Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Will post photo of my lovely Christmas present later and share more when I have time.
Been busy with children, chickens and Christmas :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Oh No!" Went over $100 Food shop

I have been doing so well, at keeping under $100 for our food shop. But today went over $33.90 over $100.

Menu Plan Week FourBreakfast - Weet-bix, Honey Puffs and Porridge. Maybe in weekend pancakes. Lunch is sandwiches, and 1 sweet thing and 1 fruit
MONDAY - Rice Risotto (with chicken stock made from Saturdays Roast Chicken)
TUESDAY - Spaghetti Bolognese
WEDNESDAY - Chicken Sausages with Mash potato.
THURSDAY - Fish with 2 salads (potato salad and green salad)
FRIDAY - Homemade Pizza and chips
SATURDAY - BBQ dinner (niece's birthday dinner)
SUNDAY - Roast chicken and roast vegetables
12/12/2011 Food shop in the boot of our car

Shopping List
4x Milk  3L $21.96
1 Boneless Chicken breast $5.53
Beef mince 1kg $6.75
Can Tuna $2.09 (son with aspergers has limited types of food he will eat so get him what I can)
Chocolate spread $5.99 (again for son with aspergers)
Icing sugar 500g $1.69
Brown sugar 500g $1.69
Rolled oats 750g $2.49
Milo $4.89 (malted drink for son with aspergers)
Spaghetti pasta 500g $1.09
6 Eggs $3.67
Honey puff 425g $3.89
Weet-bix 1.2kg $6.59
Potatoes 783g $1.79 (to top up what we have left in garden)
1 garlic .72c
Carrots 628g $1.05
Onions 558g $1.31
Apples 708g $2.46
Mushrooms 104g $1.25
2x Loaves of white bread $3.38 (son won't eat eat any other type, thankfully our other children do)
2x Broccoli $3.00
2x Butter 500g $7.50
Parmesan cheese 100g $4.79
Mayonnaise 215g $3.49
Bacon 200g $3.69
Coffee beans 200g $6.99
6 fish fillets 425g $5.99
White wine for cooking 750ml $8.99
2 minute noodles $2.89
Pasta sauce 700g $2.79
Arborio rice 750g $3.49
Total = $133.89
rounding up to = $133.90

Might have gone over this shop, but the last few weeks I did go under $100. So overall doing very well with our food shopping.
Now need to bake some chocolate cupcakes for afternoon tea.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Home Baking Day

Ok not baking but it is one of our garden sunflowers in the kitchen.

Gingerbread biscuits

Shortbread biscuits
Filled up one container with biscuits today. Was my first time making shortbread, and found it very easy. Made the shortbread in the food processor with 3 ingredients. 250g Butter, 1 cup icing sugar and 3 cups flour, mix together. Then roll out and cut into shapes and bake for about 15mins. They taste good, but maybe I need to work on the cutting out shapes for them. Made alot of biscuits. The gingerbread is not to hard to make too. Next will be making chocolate cupcakes with nutty fudge icing.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Poormans Meal - Thank you Clara

Yummy this is what we are having for dinner tonight. It's easy, filling and cheap, and goes great with freshly picked green salad from the garden.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

$100 online shop

For this weeks $100 food shop decided to try online shop. Last week was so busy, so want to take this week easy and mostly at home. So for the food shop gave the online grocery shop a try.

Menu Plan Week Three
Breakfast - Weet-bix, Honey Puffs and Porridge. Maybe in weekend pancakes. Lunch is sandwiches, and 1 sweet thing and 1 fruit
MONDAY - Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry on rice
TUESDAY - Poorman's meal from Clara's Kitchen book
WEDNESDAY - Bacon and Sliverbeet quiche with salad
THURSDAY - Homemade burgers
FRIDAY - Bean and sausage casserole
SATURDAY - Roast Chicken and vegetables
SUNDAY - Leftover chicken and salad

Shopping List
12 frankfurters sausages $6.00
4 3L milk $21.96
200g bacon $3.00
500g butter $3.79
1.5kg bag of apples $4.98
half pumpkin $4.75
1kg bag of kumara $3.98
1kg bag of potatoes $2.48
1kg bag of carrots $2.49
1 nz garlic $1.32
1kg mince $12.00
6pk of beef sausages $3.95
can of baked beans $0.74
size 18 whole chicken $12.99
Total = $84.43
delivery = $15.25
So real total is $99.68

So under budget, but not liking that $15.25 delivery fee. I think it cheaper in petrol to go to the supermarket myself and get my food shop. Will do that next week for food shop.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Decorating

Our Christmas Wreath up at the front door.
 Brought out the Christmas boxes today, and let the decorating begin. We have 3 large plastic boxes for storing our Christmas decorations, dvd's, books etc. Anything we get on sale after Christmas goes into these boxes for the next Christmas. It has saved us alot of money and time. I find it helps me to not stress at this time of year, but have fun.
One of our Christmas boxes, with books and dvd's.

