29 June 2012

i've been shopping for my 600th post G I V E A W A Y

Greetings all,
Yahoo it's the weekend & welcome to my 599th post!!  The sun is shining, i have a cake cooling on the counter & i'm all packed for Blogopolis tomorrow.  Feeling pretty chirpy my sweet bloggie buddies.  
I've been shopping up a storm for all the goodies i love & offering them up as a GIVEAWAY to share as a thanks for reading, your beautiful comments (12500+) & cheerleading as i blog my little heart, mind, body & soul out.
 Do you fancy some Babushka measuring cups, packing tape with scissors & lace printed on them??  I spy some folder spine stickers, GONE VIRAL & tweet WORTHY stamps.  Oh & super cute lanterns (set of 10) created from dress making patterns for your studio!!  I spy some fabric, note books, pencils, paperclips & mini pegs too!!
 We love hand written note cards in the mail & cruising a fine mouse pad!!
 How about a set of Lotta Jansdotter stencils for some scandinavian style on clothes, textiles, walls . . . nothing like a handmade touch of unique creativity!!
So if you fancy 200 buckers worth of crafty goodness, leave a comment here, follow the blog & have yourself an extra lovely day!!  Extra entries for each post about this giveaway on your blog, twitter, FaceBook too!!  New followers welcome, don't be shy now.  Giveaway is open worldwide & closes Sunday midnight 8th July.  One randomly drawn winner takes it ALL!!  GOOD LUCK folks.  
Sponsored by my own hip pocket y'all, because i love you, yes i do.
Thanks for the good times gals, you make blogging a joy, love Posie
PS i know this is my 599th post for a 600th post giveaway, i can count, i just couldn't wait!!

28 June 2012

procrastination, pathetic, performance & positivity

Greetings all,
When you are a housewife, your key performance indicators are housework & a happy family . . . it's easy to let things like neat storage slide, when you're busy.  I run my family like a business, "housework & child maintenance" = my job description.  I am prone to the odd poorly timed housework manic tantrum . . . i'll empty the kitchen bin for garbage day & decide the whole bin needs to be scrubbed immediately - stainless steel must gleam again & be sterilised . . . in the middle of cooking dinner!!  Ditto when i go to replace a toilet roll . . . it might turn into a complete steam clean of the mirrors, shower screens, floors & toilet. 
I surprise myself when i let things go & sabotage my control . . . hidden behind clean cupboard doors - disaster lurks - even with stark reminders like when i haplessly reach for a baking tray from cupboard-of-mayhem & six trays coming crashing with it, i put off sorting it out.  My husband innocently opened a kitchen cupboard last week & our favourite quiche casserole dish & my beloved Donna Hay Royal Doulton footed cake plate rolled out together & smashed with my heart.  Procrastination, i loathe you, stunting housework achievement.
 My husband is just home from 4 days in Brisbane, collecting uniforms & clothes to 'move back in' with us for 6 months.  He asked me to do 3 things while the was away - sort the kitchen cupboards, make room for his clothes in the walk-in-robe & complete my tax.  Tick tick tick.  
 I rediscovered wedding gifts & restored order in the kitchen cupboards; found clothes i had completely forgotten about including a gorgeous grey knit for Winter; + some invoices from my business to be paid . . . i saved & made money!!  
 I'm an educated & independent woman, yet i avoided fuelling our new car for 3 days (& drove the old Landcruiser) because i'd never put diesel in a car before.  Yes, i used to work in the oil industry, pathetic!!  So i practised how to open the cover & cap (i've been stuck with new cars before at the pump, on my knees, trying to work out how to freaking get fuel in) so i was fierce with pride at the service station yesterday.  I said to the attendant "that was the first time i put diesel in a car" & he could have said "are you the Queen or something" but he was so friendly & asked "would you like to know what kind of alpine diesel you just used" which was music to my chemistry loving ears!!
 Canberra Airport might fly all sorts of important people to our nation's capital, however, last night while we waited to collect my husband after 9p.m., it was absolutely empty (i was still swabbed for explosives at security though, tee hee!!)  
 So my middle girl broke out into dance, to entertain the guys in security, with a performance!!  I really should look at getting the girls back into ballet.
 I have totally gorgeous girlfriends in my world, who send surprises just to say hello & they're thinking of me.  Stacey from Sheep's Clothing is an all time fave blogging gal pal with serious knitting skills.  Look what she sent me for my recuperating wrists this Winter, beautiful & so warm, with thumb holes - she thought of everything!!
 Jane from Life On Planet Baby is working something fulfilling in her world, a little etsy store filled with handmade goodies inspired by her love of stationery.
 Her pieces scream positivity.  What a lovely collection of her wares, the book even has a lovely inscription too, so incredibly thoughtful, thank you Jane!! 
Some weeks are such a mixed bag.  On Thursdays, i would religiously post about something i had sewn for My Creative Space, instead today i've been making a lasagne from scratch - pasta made with our own hens' eggs - i'm busy on a very different scale right now out of the studio & i'm loving it, especially the time i'm spending with my husband.  Love Posie

