Monday, July 28, 2014

kitchen: the heart


This post is sponsored by The Kitchen Place.




At the moment I’m helping a friend out with her new house. It’s not finished yet and she’s in those panicky throes of choosing bathroom vanities and tiles and fittings and floor finishes and …. her kitchen. The stress of building is huge, isn’t it? I’ve done it twice now and each time it’s had it’s own set of stresses and panic moments. Both times, the most important part of the whole building process, for me, was the kitchen.




The kitchen is the heart, don’t you think? It’s the busy place where lots of stuff happens. So it’s important to get it right when you’re in the building/reno stage. Choosing cabinets, bench tops, appliances, colours and all of those things are really crucial. My friend is feeling that right now as she tries to make some final decisions, hoping that the ones she makes will be ones she’s happy with in 5 and 10 years time.




There’s no perfect home though, is there? Everything has it’s imperfections. Stuff you like now is likely to be very different to what you like in 5 and 10 years time. Stuff that you think is really, really important can mean absolutely nothing by the time you move in and start actually living in the house. Good design is important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the little things that make a house a home. Oh, and vintage things. There has to be old stuff hanging around. Has. To. Be. And, OK, yeh I hear you….people. People make a house a home too. As long as they don’t move your vintage things around and wipe down the benches;)




My favourite room has always been the kitchen. It’s definitely been the heart of every home I’ve ever lived in. So many of my childhood memories are caught up in the kitchen. Hanging out with my mum, hovering around ready to race my brother to the beaters dripping with cake batter. Sneaky moments of stealing those crispy, fatty bits from the roast pan before mum had a chance to serve it all up. Running my finger around the edge of the chocolate cake to ‘neaten up’ the runny icing mum had freshly drizzled over the top. Helping out with the cooking while chatting with mum about my latest schooly or horsey sagas. So many happy, foody, fun kitchen memories.




I love the kitchen in our home because it’s the place where a lot of our chit chat goes on. Our big island bench is where we tend to congregate and it’s also the spot where Lew does a lot of talking. I tend to do my best listening there too. Listening and cooking, cooking and listening. Umming and ahhing. Ahhing and umming. The cooking bit keeps me more silent than normal. A good thing for a teenage boy who needs to be listened to.



Lots of stuff happens around our kitchen bench. Issues get broached. Planning takes place. Decisions get made. Lists get scrawled.  Books gets flicked through. Music is played. The computer will get brought over and cool YouTube videos or stuff that Lew’s been working on for the day gets shared. Funny photos get their air time in the kitchen and often get deleted. Why is it that teenagers like to take really crappy photos of their mum’s many chins and then threaten to put them on face book? What’s with that?  So not what I signed up for!




I love walking into other people’s kitchens for the first time and looking around to find the story of their lives, their loves. I love sticky beaking at their collections and their well worn wooden spoons. I like it when I spot an old rolling pin or a well used mixing bowl.

People who walk into my home get a pretty good idea straight up that I like old stuff.  It’s smattered everywhere. They’d also see that I love kitcheny/foody stuff, and that’s before they’ve looked  my not-so-svelte body up and down and noticed the cake crumbs around my mouth! The vintagey stuff cosies the place up a lot. It softens everything and gives a bit of a story to a fairly basic, kind of starkish white kitchen.




I like to collect kitcheny stuff. Hand made-by-my-clever-Dad breadboards, old enamel tea pots, fowler bowls, old scales, colanders, canisters, cake tins, old china. I’m running out of room!




I have 2 old kitchen cabinets filled with old china and bits and pieces and I’m planning on bringing in a 3rd one just so I can have a few hundred more old plates and cups and saucers!




That’s a little bit more about my kitchen. Now I want to know about yours. Tell me, what do you love most about your kitchen? What would you change if you could? What works? What doesn’t? Do you collect old kitcheny stuff too? Share away….I’d love some photos too, if you could:)

Oh, and if you are right in the middle of planning a new kitchen then you should check out The Kitchen Place. It’s got some lovely designs and products that I’m sure you’ll get inspiration from.





Kim x

Sunday, July 20, 2014

chooky rant


Sweet Pea. Sunny. Primrose. Myrtle.

Our little chooky flock. They spend their free ranging time wrecking my garden and dust bathing their lives away. Messing up my mulch is a favourite past time of theirs and, surprising to me, I’m not even that bothered by it.



These two, Sunny and Primrose {Sunny’s daughter} are inseparable. It’s a real father-daughter thing they’ve got going on. So much so that Lew is now considered the enemy in the mind of Primrose. As gentle and gorgeous as these chookies are, Primrose has taken a strong disliking to Lew and will attack him at any chance she can get. She’s a bit of a bugger but it’s pretty funny to watch.


These two spend all day together. They even perch side by side. It’s all very cute. Primrose will also attack her sister, Myrtle, if she gets too close to Sunny. There’s some full on sibling rivalry happening in that little coop.




