Monday, September 10, 2012

The MONTH That Was: July

So there it all is! In no particular order, because that's how my scrambled brain remembers things ;)

During July, there was a lot of Oreo doing things- sneaking porridge from my bowl, watching for visitors, climbing into and out of boxes, chilling out- and of course a lovely visit to the vet! He's all good now but he did give us a scare towards the end of the month.

PK and I also did some chilling out of our own, while also preparing for PK's big Air Race by holding some sausage sizzles to fundraise- this involved chopping lots and lots and LOTS of onions. Our entire house smelled like onions for about a week! That was, until we started pulling up carpet and painting...

As you can see there was also quite a bit of yummy food- a successful experiment with Asian-influenced chicken noodle soup, a fun breakfast treat, planting some mint (ready for mojitos!) and a little bit of take-away food too. We also celebrated our anniversary with a delightful dinner out, something we don't do nearly enough!

July also brought a lot of activity, whether we were inside the house (starting those final touches ready for the house sale), outside the house in the sunshine or out with friends. I started playing netball again, something that I had been wanting to do for some time but couldn't because of shift work- so you can bet that I was happy about that! Even if I was a little disappointed that I now have to trim my nails back every week!

I think that more or less covers it all, July was quite busy though, as was August (soon to be posted) and September is shaping up to be another hectic month too! If you have any questions about a particular pic, let me know and I'll describe it more in the comments :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No, Seriously?

It's September?? How the heck did that happen? Last I looked we were cruising along nicely through June and all of a sudden it's frickin SEPTEMBER?!?! That sh*t Kray!

Umm no excuses for that, sorry guys! I've been lazily working on figuring out a way to post all of July's 365 Days a Year pics in one post, so as not to draw it out too much- I guess I need to now add August's pics to that project now too, hmm?

You may ask what's been happening with the sale of the house... you know, after the big reveal and all, right? Well, mainly PK and I have waited. And see-d. And put up with the torture of a few jam-packed weekends of home opens. And private viewings during the week too! Our real estate agent has really worked hard to make sure both sales were going to happen- remember, our offer on the new house was subject to the sale of Muriel!

We did have a couple of bites, but no real takers... for the first 11 days anyway!! Yep, that's right, we were officially on the market for only 11 days before some beautiful, kind, happy people made an offer that PK and I could comfortably accept! And accept we did :)

So that of course meant that PK could safely go off on his around the country outback adventure, no worries right? Well, not exactly- we still had to wait. And wait. And. wait. For the word that the buyer's finance approval had come through... and without that finance approval, the offer would have to be retracted, the house would have to go back on the market and our offer 'subject to sale' on the new place could plausibly fall through. Oh and there is still my day job to reckon with. And a wedding to plan that seems to be getting closer too quickly! So, no pressure or anything!

But, never fear PK said, I'll be home before you know it! And off he went...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Some Very Important News! (Part 2)

So there we were, going about our usual business but all the while waiting and wondering if the offer -subject to finance and subject to the sale of Muriel- would be accepted...

Meanwhile, we whipped into higher gear with all of those little things that needed to get done around the place. You know, like finally getting around to completing painting the hallway walls, skirts and trim, last seen here after we had the tiles laid (oh, about 2 years ago!):
Before
After!
So much better don't you think? The trim makes it all look so much more crisp, clean and new. Oh and we also replaced all of the remaining handles with matching polished nickel looking ones, (like this) hurrah! I was very happy when we had ticked this one off the list!

We also had the carpets replaced. And when I say 'had the carpets replaced' I mean PK and I removed all of the furniture in the carpeted rooms, ripped up the old carpets and the crumbling underlay (icky!) and took them to the dump! I definitely know why I was having so much more breathing issues lately! We chose a similar colour for the replacement, but luxury underlay so that it was very cushiony underfoot. Mmmm luxury! We took the opportunity to paint the walls and trim in the carpeted rooms while they were bare. Oh and this all happened in the space of a week...
Master Bedroom

Bedroom 2/ Study

Bedroom 3
Which left us both exhausted but wondering why we didn't do it all earlier! Then, just because we are masochists -or just really wanted it all done already- PK and I also bit the bullet and hired a gardening company to come in and fix up the gardens. We were so pleased we spent that little bit of money, because what they accomplished in just two days would have taken us weeks and probably still wouldn't have been as good!

In fact, it was almost uncanny what plants the landscaper chose- almost as if he'd read my list, because not only did he pick up natives to fill out the garden once all of the dead/dying plants were taken away. No, he also managed to pick blueish coloured flowering bushes, which are so pretty and little grevillea bushes- did I not hypothesise that exact type? Scary! But seriously, they did such a great job, we were blown away!

