Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crochet Project Two

The second baby blankey, which has been claimed by J.

I like this join better than the previous one as the blanket lays completely flat.

Sarah P

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Braised Chicken Thighs - World Famous | Stella Culinary

Braised Chicken Thighs - World Famous | Stella Culinary: Braised chicken thighs are by far one of my favorite things to cook and eat. Working as a chef in an upscale restaurant, serving things like duck pate, prime beef and sous-vide yada yada up the yin yang, all I want to eat on my days off is something simple and comforting. For me, braised chicken thighs always does the trick.

In one of my forum posts I asked the readers to play a game with me, a little game called "the death row meal". It is a game that chefs and cooks have been playing for centuries, a good ice breaker to find out what a fellow food lover is all about.

Well, for me, this is it. If I were to die tomorrow, this is what I would eat tonight. Chicken thighs are the most used muscle of the animal, making it full or all sorts of great flavor. You see, the more exercise an animal’s muscle gets, the more connective tissue and collagen it is able to build up. This makes the cut of meat tough if cooked incorrectly (read seared rare), but if cooked low and slow in a braising liquid, all that collagen and tissue breaks down into gastronomic heaven!
Fe sent me this link, and I have had it opened for months. I wanted to try it for my Birthday celebration, but I accidentally had 14 people over, so I didn't think I had enough frying pan space to attempt this! Having said that though, I did manage to cook 9 T Bones and provide a cream sauce, a new record for me!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Crochet Project One

Baby blankey! This one is a six panel, with a very simple border.

The joins on this blanket were sewn together. I don't like the ridged effect from it though.

Sarah P

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Call for Photos - a Project on Real Women

Welcome - My Body Gallery - What Real Women Look Like: SUBMIT YOUR OWN PHOTOS

The My Body Gallery project needs real women! We are just starting out and need your help to develop the project and build a collection of photos that will help more women see themselves more clearly. Upload a picture of your full body in any pose. Our photo submission process also allows you to block out part of the image to protect your identity, if you wish. Click here to begin.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What The Vitamin Industry Does Not Want You To Know � The Mommypotamus

What The Vitamin Industry Does Not Want You To Know � The Mommypotamus: Do you pick up your child’s dinner plate – sigh over the untouched veggies – and then think “oh well, at least he/she takes vitamins!”? Well then, I have good news and bad news. First – and you are going to LOVE me for this – it’s okay if your child doesn’t eat tons of veggies.

I haven't talked about food on this blog much, but I have been thinking about it quite a lot. My diet has slowly shifted over time, moving away from wheat based and/or processed foods and settling firmly into the whole foods camp. It's part low to mod carb diet, part paleo with dairy, and lots of fun.

I've been reading a few articles on food, so I'll start posting them here, and maybe we can get some discussion going. I liked this article I found, as it supports some of the thoughts I have had about food and nutrition. Multivitamins are a processed food, after all, and I've always wondered if they are as useful as people think they are. While the article talks primarily about children, a lot of the discussion is applicable to adults too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ideas for little people presents

Around this time of year a lot of people ask me what my kids would like for Christmas, the truth is they love anything that comes wrapped in cheerful paper with their name on it, but I understand that this isn't very helpful for those doing the asking. So let me first reassure you that anything you give is lovely, and like wise you are not obligated to give anything at all as the greatest gift you can really give them is your time. And with that out of the way let me give you some more specific suggestions to help you buy gifts for the little ones in your life.

The perfect present to me is something that fits on the shelf, that is self contained, and that the kids can take off the shelf, do something entertaining with, and put back on the shelf easily on their own. Where possible I prefer items that are made from materials other than plastic and that do not require batteries.

Nature Play Toys have an amazing assortment of items all made from natural materials. Many of their wares are available to order through their website which is very convenient, but if you are able to visit their store in the Samford Valley it is a beautiful experience.

Like wise, Dragonfly toys have a lot to offer in their online store. Check out the cable car basket!

Within Australia I find Aldi to be a good source of toys, their jack n jill range has lots of appealing wooden, felt and tin toys, though these are randomly (well, semi randomly) available throughout the year, so this is the kind of thing you have to collect when it appears and then put it away for later.

Australia post is often a good source of affordable and entertaining items. On my visit today I saw a junior gardening kit, a microscope and what looked to be some interesting 'make and do' books. I am sure the exact items vary from store to store, but post office shops seem to regularly carry things in that kind of spirit.

