Monday, January 07, 2013

Happy New Year!!

2013 a new year and a new journey for us all. I was very glad to say good bye to 2012 for many reasons, but i have learn't a lot from it as well. I know many of you have made resolutions for the new year but this is something i do not do, i set goals instead. I feel that most resolutions set each year fail within the first few weeks or are forgotten or not stuck to, so why bother.
I am still putting together my goals for 2013 but most of the goals will be set around home improvements. I will share my goal list once i have finished.

Last year I was able to achieve a few things which I am happy with and they were:

  1. Having solar power connected which was done in Feb 2012, 8 panels all up.
  2. Having a new large 4 door pantry cupboard built in to the kitchen for my stock pile and supplies.
  3. Getting a 1000ltr water tank set up for the vege garden which sadly due the they lack of rain in the past month is now empty, so im thinking of now sourcing another tank for a backup.
  4. Lastly i purchased a much needed new laptop just before Christmas as my poor old 10.1" was showing its age and so very slow, but i did manage to run the business on the poor little thing.
All of the improvements done to the house and extras have been done by saving up the profits from my little EBAY store The-Rose-Garden-Boutique. If you have a look you will see that everything sold in the store is handmade by me.

This years goals will hopefully be funded once again by the business, its a great feeling seeing what all my hard work as brought the family home.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Its been a long time.

Its been a long time since my last post and a lot as happened since then.
Such as:
My son and partner moved out of our home and into their new house early November and are settling in nicely.
 My daughter has finished year 12 so no more school routine in this house, well not until she starts uni in 2014 as she is having a gap year in 2013.

Im looking forward to the new year as i have less of a work load with 2 less people in the house to cook for and look after. Son 19 will be moving back into the big bedroom, once its painted which will then give me back my office room which i had to move out of 18 months ago when the family grew from 4 to 6. I have big plans for my new office and i have said to the family that i am never going to give up my office again :) Once things start falling into place with painting and decorating my office room i will place pics on the blog for all to see. Im so excited about it.

I have also had my family of ducks expand, a while ago i put on a short post showing a photo of my pair of ducks Molly and Mickey. Well they have become parents. I had a friend incubate 10 eggs about 7 months ago and we ended up with 7 ducklings. 4 boys and 3 girls. Prior to these babies hatching the breeder that my adults came from also incubated some of my eggs and ended up with 8 ducklings. She kept one beautiful Indian Runner boy with a huge feather crest on top of his head (dad is crested) and the breeder gave me one of the girls from that hatch. I was able to sell the 4 boys to a lovely lady i met on facebook nd she send me photos of them, which is nice to see that they are doing well. This now gives me 6 ducks all up, 5 girls and dad.

Dad is standing at the right side of the pool and mum is the darkest one in the pool, the girl standing at top corner is the older one from the breeder.

Each day i go out and collect up to 5 duck eggs and several chicken eggs, they are very productive creatures and its said that ducks lay more eggs in a life time than chickens do, so now my only problem is what to do with all these eggs. I use them in all my cooking and last week we made a beautiful Pavlova which used 8 egg whites and the yokes went into the fried rice for dinner. We will be making another Pavlova for Christmas lunch and im thinking of making homemade ice cream using the yokes, something i have never made before.

Before i finish this post i thought i would share my Cherry harvest from last week. We ended up with around 1.5kg of fruit which has not been our biggest harvest but considering we pruned the tree back this year and ants got to a lot of them it was not to bad. They were big and sweet and we enjoyed them very much.
Sorry about the poor photo, its was taken with my phone.

This im sure will be the last post before Christmas and maybe the last for the year but i plan to be around more next year and share the progress of the office renovations and posts about my productive garden and more.

Have a safe Christmas and a Happy New Year. XXX

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

This weeks menu July 4th to July10th

I have put this weeks menu below to share with you again this week.
I will try to do this each week to share my ideas.

Wednesday: Home made fish and chips, using Bassa fillets from Aldi @ $6.99KG

Thursday: Spaghetti and garlic bread.

Friday: Steak sandwiches in homemade bread.

Saturday: Tuna patties, chips and salad.

Sunday: This weeks easy tea will be replaced with a lamb roast, because i feel like some roast lamb with the trimmings done in the slowcooker..

Monday: Shepherds Pie and something easy for Son 18 as he now tells me he doesn't like it.

Tuesday: Fried rice and lemon chicken.

So thats this weeks menu. Not so exciting but healthy and will fill 6 hungry bellies.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This weeks menu

I thought i would share with you today our menu for the next week. It often gets hard to think up new things to make for dinner and i like to read what others have on their menu plan for the weeks as it gives me ideas of what to put onto mine.
Our menu starts on a Wednesday as that when shopping day/pay day falls but that will soon be changing as hubbys pay day is changing next month.

