in and around our home this past week.


On My Mind-
Planning a little family get together very soon, it's been way too long since all our clan has been together in one spot.



On the Breakfast Plate-
A lovely co-worker gifted me a magnificent pineapple and we have been having it with our breakfast fruit salad and vanilla yoghurt bowls. Someone she knows owns a pineapple farm and it is just the most wonderfully sweet pineapple.



On My Reading Pile-
Not reading anything at the moment

On My TV-
Apart from the news I haven't watched anything this week

On the Menu This Week-
Fav meal this week was this prawn stir fry that LH makes nearly every week or so. We always uses the same veg combo-ginger, garlic, spring onions, red capsicum, snow peas and bean shoots-yum!



From the Camera-
A glamour shot of my repaired sewing machine

Looking Around the House-
Not in the house but outside, particularly Ninja's side of the house, it is all finished. It has been a very long time coming and I am so very happy with how it has turned out. So very neat and tidy, no more jagged rock edges, no more rogue spiky plants, it now has a lovely long cat friendly garden and more water tanks.

Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week-
The patio and outdoor furniture needs a good sweep and hose down, it's looking a bit grubby

What happening in a around your home this week? I'd love to know, join in by cutting, pasting and filling in the blanks and posting in the comments.

On My Mind
On the Breakfast Plate
On My Reading Pile
On My TV
On the Menu This Week
From the Camera
Looking Around the House
Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’šFi

One Year Ago-Super Soft Slider Buns
Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Four Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday 
4

Wrinkles-1---Environment-0

Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,


Because of my concern for our environment, I have been using skin care products that are solid (very little packaging) or organic in nature, that I tried to buy in glass and up until the last little while I have been happy with my choices. However, lately I have become concerned about the amount of wrinkles that are showing up on my face. I have always looked after my skin especially when I was young and worked in a pharmacy, I loved to try all the new skin care and makeup but with age, maturity and spending money on more important things like a mortgage and food, I switched to using very simple skin care, a cleanser and a moisturiser and I would always ask for a good quality eye cream for my birthday or Christmas present.

That continued until I became more concerned about the environment and less about the way I looked, at that stage my skin was still looking good, a few laugh lines and wrinkles around my eyes, I could cope with those. Fast forward a few years and now every time I look in the mirror I am seeing more and more wrinkles and saggy skin and on Saturday I had just about enough of that. I was in my car driving out to Strathpine to have my sewing machine looked at. I caught sight of my face in the rear view mirror in the sun and couldn't believe what I was looking at, not just lines and wrinkles but the whole texture of my skin looked terrible, very dry and old looking.

After getting back into Redcliffe I headed down to Chemist Warehouse to have a look at some skin care that was designed for....cough....mature skin. I settled on L'oreal's Age Perfect range and bought myself a cleanser, day cream, night cream, scrub, serum, eye cream, foundation and concealer. It was good timing too as that pharmacy was having a big sale on all skin care and makeup. I haven't done anything like that in a very long time, splurging on trivial and superfluous products, but I have to say my skin already looks and feels better.

So, for right now, at this time of my life, the wrinkles won and because some of the products I bought are packed in plastic, plus the actual packaging was wrapped in a kind of cellophane, the environment has lost. Is there a win, win kind of situation?

Okay, lovely readers, hit me, are you worried about the way you're ageing? What skin care products are you currently using?

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’Fi

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday
Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Four Years Ago-Honey, Balsamic and Hoi Sin, Pulled Pork
7

I Think She Approves

Monday, 18 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I took a little video yesterday afternoon of Ninja's, nearly completely finished, side of the house, it has been a very long time coming and I am so very happy to be so close to finishing it. LH has ordered 4 water tanks that will sit alongside the house, giving us another 2800 litres of water, once it rains we will, hopefully, be drought proof. In total, once the new tanks are filled, we will have 15000 litres of water on hand, how wonderful.

Ninja has free rein to come and go on her side of the house, she has a cat door and her side has a cat enclosure to keep her safe from the little woofs. I have no doubt that the little woofs would harm or even kill her if they had the chance so we've taken every precaution we can to keep her safe. Not that she is grateful, typical cat....

