Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!

(playing around with the night vision option on my camera was not the best idea lol)

(I was hoping to capture the view behind me but alas it wasn't mean't to be LOL)

This is just a short note to wish all my blogging pals a very happy new year! May your 2008 be filled with love, happiness, good health, prosperity and of course, heaps of blogging!

Last night Jim, the kids and I went to a friends place in the afternoon. This kids swam for a couple of hours as it was around 32 degrees celcius and not a cloud in the sky. We ate pizza for a quick dinner then drove to a place on Sydney harbour around the Drummoyne area. We had a perfect view of the harbour bridge and the city skyline without the heinous crowds. Surrounded by a wonderful family atmosphere we set up camp with our folding chairs, picnic rug, champagne and nibbles and waited for the fireworks. They were OUTSTANDING as always! Unfortunately my camera was being very naughty and my pics didn't turn out but I'll post some professional shots of the harbour once they are uploaded onto the Sydney city website. I hope you all had a lovely evening also and I can't wait to read all of your posts and see your pics :)

Today was spent de-cluttering! I always wait till new years day to take down and pack up all my chrissy decorations. Once all the boxes are packed away back in the garage I was on a roll and gave the house a good scrub and I always love to start the new year with fresh bedding. It's amazing how much bigger the rooms look after the christmas stuff have come down lol
As it was another scorcher of a day, this evening we enjoyed another relaxing bbq under the shade of the grape vines in our backyard.

Several new years resolutions and a list of future accomplishments were made around the table including finishing my studies, obtaining part time employment within the design field, spend as much time as a family as we can, as well as the usual stuff like save money, exercise more and eat healthy lol :)

I also wanted to mention that I'll be away on a short holiday break with my family for a week from thursday so stay safe and I'll look forward to catching up with everyone when I get back.

Bye for now,

Anna :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The newest additions to my beloved book collection...

After reading so many wonderful posts about the beautiful and mysterious city of Marrakesh, including one of my favourite blogs, My Marrakesh, I've developed an insatiable hunger for reading as much information about this eastern oasis and viewing an endless array of awe inspiring interiors as I can.

To my absolute delight and not so much surprise, after several hints lol, I received this too die for book from under the Christmas tree. Marrakech, living on the edge of the desert is a stunning compilation of interiors and gardens set in and around the red city.

It is 239 pages of complete viewing pleasure and although I am only a quarter of the way through reading the stories that accompany the reigons I have now really stepped out of my "French box" and I'm determined to visit this colourful and earthy paradise sometime soon!
My 60yr old aunty visited there a few months ago and had a blast. This eden caters for Everyone!

If by some small chance you haven't discovered it yet, check out the fabulous daily diary of building Maryam's Peacock Pavillion on her wonderful blog "My Marrakesh"

Also incase you missed it, check out Felicity from All Things Bright And Beautiful's enchanting post about her trip to Marrakesh as well as some STUNNING pics from a boutique style hotel designed by Thomas Hays.

Ok now it's time to step back into my little "French box" and quickly mention one of my favourite books in the whole wiiide weerld!
I originally bought Vicki Archer's My French Life a year ago and gave it to my mum for Christmas. I had since borrowed and read it several times. Although my mum only lives down the road from me and have unlimited access to her vast library, while I was shopping the other day I saw this book again and decided I HAD to have a copy of my own :)
I'm sure most of you by now have read Anna's raving reviews of this book, from her Absolutely Beautiful Things blog, but just incase you haven't this book is a MUST HAVE for all self confessed francophile's like myself. It not only follows her 3 year journey of restoring her families dream home - Mas de Berard - in the picturesque village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, surrounded by lavender beds, limestone water features, plantations of apples, pears and olive trees and Les Alpilles (little Alps) in the distance. This book also describes her wonderful life living in this heavenly part of the world including weekend trips to Paris and the coastal city of Marseilles.

I cannot get enough of this dreamy book and am currently reading it for the third time. The photographs of the farmhouse, region, people and food by Carla Coulson will have you sighing out loud and gasping for breath.

Christmas is over and it's time to spoil yourself and this book is a pure indulgence :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas at my place...part three

Twas the night before Christmas......

Santa's snacks........homemade christmas cake, xmas tree cookies and lime and macadamia fudge. Oh and a glass of skim milk lol.

Sophie and her new baby :)

Will and his new baby lol (he built this lego plane in an hour)

The fam! :)

Mum's Chrissy table :)

Lunch is served!

My stunning new silk top I purchased at the sales :)

I adore the intricate detail.

My new gold sandals :)

As my last post for the Christmas season I thought I'd add a couple of pics I took over the last couple of days.

We had an absolutely lovely time on Christmas day, at my mum's place, surrounded by family and friends. The weather was a little cooler than usual but the rain stayed away. Santa was very generous this year to the kids and they graciously thanked him at church lol.

Our lunch consisted of fresh king prawns, oysters, turkey, pork, ham, potato salad with mint, moroccan chick pea and rocket salad and christmas coleslaw with red cabbage, red onion, red capiscum, snow pea sprouts and a dressing of sour cream and lemon juice...YUM!

