Wednesday, May 28, 2014

green love.

i haven't had a lot of opportunity over the last few days to get out and about in my little garden, but that doesn't mean that things aren't growing...

my beanstalk is getting bigger!

as is the passionfruit growing on the fence...

i'm getting a bit sad about this little guy because bb and i are looking to move soon and i'll most likely be leaving it behind!
it's really only just recovered from the last time i moved it so i'm a little hesitant to dig it up and bring it with us...

and finally, my big planter box has lots of life growing in it at the moment!

onions in the foreground there, a chilli plant in the middle (which keeps getting destroyed by possums, poor thing), garlic right in the back there, and pak choy peppered throughout.
i've finally put two and two together to work out why that pak choy is everywhere! i let the pak choy i was growing last year go to seed, so i could harvest seeds from it to grow again this year, and some of those seeds must have fallen into the garden bed, lying dormant until conditions were right!
a happy coincidence because i most definitely do not have my shit together at this point in time and haven't even thought about throwing pak choy seeds in the ground!

i am a little inspired by this though and am contemplating throwing some spinach seed around those onions... maybe once the onions are a little more established and there's a few more hours in the day (ha!)

what's growing in your patch at the moment?

Monday, May 26, 2014

meal planning monday.

goodness me! i have had a super ridiculously awesome, in parts stressful and a bit tiring weekend! bb and i were up in sydney, and thankfully our flight home was early enough for me to get my head together and get a roast chicken in the oven.
while i prepared the vegies for the roast, i also prepared some vegies for a pot of stock, and as soon as that carcass was meat-free, it was in the pot simmering away!

i also managed to throw together some salads for lunches for the week, and they'll go perfectly with the leftover roast chicken!

tonight, with the chicken stock i made last night, i'll whip up some risotto. leftover chicken breast, lots of parmesan and some peas from the freezer. should be perfect!

tomorrow night, i'm going to try jamie's chicken and spinach cannelloni, but with pork instead of chicken. i wanted to try it a couple of weeks ago, but never quite got around to it! tonight's the night!

wednesday is ncb night! i'll be eating there and bb can whip himself up something!

thursday night, i might throw together some meatballs. haven't had them in ages!

friday night, i'll be working late. satay chicken in the slow cooker should be the perfect thing for bb and i to come home to!

saturday, i want to cook this! i think bb will HATE it, but it sounds perfect to me!
i also think i might roast or pan fry some chickpeas to go on top. texture baby!

sunday night, i'm heading out for a co-worker's farewell dinner. chinese, can't wait!

most of the meals for this week are sourced from our freezer or pantry. trying to clear it out at the moment... it's hard work ha ha!

what are you eating this week? how do you go cooking from your freezer?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

want to knit vs. need to knit.

at the moment, i really NEED to be concentrating on getting beanies together to send off for the beanie festival... they're due in to alice springs by the 28th may, a date that is RAPIDLY approaching!

i've been making good progress over the last few weeks, the above were whipped up over the weekend before last, and the week just gone, the purple being finished on saturday night.
they are beanie 6 and 7 to add to the collection.

i also quickly cast on number 8 too...

and then just as quickly finished it...

the photo is from instagram last night, i was SO excited to finish up this guy, as i LOVED the way that gradient yarn was knitting up
breaking it up with a row of black between each row of colour makes the colours of the gradient yarn POP!
particularly when you compare it to the gradient beanie in the top row which is knit up in the same yarn but different colourway (cleckheaton artisan 12ply if anyone's interested ha ha).

as i still have half a ball leftover, i've cast on another, basically identical beanie, that is how much i love it ha ha!

and onto the want-to-knit things...this little blankie idea has been going round and round in my head, ever since georgie posted about it...

i resisted for so long, but the temptation was tooooo great!
both of these yarns were used in the purple beanie in the top photo, and were used in the blankie because they were already floating around from the beanie ha ha!

i also mayyyy have purchased some yarn for a test knit i promised this lady i would get knitting on.

while i was wait for my yarn to arrive, i got to swatching, poorly as usual. i'm not sure what goes on in my brain but swatching makes me more confused!
i measured my tension at 22 stitches per 4 inches, and thought i could go down a needle size to get closer to what i want at 22 stitches per 4 inches. nope, try the opposite nicole!

are you any good at swatching? what are you knitting at the moment? have you knitted a blanket before?

