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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fresh Cherrys At Christmas Time

Fresh cherrys are in abundance at Christmas time in Western Australia

I can't stand the dried plastic cherrys but give me fresh cherrys and I will eat them until I can't eat anymore!

For the last few years I've been getting fresh cherrys from a cherry farm in Manjimup who deliver to the Perth city area

Unlike the supermarket cherrys these are plump and full, virtually unblemished and stay fresh for weeks in the fridge

Whomever is hosting on Christmas Day I always take a box of cherrys as a hosts gift for them

And of course I keep more than a few for myself too!


What food reminds you of Christmas time?

[All images my own]
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Another Christmas Over

Phew so we all survived Christmas for another year!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and has been enjoying the holidays.

I had a relaxing Christmas Eve staying with my family on the farm and my entree of Crayfish and Prawn Cocktails were an absolute hit, I'll be sure to share the recipe soon.

Oh and the turkey that huge 4kg bird I was so worried about went into the Weber 8am Christmas morning and 2 hours later came out bbq-ed to perfection. It survived the long drive to Mr P's family and was carved up for Christmas lunch and tasted amazing. We spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool drinking cocktails .... a perfect Aussie Xmas!

It's been scorchingly hot this week with temps in the high 30s - low 40s which doesn't leave much energy other than to sloth inside in the air conditioning watching my favourite lifestyle channels. I do want to paint the front of the house but I would fry like an egg in the heat of the sun and the paint would dry up before it hit the wall!
So a few days of relaxing until the temps cool down is in order .... I think that's my icy cocktail calling me now .... Happy Holidays!
Tell me how was your Christmas Day?
Were your Christmas Day dishes a success?
[Image my own]
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Fridays Letters - Dear Last Day At Work

This Friday I'm on the downward spiral towards Christmas ... only 4 more sleeps!
I'm writing my Fridays Letters because I haven't for a little while and although Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds said she isn't doing the link this week we can still play along so why not.
I'm imagining this weeks letters are written at this amazing library I'd be sitting back with my home design books taking in the views and feeling inspired.
Dear Last Day At Work - After today I'll have 2 blissful weeks of holidays. I can't wait for the Christmas holiday season, sleep ins, catching up with friends, watching daytime tv in the air con and enjoying our hot sunny Summer.

Dear Real Living 7th Birthday Competition - I can't believe I won a prize thank you so very much the Peugeot Salt and Pepper Duo has been on my wish list for a couple of years now and are now sitting proudly on my kitchen bench.
Dear Turkey - On the weekend I did a trial run of the Turkey Roast Roll in the Weber BBQ and because it was stuffed when carved it fell apart. So we went out and bought a 4kg turkey roast in all it's glory - the dream is becoming the reality afterall! I'm a little scared and a little excited about bringing this big bird on Xmas Day!
Dear Xmas Present List - I'm so happy I've bought all my presents and they're wrapped and sitting pretty under the tree. It's such a great feeling to have finished the shopping and not have to battle those crazy crowds of shoppers again.

Dear Council Knockback - You didn't accept the courtyard plans first time around but there is always a Plan B. I'll be back with more info and let's hope we get the go ahead soon.

Dear New Facebook Page - I've gone and joined the cool kids and created a Facebook page for Jarrah Jungle - I'd love for you to like my page over here or on my sidebar.
Dear Followers and Friends - Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my awesome readers I look forward to your stories, advice, musings and things that make me smile in 2013 xx
[Image via my pinterest]
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Courtyard Plans Knocked Back

This week our front courtyard fence and retaining wall plans were finalised by the Draftsman and stamped approved by the Structural Engineer to say they're all good to go.
So I skipped merrily into the Council's office to give them the set of plans (6 drawings in total) and a form completed for the fence to be built and fluttered my eyelashes asking if they could fast track approval so we could get to work on it over the Christmas Holidays.
Unfortunately I was told I had filled in the wrong form and would need to apply for a building permit (same as what we did for the garage build) with an estimate of what the job will cost in total and the Council takes a percentage of the build cost. It doesn't stop there, the plans (which are 6 different drawings) don't give enough detail apparently, the Council want to know the gradient of the land for the front of the fence and the plans only show the fence gradient from the side.
I tried to reason we've spent almost $1,000 on the plans and even had them stamped by an Engineer as thought that would cover all bases. They suggested we give them a copy of the garage plans they have previously approved, as well as these new plans, complete the building permit form and try again. Hopefully there will be enough information in both sets of plans for us to get the go ahead.
Whilst the memory of the garage extension taking 12 months to get approved still lingers, apparently there is a 25 day turn around on these building permits so fingers crossed we'll get them lodged with the Council and get the go ahead early in the New Year.