The Early Learning Centre, though it has a lot of plastic, has toys with purposeful play in mind. They arrange their toys in age range and chances are that anything you buy from here is something that your giftee is going to get a lot of use out of. They do have a selection of wooden toys, most of which carry a forest friendly wood logo. I particularly like their balance bikes for younger kids, the trike with the wagon, and best of all the little post box. The post box is brilliant value at $25 and is something I know both my girls would play with over and over, even though it is in the toddler section—what can I say, kids just love posting stuff!

Books are always a good gift, this can be tricky though, as we are avid readers there is always a chance we have the more common titles. A book that you yourself loved as a child and a personal note about why you liked it always goes down well though. I like the book depository because they have free postage, which means you can send them directly to far away friends for hassle free gift giving. Miss Moo the elder is particularly interested in this sewing book.

We are particularly fond of dress ups here and have a dedicated dress up rack. Dress ups are great because you can get a ready made outfit straight off the shelf at most department or toy stores, or you can collect bits and pieces or even sew your own. A little bag with an eye patch, some coins and a sash is an instant pirate kit, some sparkly shoes and a necklace tucked in an old handbag becomes an outfit for a sophisticated lady. I also love the idea of play silks. These are simply rectangular pieces of silk, finished at the edges and dyed in beautiful colours. Play silks can be dress up skirts or capes or sashes, they can be fort covers or picnic blankets. Very versatile and great for imaginative play.

Craft kits are another great thing, again you can make your own by filling a container with assorted bits and pieces, or you can buy ready made kits from most department stores, toy shops or discount/two dollar shops. As long as these are self contained (i.e. come in a box that they can be put back into) these are a gift as much to parents as they are to children.

Happy shopping everyone!

Monday, June 06, 2011

A New Hobby (well, kind of new!)

I always used to moan about how the only thing my hands were good for was typing. (Oh, and cooking!) But then someone sat next to me and patiently taught me to crochet. It was fun, kinda, and for a while there were small granny squares littered around the house, and we'd kick them out of the way. I think in the end, I disposed of them thoughtfully.

However... this year I I decided I would actually make some projects. The granny square thing never amounted to anything, and I liked the crochet bit but not the ending or  beginning bit. So I decided I would make a blanket, but with GIGANTIC granny squares! I would only need to start once, and finish once, per ball of wool!

What an awesome idea!!

Anyway, this helped me to make 2 blankets, and since then I have been on fire. It also helped me get over my dislike of starting and finishing, and so I have started numerous other projects and have no problems doing the smaller fiddly bits that used to annoy me.

I will post pics as we go, otherwise I am on Ravelry and FB. The pic above is one of my sick day scarves. One of the things I have learned is that one ball of wool because you like it isn't enough. New rule is a minimum of three balls if I actually intend to finish something!

Sarah P

Monday, May 30, 2011

Back Up Box!

Starting a Backup Box

I hate shopping. Let me just say that up front and get it out there. I resent the fact I need o spend time buying similar items every two weeks for my entire life. I like to daydream ways to minimise the time I spend shopping!

Today's post is about a backup box. It's for when my re-ordering systems fail me for whatever reason, and I find myself genuinely without an item and I don't want to go to the  shop for a few more days yet. 

Things that mean my household grinds to a halt and I have to go to the shop...

Dishwasher pellets


Sandwich fillings

Toilet paper

I think everything else I can put off. So in my backup box I should have...

Dishwasher powder

Powdered milk

Flour and yeast


Toilet paper

 If I am serious about this, then I should be able to make my fortnightly shop last a proper fourteen days despite minor emergencies. If I really wanted to be hard about this, I would include stock cubes and a packet of dried soup mix so we always have tasty emergency soup too! 

What would you have in your Backup Box? Would you include a main meal backup?

Sarah P

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Potato and Eggplant Curry

Potato (2 lg, 3 med or 5 small, in large cubes)
Eggplant (300gs in similar sized cubes)
4 tbsn oil
1 tbsp garam marsala
1 tbsn cumin
1 tbsn ginger
1 tbsn garlic
1 large fat onion
6 tomatoes

1 can of coconut milk

Use a blender or food processor to mince the onion, garlic and ginger into mush. Fry in oil with salt until it starts to go red brown. Add the garam marsala and cumin and fry until fragrant. Add more oil if need be. Process the tomatoes in the blender until liquid, add to frying pan and simmer until reduced. Add potato and eggplant and any water you might need to almost cover the vegetables. Simmer until sauce is very thick, and vegetables mostly cooked. Add coconut milk and simmer until sauce is at a consistency you like and vegetables are cooked.

Serve with rice!