Monday, May 19, 2014

meal planning monday.

a busy week just gone, and another ahead, best get on to meal planning!

tonight, i'll cook up some pork steaks. bb went a little overboard with his shopping for meals over the weekend, so these are spare. they shan't go to waste though and i think i'll serve them up with some steamed pak-choy... i realised the little leaves that were popping up here, weren't spinach as i first thought, but pak-choy! a win either way really, though i should scatter some spinach seed around the place too!

tomorrow night, i'll be digging into the freezer, and pulling out some turkey mince! and then hopefully i'll finally get around to making this.

wednesday night, i'll roast up some salmon fillets, served with some chips and a nice rocketty salad. yum!

thursday night, i'll throw together jamie's "slow-roasted pork ragu" using leftovers from the freezer.

friday, bb and i are flying off to sydney for the weekend! i'm attending the official graduation for my cert iv on friday night and it should be awesome! then we're staying an extra night just for fun!

any suggestions of things to do in sydney on a saturday? what are you eating this week?

Thursday, May 15, 2014


the knit-a-long that the lovely georgie hosted recently is all done! well, to be honest, it was all done a good week or so ago, but i only just finished mine over the weekend...
and by that i mean i finished the knitting on the weekend...
the blocking was done on sunday, on the back seat of my car. left to dry as i drove from mum and dads, to my grandmas, to home in melbourne. and it mayyyyyy have stayed there until tuesday, oops!

and it was tuesday before i had a bit of a chance to pick out some buttons from my stash and wednesday before i could get them sewn on.

i love that these buttons, and this wool, were all from my stash! lots of stash busting happening over here ha ha!

this was another 137g out of my stash, which i'm keeping track of over on my side bar there ===>
do pop over and have a look how i'm going if you're reading in a feed reader, i'm loving looking at the numbers go up and up the more i knit!

what are you knitting at the moment? did you knit-a-long too?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

green love.

yesterday, one of the jobs on my to-do list was to get out and do some gardening.
awesome right? the main things that needed doing was weed-pulling, but while i was out there, i got a couple of other things done too!

i admired the growth of my oregano, which i gave a haircut way back in march.
it's really flourishing after being cut back which i'm super happy about!

i'm also super happy with the growth on this guy...

i'll be climbing this bean stalk in no time ha ha!

oohparently, may is the time of year to cut back asparagus ferns...

so that's all done!

i also ripped out the tomato vines i posted about last week, and popped some broad bean seeds in there too! hopefully they'll be popping up in no time...

another of the jobs i had on the list, was to trim back my hibiscus.

and it was absolutely covered in these guys, little ladybirds, eating away at all of the aphids. love it!

i also got to replanting some of the onions, there's now quite a few living in my biggest planter box, as well as a couple in a few random pots...
and i pulled up some errant raspberry canes too, they're popping up all over the place! i popped them into a separate pot, so all going well, i should be able to share with friends.

what's growing in your space at the moment?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

in a pickle.

to celebrate mother's day with my mum, i headed down to the country for the weekend for a visit.
on saturday, once it stopped raining, mum and i picked ALL of the tomatoes left on the tomato plants in her vegie garden.

it didn't take us long to fill not one, but TWO 10 litre buckets.
we also took the time to clear the stripped vines out of the bed too.
poor mum was a little upset once we had, it was all empty and it looked really odd after the mass amounts of tomatoes, beans and snow peas that were growing in there all summer!

we got to washing all of the tomatoes, and cutting, and slicing and salting.
i'm using this recipe from brenda and i really hope it turns out ok!
there's so many days worth of preparation before it'll be ready, that i won't know how they've gone until thursday!

i'm on my third day of salting and tomorrow, i'm soaking the tomatoes in vinegar. i think i might split off a little bit and put them in lemon juice... just to see what happens ha ha!
thankfully, with the amount of tomatoes i have, i've got plenty to experiment with!

can't wait for them to be done!

how do you use up leftover tomatoes? are you a pickle fan?