Our Christmas bear which reads the Christmas story, and a book of Christmas dvd's

The children made this Nativity scene 2 years ago.
While I'm typing this my children are outside decorating the orange tree. It's our Christmas tree this year. Loving the joyful noise. Will share photo of our tree another time.
Now need to go pick lettuce from our garden for our homemade burgers, yum!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spring Evening Walk in my Garden

Our veggie garden is growing well, lots of yummy greens.

Peas please, yummy to eat freshly picked.

Our sheep need to work on keeping that grass down. These 2 are in our kids garden.

Pretty flowers, that I didn't know we had.

Photo doesn't really catch it but the flowers look hand painted.

Our sparrow guard.

baby peaches, our tree blessing us with lots.
Love going for a walk through our garden and counting our blessings. And snacking on homegrown goodness.

Did Our $100 Weekly Shop

28th Nov 2011 half of the food shop (packed milk and frozen items away)

Menu Plan Week Two
Breakfast - Weet-bix, Honey Puffs and Porridge. Maybe in weekend pancakes. Lunch is sandwiches, and 1 sweet thing and 1 fruit
MONDAY- Turkey Soup and buttered bread
TUESDAY- Cheese toasties (some with onion and baked beans too)
WEDNESDAY- Homemade Hamburgers and chips
THURSDAY- Taekwon-do Christmas Party bringing a salad
FRIDAY- Casserole and buttered bread
SATURDAY- BBQ sausages and salad
SUNDAY- Corned beef pasta

Shopping list
Bag of apples 1.5kg $4.98
4 Oranges $1.73
Bag of carrots 1.5kg $2.79
Bag of onions 1.5kg $3.98
Bag of kumara 1.5kg $4.48
Weet-bix 1.2kg $6.59
Honey Puffs 425g $3.89
Rice bran oil 2L $14.99
Tomato sauce 2L $4.86
Baked bean can $0.74
Diced tomato can x2 $1.90
Sweet condensed milk can $2.55
Milk 3L x4 $21.96
Cheese 250g $4.29
Butter 500g $3.79
Frozen chips 1kg $2.49
Frozen mixed veggies 500g $1.99
TOTAL = $88.00

Still keeping under budget YAY! Coming to the end of year, with end of year breakups and Christmas party's, etc. If we can keep this challenge going through these times, we can do it through the rest of next year too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cluck Cluck Clucky

Mummy hen and her chicks
We have our chickens now. Well our mummy hen with her 9 chicks.So our pet population has exploded. They are in their temporary accommodation, until they section of the garden where new home will be is cleaned up. We also won't be keeping them all as they grow. Because if any are roosters, we can't have them in the city. And there is a limit to how many you can have in the city. If we build our own coup/run for them we can keep 6-8. If we buy one then only 4.
Whats this mum?
But already they are getting use to us, and are so much fun to watch.
Now to fix up gate into our backyard. Windy day blew it half off it's hinges, and I want to be able to have it closed for safety.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparing for Our Thanksgiving Feast

Yes we are in new Zealand, No we are not American. But we celebrate our own Family Thanksgiving Feast. Ours is about our family going through a big family event, which has made us thank full we are together. Our Thanksgiving family meal is when we come together as a family and remember our blessings and share them with one another and Thank the Lord for all he has done in our family.

Yes we have a turkey, don't like having them at Christmas. It's too hot for roasting in our small kitchen. So it is a treat we don't normally get. It is a simple meal we share together, turkey and roast vegetables (maybe even potatoes from our garden), and a dessert. This years dessert will be homemade lemon cheesecake (our own lemons). Had a look in the fridge this week and saw all we need in there behind our salad dressing.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:15-17

Sunday, November 20, 2011

$100 Food Shop Week One Begining

21st Nov 2011 $100 Food Shop. Bags in boot
Menu Plan Week One
For Breakfast porridge, weet-bix or honey puffs. Lunch 1 sweet treat (cupcake or biscuits home baked), sandwiches, and a piece of fruit. Each day about the same. It's dinner that changes more.
MONDAY - Dinner Beef Stir-fry with rice (and veggies from our garden)
TUESDAY - Dinner Creamy Chicken Pasta
WEDNESDAY - Dinner Bean and Sausage Casserole with mashed potato
THURSDAY - Moroccan Lamb Casserole on Cous cous
FRIDAY - Our family's Thanks Giving (will share about that another time) Turkey,  roast veggies and peas
SATURDAY - Fellowship tea at a restaurant
SUNDAY - Leftover Turkey meal with rice
Some nights we might have a dessert like ice cream, fruit , jelly etc but that just a treat.