Sarah P

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rokk96 Colour of the Week - 320, It's Blitz

It's Blitz, colour 320. It's a deep indigo with a real depth to it.
Today's colour is 320 "It's Blitz." To be honest, I'm not entirely happy with this colour. This is one layer base/topcoat, one of colour, and one of base/topcoat, and yet an entire nail's worth of polish stripped off within 24 hours. It also seems to chip faster than any of the other Rokk96 colours I am using. It does dry amazingly fast though, so I was able to repair the damage very quickly before heading out to my party last night, and I do rather love the intensity of the colour.

Sarah P

Friday, March 25, 2011

Twinkle Toes by Rokk96

While mooching around the other day spotted this gorgeous blue glitter. Three polishes for $19 later, I have two shades of blue and a purple/blue sheen.

This is three coats of the glitter and one clear top coat.  This is Twinkle Toes (611) by Rokk96.

Sarah P

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pretty Nails!

Trialling a new nailpolish for Mum. It's got a gold base and a purple crackle top.

Sarah P

Sunday, February 27, 2011

MamaMoontime: Thoughts on Nature Tables...

Something for amusement. This looks like a lovely idea. I cleaned and decluttered all yesterday; so I even have space to do something like this! How awesome would that be??

MamaMoontime: Thoughts on Nature Tables...

Friday, February 18, 2011

French Manicure Set

Naked Nail with Sticker
A friend gave me a French Manicure Set on the weekend, as I love French Manicures when they are done well, and she wasn't having a lot of joy from it. So I bought some more stickers, and when it was time to treat myself, I sat down and did a proper French Manicure for me.

I'm pretty picky about my French Manicures. I hate it when the white tips look like white-out. It should be subtle; it should not be glaringly obviously. If someone spots you have had your nails done, then it's too obvious for me!

White tips done. Some have 2 layers but they all looked the same at the end.
I have tried many professionals, but the one person who's job I liked no longer does them. Once my nails had so much polish on them they looked like acrylics! I wasn't very happy about that at all!

So anyway, I promised photos for those curious about the whole process. I've never used the stickers before, so we were on a Voyage of Discovery, and one that seemed to work out very well.

Stickers removed. The tips are painted and dry, and the inside parts naked.
Drying my nails in my NAIL GADGET!
The creamy pink goes over the the entire nail including the tips
Finally a single coat of clear topcoat.

Verdict: I like the look. It's really shiny too, which is lovely. It seemed to dry very quickly which was a bonus, but since this was the first time I spent a lot of time doing it peice by peice. Next time the whole process should take a lot less time since I will have a better idea of what I am doing. They seem to be hard wearing too - I haven't managed to dent a single one overnight, when usually I end up with sheet marks and dents in any nail polish I apply.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Barefoot Renovator

I tend to think of myself as a 'barefoot renovator'. Let me begin by explaining that I mean 'barefoot' in spirit, like a barefoot doctor, rather than a strict preference for naked feet, and when I am working with tools or performing an act of destruction or construction or any other thing that common sense would suggest is shoe worthy I do indeed make an effort to put shoes on. Safety first kids :)

My family and I have been lucky enough to buy our first house. It is an awesome dwelling that is in a location that is very convenient to us, a size that has exceeded our hopes and expectations, a style that we love and with a price tag we could actually afford. As I said, very lucky. The trade-off for all this awesomeness and affordability is that it is what one might call 'a fixer-upperer'. (The phrase that seems to be popular among realestate agents at the moment to describe this is 'opportunity to add your own value'.)

Pretty much every room needs a make-over. In a big way. Really big.

But that is okay because the house itself is fantastic and when I look at it I see nothing but potential (well, potential and faux wood paneling!) and I see a hundred little projects--the kind that bring me great joy and satisfaction.

The only potential stumbling block here is the fact that since we put all our money into getting our house and will continue to put all our money into paying off the giant loan that enabled us to get our house our renovation budget is pretty much nil. But this is okay too since I like a challenge, particularly a creative challenge, and since we have found a house that fits us so well we are planning to be here long term, thus time is also on our side.

Out of this my renovation philosophy has been born--I am trying my best to first use what is already available (things I already own, things left on the property by previous owners, materials I have removed from one place that might have a new use in another). When that is not possible I try and find something that I can reuse from another source--trash and treasure, opp-shops, verge collection, rubbish tips etc. In all my renovating endeavors I aim to do things in a way that is affordable (but not "cheap"), environmentally responsible, and fun. Good for me, good for the planet and good for my pocket. I am a barefoot renovator.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Money and Goals

I am sure none of us are issue free when it comes to money.  I'm not sure that it is possible. But how you navigate your issues is important, and how you communicate about money is as important as every other facet of your partnership or marriage with another person. Money can be about control, security, reliability, fear, and love. And all this for something that is, in itself, worthless.

