Monday, May 30, 2011

Rain... rats!

In keeping with my new found enthusiasm to get back on the home improvement train, I headed outside with my main (little) man yesterday afternoon in the hopes of spraying those weeds in the garden.  After hanging out a load of washing while Alex rode his bike around, I sat down to read the instructions on the weed killer.  And its 2 weeks from spraying to planting - rats!

Oh well, better to get it done sooner rather than later then.  It says on the packet do not use if rain is expected within 6 hours.  So I look up at the sky expecting sunshine and lollipops.. and see this!

Oh no!!!  Rain is on the cards... maybe!  Well sometimes it clouds over like that in Qld and nothing actually comes of it, so I was still hopeful.

Alex wanted to check out the garden, so I took him over to show him the weeds...  I was looking at what needed to be sprayed when all of a sudden Alex went "Aawwww look!  Isn't he cute!!"  He was so enraptured, I managed to stifle my scream!  This is the sight that greeted me...

Not surprising that Alex wanted desperately to bring him inside... we had just finished watching his favourite movie, Ratatouille! 

I came inside to do some googling about exactly what type of rat he was, when the heavens opened, and now my backyard looks like this again...  and don't even talk to me about the load of sheets I'd just hung out!

So there was no spraying of weeds yesterday!  Oh well, hopefully we will get some sunshiney days during the week and I can get out there after work - and fingers crossed no rodents will be present at the time.

And as for my ratty friend?  Well he didn't move very much when we looked at him and his breathing looked quite laboured, so I would say he has probably eaten something poisonous, poor little thing.  I went out after the rain slowed a bit and noticed he was hiding under the metal turtle ornament in the garden, so he hasn't moved far, just enough to be out of the rain (although a bit of his backside and his long, long rodent tail was still poking out.... as much as I don't wish him harm.... just eewwww!!)

My googling has led me to believe that he is a ship rat, as his tail is much longer than his body (nowhere near all of his tail is in the picture I took)...  and apparently they are the most common rats, everywhere.  And now the mystery of what was eating our cabbages in a rather crude fashion has also been solved!  (Apparently they love vege gardens!)

My skin is still crawling though...  Excuse me, won't you, while I go to my happy place?

Bye for now :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Decorating blues...

I got the blues… I got the blues real bad!

I may have mentioned in passing recently that we are in the midst of a fairly serious budget crackdown.  Ours, along with everyone else's, has a lot to do with the rising cost of fuel, groceries, electricity and living in general.  But we can also throw in budget blowouts on the renovations, coupled with (more recently) a car accident right on the back of a family holiday!  Subsequently we now consider our belts seriously tight…  like unattractive-bulging-on-either-side-of-the-belt tight!

Anyway, that is not really the subject of my post, it just provides some background information.  You see, I have been feeling a bit restless lately…  I think I may have been a gypsy in a former life, I tend to move on to new houses with frightening regularity!  In fact, one of my besties suggested I should buy a fantastic big caravan and be done with it!  But I really do love this house...  I don't really want to move away from this one any time soon, not that Boofy would let me anyway (in his mind, this is his 'forever house' I think).  But I want to keep renovating and decorating.... to finish all the great work we've started.... the source of my restlessness, I believe, is that we have not done any home improvement projects in just ages, and I hate that!

I am looking around me, seeing things to be done everywhere.  And week after week - nothing to report!  A lot of it has to do with our lack of free time, and lack of motivation in the free time we do have.  But also, I thought we couldn't do anything anyway due to the aforementioned budget crackdown.

I decided that, even though I don't currently have the funds, I should write down all the things I would do if I suddenly had funds available… self torture?  Perhaps.  However I'm sure a major lotto win is just around the corner!  Lol…  But to be serious, I just wanted a place to organise my thoughts more than anything - I just feel like I've lost track of what I want to achieve.

