Tuesday, January 31, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 30

This is one of the plums that we picked up at the Farmer's Market on Sunday. It was so tasty I just had to take a picture of it (before I ate it all)! PK was waiting in the car while I did that of course...

Denham Recap -Finally!

I must apologise guys, this post should really have gone up weeeeeeeeeks ago! But here it is finally, a few pics and a quick recap of the trip PK and I took up to Denham for Christmas!

So last I left you, the Forrie was all packed and ready for this epic drive right? Just to give you an idea of how far Denham is, Google maps tells me that it should take just under TEN HOURS to get there by road. We took a little longer, but that is because we stopped in Geraldton to refuel the car -and ourselves.
There was a lot of wide open road!
Usually around Christmas time it's a mad race to try to fit both families in, but this year we took it a little easier- we spent some time with my family before we left and then the holiday was filled with PK's family :) We arrived in Denham just around dusk on Thursday (22nd of December), just in time to share dinner with PK's sister and her family. PK's parents were also in town, so we were lucky that we could spend some time with everyone. It was such a delight being around R's children!
R's youngest daughter loved climbing this tree- not so keen on getting down though!
I'm the oldest in my family and we have no extended family in the state (with only a small amount in this country), so little nieces and nephews are not yet a regular thing for me! But over the time that we were there, I felt that the three kids and I got to know each other a little better. :)
We had lots of beautiful sunsets!
On the Friday we spent some time seeing the sights around Denham, with Shark Bay and Monkey Mia short drives away. We spotted stacks of wildlife- sting rays, sharks, turtles and fish galore!
And this guy, just cruising a long in the middle of the road!
Unfortunately while I was watching the kids and enjoying the cool waters of Monkey Mia, I managed to burn the backs of my legs, including the backs of my knees. This left me in quite a bit of pain for the rest of the weekend (mainly because my calves got really swollen and stiff), though I still did my best to participate!
The gorgeous girls!
On Saturday morning PK and I awoke early and went to see the dolphin feeding at Monkey Mia. They have a few baby dolphins at the moment, so you weren't allowed in the water, but it was quite magical to see them so close. The dolphin calves were so small and were still learning to swim like their mothers, so there was a little splashing about and showing off. Well worth the early alarm!
Can you spot the dolphin in the background?
The rest of the day PK and I spent exploring a little. We did some splashing around in one of the little lagoons with the Forrie as well.
Sunday was of course, Christmas Day! By the time that PK and I arrived at R's house, the kids were wide awake and had already ripped open a lot of toys, but it was still a joy to watch them open a few more! There was a toy tool set which was well received- although it was plastic, the toy hacksaw was soon put to use on the new playhouse and forced through cardboard. That took some skill! R's youngest was also keen to use his new favourite word- PK's name! He kept bringing PK books and flipping through them, pointing at all of the cars, trucks and boats while sitting on PK's lap. It was so cute!
One of our only photos of R's littlest- just look at those gorgeous chubby cheeks!
Before long it was time to depart again! We were sorry to leave, especially as we were driving out the constant wind finally died down- it had been blowing around 30 knots the entire time that we were there! Oh well!

With so much wind, how could we not fly a kite? :)

With such a long journey ahead of us, PK and I set out early on Monday morning for the drive home. I had such a great time and although it was a quick holiday, I was rejuvenated all the same.

Did you go away for Christmas? I'd love to hear about your holiday! Or perhaps you have little nieces or nephews? Got any tips for a novice aunt?

Monday, January 30, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 27, 28 & 29

Jan 27
I had to bring some work home on Friday- with the Public Holiday yesterday there just wasn't enough hours during the week! I've tried to limit myself to what I think I can handle... Hopefully I can read through this bunch and have it memorised by Monday morning! If not, well at least I will have tried!
Jan 28
I have a training session in the city every Saturday morning with a Personal Trainer. It's no big deal, just something I like to do to keep a little fit, improve my strength and to get myself pumped up for the weekend! I have a habit of looking down while I walk, so I try to make a conscious effort to look UP once in a while. I'm always amazed at the different things I see. For example, I had never realised that this building was so tall- having only really ever looked at the first two levels!
Jan 29
In the local paper just recently there had been an article about a local pop-up farmer's market that was going to be trialled for a few weeks. The day after I read that, PK and I went to have a look but managed to turn up just as they were packing up :( So when I saw an ad promoting that it was now every Sunday, I was adamant that we should go- and I was not disappointed! There was so much fresh produce and specialty wares, we came home with quite a bounty! The smells were amazing; there was a kettle corn maker, a crepe station, coffee, gelato and honey... I was a little put out that I wasn't hungry! Maybe next time I'll remember not to eat breakfast first...

