Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas cupcakes

Last week I received a lovely package from Mandy at A little Space Like Home and one of the things in it was these super cute cupcake toppers. My kids absolutely loved making cupcakes so we could use them.



Each day from the 1st of December I have been trying to do something Christmassy to bring the spirit of Christmas into our home.

So far we have put up the tree, put up the advent calendar, sung some Christmas carols, baked Christmas cupcakes and read Christmas stories. We will be doing something every day.

What are your favourite things to do this time of year?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weight loss and other updates

I lost 2kgs this week! My weigh in is on Thursdays and I am hoping for another kilo. I have been a lot more conscious of what I eat now that I have to write it down. I have still had a few little treats here and there, but I have stayed under my points and am making healthier choices.

My house is coming along. I have replaced some of our curtains, put new ones up where there wasn't any (I will have pictures soon).

I have also completed quite a few craft projects I had been planning such as dream catchers, hair clips, an advent calendar, head bands from old t-shirts and final put pictures in frames to hang on my wall.

I have finally been sticking to sort of cleaning schedule too. It is getting much easier as time goes on since I know my routine. I still hate cleaning, but hey it has to be done!

I have almost finished decluttering and it is feeling so good! Mind you there is still lots of room for improvement if I wanted, but I am content with how we are going for now.

So what have you been up to?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weight Watchers Online

The other week I won a 6 month membership to Weight Watchers online, which I was pretty excited about. I put off joining until yesterday since I knew I would be traveling and too busy to even think.

So yesterday I logged in and signed up to start my 6 months. I had no idea it is so expensive. The program is good and does make it easy to track stuff so that's good. There are a few things I disagree with, but overall I think it is a good program.

Apparently if I stick to it I should lose 2kgs this week, which is like a kick start. I am 12kgs outside the highest weight according to BMI (which is NOT the best way to judge your size anyway once you start to lose weight and build muscle, but anyway...)

It's 5 weeks until Christmas and ideally I would like to lose 5kgs by then, if not more or at least reshape my body some more. I am not overly unhappy with my size, more unhappy with the wobbly belly and the fact nothing is toned.

So onto of doing Weight Watchers I am upping my exercise (which I can track on there as well.) My husband keeps saying he wants to be healthy too, but actions speak louder than words.

Today is day 2 for me. I started at 84kgs and need to be 72kgs or less.

Who's with me to lose 5kgs by Christmas?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Decisions - Halloween costumes, homeschooling and life

I have so many decisions to make, some small, some much larger. Yet I feel like I have to wait before I can make any decision.

You see, my house is on the market. If it sells we move. If it doesn't we stay. If we move we will be renting, but the money from the sale will pay off our personal loan and leave us with a nice sum in the bank. If we don't sell we still have to pay off that loan each week. We also need to finish the renovations to the house.

I need to decide what to wear for Halloween. We weren't going to be doing anything, but now we are going to Canberra and my lovely sister is doing something for her kids, and some of her nieces and nephews at her sister in laws house, so I need a quick outfit for me and my kids. How sad is it we have pretty much nothing. I do have a gothic/medieval style dress for me I am pretty sure I can use somehow and 1 fairy outfit, plus a tutu I think. I will be checking my stuff tomorrow. (Go me with last minute planning).

Schooling as reared it's ugly head again. We enrolled our daughter at a school in the next suburb. They just raised their prices from like $10 a week to $50, 3hrs a day, 5 days a week. I realise this is still cheap. We have a few issues with it now though.

1.) It is expensive in comparison to what we expected and what my family are paying, in another state. The one I want to live in.
2.) It is attached to a public primary school, so you would assume minimal fees.
3.) Now my husband has permanent work, which is shift work, we are not exactly sure how I will get our daughter there all the time. It is too far for both kids to walk, we don't have bikes and even if we did it is partially up hill. We are getting them out walking more in the hopes that by the time she goes to school, our kids will be able to walk the distance. Although on hot summer days or wet winter days that is going to suck.
4.) If we sell our house, we will not be attending this school.
5.) The idea of homeschooling still appeals, but we are not sure it is practical for us.


So many variables for so many things just rely on whether we sell our house or not. It has one week left of the real estate agreement. I am not sure what we want to do, continue for a bit longer or just pull it and realise that we are stuck here for 4years or so.

House prices are dropping and we kind of just want the house gone. We don't want to be here in 4 years. My husband has been working pretty much every single day, leaving no time to do any renovations and I don't see the house getting finished any time soon. I just want out.

What to do, what to do. I know I am the only one (with my husband) who can make these decision. I guess most of it will be made in a week, when the agency agreement is up and we decide whether to continue or not. Or if our house sells this week, that would make the decision for us too.

I want the house sold.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gluten Free Food I Won!!


Last month I entered a give away on Nellbe's Gluten Free Kitchen. Whilst I really hoped to win, I certainly didn't expect to!

I must say though, that it came at a time we really need it. I won $75 worth of gluten free food from Silly Yaks, which consisted of:
2 chicken leek and mushroom pies
2 sausage rolls
2 meat pies
2 steak and mushroom pies
2 apple tarts
2 packets potato gnocci
2 choc raspberry tarts (my favourites!)
2 packets of anzac biscuits which my kids devoured instantly.

We had not had many treats in this house for a while so it was really nice to get ones like this. My husband tried the biscuits and could not believe they were gluten free, they tasted 'normal'.

So thank you so much Nellbe!




Saturday, July 16, 2011

Free Food

Last week we had a lot of help in the form of free food from a friend. They get a van load of food each week to give to people who need it. I could not believe what we got!





4 loaves of multigrain bread

2 packets of cherries

4 capsicums

3 bunches of beetroot

3kgs of apples

3 packets of snow peas

2 bunches of celery

1 lemon

1 cos lettuce

1 bag of chestnuts

1 cucumber



This is amazing! There is so much to make with all of this. Some of my first ideas were:

- Stirfry (snow peas, capsicum, celery with a few others things I have)

- Beetroot chunky dip (using some chestnuts crushed, roast some beetroot and ricotta cheese I have already) this could be used mixed with pasta for a yummy dinner we love

- Apple cherry pie (although the cherries just got eaten so fast)

- The lemon will be used for a cold remedy as we have been sick

- Lettuce to be used with taco’s

- Salad – using lettuce, cucumber, chestnuts, celery, capsicum etc…

I have had to Google beetroot recipes as it is not something we eat a lot of but I do like them. They are really good for you to. I have read about others using the juice of beetroot to colour food pink, so am considering this for my daughter’s birthday. I would freeze it.