So I made a spreadsheet…  now anyone who knows my Dad well will be sniggering… my Dad loves spreadsheets… he can make a spreadsheet about anything!! Hehehe… sorry Dad, I outed you!  Anyway I can't talk because it would seem I am a chip off the old block!! And I've had a red hot go at driving people mad (in an apprentice-to-the-master-in-charge-of-spreadsheets type of way) myself over the years!! :)

So I went ahead and created a new Excel document called Improvements Still To Do.  Not groundbreaking news, I know! But as I started to list things to be done, I had a revelation about the materials required.... so I created two worksheets.  I called the first one Existing & Low Cost Materials, the other one New Materials & Renos.  Can you see where I'm going with this?  That's right - I actually realised that I had the materials on hand to do quite a few projects without having to spend any (or much) cash!!  Hooray!!!

I'm not ready to share my new materials & renos one, since it is really a massive wish list, and would actually cost an insane amount of money to fullfil (but in my defence, dreaming is free!)  But I can share with you my low or no cost projects:

Pressure Clean Everything Outside
All the rain we had at the beginning of year put a layer of filth all over everything… outdoor furniture, driveway, letterbox, pavers - even the underside of the pergola!  The driveway and pavers are also very slippery when it rains as a result, so it all needs a good blast.  Good friends of ours loaned us their pressure cleaner about 2 months ago, and it has sat in our garage ever since… can you say 'slack'?!  Lol.  Here are a couple of photos of the manky pavers and our yucky letterbox - you can see the potential for clean here can't you?

Cost of this project = free!

Replant the Vegetable Garden

I had much more success growing the winter crop last year than the summer one, so I'm looking forward to this!  You will remember a while ago (in this post) I shared the before picture?  Just to save you flicking back, here it is...

Well we removed all the weeds a couple of weeks ago and turned over the soil.  Some weeds have grown back (as expected, which is why we didn't plant again right away) so I need to get in and spray all those, let it settle, then turn it all over again with some compost so I can plant.  I would say actual planting is about a week and a half away if I get in and spray this weekend.  Just for fun, here is how it looks at the moment with the weeds popping up again...

Stand by for the after shots hopefully in a couple of weeks! 

Cost of this project (with seedlings) = approx $120

Painting Inside

We have the paint sitting in the garage to do most of the house in our chosen colour of Dulux Half Self Destruct – it’s just a matter of finding time to get it done.  Boofy is making noises about taking a week off when he has a bit of leave up his sleeve (hopefully in July sometime).  So far this year, he has been sick every time he’s taken leave, so let’s hope that he’s well enough next time and painting moves to the top of his agenda!  I would really love to get the toy room painted first - I have big plans in there!  Although it would be nice to have the living area finished, since it currently looks like this... 

Cost of this project = free!

Decorate Wall Above the Desk

When we set up the desk in our current house I had visions of the future when Alex would be begging us for a Facebook account and internet time.  I've heard so much about the dangers of young people surfing the net unattended, so I plonked the desk right in the middle of our home, where it can be viewed from just about anywhere except the bedrooms (several people have commented on what a great spot it is, so I feel pretty good about the location now).  It sits against a privacy wall that blocks the view of the bathroom and toilet from the main living areas and kitchen.  Here is how it looks today:

That is one bare wall above that desk, right?  Well sometime ago I bought a whole lot of stuff to make that wall more functional and decorative, including a floating shelf, corkboard, magnetic board and some rails with hanging containers…  And where are said items?  Why, sitting in the garage of course!  Where else?!  I do need to get one more floating shelf, but I have everything else.  So next time we get a child free day together, I plan to rope Boofy into finally getting all this stuff up on the wall and getting some clutter off the desk!

Cost of this project = $35 (floating shelf from Bunnings)

Change the Desktop

I bought the two white cabinets and desktop we have now from Ikea…  Long story short, I also ended up with the same desktop in wood (currently sitting in our garage).  The white is fine, but I feel like it’s a bit bland - there is a lot of white going on in our house, with a big corner of wood where the dining suite is - it all feels a bit unbalanced.  So I'd like to stain the desktop we have out in the garage a similar colour to the dining table, and change it over.  My Sista, Nadine, assures me that once I have the wall decorated and a bit of colour there, I will like the white desk top much more - and a wood one will close in the area too much.  Perhaps she's right - she is a visionary when it comes to these things for sure…  So I have decided to reserve judgement on this one until the wall is done.  When I've finished that I'll take another look and see what I think.  If I'm still undecided, I'll go ahead and stain the desktop anyway (I have nothing to lose except the cost of the stain – it’s just sitting out there doing nothing anyway) and see what I think.

