Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Great list from Jorjah-B via The Vintage Chair.

RULES: There are 100 statements and you bold the ones you have done.
(I have altered a few to make it a little more applicable for Aussies, excuse my parochialism).

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band {sang}
4. Visited Bali
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo {lots!}
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept in an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (solar)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a 6 in cricket
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Uluru in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (definitely want to do this)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Had a photo taken at any "big/"giant" tourist spot (eg. Big Banana, Lobster, Golden Guitar)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (McDonald's counts right?)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (apart from Miss Chooken's portraits)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (in my daughter's room)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (well, had a poem published in a book)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House/Parliament House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (helped mum pluck a duck and chook)
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (lol, not the "Great Salt Lake", but Beachport's Salt Lake)
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Lots of things that are on my to-do life list.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Resolutions and Plans


Hmmm, time to think about resolutions and plans for the coming year. We certainly have some plans we will be working towards - resolutions are a bit harder for me, lol.

I have decided to keep the resolutions simple.

#1. Complete 4 more subjects of my second Bachelor Degree.
#2. Consistently plan meals for each week and stick to it.
#3. Have a 15 minute clutter-bust each night once the girls are in bed.
#4. Ensure dishes are done each night (I hate waking up to a benchload of dishes, ugghhh!).
#5. Make more couple time for me and hubby.
#6. Make more time for me to spend how I want.
#7. Drink more water.
#8. Get more than 4-5 hours sleep a night.

All pretty self-explanatory. #5&6 will require me finding a trustworthy baby-sitter and budgetting for them. We don't have much family in our city, certainly not many in a position to help with baby-sitting duties. So, it is time for me to find someone outside of the family who I can trust with my girls. Any advice re. looking for a babysitter is very welcome, so leave me a comment :)

As for plans for 2009...

#1. Sort out my laundry (re-paint, replace washing machine, hang tumble-drier on wall, install some shelving, maybe change internal door to a bi-fold to create space, change external door with a window in improve ventilation).

#2. Redecorate Miss Sunshine's bedroom. Miss Sunshine will be moving out of her cot soon, and I am planning to redecorate her room to co-incide with the bed-move. I want another power-point installed in her room also. Apart from that, it will be cosmetic changes.

#3. Finally get our walk-in-robe organised. Some sort of shelving, please!

#4. Shelves put in half the girls robes.

#5. Put veranda out the back of our living room. Probably the biggest job to do....

#6. Move computer/office into the spare room. Will need desk, shelves and drawers. Definately got some inspiration for this room, but will take some hunting around. Computer-desk currently in living room near our kitchen, but I would love this space converted to a walk-in pantry-fridge area. Will see what happens with that, but definately achievable to move office area into spare-room.

#7. Hubby will finish a small retaining wall, which I can then plant out to cover a very ugly fence. Will also get a water tank put there (maybe by winter?!!??).

#8. Paint our living room.

This list will be refered back to throughout the year to remind me to keep focused on what we want to achieve!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Metallic Monday

What an awesome sink! Brushed nickle sink with chrome faucets spied on Country Living. I think this take on a farm-house sink would be at home in both country, industrial and contemporary styled kitchens. I love it here contrasting with the sash windows, dark timber cupboards and ceramic jug holding beautiful hydrangeas - *heart* it!

Christmas Tree!

So after the unplanned trip to my hometown, I have been slow in sharing a pic of our Christmas tree. Here it is - lots of simple hand-made decorations that Miss Chooken and I created together. Miss Sunshine loves pulling them off, so luckily they are fairly indestructible. My favourites are the dough-craft ornaments, and the general idea is so applicable to other occasions through the year, I am sure we may do some more before next Christmas. Miss Chooken loved gluing the paper patty-pans too. Only a few presents have been placed under the tree, as the girls can't quite resist opening them, and we have said that Father Christmas leaves presents under the tree and gifts from mummy and daddy will be in a stocking for each of them. Next year I plan to make the girls a slightly larger stocking each, with a monogram of their initials.

