my garden

Oh my gosh, it’s been way to long since I’ve posted. I don’t really have an excuse except for the normal – work, Netflix, sleeping, housework etc. I’ve been thinking about this post for ages now and it feels so good to be finally doing it and I’m really excited to show everyone my garden. Spending time in my garden is something I’ve really found relaxing and therapeutic. Until recently, gardening never really took my interest but once I started, I just wanted to plant more! I just love that feeling of watching the plants grow and that feeling of accomplishment when I see the first flower bloom or the first tomato ripening. I’ve been learning as I go so if there are any green thumb’s reading, I would love to hear any tips you have!

This gorgeous sunflower is my favourite plant I have. Unfortunately this photo was taken a few weeks ago and it no longer has any flowers and is looking pretty sad. My understanding (remembering I don’t know a lot) is that the sunflower is very much a summer plant and with the weather we have had the past few days, I’m sad to think I probably won’t see it again until next summer. Oh well, I really loved and appreciated it while it was on show.


One thing I really love about being outdoors is the wildlife. Since we moved in to our home over two years ago, Peter has really bonded with the magpies in our area. I vividly remember last spring, walking into the lounge room to find four magpies standing on my rug and a very pleased looking Peter. There have also been many times I’ve looked outside to see Peter standing on the lawn surround by thirty-five or more magpies. For Christmas Peter got a birdbath and we bought a bird feeder which has seen an array of different birds coming into our backyard which has been exciting for us. Below is some of the beautiful maggies that visit us.


This is our fig tree. We planted this mid December and it has been doing really well. I give it a really good drink 2-3 times a week and it has taken off. Below is the first ripe fig it has produced. It was delicious! Sweet but earthy and I was so proud to share it with Peter and my mum. I felt like a proud parent. The tree has at least four more fig’s growing and it keeps getting bigger everyday.


This grape vine has been growing for around three months and is really taking off. We have two planted and plan to grow them up, around and over the pergola which will eventually be shade for us. I really think it will look fantastic once it keeps growing!


The second fruit tree we have is this lime tree. Peter got this as a present for Christmas and in the past two weeks it has started producing flowers which are slowly but surely turning into tiny little limes. So cute! The leaves smell so fresh but do have some yellowing to them as you can see below. Does anyone know what this means? I appreciate any tips you have!


And just a couple of hanging pots and potted colourful plants.


And finally our veggies! I just love watching the veggies growing. We have two different types of chilli’s, two capsicum plants, cucumbers, tomatoes and an eggplant. The chilli’s are ripening well as you can see and today while I was taking some photos I realised that the eggplant has a tiny purple flower! How exciting. The tomato plant is one we have had for a while and has produced so many tomatoes. However all the tomatoes were getting too heavy for the branches, which have almost all snapped off now. The tomatoes are ripening on the bench but plant itself is looking very sad. I will prune it right back and hopefully be able to save it.


I have so many more ideas for our garden. I want to add at least three more fruit trees, so tell me your favourites! I’m not sure what else to add, so I need suggestions! We also plan to build bigger and better veggies boxes so we can grow heaps more veggies. Peter is currently building some retaining walls and an in-ground fire pit. I’m putting up fairy lights and want to add some more hanging pots too. Gosh, I really love being in the garden. Speaking of it, I better go water my plants!


annual leave antics

As much as I like to think I’ve made the most of my three weeks annual leave, I really haven’t. When I say it like that, it sounds like a bad thing, but it really isn’t. After the cruise, most of my days have consisted of sleep ins, cups of tea, adding small bits to my blanket and cross stitch, a few op shop visits, visiting mum and dad, and Peter’s family too. I’ve done a bit of Christmas shopping and have been doing some gardening and starting to decorate our outdoor area. It really has been so enjoyable. I also went to see Lorde with my brother. It was so much fun. We drove half way to Melbourne and caught the train into the city and walked down to Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The weather was stormy and the sky was purple but we didn’t get one drop of rain. We had a great view of the stage and sang and danced all night. She is a brilliant performer and I would definitely recommend her for next time she tours Australia. We thought that nothing could ruin our night, but oh how we were wrong. Twenty minutes into our drive home, the car started shuddering and engine light came on…. the car was breaking down!! As independent, resourceful and smart adults, we did the only thing we could think of….. ring Mum and Dad! Thankfully they, along with the RACV came and saved the day and we were eventually on our way home two hours later.