Monday, May 12, 2014

meal planning monday.

another week of meals ahead... but neat meals for the first couple of days...
bb and i are scheduled to have a rental inspection on wednesday afternoon, and he has cleaned the living daylights out of the stove top over the weekend (legend!) and i most definitely do NOT want to mess it up again!

tonight, bb is catching up with his brother for dinner, so i'll be having a nice, neat meal of toasted sandwiches. they mean i don't have to go anywhere near the stove top, and i have all of the ingredients in the house so won't have to go shopping either. perfect.

tomorrow night, imma whip up jamie's chicken and spinach cannelloni, but instead of chicken, i'll use pork. we have SO much leftover roast pork in the freezer! i'll put together the tomato sauce in a pan with a LID so i don't mess up the stove top ha ha!

wednesday night, i'll be celebrating having the house inspection over by going to ncb and not cooking anything and therefore not messing up the stove top for another night (you may have gotten the hint by now that our stove top is very rarely THIS clean...) huzzah!!

thursday night, i've got plans to finish up the green tomato pickles (more about that tomorrow...) i started over the weekend, and i've got some red tomatoes that need to be made into sauce too. i'm thinking i might whip up some pasta to have with them. tomatoes galore!

friday, i'm working late, so i'll get a curry a-cooking in the slow cooker before i leave. should be delicious by the time i get home!

i'm working all weekend long this week, so i'll leave bb to look after the cooking. he's whipped up some very impressive roasts the last couple of sundays so i can't wait to see what he comes up with!

what are you eating this week? is your stove top ever spotless?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

green love.

autumn is a bit of a slow time of year in the growing thing stakes, but all the same, things are happening around here and that's making me smile.

a few weeks ago now, i popped some broad beans in where my tomatoes were, and one little plant has popped his head up.

i actually planted four seeds, but have only seen evidence of one popping up so far... might need to move this out from under the eaves so it can benefit from the rain we've been having...
there's also a couple of garlic leaves popped up too, four beans in a square formation, and a garlic clove in the middle!
i'm hoping the possums might stay away if there's garlic in the mix!

my tomato plants out the front have well and truly done their dash.

time to rip them out and pop some more broad beans in for sure! maybe tomorrow morning before work... these two guys have been my only two productive tomato plants here at home, one big black russian from the left and half a dozen little romas from the right. not the best haul, but the ones that are at mum's make up from it!
last time i was there, her plants were LADEN with fruit. being a bit late in the season, most of that fruit won't ripen, but thankfully brenda posted her recipe for pomodoro verdi the other day which will use up some of that un-ripe fruit and make some room in mum's patch!
fingers crossed she hasn't already pulled them all out and given them to the chooks!

one of my lovely work colleagues made a trip to brunswick the other day and came back with these beauties for me!

he was so sweet to think of me while he was out and about, i'm so grateful!
i also can't wait to get some of these guys in the ground! i've never had rainbow chard before so i'm super keen to see how it goes!

what's growing in your patch at the moment? are you a rainbow chard fan? what do you do with un-ripe tomatoes?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

getting organised.

after lamenting in my last couple of posts about my lack of organisation at the moment... i decided to change that this morning!

i dragged my butt OUT of bed when my alarm went off, instead of pressing snooze 1283987430 times which had become a terrible habit!
getting out of bed and into the shower 15 minutes before you have to leave for work definitely does not help organisation!

anywho, 6:30 i was out of bed. i had time to get some self-pampering done that was desperately needed... my scalp HATES winter and flakes terribly unless it gets a lathering with some coconut oil every now and again. i had time to make myself breakfast, and drink a cup of tea, as well as tidy up around the house a little and start to catch up on last nights masterchef and most importantly...

write some lists.
i've waxed lyrically about my love for lists in the past and it's never going to change.
they help me work out exactly what needs doing and helps to prioritise when things can be done too!

i'm hoping to carve out a little bit of time each morning for this practice.

but now, i'm going to sit down and teach myself a sewn bind off for the cowl i'm test knitting.
i used a long tail cast on, and i want a bind off to match! wish me luck!

how do you get yourself organised? are you a morning person? what's your favourite bind off when you're knitting? are you watching masterchef this season?

