Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kerb Appeal - With Earl The Letterbox And Numbers

Now that we have installed a fence and gate around our limestone courtyard we are looking at the finishing touches to add kerb appeal to the front of the house.

Starting with replacing our cute little mail box which I can't believe is still standing on it's rusty pole in the ground, it's been knocked over more than once by trucks reversing into it and then dumping sand on top of it (true story!) plus it's not lockable so our mail isn't secure either.


Letterbox shopping is serious stuff, we went to half a dozen shops trying to find one we liked the look of and that could be installed in fence slats.

These were the top two we found in Bunnings ..... Earl and Soho.

We picked Earl because the letter slot was covered so it would keep the mail dry, nobody likes soggy wet mail! I also like the large slot for junk mail and my magazine subscriptions.



We got out the cordless saw and cut a hole in our newly installed fence panel which was just a little terrifying as you can imagine, all that work to install the fence and then we were cutting a hole in it! 

Thankfully Mr P knows what he's doing and we didn't make any mistakes and the letterbox fits in nicely.

It is pretty heavy, we put a heap of screws in it to hold it secure and it's lockable with 2 sets of keys which is just what we wanted for our mail - safe, secure and dry.




Isn't Earl handsome .... !

Now that the mailbox was in we needed some shiny new house numbers to finish it off and so the mailman would put letters in there - for a week the mailman was still using our old mailbox until we took it away!



Only certain types of numbers are suitable to be screwed into brick, most numbers were stick-ons which wouldn't last for long out in the elements in the rain so we went for the screw in type.

Funny enough the numbers went through the checkout at different prices, apparently the 6 is worth more than the 1, but I got them both for the cheaper price of course .... I am the Bargain Queen after all!


We used the sticker template to measure and centre and get them straight on the brick pillar and then drilled them in. 

Nice and shiny and not too big or showy, I think they suit the pillar just right. 




I think the new letterbox and numbers make a great first impression and adds kerb appeal too!

Our next project out here is to start on the courtyard's garden and landscape design and turn this patch of sand and weeds into a garden with lawn and plants.

Operation kerb appeal is underway!


Sharing with link parties:
Curly Crafty Mom - Motivational Monday
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
The Dedicated House - Before And After Wednesday


 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


[All images my own]

Pin It Now!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Slow Cooker: Roast Recipes

In my slow cooker I have cooked curries, hot pots, pasta sauce, stroganoff, vegetables all sorts of dishes but I have never attempted a roast dinner. 

For our Sunday roasts I usually fire up the Weber BBQ or the BBQ rotisserie because the smokey BBQ flavour you get is amazing. But for something different I'd really like to try a roast in the slow cooker this weekend.

Here are some delicious roast recipes for the slow cooker ....











My Sunday roast is sorted, I'm going to try the spiced chicken with lemon and dates roast this weekend.

What are you cooking in your slow cooker?


 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


[Images via Taste 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Book Review and Preview: Dinner Solved By Katie Workman

This is a cookbook review and sneak preview of Dinner Solved by Katie Workman that is due to be published by Workman Publishing on 11 August 2015.

Katie is the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook, the founding editor in chief of Cookstr.com and a food writer publishing articles in magazines and websites. Katie lives in New York City with her husband and two children.


This is a cookbook aimed to tackle the problem of pleasing everyone at the dinner table without becoming a short order cook.

There are 100 recipes in this book and they use a 'fork in the road' recipe solution which makes it easy to turn one dish into two, such as mild and sweet ribs for the kids that can become spicy ribs for the adults.

What I really liked about this book was that Katie's personality came through as funny and witty, it was like she understands fussy eaters, and wants to please the kids as much as the adults. I also liked that there were photos of every dish so you know what each dish is meant to look like, this is so important in cookbooks, but sometimes lacking.

As the book is American, some of the ingredients are not familiar to me but the recipes look easy enough to adapt to different ingredients found elsewhere, be it Australia or anywhere else in the world.

As I only had the Kindle ereader version of the book, I will need to add a hard copy of this book to my bookshelf at home to really make use of the tasty recipes inside.

I recommend this book to any home cooks with fussy eaters that want to get dinner on the table that everyone will eat.

I give this book 4 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read


Dinner Solved can be purchased direct from Workman Publishing


Sharing my book review on Good Reads here and Netgalley


Disclosure:  NetGalley partner with bloggers such as me to help promote authors and their books and I was given this ebook published by Workman Publishing to review. As always, all opinions are my own.


