Wednesday, December 3, 2014

One step for mankind

  Well it's been an long long time in between blogs considering since the beginning of October I have been sitting around with a broken ankle. Literally sitting around. Not really me since I like to be active. It has been an interesting 8 weeks so far. No work has been hard. Waiting for income insurance to be paid. Relying on hubby to do basically everything for me. Thankfully I could still go to the toilet by myself. Divinity once again went out the window. Eight casts later, 6 pins, 2 screws and a plate in my right ankle I am now sporting a moon boot. So much better than the plaster even though there was many colours to choose. One was pink before the operation but the last one was green.  It has been an interesting 8 weeks. Hubby hired a wheelchair for me so we could still got out.  What surprised me was how ignorant people are towards people with disabilities. I was actually doing the shopping one day and the male checkout operator would not even acknowledge me and would only speak to hubby and was quite annoyed that he had to move the pin pad down so I could pay for my purchases. Other things I found was people would literally step over the front of the wheelchair or cut in front of you.  I have also realised that this house we are in is the last highest we will ever be in. I can't wait for the day that I can once again walk up and down the stairs. Thankfully we have internal stairs or I would be putting on a show for the neighbourhood. Lol yes I am still crawling up the stairs on my knees and sliding down the stairs on my bottom. It is so great to have the moonboot now. I am starting to slowly walk again with a lot of help from mums walking frame which I hadn't got rid of yet. Finally I am able to havE a shower without a sporting a garbage bag. The moonboot has given me a bit more indepence but can't wait until I no longer need it.  Next Monday is my first day of physio so hopefully I can return to work in the new year.  I can't wait until I can drive again. So many things that I am looking forward in doing..  ... 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Costco's or Not

This Granny lives at Redcliffe so not that far from North Lakes which is the new home of Queensland's first Costco store.  When I first heard about this store I thought no I'm not going to pay a membership to shop at a store.  Yes I have Everyday Rewards Cards, Fly Buy Cards and other shop cards in my bag which are free but to pay for a membership for a year I thought certainly not. 
Driving down the highway every so often I would see the progress of this massive warehouse being built.  In February this year I thought what the heck I will pay my $55 (Business Member) and see what it is all about.  As you are all aware I make soap so I need bulk oils to do this.  My most expensive oils are Grapeseed and Olive Oils which costs are high.  Plus it also means not having to pay for postage from some of the places I purchase these products from.

A few weeks ago I went in with my receipt and business documents to collect my card.  Hubby was with me so he picked up his.  I was wondering how they were going to police people not handing over their cards to their friends.  That was easy each card has your photo on it.  Fair enough I don't have an issue with that at all.

 As we walked out of the area with our new cards we decided to check out the price of fuel.  We have 2 4WDS that use Diesel fuel and in the Redcliffe Area we are paying $1.60.9 cents a litre.  It costs us $100 a week to fill the Colorado. Off to the pump and noticed  Diesel $1.42 cents a litre.  18 cents cheaper than what we normally paid.  Filled the tank up and costs us $88 a saving of $12 straight away.  Great saving already and the shop isn't even opened.  We now fuel up there every week.  A saving of over $20 for both cars.  In 3 weeks we will have our money back.  I thought even if I don't shop there it is worth having the cards just for the savings on fuel.  What I also really liked about the fuel station is no waiting in line to go into a shop to pay.  You use your card at the pump.  The friendly staff there show you how to do it and each time you visit they will check to see if you need a hand with anything.  I know I don't get this from Caltex or Shell in the area.  The staff there are so helpful.

Yesterday we decided to get over to Costco's to visit the store.  We arrived to fuel up first.  Diesel was sitting at $1.44 a litre still so much cheaper that Redcliffe.  We arrived at about 8.15am knowing that Saturday was the third day they were open and the first weekend.  We knew it was going to be busy.  By 9am the parking area was full and the doors opened.

