The garden this Summer was gorgeous, spring like temperatures and plenty of rain to keep the soil moist. The roses were stunning and my fuchsia was festooned in dancing red bells for Christmas day. Then shortly after it was scorched by a 44C day. For my Fahrenheit friends that is 111.2F.
The flowers dried on the stem and fell. Now it has recovered somewhat and I’m sharing my Summer garden so you can see how my favorites are faring. I’ve also made a tentative start on a veggie garden now that the liquid amber has been removed.
This view from the garage is one of my favorites. It shows the variety of leaf shapes, how much everything has grown and pretty waisted shape of the ornamental border.
The roses are valiantly putting on new blooms although smaller and less abundant than the first flush .The pansies in the crates were hit very severely by the hot day and will need replacing. I'm hoping I'll have time for some pink and white petunias.
Over the winter my sister divided her lambs ears and gave me several clumps. They've settled in and spread to form an impressive display of towering spires. I love the way they create a light resting place for the eye as it travels along the border.
The food production side of the garden has been doing well also. The fig is responding very well to the pruning to lift the canopy and repair the damage done to the center of the tree by the children who lived here previously. I can't blame them for climbing such a gorgeous tree but it suffered a lot of breakage in the center from it.
It's fruits extremely well. I suspect It likes having another fig so close on the other side of fence in the neighbour's yard. Next to the fig is a patch of potatoes, my first ever time growing them in a vegie garden. I saw a bags of seed potatoes in Aldi and decided to give it a go. I chose the Dutch Cream variety because I love to eat them.
I have planted a punnet of mixed tomatoes varieties, that nearly died on the hot day, they seem to be giving it a go. Only lost one.
This is a bit of a cheat, I've planted this rhubarb in the ornamental border because when Dad gave it to me, I didn't have a space for it yet. As you can see it's doing really well. But as an older variety, having been my grandfather's first and then going to Dad it has shorter stems. But that's fine, I love it for it's heritage. Once the vegetable garden is fully composted and ready for serious planting, I'll move it across.
I'm looking forward to some apple and rhubarb crumble this Autumn, after a meal of delicious dutch cream potatoes with fresh tomato sauce. I'm also going to start saving jars for making fig jam.
If you have any recipes for figs I'd be grateful, It looks like were going to have lots and I don't want to let them be wasted.
I was lucky to be given a wicker outdoor setting by my sister. Her partner thrift-ed them for their beach house, but they sold that just before Summer. I put my hand up for them when they were asking family if anyone wanted them. I think they fit perfectly with the romantic garden theme I love.
It's not hard to find posts on making a new life in the new year and I certainly am enjoying those, but it can become a little negative when focusing only on what needs changing. So, I want to take a minute to remember to love myself as I am and embrace the enduring goodness that resides in all of us.
Happy New Year everyone. I hope you are all looking forward to happy times in 2019.
As a blogger and romance writer, I want to serve others through sharing my experiences. It's an act of generosity to share yourself and I plan to continue to do that for as long as I'm able. I'm very proud of the blog posts from 2018 because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and revealed my life in the spirit of giving.
Some of the personal-journey posts that I'm proud of include Three Things I Do To Cheer Myself Up, Remembering Easter and Our Romantic Proposal Story. It's always a little challenging to decide how much to share but honesty and what might help others has been my guide. There's my wedding later in the year and as a mature aged bride, I'll be sharing what that's like. Romance is for anybody at any age but it can have it's challenges.
I created a lot last year, writing behind the scenes was taking place slowly but besides that, I made a garden and did a lot of decorating in Sam's and my new home. Some of those posts that came from that include, Backyard Makeover on a Budget, Faux Plants in My Romantic Home and Vintage China Collection. I'm moving from Farmhouse to more of a Shabby Chic style so stay tuned for how I bring that about this year.
Cooking was another creative outlet for me, I had some wins with my Gluten Free recipe experimentation and I shared those in blog posts too. GF Scones, GF Choy Suey and an amazing Pancake Parlour style GF Banana and Walnut pancake in the blog called Something Sweet in the Morning. I will be posting a recipe each month in 2019, I'm working on some new ones for summer.
