Sausage Roll Monday

It was a public holiday Monday which living in a Tourist Town means you could go somewhere as long as you pick the right direction but getting back would be Not Fun. So we spent our day cleaning, doing the washing and cooking.

My sausage roll recipe is super simple as long as you have a food processor. Throw in the quantities you like of the following vegetables –

Green capsicum (peppers)
Brussel Sprouts
Carrots
Leek

Whizz that up nice, then add 500g beef mince and one egg. Whizz that up some more, then lay the mince out on half a sheet of puff pastry, put egg wash on the opposite edge, and roll.

Once you have made enough to fill an oven tray, egg wash the tops of the sausage roll and sprinkle on a parmesan and herb mix. I tend to use my chip sprinkle which is paprika, garlic powder, parsley, mustard powder, black pepper, cinnamon, a touch of low sodium chicken stock powder, rosemary and any other herbs I feel like throwing in when I am making it.

We made 3x 500g beef mince packs. We ate a few for lunch, then all the other sausage rolls go in the freezer for a quick dinner at a later time. There’s 92 packaged up and frozen from this particular sausage roll venture plus a few to be heated up later for tonights dinner.

That’s what we’re cooking – what else is happening?

Watching – Chernobyl. We’re about to watch episode 3. Yes it is not an easy watch but it is an important watch.

Listening – to the Chernobyl podcast which goes along with the show.

Working – on a checklist for opening and closing the shop I work in – on Saturdays I now open and close and I have my own key. I am deeply enjoying my work and it is wonderful to be appreciated for the work I do, which is a novel concept after my last workplace where my boss really did not care or notice what I did.

Wondering – about the coincidences of life – my other half applied for one job which would work in better with going to Uni full time, he got the job and it turns out it is in the same building as the shop I work in. How bizarre is that?

Adding – a new treadmill to my space. A friend did not need theirs anymore so it came to live with us.

Eating – Thai Coconut Icecream which came as part of dinner we bought last week. The other food was just so-so but this icecream is amazing, I definitely want more of it.

Ordering – more protein as I am about to run out, it just arrived last week.

Wearing – my new brooches which arrived recently, they are gorgeous, especially the Bee. Click on this image for a larger view. :)

Home, recipes

The Long Weekend

Our Easter long weekend was mostly a lot of lazing around. This year so far has been go go go for both of us, a lot of family outings, quite a bit of work for me, work and uni for the other half, just busy-ness in general.

Living in an area where a lot of tourists – referred to by some locals as another T word much less flattering – visit on long weekends, public holidays and school holidays, a staycation is your best way to avoid long queues, busy restaurants, sometimes badly cooked meals or meals you had to wait a very long time to arrive, and much traffic.

Once I left work on Thursday, we did not go near another shop and I will not until I go back to the shop tomorrow. Part of that is thanks to getting back into meal planning and a fortnightly shop.

We did go out for one long walk down to our former neighbourhood Callala Bay / Beach. We chose that instead of Huskisson as they were having a rather large event. They do have quite a good network of walking and cycling paths down that way now, so it is always a more peaceful option we can use if Husky/Vincentia is crazy busy.

We are never quite sure if a decision will be a good one until we are on our way there. In this case we feared the worst because the traffic was quite heavy on the way down but once we got there the people all went different ways and the walking paths were mostly free of insanity.

We did a 10km run/walk. I like to split my 10kms into two halves because the first 5km is where I usually run – in this case it was the first 2km and then some sprints – and the second 5km is a bit more leisurely. It was very hot out – almost 30C (86F) so we paced ourselves.

Part of this was through the neighbourhood known as Benton Sands which is a very lovely development. They have a community centre and pool and I believe the plantings were all supposed to be Australian native plants which does make for a more natural environment. It also does mean a bit more hayfever at this time of year, at least for us.

We passed this large group of swans feeding. I’ve never seen this many swans in one place at one moment before.

We ended up at the Boat Ramp on our way back to the car which is always great entertainment on a long weekend. It was absolutely packed with cars and boat trailers. BOATS AKIMBO. Absolute madness!

At home there was much coffee..

And cake.. which made me fit in another 5km run on Monday around our home block, in which I encountered a very large spider just hanging out on the ground for no apparent reason and let out an incredibly loud scream as a surprise to myself and though I did not ask I suspect also as a surprise to the spider. I went back and took a photo, which I suppose is a step in the right direction towards not being quite so terrified of those creatures. I will not share it here because That Is Not How I Roll.

At home there was The Bus at least once a day, AKA Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m not much into the Marvel universe at the best of times and I couldn’t tell you anything about the movies but I love this show and their bus – aka the massive plane – is super cool.

