Friday, March 6, 2015

Saving money on pet food & supplies

This post contains sponsored links and content.

Did I ever mention I love dogs? I absolutely adore my two, Willy (aka Pynzavale William "Braveheart" Wallace) a Miniature Pinscher and Bonnie a Mini Fox Terrier. Willy is turning 12 on the 20th of this month and Bonnie is a spritely young 14 years of age. They've been through so much with me and me with them. I really don't know where I'd be without them and don't even want to think about the day they leave me. I'll be absolutely heartbroken. They are everything to me but, boy, can they be expensive. Willy just had 9 teeth removed and and it cost over $1,000. I don't even hesitate spending the money but I try to save money where ever I can on daily expenses.

Having such small dogs, they don't eat much although Willy does love his Scmackos snacks. They both get a chewy snack every morning and if we're trying to sleep in, he'll certainly let you know that it's snack time and to get out of bed. I usually buy a one kilo pack at a time, which lasts forever but unless you get them on special, they can be quite expensive. Pet Circle's range of dog food and snacks is on 'special' all the time.

dog cat rabbit bird turtle fish

Shipping is free in most capital cities and suburbs so when I start to see the packet dwindling, I jump online and place an order. Orders are received within 1 to 3 days. Happy pups!

Our pets do get treated pretty special around here and even more so when they're unwell. Nothing stings more than a visit to the vet but we keep up with the dog's regular supplements, especially after this long, hot, wet summer. A perfect breeding ground for mosquitos, fleas and ticks. The vet clinic's prices are exorbitant but Pet Circle have a range of flea, tick and worming products at heavily discounted prices. 

They do love our family vacations.

Not only are you saving money on pet supplies with Pet Circle, you've got the convenience of 24 hour ordering and fast delivery. I know what it's like when we run out of dog snacks. We've got two angry little furry friends and you wouldn't want to mess with them when they're in that mood! Don't forget your other pets. Pet Circle provides also for cats, birds, fish and reptiles.

Disclaimer:  I received financial compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thriving on Thursdays - Linky Party # 122


Good morning and welcome to another week of Thriving on Thursdays! (It is Thursday, isn't it?) I really don't know what day it is as I'm still trying to get over my big weekend of music.

Here's me, in (or very near to) the moshpit when DragonForce, a metal band from the UK, were on stage. The two lead guitarists, Sam Totman and Herman Li are absolutely brilliant guitarists. They make it look so easy. The two day Soundwave Festival was certainly very tiring but absolutely amazing. So much music, so many bands and I got to experience it all with the love of my life. Music is a passion for both of us. Just another one of the many things that we have in common. Anyway, enough frivolity. Let's get down to business. Time for my top 3 food and non food posts from last week. You all continue to amaze me with your brilliance!



How To Organize Vacation Photos

Pot of Gold Shamrock Bouquet by Crafty Journal


As you can see, a whole variety of recipes, crafts and projects being linked up at Thriving on Thursdays. It's always so hard to choose just 3 from each category. I love them all! Feel free to grab a featured button for your blog if you like. Now, onto this week's party. Looking forward to catching up.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Frozen mango & Greek yoghurt dessert

Following on from The Ironing Chef series I'm doing each month, this is the dessert I produced when faced with the problem of only having pork chops and mangoes in the house (plus a few pantry and fridge staples). I've got to admit, even though it was 'nice' it would've been a lot better if I took the time to strain the yoghurt before mixing in the mango puree. It would've resulted in a lot creamier texture and not so 'icy'. Nonetheless, it was received well and complemented our first candlelit Valentine's Day dinner last month.

The only extras I used for this dessert were cookies, butter and a little bit of melted chocolate to decorate the dessert with 2 love hearts on each dessert plus some very dodgy initials. My piping skills leave a lot to be desired but they won the heart of my wonderful fiance who was very impressed. (It obviously doesn't take much to impress him!) I'm forever grateful for any gift I receive, at any time of the year, but these Danish butter cookies we get for Christmas from well meaning friends (two tins last Christmas) were lingering in the pantry. I think my kids get tired of them. I remember loving them as a child and were a real treat. I don't think they are as 'buttery' anymore but still a nice treat. I used them for the base of the dessert. It doesn't really need it but it was a nice contrast to the icy mango flavoured yoghurt.

