Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Moment In Time Frozen Forever

Starting my weekly Moment In Time posts again. It's a time to reflect on just how blessed our family truly is.


Spring Is Here!

Spring has arrived and we are loving it.

Living in a small 2 bedroom unit means that inside space is limited. Luckily for us, our unit has a lovely roomy backyard. With this lovely weather, we are now outside nearly all day!!
Enoying the sunshine!
Here Hatchling Lass and Hatchling Lad are enjoying some nappy-free time, getting some all important sun on winter pale tushies. Water Play is a fabulous way to spend a few hours. 
Our washing machine has finally given up its last leg and completely died, so Hatchling Lass is attempting to 'help' me do the daily washing -lol- while Hatchling Lad concentrates on trying to fit both legs AND butt in his bucket of water.

Since I have been feeling better, I whipped up a messenger bag as a gift for one of Dragonett Lad's friends for a birthday gift.

A Messenger Bag for Friend's Party

It was a complete hit!! YAY!!

And a dear friend saw and requested one each for her boys for library bags. So, one my "good days", I made these two and I am in love! Working with such lovely fabric is a bit of a change from upcycled fabric and I can definitely see why people spend such large amounts of money buying the exxy quilting fabrics -lol-

 Super Hero Library Bags

I hope the intended recipients love them as much as I did making them!

I have a HUGE sewing list planned - I am attending my sister's wedding in a few weeks and, to the dismay of my family -haha!- I am sewing my own dress. I'll show it off once I'm done and you can all judge for yourselves if I did well, or if I should have spent a couple of hundred...
I also have a friend's two girls to make gifts for and finish the curtains for our unit, as well as starting our Christmas Sewing AND we have three more birthdays to go, all needing DragonMumma's sewing skills...
Knowing us, I'll get the curtains done, and we will have to move again :D

Someone asked me if I could do a tutorial on some of the more common things I sew, as I told her, 'we'll see' ;)

Til next time beautiful readers...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Food and the evil 'B' word

Dinner Version -

Ah, that age old quandary of budgeting. For those of us who either have to or want to, budgeting for food and meals can be anything from fun to soul crushing despair.

In the Jolly Dragon household, we range from both sides regularly. Since Hatchling Lass arrived, our food has taken a drastic turn.

Hatchling Lass is currently gluten free, egg free, nut free and dairy free. She is also under the local paediatric team for low growth as well, so she has a special diet we must follow for her.
For myself, I am gluten free (gluten intolerant) and dairy free and the three other dragonetts are gluten free (gluten sensitive).
Lucky DragonPapa, he's free and clear of all of it -lol-

So meals here are ..fun, let's say and budgeting this family's food needs is really exxy.

With all the above to keep in mind, making healthy, filling meals that don't break the bank is really important.

We are in a facebook group that share dinner meal ideas, so I thought that I would share here as well - why not, hey? Heehee

Now, we shop at costco probably once every 6-8 weeks as its
a) on the other side of town and about an hours drive away
and
b) there's not a lot we can buy other than the basics so we don't need to go much more.

On our trip today, we bought a rotisserie chook ($6.99), along with several bags of veggies - snow peas, bean sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, bok choi, etc. as well as our usual mince.

On the way home, one of my facebook groups notified me that the local woolies had pork roast 50% off - we very rarely buy supermarket pork due to the ethical nature of it all, but sometimes feeding your family takes precedence.

From our rotisserie chook and veggies, we got our lunch today while out and about - chicken with snow peas, bean sprouts and lettuce mix.

Then for dinner, using one breast and the scraps left on the carcass we made a chicken korma on rice, sooo yummy! -chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, rice with a $2 korma jar and for Hatchling Lass, all the same but added coconut cream and no korma mix. Along with the two lunches we put aside for the Hatchlings for tomorrow, we even got a single serve meal left over to throw in the freezer!

Chicken Korma and Rice


Lunch tomorrow will be chicken sushi with the last breast for DragonPapa and I, the Dragonetts for school and leftover korma for the Hatchlings.

