Friday, 26 April 2013

days off

I really did have the best ANZAC Day yesterday, but was so scatty come today. My body just wasn't happy with only 1 day off. I was a bit confused!

I watched L surf, and came back and cooked crepes for breakfast, I love them so much, much prefer them to thick pancakes. Just add lemon and sugar!

I continued my weekend theme of watching Season 5 Mad Men, and laminating, cutting and velcroing work for my kids. I have quite a pile now.
And spent most of the afternoon having girl time at the surf club. I am so lucky to live where I do. 

Is it ok to be at the surf club from early afternoon, until the moon rises? We did move areas...

Our camellias have started flowering! Our first flower came out yesterday, and today one bush has 3! They are about to explode!

Then I ended the day by climbing into bed, with fresh sheets. How good are they? If only I had a servant, I would have fresh sheets every day! If only I had someone else to do it for me it would be perfect. I have two sets of sheets, and I don't iron them (I had to pop these in the dryer to finish them off due to the weather-usually they come off the life pretty crease free!). I don't mean to brag-but I am awesome at folding fitted sheets. 

Lay it out on a flat surface, and square off the corners, with the elastic folded in. This is the most important step-if you get it pretty square here, it's easy.  

Fold it in half. Make sure the elastic stays on the inside, and doesn't poof out (technical language). You should have a rectangle.
 Fold in half again. Keep the corners square.
 Fold into thirds. Keep the corners square.
 Fold into thirds.

Even being a bit scatty today, I could handle a mid week day off every week-especially if they were all like that!

Thursday, 25 April 2013


ANZAC Day means a lot to me, as it does to most Australians. My Mama and Maxie both were in the airforce during WWII-it was where they met. Mama was beautiful, and Maxie was so handsome in their uniforms on their wedding day.

Mama always marched in the ANZAC marches when I was growing up, Maxie stayed home and quietly watched the Sydney services on TV. He never spoke of the war.

The Last Post was played at both of their funerals, and now never fails to make me cry.

In July 2009, while living in London, L and I went on a week long tour of Turkey. It was such a highlight of our year living overseas. It is such an amazing country, and I would-and do-recommend it to anyone. We spent a day at Gallipoli. It was quiet and peaceful and oh so beautiful on the day we visited, but you could see how incredibly tough the terrain was.

I missed the Dawn Service today-my alarm was set for pm. But I went and watched L surf at 7 this morning. It was a perfect morning, on a perfect beach, and I paid my respects then.

I'm incredibly grateful to live in such an amazing country. Lest we forget.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

liebster award

One of my favourite bloggers Natalie from In the Night Sky nominated me for The Liebster Award. Thanks!! So, what is a Liebster Award? 

"The Liebster Award is for blogs with under 300 followers, and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever nominated them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer.It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

I've already found some great new blogs from Natalie's links, and can't wait to sit down and read them!

11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I drink about 10 cups of tea a day. Especially Earle Grey. I will drink a tea last thing at night and first thing in the morning. 

2. I am a Today girl for my breakfast tv, can't stand Sunrise.

3. I can be a bit anal-I like things labeled, colour coded and to have a spot. L is the opposite. 

4.I love rugby league. I am a huge Newcastle Knights tragic. I love my Friday night and Sunday afternoon football. 

5. I love travelling. I've been to 28 countries, would go back to each of them, and my travel wish list just continues to grow. Turkey was my favourite!

6. I lived in a sharehouse in London. There were 9 of us who lived there at any one time-two people in each of the 4 double bedrooms, and one in the single bedroom. For 6 weeks there were 15 of us, with 3 people in the lounge room, and 3 others on bedroom floors. We had 3 toilets but only 1 shower. 

7. I'm a fast walker, and LOATHE slow walkers, especially when they spread out and you can't get around them.

8. My uni job was in a beef abattoirs. For 3 summers I packed meat. I hated every moment of it. It stank, it was cold, and there were very few women working there. But it paid well.

9. I adore my friends, but can be quite introverted and need my own time to recharge.

10. I have terrible feet. I'm flat footed, have long toes, have weird bumpy bits, and already have bunions. 

11. Mosquitoes seek me out, and I'm a bit allergic, so get big itchy welts. 

11 Questions from In the Night Sky

1. Do you have a pet? NO :( I want a dog so much, but our yard isn't fenced, and we need to put in a retaining wall before we fence it. I want a lab, or golden retriever. My childhood dog Tess died last year. She was a Jack Russell X Corgie, and she was almost 16. I miss her, even though she didn't live with me anymore. 

