Thursday 30 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th April 2020

We've been a bit busy over the last couple of days.  Todays post is a summary of what's being going on at the Gower Abundant Cottage.

*  While I've been at work Darren has vacuumed and mopped the floors.

*  I cleaned the kettle with citric acid to get rid of the mineral build up.  Once it's cleaned the kettle looks brand new.

*  Cleaned out the fridge and gave the shelves a wipe down.

*  Wiped the kitchen cupboards of toddler finger prints.

*  Did a couple of loads of washing and dried what we could on clothes horses.

*  Gratefully received quite a few small packets of lamb chops from a friend.  We feel very blessed that she thought of us.

*  Darren and Kurt have been building a new garden bed in honour of Darren's mum.  As soon as it's planted I'll post some photos.

*  I picked a few handfuls of raspberries and beans from the garden.

*  Gave the washing machine a good wipe over.  I cleaned the lint filter and put the machine on a long hot cycle with Epsom Salts to clean out the drum and pipes.

*  Lamb shanks with vegetables on a bed of mash was on the menu for Wednesday night.  Shepherds pie was enjoyed Tuesday night.

In the garden

Are you keeping busy with the colder weather ?

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Monday 27th April 2020

Another beautiful Autumn day was enjoyed by our family.  Here's what we got up to -

*  Darren and I enjoyed a toasted hot cross bun with a cuppa out on the deck.

*  I dug up a couple of bushes that had grown too big for the garden space they were in.  I transplanted them to a better spot.

*  Pruned one of the feijoa trees.  I was surprised to find about 10 feijoas on the ground underneath.

*  Chunky chicken and vegetable soup with crusty bread was on the menu for dinner.

Soup for dinner.

Have you started making soup since the weather has become milder ?


Monday 27 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Sunday 26th April 2020

Today's post includes what we've been up to over the weekend just  gone.

*  Baked ANZAC biscuits using dough from the freezer.  We really enjoy them with a hot cup of tea.  Luka loves to suck on half a biscuit and was seen crawling around the backyard with biscuit in hand.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Picked a handful of raspberries.

*  Picked about 15 feijoas from under our two trees.

*  Enjoyed our online church service.

*  Picked a bunch of white roses from the big bush growing in the chicken run.

*  Cleaned the shower with diluted kitchen detergent.

Feijoas from our garden

ANZAC biscuits

How did you spend your weekend ?

Sunday 26 April 2020

Smiley Sunday 26th April 2020

There is always something in our lives that makes us smile.  It doesn't have to be something big or grand.  Infact,  the simpler things in life are best.  Here's what makes me smile -

*  When the sun shines.  The world seems like a happier place when the sun is out.  I find it brightens my soul.

*  Pumpkin scones with a cuppa.  My Grandpa loved pumpkin scones.  Unfortunately when he was alive I did have a recipe for them.  Now when I bake or eat them,  I think of my Grandpa who was a fine,  knowledgeable man.

*  When Luka comes over to me and tugs on my legs to be picked up.  There's no greater feeling than to be wanted and loved.

Luka wants Nana.

What makes your face light up with a smile ?

Saturday 25 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Friday 24th April 2020

Friday was a glorious day in Melbourne.  The sun shone for most of the day and the air was slightly warm.  Luka had some play time outside and enjoyed visiting the chickens to say hello and also plated at his water table with a bucket and spade. Here's what else we got up to.

*  Megan and I went grocery shopping and ran a few errands.

*  While we were out,  Darren vacuumed and mopped the floors.

*  Darren and I enjoyed morning and afternoon tea out on the deck.

*  We had chicken schnitzels,  salad and chips for dinner.

Bryson fell asleep on the play mat.

Have you enjoyed being outside in the fresh air lately  ?

Friday 24 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd April 2020

I've had two very busy days lately and unfortunately  there hasn't been any time for computers or blogging.  So I've decided to combine the previous two days together.