What an amazing store.  Even with the amount of people outside once inside you really didn't notice the amount of people.  Bill, William and I slowly checked out the store.   By 11am my trolley was full and I was happy with the savings I had made.  Yes some things may be a bit dearer or the same price as Woolworths or Coles but most items are great savings.  Their fresh foods are well priced and I am now a converted Costco member.  It was also so great to see so many small Aussie brands in there as well.  I purchased Carmens Muesli bars.  A box of 20 well priced around the $10 mark.  Campfire Marshmallows about $6.  They are so big and we are heading out camping next week.  Sauces were cheap.  We were out of BBQ sauce and seem to go through it so quickly so I was happy to buy a big 4ltre bottle for about $8.  If there are any soapmakers reading this 2 litres of Grapeseed oil is only $13.  Massive savings.  5 litres of olive oil is about $25.  Over to the fresh food and first thing I think about is easy dinner for Saturday night.  Picked up a massive fresh pizza for $11.39.  Only need one.  (BWT did find it hard fitting in the fridge and had to use the downstairs fridge and stood it up).  Softdrinks were cheap.  Coke Can pack of 36 cans $24.    Fresh foods have great savings especially in the meat section and the fridges.  The list of saving go on.  I was happy with what was in my trolley so off to the check  out we go.

Didn't wait long and a lovely lady helps me unload the trolley onto the belt.  Asks for my card and straight away greets me by my name since it is on my card.  I don't get that at Coles or Woolies.  At the register the checkout lady says "How has your morning been Sue". Not use to this much politeness at a shop.  Well done Costco's it is so nice to see good customer service.

All in all I enjoyed the Costco Shopping experience and will definitely return next week.  There will be people who won't like it and will say it is a waste of money.  I suppose if I didn't live so close I may not of joined but I love it.  The savings are fantastic.  Customer service amazing.  Well done Costco's.

Friday, April 25, 2014


We are nearly to the end of our holiday away. This year again we decided to head to Mt Warning Tourist Park.  Last year saw us head there just for the 4 day Easter break but this year we have made it 12 days. This has been the longest stretch we have spent in the caravan so far and only a couple of hiccups. The second night in all our lights went off and now we are thinking that all the lights are hooked only up to the solar. Over the last week we have really reduced our light usage and this hasn't happened again.  The park is truly beautiful this time of year and of course the cool nights and mornings are great.  The park offers so many types of accommodation. We are in the front part of the park but out the back you have the camping area with a very large camp kitchen.  You can choose powered or non powered sites out the back.  There is also another lot of amenties there.  The shop/checking area is stocked full of groceries in case you forgot anything as well as ice and firewood. Yes you can have your own fire pit

If you are looking to get away and camp with th kids but still have the benefits of showers and toilets I can truly recommend this place.  If you are looking for luxury then this is not the place. If you are not into camping but still love the peace and quiet they do have cabins that you can rent but during peak times and long weekends the place is busy.

The owners and staff are friendly and real down to earth people.  There is a swimming pool and a games room for the kids if they do get bored but I really can't see that happening.

Check out the photos and the small video and see for yourself.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Family and Friends: Their support is what keeps me going.

Its been awhile since I have blogged.  Time has past very quickly this year.  I can remember in January that this year 2014 was going to be my year.  I had that positive cap on and was looking forward to a great year.  So far things have been like sitting on a roller coaster ride.  It has had its ups but of course it has had its downs.   Though all of the turmoil with work and business I have been lucky that I have the most amazing husband who has encouraged me to fight through the crappy stuff and be the best person.  I am in the process of finding a new job and have been out looking for the last couple of months but due to stuff it has now become a priority.  I have realised that the job I always wanted to do is not all that it seems.  Don't get me wrong I actually love what I do but now think I am much better doing it in another organisation.  Through all of this one thing that keeps me going is my amazing family and a few very special friends in my life.

