Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

My Top 5 Fave Book Series {Reading Writes Chapter Eight} | Reading

This month for Reading Writes it's all about the series. Or trilogy. Basically any series of books that follow the stories of the same characters or events. 

I'm a big fan of the series. In many ways, this has been the Year of the Series for me, it's pretty much all I've read. I'm on to my 26th book this year (or 25 depending on whether or not you count reading the same book twice!) and barring two of those books, they have all been a part of a series or trilogy.

Only two of those series/trilogies I hadn't read before, but one of them has definitely made it on to my Top 5 list for being utterly fabulous!

So without further ado, I present to you my Top 5 Favourite Series or Trilogies...


5. Tomorrow, When the War Began Series by John Marsden

I read the first book of this series just after it came out when I was in high school and from the very first page I was hooked. It's the first series of books that I just couldn't wait to get home to read. Don't get me wrong, I would rather read than do almost anything, but there is just something about a series that has you thinking about the characters all day and leaves you longing to read more.

If for some reason you've never heard of this amazing series by Australian author John Marsden then do yourself a favour and borrow them from your local library, buy or download them. The series follows the story of Ellie, who is away on a camping trip when Australia is invaded by an un-named country. It's left to Ellie to lead her group of teenage friends through the new world they find themselves in, and it doesn't gloss over the tragedy of war or dumb it down for younger readers. This series is brilliant whether you 16 or 66.

4. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

Starting with the first book, which is know as either Cross Stitch or Outlander, we meet Claire, travelling to post-World War II Scotland with the husband she's barely spent any time with. While holidaying Claire steps through the ancient stones on Craig na Dun and finds herself transported back in time to the 18th century. There she meets the handsome and brave Highlander Jamie, and romance, adventure and mayhem ensure.

Not your average romance novel, so far the Outlander series has 8 books with more to come (I hope), if you're a fan of either historical fiction, romantic fiction or science fiction that involves time travel, then you will love these books. They have it all!

3. The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin

If I'm really honest this trilogy actually ties for second place but simply for the fact that we are STILL waiting for the third and final book to be published (it was due last October and never materialised) it's been pushed to third place.

The Passage opens in the present day, with FBI agent Wolgast travelling the country recruiting death row inmates to become a part of a secret military weapons experiment. As with all good dystopian worlds, things don't according to plan, and the experiment to create the ultimate soldier quickly goes very, very wrong. These super-soldiers, who are in essence a type of Vampire, quickly take over the world. We then jump forward approx. 100 years to meet a colony of survivors but it's apparent pretty quick that this colony is not what it seems.

I can't stress enough how amazing the first two books in this trilogy are. I literally thought about the story day and night while I was reading it, left work early simply to read, and read it through for a second time as soon as I finished the first reading, it was that good. Do yourself a favour, get your hands on the first two books, The Passage and The Twelve and then cross your fingers that the final book will actually be released this year.

2. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few years you will surely have heard of the The Hunger Games trilogy and the movies they spawned. I read the first Hunger Games book on Christmas Eve Eve 2009 and I read it in one sitting. I then rushed back to the store on Christmas Eve to buy the second book, Catching Fire. It was that good. I then had an excruciatingly long wait for the third and final book to be published and I was not disappointed.

The post-apocalyptic North America that Collins creates, a country in which every year 24 children between the ages of 11 and 17 are sent in to a purpose-built arena to fight to the death, is so wonderfully vivid. Collins builds the world of Panem so convincingly, and the adventure and suspense is so well-written. It also features a much better love triangle than another teen trilogy that I won't mention.

1. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

Bet you didn't see that one coming. HP was always going to be at the top of this list, as it's is at the top of my favourite books of all time list. I simply LOVE the Harry Potter series. I re-read the 7 books earlier in the year, and the seventh book is the one I am re-reading as it is by far my favourite of the series. The Harry Potter Series needs no more introduction or praising from me, just do yourself a favour, if you've ever thought about giving Harry Potter and his magical world a read but haven't, for some insane reason, just do it. DO it!!!

And because I am a book freak I'm also on the reading list at Pan Macmillan to be notified about upcoming releases and have the chance to be sent advanced reading copies before the books are even published.

The lovely people at Pan Macmillan have offered readers of my blog the chance to score the first 3-part book in a new series by David Rollins, called Field of Mars. All you have to do to be in with a chance to win the first three episodes of this new book series is leave me a comment telling me what your favourite book series or trilogy is and why. I'll have Pan Macmillan choose the winner next Tuesday and be in touch by email if you're the lucky winner.

