Showing posts with label Domestic Goddess (Move over Martha). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Domestic Goddess (Move over Martha). Show all posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Laundry

So my new years resolution this year, along with the ones I make every year (to read more, exercise more ... similar to everyone else's I imagine!) was to write more regularly on the blog.  I have always enjoyed writing and I think that it helps me with my anxiety, much like writing a diary I suppose.  I also love looking back at all my old blog posts and feel sad that the blog is so sadly neglected nowadays.  As it is virtually mid way through the year, I thought it might be timely that 2017 might be the year that I actually keep one resolution.   I am determined to try and make some changes this year and one of them might as well be updating the blog.

So in the spirit of updating the blog, here is a house update.

We have finished the cabinetry in the laundry which looks fabulous and is also very practical.  I am not quite sure how I have lived without the hanging rail for so long.  Every laundry should have one. Especially when you have two lots of school uniforms to iron each week.  When we purchased the house there were built in cupboards along the wall on one side of the laundry and on the other side ran the bench top with space for a washer and dryer below, at the end of the benchtop there was a laundry sink with a standard Bunnings cupboard underneath.  Left of the washer and dryer there was nothing.  The benchtop was in place but below it a big empty gap.  I suspect that the original owners were intending to install more cabinetry at a later date or perhaps planning to have bespoke baskets made to store laundry in?   We decided the empty space was best used to make two very large laundry drawers. 

These were custom made by our cabinet maker and I am delighted with the outcome.  Both boys do a lot of sport and consequently there are scary amounts of washing to be done.  These laundry drawers are life savers.  The laundry always looks neat and tidy regardless of the amount of stinky dirty washing accumulating.   At the same time we also replaced the cheap Bunnings cabinet under the sink with a cabinet that matched the pull out laundry drawers.  Above the benchtop,  I made use of the blank wall and had more cabinetry made to fill in the space and also for further storage.  The position of these cabinets then created the natural wall to position a hanging rail over the laundry sink. 

The cabinetry above the benchtop is so useful and has the additional benefit of making the room much prettier.  When you have to spend a good deal of your time in a room doing chores you may as well make it as pretty and pleasant to be in as you can!

Laundry shelves store vases, spare pegs, bits from my enamel collection, beach towels and some of my many baskets.   I am delighted with the changes to the laundry and now it only needs one more thing.  An interesting light fitting, any suggestions welcome!

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Indoor Plant

In the late 1980s NASA investigated the benefits of indoor plant usage as a pollution preventative solution for possible use in space stations. They were able to find several plant species that assisted in reducing pollutants in breathable air.  More recently, scientists have discovered that planting green walls and vertical gardens in urban areas, reduces the most toxic pollutants significantly.   I could keep on quoting and referencing different studies but I think that there really is no doubt now that surrounding ourselves in plants and greenery is of significant benefit to both our health and the environment.

Visitors to our house often comment on our indoor plants. Our house does have a bit of a 1970s boho vibe though, when indoor plants had their first heyday!  All the greenery inside the house looks so pretty and it just makes so much more sense economically to decorate a house with living plants. A growing plant should ideally last a lot longer than cut flowers.

The above photo was taken in our dining room.  I have a fiddle leaf fig in the corner  and monsteria growing in the Turkish canoe.  The canoe was originally home to all the Cymbidium orchids but the orchids have all been relocated to the garden and are currently part of a new garden bed I am creating out of an old wood sabot sailing boat.  More on that another day though! 

Fiddle leaf figs are super easy to take care of and are probably my favourite indoor plant.  My number one tip for taking care of them would be to wipe their leaves down every 6 weeks or so with milk.  I know it sounds crazy, but I remember seeing this tip years ago on Gardening Australia and it just works I promise you.  I have huge, over 10 feet tall plants inside the house and they look so healthy with fabulous  glossy green leaves. I literally fill a small container with milk,  I know someone will ask, so full cream ordinary milk.  I then dip an old rag into the milk and wipe the leaves down with the dampened cloth. Make sure each leaf is wiped clean of dust with the cloth.  You may need to get a fresh cloth every now and then depending upon the size of your fig.  Other tips for taking care of figs would be to only water once a week or so, allowing the roots to dry out between waterings.   If you need to re-pot, find a pot that is only a fraction bigger.  They get distressed if the new pot is significantly bigger than the old one.  