In the last couple of weeks my mum has not been well and I have had to spend some time searching for a nursing home for her.  Not one thing I wanted to do but knew it was for the best.  She deserves the best care possible and we could no longer do it.  Its been a hard couple of weeks.  I know I never ever will have to do it again.

I am hoping I find new job opportunities shortly but in the mean time I am looking forward to a couple of weeks break at Easter.  Only 13 days until that caravan is hooked up and we head back down to Mt Warning for 12 days.

On the creative side which has also kept me sane is my first market for the year is only a couple of days away so I am really looking forward to that.

If I don't blog again for awhile I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Easter.  I know I am certainly looking forward to it.

Sue X

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Not all products are what they say they are- QV wash VS Handmade Natural Soap

It really makes me angry when people are mislead by major companies, ads on TV, Chemists and Doctors when people go to get advice on any sort of rashes, eczema or even people who have delicate skins especially babies.  We all want to do what is best for our children.  We listen to chemists and doctors because apparently they know best.  Or do they.  Do you ever think how much kick back they get from major companies to promote their products.

Over the years of soap making, attending markets etc I have heard so many comments like.  Ï can't use soap I get a rash.  The doctor has told me I am allergic to soap.  Soap is bad for you.  I can only use liquid soap.  Soap has dangerous chemicals in it.   The list is endless.  You ask any soap maker and they all get the same statements made at them. 

Today I went to the supermarket with my daughter and she mentioned to me that she found a ECO soap at Woolworths the other day which was lemongrass.  It smelt so nice but the list of ingredients on the back was daunting.  Even though it was only about $1.50 a bar she said no.  Yes I to am wondering why she was looking at soap in a supermarket but won't go there.  lol  Any way she showed me the soap and I deciphered the ingredients list.  First ingredient was Palm Oil then Coconut oil then loads of chemicals including SLSA which is a foaming agent which is also used in car wash, degreaser etc....... I personally wouldn't use it.

Another thing that really worries me is those Washes.  Especially QV Wash.  Have you read the ingredients.  Do you know what they are.   Ok lets first look at handmade Soap and what is in that or what is in the ones I make.

Sunflower, Olive, Coconut, Grapeseed Oils, Water, depending on the liquids if I am making a Goatsmilk Soap I actually use Goatsmilk.  Not powdered but real Goatsmilk.  If I scent it I will use either essential oils or fragrances especially made for soaps.  Colours may be natural clays, natural colouring or skin safe colours.  I list all my ingredients from largest amount used to smallest.
Yes when you make soap you need to use caustic soda.  No matter what any other soap seller says if you don't use caustic soda you can't make soap.  Even those pretty clear soaps you buy have caustic in them.  Most people buy the base already made up so they don't actually have to use caustic and all they need to do is melt it down and add colour and fragrance.  The hard work is all done.  But did you also know that when you buy that handmade soap the caustic is gone.  There is no active caustic in that bar of soap.  It is safe for you and your family to use.

Now lets look at QV Wash.  I have a customer who I met through my husbands work who had been using this for years as he suffered from really bad eczema and the doctor told him that soap was bad for him and he could only use this product.  He hasn't used QV for quite a few years and is a regular customer of my Goats milk Soap.

I am going to now let you know about all those ingredients on the back of that bottle of QV wash and what they mean.

Aqua - Water (that's fine)
Sodium Lauryl sulphate- Is a detergent, a crystalline salt of sufated lauryl alcohol which is also used in degreaser and floor cleaners.
Glycerin- No problem with this.  My handmade soaps have glycerine in them. 
Lauryl Betaine- Synthetic Vegetable Derived Liquid.
Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate- this is a preservative but there are better more natural preservatives on the market.
Sodium cocylisethionate- sodium salt derived from coconut oil
Peg 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate- this is a thickner.  But some studies in America have linked it to breast cancer.  This should not be used on broken skin.
Glycol distearate- Chemical compound emollient.  This is a pearlizing agent. This makes it white.
Methyl Paraben- An anti fungal agent.  This is a controversy ingredient.  There has been some concerns over Parabens in products as it has been known to disrupt hormone functions and is also linked to increase risk of cancer.
Citric Acid- Not harmful
Propyl Paraben- Again another paraben.  Paraben is bad for you and should be avoided.  Quite a few products are out on the market that are Paraben Free.

