Monday, 19 June 2017

LIGHTS OUT

Well what a wintry weekend that was. The power certainly
 gave us a few problems going on and off on Friday.  Some areas were with out power for quite some time.

I love the glow of candles but lets face it they're not the safest form of lighting, especially when you've got little ones and pets in the home. And why is it that even though you stock up, when you need the torch the batteries are always flat or on the way out.

So I was staring out the window watching the storm and all across the garden by the patio were these little glowing lights. Yep you guessed it. Here I was sitting in darkness and the garden was enjoying its own little light party.

I grabbed a couple of the solar lights and brought them inside. One I left with its own bowl on and placed it on a saucer, the other I took  the bowl off and rested it on a glass vase with the light section hanging inside.

The result was great. The little one gave off a soft warm glow and the one I put into the vase glowed bright enough for me to read by. I checked them after a couple of hours and they didn't get hot.

This is a great safe alternative for families with young children. It's always seems really dark when there's no power and a lot of children like a night light. Here's a solution that's safe, doesn't use power  and will turn itself off during the night. The large one can be turned off using the switch underneath so the glow doesn't keep the rest of the family awake. All we have to do is remember to put them outside each day to get  a bit of sunlight and recharge.


Solar light, night light

Roll on the next blackout.. I'll be ready for you :-)

Friday, 16 June 2017

IT'S THE WEEKEND

Taking my sister for a ride
Another week has come to an end and I'm looking forward to the weekend. I have a few things I'd like to get done but it will depend on the weather.

I've always got something to do and I would like to finish the throw I'm knitting. If the sun comes out to say hello I really need to start setting up the vegie garden. It wont belong before spring is here and I don't want to get caught unprepared.


I started keeping track of the vegetables that I eat and I'm only growing them. Like everything else we can get over enthusiastic about growing vegies, but we're really creatures of habit and tend to eat the same ones most of the time so I'm going to be stern with myself and not get carried away.


Whatever the weather throws at us remember to take time out and enjoy the moment.


Have a safe and wonderful weekend

Monday, 12 June 2017

NATURAL SHOWER HEAD CLEANER


Here's a very good way to clean your shower heads
without the scrubbing or all the chemicals.


INGREDIENTS


  • 1/3 baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 plastic bag
  • 1 bag  twist tie

INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Put baking soda into bag and SLOWLY add vinegar.( Foaming will start immediately )
  2. Place bag over shower head making sure the head is submerged in the solution and secure with twist tie.
  3. Leave to soak 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Wipe clean

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

COMMUNICATION

This may not be a priority with some but it is for me.          
Hello !! Is anyone there?
My first thought when the proverbial hits the fan is whether everyone is ok. I really need to check on my family and especially my mum who is getting on a bit.

Make sure they have everything they need and if not to tell them to come to me.


Most of us have mobiles and that's great but after more than 24 hours the batteries start to die. My land line is digital and is plugged into the power. No power = no phone.


I'm going to pick up a normal  plug in phone that (yes I'm going to have to dial the numbers into it). The phone lines don't run on the electricity grid and I'll be a lot more happy knowing I can be reached if needed. It will also allow me to check the emergency services to see how long I'll be affected so I have some idea to what extent I need to plan for. Oops all my numbers are on fast dial on my phones.


Must add  a small notebook to my folders with all family, and emergency numbers.


Hopefully family will also get a plain phone for emergencies because otherwise I wont be speaking to anyone.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

AN EASIER LIFE

I like anything that makes my life easier. I have always been happy each day if the beds are made and the dishes are done. It doesn't matter what else is out of place, if those two things are done then the house seems tidier.

One of my bug bears is the mess that accumulates on the kitchen table. We all do it. We walk in the door. Dump our bags on the table with the keys before putting the kettle on. Mail and junk mail join it and before you know it the table is looking like the proverbial dung heap.


I think this is the next habit I need to address. While the kettles boiling I will walk my bag up to the bedroom where it belongs and put my keys in their spot. I will pick through the junk mail and put the stuff I don't even look at straight into the recycle bin. 


While having my cuppa I'll go through the mail, put the bills into my bill folder for paying. The rubbish into the recycle bin. 