And once the gardens had been completed, the sun decided to come out for an hour -just as the photographer arrived to take the marketing pictures for THE SALE OF MURIEL (some of which I have used here, ta Paul!). Up until more or less the weekend before the garden was tackled, we still didn't know if our offer had been accepted, but we decided to go ahead with all of the final touches anyway (because I had been nagging about them for a while!). And then we heard that it had been accepted, which made all that extra effort, the late nights and the sleeping in the great room and the general disruption, all worth it.

So, photos were taken in the only patch of sunshine all day (a sign for sure!) and Muriel was up for offer by the Wednesday, with Home Opens scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday! That was all just under two weeks ago now... wanna hear what's happened since? I might just have to stretch this out a little!

Some Very Important News!!

Hiya! Yep, I am still here but I've been getting smashed at work this last month. It's pretty tough being the only person in a two-person role! Aside from that, in the last few weeks PK and I have busted our guts...

GETTING MURIEL READY FOR SALE!!!!

Yes, I know, it seems like we only just finished renovating the kitchen and we're selling already? Don't worry, we've heard it from family and friends already! But a few weekends ago, while I decided to begin tackling the massive task that was getting the front garden into shape, PK decided that he wanted to go and check out a few home opens. He still hadn't forgotten about that block -it had kept niggling at him as somewhat of a missed opportunity I think. He was ready to tackle another project now and thought the timing was right (even if I wasn't so gun-ho!).

So we left the garden alone for a few hours and checked out a few places. Nothing really jumped out at us, until we attended a private viewing of a newly built townhouse with a view to the west. Of the ocean that is! From the second floor! With a private laneway and secure access! PK was pretty much 'sold' straight away- I have been a little more cautious though!

"Let's speak to the bank" I said. Our bank consultant said it was do-able (as long as we were willing to sell Muriel, of course!)
"Let's get a second opinion" I suggested. PK's parents took a look around the house and gave it the thumbs up (as long as we wanted it and could afford it, that is!)
"Let's talk about what we need to complete on Muriel first" I cautioned. We sat down and wrote out a logical list of the things that needed to be completed before we could consider putting Muriel on the market. It looked a bit like this list and some of this one too that I recently (*ahem months ago*) posted here on the blog.

It was do-able. It was achievable. And it was still in the area that we have grown to love (and try not to take for granted!)... So we put in an offer... and waited. And waited some more! And then we heard...

Check back later for the stunning conclusion!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Week That Was: 25 Jun - 1 Jul

So I managed to get behind again on this 365 project of mine... by quite a bit!! Definitely need to try and keep a better handle on this! Here's the last week of June...
Jun 25
It's hard to resist capturing Oreo when he's stretched out in front of the heater, even less so when he's also bathing in the sunlight! Such a warmth hog!
Jun 26
I'm definitely not a barista, but that doesn't stop me from attempting a little coffee art every now and then! Happy Tuesday!
Jun 27
Still feeling a little under the weather, I decided to give the home-grown mandarins that my mum had dropped off a go. I usually can't be bothered with mandys as they are soooo annoying to eat! All that pith and then a seed in every segment... Anyway I persevered, but didn't find the experience changed my mind on the fruit!
Jun 28
Hmmm thinking about a new phone- PK has the Samsung SII so I was giving it some thought now that Instagram is available for Android. Might need some more thought though!
Jun 29
 A little arty shot, late at night, at the kerbside. As you do!
Jun 30
PK made me breakfast on Saturday, perhaps as advance brownie points for what was to come- a weekend in the sticks, watching him fly around...
Jul 1
Or more accurately, glide around! We spent the weekend in Beverley (about two hours out of Perth) so that PK could try out a new hobby and get some air time. Not being such a fan of small, enclosed, unventilated spaces (I get airsick in such tiny aircraft), I spent the day in the comfort of the car, reading a magazine or two in the sun. Win win! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 22, 23 & 24

Jun 22
De-ja-vu! Here I am back at the airport baggage carousel! What a week- so glad to be home again... now where is PK?!
Jun 23
I managed to find PK at the airport and we celebrated my homecoming the following night... by going to a quiz night! I love quiz nights, PK didn't have such a great time because he was helping out with serving platters and so forth. But my table did really well! We won a few of these piccolo-sized wines as round prizes and then a few more as place-getters! Awesome night :)
Jun 24
By Sunday however, I wasn't feeling too crash hot -and not because I had over-indulged (because I always get too enthusiastic about winning quiz nights to think about alcohol). No, unfortunately, it seemed I had picked up something on the plane home or perhaps at the quiz night? I woke up with a raging sore throat and the sense of impending doom that only a dose of the flu can bring! :( Luckily I had honey, some lemons and hot tea on hand...

