Beach Cottage Weekending

Mon 11th, Feb, 2013

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Morning campers, hope you are all good and enjoyed the weekend.

Ahh I have been doing all sorts over the weekend, nice walks around this place I call home, a long afternoon on the beach yesterday with lovely things to come home to in the slow cooker, gardening, playing with flowers, fruit shed loads of fruit, batch cooking of a lovely curry and mucho sofa-festing…


And did I say fruit?  I am on a bit of a mission to get healthier at the moment – the last few months a few things have slipped because of being busy…you know?  But it doesn’t take long at this stage of life for that to catch up with you, does it?  So I have been taking small little steps to get it all back….small steps in both fitness (hello sit-ups and squats, ouch) and food (hello lots of fruit and veggies)…


In other news I am working on getting better at photography – if you get the Beach Cottage newsletter (up there the box on the right if you want to join) you will know that I am doing a photography course (and a few of you local lovelies are helping me out as willing subjects for some shoots, thank you sooooo much)…at the beginning of the year when I was doing all those beginning of the year things, thinking about what I could do to change the world in my exciting life, photography came up again and again…in that I wanted to improve and know more…things are finally beginning to click (it’s only taken a hundred years to understand how to get the look I want on the manual setting but I think I have broken the barrier at last!  hoorah!)


One of the things I have learnt apart from the fact that I need to do shoots with people where things actually move and have some life (more on that soon) is that it has become apparent that I need to do more everyday stuff (rather than blog stuff) to push myself out of my camera comfort zone…show me a coastal beach cottage tablescape or pretty flowers in the light in this old cottage and I can flick that baby onto manual and shoot just about with my eyes shut…getting out and about with different lights and different things to capture, not so much, I was still mostly relying on semi-automatic on my camera…this weekend I got out there and changed that…

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Back to the health front I have been doing that old lemon in warm water thing – nothing really ground-breaking about that, but I think it seems to do something??  Do you do it?  Years ago when I worked in that PR agency a-la Notting Hill crossed with Absolutely Fabulous one of the women who worked as a secretary to the big boss was a tad obsessed with how she looked and more what she put in her body – I remember her swearing by the lemon and water thing for her skin – years later on the other side of the world I am doing it here…funny how life twists and turns isn’t it? (Also stuffed a load of herbs in from the garden, have no idea if that is beneficial at all but thought it might be worth a go)


Also did a cold version after a particularly balmy and uncomfortable night on Saturday night in this old cottage where the thought of a cold drink was much more appealing than anything with heat…I am not a lover of messing with the air but I am seriously considering air conditioning in our bedroom, most of the house has a lovely breeze through it but somehow our room escapes it fully and after resisting for ages I think that flicking a switch to take the edge off of it on these hot summer nights may be worth it…I can’t stand the thought of sleeping with the air conditioning on but I can stand the thought of sleeping all the way through the night…any thoughts on this ladies???  Do you have any air-con tips?


….there were lovely figs this weekend, one of my favourite fruits…I always think when I open them how amazing nature is…it’s like a designer got in there & pushed go…


…and yellow peaches were plentiful and on offer at the market…in they went…

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I also went vintage treasure hunting on Saturday…I haven’t been for ages and I scored a couple of treasures which was very pleasing…


I picked up a beautiful crochet bedspread, because I really needed another one in my life.


It had my name all over it, I couldn’t quite believe it was sitting there with no-one else interested.  I spied it from afar and a woman was standing nearby looking at the vintage sewing notions, I thought she may quickly turn to her left and see it so I about launched myself at the table and went in for the kill.  As I grabbed it I saw that it has the little raised crochet flowers too…oh my gads, thrifter’s dance…I will show you it soon…

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The weather has been changeable here, there is a distinct air of the Autumn about it (though very much not in our bedroom)…I am a bit sad about that though I love that we get the seasons here in Sydney and that each one is so beautiful, but I almost feel like I haven’t had Summer properly…not quite sure why…yesterday when I was doing some gardening I thought that for the rest of February I am going to make sure I get out there and down the beach enjoying the rest of Summer before it’s long gone…


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Amazing what you see when you get out and about in your own back yard…2013 is going to see a lot more of doing this for me…


So that’s it from me and my weekend…I hoped you enjoyed that, I must say I loved getting behind this side of the lens…


p.s. if you are in Sydney and are interested in a shoot with me (new baby, engagement, family occasion etc) I am booking spots now – there is no charge (it’s for experience for the course) but you will need to ply me with coffee or Peroni – if you want more details email me abeachcottage blog at gmail .com with PHOTOS in the subject.

p.p.s. Barley boo, best dog in the world has had a good weekend and is about to go out for a long walk, he blogged here xo


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33 Responses to “Beach Cottage Weekending”

  1. Vickie Simoneaux says:

    If you really don’t like airconditioning, have you thought of an attic fan? Pulls air through the house.

    • sarah says:

      thanks Vickie, um duh no I have no idea why I didn’t think of a fan…having a blonde moment (even though my blonde is from a bottle haha)…thanks for the idea – probs a whole lot cheaper too….!

