Great Finds for the Home

The other night, my dear friend shared on her FB status that she can’t find her rogar estate wine opener so instead of drinking wine, she turned to eating ice cream instead.  How funny!  Oh well, I can relate to her especially when I’m in need of a good drink at the end of the day.  They say that drinking wine at least once a day is healthy so my Husband and I do stock up on a few bottles of wine at home.  We don’t drink everyday but we drink often enough even if there are no special occasions.

Like my friend, we sometimes take wine openers for granted when it is an important factor in drinking wine. We have wine openers at home but how I wish one day we can have proper ones like those of Rogar’s champion wine opener and estate wine opener.

Stocking up on quality wines at home are an investment but setting good quality wine openers are just as important too.

If you want to beautify the windows of your home, one suggestion is getting window flower boxes or garden window boxes.  Once I was surfing online the other day, I saw this dainty window box and led me to WindowboxPlanters.  They have different kinds of window boxes to choose from but these two photos are my favorite.

These window plant boxes can turn a boring window look charming and stylish.  You can also place them in the rails of your balcony.   Other than make your house lovely, it gives more character to the look of your house.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to look outside your window or balcony and see beautiful flowers?  If it were me, I’d always sip my tea looking out the window if only to see the flowers by the window or maybe hang out by the balcony more often.  Seeing flowers outside my window or balcony will surely help me relax.

I forgot that malls in suburbs are closed on the day after Christmas–Boxing Day.  Due to being busy leading up to Christmas, I guess I’ve really lost my sense of time and forgot about when shops open and close in our suburb during Christmas holidays.  Take note that I’ve lived here for five years already and only this year that I forgot that we always go out to the mall on the 27th December and not Boxing Day.

My Husband and I woke up early and even planned to have breakfast at our favorite cafe at the mall.  When we arrived at the mall, it was closed and only then I realized that we were a day early.

Hungry and a bit sleepy, we went to the only place opened, McDonald’s, and had breakfast there while we figure out what the heck we will do for the day.  It was raining so the Husband thought we should just go home but he took pity on me because I really wanted to go somewhere that day.  The only option was to go to City and be part of the mad rush of Boxing Day.  So off to the City we went to experience Boxing Day in Sydney.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

Boxing Day (26 December) is a great opportunity to go shopping as this is the time of the year that stores in Australia give huge discounts on their merchandise.  My Husband and I save up and allot money just so we can shop on Boxing Day because the discounts are really big!

Our first stop was at the Lululemon Athletica (yoga clothes and apparel store) where I found a pink shirt for only AUD$29.00 (original price was $75.00)


Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

And I love their re-usable bags—very inspiring!
Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

On our way to Pitt Street, we passed by the Apple Store and noticed a lot of people inside although Apple never goes on sale even if it’s Boxing Day.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

Then we arrived at Pitt Street.  Before lunch, there wasn’t much people yet. 

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

But during lunch time, the crowd grew thicker.  This was the entrance to Myer.  There was a long queue just to get inside.  And when you get inside, there were long queues to elevators and escalators, whether you are going up or down.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

Street performers entertaining the big crowd.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

Traffic in the city was slow.  Rarely do we bring the car when we go to the city due to traffic and parking concerns.  For us, it is best to just take public transport.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

There were long queues everywhere; from going in and out of stores, up and down the escalators/elevators, food courts and restaurants, toilets and even for public transport on the way home.  If you are not in a good mood and have no sense of humour, you won’t be able to endure the big crowd that Boxing Day brings. 

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

My Husband and I, however, enjoyed the moment while we were there.  It was challenging to shop but we got the stuff we came for.  We weren’t able to eat at a decent restaurant, instead we had very late lunch at a food court.  It was the first time we experienced Boxing Day in Sydney so we didn’t let anything irritate us or dampen our spirits.  We may not do this again but we will remember the fun we had on that day.

Our good buys this Boxing Day:

Christmas wrappers and cards.  The best time to buy Christmas stuff is after Christmas!  I always buy our Christmas needs AFTER Christmas.  So the stuff I bought this year will be used for next year.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

Beauty products.  If you want to try a new beauty product, this may be the best time to try them out!  The L’Oreal moisturisers I bought were on sale for AUD$9.99 each (original price was around AUD$35.00-45.00) so I thought I might as well try them out.  This is also the time I replenish on beauty products such as a mascara.  I found this Maybelline mascara for only AUD$11.00.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

The Husband bought new work clothes.  He only buys new work clothes during Boxing Day sale.  A few shirts and pairs of pants to last him the whole year and he’s a happy camper.  I’m a happy wifey too because we saved lots from all the big discounts.  It also saves us time because we never shop for his clothes the whole year.

