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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review: Young House Love: 243 Ways To Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love By Sherry and John Petersik

I ordered this book Young House Love: 243 Ways To Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love by Sherry and John Petersik from Amazon the day it was released for sale and surprisingly found it waiting for me under  my doormat on the other side of the world only 1 week later - what a great turn around when the delivery was estimated at 3 weeks!

I have already gushed about the Young House Love blog and book debut and I found their book to be an extension of themselves and their blog - full of their likable personality, undying enthusiasm for decorating and renovating on a budget.
This book has page after page of projects that are cheap and easy to do. I have flagged a few that I want to have a go at, like using wrapping paper to cover the back of your cupboards - cheap and affective! There are also feature projects from other bloggers, some I knew of and others are new to me so I'm now following along on their clever decor blogs too.

I found the dimensions of the book itself to be quite small and the matt finish doesn't really make it a designer coffee table book. But in saying that the thrifty casual design is more YHL style so it does suit the book and the authors.
I would recommend this book to those first time home owners wanting to get stuck into some decorating and craft projects to add a bit of love and personality to their homes. Also for any Young House Love fans, you've got to have this book for your bookcase! I give this book 4 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

[Images via YHL and Babycentre] 
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Clock and Art Wall Inspiration

I have been digging through my inspiration file and pondering where in my home I can create a quirky and fun, mix matched wall of clocks and artworks ...

I have a smallish wall next to the doorway between the Living Room and Kitchen/Dining Room that is the perfect place for a bit of creativity to be hung up.

I love the look of clocks in different styles and colours grouped together, I have about 5 clocks to hang and will most likely be tempted to add a few more to the collection.

The clocks won't be alone I want to work in some quirky artworks too, like a Spoon rock poster I was given by great friends who know my creativity and need to hang things! 

I also have a gorgeous tea towel by the talented Rob Ryan I've had folded in my linen cupboard for a few years after getting it free with Inside Out magazine.

I know the sound of ticking clocks annoys some people (like Mr P!) but it doesn't really bother me. So long as it's not right near my Bedroom and all I hear is the tick tock when trying to sleep that would drive me bananas.

Luckily the Kitchen is far enough away from the Bedroom to not really be an issue.

With the kitchen renovation beginning I can now work on my wall ... Get my clocks together and figure out which ones to use.

I'll need to find frames for the artwork poster and tea towel and maybe add some typography or a mirror to the mix too.
What do you think about Clock walls? Would it drive you bananas!

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[Images via Pinterest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cookin Up The Big Bird

Before Christmas fades away with a distant memory of frantic present shopping I want to share my courageous efforts of cooking up my very first Turkey on Christmas Day.

After trying to wimp out and buy a turkey roast roll stuffed and marinated on my pre Xmas trial - it cooked perfectly in the Weber BBQ but when it was carved it just fell apart probably because it was stuffed so there wasn't enough meat to hold it all together. Don't get me wrong it tasted delicious but the dream of walking in on Christmas Day with a grand big turkey did not look like a plate of turkey mush!
We picked out a 3.8kg turkey buffet from Woolies that was fresh from the fridge, I didn't want frozen as it takes days to thaw out. A turkey buffet is a turkey that has the rib cage and wings removed but the drumsticks remain - this means more meat and easier to carve but the downside is you can't stuff it, but to solve this problem we made a stuffing cake.
So Xmas Morning we got up early and put the Weber BBQ on to heat up for about 40 minutes (ok that's a lie I was staying at my parents house and my lovely Mum got up to light up the Weber so I could sleep in after one too many vinos Xmas Eve!)

Mr P prepared the turkey - washed and patted dry with paper towel, rubbed all over with olive oil, plenty of cracked salt and pepper, half a lemon put inside with a few cloves of peeled garlic and fresh thyme.

