Sunday, February 24, 2019

Homespun Things....getting on with it...

 
You might imagine that all is fairy dust and sparkles at Chez Mimi now that the fountain of economic reward is spouting at a lively pace...that means I'm earning nicely, folks.
 
I'd like to say it's all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but the truth is, that some days I'm tired.
 
But then....I had days where I was tired before, so really...nothing changes.
 
So as has always been my habit, I insource.
 
I insourced diced and roasted veg for lunch salads this week....behold!
 
 
I insourced garlic chicken breasts too. Healthy stuff, I'm telling you.

 
The fridge had a makeover and a fillup of goodies. Don't be fooled by the commercial coconut yoghurt container. It's still my own recipe. I just use their container to fool the family....bwahahaha!

 
I'm lining up lasagnas every second weekend. They save us from the evil takeaway outlets. Why make one lasagne when you can make three, I ask you?

 
I'm finding time for creative pursuits that entail sitting still.
 
Embroidering wattle on facecloths is the current project. This is all French Knots and bullion stitch. Such pretty things.


The Struggling Student, aka The Diva, learned a valuable lesson, trotting out three hand crafted candles for about $3 each the other weekend. She swears she'll never buy another premade one!
 


 
Granddaughter requested a pink puppy dog cake for her seventh birthday.
 
Naturally I obliged.


Alas all has not been well for The Struggling Student. She truly has been struggling with a bout of Glandular Fever. Poor love. Thankfully she's recovered just in the nick of time in order to commence studies at her artsy performance university. Phew!
 
Meanwhile it was Mamas chicken broth and noodles for several days. Did you know that Glandular Fever is often misdiagnosed as Tonsillitis. Truth. That's what we thought she had.
 


Anways...she's on the mend.
 
Meanwhile I celebrated the last of my birthdays in my fifth decade.
 
Lunch was here. Rather nice, I have to say.

 
I made heart shaped cakes for my birthday. Well, nobody else will.

 
We enjoyed gluten free agnolotti for lunch over the weekend. Don't ask me for that recipe. I bought ready made. Quelle Horreur, right?


The work crew have discovered I can cook things. So here's what they're getting tomorrow. It's a raspberry coconut cheesecake slice. Yumbo…
 

 
...and not one, but two!


Have I mentioned that there's a wedding in the family this year? My stubbornly monogamous, but altar-shy middle son, finally did the right thing. You're a good boy.
 
I'm eyeing off headgear like nobody's business. When else does one get to frock up AND wear a fancy head thingo??
 

 
What's happening in your corner of the world?
...Mimi...

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:
 
Eggs
Pre-made gnocchi
Tuna
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. Price...free...

 
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 week...orange 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...

 
...my 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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