Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am exceptionally thankful for a totally unexpected email from an unexpected person that really touched me, encouraged me and made my day. My faith in humankind has been battered for so very long, but I must admit this email, and this person (who is struggling as much as I am), may just have started the restoration process.
Photo credit: Alykat on Flickr

My challenge to you AND to myself is to drop someone a quick email or call someone who you haven't spoken to in a while and go on to make their day.
Let's pass on some love, shall we?


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Spring Training with Ella Publishing

Not that it's Spring here, so I guess for me it's Autumn Training with Ella Publishing! LOL

This online course started on Monday (it's not too late to sign up and join me!) although with the time differences, I didn't get the first prompt until Tuesday and by the time I procrastinated, it's Wednesday. LOL

Anyhoo, the first exercise was to examine my signature scrapbooking style. Looking back at the layouts I've done (click HERE to go to my Flickr Photostream to see all my layouts), I was supposed to choose three favourites, but that proved too difficult, so I've chosen six!

(Click on each thumbnail to see the larger picture)

6&ABitMonthsLO NewLife
Look Both Ways U&Me
Falcon Pepper Red&White

From these six layouts, I've come to the following conclusions:

  • I like to use bright colours or muted colours, never mixing the two.
  • My journalling tends to be more emotional than factual and arranged in blocks rather than all over the place. I like to hand-write my journalling or use a hand-writing style font when digi scrapping.
  • My titles are short and of a horizontal orientation using letters cut on the Craft Robo or fonts made to look like letters/stickers on digi layouts.
  • I like a symmetrical design, often using a "shelf" for the photos to sit on.
  • The backgrounds are usually plain - neutral or white, and there's often some white space for the eye to rest.
  • Embellishments are often minimal and placed at the corners of the design triangle. I like to mix and match products on paper layouts, but use what's already in a kit in digi layouts - go figure!
  • Scrapping single 4x6 photos is a definite favourite! I don't tend to process my photos much so what you see is often straight out of the camera.
  • Techniques I like to use are stamping (ink or digi), inking edges, border punches, and faux stitching or subtle line doodling.
Do you think that sums up my scrapbooking style? What do you think is your scrapbooking style?


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Long Weekend Positives

We have had the longest weekend break here in Aus - 5 days!! 4 days for Easter and then a make-up holiday today since yesterday was Anzac Day/Easter Monday. Add to that my usual Thursday off and I've had 6 days off - woo hoo! :D

My OLW must be starting to rub off because I've been trying to focus on the positives all this long weekend instead of the nagging negatives. That's a first for me! We've still got a long way to go though. *grimace*

So let's see what positives have happened over the past 6 days:

* I had an appointment at the hospital last Thursday and everything is fine, including the fact that the results of my blood tests showed that I DO NOT have gestational diabetes - phew!

* The Wicked obsession continues! The long-awaited Grimmerie (Wicked Almanac) arrived and there's lots to take in so I've been going through it slowly. Excitement levels have been high. LOL Just wish there was an Australian edition.

* Typical Easter weather - cold and wet. Yes, this is a positive because it brings in the mist and makes the Mts look beautiful - what you can see anyway. LOL It also means snuggling up beneath a blanket or warm doggie in front of the heater. :D

* Haircut - I finally managed to get to my hairdresser and got rid of the long-becoming-really-unmanageable locks. Short hair is good for now. :D

* Catching up with family and friends who were up in the Mts for the weekend. Along with most of Sydney it seemed. The villages are usually busy around Easter, but this weekend was absolutely crazy!!

* Managing to take the dogs to the dog park not once, but twice! It would have been more had the weather been permitting.

* Making a start on the nursery. We've got all the furniture, just have to find homes for everything! Many thanks to my SIL who gave us HEAPS of clothes from her workplace. We can't complain that bubby won't have anything to wear. LOL

* Having time to reflect on Jesus' death and what that really means to me.

So that was my fantastic Easter weekend break. Today has been an absolutely lazy, sleeping-in-front-of-the-heater-with-a-dog-on-my-lap kind of day, and I'm sad that it's now coming to a close. In trying to remain positive though, I have one day of work tomorrow (Wednesday) and then off again. Gotta love that!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter break too!


Monday, 25 April 2011

Monday Giggles

Thanks for dropping by on this Easter Monday edition of Monday Giggles.