So we won't be digging trenches over the holidays as hoped but there's always some other jobs around the house we can get stuck into instead ... like finishing the painting of the house exterior that was rendered a few months ago .... or hanging a new door in the bathroom incase we get any Christmas visitors that decide to come at shower time and get more than they bargain for!

It's all good I'm staying cool and moving onto Plan B!
[Image via My Pinterest]

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cheer - Christmas Vignette

I'm joining in with the Christmas Cheer To The Blogosphere link up party for the 5th party theme Christmas Vignette over at A Thoughtful Place
My modern Christmas Vignette is atop a faux crocodile skin ottoman I got for a steal at Target last year
An ikea vase filled with gold and purple beads, Christmas star and
the piece de resistence tutu fruiti Candy Canes
Stacked on top of my favourite design books including
my latest edition by Young House Love
Do you have a Christmas Vignette to show?
If so, head over to A Thoughful Place and link up!

Check out Party 1 theme - Christmas Craft
Check out Party 2 theme - Merry Mantle
Check out Party 3 theme - O Christmas Tree
Check out Party 4 theme - Holiday Recipe


[Image via Christmas Cheer Button here and all other images my own]

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Condolences Across The Miles

Australia may be many miles away from America but it doesn't stop the shocking news drifting through our TVs this weekend about the senseless shootings that happened in a Primary School, Newtown Sandy Hook on Friday morning.
The sadness of those small lives lost and the braveness of the teachers and staff who lost their lives trying to save the students. The self sacrifice of those teachers no doubt saved many young lives.
It has really hit home just how precious life really is and I just couldn't bring myself to do a normal post this weekend. I wanted to send my thoughts to the families friends and loved ones at this heartbreaking time.
Offering my sincere condolences across the miles  xx
[Image via Pinterest]
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Cheer - Holiday Recipe

I'm joining in with the Christmas Cheer To The Blogosphere link up party with the 4th party theme Holiday Recipe over at Schue Love.

This year I'm having Christmas Eve Dinner with my family at my parent's house and in true Aussie Summer style we're having a cold dinner with fresh seafood, Xmas ham and plenty of salads.

I'm bringing the entree and a salad ... it wouldn't be Christmas without lots of seafood so I'm going to make Crayfish and Prawn Cocktails for the entree something a bit more fancy than the standard prawn cocktail. My friend dives for crayfish so they will be caught fresh just for me!
I usually alter recipes as I'm making them so this is the base recipe I'm using, but I will share the recipe after Christmas with any pointers on whether it was a winner or not!

I am also bringing a salad and my delicious Potato Salad With Mustard Dressing and Crispy Prosciutto should do the trick.

I'm spending Christmas Day Lunch with Mr P's family and everyone brings a dish to share.

This year we are bringing THE TURKEY! Which if you can't tell I'm just a little worried about as I've never cooked a freaking turkey before! While I have visions of bringing a big roasted turkey I know that is not going to happen I don't have hours to cook a bird! I'm going to cheat and go for a marinated and stuffed turkey roll roast much easier to cook and carve. I have bought this Ingham Turkey Roast to trial this weekend in the Webber BBQ to see how it comes out.

My vision
My reality!

Wish me luck!

What dishes are you bringing to your Christmas table this year?

You can see last year's Christmas Recipes over here

Check out Party 1 theme - Christmas Craft here
Check out Party 2 theme - Merry Mantle here
Check out Party 3 theme - O Christmas Tree here

[Image Christmas Cheer Button here and Prawn Lobster Recipe and image here and Turkey images here]

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Cheer - O Christmas Tree

I'm joining in with the Christmas Cheer To The Blogosphere link up party with the 3rd party theme O Christmas Tree over at Honey We're Home.