Cost of this project = approx $60 (for stain, unless I have some in garage already)

Line Translucent Cupboards

We currently have these Ikea Aneboda cupboards, sitting in the far corner of our home, looking very unattractive…

They are filled with 'stuff'!  One is full of scrapbooking and craft supplies, and the other just has a mixture of all sorts of things.  Neither holds the sort of items you want on display, however the doors are translucent corrugated plastic, which does afford one a pretty awful view!  Many moons ago, Sherry and John at Young House Love put these cupboards in their basement and lined them with green paper (here) which looked great. 

But I don't really want just one colour, I'd really prefer something more patterned - but because they are not completely transparent, and you see them (mostly) from far away, colours and smaller patterns tend to get lost and dulled down.  I have spent quite a bit on various rolls of paper that did not work at all…  But at least I won't be short of wrapping for presents for some time!! Lol…  Given the amount of money I've already spent though, I now need a solution that is very low cost… or preferably free!!  I do have something in mind in that regard…. But I'm not really sure it’s going to work, so you'll have to wait and see!  I'll give it a try soon and let you know if it was a success (or not!)

Cost for this project = free!  (Except for a rather audacious trip to Bunnings, which I need to work myself up for!)

Line Drawers in Master Bedroom

Same as the dilemma above, I have three sets of Ikea Aneboda drawers in my bedroom.  That is nine (count them, nine!) drawers to line!

Currently you can see a mess of clothes and other items inside… it aint pretty!  I need to line them.  Simple as that.  I am reserving judgement about what I want to do until I see the result of the cupboard experiment… if it’s a screaming success, I am going to try doing something similar in here….  We'll see.

Cost for this project = free!  (Except for further audacious trips to Bunnings!)

Fix Computer

My clunky old computer sits at my desk, gathering dust and doing nothing.  You see, it took quite a knock in the move before last (but still functioned), and then in the last move it sustained a serious injury of the belted-in-at-the-front kind….  Maybe you can see what I mean from this photo….

There are sooooo many photos on this PC - many of them are backed up on CDs, but many are not.  Currently it won't start at all - you push the button and nada!  Alex pushed it one day and it whirred into action - I got it going and could view said photos, but my only flash drive was at work… arrggh!!!  And the disk drive won't open, so I couldn't copy the photos onto CDs…  I could have left it running, but it’s been such a long time (and so much dust) in between uses that I was afraid it would catch fire or something!  So reluctantly I switched it off, and thought I'd try again another day… but I've had no success since.  I even asked Alex to try again, it didn't work for him either - it was a one time only gig!  So my plan is to get it up on the bench, take the back off and have a good look to see if there are any repairs I can do myself (or at least clean it with the dust buster!)  If I can get it going again I will get my photos and documents off it, then book it in for more substantial repairs with an expert.  Eventually I would like to get it going so Alex can use it for games and maybe later for assignments.

Cost of this project = free for phase one…. Not sure about phase two - maybe $100?

So that is the immediate list.  All very do-able things I think, they will just take time.  But at least I have a bit of focus in terms of what I can achieve, regardless of budget cutbacks, in the short term.  Any or all of those things should also shake me out of my nothing's-getting-done doldrums too, which will be nice!

Bye for now :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy birthday to me...

Wow, its been a busy couple of weeks!  I've been very busy at work but also busy at home…. Doing what?  I couldn't tell you!  Just one of those periods where time goes into hyper-speed and you keep running out! :)
On Friday, I finally had a day to get things organised…  I busied myself by visiting a friend who was recently in hospital, doing some washing, cleaning out my car, and a bit of cooking.  Because… on Saturday…. It was my birthday!!!  Yes 21 again… plus a few more…. Lol.  And my birthday was very exciting :)

Boofy and Alex let me have a little sleep in, but I'd forgotten to mention this to Mum so she rang and woke me up at 7am!  D'oh!  Oh well....  Mum had sent me a present, so I opened it while she was on the phone and found this:

::  A gorgeous blue wrap
::  A Masterchef magazine subscription
::  Some money to get my hair done :)

Once Alex heard my voice it was all systems go, he was very excited :)  Boofy decided not to give me a treasure hunt this time (as he did on Mother's Day) which was very much appreciated!  So I finally got my cup of tea in bed - hooray.

