I hope you are not offended by the topic. We have decided to let nothing steal our joy and a positive mental attitude is important. Every day we remind ourselves that we can choose how we respond to life’s challenges. So, yes, we are having fun during the lockdown.
Speaking about how we respond to life’s challenges, this week we got Audible and the first book we got was Chicken Soup For The Soul. It is a book with 101 lovely little stories of people’s experiences of being positive. We are speeding through it and have got so much from the 12 or so snippets we have already listened to.
It is difficult to remain a negative person when you listen to other people’s trials and how they not only overcame them but became much better at life as a result.
You can try Audible for free for one month. Make sure to get your first book before the trial period is up because it is free. Then, if you want to carry on listening to audiobooks after the initial month, you will start paying a small monthly fee. If not, just close your subscription and enjoy the books you already have.
I used to love reading books but these days I want to be able to enjoy it even while I am doing other stuff like cooking, cleaning, and even gardening. The iPad goes with us to the kitchen when we are cooking and the stories sink in and bless our hearts. We couldn’t do that with regular books.
So we would encourage you to go ahead and try audible and see what you think.
We are already creative and even inventive in the kitchen. But this lockdown time has shown that we can be even more so. We are careful with the ingredients we have and certainly don’t want to waste anything. So unusual ingredients are paired together to make amazing dishes and so far we haven’t turned up our noses at anything.
Right now I have some frozen chicken on the go in the slow cooker. I’ve added about a cup of passata, chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper, mixed herbs and a heaped teaspoon of Ras El Hanout. I can’t wait to see how that turns out.
Guess what? It is going to be paired with some spicy potato wedges done until crispy in the oven.
You’re getting a look at how it turns out! It is so yummy, honestly.
Last night after watching baking recipes on YouTube for a good hour or so, we couldn’t resist. So, we got up and made our own cookies. It’s a basic cookie recipe. After the dough is made, it is put in the fridge to chill for two hours before it is spooned onto trays for baking
Then everyone gets to add what they wanted to their own cookie. We mostly had chocolate chips, fudge, and chocolate spread. But if you like, you can add oats, cinnamon, cocoa powder, coconut, peanut butter, and so on.
Here’s a sexy video we made to show off our homemade cookies.
Cutting down on food waste
We are big advocates of this and we take several steps to make sure we are not wasting food. So this week we spent some time turning over the stuff in the compost bin at the back of the garden and also adding more stuff to it.
Apart from the kitchen scraps (no cooked food though), we also added the cut grass from mowing the lawn, and lots of shredded paper from our decluttering efforts.
Of course, we were rewarded for our composting efforts with kilos of lovely rich compost that we add to the garden or to pots to plant vegetables in. It’s always a nice feeling to see how much rich compost has been produced for us with such little effort. And the best part is that it is completely free to us while others go out and buy compost.
Leisa has also been using all our orange, lemon and lime peels to make candied peels to use for cake making and also for making Easter buns. When cooled and bottled, they last for years. We keep ours in jars in the fridge.
For making the cakes, we will need to soak them with dried fruits in Red Label wine and then blend them. Add a few chopped peanuts and your Christmas cake will be the bomb!
To make this, peel the oranges, lemons, and limes. Use the juices as you normally would. Scrape the pith off the rind, and then boil in a pan of water. Pour that water away (to get rid of any bitter taste). Then boil again in a little water that just covers the peels. When there is almost no water left in the pan, add some sugar (about the weight of the peel) and allow it to simmer until it gets sticky. Turn off the heat, allow to cool and then store for later use.
Helping with homeschooling
This week when we checked in on a friend, she was telling us about what they were up to in their home. It included homeschooling and how less than impressed they all were.
So we offered to help jazz up one lesson for them. It was about the environment and what we could do to help.
Of course, we did a lesson on starting a compost bin at home. We started off with a quiz to check their prior knowledge, a video presentation (found on YouTube), and then we took them outside to show them our own compost bin. All of this was done virtually of course.
So now, we have a new family of composting believers who are about to start their own compost bin with things they already have at home. Now the kids know that there are things that they can do to help with the environment.
That was a good feeling. And this sunny weather is the perfect time for it.
We are selling!
Having not had much success with selling online (we tried eBay), we have now decided to give Depop a go. Our older girl has been selling on there with much luck for a long time so we finally gave it a go and have been having our own luck too.
It’s such a good way to make some extra money from the things you own that you no longer want.
The account is easy to set up and when you sell an item, the money goes straight to your Paypal account.
Depop takes a small percentage, the buyer is happy (and sometimes leaves feedback for you) and you are happy too. Try it and see. We have tons of shoes, clothes, craft and so on that we want to list. Items that are not sold by a certain time will be donated to charity when this lockdown is all over.
We suggest that among all the things you do, that you start a journal and jot down your experiences of days like this. Generations to come need to see proof that we really went through a period when we were all at home hiding from this vicious virus.
Shout out all you strong people and do take care.
Jo and Leisa