Friday, February 29, 2008

The Blues...

"Depression loses its power when fresh vision pierces the darkness" - Peter Sinclair

Another sleepless night for me...
Life is so precious and when I think back over how much of it I have spent feeling depressed...well, that gets me down even further!(does that make sense?!)
But how truthful this quote is - there is so much fresh vision out there, you just have to be prepared to see it, or WANT to see it.

One of the things that gets me down, is missing home and family - and worrying about family...almost waiting for the call at times that something has gone wrong.
My friend,who is South African and like me living in Ireland, called tonight to say that her husband's dad had passed away,suddenly, at the young age of 61, and the tragedy is immense.I feel so much for them...the sad part is that her husband has to make his way from Ireland to South Africa to be there for his mom, and its just so disconnected...I hope they get through this and find the strength they need,my thoughts are with them.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Searching for a Dress...

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." - Helen Keller

Well it is 6 am and I have been awake since 3:30am...this insomnia monster creeps up on me every now and then, more often than usual actually...which is worrying. My little boy climbs into my bed every morning between 2 and 4 and that wakes me up, tonight my hubby is sleeping in the spare room, Max in our bed, Payton in her bed and mom downstairs surfing the net for a "Ball" dress!?!? (the Ball is April 5th, so there is still time) Insanity - I do think so.

I have no idea what I am going to wear. I have spotted these lovely dresses, but am not too sure...Lets just say I have put on quite a few pounds in the last couple of years and I am not the size 12 I used to be. The above dresses are from Monsoon, and all look lovely and charming flat on the "page", but who knows what they will look like over a lumpy, bumpy body!I am not sure whether to go for something sleek and modern, or vintage and lacy...

Weight plus motherhood plus being in your thirties is a strange thing - I have friends who are battling with weight and self image at this stage in their lives and I can't decide whether or not it is a media thing, or whether we just look in the mirror some days and not like the body image we see before us.Whatever it is I find it very frustrating, but I also find myself a part of it. Worrying all the time that I am too fat, and getting bigger, that my hair looks flat and lifeless, that I have yet another wrinkle. Oh to be free of those worries would be bliss! Yawn.


"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders,but they have never failed to imitate them." - James Baldwin

I was just thinking about how much responsibility it is to raise our children...sometimes its an overwhelming thought for me. How true it is that its not so much what you say...but what you DO that matters. Children are so observant, and mine remind me of this almost daily. "But you said that mom..." Uh oh. I have to say, it keeps me on my toes!
Here are some more quotes I found about children:

"Children really brighten up a household.They never turn the lights off." - Ralph Bus
"Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist" - Michael Levine

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Beautiful Shop/Garden Centre/Bistro

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes in to us at midnight very clean.It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands.It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

This is one of the most inspiring quotes I have seen in a long time.
The photos are of a garden centre/shop here in Cork that we visited on Sunday. It is so lovely!Needless to say there are no pics of the Garden side of it..I never got that far on this visit...Neither are there pics of the gorgeous bistro attached to it...I will take pics of these on my next visit there...
My dear ladies, I was far too enthralled at the collection of Cath Kidston fabrics, cups, teapots, well as Greengate and many other lovely lovely brands of goodies.
I walked out with NOTHING...which is a first. I want to go back one morning, take my time, wander around...and ponder over what to buy over a delicious cup of tea and perhaps a slice of cake..I can't wait to go back!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tulips are doing well..

"The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality." - Robert Pirsig

My lovely Tulips are coming along nicely, I have loads more in pots in the garden and I cannot wait for the first Tulip to show its pretty face!

Its a really cold, windy and rainy day in Ireland and seeing the pot on the windowsill gives some hope of spring...Saying that, yesterday was a beautiful day outside.

This is one of my kitchen cupboards,I pasted some Cath Kidston fabric to hide whats inside...until I can collect some lovely cups,teapots etc to put on display, I want to put lights inside the cupboard, too.

This is a box from Laura Ashley that sits on my fireplace.I love this piece of art, its of a Hydrangea, which is one of my flowers.

