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

Monday, 20 March 2017

LEARNING TO LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE

If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavours to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau


There will be many times when your choice of lifestyle will cause some raised eyebrows. 

It could be friends or family members. At the end of the day it is your life to live. 

Whether it's downsizing your home, becoming more self reliant, trying new experiences. What ever the obstacles you can over come them. 

For those that can't or won't understand your plans for the future just stop telling them about it and get into living it. 

Share your excitement and dreams with those that are like minded.

Just remember  IT'S YOUR LIFE...GO LIVE IT

Jan

Friday, 17 March 2017

IT"S THE WEEKEND

Well another week has come and gone. Isn't time flying at the moment.

Must admit I'm loving the warmer weather that we're having.


Have to remember to get back into the habit of slip, slop slapping.


For our over seas visitors that aren't familiar with the saying this is what we do in summer.

In short it stands for :-

Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat. 


I'm working Saturday but then I intend to spend most of my time in the garden. There is so much to do.


Whatever you've got planned for the weekend take care and relax. Enjoy every moment.


Have a safe and wonderful weekend.


Jan

Thursday, 16 March 2017

LEARN TO KNIT AND CROCHET

A throw rug for winter
One of the greatest pleasures in life is being able to look some one in the eye and say " Thank you. Yes I made that "

The part that I love is also that they are one of a kind. I can make my knitting any colour I want. Any shape and pattern I want. Instead of being frustrated with what's in fashion and only getting them,  I can match my decor no matter what.


Even better is that they last a lot longer too. I've got jumpers that are still going strong ten years later. I find the shop ones come apart at the seams and loose their warmth after a while.


And don't forget you don't have to make just jumpers. There are rugs, cushion covers and dish clothes to name a few. The world is your oyster.


Start simple with basic stitches, plain and purl then move on to cables later when your confidence grows. If you never learn any other stitch these three will give you all the variation you will ever need.


Here are some free learn to knit and crochet sites.


http://www.free-knitpatterns.com/


http://www.anniescatalog.com/

http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns


Have a great day tomorrow 
Jan


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

AN EVER CHANGING ROOM

Two years ago with the birth of Ollie ( grandson number one ) I changed the spare bedroom into a nursery. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

From this




To This













Now we have Bohdi (grandson number 2) I have changed things up again. I have added a single bed as Ollie is now in a BIG BOYS BED. I still need to do the decals on Ollies side of the room but it's getting there. 

To This


BOHDI'S COT

OLLIE'S BIG BOY BED

The bed has a trundle so I'm all ready for when Bohdi 
transitions over. Will just need to change the decals again lol.

Have a great day
Jan

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

FRONT GARDEN MAKEOVER

It was such a lovely day today. Not only did I have the day off work but the sun was shining and I made the most of it.

I'm slowly changing and renovating my front garden. I have painted the front of the house and now starting on the garden. It was great to be able to get stuck in.

From This


To This




The rest of the day I spent with Fiona and my grandsons. Ollie took me to watch his swimming lesson. 

Its hard to sit there and watch as he floats around with his floaties on practicing his kicking with no-one holding onto him. He's only two and a half and I kept holding my breath everytime he jumped into the pool and laugh as he floated around. 

I'm sure  I got a few more grey hairs in that half hour lol.

Monday, 13 March 2017

WEEK END CATCHUP

Did you all have a great weekend? I did the normal when I have a 2 day weekend. Got all my washing and housework done on Saturday.Went off to the shop and did my shopping. I didn't have a lot to buy. My freezer is full and my pantry is well stocked so it was just odds and sods.

I did pick up alot of cleaning stuff again. This time I went for natural cleaning as I slowly move towards my simple lifestyle.

Replacing my commercial bought products that do one thing with green items like vinegar, bicarb and borax that cover everything has been a slow process. I had a lot of spares that I've slowly been using up but I'm getting there.


Sunday was an easy day with my family coming up for the day and staying for tea. I love these days and always look forward to them. Being a Nanna to these two beautiful boys is the best  feeling and the love I have for my daughter, son-in-law and grand children knows no bounds.

I am a very lucky lady and count my blessings every day.

Have a great week everyone
Jan

Sunday, 12 March 2017

SUNDAY WALK

Pt Noarlunga Jetty. Lots of fishermen trying their luck.
I had a lovely walk along the beach this Sunday.We have some amazing beaches here.


View of the beach from the sand dunes

Port Noarlunga Bridge crossing the River as it goes to meet the sea

Onkaparinga River
This is Port Noarlunga Beach about 15 minutes down the road from where I live.


Have a great week
Jan

Friday, 10 March 2017

IT'S THE WEEKEND



We finally made it to another weekend. I have no idea what the weather is going to get up to so I'll just take it as it goes. 

Whatever I do it will be just nice to take it easy. Dare I say maybe sleep in.


Will take some time to catch up with family and potter around the house.


What ever you do this weekend don't forget to enjoy every moment.


