Upcycling Project 1: Tin Cans

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Tin can tidy allI’m really, really into upcycling and recycling at the moment. Trying to use up things around the house I would normally throw away instead of buying more things. This is partly an economic thing (according to the budget I’ve been keeping the last few months I spend a lot more on craft and household items than I thought) but mostly just an extra awareness of how easy it is to create unnecessary waste. Maybe because it was Earth Day last week or that we missed a bin collection and I saw how quickly our recycling bin fills up or just realising that I’m constantly upset how much everything at the supermarket is packaged I resolved to have a good couple of weeks creating and reusing – or ‘upcycling’ – projects only. No trips to the craft or hardware stores for anything. If I don’t already have it I won’t use it. Two weeks like this is my goal. Hopefully by the end of this challenge I will have gotten into a more eco-friendly mindset about my crafts, what is rubbish and what isn’t and what is truly necessary. Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit – Easily remove stains from your plastic chopping board

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Does your plastic cutting board have stains on it and in its deep grooves from all your cooking? The cure for this, and a sparkling clean chopping board is half a lemon.

Cut a lemon in half, squeeze one half’s onto the board and rub it in and then let sit for 20mins before rinsing it off and letting it drip dry.

Before the lemon

Before the lemon

After the lemon

After the lemon

Voila! Shiny and new.

How to take and grow rosemary cuttings

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DSC_0338Spring is finally here (yay!) I love the change of season, the freshness in the air, the little green buds everywhere, the daylight lasting just that bit longer each day. Walking to work this week I saw the previously bare grass along the footpath strewn with tight buds of snowdrops and daffodils getting ready to bloom. I also love having fresh herbs – on a different but not wholly unrelated topic. I cook a lot and fresh herbs make such a difference, but can be expensive to constantly buy. So, with the oncoming Spring why not start a little windowsill herb garden? Then I can welcome the change in weather from my very own kitchen AND have delicious foods at my fingertips. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get your own herbs is from cuttings.* You can of course buy seedlings or already developed plants from nurseries and/or the supermarket but they can cost a bit more and I find growing your own much more satisfying. Rosemary is a common and versatile herb in cooking and is also a great beginner plant for new gardeners as it’s low maintenance, hardy and long-living. It also smells great 🙂 Continue reading

Leah May Makes an Emergency Fund

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emergency-fund-1Do you have an Emergency Fund? If you do super high-five! If you don’t it is something you absolutely should get building asap because sooner or later an emergency will happen and the last thing you want to worry about is the money required to get through it. Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit – Break in new shoes in 2 minutes

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New shoesI love shoes. I really, really do. However new shoes often need to be broken in, especially if they are made of leather or have features that can rub until they’re softened up. Rather than going through days, even weeks, of pain and blisters and not being able to enjoy my new footwear straight away I use this nifty trick (thanks to Anna for teaching me this all those years back) to break them in straight away.

Materials:

  • Hairdryer
  • Socks
  • New Shoes

method:

  • Put on socks and slip into your shoes.
  • Aim the hairdryer on the tight section for a few seconds (wiggle and stretch your feet inside the shoe for maximum benefit).
  • Keep the shoes on while they cool.
  • Remove the socks and test out shoes.

They should be stretched out and comfortable, but if you need more room, then repeat the process. And there you have it – new shoes ready to wear straight away!

Tuscan Sausage and Cannellini Bean Soup

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DSC_0344This is one of my favourite soups. It’s tasty, hearty and healthy – everything that makes a soup great. It’s an easy one-pot affair and quick to cook and the recipe is easy to vary as you desire (or your pantry demands). This makes a decent amount, approx. 10 serves (depending on bowl size) so make sure to use a big pot and any left overs are easy to store in the fridge/freezer and reheat without losing flavour or texture. I sometimes add a few chopped celery stalks if I have some to use up and along with the basil some herbs de provance or a few crushed fresh basil leaves as well. Continue reading

Growing your own avocado tree from a pit

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avocado treeI love avocados. So yummy, so very very yummy.So what better way to combine my love of avocados, their left over pits and my need for greenery than to grow an avocado tree or two?

This is an easy project but I should make it clear from the outset that avocado plants grown from pits rarely produce their own fruit unless grafted and if they do it won’t be for at least 5 or 6 years. That said they are lovely little trees and look lovely in the garden or as an indoor plant. Continue reading

52 week money jar update – week 10

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10 weeksHello! Sorry about the absence but my computer had a freak out, as only computers can, but it’s fixed now and I’m back – yay!

So it’s week 10 of the money jar challenge and so far so good. I’ve managed to stay on track and put in the required amount each week. I haven’t swapped any of the big weeks around yet but I think I’ll do at least on of the 50s this month and get it out of the way.

So week 10 – that’s $55 saved so far and so easy! Of course the next few weeks will see it increase a bit more dramatically, I may have to post again once the $100 mark is passed, you know, cos of the excitement. I’m actually feeling really positive about this so far, I haven’t succumbed to ‘borrowing’ change out of the jar or skipping weeks and I’m getting quite a bit of satisfaction from crossing each week off and watching the jar incrementally get fuller. Yay money jar! How are you going if you’re also doing the challenge? Would love to hear what you think so far!

Tuesday Tidbit – Shower Power!

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Shower powerSo as spring creeps up on us and the days are lighter and brighter I’m starting to get into serious spring cleaning mode – where did all these cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling come from when there’s been no spiders in our cottage for months?

Anyway, a handy hint for the bathroom, more specifically the shower is this Tuesday’s tidbit. I find most of the time I put off cleaning because when I notice what needs to be done there’s nothing to hand to clean it with and I say ‘I’ll do it later’ when I have the cleaning stuff out and then of course forget.

Fill a dish wand half and half with good quality dish soap and white vinegar and keep it in your shower/bath then with just a bit of water and a few decent swipes your shower and/or tub will be nice and clean and shiny and all done just before or after (or even during if you’re keen) your shower. Voilà! Shiny and clean all the time!