Monday, September 30, 2013

meal planning monday.

monday again. after a weekend in the country, i'm feeling a little all over the place, but i've got two whole days at home this week so that will help ground me again.
oh and a meal plan will help too!

tonight, i'll dig out some chicken kievs from the freezer. i'll cook up some asparagus to go with them as it should go well with them, but mainly because that's what's in the fridge! haven't had a chance to go shopping and couldn't think of anything worse than going after work tonight!

i'll get out and get some supplies tomorrow, so i can try something new! i might make up a pot of roasted garlic and potato soup (sfi june '02, pg 50). and some fresh crusty bread! hopefully that will be delicious enough for bb to realise that there's no meat ;)

i'm planning to spend wednesday at home, getting housey type things done and studying (12 assessment tasks left, 6 weeks) so i think i might whip up some pizza dough. home-made pizzas will go down a treat!

thursday night, i think i'll put together some salmon and noodle fritters (sfi october '02, pg 39). hopefully there'll be some leftovers to take for lunches!

last week, i never quite got that drunken pork in the slow cooker, so i might try that again for my late night at work!

this weekend is my weekend to work, which means i'll leave bb in charge of the cooking... hoping for a roast at least one night, preferably sunday, still haven't quite got that happening yet!

what are you eating this week? do you do a sunday roast at your place?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

little lovelies

every week, i try and share a little list of lovely things that have happened throughout the week in my neck of the woods, to try and keep myself looking on the bright side of things.

arranging and then re-arranging my hexies is keeping a big fat smile on my face this week.

i popped them into a box, to keep everything together, but then found them a new home today while i was shopping at the kongwak market. it's a beautiful vintage case that with a little bit of love, should be the perfect home for my hexies as my collection grows and grows!

on wednesday, i went past my mailbox and couldn't believe how full it was!

all of these were crammed in there! wool for me, wool for my mum and some fabric for hexy-ing. pretty fabulous!

during the week, i had a bit trim of my herb garden as they were getting super out of control!

i created a little drying line in my kitchen (excuse the mess, keeping it real yo!). brings a little greenery indoors and they'll be SUPER convenient to use for cooking!

i've just gotten back from a little visit to my parent's place. i do so love getting down to the country, even if just for a night.
the drive is always great for clearing any nonsense in my head. well once i get out of the burbs and into the green hills anyway...
it's good to catch up with the animals too...

the cat was super happy for me to be there. or maybe just for the opportunity to sleep on something different. suuuuuuuch an idiot! my bag was SO lumpy! silly kitty!

what's been making you smile this week? do you have an out of control herby patch too? or a silly, uncomfortable sleeping kitty?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

well heeled.

after a successful bit of knitting over the weekend just gone, i managed to complete the heels on both of my socks!
it was the part of sock knitting that i was most dreading... i had awful trouble with the short rows that were part of the pattern for the jumper that i knitted for bb.
thankfully though, the tutorial for these socks explained it SUPER clearly.

i had a little trouble in that i did half of the heel for one sock, and then couldn't remember where i was up to... but once i sat down, frogged out what i'd started on, and then started again, i had both heels completed within an hour or so.
big load off my mind now :D oh and the next pair should be an absolute cinch!

now to get the top part of the socks done... ankle socks anyone?

have you ticked anything tricky off your to-do list lately? is there something you've been putting off?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

green love.

oops, it's been a couple of weeks since i did a garden update so there's LOTS going on!

my raspberry plant has absolutely EXPLODED!

one of the reasons i really enjoy posts like this, is that i can compare what something looks like now, to how it did a few weeks ago... it's definitely bigger :D

my blueberry plant is full of buds...

i'm so desperately hoping to score some fresh blueberries this year!

oh and i planted out some tomato seeds one night after work a week ago...

and they're already popping their heads out to say hello! once they get a little bigger, i'll prick them out and plant them into toilet rolls filled with compost. for the first time ever, tomatoes WILL be happening in these parts this year!
i wonder if the landlord would be upset if i put a planter box in the middle of the front lawn..? hrmmmm...

