Sunday, October 11, 2009

Easy peasy home grown guide!

Been extremely busy... not just with the new baby (sophia who is now 8weeks old) but out in the spring sun (or outside when it isn't raining) weeding, pruning, sowing etc.
So to get to the point. i thought i'd quickly share some things weve discovered and done!

Seeds & seedlings

While its great fun to watch seeds grow into seedlings, we see no harm in getting the crop/garden going sooner and doing both! Buy seedlings (from nurseries or bunnings) and seeds (any will do but if you're in it for a tasteful experience & abundance of crops go with or any other heirloom or organic veggie suppliers) I go with diggers from my experience with them, they also supply seedlings to bunnings, you can buy from them online and they are in my state.. so anything that grows with/for them will grow for me! To cut costs ive gone to the mark down section (usually right up the back) and bought many seedlings for 50c-$1. I still don't know if i have 6 chilli plants or if they are 6 capscium plants. (not that it matters) but its a downside of buying mark down stuff missing their labels! Other than that we have at least 3 different tomato seedlings growing well from the markdown and some digger seedlings (a $6 splash) of another 4 varieities including the tommy toe we had last year/early this year that made more than we could eat and made awesome tomato puree. Anyways my point is seedlings give you a crop at least 6weeks before your seeds will. (depending on type and how well you look after them from snails & toddlers!)

Easy raised beds/planter boxes.

We used some old fence/wood scraps laying around the backyard and more recently bought some pre-cut pine. The bought option came to about $52 in materials (the wood, screws & brackets) Hubby says he has done them the easy way which is using small metal brackets to hold them altogether instead of dove tail etc.

Our soil is bit to much on the sandy side... the top soil gets washed away and drains much to fast (not to mention sandy soil usually lacks minerals etc needed for good plants) so we have used composted cow manure & coir peat. Weve found the best source for coir peat is at K-mart (k-mart gardners choice brand) for $5 gets you a 5kg block which makes some 20litres???? i think. Not to mention its from New zealand and not Sri Lanka... so its a bit more local. coir peat is basically adding more organic material into the soil and also holds moisture!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ABC Gardening Australia Expo

All 5 of us rugged up nice and warm and went on Day 1.(with the last expo/con we went to, we went on the last day. While we enjoyed the bargains to be had in the final hours from stallholders, we really did wish we didn't just have the choice of "leftovers". Which is what it felt like)

The crowd was small! Which was awesome. It had been forecasted to rain that day, it was really windy and freezing! (looked miserable too) But lucky for us it didn't rain!

Picked up a cute pansy ($2), sugarsnap peas seeds ($4.50), venus fly trap plant ($3), thornless blackberry ($6), raspberry ($6), 4 flowering tulips (for Tia) ($4), 6 cacti/succulent cuttings ($10) not sure if i missed something there.... next time i will have to put more money away to spend! I could have bought something from almost every stallholder.. lol! There were seeds, bulbs, flowers, fruit trees, trees, shrubs, cacti, grasses... inside there were products from lavender farms, demonstrations and samples on how to cook asparagus & mushrooms, bee farms... i could go on and on! ^^ (photos soon?)

I almost got a beautiful little japanese red maple tree and there was a cute pink chinese maple tree to (that Tia loved!) but the stall holders were to busy and taking forever... *sigh*

Trip home was rather bad... It was a friday afternoon 4-5pm... peak hour trains! For some reason during peak hour the disabled section fills up with bikes and alot of other un-disabled (or un-pram) people. So i figured it equalled up.. those who were lucky in 10 seconds to scramble into the disabled section made me cranky and us with the twin pram in the doorway (who couldn't make it further down the station in 10 seconds to the disabled section) now standing up made other people cranky!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

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Friday, June 12, 2009

im awful at coming up with titles...

While i could write non-stop bout things happening in australia today.. i thought.. maybe.. perhaps.. then i thought maybe i should write about what i've been up too... so i'll give it a shot ;)

Weve all had at least 2 rounds of the cold virus...

Hubby has been loosing weight, cutting back too much smaller portioned meals. I never knew a mans belt (as they gain weight) could hold such a time-line "i was here when we moved to melbourne, here when Alyssa was born" etc. Im happy for him, makes cuddling easier when its just 1 big belly in the way!

Tia has lost 1 front tooth and now the 2nd front middle tooth is loose.. so in 3-4 days she will be lookin' a bit weird with no front top middle teeth! She bought home a bean plant from school, its now in the garden! Wonder what kind of bean plant it is exactly...