Dessert was homemade honeycomb ice cream with fresh berries and white chocolate sauce....YUUUUM!!

Boxing day was spent relaxing and cleaning up the paper and plastic bomb that had exploded in my living room lol. We had a light bbq in the evening with my inlaws.

Finally, the next day (27th) was SALE DAY! My favourite day of the year lol. With discounts of up to 70% off, you can't leave the mall without at least one or two bargins. I usually go alone but this year my husband had to work an early shift so I dragged the kids along with me lol. We had a blast! We were up at 6am and at the shops just before they opened at 7.

Our purchases for the day included fluffy egyptian cotton towels, two pairs of shoes, various clothes for the whole family, christmas ornaments, paper and cards, a book, lovely hand cut royal Albert bud vase, stationary, calenders and a microwave lol. Shopping is hungry business so after we loaded the car we went back inside for a yummy breakfast of pancakes and fresh fruit smoothies.

Now that I have spent all my money I'll spend the next week pottering around the house, slowly pack up the Christmas decorations, perhaps re-arrange some furniture (I tend to do that ALOT lol), visit friends and their pools lol, and basically try to keep my children from killing each other over the summer holidays lol

I hope you all had a brilliant couple of days too. I can't wait to read all of your posts :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas at my place...part two.

(The fabulous mirror was a flea market find. I will eventually paint it antique white but I'm loving the gold right now. Please ignore my patched up window frames as they need painting also lol).

(We chose travertine marble for the floor)

(I adore the little child size french chair for when little guests want to wash their hands)

(My STUNNING new candlesticks that were an early chrissy present from my mum)

(I have just a simple aqua coloured curtain for my shower)

(My sweet vintage waste paper bin, an ebay find)

(This is my "medicine cabinet" filled with all the essentials such as perfumes, scented soaps and body lotions)

(This was another darling present I received along with my framed shoe)

This is just a quick post to show off my pretty bathroom at Christmas time :)

My bathroom is my favourite room in the house. It's my sanctuary, more so than my bedroom. It's a place where I can shut the door, light my candles, fill my gorgeous spa bath with scented oils and bubbles, occasionally have a glass of wine and literally wash all my cares away. My family know when I'm bathing they must leave me alone and when I'm finished I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take on the world again. It also helps me wind down for a good nights sleep. Just like Oprah, bathing is actually like a hobbie for me. I certainly don't need a therapist when I have daily therapy like this ;)

I truly believe when decorating a home you should never neglect your bathroom treating it just as any old space. Make it a priority and design it in a way that will make you want to change your lifestyle ever so slightly to spend a little time for yourself :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cards at Christmas...

If there's one thing I love, it's giving, receiving and collecting beautiful cards of all seasons. This Christmas season is no exception and the stunning array of cards available absolutely blow my mind.
To me, a meaningful handwritten card is just as good as any gift. Even more so in some cases. Especially if someone actually takes the time in choosing a card that they think the receiving person will truly appreciate or even go as far as making their own. I have yet to master the whole card making craft but it is on my list of things to do lol.
The card above was one I bought for myself. It was so beautiful I couldn't wait to see if someone would send it to me, I knew something this gorgeous belonged in a frame and on display. I bought an inexpensive gold timber frame and It now stands proudly on my bathroom vanity opposite my jar of baubles lol.

This card came from a company called Bug Art from the UK and I've often bought from their collections for many occasions. Check out their website for a feast of card beauty, especially their vignettes range :)

The next 6 vintage looking beauties are actually postcards I bought in a sweet little tin, made by the Cavallini & Co company in the US. Again I fell in love with these cards the moment I found them and although I've already posted my Christmas loot this year, I'll keep these for next year. I think receiving a christmas postcard instead of a traditional card would be quite quirky and a pleasant change from the norm. This company make a vast postcard collection including some stunning vintage Parisian scenes which I also had to have lol. I think these cards will make a great addition to my scrapbook. Again, their website is well worth a peek for anyone who loves stationary as much as I do :)

This sweet card was sent to me in the mail to promote a particular clothing store and I thought it was ever so cute.

These are some cute Aussie cards I sent to some overseas pals :)

(This is the sweet little card that came with my pressie)

Finally I had to show you a truly lovely gift my very good friend gave me for chrissy this year, considering we are on the subject of cards. This is an absolutely STUNNING card featuring every girls favourite subject, Shoes!, from Christopher Vine Designs, another of my favourite artists. I own many stationary and household items featuring his gorgeous artwork. My friend simply mounted and framed it and I LOVE IT! It's the perfect feature to hang in my "boudoir".
Thank you again Brook :)

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish ALL my new blogging pals a very happy and safe christmas and holiday season. Thank you so very much for making my new home at so welcoming and encouraging. I look forward to continually reading all your wonderful posts that fill me with so much enjoyment, inspiration and hope :)

Love Anna xox.