what's growing in your neck of the woods? do you grow tomatoes?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


on friday, i mentioned that i had started on a new crafty obsession endeavour.
in case you didn't guess by the title, it's hexie-ing!
and by that i mean, english paper piecing, using hexagon shapes.

on the way to ballarat for crafty hijinks, we made a little pitstop into millrose.
if you haven't been there before, you should! it's an amazing shop with LOTS of quilting fabric, patterns, haberdashery supplies AND wool! i could well have spent all day there, but we did have other places to be...
anywho, i digress, i couldn't leave empty handed so i picked myself up a little box, filled with 10 fat-eighths of liberty!
of course, i didn't get a picture before i started cutting into it, but i have 9 of the 10 below, made up into hexies :D

i got to work on cutting and sewing almost right away, well after some chatting, and a scone and some more chatting...
and after having a little practice run with the little kit that bec had put together.
she was kind enough to do a little demonstration to show everyone how to hexie, but i was already hooked by that stage!

brianna had been on a spotty run and picked me up some papers, as well as a template to help cut the fabric to the right size. what a legend!

i've been working on them all week, mostly at night while blobbing out on the couch. they're the perfect crafty activity for couch blobbing, as long as you keep track of your needles. stray needles in the couch do not make for comfortable reclining!

since i've made a good start, i have grand intentions. quilt intentions. i guess we'll wait and see how that goes...
my plan is to use lots of different florals (not just liberty, that could get pricey!) and i've got some on the way to me now! i bought a fat quarter of each of the florals in the ballarat patchwork online store. emma is closing the store down at the end of the week and everything is half price!

do you have grand crafty intentions too? do you hexie? if not, would you like to?

Monday, September 23, 2013

meal planning monday.

monday again, and with the help of my newly started recipe database, i'm ready and raring to go!

tonight, i'm going to whip up the broccolini pad thai (sfi sep '13, pg 42) i was talking about last week. we ended up having pizza instead on saturday night... oops!

tomorrow night, i want to try out ANOTHER new recipe! this time a teriyaki salmon (sfi june '13, pg 53). with all of the recipes i have easily available to me now, i'm realising that we really don't eat enough fish... so i'm going to aim for fish once a week, oh and a vego meal once a week too. just don't tell bb that last one ok?

wednesday night is ncb night. delicious cafe food for me that night and bb can fend for himself!

thursday night is my late night this week, so i think i'll pop some drunken pork in the slow cooker again. have almost whittled down those pesky leftover beers in the fridge ;)

friday night, i'm heading into the city to play in a table tennis tournament at bb's work. i'd say there'll be pizza provided and a couple of friday night drinks too. should be great fun!

saturday night, i'm intending to head down to my parent's place and catch up with my cousin who is house-sitting for them at the moment. mum and dad, the lucky things, are currently on holidays!!!

on sunday night, i'm hoping to get a roast happening! i've been trying to get us into the habit of a sunday roast, but the last couple of weeks it just hasn't happened... fingers crossed for this week!

what are you cooking this week? tried any new recipes lately?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

little lovelies

every week, i try and share a little list of lovely things that have happened throughout the week in my neck of the woods, to try and keep myself looking on the bright side of things.

i've started to make some great progress on my re-organisation efforts.

i have HALVED the number of magazines in my stash. HALF of them are now in a box to go to the op-shop, with all of the recipes that i like the look of, photographed, edited and stored in my computer. they're ready to use and easy to access!

i've also made a start on the prettification of my crafty boxes too!
i'm giving them a couple of coats of gesso before i start the real prettifying :D

i managed to spend an hour or so in the sunshine this morning... having a good look around at my backyard and a bit of a knit

i pulled back all of the work i'd done on the first heel of my sock as i couldn't for the life of me remember where i was up to, and i was pretty sure i'd made a few mistakes.
i managed to get the heel finished in just that little stint of knitting. pretty happy with myself :D

on a more boring note, i've cleared up a couple of major issues with my study and am ready to get everything finished!
it feels really great to know exactly what needs to be done, and when it has to be done by. 13 assessments tasks in 7 weeks. it'll be a challenge but i feel like i can achieve it now :D

and as always, this guy made me smile

pets really do make life nicer huh?

what have you been up to this week? what has made you smile? do you have a pet?