Monday, May 5, 2014

meal planning monday.

whew, it's monday again guys!
that blogging every day in may thing has definitely NOT happened because as i talked about last time, i am a bit all over the place at the moment...
looking at my week ahead... that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon either ha ha!
oh well, at least i've got this meal plan together...

tonight, i'm going all out and cooking up hotdogs. healthy plus. but i'm trying to make myself feel better by having them with home made hot dog buns.

tomorrow night, bb has requested i whip up a stir-fry. should be delicious and nice and healthy too if i chuck a whole heap of vegies in there too!

wednesday night, i'm heading out to the big city for a book launch. it will be a ridiculous day as i'm in the city all day for work training too. phew!

thursday night, i'm working late, so the slow cooker will be doing the hard work for me. maybe a curry? sounds great!

friday after work i'll be heading down to spend the weekend with my mum! i can't wait! hopefully i can eat some dinner with her and my dad.

i'll be spending saturday night down with mum and dad too. but i'll be back for dinner on sunday! bb has cooked us up a roast the last two weeks in a row (i was making gravy in the above photo, LOVE IT) maybe i'll get lucky again this week? who knows!

what are you eating this week?

Friday, May 2, 2014

a tale of two sockies.

i thought i'd share the sock progress i've made over the last little while today...
i snapped the pictures this morning, before work, and well, it's taken me the rest of the day to get to putting words and pictures together!

i'm currently flirting with the idea of blogging every day in may, but that would take a huge amount more organisation that i can seem to muster at the moment. everything is kind of coming apart at the seams!
we'll see what happens i guess... but first, the socks!

the above little sock, is one i've knit for my cousin.
i got her to measure her feet the other day, but i haven't gotten my shit together enough to compare her measurements with the measurements of the sock to figure out whether this one will fit, or if i need to size up.
i think it's a combination of the aforementioned lack of organisation at present, and the fear that it will indeed be a little snug. i can fit it on my foot. just. if i breathe in a little...
thankfully, i was loaned some slightly bigger needles by this lovely lady, during the week. hopefully sizing up the needles will solve the fit issues!


the second sock i'm working on is for little old me!

i found a skein of wonderful wool in my stash when i was looking for wool for my cousins socks and knew that it too needed to become a lovely little pair of socks.

i'm using this pattern, and i'm loving how the small amount of pattern in them is keeping them interesting to knit.
and then there's the wool. it is SO lovely to knit with and i LOVE the colours so much. the colourway is called botanica and well, swoon.
so lovely.


i am literally itching to get knitted on these guys again, but there are a few things to get done before i can... a bit of knitting but a LOT of house and yardwork...

are you a sock-knitter? are you blogging every day of may too? are you in a complete state of disorganisation at the moment?

Thursday, May 1, 2014


oh heck. that snuck up quickly hey? it is MAY!

i don't think i will ever quite get over the speed at which the weeks and months go and go and go.

my main goal for april was to knit a whole bunch of beanies!
i managed 3. only one of which is destined to go off to the beanie festival. OOOOOOOOOOOOPS!
the other two were for a test knit, which i will share as soon as i'm allowed to!
i also made a start on the socks that i mentioned, i've knit up one for my cousin (that i think is most definitely too small) and half a sock for myself too (which i'm hoping and praying is the right size, swatching anyone? when will i learn?).

oh, i also managed to have my big stash sort, and work away on my knit-a-long piece!

i will definitely get my beanie stuff sorted this month, as they need to be in alice springs by the end of the month! as well as hopefully finishing off all of the projects i'm currently working on... 2 pairs of socks, a test-knit cowl and the above little baby cardigan.
i'm also hoping to get some more seeds planted in my little greenhouse, as well as planting out what's in there at the moment.
as well, i've been eyeing off georgie's blankie, and as i found quite a few bits and pieces of 8 ply in my stash sort last week, i'm thinking i might need to start one of my own!

what are your plans for this month? what are you knitting at the moment?