Sunny is king of the flock but in the loveliest, most gentlemanly way. He is the epitome of husbandship and I only wish he was a little taller and, yeh, human. He’s a catch, that’s for sure. He stresses if his girls are not right by his side and if there’s any issues going on with the girls he dives into the middle and calms them all right down. He even fought off a hawk – like, rolling-around-on-the-ground-with-bleeding-comb-kind-of-fought off while his girls safely cringed inside the hen house. He always shares his food. He offers up his findings to the girls and humbly forgoes his own appetite to please them. It’s sweet to watch.


So, yep, still besotted by the chooks. Big time wasters, that’s for sure.


Have you got chooks? And if so, are you a bit besotted too?

Or are you more on the normal side?


Kim x

Thursday, July 17, 2014

fun with cousins

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Toasted sandwiches.

Games of Guess Who?


Cheeky jokes.

Minecraft mayhem.

Walks up the hill.

Sometimes a spot of dancing.


Fun times with cousins are what childhood is all about. Don’t you think?


Kim x

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

flowers in winter




I can’t believe that I still have roses flowering in the middle of winter! The Climbing Black Boys and Pierre de Ronsards haven’t stopped spot flowering. Very strange. A nice strange.




The pale yellow daisy and french lavender are in full bloom right now.




But my bulbs seem to have disappeared. I can see a couple struggling to get some leaf material happening but the rest, I’m thinking, have died. Pretty devo about that. I love the sparkle that pretty yellow daffies and jonnies add to the wintery bareness of the garden right now.

Thankfully I have lovely friends who bring me flowers from their garden. So I still get to smell the jonnies and enjoy their sunshiney faces, indoors at least.


WP_20140512_12_45_00_Projune 2014 (6)


That bunch up there lasted and lasted and lasted. My uncle and his partner gave them to me when my uncle died. So lovely of them.




And in my home, whenever there’s flowers on the table there’s always food! Ha!

Food and flowers.

Flowers and food.

Especially cake.

Oh dear.

Oh well.

I like to have flowers in the house every day. There’s something about seeing flowers indoors that makes me feel good.

How about you? Do you bring them inside too? How about cake? Have you been overindulging like me lately? I bet you haven’t.

Kim x

Friday, July 11, 2014

tea days in winter



These wintery days beg me to drink more tea. They nag, nag, nag at me until I put the jug on and pour that steaming hot water into the freshly-cut-grass smelling tea leaves. Mmmmm….bliss.




I love sipping tea at home in the sunshine while chatting with Lew or on my own, reading through my favourite blogs.




I love drinking tea in a camping style enamel mug, with a tea bag and a choccy bickie or 3 in a park somewhere nice. {Twinings Assam Bold is my favourite tea right now. Yum!}




I love sipping tea with my niece and Sunny on the verandah in the late afternoons while being read to.





But my favourite tea drinking moments are sipping with a good friend, around an old rustic table as the wintery sunshine beams through the windows. Chatting and sipping, sipping and chatting. That’s the best way to drink tea in winter, I reckon.



I’m so glad winter is a beggar.


So, how about you? Are you a tea drinker? What’s your favourite way to enjoy a cuppa?


Kim x

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

bithry: marine fun



Just when you think you’ve been to all of the lovely spots in your local stomping ground, you get a lovely little surprise.

Bithry is a gorgeous spot on the coast close to where we live. We’ve been there lots of times. It’s a lovely safe spot for kids to swim and the water there is crystal clear.

But just off the car park there’s a little bush track that leads to an amazing section of Bithry, totally unknown to me.

So not too long ago I took Lew to one of the local Marine Society get togethers and we had a really cool few hours exploring an amazingly beautiful part of our local area. There were some pretty wild rocks to climb and a few laughs from me as one of my friends struggled to be brave and clamber her way down some cliff {ok, probably not a cliff, more like tall rocky bits but I’m calling them cliffs to her face as that makes her feel good} faces. At one point she proclaims: “I can’t do this! I’m going back!” But I managed to convince her that she’d be fine and she did it and it gave me much humour for the day which is always such a bonus.

I am a person who doesn’t like to be helped in a physical way. There were some lovely guys offering their helpfulness but I need to do things on my own in my own way so I refused all help. My friend, on the other hand, had 4 of us helping her. She mentioned something about it being like child birth, in the end you don’t care who sees what or who does what as long as you make it out alive. For the rest of the adventure she mumbled something about ‘nightmares’ but I’m sure she’ll be back there with a vengeance, extremely empowered and wearing way more appropriate attire next time!


WP_20140629_13_04_16_Pro__highres  a sand eel that Tai found before we even began



an 11 arm star fish



anemones on a rock – obviously!


