Monday, January 31, 2011

Books for Sale

UPDATE: Weekend Sewing has been sold!

Yesterday marked exactly 5 weeks until we go to Europe and in a bid to save up some extra money we have been getting rid of a lot of stuff we don't use.  We had a massive carboot sale yesterday and we did quite well.  I sold mostly old clothes and shoes I don't wear any more plus some old wallets and bags and books.  These few books I kept and was going to sell on Fishpond or Ebay but I thought I would see if anyone out in the blog world wants them first.  There are five books which are:

Each book is priced at $25AUD + postage.  I haven't put any postage costs up because it all depends where they are going to and whether you buy just one or a couple of books so I will determine the postage costs when I know where I am sending them to.  If you are interested in any of these books leave a comment below with your email address and I will contact you to discuss postage and payment options.

Read More - January

One my resolution for this year was to read more.  When I was at uni I never had time to read anything apart from textbooks.  I thought when I graduated in the middle of last year that I would start reading for leisure a lot more but I didn't.  I have loved reading since I was a kid so I don't want to lose that hence the resolution I made.  My goal is to read 52 books this year (one each week).  So far I have read 6!

definately dead

all together dead

From Dead to Worse

dead and gone

the lovely bones

the secret lives of dresses

I loved all of these books! I now only have 1 more book to read in the Sookie Stackhouse series but I need to go and buy it before I can read it.  Then I will be able to cross another item of my 101 in 100 list.  The Secret Lives of Dresses was an amazing book!  It made me want to open a vintage store.  And the greatest thing is it is written by a blogger.  Erin's blog is A Dress A Day.  The book is about a girl whose grandmother runs a vintage store and when she gets sick she returns to run the store for her grandma.  She discovers that her grandma writes secret lives to go along with the dresses that she sells.  The stories are written from the dresses point of view and are so amazing.  Erin also writes some of these secret lives on her blog so if you pop over there you can read some of those and get a taste for what the book is like. If I keep reading at this rate I am going to smash my goal of 52 books!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Week 2

So I am back for my second week taking part in scavenger hunt sunday and once again I had a lot of fun.  This week I actually found myself thinking of the prompts as I went about my everyday life and trying to see what I could photograph.  The prompts for this week were Texture, Fog, Button, Beverage & Seventies.

Texture: This week I spotted texture in the Malted Milk Biscuits I made.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Texture

Fog: Okay so we don't really get foggy weather here during summer unless you are up the mountain so this is an interperative shot.  I took this one of Roxy this morning at the car boot sale and her grey fur reminded me of the grey fog. 

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Fog

Button: My first thought for this shot was to go to my button stash but then I thought why not photograph trusty old Mac.  I am a bit of a computer geek and love my Mac!  Please disregard how dirty my keyboard is after seeing this photo I immediately cleaned my computer.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Button

Beverage: Another shot from the car boot sale this morning.  This one is mine and my dad's matching travel mugs.  Funny thing is mine is the red one :)

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Beverage

Seventies: And last but certainly not least a shot of my new vintage dress I bought in Caloundra last weekend which was labeled as being from the 1970's.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Seventies

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Feeling The Love!

I just wanted to quickly pop in and say a massive thank you for all the comments on my last post about my new dress.  You guys really know how to make a girl feel loved!  I just logged in this afternoon to be greeted by all your comments and it made my day.  Also I wanted to quickly share this picture I found over at Little Chief Honeybee.  It made me a little teary cause I am a massive dog person so thought I would share.

canine commandments

Can't you just imagine your dog saying that to you! And the dogs face on the posted just kills me.  I wish I could own him.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The 3 Months Waiting Dress

This dress has literally taken me 3 months to make from start to finish.  Not because it was difficult at all but just because I was lazy.  I cut it out 3 months ago and then it sat on my sewing desk waiting to be sewn up.  I made other projects during that time and all the while this dress just sat and watched and waited to be sewn.  Then finally at the start of this month I picked it up and sewed it all up within a week.  Then I put it on my dress form to take some internal photos.  Then it sat and watched and waited to be photographed properly.  Then this afternoon I finally got around to asking Corey to take a photo for me and here we are.

McCalls 5971

Pattern: McCalls 5971
Time Taken: 3 months
Actual Sewing Time: approx 8-10 hours
Material: Stretch Cotton Sateen
Would you sew it again?: Yes!

