Get The Right Stuff: Equipment You Need Even In A Minimal Kitchen

We all like to think we know our way around our kitchens. For the most part, we do, but let’s be honest. Put your hand up if you’ve never used a kitchen implement for something other than its intended purpose. And if your hand is currently up, I don’t believe you. Sorry, but come on. Surely this is something we’ve all done.


Do it often enough, and you can convince yourself that “the right equipment” is something that kitchen supply companies have made up. And don’t get me wrong. You don’t necessarily need a melon baller, a citrus zester or a ravioli crimper.


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But if you want to run a modern kitchen, you do need more than just the most basic tools. A minimalist kitchen can be a joy – as long as it’s not so minimal it’s practically empty.


Don’t Make Your Pans Pull Double Duty


We’ve all been in a hurry and had to press a kitchen implement into a service outside of its usual utility. Maybe the saucepan is in the dishwasher, so you use the skillet to poach an egg. Once in awhile, this approach is okay, but there are reasons we have different pans for different jobs.


How thick a pan is, and its shape governs how it will distribute heat and how tidily it will do the job it needs to do. You may want to save space, but you also need to save time – and using a saucepan for a stir fry will just mean you have a more time-consuming task to complete.


Use The Right Knife For The Right Job




When you see knife blocks for sale at low prices, you can easily rebel against the bargain hunter inside. “I know the deal is good, but when will I need a paring knife or a boning knife?”.


Fast forward to a few weeks later, when you’re trying to prepare a meal which involves some very fine cutting. A serrated steak knife will make a mess. A large chef’s knife will be too cumbersome. Similarly, picture yourself carving the Thanksgiving turkey next year with a bread knife. Some more helpful tips can save you a lot of time and mess.


Protect What You Have


Almost as important as having the right implements for a job and using them right, how you protect them will make a difference. For example, a wooden spoon is a great standby in any kitchen. If you wash it in the dishwasher, though, it will spoil before very long. This can lead to it developing grooves in which bacteria can live.




Similarly, a cast iron skillet should never be scrubbed with abrasives or put in the dishwasher. By doing this, you strip the pan’s patina and make it less useful going forward. All you need to do is wash it with hot water and a stiff brush. By taking proper care of your kitchen implements, you don’t need to replace them as often or use alternatives.


If you get the right kitchen equipment, it can last you for years and be effective from the first use to the last. It’s worth paying more for the right items – the time and expense it will save you in the future more than pays for the initial outlay.


My Petunia – Stories of my Oldest

My oldest daughter is 16.  It seems like only yesterday that my she was a baby, then a toddler, and then the mother hen to my son when he came along.  It’s so hard to believe that those days for her are long gone.

But every now and then, I replay in my head some of my favorite memories of when she was a little girl.  So I thought that I would share some of my favorites, and as my memory serves me.. I may add more posts to this.
Yes, this gorgeous yellowish looking baby is my oldest at 24 hours old.  She was jaundiced at birth, as you can tell by her photo.


Thankfully, as my Mom was a retired RN, they allowed me to bring her home.  Her first 72 hours consisted of spending her days in her infant car seat propped in our picture window at home.  She was soaking up the rays of the sun to bring her bilirubin levels back to normal.

I know, you’re scratching your heads, right?  Well, back in the “old days” babies with high bilirubin levels had to spend their days in the hospital under a bilirubin lamp.  That would have meant days extra in the hospital, and apart from her coloring.. there was nothing wrong with her.  I didn’t want to leave her in the hospital, and thankfully we didn’t have to.  We called her our “flower child”, our little petunia.  LOL  We’d put her in the window to sun her… take her out to bathe her and feed her to make her grow.

Fast forward a few months, my formerly 5 lb 12 oz princess grew into my little chunka monk.


I have lots of stories about what this little “monster” has said and done, but I think I’ll leave those for another time.

I will be compiling a list of the family’s favorite memories, so that I can share them here.  This will be my “gift” to my girl.  LOL

I’m sure she’ll be EVER so pleased.  We ALL know how teenagers get when they’re “EXPOSED”.

Till our next story, my Petunia, I love you always.

Savage Truth – Kathleen Kelly


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☆¸.•´. A NEW SERIES by Kathleen Kelly

SAVAGE TRUTH – The Grinders Book One

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Savage Truth

The Grinders Book One

Kathleen Kelly


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Release Date – Dec 14th, 2016



Truthful Hunter.

Truth to his millions of fans and those closest to him. Son of a tragic mother and talented but flawed father. Truth defies all odds, making the world his own as he emerges from the ashes of a disadvantaged childhood to become a world renowned Rock God.

