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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book Club: Divine Clementine by Hayley S Kirk

The April Book Club read was Divine Clementine by Hayley S Kirk

Divine Clementine is a story about a teenage girl Clementine whose eccentric Aunt dies suddenly and how Clementine and her family deals with the death, loss and grief.

Clementine is your typical teenager until her Aunt Stella who she idolises and looks up to dies in an accident. The story then uncovers the truth about the fun loving free spirited Aunt that Clementine thought she knew to the depressed anxious unstable person the rest of the family knew her to be. Clementine was unaware how much her Aunt Stella battled with anxiety and the black cloud of depression. All this is discovered when Clementine reads her Aunt Stella's diary and soon realises that everything she thought she knew about her was a lie.

You are taken on the lows of teenage angst dealing with loss and death - from the sullen silent treatments to drunken debacles until Clementine is sent off to a country town and finally accepts that she needs to deal with her loss.
This book didn't keep me engaged all the way through. I was actually a bit frustrated with Clementine and how mean she was towards her family and the way she was carrying on towards everyone even her friends. I wonder if I was really that much of a brat to my family when I was 16 .... and the answer is probably yes but how quickly we forget what it's like to be a teenager.

I would recommend this book as young adult fiction and to anyone wanting an insight into how teenagers deal with grief after the death or loss of someone they love.
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 Random House]
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Holidaying At Home

This week I was meant to go away to the sea side town of Dongara having booked a cute little chalet right on the water front. But unfortunately plans have changed due to Mr P's work commitments so we cancelled our little mini break. I decided to still take the week off work and have a holiday break at home and I plan to ...
Dream of my new kitchen and go shopping to check out some feature lighting for the island bench and some new bar stools.
Start to get my art for the kitchen and work out what clocks and art go together for my wall of clocks and art. I have some prints to frame and I also want to create my own art by typing up some quotes and printing onto pretty paper.

I can't have a holiday without a day of pampering ... a trip to the hairdressers to get my hair done and a massage and facial while I'm at it. I feel so relaxed and refreshed after some pampering - it's my true guilty pleasure!

I've made plans to catch up with friends - shopping trips, hanging at home and going out for dinner. Catching up with the family too I might need to invite myself over for dinner seems as though I ripped out my kitchen on the weekend (demolition post to come soon!)

Finally, I intend to spend an entire day being an absolute sloth and sitting around in my pajamas and watching day time TV. Lexi will be pleased we can have some doggy days too!

 What's your favourite thing to do when your holidaying at home?
[Images via my Pinterest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

People's Choice Closing - Australian Best Blogs Competition

Voting is closing in just a few days on 30 April 2013 for the People's Choice round for the Australian Best Blogs Competition - I'd be forever grateful if you headed over here and voted for Jarrah Jungle on page 2 names are listed alphabetically.
This week the 25 Finalists were named over 5 categories you can check them out here. These finalist blogs have very talented writing styles and quality content I can see why they were selected by the Judges.
Of the Lifestyle/Hobby finalists named most of the blogs are about food and travel, none were renovating and decorating blogs which I was really quite surprised about.

I'm still feeling pretty special in my niche area of blogging about my home renovations and with the Kitchen Renovation underway be prepared for lots of DIY stories and misadventures in the coming weeks ...
You can vote here in the People's choice until 30 April 2013
Thanks a bunch for your support xxx

[Images via WritersCentre and my own]
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ANZAC Day - Lest We Forget

Tomorrow, Thursday 25 April 2013 is ANZAC Day and I thought I would share a bit about what ANZAC Day means to me as an Australian.
ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps. So while there is always friendly rivalry against our fellow Kiwis, it’s all just a bit of heckling because deep down we see them as our mates in times of need.
The date 25 April commemorates a World War 1 battle in Turkey, Gallipoli where thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops died. This spot in Gallipoli is now known as ANZAC cove. It was the first time that us Aussies really fought as our own Country, rather than as part of our allies Countries.
ANZAC Day does not celebrate victory, it’s more about us Australians remembering the sacrifice of those who have served for our country in the War so that we can be free and live the life we do today. We also remember those currently serving members of the Australian forces.
There are many Anzac Day events, ceremonies and services on - You will find families, young and old getting up early for dawn services across the country. Old timers, veterans and friends having a reunion and a beer at a local club. Anzac Day parades for ex-service men and woman through the city streets. People at home in the kitchen baking Anzac biscuits. Across the seas in Gallipoli there are people that take the trek to stand in the very place that disaster struck all those years ago to remember those that have fallen.
There is a song which will play on the radio on ANZAC Day ‘And The band Played Waltzing Matilda’ which tells the story of the War and that fateful day at Gallipoli. Most Australians know the lyrics by heart, I remember it being taught to me in School and what a sad but beautiful song it is, you can read the full lyrics here.
Lest we forget 
[Image from here]
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Picking Out Kitchen Materials - Cupboards and Benchtop

