Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Up For Another Challenge?

Last Day 31 'Me Again' - pouring over "Design Sponge"
The Photo A Day Challenge is over! Or is it?

FatMumSlim has given in to thousands of requests from around the world to continue the photo challenge monthly.
You can dip in and out when you feel like it.
Check out her blog for more info 

Or depict your day in photos.
Shall I do this tomorrow?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Treasury Gardens Oasis

Day 30 of the January Photo A Day Challenge
This is the green oasis in front of the Victorian Government offices in Melbourne

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Family Fun and Fishing in Echuca-Moama

Colourful jumping pillow

Lagoon-style pool

Two-bedroom cabin with a front porch that housed family and friends for an Australia-Day dinner. Lunch was lamb on the barbie.
The next night we all dined at the Echuca-Moama RSL. The boys loved the playground and computer room.
The boys engrossed in sharing one electronic game in the cabin after dinner.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Picnic Case

Late Photo A Day 23 'Something Old' - I could have taken a pic of the moldy blueberries in the fridge but 'Inside my Fridge' is the theme on the 29th - and I didn't want to gross you out. So here's something old and pretty. Hope it gets you in the mood for Australia Day picnics on January 26th.

This is a circa-1950s Brexton picnic case with china and bakelite - never used. it's so romantic looking.

I bought it about 17 years ago from the family of two sisters who used to operate a china shop in our town a long time ago. They were selling the sisters' possessions and this was supposedly an item in their old stock.

Day 24 'Guilty Pleasure' - books and magazines. I am such a bookworm. 

Check out Design Sponge for Home by Grace Bonney, founder of the Design Sponge blog. It's a beautiful book that gives you a peak into the homes of some amazingly creative people, and includes some clever projects. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shiny Shoes and Reflections

Day 22 of the Photo A Day Challenge: 'My Shoes'.
While I do love wedges for work, I seem to have turned into my parents and live in Birkenstock sandals. But I haven't yet gone as far as donned socks with my Birkenstocks like my Dad!

The turquoise slip-on wedge, festooned with colourful 'jewels' are great for events. 
At front are my black and white Django & Juliette peep-through silver wedged heels for nights out.
Second are my red with beige wedge-heeled Kumps (now named Zeira). I also have a black pair. 
So comfy!
Third are ruby-red Magnini ballet slippers with sparky red tassles on the toes that I bought at Excessories.
Love the pink floral canvass wedges. Again, really comfy.
At the end are a pair of Diana Ferrari SuperSoft bronze and black slip-on, sturdy heels. 

Day 21: 'Reflection' in my front hall mirror. Having double doors at the front entry is such a good idea (our old house was built that way but we replaced them with solid timber doors). Helps when you need to bring large furniture in or out of your house. Also wonderful to open both doors to allow beautiful breezes into the house

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Country Club Living

My daughter spent the past few days enjoying the hospitality of her friend's family at their home in the gorgeous gated community of the Heritage Golf and Country Club.

What would it be like to live in a resort-like setting? 
Pristine lawns and gardens, spa, restaurants, pools, golf links, bicycle paths, security.

January Photo A Day Challenge Day 17 'Water': in the kiddie pool at the Country Club

Day 18 'Something I Bought': swishy new clothes for Aidan - on sale! 
Love the stripes inside the shirt and hood and on the cool shorts.

Day 19 'Sweet': nature's honey made locally. 
We like it on toast, in hot water with lemon to sooth a sore throat, in milkshakes and in chocolate raspberry brownies (will make and post the pics and recipe soon).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Photo A Day Challenge Continues

Day 15 'Happiness' - Having fun in the playground.

Day 14 'What Your Are Reading' - Actually read this on Day 15.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hostess with no more mostest

Noooooooooo Hostess Cupcakes anymore?!!!! Just heard David Letterman say Hostess Brands, the makers of Twinkies and Ding Dongs, filed for bankrupty. Seems people want healthier products. I'm worried about all the staff that might lose their jobs. In an effort to help those people, I suggest all my family and friends in Canada buy up and send me as many Hostess Cupcakes boxes as you can. I of course won't eat any of them myself but will distribute them amongst the Aussies here so they can experience that creamy centre. It's helping everyone, really.

Day 13 of the January Photo A Day Challenge: 'What's in my (daughter's) bag'

What's in my bag

Surprisingly, I couldn't fit into the photo frame the 203 business cards, 506 receipts and 7 McDonald's (clean) napkins - you never know when you might need to mop up a glass of water spilt onto your keyboard...

Day 12 January Photo A Day Challenge: 'Close Up'

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

House Goals for 2012

January Photo A Day Challenge: Day 11 'Where I Sleep'

This is my daughter's upholstered double bed. I love the turquoise/acqua blue.

Melissa from the Inspired Room blog (www.theinspiredroom.net) asked her readers to post our dreams for homes in 2012, projects on our wish list. Mine:

  • Build a house on our farm
  • A new driveway for our existing home
  • Update our entertaining area in the backyard
  • Paint my son's bedroom
  • Add a third toilet in our back hallway
  • Place white subway tiles as the back splash in the kitchen, laundry and ensuite

Favourite routines

Lisa Leonard asked her blog readers what our favourite routines are. Mine:

  • Big breakfast on Sunday mornings 
  • Saturday visits to Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market to stock up the pantry and fridge with seafood and veggies – and lunch of borek
  • Lots of laundry on the weekends, getting bedsheets and towels onto the backyard Hills Hoist (the Australian rotary clothes line)
  • Friday pj party night involves a movie or game at home, and often a takeaway meal

During the week, my routine involves long hours commuting and working. On the train at 7am, in the office just before 9am. Back on the train at 7pm and home at 8:30pm. Weekly meetings with the best creative minds in the Australian performing arts and event management industry, hiring staff, commissioning suppliers, writing briefings, yada yada. 

I use the commute time to plan work, reply to emails and personal reading – if I don’t end up fast asleep on some poor unsuspecting soul’s shoulder sitting beside me! Other passengers can be entertained by watching my head snap forward in exhaustion when I’m trying to read. I wake with a start and promptly fall back asleep. How did I turn into my grandfather?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Australian Picture Rails

Melissa of The Inspired Room (www.theinspiredroom.net) started a great discussion about using picture rails in a home. They allow great flexibility because you can move paintings, prints, photos and decorative plates into any room along the rails with picture rail hooks. No nails or holes required.

In our Australian 'Californian Bungalow' the picture rails are positioned 2/3 up the walls and are very popular in older-style homes.

In the first two pics, you can see that the walls are painted white above the picture rail and buttercup yellow below. It really brightens and opens up the room.

Our picture rails had originally been stained a dark brown, but we stripped them back to their natural timber. The third photo shows the solid red walls in our dining room.

In case you want to know the artist for each print.... The first photo at the top is a print by Lesa Delisi called 'Point of Interest'. The second is by Carolyn Blish. The third is Catherine Simpson's 'Homemade Soup'.

Back to the January Photo A Day Challenge!

Day 10 "Childhood" - there's nothing better than Star Wars Lego.

The photo frames above can be used for Day 9 "Routine" - if not the daily routine of cleaning them (which I certainly don't do enough of), then at least the routine of looking at them with enjoyment.

Day 8 "Sky" - over the Goulburn River in front of our house.

Day 7 "Favourite" dam on our farm where we can fish and boat.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Family Fun and Games

Day 6 of the Photo A Day Challenge: "Something That Makes Me Smile"

Games night with the family.

You can't help but scream with laughter when you pull the wrong stick in KerPlunk and all the blooming marbles crash to the bottom.

What's your favourite board or card game for family fun? Wrenching your back playing Twister?

We like Mastermind, Cluedo, Game of Life, Crazy 8s, Sorry! and even CashFlow (hilarious hearing the kids talk about liabilities, passive income and the rate race - which we have yet to escape).

Ahhh, the games people play!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Photo A Day Challenge Continues

 Day 5 "What I Wore": We slathered on sunscreen for a day by and in the pool.

Anyone else hosting sleepovers for their kids these school holidays? Last night we had movies (Smurfs), pizza, popcorn, ice cream and giggles until after midnight. They woke up in time for a brunch of bacon and eggs.

Day 4 "Letterbox": this baby may be weathering under the strong sun's rays, but it's so solid that it could withstand being hit by a mail truck. It could house a huge flock of birds.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 3: Photo A Day Challenge

Theme: 'Something I Adore'

There's NOTHING better than jumping into a pool on a 40 degrees Celsius day.

Another scorcher. Ugh.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 January Photo A Day Challenge

I am jumping on board Sarah's challenge to take a photo on a different themed word each day through January.

Check out Sarah's beach blog for the directions:

Day One: 'Me'
Me with my head in a book, as per normal.
Wasn't outside for long though. It was 40 degrees C! Ugh.

Day Two: 'Breakfast'

Here is the breakfast hubby made this morning. Salubrious.

Organic tea with lemon straight off the tree.
Poached egg with cracked pepper on leftover Christmas ham (he tried to cut the ham into the shape of Australia to amuse our Canadian family back home) with a smidgen of Australian mustard.
Oh, and buttered toast.
Mom and Dad in Toronto will be licking their lips, knowing that hubby likes to whip up big breakfast (ends up being brunch) once a week:
usually omelet, hashbrown, bacon, tomato, mushrooms and toast.

Check out the pics being posted every second on Twitter by searching #JANphotoaday. This challenge is catching on like wildfire.

I loved the pic of the donut with green sprinkles, the one with the McDonald's chocolate frappe, and another that just showed a Vegemite jar, and there was a pic that depicted a lone pear.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New home needed for AGA stove!

Photo: AGA Living

Our white and black wood-burning AGA stove has been sitting unused in our kitchen without a flue for a couple of years. What a travesty - I know!

But we didn't want to install it in our current home because it's meant to warm and feed us in the house we hope to build on our farm.

So it's time to take action. We have to finalise a house design and implement a plan.

The AGA is begging to be used in the new homestead.

I am looking to all you clever and creative bloggers for advice and inspiration on building a home and designing a farmhouse.

On the wish list:
  • mudroom, roomy laundry and toilet/shower for easy access from outdoors (thinking muddy boots and kids traipsing in and out to go the loo)
  • wrap-around porch with a screened-in portion to stymie some of the flying insects from storming into the house
  • a second-floor balcony to enjoy the view of the ranges
  • butler's pantry
  • and, of course, enough room in the kitchen for the AGA and a normal stove for the hotter months
Do you have any words of wisdom or warnings that we should follow?