Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sometimes You Fall Down

Hard to understand sometimes when the lessons we receive weren't the lessons we wanted to learn.  But they somehow always turn out to be something we needed to know.

Menu Planning for Us

I am getting ready to go back to work tomorrow after a week at home, which means grocery shopping, laundry, ironing and menu planning.

And going to my parents to pick up my phone charger that I left when I stayed there last week.... Yikes!!

I'm afraid I didn't stick very well to the menu plan last week, but never fear, I'm not very far off-track.

And if my calculations are correct, my credit card will be paid out in August, and life will be soooo much easier!!  I'm generally very anti-debt, but you wouldn't know that from my credit card balance at the beginning of the year.  I know it wasn't huge, but I have found it painfully hard to move.  I can't imagine being in such massive amounts of debt - it is seriously an overwhelming and heavy burden. 

So, this week, the boy-child and I will be eating:

Chicken schnitzels -so easy, and sooo good!!

Pork belly.  Did I mention Miss M's boyfriend is a butcher?  Very handy!  I've never cooked pork belly before, and am unsure how I'll prepare it.  Feel free to throw hints at me! :-)

Rissoles and vegetables

Creamy Curried sausages - I found this recipe a few weeks ago, and I just have to tell you how good it is, I loved it!!  The curry is off-set by a tablespoon of sugar, which adds a gorgeous sweetness to the curry and turmeric.  I grew up on curried eggs and sausages, and my mouth was very much looking for eggs, but I really enjoyed this.  I served it on a bed of two-minute noodles. :-)

Pork medallions with apples, and fried rice.  Oh God, now I have to let out my painful secret.  The Flavourstone ads.  I have never bought any of these products, but I am hopelessly addicted to the flavourstone ad.  I just can't fathom though using fried bacon bits out of a packet, or egg substitute in a carton?

Spaghetti bolognaise - I know, we all have our tried and true recipes.  Mine is based on tomato soup, tomato paste, beef stock, oregano and basil.  Yum.  Share your favourite recipe!!!

Tuna mornay.  Again, I have a recipe I wrote out back in the dark ages, and I'm not sure the source.  Probably the Day by Day Cookery book we used in high school?  I made it recently and Son C liked it, so I stick with anything that meets his approval!!

Anyway, I've got to run.  Go and pick up a phone charger *grumble, mumble, bumble*.....

Friday, 28 June 2013

Plan A

I know that I had to work my way a bit further down the alphabet til I found a plan that worked.  Just keep trying!

New Beginnings

I feel like I say that so often, it should be the title of this blog, hey? ;-)

Son C and I travelled to Fraser Island recently with a few other families for a gorgeous week-long holiday.  I'd never been there before, and I had absolutely no idea what life on a sand island was going to be like.  We debated a few times our preference as to retiring on an island, or out in the country.  I think a sand island would be a great novelty, but ultimately, I'm a country gal at heart. :-)  Give me a roaring fire and Tim McGraw. :-)

But, I did make my way down to the beach one morning to join the resident dingoes to watch the sun rise over the magnificent Pacific Ocean.  It was - hmm, not peaceful, that wasn't the word - but I felt at one with the ebb and flow of life, with the rushing of the waves hitting the beach, the slow movement of the clouds as they passed in front of my rising sun.  I sat on the beach and thought of the many people that have passed through my - our - lives and those that have stayed to join me, and those that left their mark and moved on.

I know, I know, a bit sappy for this Saturday afternoon, but I am thinking of old friendships and new beginnings today.

This was my sunrise. :-)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

An Old Favourite

And this is why I never seem to get through the clear out process - I am easily distracted and sidetracked. :-).  I found this old jacket in Miss M's room, I think I made it around 13 years ago - she probably wore it twice. Gosh, I loved it!!

This was my first time using a double needle, to get that double stitching around the edges of the jacket.  Very easy to use, and so effective.

I've no idea what to to do with this now. Think I might hang it back in the cupboard and make a decision another day. Progress people, not perfection. :-)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Airing Dirty Laundry

I understand and accept that it occasionally happens that perfectly clean clothes make their way into the bathroom to be re-washed, folded and ironed. Shouldn't happen, I know, but it does.

This week though, I got a shirt that was still ON ITS HANGER!!!

