Showing posts from January, 2017

chocolate orange rice pudding- gluten free, dairy free

After reading about Samoan cocoa rice pudding, I decided to make a chocolate pudding inspired by the more traditional decadent version which includes high quality cocoa, coconut and coconut cream. I did include a lemon tree leaf which gave my rice a wonderful aroma.
My recipe included: Medium grain white rice (about a cup and a halfTwo tablespoons of cocoa powderOne lemon leafOrange rind350mls soy milk  Half a cup of brown sugar Method: cook rice in saucepan with lemon leaf (I added a teaspoon of olive oil to mine and heated the rice through then added water.  Once rice is almost cooked add all other ingredients and simmer on low heat until cooked, stir regularly.  Makes a wonderful dessert/ afternoon tea.  Lovely chocolate orange flavour.

Things I love about a smartphone

I keep apps to a minimum on my smartphone.  If an app is designed to connect with me too regularly I will delete it.  This is why messenger and Facebook are not currently downloaded but I can access them at my leisure via Google which is the perfect balance for me.

At the moment I am using video calls on an iPad to stay in touch with family.  I had all but sworn I would never do such a thing but circumstances changed and I had to get over how I look.   There is a knack to looking better on video.  I find sitting on the couch and holding it at book level seems to be the best.  I did think this feature was a little dopey but family away for health reasons saw me change my mind completely.

Now, my smartphone has turned out to be an investment well worth it.  Things I love:

Quality pictures of people, animals and flowers to share some joy aboutBetter audio so I can hear well.  My last phone was a bit hopeless for audio.Fun pictures to add to texts 💝 Turns out my iPad has that too.  "…

Life is precious

I am a woman who is in her thirties and does not have children.  You could call me lucky and blessed because I have children in my life.  That I am, blessed to have children in my life.  It would be lying though to say that my heart does not ache for my own.

I just wish that when people talk of women like me, for whom children are a long held dream, they understand that I did not choose this.  If life had been different I would have a messy home, more wrinkles and more laughter lines.

I did not choose to not have children, it's just the way my life has gone.  I do sometimes wonder why I did not just have a child minus a husband.  Family for me is about a father and mother and I know that dads are important.  I just couldn't be a single mother by choice.  I do wonder whether wanting the best was the right thing.  To my mind, being a parent is all about the best for the child, not me.  It's an attitude that does not get you any popularity.  It seems most people want to hav…

Saving for beach shack #14

Today to save up for a beach shack, or city square with cottage, I:

Reviewed my bank account and realised that groceries and health insurance were over where I needed them to be.Reviewed my health insurance and changed polices with an estimated expected saving of five hundred dollars in the next twelve months and better coverage.  I found the Choice website was a great way to start my search.  For Australian readers the website is warned that reviewing my health fund took hours even with the choice fund match website. Do what I did and make a cup of green tea before you start (ran out of soy milk and black tea without milk is nausea inducing for me) so you are calm and alert.  I paid another $150 off my university education debt.  My mum continues to be stunned at how expensive it is.  It will take around five hundred dollars this year to just cover interest payment this year.  Cut my grocery spend down.  In part because I …

Brick through television

Listening to the radio as the selection on television is driving me mad.  I was going to write a letter to the editor of a national newspaper until I realised that the media source of my grump was lying about government action.

The program that saw me switch the television off in disgust (I desperately need new library books!) was a program called Britian's Spending Secrets by the BBC UK.  I'm sure everyone makes mistakes when it comes to spending.  The attitude of expecting to live like a celebrity with none of the pain or work involved and shopping as a hobby made me want to lob a brick through the television.  Perhaps if it was my television the temptation would have been greater but it's a family members.  Actually, I don't own a television...I better not rush out NOW!

 Not only were the people I watched on Britain's Spending Secrets acting like spoilt brats but they were also such bores.  What a boring life.  Go do something with that money.  Good grief, they …

Keep the flu blues away

I appear to be ninety nine percent over this flu virus.  In between sneezes and snoozes it is pretty normal to feel emotionally blue while the body focuses its energy on fighting the flu.

Today, to keep the flu blues at bay, I:

Made sure I had a nutritious breakfast, popcorn and fruit for snacking, and made extra lunch for another meal ( rice, tomatoes and veg sauce and bacon).  Good nutrition hopefully keeps my body fighting.  Picked two bunches of fresh flowers and placed them in vases.Went for a gentle stroll around the neighbourhood.  Have a colourful throw rug on the sofa and cheerful doona cover.Since my morning coffee I have been drinking green tea with lemon myrtle in the hope it kicks this flu to the curb.  Tea is meant to be calming and good for the mood.

