Friday, December 30, 2011

Labour of Love and Fishermans Friends

I can barely type my wrist is so sore. I am aching all over actually. It's a mix of bootcamp and garden labouring...with the emphasis on the word LABOUR. The ground is extremely compacted and full of building debris and ROCK!

We are getting there, tiny step by tiny step. The wasteland that is our front yard is slowing taking shape. I was looking at it today and realised that it is quite a big front yard - lucky me! Here are a couple of progress shots.
This is a before shot taken back in November.

You may not be able to tell, but it even took a lot of work to start evening out the bumps. 

I even put a few plants in today. cannot wait til I can put the turf down!

This is the other side (see what I mean, most people would probably only have one side to worry about). I think it's because we are a corner block.

I am hoping to get DH to put in another hour or 2 tomorrow, but he's pretty darn sore and tired too so will see. I'd like to just finish moving my pile of soil and maybe fit in a trip to Flower Power to purchase a few more plants (and pop them in their little garden beds).

We did indeed take our little buddies fishing yesterday. What a lovely couple of hours we had. DH took Connor fishing again this morning, this time out on the river in my dad's fishing boat. They love their special father / son time together. I love that they have this special 'thing' that is theirs to do together.

Pretty spot hey - my parents place. 

Little miss loves it too, but patience isn't her virtue.

Fishing buddies.

Was nice to just chill in the sun and the breeze.

And today, the boys boat trip.

He was still talking about his couple of catches at bedtime tonight.

And whilst they fished, Maya and I cafe'd. I dreamed of holiday destinations...incase I win lotto tomorrow night!! lol

Maya worked on a little find-a-word.

Can you believe that tomorrow is the last day of 2011!! Will blog more about that later!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Taking a Dip

I finally had my first swim in the new pool on Boxing Day. Considering the weather has barely nudged 25 degrees, the fact that the pool was 25 actually made it a lovely temperature. It's amazing the difference a pool blanket makes to temperature, evaporation and clean-ness (we are surrounded by huge gum trees) of the pool.

When we set out on this build journey, the pool was an absolute must. I am beyond happy with it. The kids have been in numerous times everyday of the holidays so far. I can't encourage enough, people (with kids inparticular) to consider / factor in the cost of a pool if possible. We could have spent an extra 50k building a bigger/fancier home instead, but the question was for us, what real value would that have added to our lifestyle? We have 4 bedrooms, 3 living areas, 2 bathrooms and a beautiful kitchen which leads out to a perfect outdoor room through my favourite sets of bi-fold doors. What more could I want from a home? The pool will provide hours and hours of true family time, entertainment for the kids and their friends and relaxation for DH and me (plus it gets the kids active and outdoors). So, I know every family has different needs and we all live in very differing locations, but I just wanted to advocate the good old Aussie swimming pool for those of you still in planning stages of building your dreams.

Please excuse the water on the lens...but you get the idea of our fun afternoon - family time - in the pool. I completely understand that a pool is an expensive investment, so please don't think that I don't understand when people opt to not put in a pool. But I do know how expensive some of the home designs are these days and how we could easily have spent the extra money building a different home if we didn't have the pool on our 'must have' list.

What's on your 'must have' list? I'd love to hear! I have plenty of things on my 'add later' list as we couldn't afford them now. It's all about a priority order for each individual family. And whilst I have an extensive list still of house wishes, I also have an increasing desire to sit pretty, enjoying the house as it is, as I have an increasing need to plan travel in the 'as soon as I can afford it' future.

Back to the grindstone later today as we will have the skip bin picked up in a day or two and we need it to be full! But first, we plan on taking the kids fishing - they have been very good, and patient, whilst we've worked out the front the last couple of days. They LOVE going fishing, so we will go today.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


So, started the day with my first of 10 bootcamp sessions. It was very windy on the beach but it felt good being active after eating so much lately!
This is Wanda beach where some of the sessions will be held.