The next exciting thing I did on my annual leave was our Harry Potter marathon! My sister and I have been in love with the Harry Potter series for years and years. My mum however had never seen past the second or third movie. We have nagged and nagged for so long for her to watch them with us and she finally agreed!!! We had to make it special so I set up my second lounge room with spare beds, candles, lanterns and fairy lights. We made a menu of food for two days, Mum and Blue brought overnight bags (and more food) and it was on! We worked out it was just under twenty hours to watch the eight movies, plus including time to sleep, eat and toilet breaks, it was going to be a big two days! We weren’t off to a good start when Mum started falling asleep about forty-five minutes into the first movie, so she was moved onto the naughty chair that you can see below. But surely enough, hour after hour, we kept ticking off each movie and all of a sudden we were onto the last! Overall, it was a long but awesome two days. We were truely exhausted at the end, but it was a marathon after all! I’ll have to admit, even I don’t feel like watching Harry Potter for a while!


I’m now sitting in bed finishing this post and it’s only an hour and a half before I have to leave for my first shift back at work. Oh dear. Annual leave really never goes for long enough. But I suppose if we never went to work, we would never really appreciate the feeling of days off or annual leave and it really is one of the best feelings in the world.

girls trip

It’s safe to say that I love annual leave! (I mean who doesn’t!) and what better way to start three weeks annual leave than setting off on a cruise!! This cruise had been planned for months and months and it was after several weeks of nagging from my elderly Grandma. So here we were, several months later, my Mum, Sister, Grandma and myself ready to take on the high seas (bass strait), we were off to Tasmania!!

I had been on a cruise once before with Peter after I graduated Uni and really enjoyed it so I was excited for this one. After some seriously busy months at work, I was ready to unwind and relax….. and that’s exactly what we did. Our cruise was five nights long which was the perfect amount of time to take my Grandma. She needs to use a walker, if not a wheelchair to get around so everything had to be taken slow. But slow was exactly what we needed. Our days consisted of, waking up, buffet breakfast, then out to the back of the ship to the lounge chairs in the shade to read/cross stitch/crochet/nap. Then onto lunch which was always delicious. After lunch, Gran often needed a rest in bed, so us three girls would be off to the sauna and steam/meditation/herbal rooms which was probably the best time of the day. We would then make our way back to the lounge chairs and order a drink (I tried the full menu of Mock-tails). It was then time for dinner, which we ate at the restaurant every night. With bellies full of food we made our way back to our cabin to rest then us crazy girls would be well and truly asleep by eight o’clock each night. I read two books, both of which I really enjoyed. The first was Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend and second was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Both I couldn’t seem to put down, gosh I love finding a good book! (If you have any recommendations for a good book, let me know!)  I also added a few more letters to my cross stitch as you can (sort of) see in one of the photos below.

On day three and five we did get off the ship and do some exploring. First stop was Hobart. Here we wandered around the city centre and had a milkshake. We stopped at an op shop (how could I resist) and then to the museum. On day five we stopped in a cute little town called Bernie, where we did much the same. Walked around, looked in shops. But around two hours was enough for us before we were back on the ship to our lounge chairs. Everything about the cruise was fantastic but the best part is just being with my family (no matter where we are) just laughing, always teasing each other and having fun. They are the best memories.

After five nights, we were ready to come home. My Mum has always said ‘it’s nice to go away but nicer to come home’. It so true, we are all home bodies at heart. I came home to some beautiful flowers from Peter, my new cross stitch having arrived in the mail!! and our outdoor area having finally been paved! (all of which I will show in future posts). I just remember feeling so content right then and there at home with Peter, what a beautiful feeling to hold on to.


night away.

Going back a few months now to my birthday, my sister and best friend bought me tickets for all three of us to go see Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Live in Concert. Best present ever. For those of you who don’t know, I love Harry Potter. I’ve read the books and seen the movies more times than I can count. We were all so excited about it and decided to make a night of it and booked a hotel room to stay over the night. Fast forward two months and it was here!

We headed down early yesterday morning and got home early this afternoon. I had such a fantastic time. Yesterday we ate vietnamese food for lunch, went shopping, walked around the city, walking slow and talking fast. We went to the night noodle market for dinner and ate delicious samosa, gyoza, rice and salad (yum!) and then walked along the river during dusk to the concert. The concert was phenomenal. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra were incredible. We bought scarves in our house colours (Gryffindor for me of course) and sat back and listened and watched in awe. We ate doughnuts and slurpies on the way back to the hotel and slept like babies. This morning we ate bagels for breakfast and walked around the city (and shopped) a bit more. I loved everything about it. The company, the food, the show, the hotel and even the weather! Thank-you thank-you thank-you for a great night.