Gotta love 'em!! :-)

The Bookcase Update

I know, I know, this probably isn't terribly exciting to many people.  But, it's my wonderful little life project, getting this house organised.  I had it in mind that young Son C and I might move and buy a new house, but that is not coming to plan as I'd hoped, so the next best thing is to rejuvenate what I've got, and this is it. :-)

My bookcase downstairs faces the front door as you walk, though the bottom half is hidden by the lounge chair.  I'd moved books off the top shelf, intending to decorate it, but clearly I got halted. :-)  And yes, there are books piled in the floor ready to be donated, my camera is sitting where it doesn't belong, and a bag of clean soccer jerseys adorns the hallway floor.

A lick and a spit, books have been removed to be donated, and it's a massive improvement.

The top shelf can be seen from the front door and needs to be neat.  The believe sign hides my jewellery. :-)

I had been shopping with Son C and stopped in at Loot, where they have those gorgeous wooden signs. The budget doesn't stretch that far of course when The Credit Card is The Priority.

Spotlight though had these unpainted wooden versions, and I already had paint at home from my bedroom painting.  It was pleasant spending the afternoon painting them white and black, for only a few dollars each.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Good Drying Weather

A gentle sun warms my skin on this early winter day, a cool breeze keeps the chill in the air.  It promises cooler nights to come, snuggling under warm blankets and tucking in tight.

It’s good drying weather, my Mum would say.  And into the wash would go all the nappies and towels, to be hung on the line and rotated to take most advantage of this winter sun.

She pours her heart and soul into this dance, the Washing Day Shuffle.  Hell, if clothes could dry on love alone, my Mum would have them dry in a heartbeat.

As a modern day woman I’m taught that there are machines that will do this work for me, freeing up time for that work and life balance.  I’m taught that I can work, raise children, and have it all.

But today, enjoying an unusual weekday out of the office, I find myself doing my own washing day shuffle.  I vaguely wonder if my enlightened peers would be impressed to know that the biggest issue I face today is how to get the last of the toes of my socks dried.

It’s only when I get this time that I appreciate how much work was really involved in running my childhood home, giving us the opportunity to springboard our way into independence and having families of our own.

I remember those crisp winter days as my mother taught me, in turn, how to be a mother. And today, I’m happy to do the shuffle for my children.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Not to Spoil the Ending

Top 19 Countdown

My Miss M turned 19 today. Why yes, I'm OK, thank you for asking. *sniff, sniff*

In honour of her birthday, I thought I'd give you the Top 19 Things I Love About Miss M.  Taken from the top songs of each year of her life.

1.  The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
2.  Kiss from a Rose
3.  Change The World
4.  I Believe I Can Fly
5.  Truly Madly Deeply
6.  Genie in a Bottle
7.  What a Girl Wants
8.  It Wasn't Me
9.  Foolish
10.  Shake Ya Tailfeather
11.  Naughty Girl
12.  Hollaback Girl
13.  Hips Don't Lie
14.  Big Girls Don't Cry
15.  Poker Face
16.  Gives You Hell
17.  Like It's Her Birthday
18.  Raise Your Glass
19.  Somebody That I Used to Know.

Hehe!!  Happy Birthday, Miss M!! xoxo

Sunday, 16 June 2013


As a born worrier, I have to remind myself of this often.  It takes practice to intentionally let something go from worry, but is is so worth it when you do.

Menu Planning Monday, not Sunday

I spent my Sunday afternoon assembling furniture for the spare room, so I was most definitely not my organised self on Monday morning.  I had already mentally prepared my menu for the fortnight, so I do just have to do some quick grocery shopping, and I'll be back up to speed.  Just cause I know you're dying to know what's being eaten in Brish's household this week:

Almost Lasagne - I haven’t had this one before, but it looks like a great, quick and easy pasta bake type meal.  And I can get away with grating lots of veggies into that Son C will never notice!!

Subway - I know, I know, but it's kind of a tradition after soccer training.  We haven't done it in months though, so it might be time to whip out our old standby. :-)

Ribs - I have some pre-marinated ribs in the freezer, I ruined them last time by putting them in the slow cooker and not allowing enough water, they were nasty and dried out by the time I got home.  Will do them in the oven this time. :-)

Beef schnitzels with chips and salad

Homemade calzones – might even ask Miss M and her bf over for dinner

Freezer night

Porcupine meatballs - another old standby.  I never make these as my Mum ruined them for me when I was young.  But they've turned out to be quite popular in my house.

