Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not Lost, Just Living

I'm up to completing my 9th hot water bottle cover. Have planted out the raised garden. Been on a hospital trip for DD10, poor dear broke her arm at school. As well as a tummy bug that swept through the family like a wave. Glad that is over.
Also made some Crab Apple Jelly. My favorite jelly, made from free fruit from my parents. Yummy on toast, pikelet and scones (with abit of cream is a treat)

Colourful Chard in the raised garden bed (will be mulching around the plants)

Chickens roosting, the cheeky little escape artists.

Yes the chickens are in our Mandarin tree. This Victoria who found her own branch to sit on.

Today it feels like winter. Very cold, time for a fire to warm us up. But to help me stay warm I will be knitting a little throw blanket. Though it's not for me, but a dear lady in a rest home. Hoping to personalise it for her, as her blankets keep getting taken from her. Maybe stitching her name in to the blanket will help that not to happen again. maybe a bright warm red blanket :)
Soup or stew for dinner tonight, and a fruit crumble for dessert.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Reuse, Renew, Recycle Project

I had a long sleeve t-shirt with a really neat flower pattern. I loved wearing even though the sleeves were too short. I was thinking of giving it away, but was hard to part with as I do love the pattern. Then recently I came across a blog with a tutorial in making a journal cover. PERFECT!
But I'm going a step further with not only making a journal cover, but also a tote bag to carry it in.
I forgot to take a photo of my t-shirt before cutting it up, but here is the journal.
The flowers are from the t-shirt, the black material is like a black linen table cloth.

Inside the journal cover is some more leftover material I found in storage.
The journal is a basic A4 art journal. This will be used for my to do lists, preparing for our monthly shop, and ideas I have for the home.
I haven't started on the tote bag yet, but it will have the bigger patterns from the t-shirt for it's front and back panels.
Realised I hadn't added a link for this journal cover. Have a look at Bloom :)
The weather has turned into wet, cold Autumn. So not much time in the garden, but our dear chickens are still providing us with about an egg a day.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Baking and Gardening Too

I haven't just been knitting :)
I have also been baking ginger biscuits for friends.

A "thinking of you" gift.

Dust baths for chickens. I have been scooping up all the lovely soil they dig for me.

Our mandarins are almost ready. I have been doing some tree maintenance.
While the weather has been good I have been outside, weeding our summer veggie garden. Removing more soil from the chicken run, and trying to catch up on our washing.

Hot Water Bottle Covers

Have completed my children's hot water bottle covers YAY!
All four done :) ready for winter

DS7 cover is well used now, we have had some cold nights lately.

DD10 loves to snuggle hers while reading her before bed book.

DS12 couldn't wait to use his cover.

DS13 likes his (thankfully)
Next will be the niece's hot water bottle covers.
But I'm having a little break and knitting with leftover wool a pair of bed socks for myself.
But if anyone is interested where I got the pattern for the hot water bottle covers.
Pierina's Snuggly Hot Water Bottle Cover

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back to Monthly shop

For a while we have been doing the normal weekly grocery shop. But a problem was a rising. We are paid Monthly, so the last week or 2 of the month we would be tight with our grocery money.

So it was time to put our thinking caps on, and some research on our old grocery receipts. Also past menu plans and our price book for both Pakn' Save and Countdown.
Armed with a shopping list and a set amount we could spend, we hit the shops. Aimed the most we could spend was $800 for the month, but came under at $662.38. That included meat, breakfast cereal, baking basics etc. Even toilet paper and other toiletries.
Our monthly shopping receipts, they are a lot longer :)

Next was the packing away all our shopping. We filled our freezer, filled our fridge and filled our pantry. Then we hit another problem, we still had some more items to store and no place to store them.
Our new monthly shop storage, above the pantry.
 Thankfully after a clean up in the kitchen we found the solution. There is space above our pantry, perfect for large storage containers.
Now we are seeing how long we can make all the food last. We have told the children, if something runs out (like milo) we are not buying another until the next monthly shop. So far so good as we are nearing the end of week two.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Slowly Making Changes

To our cleaning supplies.
Brought about a years supply of Dishwasher powder at the beginning of the month. Thought I was being very saving smart, as they were a good brand on sale.
Only to find it makes me very sick, so it must go.
But what to replace it with?
- Could go back to old brand, even though it's not on sale?
- Try another cheap brand?
- Try an Eco-friendly brand, even though it costs more?
- Or make my own?

I decided to look into making my own dishwasher powder, there were a few recipes. But one stood out as easy to get the ingredients, and easy to make.
From Bin Inn website I found Lyn Webster MAKE Dishwasher Powder.
My homemade dishwasher powder is lovely and fluffy. It doesn't overwhelm me with smell too.
I'm buzzing with the change in product and hopefully now I can get yucky Active out of my system.
MAKE Dishwasher Powder is cheap too. About $5.48 for the amount I made in the picture, and you use 1 tablespoon per load.
Now what next to change?
- Our washing powder?
- Our all purpose cleaner?
- Our dish washing liquid?
- Our shampoo?
- Our toothpaste?

The MAKE Dishwasher Powder recipe can be found at www.bininn.co.nz
Check out Lyn Webster website www.pigtitsandparsleysauce.co.nz where she was able to do $100 weekly shop for her family, and now even lower. As well as how you can get more of her recipes and budget information from her.