Saturday, 28 June 2014

World Cup Fever

We love the World Cup in our household, each time it's on MJ and I love watching the games and getting right into the competition spirit.

Australia played well considering they were in the "Group of Death" and I'm proud of how our nation represented.

Since it's World Cup time still for a few more weeks. I've been having a bit of fun with recipes and having like a little mini World Cup party (see number 66 on my 101 list).

First up I had to decorate my nails for the occasion - I found some inspiration from Pinterest and went from there. Here are the results:



The nationals I painted are: Switzerland, England, Japan, Ivory Coast, America and Greece. The green nails are for the grass on the field and Australia (green/gold).

We have Foxtel IQ so we've been lucky to be able to tape the games and watch them later so we haven't had to get up at 2am to watch Australia play. One weekend morning as a treat while watching the game I pulled out my waffle iron for the first time and whipped up an awesome batch of waffles - oh so good.


Last Sunday my parents came round to help fix up a few little things around our new place, so I thought I'd make them a yummy hot lunch.

I found these recipes off the Taste website.

First up Spiced Haloumi with Honey and Lime (see recipe here)


Followed by Brazilian-style chicken served with rice (see recipe here)


It was so filling and warming as it's been getting quite cold here in Sydney lately.

During the week we had a Brazilian feast, MJ loved coming home from work to find the table full of yummy hot food.

I created Brazilian beef strips and we made wraps out of it (see recipe here for beef)


Followed by a dessert with a difference - Caramelised Pineapple with Coconut Yoghurt (see recipe here)


I love playing around with themed food and it's really helped keep us in the spirit with this great game called football.

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Friday, 27 June 2014

{BLOGGING} LIEBSTER AWARDS

Blogging awards can feel strange but it's nice to be recognised by a fellow blogger that your blog isn't too bad and is worth a read.

The wonderful Lynda who writes the amazing blog Homelea Lass has passed on the Liebster Award to me (thank you very much Lynda) and it's now my turn to pass it onto fellow bloggers that are on my reading list.

The Liebster Award is a great way of recognising bloggers with a growing audience and this is what it requires me to do:
  • Link back and recognize the blogger who nominated them
  • Answer ten questions given to me by the nominator
  • Nominate ten other bloggers for the award
  • Create ten questions for nominees to answer
  • Notify my nominees
  • Get an award button and display it proudly

I was asked some awesome questions by Lynda and you'll now find out a little bit more about me. 

1. What’s your favourite creative activity?     
                                                                                       
It would have to be at the moment baking, cause there's an instant result, I can share it with others and it tastes oh so good. Plus I do like writing poetry, which I should get back into as I haven’t done it for awhile.

2. If you could have anything for your next meal, what would it be?

I'm going to add a clause to this question – If I could have anything for my next meal and it not make me sick it would be a creamy seafood pasta dish followed by sticky date pudding with ice-cream.

3. What’s your favourite colour?

I love pink, but I adore all colours: mint greens, yellows, vibrant reds and soft blues.

4. What inspires you?

I'm inspired by plain beauty, by my husband to be a better person, by my niece and nephew to laugh, by my oldest brother to overcome obstacles and reinvent myself, by bloggers to try new things and by my heart that whispers keep going sweetheart.

5. Do you prefer cold or warm weather?

I love both weathers – Cold weather for the cozy clothes and warming foods plus of course hot chocolates. Warm weather for flowy skirts, swimming, ice-creams, long days and bbqs.

6. What is your ideal birthday gift?

A day with both of my families having a bbq and laughing (got to do this last year).

7. What’s your favourite season?

I don’t have a favourite season as each season is special to me in its own way. Summer: long days, my birthday, Christmas, beaches. Autumn: Beautiful colours of leaves, warm days/cool nights. Winter: cozy clothes, soups, short days, inside activities, hibernation. Spring: warming up, flowers, new birds, a sense of peace of summer coming along.

8. Circles or squares?

Both

9. Do you love going to markets?

 Yes, who wants to come with me?

