Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Citrus Cleaner in October issue of Women's Weekly magazine!!!

After a few weeks infusing
dilute 50:50 with Water or Vinegar
(I dilute with Vinegar)
To all the newcomers reading here for the first time...from Women's Weekly, I welcome you to my blog. If you don't buy Women's Weekly and/or are wondering what on earth I am talking about,........here goes the story......

Rhonda over at Down to Earth was interviewed for the "Live for Less" theme for the October Issue of The Australian Women's Weekly magazine....It's only the largest magazine in the country...and probably the most popular this month too for a number of reasons. heheh! During the interview Rhonda was asked to recommend two other people who enjoy doing the same as her, living in a similar frugal way.

I was pleased, no I was gobsmacked that she had chosen me to be interviewed as well. I can understand that she chose Christine from Slow Living Essentials, but I never dreamt that she would choose me too. Thank-you Rhonda for sharing your spotlight with both of us. Congratulations on your new column as well.

After chatting with the lovely reporter from WW for what seemed like close to an hour on the phone.....I was so excited, but knowing that the magazine wouldn't be published for an entire month, nearly drove me mad. I usually get excited about new buds forming or newly found fruits or veg developing around my garden.....but this.....this was something else.....Now, I had to wait and see, just like Rhonda
and Christine.....Let me tell you.....it was a long month waiting.

The waiting finally simmered down to waiting for the newsagents to open one morning after dropping DS20 off at the train station for another day at work......I was half an hour early for the newsagents to be opened, so I just sat in my car. I finally got the Australian Women's Weekly...and flicked through to page 40...I started to quickly scan through the words, looking for anything that mentioned what I do.....I was amazed when I turned the page to find out that my Citrus Cleaner had made it as a special recipe into the magazine. I'm now sharing my easy cleaner with more readers than I ever could have imagined, and that's great!...

The article goes on to mention how I learn't to sew at a time when I needed it the most....I was 21 and found out I was pregnant with my first child (now DS 20). I took myself off to Puckapunyal to my sisters....and she taught me stretch sewing with an over-locker and a normal sewing machine. I guess it all started long before that though...as I watched my mother and my grandmother do a lot of work from scratch over the years.....

No-one expects you to learn it all in one day!

I've done hoards of different things since those times..and learn't many new skills as well....I love learning new skills, but don't be thinking that you can do it all at once, because you can't. You can't possibly learn everything at once, and begin 'Living for Less' completing all the tasks that others do. Start with something little...like building a compost. After-all, you will need somewhere to put all those food scraps when you start cooking from scratch....and your going to need good hearty compost to grow some lovely veg, flowers or herbs in your garden. Save your strawberry punnets to plant seeds in...It all starts with something little, and before you know it, you have a list of tasks that you are enjoying. You may already have a list that you don't realise....

*When I heard the word Permaculture a few months back.....I had no idea I already practice many of the Permaculture methods in my own garden.

Always make time to enjoy the little things.
Take time
in the beginning to live more frugally. Baby steps are the way to go.... Remember that frugal doesn't mean cheap.....Cheap often adds to waste, which adds to consumerism, which adds to landfill, which adds to contamination of our earth, and just as important to look out for, Cheap often adds to our money going overseas. No matter what country you live in, you should be supporting your country by buying items made in your country, even better....support the small business's in your local community.

  • Living more frugal.......means getting the most of out of your money, caring for the items you already have........
  • It means organising your time to give you the best value for the work you do......
  • It means thinking more about the gifts you give with love.......
  • It means living below the wage/s that comes into the home, and not relying on credit cards...When you need something new to the house, firstly try to source it somewhere other than new from the huge stores that are ripping you off and helping with huge masses of landfill each year. 
  • It means living with less waste. If you don't want the waste, don't generate it.  
  • It means using your little space of this huge ball we call Earth, to the best you can and not destroying the earth as you live. 
  • It means exchanging goods with one another, instead of exchanging money....Try to share with your neighbours, and barter often comes your way. Get the word out, that you are looking for X in exchange for Y. Money doesn't need to change hands every time you source something you need.

Well, that's some of what it means to me, anyway.

I'm working on these steps each day, some days I can accomplish soooo much and some days, I don't achieve much at all. Life in general and family.....it all takes time...making changes takes up that time too.
It also takes a bit of organisation and patience to do things from scratch.

So take baby steps, one at a time....Before starting a new task, try finishing or refining the other ones first, before moving on to the next. Ha!....Easier said than done my friends....take it from someone who knows....