(And sorry about the flashed-out shot of the tree, lighting technician I am not ;) ).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday Soak

After all your hard work getting ready for Christmas, I hope you may be able to find time before the big day to unwind in a tub full of bubbles/bath salts/rose petals, maybe with a book, a candle flickering and even a nice beverage. Sounds good to me!

image courtesy Phoebe Howard

Friday, December 19, 2008

Surprise trip!

After some quick juggling of plans, I decided on Monday to take the girls for a short trip back to my home town, particularly as we wont be going there next week for Christmas. We stayed at my mum's house and had a great time catching up with a lot of my family and it was so worth the effort! I was hoping to take some photos of mum's home, but after three battery changes, my camera was still playing up.....will be going to the camera shop to get it sorted out before Christmas. I did manage to get some nice shots in the vegetable garden, so here are some more pics of flowers and vegetables!

As you walk down to mum's garden, you are greeted by a gorgeous row of sunflowers lined up along a fence made of old galvanised iron sheets...

Mum (otherwise known as Ma Ma) follows the rambling garden pattern - ie. no set pattern, which she believes helps to confuse pests (she does not use sprays at all). Here is mum with Miss Chooken. The poor scarecrow is face-down in the strawberry patch, he needs a bit of work :)

Mum with a handful of strawberries...

Red cabbages all in a row...

Spring onion flower, such a gorgeous form. The flower head is nearly as big as an orange.

The shard or rainbow silverbeet.

More rainbow shard, yellow variety too.



A squash flower...such a pretty star shape.

Bean flowers...

Some of our bounty, a basket of strawberries and Miss Chooken pulling some carrots.... I need to get her into the garden more - when I asked her to pick some carrots, she was rifling through the carrot tops saying "Where?? Where are they mummy? I can't see them!" "Yes, you have to pull them out of the ground".

Miss Chooken and I also solved the mystery of Ma Ma's plucked radishes. Mum had been finding her radishes pulled up sans the leaf-tops. Miss Chooken spied the neighbours' horse reaching over the fence and helping himself to the radishes, but he was actually knocking the radishes on the fence so they dropped onto the ground, leaving the young leaves for the horse to eat. Clever horse!

Mum's farm cat Tom Tom. Yes, a cat on a hot tin roof :)

Miss Sunshine liked feeding the chooks and ducks...

Some of the old girls.

What a great time we had, family, sunshine, fresh air. It was hard to come home, but we were missing hubby/daddy and it is always good to sleep in your own bed. Now I have the weekend to catch-up on Christmas preparations and some laundry. What are your last minutes jobs to do before the holidays?

Monday, December 15, 2008

One Pretty Thing mention!

Thank you to One Pretty Thing for giving our dough-craft a mention in today's post on "Fun Christmas and winter themed projects for kids". Miss Chooken and I had so much fun making them, I hope someone else does too :).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flowers in my garden

A male zucchini flower.
We don't have a big flowering garden...but Miss Chooken has been growing some vegetables and fruits in pots (with the help of her dad, Nanny and myself).

Female zucchini flower.

Strawberry - so pretty.

There is one hiding - not for long though!

Cucumber flower - no fruits yet.

Tomato flowers.

Not quite ripe, but a nice size.

Will probably pick this one tomorrow!

Finally- the neighbours' geranium that grows over our fence - and I don't mind one little bit! The fence is so ugly and the geranium looks so sweet forcing it's way through and over it. I keep meaning to take some cuttings as apparently they strike very easily. And Miss Chooken loves to pick the flowers :).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunday Sleep-in

Yes, I am feeling very romantic and girly at the moment....I love the take on the canopy (hung close to the ceiling and actually made of two lengths of cloth - a cute photo in the space on the wall between would be sweet), the slightly imperfect-fitting headboard covers (although I would have a single large bedhead), and finally the fresh blooms in a soft apricot colour.

Image of a French apartment from Oliveaux.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Keeping it real - it's Friday!