Saving for the beach shack #13

Staying on track to save up for a beach shack, or city cottage:

Drinking a homemade soy flat white.  Just read an article on Penny Hoarder about someone who gave up coffee and saves at least $500 per year.  I doubt I spend that much a year on ground coffee.  If I do spend that much on coffee, it's money well spent in my opinion.  The finances would have to be very tight before I would give up coffee!  The writers solution was to drink herbal tea which she found much cheaper than coffee.  I find coffee can often be sourced for less and I drink herbal tea as my night cap.  Coffee is for cold rainy mornings like today when the Java hits the spot.Getting some relief from fatigue with fast release T3 ( active thyroid hormone ).  I have been experiencing detox symptoms and finding the right dose takes time and patience.  I lowered my dose with the flu but have upped again and sleeping well now I am over the worst of the flu.  Woke with glandular fever symptoms last night and up for a few…

Saving for beach shack #12

Staying on track financially this week by:

Making nine meals in advance and eating some of them.  A little effort one morning has made many other meals easy and economical.  I made rice and beef and vegetable stew; roasted chicken and vegetables; and portioned out some sausages for easy meals.Shopped at a small butcher and hopefully helped their families pay their bills this week.Worked hard to help my body recover from the flu.  I hope I am over the worst.Managing stress by drinking English Breakfast tea and exercising when I can.Grateful for rain.  Not so keen on attacking the weeds.

Flu help by webmd

Got the Flu? Try These 10 Tips to Ease Symptoms -- shared by Browser

Tread carefully with apartments

First home buyer loses deposit after NAB backflip over apartment size -- shared by Browser

TSH and medication

Does a normal TSH mean that patients are on the right levothyroxine dose? -- shared by Browser

Storm clouds rest on mountain

There are storm clouds brewing on the top of Mount Wellington.   As I type the mountain is beginning to hide behind the cool change I am hoping for.

Spent the day resting and trying to recover from this viral load on my body.  For breakfast I heated up chicken and vegetable leftovers and for dinner I made a one pot curry with vegetables and a little meat.  Instead of lunch I had a lie down and a cup of tea after.

Here's hoping all that rest means I have a little more energy tomorrow!

Teach them grit (child raising study)

How parents set their kids up for success -- shared by Browser

The mystery of the lost ear phones

I just got up ridiculously early to look for my ear phones.  Throughout my life people accuse me of having few possessions as if it's a bad thing.  The irony of this criticism is that whenever this criticism is lobbed my way I am contemplating a spring clean and feeling overwhelmed.  I love having enough with a few treats and comforts, but space is good for body and mind and a luxury.

The reason I woke before the morning sunrise serinade by birds, is because I hate losing the few things I have and resent buying something new just because it has gone walkabout.  While looking under and between sofas and cleaning as I went I was reminded of the parable of the woman who lost a coin and searched high and low until she found it.  It's funny how the things we are thought as children stay with us and trigger our brain at the oddest moments.

Anemic fruit from ripoff merchant

Just went to the supermarket and was shocked at how anemic the fruit and vegetables appeared.  After accidentally taking a detour in my car I went to the local fruit and vegetable market.  The prices were about the same as the supermarket however the quality was noticeably better.

 Fruit was on my list of things I needed because it is generally my snack of choice.  I was going to wait a few days until I had to go out, to buy some fruit, until I realised it would send me mad to wait that long.  My shop ended up being bananas on special; apples from Tasmania; chewing gum because I am stressed still; and popcom for a healthy snack.

Going first thing in the morning as I neglected to sleep worked well as everyone else had better things to do like sleep in, or drink coffee and shuffle their family out the door!  Given I paid premium price for the fruit I am disappointed that two apples were rotten and went straight into the bin.  It frustrates me when I read blogs from the UK and US and the…

How to solve most financial issues

If you can get to the point that you find yourself repeating the phrase "I hate shopping" and mean it, that will make it that much easier to save money.  It's not my phrase, it's my very financially savvy mother, and now I come to think of it father's phrase.  My parents have never had much money but their disregard for shopping meant their children had a roof over their heads.

