Mountains of Fun

1 06 2010

Last weekend, marked my first anniversary of turning 40!

You may have learned from my earlier posts that we have a “rule” in our household when it comes to birthdays.  We don’t actually need anything; what we really need is “down-time”, so our birthday gift to each other is to arrange a surprise weekend away.

So whilst this is a great idea, what do I pack, what are we going to be doing, hiking, playing tennis, shopping what????  So on the morning of my birthday the announcement is made that we are going to Clear Mountain – yes I had to ask where this was too!  Turns out it is just north of Samford just outside Brisbane.

We spent the weekend exploring the area and dreaming about what it would be like to live there, which house would we buy, which block of land has the best view!

The best thing of all is that we had a total technology ban, so we couldn’t email, Twitter, phone anyone – we spent the entire time with each other – it was bliss!

So the free part was that my partner had a coupon for one night free accommodation and the fun part was just spending time together; which is actually both free and fun!

So the tip from this week is to think creatively when you are buying birthday gifts, do you need things or time with your loved ones!

Adele Blair

Green Apple Organising

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Free Fun Adventure – Week 9 – Weekend Away

14 03 2010

Last Wednesday my partner had to travel to Sydney for a conference for his work.  We lived in Sydney for about 6 years before moving to Brisbane in 2001, so still have some great friends and family who live in Sydney.  With my partner already in Sydney it seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to take a trip so we could spend the weekend catching up with family and friends.

First thing I did was check out the Frequent Flyer Point situation and bingo I had enough points for a return trip (FREE).

So now I need to find somewhere to stay that is either free or almost free! secondly a place to stay.  My partner is a member of Accor and each year they give members a free night’s accommodation Yay ……. nothing available anywhere near where we wanted to be …… booooooo.

So, let’s call some friends and see if we can “invite” ourselves.  Bingo (again), a friend of ours was going out of town for the weekend so we could stay at their place and use their car all weekend (FREE).

We had a fabulous time catching up with some very dear friends, in particular some friends who have a very sick little boy (6 months old), he had Downs Syndrome and some associated complications – but oh-my-gosh he is the most adorable little man you’ve ever seen – I wanted to bring him home!

Where could you go with your frequent Flyer Points, or Fly Buy Points or any reward scheme you are part of?  Could you do a house swap with a friend in another City for a weekend or perhaps a longer holiday?  What about house-sitting a friend’s home if they are going elsewhere?  Lots of creative options to get a very inexpensive holiday or just a weekend mini-break!

Adele – Green Apple Organising

www.secretbudget.net





Free Fun Adventure – Week 8

14 03 2010

Ok, so with the continue rain here in Brisbane, we have had to investigate another in-door activity for our Fun Free Adventure this week. I guess you could say we did two things this weekend, first of all we had a movie pass, so we took ourselves off to see “The Men Who Stare at Goats”, I liked the film and it was even better because I didn’t know anything about it really, so it was full of surprises, overall I gave it a rating of 3 out of 5. If you are a George Clooney fan I think you’ll like it took, I like him better in this film than in “Up In The Air”. The second thing we did was scout around the house to see what items we could sell on eBay. I am a self-confessed eBay junkie, but for selling, not really for buying. We sell a lot of items for clients on eBay and the thrill of seeing people bid for items sure is fun – it’s even more fun when the items for sale are mine and the money comes straight to me. So we’ve listed a Mountain Bike, a Coffee machine, a gorgeous Cellini handbag and there might be some clothes go on their too later in the week. What could you sell on eBay to raise some money? Not only is it a great way of getting rid of excess clutter, but it so much fun watching the prices rise! Check out some tips at www.secretbudget.net

Adele – Green Apple Organising





Free Fun Week 7 – In House Movie Marathon

8 03 2010

A couple of weeks ago my other half celebrated his birthday and as a result received 3, yes 3 DVD’s, all his favourite releases of 2009, The Boat that Rocked, Grand Torino and Inglorious Basterds. As the weather was …. let’s say …. unpredictable this weekend in Brisbane, we decided to settle in for a movie marathon complete with home cooked popcorn. Even though we had both seen all these films before they were still great fun – if a bit scary at times! I especially love the music on The Boat that Rocks – absolutely brilliant! And of course it is never too difficult to watch Brad Pitt! Why don’t you plan a movie marathon, each member of the family pick their favourite film. What about inviting your friends over and ask them to bring their all-time-favourite flick and enjoy – who knows what your guests might bring! If any of you guys have suggestions for our Fun Free Adventures, be sure to send them in, we are game to try anything – well almost!

Have a great week.

