Sunday, 31 March 2013

List 11 - Books

Books, books glorious books! I've always been a bookworm. I remember fondly back to my childhood days reading books and the MS Readathon. I remember the Scholastic book club - I would order every catalogue. It would always be the latest Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin and one other choice. I loved the Babysitters Club - and have kept the all in case Savannah ever wants to read them. I wrote a letter to Ann M. Martin once- and even got a reply - I was over the moon!

Another favourite of my childhood was The Magic Faraway Tree. I recently repurchased the 3 books in 1 set and just finished reading the series to Hunter about a month ago. The new version wasn't quite the same - Jo, Bessie, Fanny and  have to Joe, Beth and Frannie - but it doesn't affect the enjoyment of the story. Both my kids love reading (or listening to stories) and I'm glad I've passed on this love to them! Hunter and I are now reading The Wishing Chair series - which I somehow managed to miss as a kid.

And unusual for me, 2 books that I tried but just couldn't finish were The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowlings and The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron.

I'm currently reading Harbored Secrets by Marie F Martin. I found this gem via bookrooster (a website that offers free kindle books in exchange for a review on amazon). It's about a girl Blinny who and keeps flashing back to her childhood and then back to the present. It's a great read.

I've listed some of my favourite books split into books read in 2013, favourites of all time and to be read.

Books I've read in 2013
  • The Truth Witch - Charles Steed
  • The Exemeus - Folami Morris
  • The Spice of Life - Jennifer L. Jennings
  • Sorceress' Blood - Carl Purcell
  • Special Offers - ML Ryan
  • Special Rewards - ML Ryan
  • Nursing the Doctor - Bobby Hutchinson
  • Season of Lies - Monica Shaughnessy
  • A Death Displaced - Andrew Butcher
  • A Note Below - Andrew Butcher
  • Orphan Flu - AD Bolivar
  • The Angry Woman Suite - Lee Fullbright
  • The Chronicles of Trellah - TS Graham
  • Mrs Schadenfreude - Mike Young
  • The Do-Over - Kathy Dunnehoff

  • Anything by Jodi Picoult
  • Anything by Bryce Courtenay - but in particular April Fools Day and The Power of One
  • Anything by Paullina Simons - but in particular The Bronze Horseman
  • The Hunger Games series - Suzanne Collins
  • Thursday Next series - Jasper Fforde
  • Fallen series - Lauren Kate
  • Stephanie Plum series - Janet Evanovich
  • The Hangman's Daughter series - Oliver Potzsch
  • Before I go to Sleep - SJ Watson
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy - Steig Larsson
  • The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  • Sarah's Key - Tatina de Rosnay
  • The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffeneger
  • The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  • Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

I have over 500 books in my kindle to be read - but the ones I'm most looking forward to reading are:
  • The Help - Kathryn Sprockett
  • Sophie's Choice - William Styron
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire
  • The Child in Time - Ian McEwan
  • Shanghai Girls - Lisa See
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry
  • Room: A Novel - Emma Donoghue
  • Hush Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick
What are your favourite books?

Linking up with Deb at Listmania.



                                                            "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Hunter: Marion Celebrates Festival - in the garbage truck - see his clothing of choice - PJs and gumboots!
Savannah: Marion Celebrates Festival - making a pine cone decoration for the floor art

Linking up with Che and Fidel

Sunday, 24 March 2013


                                      "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Hunter: Showing me a chip at Savannah's birthday party at Hungry Jacks
Savannah: Cupcakes again - this time for her birthday!

Linking up with Che and Fidel

Friday, 22 March 2013

List 10 - A to Z of now

Deb's lists keep getting better. This week is another week to reflect on the now with the A-Z of now. So here it is!

Activities - we take the kids to lots of things, swimming, sport, family night at Bunnings last night

Birthday's and birthday parties - it's Savannah's 4th birthday on Monday and her party on Saturday. Of course (being the way), Hunter has been invited to a party at a similar time to Savannah's

Cupcakes - Savannah has requested flower cupcakes for her birthday cake. They will look better tomorrow when I set them out as a bunch of flowers - but here are some of them!