I also binged Season 5 of Bosch which was deeply excellent, caught a few episodes of various shows which I am watching weekly at the moment in particular Line of Duty, LOVING Project Runway with Christian Siriano as the mentor, 24 Hours in Police Custody, COPS, and my one hate watch, Sister Wives. I like the wives, I just HATE the guy and therefore it is beyond my understanding how he has collected up 4 wives who can stand to spend as much as one minute near him.

Sephyroth and I caught up for a lovely video chat in which he updated me about a work conference he went to, sounds like it was awesome. I caught him up on all our happenings here.

I brought home the work laptop for the weekend so I could try and clear out some extra space on there, deleting useless games and various Windows junk which nobody wants or needs.

I also sat down with the Spreadsheet Maestro AKA The Other Half and we created a couple of things which will make my work life a lot easier. I’m fired up and super excited to get back to work today, then I have a couple of days off in which I will run quite a bit, and then a little more work.

How was your weekend – long or short? :)

coffee, exercise, food, Home, television shows

I Have Been Waiting For You

my new dark salted caramel friends. Yes, years I have waited. Why nobody made a dark salted caramel chocolate that I could buy on supermarket shelves, I am still baffled by. But here it is. And I am about to try it, right now, while writing this post on the blog. OMG yes it is awesome but a bit up money at $6 for this block. I will stock up when it goes on special.

Work has been fabulous. The new job is awesome and I am having a great time, with some minor adjustment issues all on my side.

You see, I had fashioned myself a uniform of sorts. It had to be very warm because my last workplace was like being set down on an Arctic ice shelf, with two air-conditioning vents directly above where I stood for much of my day blowing cold air on me. And hilariously in summer, the hotter it got outside, the colder it got inside. I wore Uniqlo heat tech long sleeve turtlenecks and a suedey puffer vest – with great pockets – and I was still freezing most of the time.

The new place is warm and if it wasn’t, I would be able to change the temperature myself. There is no uniform and probably no need for one though I could definitely come up with one if I wanted to. I did not realise how much time knowing what I would wear saved me each morning. I pick out my outfit the night before.

I also never wore earrings to my old job – it was actually too dangerous with the machinery. I always wore a brooch to make up for it. But now I can wear earrings, and I will.

Since the start of the year things have been quite chaotic in this household. With family from interstate visiting we had a lot more outings than usual and we’ve got out of the habit of many household routines, like the regular fortnightly grocery shop.

It has been more bitsy shopping here and there, picking up things for a few meals at a time because we weren’t sure where we would be. Batch cooking has also taken a back seat with The Other Half only at work three days a week and only needing three lunches.

It is time to get back on the no spend days horse, and time to get back on the grocery budget and meal planning. We’ve started that process today.

Home, work

Quick Catch Up

Callala Bay on a 34 degree day, where my cousin’s wife and I chose to do a 7km walk because we could. It was actually lovely, a nice breeze blowing for much of the time. But this is one of just three times I have been anywhere near the beaches since School Holidays started. Too many tourists, too much traffic, way too much litter, and not enough patience within myself.

We’ve been offline for almost 7 days thanks to our internet service provider. It began the Thursday evening before the Australia Day long weekend. We’d gone out for dinner and when we returned home, no internet. Friday, no internet. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, more of the same. Tuesday we put in an application to move to a new provider because we’d had enough. The internet returned finally on Wednesday.

I actually did not mind so much. I had some teevee to catch up on and my Sticky Prints arrived on Friday so I had two collage walls to build. Sticky Prints are amazing – they essentially work like octopus tentacles – you don’t need any adhesive, no hooks or nails or anything at all. The back of the print is like a mass of tiny suction cups.

You simply peel it off the protective sheet it arrives attached to, and place it onto a clean wall. You can peel it straight back off again, or leave it there long term and when you are ready to remove it, you simply peel it off. They will stick to most surfaces – fridges are another popular place to put them, but you really can put them anywhere you like.

One of the collage walls I can show you – the other one has a lot of photos of people including myself, The Other Half, Sephyroth and various family members, so that one will remain private, but I might take some photos of the non-people photos.

This is a memorial wall of our Big Cat and our chickens who are no longer with us. It is a happy-sad. Happy that they were with us and had wonderful treat filled lives, sad they are no longer here.

Speaking of treats, drumstick x messina is now available in supermarkets and is half price (AKA $5 for 4) at Coles this week. I’m about to go try one and then catch up on a LOT of reading your blogs.. ;)

OMG I had the mango and salted coconut.. amazing. Get thee to Coles!! :)

country life, Home

So Much Happening

Half of it I can’t talk about here, and the other half I haven’t had the time or energy to talk about here. So let us go back in time to Christmas Day. After just one year of hosting Christmas, The Other Half and I have this down to a fine art and really do not need to do much food preparation at all, just putting out nibblies, cooking a BBQ with steaks and sausages, and Mother provides the dessert of Pavlova.

