Postcard Passion

There is no point in having a collection if you can’t enjoy it.  We have a collection of playing cards, cameras, teacups and postcards.  Our renovations are finally finished, so I’m now in the process of working out how best to display our collections, without cluttering up the home.

Postcard Main

We have a post in our kitchen (which holds up that side of the house!) which looked very plain and boring before.  It was just calling out to be decorated!  All we have done here is string some twine through the postcards and hang them on the post.  You can turn the postcards around and read the messages on the back, and there is only one hook per row of cards … therefore minimising the number of holes we put into the post, and/or use of blutac.

Postcard gather toolsGather your Tools

  • Postcards
  • Hole punch
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Nails or picture hook
  • Hammer

Start by gently hammering a nail or picture hook into the wall at the top of where you want your postcard line to start.  Measure the length of twine required, allowing approximately 15cm at the top and 5cm at the bottom of each line.

Punch one hole into the top and one into the bottom of your postcard and thread the twine through (leaving about 10cm at the top of the first postcard).  At your last postcard, loop the twine around and gently tie a knot at the back.

Postcard instructions

Carry your line of postcards over to the wall and tie a knot onto your nail or picture hook in the wall.  Tie a bow at the top, and you’re finished!

We still had a heap of postcards leftover after this project, so I’ve left them in my postcard book until I gather enough to cover an entire wall!

Postcard folder

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Worthy Wine ~ Kono Sauvignon Blanc

Kono WineWORTHY WINE:  This is my new favourite wine for (nearly) Undertendollars!  $10.99 is a bargain for this dry Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  If you’re having a Friday evening drinkie – go and get one of these!

Undertendollars are undergoing some BIG changes with the Worthy Wine segment!  Later this week, I am going to be introducing to you our new Worthy Wine Guest Bloggers!  Expert wine drinkers at their best … for anything under ten dollars.  If you have any suggestions, or would like them to try a specific wine, please comment below.

Check out our existing Worthy Wine’s now!

Dinner with Pantry Basics

Tonight, we are going to cook dinner with whatever is left in the pantry and fridge.

It doesn’t matter how organised I am, there are still some afternoons where I am dreading the impending “what’s for dinner, Mum!?”  I am either too lazy to cook what I have been planning, or I have forgotten to purchase an essential ingredient, or I have simply run out of food because it’s the end of the week and I didn’t plan properly.

I have put together the List of all Lists … Dinner with Pantry Basics.  I recommend everybody print it now and stick inside your pantry for inspiration!

These recipes are very simple and can be easily adjusted according to what you currently have at home.  I have cooked most of them, and found they taste great with some, or all, or completely different ingredients.  Remember to search through your freezer and pantry for vegies which can be included in nearly every meal.  Leftovers can be used as side dishes, or used as a base for a meal and topped up with pasta, rice, salads, baked potatoes etc.  The key here is … inspiration.

TIP: find substitutes.  If you don’t have breadcrumbs, try crushing weetbix or cornflakes.  If you have a recipe in mind, but are missing one ingredient … then search the internet for a substitute, or a recipe which excludes that ingredient.

Pantry Dinners extractClick here for printable.  The printable is more detailed than the list below.  It has a handy matrix which helps you quickly search for a recipe by the ingredients you have on hand.