This is one of my mirrors, bought from a beautiful place here in Cork called Glanworth Mills, which I will be doing a post about soon.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my home. x

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Vintage Picture

This is a picture I "made" yesterday - using Cath Kidston wrapping paper for the background and an old Vintage print that I found in a museum when we were on holiday in Dingle.I think it looks really pretty and quite unique.
A quote for the day will be in my next posting!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A few things to talk about

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on." - Thomas Jefferson

This is my lovely little bowl that is by my door, I keep my jewelry in it.It is a piece of Nicholas pottery, which is very famously made here in Ireland.I would love to increase my collection!

Picture 3 is my chest of drawers that my hubby has just painted for me (Duck Egg Blue - Laura Ashley).I think it looks really nice.
The other pic is of a Monsoon dress, from the "Originals Collection" that I got about 2 years ago...and have never worn...Its beautiful, but I don't think I will get away with wearing it to the upcoming Ball...I was thinking something less dramatic...I'll be scouting around the internet in the next few weeks looking for something to suit a 32 year old prom queen!Joke...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Love my Cath Kidston goodies..

"Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something
for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten
another's pain, life is not in vain." - Helen Keller

Its been more than a year since my last Cath Kidston purchase...and I can feel the pain.Especially when I go onto the website and look at all the delightful new stuff.Oh there is so much I want.
So little time.
So little money.
Anyway, i love this cushion and blanket.I move them around all the time so that I can appreciate them in different settings...sad...I know.
Thats why I have to start my dress-making course and get BUSY with something constructive!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pin-up girls and Facebook...

"We can choose to throw stones, to stumble on them, to climb over them or to build with them" - Wilham Arthur Ward
What an amazing quote, I think...Life is all about what we CHOOSE to do with it, how we decide it will turn out for ourselves...true - there are unforseen circumstances and tragedy, such as I have experienced in my own life, but we can choose to learn and grow, or to succumb to the pressure..

Do any of you belong to Facebook?I was a bit skeptical when a friend of mine first invited me to join, but I have been in touch with quite a few friends from my primary school days, and it really has brought back memories, most of which are fond or at the very least, nostalgic.
I probably wouldn't meet up with any of them, but its interesting to know what people from your past have been up to and that they are alive and doing well.Its comforting somehow.

As for the picture today, I love the pin-up girls of the 50's, the classy, feminine ones.I think women of those times were so beautiful and feminine.They had a look of their own.

As you may have noticed, I changed my header again.My hubby has been helping me to put together the header that I am comfortable with, and I think I am almost there!The photos are of my beloved Grandmother (Ouma) who is in South Africa and my Grandfather (Oupa), whom I never got to meet. X

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Home

"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow" - General George S. Patton
Excuse me for being so bold...but I love my home!
Its the first house we have ever owned, and the first house in Ireland that we have had...that has not been rented and full of other people's stuff!
We have been here for 18 months now, and I have to say that furnishing it and putting floors down etc has taken a real financial toll on us. So, while everyone is flying off on these lovey holidays, we are trying to pay back what it cost us to move in here! As they say, you can't have everything...
But, as my quote for today says, "a good plan"....well I was at the bank today and I am scheming ways to change our mortgage and perhaps benefit from owning a house that has earned a wee bit of equity and using some of that money to go away.Ah, just the thought of a holiday...I am so ready!
Don't get me wrong, I have been away, last year me and the kiddies went to my brother in Portugal for 10 days...but I want a proper family holiday, its just not the same when Brandon doesn't come with.
So...I truly hope that things work out financially...because we are still going to pay for my mum to come over in June/August (hopefully) and I am trying to get money together to pay for a sewing machine and a dress-making course...sigh...there is so much on my mind I need to write everything down and plan, that would be a good idea!
Enjoy your monday and speak again soon! x

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oh before I forget...

"Carter Chambers: You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you."
Above is a quote from the movie "The Bucket List", which starts Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I saw it on Saturday, and it was wonderful!Needless to say, Jack Nicholson is my favourite actor.It truly was an inspiration, and I loved every minute of it, although some would say it was a repeat of more recent scripts...even so, the acting was flawless!I cried and laughed and if a movie can cause those reactions, I say it is worth seeing!Beautiful!

My treat to myself...

