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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dive on in...

When we bought our house, the inground pool was a major selling point. With three kids, and the kind of sweltering summers we have here in Queensland, it's definitely had a workout over the years. Lately, it's been looking very tired, and we've had leaking pipes, broken pool pumps and filters, tiles falling off....you name it. This winter, we've had yet another leak, and at the moment it looks more like a swamp than a pool! So, we've decided to bite the bullet and give the old girl a bit of cosmetic surgery. New coping pavers, waterline tiles to replace the slate, and re-landscaping the pool area is on the cards, and not before time, I can tell you! One of the advantages of living on acreage is that we have space to play with, but it also can pose a few challenges - like where to put the mandatory safety fencing. Take a look at a few of my inspiration pics - and if my pool makeover looks half as good as some of these beauties, I'll be a very happy camper!

paint these beams white and you have the perfect outdoor fireplace

this is a similar pool to ours - and that little poolhouse would be perfect!

sandstone surrounds maybe?

Now that weekend sport is done for the rest of the year, (after my daughter's nail-biting one-point win in her netball grand final - nothing like giving your parents a heart attack in the process!) we'll have a bit more time to spend on getting this house into shape. Can't wait!


Thank you for all your comments, calls and e-mails, I am deeply grateful.
This month has been a roller coaster. I am getting caught back up so if you are waiting for an e-mail or call from me I promise it is coming. I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday...
Dreamy Whites

Dreamy Whites

Dreamy Whites

Monday, August 30, 2010

2011 IKEA Living Room Design Ideas

2011 IKEA Living Room Design Ideas
This year we’re going to do the same and here are some living room design ideas for this year. They are made with using as old as new products, so probably you even could find ideas on how upgrade your existing living room.

2011 IKEA Living Room Design Ideas
IKEA Living Room Design Ideas 2011

Country kitchen style for just 50p

When is a cookbook more than a cook book? When, like this wonderful vintage edition of Farmhouse Fare: recipes from country housewives collected by Farmers Weekly, it adds to your kitchen's interior decor.

I spotted this 1973 edition of the ultimate country recipe book in a Hampshire charity shop, for just 50 pence. Couldn't resist that orange font, set against a rustic wooden backdrop, and there's just something about garish yet stolid-looking seventies food photography that just does it for me. It looks rather nice - I think - in my slightly seventies kitchen. As for the recipes... wow. As the jacket blurb says: "Compiled from the favourite recipes of country housewives, this book gathers together the very best of traditional British home-cooking and invites the housewife to experiment with a range of wines, meads, preserves and chutneys [such as] Grapefruit Champagne, Honey Beer and Date and Banana Chutney." Among the book's simple treats including jam slices (made with stale bread and dripping), glac√© grapes (surely should have been one of the canapes in Abigail's Party) and hearty onion cake, recipes such as hatted kit, "a very old Highland dish", show the book's heritage. "Warm slightly over the fire two pints of buttermilk," it begins. Then, "pour it into a dish and carry it to the side of a cow. Milk into it about one pint of milk..." Amazing.

Buy the book on Amazon, but - sadly - without the lush cover. Shop around and you'll eventually find the 1973 edition - for inspiration about where to look, check out this great Guardian blog about the charm of vintage cookbooks.

Handy hint: you could display books like this on this special new shelving from Ikea.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reader redesign....the power of white paint

Last week, I received a lovely email from one of my blog readers, Karen. Karen and her husband had a common problem with their home, and one that I'm all too familiar with - the dreaded pine ceiling and brick wall combo! Karen had seen the huge difference a coat of white paint had made to my kitchen and ceiling, and is also a fan of Millie and Moth's work over at The Laurel Hedge, and so decided a white wash was exactly what was needed to give her family room a lift. Take a look at the before...

...and the afters


Karen is far from finished with her makeover - there are new lamps and accessories still to come, and her husband is building a cabinet to disguise the fridge and provide more storage. And if the transformation isn't amazing enough on its own, amidst all the reno chaos Karen underwent two eye operations! What a wonderful job, and thanks must go to Karen and her husband for letting me share their makeover success with you all.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend,

A Special Quiet Time

My Grandmother passed away. Tomorrow we will be celebrating her life, remembering her kind, gentle and humble spirit. Her passing was a blessing after years of illness but it hurts...a lot. However, there is comfort in God and for that I am so thankful. I couldn't think of a better way to honor Nonny and praise God for his promise to us than the Prayer of Saint Francis...

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.**The final years of my Grandparents life were hard on everyone but especially my Mother. Watching her care for sick parents was heart breaking. I am saying a prayer for all of you who are caring for your parents. Judy Goldman wrote a wonderful article in Real Simple that really hit home for me. I recommend reading it....

"Near the end of her life, I could not see beyond my mother’s childlike stare, the confused disorder in her eyes. I could not feel anything but the ache of having to be my mother’s mother. After she died and I had finally shaken off the last shiver of the disease, I was able to remember what she had been like before Alzheimer’s.

I could see her turn her wrist to adjust her watch. There she was, at her dressing table, leaning into the magnifying mirror, plucking her eyebrows. I could see her dipping the tiny wand in the brown Mercurochrome bottle, painting my bruised knee orange. She was the grown-up. And I, again, was the child."

-excerpt "Losing My Mother", full text HERE

Friday, August 27, 2010


I am not going to lie, it was hard to get the ole brain working this week after a long vacation. It was one of those weeks that called for a diet Grapico...every...day. I love D.G. So, I can't muster up a full post but I did want to share with you my newest love along the Grapico line....Essie Bahama Mama.Looks great; it is not purple, not pink, not deep red, it is somewhere in the middle. Also, I love this room is different than most you see, on the fun side to get the weekend started...
Image Houzz

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I am 99.9% sure I have posted this picture before but I came back across it and it is inspiring me today...Image Midwest Living

An award...and an apology!

I have a huge apology to make...last month, the lovely Natasha from Northern Light was nice enough to pass on a the Versatile Blogger award to me, and somehow I managed to miss thanking her! So Natasha, thank you so much for the award, I really do appreciate it more than you know. For those of you who haven't met Natasha yet, she was born in East Africa, raised in Denmark and lives in America. Her blog is a treasure trove of all things beautiful, and is one of my daily reads. Here's a little of what you can expect:

So if you haven't already, pop on over here and check it out, you won't be disappointed. Oh, and say hi from me too! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beautiful Interior Design Ideas by Shawn Henderson

Interior designers are moving towards old traditions, as according to them, “old is new again”. Antiques and vintage pieces add life to a living space and makes interior of your house or workplace attractive.Shawn Henderson is one of those designers who create interiors that feel comforably sophisticated, rich and relaxed!