Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Bloggy Christmas

Finally we have adapted to school holiday time.

Rhianna has stopped asking me to amuse her every second minute, we are sleeping in till 9am every morning and then doing much pottering around the house and local area to keep us busy.

It's the lovely time of year when there seems to be time to do almost everything. No routine, no have to be places, nothing essential that really needs doing. We just lumber from one random activity to the next.

As Christmas Day is fast approaching with visitors arriving and parties to go to, Rhianna and I got our toes into the Christmas spirit with a bit of Red Red nail polish.

While we waited for the nail polish to dry, it was a good opportunity for a spot of reading .

With all the rain we've been having it's hard to get out and about as you never know when you are going to get caught in a shower. But Rhianna has been busting to get out on her razor scooter so we braved the elements and went for a walk/ride down by the Nepean River.

As you can see the view was pretty ordinary. The weather was overcast, the water a very dull grey and nobody is out and about. Hardly feels like Summer at all.

Nearby to the river walk is a park that we had not visited before. It too was deserted. We had a nice play on the equipment and worked off some energy before heading home again.

On the way home Rhianna asked if we could stop at the library. This is another thing that we rarely get time to do, so I thought "Why not?" We spent ages in there selecting some books, magazines and even a DVD to watch. Such good value at absolutely nothing!!!!!

I'm making some truffles for Christmas Day this year. I found a new recipe called Chocolate Fruity Truffles. We got busy last night after dinner. Such good fun when the recipes are really easy like this and with no cooking involved.

Bill arrived home quite late but it doesn't matter at the moment because there are no bedtimes to adhere to. We can all stay up late chatting and laughing into the night. Here I am getting my Christmas cheer on - with a little bit of help from a glass of red.

Merry Christmas from our little retro house.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Can you tell a book by its cover?

Summer holidays are the best time to get stuck into some reading. I wonder what you can tell about a person from what they read. Let's have a look at what is on my beside table at the moment. I always have a stack of stuff to read. Reading is my favourite thing to do - besides eating chocolate ice cream.

First up is my beloved Frankie magazine.

I love, love, love this mag as it's full of other dags just like myself who are trying to be creative.

Plus the writing is just so, so good. Even Bill loves to have have a flick through this one. It has a little bit of craft, a bit of cooking, stuff to buy, home decorating that is just like mine. It's just fab.

Another mag I love is G magazine. It's all environmental stuff and organic stuff and simple living and frugality and heaps of ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint. Just stuff that floats my boat really.

I am super excited that Tintin has been made into a movie as it's one of my favourite sets of books from my childhood.

We used to go to The Entrance Library every Friday afternoon and I would always try to borrow Tintin books.

Yesterday in the city we had a stroll around Dymocks and Bill bought me a Tintin book. It is going to be the first one in my new collection. There are 24 in the set. I know it's quite an acquired taste but I do love a bit of nostalgia.

A new book on the bedside table this week. It's got fantastic reviews. It's a bit of a sociology/anthropology book about the lack of interaction between kids and nature these days and the consequences of that lack of interaction. Can't wait to get into this one.

But it's not all heavy going.

Another new book on the bedside table is this bit of chick lit. I can't even remember what it's about but it sounded good in the book shop. I'll take this one away camping with us in January as I suspect it's the kind of book you can read while you cook sausages on a campfire.

What are you reading now?

Any recommendations?

Am I the biggest dag you've ever known?
How can you blog without a camera?

We had a lovely weekend. Unfortunately for various reasons, I didn't take one photo of any of it.

We had my sister-in-law and her hubby and kids over for drinks on Saturday night. But I told my husband Bill it was his turn to host and promptly put my feet up. That of course meant I didn't get around to taking any photos.

On Sunday we travelled into the city to see the David Jones window display, the new kid's park at Darling Harbour and to have lunch with relatives at Cockle Wharf.

This time I actually did take the camera with me. I took it out and got lots of great photos with it. Then when I got home I realised I had left the memory card plugged into the computer. So no photos of yesterday either.

