A new path!

This week we (well not so much me) have been working on the path between our house and the sandpit.

This has been on the to do list for at least a year, but due to the labour intensive work, has been put off and put off time and time again.

Here’s how it all came together:

The path and sandpit border are made from recycled old red bricks, that Matt painstakingly removed old paint, mortar and concrete from, before laying them.

IMG_5524

IMG_5529I had the very important job of wetting the bricks and handing them to him!

The rock on the inside is also recycled. It was advertised as a giveaway by a landscaper, making over a garden.

IMG_5558

The process of finding the perfect placement for each rock was almost another painful process.

Once placement decisions were made, Matt tried taking some panorama shots of the layout, before removing them.

All the panorama shots were hilarious!

IMG_5561Thankfully he had a chalk reference system as well.

After a weeks work, the path is done, and I was finally able to make a garden bed.

IMG_5570Now there’s only another 23 metres of path to go on the other side of the sandpit…

Slow and steady wins the race!

Abby xx

 

Advertisements

Welcome Spring

The first week of Spring feels very much like Spring in my little part of the world. The weather’s warmed up, and we’re spending all our spare moments outside in the sunshine.

Our garden is showing signs of Spring, and I can’t wait for it all to be a mass of flowers. Though I feel sorry for Matt and his terrible hay fever, when they all appear 😦

IMG_7378

We’ve got our first few blossoms on the almond tree.

IMG_7385

and the apricot tree is showing signs of life. I’m expecting a good season out of this tree after I accidentally left the hose running on it from our rain water tanks, and gave it a good 10,000 litre soak. Oops! So now we’re waiting for a bit more rain to replenish our stocks.

IMG_7379

There’s flowers popping out everywhere in the creek.

IMG_7382

We’ve got more strawberries.

IMG_7375

and I’m finally able to hang washing outside, in the sun, on my brand new washing line! Now to get some lawn or pavers under that line!

IMG_4431

We’re spending more days out on the back lawn or in parks, on our picnic blanket, and every time I pull it out I think that I should really make a pretty one to use this Spring and Summer.

I’ve just ordered some summer hats for Miss E, so we can spend even more time out in the glorious sunshine.

IMG_4566

T-Rex and I are patiently waiting for our expensive stick (Maple Tree) to sprout some leaves.

I’ve bought new bathers and I’m starting to look seriously at the state of my summer wardrobe. I think that the short shorts and singlets that made up the majority of my wardrobe the last few summers may need to be retired and replaced by some more mum-appropriate outfits this spring and summer.

It won’t be long and we’ll be having BBQs’s and salads most nights, my feet will remain firmly in my havianas and I’ll have to deforest my legs! Haha!

Spring, I love you!

Abby xx

In the garden

Last weekend brought us some beautiful weather, so we spent our days out in the garden.

I ripped out everything in our veggie garden that I wasn’t having huge success with (read – almost everything) and Matt worked on adding some more retaining to the beds. It’s still a work in progress.

IMG_7360I planted seeds for climbing beans, and now I have to wait patiently for them to appear.

IMG_7355and some saltbush and banksia seeds, which I hope to plant on the creek banks 🙂

IMG_7351Our potatoes are going crazy!

IMG_7353We planted an orange tree, and now we’re on the hunt for the perfect maple tree for summer shade and autumn loveliness.

IMG_7354I stole some Elephant Ears from my parents house, and planted them down in our creek. My hope is that they will take well, and spread, without any care from me!

IMG_7358Admired some of the flowers popping up on the creek banks, and scattered some seed for summer flowers.

IMG_4363

IMG_4365

IMG_7357I’ve also planted some summer flowering bulbs in the front yard. I’m still waiting for my pansies to flower, but thinking they might be a bit of a lost cause.

IMG_7361and we played in the sandpit a little.

IMG_4376What a lovely weekend it was 🙂

Abby xx

July Roundup

If I had to describe July in one word, that word would be ‘Cold’. Frosty car cold. But aren’t the patterns in the ice so pretty?

IMG_3810

but somehow, not cold enough to slow down our veggie garden! How weird is that strawberry?!

IMG_3704I’ve spent a lot of time this month making baby food, and stocking up the freezer.

IMG_3682Matt’s been tidying up and organising his man cave. I’m jealous and thinking that I need my own man cave!

IMG_3910and working on the pizza oven that I wrote about here.

IMG_3869Penny’s thoroughly enjoyed having Matt working in the yard, and forgetting to close the car doors.

IMG_3868I took advantage of a bargain at the supermarket and bought myself some pretty tulips! I just wish that they looked like that forever, and not as sad as they look now 😦

IMG_3907and I had my hair chopped off, not exactly the way I’d hoped to.

