DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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11 December 2014

December round up

Here are the boys relaxing on the ocean's edge at Airlie Beach near the Whitsunday Islands.

We've had our brother-in-law Peter visiting from Germany for the past six weeks. It's been a wonderful visit with plenty to do but he goes home tonight. The last time I saw Peter was in 2000 when he and Hanno's sister, Angelica, visited us. Sadly, Angelica died suddenly a couple of years ago. Hanno and Peter have had fun roaming around, visiting Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay, Toowoomba, the Bunya Mountains and the Whitsundays so although there have been plenty of days at home relaxing, there has also been a lot of activity. But from tomorrow, it's just me and Hanno again counting down the hot and humid days till Christmas and the end of the year.

Here is our fabulous watering can with brass shower head from Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores. Unlike the galvanised ones you get from Bunnings that rust in a year, this is properly galvanised to last a lifetime.

I still have three targets to tick off my list before the year is through. I want to make a couple of new summer nighties for myself and I want to clean and tidy my work room to set myself up for a productive new year. And I've ordered a new computer because even after replacing the hard drive on this one, it's still rebooting itself whenever it feels like it. So my last task will be to clean up my filing system and photos so that only what is necessary is transferred to the new computer. I wonder if you've still got a couple of tasks you like to get done before Christmas. I find that I look forward to the coming year with more enthusiasm and a sense of direction if I complete all the tasks I set myself. There is something about ticking that last item off the list that is very satisfying. Then I feel ready to take some time off from my daily tasks, just do only the essentials for a week or so, and take it easy. I hope that's a possibility for you too.

I love this! It's a large enamel baking tray, again from Odgers and McClelland. I'll be baking hundreds of scones on this tray in the coming years.


A German pastry brush with hairs held in place with brass wire. And below, my beautiful hedgehog green mixing bowl that I've discovered is just the right size for a salad for Hanno and me. I also have a smaller owl pudding bowl but it's in use at the moment.  The green jug is a one litre enamel measuring jug. All have been very handy in the kitchen so far.


Our Christmas day menu has been decided. It will be simple and easy with all the cooking done the day before so just the addition of dressings and the presentation to be carried out on the day. We'll start on Christmas Eve with Hanno's traditional northern German smoked frankfurts and potato salad. The next day I'll serve roast free range chicken (cold), free range ham, potato salad, garden salad, quinoa tabouleh, homemade pickled beetroot and cucumbers. Dessert will be tropical fruit pavlova and lemon meringue pie. Drinks will be served icy cold - homemade ginger beer, beer, champagne and red wine. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful day together, enjoying the company and the food. There is no doubt that Christmases have taken on a new lease of life since we've had grandchildren to enjoy it with. Have you planned your holiday menus yet?

This Night Night Balm is for the new baby.  And if she is a girl, one day I might give her my tiny cleaning brush set (below), complete with its own bar of soap. In the meantime, it's sitting on my desk, a sort of symbol of my simple life. :- )  Again, all from Odgers and McClelland.



And speaking of Christmas, if you're going to order anything for Christmas from my sponsors, you should do it today to make sure it arrives on time. I've had hundreds of requests from advertisers during the year wanting me to promote this and that but I only recommend those I am sure about and who share my values. I use products from all of my sponsors so I can confidently recommend them to you as reliable and honest merchants. Thank you for supporting them too.

All of my photos today are things I got on my recent trip south, via my bartering agreement, with Megan and Duncan at the Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores.

27 comments:

  1. Hi Rhonda
    Would love to hear what pattern you use for your summer nightdresses. I just can't find anything nice. Oh, and maybe the little brush set could be just as good for a boy? ;-)
    Sue

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    1. Hi Susan. I've just taken a pattern off a nightie I'm currently wearing. I'm sure the brush set would be used by a boy too, cleaning doesn't worry about gender, but if I ever have a granddaughter, I'd love to share it with her.

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    2. just what I was going to say, let's get the boys involved, speaking as the mother of a 21 year old who has a 'floordrobe' instead of a wardrobe!!

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  2. love their shop too Rhonda, one day hope to make the long trip there as well, wish i could get more of their products online but practicality of postage makes many purchases just too expensive but am in the slow process of getting some of their items; frypans, baking dishes & measuring jugs/spoons/cups.
    hope you have a wonderful & safe xmas

    selina from kilkivan qld

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  3. that watering can looks awesome, I am so tired of watering cans only lasting five seconds. I like the way the spout pours from the top too.

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  4. Oh I have that Badger nighty-night balm, and some of their other products, I love them.....as much for the tins I think as the product. Not sure yet what Christmas lunch will look like here, possibly something like yours minus the meat. I have a new great-granddaugher I'd love to share the cleaning set with, a bit far away though in the US for postage to be feasible, but I hope one day there's a little granddaughter to share your set.