2. What is your favourite beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic? Apart from tea, I love champagne!

3. What is your dream career or job? I love my job as a special education teacher-at this point I couldn't see myself doing much else, except for Speech Pathology working with kids with disabilities. I spend A LOT of time in my classroom working on communication. It just opens up their worlds...

4. How would you describe your style (in decor or fashion)? Decor-quite traditional, tending towards Hamptons kind of look I guess, as it suits the house and where we live, lots of natural fibres and neutral base, with colour and interest brought in through cushions and accessories. 

Fashion-quite similar actually-my 'uniform' is skinny jeans, ballet flats and tops in neutral colours with colourful jewellery or scarves. 

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure and what is it? Ferrero Rochers. Yum. And champagne! And buying magazines. I have a few...

6. What is your favourite annual holiday? I love Australia Day-not in the bogan, nationalistic way, but it's the end of summer and my holidays, it's no pressure, relaxed and chilled out-BBQs, friends, beach, Hottest 100 on the radio. 

7. Is this your first time writing for the public? Yep

8. How do you manage your blogging time in your day to day life? I really enjoy it, but it comes last. Usually at night after dinner, or on the weekend, often while I'm watching tv. It's after me time, my relationship, work, house stuff. 

9. What has been the biggest surprise you have found with blogging? How much I have enjoyed it, and also how it has motivated me to get things done. I could have put painting downstairs off for another few months, but I'm so glad we didn't. Also, I love looking at the stats!

10. Does family support your blogging habit or do you live in fear of an intervention? L doesn't really mind, or notice. 

11. Have you developed any rules or advice yet, to share with bloggers? Not really, I've only recently started, and don't have a huge following, but I think keep it enjoyable. If it feels like a chore to write it will read that way. 

I'd like to link up to a few blogs-I'm a few short. Rebel. And I'm going to ask the same questions. 

1. Caberet's Ramblings
2. Elsee Blog
3. Quite Delightful
4. The Sea and Me Change
5. Hermosa Vogue
6. Running in Cute Heels
7. Carbon Chic
8. Lady Bear 
There's a bit of a mix there-fashion, house, life... 

Friday, 19 April 2013

deck the floors

We finally got around to sanding our verandahs this week. And by we I mean we ended up getting a handyman to do it. We had planned to sand in January, but ex-tropical cyclones and hundreds of mm of rain meant we couldn't. But they were in terrible condition-flaking varnish, and really grey and weathered. 

Uncovered bridge

The difference between the uncovered bridge, and the covered front door
Top back verandah
Bottom back verandah
Three months on, and the good weather wasn't matching up with L's days off, and it REALLY needed doing. It only cost about $200 on top of hiring the sander anyway. We've got three decks, and it works out at about 100 square meters of deck (love Queenslanders, and the inside/outside living!) 

The 'bridge' back to bare timber
Top verandah-it's merbau timber, so quite pink

Bottom verandah
During... You can see how pink the wood is
We've put two coats of oil on the decks, and despite being pretty greasy looking and sticky at the moment, we are so happy with them. They are quite dark at the moment, but will get lighter as the oil soaks in and 'dries'. On Sunday we will mop up any oil that hasn't sunk in, and will probably put the furniture back out next weekend. 

After-front verandah
Back verandah-sorry about the light!
Unfortunately our house has been disgusting for the past week. Fine sawdust made its way in through the tiniest gaps, and this is currently our dining room. I've blogged before about my least favourite part of renovating, and I definitely think that the making a mess re-arranging to other areas is a close second. 
Our dining table is actually in the sunroom this week
I'll be back with finished pics in a week or so!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

bird watching

I noticed recently I have a bit of a collection I didn't know about. I looked around one day and realised, and once I noticed it I kept finding more and more-in my house, in my wardrobe, and in my jewellery. 

Birds. They are everywhere. Not owls, which I know some people collect (although I have one or two thrown in), but more like swallows. I have had some of the things for 5 or so years. 

I have ornaments.

I have necklaces.

I have bedding.

I have lots of Christmas decorations, which are packed away.

I have clothing.

I have cushions.