IMG_4011Miss E learned how to sit up this month, and now gets cranky any time she find herself on her back or belly.

She also had her first swimming lesson and absolutely loved it. She spends so much time kicking her legs all the time, that we knew she’d have to be a little fish in the pool!

e swimming lesson

I’ve been reading:

I finally finished reading Jane Austen’s Emma. I’m not sure how I’d managed to get so far through life without having read it before!

I enjoyed getting lost in the 19th Century romance, but didn’t enjoy it as much as Pride and Prejudice but I guess that’s to be expected, given that Pride and Prejudice is the far more popular of the two!

I’ve picked up Shantaram again, as I mentioned here, and as I expected, haven’t got very far with it yet!

I’ve been making:

Lots of things it seems!

IMG_3673The Taggy Cube I wrote about here.

princess and bookThe Princess and the Pea playlet I wrote about here.

IMG_3956Some fabric blocks for Miss E to play with.

IMG_3769and work on the crochet blanket continues, a little slower than before, but I’m still going!

I’ve been watching:

Not much really.

Though this little video popped up on my Facebook newsfeed the other day and made me stop and think…

Maybe I should try baking more!

I’ve been listening to:

A couple of weeks ago we went for a bit of country drive to visit some of my family. A four hour trip, and broken radio reception, meant we listened to podcasts on the road.

IMG_3828

One podcast we listened to was a conversation between Richard Fidler and John Safran, an ABC radio presenter and a Triple J radio presenter, respectively. This podcast was fascinating, talking about John Safran’s new book about a murder case in Mississippi. Now I need to read the book! Well played Richard and John!

July, you were lovely!

August, some sun please!

Abby xx

Day in the life of a SAHM

This is a long one, sorry!

Before I had children, I was one of those people who wondered what on earth Stay at Home Mums did all day. Surely with all that spare time on their hands they could be doing so much!

and then I became a Stay at Home Mum…

Someone once asked me whether I’m getting bored with all that spare time on my hands, and I laughed. When they asked me what I did all day, I couldn’t come up with a good response. Some days it just feels like you’re on the go all day, and then when you turn around at the end of the day, you can’t recall a thing you’ve done.

So today, I’ve decided to record what I actually do all day.

It’s definitely not a jam packed day, and I do get some down time, I just don’t always get to choose when that is, or how that is.

My Ordinary Tuesday:

6:15am – Matt gets up for work.

6:30am – I get up, thinking that I’ll be able to have breakfast with Matt before Miss E wakes up, and maybe even sneak in a shower! No luck, she wakes up. I go to her and discover an explosion… I call Matt in for back up. He takes the clothes and puts them in a bucket to soak, and I deal with the baby. Nice start to the morning!

6:50am – Miss E and Matt play while I tidy up and prepare her bottle. I feed her and put her down to play, while I have a cup of coffee and read some blog posts.

7:20am – Matt leaves for work, Miss E and I play with the sensory basket. I watch her as she sorts the items into ‘things that make noise when you shake them’ and ‘things that don’t make noise when you shake them’. I take photos and videos, and send text messages to Mum and Matt declaring her a genius.

emptied sensory basket

8:00am – Feed Miss E her breakfast and then set her up to play in her highchair while I bag up the frozen puree I made yesterday.

IMG_3928

8:30am – Naptime! As soon as she’s asleep I eat my breakfast, have a shower, fold some laundry, unload and load the dishwasher, tidy the kitchen and just as I start doing the dishes, she wakes up.

folded laundry

9:45am – Plonk Miss E in her highchair again while I finish the dishes and make some more puree.

10:15am – Read a book together, play together for a few minutes, then leave her with a bowl full of plastic coins to play with while I try to hunt down an email and sort out some work related stuff.

10:45am – Make myself a cup of coffee, grab some meat out for dinner (I’m a bit of meat bargain hunter) and sit down to finish the sewing I started last night. Stop and start my coffee sipping and sewing a million times to sit her up after she’s fallen over or help her get the toy she’s thrown out of her reach.

meat

IMG_3934

11:00am – Feed Miss E her bottle, then reheat my coffee and try to finish my sewing. Give up on the coffee and sewing after having to do a nappy change, realising the nappy bin is full, as is the dirty clothes hamper, which I empty. Put a load of washing in, and deal with this mornings soaking clothes. After putting the load of laundry on, I walk through the kitchen and find three dirty bibs that should have been in the same load. Sterilise some bottles while I’m in the kitchen.

IMG_3938

11:30am – Miss E, Penny and I all have cabin fever. It’s a nice day outside so we go tend to the veggie garden, talk to the neighbours chooks, sit on the stairs in the creek a little while, listening to the kookaburras and watching Penny explore. Then Miss E has a swing while I water my seedlings.

