Strawberry picking and a walk in the rainforest

I wish I could say we grew these ourselves but alas no, we picked these at the strawberry farm down the road. The kids had the best fun trying to find the weirdest, freakiest strawberries to pick, and there were plenty.

strawberries

Next weekend marks the end of the strawberry season were we are, and next friday its strawbfest. Strawbfest is a fundraiser for the local school, which is next to the strawberry farm.

strawberry picking

The farm donates a couple of truckloads of strawberries to the school. Parents and kids all muck in to pack and sell them during strawbfest, which goes on into the evening. How nice is that!

pick your own strawberry bucket

Its funny, but I was here visiting last year when strawbfest was on and I viewed the house that became our new home on that day. I can’t believe it was a year ago. It also means its one year since I finished work in Sydney and started preparing for our tree change. Time flies when you’re having fun!

view kondalilla

On friday Hubby and I had a rare day off and decided to do the Kondalilla Falls walk, as we’d had heaps of rain, we thought the falls would be positively gushing. Sadly part of the track was closed due to fallen rocks so we couldn’t see the falls. We could do part of the walk though, which was wonderful. We walked through the rainforest which was cool and lush and full of bird life.

kondalilla track

Along the way we came across little waterfalls tumbling down the rocks.

falls

waterfall

The forest was so green and fresh after the rain that had fallen the previous night. We spotted this little wallaby quietly nibbling near the track. Can you see him amongst the bushes?

wallaby

Afterwards we were famished and headed over to Montville for a pub lunch and a spot of shopping. Unusually just window shopping for me while Hubby went and bought two shirts and a pair of shoes! I made up for it on saturday though and had a fabric splurge. B wanted me to make her a dress, falsely thinking my new found sewing skills displayed in the making of my halterneck top now meant I was some kind of expert. We bought a dress pattern, which on first inspection looked simple.

simplocity sewing pattern

Once I pulled it out of the packet though there was an alarming amount of bits to sew together and lots of curves. Also an alarming amount of fabric required too. Something to do with the flared skirt apparently. We ended up spending 70 bucks on fabric!!! I wouldn’t buy a dress for that much! The fabric is gorgeous, but I did start panicking a bit.

chevron pink fabric

After sleeping on it I decided to make a much easier dress for B, an adaptation of a simple pillowcase dress with a waistband to give it some shape. Luckily she approves of this idea, which means there will be enough material left for a dress for me too! I can justify the splurge if I can get two garments out of it. Phew!

I hope your weekend was a good one ūüôā

My blog anniversary

This sort of crept up on me. My blog anniversary was actually yesterday! I knew it was coming up, but we went away last week, and the in-laws are still here visiting, so I’ve really been off the ball with blogging lately. I have made no plans for celebration as yet, but¬†in the meantime¬†I thoughtI would reflect on¬†the past year and what we have achieved here in my little corner of the world. My first ever post a¬†told of our exciting plans for our tree change, and how we might actually do this one day. I remember being so nervous when I hit the publish button. Here we are one year later already 6 months into our new life in the country.

view of the country

Our change has made us the proud owners of 10 acres, a house, a dam, 14 chickens, a dog and a ride on mower.

acreage life

IMG_4939

The girls like helping dad do the ‘farm jobs’ as they get to ride in the trailer

acreage duties using ride on mower and trailer

We have experienced floods, snakes in the house, 96% humidity and the hottest nights ever. No cold weather yet though, which is lovely as I mind the cold terribly.

flooded land, sunshine coast

carpet python in the kitchen

The python that turned up in our kitchen

It has been hard work, managing the land by clearing the lantana that bordered the entire fringe of our property. We are almost there with it now and hope to get a few head of cattle soon, perhaps 4, and see how we go. We built a chicken coop, adapted from an existing outbuilding that was previously an animal shelter. This was serious hard work, hammering in endless nails in the heat of summer. I built the door! And it hasn’t fallen off yet!!

chicken coop

Now we are reaping the rewards as our lovely chickens are finally providing us with eggs, averaging 8-9 a day at the moment.

