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Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: One Day By David Nicholls

My March Book Club read was One Day by David Nicholls


I really enjoyed this book about 2 friends who I was dying to see get together but as the story is told I wondered if they ever will. Each chapter is written on the same day but 1 year ahead so you see them grow from College through relationships and into the real world. It's pretty funny, with the right mix of sex drugs and rock and roll for it to pass as a modern day love story.

It has also been made into a movie which my Book Club girls and I are getting together to watch in a few weeks time - this is the 3rd time we've watched the movie and read the book (Bridget Jones and Water For Elephants) I'll take any excuse to drink bubbly and eat popcorn with my well read friends!

I'd recommend this book to people who think they are 'just friends' with someone of the opposite sex when you're both secretly dying to jump each other! I really enjoyed this book and give it 5 stars - passing up a date with Johnny Depp - doesn't happen often!

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch re-runs of Neighbours than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up a pack of tim tams for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read


[Image from Dymocks]
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Topsy Turvy Art For The Man Cave

I found some cool artwork for the Man Cave

This retro pin up girl poster I bought from Planet Books (the same place I got the retro art for the master bedroom) was only $11.95 and the frame I got from Red Dot for $20. Yes it's pretty cheeky (literally!) but the alternative is having a real in the flesh centrefold girl poster so I was pretty happy to find this retro girl before the Mr could find something better! 

Framed and ready to hang

Up on the wall

And then it fell in the middle of the night

Oppps that didn't last very long! I went back to the shop and bought another poster as this one got too crinkled in the fall, and now I just need to find a stronger frame that won't fall off the wall in the middle of the night.

This Shhhhhh Ikea print that I've shown you before I've hung up in place of the larger one for now




The Man Cave is really taking on a bit of a 60s retro look with the new art and light shade installed

Linking up with my fav parties 52 Mantels and Savvy Southern Style

[All images my own]
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Buns of Steel


I always think I'll start a fitness regime on a Monday - Mondays are great days to start something aren't they being the start of the week and turn of a new leaf and all that jazz

But then Monday comes and goes and my sneakers are still in the shoe cupboard barely worn and my cross trainer is gathering dust in the Man Cave (after a lot of whinging on my part to get it into the house this is not a win on my part!)

So what to do about it? Well the thought of planning a holiday cruise has definitely got me motivated to work on those buns of steel - sitting poolside in my bikini or dressing up in an evening dress I want to feel taunt and toned not wobbly and self conscious. I don't care what the bathroom scales tell me or the tape measure around my bits - so long as I start to exercise and feel good about myself that's all I really care about.

Starting today the sneakers are out and buns of steels are on their way ... I'm talking a brisk walk nothing too strenuous but still it's a start ... Wish me luck!




[All images via Pinterest]
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yet Another Chair Change Up

I'm now onto my 3rd chair change up for the craft room

I first started with this jarrah framed armchair that I bought at a work auction (as a set of 6) with the intention of recovering the poo brown fabric but I never got around to doing it, so I decided to sell them all as a set on Gumtree



Then along came a pair of these leather recliners which came as a set with the 3 seater leather recliner that we got for the man cave. I tried to make it work by softening it with a throw rug and asking readers for advice on if it should stay or go go and decided it should go - I also managed to resell the pair on Gumtree 



So while I'm undecided about what style of chair will work in this room, for now I've put a coffee table with coushins on top so I can sit and it also has a handy shelf for my big photo albums that don't fit on the bookcase.



What I'd really like is some sort of bench seat or ottoman that doubles as storage as realistically I only sit for a few minutes while flipping through cookbooks looking for inspiration

So I guess it's back to searching Gumtree .... Hey, at least I'm recyling!
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recipe: Meatballs and Tomato Risoni

I saw this recipe on the back of a Campbells beef stock pack and it actually made me buy the product just for the recipe (tell me I'm not the only one who has done that!)