And not to leave the very good carcass to waste, tomorrow we will make a chicken soup with it and include celery, peas and corn, onion, garlic, carrot and freeze it for later. Once defrosted and heated up ready to eat, we will add broccoli and mushrooms just before serving. It's an absolute favourite in this house!

So from one $7 chook, we got four filling, healthy meals packed full of protein and veggies.

Tomorrow, we are also really looking forward to our first roast pork in years. We picked up a 2.4kg pork roast for $8! So we are looking at about 5-6 meals from that.

Roast Pork and veggies

With the leftovers -
Pork Kebabs
Cold slices for sandwiches
Sweet and Sour Pork
Pork Curry

So budgeting meals doesn't just have to be beans and toast or rice and lentils. It just takes a bit of know-how and learning where to spend your money to get the best results. And always keep looking. You always seem to find a better deal when you least expect it, well, that's our experience -ha!-





Monday, August 31, 2015

Convos With Dragonetts

DragonPapa is attempting to get kids ready for school when this convo happens


DP - "Come on, lets hurry up guys!"
Dragonett Lad - " No, I'm still asleep"
DP - "Well wake up quick quick mate"
*very firm voice* Dragonett Lad - "No. I am asleep and will be very slow today. I might tell Mrs G too..." (Mrs G is his teacher) *cue watching Dragonett Lad slow right down and wander almost aimlessly past my bedroom door*

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Getting my Sewjo Back

It's been a rough few years here, hence the silence on the blog front. Noone wants to read about other peoples boring problems -lol-.
So to say I lost my Sewjo in the stress would be a fair thing.

But recently, I put my foot down and said that it was time to do some stuff for me. So I got out the box of sewing stuff and promptly realised that in the move we recently did, a lot of my sewing items got damaged or went missing. Bugger!

Off to the Repair Shop but with the bill starting at $150 just for my machine and $300 for both mine and Dragonett Lass', simply out of our pockets reach.
Then...Spotlight had a sale!! Woot!!

A very basic new machine for me for $89 and a new portable one for Dragonnett Lass for $40 and you have two very happy sewists!!

Sadly, the 'Flu then hit our house hard with everyone taking their turn, so it was a long while before I could even open the box!!

Then, finally, I could feel the lure again.

We have moved from our lovely but highly stressful 4 bedroom home to a teeny 2 bedroom unit so I now have limited places to sew. But never fear beautiful readers, where there is a will, there is always a way!

Our kitchen table! Well, by kitchen I mean only -lol-. The spot many of us space-limited sewists use all around the world!
With the added bonus of our spare tv (that my darling DragonPapa went and hooked up for me to use use as I sew!!

Sewing @ the kitchen table
So, I rummaged about in my way-too-many-patterns and found a new one I just found at my Rummage Sale - complete with the size pattern pieces already traced and cut out! Love when that happens!

40 mins later, I had a pair of Avengers fleecy pants for Hatchling Lass... that was too small. Whoops! She finally grew a bit I guess. So correction, after 40 mins, I had a pair of Avengers fleecy pants for Hatchling Lad and 12 mins after that, a 'proper' fitting pair this time for Hatchling Lass -haha-

Not bad if I say so myself!!



Hatchling Lad in his new pants

Hatchling Lass in her (now fitting) pants

2 down and 2 to go now! Dragonett Lass has informed me on apparently how her pants are to be... gotta love 9yr olds -lol-!

I am so glad to have my sewjo back - my sewing list is looooong and only gets longer by the day...






Sunday, August 23, 2015

Beeswax Wraps From Nicnak

As long time readers know, we are moving away from disposable stuff here and looking at more reusable items. 

When you think of reusable in the kitchen, most people think about lunchboxes or Tupperware and the like. But what about cling wraps? I know that in a family of 6, we would use a LOT of cling wrap and to be honest, I never really gave it much thought - terrible isn't it! Not only the use and waste of plastics, but the money as well!! 

So when a friend started making beeswax cotton wraps to replace her cling wrap, I had to learn more.

She uses her own bees wax from her backyard and washed cotton squares of differing sizes. As beeswax is naturally antibacterial, it's a great addition to our kitchen instead of chemical filled plastics.

So I had to try it!

