Friday, 25 April 2008

My life, simply

Rhonda Jean of asked all her readers to write about our versions of living a simple life. Here is mine.

I guess I was always brought up in a frugal way, I remember always eating home baked biscuits and my Mum making all our clothes. My Mum only ever worked part time and my Dad was always able to fix things. I can remember many of our bikes being made from parts salvaged from the local tip. We used to joke that Dad would bring home more from the tip than he dropped off!

In my early 20's I fell for all the advertising and keeping up with the Jones'. We had a mortgage and the interest rates peaked at 17%. We had friends over for dinner parties and rarely went out for meals as we couldn't afford it! We commuted over an hour each day to work. We decided to cut our losses and eventually we bought the worst house in a really nice street.
From that point on I started to remember the old ways. We did most of the renovating ourselves and learned lots along that way!
I have always enjoyed cooking and always owned a slow cooker. When I became pregnant with my first child that I really started to look at ways to cut costs. I knew I didn't want to go back to work immediately. My children both had cloth nappies and home made clothes.
Years later following my divorce I spent six months back under my parents roof. They still live the same frugal, gentle life I remember from my childhood.
Being a single parent with 2 children and a mortgage I try to lead a frugal but happy life. We also discovered that my son reacts to a lot of food preservatives and additives (the numbers as he calls them).
I work about 30 hours a week so have learned to be very organised. I have a wonderful boyfriend who helps a lot with meal preparation and planning. My children also spend 50% of their time with their Dad, so I work longer hours the week they are with him and shorter hours when they are in my care. Here is a list of things that come to mind, the everyday of our simple, frugal lives:
I cook from scratch and bake at least once a week, our own biscuits and cakes.
I recycle, I have started growing our own herbs.
This year I started a compost heap.
We collect water when it rains in our old rainwater tank.
I dry my washing outside on the line and have only ever owned one dryer (it came with a house) I always think before I buy something new.
My daughter loves going op shopping with me.
I clean with bicarb and vinegar mostly, using old clothes/towels as cleaning cloths.
I menu plan and stockpile when I see good specials.
I use a cash budget for most items.
I preserve excess fruit to use throughout the year.
I freeze excess veggies as well.
I shop at local markets in order to buy in bulk and then share with family & friends.
I try to buy only Australian foods, but this is not always possible with my budget.
I catch public transport when I can.
My children ride or catch the bus to school most days.
I don't use plastic bags for my shopping - I have green bags and mesh bags for my fruit & veg.
I make my own laundry liquid.
I cook freezable meals in bulk (like bolognaise sauce).
I don't have a dishwasher in my kitchen.
My children attend the local public schools and I try to stay involved in their education.

My favourite thing right now is that I have managed to save enough to take my children overseas this year. I still have my mortgage to pay off, but I figure the memories are worth more than I can put a price on. In a few years my children will miss too much school, so it is now or never.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 13 April 2008


I've been fortunate in the last few weeks to receive a couple of parcels in the post!
I love getting mail!

The first one was part of Lightening's Smiley Saturday where we had to swap something pink.
My swap partner was a lady called Lizzie who also lives here in Adelaide - we had plans to meet and perhaps we still will but here is a pic of what she sent me:
(did someone tell her I was into scrapbooking and baking???)
Thank you Lizzie your pink parcel made me smile :)
My second parcel was part of the shopping tote swap organised by the girls at down to earth - mine came from Kelly who lives in the USA - Thank you Kelly I really do feel spoilt! For those of you who haven't tried the Reece's Peanut Butter cups - you are missing out! And I'm not sharing! YUMMMMM!

Swapping is a great way to make new friends! Do try it if you get the chance!

You Cheer Me Up

I have to admit I am feeling a little overwhelmed of late. Time seems to be passing too quick and I seem not be keeping up. One of the things I have tried to cut down on is my computer time, to allow more more time to do the things I need to do. This means I don't get to post as often, but I promise I will try at least once a week to get on here and share some pieces of my life, recipes and pictures.

Thank you to Tracy for this award!

Here are the instructions for this award:"If you are a recipient of the "You Cheer Me Up" Award, please find the blogs that cheer you up, copy the code to post on your sidebar and pass Ethel and Lucy across the blogosphere. You can use what cheers you up in your post, or copy this one, but please send your award recipients back to the original post on A Nice Place In The Sun to get a copy of the award code, post the image and read the instructions. I want to try to maintain a page of original and ongoing award recipients, so feel free to let me know if you've received an award when you pick up the image code."

Friday, 4 April 2008

100 posts!

100 posts is something I never thought I would reach when I first started writing out my favourite recipes and thoughts here. Where has all that time gone? This is actually my 101st post, cause I missed it entirely in the grand scheme of my life!
My families favourite recipe for this week is apricot squares and also a great recipe to use up all the jars of preserved apricots I have stored from the summer before last! I can see this one becoming a regular item at my house over winter!