About Field of Mars...
Marcus Licinius Crassus's lust for gold and glory was legendary. What became of his army is myth. 
In Crassus the tyrant, Rufinius the soldier, Appias the historian, Mena the hag and Lucia the Golden Whore, David Rollins brings to life a mystery that has plagued historians for centuries. The only constant in this world is Mars, the god of war, and who he will favour is anyone's guess. Desperate to write himself into the pages of history, proconsul Marcus Licinius Crassus marched 40,000 Roman legionaries into the heart of the Parthian empire. More than 10,000 were never seen or heard from again.
In a story that spans empires and generations, this vanished army's fate is finally unveiled. From the streets of Rome to the deserts of ancient Iran, around the globe into the heart of an empire vaster than anything Rome ever imagined, a young Alexandrian soldier is borne on the tides of the age of empires from soldier of Rome to slave of Babylon to commander of armies.
Perfect for fans of Robert Harris and Conn Iggulden, this sweeping historical thriller takes the reader on an epic journey across ancient empires and into the unknown stories of myth and legend. You can read more about Field of Mars here at Goodreads, or find it on Amazon here. 

So tell me, what is your favourite book series or trilogy of books? I really want to know. I'm always looking for new and fabulous series/trilogies to read.

P. S. Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. Also, I was not paid to mention or giveaway the Field of Mars books, I just love sharing new book finds with you.

P. P.S. My link-up account expired and I haven't had a chance to update it yet so please leave your links to any reading/book related posts you've written in the last month in the comments for me.

P. P. P. S. Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Twenty-Eight to Thirty-One {52 week project} | Photography

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.
28/52 {Punky & Zee} This week was Aunty A's birthday and we went to Club Menai for dinner and cake. Both girls are obsessed with birthdays and birthday cakes. They are so lucky that they have so many family members who need assistance when it comes to blowing out candles!

29/52 {Punky & Zee} Best of Friends. Best of Enemies.

30/52 {Punky} When Zee has her nap Punky often retreats to the play room for a little quiet time on the iPad. Sometimes she plays games, sometimes she just watches a show. Whatever she chooses, it always has to be with biscuit in hand.

30/52 {Zee} The girls know how to lounge. I've never met somebody who can make almost any position look comfortable.

31/52 {Punky} On this day we had a picnic in the park to celebrate Zee's birthday. When I posted this photo on FB everybody commented about her style. The girls loves to dress pretty, and now that she has discovered how cool sunnies are, she won't leave the house without them.

31/52 {Zee} Four days after this photo was taken my beautiful little munchkin turned two. I can't believe how fast the last two years have gone. It feels like only yesterday she was a tiny newborn, snuggling against my chest and make her oh-so-cute newborn squeaks and grunts. I miss that little baby, but the little lady who is slowly taking her place is pretty awesome too.



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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Book of Once Upon A Time {Disney Junior} | Reading | Entertainment


We all know how important reading is for young kids. Since before the girls were born I've been keenly aware of how important it is to read to and with them, and I've made a special effort to read with the girls as much as possible.

With Punky I started reading to her almost as soon as she was born. From the youngest age she enjoyed sitting on my lap, looking at the pictures and listening to the stories. Even now at almost 4 she will come to me daily to ask me to read her a story.

Zee was a little slower off the mark when it came to reading. Having a toddler and a newborn is a time-consuming exercise, and so finding moments to sit and read with Zee were hard to come by. Add to that the fact that she's extremely independent and would rather turn the pages herself, in her own time, she would barely allow me to get a few words out before insisting on turning the page.

That in itself is not a bad thing though, and she will sit happily for ages thumbing through the pages of book after book. Now that she's a little older she's much more likely to let me read at least half a story before she insists on taking over for herself!

I love reading with the girls and they have both taken quite an interest in storytelling on the screen as well. Shows that have people reading books or stories are very popular in this house, so when I found out about Disney Junior The Channel's The Book of Once Upon a Time I knew it was one show that we had to add to our repertoire. So whenever I remembered it was on we would sit down to watch and hear the story.

As most of you will know, this week is National Book Week, and to celebrate Disney Junior launched the second season of The Book of Once Upon a Time on Monday 24th August at 7:10pm with Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt (you can check out the episode at the end of this post). For those who haven't seen it, The Book of Once Upon a Time is a locally-produced, interactive story-telling series hosted by Australian actor and playwright Kate Mulvany.

