Saturday, August 24, 2013

little lovelies.

every week, i try and share a little list of lovely things that have happened throughout the week in my neck of the woods, to try and keep myself looking on the bright side of things.

this week has been a marvelous week for flowers!
i found the first couple of blooms on the jasmine bush in my front yard...

aaaaaaaaaand then i found this beauty in a neighbour's garden border (which i have name freesia alley, there's HEAPS of bulbs planted there!)

i wish the internet had smellovision because my word, do these little pretties smell AMAZING!
this is my favourite time of year for beautifully scented flowers for sure!

i was also lucky enough to receive this super cool book! this lady knows me so well ;)

it's giving me lots of ideas for projects now that my granny stripe is done!

speaking of projects to work on now that my granny stripe is done...

i whipped up these little weenie socks during the week. aren't they adorable?
i used up a little of the leftovers from the aforementioned blanket and followed this pattern.

what little lovely things have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

green love.

over the weekend, i got out and about in the backyard.
my mission? to tame the jungle of a lawn!


aaaaaaaaaaaaaand after!

it looks about 298720498 times better huh?

i'd been asking and asking bb to mow for me and well, i got sick of hearing my own voice asking and just did it myself!

boy do i feel better for it!

i also tidied up my passionfruit a little...
you might have noticed it looking super sad in that above picture... it may have something to do with our old fence being pulled down, the passionfruit being evicted from the trellis that was attached to said fence, and a new fence erected in the old one's place.
oh, and we STILL haven't heard from the owner next door to you know, get our permission to have our fence torn down...

i wasn't super happy to come home to a fence-less backyard, and you might have cottoned-on, i'm still not over it!
gah, rant, gah, rage!

hopefully, the passionfruit makes a full recovery!

what's been going on in your backyard lately? lost any fences?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

all striped out.

sunday night, i put the last of the edge on my granny stripe blanket!

it's DONE!

a little later than i'd hoped, but still, within the month...

the edge is made up of granny clusters, going around the edge entirely, rather than just back and forth like the body of the blanket...

oh, and some stats: this blankie weighs in at 3.1kgs. that's almost 16x200g balls of wool! and at $12.50 a pop, this blankie, like all the others that i've made, hasn't come cheap!
it has however, given me HOURS of entertainment and should last us for years and years.
money well spent? i think so!!

and it already has a big fan! pretty sure this guy spent all day yesterday, snoozing on it while i was working.
it's a nice life huh?

ravelry deets.

have you finished any projects lately? do you like to crochet?

Monday, August 19, 2013

meal planning monday.

yesterday afternoon, bb and i trawled through some cookbooks and magazines together, dreaming of what we want to eat for the week ahead. it was a super lovely thing to do together, and well, this is what we came up with for the week!

tonight, i'll cook up italian sausages and beans. this is a recipe that bb spotted in an old super food ideas magazine (july '08, pg 32) and liked the look of. it looks like the perfect thing for a chilly winters night!

tomorrow night, we're trying out a beef, ricotta and basil pesto lasagne (sfi aug '13, pg. 74). i haven't made a lasagne in ages as i normally make a big pot of bolognaise, as well as bechamel to make it. this should be a bit quicker!

wednesday night, i'm dying to try out a recipe from this book, which i picked up a couple of weeks ago while shopping with my mum. the chiang mai noodle soup (pg. 32) should be a crowd pleaser in these parts. red curry, noodles, chicken, can't lose!

thursday night, i'll make up a one-pot beef ragu (sfi aug '13, pg. 28). it's topped with potato slices, so it'll be a bit like the cheaty-pie i made last week in the picture above... wholesome, warming, but without the hassle of lining anything with pastry!

friday night, i'll attempt these sloppy joes again. i defrosted my mince last week and then realised i hadn't read past the mince on the ingredients list. i had nothing except the mince! the pantry is well stocked this week so everything should go to plan!

i have this saturday off from work, so i'm hoping to have something delicious for dinner, as well as getting the house into some semblance of order. bb grabbed my 'cook with jamie' book and wants to cook the pot-roasted poussins agro dolce (pg. 189), but probably with a regular chicken rather than poussins... we'll see how it goes...

on sunday, bb wants to cook again! two nights of home cooked meals without me in the kitchen? i won't know myself! he's hoping to cook up mad moroccan lamb (cook with jamie, pg. 170). hope he goes ok with it, i'll be at work all day!

a new recipe for every day of the week! it may prove interesting...

what are you eating this week? trying anything new?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

little lovelies.

