Sunday, 30 November 2014

When the future feels out of reach.



Cluckiness. The struggle is real people.

I can't pinpoint the exact moment when I first started yearning to have a baby of my own, but I do know that by the age of 23 there was a noticeable ache inside my chest whenever the topic of children came up or I'd see a newborn baby or small child out and about.

This ache that I'm describing has grown much more profound since then, and it's a feeling that continues to grow stronger within me each and every day.

Some days I will be so overcome with cluckiness that it takes everything inside me just to keep myself from going to the shops and stockpiling on future baby clothes. It also takes a great deal of restraint to keep myself from constantly talking about babies with my partner, and as a result I often end up venting to my friends and family instead.

There is nothing stopping us from having a baby physically (that we know of), we are just simply not in a position to be starting a family just yet.

Being sensible isn't always easy though. It takes an awful lot of patience and a hell of a lot of strength, and the feeling of wanting a baby isn't something that I can just sweep under the rug.

I've always felt that I was ten steps ahead of my partner in terms of being ready for the next step in our future together, but then I'm sure he's always felt that I have been a little bit ahead of myself as well.

I am grateful that he keeps me grounded and tries to keep me focused in the present. I am a better person because of him and would never want to be without him.

Still, I am wholeheartedly ready to take the next step and find it hard to calm my heart in the mean time.

Any suggestions for keeping my mind off the future?

 
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Keeping in touch with loved ones this Christmas.



As an adult, I'm pretty sure you'll all agree that the real beauty of Christmas is spending time with friends and family and letting them know you love them. Sure it's nice to give and receive presents, and obviously the food is great, but it's the feeling you get from being close to your loved ones that really makes the holiday season special. :)

Unfortunately we don't always have the time or the opportunity to see everyone we want to over Christmas. Usually there are different sides of the family you need to visit, and more often than not they all live in totally different directions and plan their celebrations on the same day at the same time. Up until recently B and I have been able to avoid this, but this year things are different and we are having to look for other ways to connect with our friends and family for the holidays - especially since we are moving away for 2+ years at the beginning of January.



Something I've been meaning to do ever since B and I first started living together was to send out personalised holiday cards to our mutual friends and family. The only thing holding me back was the fact that this seems to be more of an American tradition and not something that is generally done here in Australia. But you know what? Who cares! Why should I let that stop us from making our own traditions? I'll tell you why, because designing your own holiday card can be bloody daunting if you don't know what you're doing!

That was until I discovered the TinyPrints website where I could design my own personalised holiday cards right there on their website using their premade templates with adjustable fonts, colours and design options. In the end it took me all of 20 minutes to design my own personalised card, and within 5 days (including a weekend!) my order had arrived safely to my front door. :D



The cards I chose are more of a post card style in that they are a single piece of card that does not open up, but I chose this style specifically so that my cards could double up as gift tags to place on the presents for those who I am going to be visiting personally. Depending on what you decide to add to the back of your cards, you should have plenty of space to write your message as well. As you can see I decided to put an additional three photos of Ellie on the back of our cards (because we can't get enough of her) and there is still plenty of space underneath for us to write a brief message to our loved ones.

The quality of the cards are fantastic, and there's a bunch of add on's that you can purchase to make your cards even more unique if you wish to. The cards I selected have a pearlescent finish which is absolutely gorgeous. I also selected matching envelopes and envelope liners for our cards to make them feel that little bit more luxurious.

What are your thoughts on custom holiday cards? Would you ever consider sending one if you haven't already?

*Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted these holiday cards by TinyPrints, however I was not paid or asked to write this post in exchange for the cards. I simply adore their products and wanted to share them with you all. As always, all opinions are my own. :)

 
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Snap Happy Sunday // Dachshund Christmas Party!

The last time B and I attended the Brisbane Dachshunds Annual Christmas party we were attending with my Mum and Brother and our family dachshund, Phoebe. When I shared photos on the blog I also shared my hope that the next time we attended we would be attending with a miniature dachshund all of our own.. and this time we did. :D

Ellie the elf and I getting into the Christmas spirit.
We picked Ellie's outfit up for $5 from our local cheap shop.
True love.
Ellie and Phoebe opening their secret Santas.
Ellie was lucky enough to score a new toy and some yummy treats!
When Mum was helping Phoebe and Joey to open their secret Santas, this random dachshund ran out of nowhere and jumped on Mums lap trying to steal the squeaky toys haha!
Since we're moving to Townsville soon we probably won't get the chance to go to another Brisbane Dachshunds party for quite a few years (sad face), but we've already joined the Townsville Dachshunds group so hopefully we'll be attending their Christmas party instead.