I've also been a regular contributor on the Romancing the Genres Blog Site in 2018. As a romance author who enjoys reading I posted a blog this week over at Romancing the Genres on the book I enjoyed reading most in 2018. It was a novel from Anne Gracie called 'Marry in Scandal'. It's an absolutely brilliant book so pop on over to my RTG post and have a read when you finish here.
In the spirit of sharing, Anne was so thrilled when she saw my post about her books that she decided to give one of the books I mention in the blog away to one of my readers. All you need to do is leave a comment below saying which one you'd like to win and a winner will be randomly chosen next Thursday.
Thank you Anne, for this gift for one of my lucky readers.
Don't for get to leave a comment saying which of the above book's you'd like most, for your chance to win it. The winner will be notified by email.
I'll be back next week to sharing more from my romantic lifestyle.
It's the boxing day sales and I'm wanting to go and see what I can buy but, this year, I'm not going to. It's hard but I've made a decision and I want to stick to it. What is it about not shopping that is so challenging?
There's a lovely little craft site that I've been watching on YouTube. While creating a gorgeous shabby chic tea cup bouquet in a live stream video, Olivia, from Olivia's Romantic Home, chatted with the viewers about all sorts of things. A comment came through which she repeated, 'Sometimes it's hard not to shop.' It woke me from my relaxed, dreamy state and sat me up. I totally feel that way.
Since a little girl I've enjoyed spending money. Dad said that when I was little, if I went into Coles with 20 cents, I always come out without it. I'm adult about money now, and don't bankrupt myself with overspending but I do love to buy the odd sweet little thing.
I love to snag a bargain on the internet but Kmart is the place I enjoy shopping at most. Once in the door I head straight to the home decor. At only $5 for a posy of roses or a $3 candle, it's easy to part with the cash. I gaze at the more expensive items that are around $20 and sometimes bring something home.
But now, I've stopped all those pick me up purchases because it can add up over time. Wouldn't it be healthier to spend less time in the home Decor section of Kmart? What if I used that time creating something. I could be writing, also I love to craft and I've let that fall by the wayside until recently.
I'm getting married late next year, and we have a lot to pay for. I want to save every spare dollar so that I can have a lovely romantic themed wedding with roses on the tables and pretty gifts for our guests. I'm hoping to craft some of the decor for our wedding but supplies cost money too.
I've deleted the Wish and Amazon apps from my phone and have curtailed my saunters around Kmart. But not spending was doing my head in.
This Christmas I spent a little on decorating but made nearly everything using only what I have. What is it about your own stuff that is so boring? I look at my fabrics and think but it's not the color I really want, or it's dated. But forcing myself to use what I had made me try to make it work and that stretched me creatively.
Even though my heart was calling for this season's decorations, I resisted and got out my paints. I turned burgundy Santas and a bright red and green nutcracker into pink ones. Baubles got the pink paint treatment to. An old lace curtain became a table cloth, decorations for the tree, garland for a wreath and a table topper. (Click on the Christmas category in the side bar to find the blog posts on how I did it)
I found that not shopping was hard because I wanted that bright new shiny thing for the pick me up it gave me. Nothing is easier or quicker than popping into your favorite shop and buying a little treat to make you happy, but making things gave me a much longer lasting feeling of satisfaction. I still feel a glow as I write about what I made.
The boxing day sales are on, and O BOY I really want to go and live it up but I'm resisting. I really don't need anything. I want new dresses, and shoes, and jewelry, and makeup. But what I have isn't worn out and is just as pretty now as when I bought them. So I'm sticking to my plan and leaving all the tantalizing, new things in the shops.
I believe buying little presents for myself has been a way of expressing self love which is why I feel happy doing it. I now realize that self love can also be the gift of time to do what you love. For me that it craft, writing, cooking, going for a walk to look at the gardens or looking after my own garden.