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." - Anne Bradstreet

Yay, the latest issue of Country Living is out, and its got a lot of great kitchens in it this month...I love the article on page 126 - "A gift for Thrift".The lady who's home is featured in this article is very interesting, running a business from a Victorian desk in the guest room and shopping at flea markets and boot sales...sounds like the life to me!
Her home is filled with second-hand goods and also a few Greengate dishtowels and all blends together beautifully and has such character.
The Country Living magazine is my indulgence, I usually get a copy and sit at the local coffee shop,while the kids are at school and relax.Such bliss!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tired of the cold...this picture warms me up!

"A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much,
and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing
at all." - Georges Bernanos {1888-1948 French Novelist & Political Writer}

Its so cold in Ireland and I miss my family back "home" in South Africa sooo much.Its been so long since I've seen my mom and dad, that it actually hurts when I talk to them, sometimes I am numb...but other times, my heart aches.
Thank goodness for my wonderful husband and gorgeous children that keep me going, everyday.

I love this quote, it is very profound...actions certainly speak louder than words, they speak volumes.I am trying everyday to "do" and not just "think" what I should be doing...that makes all the difference!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The joy of Climbing into bed with a Book!

As I was about to climb into bed last night, I realized how cozy and inviting it looked...and so I took a picture.
Thats the funny thing, since I have started blogging, my camera (phone) is never far out of reach and its lead me to another goal - to buy a really nice camera.
Oh so much to save little time.
For now, its goodnight to you and hello to my pillow...Sweet dreams.ZZZZzzzzzzz...

Fab day skating!

“As you begin to live in the present moment, you will experience a subtle but profound change. Worrying about the future will cease. A deep peace will enfold you, a peace that says, ‘All is well’. There is nothing to fear. Everything is unfolding according to plan and you are being guided each step along the way.” - Douglas Bloch

What a lot of fun!I went with a friend of mine to a new place called Supernova.They have a skating rink (not ice, wax) and a huge play area downstairs,with - very importantly - a couple of coffee spots for the tired moms!
It was really great.
Here is a picture of my little girl who was excellent at her first attempt to skate, and spent 2 hours up there having a ball.
As for my little Max,he was sliding and playing happily, while Susan and I sipped coffee and spoke, all in all a great afternoon...and now I have two sleepy souls in bed.Time for a cup of tea..hmmmm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Children out in the sunshine - Bliss!

Well, we were out in the playground for over 2 hours today, which is proof of our desparate need for sunshine...sunshine...aaaah, it was so lovely and warm there between 2 and 4 pm, after that the temperature dropped and I was freezing. But not the kiddies, they were far too busy running around and did not want to leave!
They have built a fantastic playground in our little village (about 6 months ago) and it has made the world of difference to the atmosphere. My daughter's lovely school is also in the process of being rebuilt, and is going to be ready for them at the start of the new school year in September.Right now the poor darlings are in pre-fab classrooms and they use the pitch as their playground.
So, my lovely daughter will thankfully spend her last 2 years of senior primary in a beautiful new school with a library and a hall...I cannot wait to see it finished!
All in all our little village is great and has come a really long way since we moved here 18 months ago!

A beautiful day in Ireland and an Inspirational Quote...

"Happiness is not an accident.Nor is it something you wish for.Happiness is something you design." - Jim Rohn

Yay, the sun is shining, the kids are off school and we are off to the playground!Its definately all about the little things in life that make us happy...the fact that the sun is so glorious today (even though it is very cold) is such a blessing, and its wonderful to see the kids running about in the fresh air.
Even Bella the Boxer is sitting in the sun in the poor garden, it really needs attention...I snuck out there yesterday and chopped away at the dead leaves on my plants. I have really neglected it and want to be better prepared for the winter this year. I think I need to read some gardening books, urgently, or I'll be left with no plants or flowers! The frost and snow has certainly taken its toll on my greenery.

Well...I'm off and I'll take some pics of the kids and hopefully post them tonight!Cheers!
P.S - the photo is in my living room.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quotes to inspire...

"Finish each day and be done with it.You have done what you could.Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in,forget them as soon as you can.Tomorrow is a new day,begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have decided to include a quote everyday on my posts...I love quotes, they can be so inspiring and it sounds exaggerated, but I do believe one quote can change your pattern of thinking for the day!So ponder on them,I certainly will.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Just a bunch of thoughts...