For once my meatballs didn't all fall apart so I'll be making this one again for sure, perfect for those Autumn nights ahead and best enjoyed with a glass of rose

Meatballs and Tomato Risoni
Prep 20 minutes / Cook time 25 minutes / Serves 4

1 ltr pack beef stock
500g beef mince
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 tbs oil
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
extra parsley to garnish
shaved parmesan to serve

1. Combine 1/2 cup stock with mince, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs and parsley. Roll into little balls. Put into fridge to set for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oil in large frying pan. Add meatballs and cook until browned all over.


3. Pour over remaining stock, tomato paste and rosemary. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in risoni and tomatoes. Cook for 8 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally or until pasta is al dente. Check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.


5. Serve in hearty bowls topped with lots of parmesan cheese and enjoy


[All images my own]
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: The Birth of Venus By Sarah Dunant

My February book club read was The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant


This book had a number of reservations against it at the Library and I only managed to get my hands on it a week before our meet up so I had to do a serious speed read standing up, in the car, at my desk, any chance I got really!

This book is a classic written back in the 15th century when women should be seen and not heard and is based on the main character Alessandra who grows from a young girl who aches for freedom to paint and be herself, into a controversial woman who has a passion for life and art. Throw in a young brooding artist based in Alessandra's family home, an older man she is pretty much forced to marry, religion, history, war and sexual tensions throughout the city and you have got yourself a very interesting and engaging story.

I would recommend this book for those that have a love for Italy, the book takes you down those cobbled streets and sets the scene perfectly. I give this book 4 stars yes I'd forgo chocolate for this beatiful read.

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:

1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch re-runs of Neighbours than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up a pack of tim tams for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read


[Image via Dymocks]
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm so disappointed

I'm so disappointed with the living room light pendant that was installed recently (the other lights we had installed as well and I'll share them when I'm less angry!)

It's hanging at the wrong height it's way too short and basically sits on the ceiling and so you can’t see the top of the light feature which should hang down from 3 wires. I was so worried about it being low and hitting our heads while we flung our arms around playing Xbox Connect that I didn’t think about how it was going to look that high up.

Two electricians and I spent about 3 hours fitting this light. The wires were tangled so we had to undo them all and then we couldn't get them screwed back in again. Tiny little ball bearings kept falling out and getting lost in our shag rug which looks like grass and there I am trying to find them with a magnet and torch and had to give up in the end. So they just had to tightened it with a lock nut thingo instead. Hmmmm dodgy.



I was not happy

I was home alone and my phone was flat so I couldn’t ring Pete who was at work, to ask his advice. The power was off so I couldn't charge my phone either.

I can’t change the length now that it's up because the lines have been cut short

This light fitting is the most expensive of all that we bought it cost nearly $600 and I feel that it doesn’t make the statement that it should

I've even dreamt about the damn thing for 2 nights in a row. Shows how it's playing on my mind. I'm so disappointed. And angry at myself for playing it safe. And frustrated. Grrrrrrrrrr.



That is all

I do feel a bit better now I've vented, so thanks and sorry you had to hear all that!

[All images my own] Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Too Perfect Not To Share

I'm always worried when I buy an avocado about what it looks like on the inside. Too many times I've cut one open and its bruised and gone dark or its not quite ripe and too hard to spread or worse it's too ripe and gone soft and mushy and I can't chop it into neat little cubes

As you will see - this one I bought the other day was too perfect not to share




I love avocado in salad I always pick around the bowl and put all the avocado on my plate!

I also love it spread onto a piece of toast

And its a must in my chicken cheese salad sandwich

Whats your favourite avocado combo?
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cocktails and Cruising

Last year is the first time in about 8 years when I didn't plan a holiday, or take off interstate or overseas for a little adventure. Renovating the house and other things at home took priority which is fine you can't have it all can you. BUT I'm feeling those travel twangs, the need to plan and see and experience other places and people.

So I'm in holiday planning mode and on the look out for somewhere to venture in the later half of the year, nothing too far away overseas as I can only manage about 2 weeks away. I'm thinking about a cruise, one where I can hop on in Fremantle and then sail around the tropical islands and back into Fremantle with my big heavy suitcase full of awesome island finds so that I don't need to worry about carry on luggage (truthfully that's one of the best things about cruising - not having to worry about the weight of your suitcase!)

