Category Archives: Amazeballs

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Back in January I talked about my goals to reduce our household waste. So I thought I would do a little recap and see where we are at.

We have been doing okay with this in general, though there are some areas we could improve in:

  • We have not been as good on plastic bags as I would like, but we are recycling them instead of throwing them out as we used to do. It’s mostly an issue because I ensure I go for a walk at lunchtimes and often do some household shopping then and I don’t always remember to go to my car to get the eco bag first. Definitely something I need to work on habit wise.
    Eco Bags
  • Meal planning has also gone out the window for us for the most part just due to different crazy life things going on. I try to do it in my head a bit, obviously this is nowhere near as good as if I were doing it properly though so I really need to make an effort with this. Not only is it better for reducing waste, but it is also kinder on our wallets and better for our health because when I plan we end up with healthy well rounded meals.

Things we have done include:

  • I have done research into some of the things we buy and try to only buy items that have recyclable packaging (harder than you might think – though the redcycle program at Coles has helped a lot).
  • When it comes to items like egg cartons which are recyclable I will also look for opportunities for reuse. For instance our library storytime sometimes uses egg cartons for craft. In fact I found a flower craft recently for Mother’s Day that I sent through as a suggestion that uses egg cartons. This will mean that all staff’s egg cartons will be donated for the next few weeks to be used to create Mother’s Day gifts rather than being thrown out or recycled.
    Image result for egg carton flowers
    There are so many fun crafts you can do with egg cartons that I am actually going to save that for another post I think 🙂
  • Though we do not want junk mail it seems to keep magically appearing so I use the elastic bands from them on my frozen veggie bags once open to reduce the chance of freezer burn and recycle the junk mail. It’s only a little thing I know, but I also feel that that thought and little effort if magnified by many certainly counts.
    I also found out that my girlfriend who lives 30 minutes further bush than me doesn’t get junk mail at all so I now keep them for her and she recycles them after use.
  • When we next needed rice I bought a 5kg bag. Every one that sees it thinks I am crazy and it does take up a lot of room, but I used to buy the 500gram packet so I am literally saving 10 plastic packages and it saved me a BUNCH of money!
    We may not have sugar in our house, but if you need a cup of rice I am definitely your girl
    Image result for cup of rice cartoon
  • At work I have noticed that I have naturally become a lot more conscious of recycling and providing opportunities for people to learn more sustainable habits. No matter how small the scraps are now (from cutting out or whatever) I will put them in the paper recycling bin. I have also gotten into the habit of checking the staff paper recycling next to the internal printer for scrap paper as this is always in high demand at the library.
    Our Council has business card sized laminated signs with a cute cartoon of a light bulb reminding people to turn off switches. I have ordered some of these to place above the switches in our study areas as people often leave these on. I have also convinced Council to add recycling bins into all the libraries and centres (gyms and pools) which is amazing!!!
    I also had a chat with the guy from Council who runs eco programs like creating sustainable gardens, building terrariums and composting at home. It started with me offering to promote his programs in the library particularly on our social media sites. He was super excited about this and we are now talking about him possibly running some programs at the libraries which is amazing because we get a whole new slew of programs whilst our resource output would be minimal and we would be collaborating and networking with a whole new area of Council so I am pretty excited about this possibility 🙂

It was great for me to discover that I was able to make a difference at work as well as at home.

What changes have you made or do you suggest I make?


Things that are making me smile

I went for a walk to get a coffee today and our local coffee shop had this up. It made me smile (and want a t-shirt) so I asked the barista if I could take a picture of the sign. He seemed excited that people wanted to share it so I thought I would.

coffee-joke-sign

Seriously though… this needs to be on coffee cups and t-shirts… ooh and totes. You just know as a librarian, book lover and someone who is trying to reduce their waste that I love a good tote 🙂

Something else that made me happy recently is that my cover for my new phone arrived. At the beginning of the year I got a new Samsung S7 in rose gold. My contract for my old phone was a few months out of date so it was really time. I always have my phones in wrap round cases – I think it is what makes them last so long. I found a cover I LOVED online that I wanted so much that I literally waited a MONTH for it to arrive from Hong Kong. It only cost $12 though so BONUS!

