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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nate Berkus

This morning our local radio station Nova interviewed the super sexy Mr Nate Berkus. He definitely has a face for TV, not radio!

There’s a bit of Oprah hype going on here with her visit to Oz next month. Sadly only Sydney will get to host her shows but I’m sure they’ll broadcast it live for the rest of Oz to watch (they bloody better!).

So back to Nate, he’s a fantastic designer who has his own TV show and next month it will start airing on our pay TV network. Woo hoo! If ever there was a reason to sign up for Foxtel this is it with all those lifestyle channels I’ll be in 7th heaven.  A justified reward once we get the living room finished me thinks, so I better get back to sanding those walls ...

Image via Nova
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Point and Shoot

When: Saturday, 27 November 2010 @ 4.45pm
Where: Beaufort Street Festival

On Saturdays hot and sunny afternoon I met up with a friend at the Beaufort Street Festival where the usually trendy Beaufort Street had quirky stalls set up in front of the shops and most side streets blocked off so people could stroll around at leasure. The photo above is one of the many unusual displays we walked past, a Hair and Beauty salon with the hairdressing dolls on poles in the front garden. Freaky fashion hey. To get out of the heat we kicked back in an outside bar area and listenen to some live summertime tunes, waiting for them to make more sangria punch which was getting drunk quicker than they could make it! I had my photo taken by a photographer as part of their 60 photos in 60 minutes project and will appear in the newspaper in a few weeks time. There was a old school telephone and a banana involved, that's all I'm going to say!

Hope everyone had a great weekend, I'm off to check out some of your Point and Shoots
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beauty and Brains

I just found an old calendar I'd kept full of Marilyn Monroe pictures. She was such a stunner and had more than a few wise things to say too.

Photo from here and Quote from here
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Finding the right couch

With the living room underway we’ve been couch shopping. Yea yea I know we should be painting but shopping is way more fun.

We definately want classic stylish black leather and we're keen for a modular with a chaise to lay on similar to this one.

Now to figure out what will go with it.

LOOK 1 - Either a 2/3 seater in matching black leather for under the window and a funky chair for the corner like these


LOOK 2 - A pair of black leather armchairs for under the window with a little lamp table like these

I’m a bit worried too much leather will look like a set up for a bondage party! Plus all that black may look a bit 'heavy'. That's why I like the idea of the fabric chair to break it up but then it might look like I'm trying to cram too much seating in the room. Having just the 2 armchairs will look less crowded but then there'll be less seating. Hmmmmm decisions, decisions.

I need your help! What do you think, Look 1 or Look 2?

Photos from herehere, here, here and here Pin It Now!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Point and Shoot

I was just pondering how I can be more involved in the blogger community when I stumbled upon Fat Mum Slims blog which then led me to the Point and Shoot game. I think it's a great idea to learn a little about what everyone has been up to and also share a bit about yourself too. So without further ado here's my first Point and Shoot

WHEN:  Sunday, 21 November 2010 @ 4.37pm
WHERE:  My friend Janita's house

These fresh farm eggs were laid by happy lil chickens free to peck around the yard and eat grass and insects. They've never had to live in a cage with fluro lights and to prove how content they are some of these eggs are even triple yokes! Reminds me of when I was young my parents had chickens on the farm and I use to collect the eggs after school each day. I never appreciated fresh farm eggs until I had to start buying them in the supermarket. I'm so glad I've still got friends in the country who'll save me a few dozen. Quiche for dinner tonight me thinks!
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Slumberland Heaven

Wayyyyyy back when I first started this blog I mentioned that I desperately wanted some curtains for the bedroom, the timber blinds we hung through the house look great but in the bedroom more of a blockout was needed if I was to get any kind of sleep in. Grumble.

The first problem was deciding what type of curtains. I liked the look of the silver eyelets and also figured if we were going to get curtains they be good quality block out to keep the sunlight out.We decided on white as we thought grey may clash with the grey walls and black would hide the bed and make the room closed. in. We looked everywhere until Curtain Wonderland a new store opened up its doors and at their opening sale we bought 3 packs of their white eyelet block out curtains for $70 each (usually $99).

The second problem was finding brackets for the rods, as mentioned many months ago we bought 2 chrome curtain rods at a bargain price because one was missing brackets and we thought it'd be easy pesy to find brackets and we were making a huge saving. Well we asked at every Textile Traders store, every curtain place we went to, and even Bunnings but they didn't have the size brackets we needed. In desperation I emailed Textile Traders asking if they could order some in for me and I was told that they had some spares they would post for me. It gets better. FREE. They arrived the very next day. You can't beat that for customer service.

Now they were finally ready to be hung up.

All my research tells me hang them high and wide but not too short that they are half way up the wall. As our windows are so big and ceilings so high we decided to bolt them to the window frame instead of the wall to give them maximum length to the skirting board. So the brackets were screwed in and measured with a string line and the cutest little level to make sure they were straight. Then the rods went up, they're retractable so you just pull them out until they're the right size, threaded the curtains on, screw the balls on the end and their done.