Friday, June 22, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 21

I walked past this tree every day on my way down the hill and while the tree didn't change, its surroundings sure did! There is a development being built in behind it and every day a little bit more of the previous buildings disappeared. It was so good to see they were keeping the tree!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 20

This is the closest that I got to a beautiful sunset here in Sydney this week! This is ok I guess, but I'm used to spectacular sunsets back at home- I guess I'm pretty spoiled!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 19

Note to self: do not touch the contents of the mini bar! Mainly because it's way over-priced. Also because it's not covered by work... and lastly, apart from the water and the milk, none of it is particularly good for you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 18

It's quite a nice treat to be walking around in the sunshine here in Sydney this week! Especially when I see that Perth is due for more storms and rain ;) There still seems to be a mass of greenery hanging in there at the moment, though most of the leaves appear to have fallen or at least turned... this makes for a very pretty walk!

Making Lemonade

Just a quick one today!

I thought I'd record that this week I'll try to make the most of my time here in Sydney -outside of the hours spent in the office- by attempting to get into the gym every day. That is, make some lemonade (some fitness) from the lemons (time away from PK and home)- although to be fair, I'm aware that there are plenty of worse lemons to be dealt!

No, I'm not attempting to lose weight for the wedding, and I'm also not trying to impress my personal trainer (though that probably wouldn't be a bad thing!), but every time I head away for internal training I inevitably end up feeling a little bit more pudgey by the end of the week. And that's not a great feeling

I hope to avoid that this week by keeping meals small and heading to the gym after the days spent sitting on my be-hind... hopefully I can stick to it! What about you? Started (or re-started) a health kick recently?

Monday, June 18, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 15, 16 & 17

Jun 15
I tried to entice PK home early on Friday night with this shot of some delicious ice cream... I had no luck (he stayed out until around 2 actually). But I did eat some ice cream! :D
Jun16
My mother has been at me for a while now to sort out the last of the few things I left at the family home when I moved out and I finally got to it on Saturday. One of those items was this giant Shrek toy that PK gave me a long time ago when we first started dating. He was working for Toys R Us at the time and Shrek was a pretty big thing... now the toy makes a pretty good stand in for PK when he's not home :P
Jun 17
Yep, another Sunday spent on a plane. Here I am back at baggage carousel #1, Sydney Domestic Airport... Here's to a great week ahead in Sydney!

Friday, June 15, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 14

This picture has been taunting me from the corner of the bedroom for a while now. It's a framed caricature of PK and I from our holiday in the US a few years ago. We took it down when we painted the great room a fair time ago, but have yet to put it back up again! One day I'll get it back up on the wall...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 13

I really shouldn't let PK put random snacks into the trolley when we do the weekly shop- because I end up eating them! That's a big black mark for the healthy eating this week, better not tell my trainer! So tasty though :)

Bloggy Honesty Revisited

A year ago today I posted a list of things that I wanted to accomplish over the long weekend that was coming. I didn't get everything on the list crossed off then, but I thought it might be interesting to see if I've managed to get the rest done in the year since? Let's take a look at the items that were left on the list (excluding the regular chores):
  • Final coat of gloss on the garage entry door/ paint external face as well -We only managed one coat on the other side, hopefully we'll get that finished someday... I finally crossed this one off in May this year!
  • Paint walls and trim in the hallway -I only started this one today! Finally managed to complete the trim and doors- the walls are next (we have the paint, we just need to make the time)!
  • Purchase mosaics for above the kitchen sink We changed our minds about which ones we wanted, which means waiting until they are in stock. Doh! Use those mosaics to tile the strip above the kitchen sink Er... nope. We had them purchased and installed, then installed again... they're now one of my favourite features of the new kitchen!
  • Paint the front door (inside and out) The inside is started! The outside? Not yet. The inside is complete, the outside is next- we've bought the paint, you'll have to wait and see what colour we've agreed on!
  • Finally plant winter vegetables in the patch Didn't go anywhere near the vegie patch. Still haven't! We've planted, harvested and scrapped a few versions of the vegie patch since then- we're still working on fine tuning our skills :)
  • Take a stroll along the beach I don't think we did this, but I did suggest it! The beach isn't going anywhere, which is why we've been there often (like this!)
  • Hang some frames in the great room PK put some up, but there are many more to go up before I show you! I'm thinking a gallery wall is in the making... Hmmm still working on this one! I had hoped to have it done by now...
  • Make some curtains for the sliding door I still have the sewing machine from Mum's house, but no sewing happened I finally managed to wrangle the curtains into submission back in March
  • Visit some second hand stores/ antique shops Didn't happen! Maybe I'm just not the thrifting type?
  • Take a road trip (to Lancelin maybe?) We did the opposite- we stayed in one night instead :) We've been to Denham, and to Guilderton and to Margaret River (a couple of times) since then!
It's quite handy having this little blog to check back on things like this! I'm happy that we've managed to cross those last things off the list but of course, now there are other things on the list! Hehe :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 12

