Monday, August 30, 2010

Camelia Display

Happy Monday! I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. Ours was a perfect mix of morning tea with a friend while Paul spent the morning with Grace, an enjoyable evening at our house with good company, a trip to the local farmers' markets and flea markets and a bit of gardening.

This morning I thought I'd share with you some photos I snapped of our pretty red camelia which is putting on a lovely show outside our front window at the moment. I've been eagerly watching the many buds on this plant and am happy to now be able to enjoy their colour each time I head out the door. It was only after I downloaded these images that I noticed myself in one of the shots :)

What has made you happy this weekend?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Treasures From Nanna

Last week, my 89 year old Nanna moved out of her unit and into an aged care facility. While her mind is still active, sadly her knees aren’t what they used to be and several falls have led to this move. I’ve always been close to my Nanna and when I was teaching in the same suburb where she lived, I’d often call in on my way home from work to have a cuppa with her. These days she looks forward to my visits even more as I have Grace in tow who always brightens her day.

We visited my Nanna last weekend in her new home and I have to admit, I left feeling a bit sad. While the new place she’s staying at is lovely (it’s a brand new facility), I knew that our visits wouldn’t quite be the same again. Grace didn’t seem to mind though and discovered Nanna’s stash of lollies within the first few minutes. I’m hoping when we visit her today, she is more settled in.

My sister and cousin and I have each chosen a collection of pieces from Nanna's house. It is my Nanna who I like to think I got my love of all things homely from and I’m very excited with the items I’ve inherited as they are all pieces I love and will use and which will all bring back memories of happy times.

Do you have any pieces from an elderly relative that have sentimental meaning to you?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

At My House

Today I thought I'd join in with the 'At My House' topic over at Buttons by Lou Lou. Grace has been enjoying spending time outdoors lately, so I've been trying to spend some time in the sunshine each day (when it's been around). She loves her little watering can and toddles up and down the backyard, showering all the plants and then picking flowers and leaves to fill up her bucket with. I'm really looking forward to setting up a little vegetable patch this spring so Grace and I can potter about in the garden each day when the warmer weather arrives.

Pop over to Buttons by Lou Lou here to see what others have been up to at their houses this week...

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Quilt Cover

Monday again! Hope everyone's weekends were lovely. Here in our little household, I'm looking forward to a healthy week with Paul and I over our colds and Grace doing much better too.

As I was flicking through some photos on the weekend, I realised I hadn't shared my new quilt cover with you all. Our main bedroom has remained virtually the same way since we bought our house and is long overdue for a fresh look (you can see a 'before' shot on the right in my sidebar and on an old post here). After months of talking about wanting a white quilt cover, I finally bought one from Ikea a few weeks ago along with a lovely new doona insert from Target which is so much cosier than our old one. Our new carpets and white skirtings have also made a huge difference to this room.

As with all my homely 'to-do' projects, this bedroom update won't be an overnight transformation, but gradually I'd like to do the following:

  • replace the wall lamps and main light fitting

  • sew a runner for our dressing table

  • add some small pieces of artwork

  • decide on some new softer looking curtains

  • find some lovely bits and pieces to display

  • As for my little stools I blogged about here, I'm much happier with the shade of aqua paint now that we have our new carpet and skirtings so I've decided to leave them for now.

    I'm on the hunt for some inspiration so I'd love to know what is your favourite piece of furniture or decorative item in your own bedroom? ...

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Standout Staircases

    When I was a little girl, I used to envy anyone who had a set of stairs to run up and down. Nowadays, I'm more than content with our single storey home but here are some different staircases which have nonetheless caught my eye lately.

    Which set do you prefer?

    Image sources:
    #2 unknown

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Cooking Class

    Last night, my sister in law and I went to a Fancy Pantry cooking class at the Anna Gare Catering Kitchen in North Fremantle. It was a 'Soul Food' class in which we cooked several delicious winter dishes. Afterwards, we sat down to enjoy the meal which we had all helped prepare, finishing off with a warm Chocolate and Orange Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding.

    With today's chilly weather here in Perth and inspired to try some new dishes, I've been thinking about other hearty meals to prepare before winter is over. At the moment though, I'm most inspired by delicious desserts. I'm eager to try a Chocolate Mug Cake which I've read about on several blogs such as Not Quite Nigella. Have any of you tried these? What is your favourite winter dish?

