Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Homegrown Frugalities

Made using some new and some salvaged ribbon.  My Mum had given me a large collection of hairclips from her crafting days of my childhood to attach the ribbons to.

Ginger's presents from us: New items (in addition to a scooter) Alphabet Floor Puzzle (ALDI, $8 I think), Peppa Pig Puppet and Bubble Bath (ALDI discounted to $5) and Stickers $2.  Secondhand Djeco puzzle ($2), Bike basket (50c), Doll bike Helmet (20c) and Fairy book (50c).  Having kids does not have to break the bank!

Finally finished.  Pattern is from The Gentle Art of Quilt Making by Jane Brocket.  It was backed with a thrifted fairy sheet.

Frugal is probably not the word you would use to describe our spending habits over the last week.  Just putting that out there before I begin:)  But, everything is relative as we did pick up some long sought after items at a bargain price.

We bought floor rugs for the children's rooms.  We had seen these on the Pottery Barn website some 18 months ago when we were first moving to the Southern Tablelands.  However the large size we wanted, as the children have large rooms, was too expensive and so we compromised on a smaller sized rug.  They didn't have any in stock the day we visited Sydney so we proposed to order them when we got home, but between one thing and another we never did.  Recently I had to go to DFO in Canberra in search of a particular bathroom fixture and I discovered a Pottery Barn Outlet which had the large floor rugs we had eyed of earlier significantly marked down.  Then, last weekend we popped in to check more bathroom fixtures (we are trying to do a cosmetic alteration to our bathroom) and discovered they had 25 per cent off at the Pottery Barn Outlet.  Mr Provincial took our sedan (he drives a little two seater) in on the Monday, confirmed that the discount was still valid and picked up a floor rug for each child's room.  To say they love them is an understatement - they have been playing so much better in their rooms with a little cushioning of the wood floors.  They should also make a significant difference to the heat loss from their rooms over the winter as the wood floors here leak cold air!  We are debating now whether we pick up another to put away for the baby's room - I think my future self might appreciate it.

Ginger's wish was to go and see Cinderella for her birthday.  It is five years (notice the chronological significance) since we last went to the movies and boy are tickets expensive these days!  Managed to find a deal at Dendy though, called "Family Tix", which were $9 a ticket and included a large popcorn for each booking.  Ginger loved the movie!

We bulked out Ginger's major gift (a scooter) with a handful of homemade presents.  I finished the quilt I started for her (cough) two years ago, and made some hair ribbons for her using this tutorial.  She also received some secondhand items from us (obviously they look in good condition).

Made the cake for Ginger's birthday.  The recipe was Mimi's from A Tray of Bliss (truly it is scrumptious). I used this idea for decorating it, using a handful of Schleich animals we bought in bulk off Gumtree a few weeks ago.  I also found some flowers at Aldi marked down to half-price (I paid $7.50 for three bunches) to decorate the table.  They have lasted really well and most blooms are still holding up a week later.  It has been a lovely treat for me as well as I don't usually buy flowers.

Did an epsom salt foot treatment.  I read about this a couple of years ago and my post-summer feet are in need of a tidy up.  I used some epsom salts Mr Provincial was given by a work colleague who was closing her side-line beauty business!

Hemmed some maternity jeans I purchased for $2.50 a couple of months ago.  I had used the iron-on hemming material but the hem kept falling down.  I figured five minutes on the sewing machine was usefully spent to avoid the ongoing annoyance.  Now if I could just work out how to keep them up - the elasticated denim seems to have lost its spring:)

Made dukkah for the first time.  This has been on my MOO (make our own) list for many years as purchasing it at market stalls you pay a significant mark-up.  I used this recipe.  It was very simple and delicious.  We have a large jar left to use other weekends.

Have been combing the Cheapskates website for money saving ideas, and have a few new to me recipes to trial.