Shopping in itself isn't a bad thing when you can afford to. Yes, it's hard not to shop when you don't have the money, but either way it's good to think about why that is. What does shopping do for you that could be achieved in a more self affirming way?
Creating something sweet for Christmas while not spending money is this year's challenge because I have our wedding next year to save for. All romance heroines know, that not having a lot of money to spend doesn't mean you can't do things. It requires being more resourceful, which is a good skill to cultivate. For me that means an appreciation for whatever resources you have available and making the most of them.
One of the lovely things about using what you have is that you can include items that are sentimental to you. I have a broken bead bracelet that Mum gave me which I couldn't throw away, so I used it as a garland on this tree. Many of the buttons were my great aunts and came to me through Mum.
If you don't have a craft stash like mine, go to second hand shops. It's much cheaper to shop the craft section of your thrift store and women's or girl's second hand dresses or shirts in pretty fabric with sweet buttons can help bolster your supplies. The Reject Shop or dollar stores sell bling for only a couple of dollars. My button and bling tree is hot glued to fabric but a sheet of scrap booking or other craft weight paper would be lovely also.
I used an old framed picture that I had stored in the garage. Again if you don't have an existing one crying out for a makeover, thrift one. I painted my frame white with craft paint and covered the mount and backing picture with fat quarter quilt fabric. I added a layer of thin batting under the fabric but I don't think this is really necessary.
The color palette was chosen to go with my Romantic Christmas theme. Romantic for me has a shabby chic feeling. so the colors are soft with pops of pink however it would look wonderful done in traditional red and green or whatever your decorating pallet is this year.
I made an arrangement that I liked without gluing first. I recommend taking a photo of it. I didn't however it still came out okay. I used the big white buttons to create a form work, then I draped the garland down between those. I used three of each brass and green rose buttons arranged in a zig zag shape down the tree. The green ones point left and the brass ones point right. I glued all of that down first.
After that I glued the single feature buttons around the tree to draw the eye over the whole picture. Next I filled in with the random smaller buttons and bling. I layered bling onto buttons to add dimension.
Some of the blingy bits were self stick and I made the mistake of just adding them without hot glue. One has shifted in the picture above so I recommend a small dab of hot glue on the self stick ones also.
I crowned the tree with a vintage gold filigree buckle. Again this was from my great aunts stash. A vintage broach or a sparkly one from a thrift store would be gorgeous also.
If you need inspiration, Pinterest has lots of very beautiful examples of these trees. You don't have to make an arrangement the same as mine. This was inspired by the buttons I had. If you don't have more than one of each kind of button you can group similar ones together and use some of my principles to help get you going. But really it's got to be what you like. Everyone's tree is destined to be unique and special because you created it.
I've hung mine in the hall leading to the bedrooms and bathroom. Each time I pass I enjoy seeing it. When the hall door is open, which is most of the time, I can see it from the kitchen and family room too.
Even though Christmas is nearly here. Just a couple of sleeps away and it's exciting and wonderful, my heart is calling to love ones who've gone ahead of me to spirit. If you are also experiencing sadness at Christmas, I understand how you feel.
I love the memories that this tree helped bring back. They are mine forever. But the greater the love the greater the loss, so at Christmas I have to focus on being grateful for their many gifts over the time I had them for. However, I know it's my turn to carry on and make the most of this festive time of year with the family and friends who bless my life and fill me with gratitude.
So dear readers of my weekly blog, thank you for stopping by to see what I've been writing about each week over the last year. It means so much to me and I'm truly grateful for your support. I hope you have a lovely Christmas day planned for yourself and wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas. Sending you all a big hug.
Love Dora xoxo
Three weeks before Christmas I stop thinking about it and pick up a pen and start making a record of my plans.
I work out how many I have coming for lunch this year and put that number at the top of my menu.
Now I move forward with listing the menu items.
Next to each item, I write who is doing what. Lunch is a community affair so the guests are contributing some of the dishes.
