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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Its My Lucky Week

I've just won my 2nd giveaway this week! Big thanks to Leanne writer of the humerous blog Deep Fried Fruit for picking me, ok and all the other entrants too she's way too generous! A Motivation Pack is on its way simply because I gave a few woot woots! I'm so excited to be getting something other than bills in my mailbox this month, what a treat.

I'm not being greedy but lets hope luck comes in 3s ... I'm off to buy a lotto ticket RIGHT NOW!

Thanks again Leanne your a star x

[Image via Deep Fried Fruit]
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Outdoor Dining Setting

Thanks to those who gave advice on my dining dilemma your comments are greatly appreciated :-)

I've decided to go for it and create an outdoor dining area. It will be under the patio until the decks built so it's time to pimp the patio before Friday's dinner party! The first thing to do is replace the old glass table and sling back chairs which has aged over the years and gone a bit rusty (nothing kills a fancy dining experience more than rust!) and find something a bit more fancy.

I absolutely love square shaped tables I think they're more sociable than the rectangle tables as you can sit in pairs and see everyone. I like the wicker look too. So with my wish list sorted, Pete and I jumped in the car and went for a Sunday drive. At the first stop Segals I found a setting that was perfect it was brown wicker, square table and comfy chairs. But at $1500 it was way over budget and I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much. We even drove back there and asked for their best price but as it was already on sale  they wouldn't go any lower.

We looked at a few more places but didn't find anything we liked in budget so feeling disheartened headed for home and seeing my bottom lip quivering Pete on a whim took a side street and pulled into Australia Outdoor and Leisure, it was 10 minutes before closing they were literally shutting the doors as we rushed in and straight away my eyes landed on a nearly exact same setting, same square table that seats 8 but with different chairs. Also the wicker is a grey/black look instead of brown which I quite like. I was grinning and squealing at the same time and after a test of the chairs said those magical words "we'll take it!"

The table looks like this, square in black wicker with a tempered black glass table top.

The chairs are also black wicker and came with grey tie on cushions. They have open arms instead of the tub style but actually I think these will be better as your legs won't be against the wicker, so they'll be more comfortable. The wicker is UV resistant PE wicker which means that you can hose them down to clean them also a bonus.
Oh and the price you won't believe this - $699 for the complete setting - table, 8 chairs and cushions. Yep that's less than half of what the other set cost! We took it home, unwrapped the zillions of bubble wrap on the chairs, assembled the table and tadaaaaaaa here it is.

The outdoor dining room is definitely in the making ... what do you think?
1st and last 3 images my own]
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yipee I won!

Thanks so much to the lovely Anna creator of one of my favourite blogs Lona de Anna and to her gorgeous little boy for drawing out my name in her giveaway.

That's me! Yipee!!

I picked out this Calendar by artist Leigh Viner and can't wait for it to arrive in my mailbox.

Thanks again Anna you made my day. If I could do a happy dance and type at the same time I would be :-)

[Images from Lona de Anna]
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Point and Shoot

When: Saturday, 26 March 2011 @ 5pm
Where: Friend's House

Saturday was one of those hectic days that had me driving around the countryside trying to get heaps of things done by lunchtime as I had a friends BBQ to go to. I did the food shop, then had breakfast with a girlfriend, then bought an entire wardrobe (well almost) at Kmart for under $20 I'm talking a dress, skirt, 4 tops, they had a crazy sale on. Raced to a few Targets to pick up some canvass art but didn't see the one I wanted which goes to show if you see something you like you have to buy it there and then or it might be gone forever : ( I had 2 attempts at making a couscous salad, but once again my arch rival beat me and not wanting to serve up sludge I had to make a corn and bean salad instead. In the afternoon got to my friend's house for a BBQ and it was time to relax and enjoy a few bottles glasses of wine. We played card games for most of the day it was such fun, there were rules for each card you pulled from the deck with things like "all the boys drink" "make a rule that everyone has to follow" "I went camping and took with me" (memory game) "Pick a subject" (like cosmetic brands) "Pick a word and everyone has to rhyme" it was so entertaining and hysterically funny at times. Just my kind of weekend!

I hope everyone had a fun filled weekend
I"m off to catch up on everyones Point and Shoot over at Fat Mum Slim
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dining Room Dilema

We are having a dinner party next week and there will be too many of us to fit in our dining room so we'll be dining alfresco ala patio. It's got me wondering what to do with our dining area when we re-design the kitchen ....

Should it be kept as a small dining area?
Or should the kitchen be extended out and have the dining elsewhere?
Do people dine alfresco all year round or would this restrict out dinner parties to daytime events (no doubt turning it into a bbq!)?

This small dining area next to the kitchen is what I have to work with. We’ve had a few dinner parties here and it’s a bit of a squeeze to fit 4 people comfortably. Not only that because you're so close to the kitchen there’s no hiding the mess and seeing the leftover food and dishes sitting there doesn’t make for a very elegant dining space.

