I'm going to whinge about the weather for a moment. We're a third of the way into Autumn, and frankly, it may as well still be Summer. We're still hitting 30+ Celsius every single day. Not cool, sun. Not cool. According to my weather report at work, this time last year we were consistently in the mid-20s. It's enough to make a cold-weather-and-rain-loving girl cry.
Mornings at the moment give me a little bit of hope. They're pretty. They're fresh and cool. Washing left on the line overnight is damp. I can wear my trackpants as I potter around the house. This small change is keeping me from going insane. I know the concept is ridiculous to those crazy lovers of Summer, but grey skies and the clanging of rain on the roof is so what this heart needs right now...
Ugh. This is my life at the moment - living out of boxes. On the Sunday after Mum's birthday, my AMAZING Dad and sister Steph came over to help us effectively pack up our life. Well, half of it. It's official kitchen-renovation time, which involves clearing out every single thing not only from the kitchen, but also all of our cupboards and things in the meals area because we're tiling at the same time. I'm in a permanent head-spin right now. I was amazed that we got through EVERYTHING in one afternoon with Dad and Steph's help - what a huge task! Bring on the end now... (it's not in sight yet).
Saturday March 19 - Mum's birthday!! Mum's only birthday wish this year was to have a functioning herb garden - yippee! How fun is that? My gifts to her were fertilisers, a watering can, a trowel... fun little bits and pieces for a new garden. On the day of her birthday we trekked out to Bunnings so she could pick out herbs, and then my sisters and I gardened. I'm a herb dork, so this was so exciting for me! She now has pots with mint, lemon grass, chives, basil, sage, cos lettuce, spinach and parsley. Oh the possibilities!!! (Told you, herb dork). My family's dog Leon certainly thinks this new development in the yard is interesting...
Happy Friday! OK, so new feature. On Fridays I tend to have a little collection of miscellaneous thoughts and ideas rattling through my brain - maybe because I'm dreaming about possibilities for the weekend, everything just tends to explode in there! This week's musing is hair-related, and admittedly this thought has been bubbling away in the background for quite some time! Here's the thing: I love coloured hair. I'm not talking your natural blondes, brunettes and the occasional ginger - I mean pinks, purples, turquoises... *sigh* it is a profound hope of mind that one day I get some crazy colours in my hair - maybe when I'm a stay at home Mum? Ha. Anyway, these looks I found over at The Chive (not a site I would put recommendations on particularly, I was led there from We Heart It) make me weak in the knees! Behold, colour beautiful colour!!
Am I completely alone in my burning desire to try every single one of these colours for myself???!!
Maybe this could be considered the follow-up to my Bunnings post? This is my new baby snow pea plant! I took this photo about 24 hours after purchasing the plant, when I realised that it had already started to twist its little sprigs around the pea stake that I potted it with! I'm a little bit in love with how quickly this baby plant got moving! I think I have a soft spot for snow pea plants because on my very first herb venture about a year ago, I purchased a snow pea plant. I knew nothing about taking care of my garden, but did everything that I could, and that little plant gave me about 20 snow peas! It was such a thrill for a new gardener! Now just looking at the pretty green leaves and the twisty little sprigs makes me feel all warm inside...
Mmmmm... flowery goodness! Chris and I have a favourite little date-night destination. I'm not going to beat around the bush - it's Bunnings. Yep, we're 'that' married couple who spend their Friday night at a giant hardware store. Regularly. But we can't help it! Chris browses tools and hardware, and I stroll through the garden section, usually acquiring new herbs or flowers. I love this time together, and I love bringing home my new plants and adding them to my garden. On this particular trip I purchased a dwarf snow pea plant and a pretty geranium. Bunnings is my happy place!!
Shoe shopping!!! Chris desperately needed new work shoes, and as luck would have it... 'so did I'! We headed out for some late-night shopping at Rockingham. One hour in Target later, and I had new boots and new wedges, and Chris had some decent work shoes and a new pair of flip flops (I went to write thongs, but being American he doesn't call them that!) No, I didn't buy the crazy shoes in the photo above. I mostly just tried them on to torment Chris!! Tehehe.
Now this is comfort food! This is a delicious chicken cacciatore I made for dinner a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't planned a dinner, so I stayed back after work for a few minutes to go through recipes online and this is what I picked! We had it with mashed potatoes, which just soaked up the sauce sooo perfectly. Yum. How great is cooking???? Recipe is here.
So for those who have been reading my blog for a while, this post might ring a bell. Turns out, we were able to find a way to make uni work. At least for now. As of the start of this month, I've been spending Tuesdays and part of Wednesdays in classes. When I'm not in class on Tuesdays (I have five hours of break!) it's become a bit of a custom for me to spend my free time at one of the cafes on campus, coffee and a friand in hand, doing my reading and class work on my laptop. I'm loving this time. I've always hated the uni experience, and upon reflection it may be due to the fact that I've never settled as a student until this semester. In previous years, my classes and my hours at work have always been back-to-back - so when I wasn't in class, I was racing off to be at work on time. My timetable this semester has actually forced me to just hang out on campus and be a real student. I'm just so glad that my return to study, as much as I dreaded it, has actually turned out to be more of a blessing than I even hoped!