We bought frogs, cupcakes and two different stars and off to school they went, with Dragonmumma a bit worried that they wouldn't come home. But it was great! The kids loved the prints and the ease of use (Dragonett Lad not a fan of cling wrap) and a quick wipe and they were ready to go the next day.

Since then, we have gotten some more - the bugs ones are awesome!!

A definite Winner Here!!


*none of these photos are mine as I'm too lazy today - I pinched them all from Nicnak's Facebook page so go have a look yourself and tell 'm DragonMumma sent ya!!



Bowl Cover

Helping Bread Rise

Different Wraps

BUGS!!

Range Available
I am definitely saving up to order some BIIIIIG pieces to wrap loaves of bread and dinner sized platters from Elaine!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Our New Lini!



I have long wanted a Thermomix after a friend  introduced me to it.

But at $2000 it is really out of our reach.

So I resigned myself to gazing with envy at my friends TMX -lol-

Then recently, we were introduced to the Bellini Intelli and after joining The Bellini Addicts group on FB, DragonPapa and I decided to dip into our savings and buy one at the After Christmas Sales.

And can I say - IT'S AWESOME!!

~lol~

It's certainly not a TMX, but for the price, it is perfect! We have already done several successful recipes already.
DragonPapa wants to start recording the success so we'll be doing a new section for that soon.




 One of the things that we are most excited about making is our own butter!!



I have tried so many supermarket butters, and hated them all, so simply thought I didn't like butter. Wouldn't you know?? LOVE our Bellini Butter!!

Simply - we bought discounted cream from the supermarket for 80c (I think) and followed the recipe in the Bellini book - found Here


Butter (Customer Recipe Contribution) 
600g cream 
500ml cold water 
Tablespoon sunflower oil (we used Olive)
Pinch of salt 
1. Insert Stirring Blade into Bowl with Mixing Tool. Add cream. 
Speed 3 for around 7 minutes. 
2. Remove the Bowl and strain the “butter” through the straining Bowl. 
You can choose to keep the buttermilk for later use in cakes or biscuits. 
3. Put “butter” back into the Bowl, add the cold water, mix at speed 3 for around 35 seconds. 
4. Strain it again to remove the buttermilk. 
Place the “butter” back into the Bowl, add sunflower oil & salt. 
5. Remove the Mixing Tool. Blend at speed 3 for around 30 seconds.


Looking forward to sharing more in the future...








Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fruit Glorious Fruit!


Yummy!!

A dear friend of mine invited us fruit picking at her place and we had a fantastic time roaming all over. We ended up with a whopping entire basketful of 2 different sorts of peaches and 2 different sorts of plums. There is nothing tastier in my opinion, than fresh, organic fruit, straight from the tree. 



So we got to preserving! 

I haven't preserved anything for a long while due to being so unwell and the last time I did, it wasn't all that successful. But with some advice from another forager friend who is putting up her own preserves at the moment (see her blog here - Adventures In Preserving )

Then we traded a Jar of Peaches for some home grown Zucchinis - some didn't even make it to the kitchen...Hatchling Lass ate nearly the whole thing!!!


...then the last bit was finished off by Hatchling Lad.


DragonPapa has already eaten a jar or two of peaches, so it looks like I am going to have to hurry up and do more!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

Learning A New Craft

 For years I tried to learn how to crochet - and I mean yeeeeeeeaaaaars! :D But never was I successful.
Then, after I admired a friends wool work on FaceBook, she directed me to Mikey and Diva Dan's videos on youtube - 



and I was off!! 

I started by making squares - or dishcloths as I call them. They were easy way to practice the various stitches and get into the rhythm - but it wasn't all smooth sailing as these in-progress photos show...




Occasionally my count was off ~lol~ but I was getting better all the time...



After I had made about 40 of these of all sizes and colours, I sat down one day with a cheap ball of yarn (because i will ONLY call it wool when it is ACTUALLY wool! haahaa!) and started to crochet.
Admittedly I was power-marathoning Supernatural as I had just got DragonPapa into it and he HAD to catch up! LOL! But I always NEED to be doing something with my hands when I watch TV and crochet is perfect for it!


By Season 3 I was up to here and heading into my usual problem with my sides...


