Come on a journey of inspiration & adventure while renovate & restore a beautiful Victorian home 'St Elmo' in the picturesque Hunter Valley, Australia & laugh at a few of our family adventures along the way.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fun in the sun

Hey everyone
I thought I would show you a bit of my week!

This is me with my Mum & Dad

We celebrate Australia Day every year with the same group of people, plus a few extras. Its kind of a tradition we began 2 years ago, for all of us Lithgow people who moved to the Hunter Valley.

We have a lovely time swimming in my girlfriends pool for the day, with a BBQ  lunch & dinner.
My 3yr old is a bit of a dare devil & spent her day jumping from the pool wall !!
I am so thankful for swimming lessons, she can dog paddle ALL day. She swam from 11am till 10pm & was exhausted beyond belief!!!

This is my 15 year old daughter  & I think she will hate this photo for ever, I like to call it
 I thought she was spending a few days staying at her friends house here, going to the beach in Newcastle, but it turns out she SNUCK on the train to sydney & spent her Australia Day at Coogee, with a completely different group of friends( after I had specifically said she wasn't allowed to go)
As you can imagine she is officiall GROUNDED from here to eternity!!!
Its a sickening feeling to think your child was in a completely different city than you thought,travelling on trains by herself. "I was fine mum" was her statement when I suggested something terrible could have happened  & we would have been looking in completely the wrong place for her. She isn't old enough to drive so has NO identification what so ever! 
Don't ya just love facebook & the fact that teenagers have to show the world how cool they are, I was a little suspicious when she wasn't keen to chat to me on her mobile or share any of her experinces for the 3 days, especially when my older daughter couldn't stop raving about all of the fun things going on at Nobby's beach in Newcastle.

We also had a visit in our garage from this fabulous creature...

& look, he was only to happy to pose  for a few pics!!!

we popped him in the garden, but I had to try a few shots with the macro setting on my new camera.

Today we are off to celebrate my handsome little nephews 3rd birthday, he is a little guy with a BIG personality, so it should be a fun day.

He is my brothers first child & over the years Glenn has given my children some rather annoying wonderful gifts, so I have purchased "H" a fabulously loud wiggles keyboard. He can play his own tunes or listen to the same 4 songs, over & over & over....
Ahhhh revenge is sweet!!!
He He He

What have you got planned for your weekend?

Trish xxx

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stylish & with substance

The lovely Katena at Taylor Made Baking has honored me with these 2 blogging awards!!!!
I feel very privileged to have received such accolades from Katena as I always read her blog with such admiration & if you drop by to meet her you will understand why....
She bakes the most amazing cakes & party favours you have ever seen, being a very basic cook I can't even imagine the amount of time that goes into her artistic creations.
Thank you Katena ;o)

I also need to thank the ever so stylish Lisa from Ledamae design for honouring me with a stylish blogger award. Lisa  has a wonderful blog & a fabulous Made it store where you're able to purchase her AWESOME art work, so DO pay her a visit if you haven't already, I have a list of Lisa's art I would love to purchase, I just need to build my house so I have a worthy place to display it!!!
Thank You Lisa ;0)

These lovely awards feel not just like a reward but a reminder of a standard to live up to for the year ahead
( the pressure is mounting, he he he!!)

Now to follow in the tradition of the awards I am to share 7 facts about me & then pass them along to some fellow bloggers!

1.My last baby was unplanned & I was pretty freaked out at the thought of managing 4 children having regular crying sessions throughout the pregnancy. One of those sessions was over the fact that I would still have many years ahead of me, of wiping someones bottom (crazy thoughts, I know), but here I am, my oldest child is 17 my youngest 3 & I'm still on the job, LOL, that's a lot of years with toilet paper in hand!!!
( I have to say after 9mths of fear, this little girl turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to our family!!)

2. We have lived in The Hunter valley for almost 2 years & still feel like we are on holidays, there are sooo many things to do in the area there is no need to travel to any holiday destinations as yet!!