new-phone-cover

Honestly, this looks even better in person than I thought it would. Often (as with my last phone case), when the item arrives the colour, quality or image are not as good as you had anticipated. With this product the colour is great, the quality of the materials and stitching is good. The names of some of the texts are a teeny bit hard to read sometimes, but if you are a Harry Potter fan you will be able to work out what they are 🙂

I was super pleased with this, it still makes me happy. The owl is SO cute. I really have a thing for owls, always have. My favourite are Tawny Owls, they are just so little and cute, Boobook Owls are also super adorable and have incredibly expressive faces… plus they have the word ‘book’ in their name 🙂  I don’t think it is overly fair to keep such beautiful animals as pets, but I would love to have them hanging around my place. This little sketch of Hedwig is probably the sweetest I have seen to be honest.

What has been making you smile lately?


Cauliflower fried “rice”

#trysomethingnew 🙂

I have wanted to try cauliflower fried “rice” for some time now, but there were a few deterrents. For starters there is a LOT of prep (chopping up etc.) and the other thing is my Dad and Hubster are not into cauliflower at all. So yesterday I got over that and decided I was doing it anyways. I paired it with chicken breast marinated in a smoky BBQ sauce.

After much chopping up of every vegie I thought would go well in the dish and putting the cauliflower through the food processor the cooking began.

I put a little bit of butter and garlic oil in the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking (plus garlic goes with everything 🙂 ) heated the pan then chucked in the vegies that take longer to cook like celery, capsicum, peas, onion, shallots. After a couple of minutes I added carrot and a bit of ham and some corn. After a couple of more minutes I added the cauliflower.

I made sure everything was well mixed then added a bit of soy sauce, in all there was maybe 2 tbsn, to be honest I think there was less than that, but I was doing it by taste not recipe. I don’t like a lot of soy in my fried rice so I wanted to be light on it 🙂 If you put too much it get bitter and salty really quickly.

rice

Because I did it by guesstimate I ended up with a LOT of it. As in we all ate a healthy serve of it and there is still enough for me to have at lunch today and for everyone to have seconds for dinner tonight also.

Everybody LOVED it. I waited until they gave their verdicts to tell them it was cauliflower, they seemed slightly surprised, but kept eating and saying it was great! Woohoo experiment success – and so much healthier for us than our home made fried rice (which was already pretty healthy apart from the rice hahaha).

Will definitely do again!

final product

 


Shepherd’s Pie amazingness!

Yes the title totally sounds like a year 6 project, but I don’t care because I am super proud of the tasty, tasty meal I made the other night!!!

Shepherd's Pie

I started out wanting to make a healthy Shepherd’s Pie for my family, originally the plan was to make cauliflower mash for the top, but Dad kind of 86’d that idea in a heartbeat. So on the way home I went to the fruit and produce market and bought a bunch of ingredients setting myself to make an amazing hot dinner to combat the cold nights we have been having.

Ingredients Shepherd’s pie:

  • 1 kilo lean beef mince
  • 1 jar of tomato based pasta sauce (I got a chunky one for extra veg)
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • TBSN mixed herbs
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • TBSN BBQ Sauce
  • TBSN Tomato Sauce
  • Charisma Potatoes – these are low GI potatoes
  • butter and milk for mash

Ingredients bread:

  • sliced loaf of Pane di casa bread
  • margarine or butter
  • mixed herbs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • grated parmesan cheese

