20 Jun 2017

WINTER IN MY GARDEN


Now that Winter is here, gardens tend to get a bit bare. Most plants stop flowering and go into hibernation, leaving gardens to struggle in beauty.
Living in North Queensland however, I find Winter the perfect time to potter around in the garden. The temperature is perfect to prepare the beds for our harsh summers that bombard us with super hot dry conditions leading up to Christmas and the long wet season that usually follows.
Though we may not be lucky enough to grow the same plants as in the cooler zones during summer, our mild winters give us the advantage of growing them in our mild winter, and with so many gorgeous tropical plants at hand, our gardens here can supply us with beauty all year round.




Succulents thrive in our hot dry conditions, and by moving them out of shaded areas and into the winter sunshine, they will continue to put on a spectacular show. I just need to cut back on the watering.


Petunias are the perfect annual to add colour in any garden. With so many varieties available they are all kinds of stunning. These ruffled ones are my favourite and the colour is amazing amongst all the green.




                Natives bring beauty to any garden. I really need to plant some more at our place.


And who cant go past the classic rose ? This yellow rose has been going great guns for about four years now. It is the first one that I have had success in growing and it brings me so much joy. I love bringing the cut flowers inside and waking up to one by my bedside.

How does your garden grow in winter ?

Linking up on this dreary winter day with Kylie to bring some colour to your life...

beck xx

13 Jun 2017

CHANGES ARE HAPPENING


There has been something brewing in the back of my mind for quite a while now. Nothing extravagant unfortunately but something that is going to change the way our household runs right at this moment. Something that is going to require everyone who resides here to get up off their backsides and contribute more than they currently do.

Things are getting real around here much to quickly for my liking. My youngest son is only weeks away from sitting the QCE which means that I am not far off the end of my school mum days. That on its own is something that I am having trouble wrapping my brain around but the biggest thing is knowing there is a HUGE possibility that my baby is leaving home to attend University in Brisbane.

That is 953.6 km away                                                              
A 10 h and 45 min drive
Or a 1 h and 25 min flight

I really don't know how I am going to cope with this. Frankly I would like to bury my head in the sand and pretend that this is not going to happen, but the fact is it is going to happen whether I like it or not and very soon. What is making it very real and almost impossible to ignore is that price tag that is going to come along with helping my son reach his dreams.


I am not a mother who can sit by and watch my sons let go of their dreams. If I can, I will always try my best to make sure that they get as much as possible from this life. My ultimate dream is to make sure that my sons don't miss out, and to help them reach their life goals.

My baby son has a big dream, to attend JMC Academy to do a Bachelor of Film and Television. He has been aiming for this for the past few years and now it is within his grasp.


The dream, it comes with a hefty price tag, and so after much thought and weighing all the pros and cons up carefully, I have decided to try and re enter the work force.

On Thursday my Resume went out to all the available jobs that I am qualified for and now we play the waiting game with baited breath and nervous twitches with every ring of the phone. I do hope that it wont be long before someone takes a chance on me, that they at least give me the chance to Interview and that I haven't put myself out there nervously for nothing.

Fingers crossed

beck xx

Linking up with Kylie for this weeks IBOT

1 Jun 2017

TAKING STOCK - May 2017


The days are finally starting to cool down here. Some nights the blanket is needed which can only mean one thing, Winter is coming. Here in north Queensland  we tend to only have a few weeks of cooler weather in an otherwise predominately hot and sunny region. I am grateful for these weeks, the relief it brings is all sorts welcome.
The end of May is when the season starts to turn here, its when we finally start to get a taste of Autumn. Cool breezes and cooler mornings are delightful and better late than never. Its the one thing that I miss about living where we do, the different seasons and the changes they bring.

May was a busy month around these parts, and by joining in with Pips fabulous idea of Taking Stock, I present you with our monthly roundup....