IMG_3944

IMG_3949

IMG_3950(wearing Matt’s thongs because my gardening shoes seem to have gone wandering. I suspect Penny may have played a role in their disappearance)

12:00pm – I prepare Miss E’s lunch, all whilst singing a song about how I’m preparing lunch, to the tune of Mary had a little lamb, to try and stop her grizzling. This is only the third time she’s tried chicken, and she hates the texture. She spits most of it out, then gags on it. I give up and give her pear and apple instead. She plays in the lounge while I clean pumpkin, carrot and chicken off of everything within a 2 metre radius.

12:15pm – I give Miss E a catalogue to play with / rip up while I eat my lunch (last nights leftovers). This amuses her for about five minutes, and then she decides she’d rather pick dog hair off the carpet and eat it. I rethink my previous genius statement and try not to take it to heart that she’d prefer eat dog hair to my cooking.

IMG_3952

12:30pm – I put Miss E down for a nap, and quickly vacuum the dog hair off of the carpet before she goes to sleep. I start writing this post before I forget everything, or lose the piece of paper I’ve been writing stuff down on.

1:15pm – She wakes up crying. I get her up, and try to get her playing, but she’s grumpy and clingy.

1:45pm – I put her back in her cot in hopes she’ll sleep some more. Success! Back to blogging.

2:15pm – I go to grab the laundry basket that’s still in our room and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. So glamorous in my ugh boots, daggy clothes, and covered in baby food. Go and hang out  the washing.

daggy mum2:30pm – Try get this sewing finished!

3:00pm – Finished sewing. Waste some time on social media & unload dishwasher.

IMG_3956

3:30pm – Afternoon snack (ham and cheese toasted sandwich. Culinary Genius). The second my food is ready, Miss E wakes up. Give her a bottle and then play.

4:00pm – Put away her washing and sort through what fits and what doesn’t (I swear I have to do this every couple of weeks. She grows so quick!) A bit of play time, then a coffee for me while she plays happily by herself. Yay!

5:00pm – Matt gets home and we have some family time before I feed Miss E her dinner and he starts cooking our dinner. After Miss E’s had her dinner, I give her a bath while Matt finishes cooking dinner.

6:00pm – We eat dinner and I clean up the kitchen while Matt gives Miss E her bottle. He then explains how the internal combustion engine in her toy truck works.

6:45pm – I head to my parents place to pick something up for Matt, while Matt stays at home and puts Miss E to bed. Stop by McDonalds for a McFlurry on the way home. It’s every bit as bad as I should have known it would be.

7:45pm – Home again, and parked my butt on the couch.

8:30pm – Miss E wakes up, and I give her the ‘dream feed’ early. Then back to the couch.

9:15pm – Writing the last of this blog post, re-reading it and scheduling it for the morning.

9:30pm – Blog post all sorted for tomorrow. Miss E’s still unsettled and Matt’s attending to her. He’ll be off to bed soon and I’m hoping she’ll settle enough that I can too!

Abby xx

Potato Container Continued

You may recall me talking about the potato container Matt made back here.

Well, we’ve finally bought some straw and put some potatoes in it!

I must point out firstly that we’ve never grown potatoes before, so this is all an experiment and we’re not sure how well it will work. I’ll keep you updated as they grow (or don’t grow!)

potato container 1

Firstly we separated the container Matt made into two parts, to make it easier to get to the bottom

IMG_7156

and put some mulch and manure in the bottom.

IMG_7158

We bought some seed potatoes, and cut them into pieces. Each piece with one eye on it.

IMG_7162

IMG_7167

We then placed each seed potato piece, with the eye facing up, in the bottom of the potato container.

IMG_7179

and took some photos of Penny being cute…

IMG_7177

added a light layer of straw and mulch on top of our potatoes

IMG_7181

potato container mulchedand now we wait patiently for them to shoot up, before we add more layers to our container sides, and put more straw on top.

Hopefully we’re not waiting too long!

Abby xx

 

 

June Roundup

How on earth are we already half way through this year! Slow down already!

It’s most definitely winter here now.

My lounge room is constantly full of fold up washing lines, as nothing dries outside and I can’t bring myself to use the expensive dryer.

IMG_7006

We’ve had our first few pickings from our veggie garden

vege pickings

and we’ve had some good rain that’s got our creek flowing

IMG_3516

and we survived our first bout of baby illness, with Miss E and I both getting Hand, Foot and Mouth whilst Matt was away.

