October 30, 2014

October Round Up


List of what I’ve watched, read, and/or listened to in the past month:

Facebook - was the only way I could communicate with people back on while on holidays. I also uploaded photos of our trip to share with everyone. When I got home I was very excited to read about "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" . Darren was away at The Mont with the boys so I spent all weekend folding T-shirts the Japanese way.

The Block - Glasshouse - The series finished while we were away so after I decided not to go back to TAFE I spent my first week catching up on the episodes we missed. I was devastated to watch the Auction and see that Dee and Darren and Carlene and Michael only made $10K each. I just loved their apartments and will use them as inspiration for my own renovations.

YouTube - I have enjoyed catching up with my favourite people, Libby, Pinksofoxy and Catherine Staat.

Blogs - I was devastated to see one of my favourite blogs, Young House Love, had decided to move onto other things and no longer post. I have read their home improvement blog for around 5 years. Hopefully they will keep their content online so I can refer back to it. I still enjoy reading Elise Blaha Cripe's blog and especially loved her capsule wardrobe post.Music - Darren loved to have the 80's radio stations on in Florida and we loved singing away to songs that the boys hadn't heard before. When I got home I was straight back into my UK Top 40 playlists in the car and on my iMac while cooking dinner.

Florida Lonely Planet - this was especially useful on the Miami section of our trip as I had not fully planned out what we were doing.

What fun things did you do with friends and/or family?

Coffee with Darren - Darren had the day off after we got home from our trip so we went to the newly opened Wollongong Mall to check it out. 

The Mont - Darren took Riley and Nathan down to The Mont 24 hour bike race in Canberra. The race was supposed to be on earlier in the year but heavy rain meant it had to be rescheduled. Darren and Nate went down lunchtime Friday and Riley tagged along with Shan and his cousins as he wasn't allowed to miss anymore school. The boys enjoyed the weekend riding around the track and playing their iPads with Rhys. Darren's fitness was pretty poor after our trip so his lap times were pretty slow. He was shattered by the time he got home on sunday night.

Card Games - Nate and I enjoyed playing Egyptian Ratscrew and Go Fish.

Monopoly - Cooper and I played many games of Monopoly, especially while the boys were at the Mont.

Lunch with Friends - I love to have lunch with my friends and this month I had lunch with Kay in town, lunch with Rebecca at Figtree, went shopping in Wollongong with Libby and took Hel out for her birthday to Wollongong.

Dog sat Goldie and Fluffy - Cath went away for the weekend so we fed the girls, Riley brought them over to see Victor and Molly, Jared's dog.

Minnamurra - Kay took Riley and Nathan down with her to Minnamurra to go swimming/fishing/canoing with Dylan and Jared. She texted me when she got there as it was a beautiful spot so Cooper and I went down there as well.

What milestones occurred? Any holidays or celebrations? How about special events?

USA Holiday - this obviously was the biggest event this month, at the start of the month we were on our Caribbean cruise on The Freedom of the Seas, our stops were Nassau, The Bahamas, Falmouth, Jamaica, George Town, Grand Cayman and our final stop was Cozumel, Mexico. After the cruise we headed to Miami for 4 nights where we had day trips out to The Keys and The Everglades. We then flew back to LA for three days before flying home, our day trips from LA were San Diego and Thousand Oaks/Malibu.

Brunch in Kiama - Kay and I took Dylan, Jared and Cooper down to Kiama for brunch as a way to celebrate what would have been Mum's 75th birthday. We had a buffet breakfast at The Sebel hotel overlooking the harbour. It was a lovely view and it was a lovely time to remember mum, she took the boys to Kiama habour on many occasions.

Nathan lost a molar tooth - it had been giving him trouble as he wasn't able to chew properly. It came out at school and he brought it home all nicely wrapped in a tissue.

The everyday and routine bits of life in the past month

Spring Cleaning - I am in major spring clean mode, there are bags and bags in the garage waiting to be handed to Kay for the Rotary garage sale.

Less iPad time - the boys are so obsessed with their iPads so I am really trying to limit the time they spend on it.

Homework - Arg I think the boys are finally back in the routine, it has taken almost two weeks.

What good stuff happened? What were the hard things? Anything unusual?

Victor barking - He has been barking really early in the morning, the last two mornings were before 6am. Darren gets up and brings him inside.

Mum - I found it really hard being on the cruise, there were lots of ladies on the cruise who reminded me of mum. Also I kept thinking of things I would tell mum when I got home. It was nice though telling the boys all the cool things I did with Grandma on our holiday.