Making : More of an effort to get those small jobs done around the house that usually get put off for another day.
Cooking : Jam Drops and a few more new recipes, its time to get my cooking mojo back.
Drinking : Way to many glasses of coke zero and wine and not enough water.
Reading : Slow Bleed by Tim Alder. This is the first Tim Alder book that I have read and now wont be the last. A page turner from the start.  A missing son, a kidnapper who's dead. An unusual description that caught my eye.
Laughing - At the Real Housewives of Sydney.....Seriously !
Wanting - A new rug for the dining room and not having much luck in finding what I want that doesn't cost the earth.
Looking - For the perfect piece of art to hang in my lounge room that is screaming out for some colour.
Wishing - That making choices in life was a lot easier than it is. Why do we make things harder for ourselves when it comes to getting what we really want in life ?
Enjoying - The cooler weather that has finally hit North Queensland. It always takes a lot longer for Autumn to show its face around here,
Waiting - For my bathroom to finally be finished. I really need to get it painted but need the tiling to be finished and the new lighting to be put up. Come on hubby get a move on !!!
Liking - Being on top of the housework and washing. Lets hope it continues.
Wondering - If every choice that I have made so far in life have been the best choices for my for me and my family. Things have been weighing on my mind lately.
Loving - Netflix. How did we live without it for so long ?
Pondering - Life, and how we end up where we are by the choices we make and if we have always made the best decision. Do you ever wonder where you would be instead if just one of your life choices were different ?
Listening - To Ryan Adams, Adele and lots of old eighties and nineties music since I gave in and downloaded Spotify. Again, why did it take me so long to jump on board with this fabulous app ?
Considering - What colour curtains to purchase for our living room. The ones we have now are definitely on their last legs and will not survive another washing.
Buying - More indoor plants. I have finally {without speaking to loudly} found a few that I am managing well and keeping alive for longer than a few months. Still working out the maiden hair fern though. I am determined to win this plant over as well.
Watching - Making a Murderer. Gossip Girl {yes I am late to the party there} and the final episodes of Pretty Little Liars. Another show that I swore I would never watch but got sucked into anyway.
Hoping - That the new seasons of Shameless and How to Get Away with Murder hurry up and come on. I am having withdrawals.
Cringing - At the behaviour of Athena X Levendi on the Real Housewives of Sydney. My goodness I do hope that women is not always like the person she betrays in that show. She is almost unbearable to watch.
Needing - A holiday desperately.
Questioning - Donald Trumps win in the Presidential Election still.
Smelling - The roses that have bloomed in my garden. They have been going fabulously this year.
Wearing - Jeggings from Kmart and wondering why I am forty two and just finding out how fabulous jeggings really are.
Noticing - That the early mornings are getting much cooler by the day and enjoying it immensely.
Knowing - That the year is passing very quickly and that my last baby will be finishing school soon, leaving me a school mum no more. Not sure how I feel about that to be honest. All kinds of mixed emotions are floating around in my head and heart.
Thinking - What my next chapter will hold once I no longer have school kids at home.
Admiring -  How so many other women seem to be living their dreams while I am still struggling with what I want out of life. I feel as though something big is missing and yet I am not sure what.
Getting - Tired of all the car trips I seem to be taking lately for my sons. I always seem to be sitting in car parks.
Opening - A new loaf of bread every single day. Why why why are my family always wanting to be fed ?
Closing - The windows when we go out and sleep at night when hubby is away for work because break ins are soaring where we live unfortunately. Can you believe that a family was home watching television with the lights on and yet some horrid person still tried to break into their home. What is the world coming to ? Really !
Feeling - So much sadness for the families caught up in the Manchester bombing. What kind of sick freak would knowingly target a place that would be full of innocent children. I cant seem to understand why people can do these horrific things.
Hearing - My kids laughing together and getting along. That makes my heart happy.
Celebrating - Mothers Day with my family altogether was lovely. Having my sons around on such a day was lovely. Also this month we celebrated son number three turning nineteen. How did we get here so quickly ?
Pretending - That the world is not as crazy as it is and keeping to my own little bubble. How nice would it be for the world to live in peace.
Embracing - My family daily and reminding them how much I love them. You just cant be sure what is around the next corner for anyone.

Well there was my May broken down into a few sentences. I hope that the past month was kind to you and yours. Can you honestly believe that today is the first of June and that we are six months into the year already. Its okay for time to slow down, no really....Please slow down.

beck xx

31 May 2017

MAY - Health and Fitness Update



Unfortunately May was not a good month as far as my health and fitness goes. I kind of fell off the wagon so to speak, things had been going so well too.

This month I had the best of intentions to walk everyday as was the task for May. I failed miserably. I got so caught up in giving my home a much needed clean from top to bottom that I let my walking slide and only went for a walk on the odd occasion.

It wasn't just this months challenge that I failed on either. My sleep pattern was shocking which led to poor food choices multiple times, I drank one to many coke zeros and not enough water, and I downed one to many glasses of wine which I had all but stopped drinking except on the odd occasion. All this made me feel quite sluggish and ashamed of myself since I had been doing so well.

The only up side was my weight didn't go up, how I don't know but for that I am very grateful.

June is the month of eating more fruit and vegetables. This one shouldn't be a problem at all as I enjoy eating quite a variety of both. I also want to make amends for May and make more of an effort to walk everyday, even if it is only around the block.

So as of tomorrow we are six months into the year. how did that happen ? It is quite frightening how fast the months are passing by. I guess on the scale of things I haven't done to badly with my health and fitness goals for 2017. I knew when I started that it was going to take more than a year to undo all the damage that I have done to myself, and although I wish that the weight would drop of at a much faster pace, I know that essentially I am on the right track and for that I am learning  to be proud on myself and not beat myself up instead.