*  Darren and I went to work on Wednesday morning.

*  I made a big batch of pumpkin scones with the pumpkin I'd cooked the previous day.  The scones have been frozen for future morning and afternoon teas.

*  We were blessed to be given chops and steak earlier in the week.  They needed to be cooked ASAP so for dinner on Wednesday we had chop casserole cooked in the slow cooker.

*  Thursday morning I went to work.

*  After lunch I took my Dad into the city for his eye check up.  These visits are routine  after having treatment on a melanoma back in late 2018.  The melanoma continues to shrink and the specialist is very happy with Dad's progress.

*  While I was out and about on Thursday Darren dusted the house and cleaned the toilets.

*  Massaman beef curry was on the  menu for dinner.

Pumpkin scones.

What baking treats has your family enjoyed ?

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Tuesday 21st April 2020

We like to keep ourselves fairly busy with a little rest time in the afternoon.  Having two babies in the house keeps us busy and dinner time can be quite hectic with bath,  bottles,  eating then bed.  Here's what we got up to -

*  Volunteered at the local community pantry for 4 hours.  They were running a little low on staff so I got called in.

*  Cooked up to slow cookers of Massaman beef curry using beef that was given to us.

*  Darren cooked up lamb chops on the bbq.  They will be used in a casserole tomorrow then frozen.

*  Darren also cooked up chicken fillets.  Megan will use some in a pasta dish tonight for dinner.  The rest will be frozen for future casseroles.

*  Darren and I vacuumed and mopped the floors.

Massaman Beef Curry

What dinners have you been cooking up ?

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Monday 20th April 2020

It wasn't a terribly interesting day in our home.  We still managed to get a few things done.

*  Cooked and drained a big piece of pumpkin.  Over the next couple of days I'll turn it into pumpkin scones.

*  Volunteered  at the local community pantry for 4 hours.

*  We had chicken drumsticks,  mash and steamed veg for dinner.

*  Darren ran a couple of errands.

How is your family keeping busy ?

Monday 20 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Sunday 19th April 2020

Sundays at the Gower Abundant Cottage are a little slower than most days.  A day of rest is important for the body to replenish itself and for the mind to relax.  Here's what we got up to -

*  Darren and I enjoyed watching our church service online.  Yesterday's theme was ' anxiety '.  Very appropriate for what everyone is going through right now.

*  I spent a couple of hours cutting out some men's cards to decorate and sell.  When our family moved back in,  I had to move most of my card making supplies and desk into our bedroom.  The corner is a little cluttered but it does give me the chance to do my own thing without little fingers trying to get into things.  Luka loves to sit on my knee and ' help ' with whatever I'm doing.

*  Enjoyed an afternoon tea of scones,  jam and a cuppa.

*  We had leftover family meat pie for dinner.

*  Picked raspberries,  feijoas,  a few beans and collected an egg.

How have you been spending your Sundays ?

Sunday 19 April 2020

Smiley Sunday 19th April 2020

Life certainly looks different for all of us at this point in time.  No one really knows when the lockdown restrictions will be lifted or when we will be able to get back to normal.  Many people are struggling with the concept of staying home and feel like their life is on hold.

For Darren and I,  we are homebodies.  Yes we do like to go out on occasion,  but we really enjoy our home and our surroundings.  Lately we've taken the time to stop and take great joy in the comfort our home brings.

Some of you might be struggling to find joy in your everyday routines.  I thought it would be a great idea to break my blogging schedule each Sunday to list a few things that have bought us joy to our soul,  a smile to our face or a sense of purpose.  I hope you'll take this opportunity to share the things that bring you joy and hopefully we can lift each others spirits.

*  I've been putting a favourite perfume on each day.  It makes me feel good.

*  Having a cup of tea in a fancy bone china tea cup,  or if it's Darren,  his favourite Collingwood football mug.

