Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend in the City

We booked a last minute getaway into the city for the last weekend of the school holidays.

First stop on our weekend of fun was Centennial Park (Sydney) for a bit of bike riding fun.

We hired the bikes from inside the park. We started off with a tandem for Bill and Rhianna and a cruiser for me.

After a while we swapped to the two person pedal car with the child carrier on the front. This effectively meant that Bill and I did all the work while Rhianna got the free ride.

Pedaling this "bike" was hard work as it had no gears.
Boy could I feel it in my legs when I got off.

Centennial Park has great playgrounds so after the bikes we headed over to try out one of them.
I love a good turn on the swings.

As does Miss Rhianna

And there is nothing so much fun as having a contest to see who can swing the highest.....and then jump off. Ummm.....not me!!!

Lunch was at our favourite pub - The Lord Dudley in Paddington. Bill and I used to come here all the time but realised we had not been in at least 7 years. Too long, as the food is divine.

As we were in paddington we took Rhianna on a walking tour of where Daddy grew up. Bill lived in Paddington till he was 20 years old.

We showed Rhianna his old house and behind the house is Trumper Park where Bill and his gang of mates used to tear around and cause havoc.

This is the "swamp" they used to swim in. No wonder he never gets sick now - he must have developed the immunity of an ox swimming in this water.

Ahhhhh, check in at the Shangri-La at The Rocks. And straight down to the swimming pool.

After a cool off, we wrapped ourselves in the fluffy white robes for a bit of mini-bar fun and a marvel at the view.

We watched the Pacific Jewel sail out of the harbour and wondered if we should swap our trip to New York for another cruise?? Nah!

Bill has a rest before dinner.

After a walk through The Rocks we had dinner at The Australian Hotel. The food was awesome and there was so much of it. So much fun to sit outside and people watch especially on a Saturday night in Sydney.

After a beautiful nights sleep we headed over to Manly on Sunday for a walk around, a gelato and a look at the markets. The best part, as always, is the trip on the ferry.

It's just hard to be anything other than blissfully happy when you are out on the harbour.

We arrived home about 4pm and spent the last hours of the day having a final holiday swim in the pool. Feel totally refreshed and ready for the first term of school.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

26th, 27th and 28th January 2011

Well the last week of the holidays has been a looooong, slow one. It's been so incredibly hot here with temperatures in the 40's. We have alternated between hiding out in the air conditioned house and mucking around in the pool in the cool of the afternoon.

Australia Day Bill did some work in the morning and then we played in the pool with Rhianna all afternoon. Here she is in the pool with her free hat from the newsagency.

Inside we've been getting creative.

Today we did some science activities.

We decided to look at substances that do and don't dissolve in water. We started off with our instructions from the text book and some substances to test in water such as salt, gelatine, sugar, soil, vinegar and oil.

After hypothesising what might happen with each substance, Rhianna would combine the water and the product. Here she is adding gelatine to the water.

Some stirring then needed to be done.

Results were recorded.

She absolutely loved doing this. Must run in the genes as Bill has a highly technically job in chemicals. I don't think she even realised she was learning.

At the end Rhianna chose some other substances from the pantry to try - including baking powder, food colouring, cake decorations (!!!!) and glucose syrup. So much fun, no money had to leave my purse and she actually learnt something as an added bonus.

We are off for the weekend as our last hurrah for the Summer holidays. It's somewhere I've always wanted to stay after hearing rave recommendations about it from my friend Natalie. Will post pics on Monday.

Have a great weekend if you are reading this.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday 22nd January 2011

A little bit of rest and relaxation was in order for today. After lots of sleepovers and playdates Rhianna was exhausted. Bill has been working such long hours at the business and although it's fantastic that the business is doing so well, it's not great that we never see him and he is so tired.

So today was a day dedicated to relaxing. As the weather was so nice, it was a great chance to hang out by the pool. Rhianna and I played mermaids and then Bill climbed in and we played volleyball. Such nice Summer fun.

Last night Bill brought me home a nice bunch of flowers to say "thanks" for holding the fort during the school holidays while he has been working so hard. I didn't tell him how easy it's been as Rhianna has been gone most of the holidays.

Also wanted to show you my new owl vase. It had a sign on it that said "The ugliest vase in the world" so of course I just had to buy the poor thing. I often have my herb pots in there and it looks lovely. Unfortunately this week I've used up all the parsley.

The vase and flowers are sitting on my new table and chairs. This set was a real retro find. A genuine 1970's Sebel set in perfect condition. The seats are super comfy and Bill and I love to sit in them and play board games with the kids.

Also wanted to show a pic of this Christmas present from a girlfriend. It's a notice holder and it fits perfectly into my little house on the side of the pantry.

It's nice to have a place to stick all those bits and pieces you want to keep but don't need to have on the front of the fridge isn't it?

By the way, Bill and I snuck out the other night to go and see The King's Speech while Miss R was at a sleepover. And it was fantastic. Especially because it has Mr Darcy in it. Yes, I know his name is Colin Firth but he'll always be Mr Darcy to me!!

Next up I want to see Black Swan with Natalie Portman.

Anyway I'm out for a walk now and then another swim in the pool.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thursday 20th January 2011

Rhianna is away for 2 days at a sleepover so as you can imagine the house is suddenly very quiet.

It was a good chance to get stuck into some cleaning but I won't bore you with photos of that.

While I was cleaning Rhianna's room, I was thinking about how "green" kids are becoming these days.

In our family the kids....

Drink from reusable drink bottles and everybody knows not to bring a plastic (shop bought) water bottle into the house. These are evil and should be banned by now. But that topic in itself is another post.