Once the Weber was hot and ready to go the bird went in with a tray underneath to catch the juices for the gravy. I read a tip about putting some scrunched up foil on both sides of the bird to stop it from getting too hot and burning which protected it perfectly.
Checked it after an hour to make sure it wasn't burning, a check 45 minutes later and the juices ran clear so it was ready to take out, covered it with foil and let it rest. So it took a total of 1.45 hours for a 3.8kg turkey that's not as long as I thought, pretty happy with that!  
Now for the stuffing because there is no cavity in this turkey we made a stuffing cake. The stuffing was made by browning an onion in a bit of oil, then adding the onion to breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, chopped dried apricots and cranberries, pinenuts and fresh thyme until it held together. Spooned the stuffing mix into a foil container and then put it into the Weber for about 30 minutes until it was crunchy on top. It was absolutely delicious.
I was so stressed about cooking this big turkey, especially in the outside Weber but it turned out perfectly ... moist on the inside with a crispy skin on the outside and got lots of ohhs and ahhs when we walked in on Xmas Day!

It has shown me not to be scared of failure and play it safe ... taking the challenge worked out just fine!
[All images my own]
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

And The Winner Is ....

Thanks to everyone who entered the Personal Planner Giveaway I hope you had some fun seeing what cool planners you could design!
I drew out all the entries the old fashioned way

And the winner is

Heather of House of Woyak - Congratulations Heather I'll be in touch to send a Gift card your way

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!
[All images my own]

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday's Letters - Dear Watermelon

I'm pretty damn excited about the Aussie Day Long Weekend ahead so this week's Friday's letters are written with a big grin on my face! Thanks for hosting Ashley, head on over to The Sweet Season to link up your Friday's Letters.
I'm imagining I'm writing this weeks letters from this cute and practical home office space sipping on a skinny cafe latte double espresso no sugar thanks!
Dear Watermelon - You are the perfect summer fruit and I don't care if I look like a 2 year old and end up with you all over my face you are refreshing and delicious.
Dear Gumtree - I'm relying on you to help me rent out my Apartment now that my tenants are moving out next month. I need someone by February, go on do your thing!
Dear Lexi - Almost 2 weeks we have had you now and your manners have improved heaps. You don't nip at my ankles anymore but you still need to work on that jumping when you're all excited. Truth be told you think you can get away with it because your so freaking cute which is true, but still a lady should always mind her manners!
Dear RSPCA - I sent you some pictures of how happy Lexi is in her new home and you wrote an adorable email back to Lexi telling her she already has us wrapped around her paw! You guys do such a fantastic job looking after animals who have been mistreated and if anyone in Australia is ever looking for a pet dog or cat take a look at the RSPCA first, you are helping a wonderful cause saving an animal and taking home a pet that is going to appreciate living in your home more than anything.
Dear Giveaway - Don't forget to enter my Personal Planner Giveaway by tomorrow and good luck!
Head on over here to link up your Friday's Letters
[Image via Pinterest]
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 Things To Do On Australia Day

Australia's favourite long weekend is this Saturday 26 January ... a nation wide public holiday to celebrate all things Aussie!

Here are 5 things people love to do on Australia Day:

1. Go to a Skyworks Show - most Capital cities have their own big fireworks show and entertainment for all ages going from morning until night and best of all it's free!

2. Throw a shrimp on the BBQ and have a relaxing day kicking back, having a drink with friends and family - finding a poolside party so you can cool off is a must!

3. The sport lovers will be inside in the air conditioning beer in hand watching the cricket or tennis, the lucky ones will be watching a match live and the fit ones will be playing some backyard cricket.

4. Dress up in our national costume, anything goes pretty much so long as it's got the flag on it or is blue, red and white with a few stars thrown in. Bring on the face paint and temporary tattoos ... my blue sparkly nail polish always makes an appearance this time of year!

5. If I'm totally honest the single best thing about Australia Day to me is Triple Js Hottest 100 songs countdown for the year before, which means the party music is sorted from about 10am in the morning onwards!

What are your plans for Australia Day?

You can see my 2011 Australia Day here

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[Images via Creative Roots]
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Club: Chocolat The Movie

After reading the sweet book Chocolat by Joanne Harris, us Tuesday Girls got together and watched the movie Chocolat to compare the two
For once I actually liked the movie better than the book. I'll admit it probably had a lot to do with the hunk of a spunk Johnny Depp being the love interest!
The movie wasn't the same as the book in that the characters love interests were quite different and the main rouge is the Town Mayor in the movie whereas it's the Priest in the book. The moral of the story and feeling of the movie is the same as the book, it is a sweet story and made a perfect girls night in!