This photo is of our dining table.  Where I have Phalaenopsis Orchids and a Cyclamen that is somehow flowering in both white and fuschia!  Phalaenopsis are my second favourite house plant and I have many in the house.  They thrive on neglect.  I water them very infrequently and I only ever use the water left over from steaming vegetables.  I wait until it is cold and then give them all a splash of it.  It seems to work and mine flower regularly with multiple stems.  I also wipe their leaves down with a wet cloth once a month or so.  I have never fertilised them (apart from the old veggie water!) or re-potted them, so I can't offer any advice on either of those aspects of Phalaenopsis care!

In our entrance I have a Cymbidium Orchid.  These I have more difficulty getting to re-bloom.  I have resorted to selecting a new one each year and the old one is relegated outdoors to the garden.  The only thing I have observed over the years, is that moving them around the garden often precipitates a new flower stem!  

On the coffee table I have a little marble pot of succulents.  These thrive on neglect too.  I rarely water them, maybe if one of the boys leaves a water glass on the coffee table I might splash the remnants on top!

In the living room, I have the most spectacular Sansevieria.  I don't know what it's full name is unfortunately, but it is definitely part of the Sansevieria family and it is the most incredible looking plant.   It reminds me of seaweed drifting in the ebb and flow of the ocean, as there is a lovely fluidity to it's shape.  When we bought it the nursery staff  instructed us to be very conservative watering it.  I probably only water it 4 or 5 times a year!  I do wipe down it's leaves with a damp cloth regularly though. 

As you can see above I also have Peace Lilies in the living room.  They do like regular watering.  I empty the boys drink bottles into them after school everyday in a loose rotation.  Ensuring that each plant gets a top up of water fairly regularly.  The main thing with the lilies though I find is to pop them outside whenever it is raining.  This seems to keep them very happy.   If you do not have an outdoor area to put them to collect rain, I would just pop them under a cold shower every now and then!   

Any indoor plants I am missing that I should add to my always growing collection?  Any other tips?  I would love to hear from some other plant fans.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pantry organising....

I had an email from a lovely reader asking about our pantry and how I organise it!  Ah, if only you knew... I don't really.  R does most of the cooking Chez Pirate.  Yes, I have been blessed with a husband that is an amazing cook.  I know, very lucky.  Nevertheless, despite the fact that he is the cook, I am the chief shopper and cleaner, so I guess the pantry organisation does come down to me.  Pantry design though was all husband.

Anyway, for Kirsten (and anyone else that might be interested),  here is how the pantry is organised:

On the left hand side we put in floor to ceiling shelves.  It is hard to take a photo of them without a special lens but they are big and deep.  On the top shelves, which you can only access with the kitchen stool steps, I keep this sort of stuff:

I am sure you all understand why the paints et al are treated in the same manner as other dangerous good items like First Aid Kits and Chemicals.

Below the Dangerous Good items are mostly shelves full of dry goods and other miscellaneous kitchen items. The glad wrap, alfoil and plastic baggies live in an Ikea basket together.  

Shelves look mostly like this (a pretty shelf):

Or like this (not so pretty shelf):

On the other side of the pantry is my favourite bit, the appliance shelf , all the appliances used regularly are stored here:

In the drawers/cupboards below are:

R's coffee supplies.

Lunchbox bits and pieces.

More appliances!

So there you have it, that is how the pantry is organised and please don't think it always looks this.  I did a big tidy up before I took the photos!  Now, someone ask me about garage or wardrobe organisation or something to motivate me to tidy up elsewhere!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The kitchen

Husband has been requesting that I do a blog post about the kitchen.  Intrigued?  I was.  Apparently friends of his read the blog and wanted to see some photos of it.  Who are you anonymous readers that are friends? Identify yourselves!  The main reason I haven't posted photos of the kitchen already is that it is pretty much constantly in use.  Yes, the heart of the home it is.   So here are some photos of the kitchen that aren't perfectly styled because... well, you know how it is.  I have to actually use this room! 

