Friday, September 30

Today I'm grateful for.....{conquering fears}

Howdy folks??  how are we all today?  I hope your all well....

Wasn't Bron's little post today cute...a little sad, but cute and so understanding....

This Grateful Link Up is a huge and fun and gives us a great chance to pop on over to new and old blogs and Bron, I'm just forever grateful that you came up with this smashing idea!  

Ok, so what am I grateful for...

1. Conquering fears -  I admit I have a few, but one is a fear of confined spaces.  I don't like them.  I panic, I squirm and squeal and head for the nearest exit.  But whilst in Italy, I got a chance to venture up a narrow, dark and yes, confined stair case of an old castle.  I did it.  I survived. I wont say my fear is conquered...not in the least....but I didn't high tail it out of there and that's the key! 

2. Proof - And I got this photo after all of that!  The photo above is from the lookout of said castle.  Now each time I look at this photo, I don't just see the stunning beach, sand, people and buildings.  I remember what it took to get that shot. 

3.  Colours - you know, Brons post the other day really struck a cord with me.  I'm making a really conscious effort to inject a bit of colour into my world.  I painted some chairs blue, I have plans for a fire-engine red door and I've sworn off buying anything black/grey or beige for my wardrobe.    All in the name of colour. 

Do you have any fears that you've conquered? 
Do you have a favourite bright colour that makes you smile? 
Today we are linking up with the delightfully bright Jody from Lemon Rhodes (Oh Jody!  My favourite colour is lemon!)  

So come and join the fun ! 

Monday, September 26

city gone country....

Yep....I've gone back to the country for a few days with the kids over the holidays.  It's always a strange kinda feeling, heading into the old country town that you grew up.  Each time I come home something has changed, and somethings will always stay the same.

We took the kids to a new park today and I ran into a school friend of mine (each of us now married with two kids).  We chat, we hug, we laugh and all whilst pushing our babes on swings and dealing with tumbles and tears.

I walk down the main street (yeah, the only street)....stop every few paces to those that recognise me....and me thinking...who are you again? But I nod politely and engage in small talk.....

I'm a country girl I think.  But then again, I'm also very city.  Can you be both? 

I love our little life in Melbourne, but really I have to question whether I just fake I rarely leave my own postcode.  I love hitting the highway and heading into open fields, and food and wine trails that have me salivating for fresh and tasty that sell their wine in their own backyard..

...hmmm country or city.   Which am I?

What are you and how do you know???


Friday, September 23

I'm grateful for...{a good catch up}

Source: via Brenda on Pinterest

Wow - Grateful Day already!!!  How did that happen....where did the week go?  Are you back yet Bron??  We miss you!  Anyway...I'm not complaining...I love a good excuse to shout out some gratefuls and here are mine for this week.

Today I'm Grateful For...

1. A catch up - this weekend hubby and I are heading out and catching up with some old friends.  As the planning was taking place, more and more friends became aware so our smallish group just became a whole lot bigger.  It's so nice to look forward to catching up with a great group of friends, to celebrate...well, friendship!

2. School holidays - I'm a mother with smallish children, so I haven't yet got tired of school holidays, so to me, I love that we can make plans, go to new places, meet up with friends and have no routine to bother us!

3. Projects - I love a good project....something to sink my teeth into, be a craft, diy, decorating, or planning a bit of a re-vamp....I'm a busy little bee and I think I always have to have something on the go.

What about you?  Grateful?  We're linking up with Sonia at Lioness if you have something to say....  Share it here!


budget or blowout?

b or b

You know I love a bit of fashion talk and a little while ago I gave you the challenge to pick the designer from the down right bargin outfits.  Flash your mind back here.  Which set did you pick as the splurge outfit?

Well, it was the set on the left that was the complete blowout .

b or b

Moving on.  New set now.  One set has items under $50, the other over $1000!

Which is the budget and which is the blowout? 

Top or bottom?

I made this set on Polyvore so long ago, that even I forgot which was which!!!