The list above is scary isn't.  Would I use this wash.  NO not in a million years.  Are there better products on the market.  YES  Plain handmade soap.   That's all you need.  Handmade soaps with Milk are great.  Whether you buy my soap or another soapmakers soap they can tell you exactly what is in their products.  No chemicals, no nasties just plain soap.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Chocolate, Date, Ginger and Port Cake. (What a mix)

Wow it really has been awhile since my last blog.  I have neglected it and I am sorry but life has been very busy these days but I hope to blog a bit more.

Yesterday when I came home from work I was craving some cake.  Not any old cake but handmade Date Cake.  Looking in the cupboard of course there was a pack of dates.  I decided that I would prepare them so I could cook it the next night.  Below you will see the recipe.  I am not one for exact measurements.  I don't use a cup measurement but use a coffee cup instead so measurements will be by coffee cup.

1  1/2 cups of chopped dates
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup port
1 teaspoon of Bi carb

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a bowl and set aside in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

2 1/2 cups SR Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup of Cocoa
1 egg
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 to 1/2 cups of Soda Water (Yes I know weird ingredient)

Mix  the first 4 ingredients together.  Add the date mix.  Add in the Olive oil and mix by hand.   Add in the Soda water until it is of a good cake batter consistency.   No electric beaters needed just do by hand.  

Pour batter into a greased and floured round cake pan and place in a preheated oven of 160 degrees for approx. 1 hour.  I have an old oven that is not fan forced so it took an hour.  If you have a fan forced oven I would start checking it at the 45 minute time.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Losing weight, excerising and feeling great

Its amazing how one little stint in hospital can change your whole life.  I have changed my whole eating pattern and have rid myself of all those processed foods and junk.  It is amazing how much companies who sell the so call diet products really aren't that good for you at all and they are the reason you do not lose much weight.  At this time I have now managed to lose just over 6kg which is great.  I can't wait until I can fit into at least a size 14-16 dress.  That was the size I was when I met Bill all those years ago.  I know I have awhile until I reach that but I am determined to do it. 

In my kitchen I have a whiteboard where at the moment I have a quote that I love...............

I have the same determination that I had when I gave up smoking 5 years ago.  I feel the healthiest that I have felt for along time and I am so far off my target weight.  What are my secrets...............  There really isn't any secrets.  I walk.  Every morning I wake up at 4.45 am and have a cup of coffee then I head down to the beach at Redcliffe and walk.  I normally walk about 3-4 km in the morning before I go to work.  I am a morning person so early mornings don't bother me.   I'm not the only one and so many people are down there doing the same thing.  Even on the weekends I do the same.  I walk.  Some afternoons after work I head to Scarborough and walk before I need to pick up William.
My food choices have changed so much.  I eat loads of greens, and of course fruit.  Nuts, eggs, avocado, berries, fish, chicken, steak and so much more.
I don't eat chocolates and of course junk food but have also taken out bread, pasta, processed cereals, crackers and diet (low fat) so called foods,  Gluten free foods I really check the labels to see the fat and sugar content.  Fake butters and margarine and vegetable oil.  I have removed Soy, wheat and corn from my eating.   
I do have a few things I want to do............  I have decided to join the Dragon Boat Club here at Redcliffe.   I need to be a bit fitter to do this but know I can achieve this.    I will be buying myself a pushbike as well.  Last time I rode one I was 15. 
So for now my clothes are slowly becoming baggy which I am loving.  I can't weight until I reach that size 14 and know I will get there.