Adele www.greenappleorganising.com.au





Free Fun Week 6 – Picnic

21 02 2010

So after being out of the house almost all of last weekend at the seminar, we decided to have a weekend adventure closer to home.  Like everyone the usual chores had to be done, and of course the lawn needed a good mow after the week’s rain.

We have been driving past the development of the Kangaroo Point Cliff Park since it commence a year or so ago, and now that it is finished we decided to take a picnic and check it out.  As luck would have it parking was a breeze on Sunday afternoon and the park itself was relatively empty.  There is loads of vantage points to view the city (will be great for New Years Eve and River Fire celebrations), and of course lots of lovely fresh lawn to relax on.  In addition there are several BBQ’s and it looks as though the cafe is almost ready to open complete with a liquor license!

We took a very basic picnic of sandwiches and drinks and found a shady spot to enjoy the surrounds and read.  As a side note; that would be one thing that I would point out,  shade at the moment is at a premium so until the trees become more established I would recommend visiting at early morning or late afternoon during the summer months.

Why don’t you find a local spot that you haven’t been to before, or not for a long time, pack a picnic, grab a book or games for the kids and get out in the fresh air and enjoy the many green spaces Brisbane has to offer, they are pretty much all free!

Have a wonderful week!

Adele Blair

www.greenappleorganising.com.au





Free Fun Week 3 – Games Night

1 02 2010

After last weeks road trip, I thought I might stay closer to home this week – it was a bit tricky planning ahead this week as the weather was either going to be boiling hot or a complete wash out – as it turned out it was a combination of both.

So what did we do this weekend?  We went “old school” and played a board game!  My mother had sent us a game of Rummy-O for Christmas and we hadn’t even taken the wrapping off!  The game is similar to the card game but you use tiles like dominos – it was loads of fun as we tried to decipher the rules and eventually made up some of our own.

We played for hours whilst watching the cricket!

So it’s a short and sweet one, but the bottom line is get together and play an interactive game with the other members of your family whether it’s on a Wii where you all get a turn or a good old game of cards.  Take time to connect with your family and playing games is both free and fun! Have a fabulous week! – Adele Blair





Free Fun Week 2 – Road Trip

26 01 2010

For those of you who read last week’s Free Fun Adventure, you will know that I felt a road-trip coming on, read on to see where I went!

Now I should explain that this weekend by partner is in Adelaide, he is a mad keen cyclist and has gone to Tour Down Under to watch his “heroes” in action as well as cycle one leg of the tour – crazy if you ask me.

Anyway, faced with being home alone (we don’t have any children), I called my friend who lives in Cooroy in the Noosa Hinterland – a gorgeous part of the world – to see what she was up to this week!

Fast forward to Saturday – with the arrangement made that I would meet her after she finished work at 4pm and stay the night.  Now, no self-respecting guest would go without a hostess gift – so how can I do this for free (or at last super cheap)?  I decided to make a Fruit Slice, which is super easy and only has 5 ingredients that most pantry’s would have (I have included the recipe below).  So with Slice made and a bottle of wine left over from Christmas I head north.

As I had until 4pm to meet her and all day at my disposal I decided to stop off at Sunshine Beach for a while, after all it is a gorgeous day.  I spend a couple of hours once again reading a book – (still the non-work-related-book I was reading in Week 1 “The Persimmon Tree” by Bryce Courtney, 700 odd pages) and had a quick dip!

I head up to Cooroy at the appointed hour and spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening lounging around chatting, eating and generally relaxing and have a good time.

On Sunday morning we all decide to head back down to Noosa for an early morning swim (two beach visits in two days – nice one), followed by Breakfast at the Surf Club.  OK problem, this Adventure is supposed to be free – right?  At the risk of sounding like a wet-blanket I suggest that we take a picnic breakfast instead and have more time at the beach – this suggestion was happily accepted so off we went!

We had a lovely time, lots of laugh and yes lots of FUN.

So why don’t you “invite yourself” to a friend or family member’s home for an afternoon or evening, take inexpensive food and re-connecting with friends and family – it’s fun.

Now for the recipe I promised.

Fruit Slice

Ingredients

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Beaten Egg

125g Butter

1 ½ Cups of Self-Raising Flour

1 Cup of Mixed Fruit (although just plain sultanas and/or nuts would work just fine)

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180

Boil together the brown sugar and butter, and take it immediately off the heat once boiling point is reached

Place flour, fruit and the egg in a bowl

Pour in brown sugar and butter mix

And thoroughly mix

Press the mixture into a slice tin (or a lamington tin will work just as well).

Bake for 20mins

Allow to cool slightly before cutting into slices.

Enjoy! – Adele Blair – GreenAppleOrganising