We have made some decisions and picked out the materials to be used in our Kitchen cupboards and benchtop.

We knew from the start we wanted white cupboards for the kitchen - they look fresh and modern and will remain classic. The type of white however took a little longer to decide on.

Do you know how many different types of whites there are? There's heaps I can tell you!
Classic White Vs Ultra White
For the kitchen cupboards we were tossing up between Classic white which has tones of cream in it or the Ultra White which is brighter and cleaner looking. We have avoided all shades of cream and beige in the house so far as the Classic white tends to clash with our grey painted walls throughout the house so we opted for the bright and clean Ultra white.
We picked Ultra White Gloss for the cupboard doors and for the side panels we chose Polar White Sheen. Because the door and side panels are made from different materials, the matching Ultra White gloss side panel was in fact a slightly different shade and the Polar White matched in with it better. Confused? That's ok so was I but they have been selected now so onto the next thing!

Ultra White Doors and Side Panel and Polar White Side Panel
Now onto the bench top - I like the darker granite because it will hide any red wine and turmeric type of stains which are pretty inevitable in the kitchen. I can't keep white clothes clean and I can just imagine what my white benchtop would look like after months of cooking spaghetti and curries ... I just feel much more comfortable with a darker benchtop.

The company making our kitchen QN Designs import all their granite bench tops and while they don't have a huge choice it is actually easier the fact there are only a few to pick from. There were only 2 choices of dark granite - 1 black with pearl shell or 1 black with silver sparkles - we picked the black granite pearl shell bench top the same as our bathroom vanity.

When we install the lighting in the kitchen we need to pay attention to where the lights will shine onto the bench to really pick up the pretty shell pattern in the granite - some pendant lights shining down onto the island bench and the glass overhead cabinets above the oven should light up the bench nicely.

Colours against the black granite bench top
I mentioned last week we are having contrasting kick boards in black. I think the black and white look is going to look classic but still add a bit of interest. Plus the black will make the white cabinets look like they're floating. This is me trying to be daring so I need your support here!
Cupboard colours, Kickboard and Bench top
From a brochure with 20+ different door profiles I had looked at a hundred times we then went through the QN Designs showroom and looked at the doors themselves to choose what we liked - seeing the materials with your eyes up close and personal is far better than going off a computer screen or a brochure for your final decisions.

We picked out the Softline door profile which has a square angle on the edges ... I know what you're thinking she's really living on the edge with this choice and you would be correct! I'm not renovating my kitchen only to pick standard door profiles and want to have some fun with the design. My only concern with picking a door profile was how easy it will be to clean and wipe over and I think this Softline will be easy to keep clean while adding a bit of interest with the angled edges.

Softline Door Panel
The handles and splashback are the next materials to chose and possibly the hardest because there are so many choices. We are leaning towards large square shaped handles and a glass type of splashback ... stay tuned for more materials updates.

For updates on the kitchen as I go Like Jarrah Jungle on Facebook and you'll never miss a thing!

[All images my own]
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Sear and Slow Cooker Recipes

My wonderful parents gave me this Sear and Slow Cooker for Christmas after my last slow cooker died.

Don't get me wrong my last slow cooker got a good work out although I had a few near death by slow cooker experiences with it too! What annoyed me the most was having to brown the meat first before putting it into the slow cooker. That's what I love about this one is that I don't need to dirty a pan to brown the meat first, this slow cooker does all that in the one pot. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is happy with less dishes!

As the weather changes from Summer to Autumn and the days are getting colder and wetter there's nothing like coming home from work, opening the front door and being greeted by the delicious smell of a slow cooked dinner waiting for you.