Have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Jan

Thursday, 9 March 2017

A BLIP ON MY RADAR

Well my blood tests have come back and they are fine so my tiredness is mainly from long hours at work. No surprises there.

I had a CT and an MRI scan today to see what was happening to my eye so I'll get the results to that tomorrow. 

Must admit  despite the running around to appointments I'm feeling a bit better. It must be the extra hour of sleep I'm getting. Beats getting up at 4.30 each day. 

Have a great day

Jan
WAITING FOR THE HOT AIR BALLOON

BIRDS EYE VIEW OFF THE FLEURIEU PENINSULA



HERBS AND SPICES


Have you noticed how expensive herbs and spices are to buy. The fresh ones are the worst which is ridiculous as they are so easy to grow.

Granted they don't grow all year round but if you grow enough it is easy to dehydrate them and bottle them up.

At the end of the season put into a food saver for topping up your jars when you run low.

Of course the packets in the supermarket aren't too bad in price but the herbs always seem to be crushed  into a powder. Probably from being handled too often.

I opened one and compared it to some I had done myself and the difference was incredible.

Not only was my colour more intense but so was the aroma. 

Not to mention the fact that mine were nice and healthy flakes compared to the powdery mix in the packets.

Why don't you give it a go.

One of the things that has been driving me crazy is my spice cupboard. Everything was piled on top of each other and I had to pull everything out to find what I was looking for.

I finally decided how I wanted it to look and this is what I did.

After pulling them all out I'm putting everything into new containers and labelling them.


This is what I started with. I had two shelves like this






Lime for herbs and red for spices

And a new home in the drawer

With their little hats on I wont have any problems finding what I need now. 

Now to finish the rest.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

ARE YOU LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?
Because People cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!
We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Tommy toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'
When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say ? And why are you waiting ?
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply ?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see her sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi' ?
When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.
'Life may not be the party we hoped for...
But while we are here we might as well dance' !

FAMILY

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

15 MINUTES

So I was chatting with a friend today and we got to talking  
about the every day mess that accumulates during the day.

You know the kind of thing. Kids toys, junk mail on the table and it goes on. After working all day the last thing you want to do at night is spend it tidying up, but if you don't it builds up and eventually it gets on top of you.

I started telling her about my 15 minute rule. Each night after tea and the dishes I set the timer on the oven for 15 minutes and grab a basket and pick up things lying around. When the timer goes off I stop and put what's in the basket in their rightful places.

That's it. By the end of the month it takes about 5 minutes of my time each night and I find I'm sitting down with my feet up, not giving it a second thought. It's a habit now. Part of my winding down for the night.

I like going to bed at the end of the night with the house tidy. I like even more getting up to a tidy house. Housework day takes half the time because half the work is already done.

Get the little ones involved. Half an hour before bed help them do the same. Then it's 15 minutes quiet time where you can have a cuddle before bed. It sets up a routine they get used to and makes bedtime a little easier ( at least that's the goal ), and you never know it might even become a habit they carry on with as they get older.

Monday, 6 March 2017

A BLIP ON MY RADAR

Life sometimes throws you the odd curve ball. Today I went to the Doctors cause I wasn't feeling the best. While having a chat I mentioned that I was really exhausted and have been for quite a while plus I needed  new glasses as I was having blurry vision.

Thankfully my doctor didn't fob it off and decided to run some tests. So off to get my eyes checked to only find out I've actually lost some of the vision in one eye :-(

Having blood tests tomorrow to check on the tiredness and then back to doctor to see what it all means.

Have a great day


FEEDING THE DUCKS WITH MY GRANDSON

FINDING TIME

My weeks seem to get busier and busier. 
As soon as I have  5 minutes spare something or someone fills it up. With working outside the home I am over whelmed by all the
 projects running through my head that I would like to tackle. 
You know how it is. So much to do and I want to do it now. 


I was going through my list which was growing by the minute and wondering how in the world I was going to find the time to  even start. And then it hit me.

Before I could even think about starting my new way of life I was going to have to get organised and find the time in my current lifestyle to allow me to make a start.
.
So out came the calendar and in went the times for things which were a must. (like work) and then in went the necessities of shopping and family.

I was surprised at how much free time I actually had that was taken up with incidental nothingness.

Now I think I can start on small things during the week. I'm saving the weekends for larger projects and family on Sundays.

Woo hoo It looks like I'm on my way.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

BECOMING SELF SUFFICIENT

A SIMPLER LIFE   



  Learn to cook at home
·         Learn to grow vegetables
·         Learn about green cleaners and rid your home of harmful chemicals
·         Learn to recycle, reuse and make do
·         Learn to change your own oil
·         Mow your own grass
·         Learn to do basic home maintenance
·         Learn to iron your own laundry
·         Learn how to sew
·         Learn how to give a basic haircut
·         Learn how to do basic gardening 
·         Turn off technology for the weekend

Living a simpler life by becoming more self-sufficient isn’t hard it just takes a desire to take back control of your life and do for yourself.

·       



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