We all sat in bed and opened presents - there was a lot of help from Alex!  I was very very spoilt and loved every present (Boofy did extremely well this year), and after all was said and done, this is what my haul looked like:

In it was:
::  A pair of earrings
::  Villeroy & Boch hurricane lamp I'd been eyeing off recently
::  2 complete seasons of Roseanne on DVD (I love this show, very funny)
::  Bruno Mars CD (friends of mine remarked recently on Facebook that someone should call his bluff and pull the pin on that grenade, but I still love him!)
::  Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals cookbook
::  A cute little eggcup (because I love googy eggs on the weekend!)

After unwrapping my haul, I promptly made myself some of those googy eggs so I could use my new eggcup (any excuse) and then opened a present my mother in law had sent up for me - sooo many presents!!!  Inside her package was:

::  An owl Pandora charm
::  Owl travel mug
::  Owl notebook
::  Owl salt & pepper shakers

Did I mention I love owls?  Lol…  They are all so cute aren't they :)

After my present frenzy, I sat myself down at the laptop for a while and checked my favourite blogs….  Nice!  Then set about getting ready for the rest of the day… because something very special was about to go down… my Sista (aka sister in law Nadine) and my gorgeous niece Ella were about to fly in from Sydney!!!  Even more excitement…  Could this day get any better??

Alex and I decided to make them a sign to hold up at the airport…  I stupidly forgot to take a photo of the finished product, but here is what the during looked like….

Mostly it was just an excuse for Alex and I to do some finger (or full hand!) painting together :)  We roped Boofy in to make the actual sign (since it had a hand print of each of us waving hello) but it was under duress… and he washed the paint off his hand straight away - spoilsport!  Never mind, we still had fun!
Shortly after, Alex had a little rest for a while with Daddy, then we set off to the airport to collect Nadine and Ella.  When we arrived, their plane had already landed (oops!  Although to be fair it was a little early) so we stood at the doors outside the secure area and Alex held up the sign to welcome them.  It wasn't long before they appeared, and of course there were massive hugs all round.  Its been more than a year since we've seen them so we were very excited.

We collected the luggage and headed off home - Nadine had not seen our house since its absolute original state (they came to visit about 2 months after we'd moved in and we hadn't lifted so much as a paint brush!) so she was pretty eager to see the house and all we done…. And we didn't disappoint, which was nice :)
Not long after we went out for dinner to Fasta Pasta (again!) with friends Jackie and Sam, then cruised around in search of rides for the kids... here they are having a great time on the Steve Irwin safari ride!

Afterwards we came back to our place for the cake that Sam had made…. OMG the cake!!!!  It was absolutely divine… check it out:

We dug up a candle and put it on top, and put both the kids on the bench near it.  I think I did get to blow out the candles once, after the kids had blown it out about a hundred times and we'd re-lit them!!  Lol… Alex couldn't wait, he had to have a little taste...

After that we put the kids to bed and enjoyed a few drinks and a good catch up.  It was a great end to a great birthday.

Next day my friend Ernie came over for brunch, and we cooked up a feast…. Scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, haloumi and toast.  (Wish I'd taken a photo now... there is rarely a decent excuse for a feast of these proportions!) We were so full we could hardly walk afterwards, but it was really nice.  Ernie adopted my cat, Bluey, a while back when she took exception to us bringing Alex into the household.  (It wasn't pretty)…  Ernie and I don't do gifts, but she is a fantastic honourary Aunty,  so Alex always finds nice things for her :)  It was my loophole until she turned the tables on me this birthday and bought me something from Bluey - very naughty!  I forgot to take a photo, but she bought me 2 sweet little printed canvases to put in our outdoor area.  They are out there now, looking lovely - there will be a post on that area sometime soon, so you will see them then :)

For the rest of the weekend we just kind of hung around and enjoyed each other and the kids, it was really lovely.  Alex and Ella got on like a house on fire - they had lots of fun playing with Alex's toys, deconstructing my lounge room (cushions everywhere!) and playing a fishing game I made a while back with plastic tubs, plastic fish and magnets :) 
All in all it was a fab birthday weekend - one of my best ever!!!!  Thanks Diney and Ella for visiting!!!!  And for my lovely pressie... which was a beautiful glass turquoise bowl, I love it!

