Thursday, 27 October 2011

10 things you don’t really need to know about me

1.       I don’t wear a watch but am often (usually) late.
This is probably THE worst trait I have. I am not overly late, but 10-30 minutes is the norm. I do get the kids to school on time (just) and am generally on time or early for doc appointments etc., but if you are meeting me for a coffee or I am meeting people at the park, going to the gym or a class, I will be late. I don’t mean to be late, in fact I operate on the notion I will be early. I just always feel I can squeeze in just a little bit more before I go. Wearing a watch makes no difference except to add to any anxiety. I also like to get things done properly and thoroughly before I move to the next thing and don’t want time to dictate when a job is done.
2.       I don’t finish as many projects as I start
I love new projects and learning new things. I LOVE it. But sometimes day-to-day chores get in the way of this enthusiasm. Thus I start things, have grand plans, but don’t always finish them. There is the album of souvenirs and mementos I was going to put together when I came back from my trip to Europe in 1997. There are the 4 baby albums I need to do. I have all 4 albums. Ultrasounds, baby photos, etc. are collated but nothing has been stuck in. I hope to accomplish this before they turn 21 or leave home.
3.       I still like Sesame Street – love it.
I only stopped watching it because we moved house and school and at the new school I would come home too late to watch it. I love Jim Henson and if I ever to the US I would love to go on a tour of his studios.
4.       I have to eat chocolate if it is in the house – addiction.
I generally don’t open it, but if someone does open a block of chocolate or a pack of Tim Tams consider them already eaten.
5.       I have never seen any Star Wars movie or Jaws.
I am working on a list called “40 things to do before I am 40” and these movies are on the list. I have no reasonable explanation as to why I have never seen them so far.
6.       I once worked as the Easter Bunny, Goofy and Grumpy (from the Seven Dwarfs)
I used to do Jazz Ballet as a teenager and my dance school used to do a lot of the school holiday entertainment, so I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to be employed in this way. Very easily the best first job to have had. The Easter Bunny was a bit scary as I was on my own (my chaperone was sick) and I was attacked by a bunch of youths who stole all the chocolate eggs I was handing out and then dragged me by the arms around the shopping mall (I slipped and slid everywhere as there were taps on the giant feet I was wearing). Thankfully a shop keeper came to my rescue.
Me as Grumpy December 1988 (sorry for the bad quality)

7.       I am a hoarder
I wish I was a minimalist but I love stuff too much.
Hoarding example #1: Kinder surprise trinkets from 1997 - bought in Wales as we were about to board the ferry for Ireland.

Hoarding example #2: Souvenir given to me by my friend Natalie in 1985 from her trip to France.

8.       I have never had a manicure
I don’t really know why this is as I LOVE painted nails, I love painting my nails. I have had a pedicure and can’t wait to squeeze another one in as the hot days approach.
9.       I need more sleep but love going to bed late
I love that time late at night when everyone is asleep and there is no way anyone will call. You can be guaranteed of no disruptions. I can read, write, surf the net, go blog-manic, iron or just sit without disruption. I think this stems from childhood. My only sister left home while I was still young so I grew up very much an only child in the home. Lots of “me” time. Now we are a family of 6 so the household is very active and busy. Late nights are getting back in touch with my thoughts. (That’s my reasoning anyway)
10.   I am grey – completely
This is not a surprise to me. Both my parents greyed early. I only remember my dad with grey hair, and mum home-colouring her hair was a common thing. I am getting VERY grey now and am having trouble dealing with my roots. I recently home coloured a shade lighter than I normally do and ended up with orange roots and brown hair. I know, I know, I should have used the root touch up instead of doing the whole head. It will be a trip to the hairdressers soon so she can tidy me up a bit. (Long curly hair hides a lot of my mistakes).