I'll then go through the rest of the junk mail. If there;s anything that catches my eye I will tear it out, write the store on the picture and put it in my purse. The rest can go straight into the recycle bin.


If I did this over a cuppa every night when I walk in the door my table will stay clean and ready for dinner. Between doing this, my beds made and dishes done, add a quick fifteen minute walk round after tea my home will always be manageable and ready for unexpected visitors.


What do you do to make your life a little easier?






Saturday, 27 May 2017

IT'S THE WEEKEND

Well here we are it's Friday and the weekend beckons...I smile as I write this as we're in for a rough one.

Wind, rain, hail and snow all within 24 to 48 hours. I know it's winter but really this is Australia.                         

So I guess it's time to batten down the hatches, put away anything the can be thrown around in the wind and get out the torches and candles just in case. 


I just want to thank every one for visiting and your comments. It certainly boosted my confidence to continue. I look forward to seeing you all again next week.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend.


Friday, 19 May 2017

BEING PREPARED

Oh No !! Now What ?
NO POWER
I


It's funny how a simple conversation can get you thinking. We get used to the inconvenience of a blackout every now and then. It never lasts for long. A couple of hours, maybe 6 on a bad day and we just deal with it. But what if the power went out for longer. Some idiot flipped the wrong switch and now we're told no power for a least 2 days. Even worse the grid got overloaded and now we're looking at a week. What would you do to keep your home and family running smoothly and how prepared are you?

Some homes have gas ( I don't ) so that will help for a while but for the rest of us everything comes to a screaming halt. I wrote a list of everything I rely on power for and found that yes it was just about every thing so how can I continue with my day without too much of a hiccup and without running off to a family members home ( who I hope isn't affected ).

Looking at my basic needs list as a starting point, there are a few things I need to prioritise but more importantly I need to collect the information for each item in one place. So that's where I'm going to start. I might want to live simply but I am a technological user and if your anything like me you keep a large portion of your life on the computer. I'm also a survivor so I'll look at the worst case scenario of 1 week without  power. If I can manage that then a day or two will be a walk in the park.

My first task this week is to  
  • Back up all my files onto a flash drive.
  • Make a folder and print off all my necessary information
I proberly would have a couple of folders for different things to make it easier for myself to find what I'm looking for.
  •  Favourite recipes that aren't in my cookbooks
  • .Instructions on making cleaning products
  •  Personal information
  • "How to" folder with D.I.Y in it.
I'm sure I would think of of a few others as I go along. At least now I can access the information I will need. I will also go through my library and see if the books I've got have everything I need in them. If not I will look around and pick up some more.

Here's a couple that I have that I would recommend but there are plenty out there that may be more to your taste.

Back to Basics by Readers Digest
The New Self Sufficiency Book by John Seymour

Now I can work through my list. It wont be in order of importance but in which I can achieve easily. Some things I will need to research a bit and then practice, practice, practice. There's not much point in having the information and not being able to do it or put it into place when needed.

This post is getting a bit long so I'll finish up for today, I'll have a cuppa and decide which step I'll take next. Let me know what you would do and and share your ideas. Every little bit helps and we'll help each other to sail through whatever gets thrown at us.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

MENU PLANNING

Dinner is served

One thing I keep trying to remember to do is to write a menu. I just need to do four and rotate them. Menu planning is the best way to save money in the kitchen. 

You  know how much of the ingredients you need and only buy them. You don't waste food by throwing excess in the bin. It also allows you to stockpile most common used items when they are on special, saving more money.


It also saves you time. Knowing what your having each day takes all the guess work out of making a decision. You pop your hand in the freezer take out the meat and put it into the fridge to thaw. Vegies can be prepared the night before or in the morning. 


The added bonus is you find you no longer run out of things and so you go to the shop less saving you more time and money because lets face it. Nobody pops in to buy a loaf of bread and doesn't pick up something else.

If you shop fortnightly like I do it saves you a lot more.

Friday, 5 May 2017

IT'S THE WEEKEND

Didn't this week fly. With all the dramas at my place this week I totally lost a couple of days.

My weekend will be taken up with looking at bathroom fixtures and a short hop into work.

Winter has decided to remind us that it's not finished with us yet with a rough couple of days ahead.