Here are some slow cook recipes from Taste I want to try in the coming cooler months.



A rainy night and a glass of wine and I'll be right at home with any one of these slow cooker recipes!

What's your favourite slow cooker recipe?

[Images via Sunbeam and all other images via Taste]
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saying Goodbye To My 1960s Retro Kitchen

Before I get too excited about the Kitchen Renovation and demo my old 1960s Kitchen I want to show you some scary and down right ugly before photos of the heart of our home these last few years. 
My hopefully one day sister in law helped clean the kitchen cupboards when Mr P and I moved in and I remember my words to her so clearly Oh don't worry to much we'll be ripping it out soon .... well who knew it would take 3.5 years until we got to the Kitchen renovation!

I can finally say bye bye cupboards that are inches off the floor thus wasting precious cupboard space and only fit a third of my kitchenware.
Covering the bare bones chipboard in retro laminate is a nice touch - if you are a school book! The little bits of wood chips that are in every dish I pull out the cupboard will not be missed.

Glass wall cabinet you aren't too bad just a bit stiff to open and too small for my glass collection. I'd like to salvage you for other use but the years of grease and grime on top of you are a little off putting, sorry.
Oven we've had to replace 2 fuses and 1 hotplate only knows top temperature but you have cooked some delicious meals and been a huge part of this kitchen. Bench top next to the Oven I'm sorry I can't say the same for you, you're lacking and almost non existent, it's called disappointment size.
Pantry you are large and deep and have been a loyal holder of my food. No offence but you take up far too much room than you really need to with that brick wall protruding into the kitchen space.
Fridge you'll be moved into the corner with an over head cabinet to keep you company. Wall you will soon be put to use and house the oven, stove top and microwave - you are going to be the best of mates and I am going to love cooking with bench space.
Yes microwave you'll have a home off the bench top so I won't have to lean in sideways to pull steaming hot food out of you - best of all the cooking will take place in the same zone.

Saving the best to last my L shaped bench we have had some good times you and me ... I can forgive the objects rolling off you and smashing onto the ground because you're on a lean because it makes up for it when I think of the wine consumed, chats with mates, chopping and cooking that have taken place here. 

Now that I've said my proper farewells to a Kitchen that has served me well over the years, I can now move forward, sledge hammer in hand, to make way for my shiny new Kitchen.

For updates on the kitchen as I go Like Jarrah Jungle on Facebook and you'll never miss a thing!
[All images my own]
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday's Letters - Dear Brands, Businesses, Etsy Shops etc

I'm a little excited this Friday because next Friday I'll be on holidays for a week yipee yiy yay!
I'm sharing my Friday's Letters over with Ashley at The Sweet Season why don't you head on over here and link up your letters too. It's a great way to vent about your week and connect with some fun and friendly bloggers.
I'm imagining I'm writing this week's letters from this beautiful feminine work space sipping on a glass of champagne because the bubbles help with my creativity!

Dear Brands, Businesses, Etsy Shops etc - I'm excited to announce I've started advertising on my blog and offering an opening special of 50% off rates if you book this month. Contact me to secure your ad space!
Dear Liebster Blog Award - It was so lovely to receive 2 of these awards recently and it was even better to be able to do a shout out to some up and coming blogs. Head on over here to check them out.
Dear Lexi - Week 14 and you have been digging some big ass tunnels this week like you are trying to escape or something! I know you're not being exercised enough so we'll make more of an effort to get home early to take you for walks from now on. Promise.
Dear Next Weeks Holiday At Home - Mr P and I had a cabin booked in the sleepy sea side town of Dongora with all his family but unfortunately we aren't able to go now due to Mr P's work commitments. But I'm still having the week off to relax around home and I can't wait!
Dear Cruise Holiday - I made a last minute decision this week and Mr P and I have booked ourselves on a cruise holiday onboard the mammoth ship Voyager of the Seas. This time we are taking my Nanna and friend and my parents are coming along as well. It will be a relaxing family holiday and I can't wait to tell you more about it!
Dear Walking Home - For the entire week now I've managed to get off my buss early to walk the 30 minutes home. I'm always on a mission to get buns of steel and get fit before I go on holidays so the cruise is a good incentive to get to it.
Dear Renovations - To have the new kitchen in and courtyard built before our cruise holiday in November would be awesome. It's time to get our tradies organised and our hands dirty and get this work done.
Head on over here to join in this week's Friday's Letters
[Image via my Pinterest]
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Art For The Kitchen

As I'm just a sledge hammer away from my dream kitchen I'm thinking about the kitchen decor and art to put on the walls and add to my clock and art wall inspiration.

