Friday, 31 August 2012

Hello Spring!

Tomorrow Spring officially starts.  Of course, my garden has been telling me it is Spring for a good few weeks now, with (most of) my tulips happily blooming, the snowdrops have almost finished and the bluebells are just starting.  My apricot and nectarine tree are looking stunning in blossom and one of the three types of ground cover flower seeds I planted in Autumn (the only one to sprout at all) have started to flower as well. 

Apart from those little pockets of loveliness, my garden area is looking altogether rather dreadful (in my mind).  It really needs a major overhaul.  MR asked me the other night where I want to go for our next holiday and I said that apart from the two weddings down south we have coming up (November and March), I would rather spend the money and the time on making our garden a bit better looking, or on replacing our gutters and repainting the fascia (which we did plan do to before Winter), or on setting up a study area somewhere in the house and turning the junk room into a second spare bedroom like we had originally planned.  Another sign of Spring surely, when the nesting urges kick in over the holidaying ones? 

I'm determined to get a bit of organisation happening at home over the coming months, I'm getting sick of being disorganised and untidy.  I've got my September One Task a Day calendar printed off and ready to go for the month and I'm determined to cross off lots of stuff on it.  Maybe even all of it.  Although, we won't hold our hopes to high on that score, knowing me as we do.

You can join me and we can keep each other motivated to Get Stuff Done this September if you'd like.  You can get my calendar over here, a whole year's worth of not too big tasks to do each day. 

I'll be the first to admit, I only managed about three things off my August calendar so I need all the motivation I can get (and really, it's all uphill from there too!)  For some extra motivation, I've just started following Declutterhome on facebook.  She is having a 30 Days 30 Ideas to help your on your journey to a decluttered home.  

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Some people go acrylics, some like a good spray tan, others prefer to get their hair done.  No matter what it is though, we all have something we like to get done to treat ourselves and make us feel a bit pretty and special.  For me it's getting my toes painted.

my current pretty love heart toes

Not just painted though, always with a design on at least the big toe if not all of them.  There's just something about it that makes me feel a bit more 'finished' and presentable.  Nice toenails are important (to me at least).  Fingernails, not so much.  Strangely, I'm not a big fan of painting my fingernails.  For some reason the nail polish always chips on the first day, even though it can stay on my toes in perfect condition for at least a week.

Once upon a time you could only get swirly patterns and flowers but these days there are all sorts of awesome patterns and designs done by clever people out there.  Seeing as I am not one of those clever people, I go elsewhere to get my toes done.  But I do have fun pinning design ideas on pinterest to take into the salon for suggestions!

Here's some of my current favourites...

source: Boom Nails


source: letthemhavepolish

source: the beauty department


You can check out my other favourites on my pinterest board!


What's your little treat for yourself that makes you feel a little bit special?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Curiousity soaked the cat

Yesterday afternoon I had a bath.  I don't often have baths, goodness knows why, but I think about them a fair bit.  But yesterday I came home from work and got straight into the bath.  I had to leave work early I was hurting so much.  Did you ever get those weird achey bone feelings when you were little?  The one most Mums seem to refer to as 'growing pains'?  One of the side effects of the medication and of the leukaemia itself are those aches.  I've been lucky, only getting them occasionally and usually only in a leg or an arm.  Yesterday's aches however were from the shoulders down to the ankles.  From about 11.30am yesterday to well after midnight, my whole body hurt.  So I had some panadol and ran a hot bath.  Both of which did nothing really, but the bath was nice while I was in there.

Because I have baths so rarely the Meow is always intrigued when I do.  I think she thinks they are a giant bowl of water for her to drink (when I don't put bubbles in).   Each time I have a bath she gets a bit braver about exploring it.  Yesterday she got up on the side and leaned in to have a drink.  She made a funny face, probably because it was a bit warm and decided to go check out the other side of the bath.  So she jumped over, front paws landed fine but back paws did a bit of a skiddy and down she went into the bath.  Somehow she managed to only get her back legs wet - I'm surprised there are no claw gouges down the side of the bath - before she got herself out.  Where she stood on the bathmat in surprise and disgust, delicately shaking her back legs one at a time.  I must admit, I did have quite a bit of a giggle. 

Poor Meow!

