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Peaches & Maple

Peaches & Maple: February 2013

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Nice jugs

  Over the past week Husband has brought home a bunch of roses for me and one for each of the girls. On top of that my ramshackle 'cottage' garden has suddenly sprung to life with blooms. As a result I have jugs and jars and vases bursting with flowers in every room in the house, which is a good thing because with this relentlessly miserable weather, two sickie kids and me on the way down too,  the house needs some brightening up!

 What's everybody got on for the weekend? I'm planning on making a big batch of chicken soup followed by  some hardcore kicking back and doing a lot of nothing much at all ;)
Cas x

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Planning for the day I grow up

 One morning not long after Christmas I woke up and thought, "What am I going to do now?"
I'd been homeschooling the kids for the last two terms of last year and then had them home on holidays for too many weeks to bother counting and suddenly, with them starting at a new school, I was looking at the prospect of quite a lot of free time...which if I'm completely honest felt a little bit scary.
So I sat there for quite a long while surfing the interwebs looking for some magical answer, imploring the Google-machine to tell me what to do, when I found myself at my old uni log in page. Apparently my enrolment was still current and my poor neglected psychology degree that I cast aside in 2011 seemed to be calling out to me. Just seven subjects and you're done you silly twat, it screamed at me. That's just one more year! 
And I figured, what the hell? Yes, I have dreams to pursue more creative endeavours in my life but I suppose it's high time I had a grown up sort of back up plan, just in case those creative whims disappear in a puff of smoke. 
The last four weeks since the kids started school have flown by and I must say I'm so proud of how well they've settled into the new routine. But now it's time to throw another ball into the air and just keep juggling away.
So if you find me a little absent around here it's because I'm up to my elbows in T- tests and Chi-squares and my brain is probably leaking out of my ear.
 Have a great day peeps!
Cas x

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Holy agave batman!

I got that old familiar buzz of excitement from doing something new to make the house pretty over the weekend. My dad bought me a whole heap of agave pups from his garden so I decided to use them in the potted garden I recently started to put together. I have officially given up on trying to obtain a rambling cottage style garden - it's just too much hard work in our climate, so until I move somewhere cooler, succulents it is. It's not much and it's being done very thriftily, but I'm beginning to see it all coming together. We also finally started a hedge of murraya along our back fence, so I'm really quite chuffed about that as our back fence is an eye sore and a half!

Now that we've done it I'm not quite certain why it's taken us so long to get around to it, but I guess that's renovating huh?
So that's basically how my weekend went...what did you get up too?
Cas x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The one about the living room

Hiya! Come on in, sit on one of these squidgy white sofas and I'll tell you the story of how this room went from looking like this.... this.....
 It all started one evening in March 2011 about four months after we had moved in to this little place of ours, our very first home. Husband had arrived home from work, dinner was done and dusted and the small people were asleep in their beds, when we decided that it would be a good idea to crack up a few tiles, just for shits and giggles. 
No, not really for shits and giggles because nobody in their right mind starts knocking up tiles just for fun. It was actually because we had planned to get started on it on the following weekend and we were clueless as to how to tackle the it was really more of reconnaissance mission. 
After an hour and a half of chipping away with a chisel and hammer and getting nowhere fast, we decided that that was the chump way of doing it, packed up our tools and proceeded to look for better options.
If ever find yourself needing to smash up two layers of tiles covering a large area, let me tell you, your better options are quite simply an electric chisel, a sledgehammer and a shovel or two.
It also helps to be a little pissed off. And trust me, once you've been showered with a million pieces of flying tile debris, you'll be plenty pissed off.
Once we were finished pulling up the tiles and removing them to the dump, we thought the hard part was over. DIY renovating just sounds so much easier when you watch a YouTube video or ask the guy at Bunnings, you know? When it came to scraping the tile glue up we were advised to get a scraping tool and do it manually. Tried it, decided it sucked, hired a grinder from Coates Hire  instead....which sucked marginally less.
Then came the tiling. Which I can only describe as repetitive and time consuming. We just did it until it was done. 

