Thursday, July 20, 2017

Swing

I wish I could tell you I had lots of wonderful crafting time this week. But it just didn't happen. I was so busy. I have a special event over the weekend and needed to do a bit of shopping for it. The kids had their first Week back of learning for term 3 and I had loads of paperwork to catch up on. Miss M had a whole day at the hospital on Thursday, which brings me to now. 

I do, however, have a little painting I did on Thursday for the 52 week illustration challenge.

This week's prompt was SWING.

I think for next weeks challenge I will try and change how I paint just a little....it's all about growth and finding what you are capable of doing and how you paint the best. If  I don't change how I paint then I will never know if I can get better and paint more meaningful pieces.

I immediately thought of a tree swing out in the country. I think I would have loved growing up in the country. The girls face I tried side on, and I just couldn't get it right....so I turned her head face on like someone was taking a photo of her having fun on the swing.

I originally wanted her hair swinging along the ground, but that just didn't quite happen either.

But I like her, just the background went a bit splashy...lol...

SWING







Thanks so much for popping by. I am linking this to paint party Friday, you can see the link on the right sidebar.

You can also subscribe to my blog and never miss a post. Also in the sidebar at the right.



Thank you for stopping by.
I appreciate your visit.
Mandy
Xxx


Refurbished Chest of Drawers

I am very into saving on creating waste, in case you didn't notice...heeheehee

So, I am on a site or two on Facebook that has free stuff on offer. I have only used it a few times, and given a few times too...it's a pay it forward type page. It's a great feeling to pass on things you no longer need to someone who will find them useful. 

A little while back I picked up this lovely little chest of drawers. They lovely lady who we picked it up from said that it was once her mums, and she was a little older than me, so it is pretty old.


Here it was, after a little sanding. Raymond and I sanded it back and then picked up some bees wax from Bunnings to wipe over it. It came up a treat. One of my favourite pieces in the house.



Gorgeous right!?

It's amazing what a bit of hard work creates.

Do you have an reclaimed furniture you've done up? Would love to see it. If you pop a link in the comments I will head on over and take a look.

Don't forget you can subscribe to my blog by popping in your email in the subscribe spot. 

That's about it for today.
Until next time
Lots of it
Mandy
Xxx

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Thoughtful Shopping

Saving money is fun. The more you save, the more you want to do it. Whether it is out of necessity, or whether it is because you are wanting to save for a bigger purchase. Whether you are worried about wastage of resources and the effect that it has on the environment, and by not buying much you indirectly save. Or saving to accumulate wealth. I think saving money is a good thing.

For me personally, I am all about saving for the bigger things, and about the effect that buying "stuff" has on the environment, so I indirectly save. 

I recently watched a series on Australian ABC tv called War on Waste
I am sure it is still on iview to watch, here is  another link that may be helpful.


War On Waste

Since watching this, I have certainly changed my ways around the house.

But, I digress.

My point is, that the less you buy, the less you will spend so the more you save. It is so very simple.

Really think about whether you want to buy an item or not. Try not to impulse buy. Mull over the item. Ask yourself do you really need it. Do you have something similar at home that you could make do with? Think about the resources wasted to make the item. Think about whether the item will last you a while, or only give you some instant gratification.

I'm not saying don't buy anything new. Just think about each purchase. 

It's such a simple thing but it really works. Thoughtful shopping. I recently read somewhere that 80 billion clothing items are made each year, and of that 15 to 25% goes into landfill. That is a scary thought. It also means we buy a lot!

I know that I will be shopping to purchase quality things from this point on, and I will be making do with what I own for a while. No more " disposable fashion" for me for a while. 

 I have written mostly about clothing, but this can be for anything really. Phones, TVs, furniture. The more thought you put into a purchase, the more likely you are to realise that 9 times out of ten you don't really need it, and in doing so, buying less and saving money. 
Trust me, no one is going to notice that the shoes you are wearing to the hens night were the ones you wore to your  nieces wedding...😉

Give it a try.  Let me know how you go with your "thoughtful shopping".

Oh...so excited to read this. I did put a lot of thought into this purchase. I was going to 
borrow it from my local library, however I decided that I will buy it as I want all of my children to learn about how to save money...a terrific investment as far as I'm concerned. 