I'll snuggle up in the warmth when I can and try to finish some things I've got on the go. Might get to some baking if time permits. I will try and catch up with family and see my daughter.


Whatever I achieve I'll remember to take it slow, enjoy each thing, and stay in the moment just like all our four legged friends do.

I'll see you all next week.


Have a safe and wonderful weekend.



It's a dogs life

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

WINTER COMFORTS

I don't like winter. It's being cold that gets to me. You know how it is. If your feet get cold your whole body gets cold.

It's not the rain ( god knows we need it ) or the storms. I actually love it when it thunders and lightening lights up the sky. I just don't like being cooped up inside.


But there's a bonus with these wintry days and nights. Comfort food. What can I say. I'm a sucker  for all winter meals.


There's nothing like curling up on the couch, reading a book, heater going and the delicious smell of  cooking wafting through the house. Stews and slow cooking, roasts and apple pies. Picking up the knitting or craft work and the seductive rhythm that comes from within. 


Winter is a time for slowing down. Reflecting on how far you've come and the road ahead. Making new plans and adjusting others. All of which I'm doing myself.


 I'm looking forward to spring, sunshine and the busyness that comes with it but will make the most of this time while I can. I still don't like being cold. 





Thursday, 27 April 2017

WHAT'S IN YOUR FOOD



I'm watching a program on SBS called Food Factory. A chief tries to discover what's in mass produced items that we eat and drink.

If you ever wondered about the benefits of making your own, besides the fact that its cheaper, you really need to watch this. The ingredients that are used are not even real food a lot of the time.


Besides synthetic food and artificial flavours the amount of preservatives used is astronomical. The products are filled with fillers to plump them up and honestly it has put me off completely. 


Can you imagine what all of this is doing to our bodies and our health in general. I have to wonder if this is one of the reasons for the booming obesity in the western world. We have forgotten what real food tastes like and the way it keeps us healthy and strong.


Very thought provoking and worth watching.

Monday, 24 April 2017

PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST

Part of my problem over the last year was that my todo list was so long that it was really over whelming. I made a new schedule this week with just the basics logged in. You know the ones. Work, shopping, housework and any outside activities that are non negotiable. It left so much time free. :-) 

I penciled in a few "15 minute chore" throughout the week and walked away. My long list is on the side of the fridge out of sight. I'm taking one of them and 15 minutes at a time will slowly attack it till its gone. No more pressure to get stuck in and exhausting myself, no more feeling guilty about not getting on top of the list.

It will all get done eventually but for now I'm enjoying the down time I've made for myself and actually am looking forward to doing my 15 minutes.

Don't forget to take time out for yourself. We are important too.



Wednesday, 19 April 2017

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LET GO

I've been reading alot lately about goal setting, being frugal and putting yourself first. ( because we all know that as parents we rarely do )

Putting yourself first means different things to each of us. For me it can be as simple as 1/2 hr to just sit to putting in place an auto payment that stops me from having to run around at the last minute to pay a bill. 

In other words anything that leaves me tired and run down each day, something that left me rushing around at the last minute or more importantly stuff I really don't want to do but have to, I need to have a good look at and see if I can get rid of it...change it....make the most of it.

Which brings me back to my title. Just because I've always done stuff a certain way, shopped certain places, bought the same brand foods, maybe it's time to try something new and remind myself that sometimes you just have to let go.



Monday, 17 April 2017

HAPPY EASTER

Happy Easter Everyone.











What a gorgeous weekend we've had. 

























The weather was perfect and the time just slowly moved along. 

























Fiona,Brian and the boys came up Sunday morning for an Easter Egg Hunt and hot cross buns.

















It was a great relaxing weekend. I even managed to get one of my projects done. 
I'll share the pictures with you on another post.









I hope you all had an enjoyable, safe Easter too.

Jan




Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A BLIP ON MY RADAR

Well it's been 4 weeks now and after many tests and poking and prodding it seems there is no findable reason why I had a mini stroke. 


So it's back to getting on with life as I know it. I've adjusted my diet a little and will continue to take an asprin a day as a preventative.

In the meantime I'll start looking at ways to reduce my working hours to a reasonable amount. 50 hour weeks are too tiring.

I've a list of projects to get done around the home I'm hoping to get stuck into with the  time I'm freeing up.