Shopping List
Bag of apples 1.5kg $2.99
Half a Crown Pumpkin $2.06
Oats for porridge 2x 750g bags $4.98
Free Range Eggs 12pk $6.15
Cous cous 500g $2.49
Baked Beans 420g can $0.74
Diced Tomatoes 400g can $0.95
Milk 4x 3L bottles $21.96
Frozen Peas 1kg $2.95
Frozen Turkey NO3.5 $41.99
TOTAL = $92.30

So under budget at the moment. Now the challenge begins staying away from shops, until next week.

$100 per week food shop challenge for our family

We are doing a challenge which will hopefully get us motivated with using the food we have in our garden. As well as save some money, and think more carefully about what we eat.
This $100 is to cover food, not non-food items (like toothpaste, toiletries, pet food etc)
We also aim to shop only once a week. And when we have done our shop, share here how we have done. Meat and milk will be the hardest.
Today is Monday and have finish our menu plan. So will be going to the shops soon to get what we need. Shopping with cash only. As we menu planned around what we have already, our shop will be about getting only what we need for the coming week. Then making it last.

Share more soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Was a very busy day helping others.
  • Started with checking on my mum, who is sick with a cold. To see if she needed anything.
  • Then found my dad had forgotten his lunch. So dropped it off at his work (across the city)
  • Then visited my sister with her little daughter and baby boy. She has been so busy with them not much time for herself. So I looked after the kids for a couple of hours so she could.
  • Back to get my kids from school and go shopping for a few items.
  • Did make homemade muesli bars for school lunches.
My day was very full and not much Spring cleaning done.
But dinner was lamb casserole with mashed potatoes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning at the Little Home in the City

Spring Roses in our garden

With the sweet smell of roses in the air, this is the week we start Spring cleaning our home. Time for all the winter things to be packed away, and all the summer things to be brought out. Time for our home to be deep cleaned ready for the summer holidays.

Winter sheets soon to be stored away for next winter
Today (Monday) is the day we make beds with clean sheets, and wash the sheets we have taken off. but today we are changing our winter sheets for summer sheets. And washing the winter sheets getting them all ready to be stored away in a cupboard. I like to use vacuum packs for storing our sheets, find they look after them better then just popping them into a cupboard.
Today we also have to wash towels and tea towels, as well as give bedrooms a dust and vacuum.
For dinner tonight we are having Chicken Rice Risotto, with leftover chicken from our Sunday Roast Dinner last night.
Better getting to work, have made 2 beds, and have 3 to go.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homemade Christmas Cards

To save money this year we are making our own Christmas cards.
Found a helpful website, we used this year.
First took a photo of the kids, then followed their instructions. Simple and free.
Then printed off what we need. Slowly going through the process of cutting, folding and gluing together.
First card cut, folded and glued
Then I'm gluing some glitter on for a finishing touch. Just need to buy some cheap envelopes, and stamps and we will be ready to write in them.
Will show finished card later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas is Coming

And we are going to be ready for it this year at our Little House in the City.
And I got started with 1st joining up
and one of the things they recommend was making a Christmas Planner. Now I didn't want to go out and buy a new folder, instead I wanted to use what I had and make my own. And they helped me there too with showing me this site and a great you tube tutorial on making a Pocket Christmas Planner.
So here is my Pocket Christmas Planner
The front cover

With the Planner opened out

The shopping list and menu planner
I didn't have a cardboard folder with pockets like the you tube tutorial showed. But I did have cardboard that I made my own one with. My planner is not as neat as the tutorial's but it does the job and fits nicely into my handbag. So I'm happy and feeling more organised.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Garden Begining to Produce

Have had our 3rd handful of homegrown Strawberries for DD10 birthday party. They were so sweet and yummy, and of course only been picked moments before the party started, super fresh. No more buying containers of Strawberries for this family any more. We also had our first freshly picked lettuce for dinner last night. Very tasty in our homemade burgers. Then we are also picking our favorite type of radishes too. They are called Gentle Giants, a great kid friendly radish. We grew them from seed, and to me they are the easiest to grow too. It's my 3nd year growing them.
What we are looking forward to is our Cherry Tomatoes to ripen so we can add them to our green salads.
There is lots happening in our garden. But soon lots more will be happening inside our home as we do a Spring Clean challenge to get ready for the Summer season (and more children's school holidays). Oh and Christmas!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Had a little trip to Australia

