Tuesday, December 31, 2013

christmas snippets.

christmas was almost a week ago but i feel like i'm still recovering!
i was lucky enough to have both christmas day AND boxing day off from work so i spent the entire time down at mum and dads place, celebrating with them and my extended family.
it was pretty fantastic to be honest.

here are a couple of snapshots i managed to take in between celebrating...

peeling prawns around the fire.

the weather was ridiculously amazing on christmas day, perfectly still and beautifully sunny, and then a big temperature drop when it got dark. perfect for a fire!

the christmas tree dad and i foraged, after being decorated by my little bro, his friend and i.

my grandpas "fish and chip" lights run around the outside of the house too! so colourful!

my cousin requested a bush walk on boxing day...

so four of us tramped up the bush, in our boxing day best and boots! we had great fun though!

christmas day roast pork

so. delicous. that crackling was just as delicious as it looks!

and my mumma and her besty. again fireside.

how did you celebrate christmas this year? lots of catching up with family and friends? or a quieter approach?

Monday, December 30, 2013

meal planning monday.

as i thought, there wasn't much on last week's meal plan that actually went to plan...
lotsa junk food on the night's that we weren't christmas-ing.
none of that this week though, i am feeling more than a little ordinary after all that junk so i'm hoping to get LOTS of home-cooked meals happening!

and i've got this to help me now...

SUCH a thoughtful and awesome christmas present :D
and i'm super stoked that it includes lunches too as i really want to start taking my lunch most every day in the coming year...

more about that later, it's meal plan time!

tonight, i cooked up the pesto pasta i was talking about two weeks ago! it was super delicious and it got me outside for a bit this morning too, picking lots of nasturtium leaves.

tomorrow night, i'm heading into the city to meet bb after work with a whole lotta picnic gear. cheeses and fresh bread, dips and biccies, oh and some french champagne AND some christmas spiced gin i was gifted by a co-worker. it should be a very nice night!

wednesday night, i might whip up some burgers. i'm hoping to bake up some fresh sourdough, so i might try and make some buns for the burgers too!

thursday night, bb has requested pork chops. if i'm feeling motivated, i might make some potato galettes to serve with them. and some salad.

friday, i'm working late, so the slow cooker will be doing the work. i think i'll try this indonesian chicken recipe.. with some rice and some steamed bok choy, it should be delicious!

saturday night, i've put bb in charge of the cooking. he thinks he might slow roast a lamb shoulder and i am totally ok with that

sunday night, i think i'll put together something from the leftovers. and hopefully there'll be leftovers from that for lunch on monday.

what are you eating this week? how are you bringing in the new year? do you have any good lunch recipes?

Monday, December 23, 2013

meal planning monday.

so i guess there won't be a lot of planning this week because christmas but here's a rough plan all the same!

tonight will probably be one of the few nights i'll cook this week! because i'm sure that it will be a mahooooosive day at work, it'll be a quick and easy one, bolognaise from the freezer. with some spaghetti from the pantry and any salad leaves floating around in the vegie crisper, it should definitely tick the quick and easy boxes.

tomorrow night, i'm catching the train to mum and dad's! well as far as i can and then mum is picking me up! road-trip woo! i have LITERALLY no idea what we'll have, as we probably won't get back to their place until after 7...

wednesday night, well after a big christmas family lunch, i doubt anyone will much want anything for dinner... though mum did tell me about the 3 kilos of prawns she has in the freezer to defrost. prawns for dinner, yep, that sounds good!

thursday night, my dad's family will be over for a late lunch/early dinner type deal. it'll be super awesome to catch up with everyone and there'll be a bbq happening too.

friday night, i'm working late! no rest for the wicked they say! i'll leave bb in charge of dinner me thinks!

saturday, again, i'm working. and again, i'll leave bb in charge!

sunday, guess what? i'm working! sunday roast would be nice though... maybe i'll hint that one to bb too!

what are your festive meal plans? are you in charge of the cooking?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

oh christmas tree.

i've just gotten home from a weekend away at my parent's place.

we worked hard, getting the place looking great for the christmas AND boxing day events happening there this year.

one of the requests that my mum had, was a real christmas tree so dad and i went for a little stroll up to our bush block with a chainsaw to find one!

the one that we found, and dragged home on mum's little ride-on mower trailer, looked absolutely ridiculous in the house! way too big, and it just looked like a pine tree!
it does look pretty good out on the deck though :D

we'll get some lights and decos on it christmas eve and it should look amazing!

