Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Who Knew?

In Hong Kong, they have pink dolphins! I never knew that.



This gorgeous fifties dress from Kitty Girl Vintage
Love it!


Monday, January 30, 2006

I Feel...

...unmotivated, and rather *blah* today.
I have achieved nothing and I'm really not that concerned about it!


Sunday, January 29, 2006

New Blog

Just wanted to let you all know, I have another blog up and running.

Living in the Moment is an introspective, an encouragement to myself and others to start living their dreams and passions. I hope you can drop by occasionally and find some glimmers of inspiration to get you thinking.


Sunday Musings...

I went and looked over my new shed/workspace yesterday. A LOT of work to do, involving less paint and copious amouts of fabric to line the walls with. I can imagine it without any trouble though, and it will look gorgeous I think.
It will be a while before I have it up and running properly, but within the next couple of weeks I hope to be able to get at least the actual workroom finished so I can set it up and start working.
This whole situation is very serendipitous (I love that word), as I was just going to pack all my sewing and craft things away and look for a (proper) job. I was about to meditate on it when Dianne came around and offered me the shed! You can't tell me that keeping a gratitude journal doesn't help things along!!! I feel very strongly that I'm doing he right thing here. Of course I have that horrible little voice in my head that goes by the name of self-doubt, but I am not listening. I know I can do whatever I put my mind to, and be successful at it, and this is what I really, truly want. At least it's a beginning and the first step in achieving my dream. Go me!

I have one more thing I want to do before I pack up my fabric and sewing machine however. It's a secret project I am working on, and if it all comes together, you will be the first to know!! And it could lead to bigger and better things...

And you know what else I am looking forward to? I get to go to garage sales and junk shops again to look for things to breathe new life into - I can't wait. I had to give it up because we just have no space here for anything more at the moment. I have missed rummaging, it's one of my favourite pasttimes. Nothing like a good treasure hunt - and I know you know what I mean!

Now I will leave you with this...

Expect the best.

The world is working in your favour.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Corners of My Home

This is not really a corner, but it is one of my favourite spaces. My best friend made this beautiful pot rack for me (isn't she clever?) and it hangs over the breakfast bar in the kitchen. I like to hang pretty tea towels, doilies and kitchen bits and bobs on it. I love it because it reminds me of how lucky I am to have good friends.


Lunch yesterday was YUM. I had salt and pepper calamari, and it was a HUGE meal - I am still feeling full!
Last night, we got comfy to watch the movie The Dukes of Hazzard. Now, I loved that show when I was a kid, never missed it. But after about half an hour we turned it off and went to sleep. It wasn't a good movie at all. Do yourself a favour and leave it at the shop...

Harry bear has gone to his dad's for the weekend, and Miss*G, Princess and I are going shopping while Yog is at work. While the cat's away etc *lol*
We are having a games night tonight, with 3 other couples. It's the first of a once a month thing that we have decided to do, and we need some new Yahtzee dice. Ours are a bit worn, and I don't think anyone else would be able to tell what they are! I am also getting Harry Bear a new skateboard as a slightly belated birthday present (he did get other stuff on the day!) as his current one is just about dead.

Oh and the big news from yesterday....
I am going to rent a space for my work, and it will be a showroom too! I'm very excited. It's my girlfriend's shed, but it is all set up as a 2 bedroom flat. I will work in one room, and set the rest up as a little home, except everything in this home will be for sale! I will start moving my stuff next week, and then I can get work out of the house and maybe we can get on with the renovations.
It will take a couple of months before the showroom is ready to open, but of course I will keep you up-to-date. I have to paint and decorate and all those fun things, but I have a renewed enthusiasm for work now, which has to be a good thing.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Bits and Bobs

I have been coveting these pink enamel saucepans from Rocco Cookware for a very long time now, but due to the exchange rate and huge postage costs, they remain but a yearning. Boo hoo.

I'm going to lunch today with a couple of netball buddies. We are trying out a restaurant at the local golf club, which also happens to be the longest course in Australia. This is what the website says about it:

Hills International Golf Club is quite unique. It is set in rural Jimboomba just 45 minutes south of Brisbane and 50 minutes north of the Gold Coast on the Mt Lindesay Highway. Currently the longest rated course in Australia from the blue tees Hills International is part of a huge complex known as Hills Educational Foundation. This is a College for Australian and International students which has its own golf course and golf academy. The course is open to members with regular competitions as well as the public.

Historic "Gimboomba House", believed to be the oldest homestead in South-East Queensland has become the 19th hole. It has been relocated and restored over the past few months. The homestead was built between 1845-1850 from red cedar cut and sawn on the property according to local historians.

The first licence for the "Gimboomba" run was issued in 1845. When the run was sold in 1850 it consisted of the homestead, mens huts, woolsheds, yards, stores and 4411 sheep. The homestead was a changing station for the coach horses in the days when mail travelled by stage from Brisbane to the New South Wales borders.

Stage 2 and 3 of the Clubhouse Project will see a large deck added to the back of the building to seat 250 for a dining area, providing a wonder view overlooking the sunset. Locker rooms and a gaming room will be some of the features of the following stages.

With a length of 6906 metres from the blue tees, par 72 ACR 77 this challenging championship course is made up of four par 5's which range from 544m to 575m, 4 par 3's which range from 152m to 229m and ten par 4's which range from 343m to 435m. Each hole has its own eye-catching features such as length, water carries, large trees, bunkers slopes and great scenery. Some of the holes have a spectacular layout which will challenge even the best of players. But don't let it scare you. Hills International is an unfortgettable experience for a wide range of golfers with different abilities. Several species of native fauna including kangaroos share the grounds with the golfers.

I will revue the menu for you after lunch!


Thursday, January 26, 2006


Frogs and Friends.

Harry bear had a lovely birthday. Thank you all for your kind birthday wishes.

We had our pizza and bonfire last night, and we all had a great time. We discovered a family of frogs on the roof, who were very interested in all the goings on, peering over the gutter to get a good look! The men and kids played cricket under lights with lots of laughter and carrying on like madmen.
Then we stuffed our faces with pizza and birthday cake (both store-bought - it was sooo hot yesterday, too hot for cooking), and lit the bonfire to toast marshmallows.
The kids thought us "grown-ups" had completely lost it when we started working out what our names were backwards - have you ever done that? We thought it was hilarious, although that could have been the beer and wine!