 We all love a good before and after right? Well hows about a before, during, after and now!




What do you think?

They've made a massive difference to the room, really softened the all timber blinds look and made it much more flowy and romantic. Not to mention I just had The.Best.Sleep.In.Ever. Mission Accomplished. Pin It Now!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Makeshift Living Room

This is our makeshift living room. Yes folks it's the dining room. Cosy aint it!

We moved all the furniture out of the living room and dining room and either sold it or gave it to friends and then put the rest in storage. The only furniture that's going back into the living room is the tv cabinet and tv. I'm glad I kept my old sofa bed now, it's not very comfortable but it does fit perfectly in this small space.

There's a few benefits of being so close to the kitchen ...

I don't have to dash into the kitchen on the ad breaks to attend to whatevers bubbling on the stove because I can see the tv from where I'm cooking now. Pete's pretty stoked he can pretty much grab a beer from the fridge without getting off the couch. If you always see the bright side of any situation you'll get through it a lot easier!

Has anyone else had to turn another room into the living room while you renovated?
What room did you choose and why?
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Slow Cooker Recipe Disasters

It’s official - I've now had more fails than wins in my electric Slow Cooker.

It was a present for my 30th from my parents and paired with some of the best cookbooks around, they still couldn't save me from these kitchen disasters. I can laugh about it now but after waiting for something to look for hours it's pretty disheartening when it turns out inedible, lumpy, pink or smelling like vinegar (read on and you'll know what I'm talking about!).

From the Kitchen Classics cook book I've had nothing but fails. The flavours are there but not the technique and mine looked nothing like the picture (don't you hate that!)

My slow cooked Creamy Tomato and Chicken Stew turned out a not so appealing shade of pink. Pink is fine for sweets aka strawberry icecream, but not for a main meal sauce. I was therefore exempt from cooking for the rest of the week. Fail

Next were the Italian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and every time I peeped at them another meatball would fall apart and crumble before my eyes. If I wanted lumpy spaghetti I would’ve made it that way. Damn you meat balls. Fail

The Drunken Chicken on Rice smelt like I was bubbling up a new cleaning product when I accidentally used a cup of Rice Wine Vinegar instead of Chinese Rice Wine. Nothing could fix that vinegar smell and it ended up in the bin and a mercy dash to McDonalds was necessary. Fail

I've even tried those McCormick recipe bases which they sent me for free for buying the Slow Cooker.

These are meant to be foolproof, just add your meat and veg and the packet and turn it on and bam it cooks itself.

The Morrocan Lamb Casserole cooked itself down so much I came home to a dried out blackened mess. It was only eaten with the promise of double ice cream afterwards. Fail

On the plus side I've had some wins from this trusy Women's Weekly cookbook

I made this Chinese Chicken Hot Pot which came out so tender the meat fell off the bone when I lifted it out and was absolutely delicious.

The Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding turned out chocolately and springy like it was meant to and these Vanilla and Red Wine Poached Pears turned out  pretty impressive as well served to friends for dinner.

So I don't know if it's the recipes I'm following, the products, or if I should just leave the Slow Cooker in the cupboard until next Winter when I have the courage to try again.

Has anyone else had any disasters with their Slow Cooker?

Do you have the perfect fail proof recipe you’d like to share with me (please do!)

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[Cookbooks can be found here and here]

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Birds N Cages

I'm so obsessed in love with birdcages n cute lil birds, anything I see with them on it and I have to buy it. Full price too (so not like me!). They've become a bit of a trend which is probably why they're on everything from clothes to decorating. I've recently added to my collection teatowels, drawer liners, a jumper, silver ornament, wooden birdcage and now these mirrored wall decals.

They were easy to put up, just remove the protective film from the mirror side and then from the back to remove the sticky. Use a spirit level to get them straight on the wall and hold for a few seconds and they stick like glue.

I did have to pinkie swear I wouldn't want to take them off ... ever ... as they'll probably remove the paint as well. Ain't guna happen look how sweet they are all clustered in the corner like that.

The wooden birdcage and sequined bird I bought from one of the antique shops in Guildford and drilled a ceiling hook in to hang it from. I've got to get some decorative chain for a more authentic look but the black ribbon will do for now.

I'm loving the feminine touch in this room and how its coming together bit by bit ....

Mirrored Wall Decals Kmart $14
Wooden Bird Cage Guildford $27
Sequined Bird $13
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Because your worth it

I  nearly ripped the front door off the hinges this morning running for the bus and late again
But I stopped in my tracks when I saw there was a padded envelope left on the step
My morning grumpies suddenly dispersed into a big wide smile as I realised it must be a gift
The front was stamped from L'Oreal
*Grins wider*
Ripped it open
I won this hair pack L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Vitamino Color valued at over $100

There are so many great comps online - I won this from Cosmopolitan (ok so I'm a bit too old to read the mag but doesn't stop me from entering the comps online!) and also L'Oreal Beauty Confidential is a good one too.

