The Milk Bar, Berry

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Right next door to The Treat Factory, you will now find The Milk Bar. They have some indoor seating and a lovely covered outdoor deck area. You can sit and watch the cows in the fields opposite, and those cows provide the milk for the gelato, there was also some limited seating inside.

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The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, the place looks great. The house made gelato is pretty amazing, and the milkshakes and thickshakes use it.

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On our first visit, we chose the ham and cheese croissant with tomato relish for an early lunch – and you can buy the relish right next door at the treat factory, it is delicious.

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They have a lot of options cake wise, plus other food options.

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Of course at a milk bar you want to get a milkshake. They do normal milkshakes, thick shakes, and those scary massive treat shakes which everyone loves to instagram. Most of them involve the gelato made right on site. We added coffee gelato to the chocolate thick shake, it was so delicious I grabbed a scoop of that gelato to eat on the way home, because I could.

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We love the new milk bar addition and we will definitely go back to try more of the menu and experiment with some of the thick shakes, because they have some set flavours but you can ask them to put in any flavour of gelato you want.

Berry

The Treat Factory, Berry

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Hidden out the back of Berry is a rather fabulous place called The Treat Factory. I only discovered it thanks to a local Facebook group where someone was looking for some pickling salt, and another member suggested to look in the downstairs area of the Berry Treat Factory.

That’s funny, I thought. I did not know they had a downstairs area. It turned out after over 10 years of living here I had never been to the REAL Berry Treat Factory which is way off the main street and hidden away behind the train station, at the very back of some commercial units.

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So on a weekend not long afterwards, we made the trek to the Treat Factory and discovered so much awesomeness. Above you see their famed downstairs area. You can find all kinds of magical things here, everything from actual Australian dried apricots to hot sauce.

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We have been back several times to buy many of their made-on-site goods, which can also be found at the Berry Markets where they often have a stall and in various shops. I took some photos to share with you.

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They have gluten free and regular pastry in rolls and blocks, frozen pasta, cheeses, free range eggs, muesli..

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The treat factory has all kinds of goodies for sale, including lots of chocolate covered nuts and chocolate treats, many of which would make great gifts to take home for friends and family. They also have some samples of the things for sale that you can try.

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My personal favourites are the lime aioli and the tomato relish. The dark chocolate coated nuts – particularly the almonds – are a regular purchase for us, and the dark chocolate covered coffee beans are must buy if you like that kind of thing. We will continue going back and trying different things until we have tried them all. ;)

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They have local honey, too.

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The large bags of lollies are excellent value in my opinion at just $9.50. They are super huge!

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On this trip we bought tomato relish, dark chocolate coffee beans, belgian chocolate mini frogs, a large bag of dark chocolate almonds and the wicked hot chocolate chai flavour for me, a small bag of the almonds plus some rock and jams for a gift for someone else.

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Thanks to a different Facebook group, I found out they had opened a milk bar with gelato made on site right next door to The Treat Factory, we have now been there twice and I will post about that on Wednesday.

Berry, food

Some Like It Hot

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Last weekend was super hot time in NSW. While the weather station claimed it was 35C outside – 25C inside.. (95F/77F)

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The small temperature unit in the delicate nirvana was telling a different story.. (41C/105.8F)

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The chooks were dustbathing in the shady garden and completely ignoring the fridge-cold water plus an icecube I had just placed in their enclosure. My chickens are strange that way. If you tip out their slightly dusty water they’ll beeline to drink it and ignore the freshly clean water you replace it with. If you give them cold water, they will drink the warm water sitting there while eyeing your cold water with great suspicion. Especially if there is an ice cube in it. They do not understand an ice cube.

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The kitties meanwhile were basking in the warmth of the nirvana. They LOVE it hot.

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But they also do not understand an ice cube.

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Plant Pot

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Our final purchase for 2017 and hopefully our final purchase for the Delicate Nirvana was wood, potting mix and portulaca seedlings to build a special custom plant pot for the corner of our wonderful paradise. After a quick trip to Bunnings on New Year’s Eve, I started off by giving the area a good vacuum, then we unloaded the wood and potting mix from the car.

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I left the other half to build while I prepared dinner. By the time I got back, he’d finished building and also put in a layer of sarlon at the bottom, to stop soil from escaping the pot.

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The sun was going down, so we called it a day. The next morning we kicked off by adding in a layer of sand formerly from the chook coop and run, which contained plenty of chook manure.

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You can’t do a job around here without Happy the Helpercat. Once the helping was complete, the planter looked like this –

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The ferns were in a small self watering pot and we are pretty sure they will take off beautifully in this planter. Since we put the shadecloth in, the ferns are really loving the atmosphere out here and growing very happily. I really wanted a small tree fern to go in the middle corner of this pot however we could not find one. We will keep looking, though.

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We’d been planning this planter for a while now and having finished it, we now feel like the Delicate Nirvana has reached perfection. Half the fun has been the journey but we have now arrived at the destination. Time to sit back, relax and enjoy it. :)

Delicate Nirvana

Musical Monday – Amsterdam

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Somewhere nearby in a parallel universe, there is a version of me sitting in Starclass on a Jetstar flight to Hawaii, listening to “Amsterdam” by Coldplay, over and over again.