So there you go. Some innocuous things about me. Thanks to Fat Mum Slim for passing the buck that was started by It Must Be Coffee Time.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Family Holidays

I’m already looking forward to our next family holiday in December. Being a family of 6 we do try and budget well for family adventures. No 5 star hotels, and no Disneyland (just yet anyway). Last school holidays we went away to our favourite camping spot (except we stay in cabins). It is by the Shoalhaven River in southern NSW.
We love our campfires. Cooking on it, roasting marshmallows on it, singing around it, or just staring at it.

We played with sparklers.

The kids ride their bikes and have fun with dad

We love to play along the river and dip our feet in (even when icy cold).

We love to go on bushwalks, get a little lost, and then discover something magical.

We had a wonderful holiday. But we were sad to see the loss of our favourite tree. It used to look like this, but now it has been chopped down. We knew for a couple of years that this would happen. It was a sick tree. It now looks like this:

Still fun to climb.
And on a hot Sydney day like today I can't wait for our beach holiday!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Things I am loving at the moment…friendship

Today I went out with a couple of friends to celebrate our 21st – not our birthdays – but our anniversary. We met 21 years ago, sitting on a school bench in year 10 gearing up for a new school in year 11. Madame M and I had met six years earlier and were about to embark on a new school adventure. New school, getting ready for the HSC (matriculation in NSW for those outside of this zone). Madame N was sitting alone on the bench, a new school for her too, and we met, and we became friends, and we remained friends. We remember the date because Madame N’s brother was born that day so he has proven a good reminder.
As any friendship of such a duration we have shared lots together. LOTS. We have done so over endless cups of coffee (and cake, and icecream). One of our favourite haunts was Bay Vista Gateau CafĂ© at Brighton le Sands in Sydney. We first went there in 1992. This is a picture of me there in July 1992: (sorry for the quality - it is an old photo)

The ‘90s were made up of many nights out often starting (and sometimes ending) with a coffee at Bay Vista. We loved our time there. We shared so much. And it is such a gorgeous place. Right across from the bay, on a balmy Aussie summer night it was great. I sort of felt like it was my Big Al’s in my own Happy Days.

Bay Vista recently went through a refurbishment and they have done a delightful job. I took my kids there (actually my nieces took us there during the July school holidays) and tonight I went back with Madame M and Madame N in celebration. Oddly enough our order numbers for our meal and dessert were 21 and 3 (3 of us celebrating our 21st). It was such a relaxing and uplifting night shared with people who know me, love me and have shared so much laughter and tears.

This is called the Athens 2004 and it was spectacular! It included things like pistachio icecream, fig and honey icecream and rosewater icecream (which was to-die-for), among many other ingredients.

Visiting Bay Vista with the kids - 20 years of icecream fun. And making the experience a generational one.

Thanks to PaisleyJade for her "Things I'm Loving" segment on her blog. Visit her here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The granny square

In my current state of doily-dom I am rediscovering the granny square. I love it as a rug, I love it as a blanket, I love it as a cushion cover, chair cover, throw, anything. So of course I figure I could dab my hand at that one and do up a few granny squares. But this is where I get stuck. I can't pick the pattern for the square I like and then fixate so much on this point I can't move on.

When we went away for the school holidays I took a few patterns I had downloaded from the net to try out. (Freebies - hooray). I made a trip to Spotlight to buy some yarn, which is another point to fixate on. I stood in those aisles for way too long trying to make up my mind on what I wanted. I think Spotlight should employ someone who can just be there for a second opinion - for those of us who are shopping alone and just need to ask "what do you think - this one or that one?" At the end I was actually pretty disappointed with my choices, but they'll do. I need some lessons in yarn purchasing.

I also bought some new crochet needles, a set where each size is a different colour. Initially I thought this was awesome but I should have just stuck with plane metal ones as there is some friction with the coloured ones which is annoying when crocheting.

So, here are the results:
Basic granny square done with a 4mm needle. Pattern found here.

Basic granny square using a 6mm needle.


