Friday, July 29, 2011

Two New Blog Gems

If Paul ever wanders into the study when I’m on the Internet, he often complains that I have too many windows open on the screen at once. It’s not uncommon for me to have eight or nine windows on the go. You know how it happens - a blog you’re reading posts a link to another amazing blog which leads you down another path where you discover something else amazing and so on. Today I thought I’d share some of the lovelies I’ve recently come across.

A Spoonful of Sugar is a fantastic source of inspiration, tutorials and recipes for all things crafty and homely. Lisa and Sarah are a mother-daughter blogging team from Perth and as I read back through their older posts, I found myself bookmarking ideas one after another. The fabric covered noodle box above for example is very cute and something I’d like to try and the gorgeous aqua and red quilt Lisa made definitely caught my eye.

Having been working on Grace’s quilt lately and searching for inspiration, I came across Amy’s blog, nanaCompany. She describes herself as a homebody who looks for the beauty in everyday life. I enjoy seeing the projects she is working on and browsing through the Flickr collages she puts together.

Have you discovered any great new blogs recently?

Images #1 and #2 via A Spoonful of Sugar
Image #3 via nanaCompany

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Family Holiday

Today I had the unenjoyable task of unpacking and doing load after load of washing as we've just arrived home after a three day getaway down south to our favourite country town, Denmark. We wanted to have a little holiday with just the three of us before our baby arrives and it was wonderful spending a relaxing few days together away from the day to day routine. Grace did much better than we anticipated being away from home, although she was definitely a bit anxious about Asha not being with us. She was perfect on the ride down and after our lunch break at Williams, she slept for most of the remainder of the journey. Similarly on the return trip, her napping coincided with our longest stretch of driving. She was fine being in an unfamiliar bed and enjoyed all the new sights and experiences.

Whilst in Denmark, we drove around the Scotsdale Tourist Loop admiring the lovely views and stopped briefly at the Rickety Gate Winery where Paul tasted and bought some wine. Our highlight of the trip was definitely the few hours we spent exploring the Alpaca Stud and Animal Farm. Grace was in her element here and adored feeding all the animals. She was fearless, not hesitant at all to wander in the alpaca enclosure or to hand feed the camel. She was more than content wandering in the rabbit and guinea pig cage by herself, picking all of the animals up and giggling as they jumped around her feet. Her favourite animals by far were the two baby goats. "I'll look after you," she said as she cuddled the pair. When we had to leave, I told her to say goodbye to them and she burst into tears crying, "take baby goats home."

One of my favourite things we did was stopping for lunch in Bridgetown on our drive home at a cute little cottage I've always been entrigued by when we'd previously passed through. It was called Horti Towers and really was a unique little place. We arrived as it began to bucket down with rain and sat down at the only indoor spot, a table for three beside the pot belly stove. Inside, every wall was covered in brick-a-brack, every shelf and display cabinet packed full of trinkets and treasures. I managed to come away with a cute little antique dish. I also loved how our lunch was served on mismatched crockery, a bit like a Mad Hatters tea party and the soup I ordered was one of the nicest bowls of soup I've ever tasted.

So now, we're home sweet home and Paul has the rest of the week off work which is nice. I have our next Cooking Club to plan for and am hoping to buy a few last fabrics so I can finally sew Grace's quilt.

I hope you are all having an enjoyable week and I hope to catch up on all your blog posts I've missed over the next few days...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Computer Issues

Image above found via Poppies and Sunshine

Thank you all so much for your kind and thoughtful words and prayers yesterday. You don't know how much all those messages of support meant to me.

I'm having a few computer issues at the moment so I will be back as soon as I can sort them all out over the next few days.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend ahead.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21st… Another Year On

Today it is two years since my Dad passed away. I think I feel sadder this year knowing that we are expecting another baby… a baby Dad won’t be around to see. He would have been so thrilled knowing he had another grandchild on the way.

One of the things I miss most is the genuine interest and support Dad showed for us. He shared our excitement over good news, was always keen to hear what we’d been up to over the weekend and listened eagerly to us describing plans for projects around our home. Most of all, he used to love hearing about Grace’s latest developments. I can picture how his face would have lit up watching her now as a little girl.

Today (depending on the non-stop rain that is forecast), I’ll visit the cemetery and leave some carnations on Dad’s grave (these were the last bunch of flowers he gave to me) and I’ll spend some time thinking about the father I’m proud to say was mine.