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, on top of a drinking fountain. At Sydney's Royal Botanical Gardens
We went to Sydney, NSW, Australia. And of course I had to visit their Royal Botanical Gardens. Loved the Herb garden, enjoyed reading the information they had. And the smells from that garden, mmmmm. I was a wonderful break, but I'm happy to be home now. Had our own strawberries for dessert last night. And soon will be having fresh green salad from the garden.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sun in my Kitchen

In my kitchen making breakfast and enjoying the sun shining in. Mmmmm love Spring. Hard to take photos in our little kitchen, this one is with me standing at the other end of the kitchen. If I want to get more in I would have to be on top of our oven. Now that would be a sight. But I love it, and we still get to cook and bake yummy things here.
Today is Sunday, our day of rest, and I'm enjoying it after a busy day yesterday.
Better get ready for Church, God Bless :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Clean up day in the Little House in the City

Could call it a Total Spring Clean of our Little House.
All the family has to pitch in and help. But the aim is to get this home clean this weekend from top to bottom.
In my bedroom today I only have to dust,  wash glass (windows, mirrors etc), and vacuum the floor.
In the Lounge/dinning we have to put away the things that don't belong, then dust, wash glass and vacuum.
Bathroom/toilet is clean everything! Walls, windows, floor, bath, shower, toilet etc
Kids bedrooms well they have to clean up and vacuum.
Laundry is mainly pick up and put away, and clean the floor.
Kitchen is a bigger job, of wiping cupboard's down inside and out. Cleaning the fridge as well as oven. And the floor needs a good wash.
Outside there are a few jobs I would love to do, but this weekend focus is the little house.
So let the Cleaning begin.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Would rather be in the garden

But stuck inside with kids and a baby. Outside the sun is shining, wonderful after days with rain. The birds are singing, and weeds are growing (I so want to deal with those weeds). But at least I can tend to our seedling growing inside. And when I'm busy feeding baby, I can keep an eye on DS11 who is baking a cake.
Our seedlings growing. We don't have a green house yet, so our bedroom window has to do.

Cute little Butternut Squash seedling.

Homemade plastic house for our Sugar Baby Watermelon seeds. Hope they grow.

DS11 baking a cake in our little kitchen. Can't wait to try it.
Today we are going to eat cake. Didn't DS11 do well.

I did sneak out and picked a strawberry for my morning tea. Sun kissed sweet strawberry.

The Pets at Little House in the City

We have 6 pets at the moment.  As we work on our garden, we hope to add more to that number. They all play an important part in our home. We have
4 fish. They are called Small, Medium, Large (the goldfish), and Shark (the sucker fish). We are planing on getting a larger tank for them. They are great pets and cleaning out their tank, we get some great water for the garden.

Shadow our free bunny. He's very friendly, and loves to snuggle with us on the couch. Would love to build a bigger area for him to roam in. It's on the one day list. but he helps us with composting supplies.

And our dear free cat Mischief. We aren't totally sure how old she is (same with our bunny), sadly she was abandoned by her owner and was going to be given to the SPCA. But we gladly said we would have her. And her name really suits her. She is our helpful mouser.
I'm sure we will share more photos of our pets, especially mischief and all she gets up too. Would love to get a couple of chickens, and later more bunnies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Walk in our Garden

After a long day looking after a baby and my children. Spent a relaxing, refreshing walk in our garden. Our garden is not just food for my body, but also my soul. Here are some photo's I took on my little walk.
Yummy strawberry, and there are lots more where that one came from.

Strawberry flower

Feijoa flower

Yum lettuce, salad soon. There are more of them and different types, but I love the colour of this one. But I see I will need to weed again.

Oranges  We have a few left, have been eating lots and juicing lots.

Peach Flower, so delicate looking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kids Garden

One of the project this year was to make part of our garden a kids play area. Partly because I work as a Home Educator, so it's helpful for my work. And the other reason was to have an area the kids can play while we work on the other areas for food growing. Here's some photos of our progress with this garden space.
This is the area before we moved into the home.

This is the area after a long day of clearing away weeds and plants.

This is the area with grass seed.

Look at the new grass, love that lime green.

And as it looks today. Still a work in progress.

What the photo's don't show is the little sand pit behind the tramp (in the corner). There is also an area of garden that is theirs. It's growing strawberries and a sunflower plant. But will be adding more sunflowers and a sugar baby watermelon plant. We also hope to add a blackboard panel and some kids painted panels to the fence. Oh and a scarecrow (kiddy made of course). I love the space and even more when I see the kids outside enjoying it.