I've been dying to show off my tree this year which I put up way back in November ummm mah a bit early I know I usually wait until 1 December but I wanted to have it up and looking good for my Tour De Fridge party!
Let's have a looksy at the O Christmas Tree in the Jarrah Jungle household over the years ...

2009 was the first year in the Jarrah Jungle and had me buying my first ever tree which I was so excited about and still am! Admittedly it's a little big and stands 7 ft tall - I thought the bigger the better and didn't realise the space it would take up. Oh well it's here to stay now!
2010 was Christmas when renovating the Living Room and sadly the tree didn't make an appearance because the Living Room was squeezed into the Dining Room whilst we renovated!
2011 was a Blue and Silver Christmas modern fresh and bright to suit our Aussie summer and my bird obsession was in full swing I think I bought every bird ornament I could find.
2012 I've added some pinks and purples to the colour scheme and yes you guessed it more bird ornaments! I decided to put the tree up in the Living Room this year because I knew with our coffee machine now on the cabinet in the Dining Area there wasn't enough room and baubles would get knocked off every single morning making coffee which would drive me mad!
So here she is in all her glory O Christmas Tree

To see more O Christmas Trees head on over to Honey We're Home Link Up Party

Check out party 1 theme Christmas Craft here
Check out party 2 theme Merry Mantle here

[Image Christmas Cheer Button here and All other images my own]
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Monday, December 10, 2012

First Look At Courtyard Plans

Following on with my reversing issues and trying to find a Draftsman I got 2 quotes from Draftsmen I found via Gumtree and decided to pick the Draftsman who was $400 cheaper (because I asked for a better price!) and eager to start straight away.
The Draftsman came out took some photos and measurements and we gave him a copy of our site survey plans and he's drawn up preliminary plans for the front courtyard fence and retaining walls.

The Draftsman has also contacted a Structural Engineer to draw the retaining walls to specifications. The Engineer needs to know the soil classification so the walls are built with the correct dimensions etc. We have had a bit of toing and froing trying to get the correct information to the Engineer after which he doubled his bill so we are currently negotiating on that!
Here are the preliminary draft plans .... once I see the plans it's like the dream becomes a reality I can actually picture the courtyard now and which of my design ideas will work.
This plan shows our house with the new double garage (now built)
and proposed front courtyard
The courtyard will go from the edge of the house
across the Master Bedroom and Living Room
to where the driveway will start
The fence design will be brick pillars with metal timber look slats
we are still to decide on height of fence and spacing of slats
The retaining walls are some serious structures to be built
to retain the land and hold the fence up
Once we get these details sorted we can finalise the plans and submit them to our local council with a friendly covering letter asking them to fast track the approval pretty please so we can start the project over the Christmas break.

With any luck I'll be digging trenches for retaining walls over my Christmas holidays!

[All images my own]
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Review: The Baby Trail: A Novel By Sinead Moriarty

On stalking the library shelves this book The Baby Trail: A Novel By Sinead Moriarty caught my eye with it's cute cover and the blurb boasted to be a cross between Bridget Jones and Sex and the City.
This book is about a 30 something married couple Emma a make up artist and James a rugby coach trying to have a baby. It takes you through the sex romps and trying every which way to conceive, the depression of not falling pregnant, and onto the tests and poking and prodding that women go through to get pregnant.
I felt this book was very light on and lacked depth. It was only towards the end when the couple were trying IVF that I really felt for them and felt her desperation and his sympathy. What I found strange was that the husband was never tested or expressed that it may be his turn for some tests to see if that would help. This book was all about Emma and her thoughts and feelings about the whole process.
This could have been a much better book if there was some seriousness to it as well. It was all a bit light hearted and fancy free fiction. This is the authors first book so I don't want to be too harsh on her!
I would recommend this book for young women if they are thinking about having a baby it might scare you silly but hopefully it will give you a laugh as well. I give this book 2 stars.
You can read more about the author Sinead Moriarty here

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 Google]

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fridays Letters - Dear Bloggers

Last week the Friday's Letters Link Up didn't happen and this week it was posted late Friday in America which means it's already Saturday in Australia so its Fridays Letters on a Saturday this week!