Mine looks like this.
anti-pasto platter Dora
prawns and crayfish My dad and Sam’s sister
homemade seafood cocktail sauce Dora
roast turkey with seasoning Dora
roast pork with crackling My brother in-law
roast potatoes and pumpkin Dora
stuffed tomatoes My sister
peas and carrots Dora
cauliflower cheese My daughter
also gravy, apple sauce and cranberry sauce Dora
plum pudding with cream and custard for dessert. Dora
Cadbury Roses chocolates My son
flavored mineral water, soda water, sparkling white wine, red wine, port, other liqueur Sam and my son
tea and Coffee Dora
I feel full just reading this list. But it will take us a few hours to get through all the courses.
I then make a shopping list of items I need and three weeks before Christmas I start shopping for what I need to provide. I’ll start stocking up on things like tea bags, instant coffee and long life milk.
I get my turkey at least two weeks before Christmas to make sure I have the size I want. This year I decided not to make a plum pudding. It was a difficult decision but being a Coeliac I can’t make the one Mum used to. I had a pre-made gluten free one from Safeway last year, which I enjoyed, so I bought two of those and a litre (about 2 pints) of brandy custard too.
It’s 10 days before Christmas when I’m writing this blog and it’s time I know what I’m doing with the table setting so I’ve created a sample table-scape that I’m happy with. On Christmas day, I’ll translate it into two trestle tables that will run the other way in the family room so that I can seat thirteen people. I’ll bring the dining chairs in from the formal lounge room and other chairs scattered through the house. I can put eleven together so I still need to source another two chairs. My sister will lend me those.
As this year’s theme is Romantic Christmas featuring pink and lace so as a table cloth, I used some pink quilting fabric that was bought to back a quilt which I haven’t gotten round to making. I layered my Mother’s lace tablecloth over it. Down the center of the table, I have a garland that I’ve used in various places throughout the years to which I added lace strips. Fresh batteries for the star lights and it’s done. In the middle of the table is a candelabra for a centerpiece with a little bit of height. Instead of candles, it holds berry picks and a bauble.
I found a vintage dinner set this year and decided it would go very well with the pink theme. I’ve put out a dinner plate for the main and a smaller plate for the seafood entree. These will be passed around on platters and people will serve themselves. Wine glasses are a must. Even if some of the guests only have soda water in theirs. I think stem glasses are more elegant and create the party atmosphere I want.
Make sure all your cutlery is the same distance from the plate and the table edge. The serviettes need to be thought about as decorative but also easily accessible for functionality. To be added is some bon bon crackers. I need a trip to Kmart for those over the weekend. I'll put one next to each fork on top of the serviette.
I still need to buy all the perishable items like pumpkin and cream
Buy the drinks we want.
Here’s my schedule for hosting Christmas lunch
Three weeks before Christmas
Make a list of the guests
Plan your menu
Two Weeks before Christmas
Shop for key ingredients that can sell out
Plan your tablescape
Defrost the turkey if yours is frozen like mine. Instructions on the packaging will tell you how many days it needs in the fridge section per kilo.
Shop for perishables items like vegetables or antipasto
Do an on line click and collect from the bottle shop. It will save time and be boxed up ready for you to take home.
Make sure you're up an hour before the turkey needs to go on.
Make the seasoning.
Stuff the turkey and put in the oven to begin cooking.
Peel and chop the potatoes and pumpkin.
Put the potatoes in a pot of water until it's time to par boil them and put in the oven to bake.
Peel and slice the carrots.
Set the table.
Make up the antipasto platters.
Don’t try and do too much.
I’ve called it regarding the plum pudding. I want to do it but can't see how I can personally manage it. Wheat flour is toxic to me, and besides that, I have a limited amount of energy so I have to spend it wisely.
Enlist the help of your guests.
It’s an inclusive thing to do and allows everyone to feel they have made a contribution that is valued.
Don't aim for perfection.
Remember that this is about giving a Christmas experience to your guests. The food is a part of that but it’s not a big deal if something gets overcooked or overlooked. We forgot to put the tomatoes out one year and found them in the oven later in the day. Everyone had a great time just being with each other and giving our modest gifts after lunch.