Anyhow, that's it from me...

You can subscribe to my blog and never miss a post.

Until next time
Lots of it
Mandy
Xxx




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chemistry For Home Schooling

My kids have tried many Science curriculums, and they have completed quite a few kits, lots of  experiments and learning. At some point during the rest of this year the kids will be completing more of their NOEO Chemistry as in each work.




This is a very comprehensive curriculum I bought several years ago. It cost me almost $400, however, I think it was worth it. It is actually a little different to this set shown in the photo, but this one is the latest one.

It has a 36 week lesson plan, which we will be using only some of these as we have previously done much of the historical aspect of chemistry, the upcoming work will be more experiments, looking at metals, non metals, chemical reaction, atoms, molecules just to name a few.

I have made a little booklet for them to go with it, as well as them writing up experiments they will be doing. This should more than cover the outcomes for Stage 5 science, and, along with this wonderful looking thing, can't wait to let them play and learn all about chemistry.

I






It was purchased from Amazon, and cost close to $100 but it will be worth the money as I believe it will be fun to use and very educational. I am awaiting very impatiently for this one...lol...

As a note, I make no money for promoting these resources. I just hunk hey are great tools to us for high school home schooling.


Here are some great links for activities, information and worksheets.

https://www.myips.org/cms/lib8/IN01906626/Centricity/Domain/8123/atomic%20structure%20and%20periodic%20table.pdf

This link uses lego.

https://edgerton.mit.edu/sites/default/files/media/chemical_reactions_student_pages_4-6-14_color_0_0.pdf


 Video on chemical reactions

https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/chemistry--of-life/chemical-bonds-and-reactions/v/chemical-reactions-introduction


A game to print off on elements.

http://www.ellenjmchenry.com/homeschool-freedownloads/chemistry-games/documents/QuickSix_12_11_000.pdf

Another game

https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/outreach/kidschemistry/the-chemistry-name-game.pdf

Lots here




Chemistry worksheets

https://www.thoughtco.com/printable-chemistry-worksheets-609242

Periodic table battleship game

http://www.thetech.org/sites/default/files/chem_post-lab_activity_-_periodic_table_battleship_fy17.pdf


Bingo Game to print

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/explorelabscience/Periodic_Table_Bingo_403152_7.pdf



Lots here to look at

http://www.cea.asn.au/chemistry-resources

There's  so much available online.

If you have any questions I am happy to answer them, and don't forget to subscribe to my blog. That way you won't miss a post.

Until next time
Lots of it
Mandy
Xxx














Monday, July 17, 2017

Busy Busy

So, the weekend went by and for the last couple of weeks, and today, I have been sorting out resources for the kids new term of school work.

My go to place is AMAZON, and sadly, it is still cheaper getting the resources from there as opposed to buying here in Australia, even including postage.

I love games and manipulatives that can go alongside their learning. Even when they are older. Science by far has the best resources. 

I will show what I have for them when its home school day...lol...

I feel a tad disappointed as I usually head off to a local market, and was heading to an open day at a local museum, to show Miss Maddie some artifacts that were dug up at a local historical site, since now she has a huge interest in archaeology. But, she had other plans and thought sleeping was a better idea. We should be able to see them at another time so all is not lost.

A few days ago I had a lot of oranges that I had picked and decided to make some cordial. Yeah, its got lots of sugar, but hey, I had a little try of it and it was delicious.

All I did was juice 15 mini oranges, which was about 600 mls of juice.
I then placed into a pot 600 mls of water, and one cup of sugar. Heated it up on the stove until the sugar had dissolved, constantly stirring. 
I then added the juice and about a tablespoon of citric acid. It gave it just the right amount of tang.
Stirred until combined and let it cool a little. I then poured it into a bottle from ikea, and made up a couple of diluted bottles of cordial for the fridge.




I made another swap of home grown produce over the weekend. I am so happy with how the group is going, and I tried turning these and some oranges into marmalade. As it turns out, EPIC fail. Got to them this morning and they weren't set. So rebuild and forgot about it and it boiled over, I spent a least one hour cleaning the stove AND it appears I cooked it too long and it's a very dark colour. Bitter as....but at least it actually set...lol...
Not everything works out.