every week, i try and share a little list of lovely things that have happened throughout the week in my neck of the woods, to try and keep myself looking on the bright side of things.

earlier this week, i put together a jar with some lemon rind (courtesy of mum's garden, thanks mum) and covered it all with vinegar to make my own cleaning product.

now i just have to wait a month for it to percolate and get to smelling good!

on wednesday at ncb, i got to have a little hug with a gorgeous little man.

he spent most of the night asleep, so we all got to have a little cuddle!

while at ncb, i got gifted an amazing little present too, this beautiful terrarium!

cathie is certainly a clever lady! not only is she a mean baker, and maker of ca-yoot bebes (see picture above ;D), but she also made me this sweet little leafy number!
now i've just got to keep the cat out of it!!

i used my bike for it's intended purpose today and rode to and from work!
it was a little scary at times to be out riding on the road, i found myself mentally thanking people for giving way and well, not killing me. i'm so tiny compared to a car!
oh and i had a few mishaps involving my bike falling apart a little, but everything's all fixed now ha ha!

oh and the final lovely thing, bb is cooking dinner tonight.
there's a lovely piece of pork belly slow cooking in the oven.

it's already starting to smell delicious, i can't wait!!

what lovely little things have been making you smile this week? what are you having for dinner tonight?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

green love.

this week, i thought i'd share some green love of the indoor variety.
the bunches of flowers i received from work colleagues for my birthday!

i recieved this one first, so it got pride of place in the only vase i had big enough to fit an entire bunch...

the bunch i received the next day, got split up into 3 separate smaller vases

well, some of them are in old teeny wine bottles :D

i love that a single bunch can go so far, and decorate so many rooms! i've got one bunch on my dresser, one in the bathroom and one on the kitchen window sill!

i'm kind of wishing i had a few more smaller vases now so that i could split up that big bunch ha ha!

what's happening in your green space at the moment? is much growing?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

feeling edgy.

no i'm not feeling tense or stressed...

i'm just getting my edge on.

the edge is going on my granny stripe and i'm loving it more and more with every cluster i hook on.

i told bb the other day, that i love it even more than my ripple, and it's true!
the wool makes it so soft and snuggly, and well, i do love me some green!

i can't wait until it's finished, which will probably be by the end of the week at my current rate...

what colours do you like? what are you working on at the moment?

Monday, August 12, 2013

meal planning monday

it's monday again, and so it must be time to meal plan!

yesterday, i got all caught up on the great australian bake off. i kept forgetting when it was on tv, and well, it's better to watch a marathon of episodes with no ads right?
in any case, it got me in the mood to bake. and it got bb in the mood for pies... so i thought i'd use my day off productively today and make a lamb and rosemary pie.
if i'm feeling adventurous, i might even try my hand at making pastry, wish me luck?

tomorrow, i'm back at work. maybe we'll finally get around to having those burgers i've been banging on about for the last two weeks!

wednesday night, i've got ncb. i'll buy some fresh pasta from the local green grocer and whip up a quick sauce while it cooks. quick. easy. delicious. though i'll make sure i don't eat too much so that i still have room for cake!

thursday night, i think i'll throw some steaks on the grill. with some oven chips and a side of salad, they should be the perfect quick mid-week meal :D

friday night is my late night at work. bb has requested these sloppy joes, so we'll try those out.

saturday, i'm working, so i'll make sure there's a nice piece of pork belly in the fridge for bb to slow cook. we ended up having delicious take-away thai for my birthday, so i've still got pork belly on my mind!

sunday night, i'm hoping to try out that new pizza restaurant i mentioned weeks ago... we still haven't gotten there yet but judging by the reviews it's been getting, and the number of people in there at dinner time, it'll be well worth it!

what are you food plans for the week? trying out anything new?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

24 before 25.

last year, around my birthday last year, i posted a 24 before 25 list. essentially a list of 24 things to do before i turned 25.

being that today is the big day, i thought i'd have a little recap of how i went, and what's still on my list for the year ahead :D

