Sunday, February 10, 2019

Insourcing...from a working womans perspective...

Insourcing when you work full time, is not for the faint hearted, I can tell you right now.
I've learned a few things in the three months since I returned full time to the corporate world.
For example, tinned tuna, and cured meats are your friend. A decent tin of tuna, some pre-made GF gnocchi and a bit of baby spinach gave us a gourmet feast one night. Restaurant worthy...3 serves for $8.
Leftover Christmas Ham (and why DO we only buy a leg of ham at Christmas....such a budget friendly meal really), made a platter to feast on another hot night, for under $10.
I'm learning to KISS...Keep It Simple Sweetie...
Short list for easy insourcing:
Pre-made gnocchi
Baby potatoes
Grow some herbs
Baby spinach or rocket
Cherry tomatoes
Red onion
Parmesan cheese
Smoked meats or fish like salmon
Capers, cocktail onions, relishes
Shredded cooked chicken (my poached chicken breast is ideal)
Keep that lot on hand and you'll never go hungry.
I promise.
Birthdays remain a reason to splurge, but the splurge here was a pair of Birkenstock sandals (her request), and a Mimco jewellery set sourced as an unwanted gift on eBay. Thankyou for the half price Mimco eBay!
Butchers paper and silk flowers remain a firm favourite for gift embellishing. That 5 kgs of butchers paper has lasted me 7 years...and probably 7 more to go! MUCH money saved on gift wraps. I couldn't begin to tell you.

We dipped our toes in the water one weekend. We ate at home the whole time to avoid the holiday crowds. Much money saved on cafes and the like. At least $300, probably more like $500.

Lavender picking, not screen time, was the order of the day for the granddaughters. French Lavender always makes everyone feel good.

A gift of some Sari inspired fabric saw me making petal tassels one Sunday. I hung them on the Christmas tree...which is still up. Is that wrong in February?

I trotted out the pencil skirts and heels more than once....Etsy is my new best friend for upcycled, vintage inspired work clothes. Hundreds saved on retail purchases. Truly.

That's where this Chanel inspired knit came from too...

Meanwhile, Husband has been sawing and hammering up a frenzy to build me a new She Shed.
Lucky me!

Those Hermes scarves...expensive things but on a dollar-per-wear basis, I'm down to mere cents.
Get one. You won't regret it.

One step quiche is the order of the day for Work lunches.

A bit of sewing when I had a minute, saved me over $300 in designer pillowcases. I'm on a roll there.

Fresh snapper baked with miso butter and herbed veges was another easy meal. Snapper pieces were $13 a kilo at the market. Yummy.

And you know we love a good yoghurt parfait. Coconut yoghurt...home made of course. That saves us around $50 a week. I kid you not.

Fresh herbs snipped into gnocchi another night, saved $60 on takeaway. We have expensive taste in takeaway. What can I say.

Work looks. Fun.

And the staff at work got a glimpse into the 'Real Mimi' with a vegan cake for a morning tea.

I'm killing it friends.
You'd be proud of me.
What did you insource last month?
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Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Space of our Own...Orchids on my Budget...

No matter your stage of life, a space of your own should be a given.
We all need a corner of the world that is ours alone. One that we can decorate, embellish and use, without having to answer to someone else.
For me, when I first started renovating my 100 year old desk, seen below...
Turning it into a Chanel-esque piece of glam Chinoiserie, inspired by the sorts of shots below...

 ...I had know idea that my life was about to change for 30 months or so...which, at my age, is a significant period of time.
This little corner, with some of my favourite things gathered in one place, is perhaps the thing (and I'm deliberately not talking about 'people' here), that I look forward to seeing the most after a long day in the Corporate World.
The orange cranes, draped with twinkling beads, the teal snack food stacker converted by me to a jewel box, my books on French life, art through the ages, home décor and legendary weddings, there at my fingertips....

….my sweet little Blanc de Chine figurines dusted with gilt features...
...and my thrifted lamps, trimmed with Greek Key ribbon in black and gold...
...are the first items that greet me when I enter my bedroom after a long day, kicking off my heels, shedding my workaday self, and revelling in the haven I've created.
I recently added a vintage tortoiseshell travel clock to my little desk vignette...