All in all, a pleasant, relaxing time with good friends.

Today we are off to an Australia Day BBQ - more fun, food and swimming too!

Happy Australia Day.



Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Harry - 9 years old today!

I am dedicating today to Kali.
I am sending wishes for love, peace, joy and a life rich in simple pleasures. Keep your head high and your heart strong, shed your tears and smile through the memories.
Love and blessings to you, sweet Kali.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Gratitude, Motivation and Simple Abundance

This year, like Ms*Robyn, I am following the Simple Abundance path.
Each morning I have been reading the book, but today was my first day I could really have a true morning ritual for myself.
The first thing I did after the kids left for school, was have a shower. It's not only to clean my body, I find it cleanses my mind too. Then I made a cup of tea, unplugged the phone, and gathered together the things I wanted.
I ate a slice of coconut cake that I made last night, and really tasted it. I savoured every morsel and enjoyed the contrast in textures of the cake itself and the smoothness of the creamy icing. My cup of Earl Grey tea was perfect in taste and temperature, and so enjoyable.
I then drew a card from my Grace pack, which told me to "Ask". That divine guidance is always there for me when I ask for it. I smiled, because today, for the first time, I truly realise that I have everything I need to make the most of life at my disposal. All the tools I need are within me, to use every single day. Now I knew this already, but this morning I accepted it. Big difference.
After that it was a meditation, which told me that dreams DO come true. It was the loveliest thing. And finally, my gratitude journal, which is evolving into a journal full of daily blessings and positivity, ready to read whenever I feel I need a jump start.
I feel fantastic, because I took an hour of my day to dedicate wholly to myself, and there is no guilt involved at all in this sort of pleasure. I have replenished myself and blessed my day, and can now get on with the business of my life, in the kindest possible way.
This is something I have promised myself for every morning, and it motivates me to get things done more than anything else I have tried (and I have tried a lot!).
So this is a big public thank you for all that is good in my world...


Monday, January 23, 2006

I did ok.

Well, I almost got everything on my list done. I swept the floors (and now I realise I need to mop too), got the washing dry and de-cobwebbed the puter area, and sort of decluttered a bit. Actually, what I did was find a pretty pink box to put all my stationary supplies in. Like many of you, I am a sucker for stationary, and it was scattered all over the house, especially after the back to school thing. Now it is "corralled" (as they say on those marvelous organisational websites) in one place, and I know where to find it. No mean feat I might say.
And the reason I didn't get everything on my list done, is because my pregnant sister came to visit me. I never turn down a cuppa and a chat! Junior is due at the end of May, and despite the fact that I personally think she is mad, I am happy for her and looking forward to meeting my new nephew. They are tossing around names at the moment, with Jackson and Cooper being the front runners, but that may change between now and the big day. This is number 4 for her and number 2 for her partner, the youngest being 14. I think they are very brave.
It's Harry Bear's birthday on Wednesday - he will be 9 years old. He has requested a chocolate cake to be brought to school please, so that's 2 birthday cakes I have to make. We are having friends around for pizza and bonfire that night, and we are having a cake then too. Speaking of cakes, I have to go and make one for the lunchboxes tomorrow. Coconut I think. I had better go and do that now, else I'll be up all night - again.


To all you Aussie girls out there with school age children, I hope you are having a nice day and enjoying your peace and quiet! I know I am :)

So, today is the first day of my new, organised self. So far, I'm really not doing that well, I've been on the phone all morning. So once I've posted this, I'm off the computer for the day - no really, I am.
My chores for the day: sweeping my disgustingly dirty, can't walk on in bare feet, floors; Hang a load of washing on the line; de-cobweb my bedroom (oh and the computer area); clean bathrooms and toilets, and I'll try to get in some de-cluttering too.
I still have Miss*G home as she doesn't start back til tomorrow, so her job is to make afternoon tea for when the Princess and Harry Bear get home. She has decided on scones -yum!
It's very warm here today, after a cooler couple of days and plenty of rain. Roll on Winter...
Isn't it nice to have Ms*Robyn home again? I'm sure we have all missed her terribly, but it sounds like she had a wonderful time, and I can't wait to hear all about it!
Hopefully now the kiddies are back at school, I will be more motivated to create some things, and have interesting stuff to chat about. I find life really comes to a grinding halt when the holidays are happening. Isn't that sad?
Right, I'm off now to get onto that never-ending roll of housework...toodles!!!


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Let Me Clarify...

I was re-reading my previous post and decide I need to clarify or expand upon my opinions!

To all you working (full or part-time) mums out there, please don't think I am anti you! I most certainly am not. I just believe that we are entitled to make our choices about raising our families, whatever they may be, and not be put down for it.
This is a discussion that has been going on for decades. My choice is to stay at home and be there for my children. That does not make me a lesser person than the woman who chooses to go out and work.
But I am of the opinion that many women HAVE to work, because as a family, they have gotten themselves so deep in unnecessary debt, that staying home is not a choice for them.
Too many folks are on the material rollercoaster, believing that if they have this gadget or that gizmo, they will somehow be a better person for it. I say, it's time to look inside ourselves, to find out what it is we really want, and how we really want to live our lives.
Me? I am learning to be content with our little cottage, that's half-finished because we ran out of funds. It will get finished eventually. I know that I don't need a new car - I may think I'd like one, but realistically, there's nothing wrong with the one I already have. I have learnt to be creative when the pantry is running low and we haven't been paid for a month. I shop in second-hand shops with pride - it's not demeaning to me at all. My wardrobe pretty much consists of a pair of jeans and a half a dozen tops. I grow my own veges and bake my own cakes. I take pride in being conservative with our money. All these are things I have learnt are important to me. I certainly don't expect that everyone wants to live the way I do, but I do believe it is time to for everyone to stand up and take responsibility for the way we live our lives, the decisions we make, and how we take care of our planet. It's vital, not only for our well-being, but our very survival.

Sorry, don't mean to rant, just getting it out there :)


How Lucky Are We?