What I did:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Peel potatoes, place in a saucepan, add water until just over the potatoes then place on heat to begin boiling. Once the water is boiling turn down to half heat.
  • Dice the capsicum, onion and carrot and place in a hot pan with the lean beef mince, dice/break up the mince as it is cooking. Continue until meat is cooked.
  • Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, BBQ sauce, Tomato sauce and mixed herbs. Mince the garlic and add this to the mix too. Allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat.
  • Check potatoes, when they are done drain the water. Add about 2 teaspoons of butter and a dash of milk and start mashing. Add more milk as required to get a creamy consistency, try not to make it runny. I use New Milk which is lighter, but still creamy.
  • Grab a baking dish (it will need to be a biggish one) spoon your entire meat mixture into it and pat it down a bit so the surface is even.
  • Grab your mash and a spoon and spoon the mash on top of the meat mixture. Use the back of the spoon to smooth it to ensure distribution is even across the pie. I then like to texture the top with a fork and sprinkle some low fat grated tasty cheese on top.
  • Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes (or until top is golden brown and cheese melted – do NOT burn the cheese 🙂 )
  • Grab a small bowl and mix up approx 2 TBSN margarine with 1 TBSN herbs and 2 cloves of minced garlic. To be honest I did not measure these amounts I just kind of felt it out and added what I felt it needed from the look of it. (Sorry – it’s how my Nan and Aunt cook and I kind of adopted the idea).
  • Spread the mixture on one side of the pane di casa bread and place under the grill on medium heat. Keep a close eye on this as different grills cook at different speeds and everyone has a different idea of “perfectly” toasted 🙂 So… toast it until you are happy then remove from the grill and place on a plate lined with all foil, sprinkle a small amount of grated parmesan over the top the wrap the foil over the top of the bread to keep the heat and moisture in as well as melt the cheese.
  • When you pie is cooked serve immediately with the bread.

200+ Followers & Liebster Award

Hello my friends! I have amazing news, I have just cracked 200 followers woohoo! That was one of my blogging goals for the year and I did it hooray!

What I wanted to do today was thank some awesome people who have nominated me for the Liebster Award, thanks to Joel from Chesapeake films and Elfypie. I know it took me time to get to this and I am very sorry, I certainly feel slack, but I am doing it 🙂 Watch me go 🙂

liebster-award-L-QSGhF9

Here are my answers to Joel’s questions:

1. Why Blogging?

Because I love to write, I love to tell stories and share experiences and if I don’t write for a long period of time I feel fidgety and weird. It is part of who I am and I felt blogging was a good way to go. I love that people read my blog and get something out of it, it makes me strive to be regular with posting and I am getting so much out of it.

I have met so many amazing people through blogging, I have made connections with others based on writing, sense of humour, similar pursuits etc. and it has been wonderful. One of my favourite things is guest blogging for others, I don’t know why, but I just love doing it!

(Also number seven from the next lot of questions 🙂 )

2. Twitter or FB?

FB – I cannot be limited to 140 characters haha.

3. Has there ever been a book that made you cry?

I can’t really think of one off the top of my head, but I am sure I have. Possibly (SPOILER ALERT) when Beth dies in Little Women, that part gets me every time.

4. What was the last meal you prepared from scratch?

Pancakes on Saturday om nom nom nom they was sooo good!

5. If you could go back in time, would you change anything?

I would have done my Librarian degree earlier and started trying for babies as soon as I met my Husband 🙂

6. Do you believe in “the road less travelled?

I prefer “The Road Not Taken” by Frost.

7. Robin Williams…go!

I am positive Joel wrote this question with me in mind. This man is magnificence personified. His genius has so many layers, it is just endless. I cannot even think of an all-encompassing word to describe him anywhere near accurately. Dead Poets Society made me fall in love with poetry, Aladdin made me believe in magic, What Dreams May Come made me believe in the power of love. He has been one of my heroes from a very young age. Due to his passing I am having a hard time with number 9 now 🙂

8. What was your worst experience while travelling?

When I was 14 I was in Fiji on holiday with my family and whilst my parents were at the pool and my brothers were at a coconut tree climbing class a man tried to force his way into my room.

9. What are the top three things on your bucket list?

* Having a coffee with Robin Williams

* Singing with Bette Midler

* Write a story and publish it (e or hardback) – I am actually working on this currently

She’s just divine!

10. Is it the journey or the destination?

The journey and more importantly who you take it with.