The other best thing about cruising is the food, fine dining for breakfast lunch and dinner if you wish. Or sit by the pool and have a hamburger and chips. Or go into the buffet area with a hangover and eat all the bacon and eggs you can to feel sober again. So many choices. That's probably why there's a huge gym and lots of exercise classes to balance out all that eating!

My other favourite thing you will see in these photos from my last cruise on the Sun Princess in 2007

Afternoon cocktails sailing out of Brisbane


Sunset cocktails sailing out of Broome


Pre dinner cocktails with my parents


Pre show cocktails with my Nana
ok she doesn't drink, they're all for me, well maybe just 1 or 2!


Cocktails with dinner


Yes my other favourite thing is cocktails cocktails and more cocktails!

This last cruise I went on was with my Mum and Dad, my Dads brother and wife and my Dads Mum, my Nana for her 80th Birthday - not usually something you do when your 27 years old to go on a holiday with your family but I'm glad that I did. To share a cabin with my Nana (who will be 85 this year!) was such a great experience and to spend time with my parents and Aunt and Uncle who I don't see often it was really special.

Have you been on a cruise ship before?
What was your favourite part?

[All images my own]
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Put It In A Shot Glass

I'm still a little obsessed with serving food in shot glasses. After my Christmas Day Chilled Pea Soup with Spanner Crab I served in shot glasses which looked great enmasse I'm keen to use the glasses again - and I have 24 little glasses sitting in the cupboard waiting to be used again!

I'm hosting a My Kitchen Rules dinner party this weekend so its a good excuse to get them out

For the entree I'm tempted to make this Mexican Layered Dip (first pic) and serve it in a shot glass like this (second pic)



For the dessert I'm thinking about layers of gourmet icecream, crumbled biscuits and a rich sauce mmmmm



I'll let you know what I end up making and fingers crossed My Kitchen will Rule :)

[Image 1 Taste and Images 2, 3 and 4 Pinterest]
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: Beyond Bad The Life and Crime Of Katherine Knight by Sandra Lee



This book is a true story of Katherine Knight who killed her husband and for her grusome crime and showing no remorse was the first Australian women to be given a life sentence behind bars. You know the ending of the book before you begin - Katherine is going to kill her husband - but you don't know who he'll be through her various relationships, or when it will happen, or how. The book was full of facts and went back and forth a lot to repeat stories already told. From the crime onwards it was pretty gruesome reading and I did skip I few lines I couldn't bring myself to read all the gory details of the murder and I know I'm not alone - the police who worked on the case had to get counciling it was that traumatic.

This was another disturbing read and very sad and despressing to think people could do such a thing. There are some troubled minds out there. What I don't get is that all Katherine's threats to her husband were never taken seriously by the friends, family or police. The police should have more power to protect than just think that a piece of paper in the form of a VRO can save someones life and keep them safe. Clearly in this case it didn't.

I would recommend this book to those interested in Australian crime, but you need to have a strong stomach for the latter half of the book. I give this book 3 stars.

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch re-runs of Neighbours than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up a pack of tim tams for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

[Image via Boomerang Books] Pin It Now!

Monday, March 5, 2012

29 Ways To Stay Creative


My mantra this week thanks to Pinterest
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Friday, March 2, 2012

Garage Extension Begins

The garage extension has begun with the old carport concrete being ripped up and is now a pile of dusty sand and limestone rubble and yes I'm having bathroom flashbacks with all that dirt around but I'm glad it's trades men shovelling this time and not me!

It's gone from this before


To this now


Oppps the bobcat driver may have knocked down the neighbors fence in the process but we fixed it up and hung some shade cloth where the little gate use to be


This is the other side of the garage through the little gate


Also dug up


We laid a little makeshift pathway down the side of the driveway so we can walk into the house without walking through mounds of sand


The cars have been moved out of the way for the next 8 weeks or so while the work is being done and have laid some pavers down to make a temporary spot for 2 cars and our lovely neighbor has offered to store 1 car at his house as well.

So the demolition has begin - fingers crossed in a few weeks time we'll have a new kick ass double lock up garage in use!
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