No cling wrap in lunch boxes.

Only using the half flush on the toilet and during the night we let the "yellow mellow".

Turn off the tap when brushing teeth.

Recycle every bit of art and craft that goes through the house.

Turn off lights when we leave bedrooms.

Reuse packaging for craft activities.

We try to borrow rather than buy where possible.

Op shop clothes where possible. (Becoming increasingly difficult)

Take scraps out to the worms

Plant some of there own vegies - lettuces at the moment.

Not a bad start for us - but of course there is always room for improvement.

I think one of our goals for this year is walk to school at least once a week. (It's quite a way and almost all uphill.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday 18th January

Woke up this morning to a very excited child asking me to quickly come into her bedroom. She had spent half an hour she told me making her bad and she was so proud. Just ignore that crochet blanket stuffed down the end of the bed. It's the thought that counts right???

We had a very lazy morning. Rhianna dug out a puzzle and spent the morning sitting and working on that until her friend Rose arrived for the day.

Then it was off to the little local movie theatre to see "Tangled". I have to say that I absolutely hate animated movies and although the girls loved this one, I was yawning quite a lot of the way through it.

Just before we went in we ran into my neighbour Jo. She was taking one of her little girls to the same movie and we caught up in the foyer. That's one of the good things about a small community - you always run into somebody you know.

Then it was home for some lunch, a swim in the pool for the girls and some homemade slushies.
Just look at all that colour and preservative whizzing around - Yummy!!!!!

I'm actually loving these school holidays. Rhianna has been an angel - amusing herself almost all day with her toys from Christmas and lots of play dates and we've had lots of fun outings as a family. Couldn't be happier really!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monday 17th January 2011

Got up very early this morning to go for a walk with Bill and the puppy. It's such a lovely way to start the day. The air is cool, not many people about and a chance for Bill and I to really talk (without interruption). Not noticing much change in my weight but my mood is really good.

I am so sunburnt from yesterday (the photo below does not do the damage justice).

Well, I was expecting to be at the markets for hours, not on the beach!!!!!

The checkout lady gasped when she looked at me this morning. I hurried out of the shop in shame. Very, very bad Vanessa!!!!

I vowed to stay at home for the rest of the day.

What to do in this sort of weather????? Clean the bathroom. It was so bad.

I love, love, love it when it is this clean and tidy. It won't stay this way as bunches of little 7 year old girls use it to change into and out of wet costumes :: sigh!!

What else is new?????

This little cushion on my bed.

Twas a Christmas present.

The whole thing is handmade - the tree outline is silkscreened and the love heart detail is embroidered. So cute and looks adorable on the bed.

A couple of weeks ago I was shopping at Castle Hill and ran into an old girlfriend from school - Julie. We had lost contact a few years ago. After much hugging and catching up we organised a play date for our kids. She has a daughter the same age as Rhianna. (Don't you just love it when friends pop out age appropriate playmates for your kids???)

Had a fabulous day catching up at her new house in Kellyville (also love old friends who have a lovely pool to entertain said kids while we gossip).

Julie was looking fabulous as always, and said she had lost much weight by giving up sugar.

I tried to block my ears at this point in the conversation but no, she insisted I borrow the book and read it. Julie knows that I mainline chocolate when I am home alone and is truly trying to help. But the book talks about things like giving up chocolate, ice cream and wine. These are the 3 main staples of my diet (and it shows).

Is life worth living without those 3 things?????

I guess we'll see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Our Weekend

We've been trying to get out a bit more as a family over the Christmas break.

This weekend we only had a small amount of time to fill in on Saturday morning as Rhianna was going on a sleep over (again) - she's hardly been home all holidays!!!!!

We decided to go bowling - we have never been together as a family. Bill told us on the way there that he hates bowling. How can anybody hate bowling we asked him? At the end of the games even he had to admit he'd had a good time.

No weekend is complete without some craft. This morning we made tiaras and wands. Rhianna made me promise I would wear mine all day - and I did. Then she was off for the night.


We had organised with the parents who were doing the sleepover that we would take the 2 girls out today. My plan was to get down to the Vintage markets at Cronulla.

We got to Cronulla but the markets were shut. Why was I the only person with a disappointed look on my face????

Nevermind, let's have some lunch instead.

And then maybe an hour (or 4) at the beach.
There is no such thing as too much water play when you are 7 years old. The girls came home and played for another hour in the pool.

What a fab day out. So happy to finally have some real Summer weather.
Such a pleasure to take these two girls out for the day :: not a whinge or a cross word between them all day.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 - My Year

After much umming and ahhing I have decided to continue on with my blogging.

Around Christmas time I decided to stop altogether as I was bored with it to be honest and my interests are diverting a little from the general theme of the blog.

But today, looking back through old posts I decided that its such a great visual diary of our life as a family it would be a shame to stop documenting our little lives.

We've also been incredibly busy and I must admit to living my life a little bit more than photographing it lately. Especially during our annual Christmas party where not only did I forget to take any photos but I also forgot that I had put food into the oven inside while I was partying outside and burnt everything to smithereens - fire brigade anyone??????

Anyway......I am going to continue with this blog but it will be more in a diary format than as an address to the general public.

The things I'm still passionate about are.....

retro living
organic living
green living
non-consumerist pursuits

The things I'm not so passionate about anymore are....

knitting and crocheting
scrapbooking and card making
cooking (in general)

This years focus is on......

travel -mainly our trip to New York in June and Fiji in October.
losing weight
doing new things
leaving behind the stuff that doesn't work for me anymore.