 And then, that really was the worst of it over with. We could start on the redecorating process, which as I said in my post about our lounge room  really is a process. I painted this room in Dulux Fair Bianca, with half strength on the trims about two years ago and we added a white blind and curtains to the window about six months after that. The furniture has been changed around a few times in here because I just couldn't get it how I wanted it and I finally just this past weekend got my long awaited second Ektorp sofa from Ikea to complete the room.
 So I think this is how it's going to stay for a goodly long while now ;)
With our cute little fireplace that I can't wait to snuggle in front of in a few months time...
and our DIY window-mirror
 and the beetle-brown piano that I have come to love just the way it is after years of longing to slop white paint all over it
 decorated with bits and pieces that I have collected from here and there and things I've made from this and that.
 And all the things I love whether they go together or not, that make this little brick and tile house of ours a home.

The end. 

Cas x

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Gratuitous musings about style and stuff

 Over the last few months I have been inspired by gorgeous girls like Tania and Pippa to add more of what I like to call spiky, green plants into my home. I never used to go for non-flowering plants at all, but since adding my potted palm into the lounge room and successfully keeping it alive for quite a long time now, I find myself  drawn to leafy, green plants a lot more. They just add a dash of instant fresh and tropical to a room I think.
Despite this new development in my ever evolving decorating style, I still and always will love a pretty flower or two about the place. I think it comes from my first decorating love.....that ethereal, flowery fusion of romantic ruffles and chipped white furniture that goes by the name of Shabby Chic. 
 Even though I moved on from that style quite some time ago after finding it to be too cloying and fussy for my tastes, I think a lot of what I do when I decorate is still influenced by those romantic beginnings. These days I guess I'm a lot more relaxed about it all and I don't feel like I need to define or pigeonhole my style. 
It is just what it is. 
If I like something I'll work it in, if I don't like it, I get rid of it. 
I like to keep things simple.
 So how about you, what was your first decorating love? Do you still stick firmly to that style or has it evolved?

Cas x

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Ikea pretties and rainy days

 I woke up this morning to rain absolutely thundering down on the roof and my first instinct was to stay snuggled up in bed. But then I remembered that I had lunches to make, washing to do, a house to clean, ho hum...happy freaking Monday ;)
So today I really wanted to show you our living room shuffle that took place over the weekend, including our new addition...which some of you have guessed correctly as being a chair. However, as the weather has decided to cast it's gloomy shadow on us and make the lighting slightly less than favourable for taking a half decent photo, I decided to leave it until the sun sees fit to grace us with it's presence again. 
Since my new chair comes from that magical blue land of convenient flat-packaging and goodie-filled market hall, that is indeed where I spent my Saturday morning.
To be honest, I didn't really enjoy my trip to Ikea this time as, being a Saturday, it was packed to the rafters and people were walking in that meandering, cattle-like fashion that humans tend to adopt when in browsing mode. Normally I'm completely cool with that, usually I am the queen of cattle-like meandering, but I was just hell bent on getting my lovely new chair and scooting out of there as quickly as possible so I could get it home and start rearranging the living room.
But as I was forced to meander a little bit between bursts of power walking and crowd dodging, I thought I'd best pick up a couple of pretties while I was there.
 Have a great day everybunny! I'm taking advantage of the wet weather today and staying snugly indoors to undertake a bit of a crafty endeavour that I've been tossing around in my brain for a while. Be back soon to show you how it works out....maybe ;)
Cas x

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Country coastal with a dash of oriental spice

These are a few of my new favourite things I picked up from Target last week.....
I'm not usually a huge fan of oriental decor, but how could I walk by these colours?!
They definitely work well with the blues, greens and sandy colours of the coast.
Then again, maybe a touch of the orient already works around here. I mean, I already have my Grandma's beautiful old oriental-inspired tea set, which I adore. And goodness knows I love a paper lantern or two hundred.
Is my decorating style becoming Country-coastal-oriental?
Well, even if it doesn't have quite the same ring to it, it has certainly become quite eclectic to say the least, because I am a huge fan of smashing styles, patterns, colours and ideas together to see how they work. It's really quite interesting to see different styles harmonising.
Which decorating styles are you playing around with right now?