Source of top image unknown sorry.
The bottom photo is the most recent one I have of my Dad.
My favourite photo however is the one here of the two of us.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Weekend

Hope you've all enjoyed the weekend. Mine was a productive one, even though a few things didn't go in my favour. On a positive note though, lots of good things happened over the weekend too. We purchased a new print recently for our lounge room and yesterday Paul put it up (I'll share some photos of our lounge room later in the week). I also crossed another project off my 'nesting' list which I am happy about. I had photos scattered everywhere as I had accumulated all of Dad's old photos, a bunch my Mum had recently passed on to me and a whole heap of my own which were literally thrown in a cupboard. Yesterday afternoon, I sorted through them all and while they are not organised neatly in a photo box yet as I'd like, they are organised in piles and I have managed to whittle them down to just those I want or have a need for. Aren't the photos above so lovely? I adore old photos like this - the school boy is my Dad and the one of my Nanna on the right is one of my favourite natural shots of her.

On Friday, Grace spent the day at my Mum's while I had a sewing day with my friend and her fellow quilting buddies. I spent virtually the whole time cutting out blocks for Grace's quilt. Now they are laid out on our lounge room floor so I can try and perfect their arrangement. Every now and then I walk past and swap a square around. I've been debating whether or not to add a touch of green fabric to the mix (the green square above is a piece of cardboard) and the grey Russian doll fabric is not going to stay, it's just there while I wait for the version with a white background to arrive in my mailbox. Today I went to buy some more of a particular fabric I had decided to use to bind my quilt only to discover they had none left.

Another thing I missed out on was that cane chair. After blogging about it in my last post, I must have jinxed myself as I was all set to arrange to go and look at it (after it had been listed for a few weeks) only to receive an email that the item was no longer available. I was so disappointed, especially as so many of you could see its potential like I could. Paul was secretly happy. I'll have to keep hunting.

How was your weekend?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Preloved Treasure Search

I wish I was one of those people who have the knack of coming across those ‘wow’ pieces in Op Shops or Ebay. As you all know, after my issues with Grace’s bed, she now has an ensemble one I'm happy with. However, I am still hunting for a bed head like the one above. Unfortunately this perfect piece was in NSW. There was a similar ideal one on Perth’s Gumtree a few weeks back but sadly I missed out on it. Even if I find a whole bed frame, I’d be happy to just use the headboard and ditch the other pieces. I’m trying to be patient, telling myself that what I’m after will show up ‘one day’.

Another piece I wish I’d been able to get my hands on was this round coffee table I spotted on Etsy. Being in the US, shipping to Australia wasn’t really an option unfortunately which is a shame as I absolutely love this piece and its design. I can picture it fitting in perfectly in our living area where we recently sold our previous heavy looking one. Once again, I’m hoping that ‘one day’ I’ll stumble across a similar one around here.

In the meantime, as a I was browsing for various pieces, I came across the cane chair above in Fremantle which I’m hoping to take a look at tomorrow. Paul doesn’t quite see its potential. ‘Who’s going to want to sit in that old chair?’ was his comment when I excitedly showed him my discovery last night. Once I explained to him that the photo didn’t show the cushions which also went with the chair (which I would recover) he warmed up a bit more to my idea. I’m thinking this chair would be good for a ‘feature armchair’ for our front lounge which is slowly starting to come along.

I’d love to know your opinion – with a makeover, does this chair have potential or am I wasting my time looking at it tomorrow?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mummy Daughter Morning Tea

Often, the mornings I enjoy most are the ones where we have no particular plans at all. Today, our coffee catch up with some cousins had been cancelled at the last minute so Grace and I headed to one of my favourite suburbs, East Fremantle, to the George Street Precinct where we stopped at our cosy Hubbles Yard Cafe for a pot of tea, a babycino and a delicious raspberry muffin. Grace was focusing hard on the task of carefully scooping off her froth and I was able to enjoy a nice warm cuppa. Afterwards, we had a play at the cute park on the corner of George Street and Hubble Street where Grace had fun playing on all the unique play equipment while I enjoyed the winter sun.

It's mornings like these I really hope I am able to continue after I have our next baby. Our little morning tea outings together are a special time and I hope that I will still be able to sneak out now and then for some precious one on one time with my little girl.

Hope you are all having a lovely week so far...

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Joys Of Motherhood

Today started off as a good day. Grace woke earlier than usual but despite this, was content to play and keep herself busy while I had a shower, checked the email, made breakfast, put on a load of washing and even did a spot of vacuuming. We took a drive to visit my Nanna at her retirement home where we enjoyed a cuppa and some biscuits and on the way home, Grace even nodded off in the car (very rare for her but I think she was catching up on sleep after skipping her nap yesterday and having woken in the middle of the night).

Anyway, when we got home, Grace was busy playing with her toy kitchen in her bedroom so I decided to use the time to get a few chores done and then, seeing as she was still singing away happily, I ironed all the fabrics for Grace’s quilt ready for cutting and sewing this week. I should have learnt that a quiet Grace means she is up to no good.

When I went to check on her, she had whipped off her soiled nappy (so much for our great run of toilet training) and I then spent the next hour cleaning, scrubbing and washing. So, I figure with dinner already sorted, my housework tasks for today done, as well as the extra cleaning I’ve had to do, I’m entitled to sit at this computer with a cuppa or two while Little Miss Naughty is napping.