So that was the last few days here at Muriel! How was your weekend?

Friday, January 27, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 26

I managed to fulfill my wish for Australia Day! I spent more or less the entire day either in or next to the pool, doing my best to keep cool. As you can see, I wasn't the only one!

Later in the day, a storm rolled through, providing a little relief from the high heat (but not a lot where we were). It was a delight to watch all of the lightning that ensued, as we weren't able to see the fireworks. Definitely a great day! What did you get up to?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 25

Howdy folks! Hope you're keeping cool (if you're in WA), dry (if you're in the eastern states of Oz) or warm (pretty much everywhere else in the world)! I was playing with a little freebie flag last night when I took this- getting ready for our national day of celebration! By the time this post is up I hope to be floating in our friends' pool, surrounded my my favourite people and music and enjoying everything that this day can offer!

Where ever you are, why not embrace the sentimentality of Australia Day? (As I see it) -A day to celebrate the many peoples and cultures that make up this great nation, to hopefully forget all the stresses and worries and relax. This is the day I think is most dedicated to BBQ's, outdoor living, friends and fun! So I hope you have a fantastic day and if you are in Australia, have another snagger or prawn (or alcoholic beverage if you're so inclined) for me too!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 24

Oh. Em. Geeeeeee. This pic tells you four things about me: 
  1. I need to charge my iPhone (only noticed that after I took the picture)
  2. I have no reception in my own house (even though we are quite close to the exchange). I'll be switching carriers soon I think!
  3. I was slack again and didn't take a picture until later in the day (when the temp had already started to drop a little)
  4. Its frickin hot in Perth this week!
Its really really hot at the moment. The kind of hot that makes me not want to do anything, just sloth around under a fan or air conditioner. The kind of hot that gives me hayfever. The kind of hot that means I don't think I'm hungry until I've drunk about 1000L of water. Errrrgggghhhh!

Bring on Thursday I say! I'll be at a dear dear friend's house, soaking in their pool all day long for Australia Day. Might even get out long enough to eat something... Do you have any plans for Australia Day? Perhaps you're not from around here so Thursday will be a normal day for you? What are you up to in your corner of the world?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 23

PK and I did our weekly shop yesterday and as I passed the customer service counter, I had to stop and go back to look again. Yes, that is a magazine called "Sheila". And you can check out their website here. Sometimes PK calls me 'sheila' to be funny but I refuse to answer him at those times- I don't believe that we are 'ocker' enough for that!

Maybe next time I'm in there again I might even purchase a copy... just to see what its like. Or maybe not.

Monday, January 23, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 20, 21 & 22

There was a massive storm that rolled through Perth last Friday morning- this is the pic I took of it as I was waiting at a set of traffic lights. I thought the cloud formations were just amazing! There was so much lightning that everyone on the freeway was going slowly, distracted by the natural fireworks! And then, before you could even enjoy the brief relief from the summer heat, the clouds cleared and the sun came out again.
I have finally started getting my ideas in order with regards to the wedding! I went to my first bridal salon on Saturday -followed by a quick visit to a bridal expo as well! It's not reeeeeeally kosher to be taking photos at these things. In fact, at the bridal shop I had to sign a document saying that I wouldn't! But one little pic of a possible bridesmaid dress couldn't possibly hurt right? I took a brochure from this stall to make sure I pay them a visit later as well :)
On Sunday PK and I had some of his family over for morning tea. We had a few bananas on the verge of over-ripe, so I whipped up some banana bread and a few mini-muffins with the left over. Although there are stacks of recipes for this type of thing, I just did a quick search and used this version, with wholemeal SR flour substituted for regular SR flour. Tasted pretty good!

What did you get up to this weekend?

Making Boxes

Having picked up all of the flat-packs from the hardware store, PK and I now have the glorious task of assembling all of the cabinets. Guess what we were doing yesterday?
First we unpacked it all and made sure that everything that was needed was actually in the box. You never know with these things- and once you start assembling the warranty is void!
Part A attaches to Part B and so on, forming a neat little box shape. PK was very vigilant and even used construction glue to make sure this baby will be rock solid!
And finally you have one mostly complete laundry cabinet. All that's left after this is to move it into place and attach the doors and kickboard... and benchtop. Because it's only a small room we only have to assemble a few of these- not like the number for boxes for the kitchen!