The photo doesn't really do it justice unfortunately, but it looks awesome in real life... and it goes perfectly with the ceramic plates I painted - but more on those another time.

Sorry there aren't really any photos of the kids together - my bro would prefer Ella's photos be left out of the blog so I have to respect that.  But trust me when I tell you she is a gorgeous little girl, inside and out - I couldn't adore her anymore if I tried!

On our way to the airport we stopped in for a quick shop at Robina.  My friends Jackie and Sam gave me a Visa gift card for my birthday, and I already mentioned Mum gave me some money to get my hair done... oops!  I walked into Virtu and found they had a sale on tops, 30% off the total if you buy 2 or more tops....  Well I fell in love with these ones and they had to come home with me....

Obviously these are photos from the catalogue and not of me (I wish!)  So anyway it looks like a new hair style will have to wait!

Bye for now :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Recipe: Omelette with pork & vege stir fry...

I may or may not have mentioned previously that we are on a mega tight budget at the moment, so we're going hard with menu planning and not wasting anything!

I am also trying to be pretty healthy at the moment... I really need to shift some weight.  I absolutely love stir fries.. but Boofy is not so keen!  I decided that once in a blue moon, he could suck it up and deal with it!  Lol...

So one of the meals on our menu planner this week was Omelette with pork and vege stir fry.  Pork fillet goes a long way in stir fries, you really don't need very much at all... which makes it very economical.  Here is the recipe I used... even though it is not much of a recipe since I used a pre-prepared sauce I already had in the pantry (waste not, want not!!)  But had I not had this sauce on hand, I would have added fresh garlic, fresh ginger and oyster sauce to this recipe.  So here it is...

Small amount of pork fillet (I used 280 grams) trimmed of all fat
2 carrots, julienned finely
300g Mushrooms
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 bunch pak choy (stalks sliced, leaves chopped large)
1 bag bean shoots
1 onion sliced
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 Coles Chinese Beef Stir Fry recipe base
1 tbspn canola oil
Few splashes sesame oil
2 eggs, beaten together

I like to separate the ingredients so I can add them bit by bit... sometimes I do it into separate bowls, but one big platter is easier to wash than a thousand bowls, if you have one!  Here is what everything looked like prepped and ready to cook:

Heat oil in a non stick pan, fry onions.  When translucent, add pork and toss around in pan until almost cooked.  Add carrots, keep tossing around.  Add recipe base and mix through well.  Add mushrooms, stir until starting to cook.  Add celery, then pak choy stalks, toss around.

In another non-stick pan, spray with non cook sticking spray.  Drizzle egg with fingers over the pan in a criss cross motion (you don' want it to be a solid omelette).  When almost cooked, flip to get a bit of colour on the other side.  Take out of pan and put on plate.  Repeat for 2nd omelette (note: you can't really tell in my photos - mine were criss cross not solid, although a little thicker than I would have liked... hopefully yours will be more delicate!)

Add pak choy leaves and bean shoots to stir fry pan - toss around.  When they are starting to wilt, throw in coriander, give it a good stir around, then serve.

This made enough for us to have a big meal with the omelette.  Plus left overs to have (with a bit of boiled rice) for another meal.

Hope you enjoy it if you try it.  You may not like that much coriander - I'm a bit of fiend!!

Bye for now :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Winter cleaning...

Yesterday I had a day off.... a whole day, with no work, Boofy at work and Alex in child care...  Ordinarily on these days, I schedule myself to within an inch of my life!  There is always something to be done, and I fill my whole day with tasks.  This time, I was determined not to do that, but just have a day to myself at home.  Don't get me wrong, I still had things to do, I just decided that I wasn't leaving the house!!

My main concern yesterday was getting our linen cupboard cleared out.  You see, for some time, I have been looking at this...

And a close up of just how crammed in things were...