27 June 2012

snap it 'ground'

Greetings all,
Playing Snap It with Faith Hope & a Whole Lotta Love, this week's theme 'ground'. 
Bless our hens, they are not always laying during our sub zero nights, but each afternoon we leave the coop open in case they wish to lay in a nesting box, however, more often than not, we'll find one or two hens have wiggled their bottoms down on the hay & left a surprise for us on the ground.  
Doesn't get fresher than this, or warmer (i remind the children where exactly that warmth is from - chicken's bottom) but they just think laying eggs it's the most clever thing!!  One day i will receive the acclaim i deserve for hatching them!!  From 8 hens, we're down to a couple of eggs a day, which is a steady enough pace for this egg loving family over Winter.  Love Posie

26 June 2012

retail thriftiness - brand new bargains

Greetings all,
I love a good bargain.  Even more so when it's an adorable brand new product - i might have paid full price for - with a tiny fault.  Triple awesome when it's marked down to $2!!
 I took this Cotton Candy sweet baking set (pun intended) to the counter to double check the mark down.  "Bug in candle packet" well that's good enough for my children . . . they don't eat the candles & the bug was so incy wincy, hardly a concern on a birthday cake which has dozens of germy children heaving & blowing over it at a party.
 Nice surprise when i got home & opened it up properly, a biscuit stamp, adorable.
 A little while ago i found this mint-in-the-box $150 camera on the "$2 Not Quite Right" table.
 Even as a decorator piece (i sound like Frank & Mike on American Pickers) . . . but it actually works, i still can't find the flaw.  If you were alive in the 1980's the back of this camera will bring back memories.  My children still ask where the 'screen' is??!!  
 Mass manufacture discounts i can understand with huge profit margins covering hiccups, but when you find a handcrafted pear like this beautifully detailed felt one, you wonder who made it & how can it possibly be for sale at only $5.  I appreciate & cherish it. 
 Now i've shown you some Alannah Hill 'damaged stock' bargains before but this frock . . . "$399 broken zip $40" . . . even if you took the bow off the front & made it into a headband you're ahead.  It's much cuter on, with those little tassels shimmying, i buy these dresses on a whim (size 6) for when my girls grow taller & get hips, for future dances, socials & formals.
Now i won't be fighting my daughters for any size 6 clothing, but i have been after some Converse sneakers (for years actually) & boom, found these on the "$50 last sizes" table.  Better yet, they fit my eldest daughter - who already has size 10 (40) feet like her Mama - so we can share.  We will get these shoes down to 5c a wear, i promise you!!
Retail is hurting, lots of businesses are closing down . . . once loved stock - they're glad to get rid of it for a pittance.  You just have to keep your eyes peeled & some gold coins in your purse for those enormous impulse bargains.  I just found a gorgeous Esprit long denim skirt 80% off & i thought, well i'm not seeing my sister these school holidays, $20 is a fraction of the price i'd spent on fuel alone to visit her, so i popped it in with her son's July birthday gift i was posting off, as a little surprise.  
Have you scored yourself some crazy bargains lately, better value than second hand in Op Shops??  Do share, won't you??  Love Posie