The thing is-I hate birds. Loath them. 
They are flappy and unpredictable (I definitely see the irony with relation to my job...). 
I think they are dusty and dirty (which is probably untrue for most birds)-like rats of the air. 
I had bad experiences with swooping magpies as a child, my 20 minute walk to school could take 45 during swooping season due to detours. You know how if you look at them they aren't supposed to swoop you? Well I have definite memories of looking right at a birds beak as it flew directly at me. 

In recent years I had a horrifying experience with plovers-evil cousins of magpies with sharp horns on their wings. I had to run towards the plovers, after my student who thought it was hilarious-until the birds started swooping us, and I had to tackle him to the grass to protect him. I don't know who squealed louder-me or him or the birds. 

Plus they have beady eyes... I can't even bring myself to watch Alfred Hitchcock's movie. 

I really don't like them. 

Yet they are everywhere in my home. 

Do you have a collection that you didn't know about? Do you hate birds too?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

something very close to my heart

April is Autism Awareness Month, and is a cause really close to my heart. I teach kids with disabilities, and over the past few years half the kids I have taught have had an autism diagnosis.

Whether due to environmental factors, or better diagnosis, the incidence of people being diagnosed with Autism or Aspergers is growing at an alarming rate (it is defiantly NOT caused by immunisation). Around 1 in 110 people is diagnosed with Autism. At that rate you will likely know someone in your life who is affected by autism. 

Autism is incredibly misunderstood. It affects peoples social and communication skills, and often people with autism react differently to sensations. They may require a lot of sensory input to get a response, or they may be very sensitive to light, to noises, to smells.

The autism spectrum is a scale-and I have experienced kids who are very high functioning, to those at the other end of the scale, who are non verbal, have severe intellectual impairments and-whether through frustration, anxiety or due to sensory needs-can be violent to themselves or others. 

I'm incredible lucky to have found a job I love so much. The kids I work with every day are amazing. It isn't without it's challenges-it's often loud, always busy and can get a little crazy most days. I take my hat off to the parents of all kids with disabilities.It's my job to help these kids-and all the kids I teach-become as independent as they are capable of being, to learn to handle their emotions in a positive way and deal with what life throws up. 

The kids I teach are incredible. The world doesn't make sense to them, and is full of things they don't understand. They are made to do things that they don't want to do, and rules are broken all of the time. Things are unpredictable. Yet they develop relationships, they play games, make me laugh, they are CHEEKY. They come to school-most days at least-happy and WANTING to learn. 

Autism Awareness Month isn't about 'curing' autism, it's helping people living with autism in their lives feel less alone, less like they need to hide their child, their sibling, their disorder away. It's bringing autism out from behind closed doors. 

Source -a blue Opera House for World Autism Awareness Day

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

bits and pieces

After 3 and a half solid days of painting, we've taken a break. We haven't quite finished the tricky bit above the stairs, but we had some other things to do, and were a bit sick of painting.

Chocolate coconut cake-yum!
I baked L a cake-such a sweet tooth. Didn't stay whole like this for long!

I've managed to buy 7 vases in the last week or so. I found four glass ones that I picked up at an op shop for a steal, and also got a gorgeous cake stand. That I should have put my cake on! Duh. I also bought three white ceramic vases too, on two different days at different shops. Now just need some flowers.
Two of the white glasses are on the top left of the shelves-in front of the pictures and the big one is down with the teapots

My new cake stand-I brought it out specially!

A close up because it's so pretty!
I've been drinking my green smoothies almost every day. They aren't too bad! I've been having berry and banana in with my greenery, so that sweetens them up. I won't show you an after-lets just say it doesn't look green once it's all blended-red and blue berries plus green equals brown. I've been adding some extra goodies too-chia seeds and goji berries at the moment. Might add a few more good things in the coming weeks too.
When it still looks nice! Before that colour mixing!
Our wedding is starting to seem much closer! I think our invites are pretty much sorted. Just have to get L to confirm bus times for the ceremony, and we should be set.

Did anyone see the cover of last month's House and Garden. I think I gasped in the middle of Woolies. I love it. Everything about it.  The grey, they crisp white windows, furniture and pots, the deep green of the plants. Just gorgeous. Would love to paint our place that colour, but (especially after the weekend!!) think it would be just too much work to drastically change the colour, so we will probably go to a blue/grey with white trim. We have navy poles that we can't really change anyway, so I don't think a true grey would work quite as well.


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