Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good intentions for 2010

New Year's Resolutions?Image by jelene via Flickr
I was thinking about my New Year's resolutions for 2010 as a lot of us are when I realized I didn't make one for 2009.  I thought I had, I was sure I had, but it seems I was just going to adopt the 2008 one and try and achieve that.  Are you good at achieving goals?

You guessed it, I didn't do so well achieving much in 2008 or 2009.  I looked at those resolutions again and decided why change things, so I will just adopt 2008 again, but this time I am going to really make sure I achieve at least 5 out of the 6 and I will add one. 

Here they are:
  1. Increase my income, online or offline
  2. Get some house improvements completed
  3. Work less hours
  4. Take a vacation
  5. Do a fun course or hobby 
  6. Join a club or community group
  7. new Lose some weight, actually lose a lot of weight
Out of these I have been working on nos. 1, 2 achieving a little, and did do no. 4 this year by traveling overseas to the Cook Islands.  Next year I am going to achieve all of them if I can, and so I will have to have a plan.  No. 3 is the one that may be my biggest challenge.

What techniques do you use to achieve your goals?  Would love to hear from you so I don't have to do 2008 again in 2011.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Mother's Cooking

My mother was born into a society where women didn't work after they were married.  She was also born into a large family and lived through the depression and war years.

She had permission to stay at work until she had her first child and then became a stay at home Mom, or Mum, as I call her.  She had learned to cook from her mother and grandmother and is what you would call now a traditional cook.

My mother was a good cook though and as the family grew to 8 she was adept at making good nutritious  meals on a budget.  I learned  a lot about cooking from her and gained the love of it as well.  Cooking for my family is one of my favorite things especially in winter when the kitchen is warm and the aromas inviting and comforting.

My mother has just turned 86 years old this Boxing Day 2009 and she doesn't cook as much as she used to but she still cooks for herself.  She still has her original hand written cookbook from at least 40 years ago and still enjoys her own cooked meals.

This Christmas just gone, with a lot of  help from the family, she still made the traditional pudding which is wrapped in a muslin cloth, boiled and hung to dry.  It was excellent as usual and enjoyed by everyone.

Mum you are a legend!
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Christmas Tree

I love Christmas trees but I don't have a real one anymore for various reasons including the sadness I feel when it dies.  I could have one in a pot but I tried that and it didn't last from one Christmas to the next.

I now have a small artificial tree I call my travel tree.  I collect decorations from my travels and then when I decorate my tree all the memories of that trip comes back to me.  I love that feeling and I love the tree for that reason.

You can see the picture on this post to see my tree.  Why don't you start a travel tree too.  Start collecting on your next trip away.  I prefer collecting decorations for my tree than filling up my display cabinet with  shot glasses :) although I do that in the past.

Have you finished shopping for Christmas yet?  Check out these gifts ideas for the home.   Merry Christmas to everyone and stay safe and happy.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some photos from my vacation to the Cook Islands

I am back from my vacation to the Cook Islands and had a wonderful time in Rarotonga. The days flew as they do when you are having a good time and I am now back to the reality of daily life again.

I could have stayed on that beach and swam and snorkeled for at least another month :) but alas work expects me to go back next week. I shouldn't complain as if I was not working I would never been able to afford to go there in the first place.

The Cook Islands are really beautiful and unspoiled and I look forward to going there again someday.

I have my wonderful memories to keep me going until the next time I get a lovely vacation like this one was. I also have to admit my stress levels are the lowest they have been in a long, long time. Kia Orana.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

I work to travel

Rarotonga SunsetImage by Daniele Sartori via Flickr

I love traveling and I will continue to travel as long as I have the money so I keep working. I try and have a vacation at least once a year even if it is a few days away only. This year my partner and I have been to Townsville in northern Queensland for a weekend and three days to Merimbula which is on the south coast of NSW, Australia.

In November though we are going to the Cook Islands for over a week and I am getting very excited. We haven't been there before and I love warm climate holidays. We plan on doing a lot of snorkeling and swimming and generally relaxing on this vacation. The Cook Islands are Polynesian and it has to be the best kept secret of the South Pacific.

There are no high rise hotels, it's a real unspoilt group of islands, and we are staying in Rarotonga at the Muri Beach Club Hotel which is an adult only boutique hotel. This should be a real experience for us and no risk of being knocked down by kids at this resort.

Diving, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, kayaking and other water sports are the main activities to do there besides sightseeing. We are going to take advantage of this relaxing time to unwind and relax before the Christmas preparations get underway when we get home.

I am now counting down the time when I can sit by the pool or the ocean with a marguerita in my hand and my feet in the water.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Gallahs at the workplace

Hey, I'm not calling anyone a Galah, especially the people I work with, and in Australia that would mean I would be calling them a fool. I referring to the Australian parrots that are called Galahs.

I saw them around work eating the grass seed so I thought I would take some pics of them as I had my camera with me that day. They are lovely birds even if they do eat everything including any wood on your house and verandah. Not quite as special as a Kookaburra or a Rosella but they are nice looking birds all the same.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The focal point of your kitchen - the kitchen clock

The humble kitchen clock is often the focal point of your kitchen so it should be placed in a prominent position so it can be seen from any angle of the kitchen. You might not realize that you refer to the clock often during the day as we run our lives by what time we have to do everything we need to in our busy day.

You can buy some beautiful decorative clocks for your kitchen depending on your decor whether it be modern, antique or vintage clocks and you can even get colors now that will compliment your kitchen instead of having only the choices of wood and metal.

The first step is to decide what use this kitchen clock will fulfill. Is it just going to be a decorative clock only and is it going to be a pivotal part of the kitchen. What space do you have for it and will it be hung on the wall or sitting on the bench. Decide these things and you are ready to buy one. There are some great sites online so start there or check out KITCHEN-CLOCK.NET for some great deals with a eBay auction.