free range chickens

fresh free range eggs

collected fresh today, lovely eggs

It has been a great experience, with more adventures to come. I am hoping to get back into a proper routine with blogging, and visit all the lovely blogs I like to follow more regularly. I seem to spend my days doing chores and errands, leaving little time for anything else. I think its time for change of a different kind, and focus on why we actually left the city and came here in the first place. I really must get that veggie patch growing! I also really want to continue with my craft too. I have had a few projects materialise over the past year. Some of the most viewed posts are the recycled t-shirt crochet basket and a toadstool, super cute knitted mini toys, and the knitted bunting.

crochet project

half finished basket with cut up t shirt yarn

crochet toadstool

knitted toys

A rainbow of cuties

knitted bunting

Some of my favourites have of course been the tapestry crochet dishcloths and the crochet snake!

crochet snake

crochet snake finished

tapestry crochet dishclothsI have only achieved 48 posts in the past year, but its nice to look back and see just how much you can do in one year.

A big thank you to all my lovely followers and commenters. I do love your comments and enjoy visiting all your blogs. I love the¬†endless source of motivation and inspiration I get from reading all your posts. Here’s to another year of blogging!

Our new life in the country

Well we made it!. Our tree change¬†to Queensland went without a hitch. We got through christmas, had back to back visitors and now hubby is back at work and I am entertaining the kids during the school holidays. I managed to get most of the unpacking done before christmas, but then ran out of steam and motivation so there are still a couple of boxes in the hallway waiting for my attention. We still have pictures to put up, but we’re getting there.

acreage

Our front yard

I have to acknowledge the beautiful cards Alison from Life at Sylvan House sent me before christmas as part of Amy’s christmas card swap. A gorgeous cross stitch snowman card and an equally lovely new home card. I love the beachy picture on the card, just my sort of thing. Thankyou Alison for these and your kind words. (Sorry about the blurry image, it looked fine until I uploaded it).

christmas and new home card

lovely cards from Alison as part of the christmas card swap

We have been out and about quite a bit exploring our new area. The countryside is just stunning. I love breathing in the sweet fresh air and listening to the birds.

glasshouse mountains

view from Mary Cairncross scenic reserve

The beaches are fantastic and we have been spending a fair bit of time there as the weather has been so hot. The humidity is a killer, sapping all your energy.

view from point cartwright

view from point cartwright

 

coolum beach

Coolum beach view from boardwalk 

Bribie Island

Bribie Island

view from point cartwright towards mooloolaba

view from point cartwright towards mooloolaba

I’m enjoying being home with the kids these holidays. Despite the holidays being a bit too long, and sometimes hard work, its so great to have the whole day to do what we like without clock watching and rushing off to various activities. I¬†love being¬†able to take off down to the beach at 4pm if we feel like it.

jetty

Its steamy hot today so a quick trip to the beach is in order before dinner.
Perfect sunday ūüôā

Hope you are enjoying your weekend T x

 

Tree change countdown

Well, I’m back, after eight weeks of drama and excitement! I’ve been busy. We have¬†finalised our tree change plans and it is happening. Our dreams have come true. There is no turning back. Our house is sold and we have found a new home nestled on a 10 acre plot surrounded by rainforest in the beautiful sunshine coast hinterland. There will be a lot to learn but we are ready to jump in with both feet. I had such a lovely time house hunting since my last post. It was fantastic having time to myself. I stayed in a little B&B called Monbii, right on the edge of Montville with the most beautiful views out to the coast.

IMG_4245

early morning mist over the lowlands

kookaburra

An eager Kookaburra eyeing my breakfast

The room was gorgeous with a big comfy bed, and a wonderful deck from which to sit and ponder the views. It was hard to tear myself away. The bathroom had a huge spa bath with a view, and candles were provided in the room for the full decadent experience. Of course I had to indulge. The continental breakfast was fantastic, a real treat with fresh fruit, croissant and pastry or mini quiche, thick creamy yoghurt and fruit juice. Too much for me in one sitting, so I took the quiche with me for a quick snack between house viewings.

scrumptious breakfast

scrumptious breakfast

I managed to sneak in a spot of shopping and lunch in gorgeous Montville, and wished I’d brought a bigger suitcase with me. I finished off my trip with a walk along Coolum beach before heading to the airport. It was lovely to be there on a friday afternoon with people out walking dogs, mums with kids in school uniforms burning energy off after a busy week, and teenagers heading out to catch a few waves before dusk. It had a such a laid back vibe. I’m sure its a different story during peak holiday season though.

