23 August 2015

The Week that Was

Lavender sprigs from the cuttings, ready to dry

The boys helped me empty the pantry on Monday. I just knew having really tall sons would come in handy, I didn't need to stand on a chair or drag the steps inside. They washed all the walls down, wiped over the shelves and scrubbed the floor for me too.

While they were doing that I was washing and refilling or topping up canisters and adding the things we're running short of to the shopping list. It now looks lovely, all tidy again. It's been a mess for weeks and it was driving me nuts, now I just stand at the bench and smile at it :)

A nice, clean, tidy pantry - easy to see what is where!

I'm slowly going through the house, updating my list of what we use, how much we have on hand and working out how much we need to have a 12 month stockpile. I'm pleased to say that apart from hairspray for me and shaving cream for Wayne we have a full 18 months of toiletries stocked up. Yay!

A part of the toiletry stockpile - shampoo and conditioner in the main bathroom - enough for two years, all bought on sale for $1 a bottle (or under!).Imagine how much more I'd be able to store if the cupboard was square instead of a corner cabinet!

Used lemon juice from the freezer to make lemon and honey tea for Hannah. She has been sick for over a week with a sinus infection and the flu and feeling miserable.

Tuesday I went to Spotlight. They had 30% off store-wide, including craft and I wanted to see if they had anything I particularly wanted. They did! I was able to get a couple of 3D Paper Tole/Decoupage kits to use in card making. 30% off brought them down to $4.90. I also bought a punch and a block for my clear stamps. I found an envelope of money in the bottom of my handbag, leftover from our holiday spending money in June so I used that money to pay for these items. I'm hoping I won't need anything else for a while, there certainly isn't room in our new budget for craft items. I'll either have to get very creative with my budgeting or use birthday and Christmas money. Or maybe I'll start charging for classes again and use that money - something to think about.

Part of the card making supplies I picked up at Spotlight 30% off, I'll get at least 4 cards from this pack

Thursday was my niece's 12th birthday so we delivered her present to her, along with the card I made. I bought the present in the Boxing Day sales, at 60% off and I've been itching to give it to her. It's a kit to make a teddy - a ballerina teddy. She goes to ballet classes and is a talented little dancer so I'm sure she'll have fun making and dressing her new ballerina teddy.

Wayne's Dad arrived Thursday afternoon for a few days. They spent the weekend at the AMRA exhibition at Caulfield Racecourse so I was left to my own devices. Dad brought me some cuttings from Mum's lavender garden and I've planted them in seed raising mix, I'm hoping to get some strong strikes from them. I'd like to plant lavender along the front windows of our house, but buying the plants is out of the question.

Lavender from my mother-in-laws lavender garden, ready for me to take cuttings to start my own lavender garden

The boys helped me turn the soil over and dig in some compost so the beds will be ready for planting in a couple of weeks once the soil warms up.

Of course if the garden is ready I need plants to actually plant so lots of seeds were planted. In a couple of weeks I'll plant more, and then in a month I'll plant another lot. That will give us three lots of plants, enough to keep us in food all summer and well into autumn next year.

Filled the car up for $115.5 using a discount voucher from Woolworths.

Rang around and checked we are getting the best value for our car insurance. I swapped my car to Coles, they were cheaper. Wayne's car will stay where it is, it has too many extras and accessories so it's already on the cheapest and best policy for what we need.

The washing was dried by the fire again all week, even on Wednesday when it was fine and sunny and Friday when it was so warm we let the fire go out.

Opened the doors and windows on Friday and yesterday. It was so warm, and I was just itching to air the house out after being closed up for winter. There's nothing quite like fresh air through a house.

Water from the showers and the kitchen sink was collected and used in the washing machine, to water the pot plants and to wash the floors.

No leftovers this week - all our meals were made to exactly the number of serves we needed. I still have a decent freezer stash to get through.

Hemmed a couple of towels that were a little frayed. Only took a minute, it took longer to get the sewing machine out and thread it up! But now they are neat, and with proper hems they'll last longer.

Embroidered some grub roses on a couple of bibs and crocheted a trim on some face washers for a friend who has just had a little girl.

The cards from the Forum card swapped arrived, they are beautiful and a great boost to my card folder.

Five masculine themed cards and one Christmas card for my card folder. The September theme is flowers.