...and feel that it is now complete.
I sit here and paint my nails for the is always a favourite...

...plan my outfits...this Chanel inspired knit skirt suit was a recent purchase from Etsy and was oohed and ahhed over greatly in the workplace recently...

...and whilst my heart sometimes, very occasionally yearns for my days of Motherhood and nurturing... new role sees me assuming an identity that lurked just below the surface for so many years.

I'm loving the sense of coming full circle in my life, and the serenity that comes with accepting a new stage of life, however brief.
A stage that sees me accepting that, for now at least, my life is about orchids, not roses. 
Orchids...such a luxurious, colourful, rewarding and almost glamorous plant.
And so symbolic of my life over the last decade, where so often, I've referred to a little book titled 'Orchids on Your Budget', where an Orchid was truly seen as a symbol of a well lived life.
Now I dress up and grab my glam handbag on my way out the door each morning, butterflies lively in my stomach, not knowing what the day will bring...

...I don my 'armour' though, and know that if nothing else, I'll look the part.

...and safe in the knowledge that no matter what, at the end of a long day, my little Chinoiserie Sanctuary awaits me, and the welcome light of my little lamps, will sooth and calm me.
What will you call A Space of your Own this year?

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Making and Preserving Memories...Pearl dusted ice cream cones...

These pearl dusted ice cream cones are a memory in the making if ever there was one.
I remember my Nanna putting a marshmallow in the bottom of our ice cream cones.
It prevented the melting ice cream (inevitable in the Summer heat here), from melting through the bottom of the cones.
That would be a nice touch too.
Meanwhile, these make an ordinary ice cream, something special and magical. And you can use any colour edible glitter or tinted sugar you like.
All you do is spray the ice cream cone with spray oil, or smooth some on your palms and smear it on the cones.
The sprinkle the pearl dust or edible glitter on or roll the cones in the dust or edible glitter.
Not only are these pretty, they leave a satisfying dust of glitter or pearls on your hands.

I think the Granddaughters are going to love this.
There's a memory in the making if ever there was one.

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Home is where the Heart is....

Is it possible to live two parallel lives at the same time, I wonder?
I believe so.
I was mildly concerned that re-entering the corporate fray would impact on my Earth Mother sensibilities.
But as it nearly as much as I imagined.
The first six weeks were exhausting. Not only was I out of my usual routine, but my brain was on overload learning all the comes with a new corporate job, having been full time Insourcing Manager of the Home for nearly twenty years.
Now I'm finding my feet. There are still days where everything seems a challenge, but they are fewer and further apart.
This week, I managed to snap up some seasonal greens and package half up for a soup to throw into the slow cooker one night, and the half was thrown into the slow cooker for that night. We've had some cooler evenings here, and after the festive fare, a bit of soup was all we craved.

Leftover ham and veg went into a fried rice another night. A perennial favourite here.

And meanwhile, I had time to ponder all that I accomplished in a day when I was at home.
As you well know, I treated Home Life as a Real Job too, and made a point of being as productive as possible.
Those weeks leading up to commencing work again, were some of the most productive and creative I've had, and it just goes to show what can be achieved when you value every moment of every day.

I use this made over vintage two tier snack container for a jewellery box, and I get a rewarding thrill lifting the lid each morning to choose my earrings.
I just love it.
Funnily enough, it's the small things that make you feel accomplished sometimes.

Then there's my desk renovation. That was a task and a half.

Hours upon hours of intricate painting.
 But each and every evening when I arrive home, it's there, in all it's glory, and I take a special pleasure in turning on my twin lamps and enjoying their glow.


You know I've written for a few years now about learning a new skill or two annually.
And last year, I taught myself more than a couple, painting and restoring furniture and knick knacks being a chief one.
Who knew that you could paint ceramic and papier mache` figurines any colour you want, right?


Or that Christmas cake didn't have to be a fruit cake?

Or even that you could eat boiled eggs cold...okay, that one might be an acquired!

Or that sometimes, noodle soup made with stock cubes, but served beautifully is a more than adequate dinner for us all...

What will you learn this year?
Where will your heart be?
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