We have planted out cat grass, cat mint/cat nip, ordinary mint and a kind of lily that always grew on that side of the house, I have no idea what it is, but Ninja has never tried to eat it so I'm guessing it will be safe. The old blue water barrels you can see in the video will be dumped as they are quite old and are starting to break down. As we all know, eventually, plastic breaks up, not down!

In the video I also show a quick look at what is growing in the veggie pod at the moment, I have perennial coriander, the newly sprouted choy sum from this little experiment and a rogue basil plant that came up in between the pavers. Love free plants!



Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’šFi

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-Beautiful Bordeaux, Day 10
Three Years Ago-My Daily Rituals that Make me Happy and Healthy
Four Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week


3

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 17 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader


Today I am grateful for the kindness and expertise of the lovely gentleman from Stumers Sewing Centre at Strathpine who fixed my sewing machine for me yesterday, in no time at all, and he didn't even charge me for it. What lovely service is that! The cutting mechanism was stuck on the wrong side and the bobbin case was also out of it's normal position, how did all that happened? I'll never know!

While there, I bought some good quality thread and machine needles, I have been using sub-standard sewing thread and needles ever since I've started sewing, I just wanted to use up all the old needles and thread that I inherited from both my Mum and MIL, but my, what a difference good quality makes! I did a bit of sewing yesterday and it was so smooth that I actually had to check that the machine was actually putting the stitches into the fabric. The brand of thread is Rasant and the needles are by Schmetz.

What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’•Fi

One Year Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Two Years Ago-Beautiful Bordeaux, Day 9
Three Years Ago-A Morning at Jerry's
Four Years Ago-Chocolate and Cashew Bliss Balls
7

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 16 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Last Saturday afternoon I spent a few hours in my kitchen making a couple of meals that feed us for most of the week, I made a curried pumpkin and sweet potato soup and a big pasta bake, neither of them were difficult or took too much time but I so appreciated Saturday's me for putting in the effort so that the week-long me, didn't need to cook dinner every single night.

The nights are drawing in early these days, so we find we are eating quite early too, I love that most nights I am finished in the kitchen by 6.30 to 6.45, that means a lovely early bedtime for me. Sleep is precious to me as I went for many years of not sleeping and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Lately I have been using my doTerra Lavender oil to help me get a better nights sleep. I massage it into the soles of my feet and on my temples using an unscented body moisturiser as a base. I am still waking up but I think overall the quality of my sleep is better.

Today I have to take my sewing machine over to Strathpine as I have done a great job at trying to break it. I made some cutlery wraps for a lovely work colleague who was supposed to be getting married last weekend (but it was postponed because of Covid 19) so we decided to put together a picnic hamper so she and her fiancรฉ could at least drive somewhere nice and enjoy a picnic. I made the cutlery wraps out of recycled tea towels and a thick apron (both brand new with tags but bought at the op shop) the material was such good quality but it must have been a bit too thick for my machine. It really struggled with the thickness but I was able to finish the cutlery wraps. However the next time I went to use my sewing machine it did something really weird and now won't sew at all. I hope it is fixable.

Now on with the food that happened last week-

What we bought

Northside Discount Fruit Barn

Coles

The Aldi Shop, they had the big containers of Kalamata olives in again, we buy this large container once a year, it is very good value at $12.99 for a 3.4 kg container. 

What we spent

Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$23.92
Coles-$22.25
Aldi-$61.55

TOTAL-$107.72
What we ate

Friday-I had leftover, leftovers and LH had baked beans on toast 

Saturday and Monday-Cheesy Baked Pasta with Artichokes and Olives

Sunday-Mother's Day BBQ lunch, we were both so full from lunch we didn't eat dinner

Tuesday and Wednesday-Curried Pumpkin and Sweet Potato soup with Cottage Cheese Rolls

Thursday-Sausages with Roast Pumpkin, Pulse and Spinach Salad

Your turn, what did you make this week?

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’™Fi

Four Years Ago-SMART Goals 
2

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 15 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I want to say a big thank you to Kathy, Maria, Christina, Penny, Lyn, LAS and Mary Ann for your kind words and advice regarding the way I blog, it really does make a world of difference knowing someone is reading my ramblings. I don't seem to be able to let go of writing everyday, it is just part of my routine, but you are right, I should write because I want to and have something worthy to share, it shouldn't become a drudge or be forced. I will take some time and reflect on what my next step will be. Thank you.

