Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. We did our best to get our Christmas spirit on this year, despite all of the stress we’ve had lately. Daniel and I volunteered to make the desserts to go with my Sister in Law’s yummy Christmas lunch. 
I ended up making Gingerbread Men and Nutella Cheesecake. Daniel spent many grueling hours becoming the cake pops master!
The cake pops take a long time, there’s the baking of the cake balls, carefully cutting the edges off, melting the chocolate to attach the sticks, then melting more to coat them. I think Daniel did an amazing job! He even stayed up until midnight Christmas Eve to get them finished! 

I ended up making my Gingerbread dough the night before Christmas Eve and rolling and cutting them ready to bake the next day. I got up at 5:30 in the morning to bake them. I went off to work hoping it might be a slow day (haha stupid). I finally got home and started decorating the gingerbread men while Daniel worked on our air conditioning project (we’ll share once it’s complete and installed). In the midst of all of that I also drove to Bunnings to buy screws for Daniel as we knew it would be a while before we could get there again which would slow things down with our other project.

The Nutella Cheesecake was super easy to make. It ended up being a hit for dessert. Personally I felt it was a bit too cream cheesey for  my liking. But no one else seemed to mind.
Let’s be honest, I think I would have preferred to just eat an entire jar of Nutella by myself, unadulterated by cream cheese…

Blinds finally!

We finally have some privacy with the installation of our new blinds from Franklyn. The waiting time was pretty ridiculous, but I guess being the lead up to Christmas that was to be expected.

They were due to be installed on the 8th of December, but unfortunately the poor installation guy was sent to the Gold Coast equivalent of our address rather than the Brisbane one. So about a week later he came and installed them.

Here they are:

We chose blockout roller blinds for the media room in charcoal. At some point we’ll be painting the media room a darker colour, and the charcoal will fit in a lot better then.

In the spare bedrooms we’ve got translucent roller blinds in ‘Cloud’ colour. Eventually we’ll put curtains over them as well. For now they just provide privacy, but no blockout.

We’ve also got Cloud roller blinds in the laundry, as well as the rest of the long windows in the living area.

We chose panel gliders for the patio door and activity room. I really love those.

Now all we need to work on is something for the bay window in our bedroom, and the cutout in the living room. We would really like shutters for both. But we are starting to think a bit more about curtains for the bay window. When we have some money again, we’ll allow ourselves to think about that a bit more seriously.

Blogger photo/space size limits

Recently I was writing a post on ‘Before’ pictures. When it came time to actually upload the photos I discovered that I had reached our Blogger storage limit. The obvious suggestion from Blogger/Google was to purchase more storage (haha). I’m all for having online storage, but I was dead set against this. We buy enough different storage devices and online storage as it is without being sucked into yet another ‘easy direct debit’.

After searching the internets for a little while, we discovered that this is a common issue, and that a lot of people unfortunately just give up on blogging.

What we did discover (and hopefully I have interpreted this correctly), is that photos under a certain size don’t count toward the storage quota. There’s a Google support page which appears to support this and talks about Picasa limits. Since I’ve started resizing the photos it seems to be letting me upload them and so far it seems to be working. Fingers crossed that this is correct and not just a short term solution, as we just cannot afford to be paying for yet another thing.

The way I do it is to just right click the photo I want, select ‘open with’ and choose ‘paint’. I then go to resize and reduce the percentage to 25% and then re-save it to the desktop as a jpeg. I then later just delete the smaller photo from the desktop after I’ve uploaded it with Blogger.

Let me know if anyone else has any tips or tricks or knows if this is a true solution.

Christmas has come early!

We’ve waited about 3 months and our couches FINALLY arrived today! We are absolutely in love with them, and it’s given me a whole new appreciation for the rest of the house too. Everything looks a lot more complete now. We played around with them for a while, we definitely need a few little pieces of furniture to go with them, but that can wait. 
Here they are! Our guests will finally have somewhere to actually sit!

This is what the area looked like before:

We were also supposed to get our blinds installed today. However the poor installation guy got given the wrong address and ended up going to the Gold Coast instead of Samford Valley. Really annoying as we’ve already been waiting about 8 weeks for them to be made and installed. So they might be installed one night this week, or possible Thursday during the day. It will be really great to finally feel like we have some privacy, let’s hope it gets sorted out this week!
Update: The blinds are going to be installed on Thursday. YAY!