Follow Truth as he overcomes adversity and falls in love with music, leading him to his true family, The Grinders. Pulled into a world of women, booze and drugs, The Grinders set their sights high and won’t stop until they dominate the charts.

Famous not only for his onstage performances, Truth is quite the ladies’ man. That is, until he meets his beloved Rosie. Only then is the real Truth revealed.

If you love the Savage Angels MC Series, you’ll know who Truth is. Find out where it all began in this fast paced and empowering story from childhood to stardom.

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“So, Katarina, what’s up?” I ask as I sit opposite her.

She looks at me then quickly away, focusing on something or someone in the crowd. “Dave says he’s going to make me into a star.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

“What if I suck?”

I laugh, and her gaze comes back to me, sharp, questioning, I immediately stop. “A star? Hmm, you a singer or…?”

“I sing, and I play the guitar, but my voice is better.”

“What do you sing?”

“Not bubblegum bullshit. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. I want them to be singing my songs in twenty years time.” This comes out in a rush with no small amount of conviction.

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, except that Dave is trying to team me up with a group of wannabes who want the quick road to stardom. I don’t know how to do anything else, for me, this is the long haul.”

Laughter escapes me, and she scowls. I hold my hands up in surrender. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh, but how old are you?”

“I’m fifteen,” Katarina replies flatly.

Damn it.

“Not one to sound like a grown up here, but you’ve got plenty of time.”

“Really? Is that what you think? I’m fifteen, and all I do is sing. I suck at school; my mother practically gave me to Dave ‘cause even she knows this is my golden ticket. It’s this or I’m screwed.” Her eyes drop to the table top, and she looks defeated.

The waitress comes over and places our plates down. This chick might be fifteen, but she’s like me, street savvy, and knows what she wants.

“So don’t do bubblegum bullshit. Samuel doesn’t do it anyway. He’s old school. You’ll like singing with him. He brings out the best in people, trust me, I know.”

“Trust you? Hell, I don’t even know you.”

“I am Truthful, it’s why they call me Truth,” I say jokingly as I play on my name.


I grin at her and take a huge bite of my slice, she shrugs and does the same.

“It’s good, isn’t it?”

With her mouth full of food, she nods enthusiastically. We trade smiles and eat in silence. When I’ve finished my pizza, I pick up my drink and take a long sip of it.

“Tell me about the band you’re putting together.”

She sits up straighter and smiles. “Rock band, not pop. Real musicians who love the music, who breathe the music, who exist for the music.”

“Sounds good.”

“Do you sing or play?”

“I play guitar, I’m good.”


“No, I told you—Truthful.”

Katarina giggles and throws her napkin at me. “Cocky! Okay, Truth, how about we go back to the studio, and you play me something? Has to be original, and it better be good.”

“I’m not the one auditioning, Samuel is.”

“So, put your music where your mouth is and show me what you can do,” Katarina teases.

“If you weren’t fifteen I’d show you what my mouth could do.”

A blush creeps up her neck, and she looks away. I can’t believe what I’ve just said to her. It’s not like me to be so forward with a girl.

I stand, hold out my hand and say, “Come on my songstress, let’s go make some music.”

She smiles and takes my hand in hers. “Yeah, lets.”



Also by Kathleen Kelly




About the Author


Kathleen Kelly was born in Penrith, NSW, Australia. When she was four her family moved to Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Although born in NSW she considers herself a QUEENSLANDER!!

She married her childhood sweetheart and they live in Toowoomba with their two furry kids. A British Short Hair named Grace and a Burmese named Jack.
Kathleen enjoys writing contemporary, romance novels with a little bit of erotica. She draws her inspiration from family, friends and the people around her. She can often be found in cafes writing and observing the locals.
If you have any questions about her novels or would like to ask Kathleen a question she can be contacted via e-mail: or she can be found on Facebook. She loves to be contacted by those that love her books.



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SING Saturday – November 26, 2016 #amctheatres #singsaturday








First 200 Moviegoers in Line at 200 AMC Theatres Nationwide Can Enjoy

Biggest Advance-Screening Program in Universal’s History [Read more…]

SING the movie and coloring page


Illumination has captivated audiences all over the world with the beloved hits Despicable Me, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, now the second-highest-grossing animated movie in history.  Following the release of this summer’s comedy blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets, Illumination presents Sing this holiday season.

With its highly relatable characters, heart and humor, the first collaboration between writer/director Garth Jennings (Son of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri marks the sixth fully animated feature from the studio. [Read more…]

Every day is a holiday? #holiday #kids #celebrate


Did you know that every day is a holiday?

Yes!  That’s right, almost EVERY, single day is a holiday of some sort.

