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This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 16 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I've been posting of an afternoon over the last couple of days due to a temporary change in my work hours, my lovely co-worker has had the last week off for a well deserved holiday and I have been doing some extra hours to cover to early mornings on the ward. So, for the last week I have been starting at 7am and finishing at 2pm, I have to say the early mornings are not my favourite thing but the early finish has been wonderful.


I've been able to do some bigger jobs in the afternoon before the usual housework and getting dinner started. The fig trees needed a top up of soil and a good feed as their leaves have been yellowing and falling off, so I removed the rocks that serve as both a mulch and to stop the little woofs from digging the pots up and filled them up with potting mix plus a good handful of Troforte, finally I gave them a good drink of seasol. They are already looking better. The other job that I finally got around to doing is removing the dead lemon thyme from the front garden, it now looks a whole lot neater.


As usual most of my frugal wins have been about food, either using what we have at home already to incorporate it into a meal or to stop any kind of food waste-

1. Made a beautiful soft loaf of bread using some sour cream that was getting a bit elderly. I will be posting this recipe on Monday, it is without a doubt the softest bread I have ever made. 


2. Made another batch of thick and creamy vanilla yogurt to have with our breakfasts each week day.


3. Made a Curried Sweet Potato Soup from homegrown sweet potatoes, I roasted them first to intensify their flavour. 


4. Made this baked oatmeal to use up one lovely daggy banana


5. Used up the last packet of Whiting for Tempura Whiting. 


Running out of whiting is always a clear sign we need to go camping and fishing again. We are going camping in 2 weeks time and we can hardly wait. We will be picking up our hybrid caravan soon and will be taking it up to our favourite camping spot at Noosa North Shore for it's first trip. More on that exciting news another day.

Hope you have a lovely afternoon and evening,
🏕Fi
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Yummy Baked Oatmeal, Two Ways

Thursday, 15 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

I have made baked oatmeal before and I have to say I was a little underwhelmed, these versions though are just delicious and on point in both flavour and texture. They are also super easy and quick to make, I have used my Thermomix to blitz the mixture but any food processor would make this easily.

The base ingredients are the same and then what ever "add ons" are up to you, the first one I made was to use up some berries leftover from the Fruit Pizza I made for Easter Sunday and the second one I just made up. Cocoa, dark chocolate, peanut butter and banana are the best of friends anyway so I thought why not incorporate them into a healthy oat base. My favourite is the chocolate one and is not too sweet either. I warmed both of these prior to eating as well as adding some butter and maple syrup for extra yum. I've been having them for morning tea at work and are so filling and quite healthy. 

For the first variety-To the TM bowl add 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon each of vanilla essence and baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt. 

Blitz for 3 seconds on speed 6, scrape down sides and repeat one more time 

Pour into a buttered casserole and pop any berries or chopped fruit on top

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 175C till golden brown and smelling wonderful 

For the second variety-In the TM bowl add 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon each of baking powder and vanilla essence and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Blitz for 3 seconds on speed 6, scrape down sides and repeat one more time 

Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Add one finely sliced banana, 2 squares of dark chocolate (I use the ALDI brand) broken in to small pieces and little dots of peanut butter (as much or as little as you like) 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 175C till golden brown and again, smelling wonderful 

One final note, the chocolate baked oatmeal that I made was baked in a 16.5 cm x 24 cm casserole dish and resulted in a thicker baked oatmeal was I think was better. 

Have a lovely afternoon,
💖Fi

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What we bought, spent and ate this week

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

And welcome to Wednesday, where I share what happened, on the food front, here at stay home instead. Honestly the weeks are just flying by aren't they? Next month will see me turn another year older and it seems like a blink since my last birthday.

I was grateful to have had already cooked dinner on Wednesday before we left for our afternoon doggy walk as this was the evening that I was attacked by that beautiful big ginger and white cat. I couldn't have boiled water after that happened. 

We have been eating a lot of seafood lately as LH has been out fishing a few times and has been successful in catching a few lovely fish, he is also getting ready to go out cast netting for prawns this weekend, fingers crossed he will find some as we are almost out of prawns in the freezer. 

This week saw us buy lots of non food, kind of expensive, items for the home such as a large roll of alfoil ($12.99) a high pressure cleaner hose attachment that LH just had to have (14.99) a large bag of dog food ($15.50) and 2 bags of kitty litter ($15.00). So with all those things it added up quickly to over $145. I feel this is about the new normal grocery spend for us. 

Here is what else we bought-

What we bought and spent




Coles-$78.65
Aldi-$57.22
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$11.38

TOTAL-$147.25

What we ate

Wednesday-Creamy Ham and Mushroom Penne

Thursday and Friday-Salmon and Corn Chowder


Sunday-Prawn Rolls 

Monday-Honey Prawns with Steamed Basmati Rice and Choy Sum 

Tuesday-Tempura Whiting, Steamed Basmati Rice and Pak Choy 

And thats a wrap! What was your fav meal this past week?