The frugal stuff, however, just keep happening and is never forced or coerced out of me, my frugalness is bone deep and just an extension of true self. As I am always thinking about food the frugalness mostly revolves around the idea of not wasting any food, no matter what it is, food is precious, food is expensive, food takes a lot of energy, water and time to get to the point of sale, lets not waste a thing.

Here's my 5 frugal things this week-

1. I noticed one of the last pumpkins that we picked was weeping from the stem, not a lot but enough to discolour the top of the pumpkin a dark green. This particular pumpkin's stem was damaged when I removed it and instead of drying out, bacteria must have gotten in as when I had a closer look the stem broke off completely revealing a spot of decay. I rinsed that area off and then cut the pumpkin up. It was pale and sappy but I thought it might be okay if I roasted it. The roasting improved it a bit but it still didn't taste great, so the little woofs are having some mashed into their dinner every night. They seem to love it and I love that nothing was wasted.


2. We have started adding to our compost bin again, each week we add fruit and veg scraps, the coffee grounds and shredded paper from the office. I also shred the paper that comes wrapped around our "Who Gives A Crap" toilet paper, hence the bright coloured paper in the compost 


3. Scooped out the last of the tomato paste from the tin and froze it down in an ice cube tray, love this tip so much. 


4. Made this magnificent soup from one of our home grown pumpkins and made a batch of these cottage cheese rolls to go with it, however I didn't have any cottage cheese (I had forgotten to add it to the shopping list) so I used some sour cream and the last of the greek yoghurt that was lurking in the fridge instead of the one cup of cottage cheese called for in the recipe and it worked perfectly.


5. I had some leftover milk that I had frozen down to prevent waste from a couple of weeks ago, once I defrosted the milk I measured it out, there was 375 mls left in the carton, I use a litre of milk at a time to make two jars of vanilla yoghurt every week. So I made the rest of the litre up with powdered milk and it worked brilliantly, really thick and creamy yoghurt. Wendy from "My Abundant Life" uses only powdered milk when making her yoghurt and I always wondered if it tasted okay, well, I'm really happy to say it does.


5a. I'll sneak this extra one in as I'm really pleased with myself this week as I've ridden to work everyday, the mornings and afternoons have been very pleasant, now I just have to keep the momentum going when it gets a bit colder.



I would love you to join in, how did you save money this week?

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿšฒ Fi

One Year Ago-Easy Pita Breads
3

Zesty Lemon Sardine Rillette

Thursday, 14 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,


We picked up 4 tins of sardines, infused with lemon and thyme from the Golden Circle Factory Outlet on our last visit there, a couple of weeks ago. As they were the smaller Scottish sardine I thought they wouldn't be a milder flavour and I was delighted to find I was right.

I wanted to make a spread using these lovely little sardines and I also wanted to add flavours that would enhance the lemon and thyme already infused in the sardine oil, I just so happened to have half a block of cream cheese lurking in the freezer that was leftover from a recipe ages ago, so I took this out to defrost as I thought it would make the perfect creamy base.

The other flavours I added were lemon zest and lemon juice, a pinch of chilli powder and some garlic chives and parsley from the garden, it was a resounding success, with this lovely soft gillette, spread onto a thickly sliced french stick, for a weekend lunch.

Ingredients for Lemon and Thyme Sardine Rillette from left- a small handful of parsley, finely chopped, another small handful of garlic chives or regular chives, finely chopped, zest and juice from half a lemon, 1 can of sardines (whatever variety you have) 125 grams of cream cheese, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of chilli powder

In a bowl gently mash the drained sardines with the softened cream cheese

Then add all other ingredients and gently mix through

Spread onto bread or toast and garnish with extra finely chopped chives

This made for a lovely, simple but totally deliciously light lunch.

Have a lovely day,
๐ŸŸFi

Three Years Ago-Your Money or Your Time 
0

Wednesday Roundup

Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

It's turned cool in the last couple of days, not really cold yet but the mornings see me reaching for my gown and slippers, I lay them out within easy reach the night before so as not to wake LH while searching for them in the darkness of the early morning. The sun isn't getting up till just before 6 am these days.