Riley - he finished his science assignment before it was due so he could go to the mont with Darren. He didn't rush it and spent a lot of time on it, he had to do a presentation on sea otters. He has also been working diligently on his maths and was rewarded with a test mark of 88%.

TAFE - I knew before we went away that I wouldn't be returning. I just didn't like the politics of it and I missed doing the normal things during the day, like cooking dinner, being home for the boys and catching up with my friends.

Report on the progress you’ve made toward your goals or list any new goals you have set

Spring Cleaning - The house was so gross and dirty when we got home from our holiday. I have cleaned out my wardrobe and also cleaned the dining room from top to bottom.

Weight - I put on 3kgs during our holiday and have managed to lose 1.7kg.

Meals - I have been very good and cooking and planning our meals, Darren brought home take away noodles one night, I have cooked all the other meals.

Gardening - I weeded two of the garden beds out the front, Darren mulched them with cow manure and also started digging out the agapanthus beside the driveway.

The Extension - As soon as I walked back into the house, after 4 weeks away, I knew we didn't need to make the house any bigger. I would rather spend our money on holidays and education for the boys than go into debt for a bigger house. My plan is to remove the wall between the laundry and kitchen and then replace the kitchen and floors.

Hawaii - The lack of waves on our recent trip to the US had me dreaming of a beach holiday. At LA airport I bought the Hawaii Lonely Planet, the first few pages had me hooked. It is at the top of my bucket list and as soon as we got home I was looking up flight prices. July 2015 is when I want to go so we can go for 3 weeks without the boys missing any school. I have set my price for the flights of $6K so we will see how we go.



February 17, 2013

Weekend Homework


Now that Riley is in Year 7 he has homework to do on the weekend. We have a rule that all homework has to be finished by 8pm so he doesn't leave it til the last minute. 


He does his homework on the dining room table but is so easily distracted by what everyone else is doing. I am working on getting him his own room so he can do his work on his own desk in peace.


Riley is great at writing down in his diary what needs to be done and  has handed all of his things in on time, I think he is worried about getting in trouble for not having it finished. Today he had Maths, Religion, Science and Geography, about 15-20 minutes work for each. Normally his diary is much neater than this but he seems to be able to read it.



On the left is the religion homework, to colour in the Australia map, and on the right is the safety poster he did for Science.

He has always been very good at getting his homework done quickly and efficiently but now most of his work is on the iPad he is taking alot longer to get things done. 


October 17, 2012

The Week That Was...

My first attempt so let's see how I go

Riley was up and dressed very early so he could have a game of Minecraft before school. Nate chose to relax a little in his PJ's.

Jack and Ben from across the road spent some time watching Cooper play Minecraft, the boys are crazy for it at the moment.

Homework was completed without a lot of grief.

The money wallet I bought from Etsy is working a treat but I am finding it tough to stick to my budget.

The boys headed to Canberra for the annual Scott 24 hour bike race. They were stoked they got to leave school early.



Darren found this photo of himself on Flickr and Shan thought he would have a little fun adding his own touch to it.


 Nate did most of the artwork for The Steel Eggs, Darren brought it home as a souvenir

Darren was stoked with his T-shirt and beanie

I treated Cooper to a blue donut and milkshake after a bit of shopping.

Hel and I celebrated her birthday with a day of shopping and a nice lunch at Shellharbour Square.

I planned my shopping list for my visit to IKEA, I got most items on my list.

Cooper and I fed the horses outside Rechelle's house, it was such a beautiful afternoon.

October 15, 2012

At this moment...

- I am typing up this post and thinking I need to type up more of my life stories
- Riley is playing Minecraft with Boyd and Ben (neighbours) sitting right beside him watching
- Cooper is riding his scooter out the front after wolfing down his dinner so he could go back out and play. He is very excited about his swimming lesson is 30 minutes
- Darren and Nathan are at cubs. They had to start early today as Darren is assistant cub leader and Baloo wants to sort out the terms activities
- My dinner is sitting on the stove ready for when i get back from swimming, Minestrone with Zucchini and Lentils, a 12wbt recipe, so easy to make.
- The clothes line is full after washing all of the clothes from the boys biking weekend
- There is a pile of sleeping bags by the french doors waiting for Darren to put them away.
- I am uploading my August photos to Flickr and thinking about how I am going to change my way of documenting my photos
- My office area is immaculate after purging things that are no longer useable for me, I actually enjoy spending time in here now it is clutter free
- I have 12 IKEA frames sitting on my dining table ready for a photo gallery project for the dining room. I have to select 12 holiday photos, like the one below, so excited to get it up







July 20, 2010

Last Day of Winter Holidays

Cooper couldn't believe the garbage trucks hadn't been to empty the bins by the time he had finished morning tea. Normally they have been by that time, he kept looking out the window to see if it was coming.