Tuesday, September 20

DIY - road side find... {before & after}

 I love a good DIY project...and these lovely wooden chairs I found whilst walking around our neighbourhood a good six months ago during hard rubbish.  I was actually going to leave them, as I was walking with the two kids and it began to rain....We decided to cut out walk short, and I saw these beauties.  But, it was raining, and I had a little one that didn't want to walk any further.... So i reluctantly left them...

So we walked back home...and my son said "mum, lets just drive back and get the chairs..." 
"Oh terrific idea!"  I said! 
And so these chairs have sat idle in the shed waiting for a re-vamp. 
They are sturdy and only one little spoke needs some attention, but otherwise I knew a lick of paint would see them sparkle again. 

I set off to Bunnings, for some spak-filla, some paint and brushes.  I sanded, and wiped, I brushed and spent the weekend with the sun on my back and paint brush in hand watching these chairs that were destined for the scrap heap get a second chance....

And here they are.....In all their painted glory! 

 I struggled to decide on a colour, and then wandered around the "miss-tints" shelf at Bunnings.  Its a shelf of varying paint cans all incorrectly tinted and so, drastically reduced.  Seeing as I am not familiar with the whole DIY furniture re-vamp,  I also wanted this to be a minimal cost exercise....
So when I spotted this gorgeous blue - 2L for $20 I grabbed it as well as a small 500ml pot of grey/beige for $4, which I painted the bottom of the legs, just for contrast. 

And here is my own little stylist taking some snaps of the new blue chairs....

Have you had a road-side find re-vamp? 
I think I'm looking forward to the next hard-rubbish!!! 

Sunday, September 18

fancy pants {street style}

Ok, so I'm not going to lie, this Fancy Pants outfit is from the archives, as currently the only fashion statement I'm making involves surrounding myself around a box of Kleenex, chamomile tea and cozy little slippers with love hearts on them.  They go perfectly well with the watery eyes, headache and red running nose! 

So, instead of missing out on linking up with one of my fav & fashionable bloggers, I thought I would pull this one out of the archives, because, well, it was a memorable night. 

After a lovely dinner out with some smashing friends (sans kids - for all of us!), we talked well into the night and just prior to all heading off home (and a little weary) there was an impromptu fashion shoot in the middle of the street!  Yes, my friends were aware of my Fancy Pants posts...and couldn't resist! 

I can't say that it was the most comfortable of know usually my Fancy Pants shoots are all done in the privacy of my own home...with no one to giggle at me but the kids! 

But this night, we were all giggling!!! 

White Coat - ASOS
red dress - Dotti
Black tights - Coles
Shoes - Siren
Cuff - birthday pressie
lipstick - Revlon - Ravish me Red

Joining up with Kymmie here! 

Friday, September 16

I'm grateful for...{a little kiss kiss}

Welcome welcome, to all that have come over from our delightful Maxabella Loves as I play host to this week's Grateful Link up. Grateful Day has become part of my weekly routine...what about you?  I often think during the week, when something happens, or I have a moment and I often say to myself "gee, I'm grateful for that..."  And this linky is a fabulous way of sharing it....

So what are you Grateful for this week??

Today, I'm grateful for...

1.  Kisses - they come in many forms.  The pash from your loved one, the cheek kisses, the air kisses from friends and family, kisses planted on top of heads and those delightful little sloppy ones from children.  My daughter learnt to make that cute little "mshaw mshaw" noise, and now, her kisses are just that little more frequent!

2. Spring Time - yes, it's here (well, it was and then it went and now I think it's here again)....but you get my drift.  That lovely feeling of slightly warmer weather, longer sunshine-y days, more outside playing, washing actually drying on the line (the same day you put it out!), and spring cleaning!  Yep, I'm slowly making my way through each and every cupboard, nook, and cranny and tidying up this house and getting ready for awesome weather!

3. Ikea Catalogue - I know pretty naff!  But since it arrived in my letterbox last week, I've been reading it like a novel, pouring over all those gorgeous done-up rooms that have me marvelling at how efficient and amazing it all looks.  I've even made list (or should i say wish list!).  The problem is, actually getting the courage to go there (cue music from Jaws).  It's a daunting place. If only I could buy online!

