Saturday, July 30, 2011

An indulgent night

Friday night there was a party at hubby's work for the crew that are leaving in the next week or so. 

It provided a fantastic opportunity for us to have a night away together which is so rare these days.

We shipped the kidlettes off to my parents for the night and I caught the train to the Gold Coast which was really exciting for me as I haven't been on a train in YEARS!

Master M was very excited to wave Mummy off on the train.  It was all very exciting for him especially as he was given a sticker and Thomas the Tank Engine colouring book from the staff at the station.

The train whizzed past pineapple farms and the Glasshouse Mountains.

Considering it was a 3 hour train trip (with a 20 minute wait in Brisbane to change trains), it was the perfect opportunity to indulge in some hooky time.  I could certainly not do that if I was driving myself to the coast.

Hubby picked me up from the station and gave me a tour of his work site which is close to completion and looks so amazingly different from the last time I saw it.

Then we checked into our hotel which is in the heart of Surfers Paradise and was really lovely.  It was the Watermark and we had hinterland views instead of ocean views but that was fine by me.  Any view is pretty amazing to me.

The party was held at the Advancetown Pub somewhere in those distant hills.

Another couple from hubby's work were staying in the hotel too and T is pregnant so we had a driver for the night....sweet!

The party was great but I have to say I thoroughly loved having some child free moments lazing around in my hotel waffle robe and slippers and just chilling in the room. 

Breakfast wasn't bad either as it was a huge buffet full of nearly any food known to man. 

No photos of the buffet..sorry.  I was too busy stuffing my face trying to decide what to eat.

It's back to reality and home now but it's certainly been a lovely respite for us.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend too.

xx Susan

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grocery Challenge:: Week 7

This is the second last week of my grocery challenge and I have to be completely honest and say that I can't believe how well I've done. 

I really thought that I would've given up by now or just completely blown the budget on a few occasions so I'm very proud of myself and what I have achieved so far.

So how have I gone this week?

Well I have gone a little over with a final total of $82.85.

Considering how sick and exhausted I was I didn't plant very well and thought that it was the week I really was going to go way over.  In the end it was basically an extra bottle of milk we needed that tipped us over our $80 so I'm not complaining.

Tune in for my final week of the challenge next week.

xx Susan

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our new car

Sorry for the quality of the picture but after having this car for nearly a week, this was the first time I saw it in daylight.

This is what we'll be taking up to Cape York with us and on many family camping trips away from now on hopefully.  We pick the camper trailer up next week so it's all really starting to happen now. 

Squeeeaaal.... I'm getting so excited!

We are also all now over our gooblies which we had last week.  It was an exhausting and pretty horrid week really with all of us sick at the same time.  Little Miss R eventually had 4 days off school too which shows how much it knocked us all around.

Wishing you all a great day and that the gooblies are staying away at your place.

xx Susan

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grocery challenge:: Week 6

Yay!  I'm back on track.

This week I spent $78.51 so I came in within my $80 again which is great.

It's a bit of a sick old household this week with all of us not well.

Hubby is still working while not feeling well and is getting pretty exhausted, especially as we're up to the kids quite a bit during the night.

I'm trying to get some rest and recover but that's a bit difficult while looking after two sick little ones.

It's a bit heartbreaking when they have fevers and are so miserable that all they want is cuddle time with Mummy.  It certainly reminds you that sometimes you need to stop, take stock and remember what is important in life...and that's not the washing up, or making sure the house is tidy. 

Our children are our most precious assets and time spent cuddling a little one, especially when they're not well really makes you realise what's important.

Hope you are all in better health this week.

xx Susan

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I've got plenty of tomatoes in a bowl that I just haven't been eating quickly enough. 

I've decided to make a passata with them as it's pretty easy and freezes well so I'll have the basis for a pasta sauce next time I decide to make it for a meal.

I made a very basic passata by chopping up the bowl full of tomatoes that I had (yellow ones included).  I then added a few crushed cloves of garlic and some salt and pepper.

I cooked it all up with the lid off and let it simmer for about an hour until it really reduced down.
(Excuse the steam starting to fog up the camera).

Once it cooled then I put it through a mouli.

This gets rid of the skin and the seeds so all you are then left with is...

...a lovely smooth passata.  I made about 600ml from the bowlful of tomatoes I had so I've frozen them into two 300ml lots.

All that remains now is next time I'm having pasta to defrost one of my containers and cook it up with whatever other veges and spices I want for a lovely pasta meal.


Hope you're all enjoying some delicious meals too.

xx Susan

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Farm Fantastic

Yesterday the cold that I had been fighting all week finally hit.

