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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Recipe: Mexican Bean and Rice Salad

I whipped up this quick and easy dish in my Makeshift Kitchen the other day - a Mexican Bean and Rice Salad. It's one of those dishes you can make with cupboard ingredients and if you have a rice cooker it's even easier! It was a delicious side dish to serve with roast chicken marinated in Mexican spices ... with a dollop of yogurt on the side to cool down your mouth from the hot chilli and spices!
Mexican Bean and Rice Salad
2 cups white long grain rice
420g can sweet corn kernels, drained
400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
Handful of chopped coriander
2 tbs lime juice
Drizzle olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 tbs Natural yogurt (optional)
Cook rice (in rice cooker if you have one) and lightly fluff with a fork
Stir through corn, beans, chilli and coriander
Stir in lime and olive oil and season well with salt and pepper
Place lid on for a few minutes to allow rice and added ingredients to warm up
Serve with a Mexican main like this marinade roast chicken and a dollop of yogurt on the side
Bon Appetit or as the Mexican's say Provecho!
[Image my own]
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Kitchen Splash back - Tiles, Mosaics and Glass

I am really struggling to make a decision on the kitchen splash back. I've asked you guys for help on the Tiles Vs Glass Splash back and got some fantastic feedback which was really helpful thank you so much. But I still can't make up my freaking mind!

Looking back on picking the tiles for the bathroom while I did a bit of research and hunting around for looks I liked, when it came to going out and shopping for the tiles I found the perfect tiles pretty much straight away. From the one shop we walked away with the floor and wall tiles - large modern white tiles 30 x 60 to go from the floor to the ceiling and grey marble looking tiles 30 x 60 for the floor. The only bit I hunted around for was the mosaics which were the feature in the centre of the vanity and in the shower box. We sorted out the tiles without too much stress and time it was a bit of a wham bam thank you ma'am.

Last Saturday was our first day of tile shopping, we had less than 2 hours and managed to visit about half a dozen tile shops. Why tile shops don't open on a Sunday I don't know, it's very frustrating!

I thought I wanted tiles but the tiles that I liked the most were glass tiles - which makes me think I should just get a glass splash back. I love how the glass bounces light around and is all shiny and modern looking.
The other thing I'm totally into is mosaics, but not the square mosaic tiles the rectangle ones. They will be easier for us to lay ourselves than tiles will be as they're easier to cut. The trouble is we want to do the whole splash back in mosaic and at around $40 per 30 x 30 sheet we worked it out to cost about $900 just for the mosaics, that doesn't include the grout or laying them.
The mosaics we liked enough to ask for a sample are these metal type mosaics - I wasn't overly keen on them because they're square and I wanted rectangle and I don't know how long they'd stay shiny for and whether they would need to be buffed often. Mr P loves them and I admit they are pretty cool but they're pretty masculine don't you think?

The only rectangle ones I found with a bit of silver that Mr P and I could agree on are these ones. I love how they're a mixture of different materials with slate, metal and glass. But I think the cream tones will clash with the bright white cabinetry.

So we are now onto Plan B and looking at the other option of a glass splash back. Tomorrow we are setting the alarm clock early to go and check out the glass splash backs at the glass company we used to get glass cut for our french doors.

I hope their glass splash back absolutely blows me away and we decide on this final piece of the puzzle! Then we can finish painting the walls and we are done like a dinner!

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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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Small Dining Area Inspiration

I've been thinking about what dining table and chairs will work in the new dining area now the french doors are in. The furniture can't be too big or it will block the doorway outside and there needs to be a clear walkway through to the deck for when I'm carrying the cocktails and nibbles to enjoy outside!
A bench seat against the wall with some comfy cushions will take up little room and a dining table could be pushed right up against it. An old church pew would be a pretty cool find to. I'm really liking the upholstered settees but without arms so it takes up less room.

Here are some bench seat style dining areas which are inspiring me ...

Do you have any advice for a small Dining Area?

