Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Monthly Memories | September

There are the most beautiful blossom trees at my university and when they look like this you know it can only mean one thing - SPRING IS HERE!!

My Aunty Ash was over from Perth is month for my Grandma's 80th and we were lucky enough to have dinner with her a few days before the big event. Grayson, her 18month old, fell in love with Benn and it was the first time they met! He happily sat in his arms and wanted him over most other people. It was so cute and made my heart skip a beat! 

 Whenever I wear red lipstick I love giving my Petal a kiss on the head. She is too cute.

This bread was served at Ma's 80th and oh my I am still missing it, 3 weeks later.

The bookshelf that Benn made years ago, finally came out of hiding from the spare room. It's now in prime position in the lounge room and I loved re-styling it all over again. I have wanted to colour code my books for awhile and I was so happy that I finally had a place for (some) of them to go.

I have been walking almost everyday this past week for an hour. So I finally tracked my walk one day and as it turns out I've been walking over 6km's everyday! This is a massive achievement for someone who hates exercise, so I am so proud of myself!

I have a really (really) bad habit of constantly comparing myself to others; either it be me personally or my life. This quote is also the background on my lock screen for my phone in the hopes that I remember not to compare!!

A lovely Sunday afternoon at the lake with my loves. The weather is really starting to warm up so I can see alot of days like these in the future! Along with trips to the beach!

Follow along on Instagram @neivelouise

Monday, 29 September 2014

Tour Through Blogland

I was tagged by the beautiful Betsy to give you guys a glimpse into my world of blogging. I was going to go one step further and show you guys the before and after shots of my freshly arranged house, but I have decided to make that one all on it's own. However, we are still waiting on a bookshelf to complete the house, So stay tuned...

Now I have only just recently moved back into the study, before that I generally blogged from our kitchen table, which you can see on the post where I talk about my writing process. Like Betsy, my study is often a huge mess (so bad in fact that I was forced to work on the dining table for weeks). I may love organising, but I hate cleaning and thats what was needed. But my husband and I finally tackled it last week and I cannot be more happy with the result. I really want to frame pictures and the inspiring quotes on the wall in front of me, but that will all come in time.

What are you working on? 
I am working on getting into a good routine in regards to writing posts. I try to have them written and ready to go days in advance, for the times when I get swamped in my uni studies. I am loving the blog-tember challenge at the moment and I find it's really helped me to get out of a bit of a writing funk I was in, I feel like I have found my "groove" the past few weeks and I'm excited for whats ahead.

How does you work differ from others from its genre?
Well to start with, it's all about myself and my family, so I guess no other blog out there is about just that. To be honest, I don't think any one blog is completely different from another, each one has it's similarities. I like to talk about things happening in my life (I guess that makes me "lifestyle"?), my university studies, my fur babies, my faith, about me and most of all my family. I like to think that my blog could be something someone out there could relate too, it's nothing to fancy or elaborate - everything I post comes straight from the heart.

Why do you write or create what you do?
I don't really consider myself anything special, like a "writer" or "creator". I literally just write about what's important to me, what I love and what I want to look back on years from now. The only kind of books I really like is ones which have a "real life" element to it, or biographies, so obsessing over blogs was just the next step! I fell in love reading about others lives (as creepy as that sounds) and I thought it was a wonderful way to keep an online, live journal; with photos and videos. What could be better then looking back on this in 10, 20 years time?

How does your writing process work?
***Only just now, as I read this question, I realise this is very similar to "My Writing Process" the other day, so I hope I have not bored you or repeated myself too much!***
It either comes gradually, by writing an idea in a note on my phone or editing a post every few days over a week. Or sometimes I will just sit down an write something out in one hit! I write when I have time to contemplate and time to give to the blog, I don't like rushing posts. I've really enjoyed reading other posts just like this, and I think I will get a little notebook to record all my goals and ideas in as well.

If you would like to see more posts like this, click on the links below to check out these ladies.

Sabra @ Becoming A Gilbert || Mandy @ Mandy Living Life || Samantha @ Moving Peaces

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Wish List

I have been silently dreaming about things to buy (with all that money we don't have) for my house for weeks now, so making a visual wish list was actually so much fun! Especially since we are in the middle of de-cluttering and re-arranging the house, I have been thinking alot about new pieces I would love to add. It's funny how when you grow up your wish list suddenly goes from a new jacket and dress (don't get me wrong, I still like those), to a new carpet or cushion. I am obsessed with home wares at the moment and follow alot of accounts on instagram that are constantly putting up beautifully styled rooms. I cannot wait to be able to do that to my own place one day (12 months to be exact). But for now, I can dream!
Also, Benn was quick to point out that "none of the stuff matches properly". But I believe it follows a general theme and it won't all be in the one room anyways (cause I''m totatlly buying it all....)

