the ongoing search for a decluttered way of living - combined with a stroll through our semi-rural lifestyle

July 25, 2014

Self Appointed Slack Blogger Award!

Yes it's true - I am a slack blogger.  It is almost the end of July and no post update.

Probably for the following reasons :-
  • I have taken a whole lot of photos to include here - but cannot find the cable link thingy for my camera.  I guess I could re-take some on my phone - but haven't.
  • I have a huge case of blog envy and spend way too much time reading other much more interesting blogs.
  • I have taken to online shopping in a big way and spend way too much time looking.  Just looking, and sometimes buying.
  • Not really an excuse - but the weather here at the moment is just glorious and I've been spending time outside enjoying it.  Not gardening so much as just enjoying it.
  • I'm learning to crochet.  Not succeeding very well.  Even after a lesson, even after many youtube tutorials, and viewing many online how-to's.  Being left handed isn't really an excuse, I just can't get my head around it...... and it looks so easy.
  • My husband has just bought a saxophone.  No, he has no previous experience (in anything musical).  Yes he is having lessons.  Yes, he does practice.   A lot.  I am very proud of him for tackling it.  Not so proud of myself wearing headphones
  • I knit a lot.  Still only squares which I am hoping to crochet together one day.
  • I read a lot too - have just finished Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod.  A good read.
  • Have taken advantage of some cheap interstate flights.  Planning some trips.
Not really meaning to sound despondent or desperate!  Just telling it how it is at the moment.

For no other reason than some photos of laundry trolley I've added a nostalgic one of our boy (now 19). Just loving the spider watch gadget!  I had forgotten all about that one.

So .... any other recipients of  the Slack Blogger Award out there?  I'd be happy to pay it forward!!

cheers for now

June 27, 2014

June in focus - lots of orange and green

Our lovely orange trumpet vine has survived another year!  Back here I mentioned the last of the winter vine for the second time. 

Another year has rolled around and it is turning into more of a monolith it seems!  The tree it is covering is long dead if we remove the vine we (or he, dear husband) will have to remove the tree too.
and there's plenty of green in the choko vine, citrus trees - plus a rather petite green frog I spotted.  I couldn't believe it, we don't get many frogs these days, mainly cane toads.   This guy was so cute.
Cannot believe that it is July next week!  Hopefully July will see the rewards coming through in our veggie garden too.

By the way, there's some retro orange featured in some of the homeware I'm selling over at vintage_declutter at the moment too, with more to come!


cheers for now

June 12, 2014

When Life Sends You Chokos

and you are just a little tired of steamed, fried, grated, juiced, stir fried or baked choko.  When it seems as that the choko vine keeps churning them out at a rapid rate of knots.

Then they are easily disguised as apple and blueberry crumble!

I know that a lot of people have grown up only knowing a choko which has been firstly overboiled and then swamped in white sauce.  Not a good look (or taste).

In my opinion, there is nothing sweeter than a young choko quickly steamed and tossed in a little butter and pepper.

However, this is a good trick if incognito is required!  When the family gets just a little tired of the never ending green vegetable making an appearance at yet another meal.
I just made up some poached fruit - in this case sliced chokos and apples and added some frozen blueberries for a colour change!  For sweetness, just the usual dash of vanilla
and covered with some crumble, just some rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and a bit of cereal mix.

Who would have thought they started out like this - well I didn't add the beans.   The truth of the matter is the humble choko is really a bland flavour which will take on another influence very easily.
My little kitchen secret - and no one was any the wiser!  The trick is to slice the choko and the apple the same way and not too thickly - and the addition of quite a few blueberries or another berry.  Enjoy!

cheers for now

June 4, 2014

Taking Stock 01

Pip over at  meetmeatmikes is taking stock, so I thought I would have a bit of fun and join in too:

So here's my list:
Making :   knitted squares – it’s all I seem to focus on. 
Cooking :   orange cake - soonish
Drinking :  English breakfast w skim milk
Reading:   All the Birds, Singing
Looking:    at learning to crochet
Deciding:   must take more photos
Wishing:  to be more motivated
Enjoying:   everything about June espec NRL footy
Waiting:   for the long weekend, though sadly we have a funeral to go to
Liking:   avocado on rye toast
Wondering:   why I can’t lose weight
Loving:   the cooler weather at last
Pondering:   the weather in Hobart February 2015 for our holiday
Considering:   stepping away from the computer and going for a walk
Watching:   The Voice 
Hoping: to get a lot done today
Marvelling:  at how I procrastinate
Needing:   avocado on rye toast for breakfast soon
Smelling:   toast and fresh morning air
Wearing:   jeans & old Regatta trackie top
Following:   an eclectic lot of new-to-me blogs (Strayed from the Table / The Apprentice Extrovert / Walk Among the Homes / Zaranne Handmade / Learn This Phrase
Noticing:   veggie garden doing well.  Will do a catchup post soonish.
Knowing:   I can push myself more with my online sales
Thinking:   how much I can still achieve this week
Admiring:   son as he effortlessly juggles work/play/mid-year uni exams
Sorting:   out old clothes
Buying:   trying to give up the habit (Live-Like-a-Minimalist - ha I wish!)
Getting:   reflective about son turning 19 on June 9.  Tho it seems ages since he turned 18
Bookmarking:   wool I want to buy right now! 
Disliking:   news and current affairs atm - so have vetoed altogether. 
Opening:   plans for extended travel next year if $$ allow (refer disliking)
Giggling:   at some silly movie last night.  So much more fun to watch.
Feeling:   very sad that we have lost a friend recently to cancer
Snacking:   almonds
Coveting:   chocolate almonds
Wishing:   son wasn’t planning a tattoo (sorry mate, just being a mum)
Helping:    to get house sorted out / decluttered?
Hearing:   lorikeets in Poinciana tree just outside window.

Thanks Pip!

cheers for now

May 30, 2014

The Year in Books - May

This is actually a bit cheeky - sneaking in a post at the very end of May!
As I'm joining in with The Year in Books with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees, one of the books I've read is on the suggested reading list.  This was Life After Life which many have read and recommended.
So, also in keeping with the theme of The Year in Books, I'll just give my two bobs worth with regards to the book - as opposed to a review.

Life After Life - well, let's be honest here.  I liked it, but I didn't love it!   I probably have more of a liking for her Jackson Brodie character in her mystery themed novels.  I prefer definitive endings and the lack of a real ending took away my enjoyment. The concept of Life After Life was a little repetive but Kate Atkinson brings a strong sense of place and time.  The Nazi connection did not work for me - but it was a good read, though I had to push myself at times to finish it. 

Our library system tags books with a code for easily identified genres.  I'm assuming other libraries do that too?  Notice anything about the three books I've read? It seems that I'm firmly in the 'mystery' classification. The little cap and spyglass shows that I gravitate to a suspenseful or mystery theme.   
I've read a couple more books since these three which I didn't photograph.  The one which stands out of would be Lisa Scottoline's - Keep Quiet.  It was a great read.  A good mystery with more than one twist in the tale. 

Next month (next week!) I will be starting All the Birds, Singing which promises good suspense.  It's not on the suggested reading list for the Year in Books, but I thought I would give it a try.  Might be able to recommend it for the list later.

Do you like reading as much as I do?  I'm glad I've joined this group.  I'm pleased to be keeping tabs on what I read, and to see what others are reading.

Oh!   I was pleased to see that one of my favourite authors Tana French has a new book out which I have reserved from the library.  Can't wait for that one!

cheers for now