Have a great weekend!
Cas x

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Feeling the lurve

 Happy Valentine's Day!
 I know that V-Day is supposed to be about all the va-va-voom kind of romance, but honestly, I'm such a cheap date that just this heart and shell garland Husband bought for me is enough to make me love him a whole lot - and he didn't even give it to me for Valentine's Day, he bought it a while ago, just because.
 For me, it's not about big, grand gestures of undying devotion.
It's about being able to share a glance and a grin in a crowd and just know that we found the same thing amusing.
It's about having a big ol' fight which results in trying to give each other the silent treatment and only lasting maybe 15 minutes because we're useless at not talking to each other.
It's about cracking each other up with laughter every single day, without fail.
It's about giving each other huge bear hugs, whether we're happy or sad or sick, whether we're greeting each other or saying good bye or just hanging out.
It's about knowing that when we sit down together after the kids have gone to bed tonight and share our traditional box of Valentine's Day chocolates and watch a DVD, that that does not make our relationship predictable or boring, but it's one of the things that makes it special. 
 How will you be feeling the lurve this Valentine's Day - but let's keep it g-rated okay? ; )))
Cas x 

The lounge room

 Hiya! Some of you may have already heard the tale of how our lounge room was transformed from an icky, poo brown, dust bucket to the light, fresh and airy room it is today, but I'm feeling like re-telling it today. Sorry wonderbugs, bear with me for a bit, I'll have some new stuff happening soon. I think. Maybe not. Whatever.
This is what the room looked like when we first clapped eyes on it during an open house inspection....
 Brown no? Despite it's brownness, I still fell in love with it's panelled walls and bay windows. It all came together in my mind of how it would look if it were mine.
Being a first home owner though, I had some really wacky ideas about how renovations happened. I mean, you're talking to somebody who had never even painted a wall before! I honestly thought that people who owned their own homes could just do what they wanted to a house when they wanted to. Somehow, I didn't take into account how much having a mortgage would affect our cash flow and I also didn't realise how much work was involved.
After a few months of letting our bruised and battered finances recover from the strains of buying a house and the accompanying move, Husband suggested that we start working from the ground up. Re-flooring. To which I thought, yep, piss it in, no problems.
Can anyone say naive twat?
A layer of carpet, two layers of tiles and whole lot of literal blood, sweat and tears later we could get started on the clean up process, which entailed shovelling four rooms worth of broken tiles into a trailer and taking them to the dump and grinding back the tile glue to clean concrete. Which is hard and time consuming and altogether very sucky work. 
Then the tiling began. Two complete tiling novices who'd taken a crash course on YouTube on how tile a floor. It took five days to finish five rooms, but we did it. And I'm so proud of us for that. 

Once the flooring was all done and dusted it was just a matter of painting the room a lighter colour - we used Fair Bianca full strength on the walls and half strength on the trims - and installing blinds in the windows, adding new curtains, light fittings and pretty much redecorating. 
It's so easy to type those words and it all sounds so effortless, but the fact is that it's a process and it takes a while to get these things done, especially when you have to save the money between projects. 
That's what I know now, that I didn't know then. The naive twat is now a lot wiser, let me tell you ;)

Have you renovated? What do you know now that you didn't know then?

Cas x

p.s. feel free to tell me how much you love our lounge room redo...I really don't mind receiving compliments at all ;)))

Partying at Natasha's today

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Now where were we?

So hiya! I'm back from the ashes, risen again like a goddamn phoenix - I hope you're glad to be back too ;) Over the weekend I was able to recover everything from Peaches & Maple The Original (but quite possibly not the best), but I thought, you know what? There's nothing quite like a fresh start. And I know a hell of a lot more now than I did when I started blogging 18 months ago, so perhaps I can make this blog even better than the last. Or at least I can rehash my old material and pass it off as new right? : p
Anyway, welcome or welcome back, I'm so glad you're here!
I think the last time I dropped into the old blog was Friday morning, I was gabbing on about a new addition that was due to arrive in my living room over the weekend....well guess what? Due to those meddlesome unforeseen circumstances that seem to arise just when your really excited about something, it didn't happen. I know, super sad face. But it will hopefully happen this coming weekend. Yays!
Here are a few pics around my living room for your viewing pleasure....I really think my new addition is going to be completing element :)))

Hope you all have a super-duper week and if you wouldn't mind, since this is a fresh start, I wouldn't mind knowing what you'd like to read about here, if  you have a minute to leave a little comment...
Our renovations?
My very glamorous life as a stay at home mum?
What we ate for dinner? ;)
Thanks! Seeya soon.
Cas x

P.S. I'll be updating all my pages tabs very soon, so they won't just be hanging there all blank and weird :)
P.P.S Could you please click the big Follow Peaches & Maple button over in the side bar before you go, I only have one lame follower so far - me :( Thanks!

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