Monday, 30 June 2014

Weekend reflection

I had the weekend just past to myself as MR decided not to come to Perth.  My usual emotion on hearing this is one of neglectedness.  I want to see my boy and I don't get my way so I drift off into a funk of woe.  I'm such a child sometimes. 

Now don't get me wrong, I love alone time.  There is nothing better that a few hours of perfect peace and quiet to curl up and read a book.  I look forward to days where I don't have to leave the house or see anyone, days in which the only sound I hear is my cat (and myself conversing with her).  But I don't love it when those days last the entire weekend.

This time I was determined to be more adult about it.  (And perhaps the fact that next week is school holidays and I'm going to go and spend lots of time with him helped.)  When MR cautiously mentioned on the phone that he might stay home and go out riding on his quad bike with his friends I didn't chuck a tantrum.  I said okay.  And then I made a list of stuff for me to do.

Things to be productive like making a new batch of chicken stock to put in the freezer seeing as I had run out.  And making some chicken and sweet corn soup with my stock.

Things to relax like sitting in my pyjamas in the sunshine and reading for a few hours (thank you weather gods for playing along)

Creative things like doing a bit more of my blanket which is now so so close to being finished that it just seems to be taking forever to get there.  I've got about 15 rows to go. Please excuse my empty pasta bowl photo bombing my rug.

And I've been having these crazy urges to do painting for a few weeks now.  So I added that to the list and got out my watercolours for a bit of playing and then to make a card for my friend.

A friend who I organised to catch up with on Monday for morning tea at my place.  Three days of solitude is Way Too Much. So I made some custard and berry danishes.  And even better, I walked to the shop to get the berries instead of driving. 

There was also general household jobs on the list, like washing and collecting all the frangipani leaves that have fallen in the front yard (both of which I've done) and a few twenty-minute-tidies on my list.  Six of them.  I've managed three so far... 

All in all though, I'm pretty pleased with my weekend efforts.  Nice even amounts of productivity, fun and slackness.  And the house and garden looks much tidier for it as well.

Although the ironing is still sitting in its pile.


Monday, 23 June 2014


You've probably seen this around on facebook or instagram - I've been doing it on instagram @threadsofhappiness.  I initially started this as a way to remind myself to notice the small things.  Back when I began this blog I gave it the name silver threads of happiness because sometimes it feels like the happiness is just little threads through your life, nice sparkling silver ones, but still small moments or threads.  I've always been one to notice the small things and get pleasure from them and so I thought this would be a good title and theme for my blog.  I actually got it from a poem I wrote as a teenager.  Back when things were really dark and twisty.  But anyhow, soon after starting my blog I was diagnosed with leukaemia and finding those little moments, little threads became even more important to me in not freaking out or letting illness consume my life. 

I used to join along with Maxabella's weekly gratefulness posts but when they went over to kidspot I sort of petered off on it, not having kids myself.  But they were perfect.  A reminder to reflect on the good parts of the week.  And I've sort of missed that.  Not that I haven't noticed the nice and happy things in my life, or that I've been overly sad - just that little reminder to make note of it.

So here are my first 18 happy days.  I'm already up to day 47, I know, a bit slack at getting them up here but there you have it.  For real time go find me on instagram!

 a new haircut :: morning tea on Wednesdays :: cuddles with my meow girl
leftovers means no cooking :: tulips - my favourite :: a free chocolate with my hot choc
cannoli :: taking some pieces on a hunt for frames  :: finding one right sized frame & potted tulips

massage :: bees pollinating my loquats :: nursemaid meow while I was feeling crap
(three day hiatus while in hospital)
coming home to my own bed :: the sense of achievement at lighting a fire :: drove 3hrs for cuddles with MR
new skincare :: my hair is getting longer (slowly) :: HBF Run For A Reason - raised $2135 for Donor Mate and walked 4kms with my sister

It's not too late to go join in either, you just start whenever you like.  I'm not finding it difficult, some days there are many things I could put up as my happy moment.  I'm much more active in looking around me and being observant as well and I'm finding it easier to be positive even on shitty days.  I took a few days off while I was in hospital but in retrospect, I didn't need to, there were still happy moments even while stuck in there feeling awful.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Bread and Milk

Today I went to the shop for bread and milk.  I told myself I was just going to walk out with bread and milk.  Nothing extra.  Not a thing.

