Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Decorating

Our Christmas Wreath up at the front door.
 Brought out the Christmas boxes today, and let the decorating begin. We have 3 large plastic boxes for storing our Christmas decorations, dvd's, books etc. Anything we get on sale after Christmas goes into these boxes for the next Christmas. It has saved us alot of money and time. I find it helps me to not stress at this time of year, but have fun.
One of our Christmas boxes, with books and dvd's.

Our Christmas bear which reads the Christmas story, and a book of Christmas dvd's

The children made this Nativity scene 2 years ago.
While I'm typing this my children are outside decorating the orange tree. It's our Christmas tree this year. Loving the joyful noise. Will share photo of our tree another time.
Now need to go pick lettuce from our garden for our homemade burgers, yum!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spring Evening Walk in my Garden

Our veggie garden is growing well, lots of yummy greens.

Peas please, yummy to eat freshly picked.

Our sheep need to work on keeping that grass down. These 2 are in our kids garden.

Pretty flowers, that I didn't know we had.

Photo doesn't really catch it but the flowers look hand painted.

Our sparrow guard.

baby peaches, our tree blessing us with lots.
Love going for a walk through our garden and counting our blessings. And snacking on homegrown goodness.

Did Our $100 Weekly Shop

28th Nov 2011 half of the food shop (packed milk and frozen items away)

Menu Plan Week Two
Breakfast - Weet-bix, Honey Puffs and Porridge. Maybe in weekend pancakes. Lunch is sandwiches, and 1 sweet thing and 1 fruit
MONDAY- Turkey Soup and buttered bread
TUESDAY- Cheese toasties (some with onion and baked beans too)
WEDNESDAY- Homemade Hamburgers and chips
THURSDAY- Taekwon-do Christmas Party bringing a salad
FRIDAY- Casserole and buttered bread
SATURDAY- BBQ sausages and salad
SUNDAY- Corned beef pasta

Shopping list
Bag of apples 1.5kg $4.98
4 Oranges $1.73
Bag of carrots 1.5kg $2.79
Bag of onions 1.5kg $3.98
Bag of kumara 1.5kg $4.48
Weet-bix 1.2kg $6.59
Honey Puffs 425g $3.89
Rice bran oil 2L $14.99
Tomato sauce 2L $4.86
Baked bean can $0.74
Diced tomato can x2 $1.90
Sweet condensed milk can $2.55
Milk 3L x4 $21.96
Cheese 250g $4.29
Butter 500g $3.79
Frozen chips 1kg $2.49
Frozen mixed veggies 500g $1.99
TOTAL = $88.00

Still keeping under budget YAY! Coming to the end of year, with end of year breakups and Christmas party's, etc. If we can keep this challenge going through these times, we can do it through the rest of next year too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cluck Cluck Clucky

Mummy hen and her chicks
We have our chickens now. Well our mummy hen with her 9 chicks.So our pet population has exploded. They are in their temporary accommodation, until they section of the garden where new home will be is cleaned up. We also won't be keeping them all as they grow. Because if any are roosters, we can't have them in the city. And there is a limit to how many you can have in the city. If we build our own coup/run for them we can keep 6-8. If we buy one then only 4.
Whats this mum?
But already they are getting use to us, and are so much fun to watch.
Now to fix up gate into our backyard. Windy day blew it half off it's hinges, and I want to be able to have it closed for safety.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparing for Our Thanksgiving Feast

Yes we are in new Zealand, No we are not American. But we celebrate our own Family Thanksgiving Feast. Ours is about our family going through a big family event, which has made us thank full we are together. Our Thanksgiving family meal is when we come together as a family and remember our blessings and share them with one another and Thank the Lord for all he has done in our family.

Yes we have a turkey, don't like having them at Christmas. It's too hot for roasting in our small kitchen. So it is a treat we don't normally get. It is a simple meal we share together, turkey and roast vegetables (maybe even potatoes from our garden), and a dessert. This years dessert will be homemade lemon cheesecake (our own lemons). Had a look in the fridge this week and saw all we need in there behind our salad dressing.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:15-17

