The adventure of trying to make a house a home that we built for our family of six plus some craft, home décor, recipes & any family fun we might have.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Coeliac Awareness Week

So today's Coeliac Awareness Week and this week is dear to my heart because this September it'll be ten years since I was told I needed to follow a Coeliac diet. My diagnosis came just after we'd found out we were pregnant and it came as a complete shock. All I remember about my diagnosis was walking out of the doctor's room, sitting down at a coffee shop and wondering what I'd be eating for lunch while I drank a cup of tea. I'd been experiencing morning sickness and it was while I was drinking my tea that I remembered the doctor had told me I'd need to eat my breakfast twice if I was sick. I soon got use to making two lots of breakfast every morning.

Ten years ago I read labels every time I went shopping, never went out to eat and I always made sure that I had enough gluten free food in our pantry in case the grocery store went out of business. I'd spend hours on the internet researching recipes and looking for new products that might be good to try. The one thing I did learn quickly was that eating gluten free wasn't cheap and with a growing family I had to find products that would be tasty and good value.

I'm now happy that our supermarkets have increased their product range for people who have intolerances and that they're always looking into ways to make it easier for the consumer to find items that suit their lifestyles. Recently my local Aldi store sent out a catalogue showcasing all the new products that they're offering to help celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week. I'm looking forward to trying a few of the new cakes and biscuits that they're offering however, I'm hoping that the other three big stores also celebrate the week with new products, cooking displays and free recipe cards.

Every little bit of information you can collect can make a difference. So this week if you're a coeliac why not try looking for a new product that you wouldn't normally eat, try a new recipe or maybe go out to that new restaurant and try their menu (remember to ring first and check that they can accommodate your dietary requirements). I know this week I'm looking forward to trying a new pasta and some gluten free lasagne sheets. Lasagne is one of my all time favourite meals and for a few years I tried making it using rice paper sheets and it just never tasted the same.

So if you've intolerant to gluten I hope that you use this week to do something different or special. I know that my children will be looking forward to eating some of mummies' lasagne. Maybe if I get it made before we go away on our trip up north, I might get around to sharing my recipe with you. Until then I hope you have an enjoyable week.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Thrifty Finds

As you know it was my birthday on Tuesday, so this year I decided I'd go and do something I wanted to do for a change instead of rushing home after school drop off. First off I went to Muffin Break which is my all time favourite coffee shop and I collected my free coffee (which I up sized) and my birthday muffin. Like all good mums I gave the muffin to the kids to share because hey I'm doing weight watchers and who needs to use all those points before lunch! We then headed off to a thrift shop I'd seen years ago but never visited.

In Australia we've had a few issues with our thrift (aka Op shops) stores so I was hoping that this store was large, not over priced and they had things I wanted to buy. In the past I've always gone with Mr Opoes because he helps control the children and this means the kids are better behaved. So today I set out a few ground rules with my four and two year old just so we got a good look around without them touching or breaking things. In the past I've always found Lifeline to be a little over priced and today was the same. Some of the items were the same price as the brand new equivalent and pieces in the furniture section were a bit on the pricey side considering they're second hand.

Now when I started I didn't really have a list of all the things I wanted, all I knew was that I wanted a novel so that I could turn the pages into flowers for a craft project I'd been thinking about and maybe a ramekin dish that was bigger than the ones I already own. As you can see I didn't want much as my expectations were low especially when I knew it was a Lifeline store so I was only expecting to spend ten dollars.After walking around for about forty minutes I was ready to pay for my items and that's when I found a coffee table with the most beautiful lines and I knew straight away it was coming home with me. I didn't even care about the price, it was love at first sight. Sorry Mr Opoes I've another man in my life and he's got curves, DIY potential and he was cheap ha ha.

I've only had the items for a couple of days but I've got plans for every item so I thought I'd share a picture of each item, a brief description of what I want to create with each item and how much I paid for them. I paid a total of fifty-two dollars and fifty cents for everything which I'm really happy about.

Each of these items were very cheap and they'll get used within the next month or so. A is a book that I'll be using to create paper flowers with and it cost me two dollars. B is the two ramekin dishes that I had on my list. The taller dish is just perfect for Caelan when I make cheese soufflés, it cost fifty cents and the smaller dish is a heap bigger so that'll come in handy when I'm making a soufflés for Mr Opoes dinner and it cost two dollars. C is a single pillowcase that Viveca fell in love with and I thought that it would be perfect to use to make a skirt with. She loved the flower with the smiley face and it only cost me a dollar and fifty cents.