The shelves in the island store the most frequently used cookbooks and bits of my enamelware collection.

Looking back from the dining table into the kitchen and the pantry beyond.

The island bench.  I  need to find some stools to go here and am leaning towards getting some basic bentwood ones but haven't found the perfect ones yet.  Also haven't hung any pendant lights as I can't decide what to do... I swing between hanging cane, industrial enamel style and various different vintage pendants....  what to do, what to do...

Love the porcelain sink and the mixer. It is one of my favourite parts of the kitchen.  Plus the view out these windows is stunning.

Looking into the pantry.

Appliance shelf in the pantry.  Little one has been into the muffins and left the tin sitting on the kitchen stool!  Busted!

Open shelves on the other side of the pantry.

Looking back into the dining room from the pantry.

Kitchen island from inside the kitchen.  Love the drawers underneath the stovetop.  Last kitchen we did we installed a big freestanding Ilve.  This one we did the separate stove/oven.  So pleased we made this decision in the end.  As it means that you can cook and still be involved in whatever is going on in the room and you don't have to bend down to get things out of the oven!  Both R and I love cooking and entertaining and this way you can be chef and still be part of the party, not stuck facing a wall!

Side view from kitchen to study nook. 

Awww, my assistant hard at work!  Big thanks to everyone for all the links and suggestions that you made regarding cushion making.  I will keep you posted! xx

Monday, May 21, 2012

Life lately...

Nicasso's latest masterpiece on display at the school art show.  Sold to Mummy for the princely sum of $20.  It is called  "Mr Peacock feather"

Money well spent I say, it will look fabulous hanging in our house!

Library bags that I have been busy whipping up for the school fair and would you believe... I made all of them in a week.  Considering I don't sew, this was no easy task!  I even lined them all.  My Grandma would have been so proud of me for this.  I copied the ones that she made me when I started school,  a long long time ago... in the 1970s (shudder) and that I still use to this day.

 Lastly, me modelling my lovely Mother's Day gift.  A gorgeous necklace from Dinosaur Designs, thank you my beautiful boys.

Now that the school fair is out of the way I kind of feel, for the first time in ages that I have a bit of spare time on my hands again.  Woohoo, and now that I am getting into sewing (so can't believe I just typed that) I am thinking of trying to make some cushions.  Is it hard... does anyone out there know how to make them?  I really want to learn as firstly lovely cushions are always super expensive and half the time the inserts are still polyester rubbish, grrrrr.  I would rather buy some decent feather inserts and make my own cushions from gorgeous fabrics if it isn't ridiculously hard.   Although, I do have to start planning the little one's 4th birthday party.  How can he be nearly 4 already?  I am going to have to stop calling him the Baby. Oh  no, does this mean I will have to change the blog title to Two Pirates.... they are hardly little anymore. Sob!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I love "green waste" collection week...

                    Almost as much as Council Clean Up!

Driving the Captain to school this morning, the boys in the back happily listening to Micheal Hordern's fabulous voice narrating Paddington. I was busy scanning the piles of green waste on the side of the road.  Occasionally I find some great cuttings and this morning I scored big time:

A pile of silver birch branches!

Well, a couple of piles!

I forced myself to keep on driving. As tempted as I was to squeeze the bundles in the back between the boys car seats.  (No room in the boot it is full of QF uniforms, manuals, bags and other Flight Attendant paraphernalia that I have to return to work.  Yes, I resigned... but that is a blog post for another day!)

Anyway, dropped the Captain at school.  Took the little one to swimming lessons, picked up some supplies for the morning... sushi for him, coffee for me and... hurray... the garbage truck hadn't done our street yet!  I squashed some into the boot and the rest into the Captain's car seat and the space between the seats. Hope Husband doesn't read this bit... or the people that service the car... 

Back to my find though,  just look at how lovely they are:

Now what to do with them?

Maybe this gorgeous hand made Christmas tree that I spotted last year here.

Not sure if I have the skills to make these.

or these, but they are gorgeous and I am keen to try.  Both images found here.

Now, this looks the best idea yet.  I will have to have a word with the husband about making me one of these! Found here


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