Dancing - I love taking Savannah to her ballet classes and watching her dance at home

Exercise - I'm trying to get into it, running and mini-circuits

Family - are coming to stay for the weekend, and the Easter weekend

Governing council - I'm on 2 governing councils - School and kindy (and my husband is on the childcare one). So it's keeping me busy

Healthy eating - trying to get the family eating healthily

Interesting conversation from the men behind me on the bus - they talked about buses, the public service, equal opportunity (isn't it great - we don't have to offer our seats to women anymore and they can do our jobs so we can retire) and some poor woman called Carmel

Job - I have a great job which is great given I spend 4 days there per week - flexible and I like what I do!

Kindy - Savannah starts in term 2 so we are currently doing some visits and talking about it lots

Long weekend - the Easter long weekend is coming up and hubby has the WHOLE weekend off (he works at Bunnings so this is rare). I'm looking forward to the family time

Movies - I love going to movies and watching them on TV. My sister in law would like to see Silver Lining playbook with me tonight

Nice people - a young man stood for me on the bus this morning - I said I was okay but he insisted

Overnight toilet training (if there is such a thing) - we stopped the pull-ups for both Hunter and Savannah in January - Hunter is doing great but lately Savannah has been wetting every night

Quiet play - the kids have quiet play before bed each night

Reading - I love reading on my kindle. I'm pleased my kids also share my love of reading.

Sleep - I spend a lot of time trying to get the kids to sleep and not enough time sleeping myself

True Grit - I've registered for this military style obstacle course - it's in May but I'm so not ready for it - see 'exercise'

Unlimited kisses and hugs from Savannah - she is always open to give one and who wouldn't want a hug or kiss from this face!!

Vacation - I know in Australia we call them holidays but H was taken. We are planning a holiday for the July school holidays!

Waiting - I feel I'm wasting so much time waiting for the bus!!

Xendesktop - what we use to log into our work system - I will be needing this a bit next term when I'm going to be working one day per week at home to fit in with kindy drop offs and no train

Year one - my big boy Hunter is in year one this year!

Zzzzzz - I always feel so tired

Linking up with Deb at Listmania.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Week 9 - Favourite spots around my home

What a fun topic for this week's listmania - happy spots around our homes. I took the opportunity to take some snaps of my house. I took a quick roam around my house and took photos when I felt the desire!

My bedroom
I put my bed and my chair. I put the chair in my room for reading - but it's usually covered in clothes, books, baby dolls etc! But it's still nice when I do manage to read in it. Otherwise I love reading in my bed. It's so comfy and I love being propped up with my pillows. We recently painted a feature room in each of our bedrooms - we choose this green colour (Savannah has pink and Hunter has orange). I love that it's not so white - used to be so much white!!


Outdoor table
When we bought our new house the first thing we did was purchase a pergola for this outdoor area. We have put a fan at the top which means we can sit here all year around. We eat dinner here most nights. It's great family time. It's a bit messy at the moment, but it's well used. I also sit out here on nice days and read my book or have breakfast on the weekends.

I love that I have a treadmill at home so I can go for a run when I'm the only adult home. It makes it easier to exercise without leaving the kids.

I set up this artwork nook during the Simplify Your Life challenges. My kids love craft and are always creating something at school and childcare. The aim was to give them 2 spots each and I regular change which pieces are on display.

Coffee machine
I have the Nespresso U. I love it. I can make a cup of coffee in less than a minute before I head out the door for work each morning. I've only had this since November but it's saved me $4.20 each day on bought coffee.

What home isn't complete without a thermomix??  I love the thermomix - makes cooking a breeze and we can make so much food from scratch - preservative, additive and colour free!!

Lounge room chair
This is the chair I'm currently sitting in.It has recline and is so comfy. This is my chair of choice for laptop work and TV time!

 What are your happy spots in your house?

Linking up with Deb at Listmania.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


                                          "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Hunter: Waiting for the fringe show at Carrick Hill
Savannah: Love her style! At Carrick Hill for a fringe show and had a look at the storybook trail afterwards.
Linking up with Che and Fidel

Monday, 11 March 2013

List 8 - Reverse bucket list

The idea of a reverse bucket list: a list of all the awesome things you have already done, is fantastic. It makes you really appreciate your life and the things you have done. But I found this hard.  Firstly thinking I've done nothing, then when thinking about, actually I've done heaps, but what is worthy of being included? So I've had a crack.