3.My dream guy & I have recently celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary, we planned our garden wedding in 5 weeks, we thought it would be less stressful & we where right, no hic cups, just loads of fun!!!

4.I'm the second child in a family of 4 children
5.When my dream guy works night shift I barely sleep a wink, I'm a fraidy cat.
6.This year I have made it my goal to act on some of my creative ideas, rather than just thinking about them. Yes you are probably going to see some home made goodies, my biggest plan, a tufted ottoman. I already have my dream guy lined up to help with the timber side of things....wish me luck!!!!
7. I never tell people I write my blog,(only my immediate family know) its like I lead a secret life...SSSSHHHH!!!!

Now a few lovely bloggers to pass these lovely awards onto!
(They suggest you pass these awards onto at least 10 other bloggers, so I took this as an exercise in self control & guess what, I failed, Oh well!!!)

McCarthy Designs
The Lennoxx
Fun and vjs
Good life of design
specs camera lenses and the meaning of life
Freckles & Fudge
Belle Inspirations
Elements At Home
Count it all joy
My Sweet Prints
Mellis Designs
Shabby in Suburbia
Georgy G Design
My summer house
Jelly Shane

Okay Trisha, you need to stop, I guess I just want to give everyone an award, I love so so many blogs !!

Trish xxx

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oversized Mirrors

Lately I have developed a love for over sized mirrors as a statement piece!


image via decor Pad

image via the vintage farmhouse

image via Michael Partenio

Image via Things That Inspire

Image via Loyd Ralph design

Image via Decor Pad

Image via Brabourne farm

As you can see, they are at home in any room of the house & look fabulous in any style.
An over sized mirror can make a room appear larger, help bounce light around a dark area in the home, or reflect a beautiful view.

Do you have one in your home & what purpose does it serve, perhaps its just a striking statement piece, mirrors are a fabulous replacement for art!!!

Trish xxx

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Contrasting Kitchen Island

Ive been doing a lot of kitchen stalking of late & I really find myself being drawn to the kitchens with a contrasting coloured island.
Ive always been a real matchy matchy kind of girl & since blogging & studying interior design I have learnt that matching everything to perfection is NOT the way to go, unless you want your house to look more like a catalogue, than an inviting home.
I'm wondering if I can take myself further out of my comfort zone & change my kitchen plan in the dream house, to include a contrasting colour for the kitchen island....mmmmm.... take a look at these gorgeous kitchens.
Noe Valley Two contemporary kitchen

KitchenLab traditional kitchen

Image via BHG

Zen Kitchen eclectic kitchen

Kitchen by Candace Olsen
source unknown

via cococozy

Source unknown

source unknown

They really do lift the room, in a very stylish way.
What do you think, is this a trend to stay & would you, or, have you painted or installed an island bench in a contrasting colour???

Trish xxx

Thursday, January 13, 2011

As you know my dream guy gave me my first ever digital SLR camera for Christmas & I am really enjoying learning how to use it.
I have only ever owned a basic point & shoot camera, but even on the auto settings my photo's are sooo much nicer.

I have found some fantastic web sites & blogs that offer so much photography knowledge with tutorials & weekly assignments to get to know your camera better.

I have been playing with the macro setting

I saw a photo taken on a forum at the
of water dropping into a dish & thought I might try to replicate it, I was already playing with water, food colouring & would you believe baby oil, trying to do some fun abstract photography,

I gained lots of tips, tricks & inspiration for this image from
which at the moment she has a wonderful assignment at the moment for everyone on food photography, including a great  post on "Ten things she has learned about food photography" to get you started, some of the images her readers have entered so far are just "delicious!"

I experimented with my macro setting, changing my aperture & even the sports mode on the dripping water.