We've recently had a cold snap here (as with just about everywhere on the east coast I think) so I decided it was time to break out the flannelette sheets - it is not really cold enough here for electric blankets (and I hate the way they make you feel in the morning anyway - all lethargic and blah!) but flannelette sheets are nice and cosy - just right for this climate in winter!

So anyways, I went looking for said flannelette sheets... I have special boxes for them in the garage, because our linen cupboard is not that big, and cannot hold summer and winter sheets all at once (along with all my other crap!)... but I could only find one set per bed (we have a king, queen and single bed in this house).  I figured I need at least 2 per bed, 3 for Alex's, and I was pretty sure I had that many, but could not find them for love nor money!  I had asked Boofy to bring me all the boxes I'd carefully labelled at the end of last winter, and they just weren't there!  Only one set per bed.  So I figured they must be in my linen cupboard.  Time to tackle it!

I made the decision that if I was really going to do this, I needed to take the doors off so it would be access all areas and I could really see what was going on in there.  So this is what I was faced with after removing the doors...

I started to pull it all out and stack it on the dining room table, and that's when it became apparent just how much stuff I had crammed into this cupboard!!!  I wish I'd taken a photo of absolutely everything out in the dining room, but I forgot!  Ooops!  (I wouldn't have been able to fit it all in one photo anyway!)
I was at about this stage when a friend dropped around for a cup of tea, so I stopped for about an hour so we could catch up and sit down for a bit.  When we moved onto the second cuppa, I decided to chat while I worked (or I knew I would lose all motivation!)  So she handed me the things to put away and I got started putting it all back.

After a while my friend left, and I was left to my own devices again.  I continued putting things away, and there were lots of things that I decided didn't really need to live there after all - such as the chair pads that were down the bottom (in the first photo).  They are for the outdoor setting and as I said, its getting cool, so I decided to pack those away into plastic tubs in the garage with some fragrant sachets, ready for next spring.  I also changed over the sheets in the cupboard, putting my summer cotton ones into plastic tubs as well.  This gave me quite a bit more room.  There was lots of stuff I decided I could live without as well, so that all went in the donation pile to take to the Lifeline op shop.

But remember I mentioned the disappearance of my flannelette sheets?  Well I still hadn't found them after pulling the whole cupboard apart....  so I headed out to the garage, and eventually found them in more unmarked tubs!  I had washed them and put them with fragrant sachets at the end of last winter, so they were still nice and fresh.  I took them all out and put them away in the cupboard (the sets I found last week are already on the beds!)
So after I'd put what I needed to into plastic tubs for storage....  And put away what was going into the linen cupboard, I was still left with this.....

This pile is what I decided to donate - its all very usuable bed and table linen, save for a couple of sheets which I didn't donate but added to the drop sheet pile in the garage... they were virtually threadbare, my favourite old 100% cotton sheets - definitely not fit for donation!

I dispersed all the other stuff to the places it needed to go (special baskets in the spare room for the blankets, or into plastic tubs in the garage).  And then surveyed my new linen cupboard...  It was fabulous, but I decided if I wanted it to stay that way, I needed to label the shelves, or Boofy would shove stuff back wherever and I'd be cleaning it out again in another 3 months!

Since these shelves are going to be painted (one day) I just used hand written paper stuck on with sticky tape.  When Boofy actually paints them, I will devise a more long term and less damaging solution!

So just a reminder, here is what I started with...

And here is how it finished up...

Not bad eh?  Here are my little labels to assist Boofy (and me) in keeping it tidy...

It actually took me most of the day in the end, but I didn't mind.  I did it at my own pace, and listened to some great music while I worked, so it was all good.

Have you done any spring winter cleaning lately?  Or am I the only crazy one that does things back to front?  I know its not the most exciting of topics, hopefully you're still awake!! Lol...  I was just happy to finally have a clean linen cupboard where I could actually find things!

Bye for now :)

Tear off shopping list... reposted!