I love the fact that The Book of Once Upon a Time features an Australian voice. It also has really cool page-turning animation and excellent character voices and re-enactments that get our imaginations working. We really enjoyed the first episode of season two, and we're really looking forward to future episodes which will feature new stories Disney stories from Winnie the Pooh (another favourite around here), Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and everyone's favourite, Frozen.

Story time is an important part of our bedtime routine, as I know it is for many households. We used to watch another show before story time each night, but thanks to a glitch in our Foxtel IQ we lost all of the recorded episodes. The Book of Once Upon a Time has become our new part of the routine, and the lullaby that follows each episode is a great way to signal the girls that it's now time to get ready for bed.

The girls don't watch an excessive amount of television, but of the telly we do watch, there are only two channels that make the cut in this household and Disney Junior is one of them. The girl's favourites at the moment are Doc McStuffins and Sophia the First. I love the messages that Doc McStuffins contains, of being kind and helpful, healthy living and looking after others. It's Punky's favourite show and she's now obsessed with anything to do with being a Doctor!

There is always a good message in Disney Juniors animated and live-action story-telling, and Punky will often come to me with questions about something she's watched, which is a great way to open up conversation about all sorts of things like language, maths and emotions. Emotions are one thing she's been exploring at preschool lately and I often find myself having conversations with her about what people and characters are feeling and why.
Punky & Zee watching The Book of Once Upon a Time last night

I love the fact that we have found a new addition to our bedtime routine in The Book of Once Upon a Time, and the fact that we can watch episodes of it online via the Disney Story Room at any time is really helpful. It means we can watch them before bed wherever we are, whether it's at Mum's for family dinner night or away on holidays.

Plus, all of the stories that are featured on the show are available as eBooks in the Disney Story Central App, an app we were using before I even realised there was a show with the stories! If you want to check out the app, which I highly recommend, you can check it out on the iTunes store here.

Disney Junior The Channel is where magical storytelling comes to life and is available in all Foxtel subscribing homes on channel 709 (a number I have burned in to my brain!).

Do you watch The Book of Once Upon a Time? Have you ever incorporated a story-telling show in to your children's bedtime routine? Do you read with your kids before bed? What are your favourite bedtime stories, I'd love to check them out!
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Monday, 24 August 2015

One Perfect Moment {Cousins} | Life

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever.

Just a short and sweet one from me today (and no linky because my linky account has expired and I don't have the money to renew it until Thursday!) but just wanted to share with you my new favourite photo.

Punky and Zee met their new baby cousin for the first time on Saturday. My sister Kate was up from Wagga, so we all went to Mum's place for lunch. The girls were sick when little Bear was born, and so they haven't had a chance to meet him until now.

Every day for the last 2 weeks since he was born Punky would ask me if she could meet him today. It was breaking my heart having to tell her she had to wait. But finally the day arrived, and she was so excited.

We recorded their first meeting and it's so cute. Zee was very impressed and kept telling everyone "Dere's a baby!". And Punky just kept exclaiming "He's so teeny, tiny! He's so cute!".

I am so looking forward to watching them grow up together. It's going to be so special.





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Monday, 17 August 2015

One Perfect Moment {Sleeping Beauties} | Life

I wasn't going to write a post today because I've got a mountain of Tafe and house work to do but due to an amazing thing happening I find myself with 10 uninterrupted minutes to sit down and write. So I thought I should do the occasion justice and share a quick perfect moment.

My perfect moment is right now. Both girls are sound asleep. This is a big deal, because it's the first time in a very long time that both girls have ben asleep at the same time in the middle of the day.

Punky gave up day sleeps a long time ago and it's very rare that she will nap. But with still being a little sick, and waking up at 2am this morning crying because she wanted a sticker on her hand I think she's really needed this nap.

She told me she wanted to lie down and next thing you know I find her set-up on the floor between the lounge and the coffee table, sound asleep! It's an odd place for a nap, but there is no way I'm going to disturb her! She needs it after not getting back to sleep until 4am!

My other perfect moment for the week also involves a sleeping child. My new baby nephew, Bear.

On Saturday afternoon we left the girls with Mum so we could go over to my sister's place and introduce Dave to his nephew before he was a week old. We didn't tell the girls where we were going because I knew Punky would get upset. She has been desperate to meet Bear but because she has been sick it hasn't been able to happen yet.

Hopefully she will be well enough by the weekend to finally meet this cousin she has been waiting so long for.