1. run 5 kilometres - done! number 1 on the list, and first thing to get done :D it's a goal i've been hitting on a fairly regular basis lately actually...
2. get inked - still hasn't happened... probably a good thing though as the design i had in mind last year, is completely different to the one i'm wanting now. might revisit in a year and see if my design has changed again...
3. get my passport organised - bit annoyed at myself for not getting this one sorted! it was probably one of the simpler items on this list and i've made NO progress. will get photos taken and verified this week. it's happening!
4. buy a bike

it took a year... my newest birthday present :D i couldn't be more spoilt!
5. make a bit more of an effort with my appearance - i started on a hair style a day challenge earlier in the year, but abruptly stopped halfway through the month for no apparent reason (other than laziness that is...) and then i cut all of my hair off! makes getting my hair looking decent in the mornings a bit easier...
i also threw most of my make-up out during the last few months. i realised that some of it was SUPER old and it was probably horribly germy... i've picked up a couple of bits and pieces and i've been loving rocking a red lip to work every now and again

6. visit my grandmother more often - i'm still not up to the once a month that i'd like, but i've visited a few times over the past year.
7. finish my granny stripe blankie - i'm putting the final rows on it today :D just the edge to go and then it'll be ready to share.
8. sell something on etsy - has not happened. i'm terrible at keeping an etsy shop apparently... oh well, it's not going anywhere
9. finish my cert IV - it's getting there... there is a final prac session scheduled for november so i'm hoping to get my butt into gear and get all of my assignments done before then
10. have more people over for dinner - has not happened. not at all. unless you count bb's brothers...
11. make the backyard what i want it to be - it's coming together. slowly. i'm hoping this will really come into play once spring rolls around... i'm hoping to make this season super productive with lots of produce to eat and share and maybe even store. fingers are crossed!
12. keep my car clean - i don't think i've cleaned it since this time last year. seriously. it's gross.
13. call my mum once a week - done and done. it's so good to have a weekly catch up :D
14. reduce my wool stash substantially - it's come down a little in size, but probably not to quite the extent that i'd hoped... a certain shopping trip probably didn't help... but i do have plans for almost everything i bough that day, if i haven't already knitted it up already that is...
my stash-busting plans have helped but i think it might be nearly time to re-assess those too.
15. keep up with my meal planning - very proud to have mostly kept up with this meal planning lark. it gets me organised for the week ahead and also helps to curb food wastage and horrible overspending on food that is no good for us anyway!
16. RELAX! - i think the key to this goal, was to find ways to help myself relax. i find being organised relaxing. i find a clean house relaxing. i find running relaxing.
quite often, when i'm being a ridiculous stress head, bb will try and get me to relax by doing nothing and it just doesn't work for me ha ha.
relaxing is something i definitely need to keep working on, but it's coming together slowly.
17. drink more tea - i officially cleaned out my giganto stash of tea bags and naturally, to celebrate, bought myself more tea!
oh, and a pretty box to keep my new bags in

18. snack healthier - i'd like to say this has happened, but it hasn't far too much junk is still being consumed by myself and my co-workers on an all too regular basis.
19. get my armchair re-upholstered - i sent some photos of my precious armchair to bb's mum's cousin who is an upholsterer and she thought that it was too far gone... now i'm a little lost as to what to do with it!
20. donate blood - another one that i'm pretty annoyed i haven't gotten around to. it's so flipping easy to donate blood! but i haven't done it. bad nicole! bad! to make up for my shocking ways, i'll book an appointment for myself this week!
21. keep saving for a house - saving is one of those things you just can't rush and so our savings are plodding away slowly.
bb and i went and had a meeting with the home loan lady at our local bank earlier in the year, and we still have a long way to go savings-wise. plod. plod. plod
22. take better care of my feet - this hasn't really happened in earnest... but it's something that needs to! my feet are a mess at the moment thanks to my recent return to the running caper. i gave them a loofah in the shower this morning, something they definitely need a bit more often...
23. donate to charity - i've tried to step it up a little this year. i FINALLY made a few kiva loans, one of which is nearly entirely paid back! i'll be sure to re-invest that when i'm back at $25, and maybe invest another loan too while i'm at it.
24. get away a bit more - bb and i have had a couple of weekend trips this year. both to ballarat ha ha! we haven't seen too much more of the countryside, but i've got plans for the year ahead that should see us road-tripping a bit more frequently :D

do you make goals for your year ahead? do you donate blood regularly? or talk to your mum as often as you should? how do you relax?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

little lovelies.

a little list of lovely things that have happened during the week, keeping me looking on the positive side of things :D

my local green grocer, has a little space where they mark down fruit and veg that are looking a bit past their prime. it's a great spot to pick up squishy bananas that are perfect for baking banana bread and other banana-ry baked goods.
during the week, i picked up some reduced cherries. they were a little past their best eating state but i had other plans...
i stewed them up in a pot and they are perfect on steamy hot porridge!

the perfect breakfast on the cold mornings we've been having in melbourne!

