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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunflower Sunday

Is it just me or can you not help but smile when you look at sunflowers?
They just look so bright and happy and cheerful!


After an absolute killer week at work I was driving home and spotted a bucket full of sunflowers out the front of the Florist. Didn't take much to convince myself that I well and truly deserved to buy these happy flowers to take home with me. I picked up a bunch for $5. A cruise down Beaufort Street, Highgate will give you a pick of half a dozen Florists all selling really nice arrangements or bunches for a reasonable price.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Never Give Up

Who would’ve thought finding a black and white swirly girly rug would be so hard? It’s only 2 colours and a bit of a pattern. Not much to ask I thought. Well let me tell you there aren’t too many white rugs out there. Beige no probs. Off-white plenty of those. But bright white? Oh no we don’t have that type sorry. Ugggh.

Why do I always want what turns out to be a difficult, one of a kind, pain in the ass to find? But did I give up? Hell no!

Me and the boy drove around the country side and checked out about half a dozen rug shops and when we pulled into the last shop about 15 minutes before closing time I wasn’t hopeful. But my ears pricked up when the salesman said because we were the last customers of the day we could have any rug on the rack we were looking at for $165. Some were labeled up to $450 so suddenly orange and brown and crazy patterns became appealing. But then I decided not to give up on what I really wanted and explained exactly what I was after. He showed me one he had and it was near on perfect but it was way too big for the room. So as we were heading for the door defeated and deflated he said he’d check out the back ... and he came back carrying the perfect size and the perfect pattern. I could’ve kissed him!

Just to prove even if you think your getting a bargain, you can probably get a better one, I fluttered my eyelashes a bit more and we took it home for $150. Sweet.

It went straight into it's new room the Craft Room/Study. I love how it makes such a bold statement in such a small room. It's just what I was looking for, just goes to show NEVER GIVE UP!
 
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Super Styling

I bought a bookcase a few weeks ago. I am a total bookworm but have never owned a bookcase. Well besides the hutch/desk combo I had when I was a kid!

So anyway I decided on Ikea’s biggest Expedit bookcase and as much as I like how fresh white home offices look, with most of my ornaments being white or silver I thought the black/brown colour would make them pop more. Plus most of my other furniture around the house is dark so it's keeping with the same theme.

So here is the beauty at about the 2 glasses of wine mark


I then traded a night out to stay in and super style it, moving books around, trips to Ikea for more storage boxes and some creative fluffing until I got the right look.


I was so chuffed with how it was taking shape. That was until I remembered the boxes of books I’d left behind at my parents when I moved out years ago.

Bugger

I had to start all over again after I unpacked another 4 boxes of dusty 10 years sitting in a shed books (as well as some of my parents old landscaping books which will no doubt come in handy). I pretty much took everything off and started again as I didn't want it to look too cluttered and kept thinking of all the ideas I'd read  "keep it in a zig zag", "don't put stuff above and below", "balance". Harder said than done. It took ages to get the right look with books, stacks, ornaments, the works.

This is how it looks now in all its glory
 



Probably needs a bit of tweaking still but I'm pretty happy with it. Absolutely grinning with satisfaction in fact! It's like I have my own personal library and with ready access to cookbooks it makes thinking of what to cook for dinner so much easier and my magazines all sorted and easy to access. Just love it.

Styling a bookcase really is an art form isn't it.

So tell me are you as fussy and meticulous with styling your bookcase as I was?

[All images my own]

 
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Recipe Swap Party



My tasty lil muffins have joined the Recipe Swap Party on Remodelaholic

Go join the party and check out some of the other tasty recipes! Nom nom nom!! Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Domestic Godess

Sometimes I get the urge to bake. No I don't mean packet mix cakes. I'm talking about from scratch sifting flour and using a zillion bowls and measuring cups! I had some strawberrys fresh from the farm, cream cheese and yogurt in the fridge perfect for whipping up these Strawberry and Cream Muffins.


They were pretty easy to make too and look pretty spiffy cut in half, would be an impressor for afternoon tea with the girls especially with a glass of strawberry champagne!

Strawberry and Cream Muffins
(Family Circle Fabulous Fast Cakes)

2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 tbs strawberry jam
1/4 cup strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 3/4 cup self-raising flour
100g cream cheese
1/4 cup strawberry jam

Cream Cheese Icing
100g cream cheese
3/4 cup icing sugar
2 tsp milk
Fresh strawberrys to decorate

1.  Preheat oven to 180c. Brush melted butter into 8 muffin cups (I used a tray of 6 texis muffin tray)
2.  Place eggs, oil, jam, yogurt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, beat mixture 1 min or until well combined. Add sifted flour, stir until just combined, don't overbeat.
3.  Place 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into each muffin cup. Cut cheese into eight pieces. Place a piece in the centre of each muffin. Top each piece with 2 tsp jam. Divide remaining mixture evenly between muffins.
4.  Bake for 30 mins or until muffins are puffed and lightly golden. Stand 5 mins in tin before turning onto wire rack to cool.
5. To make icing use electric beaters and beat cream cheese and sifted icing sugar together until light and creamy. Add milk and beat for 2 mins or until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Spread icing over cake using a wide knife. Just before serving decorate with fresh strawberrys.
NB: For a lighter on the waist line version just dust with icing sugar and top with strawberrys.


