Nacho’s (maggi copy cat)

Revised recipe to copycat maggi’s

S Fam Diary 2016

I’m doing a series of test meals from scratch, we’ve started using the Maggi packets again, not sure when that started!! but at $1.30 a packet over a week of meals that’s almost a tenner I can put into our christmas club or next years holiday fund. $500 a year on flavor sachets. Eeeek!! not cool. So ahem! I’m decoding their meal sachets to replicate some of our favorite meals.

700gm premium low fat mince beef

3 x 400gm tins of baked beans (sometimes I use 1 tin of mild chilli beans)

4-5 carrots grated

Replicate maggi meal sachet with:
1/2 tsp chilli, 4 tsp corriander, 2x tsp cumin, fresh garlic x2 cloves crushed, fresh onions x 1-2 diced
I don’t add any thickners but you could add 1-2 Tbs of cornflour to 1/4 cup of cold milk with a fork and thicken if you want it to be the…

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Home sweet home – first week memoir

Tues 9 Sep 2014

A Maori woman and man arrive to pack up our house.

The large bubbly woman introduces herself and I tell her that I’m REALLY!! nervous about strangers going through our stuff…. she reassures me that it’s common and we have a cuppa together… this surprisingly eases the anxiety.

After a chat, laugh and cuppa she and her colleague get to work packing between friendly banter.

Amazing! Flat-pack boxes, fish and chip paper and rolls of tape start coming in – 3 hrs later just two people have packed up our whole house! including all of the little tools and things in the salon.

Wed 10 Sep 2014

Movers arrive at 8.30 am, as I’m leaving to take the kids to school.  Yikes we’re really moving home.

Three lads, one is from when we moved last time – cheeky Maori that cracks PUN jokes throughout the day as he works, asks me to buy him and the boys a whole cooked chicken each for lunch when I offer a bite to eat? I get them all some Chelsea buns and they gladly enjoy a snack break.

This time’s been so much quicker! one extra lad than last time has made a massive difference.

The PM arrives with our house keys, which were mixed up with another [our surname] client’s.

The house keys once inserted into the doors reset our locks, no tradies can now use their keys to get access into our house.

That’s pretty clever!

My sister Diane and nephew Aidan arrive!

Oh god.

She’s laughing and probably about to do something funny…

Time for the PM to leave. LOL !

What a godsend Diane and Aidan are… Just before 3pm the movers are all done.  One dropped book case is the only damage, it was a $38 one from stationery warehouse so I’m really not bothered, only a couple of dings in the mdf shelving that I can live with.

Off they go and we’re left with an overwhelming amount of boxes.

My sister takes a split second to offer to stay on and help unpack and make beds.

Marks been up since 24 hours ago so is avoiding me lol It’s much appreciated actually – he knows we’ll be under stress, probably argue and he’s just not in the mood with being so sleep deprived.

He spends the afternoon until 8pm cleaning the rentals walls down and vaxing the carpets.

I’ve been left at the new house delegated to get the essentials unpacked and beds made.

The kids are home.

Please don’t ding the walls or break anything…. arrr.

They occupy themselves quietly.

They’ve done remarkably well during this move.

Kitchens fully unpacked and I shudder at the idea of saving any more plastic containers.

I ring Mark to see if he want’s to bring fish and chips to us but he starts ranting and carrying on so I just hang up.

Better to hang up than go ballistic and turn into the ice queen right?


We get fish and chips and all head over to the rental, he’s nearly done, Diane and Aidan need to get on the road back to Ashburton, once they go I get stuck into cleaning out the oven and doing the living/kitchen windows.

Mark’s forgotten to clean the shower and all the chrome.

I make a mad dash for the cleaning products and get it done quick smart.

Get the dogs in the car and off we go home.


Thurs 11th Sept – 14th Sept

It’s a blur, sorry but it was:

Get up, do the school run, think of something easy for dinner like crockpot or frypan meals, keep on top of the washing and unpack box after box after box, then pick the kids back up, start the bedtime routine and all over again the next day.

Mon 15 Sept

The house is looking great!

Kitchen, bedrooms including the full function robes, salon, and the lounge (smaller of the two rooms) are all unpacked.

