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Showing posts from March, 2012

Greening my skin cleansing routine

I read on Nicola's blog - if it came from a plant about the way she is greening up her toiletries and in paticular, her skin cleansing routine which got stuck in a loop in my brain and eventually I had to do something about it.

I'm pretty good at buying green/natural/organic skin care lotions and makeup in the first place but I have a book called 'The Green Beauty Guide' and I wanted to make some bits an pieces out of that since I was on the cusp of needing more product anyway.


So I dug the book up, re-read some parts and dived into the kitchen to make some lotions and potions for myself...

Here's what I did...

I made up a cleanser with a combination of olive oil (which I normally use), rice bran oil (cause its a lot lighter and not so gluggy), some rose massage oil from the body shop, a few drops of rose and jasmine essential oils with some vanilla extract for scent.


  I decanted that into a flip top bottle and voila - step one of my two step cleansing process w…

Whats it like to live with no TV - at all, forever!?

My husband and I have been together for about 10 years and when I moved in with him, he hadn't got around to replacing his TV from his move and mine was wrestled from my flatmates woebegone embrace... to simply sit in the garage for the next few years!

We have been TV-less for at least 10 years now and between you and me, I don't know how people find the time to watch so much not-so-riveting rubbish!! 

The first question people always ask (and usually in incredulous tones) is; "What do you do all night then?" The flip answer I sometimes give alludes to my husbands prowess and although that may be the case - most evening we simply talk. We sit with a cuppa outside in the pergola and actually talk and discuss our day, dreams, hopes, kids, gardens, plans, whose fault it is for leaving the chicken coop  door open and the subsequent ruin of a part of the garden - you know, all the things that make up a relationship!

We spend a lot of time on the evening meal quite often caus…

Feeding your cat: A frugal and healthy way!

One of the issues with owning a cat is that they need to eat. Left to their own devices they will hunt and kill all manner of animals and bird that we would prefer they didn't. So the responsibility falls to us as their owners to provide approprite and healthy food for them.

Like most pet owners, we bought standard pet food in a can from the local supermarket. Fairly quickly, Isobel (the cat) let us know that she was a fish girl and no other canned anything would suffice. So we got her big cans of fish. I started to resent these cans of fish as they absolutely stink after a few days in the fridge (Oh the joys of living in the tropics!) so we bought smaller cans that didn't go off  as quickly but were more expensive and we had more packaging to dispose of.

One day while I was in the local fish market shop - I spotted some wee fishes that reminded me of the ones we used to catch at the wharf as a kid and take home and give to the family cat. So I ordered two sardines and two strip…

Team colours: A cheap way to tell your teams apart!

As some of you may know, I play basketball (albeit badly...) on Tuesday nights. Its a pick up social game at the local PCYC and each week, the teams are made up with whoever turns up. For the last few years there has been a core of about 13-15 of us playing a 5 a-side game. this means there is a sub for those nights its just too hot to run in the Queensland heat, you ate too much dinner before you came or your mobile rings while you are on the court! (We play for fun, not sheep stations!)

This year we have had twenty or so players turning up each night. The PCYC is ok to give us two courts and to have 2 games going on at the same time but we discovered that we can't tell who is on whose team as they change each week! We had been given some netball bibs many years ago and so we had enough for one team - thus making us bibs v non-bibs each week. With two games playing now - we need a better solution and so I made up these 'sashes' for us to wear out of old sheets from the op …

Getting rid of ants in your home - naturally!

I have lived in this house for over ten years and for over ten years we have hosted a great many ants as they use the front of the house as a massive any highway. I don't know where they go and I don't know where they come from despite efforts over the years to trace their nest.

They march across the back of the neighbours house, along her gate, across the fence, along our gate, along the side of of our house, across the front and down the side to the fence where they disappear into the 'good' neighbours place (Good fences make good neighbours. When we put up a huge non-see through fence they became much better neighbours!) 



The highway is usually about 10cm to a foot wide and, as a general rule of thumb, that where they stay. I'm guessing that all the rain has upset them and in the last month or two they have been coming across our verandah, not the front of the house

When you have visitors to the front door, its quite a sight.


Over the years we have sprayed 'em w…

Peg bucket out of an old milk bottle!

My husband does the washing in our house. He was fussy when I met him about his laundry and continues to be so to this day. In order to retain domestic harmony (and cause I'm too lazy to wash pedantically like he does) I most magnanimously let him be in charge of the washing!