Well, Winter has definitely arrived here in Perth! We've had hail, a small tornado and much long-awaited rain. Tuesday night was all set to be a shocker and you can see on the raindar that there was a lot around! But instead of heeding the severe weather warning and staying in, PK and I went out to a four course dinner. All in the name of fundraising for the RFDS of course!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 11

Sometimes a cold beer at the end of the day is the best part of the day, am I right? Lucky I've been putting a couple of Creatures in the main fridge, as PK's bar fridge is still non-functional!

Monday, June 11, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 8, 9 & 10

Jun 8
I was happy to see the end of this day! It had been a long week and promised to be a stormy weekend so at the end of another gloomy day I was happy to be heading home!
Jun 9
PK has been talking about getting a new rubbish bin for the kitchen for a while and on Saturday we finally did it- the motivator was our complete lack of liners for the current one! Of course being the big strong man that he is, he volunteered to shoulder the box all the way back to the car, my hero! :P
Jun 10
PK and I attended a baptism on Sunday for the daughter of one of PK's colleagues. It was actually quite noisy inside the church, as there were five baptisms that day, with many families and small children there to watch, but as soon as we stepped outside we realised that it was much noisier outside. It was blowing a gale! The church was at the top of a hill in south Perth, which gave us this awesome view of the storm hovering over the city. We had to make it a quick look though, before we were blown away!

Friday, June 8, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 7

PK was so kind as to pick us up some more coffee pods and he even brought me a treat! It's a limited edition style called Naora. It may not be flowers or chocolates but it still made me feel special!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 6

Haha! This one was supposed to be of Oreo monitoring the neighbourhood from the top of the BBQ... but then he yawned just as the shutter closed and this is the result! He looks pretty scary huh?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 5

Hooray! We have white doors! With handles! Oh the little things! :) I took it upon myself to attach the new handles to the doors before PK got home from work - I managed five before he walked in the door to find me feeling pretty chuffed with my effort! I tell you what, grabbing and opening a door via the knob sure takes some getting used to after having to only push them open for weeks!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jun 1, 2, 3 & 4

We've got a lovely collection of beer bottles on the floor at Muriel at the moment! Unfortunately the beer fridge stopped working- cause yet to be determined. We didn't realise until we went to grab a brewski, only to find that there was only warm beer :( The fridge is being sent away to find out what broke so we can get it fixed, but in the mean time we have a lot of beer and nowhere to store it!
On Saturday we caught up with a few friends at one of our local Indian restaurants -we have three or four in the immediate vicinity! The boys ordered a "Smoker's Cough" which ended up being quite a pretty show! Shame it wasn't as tasty as it looked (potent though!).
Sunday night had me at the theatre (ooh la la!), attending Mary Poppins with my sister and our parents. It was a joint birthday (me and my dad) and mother's day present and we had a pretty great time. I might be biased though, because I love musicals and Mary Poppins has always been a special favourite of mine!
WA had a public holiday for Monday (hooray for long weekends!) so PK and I got to work finishing up the painting of the trim. Now once it's dry we can finally get all of these door handles back on! Three weeks without door handles has driven me a little bonkers!

Friday, June 1, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 31

On Thursday a bit of bad weather crawled into Perth- right about the time that my little car was crawling through the peak hour traffic. Perfect timing for a pic! I was glad to have something to look at instead of focussing on how slowly I was progressing. It was a really long drive home!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 30

Another slow cooker meal waited for me and PK after a long day driving around- this one was chicken and pumpkin 'risotto' made with brown rice. Pretty healthy and tasty too! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 29

Occasionally I have to work from home- I don't tend to be very tidy when I do! Unfortunately for me, only PK has space in the study, so I spread out all of my stuff over the dining table instead. Actually, it's quite nice to have such luxury of space!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 28

Look at some of the pretty little business cards we picked up at the bridal fair yesterday! I don't know that they'll all be getting a phone call from us but it's nice to appreciate the pretty sometimes. It sometimes takes me a little while to go through goody bags, but I sure had fun looking through this one with my breakfast!