it didn't solve the problem of a christmas tree for the house though...

so i tied together some of the off cuts of the big tree.

it's not perfect, but it'll do :D

what does your christmas tree look like?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

green love.

the tomato edition.
i finally got a chance last week to get to planting out my tomatoes!

there are two polystyrene boxes like this...

one in the back yard, and one in the front.

and i popped one into the pot i had my garlic in.

after a little refresh of the soil that is...

and the final little seedling i had leftover, i popped into the spot when i had some pak choy growing in my vegie box...

it's looking a little bedraggled after #jerkcat dug it over when i let him freerange last night after work! gah!

and finally... i got such a surprise when i took some rubbish out to put in the bin this afternoon and saw this little guy poking up his head!

only a couple more years for it to be actually edible!
i'm sure it will be worth the wait though!

what's been happening in your garden recently? do you grow asparagus too?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

a few sneaky finishes...

sneaky because they were christmas presents for a lovely lady (and her hubby) who i know reads my blog!

now that the gifts have been given and received, i can share!!

for the mr...

i knitted up a beanie! using leftovers of the yarn from this project and another one i'm keeping secret until post-gifting...
i was playing yarn chicken and lost horribly! had to stop by this heavenly place to get some more :D


the second handmade item, well items...

these three crocheted flakes are a set by this clever lady, you can download them for FREE here if you'd like to have a go too!
i think they'd look super sweet on any christmas tree ;)

have you finished any christmas presents lately?

Monday, December 16, 2013

meal planning monday.

i was quite happy with myself last week, as i stuck to the meal plan i wrote, pretty much to the letter.
it very rarely happens as i sometimes can't be bothered, or forget to buy some integral ingredient... but the week just gone, i stayed motivated and made do when i'd forgotten stuff! it felt good!
hopefully i can keep it up

tonight, i'm going to whip up a chicken and vegie stir fry, to go with some leftover fried rice from the weekend. quick and easy, just how monday night meals oughtta be!

tomorrow night, i'll pull the last of the lamb chops out of the freezer, and put together this little dish. while it's in the oven, i should be able to get some stuff done around the house. and by that i mean knit.

wednesday night, is ncb night! the last of the year! i'll grab dinner there and bb can cook himself up something!

thursday night, bb has requested pasta. i think i'll go and raid the nasturtium growing in the front yard again and make up a batch of pesto pasta! if i'm feeling motivated, i might even make up some pasta too!

friday, we're off to bb's work christmas party. it's a day event but i have no idea what time we'll finish up (or what state we'll be in) so i'll have to play it by ear!

saturday, i'm heading down to visit my parents. they're hosting TWO christmas parties over christmas day and boxing day so i'll help them to get everything sorted before hand! dinner will be shared with them which will be awesome :D

sunday night, i'm going to grab the leftover duck ragu out of the freezer and whip up some rag pasta to serve with it. it should be super delicious and easy in case i'm late getting back from mum and dad's.

what are you eating this week? are you making plans for christmas?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

little lovelies.

every week, i try and share a little list of lovely things that have happened throughout the week in my neck of the woods, to try and keep myself looking on the bright side of things.

fresh homemade bread, cooling on the bench.

i don't think i'll ever get sick of cutting off a chunk and smothering it in butter!

i dug up my first beetroot during the week.

i roasted it up with some carrots, and then paired in with some cous cous and fresh spinach (again, from the garden). i don't think i'll ever get sick of shopping for food in my backyard either!

thursday night, i was really thankful to have a bit of time to make a curry from scratch.

grinding all of the spices up was a bit of a chore, but the finished product was pretty delicious (even though it burnt my entire mouth and nose out...)

i was gifted this pattern book in my work kris kringle.

i might not have a dog... but i have a big cat that the smaller sizes will fit! i really want to cast something on and get knitting asap! maybe after the christmas knitting is done though...

and lastly...

clean sheets.
clean sheet day is always the best day of the week :D

what has made you smile this week? do you bake your own bread? or shop in your vegie patch?