I came across this article in today's paper, and it got me thinking about how lucky we are to have so many choices available to us today. I never apologise to anyone about my choice to stay home and be a housewife, it is something I enjoy and my family and home are my proirities in life. I am of the opinion that you should work because you love your job, not because you need the money. As a society I think we are too focused on "keeping up with the Jones", and that mentality forces women into the workforce who otherwise don't want to be there. I say it's time to re-think our priorities, and figure out if that brand new car and huge house are worth more than our children. These may be fighting words to some, but it's my opinion, and I won't back down on it.

Why I’m Glad To Be A Housewife.
By Lucy Cavendish. Taken from The Sunday Mail.
When I was a little girl, and all my friends were little girls, none of us thought we’d grow up to be housewives. We might have played dollies in pretend houses and made pretend cakes and poured invisible tea from plastic pots, but no-one ever considered that being a housewife, a home-maker, would be something that we would choose to be. For many years, that was not even an option.
But now, at 40, I wonder why not?
My mother stayed at home. She baked cakes - terrible ones - and dusted and cleaned and darned names on knickers and obviously hated it.
She would tell me how dull she thought stay-at-home mothers were. She would tell me how she’d wanted to be an artist, but that her father, my grandfather, wouldn’t let her because nice girls did not go to art school.
She worked for a while as a physiotherapist and then, after she married my father, stopped working altogether, as so many women did.
But, during my childhood, my mother provided me with a steady stream of literature by women such as Germaine Greer, Betty Frieden, Kate Millett, Simone de Beauvoir and Susie Orbach.
My mother was intent that we were educated properly.
She took us overseas and showed us art, history and architecture. She helped me learn the joy of having an inquiring mind, of not just accepting everything I was told. She congratulated me when I confronted my teachers, even though she was hauled in to see the principal of my school regularly.
So did my mother expect me and my sister to stay at home, have children and turn into housewives?
No, she did not. And yet, what has happened to us?
In Susan Faludi’s 1993 book Backlash, she predicted the tide would turn, that feminism would start becoming a dirty word, that men would march against women and that women would return, mentally beaten and bereaved, back to the home.
Now we have Darla Shine, who says in her book Happy Housewives that women should be allowed to embrace the mother, the housewife within and should no longer feel they have to go to work and break the glass ceiling to be a proper, functioning person.
“Why wasn’t being a mum offered to me as a career?” Shine says.
What has changed?
Staying at home - or even saying you want to stay at home - is breaking the last taboo.
When, aged 29, I had my first child, all my friends thought I was mad.
They thought I was even crazier when I moved out of city life and re-emerged in the bush complete with boots, basket, fresh fruit from the garden and an apron. They baulked when I got a dog. They nearly cried when I went on to have two more children and spent all my earnings on small shoes and baby outfits.
But now I know my friends love to come to see me. They love the atmosphere of the house, the freshly-cooked food, the salad picked from the garden, the grubby, muddy tearaway childern and the over-friendly dog.
And yet I still work. I as myself why: is it too much a part of my past, part of what my mother instilled in me, for me to totally embrace my domestic goddess within?
But I am not the only woman who secretly likes baking an apple pie. Many seemed to have quietly turned away from work. Everyone is “down-sizing” and searching for “quality of life”. Why have it all when you only want a little bit?
I think part of the problem is that women never really thought about what “work” meant. It’s no fun being a woman holding down a full-time job and also trying to run a house, children and a marriage. Where’s the joy in trudging to and from work, to home, to the shops and back again on a daily basis? (I am sure men feel just the same way, but we are talking housewives here, not hose-husbands).
It’s exhausting. I tired it. It was a disaster. I barely saw my children. I had no idea what they were up to. The cupboard was bare, the house was cold and unloved. I felt more tired than I had ever been.
I resorted to checking my son’s homework when he was in bed. I made packed lunches at 11pm. I barely spoke to my partner. At work, I sneakily called plumbers and electricians. Yet I seemed to echieve nothing, either at work or at home.
When I recently suggested to a friend that I give up work and stay at home with my children full-time, she gasped in horror: “But work is so much a part of who you are!”
But work used to be part of who she was. Now she has two children, a husband who works from home, a serious tennis addiction and the best-baked cakes. Doesn’t she miss her working life? She says not. When I press her on it, she says that she had always told herself that, if she had children, it would be her job to look after them/. “I feel I owe that to them,” she says. Her children, it has to be said, are happy.
And now I’m surrounded by these stay-at-home women - my sister, my sisters-in-law, my friends; none of them work.
Elizabeth used to be a doctor, but now stays at home with her three girls.
Emma was in films as a producer, but ow spends her life videoing her twins, and Kate was a lawyer in Hong Kong, but was paid off.
She’s used her money to buy a run-down pile and, whenever you go round, there she is, paintbrush in hand, surrounded by children having fun renovating the place.
They all seem happy. They al seem fulfilled. They are intelligent women and these are their choices.
Something has shifted. I increasingly find myself drawn to making cakes and staring wistfully at ingredients in the fridge. My friend calls me up to tell me of a new lentil recipe her kids like.
The correct feminist response would be: “Why are you calling me up with cooking tips? Burn your bra, baby!” Instead, I hurry to the shop to prepare for cooking it myself the next night.
The truth is, I feel better when the house is clean and organised and the kids’ clothes are folded and in their drawers.
I like to put a meal on the table for my partner when he comes home from work.
When I’m not working and the kids are a kindy, I go for a pushbike ride, walk the dog, or pop round for coffee at a friend’s house.
I find I rather like wearing an apron. I have a “baking” cupboard, although I am still not very good on cakes. But the kids like making them, so some afternoons we get floury and pur everything into a mixing bowl and then eat it.
The children are happier. My partner is happier. The dog is happier and I am happier. If I’m feeling particularly daring, I might even open a bottle of wine at lunchtime and invite people around. And who decreed we should all work so hard that we forget how to enjoy life?
I think women are redefining things. Working hard, being successful and beating men at their own game now seems tiring and boring and, at the end of the day, not necessarily fulfilling.
It’s much more fun to have freedom to be at home, to play with the kids, to walk a dog, to make my own decisions about my life.
Being a housewife is no longer the dead-end job it was, and it’s also not forever. As their children get older, many women I know intend to start up some sort of small business. The internet has made this perfectly possible.
Others intend to re-train s family therapists, teachers and such like. Some are doing extra-curricular courses in art, ceramics, philosophy.
If I had daughters, I’d give them the books to read that my mother gave me. I would encourage them to see that they have choices, and that those choices are not between a man’s world or a woman’s world, or between going to work or staying at home, but the chance to do whatever it is they feel they want to do.
And if it’s a dishcloth that does it for them, hey, so be it.


