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!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

365 Days a Year: May 21

A while ago my watch stopped. And I resolved to get the battery replaced... but then didn't. So I was really happy when I managed to whip myself into action today and finally got that done! It feels good to have time on my side again :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Week That Was: May 14 - May 20

Ok, so here is the last of the whole-week catchups (I hope!!). I really did have the intention to get back on the blogging horse last week, but it just didn't happen! After a weekend of not doing a lot of anything, I think I may finally be back in the swing of things... We'll see though!
Monday saw me heading onto a plane again, though this time I was flying with QANTAS. It's been a while! It was quite a novelty to have food offered to me on board that I didn't have to pay for (unlike Virgin)!
Tuesday was spent indoors for the whole day, though I was very very happy with my recent purchase of some flat (ish) boots! As it frequently is, Melbourne was quite wet and cold, so I was pleased that I had my boots and a warm jacket to wear. It made my short time there so much more enjoyable!
Wednesday morning saw me on the plane home again (Virgin again though). It was a very early flight and I left too early to grab breakfast in the hotel (sad face), so I bought some food and a coffee in the terminal. Unfortunately it took too long for the coffee to be ready, so I only got a few sips before I had to throw it away (you're not permitted to take hot drinks on board)! Epic sad face! Still loving flying though!
 By Thursday afternoon I was feeling drained! I'd spent too many hours inside -either in a plane, a training room or in a lab- so I took myself into Muriel's courtyard for a little r 'n' r. Communing with nature sort of stuff :) I discovered that the Jessamine plant had not only survived the horror summer, but was thriving! It has a few heads of buds ready to open and I can't wait until they do!
Golden deliciousness! Friday night brought the end of a tiring week for PK and I, so I asked him to pick up fish and chips on his way home. We each had a pineapple fritter as well, yum!
A friend's birthday celebration got PK and myself out of our usual haunts and to somewhere new on Saturday night. I have no idea if this place has only recently opened or if it was just new to us, but it was pretty cool! They had little school desks and chairs for furniture, a big chalkboard and old school bags decorating the walls. The cocktails and food were pretty awesome too!
Ahhhhh nothing like a tropical holiday huh? Well, at least that's what I pretended to be enjoying on Sunday! We've had some rather warm weather lately and Sunday was no different. The sun was shining and warm- not your typical autumn afternoon, but it was a great way to end a full weekend!

The Week That Was: May 7 - May 13

This was another busy busy busy week for me work-wise, but I think it heralded a new stage in my new-ness at work. At the beginning of the week I had a couple of days where I really felt like I was kicking butt! The second half of the week was a little different, but I still think I am finally making progress :)
May 7
After seeing the block for sale on Saturday, PK and I (mainly PK to be fair) jumped right in and set up a meeting with the real estate agent. The agent gave us some more information that helped PK become more excited about this possible new project. I was more reserved because a) we haven't doing everything that I want to get done with Muriel, b) I didn't want to get too excited before we'd spoken to the bank about finances and c) who needs a new project with a wedding to plan?? But I just couldn't put a dampener on PK's enthusiasm!
May 8
When PK and I had most of my family for dinner on Sunday night, they brought over a couple of presents that were intended for my birthday. One was a ticket to Mary Poppins, which I am too excited to be going to (love musicals!), and the other was this coffee pod display. PK and I love it- though it does show us that we should buy some more. MMmmm coffeeeee!
May 9
I had some delightful mail arrive on Wednesday- I've been upgraded to Silver membership with Virgin! They sent me a new card and a tag for my luggage that was all shiny and silver :) Considering that I only signed up for Velocity late last year I think that really shows just how much I have been flying around for my new job. Silver means that I get priority check in and boarding, with two free admissions to the Virgin lounge per year. Not too shabby methinks!
May 10
Thursday was my dad's birthday. We had planned to go out to dinner to celebrate, but dad decided to break a rib instead so we had dinner at my mum and dad's place instead. They cracked open the bubbly that we gave them for Christmas so it wasn't a total loss but still! Silly daddy!!
May 11
Friday ended up being quite chilly and miserable so PK and I took the opportunity to chill out together on the couch. So did Oreo :) It sure is great to be able to sit back and enjoy the result of all that hard work, even a year later!
May 12
During the week I had confirmation that I would be heading off to Melbourne on Monday, returning on Wednesday. While the sudden travel didn't really bother me, I didn't have an appropriate piece of luggage to take with me! I have a small suitcase that I usually take for week long jaunts as well as my laptop backpack, but the suitcase was definitely too large for just two nights! So on Saturday PK and I visited the shops and picked up this little carry-on case on sale. Bargain! I was actually surprised just how much I could fit in there!
May 13
By Sunday I was feeling a little restless. I'm not sure what it was but PK and I had accomplished a lot of to-dos on Saturday and I wasn't about to stop our momentum! So I tentatively suggested we re-start the painting that we abandoned... oh, about a year ago! PK was keen enough, so out came the prep gear (the mini sander) and the safety gear (although, thongs really don't count as safety gear do they?) and we got to work on the trim, skirting and doors! If we can get the motivation like this again I might have some 'afters' to show sometime soon!