Each of us bought a sweet dish to share and had gourmet pizzas and bubbly. It is impossible to watch this movie without eating chocolate ... there are too  many tantalising chocolate scenes you would go crazy with cravings so be prepared with your snacks!

I made this chocolate platter which went down a treat!

Do you have a favourite Book vs Movie?

[Movie image here - Other image my own]

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meet our new addition ... Lexi

Meet Lexi our new addition to the Jarrah Jungle household!

Lexi's a Rottie x Staffie and 1.5 yrs old. I wanted a Rottweiler as I had 2 pet Rotties growing up on the farm and they are such smart confident dogs and Mr P likes Staffies, so Lexi was a perfect mix of both.

Lexi is our first child in the house ... she cries by the backdoor when she hasn't seen us for a while, she chews everything in sight and especially likes my garden supplies, she is learning how to fetch the ball and bring it back, not to mention needing constant affection love and attention. If that's not training for kids I don't know what is!

Lexi was found wondering the streets and taken in by the RSPCA last month. She was most likely mistreated as she's scared of men and pretty shy and timid. Mr P and I have visited the RSPCA a few times looking for a dog to rescue. Lexi was cowering in the back of her kennel and wouldn't even come forward for treats. We took her for a walk to see how we would bond with her and then asked to put her on hold so we could think about it a bit more.

The lovely ladies at the centre told us she would need lots of love and patience to become confident again and we had to decide if we were up for the challenge and responsibility ... being first time parents and all it was a very big decision to make.

Yes Lexi was going to be a bit of work but we knew that she would absolutely love our big backyard and we could give her a fantastic life. So we doggie proofed the backyard (or so I thought!), fixed fences, mowed the lawn, bought her a big bed and blankets, food, toys, collar, lead, etc you name it!

We went back the next day to pick Lexi up and $500 later took her home with us. Then we had our Lesson No. 1 in patience .... it took us well over an hour to coax her out of the car! Thankfully some leftover Xmas ham did the trick eventually!

Lexi is a real girly girl and absolutely loves women and on her first trip to the park this weekend she went trotting up to all the girls which Mr P thinks is a fantastic pickup charm ... if only he was single!

Only 1 week on and Lexi already has a list of doggie dates lined up.

Lexi you're going to be a real heart breaker xx

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 [All images my own]
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Personal Planner Giveaway

I have just reached 150 followers and want to say a big fat thank you to each and every one of you for following my musings, dreaming and just plain dribbling at times! What better way to say thanks to you guys than with a Giveaway!
The talented Aussie duo at Personal Planner are giving 1 lucky reader the opportunity to design their own planner - yes you heard right design your very own 365 day planner exactly as you like it!
I know we're 3 weeks into the New Year already but I still don't have a planner. I'll admit I only started looking this month because my Bargain Queen antics know they should be half price once 2013 kicks over - but every one I look at is either the wrong size, doesn't have a page layout I like, the information on it I don't need or it's just plain fugly and boring!
Well now I can create my own there are endless design possibilities! The Personal Planner website allows you to design your own planner exactly as you want it ... You can change the colour, text, cover, use your own photos, add idea boxes or to do list boxes which would be so handy, Birthdays and special dates.
You also pick the planner start date so if you're like me and a little behind the 8 ball you can start the planner in February 2013, which means they would make cool gifts for friends all year round! It'll be delivered to your mailbox all printed up and pretty and ready to use.
For your chance to win any planner in any size delivered right to your doorstep anywhere in the world:
1) Become a Follower of Jarrah Jungle
2) Like Jarrah Jungle on Facebook
3) Like Personal Planner on Facebook
4) Leave a comment telling me you've done all of the above
5) Giveway is International
6) Competition closes Saturday 26 January 2013

Winner will be drawn at random and announced on Sunday ... Good luck everyone!