enjoying a stroll along the beach at low tide

enjoying a stroll along the beach at low tide

guys out for a surf

guys out for a surf

coolum beach

failing light and long shadows as I leave the beach and head to the airport

Back home we started the laborious job of packing boxes and having a clear out. Luckily we are not hoarders so¬†fingers crossed the job won’t be too bad. I was hoping to get back into doing some craft projects again. I still haven’t finished the knitted bunting for my daughter. We had a lovely day yesterday just relaxing by the pool. We really needed it as the past few weeks have been hectic with open homes and house viewings. We treated ourselves to some french champagne in the afternoon, curtesy of our real estate agents. Hubby chilled out on the daybed and¬†I sat and did a spot of crochet while sipping a cold glass of bubbles. Perfect.

champagne and flowers

Our lovely congratulations gift

I hope your weekend was a relaxing one too ūüôā

T x

Off on an adventure

I’m very excited. Tomorrow I fly off on an adventure to look for our new home in the country. I’m not sure if I’m more excited about seeing the houses I’ve been drooling over on the internet for the past few weeks, or the fact that I am going by myself. 3 days and 2 nights by myself, no kids, no husband. My to do list is as follows:

View 9 shortlisted properties
Take lots of photos
Enjoy long spa bath with glass of wine after dinner not made by me
Read country style magazine at leisure
Enjoy some blogging time
Do a spot of crochet
Go for a run/walk before breakfast
Enjoy a quiet, leisurely breakfast while drinking in the views
Walk along the beach before sunset
Finish Yearbook swimming carnival pages on laptop (I’ve put this off long enough – I have no excuses now)
Buy presents to take back to the kids

packed bag and laptop

All packed

With no school runs, lunches to make, uniforms to wash, bags to pack/unpack, activities to rush off to, I won’t know what to do with myself!
I am looking forward to progressing through my list. The run might be a tad ambitious though…
Tx

The first goodbye

I left work today. I filled out my ’employee separation form’ (what a depressingly named form). I handed over my keys. I madly finished my ‘to do’ list with a million things on it. I sorted out all my files to handover 8 years work to someone else. I said my goodbyes. There were hugs, tears, and gifts.

L'Occitane gifts

Very generous work colleagues giving me L’Occitane¬†

I started working there when my eldest was in daycare. He is now nearing the end of year 6, about to go to High school. Its the end of an era in so many ways. This is the first step to our new life in the country. I received the most wonderful gifts from my colleagues, from L’Occitane. If you don’t know the shop check it out. They sell the most beautiful things.

 

Gifts from L'Occitanegifts from L'Occitnae

I am going to enjoy some pampering. I really need it. Husband is away until tomorrow on a business trip. I have just finished a Gin and Tonic. Looking forward to his arrival tomorrow and a lovely Fathers Day on sunday.

Have a lovely weekend
T x

 

A farm stay and the snow!

We just¬†came back from a whirlwind trip to the snow via Canberra. Part of our ‘ticking off things to do before we move’ list. It has made it even more clear to me that a¬†tree change is the right thing for us. I have been snowed under (ha ha) at¬†work since we got back, so¬†I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon this week. I am hoping to catch up on all¬†my favourite blogs over the weekend. For now I will share some pics from the trip.

walking on farmland

Exploring the farm

Perisher, snowy mountains

Pretty Perisher nestled in the snowy peaks

icicles hanging from building

Check out those icicles!

The farm we stayed on was wonderful. Highland Lodge farm stay. Great location, just outside Jindabyne, with views out to the snow-topped mountains. And such a good rate for peak snow season. Just 40 minutes from the snow. I would highly recommend it, perfect for families. Ros, our hostess, was so wonderful and friendly. The kids loved the animals and wildlife, and exploring the farmland.

kids exploring a hollow tree

lots of things to explore

farmland and snow capped peaks beyond

snow capped peaks viewed from the farm

kids running on farmland

space to run

Leftover snow from a recent fall - a first for the little one

Leftover snow from a recent fall – a first for the little one

shy sheep running on farmland

shy sheep

canberra parliament house

Parliament house – tick! look how rugged up I am compared to my husband. He’s pommy through and through.

Oh well, its back to reality for us. I wish we could have stayed longer, but work and school beckoned, but we have some wonderful memories.

Have a lovely weekend!
Teresa x

(P.s. I am not receiving any commissions from highland lodge farm stay)