Friday, December 9, 2011

Our changing front garden and house over the years

Since we purchased our house back in 1994, we have made many, many changes inside and out, with our latest project of renovating the bathroom. The bathroom is at a bit of a standstill while we wait for our new vanity and shelving to be built, but I will show lots of photos once it's all finished.

When we bought our house it had mission brown window frames and a huge palm tree. Here is a shot of back then.

After a few years we had the palm tree removed. It actually got transplanted into someone else's garden so it is still alive and well today, overlooking the River Murray. I will have to dig out the photos of the removal as it was a feat in itself with 2 cranes used to get it onto the back of a semi-trailer!

Around 7 years ago we had the outside of the house painted in creams with country blue window frames and last year we added a bullnose verandah which you will see in the below photos.
 About 4 years ago, due to the drought we had the front garden re-done and planted out with grasses and roses. Roses were proving to be very water wise and I liked colour so that's why we chose them. The grasses however, became a bit straggly and I didn't really like the look of them, so a few months ago we pulled them out and planted up some petunias in their place. The petunias still need to fill out but they are getting there! The water restrictions aren't in place, but we are still water conscious.

Here is another shot of how large the palm tree was.
I am really enjoying having the colour back in the garden again.Notice we have some twinking lights hanging on the verandah for the Christmas season.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday pics and a sneak peak at our bathroom makeover

Gosh, not sure where the time has disappeared to since my last post! I do know we had a week's holiday in Launceston, Tasmania which was a very relaxing and enjoyable break.

This will be a bit of a pictorial of a few things we saw while over there.

Our introduction to Launceston was stepping off the plane and it was pelting down with rain. We ran from the plane to the terminal and got quite wet. It hadn't let up any by the time we needed to get from the terminal to our hire car, so once again we got quite wet!!! From that time on thought the weather was nice to us with mild sunny days.

We discovered that this was 'typical' Launceston...very hilly.

A place that I loved was the Swiss Shopping Village of Grindlewald.
It is home to the Tamar Valley Resort which offers accommodation and a function centre. 
The Village however is open to the public to wander in and delight in the little
privately owned village shops.
It had a lovely gift /clothes/accessories shop, bakery, coffee shop, and newsagent/supermarket supplies/gift shop along with a lake and facilities for a picnic as well as putt putt golf.
The houses you can see in the background are across the road. I think they are private residences but set in a retirement village setting. That would be my pick of where to live if I ever moved to Launceston!.
It's only about 10-15 minutes from Launceston and you have your own shopping village just across the road. The road driving up to Grindlewald had a lot of new housing development but many of the homes were keeping in with the Swiss theme. It is a very pretty part of Launceston.

Around the Neighbourhood

We stayed in East Launceston, just a few minutes from the city.
It was very hilly! One afternoon we went for a walk around the block where we were staying. As you can see there were some lovely homes and roses were everywhere!

The Cruise
We went on a 2½ hr Tamar River Cruise one afternoon. It was a wonderful way to spend a few hours.
We cruised up through the gorge and then back down and along the river.
Afternoon tea was served on the way up and then on the way back there was wine tastings which was great.

 There were some beautiful homes along the river.
 High Tea
I had planned to catch up with a client/friend in Launceston.
The week before our arrival in Launceston she contacted me and advised that she had booked us into something on the Sunday afternoon and she would pick me up from our apartment but wouldn't tell me where we were going.
I couldn't have been more delighted as she drove up to The Grand Chancelor Hotel and announced that we are going to have a High Tea!
It was lovely. We were seated and served with a champagne and the platters of delicious treats! A coffee pot was brought out and we spent 2 indulgent hours eating, drinking and talking.

The Cataract Gorge
Late one afternoon we walked along part of the gorg. It was very tranquil and beautiful.
 While walking along we looked back and discovered this amazing house
perched right up on top of a hill overlooking the whole gorge!

This house is near the start of the walking track and it is actually a private residence.
Looking back on these photos I can see we are 'house obsessed'!!!
Anyway, that was a brief look at our holiday which went far too quick!!

We are currently doing a bathroom makeover. It started many weeks ago. I will do a whole post on it when we are finished, but here is a sneak peak.
Before we started

At the moment.
The floor tiles were laid while we were away and we have been painting the wall tiles over the past few weekends. They have come up a treat.
More later.

I have hardly done any blog reading in the past weeks, but hopefully I will be visiting and catching up on all your posts soon.
We're about to head down to McLaren Vale for a friends 21st. Happy Birthday Hannah!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Delicious Sandwiches and some Home Decor

On the weekend I attended a Mad Hatters Tea Party for a friend that's getting married.

It was a very pleasant afternoon, playing a few games and enjoying the wonderful company, not to mention the abundance of food!!!  The 'hero' food for me wasn't the cheesecake or pavlova but the sandwiches!!!  I'm sure they are the best I'd ever tasted. The friend who made them emailed the recipe to me and so I made them the next day!!

You might enjoy them too, spread on some lovely fresh bread.

Mix in a bowl:

Roast chicken chopped (I bought a chicken, took off the wings and legs and chopped up the remainder)
Celery (I used 4 sticks), finely chopped.
Small packet of Pistachios (I used the whole packet) finely chopped.
2 tablespoons chopped chives, or to taste
2 tablespoons sour cream
Mayonnaise to mix to desired consistency
Black pepper.

Use thin white bread, spread with minimal butter.
For a nicer presentable finish, spread mix between 3 slices of bread, cut off crusts and cut into small rectangular ‘fingers’

After some lovely homewares?
I have just finished developing a website for Lavilla which is a beautiful homewares and gift shop in my home town of Loxton. We are so fortunate to have it here as it has such a great range of things.  You can visit the website now at

I'll leave you with some images from Lavilla.

When I popped in there this morning they were unpacking boxes which contained new Christmas decorations and lots of other tempting things!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

A new toy and easy lamingtons

My new toy is an iPad!  It's wonderful for sitting in the recliner at night and being able to be online and search around the net and catch up on facebook!  I used to do that with my iPhone but it's great to have a bigger screen. We are off on holidays in a couple of weeks so it will be packed in my bag. I will need to check how to load photos in case I want to do a post while I'm away,

As well as being a toy it is also for work purposes...The ever increasing smartphones and tablets mean I need to make sure the websites I build work on those platforms and I'm also learning about developing mobile applications, so it's not just all leisure!!!

The rose in the above picture is one of my first Pierre de Ronsards which are really starting to take off now that the warmer weather has come along. Here they are starting to climb up the trellis.

It's always exciting to get a special looking envelope in the mail with an invitation inside. We recieved this lovely wedding invitation this week.

And last weekend I made some lamingtons the way my Mum used to make them. You buy the plain unfilled sponges and cut them up. Simmer 3 ingredients together and coat the sponge with the mixture and coat with coconut. They make a lovely crunchy coating not like the soft ones you buy in the shop.

The chocolate mixture is...(wait for it, it's quite naughty!!!).
3 cups sugar, 3/4 cup water, 3 dessertspoons of cocoa. Place in saucepan and bring to boil. Allow to cool slightly before coating the sponge. I use a slotted spoon to dip the sponges into the mixture and then toss into coconut. These freeze really well too. I wrap them individually in glad wrap. Ideal for lunchboxes.

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