Monday, November 29, 2010

Back To Blogging

Thank you for all your get well wishes for Grace. She seems to be on the mend today and although she is not entirely back to normal (especially where sleep patterns are concerned!) she is finally starting to get some of her happy little spark back after she suffered a terrible reaction to some antibiotics she was on for an ear infection.

And so begins another week and Christmas creeps up closer and closer. I need to get into gear soon and organise myself as I haven’t bought one single present yet. The first step will be putting up our Christmas tree during the week.

This year my Mum won’t be here for Christmas as she and her partner are are heading to the UK. It will be so lovely for them to enjoy a white Christmas entirely different to how we experience things here in Australia at this time of year. Does anyone have any suggestions of anything I should ask her to be on the lookout for for me while she’s over there, something small that’s better over there or only made in the UK?

How are all your Christmas preparations coming along?

Image credit: Jenny B Harris

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Few Days Rest

Just letting you all know that I haven't been around much over the last few days as I've been looking after my little poppet who's been unwell. Will be back once I've caught up on some much needed beauty sleep and look forward to reading all the latest posts on your blogs then...

Image above via Small Place Style

Friday, November 19, 2010

Difficulty Choosing Window Treatments

I’ve been getting a few quotes recently for blinds for our place. At this stage, we’re just after something for the laundry window and something for Grace’s room. The laundry is bare at present but the verticals in Grace’s room let in too much light between the slats and it’s far too bright in there in the morning.

My dilemma is that while we’re only focusing on these two windows for now, I’m trying to think ahead as to what we’ll one day have as window treatments in our other rooms. For Grace’s room (and one day the other bedroom and study) I’m liking the idea of a white Roman blind (in a block out fabric) as being a small room, drapes would be too heavy and close the room in and I feel this option would not stand out too much yet still look stylish and streamlined. The window in Grace’s room is a bit odd as it ends right against the wall which makes installing the blind a bit difficult. Are Roman blinds usually installed on the outside or the inside of the window cavity?

As for the laundry, the most recent quote I had was leaning me towards a simple roller blind but now I’m preferring the idea of a venetian blind in a white faux-wood (larger width slats).

My question is, do you think there should be some cohesion to the window treatments in a home to unify the look of things or can different rooms be treated differently if a similar colour scheme is kept? Decisions, decisions!! I’d appreciate any advice you have about window treatments from your own experiences…

Image found via Two Little Dicky Birds

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grace At 18 Months

My darling girl Grace, such a beautiful age and so many things to love more and more about you every day...

I love the way you like to help. You enjoy unstacking the cutlery from the dishwasher and the other day, I even caught you in the laundry putting Daddy's socks in the clothes hamper.

I love the affection you show for Asha. You love to pat her and give her cuddles and I can see you are going to be great friends.

I love your endless energy and love of the outdoors. You potter around in the garden, investigating things and pointing out anything interesting you discover. Your favourite thing at the moment is your swing (which has been the centre of a few recent tantrums).

I love the kisses and cuddles you willingly give. You rarely object to a request for one and snuggle into my neck like a little koala. The other day when I was reading you a book, you looked up and planted a big sloppy kiss on my lips (without me even asking) and my heart melted at your sweet gesture.

I love your joyful personality. You enjoy making others laugh and think you're funny when you walk around in our shoes or when you pull silly faces. You are such a happy little girl and such lovely company as we go about our days.

I'm so proud to be your Mummy x

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting To Know Me

The lovely Jen of From Me To Mum has kindly tagged me in a little ‘get to know you’ game.

Jen's blog is a great read and I always enjoy her posts. She is a Mum to two gorgeous twin boys and I admire the way she shares with honesty and genuine love her journey through motherhood.

So, here are my answers…

What is your favourite time of the day?
I love mornings – I get up nice and early and enjoy some quiet ‘me’ time at the computer with a cuppa and then Grace greets me with a big smile and kiss when I go to get her up. The morning is when I get myself organized for the day, turn on the dishwasher, throw on a load of washing and water the vegetable garden so I always feel like I’ve accomplished something before we head out to run errands and so on.