 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


[Image via Workman Publishing]


Pin It Now!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Outdoor Decorative Screens

Now that our front courtyard is fenced in we are ready to landscape and design the garden. 

Mr P and I have spent a few evenings out here lately working out our design .... me with a nice big glass of wine and Mr P a bottle of icy cold beer ..... it definitely helps get the creativity flowing!


Our first task is to hide the 3 rubbish wheelie bins and we plan to do this by moving them to the far corner of the courtyard and sit them behind a decorative screen.

So now I'm on a mission to find a beautiful decorative screen that will last outdoors in our harsh climate and give enough privacy so the bins don't show through. 

These are some of my favourite outdoor screens ....







The first few screens are from Bunnings and cost $99 a panel but as we need 2 or 3 panels to screen the bins I've also been scouting Gumtree because you never know I might get lucky and find someone's trash is my treasure!

Which one is your favourite?


 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


[First image my own - All other images via Pinterest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]


Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

DIY Wedding Stationary - Inspiration

I've been spending the last few weeks pouring over wedding blogs and pinning away on Pinterest like a crazy woman in an attempt to narrow down my wedding stationary design.

I'll admit it was easy to get swept up in all the beautiful designs and prettiness! 

While I like to get my craft on and be creative, I don't have fancy craft equipment, nor do I want to bribe my bridal party to spend hours making fiddly invitations with me, so I'm trying to keep them fairly simple and inexpensive to do myself.



I had such great success with DIYing my Engagement stationary that I'm going to use the Avery products again for the wedding. I want the designs to look different from one another and a bit more fancy as it's the wedding stationary.

When it comes to the complete wedding pack and what to include there's a lot to think about and trust me I'll never look at another wedding invitation the same now that I know how much time and effort goes into it! 

This is what I want to include in our wedding pack: 

Invitation 
Reply Postcard
Social Media information
Gift information
Belly band
Envelope
Address and Return address labels
Monogram labels

Phew that's a lot of designs and stationary when you list it all together!



I did a lot of research on the layout of the invitations, from formal to casual styles, there is a lot to consider even down to what order names are listed and what not to put on the invitations but to provide separately (ie: extra information such as gifts, social media, wedding apps, accommodation etc).

Once I was happy with the design of the invitation and after multiple draft print runs and Mr P's approval, I used that same design on all the different stationary - the font, size, colours, and our monogram initials which I downloaded for free from Wedding Chicks



Now I have my designs all worked out I'm on the look out for pretty paper to make the belly bands (a new word I didn't know existed until a few weeks ago!), envelopes and embellishments.

Then I can hit the print button and share our wedding stationary pack with you!

Did you DIY your wedding stationary?


 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


[All images via Pinterest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]



Pin It Now!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Club Book Review: Cutting For Stone By Abraham Verghese

My Book Club's book choice for the month of June was Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese




This is a story about Siamese twins Marion and Shiva born from a secret union between an Indian Nun and English surgeon. The scene is set in Addis Abad in Ethiopia in the mid 1900s onwards.

The story is narrated by numerous characters including the Indian Nun and English surgeon (the twins parents) but mostly the first born twin Marion takes over the story and we hear his every thought in life from a young child to when he's a middle aged man and the pages are filled with such detail you feel you're on this life journey with him.

There are many meanings in this story - from the people of Ethiopia, it's leaders and politics, medical treatment and controversial practices, studying and school and the willingness to learn, but the main focus of the story throughout is about family. The love of family and what they will do for each other because for them family is the people in their community, their helpers, cooks and cleaners all form part of their close family unit.

This was a really long book and it took you through daily life in a missionary hospital in town, there was a lot of surgery and medical terminologies which made a lasting impression on me and at times I found very difficult to read. I can only imagine how long this book must have taken to write as it is full of such detail that would've needed to be meticulously researched.

I enjoyed this book and was moved by the messages in it and I wanted to score it higher but it just had too much medical jargon and was about 200 pages too long at over 500 pages it was a very lengthy book to get through.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in medicine and the life and culture of Ethiopia.

I give this book 3 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


[Image via Angus and Robertson]

Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

DIY - Installing AliTimber Fence Slats

If you follow Jarrah Jungle on social media you will have seen us installing the courtyard fence slats over the last few weekends.

Lexi is so excited about her new play area being created she can't wipe the smile off her face!


We broke this project up in stages, first we hung the gate and next we installed the fence slats.

Instead of paying someone $2000 to install the fence slats, we spent $400 on a saw and did the job ourselves over 5 half days.

