Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My Aussie Day

We have a tradition amongst friends. We decided a couple of years ago, our new haunt for Australia Day is a little fishing town on the Yorke Peninsula called Port Rickaby. You may remember me speaking about it in this here little post.
This year Ace and I only went for the night with the rest of the crew staying a couple extra. Mainly because I like to have a day at home before going back to work on Tuesday. So we arrived around 11am Saturday, just in time for the Triple J hottest 100 to start. Another tradition. Gotta have the Hottest 100 playing in the background!
There were about 16 adults and 7 kids under 6. Needless to say, they always have a ball hanging out with each other but you gotta have eyes in the back of your head with the littlies. Its not really a relaxing holiday with an 18mth old running around getting into mischief. But its all worth it to see the smiles and hear the laughs!
Taken in the early arvo
Mid arvo..sun setting
Early evening playing around with night portrait. So hard to get focused on the moon.


This was out on our morning walk on Sunday whilst everyone was still recovering!

Good weekend was had by all! Hope you had a great long weekend too!

Monday, 28 January 2013

4/52 Portrait a week

 Driving in the big red car! 
Pt Rickaby, 
Australia Day

He had an absolute ball running around with our friends kids on our annual Australia Day trek to Port Rickaby on the Yorke Peninsula

Joining in Che and Fidel 52 Portrait a week project

Thursday, 24 January 2013

cleaning out the pantry

In an effort to save money where possible....AND be more organised this year, in last weeks meal plan I tried to use up some of the non perishable items I've had stocked for aaages in the pantry.

This is what I was working with:
  • 2x canned apples
  • 1x can kidney beans
  • 1x cannellini beans
  • passata
  • aborio rice
  • marshmallows
  • multiple dried fruits
  • hazelnuts
  • 1x can water chestnut
  • tortilla
  • scotch finger biscuits
  • packet egg noodles
There are other cans but it was a good starting point. Some of these items like the fruit, nuts and marshmallows, were leftover from xmas and were taking up room in an already small pantry. However the canned produce was the stuff I really wanted to use.
My new motto is to buy as I need and not buy to replenish. Our tastes and recipies are changing so I dont need to keep the same stock I used too. Plus, because I meal plan, there really isnt any need to keep stuff 'just in case'. I already know what I need when I write my list for the fortnight.

Anyway...moving to use these goods I made the following:

Apple crumble - scotch finger biscuits and the 2x canned apples
Thai Chicken Curry Risotto - aborio
Jamie Oliver Veggie Chilli - tortilla, beans, passata
Chicken satay - water chestnuts
Donna Hays muesli slice - mixed dried fruit
Rocky road - marshmallows and nuts
Bacon and mushroom noodle cake - egg noodles

It felt good to use up as much as I could in an effort to also save money. I found my shopping list was a lot smaller this time filled mostly with fresh produce.

Ill do it again this fortnight to see what else I can knock out of there too!

Thought I'd leave you with a before and after of this shelf...eeek!


I bought those stands from Kmart to help with utilizing the vertical space more. Just need some spice racks for the door to clear out that clutter to the right.
Definitely a work in progress!

If you have any other tips, I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

New year, new budget

I briefly mentioned on a FB status about trialing a 'pay in cash' method this year. Drawing out X amount every pay to cover groceries, fuel and 'play' money for myself and hubby, in order to help with saving.I normally pay by card for most things which is usually fine but sometimes the spending bug can take hold and its so easy to hand over a card rather than actual money. Im hoping using the cash wallet system will help with knowing what I have spent and therefore what is left in the kitty.
I tried this on Tuesday when I did my grocery shopping. My budget is between $220 and $250 for the fortnight including meat, nappies, fresh produce etc. It normally averages $220-30. It felt good to just hand over the cash and see exactly what was left ($8!) which I will then put aside for top up milk. Of course there is always room to add a little extra if we need but I will try and stick to it as much as I can.
This nifty device I found at Woolies awhile ago on clearance.

Ive only used 3 dividers separating FUEL, FOOD and CASH for everyday items. Theres also room for dockets and bills i might have to pay whilst out.

Im also putting aside money each fortnight (coinciding with payday) to cover the quarterly house bills.
I was reading another bloggers status feed (sorry cant remember which one) about what people do to budget their bills, and noticed a few people pay these bills monthly. I've never thought of this, nor thought you could! But it would definately help with Bill Shock expecially with the rising costs of electricity and water bills.
Originally I was going to look into opening another account with my bank where I could transfer the money into but to be honest, I couldnt be bothered, so Im going to move the money into my premium savings account I already use for our savings and mark the transfer 'bills' so I can easily tell the difference between savings and bill money.