Alongside the aches, I have had a cold for over a week now.  It is very sadly not at all like the last one which came and went quite quickly.  Apart from going out to the Hilltop Hoods concert last Friday I have had a lot of 'in bed' time.  I have missed a haircut, Brown Owls, my own family birthday dinner (I've postponed it til I can taste things again), two tutoring sessions and a pedicure and movie with my sister.  I probably should have also missed work yesterday but I thought I would be okay.  I haven't even done any crafting, my hands have been too busy with tissues in them to achieve much else. I can't even have a cold and flu tablet because they interact with one of my meds.  The chemist suggested these herbal remedy things, something like echinacea, that is supposed to boost your immune system.  I'm not allowed to boost my stupid immune system.  If I wanted to boost my immune system I'd stop taking my immunosuppresents.  *grumble*

I am starting to feel a bit over it all. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

One Task a Day Calendar (for us Southern Hemispherians)


A little while ago I posted about my organisation/declutter/tidying calendar I was making up to try and get myself more organised (part of the neverending attempt).  There's loads of them around the traps but they all seem to be Northern Hemispherised and that just doesn't suit me!

I got all motivated and finished it off today.  Not only that but I worked out how to change it into a pdf and how to get it online and link it in my blog.  It wasn't that difficult actually so I don't feel too clever.  In fact, I actually feel a bit silly for not having worked out how to do it before.  Oh well.  Now I can share stuff all the time.  I can have my own little 'printables' label over there to the right.  How exciting!  Admittedly, the rest of my freebies will probably focus around school resources.  But I'm sure there's people out there who might like them too.

So, here it is in all its understated glory.  It is pretty basic, but we'll use phrases like 'clean lines' and 'easy to navigate' instead okay?  Sounds so much better.

Feel free to download, share, link back to this post, whatever you like.  I'd love you to keep me updated on how it's working for you (if you use it) and feedback is most welcome too :)

Thank you to those people who commented with ideas for my calendar too, they are all in there!

One Task a Day Calendar


Late Winter blooms

Blossoms on the nectarine tree

 There is lots happening in my garden at the moment.  Lots and yet not much.  We are slowly decimating everything really.  Apart from the fruit trees and the bulbs.  I want more flowering plants.  I am all about pretty flowers.  So apart from a few small sections of colour out the front, our garden is actually looking a bit empty.  I've been looking for ideas on some nice shrubs to plant and we've planted a few ground cover plants that I seem to have killed already.  The rhoeo that you can see below behind the snowdrops looks great in blur, but actuality it is all dry brown tipped and has been since I put it in.  I don't know what to do with it?  Well, I do, pull it out again.  But I don't know how to make it look better so I don't have to pull it out.  I planted some flower seeds in early Autumn and of the three different varieties only one has sprouted.  Silly black thumb.

Gardening is not a natural talent for me, it is a bit of a struggle and I keep killing things.  I really love beautiful gardens though so I am determined to keep trying.  But I'm thinking I need a bit of help setting up.  What I really need is for MR to get motivated in the back garden and put in a new garden limestone edging instead of the yucky red curbing stuff you can see in the picture above.  (Hint hint honey!)  Then we can get started properly.  We also really need to re-edge the front garden beds too, as the bricks that currently are doing the job are loose and broken in many parts.

So in the meantime I am enjoying my bulbs.

My snowdrops have multiplied, much to my delight - I must be doing something right!

Some new bulbs this year - tulips, in white...

red and also in yellow and purple but they are yet to bloom

How did you go about planning your garden?  Did you get someone in who knew about soil types and conditions and what not and what would and wouldn't work or did you just wing it?  Do you have any advice?  I'm clutching at straws!

And I have a question for any green thumbs out there too... do you recognise this plant?  Its a medium size shrub.  I saw it down south and really liked it but I have no idea what it is called!  The flowers are a bit more purple than the picture shows.  Any help would be much appreciated!


Saturday, 18 August 2012


... the holiday happened.  It wasn't a trip to Cairns in the end but a trip down south to Dunsborough.  Possibly my favourite holiday destination ever simply due to the world's best hot chocolate shop in town.  Would you believe I didn't get a photo of it?  Dear me.  Seriously though, if you are ever in Dunsborough, Western Australia, you realllllllllllly really must go to Hot Chocolatte and have a hot chocolate.  In the three days we were there I had three.  I would have had four but we didn't get back to town in time on Saturday afternoon before it closed.  I think this is possibly the forty fifth time I have mentioned this place on here, it truly is that awesome!