I saw a curry recipe I am thinking about, as I have the rest of the ingredients, as well as a beetroot cake or brownie recipe. I like carrot, zucchini and pumpkin cakes so I am sure I would like chocolate beetroot cake.

So now I am going to be cooking up a storm and should have pics this week to show you what I have made.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stepping back

The past few weeks have been eventful to say the least. It has not been easy to remain positive and I have felt pulled in many directions.

I discussed some of what has been going on in my life here. Since then more has happened such as my husband being told there is no more work, our computer crashing and numerous other things. It is ok though, because these issues has meant a lot more open communication between my husband and I, as well as us realising what it is we both want to work towards and where we want to spend our time.

One of the best things for me, to come from al of this has been my husbands acceptance. At the moment I am going through counselling for some issues, which he has not been overly supportive of. The past week I was finally able to tell him some things I have wanted to tell him for over 6 years, our entire marriage! The things I wanted to tell him showed why I react the way I do or why I feel a certain way about certain things.

On top of this, the way we have been able to be so open with each other about things has meant I have been able to step back from things I do not want to do. Previously he would 'encourage' me to push through or just do it. Things such as attending family functions when at the time I wanted to punch someone in the face. Instead I would go and be nice to them, all the while it was eating me up inside. Of course, I do not always feel like this towards people, but there have been many times I have not wanted to attend something, but did.

Now, I am comfortable enough to say, no. I don't want to.

I don't have to do everything just because it is expected. I am allowed to step back and do what I feel is within my limits or what I feel like doing.

Obviously there are things we all have to do that we don't want to, but a lot of the time we could just step back and say No!

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to not only finally be ok within myself to do this, but also that my husband is ok with me doing this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gluten free food


We have been doing some more gluten free cooking. The above picture is Paprika Chicken, which is a favourite in our house. It is so easy. All you need it 2 - 3 Tablespoons gluten free flour, 1 Tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chilli powder and 1/2 teaspoon chicken stock powder. Mix that together and coat the chicken in it. Cook the chicken pieces either in a frying pan until cooked through or bake in an oven.


This not so great looking cookies were made using pie mix by Rowes. I added 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 - 2 tablespoons of honey as well as the butter and eggs. My daughters loved them.

This is a really bad picture of a vegetable stir fry I did. I was really surprised by how much I liked this. It was just a variety of vegetables stir fried with 2 Tablespoons of Gluten Free soy sauce and 1 Tablespoon of honey as the sauce. I mixed in some cooked rice noodles at the end and it was great!

I have been pretty lazy with experimenting lately and we have gotten fairly bored of our regular food, so I need to try some new recipes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Exciting things are happening! Laundry before and after

My husband lost his job! Ok, that is not the exciting part. (If you want more details on the job loss click here and to read about our action plan click here.) Anyway, the exciting part is he now has time to do stuff around the house. Today the gardens are getting cleaned up, greenery removed and the weed mat put down next to the drive way. Plus if things go well there are a few other things which will be done inside.

He did have 4 hours work at some cold storage place this morning. We had no idea how long he would be working, but had decided last night we need to get this house ready to sell asap. We’d rather sell it whilst we can than lose it to the bank if we can’t afford to keep it.

So whilst he was at work I removed the scummy shower curtain rail. It has not been used since we moved back and was one of those things we planned to do and just never did. I scrubbed pen marks off walls. My youngest has destroyed all our walls with her ‘creativity’.

I also decided to tackle the laundry. One of my issues with it was the lack of storage/shelves/anything. It felt too small to do much, but I wanted to put some shelves up. They had been sitting there a while, so I got out my husbands drill and did it.
I forgot to take a real before shot, but remembered when I was doing it so our sort of before is this one, with 1 shelf already up.


As you can see there is stuff on the hot water system, usually my washing powder and things are on there too, but I moved them, so I could place the drill there. The chair is my ladder.
Now the after with my shelving...
The other side of my laundry looked worse. I had stuff in boxes on my dryer and just nowhere for anything.

Ok, those two slim brown boxes are the shelves, and the chair is not normally there either, but still it was not a good laundry...
(The yellow bucket lives there for various reasons and the blue thing is the pipe to direct the lint stuff out of the dryer, it extends, but rests there for easy access, although it doesn't get used much.)

So our laundry is looking much bettter, we took 1 load of greenery and stuff from the yard to the tip and have started on another thing we are hoping to finish tomorrow, so I will show you before and afters of that too.

The plan is to get it finished in the next month. The job loss has certainly proven to be a big motivator.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Home Grown Carrots

Check these out. I was at my sister in law and brothers house last weekend and these were on the table. Home grown carrots. We got to wash and eat some. It was so nice to eat a real carrot. It was sweeter than the cheap shop ones and such a novelty to eat something they had grown.

They have a few beds and various things in them, so it will be interesting to see what they produce.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gluten free rice paper rolls

I have wanted to make these since I was a kid. Not sure why it has taken me until now to make them but I am glad I finally did. They were much easier than I expected and even tastier than I thought they would be.

Ingredients
8 rice paper sheets
1 carrot grated
bean sprouts
8 small lettuce leaves (Or larger ones cut up)
cooked chicken

Place the rice paper sheets one at a time into a bowl of warm water to soften. Remove and place on a damp towel.
Place the lettuce leaf then other ingredients on the the paper sheet. Fold on part over to cover the ingredients, then fold in the sides and roll up.

That was it. It is so easy. The packet actually said to use prawns, but my husband is allergic.

I mixed a little gluten free soy sauce and some honey together to be my dipping sauce and ate a few. They were surprisingly filling!

You could experiment with different fillings and sauces. Use whatever you have and whatever you like. I plan on doing a sweet chilli sauce next time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gluten Free Pikelets


Yesterday I decided to experiment with gluten free pikelets. For some reason whenever I make anything gluten free from scratch it ends up tasting not so great. I can do main meals, but baked goods just taste, well, I can't really put my finger on it, but they don't taste like they should!

I have found my favourite brand of a few things, Macro. I love thier chocolate mudcake and their buttermilk pancake mix. They turn out right every time I make them and they are so easy. No, this is not a sponsored post from them, I just happen to really like them. I am pretty excited too as they keep expanding their range.

Tonight I decided instead of plain ones I would mix it up and we could have a few flavours.
- raspberry
- honey and cinnamon
- raspberry, honey and cinnamon (these were my favourites)

I did a few plain as well for my daughter how does not really like anything not plain. I could only get my husband to try the plain ones. He was screwing up his face before he even tasted them because they were gluten free, which in his mind equates to tasteless or yuck. (My attempts have not exactly helped to change this opinion).