Alyssa is up and walking (or "toddling" as we call it) She figured out how to open cupboard doors today! (argh!) She loves cups and tries to drink from them (doesn't matter if they are empty) She chases the cats (at baby speed) and squeals! (meanwhile the cats look scared) She finds them when the curl up in the sun on the floor and mwhahhaha goes in for the attack! She has waved once and is learning & saying "ta" (baby for "please can i have it?" and "thank you!")

My pregnancy is going well. The baby is still pretty active. almost 8 weeks to go. Have my 1st hospital/midwife appointment this month. LOL! Yes i finally rang them up.. TMI- i have 'roids from hell (should be a title of a horror movie!!)
My feet get fat and puffy quickly. My right foot I've hurt, so when i step a certain way or something i get instant pain and then hobble for a hour or two... but usually its fine. My feet will love the relief when this bub gets out! I seem to wake in the middle of the night, needing liquid to drink & needing to pee.

Ive been having alot of Branxton Hicks. I find it hard to believe that some study could come out and say that Sex does not trigger labor... As i get fake labor pains (branxton Hicks) after being intimate... not to mention it triggered off the other 2 births! (i have a laugh when i remember scenes from movies where they with the BH/fake labour pains. think its the real thing, pack up and go to the hospital to end up coming home!) I like how the baby is where it is, i dont need extra effort to feed it, no dirty nappies and it doesnt cry.. it just disturbs my sleep! :) But i am looking forward 2 getting my body and bladder back to myself, the 'roids to go, my feet to not get so puffy, fit into normal clothes, not waddle and loose the reflux & heartburn bleh!! :)

so thats bout it from me... i havent done anything interesting! Not even reading (listening to the kids read their books) at tia's class, as Alyssa has the cold.. and a 11month old can't cover her mouth when she coughs. (not to mention alot of the girls can't keep their hands off her, not kiss her cheeks etc..)

Alyssa will be 1 soon!!! (still blue eyes!)and um we still plan on having Tia's birthday party... even tho that was back in may??!! :)

Stay Swine flu safe ;)

oh and thank you 2 maria for the award!! I w

Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

Friday, June 5, 2009

Indians Vs Australia racism & not cricket... :(

So, from news reports there have been 2 separate attacks on Indian students. Apparently 2 separate attacks can be called "a spate", "a rising number of attacks" and enough to brand aussies as racists.

While i dont condone or agree with violence, beating people up, putting one badly on life support.. and i also dont think we as aussies are all rascist. And i certainly dont think aussies are the only racists on the planet either...

I think its interesting that indians are pointing the finger at us "shame shame australia". When there was a time where indians discriminated against their own kind with the caste system. Altho i have heard that it is still practiced in some regional areas.. (im not saying that other countries didn't have the same kind of thing e.g japan) (weak point i know.... but when it comes down to population in the world, Aussies (as in citizens! Not just the born n bred here peeps) are a minority! (22 million)

I also think its interesting that street voilence isn't getting any better, or is it still the same? I do agree with the police when they say it was a attack of oppurtunity. Not racially motivated. If you look passive, skinny and like you might have some good shoes on, a nice wallet then youre a target whether your a caucasion, european, asian or indian.... My understanding is that a racially motivated attack doesn't mean you have your wallets stolen and that they don't just stop.

I think the whole shame us as a nation, as a whole... does make a few people mad. I can understand that. Im not quite happy with it either. But who else can we get to try to talk to these people?! I mean the police have, the PM has the latest i believe is shane warne?! ( famous for cricket, his hair, his luv life/marriage)

It doesn't help that a political party has gotten into this... fuelled it. So then the government on india has to be seen as doing something bigger than a rival political party! Otherwise they risk the scorn and backlash.

However threatening a 2 billion "industry" of overseas Indian students bring into (victoria or australia?) isn't cool... i mean hey New zealand have said they'd happily have the students.. but if new zealand was a better option for study, wouldn't they have the "2 billion dollar industry" already?! (just a thought)

Not to mention pulling out, cancelling, banning etc of bollywood movies in australia over this?! Sure, hey! Give the racists what they want! Don't come, Don't film, Don't study here.... that's what they'd(rasicsts) want isn't it??!!...

after all not forgiving us for those attacks and keeping it going on... doesn't help or solve the problem...

wishing the guy a God speed recovery!!!

Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

pig flu

I do wonder why it is mainly mexicans who make up most of the 100+ deaths. I can only guess that they had very poor health to begin with (as in low immunity, existing health problems. At least one was a pregnant woman (tamiflu isn't really recommended for pregnant women from what ive read) I think USA has had 3-6 and canada 1-3? Anyways whatever the numbers its not cool.

Theyve been saying we have a "mild" cold variation of Swine flu. But how can they say that, when with the mortality rate worldwide being 0.05% or something like that(maths never my strongest)... surely Swine flu is a mild flu. However fatal for pregnant & low immunity people e.g elderly, chemo patients, leukemia, HIV+ & 3rd world countries.

At least 6-7 people have been hospitalised... but doing ok.

There are now 2 confirmed cases in my suburb!

Our state has moved from contain to sustain... which means they only give out needed tamiflu, don't close schools, don't close events, concerts, football etc.. Its to "sheild" those most at risk.. e.g elderly... yet the advice given to pregnant women is "consult your GP or obestrician" Why? because pregnant women can take tamiflu apparently... its classed "c" by the USA drug people for its safe level.. (not good enough in my opinon) Tamiflu is to be taken if it can benefit the unborn child! Their is no known issues as Nobody wants to be tested on.... they overdosed mice on it and the results were far less than perfect....
"Sustain" phase is basically saying.. its out of control... life goes on... go get sick?

The other states are saying, if you visit Melbourne and come back. Then quarantine the kids for 7 days. Our state is saying thats crazy. Frankly i dont see how!!! Nationally there is a quarantine for people & kids to be quarantined if they come back from overseas! The difference with melbourne is???? nothing.. we have swine flu.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cadbury whinge & berry panacotta review

So Cadbury has decided to lower their standard of chocolate & the weights. (but charge us the same) Its that not-so-new thing that companies do to get a bit more profit in their pockets.

I did some investigating on the old cadbury and new the cadbury.

I can tell you that the new cadbury family blocks of chocolate with more added vegetable fat come in harder card boxes. Instead of the old paper wrapping. (which i still think is better.. made of less tree, takes less space in the recycling bin)

I can tell you that old cadbury did have vegetable fat in the ingrediants but it was listed as 5th ingrediant after milk solids, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa -something, *vegetable fat

the new family blocks of chocolate it is listed as the 3rd ingrediant milk solids, sugar, *vegetable fat.

However the amount of milk chocolate solids is both the same 70%?. i think i was looking at Cadbury almonds & cadbury desserts creme brulee..

I can tell you that coles has cadbury on special this week (2 for $6), as does woolworths ($3.49?) and k-mart has only the old family blocks for $3.20. (whatever the instore stock is) K-mart the new and less chocolate family blocks you will pay up $4.00.

The desserts old range was 235g and is now 200g. The Norm family blocks was 250g and now 220-210 depending on plain vs almond etc? (i think)

I can tell you that its not just the purple wrapping/now boxed family blocks that are suffering the downsizing-yet-price-the-same. Cadbury's range of Old Gold chocolate is also affected.

I can also tell you that Lindt chocolate has no vegetable fat whatsoever that i could see!!!! :)

Cadbury argue that the tasters said the fat improved the flavour and made it easier to bite (i didnt think we were a nation of denture wearers) It does make it easier to snap off a piece from the block. However when i did so to the berry panacotta from their deserts range i ended up with 2 pieces.. i had the bottom layer square of choc with the filling and the top shell.. something that hasn't happened before.. might just be me but it screams "CHEAP!!!!" to me!

With cadbury now being easier to snap off, bite or what have you... i am wondering of the party game used at parties, classrooms, youth etc. The game where you roll a die and then you can chop using a knife and fork only those pieces off one at a time. For older teens a 30sec time limit is given or so and no matter what you roll you will always get one piece!

Also i have to think... you add more fat to a block of chocolate.. surely that ups the fat content and people would less likely buy it? hmmm

and the fact that we have long hot insufferable summers!! Climate change people would argue, that with the increase of temperatures. Not to mention the on-going above average heat waves during summer etc. That Australia would have one of the hardest chocolate family blocks to combat the heat!

The berry panacotta Cadbury dessert family block was uber sweet. More sugar than berry... but was expected after trying what they considered "tiramisu" & "creme brulee". Both girls loved it. Was addictive... not sure i'd buy it again honestly.. so full of sugar, melted quickly when held (at norm body temp. its pretty cold at the moment)

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