Sunday, November 20, 2011

$100 Food Shop Week One Begining

21st Nov 2011 $100 Food Shop. Bags in boot
Menu Plan Week One
For Breakfast porridge, weet-bix or honey puffs. Lunch 1 sweet treat (cupcake or biscuits home baked), sandwiches, and a piece of fruit. Each day about the same. It's dinner that changes more.
MONDAY - Dinner Beef Stir-fry with rice (and veggies from our garden)
TUESDAY - Dinner Creamy Chicken Pasta
WEDNESDAY - Dinner Bean and Sausage Casserole with mashed potato
THURSDAY - Moroccan Lamb Casserole on Cous cous
FRIDAY - Our family's Thanks Giving (will share about that another time) Turkey,  roast veggies and peas
SATURDAY - Fellowship tea at a restaurant
SUNDAY - Leftover Turkey meal with rice
Some nights we might have a dessert like ice cream, fruit , jelly etc but that just a treat.

Shopping List
Bag of apples 1.5kg $2.99
Half a Crown Pumpkin $2.06
Oats for porridge 2x 750g bags $4.98
Free Range Eggs 12pk $6.15
Cous cous 500g $2.49
Baked Beans 420g can $0.74
Diced Tomatoes 400g can $0.95
Milk 4x 3L bottles $21.96
Frozen Peas 1kg $2.95
Frozen Turkey NO3.5 $41.99
TOTAL = $92.30

So under budget at the moment. Now the challenge begins staying away from shops, until next week.

$100 per week food shop challenge for our family

We are doing a challenge which will hopefully get us motivated with using the food we have in our garden. As well as save some money, and think more carefully about what we eat.
This $100 is to cover food, not non-food items (like toothpaste, toiletries, pet food etc)
We also aim to shop only once a week. And when we have done our shop, share here how we have done. Meat and milk will be the hardest.
Today is Monday and have finish our menu plan. So will be going to the shops soon to get what we need. Shopping with cash only. As we menu planned around what we have already, our shop will be about getting only what we need for the coming week. Then making it last.

Share more soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Was a very busy day helping others.
  • Started with checking on my mum, who is sick with a cold. To see if she needed anything.
  • Then found my dad had forgotten his lunch. So dropped it off at his work (across the city)
  • Then visited my sister with her little daughter and baby boy. She has been so busy with them not much time for herself. So I looked after the kids for a couple of hours so she could.
  • Back to get my kids from school and go shopping for a few items.
  • Did make homemade muesli bars for school lunches.
My day was very full and not much Spring cleaning done.
But dinner was lamb casserole with mashed potatoes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning at the Little Home in the City

Spring Roses in our garden

With the sweet smell of roses in the air, this is the week we start Spring cleaning our home. Time for all the winter things to be packed away, and all the summer things to be brought out. Time for our home to be deep cleaned ready for the summer holidays.

Winter sheets soon to be stored away for next winter
Today (Monday) is the day we make beds with clean sheets, and wash the sheets we have taken off. but today we are changing our winter sheets for summer sheets. And washing the winter sheets getting them all ready to be stored away in a cupboard. I like to use vacuum packs for storing our sheets, find they look after them better then just popping them into a cupboard.
Today we also have to wash towels and tea towels, as well as give bedrooms a dust and vacuum.
For dinner tonight we are having Chicken Rice Risotto, with leftover chicken from our Sunday Roast Dinner last night.
Better getting to work, have made 2 beds, and have 3 to go.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homemade Christmas Cards

To save money this year we are making our own Christmas cards.
Found a helpful website, we used this year.
First took a photo of the kids, then followed their instructions. Simple and free.
Then printed off what we need. Slowly going through the process of cutting, folding and gluing together.
First card cut, folded and glued
Then I'm gluing some glitter on for a finishing touch. Just need to buy some cheap envelopes, and stamps and we will be ready to write in them.
Will show finished card later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas is Coming

And we are going to be ready for it this year at our Little House in the City.
And I got started with 1st joining up http://christmas.organizedhome.com/
and one of the things they recommend was making a Christmas Planner. Now I didn't want to go out and buy a new folder, instead I wanted to use what I had and make my own. And they helped me there too with showing me this site http://christmasplanner.com/ and a great you tube tutorial on making a Pocket Christmas Planner.
So here is my Pocket Christmas Planner
The front cover

With the Planner opened out

The shopping list and menu planner
I didn't have a cardboard folder with pockets like the you tube tutorial showed. But I did have cardboard that I made my own one with. My planner is not as neat as the tutorial's but it does the job and fits nicely into my handbag. So I'm happy and feeling more organised.