Sunday Fun.

As much as I would love to goof off today and read all my great books from my trip to the library yesterday, I'm afraid today has more in store than that.
Nothing exciting mind, just housework, laundry, baking, laundry, a bit of decluttering, and did I mention laundry? I'd love to get out in the garden too, but not sure I'll get there today.
As tomorrow is the day the kids start a new year at school, tomorrow is also the day I start my new 2006 routine to keep me organised, and I don't want to start out already behind, if that makes sense. I think the routine may need a bit of tweaking here and there, but as long as I continue it(!) I'll be fine.
All the kids books are covered (thank you Miss*G and Princess), and school bags are packed and ready to go. New uniforms are washed, folded and put in drawers, ready to be worn and tossed on the floor tomorrow afternoon! I just need to find room for three "stations" that they can dump all their stuff in when they get home so I can go through it when I get time later in the evenings. (Some organisation tip I got from some organising site).
Sometimes it feels like a military exercise, getting three kids organised for a new year...


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Back To School

No, not the kids - me! And not really back to school, more like back to using my brain to learn something new.
Due to all the hassle I had in finding a pretty blog template, I have decided to try and learn HTML. So off to the library I trotted today, and found a book. Sounds easy doesn't it? Ha!
I was doing great practising, until I tried to put a background in (granted, I may have jumped ahead a few chapters to get to the interesting stuff). So I am going to get more books, and keep trying. Lots of people can do this, so I reckon I can too.
In 6 months I will be a dab hand and can create beautiful templates for everyone (Once I figure out the Blogger tags).

Wish me luck!


Friday, January 20, 2006

The 4 Things Thing

Saw this over at Alice's place and decided to do it too. You will all know me inside out by the time I have finished! Haha.

Jobs I have had:
Worked in a sex shop
Restaurant manager
Bar attendant in a nightclub
Office bunny

Movies I can watch over and over:
Gone With the Wind
Singing in the Rain
Enchanted April
Immortal Beloved

Places I have lived:
Auckland NZ
On a farm in the middle of the North Island in NZ
Jimboomba Queensland

Favourite TV shows:
All the Law and Order shows - CSI, SVU etc etc
Home Improvement shows

Places I have been on vacation:
Hamilton Island
Coffs Harbour
Gold Coast

Favourite Foods:
Salt and Vinegar chips/crisps
Steamed pudding

Places I would rather be:
Honestly? I'm kinda happy where I am, but I'd love to visit Britain and the States someday.


Won't You Join Me For A Cup of Tea?

Let's have a Tea Party.
First, we need to know trivia about tea - you can find everything you ever wanted to know about tea at
Romancing The Tea.
Now, lets find some suitably pretty teapots and cups.
The Staffordshire Garden has a wonderful variety for you to browse through. You could also try Lady of the Lake for some delightful sets.
Table linens?
The Old Lace and Linen Shop has some droolworthy items for you.
For some inspiation on all things vintage, including tea parties, subscribe to
The Gilded Lily, a stunning publication that's released quarterly.
Planning a Victorian Tea Party will tell you everything you need to know about tea party etiquette, and even provides you with menus!
So now you are ready to have your Tea Party - don't forget to invite me!


Grey Day

It's raining on and off today. That means that Yog is home. Now much as I love him, I don't particularly enjoy when he is home during the week, due to rain.
What this means for me today, is everyone is home and stuck inside, and I have all the kids school stuff to get organised, a mountain of laundry I want to do and no chance of hanging it out to dry. I need to go to the library to return some books and so the kids can get new ones. I might have a look at the computers for dummies series while I'm there! I have to do some bookwork, make some phone calls and send some faxes. And do you think I'm going to get all this done in a calm, organised manner with everyone at home, all wanting a piece of me as well? I seriously doubt it...


Thursday, January 19, 2006

It Took Me All Day....

...But I managed to find this lovely template which only required me to cut and paste! Thank you and kudos to Caz (see link at bottom of sidebar - I'm too tired to be messing about with links right now) who created this gorgeous thing.
I'm happy with this for now :)
I may have a look at typepad as Alison suggested - but not tonight!!! Nothing else to tell, as I've been sitting in front of this darn computer most of the day. Will hopefully have something interesting for you tomorrow...


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I'm Illiterate...

...computer illiterate that is. I just have no idea how to do anything but the basics, and it's sooo frustrating!
So, does anyone want to write a step-by-step instruction manual on how to put pretty pictures in my sidebar? The whole html thing is such a mystery to me - it all looks like gobbledegook as far as I'm concerned. I mean, how do you write html for a picture? Is it even possible?
I'd love a nice template too :)
Help me...please???


Getting To Know You....

Seeing as how it's now 2006, and I'm new to this blogging thing, I thought I'd tell you 26 things about myself that you may or may not already know. (Notice I left the two zeros out? We'd be here for a month!)

1: I'm messy - and I don't make the bed every day.
2: I don't have a favourite food - I like them all, except cooked veges.
3: My favourite colour isn't really pink - it's cornflower blue.
4: I have three children to two different fathers.
5: I want to move to the middle of nowhere and be self-sufficient.
6: I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
7: I don't care anymore about what I want to be when I grow up.
8: My ex was emotionally abusive and unfaithful, but I stayed with him for 10 years.
9: I was unfaithful to him once.
10: I believe in fairies and goddesses.
11: The computer takes up way too much of my time.
12: I am a procrastinator.
13: I'm afraid of creepy-crawlies - I can't abide them at all, they give me the shivers.

