Thursday, December 31, 2009

Favourite Things in 2009 - Part 3

9. I've been coveting the talented Lisa Leonard's charming laundry line necklace. On my wish list for 2010, I hope to order my own personalised necklace as a way to symbolically carry my family with me every day.

10. What I treasure the most though is not anything materialistic - but the
memorable moments with family and friends in 2009. Nothing represents this better than the priceless picture below of my parents being surprised by a rogue wave as they posed for a relaxing photo on the beach at Burleigh Heads, Queensland - a favourite place for our family to holiday. They are such hams! I am so grateful for this wonderful time that I got to share with my parents who live in Canada. So if I were to stretch my 10 favourite things to 11 things, I should add the marvellous Skype that keeps me personally connected to my family and friends on the other end of the planet. What an amazing thing, this technology!

Thank you God for providing us with a happy, healthful 2009. We've been very fortunate. While I have just listed favourite things in 2009 as a way to record my time in Australia, I hope in 2010 we will focus on and appreciate the simple things in life.

May you be blessed in 2010.

Favourite Things in 2009 - Part 2

6. A month ago I finally found a second-hand, 5-piece rattan lounge suite for the front porch on eBay from a couple living in a nearby town (who fortuitously were visiting our neighbours the day they delivered the set) at a reasonable price. It's been very popular with the neighbourhood kids. Hopefully the neighbourhood cats don't make themselves at home and ruin the cushions.

7. I don't spend a lot time and money on preening but I do enjoy pamper products like:
  • Lush's best-selling soap called Honey I Washed the Kids - has the most yummy scent like sticky toffee and honey. It contains sweet orange oil, bergamot oil, gardenia extract and aloe vera. But, alas, it also contains the nasty sodium lauryl sulfate......why?! Ah well, a bar of it is nice to perfume one's linen closet or drawers.
  • Yes to Carrots may sound like a zany name for pamper products but they certainly are reasonably priced and their shampoo, body wash and face cream have been a family favourite and staved off my son's eczema.

  • More natural are the Living Nature products from New Zealand. My skin never looks better than when I use these products.

  • Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick gives lips a natural stain. I always get nice comments from other women who ask if I'm wearing something on my lips and what it is.

8. I finally succumbed to the children's request for a Nintendo Wii as the family's Christmas gift this year, but secretly I've been wanting to use Wii Fit Plus myself. When the kids have not been outside swimming or riding scooters, during the hottest part of the day they have come in to ski, play baseball, soccer, karate and test their balance doing hilarious yoga poses. Trouncing my son in boxing felt pretty good and was surprisingly exhausting. Hopefully his loss to his mother turns him off this awful "sport".

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favourite Things in 2009 - Part 1

1. Reed & Barton's Rosecliff Luxury Stainless Steel Cutlery/Tableware - unfortunately it was discontinued in 2001, but it's still a favourite and can certainly be found in North America via online companies like Replacements. This dessert spoon is so elegant for dinner parties, yet the stainless steel is oh so practical. I got my set in Toronto from my grandmother and mother who have such fantastic taste.

2. La Rochere dragonfly-emblazoned goblets from France - they are beautiful to hold, wonderfully rounded and heavily sturdy. I bought my set on Maling Road, Canterbury, near Melbourne.

3. The movie Something's Gotta Give starring Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and spunky Keanu Reeves - hilariously well-written and Keaton was always elegantly attired (but I could have done without seeing Nicholson's backside). And the beautiful beach house has been idolised by thousands of women as the epitome of a dreamy home.

4. Magazines! I love, love, love pouring over magazines - getting inspired and learning things.

Other faves include Australian Country Style, Real Living, Notebook, Money, Good Health & Medicine, Donna Hay, delicious, Burke's Backyard, Choice, Gourmet Traveller, Women's Weekly, Vogue and g.

5. How do I love thee, BlackBerry! Let me count the ways... I should not be proud to admit that I am chained to this powerful tool that lets me incessantly check work emails when I should be on holiday.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Student of the Year

Proud Mama writes:

M received the Student of the Year Award from her primary school principal upon her graduation from Year 6.

How did the primary school years fly by so quickly? My goodness, she is turning into a young lady and will start high school in February 2010.

We were all so surprised - not realising that awards were being presented - but oh so proud of her.

Her certificate detailed her achievements, highlighting why she won the award and explaining the award is presented to a student who performs well in four areas: academic; sport; citizenship; and the arts.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Angel and Mermaid

Thank you to the gorgeous Debbie Daks for her generous gifts of her whimsical mermaid and angel. Debbie creates colourful, sparkly paintings, cards and so much more. My photos don't do enough justice to show off her talent.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Canterbury Christmas

Andrew's pride and joy: Tasmanian organic turkey cooked using Delia Smith's recipe for a no-fail moist bird but cooked in a Webber.

Plus locally smoked ham from Taurus Meats kicked off with prawns and oysters -- derigeur for an Aussie Christmas.

Nona's plum pudding, champagne and the necessary Christmas crackers stuffed with colourful, tissue paper crowns, bad jokes and cheap toys,

Hours of cricket and ping pong matches. Scooter rides for the younger kids to the park (tagging along allowed me the opportunity to snoop and drool over all the gorgeous Canterbury homes and front gardens - sigh).

But most important of all for a fantastic Christmas in Canterbury, was the hospitality of Sally, Bruce and Nat, and the love and company of Andrew's family (minus a large part of the crew who were spending this day elsewhere).