11. What do you do to unwind/to get rid of the toxins from the day, to vent out your frustrations/to clear your head?

Sing, sing, sing.

Here are my answers to Elfypie:

1. Favourite book?

Of all time? Oh man, this is such a hard question! Okay, I am going to choose two, that is probably against the rules, but you all know I am such a rebel 😛

So my TWO favourite books (of all time) are Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.

Little Women I fall in love with the story every time I read it! Interview with the Vampire for pretty much the same reason, I adore Anne Rice’s writing, she has this amazing way of depicting people and places which makes the story come alive in your head.

2. Who inspires you?

My Mum is my biggest inspiration, all my life I have looked up to her and wanted to be as good a person as she is. She is so successful in so many aspects of life that it is impossible not to be inspired by her. She is a massive part of the reason I wanted to become a Librarian, to follow in her footsteps and without her my marks at Uni would not have been as good – great editor.

3. Music taste?

I am very eclectic, don’t ask me who my favourite band or singer is because it changes. At the moment I am loving Imagine Dragons, Pentatonix, Pink! (always loving Pink!) and Carrie Underwood – told you my taste was eclectic 🙂 I am also listening to a lot of Queen, ACDC, Adam Lambert and the song Titanium (working on a slow, kind of country version of it).

Queen ft Adam Lambert @ the Sydney concert. Best. Night. Ever.

Queen ft Adam Lambert @ the Sydney concert. Best. Night. Ever.

4. What is your main ambition in life?

Man these are hard questions. My main ambition(s) (had to add the “s” sorry) are to be happy, to make others happy, to constantly work towards helping others become information literate and making them lifelong learners and to love my family with everything I have. I guess as part of this you could now add my goal to become a Mum, some people might not think much of that goal, but I don’t think much of those people 🙂

5. Dogs or cats?

I love both, but adore my 2 rescue puppies, they are such sweet and beautiful souls. I still can’t believe anyone abused and abandoned them! I don’t care that one of them is almost 10… they are still my puppies 🙂

6. Did you believe that the moon was made out of cheese when you were a kid?

No, but I did believe a man lived up there. Also… since he was in the sky and I thought heaven was in the clouds I kinda had this idea that he was in charge of looking after the people in heaven.

7. Why did you start blogging?

Because I love to write, I love to tell stories and share experiences and if I don’t write for a long period of time I feel fidgety and weird. It is part of who I am and I felt blogging was a good way to go. I love that people read my blog and get something out of it, it makes me strive to be regular with posting and I am getting so much out of it.

I have met so many amazing people through blogging, I have made connections with others based on writing, sense of humour, similar pursuits etc. and it has been wonderful. One of my favourite things is guest blogging for others, I don’t know why, but I just love doing it!

8. What are your top 3 qualities you look for in a person?

  • Good heart
  • Straight talk
  • A giver not a taker

9. What is your favourite place?

Before my Grandparents passed away they owned a house on a beach, every holiday we would go and spend time at my Grandparent’s house. Some of my best memories are there; it is my biggest wish that I could one day buy that house back. It is the most beautiful place in the world.

10. Who is your favourite Disney character?

The Genie from Aladdin!

11. Why is the sky blue?

Because if it were purple people would never stop looking at its awesomeness and nothing would ever get done 🙂

Annnd nothing was done this day

Annnd nothing was done this day

Here are the rules for this award!

– You have to link back to the person that nominated you.

– You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.

– After completing these questions you must nominate 11 bloggers under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.

– You must not nominate the person who nominated you.

I’m not great with rules (as I am sure you have noticed) and a lot of the people I find awesome have over 200 followers because other people have also recognised their awesome J So here is what I am going to do, I am nominating people whose blogs I love, if they are under 200 awesome, if not then you should definitely check them out and follow them.