SUMMARY OF RECIPES

READERS CHOICE

  • Curried Fettucini with Peas by Anouk Bath.
    Fettucini with peas and a tin of Indian Curry flavoured tuna mixed in. Yumo.
  • Eggy Pasta by Fiona Lane
    Pasta shapes, eggs, cream, bacon or ham, onion- cook pasta, fry off bacon or ham and onions, put pasta in fry pan mix egg and cream together add to pan! Add extra cream if you like a runnier sauce!
  • Fried Rice by Fiona Lane
    I also do an all in fried rice which uses leftover veggies so its different each time I make it! Hard to write a recipe for it though key ingredients rice, sweet soy sauce, and ginger – either fresh or powdered whatever I have available! Ingredients include, grated or diced carrot, peas, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, beans- whatever I need to use up in the crisper!
  • Quinoa Salad by Tanya Blomqvist
    I do a quinoa salad with canned beans/tuna/olives then hope that there is something fresh in the fridge.
    Otherwise, Spanish tortilla, which is basically eggs and potatoes
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise by Zoe Elizabeth Gill
    500gms mince, passata, fresh basil, balsamic or red wine vinegar, brown sugar, garlic…. Cheap and always delicious… If there are leftover veggies such as carrot, zucchini and onion, grate them in – yummo!
  • Tuna Pasta Bake by Debbie Lord
    Packet of pasta – prepare as directed. Meanwhile make a roux (butter and flour) in large pot. Stir in milk (about 1lt), tsp mustard, splash of soy sauce. Add grated cheese (200g ish). Put pasta, tin of tuna (drained), tin of creamed corn and a cup of frozen peas (or whatever’s in the fridge) into baking dish. Stir through cheese sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake until a golden brown. If you don’t have tuna, salmon works or chicken, ham, anything really.
  • Veggie Pasta Cheesy Bake by Lorelei Walsh
    Fry off onion, garlic plus any bacon or ham plus chopped/sliced veggies you have (frozen works ok too), add a can of tomatoes, herbs, S & P and cook for five minutes. Place cooked pasta (penne, elbows, etc) in a baking dish, stir through sauce and top with grated cheese. Pop in a moderate oven approx 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbling. Eat!

Pantry Dinners

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Are You Proud to be Organised?

Being organised is not always something I wear with pride.  Throughout my life I’ve learnt that some people associate “organised” with being anal and controlling, so whilst most people know that I’m organised, they really don’t know the true extent (I really am crazy organised!)

I often see comments on facebook from Mum’s showing their messy house.  This would be a nightmare for me, yet I find myself agreeing with them and telling them my house is a mess too!  Which is mostly untrue.  Sometimes it is a mess, but usually only while the kids are playing in it. So why do I feel like I can’t brag that my house is clean and tidy?Organised

I like order.  I like being on time.  I like routine and structure.

I have lists.  And more lists.  Computerised lists.  Hand-written lists.

I would love to give you some tips on how to be organised … but that is for another day.

There are plenty of companies capitalising on other peoples poor organisational skills.  What I will give you for FREE is a list (because I love them so much) of the resources I have to keep me organised.  If you want more details or samples of any of my resources, just ask!

  • Gift register (with built-in budget).  Click here for link!
  • Automated meal planner which rotates every 4 weeks with accompanying shopping lists.  Click here for a copy (to be updated soon!)
  • Facebook schedule of posts
  • Daily To-Do list
  • Computerised Budget with annual forecast and current spend
  • Project list for our home renovations (yes, we’ve been renovating for the last 7 years! ~ nearly finished)
  • An excel list of my favourite Recipes (that would be 361 of them) categorised into dinner, lunch, mum’s favourite, visitors, snacks etc with a reference to which recipe book they are in
  • A spreadsheet with Goals for 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, 5 year, 10 year
  • A list of Chores that get done weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly and annually
  • A packing list that is printed every time we go away ~ which is regularly as our inlaws live out-of-town
  • An archive register of all my photos and insurance inventory’s; and finally
  • A list of movies that my husband and I want to see

I know there are lots of people who are as organised as I am, and there are just as many people who can fly by the seat of their pants.  Since having children, I’m learning to be a lot more flexible with my time, but I’m still loving my lists!

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Techniques to De-Stress

Destress

The words that come out of my mouth are betrayed by the physical symptoms appearing on my body.  “I am not stressed”, yet my mouth has ulcers, my shoulders are tense, I have stomach cramping and bloating and my fingers have developed a rash.  This happens every time I get stressed.

Does this happen to anybody else?

It’s often when my body starts to fail, that I will sit down and run through my de-stress techniques, which I’m going to share with you today.  Feel free to share with me your techniques too.