Cupcake's first driving lesson!! What a calm and clever boy! On the Monday after I got back from Margaret River we headed to my parents' place for dinner. We brought Dog and Cupcake because they hadn't seen my family's dog Leon in FOREVER and they were really missing him! When we got in the car, Cupcake begged us to let him have a go behind the wheel. I think he's pretty advanced for a two-year-old, don't you? Well, Dog didn't think so.
*God, if you get me through this, I promise I'll never fight over the fence with the dog next door, ever again*
Here we have the actual reason that we headed down to Margaret River - to see Mr Michael Buble at Sandalford Winery!!! Ohmygoodness what a show! I've never seen him live, but I have generally enjoyed his music so when my family decided to go to the concert I was all "Sure, why not? It'll be a good weekend away." And now? I'm a little bit in love. Good grief. At one point in the show, Mr Buble came down off the stage, struggled through the crowd and climbed onto a second, small stage a lot closer to us!!! It was so cool seeing him so close! The highlight for me though was right at the end, he shushed the crowd (all 13,000 of us apparently!), had the mics on stage turned off, and just sang completed un-mic'd and unaccompanied. Wowwww. It was so cool! The man has lungs! The concert was great, and the first ever big show at Sandalford apparently. I'm so lucky to have been able to get there!
By the way, don't bother squinting at my photo to spot Michael - I just snapped that photo before the sun set, while it was completely empty. He didn't get up there until about 8pm.
As a random note, I love an image of a hot beverage that's been cross-processed. Weird.
So I'm a lucky girl - a couple of weekends ago I headed down to Margaret River for the weekend with my sisters and one of our friends Chelsea. For a wannabe foodie like me, Margaret River is a little bit of heaven!! We did wine tasting and visited the chocolate factory, cheese factory, nut and cereal factory, and the very beautiful Provedore which I've amazingly never been to! I fell in love with Provedore - there were just rows and rows of beautiful spices, olive oils, dessert sauces, jams, curds... oh my. But the highlight of our visit to Provedore was checking out their kitchen garden! The rows of raised garden beds filled with every herb and vegetable you could imagine has inspired me so much, and made me yearn for a fully functioning kitchen garden! Sigh. Anyway, the photo above is a delicious 'real' caramel hot chocolate at the Choclate Factory - hot creamy milk with milk chocolate buttons and real caramel sauce swimming around in the bottom. Stir it up and you have a chocolatey, caramely cup of love! Mmmm. I'm dying to go back and just basque in the amazingness of beautiful Margaret River!!!
Taco meat in a wok. Yum! Tacos are a delicious Summer food - I love to load mine up with salad and cheese. Drool. This picture actually signifies my return to cooking during a break in which I was refusing to even step in the kitchen due to the heat. I think the break lasted about a week, and then I was craving tacos and decided to suck it up and actually cook something! Tacos are always going to rock my world - I mean, remember Christmas dinner? I know the tacos I make aren't even close to being authentic Mexican food, but they are super delicious, so who cares? Not us!
Gah. The guilt! I'm here to admit that I've really let this project slide lately. How very disappointing. I'm going to point the finger at something entirely out of my control. The heat wave. Yep, nothing like avoiding the blame! But seriously. Mid to late February was a killer. I've never been so uncomfortable, lethargic and uninspired to do anything in my life. Our air con broke about a week before the heat wave hit, and we made the decision to replace the old evaporative with a new split system - when we can afford it. I'm going to be the first to admit - I'm a princess. I've never had to live without aircon, not ever. The emotional turmoil that this last month has caused me is quite horrific! Which brings me to my picture for Day 122 - the pedestal fan that my very smart, very wonderful husband bought me for Christmas. Who knew that we would come to rely so heavily on a $20 electronic device? On the very hottest days, this fan came with me from room to room - it wooshed air on us while we were sleeping, it stood faithfully by us as we watched TV on the couch, it blew gusts of relief on us as we cooked and washed dishes. Oh my. I am a fan of my fan.
The batch of photos and 'Days' to follow this are not going to be a true representation of what the 365 project was supposed to be - I came nowhere close to taking a photo a day over the last few weeks. But I did take a few, so I figure I might as well document them - and then totally get back into the old swing of things!
I'm an Aussie wife who loves flowers, colours and good coffee. I married a Californian computer-nerd who is the love of my life! Together we created the cutest baby in the universe and I spend my days taking care of him in our always-a-work-in-progress little home. Life is good. Really really good.