Ginger is 5

Waiting for her homeschooled friends to arrive at her birthday tea.  Wearing another Geranium dress - thrifted corduroy ($3) and some leftover from another dress for the top.  Neither Lincraft nor Spotlight had their corduroy in for winter yet.  Arghh!

Well our baby girl, Ginger, turned 5 this past week.  I can't believe I have had my right-hand girl for 5 years.  I am going to miss her like crazy when she goes to school next year - we are still having the homeschool, conventional school debate around here but we did put in the application form for Kindergarten 2016.......

Ginger on the cusp of 5:

- I love watching you working out the rudiments of reading.  You have worked so hard over the last couple of months learning all your sounds and now occasionally I see that light-bulb moment when you blend the sounds and you can work out what word you have read!

- I love how caring you are of your little brother and how eager you are to be a big sister to the new baby.  Yes, you and Tom Kitten do fight but you always apologise to each other and make up with big cuddles and telling each other how much you love the other.  I love that so often you will sacrifice yourself to make Tom Kitten happy "Tom Kitten you can go first" or "You can have the toy Tom Kitten".

- I enjoy watching your confidence growing at Preschool.  You have handled being one of only five girls, to twenty boys with aplomb and without your best friend in your class either of the two days you attend.

- It is exciting to see your ability to write your name take off.  Now rather than being reluctant to write your name you enjoy showing us how easily you can do it. And, it is getting neater and neater.

- I love seeing your creative play emerge.  You and Tom Kitten will sometimes play for hours very elaborate games involving rescuing or being Mummy and Daddy (actually often it is a combination of the two to satisfy both parties!).  No matter what game though, it always seems to involve transporting large amounts of your belongings out of your rooms and into the loungeroom to build a den!

- You make me laugh so much sometimes.  You come up with the best one-liners, often unintentially, like the time Daddy concluded some statement "one day when I'm King of the world" and you responded "We're doomed".

-You love handbags - you always have to carry at least one bag with you (often filled to the brim with assorted flotsam) and Baby Beth, your favourite doll which is looking increasingly worse for wear.

- It is a joy to share an increasing range of books with you.  In the last sixmonths you have shown an intensifying interest in chapter books - we have particularly enjoyed Little House in the Big Woods.  I enjoy spending a few extra moments each evening reading a chapter to you and having a snuggle.

- Your drawing and colouring is taking off.  It is wonderful to see the increasing care you take in your work and the detail you are able to capture.

- Dear one, you are exquisitely sensitive and a real barometer for the feelings of those around you.  You show a compassion and depth of feeling well beyond your chronological age.  This has been both a blessing and a curse because when people treat you harshly it cuts right to your heart - and dear one I would love to protect you from all life's cruelties but I can't. I trust though that you know your Heavenly Father's everlasting love for you and that will carry you through hard times.

- Gosh girly its wonderful to see your absolute faith.  One day when we were driving along recently you told us that the pictures the clouds make are God's colouring book.  Your prayers are so simple but direct and you are confident of their fulfillment.  It is a joy to see. 

- It has been so impressive to see your gains in self-discipline over the last 6 months.  I know you are still such a small girl but you are increasingly able to control your temper and carry out commands, even when they are not enthusiastically received.  That said, most of the time you are a willing helper but you do need routine and rhythm to keep you happy.  Rather like your Mama!  You are certainly a homebody, having very limited interest in attending  extra-curricular activities and even preschool is met with a "I'd rather stay home today".

It is so wonderful to hear you say "I love you" to me, because baby girl I love you very much too!  Happy 5th birthday

Sunday, April 5, 2015

If you teach nothing else, teach hope

The texture of our universe is one where there is no question at all but that good, and laughter and justice will prevail.

- Desmond Tutu

To me that is the Easter message.  Through Jesus' death and resurrection we know Goodness will triumph.

Happy Easter 2015! 

*Easter outfits made from op-shopped Corduroy ($4 for 3m); a Geranium dress and Trevor pants (altered slightly for length and to be one colour).