A Little Loo Lovin’

You know you’re a parent when you find yourself sitting on the toilet,  cuddling a cranky toddler while you’re doing a poo.

Cranky toddlers aside, we humans produce a fair bit of *ahem* waste in this particular room of the house. As far as I’m aware, a composting loo is a no-no in suburbia. Short of moving to the sticks and digging myself a bush dunny, there are a few ways to make going to the toilet a little more sustainable.

Swap the loo roll

There are better options than highly bleached 3 ply in a plastic wrapper!

*Who Gives A Crap
This toilet paper is made from 100% recycled paper. It comes wrapped in pretty printed paper which can be reused, recycled or composted. My nieces and nephews don’t batt an eyelid when their gifts come wrapped in Who Gives A Crap paper πŸ˜‰ Added bonus: 50% of profits go towards providing toilets to third world communities. Environmentally AND socially responsible!

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My nieces birthday gift in Who Gives A Crap wrapping paper πŸ˜‰

*Family cloth
Flannels for your fanny. Bamboo for your bum. Think cloth baby wipes in adult size. Basically you buy/cut/sew yourself a stash of soft cloth squares to use in place of toilet paper. Keep a designated bin with a lid in the loo for putting used cloth into, then wash in your machine just like any other towel. Personally I’m not sure I love my husband enough to clean his shitty wipes,  but think it’s a lovely option for when you’ve only done a wee. If you use these for cleaning a Number 2, well you’re a better woman than I! It’s not such a stretch to cloth wipe when already using cloth nappies on the little ones, and your privates will love you for it.

* Bidet
No need to get the plumber out, you can buy little hose attachments from Bunnings that will do the job just fine. Hatchling Cloth Nappies has put together an easy to follow tutorial that won’t cost you the earth. This is on The Mister’s to-do list to make cloth nappy changes easier, but you can use the exact same equipment for washing your bum. Apparently a bidet is THE most environmentally friendly option there is. A nice bit of family cloth to dry up wouldn’t go astray πŸ™‚

Cleaning up

Ditch the harmful chemicals. They are no good for you OR the waterways.  Instead make yourself some homemade cleaner,  invest in a good toilet brush (look for bamboo or coconut husk) and use cloth cleaning wipes for wiping the seat etc.

*Vinegar
White vinegar is extremely safe to use. It disinfects and kills odours. Plus you’ve probably already got this in the house for putting on your hot chips, right?

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*Bicarb Soda
This little gem is probably lurking in your pantry too. You can buy it in a cardboard box so it’s completely zero waste (reuse, recycle or compost). Bicarb is useful for getting stains off the toilet bowl, although it doesn’t have any antibacterial properties of its own. If you shake this all over the surface and then apply the vinegar, the bicarb will foam, doing half the work of lifting away debris for you. Less elbow grease when it comes time to scrub with the brush πŸ˜‰

*Lemon juice
This will help restore a bit of the lost sparkle in the old porcelain. Rinsing with lemon juice or citric acid helps get rid of stubborn stains and leaves the loo smelling lemony fresh.

*Tea tree oil
Proven to be antibacterial, antifungal and mildly antiviral,  all homes should keep tea tree oil in their arsenal. Dilute in water and wipe all of the surfaces.

Secret Women’s Business

On average a woman will menstruate for 4-5 days a month, every month, between the ages of 12 and 51. Of course, Mother Nature kindly lets you take a break while pregnant, and will sometimes extend your time off while breastfeeding. Even accounting for a slow start and a tapered finish to your  menstruating life, that is an awful lot of pads and tampons used! Each one comes individually plastic-wrapped in a box which is also wrapped in plastic. Each one is chemically treated to make it nice and white for you. There are better options.

*Organic products
Brands such as Naturcare and TOMS make their products from organic cotton. These are a good option if you’re mainly concerned about chemicals coming in contact with your skin. They don’t make  a huge environmental difference as they are still a throw away option, although organic cotton farming does use less water than conventional methods.

*RUMPS
Re-usable menstrual pads, often known affectionately as Mumma Cloth, are a sustainable option for pad users. Given women are all different,  it’s probably best to buy a couple of sizes and styles to try before investing in a whole stash. Just like family cloth, keep a bin in the toilet to put your used pads in then wash in your machine. Mumma Cloth is made in the same fashion as cloth nappies for babies, with layers of absorbent material between soft cloth. You have the option of different fabrics,  wings or no wings, organic, etc. This can be a great way to support talented work-at-home-women. Try The Cloth Pad Shop for a variety of different pads made by women around Australia.