We stayed at our favourite bed and breakfast place, Newberry Manor, and did a few new things.  There is so much to do in the area and it's nice to try some different stuff out.  We went for a visit to a lighthouse in the area and went for a 2km walk out to a whale watching lookout where we didn't see whales but we did see and hear seals.  We checked out the local beach and of course I had to have a little paddle, only ankle deep though because my jeans wouldn't roll up any higher!  We ate loads of delicious food, had lunch at a brewery in the sunshine (the weather was just divine) visited Margaret River Wool Company, tried to go and have a race to the finish attempt at a hedge maze only to find it shut for garden maintenance.  Not to worry, we'll be back in the area in November for a wedding so it's on the list for that visit!  I managed some car knitting (for some reason I can knit and crochet in the car but I can't read without feeling sick?) And I got a few cute purchases, one of which was this cute little mints tin, just the right size for bobby pins or as Jenni mentioned, stitch markers (when I buy some!) 

I need to find my camera charger so I can take photos of my other purchases.  For the first time I didn't take my camera down south with me, relying instead on my iphone and instagram.  The iphone isn't the best for good quality close ups though.  Tomorrow may be charger hunting day.

I've been a little bit quiet on the blog front lately, mainly because stupid blogger told me I couldn't upload any more images without paying for more storage and when I tried to pay for more storage it wouldn't let me.  So I signed up with photobucket eventually and now I can put images up again.  Posts without images are just not so interesting.  Have you encountered this problem?  What did you do to get around it?  I just got the free photobucket account but I like to upload large images too sometimes and I'm not sure how good a quality they will be.  So I'm very interested in hearing your stories!

In other news, it was my birthday yesterday, MR flew out at 5am back to work and I have a cold.  Not the best birthday recipe, but I didn't mind too much.  Last year I was all aflutter about being OLD (30) but now I am firmly in this mindset ....

I found this quote on Sally's blog a while ago and after my completely shitty year of bad health last year I have taken it to heart and hopefully will never again complain about being old.  (Although I did moan a bit when I found three grey hairs when doing my hair last night and then when I went hunting I found three more...)

So apart from being a bit sick, I had already organised to go out last night with my sister to the Hilltop Hoods concert which was entirely fantastic, those guys are born performers.  Great way to spend a birthday evening. 

We were nice and close!

Of course, I did pay for it today, waking up feeling all kinds of dreadful and I have since spent the entire day in bed, apart from getting up to get food, my laptop and a good book.  The Meow has kept me company and spent the whole day in bed too.  We are lazy tarts today!

Not to worry, there's always tomorrow...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Organising your life

I realllllly want MR to make me one of these door tidies for inside our linen cupboard!

So I've been wanting to organise my life for, well, pretty much my whole teenage and adult life.  It just does not come naturally to me.  My sister inherited all the genes in that area and I managed to get all of both Mum and Dad's clutterbug genes, Dad's especially. 

I've been looking at decluttering sites and organising sites, pinning ideas to my 'I need to get organised...' pinterest board (a lot of which seems to revolve around pretty ways to store my ribbon collection...) and generally just making many lists and checking them off - somewhat slowly.  But it is progress.

I've liked the idea of a declutter your home calendar which lists a task to do each day.  I could do that! But all of the ones I have found seem to aimed at the northern hemisphere and just don't suit our seasons!  So I've decided to make my own.  In fact, I started tonight while watching a dreadful movie, continued it while watching the next movie which was only slightly less dreadful and did some more after that while watching some Olympics.  I would say I have got about three quarters of 365 days filled.

Some of the tasks repeat themselves fortnightly, like 'spend twenty minutes in a room that needs attention' and 'clear off the dining room table', some appear monthly like 'sort through and file one stack of paper work' and 'catch up on some ironing or handwashing' whilst some only appear less often like 'go through a craft supply pile' (which in actual fact should probably appear a lot more regularly) and then there's a few that only make their presence known once or twice a year such as 'clean out the gutters' or 'clean the oven'.  I decided to extend my calendar to a Home and Garden organising calendar mainly because gardening is something I am still learning about and I need reminding when it is time to fertilise, prune, plant etc.

Now I must pay credit, a lot of my inspiration has come from this helpful lady and her decluttering calendar.  But now I am asking all you lovely people out there for your ideas.  Not your everyday cleaning jobs like vacuum, washing and so forth, more those things that keep on getting put off or fit more into a declutter and organise category.  Things that you look at and think, gosh when did I last do that?  Or if you are already an organised person, things that you schedule in to your Spring cleaning each year. 

Do you have any tips that work for you?  I have found that the twenty-minute-tidy works quite well for me.  I set the timer on the oven for twenty minutes and then tidy until it goes off.  Sometimes I even set it for a second lot of twenty minutes!*

I'm really looking forward to hearing your ideas!!

* I know, I know, even I astound myself sometimes!