(Click on the letters below to be taken to the site where you can buy these wonderful items!)
A -  Since moving around our lounge room I really want to get an "L couch" we finally have the room for it!

B -  I currently follow these guys on instagram and I am OBSESSED with their lights, I also would love a cloud and heart shaped one. But for now the letter "O" will do

C - Adairs have the most beautiful quilt cover range at the moment. It was actually pretty had to choose just when (even when I am dreaming). But I love how this one is reversible to a completely different colour and pattern!

D - I recently noticed this vase at my friends house, then came across it by accident online, I am in love and it had to go on the list! I love big statement pieces.

E - These cross blankets are everywhere currently, in a variety of colours. However I would love a black and white one so it can look great in every room!

F - We really need a new rug for the lounge room (and the bedroom too), and I love this bold one from Kmart. Kmart is really stepping up these days and I love it!

G - H - I - I would love a few new cushions to brighten up our place. I love the idea of a common theme (pastels) and different patterns. These three would be perfect!

Friday, 26 September 2014

How have I changed in the past year?

For today's blog-tember prompt, I am reflecting upon my past year. 
I feel that this is a great prompt and for me personally,
I started this year out determined to change for the better. 

 I don't believe we ever stop changing, growing and learning, so every year there will be changes within us. However, this past year has been full of big changes for me. 
I feel like I am miles away from who I was on September 26th last year. 

I made some changes due to my health, both mental and physical. And the benefits are beyond what I could even imagine. I really like who I am "becoming". 

I believe.
I exercise.
I am happy.
I have faith.
I don't gossip.
I don't swear.
I am more positive.
I don't drink tea or coffee.
I don't drink alcohol.
I am more positive.
I have a better outlook on life.
I try to always look for the best in others.
I know there is a bigger picture out there.
I know there is a bigger plan for me.
Most importantly, I know who I am.
I know I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father above and I know that he cares for me more then I can imagine. This re-found knowledge has been the biggest change, and the biggest comfort to me this past year.
I cannot be more grateful.


How have you changed this year?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Spring Bucket List

Todays blog-tember challenge is to create a "Fall Bucket List", and since it's not currently fall here in Australia (technically we call it Autumn), I have decided to make a Spring list instead. I am so excited for it to get warmer and the days to get longer (day light savings starts in less then 2 weeks!!). My favourite seasons are Autumn and Spring, so I love this time of year!

Fall Spring Bucket List

1. De-clutter house
2. Re-arrange house
3. Eat fruit everyday
4. Change blog layout
5. Fix sewing machine 
6. Make cushion covers x3
7. Make a "photo frame wall"
8. Paint canvas' for bedroom
9. Go for a walk 6 days a week; 30 minutes minimum
10. Sort through all paperwork in study (sounds like a fun job... not)

I am so keen to get this list started (number 1, 2 and 8 are already underway!) and to get the house ready for Summer. 10 things may seem a bit ambitious, however, I would rather set myself up for more then less, as some of the things on my list O have been saying "I'll do that soon" for AGES! During summer we get approximately 10 weeks holidays from university, so I like this "bucket list" idea and will probably make another one then! But for now, let's just accomplish the 10 I already have...

Whats on your bucket list for this season?

Monday, 22 September 2014

My Writing Process

The beautiful Britt, over at "My Little Sunshine" has tagged me in a link up to talk about my writing process on the blog. To be honest, before she tagged me I really didn't have any idea what my "writing process" would be, however, after reflecting and thinking about it., I guess I have to have some sort of process!!

 1. What am I working on?

I often have a few drafts lined up ready to go, either ones that I haven't finished yet, posts with just a few points to finish later, or some scheduled ready to go live. I like to be prepared and organised (you may have learnt that from my Vlog the other day), so I often start writing my posts before I have added photos or need to post them (I literally started writing this the moment I was tagged!!)

 2. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

We I guess I am the only person on the blogging network writing about "The Aussie Osborns" ;) I guess you could say I'm in the "lifestyle" genre, however, most of my posts are just about myself or my little family. Basically catching up on what we have been doing, eating, thinking or planning for the future.

 3. Why do I write what I do?

I write about whatever I feel needs to be documented! I like to think of this space as a little online family journal. I have my own personal journal which I write in, but I think blogs are such a great what of recording memories with included photos, videos and you know what they say, once it's on the Internet it can't ever go away! Its like I'm making an small area on this big Internet that I will always have, journals can get lost or destroyed, but my kids and family will always be able to search for this blog and read about what life was like for us.

 4. How does your writing process work?

Well first the idea for a post has to come, which I will probably jot down in the notes app on my phone (which is always with me). Or if I am writing about an event that has happened, like a birthday, I will try to begin writing it as soon as I am home, even if it takes a few days to get it live. That way I remember every detail! I am often snapping away with my iPhone (I REALLY need to invest in a proper camera!!!) constantly, so pictures come before the post I guess, however, I don't load them up until after I have written it!

