Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Ideas on what to make with Christmas leftovers



Im heaving a collective sigh that Christmas is done and dusted for another year. Hooray!! Its such a busy time of year. We had Christmas lunch over 2 days with my family and I am stuffed. Now what to with all those leftovers...

Gingerbread can be rehashed into ice cream. Photo and recipe here. Or you can just put some ice cream into 2 gingerbread cookies like a sandwich lol.


Kobe got a candy cane off most kids for the end of year class gifts and my friend Michelle made some delicious chocolate peppermint bark using them. It has changed my life!! I even tried to make some twice myself. The first time I used condense milk and it didn't set properly but the next time it turned out great. Michelle made the ones pictured above using this recipe and recommends not to use the food colouring in this recipe as it can go gluggy.




My favourite recipe to use up leftover chicken (or even turkey) is Bang Bang chicken with a peanut sauce (I made the recipe and chucked in leftover shredded chicken at the end) , rice paper rolls or a banh-mi. My lovely friends Rach and Louie suggested quiches, topping on pizza, cheese and mayonnaise toast (I had this for breakfast), creamy pasta and in wraps which are all equally delicious.


Pork is a hard one for me to turn into something yummy. You can't go past a delicious fried rice or pork taco.


I would love to hear what your go to leftover recipes are? Please share in the comments below.

Happy Thursday friends!!
Grace

Monday, 10 December 2018

Things to make and gift this Christmas



If your like me and get the nervous sweats heading to the main shopping centres I have done a round up of things I am making at home this Christmas or have made previous Christmas's to gift.

*I had so much fun rediscovering cross-stitch (my new mindful activity) and sewing reusable stocking gift tags for the boys and family. We are loving the Grinch this year.


*Kobe and I made his class cards and gifts this year. This was a mammoth task and had to be done in a few stages; painting stencil onto cardboard (from cereal boxes etc), cutting up scraps of fabric and card then glueing it on, stamping brown paper bags and making chocolate crackle. Kobe whinged for tv the whole time... But was delighted once they were finished.

*Bird seed hangers. My neighbours and a couple mum friends at school and close friends are getting some bird seed feeders with an upcycled gift card (I cut up last years card to make a tiny gift card).



*DIY bon bons with activity sheet and homemade crown (or a crown saved from previous Christmas lol). This year we are using the wrappers from Who gives a crap toilet paper.


*Beeswax wraps. I went to a class earlier this year to learn how to make this. I did not realize how easy it was. All you need is scrap fabric (or christmas fabric would look amazing!!), grated beeswax, towel and iron. You place the grated beeswax over the fabric. Cover with the towel or tea towel and iron. Then it takes less then a couple minutes to dry. And goodbye gladwrap!!



*There are so many great options to make food to gift; preserved lemons, lemon curd, jam, cookies, cake, gingerbread cookies, chocolate crackles, rocky road, coconut roughs, the choice is endless. Just make sure of any allergies or dietary requirements first. Its no use giving someone on a diet a upcycled jar full of sugary treats.



*Clay ornaments. This was a messy exercise but Im happy with how they turned out.  All that is left for the kids is to paint them. There are also some dough recipes online but they will disintegrate over time. I used Crayola air dry clay.

*With the plastic bag ban in full swing and if you have basic sewing skills, make a boomerang cloth bag. You can never have enough reusable bags.

*Santa sacks. Grab some Christmas fabric and cut into shape of a pillowcase (leave around 3cm for stitch length) and sew. I made my boys a few to store grandparents gifts in.

Well I hope you got some handy ideas. I would love to hear what you are making and gifting this year.

Happy Tuesday friends:)

Grace

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Denham; a tiny town with big values



I found the town I would happily move to. Denham was a last minute decision to go to after realising that Coral bay was too far to drive to within a week for a roadtrip with my sister and my kids.
It ticked so many boxes for me. Firstly it was quiet ✅ had calm ocean water ✅ beautiful shells to ogle ✅


There is a boomerang bag initiative to replace plastic bag usage ✅  boxes in the local IGA grocery shop to put groceries in if you forget your cloth bag ✅  a tiny selection of bulk snacks in the local IGA ✅


A “War on waste” op shop where locals and tourists can donate any good condition items with the proceeds going back into the community  ✅


Park benches made of upcycled plastic ✅


Gordon Peters park on the foreshore is giant wooden nautical themed playground the kids loved, the giant slide is super fast (I tore a hole in my jeans knees trying to slow myself lol).The pirate ship is made out of recycled jetty timber ✅



Denham (the town site) is has its own power supply and is powered by wind turbines and diesel generators. Remote properties utilise diesel and renewable energy and battery storage systems ✅.

