Remember When life was so much easier

Life has been so busy with raising children, running a business,working fulltime you sometimes forget the simple things in life. Remember how things were when you were younger. Today there is so many chemicals and additives added into our everyday items. This year our family is trying to llive a more natural life. This blog will contain recipes, gardening tips, links to other blogs who share the same passion as I do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Long, long, long weekend.

What an amazing weekend it has been for all.  A very rare occasion when we all get a 5 day weekend.

This weekend has seen us spending time with the most important persons in my life.  My Family.   Good Friday was spent working of course but the view from our stall over the Bay watching the Brisbane to Gladstone Boat Race was truly amazing.  The weather was perfect.  Who would of thought a few months ago this bay was a murky brown and the shore line here was covered in debris from the devastating January Floods.  Now it was crystal clear and full of families enjoying the race and time in the sun.  An enjoyable day by all plus a visit from Adam and Emma with Eli always makes my day.  Eli is so gorgeous and I just can't get enough of this little man.  I wish I got to see him more.

 Saturday was spent with my Mum.  Out to lunch at The Royal Mall Hotel at Tingalpa then followed by a drive down to Manly for afternoon tea.  It is great spending time with mum.  Even though she is quite fragile these days she does love to go out.  After spending the day with mum we headed to visit Damian and the girls.  How different is it to write that.  Use to be Lisa, Damian and the girls.  You know I really hate the first year when someone dies.  All the anniversary days etc you grieve through.  Only a few weeks ago on the 29th March would of been Lisa's 41st birthday so first Easter without her so different.  Little Charlotte was away but Chantelle couldn't wait to show me her new bedroom fit for any young beautiful teenage girl. Fuscia Pink feature wall and dangley chandelier, big comfy coloured cushions.  Your mum would of loved it.

Sunday saw the Easter Bunny bringing lots of chocolate and we headed to the new Eagle Farm Markets.  Well what an amazing sight plus I was so glad we got there on opening.  This place was buzzing with people and stalls.  As I didn't get to do the shopping last week I had decided to do it here and of course I wasn't disapointed in the market.  Food, Food and glorious food.  Fresh produce, plants, seafood, and so much more.  Favourite stalls to many to choose from but I did love the bakery section and purchased some amazing extra large lamingtons for all of us to enjoy for dessert on Sunday Night.  Picked up a beautiful piece of pork for dinner as we were having Sarah, Pat and the grandchildren over for Sunday dinner.  Very successful.

Monday was Anzac Day.  Always an important day for Australians.  A day to reflect on what past soldiers have sacrifice for us to live in such a beautiful place and of course our soldiers today who are fighting overseas.

Today is a relaxing day.  Tending to the garden.  Finishing off my soapmaking and a spot of shopping.  I hope everyone had a fantastic break this extra long weekend.

Sue x

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fruit Trees, Vegies and Handmade Cheesecake

Survived my first week back at work and was looking forward to a busy weekend.  Saturday saw us heading to The Handmade Expo at Ipswich.  I love this market and love being a stallholder at this market.  Why you ask?  Firstly it is all handmade.  No imports all handmade or homegrown goodies so I know plenty of love has been put into each item.  It is great to catch up with fellow stallholders which we now call them our friends.  Plus the ladies who run this market are truly amazing.  Thanks Miriam, Liesa and Micky for always making us feel welcome.  Even though the weather wasn't the best we still had a fantastic day.

Early to bed on Saturday night because a busy day planned for Sunday.  A great Sunday Breakfast of Bacon, Eggs, Tomatoes, Baked Beans, Toast and Juice then off to the Treasure Market at the Dakibin Recyling Centre.  I needed to find wire, star pickets, pots, etc to finish my vegie patch.  This was an easy find.  For a small amount of $35 we managed to pick up about 10 metres of fencing wire, 6 very large star pickets some bread trays and some pots.  This time we were prepared and bought the trailer along.   After this we headed to Bunnings to pick up soon soil, compost, sugar cane mulch, ant powder (we have a very bad infestation of ants in the lawn) and a punnet of corn and a paw-paw plant.  I checked out the price of fruit trees for pots and thought this could wait until next week.