AFTER Boxing Day, we went to the mall in our suburb and bought a few more stuff.  There are lots of remaining items on sale and I’m glad that we found a few Tefals frying pans.  I just bought a small one because that’s the only one I need.

Boxing Day in Sydney 2010

Our After-Boxing-Day shopping loots were mostly for the kitchen:  a StickMaster Plus, pizza cutter, pastry brush set and a 20-cm Tefal frying pan.

Boxing Day in Sydney - 2010

This year’s Boxing Day sales
was fun and fruitful.  We got to experience something new and we were able to buy stuff we need for us and for our home.  

It’s the season to be a little more festive in the home.  We have the usual few decors at home to brighten up the place a bit and to add more Christmas spirit in the home, we decided to buy some Starbucks Christmas cups.

The Husband chose this blue coffee mug with a snowflake on the side.

Starbucks Christmas Collection

I chose this green one with a skate.

Starbucks Christmas Collection

When we bought the coffee mugs, we got a free Starbucks espresso cup.

Starbucks Christmas Collection

We bought a pack of Starbucks Christmas Blend and a bottle of Hazelnut syrup.  I’ve always been curious how their Christmas Blend tasted so finally I had a taste of it.

The Starbucks Christmas Blend is made from aged Sumatran beans roasted the way Starbucks does just once a year.  The spicy, cedary, deep and syrupy flavour of Sumatran beans are combined with the earthy beans from Asia/Pacific and lively coffees from Latin America. 

The lovely aroma filled our home on the first morning that we tried it.  The rich, earthy flavour filled us with warmth on a cool morning. 

Hazelnut Latte

To make the Christmas Blend coffee more special, I made a Hazelnut Latte out of it.  Two shots of espresso using the Christmas Blend, one to two tablespoons of Hazelnut syrup and hot milk and voila!  Homemade Hazelnut Latte! 🙂

Hazelnut Latte

I plan to buy one or two more packs of the Christmas Blend so my Husband and I will have Christmas-y mornings even on ordinary days.

Do you sometimes have things you really need to do or buy but put them off just because you’re busy?  Who doesn’t, right?  If you are a wife that work and manage a home and at the same time have no household help, your lists of “to-do” get longer if when your schedule gets pretty hectic.

I’m grateful that for the past months, the Husband has been very supportive of my busy workload at the office.  Some weekends, he does the groceries alone so I can stay home and have more time to rest.  Sometimes he does all my errands just so I can have more time to finish my deadlines.

These past three weekends, I decided to allot time for some some serious shopping.  Although, I have started buying Christmas gifts since June, it’s about time to finish up my list and start wrapping up presents as we will be attending parties soon.  Plus, there are stuff for the home that needed to be bought or replaced (thank goodness for the Husband that take note of things like these right now!).

Replace bottle stoppers.  We realized of late that our bottle stoppers are of unreliable quality so when we found these bottle stoppers on sale, we bought them.

bottle stoppers

Replace Tefal Non-Stick Pans.  We’ve used our Tefal Non-Stick Pans for two years and it’s about time we buy new ones.  The non-stick coat of our old ones had already dissociate (not good to use anymore) so we had to replace them. 

tefal pans

Buy Pasta Bowls.  Finally!!!!  I’ve been meaning to buy pasta bowls for like forever, I finally remembered to buy a few pieces.  We always have pasta once or twice a week so for three weeks now, we are now eating pasta dishes in proper dining ware.
our new pasta plates

Cook Fettuccine Carbonara.  As a way of saying “thank you!” to my Husband’s for being my angel during my rough and tough days, the first pasta I cooked for when we used our pasta bowls was his favorite.  I love pasta in red sauces but I try to have a balance between cooking pasta in red and white sauces.

linguine carbonara

Sort out our Winter and Summer clothes.   At the start of November, we allot an hour or two every weekend just to sort out our wardrobe.  This is also the time of the year when we give out clothes to charity so some clothes we choose are to be given away.  I’ve taken out some of our summer clothes and put away the winter clothes.  This takes time so I do it phase by phase, and we finish this task by the end of December (because some weeks in December we don’t really have time to do it).

I still have a few more things to do but I sure feel real good when I have some things ticked off my list.  

What are some things you have got around to doing lately?