While visiting on Saturday I got to have lots of cuddles with my beautiful boy. After a big feed he was all sleepy and milk drunk and my sister asked if I wanted a cuddle. As if I would ever have said no!

I placed him against my chest and breathed in his newborn smell, stroked his soft skin and reminisced about doing the exact same thing with my own babies. Without a doubt I can tell you my number one favourite thing about newborns is having them snuggled up and sleeping on your chest. There is no greater feeling in the world and I am so lucky that I got to have those same cuddles with my nephew.

So there's my perfect moments for the week. Now, I'm off to have a shower in peace before the Terrible Twosome emerge from their naps!

Have you had any perfect moments this week? Share them in comments with me if you please!



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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

I'm an Aunty! {Welcome Baby Bear} | Life

Something beyond wonderful happened on Sunday afternoon. I never knew it was possible to be as happy about the birth of a baby that's not my own, but it is.

On Sunday my sister became a Mum.

And I became an Aunty!

The most gorgeous little boy came in to the world and I couldn't be more excited. My nephew.

Bear.

This little boy, in his short time on this earth, has made so many people happy. None more so than his proud as punch parents. They've waited a long time to meet their precious gift and he's finally here. Safe and sound.

All 9 pounds 5 and 57cms of him!

Punky can't wait to meet her cousin. "My baby" she calls him. "My beautiful baby boy" were her exact words. She asked me if he was going to come and live with us and I think she was a little disappointed when I told her that he would be living with her Aunty and Uncle.

Unfortunately the girls and Dave couldn't come with me when I met Bear for the first time last night. They are all sick and it wouldn't be right to expose his poor little immune system to their germs just yet.

But soon enough they will get to meet their first cousin and nephew and I know they will love him as much as I do.

Welcome to the world my precious Baby Bear. I can't wait to be your favourite Aunty!

Aunty Kylez sounds pretty good to me!

Do you have nieces or nephews? Were you excited to become an Aunty?



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Monday, 10 August 2015

One Perfect Moment {Film Noir} | Life

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever.

This last week has been a bit of a struggle. The girls have been sick and I've had a lot of work due at Tafe that I've not had a lot of child-free time to work on. The girls had both days off from the daycare they go to at Tafe because they just weren't well enough to go and it would have been unfair on the other kids, parents & teachers to send them and make everyone else sick. So home they stayed.

Thankfully Dave had one of those days off, and I took the other day off. The one up-side of having to take the day off to look after them was that it did give me some time in the middle of the day while Zee was napping to get a big chunk of work done. So that was a relief.

This term has really been kicking my arse. It's a big workload, and it didn't start in the best way when we all got gastro a few days before it started. I think it's safe to say that that little episode really threw us all for a loop. With al that's been going on, it's been a struggle to think about each week's good moments and practice gratitude, but at the same time it's been a really good thing.

So this week, with all of the chaos of assessments and sick kids, Friday afternoon was a little light in the dark. Which is ironic considering I spent most of it in semi-darkness!

On Friday we have a class called Emotive Light. The name is pretty self explanatory, and we spend a lot of time in the studio learning about and experimenting with different lighting techniques and set-ups. This week we played around with the lighting set-up needed to create Film Noir-style photography.

And let me tell you, I've been having a lot of fun studying photography at Tafe, but so far this takes the cake for the most fun we've had in an afternoon!

It wasn't just about the moody lighting and the awesome smoke machine that our teacher managed to get for us. It was about the dressing up, the acting, the mucking around and just generally having a LOT of getting in to the Film Noir character.

I'm pretty sure I took some of my best shots of the course so far, they turned out so well! Sadly I changed the image size recording setting earlier in the week to small JPEG rather than RAW which means that I may not actually be able to use any of them in my portfolio because the image quality won't be good enough for larger size printing.

But I am grateful that I got any images at all. And all of the girls in my class had so much fun that they are keen to do another Film Noir-style shoot in the holidays together so if worse comes to worse I'll have another opportunity to get some fabulous shots and have some more fun!

What are you thankful for this week? Have you been able to find the good in amongst the bad?



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Monday, 3 August 2015

One Perfect Moment {Anniversary Styles} | Life

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever.

The other night I was just about to go to bed and there was an episode of Malcolm in the Middle on TV. It was the very first episode. In it, the parents were excited about going out to dinner for their anniversary.

The mother is telling her co-worker that she has been fantasizing about his night for years. The scene then switches to her and he husband sitting in a restaurant, shovelling food in to their mouths in absolute silence. Even the restaurant is silent.

