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Showing posts from June, 2014

$5 meals for the family

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Could you make a fresh, healthy family dish for just $5? 
Our local YMCA, in a recent newspaper article, asked the community if they were able to cook for a family on just $5. (LINK to newspaper article)
I had a  discussion with a group of friends and we came up with meals that we thought we could make for a family of four for $5 or thereabouts. We decided that all the meals  needed to be made from scratch to keep costs down, using lots of in-season vegetables, bulked up by rice, pasta or legumes (as they are cheap and filling), exclude meat from several meals per week (we eat far too much meat as it is), avoid processed food (far too expensive and not heathy), look out for sales and eat everything in the fridge to avoid waste was the way to go. On our list we had: 
Soup (with lots of in season vegetables) Stuffed baked potatoes  Macaroni cheese with vegetables Quiche and salad Savoury rice Spaghetti and meatballs  Chicken bake Coleslaw and chicken legs Chilli beans nachos Homemade pizza Old-fashi…

Make a joyful shout to the Lord

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Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

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This is a wonderful Psalm to tuck away this week, to remember even when our days are not good, the Lord loves us unconditionally and will always be with us. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture and what dedicated shepherd walks away from his flock to let them fend for themselves. None, they stay and take care of all their sheep, especially the weakest. 

To those who have up coming difficulties this week, you are in my prayers and remember, the Lord will never leave your side, even at the darkest moments. 

I will never leave you nor fo…

Art Friday: Part 1: Favourite artists

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Part 1: Favourite artists
I have posted just over 200 Art Fridays since 2010. Some have received very little notice, whilst others have been very popular. Over the next two weeks I am going to share with you those artists that have received the most visits (excluding those that have been targeted by really annoying scammers).  Can you guess which ones have been popular?  I doubt you will because I was very surprised. In fact those most popular are an odd collection to say the least.  Did you have a favourite?

14. Marcel Marlier


13. Ruth Sanderson


12. Robert Duncan


11. Susan Rios


10. Andrea Laliberte



9. George Henry Durrie



8. Paul Emsley



7. Books and reading
Over the last few years I have covered a number of topics and several of these have been very popular - "books and reading" has been one of my most popular.





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Electronic devices and young children

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MORE children are starting school with serious speech problems because parents relying on smartphones and iPads as “babysitting” tools are allowing excessive use, education leaders have warned.  Up to one in eight children in some preschool and Reception classes need speech therapy because they have been starved of conversation and not read to enough at home. (LINK)
This is really sad, especially the last sentence about children “being starved of conversation”.
What are some parents doing and I use the word some, as many parents are doing the right thing?
Whilst it isn’t new to use electronic devices as a babysitting tool (the TV has been used for years), it would appear that a wider range of devises are now being used (computers, tablets and smart phones) for longer periods per day perhaps with younger and younger  children.  However it was interesting to read further down the article that it wasn’t just the increase in electronic devices that could be affecting childhood development,  …

What are you reading this week?

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What is everyone reading/watching this week?
Being winter,  my two favourite activities are; curling up in bed with a book in the evening or wrapped up in my cosy throw rug on the lounge watching a DVD. I can't think of a better way to spend time in the evening!! Thought I would share the books I am currently read (I usually have 2 on the go, its all I can manage!) and tell you about the DVDs I have been watching.

BOOKS
1950's Housewife:  Marriage and Homemaking in the 1950's by Sheila Hardy
I am half way through this book and finding it very interesting. This is not a nostalgic journey through the 1950's (in Britain), rather looks at the ups and downs of young married women at that time.  These women were the product of war and children of parents who had gone through World War One, the Great Depression and just come through World War Two. They knew all about austerity (and ration card) and loss and that coloured their views on life and their early married life. They al…

My "new" secondhand dresser

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I have been searching for a second-hand dresser for ages and couldn't find any that I liked, would fit in the space I have or could afford.  I decided to look at new ones but they lacked character, were really big and expensive. So I stopped looking!! The other weekend I had lunch with two girl friends, afterwards we went window shopping at a quaint country style knick-knack shop and I saw a dresser. It was just what I wanted, not too big and much cheaper than I had expected to pay. I bought it - it was just too good to miss.

I think it is from the 1940's, but I may be wrong. Someone has painted it quite badly with white oil based paint so dear husband is going to repaint it for me. The brown is the original timber.  The sides of the cupboards are not covered in timber instead wire mesh to keep food cool in summer.  This makes me think that perhaps this was used for storage prior to the refrigerator. 

One of the reasons for wanting a dresser was to display the glass storage c…

Art Friday: Views from a window

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Art Friday: View from a window
I have no idea, but I love photography and artwork that involves windows. Not sure why I am drawn to scenes like these, perhaps I love to glimpse the world from the safety of a cosy room. Are you like me and like windows? Cats also love windows and will spend hours looking through with no interesting of going outside.  
Please enjoy this collection of "Views from a window".







Sorry - but I just had to include some cats and windows as they go hand-in-hand. Cats love windows as much as me.

Hand wash or dish washer?

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I was talking to a younger man (in his late 20s) the other day who is buying his first home with his future wife.  We got talking about kitchens and I mentioned that we didn't own a dish-washer and never saw any need to own one.  He replied "I couldn't live without one".  He said they have so many dishes each night that it would be a nightmare to wash them all.  I have friends that have rushed out to buy a new dish-washer after their old one had broken as they "couldn't live with out it". 
Can you live without a dish-washer or are you happy to hand wash?

I quite enjoy washing dishes, it is a nice way to wind down and think of nothing in particular!! Even as a young girl I was quite happy to wash the dishes, however I was never as keen about drying!  
When I am cooking our meals, I don't create lots of dishes and I wash as I cook, so by the time I get to washing the plates after our meal I don't have that much to do.
I may not be as keen about was…