Walking My Way to Fitness

Until just over a month ago I had really let me fitness slide this year.  I need to be fit not only to stay healthy but to look after my family.  Just over 5 weeks ago when it was school holidays and we were staying on the Sunshine Coast

Taken by son a few weeks ago when he came on a walk with his camera.

Taken by son a few weeks ago when he came on a walk with his camera.

I started walking again.  It was lovely to walk the path along the beach each day.  Since we’ve been home I have managed to exercise most days.  Many days it has been a walk from home.  On days when I haven’t had much time I’ve done a shorter period of skipping.  When I saw the challenge for the Worldwide WordPress 5k for any day this week, I thought I could give it ago since I’ve been walking anyhow.

When I checked out how long my normal route was on google maps I was disappointed to realise that it was only 2.5k.  I needed to walk double that for this challenge. Continue reading


Easy Roast Beef Frittata

What to do with the leftover roast meat?  As a child we often had meat fritters with tomato sauce spread on top.  I haven’t found a good gluten free fritter recipe yet.  In the past we’ve often had Donar Kebabs but gluten free wraps aren’t that great.

frittata with salad

frittata with salad

When we had left over roast meat recently the kids made their own donar kebabs and I made a frittata for my husband & I.  It actually had so much meat in it that it almost tasted like a meat fritter.

Continue reading

Forming Good Money Habits

My daughter has just started a part-time job.  In church a few Sundays ago when they were taking up the offering she said to me “Will I put 10% of the money from my job into the offering?”  Ever since we have given our children pocket piggy-bank-970340__180money they have put 10% into the offering, saved 50% and been able to spend 40%.  My daughter is planning to do this with her wages.

Why have we done this with pocket money?  My husband got this idea from someone he worked with.  This is what they did with their family and he thought it was a good way to teach about saving, so we have done the same.  10% into the church offering because we believe everything we have is God’s so we are just giving some back to God.  People who aren’t regular church goers might have their children give an amount to a charity of their choice, it is simply teaching about giving.  My daughter whose love language is gifts once gave money to Jesus for Christmas. On Christmas morning she had $1 under the Christmas tree for Jesus which went into the Christmas offering at church.  50% for saving to teach the value of saving.  Our kids have always banked their saving money along with birthday money from Grandma (for that purpose).  We have usually banked their pocket money about once a term and have always had them help count it, write out the deposit slip & take it to the bank so that they were part of the process.  They will probably get this money when they are 18 and will have a substantial amount saved by then.  They can spend the other 40% however they wish.  Often they have saved that 40% to buy something a little bigger.  We have always given them the pocket money so that it could be easily divided which has meant always having lots of coins to use.  Pocket money has never been tied to their chores.  We expect them to do chores as they are part of our family & live in our house.

Our children both started getting pocket money when they started school.  In grade 1 they got $1 so 10 cents went into the offering at church, 50 cents was saved and they could spend the other 40 cents.  This amount increased by a $1 per year to match their grade until grade 8 and then they have had slightly bigger increases in grade 8, 10 & 12.  Compared to some of their friends they don’t get much pocket money but it is enough as they are not expected to pay for much. Often if my children want something when we are at the shops we will say “if you want it you can buy it for yourself”.  This also lets us see how much they really want the item. As my daughter earns more money through her part-time job she will be expected to pay for more things for herself, firstly starting with going out with her friends to see a movie or when they have lunch at the shops.

What else have we done to help our children develop good money habits?  When my daughter started middle school it seemed that she was forever asking for money as someone was selling something to raise money for something or it was the business market day or similar.  At the end of her first year at middle school we decided to give her a certain amount per term.  She could then choose to spend this at tuckshop or the business market day or on whatever else was being sold.  We also did this with my son when he started middle school.  He quickly learnt to only take a small amount of his money to school at a time!

Also we don’t usually lend our kids money if they want something and they don’t quite have enough for it.  We usually make them save their spending money until they have enough to buy whatever it is they want.  Hopefully we are teaching them you can’t spend what you don’t have.

Here are some other pocket money systems I’ve heard of:

There are variations of the percentage system but just split a different way or for more things.  Such as the 10-10-10-70 plan which is 10% tithing, 10% saving and investment, 10% giving (to those in need) & 70% used at their discretion.  This article talks about spending, saving, donating, investing.  Similar to our method but just adds a 4th area when children are ready.

I’ve heard a Focus on the Family Broadcast where the couple interviewed shared about quite an elaborate envelope system.  The envelopes included spending, saving, clothes, gifts & tithing.  For the clothes they had worked out approximately how much the child would need over a 12 month period and then gave a fortnightly or monthly amount to cover this. With this system the children were very much learning budgeting and for example, what happens if you’ve spent all your clothes allowance but need a new pair of sports shoes!

Families choose different pocket money methods for different reasons.  There is no right or wrong way.  Do your children get pocket money?  If so how does it work in your family?

Last Week’s Menu – 26 September

Breakfast this week has been a bit of a mixed bag including dry corn thins on a day I wasn’t feeling too good, leftover frittata, puffed corn cereal with banana & almond milk, fried veggies with an egg, scrambled egg with tinned salmon & avacado and of course bacon & eggs.

Lunches again mostly involved using leftovers in some way.  These included leftover roast beef & salad; leftover porcupines heated with mushrooms & rice noodles or salad; leftover chicken with avacado on corn thins & leftover tinned salmon on corn thins.  My children also enjoyed leftover meat on bread rolls for some of their school lunches.

Dinners last week:

Monday – Quick Chilli Beef as burritos or nachos

Tuesday – While the rest of the family enjoyed leftover Quick Chilli Beef I had the last of the roast beef with some salad.

