Monday, February 15, 2010

Caped crusaders

I'm on a quest to add to the dress-up box as I have 2 enthusiastic and committed dresser-upperers.

To get started the smalls picked out this pattern (Kwik sew 3723)

Max wanted the batman cape (of course it is the most fiddly to sew of them all), while Addie selected the red-riding-hood cape (not that she has ever heard the story). We managed to find the perfect fabrics after a quick rifle around in the sewing room, some thrifted red velvet & blue satin. Adelaide's was the easier cape (and her requests we "get started" were the loudest and most persistant). With some very helpful advice ("don't snip your fingers off") we got going.

I lined it with an old well-worn cotton sheet that despite washing retains a bit of a moth-ball smell so any wolves that cross her path will think they are dealing with red riding hoods Granny.
It has been a roaring success & if you thought you spied a little red-riding-hood in the hardware shop recently, you were probably right.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Catching up

Last weekends camping trip was perfect (in a camping with kids kind of way)

:: lots of kids
:: lots of digging on the beach
:: lots of bike riding
:: lots of tree climbing
:: lots of swimming
:: lots of walking

Since we arrived home I've been

:: doing a gazillion loads of washing everyday
:: wiping snotty noses at every turn (we all have a cold)
:: packing away camp gear
:: remembering all the camping trips my parents did with us as kids

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Apricot mission

Apparently it was too wet during the apricot flowering this year & the bees couldn't do their thing.

Consequently the neighbourhood trees have virtually no fruit.

Yet we go through about three bottles of fruit a week (possibly more now there are 3 fruit bats in the house.

So on Sunday we went for a drive to buy some apricots. Hard to believe after receiving so many free apricots over the years, the plums are still coming in thick & fast. It was worth the drive as we came home with 20 kilos of apricots. The best part was diving in for a swim on the way home, watched by this little baby-in-a-box.

The preserving has begun in earnest and the countdown is on to get it all bottled before we head of camping for the long weekend. A few late nights ahead of me I think!

A month of change - January

I decided to take part in the 'One small change' project a while back. My focus for January was food. Given we are in the middle of the summer fruit glut that involves lots of freezing, stewing, jamming and bottling it was nice to focus on something so NOW.

I've been planning our meals (even if I don't always follow the 'menu') which has made a huge difference. The main way this has helped has been that it creates a shopping list of sorts (rather than wandering aimlessly though the markets & stores without any real plans, grabbing bits & pieces that don't always come together at meal times!). This planning has also helped in reducing our meat consumption substantially, even in peak BBQ season. I discovered I need to leave a day or two unplanned for when I just can't be bothered (baked beans anyone?) or to use up the leftovers that tend to accumulate in the fridge towards the end of the week.

I've been trying to reduce the amount we buy from the big supermarkets which in many ways is easier in Hobart with great fresh produce markets & bulk food stores. However I can't always find the energy to cart 3 kids around town visiting lots of different shops on a regular basis so I've started to develop a pretty good larder in our "garage" so I buy nearly everything in bulk now. Having a deep freezer also when I found some bananas reduced to 90 cents/kilo on the weekend.....

.....we now have 6 kilos of bananas in the freezer, ready for smoothies, cakes or "ice cream".

The other big part I wanted to focus on was using local produce wherever possible, particularly if it is from our strapping 3 kids in the car (my dislike of this is less to do with fuel consumption worries and more to do with trying to stay sane!). At the moment this has meant incorporating a whole lot of lettuce and potatoes into our meals.

All I can say is thank goodness for the nicoise salad!

And now for February........our power usage and how we can reduce it.


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