Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seaside Style, My Gift To You

Are you ready for some seaside style?  I know you are? Come and see what I've got for you!!!!

Owing to my new found passion for crafting, I've been trawling the net for a great book with fabulous ideas for Too Easy coastal crafting and I found one.  This gorgeous book, Seaside Style, by Andrea Spencer with wonderful photography by Spike Powell.  And guess what, I've bought an extra copy to give away to one of my readers as my Christmas present to you.  So here's the thing.  There are lots of you out there that read me every day.  I know, cause I can see you in the stats, but you're not following me and I'd like you to.  Although not a bit shy, I am a complete novice at self promotion, but that is about to change. 

 My Facebook page is a little lonely and so is Twitter, so if you are an existing follower I'd love you to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter The links are in my side bar too. Leave me a separate comment that you've done this and each comment will increase your chances of winning the book.

Believe me, you want this book.  It has fabulous tutorials, like how to white wash your floor boards, to achieve that beachy look.

Divine coastal tablescaping ideas

Beautiful beachy vignettes

and wonderful ways with driftwood.

This competition will be open until 10 January 2012 and I am willing to ship anywhere on the planet.

And if that's not enough excitement.  Mr Beach House and I had our anniversary dinner this week.  We haven't been to dinner without the Beach House Brats for more than 3 years.  We didn't stop talking and  remembered why we married each other, even if it was a little bit like having dinner with Santa Claus.  He did apologise for not shaving and I relearned something that I'd forgotten, I drink faster than him.  As I have been on the wagon for three months, I suffered the next day.  Lets just say, I didn't get much done on Christmas eve eve!!!

And finally Merry Christmas to you dear reader, from all of us here at the Beach House. My very best wishes for a safe and Happy Holiday to you and your family.  I have loved taking this journey and without you, it would be no fun at all.  I plan to take a blogging break and will be back in the New Year.  

Ways to win this fabulous book
1. Become a new Follower

If you are already a follower:
2. Friend me on Facebook
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Post about this giveaway on your blog.
You must leave me a separate comment each time you complete any of the above.

If you want to see what we are up to over the Christmas break have a look at twit pics in the side bar!!!

I have also updated the shots in my sidebar.  If you click on the shots they will lead you through to the associate story.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Gift Tags and Wrapping Nordic and Coastal Style

Well we're getting to the business end of the season and my glue gun is working over time now.  It's wrapping day at the Beach House, that is in between my cruise director roll, as the 6 week school holiday break began in earnest this week.

Mr Beach House also came through for the 10 year wedding anniversary, which is today ( we are going out to dinner sans Beach House Brats) and he organised it on his own (gulp), baby sitter and all, so I decided to make his presents look real pretty. 

I made some very easy gift tags using the left over ribbon, Christmas fabric and tiny shells that made their way into the scoop I bought for the Beachy lantern.  The gift tags are just the backside of the Ikea tags.  Just as an aside, I have to say Ikea's paper wrapping rolls are great (read value for money).  Each one has 8 metres on it.  Not like the others that run out after two gifts.  I did run out of tape though, so make sure you have heaps if you are leaving the wrapping to late Christmas eve.

I'm not going to bore you with major how tos here as the shots speak for themselves.  All I'll say is that after all this Christmas crafting I have learned two things. One, you must have a very good and sharp pair of scissors.  I got through the whole season with some hopelessly blunt ones, but only just.  And two, the absolute power of PVA glue.  Love it!!!!!

I haven't crafted for years, but I have found it very therapeutic and have loved your responses to it.  I plan to do lots more coastal crafting in the new year.  My other goal is to make this baby pay.  You'll note I am now a Nuffnang blogger, what ever that means, I plan to read the terms and conditions during the break. It's the lawyer in me. Then I'll wait to see what happens next!!!!  I hate to have sold out a little to commercialism as this blog started out as a little historical electronic diary of my trials in motherhood ( which basically by the way, I think I suck at).  No sympathy comments please.....I know the truth!!!!!!

But as you know we are on the boards of our bum here at the Beach House. The boat building business has been decimated by Chinese manufacturing and  as I don't want to return to lawyering or teaching, I have to up scale a little. Not sure where that will take me or even if it will happen but I'll be trying as usual, to pull my weight!!!

I think I've got one more post in me before Christmas, but if I don't get off my butt, Christmas won't be coming to the Beach House.  Just want to say my difficulty in deciding whether to have a Nordic or coastal style Christmas continues to bite, hence the two different styles of wrapping.  I have mixed and matched here and I'm sure you get the drift!!!!  Kinda like somewhere on the coast of Sweden.

I hear the patter of tiny feet down the hall, so have to shoot through. Check out my twit pics in the side bar if you want to see how my cruise director skills have panned out this week. Click  to enlarge them. I'm still a complete a ditz when it comes to social media but this one actually worked for me. Woo Hoo!!!

Oh and My Too Easy Christmas series continues to grow, if you are new here you may want to have a look.  The link is at the top of my side bar or go here  for some simple and quick Christmas ideas and recipes.
Don't forget to check put the fabulous Seaside Style interiors book give away I've got going on here
 See ya Beautiful people!!!!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At The Coast Today in Sydney

It was a grey old day in Sydney Town today, but still breathtakingly beautiful.  This is what I saw through the lens.