For DH and I, he's never really been interested in money. I find it fascinating. And, since I am the stay-at-home-parent, I think it's my responsibility to design the budget, meal plan, and make sure we're running Okay. And do all that stuff. I have no problems saying "our" money when it comes to the income DH earns. It is our money. I've worked just as hard, though in a different way, for it. But really, it's the household's money, not ours. We get an allowance each month, just like the kids will when they are old enough. That is a personal "our" money. The money DH earns through his workplace is household money.

We have one mortgage, one linked bank account, one linked credit card, and a couple of accounts we rarely use. That's it. We're doing especially okay when you consider we bought this house eleven years ago. It's worth about three times what we paid for it last time we checked. So when we needed to extend the mortgage, the banks have been perfectly fine with that idea!

Our basic theory is that we both work for the family unit. DH's work results in payments, and my work results in happiness, full bellies, security and savings. We both work together to make the family unit whole. Money is only one aspect of this, and we share responsibilities equally.

Part of the problem is that when I want to save, I want to run out and do stuff to save stuff now! I'm a doing type of person. I want to get out and do! Now! But saving doesn't work like that. Saving is having a system, and sticking to it, even when it's boring, or annoying, or doesn't make you feel any excitement. Our big projects make me excited. Travelling makes me excited. Experiences, hotels, strangers, writing... all of these make me excited. Sitting around not spending money does not get me excited.

But now I have something exciting in mind, so I am going to weigh every purchase against it. I have a firecracker! In a personal place! To remind me... how much do I want this thing? Do I want this more than I want to go to San Diego?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Home is where my He{Art} is: UKScrappers Team Scrapbooking Class - 'Blank Canvas'

Add this to my 'Bad Ideas I Want to Try' file! A friend sent me this as a suggestion for stuff to do with some canvasses I have lying around. These look fantastic, and I love some of the ideas on this post! Hmmmm.... the last thing I need is yet another craft project...


Home is where my He{Art} is: UKScrappers Team Scrapbooking Class - 'Blank Canvas'

Wool Felt Birthday Crown Tutorial

Frontier Dreams: Wool Felt Birthday Crown Tutorial

A friend's little boy is preparing for his birthday soon, and has asked for a crown and wand for his present! His Mum has found this webpage, which has just GORGEOUS crowns on it. Lucky boy, my birthday is too far away to ask for one too!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Microwave Bottling

I have a new book to play with!

These are bottled rhubarb and pears, plus I pickled some eggplant. I am testing out microwave bottling! I find it incredibly exciting. I'm still in the testing and learning phase. This is the first time I have tried to bottle fruit. I'm happy with jam, done that heaps of times now.

They have both sealed, however when I opened the pears they fizzed a little. I guess I need to nuke them for a couple of minutes more. I'm making mistakes at the moment, and working out the best times for my microwave. As I said, it's all testing and learning right now. I was very pleased when they sealed! Next is to make sure I cook them a bit longer so they don't fizz!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tom’s Planner Dinner Chart Plans Your Day For Holiday Cooking | Lifehacker Australia

For people who like to be crystal clear with their scheduling, cooking can often be a bit of a problem. Cooking can be quite haphazard, especially if you're using new, untried recipes, or recieving help from unskilled hands.

One way to help make sure dinner runs on time is charts and plans like this one:

Tom’s Planner Dinner Chart Plans Your Day For Holiday Cooking | Lifehacker Australia

This is a Gantt chart, set up to show you visually the overlapping cooking times for items on your menu. From someone who has had parties where she needed to schedule the oven usage - this sort of thing can be a lifesaver!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chicken and Mango Salad

I have been testing recipes for my BIG SECRET cookbook already! Here's a delicious hint of what's to come!

Sarah P

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vegetable Soup

1 cup Soup Mix
1 litre chicken stock (home made)
2 litres water with
8 teaspoons of Vegeta
1 Soup Pack (one stick celery, three small potatoes, one turnip, one parsnip, half a swede, two carrots, one onion)
Left over vegies as desired (this time about a cup of finely chopped brocolli stalks.)

Put all in slowcooker, cook on auto until done. (I let it go for abpout 6 - 8 hours.)