*   Writing a small list of jobs I'd like completed each day.  Sometimes I delegate one or two tasks to Darren or Megan so that we all feel a great accomplishment when we cross the items off the list.

What brings a smile to your face ?  

Saturday 18 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Friday 17th And Saturday 18th April 2020

Today I'm including our activities over the last two days because I'd like to do something a little different for Sundays.  I hope you'll read tomorrow's article as I'm sure it willlift your spirits.  Here's what we've been doing-

*  I did a phone interview with a lady who works for the Bendigo Council in regional Victoria. .  She's writing an article on stretching your dollar through these challenging times.  I was able to share how we fill our days, how we were prepared when the supermarket shelves were stripped bare and what we've been up to in the garden.  As soon as I get a link to the article I'll share it with you all.

*  I chatted with our eldest daughter Jessica on the phone.  We haven't seen her in over 3 weeks and she's really missing us. She's keeping busy with her Uni studies and thankfully still has enough work at the donut cafe.

*  Dusted all surfaces.

*  Darren vacuumed and mopped the floors

*  I did two loads of washing and dried as much as I could on clothes horses over the ducted heating vents.

*  I cleaned our shower,  sink and mirror.

Spag bol with garlic bread was on the menu for dinner on Friday.

*  Homemade Family Meat Pie was on the menu for Saturday's dinner.

Homemade Family Meat Pie

Have you been enjoying more homemade food lately ?

What have you been up to around the home ? 

Friday 17 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Thursday 16th April 2020

Here's what we got up to on Thursday -

*  Sold a dozen eggs,  two jars of relish and a greeting card bundle to a friend.

*  Planted a garden bed in our backyard.  I'd been digging this bed over and trimming the plants for the last few months but wasn't happy with the growth habits of a few of the plants.  So yesterday I  bought a few new plants and also used plants we had in pots.  Now it looks much better.  While the weather is still mild I'll be concentrating on the next garden bed that needs work.

*  We had salmon patties ( from the freezer ),  salad ( lettuce from our garden ) and roast potatoes for dinner.

*  Darren and I enjoyed a morning tea of homemade scones with homemade jam and a cup of tea on the deck.

*  We enjoyed lots of time watching Luka trying to master the art of walking.  He takes quite a few steps,  stops,  has a squeal of delight at his new skill then sits down and continues crawling.  He's such a funny little boy.

A carnation plant

A new beginning for this garden bed.

How did you fill your Thursday ?

How is your garden looking at the moment ?

Thursday 16 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Wednesday 15th April 2020

Wednesday was a glorious day here in Melbourne.  The sun was out,  the birds were singing and the air was slightly warm.  Here's what we got up to -

*  I volunteered at the local food pantry.  Most people who come in just quietly fill up their bags with whatever food they can get their hands on   Yesterday we had 2 ladies come in ( separately ) who were so grateful for any help we could give.  One lady was so overwhelmed she broke down in tears.  She has no work and no food. I've never seen someone so happy to see vegetables and she couldn't wait to cook them for her children.  It really makes you realise that no matter how tough times are,  there's always room for gratitude and thankfulness when help comes your way.

*  We dried the washing on the line.

*  I picked another small bowl of raspberries and 2 feijoas from the garden.

*  Megan and I did a menu plan for the next 10 days.

*  Chop suey and mashed potato was on the menu for dinner.

Chop suey with lots of veggies

Have you written a menu plan lately ?

Have you had to adjust your meals to reflect lack of groceries in your area ?

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Tuesday 14th April 2020

Yesterday I had a 6 hour cleaning job.  I'm very grateful for this work and the much needed cash.  With me out of the house most of the day,  I'm not sure what everyone else got up to.

*   I do know that Darren vacuumed and mopped the floors.

*  We had a chicken,  veg and pasta bake for dinner which was delicious.

*  I sold another greeting card bundle.

*  Gratefully received a few passion fruits from a friend.

In the garden.

Do your family members still have jobs ?

Have you found different ways to earn an income ?