My daughters kept trying to steal them off the plate as I was cooking.



It was so easy to make as the bottle is one of those just add water and shake mixes. To create my flavours here is what I did.

Raspberry
Pour batter onto puttered pan then crushed 1 frozen raspberry to each pikelet.

Honey and Cinnamon
Pour batter onto buttered pan. Swirl about 1/2 tsp of honey on to the batter then sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over them.

Raspberry, Honey and Cinnamon
Pour batter onto buttered pan, crush 1 frozen raspberry over the pikelet, swirl 1/2 tsp honey over it then sprinkle with cinnamon.

I just cooked them for a few minutes either side and served. You could dust with sugar if you want, but we ate them just like that.

YUM!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Big decisions


There have been a few things that I have had to make a decision about or do lately which have left me feeling sick. You know that feeling where something just isn’t right and it’s not what you should do? Where you get the pit in your stomach or actually feel like you might vomit.




I have had so many thoughts running around my head the past few days and I know I have not been the best to live with as a result. I have been thinking a lot about my life, the direction I want to go in, dreams and ambitions I have, the things I want for my family, the way I want to raise my daughters etc... You know, just every aspect of my life in general.



When I was younger I made some decisions that weren’t what I wanted to do, but rather what I felt was expected of me to do. They weren’t wrong decisions, just different to what I really wanted. Ever since the second some of those decisions were made I have questioned if I did the right thing and have often thought I didn’t, but I can’t change them.



Today, I decided to write it all out. I wrote out how I was feeling, the decisions and circumstances which lead me to the point I am at in my life and what decisions I wish I had made and where I wish my life currently was.



I sat down with blank paper. Pages and pages of it, as I did not care how much I wrote. I was just writing anything and everything that came to me. All the feelings and thoughts that popped into my head. To me, it was all relevant. I wanted to see the real me. I was not seeking out thoughts. I was just sitting in the sunshine writing everything.



And what I discovered as I wrote and as my true feelings came to the surface was very interesting. I won’t say much about it all yet, as I need to discuss it with my husband and actually look into it, but it made sense.



It was quite an emotional thing to do.



I know many people who have just let go of what it was they wanted to do or just given up and I wanted to. Well, a part of me really wanted to let go of everything and just continue on with my life as is. A much larger part of me says I can’t. I can’t let go of it. I need to do it or I will regret it forever.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to overcome your fear of spiders

I grew up in Tasmania and spiders were a common thing where we lived. We had lots of trees which huntsmen spiders in particular loved. I do not remember seeing a redback, white tail, funnel web or other highly poisonous spider until we moved to the 'mainland'.

Incase you are wondering what a huntsman looks like its this...

Enormous huntsman spider
Photo by from dracophylla


As a child here is what my dad did to help me get over my fear of spiders.

One day, he was holding a small, non poisonous black spider. He showed me. Asked me if I would like a hold.

I most certainly did not.

He convinced me it was harmless and despite me saying no, put it on me. (I would like to point out, I was not screaming or really terrified and had I been, I am sure he would not have done it, so no like child abuse or anything, don't worry).

So it crawled on my arm, which felt funny, but yeah, was no biggie. We did it a few more times and I was no longer scared.

In fact I developed quite a keen interest in spiders, borrowed books from the library, studied what spiders there were, vowed never to live in Sydney as they have the wonderful funnel web and other such lovely spiders I had no intention of ever seeing. It was 1992 and I was 7.

Fast forward a few years and my sisters and I left our house to walk to school. Our house was on the diagonally opposite block to the school, one house down. So we walked across the road and were pretty much there.

This particular day we crossed the road and a lady screeched to a halt in front of our house and jumped out screaming. We asked what was wrong. She had moved the mirror in her car and a huntsmen dropped out. So I crossed the road and got in her car to pick it up. Yes, with my bare hands. I was either 10 or 11 at the time.

Meanwhile mum had raced out of the house having heard the tyres screech and a hysterical woman she thought one of us had been hit. Instead she sees one daughter on one side of the road and another inside this freaking out womans car. Once mum found out what was going on she did not come any closer. She was terrified of spiders.

I got the spider out, the lady was grateful, mum went inside and I went to school. Yes, my teacher loved me. I took it right into class to show her what I caught on the way to school.

"Look miss" I open my hands. She of course jumps back and tells me to take it outside.

It was not the first nor the last time I picked out a huntsman. They are pretty harmless.

I'm not insane though. I won't pick up bad spiders like redbacks and things. I just kill them.

One time I did catch a funnel web. I was about to go swimming, right after we had moved to Sydney. I am about to jump in the pool and what do I see? A freakin funnel web! WHAT? Damn you Sydney, I never should have moved here.


In case you didn't know, they can still survive in water for hours. Air gets trapped in the hair on their legs or something, so there is no point trying to drown most spiders.

We (my best friend and I) were living way out on a sort of farm on Sydneys far outskirts. I called out to her to get me a bottle or jar or something and a piece of paper or card since she was in the house. Meanwhile I scooped it out of the pool with the leaf scooper thing and dumped it on the ground.

I'll be honest. I was scared. I had no shoes, just my swimmers on and this thingscould probably run at me fast if it wanted. It was about 2 inches long as well. Gross.

Bec comes down towards the pool, "What do you need it for?" When I tell her and point to the spider the bottle promptly gets thrown at me, she screams and jumps back.

The funnel web is in a ready to pounce position but I am still not sure it is even alive. I had shaken the pool thingy when I scooped it out and it did not move. I had poked it with the pool thingy and it had not moved. I decided it's dead.

So I moved in closer, lay the bottle near it and get the paper ready to help slide it into the bottle. Just as I was doing this, it moved.


Kidding!

It was totally dead. I slipped it in the jar and took it inside with a lid on. The whole time it stayed in the attack position. I kept it to show the others we lived with as there were kids there and I wanted them to look out.

It was a good sized female too.

Basically if you want to overcome your fear, learn about which ones can actually hurt you or are aggressive so you will know what to do. Most spiders will leave you alone. Ones like daddy long legs are actually good to keep around, as they keep redbacks away. Just like a red belly black snake is fine to leave around as it keeps away brown snakes who are vicious and aggressive.

In case you are wondering, yes. In the same house as I found the funnel web, a red belly black snake lived under our porch. It was more scared of us and would slither away as we approached. Yes they are poisonous, BUT, since it had come, there was no longer the brown snake issue, which is much, much worse. They will attack you for no reason.