I actually had a small amount left in the bottom so as I was sterilizing more jars I left the jam on. These seemed to have turned out well...they are the two to the left.












This is a two in one post...weekend ramblings and a frittata recipe.

BACON AND VEGIE FRITTATA
4 trimmed and chopped pieces of bacon
However many leafy greens you have chopped
One leek
Some herbs (I used mint, some fennel tops and curly parsley)
A couple of garlic cloves
12 free range eggs
1/3 a tin of coconut cream/milk
Fry up the bacon, and then add the herbs, garlic and veggies. Cook.
Cover the pan with some coconut oil and then place the cooked food evenly across the pan.
Crack the twelve eggs into a bowl along with the third of a tin of coconut cream. Whisk.
Pour over the bacon and veggies.
Cook in the oven on about 180 degrees Celsius until cooked. I had mine in for about 20 ish minutes.
Yum
Until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx

Friday, July 14, 2017

Paint Your Own Art and PPF

Today is Paint Party Friday. You will find the link to your right, on my sidebar.
I am loving doing these children's illustrations on 52 Weeks Illustration Challenge. Some of my earliest memories as a child are of me sitting at the kitchen table drawing with a humble lead pencil, and an exercise book or a piece of butchers paper from mum's shopping, that I would de-crinkle , flatten out, and use.

This weeks theme or prompt word  was "growth".
I immediately thought about a pregnant belly, having grown 6 myself, it is one of my favourite times of life. I loved being pregnant. Here is a new mum, in thought, wondering how her life will change. I went away from my usual circle, but think I maybe should have done it still. Oh well. You live and learn.




I also thought it would be nice to show you how to make your very own piece that you can frame and hang up in your house.





I copied a generic peace sign from the internet. Then I held it up to the light, put the paper I was painting on in front and roughly drew where I needed to paint.






 I used water colours to draw leaves and flowers and filling in between. 




I then sticky taped the outline to the painting and using a craft knife, cut out around the shape. 

And there you have it.
A simple little thing to frame. I will be on the search to find a frame just for this. I am quite happy with it.







I thought I better start to live up to the name of my blog and create the peace sign. 




And now, some of my favourite paintings from the past little bit. I did a course at Willowing, which many of these came from, and which I thoroughly enjoyed, it was a Fairy Tale course, thus all the Fairy Tale characters.

                                                                      My own



Tamara's lesson from Willowing


           A lesson from the Willowing course



A spin off from the lesson from willowing.


My own design, this is actually Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter.


                                                Red Riding Hood, lesson from Willowing course.


                                                 Goldilocks and the three bears, my own design.



                                             A little piece I did...

OK...would love for you to subscribe to my blog. I keep it add free so you can see it all clearly, without ads flashing and getting in the way of content. Just go to the top right of my sidebar and you pop your email in there. You will get sent an email each time I post.

Let me know if you give my little peace sign a go.
And, I am definitely looking forward to seeing everyone elses paintings for PAINT PARTY FRIDAY.

You can also subscribe to my blog via email. Just click on the right sidebar where it says subscribe via email.

Until next time
Lots of it
Mandy
xxx



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Home Tour Part 1

Today is all about home and garden. I thought it would be fun to show you some of the rooms I love to hang in. 

I don't spend a lot on furniture and home decor. I have in the past, but honestly, in our house it doesn't last any longer so we are happy with IKEA mostly, with sparklings of kmart and my house and adairs. 

The room that I am mostly in, is the front room, as we affectionately  call it, or, our living room. It's really meant to be a formal lounge and dining, but we have just turned it into one big room to hang, play games in and watch tv. Well, actually, we watch a whole lot of movies. 

So, here it is.











Here is my entry. It is a kind of funny shape. It has 6 sides, but it holds our beloved fiction books, well, some of them, and my precious Harry Potter collection...tad obsession here...lol...