And isn't it lovely!  I am so happy with how it turned out even if it did take forever and I am planning on making another one of these in the future.  Probably when I start working again so I actually have somewhere to wear it.  But was I am most proud of is the inside of this dress.  Well the inside of the bodice actually.  Only the bodice is lined so it is the only part that looks really good and I think it is the best any of my garments have ever looked internally.

McCalls 5971 - Lining Detail

I have to hand stitch the lining in the shoulder seams and also along the waistband which was a pain in the butt although totally worth it.  I am so happy with how the sleeves turned out.

McCalls 5971 - Sleeve Detail

So there you have my very first sewing project for 2011!  I have three more projects cut out and waiting to be sewn but it has been so hot here on the Gold Coast that all I want to do is sit on the lounge and watch tv under the fan.  I do need to get started on them though because one is a top I want to take with me to Europe in March so I need to get moving.

Valentines Day Garland Tutorial

I love Valentines Day! I don't know why because we don't do anything special for it.  We have only bought eachother presents a few times before we ditched that.  Sometimes Corey surprises me with flowers.  I always bake him something every year.  Last year he made me a delicious dinner and I baked red velvet cake.  Who knows what will happen this year but I thought I might decorate the house starting with a felt love heart garland.  I took some photos so I threw together a little tutorial although you could probably figure it out on your own.

Firstly you will need felt in whatever colours you wish to use, scissors, love heart cookie cutter, pen and some ribbon (not photographed).

Garland Tutorial - Materials

Trace the love heart cookie cutter onto your felt as many times as will fit.  Repeat for each piece of felt.

Garland Tutorial - Tracing

Then you will need to cut out all your love hearts.  This is the most time consuming part of the whole thing so I did it while watching an episode of Dr Phil which is surprisingly entertaining.

Garland Tutorial - Cut Out Hearts

Once you have all your hearts cut out pin them to your ribbon.  I left 4 inches free at each end and then spaced my hearts 2 inches apart.  You can have yours closer together or further apart its up to you.

Garland Tutorial - Pinning

Once they are all pinned on simply run them through your sewing machine and hang it somewhere in your house.  Easy peasy!

Garland Tutorial - Finished Garland

Our Engagement Video

When Corey and I got engaged a few people asked me to share the story of how we met.  I never got around to doing that but thought instead I would just share this video that my darling friend and one my bridesmaids Mahnee made for our engagement video.  It gives you a basic idea of how we met.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Malted Milk Cookies

I made these cookies on Tuesday because I was bored out of my brain.  I took them to our friends barbecue  yesterday and they were very much enjoyed.  They have a really interesting consistency.  They are really smooth and sort of doughy.  I cooked them for the time they said and the bottoms of the cookies were quite brown so they weren't undercooked.  I love malted milk drinks so I loved these cookies!

Malted Milk Cookies

Malted Milk Cookies from Australian Women's Weekly Cookies

125g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup malted milk powder
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Beat butter, sugar and egg in small bowl until combined.  Stir in golden syrup and sifted dry ingredients.

Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.  Roll dough into small balls and place on greased biscuit tray.  Press down on balls with fork.

Bake in 150 degree celsius oven for 15 minutes.

The recipe said to roll out the dough and cut shapes but when I tried this the dough was way too soft and you couldn't pick the shapes up to put them on they tray without breaking them.  This is why I went with the rolled ball option.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weekend Break - Picture Heavy

This past weekend we stayed in Caloundra with Corey's family.  Now keep in mind Corey has 3 sisters and 1 brother who all have partners and then the eldest three siblings have 8 kids between them plus Corey's parents so there was a lot of us.  We drove up Friday afternoon after Corey finished work.  What should have been a 1 hour 45 mins drive turned into an over 3 hour trek because of the hideous traffic but we got there eventually.  On Saturday we went to Eumundi Markets and wandered around for a bit.  I bought some gorgeous button earrings and a brooch.  On the way back we stopped into Ettamogah Pub for a quick drink and to relax for a bit and play the chocolate machine.
Ettamogah Pub

At Ettamogah Pub

Kai's Chocolates

Once we got back to Caloundra we spent the afternoon down at the beach watching the kite surfers and letting the kids play in the water.

Beach Trek

Kodi's Yabby

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Doorway

On Sunday we went to the Caloundra Markets which were the next street over from our unit.  I found a cute little stall selling sewing supplies and bought a tube of buttons (approx 60 buttons) for $2.  Bargain! I also got some delicious honeycomb from another stall. We all enjoyed snow cones and Kai got his face painted.

Kai's Face Painting  

Then on the way back I couldn't resist stopping into this gorgeous little vintage store called Gio Vintage.  It was so cool and the girl working there was lovely. I bought and dress and ended up chatting to her for half an hour.  It made me want to open my own vintage store.  Oh and I bought this gorgeous dress....