Now you've come all this way, please play along with me today and link up!  Bron and I will be so excited if you do.....

Add your Grateful post to the list below (and please, we love you, but it really does matter that your post is one about being grateful, not just a random), and pretty-please add a link back to the list. Then pop over to visit other bloggers who are spreading a little sunshine... 

Tuesday, September 13

Rose's upside down pear & almond cake

You know I love to bake....and I'm slowly getting back into baking since being on holidays and NOT baking a thing.....I don't even think I had withdrawals....what with all the eating I was doing to keep me busy....

....anyway, when I had friends and family coming around last weekend my mind was thinking of which cake to bake and I remembered a gorgeous cake my friend Rose had made for me a while back when I went to visit.  I loved it so much, I insisted I have a copy of the recipe.... about 6 months later, I finally got to making it myself and blogging the recipe so you all can make it...and it's unbelievably easy for such a show stopping cake!

1 tbs brown sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
200g almond meal
2 tbs self-raising flour
2 tbs blanched almonds
1 large pear, skin on
custard, cream or ice-cream to serve.

What to do...
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees
2. Line a 23cm round springform cake tine with baking paper and sprinkle the brown sugar over the base.
3. Beat the soft butter and sugar until pale (you can use beaters or a kitchen aid).  Then add the eggs, one at a time until all incorporated.
4. Stir in the almond meal and flour and set the bowl aside.
5. Cut the pear lengthways into 1cm thick slices and leave the stalk attached.  Arrange the pears over the brown sugar and spinkly the blanched almonds in the gap.
6.  Spoon the cake mixture ever so gentley  over the pears and then spread with a spatula making sure your not dislodging your beautifully arranged pears.
7. bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes and set aside for 15minutes before turning  upside down on a plate.

Serve warm or cold with custard, cream or ice-cream or if you are wicked all three!

There is something a bit retro about an upside cake, dont you think??  goes perfect with my thrifted tablecloth I scored for $1!

Thankyou Rose for sharing this delicious recipe with me!


Sunday, September 11

I do fancy the end of winter....

I know....I got off so lightly this year in the "suffering the Melbourne winter"  by absconding to Italy for a whole month.....we've all come back a darker shade (my daughter mostly!!)

And it's been nice getting back into the swing of things.  Things like the Kinder drop off/pick up, the grocery shopping, chatting with friends, going out with some girlfriends, baking, cooking, blogging and...
snapping some Fancy Pants shots.

But Kymmie - here I am.  I'm glad to be back, sharing our fashions loves.  And if you came past yesterday you'd have read that I'm loving getting a little extra wear out of my winter boots.

 So here they are....I love these boots, they just pull straight on and for something a little different I pulled on some over the knee socks that have a cute little velvet bow so that they could peek out over the top of my boots.....

Do have a favourite winter item that just helps you smile during the freeze??

jeans - Gripp
Boots - Tony Bianco
Long black singlet - Sussan
Shirt - Tally Ho
Cardi - Portmans
Earings - Diva
Over the knee socks - Target

Join in the fun of getting fancy with Kymmie here....


Saturday, September 10

I'm grateful for...{fairies}

Oh I'm so excited to be joining up with my fashionista friend Kymmie who is delightfully hosting Grateful day on behalf of Maxabella (whom we miss heaps!)

So, today I'm grateful for...

1. Fairies - well to be specific the Dummy Fairy, who I came last week and took all my daughters dummies to give to other little babies who needed them.  The Dummy Fairy left a small little present (jar of glitter, some Lark Daisy Lane swap cards and a little money).  This softened the blow of dealing without those much loved dummies, and to my surprise, my daughter hasn't looked back.

2.  Winter boots - seriously I don't think there is a winter item I love more than winter boots.....I've come back from a European Summer to the bitter cold of Melbourne weather.  But in the gloom, there is the silver lining of being able to wear my boots just that little bit longer....