We’ve got listings for africa on trademe all on $1 reserve to get rid of all our surplus or mis matching furniture and stuff.

One problem though, the oven isn’t working! either we’re too challenged or it’s buggered, we’re going for the latter of the two.

The PM was meant to contact the supplier for us so it can get sorted.

That reminds me the tv reception is rubbish, I called the sparky and apparently there is a box somewhere that may not have been turned on? for the aerial on the roof. It’s beyond us so will have to wait until the sparky arrives to wire up the garage door motor.

The garage is almost done and may be done by the end of the day (will upload a photo if it’s finished today)

The larger of our two living rooms has all the trademe listed stuff piled up high, and all the boxes of garage stuff waiting patiently, once it’s gone we’ll look at a dining table set.  We sold our last one as had no room for it in the tiny rental but now we’re home we want to sit at a table again, the kids are still pretty messy at meal times lol

The dogs have adjusted exceptionally well to sleeping outside in their little housing, it’s not little at all at around 20 sq meters paved, fresh rainwater, solar lighting, drainage for daily washing down and insulated kennel rooms they’re living in luxury.

They are dogs after all.

Spoilt dogs.

Because they are outdoors I’m craving time with them, I do miss them… but I most certainly do not miss having to vacume down my couches before I can sit with a cuppa at 7am each morning, or the smell in our house, or the running for the door before the dogs when guests arrive lol

So it’s a good thing because the dogs are getting much longer walks.  This morning we took them to hagley park – it didn’t take long for Bella and Marley to find a pond full of ducks to get a splashing about in!!

They sit in the enclosure with their big puppy eyes beggin to come into the house so seeing them go crazy and wear themselves out with playtime on walks is great!

We’re home just in time for Marks Mom and Grandad to come and check out the place, Mark offers to have Christmas here, and Mom’s keen so we’d better get to work on the lawns and yard huh? yep!

Mark has six days work coming up then two weeks of booked annual leave – we’ll get sprinklers and lawn sorted and hopefully some raised gardens, I’m itching to get my veggies into the gardens, $3 for a lettuce at the moment at the store is painfully expensive.

I’ll do a VLOG (video blog) of a house tour in the diary for family and friends to see, you’ll need to use the password to view it

Vee xx

Village life for 10 months

10 months!

Doesn’t sound like very long does it?

How come it was so long when a build only takes 20 ish weeks?


We moved to the Linwood Village on 8 November 2013

Once moved out our 3 bedroom house and garage was able to be deconstructed, and the salvage teams came in, the asbestos people did their thing… then the demolition machinery and trucks arrived that all took a week or so to do then on a unannounced Friday morning – 20 minutes later our house is a pile of rubble.

Our neighbor videoed it for us if you want to see it click here

This was November 2013.

Then came Christmas! Close down for four weeks for all builders and such.

The council consents were requested when the holiday period finished and that took around 4-6 weeks.

We’re then at the point of the foundations…. so many new requirements meant tradies are learning as they go, with the support of experts putting their two cents worth in for earthquake proof foundations.

It’s dug out, the pile holes are hand dug then placed for them to arrive the next morning and realize the sand has caved in and now the piles are all wonky. oops.  Every little one of these delays has further delayed our move home.

So they get cardboard surrounds for the holes, then set them in with concrete.

The floor rails go on (I should know what they’re called by now!! lol) then what looks like chipboard goes on. what!!

Wet weather and a builder who just isn’t turning up over three ish weeks… our chipboard and framing to the house just sits doing nothing.

He’s fired. A new builder comes on board and gets it all up in a day or two.


The roof goes on, cladding goes on, and from there it seems tradies are there maybe once a week tinkering away at the internals.

Once a week.

What is going on???

Not enough tradies and not enough.

We get to our contract date 3 June and the house is no-where finished, the final slog is the most frustrating and stressful thing we’ve ever been through – you can read here what happens

We get delayed four to five times in total, around three months after our contract date we move into our almost finished home.

We are by no means finished though.

Follow us as we get fencing, landscaping, vegetable gardens, lawns (which are so complex!! to grow, especially when the soil is all sand) and the house feeling like home on the inside.

Luckily Vee LOVES gardening, and her hubby LOVES DIY projects!

I will do a post on our first week at home so keep an eye out for that one

Vee x