*Menstrual Cup
You’ve got the Moon Cup, Juju Cup (Australian made), the Diva cup, just to name a few. If you are a tampon-user this is probably the option for you. Just rinse and re-use. Sterilise after use as per manufacturers instructions. It’s as simple as that. I know a lot of women prefer to use their cup in conjunction with a cloth liner for peace of mind, especially when new to using a cup. Keep in mind cups come in different sizes and it may take a month or two to become comfortable with inserting the cup. Just like a tampon, if it’s in correctly you shouldn’t be able to feel it.

Be Waterwise

*Flushing
We’ve all heard the rhyme, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”. This can be a good way to reduce your water usage and is our guideline at night and during nap time. Personally I find older toilets quickly start to smell using this method though. Another way to cut back on the water is to use the half-flush option. If your toilet isn’t dual flush, it’s time to upgrade.

*Tank water
You can have a plumber come out and rig it up so that your cistern fills from your rainwater tank. This is a job for the professionals,  but is a great use for tankwater and will make a difference to your water rates. Much better to use water that runs off your roof than water you pay to pipe from a dam hundreds of kilometres away.

Have you made any sustainable changes to your toilet? I’d love to hear any tips you have!

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How to save $1000 a year!

I had a peek into your bin. I see you have some spare cash? You must or you wouldn’t be throwing out that much food. I’ll take that $1000 a year please.

Oh yes. You did read that right. $1000. One THOUSAND dollars. That is how much food is thrown away by the average Australian household each year. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS! I have to keep yelling it because it is so damn shocking.

I don’t know know about you,Β but I don’t have that kind of money to throw away. Never mind the environmental impact all that waste is causing. Even if you don’t have one green bone in your body, surely you want to save yourself a grand?!

So what are we going to do about it?

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Eat the WHOLE apple

Reducing food waste

*Meal plan.
If you know what you are going to eat, you know what you need to buy. No more buying something you might want to use and then throwing it away when you inevitably don’t use it.

*Grow your own.
A lot of food waste is fruit n veg that has gone rotten. Let’s face it, if you buy a week’s worth of lettuce on Monday, it’s not going to be fit to eat by the weekend. Into the bin it goes. If you grow lettuce, you can just pick off the leaves you need each day. Grow your everyday veg and pick what you need, when you need.

*Preserve food.
As soon as you get home from shopping, divide up the meat into meal sized portions and freeze it. AS SOON as you get home. A lot of meat is chucked because it has gone off sitting in the bottom of the fridge. Same deal with produce. If you score a brilliant deal on beans, freeze them! Or pickle those cucumbers you found on sale at the farmer’s market.

*Store your food properly.
Know what goes in the fridge and what goes in the pantry. Keep your fridge at the correct temperature to prevent food spoilage. Invest in a bread box. Onions and potatoes both like to be stored in a cool, dark place but they don’t like being stored together. Can you think of any more storage tips?

*Keep fruit in a fruit bowl.
You know,Β where you will see it and therefore actually eat it :-p

*Eat your leftovers.
It is crazy how many people DON’T do this!
Roast lamb -> shepherd’s pie.
Steamed rice -> fried rice.
Get creative and see what you can whip up. And remember, leftovers make fabulous lunches all on their own.

*Feed your friends.
Too many eggs? Gift some to your neighbour. Had a party and there is food left over? Send everyone home with a tasting plate. Just add a bit of everything.Β  They’ll enjoy not having to cook when the go home tired but happy.

*Use it up.
Stale bread? What about croutons, bread crumbs, tartlet casings or even bread and butter pudding. Mmmm pudding. Broken biscuits make great bases for cheesecakes and slices.

*Cook it before you need to throw it!Soft fruit is great for jams and stewed fruit dishes. Try this recipe for Stewed Rhubarb. It’s the same basic procedure for stewing other fruit too, so why not try apples for another classic?
Or try turning soft bananas into soft serve icecream! Just blend and freeze.

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Apples on sale? Dry some for a healthy snack to keep in the pantry

So what about when you do have food waste? What then…

*Compost. Pretty much everything except meat can go in here (meat attracts vermin). Keep an airtight container on your kitchen bench for collecting scraps.

*Worm farm or towers.Β  Just mind you don’t over feed them.

*Feed to chickens. Don’t feed them mouldy food and don’t feed them chicken. Canabilism isn’t good for chickens. They can eat eggs though!Β  Remember, chickens are the ultimate recyclers πŸ˜‰

So now you’ve reduced your food packaging waste and your food waste. What else is lurking in your wheelie bin?