Up until recently, I didn't quite grasp the amazingness of something like that. Dave and I have always enjoyed celebrating our anniversary. And it's not just our wedding anniversary, it's also the anniversary of when we first started dating. So we've been celebrating the same date our entire relationship.

Before we bought a house we would always go away for a couple of days or a long weekend. Always we would go somewhere that we could fish. Fishing was our favourite thing to do pre-kids. One year we decided to go out to Bathurst for the weekend and go fishing at Oberon Dam and anywhere else that looked good. I remember it as probably the coldest anniversary we spent together!

Lake Lyall up near Lithgow was another favourite place to go for our anniversary. We would go up there and fish from sun-up to sun-down, and then snuggle up in whatever cozy room we had managed to score ourselves and dream about the fish we would catch the next day (I honestly don't think we ever caught more than 1 fish any time we went west of the Blue Mountains for our anniversary.
Dave fishing at Lake Lyall on our anniversary in 2007

We also went through a stage where we stayed on the Central Coast. Pretty Beach and Wagstaff were perfect anniversary destinations. We'd stay on streets that were mostly holiday houses and so we would be some of the only people around. Our cabin would always be right on the water, so all we had to do was grab our rods and buckets and walk across the road to throw a line it. Bliss.

These days anniversaries are a little more subdued. Since having kids we've only gone away one night for our anniversary. Last year we stayed a night in the city about a month after the day. But it was awesome, and I can't wait for another night away with my love. Now we mostly settle for going out to a nice dinner or seeing a movie.

This year we didn't even do that! All of our babysitters were otherwise engaged this year so we spent a quiet weekend at home with the girls. Once the girls were in bed we feasted on our favourite treats (cheezels and lemon meringue ice cream. Not together!) and started watching The Office (US version) from the beginning again.

And it was this weekend that made me appreciate that scene from Malcolm in the Middle, of the parents eating in silence with not a kid in sight. We weren't in total silence, but the girls were asleep and in bed so they were silent, and it was glorious to give ourselves a couple of nights of from doing anything but hanging out on the lounge, stuffing our faces with tasty treats (and not feeling an ounce of guilt about not sharing with the girls, either!).

How do you spend your anniversary with your partner? Do you like to go away?



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Friday, 31 July 2015

A Handy Guide for Planning Your Next Extended Holiday | Travel

This post brought to you by Heritage Bank

The last couple of weeks have been so super busy. Tafe is kicking my arse with the amount of work that is required this term. We've also had our days increased from 3 to 4, with an added one hour online class as well on a Monday. So tafe, 5 days a week. It's been hard to adjust.

Add to the that the fact that we have all been sick and life just seems a bit of a drag at the moment. You'll have noticed I haven't been blogging as much and that has a lot to do with the fact that I either haven't had the time to write, or I just haven't felt like it.

The times when I have been online, all I can do is google tropical holidays in an attempt to daydream myself somewhere else. It's been so long since we've been on holidays that I'm getting a little wanderlust. Our last long trip was over 5 years ago now. Of course figuring out how we would actually pay for and manage a decent trip with the girls would take a loooot of planning, so I asked the guys at Heritage Bank if they had any tips for me.

They've given me this handy guide for planning a holiday and I had to share it with you coz I know I'm not the only one suffering from a little wanderlust right now!


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Paying for Your Holiday

The things you can do and places you can visit during your time away are limited only by your imagination… and maybe your budget. But don’t resign yourself to backpacker hostels just yet. Even if your savings won’t cover an extravagant vacation, a fantastic holiday is not necessarily beyond reach. As soon as you have a rough estimate of how much your trip will cost you, start putting away a little extra cash each week specifically to cover this.

If time runs out and your travel aspirations are still loftier than your budget, consider getting a personal loan to help ensure your extended holiday can be as satisfying as possible. Use the Personal Loan Calculator at the bottom of this post to get an approximate idea of how much you may be able to borrow. For more information about personal loans and other tips for saving for holidays, visit the websites of trusted financial institutes like Heritage Bank.
New York City & the Empire State Building, as seen from Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Centre,
Taken when Dave and I visited the US in 2010

Preparing for Your Journey

Nobody wants an unpleasant flight to dampen their holiday enthusiasm. While there’s nothing you can do to shorten transit times or eliminate turbulence, there are ways to ensure your journey goes as smoothly as possible.