Because your worth it!
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Monday, November 8, 2010

Hole in the Wall

As promised we've made a start on the living room. As we now have the luxury of ducted air conditioning this old wall unit air conditioner was the first thing to go.

Undid the screws, jimmyed off the frame and pulled the baby out. Went to brick up the hole with the bricks we'd picked up from my parents place the day before, thinking we were prepared and nothing would go wrong. Turns out the bricks are the wrong type we needed the double sized ones. So then we had a big hole in our wall and nothing to fill it with. Awesome. The flys think it's great they're coming in quicker than I can say "What the bleep do we do now!"

Being a Sunday there wasn't any place open that sold bricks (not even Bunnings sell bricks surprisingly). So then it was calling family and friends until someone answered our prayers with the right size. Mission accomplished but we'd have to wait until the next day to get them so we boarded the hole back up with some wood from the outside and cardboard on the inside.

As soon as we had the right bricks Pete whipped up some mortar (sand, cement and lime) and laid the bricks in the hole and stuck them there. Then the front was trowelled with mortar to make it smooth n pretty and ready for painting. 

Is it just me or do little jobs sometimes turn into big jobs when you least expect it? 
Has not having the right materials ever set you back? 
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Living Room As It Is

How exciting we’re starting on our next room The Living Room. We want to paint it, move the aerial, remove the old wall unit air conditioner (as we've had ducted installed) and then the fun part buying new furniture. I’ll be so stoked if it’s done by Christmas and I’ve been assured and promised and given lots of exasperated sighs meaning of course it’ll be done by Christmas that's weeks away. Please please please I hope so! Not being able to watch TV will no doubt be motivation to get this room done in double time as I just don't know how I'll live without Packed to the Rafters or Master Chef.

So you can get an idea of how the room looked BEFORE this is us before we moved in sanding the floorboards back and sealed them with Tung Oil.
From this side of the room you can see the front door on the left (still taped with plastic from sanding), the white door on the right takes you into the kitchen area and the alcove is where the TV goes.

This is the view you get from the kitchen with the front door on the right and looking out the gorgeous big window to the street view. We've since replaced the blue venetians with timber blinds and had the huge pine trees removed from the front as they were overshadowing the house and becoming dangerous.

This is the back wall facing the TV alcove with the kitchen through the doorway. This is how we've had the living room set up for the past 12 months. That ugly black cord trailing across the wall to the other side is the TV aeriel which we plan to relocate to the TV alcove. There use to be a fireplace against the wall where the couch is but they bricked it in years ago and rebuilt the wall so I'd say that's why the TV use to be used from there.

The 2 fish tanks on the stand we've sadly passed onto friends as they were a bit too much maintenance with the house renos we're trying to tackle and we don't really have the room for them. We've kept 1 (yes we had 3) which is currently in the 'Man Room' and my plan is to move it into the dining room. But the kitchen has to be renovated first so that may take some time!

OK so that's the BEFORE and AS IT IS. After the weekend I'll be able to show you some DURINGS and hopefully before Christmas the AFTER. How excitement.

Does anyone else have renos or any projects your keen to get finished before Xmas?  
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Race That Stops The Nation + A Champange Cocktail

The Race That Stops The Nation ....
Yes I'm talking about the Melbourne Cup!

We are probably the only country in the world which has a Public Holiday for a horse race! 

Well our lucky fellows in Melbourne do anyway. The rest of us Perth-goers still head into town in our pretty little frocks and fascinators (or the brave ones in beautiful feathery hats) dressed for our office functions. The lucky ones are off to Ascot to watch the horses race around the track, although many don't actually get to see a horse they're too busy sipping champagne and looking fabulous.

At 12pm it's like magic the phones stop ringing, people stop working, and gather around to watch The Race That Stops The Nation. 

It's 3 minutes of exciting panting as the announcer calls out the 20+ horses as they gallop around the track. I managed to pick up the office sweep (twice) for first place woo hoo.

My office had a Lounge Lizard themed luncheon and enjoyed race style cocktails aptly named Moscow Mule, Phar Lap, The Horses Neck and my favourite Classic Champagne Cocktail.

Here's the recipe from my Cocktail Bible (which I've bragged about before)

Classic Champagne Cocktail
Serves 1

1 sugar cube
Dash of Angostura bitters
30ml brandy
Chilled champagne or sparkling wine

Place the sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute.
Add the bitters, then the brandy.
Slowly top up with champagne or sparkling wine.

Fashions come and fashions go but the true classic is untouchable!

How did you spend your Melbourne Cup Day?

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[Images from here and here] 

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