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Sunday 12th and Monday 13th April 2020

Over the last couple of days I had to take some time out to look after myself. ( for my sanity ).I'm sharing a small home with 5 other people, including two babies that I absolutely adore.  Easter Sunday I spent most of the day on my bed watching tv,  relaxing and enjoying some quiet time with the door closed.  Megan and Bryson joined me late in the afternoon while I was watching Packed To The Rafters and munching on chocolate Easter Eggs.

Monday I had the house to myself while the others moved furniture from Megan's rental.  I enjoyed the peace and quiet while doing a little bit of cleaning.  Here's what else happened in the Gower house over the last couple of days -


*  Darren and Kurt washed all the family cars and vacuumed the insides.

*  Darren bought Lindt Easter bunnies in Kmart for $1 each.  He bought quite a few that we'll be giving throughout the year with birthday presents.

*  Darren cooked pork dumplings for dinner that night.


*  Wiped down the kitchen cupboards and removed fingermarks from a certain little one year old boy.

*  Cleaned the microwave inside and out.

*  Made a spray bottle of diluted dishwashing liquid with cooled boiled water.  This works really well on all kitchen surfaces and doesn't leave streak marks.

*  Picked four feijoas from under the tree.

*  Picked a small bowl of raspberries.  The fruit picking is slowing down.

*  Cleaned out the laundry cupboard and wiped under the washing machine.

*  Posted a few parcels of cards I'd sold a couple of  days earlier.

Feijoas from our tree.

How are you coping with the lock down ?

How have you spent the last couple of days ?

Sunday 12 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Saturday 11th April 2020

Saturday was a cold,  wet and very windy day in Melbourne.  We spent the day indoors concentrating on general household duties.  Megan spent the day cleaning her rental ready for the end of lease.  Kurt was on baby duty the whole day and did a fantastic job looking after the boys. Here's what else we did -

*  I stripped our bed and did three loads of washing.  Some went into the dryer and the rest went onto clothes horses.  With a one year old crawling around,  wet washing isn't safe so we are trying to limit the washing he can get to and spread around our home.  Luka just loves playing with pegs and will do anything to get to them.  Cheeky monkey.

*  I did a little card making to finish off some baby gift packs I'll be selling shortly. 

*  Megan treated all of us to takeaway pizza after her long day of cleaning.  I'm not usually a fan of bought pizza but I'd have to say it was quite delicious and we were grateful for the treat.

* I watched a few episode of A Country Practice in the afternoon as part of my rest time.  Although I have lost most of my cleaning work,  with extra family members in the house all day,  my days are still busy.  Each day I try to watch some tv in the afternoon which is a new and novel idea for me.

The washing never stops

In the garden

How are you filling your days now that the weather has changed ?

Saturday 11 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Friday 10th April 2020

Good Friday was a slower,  easier day.  It was pretty exciting ( for me ) to go out in the garden and find the first feijoa of the season had fallen from the tree.  For those who are not familiar with this fruit,  you need to wait for the fruit to fall before eating.  Here's what else we got up to -

*  Darren made a batch of hot cross buns.  We enjoyed them for afternoon tea,  toasted with lashings of butter.

*  I listed bundles of my handmade greeting cards on a few Facebook pages.  Within an hour I'd sold two bundles and it looks like I've sold another.

*  Picked a small bowl of raspberries from the garden.

*  Darren picked a rose from the garden for my bedside table.

*  We had salmon,  rice salad and roast potatoes for dinner.

Darren's hot cross buns

If anyone is interested,  I still have these two bundles of handmade greeting cards for sale.  $20 each including postage in Australia.  Please message me through Facebook for payment options.

How did you spend your Good Friday ?

Friday 10 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Thursday 9th April 2020

Our day was a busy one yet there's not much to report that was really exciting.  We did manage to get a couple of things done.