So Pretty!! LMAO!! But I refused to frog it ( apparently that means to undo it) , so I kept going. Often I had 'help'... even if I didn't want it ;)


But finally, I was done!! You would not believe how proud of me I was!! I had been sick for so long, I hadn't accomplished much other than Parent Orientated, so to branch out was invigorating!!


Now, I am making another one as the kids all complained about who got to use it and I am looking forward to learning more. Now that I have several of the basic stitches fairly well covered, I want to learn how to read patterns and make more complex things - tally hoooo!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rummage Sale Goodness!!

Okay, It has been about 18months (if not more) since I went to my Rummage Sale. We worked it out today that I have been going for about 6yrs - was pregnant with Dragonett Lad when we started going with "She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"-LOL-.

But, due to the fact that it was the first day back at school for Dragonett Lass and *WOOT* Dragonett Lad's FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL!! we decided out of the blue to head down and say hi!

It was lovely catching up with the regulars. They had all seen the kids grow up :) and been there through my continuing ill health, so it was really nice to touch base again.

The best bit of course were the bargains!


Our first piece of 'Art'







For My Crochet - to keep safe from little fingers

 Just need to figure out how to re-line the case


And of course, the obligatory clothes, jars and reading books for Dragonmumma. We also scored a teeny tiny lightsaber for Hatchling Lad, a pair of heel roller skates for Dragonett Lass, and a lovely rug for the 'loungeroom' of which I'll get a photo once it's scrubbed and dried. 
I also found a black corset I hope will fit ;)
And a few other bits and pieces

All for the princely sum of $15


*I think I also managed to convert DragonPapa to the joys of Rummage Sales -hahahaa-*


Till next time



Introducing Hatchling Lad!!

While on Hiatus, we welcomed Hatchling Lad to our little Dragon Family.

His birth Story is Here

Our Hatchling Lass was only 6months old when we discovered that we were expecting Hatchling Lad.
To say we were surprised would be the understatement of the century! Cue DragonMumma 'retiring to her bed' with tissues and doonas for three days until it sunk in.

But once we got our heads around it all, we got down to welcoming the newest addition. Go read the birth story for a more indepth view lol.

After his eventful arrival, we have been blessed every day with this cheerful little soul!!

He was on the 75-80th percentile for his head, but barely topped the 5th for the rest of him. Poor little mite. Our Big-Headed Bubba. LOL

Dragonett Lass is in raptures at being a Big Sister again! We have to keep reminding her that she's a child, not a parent, but for all that, she's amazing!

Dragonett Lad loves being a Big Brother, but is a little rough - all part of his personality, we are working on that.

Hatchling Lass - well, she has been awesome - what can I say - my dragonetts are all spectacular little kids! She is simply fascinated by him.






Our Incredible Little Bonus Bubba!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We're Back!!



Hi everyone!!

Well, it's been a really interesting 19 months since I shut this blog down. New lives have joined us, new life directions, new experiences - it's certainly been a ride!

It occurred to me that since I have been getting well again (loooong story, one day I'll tell it) I might crack open this blog again and see how we go.

So here's a run down of the past 2 years -

Hatchling Lad joined us last year
DragonPapa decided to hand in his resignation as he was being severely bullied and was having to take time off on stress leave and to care for me.
As I was so sick, we decided that we had to enroll the kids in school and found a fabulous one that the kids have blossomed in.
Our landlord needed our home for his son, so we have moved from our awesome but extremely stressful 4 bed Vineyard property into a friends 2 bed unit -lol-
DragonPapa is now studying
I am slowly but surely getting well after being sick for many years
I now run a Organic Bulk Food Co-Op
I have taught myself Crochet and still sew and read

It's been a full year with all that plus heaps more, all on top of running a family on a tight budget and 4 kids lol

So I am hoping to resurrect this blog into a "Blessings We Have" sort of thing - our world has had the extremes of dark and light times, so here's hoping that we get more Light and see the Garden of our lives blossom more this year! So over the next few days, I'll be updating and cleaning up the blog, getting it ready for the next phase of our lives.

Onwards and Upwards my Friends!!