All in all it was good news.
Have a great day

Jan



Friday, 31 March 2017

IT'S THE WEEKEND

It's that time of the week again. I don't know about you but the time seems to be flying at the moment. Life seems to be getting busier and busier.

Well I've done the housework and the smell of a clean house tells me it's the weekend and it's time to slow down and get some relaxation in.


I'm going to spend some time with my daughter and unfortunately I'll be working Saturday so I really need to make sure I don't forget to unwind while I can.


Take some time to go for a walk around your neighbourhood  Maybe head to the park or beach. Even in winter they're great  places to visit and get some fresh air.


What ever you have on this weekend don't forget to take time out for yourself, Relax and enjoy just being still.


Have a safe and wonderful weekend.


Jan


Port Willunga Beach

Thursday, 30 March 2017

BOILED PINEAPPLE FRUIT CAKE

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I just get cravings and off I go and buy something to tide me over. ( might have something to do with why my weight goes up and down like a yoyo) 

One of the things I have promised myself is to live simply and stop buying for the sake of it. This also goes for my sweet tooth. If I really want it I can. I just have to make it. No more dashing off to the shops for a quick fix. Unless I run out of ingredients but I must buy the ingredients. .
I used to bake all the time but like a lot of things it took a back seat to life and it became something I  did when I had people over.

Well the other night I really fancied a piece of cake, actually a piece of fruit cake. I took a look through the pantry and decided that I had what I needed. Below is the recipe I used, It is so easy to make and is a favourite of ours.

Boiled Pineapple Fruit Cake
2 cups mixed fruit                 113g (4 oz ) butter
1 cup sugar                           1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spiced                1 can (450 gr ) crushed pineapple
1 cup plain flour                     1 cup S.R. flour
2 well beaten eggs

Place mixed fruit, butter, sugar, mixed spice, bicarb, and pineapple into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Boil for 3 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add flour, S.R. flour and eggs.Stir until combined. If still very wet add a little more S.R. flour.
Place in baking dish and bake in a moderate oven (180 deg ) for 30 to 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

If mixture is very wet place alfoil over top to  reduce browning. 
Enjoy

Jan

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

IT'S PERFECT






How often do we take things to the extreme. We never seem to be satisfied with something being good enough, but continually push for perfection.





I'm not perfect, far from it. My home isn't perfect and neither are a lot of things I do. But you know what, that's ok. 







Perfection is a sterile house that is clinical and cold because it's spotless and everyone is too scared to touch anything in case it gets dirty. A perfect house doesn't leave room to grow and explore. 






It's what's important to you that defines what's good enough. A home  that's filled with the sound of children playing and laughing. An afternoon spent with friends having coffee and chatting away an afternoon. 






The feeling of warmth and welcome when you walk in the door. These are what's important to me and despite the mess that sometimes happens and the odd dish still in the sink when I'm surrounded by these things in my life I can honestly say that everything is perfect.

Have a great day
Jan

Friday, 24 March 2017

LOVE IT OR HATE IT = TECHNOLOGY

YOU'VE GOT MAIL


I would like to share a response to yesterdays post with you. It highlights what we all go through and why I'm finding it ever more important to put a little distance between myself and the modern world sometimes. Even if it is just one day a week.


I love technology. How everything seems to now be just at your fingertips. Not sure about something, look it up on the net - the how to's, dyi and video tutorials are amazing. You woulnd't believe some of the stuff you can find on the net. If you can think it up, the chances are, there is something on the net about it. And unlike many people, I don't think it's jeopardised my communication with friends and family. In fact, I now speak to people again I haven't seen for years, who I grew up with, who live on the other side of the world, who I would have lost complete contact with if it wasn't for the net. And opportunities have opened up. But like you said, there is a downside to all of this. And one of the major ones of all this instant information, I believe, is people's unrealistic expectations. They think people can be as instantaneous. Send an email, and they want a response pronto - if they don't get one in 10 minutes, they're on the phone asking why no one's rung them yet or responded yet. They forget that even though there is all this wonderful technology to help make life easier, it is still just people at the other end of it all, and they can only respond at human speed and unlike the web, they aren't awake 24/7. It is a vicious circle - all this wonderful technology I love so much has brought made my life easier in so many ways, but has also doubled the amount of things I need to do!!