At this point my daughters have no fear of spiders. They do not touch them and I want to teach them so as they grow they will not be afraid of them.

I am ok with snakes and spiders, but cockroaches make me want to scream and vomit at the same time. They make my skin crawl and I cannot stand them. Same goes for rats and mice. Irrational, I know and I am learning to get over it, but I did not have exposure to them when I was young, so they are just DISGUSTING!

Sweet dreams tonight! lol.

Gardening - It wasn't easy (WARNING - spiders)

See this glorious picture of behind my garage? It was taken about 7 months ago. Yes, that is my 3 year old in the picture, in her favourite Tinkerbell dress!

Anyway, you can see vines galore right? Well, by the time I finally attacked them the other day they had grown to be covering virtually all the white of the garage you can see. Yeah, super fun right?

They covered 3/4 of the roof, all over one side, the back and part of the other side plus along the side of the fence and around back towards the palm tree. A LOT of vines.

I had been waiting on my husband to do it, but he has been quite exhausted from work. Also he is terrified of spiders.

I had already cut back our overgrown palm tree


This is after I half cut it back. I've done more since. I'll get an after photo soon. This thing wanted to stab me to death. It contained numerous spiders and I suspect I may have been bitten. I felt a prick on my neck, but I had been stabbed so many times by the palm tree I did not think much of it. After about 5 - 10 minutes I felt really nauseous and tired. I took my daughters inside, put them to bed (it was their nap time anyway) and fell asleep. I barely woke when my husband got home. It was enough to grunt at him and pretty much pass out again.

When I awoke hours later I still felt sick, but better than I had. It was only then it dawned on me it may have been a spider. I'm a bit slow! lol.


There was about 5 of these guys living in it and they aren't really badly poisonous


Back to the vines. I decided to pull them all down. Whilst I was going for it with my bare hands, it dawned on me "Oh, there's probably some spiders in here and I don't really need to get bitten again." (This was about 3 - 4 weeks after said spider bite, so you know, long enough to forget.)

As soon as I thought that, I saw one. He was a grey one and if he stretched out he was as big as my hand. So I went off and got my gardening gloves and continued hacking. I had to use the ladder to climb on top of the garage. I cut, raked and pulled that baby until I got all the wisteria and intertwined vines, spiders nests etc... off hte garage. Next I had the fence.

As it turns out, under all those vines, there was some wire fencing in there between the garage and the fenceline. It was nice and rusty and the vines had weaved themselves through it like no ones business.

So I decided to wiggle them out of the ground and hack the vines off there, then dig them out. As I was doing this I found a spider city. I am talking about the size of a soccer ball. Yeah, awesome.

I was so over this whole thing by now, I thought screw it. I shook the crap out of the vines, scared the spiders out and hauled that hunk of vine and rusty fence out of there.

I am proud to say this time I did NOT get bitten and this is why when gardening you should wear denim, gloves and cover up. (Too bad I forgot the hat and sunscreen and my face is now reminiscent of a tomato)

I piled it all up on the driveway, where I have the dozen or so palm leaves which are 2m+ ea in length.

You know what my husband noticed when he got home? The pile of crap. Not the clear garage, just the vines. And no, he did not put 2 and 2 together and go, wow, those vines must be off the garage since that is the only place on the whole property we have vines.

No. He thought, great, more mess!

Instead he should've thought "Thank you honey for spending 4 hours outside ripping the guts out of our garden so that it looks half decent and now I can paint the kitchen for you on the weekend whilst you visit your family instead of doing the garden. Gee I love you."

THAT is what should have crossed his mind. Not, great more crap on the driveway I have to clean up!

And FYI it is not him that has been cleaning it up. It has been me cutting the palm leaves into thirds so they fit in the green bin to be emptied each week. Me getting stabbed and being a feast for spiders.


Oh and in case you are wondering why I am not so scared of spiders, I'll tell you tomorrow. My dad was awesome. (ok, his method apparently only worked for me, not my other sisters)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You're not like you used to be


My husband recently pointed out "You used to dress like xyz and wear your hair like xyz and your make up never showed pimples, your skin was perfect..." blah blah blah, it went on for a bit. I just smiled sweetly and thought 'Well, sunshine, YOU used to have 17inch fully cut biceps, a defined chest, no back hair, more hair ON your head, no pot/beer belly (he doesn't drink but he is verging on having a pretty damn good beer gut!), ALWAYS wore aftershave (it's like we got married and this magical thing happened, if it made him smell nice he stopped using it) and the list goes on, but I don't point it out. I said nonw of that.

Okay, sometimes when I am waxing (I have PCOS Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, so have to do my face regularly) I have suggested I could do his back for him. I AM trained too, so it's not like I just want to, I can!

Other than that, I try not to point out what has changed with him, because that is what happens to everyone. We change. We get older, fatter, sometimes thinner, we get stretch marks and when you have children the time is not always there to take care of yourself properly.

So what did I say in response to all this?

"Honey, do you realise that when I did all that, I had no kids and worked, so had my wage to pay for my beauty stuff and it cost $10,000 or more a year. Do you have a spare $10,000 coz I sure as hell will use it if you do!"

This amount shocked him.

Now, I haven't let myself go completely. I am about 10kg heavier than when we got married, but am not in bad shape. I often wear make up , still make and effort with my hair etc... It just not as shiny as it used to be. The shampoo and conditioner I used to use costs $35 a bottle. Yes, $70 for JUST the shampoo and conditioner. Then add in the treatment, various other hair products such as this one

Alfaparf Crystralli liquid

It is my favourite ever product. It adds shine, makes my hair dry faster, smoother and is just the best product I have ever used. Being a hairdresser, I have used a lot of products.

Anyway, I decided I would go get my make-up done by different people to see what they recommend for me.

The first picture was one of these 'make-overs'. I was not trying to look away, I was trying to get decent light so my camera was propped up on a window and I am looking at the view window, because it is sideways.

I didn't like it.

My skin looks bad, I am not into purple eye shadow and its just not me at all.


My skin is bad to begin with, I am working on it. I need to drink more water and cleanse more often. I have gotten really lazy with the whole skin care thing.

As such I am going to give myself a complete make over. It is going to include everything:
Hair
Make-up
Nails
Skin
Clothing
Weight


It's not going to be cheap, so it is going to be a gradual thing, but I am experimenting. One thing I have noticed though...