Friday, December 13, 2013

friday mornings.

one of the unfortunate side-effects of working a full-time gig in retail is late night shopping. for me it means that once a week, i have to work a 'late shift' starting in the afternoon and working until 9pm.
it's not a hugely 'late shift' (particularly compared to my mum, who is a nurse, and therefore works potentially, all hours of the day and night!) and it does have an upside... a morning at home to myself!

because i still have 8 hours of work ahead of me, i generally give myself a pretty easy morning too, nothing too strenuous :D

this morning, there was nothing too pressing on the agenda, so i pulled some bread dough out of the fridge...

and while it rested and baked, i drank tea and finished off another of my christmas knitting projects.

nice, easy, calm morning alone :D

i also threw myself together a nice lunch.

leftover lasagne from earlier in the week and a side salad too!

i've been making a conscious effort this week to take a bit of salad to work with me to have for lunches. it's been nice :D

now i'm off to throw myself under the shower, get dressed and do a wee bit of tidying up!

do you ever get a morning to yourself? what do you get up to?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

my creative space.

more frantic christmas gift knitting happening in these parts.

this week, it's socks though.
they're very similar to these ones as i had HEAPS of leftover wool and also, i think they're amazing :D

i kind of forgot how long they take to knit though after the last couple of knits i've been working on have only taken a couple of days... less than two weeks to go guys!

are you knitting for christmas?

join in with my creative space over here

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

green love.

i think i'd call this the harvest edition...

lots of spinach picking,

for lots of salads to serve with dinners this week. and i've been taking the leftovers for lunches too!

i also dug up some of the garlic i've had growing too!

the bulbs are still really little so i'm leaving the pot i've got out the front as it is at the moment. hopefully they'll get a little more developed and a bit bigger too!

these guys DESPERATELY need to get into bigger pots!

i'm hoping i might find a little time to get these into the ground outside tonight after work... and maybe a couple into the boxes i picked up last week.

what's growing in your yard this week? are you harvesting and munching on anything?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

it's beginning to look a lot like....

well, christmas.

after a biiiiiiiig day of work on saturday, i strong-armed bb into helping me christmas-fy the house a little...

last year, sampson DESTROYED our plastic fantastic christmas tree and it got put out for recycling. so this year, i've replaced it with a little weenie REAL tree! it will grow and grow every year, growing up with bb and i :D

last year i made the bauble string from a big box of baubles we found on sale. i LOVE it! it's shiny and glittery and the best!

a little grouping of christmassy bits and pieces.

i also strung up the christmas lights we had in our deco box which are making me VERY happy when they're flashing away!

just the right amount of christmas to keep me frantically knitting through my gift list :D

is your home looking christmassy yet? what kind of tree do you have?

Monday, December 9, 2013

meal planning monday.

monday again! and gosh today was a tough one!
i don't know if it was the weekend being over, or the weather today but i felt like a zombie all day!

one of the main reasons why this meal plan is so late in the day!

tonight, i'm making the dinner i had planned last thursday night. it never quite came together last week though i had good intentions, i even got the chicken out of the freezer and defrosting! thankfully it's still good tonight, and it's now wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with garlic butter and in the oven! all that's left to do is to pick some spinach and whip up a salad! easy!

tomorrow night, i'm going to put together a lasagne. i've had a hankering all day today after ruth posted this picture to her instagram feed. divine.

wednesday night, i might cook up some pork chops. bb put in a request for them last week and they should be delicious served up with some wilted spinach and maybe some cous cous.

thursday night, i'll cook up another bb request, beef vindaloo! will have to find my curry cook book as i've never made a vindaloo before. exciting stuff!

friday night, i'll be working late. the slow-cooker will be on the case for sure. i think i'll dig some chicken drumsticks out of the freezer and put together this recipe. hopefully it's delicious!

saturday night, bb and i are off to my work christmas party. it's sure to be a good night with good food and probably a few too many drinks. fun times!

sunday night, bb and i are heading out again! this time to a friend's house, to have a good catch up pre-christmas. fingers crossed the weather is nice, so we can get our bbq on!

what are you eating this week? lots of christmas parties on the agenda?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

little lovelies.

every week, i try and share a little list of lovely things that have happened throughout the week in my neck of the woods, to try and keep myself looking on the bright side of things.

wednesday night at ncb, i was lucky to receive this tote as my kris kringle present from the one and only curlypops.

i love it so much, and so does sampson apparently... the bag you can carry anything in ;)
you can get yourself one from here if you love it too!

i had a particularly crappy morning this week at work (as well as a late breakfast) and chocolate ice cream was the ONLY cure!

part of being an adult is deciding that some days, you just need to have ice cream for lunch right? just me?

monday, i whipped up a big pot of stock with my leftover chicken bones and whipped up this bouquet garni to help flavour it.

even though i'm not really coming close to getting as much out of my garden as i can and would like to, i'll always have my expansive herb garden ;D

i've been going a bit mad with the knitting recently...

literally, going mad. i was so excited to get this little band of ribbing done on this project, i felt the need to show it off. in my pyjamas. in bed. it was a rocking saturday night for me!

and finally...

i raided my local green grocer (and by that i mean, i asked them nicely) and found TWO gigantic polystyrene boxes! now if i can just tear myself away from my knitting for half an hour and i can plant my tomatoes in them!

how has your week been this week? had any mornings that only chocolate ice cream could fix? knitting driving you mad?