Well we have had a great week - got some Christmas decorating time with the girls (although not finished yet), Miss Chooken finished her first term of kindergarten, then got hit by a gastro-bug and is still recovering. After a very restless night (where I couldn't sleep as I jumped every time she groaned, fearing a mess from one end of the other covering me in my sleep), we were up nice and early to find our summer weather gone, replaced by some showers and subsequent puddles. Didn't think too much about it until Miss Sunshine's presence was noted she is outside playing in the puddles and wet furniture,

Her pyjamas soaking and certainly not too clean anymore. Note the pile of wet chalk that Miss Chooken will have fun with once she picks up a bit today -wet chalk always draws easier.
And while I am keeping it real, I need to confess about our Christmas tree.....Hubby did a trip to our home town (some 500km away) last weekend to pick-up some stored furniture we had there. Seeing as the town is surrounded by pine trees, he thought it a great opportunity to cut his own tree and lug it all the way back to the city (well, he had a trailer-full anyway!). All good, except in true dad style, the tree was huge and required some doctoring to fit in the house ("It really didn't look that big out in the paddock...").

The tree then required a little more doctoring when we got it inside only to smell realise that a visiting canine had used said tree to mark his territory while tree was outside waiting to be doctored to fit through the door. Luckily, it was only some lower branches (easily cut off) and the smell no longer permeates our lounge room. Yes, I was more than willing to ditch the whole tree (even after travelling 500km!) if the smell did not was not the authentic Christmas pine perfume I was after!!! But all is now good in Christmas tree land, and we should have the decorating finished over the weekend. More pics then!

Have a great weekend everyone, and keep it real out there!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Summer Holiday

Well, we aren't having one. I know, sigh. Hubby will be working apart from the public holidays, so I am dreaming of a beach holiday in a beautiful beach house, with lots of warm days, a fresh breeze, lots of yummy fruit......maybe in a place a bit like these......a girl can dream!

Have a breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants and brewed coffee, before grabbing your beach towel as you head out the door... (also loving the collection of glassware and agapanthas blooms)...

Head out the door, look out over your pool to the beach just a short stroll away... (ah, pool vs. beach...hard choices)...
Maybe you need to pedal down to the beach...this is a nice way to get there.

And then you would need a gorgeous umbrella to lie under...(a bit awkward to carry on the bike, I know).

Or maybe a deckchair is your preference over the sun-lounge (I'll pass on the pebble beach though, sorry UK!).

Come home and clean-up in totally over-the-top shell-inlaid bathroom...

Before having a scrummy meal of seafood, salad and light wine on pretty place-setting like this one..

And retiring to a serene living room to finish your wine and plan your next hectic day of beach-bumming...

Feeling nostalgic

This year is one of only two in 13 years that hubby and I have not returned to our childhood home to spend Christmas with our extended families. I was feeling OK about it, excited even, as I now have the opportunity to plan my own menu for a small gathering on Christmas Day......but I have just seen a few images around that are bringing back memories of "home" (yes, I still call it home after more than a decade).

Gnome book - both my dad and Opa had this book and I loved it as a child.....there is one particularly gruesome picture in it of a troll and a gnome....and a nearly nude-shot of a female gnome that I thought was so racy as a kid (!!!!). Book spotted over at A Cup of Jo.

This fireplace.....where do I start? It has so many memories for me. My family has one exactly the same. It began life in my Oma and Opa's lounge room and my Oma would heat a kettle on the hotplate. It has gorgeous little windows to watch the flames and I love the chrome coal-bar at the front and the curved legs it sits on. It also has a side-door (not visible in this pic) that you can use to place any extra-long logs in the firebox. When my family built our own home in the early 1990's, my grandparents replaced their fire with a new one, and my dad and I restored their old took some elbow-grease with a wire brush, a coat of pot-black, new fire-bricks and a new flue, but it still goes today. Our beautiful family home was bought by my cousin a few years ago, and he still lives there with his family, so I occasionally get to visit my most special childhood home. Hopefully I will get there in the next couple of months and take some photos to share my memories. Image found here.

All the Christmas posts with pine cones and pine trees has me missing the tree hunt we would have as children each December. Our home was nearly surrounded by pine forests and our block of land used to have a plantation also. There are still a few stands of pines from the 1970's standing, and there are always some young pines to choose for our Christmas tree. It was always a joke that dad and us kids would come back, dragging a tree that ended up being 12 ft tall and barely able to fit through the french doors.....even with fairly generous ceilings, the tip would be bent over and dad would have to chop a couple of feet off to make it fit in the house. Which reminds me, I need to take some photos of our Christmas to come in next couple of days :).