Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Love Actually

One of my favourite Christmas traditions is the night Mr. B and I sit down to watch Love Actually each year. It gets brought out in December and packed away again in January so I can look forward to it for the next 12 months. Oh yes, I'm hardcore.

Because I can't possibly watch it until the house is all 'Christmas-ed up', it's always a mad rush as we try to find a spare evening between when the decorations go up and the finish line, Christmas Day. This year we only just made it, late on Christmas Eve...but as always, completely worth the wait! Hands down, my favourite Christmas movie...ever.

Buy your copy here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Engagement Photos

And while I've got my posting mojo back, Mario Testino's official engagement photos of Wills & Kate were released today.

Images from Mario Testino via here.

Images from Mario Testino via here.

I thought you should know.

Refresh Me

When I caught up on some of my blog reading this morning I was inspired by Louise's from Table Tonic's energetic painting weekend. So when I inadvertently stumbled across an old tin of grey paint while looking for decking oil in our shed, I opted for the "more results quicker", forgot about the decking oil and decided to finally spruce up the ugly white boards at the front of the house.

Of course I forgot to take a before picture so here is the front porch being set up the day we got married.

The pretty lights and furniture are a distraction from how urglee the white boards were.

And this afternoon when I had finished the first coat of grey

(and yes, there sits another of my half finished projects, a couple of cane
chairs I am in the process of repainting).

May I just say, I rolled my ankle twice during this supreme effort of mine - firstly when I fell off the chair I was using as a ladder and secondly, a few hours later when I fell through the chair I was using as a ladder because it ahem, broke. Nicole, the universe is pleading with you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

We're back...

Have been back for over a week from our mini-break but the chaos of Christmas is engulfing me and I've been stalling like a silly thing. Of course we did have a lovely time, sun, sand & family. What's not to love? Well, too much sun apparently, or at least that's what we think was the impetus for Mr. B's violent vomiting resulting in a midnight dash and overnight stay hooked up to a drip in the little local hospital where we felt like we'd stepped back in time and on to the set of A Country Practice :)

Because I don't have the energy to trawl through our holiday happy snaps and sort them for uploading I'm going to be cheeky and upload the one we took with on my phone waiting for Mr. B to be discharged the next day.

Counting on you not reading this post babe :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Well the extended family is off for a 5 day lake holiday. It's always lots of fun and it's definitely my version of camping - lake front spa villas with all the modern amenities. I am one very happy glamper :) A bit of a bummer though, the day has dawned grey and dreary, not to mention the rain and wind so unless the weather gets its act together there will be no swimming or skiing to be done. Oh well elements, you've got 4.5 days to get a grip and show us some sunshine love!

So ta ta for now, I'm already looking forward to catching up on all my favourite blogs when I get back :) It's sad, I know.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Party Invites

Our Christmas party invites have arrived from this clever etsy seller. Obviously our wording is specific to us and our address (duh!). This is a picture of the sample, just in case we end up with a Corey Worthington situation on our hands if my 13 faithfuls decide to storm the village, haha...

I think they're lovely and I can't wait to send them out today.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hunter Valley Gardens

On Thursday night we took a picnic to the Hunter Valley Gardens. Though don't try and take it right onto their grounds because you will be told by the officious counter girl that though she is terribly sorry (as she grins from ear to ear) it is private property and you can't take your own food in. But naturally there is food on site that you can purchase. Of course there is. Don't ask too many questions because her reason will frustratingly evolve from private property to their insurance not covering you if you have an anaphylactic shock (from eating something you prepared yourself as opposed to something they've prepared from who knows what). Riiiight.

No worries then, we'll just pop over there and have our tea on the lawn first then, shall we. So our group of 12 shuffles out to find a spot to gulp down our tea and get back inside for kids' Christmas concert...oh, and more thing, she'll also forget what's going on and put you through another few paces when you try and re-enter sans picnic with the printed docket she gave you for re-entry. As she puzzles over the docket, something to the tune of "but you've already been here today" (only if you're counting the 3 steps and breaths we took before being apprehended by you), "...and now you want to get back in?", "I don't understand". Genius.

All of that being said it really was the most fantastic evening. The lights were spectacular, the atmosphere was wonderful and the entertainment lovely - a little concert, piped music through the gardens, carolers and an impromptu visit from the pretty amazing Jonathan who was funny in that layered way Pixar movies are where there's something there for the adults too. The kids loved it, the grown-ups loved it and a good night was had by all. Absolutely worth a visit if you're up this way, I certainly plan to go back again before the season is over, I just won't pack a picnic.

Absolutely magical...

The Storybook Garden.

Santa's Workshop

Shelter underneath one of the giant toadstools.

Alice at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

Spinning fun.

The carnival is over,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I do

Not exactly hot off the press but there's to be a royal wedding early next year. For some reason, these grand occasions have always been a rather exciting excuse to huddle together and breathe in the auspiciousness. It's not terribly liberating but my mum, sisters and I have always loved a healthy serve of royal nuptials and William and Kate's will be no different. The last time we stayed up to watch a fairytale was in 2004 when Mary Donaldson became Princess Mary but it wasn't the first time...I remember listening to Lady Di nervously fumbling her vows on a cassette tape in the 80s, the dusty round speakers of Dad's small portable stereo were as close to the action as we could get. By the time Fergie was whisking Prince Andrew down the aisle we owned a TV so the wedding was ours for the taking in glorious technicolour. So next April we will likely all stay over at one of our homes as we fit in with the northern hemisphere and mum will make cucumber sandwiches to snack on while we fight sleep to drink it all in.

