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Showing posts from 2011

Making your New Years resolutions easier...

I'm a big list maker. I don't have the greatest memory and as a result have developed my book of lists! Its just a A5 sized note book with coloured dividers so I can divide up my cooking lists, my gardening lists and craft lists from my to do lists!! In a fire - I'd be grabbing the book of lists before anything else!


But at the end of each year, I like to plan the year to come...


This is what I do...


First, I use my diary. I only have one and it has the whole families commitments in it. In our house its a case of if its not in the diary - its not happening! The diary sits on the kitchen bench and everyone is encouraged to write in it - especially the kids. (Need this stuff for cooking, need a new ruler, free dress day today, sports trip today- that sort of thing!)


Second, I track all the birthdays in here - so at the beginning of December, I buy my next years diary (I know, not the cheapest time to buy it, more the most practical) and I transfer all the birthdays and celebrati…

Recovering an old couch cushion, cheaply!

We have a lovely area under our pergola that we like to sit in and relax away from the hot Queensland sun and over time the hubby has made it very comfortable with box seats, planters, tables and even a native bee hive!

But the seats were a bit hard on the old backside to relax for too long on and so I bought some second hand couch cushions from my favourite op shop for $15 - well not small cushions but they're not really  mattress's either - Squabs? a friend said when I tried to describe them - you can just look at the picture to see what I mean.

Whilst they were cheap enough and certainly cheerful enough - they were not quite the colours and patterns I had hope to use under our pergola and so I decided to cover them - cheaply!

Here's what I did...



See - now what would you call that??

They even came with a back sitting up against part too - I assume they came off a cane couch of some sort.

I bought a second hand queen sized sheet in the colour that I wanted (and for 1/2 price!…

Removing stains from a cotton T-Shirt

I bought a sky blue T-shirt from a car boot sale for a whole $2 and the first time I wore it it got covered in BBQ splatter. I was really annoyed as it went so well with a skirt that I have, that really only a black or white T-shirt had previously matched. My husband said - send it to a dry cleaners, they'll be able to get it out - but I didn't want to spend $15 on a $2 shirt. In reality I probably wouldn't want to have turned a $20 shirt into a $35 shirt either... But that's beside the point. But I liked the shirt and wanted to see if I could get the stains out - I know I can put them in!!! So I googled stain removing and decided to have a go!


Here's what I did...


First - I forgot to take a photo of just the plain stains... but you might be able to see the blacky greasy stains that I haven't painted detergent on yet in this photo...

Then I got some detergent and dabbed it directly onto the stain with a paintbrush and left it for 1/2 an hour and then soaked the wh…

Making your own Christmas decorations - with a tropical theme

This year we are having relatives from both sides of the family and the world for Christmas Lunch. My Mother in Law suggested that I do something as far from a traditional Christmas I I could for our English relatives. Since they had left a cold and snowing England and were going on a pre-Christmas Cruise on one of those humongous floating city type liners, I decided to do a Tropical Christmas. but I still wanted to keep it Christmas-y and not just do a Hawaiian themed lunch type thing. So, I decided on a snowflake and hibiscus theme in pink, green and silver. The colours chosen has more to with the fact that I only have one table cloth big enough for our table that seats 12 and its a mint green type colour!


Here's what I did!


I cut out a million six sided snowflakes from standard A4 photocopy paper - these will go on the windows and hang from the ceiling.



I decorated the tree in pink hibiscus, green and silver baubles, green and silver snowflakes and a single 10m strand of silver ti…

Recyling Christmas cards, adding meaning but not really saving anything!

I came across this concept in 2007 and have been doing it every year since. A few of my friends have caught on and it has become a fabulous part of our Christmas! Each year I keep the cards we get sent and send them BACK to the person who sent it to us in the first place... "What," I hear you say, "how silly is that???" What I do is add a new sheet of paper to the inside and write a new message on it and over the years you get layers of Christmas messages which is kinda fun to read each year!

Its partly recycling but since cards are soooooo cheap (how do they do that?), you can buy 20 cards with envelopes for about $2, so this is less about being frugal and more about doing more than " Dear Bob and Sue, Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year, Best wished Jane and John Doe" each year.

The innocent looking card from the outside... One of my friends gets so into doing this that she even recycles the envelope - she opens the card, puts in a new…

Making Pumpkin Bread

I had a big pumpkin left over from Halloween and even though I had used plenty for dinners, I still had a fair bit left over. So I decided to pop some into a basic bread recipe and make pumpkin bread - just for something different.


Here's what I did...


Chop up about 500g of pumpkin - any kind!

Pop it in a pot and cook it until its soft.

In the meantime, put 250mls of filtered water, an egg, 2 table spoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a bowl.

Add 4 cups of flour (you can put up to a cup of wholemeal if you want to but too much and you will get a very "heavy" bread) 

Add 2 teaspoons of dried yeast - I use Lowans, found in the bakery section of my local Woolies.

Mix it up in the bowl with a knife or spoon and when its mixed as much as you can get it - up end the contents of the bowl onto the bench. I added some sunflower seeds and a bit of dukka for added flavor and texture to this batch - probably about 2 table spoons in total.

Once your pumpki…
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