Monday, 29 April 2013

Holiday fun

It has been a while since we went away for a break from normal life. So when we saw a week in the School holidays where we could run away to the city, we grabbed it with both hands.

City of choice...... Sydney!

We try to get down a couple of times a year, but every time we think we can get there, something happens back here. So I was really surprised when I realised the last time we were down was last Easter holidays. A whole year ago!

I have people ask me "So what do you do in Sydney for a whole week?"

I answer - "Everything!"

The view from Milson's Point

When we got up on our first morning we had bouts of pouring rain with showering most of the day. It had us wishing it was falling at home instead. We decided to run to the Powerhouse museum in the rain so we could get the boys out of the unit.

Mostly, my boys are quite well behaved. But when they are confined in a small unit for too long the running and tackling games start. So it is best to get them out of there by 9am before the people on the floor below start complaining about the baby elephants in the unit above.

The Powerhouse Museum is always a hit and not too far from our spot we stay at. There is always something new  to see, and the boys still like the old favourites (planes, trains etc.)

If you have little tots "Wiggles World" is a great place for the littlies too.

Out the front of Luna Park

Luna Park on day two.

We have been meaning to take the boys to Luna Park every time we came down this way, but we just haven't found the time until now.

We picked a beautiful day for it and being a Monday, it wasn't too crowded.

My advice, don't go until your kids are fairly old as the rides have some heavier height restrictions than the theme parks on the Gold Coast.

H could go on everything by himself. F was restricted and on some rides he had to have a parent go on with him. N was the same, but he only just made it into F's height category.

Also, if you take your own food, there is a lovely picnic area at the back of the park. We should of done this, even though the food is pretty good and normal Sydney prices.

The ferry back home is always a nice way to end the day. And for us it is a novelty to catch a ferry on Sydney Harbour.

The Sydney Opera House

The light at that time of the day just kills me. So pretty! It really is the best harbour city in the world in my humble opinion.

Hyde Park

After a busy day we didn't stop moving and walking around. The Australian Museum was calling and we caught the Alexander the Great exhibition while it was still on. It was absolutely amazing! So much to look at and to take in. We spent hours reading about all the exhibits and discovering treasures.

The kids love this museum, and there are DINOSAURS and plenty of taxidermy if that is what you are into.

The city looking from Darling Harbour, so pretty at night

Some of the other things we did.......

Caught up with friends at Darling Harbour for a gorgeous dinner overlooking the city at night.

Ate Wagyu at a pub around the corner from us. Melt in the mouth steaks to be had there.

My boys helped out in a friend's shop making fairy floss for the Darling Harbour tourists.

The boys went to the Dragon's Vs Roosters game on Anzac Day.

I saw some of the Anzac day march in the city with little N. I was rather moved and just so proud to see so many people remembering the fallen.

Also, I got ONE WHOLE DAY to myself to go shopping for myself. I could have been seen skipping down the road when I left the boys that morning!

New shoes

I actually wore a hole in my last two pair of ballet flats, so I stocked up again. Bras - oh so exciting to be fitted properly! And to have the time to buy them without a little one hanging off my leg.

Yes, it was rather exciting!

It was really nice to get home so I could water my dry old garden too.

I must of had such a great time on our holiday that I forgot to send the boys back to school today. I thought it was a pupil free day today and I was wrong! Cue a quick mad dash to pack lunches and find ties to wear.

I don't go down for a whole year and then I go twice in the space of two weeks. Yes, I am back down this week to do a few errands. Insane times!

At least I will be able to check out the new Pottery Barn and the rest while I am there!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Meathouse Renovation

Hi, I have been wanting to share my new project that is still a work in progress at the moment. Since School holidays are upon us, I have had a bit more time to devote to fiddling around with our new meathouse.

We use a meathouse when we go and get a killer to put in the freezer. My husband is the butcher around our house, and we use a meathouse to hang the carcasse overnight, and to chop up the animal into different cuts of meat.