Thanks so much to Britt for this tag, I was a bit hesitant at first, but I really enjoyed writing about how I create the posts on my blog and it's actually encouraged me to put a bit more thought and planning into it sometimes!!

So, the rules are that I have to tag three other blogs to take part in this link up..
You guys have one week!

Stephanie from "Just a Little bit Louder"

S'ambrosia from "From Kansas o kenya with Love"

Britt from  "The Yellow Umbrella"

Friday, 19 September 2014

Creative Cooking | Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Today marks my 2nd day of my two and a half week break from uni (YAY), although with some assignment to do thrown in amongst my time off. I have so much planned for the break, including lots of sleep ins and relaxing! Benn and I want to completely change around our lounge room, study and spare room. Lots of sorting through things, organising (YAY) and de-cluttering to be done. I also want to get a little crafty and paint some canvas's to put up in our bedroom. I will keep you guys posted on how it all goes. I want to aim for a walk 6 days a week too, as I have been slacking lately and I really want to use this break to kick start my love (well, like) or fitness!

But first, COOKIES!! (It totally counteracts getting fit, however I did go for a walk today so I feel slightly less guilty). I haven't been making cookies as much lately, it used to be like once or twice a week! But I have been trying to curb my sugar cravings, so i thought, if I don't make them I can't eat them right? Well kinda. Instead my cravings turned too a whole lot of Milo (out of the tin - don't judge) and sneaky bits of chocolate here and there. So I thought I would make some chocolate cookies, and just limit myself to 2 a day, in the afternoon (okay maybe 3 - I do make them small though ;) ). 


Lets just say, if your trying to lose weight, this may not be the best recipe to copy. But if you love chocolate and need your daily sugar hit like me, it would be a great one to copy! Keep in mind that the quantities below are for a double batch. I always make a double as I give a container to the Missionaries as well. I literally made 110 cookies (smallish size). So if you don't want that many, just cut everything by half.

 Chocolate Coconut Cookies

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 400g butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  1. Combine all dry ingredients together and stir together
  2. Melt butter until liquid
  3. Add butter and stir through
  4. Beat eggs and add to mixture
  5. Add vanilla essence
  6. Stir mixture until ingredients are completely combined
  7. Roll the mixture in your hands to make a small ball (it may be a bit flaky, just squish the mixture together - yes it's messy)
  8. Cover tray with baking paper and add ball, push down slightly to flatten
  9. Cook for 17 minutes at 150 degrees
  10. Remove and allow cookies to set on cooling rack for 5 mins
  11. ENJOY Try not to eat them all at once!! 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Make a Vlog!

So today's Blog-tember prompt was to "Be brave and make a Vlog!". I have never made one before and I actually feel really awkward in front of the camera when I am speaking. I don't mind public speaking or singing in front of people, but to a camera? I just feel totally weird.
Anyways, I took this challenge up so I could step outside my comfort zone! I wanted to record it on my web cam, but for some reason it wasn't working and I had to do it today, so I resorted to my trusty iPhone. So I piled it up on a mountain of books so it got the frame right (well close to it). You have no idea how many times I filmed myself before getting it right! 
Sorry about all the Ums, So's, and weird pauses, I don't even realise I am doing it until I played it back, and I was soo not filming it for the 100th time! Haha.

This was actually so painful to make and upload. It took me about an hour to edit properly because the program stopped working. I uploaded it one way first and 90minutes later when it finished it didn't play!! So I have resorted to good old You Tube.

Blog-tember Challenge

Have you joined in on the Blog-tember challenge? Or have you made a Vlog before? Please comment below so I can check yours out!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

"Most people don't know this but..."

First up, I thought I would mention that I am linking up with the "Blog-tember Challenge". I was over on Rachel's blog today and I noticed that she had started this too. Thank you for showing me this! What a great idea for daily prompts. Likewise, I too had been feeling a bit "flat" and unsure of what to post (other then about my family weekend). Sometimes it's hard to think of things that will be of interest to a variety of different people reading it, not just "this is what I did...". So here's to the Blog-tember challenge. I am unsure if I will be posting something everyday, however, I will try to choose ones that I feel I can answer honestly, while also keeping your interests in mind!

So to start with, here is something you might not know about me. Everyone loves knowing about personal information, so why not share some with all of you. 

You may have read before that I love studying to be a teacher. Well that was not always the case. I never actually wanted to be a teacher. NO WAY. I was so 100% on my decision. No one could talk me out of it. You see, my Mother was a teacher and I was always in LOVE with babies (I would hold, cuddle and look after one any time I could), so people were forever saying to me "oh I know what you will do", "You should be a teacher" etc. Yuck. I could think of nothing worse.