Using a food processor (or trusty plastic bag and rolling pin), grind the cookies into crumbs.

Mix in enough melted butter until the crumbs form a dough-like consistency. You can also add spices if you like. I added a sprinkle of ground ginger but depending on what fruit puree you used, you could add cinnamon or nutmeg as well.

Press the mixture into a springform pan, or as I did, directly into a cookie cutter. In this case, a heart shaped one for Valentine's Day. Allow to set in fridge. (I set it directly on the plate I was going to serve the dessert on.)

In the meantime, cut the flesh from one mango and puree. Mix with 1 cup of strained Greek yoghurt. To strain it, wrap in a brand new, clean kitchen cloth and tie onto a wooden spoon resting over a mixing bowl. You can do this for an hour or so or, with sufficient planning (unlike me), leave to strain overnight. Mix the strained yoghurt with the mango puree and place in a small flat plastic dish or baking pan, lined with plastic wrap and freeze. I did this part in the morning and made the base later on in the day. You could also pour directly onto the base in the springform pan if you were making a large dessert.

If you're going for the individual dessert, using your cookie cutter of choice, press out the frozen mango/yoghurt mixture with the cookie cutter. Place on top of the biscuit crumb mixture and decorate with piped chocolate decorations or fresh berries.

This was very easy and a great way to use up the last mangoes of the season and any yoghurt you have lurking in the fridge. If you don't have yoghurt, use whipped cream or ice cream. Even a can of condensed milk mixed with the mango puree would turn out a delicious sweet treat. Also, if you don't have mango, any fleshy fruit would work well. Remember, use what you have.

Frozen Mango & Greek Yoghurt Dessert
  • 1 mango, flesh removed and pureed
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt, strained (or fresh/sour cream, ice cream or whipped cream)

  • cookie crumbs
  • butter, melted (enough to combine cookie crumbs)
  • ground spices, optional
  • fresh berries to serve, optional
  • chocolate decorations, optional

  1. Mix pureed mango with strained yoghurt and allow to set in your choice of dish. (Springform pan for a large dessert or set in a baking pan or flat plastic dish to allow shapes to be cut.)
  2. Mix cookie crumbs with melted butter and set in springform pan or directly into cookie cutter.
  3. Once dessert has frozen, cut out desired shape with cookie cutter and place directly onto cookie crumb base.
  4. Serve with piped chocolate decorations or fresh berries.

Previous Ironing Chef Posts:

Ham & Pineapple


Friday, February 27, 2015

Timber Outdoor Setting Makeover for under $20

*This post contains sponsored links and content.

This project has been a long time coming. Like about 10 years coming. (If I would have left it any longer, this post may have taken about the same time too!) I finally got the motivation to makeover my lovely Kwila timber outdoor setting and it only cost me $20, the price of an el cheapo can of timber stain/varnish. 

My (now) ex-husband and I didn't buy much furniture when we first moved into our house together as we both had a lot but we didn't have any outdoor furniture. This 8-seater Kwila timber setting was probably over $1,000 around 15 years ago, which was probably a lot of money at the time but with a double income and no children we thought it was quite affordable. 

It's been a really versatile piece of furniture and has seen many significant birthdays, a wedding, christenings, morning teas and many, many children's birthday parties. It soon became a great outdoor craft space for the children which meant it copped a fair bit of wear and tear over the years. I wish I had a dollar for every time I told the kids "ONLY DRAW ON PAPER". 

I decided at the start of summer this was going to be the year I was going to give it a good clean up and set to putting out the 8 chairs for a good scrub with some soapy water and a stiff brush then a rinse off with the hose.

As you can see by the grass, our summer started off very dry as the grass is near dead. That's been fixed now with lashings of rain and wet weather for most of January and February plus Cyclone Marcia unleashed her fury on us last weekend, sending even more rain our way. Let's just say everything is looking very green. (If it weren't for the flooding we received, twice, in the last 3 weeks I may have been able to show you a more decorated outdoor space but all of the contents from the flooded area are now in our outdoor patio area.)

After a visit to my local hardware store, I picked up a cheap 4 litre can of timber varnish/stain combined for only $20 and thought it was just as good as the more expensive brands. As you can see from the state of the 'before' chair above, the timber was very 'thirsty' and took two coats of the varnish. I had enough for eight chairs and the large table with still some leftover. I left them to dry in the sun and they were done.