Ah this picture is beautiful...I would love it on my wall.My favorite art involves the human body,I really think it is amazingly beautiful.I would love to have more art on my walls.
I can't believe we bought this house 18 months ago, it really doesn't feel like it was that long ago - but at the same time it really does feel like "home", more than any other place we have stayed in.
But I am restless...I want to knock some walls down,shop for furniture,paint,create an entire new theme in a room...Its all in my head...but the proof is in the wallet! (and theres not much there)
I know I just have to be patient,our family really needs a holiday and I have a few things coming up over April and July that are going to cost me a pretty penny.

My friend Lisa and I were invited to a "Ball" at a really nice hotel here in Cork, in April and when we first heard about it - well, we were NOT going to go, just felt too "mature" and a bit silly going to something like that.I guess its also a bit unfamiliar to us "South Africans.."
But...she phoned me last night, and we are now discussing the fact that we may just go and the more we spoke about it the better it sounded.Now I am a bit excited!
I booked us into the hotel anyway, and if she books her plane ticket...I am going to start looking for a dress. Why not?I think we will have a lot of fun and even if it just turns out to be a good laugh, it will be worth it...and I get to see my best friend in the world in April and I don't have to wait for July! Yaay! I'll let you know how the plans progress.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Laundry Room

Hello on this lazy sunday afternoon...the kids were going crazy in the house, so my hubby has taken them to the local playground to burn off some energy, even though it is hardly warm and sunny outside...sigh...what can you do but make the most of the weather, at least its dry.
In the meantime, I am working on my poor neglected really needs attention.
This is my lovely Laundry room...when we were looking at this house, it was one of the first things that attracted me to it,and it has been a life saver.Although, it needs alot of work still, we need to put up more shelving, finish the painting and it needs a very good clean.So I am about to go and do that,and I will take more pics once we have done more work in this little room!
The colour I pained it is called "Peony" by Laura Ashley and the curtain was made by a very good friend of mine, Steph, and it is in one of my favourite Cath Kidston fabrics.
Enjoy your afternoon!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Winter Blues

Do any of you lovely bloggers out there suffer from depression or the occasional bout of it...?
I have been doing some research into SAD, which is Seasonal Affective Disorder, and found some interesting facts...
SAD is far more common in the Northern Hemisphere and occurs during the months of September to January,mainly...but I believe can be quite profound in February and March when the weather is still quite dull.
Symptoms of SAD include weight gain, excessive sleeping,craving carbohydrates,lethargy,feelings of misery,low self-esteem and apathy.
Causes of Seasonal Affective disorder include light deprivation,stress and some people do just have a vulnerability towards it.

One known treatment, is to get a lightbox, which are available from electric stores and some health shops will stock them.Have a look at the website link at the end of this post - you can buy them from here and there is some more advice about SAD.
I am definitely feeling the effects of the winter blues!We bought a heater the other day which gives off quite a strong light, and that helps.
I pray for another sunny day in Ireland, soon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dreaming of Paris..

Can you believe...we have not been to Paris yet? I was convinced that once we moved all the way over to Europe from South Africa, we were sure to see that city before too long...but life got the better of us,and especially since my son came along...its been crazy,financially and in other ways.
But, I am starting to see the light, he is already 5 and my daughter is 10 and I am thinking that perhaps, soon, I can take that trip I have always dreamed of.
I would love to go with the whole family, so have been scouring the internet in search of budget hotels, budget flights etc...
Its been educational to say the everyone knows, Paris is very pricey.
I am determined,however, to make this my little project,even if it takes a while to organize...
You see my finances are dwindling at the moment - trying to get money together to buy a sewing machine,take a dress-making course and then I am taking the kids to see my best pal in Manchester in the summer (plus I plan on coming back with some lovely fabric etc to sew...)Does anyone else have these frequent budget dilemmas?
Oh, you can't have it all!
Being sick for the past week, I have had far too much time inside to THINK and I think that is driving me a bit loony.I need to get out, I need fresh air and I need my life to get back to some form of normality.
I've even felt too sick to blog...until I'll just spend another day staring at the mounds of housework and dreaming of Paris!x

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bella's off to the woods

Ah look at my sweet girl,she's been stuck inside much of the time with the weather and the flu in this household...
She has been sitting in her favourite spot by the window and looking out.
She loves watching the cats play out in front of the house..
Thank goodness its the weekend, my hubby is home and is now about to take her to the woods so that she can run off some of that boxer energy...xx