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  5. Your christmas menu sounds wonderful and making things the day beforemsomyouncan sit down and enjoy it is even better. Christmas is wonderful with small children around and I have been reading the Christmas story books to my kids. Have a good weekend. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  6. Hello from a hot and muggy Mt.Isa, Rhonda. There has actually been some rain here which is rare these days. We are still on baby watch and the due date was yesterday so it won't be long now. I have never heard of that night balm. Will have to read more about it. Love the items you have bought.

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  7. Gee, you got lots of goodies from O & M! Quality stuff!

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  8. I must say your meny for Christmas day sounds absolutely delicious! And pavlova and lemon meringue pie for after...wonderful! I am making pavlova for New Year, along with cheese cake. For Christmas dinner we are having stuffed roast turkey and three desserts: english christmas pudding/ricecream with strawberry sauce/ and cludberries in cream. It's a mix of traditions but keeps everyone happy :). Love your cleaning set, so pretty. Pam in Norway

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  9. Ham and scalloped potatoes, veg and homemade rolls, cheesecake and pecan pie and hoping we get just a little snow for Christmas. Trying to finish up the gifts that have to be mailed, and enjoy the season!

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  10. You bought a few nice and usefull things. The watering can Looks just like the ones I have. They from my grandfather and real old. Here you can see ist. http://im-gartenreich.blogspot.de/2014/07/der-erdnussfisch.html
    Adventsgrüße von Marie

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  11. I love the weather there! It's amazing! I love your baking tray! You have some great finds!

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  12. Thanks for highlighting the Badger Balm...I think it may be a perfect Christmas present for an elderly friend who is ill and not sleeping well. She loves lavender...why should babies be the only ones to benefit?! Found it with Google on free UK delivery at good price. Yours is not normally a blog which encourages me to spend...but for this idea I am grateful!

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  13. We have our Christmas day menu set as well! Of course, I am in Michigan, so it is cold. But we will be grilling (yes...outside!) steaks, have a lovely fresh tossed salad, green beans, mashed potatoes and homemade dinner rolls!

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  14. I like the statement that you have 3 things to tick off your list before the year is through. I have added several decluttering items to my (already long) Christmas To-Do list. I wasn't really sure why I wanted so badly to declutter my 3 kids' rooms, my desk, my bookshelf, and 2 closets. I just knew I wanted it done before the New Year. Maybe your reason is the reason for me: that I will "look forward to the coming year with more enthusiasm and a sense of direction if I complete all the tasks I set myself." All I know is that it makes me feel happier to have less stuff in the house. It makes everything else easier. :)

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  15. We go out to a friend's for Christmas so I am not sure what the menu shall be. Last few years I have brought honey roasted root vegetables as a side dish and they are a big hit.
    Your green hedgehog mixing bowl is gorgeous!!

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  16. I'm glad you posted this today Rhonda, as I did an 'Exchange store' order just yesterday and that means I can't be tempted by the lovely items you have taken pictures of- gorgeous items but not essential...yet! ;)
    I am slowing converting to enamel bake wear and bowls, they are much tougher and stronger and will last for years!

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  17. May I ask what the red bucket is, in the photo of the enamel bakepan? Indoor compost bin/bucket maybe? I notice the holes in the lid.

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    1. Good guess, Jules. it's a compost bucket.

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  18. I love the enamel baking tray, Rhonda! I'm sure you'll have a fantastic Christmas with your family. Our tree is up as well, with fairy lights for Miss 5. Can't help but feel how fast time flies -- next year there'd be four of us waiting.

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    1. I hope you're keeping well, Mrs Meagre. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  19. Oh my I love that baking tray and bowl!
    I'm sure a little boy would love that cleaning set too, I know Eli would :)

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  20. Hi Rhonda, I too purchased the enamel baking trays. They are wonderful but a little on the large size for my oven so it's a bit of a tight squeeze. We've recently returned from a camping trip near Nundle and yes of course I had to go into my favourite shop!! There is also another delightful shop just outside Nundle called Cottage on the Hill. It's a little barn next to the owners house that is filled with the most beautiful fabrics for patchwork. I walked around in there for ages! We love visiting the area.
    Hope you have a lovely Christmas Rhonda.

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  21. Oh, I didn't know about Cottage on the Hill. When I visit Nundle again, I'll be sure to go there. Thanks for that tip. Merry Christmas Vintage Rose. xx

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  22. Perhaps if the new baby is a boy he could have the cleaning set anyway, boys can clean too can't they?

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    Replies
    1. As you can see by what I wrote above, it's not a gender issue. It is something I want to share with my granddaughter and I won't change from that for the sake of political correctness.

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