I'm really into typography and Typo have a great range of wooden letters in different colours and patterns that I could use to make up a word for the kitchen ... if only I could decide on a word! Most of their range is 3 for $10 which is a bit of a bargain too.

There are some adorable and funny art you can get for the kitchen from Etsy they have a great range I could shop all day admiring the different art.

Do you have a favourite quote or saying for the kitchen?

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

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[Images via Pinterest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - Find me on Pinterest here]

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Liebster Blog Award Nominations

I was lucky enough to get 2 Liebster Blog Awards recently so I have combined them both into this one post. This award gives me a chance to do a shout out to some new and happening bloggers which is always a great cause to support.

The first nomination was from the talkative but very smart studying to be a lawyer Karla from Love and Inbetween who nominated me for this Liebster Blog Award. Thanks so much Karla!
Love and in Between

The second was from wine appreciator with the cutest blog mascot Raj the lovely Rachel of Hair of the Dog who nominated me for this award. Thanks a bunch Rachel!

Hair Of The Dog

I was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award about a year ago but thought it would be fun to do another one. I've combined half of Karla's questions with half of Rachel's so you don't die of boredom reading 22 questions!

What is a Liebster Blog Award?

"The Liebster Award is for blogs with under 200 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever nominated them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."
Here are Karla's 5 Questions and my Answers:
1. Why did you start a blog?
After moving into my first home with my boyfriend Mr P and we started to tackle our first renovation I wanted to keep track of the ugly befores and pretty afters and share my bargain finds and DIY creative projects. My blog has evolved from there and I don't think I could live without it now! I've recently added an About Me page which will tell you a bit more about why and what I blog about if you're curious.
2. What/Who inspires you to blog?
What - My home inspires me, there is always something around home that I can write about whether it's sharing a recipe or the latest renovation project we're working on.
Who - Other blogs inspire me, pretty images and interesting content. Also the world around me I find inspiration in my travels, when I'm out shopping, and the day to day happenings in life.
3. What do you usually love to blog about?
My house and the journey of decorating and renovating and turning it into a home.
I also really like doing my book reviews you know when you read a good book and your just dying to tell someone about it or worse you didn't like a book and you want to vent on the parts you didn't enjoy - my blog is my outlet to share my thoughts and opinions.
4. What's your dream vacation?
New York baby! I'd love to walk around Central Park hand in hand with Mr P sipping on a latte, picnic in the park, then off to Tiffanys for some pretty bling followed for dinner and drinks with a view over the dazzling NY city. I hope to travel to NY in the next year or two. For more travel musings check out my Travels page here.
5. What is the best advice you have about relationships?
Oh I like this question! Communication - talk to one another. Don't stay silent when you're upset and when they ask what's wrong don't say nothing ... tell them what's wrong! Talk and listen is the best advice. My other tip is don't go to bed angry - always stay up and make up!
Cocktails at Hula Bula Bar
Here are Rachel's 6 Questions and my Answers:
6. Do you have a dog? Please share a picture if you do!
I sure do my new addition to the house hold Lexi is a 1.5 yr old Rottie X Staffy - she's a cute mischievous digging chewing machine. I've had her for 3 months now after rescuing her from the RSPCA and she is well and truly a much loved part of me and Mr P's home.
7. What is your favourite beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic?
Is this a trick question? Alcoholic of course!
Preferably white wine, like a Sauvignon Semillon Blanc. I also love fruity cocktails with all the bells and whistles in the glass - umbrellas, swizzle sticks, the works (see photographic evidence above)!
8. What is your dream career or job?
I would love to work somewhere creative like for a magazine or interior design company - or a magazine about interior design would be perfect. I would also love to blog part time so I can dedicate more time and energy into what makes me truly happy and what I love to do - blog!
My real job is in the corporate world, working as an office administrator in a legal office. I've worked for the same company for over half my life ... going on 17 years now. I'm sure that must be a world record or something!
9. How would you describe your style (in d├ęcor or fashion)?
My fashion style is alternative, I'm definitely not a fashion follower if I like something and feel good in it I'll buy it, but I'm not one for following trends and being up with all the latest and greatest.
As for my decor style I'd call my style Modern Bohemian ... I like modern clean lines and colours but with a touch of fun and personality.
10. Do you have a guilty pleasure & what is it?
It would have to be home decor magazines. When I see their bright and shiny covers beckoning me in the line at the supermarket I can't resist throwing them in the trolley! I have been known to pass up a night out to sit on the couch with a glass of wine and my favourite magazine, definately my guilty pleasure!
11. What is your favourite annual holiday? Easter, Christmas, etc?
I love Christmas, it's the one time of the year the house gets decorating for the season, everyone is on holidays and relaxed and there's time to enjoy our amazing hot Aussie summer with friends and family. Oh and the presents, I can't forgot those I love to buy pressies for those nearest and dearest to me ... and of course getting pressies is pretty good to :-)