Jared also had the day off school, for a pupil free day, so mum brought him up to have a play with the boys. They rode down to the jump, played army games and also had a go on the Playstation, playing Ninja Turtles.


While the boys were playing army games Cooper got his bike out to practice his riding. He was so proud of himself as he rode all the way up the lane way and then managed the turn all by himself. I had to help him do the tight turn but he did about 6 laps, he even didn't want Nathan's help.


Mum wasn't feeling that well, I think she got the cold from us but I wasn't owning up, she came outside anyway but was really rugged up as there was a chilly wind blowing.

July 15, 2010

Week 2 Day 4 Winter Holidays

Cooper loved helping me this morning load all of Darren's bike clothes into the machine, he wanted to do the powder but I wouldn't let him as I didn't fancy a mess.


After dropping Cooper off at pre-school we went to Harvey Norman to get my new point and shoot camera, a Canon S90.  While the boys were playing the Playstation 3 I had a look at some Nikon DSLR's, mainly the D90 and D5000 after reading some reviews on the internet. I also had a look at the Canon's since I have a couple of nice lenses already. I am not sure which way to go when I upgrade my camera and so I will keep doing more research until I can decide but I don't think I should take so long as Darren has his eye on a new road bike.

My first photo with my new camera. It is so tiny I put the wrist strap on straight away.


 I love that I can listen to my iPhone in my car, it is one of my favourite features.


After taking a little too long camera browsing we met up with Emma and the kids at Playmaze where the kids ran around crazy for 2 and a half hours and Emma and I enjoyed a coffee and scones. I tried taking some photos of the boys using my new camera and much to my horror the lens froze up. I ended up getting a replacement as even Shane couldn't get it working while the boys played over at Kial's. 

I cooked up a batch of Anzac biscuits for Darren to take to work for morning tea. I used Nanny's recipe and Riley was hovering over them waiting for them to cool.


While I made the bisuits the boys played the Wii.


Darren picked up Cooper from school, had a biscuit or two then started browsing for bikes while I finished making dinner. He loves to dream about his next bike, especially since Harvo just bought himself a new one.

July 14, 2010

Week 2 Day 3 Winter Holidays

I woke up tired and didn't want to get up this morning, I didn't get out of bed until around 8am, Cooper woke me up at 3:30am and I had to change his clothes before putting him back in Nathan's bed and because it was so windy it took me a while to get back to sleep.

We all enjoyed a quiet morning as Riley slept at mum's last night with Jared and two kids are always quieter than three. Nate enjoyed having the Wii all to himself while Cooper played garbage bins.
On Sunrise I was shocked to find out that our gas, water and electricity bills are to go up 64% in the next five years. It got me thinking how we can reduce our usage to keep our bills down.

Benson had been barking all morning at the wind and the electricity man, I think he barked non stop for around 3 hours, his bark actually sounded a little hoarse.


Cooper and I made a Apple and Almond cake for morning tea. I was careful but still managed to over cook it as I usually do with cakes.


After lunch I picked up Dylan and we met mum and the boys at Warrawong to see Shrek Fore. Cooper was jumping up and down with excitment as he was so excited. I have to say I really enjoyed the movie and had a few chuckles.


We didn't get home from Kay's until 5pm so I decided to make burritos for dinner, Riley was pleased as it is his favourite dinners. The boys also enjoyed a slinky apple and huge bowl of yoghurt for dessert.


Darren got home from work early tonight and inspected his bikes that had fallen off the wall during the night, I think they were all ok. I nearly had a heart attack when I went in the garage and found his bike on the floor next to my car, thankfully it didn't hit the car on the way down.

He went for a night ride to Appin with a mate from work, he was a little nervous as the last time he rode at night in Appin he had a big stack. He finally got around to packing his night lights into a new hard case especially designed for the lights. Luckily the lights are ok as they were on his rode bike that fell of the wall.


The boys enjoyed playing mummy and daddy's for an hour before bed as Darren got them in their PJ's before he left. Cooper was off to sleep pretty quickly but Riley and Nate were talking for ages, I think they missed each other.

I managed to get two loads of washing done and I also took Benson for a walk for even though it was windy it wasn't too cold to be outdoors.