Our family is at a cross roads this year where were not really sure what we're going to do. Our home is only 2 bedroom and we knew one day we would outgrow it, although that day seems to have come along very quickly. We want to expand our family in the next couple of years and desperately need more room. So either we look into building on (which we're not sure if we're able to with restrictions etc) or move to a bigger house. I really prefer option 1 because moving just seems too hard but time will soon tell as we start looking at planning with the council etc to see if the extension can be approved.
Lets just say, it could be an interesting year!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

You're 18mths & 3/52 Portrait a week

You turned 18 months old last week, little man. 18 months!! I cannot believe that I have a 1.5yr old. Mums from our mums group are onto their second child already and I feel like I just gave birth to you a few months ago!

Ive really noticed in the last few weeks that you're growing at a rapid rate, both physically and mentally.
You have these really cute conversations of baby babble and I really wish I knew what you were saying.
The words we do know are: 'sues' (shoes), 'car', 'dadda', 'mum', 'mamma' (my mum), 'nanna' (steves mum), 'yeah' and 'no'. But you definitely understand what we are saying and can follow simple instructions.
Especially what the 'snacks' are and where they live!

You're new passion is running up and down the house SCREECHING at the top of your lungs. Which can be both annoying and funny but in very limited quantities. And definitely not when your parents have a headache!

You have a buddy at childcare named Max and you and Max run amok together. Running up and down the room SCREECHING at the top of your lungs. Not sure whether you taught Max that or the other way round. Either way its nice to know I'm not the only one copping it!

You're pretty much down to one sleep a day. A massive morning one stretching till lunch, then normally you last till bedtime. This suits us cos then we have the whole arvo to do stuff together as a family.

You love your grandparents. Its a 'melting heart moment' seeing yours (and theirs) eyes light up when you meet. Love it!

You LOVE to play outside. This is when you're in your element. Playing on the swings, in the sandpit, riding your scooter or simply running around SCREECHING at the top of your lungs! We dont mind this outside. Not sure about the neighbours!

Last week you turned 18 months and Mummy and Daddy couldnt be more smitten with you! You are our little man and we love you so much!

also linking up with Che and Fidel in the 52..portrait a week project.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


This little guy loves to pretend his highchair is a train. 'Toot, toot'!
Linking up with Che & Fidel in 52- A portrait a week project

Sunday, 6 January 2013

1/52 Portrait of the week project

Ive never done a link up before so apologies if i'm breaking any rules/doing it wrong...but I saw another blogger doing it last year and thought it would be nice to capture those memories this year. Ive come to realise that these first few years are some of the most precious since time goes so fast and before you know it, my little man is almost 18mths old and turning into a little boy right before my eyes.

We took Ace to the beach earlier this week. It was his first time in the open ocean and he loved it. The freedom and neverending sand to run along and playing in the little rock pools scattered around the sand.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Surviving a hot day

In light of one of the hottest days SA has seen for awhile (45 degrees!!), I thought Id share a couple of tips I do in preparation for venturing out in the extreme heat.

Mostly it was staying inside the office aircon (!).....but I finish at 3:30pm which is essentially the hottest time of the day. And I had to pick up Master A from daycare on the way home. We live a good 40mins away from where we were, which I know in east coast terms, Isnt very long. But any time in the car or outside can be dangerous when its so hot so I wanted to be as prepared as I could.

Just simple things like checking the water level in the cars reservoir tank and ensuring I had enough extra distilled water to top up if required.

I took a couple of bottles of water for ourselves. One I keep on my desk at work and the other was a spare which I kept in the fridge at work. Then topped up my desk one for the drive home. We needed both for the 2 of us. Driving is thirsty work! I prob should have taken more but I didn't have any larger bottles.

I also keep sunscreen in the car for those top ups. Even so, Ive got severe case of 'driving arm'!

So we survived but by the time we got home to a hot house I could not be bothered standing in the kitchen cooking. So it was fruit and yoghurt for us!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Christmas 2012

Ive been meaning to write a post xmas post for awhile but couldnt work up the motivation to upload any photos from my camera. In fact, I couldnt work up the motivation to do much at all over the Christmas break which was both relaxing and disappointing at the same time.

However without further adieu, I bring you some snippets of our Christmas day. Master A had a ball hanging with all the adults and got a little spoilt! But hey, that's what Christmas is all about!!

Table favours for the guests.

I made my own bon-bons this year and added monogrammed intials of the guests

There were presents

Christmas morning - opening of said presents!

Although some presents were too big to wrap!

I love tablescaping although I had so much more in mind to do this year but ran out of time ..(and money!)

The adult present haul

And the littlest ones present haul...who got spoilt?!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!
So whilst I have this glimmer of