14: I love ironing tea towels.
15: I hate to iron anything else.
16: I can ride a horse quite competently (I took lessons).
17: I have a scar on my face from a bad horse-riding accident (that's why I took lessons).
18: I hate crowds.
19: I like having my friends drop in for a cuppa.
20: My favourite place is my bed.
21: I leave a lot of things unfinished - but not this year!
22: I play netball, and I'm very competitive about it. I don't like to lose.
23: I think I'm getting too old to play netball (too many injuries) But I won't give it up.
24: I'm a romantic.
25: I live in my head a lot.
26: At 35, I'm only just starting to find out who I really am.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Back To School Shopping

Organised and armed with a detailed shopping list, the kids and I set off at 7.30 this morning for the annual back to school shopping trip. After driving for an hour to get where I needed to go, I was in and out of the stationary store in half an hour flat. It was the shoes, lunchboxes, bags and other incidentals that took all the time and dollars!
However, it's all done now, and all that remains is for me to cover the books and find out what classes they are in - too easy!
I also went to Ikea - a most frustrating place to shop if you ask me, and Freedom. At Ikea, I got 42 scented tea light candles for $6, and some white photo frames for Harry's walls (into which I will put pictures of vintage aeroplanes). At Freedom, I found some striped teatowels in lovely summery colours and grabbed half a dozen. I now have teatowels to last me a month without washing! Maybe I'll do what Kali's done and turn some into cushions or bags :)
What else - We found a great little shop and purchased a load of "hippy" clothes for not a lot really. Miss*Gabbie is very happy to have some new clothes to share with me! Oh and I also got Sam the Foxy Dog a new red collar complete with a diamante studded letter "S" and some new toys, so he is happy too.
I have to go now and remove the bags of stuff from the middle of the floor now, so we can walk through the house without tripping over!


Monday, January 16, 2006

A - Z of Gratitude....

I found this exercise at Gwen's Healing Garden and thought it was a lovely idea, so here goes...

I am grateful for:
The Air I breathe
Blogspot and all the lovely people in it
Having a reliable Car to drive (and Chocolate!)
Digging in the garden
My sense of Fun
Growing as a person, everyday
Being Healthy
July - my birthday month, and my favourite month of the year
My Kids
Love, Love, Love
Ordinary pleasures
Peace and
Rose gardens
Just Sitting
Pretty Underwear
Having a Voice to speak out
Wet weather
Saying Yes to only good things
Having Zest for life!
Want to give it a go? Let me know, so I can come have a look :)


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Leisurely Sunday Lunch

Yesterday was my mate "Bondy's" birthday, so a bunch of us went to the Canungra Hotel for lunch.
We enjoyed a lovely meal in the beer garden, then we girls went shopping at the cutest shop called Flutterby Fantasy. It's one of those places full of sweet treasures. I stocked up on some scented votive candles - yum!

Everyone had a relaxing day, with lots of fun and laughter. Bondy now thinks we should do it every Sunday!



Peg Bag Pattern

For anyone who is interested, the pattern and intructions for the peg bag I made yesterday are here.
I didn't actually make the pattern, just cut the fabric to the appropriate size and followed the instuctions on from there.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com


Pink Pyjamas and French Lavender

Well my friends, despite wafting prettily around in my pink pyjamas all day (Yep, all day), I did get something done.

I found some gorgeous recipes for "Essence de Lavande" laundry powder and softener, over at
Snowdrift Farm. After dutifully grating Sunlight soap for what seemed like an eternity, I added the other ingredients and voila! My very own homemade laundry powder. I was very impressed, except the soap overwhelms the lavender scent entirely, so next time, I will use unscented soap.
On to the softener I went. Did you know that 32oz (volume) of baking soda is 4 cups? 4 cups! it was way too much, I think. Next time I will use about half that.
Of course, I had to try them out, so the washing machine got a bit of a work out. I have a front loader, so I didn't use too much powder (about tablespoon or thereabouts). I think it works better than any commercial preparation I have used, and my clothes and towels smell so delicious!

After that I was inspired to make a Peg Bag - something I have been meaning to do for ages. I dug out some pretty lavender toile I had been saving for something lovely, and in about 10 minutes, I had a very sweet holder for my pegs! I was amazed at how easy it was to make, and can't believe I haven't done it sooner...

I really want to redecorate my laundry room now, and make it an ode to French lavender fields, but I had better wait until Monday to start, so Yog can't see what I'm doing!


Friday, January 13, 2006

Treasure Map

Fridays are my Puttering and Project days, and today was no exception. A few friends and I got together and made treasure maps.
A treasure map is a visualisation technique and it's a lot of fun - sort of like collaging.
I cut out pictures and phrases to represent what I want to achieve this year, and glued them all onto a big bit of cardboard. I will hang it on the ensuite door, where I will see it every day, to remind me of what I want.
We all had a ball doing this, and it was so interesting to see how others create their masterpieces, and what they are hoping for out of life.

We are going to get together again in 6 months to see how our maps are working - I can't wait!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

My Discovery Journal

Today I created my very own Discovery Journal :)
I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and I have started collecting pictures and phrases to paste into it.
Not only does it look cute, but it smells divine too - it's covered with a drawer liner!


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Favourite Websites

These are my favourite places to visit on the net. Places to satisfy my urge to create, to find wonderful gifts and treasures, and places to learn and be positive!







Gorgeous Things




Feeling Good






This Year

After giving it some thought, I have decided on my goals and aspirations for this year. Instead of making rash, little-thought out decisions on Jan 1st, I have taken time this year, to really think about what I want to achieve over the next 12 months. So here goes...

Declutter, declutter, declutter! This is a really important one for me. I am a bit of a pack rat, so I am going to work hard on this, just a bit at a time, so it's not overwhelming. Once I get this done, I believe things will flow more around the home.

Routine - I need one. I have worked it out, and have my days for housework sorted. I am taking
  • Alison's advice and having one day for each task, eg laundry, baking, cleaning etc. I have been a bit haphazard with my houskeeping in the past, and it just can't go on. It is my choice to be at home, looking after my family, and I want to do the best job I can, just as if I was in paid employment. I am easing my way into it, and will be up and running fully when the kids return to school in a couple of weeks.

  • Attitude. This one I'm pretty good at. I'm generally a positive person, but I have my days, like everyone. This year I will keep that going, and be aware that my thoughts create my reality. I want a nice, happy life. I also want to be in a place where my thoughts, words and actions align. I have learnt I am happiest when I am being authentic, no matter what other's think of me. My friends and family think I'm a little kooky, but they love and accept me for who I am. I will not accept negative people into my life this year.