    • sarah says:

      thanks I just googled it, very interesting :)

  2. Clare says:

    Gorgeous photos Sarah. I feel like I have wandered down the street with you….

  3. Emma says:

    Great pics! Good on you for getting out there and pushing yourself. We should all do it more huh?! Very exciting too that you’re doing more photography stuff, I’m yearning for that seemingly far-off time in the future when my small people allow me some time alone for some courses. Enjoy it!

  4. Glenda says:

    We have aircon in our bedroom and indeed throughout our house. I love it (not so much the power bill) but as we live in far North Queensland consider it an absolute necessity. It also blocks unwanted noise as an added bonus.

  5. Janelle says:

    Why oh why must you live a whole state away??! I would love you to play about with my fam!! Thanks for the inspiring pics…I am still scared of my camera manual..ridiculous!! And hows about a nice (yes could be hard to find!!) ceiling fan for the bedrm? We have them and on hot days I flick them on in the morn so the air circulates all day and it really does make a difference at night. xx ps am in love with that blue/white top!! x

  6. Diana says:

    Lovely ~ everything about your weekend

  7. Love the photos Sarah, the figs … oh my. And the lemon juice in warm water thing? I need to get that habit back. It’s a good one! xx

    • Fleur says:

      I’m getting into the warm water and lemon thingy every morning. Although I must say it is very hard to not reach for that extra strong builders tea to deal with toddler demands first thing in the morning.
      The biggest thing I have done (which I have noticed a huge amount in my skin) is given up anything with added sugar. I would highly recommend having a look at Sarah Wilsons blog and E book (or the actual book) I’ve not gone hardcore (i.e no fruit) but just things like bikkies, chocolate etc. My goodness what a difference in my skin!

      Love the photos Sarah, and if we lived closely would love for you to shoot my daughter :)
      Love Fleur x

  8. Melinda says:

    Hi Sarah
    Great photos, esp love the one of the grey wall light – very Country Style mag worthy xx

    A fan is what you need in the bedroom, either ceiling or just one to put by the bed, we use them on hot nights and just that bit of air movement is perfect.for sleeping…not drying or artifical

    Lemon in hot water brilliant first thing in am on empty stomach to flush out toxins etc- careful not to drink too much as believe it can strip enamel from teeth….maybe a health guru/ dentist will correct me but hear /read it often
    I like hot water plain also last thing at night while reading in bed, last bit of hydration!

    Im envious of your weekend -mine was spent packing to move house – not enjoying it !!


    • Alice says:

      Just don’t brush straight after drinking it…This also goes when drinking orange juice, or anything with acid (vinegar etc…) Just wash out with a glass of water after and wait for a bit before brushing teeth. The acid softens the enamel, when you go in to brush that’s when you are stripping it away :)

  9. Candice says:

    Hi Sarah , a year ago we put in air con , family just got to look at it on the wall for the first 6 months , hubby was scared of huge bill , while it collected dust while we were covered in sweat , teen son lost it one day and asked Dad why did you buy a air con when you knew you wouldn’t use it …. why? ….house is a little western red cedar pole home no internal linings on walls or ceilings , really hot in summer , cold in winter , I love the character those walls and ceiling provide , but it doesn’t work well in Queensland heat .
    Move on a year hubby works away , air con works when he’s away on hot days , afternoons its turned off , we live 900 meters from the beach so cool winds help out .. Summer power bill up 350$$ . Air con now turned off . We didn’t really use it every day , mostly only through school holidays when we were home .. We have gone solar now , The cool was lovely though and I slept so well . Bonus no cranky teens ..

    Love your pics , have fun with your course . I have been doing same but on line learning .
    I have a Lemon Book written by Dianne&Jan Sutherland , hundreds of handy hints on lemons . Great for blood pressure too , high cholesterol worth a goggle . I made the dog spray freshener for my huge dog , he doesn’t smell like a camel now and the fleas left also
    . Happy Monday Sarah I look forward to your pics . Cheers .

  10. Alice says:

    Hi Sarah… Loved the eye candy thanks so much. Yes I feel like summer has passed me by too. I actually turned to the hubby and said “whatever happened to that promise… We were going to spend every weekend at the beach?” We only managed it I think 3 times :(.

    As for aircon… I really don’t like it… Me personally…. We have “fanaway” fans in every room of the house (except bathroom and laundry). We tend to turn them on when the nights are humid on low and baby we all sleep through the night quite comfortably (well I usually I wake up under the bedsheet, I must do it in my sleep because I never remember doing it). The current ones being sold are fab because they have summer mode (drawing the hot air up away from you) and winter mode (bringing that hit air back down towards you works when you have a heater or in our case a fire going as hot air rises and all). It is low cost and we find it highly effective. Plus I like the look…Plus the new ones are more quiet when the blades tuck themselves back in…

    I love that you are doing a photography course, I hope to get it done one day too. I haven’t been thrifting in months! can’t wait to see your find, sounds gorgeous!

