21 September 2008

Driving to Work with Mrs M

I've discovered Google's Picasa (yes, I know that's way behind the times!) and have been messing around with photo albums, slide shows & movies which uploaded directly to the web - YouTube, Picassa Web Albums and to this very blog! It's a wonderful tool and I have no idea why I never tried it before! (click on the links to take you to where I've uploaded stuff).

So here's a little slide show that I made.... The music is Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" - my favourite song at the moment!

Let me know what you think.

12 September 2008

Expat-Blog of The Month - September 2008

Woohooo!!! Expat-Blogs has made The Mupersan's Australian Adventure their blog of the month for September. Go to the Expat-Blog website to check it out.

So I thought I'd better post an update too....

Last Sunday we made an amazing discovery..... IKEA ROCKS!!!! IKEA is a store. With arrows on the floor and a map as you walk in the door. And pencils and notepads and order forms and calculators along the way... We walked in the door not having a clue what to expect and were completely blown away! I'd checked out their website and found a bookshelf and a desk for Scott that we both liked the look of. However, we were a bit worried about it being a bit "cheap" as it was all self-assembly stuff. But not being particularly flush at the moment & in need of both items, we headed for the other side of Sydney to check out IKEA. We walked in and were directed upstairs to the "showroom". The showroom is warehouse-sized and consists of ALL their products assembled and in sections - bedrooms, bathrooms, loungerooms, etc. All the bookshelves are grouped together so you can compare and choose. Did I mention that this place is enormous?

You pick up an order form and pencil and start looking for what you want. The price tag is your friend. All the info you need is on there - exact measurements, number of boxes in the assembly unit and exactly where to find said boxes in the collection warehouse (isle number & section number). Oh and of course the price - which was rediculously cheap IMHO.

Quality? Totally blown away again!!!! Solid, sturdy furniture in a range of finishes. Absolutely amazing!!!

So we made our choices and used all our combined willpower not to go completely nuts and buy everything in sight! And off we got to the collection warehouse..... follow the arrows again.... through the household accessories warehouse!!!!! We literally had to keep our eyes on the ground following those damn arrows!! You could outfit an entire house from IKEA - from a new kitchen (cupboards, stovetop, sink - everything!) to flower arrangements on your dining table.

So we finally made it through to the collection warehouse..... double/triple store height with floor to ceiling shelving for as far as the eye can see. Huge signs at the end of each isle with an isle number. We found ours easily, picked up a trolley and found our section - also really clearly marked. Picked up our boxes and headed for the checkout. We spent HALF of what we'd expected to pay for the bookshelf and the desk!!!

Okay so with all the twists and turns through the different warehouses..... we couldn't find Betsy!!! And believe me, Betsy stands out! Oh, did I mention that this place is ENORMOUS!!?? Oh, sorry, did I also mention that it is actually in a shopping mall as well? A totally mindblowing experience!!!

So we eventually find Betsy and load her up. And then it was back into the mall to get our PVR (personal video recorder) at Bing Lee. Of course, I'd done my homework and knew exactly what model we wanted and how much we should be paying - we decided on Bing Lee because we'd managed to successfully negotiate prices there before (for our fridge & microwave when we first arrived). We picked up the latest 250GB version of the Beyonwiz DP-S1 for the price of the old version on sale! A saving of $300! It really was our day for good pricing! :-)

And back home to a Wells family tradition Saturday lunch of hotdogs. And some serious building! Scott had a blast building shit! And it was really easy too - no bits missing and everything fit together perfectly.

The desk...

Scott having fun with his screwdriver

And another section finished....

The finished product! Each section was seperate which you can just mix and match to suite your needs. Brilliant!!!

And the desk in progress...

I managed to set up the PVR quite easily. I managed to network it wirelessly to our PCs and directly to the internet to download the electronic program guide (EPG). It's a great little machine - we can record our shows and watch them when we want, copy them across to the PC and burn them to disc after taking out the ads. We can also watch downloaded/home movies via the network and also listen to music or have a slideshow going on the TV. A very versatile little gadget. Oh and everything in high definition.

Setting up the Beyonwiz... Huge concentration!

And then here are just some pics I took on Wednesday morning...

Breakfast on the balcony

The fridge doesn't fit into the fridge space in the kitchen just to the right of the picture.
We decided not to put the dining table into this space - it would've been too cluttered.

See my beautiful bookshelf....?

Did you notice that stunning bookshelf....?

Our spare room

The office - Scott's new desk on the left

Last night we wrapped up warm and walked down the road for a picnic supper on the beach. This lifestyle is really hard, but we are giving it our best shot! :-)

The moon was quite bright and was shining off the waves.

It was pretty chilly but we had our trusty Cappies to warm us up!

That's it for now!

04 September 2008

Welcome to Mona Vale!


Scott took the day off last Friday and started ferrying the boxes which I'd already packed over to the new apartment. And I had to go and work. I got out of some hard labour, but I wish I could have been there anyway. Scott's last trip of the day was included the spare bed so we could sleep our first night in our new place. We had Chris - a work mate of Scott's - arriving at 6:30am on Saturday to help move the heavy stuff so we had an early night. Yes, I know the idea was to drink bubbly on the balcony to celebrate my birthday & the move to the sea...... we were just too exhausted!

But all worth it when we woke up to this! I was sitting up in bed when I took this pic. How cool is THAT!!!???

Scott with our morning coffee while we waited for Chris to arrive.

Oh what a beautiful morning........

This is how men move..... You have NO idea how heavy that damn couch is!

We haven't finished unpacking all the boxes yet - mostly books and a few other odds 'n sods. We're off to Ikea on Saturday to get another desk for Scott's PC and a bookshelf. Then the last of the stuff can be unpacked and we can tackle the garage. Oh, did I mention that we have a double garage? Scott's van doesn't fit in at the moment because there are still boxes and camping gear lying around.

The following pics I took this morning. We woke up yesterday morning and the weather had started to get a little miff. This morning it's quite wild 'n woolly out there.

The kitchen - with a view

Lounge - with a view

The bedroom - with a view

Dawn from the balcony

Sunrise from the balcony

This place is absolutely amazing! It has a similar feel to our flat in Pinelands - bright, warm and feels like home.

So I go onto the 'net yesterday at work to see if there's a Woolies or Coles or any other big supermarket in Mona Vale. Yip - both a Woolies and a Coles. The Woolies website said the store was open from 7am to midnight. I thought it had to be a mistake so I popped in on my way home from work yesterday. Y'right!!!! They're open 'til midnight - everynight!!! And it's a HUGE store. Woolies here is only a food store (The Fresh Food People) - no clothing or homewares. Think the same size as and quality of goods as Pick 'n Pay at Constantia Village.

Oh, and did I mention that it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to work? LOL! Do I sound like I'm gloating? Maybe I am a little. I just cannot believe that we've got it SO good here. A little part of me is waiting for something to go wrong. So we're savouring every minute of this new spot and we're extremely aware of just how bloody lucky we are.

Better run - still need to have brekkie and do some housework before I start work at 9am (it's now 8am).

Cheers all!


PS: Thank you ALL for your wonderful birthday wishes!!!