The bedroom is one of the most romantic rooms in the house. There's no TV to distract us from being present with each other. We usually have our heart to heart talks in here. It's very much a place that we live and I wanted to include the coziness of Christmas romance in here too. Lace is an important part of this year's theme but I've learned to use it sparingly. If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram you'll see the first version of this room which was just a tad over the top with lace. This is a more restrained, elegant arrangement that highlights the lace without letting it over power the room.
Paper lace doilies are cheap but add romantic texture. I found these in the bottom draw with the casserole and serving dishes. The ring box with a bow is the one that Sam gave me when he proposed.
The little clock belonged to my mother. There are memories of her in each room of the house because I need to feel her presence at Christmas time. The little leaf dishes belonged to Sam's mum. I want him to feel her close by at Christmas also.
The en-suite has been prettied up with festive trinkets. The gold tone lantern had been outside and was very dirty but it cleaned up like new with dish-soap and warm water. I placed it on a cake stand and sat that on the gold tray which lives in the en-suite year round.
I made a lace bow and attached some ornaments. Inside the lantern is a battery candle, some more of the gold swirls from a broken decoration and a necklace of pink quartz beads. On the tray below is a faux pearl necklace some pink things, washi tape in silver and a crystal. It feels romantically glamorous to me.
The perfume was a gift I gave Mum so it came back to me. I bought the trinket box when I toured Windsor Castle. That's a bit glamorous too.
Fluffy towels speak luxury to me. I chose my very best to display. Mum gave me the embroidered hand towel for Christmas about seven years ago. The grey with white polka dot towel is cute but Christmassy because it reminds me of falling snow. I scrounged a fat quarter from my quilt stash to add pink and gold tones.
This room took on a romantic glam theme as I began to decorate with what I had left after doing the rest of the house. I confess to spending $4.50 on ribbon to help this room have some softness and romance and $10 on this lantern from spotlight on sale.
Thanks to Arlynn's Country Craft Corner, I learned to make a funky bow. It takes a lot of ribbon but the effect is charming. This is nothing compared to what Arlynn creates but I'm grateful to her for all the inspiration her YouTube channel provides. She's such a sweet warm hearted person too.
Oh dear, the reindeer fell over. Didn't notice it when I took this shot. But never mind, I'll stand him up again. Being hopeful at Christmas is always a good idea.
Christmas at my desk includes little gift cards I gave my mother when I was at primary school. One hangs from the candle and the other, with the mini perfume bottle still attached, sits on some note pads.
When decorating my home for Christmas, I'm using my heart. I want to create a cozy retreat full of warm memories and a lovely space to create new ones. I'm thinking ,how does this make me feel?, when I finish and look at what I've put together. If I don't feel what I want to it gets changed. Several attempts are required for every vignette before I feel warm and want to smile but I know it's worth all the effort.
At a time when I'm thinking about spending time with my family and friends I'm also feeling the loss of those who won't be here this year. Decorating helps me cope with painful emotions. Doing what gives me joy helps to create a scale that is balanced. There's sadness and happiness. That's how life can be but it's okay.
I'm hosting Christmas lunch this year for Sam's and my families. I'm really looking forward to that and am currently planning the menu. Next week I'll be blogging about how I prepare for a traditional Christmas lunch for thirteen. I'll be including the menu, the shopping, baking and preparation schedules and my Christmas tablescape.
I hope you'll join me next week.
This last week I've been working on creating a romantic Christmas theme for the family room and kitchen. I told my girlfriend that I'd done a pink color scheme and she said, 'Oh so you've been out and bought a whole new lot of Christmas decorations.' I told her I didn't. The catch was I mustn't buy anything new. I had to make do with what I already have from previous years and make new decoration from my craft stash. I found a way to do it even though it was quite a time commitment. She's coming over next week to see it in person.
This is the corner below the TV. I painted the roses on the remote control box about fifteen years ago, but they still look fresh. I added my favorite Father Christmas. The nutcracker used to have a green coat and black boots but he was given a touch of romance and brought into line with this year's pink palette with folk art paint. I also painted the picture frame I found in the garage and put a piece of lace from an old curtain inside. That lace curtain certainly came in handy.