One of the major highlights of the day was this humpback whale’s skull. The whale washed up on this part of the beach about 2 years ago now and all that’s left is this part of the skull. This photo makes it look small but it certainly was far from small, though, this whale was possibly only a baby.



the humpback whale skull washed up on the beach


The beach was lined with rock pools all the way along it’s edge. Perfect for these mariney types:)

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Always a fun day outside in the salty air listening to experts share their amazing wealth of knowledge and watching my boy delight in the finding and the seeking. He’s always in his element when there are animals to be discovered. His knowledge and enthusiasm is so contagious. So much so that I’ve been banned from excitedly screaming at what I think is a fantastic octopus find, bringing everyone in the group rushing over to take a look and get that perfect underwater shot, only to discover it’s just a piece of random seaweed. So, in the car on our way to these adventures, I get a little lecture from Lew stating that I’m not to scream excitedly ever again and that if I think I’ve found something to get him first before beckoning the rest of the group to come and look. Something about feeling like an embarrassed teenager….what a kill joy! I always thought he’d see me as the cool, fun mumma. Not so much now he’s 14. Ha! Poor Lew.


Kim x

Monday, July 7, 2014

in the garden: july




July is so my kind of month for gardening. Whenever I get a spare moment I’m trying to spend it in the garden. My to-do list just keeps on getting longer and longer and the days just don’t seem to gain any extra time, which is a bit of a bummer. 

Winter’s a bit of a quiet time, usually, in the veggie garden but this year we have had an unseasonably warm winter. I’ve had some things still growing that really should have been well and truly finished. Capsicums, for example. They are still ripening and each day we eat some trying to get them all eaten before the really heavy frosts hit {normally they would’ve hit by now!}. We have had a couple of bigger frosts this past week though, so I think the capos have probably seen the last of their days on this earth!


InstagramCapture_5eb587e7-002d-4001-9f9d-8df0ee853939_jpg  I’m thinking they could look a little bigger in this photo than in real life but still yummy to eat:)

So, here’s what I’ve been harvesting in the garden lately:

* Capsicums                                                                                            

* Silver beet

* lettuce

* kale

* herbs

* chillis

* broccoli




I’ve been planting:

* broad beans

*beetroot seedlings {grown from seed}

* carrots {grown from seed}

* baby spinach {grown from seed}

* more brassicas

* more garlic

I’ve also been planting more fruit trees in the new orchard {can you call it an orchard if it only has 3 trees?}. Two dwarf apples – royal gala and pink lady. I’ve also re-planted my olives and put them up on the boundary which also happens to be part of the new orchard. They’ll double as a windbreak once they are a little more established. I have 2 pears to move as well and then I’ll be off to get some more from the nursery.




Real photo up there! Early morning snap. Hopefully a ‘before’ shot in the making. I just wanted to show you the orchard spot– left hand side of the driveway. You might be able to make out the olives just there along the fence?


Moving lots of my trees around. The citrus are finally {I think?} in the right spot. Now to get them all happy again. They always mope around after a move. They were only just coming out of their mopey stage too.


home sheep have arrived june 2014 (5)


Trying to tame the wildness of this little 3 acre patch. These damaras are on loan at the moment as lawn mowers and they are starting to really work their magic.




Oh, and along with the wild damaras we have also had two sweet little jersey calves to visit for a few weeks. They are the most precious little things and have been helping out with the grass eating.  Have I mentioned how much I would like a jersey cow? Her name would be Velvet – just saying;)


home lots of grass june 2014 (3)


I can’t wait until this grass is manageable. Day of the Triffids, be gone!


Mulching like mad to get the garden cleaned up and ordered ready for gravel paths to be finally finished. The wind has turned up a little earlier than usual and so I am still in my normal wintery predicament of re-mulching 3 or 4 times after the wind has it’s unruly way with my hard work. I tried to mulch a little earlier this winter, just to beat the wind but it’s a clever thing, the wind, it didn’t like me mulching without it. Agh!




Planning to:

Plant lots more fruit trees – more pears and apples. a white and red mulberry, nuts, more olives and maybe a few other stone fruits though I’m wary of them as they didn’t do well in my purple house garden when it came to fruit fly and birds and fungally things. Once bitten???

Get the orchard happening. I plan to fence the area off and put some indian runner ducks in there to eat the grass (less mowing. Yah!) and eat the bugs and act all cute.

Plant more broad beans and snow peas as an experiment as last season I had them fruiting in summer.

Finish mulching and weeding and moving berries from outside the veggie garden fence to inside it.

Make some structures for the thornless blackberries to climb on.

Plant more onions and alliums – really, really soon!

Get the chooks earning their keep a little. I need them in their chook tractor for a bit to clean up the last messy bits of my veggie garden  {where the blackberries are right now}.

Clean up the veggie garden shed! The mess in there is doing my head in!



The chooks would prefer to hang out on the verandah with us than do much else. I need them to help around here a little more!


So, that’s about it on the gardening front. It’s a busy month this July but I’m excited by the thought of getting so many things ticked off my to-do list.

How about you? How’s your garden going this winter? Or summer if you’re a northener:)

I’m joining in with the lovely Lizzie from Strayed Table. She has set up The Garden Share Collective, a community of bloggers who share, each month, some of the goings on in their gardens. Lots of fun.

I hope you’re week is a wonderful one.

Kim x