In other laundry news, we attended a warehouse car-park sale on the weekend and picked up a tap for half price. PK also sourced a very good laundry tub for way less than retail, so we're saving a few buckeroos here and there, which is always a good thing!

How about you? Did you assemble any cabinetry recently? Any tips for newbies like me?

Friday, January 20, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 19

I'll admit that this was quite a last minute pic yesterday! I realised that I hadn't taken one yet and went looking for something to frame up- then I notice how amazing the sunset was outside! It's been so hot lately that I've been coming home from work and holing myself up in the air con. So I was quite pleased that the challenge got me outside to enjoy such a wonderful sight!

Laundry Makeover

If you have been following along with my 365 Days project, you will likely have noticed that PK and I have begun a new project here at Muriel. This time we're focusing on the laundry, shown in an old picture here:

We had looked at laundry set ups a couple of time and thought about improving what we had, but it was more a 'one day' project than a 'today' project. Then last weekend, PK decided that we were going to do it- just like that! To keep it simple, we have picked up a flat pack modular system (this was us picking up the parts!) and we will be doing a little alteration to make it work for us.

You might have thought that this:
Jan 15
was part of the makeover plan, but really that was just something that needed to happen! The washer noise had been getting worse and worse and I had been ignoring it by reducing the spin speed... Not the best plan of action to be honest! But since PK's attempt to fix the machine has ground to a standstill, we are without a way to wash our dirty laundry for a while- doh! It shouldn't be too much of an issue though, we know plenty of people willing to lend us their laundry for the day and it won't be long before we have our own again :)

But anyway, the makeover! We decided that we wanted more efficient storage in the laundry (part of our overall master plan to turn Muriel from a rental to a home) and we liked the look of laundries that had bench space. So once we had decided to go for it, out came the last of the old verticals which we had hardly ever used and were quite past their prime. They were followed by the sink/cupboard trough thing:
and the not-yet-repaired (but there is still hope!) washing machine:
PK put both large items on Gumtree to hopefully keep them out of landfill- the pic I posted for Jan 17th was the result of those ads (the verticals went into the rubbish- no salvaging those!). We have not yet disposed of the washing machine, but the trough was taken that night which adds a little bit extra to the budget balance!

So at the moment, that leaves Muriel with quite an empty area:
Oreo doesn't really understand what's going on! The laundry has always been 'his' room, where all of his food, water, bedding and litter tray have always been, so he is quite confused.

You'll notice that there is also the last of that delightful pinkish floor tile that we demo'd out of the kitchen/ living areas adjacent. We're not really sure what we're going to do with that!

On one hand it would be easier to just leave it and put the cupboards in over the top, waiting for the time when we re-do the other 'wet' areas (bathroom and separate toilet) so that they are all the same. It has irked me since we moved in that the laundry was tiled differently to everything else- different tile than the other wet areas but laid the same way; or the same tile as the 'great' room, just laid on the straight instead of diagonal. Very odd!

On the other hand, it would probably be smarter to sort out the floor covering while everything is out of the way. Also, I would love to get rid of the pink and put in something that would go well with what we have done already and what we (I) plan to do elsewhere... What do you think?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 18

We recently bought some new curtains for the dining room and after washing them, they've just been hanging there- unhemmed and unironed. *Shock!!*

Last night I made an attempt at using the iron-on adhesive tape they came with to hem them, after ironing the rest of the curtain. Epic fail! It took me over an hour to iron the curtain itself and then either the tape doesn't work or my iron doesn't get hot enough because it wasn't sticking! I was definitely happy to have all that extra bench space to assist me though, because it would have become so dirty using only the ironing board.

The effort was worth it in that the one panel I did looks much better but I think it might be time to borrow the sewing machine from my mum...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 17

As part of our latest project (details will follow, promise!), PK listed our laundry wash-trough on Gumtree. He did a great job of removing it! That sucker really didn't want to come out and took a bit of the wall with it!