Friday, December 6, 2013

my creative space.

this morning, i promised myself, that i could stay in bed and read ALL of the posts that had stacked up in my blogreader over the last couple of days.
i am super glad i did because i found out that kirsty is back crafting and blogging AND my creative space-ing.
so today, i'm sharing what's going on in these here parts!

to be honest, it's a LOT of knitting.

i cast on a little beanie (intended as a gift) to use up the scraps from this project and this project.

i'm playing yarn chicken a little as i have no idea how much yardage is left and if it'll be enough. hopefully i'll be ok!

i also cast on a milo on wednesday night when i didn't have the right size needles to cast on some more socks.

the milo is NOT a gift so i most certainly shouldn't be working on it. it's just SO fun! the socks however, i need to get working on straight away as they ARE a gift. i'll get there....

and as always...

there's a dishcloth in my knitting bag too. they're so simple and i can generally get a few rows done while waiting for the elevator on the way to and from work.
i'm knitting in EVERY free second at the moment. i just can't get enough!

do you get obsessive about your craft work sometimes? are you a knitter too?

join in with my creative space over here

Thursday, December 5, 2013

kris kringle present. number two.

last night at ncb (the fortnightly craft group i attend) we had our annual kris kringle present swap.
we do things a bit differently to your normal kris kringle swap though, in that we don't make a gift for anyone in particular. we make a gift that we think is nice and that most everyone would like. this way, there's no disappointment if the person who pre-picked your name can't attend on the night!

the gift i whipped up this year was a bousta beret.

it was quite an interesting knit. it had WAY more lacework than i'd ever knitted before and required a lot more conscious thought to maintain the pattern than i'm used to... i have spent that last month knitting dishcloths after all!

i think i'd like to knit it again. particularly now that i've got the hang of the pattern.
though i'll make sure that i fix my tensioning next time. this hat was a wee bit tight on my head...

i finished this hat up on tuesday night and promptly spent a good hour taking photo after photo, trying to get a good picture of me modelling it.

but this guy trumped me in about 5 seconds flat! his lovely mumma, cathie was taking it home, and though she's not a hat person, i hope it fits and is loved by one of her other little people!!

do you participate in kris kringle present swaps? how do you go with complex lacework knitting?


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

green love.

i feel like there's been lots happening out in my back and front yards over the last week, with the super sunny days we've had, coupled with the bit of rain too. perfect growing conditions :D

i was thrilled to receive this basil cutting from a co-workers mum when i got back from sydney.

i finally got my butt into gear and repotted it over the weekend. hopefully it likes it's new position in the back yard and grows me lots of delicious basil!

my garlic shoots are starting to look a bit sad...

i'm hoping it's because it's harvest time and not because i haven't been watering them enough!

i'll have to consult my two favourite gardening books to find out!

i feel terrible because i haven't picked up either of these two books in months! i think it is definitely why the only new seeds i've sewn are tomato ones!

i know i keep posting about these...

but they're growing at such a rate! i can see the bulb popping up from the ground a bit! so exciting!

and i haven't posted about this plant in a while...

but holy cow, look at my raspberry plant! it is threatening to take over the entire bed!
love it!

what's growing in your patch this week? do you have delicious plants almost ready for harvest?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


one of my november goals was to knit up some more dishcloths and it was one goal from last month that i felt i could put a big ol' tick next to.

i managed 5 in total. well 5 and a half if you count the one that is still on my needles...
at an average of more than one a week, i'm pretty happy with that total...

though it hasn't even come close to clearing out my cotton stash like i'd hoped... 5 and a half dishcloths down and i haven't even finished up one ball! there is still plenty of dishcloth knitting to go!

i'm hoping to get my cleaning cupboard tidied and sorted at some point this month to clear some room for these beauties to go. hopefully there's a couple more to go in there by the time i do!

did you complete any of your november goals? do you make your own dishcloths?