My Declutter 365 journey – January check in

One of the things on my list of 100 things to do this year was to complete the Declutter 365 challenge. The first month is all about the kitchen and, I’ll be honest, is one of the areas I really struggle with. I love to cook but I HATE cleaning. So I’m undertaking this and am blogging as I go, accountability and all that.

To start I found a largish box that was still in good condition after Christmas and have designated that as our donation box. Something we don’t want/need but it’s still in good condition – into the donation box it goes. I’ve put it on the shelving in our hallway so it’s out of the way but still easily accessible.

I’ve also created a household notebook to house (haha) all our important stuff. I may create a separate post about this.

Onto the kitchen *sigh* Here’s some before pictures. Seriously it’s shocking. Christmas and all that, hot weather and honestly it’s the last thing I want to do of a night time. I hate it. I really want to have a clean kitchen. I need less ‘stuff’ in here and honestly just keep what I use frequently. No point asking anyone else in the household because I do the majority of the cooking. Anyhoo…

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Seriously feral *sigh* these were taken in early January. I’ve managed to do counters, drawers, utensils, some of the kitchen cabinets, plastics and made a start on the pantry, fridge and freezer. I’m still working on some of the January bits and pieces even though we are now well into February.

Photos will be coming when I finish the January tasks.

Now just to get hubby & Miss K on board with keeping it clean haha

Even more food

Onto week 2…..

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KFC Style chicken (also known as popcorn chicken) & potato mashies. Love our KFC style chicken and the mashies are so delicious. A new way to use up any leftover mashed potato.

We actually skipped a day because my inlaws took us out for tea so that was why there was no insta pic on Thursday night.

Friday was Beef and Bacon Pasta bake. Another family favourite. Heaps of leftovers. Really easy to make. Only thing I do different from the recipe is to pre cook my pasta and then stir it into the meat mixture.

Saturday night was Teriyaki Pork Meatballs, Steamed Rice and Vegetables*. Seriously yummy. We hadn’t made this before but definitely will again. The meatballs were really nice and the sauce wasn’t overpowering.

This one is a favourite of mine. Makes heaps. Freezes well. Great for entertaining too. Creamy chicken vol-au-vents

Nearly done. Tonight we had potato topped meatloaf. Must be good, I had 2 helpings. Seriously it is good. And I’m not a huge fan of meatloaf.

Second last night and I swapped out another mince meal for Orange & Ginger Pork. Yummy and something quick and easy.

Wednesday was our wedding anniversary so I wasn’t cooking.

And bringing the first of my 14 day challenges to a close we had beef strog from the EDC. Another family favourite.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the next challenge for myself. I hope you enjoy these recipes I’ve shared.

* this recipe is part of the 2015 ThermoFunkies Club. It’s well worth the $37

Food, Glorious Food

Here we are. Seven days into my 14 day challenge and I hope you are looking forward to checking out the recipes.

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Bonus recipe – Honey soy meatballs. Wasn’t sure how this one would go but everyone loved it. It made enough for 2 adults, a 5yo and a 1yo plus leftovers (& a few sneaky ones snuck while mum was serving tea but shhh)

Day 1 – Honey chicken with rice. If you like Honey chicken from the takeaway you’ll love this one. Takes a bit of time but definitely worth the effort

Day 2 – Creamy bacon & basil bowtie pasta*. This one is a family favourite. Makes heaps.

Day 3 – Honey beef stir fry & noodles. Yummo. Love this one. Really nice with either steamed rice or noodles (we went with noodles)

Day 4 – Beef pies. New recipe for us. Had tried this recipe previously and it was ok, wanted to try something different. Added a couple of teaspoons of YIAH Veggie dip mix. Next time I’d add a little less. I decided to makes some wedges to go with it. You can grab the recipe (& what I’d change next time) here.

Day 5 – Moroccan style chicken roast with this stuffing and roast veggies. Wasn’t sure how this would go the first time I cooked it for one of the ThermoFun cook a longs but I was so pleasantly surprised. This is another family favourite I cook when we want something different from the usual roast chook. Always gives a moist roast, and if you put it in the oven for a bit, you get crispy skin.

Day 6 – Chicken mornay. Leftovers night! This is just a tuna mornay recipe made with leftover roast chicken. Seriously yum if you add a bit of grated cheese (& a little YIAH Herb & Garlic dip mix) Really nice the next day on toast with a little grated cheese on top.