The picture on the left is a wooden tray box that has six cubes and I'm thinking of either painting the inside of it or putting scrapbooking paper in there so that the children's pet rocks can be put on display. I'm not sure if I'd hang it on the wall or put it on the desk yet but at four dollars I was really happy with it. The item on the right is a pillow and at two dollars and fifty cents I'm really excited to find a cover or make one so that it can go into any of the bedrooms. I'm thinking I might use it in my room.

This is a brass bowl that I saw from a distance and when I picked it up I was happy with its weight and the fact that it wasn't dented. At two dollars and fifty cents it was the bargain of the century. I'm going to clean it up a little on the inside and then spray paint it silver, it'll then go into the study to fill in some of the vacant space in the bookcase. I'm looking forward to completing this small project.

I'm going to paint the coffee table so that it can go into our lounge room. I'm in the process of picking things for the lounge room so I'm going to have to wait a while before I decide what colour to paint it. My first thought was white but I'm thinking of picking one of the colours from my entry. It might work better as the gallery wall can be seen from the lounge room. I may have to live with the table as it is for a while as I don't want to get it wrong and then have to redo it. I paid thirty dollars for it and it was the cheapest coffee table they had in the store. I'm really happy I saw this on my way to the checkout, so much so that I did a happy dance when I paid for it.

The last thing I found is for Caelan and as soon as I saw it I knew he'd love it. It wasn't until I got it home that I realised that Star Wars storm troopers had been mixed up with Batman and Robin. When I gave it to Caelan that was the first thing he saw but after a bit of thought he decided that he loves it. One thing he's asked me to do is to change the colour of the background but I'm going to use it when we get around to decorating his bedroom especially when he wants a space, Star Wars inspired bedroom. The artwork cost me seven dollars and fifty cents and I'm now kicking myself that I didn't buy the other Star Wars inspired piece. I'm thinking of framing it as the edges are a little rough.

I'm thinking that I might need to frequent thrift shops more often because I was really happy with what I found today and if I play my cards right I'll be able to find things at a good price and then I'll finally be able to decorate this house sooner than later. So what do you think of my treasures? I'd love to hear about things you've found or even see pictures so if you've got something on your blog or Facebook page leave me a link and I'll check it out. If you just want to share the picture with me contact me via my Facebook page (One Plus One Equals Six) as I'd love to see what you've found.


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Getting closer to 40

It's my thirty-ninth birthday today. I can't believe it where have my thirties gone? When night clubbing was all the rage I'd continually get asked for identification, even when I was ordering a soft drink because I'd be the designated driver again (lack of money meant I couldn't party with alcohol). I remember being told over and over again wait until your thirty and things will change. Holy Moly have they ever. Sometime I feel like I've slept through the last nine years of my life especially now as time seems to be fly by at the speed of light.

Don't get me wrong I've enjoyed the last nine years of my life even when it's filled with loud, crying and naughty children I wouldn't swap it with anyone WELL NOT FOR A LONG TIME ANYWAY. I've birthed four children who I love to bits and everyday they do or say something that makes me love them just that little bit more. We've sold our house, moved three times within eleven months before our house was built and I've done most of that while I was pregnant. We've changed schools, picked kindergartens, had a few holidays, caught up with family, celebrated a few weddings, planned Christenings, birthday parties and generally lived life one day at a time.

So today I thought I'd share ten things you mightn't know about me.
1. I was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, started school over there but I was made to wait four months before I could officially start school in Australia.
2. When I was young we were going to travel around Australia, we never made it out of Queensland.
3. Growing up I loved athletics and I won a few age champion things at school.
4. I ran against Cathy Freeman (Australian Olympic Gold Medallist) when I was in primary school. She won.
5. I'm the eldest of four children.
6. When I was twelve I wanted to be a nun and we weren't even Catholic.
7. A month before my eighteenth birthday I was told I was a type 1 diabetic.
8. I got pregnant on my honeymoon, we found out while in Hamilton New Zealand which we thought was unusual.
9. I studied to become a Primary School teacher but never finished and I only had one more semester to complete.
10. I always support New Zealand in sporting events especially the rugby. I also love yelling loudly so the neighbours can hear if New Zealand beats Australia in the Bledlisloe Cup.

So there you have it a few little bits of information about me, think about it as my present to you. I'm off to have fun with the kids and wait for Mr Opoes to come home from his business trip. The kids have been talking for the last three days about the great gift they have (daddy) gotten me and there's been times when they've nearly spilled the beans. Hope you have an enjoyable day and have a piece of cake for me.