yesterday morning, the weather was less than ideal for running outdoors so i thought i'd jump on the treadmill at the gym!
i dreaded the thought to be honest, i love running around outside, where there's lots of things to look at!! i whacked my headphones in though and literally bounced along to some good tunes.

i forgot that i had some pretty cool songs on my iphone!

tuesday this week, i spent some time in the city with my folks for my dads birthday! we pottered around the queen vic market and i looked at some awesome push bikes and even took one for a test ride!
we retired back to their hotel room, just as the weather turned yucky.

nice view huh?

it's my birthday tomorrow and i've already received a few gifts (spoilt rotten!)
how cute are these measuring spoons? there are matching measuring cups too!
i've already gotten a bit of use out of them too, measuring out things for the sticky chicken drumsticks i whipped up in the slow cooker yesterday.

i can definitely see myself doing a little bit more baking in the kitchen, just so that i can use these!

what cool things have been happening at your place this week? what's made you smile?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

green love.

things are sloooooooowly growing around here...

these bok choy, that i shared a couple of weeks ago have grown heaps! they must love this spot as the spinach i've got planted next to it, na-da! there's been nothing happening there for weeks...

these little carrot seedlings are sloooooooowly coming along too! the leaves have progressed a little bit... and probably would be growing a little quicker if they were getting a bit more water

the soil here looks more than a little dry. oops!
perhaps i could move them onto my windowsill and they might get a little more love...

the coriander and rocket pots i have out the front, have come along a little way... but not with the growth boom i'd hoped for... i'm thinking they might need some fertiliser to keep going.

what's growing in your garden at the moment?

Monday, August 5, 2013

meal planning monday.

hello again monday!
after a whirlwind weekend away, i'm thankful to have a couple of days at home this week, i can get organised for the next couple of weeks ahead, and settle back into my house-y routines, nice and slowly :D

tonight, i'm planning to make some home made tortillas, and i'll pop some tex mex beef in the slow cooker to go inside them. they'll be super yummy with some coriander from the garden, some spinach and some kind of tomato-ey concoction. oh and a sprinkling of cheese. can't wait!

tomorrow night, i've got some meat pack burgers in the freezer that i'd love to use. some fresh bakery rolls and a bit of salad, they should be perfect!

wednesday night, bb has requested some salmon. i'll go for a little wander down to the fish shop during my lunch breakand pick some up fresh, and serve it up with a crispy skin and some herby cous-cous. yum!

thursday night, i'll throw together a quick curry before i head off to brown owls, i've got one last tub of massaman paste in the freezer, so that'll do :D

friday night, i'll be working late, so the slow-cooker will be working hard for me. i found this recipe via pinterest and i'm really excited to try it out! hopefully it's yummy!

saturday night, bb and i are heading to a friend's for dinner! i feel like it's definitely our turn to have them HERE for dinner but when the host realised it was my birthday on sunday, she insisted on cooking. how lovely! it's bound to be a good night, good food and wine and we'll probably end up staying the night ;) safer that way! i can't wait!

sunday is my birthday :D i'm kind of hoping bb will cook me up a lovely dinner of slow cooked pork belly. it's one of his best dishes and it means that i don't have to do anything! woohoo!

what are you up to this week? what are you cooking?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

little lovelies.

a little list of lovely things that have happened during the week, keeping me looking on the positive side of things :D

this week, i've started back at working out at the gym, as well as going for my runs of course.
the gym i'm at offers free training plans, which i've run through this week. i can tell that my muscles are getting a good work out with what i'm doing, because i am SORE! so sore! good sore though ;)

i finished my 'july' woodland sampler, just in the nick of time. because this baby has come out already too...

isn't it ADORABLE? honestly, when i first saw it, i let out an audible 'squeeee'
i can't wait to get stitching on it!

the last, very cool thing is that bb and i are heading away this weekend. just the two of us. i have been looking forward to it ALL week and it has definitely been a positive to get me through the week :D

what cool things have you been up to this week?

edit - this was my 600th post, and that is pretty cool too :D

Thursday, August 1, 2013


august? seriously? how did that happen?
august is probably my favourite month though, it's my birthday month :D

a quick look back on july, i didn't get everything done i wanted to... so for that reason, there are a lot of things repeated on this months list.
i'm hoping to make good use of my day's off this month, to get a couple of the lengthy projects ticked off the list.

oh, and i think i need to start back on my '4 rows a night' habit to get my granny stripe blankie finished!

what are you up to this month? do you have a list of goals too?