30 July 2012

Inspiring boys bedroom

Monday Medley

Our home is soon to have some minor renovations done and I have a mountain of de-cluttering in the home, garage and laundry house to complete. The laundry house is behind the garage and both are detached from the main home so going between three places in the chilly-wet-mud is horrible. It certainly doesn't help when you have the world's most curious 2-year-old pulling everything out as you go and the weather has been the worst ever this winter.

On Friday night Leo and I had a very optimistic plan to tackle the outside areas starting at 7am Saturday morning. It didn't happen. Instead our toddler hopped into bed with us, hence my aching back (again). Leo did say that at 7am it was still 'murky' and because of my lack of sleep, he left me in peace. Love.

On top of this, our boys will be moving into one room. I've been super busy looking at inspiration for their dream space versus real space. Decorating a room for an 8-year-old and 2-year-old is not as easy as I had thought. There is nothing like spending hours in a shopping mall checking out your ideas in person to throw you off your 'virtual wishlist'. Sigh.

All I know at this stage is, I want to go all-white. Here are some of the rooms I've been inspired by this last couple of weeks:

The photo above is a reminder from Aries that I have to work Tintin into the new bedroom. As for our toddler Tauren, he would be happiest if I could include a climbing wall and a swing. Not likely my precious.

Image: home klondike

26 July 2012

Learning through living

Thursday Teacher

You know that saying, you learn something new everyday? I truly believe in these five simple words. This new post subject is my sharing the things I've learned in my life. I am always surprised by the everyday and the unexpected, hence the reason for this new post subject. I still have Thursday Thrifting when I am able to.

Sometimes it could be from our kids, a historical fact, a current news item, something I've seen in the street or a silly mundane thing that means nothing to someone else. Other times it may even surprise myself how little I knew before I learned these things. It doesn't hurt to share what I now know and it will also give you an insight into my real self.

My apologies, I found these images some time before blogging and didn't think to keep the details. If you own these images, please email me your details and I will gladly update my post details. Thank you.

25 July 2012

Wish versus Reality

Wednesday Wishlist

Remember my post Bathing is bliss where I had wishlisted the Replica Sori Yanagi Butterfly Stool? I had decided to save for this designer piece as a birthday present to myself but on advice from the Retailer, it's not suitable for use in the bathroom. Thank goodness I had enquired about this fact because I can safely put some of that savings to something else and still look at other stools available.

For a few years now, before blogging when magazines were still the rage, I have always wanted the Replica Eames DSR Chair. On Sunday, my family and I got to try these chairs out at the cafe we had lunch at. Personally, I did not like them. I believe the ones we sat on were the plastic version. I may need to try the fibreglass version to either finally buy them or finally bury the notion of them?

Recently I bought myself some goodies that I had wishlisted from two of my favourite online retailers:
  • Leo is thankful for the coffee scoop as I was previously using the measuring spoon which he was always looking for (tucked into my coffee bag).
  • The butter dish not only looks good on the table, the porcelain is the perfect weight for keeping it at room temperature. I don't know how I survived using a round side plate for a rectangular block of butter. Yes, it kept slipping. Even a toddler with a shape-sorter-toy would've figured this one out. Shame, shame.
  • The tissue box covers are my second lot purchased from Aya. I have been looking for these everywhere. I hated those satin-lace-frilly types from the bargain shops, yuck. I also wanted a few for a change of decor in the bedrooms and living room.

I think I will keep reviewing my Wednesday Wishlist items. However, this does not mean I will buy everything I have wishlisted on my blog. For the record, no sponsored postings here and the retailers are not aware I am posting my personal review online.

Image: matt blatt

21 July 2012

Sharing is caring

Saturday Sights
I wish I had a copy of the film Marty starring the recently departed Ernest Borgnine which also won him a Best Actor OscarThis is what he said about his $5,000 salary for playing the eponymous lead in Marty..... I would have done it for nothing.

Here are some of my favourite sightings from other bloggers:

Need a Black Jumpsuit or maybe some Bows?

Would you holiday on a House Boat or Summer Home?

DIY love: Test tube vase by Trishie and Agate Trash Bin by Jenny.

This dedication by Kevin Cuneo is the best I've read and how I remember Ernest Borgnine's acting.

Thinking back to that donut I shared with Tauren the other day, I found a donut necklace. Good enought to eat right?

While looking for recipes on baby figs - my new found love - I found Tania Schmieder's blog. Definitely my kind of art.

I must see these two films A Happy Event and Farewell My Queen - I swear, it's a coincidence both these films are French.

At your next dinner party, break out the good crystal and play Musical Glasses. Even better, try to play them on these State Tables. I dare you.

I bought headwraps on Etsy from rraps and I'm kicking myself I didn't think to buy these before! They are so comfy and our toddler Tauren loves them too.

Yesterday was one of the best birthdays I have had. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes :)

Image: imdb

20 July 2012

It is a Happy Birthday

Friday Finds

This is me on my 5th birthday, New Zealand. It was winter and I was wearing a yellow halter neck and matching skirt, over a blue knitted skivvy.