Very sad......

A post is just not a post without the pictures is it?

Friday, December 16, 2011

School Holidays Day 1

We're off to a great start with the school holidays.

Miss R has commenced the festive season by promptly becoming ill. She has some sort of gastro bug along with a delightfully productive cough.

At least I can leave her huddled up on the lounge for the day and not have to worry about missed school and after school sport.

It's also fabulous weather to be sick at the moment. I, myself am sitting here in a jumper as I write this post and I'm loving it. There will certainly be enough long, hot Summer days for me in January and February I'm sure.

When Rhianna does manage to haul herself off the lounge we are going to attend to this little monstrosity.

This is what I call the end of school typhoon. When teachers like to send home 12 months worth of crap, I mean valuable teaching outcomes and leave the mothers to assimilate it into the house.

Or into the garbage - as is the case at our house!

We also need to make some much needed room for the new things Santa may bring.

And as you know, I do like a good clean out.

My quilt is coming along slowly. I have sewed the squares together into strips - 9 in all. The next step is to join the strips to complete the top of the quilt cover.

Yesterday I felt quilty looking at my very expensive organic carrots wilting sadly in the crisper.

So I found a recipe for carrot cake and got to work. The result was this fantastic cake. The icing was a mixture of cream cheese and icing with some orange zest and juice. So yummy. I will never eat a Sara Lee carrot cake again now I know how easy and yummy the real thing is.

My next baking experiment will be a Christmas Cake from a lovely recipe from Busy Mum's blog. Check out her blog - link on the right hand side of my blog for some great tips on making the perfect Xmas Cake.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Crazy Christmas Time

It's getting crazy busy here and I bet it is at your place too.

Packages are arriving daily as I did most of my shopping online this year.

We have come to love seeing the courier and the postman cross our driveway.

For a bit of sustainable shopping there is nowhere on the planet like Etsy. If you have no idea

what Etsy is, well I'm afraid there is just no hope for you. Etsy is THE place for retro, recycled,

homemade and vintage loveliness.

Here is a crocheted afghan I received last week.

You know I am mad and obsessed with crochet so I couldn't wait till Christmas Day I had to

have it out and proud on my lounge today.

On Saturday we did a spot of fashion designing. Rhianna created the designs for her new bear

and I assisted with the sewing up of said creations. I LOVE that she loves craft the way I do.

Please notice the bears' earrings. Red felt hearts. Bet you want some now too right?

Is everybody eating as many cherries as we are at the moment?

One of my best friends came for a visit Saturday night. Here are the kids swapping presents

beside the tree. Then we all went out for dinner which made a nice change from eating in - and

so much less clean up. I might make it the new tradition.

Bill got a bit creative with the rope lights this year next to the pool. It says "LOVE" in case you

are having trouble deciphering.

Probably a good time to mention how much I love that man. Too, too beautiful for words.

And also from Etsy some Pyrex dishes. Just the orange ones, the white ones are from local op shops.

If there is anything more retro than orange pyrex I am yet to find it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Around the House Today

I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods but where I live it's down right depressing at the moment.

Lots of clouds, rain and cold temperatures. Day after day after day.

Today I gave into temptation and snuggled myself up on the lounge for a bit of unusual telly watching.

Of course, I always have my sidekick, Finn with me.

And even Finn looks depressed by the weather and the lack of walkies happening around here today.

It was the perfect weather to try out one of my new purchases from Ikea - a little ironing board to put out when I am doing my sewing. Because space is so limited in my house it's great not having a huge ironing board taking up valuable room.

I got out some of my fabrics and gave them a good press as I intend to start on my quilt cover next week.

I thought I might show you what's happening on my mantle since we're in this area of the house.

I've had some new additions which I don't think I've shown you yet.

The little deer and cart are an Etsy purchase. I had him in my favourites for over a year as I thought he was too expensive.

But then the seller had a sale and well, I just head to bring him home to Australia.