3. Photos - they help explain memories and are nice way to reflect on times past.

what are you Grateful for today....Please pop by our host for this week and join in.


Thursday, September 8

Italia Part 3 - {una vespa in miei pantaloni}

There has to be "one" experience that you never ever forget whilst on holidays.  And yes, i will never forget those magical beaches, or the delicious food, our lovely family or amazing walks along cobblestone roads in towns with amazing building and churches.

But alas, here is my little story that perhaps will be memorable for some time....

It all happened when I was trying to be domestic and was doing some washing of clothes which were then diligently hung out on the balcony to dry.  I then packed them back into our suitcase ready.

Festival Day (Ferra Augosta) arrived and it was time to get ready to go out for the night festival.  It was getting fresh, so I got changed into my newly cleaned jeans.....I walked into the hallway and was having a joke with hubby about how my jeans were feeling a little tighter that usual!!!

I bent down to fix them up a little around my ankles....

"owww - what is that!"  I say... "I think there is, like a pin or something sharp, just here in my jeans...owwww it's really hurting."

I put my hand in the inside of my right knee were the pain is coming from and feel....

.......... something moving! 

This is cue for me to start screaming hysterically down the hallway.........

"There is something in my pants!!!!!"  I scream!

At this point my mind can't quite fathom what in fact has decided to invade my minds starts to race...I'm on the floor, kicking and screaming, and trying so desperately to get my jeans off....I start thinking of lengthy stays in hospital, doctors shaking their head, about my leg possibly being amputated and diseases and.....then, i get my jeans past down my knees....hubby doing the best to contain my hysteria!

"Oh it looks like a scorpion!" he says....

Cue even more hysteria from me!

"Oh no, wait, i think it's a wasp....he decided as it flys past his head towards the front door....and kills it with my shoe.

I lay of the floor for some time before i dare look at my leg, and when i do, it seems that the wasp was just as scared as me, as i was of him (or her) and decidedly stung me several times.

Unfortunately it doesn't end there....Oh no, a trip to the village hospital, an injection of cortisone and a few little sobs of relief later and only then was I ready to join everyone at the festival!

These are the snaps from many a night festival we got to experience.

The title of this post translates to "there's a wasp in my pants"

Any unforgettable travel stories???
Please share!

Wednesday, September 7

Italia Part 2 - build a bridge {and get over it}

Italy is like a living contradiction when it comes to it's buildings, infrastructure and roads.  I mean...I'll try and explain it the best I can and if you've been there and experienced the life and travelling yourself you may know what I'm talking about but the Italians are a funny bunch.

They tend not to care, are a little bashful and nonchalant about how things work.

Take the roads for example.  Organised chaos is one way to explain it, but strangely enough - it works.  They drive and park pretty much as they please.  They angle park in-between other cars or park on the side-walk - and no one cares.  In Melbourne it would turn us all into road-raging lunatics.

They stop in a narrow strip of road because they've seen their friend or relative and stop for a chat.  Who cares that there are five other cars behind them....

They over-take around blind corners, speed and yes, my kids sat on my knee in the back seat on occasion - because that's what you do.

Then there's the buildings, and yes, these buildings have been standing for centuries even before our little baby faced Australia was discovered.  I get that they are dripping in so much history, that they just don't really care (or is it that they just stop noticing??)

Take this little quaint derelict building near my hubby's Nonnas house....gorgeous or what!  And if we had a building like that here in Australia we'd be erecting a fence, slapping a heritage listing on it quick smart and charging people $15 just to take a look.  I got to touch it, walk around it, AND, when I stuck my camera in the window and blindly snapped away - what did I find?

Bread still in the old oven!  What.... did someone just walk out and forget that they were baking???  There goes those nonchalant Italians again!

But amoungst all the pot holes in the road and the untidy parts of town is beauty....just natural, quaint, raw beauty.  And I loved it....

And they can building some amazing bridges.  Yes, the ones that care more about living hard than working hard, somehow effortlessly come up with the goods.

Like I said.....contradiction at every turn!