Wednesday – Porcupines with veggies

porcupines cooking

porcupines cooking

Thursday – Creamy Tomato Chicken

Friday – Boston Beans & Sausages

Saturday – We were out a school function for dinner.  Whilst we did request gluten free for my husband he was still careful about what he ate.

Sunday – Savoury mince (a double batch to take to a shared dinner but hoping that there are leftovers)

This week I have also baked chocolate brownies,

sugar cookies

sugar cookies

GF DF sugar cookies  & Gluten, nut & dairy free apple cinnamon muffins (which are very fluffy for a gluten free muffin).  I also made a creamed corn dip by soaking cashews, then making cashew cream and added some creamed corn and blitzed up a clove of garlic with the cashews.

What’s been on the menu at your house?

Last Weeks Menu – 19 Oct

Last week I got back to making my own almond milk again by simply used soaked almonds and blending with chilled water, straining in a nut milk bag and using.  I used this with breakfast some days or in some of my baking/cooking.  This week I made another GF spiced sultana bread to take to a lunch with my friend who is a caeliac and then froze some of the leftovers.  I also baked peanut butter cookies (much better when I flattened them with a fork this time) & GF/DF shortbread.  My son & I also made a DF French Onion Dip using homemade french onion soup mix.

Breakfasts included Choc Crunch Granola, fried veggies with egg, GF sultana spice

fried veggies with egg

fried veggies with egg

bread and bacon & eggs.  Most mornings I had the ginger & lemon hot drink, see this link for the benefits of warm lemon drinks.  My son also enjoyed an apple & berry breakfast bowl.

Lunch again often involved leftovers in some ways.  Lunches included leftover Tric’s mince, chicken & salad, mini meatloaf & salad and corn thins with various toppings on a couple of days.

So onto the dinners:

Tric's mince cooking

Tric’s mince cooking

Monday – Tric’s mince

Tuesday – planned for creamy tomato chicken but after accidentally leaving my chicken out all day we had to throw it out.  So instead I bought a roast chicken & coleslaw mix from the shops and added whole egg mayonnaise to the coleslaw mix and cooked some potato & sweet potato chips in the air fryer.

Wednesday – Mini Meatloaves with mushroom gravy.  Well I enjoyed the mushroom gravy while the rest of the family chose not to eat it.

Thursday – Mum & Dad’s for dinner where we enjoyed Quick Chilli Beef with wraps or corn chips.

Friday – We enjoyed GF/DF Fry pan pizza.  This time I added less liquid and made the base a bit thinner, I think this worked better.

Saturday – Roast beef cooked in the slow cooker with roast vegetables cooked in the airfryer.

Sunday – The kids enjoyed Donar Kebabs with the left over beef and other toppings

frittat with salad

frittata with salad

of their choice.  The best thing was that they made their own with no help from me!  My husband & I had a frittata made with the leftover beef & a few veggies.

What have you have been cooking/baking?

Last Weeks Menu – 12 Oct

My week involved less baking as I ended up working on more days than I thought I would.  Fortunately I still had some baked goodies in the freezer.

As it was a public holiday here last Monday I made melting moments and sultana bread which has been useful for breakfast as well as snacks.  I will definitely make this again. I also made another batch of choc crunch granola.  Yesterday I made my chocolate slice.  I have not used this recipe for ages as we think Murray was reacting to the coconut.  Even though we were using organic coconut he seemed to be reacting, we are now trying a different brand.  I also used this coconut to make coconut butter for the sultana bread.

I had to be more prepared for breakfast this week as school and work started again. This week for breakfast I’ve had choc banana pancakes; apple, sultana & almond chia bircher (1 batch lasted for 3 days); the sultana bread and of course bacon & eggs on Sunday.

For lunch this week I’v mostly had salads with leftover meatballs or rissoles; or leftover fried rice and just 1 day of ham & avocado on corn thins.

Dinners this week:

  • Monday – Spicy BBQ chicken served with rice and carrots & peas.
  • Tuesday – used the leftover chicken & made fried rice
  • Wednesday – Mexican meatballs (made a double batch so we had leftovers for lunches), with air fryer fries, carrots & peas.
  • Thursday – dinner at Mum & Dad’s – chicken marinated in lime juice cooked on the BBQ with chicken sausages & salad
  • Friday – chicken schnitzel, with air fryer fries, carrots & peas.
  • Saturday – my brother in-law’s 50th birthday celebration – BBQ
  • Sunday – BBQ – steak and sausages with potato, sweet potato, carrots & peas.

Last Weeks Menu – 5 Oct

As we were away at the Sunshine Coast for part of last week I didn’t do much baking but we ate some of what I had baked the week before.

I continued wigreen breaky bowlth Caralee’s Breakfast Challenge.  So in the last week I’ve had Green Breaky Bowl (pictured); Choc Crunch Granola (with dried fruit, banana & coconut milk or with
some puffed corn); Choc Banana Pancakes; Superfood Berry Smoothie; Puffed Corn (with just some rice/almond milk) & of course on Sunday we had bacon & eggs.  Most days I also had Lemon & Ginger Tea

My son made the choc banana pancakes. Continue reading

Corn Thins Pizza

We have been away for a few days.  On holidays it had become the norm to cook in the unit one night and have take away the next night.  However there is very little take-away that my husband can have.  My sons reactions are not too bad now so he corn thins pizza3can get away with some of the wrong foods.  Consequently the kids often get take-away while we have left overs or make up something else.  During the week when the kids had pizza, my husband had his own mini pizzas and I made myself a stir fry with some left over chicken.

When we have pizza I often make a gluten free fry pan pizza but lately my husband has been making pizzas with corn or rice thins. Continue reading