A Day in the Life ~ Winter Down Under

Wed 13th, Jul, 2011

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Hope you are all well!

I am enjoying some  holiday fun with the Beach Cottage Crew..much needed…it’s the school holidays for us and we are hanging out…




We have been doing quite a bit of getting out and about and going for long long walks…



this is our local park…we had a lovely 2 hour trek here…







we have been taking the camera with us and messing around with it a lot and getting a bit creative with light and stuff…




it seems now that all three of our kiddos fancy themselves with the camera…I never thought that we would enjoy this as much as we do just playining around with it…that is the pure beauty of a digital camera isn’t it? …you can just snap away and see what happens…

….it’s really interesting to see what othe people see from behind the very same lens that I look through….Miss BC seems to see similar things to me…but the boys see other stuff especially the younger one…who ‘creates’ things (like twigs and stones in a formation on the ground) and then photographs that… :-)

I still prefer to be the one behind it though but I am determined that my kiddos will have some photos of me and us to look back on when they are my age

…at least with digital cameras you can take like a billion and when you get home all sit there viewing them yelling

“keep!” or


there was mucho “DELETE” from me…but I got some good ones, hooray ;-)



I saw these little puffy balls of delight all over the show…I have no idea what they are, any Aussie gals care to enlighten me?  They reminded me with the sharp leaves too of a Christmas tree





I love stomping about in the woods/ bush in the Winter…the air is fresh and I love the smell from the trees…this is a completely different place in the summer when really it gets too hot to trek too far..


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We spied loads of mushrooms, or is this a toadstool?  Indeed what is the difference?…we contemplated picking it…Miss BC nearly had a fit..she’s funny with things like that…so we left it…




I continued to try to convince Mr BC on the need and good wear I would get in a pair of these in Navy….




I thought these looked like olives…I didn’t try tasting one of these either


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The boys in the group took their penknives and made things with sticks…errrm what is it with that?  Miss BC and I walked along happily just chatting…that lot were burrowing in the undergrowth looking for the perfect sticks and then whittling them (if that is what it’s called) into spears and walking sticks and all sorts…



This is a lovely spot to watch the sun go down






We were looking forward to getting back to our old cottage though because we recently bought a fire pit…and there is nothing like building a fire after a Winter walk, is there?



I had been meaning to buy or build a firepit for a long time…my boys (including the 40 yr old one) love building a fire and I absolutely love love sitting beside one, I always have done…if I were to build a home or have my perfect home there would be a fire inside…our houses in England had fires that we would tuck up beside….especially at Christmas time…I guess you can’t have everything huh?

So this Winter, I decided was the time to get one…I did a bit of research about it and had kinda decided that I would be building one at the back of the garden….digging a hole in the ground and lining it with big stones and pebbles…

In my looking around I saw a really nice muted grey/black chiminea and thought that would do us nicely too…

Luckily I put out the question to my lovely lovely Facebook girlies about what to get…build a pit in the ground, a chiminea or a traditional fire pit or brazier…?

Oh I am so pleased I asked for advice because there were a couple of things I hadn’t considered….first of all that apparently a chiminea doesn’t throw out a whole lot of heat and also the sitting around it bit is kinda limited because there is only an opening on one side…

Those girlies also advised me that the beauty of a portable firepit was that it can be easily emptied and more importantly it can be moved around…

So I looked around for ones I liked and there was nothing…all I could find were ultra-modern square looking ones, which was not the look I was after at all…

Until the Bunnings catalogue came in the post box and they had one that was good enough…not exactly what I was thinking, but I mean I don’t think firepit designers are really thinking Beach Cottage Coastaly Chic …this one is a bit space pod-ish but it does the job more than well enough




So the next time I passed the mall I popped in and picked up the very last one…

…and we have loved it, and thank goodness I listened to those Facebookers…’cos we have moved it all around already…




We have used this lots now…the first time we cooked sausages and kebabs on it and sat out there for a long time…Mr BC and I were still out there late into the night…it was lovely sitting here all warm in the dark and looking up at the stars…

the next time we did it a bit differently and I made a big crockpot full of chilli & put the rice cooker on earlier in the day, then we went for a walk by the sea, came home to the dinner all done, lit the fire and sat around with the hot chilli and rice…so very easy


The best bit has been the marshmallows and the memory making…interesting what comes out when you sit around a fire…

OK I have to fly

I hope you enjoy Good Life Wednesdays…we are still on the school holidays here, so there aren’t many blogs about white stuff & cottages this week….I am just hanging out with my babies and there is big news from the Tattiest Old Cottage on the Beaches

…we are starting Stage II of our reno plans when the BC Crew go back to school -

we have been umming and ahhing for too long on what we were going to do with the cottage, this was particularly delayed by starting our own business….