I’m off to boil the kettle again…

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Balanced Week

This past week has been a good one as I feel as though I’ve accomplished a range of things and balanced everything I’ve wanted to achieve. There’s been a bit of socialising, a bit of fun, a bit of entertaining, a bit of cleaning, some cooking and baking, some organising and some crafting. If only every week could be like this!

My housework time this week saw me put aside a few tasks like vacuuming the bedrooms and instead, I organised our linen cupboard (one of the tasks I said was bugging me back here). It feels so nice to open its door and see everything all nicely arranged on its shelves where it is easy to locate. I've even labelled everything which may seem a bit over the top, but I figure it will stop Paul’s excuse of ‘I don’t know where it is’ when I ask him to get something out.

Also, each day, I’ve worked a little bit on finishing off Grace’s 1st Year Photo Album, something which was actually on my list of goals for 2011 and which I am please to say has now been accomplished. The monthly tags I used on each page were from Elle's Studio on Etsy. Here are a few of my favourite pages…

How has your week been? Which task are you proud to say you’ve completed?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where To Hide A Guest Bed

Image from Country Style found via Brabourne Farm

Having a four bedroom house and with one being our study, turning our current spare room into the new baby’s nursery means that we no longer have the space for a spare bed. My Mum and mother-in-law both suggested we hang onto the bed for a bit longer, especially as we’re planning on our baby sleeping in a bassinette in our bedroom for the first six months. However, our bedrooms are tiny and keeping the bed means that the cot would need to be dismantled and stored and I plan on using it for day sleeps with bub so this is not possible. Also, our spare bed is very rarely used. I can count on one hand the number of times it has been slept in since Grace was born when whoever was babysitting stayed the night (if we were going to be out late at function like a wedding).

So, what to do without a spare room any more? I’m considering buying a fold up bed as the ones I saw at a bed shop recently looked considerably more comfortable and larger than the one I remember us having when I was growing up. I’m not all that keen on blow up mattresses and a sofa bed is not an option as we will not need a new lounge any time soon. At least with a fold up bed, I can store it somewhere in a corner easily and drape a nice quilt or something over it to camouflage it a bit.

What do those of you without a spare room do when someone stays over? I’d love to hear your ideas…

Image from Tumblr

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dreaming Of A Holiday…

Lucky duck Paul got to spend the last three days in Sydney for a manager’s retreat. Whenever we’ve been to Sydney in the past, we’ve had a great time staying at the Swissotel, wandering around Paddington and its surrounding suburbs and soaking up as much of this wonderful city as we could.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about holidays – about staying somewhere with luxurious bedding, enjoying the novelty of eating most meals out and exploring the towns and cities we visit. We haven’t had a holiday since our family holiday in January last year so between now and October, we’re hoping to head down south to a few little towns, just the three of us before our new baby arrives.

The photo above is of one of my favourite places (besides the Swissotel) which we stayed at in Launceston back in 2007 when we travelled around Tasmania – Kurrajong House. It was such a character filled home, decorated beautifully with lots of antiques and surrounded by a gorgeous garden.

Do you have a favourite place you’ve stayed at in the past? I’d love for you to share…

Friday, July 1, 2011

Revisiting The Classics

Photo by Amy of nanaCompany found via Suziebeezie

Hope you have all had a good end to the week. It’s bitterly cold and wet here so we haven’t ventured far at all today instead choosing to stay rugged up indoors with our heater keeping us warm and toasty. My lovely friend Lyndell visited us for morning tea and since then I’ve been sitting here in Paul’s jumper trying to get warm (it’s times like these I wish we had a laptop so I could blog away and still be cosy).

Anyway, a post I read on Simone’s blog this morning got me thinking about the ‘classics’ I read and loved as a little girl. I think I first got into these stories when I was given ‘Anne of Green Gables’, a book which remains an all time favourite of mine even today. Lately, I’ve been wanting to read some of these wonderful books again and currently I am working away through another favourite, Little Women.

Another of the first books I received was ‘The Secret Garden’. It was in the lost property at the hospital kiosk where my Nanna worked and after a while of being left unclaimed, my Nanna brought it home for me. I can still picture its red ‘leather’ cover and fine textured pages. Sadly, this was not one of the books I decided to keep in later years and I have no idea where it ended up but I had been thinking recently about how I would keep an eye out for it at the local second hand bookshop.

Then, as I was blog hopping today, I came across the above image. Similar to the Penguin clothbound classics style of book cover, this range for children had me instantly drawn in. I am going to order 'The Secret Garden' and perhaps also 'Anne of Green Gables' (which I do already own but I am tempted by this version’s pretty cover). They will make a lovely keepsake to pass on to Grace when she is older.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend ahead…