As we were taxi-ing out to take off, I was loading up songs onto my playlist. There were several different Coldplay albums on my iPhone and somehow I put Amsterdam on the playlist multiple times. There were a couple of live versions, a couple of album versions, and I think somehow I loaded them on more than once each.

I tried to sleep on that flight. Every time I woke up, Amsterdam was playing. It felt like maybe this night went on forever but time was passing without me knowing it. I was managing naps, but because every time I woke up I heard the same song, I felt like I was getting no sleep at all.

Now, anytime I hear that song, I am immediately back on that plane, flying to Hawaii. But I never, ever actually get there. I just keep flying hearing that same song.

I am secretly a bit of a Coldplay fan. Sometimes one of their songs is exactly what you need to sing along to. And while we are talking about them, I really loved one of their filmclips many years ago – for The Scientist. I loved the concept of it, going backwards instead of forwards.

It is interesting to me that particular song was the one that played over and over. My first ever trip overseas by myself was on KLM which is based in Amsterdam, and I did a quick stop over there on my way back from the Isle of Man.

music, travel

Delivery Time

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Supervisor cat will supervise any deliveries. :)

Ordered on Boxing Day AKA 26th of December, this was my last purchase for myself before The Year Of Buying Nothing began. However it did not arrive until the 3rd of January which made it a nice New Year treat for me.

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There were three new mesh tops from Boo Radley in white, soft pink and raspberry. This item is still on clearance but at the time of writing there is only one size left. What might happen is folks get it home, try it on, don’t like it or it does not fit, then they send it back with the 30 day moneyback guarantee. Mine are most certainly staying here.

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There were 42 items from Yankee Candle. This item can no longer be found on the website. I fear they are not going to restock this brand. I got 18 mini votive candles and 24 melts.

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There was one more purchase we bought for the Delicate Nirvana on New Year’s Eve which I will tell you about next Wednesday.

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The Year Of Buying Nothing 2018

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For the past couple of years my goals have been fitness related. I think I’ve done pretty well in that area, I’m at my goal weight, I’m running 5kms without stopping now. I am pretty happy with that. I’ve just bought a new piece of fitness equipment to do some toning which is what I need now, along with core strength. So this year my fitness plan = keep going on the current path.

Inspired by No Buy July, I had a thought kicking around in my skull brain about trying a year of buying nothing. YOBN for short, and that is how these posts will be tagged for 2018.

Realistically this is quite impossible, because one has to eat and get clean and live life, so groceries and toiletries and necessities are something most of us need to buy. When I say year of buying nothing, I mean things like clothes, shoes, homewares, that kind of stuff.

There may be times when I do NEED something. After a couple of solid months of running in 2017, all my sports bras which were initially clipping on the first set of closures are now on the last set of closures and I expect that after another couple of months I will need to go and have a new bra fitting. I will happily buy these when required and I will not skimp in this area.

The Other Half and I have had a quick chat about the rules. We’re not going to be super militant about this, the plan really is to make us think before we get out the $$$ and hand it over. We need to take some time and ask ourselves questions. Do we need this, or do we just want it? How is this item going to improve our lives?

For some years now we’ve had a “bargain” rule in place – if we were out somewhere by ourselves and found something that we felt was a bargain, we could buy it and the other one would be ok with it.

Many times in the early years of the bargain rule if it were me, I would take a photo and send it by our free messenger program (Kakao talk) and ask if The Other Half agreed with my buying it, but as time went on I tended to go with a modified version of the Nike rule of “just buy it”.

I feel like we’ve got everything we want or need, at least for a while. So it is time for us to focus on enjoying the things we have and not buying more things.

The Current Rules –

1. If we both agree that we NEED something, we will buy it. This will be good for us to separate “want” from “need”.

2. Items purchased from Aldi, Coles and Woolworths will not count as these are mostly groceries and toiletries.

3. Items from Aldi special buys WILL count if they are not groceries or toiletries.

4. Items which are not groceries or toiletries will be documented and posted on the blog once a month to keep track of any “shopping incidents” that occur.

I will reserve the right to add extra rules as we go, if we need them! At the end of each month I will post an update here on the blog. I may do a “what I would have bought” from time to time or I may just add that into the update post.

So, we will give this a try and see how it goes. At the very least it will be an interesting experiment. :)

2018yobn

Just Chilling

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The chooks got a large serving of summer fruit – this selection of cherries and watermelon cut into chook bite size pieces and blueberries was followed by some chopped up mango, too.

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This is the sedate version before the mango was given to them – they go a bit cray-cray for all these fruits but mango sends them into a clucking frenzy.

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Here is Happy who soon after this photo was taken found a lizard and chased it around the BBQ until I intervened. She is still looking for the lizard, who hopefully is finding a newer and safer home after climbing into one of my shoes until I could lock Happy away.

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Grumpy did not even stir during the lizard drama. She is far too happy sleeping here. Out of all of us I believe Grumpy most enjoys the delicate nirvana. She loves that it is mostly warm out here, that the sun warms her through the sun panels – but blocks most of the UV rays which is a very good thing considering how often she basks out here and she loves her large water container.

Snoskred Pets