The poor table was in a lot worse condition as you can see with rings left from cold drinks and coffee cups plus heaven knows what else had been glued/painted on it. My abilities with electrical tools leaves a lot to be desired but I only just manage with my trusty little sander and gave it a light sand which got most of those marks off. Again, two coats of varnish/stain was all it needed to bring the table back to it's former glory. 
NaturGard Auto Protect Outdoor Insect Control System

We have our outdoor space back again, ready for entertaining but that also means we need mosquito repellent and all the pest control products we can get our hands on if we're going to be staying outside. Australia's number one enemies in the great outdoors, flies and mosquitos, like to think they can invite themselves along to any party but Mortein have our best interests in mind with the NaturGard Auto Protect (Outdoor) Insect Control System with plant-based active ingredients. This battery operated system sprays just the right amount of repellent into the air protecting us against all the nasties. The NaturGard system lasts up to 30 hours and will automatically turn off after 3 hours. We can enjoy our newly madeover outdoor setting and the great outdoors knowing we're protected from the bugs.  Summer is nearly over but we'll have at least another three months of warm weather here in my home town so the NaturGard System will be getting a good workout!

No need for hanging cork hats in this Aussie backyard!
Disclaimer: I received products and payment for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thriving on Thursdays - Linky Party # 121


Welcome to Thriving on Thursdays and another week of fun, frugal and fabulous tips from around the globe. I'm starting to see a few Easter projects popping up in Pinterest and other linky parties so it won't be long. Heaven forbid, the shops have had Easter things in them since just after Christmas! 

Talk about living life to the fullest. My boyfriend is a musician and plays the guitar. He is very much into heavy metal bands and we're off to the Soundwave Festival in Brisbane this weekend, on both days, so I'll be rockin' it out with all the young kiddies. I do love my rock'n'roll and some of these bands might not be exactly what I'd listen to on the radio but I do love the whole live music experience and a good guitar riff. Wish me luck! And now onto my 3 favourite food and non food posts from last week.



pb cookies


DIY soft shiny hair mask



Thank you so much to the regulars and newbies who linked up last week. So many great projects to choose from. They are all worthy of being featured. To those that were featured, please feel free to grab a featured button (above). Now onto this week's party. Let's party!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Ironing Chef: What to do with pork and mango

Welcome to the second instalment of "The Ironing Chef". Last month I shared what I did with ham and pineapple. I made Ham & Pineapple Skewers with a Tangy Rice Salad and for dessert, I made a Pineapple & Sour Cream Parfait. I just want to share with you that you really can't get stuck making something for dinner with just a few pantry items. It's all about substitution and using what you have. This month, I had some pork chops and a couple mangoes. You could substitute the pork for chicken or fish and the mango with any other fruit. Pork goes so well with apples (as we all know) and peaches, plums, cherries, you name it. Use up what you have before running to the shops. So here's what I made this month.

For our main dish, I cooked Pork Chops with a Mango Salsa, Mashed Potatoes and Beans. It just so happened that I had a couple potatoes and the last of some fresh green beans but you could use any vegetables. The salsa was made up from a bit of capsicum (red pepper), red onion and some fresh coriander. 

There was nothing fancy done to the pork chops. Just seasoned with salt and pepper and a little olive oil rubbed into them then fried in a non stick pan.

To peel a mango is really easy, or this is how I do it.

1.  Cut off the 'cheeks' from either side of the large seed.
2.  Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the 'cheeks'.
3.  Use flesh as required and cut off usable flesh from around the seed.
4.  It's the chef's privilege to suck any remaining flesh from the seed.

For the salsa, dice mango flesh.

Mix in diced red onion, capsicum and fresh coriander leaves.

No need to add anything else. The flavours go really well with the pork. As I mentioned earlier, this salsa is perfect with fish or chicken and if you don't have mango, pineapple or another fruit would work just as well. If you're missing fresh herbs and other vegies, a tinned or frozen pea/corn mix would work. Just have a good look around in your pantry or freezer because you never know what might be lurking. The only extras I used for this recipe were the vegetables. A touch of salt and pepper to whatever you're cooking can be just the right amount of seasoning without having to worry about fresh herbs etc.

 Come back during the week when I share the recipe for this Mango & Greek Yoghurt dessert with a very poor attempt at piped chocolate letters and hearts.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...