Here are my questions:

  1. What is your go to song at Karaoke?
  2. What was your favourite book growing up?
  3. What is your Starbucks order?
  4. Favourite dessert?
  5. The best poem ever is….?
  6. What is your favourite movie of all time?
  7. In one sentence please explain why Firefly should not have been cancelled.
  8. What is your best “ain’t nobody got time for that moment”?
  9. What is your “I cannot even be bothered” dinner? – something you make not buy
  10. How much do you love Tim Tams?
  11. What one thing would you change about your life in this moment?

And here are my peoples:

The Cat Bed

The Dimwhit

LauGraEva – you have to check out her handiworks!

The Gone –  This is a novel written online, pretty awesome. I am a little addicted… check it out!

Cutie Cameras – Love this blog and its author. Such a fresh, fun and colourful blog.

Storytime with John – John in hilarious! You have to check him out!

Cellulite Looks Better Tan – finding this blog was like finding a kindred spirit. I love how this lady writes!

Plus+ Beauty

A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe

I could list ALL day, but I am going to stop now 🙂 Like I said I know that some of these people have more than 200 followers, but I don’t think being successful should stop me from showing my appreciation of their blogs.


Telling stories on yonder blog

Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to submit a piece to the Chesapeake Films blog series “What do stories mean to you?” This is definitely my kind of topic and I had quite a few ideas on what I wanted to say. I sat down planning to write a stellar piece on stories and how they contribute to development, information literacy and creative thinking – seriously it was going to be amazeballs and not to ring my own bell or anything, but I probably would have won some kind of award!

142235721

But that didn’t happen, when I put my fingers to the keyboard a totally different story poured out of me. One that to be honest hadn’t even crossed my mind until I was telling it. Reading it back over I realised how important this story was to me, how personal and raw it was and honestly I considered not sending it over to Joel. But that is not the kind of writer I am, I am honest and this story obviously needed to come out. So I sent it (with very little editing – sorry about that Joel 🙂 – because I thought I would chicken out if I spent too much time with it).

What do you know… he really liked it. I hope you check it out and like it also. Please head on over to the Chesapeake Films blog and while you are there check out some of the other amazing tales in the series!


In your face PCOS & Insulin Resistance

Today I am feeling pretty good, it is definitely a good day 🙂

I have tried not to be too hopeful about weightloss on metformin and this low GI lifestyle that I am still rather imperfect at, mainly because it has been so heartbreakingly disappointing in the past. I have noticed that my clothes have been roomier lately so yesterday morning I decided to bite the bullet and jump on those scales…

They say the scales don’t lie and in this case I am really hoping that is true because according to the scales I have lost 3.8kgs since I began taking Metformin and eating low GI (for the most part)

So all yesterday I was like this (make sure you watch until she gets in the elevator :))

Then this morning at work I was wearing my favourite tunic that now fits the way I wish it had when I bought it and fitted jeans which thanks to the lack of bloating I think I am going to need to get a belt for and a lady at work stops me and says, “oh my gosh you have lost a lot of weight, you are looking great”. Pretty sure I need to buy her a present now 🙂

So here is todays theme song:


Dessert Experiments

So I decided (much to my Mothers chagrin) to make my own birthday cake this year, because I wanted to experiment. I found out later that my Mum must not have had very much faith in my cooking ability because they had bought Vienettas as back ups in case my experiment failed. 

The inspiration from this cake came from seeing a picture of an insane multi-layered chocolate, ice-cream and Violet Crumble cake. I decided that it was crazy and just too much, also I bet I could make something like that. So I began planning. 

I wanted the top layer to be ice-cream, my fear of having a chocolate cake bottom layer was that the ice-cream would be too heavy for it… my solution… 

Triple choc fudge brownie base!!!

Triple choc fudge brownie base!!!

Omm nom NOM!!

So then I took 2 litres of Peters Vanilla Ice Cream (No I did not make my own – ain’t nobody got time for that!) and smashed Tim Tams and crunchies all through it. Crunchies I left in BIG chunks so that the honeycomb didn’t get too hard. 

I used the same tin as the brownies and put the ice-cream into the tin and into the freezer overnight to set. 