After heading home and unloading the car and trailer I decided to check out the small nursery down the road at Deception Bay.  OMG it was worth it.  We picked up a Mulberry, Lime, Lemon, Olive Tree and some pots.  The lady there was fantastic and did you know that you don't need to buy minature fruit trees for pots.  You see we live in a rental so everything needs to be in pots.  The lady said that the name Minature is the best marketing ploy out there.  Any plant can go in a pot and will stay small and that the word Minature adds an extra $10 or more to that minature fruit tree.  So we ended up purchasing normal size fruit trees.  When we finally buy our own home we will plant them in our garden and regularly prune them so they don't get out of hand.  Wow no one at Bunnings would of told us this.

After spending the afternoon in the garden and planting all our seedlings.  Bill put up the wire on the fence I decided to make a yummy Passionfruit Cheesecake and a caramel, chocolate pie for dessert.  I truly cannot wait until I can pick my own vegies and eat my own fruit.

It has definitely been a busy weekend but with Easter and Anzac Day next weekend I have nearly all days filled with things to do.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  I certainly did.

Sue  xx

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My productive busy weekend.

This weekend we have been busy.  Saturday morning saw us in the car heading for the Dakabin Recycling Market hoping to pick up some bargains so we could start our vegie garden.  Since we are in a rental property at the moment we have decided on containers of all types for our garden.  I don't feel like sending a letter to the Real Estate asking permission if we can put a garden in.  To much hassle and the sooner we can save for our own place the sooner we can move into it.  Any way picked up this fantastic Bokashi Bucket from the recycling centre for only $2.  I saw one of these buckets at  Expo which I had a Trade Stall at Ipswich last year and was amazed on what you could actually put in it and how it works.  Unfortunatley at the time didn't have the $80 to buy one.  I prefer $2 anyway and who wouldn't.

I also managed to pick up and old wheelbarrow which Bill kindly drilled some drainage holes in so now the house our strawberries. 

We will be heading back to Dakabin next Sunday to pick up the rest of the old wheel barrows.  This time we are taking the trailer.  They have so much out there so need chicken wire for a trellis and a few more items for the garden.

I also headed to Bunnings to pick up some seedlings.  We now have Tomatoes, Capsicums, Radishes, Yellow Zuchinnis, Lettuce, Peas  and Carrots all planted.  I also bought some Celery and Cucumber Seedlings but ran out of soil, compost and containers.  This is why we are heading out there next weekend.

I'm quite proud of my garden but can't wait until everything is growing and producing.  So are you wondering why I am doing this?  Do you ever wonder how fresh your fruit & Vegies are?  Where they come from?  How far they have travelled to end up on your plate?  I want FRESH fruit and vegies.  I am tired of buying fruit and vegetables that don't last and this way it is cheaper.    For a small outlay to start with I am sure home grown will be much better than supermarket bought produce.

This morning I have been busy cooking.  It was so nice and relaxing up before everyone baking and listening to ABBA.  Yes I'm still stuck in the 70's and truly believe this band was amazing.  Their music lives on.  My 5 year old grand daughter Rhiannon loves their songs so they must be good.

Anyway I have baked Anzac Biscuits this morning hoping they would last a couple of days.  I forgot Emma was coming up with Eli today and she found them.  We still have a few left.

Then I made this amazing Mango Jam Coconut Slice.  First time I have ever made this and loved it.  Of course the jam was bought from Local Maker.  I am sure I will start making jam one day soon.  I have included the recipe below.  Just remember you can choose any jam.

Mango Coconut Slice

1 cup SR Flour
180g Castor Sugar  + 3 Teaspoons
30gr margarine
2 large eggs
jam of your choice
1 cup coconut

preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius or 150 degrees if you have a fan-forced oven.  Grease and line a 18cm x 28cm slice pan with baking paper.

Combine flour and castor sugar in a bowl.  Rub in butter/margarine until all ingredients are well combined.
Add one lightly beaten egg and mix to form a soft dough.
Press the mixture into the slice pan.
Spread jam evenly over base.
Use a fork and whisk the other egg and 3 tablespoons castor sugar together until pale in colour.  Add the coconut and stir well.  Place spoonfuls of coconut mixture evenly over jam.
Bake for about 28-30 minutes until topping is golden brown.  Cool in pan then cut into pieces.