[Images via my Pinterest 23, 4, 5, 6, 7]

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Come On Over To Bloglovin

Everyone has probably heard the news that Google Friend Connect which sits on your blog sidebar with all your followers pretty faces will be retiring on 1 July 2013. That gives you just 1 week left to find another way to follow your favourite blogs before they're lost in the blogosphere forever.
I liked using GFC it was simple to use within Blogger where my blog is and every day I'd log into my dashboard and read through the latest posts from the blogs I follow. But now I've officially had to go elsewhere to make sure that I don't lose the blogs I follow and likewise so you guys out there can still find Jarrah Jungle. I'm really quite sad that I'm losing my readers in GFC as I have almost 200 followers and feel that I need to start again in Bloglovin where I have under 60.
I hope everyone will take the time to subscribe to their blogs again through another reader. There seems to be 2 main reader platforms to chose from Feedly and Bloglovin - I chose Bloglovin and have been signed up for a few months now, this is my run down on Bloglovin:
* It was easy to add Jarrah Jungle into Bloglovin, just sign up with an email address and then claim your blog and update your profile.
* It allowed me to transfer all my subscriptions from GFC straight into Bloglovin in just a few clicks.
* There's a few different Bloglovin buttons that are easy to personalise and grab for your sidebar so others can find you.
* You can request how often you want to get updates from blogs, I receive an email daily with the latest posts from blogs I follow. You can also log directly into your Bloglovin account to view the blogs you follow.
* You can go onto each blog and scroll down to see all the posts they have in case you missed a few or remember seeing something and want to go back through and check it out again (this happens to me all the time when trying to find a recipe but I can't remember when I saw it)!
* There are drop downs for Popular Posts and Top Blogs so you can find even more inspiring blogs to follow and add to your Bloglovin list!
I can't survive these renovations without you guys - my awesome readers and followers, I thrive on your encouragement, comments and advice and hope to see you on the flip side after 1 July 2013!
Find Jarrah Jungle on Bloglovin here
[Images via Bloglovin - follow me here]
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Do More Of What Makes You Happy

As Friday evening sets in and I sit and ponder the weekend ahead and the kitchen renovations that are now heading into the 8th week and still not quite finished ... my weekend will be filled with tradesmen coming to fix some things on the kitchen cupboards, tile shopping can you believe we haven't even picked out the splash back tiles yet! Hopefully make a start on plastering and painting the walls and ceiling and of course the usual domestic goddess duties washing and cleaning and wine consumption etc.
People are like ughhh how do you cope. Where are you cooking. Isn't it annoying. Whys it taking so long etc etc. But you know what? As crazy as it sounds I actually do love doing these renovations ... they make me happy and I'm really enjoying seeing what we've dreamt come to life.

Are you doing what makes you happy?

[Image via My Pinterest - You can follow me here]

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Whats Old Wrinkly And Sagging In Places

Ceilings are just like the elderly over time they grow old and wrinkly which is nothing to be ashamed of it's a sign of a good long life ... Having said that our ceilings could do with a bit of a face lift to straighten out those wrinkles and sagging!
When we renovated the Living Room we attempted a DIY ceiling lift because it was sagging in parts. It was a full on job that took us a few days to do but the bonus was it cost us less than $100. While we fixed some of the sagging it wasn't perfect and the wrinkles no matter how much we sanded them we couldn't get rid of them.
Our DIY ceiling lift in the Living Room
So when we did the Kitchen we decided that lifting the ceiling wasn't going to work if we wanted it to be smooth and new like the rest of the room the whole ceiling had to be replaced. Another factor was the holes that were cut out of the old ceiling for the old stove vent and the pantry when we knocked it down would need to be patched which wouldn't look too good. So we had no choice really we had to install a brand spanking new ceiling.
The old ceiling before the pantry was knocked out
Now we could have attempted to install a new ceiling ourselves but we have so many other jobs to do on the kitchen renovation that it just wasn't feasible to attempt this job as well. But as always we did the prep work ourselves which was to remove the old cornices ... if you can at least do some of the demo work yourself you'll save yourself some money.

Mr P removing the old cornices
The old ceiling sheets had handles so they could hang them up to dry!
All the old cornices and vents removed

We left the new ceiling install to our roof carpenter who built our garage roof and ceiling. It was a 2 day job for him which was spread over a few weeks, he put the new ceiling up and then once the kitchen was installed he came back and put the cornices in. Mr P helped him put the cornices in so we could get a discount and we saved $400 by helping and paid $1500 in the end for a totally new plaster board ceiling installed in the kitchen and dining area with cornices cut out around all the kitchen cupboards and 2 plaster corner vents for the dining room corners to match the vents throughout the house.
On day 1 the new ceiling was put up sheet by sheet underneath the old ceiling in the kitchen and dining area. It was good news to hear we didn't need to remove our old ceiling - could you imagine the 40+ years of dust and crap that would fall through if we had cut out the old ceiling to put the new one in? Yea it wouldn't have been pretty!