It is also my hope that next year we'll be attending with TWO miniature dachshunds of our own. ;)

 
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Friday, 21 November 2014

Why I'm excited about moving into our new house!



The photo above is not of our new house (we won't know what house we're moving into until sometime in December) but fingers crossed we will actually be moving into a house that is very similar and from the same new build suburb as this little beauty. The thought of living in a new build house excites me more than words can say. It's been a dream of mine for the longest time and the fact that it is (99% sure) finally happening is the biggest breath of fresh air for me.

For someone who has always lived in houses more than 10 years old (usually much older) with mould problems, plumbing issues, etc., to finally live in a house that is pretty much brand new with no known issues at all is actually kind of liberating. I don't mean to sound like a spoiled brat - I know that living in older houses isn't that bad at all, but if I am in a position to live in a new build home than I am damn well going to do so and enjoy every minute of it!

I've had my taste of new build luxury when babysitting for different families and living at the Uni for 6 months, and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't notice a difference in how these surroundings uplifted my mood. The best way I can describe it is that when you live in an older house that has an out-dated kitchen and bathroom in particular, I personally find myself unmotivated to constantly keep the place clean as to me the existing signs of aging of the house already make the place feel "dirty". It's like, sometimes I look at the mould build up in the shower and question whether it's new mould or if the tiles already looked like that. Do you feel me? Then, when I'm staying in a new build home for babysitting or whatever, I find myself not only dancing around the house in wonder of its beauty, but also enjoying simple tasks such as taking a shower, using the kitchen to prepare food, or wait for it - keeping the place clean! Staying in a new build house actually compels me to be a domestic goddess!

Some of the new build perks that I am looking forward to:

  • Pulling up into the driveway of a home that looks as immaculate as the one in the photo you see above. I mean, just look at that well kept garden and that gorgeous front door.
  • Having secure fencing and a yard for Ellie to run around in. Also, actually having grass rather than random patches of dirt/dead grass/weeds.
  • Having a covered patio area so that we can sit outside without leaves and bugs falling on us, and so Ellie can go outside to do her business even when it's raining.
  • Living in a suburb that has a low crime rate. A suburb where I can go for a walk alone with Ellie without constantly having to look over my shoulder.
  • Also, living in a suburb that has three off-leash dog parks, and a semi-private beach nearby. Win!
  • Living in a suburb with NBN (high speed internet access) - essential for someone working from home in a rural city.
  • Having a brand new (or almost brand new) kitchen and bathroom that look clean to begin with and demand that I keep them that way.
  • Modern, stainless steel appliances that actually work. We're keeping our fingers crossed for a dishwasher!
  • Having a double lock up garage and being able to keep BOTH of our cars out of the heat. We certainly don't get this luxury living in an apartment.
  • Having ceiling fans and air conditioning in every room. Okay, so this wouldn't be a problem if we weren't moving to Townsville, but it's nice to have the option of only needing to have the aircon on in the room you're working in.
  • Having two separate bathrooms, so we can both get ready in peace.
  • Having our own offices, and a dedicated spare room for guests.
  • Potentially having our own laundry that isn't in the bathroom!
  • When you're looking for a new build home online they generally tend to upload a floor plan so you can get a better feel for the place before you view it/move in.

My only concern about living in a new build place next year is that once I've experienced this luxury for real, I may not be able to go back to living (quite as happily) the way we have up until now. Hopefully it won't be too much longer until we are purchasing our first property though, and we're fortunate that lots of new build suburbs are actually very affordable because they're usually not as close to the city centre as the more established suburbs are. We also love the idea of having a home custom built for us through a company like this one here so that we can make sure it is going to be energy efficient and to our tastes from the get go. :)

Is anyone else on the same page as me? Does living in a new build home inspire you to take pride in your surroundings?

 
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Monday, 17 November 2014

Job Interview OOTD + New Glasses.

Glasses c/o Firmoo.
I was recently contacted by Firmoo asking if I would like to review another pair of their prescription glasses. I didn't really need a new pair, but I wasn't about to say no to a second pair for free, and I'm glad I didn't as they've come in handy for spicing up my outfits for the job interviews that I have been attending as of late.

As you can see these glasses are much bigger than the last pair that Firmoo sent me, which I find seems to open up my eyes a bit more and makes my face look a little bit smaller over all. I opted for a tortoise shell design this time rather than my usual standard black frames, and although I do like the design I feel like it would look better on someone with light blonde hair. What do you think? Perhaps it's just me who thinks that? Either way, I like these glasses better than my last pair - they're just that bit more interesting.