I wasn't a massive fan of school, an the thought of going there everyday to teach a bunch of kids who don't want to be there? Yeah no thanks.

It wasn't until I was working in a call centre full time (boooooorrrriiiiiiinnngggg) and I thought, I can't do this my whole life. So I started looking around for other jobs. The only one I could really find that was close to home, and I might in enjoy was a Traineeship in Childcare, basically learning on the job about ages 0-5. Out of 400 other applicants myself and 6 others were granted positions in a range of council run long Day Care centres.

Well, I FELL IN LOVE. For the first time I loved going to work. I would stay late and get there early just because I loved it and want to be there all the time. It was throughout those 12 months that I thought I need to do this for the rest of my life. I honestly could no longer imagine myself doing anything else! So I wanted to be a teacher in Early Childhood, although the only course available was Early Childhood and Primary (birth-12 years).

Although my heart still lies in Early Childhood, I have a huge love for Primary school now too. I am so, so passionate about my studies and I actually really love learning about every aspect of it (maybe I don't love every assignment though).

This month marks 12 months until I finish and am finally a fully qualified Early Childhood and Primary teacher. I have loved every second of my degree and I cannot WAIT to get out their and help teach the next generation!


Blog-tember Challenge

If you are linking up with the challenge please comment below! I'd love to read!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Family Weekend - Sunday

On Sunday, it was all about close family. Ma wanted a day to spend with her children, their partners, her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. So we gave her exactly that. Mind you, there was sill 37 of use all together; I guess that’s what it’s like in a big family. No matter what there is always a lot of people around.

The day started at 11:30 when we began arriving at Clodagh’s house (my aunty). Although, I highly gather that it would have started a lot earlier for Clodagh and Nick (her husband), who were cooking and preparing all morning. At 12pm a photographer came to take a photo of each family group, and then a massive group shot, as this was one of Ma’s requests. I cannot wait to see how the photos turned out. I managed to snap a couple of each family (except the one with Mum, Josey, Carl, Benn and I – which I am so annoyed at!) which I have included below. It was so funny watching everyone stand their awkwardly trying to get a “natural shot” (myself included in that), plus after an hour of having your photo taken the younger children began to get a little over it to say the least (cue tears).

My Aunty Ash, her husband Wayne and their 2 kids;
Grayson and Billie-Rose

My Aunty Meredith, her husband Michael and their boy Louis
My Aunty Myfanwy, her husband Ian and their 3 kids;
Edward, William and Hannah

My Uncle Dick, his wife Sarah and their 2 kids;
Clarence and Vivienne

My Aunty Clodagh, her husband Nick and their 2 kids;
Francesca and Calum
My cousins James and David, James' 2 kids; Lucy and
Molly and my Aunty Rowena
Ma with her 2 Great Grandchildren, Molly and Lucy
My love and I having our own photoshoot
Benn wanted to do an "Abba" pose...

 After the "photoshoot" was finished, the day consisted of eating (alot), laughing, love, more photos, cake, presents, chatting, catching up, kids running around, kids playing and general family fun. My Auntys and uncle had all organised for a joint present for Ma. They made a quilt from a varuety of calico bags, it was beautiful I wish I got a photo! I was so glad that I made her a present from all of the Grandchildren as well. It was a lovely scrapbook filled with letters and drawings from us all, with 10 pages full of photos with a poem I also wrote (which I have included below). Ma LOVES sentimental gifts, so natually she loved her presents.

I love, loooove my family. And spending two full days with them was so amazing. Myfanwy used to live in England and has only recently come home, Ash lives in Perth and Ro lives in Holland – so it’s not often that we are together like this. And I can’t see it happening anytime soon again (hopefully in the next few years though!

Our Ma
She goes by the name of Catherine Crowe.
A wise, wholesome woman that everyone ought to know.
She is a Mother, a grandmother, a friend, a listener,
a counsellor, an organiser, a loving & caring giver.
You’ll see her in the garden, kitchen or abroad
You’ll see her belly-dancing and praising the Lord.
But mostly you will see her with her family,
the ones she loves and adores.
With bracelets adorned on her delicate wrists
Chiming and clinking with each gracious movement,
She’s not easily missed.
Her old, gracious hands are laid with jewels
on long gentle fingers, each one with a ring.
These hands are used for helping, for weeding,
for cooking and cleaning.
Hands made to care, to love and to hug.
Many a times have these hands supported, embraced and encouraged.
She is filled with intelligence and wisdom,
A dash of Dooley nerves and a slice of stress
Each characteristic is special, each one is important
Or she wouldn’t be the women who loves and supports us.
You may know her as Catherine Crowe
Although we are blessed, for to us she is called
Our Mother
Our Grandmother
Our Best Friend
Our Ma.