Thursday, 30 May 2013

A Bath Visor & New Facebook Consignment in Richmond

Clyde had always been fine having his hair washed and rinsed in the tub. No issues. Then one day something switched and we battled to get the soap out of his hair. I don't need to go into all the details but trust me when I say it was pretty stressful for both of us! So after a few more episodes, I invested in this bath visor. A little pricey, yes. I thought Michael was going to croak when he saw the price. But taking over bath time didn't seem to be an option for him ;) and then he saw how AWESOME this thing is! It truly works so I am glad we splurged. Clyde loves to wash his hair now! Win!

Kair Hands Free Bath Visor


Silly Boy! 

In other news, my friends Candice and Jennifer started a consignment page on Facebook for those local to Richmond. It is called Richmond DIY Consignment and I just posted my first item on there. It is a closed group so you have to be invited by email. If you are interested in joining, send me an email at astoakley@gmail.com and I can have Candice and Jennifer add you to the list. It is a great way to sell children and adult clothes, baby items etc.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Week Recap & Menu Planner

Phew! We have had a lot going on the past few weeks...Clyde turned four, preschool ended, Michael and I went to Vegas (yes...you heard that right), then we spent Memorial Day in Sandbridge! It has been fun and today is Camille and Clyde's first week day of summer. My girl Camille is sleeping in on this first day and Clyde is tucked in on his couch in his new bathrobe watching cartoons. Life is good....so far.

I still have many posts to do and I hope to do one on our trip to Vegas and one on Clyde's birthday! So stay tuned and maybe I can get it all together.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from our weekend. There was the most adorable Memorial Day parade and we entered a friend's golf cart and came in third place. It was so fun.

Decorating in Action! 


Golf Cart with Neena & Moe! 



We also did some playing in the sand and cocktails by the sound! So relaxing!



Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Monday - Oven Chicken Risotto  This recipe is really easy to make and good for a night when you are tired and coming back from a full weekend but don't want to order takeout!

Tuesday -  Cheddar Turkey Burgers with Mashed Avocado (I took a picture of this recipe from a magazine and can't find a link so I am posting the picture below).



Wednesday - Food Trucks at All Saints

Thursday - Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts, Cannellini Beans with Roasted Red Peppers & Kale

Friday - Steaks, Twice Baked Potatoes, Zucchini & Squash

I am off to cook Clyde some "wet" bacon (ie not the microwave but the pan) and pancakes. Not a bad way to start the summer. Happy Tuesday everyone.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Clyde is 4!

Last year, I started creating a birthday page for each child calling out all their favorite things. Here is a link to Clyde's page last year.

Here is this year's.....



Friday, 17 May 2013

We've got strawberries!

And it only took a year! Last spring, I picked up some strawberry bulbs at the Great Big Greenhouse. It said they were June bearing so I thought that meant June of last year. I did some research and it takes a full year for them to harvest. Last year's garden was a bit of a disaster. You can read about it here but nothing really came of it, last year that is. Just last week, we discovered a little bit of red and one lone strawberry was ready to pick! Camille said it was delicious. Hopefully there will be more to come.



I have big plans for our garden but now need to find time to plant. I am thinking of just doing tomatoes and then also a bunch of herbs.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Weekend Recap & Menu Planner

We spent the weekend at Sandbridge Beach. If you have been reading for a while, you may know my in laws moved there and fully renovated their home recently. It is awesome! We are so excited for summer!

The weather was so-so but we still managed to get a little beach time. Camille and Clyde were so good and had the best time running in the waves and making sand castles. Here are some of my favorite shots from the weekend.






My sweet husband made this delicious Mother's Day breakfast for his mom, my mom and me. He's a keeper!



Yesterday, we went to a cookout at a friend's house. My mom was so cute with all the kids playing ring around the Rosie.



Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Monday - Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday - Pork Loin with Mango Salsa

Wednesday - Clyde's Birthday...Pizza Dinner Out!

Thursday - Turkey Burgers & French Fries

Friday, 10 May 2013

Friday Deal

I need to buy Camille another dress for summer like I need a hole in the head but I ran across this cute one last night on Pinterest. So adorable from Crewcuts but rather pricey at $124!

Jcrew
Check out Old Navy's version for $16! And right now there is a coupon code ONLADIES20 for 20% online and in stores!
Old Navy

What a steal and just as cute!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Family Arts

Camille & Clyde both had their spring programs at school this week. So cute to see those little ones sing. They did such a great job. After each performance there was an art show. Here are a some snaps from our week.



Camille also celebrated her pretend birthday (hence the crown) at school since she is an August baby.
 
Clyde was hilarious with one hand in his shirt pocket and the other in his pants pocket!  
 

We celebrated with lunch at Toast after. Clyde was all over Gammy with the kisses! 

My sweet grandmother, Gigi, has been taking a pottery class at her retirement home. She knows how much Camille loves elephants and this was her first creation. She named her piece, Camille.


Isn't it great? 

She also made this adorable bird's nest for Clyde. It looks so great sitting on his shelf. In the background, you can see a needlepoint picture of Virginia that Michael's grandmother created. Love having something from Nana in Clyde's room as well.





Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Written and authorised by...


All that's fit to print...
Housing Association Tasmania executive director Stuart Clues said it was the perfect time to buy a home.

"The net result for ordinary Tasmanians is that you're going to get a house built on time and on budget at the lowest interest rates we've seen. They'd be crazy not to go for it."

Mr Clues said the cuts should show all Tasmanians that there was no better time to escape the rental cycle or build an investment property.
Go on, you know you want to.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Mini Van Mom & Menu Planner

Surprise! After considering and researching for close to a year, we finally pulled the trigger on a new car! On Saturday, we said goodbye to our Envoy that we had for the past seven years! Sniff, sniff. Not really!


And hello to this.....




Last week, we ran across a 2011 Odyssey in our preferred color of black with only 10,000 miles! The only hitch was it was in Maryland. We were nervous it would sell but luckily it was still available come Saturday when we could make the trip.  My mom had a minivan growing up and I said I would never get one. Never say never! They are so practical! We are really excited!

Here goes with this week's menu planner...

Sunday - Tortilla Soup, Quesadillas

Monday -  BBQ Chicken Pizza (carryover from last week)

Tuesday - White Cheese & Chicken Lasagne

Wednesday - Kickin' Mini Meatloaves, Refried Beans

Thursday - Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce & Italian Sausage




Thursday, 2 May 2013

Guidance


Time is beautiful. Given enough time you can get fat, bald and start to sprout hair from your ears. Suffering those indignities is worth it because time also builds something else - an artillery. As Sun Tzu said, "while you sweat an imprint into your couch, your enemies sow the seeds of their destruction."


Predictions have been made and forgotten by most. Those without shame and something to sell can forever make those predictions without fear of second guessing. Welcome to Tasmania, where the print media is a contemptible landscape of irrelevant whiskey-nosed boozers and their fresh faced, empty headed underlings. You know the type, tweeting while watching Q&A on Monday night allows them to believe they're the state's intelligentsia.

Luckily there's me. Thoroughly lazy, yet occasionally motivated by the chance any of Tasmania's lamentable journalistic stock will rip me off and highlight something original.

The odds aren't good. The Mercury's pumped four positive real estate stories over the past week. With the latest came the revelation (from the most reliable REIT prez, Adrian Kelly) that first home buyers are the current market bright spot. Increasing as a percentage apparently. And you know the way this works - sales fall but one segment maintains its position, thus increases its percentage. Voila, they're on a comeback! They're not, check the ABS.

The Examiner managed to cut the fairy floss, but offered the following from Mr Kelly...
Institute president Adrian Kelly said low interest rates and affordable housing stock should be prompting people to invest in real estate, but without the economic confidence or job security people were reluctant to take the plunge.
Why would people be reluctant to invest in Tasmanian housing? Apart from the obvious economic woe and inevitable prospect of more to come, there's the fact Tasmanian full-time incomes increased by 55% over the ten years from 2002 to 2012, while the average mortgage bloated by 165% for first home buyers and 141% for the rest.

Then there's the hair whitening prospect of following anything Adrian Kelly says about real estate...
REIT president Adrian Kelly said yesterday the market had bottomed out - 3 May 2011
13 months later...
 RP Data-Rismarck (sic) recorded an 8.9 per cent fall in the median sale price - 5 June 2012
And never to be discouraged from a spruik, Kelly followed up with...
"Now is a fantastic time to buy," he said.
Imagine the noob home-buyer who bought on such an assurance and sometime later lost their job. Fortunately they'd always have a tight market to sell into so they could be assured of losing no more than their deposit and closing costs...
Tasmania's population grew by just 0.2 per cent (832 people) between June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2012
And the other piece of important data this week?
TASMANIAN home building approvals have slumped to their lowest levels in 12 years.
In March, just 108 new dwellings were approved, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Which sounds bad, but what were they for the 2011-12 financial year? 2099. That's right, Tasmania built 1267 more residential dwellings than people added to its population for the 2011-12 financial year. One for every 0.396 people added.

Not a new theme either, as I'd previously highlighted when I was a little more prolific, Tasmania had been building a new dwelling for about every 1.6 people added to the population over the last decade. These were the good old days the HIA pines for every time it calls for stimulus or bemoans the coldest state now has regulations about insulating new houses. The time when lime green XR8 utes prowled new Tasmanian subdivisions as Hotondo's finest were erected block upon vacant block.
 
Yet as population growth slows we're still covering green space with ever more blue-board and grey render. And at an unheard of ballistic level - a new dwelling for every 0.39 people added to the population! And not a question anywhere, just print what the HIA wants. Builders are lucky a few clueless miners are still building new palaces. Wait till that gravy train dries up.

How's it gonna end? Well we would have never seen it coming. Then we'll all suffer, as economic cripples argue on Facebook that it's the fault of the political party they despise. Itchy 63 year olds will still gear into property until the bitter end. Accountant said he should set up a SMSF, plus he saw a property opportunity. Let them do this.

A heads up would have been nice, but there's more important things to do #QANDA.