Dining and Kitchen before we moved in

I love sitting along the kitchen bench for informal meals and am toying with the idea of extending this out to fit up to 4/5 people and doing away with the dining area all together.

I have a low buffet wine cabinet that would fit nicely along the wall for extra storage and fill the space without overcrowding it.

The future plan is to knock out this window and put in french doors that go out to a deck, so this area will need to be left fairly open with a walkway through the middle.

A reality check tells me that a deck is about 2 years away but I still need to be mindful of this when designing the kitchen.

So with no space for a dinner party inside there's no choice but to take it outside .... dining alfresco under the patio. Doesn't sound too glamorous but I think if I prettied it up a bit outside it would work.

But I'm more thinking long term, this is what we would have to do when having the parents over for dinner or a group of friends so I'm just not sure how comfortable this would be all year round like on a cold winters night.

This is our patio at the moment .... in need of some sprucing!

Maybe I just need some outdoor dining inspiration to see what can be done with the humble patio in turning it into an outdoor dining space.

Hmmmm what to do .... advice anyone?

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

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[All images my own]

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Point and Shoot

Where: Cranked Coffee, Leederville
When: Saturday, 19 March 2011 @ 9.50am

Grilled haloumi, field mushroom and tomato served on a potato rosti, with fresh spinach and basil pesto with a poached egg on the side. That's how I kick started the weekend and it was delicious! Having breakfast out is such a treat and a great way to start the weekend. After breakfast Pete and I headed to the movies to see the advanced screening of Biutiful which I'd won tickets too. Yes that's about the only thing that would get me out of bed early on the weekend! There's something about going inside in the morning and then coming out in the bright sunshine after midday made me feel like I'd disappeared to another world and come back to reality again. Bit like the movie we watched, it was a trip back to Barcelona which had me reminiscing in yesterdays post. A bit of window shopping and a cafe latte in the sunshine afterwards finished off the day nicely.

Sweet Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim is posting from the USA for this weeks Point and Shoot so we're getting in a bit early this week. I'm heading over there now to see what everyone else has been up to this weekend :-)
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Biutiful Barcelona

I won tickets to the advance screening of the Spanish film Biutiful. It was a really good flick, intense with a strong storyline to keep you engaged. It was filmed in Barcelona and showed you the dark side that tourists don't see. I've been to Barcelona twice, it really is a beautiful place and the architecture and colours they use are full of personality. 

Oh Barcelona ... I'll go back one day three times is a lucky number afterall.

[Images my own]

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Easy Rd VS Hard Rd

I’m at a cross road in the Jarrah Jungle renovations and unsure which room to tackle next …

Easy Road: Man Cave
Hard Road: Kitchen

The Easy Road is the Man Cave
As the name suggests this is going to be Pete’s room to do whatever he wants (just like the study is my room to make as girly as I want!)

This room needs to be painted and furnished. Sounds easy but the paint in this room is peeling from when we ripped out the wardrobe (which you can see in the photo above) so we need to peel the paint off first, then smooth the walls, seal it and finally paint it.

At a guess I’d say it will take about 1 month.

On the downside this room is currently being used to store all the diy supplies and has become a bit of a workroom so if we do up this room we’ll have to find somewhere else to store them which sux.

On the plus side it won’t cost anything as we already have a zillion litres of Mountain Peak ready to go on the walls, varnish for the floorboards and new blinds ready to put up.

The Hard Road is the Kitchen & Dining Area

We need to rip out the old kitchen cupboards, sand back the suede effect paint and paint both the Kitchen and Dining Area (as you can see the rooms are joined so can't do one without the other) and then design and install our new dream kitchen. The kitchen design will take a lot of thought and planning and I want every inch of our little kitchen space utilised with cupboards everywhere.

At a guess I’d say this will take at least 2 months to completely refit and paint.

The downside is that this will be the most expensive reno to the house. I also fear without a kitchen we’ll succumb to buying take away or eating out which is spending money I’d rather be spending on shiny new appliances.

The upside is it will make the most impact on how the house looks and to my happiness. I still have boxes full of my nice kitchenware packed away as this kitchen is too tiny to accommodate more than the basics. Although I did manage to unpack all my wine glasses – prioritize hey? What can I say!

So should I take the Easy Rd or the Hard Rd?
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wow Us Wednesdays

There are so many talented bloggers out there I could (and will!) spend hours going through all the projects. My favourites list keeps getting longer and longer!

Head on over here to see some for yourself ...

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Point and Shoot

When: Saturday, 12 March 2011 @ 4.05pm
Where: My Living Room

Saturday I ventured up Beaufort Street to check out some of the little shops that I always drive past but have never stopped to have a look at. I found a funky little retro shop which happened to be 50% off everything (they don't call me the bargain queen for nothing!) and I bought another gem for my study, a big rectangle clock with cherry blossoms drawn on one side and then the clock on the other reduced to $30. I also picked out a grey and white tie dyed maxi dress which for once wasn't too long for me and was reduced to $27. Next onto the op shop where I bought a glass vase for $2 and a book Girlosophy for $3 which I remembered wanting this book 10 yrs ago and even though I'm a bit old for it now I thought it would be a good addition to my bookcase for any teenagers that want something to read. Lastly I had my car washed by about 15 youths trying to raise money for a study trip, and then picked 2 bunches of flowers for myself before heading home.