Only this year I had gone on a Christmas Shopping expedition to The Treat Factory and found out they were making gelato logs. What a fantastic idea. I ordered one in dark chocolate and salted caramel. It was fabulous and we had leftovers which we have greatly enjoyed on all the hot evenings since.

I did mostly forget to take photos, we were having too good a time really. It was lovely to be still and enjoy each others company. However I knew it was back to work the next morning, so it was a little less relaxing than usual.

I worked on Boxing Day, not a long shift. I gave a Christmas present to a fellow co-worker and they told me it was the only present they had to open on Christmas Morning, which also made me a little sad – but extra happy I went to the effort to get something for them. I remember many years of having nothing to open, which is why I go to an extra effort now to make sure I do have things to open even if I bought them for myself.

I haven’t had a chance to write up the No Spend for both November and December – and not sure there is much point now we’re in a new year other than for the sake of completion. December was a spend month but mostly spending on presents for other people. I did have two things I wanted to buy in the Boxing Day Sales – Bras and Kiehl’s Moisturiser in the super large size.

I’ve worn the same 4 bras to work for 6 months now – these were the same 4 bras I’d been wearing for almost a year already – and while they are still semi-wearable, they were past their use-by date. I figured it would be a good idea to pick some up if they were on special. I’d bookmarked them in my browser. I hoped to buy them on super special on Boxing Day, but none of them moved in price at all, at least not online.

That is a really smart thing on the part of Bras N Things, to have an inhouse brand which you fit customers in and sell them but don’t ever discount, not even on the biggest sale day of the year. I thought maybe they might be on special in store or maybe there might be something else I could try on which was on special, so I suggested to The Other Half that he drop me off at the shops and I would go for a wander. I thought he wouldn’t want to go. Surprise, he did join me! Because it was mid-afternoon, the sales rush was over and we even managed to find a decent park.

There was a shopping incident where I thoroughly spoiled myself with new bras. I tried one on and it was so comfortable I gave it to the sales assistant and said “please can you go and find every bra like this in my size, I will take them all” – she found 7 in my size. Perfect! One for each day of the week, and I got two navy blue polkadot ones which I have officially allocated as work bras.

A few days later another family member needed bras so we went together and they had more in my size back out on the shelves – I bought 5 more because they were so comfortable and even cheaper on sale than they were the first time, because they added “spend $100 get $20 off” on top of the great sale prices and I had two $5 vouchers as well – one of which I gave to my family member..

I had not bought any bras at all since mid 2017 after my big weight loss, so I think I did pretty well. I wish I’d done it sooner because I did not realise how uncomfortable the old ones had become, and I got to a point where the minute I got in the house I would take them off – not anymore, now I am enjoying wearing these all day long, the same way I once did with the old bras.

I got my Kiehls for 15% off. Sometimes it is really handy to have signed up for the mailing list, as I was able to go back through the emails since September and realised 15% off is the best deal they’ve done in those three months. I still have 1/3 of the jar left from my Canberra shopping trip.

This new jar is 3x the size so I should get 9 months out of it at least. I’ve maybe missed two mornings since I bought it and on those missed days I can really tell that I missed applying it. I’m so glad I found this moisturiser and have to send another big thanks to Sydney Shop Girl for making me aware of this brand.

I bought a few things from my TVSN wishlist for crazy discounted prices, including this one I mentioned in my April did not buy post for $9.95 instead of $64.95, what a bargain! The material is so gorgeous. I’m glad they had it left in my size, I was not so lucky with some of the other items I wanted.

In other family news, my cousin and his wife have arrived for a long-ish visit. They are replacing a couple of staff on my parents side of the store, who had two staff members resign leading up to Christmas. Not sure if this will be temporary or long term. I’d not met his wife before but it turns out we are like twinsies and get along super well, plus she loves to walk which is great for me.

In blog news, at this stage I am not sure if and when I will return to regular posting. A few things are up in the air at work right now, and I’m waiting for things to settle before making any big decisions. I’ll try and get in one post a week but I’m just not making any promises because I don’t know my future schedule.

family, Home

Sorry All..

At the moment I’m pretty amazed if I can remember my own name and where I live, I certainly have no spare thoughts to put together comments for your blogs or a decent post for this one. I do manage the occasional comment, sorry there are not more of them.

My offsider has mostly flaked out on me, I can’t rely on them to do any of the essential tasks that need to get done at this time of year, so it is all me all the time. It is a lot more work than I was expecting, but it is 100% work I am capable of and suited to. The levels of organization.. alphabetization.. I’m feeling pretty happy about it, while at the same time completely exhausted.

Today is my first full day off where I have no intentions whatsoever of dropping into work to make sure things get done, and I have some plans – hairdressing, Christmas Shopping, a nice lunch in Berry, then a stroll around a late night Christmas Shopping event. I might see if I can park the car somewhere it can be washed, too. Hopefully this might be fodder for a post next week.