  • Determine what is causing the stress.  Most of the time, I don’t even know.  So I start to make a list of what is going on in my life – including the past few weeks and the upcoming weeks.  Usually this will flag the issue.
  • Deal with the physical symptoms.  The Wisebread website has a list of natural remedies that I mostly use for stomach aches.  A good massage and/or  a few sessions of yoga will help with tight muscles.  I find a good nights sleep will help with a few stress symptoms as well.
  • I remove myself from anything or anybody negative, and don’t place myself in any stressful positions, no matter how mild they are.  I stick to a basic routine and try not to fill my calendar.  I try to spend a few days just getting the house into order, get myself organised and fit in as much rest time as possible.
  • Some people find socialising helps with stress.  I find with my busy routine that I tend to cut back on socialising.  However, I do like to talk things through when stressed, and really thrash them out with a trusted person who has a good listening ear.  I feel that I need to release all my thoughts, and if I can’t talk to somebody about them, then I write them down.
  • I am an emotional eater.  Usually, by the time I have worked out that I’m stressed, I’ve eaten my way through the takeaway catalogues and it’s time for me to detox and focus on getting healthy again.  I often take this time to ensure my meal planners are prepared for the week ahead, check the cupboards are stocked full of healthy food and get my body back on track (without alcohol as well).
  • A good long walk or run on a beautiful day is a surefire way to release some of that stress.  Either go by yourself, or take the family.  Either way, your body will thank you for it.  In times of stress, I tend to neglect exercise … so this is a great time to ensure it’s back in the schedule for the upcoming week along with some regular meditation.

So I’m off to try some of these techniques to get myself back on track again.  I’d love to hear some of your tips and tricks too.

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Dating for Undertendollars

Somebody close to me is going on a date tonight.  I still remember the excitement of ‘dating’, especially when it’s working out and you have found someone you can enjoy spending time with.

One of the hardest things about dating if you’re on a budget, is the cost involved in firstly making yourself look beautiful and having a different outfit to wear for the first few dates, and then the cost of meeting outside the home and paying for drinks and dinners.

Budgets and costs should not hinder your fun however.  Here are a list of some fun and romantic Dating Ideas to ensure a successful outing without running up your credit card bill.

Dates don’t always have to be at night time, so you should search the internet for some activities held during the day, like a free concert in the botanical gardens or a festival where you can get some free entertainment, like the upcoming Redcliffe Kite Festival.  Subscribe to some local websites that offer entertainment discounts or ideas so you can be emailed whenever there are upcoming events.

A stroll through the local markets can incite some good talking points and then sit on a blanket with a cup of coffee and enjoy some people watching.  Walking is free and there are plenty of walking tracks in scenic locations where you can enjoy fresh air and good conversation.

A picnic under the stars is very romantic, particularly near a beach or overlooking the city whilst the sun is setting.  Once you get to know the person well, you can take turns having dinner at each other’s homes.

The local pub or RSL offer regular trivia or bingo nights where you have free entertainment at the cost of a drink.  It also helps to break the ice if you’re just starting out and is a great way to introduce friends without feeling intimidated as well.

Find out their favourite movie star and organise a surprise movie night at home (featuring their star, of course) with homemade popcorn, lots of comfy cushions and candles.

Those were just some of our ideas to get you started.  Good luck if you’re dating and even if you’re with a longtime partner you can try some of these ideas for Undertendollars (and feel free to share with us some of your own).

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Breaking Habits

My focus this week is learning how to Break Habits.  Since becoming ‘of age’ and ‘maturing’, I’ve always thought of myself as being “a good girl”.  I am still in my 30’s for those of you who think I sound like an old granny!  But if you had asked me if there were any habits I’d like to break, I would normally say no.  Because only ‘bad girls’ need to break habits.

The thought of become “middle aged” crossed my mind recently and I decided to write a Bucket List.  My bucket list then turned into a Lifestyle List.  There weren’t so many things that I’d like to do … rather, they were things I’d like to achieve.  For example, one of the items on my Lifestyle List is that I would like to have a fit and muscular body, and enjoy a healthy diet and not desire junk food.  Pretty vain, I know.  I haven’t got to the one about world peace blah blah.  That’s for another day.

In order to achieve this particular item, I need to break some habits.

So I started a diet a week ago.  A new diet.  I’ve been trying to diet for over a year now, but this is officially a new diet to go with my new list.  For those who know me, they will say I’m not fat, and this is true … but doesn’t everyone have a dream, ideal body?  Well that body ain’t going to come if I don’t do something about it!

So I broke my first habit today.  After my monthly work meeting, I drove home and did not stop at KFC!  Saved me ten dollars too (I knew you were wondering how this fit into Undertendollars!!).  Mind you, it was after I stuffed myself at the work meeting with M&M’s, Maltesers, Cinnamon and Apple Bun Loaf, Crackers and Parmesan Pumpkin Dip, Rockmelon, Grapes and Watermelon, Cup of Tea and a Flat White.  I had every intention of staying on track by starting with the fruit … but the temptation was too great and the other foods jumped on my plate too.

