Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
They were absolutely delicious. Even Miss Berry noticed them ripening and every time we went outside she tried to rip them off to eat them. Well, we finally did.
I find it a constant battle to stay on track with my goals. They are not goals I have been forced to make, and I do not resent trying to meet the goals; in fact I enjoy the process. It seems there is always something that is trying to tempt you away from them, especially in a society that screams the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
Lately my spending has started to slip. I find I am looking at shop windows or ads and thinking ‘I really do need a whizz-bang automatic apple corer and look it’s only $150 – bargain!’ Of course I haven’t actually seen a whizz-bang automatic apple corer but you get the idea. I don’t always continue with the thought and buy something but I have done it a few times too many.
I don’t think falling off track temporarily is a failure. Recognising that you are slipping is something to be proud of in itself but ignoring it won’t get you closer to your goals.
What are my goals?
I have broad goals (long term) and then more detailed goals (short and medium term) that help me to achieve my broad goals. My broad goals are:
- Not have any debt (achieved in July this year).
- Live a simple, frugal life that is environmentally sustainable.
- Save money for a very large deposit and all cost associated with purchasing a family home.
- Purchase a family home that is not a McMansion but has enough space inside to accommodate a growing family and has more yard than house.
- Make sure my family and I are healthy, exercise regularly and are not overweight.
- Be happy and enjoy my life.
My detailed goals are things like our budget and saving plan, the vegie garden or always sourcing second hand items instead of buying brand new things. These are the goals that need constant thought and attention; the broad goals will take care of themselves if I keep my eye on the detailed goals.
I think it is this principle that people (myself included) forget about and then wonder why they are not getting anywhere. It is useless to have goals, record them in a lovely inspiring way, forget about them and then wonder why you haven’t crossed any off a week later. I am going to sound very high and mighty but I think this attitude reflects what we are like as a society now. We want everything immediately without having to put any effort or sacrafice into it. This immediate gratification is one of the reasons for household debt being so high, and why a lot of people are struggling with huge mortgages. As I said earlier, this post is about me getting off track, not other people so I am now stepping down from the aforementioned animal.
Enough talking about not meeting goals – it’s time to do something about it. I hope that this blog will help remind me of my goals. I will also monitor my spending habits more than I usually do and this will begin with recording everything I buy each day. This is an excellent exercise for those trying to budget. By writing everything down you can see exactly where your money goes. Hopefully, these two steps can get things rolling again.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
1 tsp tomato paste
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I have already made up some breakfast cereal this morning.
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 tblsp wheat germ
½ cup oat bran
½ cup bran
½ cup sultanas
¼ cup goji berries
I mixed this together and I served it with stewed apricots and prunes for Miss Berry and with yoghurt and some mixed nuts for Mr Berry and myself. It was very nice but I think I might try a toasted version next time.
But, that is all I have done so far because my darling Miss Berry has decided to do this ...
... and when I stop her she throws herself back and starts crying. So it looks like I am going to have a day of teaching her to sit calmly on the lounge and to get down without hurting herself.
I just had to snap the photo, how cute are those little toes?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
It wasn’t until after Miss Berry was born that we decided to make the transition to a simpler life. When we decided that I would not return to work, we needed to overhaul the budget and I stumbled across Rhonda’s blog and found it very inspirational and informative. Before that we often spent a weekend morning at a cafe, and we ate out the majority of nights. Our food budget was three times what it is now and we were spending most of our money each month on unnecessary things. I had not heard of the term simple living although we had de-cluttered the house a year before and I knew our materialistic lifestyle was not what made me happy. I was concerned about the environment but my knowledge of what I could do did not extend past turning off lights, having short showers and making sure I put paper in the recycling bin.
These past six months have been a huge learning experience and it has been hard to break old habits and learn to think before I rush out and purchase something. I now consider where a product has been made, the conditions of the staff that make the product, the energy expended to produce and ship it and whether we really need it. I believe we are happier and more content than we have ever been. We now have more time to enjoy being a family and most importantly we have the time and the ability to slow down and enjoy being with Miss Berry and help her grow and discover her world.
So, today will be split between relaxing and doing some things around the house that are difficult to do with Miss Berry around. I want to clean up a part of the garden that is really over run and we have a pile of pavers that need moving. I am also going to get onto the sewing machine and finish a couple of quilts that have been sitting there for ages.
In the meantime, I am going to shut down my laptop and finish my proper in-a-tea-pot-loose-leaf tea and reminisce about the old days whilst I quiz Mr Berry on the current article he is reading. That is much more fun than actually reading the paper myself; think of it as the CliffsNotes version of the Sydney Morning Herald.
On the way home....
We walked past a couple of garage sales and I picked up these goodies; for $6. All but 2 of my drinking glasses had disappeared so I was very happy to find this set in excellent condition. The skirt and bags will be great for summer and should come up well after a clean.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
We were off to Mother's Group today and I baked some banana muffins for the little ones and of course the not so little ones. It is my understanding that because the mini muffins fit in your mouth in one go they are 'fat free'. Please do not correct me if I am mistaken although confirmations are welcome.
Everyone loved the muffins and they were inhaled as soon as I put them on the table.
2 cups self raising flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
125g unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 mashed bananas
Sift flour and stir in the sugar. Add the butter, egg and banana and ¾ of the milk. Mix with a wooden spoon and add more milk if needed. Spoon into greased muffin trays and bake in an oven preheated to 180oC for 15-20mins or until golden.
Remove from trays and allow to cool on a wire rack. Alternatively, risk burnt fingers and break muffins open and smear with butter and eat whilst hot.