But then the bakery had run out of multigrain bread and I don't like supermarket bread so I grabbed crumpets.  And then as I walked to the milk I passed the fruit and saw a guava so grabbed that too.  On the way to the checkout I passed maltesers on sale and my chocolate stash has diminished a bit lately so I grabbed a pack of them as well.  

I walked out of the shop cursing myself for lack of will power.  Seriously, I do this every time I go shopping.  I know I am terrible at this so when I do a normal sized shop I tell myself, just one thing extra and 99% of the time I fail.  

Of course, as I write this post, I have just finished my guava and am enjoying a little bag of maltesers so they haven't gone to waste so that's good.  On the other hand, MR has won a trip to Europe for us because his business has well and truly met and surpassed their sales targets and reached the level needed to qualify for the trip.  It's all expenses paid (apart from shopping) from what I understand although I haven't really got any information yet so it all seems a bit surreal and unlikely.  But if MR is correct and we are going to Europe (health and doctors permitting in my case) then I need to save some spending money!! The trip is ten days and it falls during the school holidays which is perfect.  I will probably also try to get another week of leave without pay or something, providing we can add on to the trip and visit an adjacent country (so no extra flights) or stay in Germany or The Netherlands (the planned countries for the trip) and do more exploring, all of which will require extra money for accommodation, food and sight seeing (and more shopping!).

My budget is a little bit strapped for spontaneous European holidays however as we've just bought a car and it is using way more petrol than my previous one, something I didn't factor into the planning stage of car buying budget analysis.  But, I do have an extremely big shopping budget, $250 a fortnight for two people, one of which isn't there much.  I've been told this is a bit extravagant but I really like my fruit and pastries.  And I am a bit of a food waster as well.  So the challenge is on.  Stick to the shopping list (with one extra treat), use what I've got in the fridge and start using up stuff out of my overflowing pantry filled with things I might maybe one day need.  I'm going to put my $250 in a separate coin purse and whatever is left at the end of each fortnight goes to the holiday fund. 

Wish me luck! And please, send me any tips you have for cutting your food bill and any things-you have-in-the-pantry recipes.    I started it off last night with my favourite pumpkin soup recipe made with two small $1 roadside veggie stand butternut pumpkins plus a punnet of slightly squishy cherry tomatoes, half a red capsicum which I roasted first and three sticks of celery all thrown in so as not to waste them.  Yum! 6 serves for $2 for the pumpkins, another $2something for sour cream (which I also used in fajitas on Friday) homemade chicken stock which cost nothing and old veggies from the fridge.

Walking past those pastries at the bakery is going to be tough though...


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Home regrets

Back when we were looking for a house to buy for the very first time, I did a bit of research about what to keep in mind while looking. You know, check faucets, mould, reticulation etc. We already knew we wanted a quiet street or cul de sac, a garage and a shed, space for a veggie garden and at least 3 bedrooms. 

What we didn't know to look for, and I didn't come across anything about this in my research, was north facing houses. 

Our house is west facing, and obviously, you can't always have north facing but the house could be designed to fit the block. In our house the master bedroom is on the south west corner so gets a bit of afternoon sun. The main living area and kitchen are on the east side, and the east and south sides of the house have a big verandah running around them so they get absolutely no sunlight and are always quite dark, even though there are a lot of windows. The main bathroom, one spare room and the laundry are on the north side and get beautiful natural light and warm sunshine. Totally useless! 

It really is my biggest regret about buying this place. It's like we live in a igloo all Winter. 

Thankfully, MR pruned the big bush outside our bedroom window yesterday so the afternoon sun can get in and warm it up and I'm lying on my bed typing this at 4pm without the need to be in pyjamas, uggies and a dressing gown, my usual household attire. 

Luckily, at the end of the year I'll (hopefully) be moving to a house that is filled with beautiful natural light and warmth and is a big long north facing rectangle. Thank goodness!

What's your biggest regret about your home purchase?