Then the ice-cream gets laid straight on top of the brownie, you can used whipped cream to “frost” and decorate the top as you like. 

Finished product

Finished product

This cake was such a roaring success that I have already had a request to make one for someone else’s birthday next weekend! 

Side on glory! So many NOMS!!

Side on glory! So many NOMS!!

Seriously you guys, this was my best. Experiment. Ever!


The Tree of Forty Fruits

Who wants to learn about something awesome today?

The tree of forty fruits is the brainchild of Sam Van Aken, a contemporary artist and art professor at Syracuse University. Sam grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, his background in Agriculture and his love and expertise of art has combined to produce this amazing, living piece of art. The trees are not only stunningly beautiful, but also extremely practical.  

Image by Sam Van Aken retrieved from http://www.treeof40fruit.com/

I can’t do the project enough justice so I recommend you hear about it from the man himself. Check it out, knowledge is power! I love the TED talks!!!

Recently in Australia there has been a huge jump in the number of people growing their own fruit and veg as well as creating their own jams, preservatives, relishes and chutneys 🙂 Most of us certainly do not have acreages and I can certainly see a true and vast need for trees like this in everyday life.  


My curly haired Adonis

Warning: Some people might find this post uncomfortable to read because it is about lady parts 🙂

The other day I reached a new level of love and appreciation for my Husby, during the day I had a very slight itch in my nether regions, but it died off and so I never thought about stopping on the way home to consult a Pharmacist.

It’s very cold here at the moment and due to the fact it was a chilly 2 degrees outside I put the electric blanket on 30 minutes before we went to bed so it would be toasty warm for us. Now I am not sure why the delicious warms aggravated the situation [and I don’t care why it happened as long as it never happens again], but for some reason it did and all of a sudden I was in significant pain and itching like crazy. I have had thrush before, but this was like the Hulk version – seriously, bad (but not green, I must emphasise that NOTHING was green!

Completely mean, but DEFINITELY NOT GREEN!

I tried to manage it on my own with some Googling (yes the web doctor thinks I have cancer) and an ice pack – yes an ice pack… in 2 degree weather. What was I thinking? I’ll tell you what I was thinking, I was hoping with all my being that my twinkle cave would get frostbite and fall off. The ice calmed the itching slightly, but the pain was still horrible.

Queue my superhero checking out my lady flower to give his expert opinion of “I think it looks normal”, my response of, “trust me this is not normal, it has to be Hulk thrush or something”. He asked if I had a cream or medication for it, I replied sarcastically that of course I kept a stash of beaver cream for exactly this situation (I feel quite bad about this now, but at the time I had little patience). He calmly started Googling, I tried telling him I had already done that and tried everything, he ignored me which just added to my muffin pain fuelled rage, “What are you doing? Please tell me you are not playing a fucking game right now!” he shook his head no. So I ignored him for a bit and just lay there clutching an ice pack to my crotch feeling ridiculous, in pain, exposed (well obviously) and vulnerable.

Then I realised Husby was getting dressed, “what are you doing?? Where are you going?”

“I found a 24 hour chemist” he replied (at this point it was 12.30am), “I am going to go get some stuff to help”

“Wha…what?” I stuttered, “Where is it?”

“It’s about a 35 minute drive, I’ll be as quick as I can” he went to walk out of the room.

“Wait” I said, “Really? Are you seriously going to go to a pharmacy 30 minutes away at 1am and buy me vagina medicine?” he shrugged and replied,

“Sure, why not? That’s how I roll” he laughed and walked out the door.

I was left mystified as I realised I had the best Husby ever created, many of my girlfriends Husbands won’t even buy tampons at the supermarket and here is my curly haired Adonis off into the dark of night seeking a cure for my punaani’s ills. He came back an hour later triumphantly clutching antihistamines and thrush cream, I am not sure what the antihistamines were for, but they knocked me out for a couple of hours which was nice and the cream felt like when you put aloe vera onto sun burn…. I could almost hear the sizzle as my map of Tasmania cooled.

Best. Husband. Ever.