Friday, September 20, 2013

crafty hijinks.

last sunday, i spent the afternoon in ballarat with 48 other bloggy, crafty ladies.
the event, aptly named crafty hijinks was organised by these two...

the wonderful jodie and the fantastic gillian!

their planning and organisation resulted in the BEST day!
i met lots of bloggers who i'd only known online, and got SO inspired to get to doing some other crafty bits!

chatting with lara on the trip there about all things garment sewing inspired me to pick up this pattern from the "swap table", a genius idea whereby folks brought things along to destash, and then you could take your pick! i took along almost everything i destashed on my big crafty re-organisation, and saw some of it go to new homes :D

i also watched jodie in rag-rug action and am super inspired to give one of those a go too!

thankfully, there were lots of cotton-y bits and pieces left on the swap table which i picked up as everyone was packing up and leaving. i'm looking forward to getting my slice on and then getting started... but AFTER my craft re-organisation is done i think! one project at a time nicole!

i got super inspired in the lead up to the event, and made plans to start on yet another crafty endeavour! but i'll share that one soon... it has me so inspired that it needs a post all of it's own ;)

there were lots and lots of ladies that came together to make sunday awesome, as well as jodie and gillian, there were heaps of sponsors and donators of cool things that meant, everyone won a door prize and a chockers goody bag, and there were some SUPER awesome raffles to enter too! there is a bit of a list of all the wonderful contributors here if you wanted to find out more!

all in all, it was a freaking fabulous day! a super way to spend a sunday :D

what new crafty endeavours have you been inspired to start lately?

Thursday, September 19, 2013


lately, i've been working on a couple of house organisation type things...

i wrote in my monthly to-do list that i wanted to get my crafty stuff organised and i've FINALLY made a start!

i spent an afternoon pulling everything out, reorganising stuff and then putting it away.
oh, i also got rid of a fair bit of stuff...

i've packed almost everything into boxes, mostly old shoe boxes, which i intend to pretty up a little...

they're looking a bit plain and boring at the moment.
i bought these brass label plates to help me be able to find what i need, when i need it.
they should look really great when they're finished!!

i've also been working my way through the enormous pile of cooking magazines i seem to have accumulated over the years (some of them my mum gifted to me last time i visited, some of them are from 2002!!)
i've been going through the magazines and picking out recipes that i can actually see myself cooking, photographing them, editing them down, and keeping them in a database on my computer.

hopefully i can slowly whittle down this pile of magazines, shipping them off to the op-shop when i've gleaned all of the interesting recipes out!

i'm hoping this will give me a really great resource to help with my weekly meal plans.
some of these magazines have sat unused for years! they tend to be so full of 'samey' recipes and ads that i can't be bothered looking through them to find something good!

what have you been up to around the home? getting any spring cleaning type stuff done? how do you sort your recipes?

Monday, September 16, 2013

meal planning monday.

monday again! and i haven't blogged since last monday, oops!
there's a lot of posts in my head at the moment... they just haven't quite made it onto the screen yet though. i'll work on that ha ha!

but in the mean time, let's get meal planning!

tonight, i'm hoping to put together a bengali fish curry (sfi sep '13, pg. 33). i haven't made it before, or any kind of fish curry to be honest... i'm hoping it comes together ok!

tomorrow night, i might grab some bolognaise out of the freezer. lazy night for me in the kitchen :D

wednesday night, i might try out pink patent mary jane's way of cooking a roast chicken. it looks and sounds absolutely divine! hope i can do it justice!