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

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I Found It

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


I have been on the hunt for a dress to wear to our son's wedding in September this year, I started looking online and actually bought a couple of dresses which looked lovely online but were very different in real life, so I advertised them on FB Marketplace and sold them.

Then on a Saturday, a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would pop down to Margate and have a look through our one and only Bridal store on the Peninsula, just to see what they had in stock. I hate shopping (op shopping-yes, retail-no) and I get quite anxious about going somewhere new, I knew I would end up very stressed if I had to go into Brisbane to start looking for a dress so thought I would start local. 

I rang and spoke to the owner and asked what she had in stock (mostly long formal style dresses) and to see if I had to make an appointment. She said the shop was very busy and suggested making an appointment to come in the afternoon instead, as I had a hairdresser appointment in the morning I asked if it was okay if I just came and had a look to get an idea of styles available after my hair cut. So that is what I did. The owner could not have been more helpful and lovely, she showed me three dresses that she thought would suit me and the first one I tried on was "The One".

It is more a nude shade than pink in real life and needs to be altered as it is way too long, but I just love it. It is comfortable, pretty, not over the top and elegant, I just need to find some shoes now and I am good to go. I was able to buy a matching scarf/throw/shawl (Don't know what to call it) to use as a wrap as the nights will probably still be a bit cool in September. 


Have a lovely day,
💖Fi

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A Lesson Learnt

Monday, 12 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

Todays post contains a public service announcement that I should have known already, are you ready? 


Don't touch a stray cat even if it is the cutest, fluffiest, biggest, ginger and white kitty cat you've ever seen, don't be fooled into believing it is friendly and loves a pat just because it is all smoochy and loving the pat you just gave it. Next second this was happening-

So after we had found this gorgeous cat on the way home from our usual afternoon doggy walk, I approached it to see if it had a collar on, it did indeed and there was a phone number on it, so I rang the number and the owner said that they were away but their daughter was house sitting. So they said they would ring her and tell her where their cat "Simba" was. Unfortunately the daughter was at the gym and it took her a while to get to me. By this stage Simba had walked out from behind the hedge and was making his way slowly but surely towards the road, I must have put my hand down to direct it away from the road and that is when he attacked. 

 The outcome was 6 puncture wounds from teeth just above my wrist and two scratches up higher on my arm. It bled terribly so I walked back home and ran my arm under running water for a couple of minutes, then blotted it with some paper towel. By that stage the daughter of the owners was calling me and I met her where I had last seen Simba, he came immediately to her call and she put him in her car and drove off. I went back inside to tend to my wounds. I knew within half an hour that I was in trouble, the aching and throbbing had started from my wrist right up towards my armpit. 

I knew if I had gone to the emergency department I would have just sat there all night and probably most of the next morning, so I took some anti-inflammatory's and some paracetamol and went to bed. I tossed and turned all night as I just couldn't get into a position to get my arm comfortable. As soon as our doctors surgery opened at 8.30am the next morning, I rang to book an appointment only to be told that they didn't have any tetanus vaccines as their fridge that kept all the vaccines had gone down on them the previous week.  I then phoned three other doctors to see if I could make an appointment but no appointments were available, at that stage I thought I might have to go to the emergency department after all. I rang another doctors on the peninsula and I was able to get an appointment for that afternoon at 4.20pm, nearly 24 hours from when the cat attacked me. 

The doctor was excellent and very caring, he was positive the puncture wounds had missed the tendon so that was a relief, I got a Tetanus shot with a bonus Whopping cough vaccine as that is how it comes these days. The wounds were dressed and he gave me a script for antibiotics. That night was just awful, the pain was just terrible with 10/10 shooting pains going from my fingertips to my shoulder, I dreamt at one stage that my arm had to be amputated because they couldn't stop the infection. The doctor told me to draw a line around the infection to see if it was getting bigger or smaller and also asked me to make another appointment for Saturday just incase things went pear shaped. 

I couldn't go to work Thursday or Friday because I was in too much pain and I couldn't move my hand or arm without pain. Finally by Saturday morning the pain wasn't quite as bad and I could see the redness around the wound starting to retreat. I cancelled the Saturday appointment telling them that it looked like the infection was responding to the antibiotics. 

I can't blame the cat, it must have felt intimidated and lashed out like all cats do if they feel they are cornered. But this was a very big wake up call to me and I will never approach a strange cat again, the end.

Have you experienced something similar?

Have a lovely day,
💙Fi

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What we bought, spent and ate this week

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

Aprils first shop was a high one, again, over $160 but then, it was Easter long weekend, we ate at home for every meal and had more people to feed so I don't feel too bad about it. We ate mostly seafood leading up to Easter Sunday, those old ingrained Catholic habits are, apparently, hard to break. 