….in fact we have talked about moving to a bigger and older house with a sea view, we have talked about a bigger reno here adding a second floor, we have talked about all sorts but the other night what came out around that fire, late under the stars, was that what is most important to both of us is getting shot of the mortgage asap, planning our Big Gap Year Trip and looking at a little holiday nook somewhere (Beach Cottage Mark II ;-) )

So what’s on the agenda for this next part of getting the tattiest old cottage on the beaches all dressed up and looking pretty? ….well replacing the family bathroom, outside… coastal cladding, a deck out the front, new driveway, new roof, sprucing up the kiddos rooms and hopefully renovating the summer house aka the white outhouse/shed, Mr BC is talking about a pool but I’m not so keen on that and AT LAST those aluminium windows in the new part of the cottage will soon be

D U S T!!.

…and you thought I got excited by a patio door….just wait ’til we talk baths lol ;-)…subway tiles and white tubs here I come!

bring it on baby, I’ve been waiting long enough

Be seeing ya BCer’s


p.s. last chance to comment for the Ruche Giveaway …winner announced tomorrow!



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41 Responses to “A Day in the Life ~ Winter Down Under”

  1. Alice says:

    You lucky girl, I have been wanting one of those pits for years now. Base warehouse had some really nice ones a couple months back, I was in love but the hubby always puts his foot down – Flat out no! Then we went out to my friends place out in the bush and had a good old camp fire in the cold eveninsg and toasted marshmellows (yum – never had them toasted before) and I think he is softening his resolve, I may get one for next year, keeping my fingers crossed… I want to set up a projector outside with a screen (we have the perfect spot) so we can have movie nights and this little pit would be perfect for the colder nights with yummy marshmellows and popcorn in tow of course… he likes the idea it’s just a matter of financing it and at the momment….well we will see. I looove the photos and yesterday was a perfect day for hiking….I went out for my usual morning walk by the time I came home I realised I had been walking for 2 hours, no wonder I was so sore and the kids so hungry! lol! Too beautiful….

  2. It sounds like we’re copying the above (Alice) but our favourite part of summer is having movied nights for everyone in the neighbourhood. We make s’mores and proper popped corn done in oil with tonnes of butter. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and classic “Star Wars” are big hits. My husband hauls his DJ equipment outside for optimum sound. We just use a painter’s cloth as the screen attached to our pergola.

    Check out last year’s photos at:

    Our project this summer (in addition to doubling, gulp, the size of our house) is building a pizza oven. We have people ready with forks and knives as soon as the dome is set.

  3. Melinda says:

    Sarah, is that your longest post ever?! I loved it all – lots of walking going on around here too but no fire pitting as it has RAINED every day of these holidays!!! Absolutely agree about the fire pit’s powers of memory making – lovely family times!

    I dont know what those white pom pommy things are but I do love the photo -as always clever you!

    Thanks for sharing all your snippets, it makes for such nice reading. xx

    ps Yes to the navy Hunters ( try shopbop.com for a good price ) and muchos gracias for the limoncello recipe – Im getting on to that pronto!!!

  4. Deanne says:

    Sounds like you are having lots of fun on your holidays. Love the fire pit, we keep talking about one too, I like your idea of a portable one that can be moved about!
    I am trying to post a link and it’s not working, one worked but the 2nd one won’t GRRRRR!!!!

  5. Deanne says:

    AHHH!!! Finally worked on about the 10th try!

  6. Trish says:

    Love your photos Sarah, my kids & I also do the same thing, we call them our photo excursions!!! A fun & tasty treat we enjoy by the fire is to toast our marmallows and then sandwich them between 2 chocolate weaten biscuits(chocolate side in) the chocolate melts when the hot marshmallow hits it…DELISH !!!!
    Enjoy the rest of the holidays!!
    We are off to do some urban style photography with the grafitti at our local skate park ;)

  7. Angie Smith says:

    Loved the blog and pics today. Leave it to you girlie to find “Nature’s Christmas Tree”! With natural white pom poms to boot ! Loved seeing your lucky land in the winter. So glad the BC kiddies like taking pics. I have fond memories of going with my dad as a little girl when he took pics I know your kids will too. He was a photographer, never professional but did weddings and special events. He even developed his own pics in the liner of his Army helment in World War II. (Served for 2.5 years overseas) By the way those pics are still crystal clear !