10. How do you like to start your day?

In a perfect world I’d love to wake up refreshed, eat breakfast and soak up some sun reading a book. At the moment I wake up tired, eat breakfast and go to work – ha ha!!!

Amazing Bloggers

Here are the ten amazing bloggers I'd like nominating for a Liebster Award:

Tara from Gluten Free Hart
Patricia from A Mummys Life NZ
Steph from This Brown Wren
Michelle from Wannabe Hippy
Georgia from Inner City Stinge
Michelle from Jarrah Jungle
Darcy from A Memory of Us

Here are the ten questions for you bloggers to answer (but only if you want to play along)
  1. If you could get on a plane today and go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
  2. Cookies or Cake?
  3. Favourite childhood memory
  4. If you could change your name what would you change it to?
  5. Do you have a life motto? If so what is it?
  6. What skill would you like to learn?
  7. IPhone or Android?
  8. Who would you love to meet? Alive or dead?
  9. Deserted Island you can take 2 people and 4 objects what would you take?
  10. You've just won $500,000 dollars what do you buy first?
Can't wait to hear your answers to these questions. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Hurt the ones we love most!

Why do we hurt the ones we love the most? Why do we lash out those closest to us?
I'm so guilty of this; my poor husband MJ cops a lot from me some days but he gives as good as he gets.  This year has been really stressful for both of us (which is no excuse) and we've been finding ourselves taking that stress out on each other and it hurts (both of us).
We’re angry at a phone company so we hurt each other; we’re upset about a tyre blowing so we lash out at the other person; we’re tired after a long day so we snap at each other. Why do we do this? Why do we push at each other instead of drawing together?
We’re not alone in this, most couples would agree. We draw away from those who love us and lash out at them knowing they'll take it and will always be there (or hope they will). They’re the only people we can let our guard down around and show our vulnerable side to.  
It’s a trend that needs to stop or at least lessen. If we don’t acknowledge the problem and work on a solution it can turn into something worst.  Lying, cheating, abuse (physical/verbal) and more, divorces are on the rise because we can’t control our emotions and lash out those who are near and dear.
So please hug your love ones and let them know they’re so special to you and you love them beyond measure. Make a conscious effort to work together not apart, because life is a journey and it’s best to travel it with your best friend not your enemy.
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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Jenolan Caves

MJ and I finally got to go away for a night this week while he was on holidays from work. MJ picked the Jenolan Caves - beautiful spot. Peaceful, quiet, cold and no phone reception (which was lovely).


I highly recommend a night or two up there for anyone. It's cheaper to go during the week, we stayed over on a Thursday night cause Friday and Saturday nights are much more expensive.


We went on 3 cave tours - The Diamond Cave, The Orient Cave and The Lucas Cave - all absolutely stunning in their own way. If you buy tours for more than one cave you get the other caves 1/2 price - score!








We stayed in the Mountain Lodge, and it was everything you need. A bed and a shower - perfect.


We ate at Jeremiah's Bar - I had a wonderful porthouse steak and chips, washed down by a great cider. We played pool in the hotel's pool room - I won 2 out of the 3 games!




There are several bush walks around the caves as well, it was beautiful weather so we did 2 of the walks. So I am now able to cross off number 50 on my 101 list "Bushwalk in the Blue Mountains" or close enough to the mountains.



It was fantastic to have a short break away, hope we can do another one again soon.  

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Friday, 20 June 2014

My little studio

I now have my own little personalised studio (aka craft room but I think studio sounds more sophisticated).

Everything is set up and in it's place so I can easily just sit down and work away. I've got space for my laptop, study area and sewing machine.

I love have a my own little corner I can play away in without being in the way.

Here is the before shot - so many boxes, I did do a good clean out which was a great help.


Here are the after shots:




I've even got my own little mascot/guard dog watching out for me. Not sure how well he would do in a fight.


I've also made sure there was room for my paper mobile I made last year at craft camp.


Since there are built in wardrobes I've made sure I've put them to good use. Now everything is neat and packed away ready for use and a moments notice. I'm in love.



