Sunday, January 31, 2010

Something for me...

I finally made myself something on the sewing machine. And it's something I'll use a lot and makes me happy when I look at it. It was relatively quick and easy (well, I still had to do some unpicking, and it's a bit rough around the edges), but I definitely feel a sense of pride in what I've created. Oh, and what makes it extra special is the lace from Nana, and the small momento that I sewed into the middle of it.

I've already taken a look at the flickr pool 2010 - 12 months 12 challenges and there's some beautiful things on there. I'm just about to add my contribution to the pool.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time well spent

Are there 30 or 31 days in January (30 days has september... april, june and november).. phew - 31.. Which means I still have 5 days to go to make something for 'myself' as part of the 2010 12 months - 12 sewing challenges goal that I've signed up for.. (from the blog My Favourite)

Admittedly I am only new to the 'sewing thing', but I must confess - I am yet to make something for myself.. And tonight, I'm asking myself why? (perhaps this is another procrastination technique, but let's go with it and see what happens?)..

I think it might be that I'd feel guilty spending time making something for myself? I already feel a bit like time spent at the sewing machine, is time away from my family, and my household chores.. So I guess when I'm making something for Lola, or fixing something for Simon, then I don't feel guilty. I feel generous. I feel like what I'm doing will make them happy. I feel like I can justify the dishes in the kitchen sink, or the unswept floors - because I'm showing them I love them in a different way.

But I'd hate it to sound like I don't get time for myself either.. And of course the time I spend every day in my role as "Mama" and "Wife of the House" is exactly totally where I want to be.. But when I find time to do something for myself - I spend it torn in all directions. Say for example Lola is happy playing, these are all the things that run through my head..
- maybe I'll make a cuppa and read another chapter of Diana Gabaldon's latest book before it's due back at the library in less than 1 week OR
- should I have a flick through one of the magazines that I have a subscription to but never get to read, OR
- should I take a shower OR
- should I jump on the Wii fit board OR
- should I do some housework? OR
should I just sit down with Lola and watch her play with her toy...

Ultimately, the time goes and I haven't done anything, and I dont know where it went?

I wonder where the crafty people who's blogs I follow find the time to make such awesome things? I'm sure they have more than 1 child to look after? and I'm sure they work like I do as well..

But if anyone has any tips on how to make the most of those snippets of time that we Mums find in a day - I'd love to hear them. Oh, and I still don't know what to make for myself for the challenge.. But sometime in the next 5 days - I will sit myself down and create something for me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My first challenge..

I was reading my friend Kat's blog, and saw that she'd signed up for a challenge on the blog My Favourite. I've never done a challenge before, and thought this would inspire me to try at least one new thing a month.

So I'm in! Even though there's only 10 days left of January - I think I might still make it. Not that I've made anything for myself yet? But this is as good a time as any to start.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Building a new 'outdoor' lifestyle

We are lucky for so many reasons, but there are a few things we are most fortunate for having in our lives.One thing is a home of our own. That we may not pay off until we're old(er) and grey(er), but that we have for ourselves. The other thing is a family full of helpers. We have the best tradesmen, labourers, babysitters, chefs and washer-uper'ers in the country. And they are always available when we need them, and they are as excited as we are at the space we are creating in our backyard.

The work "out the back" began back in July 09. And while I always thought renovating would be fun, and exciting - it's been way more compromise, lost weekends and sweaty hard work than I ever expected. And I'll admit it's been frustrating too. I've felt a lot like I'd 'lost' my husband to the back yard - and at times I wished I could have been working outside with him - rather than working on life inside inside the house. But through it all, Si has worked with the expert staff of family on hand, and has made landscaping and design decisions that I never thought he had in him. And he's tolerated my inability to understand 'concepts' (I need to see it before I can tell whether I like something?) and my nagging to come inside and play with us.

And all the hard work has really come together in the past week - the backyard is looking fabulous. There's still a lot of work to go (building bbq area, fencing, planting vegetable patch and setting up AV to name just a few) but I thought it was time to post some photo's and take the time to thank family for their help and time spent working. We appreciate you so very much.

So here's a photo of the area before we started demolishing :) We have lovely memories of Christmas's and our wedding party in this very yard! But it was looking a bit tired, and needed to be redesigned for our family:

And here's the new patio (there is a massive amount of space under that roof, and we have great plans for it :))
And here's Lola showing Daddy how much she appreciates him (actions totally speak louder than words)

And here's where we're up to at the end of today.. New lawn is laid and we are tired but happy :)

I will continue to post on how we progress in the backyard, and I look forward to sharing many special times our little family spend out in this new space.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spearman Family Soda Bread

Today I made my first ever batch of Soda Bread.

Lily (my mother in law) taught us last year how to make it the way her Mama made it. She did a demonstration (we told her to pretend she had her own cooking show), and we filmed the whole thing. It was really fun watching it back today. Lola was so young!! (she was 4 months old at the time) - she was sitting in her bumbo chair on the benchtop and she kept kicking (or 'kneading' according to Simon) the dough. This time when I made it she was standing at my feet and grabbing my legs so I'd pick her up and give her a cuddle (or a look at what was going on?).

Lily's instructions on the video were near perfect - if not a "little Irish".. (particularly the part when Simon asked her how hot the fry pan should be - and she said "it needs to be at the temperature where it's just at the right heat'... which made me laugh today)

Anyway, I think it turned out really well. We enjoyed it anyway! And my husband thinks I'm eligible for Wife of the year, so I'm happy.

Mid way through the cooking:
The end result... Served best hot with butter and cheese!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New year, new plans..

So, we've been in our home now for a couple of years, and there are still many things we own which have not yet found a space to live.. There are lots of reasons for this, but mostly they are just excuses.. we've had a baby, we've been renovating, we went overseas etc.. So this year I have decided it's time to work out a way to live in this house, with all our 'things' and not feel overwhelmed by all the clutter.

My wonderful neighbout kat asked me if I'd heard of flylady - an online resource to help you bring order to your home and life. I like the way her 'Beginner babysteps' give you somewhere to start, which in my case, is always the hardest part.

So, I made the most of day one of 2010 - and I shined my sink. Flylady says it's "the" place to start. I even got out the Shannon Lush books and used bicarb soda and vinegar to get the job done.

So I am starting this year optimistically. I took a good hard look at myself today, in my shiny sink - and I vowed that this year I would do my best to make our home feel organised and happy for our family. I will cook healthier meals and I will cook more often, I will wash up at least once a day, I will take care to wipe - at least once - every corner of this home, and I will spend more time just enjoying our house with my family.