    Im so glad you went with the firepit ! I wonder if my dear brothers lovely pics had anything to do with it? I have one with a dome like yours, prevents fires in our dry weather. The bottom is terracotta which is now a lovely sooty shade of brown and black instead of that horrid orange. Do you make S’Mores? Had some recently while on vacation made with store bought chocolate chip cookies !!!!! OMG to die for ! Not something I will soon forget !

  8. Tiff says:

    I’m glad you are having some lovely time with your family over the holidays.
    My kids and I have been so ill with the flu and have done nothing but stay in bed or on the couch watching movies. However, it has been a time for bonding and some fun, even though we all feel like we are dying! Next holidays though, we’re getting out!

  9. Jacqueline says:

    These are wonderful woodsy shots! Those are trippy white things! SO great to see you tripping around with the gang! Enjoy the break!

  10. Love Having a fire pit…with wine of course. And couldn’t love my black hunters any more than I do. Funny that it was my hubs who convinced me to try them in the first place. : )

  11. lisaroy says:

    We had a fire pit at our Muskoka place and it was my favourite thing to do. Listening to it crackle and roasting marshmallows just says holidays to me. Love your pics and your firepit slide show :)

  12. Suzanne says:

    Hi Sarah

    Looks like a lovely holiday, love the school holidays!! I also have hunters in black they are fab!! It is REALLY cold today in Sydney town… a great day to spend in front of a warm fire!! Enjoy the rest of your time away!! Looking forward to your reno plans!!

  13. nicole says:

    as always wonderful photos. Sitting around the fire pit looks so warm and cozy. cant wait to see what the renovation plans are like.

  14. Kat says:

    Lovely memories you are making there with the kiddo’s Sarah.
    Wow to the upcoming reno!!!
    I shall live vicariously through you, as I have been dreaming about updating our little beach house since we brought it 10 years ago!
    However 4 children have come along in that time and with me being a stay at home Mum, there is no extra $$ for extending at this stage. (may need to wait another 5 years.)
    I would love to know what you are going to clad your house in and what colours?! As we are planning to paint our cladding and update our house as we have the time/money.
    Will look forward to reading all about it and joining in your excitement! :)

  15. Thanks for sharing your winter’s day.

    I love it that my kids are getting more into taking photos too – but the downside means I can’t always be behind the camera :(

    Love the fire pit idea – a couple of evenings a week when we are up at our beach cottage we take a fire log down to the beach (and responsibily keep it well away from anything flammable) and toast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate – but I assume you aren’t allowed to light fires in Australia.

    Would be very tempted to get firepit for the cottage though…….

  16. Rachael says:

    one thing about living in australia, you never know what might kill you~ good idea no eating any sort of plants you find on your walk along the way :)

    very exciting news about your upcoming trip and house plans

    would you mind sharing how you get the flipbook style photos on your blog?

  17. miss bliss says:

    What beautiful pictures! I love signs that say, wildflower walk ahead :). What inspiring summer excursions!

  18. Heaven says:

    Love the pictures, you are really quite a good photographer! :)

  19. What great pictures. Sounds like it was a wonderful hike too. You are so right about having pictures of yourself. I really have so few since I’m always the one taking them. The last shot is of me making the heart although you can’t see my face! I guess I need to work on that more :)

  20. sibylle says:

    beautiful photos, enjoy your vacation!

  21. Kerry Rossow says:

    These are gorgeous! It makes you stop and notice all those beautiful images in nature – all around us, all the time!
    Thank you for hosting!
    Kerry at housetalkn.blogspot.com

  22. Cheryl says:

    I love your pictures today… I need to get out and take more. You are truly so talented with your camera~

  23. izzie says:

    Wonderfully inspiring as ever….. Wish my children were young enough to want to come on walks with me again! xx

  24. Your photography is amazing. Such great memories you are creating…love the fire. I am excited about your home projects!

  25. indiansummer says:

    I love the puffy-little-ball-thingies shot, so pretty and unusual. Somehow reminds me of a Dr. Seuss illustration, LOL.
    I agree with Miss BC on leaving the mushroom alone! ;-)
    I pine for one of those firepits, but we live in a condo. *sob*
    Really cute ducky animation in the last photo(s). Love it!

