Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Little Red House is seven today

I always remember this day, it is a bit like a birthday in our family; the purchase of our first house, as in the Little Red House that is the namesake of this blog.

Seven years ago, way back then, we were young and had little idea of what we were doing. The house itself was stuck in a 70's time warp and had little work done since its construction in 1971. The retired owners spent much time inside and had no real love for the back or front yards. The house was mouldy, smelly and dirty. I didn't take many photos but I didn't need to, the memory is etched permanently into my head.

At the time the house was the best of a bad lot and we were desperate to buy something, I guess it turned out okay but not without a whole lot of hard work and money spent to renovate it. The only original internal fixtures left today are the kitchen bench and cabinets, everything else we have replaced.

Today our family fills the house with lots of laughter and fun as Ems and Josh gallivant around playing together with our dog Zorro never too far behind them. We might be starting to grow out of it but for the next few years our Little Red House will be just fine.

Happy anniversary house, I love that we are creating some great memories here and look forward to another year here and perhaps a little more scheming to improve you with a new project being sketched out at the moment but more on that another time.

And just in case you were wondering our Little Red House is in fact red, as in red brick!

How very seventies.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our backyard project; where did we end up you ask?

Seriously how fast does time go? Looking back to one of my very first posts written in August 2010 I proclaimed that Ash and I were planning a landscaping project to makeover our fairly dull backyard.

Almost one year on I thought it might be about time to record exactly where we ended up. I will be the first to admit that perhaps it didn't end up as planned but the completed work is amazing and I am in love with my backyard! I spend time every day pottering around while the kids play and dreaming up what comes next.

We didn't quite get to building the pergola and I think it would have ended up being way to imposing on our small space, the fairy garden is still coming together and of course lots of the plants are still mini sized as they await spring/summer growth but overall the garden is relaxing, fun for the kids to play in and enjoyable to share with our friends and family.

I never thought that our backyard could be a place that both the kids and I actually want to spend time in.

Here are some pictures to share the garden love with you

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Make it yourself challenge; week one

I have myself a new little project.

Now that Emily and Josh can play more independently together for short periods of time I am finding a little bit more time to do things other than housework! Woo hoo for that I say.

So after gathering some ideas from magazines, blogs and cookbooks and my new love pinterest, I thought that I would try to make something from scratch each week. That being something one could otherwise buy in the supermarket. I figured that I could improve my skills in the kitchen and see whether it is more cost effective to make something yourself than buy it. I guess it is to see how self sufficient one can be. If it works and tastes good then I may or may not keep making it, I guess we will see.

For my first week I tried hommus. Straight forward with simple ingredients. I used dried chickpeas, soaked them overnight then cooked them. All was going well with the ingredients in the food processor when I took the lid off to see how it was going, then a little chubby hand popped up onto the counter and pulled down the lid. There it lay on the floor with the locking mechanism snapped off.

Ahh, I felt so disappointed, the food processor is now useless and the whole lot had to go as I had no other way of blending it up. No hommus for us this week.

The joys of cooking with little people around.

Next week I am going to try and make some bread without my bread maker. Fingers crossed!


Shopping from the garden, tonight for dinner.....

Finally our winter vegetable crops are coming into their prime. Today I was able to pick all our vegies for dinner from the garden. It sure made for a yummy chicken fried rice and it feels so good to be self sufficient (at least for one meal a week).

(Wombok, snow peas, carrots, brocolli, lemongrass and shallots)

It would be great to have this much to pick every day but I feel that I would need a much bigger space to grow a bigger crop but at least if we can pick some of the days of the week then I am one happy home gardener.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

The elusive sleeping child, where are you?

Four weeks ago, little Joshua decided to experiment with a little bit of monkey business; attempting to climb out of his cot, caught red handed with one leg up and over his cot. Never having had that problem with Emily, I was a bit surprised, but hey little J has always been a climber. So off came the cot sides and on went a rail, hey presto, toddler bed.

Four weeks on and what an exhausting time we have been having!

I have spent countless hours putting Josh back in his bed after he has climbed out, patting him to sleep and sitting beside him waiting for him to go to sleep and even when desperate, lying down next to him (I know desperate times call for desperate measures, as they say)

This week I thought we had cracked it, we tried playing some lullaby music on my IPhone as this seems to help Emily drift off to sleep quickly and it seemed to have worked. He stayed in his bed! Woo hoo, happy dance, I even boasted to my sister that I had it sussed.

Alas, I spoke to soon, tonight he was back to his old tricks. That is the thing with kids and sleep, they go through several stages from birth to growing child and through each stage there is a new challenge. Say, moving from wrapping to not wrapping a baby, transitioning from two day sleeps to one day sleep then to no day sleep. I guess I feel comfortable when I have it worked out and sleep is golden and easy but it never seems to last too long and we head back into the next transition.

At least Emily is sound asleep in minutes at the moment, I wonder what her next transition might be, staying up later in the evening perhaps. Fingers crossed it might be a while away yet!


Monday, June 06, 2011

A little bit of cousin love

Today our beautiful niece Issy turns two. Happy birthday big girl. Yesterday we gathered for a lovely family celebration for the occasion, complete with bbq lunch and a yummy 'Hoot' birthday cake. As Emily, Joshua and Issy were all playing happily together I reflected that having a cousin to play with is wonderful, an instant friend for a little person. Someone to spends lots of relaxing time with, learn to share possessions and attention with and generally have lots of fun together.

The three of them are very lucky to have the opportunity to spend a lot of time together and I hope that this makes for a strong friendship together as they get older, but in the meantime we love getting together to play every week with our cousin Issy.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday Issy from your family living in the Little Red House.