Head on over to Adventures of Newlyweds to join in with the Fridays Letters link up.
I'm imagining this weeks letters (and some Chrissy cards!) are written from this bright and fresh home office space.
Dear Bloggers - Thank you so much for your comments and advice when I needed some help I know I can always rely on you guys so thanks a bunch!
Dear Picasa - I was devastated that I couldn't add any more photos to my blog and all my photos started to turn into big black boxes. So I paid $2.49 (plus a $2 conversion fee) a month but I'm not happy about it!
Dear Adsense - In an attempt to get back my storage payment I tried to sign up for you but apparently I don't meet the programs criteria whatever that means. Maybe I'm not cool or unique enough. If you have Adsense do you have any tips for getting approved?

Dear Draftsman and Engineer - For weeks we have been toing and froing providing more information for our retaining walls and fence - just draw the plans already - it's a fence not the Taj Mahal!
Dear Christmas Parties - Last Saturday was my Tuesday Girls Book Club party which was so much fun and this Saturday I'm off to Mr P's work party .... Tis the season to drink and eat way too much!
Dear Bargain Queen Within - You are most appreciated come Christmas time when hunting for presents. Saving money means I can buy more gifts for my beautiful friends and family!

Dear Pampering - I've taken myself off for a bit of pampering this week massage treatments and a hair cut and colour. It's amazing how good I feel after a bit of pampering, I really should treat myself more often!
[Image via my Pinterest]
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Cheer - Merry Mantle

It's time for another Christmas Cheer To The Blogosphere link up party with the 2nd party theme Merry Mantle over at Ten June.

In my case I don't have a fireplace mantle so I'm going to show off my Faux Mantle aka Tv Cabinet instead!

My Faux Mantle in the Living Room

I got this gorgeous gold dish from Ikea and filled it with beads and decorations

Matching white decor in the vase and oil burner

This sweet glass ornament changes colours it's so pretty

Do you have a Traditional Mantle or a Faux Mantle like mine?

To see more Merry Mantles head on over to Ten June Link Up Party

Check out the 1st Party theme - Christmas Craft here


[Images via Christmas Cheer Button here and all other images my own]

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Etsy Art: Lona de Anna Sale

Lona de Anna was one of the very first blogs I followed and I have always admired Anna's creativity and design style she is one very talented artist.

Just in time for Christmas Anna's Etsy Store is having a 40% off sale tomorrow!

I've been wanting to take home one of Anna's artworks for a very long time now but just haven't been able to make a decision on the one that I want!

After much self debate I will be ordering this black opal graphic print which I think will look good in my Living Room with its shades of green.

I can't wait to receive it in the mail!

Head on over here to check out more of Lona de Anna artworks and grab yourself a bargain!

(Note: This is not sponsored by Lona de Anna I just adore her art!)

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[Images via Lona de Anna]
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Cheer - Christmas Craft + Cardmaking

I spotted on the sweet Michaela Noelle Designs blog the Christmas Cheer To The Blogosphere link up party which I'm going to join in with some Christmas link parties each week.

Each party has a different theme and is hosted by a different blogger - it's a good excuse to get me motivated to get into the Christmas spirit and mix and mingle with some very talented bloggers.

The 1st party theme is Christmas Craft over at Hi Sugarplum

I've been making my own Christmas cards for 4 years running now it has become my little tradition since moving in with Mr P.

I buy my cards and envelopes, stickers, bows etc from discount stores. I also bought some ornaments and attached them to the envelopes to add some bespoke and make them a bit special. For my family overseas I tucked an Aussie ornament into the envelope before posting.

What Christmas crafts have you been creating?

To see more Christmas Crafts head on over to Hi Sugarplum Link Up Party

If you're looking for discounted craft supplies check out Blitsy - if you join and make a first time purchase it would be awesome if you use my referral code HERE - you will get great discounts and I get a $10 reward to spend on my creative obsession so I can share more posts like this with you guys!.

  photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

[Image poster here and all other images my own]
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