One THOUSAND dollars are year is not a made up figure. Have a look here for details.

A zero waste kitchen

If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll know we have made the leap from being avid recyclers and generally eco-aware to aiming for zero waste. It all started here and slowly but surely it has made its mark on the whole household. And it’s not just us; going zero waste is becoming an increasingly popular movement.

Let’s face it. This is a noble cause but faaark is it daunting! Have a peek in your wheelie bin. Go on. I dare you to have a rummage. Nose peg and a long stick are permissable. Even an empty bin stinks in the heat of Queensland :-/ What you will probably notice is that the vast majority of your rubbish has come from the kitchen.

So if the kitchen makes the most waste, the kitchen is going to be the best place to start to quickly make a difference to the amount of waste leaving your home. Stands to reason, right?

If you can bear to look a little closer, you’ll see your kitchen waste can be mostly divided into two categories: food packaging and food waste. Let’s tackle packaging first.

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Reducing food packaging

The easiest way to reduce the volume of food packaging you throw out is to reduce the amount of food packaging you buy in the first place.

*look in your pantry and take note of the items you commonly buy packaged, then go online and find recipes to make these items yourself. For me, this is crackers and muesli bars hence my current quest to discover the perfect muesli bar recipe. I know it’s out there…somewhere…

*cook from scratch instead of buying pre-made meals or take-away. It’s cheaper and healthier too! Keep a treat night if it’s important to you, but challenge yourself to reduce waste even then if you can πŸ˜‰

*buy fruits and vegetables loose rather than in plastic. Personally I just load my basket up with loose fruit and veg, but you could take your own lightweight bags to put your apples and carrots in.

*grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs.

*when buying things like cereal, buy in larger sized packs to reduce overall packaging.

*think about joining or creating a co-op to buy your produce and dry goods in bulk. It costs less and creates less waste.

*where you have to buy packaged, choose plastic free brands so you can at least recycle. Look for cardboard (preferably recycled) or glass.

*take your own containers and buy your dry goods from the bulk bins in health food grocers like Wray Organics or The Source. Hand them over before filling them so the sales assistant can TARE them for you. Make sure they are clean and dry for hygiene reasons.

In my next post I’ll share my tips for reducing food wastage.

Did I miss any of your packaging reduction tips?

Remember recycling should be our last resort, not our first stop, when it comes to reducing waste.

Sustainable home: the humble dish brush

When we think of reducing our environmental impact we usually think about recycling or, if you’re really good, buying less. If we aren’t buying less we are buying big ticket items like solar panels or hybrid cars. Not that there is anything wrong with that (at the risk of sounding pretentious, I have both and think they are worth the expense if you can afford it) but there are 101 small ways to reduce our impact, both in terms of waste and carbon output.

When we view the problems of waste, pollution and climate change it can be so overwhelming. Just let me crawl into my melting igloo and pretend it’s not happening already! But as consumers, as humans, we all have the power to effect real change with each small choice we make. Starting with the ever so humble dish brush.

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Now when you finally manage to draw breath again after being completely awed by my beautiful new kitchen sink (thank you Mister for the fabulous reno work), you will probably be left wondering what is so special about this particular dish brush?! Well it’s ethically produced and biodegradable, that’s what.

This particular one is my favourite and is put out by a company named Eco Ants. Unfortunately they are NOT paying me to tell you how awesome it is, but I will go ahead and tell you anyway. Because small changes over time add up to a big difference, and this may be one change you can make in your home. Whilst looking suitably eco-chique, the brush is 100% biodegradable,  made from sustainable timber and coconut husk, and is vegan if that’s your bag. I picked it up at my local Flannery’s.

But while I’m extolling the virtues of my dish brush, it isn’t your only option. White vinegar in water is fabulous for bringing shine back to cloudy glasses. Just use newspaper and then compost it when you’re done. Old t-shirts cut up make lovely soft cloths, while old towels cut into squares are better for scrubbing pots. You can hem them if you’re feeling fancy. I have a HUGE collection of face cloths in lieu of paper towel for washing grubby faces and hands. My kids aren’t known for being delicate with their food.

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So why not a regular dish cloth? A regular dish cloth from the supermarket is usually made from viscose rayon and acrylic binder. Basically it’s a chemical-laden cloth created from trees, producing large amounts of pollution  and using up A LOT of water to make. And at the end of its life it becomes landfill. So let’s take a step towards a more sustainable kitchen…

A small step: regularly wash your cloths in hot water and reuse as many times as possible.