Fast forward thirty one years later and today is my 36th birthday.

Every year, the week or so before my birthday, I ask myself a particular question. This last week I asked myself 'Who would I be if I made a different choice?'. Every time I try to picture a different life for myself, somehow I just can't do it. I keep coming back to this choice, this life, this me... and finally, I'm happy about this picture.

I think it's called, contentment.

This photo was taken with Leo's mobile phone.

19 July 2012

A Turkish delight

Thursday Thrifting

I was delighted to find this exact book in my local charity shop. I have been looking for a book on Turkish recipes since last year when I saw the German film 'Gegen die Wand'. Although there are plenty of modern cook books, they didn't measure up to how simple and straightforward this one is.

I don't know about everyone else, but in Australia, brand new cook books are notoriously expensive. This used copy cost me $2.00 and the pictures are still beautiful. I am really looking forward to making the Stuffed Peppers and Wedding Soup.

Image: amazon

17 July 2012

My 100th blog post

Tuesday Timeline

This is my 100th blog post and I was so excited about today that I bought myself some goodies. Nothing major, just some things I had 'Wishlisted' for too long that I forgot about them. Oops.

Here they are if you want a look:  butter dishcoffee scooptable runner, and tissue box covers.

In 100 postings what have I learnt?
  • I didn't expect to have any readers at all for the first year let alone the first month. Thanks Heidi and Maximus!
  • I've always loved reading blogs but I didn't expect to enjoy blogging myself. It's like a lock-and-key diary without the teen angst only with other people.
  • I've met so many women on my own blog and just 'following on' via other bloggers. I need to time myself on some days. Naughty.
  • I also need to expand my blog reading from my old favourites. I am quite surprised at some of my own blog choices this year.
  • I need to check my blog emails more often, like I do my house mailbox. Oops.
  • I've also become a little more relaxed at home and less the worrier. Especially with our toddler Tauren. No wonder I was exhausted.
  • Lastly, being part of an online community is just as rewarding as sitting with my best friends in my kitchen with a cup of coffee. I wonder why I hesitated for so long, silly me.
I should have posted this earlier but after tidying up the bedrooms this morning, there was a knock at the door and when my visitors left I forgot about my post. I then celebrated today with my two-year-old Tauren and the biggest chocolate donut I've ever seen. I had to cut that baby up and I don't know anyone who cuts up a donut before eating it. I showed him how to pick the sprinkles off and he thought it was the best thing ever. Priceless.

Today I really felt like wearing this cute pom pom hat from jerribeccahats. Alas, I've already bought myself some goodies so instead, I'm thinking of a friend who is to have her third daughter this year.

15 July 2012

Serendipity... not the movie

Suddenly Sunday

Back in April my book for the month was 'One Day' by David Nicholls. I read it, I laughed, I cried and I patiently waited for Leo to finish reading it so we could watch the DVD together. Only Leo didn't get into it as much as I did.

Today, a relative picked up the boys who were taken to see a movie. The last time both boys were not with us was many months ago! We ate lunch together without one of us having to chase down a toddler in the food court while the other quickly chomped down their food and then exchanging roles. We honestly couldn't decide what to do with the few hours we had to ourselves. The one thing we agreed on was sitting together to enjoy a film that didn't have a colorful child character.

We bought a few DVDs and quickly came home to sit on the same couch to watch the same movie without a kick in the face and toys being thrown at us. It was quite funny because everytime a car went past or a neighbour drove into their driveway, Leo would jump up and check if the boys were being returned. My choice was One Day the film. I agree with this review.

Now, get ready. The setting in the book is the date the two characters met and their lives on that day every year since. The date flashes up several times but somehow we kept missing the link. About 10 mins before the end when I saw the date flash up (again) I just clicked...

Me: "Hey! What date is it today?"
Leo: "Oh yeah. I think it's the 15th!"

I grabbed Leo's mobile and there it was, Sunday 15 July 2012.

We just laughed and gave each other a kiss, just because.

14 July 2012

Gold diggings

Saturday Sights

A - Handset, B - Quill Set, C - Klimt, D - Letter Set, E - Bed

Today is the birthday of Gustav Klimt who is also one of my favourite artists. I enjoyed his works for two reasons, his use of gold and his landscapes. He is also famous for his many female portraits because he just loved women. Although I love Klimt's use of gold in his art, I have an allergy to yellow gold myself so, no I'm not a gold-wearing-bling-bling chick. I had my 'gold themed' post prepared for today and then I remembered it's also Bastille Day too! So I get to mix french and gold in one post.

4 French Films for you:
A Christmas Tale - an excellent film if you think your own family is dysfunctional.
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Okay, so I'm cheating but I just love her. See any French film with Charlotte Gainsbourg, to me, she is Tr├Ęs Chic!
Conversations With My Gardener - this film reminds me of Leo's father, art and gardening.
La Vie En Rose - I cried when Edith finally sang the song she waited for her entire life. Okay, so I cry at the drop of a hat. Point is, you must see it.

4 French-related blog posts:
A Quintessential French Pastime... - french connections in Sydney.
Kouglof - a baking recipe, like a brioche? I must try this one day.
Paris Elopement - a dream destination made true.
Vive La France - an oldie but a goodie.

13 July 2012

Family holiday favourite

Friday Finds
I found this photo from our family holiday last year when we spent Christmas up in the Gold Coast. This is one of my favourite photos because it is where I wish to be right now, on a sunny day on the beach.

I don't know what is going on with our home PC but it's driving me bonkers. It took me too long to upload this one image and then far-too-long to set the blog post up. I type here and it types over there and then my screen froze. Three times!

Leo has been doing some tech clean up and things have gone a little strange since. That's why I haven't been blogging. He said something about 'Google Chrome' then 'Windows' then 'Virus' and all I heard was 'Pancakes!' because that is what our boys have been asking for everyday since the School Holidays began. Our boys rarely eat the same food and Pancakes is the magic dish and even better since cooking keeps our home warm this winter.

3 July 2012

A brother's wish

Tuesday Timeline
This photo was taken in 2010 when Tauren was only a day old and Aries was six-years-old. After school Aries would visit me in the Maternity Ward then Leo and I would walk him up to NICU to visit his little brother. I love this photo, it shows Aries' excitement about the brother he wished for one Christmas.

This was a challenging time for us, both our boys were delivered via emergency caesarean and both boys were immediately admitted to NICU where they spent their first weeks each. Aries was underweight and had respiratory problems while Tauren was premature. To not be able to walk out of the hospital with your newborn babe in a few days while other Mothers came and went in your shared room was very distressing. I had to remind myself, that unlike other parents (sadly there were a few) we eventually would be able to take them home.

Brand new friends

Monday Medley
With the unusual wet weather here in Sydney I am in need of rain shoes. Our front and back yards have become overly soggy during and even after the rains. As a result the lawns are in terrible shape. Going outside to pick up mail and hanging washing even when the rain halts is no fun task with muddy shoes and mud flecked onto your pant legs. I should have bought these fashion-less clogs months ago.

I spent a silly amount of time scrubbing my laundry pegs clean. Who wants to hang up freshly laundered washing with dirty pegs? Not me. Our two-year-old decided to plug some pegs into the muddy back yard lawn because that's what they're meant for. Luckily for Tauren it was also a good excuse for a thorough quality inspection. I just wished my favourite pegs came in one color.

If you know the saying "These things happen in threes." the inside of our brand new refrigerator validates this. Firstly, it was the oven which led me to watch my first film alone in nine years. Then it was our washing machine. Upon calling the repair man, his assistant tried to make light of our situation by saying those five dreaded words. I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching washing machines thus losing blogging time. We loved that washer. After our brand new washing machine arrived we thought nothing more of it.

Suddenly, our refrigerator started to make a sound so frightening Leo and I thought the electricals would explode and our home would combust. We'd end up with a TV news crew filming us in our pyjamas huddled on the footpath at 2am with neighbours being interviewed. We loved that fridge. For nearly six weeks we went without one because I was exhausted from the washer situation. In that time Leo and I made note of our experience:
  • We buy meat five days a week, a few hours before dinner. We wanted a smaller freezer thus eliminating the need to store bulk meats which I would almost always forget to defrost. Oops.
  • We wanted a top freezer/bottom fridge, as Tauren has discovered that the freezer is where his favourite food lives, icecream. He would inspect the freezer everyday driving us all insane because it's Autumn/Winter and Master Two doesn't understand this.
  • We wanted a refrigerator with less capacity. Originally we had 415 Litres we now have 365 Litres. It doesn't even feel like a smaller fridge. As long as I can fit my trifle bowl in there for Summer I'm happy. Hopefully smaller capacity = lower running costs.
  • Last on my list, perhaps not important to anyone else, I wanted handles on the side not on the front. I love this feature, as the fridge looks sleek and ultra modern with no bulging handles frontside.
We can't get over how pretty our brand new friends look. Aries exclaimed "The washing machine looks like a Spaceship!". Leo opened the fridge door and commented the LED lighting looks smarter than the airport runway lighting. I am just happy to cross off two big purchases and to own appliances in working order. Yay.

Taking it slow

Suddenly Sunday
It is currently the end of Term 3 and our son Aries is on School Holidays for two weeks. While Aries is at School, I spend all day with two-year-old Tauren. Normally we rush a few School Holidays activities on the weekend before School resumes. This time I made sure we spent some time together on our own. This morning we went out for breakfast, we then checked out the Half-Year Toy Sales and ended the afternoon with a film - Ice Age 4.

Leo and I have been discussing our annual family holiday. When Leo's father passed away almost two years ago, he inherited a share of his rural property seen above. As much as the kids and I would love to spend a week back home in New Zealand on 'the farm', Leo isn't ready to return yet. As two ex-pat Kiwi we are leaning towards the South Island where sadly neither of us have been to.