The photos above were taken one afternoon a couple of weeks ago before attending my first job interview in almost four years. I didn't manage to get a full body shot because I packed the wrong lense for my DSLR camera (and Mum kept walking into things trying to get my whole body in the shot), but I was basically just wearing a black knee length pencil skirt with some black ballerina flats, and a new blouse that I picked up from Big W for $10 - bargain! :)

As for the job interview, it must have gone pretty well because I was offered the job last week! :D It's only a casual position that I can work alongside my design business, but I'm super excited to get out of the house and work with people face to face again. Wish me luck!

P.s. If you've never ordered with Firmoo before you can order your first pair of glasses from them for free here, you just need to pay for the lenses and shipping (which costs next to nothing and usually arrives within a week!).

*Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, however I was kindly gifted the frames. All opinions are my own.

 
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Snap Happy Sunday // Lucas at 10 months old.



On Thursday this week B and I headed up to Toowoomba to visit our families. This meant spending quality time with my baby brother Lucas and taking lots of photos to share on the blog.

Lucas and my step-sister Abby

Lucas is currently 10 months old, starting to talk (I'm sure it will be many years before he can say 'Felicity' though) and he is almost on the verge of starting to walk. He can crawl like a champ and is scaling the furniture like a mad man, so I wouldn't be surprised if he is walking by Christmas.



My favourite photos from the trip were these ones B took of Lucas in the bath. He absolutely loves the water and couldn't get enough of me pouring water over his head. His constant giggling was so infectious and made me want a baby even more than I already do. :)

 
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Our Current Unit Tour // Part 4 - My Office Space.



Although it isn't perfect, my office is definitely my favourite room in our little unit.

It has a large window overlooking the garden which I've positioned my large white Ikea desk in front of so I can watch Ellie playing outside. I'm absolutely in love with my desk except for the face that it took 6 hours to put together (with two people helping me!) and once I got around to putting the top on I discovered a large crack in the wood (you can't see it in the photo because I upped the brightness in photoshop). Aside from that though it is the perfect desk for someone like me who works from home, wants everything tucked neatly away (computer tower, cords, paperwork) and likes having plenty of space on either side for diaries, to-do lists, etc.

For all of my other business paperwork that I want to keep a bit more organised, I have a small ombre style storage unit set up by the door with a custom 'Ellie' photo frame sitting on top that my friend Sammy from Frame Your Life made for me earlier this year. I bought the storage unit from Office works for around $40 just over a year ago.

There's also enough room in my office for our small grey couch that converts into a sofa bed for when we have guests over. Unfortunately having the couch where it is means that I can't open the wardrobe doors completely, but that's just something I've had to deal with. 

You can't see it in the pictures, but I actually also purchased a large purple area rug from Ikea for around $20 to match the pillows on the couch. It's a pain in the arse to clean though and constantly bunches up so I'm considering getting rid of it when we move.


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This post concludes our unit tour series so I hope you guys enjoyed having a little peek into our home. Hopefully it won't take me this long to post photos of our new place once we move in next year. :)

 
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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Our Current Unit Tour // Part 3 - Bed + Bathroom.







I wish I could say that our bedroom is so boring because we're super minimalist and don't care for fancy things, but the truth is we are simply too strapped for cash (and time) to do anything exciting with the space. Our unit was also freshly painted when we first moved in and since we didn't know how long we'd be living here we decided not to hang anything up on the walls (with the exception of the gorgeous 3 part painting seen in our living area), hence why there isn't a nice mirror above the dressing table. I kind of like having a simple bedroom though as I feel that it encourages sleep.

Since taking these photos the other day I have actually folded up Ellie's crate and put it away in the cupboard as she wasn't really using it anymore except to tear up her bedding and to use it as way to get on top of the dresser and chew on things. The defining moment that made me pack up the crate was actually when she grabbed my favourite bra and tore it clean in half. :(

When we move into our new place I'm hoping to move all of this old furniture into the spare bedroom for when our family flies up to visit us, and then buy all white/simple furniture for our bedroom. Ben claims to hate white furniture (although he puts up with it just fine) so I'm going to have to buy it all myself, but I have a feeling it will totally be worth it. There is just something about white, cream and neutral colours that screams "bedroom" to me! :)

My apologies for the crappy quality and lack of photos of our bathroom, but our bathroom is super tiny and impossible to photograph well. We're lucky enough to have both a shower and bathtub though - not that we ever use the bathtub as it's always full of dirty clothes!

