Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grand Designs Australia & A little bit more about me

So...I am a Builder.

I know you probably would not have guessed that job title if you have been following my blog. I graduated with 1st class honours from a Bachelors Degree in Construction Management in 2005. Day to day and Generally speaking my job requires me to manage subcontractors, contracts, payments, variations, buildability, design & programme. (If anyone has any questions regarding building please feel free to email me, I am happy to give advice to all of my blog followers as I do my friends and family).

So onto the title of this post " Grand designs Australia" well lets just say I know a tidbit about a home that was featured on Grand designs, the title of the show was "The small house". Did anyone watch this episode? take  a look here for more info lifestyle channel episode 2- Small house

Flowers- Hydrangeas

Mum & I picked these hydrangeas from her garden over the weekend.
Beautiful Thanks Mum! I love Hydrangeas.

Monday, November 29, 2010

DIY- Paper Doily Christmas tree lights

Over the weekend I picked up a pack of paper doilies as I was planning on using them as gift wrapping tags, however when we put the tree up and dressed it I felt like it needed something more, so I  decided to fold the paper doily's and add them to the fairly lights sporadically.

In love with the result, I think it looks beautiful! Vintage/ Modern inspired Christmas. 

Step 1: Fold the paper doily's in 1/2 then 1/2 again etc.
Step 2: Cut a small 3mm hole in the centre whilst the doily's are still folded in your hand.
Step 3: Unfold doily and place light through doily hole, far back on the base of the fairly light.
Step 4: Sticky tape around the base of the doily & fan out the paper doily so that none of the light is touching the paper. Note: Please Be sure to make sure none of the paper is touching the light and it could get hot.    

Wall Art

I hope you had a beautiful weekend! 

Remember this Wall Art that I posted about a few weeks ago? here they are now happily sitting on a shelf in our lounge. I paired it with the back of a vintage songbook (in the silver frame) and a black and white photo printed out on cream coloured cardstock.  

Lots was achieved over the weekend, lots of eating and catching up with friends, we put the Christmas tree up & I started gift wrapping.

Is your Christmas tree up yet?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yay! It's almost Christmas time

 With December just around the corner I thought I might share this years Gift wrapping inspiration:

I have started doing some shopping so will share with you some wrapped pieces sometime soon. 

Last years Christmas tree was dismal to put it bluntly, we were busy planning our wedding so we opted to only decorate the top 1/2 of the tree......picture below Bella and the Tree swamped by presents.

The Black & Spiro window display is totally amazing and inspirational!
Via: Absolutely beautiful things

The Block- And the Winner is....

Reserve: $900,000
Sold: $1,105,000
Won: $205,000

Well done Neisha & John! Great effort!
I Suppose I should have read More thoroughly when I reported the SMH article yesterday:

We will not find out who has won the $100,000 prize until tonight, when the reserve prices for the units are revealed. All four contestant couples are entitled to pocket any difference between their sale price and the reserve. Neisha and John were in the box seat to take the prize.

Great result: Erin & Jake 
Reserve: $910,000
Sold: $997,500
Won: $87,500
Well done boys: Mark & Duncan 
Reserve: $860,000
Sold: $907,000
Won: $47,000
Unexpected end Brenton & Chez 
Reserve: $880,000
Result: passed in 

I almost shed a tear I was so devastated that Brenton and Chez were unable to sell their apartment, I really hope that they sell the apartment soon & make a little bit of money for their efforts. 

It is interesting, real estate development is difficult and often unpredictable, at least Brenton and Chez can walk away knowing that they have not lost their own money.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Room For 1- Styling a small apartment

I am not an Interior designer, just an interiors enthusiast. I thought it might be fun to put together a Relatively Affordable living room scheme that would suit a one Bedder or studio style apartment. A plain scheme of greys and whites lends itself well to a pop of pink or turquoise, a cussion or Art for the walls? 