Bought oranges from Bushy Park for 29 cents a kilo.  Some have been juiced, some have been processed for Whole Orange Cake and I'll use the rest for marmalade this week to use in the Christmas hampers.

Sold three Cheapskates Cleaning hampers to a friend who is using them as gifts. This will give my Christmas budget a boost.

Went to the train exhibition dinner with Wayne last night, so Hannah and Thomas had freezer meals for tea.

And I finished watching Lark Rise to Candleford on Stan, before our free trial is up. I wasn't sure I'd get through four seasons in a month but I have and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  1. What a nice week Cath. The card you made me is just gorgeous and on display on my pin up board.
    It is so nice to be stocked up. Better than money in the bank I say. Also having tall boys to help. No one tall here lol it is all step ladders!
    I can feel spring in the air and am planning my planting. There are flowers and blossoms everywhere. Have a great new week.Love Annabel.xxx

    1. My grocery stockpile is my security blanket Annabel. When I know I can feed my family good meals no matter what happens I am contented and can tackle the challenges without stressing, so I agree, a stockpile is better than money in the bank (that does help though :) ).

      My boys are tall like their Dad and I am blessed that they don't mind helping me with whatever I need, even if they do tease me for being a shorty :)

      My green thumbs are just itching to get stuck into the garden again, I love this time of year when everything is new and fresh, it really makes me happy. Being able to spend time in my garden is one of my biggest joys.

      Have fun planning your planting this week, I'll think of you as I potter around outside.

  2. Rebecca FinlaysonSunday, August 23, 2015

    Sounds like a great week!! How many Christmas hampers do you make each year and who do you give them too? Would love to see photos!!

    1. It varies from year to year Rebecca. This year I'll have 13 to make. I give them to my aunts and uncles, brother, in-laws, family friends.

      I also try to mix up the contents each year so they don't get boring but I'm always asked for lemon butter and zucchini pickles so they are always included.

      This year I'm putting in pickled onions (which I've just started last week) as well.

      In the cleaning hamper I had washing powder, Miracle Spray, stain removing soap, the tip sheets, a knitted dish cloth and the ingredients to make washing powder and Miracle Spray already measured out.

      I change how I pack them each year too. This year they will be in plastic tubs I bought fo 50 cents each when Dollar King was closing down - I bought the lot to use for the hampers.

      I'll post pictures when I make them up, although I think there are some photos of some I've done in previous years on here :)

  3. You had another great week Cath.

    Your pantry looks in good order. Hopefully mine looks similar by the end of this week. Now I am home, I am going to start sorting my pantry. I am one of those people who keeps things other than food in my pantry! Mind you I do have a large pantry, and I think this is why it is used as a dumping place for everything. I am going to have to train the other family members, that will be a big task lol!

    I had a quick look on the internet about striking lavender pieces and it looks like it can be done. There are plenty of instructions there. Good luck, I hope you have success. I might try this with some of my lavender, they would make great presents. I have a fig tree branch here that I brought home from our trip and I want to grow some into trees. I have trimmed it into pieces today and they are having a good soak with rain at the moment. I will then dip in root hormone powder before putting them in pots. I also planted some saved tomato seeds before I went away and when I checked today, they are up, so I need to get busy and prepare a spot for them now.

    Love those cards! There are some clever people out there. I too went to spotlight and got a few things for card making. Now to find some time and make some.

    Have a lovely week,


    1. I hope you had a lovely break and I'm sorry about the fishing, were you able to get any from the fish factory?

      Lavender is easy to strike, I have some strikes already from plants I have, but these ones are special because they're from my mother-in-laws lavender garden - she had/has a whole garden with different varieties and it blooms almost all year round and is just beautiful. Now she is in care (she has advanced dementia) Dad looks after it as best he can and he was so thrilled that I asked him to bring me some to strke, he brought down a huge bunch so I'll have plenty. I can't wait as they are all fragrant varieties and range in colour from an almost white through to a very dark purple.

      Have fun card making, and feel free to join in the swap, the more the merrier I say! I managed to get three made on Saturday afternoon. I spent too long trying to decide on a colour and then a design and almost ran out of time! Never mind I'm sure I'll squeeze some time in this week :)

    2. Yes Cath we did get some fish from the fish factory.

      Your lavender plants do sound really special. I can smell the aroma now.

      Time is my issue with crafty things. I have plenty of time when I go away but oh so busy when I get home. I will take a look at the swap. Think it is about time I made time :)



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