Apologies if you have already received this post via email...  I did post it a few days ago, but Blogger seems to have lost it, as it never actually made it to my blog!  So I'm reposting :)
I mentioned in my previous post about Mother's Day that I actually got an opportunity to get my craft on and make something!  So as promised, here is my step by step….  Before I go any further, if you like the look of this and would like to try it, I would strongly encourage you NOT to do as I do, but to do as I say….  Head on over to this tutorial at Infarrantly Creative (where I got the idea in the first place) and use Becky's instead!  It is far, far superior!  And if you're the crafty type, check out her blog while you're there... there are literally hundreds of inspirational ideas.
Well unfortunately for me, I did not read her tutorial before embarking on this project, just pieced it all together myself from my memory of the finished product, so my step by step, and the end product, are quite different to hers!! 
Firstly I went through (in my head) all the things we regularly buy when we go grocery shopping, and made myself a list.  I typed this up on my PC, and decided I would just make my shopping pad a standard A4 (as it would be easier for reprinting if it was a standard size).
We have a couple of fairly large Australia Post boxes hanging around.  I couldn't bring myself to throw them away, because I just knew they'd come in handy for something - and they did!  So I started with one of those:
Then I cut the tape on it and flattened it all out.  I laid the paper on it thinking I would need a backing for it plus a bit to go over the top to screw the lists in with.  I discovered that I could get 4 shopping list holders out of one box (with the crease already there for the fold over bit at the top - bonus!)  So this is how I laid them out:
Then I started cutting until I had this:
And then cut it in half lengthways and trimmed it all off so it was even and neat on all sides.
I covered the whole thing in scrapbooking paper that I already had in my arsenal at home.  I notice that in Becky's tutorial she used glue - I have found in the past (with the craft glue I have) that unless its really thick scrapbooking paper, it does warp a bit with glue - so I deciced to use double sided tape which I already had on hand (since my paper was quite thin).

I then covered the top and put my lists in.  After this I held them together while Boofy drilled two holes through the whole thing at the top.  My first attempt at this was a bit dodgy…. And things were unravelling!!  I did finish it (and I love it… from a distance!)  But I also made a second one - so here is where I am going to start switching photos on you!  This was my second attempt, where I got wise and clamped it before drilling!! Lol…  Once drilled I then put the screw posts in (which I got from Riot Art & Craft) and screwed it all together.

I got some of this adhesive magnetic tape (also from Riot Art & Craft):
And stuck two strips along the back - one at the top and one at the bottom.  I also did as Becky suggested and stick a bit of magnet to a pen.   
So here is how my first attempt looks on the fridge...
And my second attempt...
Quite good I think, as long as you don't look too closely!! Lol….  I also had an idea about giving it as a gift…  You can get little flash drives really cheaply now, so I put the MS Word file with the shopping list on a flash drive and wrapped the whole thing in ribbon (it didn't occur to me at the time, but you could also put it on a disk).  I know my shopping list is not going to suit everyone (as others have their own regular purchases) so I just put 10 shopping lists on the pad, then the recipient can modify the list themselves, and print their own list that is more specific to their tastes.  Here's how it looked when I was finished:
Once I'd finished and cleaned up, I decided to go back to Becky's original tutorial… which leads us to the point where I absolutely KICK myself!!!  Because this is the point where I discovered that the cardboard part only need be a little bit at the top - it doesn't need to be an A4+ sized affair covering the whole back…. D'OH!!  This project would have been SO much easier if I'd have read this properly before I started…. 
So the moral of the story is… when someone posts a tutorial on the internet with the step by step, they have probably already made whatever  mistakes there are to make (although if you've read Becky's site before, you'll know she makes fantastic things out of all sorts of stuff - so I'd hazard that I might have made some new mistakes in this instance!!!) … But generally speaking, you don't need to go making mistakes for yourself, just follow the awesome tutorial someone went to the trouble to post in great detail, and don't be a cowboy!!! :)
Anyway, crafting made for a nice Mother's Day morning - and I enjoyed it regardless!!  Plus I'll always look at my crazy prototype on my fridge and laugh!!  And a certain someone who shall remain nameless will be receiving my 2nd attempt as a gift, and I do apologise in advance (you will know who you are shortly!!!)  She is a wonderful woman who I love lots and lots, so hopefully we will laugh about how dodgy it is, and take bets on how long it will last… (Loser has to make the winner a more durable one!! Lol)
Bye for now :)