Since I have been making more of an effort, he started wearing aftershave again!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Privacy issues - but I am back

Recently I had some privacy issues and concerns, which left us feeling very vulnerable and a bit concerned. I closed my facebook and a few other things as it was quite worrying.

Over the last week my mindset has changed toward this whole experience.

Yes, it was scary. Yes, I am worried something like that could happen again.

BUT...

I do not want to let others actions determine what I do or don't do.

I have missed blogging on here so badly. I have my other blog, but this is my more personal one where I do cooking, crafts, renovations, just anything. And I had no way to express that recently thanks to closing it down.

So now I am back. (Although after blogger issues, I may move to wordpress soon! lol)

Thank you to those who contacted me about my blog. You made me feel very loved. :)

Stay tuned, I have a few new things to post.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!! Chocolate Pizza and Dracula

Anyone feel like chocolate pizza?



 This is so easy to make and is a great present or alternative to the usual bunny.

All you need is chocolate and lollies, plus sprinkles if you want.

Melt the chocolate. Pour onto a pizza tray (put baking paper or glad wrap or something down so it doesn't stick). Place whatever lollies you like on it and cover with sprinkles. Leave it to set in the fridge and that's it!

You could make mini ones for parties instead of lolly bags, make big ones for presents or just make it because chocolate is awesome.



If chocolate pizza isn't your thing how about a chocolate Dracula?



That's right! These are the awesome sort of chocolates I make. Actually the reason I got the Dracula mold in the first place was because of sweet childhood memories. Christmas 1996 to be exact.

That was the year we moved from Tasmania to Canberra. We stayed with friends the few days after Christmas whilst the house was packed up and cleaned, then off we went on The Spirit of Tasmania to drive to our new home. Actually, we stayed in a motel for a week first.

Anyway, that year we got awesome chocolates. I don't remember what my siblings got but I got DRACULA!!! I thought it was awesome. The one I got had white skin, black hair and cape, red mouth etc... it was really well done. So when I saw the Dracula chocolate mold on eBay, I bought it.

I also have a baby mold plus your regular Easter eggs, chocolate bars and Christmas ones.

What can I say? I like chocolate!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gluten Free Vanilla Berry 10 minute Cake

Tonight we had some guests come over whom I knew had a long drive ahead of them so I wanted to make them a cake. Since I still have no oven everything is cooked either in the microwave or frying pan here.

This cake is super easy, only takes 10 minutes and is done in the microwave. You can make it non gluten free by using normal flour.


Ingredients
1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup frozen berries
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence


I simply put everything in a bowl and mixed it together. I then poured it into a silicone cake container and baked it in the microwave for 10 minutes.

That was it!

I turned it out and let it cool a bit then mixed a little glaze to drizzle over the top (3 tablespoons icing sugar to 1 tablespoon milk) and then served.

It was very well received and so easy to do.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cupcake Tower - Make your own!

I have always wanted to make a cupcake tower, but didn't have the foam or other stuff I had seen in tutorials until I came across this one. It is so easy and best of all it recycles things you already have!! Well most of it is recycled.

All you need is
cardboard (you could use and old nappy box or just a box from the grocery store),
2 - 3 cans, depending on how many layers you want (washed and dried)
Pretty paper
Ribbon or whatever you would like to use to decorate (no ribbon on mine)
Cupcakes
A plate and bowl for your stencil
Scissors
Glue



All I did was get a dinner plate and bowl to trace around for the levels. The plate was the bottom level as it was larger. I traced around it on the cardboard and cut it out.

I did the same with the pretty paper and glued it to the cardboard.

With the tins I cut the paper to size and glued it on to cover them up.



I put a shorter tin on the bottom, then the large cardboard layer, followed by the taller tin and the final layer.

My little cupcakes were made in reusable silicone moulds, hence no patty cases. They are decorated with little icing Easter eggs.

It was so quick and simple to make. You could make one for any occasion and it would be great!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

$21 Challenge recap

I thought I would share with you some of the things we ate this week whilst doing our challenge. I will say straight up we didn't quite stick to our $21 budget and there is 1 reason for that. I know when I know not to take my husband grocery shopping, but I did. And I did it on our anniversary. It was only $13 extra, so not a huge blow out. And hey, its better than the $150 - $200 we've been spending lately.

I could make excuses such as it was our anniversary, it came out of his sanity money (it could, since he doesn't usually spend it) BUT I decided to just suck it up. Why? I'm not perfect, and sometimes as much as we try we don't get to stick to the $21, but the fact is we did save on our usual shop and that was the main aim.

Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Now, back to what we ate...

For breakfasts we had cereal, toasted cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs, rice (my kids requested that one, so hey, why not?) as well as fruit, normal sandwiches and yoghurt. Not all on the one morning! Those are just things we ate this week.

For lunch we mainly had sandwiches or left over dinner.

Snacks were rice cakes, fruit or eggs.



Curry

For dinner we had
Bacon and sun dried tomato risotto (which made enough to be frozen for a meal I am planning later)
Beef curry which made enough for 2 more meals
Corned beef with rice
Pumpkin soup
Chicken stroganoff (the beef I have is only good for slow cooking, not a quick meal like this)
Fried Rice
Spaghetti bolognaise

Chicken Stroganoff with Garlic Beans and Rice

By having meals with similar ingredients (such as curry with pumpkin followed by pumpkin soup with cream followed by stroganoff using the rest of the cream) you stop food wastage and you are not having the same thing every night.

I'll be trying to keep my groceries to a minimum over the next few weeks to use up what we have and save more money.

You don't need to spend a fortune on food to eat well.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How my garden grows

 So I thought I would give you a little update on my garden. In the pot above I planted chives, parsley, coriander and sage. As they grow I plan on planting them out into my garden. Whilst its not really clear in this picture there is at least 1 of each plant pushing through, which is a great sign for me.


In another pot next to it I have rosemary and in another basil, which are also starting to sprout.  I've also staked the tomato I found growing in the compost. I covered all the compost with dirt and have moved where I put my compost.

I am also very impressed with how my kumara has been growing. I posted about it here how it was from a sprouted kumara cut up. I planted 8 pieces and they are all taking off. We eat more kumara than plain potatoes here, so I am pretty excited about that.

See? Most of the plants are growing fairly tall and seem to be thriving, so can't wait to see how it goes.

I also planted a few more seeds this week including silerbeet, peas, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli and onions. I am hoping they take and I can plant them out later. I'll be planting more of these over the next few weeks, with the plan to spread out the crop.

I'd really love some fruit trees and have 2 large crates I plan on putting wheels on and preparing them for planting a tree in each. Not sure which trees yet, but doing them in my large crates means I can move them. One will probably be a lemon tree.