Chicken with Mustard cream sauce

And, just cause I haven’t got anything sweet in here, and have been dying to try a Banoffee pie, thanks to Jamie Oliver, I’ll try these too:

Have any of you ever tried the concept of once-a-month cooking?  It's self-explanatory:  you spend a weekend preparing enough meals to get your family through the month.  I've dabbled in it, the obvious ones being spaghetti and lasagne.  Now that the winter months are upon us, the idea is more appealing.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Middle of Nowhere

The Dining Room

This downsizing process is a little slower than I anticipated.  I had a huge start and am slowing down, getting sidetracked  This week's post is brought to you by my little ol' dining room. There wasn't really a lot to do here, just a good tidy up and a wipe down.

Oh, how embarrrassing.  Yes, that's a pair of jeans that didn't make their way into the laundry.  And, as I don't have any craft area, my machines live on my dining table when I've got time to sew.

But, with a just a lick and a spit, here's my dining room looking gee-awjus. :-)  I also have a table runner that I had liked to use, but well, it's just too much hassle for me to keep moving it each time I need to use the table.  Hey, I like to keep things simple!

And that's my dining room people.  I know, you're just falling over in excitement, but I'm getting through this townhouse, one room at a time. :-) :-)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Introducing myself

I realise I haven't introduced myself.  I've looked around, and google/blogger doesn't seem to have one of those 'About Me' sections that I can edit.

So, with no more fanfare, my name is Brish, and welcome to my blog.

I am a:

recovering hoarder; practising adult; daughter; former scout leader; camper; idealist; alternate; ex-smoker; administrator; empty-nester; sew-er (as opposed to a sewer); mother; romantic;  sister; bonsai enthusiast; struggling housekeeper; beginner de-clutterer; blonde; budgeter extraordinaire; occasional traveller; almost middle-aged (still curious how that happened?); feminist; saver; born worrier; scaredy-cat; spider-enemy; friend; former lover; frugalist and simple living philosopher.

I have:

Two children; big dreams; family sedan; no tattoos; false nails; three TV’s; too many books; ambitions; some regrets; my own home; bad memories; a big brother; list of resentments; a vision board; good friends and many good times.

And only a couple of those things I'm working on.  I'm starting with just de-cluttering my house, and I'll work on the other defects and tattoos after that.

Nice to meet you! :-)

The Best Kind of People

Monday, 10 June 2013

Work in Progress

Still working on my mid-life crisis from the ground up, and on Saturday afternoon, I got stuck into my laundry.  Egads, I don't really believe I'm posting these pics, but here is my laundry. :-(

Yep, there you go, complete with Son C's shoes, and the door wont' close because I haven't taken the rubbish bag out yet.

Inside the laundry cupboard.

Oohhh, could it stay like this forever?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is my new, improved (and tidy!!) laundry.

Be Confident

Be confident.  Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t.  Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are – and aren’t – that you will truly succeed.

An afternoon out

After a long weekend of catching up on cleaning, shopping, cooking, emails, clearing out and ironing, I took an afternoon out with my work friend Melissa to go and see The Great Gatsby. Oh my gosh, it was spectacular. Such indulgence, decadence and hedonism. I didn't know the storyline - I couldn't be bothered finishing the book in high school - so it was a pleasure to watch, and nice spending some girly time out with Melissa.

And meeting my future husband.

Signed, Mrs Di Caprio


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Making a start

I can't believe I'm doing this.  Posting pictures.  Eek!!

We have a double-storey townhouse, allowing for a reasonably large cupboard under the stairs.  Think Harry Potter's broom cupboard bedroom.  'Cept mine is filled to the hilt with eskies, fridge bags, sleeping bags, any old bags.  Really!  How many bags does a girl need?  And a shelf filled with the overflow from the kitchen.  

As an aside, this place needs a linen cupboard.  I mean, really!  Design flaw, people!!

So, close your eyes right about now.  i mean, not really close your eyes, but shield yourself from the eyesore that is my cupboard-under-the-stairs.  Ack!!

 It really was that bad!  Just stuff that we've been collecting for years, and throwing in there and not looking again.  So, on a cold, bleak, overcast day today I got cracking.
I love it!!  I threw away a lot of Miss M's old bags, and put aside items that need to be returned to other people, and just found a whole pile of items that were broken or unused, and were thrown out.  

What a relief to be able to walk into my cupboard-under-the-stairs again.