The other tools needed to install the fence slats we already had - a level, drill and drill bits, pen, pencil and measuring tape. 




This was a 2 person job so no baking muffins in the kitchen for me, I was outside working with Mr P being a tradies lady and it's a good feeling being able to say I helped to build this!

First of all we did one complete fence panel to work out how to install it and then once we knew what we were doing we installed the rest of the fence in stages - cut and fit all the inside channels and then cut and installed all the fence slats.

This way we weren't changing tools and drill bits all the time doing the side channels then the slats,  then swapping again, so it was a much faster way to work.





STEP 1 - INSTALLING THE INSIDE CHANNELS

The channels we cut to size, centered on the inside of the brick pillar, pre-drilled them, then making sure they were centered and straight, screwed them into the bricks.

Installing the channels was half a days work, a lot of time was spent checking the measurements and the level to ensure it was straight.






STEP 2 - INSTALLING THE SIDE FENCE SLATS

Once all the side channels were fitted we could install the fence slats. This is when the fence really started to take shape and look like a proper courtyard.

It was really great the way the slats were packaged with plastic between each slat, this kept them tightly wrapped so we could cut 5 lengths at once.

This saved us a heap of time as you can imagine, with each panel being a different length and height, some were 14 slats high and others 9 slats high, so there was a lot of measurements and cuts to be done!





For the gap between slats I wanted it to be quite close together and private, but the gap had to work in with the height of the pillar, the channel and the width of the slats as well. So we put on our thinking caps and got the calculator out to work out the best combination with the measurements.

We ended up with 14mm gap between each slat and the very first piece of wood we grabbed to use as a spacer was exactly that size, how lucky is that!

So that was my job to hold up each slat with the spacer in between while Mr P screwed it in, working our way from the top down to the bottom.




The most important step in installing these slats was to ensure the top slat was absolutely perfectly straight, this took time to level each side until it was spot on and then it was screwed into place.

Then we moved down one by one taking care to space and screw until we got to the bottom. The end caps helped give a really nice straight edge to the bottom slat so it looked neat and even.









STEP 3 - INSTALLING THE FRONT FENCE SLATS

The front fence panels were really long at 3.8 metres and had a bit of movement when hung between the pillars. They wobbled a bit too much for our liking so we made a middle post to secure the slats to so there was no more movement and to make it stronger.

This meant we had twice as many slats to cut, so instead of 14 slats each panel we had to cut 28.

We don't do things the easy way in the JJ but we make sure they are done right and will last a lifetime!



You can buy the middle posts for about $20 but the place we bought the AliTimber from was closed for the weekend so we decided to make our own post.

We made the post using a left over fence post from when we hung the gate and attached a channel to either side of it.

We even painted the screws so you couldn't see them, we found a small can of Colorbond Red Manor spray paint that matched the jarrah metal slats perfectly.

We made a bracket that we attached to the brick, then attached the post to the bracket. We spent ages making sure the post was perfectly straight before we could start installing the metal slats to either side of the post.






 



STEP 4 - INSTALLING THE CORNER FENCE SLATS

Now for the two corner panels, they were really tricky to install because they are on an angle the side channels can't sit flush against the bricks, so we had to make up brackets to secure the channels to the bricks.

First we had to make up the fence slat panel free standing, which was a lot harder than making the panel when it's secured to the bricks. Once it was perfectly straight and level, we attached 3 brackets to each side.

The brackets had to be bent in the vice (thanks to our lovely neighbor who let us use his shed and vice for this!) so they would sit around the frame and screw into the bricks.




With the Colorbond Red Manor spray paint we also painted all the metal brackets and screws so they're the same colour as the jarrah metal slats and they blend right in you, can't really see them now so it worked a treat!

It was my job to paint the 12 brackets which took forever to do .... they were covered in a sticky barcode label which took hours of scrubbing and soaking in orange oil to get off, I then soaked them in vinegar and water to remove any residue and this also helps the paint stick to metal, I used a primer spray paint on both sides, and then the Colourbond spray paint on both sides ....  this took hours! 






The other corner at the front of the house is a perfect spot for our letterbox and house numbers ..... that's this weekend's project!

I'm really proud of what we've achieved out here and can't wait to landscape and furnish this area so we can sit out here and enjoy all our hard work!


Sharing with link parties:
Curly Crafty Mom - Motivational Monday
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
The Dedicated House - Before And After Wednesday


 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


[All images my own]

Pin It Now!