This to me is home.  Sandy soil, scraggy heather and the waves crashing at the bottom of the cliff.  Love it all!!!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Beach House Birthdays Today and a Nautically Decorated Cake

As if the Christmas crazy dance isn't enough, both Mr Beach House and the biggest Beach House Brat celebrate their birthdays today.  That's right, I had him on 19 December and I was determined to have my birth day plus 5 in hospital.  No penny pinching hospital bean counters were gunna chuck me out a minute early.  So I brought him home on Christmas morning, after a Caesar and a massive hemorrhage.  Mother in Law was ropable that I didn't attend Christmas lunch with her new Grand child accessory, I cried my eyes out at the prospect of keeping this little thing alive on my own and the first dream I had was of him crawling over the edge of a balcony and crashing into the sea and rocks 60 feet down, as I looked on over the balustrade.

But nine years on he is still alive and developing into a beautiful young man and Mr Beach House and I are still married.....a miracle as well!!!!!  The drama continues as we are having a pool party this evening to celebrate the birthday's, at the local yacht club and it's raining..  But you know what?   I don't care.  I've made the fabulous carrot cake from Stephanie Alexanders Cook's companion and iced it nautically.

The writings very wonky and the icing is dripping off, but this cake tastes fabulous and is quick and simple to make. 

Now as if two birthdays aren't enough in the week before Christmas, it's our wedding anniversary on Thursday.  I'm leaving that one up to Mr Beach House though!!!!  Which probably means we'll be in that night!!!

Stepahnie Alexander's Simple Carrot Cake`
125g self raising flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn grated nutmeg
2/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs
2 cups finely grated carrot
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 180C.  Mix together flour, sugar and spices.  Add oil and eggs and beat in a food processor ( I mixed by hand to reduce washing up).  Stir in carrot and walnuts.  Pour into an 18cm spring form tin lined. Bake for 1 hour. ( I poured into a 23 cm square tin and baked for 40 minutes).  Cool in tin before turning out.  When cold, dust with icing sugar mixed with ground cinnamon or ice with cream cheese frosting.

I made two quantites of the square cake so I could layer it.

Cream Cheese Frosting (for 2 cakes)
400g cream cheese
200g icing sugar
100g butter soft
a few drops of vanilla essence.
Mix well and spread over the middle and ice top.

I hope when I return to the kitchen all my decorations haven't slid off the cake.  I'll let you know if that happens.  Also sorry about all the recipe posts, but that's what I seem to be doing most of here at the Beach house, Pre Christmas 2011.

Don't forget to enter the great Seaside Style interiors book giveaway going on here

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Candy No Bake Quicky

Have you got a Christmas shin dig coming up this week where you are required to present a plate for the table?  Are you quickly turning into a frazzled  pre Christmas Crazed Chaos magnet, like me?  Do you want to inspire thoughts amongst your circle of Domestic Goddess in your direction?  If you answered yes to any or all of the above, then this no bake Christmas quicky is for you!!!!!

You only need 3 ingredients, a hammer and a zip lock bag.  And preferably a willing Beach House Brat equivalent to assume the smashing position.

Melt about 40-50 g of white Chocolate in the microwave according to the directions on the pack ( that's not baking in my book)

Smash 4 candy canes. Dip marshmallows in melted chocolate.  Sprinkle smash over the top.  I dipped it at first but found it looked better if I sprinkled.

This candy coated marshmallow idea is floating around the blogosphere and I can't claim it as mine. I would love to credit it, but can't remember where I found it.  I can't claim to have invented the Christmas tree either, but I haven't seen these little sugar pops styled in this way.  I took an extra plate of these along as it didn't take many to construct the tree.

I have to tell you this Christmas tree was a hit and my Domestic Goddess status remains completely intact.  At least in the outside world anyway.  Not sure though, if it will ever be truly reinstated at the Beach House by those who know me so well, but I do try.

I installed a poinsettia star at the top.  If you can't come up with this, a sticker or any other design would be just as effective.  The general verdict by those in attendance was, eyes rolling back in the head, Christmas culinary climax style!!!

If you want more Christmas Quickies, check out my Too Easy Christmas series here

Dont forget to enter the fabulous Seaside Style interiors Book giveaway I've got going on here

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Friday, December 16, 2011

At My Beach Today

When I turn up at the Stop Drop and Kiss Zone in the afternoon afer school with the beach bag, wetsuits and towels, the squeals of joy from the Beach House Brats are contagious.  When you get to the beach and it  is all but closed, due to strong currents, the mood quickly changes.
There are so many hazzards on Aussie Beaches. We are pretty immune to it all, after being exposed from an early age.  I haven't been stung by one of these for years, but when the Nor Easter is blowing, it's best to stick to the rock pool.

These guys are always on hand to manage the risks and there's lots to see and do even if you can't go into the surf.

It's nice work if you can get it.  Especially on a quiet afternoon like this one.

He was tempted, school uniform and all, but alas only got wet around the edges, which is most out of character.

We saw Christmas stars

and butts on the beach, here

and a much prettier and more environmentally friendly variety here.  Oh those were the days!!!!

A cool beach bum on the way home from work

The beach is the great Australian equaliser.  Everyone is welcome and it's free.

I wonder at the miles this feather has done. 

And love the waves as they crash against the rock pool.

Evidence of teenage fun

Still working hard.

Lucky them

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