Nearly every farm in Australia would have a meathouse, or at the least an old one used in days gone by. Not so many know how to kill their own, and some farmers just get their butcher to cut one up for them when they are busy (or can't be bothered).

It really is something else to be able to go out and find a good looking lamb to kill, and dress it yourself. It is a dying art, and not only do you get meat you grew yourself - it is always yummier. It is an environmentally friendly way to fill your freezer with cheap lamb too. And we all know how expensive a lamb roast is at the butcher's these days!

Anyway, back when we were living at our old house we didn't have a meathouse to use.  So we transported the one at our house today with a crane. We poured a slab of concrete and craned it in and used it for many years. It was a gorgeous one that was all weatherboard and huge in size. Had we known the future, we would of left the meathouse where it was, and it would be still standing next to our house today.

Instead of craning the old one back in again, we found another one on another property which will do the trick. It already had a slab we could move it on, so we got two tractors and a truck to shift it to our house.

I helped my husband shovel a couple of trailerloads of dirt to create a nice pad to lay the slab on.

Here she is....

She needs new gauze, we have ripped all the fibro off already and we have iron panels coming to tack on to the walls.

This is the remainder of the fibro we took off, it is all gone now.

The hanging space.

This is where we will hang the carcasse from. You could fit a couple in here no worries.

View out the door.

So you can see she needs some love, it will be functional and practical. Very handy for us!

Electricity and water will be next to be hooked up to it. A bit of trenching will be happening soon.

Meanwhile, if I disappear for a while - you will know I have been given the job of painting the whole thing. There is a lot of timber to cover, more painting than I thought possible!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


So once in a while I browse Gump's when I want some eye candy and I feel like doing a bit of time-wasting on the Internets.

A gorgeous screen from Gump's

I first discovered this shop in a biography I was reading about Barbara Hutton. Heiress to the Woolworth fortune in the US.

Barbara was a socialite, big spender, and had 7 husbands by the time she died at the age of 66. She lived with vast amounts of money, but could never find happiness in her life. Her story is an addictive read, and you can't help but feel sorry for her, as nearly everyone in her circle takes her for a ride. And she is left truly alone, and bankrupt by the time she died.

Her story is fascinating, so go Google her when you get a chance.

Anyway, in the biography about Barbara Hutton, it told many tales of spending sprees she used to go on. One place mentioned in the book was a place in San Francisco called Gump's.

Gump's is like a massive store with pretty much anything you can think of that is pretty. They sell homewares, clothing and even fine jewellery. A lot of their stuff is chinoiserie style and Barbara was a huge fan of anything Asian inspired.

I wondered if the store was still still trading? So I googled it a year ago. It is online, they do shipping US wide. But you can get a quote for international shipping. I guess it would probably be quite expensive for us in Australia - but it is still a lovely site to window shop.

Here is the link to Gump's

I can never get enough of ginger jars, and this one is fabulous with orange accents!

Graphic rugs to boot.

A blown glass decoration, no idea what it is - but would look fab on your console table.

Yes, plenty of Chinese garden stools

Furniture I love. A lot of their stuff is very Orient House.

I could find a spot.....

I am always on the hunt for lovely bathroom accessories. Don't ask me why, but I am obsessed with finding the perfect bin, tissue box holder, soap dish etc.

Love these marble ones!

They even sell funky shoes.

Jewels anyone?

It is one of those places I can spend a day browsing. I would love to check it out in person one day. That would require a big trip to San Francisco with lots of suitcases! I think Barbara was on to something when she said it was one of her favourite stores.

Do you think anyone in Aus could import some of this stuff as cheaply as them?

It's quite ridiculous as I have been eyeing off a magnolia wreath (fake and made in Australia by an Aussie company) and I sourced one at Gump's for half the price that the Aussie company shipped over to San Fran, and then in our retailers it is double the price! Insane!!! And it definitely was the same brand and supplier.

I am really surprised that the writers of the Forrest Gump movie didn't claim that Forrest established it...... Like the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.


Enjoy the eye candy! I wish I knew how to make the pictures bigger without making them grainy. Sorry about that, I will learn one day.

Jo xx