Friday, 16 August 2013

Frightfully Frugal Fortnight.

Nothing forces you to appreciate the little things in life than a $0.00 bank balance. Who knew the joys that could be discovered and the humour that can be uncovered.

There was a bit of a mix-up with my first long service leave pay...there was none of it!! Posed a few concerns (alarm, swearing, panic, complete calamity). Turns out there was a mistake and it would be corrected with fortnight! With savings invested in a new business it was going to mean a very tight fortnight.

Welcome to frugal boys :)

Ohh the clever creations one can serve up from the dregs in the back of the pantry. Thank goodness that Joe's birthday present had already been purchased and that Poppy had a winning ticket in the meat raffle at the club. The surprising thing is that it was kind of fun. I had to be creative, we made a joke of it all and it seems my children really enjoy plain food. Rice, steak with a bit of lettuce (slightly shrivelled) and tomato on the side was DELICIOUS! Plain rice?!?! Since I don't eat meat I wasn't quite so excited myself- I got the Mumbai Mushroom packet thing that came in a show bag....hmmmmmmm :/ That's why it was still in the back of the pantry. Another frugal favourite was corn fritters and hash browns with salsa- a few potatoes, tin of corn and dusty jar of salsa...YUM!!! And who would ever complain about homemade biscuits and cakes.

We survived our ordeal and even managed to host a party in the midst of our financial crisis.

It gave me lots to reflect on and most certainly made us all grateful for our good fortune, our family and our home (however freezing it is at the moment). It really is the little things that count and we are lucky.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Bugs and Beasties!

My baby boy turned 7! What a gorgeous 7 year old he is too. 
 We had a special family afternoon tea on the day of his birthday and then a little party for his small group of good mates at school. It is exciting to say that they were ALL very chatty and noisy- music to our ears. 
Our bug and beastie loving boy has had this theme before but loved it so much that he asked to do it all again. This time we didn't get the presenters in with their snakes and bugs, we wanted the focus to be on Joe enjoying the company of his friends. So we set about organising our own activities that would involve team challenges.  
They each had a little 'Field Journal' and pencil to start their challenges for the day.

With cones full of trail mix to get them going they all set off on challenge number 1!

I took photos of the plastic bugs we stock at 'It's a Date!' and printed off a grid for the boys to tick off as they found each bug. Their reward for completing the challenge was a bug catcher to take home. Joe buried all of the bugs in the sand trough and they all had to dig through it to find them all.

Challenge Number 2!

All of the boys wrote the number 1-7 in their books and then had to set out to find 7 posters hidden around the yard. Each poster had a number and a word- which spelled out a clue when they found all 7 posters.

The clue led them to this treasure box containing precious, lucky stones. 

Of course there was eating to be done too!!

The gorgeous bug printables included the Field Journals, bug juice labels, cupcake toppers (which I used as cake pop tags and gift bag tags.

 The source can be found here:


This spectacular cake creation was made by my Mum. 

The bonus cup cakes she made were a perfect treat to take home in cake boxes at the end of the party.

All of the products used are available now from It's a Date! Please let me know if you see something in particular you like or if you'd like the whole kit!! 
The website is coming along and it won't be long before the grand opening takes place. I am more than just a little bit excited!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Frosty Relationship.

I am not on friendly terms with my house in Winter. It offers no warmth or friendliness at all. In fact it is rather cool and grumpy. When we seek out it's embrace we are met with frosty disinterest. Rude isn't it!
It seems to conveniently grow itself a layer of dust over every surface, that reappears as soon as I so wipe it clean. It doesn't allow the sun in to cast that lovely warm glow over the cobwebby corners but rather blocks it out with it's icy disdain.

I long to meet my lovely friend again- my summer house. That's when we enjoy each others company. The house has a welcoming warmth, the light shines from within and visitors enjoy their stay. The dust and cobwebs are blown away with the breeze that flows through the open doors and windows. The house smiles again, and so do we.

Meanwhile I snuggle up beneath the rug and layers of clothing sipping hot tea in the weak, watery sunshine that is creeping in through a single window... while it lasts.

Embrace the quirky!

Quirkiness is a undervalued trait. It is funny and interesting. Sometimes it can wear thin in big doses, but overall it is a fabulous source of amusement.
Some households are more quirky than others, in fact some households just don't appreciate quirkiness at all! Hard to believe really.

Some people might have quirks in just one area- like numbers for instance. Perhaps they only like some numbers. Maybe they have a preference for even numbers and would rather avoid those 'odd' odd numbers. There is nothing 'ODD' about that is there? It's easy to cope with in real life situations. If someone is adjusting the volume on the TV, it's not too much trouble to make sure it is done in even increments- is it!? Of course buying a house with an odd number may cause a small degree of discomfort, but that minor detail can be overcome. Having 3 children rather than 2 or 4 (or 6 even) may pose some initial concerns, but then again the realities of having 3 children will surely address that issue.

Apparently music notes can have personalities too- in the mind of a creative, quirky type. Here's how it goes:
A- calm and nobody really hates him.
B- a jerk! He doesn't have a sharp and he knows it!
C- really cool and kind of a show-off.
D- really small and shy.
E- weak and needs someone to protect it.
F- really protective over E and wants G to stay away from E.
G- everyone thinks G is bad but he is good inside.

Then of course there is the obsessive type quirkies. For example, maybe they only like to watch BBC comedies from the 1970's- hey that was good TV!! Hilarious and so, so politically incorrect. What's not to love?

Maybe you know someone with a quirk or two. I say embrace the quirkiness!! Enjoy it in moderation and enjoy the good, long belly laughs that can come with it. Appreciate the clever and creative way of looking at the world. Perhaps ask the real estate agent before you view a house whether it is on the odd or even side of the street!!!

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