The town is committed to reducing waste and packaging as currently there is no recycling facility (whatever packaging I acquired here I brought home to recycle), but future plans include a small "Recycling bring centre" where people can drop off sorted recyclable's into glass bottles, glass jars, rinsed plastic bottles (number 1 plastic), rinsed milk bottles (number 2 plastic), aluminium cans, clean cardboard, clean paper and clean newspaper. All of these will be baled and transported back to Perth to recycle✅.

For a small town there definitely lies a green heart in there.

Happy Sundays friends!
Grace

Sunday, 17 June 2018

What I bought in May





Im definitely struggling with only "just" buying what we need...

Kobe has had a growth spurt so I bought some preloved school shorts and 2 new school tshirts (I could not find any size 10 shirts on the secondhand uniforms shop rack and not even the "Facebook uniform buy and sell" page). I also went to the annual massive Bindaring op shop sale and scored this haul plus the clothes above (mainly t-shirts, a dress and a pair of jeans and a top and shorts for Kobe), more preloved activity books (they were 5 for $1 and perfect for the 5 hour car rides with the boys on our recent roadtrip). There was only a couple that Kobe could do as the rest were too easy and Dylan is too small to write yet so I basically read them to Dylan like a storybook. Thankfully he loves any books with numbers or the alphabet (and can even count to 10 and knows the alphabet at 2 and a half years old:)). More preloved goodies include a Sooty DVD, fabric and a maths timetable chart (for Kobe).

What I bought new; Kobe's school uniform shirts, Peppermint sustainable magazine for me:), Dr Bronner's soap and lip balm, reusable yoghurt pouches (I miss yoghurt that I think I will attempt to make it), seeds, gloves and a "no junk sign" (for the mailbox).

Here's to more restraint next month #minimalistgoals.

Happy Sunday friends!
Grace

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Raw Kitchen cafe & Zero waste shop


Its very rare that I rave about a shop as I really hate shopping (unless its op shopping lol). I frequently go to Fremantle so Im delighted that there is a zero waste shop that sells minimal waste practical things like reusable menstrual products, minimal waste beauty products (Im currently testing the "Dirty hippie" lipstick/blusher & "Lip therapy" lip balm , I love how the packaging is cardboard which I will cut to tiny pieces & compost after I have used the product fully), kitchenware, natural kids toys, low waste bathroom products, healthy cookbooks, cloth bags, salt lamps & essential oils. The only downer is the nearby Queensgate car park is closed for renovations so finding a car park nearby can be tricky. 



I have a weakness for stainless steel bento lunchboxes, Kobe uses one for school morning tea & Dylan uses one for out & about (as well as a Tupperware bento box for their lunches). You cant put juicy food in the stainless steel bento boxes as it seeps thru & no child wants a soggy sandwich tasting of watermelon to eat so the stainless steel bento boxes are perfect for dry food only.



They have a great range of stainless steel straws, reusable teabags, beeswax wraps, water filters & natural compostable kitchen scrubbers.





Plastic toys will always be made, just as well that these "Green toys" products are produced with recycled plastic milk jugs & are very sturdy. Dylan was given the sand toy set a couple years ago & it has survived 2 summers so far. No cracking or sun damage as yet.


 I was first introduced to "The Raw Kitchen" by my clean eating friend Chevaun a few years back (when it was just a cafe).  I love how clever the owners were to combine a plant based cafĂ© with a zero waste shop, a yoga lab & also pop up workshops. When the owners Emma & Heath moved to their current location in the warehouse they stripped back the walls to expose the brick giving off that raw industrial look. The booth seats are actually salvaged from old buses & the tin cutlery holders once stored food oil.


 My friend Christine & I ordered the zucchini bolognaise (it had a lingering after taste of olives I didn't mind but if you did, I would skip this dish) & the mushroom gnocchi which was delicious (but a little bit petite), I salivated over the creamy walnut sauce. Naturally I went for something sweet after dinner, the hazelnut torte. So chocolatey & filling too. If you have leftovers, they place your food in cardboard containers (or you could bring your own container).