Tomorrow I have another day off and I am going to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING all day. I need a day like that, before heading back into another 5 day stint of insanity. I might see if I can manage my November wrap up post, though.

Chooks are good if perhaps inundated with treats, kitties are good. We seem to have a rodent problem. They started chewing on the coop/run as they are locked out of it at night, and that is where the food now resides.

We’ve had to put some metal capping on. We may shout ourselves an electric chair for Christmas.

Chickens, Home

An Hour Out

It is going to be the first of our super hot days here today. Luckily I am at home to deal with the kitties and chooks.

At 9:30 this morning I let the kitties out into the Nirvana – they LOVE the warm weather even when it is super hot. Happy found a lizard to chase right away, it found a safe hiding place pretty quickly.

It was already 31 in the Nirvana. It was 35 outside the Nirvana.

I set the chooks up with fresh cool water and added an icecube, then they got an entire punnet of just taken out of the fridge blueberries as I discovered one had burst – when that happens mould is not far off. They were extremely pleased by this turn of events.

As I was filling up the birdbath I realised there was a bit of a chicken kerfuffle going on. I put the hose on to mist to keep the girls cool, and went to investigate.

We’ve had a couple of eggs laid from the perches recently and today I found out why – the two Pekins are bullying the younger girls out of the laying boxes. We’ll need to work out a longer term solution – they will need more laying boxes in a different place – but for now I have put a couple of boxes with wood shavings out for the girls to use.

By the time I finished putting this together, changing the water for the chickens, filling up the birdbaths, watching my lovelies dustbathe and generally faffing around here, an hour had passed. It was now 34 in the Nirvana. The kitties had settled in. Happy is lying on the cooler concrete.

Grumpy is on her favourite Nirvana chair.

Today I would have posted the monthly Year Of Buying Nothing update post, but I ran out of time to put it all together. Hopefully you will see it on Monday. :)

It is heading into our busy time of year and in my new department at work I will be dealing with Christmas, which likely means working 5 days a week, so I might have to take a break from posting. We will see. I will get to wear Christmas stuff, which makes me super happy.

Home

True Bargains

Sometimes you are not sure if the thing you are buying is a bargain or not. Especially if it is not something you regularly keep an eye on the price of. An example – you may recall in June, I bought a new blanket. I paid $42.50 for it. I use it on my recliner and Grumpy LOVES it.

So I thought I might go back and see if I could get another one around the same price, giving her other places to sleep other than my lap which she finds disruptive as I tend to get up more often than she would like AKA not stay perfectly still in one place for hours at a time. :) It turns out though, this was a genuine bargain.

At $79 she is going to have to put up with my disruptions. I will wait to see if these go on sale again and if they do you bet I will get another one because they are toasty warm and very pleasing to the Grumpy. Though we will soon arrive at a point where I switch back to my other rug – there are some days where this current rug is *too* warm especially with a cat added to it.

But not this week, as it is icy here at the moment. We got down to 3.1 on Monday, yet these past couple of weeks we have been having bushfires. Very little rain, no clouds in the sky, gorgeous blue sky days, but many of us are wishing for rain. Not flash flooding type rain, just long term sustained rain.. We need it.

Home, kitties

Delicate Nirvana – Chimes Akimbo

chimes1

It has been a while since we checked in on the Delicate Nirvana. Don’t you worry though, we’ve been enjoying it just as much as ever.

mogo

Once we completed the pergola, we wanted to get some wind chimes. We are wacky like that. Some folks hate a wind chime, my Mother is one such person. This is likely one reason why I wanted one, being a wind chime deprived child. If you want to buy a wind chime on the South Coast of NSW, Mogo is a top location to pick. We had plenty of wind chimes to choose from here.

chimes2

The plan was we could pick two wind chimes each. I chose a sparkly chicken wind chime.

woodchime

The Other Half was looking for one perfect sounding wood and one perfect sounding large metal wind chime. He found this large wood wind chime.

rainbow

I chose this rainbow seashell wind chime.

chimes4

The Other Half was unable to find a perfect large metal wind chime. A couple of weeks later at the Berry Markets, he decided on this silent windchime instead.

strings

I also chose three long seashell and mirror strings – one blue, one red, one dark grey. I wanted green but they did not have the right shade of green for our Nirvana and The Other Half loves all things black and grey, so I chose that instead.

mirror

While there we discovered this stunning mirror which contained all three of our theme colours – blue, green and red – so we chose it for the wall.

We had a good month of great wind chime time, then once we installed the shadecloth it cut down the wind so much we rarely hear a wind chime anymore.. even when a big storm blows through we do not seem to get any wind or breeze.

Delicate Nirvana, Home