25 June 2012


Greetings all,
Another cold & icey Monday morning but it got me thinking while driving the children into before-school-sport-practise . . . i don't get Mondayitis, i never have, not at school, Uni, motherhood or in my short-stint-working-life.  I came home to flick on the computer & found this on my desk, aw, everyone needs an 8 year old boy in their life who thinks you are a rock star!!
 Most of this year i've had to have a child at school (20km away) at 8a.m. for volleyball or netball practise, now very comfortable in a new car with leather heated seats, while we hang in the car park in below zero temperatures with primary schooler(s) waiting until playground supervision commences.  So i'm home on Mondays half an hour earlier - a head start on housework or Spin Class at the gym for that gym-kick-start the week.
 My mornings vary, depending on who has sports practise (i prefer before school than after school) . . . without fail, puppy, ducks & chickens need to be let out, fed & watered, then their coops de-poo'ed & freshened up with new straw.  They pay me with cuddles, chattering & some bravely-laid-Winter eggs.   
 Keeping ducks is very similar to raising chickens, ONLY they like to fill their bills with water & spray-saturate EVERYTHING.  This is a chore when they are ducklings indoors, so consider raising them in the bathroom & separated from their fine feathered non-oily chick cousins (when water is around.)
 Our ducks are still less than a month old, so they sleep indoors/ the garage, nesting on old chopped up children's doonas, after a muddy day outdoors & their afternoon swim in the bath.  The blonde Khaki Campbell duckling had to be helped from her shell at birth, the breeders weren't sure she'd survive, now she's spot on for size.   
 What i love about our inherited-from-a-friend adult hens is that they don't seem to have a pecking order - they are so friendly, inclusive & happily mix with ducks, chicks, then sleep side by side at night in the cosy coop at night!!  Can you pick the 3 different ages of the Silver Spangled Hamburgs (4 week chick, 10 week old & adult hen??)
 Undaunted by size, this tiny black Pekin bantam chick (left) hangs out with the enormous blue Jersey Giant (right) we affectionately refer to as The Cracken.  We would so love to raise chicks from her, just to see how massive they are . . . we imagine they'll kick out their legs & walk around with the egg on their head for a while, like The Hulk!!  
I'm happily out there flicking poo at dawn in the freezing cold, in jammies & gum boots, i am really going to enjoy the farm we plan, especially on Mondays!!  As a housewife, Monday is the start of MY week, i have 6-7 hours a day to cook, clean, bake, read, gym, relax, sew, walk . . . & with my husband home on leave (Ok, right now he's in Brisbane for 4 days, but when he's back again) we might even take in lunch & a movie!!
Mondays, love them or hate them, there is no week without them, love Posie

23 June 2012

blurring the lines of niche blogs & other crossovers

Greetings all,
I love blogging & post on all manner of things as i'm a housewife, mother, crafter (woman, daughter, sister, friend, exerciser, magazine reader, art lover, traveller, animal raiser, future home builder, air breather . . . over sharer) i never realised there were particular niches to stick to.  Why??  I keep finding blogs who normally post about children, books or craft . . . put up a baking post with a byline of 'for fear of sounding like a food blogger' . . . why, everyone cooks & eats right, i don't follow you exclusively to just read about your children, books or craft.  Show off your food, ideas & triumphs, surely there are no blog limits less those we impose on ourselves.
First up, winner of The Best Ever Birthday story cook book was Nat from Muddy FarmWife, yay!!  I'm a giveaway blogger??  How cute are these mixed flavour lolly milk bottles we found at the supermarket & the recipe title page of the book??   
 So without fear of sounding like a food blogger, i don't care what you call me or my blog, call me a Mummy Blogger if you wantcheck out what we've been chowing down with handsome soldier this week.  Way more flavour than the keep-the-children-alive cooking i perform while he's away.  Pork belly anyone??
 Yesterday we cruised Pialligo (near the airport) for the Bison ceramics sale & Kerrison's Apple Orchard.  The lady who weighs the apples offered up some complimentary bay leaves - coincidentally the lady who served us at Bison was telling us that she put bay leaves in her homemade pumpkin soup.  Snap!!  Sharing . . . i told the apple lady too.  Now there will be 2 more families in Canberra eating bay leaves in their pumpkin soup & how many bloggers?? 
 Meanwhile the high schooler had her year 8 Medieval feast & she contributed mead.  Our house smelt like a castle!!  Possibly my first & last post about medieval food.
 Making fresh pasta with eggs from our hens, bless them laying in sub zero temperatures!!  Actually few lay at night, we tend to find 'afternoon' eggs.
 So easy, one large free range egg to every 100gm of 00 flour, mix, knead, roll & cut.  We sometimes cut with a pretty roller by hand, mostly use the KitchenAid attachments for perfect tagliatelle.
 A mid week easy dinner before volleyball matches, caramelised onions, gourmet sausages, avocado, snag jam & my new favourite condiment: beetroot & horseradish relish.
 For genuine food bloggers, i salute your ability to photograph food glamourously.  Just focus on the deliciousness at my blog!!  My husband always BBQ sausages, pretty sure it was sleeting snow when he was outside, i should know, i had to be by his side cheering him on & keeping him company.
My French brother-in-law puts pears in his pumpkin soup, so we did too, mmmm. This was made before the bay leaf apparition.  
 Then the decadent - Brownies, looking silky smooth even before we added the eggs.
 Just in case you think we're showing off - trust me, this tasty cooking is ALL my  husband, i'm a very bland & unadventurous cook - here's an image to keep a real . . . our 3rd daughter making toast - she turned the knob but forgot to lower the bread.  She's so totally my child!!
Do you believe blogs need to stick to niches or we can just post about anything??  Viva la all-round-blogger i say, especially a personal blog with so many interests!!  Love Posie