Ceiling cement was mixed up and used to install the ceiling boards
New plaster boards installed under the old ceiling
A few weeks later once the new kitchen was installed the roof carpenter came back to finish off the ceiling and Mr P was his helper for the day. All the new lights that we just had installed had to be removed so the new ceiling could be prepped and sanded. Cornices were cut out to fit and installed all the way around the ceiling around the new kitchen cupboards. We also had 2 ornate plaster corner vents fitted into the corners of the dining room so it looks the same as the old ceiling.
The cornices cut to size and ready to go up
New cornices going up around the kitchen cupboards
Cornices going along the walls
More cupboards to cut around - note the hole left for the range hood
All cornices finished
Installing the ornate corner cornices

So there you go all the ceiling cornices are neat and fitted and there's no more gaping holes in the ceiling. Having holes in the ceiling for weeks and with Winter upon us now it was really getting a bit draughty and we were losing the warmth from the gas heater too quickly!
Now we can get the paint brushes out and paint the ceiling and cornices ... After all the projects we've tackled in this kitchen renovation painting is going to be a walk in the park
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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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Offspring's Nina and Patrick - Grown Up Apartment

Like the rest of the nation I'm a little obsessed with Australian drama Offspring .... there's something about Nina's overactive imagination and her family dramas that makes for such entertaining television.
When Nina was single she had a funky pad in Brunswick which I gave you a peek into here.

Now she's in love or is it lust and having a baby with the gorgeous Patrick they live together in a converted Melbourne warehouse. Their current home is much more industrial with mixes of concrete and wood and the feminine decor has been replaced with warm and homely artworks and furniture.

Inside Out magazine for their July/August 2013 edition went backstage to the Proudman's homes which you can see more of here - Nina and Patrick's converted warehouse, Billie (Nina's sister) and Mick's character filled home and Geraldine (Nina's Mum) colourful family home.

Tell me, are you an Offspring fan?

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

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[Images via Inside Out]

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Guest Bedroom Styling

I really like the feel of my Guest Bedroom it's light and fresh and cozy and a great haven for friends and family who stay over like my lovely friend who house sat for me this weekend so Mr P and I could have a weekend getaway.

I change the art work quite a bit ... the current art was bought at a charity auction and was hand painted by kids in Cambodia and takes pride of place on the wall.

The block out curtains were a great investment they really keep the sun out and allow those with fragile hangovers to sleep in for as long as they like! The curtains were bought from the same place as the Master Bedroom curtains.

I'm forever changing the throw cushions depending on what colour scheme I'm going for. In fact there's a big pile three times this on the bed at the moment because I'm running out of room in the linen cupboard for them. Note to self: stop buying cushions!
I love how neutral this room is and all I need to do is change the bed spread and decor to totally change the look of the room. The pin up girl was from my pin up girl art collection I made for the Master Bedroom. The lamp is from Target and the candle holder a $3 op shop find.

The light fitting is my favourite thing about the room it has that retro vibe and puts a cool pattern on the ceiling when it's turned on.

I've been on the look out for ages for a mirror and shelf to attach to the wall ... if you find one please let me know!
You can see before and afters of the Guest Room here
[All images my own]
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Friday, June 14, 2013

A Weekend Rendezvous

This weekend Mr P and I are heading to the Crown Perth for a well deserved break and to celebrate 5 amazing years together. The house and little Lexi are being looked after so we have nothing to worry about except where we'll be dining, how much we can win at the casino and what movies to watch from our relaxing hotel room!


Here's to a weekend rendezvous!
How are you spending your weekend?

[All images via Crown Perth]
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hard To Find - Dear Noah

There's a fantastic Australian company Hard To Find who as the name suggests source and sell unique and unusual gifts and goodies of all kinds for you to buy from their online shop. They send out a weekly email with their top finds for the week and they also have glossy little brochures that they put inside magazines so they fall into your lap like magic and have you swooning over their latest collection.
These Dear ... canvasses in particular made me smile the other day. Let's start with my personal favourite Dear Noah ... somehow I think it belongs in a kids room or nursery of which I have neither but I'm so tempted to get it anyway!

How could these not make you smile! 
Which one is your favourite?
[All images via Hardtofind]
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