Thursday, February 22, 2018

22 FEBRUARY 2018

First thing this morning I popped a loaf of bread into the bread maker then set about making a good supply of soap.  I've been a little slack when it comes to making our soap, but needing to tighten the purse strings a little, it is time to get back into it.  I make a very basic olive oil soap, no fragrance added from a tried and true recipe.  This batch yields 20 good size bars and with my ingredient cost at $14.25, that's around $0.71 a bar.  I think that's a pretty good saving.

Bread made for the day.

Gathering equipment for the soap.

All done in half an hour, now to let it cure.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Spending most of this weekend in my patch has been bliss and a lot of hard work.  I got talking to my sister on Friday about some changes I wanted to make regarding the layout and functionality of the garden beds and it was decided that I would go back to beds on the ground.  You see I have used my raised beds for years now and over the last few years I have struggled to keep up a good quality soil in them, I find they just bake over summer and all nutrition is lost.  Even though it's relatively cool where I live, our summers are getting hotter and I think the plastic surrounding the beds is cooking the soil.

Feeling rather ambitious today, I attempted to remove 3 of the beds, not as easy a task as I thought it would be but with a bit of help from Hubby, we managed it.

A look at out raised beds before removal, up the hill towards our new back fence.  The new fence is a story on it's own, you see we had some really terrible neighbours for quite a few years and their home was taken from them.  Two couples on the street behind us bought the home and renovated it but when it came time to do the yard they realised it was a huge garbage pit, the previous owners had dug pits to bury used nappies and everything else you can think of in them, then covered them up.  When they put up the new fence they asked if we minded if they changed the fence line giving us an extra metre of land all the way across our yard.  While we were happy about that, in the future should the house sell and someone looks at plans, the fence will have to be shifted back.  What we didn't know was that one of the garbage pits is now on our side of the fence, I have a raised metre wide piece of land full of old nappies that I don't know what to do with.  I am thinking a retaining wall to hold up the garbage and soil as I don't want to remove it all and then have the fence shifted.  I'm still thinking about what to do on this.

A before look from the new raised land we now have.

Heidi being ever so helpful with the removal.

3 beds gone and a lot of weeding to do.

After a full day of removing rubbish and weeds with Agnus helping every step of the way, it was time for a rest.

During the week I hope to remove a couple more beds and finish off this shade house that was once my hot house before the plastic needed removing.

On a side note, we lost Cyril, Chia and Goldie to a fox this week, we have never had any trouble with foxes before so are devistated.  Poor Agnus and Muriel have been getting special attention and care at the moment as they seem quite stressed and timid.


Starting with a name change for this long running blog of mine.  Simply Suzi says it all really, a blog about working towards a simple, creative and sustainable life.  I hope you will continue on this journey with me as I sometimes fumble my way though this social media world.

**Simply Suzi's sister blog, Brown's Hill has now run it's course and I will only be blogging in this space**

Thursday, February 15, 2018


I've been reducing our household waste for some time now and thought I would show you a fortnightly plastic reduced shop that I did yesterday.

Now my shop might not look like much so I will explain a few things.

While I am vegan, my family is not so you will see lots of non vegan foods.
I buy Who Gives A Crap toilet paper that is wrapped in paper.
I get an organic locally grown veggie box every week.
I keep a well stocked pantry with staples.
We have chickens so collect our own eggs.
All soft plastics are collected for the Redcycle bin.

Lets begin...
Left to Right:
*Tortillas in soft plastic, that's an oops, I should be making my own but wasn't really thinking of it at the time.
*Chips for school snacks, I buy the extra large packets to reduce wastage.
*Bread, I try to make my own or buy at Baker's Delight and use my own fabric bread bags but I went to the local store right before my shop and they were closed for renovations.
*Kitty Litter made from recycled paper and in a paper bag.
*Fruit and veg with no single use plastic bags, I use my own reusable net bags.  I also bought a whole pumpkin as cut pumpkin was wrapped in plastic.
*Vegetable oil, not happy with this one but hubby wanted to fry fish and chips and I could not find any vegetable oil in glass or a tin.
*Flour in paper, not the coated plastic type wrap.
*Juice for the kids in cardboard cartons.
*Maple Syrup, cordial and soda water all in glass bottles.
*Vegan ice cream in cardboard container.
*Tins of tomatoes and pineapple.
*Honey in glass jar.
*Paper wrap for school lunches, unfortunately comes wrapped in plastic.
*Butter for our butter bell kept on the bench for spreading etc.
*Nutalex, I have to buy that in a plastic container.
*Deli Meat, in single use plastic wrapped in paper, I must try and use my own containers.
*Jars for pantry.
*Cat food, would love to find this in cardboard but they have switched to plastic.
*Meat on sale and in plastic, the rest of the meat will be bought from a butcher with no trays and minimal plastic.

Wow I thought I had done quite well but after typing this out, I can see I have such a long way to go.  Small steps,

Saturday, January 27, 2018


I was a quilter, I would love to be a quilter once again.  I love the process, the learning and the finished product, so what happened?  Well I stopped teaching quilting, I became so busy with my homebased business and family that I simply put it all aside.  For 3 years now I haven't made a quilt and I miss it.  Yesterday I pulled out some unfinished quilts and I wondered if I could stamp out some time each week to get creative again with patchwork.  My hobbies take time, they are not quick creative fixes and I do tend to jump from one to another, I've tried stopping one and obviously that hasn't worked as I want to do it over all my other crafts!

Let me show you some quilts that I had hidden in a wardrobe, there are different styles and fabrics because I love so many different things when it comes to quilting, I love bright modern quilts but I also love batiks and vintage fabrics.  I've never had a style as such because there are so many options out there and depending on the day, I just fall in love with a certain pattern or fabric and just want to make something from it.

It's time to get those quilts out of the wardrobe and on show.  I picked up this wire basket from Kmart for $9 and it fits 5 or 6 six quilts in it, I'm not sure where it will sit as yet but I love the look.