Disclosure: Personal Planner partner with bloggers such as me to help promote their Personal Planners. As part of this promotion I will be given a Personal Planner to Giveaway and also one for myself to personalise - I can't wait to get designing! I have not been told what to say about this product, I am free to form my own opinion and share them in my own words. All opinions are my own. Gift card will be emailed to winner. This prize cannot be exchanged for money.
[Images via Personal Planner]
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

The First Steps To Take In Planning A Kitchen Renovation

I've been dreaming about our kitchen renovation for ages and ages so have a pretty good idea of what I want. But it's just whether I can fit my dream Kitchen into the itty bitty space we have and within budget.

So before I get all sledgehammer crazy on the old Kitchen, I'm sharing the first steps to take when planning a Kitchen renovation that I thought my readers might find useful.

1. Set a budget

You've got to decide how much you want to spend first and foremost and this is usually the driving factor of any renovation.

If you want to put in a basic Kitchen for a quick renovation to sell the house you'll be putting flat packs together from Ikea on a modest budget.

If you want the kitchen of your dreams to go into your forever home you'll be putting a lot more aside to get the quality.

For me it's a bit of both - I want a Kitchen for resale but also a quality Kitchen for me to use for the next couple of years.

2. Visualise how you want the kitchen to look

We measured up the Kitchen and Dining area and did a heap of sketches of different layouts -  mine are never to scale which frustrates the hell out of Mr P!

I've got an Inspiration File of tear outs from magazines that I'm constantly adding to, as well as product kitchen brochures from Ikea, Bunnings, and other kitchen places so we have lots of pictures to refer to of what styles, colours and products we like.

3. Do your research - read lots of Kitchen design books/magazines and go online

I have been researching our Kitchen since I moved in 3 years ago! I've done some study on Kitchens as part of the Interior Design course and also went to a Kitchen Seminar before that. I've done a kitchen/dining area mood board at The School of Real Living Masterclass so have gone as far as visualising colour combos too.

There's an endless amount of information on the Internet but my go to places are Pinterest and Houzz and of course other home blogs. The library has heaps of resource books and there's stacks of house magazines out there to.

Keep adding to your Inspiration File!

4. Go and check out some Kitchen Showrooms

Once we had a pretty good idea of what style of Kitchen we liked and the basic layout and our wish list, then we were ready to go to the professionals to help put our ideas into action.

We checked out a few Kitchen Showrooms to view the styles of cupboards and benchtops, layouts that worked, and any up and coming design features like communication stations etc to think about.

Ask their design consult fee and whether they make the cabinets themselves or outsource the work as this will affect their fees.
5. Get a professional to measure up and draw the design

Once you decide on the Kitchen company you want to work with, make an appointment for them to come out to the house, measure up and work with you to draw the new layout.

There is usually a charge of around $100 for this for their time and to draw up your design. Keep your Inspiration File handy and show them the things you absolutely love and can't live without and what you like but is not totally necessary.

For me storage was my No.1 priority so I made sure they squeezed in as many cupboards/drawers as possible, which means there won't be room for a built in wine rack bummer - these are the sacrifices you might need to make.

6. Pick your materials - doors, benchtops, handles, splashbacks, appliances

You should have a good idea of what types of materials you like from visiting the showrooms by now, scary as it is you need to start making decisions on what you want - weigh up the pros and cons of the materials against the price.

Think about how long you will be living in the house for, whether you're doing the kitchen for resale, to live in, or both. Most appliances are similar in dimensions, but installation instructions can differ.

The Kitchen company will need to know what you want to finalise the kitchen design and give a final quote.

7. Finishing touches - Lights, Power, Decor etc

Don't forget the finishing touches that bring personality to the Kitchen - light fittings like pendant lighting over an eating area and task lighting above benchtops, power points where you'll need them (and it's best to have more than not enough!).

Think about furniture - new bar stools or a rug. Another big one is decor items - artworks, a clock etc.

Keep a look out for the things that catch your eye as it can take months to find the perfect pieces for your dream kitchen, the sooner you start looking the better!

8. Finalise your Kitchen Design and Tradies

Once you have the final drawing of the kitchen, have chosen all your materials to be used and purchased the appliances it's time to organise your tradies.

If you're putting the Kitchen in yourself - good luck it is a lot of precise careful work! I'd suggest you pay a cabinet maker to install it for you as they will cut and modify and fit as they go. No house is perfectly square especially not old homes so adjustments will be needed.