While we were waiting for the prospective buyer to arrive last night, he thought it was necessary to pretend to be the taps that sat above the sink... Not sure why but it was quite funny at the time!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 16

PK and I spent a little time at the hardware warehouse last night... We have another project in mind so we were picking up some of the necessary parts. Not quite fully DIY, but we will be doing the assembly and customising ourselves (well, mostly PK will be)!

I'm rather excited, but I think PK is a little nervous because I'm not stressed out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 13, 14 & 15

I was away from the computer over the weekend (yay doing things!)- so hence no "recap on my weekend" post. I will endeavour to get those promised posts under way soon *elephant in the room alive and kicking*! In the mean time, here are my pics from the weekend!

Jan 13
I always have the worst patience on the homeward flight after being away- I just can't wait to be back where I belong again! Somewhere in this crowd is my favourite person in the whole world- I think he was towards the back near that bright blue shirt. PK doesn't have to pick me up (I could easily catch a taxi home) but he makes that little bit of effort to be the first person to see me when he can. That first hug and kiss after being away is so precious!
Jan 14
On Saturday PK and a big group of friends travelled around the Swan Valley on a wine tour. Our fearless leader, featured here, organised it all including the bus and our lunch stop! It was fantastic fun, though unfortunately this was the only evidence I came away with, so I must have been having fun! I'll try to hold my phone steady next time- our friend isn't normally this blurry ;)
Jan 15
What do you think this is? A jet engine maybe? No, PK and I haven't started building our own aeroplane- this is actually the back view of the inside of our washing machine. It has been getting noisier and noisier over the last few months and we had diagnosed the sound as the bearings dying. PK took it upon himself to try and replace them himself. "How hard can it be?" Currently it is still in pieces in the laundry so watch this space...

So what about you? Any wine tours, flights or half-baked handyman DIY adventures in your weekend? Spill the goss!

Friday, January 13, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 12

Last night I went out to dinner with some lovely people from work and we had some AMAZINGly good food! I wish I had taken a picture of the dish that I was served, because it truly was a work of art. But I devoured it too quickly for that ;)

I've had a wonderful week training in Sydney, but I can't wait to be back home again soon! I hope you've all had a great week too and that you have something fabulous planned for the weekend ahead!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 11

One of the best things about staying in a hotel is the crisp, clean sheets that greet you every day. There's something so special about those a well made bed, precisely hung towels, the little bottles of shampoo and body wash- and of course, the toilet paper folded into little triangles!

I actually choose not to have my room serviced every day because it seems so wasteful to have new sheets and towels every day, but I still can't give up that small luxury for the whole time. Call me weak, but you only live once, so I try to enjoy it while it lasts :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 10

I was taking a stroll to the local shopping centre last night in search of some dinner and I walked past this copse of eucalyptus trees. As I walked past, a gentle warm breeze blew whispered past me and filled my nose with that tantalising smell of the gum trees. That was followed by the delightful sounds of a choir warming up in the chapel just after the trees.

A wonderful evening overall!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 9

I've been doing a little bit of travelling lately... this is one of about 12 or 13 planes I've been on in the last six months since starting my new job!

People always think that travelling is so exciting and exotic- maybe it is for other people or other jobs? My type of travelling though, involves a flight out of Perth, the inside of a hotel room and the inside of the training centre, followed by the flight home to Perth. Don't get me wrong- I am absolutely LOVING my new role, the new people, experiences and all of the training! I just wish I didn't have to fly to the other side of the country and leave PK for a week at a time to do it!

There are worse things in life though, so I am exceptionally grateful for the opportunities that I have been provided. The last six months have definitely been a whirlwind- I'm looking forward to the next six... and the ones after that... and after that... and after that... :)

365 Days or Photo-A-Day?

I have been reading Chez Larsson for a while, so I knew that this year I wanted to follow in Benita's footsteps and produce my own 365 Days photo compilation (go here to see her first week's photos!). What I didn't know is that there was something else starting at the same time that was very similar.

You may be familiar with the Photo-a-Day challenge that fat mum slim has designed- I've sure been seeing it around the blogospere! I checked it out just to find out what all the buzz was about and it's pretty cool- plus I think I have found yet another favourite blog :)

It's started quite a phenomenon, probably because its so damn easy and fun! I've decided to sort of, roughly, use this challenge as a springboard, so if you're at all interested you'll be able to follow my pics before I post them here. Just follow me @shpwillah on instagram!