Monday, May 28, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 25, 26 & 27

There's nothing quite like having the warmth of a fire... er, heater to keep you toasty on a cold night is there? :) I think I might actually like winter just that little bit better than summer because of the snuggle time that it affords!
Saturday night heralded PK's end of season sailing presentations. He and his skipper did alright this season, they picked up two prizes! They didn't manage to pick up the top prize, but there's always next year!
PK took himself off to work on Sunday (I know what a freak right!?), but he made time to come home and spend some time with me which was nice! We visited the First Comes Love wedding fair- it was PK's first exposure to the whole wedding expo/ fair type extravaganza and although it was only a little one that was actually pretty cool, he didn't really enjoy the experience! Oh well, at least we got some fairy floss out of it! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 24

While I've been busy at work, starting early and finishing late, Oreo had been perfecting his lounging technique while wearing the collar. I think he's got it pretty down pat don't you?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 23

Yep, you can bet I was not the most favourite person in the house when I collected Oreo from the vet! And probably even less so when I took a video of him trying to navigate with the elizabethan collar on! But I was glad that he came through the general anaesthetic ok and that he was happy enough to eat a full meal when he got home!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

365 Days a Year: Mar 22

When I got home from work today I let Oreo inside as usual. But as I fed him, I noticed that he had a gaping tear on the underside of his tail. Errrr... not a good thing! So I called the vet, got the carrier down and bundled Oreo off to the vet. We'll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to see how he goes.

And yes, that is his carrier- they didn't have a blue one at the time so he's stuck with bright magenta!

Getting In Shape

In the time that PK and I have been here at Muriel, we have made small but ineffectual efforts towards the upkeep of Muriel's gardens. Neither of us have especially green thumbs and with the extended summer that still seems to be hanging around, many of the established plants that came with the house have kicked the bucket. So it's high time that this area of the house gained some attention! Here's what I'm thinking we need to make happen:

Refurb of the retic: Currently we have reticulation, it just doesn't work too well. Some of the stations are completely non-functional while others just don't deliver the water to the right place. I think it would definitely be a good investment to have this re-done and automated (which should help with keeping the next stage alive!). This includes three areas:
  • the front garden
  • the courtyard
  • and the biggest job, the (green area of weeds masquerading as) lawn
Sprinkler found here
Reinvigorate the front garden: The next stage after the retic would be to get the garden beds back in tip top shape! I think we should start with the garden that surrounds Muriel in a rough L-shape by getting through the following:
  • Removal of dead/dying plants
  • Trim and tidy of suriving plants
  • Taming of feral grass suffocating shared patch next to the garage
  • Re-treatment of the stump remaining from the removal of a pepper tree/ treatment of suckers
  • Planting native bushes around the perimeter of the beds to fill them better and replace some of the removed bushes, including some flowering varieties to add colour
  • Planting a few small trees -that won't grow into the power lines!- to shade the northern side of the house
  • Establishment of a proper border and thorough mulching of the beds
  • Possibly re-seed the lawn as well...
Maybe a Grevillea? (From here)
Revitalise the courtyard garden:  When PK and I first moved in, the courtyard garden was a mish-mash of plants- lavender, bottle brush, two palm trees, a conifer, a gardenia and some other smaller bushes. Now the only survivors of our lack of green thumbs are the conifer, the bottle brush and one of the palm trees. Oh, and the gardenia- just! I think this area could be enhanced as an entertaining area by completing an overhaul once the retic is sorted out.
  • Install a retaining wall that also doubles as extra seating
  • Remove the conifer, as it is so different to everything else and is starting to push against both the fence and the pergola support
  • Bring in more 'tropical' type plants to go with the remaining palm tree and two frangipanis that we planted a while ago, filling in the spaces and providing shade and interest
  • Plant out the western facing bed with plants that will thrive -possibly also including a water feature- this end of the garden receives the most sunshine, especially the harsh afternoon summer sun, so any plants here need to love that! (Because so far? We haven't had much success!)
See that bush in the background of this old pic? Yep, dead!
Sooooo that's the master plan for outside! It's a big job and given that PK and I are willing to get dirty but are not too good with keeping green things alive, I think we need to call in an expert (or two)!

I'll be putting the call out to friends and family for recommendations, but if you know a good landscaper in the northern Perth Metro area, we'd be happy to hear about them! Or if not, I'd love to hear about your gardening plans!

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