The Week That Was: Apr 30 - May 6

So here is installment number one of 'the catch up' weeks; April 30th to the 6th of May. This week was a lot of working and not much else I'm afraid, but I still did my best to find something interesting (to me) in every day!
Apr 30
"I am a Crunchy Nut" as they like to say in the ad! We don't usually buy Crunchy Nut cereal- mostly because it's not the best breakky choice, but also because it's usually so damn expensive! But on this Monday night shop, it was very much reduced so we decided to splurge just this once. My PT is currently away as well, so what he doesn't know can't hurt me right!?
May 1
I pulled out the slow cooker again this week and put it to good use, creating my first attempt at Minestrone soup tonight. It was pretty damn good! And the best part? It was already ready for me when I got home, tired and hungry. Joy!
May 2
PK and I had one of my colleagues for dinner on Wednesday night. He has been over here in WA lending me a hand and has been travelling for a while, so I thought it would be nice to provide a home cooked meal instead of another night of hotel food. I hope he enjoyed the food as much as we all enjoyed the bottle of Shiraz he brought! (We also went and watched The Avengers after dinner- it was awesome!)
May 3
PK gave me a present on Thursday when he got home from work... a little late but he thought it might be a good birthday present. I'm still reading it- there are tons of great ideas in there (though more suited to a new build than a reno like Muriel)!
May 4
I made an attempt at poached eggs on Friday morning... I'm sure you can tell I didn't really succeed! I found that I didn't have an vinegar in the house (after using it up for cleaning purposes) so I tried to use the plastic wrap technique. It didn't work out the first time and I was in a little bit of a hurry, so I had fried eggs instead. I think I need to give this another go though, because I really do prefer poached eggs...
May 5
On Saturday PK and I were on the way to the shops when a detour took us into a part of a nearby suburb that we wouldn't normally have gone through. And we saw this sign for a block of land (well, two really) for sale and became intrigued. The view was pretty awesome and although narrow, we thought we could do something pretty cool with the land... we decided to look into it! (More on this later!)
May 6
On Sunday we had my parents and my brother over for dinner. And I thought it was probably about time that I cut up the watermelon that PK had won, possibly as dessert. I easily sliced through the end, cutting off the first couple of slices when I suddenly felt a give of pressure and heard loud bang sound like a balloon being popped. I immediately froze and called PK into the kitchen to come and see- the melon had exploded! I guess it had been getting super ripe sitting on the table and when I broke the skin for the first slices it broke the equilibrium or something!? I kept cutting after PK had assured me that it looked fine, but it kept bursting open unexpectedly! By the end I was more just waiting for it to crack and working from there.

I'm definitely glad that I cut it up that night and hadn't left it a little longer or out blue walls may have been turned pink! The fam enjoyed the fruit though, so no loss :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

To Dos

I'm pretty sure that sometime recently I mentioned that I had a list of things that I want to get done around here didn't I? ...Yep, I alluded to it here and here- if not elsewhere as well! So, as a reminder for myself and for all the blog-o-sphere to see as a kick up the behind motivator, here is my master wish list as it currently stands! (I say my list, because PK probably doesn't even know what's in store for him... er the house! Hehehe)

Outside
  • Re-invigorate the garden, including retic and lawn
  • Re-paint the gutters
  • Replace the security light (the sensor is broken)
  • Install feature lighting/ improve the current external lights (related to the previous point)
  • Plant out the vegie patch
  • Develop a mini orchard with dwarf trees
Inside
  • Remove the halogen tube lighting from the kitchen
  • Remap the lighting in the great room to better fit the new layout (best seen here)
  • Turn the spare bedroom into a "lady cave" (because PK has his study!)
  • Put up enough frames on the wall in the great room to call it a 'gallery wall'
  • Paint the trim, skirting and doors white (in progress)
  • Have the great room ceiling painted (no way I'm tackling that one alone!)
  • Paint the study, laundry and both the master and spare bedrooms
  • Paint or paper or stencil the extra toilet walls for something fun
  • Re-tile the bathroom, laundry and separate toilet in the same tile for cohesion
  • And the big one: renovate the bathroom (eek!)
That's not too much to do is it? I'm sure I can get all of this done while working full time and planning a wedding without too much hassle... not! But it's good to have some sort of goals right? So here's to trying to get at least 50% of this crossed off by this time next year!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Duuuuuudes

I have been a bad blogger of late have I not? Slap on the wrist for me for sure! I can't believe it's been more than 2 weeks since my last post! Errrrr... I had hoped that having the 365 project would keep me up to date but I have been slipping. Being older has not yet kicked into being wiser it seems!

I thought that rather than try to catch up with singular posts from the last fortnight (oh gosh thats bad!) I'm just going to lump it all into a couple of weeks-in-one posts. Hope everyone's ok with that?! Cool :)

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