Big step: buy eco-friendly products or make your own.

Bigger still: When your green products have been used and reused to death, compost them!

Like most people, I have a LOOOOOONG way to go when it comes to making my suburban life more sustainable, but it all starts here with the humble dish brush.

What small sustainable change have you made in your kitchen?

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Is this all there is?

1:30pm and I’m trapped. Well, my arm is. Trapped beneath a tiny human that has woken screaming from her nap after only a half hour, then promptly fallen back to sleep when moved to my bed. Fallen asleep on my arm. Even after an arm extraction I will be stuck here, watching over her while she sleeps on a bed too large for her. I won’t be going anywhere for a while.

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There was a time when being stuck here would have made me wonder, ‘Is this all there is?’. Life was busy. There were things to do. Places to go, people to see, Jones’ to keep up with.  You know the drill. The guilt and frustration a mid-afternoon lie down when there was so much else to be done, so many other places to be, was too much to bear. I could (should) at least use the time to write myself a to-do list, right? Because a mother’s work is never done. There’s the house, the yard, the job, the car needs a wash… ‘Is this all there is?’. Now I think to myself, ‘This is all that matters’.

Instead of listing the 101 things I could be doing, should be doing, I just lie here. I listen to her slow and steady breathing and stare out the window at the slow moving clouds. It’s overcast today, a shower here and there, a brisk wind that stirs up now and again. My favourite weather. I make pictures from the clouds like I did as a child. The sleeping child stirs slightly then snuggles in closer.

From downstairs I can hear her brother’s giggles, her father pottering around as he enjoys an amicable disagreement of some kind with his brother. Time passes and I notice my breathing has slowed to match my daughter’s.  We are in harmony. The housework can wait a while.

To me this is the epitome of slow and simple living. Taking pleasure in the small things. The important things. These moments have become so rare in our modern, hurried lives. We feel guilty for allowing these slow times… if we stop racing along long enough to notice them at all. Why are we in such a hurry? Where are we going? Why?

This is all that matters. This tiny person who smells like sunshine and warm earth,  with a touch of baby sweat and just a dash of vegemite, she wants her mama. And I want nothing more than to slow down and let her have me. Some days that is an easier task to accomplish than it is on other days. That’s ok. The will is there and slowly, surely, the action follows the will.

Slow living. Simple living. This is all that matters.

Kirstee
Xx

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Free fun at ONE!

One. ONE! My word, how fast did the last year go. My Little Beastie is not so little anymore. Her first birthday has been and gone already. Little sob. Bigger sob. I want my baby back!

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So what is occupying the demonchild angel at the moment? Here are her top 5 free activities πŸ™‚

1. Books
I know, I know. This was on her list last time. But it is still a winner around here. ‘Touch and feel’ books, and books with photos of real animals and objects are the most prized.

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Utilise the library to keep this activity free

2. Dress ups
Well not actually dressing up, but playing with clothes is a massive hit. I just leave a jacket or two on a chair for Miss Wynnie to discover. Wrapping clothes around herself and putting them over her head amuses her for the longest time. I just swap the clothes every few days to keep the game interesting for her, and to facilitate exploration of more patterns and textures. A gift of hand-me-downs in a bag from a friend…MIND BLOWN!

3. Crawling through
My Little Beastie seems to be really focused on internalising the experiences of on and off, in and out, and going through. She is loving climbing on and off the couch, hiding under furniture, clambouring onto the bottom shelf of the bookcase and crawling in and out of small spaces. Cue cubby building, obstacle courses of cushions and chairs, and this…

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This is so simple yet so much fun! It is nothing more than strips of fabric attached to the underside of the table in our designated learning space. You could use off cuts from a sewing project or old linen. Even purchased new this only costs about $2 for the fabric. This ‘going through’ activity has added interest to our multi-age learning space and keeps the wee one joyfully occupied when her big brother is concentrating on a tabletop activity πŸ˜‰

4. Gardening
While she is admittedly not too good at planting yet, Wynnie loves getting her hands dirty. There is plenty to explore, plants to taste, chickens to watch and dirt to dig in. She is getting pretty handy with my little shovel and isn’t too bad at foraging for potatoes. Unfortunately they don’t all make it to the basket without a bite taken out πŸ˜€

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5. Singing
This is the BIG one! I couldn’t even guess at how many times I have had requests for ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, ‘Incy Wincy’, ‘Round and Round the Garden’ or ‘Where  is Thumbkin?’.
Do you still sing these songs to your little ones? They are a little old fashioned I know, but there is a reason they are classics.
The beauty of songs with actions is that not only are they encouraging fine motor practice, they also allow pre-verbal children to request their favourite songs. Circling a finger on my palm, holding her hands in a rough diamond above her head, a particular finger fidget all let me know she wants a certain song. It removes the guess work for me and reduces toddler frustration levels. And anything that can reduce a toddler’s  level of frustration has got to be a good thing. Am I right or am I right?!