    Creativity. I need to focus. I get very scattered when I am working on creative projects. If I start something and I'm not happy with it, I put it aside and start something else. This needs to stop! I have many, many unfinished projects. I won't necessarily finish those I have sitting from last year, but I this year, I will finish what I start. One thing at a time. It will keep my sewing room tidier too!

    And last, but not least, I will decide in what direction I want to get my business going in. But I refuse to pigeonhole myself. I can and should be able to create any way I want to, and I want my business to reflect that. And I will not undersell myself or my creations. I put a lot of time and energy into them, and their price should reflect that. I love what I do, and I will have confidence that others will love my things too. I will get my things out there this year.


    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    Baking Day...

    This is what I did today :)
    From centre back and going clockwise we have:
    Cornmeal Loaf, Khobz (a wholemeal flat bun), Ginger Crunch, Afghans (un-iced as yet), Sugar Doughnuts, a selection of muffins (more in the freezer) - Blueberry and Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter and Jam, and Banana and Honey, and Milk Buns. In the centre is a Strawberry and Chantilly Cream Sponge. I also made some choc-chip cookies and froze them, uncooked, so they are ready to be thrown into the oven when they're needed.
    Whew! After all that, it's toasted sandwhiches for dinner *lol*


    Monday, January 09, 2006

    Not Much

    I haven't much to say today, except that we have been paid (3 weeks late) so we WILL be eating this week after all.
    Oh and I received my first in a limited edition series of embroidery design CD's. Maybe that will motivate me to create something wonderously beautiful - or something that will become yet another UFO.
    I am off now to finish another little bag I started yesterday - will post when it's finished :) Did I mention I loooove bags?


    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    Latest Project

    This was today's project - a bag for my neighbour, Julie. I hope she likes it! (That blue fabric is actually deep purple - I'm not a good photographer).


    Philosophy of Housework (Not necessarily Mine)

    I don't do windows because ... I love birds and don't want one to run into a clean window and get hurt.

    I don't wax floors because . I am terrified a guest will slip and get hurt then I'll feel terrible( plus they may sue me.)

    I don't mind the dust bunnies because .. They are very good company, I have named most of them, and they agree with everything I say.

    I don't disturb cobwebs because ... I want every creature to have a home of their own.

    I don't Spring Clean because ... I love all the seasons and don't want the others to get jealous.

    I don't pull weeds in the garden because .. I don't want to get in God's way, HE is an excellent designer!

    I don't put things away because .. My husband will never be able to find them again.

    I don't do gourmet meals when I entertain because ... I don't want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.

    I don't iron because ... I choose to believe them when they say "Permanent Press".

    I don't stress much on anything because ... "A Type" personalities die young and I want to stick around and become a wrinkled up crusty ol' woman!!!!

    And remember...

    A clean house is a sign of a broken computer!


    My Babies Are Home

    Princess Brooke and Harry Bear came home at 7am this morning! They are as happy to be home as I am to have them home.
    They had a lovely time in NZ, and got spoiled rotten by their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandies.
    Life here is back to normal now, with the TV on cartoons and the mess accumulated almost instantly!

    Aaaah, chaos reigns supreme...


    My Poor Car

    Well, went out late this morning after it had stopped raining, to inspect the damage:

    My car is covered with dents - bonnet roof and sides.
    Yog's ute has a few dents on the bonnet.
    The shed has huge dents all over the roof.
    The house roof has a couple of big dents on one side, and lots of big dents on the other!
    My roses came through with only minimal damage, and they will come back fine.
    A couple of trees down out the back.
    The creek down the back is swollen.
    The whole property is soggy, soggy, soggy.

    We got away lightly. Plenty of people with tiled roofs have had smashed tiles and leaks through their homes. One of my friends lost both front and back windscreens on her car as well as the obligatory dents.

    And they say to expect more wild weather!


    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Scary Weather!

    This is a (half melted) hailstone I picked up out of our yard tonight.

    We had the worst hail storm I have seen in ten years of living in Australia. The noise was deafening - it sounded like bricks on the roof. The stones were all the size of this or bigger and it went on for about 15 minutes. My sister and her hubby were here for dinner, and all three of our cars are badly damaged. Yog's car was in the carport, but even it didn't escape. The bonnet and roof of my car and my sister's (18 month old) 4 wheel drive and the bonnet of Yog's (year old) Crewman Ute are all dented. So is our roof and the shed roof. I could have cried, but am thankful that it wasn't worse and we are all ok.

    Will update tomorrow, when we can see more in the daylight.


    Weather Forecasters....

    ...have absolutely no idea what they're on about! Contrary to being under 30 today, I just checked the thermometer in the kitchen (which is cooler than most parts of the house) and it's reading 34 degrees! It's incredibly humid too, so the whole sewing thing has been quite uncomfortable.
    Speaking of sewing, as is so typical of me, I got right off track this morning and made the cute bag above, instead of the quilt. And I have decided to use the chambray for curtains in the "new" room, so I need to slip out to Spotlight sometime to pickup some homespun for the backing instead. At least I got some sewing done - it's been a while since I sat down at the machine :)
    Harry Bear and The Princess rang me from Auckland Airport this morning, so they are on their way home. They will stay at their father's tonight and come home tomorrow. It's been two and a half weeks, and although I've enjoyed the peace and quiet, I can't wait to see them!
    Off to make pizza bases for dinner tonight, as I had a request for homemade pizza - at least it's easy!


    Sleeping In

    I woke up at 3am this morning, when a huge crack of thunder crashed over our house. Not the most pleasant way to be woken I am thinking. The power went out for a bit and I lay in the dark, listening to the rain get heavier and heavier. I think it lasted for a while, because Iwoke up later (unsure of the time as the clock was blinking) and thought, aaah I can sleep in because I'm not walking when it's raining!
    Sloth that I am, I didn't rise until 7 o'clock, and I don't feel guilty at all :)
    The weather today is predicted to be under 30 degrees for the first time in weeks - yay! I am going to make Harry Bear a new quilt today. I have the most gorgeous fabric from Moda - vintage airplanes, and I'm teaming it with a red and white polkadot trim and backed in a blue and white striped chambray. Hoping to have it finished by tomorrow, and of course will show you the results of my efforts.