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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

DIY - My Paper Heart

"My Paper Heart is yours now,
I've landed in your hands, 
I've come so far to find out, 
My life will never be the same,
Since you wrote your name on 
My Paper Heart"

This is a fabulous song by Francesca Battistelli called "My Paper Heart" (check it out here). I love this song, it's such a beautiful song and very easy to sing along to. Every time I hear this song, I always picture a beautiful paper heart necklace made out of bible verses. I've had this vision for years and finally this month I sat down and brought that vision to life.


It's so simple and easy to make, plus it you can make it out of any paper. So maybe your favourite piece of sheet music, favourite crochet pattern, favourite book, patterned paper or a mixture. I used an old Gideons bible that I've had for years, it took me a long time to find 24 verses to punch out but it was lovely to rediscover some favourite verses.

The things you'll need are:

- 1 x bible (or whatever paper you're going to use)
- White cardstock
- PVA glue
- Chain for necklace
- Jump rings
- Mini holepunch
- Heart punch (I used a smaller heart but use whatever size you like)
- Jewellery tools
- Paint brush (to paint the glue on with)


Next you'll need to punch out 12 hearts out of the cardstock (you can punch out more or less depending on how many hearts you want on your necklace - I wanted 12). Then you need to punch out 24 hearts out of the bible (or other paper) one heart for each side of the 12 hearts of cardstock.


Then glue a paper heart onto each side of the cardstock heart. I used a glue stick but I found that the sides of the hearts didn't stick down enough so I think it would be better to use the PVA glue instead for better coverage.


Once you have all the hearts glued back to back then comes to fun messy part. PVA glue the whole front side of the paper heart - I used some baking paper underneath so that they wouldn't stick and keep the mess off the table. You will need two coats on both sides but it's better to do one coat then let it dry, do another coat then let it dry, turn over to the other side and do one coat let it dry and then do the last coat and let it dry. It's time consuming but you can do other things around the house while waiting for it all to dry.


Once dry the paper hearts are now stiffer and using the small hole punch, punch a hole into the heart. I punched a hole slightly off to the side for a different effect.


Then using a jump ring attach the paper heart to the necklace chain in whatever pattern you like. I wanted all my hearts facing the same direction but you can have them going any direction you wish.



And there you have it, a beautiful paper heart necklace. I loved seeing this vision of mine come to life before my very own eyes and it turned out just liked I'd always dreamt it would.

If you do make your own paper heart necklace please send me a picture I'd love to see it.

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Saturday, 14 June 2014

Cardmaking - Lovely Ladies

This month's cardmaking class we made some beautiful cards with old fashioned ladies - it was like being taken back to the elegance of the 1920s.

Which one is your favourite? I really like Simply Stunning one the best.






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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Kitchen/Dining Makeover

Getting the kitchen and dining room in order was the best thing, since I do a lot of cooking and have plenty of baking items it was wonderful to find places for everything.



This is what the rooms looked like on the day we moved in, so many boxes. We had to search the boxes just to find food to eat. The black plastic that's on the floor was to help stop mud and water getting on the carpet from all the rain on moving day. 


There is less pantry space in this house compared to the rental we were living in so it took some creative thinking to sort all the food out. 


It took nearly 2 weeks before we could sit at the dining room table to eat dinner, I really don't like eating dinner on the couch. 


We had a lovely set of wooden cupboards given to us which go perfect with our wooden dining table. So one Friday I was finally home all day and could get stuck into mess. So here the before shot.


Here is the after shot, it looks so much better and brighter.


Everything has a place now so it will be easy to find everything and know what's missing too.



Never underestimate the power of the plastic basket, they're so versatile. 


My cookie jar collection has a new home where everyone can see. 



I complied my cookbooks and cooking magazines down to a smaller pile and donated the rest.



We are going to get a new oven, cooktop and rangehood installed soon, we have them but we're just waiting till the electrician we know has a free moment (so looking forward to that day). We can now also eat at the dining room with a nice view of Liverpool (England) night time cityscape.

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