They could be national, historical, silly, made up, little known, unknown, or recognized only by certain people.. but each day has something to celebrate.

I have decided that each day I will be focusing on a holiday.  Yes, that means it could be a made up day.. but I am hoping that each day brings a bit of joy to your lives and gives you a reason to celebrate either alone, with your children or families.

Some days, I’ll show you what my family and I have done for each of these holidays, and I would LOVE to see what you all have come up with for holidays that you celebrate.

The Definitive Guide To Healthy Eating For You and Your Family

Does anyone actually know what healthy eating is? It seem like every week there is a new diet or meal plan trend where you have to cut out certain food and increase amounts of others. Is healthy eating calorie controlled? Or is just about nutritious foods? Read on to find out.

The calorie controlled myth



Ok, so first of all let’s look at calorie control Is this healthy eating? Well, in once sense you could agree that it was. The body needs a certain amount of calories a day to function. If we get that amount of calories, around 2000 for women, 2500 for men and 1,600 to 2,500 a day for children we stay at a healthy weight.

However, if you eat more than the allotted amount you will put on weight. East less and you will lose it. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?

However, the problem with calorie control is that it doesn’t give you any idea about food that nourishes your body. It’s all just reduced down to how much energy the food possess.

In addition, in this body conscious world, we live in, it can be all too easy to become obsessed with the number of calories that you consume in a day. This can lead to a very unhealthy psychological relationship with food and can be counter-productive in the long run.




Next, let’s look at nutrition. Traditionally nutrition is split into four main categories. Carbohydrates and starches, proteins, fruits and veg and fats. For a healthy diet, you should aim for a pyramid ratio with fats on the top. That means a few fats, slightly more protein, more again of fruit and veg and that the largest part of our diet should be made up of carbohydrates. This is scientifically testing and researched and is probably the easiest way to a healthy balanced diet.

However recently some of the new diet trends have put this ratio system into question. Some like the clean eating movement also emphasize the increased intake of good fats and the removal of anything processed.


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In relation to clean eating the thought process is that healthy fats help you to metabolize the board fats in your system.  Also, processed foods contain fillers that are unnecessary like fat, sugar, and preservatives. Which our bodies often cannot process and so end up turning to fat.

In this way clean eating makes sense. As we all know that cooking healthy recipes at home, is a better move than eating process prepacked food brought from a store.

Cutting Out Food Groups

Some diets go even further than this and ask us to cut out certain food groups altogether. For example, the Paleo diet suggests cutting out the carbs completely. But increasing the protein and fats section.


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Other diets involve eating only raw, low fat or low sugar foods. This can be difficult when you are cooking for all the family at home. However, each plan needs to be judged on its own merits. It may be that your particular body composition would benefit in a reduction of certain ingredients.

However completely cutting out any food group is likely to be unmanageable in the long run.

Cut Your Food Shopping Bill With These Cost Saving Tips

Your food shopping bill can be one of those costs that no matter how hard you try you can never predict. This is normally because many of us don’t have a plan or prepare when it comes to our food shopping. A lot of us can head to our local store and buy what we think we need, sometimes buying too much, often spending more than we should. Which is why, for many of us, we would like to save as much money as we can on our food bill. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you some of the ways you can cut your food shopping bill with some of these cost saving tips.


Meal planning

Planning your meals in advance can be one of the biggest ways you save money. It can take a little time to prepare yourself, but once it’s done, you will wonder why you haven’t always done it. All you need to do is sit down and work out the meals you want for the rest of the week. From those meals, you can then create a list to head out to the food store with. You end up only buying what you need, which reduces the overall cost and also what you may waste.

Save on waste

It’s inevitable, at some point we will buy something that we don’t end up eating or using. For many reasons. You could have decided to eat out as a treat, or working late prevents you from wanting to eat the meal you planned. In that case, you run the risk of wasting the food you bought due to use by dates and them getting spoiled. So this is where buying a food saving machine could be a great thing to do. This is where you can vacuum seal the food and then freeze it to use another time. Overall you save on waste and create another meal alternative for the future.

Use vouchers and discount codes when shopping

Using vouchers can make a real saving to your overall food bill. You can find them anywhere. In magazines, on store websites or even specific voucher websites online. They only work if you use them on the things you would normally buy. It defeats the object by buying something just because you have a voucher if it’s not something you would normally use. Vouchers can offer money off or a percentage off the prices, either way, the total you save could add up. You could also consider discount codes if you do some of your shopping online.


Batch cooking

Finally, cooking food in batches can save you money in the long term. A lot of the time buying ingredients in bulk can offer you a big saving overall. This is where you could consider creating a certain meal and portioning it up for the freezer. These are very handy when you know you will have less time to prepare a meal. Having something ready made that’s healthy and nutritious is a great solution.