    Thursday, January 05, 2006

    So I Knew That Already

    Well, the reading I had was very good, and really just confirmed that I'm on the right track.
    She was very good, though, and spot on with the kids personalities, and Yog's too. I was very impressed, specially when I asked her if we would move and she said eventually, to a place beginning with "B" - she got the name Bellingen. I went to Bellingen mid last year and decided there and then that it felt like home and I wanted to live there! She had no way of knowing that, so I was pretty gob-smacked with that.
    Anyways, she said that life is nice (which it is), and it will only get better, so I'm a happy chook today :)


    Going Batty in the Backyard!

    Thought I would show you the view from the back deck of the cottage. As you can see we are on a sloping block, and haven't done an awful lot! We do however, have our very own bat colony. (1st pic) They are fruit bats, otherwise known as flying foxes, and they turned up one morning about 18 months ago. They left for a few months last year, but they are back now, and after looking up information on them, it seems they are here for the long haul.
    The trees run along a creek, and apparently that is just the kind of spot they like. I am going to ring someone (not sure who yet) to let them know they are here, if they want to study them. We quite like having them - now we are used to it - and when they glide off in the evening to go stripping (other people's) fruit trees bare, it really is quite a spectacular sight.
    They also like the mulberry tree (bottom pic) when it's fruiting, but I don't really mind as there is enough fruit for everyone!


    I Declare Today Is.....

    Chocolate Day!
    "Other things are just food, but chocolate's chocolate." Patrick Skene Catling

    I don't know many people who don't love chocolate - milk, dark, white - it doesn't matter, it's all good in my book.

    But first we need to know about this food of the gods. You can find out about the history and science of chocolate

    You can send e-chocolates to fellow chocolate lovers, find chocolate wallpaper for your puter and join the chocolaholics club at

  • Virtual Chocolate

  • For the best recipes, visit

  • Hershey's or
  • Godiva Chocolatiers

  • If you want to take an online chocolate-making course, you can even do that too! Just visit

  • these guys

  • And finally, if you simply must have more chocolate, you can bathe in it with the scrumptious products from

  • Chocolate Soap for the Soul

  • Go forth and indulge!


    Looking Into The Future...

    I'm off to have a reading done by a psychic today! I'm really looking forward to it, as apparently, she is very good. I met her through a friend, and managed to barter for a reading - isn't that good? I'm hoping that she has lots of good things to tell me (of course), and can give me an idea of how wonderful this year is going to be. Pays to stay optimistic, I feel! Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes.

    On another note, we had a lovely lot of rain last night - real soaking rain, and when I went for my walk this morning (that's twice now!) everything was so fresh. Al the plants look healthy and the grass is still green. We had friends over for dinner last night, and they were saying that January is predicted to be one of the wettest on record, with flooding and maybe even cyclones! As long as my roses survive...that was a garden planted in love, and I couldn't bear it if they were destroyed.

    Right, I'm off to do a bit of housework before my appointment this morning - see you later!


    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    How DID You Get That Name?

    Thought I would share how my darling husband-to-be got such a ridiculous name :)
    His parents are Finnish and his real name is Jouko (pronounced yoko), but his older brother nicknamed him Yog when they were young. When Yog moved out here to the middle of nowhere, Jukka was already living here, and introduced him to everyone as "Yog". I hate the name personally, and never use it (usually calling him Hon instead LOL), but most people can't pronounce his real name, so it's stuck.
    He's a carpenter, and can turn his hand to most things, including concreting, plastering and painting. Very handy to have around. An old surfer at heart, he lives in boardies and thongs when he's not working, and very rarely has a shirt on either :)
    He's a Sagittarius, born in early December (I'm a Cancerian - can you imagine what that is like!), and quite a gentle soul. Hates to upset people and wants everyone to like him, and they do. Quietly spoken (actually, I think he mumbles, drives me insane), he is happiest watching the cricket or footy wth a beer in hand, in his shed (otherwise known as "the sanctuary").
    When all is said and done, it doesn't matter to me what he's called....

    I Love You Yog!!


    Making Things

    Right, just because I'm having a slack attack, doesn't mean you have to! Here are a couple of "recipes" for you to try. Hope you like them.

    Summer Potpourri

    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon ground orris root
    1 whole nutmeg, grated
    40 drops lavender oil
    40 drops rose geranium oil
    10 drops mandarin oil
    7.5 cups dried flower petals and heads (rose petals, rosebuds,peonies, lavender etc)

    Mix together the cinnamon, orris root and nutmeg in a mortar. Add the essential oils and blend to a moist powder using the pestle. Put the flower petals into a large (glass) mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with the oil and spice mixture. Place mixture into a large, lidded ceramic or glass container and leave to cure for six weeks, stirring occasionally. After six weeks it is ready to be distributed into gorgeous containers for placing strategically around your home. If you do it now (Australian ladies) you will have the smells of summer wafting about right through autumn!

    Beeswax and Turpentine Wood Polish

    75g/3oz natural beeswax
    200ml/3/4 cup pure turpentine
    20 drops cedarwood oil
    10 drops sandalwood oil

    Grate beeswax coarsely and place into a screw-top jar. Pour on the turps, screw on the lid and leave for a week, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes a smooth cream. Add essential oils and mix in well. You are now ready to polish your furniture up to a beautiful shine.

    The two recipes above are courtesy of "The Country Store" by Stephanie Donaldson, published by Hermes House.



    This is how I feel today.....
    I have achieved absolutely nothing so far - that's two days running the same thing has happened. UGH.
    I just cannot get myself motivated. I thought that Yog being at work yesterday and today would get me going and back into a routine, but if anything, it has made me worse!

    Oh well, no point beating myself up over it, I'll take the well-deserved rest, thanks.


    Feeling Virtuous

    Yes, I am feeling VERY good today. Julie and I got up and went for our walk this morning, as discussed yesterday. Although I was still half asleep, I enjoyed it immensely, and was quite surprised at the amount of others doing the same thing at 5am. To make it even more pleasant, these was a bit of cloud cover, so it wasn't too hot.

    Well, after Yog went out to water the roses at about 8.30 last night, we got some rain after all! We had storm warnings, but we didn't get the storm, just a bit of rain and lightening, but they are predicting more tonight - yay. Apparently a few thousand homes in Brisbane lost power, and are still without it this morning. Usually it's us, but we have been lucky this storm season, and only had minor blackouts for a minute or so.

