Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Restful Christmas Break

Asha with her Christmas cracker

Well, Christmas is over for another year and what a wonderful one it was. Being Grace’s first made it all the more exciting in our little household, even though the wrapping paper proved to be the biggest attraction for her! I was truly spoilt this year and received some lovely gifts, the most thoughtful of which was from my husband who has enrolled me in two photography classes next week (knowing how much I would like to improve my skills in this area for my blog). I was also really pleased to receive this pretty tray I’ve had my eye on (thanks to some clever detective work on my sister-in-law’s part!) However, aside from the gifts, the best part of Christmas was all the fun had celebrating with family.

We have just returned from a short holiday with extended family at Paul’s uncle’s holiday house. It was a nice way to recharge after the busy Christmas period and as usual, there was plenty of laughter, good food and fun times.

Hope you have all had a relaxing break too and are all set to welcome a new year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Early Christmas Present

Photo by William Meppem via Donna Hay

My lovely friend Kylie came over for tea the other night so we could exchange Christmas gifts. She got me the most gorgeous present - Donna Hay's new book, Seasons which showcases some of the loveliest styling I have seen. With all it's fabulous photography, it's so much more than just a cookbook. Can't wait to try out some recipes from it in the New Year! Anyway, I'm off to do some last minute preparations for tomorrow. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas - hope you all get spoilt!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Only Four More Sleeps!

We had a busy weekend here tidying things up around our place as we are hosting Christmas night for 28 people (not counting babies!) Paul did a fantastic job of getting the outside looking lovely by mulching all the gardens, mowing the lawn and tidying up (we have a fairly large yard so this was no small task!) I stayed inside out of the heat cleaning, wrapping presents and baking Donna Hay Christmas cookies. This week aside from more cooking, I need to sort out how I'll be decorating the table. How are everyone else's Christmas preparations coming along? Hope you don't have too much more to do and can put your feet up before Friday and enjoy a Christmas drink or two...

Thankyou all for your kind comments on Saturday - things went well and I feel a sense of peace with that part of everything now over x

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The 'Perfect' Flowers

I bought these red carnations to bring with me to the cemetery today where we will be attending the placement of my Dad’s ashes. While not usually my flower of choice, red carnations are the flowers Dad last bought for me and so they have a special meaning behind them. Love you Dad x

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My First Blog Award!

I woke this morning and turned on our computer to find the loveliest surprise awaiting me… thankyou to the gorgeous Anna from Lona de Anna who has passed on the above award to me. I am so very excited! I love Anna’s blog so it is a real compliment getting this award from her. The rules of this award are that I must list 10 things that make me happy and 10 bloggers who brighten my day…
  1. Paul & Grace – my husband and daughter mean the absolute world to me.
  2. Our house – I get immense satisfaction from renovating and decorating our humble home.
  3. Cooking – I love trying out new recipes.
  4. Blogging – have found some lovely fellow bloggers and it always brightens my day to see people have taken the time to comment on my blog posts.
  5. Shopping for homewares - it's always exciting to find something new for our house.
  6. Interior Magazines – I eagerly await each issue of Real Living and Ideal Home.
  7. Cups of tea - English Breakfast tea gets me through each day :)
  8. Sewing – I like the challenge and sense of achievement (even though each project usually involves copious amounts of unpicking and restitching!!)
  9. Beautifully wrapped parcels – hence my love of Etsy :)
  10. Flowers – fresh flowers in my house always make me happy

  1. Catherine from Little Glowing Lights has long been one of my favourite blogs. She has been so encouraging since I have started Homely One and hers was one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own in the first place. Catherine takes amazing photos which are always perfectly styled and is very creative.
  2. Simone from Beach Vintage has been very supportive of Homely One since I started out. I love the way she has decorated her own home and I always eagerly await her posts.
  3. Belinda from The Happy Home has been a longtime favourite and is a constant source of inspiration for me. I love all of the clever ideas she comes up with for decorating and life with littlies. I’d love to be a kid in her house!
  4. Erin from The House of Turquoise always sources the most amazing eye candy. I adore browsing through her blog (blue is definitely my favourite colour).
  5. The Wifestyle Files has the loveliest sense of style. It's author (whose real name I've just realised I do not know!!) sources great products and images for all things stylish and I always look forward to her posts.
  6. Angie and Kristin from Blonde Designs Blog write one of my more recent blog finds. As former art directors at Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, they have some great ideas on their inspirational blog.
  7. Candace from A Pretty Trip shares some lovely finds and writes some great posts on her blog. I always appreciate the comments she leaves for me.
  8. Sarah from Molly’s Maison has been one of my favourite recent blog finds. I enjoy seeing her own homely projects and reading the lovely comments she leaves for me.
  9. Nicole from Bubby Makes Three writes a lovely blog. She has great ideas for everything from decorating nurseries to first birthday parties.
  10. Lesley from Life At Number 10 always leaves me lovely comments. I have really enjoyed seeing the renovation projects she herself has been undertaking.