I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies and whoever lives and believes in me will never die John 11:25

May you be blessed with the knowledge that Jesus has risen and has given you Life.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Thankful Thursdays

Hey there! Welcome to Thankful Thursdays.

Today I'm thankful for a number things! Firstly, I'm thankful that I actually made it to a second Thankful Thursday for this year. :)

Secondly, I'm thankful that I felt well enough to actually take the dogs for a walk. I seemed to have the energy and the gorgeous autumn day was far too beautiful not to waste.

What I thought was going to be a short walk ended up being about 50 minutes! I couldn't walk at the normal pace when I used to walk my dogs but they didn't seem to mind too much because a) they were too busy stopping me every 10m to sniff something and b) they weren't used to being out either so they tired fairly quickly and didn't keep up their manic pace for too long.

Lastly, as it's so close to Easter, I'm thankful that Our Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross for us, giving US life in return.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 NIV

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter!


Monday, 18 April 2011

Monday Giggles

(Since Thankful Thursdays managed to score itself a blog graphic, I thought I'd better do one up for Monday Giggles too. Hope you like it! The credits are the same.)

Good morning and welcome again to Monday Giggles. :D

This one reminds me of my own dogs that seek out any sliver of sunlight to sleep in, especially when it gets cold. LOL


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Orange FOOD Week Finale!

I mentioned in my last post on Orange FOOD Week that we'd be heading off to the final event, the FOOD Affair, on 17th April. We were a tad undecided at first, wondering whether it was worth travelling 2 hours to Orange just for a market style lunch, but upon seeing that the forecast for the Orange district was going to be sunny and 18C, compared to raining and 14C in the Mountains, I think you can guess what we decided to do!

Arriving just after midday, everything seemed to be in full swing already and the grounds were quite full of people enjoying the sunshine and fine food and wine.

You'll also be pleased to know that we made a conscious effort to take more photos of the yummy food this time!! So just a bit of a warning that this is going to be a very heavy photo post!

For starters, we had a mixed entree of sweet potato balls, vege balls, a spring roll and a curry puff:

Then an absolutely scrumptious Thai Lamb sausage with satay sauce:

An extremely tender and tasty sun-dried tomato pesto chicken kebab stick:

Followed by my favourite dish of the day, lamb casserole on potato mash:

A mini lamb burger with caramelised onion came next:

Then a really tasty pork and fennel roll:

All this was washed down with a fresh raspberry smoothie (since I couldn't have any of the wine *cry*):

We were pretty stuffed by this stage (despite sharing each "course"), and we hadn't even started on dessert!! Unfortunately, we couldn't fit much more in, so it was a toss up between gelato and a lovely looking poached fruit and pannacotta. The pannacotta won out:

After all that, we couldn't really move, so we sat in the shade and just took in the atmosphere. Here are more photos of the event.

A menu at one of the stalls:

Some of the fresh produce that was for sale:

Delicious looking cupcakes:

Wendy Harmer (comedian and media personality) made a surprise appearance to promote her new book and to entertain us with the funniest stories. She had us all cracking up and snorting whatever beverage of choice through our noses. LOL

And to finish off the event, the organisers had some apple and pear cake to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Orange FOOD Week:

All in all it was a fantastic day - great food, great weather, great entertainment and a great atmosphere. Being on my feet for two hours straight tired me out, but the exhaustion plus the really achy tummy (from eating waaaaay too much!) was all worth it. :D

If you're in the area, come join us for FOOD Week next year. We'll definitely be going again!


Friday, 15 April 2011

You say tomay-to, I say tomaa-to!

Thanks to all those who commented on my post yesterday about Woolies. Apparently there seems to be some difference between the Woolworths stores in Australia and the rest of the world. In the back of my mind, I did know this, but should have realised that perhaps the rest of the world didn't and made it a bit clearer in my post.

Woolworths in Australia is a supermarket, where I get all my groceries (ie. foodstuffs), not a variety store as it appears to be in the UK and US. The variety store arm of Woolworths (as Alannah kindly pointed out) is called Big W here. Both are doing extremely well and there isn't much chance of either closing down all stores. In fact, I wish they would open a Big W around here, but that's a whole other issue!