What does 'living for less' or 'living frugally' mean to you?.....

Have you exchanged goods with someone this week where money wasn't needed?


  1. Nice job, Narelle! Your citrus cleaner is great - I use it all the time :) To me, living frugally means living without wasting (food, money, time, resources). While I'm far from where I ultimately want to be on this issue, I'm working TOWARDS IT one day at a time, one week at a time. It is a process for me, not an overnight change. Your blog has certainly helped me (and of course Down to Earth) to learn necessary skills to live more frugally so thank you!

  2. Thanks Sherrie...I'm flat out at the moment and mum has been in and out of hospital...but she seems to be on the mend now I hope....One day at a time, One week at a time is the best way to go I think. Thank-you so much for your lovely words of praise....I think all the work you are doing to provide your family with food is incredible...not to mention a laboriously intensive task for you. I hope you have finally finished with your preserving for the season. All the gardening you get done is an incredible feat in itself. Hat's off to you Sherrie.

  3. What a wonderful post. Congratulations on your addition to the magazine. Wish we could get it here in Canada. I grew up in a large Mennonite family and have learned many skills that were just everyday events for us. It wasn't until I was an adult with a large family myself that the real practice of the art came into play. Over the years and with newer inventions I felt I lost a lot of the art of simple homemaking, but over time it has come back to a nice comfort zone.I take noting for granted. Enjoy your blog.

  4. Congrats.... Love the article. I think you are just as deserving as could possibly be. Thanks for all the great things you do. Melissa

  5. congratulations! I love making my own citrus cleaner. I also think that it deters ants when you use it to wipe the counter-tops down. I just suddenly noticed that since I have been using it we have less ants mooching around the kitchen which is a good thing! You are so right - frugality creeps up on you! I was the recipient of two lovely lettuces this week - does that count?

  6. What a brilliant post, it seems so relevant to me as I teeter on the edge of my new life at the moment.
    Congratulations on your magazine article.

  7. I was sooooooooo happy and impressed to see you and your citrus cleaner in the Aussie Weekly. Sorry to hear about your Mum Narelle.. I do hope she is on the up now.. Blessings to you and yours, oh and that water kefir you sent me, when will it's growth spurt wear off lol

  8. Thank-you everyone for all your lovely words and praise. I do love the thought of OUR citrus cleaner being made ALL OVER THE WORLD.

    African Aussie: I'm glad it is helping with the ants on your benchtops...it's also helping here too with where one CindyDog does not pee on the back deck anymore.Your lovely lettuces count for sure.

    Dan: Just remember to take small steps, and remember to look at the little accomplishments, they quickly add up.

    Wendy: Thank-you for your thoughts for my Mum....Your water kefir will never stop growing if you keep feeding it...For now, mine is in the fridge....sleeping softly. I have frozen some as an experiment, but have since found out I should have frozen it in water...not just the grains....I'm also planning on dehydrating some when I get some time....that won't be for a while though.

  9. What a wonderful post I couldn't agree more with your take it slowly philosophy.
    Well done too on your WW article.
    I've reserved a copy at the library and look forward to reading your story as well as Rhonda's.

  10. congrats! love,andrea

  11. Congratulations on your Womens Weekly article, I will certainly use your citrus cleaner. Sorry to hear about your mum. Hope she has a speedy recovery. Keep Up the great work. Thanks Maree

  12. Trying to figure out a way to get a copy of the WW mag here in South Africa.....must be some way! I'll try various bookstores. All I can see on-line is the cover and I'm tired of looking at Sandra Sully when I'd rather read about Rhonda Jean and you, Narelle, and all the good frugal stuff you do!

  13. Yippee!! Congratulations!! I very much appreciate your work here and think your work totally deserves to be published in print. You rock.

    brenda from arkansas

  14. Hey, Rhonda just posted a link to the WW article on her blog, Down to Earth!

  15. Congratulations and on the article. I'm another that can vouch for the citrus cleaner. I use it all the time now. I loved reading your thoughts on living frugal. I particularly like how you differentiate between cheap and frugal. Well done Narelle.


  16. Thanks ladies...I really appreciate all the feedback I am getting from the magazine...It's lovely to know that I'm helping others, and all over the world too...which amazes me every day.

  17. my husband did some work ang got paid in beef that they raised nice t-bone steak,rump,chuck steak,mince amd sausages.i am going to give your citrus cleaner a go i use vinegar as a softener in my washing machine.it gets rid of soap residue as my daughter has eczema has helped tremendously


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