There are three other blogs I must give a mention to also. The lovely ladies from The House that A-M Built, Ada and Darcy and Brabourne Farm have all been so incredibly supportive since I started Homely One and leave me the most encouraging comments. I remember being so excited when A-M wrote about one of the recipes I had posted about :) These lovelies all have such stunning blogs and are definitely on the top of my list of blogs to visit each morning. I would have passed this blogging award on to all of you, but seeing as Anna already has, I didn’t want to double up :)

And to the lovely Anna, I am so glad I discovered your blog. I truly do look forward to your posts – you source the loveliest images, leave me the most thoughtful comments and I adore your sense of style. Thanks again for making my day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Five Minutes Peace

This week I’m joining in with the My Place & Yours theme over at Meet Me At Mike’s which is:

“Where do you retreat to for that sanity-regaining break? I am interested in what or where in your home your sanctuary is…”

I like to spend my ‘five minutes peace’ curled up on our lounge, propped up with comfy pillows with a good book or magazine and cup of tea. Our lounge is a relaxing and peaceful room overlooking our front garden. I was adamant this room was not to have a television or any other distractions as I wanted it to become more of a quiet retreat. See others’ responses to this theme here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Countdown

Image from Country Road

We’ve had a busy but productive weekend of Christmas preparations. Our gift hunting is almost done – only two to go. As much as I hate battling the shopping centre crowds at this time of year, I really enjoy choosing Christmas presents and try hard to put thought into what I give to others. However, this year I must say I am really looking forward to a few gifts I know I am being given like some summer shorts I picked out from my Mum (similar to the ones above) and a book my mother-in-law is giving me. How are everyone else’s Christmas preparations going?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Delicious Chocolate Fudge

Each year around Christmas, I like to make a batch of Chocolate Fudge. It’s so lovely to sit down at night with a piece to enjoy with my cuppa. I’ve posted the recipe below. Next week I’m hoping to make a batch of Christmas biscuits. Who else is doing some Christmas cooking?

Fast Chocolate Fudge

125g dark cooking chocolate (chopped)
125g copha (chopped)
2 tbs icing sugar
1 tbs cocoa
½ x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp vanilla essence

Line the base of an 18cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper. Oil lightly. Melt together chocolate and copha over a low heat, stirring until smooth. Add icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Quickly stir in the condensed milk until blended (mixture will begin to firm immediately so work quickly). Pour at once into prepared tin and smooth the surface. Chill until firm. Cut into squares to serve.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Herb Gardens

Image from here

I used to have a beautiful herb garden with a multitude of herbs which I loved using in my cooking. It has since been replaced by lawn (due to its awkward position) with the promise that it will be relocated in a better spot. It has yet to reappear. When we do eventually get it up and running again, I would love some of these cute herb markers from Etsy store Nina Gibson Designs. Who else out there has a herb garden?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday. After doing some jobs around the house, I popped down to our local nursery and bought a few plants for our patio to put with the gorgeous pale blue hydrangea above. Now we just need to get some pots for them. We also paid a visit to the annual George Street Festival in East Fremantle where we wandered around looking at the many stalls. Today, I have a busy morning of Christmas present hunting ahead of me. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Patio Plants

Image from here

I’ve always loved the courtyard in the photo above. I love the way the greenery contrasts so beautifully with the brickwork. I’m hoping to make it to the nursery tomorrow to buy some plants for our newly paved patio. I’ve already bought a beautiful pale blue hydrangea and now I’m after something with white flowers. Will post some ‘after’ pics of our patio soon. Hope you all have a great start to the weekend.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Embroidered Homewares on Etsy

I was so excited to discover Etsy seller Kainkain whose beautiful embroidered cushion covers, table runners and placemats I absolutely love. Owner Jenny was more than happy to arrange a custom listing for me of a design I wanted in an alternate colour. The cover arrived in my mailbox last week and it is perfect! Below are some products from Jenny’s shop. See more for yourself here.

All images from here

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Image from here

We put up our Christmas tree last night which was very exciting. We have only just bought our first tree after over four years of being in this house. This morning I am off to buy some more decorations and some lights but I’m still deciding on a colour scheme. What colours are you all going with for your Christmas decorations?