Day 7 – Devil Sausages and mashed potato. Love this recipe. Love we end up with leftovers for lunch or another night. Bonus is we have enough leftover mash for tomorrow night’s meal.

*ThermomFun member recipe. If you have a thermo cooker I can highly recommend joining the ThermoFun site. A new recipe every week delivered to your inbox and access to a whole heap of helpful documents!

Updating our reno to-do list

Back in July 2013 I created a list of all the things I wanted to do around our home. Fast forward a couple of years and I thought I’d update the list.

Kids room

  • new curtains
  • polish floorboards
  • maybe some wall art

Our room

  • paint (gotta pick a colour first)
  • polish floorboards
  • eventually get built ins – the plan is next year (2016)


  • skylight – still not sure about this
  • polish floorboards

Bathroom & toilet

  • tiling the toilet floor
  • maybe a new loo


  • polish floorboards


  • new front fence
  • garden beds for the vegie garden
  • get gazebo up and set up for table etc  – happening this summer!

I’ve also been pinning up a storm of inspiration. Feel free to check out my boards – Bedroom, Laundry, Kitchen, Lounge, Garden.

Things we’ve done

  • replaced our wood heater with a newer model
  • got a reverse cycle air conditioner (& kept the wood fire)
  • new kitchen
  • replaced the plumbing – kitchen, laundry, some under the house and some outside
  • new roof & guttering
  • Family photos up in the lounge & dining room 
  • new bathroom
  • new front door & window
  • linen cupboard
  • landscaped front yard – new grass, new gardens, new paths
  • new curtains in the lounge & dining thanks to my mum
  • roller blinds in the kitchen
  • new couch and chairs
  • painted the lounge/dining room
  • built in cupboard in girls’ room
  • painted the girls’ room

Two weeks of Thermomix goodness?

I’m really looking forward to this. For the next 14 days I’m cooking Thermomix main meals. What meals you ask? Well wait no more cause here’s the list…….

  1. Honey Chicken with rice
  2. Potato topped meatloaf & veggies
  3. Moroccan style roast chicken and roast vegies
  4. Teriyaki Pork Meatballs, Steamed Rice and Vegetables
  5. Creamy bacon & basil bowtie pasta (Thermofun 2014 p56)
  6. Creamy Chicken Vol au Vents
  7. honey beef and steamed rice
  8. potato mashies & popcorn chicken
  9. beef strog (EDC)
  10. beef & bacon pasta bake
  11. chicken mornay
  12. devil snags and mashed potato
  13. beef rissoles
  14. beef pies

Won’t be cooking them in this order but that’s what we’re having. Lots of chicken and beef, hubby will be happy.

I’ll be back in a week to give you the first 7 days of recipes, photos and opinions 🙂


Give me 2 weeks and I’ll give you 14 recipes

As you know, I LOVE cooking and baking and I’ve decided to challenge myself to do a few 2 week challenges and then you get the recipes PLUS I’ll be sharing our opinion on whether it’s a yay or nay.

So what are the challenges?

  • 14 days using YIAH in our main meal
  • 14 days of Thermomix main meals
  • 14 days of baking with YIAH
  • 14 days of baking with Thermomix (are you sensing a theme lol)
  • 14 of recipes from Pinterest
  • ????? who knows – I’m open to ideas

Starting on Tuesday I’ll be back posting what I’m cooking for the fortnight starting with using my Thermo for 14 main meals

In the Den Kitchen – Chicken stir fry

You can now find previous In the Den Kitchen posts here or on Pinterest. Clicking Recipes in the menu above will also take you to my In the Den Kitchen Pinterest board. I’m slowly reworking some older posts so they will show up there too.
Links to any Your Inspiration at Home (YIAH) products will take you to my YIAH page. You can shop in Australia, New Zealand, USA & Canada from my page. If you are interested in learning about YIAH jump over to my Facebook page.

The other week we felt like something a little different from our usual chicken dishes so I decided to whip up a quick stir fry. It turned out ok so I’m sharing the recipe with you.


[yumprint-recipe id=’24’]

YIAH products mentioned:
Asian Inspired Dukkah

The road to our new bathroom pt 3

Well there you go, I never got around to posting the final pictures of our new shiny bathroom. And it was finished over a year ago. So my bad.

Anywho here’s the before as a reminder for you all

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Stunning wood panel hey! And now it looks like this …….

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So much better. Warmer in winter. No nasty breezes. Glorious white tiles on the walls. So much easier to clean. Less storage but less clutter. Mind you it doesn’t look this tidy at the moment LOL