One of the things he has always done is use a milk bottle for a peg bucket. Its cheap (free really), quick to make and does the job perfectly...

Here's what he does...

He simply uses a pair of scissors to cut the bottle into this shape.


Then cuts a bit out of the back of the handle so it will hang on the line.


And the pegs go inside after he has poked a couple of drainage holes in the bottom.


And it is done! Simple, easy and green!

A 3 litre bottle hold enough pegs for a wash in our house and the hole is big enough to get your hand in an out of with a fist full of pegs easily. The other great thing is that it sits flat when you want to put it down and is still easy to get the pegs in and out of. If you dont lea…

Down to Earth. A guide to simple living - The Book

I came across Rhonda's website when she was just starting to end the process of getting her book published and watched with interest as the proof copies appeared and read her posts about what she was thinking. Lots of people were writing to say they had ordered copies and so I thought I would have a look at one too - Having never seen a blog turn into a book, I was curious to say the least.


My first port of call when looking for any book is our local library. I wandered through the catalogue, backwards and forwards and couldn't find Rhonda's book anywhere. So I emailed the chief Librarian and asked if she was thinking of buying it and if so, I'd be keen to borrow it.


It arrived at the library on the same day that the books went on sale! I got first dibs on it and by the time I picked it up a day later, there were 13 people with requests in for it already - Now that's a popular book!


So what did I think?


Its great! I somehow thought there would be more recipes, more …

Wow! I've been Leibster-ed!

Wow! I'm speechless! But I have a big grin on my face! Evi, over at Sister Sun has given me a Leibster Award! Thank you Evi - I am really quite chuffed! Especially since I haven't been blogging for very long! A Liebster Blog Award is given by bloggers who have been Leibstered themselves to other to talented and loved bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word, meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favorite. The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is that it is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to create new connections and bring attention to these wonderful blogs! There are a few rules that go along with accepting the award: 
- Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog. - Link back to the presenter who presented the award to you. - Copy and paste the award on to your blog. - Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs with 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. (with Bloggers followers gadget no…

Bread tag electrical cord markers - sorting out the powerboards!

I don't know about you... But most of our power boards are in hard to reach places - behind the couch, stuck way back under a cabinet, under the desk - I know I'm getting old when I need to plug in or unplug some thing and have to climb under the desk, that's for real!

And then to add insult to injury, I usually end up pulling out the wrong plug and having to go through the procedure all over again...

I was cruising the net one day and came across this GREAT idea to quickly and easily label my cords for once and for all...

Have a look here! There are some other good ideas for cord lableing as well!

Here's what I did...

First, I had to collect these bread tags from work as we don't actually buy bread...


Then you simply write the name of the appliance on it with a permanent marker.


Then attach each clip to the RIGHT cord (Tip right there for beginners!) and drop it back behind the couch, desk or cabinet. And next time you want to pull a cord for some reason - all going to …

Time saving, money saving menu planning!

Like most people, I have a reasonably active, pretty filled up life. One of the things that I used to always be behind the 8 ball with was grocery shopping and sorting out what we are having for dinner. The two kinda go together.

One day I came across the concept of Menu planning. Since I started that, I have taken a HUGE amount of stress out of my life by knowing whats for dinner each night, saved a ton of money case we don't need to buy takeaways and we eat a lot healthier - cause we aren't eating so many takeaways.

Menu planning is a wonderful thing!

Here's what I did...

First I get out my diary and note how many meals I need (are we off to a birthday dinner, having visitors, working late, playing sport, going to a concert?) I have a quick look to see how many crock pot, fend for yourself toasted sandwich or baked beans on toast meals the family will need and then I get out a handful of cook books and start browsing. I get paid fortnightly and so I do a fortnightly menu pl…

Slowing Down - Reflections on February 2012

I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a while and last month she set a challenge to record on our blog monthly how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I did one for January and really enjoyed it. This is my February reflection of 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. I have starting making an effort to have leftovers each night for the hubbies lunch so he isn't buying junk food each day. He is the biggest junk food consumer in the house as he is on the road all day and its easier to buy a lunch than to pack a lunch. 

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. I do a fortnightly menu plan and use that as the basis for my shopping list - and then try to stay out of the shops. Also been making a bit of an effort to use up some of the preserves and jams that we have. Stra…
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