At the moment I only have a little bit happening, but I am building it and making room for more. We have a good sized backyard, so plenty of room for it all.

We were planning on getting chickens but there are a few more rules in our council than we expected, so we are still deciding if we will go ahead with that or not.

We'd like bees too, but want to wait until we have the hang of the garden. There's heaps of bees in our garden lately. They seem to love our palm tree!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainbow Cake Recipe


I used this recipe from Best Recipes with a few modifications. It is a white chocolate mud cake, which I made double batch to create my Rainbow Cake. This is the single recipe. I chose mud cake as it is dense and since I knew I had to cook in the microwave it would not dry out too badly. (I find many microwave cakes to be dry or taste a little funny). I made it for my mother in law.

Ingredients
250g white chocolate
250 butter
200ml milk
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ¾ cups plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
Assorted food colourings (I just used the Queen Rainbow Food Colours, 4 pack)
Betty Crocker vanilla icing (because I am lazy and I prefer it to my own icing)
600ml cream
2 Tablespoons icing sugar

-          Heat the butter and white chocolate over low heat to melt. Add the sugar and milk, then stir to dissolve.
-          Sift the flours together and add the chocolate mix to them.
-          Stir in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla essence. Stir to combine.
-          Divide the mixture into 3 bowls. Add food colouring of your desired colour to each.
-          Pour the mixtures into separate microwave safe cake containers (I used a Tupperware Stack cooker and did 2 cakes at once)
-          Cook on high for 10 minutes.
-          Leave to sit for 2 – 3 minutes then turn onto a plate to cool.
-          Do this with all the mixture.

Next to do the layering I placed the purple on the bottom then added a layer of Betty Crocker Vanilla icing, but you could make your own, I just really like that one, as does my husband’s family. I repeated with all the layers.
Then cover the cake in whipped cream with the icing sugar added to sweeten it.
Before serving decorate as you wish.

I plan on experimenting with a gluten free version of this mud cake soon.


Couple of notes –
1 I mixed gently by hand.
2 If doing this again in the microwave I would substitute some of the butter for oil. Oil is better than butter for a moist microwave cake.
3 I did my colours as follows –     
Pink was ½ the bottle of red food dye
Orange was about 10 drops of yellow and 5 drops of red
Yellow was about ¼ of the yellow food dye bottle
Green was about ¼ of the green bottle
Blue was about ¼ blue bottle
Purple was about 16 drops of red to 8 drops of blue
4 The pictures were in a dark room from my phone
5 When I was doing the layering I needed to prop the cake up with knives in my fridge til the icing set. That's probably because my layers weren't exactly even though. 



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rainbow cake





I made this cake for my mother in laws birthday tonight. I had been wanting to try doing one for a while but had no reasons to.

It was pretty exciting doing it all. It was a little hard because I had to cook each layer in the microwave since my oven is not connected at the moment.

I used a white chocolate mud cake recipe to try and stop it tasting like a microwave cake. It is not gluten free because gluten free vanilla cakes taste gross. It has Betty Crocker icing between the layers to keep it together, cream all over the outside and is covered with smarties and sprinkles.

My 3 year old helped me and she had a great time. I'll post the recipe another time. I found it online, but made a few changes so it would work better in the  microwave.

I took the pic with my phone, sorry its not great.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2 holidays + renovations + debt reduction = $40,000+ in 6 months!!

Usually I discuss finances on my other blog, but this is slightly different. Last night I worked out what we want to do, what we have planned and what we need to do. The total of all these things shocked me. I knew it would be expensive, I just did not expect it to be the price of a new car.

One of the first things on the list, well my husbands list, is Hawaii. My sister in law, L, my husbands older sister will be getting married in Maui in October, well that's the plan. Why Hawaii when we all live in Australia? L, my husband and the brother in between them were born there. They have lots of extended family there, such as their 80 year old grandmother.


My husband and I went in 2005 and got to do the beautiful trip the road to Hana (see above pic of one of the many waterfalls on this trip.) I can honestly say it was the most awe-inspiring, beautiful drive I have ever taken. The Great Ocean Road would come close, but as much as I love the ocean and giant rocks in it, I love tropical stuff more.

Anyway, flights, accommodation, passports, car hire, food etc... vary greatly depending on when L decides to set the date. It could cost between $8,000 - $15,000. So we are hoping she books soon, so we can work things out.

Initially I suggested my husband go alone, but he is adamant he wants us all to go, which is fair enough. I mean I want us to go to Tassie for my side, so fairs fair.


That's right, another thing on our list is a trip to Tasmania. Last time I lived in Tasmania this was my view


I lived on Tolmans Hill, next to Mount Wellington, over looking Hobart. It was awesome. I grew up right near Kingston Beach and I loved that. I love the beach.

Anyway, the reason I want to go down is my grandparents are not well so I'd really like to visit, plus there are a few babies I haven't met and another one which will be here by the time we go down.

Yes, both these things are more wants than needs, but I would rather stretch myself financially to do these things than live in regret for not doing them.


Now add to the list
- finish the house renovations
- some clothes for all of us
- some furniture and other things for the house
- repay car loan (we needed a new car recently, new to us, not NEW, our old car all but died)
- a personal, interest free loan

So to do all this I am going to have to get creative, which is why I thought I would blog about it here instead of Aspiring Millionaire. I'll be trying to make do with what we have, be crafty again and sew or make things we need instead of buying them, making gifts, menu plan and basically try adn do a no spend challenge in order to save as much as we can.

Add to that my husband is taking in over time when they offer it and I have a few things coming up which will make us money, so I am sure we can do it. We just have to put our minds to it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kitchen set back

I have been without a proper kitchen since October when we moved and had to rip out the one that was in our house. It was putrid. It needed to be removed instantly. Think cockroach and mice invasion so bad you want to throw up on the spot.

Anyway, things were coming along nicely. We did have to wait here and there for different tradesmen to come and do stuff but the hardest part has been the plumbing. We had been roughly quoted a price by some plumbers and finally got one to come out on Friday. He says we need to change the piping under the kitchen from steel to copper and he’d work out the price.

So we get a call that afternoon, the price is nearly 3 times the original price. Now, he is a friend of a friend who says he is doing us a deal, but we just can’t fathom that a price would jump by that much. Even after seeing the piping and knowing what he had to do, after the rough quote, he upped it a little, but said it wouldn’t be much more than that.