Where and when did you meet the love of your life?
Paul and I met at the wedding of mutual friends back when I was only 19. He was the best man in the wedding party and I was one of the guests. We’ve been together even since then and really make such a wonderful team. We think so similarly, often go to say the same thing at the same time and share plans and dreams for our future and our little family.

What three words would your friends outside of the blogging world use to describe you?
I emailed my friend Kylie for this one and the first three words she said were thoughtful, organized and loving.

What country would you like to visit and why?
I’d love to see the UK one day, in particular London as it’s one part of Europe I am yet to visit. I'd also like to explore some of the English countryside.

What is your favourite dish to cook?
Cooking is something I love to do and my favourite things to cook are cakes. My favourite at the moment is a recipe for a lemon cake which contains almond meal, giving it a nice texture and it’s covered in cream cheese frosting – delish!!

Salt or sugar?
I do have a bit of a sweet tooth but ever since my taste saga, I’ve found I like things a tad less sweet and now I only have the teensiest amount of sugar in my tea. Also, lately I’ve found myself addicted to the cheese and chive scones our local bakery sells.

What are your must have make up or beauty items?
I religiously cleanse, tone and moisturise morning and night. If I’m home, I don’t wear makeup but when I do, for everyday wear I keep things simple and use Clarins Tinted Moisturiser, a dusting of MAC Bronzing Powder and mascara. As for must have beauty items, I love Nutrogena Facial Cleanser and the Natio Rosewater and Chamomile Toner.

What are your favourite flowers?
I love the simple beauty of white roses. However any single bunch of blooms in our house always makes me happy.

What are your worst vices...honestly?
I am indecisive and can take a long time to make a decision when shopping. I’m not much of a risk taker either and tend to stick to my little comfort zone.

At what time of your life were you happiest and why?
All the usual big milestones have been my happiest times such as our fantastic wedding day and the day Grace was born. I can’t imagine being any happier than I was on both of these occasions.

And now for a couple of other girls who I'd love to know a bit more about:

Sarah at My First Little Place
Renee at Four Little Finches
Samantha at Black Velvet Chair

I'd love to hear your answers if you have time and feel like playing along with this little 'about me' game…

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Few New Things

Early this morning, Grace and I headed off to the church fete I blogged about during the week. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I discovered I’d left Grace’s pram at home and which meant browsing was a bit difficult with Grace ‘on the loose’ so all I managed to scoop up was a pot plant and some cakes. Hopefully I’ll have more luck at the upcoming craft fair. Seeing as I didn’t have any finds from this morning to post about, I thought I’d share a few new bits and pieces around our home.

One new addition is a cute antique Bentwood chair we bought for our entryway. I’ve been on the search for one to use as a resting spot for some time and had envisaged discovering a chair on the roadside or at a garage sale. About a month ago when we were browsing through some antique shops in North Fremantle, this one caught my eye and so a fortnight ago, I asked Paul to drive past the shop again thinking that if there were any left ‘it was meant to be’. Sure enough two remained and we bought one which I love. It has nice detailing on the seat and is perfect for the little empty space next to our front door.

Also, during the week, my lovely cushion I won in Deb’s giveaway arrived. She is very clever making something so beautiful and I really can’t decide where in my home it looks best – at the moment it’s on the armchair in our study where I think it complements my patchwork cushion nicely. I was really surprised when I won Deb’s giveaway as coincidentally, only the week before, she had won mine.

Finally, not related to homewares but new nonetheless is this floral summery dress I bought yesterday. I had errands to run and was on a tight schedule but this dress caught my eye in a shop window as I walked past. It is not something I would usually wear as my wardrobe consists more of neutrals and plain colours but I’ve decided I need to step out of my comfort zone a bit when it comes to fashion. As it was, I won forty dollars on a scratchie my Mum bought me last weekend so I figured I’d spend my winnings on this new item of clothing.

Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend. I have a quiet night planned of catching up on all your blogs and reading my book.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Missing Cardigan

When Grace was born, Mum passed on a few little hand knitted items of clothing that I had worn myself as a baby. One piece was a gorgeous pink cardigan with pretty detailing made of beautiful soft baby wool.

When I eventually went to put it on Grace, I searched high and low and couldn't find it anywhere. I was adamant Mum mustn't have given it to me. She was positive she had. It was only recently whilst having a big tidy up that I discovered the cardigan down the bottom of a bag containing all the cards we'd been given when Grace was born. It must have gotten mixed up in there when Mum gave it to me in the hospital.

Unfortunately Grace hasn't had the wear out of it as I would have liked but I did dress her in it a few times before it became too small.

Do you have any special piece or keepsake from your childhood which has been saved for your own son or daughter?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vintage Etsy Envy

In keeping with the 'Vintage Modern' label I have decided suits the decorating style I am aiming for in our home, I am always on the lookout for a pre-loved treasure at thrift shops, antique stores and flea markets. Lately, I've stumbled across so many vintage pieces on Etsy I would love to decorate with. However, postage for these is usually within the US only and international shipping for such items probably wouldn't be practical anyway.

Fortunately for me, there's an annual jumble sale at a little church nearby where my mother-in-law always manages to nab a bargain, so on Saturday morning, I'll be going for a browse and hopefully find some treasures. Also, an upcoming Craft and Antique Fair in Perth is also home this year to the Polka Dot Vintage Market so I'm hoping to go for a look at that later in the month too.

For now, I'll share with you the Etsy pieces that have caught my eye...

Image #1 unknown
Images #2 & #3 AMradio
Image #4 harmoniepark
Images #5 & #6 ethanollie

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vegetable Garden Progress

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. Today I thought I’d let you know how our little vegie patch we started about a month ago is going. I've included the photo above so you can get an idea where it's positioned in our yard (you can see it in the background if you look closely). We planted seedlings of cherry tomatoes, capsicums, baby carrots, spring onions, a whole bunch of different lettuces, baby spinach, red sorrel and strawberries. In some pots next to the planter, I’ve added another strawberry, rocket and tomato plant to balance things out with my herb pots on the other side and everything has been mulched with pea hay to help keep the moisture in.

All the seedlings are growing really well, especially the lettuces which we’ve already been able to use. There’s nothing better than being able to pop outside to pick a few fresh lettuce leaves to make a salad. I have noticed something is taking some bites out of the rocket and a few lettuce leaves though and a few white cabbage moths have been hanging around, so perhaps caterpillars are the culprits?

This part of our backyard is so much nicer now than the previous neglected corner it was. Also, we have stopped the problem of Asha running along the fence barking at the dogs next door and making a mess of grey sand everywhere. The remaining yellowish bush in between the herb corner and the vegie patch is really in the wrong spot, but it’s growing so well that I think I’ll just leave it where it is. We just need to neaten up the lawn and the edges around the planter and it will be perfect.

Here’s some photos of how this corner used to look and how things are looking now so far…

On a different note, I have to say I feel a real cloud of sadness in blogland here today with A-M’s latest news of her decision to take a break from blogging. Please stop by her blog and offer some words of support and encouragement for such a lovely lady who is going through a difficult time…

Friday, November 5, 2010

Morning Tea Recipes

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week. We’ve had a pretty quiet one and this afternoon we’re off to our friends’ wedding which will be fun.

As promised, here is the recipe for the Powder Puffs I made at my Pink Ribbon Morning Tea Fundraiser
last weekend. A few people also asked for the Jelly Cheesecake recipe so I’ve included that too. I’ve added a few tips under each one to explain some things I do when making these. Let me know how you go if you give either of these recipes a try and if you have any questions, or if anything in these recipes isn't clear, please ask.

