Friday, September 28, 2012

What's New at IKEA

Hello Beach Dwellers
Want to have a little look at what's hot at IKEA right now?  I believe it's best to leave it about 6 months between visits because in that time, they make over the whole store.  This time I was mildly shocked at what they had come up with.  There's a definite pink theme running through their decorating. They've bought it out of the bedroom and it's gone household mainstream. Woaw!!!!

When I was a teen and my mother encouraged me to start a 'glory box', a completely crazy notion looking back with the benefit of hindsight.  Why? because I filled it with pink wine glasses and pink plant holders and the like.  Homewares that had long been thrown over before I was married.  Heck they didn't even make it into my first apartment.

Anyhoo, it seems had I held onto them long enough, they may have got a run at the Beach House this season.  Not likely, I am fine with pink in the bedroom and in the odd vintage china tea set, but doubt I could live with it en mass in the kitchen and living room on a daily basis.

I did catch myself standing back and ooohing and arhing at these rooms. I am sure you would agree, they are very very pretty, but it is just a fad turned on by the best brains in marketing to keep us buying.  One I'm not falling for this time.  Ahem, well not much!!!

So I wouldn't be tempted to fill up the trolley with stuff that I didn't need in the accessories section of the store,  I loaded  it up with precious live cargo instead.  

You can see that with me old habits die hard.  I couldn't go past the red and blue nautical stripe rug there on the trolley, but apart from a few pretty paper plates, cups and napkins and some silicon baking bits in readiness for party season, I didn't weaken.  I got out of there for under 60 bucks and still feel like I bought nothing.

There were more pretty pinks

And there was a definite Domestic Goddess feel to the place.  Loved the check apron, but resisted.   Mr Beach House, might hit on me and we couldn't have that.

This guy was even dressed to match.  You know it's a a fad, which will pass when this happens.

Thankfully my favourite blue and white gets a big run as well.  Not sure about the rug under the bed there.  They clearly need a new stylist on board.  Hello IKEA!!!!!

Infact blue, black and white is hot right now. Perhaps is was an attempt at that!!!!

They had some lovely blue and white cushion action too.   Think ruffles, nautical stripe and toile, all the usual suspects, but they looked lovely together. 

Here are my most coveted items this trip, none of which came home with me, as I need a bigger house and have no room for anymore stuff.  I loved this black mirror.  If only I had somewhere to put her.

I meant to pick up one of these in the accessory section of the store for the Beach House Brat's gallery wall but forgot.  It's actually plastic, but the right price and very sweet.

Loved this for my kitchen.  It was melamine, but I don't need it.

And although butterflies have been hot for a long time, they have now made it into the IKEA store.

So that's it for this week desirables.   Have a wonderful weekend and if you are planning on a trip to IKEA, this weekend, I wish you a fun trip.

This post was sponsored in its entirety by Desire Empire.  I just thought you guys would like it.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Church Point and Scotland Island a Fantastic Day Trip in Sydney

If you are in search of a day trip from Sydney these holidays, why not venture out to Church Point and Scotland Island for a little look see.  Church point is 32 km north of Sydney and is a beautiful historical outpost, complete with gorgeous homes and a fabulous boating culture.  It is named for the Wesleyan Chapel that was erected here in 1872, which was also the site of the first school in Pittwater.

The old post office still operates as a store, cafe and low key function centre.  Infact everything about this place is quaint and low key.  If you like nostalgia, you will love Church Point.

They do lovely coffee, and have a classic menu of rolls, wraps and cakes for lunch.  There is also quite a comprehensive blackboard menu for hungry troops.

They seem to be avid gardeners as the flowers and plants were very pretty

It's all a little rustic which is just the way I like my sea ports.

Church Point is the main staging post for the residents of Scotland Island, which is a very interesting little ferry trip across the bay.

As it is inhabited by around 650 residents, this barge is kept busy hauling building supplies and catering to the needs of her residents.  There are no shops or cars on the island, but there is a circular dirt road, which takes about an hour to walk around.  If you get off at Tennis Court Wharf .  You can picnic there and take a dip in the shark netted pool.  There are also swings for the kids.

The ferry departs from Church Point wharf on the hour from 8.30am to 6.30pm.  For timetable information on the Church Point Ferry go here. 

The ferry goes to all the wharves on the island as shown here and if you want to go to Lovett, Halls or Elvina Bay, you need to tell the captain.