    Not sure what I am going to get up to today - I know it's going to be a scorcher again. I really need to paint the trims in Harrys room, but now I have done the ceiling and walls, I'm kinda over it! So typical of moi LOL. I still have a couple of days yet, and I work better under pressure :)

    By the way ms*robyn, I will get to and post some cosmetic recipes for you over the next few days - glad someone else is interested!

    I meant to let you know in the last post too, that if you want/need to purchase ingredients for making your own cosmetics, you can do so at New Directions Australia They have a great range and excellent customer service.


    Tuesday, January 03, 2006

    The Bestest Lip Balm Ever!!

    For those interested in making your own cosmetics and the like, I thought I would share this recipe for Lip Balm. It is fantastic, really works and doesn't lick off so easy! It smells like an after-dinner mint, but it doesn't really taste that way unfortunately.

    1 1/2 oz beeswax
    1 1/2 oz shea butter
    1 oz cocoa butter
    2 oz sweet almond oil
    few drops peppermint essential oil (to taste)
    a bit of cooking chocolate (again, to taste) - use the best stuff if you can
    1 teaspoon vitamin E oil.

    In a Bain Marie (or bowl over a pot of water if you like) melt beeswax over a very low heat. When melted, add the cocoa and shea butters, melt and then add sweet almond oil. Add chocolate and melt, then add the vitamin e oil. Remove from heat and stir in essential oil. Pour into containers and let sit until cool.
    This turns out a light chocolatey colour - quite pretty :)

    Makes for very kissable lips!


    My Poor Garden...

    It's 35 degrees inside today, and everyone and everything is feeling it. All my pot plants have died (and yes I HAVE been watering them), see picture above that used to be a fuchsia. Forever optimistic, I thought I could grow them in Queensland - ha!
    My beautiful roses are getting burnt, and the only spot in the garden that is doing ok are the petunias and dianthus - and really, I think they are pretty hard to kill! The mock orange are doing great too, but a few more days like this and I think even they will start wilting.
    Boy, gardening here is really hard work. In New Zealand, it's just a matter of sticking something in the ground and pretty much forgetting about it until it blooms beautifully.
    So I'm praying for a storm sometime this afternoon, but it doesn't look like my prayers will be answered today. With the water restrictions we have, I feel guilty about watering, even when I'm allowed to.

    I went to visit my neighbour, Julie, today, and we have decided to go walking in the mornings, starting tomorrow at 5am. Thank goodness - I'm not motivated enough to do it by myself, but I'm feeling like a fat slob after the excesses of Christmas, and not doing any exercise since netball finished in November. We have decided on the route and it will give us about a 2k walk, which is just nice to start with.
    I also went for a dip in her pool, which was warm! It seems nothing is cool in this weather. Roll on winter!!

    Came home and am making multi-grain bread rolls to go with our pasta dinner tonight - not that I feel like cooking, but I haven't done anything today, so at least I will feel better about homemade rolls. (Even if the dough is being whizzed by the bread maker as I speak!)

    Brooke and Harry come home from New Zealand on Thursday and I'm so looking forward to having them back - who'd have thought LOL. They may stay at their dad's until Sunday though, which gives me a bit more time to finish painting the bedroom - I'll show you when it's done and all put back together. My sister and her other half fly back in this afternoon - looking forward to the kiwi food they're bringing back with them!


    Organised? Me?

    My new organisational tool!

    So, to start the New Year, I went and got myself a diary. I hunted until I found the perfect one for me - It's called the Enviro Diary, and is made from recycled paper. It has a day to a page (I'll explain why this is so important), and lots of great info, including environmentally friendly cleaning tips and recipes :)

    Now since one of my aspirations this year is to be organised, and another is to keep the house a little cleaner and tidier, I worked out my morning, afternoon and evening routines, and attached them (on a seperate piece of paper) to the inside front page, along with my weekly routines and what I do on which day of the week.
    Part of my evening routine is to make a list of what I need to accomplish the next day - I have tried so many different ways of organisation, you just wouldn't believe! This seems to work the best, but where to put that list? Right on the appropriate page of my diary! It may seem logical and obvious to you, but I feel like I have discovered penicillin :) Said diary is A5 size, so will fit into whatever bag I happen to be using on any given day (did I mention I love bags? No? Well I do). I can cart the thing wherever I go, and write down any phone numbers, information I'd like to remember, or anything else I feel like writing down. Every night I can transfer the information into my "master folder" which holds just about everything I will ever need to know. I know this all sounds a bit obsessive, but I am a person that is so totally disorganised most of the time, that I NEED one place for everything. I'm sick of bits of paper floating around with numbers and phone messages and such on them - I invariably end up throwing out something important.

    Anyway, just doing this has made me feel organised for the year - all I have to do now, is stick to my routines. Although I promise not to be pedantic about it - I am not going to turn down an invitation to lunch because it happens to be that day I clean the bathroom!!
    I'll keep you informed on how well this idea works :)


    Welcome to The Grove

    Welcome to my blog. This is a little spot for me to muse on life and the things I feel passionate about. My passions tend to change frequently, so hopefully you won't get too bored with me!
    At the moment it's gardening (specifically roses and veges), making creams, lotions and soaps, DIY and getting organised for 2006.

    But first, I guess I should introduce myself properly...
    My name is Sue, and I'm a 35 year old stay-at-home Mum. I live with my partner (Yog, I'll explain later) and three kids (Gabbie, Brooke and Harry) in Queensland, Australia.
    We have an acre and a quarter, and we're renovating our cottage.
    I have 101 different interest and hobbies: sewing; cooking; crafts of all descriptions; gardening. I'm creative, not organised. I meditate, believe in fairies, and love vintage bits and bobs. I think I may be a hoarder - mainly of craft supplies and fabric. Actually, I think I have a fabric obsession.
    I love all things feminine - roses, floaty dresses and pink is my very favourite colour in the whole wide world.
    I have a step-daughter who is pregnant, so I'm going to be a Grandma! I'm not quite ready for that, but I'm sure I'll cope :)

    I'm so happy you have joined me on my blogging journey - let's keep in touch...