Hello from 35023 feet.  I’m typing this post in the air you guys!  Wifi on the plane, kinda the most brilliant thing ever.  We are currently flying over Salt Lake City on our way to New York.  Originally we were supposed to be in New York now but our flight at 10.30 am was cancelled due to the weather.  You know snow, sleet and rain, all those good things.  We only found this out as we were struggling (multiple bags, tired, cranky 3 year old who wanted to lie on the floor at any opportunity) towards our gate.  Thank goodness customer service was right next to where we were ready to burst into tears.  Half an hour later we were re-booked on a flight to San Francisco and then a connecting flight to NY at 4.45!

So here we are.  Not what we expected our Travel Day to be, but we rolled with it, Got to see San Fran from the air and we will be in NY at 1am where it will be a toasty -4.  

So what have we seen so far.  The inside of LAX, which I have to say is quite dingy and dirty for one of the largest airports in the world.  A 5 minute bus trip from International to Domestic, so roads and smog.  And then San Fran from the air.  I know they are 5 hours apart but the landscape between the two is so different.  LA was really dry and in some parts looked almost desert like whereas San Fransisco is much more lush with large mountain ranges and Forests.  No Golden Gate bridge though.  Much to both Ross and My disappointment.  

It’s 6.07 LA time.  I’m about to enjoy some cheese and crackers with Ross while Gus sleeps in between us, snoring his cute, utterly exhausted little head off.

Till tomorrow.
So excited.
Love Lil xx

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I’m currently sitting on the floor of our hotel room, in pyjamas, drinking a very nice glass of moscato contemplating what we are about to do tomorrow.  Months of planning and dreaming have come to an end.  Our trip is finally here.  We fly out from Melbourne tomorrow at 11 and then it’s 21 hours of flying, movies, plane food crossing LAX terminal at 2.30 in the morning with a three year old and then stepping out into -6 degree weather.  
I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!  

I’m so excited to use this little space of mine to share our trip with you all.  We will also have a visual journey that we can look back on and show Gus when he is older.

Feeling lucky and a little nervous

Love Lil xx

P.S – if you want to follow our adventure on instagram @thesplendidthings or @_iamross & #culbertstakethestates

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New York here we come!

New York here we come

Hello neglected old thing!  I have missed you so.  Unfortunately life and work takes over around the christmas period.  We are only just getting back into the swing of things with bedtime routines, dinners before 9pm and days off as a family.

So, just a bit excited that the final countdown is on.  13 days till we hop on a jet plane and fly to NEW YORK CITY!!!!  It has finally hit me after months of planning and dreaming!  
Now it is just a matter of packing our bags, making sure we have our Passports and the three of us are off on our amazing adventure!

Speaking of packing, above is what I have bought so far to get ready for our grand holiday.
We are going from 30 degrees to 3 degrees.  3 degrees people!  How are we going to cope?  With a warm puffa jacket, fur lined boots and some gloves of course.  No snow or wind is going to stop us exploring the City that never sleeps.

So Leather Gloves from ASOS.  They fit (excuse the pun) like a glove and are both warm and stylish.  Grey knitted Snood also from ASOS.  It is so soft and fluffy and was an absolute steal.  Cross Body Bag from the one and only Oroton.  I have been eyeing off this bag for months.  I wanted a bag I could just throw on, not have to lug around but be able to carry all of our stuff.  It is perfect, smells amazing and goes with absolutely everything. 
Man Style Shirt from Country Road.  Can you believe I got it for $19?  It is so beautifully cut and has just the right amount of length to wear under sweaters.   
Travel Notes Notebook from Kikki K.  I got this for a gift for Christmas.  You can plan and document your whole holiday and future adventures in this little book, and of course it’s easy on the eye.  Fur Lined Boots from Boohoo.  My toes are going to be sooo warm and hopefully I’ll be able to walk and walk cause they are totally comfy.
My hero piece, The Puffa Jacket is Bellfield from ASOS.  I love love love it.  You cannot even put it on in 30 degree weather it is that warm.  

