Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken Soup - Great way to cure colds!

I have been unwell so decided to make myself some chicken noodle soup. I am gluten intolerant so this is a gluten free recipe.



Ingredients

1 onion diced
4 cloves of crushed garlic (I always use fresh and crush just before using)
1 teaspoon of butter
1 teaspoon of crushed ginger
1L chicken stock (I like to make my own, but water and powder or store bought is fine too)
1 - 2 carrots, sliced
1 cup of cooked chicken (I usually have this on hand in the freezer after a roast, otherwise you can use raw chicken and cook it in the soup too)
1/2 cup corn (optional)
60g or so of thin rice noodles
1 - 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

Method
Place the butter, onion, ginger and garlic in the bottom of the saucepan on low heat, and fry until golden brown but not crispy.
Next add the chicken stock, carrots, chicken and corn. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer on low until the carrots are soft or for about 10 minutes.
Add the rice noodles and simmer gentle for a further 3 minutes to soften and cook the noodles. Once the noodles are cooked use a sharp knife to chop them up a bit to make the soup easy to eat.
Lastly stir through the pepper and serve.

The garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in this recipe all help to clear colds and sore throats.


Monday, May 28, 2012

30 by 30 update

On April 11 I wrote a 30 by 30 list and thought I would have a look at it today to see how I am doing. I am starting off with the small things as a couple of them I will really need to save for, but so far I am on track to completing a couple of them soon which is exciting.

#3 Learn to surf has been on my 'to do' list for ages. Not long after I wrote my list a deal came up on Groupon where I could do a day learn to surf class at Manly which was exactly what I wanted. My sister wanted to do it too so I grabbed 2 tickets and because I had a discount voucher for Groupon as well it only cost $8. She has now moved to QLD so I need to convince someone else they want to learn to surf for a day.

I am excited because there is now a deadline for me to do this as the coupon will expire and I am cheap, so don't want to spend if I don't have to.

#5 Raise $10,000 for a charity - I think I have decided which one. I love Kiva as their micro loans really help communities and if I raised $10,000 to be donated there it could be used over and over and over again. I think it would help the most amount of people possible.

#11 Do a 365 Day gratitude project - so far so good. I will finish it on my birthday, but it is helping me be more appreciative of people/events/things in my life.

#14 Couch to 5km run - I haven't actually started officially but I am now walking 4 - 8kms a day at least 3 times a week and I have been trying to run some of it, and gradually building on it. So while it is not the same as doing it officially I am raising my fitness levels and will be incorporating the couch to 5km run into my 'daily' walk in the next few weeks.

#16 Finish my dream bedspread - I have 1 pillow case to go and it's done!

#21 Do 101 random acts of kindness - this has been incredibly easy. Simple things like letting the mum with her 2yr old waiting in line go in front of me as I know what that's like, waiting with a kid who doesn't want to be there. Letting others in when driving, asking a parent if their child would like a turn on the $2 rides because I am putting it on for my kids anyway, may as well fill it up. Things like that are just second nature to me and it is only yesterday I realised just how often I do stuff like that. I am considering changing this one a little and instead of random acts, plan some slightly bigger acts like dropping off a hamper to someone, doing someone's gardening it etc. What are your thoughts/suggestions?

#25 Finish my 2 eBooks - one is done, just waiting on the cover art/promo buttons and then it will be launched with a bloggy tour etc. The other will be launched July 1st, 2012.

#29 Read 30 books I have, waiting to be read - I have read 3 so far and it has been great to finally get them read and learn so much. The one I am reading at the moment is a business type book and it is so fascinating and there is so much to learn I can only read small bits at a time in order to absorb it properly.

Do you have a 30 by 30, or something similar? I am surprised by how much I have done in a short time. My 30 by 30 was designed to be a more practical and achievable list in a short time frame than a bucket list (which I also have here)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finding Inspiration

I love inspirational thoughts, quotes and things to help motivate you.

When my sisters and I went to Melbourne we saw the most perfect piece of jewellery for me. It said:

"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity"

I loved it, but decided to buy it later. As I thought about it more I realised I would prefer it stamped onto a piece of jewellery and would be more likely to wear a bracelet or cuff.

One of my awesome sisters suggested Etsy and I have been able to order not only the above quote but a few others I love. If ind having little reminders around me like this help me stay positive and can change my view on a situation.

Another of my favourite things is Pinterest, where I can find great quotes and things. I have a whole board on inspirational quotes, some of which I have printed out and put up on my walls.

Where do you find inspiration?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Garden inspirations

This week I have been walking my daughter to and from school. On the way I was pleasantly surprised to discover some great inspiration for our garden. We have wanted to do our garden for some time. I wanted a mix of tropical and edible plants. We want plants in the front to reduce the size of the lawn as it takes quite a while to mow and a front garden would look much nicer than the big stretch of lawn we currently have.

I have been growing a few things from seed such as carrots, herbs and strawberries to have in our back yard and I wanted to do something practical but pretty with our front yard.

Since I don’t plan on staying here long term I also did not want to invest a lot of money into it and not really reap the rewards of my efforts.

Today I saw this:



I know the picture is not fantastic but it is a LillyPilly hedge (fast growing, edible berries and great for screening), with bilberry bushes in front, followed by gardenia’s. I love that there are 2 native berry bushes, the leaves are thick and while it is not tropical like I wanted, it blends really nicely with the area.

Another thing that surprised me as I was walking around was the amount of people who have fruit trees in their front yard. It makes sense because you don’t want to waste the space, but I was always worried about fruit being pinched. As you can see here it doesn’t seem to be a problem.





This house actually had 4 orange trees and a few houses down was another house with apple trees out the front. All the trees were fruiting, yet still full.

I saw, but didn’t get a picture of a garden lay out I like which could incorporate all aspects of the above and a bit of the tropical look I would like. It also had some plants in pots, which would be easy to move.

My mind is now buzzing with ideas of what I could do to make the yard inviting, but practical and useful. What do you have in your garden?