You also need to lock in your electrician, plumber and tiler.

9. Demolition baby - out with the old

Once the cabinets have been made and you have an installation date, all the appliances are ordered and you are ready to go.

Pack up the old Kitchen keeping out only the basics and box up everything else, find a temporary washing up station, food prep station and food storage area in your home so you can still make basic meals for the next few weeks or even months depending on the size of the renovation project.

In our case we are also going to replace the ceiling, knock out the brick pantry and knock the window into a doorway so ours will be about an 8 week project. Once it's all cleared and electrics and plumbing disconnected THEN you can get out the demolition tools and pull everything out!

10. Installation - in with the new

Once the old kitchen is removed you'll need to patch and paint all the walls, ceiling, door/window frames etc. The floor may also need to be repaired, in our case we're going to have to patch the floorboards where the pantry is removed.

The cabinet maker will come in to install the cabinets, tiler to do the splashback, electrician to do all the cabling, lights, power points, appliances (oven/stove), plumber for the sink and dishwasher.

Don't cut yourself short timewise, be realistic in your time frames as a kitchen renovation will take at least a month to complete - don't put yourself under pressure allow time to get everything done.

Also be aware that unless you have a spare kitchen in your house which is highly unlikely, you'll need a makeshift kitchen area. Somewhere to plug in your fridge and store food, prepare simple meals, BBQs are probably the easiest dinner option.

Indulging in takeaway/eating out when it all gets too much or invite yourself over to friends and families for a meal ... I'm sure they'll be happy to help with a promise of a dinner party in your shiny new kitchen at the end of it all!

Do you have any tips for planning a kitchen renovation?

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[Images via my Pinterest Kitchen Board 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Fridays Letters - Dear New Addition

It's time for the Friday's Letters link up ... thanks a bunch The Sweet Season for hosting my favourite party!
I'm imagining this weeks letters are written on this comfy yellow couch surrounded by the perfectly styled bookcase I'll be right at home
Dear New Addition - Mr P and I rescued from the RSPCA a little Rottie X Staffy 1.5 yr old pup on the weekend and called her Lexi. So far this week I've learnt not to leave anything outside that can be chewed, taught Lexi how to catch the ball AND bring it back and realised just how much love, attention and affection she needs!
Dear Entire Week Of Training - After 5 days of training this week I don't think my brain can possibly absorb any more information. I'll actually be glad to be back in the office next week ... just don't quote me on that!

Dear Flybuy Points - I've been collecting Flybuy points for 10+ years and for the first time ever actually redeemed my points. A 12 month Super Food Ideas magazine subscription is on it's way to me but the funny thing is it's only valued at $30 - which makes me think all those years of shopping and card swiping what have I really achieved?!

Dear Kitchen Design - You are finally in the making! After a trip to a Kitchen Showroom on the weekend, a Kitchen Designer came out this week and spent 2 hours helping us design our Kitchen Reno. I can't wait to see the plan drawn up ... then to pick the doors, bench top, splash back, appliances etc. Exciting times ahead!
Dear Chocolat The Movie - Can't wait for tonight's movie night with the Tuesday Girls to compare Chocolat the movie with Chocolat the book we read. Everyone is bringing chocolate treats of some kind too not to mention the eye candy of Johnny Depp!


Head on over here to link up your Friday's Letters
[Image via Pinterest here]
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stringing Up Some Inspiration

Doing some shopping at kikki.K I found this box of cards with inspirational quotes and just had to buy them for myself ... I'm a real sucker for pretty quotes!

I had the brainiac idea of stringing them up with little pegs to display them ... The string and pegs I already had as I use them for hanging up my Christmas cards

So I got to work pegging them evenly along the string until I had them all pegged and ready to hang

I hung the string across the length of the laundry wall, putting a screw in each corner and wrapping the string around each screw until it sat properly

I've been pimping the laundry a bit lately knowing it's going to be the last room renovated those beige walls needed some artworks to brighten it up.

My other laundry artworks are here and here

Linking up with this week's parties at The Dedicated House and Savvy Southern Style

[All images my own]

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