Enjoy! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Water Restrictions


Here in drought stricken Australia they've just enforced even tougher water restrictions (because of the not so wet winter and a long hot summer ahead of us). So we  can now only water 1 day a week. There aint no way we'll be able get lawn established with just 1 day of water. Looks like we'll be living with the dead scratchy grass and sand that is our backyard for a bit longer. A lot longer. Next Winter probably. I guess by then we'll know the design we want for the backyard. I'm still dreaming of the Mediterranean styled gardens and their unthirsty type plants are just what we need.


How does everyone else manage to keep their gardens lush and green with these water restrictions? Would love to hear your advice or ideas.

[Image via Georgie Sharp and Karyn R. Millet]
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Musings


This is my favourite poem. I never tire of reading it. I tried to trace it onto a canvas a while ago but there were too many words and it didn't do it justice (neither did my tracing skills!). I reused the canvas for this sweet poem instead.

I hope everyone is refreshed and revived from a fabulous Spring weekend.

[Image via Photobucket]


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween: Decor and Inspiration

I know we don't really celebrate Halloween in Australia but I wish we did after seeing all the cool Halloween posts going around lately. Just check out this setup by my favourite couple at Young House Love. Proof that an endless collection of white shiny ornaments has many purposes!


Have you ever seen pumpkins like these snapped by the gorgeous Tieka of Selective Potential? I've only ever seen them in the supermarket and they are more grey than orange. An old housemate even bought orange paint to paint a pumpkin to make it look authentic but gave up when the knife snapped trying to carve it!


Ok so the way I see it the best excuse I have is to throw a party but I've left it a bit too late this year (distracted by my recent holiday no doubt!) but there's plenty of time to start planning for next year. I'm not so into the plastic fantastic decorations but more with a modern twist like these from good ole Martha Stewart.

 

Does anyone else get their place ready for Halloween? 
Do you get any trick-or-treaters? 
Do tell!

 
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Revamped


Now I've been blogging for a few months I thought it timely to pimp up my blog. Make it a bit more easy on the eye. I've noticed I tend to do pretty long posts too but I put that down to being able to type at lightening speed combined with my love of talking! Anyways hope you like the new look.

[Image via Photobucket]
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone hope you have a great weekend!

I'll be busy setting up my Very. First. Bookcase! Can't believe I've never owned one until now. I love to read. Magazines count right?!

I found this awsome picture on Mike Stikey's website, he's the artist in charge of this book spine masterpiece. Amazing hey!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's been 1 year

Well 1 year and 1 week in fact (I forgot last week amidst the 30 hour flight home!) since we got the keys to our first home sweet home. And what a year it's been. In those first few months we were keen as mustard to get the renovations done. All of them in fact. We'd madly hoped to have the inside of the house complete by now, yep all painted, kitchen and bathrooms renovated, everything replaced with our own stamp on it, and artistically decorated by yours truly. Yea sure we can do that no worries mate. And work full time jobs at the same time. Hmmm maybe not. It's taking a bit longer than initially thought but that's ok. We're enjoying it and making sure we have plenty of fun in between. All work and no play makes for a dull household and we don't want that!

So here's what we have managed to accomplish so far, as well as hosting a few dinner parties and friendly ping pong comps!
  • Restored the floorboards which were covered in ugly green carpet
  • Painted the master bedroom, guest room, study/craft room and hallway
  • Hung up new blinds throughout
  • Installed a killer dream wardrobe
  • Replaced all the old tapware in bathroom and laundry
  • Installed a shiny new fridge with filtered water and ice
  • Had ducted air conditioning put in
  • Removed the humongous trees from the front and back gardens
  • Decommissioned tanks and repaved patio
Yes we've been busy bees!

Not to mention this is also the first time we've lived together. I've had to expand my culinary skills from toasties which was my staple bachelorette dinner to whipping up tasty meals that actually contain something called 'nutrients'. I probably own more cookbooks now than I need but they entice me to try new things (although cous cous and rice are still my arch rivals but I will concore you one day!). I've also washed more socks n jocks than I have in my whole entire life! But on the plus side I'll never have to change a light bulb again or be scared of the dark with my gorgeous man by my side. And I'm loving every minute of it.


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