I know that I should be doing all of my shopping in New York but being able to buy a few things has made the trip seem real and adds to the excitement level.
Plus I just love shopping.

Have you ever been to New York, or any other parts of the U.S?  I would love any packing or travelling tips or great place to go visit or eat?  

Much Love Lil xx

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Wall art
$52 –

$52 –

Blue home accessory
$14 –

Wall art
$13 –

Throw pillow
$13 –

Home decor

Throw pillow

Home decor

Decorative Accessories
$7.76 –

Decorative Accessories
$7.76 –

IKEA PS 2014

Classic | Kmart
$7.76 –

cement pot plant
$13 –

Urban Colour Pop | Kmart
$7.76 –

$7.05 –

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Changing It Up

Are you a dabbler? I am.  Terrible thing this dabbling.  Trying to put your hand in too many pots.  Trying to do all the things.  I’m the kind of dabbler that is never happy with what I am doing, what I have or what I want to do.  I get the itch.  The itch of change.  
I gotta learn how to stop scratching the itch.  I scratched it a bit this morning and changed the whole look of the blog.  I have left this place dormant while I’ve been busy being a mum, a wife and a colleague. I missed it.  A lot.  
So, I thought that I would give the Splendid Things a bit of a face lift.  A bit of sparkle, cause isn’t that what being Splendid is all about?

Hope you like the change and I promise to be here more often. 

Love the Dabbler, Lil xx

P.S – a grainy image of my dirty carpet and the Bug being………….well the Bug!
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The One Fine Baby Event

Last Saturday, after chilling out for a bit too long (coffee, pyjamas etc) I made a split second decision to get on the train and head in to the Sydney Technology Park to go to the One Fine Baby event, and I’m so so glad we did!  It kept us out of the cold for like 4 hours, Gus got to meet Peppa and Dorothy and Sam (he was the 2nd yellow wiggle for a while), and most importantly got to see (and buy) some AMAZING independent and handmade vendors.  It was so refreshing to be in a place where everyone was interested in the same decor and ideas and fashion that I am!  
Lots of creative types and families.
It was fantastic!  I kept some of the vendors cards.  They are inspiring in themselves.
It is no secret that I want to move into the online world and I’m in the process of setting up my own shopfront, so meeting and talking to so many people that are already ‘living the dream’ was definitely and eye opener.  I’m just itching to really get into it.
That’s what I came home with.  I’m surprised that the above where all that came home with me as I seriously could have bought 
one of absolutely everything.  It was all THAT good!
These wall decals are from This Little Love. We are totally inspired to re-do Gus’s room and these will just be the icing on the cake!
I could not not get this tee from Infancy.  I love it, Gus loves it.  We’re all happy!
The laundry bag is also from Infancy.  A pop of neon for Gus’s room AND a place for his dirty clothes. 
(we are into the I want to change myself faze so lots of clothes)
I LOVE this Maisy book from The Super Cool. Gus has already started to use it while we all have dinner, and he will actually 
sit with us 
until we have all finished, just doodling away!
Pretty cute, huh?
I finally got my hand on one of these.  I have been loving from afar for a long time now.  I haven’t figured out what to store in it yet.  
But it’s kind of awesome all by itself!

Below is a few snaps of what we got up to while we were there.  I would recommend this event to anyone who is pregnant 
or has young kids or bubs.  Everyone in the family was entertained and Gus got to go on TWO trains, so little boy’s day made!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!  We are off to a Scottish Kaylee tonight!
My FIL is the drum major in the Sydney Thistles Pipe Band.  They are so much fun.
Lot’s of dancing and laughing and being proud of our Scottish heritage, and my FIL cause he kind of rocks on the drums!

Love Lil xx

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A Productive Day

Today was one of those days when we got s*#t done!  I love those days, don’t you?
I always daydream that I will spend all day on the couch, watching foxtel, drinking coffee, eating yum, naughty food, but being busy, 
and up early is really better, isn’t it.
After walking up to the local coffee ( insert hipster) shop, we hopped in the car drove to Bunnings 
(where Gus slept!!!- ahh that blissful hour when you can wander at your leisure)
spent too much money on plants and then took a rested Gus to the park for a run around.