But I broke my habit!!!  Right?

Are you trying to break a habit?

KFC

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Slipper Fetish

Since becoming a stay-at-home mum; work-at-home mum; blog-at-home mum … I spend a LOT of time at home!

We renovated our home recently and have lovely dark polished floorboards, which look amazing, but are incredibly cold in winter. You also feel and see every crumb, sticky patch and fleck of dust at all times of the year (particularly as I do not clean them every single day!).

Therefore, I am developing a Slipper Fetish! Which started today.

I’ve always had one or two pairs of slippers, but since visiting the shops today … well, only one shop because Mr 4 and Miss 2 had really seen enough of the slippers and pj’s after about 5 minutes therefore I was restricted to Big W only. So this is not a sponsored post for Big W … it’s just all that time allowed!

One day I may be allowed out again to see what other slippers I can find for Undertendollars!

Here is a sample:

SlippersThey were all soft and snuggly inside, with soles on the bottom to keep our tootsies warm.

Dare I say, I picked up a couple of pairs …

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The Ultimate Snacks and Lunchbox Guide

As posted on Mum’s Lounge ~ Published on Thursday, 25 April 2013

Check out this easy-to-view one page printable to stick on the fridge, or place inside your pantry for quick and simple options.  Lots of favourite snack and lunch box ideas for adults and kids.

Click picture for easy printable PDF.The Ultimate Snacks and Lunchbox Guide

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Decorate for Undertendollars featuring Comfort in Your Home

Decorate for Undertendollars
featuring Comfort In Your Home

 Ever since I was physically able, I would constantly re-arrange the furniture or settings within my bedroom, and later in life, my home.  My husband is no longer shocked to come home and find the furniture in our house completely re-arranged.  I just love creating new looks and finding ways in which different pieces work together.

I am no interior designer.  I cannot determine which pieces are authentic antiques versus cheap knock-offs, nor do I have the skills to offer advice on designing your new home.  What I love is comfort, colour and creativity and I’d like to think that I do that well in my home, especially considering it’s on a tight budget.

Today I would like to concentrate on comfort, as I believe this is the key to decorating in any home.

Comfort in the Home

Following are 5 Tips on Creating Comfort In your Home

  1. Particularly with the cooler weather settling in, now is the time to bring out all your throws, rugs and cushions to scatter around your lounge room, and any other little seating areas within your home.  Touch is an important feature of comfort.  I also roll up my rugs in summer, and bring them out in winter as there is nothing worse than being cold underfoot.
  2. Find the memories or sentimental items around your home that bring you comfort, and ensure they are displayed in a flattering location.  If you have photos tucked away in an album, then either display the entire album so you can peruse at your leisure or pull out your favourites and have them framed.  Perhaps you have a favourite teacup collection that brings you joy … ensure it is dusted and kept clean and display it for everyone to share, including yourself.Touch
  3. There’s nothing more welcoming than the smell of freshly cooked hot bread, or perhaps a small vase of cut lavender.  The sense of smell plays a key role in relaxation and is a very quick and easy way to create comfort in your home.  Try burning some incense or oils, display a bowl of potpourri or plant some fresh herbs at the back door or place in the kitchen.  The Readers Digest have 8 Aromatherapy Projects to Fragrance Your Home (well worth a read)
  4. I know you are going to groan at me for this one, but cleaning your house and reducing clutter is a guaranteed way to create comfort.  Stepping on kids lego, or sitting on biscuit crumbs on your lounge is not comfortable!  If you’re looking for a little comfort, nominate one room or one space that is for relaxation and ensure this is the one area that is always clean and uncluttered.  This is your sanctuary, and you can resort to it whenever you feel like some comfort.
  5. Curtains can affect not only the look and ambience of a room, but also the temperature, which makes a big difference to how comfortable you are.  On those hot days, plan your activities to do in a cooler part of the home and close the curtains on that hot side of the house.  For cold days, head to the western side of your home, open all the curtains and sit in the sunshine.  Curtains are a cheap and effective way of insulating your home, together with providing many different styling features as well.

I hope you enjoyed these 5 easy tips on creating comfort, and trust that you are going to be super cosy in your home this winter.  Keep an eye out for the upcoming features on Decorating with Colour; and Creativity!

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