31 Jul 2014

Letting go of books

Rearranging, sorting and decluttering have been major activities in our home for the last few months.  I've finally got the bookcases where they need to be, the daybed is set up (if not quite dressed) and the new computer use areas established.

Here's one of our bookcases, neatly sorted and in it's new home.

I love reading. I visit the library often and always have a book on the go.  The decluttering of my books has been really hard to do.  I'm a re-reader, so have read all of my books at least three times. Luckily, my Mum's Bushfire Brigade have an annual booksale to raise money, so there's a guilt-free outlet for my discards.  My primary school teacher Uncle has taken a large box of kids books to use in his classroom when their library isn't permitting borrowing.   These are great places for our books to be,

There's been one set though that I've hesitated about.  It's my Patricia Cornwell books.  There's 21 of them on my shelf.  I discovered these with my friend Kim .  We read devoured them simultaneously as they were published, and we scared ourselves silly talking about them.  They were CSI in book form, before it ever hit our screens.  They're the reason we were thrilled to see a Medical Examiner's van when visiting New York City.

It's time to let them go.  I don't want my kids reading this kind of book for a while yet, and I can always get them from the library. I think Kim would have approved of this refining of my collection - she used to reserve a day of her holidays from work to declutter the pantry and linen closet.

So I'm doing one last re-read, and then they'll be joining the others at the booksale.

And after all, I am just letting go of the books.  The memories are mine.

24 Jul 2014

Our Frozen Party

Disney's movie Frozen has been a big hit in our house. We can all sing "Let It Go" at the drop of a hat, and most of the other songs too. My favourite is Cowboys smell better than Reindeer, which scans, drives my children wild with the inaccuracy, and encourages me to think fondly of cowboys. All good things.

It was an obvious and pretty theme for my daughter's recent birthday party. She was hesitant at first, thinking it a little childish, but when her friends also could sing along knew it was a cool choice.

Pinterest was a great help with sourcing ideas, and the party went well.

The games included ballon racing. A little tricky to hold a balloon with your knees when wearing a complete princess costume but they managed it.

We also had a challenge of carrying smarties with the help of a straw, and a version of The Chocolate Game.

I was thrilled when the birthday girl requested a pavlova for her cake - simple to make AND decorate. And super delicious.

I enjoyed decorating for the party. One of the best things I saw on Pinterest was making a frozen hollow globe of ice as a candle holder. It turned out to be trickier than the description of just freezing a balloon of water and draining out the excess. The first few either froze completely through, or cracked when I tried to drain the centre. After this, I inserted one balloon inside another, which was quite simple by rolling the inner balloon. I then blew up the inner balloon and tied it off. Then I filled the outer balloon with water, and tied it off. It froze well, and it was very easy to remove the balloons at party time.

The downside of all this was that the freezer was full of balloons! We put them in the front garden, and some of the solid globes lasted three whole days in our wintery weather. Oh, and the candles weren't protected enough from the wind by the icy sides and blew out pretty much straight away.

And a happy face like this makes it all worthwhile.

14 Jul 2014

Term break

Nine weeks later, I find myself returning to this blog. It feels like I've missed an entire term. There have been lots of blogworthy events, but I've been  absent.  I'll catch up on the ig highlights over the next week.

For the meantime, the children have enjoyed their first week of school holidays.  We've been down the coast for a few days to stay with my parents, and go whalewatching.

Home for a couple of days, a double playdate (the horror!) and then all of us to Sydney. My main priority was the Quilt Show, which was great.

We also spent the day at Taronga Zoo, and a morning at IKEA.

Now we're home, much to the relief of the cat.

Ideally, we'll finally get this room swapping finished before school returns.