Given how tiny the bathroom is I'm actually pretty impressed with how I've utilised the open space for displaying certain items. We do have a tiny medicine cabinet beside the sink, but that really only fits the ugly/personal items such as tampons and dental floss.

My favourite open storage items are: the mug I use to hold my hair brushes, the white plant/storage pot from Ikea that I use to hold my make up brushes, the clear glass jar with a bird handle for storing cotton balls, and the cream coloured napkin holder that I use to store my eyeshadow palettes. :)

Stay tuned for the final part of this series tomorrow where I will be showing you guys my office space!

 
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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Our Current Unit Tour // Part 2 - Kitchen + Dining.




Following on from yesterdays post where I gave you guys a peek at our lounge room, today I thought I would show you guys our kitchen and dining room area. As you can see from the photos above our kitchen is very dated, but since it's a central part of our home I thought I would share pictures of it anyway.

There isn't really much I can say about the kitchen other than that it's slightly bigger and has more storage space than the kitchen at our last place. Oh, and it also has a nice view of the garden (not that our garden is anything special to look at) from the kitchen sink and a decent view of the tv when I'm preparing food at the kitchen bench.

Our dining area isn't very interesting either. It's directly attached to the kitchen and has a large sliding glass door that leads to the backyard, bringing in plenty of natural light. It's quite a squishy area, especially since we have Ellie's food bowls on the floor, so we have our dining table pushed up against the wall with one of the collapsible sides folded down. This works out kind of well though since we rarely ever eat at the table anyway, which meant that I could turn the table into a coffee bar for B. :)

Stay tuned for part 3 tomorrow where I will be showing you guys our bedroom and bathroom!

 
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Monday, 10 November 2014

Our Current Unit Tour // Part 1 - Living Area.

I've been promising to posts photos of our new unit ever since we moved in last December but just kept forgetting to get around to it. Our current unit isn't all that interesting you see (it doesn't have tiffany blue walls like our old place for one thing) and we haven't really acquired anything drastically new for me to show off to you guys - aside from Ellie and the constant mess that she makes around the place. However, since we have less than two months left living in this place before we move to Townsville in January, I thought it would be nice to document our current abode so we can look back on the photos one day and see how far we've come.


I have always loved open plan homes because you can interact with your family or guests wherever they are in the house without having to go and look for them or yelling too loud. What I love most about our unit is that all of the living areas are completely tiled, making it very pet friendly and easy to keep clean.

The photos above were taken at the entrance to our unit in our combined open lounge/family room that is attached to the kitchen and dining area which leads to both the lock up garage and outside to our small back garden. There is also a short hallway which comes off the lounge area, leading to the bathroom, toilet, my office and our bedroom.

Despite what the photos might suggest, our lounge room itself is actually very spacious, it's just that we acquired this enormous dark blue lounge suite from my Mum earlier this year that makes the space look a little bit cramped. We're not going to be holding onto the lounge suite for much longer though as we can save a bunch of money from the removalists if we don't bring it with us to Townsville, so fingers crossed we'll be picking up a nice grey or cream tweed couch in the not too distant future.

My favourite items in our living area are: the coffee table that my Dad made us that we are currently using as a tv stand, my white bookcase from Ikea, the 'hot dog' pillow that my friend Bianca gave me for my birthday, and the beautiful three piece canvas artwork that my friend Kim gave me just because she's awesome!

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow where I will be showing you guys our kitchen and dining area. :)

 
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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Minced Lamb Curry Recipe.



In case you haven't figured this out already, I like spicy food. Curries and chillis are my favourite meals ever and I am constantly trying out new recipes. This recipe is one of my recent favourites that I have adapted from several other recipes, whilst adding in a few special touches of my own.

Ingredients:

500gr lamb mince
olive oil
1 x brown onion, finely diced
1 x zucchini, diced
1 x green capsicum, diced
8 x small red chillis, finely diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 x tin diced tomatoes

brown rice
natural greek yoghurt

Method:

1. Fry your onion, zucchini, capsicum and chillis in a non-stick frying pan with a little olive oil. Put your rice on at this point if you're having some.
2. Add your mince and break up into fine pieces. After a couple of minutes add your garlic, ginger and dry spices.
3. Once the mince has browned, add your diced tomatoes and about 1/4 cup of water.
4. Season with salt and pepper and leave to simmer until your rice is ready.
5. Serve over brown rice with a dollop of greek yoghurt. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

 
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