All fun. All free. All natural learning.
What free activities are your kids finding joy in?

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Renolife update

I’ve been a little quiet on the internet front lately, but only because things have suddenly picked up speed on the renos. Six months ago we started work on the kitchen, just a little here and there, eventually gutting the kitchen and living room. Since The Mister has been home the last few weeks, things have suddenly kicked into gear!

First I lost one wall…

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Then another…

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Along with the pantry,Β  linen press, benches and cupboards!

Thankfully I then gained some new walls. Hello gyprock and hello dust!

For the next week and a bit my house turned WHITE. There was so much dust we had fans going contantly and my handy hubby used the leaf blower to clean up every evening. Tomorrow will be the last dust day as the final coat of plaster is dry and ready for sanding.

Meanwhile, the electrician has been and cut new powerpoint holes. The plumber is on his way to modify the pipes ready for my fancy new sink. I’ve been busy priming the kitchen walls and painting a GIANT blackboard in the hallway (keep an eye out for that one in upcoming posts!). I’ve also temporarily misplaced my Ikea obsession. I am officially Ikea’d out!

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This cool dude has provided some cheap labour. He works for food and tv time πŸ˜‰ He helped knock out the pantry and is now on to painting in the kitchen.

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My Little Mathematician turned Little Labourer

There is still A LOT to do. A LOT! But it is so exciting seeing the house transform,  not into a perfect showroom style house, but into a home that reflects who we are as a family.

We are moving towards being more energy-efficient. The new layout will reduce our dependence on electric lighting and lessen the need to cool and heat our home.

Our home will be more child friendly. We’ve kept the kids in mind each step of the way, from the choice of flooring, to the bench layout,  to the blackboard. This is a home for them to enjoy as much as us.

Tomorrow will be a big day for all of us. Working together as a family. Learning new skills together, with the help of our family and friends. But for the moment we are taking a break. The boys are playing Connect 4 while the baby crawls over them, and I’m sitting here enjoying them.

Renolife has proven to be precious x

Homemade sensory bottles

These are a quickie version of the classic sensory bottle for babies. Just make them from odds and ends you have lying around πŸ™‚

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Peal, soak, scratch and scrub labels off bottles. You want them as clean and clear as you can manage, but hey, they are for babies so don’t stress if they aren’t perfect.

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Two-thirds fill the cleaned bottle with water. It’s not for drinking so stale water that is inevitably left in the bottle or tank water is perfectly fine.

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Add food dye in your chosen colours. Add a drop at a time until you get the shade you are after. I feel like I added half a drop of green and half a bottle of yellow 😜

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Add some pretties…

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Superglue the lids on…

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Give to baby to explore.

And in the words of Mister Maker, “we made it…in a MINUTE!”

Those who can’t do, plan!

I’ve a shocker of a headache today, so rather than doing, I am planning.  Truly,  I’m a sucker for a to-do list. There is something so satisfying about ticking things off…or maybe it’s just me? Please tell me I’m not alone in loving to plan and cross off 😍

Checklist for this week/end

#1 Find out what this black spot is and treat it (organically). It’s on the underside of my lettuce leaves, and a few of my bean leaves. Any ideas, interwebbers? There are a few flies hanging around too. Not sure if that has anything to do with it or not.

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#2 Handwash all of the clothes. If you follow my facebook page you will know my machine finally gave up the ghost after 9 years of loyal service. Not too shabby for a modern front loader. I briefly toyed with the idea of not replacing it and just washing by hand, but I have been assured that modern machines are more water efficient than handwashing, and aren’t the energy suckers they were,  so I’ve ordered a new machine. It’s still a week away, so handwashing it is. I’ll confess, I cheated and took my towels to my Nana’s and had her put them through her washer for me. Wringing towels by hand is no fun, especially on cold mornings. The load of clothes is something I can easily manage though. I just soak overnight in the laundry tub to make life easier for myself.