How are your health goals for the year going ?
Are you still on track or like me taken a wee step backwards ? I hope that if you have fallen slightly off the path that you haven't given up but kept on having faith in yourself and your ability to succeed no matter how long it takes.

beck xx




28 May 2017

GRANDMA'S JAM DROPS



Sunday, the day of the week that seems to fly by faster than any other. I have spent my morning in the kitchen whipping up baked goods for the dreaded week ahead. The usual culprits that help make morning and afternoon teas a little more enjoyable. An iced sponge, two dozen muffins and about one million of my grandmothers jam drops. Okay, maybe not one million but enough to make my families eyes bulge. They are easy and delicious so I thought that I would share the recipe with you in case like me you get the urge to bake.


Grandma's Jam Drops

250 grams soft butter
2/3 cup of caster sugar
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 egg
2   1/4 cups of plain flour

Jam of your choice

Method

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter until creamy and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just mixed through.
Gently add the flour a little at a time and beat through until smooth.

Roll the mixture into small balls and place onto a greased tray.
Press the back of the spoon into the  mixture to make a small indent into the biscuit and fill with jam of your choosing.

Bake at 150 degrees until slightly golden.
Cool on a wire rack then refrigerate.

These tasty cookies will go down well with every one in the family, and are also quick and easy to make when unexpected guests drop by.

Enjoy

beck xx


26 May 2017

DISCOVER YOUR NOOK - Grab my code for a fabulous discount


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Who doesn't love beautiful, good quality home wares and furniture. Shopping for my home is an addiction. I like my space to look pretty, feel homely and I love to change things up quite often so life doesn't get boring. Basically, my home is my sanctuary, where I am most happy.

My Instagram account is a virtual library of beautifully decorated homes. I just cant get enough, its like peeking into the windows of beautiful homes all over the world. Its inspiring and where I get most of ideas from.
Sometime ago I came across a fabulous business account that I just had to follow.

Discover Your Nook  is a fabulous Sydney based business founded by the dynamic brother and sister duo Rebecca and Gibson Pham. Constantly left disappointed by having to choose from either the mass production of discount department stores, or the bespoke products that were expensive, the duo saw a gap in the market for on trend and sophisticated, yet affordable products. So together with their team they are here to help you Discover Your Nook.




I am excited to tell you that the team at DYN have generously welcomed me to their family and together we are offering YOU my readers and Instagram followers a fabulous 10% off their website.

How awesome is that !!!

Don't waste any time. Pop over to their site now www.discoveryournook.com.au and discover the piece/pieces to make your nook truly beautiful.

Just make sure that you use the code "BECK10" at check out.
This offer is valid until JUNE 30th 2017

Happy shopping, and please tag me in your post when your purchase has arrived in your hands.

beck xx


23 May 2017

RAISING YOUNG ADULTS




Young adults are no longer children, but "adults in training" that are living at home and still under the "guidance" of their parents or guardians. It can be a difficult process nutting out and enforcing rules that are grown up enough to keep the "kids" happy but strict enough to give the parents peace of mind. and to keep the household running smoothly.

We are currently in the process of some major family changes which have us treading carefully in some areas to keep the peace but still ensure that expectations are being met by everyone.

Currently I am  in the thick of what I believe to be the hardest stage of parenting yet. I wont tell you that having four boys under the age of six was easy because it wasn't. Nor am I going to tell you that I breezed through the terrible twos and teen years without incident because that would be telling a lie. But what I will tell you, is that every stage of parenting I have experienced to date has been a heck of a lot easier than dealing with four young adult men that are all head strong, independent and are all currently finding their feet in this crazy adult world.

Our two youngest boys are at that "I know everything" stage. At the ages of seventeen and nineteen they can be absolute nightmares delights. Attitudes are soaring at these ages and it is easy to butt heads.
My eldest two sons have recently moved back home after living on their own for almost two years. A return to the family nest was not exactly what they wanted but was kind of forced upon them because of job losses and all the backlash that comes with being out of work. Naturally they were used to doing as they pleased without the worry of mum and dad sticking their two cents in, but with the return home that all changed.

Usually, I am a micromanaging freak. I like strict routine and order. More often than not, my ducks are in a row to scared to stray. But right now I am having a difficult time setting limits. I am worried that I am being too lenient, or if I am expecting too much from my sons. Its a fine line to be walking and I'm always afraid that I am not treading carefully enough.


Its a hard job this parenting gig, and up until a few years ago I thought that I was passing with flying colours. Now, I am not quite sure that I am meeting all the criteria of a good parent.

Am I ....

Guiding them in the right direction ?
Praising them enough for their efforts ?
Trusting the decisions that they are making ?
Expecting them to live the life that I want them to lead instead of the life they want ?

There is so much on the line when raising young adults. So much uncertainty on both sides. So much pressure to be the perfect parent or child.
While my control over my sons lives is waning, I know that they still need my support and guidance. It is just a matter of finding a balance between taking to much control and letting go completely.

Do you have any advice that can help me with this stage in my parenting journey ?

beck xx

Linking up for this weeks IBOT with Kylie from www.kyliepurtell.com








WINTER IN MY GARDEN

Now that Winter is here, gardens tend to get a bit bare. Most plants stop flowering and go into hibernation, leaving gardens to struggle in...