Saturday, 29 September 2012

Clean and clear water

Hubby brews his own beer and cider and the water we get out of our tap although suitable to drink wasn’t providing the best results for his brews. This led to me buying water which I find ridiculous but there is also no point throwing out brew due to the water not being suitable. The solution was simple and I am only disappointed I didn’t think of it earlier. I bought a Brita On Tap Water Filter, hopefully this will solve the problem. We already use a Brita Water Filter Jug but the amount Kyle needs for his brews it isn’t practical to use the jug.

I started undercoating my $5 charity store chair today; I think it will need at least one more undercoat before I bring out the orange paint. Yes I said orange. I have always liked colour but have been too afraid to use it. The sunroom is going to be the room where I go a little crazier and play with colour.
We (yes me included) worked on a concrete slab for the new chicken coop. We were offered an old shed and so we are going to move the chickens and put them on a better floor base so it should be easier to clean out. At the moment the chickens live in a coop that was already here when we moved into the house and it is only on a dirt base, make its hard to remove all the chicken mess.
So have a few projects on the go at the moment but nothing yet to post completed photos or details about yet – watch this space.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Cooking with gas

I am not one to want to throw things out for no good reason but I fear that our microwave may not be in a position to make it. Hubby has tried a number of things to fix it and replaced lots of parts but it is now getting to the point where it is no longer cost effective to keep buying parts when we still are not sure they are going to repair it. It is such a shame as it didn't even give a hint that it was dying, it just stopped working one day. We have been living without it, but there are times when surely it would use less energy to heat things up in the microwave then getting the oven or stove going.

Having a quick look on the net as not helped at all in how to choose a new microwave. If anyone has any tips please let me know.

On a positive note we finally have the new gas oven installed, despite siting around the house for a couple of days a few weeks ago we are still waiting on the first plumber to actually turn up or at least make contact. The second plumber was fantastic, he make a time with Kyle and actually turned up at that time. Although I was a little jealous that Kyle got to use the oven first I have now made pavlova and am so happy to be cooking with gas again.

I am working on a new automatic dishwasher liquid as the powder version has set hard in the jar but I will wait to see if the new liquid was a success before I post the recipe. It did involve me having to make liquid soap though which has turned out well and I will be using this again.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Save the forgotten animals of live export

Coat Racks and Window Cleaning

Here is another before and after photo. Hubby and I both have a bad habit or dumping things as we walk through the door so I had been on the hunt for a coat rack. Found this at the local charity shop (no surprise there) and although it's design is not to my taste painting it white and putting it near the back door will hopefully help with providing a place the jackets, keys and my bag to hag. Am still looking for another one to put near the front door. I think this may have been $2 but I couldn't even find this at the local variety shop for this price, they were more expensive so yet another good buy.

I have also bought a square wicker basket with a lid so that our shoes can be put in here as we come through the back door. That was the plan and it sometimes works. I have had to place a cushion on top though as Charlie the Cat started to think the top was a scratching post for her.

As I sit here and write this it reminds me that I need to clean the windows, I am sure once the window in the sunroom is cleaned it will be much nicer to look out of. Also think I might have to get Kyle to make something to hide the bins so they don't look so obvious. Back to the window cleaning I am going to try and does this naturally with what I have in the house, water, vinegar and  detergent. See article here from Care2 on The Right Way to Clean Windows with Vinegar.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Stop NSW legalising duck shooting - TAKE ACTION:

Stop NSW legalising duck shooting - TAKE ACTION: 

Please click on the above link.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Desk rejuvenation

So here and the before, during and after photos of my $10 desk from the local charity shop. Well worth the $10, the cost of the paint (we had in the shed), the new shinny handles (also laying around from a project long forgotten) and the time. I am proud to say I did most of the sanding and painting with a little help from hubby along the way.

I used a hot gun to quickly and effectively get the floral contact paper off the top of the desk. This left an even more dated top. The desk was then completely sanded, coated with ESP (Easy Surface Prep removes grease and wax and makes paint stick) we had this already in the shed also, painted and added the new handles. There was also some work done on the draw by hubby so it sat in place better. Hubby also drilled a hole into the back on the not so hidden draw under where the laptop sits so that the USB devises can be hidden away in this draw and the cords will only need to run through the back. I hope this will save on the cord jungle that I normally get myself into.
This is the kind of project I would normally leave to hubby to do for me but I am glad I got my hands dirty with this and will be getting involved more. The $5 chair has been sanded and coated with ESP. I am just not sure what colour I am going to paint it yet. It will depend on what fabric I find for this chair and the two other vintage chairs I have for the room. I only wish that I could sew.
As you may be able to see I still have the delightful forest carpet in the sunroom. Another thing on the list of things to do when money and time permits.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Strawberry Cordial

I had an excess amount of strawberry punnets so after a quick search I came up with the idea to make strawberry cordial. I am so glad that I did.

I used this recipe from for Strawberry & cardamom cordial. Although I didn't have any cardamon in the house I still followed the rest of the instructions to make my strawberry cordial.

An added bonus I was not expecting was the left over strawberries once being strained made a very nice strawberry jam - so I got two for the price of one with this.
The strawberry cordial works very nicely with sparkling wine - and you only need a tiny bit of the cordial.
Strawberry Cordial Recipe
430g (2 cups) caster sugar
500ml (2 cups) cold water
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 x 250g punnets strawberries, hulled, washed, halved
Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the strawberries. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Set aside for 30 minutes or until completely cool. Strain strawberry pulp, gently pressing with the back of a spoon, through a fine sieve into a clean bottle.
Place 2 tbs of the cordial in each serving glass. Top with chilled water or soda water and serve immediately.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Orange Vinegar Cleaner

So after approx a month of my vinegar and orange zest (left over from my first OJ attempt) mixture infusing I got around to straining it and bottling it.

My hubby is one smart cookie, last night I mentioned I needed to further strain the liquid as it still had floating pices in it. Kyle remembered he had some coffee filters and sure enough this did the trick. Now I have a nice bottle of orange vinegar ready to use for cleaning. I need to get a spray bottle but this should be easy enough to find.

Orange Vinegar Cleaner Recipe

Orange peels

1. Fill a glass jar with orange zest/peel
2. Cover the peels with vinegar
3. Let the vinegar and orange peels sit for a few weeks
4. Take the vinegar out of the jar and pour it into a spray bottle, diluting half/half with water

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Super Trawlers Petition's

Please sign the Super Trawlers Petition's



Saturday, 1 September 2012

What am I waiting for?

I have a bad habit of waiting for special occasions to open products such as fancy soaps and gift packs, wine etc. It has recently occurred to me that I have no idea what I am waiting for - what kind of special occasion happening at my house would require some sort of fancy soap that I wouldn't use on a regular basis - none I can think of.

So it has brought me to open up some lovely body shop products that I received as a gift a couple of Christmas's ago. I also finally opened the bottle of champagne (oops I mean sparkling wine) that we received from the real estate agent when we bought this house. I am writing this and thinking I sound like a nut - what was I waiting for?

Not only am I getting to enjoy these products but it is very slowly cleaning up more space. Clear it on out and enjoy it while you are doing it. What are you waiting for?