So we are looking at getting a few more quotes. Its frustrating as it sets the kitchen back and with the kitchen set back, the floors can’t be done either, so it feels like all the renovations have been pushed back.

I have slowly been working on the garden and have some ideas, but the main big things in the house I either need a tradesman or my husband around to do, as it is impossible with 2 little girls.

I did finally get to move the old wardrobes out of the house today. That’s right, even though we have had built in robes installed, the old stand alone robes were still in the room, because I just could not get my husband to move them.

Tomorrow I plan on removing more things I can do myself and putting up a painting. He won’t let me but it has sat on the floor for 5 months. It is beyond a joke and I want it up!

I am realising I want less and less in our house. We have too much furniture for my liking and I want a more streamline, clutter free home.

It is coming along really slowly.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Seeing what we really look like

I am finding my perception of what I look like is less and less what I really look like. I took a photo of myself in my favourite jeans and planned on posting about how our favourite jeans might not love us as much as we love them. I seriously thought I looked like a hippo in these jeans, where as in my other jeans I thought I looked much slimmer.

Oh, I know I look slimmer in my other jeans, but I do not look as fat as I thought in these jeans (fyi, my black top is super baggy, hence why my hand is in their weird pose, and the photo was taken by me, without a timer. I don’t know how to use that yet, lol)




It was quite an eye opener. These jeans are a size 12. As is most of my clothing now. I have trouble seeing myself as a size 12 though. I have been a size 14 for so long, I just sort of accepted it, despite the fact I could ‘dak’ (aussie slang for rip pants off) myself with my size 14 jeans. Literally. I need a belt with them or they start to slide as I am walking.

That is an amazing feeling. Knowing you are too small for most of your clothing.

I was a 10 – 12 when I got married. These jeans are pre kids jeans. I tried them on to see how much more I needed to lose and they fit!!

I know my weight has not changed, but obviously my body has.

I still struggle with the thought of being that size again. I know I am much happier with my size. I know my body is a different shape to before I had kids which is why I probably can’t fathom it.

Have you ever looked at yourself and gone “Wow! Do I really look like that?” In a good way, not the ‘gee I look tragic there’ way.

Women often have the worst opinions and views of themselves. Have you seen the movie ‘White Chicks”? My husband thinks its hilarious. Anyway, there is a scene in it in the dressing room, where one of the girls is trying on clothes and she looks great but she flips out into ‘I am a huge fatty with cellulite” psycho mode.

Now, its comedy, but the sad reality is, its just a very condensed version of what we do to ourselves every day. How often do you blow off compliments or put something on and go, “Ugh, look at my fat belly/wobbly arms/cellulite thighs/saggy butt!” Or worse yet, how often do we point these flaws out to other people.

Often husbands get to hears this on a daily basis about all our body imperfections/how ugly we are. You know what? They usually disagree. In their opinion you are beautiful. Same with friends and family. Most people do not see us the way we see ourselves.

I am not saying we need to run around telling everyone we are the best thing since sliced bread, but we could start with telling ourselves we are beautiful, thanking people for compliments and stop criticising our looks in the mirror and to our husbands/partners/family and friends.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Free plants in my garden

Further to my recent post about feeling unsettled I have begun to make changes. Since I now realise and accept I will be in this house for another 6 – 12 months I decided to do a bit of gardening. I had this kumara (sweet potato) which had sprouted



So I cut it into pieces where there were sprouts and planted them along the back fence. I had recently weeded and it has been rather wet here, so I figured as good a time as any.

I planted them a couple of days ago and already they have shot up.

They are on one side of a palm tree and on the other I discovered a lone tomato plant the other week. I had throw some food scraps in that area a few months ago. Our soil is clay, so I wanted to make compost and make the soil better. I certainly did not expect anything to grow.

I am leaving the plant to fend for itself because every time I have tried to grow tomatoes I have killed them, so to have one grow up out of the clay and even have a flower on it is AMAZING to me!!! (I'll try and get a pic later)


We have had a lot of rain here, so I decided to plant some herb seeds in pots and hope for the best. They grew really well last time so I am hopeful.

I am also really happy because the rain has brought my aloe vera back to life, see...



I love aloe vera for sun burn, insect bites and a variety of other things. It is very healing, but I just can't seem to grow it really well. I got these from a friend a few years ago and can't seem to do much with them. I am hoping they grow more like my mums. Hers are awesome and busting out of the pot.

I have made a few other changes which seem to have improved things here. I am also getting the plumbing done this Friday so my kitchen is one step closer to finished.

Oh, and we are planning a trip to Tasmania in a few months and I have a weekend by myself planned in April for a friends wedding. Pretty exciting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Featured on Seven Cherubs - Mother Heart

Well today I am featured on Seven Cherubs as part of their Mother Heart posts, where Naomi interviews mum's. I was so honoured when she contacted me about it and love the job she did.

It was great fun answering and Naomi is really lovely.

You can check out the post here.




Another part of her blog I really love is her happiness project where she has listed things that make her happy and is setting about doing them! I think this is a great idea.

Anyway, go check it out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weightloss - Throwing away the scales

Back when I saw the pictures from my little sisters wedding for the first time I felt sick. I knew when we went to try on bridesmaid dresses that I was not as skinny as my mind was telling me thanks to the sizes I had to try on.

When this picture was taken I had already lost weight from when I had my 2nd daughter 5 months before. That didn't make me feel much better. I still felt HUGE!! When I got married I was about 68kg. In this pic I am 90kg. Thats a 22kg difference for what I wanted to be.

I have managed to get down to 76.5kg. That in itself is a huge effort, which I am proud of. I was getting a bit discouraged though as I couldn't seem to shift the extra 8.5kg I want to lose. Then I realised something.

I may not be losing any more but my shape is changing.

Over the weekend I went to Canberra and saw lots of family and people I hadn't seen in a long time. There were 2 people there I had not seen since about the time the above picture was taken. Neither of them recognised me, one thought I was a different person and couldn't believe it was me (according to my sister, it was her friend).

Lots of other people asked if I had lost more weight or said it looked like I had, which felt good. I hadn't lost anymore since I saw most of them last, but I have changed shape.

So when I got back home I decided to try on my pre pregnancy jeans.

Last time I tried them on I got them up sort of, but there was no way they were going to do up!

Yesterday they slid on like old friends. It was awesome. Only, they are so not flattering on me anymore. (I don't think they ever really were, but they were super comfy!)

I am soooo excited. And if I had been able to find the memory card for my camera I would have taken a picture. Instead, you'll have to use this pic I took 2 weeks ago to compare.