    Image above from here

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Cheerful Orchid

    The past week in our house truly was the pits. Grace came down with a stomach bug which I then caught followed by Paul and then she got a terrible cold. 9pm visits to GPs, sleeping the night on Grace's bedroom floor, going without a meal other than crackers for four days and being confined to a house which desperately needed cleaning all made me wish more than ever we were all healthy again. I've decided we all need to boost our immune systems so any advice in that regard would be much welcomed.

    To start this week off with something bright and cheerful, I thought I'd share with you all our beautiful orchid which is flowering away at present. To be honest, I haven't given it much care so when I saw that this year it had produced not one but two flower spikes, I was very surprised. It's nice to have something adding a splash of colour to the garden.

    What is the stand out flower in your garden at the moment?

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Rest Needed

    After having just gotten over my cold, Grace and I have now both been hit with a virus, so I am signing off until the weekend to catch up on some much needed rest and to look after my little poppet. Hope you all enjoy the remainder of the week and I'll see you back here again as soon as we're all healthy again...

    Image above from here

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Weekend Snaps

    Hope everyone has enjoyed a lovely weekend. We had my sister's housewarming party on Saturday at lunchtime and thankfully it was a nice sunny winter's day so we could all sit outside. You can see her gift I wrapped above. I used one of the Marley & Lockyer clay gift tags I won in Lesley's giveaway over at Life At Number 10 to decorate the package.

    Yesterday, we had a huge list of jobs to do around our house (most of which we accomplished) but we did manage time for a nice morning walk down by the river. You can see the Perth city skyline in the background of the photos below.

    How did you spend your weekend?

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Family Friendly Living Room

    It has been such bliss sitting in front of our 'fireplace' the last few nights. It really does create a warm and cosy ambience and heats up our living area beautifully. As part of our living room mini-makeover, I want to make the space a bit more ‘family friendly’ and a lot lighter and brighter. Down the track, we’ll look at getting some white in-built cabinets and shelves on either side of our new heater which will really lift this whole space but for now, we’re going to focus on the following smaller changes…

    • get rid of the feature wall and re-paint the same as the other walls
    • replace the dark grey rug with something lighter to contrast with the sofas and make some big floor cushions to provide a comfier play space for Grace
    • add a few little pops of colour in the form of cushions and accessories
    • remove the chunky coffee table so Grace has more room to play (one day we will get a less obtrusive one)
    • replace canvas above fireplace with something else (possibly a family portrait)

    Before I had Grace, I always thought I’d keep the kiddie clutter to a minimum. I now realise this is difficult to achieve and I actually want bits and pieces around our home to make it more ‘family friendly’, afterall, it is a place for all of us to enjoy. As Grace gets older, I’d like a little wooden table and chairs or toy kitchen around, little reminders that there are children in our house.

    Here are a few images I found in my inspiration folder that hint at being family homes…

    Image sources: #1 #2 unknown #3 #4 #5

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Warm & Cosy House

    Finally, after what seems like months of freezing in our house and after months of expensive power bills (running our little electric heater), our new Rinnai gas heater has finally been installed. We ended up choosing the Aspiration Gas Log Flame Fire and we are happy with the way it looks in our living room (excuse the poor photo above, it was difficult taking a shot at night with the reflective glass). Now we just need to touch up underneath the unit, put the skirting back on and hang our artwork back on the wall.

    For the past few days, I've been battling a nasty cold so no playgroup for Grace and I today. We're going to have a nice quiet day and hopefully get outdoors and enjoy some of the sunshine that has been forecast. At least when it gets cooler this evening, we'll be able to keep warm in front of our new heater. Hope you all have a lovely day too.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Entryway Changes

    Happy Monday! Hope you’ve all had a lovely few days rest. While we were busy painting our living room wall over the weekend (well, while Paul was busy painting and I was keeping Grace out of his hair) it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet shared any photos on my blog of our front door and entryway which we re-painted a little while back for a fresh look.

    Our old door was an ugly cream which looked horrible when left open inside. The wall straight ahead when you step foot into our house was a brown/purple shade which we were well and truly over. When we got our window frames resprayed last year in a charcoal grey (to rid all the horrible mission brown), we realised our front door and entryway needed some changes too. The first three photos below are the ‘before’ shots.

    We painted the front door itself a crisp white, the door panels and frame outside charcoal grey (to match the windows) and the wall as you enter the house is now the same as all the other walls in our place.

    Now I just need to work out a nice display arrangement for our hall table, find a cute inside mat and I’d like to make a little ‘welcome’ sign to hang on the brick wall next to our entrance. Any suggestions you would make?