Here is the dining area. We have had this table for many years. I fell in love with it all those years ago...it was shiny and made from recycled wood. I am wanting to get some black industrial chairs to go with it. I think that will go really well....need to paint the walls and get some decent pictures up on the wall...
This room also has what we call the "new unit" which  holds all our bulk from old stuff basically. We have had is for about 15 years so it's not really new...lol...



Well, there it is. A few rooms. Very ordinary, but it's home.
Would love if you subscribed to my blog. Look to the top and left, you will see where you enter your email, and each time I post, you can get it sent to your email.

Until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Saving Money On Food

16 years ago, when my twins came along and they were very unwell, I kind of knew I wouldn't be able to work for a while. 16 years later, I am still a non paid worker, and I am still not sure I will ever be able to work out of home due to needing to be there for my kids. It never stops me thinking of a way for me to earn money from home, but that's for a different blog post.


Having one wage means I became very good with money. Paying bills, gifts, living, and food.
I firmly believe the biggest savings can be made when buying food.
There was a period in my life where I was spending $600 a week on food.
It wasn't that we ate $60 worth of meat every day....it was the fact that every second day I would go down the shops for bread and milk, and then come home with three or four shopping bags of groceries and spent between $60 and $140. And that was a top up shop, having already done a "weekly" shop.

Crazy right!?

It soon added up.

A couple of years ago I made a decision. Well, actually, a few decisions, and I am constantly refining the way I shop still, to make it healthier, and leaving me with more money in my pocket for other things.

You don't need to spend less and be careful with your money just because you don't earn a whole lot. Noone knows what's ahead. A little savings in the bank is a a good thing. Maybe save for a holiday or a new car.
As I said, I think the biggest savings can be made on our food purchases. After all, we still need a roof over our head and rent or mortgage is fixed. Bills are fairly fixed as well, although we can be very mindful of these and save a little. Thoughtful spending is the way to go.


My goal was to spend less than $500 on food. Now, that might seem a lot of money, but remember, we have 8 in our family. I don't exactly count how much I spend every week, although that may be a good thing, but I definitely know we spend less than that these days, and we eat very healthily (most days 😜) I have a bigger goal at the moment, which I will talk about next week.

So, here is my list for cutting down on grocery spending.

1. Look at the brochures.
 Often there are sales for half price items, or items on sale. Don't be afraid t go t two or three places to make the most of those sales. Shop in the one go.

2. MAKE A SHOPPING LIST.

Really, this one is so important. I shop weekly. I don't have enough room in my fridge or freezer too do any more than that. I write down what 7 meals I will cook for the family, then I do sublists titled, meat, fruit and veg, cold, other, cleaning, and bread. This covers it all. You can work your meals around what is on special.

3. Grow our own.

Even if it is just some herbs in a pot. Where I live, to buy a bunch of herbs is 3 to 4 dollars per bunch. Now, that could be $20 for a weekly shop just on herbs. Crazy right, especially when they are so incredibly easy to grow.
The most used ones are rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, mint, parsley, and some chilli. Grow from seeds, which will keep you in herbs for years, or buy little seedlings from your nursery or markets. Leafy greens are also very easy to grow.
We als have man citrus which are very easy to grow too.


4. Start a produce swap group.

I started one last year. I have a Facebook group, currently with very active swapping happening. It is a great idea.

5. Stop buying processed foods.
Seriously, this has been an amazing thing for our family. Make from scratch is the way to g for everything. Better still, just have fruit and the garden lme that for snacks. He kids will eventually get used to it. Don't get me wrong, we still have that sort of food, but it is not a weekly that Ng we buy.


6. Buy in bulk.

Here in Australia, we have a place called Honest to Goodness.
It have a lovely  friend who organises  this group buy for us. It's a group coop I guess. Nothing stopping you from getting together with friends to do this. It is how we get our organic product for cheaper than the regular stuff you get at the supermarket.
I also buy washing powder in big boxes too. Big savings there.

7. Have a certain amount of cash for those little extras you need through the week. We always need more more milk and bread. It f you only take he money you need you won't have it to spend on anything extra.

8. Less meat and more veg.
We have a vegetarian meals n our family, as well as one who only eats a small amount of chicken breast. So we often have vegetarian meals, and I have learnt to cook our meat meals with much less meat and a whole heap of vegies, and luckily we love vegies here...you can get protien from chick peas, lentils and beans. You can als top up meat dishes with these too.