Image from Getty Images via here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

10 Decluttering Tips

In getting the house Yuletide ready I've been doing a bit of decluttering. For me, an important part of decluttering is throwing out all the magazines I have about decluttering.

So as I cleanse here are some of my favourite tips from the experts*:

1. Tackle messes one room at a time - sounds sensible.
2. Everyone seems to agree that scheduling regular decluttering sessions is the way to stay on top of any imploding clutter - they say 15 minutes a day should do it.
3. Sort with 3 boxes, 1 to throw, 1 to donate and 1 to keep. This way you are forced to make a decision about each item as you come to it.
4. Don't allow things into the house in the first place - I must say I do try to take a stand with the junk mail (so instead it sits on my lawn for 3 weeks ha ha).
5. Whenever your boiling the kettle for a cuppa, tidy up the kitchen - doable.
6. If you haven't worn an item of clothing in 6 months sell or donate - even the skinny jeans I know I can fit into again?!
7. Have someone else who's not attached to your stuff help you sort through things - nothing quite like the brutal honesty of a friend.
8. Stop buying new items - sigh.
9. Let go, it's just stuff.
10. For the things you can't let go of (and that's OK where people not machines), find a place in your home that is worthy of the objects value to you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

O Tannenbaum

The spot has been chosen, the furniture has been cleared, the floor has been mopped, the box has been dragged down from the rafters, carols are playing, bubbly has been poured and the tree is going up. Today. As we speak.

I heart Christmas.

Mama Mia

One of the people I follow on Twitter is Australian writer Mia Freedman. I also enjoy her blog Mama Mia which I find informative, current and quite funny. I got a giggle from the title of this old post and picture...

"Carrying your handbag over your shoulder is, like, SO 2008".

Had to share.

Image from Louis Vuitton via here.

The Colour Purple

I love this time of year and as the jacarandas start blooming everywhere it reminds me of my own personal belief that purple should only occur in nature (or at best in a boiled sweet). Is that too harsh? I'm no expert, it's only my opinion.

Images from Grafton Jacaranda Festival via here

Let me show you why.

No words.

Really? A purple door. Come on.

On the other hand (and I do like to be fair), some of these beautiful rooms are a good reason to deduce I don't know what I'm talking about!

I love this entrance with the pale velvet (I can't say lilac) slipper chairs.

There's something unexplainable about this bedroom I'm drawn to (please may it be the arrangement of furniture and decor).

The purple in this headboard is so subtle it almost seems grey. Grey I can do.

And again, with the grey/purple. I like it.

So maybe I can't do purple, but I could possibly do 'greyple'.

Images from decorpad.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Perfect Balance

I love this picture of Jones' ratio of saucers to dinner plates at their place. Came across it this morning while catching up on photos with twitpic.

Image from Tomas & Jones.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood

A rainy day was brightened by a lovely visit from my little niece.

Such a sweetie.

Monday House

A friend of mine is selling her old home and as I have so many fond memories of times spent there I thought to share some pics for my Monday house this week.

Beautiful wide verandahs that wrap around the front of the house.

The kitchen and an informal sitting room at the back of the photo.

A closer look at the sitting room.

One of the three bedrooms.

The pale pink walls are so pretty in here.

The main bedroom.

Love the glass paneled door into the en suite.

The study or fourth bedroom.

Doors open out onto the front verandah.

Main bathroom.

I heart VJs.

En suite bathroom.

Love the tiles and taps.

Internal laundry

Again, love the tiles and taps.

Living room.

Interested in the colours? Humour me, the walls are Warm Neutral, and the white is Whisper White, naturally.

Through the dining room and into the living room.

You only can just make it out but there is a beautiful built-in bookcase on the right.

Doesn't the backyard show off a perfect QLD day!

So there you have it, TTFN Kates Street house, what larks we've had.

For more info on the listing visit here.

All images from Maryanne Birch Real Estate via

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fi's Fabulous Find

My cousin Fiona has put me onto this wonderful store in the US. Even before our dollar started rising to the occasion I had begun toying with an order, now it's a certainty. I'll answer the million dollar question before you ask it, YES, they do ship to Australia (through mail forwarders Bongo International, read more about it here).

I think a smaller version of this mirror would like great in amongst framed art or photos on a picture wall.

I like this one too.

I've seen this porcelain box in Coco Republic.

I love this ceramic ginger jar.

$295 - $450 (depending on size)

I think these bone and wood frames are quite elegant. I'd probably put one of them in amongst a collection of silver/pewter and clear glass framed photos on a sideboard or a piano.

These lacquered boxes are my must have. If robin egg blue is not your thing, never fear there are all sorts of colour combinations to choose from. Have a look here.

$80 -0$280 (depending on size)

I love the lacquered trays too. Just to sit on a table or dresser looking beautiful or to use for serving afternoon refreshments or morning tea.

Hmmm, what to order first...
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