Don't worry if when you buy the clock you don't like it because you can always change it right away or in the future as most clocks these days won't break the bank. A new clock will make a big difference to the kitchen and with a little paint and some other minor changes you can have a completely new look.

See the difference a new kitchen clock will make to your kitchen and stay on time.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Crock Pot Lids and other Parts

I need a new crock pot lid and I have been searching online for one for my old crock pot slow cooker. It's not easy finding what you need and its time consuming.

I first did a Google search on 'crock pot lid' and really didn't get much except for a blog that has a targeted eBay auction for crock pots and parts. Mainly the others were for Rival and I didn't have that brand. The blog was CROCK POT MEALS and they had some good info on there about crock pots and recipes as well.

I like this site because it save me time and I have bookmarked it so I can go back and check it periodically. I know I might have to wait awhile to find the one I want but now I don't have to waste my time looking anymore.

Another place was Amazon that I looked and they have a good range of accessories for my crock pot slow cooker like cookbooks and utensils but no lids from old models. I was a bit disappointed but they did have a cookbook that I had been looking for so it wasn't a waste of time really.

I think I will stick to the CROCK POT MEALS auction site and hope that my crock pot lid comes up for auction soon. I would also be prepared to buy a whole one just to get the parts.

I will keep you posted about my progress. In the meantime I'll keep on cooking.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Apple Brown Betty Crock Pot Style

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...Image via Wikipedia
I love my desserts and this recipe is no exception. Apple Brown Betty is a good recipe for the crock pot slow cooker and can be served any time of year. It's a very popular recipe because it is so easy and tastes great too.

Apple Brown Betty Crock Pot Style
3 lbs green apples, peeled and cut
2 tabs lemon juice
4 cups of sliced bread, cubed
1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Place the apples in the bottom of the crock pot slow cooker and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Place the bread over the apples. Mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and butter together. Sprinkle this mix over the bread and put the lid on and cook on high for 2 hours.

Serve with lemon sauce or whipped cream if desired. I like this Apple Brown Betty served warm with ice cream.

For other great crock pot recipes then go to my blog CROCK POT MEALS.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

How to make a blog

Starting out to make a blog is pretty scary really if you aren't a computer whiz. There is so much technical information to know about. There is some good news though on how you can make your own blog and learn as you go along.

I found the best instruction program was The Niche Blogger. There is step by step instructions, videos and screen shots on how to do everything you need to make a blog, one that makes you money by way of passive income. This program is perfect for the beginner especially.

Amy Bass runs the program and she is a mother of 4 and a successful blogger herself, who has changed her own family's life and now she wants to show how you can too. She has taught her mother using the same methods that she will instruct you so if a grandmother can do it so can you. Um, I must say here and now that I am also a mother and grandmother and I learned the same way so even I can do it so you can too.

I have used The Niche Blogger for a few months now and have already 3 blogs and counting. I should have another set up soon as well. You get great help from her and also from a forum where you can exchange ideas and help each other. Amy is very approachable so if you need help you can get it quickly to make a blog from scratch.

The cost is really low so why not find out more by taking up a 3 DAY FREE TRIAL which she has going at the moment. She is confident you will like the program and stay. Check it out yourself. I would love to hear your comments as I am sure you are going to be thrilled as I was.

I love blogging and now I get paid to do it.
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Living a healthy life in 2009 - Now is the time

End of summer / Fin del veranoImage by Claudio.Ar via Flickr

2009 is the year that I am going to really concentrate on living a healthier life for my own sake. I need to do this for me otherwise my health will deteriorate as I am now in my 50s and starting to feel it physically.

The following are the things I am going to do this year:

Laugh a lot and be happy. We have to choice to look on the positive side or the negative and this year I am going to be happy and thank God for what I have and laugh a lot. This also attracts people to you so maybe I will make some new friends along the way.

Stress less but use it only to challenge myself to achieve the things I want. I am going to meditate more this year and the iPod is coming out again regularly to listen to binaural beat music as this really brings down my stress levels dramatically.

Don't worry so much. This is probably my biggest hurdle as I am a real worrier. This I'm sure impacts on my health and especially my blood pressure. I will set aside some time to think about my worries to find solutions then I will put them aside in my mind. Some problems have no solutions and worrying about them doesn' make it any better.

Exercise more often. I must admit that I'm not keen on exercising but I will start to walk again and this will be the main exercise I will do. A beach walk will be nice to do each week so Ill add that in. Exercise also helps me balance stress levels.

Eating well. I really don't have a problem with this one, only that I like my snacks as well, so Ill cut those down and eat more healthy ones like raw vegetables.

I'm sure I could do more but this is a good start and if I can achieve these it will make a big difference to my health. Now the only goal I will have to really work on is keeping my job and with the economy as it is this will be my biggest one for the year.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Cooking the crock pot way

I am a busy woman, working full time, trying to keep a house clean and be a wife and grandmother as well. I was looking for ways to save money and my time and I remembered I had a crock pot packed away somewhere. I finally found it and I have been using it ever since.

The crock pot is the best thing since sliced bread. I set it in the morning and I have a hot cooked dinner when I get home from work. For a complicated recipe I will cook on a Sunday and then reheat for Monday night's dinner. Serve with rice or potatoes and vegetables or in summer with a salad.

Winter and changing of the seasons are great times for soup and I have been making lots of soup lately. I have a blog with a lot of recipes which is called Crock Pot Meals and you can get the recipes there.

I have found that I don't spend as much time in the kitchen now and we have less take outs which saves me money (for my vacations). Have you rediscovered the crock pot?
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