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Showing posts from June, 2012

Wow - I've been "Lovely Blogged"!

Barbara over at The New Good Life popped over yesterday to award me with a "One Lovely Blog Award". Which is kinda cool and really made my day!

In order to accept the award, there are a number of things one must do...

1 – Show your Thanks – Thank the person who awarded the honor and link back to them Thank you Barbara!

2 - Share seven things about yourself. In no paticular order:

I jumped out of an aeroplane 29 times in my early 20's during my "parachuting is cool" phase - Its an expensive hobby (and he turned out to have a girlfriend...)

I like to read and am not very good at taking time to read a book - I want to know what happens and read and read and end up staying up 1/2 the night until the book is finished!

I love black flavored tea's and I currently have French Earl Grey (with Lavender), Black Chai, Rose Petal, Stockholme (various flowers), Monk (pear and bergamot) and Earl Grey Romantica (with scotch heather flowers)

One of my all time favorite thin…

Quick Cheap Birthday Cake Idea!

There is nothing like having only a few hours to put together a birthday cake that needs to feed a tribe of people, travel well, be put together almost instantly, be affordable and still be attractive to the birthday boy...

I stopped by a couple of bakeries and almost had a heart attack at the prices - I had no idea you could pay over $40 for a cake! Then I dropped into one of the big super markets and almost had a heart attack - did you know you can buy a cake for under $4? I wonder what it was made of...

What to do? Pay the money or poison us all? Then I spotted some cheap colourful cupcakes... And had an idea!

Here's what I did...

Bought the cupcakes for just under $1 each already iced and 'sprinkled'. Ducked back into the supermarket and got some of those premade icing decoration thingos and rushed home.

Popped the cupcakes onto a tray with a paper doily (that I quickly ironed) left over from Christmas. Found the 10,000 birthday candles left over from the times I used…

Recycling and Organsing Wrapping Paper

I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, but I grab pretty wrapping papers, smooth them out and keep them to wrap other presents in whenever anyone around me opens a present!

Most of the time the paper is just fine to reuse to wrap pressies or it gets used for decorating notebooks/school books and crafty projects before finding its way to the worms or compost heap.
For a long time I just stuffed the paper into a box and occasionally used a piece. I was being supa-green by saving it but because I wasn't organised, I wasn't actually doing a lot of good as it was too hard to find a piece of usable, suitable paper in the two minutes before we walk out the door to the party and remember to both grab the pressie and to wrap it!

A remedy to this wrapping riddle was needed!

Here's what I did...

First I found a spot in the hub of the house with space that could be used for this task.

Then I emptied the drawer of all the junk.

Then I sorted all the papers, bags, tags, c…

Heavy Car Key Solution!

As a few you of you may have already worked out - I have a few jobs, and with those jobs seems to come many keys. I popped them on my keyring (as one does) and after a few weeks people started making comments about how heavy my key ring was. Not to carry (although its a bit of a pain) but for the ignition of my car.

Apparently, if you have too much weight on your keys it will eventually pull the ignition out of alignment and your car simply wont start one day. To start with, that frightened me. Both the inconvenience of not being able to start my car and the bill of having to fix the ignition, and so, I separated up my keys.

Of course what happens next is that I arrived at a job unable to get in and had to drive home and get the keys (turning my initial  twenty minute drive into an hour) and then being angry and frustrated at being late/unorganised and having the rest of my day run an hour late.

So I put them in the glove box of my car - and promptly swapped cars with my husband, drov…

LifeLine Bookfest Volenteering is fun!

I have been a fan of the LifeLine Bookfest for a long time. Every six months, LifeLine holds a humongous secondhand book sale at the Brisbane Convention Centre - and I'm there!

There is nothing like the anticipation of opening up a book and delving into the pages for information or to find yourself in another world... Thank goodness that its open for the long weekends. I can take a while to choose a book... or ten!

Here's what I did...

Back in January, they had a stall recruiting volunteers and on a whim, I decided to put my name down. That was the last time I thought about it until I got an email a month ago asking me if I was still interested? They are very professional these LifeLine volunteer organisers and my email had info about everything from food to parking, to the various jobs up for grabs and how to get in early!

I got quite excited about the prospect of spending a weekend with a million books (an enthusiasm for which my husband did not seem share as enthusiasticall…

Make your own warming microwaveable wheatbag with barley!

Since I have started my new job(s) I have had a a few aches and pains from lifting things that are slightly too heavy, in an awkward way. (But I would argue that there isn't a graceful, pain free way to carry a wedding cake into a room with 100 people watching...) and so I dug out my wheat pack to pop on a few aches and pains... But it was very small. I have no idea why I bought a wheat pack the size of ones palm, but I can tell you, it didn't cover the neck or the back aches. I was so sure it was bigger when I bought it.

So, I decided that I could make a wheat pack after I had a look at the prices and decided I wasn't paying that sort of money. (Which is probably why I bought a small one, now I think about it...) So off I went to the shops to get some wheat, and do you think I could find any? No. So I bought some barley for $1.45 and hoped that it could be used the same way... (If not I was going to put it in a soup!)

A bit of a google search later and it seems that you …

The Story of Stuff

While cruising the Internet some time ago, I came across a video called "The Story of Stuff". For most of you visiting this blog, you've probably seen it.

Its written and performed by a woman called Annie Leonard who is an activist in the US of A who decided that the Internet was a good way to get her message across. Since then she has a whole website dedicated to changing our consumer habits. I still really like the original 'Story of Stuff' and revisited it recently with my niece and her new husband as we were having a discussion about our lack of junk mail and her need to buy stuff for her new house and the baby that was on the way.

For those who haven't seen it - here is the link. Its a twenty minute video, excellent for children to watch and very engaging! Its part animated and part real person and very informative.

I have noticed some new videos on Annie's site since I last visited (Link here) for those who know the Story of Stuff, and for those lik…

Citrus vinegar cleaner

While having a look at the various blogs that are joining with Christine's monthly reflections at Slow Living Essentials, I saw a recipe and link for a citrus vinegar cleaner that I thought might be not only easy to make but effective too!

Since I was making a Lemon and Lime chicken in the crockpot that evening - it seemed serendipitous that I should see a citrus cleaner at the same time! Here is the link to Wendys blog where I first saw the cleaner and the one to the blog that she got it from.

Here's what I did...

I simply peeled the skins off the lemons and limes with a vege peeler.

And then soaked them in plain cheap white vinegar on the window sill.

Then used it undiluted for my shower and diluted 50/50 with plain vinegar for the benches - Smells  great, works just fine!
Just as an aside, I saw some info about using Mandarin peels somewhere too - don't - they turn the whole thing into a gelatinous mess! Have fun and enjoy making your own cleaner!
Score card: Green-ness:

Slowing Down The "Slow Living Essential" Way! - May 2012

I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a while and in January she set a challenge to record on our blog, monthly, how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I have been doing this for the last four months and really got a lot out of it. This is my May reflection on Slowing Down - the Slow Living Essentials way!

Here's what I did...

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
As busy as this month has been for me, I usually cook from scratch, and especially in the crock pot in the cooler months. A new recipe that we will try again was sizzle steak (thin BBQ steak) rolled around grated seasonal veges (parsnip, zucchini, garlic, onion and carrot) then popped in the bottom of the crock pot, topped with a bottle of diced tomatoes from the tomato bottling frenzy of 2009, some salt, pepper and a dash of red wine. Cook for 8 hours on low, to…
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