Anyway, I did indeed find myself stating a hatred for shopping today and meaning it which is how I came to be making dinner rather than going out for fish and chips which is what I wanted but I could not be bothered getting into my car to get someone else to cook for me when I had food that was asking to be eaten.  Not wanting to go out will save plenty too.  With petrol prices going up, rather then down as I had hoped, it's the perfect time to find "going out" a hassle.  I'm afraid I stole this strategy from my parents too.

Instead of going out today, I made and shared a…

Strategies for the sick and overwhelmed

Everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes.  Life is particularly difficult to deal with when given a serious diagnosis.  I looked for an article that would help people feeling overwhelmed while dealing with illness and discovered that I will have to write it!

These strategies will help anyone feeling overwhelmed but are particularly useful if you are sick:

Remember to take one step at a time.  While I am all for looking at life from a big picture point of view sometimes the reason we get overwhelmed is because we are taking too much on at once.  Often it helps to break problems into steps.  If you are looking at years of treatment, focus on what you need to do this week, and then today to reach your treatment goals. Today you might need to: eat plenty of fruit and vegetables; go for a five minute walk; take your medication.Get organised.  I find using a week to a page diary gives me a good overview of the week and helps me stay focused on what needs to happen.  Organising food and an outfit …

Luridly cheerful

My laptop is currently refusing to cooperate with the modem I am accessing the internet from.  As a result I am using the iPad to write my blog.

I went to the library yesterday to borrow some books and see if I could find a DVD, or three, to watch.  Much to my relief found books to read but was disappointed with the selection of DVDs which seem to be selected with children, teens and retirees primarily in mind.  I am happy to occasionally borrow from the "video shop" but it gets expensive if its done with any regularity.

I did try and ask our state library to buy more mainstream DVDs but their purchasing team seems to only purchase popular dramas from twenty plus years ago, train spotting infomercials and popular cooking programmes that flood free television anyway.  I know it's no big deal except
I've had a doozy of a virus and watching dramas while I suffer is one of the few things I feel up to.

Things that are cheering me up while I sneeze as a competitive sport:


Today has enough trouble

Today, I have been taking the highest safe dose of asprin due to intolerable pain.  Some of the pain can be attributable to a cold type virus.  Given the all over body pain it may well be the flu, or it might be the mononucleosis virus activating.  Personally, it seems to be a painful combination of the two playing with my body to maximise pain.

Due to unrelenting pain, and fatigue, most of today was spent in bed and then some in front of the television watching the eleventh season of Grays Anatomy which is a weird thing to watch to deal with spending too much time (any) in hospital lately but there's no "accounting for taste" as they say.  It is my opinion that the eleventh season is one of the best despite the losses experienced by the characters.  At least, in this drama series, there is the touch of real life.

In the evening after hours of sleep and rest, and icy poles to keep the inflammation in my throat and dehydration at bay, I did manage to get a few things done…

Cheap and easy dinner: gluten and dairy free

To keep you inspired if you eat dairy free and gluten free (boo!), another meal idea:

For dinner tonight, gluten free beef sausages and potato pieces fried up in a fry pan and coleslaw I prepared earlier from my fridge contents (grated carrot, apple and finely chopped onion with mustard and mayo, seasoning).  Gluten free sausages cost from about $6 for eight and make a nice easy meal when I do not feel well.

It's getting late but I was craving a cup of coffee.  A nice cheap treat when I use a espresso machine (frugal over time if you use it plenty like I do).  Less than 20 cents without milk!  Mmm...

I've been pottering around doing chores and weeding in the garden today.  I managed a twenty minute walk with the dog which was good for my mental health.  After walking around weeding I'm not sure I needed the exercise as much as the change of scenery!

One day at a time

Life has been incredibly stressful for me, and my family, over the festive period with one of our own finding themselves potentially critically unwell.  I really do hope for the best, but in between dealing with the grief that comes with a situation like that, you do tend to spend a little more.

Admittedly, the main things I spent a little more on was petrol to go to the hospital and the odd coffee to help get myself physically away from the situation and help clear my head and get some perspective.  I did buy a book which helped at the time but on reflection was not something I would recommend to other readers.  According to my budget calculator with my bank, my December in trending down compared to last year.  How that is possible, I'm not sure.