9. Make a meal "whatever" night. That's when the kids cook themselves whatever is in the cupboard or fridge. Eggs on toast, baked beans on toast, grilled cheese, frittata. Teaches the kids how to cook and also means one less meal you have to buy for.

10. Buy eggs from a chook farm or a Markets.

We go through a lot of eggs each week. They are a cheap meal, and always handy to have.
We get a tray of free range eggs from the markets for anything between $8.50 for 30 for small ones, to $14 for extra large ones. We get a few trays as the market I get them from s only there monthly.




These are great ways of saving, and seriously, this saved me a couple of hundred dollars a week.
Am doing please, take your own bags to shop with and save on putting plastic bags into landfill.

Do you have any ways of saving money on groceries? I would love to hear them.

Until next time
Lots of it
Mandy
Xxx






Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Science, Stage 5, DNA and GENETICS

It is sometimes hard to get the kids excited about doing Science. We have tried so many things, notebooking being Maddie's favoured way and Peter Adams being Jacob's.

They have achieved many of the outcomes along the way, with all these various curriculums, and in there last 3 terms of doing stage 5, I thought it would be fun for them to do a more hands on approach, after all, they are the sorts of things most of us remember best.

The kids are learning about DNA and revisiting Genetics, so I purchased a couple of good kits with experiments. The first is the K'NEX DNA kit...it looks fantastic, and the sdecond is the Sciencewiz DNA kit. Also with experiments, activities and an information booklet. 

From visits to the library, and purchasing books, these will be the books they will be using, plus we have a large lot of general science books which actually have information in them as well.






Here is a great little powerpoint we will be using.

http://sonhank.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Genes-Chromosomes.pdf

Here is a little booklet to go with it.

http://sonhank.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Genes-and-Chromosomes-worksheet.pdf

And another brilliant site with lots of information and 

https://geneed.nlm.nih.gov/

If you would like the programming side of things I am happy to email it to you.
Just leave me a message with your email and I will send it off to you.

Until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx








Monday, July 10, 2017

Marmalade Recipe

Today is RECIPE day.
Overt the weekend I made some orange butter and marmalade. We have a tree full of itty bitty oranges, and we won't eat them all. So, I picked a whole lot of them and got to cooking.




I used THIS recipe but had to tweek it a little.


Gather all your equipment.


Slice up your 6 little oranges, zest and juice of one lemon, add your 6 cups of filtered water and boil. I did this for about 10 minutes.


Don't forget to boil/sterilize your jars and screw tops for 10 minutes. keep in the pot hot until ready to pour the jam.

Once the skins are softened, you were supposed to add 3 pounds and 12 ounces of sugar. I popped this into a converter and apparently it is supposed to be 1.5 kilos, or 7 cups of sugar. Boil it up constantly stirring. you are supposed to do this until the jam, when added to a cold plate, gels up. I had to leave mine on for half an hour.

 Take your jars and, be careful...they are hot!!!! as is the jam, so keep little ones and pets away

Pour the jam into the jars, stopping just under the screw part of the jar.


Pop the lid and the screw top on. Screw up but not too tight...just so its sealed, and pop into the hot boiling water. Use the tongs. Boil, or water bath for 10 minutes.
make sure the water is about 3 cm above the top of the lids, so the jars will be totally submerged. Some tiny bubbles come from the jars, but it still doesn't get water in there if you have put the lids on properly.

  
Take them out carefully, making sure you don't touch the lids and especially don't touch the top...they will pop in on their own as they cool down. If you hear the pop that is perfect. It means it worked. If you didn't hear the pop it means it didn't seal properly, so you let these ones cool and keep in the fridge and use right away. 


I popped little stickers on mine, with date of jarring, although I doubt these will last long enough in our family for me to worry about...lol...

 Remember...THIS STUFF IS HOT!!!BE VERY CAREFUL!!! 

Well...there you have it. This made 4 whole jars and a little left over to use straight away.

Let me know if you give this a go. I figured out this would have cost about $0.40 per jar. Pretty good right.

Until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx