Friday, July 30, 2010

The Eighth Month Challenges

As August is the eighth month and also in my opinion the longest and hardest to get through, I have designed an "8" challenge to get myself through it.

During August I will endevour to.......

* Cook 8 new dishes.

* Scrapbook 8 pages or make 8 cards.

* Organise 8 birthday or Xmas presents.

* Repair or mend 8 items in my home.

* Declutter 8 cupboards, drawers or shelves. (yes, again)

*Plant 8 plants or herbs.

*Donate 8 things to charity.

*Ebay 8 items.

*Clean 8 windows or screens

*Read Rhianna 8 bedtime stories.

* Master 8 new things.

*Visit 8 new places.

What do you think? Genius plan or hair brained scheme?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Miss Masterchef

We no longer know what to do with ourselves at 7.30pm each night now that Masterchef has finished. As a family we loved to watch the show together and cheer on our favourites. Rhianna saw the promo for Junior Masterchef and is convinced that she will be entering next time round.

She has driven me balmy talking about her "signature"dish and her "core" ingredient which funnily enough is chocolate.

She was determined to start this week and has so far managed to cook Chocolate Pancakes for everybody for afternoon tea. She did it entirely herself and the results were quite good. She is learning terms like sift and fold so it's a great learning curve for her.

I, luckily have other obsessions besides Masterchef and mostly they involve vintage and retro living. Here are two of my latest finds.

A vintage 1970's breadbox and a 1950's vintage eiderdown for Rhianna's bed. These are so much warmer than doonas.

The pillow you can see on her bed was made by my Mum using all my Nanas linen and lace hankerchieves as the insert on the middle panel. I love to walk into Rhianna's room and see vintage lovelies and reminders of my family. Much nicer than a Barbie Doona set.

Monday, July 26, 2010

10 Things I Don't Own.

Because I've been decluttering a lot lately, I've thought that maybe I should become a minimalist. That is, somebody with very few possessions. A true minimalist tries to keep the items they own below 100.

So I checked out some minimalist blogs. And no, I won't be becoming a minimalist anytime soon - it's just too boring and where would all my vintage and retro lovelies go. No, no, was just too awful to contemplate.

One of the minimalist bloggers did have a list of all the common day items she lives without.

So I thought I'd dedicate this post to some of the items you may have in your home that I don't miss having in mine.

1. If you've been reading this blog before you'll know that I got rid of my microwave about 4 months ago. Do I miss it? Nup.

2. An answering machine. Pictured below is my one and only telephone and it has no provision for an answering machine. And boy does it send some people batty when they can't leave a message. (Hi Natalie)

3. Further to the hating new technology theme is the fact that I don't own an MP3 or Ipod or any other fancy named item. I just find all that stuff so boring. And I still have my walkman. (truly)

4. High heels. Hate them. Used to wear them when I was younger and more convinced I had to have them to be fashionable. But these days it's all about comfort.

5. Pixie Photos. Apologies to anybody who has these photos from K-Mart but I think they are the naffest thing people in Australia decorate their walls with.

6. I used to have a cupboard full of cosmetics and lotions and potions. During the "organic" phase I culled the lot. This is my cosmetic cupboard now. Notice the lovely empty top shelf.

7. A garden bed. We ripped them out and laid the areas with grass. Life's too short for weeds.

8. A noticeboard. I was using the fridge for important notices but now I put everything into my family folder and got rid of the clutter.

9. Electric blankets. I love them and think they are essential items living in the Blue Mountains but unfortunately Bill hates them and as you all know marriage is about compromise.

10. A desk. I had a beautiful old antique desk in my main living area but it was basically just holding the computer and some envelopes so we moved it into my son's room as he wanted a bigger desk and now I do my computer work on a laptop on the lounge. Much comfier and more room in the house for other antiquey things.

My new office

I'd love to hear what common household things you've given up or never invited home in the first place.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Winter Socials

I think one of the things that can make Winter feel like a long drawn out tedious affair is the fact that I tend to hibernate in Winter. Doing the whole social thing takes a definate back seat when there are DVD's to watch and whole blocks of chocolate calling my name from the pantry.

Which is why I was not jumping for joy when I was invited to a fund raising trivia event last night.

Firstly, it's the middle of Winter ( say no more). Secondly, the night was to take place in a school hall (never known for their warmth). Then I was told to bring my own food and drinks - that was to be the "dinner". Well, that was always going to be chips and dip - so no great incentive to go there either.

But I did make the effort because the other people going were people I love and always have a good time with. And I am so glad I did.

I've never been to a trivia night before. Who knew they were so much fun? Or so competitive? Grown men pushing other grown men out of the way in a bid to be the first to present our answers to the judging table. Truly shocking - and hilarious.

Our non-winning table
No, we didn't win. Nor come second or even third. But I did laugh until the tears rolled down my face. And that is definately worth leaving my cosy loungeroom for.

A splash of wine always warms things up

Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello again.....

Sorry about the long absence. I've been a bit of a flibbitygibbitt. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I tend to flit from one idea to another fairly quickly. I get bored with projects in a nanosecond and am onto the next thing before you know it.

But what have I been up to lately? the moment I am into decluttering in a big way. I have hauled bag after bag to the op shop. My criteria has been any thing I have not used since Winter last year. That's a lot of stuff surprisingly. I take no heed of how expensive the item was originally or how sentimental I am about it. If its not beautiful or useful then look out. (Must warn Bill and the children to either start looking very attractive at all times or learn to put the damn garbage out when it's full.)

I have even decluttered the fridge. Love the new sparse look. Admittedly I never know what birthday parties are on when or what date the electricity bill is due to be paid but when have I ever let practicalities bother me? - never, that's when!

I've also just had a birthday to turn 42 and my Mum who has never really "got" me, surprised me this year by buying something I really, truly love and is just "me". Thanks for getting it right this year Mum.

I'm into all things retro and vintage and Mum found this little old recipe box in an antique store in Perth and carried it all the way home for me. Isn't it darling and it even has some old recipe cards in it with some recipes written on it in an old ladies spidery handwriting. However, I don't think I'll be trying Tripe in White sauce any time soon.

It's good to be back. Hope you haven't all deserted me.