thursday, bb has requested a risotto. chicken and pea, so i might just have to make up some stock using the carcass from wednesday night's roast! i did this last week too and we didn't eat until 8:30! i might get it started a bit earlier this week ha ha!

this week, i'm working late on friday (my roster's been a bit all over the place at the moment ha ha!) so the slow cooker will be doing all the hard work! i think i'll throw all the ingredients in for this mongolian beef. it'll be nice to come home to, served with some rice and maybe even some steamed greens. yum!

saturday night, i think i'll whip up a bit of a vegetarian affair, just don't tell BB ok? broccolini pad thai should fool him ;)

sunday is bb's birthday so i will let him decide what he feels like on the day! i know for my birthday, i requested slow-cooked pork belly, but ended up having a banquet of take-away thai! it was pretty amazing actually :D

what are you eating this week? what would be your 'birthday meal' request?

Monday, September 9, 2013

meal planning monday.

now that holidays are over (boo!) i'd better jump back on the meal planning bandwagon!

i've got the day off from work today, so i've got plans to get some DONE for the week ahead! a lasagne, like the one i made a few weeks ago should work. there'll be plenty for dinner, and some left over to take for lunches during the week.

tomorrow night, i think i'll try something new. ginger and chicken noodle soup (sfi sep '13, pg. 41) should hit the spot. delicious and a bit healthy too, just what we need after the last couple of weeks eating efforts (SO much takeaway!!)

wednesday night is ncb night this week. i'll grab something there because whenever i try and cook in between getting home from work and leaving for ncb, it always ends in farrrrr too much stress!

thursday night is my late night this week... so i'll be cooking up a little something in the slow cooker... more specifically, drunken pork. it'll get rid of one of the many bottles of beer in the fridge that have accumulated lately. huzzah!

friday night, i think i'll throw together some super simple meatballs! should be delicious and easy!

saturday night, i'll leave up to bb because i'll be at work all day! boo!

and sunday, i hope bb will pop on a nice roast dinner. i'll need it when i get home from crafty hijinks!!! i am SO looking forward to it!

what are you eating this week? are you going along to crafty hijinks too?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

little lovelies.

every week, i try and share a little list of lovely things that have happened throughout the week in my neck of the woods, to try and keep myself looking on the bright side of things.

it wasn't hard to find lovely things this week... a week away from work and home (and housework, and homework... all kinds of work really!) with my love and some friends really made for a lovely little week!

a family of ducks in the hotel pool...
5 adorable ducklings, with 2 VERY protective parents!

the view from the top of the q1 tower. soooooooo pretty! almost worth the ridiculous amount you had to pay to get up there!

a round of cocktails, on top of the world. a meal shared with friends and daytime drunken antics. fairly fabulous.

whale watching on the open seas.
the show this guy was putting on was tremendous. he spent pretty much the entire time breaching... apparently that is super rare!

i was ridiculously seasick though and frankly, lucky to get my camera out at all!

super cheesy times with this guy. we had a ball exploring the theme parks together and riding on allllllll of the rides!

3 parks in 4 days has left me more than a little pooped but i've thankfully still got a day or so to recover before heading back to work...

what little lovely things have you been up to this week? on days like today, you've got to look on the bright side...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

framed up.

for the last couple of months, i've had 'fix up frames' on my monthly to-do list...
well a few weekends ago, i finally got to it!

i pulled all of the frames off the wall (i thought i'd taken a photo of them when i'd hung them, but i just went through my entire photo reel on my phone, no dice!), pulled all of the stuff out of them and then spread them out on the lawn in the backyard...

a few coats with some spray paint (i couldn't believe how sore my forearm was the next day after spraying for such a short amount of time, i could never be a graffiti artist ;D) and a good week of drying time after i dragged the tarp into the garage...

i put everything back together and hung them back on the wall...

the frames were originally all different colours and it frankly looked a bit of a mess... i think it looks much better with all different shapes and sizes but with a cohesive colour scheme!