 Things that happened at the park:  1. Gus had a ball and pretended to be a pirate, we realised that the park is awesome 
(good equipment and good view) and I fell, and I mean fell off a swing for the first time in my life.  Ross laughed for a good 5 minutes.

Then it was home to plant the plants and hang stuff up on the wall.
I’ve got some photos to share of our dining room area if you would like to have a sticky.
I’m really happy with how it has turned out and is the first room in our house that fells finished. 
(this is our 3rd year in our home.  Procrastinator much?)

All the furniture and knick knacks have been collected over time and sort of just ended up together in this room.  The Parker phone table, sideboard and fold down desk are all thrifted and there is a list below if your interested of where we got everything else.

Yellow Vase – Target (no longer available)
Small Candle – Kikki K (no longer available)
I’m so glad that we have waited and decorated and put together a room that we absolutely love!  
Colourful, bright and happy, I can’t wait to spend more time in there with my little family.

What’s your favourite room?

Love Lil xx

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Every year about this time I start getting itchy to change it up at home.  Maybe it’s because we spend so much time indoors during winter, or because every retail store worth it’s weight in salt brings out their spring ranges at the beginning of June, enticing us and making us itch.  
Itch for newness and colour.
Well, I scratched that itch, as soon as I saw Kmart’s new homewares catalogue.
OMG!  All I can say is well done.  They have got it dead right.  Right on trend with pops of colour and light wood 
and a bit of vintage thrown in for good measure.
Above are my top picks (and what I picked up for myself)
Vintage Shelf, Storage Containers, ceramic bird, wire basket, and deer head clock
The total for these pieces of loveliness was $68.  $68!!!

I can’t wait to show you how they have brightened up our home.
If you haven’t seen their catalogue yet, have a look.  I’m sure you’ll find
something you can’t live without.

Love Lil xx

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Cottage Pie with Leek and Cauliflower mash

I LOVE carbs!  Like adore them.  Some of my childhood friends used to call me ‘Potatoes and Bread’ cause it’s all I used to eat.  I will choose mash and pasta and rice over protein any day.  But eating (more like devouring) this pie that Ross cooked on the weekend, I think I’m a convert.  
Who knew that putting leek and cauliflower together would make a mash to rival the original?
Seriously you have to try this Pie.  It feeds 6 people and total carb content is 13.3g!
Shut Up!  It is true, and delicious.

Cottage Pie with leek and cauliflower mash.  Serves 6

50g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 slim carrots, trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced
2 sticks celery heart, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1kg lean minced beef
200ml red wine
1x400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
sea salt, black pepper

600g leeks (trimmed weight), thickly sliced
600g small cauliflower florets
freshly grated nutmeg
a bunch of slim spring onions, sliced
150g small cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat half the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the sliced and chopped vegetables and herbs, and fry for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly coloured.
Add the meat, turn up the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it changes colour.
Add the red wine, chopped tomatoes and puree, Worcestershire sauce and some seasoning.  Bring to a simmer then cook over a very low heat for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nearly all the juices have been absorbed.
Keep a careful eye on it towards the end to prevent it from burning.  Tilt the pan and skim off any surface fat, then taste for seasoning.

While the mince cooks, start making the mash.  Place the leeks and cauliflower in a large saucepan with 150ml water, dot with the remaining 25g butter, add a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt.  Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover and cook over a low heat for 15-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until very tender.  Tip the contents of the pan into a food processor and reduce to a puree, seasoning with nutmeg and more salt if necessary.
You tend to get the best results if you do this in a couple of batches.

Transfer the mince to a shallow ovenproof dish or roasting tin, pressing down to level the surface.  Spread the mash on top.  You can make the pie in advance, in which case leave to cool, cover and chill.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan/200 degrees electric.  Toss the spring onions and cherry tomatoes with the remaining tablespoon of oil and scatter over the surface.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the vegetables on top are golden.

Oh, and for all those healthy’s out there, it has 43.8g protein.

We enjoyed ours with some veggies and a glass of vino.

Enjoy!  Love Lil xx

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