The link below is to the fitness guy's website, whom I have trained on and off with throughout the year.

After coffee and brekky, DH and I started on our huge job out the front yard. Unfortunately we are fresh out of cash, so hiring a bobcat to do the tough work is not going to happen. So what could take someone about an hour will take us many hours! 

Then disaster struck...I lost concentration and have just stuffed my lower back. I felt it go...slow motion. So I am sitting here with ice and two neurofen plus trying to get through the pain. I decided to blog to distract me from the fact I can't get comfortable and my terrible guilt. Not sure if I should head back out there or not. I doubt I will today seeing as I can barely walk! I am so angry with myself being so careless! And I have another 9 sessions of bootcamp which I definitely want to get through!

Anyway, time for a little walk so I don't get too stiff. Fingers crossed I pull up OK later. A good excuse to get cracking into the pile of books I'm hoping to read (another blog topic for me!)


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Well, it was a fabulous Christmas Day in our house yesterday. Kids were thoroughly spoiled, weather was beautiful and food and company great. Feeling very weary today - very glad I have no where to rush off too. Actually it's 1pm and I'm still in my pj's! Here is a glimpse into our day yesterday...

Unwrapping their pressies. We handed them one at a time this year to try to slow down the chaos!

This is Maya's haul of presents.

Connor was very pleased with his collection too.

A glimpse of the table setting. 

Baubles blowing in the breeze with just a touch of tinsel.

The food.
 Dessert...pudding with custard, trifle, fruit, fruit cake, shortbread & choccies.

That's my sister with Connor and Maya.

Maya losing her cosie bottoms as she's thrown into the air.

Self portrait after a few beverages.

And here with MG (Maya Grace) who has a mouth full of lollies.

Official photographer duties.

My two with my nan (their great grandmother)

With their older cousin Brendan. Amazing how quickly he's growing up too!

Connor with his cousin Beau - my sister's gorgeous and hilarious little boy.

Maya the daredevil!

 Think my kids like their new pool?

My dad and my sister - chilling with dessert.
 Kids and dad. I was a party pooper and didn't hop in.

Kids with their party poppers from the little treat boxes I made.

You can tell they are weary after a huge day!

The baubles looked their best late at night with just hubby and I still up to enjoy them during one last drink.

So, it's all over for another year. Worth all of the work and planning to make it all come together. You only need to look at kids faces to know Christmas is all worth it - gosh they love it.

I think it's nearly time for a boxing day nap. I have no idea how people rush out first thing into the sales in the way I could do it! I hope everyone had great Christmas days too! Rest up everyone!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Christmas full  of love and laughter, festive spirit and special memories. I have enjoyed this years build up to Christmas, even if it has been at break neck speed!

Thought I'd share my fave parts of the last day or two in pictures...enjoy:)

My Christmas day treat boxes for our guests.

All set for making our Christmas cookies. It's a Nigella Lawson recipe which I just love. See my little helper!

 Connor thought he'd lend a hand too.

We popped to dinner at the kids fave - Hogs Breath Cafe, last night.

 Such a beaut spot down at Cronulla.

We needed to pass some time after dinner until it got darker for our Christmas light drive. Fun in the park.

 There is one street in particular we go back to every year. They close off the street, put candles all the way down the road and play music.  The guy who built our pool happens to live at the end of the street. He was especially kind and let the kids be part of his display by jumping in the car (pic below)

A little more baking. Today was my father in law's birthday (yes Christmas Eve!) so I baked a very decadent slice for our family gathering. It is white chocolate and caramello slice. Again my helpers were on hand in the kitchen.

Just a sneak peak at the flower arrangement I picked up today. Not only does it look beautiful, but the gardenias included in it mean it smells devine too.

Merry Christmas to all of my fellow blog writers and readers. Have a wonderful day and don't forget to sit back and enjoy time with loved ones. I will be in touch again soon.