So there you have it! It's cool that we all have our different country-specific stores, as well as the more well-known global chains. It keeps us all unique! :D


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Thankful Thursdays

Last year I started Things I Love Thursdays and then (as with so many other things!) never really kept it going. The idea however, has not stopped rattling around in my head, but I want to change it to Thankful Thursdays instead. I want to keep this regular, not only to remind me to be always thankful, but also as part of my One Little Word challenge for this year. How can I be negative when I have so much to be thankful for?

So without further ado, here's what I'm thankful for this week:

Okay, this may look a little strange - I'm thankful for Woolies?!? Well, yes! You see, today was the Grand Opening for Woolworths in my village and it has been long awaited. There is a Coles up the road in the next village (along with Aldi), but I've always preferred shopping at Woolies. Why? Well, I find the prices are (somewhat) cheaper than Coles and the store layout/experience is much nicer. Besides, they have self-checkout and I love that! LOL

It's not the biggest of Woolies, but it carries most of what I usually buy so I can't complain. Besides, it's all new and shiny and who doesn't like new and shiny?!? LOL

I'm also thankful for the freebies I got today, being Grand Opening day. A lovely single pink rose, a reuseable shopping bag and best of all, a pack of fresh hot cross buns! Mmmm...

So thanks (heh heh) for putting up with my waffle about Woolies, and yes, I probably do need to get a life! LOL


Credits: Just wanted to add a credit line for the Thankful Thursdays graphic. I adapted a label from Summertime digi kit by Crystal Wilkerson. Fonts are Wendy Medium and Heineken.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Monday Giggles

Here's a really cute one. Enjoy!


Sunday, 10 April 2011

FOOD Week in Orange

This weekend, we spent a night in Orange (about 2 hours west from home, 4 hours from Sydney) for the start of the Orange FOOD week.

It's a week of all things fine food and wine, celebrating the produce and food establishments of the local area, which is known as "The Food Basket" of NSW. There are lots of events organised by the local farms and wineries, restaurants and catering businesses. We missed it last year as we were still trying to settle in to our new home, but this year we were determined to go!

(Disclaimer: First and foremost, I am a foodie. This means that photography and subsequent scrapping of such foodie events is the last thing on my mind. So unfortunately, there won't be too many great photos or layouts resulting from this gastronomically delightful weekend away. )

On Friday night, the celebrations kicked off with the Night Market. About 30 wineries, restaurants and other food suppliers and producers set up stalls in a park in the middle of Orange selling wine and fine foods. The atmosphere was awesome as there were heaps of people around all enjoying good food and wine.

A band was playing some great jazz music and songs which added to the fantastic atmosphere.

Naturally due to being pregnant I couldn't sample any of the wonderful wines on offer, so had to stick to just the food. :D We tried sweet potato balls, pork and cyder sausages with apple chutney, marinated lamb kebab, chicken & ginger pastry and for dessert, pear & apple pudding with hazelnut & caramel sauce (the only dish we actually remembered to photograph! LOL):

Just to whet your appetite, here's some pork pie and salad that we passed on, but it did look delicious!

The queues in front of each stall were pretty long, so we did miss out on a lot of dishes that had already sold out by the time we made our way around. Note for next year - split up and take on two queues instead of lining up together!!

We finished off the night with a coffee and a much needed sit-down before staggering back to the hotel with very full stomaches!

The next morning we got up early and headed off to the monthly farmers market, which just so happened to coincide with the FOOD week. :D Apologies, but we were so caught up with admiring (and purchasing!) all the lovely produce and goodies for sale that we completely forgot about taking photos! You'll just have to imagine the stalls selling such wonderful things as pure olive oils, homemade jams and chutneys, fresh fruits and vegetables and breads and local cheeses, honeys and hazelnuts. Mmmm...

On our way home, we stopped in Bathurst to have a leisurely lunch by the river with some of the goodies we bought. We then decided to take a walk along the river to try and burn off even a smidgen of what we had eaten, but that ended up being one of our "not very good ideas" as I walked further than I should have and ended up completely exhausted for the rest of the trip home and most of today!

In light of the enjoyable time I had though, I think it was worth it. :D

(We're hoping to attend the final picnic/market on the 17th too, so stay tuned! Hopefully we'll remember to take some decent photos! LOL)


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