All I wanted to do was stay in bed and rest, especially as Lovely Hubby wasn't working and could look after the kids.

Was my wish granted?    NO.

In ended up slogging it in the mud here.....

We left the kids at my brother's for a few hours and headed to Farm Fantastic which is a huge outdoor expo of nearly anything you can imagine.

We were there to look at one thing...  Camper Trailers.

They always have really good specials on camper trailers at the expo and as there were about 10 different camper trailer exhibitors (spread out around the whole site so I had to slog through the mud), so we got to have a good look at them.

Some were way above our budget but we did find an off road one we liked that was $4000 less than normal as a show special.

We bought it of mucking around in my family.

Luckily we don't have to go back and get it at the end of the show today (it would seem Lovely Hubby now has the flu and can't get out of bed.  I wonder if I should suggest we go somewhere so I can drag him around in the mud and cold.  :)

The camper trailer you see in the photos is the same as the one we've bought. (It's the Extreme Explorer model). They'll make ours so we'll get a mud free, newly made one and pick it up in a couple of weeks.  Eeeeek,  so exciting!

There's lots of room inside, it's an off road one so should handle the cape easily (I didn't understand any of the technical talk) and the best bit is that it has a innerspring queen size mattress so I'll be sleeping in comfort!

More mud on the way out and then it was back to pick the kids up and home.

No rest unfortunately, we all had early baths then early dinner.  I was in bed by 8pm and now feel so much better.  We won't mention how hubby is right now.

Have a fantastic day everyone.

xx Susan

Friday, July 15, 2011

How to enjoy school holidays

Step 1.  (and the most important)      IGNORE THE HOUSEWORK

Step 2.  Let the children play with blocks (outside as it makes the house look slightly tidier)

Step 3.  Let them play in the sandpit and make mud pies.  This in turn makes their feet, hands, legs, arms, bodies, hair and nearly everywhere else covered in mud.  (An extra load of washing is no hardship with my fantastically brilliant and oh so quiet washing machine.)

Step 4.  Let them find your camera and take 20 photos of their feet while you go inside to make a cup of coffee.

Step 5.  Let them have LOTS of playtime outside and not let them inside if possible.

Step 6.  As they seem to NEED to be near Mummy no matter where she is then it's very important to be outside with them.  The best way to do that is to do this.......

....for most of the day.

If that means ignoring nearly everything else that you think needs to be done....

for the sake of your sanity.....

Crochet nearly ALL day is a MUST!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grocery challenge:: Week 5

I would like to firstly apologise for my meltdown in the last post.  I needed to let off a bit of steam and as I only see hubby briefly each day, you all got to share instead.  Lucky you!

As for my grocery challenge.  Week 5 was a bit of a fizzler as I did go over but not by that much really.  There were a few really good meat specials at the grocery shops this week which did push the total up a bit.

So what was the final amount....


Yes I did go over by $8.70 but I haven't done any baking this last week as it's way too difficult to get anything done around here right now.  I could have perservered and got some baking done but I've honestly been too exhausted to do any of it. (See last post for explanation).
These don't last long in our house as Little Miss R gobbles them up before they hit the fridge!
Now I had decided that my challenge would last for 12 weeks but I am cutting it down to 8 weeks, only because we're going away.  I've already started to stock up on food etc for our trip so I've been adding a bit extra onto my grocery list each week.  All those groceries go straight into the boxes in the spare room and don't get added into the grocery challenge.

I'm not really cheating on my challenge as I've given myself an extra $20 each week for our camping stuff so I've got a budget for that too.

Lets hope I'm a bit more organised this week and can stick to my budget again.

xx Susan

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A bad day

I feel like I'm going insane right now. 

It's the third (and last) week of Little Miss R's school holidays and I'm hoping I can make it through the rest of the week with my sanity in tact.

Little Miss R is the ring leader in my house.  I love her dearly as any mother does, she's quite intuitive and also has quite a quirky personality.

She's not very good at listening (her teacher's have a big problem with this too), and can't sit still for more than half a second.  She's pretty full on and when she's home I've noticed her little brother feeds off her.  Joy!

So my house really does look like a tornado has gone through and no matter how I stick to my Flylady routines, not one room lasts tidy for more than 5 minutes.  I've completely given up and will get back to it next week when I only have Master M at home who is sooooo much easier to look after.

I apologise for the complaining but it's really getting to me today and the fact that I haven't been that well over the last couple of days hasn't helped.  The constant noise is a big problem at the moment too...I feel like my head is going to EXPLODE!

We're off to the hairdressers soon for Little Miss R's haircut.  Actually, I just realised she LOVES getting her hair cut and it's one of the few places she does sit still.  Then it will be to the park where they can run off some of the widgets and fidgets (I hope)!