This is the Tennis Court Wharf picnic area.  There must have been a tennis court here back in the day, but now there are coin operated BBQs, picnic tables, 

a sweet little park with plenty of shade 

and a little low tide beach.

One thing you do need to know, is that due to limited parking for the residents of Church Point on the mainland, the parking station at Church Point is now $40 per day.  My suggestion is to park in the Quays Marina or round at the Bayview Yacht Club on Riddle Reserve at 1842 Pittwater Road.  Both are a short walk to the ferry wharf at Church Point.

Lovett Bay, another set down point on the ferry run, is home to the stunning home built in 1925 for Dorethea Mackellar of 'I love a sunburnt country' fame, and is now in inhabited by Susan Duncan who wrote her award winning memoir of the area Salvation Creek.

Chips Rafferty's famous home with the beer bottle wall is also in Lovett Bay, but unfortunately neither home is open to the public, although I have been on an organised tour of Dorethea's beautiful home, so look out for those as advertised.

Tilly Devine, the infamous madam's waterfront retreat in the 1920's, is located just past Tennis Court Wharf.

There is also a Youth Hostel just up from Halls wharf if you want to stay longer.
We have stayed there and it is absolutely one of the best family holidays we have ever had.  Here are the details of how to make that wonderful trip, just one hour from Sydney's CBD, but a million miles from care.

Back on Church Point, there are the remnants of an historic cemetery, which is definitely worth a look.

I always find it sad to find overgrown and long forgotten graves, which in some cases are illegible.

And this sends a shudder through me like, nobodies business.  This child died about a month after the landings at Gallipoli , which got the big Beach House Brat wondering if her father was involved.

Despite it having been left to decay, it is still an eerily beautiful place.

With a lovely elevated view from where the chapel once stood, across the bay.

So if you need to entertain the kiddos for a day these holidays, come on down to Church Point, have coffee, check out the history and jump on this cute little ferry, you don't even need to get off, just do the round trip and check out the beautiful scenery for a great day out.

If you are on them, I hope your holidays are going well.  I have had some one on one time with the Big Beach House Brat, as the little one is still at kindy.  It was lovely, he is such a sweet 9 year old when he wants to be.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Beach House Decor, A Pretty Tropical Table

Hello Beach Dwellers
We had an intimate dinner for four at the Beach House over the weekend and I added a little coastal bling bling to the table. A humble bunch of nasturtiums pumped up with some green foliage, meant the flowers were on budget.....being from the garden and all.  A palm frond, a few shells and rattan place mats, pulled it together for a simple and low budget tropical table.

You haven't seen my chandelier hung in all her glory yet.  Well here she is, all minimalist and middle eastern  looking.  Had the garden been more productive, I might have jooshed her with flora too, next time perhaps.

Our dining room opens onto the deck, which is brilliant for pre dinner drinks.  I was hoping to pull this off, but the island bench won again. Everyone sits around her as I cook their dinner. There were calls of  "Nigella", as I whipped up a storm around that bench. Some people are so easy to please. I'll take that any day of the week though, I love Nigella.  She is about the sexiest and most fabulous woman on the planet to me.  The little Beach House Brat calls her Gella and we watch all her programs together.  Funnily enough, I don't cook much of her stuff, a fact I plan to rectify.  

This is actually a Jamie Oliver inspired vegetable side, I put together.  The bacon didn't crisp up in the time indicated, so next time I'll do it with prosciutto.  There's a surprise package under that bacon, which makes it delicious.

It's been a while since I posted a table scape on here, but we didn't entertain as much as we should have in Winter. And those of you who have been coming here for a while, would know I don't iron table clothes.  I kind of like the scrunchy look.  But I like it even more that I don't have to iron if I don't want to.

The napkins are a Red Cross shop find.  This kind of stuff, with the cut outs and grey stitching,  is from the 1950's and the six napkins came complete with their own beautifully starched and freshly ironed finish.  Looks like I'll have to get my iron out after all.

A few little tea lights completed the look.  Such a simple thing, but people are always stopped in their tracks when they see a table set with care.  They then profess that they could never achieve such a thing, which of course is unture.  Just depends what you like to do, I think!!!!!

I always go back to my mum with these things.  As a kid I was forever assisting her to set beautiful tables for dinner parties.  It is soothing to me.

Have a great week people.  It's school holidays here and I hope to maintain my regular posting schedule.  We shall see if that happens.

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