This so true. The problem we have been facing since the industrial revolution has been the increase in work load that is now expected. I have no desire to return to the days where washing took all day to get through but as machines have made the tasks easier and quicker, instead of enjoying the free time it has opened up we fill it with another task.

 Instead of doing one task and doing it well. We now do multiple tasks, often at the same time and don't achieve the pleasure of a job well done. No wonder we are exhausted at the end of the day. 


The sad thing about all of this is the simple fact that at the end of the day when you go home instead of solely focusing on your family and relaxation, the world still wants to intrude. 

We are at the beck and call of everyone and this also includes work. 

How often is the phone call late at night work related. How many times when you go on holiday do you still get work emails. 


I also love technology, this blog  wouldn't be achievable with out it, but I sometimes just want to turn the world off and enjoy the sunshine. That's why I try to turn everything off on the weekend and give myself some time out.

Have a great day
Jan

Thursday, 23 March 2017

WE WERE HEALTHIER BACK THEN

happy children playing - stock vector


One of the reasons I decided to slow down and live an easier life is to see if over time I can be self sufficient enough that I no longer have to rely on shops and technology for all our needs. The amount of additives, colourings and preservatives in food ( all which have numbers...Read chemicals ) is growing all the time.

When I was growing up there were very few kids with allergies. Now asthma, food allergies, skin irritations and obesity is part of the norm. We didn't have all the processed food that is around today. Yes we ate cake...it was made from scratch by Mum. Yes we ate fried food but again it was made at home. Toasted sandwiches and fry ups on Sundays. Often meat and 3 veg was the main meal. Not the healthiest of diets you say, no but there was no junk food, only fish and chips as a treat once in a while. Yet we didn't get ill. We didn't have reactions. It was basic but clean honest food. We ate , we played and slept well.


Milk came in a bottle with cream on top. Homogenised only. Again no problems. Very few people were lactose intolerant. Everything was full fat, full cream. Yet we weren't overweight. 


We only watched TV after dinner, we were too busy doing other things. We helped around the house. Played in the streets and talked to each over. A Saturday night often found the family at the kitchen table with all our friends playing cards.


No one was lonely, no one was bored. Life was busy and happy.


Was it a bed of roses. No not always but sometimes I have to wonder how much of ourselves have we lost by becoming so enchanted with the fast paced world with its fascinating technology that consumes our time every day.


Enjoy your day 
Jan

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A SIMPLE MENU PLAN

There's no doubt about it. A menu plan takes the hassle out of what your going to eat every night. If your anything like me though it all becomes too hard when I'm deciding what to eat and which night and all the ingredients I need.

i personally have a few meals that I like to cook over a 4 week period. They use a lot of the same ingredients which means I'm not buying fancy stuff that only gets used once or twice and then goes in the bin.

Weekly Menu
When I shop for meats it's the same nearly every fortnight depending what's on special. My vegies don't really change that much depending on if it's winter or summer. I find that I don't have a lot of wastage because it's all food that I eat and I change what I do with the food to keep it interesting enough that I don't feel like I'm eating the same meals week in week out.

One thing I really don't like is complicated menu planning.  Breakfast and lunch is a hit and miss affair in this house so I cant see the point in planning anything for those meals. Dinner is the only one that I want to worry about.

Each Sunday night I check out what meat is left in the freezer, scribble it down, decide what nights I want for these meats ( I like to rotate my nights....chicken, meat, fish ) then decide what meals I'm going to make with them. It doesn't take long and I can tart the meals up into something different each week while still buying the same meat. Less thinking for me.

Eg. Chicken over 4 weeks
  • Roast Chicken
  • Chicken Stir fry ( pulled apart from left over roast the week before
  • Devilled Chicken Marylands
  • Honey and Mustard  Chicken Marylands
I have a Menu planner on my pantry door in an A4 frame with glass on it. I write a short version of the meal for each night on it with a whiteboard marker and I'm done. It wipes off with paper towel easily.

The best bit is that it reminds me to actually get the meat out the freezer the night before haha.


Here is a PDF that you can download and print off that I've used from the Orchard Girls website that I found. Weekly Meal Planner

Jan

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