$50 Rug: Ikea
$199 TV Unit Ikea
$130 Ghost chair: Ebay
$160 Floor Lamp Beacon Lighting
$76 Table Lamp Beacon Lighting
$269- Mirror Freedom
$1,199- 2 seater lounge Freedom

This recently listed 1 bedroom apartment could use a few of the above items.

The Block- Auction Day

The Block was Auctioned Last night with only one of the Vaucluse units sold above their $1 million cost. The most expensive apartment fetched $1.1 million. The cheapest was passed in at $865,000. 

We will not find out who has won the $100,000 prize until tonight, when the reserve prices for the units are revealed. All four contestant couples are entitled to pocket any difference between their sale price and the reserve. Neisha and John were in the box seat to take the prize.

I am a bit of a numbers Girl, so when a Friend (Alison) sent me this article from the SMH today The block proves a bankbuster for nine I couldn’t help but grab my calculator and start doing the figures  

$3,400,000 million the property was purchased in 2010.
$160,000 cost of stamp duty.
$40,000 for a quick update (Estimate cost only)
$95,000 renovation cost for John and Neisha in apartment one.
$90,000 renovation cost for Mark and Duncan in apartment two.
$94,853 renovation cost for Erin and Jake in apartment three (highest strata fee).
$89,974 renovation cost for Cheryl and Brenton in apartment four.
$100,000 was spent on improving common areas.
$4,069,827 Total cost

So I am going to look into my crystal ball and give you my predictions for tonight’s auction results:
Apartment 1: $995,000
Apartment 2: $865,000 Passed in??
Apartment 3: $1,100,000
Apartment 4: $985,000
$3,945,000 Total income (predicted only, not including agents and selling fees…)

Profit/ Loss: -$124,827 (loss)

My sales rationale in summary
I am thinking Apartment 3 will sell as it is a first floor unit and is impeccably styled by Erin & Jake, I believe it could be a toss up as Unit 1 Neisha & John will also do very well as it is a ground floor unit with a massive courtyard.

The rationale behind me thinking that apartment 2 Mark & Duncan would be passed in is that it is a ground floor apartment with a back deck, the outlook is over the rear car park.

I am sure channel 9 got plenty of advertising incentives to make this a worthwhile Development...Television Show.

Who do you think will take out the prize? What Unit do you think got passed in?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting to know me

This has been an amazing journey, I am so amazed that the beautiful Amanda from Homely One tagged me in the little "about me" blog game, a little confronting but here goes:

What is your favourite time of the day?
Afternoons- Coming home from a long day at work and enjoying some at home time with my husband, relaxing either going to the gym or cooking a lovely meal. If my mum & sister are in town, afternoons take on a “happy hour” vibe where we prepare a beautiful antipasto plate and enjoy with a glass of wine (Say Kath & Kim?). 

Where and when did you meet the love of your life?
My Husband True & I have grown up as family friends, our love blossomed at the age of 15 when True came to my high school, we caught the bus home together every day. We courted with letters and long phone conversations about nothing, however as teenagers we parted ways after 6 months but remained friends.

It was not until a chance encounter at Officeworks when we were both 18 (I was at University & True was completing his HSC) where we rekindled our friendship and the romance blossomed once more.

What three words would your friends outside of the blogging world use to describe you?
My best friends describe me as Thoughtful, compulsive and loyal 

What country would you like to visit and why?
France. We have been planning a European trip for a while now, after many years of being forced to watch the Tour de France I actually want to go and experience it! The French alps, the beautiful food and I suppose Paris would not be too bad to finish the trip….

What is your favourite dish to cook?
I love Cooking, my favorite dish to cook is chocolate fondant. I have a recipe that is fool proof, I will share it with you next time I make it.
Salt or sugar?
Sugar! See question above...I try to limit myself! (I keep a weekly food diary for my trainer, so that helps)

What are your must have make up or beauty items?
Bio-Oil- It really is a fabulous product. I use it on blemishes and scars & drop a few into the bath every now and again. I used this religiously every night before our wedding to get rid of a scar (from the oven) on my hand, & it worked!  
Cleanse, tone & Moisturise- I change all the time, at the moment I am using Estee Lauder.