oh i painted these mirror frames too, the larger, round one was gifted to me when my next door neighbour sold up and moved out a couple of years ago, and the smaller, rectangular one was on a neighbours front lawn as hard rubbish. both were a fairly awful gold colour but now they're beautiful glossy white!
i've already told bb that when we buy a house of our own, there will be a coloured (or wall-papered) feature wall with lots of different shaped mirrors with white frames. i better keep an eye out for some more ;)

what do you think of feature walls? do you have lots of things hanging on your walls?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

green love.

it is spring and it's not hard to tell!
the breeze wafts in the scent of jasmine through the front door and everything is looking verdant and lush. it's beautiful and everything is coming back to life!

my rose is looking leafy again, it's come a ways since last time, and i can't wait until those buds open!

my raspberry plant has enjoyed the fertilise i gave it a couple of weeks ago. the number of leaves has tripled since then! my fingers are firmly crossed for some fruit this year, though i have my doubts based on the fact i only planted it last year...

the pak choy i planted mid-way through winter is coming along in leaps and bounds! now if only i can stop the slugs and snails and caterpillars eating them, oh, and the bloody possums, maybe they'll be ready to harvest by the time we're back from holidays!

oh, and the beetroot i planted at the same time as the pak choy, it's decided to poke it's head up and say hello... i'm thinking i probably should've planted the seeds into a seed tray and transplanted them once they were a bit established. oh well, things to remember for next year!

also, my herb garden, it has EXPLODED! i think it was quite happy to get a bit of a fertilise too! must remember to keep doing that on a regular basis... especially since my worms have me in a VERY plentiful supply?

what's growing in your garden at the moment? is everything looking beautiful? do you use fertiliser on your garden? what do you use?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

sock it to me.

last week, i cast on some socks. not just any socks, but these socks. two at a time socks. so then i can't get one done and then not want to do the other!
the process was a little strange to start... but once i got the hang of it, it was quite easy!

this was after ncb last wednesday night... let's just say, there wasn't a whole lot of knitting going on that night, lots of delicious food and a LOT of chin-wagging!

and this was after a bit of a session on saturday night, which was after a bit of a session on friday night, knitting in front of the fire with mum, with pizza and cider. it was a pretty brilliant night.

they're coming along nicely, but i'm a little bit scared for when i get to the heel! wish me luck?

do you knit socks? do you struggle with heels? do you like wearing knitted socks?

Sunday, September 1, 2013


heck yeah! it's september and that means it's SPRING!
i've been looking forward to spring since about 2 weeks into winter, the cold, short days and lack of sunshine really got me down this year.

the weather today (and yesterday to be honest) was AMAZING! total spring weather! the clear crisp sunshine had me ridiculously energised and i bounced around all day today. i did 29430932184 loads of washing and the house is looking super tidy!

anywho, let's recap on august for a second...
i made plenty of meal plans (though not this week past, i well and truly fell off the home-cooking wagon, we had take-away/ate out every night!), knitted up some weenie socks, finished the granny stripe as well as milo #2 (though i just realised i never blogged it, lots of things like that at the moment!). oh and i fixed up my frames too! well technically, i finished them today... i'll share them a little later in the week :D
i missed a couple of things though, no bread got baked, the suitcase sat stagnant, i barely hand-wrote a word and my craft supplies are still ridiculously disorganised... so guess what's on my list this month?

finish socks? i may have cast on some new socks... for me this time! i'll share a bit more about them later in the week... while i'm on holidays! bb and i are jetting off to spend some time in the sun with some friends. i think it'll be the perfect thing to boost our energy levels but also get us nice and relaxed. i've found the last couple of months at work quite stressful so hopefully i come back a bit more like myself :D

hopefully i get lots of stuff done off the list! particularly the study part, i've got an end date now, i just have to get everything done before it! wish me luck!

what are your plans for the month? did you get some sunshine today too?

ps. happy father's day! i keep forgetting because my parents set off on a big adventure early this morning! i don't even know how to get in contact with my dad ha ha!