If your after food free of addictives, preservatives, refined carbohydrates, cane sugars or processed then this cafe is for you. There are lots of nuts in their dishes so beware those of you with a nut allergy.

Happy Sunday friends!
Grace

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

What I bought in March



Again books dominated my purchases in March, I succumbed to 3 fashion magazines (not available at my library so I will look into getting a digital subscription), Easter books (gifted to my boys in previous post),  preloved books about saving energy /saving water / recycling to educate Dylan, Hey Warrior book about anxiety for Kobe, preloved copy of Minimalism (this was an awesome find), preloved stainless bento trays (2 for $2!!) and some Birkenstock sandals for Dylan as his handmedown shoes are way too big.

I managed to avoid buying preloved activity books this month by using the magna doodle to do games with Dylan (he loves guessing what number or shape I drew) & verbally doing quizzes for Kobe (he is loving being tested on maths equations at the moment). Plus we utilise our library on a weekly basis. I will be spring cleaning the kids bookshelf in April as there are at least 20% that no longer get read & I only want to keep stuff that we use (and I feel so guilty about how many books I have bought over the last 2 months).


The only gifts we bought for Easter is the photo above as we thought all the cousins doing an egg hunt was enough. We ended up only buying Lukes sisters new bub an easter gift which was something useful (bibs) & an Easter book. Kobe wanted to gift Luke's parents some chocolate from local chocolatier Decadence C  (the chocolate pretzels was the only stuff we bought in plastic packaging in March & the plastic hooks on the bibs, dang it!).


Kobe spent his pocket money on discounted Easter chocolate ($1.60) as he was angry that the Easter bunny missed our house (I did warn him that he wasn't visiting our house this year but again he is at that age when he compares what he gets to what his friends get & he always ends up getting the least but Im trying to teach him to be grateful for what he does have as there is always someone out there with less). 

I fantasized about buying a kids outdoor setting new but instead I will hope that I find one preloved or on the verge. And we were blessed to be given hand me down clothes for both boys (thank you Michelle, Sam, Kaysey & Melissa) so hopefully I won't have to buy much if anything for Winter for them.


Happy Wednesday friends!
Grace

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

9 Low waste Easter ideas



In a just under a week, the Easter bunny will be hopping his way around households dropping off chocolate eggs & an abundance of goodies. If your looking to downsize your waste, here are a few easy tips I shall be implementing.

1. Reuse the same bunny ears, masks, plush toys & baskets every year. I have a box marked "Easter" that I store in my laundry cupboard to bring out every Easter to reuse the same props year after year. We also opt out of easter gift bags & any trimmings.


2. Bake your own hot cross buns or bring a cloth bag to the bakery. That one plastic bag out of landfill makes a massive difference.

3. Bulkfood shops (like Wasteless Pantry in Mundaring or Source bulk foods in Victoria Park) have an abundance of loose chocolate & even Easter eggs for sale if you want to forgo the wrapper. Coles also have a section where you can buy some snack foods & nuts package free. You just need to ask a staff member to tare your container so your not paying for the weight of it. Or bring a paper bag.


4. Op shops are a good source to find bunny ears, costumes, soft easter plush at a fraction of the cost. All it takes is some washing first. I have some Golden egg books that are bunny themed I bought Kobe 5 years ago still going strong & now loved by Dylan.

5. Keep all your foil wrapper, then bunch them up & once they are tennisball size you can recycle as normal in your recycle bin.

6. For family gatherings. Each family brings a dish or 2 to share, split leftovers & compost scraps.

7. For toddlers, you could take them to an animal farm instead, make some homemade play dough or download the "egg surprise app" on your iPad.

8. For 4-10 year olds, you could gift money, books, a movie ticket, bake bunny shaped cookies or do some dyeing of eggs.


9. Spread out the easter joy. I really don't want my boys overindulging this easter so they were brought gelato by my sister last week as an early easter gift, my dad is gifting them money, my mum has taken them to a garden maze with mini golf & Lukes parents will do the Easter egg hunt whilst Luke & I have bought Kobe a search it bunny book & Dylan a Easter sticker book (pictured above).

I hope you all got a tip or 2 out of this post & feel feel to share any more tips in the comment below.

Happy Tuesday friends!
Grace