The Wagon Wheel Square found here. (That's the pattern I followed but there are a few of them about).

This is the Kingfield Sqare. You will find the pattern for it here.

This one is known as "Katie's Bliss". It was a bit tricky but I managed it in the end. Pattern for this one found here.

So, now the next step is to decide which one to go with (or maybe do a few more patterns) and then make an afghan rug or something similar. Shall fixate on this for a while.


Sunday, 16 October 2011


Today we did:

The Nippers season started (and we have a new Nipper on the block: Master 3 has started!)

I tried to be clever with some product shots:

I started a new mosaic project. This time a very easy one that requires very little cutting of tiles.

Hubby made dinner:

And that was Sunday. It will be ended peacefully with everyone in bed and me drinking a nice cuppa over the Sunday paper.

Hope you had a nice Sunday too.

Friday, 14 October 2011


Today, my three year old discovered how well he can draw:

my keys got so tangled I couldn't unlock the house until I sorted out the mess:

and I made the yummiest blueberry muffins thanks to Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim.

How was your day?


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Happy Birthday Annie

Happy Birthday Annie. Miss our coffees together and miss so much more.

Anna Maria
13 October 1974 - 9 March 2003

Donate to Cystic Fibrosis Australia here.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Every woman loves to shop for shoes

Found these shoes online - on sale for 25 pounds (about 40AUD). I love online shopping. Aren't these absolutely gorgeous.

Here are some other gorgeous ones:

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Saturday at the Salvos

I took a quick detour to the Salvation Army depot last Saturday for no particular reason but to just drop in and see if there was something special. And there was. A Sunbeam Mixmaster.

Ta daaa:

My mother-in-law has an awesome one she got as a wedding present 42 years ago. I think it is fab and it works like a dream. So when I spotted this one at the Salvos I started salivating. The original price tag was $65, and then it had a reduced price of $25, but it was half price Saturday so it was only $12.50! That's right folks $12.50!!!

I had no idea if it worked but thought the price tag was well worth the risk. I took it home, gave it a good clean and then took it for a whirl.

One cake later and I am so in love.

And one happy family:

Friday, 7 October 2011

Invitation to a Cocktail Party

Designer Cocktail Party
Where Champagne Meets Fashion
6.30 pm Wednesday         12 October
Doltone House Sylvania Waters
Sydney Australia
Mention this post for FREE entry (otherwise tix are $30 redeemable on all purchases on the night)

Vera Wang
D & G
Napoleon Perdis
Eileen Kirby
Cooper Street
Peep Toe
Figz Designz
Toffeeapple Kidswear

Making your own photo canvas prints

Photo canvas' is not something I own but have always considered - should I/shouldn't I? I liked the texture of the canvas and presenting a photo in that form but never made it all the way to getting one (also, they can be quite pricey). So, I was absolutely stoked when I came upon this brilliant idea whilst doing a late night browse of pinterest.

Sarah who has the blog "Sarah's Never-Ending Projects" (a woman right up my alley!) has provided a step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve this.

Here is what I used:
canvas (can't be bigger than A4 size, I used 8x10 inch)
white tissue paper
A4 paper
homemade mod podge (craft glue and water - see this post here on how to make it)
2 brushes
Cut a piece of tissue paper slightly larger than A4 and then attach it to your A4 paper by folding it over and taping it to the back.
Print a trial run of what you want to print and then if it is as you like it print onto the tissue paper.

Detach the tissue paper carefully from the A4 paper.

Brush a thin layer of mod podge onto the canvas
Carefully lay the tissue paper on top and delicately brush over with a dry brush to remove any bumps and bubbles.

Don't be too enthusiastic or you will tear the tissue paper as I did like this:

Make sure you do around the edges and cut away any excess tissue paper to create a tidy finish.

And voila!

I've done one for me and one for my mother-in-law, but I have four more to do as I want to make a collage of them on my wall. All up it cost less than $5!