I dug around in my linen press to find some pink pillow covers. I also discovered a pretty rose patterned throw which I put over the back of the couch.
I made the wreath using baubles that I painted using folk art paint. I mixed shades of red and burgundy with a pearl white to get varying shades of pink. I made lace ribbon by cutting strips from the before mentioned, the old lace curtain which I also discovered when exploring the linen press. I used hot glue to stick all the ornaments and lace in place.
The gold scrolls came from a broken Christmas tree that was made up of them. I broke them all apart and wove them in. I like the lux effect they add.
Last year I spent ages hot gluing wooden pegs together to make stars. This year I painted them and made mini lace rosettes from the curtain strips, scrap ribbon and glued faux jewels in the middle. I tied the stars onto a strip of bias binding from my quilting supplies to make a garland for the wall behind the couch.
That curtain came in handy when I looked around for a lace cloth for the coffee table. I folded it into a triangle and then halved it and cut it to size making a round piece of fabric, much like cutting paper for the bottom of a round cake pan.
Santa in his sleigh was given a makeover too. I used the same paint as for the baubles to lighten his coat and make him a pink Santa.
Fiddler Santa was given a pink coat also. I sat him next to framed card from last year and a hunk of pink quartz which is meant to give off love energy. Well, it is romantic Christmas after all. The lace cloth is one of my mother's special handkerchiefs.
The kitchen only has a few decorations as there isn't a huge amount of bench space. I added poinsettia picks to the pots of faux sage that sit next to the stove and hung pink check and pink and red striped tea towels over the oven handle.
On the window sill above the kettle, I placed a reindeer that I dressed up with a bow and painted bauble. On the other side is a sign with some ribbons, lace and a pink holly pick to make it more romantic.
I always have roses next to the sink. For Christmas I used a bunch in shades of pink and added some berries and a Noel sign. I teamed it with a Christmas dome and bowl with a pink candle. The water bottles are mine and Sams. I thought they looked cute standing there so I didn't put them away.
The lights over the island bench got some festive attention this year. I added picks that I found at Savers a couple of years ago. I added white paint to give them a frosted look and painted the deep red berries and fruit a lighter shade of blush pink.
I'm hosting Sam's and my family for lunch this year. I wonder what they'll think of our romantic pink Christmas theme? The good news is the decorating is done for this part of the house and I haven't spent any money. That's right, zero dollars. I'm feeling proud of that. I only need to think about making a plum pudding and buying a huge turkey.
Next week will be the last in the Romantic Christmas series when I show you the master bedroom, en-suite and my study/guest bedroom. Again, without spending any money so there will be more home made decorations being used.
Thanks for dropping by to see what I've been doing to get ready for Christmas.
In past years I've enjoyed a traditional red and gold themed tree but this year I'm newly engaged and so a romantic tree fits my mood.
I sprayed the tree with a can of white primer that I had on hand. It didn't turn the tree white but created that frosting of snow effect which I'm happy with.
The white rosettes are DIY. After watching a YouTube video from Olivia's Romantic Home I made these romantic decorations from old lace and scrim curtains, tulle and blingy bits from my scrap-booking supplies. If you'd like to make them too, here's a link to her YouTube video .
I went through my ornaments collection from years past and selected the pinky reds and every shade of pink I could find. I cobbled together some ornaments from broken things but I don't think you'd know it I didn't tell you.
I shopped my home for romantic elements to use as tree ornaments. I found stems of pink silk roses that once belonged to my mother, I also found the peony roses from Kmart used in a previous post. From my jewelry box I chose long strands of pearls (which are my go to necklaces) and around the house I selected picture frames with Sam and one of my kids when they were little. In the craft cupboard I found a length of lace which I draped like a streamer down the sides of the tree.
Lastly I added an old pink blanket as a tree skirt and put some pink gift boxes on it with a pink Santa and rose gold reindeer. The green box in the middle I painted and decoupaged years ago, to be used as a Christmas card box. I love the romantic Victorian feel this tree, created with timeless elements of roses, lace and pearls.
