Sunday, April 15, 2018


So much for me keeping up with blogging, March just went so quickly but I did spend more time fixing up the veggie patch.  There's still a long way to go but I've managed to get a bed ready to get some beans, cabbage, broccoli and garlic growing. 

After having my fingers in so many pies over the years, I'm really making an effort to get back to basics this year.  Our financial situation will be changing again at the end of the year and anything I can do now to set us up will be beneficial.  With teenage and adult children now it's so easy to get caught up with what they feel are needs not wants and this relates to not only clothing etc but food as well.  I've been so lazy when it comes to cooking from scratch, don't get me wrong, takeaway is something my family only gets a few times a year (the older ones that earn their own money seem to eat it a lot more) but convenience foods have made there way back into our home and it's because I'm not prioritizing our health.

I've looked very carefully at our budget and what we can change and for now it's cutting back on our food budget.  I made the decision to try something new a couple of weeks ago, for years I have done fortnightly shopping with the intention of buying more fresh food on the off week but every fortnight we go over because I am constantly at the shops buying bread, milk etc then adding more stuff that I see on special.  Two weeks ago I decided to slash our food budget and then halve it to do weekly shopping and it's working, the kids never stop eating and they were always running out of food, now for whatever reason, there's always food in the home.  I can only guess that I'm putting in more effort into cooking and simply not allowing myself to buy more, if we run out we can wait a few days until next shopping day.

So what have I been busy making?  First of all getting back into the swing of making daily bread is a huge saving.

Juice, now my kids drink this stuff like it's going out of fashion, but not anymore when they have to prepare it themselves.  We are saving a heap on store bought juice and to help out I pre-peel the oranges and pop in the fridge so it's easier for everyone. 

All of the orange peels are not wasted around here, they will be made into orange cleaner by simply popping them into a container and filling with vinegar.  Leave them for a few weeks and let the orange oil seep from the peels.

We have had unseasonly warm weather this past month and my kombucha scoby is going into overdrive, time to separate I think. 

Today I picked our Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples, our tree is small and tends to get taken over by our monster apricot tree but this year it was loaded.  There's coddling moth in some of the apples but I will be cutting that out and stewing and freezing the apples for winter.  This is the last of the cherry tomatoes and chillies so I can finally remove the beds they were in, I might make a chilli paste for  Darren tomorrow.

I will try and keep updated a little more frequently but for now I'm going to enjoy school holidays.

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,