I have been learning how to use the light meter to adjust the exposure, all three of these pictures where taken one after the other, adjusting the exposure.
I have even learnt a bit about reading the histogram, to ensure you have the correct, or best exposure possible for a perfect shot.

Ive started studying up on adjusting my white balance to suit the light source & ensure optimum colour in my images, like under the shade of these amazing trees.
Ive have gained so much knowledge from a wonderful blog
Darcy has a fabulous series called "31 days to a better photo" which is an awesome resource for us photography newbies

I have also tried to put a lot of focus, pardon the pun, on composition, to ensure my pictures are appealing to the eye.
I must add that NONE of my photo's have been edited in any way, they are fresh from my camera, that would be a whole other skill to master & I am a one step at a time kinda girl!!!

All of the outdoor images here where taken at a lovely little village called Paterson in the Hunter Valley of NSW Australia.

The kids & I went on a photography excursion & had a picnic dinner in the park here, whilst dream child No1 & I experimented with our new cameras.

It was a very fun afternoon & we hope to have lots of little photography picnics in the future!!

I hope these links are helpful for all of you DSLR newbies, or if you have any sites that you have found helpful & inspiring we would love to hear about them!

Trish xxx

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Be safe Queenslanders

Just a quick post to wish all of the flood affected families in QLD all the best. I can only imagine how terrifying & devastating it has been.
I have family & friends around Brisbane & the Sunshine coast & thankfully they are all safe & dry at this point although they are bracing themselves for whats to come.
The devastation isn't over yet & the clean up afterwards will be an ENORMOUS task.
Hats off to the rescue workers, police, medical personnel & volunteers that are all helping to save lives property & infrastructure in our sunshine state.

Come on Mother Nature 75% of the state of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone, enough is enough!

There are some wonderful fundraising efforts going on all over blog land & even in Woolworth's you can make a donation whilst at the checkout paying for your groceries.

On the other side of our so called lucky country we have fires burning in Western Australia, apparently they have been deliberately lit, Mmmmmm, what can you say about that!!!

To much hardship for one little country, lucky we are strong, after all we are often called 
" little Aussie battlers"
 I guess that nick name will ring true now more than ever!

Thinking of you all


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello 2011

Hi everyone,
I found myself dropping off planet blog over the Xmas/ new years period,
life was just a bit hectic,
filled with family & festivities!
Here's a bit of an update of how we filled our days...

We did Christmas dinner at our house twice, 

The first time was a few days before Chrissy for our family that were travelling elsewhere for the big day & then again on Christmas day for us & my parents.
It was a really lovely day & I was lucky enough to be given my first D SLR camera....
I haven't stopped taking photo's since, mind you I have NO idea what I'm doing.
Thank goodness for all of those talented bloggers that enjoy passing on tips to the newbie photographers!!!!

Although this is an old photo from my last house, I really did get to share a bottle of Moet with my lovely neighbor & friends for New years.
Maitland put on a fantastic fireworks display on the Hunter river each year & we had a fabulous view of them from our street, which was great!!!

Then it was time to take down the tree & put my house back together, the living area seems so much more spacious without a giant tree in the room.

We have enjoyed some great family days, this is my 2 favourite men fishing at Stockton beach

of course you cant go to the beach without building a few castles

dream child no.1 also got a DSLR off Santa so we had a lovely day snapping the sights of Newcastle & Stockton

My ultra gorgeous little sister is also the proud owner of a fab camera & the 3 of us wandered around like crazy tourists snapping up the sights & experimenting with different features on the camera....sooooo much to learn, soooo much fun!

We have also had to have a couple of skate park excursions for dream child no.3 to hone his scooter skills!

So this is what Ive been up to lately, plus a trip to the movies to see "Mega Mind", a few shopping adventures & several trips to our local pool.

We have so many exciting adventures planned just exploring Newcastle & The Hunter Valley, we don't have time to go on a holiday & that's why I love where I live!

What have you been up to so far?

Trish xxx

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