In saying that, we ate seafood, in some form, for every meal except Sunday this week, I used a slice of hot smoked salmon (Aldi own brand) for the frittata and two small packs of smoked trout (Aldi again) for the pizzas. We are starting to run low on prawns and fish in the freezer so LH will have to get out fishing and throwing the cast net for prawns when we have good weather again. It is still wet and windy here this morning, the rain has been amazing and a blessing and the gardens are well and truly water logged but some sunshine would be nice for a change. 

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

What we bought and spent




Coles-$19.85
Aldi-$108.60
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$33.38

TOTAL-$161.83

What we ate

Wednesday-Pan Fried Fish, Salad and Chips

Thursday-Tempura Whiting, Steamed Basmati Rice and Pak Choy with Oyster Sauce 

Friday-Prawns with lettuce and seafood sauce on Panini

Saturday-Salmon, Pea and Potato Frittata and garden salad (leftovers from lunch) 

Sunday Lunch-BBQ and Salads next door

Plus desserts... we didn't eat any dinner as we were both still full from lunch

Monday-Smoked Trout Pizza

Tuesday-Stir Fried Prawns with steamed Basmati rice. 

Join in, what was on your family dinner table this past week?

Have a lovely day
🎣 Fi
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Bye Bye Easter, 2021

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,


And just like that, Easter is over for another year, I've had four blissful days at home, cooking, gardening, cleaning, hosting lunch on Easter Saturday and attending Easter Sunday Lunch next door at our Son and, very soon to be, Daughter-in-laws home. Everyone bought something so it wasn't too much on any one person. We made a big batch of these rissoles and I made a fruit pizza again just like at Christmas time. This is the recipe I use but I reduce the amount of butter to 95 grams in the biscuit base as I found the original recipe baked just a bit too soft. 


I spent Friday getting ahead at home, doing lots of little jobs and also prepping for lunch on Saturday, I always like to set the table the day before and make it pretty, so it is one less thing to do on the actual day. I made a batch of these Panini rolls to make some prawn rolls for Fridays dinner and I also made some lovely Apple and Cinnamon Scrolls using this dough minus the sultanas, rolled the dough out spread over some butter, cinnamon sugar and apple slices, rolled it up, cut the log into slices, snuggled them into a tray and baked them for 30 minutes at 200C.



We were expecting more guests for lunch on Saturday but on the day it was just us, our son and DIL and our Daughter and SIL, but that was okay, life happens to us all. I ended up making one quiche/frittata instead of two. I made this Salmon, Pea and Potato Frittata, a simple garden salad, a batch of Cottage Cheese Bread Rolls that I mention below and a Sticky Date Pudding


After lunch on Saturday I popped up to Kmart to get some chair pads for our newly refurbished outdoor setting, LH has done a lovely job on sanding back and re-oiling this old timber setting that we've had for about 15 years. Unfortunately Kmart only had two of the chair pads in stock, so I bought those and when I got home I ordered the remaining 6 online, they should be here in about a week. They look great and are very comfy too.



Talking about our outdoor area, we recently had the old stamped concrete on the patio and driveway ground back and a new finish applied, it looks so good, such a change from how it used to look (see below) Truth be told, I never liked this stamped finish from the beginning, I thought the colour was way too yellow. So now the driveways and patio look like brand spanking new. We also removed the black aluminium fencing from around the patio to open it up. I advertised the fencing on FB Marketplace and a lovely couple picked it up on Saturday afternoon.





Yesterday I had a few things planned and slowly, over the day I chipped away at the list, it rained on and off most of the day so some of the outdoor jobs got done in a rain jacket and gumboots. LH turned the compost bin for me as it is getting quite full and I find it heavy going, after he gave it a really good turn over, I added the bucket of fruit and veg peelings and the coffee grounds and I was able to give the compost another good turn over before finishing with the shredded paper from the office. While out that side, I topped up Ninja's garden with the rest of the sugar cane mulch as it was starting to look a bit bare. 


Before lunch, I made another batch of these Cottage Cheese Bread Rolls to use up the other half of the container of cottage cheese. I had made a batch of these to go with lunch on Saturday. Our wonderful future SIL just loves them and calls them KFC rolls, but better! Well, I've never had a KFC bread roll, but they are the softest, loveliest dinner rolls ever. 


I spent some time in the afternoon in the office starting to write up this blog post and then sat in the massage chair for half an hour before donning the rain jacket and gumboots again for a wet and soggy doggy walk. They don't seem to mind getting wet and wouldn't dream of forgoing their walks just because its raining. Dinner was our favourite pizzas-Smoked Trout with Tomatoes, Artichokes and Capers and best of all, there is leftovers for our lunch today. 


Back to work today for me, but it is a short week so it will probably fly by.

How was your Easter break? Did you go away or stay at home?

Have a lovely day,
💜Fi

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