*  Megan and I did some grocery shopping and ran errands that couldn't wait any longer.  Megan picked up beef mince marked down to $6 a kilo. 

*  We enjoyed morning tea out on the deck in the beautifully warm sunshine.

*  I watched a couple of episodes of A Country Practice to relax and unwind.

*  I picked up a few Easter goodies in Kmart for 1/2 price.

*  Silverside cooked in the slow cooker with roast veggies was on the menu for dinner.

The garden around our deck.

What did you get up to on Thursday ?

How are you preparing for Easter ?

Thursday 9 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Wednesday 8th April 2020

We continue to keep ourselves fairly busy around our home and garden.  Outside jobs are a priority while the weather is still mild.  Here's what we've been up to -

*  Megan and I cleaned out the fridge.  With two families sharing the fridge,  things easily get lost or forgotten about.  Now we have space in the fridge to move things around better.

*  We cooked up the last of our tomatoes from the garden.  I used some of the tomatoes to make spag bol that night and the rest will be frozen.

*  I cleaned the shower,  sink and mirror in our ensuite.

*  Darren pruned a couple of bushes in the front yard.

*  I refilled the shampoo and conditioner bottles and diluted them by 1/3.

*  Spag bol was on the dinner menu.

Spag bol for dinner.

How did you spend your Wednesday ?

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Tuesday 7th April 2020

It was another day indoors for the family with lots of washing being done.  Here's what else we did -

*  I was called  in to volunteer at the community pantry again and ended up staying there for 4 hours.

*  Megan and I wrote a menu plan for the next 7 days.

*  I made 3 bottles of air freshener for our bathroom using essential oil and cooled boiled water.

*  Made egg custard using really cheap milk I bought the other day.

*  Beef stew cooked in the slow cooker was on the menu for dinner.

Egg custard for dessert.

Are you finding plenty of things to do around the home ?

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Monday 6th April 2020

The cold weather continues and I must admit,  I like having the heater on in our home.  It gives us a cosy feeling.  here's what we did on Monday -

*  I volunteered in a local community pantry that gives groceries to those who struggle to put food on the table.

*  Darren vacuumed and mopped the floors while I was out of the house.

*  Megan made fried rice and honey soy chicken wings for dinner.

*  Darren picked a small bowl of raspberries from the garden and collected one egg from our chicken

A bee on our rosemary bush.

What did you get up to on Monday ?

Monday 6 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Sunday 5th April 2020

The rain has continued in Melbourne but we see it as a blessing.  Our gardens are watered and the seeds Darren planted 4 - 5 days ago have started to pop up.  Here's how we spent our Sunday -

*  We watched our church service online through YouTube on our tv.

*  I made up a 2 litre bottle of foaming hand wash.  I used shower gel and cooled boiled water.

*  Megan and I brightened up our home with Easter decorations.

*  Darren and I went for a drive to the beach.  We sat in our car in the car park and had a lovely afternoon tea of grapes,  cheese,  dry biscuits,  ANZAC biscuits and a cup of tea.

Mornington Beach

Easter decorations 

A little bit of Easter on the table

How did you spend your Sunday ?

Has your Church service gone online ?


Sunday 5 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Saturday 4th April 2020

The weather has turned cold and wet here in Melbourne.  We've concentrated on inside jobs to keep us busy.

*  Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

*  Made dried bread crumbs with saved bread crusts that I'd frozen over the last month or so.  I also made up a batch of seasoned bread crumbs to fill the container.  I love to use these on Krispy Fried Chicken and Salmon Patties.

*  Stripped our bed and did two loads of washing.  Some went into the dryer and the rest went onto clothes horses over ducted heating vents.

*  Honey soy chicken wings and fried rice is on the menu for dinner.

The jar is full again

How did you spend your day ?