As promised, my dog Lexi the first day in her new home
That was fun thanks Karla and Rachel, I hope you don't mind sharing the questions! Thanks for reading everyone hope I didn't bore you to tears too much!
So here are my 11 nominated blogs - please show your support and visit them and say g'day
1. Any Way The Wind Blows - Book loving Sarah always has great stories to tell on her lovely blog.
2. Happy Girls are Pretty Girls - Adrian from sunny California writes about her home, hubby and pooch.
3. Blyth+Life - Blythe and her family get up to all sorts of adventures on the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia.
4. Elements at Home - Kristie is a fellow Perth home lover with a great eye for interior design and architecture.
5. Hair of the Dog - Yes this is the lovely Rachel who nominted me for this award and I already had her on my list of nominations so I'm keeping her on here because if my readers like wine and witty conversation then you will love your blog!
6. Journey to Contentment - Jodie is a talented writer and always has interesting tales to tell which will have you grinning at your computer screen like an idiot, guaranteed!
7. Seasons of Lust - Anya has made the move from New Zealand to our sunny Perth shores and writes about fun loving adventures, travel and everything in between.
8. Pour Ameliorer - Rebecca and her handy man hubby Tom are renovating gurus and share amazing before and afters of their homes as they renovate.
9. This Unscripted Life - Ashley from Illinois is a fellow book lover and where I turn for great book reviews.
10. Ruby Hoppen - Melbourne-ite Ruby is an artist and a seamstress and shares her talents and creative projects.
11. From Here To There - My overseas buddy Heather is a proud Mississippi girl who loves running and sharing yummy recipes.
Ladies, here are my 11 questions for you to answer:
1. Describe yourself in only 5 words?
2. How would your friends describe you?
3. What is your favourite season, Summer, Spring, Autumn or Winter?
4. What would you take with you to a deserted island?
5. What is your favourite line from a movie?
6.  What country is on your travel destination wish list? 

7. What is your dream job?

8. Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?

9. Why did you start your blog?
10. Where did the name of your blog come from?
11. What has surprised you the most about blogging? 
Congratulations ladies, I hope you carry on the Liebster Award and nominated other bloggers, make up some fun questions and keep this award going.
[Images my own]
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MKR Round 1 - Italian Fantastico

Mr P and I and 2 other couples are having our very own My Kitchen Rules competition. Just like the TV show MKR we are each hosting a dinner party complete with 3 course meal and matching wines.
After much debate we have also decided to judge each dinner party giving a vote out of 10 and the winner will get a bottle of wine from each couple. Voting adds an element of competitiveness which is kind of fun and makes an otherwise nice dinner party into a bit more of a challenge ... I love a good challenge!
The first MKR dinner party was this weekend just gone and themed Italian Fantastico
MKR Round 1

Entree - Scallop and Chorizo Salad
Main - Handmade turmeric and spinach pasta
with goats cheese, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts

Dessert - Tiramisu
Meal was finished with a bottle of freezer chilled Lemoncello
So that was Round 1 the food was delicious and the lemoncello was a perfect end to the meal. We headed out into town for a few drinks after dinner .... I blame the lemoncello for getting the party started!
The next MKR is next month in May and then we are hosting in June (hopefully in our shiny new kitchen!)
[All images my own]
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