New Vintage Dress

It has gorgeous embroidery around the neckline and you can see in the picture below the brooch I bought at Eumundi Markets.  It's a birdcage.  Cute right!

New Vintage Dress Details

Then we spent the afternoon swimming and fishing of the back jetty before we had to make the drive back home so Corey could go to work on Monday.

Kai Fishing

Me Fishing

Corey Fishing

It was a really fun weekend and I spent the entire weekend without internet and it was lovely.  I am hoping we can do these little weekend getaways a bit more often once we get home from Europe.  It's so nice to get out and explore instead of hanging around home on the weekends.

Be More Active - Week 4

Okay so this was a bad week for me on the weight loss front.  It was my fault and I am aware of that so I will be working a lot harder this week.  Long story short I applied for a job that I really wanted to get and things were looking pretty positive so I allowed myself to get my hopes up then it fell through so I got a bit depressed.  Oh and to soothe my depression I had a Grilled Chicken Burger and a large onion rings from Hungry Jacks for dinner and a regular scoop of cake batter ice cream with caramel fudge from Cold Rock.  Then we spent the weekend in Caloundra with Corey's family which consisted of take out, bacon and egg breakfasts, chips, lollies etc etc.  So I may not have lost much weight but I did soothe my depression and I had a fun weekend so cest la vie.  Here are my stats for the week:

Starting Weight: 76.1 kg
Last Weeks Weight: 74.6 kg
Current Weight: 74.5 kg
This Weeks Loss: 100 grams
Overall Loss: 1.6 kg
Starting BMI: 26.03 (overweight)
Last Weeks BMI: 25.51 (overweight)
Current BMI: 25.48 (overweight)

Since I have now been working out for 4 weeks I decided to take some of my measurements.  The only measurements I knew before I started were my hips, waist and bust so that is all I have measured this time around.  I might measure my legs so in another 4 weeks time I can see what I have lost there.
Starting Bust Measurement: 97cms
Current Bust Measurement: 94cm
Decrease: 3cm

Starting Waist Measurement: 76cm
Current Waist Measurement: 75cm
Decrease: 1cm

Starting Hip Measurement: 97cm
Current Hip Measurement: 94cm
Decrease: 3cm

I am pretty happy with those results.  I knew that even though my weight loss each week was only low I could feel myself changing and my clothes feeling more comfortable so I was happy that the loss in my measurements reflected this.  My goals this week are to:

Drink 3L water each day
Do 30 minutes of Wii Fit 5 days 
Eat more healthy food options
Eat smaller portion sizes
Cut down on the amount of sugar and bread I eat.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I have been following along with Scavenger Hunt Sunday over at Ramblings & Photos for a few weeks now and have wanted to participate but keep forgetting to take photos during the week.  This past week I promised myself I would take part so on our weekend in Caloundra (which I will post about tomorrow) I took some photos with the challenge in mind.  If you would like to take part visit Ramblings & Photos by clicking on the icon below.

So the rules are you have to take 1 photo for each prompt word.  You are encouraged to take 5 new photos each week but if you get stuck you are allowed to use one photo from your archives each week.  This weeks prompt words were: Memories, Silhouette, Doorways, Reflection & Silver.  Here are my interpretations of these words.

Memories:  I chose this photo because I have so many memories of playing at the beach as a kid and it was fun to be a part of making those memories for our nieces and nephews.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Memories

Silhouette: This is an archive photo from when we went to Fiji in 2009.  I know it isn't the best silhouette photo but it was the best I had in my archives.  I am hoping next week to not use any archive photos.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Silhouette

Doorway(s):  I was a bit interpretive with this one.  I knew most people would take photos of actual doors or doorways so I decided to take a photo of the ocean.  We were at the beach which is the doorway to the ocean and the ocean for this kite surfers in the doorway to excitement and adrenaline.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Doorway

Reflection:  This is one I took of Corey at Ettamoogah Pub on the weekend.  I liked that you could see my reflection in his sunglasses.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Reflection

Silver: And last but not least I took this photo while watching the boys fish and afterwards realised that the silver of the screws went with my prompt for the week.  I also liked the texture of the wood in the photo.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Silver

So there is week one.  I am hoping that doing this each week will help me with my goal to improve my photography skills this year.  Next week I will actually try and post on a Sunday but who knows how that will go.  And seeing as how the blog that runs this little game in America technically it is still Sunday, I think.