Thursday, 8 November 2012

A work in progress

So the side yard has been the biggest work in progress for us...... for years. You can see it from all the windows in the main living area of the house and when I gave up work to be home with our baby full time, I started to really obsess over fixing it up. We have always tried to make it look somewhat nice, but failed miserably due to dogs peeing on or pulling out trees.

After 6 months of living in our home Mr. It went about to make the yard look nice with some buffalo grass.

Finally installed.

Australia was going through a drought so most of the grass died, however it's self repairing so not all hope was lost. The trees also got pee'd on by our beloved fur children and we went about replacing them every 2 years.

 In an attempt to give the grass and the plants a chance to live we had a dog fence installed, which was also going to be the pool fence as we always planned a pool for the backyard. smart thinking right? 
wrong! (we'll get to that)

Our side yard by April 2012, better I know and much nicer to look at from inside.

AND then this happened in June 2012

It's ok, the backyard was finally being fixed up and all the machines kind of ripped up the grass and other nice things to look at. Plus this yard is going to have a large water feature installed here soon, so all hope is not lost yet.

More soon.


Backyard overhall

10 years ago we bought our block because it is the biggest in the court, right down the end where it's quiet and private and of course lots of room for that large pool and beautiful green grass and play equipment for our future kids.

That was in 2002.

We have lived in our home for 8 years this December, we had high hopes and dreams for our future in our new home when we first moved in, you think our yard would be wonderful after 8 years right? That's what we thought to our selves too.

The way our house sits on our block we kind of had 2 backyards. We have a side yard and then we have a backyard, which as the name may suggest, it's behind the house.

Lets take a look a the side yard first.

Not long after we moved in

After 6 months of living in our home

And this is the backyard......

About 3 years of living in our home

After 5 years living in our home... our yard was still terrible

Hideous.I. know! What can I say, our eyes were bigger then our bank account.

So what happened next?

LOTS! and I finally have some fun and much nicer pictures for you to all look at over the coming days.
I'll give you a little hint, the yard doesn't look anything like it does in these pictures, you may even think it's a different yard.

I hope my interior design style has oozed outside and you all enjoy the next few weeks of updates.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Joys

In the few blogs posts I have made, I don't think I've ever made one dedicated to the 2 most special 'little' people in my life. Master 1 and Miss 4.

They're now at this age where Master 1 destroys everything in sight and path and Miss 4 yells out "Mummy, he's in my room, get him out, he's making a mess again".

But every so often, usually when we put on Alvin and the Chipmunks on, I see this:

Two little heads sitting on the couch, quietly one moment and then bursting into giggles together like they love each other.

It's what makes every day worth it, I truly love being a mummy.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Garden Harvest

I love the weekends, it means I have time to go into the Veggie Patch and clean it up or harvest out the goodies.

Sundays Harvest consisted of:
Eggs (thank you chickens!)
Around 15 Desiree Potatoes
Handfull of Parsley
1 Onion Leak

I love to make Polish food with the ingredients from the patch for several reasons:

1. My husband is 2nd Generation Polish and loves when I cook Polish food
2. Potatoes, Parsley, Eggs & Flour are in heaps of Polish recipes and I have an abundance of all of them.
3. It's pretty easy to cook, so long as small children aren't bugging you every 5 seconds.
4. It brings back memories of cooking with Adam's grandmother (God rest her sweet soul), specifically the time she taught me how to make Pierogi and made me grind up half a pig the old fashioned way, it took ages! But a lesson I will never forget and am forever grateful for. Love u Baba.

My next post will be about what I made with my basket of goodies.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Naughty Chocolate Ripple Cake

Who doesn't love chocolate ripple cake? I think it's one of those good old Aussie desserts that everyone loves. So I've put a new spin on it and made my own version, The Naughty Chocolate Ripple Cake.

The Naughty Chocolate Ripple Cake

1/2 shot of Kahula
1/2 shot Vodka
2 shots of Baileys
1 Tim Tam crushed up
1 pk chcoclate ripple biscuits
300ml cream
3lt capacity container (with lid)

Using an electric mixer beat the cream until it's thick.
While mixing on slow, add Kahula, Vodka, Baileys & tim tam one at a time making sure you mix each ingredient completely before adding the next.
Using your container put a small amount of cream down the bottom and put some chocolate ripple biscuits on top, in a flower like pattern.
Put more cream on top, then more biscuits. Keep doing this layering method leaving enough cream to put a thick layer on top. Spread the cream out, put the lid on and put in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

To Serve just spoon out into a serving bowl.

Eat... and share!


Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Takeover Toyroom


Going back 7 years we had this really cool room in our house that we totally decked out and named our "Theatre room". 7 years later it's now The Toy Room. The kids took over. But I'm so glad we have this room because it's the one room (besides their bedrooms of course), that i can just shut the door if the mess is too horrible to look at, which as most of you who know me well... I never actually close the door, I just give in and clean the room. 

So this is the toy room

My girlfriend Amy commented the other day "this is the cleanest toy room I've ever seen!".
But in honesty there are 3 things to point out:
1. It obviously doesn't always look like this, especially not by the end of the day,
2. It's really easy to clean and keep tidy because I have a lot of storage (but I'd like a lot more)
3. I cull toys all the time. 

So here is my best storage solution (below). I keep the books up high so Master 1 doesn't pull them out constantly.
The buckets... they store foam blocks, lego, wooden blocks, balls, puzzles, etc. 
I find the buckets great because I let the kids take them out and it's a little game to pack everything back into the bucket when they're finished (or when I loose it).

I've sectioned the toy room into 2 areas. 
This photo (below) is taken from the door. So when you walk into the room this is what you see. Stoage, neatness, a play space (or as miss 3 calls it, "The dance space").

and then behind the couch.... ta-da!
A toy area to make messy & it's a bit hidden.

I put some wall decals up.. just to keep it kid friendly.

The room looks outside into the garden and into our Alfresco. The great thing is when I open the blinds I can see the kids from the kitchen and keep and eye on them without being in the room.

I have the couch in the middle of the room because it's still our theatre room and needs to function as the toy room and as a grown up room when we want. We have 2 other lounge rooms so movie nights are few and far between, but the kids love to watch Nemo or Woody & Buzz on the big screen. Plus I want it to be functional & slightly grown up.

The couches were donated from Adam's late grandmother, they are the worlds most comfortable lounges. :)

I'd love to hear what storage solutions you have used in your toy room to keep the mess at bay.


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

An almost new kitchen

I love my kitchen, it's the one room in the house that's pretty much my domain. I'm the cook in the house.. and the kids (big ones included) only really go into my domain for the occasional fridge or pantry raid. 
So this was my kitchen for 7 years:

It was great for a while, but those ugly black bench tops... oh how I learned to hate them.
Hard to keep clean, who knew black would show up all the dirt?

See how much black?

Soooo.... this year I finally splashed out and got rid of all the black and got......:


Reconstituted Stone bench tops!!! 
(Smart stone, Essa Stone, Caesar stone, Nurture Stone - all these  are manufactured from a combination of natural stones, granite and quartz.)

For those of you with the really keen interior eye, yes I also changed the tap, the kickers & the fridge.
AND because Master 1 touches everything the display items in the front display area were all moved. 

I wanted a look where the very open area of our house (kitchen, dining & lounge) just flowed. 
The Black bench tops were a focal point, which I hated!
It all flows much better now.

I totally love it and even Mr. It loves it too... he better, he paid for it all.