Powder Puffs
(Makes what you see above plus a few extra)

I chose to make this recipe for my morning tea as it is one which can be made the day before an event. In fact these are much better served the next day when they’ve had time to soften. For a morning tea, I would usually make these the afternoon or night before.

2 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup cornflour + 2 extra rounded soup spoons
2 tbsp plain flour
½ tsp cream tartar
¼ tsp carb soda

Preheat oven to 200°C. Beat egg whites and sugar well together (nice glossy peaks). Add beaten egg yolks, then dry ingredients which have been sifted 2 or 3 times. Cover baking tray with baking paper, spray lightly with oil and drop teaspoons of mixture two inches apart. Bake 5-10 minutes (I found 6 mins was good) in fairly warm oven. Put together with whipped cream two or three hours before needed and dust both sides with icing sugar.


When dropping the batter onto the tray, I use a teaspoon of mixture (not too overloaded) and hold the spoon upright to let the batter drop off to make nice round circles.

When these come out of the oven, they will appear pretty hard and perhaps a bit crisp. This is normal. When they are cool, pair them up as best you can in similar sizes and fill them with cream (I whip 300ml of thickened cream together with some vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar).

When placing these on your platter, lightly dust it with icing sugar first to stop the powder puffs sticking.

Put in the fridge – after several hours, they will soften up. Take out of the fridge for a little while before serving.

Jelly Cheesecake

As with the powder puffs, this recipe is a great ‘prepare ahead’ one which can be done the day or two before an event.

1 pkt raspberry jelly (you could use an alternative flavour)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water

Biscuit Base:
6 oz butter (melted)
Marie biscuits (I used a packet less 6 biscuits)

1 tin condensed milk
½ cup boiling water
1 tbsp gelatine
125 g cream cheese
juice of 2 lemons

Crush biscuits. Add melted butter. Press into lamington tin (25x30cm) - I line the tin and I use the bottom of a glass to press in the mixture nice and firmly. Beat cheese. Add condensed milk, then juice. Dissolve gelatine in boiling water. Add to mixture. Beat well for 10 minutes. Spread over base. Allow to slightly firm before continuing with jelly. Make jelly with boiling water and then add cold water. Leave to sit for a bit (but don’t let it set) before pouring over the filling. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Cut into squares when firm.


There is nothing too difficult about this recipe except, it’s important to let the cheesecake layer slightly set before you pour over the jelly. When pouring over the jelly, I use a jug and pour it over the back of a large metal spoon very slowly. This stops the jelly from making a hole in your cheesecake layer.

For my morning tea, I piped some of the cream I’d whipped for the powder puffs above on top.

To serve, I cut the cheesecake into nice even squares (I trimmed off the edges to make my squares neater).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Favourite Frock

Do you have an all time favourite item in your wardrobe? For me it's the dress above which is definitely one of my 'best buys'. I spotted it at Picnic a few years ago and thought I'd try it on to make myself feel better about having to leave it on the rack when it didn't fit right. It ended up fitting perfectly and with several upcoming weddings to attend, I bought it.

I have worn this dress over and over to functions we've been to and with another wedding to attend this Friday and no time to shop for something new, I'm contemplating getting yet another wear out of it.

What about you? What is your all time favourite item of clothing that you would describe as your 'best buy'?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Home Feature At Honey And Fizz

Today I’m really excited because my home has been featured over at my bloggy friend Simone’s blog Honey and Fizz. She’s starting a series of posts where she’ll share a peek into the homes of fellow bloggers and today the spotlight was on our place.

Pop over to her lovely blog here to see a few snippets of my house and for those who aren’t already familiar with Honey and Fizz, be sure to browse through some of her past posts which are always full of inspiration…

Giveaway Winner

Sorry this post is a bit late but thank you to everyone who entered my 'first year of blogging' giveaway. Using an online random number generator (sorry I wasn't sure how to insert the image for this on my blog), the lucky number selected was comment #32 which was left by Deb of Let's Go Moerkabout. Congratulations!! I will get your goodies in the post to you as soon as possible.