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#3 Finish prepping my garden bed. I’ve caught the planting bug and decided I could do with a larger variety of vegetables than I’ve so far put in. At the moment we have french beans, shelling peas, cos lettuce, baby spinach, asparagus, purple carrots, leeks, sweet potato and regular potato happily growing. I have another lot of potatoes and some regular orange carrots to go in too. I’d like to add beetroot, snow peas, onions and garlic as well. My herbs are all in pots, but I think a few in the vegie patch would help deter unhelpful insects πŸ˜‰

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#4 Cook up a few meals for the freezer. I had a ‘can’t be bothered’ night last night, but sadly had cleaned out the freezer. Time to put a few more meals away. For some reason my kids expect to be feed every night 😜

Checklist for the next month

#1 Write letter to school. The Little Mathematician has spilled the beans and told his teacher we have decided to give homeschooling a try, starting next term. That’s only 4 weeks of school left! I’m excited but starting to get a little nervous as well, although I really do think this will be best for the entire family. His teacher has been so kind and supportive, offering to help with the transition any way she can. That just leaves an official letter for the Principal to let him know what is happening and thank him for our wonderful experience at the school.

#2 Finalise application and plan for HEU. In my state we are required to register for homeschooling and provide them with a plan for the year ahead. We don’t have to follow the state curriculum, but do need to show an understanding of our child’s learning style, how to provide learning opportunities, and how to track progress.

#3 Buy 1 last chicken. My husband gifted me a lavender Araucana and 2 black bantam Araucanas last week, leaving room for just one more chicken in my flock.  Our council only allows 6 poultry birds on our size block *sob*. It’s a tough decision now that I have discovered the huge variety out there!

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Meet Snow, Nightshade and Dizzy

#4 Plant fruit trees. The fences are all finished so trees will now be safe from the dog. The weather has turned cool so it’s the perfect time to transplant trees, while the roots are dormant. I just need to decide on what and where. I’m thinking a lemon, an orange, an apple…I’m thinking I’m a bit boring :mrgreen:

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#5 Finishing ripping out old kitchen, plan new kitchen and order benches. We pulled up the lino the day we bought the house. We’ve now lived here for 3 months and not much progress has been made to be honest. Flooring is up, stove/oven is gone and all cupboard doors are gone. We still need to pull out the sink and benches, and remove the old pantry. I’d like to go open plan with room for a big country-style table in the middle, and a big, white double sink *le sigh*

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At this point I will settle for having a working oven again. Although it is nice to know I’m married to the kind of man who gives our’s to a mum who needed it more (ssshhhh. Don’t tell him I told). My camp stove and convection oven is more than adequate and economical, so long as no one comes over expecting a light and fluffy cake πŸ˜‰

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There’s more. I know there’s more. But for the moment I am putting away my lists and I’m going to sit and savour this quiet day. My Little Beastie is sitting beside me, devouring tinned peaches with sticky fingers, while her big brother sits atop the play house reading ‘ The Wishing Chair’.

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Even with a sore head it’s a beautiful day 🌞

The story so far…

Hiya!

So you’ve stumbled across my page and have no idea what it’s about. Not surprising really given how bare things are looking around here at the moment. Let me enlighten you, and then maybe, just maybe, you will stick around and help enlighten me next time I run into trouble. And let’s be honest, it happens more than I care to admit.

The beginning is always a good place to start, so introductions first. I’m Kirstee, a 30 year old stay-at-home-mum of 2 delightful terrors: The Mathematician, my 6 year old son, and his 8 month old sister, Little Beastie.Β  A lot of the time it’s just the kids and I around here. My hard-working hubby works interstate and comes home to a to-do list once a month or so. It’s not quiet though. We have an anti-social cat, an oversized dog, and 2 chickens. I’m sure more will be along soon.

At the beginning of the year we finally bought our first house, right on the edge of town, and decided to turn our ordinary, run-of-the-mill suburban block into an experiment in suburban sustainability. Our aim is to make this block work for us, and we hope to become as self-sufficient as space, and local council laws, will allow. So far that involves renovating the interior to make the space more usable and energy efficient, building a chicken coop, starting a vegie garden, utilising our water tank and reducing our waste. We’ve been challenged by a dog that won’t stay behind a fence, a tight budget, a 4on-1off FIFO schedule and a flood! Don’t worry though, you haven’t missed out. I will back track and blog about each of those things. Feel free to offer pointers. We really are just learning as we go.

So welcome to our house! Where slow and simple living is the order of the day xx

Doesn't everyone do chores in their pjs?

Doesn’t everyone do chores in their pjs?