Work is just the same as usual, not quite as busy in the rehab unit, as the whole hospital isn't as busy, which is really such a blessing, this whole Covid 19 could have been a lot worse in our state than it has been. I am so grateful for my little stable job in this time of uncertainty.

Now on with the roundup of the past week-

On My Mind-

Wondering if it is time to wrap this blog up, I seem to unable to respond, in a timely fashion, to the lovely comments that some readers leave, that leaves me feeling like you think, I don't care...but I do, Does that make sense? Last week while I was working longer hours I found I was stressing about getting a post finished on time, I really shouldn't do that to myself, should I? Is my blog still of some value and interest to you?

On the Breakfast Plate-

For Mother's Day LH bought some beautiful croissants from Bakers Delight, we had them for Mother's Day breakfast, simply spread with butter and honey, we warmed them through in the oven to make them crisp and lovely.

On My Reading Pile-

Not currently reading anything

On My TV-

I watched a few episodes of Outlander over the weekend. I hear season 5 is coming out soon, I will have to look out for it. I have read all the Diana Gabaldon books and so loved them.

On the Menu This Week-

Favourite meal this week was our combined Mothers Day lunch, us Mums didn't need to cook anything which was just lovely. Both LH and I were still so full at dinner time we didn't eat any dinner


My beaut kids
From the Camera-


Another week, another sunset

Looking Around the House-

Now I am back to starting at 9 am instead of 7.30 I am able leave the kitchen nice and clean before leaving for work instead of lots of half finished jobs throughout the house.


Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week-

I wasn't looking forward to cleaning the shower as I had missed doing it for a couple of weeks, but it is done now. It really is very easy to clean but my cleaning schedule got mixed up a bit. I use gumption to clean the tiles and glass, I then rinse that off and finish the glass off with window cleaner so it sparkles.

Want to join in? Simply cut and past the headings below, fill in the blanks and post in the comments section.

On My Mind
On the Breakfast Plate
On My Reading Pile
On My TV
On the Menu This Week
From the Camera
Looking Around the House
Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’™Fi

One Year Ago-Pumpkin Spice Bread with Maple Cinnamon Butter
Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Three Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week 
Four Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday 
8

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday, 12 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I have been seeing this kind of thing a lot lately on Instagram and other blogs, re-growing veg from vegetable ends. I didn't know if it would work with asian greens, like this Choy Sum, but I am here today to tell you it does work.

I started this little experiment a little over a week ago and just look how they've grown-


You just pop the ends of the veg into a little water, change it daily and then wait. Once the sprouting ends of the veg are big enough and some roots have developed, I will pop them in the garden to see what happens. Have you tried this little experiment before? What have you re-grown from the ends of veg?

Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’šFi

Four Years Ago-What Makes me Happy 
0

My Favourite Buys from the last Visit to the GCFO

Monday, 11 May 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

LH and I went up to Simply Good and the Golden Circle Factory Outlet last Saturday and as usual we came away from the GCFO with some outstanding bargains on good quality and well know brands. My two favourite buys from this visit were-

A giant 3 kg can of Ardmona Fire Roasted Tomatoes for $6, I portioned out 7 x just over 425 gram portions into glass jars and have frozen them down. I left enough "head" space for expansion, so the glass will be safe in the freezer. I know the Ardmona brand are good quality tomatoes, not too sure of price for one can but I am thinking at least $1.50, so I think I've saved at least $4.50.


And 4 cans of John West, Lemon and Thyme Infused Sardines for $5. A John West product that is very similar retails for $2.65, so that's a saving of $5.60. I made the most delicious Sardine Rillettes for lunch on Saturday using one can of these wild Scottish sardines.


Here's a little video of what else we bought-



Have a lovely day,
๐Ÿ’•Fi

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-Beautiful Bordeaux, Day 3
Three Years Ago-Simple, Wholesome, Oat-y, Date-y Banana Muffins 
Four Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week

PS-I made a mistake in the video, the price for the Vita-Weat cracked pepper, crackers were $1.50 not $2.
1