Travelled overseas. I have been to:
  • Bali
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
Travelling always includes awesome experiences, some of mine include:
  • getting caught in a flood
  • white water rafting
  • going on a sleeper train
  • riding an elephant
  • trekking through the hill tribes in Northern Thailand
  • took a Thai cooking class
  • going on a fast jet
  • eating frogs legs
  • eating traditional NZ Hangi
  • dolphin cruise
  • riding a motor bike in Thailand

Travelled within Australia. I've been to every state except for Northern Territory and have had many Australian adventures. A few memorable ones include:
  • Snow skiied
  • Held a Tasmanian Devil
  • Travelled on an overnight boat (Melbourne - Tasmania)
  • Ran up the steps of the Opera House - touched it! 
  • Camped - in a tent, in a caravan, in a cabin

Gained an education
·         Completed my SACE (SA certificate of education - Year 11/12)
·         Graduated from university - Bachelor of psychology with Honours
  • Learned to play the piano and saxaphone
  • Completed some fun classes - cupcake basics, barista basics, hair basic 

Gained a career. Worked my way up to a senior position.

Started a family
  • I got married
  • Had 2 beautiful children - Hunter and Savannah
  • Been actively involved my children's their lives/activities/education
  • Built a house - sold it - bought another

I have achieved some health and fitness
  • Lost 17kg (unfortunately I have put a lot back on and now I'm right on the top-end of my healthy weight - just squeeze in based on BMI. But I'm about 6kg above my weight watchers goal weight - I'm working on getting back there
  • Completed the C25K program 
  • Ran the City to Bay - 12km - in 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Did some fun classes including belly dancing and Tai Chi 
  • Learned to water ski
  • Bought a thermomix so can make awesome preservative and additive free things, including raw chocolate

Saw some musicals.
  • Disney on Ice
  • Les Miserables
  • Hairspray
  • The Lion King
  • Phantom of the Opera
Linking up with Deb at Listmania.

Saturday, 9 March 2013


                                                           "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Hunter and Savannah: Hot day so after school fun in Grandma and Grandpa's pool

Linking up with Che and Fidel

Monday, 4 March 2013

List 7 - I'ld like to learn that!!

This week's Listmania link up is about being a lifelong learner and things I want to learn. As I work in the vocational education and training sector I’m all for lifelong learning (and it doesn’t have to be of the academic kind).  The things I would like to learn include:

I would like to learn how to speak Thai
Hubby and I have been to Thailand a few times and have picked up words here and there. After one of our big trips I bought some how to speak Thai CDs with the intent we would learn. It’s so much nicer going to a country and being able to speak to them in their language. It’s still on the to-do list.

I would like to learn about beauty
I would like to learn how to braid so I can do my daughter’s hair – I can plait but braids elude me. I would like to learn how to make my hair look awesome with blow drying/curling/ straightening and so on. I did do a 3 hour course on this, but like everything, you need to practice to get good at it. I’m still finding time to practice. I would like to learn how to apply make-up that looks professional but natural. I rarely wear make-up, but if I do it’s a quick splash and I’m done in 5 minutes. And I would like to learn how to put an outfit together that looks awesome! I have no idea with fashions, trends and accessorising.

I would like to learn about parenting/discipline
I’m struggling with my son’s behaviour and am concerned how he will turn out when he is older. My daughter is starting to be testing also. They can be beautiful people – but real terrors also. I’ve read every book under the sun but can’t seem to get it right.

I would like to learn to be an awesome cake decorator
My cake decorating only comes into action for my kids birthday cakes – so twice a year. Whilst I can do enough to make them happy (at the moment, they are 6 and 3) I would love to be able to make professional looking cakes. I have done a basic cupcake decorating course – here are my creations! I’m proud of what I did during the course, but that was with all the right tools and an instructor on hand!

I would like to learn to be technically minded
I bought a HDMI cord to show content from my computer to my TV – haven’t quite worked out how to get it to work yet. I would like to know how to download movies and TV shows from the Internet (legally of course) – I have no idea.

Linking up with Deb at Listmania.

Sunday, 3 March 2013



                                                   "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Hunter: Cracking himself laughing as he turned Savannah's Wii Mii into something weird looking

Savannah:Reading to her babies

Linking up with Che and Fidel