MAC makeup- They have training workshops, usually held at Myer or David Jones stores. I try to attend a course every 6 months and stock up on make up (girlfriends and I usually give as a birthday gifts & we go together) The courses are $120 and include a make up demonstration/ tutorial, canapes and campaign, the best part… the $120 is redeemable on make up!.

What are your favourite flowers?
Baby’s Breath, I know they are filler flowers but I just love the delicateness of them.

What are your worst vices...honestly?
Opening my Big mouth…I tend to Say what I think all the time, even if it is a little controversial. Probably not a great idea that my big mouth has taken up writing a blog.

At what time of your life were you happiest and why?
I am happiest in my life when I am being creative, and that is all the time, my mind is always thinking about what I can create, this Blog is a great creative outlet for my random Ideas. 

At the moment I am happiest when renovating our apartment, I am in love with the accomplishment of creating something to make it more aesthetically pleasing than before.

Last year I was happy creating out amazing wedding day. The day itself was amazing, but the outcome of the day was truly a big culmination of the massive amount of creativity, planning and organisation that we both put in, the day turned out magical and we could not have asked for anything more.

And now for a list of a few blogs that have inspired me, they are all well worth checking out. I would love to know a bit more about them if you are happy to play along, I would love to hear your answers

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Birthday

To My Baby Sister...
Happy Birthday! 
I love you more than cake! 
She caught the bouquet at our wedding!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wardrobe Inspiration

Can a Girl dream? organised mayhem!

No Wardrobe post would be complete without a SATC wardrobe photo, I prefer the original more and the movie ones, this one has character!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Block- Week 7

Kitchen/ Dining rooms were revealed this week. A agree with the judges voting Erin & Jake as the winners this week, I suspect that they are going to be the overall winners of the show:

My Number 1- Erin & Jake:
This room speaks for itself, Amazing grey colour, Chandelier, glossy black framed mirror, striped chairs, mirrored cabinetry. Check, Check Check, what is not to love about this room (Besides cleaning the mirrored cabinetry above the range hood every time you cook something).

My Number 2- Brenton & Chez:
Love the use of lighting it gives the space an industrial feel with the dining table that they have used. However the chairs look very cheap ($99 from Freedom).

My Number 3: Mark & Duncan
I Love that they have gone with a different layout to the room with the kitchen on the far wall . The dark furniture looks wrong in the space, the chairs are overpowering the space, they are one of the more expensive chairs and retail for  $249 from Freedom

My Number 4- John & Neisha:
I love, love, love John & Neisha as contestants, but as designers I am not inspired by their attention to detail. Tab top curtains again and the cabinetry, why not run the cabinetry to the ceiling or create a bulkhead, also I think if they had created a nook in the cabinetry would have broken up the wall.
I am by no means qualified to comment from an Interior design perspective, this is just my view. 

What Do you think? Did you watch?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Almond Jam Cookies

As you can see I have been putting the cake stand that I posted about earlier to good use!

Without a doubt these are the best jam drop cookies that you will ever taste! I cooked them to a Kitchen Tea the other week (Pic Above). They are from the Women's Weekly Cupcakes and Cookies book.


185g butter, softened, chopped (I think you can use a little less say 175g)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons jam-you can use all the same or different varieties (I like Strawberry & Raspberry).

Step 1: Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Beat butter, vanilla, sugar and egg yolks with an electric beater until just combined.
Step 2: Stir in almond meal, flour and baking powder, mix well. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls; place on Baking paper/ Baking trays 5 cm apart.
Step 3: Press a hollow into each ball about 1 cm deep and 1.5cm wide using the handle of a lightly floured wooden spoon.
Step 4: Carefully use a tea spoon and spoon a little of the jam into the cookies.
Step 5: Bake about 20-25 minutes, remove from oven and leave to cool on trays. 

Enjoy with a coffee or Tea? or my favorite a cold glass of milk. 

Wouldn't these would be a wonderful treat to leave out for Santa?

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