I am now sitting at home, listening to the rain, lying in a freshly made bed and relaxing. Peter is editing photos on his computer and I think we will make homemade pizzas for tea. I have one more shift at work tomorrow morning and then I have three weeks off! How exciting. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend.


sleepovers and sunshine

Yesterday morning Peter flew up to Sydney to attend a photography seminar so last night after work I had a sleep over at Mum and Dad’s house. I felt like I was a little kid again. I slept in Mum’s bed with her and this morning she made me vegemite toast, orange juice and tea. She bought it to me in bed on a breakfast tray. It was so sweet. I loved it. The weather is beautiful today, sun shining but not too hot so this morning I went to the local church fete.  I had $5 in my purse and ending up buying three gorgeous vintage plates and a cute old fashioned painting. I am day two of six in a row of work this afternoon but looking forward to three weeks of annual leave coming up. Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!


Also here are my  family’s two beautiful dogs. Frank is the Jack Russell and Wally the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for you all to enjoy!


on tuesdays, we op shop.

One of my favourite……. actually make that my number one favourite activity to do on my days off is Op shopping (thrift shopping). Despite years of nagging to start from Mum, I only properly started going to Op shops about three years ago, when Peter and I were planning to build our home. As you will find out quickly, I LOVE getting a bargain and hate paying through the roof for things when I don’t need too. This is what drew me into the Op shops. I found I was getting quality furniture and homewares for a fraction of the price of regular shops and I thought it was fantastic! I also loved that everything was unique, not always perfect and one of a kind. Once I got a taste for it, I couldn’t stop! These days I am a lot more picky with what I choose but I just love wandering around slowly and taking everything in. Some days we leave with nothing but most days we leave with lots.

Tuesday is Op shop day for Mum and I! Mostly because a few of our regular and favourite op shops have an extra 20% off on Tuesdays. There are four op shops we go to every week and some different ones we add in every now and then. Tuesday just gone was a particularly good op shop haul which I’m excited to share with you all!

These two items are from Op shop number one. The first is a beautiful piece of fabric that I would love to add to my quilt. I love the vintage feel to it and it was $3.50 for fairly large size. Second is this gorgeous Natural Superwoman book. It’s about being a busy woman in society and how to stay healthy in your body and mind. It’s pretty old fashion but lovely and for $4.50, I didn’t want to leave it behind.


Second stop was probably the best stop for the day. Here I picked up some great things. This cute flowery bowl was $2, and will be great salads. The flowery pattern doona cover (in the background of the first picture down) was $4, good quality and will be great to cut up for my quilt too. Next and the best bargain for the day were the Enid Blyton books. I have been collecting these over time and can normally pick one up for around $5 (some places sell them for over $10). On Tuesday I came across these six, all in great condition. I was first excited to find them on special (buy 2 get 1 free) but it continued to get better when I found the price tag, only $1.25 each!!! Six vintage, collectable books for $5, seriously insane! I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Last but not least is the gorgeous yellow wool blanket. I love the 70s feel to it. I have a little collection of these wool blankets so this is a great addition.


At our next stop I got these Ellie Chronicle books by John Marsden for $2 each. I’ve read these before but not for years and would like to again. I also bought this cute picture for $2. Not sure where I’ll put it but I didn’t want to leave without it.


On to our fourth Op shop. This is where I found my favourite item of the day (and one of the best finds to date!). This awesome, retro outdoor umbrella. How cool!!! and only $12! It’s in almost perfect condition and works perfectly. I found it stuffed in a box with some other old sports and outdoor equipment. When I pulled it out, I felt like I had won the lottery. Mum was seriously jealous and I walked out feeling smug as.


The last two Op shops produced a few hidden gems. This tiny cross stitch for $1.50, how sweet. Next the three mugs (only two pictured) are awesome! They have a holographic look to the them which I’ve seen a lot in shops recently but they still have a old fashioned feel to them (which I love). For $1 each, they couldn’t be left behind! Then three Frankie magazines with only a few marks on them for .50 cents each! I’ve got a fairly good collection of these magazines (which I will share in a future post) so I know they can sell for well over $20 on eBay, so a great bargain! Last buy of my very successful day was a cute teaspoon. I have a growing collection of unique (mostly flowery) teaspoons and I thought this would fit perfectly!


Can’t wait to share my next op shops finds with you!