Otherwise, you can find lots of people following along using the hashtag JANphotoaday and if I can remember, I'll be one of them :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 6, 7 & 8

Jan 6
I couldn't help but be taken in by the shiny happy primary colours of these balloons while I waited in line. Nothing like a few balloons to brighten your day!
Jan 7
I try to start my day with a healthy breakfast. Lately my go to option has been muesli (that I make up myself) with some frozen berries (fresh are generally way too expensive) and a few spoonfuls of low fat natural yoghurt. This morning I cheated a little and added a drizzle of honey. Delish! When's breakfast again?
Jan 8
Do you have a particular day that you take your Christmas decorations down and pack them all away? I tend to just do it when the mood strikes, when it no longer feels like Christmas. This weekend was it for me, though I know that for some people it might be a little late (and for others maybe a little early!). Why is it that there is always one decoration that you don't find until after you've packed everything away? No matter how vigilant I am, there's always one!

Good Morning Sunshine

Hello hello!! How was your weekend? Did you go out and enjoy the sunshine? There was oodles of it here in Perth and PK and I probably packed as much as we possibly could have into it. Starting with Friday night, PK and I attended the presentation night for PK's sailing nationals- this marked the end of a couple of weeks of non-stop this:
Then on Saturday and Sunday, we began tackling some house projects, long overdue, such as this junk pile:

That's one hot mess there! I'm sad to admit it, but this little corner is only a small representation of the chaos that we had going on in our car space lately. And by lately, I mean pretty much all year since the kitchen reno. It was getting a little out of hand, so it was definitely time for some attention!

You might recall a post last year where I showed you all how PK and I had totally pimped out our garage? You don't? Well, quick get back there and check it out! I'll be filling you in on what we implemented to improve on that first stage and I wouldn't want you to wonder what it looked like originally! :)
Remember the boxes?
Added to the mix, PK did some kite-surfing, I did a little gardening and a lot of house chores and we also took in some culture at an outdoor movie. A film with subtitles no less! I was pretty happy that I managed to wangle that one for "date night" as its not usually something we would do. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it did lead to a lengthy discussion afterward and all in all was a great night out!

PK also graciously assisted me in a little inside decoration as well, which I will be posting about in due time. I know that I have a few posts to catch up on at the moment, so bear with me while I sort through them all! Hopefully this week I'll be able to clear the backlog of promised updates ;)
One of the elephants in the room!
In other news, how are you enjoying the 365 Days a Year series? I started out just posting the pictures because it was easy that way. But then I thought it would be more interesting (for you and for me reading back on them later) if I included a little blurb about the image. Also, it is truer to Benita's inspiration. So if you missed it, I went back to last week's images and updated them with a little spiel about each.

I'm having a great time taking them- some days it's difficult to pick which one to post! I hope I can keep up this enthusiasm! You might have noticed I'm sort of in love with Instagram as well. It takes my mediocre iPhone pics to another level I think. Look out for this afternoon's post which will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday's photos all at once!

So now you're all up to date (with the weekend here at least!), how did you spend your weekend? Were you getting dirty in the garden or sweating up a storm, moving heavy items around the garage like us? Or did you take it easy in your last few days before going back to work? Perhaps there is also a film festival showing in your part of the world? I'd love to hear all about it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 5

There's this tree around the corner From Muriel that goes through the seasons very dramatically- at the moment it is in full greenery. It's like walking through a cool green tunnel! I love the sound of wind rushing through the leaves as well- excellent take five spot :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 4

I loved the way that the sun cast a glow through the clouds over the horizon. That great fir (?) tree poking up in front of the college just makes it that little bit more interesting!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

365 Days a Year: Jan 3


I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this- I mean Christmas only just finished!! There must be a market for them though because there was only one 6-pack left!

Sleepless Night

Morning all! I had a very restless sleep last night! Perth had a huge storm front pass through, with wind up to 25 knots- that's pretty strong!
From Seabreeze
While I was used to this when PK and I were in Denham over Christmas (yes, I will get around to posting about that soon!), it was quite a different story here at home!

Between Oreo complaining, the wind causing the blinds to flap about and the actual noise of the storm with thunder and lightening, I don't think I grabbed much sleep last night. And the forecast temperature for today is 36'C, which is definitely not going to help my demeanour- no matter how much Nespresso coffee I drink! ( ;) Enjoying one now!)

So look out world, I think I'm going to be cranky today!


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