So as you can see, a little bit different. Its 13.5kg from when I was a bridesmaid at my sisters wedding.


I decided with the shape changing and the fact I would like to tone up more I am not going to bother with my scales. I will know how I am doing by how my clothes are fitting and how I look.

The actual weight I am is not going to bother me. I am pretty happy with my body now, so my focus is just health and fitness.

I actually started trying to change my focus a few weeks ago and since I have stopped fussing over my weight I have felt so much better about myself.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Will Smith - Inspirational words of Wisdom



This is a video I thought I would share about the law of attraction. I like the quotes Will Smith uses and how he explains it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Featured on Thrift Culture Now

I've been featured on Thrift Culture Now where I did an interview with them. They have done an awesome job on writing the article about both my blogs.

You can check it out by clicking here



Welcome to all the new readers. I thought I would share with you come of my most popular posts.
On my other blog I just set myself a goal to spend no more than $100 on Christmas so I thought I would share a few of my ideas of things to make first...
Felt Santa’s are really easy to make and can be filled with lollies or homemade biscuits/cookies. Tinsel Christmas Trees are really easy to make and look great too.

We are currently renovating our house as well thanks to tenants wrecking it. You can see a bit of what we have done and what we are dealing with by going here.

But most of all, you’re probably interested in my frugal living, so in the left column you can click on Saving Money which will take you to all the posts I’ve done about ways to save money.

I hope you check it out and sign up to my blog.

Have a great day.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Changes from an unsettled life

I have been feeling rather unsettled lately and I could not put my finger on exactly why. I know part of the reason is that I am waiting to move so am in a transitionary period, but today after talking to my sister in law and reading a few cool new blogs I discovered such as Little Eco Footprints I realised just how much of my life seems to be on hold ‘until we move’ which may not be for another 12 months (I am hoping no more than 6, but realistically it could be more like 12).

I want things like a vegetable garden, fruit trees, chickens and a solar cooker, all of which I have been putting off until we move. If I am not moving for 12 months, there is no reason for me not to have a vegetable garden. I could plant some fruit trees in large pots. I can make and use a solar cooker now, nothing is stopping me.



I also realised we have not been on a family holiday or day trip for some time. We have moved here and have been so focused on the renovations and getting back to Canberra, that everything else seems to have slipped by the wayside.

We were discussing the other night how we need more of a routine here to be able to juggle my studies, my blog, my book, my husband’s work, me finding work and hubby staying home, family activities, date nights and fun stuff for the kids.

I realised that our life has been passing us by and we need to be living more of it. Yes, we really want the renovations done and I need to study and do things for my book and that, but if we were using our time better and planning things better we wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed with everything.

Part of this thinking was bought about by a thread I read in a forum today about sex education at a school and with 8 year old boys. I was not impressed with what the teachers were teaching and it just made me more determined to home school.




Really, I do not know if I can handle homeschooling. I am not a mum who loves being at home with her kids. I do love my kids, but I find being here day in day out hard. But after events of today, I realised I just need to change my attitude, change my routine and start enjoying my kids more. I want to be able to home school them and for all of us to enjoy it. Frankly, all stories I have heard about schools lately have me petrified about sending my kids to one.

I dream of traveling with my kids and letting them experience what we are learning about. I want them to not just read about things in books, but to go to the places and experience the food, the lifestyles, everything. I want them to have a passion for learning and life.

I am a real traveler. I love it and had I not married young would have spent years as a back packer quite happily. That was not to be. Instead I married an awesome guy who happens to have lots of international connections and has hooked us up better than I could ever have imagined when traveling.

I realised tonight, we need a family holiday! And I am not talking a visit to see family. I am talking going somewhere for a few days or a week and just relaxing. Preferably near a beach...


Its not really in our budget right now, so I will be looking into what frugal options we have.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lost another kilo!!

So this morning I weighed myself and was ecstatic to see 76.5kg. I do not even know the last time I saw that. It could quite possibly be before I had kids! woohoo.

I do wonder though if I only got to this weight because I have been unwell the past week and was unable to eat much at all. Doesn't matter to me! The motivation of seeing that and being sooooo incredibly close to 75kg is amazing!!

I have been hovering between 78kg - 80kg and the last 2 weeks managed to keep it between 77.5kg and 78kg, which was an achievement in itself.


I am hopeful that I will lose more this month because I am doing a no junk month with my sister. We have different rules that we are sticking to, but it is more about supporting each other than anything. Since I have been planning a no sugar and a no take away month and she had been planning a no chocolate month, we figured we'd do it the same month.

I am assuming that by cutting sugar out of my diet and take away (although we don't eat a lot of that) I will drop a bit of weight. I have been reading "Sweet Poison" and plan on finishing it this month. It has been interesting to read about the affect sugar has on us.

So today is the last day for me to consumme any 'crap' for 31 days. But since being sick last week, I really don't want anything.

I do not expect this month to be easy at all. I am going to Canberra in the middle of the month and am going to an engagement party at the end of the month so will need to watch myself there, but I am sure I can do this.

And when I have completed it I do not plan on going back to sugar.

I think the trickiest parts will be the original detox and checking for sugar in everything because it or a form of it is in virtually everything unless you go completely fresh.

So I am in for an interesting month!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ricotta Cheesecake

Last week I decided to try and make a baked ricotta cheesecake. I Googled different recipes and gave it a go.

Once it was cooked I placed it on a plate and was about to take pictures when my almost 2 year old walked over, grabbed the plate and started to tuck in.

Now, my sister, husband and I thought it was gross. I pretty much think ricotta should only be in savory dishes. The ricotta wasn't as smooth/creamy as 'normal' cheesecake.  I didn't really like the texture, but both my daughters liked it, so I guess it must have been ok on some level.

It kind of fell a part and was too moist, so I won't post the recipe.


Oh, well, it was something new to try and now I know its not something we are really interested in.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New bag from old pants

 

See this bag? I made it recently out of these pants...


 Yep, old cargoes. And you know what? I love all the pockets in my bag. It makes it so much more organised.

It was really easy to do as well. First I cut the legs off
 Then  took part of each leg with the extra pockets and sewed them together. The I slipped that mini bag inside the top part of the pants to sew together.
 This gave me pockets inside and outside. Sorry, I don't have step by step pics for everything.

Next I unstitched a leg, folded on half together and sewed it to make my strap, then I attached that to the bag.

This is the inside

This is the back


Another middle shot


And finally the end result from the front.

I have done this before wit jeans but it was much easier this time because the fabric was thinner and the extra pockets gave more storage.