Wednesday: Tuna patties, salad and chips. I make the patties with 2 tins Aldi tuna which is under $2 a can. This is a cheap meal for the 6 of us and leftovers for lunches.

Thursday: Chicken breast schnitzel and veges. I use 4 breasts to feed the 6 of us.

Friday: Homemade hamburgers in rolls with all the trimmings. Using homemade bread rolls and 500g mince.

Saturday Chicken pasta bake for 5 of us using 2 chicken breasts and Cabonara for Hubby.

Sunday: Easy dinner as its usually only 4 home so we make something from pantry items.

Monday: Tuna Pie with potato on top. With 2 tins Aldi tuna which is under $2 a can and mixed frozen veges. I will make something else for hubby as he doesn't eat tuna pie.

Tuesday: Fried rice and Chicken and corn soup using chicken bones for the stock. I make rice once a week as hubby gets rice form work and i have around 50kgs in the pantry.

 Please feel free to post your menu below and share you meal ideas. :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bargain find

Hubby and I have been wanting a king size bed now for a long time. We have looked at them many times in stores and found that they were to expensive for our current budget (around $1500 plus bedding). I have kept an eye out for deals on beds on Ebay either new, seconds, or second hand any of these we would be happy with. I was not trolling Ebay daily for a new bed but just when the idea would come to mind i would have a bit of a look to see if there was any good deals and also it had to be in a reasonable traveling distance for pickup. Last week i came across a King mattress and base set within a distance that we could drive with our trailer and bring the bed home if i won the auction. The set listed was a Sealy Posturepedic Royal Jewel. The set was 10 years old and the auction stated that it had always had a waterproof cover on it and that the set was in very good condition. The starting price of the auction was just 99c. I put the auction on my watch list to show hubby the set and to discuss bying it. I asked the seller a few questions about the set and was still a little undecided on buying it. The time came for the listing to end and it had still not had any bids and it was still sitting at 99c. I had asked the seller another question 10 mins before the ending and she answered straight away which was good as i knew then she was also on line. I the asked another question about 5 mins before ending but she didnt answer straight away so i decided not to bid, the auction then ended strangely without a bid. Just after the auction ended the seller emailed me and asked if i was interested in the bed and if not she would re-list it. I told the seller that i would let he know as soon as hubby came home from work. He said the we could go over on the weekend and take a look and to ask the seller how much they were wanting for the bed. The seller soon replied and said that she needed it out of the house and if i wanted the set i could have it for 99c. So i told her that we would take it and would be over on the weekend to pick it up. Hubby and I couldn't help wondering what would be wrong with the bed as the seller was giving away a king bed set for free and hubby kept telling me that it must be junk but he would take me to have a look and get it on Saturday if it was any good
So to close this long story we have now got a wonderful big comfy bed for the cost of traveling, a box of chocolates and $20 that i gave the lady just to say thanks. I have had to spend a couple of hundred dollars on bedding to start with and i have grabbed some more new bedding needs from Ebay less than shop price. But in the end i have saved a huge amount money on the bed and i am grateful for the kindness of a stranger for being so generous.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Trying to spend less on food. UPDATE week 4 and bulk buying

Finally i have sorted through all the dockets and have been able to tally up the final amount spent on the past 4 weeks for meals. This was including also all the food for our dogs, chickens, ducks and indoor birds.
The total from the week 3 post was up to $475.74. The final weeks spending was $187.12 so the grand total for feeding a family of 6 and pets has come to $662.86. Not as cheap as i would have liked but it did have some expensive takeaway meals as posted in past weeks posts, but there has been a stop put to it being a regular fortnight treat.

On Saturday 12 May hubby and i decided to go to the Shepp Cannery Surplus Outlet in Ballarat. We couldn't believe how cheap that place was. I was able to grab a lot of bulk goodies for my stockpile and the amount spent here has not been added to the monthly food total above as these staples are used over time.
This is what we came home with:
12x 825g tins of SPC spaghetti         @$14.00
24x 400g tins of whole tomatoes       @ $12.00
8x 1ltr apple and mango juice bottles @ $2.40 (for the whole box)
12x 410ml cans of creamed corn       @ $10.00
6x Gravy flour                                  @ $3.60

These bargains have filled the pantry and we will be using these staples over the winter, especially with lots of pasta sauce and tomato soup on the winter menu that i make from scratch using the tin tomatoes.

In my next post i will add up the current month of  food shopping and let you know what changes i have made and see if i have done better or worse this time. I have not added anything up as yet so i also dont know my self how i have been going with the budget.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Q & A

What i thought i would to today is put in a Q&A post. Feel free to post any questions below that you want to ask or even some ideas you may have and i will answer your comments by adding them to the blog early next week.
I also plan on finishing the posts about how i went week 4 of my monthly shopping, once i sort through all the dockets and also about mt visit to the SPC clearance center in Ballarat. I will also let you know how im going this month with the shopping and what changes i have made.
Have a great long weekend :)