21 June 2012

my creative space . . . 'craft retreat'

Greetings all,
I strongly believe the nicest community in blogland is we crafty folks.  Sure there are those protective of their images, patterns, products, & others who complain about people stealing their ideas . . . yet for most of us, we blog to share.  Even better, lots of us attend all manner of blog based events focused on craft, like Sew It Together.  It's positively the most pleasant way to meet fellow crafty bloggers, sitting at classes & around tables with our needles & fabrics, crochet & knitting, chattering away.  Shock horror, the average age is below 40!!
When SIT was in Canberra a weekend ago, i sat next to Julie from Relish, a fellow Canberra girl whom i'd met briefly at handmade markets - too busy to chat - so this was my chance to talk her ear off.  I couldn't help but covet this pretty hexagon pencil case which she received in a swap (craft swaps are amazing, they even involve a dance!!) 
 At the bigger craft retreats/ events, there are sponsored goodie bags & lucky door prizes.  Last year at SIT i was one of the last pulled out of the hat, yet thrilled to pick up a prize from pin-up-girl Gillian of Silly Gilly - vintage sewing goodies - this year i hit the jackpot & scored a 'Wendy' Polly Pratt dress ($176) which basically voided the cost of the craft weekend, as i was going to purchase a dress anyway.  
If you love a beautifully made dress in stunning fabrics, check out Anna's Polly Pratt blog & sale, with dresses at $100, starts Friday night: ends Sunday 8p.m.!!  Thank you Anna, love you & the generous pretty fabric donation to Aussie Hero Quilts for our girlie soldiers serving overseas.    

The Saturday night of SIT included more pop up shopping stalls (including a $2FQ clearance sale from me, that was like Boxing Day sales, thank you ladies!!) & i picked up fabrics from other stalls, sharing the love, along with more of Claire's Craft Schmaft patterns.  FYI Claire is looking for pattern testers right now!!
 The Sunday of the SIT weekend was a paint & stencil class.  I was so impressed with what Sheridan of Sew It Together had learned from Lotta Jansdotter herself, i quickly ordered the same Lotta hard plastic stencils on line & they have already arrived!! 
 I had a little stitching planned for today, however, i just did a big slip over at the shops this morning (while holding my husband's hand, i slid down his side, he let me go) in new ankle boots from the Trenery sale, damn new leather soles & jarred my tennis elbow.  He just stood there looking at me on the floor, trying to work out what happened . . . especially confused as i was laughing.  So it's an icepack, Mollie & Frankie for me instead.  
 So do consider joining in a blog event that suits your interests, you're guaranteed to meet lovely like minded folks & enjoy.  For more creative spaces, check out Village Voices My Creative Space today, love Posie

20 June 2012

a wonderful day in the country

Greetings all,
What a glorious Winter day in the country.  
 We're looking for a neat farm block for our active, animal loving family.
 So we headed to Braidwood (beyond our outer limit from the Canberra CBD) & worked our way back, looking at properties, to the Federal Highway.  Clocked up 300km between morning tea & lunch!!
 Wide open spaces.
 Run down wool sheds & barns.
 Long dirt roads - where my husband & i start to wonder if this is someone's private driveway??  
 Just cruising the Great Dividing Range.
 When a real estate agent asks "are you Ok with wind farms - they might be visible from the property" they actually should just say "this property is next door to a wind farm!!"
So we're back on the search, for the elusive 100 acres, more or less, with a small list of dreamy requirements like . . . a sealed road with good access for builders, cleared with privacy & some bush, friendly council, water/ dam, in our budget!!  All i can say is that we are very patient.  Love Posie