I bought a few more tops because summer has been hot and it makes life easier when you are focussed on being able to go to the hospital at short notice, or with any regularity.  I also spent a little more this week on simple food becaus…

Hopeful: Cancer drug approval

This drug sounds remarkable for leukemia patients, and hopeful for cancer patients in general:

Peach, corn & sausage

I am having a slightly weird food day.  Due to a doozy of a glandular fever/ chronic fatigue episode my throat has been incredibly sore and that's put me off eating very much.  So far for breakfast I've munched on garden fresh fruit and drunk some electrolyte fluid to help with the fevers I have been experiencing.  I am about to eat a corn on the cob and then hopefully later for dinner I will have an appetite for the gluten free sausages I have thawing in the fridge.  Things are so bad I may need some pain-killers but I try and keep them to a minimum because they generally have minimal effect for this type of pain.

Yesterday, due to the extreme fatigue I experienced I was forced to spend most of the day resting.  Even reading and watching television was too much for some of the day.  I did manage to do a few household tasks later in the day.  Too much resting tends to make me feel a bit depressed.  I was able to go for a twenty minute amble but it did not make me feel better p…

Gluten free, dairy free brunch for one

For breakfast, another low cost meal idea, sliced mushrooms (in season), tomato relish from another meal, vermicelli noodles cooked and mixed with an egg then fried.  Add a half corn cob and you have a very filling meal for any time of the day.  I had mine with the day's paper and a cup of coffee and now I am craving a nap!

Oodles of noodles - gluten & dairy free dinner

I do not eat gluten and dairy free only because it keeps my Coeliac disease in check.  People that are gluten free on whim and wax lyrical about how wonderful it is, and who can eat a pizza at any moment, annoy the heck out of me.  With this in mind, for those of you who must avoid gluten and dairy, here's another low cost, minimal work, meal idea.

Oodles of noodles

left over cooked mince and veg from night before (minimal seasoning with a little oyster sauce)plum or berry jam (generous spoonful in lieu of sauce)five spice powder if you have somesalt and pepperonion chopped roughly, or garlic if you have itspare vegetable roughly chopped (I added carrot)splash of olive oilvermicelli noodles - precooked Heat up a saucepan/ fry pan, heat olive oil, add onion/garlic, five spice powder, vegetables and caramelize.  Add mince, salt and pepper and cook through.  Add vermicelli noodles and jam just before you serve.  Eat.  
Easy and cheap alternative to the takeaway, and you can cook it in …

Low cost pantry dinner idea: tuna mornay - gluten and dairy free

I made a gluten free and dairy free Tuna Mornay for dinner using the ingredients in the fridge and the garden which gave us enough.  I'll admit, without crushed bread crumbs or corn flakes on top with cheese, it's hard to get this dish looking pretty but it tasted good even without the cheese.
The sauce was made sauteing in about two table spoons of olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, diced carrot and sliced mushrooms, three tablespoons of gluten free plain flour, salt and pepper were added and browned.  Once browned, I added two heaped teaspoons of mild seed mustard,  a third about 100mls of coconut milk and slowly added cup of soy milk to make a white sauce of sorts.  Added a can of tuna and greens from the garden.  Fresh broccoli and spinach were great with the dish.  Served with brown rice. 
I used the remaining coconut milk and soy milk to make dairy free yogurt for tomorrow.

A coffee and crash

The last week, while many others celebrated, I have had one of the toughest weeks of my life.  So tough in fact, that it appears to have messed with my biology and I will have to keep an eye on that and probably see a doctor.  Today, my body crashed and I spent the morning and some of the afternoon asleep.  There's just no pushing my body past a certain point.

There may even be the need for a therapist visit but I'm actually hoping things blow over and peace is restored.  Realistically, I may need to see a therapist anyway.  I will keep an eye on things and not try and be a hero.

Today I've been drinking green tea but felt the need for coffee at around 8.30 pm and decided to not deny myself a cup of black gold.  If nothing else, coffee can keep me from being depressed and as it's my only cup today I am savoring it.  While I am confessing, I had a handful of sweets too and I'm not stressing out about it.  Honestly, I enjoyed every last one!

The new year does seem to…

Things to cheer

Things that are cheering me (life's a bit tough and exhausting at the moment):

Green tea with breakfastNew to me mug for christmas New wallpaper on my blog (well, that's to cheer you up more! It was getting boring)New summer pyjama bottoms that are cool and comfy with a beach scene patternA new, insurance paid, windscreen.  My phone which seemed a luxury but means I can call people and hear them clearly and take decent photos which is important at the minute.