  26. Absolutely gorgeous pictures Sarah. Hope to see you at My Dream Canvas…….I need your vote :-)

  27. Axel says:

    I absolutely love your photography. Funny thing is that were thinking of selling our beach cottage on Thunder Beach in Canada. I put up a website, and uploaded a lot of our photography (mostly panorama, less close-ups). In the process of putting together the site with some of our favourite photography (especially the winter scenes), we are having seconds thoughts about selling. See: http://georgian-bay-cottage.ca/four-season-cottaging/ The more photos I put up, the less the family wants to sell.

    Time to put the camera away! (Or maybe time to take the cottage off the market)

  28. Kim says:

    Hey Sarah
    you got a fire pit just like mine! i had been wanting one for a really long time and was prepared to buy them they were even on sale here for roughly 49 smackers in the hardware store but one night on a thurs night Junk Jaunt( some might call this garbage picking) gasp!!!!! i found one just sitting discarded by the trash!! nothing wrong with it! so of course you knew i jhad to back the truck up!!! well ok so it is a mini van!!! a.k. as a swaggar wagon lol!!! ok well er more like the thing i use to haul my found treasures lol!!! we looove it! theres nothing like a fire on a cool night! and the marshmallow roasting and ocassional weenie roasting!! glad you finally got one and i am excite to to see all the new reno going on!!!!! have a g’day!!!
    your far away friend
    and fellow bc er well land locked that is!!!!! lol

  29. Sara says:

    Words do not even begin to describe how jealous I am of all of this…all the way down to the duck that swam by you. : P

  30. Cheri says:

    Hi Sarah, love your blog and check on it everyday. Really want to do my study up similar to yours, but looked everywhere in Fremantle area and can’t find any oilcloth, really want same as yours, latte and white spot. Are you able to let me know where to get it f

    Thanks, Cheri from Perth

  31. What a magical day! Every bit of it sounds dreamy, from the rugged treks through the thickets to splashing about in the water to the crackling fire. The marshmallows look so yummy! And I can’t wait to read about your reno. Sounds like a very prudent plan. Then you can still find room in the budget for trips and more fun family time. I’m all about “less is more” these days. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos, Sarah, and have a wonderful week.

  32. Jeanni says:

    Firepits and fireplaces are the best. I’ve got both and I live in Central Florida! Go figure…

  33. Jan says:

    Another lovely post. Glad you didn’t eat the (poisonous) Melia fruit. Your pom-pom plant is another acacia, don’t know what species though. Enjoy the rest of the holidays. I wish we were having some of your hiking weather down here in Melbourne ;-)

  34. Dmarie says:

    love the puffballs! thank you for sharing such a beautiful day!

  35. Elaine in Laguna says:

    I love this post and photos….Don’t know what the puffy tree is, but I hope one of your other visitors will…I can’t wait to see your new projects spring forth! I’m especially interested in your bathroom addition/reno since that’s what’s coming around the bend here for my home. Wish I could have a fire pit in Southern California but too much fire danger, especially in summer. I have new windows and patio doors and they make a huge difference in the appearance of the cottage, and the fact that they open and close properly! Wishing you a great tomorrow!

  36. bianca says:

    Loving all your nature shots, thanks for inviting us along to your lovely marshmallow toasting! I’m very excited to read about your future BC plans, especially the bathroom, my favourite room :)

  37. Jadyn says:

    Love these photos! It’s so nice that your kids are taking after you and expressing their own creativity! Playing together with lighting and taking photos sounds like a great time. You’re reminding me that my fire pit hasn’t been used in two years. Mmmm, perhaps ’tis time to bring it out again – your marshmallows look extremely tasty!

  38. Barefoot Liz says:

    I love the idea of a fire pit but would be way too afraid to have one with my son around. Your winters seem so mild (compared to where I am!) It sounds lovely.

  39. The plant is probably Prickly Moses, Acacia ulicifolia. See here:

    Looking forward to seeing your renovations!

  40. Rebecca says:

    I always feel my blood pressure lower after a visit to your blog world…thank you. On a side note I too adore out door fires so much so that I make them out of felt for kiddos to safely play camping any time of year. Come complete with marshmallows and roasting sticks. Enjoy your fire-pit!!

  41. Chic Rooms says:

    Lovely images. Thank you so much for the fun read and amazing visual inspiration. Keep it up! Chic Rooms