After that adventure I came home and put my feet up for the rest of the day and got lost in my latest book buys and made a list of the designer lookalike things to keep an eye out for on my next op shopping expedition!

I'm off to see what everyone else go up to this weekend over at Fat Mum Slim's Point and Shoot
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Friday, March 11, 2011

My B&W Photo Wall

As promised I want to share with you my b&w photo wall which was one of the projects I tackled last weekend.

Since the hallway was painted this area which is the entry into the Hallway from the Kitchen, was crying out for some attention and something to define it and use up the blank space.

The mixture of frames I had I spray painted black, printed out my favourite photos in b&w, except for 1 which was a professional portrait and is in colour. I threw in 1 white box frame which I cut some leftover wallpaper to fit and printed my favourite quote on it "Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live".

Once they were ready I spent ages playing around with the layout until I was happy. I referred to my trusty Nest book and went with the 'on a line' design where you layout the frames as though the top frames sit on a line and the bottom frames start on the line, leaving an even amount of space between each frame. For the smaller wall I did more of a 'tile' design as there are only 4 frames.

After all the sanding and painted we've done on those walls I was worried about making a mess and drilling holes in the wrong place. I liked Martha's rule of using painters tape to get an even space around each frame but was worried the tape would remove paint so we decided to use maths, a tape measure, a level, pencil and eraser. Mr P is the star player from here and measured to the middle of the wall, each of the frames, plus an even amount of space between each frame, drew the frames onto the wall in pencil to work out where they would all hang and drilled in screws for them to hang from.

It did take some time but the good news is there were no mistakes and no extra holes drilled in error. There was a lot of pencil to rub off (yay finally a job I can do!) and would you believe makeup wipes took off the last of the pencil, they worked a treat.

On the smaller wall because of the door always being open we laid out the frames so they wouldn't be blocked by the door. These 4 frames look really good in a square layout.

Finally heres the finished look with all the frames hung on both walls .... the first view is looking into the Kitchen and the second looking the other way into the Guest Room.

So there you have it my long awaited photo wall  :-)
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekend Projects

We were busy beavers this weekend and managed to put the finishing touches on a few big projects that have been on the go .... you know when you pretty much get something finished but its just not quite done and still niggles at you each time you walk past? Well now I'm doing a little happy dance I'm so glad they're crossed off the list.

We put new handles on the hallway cupboards and bought a full length mirror for the inside of the door and some battery push lights to light up my shoes (remember aka Carrie Bradshaw). But then I decided the inside of the doors really need a coat of paint so they won't go in until that's done. You get a glimpse of the wallpaper in these shots which reminds me I'll need to give you the run down on entering the world of wallpaper .... I'm hooked now there's no going back!

I finally got around to taking some pictures of my living room to share with you too, here's a snipped of the shagadelic rug, plush leather couches and glass top coffee table that took me so long to find. I'm still on the hunt for a mirrored or glass side table and some art for the walls but I'm really happy with how this room is coming together (you wouldn't think it was the same room when you see these before pictures).

I rearranged my bookcase and study with my new purchases from Typo (the wooden magazine holder and the letter M). I find my bookcase is constantly evolving each time I bring home a new book or a shiny new object to display (which is quite frequently lately!)

And finally the project I've been wanting to get to for months and months .... My photo wall .... its done! See what happens when you blog about it, then you have to go and do it! These babies have been hung in the hallway and I can't stop looking at them. I keep walking the long way into the kitchen just to walk past them. Happy Dance Happy Dance! After I finished my little happy dance it was late last night so I haven't yet uploaded the after photos but I will soon, promise.

So tell me what projects big or small you've finished lately?
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Point and Shoot

When: Saturday, 5 March 2011 @ 5.55pm
Where: My House, Guest Room

Its a long weekend this weekend so I'm blissfully writing this from my couch at home. We were tempted to head down south for a few nights but had a few invites around home so decided to stay and enjoy the 3 day break here. On Saturday we went to Harbour Town for some retail therapy and I found my newest favourite shop Typo which is full of gorgeous stationary and little birds on everything which you may have picked up is my weakness! I bought a white wooden magazines holder in the letter M and a wooden letter M for my Craft Room, I plan to go back there in a few months when they have different stock for some magazine holders. Next onto the Royal Dolton shop where I got the fancy candle above which I thought would be a touch of luxury in my Guest Room and I bought some scented candles for my bedroom too. I use to get all my candles from the $2 shop but its such a treat to have fancy candles in your home and they last so much longer. 

I hope you all had a great weekend and indulged in a bit of retail therapy as well. I'm off to see for myself over at Point and Shoot.
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