I hope these tips help you save money on your food shopping bill.

Stuff You Need For Growing Your Own Veg: A Simple Guide

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is such a great idea. Not only does it mean that you are not always reliant on buying your produce from the store, but is also helps you feel connected to your food. You’ll need a few bits and bobs to start growing your own veg at home. Read on for my simple guide.

Protective clothing


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First of all gardening can be a messy business, especially if you want to get the kids involved. This means you’ll need to get a bib and gloves. The bib saves your clothes from getting covered in soil. You should get waterproof gloves. These are useful for weeding, and it stops you getting soil stuck under your nails. Get the kids their own garden clothes and tools, as this will help them to get excited about the gardening process. Or you can just use some of their older stuff that you don’t mind getting dirty.  

Things to grow veg in

Obviously, you are going to need soil to grow your veg in. If you are growing outside, then take a look at the earth that you have in your yard. If it’s not excellent quality, add some compost to it to increase the nutrient level. This will give your veg the best start.

You can use planters, tubs and raised beds as well, so don’t think you have to put your plants straight into the ground. Do what suits you best. Root veg like carrots and parsnips work really well in tall planters and raised beds are perfect for all types of lettuce leaves.

If you are growing inside, you need to decide, the volume of veg you want to produce. For a small amount of herbs and tomatoes, window boxes filled with compost can work really well. Just make sure you water them often.

If you are looking to produce more veg, to feed your family, you can look buying in some hydroponic supplies. You can get integrated units that deal with light, temperature and water so you can place them anywhere in your house that is convenient.


Some essential tools that your will need to grow your own vegetables is a hand trowel and fork. These are good for up close work, like digging your produce up. If you are planting in the garden, you will also need a full-size spade, fork and rake, to turn the grown over and rid it of weeds.


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Seeds or plants

Obvious, I know, but plants have to grow from something. You can grow your veg from scratch and plant seeds. Or you can buy developed plants and plant them. You can even save seeds from pumpkins and other veg and try to grow your own from them.

When purchasing plants makes sure to read the labels thoroughly. Follow the instructions and plant them at the right depth. Find a spot where the will get the right amount of sunshine and make sure to water as directed to get the best results.

3 Ways To Make Homemade Family Meals Much Healthier

When it comes to making homemade meals for our families, we want to do the best by everyone. So, this involves creating something that is full of nutrition and full of taste. Something that is healthy as well as enjoyable to eat. This might sound straightforward when written down, but we all know that it is much more complex than that. Often, to make healthy things taste great, you have to work extra hard. You have to try different things, experiment a little. However, there are some shortcuts also! There are ways that you can make homemade family meals much healthier!

In this short blog, we’ll look at how you can bake sweet treats for dessert in a healthier way. We’ll also highlight a healthy oil you can use for cooking. That’s not to mention a quick pit-stop at the topic of fruit, and the sneaky sugars that it contains! Read on to find out more…


Use a replacement sweetener

Sugar, in small amounts, is fine for humans. We can digest it and break it down, and then flush it out again. However, this is only in very small and irregular amounts. If you pass this point, the side effects can be devastating. This is not an overstatement. Effects of excessive sugar consumption include memory impairment. They can also range from headaches to potentially even dementia. A great opportunity to swap out sugar for a replacement sweetener is when baking. There are many recipes out there, from cookies to cakes, which include sugar in the recipe. However, in many cases, changing it for a different ingredient is hard to detect. Agave nectar comes in liquid form and gives a similar taste without all the bad effects.

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Switch out olive oil for sunflower oil

Start using sunflower oil for healthy meals that you cook at home. Sunflower oil, which comes from sunflower seeds, is healthier than olive oil, which comes from olives. The former is classed as a vegetable oil, while the latter is classed as a fruit oil. Sunflower oil is a fantastic source of Vitamin E, which is great for your skin and eyes and is a powerful antioxidant. Many also suggest that sunflower oil is a better ingredient to cook with than butter or lard.

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Eat your fruit whole, not as smoothies

You may provide you and your family with a homemade fruit smoothie for a breakfast meal occasionally. You probably do this with the best of intentions. After all, fruit is good, right?! Well, yes it is, but it also contains lots of natural sugar. This is especially true of ingredients often found in smoothies, like strawberries and mango. While this is okay usually, when you break down the fruit, your body find it hard to digest these sugars. You are also taking these sugars in via your teeth, which in both kids and adults can lead to rotting and damage. So, when it comes to fruit at mealtime, eat it whole. It is much healthier for you, in many respects.

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