I didn't spend any money to get this look. Well not much, beside the candy canes which need to be fresh, I just used what I had. I have to say it makes me happy to have this girly, pink and ruffly tree where I spend so much time. I can see it whether I'm cooking dinner or relaxing later on with a Netflix Christmas movie.
Next week the Romantic Christmas series will continue with decorating the kitchen and family room.
We saved money in the bathroom while still updating it in the modern farmhouse style. My design plan for choosing floor tiles, wall paint and new fixtures consisted of the farmhouse basics, contrasting whites and grays combined with natural elements.
Originally I wanted to gut this room and put a freestanding bathtub under the window and bring the vanity around to where the bath is. But our budget didn't allow for the expense of redoing all the tiling and plumbing that would be required to alter the layout.
I loved the existing grey and white marble look tiles so it wasn't necessary to paint them or re-tile. The timber vanity doors provide a natural element and a contrasting warmth to the cool palette.
The bath and shower were in good condition so we kept them but updated the floor tiles with a more modern large grey tile. The vanity unit is very low. Originally it had a set in sink making the problem worse, so we had a new quartz bench top installed over the old counter top and sat a new basin on top, bringing it up to a functional height. New taps all round made a huge difference.
I swapped out the curtains for shutters and painted the timber frame white to match. The walls were painted in the same soft grey called Windswept Beach that we used in the rest of the house.
A new ceiling light in my beloved chandelier style gives this room a a touch of the romantic. I have to squeeze some romance in there somewhere.
The original long mirror spanning the length of this wall was replaced with a very budget friendly Kmart mirror that suits the modern farmhouse style.
Replacing the shower screen's opaque, wire mesh, ripple glass with clear glass opened up the space and made the bathroom feel larger than before. You can also see the pretty tiles including the woodland feature tiles scattered through the bathroom.
I can live with the old fashioned soap dish even though I would love a wall niche for the shampoo bottles and soap. Sam and I shower in the en-suite so this is really a guest bathroom and the shower is rarely used.
Even though I wasn't able to do a full makeover I feel the bathroom now suits the rest of our modern farmhouse/romantic home. I'm very pleased at being able to achieve a lovely space while staying within our budget.
If you'd like to know more about this renovation, leave a comment and I'll answer you as best I can. Oh also, there's one small change I made that I didn't point out. Can you pick what it was?
Thanks for stopping by the blog.
Cup cakes remind me of birthday parties and sunny afternoons. They are cheerful additions to my afternoon cup of tea which I have religiously at 4pm every day.
An easy and quick little treat that tastes of sunshine and happiness is remarkably similar to the wheat flour ones I fondly remember from my childhood.
These, pictured above,accidently ended up with strawberry flavored icing but they still taste lovely.
1 cup gf self raising flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (gives the mix some body)
1 tsp gf baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup margerine
1/2 cup milk
Finely grated rind and juice of one orange
1 tsp vanilla essence
Gf icing mixture
1 tsp margerine extra
Pre heat oven to 160C fan forced. In a bowl, combine margerine, sugar, eggs, orange rind and vanilla essence. Beat until they look like fluffy custard.
Alternatively fold in dry ingredients and milk. Spoon two heaped desert spoons of the mix into patty pans and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
They are cooked when golden on top and spring back when tapped.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
To make icing, put a cup of icing sugar icing mixture into a bowl and add 2 tblspns orange juice and a tsp of margerine. Beat together with a knife until it makes a paste. Add extra juice if too thick.
My icing mixture turned pink when the juice was added because I'd used strawberry flavored by mistake. If you want pink icing like mine just add a drop of pink food coloring.
Spread icing over each cooled cup cake.
These cupcakes were a hit with my Dad and sister who came for lunch the day I made them. The mix made nine but it could make a dozen if you use less mix in each patty pan.
Recipe for an afternoon treat:
A pot of tea, your favorite tea cup, a good book and two cupcakes.
Thanks for stopping by,
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, recusing roses and planting new ones.