This was definitely a hit and I will make it again.

Emma enjoyed the bickies and I am sure when Eli is older he will also enjoy grandma's cooking just like my other grandchildren.

He is so cute.

Have a fabulous week everyone.  Tomorrow is my first day at my new job.

Sue xx

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Saving for the piece of paradise.

DH already left this morning for work.  Besides his forklift job for G James he also occassionally ties up ships in the Brisbane River so this morning he has left to do a ship at 10am then off to G James to start at 2pm.  Yes that is a big gap in time but with the price of petrol  $149.9 cents a litre in the Redcliffe Area it is not worth coming back home.

We also have one of Bill's mates living with us at the moment so every little cent helps.  This is only temporary for a couple of weeks.  So I am the Rose between the thorns in this household.  3 males and 1 female but not a problem.  Marks first day here on Sunday had him mowing the lawn.  Shock to the system that no nagging was done to get this chore done.  The last few times I had been doing it so it was good to have someone else do it.

So we need to pay of about $25000 and save about $30 000.  This is very achievable but not sure DH will be able to cope with no takeaways,  and giving up smoking.  $20 a packet is to dear now.  Thank goodness I quit 2 years ago.  Anyway his credit card is in a glass of ice in the freezer and I have control of the ATM card and he gets an allowance.  ATM he is not happy.  I suppose he has been spoilt over the last 25 years. 

So today I looked at how we could save some money.  When I had my shop I use to sell Soap Nuts and I have had plenty left so they have been sitting in a box.  Today I pulled them out and got on the internet and worked out how I can turn them into a greener cleaning product.  I now have 2 litres of natural washing liquid scented with Eucalyptus Oil.  This should keep me going for a couple of weeks plus you can use it as a liquid soap, shampoo, floor cleaner, just about anything but I will start as a washing liquid.

 Then I got to thinking what other products do I use that I can change over and use a natural product.  Good old vinegar.  My bathrooms and toilets are now smelling and clean with vinegar and Eucalyptus.

  I also have a tin of handmade  Vapour Rub.  Number one son has a bad cough and I had run out of Vicks so decided to make my own with out the petroleum jelly.  Good old beeswax, olive oil, euclayptus oil and Vitamin E capsule.

  I will let you know how it works but already have an order from Sarah for some for the grandchildren.  I don't know how much I saved today.  But 2 litres of washing liquid sets you back about $6-$8, Vick Vapour Rub is about $5-$6 and all purpose bathroom cleaner about $4-$5.   Every little bit helps.

Do you have any handmade remedies or recipes that you use.  Please let me know.



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A new job and new adventures

It has definitely been awhile since the last blog but plenty of things has happened and I am sure that there will be exciting times in the next year to write about.  Well most of you who follow my blog also follow my business page blog Spoil & Indulge .  This blog is more on the personal family life of us and really doesn't reflect into my business.  Here I get to voice my opinion.  Scream, rant and rave and write about everyday stuff.  This year so far has been a trying time for us and a big step for me to return into the workforce.  It has been nearly 3 years since I have worked for someone else  but I do know that everything will be fine.  A few of you might wonder why I am doing this?  As all of us know the price of living has increased and now I need a little bit more money for us to survive plus I would like to buy a piece of paradise.  Okay a house with a decent allotment. 

Where I currently live is like living in a goldfish bowl.  Our neighbours are very close and we here everything that they do and I assume they here everything we do.  Thats what happens when you squeeze lots of houses onto small blocks.  Anyway it has been over 10 years since we last  bought a house so now is the time for it to happen.  I want the house, the vegie patch and the chickens to start with.  I want go a bit back to nature.  Have the few fruit trees in the yard.  Bill can have the shed that he wants.  Hopefully this can be achieved in the next couple of years.  I am sure I will have plenty to write about.  By the way.  I think this came about when I watched the full dvds of The Gourmet Farmer.  Enjoyed it thoroughly.  Anyway until my next blog.

Bye for now.

Sue x