Next to him is an old camera Bill bought off Ebay and the start of my Penguins classic book collection. I'm determined to do a bit more high brow reading next year.

So far I've read Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

But this is my brand new love and it didn't cost me a cent.

Mum has had this vase since she got married. I remember it on her dressing table when I was a little girl. Last time I went home to see Mum and Dad, Mum gifted it to me. I can't tell you how much I love this vase. Not only because it's so lovely but because it reminds me so vividly of my childhood.

Thanks Mum.

With all this wet weather, the house is smelling a bit musty and damp. I've lit a couple of burners around the house today to keep things smelling sweet. In this burner I have some organic soy musk oil. It smells divine.

The I went in to vacuum Rhianna's bedroom and had to laugh when I saw that her bravery bear was wearing her new Christmas earrings. Thought I'd share it with you too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Simple Living

As I have finished all my Christmas shopping except for the fresh food I will need on Christmas day, I am staying well and truly away from all large shopping centres.

Luckily we have a small IGA in our local area which doesn't get too busy for day to day needs but as for going near a Westfield plaza - forget it!

Time to get on with some of the craft projects that have been sitting in the cupboard.

One of the easy and quick things I wanted to do was to dress up some of my plain pillowcases.

I like to buy white pillowcases as they are so easy to napisan back to a lovely fresh white again.

But they are oh, so boring.

I picked up a fat quarter in Big W a few months ago with the intention of adding it as a border to some white pillowcases I already had.

Just a bit on the entry side of the pillowcase.

Makes our bed look nice and fresh. Took me about 30 minutes to do the two pillowcases.

The other thing I've been doing a bit of lately is stockpiling.

Firstly, because I hope to avoid the shops as much as I can for the next month and secondly, because the school holidays are approaching and I know I will be grocery shopping with an irritable 8 year old.

Last week, Woolies had this great special on toilet paper. Sixteen rolls for $4. I grabbed two lots.

I also love to grab shampoo and conditioner when it's on sale.

I have absolutely no brand loyalty. I try to buy organic when I can but sometimes the other brands have such good specials it's hard to say no.

My shampoo collection.

I've also gotten back into op shopping. I had given up on it a bit because I wasn't finding much in the stores lately and when I did, I found they were charging too much for vintage items.

But a girlfriend reminded me to just take my time when I'm looking through the stores, don't go looking for a particular item and don't buy anything unless I love it.

Well today I feel in love.

My Nan used to have one of these bags/baskets. Made of fabric with cane looking handles. Nan used to keep her knitting projects in hers. I was walking past the local cancer op shop and saw this in the window. I quickly walked in and snaffled it up for myself.

It's now right next to my bed ready for some Autumn/Winter knitting projects.

And 2012 is going to be the year I learn to crochet. (No laughing)

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Back to the land of the living today - but only just.

The surgery went well but it does tend to knock you around a bit.

I spent yesterday in bed recovering but have managed to get up and about today for a bit of pottering around the house.

Most importantly I had a very nice, long warm shower.

Then off to the kitchen for a coffee and a bit of a read of the paper.

Bill has taken Rhianna and one of her little friends out for the day so I can have some quiet time to recover.

He got the bed sorted for me before he left so I could crawl back in if I need to - bless him.

But I have a little bit of energy, and I do mean a very little bit so I decide to wrap Rhianna's teacher's Christmas present.

I collect some supplies, paper bag, cardstock, paper doily, vintage yoyo and a button.

I cut a circle of cardstock. Sew the yoyo to the doily and glue the whole lot to the paper bag.

Do the same on the back but instead of a yoyo I sew on a large pink love heart button.

Inside the paperbag I have a couple of things made by my friend Emma.

Some lovely papergoods that all teachers love to receive.

After putting them in the bag though, they look a bit meagre so I'll buy a box of chocolates through the week to pad it out a bit.

A nice little Xmas bow to finish things off.

Back to bed now for a little midday sleep.