Saturday 4 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Friday 3rd April 2020

I don't know about you but my days seem to be busier than when I was working and running our home.  Maybe having two babies in the house keeps me busier.  Here's what we got up to today -

*  Megan and I went grocery shopping.  The supermarket shelves are almost back to normal except for toilet paper,  paper towel,  rice,  flour and sugar.  I was able to buy the elusive self raising flour which I haven't seen anywhere for three weeks.  Now I can bake to my heart's content without having to ration the flour out.  With today's grocery shopping done I don't need to buy anything for the next couple of weeks.

*  Cleaned the dishwasher with bi carb and vinegar.  The door and seals were wiped down with miracle spray.

*  Picked a good sized bowl of raspberries and a handful of beans from our garden.

*  Rearranged the pantry to fit in today's shop.  It felt like  I was playing Tetris  when I was trying to make more room in the pantry.

*  Megan did three loads of washing.

*  Dusted all surfaces inside.

*  Lamb chops cooked on the bbq with mashed potato and steamed veg was on the menu for dinner tonight. 

Today's haul of raspberries

Growing in the guttering on the fence.

How did you spend your Friday ?

Have you been able to buy all the groceries on your list ?

Friday 3 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Thursday 2nd April 2020

Today it rained on and off for most of the day.  We concentrated on indoor jobs to keep us busy.

*  Baked a big batch of scones.  Darren and I enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea of scones with homemade raspberry jam outside on the deck while it was raining.  The rest of the scones will be frozen.

*  Darren cleaned the exhaust fans in both bathrooms.

*  I gave our shower and bathroom sink and mirror a clean using diluted dish washing liquid.

*  Made a double batch of ANZAC biscuit dough.  Most of the dough was frozen for future baking but I did bake two trays of biscuits too.

*  Darren lubricated all the inside door hinges.  A few were starting to squeak.

*  I did the ironing which was a total of two items.  With Darren and I staying home most of the time,   we don't have the occasion to wear shirts and denim that often.  Still,  it was nice to put the ironing away.

*  Wrote a shopping list for tomorrow's grocery shop.  I'm trying to plan ahead with fresh fruit and veg so I only need to shop every two weeks.

*  Popcorn chicken ( given to us ) in homemade flat breads with salad was on the menu for dinner tonight.

Scones in abundance

ANZAC biscuits

How did you fill your Thursday ?

Did you get any rain where you live ?

Thursday 2 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Wednesday 1st April 2020

Our adventures for Wednesday are -

*  Cleaned the kettle with citric acid.  The kettle is getting more use at the moment so I'm thinking it will need to be cleaned every 2 weeks.

*  Darren,  Megan,  myself and the two babies went for a walk around our little estate.  Luka loved seeing all the different gardens and waved to a few butterflies.

*  Darren and I tidied up a small garden bed.  When we have some flower seedlings big enough we'll be filling in the empty spots.

*  Darren planted seeds of  broccoli,  cabbage,  beetroot,  carrots,   parsley,  coriander,  basil,  thyme,  Pansies and Diathus.

*  I did a quick vacuum and mopped the floors.  With a 1 year old crawling around,  the floors get dirty very quickly.

*  On the menu for dinner was Tuna Pasta Bake..  I added silverbeet from the garden and a finely grated carrot.

After we gave the garden bed a tidy.

The before shot

In the garden

Are you enjoying the glorious weather ?

How did you spend your Wednesday ?

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Abundant Cottage Adventures Tuesday 31st March 2020

Today I was grateful to have a 6 hour paid cleaning job.  This kept me out of our home for most of the day.  Darren and Megan did a few things to keep busy.

*  Darren pruned a large shrub in the front yard.

*  I sold a jar of relish to my cleaning client.

*  Darren and Megan took Luka and Bryson for a long walk around our block.

*  Darren went grocery shopping for my parents.  They are staying home because of their age and because Mum has no immune system at the moment.

*  Megan cooked a shepherds pie for our dinner.

*  Dad gave us some tomatoes from his garden.

Tomato relish a made a few weeks ago.

How did you keep yourselves busy on Tuesday ?