Bring on July 29 (Daddy's last day at work) and our trip up the Cape.  I'm really needing the break!

Monday, July 11, 2011

LOOK!.....they're growing!!!!

Do you remember when I planted some seeds?

Well my rocket is growing which I'm so excited about!

Then there's the garlic that's starting to come up.  I'm completely making up what to do with this so I'm stoked that there are 4 little buds popping through the soil.  You can see two of them below.

Since taking these photos yesterday and blogging today a very sad thing has happened. 

Last night was REALLY windy and my seedlings got blown off the bench where they've been living happily since I planted them.  I've been able to save a few of the rocket and replant them but everything else has landed together in one big dirt heap. 

Not happy!

Ah well,  I'll just nurture my rocket and keep my other plants going for the moment and sometime in the next week I'll look at planting some more seeds again.

Enjoy your day.

xx Susan

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lets go for a drive:: to Kilcoy

It's a beautiful day, if a little windy and cool so lets head for a drive to Kilcoy. 

 It's about 1 hour's drive and 52 km from our town and my Uncle had to go over there on Saturday so he took the kids and I for a drive.

Not far out of town and we're heading towards the Peachester range.

Did I say it was a little cool today?

Up the Peachester range and past the roadworks where part of the range fell away during the rain and floods we had back in January!

I also forgot to bring peppermints and a bucket for Little Miss R who gets car sick.  We only had to stop once on the way over and bought a bucket when we got to Kilcoy for her.

Down the range the other side of Peachester and past farmland around Stanmore.  I love that you can drive through here and see the mountains in the background. 

That's Beerwah that you can see peeking above the trees, the largest of the Glasshouse Mountains.

Going past more farmland (cattle).

Into the town of Kilcoy with it's old country pubs and wide streets.

We did what we had to, had some lunch then headed to the park for a play. 

There's a small dam with plenty of ducks behind the park so that was pretty exciting.

Those white things in the sky are cockatoos.  There was hundreds of them flying around or roosting in the trees all through the park.  Definately not a place to look up with your mouth open!

Back down the main street and off home.  (This time with a bucket!)

Though the farmland and dams, back down the range and home for a cup of tea.

It was lovely to get out and do something different.

Thanks for the day Uncle I.

Hope you're all having a great weekend.

xx Susan

Friday, July 8, 2011

Moving update

I know many of you are wondering just what is happening with our move to Chinchilla,  I mean it is one of the reasons I closed the salon back in April.

Well hubby has finally got his 'pink' slip and finishes this job on July 29th.  He's really looking forward to not having to drive to the Gold Coast everyday.  Leaving at 4am and not getting home until around 7pm (on a good run) is exhausting in anyone's book.

We're going to have a bit of a break first and a group of us are heading up to Cape York.  We're so excited about going and I'm already packing things for us to go.  It means Little Miss R will miss 3-4 weeks of school but she's only in Prep and this experience will certainly make up for it I think.

We don't know exactly when the Chinchilla job will start but it's looking like it will be not long after we get back from the Cape but we won't know more for another few weeks.

I'll keep you posted on what's going on.

Enjoy your day!
xx Susan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A day in life:: Wednesday

It's the middle day of the school holidays and has dawned a beautiful, clear day.  It is a little breezy which means that the temperature is staying down a little but we're still not exactly rugged up for winter.  In fact, we're all wearing shorts and a long sleeve cotton shirt today!

I decided to try something different for breaky and recently found a recipe for homemade crumpets.  They are sooooooo easy to make, probably easier than pancakes because you don't have to stand there and flip them.

I made the batter, greased the egg rings then into the pan went the mixture..

..they started to bubble up and pop and look a bit more like 'real' crumpets.

Absolutely delicious with butter and golden syrup (for me) and honey or maple syrup for the kids.


Then it was off to the front garden for another 15 minutes of clearing.

We headed over to Mum's to do some watering...


...and pick some yummy snow peas.

We now have plenty of tomatoes so I may have to make some passata or something.

Then it was home for a coffee and some computer time while the kidlettes had a play. 
I'm tweaking the look of my blog so you may see a few changes over the next little while.

Lunch was some pasta with a little melted butter, fresh chopped parsley, fresh cherry tomatoes and a little grated parmesan.  DeLIciOUS!!

More garden time in the afternoon and it's also been a perfect day for getting the washing dry.

A little hooky time was squeezed in of course.

A yummy dinner of fish and chips before settling in to watch the State of Origin.  GO MAROONS!!!

What a legend of a team!

I hope you all had a great Wednesday too.

xx Susan