Soup Mix: 50 cents
Chicken stock: Free with last roast chicken
Vegeta... gosh, no idea.
Soup pack: $2
Left over vegies: Free with broccoli from last coop shop.

This made 5 litres of soup!

Sarah P

Monday, January 17, 2011

Good chook pen? | Green garden | ACF Greenhome

I've always wanted chickens. For various reasons they haven't come just yet - but I figure this is a good thing. When I can keep a garden watered for a whole 12 conistent months, then maybe I will be qualified to keep chickens fed and watered for an equal length of time.

This is a fantastic beginning guide to have chickens. There's a lot of on the job skill with chickens, but for the most part every one who blogs about it talks about how easy it is. Less work than cats or dogs, chickens are fun, productive and useful in the garden.

Personally, I just like watching them interact with each other and play in the garden. The eggs would be an awsome bonus!

Good chook pen? | Green garden | ACF Greenhome

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blogging Challenge!

Hello and Welcome!

Wish me good luck! Wish me well! Wish me some awesome words! I've joined up for a blogging challenge. What was I thinking?? I have been dared to write two blog posts a week for the next 111 days. Gosh that's a lot of days!

I hope every one's braced and ready! I have heaps of things I'm going to chat about, and I hope you will all let me know which ones you like, don't like, or even love.

I am joining the Julie Isaacs SHINE Challenge.

This is what I have agreed to do:

1.  Decide how many times per week you want to blog--preferably twice a week or more

I've gone with twice, since I also have other blogs I am updating

2.  Add a comment on this post with your blog address, and how many posts per week you're committing to


3.  Use the hashtag #SHINEonline to communicate with other bloggers who are participating in this challenge
Did that! When I decided I was joining.

4.  Sign-up below if you would like to get blog tips and articles sent to you, along with blog challenge updates, and information on free teleconferences.

Yeah, did this too. It will  be interesting to see what we get. :-)
5. Start blogging!

Ta da! Am doing!

SaucySisters is an important blog to me as it's a forum I love to play with - feminism, homemaking, and the ways we interact with our homely duties. Also, I have loved blogging with my Sister Sarah, and our Guest Sarahs too. Mostly I like to also invite people into my world, show pics of cute kids and also show the things I like to do in my house, such as the ROI on my Garden and the preserves, jams, and recipes I like to play with. I am doing some projects which directly tie into how I like to run my household, and I'm hoping every one will appreciate the things we do every day to make sure JOY has space in our lives.

So watch out world, here we come!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clean Plate : The Second Obstacle to Sensible Eating: Money

Clean Plate : The Second Obstacle to Sensible Eating: Money

This is an interesting article looking at one of the other barriers to being able to eat nutritious, healthy food. It's not an in depth article, but the links it provides to various American sources of what Americans should be spending on food is interesting.

I have often read the American food plans provided for those of low income, and from my point of view they are fascinating for their cultural differences.

How much do we spend on food in a week is a crucial question these days as inflation, floods, fire, famine and world economies affect our loaves of bread. How much do you spend on food?

My aim this year is to spend $400 or less per month on food for the four of us. This does not apply to now, of course. With the operation last week, I have bought $400 worth of pre-prepared foods to make life as easy as possible during my convalescence. If we're super organized, we'll spend about $80 on fruit and veg until February.

However, we're only human, and to be honest we just had Dominoes Pizza for dinner, which if I included in the food budget was another $26. But my budgeting adventures can start properly in February, when I'm back onto my feet and with my gaze firmly on the future.

I have holidays to save for, dammit! Swancon ahoy!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Feed for Saucy Sisters on Livejournal

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Click here!

Then click on ADD!

Ta da!


Secret Project!

I am working on a secret project!


As any one who follows this know, I love to play with numbers. Income, outgoings, spending, ROI, costs, budgets.... FRUGALITY!

Frugality is no longer 'making do' as we're now in a WORLD OF PLENTY!  Now, frugality making CONSCIOUS CHOICES ABOUT YOUR TIME, FINANCES AND LIFE.

What does this mean??

It means making informed choices based around YOUR LIFE CHOICES before you even spend a cent!

I have a new motto and new plans.

My plan is to provide you, my awesome and lovely readers, with PLANS and SYSTEMS to help you get your home life under control! And in the extra time you save, with the extra money you save, and with the extra LIFE you save, I want YOU to provide JOY!

I will help make your life EASY if you provide the JOY in doing so!

I am so excited! Sarah P's New Secret Project is in the formative stages. Stay tuned for more exciting new snippets and hints to come!

Sarah P