IMG_3157

I’ve been reading

Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall

&

The Gift of Sleep by Elizabeth Sloane & Mia Freedman

Get the feeling we’re not getting much sleep? I’m not entirely sold on everything either of them have to say, but I’m finding some of their suggestions helpful, and I’m now loosely following some of their routines. I like to read widely, then develop my own strategies with a little from Column A, a little from Column B and a little from Column I’ll-just-make-this-up-as-I’m-going. Both books offer an approach for teaching your baby, toddler or child how to self settle at night. They also give routines to follow around nap times, feeds etc, which is the part I’ve found most helpful. If you’re fairly open minded and you’ve got a little one keeping you up at night, they’re worth a read.

I’ve also been listening to audiobooks as mentioned here. I’m reliving my childhood, listening to The Secret Garden and now A Little Princess, both by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I enjoy the stories as much as I enjoy recalling reading them for the first time as a kid. I love a little escapism every now and then.

I’ve been watching

I really don’t watch much TV. I find it far too passive and get bored easily. But, I will always make an exception for Offspring! I’ve loved this show since it first graced our screens, and I never miss an episode. At the moment I’m finding it a little exhausting with all the crying it’s making me do, but I don’t mind. I love Nina’s style and her clumsiness. I love the non-stop awkwardness and the way I’ve fallen in love with all the characters. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, it may be because it’s an Australian drama series. If you’re outside of Australia, and can get your hands on it, I’d thoroughly recommend it!

I’ve been making

The crocheted blanket continues! I’m nearing halfway now, and I’ve reached the point where I just want it finished so that I can move on to some of the fifty million other craft projects I’ve mentally started. I really need to just stay away from pinterest… and Instagram… and all the blogs I follow… Far too easily inspired/distracted!

blanket progress

I’ve also made the crocheted face washers mentioned here

and I made a new cover for our boomerang pillow for Miss E

boomerang pillow

It’s nothing special, I just used some cheap end of bolt fabric because anything was going to be better than the old faded black pillowcase that was on it before. I tried my hand at crocheting the edge. I’m not thrilled with the results, but I gave it a go, and it’s serving it’s purpose!boomerang pillow crochet

June hasn’t been very busy, but it was long and challenging. Looking forward to a happy and healthy July!

Abby xx

Our Backyard: Before and Now

Today I thought I would share my backyard with you.

We bought this house nearly two years ago, almost entirely because of the backyard. It certainly didn’t look anything special, but we could see potential.

This is what our yard looked like on the day we got our keys.

IMG_4342This is what it looks like now.

IMG_7021

Not perfect by any means, nowhere near finished, but much better already!

Things that have happened in these photos

  • many trees pulled out
  • old side fence and retaining removed
  • New side fence and retaining put in.
  • ground levelled
  • aviaries removed
  • tank stand put in
  • sand pit in and path carved out but yet to be laid

IMG_4392

This area, directly behind the house was filled with rain tanks and aviaries, which we soon removed.

and now it looks like this –

IMG_7019

Aviaries and tanks gone, and the old tank stand is soon to become part of our new pizza oven!

Our favourite part of our backyard, and the reason for buying this house, is the creek. This part of our yard has had a little tidy up, but has had no major changes other than Matt building stairs from the top to bottom.

IMG_4602

IMG_2760Unfortunately when we did a lot of earth moving, we lost most of these flowers.

This is our creek more recently, after some heavy rain.

IMG_6516

IMG_6523

 

Every time we have heavy rain, we head down to have a look. It’s so exciting to see it in flow.

At the beginning of Autumn I planted a variety of bulbs up both sides of the creek. Some are just starting to shoot up, and I can’t wait for Spring to hurry along so I can see them all in flower.

We still have a huge amount of work ahead of us in this backyard to make it our own, and we’ll probably never finish, but we’ll have a lot of fun trying!

Abby xx

 

 

Building a Potato Container

In an effort to save some money and do our bit for the environment, we’re starting to grow our own fruit and vegetables.

We’ve had fruit trees for a few years, and recently planted strawberries, broccoli, capsicums, chills, carrots and a variety of herbs, but we’ve been holding out on the potatoes until we found the best (cheapest) method.

We finally got there, and all for the grand total of $0!

potato edit

Using some old pallets, Matt cut the wood down to size to make interlocking slats that would become the sides of our container.

Image


IMG_6869

He then cut grooves in the tops and bottoms of the slats so that they would interlock.

Penny was keen to help out.

IMG_6874

IMG_6876

IMG_6877

pennypotatobox

The interlocking slats will make the container easy to pull apart when we’re trying to get our potatoes out later.

IMG_6867

Now that construction’s complete, we just need to move the container down to the veggie patch and get ourselves some straw so that we can start planting potatoes!

Abby xx