  11. alison says:

    Loved your weekend photos.

    I don’t know how we survived without air con when I was growing up. I think we’ve all gone a bit soft but gee air con is great! Mr alison is the self appointed monitor of our air con use but even he has started to crack this summer and give in to the lure of a cool and comfortable home. Our house is double brick, has roof insulation and we are solar powered so our bill hasn’t really increased significantly. We don’t use it all day, just mainly on days like when it was 48.5C. Wowee, what a day that was.


  12. Helen T says:

    Hi Sarah
    I am loving the crochet content in your posts and pics, really I am incredibly envious okay lol

  13. can I ask where you are doing your photography course? If you are trying to get healthy then sara wilson’s I quit sugar programme is absolutely fantastic, I’ve been on it for 5 months now, I highly recommend it.

  14. Rukmini Roy says:

    I think the photographs you take, particularly the ones in this post, are fabulous. Do a bit of it myself and I know good photography is not cake walk, specially with long exposures. Absolutely love them.

    On another note, I stay by the sea too, although a bit inside the town and we find aircons very useful. I dont know the temp range in Sydney but here our temps fluctuate between 25 to 38 C, so yeah, it means uninterrupted good night’s sleep even if it means you need to keep your duvets all year long. Plus it also saves your gadgets from getting spoiled by humidity. So, upvote for air con. :)

  15. Lidija says:

    Lemon juice in lukewarm water is also my morning routine .
    The fastest and easiest way to detoxify the whole body, but make sure that you use fruit that is organically grown since most conventionally grown fruits will have pesticide residues on their skin.
    Also, smoothie before breakfast, boost my immune system and help me to stay healthy.

    The Figs – oh, dear Sarah !
    Here is my obsession confession. ; ) I absolutely adore figs – fresh or dried ones, baked with honey and cinnamon, in my perfume and home fragrance.
    Dear God ,thank you for giving me this divine fruit instead of fig leaf apron : )

  16. Tamara says:

    I really love your out and about photo’s, really nice to see your surrounding area and so artfully captured.
    I am married to a photographer and he has commented on how much your photography has improved since you started your blog (whilst peering over my shoulder!)
    You have a real gift, good luck and have fun on your course X

  17. Pam says:

    Hi Sarah
    Lovely colours .
    We put a exiling fan in two of our bedrooms – really quiet and just stir the air on a hot night.
    Makes an amazing difference.
    I didn’t like the idea of sleeping with airconditoning either.
    My improvement has been using coconut oil in my cooking .my skin says thank you.
    Have a good day.

  18. I grew up in Australia without central heating or central air, but one summer here in the US convinced me that I could never live without air conditioning! Our bedroom has a ceiling fan, which is great for getting a breeze going, but without the air conditioning, I don’t think I could survive 110+ degrees summers (which don’t get much below mid-90s at night).

  19. Katie says:

    “….one of my favourite fruits…I always think when I open them how amazing nature is…it’s like a designer got in there & pushed go”
    oh sweet sweet Sarah, there IS a Designer! He designed all the beautiful things you’ve noticed and photographed in such a lovely way for all of us to admire!! thank u for doing that by the way!
    God bless you Sarah! thank u for blogging!

  20. Katie says:

    oh my we couldn’t live w/o a/c in eastern Washington state in the pacific NW US. yuk! we even have a pool. but I would never cook or clean without a/c. it went out our first summer here and we’d jump in the pool 20x/day to cool off, then just puddle around the house to get anything done! aren’t we spoiled?! but I agree ceiling fans might b the way to go. not sure why u and others don’t like a/c? expense? drying out of skin?

  21. Karen, BC says:

    An overhead fan will work wonders, particularly with ex-pats (I’m one) who usually find air-con (or a/c here in North America) too cold. We are lucky to own a small cottage in Costa Rica and there is a fan in every room.

    Forgive me if it’s been mentioned/discussed already but have you seen Matt’s (mattbites.com) new book on food photography for bloggers? I ordered it and am loving it as he is sooooo real – right up your alley!

    I drink lemon water every day (that I remember!) too. Add grated ginger to a warm version when you aren’t feeling brilliant (uh, hangovers too) and it works wonders.

    Keep up the great work.

  22. Maureen says:

    Hi Sarah, love your blog it is very insping. Every yer a friend and I say we want to do a photography course. How did you go about finding one. I am on the north sore of Sydney.

    • sarah says:


      I found one through just googling online photography course Australia – there are lots out there – I just went by what I wanted to pay and how much time I had.

      Hope that helps x

  23. Maureen says:

    Thanks Sarah will start googling. !,!!!!!!!


  24. Tricia Rose says:

    My best air-con tip is to sleep outside – you might need a mosquito net though. there should be no roaming night-time predators in urban Sydney (no raccoons at least).

  25. Summer says:

    Love your blog,
    Would be able to tell me where you buy the straw baskets (the one hanging with the stripe shirt.) from with the shoulder strap.
    Thanks Summer.