Create a checklist of everything you will need during your time away and aim to have it all compiled (or even packed) at least a week before your departure date. This should include:
  • Your passport (original and photocopies)
  • Any visa documents if required
  • Clothes
  • Entertainment items
  • Toiletries
  • Medicinal items
  • Comfort items (such as eye masks, inflatable pillows & cuddly toys)
  • The actual luggage all your belongings will be travelling in!
Of course, it’s also wise to book your accommodation and flights as far in advance as reasonably possible. Having all your necessities and itinerary items lined up and ready to go will help you transition smoothly into holiday mode.
Wakiki in Hawaii had some of the best sunsets I've ever seen. I can't wait to get back there one day!

Choosing Your Destination

When your chosen destination will be your temporary home for several weeks, it becomes crucial that you decide wisely. This means you have some intensive (but exciting) research to do on the local weather, currency, language, highlights, and dos and don’ts. Don’t just be mindful when selecting a city – look carefully at suburbs as well. Make sure you will be staying within close proximity to all the attractions, sites, and shops you are interested in.

Planning for an extended holiday can seem a bit stressful and overwhelming. But, ultimately, putting in all the work prior to leaving is the best way to ensure your actual holiday will be as relaxing and refreshing as you want it to be.

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I am definitely a planner and being able to see things written down like this really helps me see how to make things possible. We're hoping to take the girls to the US when they get a bit older and I know I am going to be referring back to this post when the time comes to start serious planning!

Do you have any tips for planning an extended family holiday? How do you save for a holiday?


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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tips for Outdoor Entertaining in Winter | Lifestyle

This post bought to you by Barbeques Galore

Outdoor entertaining in Winter. It's not something a lot of people often think about. You could say it's not an idea that people like to 'entertain' *insert groan here*. But as someone who has a family full of winter birthdays (and I do mean full, it's easier to ask what days in June I don't have a family member with a birthday) outdoor entertaining in Winter is kinda inevitable.

Of course we like to entertain outdoors year round, but winter carries with it some special considerations. Namely, how not to be ridiculously cold! After years of huddling around our BBQ in winter the poor thing is pretty much on it's last legs, so I've been investigating new ones for Dave's birthday/Christmas present this year.

After checking out Barbeques Galore and the range of stuff they have, it got me thinking about what really works for outdoor entertaining in winter. I came away with a wish list of stuff as long as my arm, but also a few tips that I thought I could share with you lovely people today, to make outdoor winter entertaining a little more comfortable.

Lighting

It usually gets dark earlier in winter compared to summer, so be prepared for this and make sure you have the requisite lighting in your entertaining area. Alternatively, you could think about starting your gathering earlier so you can catch the evening light before it gets too dark. Your lighting methods will depend on what kind of get together you are having. If it is a smaller gathering, invest in some candles or table illuminators for each area, but if you have invited a decent amount of people, look for larger lamps that cover more surface area.

Warm food

There is no better way to warm up your body than to have some nice hot food. Pair this with a variety of warm drinks (*cough*rum is very warming*cough*) and you will be set for a fantastic party. Plus, if you cook it on the BBQ you'll have the perfect spot for the men to stand and keep warm! For some reason all of the men I know treat the act of cooking a barbeque like a sacred right, so a good one is important.

Seriously, a barbeque is the one piece of outdoor furniture you must have if you love to entertain. You'll be able to cook up a storm, and the crackling of the barbeque will add to the atmosphere of the gathering. If you are in the market for a new barbeque, specialists such as Barbeques Galore can help you choose something perfect for you.

You can't go past a good old sausage sizzle in the backyard to warm the belly
Heaters

Heaters can come in many forms when it comes to the outdoors. A fireplace or a firepit, if allowed, make great focal points, as well as allowing you to warm up your guests in an unconventional manner. Otherwise, get your hands on some heat lamps to warm and brighten up your backyard or wherever you like to entertain. Gas heaters are also great, as they do not require power cords, and you can move them wherever you like.

Throws

A nice throw or blanket can sometimes make all the difference on a cold night. Place them over couches or chairs, so people can use them at their own discretion. Bright colours and patterns can also visually spice up a cold winter’s afternoon or evening, and will make your guests feel right at home, no matter how cold it is.

Outdoor entertaining in winter does not have to be hard (or cold!). Every space is different, so tailor your choices to what you think will work best for your backyard or entertaining area. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for suggestions as well, and make sure you research everything thoroughly before investing in any big items.


Do you entertain regularly? Do you like to entertain during winter? Why or why not? What are your tips for outdoor entertaining in winter? Alternatively, as a guest, what would make you more comfortable at an outdoor event? 

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT


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