What I Found In June

Hi friends – something a little new here on the blog at this half way point of the year.

I have long wanted to join in with Emily P Freeman’s monthly post and link up called “What I Have Learnt” which covers anything from the profound to the trivial to the simply fun that she has learnt in the month just gone. (You can read one here)

The thing I’ve found though as months have come and gone, is that I’m not all that great at articulating what I have been learning, big, small or anything else. Any one else like that? But I would like to be. So as a way of easing /tricking myself  into paying more attention to what I’m learning, I thought I’d start by paying attention to what I’m doing and enjoying and finding because that tells us things too. Worth a try. So this is my first “What I have Found” end of month post. It‘ll be things I have found at the op shop or online or possibly in my garage because I’m always finding random things in there to paint or fix up or reminisce over. Remember this find? It will be things I’ve found interesting, fun or inspiring as well and maybe some others I haven’t thought of yet. There will be an element of “just because I like it and you might too” with hopefully a good balance of house shaped and heart shaped finds.

So yes I am going to just go ahead and assume that you are as interested in a good find as I am. So here goes and if you have a favourite find yourself feel free to share in the comments.

Lets start with something practical.

1. I found this cane basket at my favourite op shop – yes I know its just a basket like a million others and I know they’re not at the top of everyones must have list, but me – I have a soft spot for a sturdy cane basket. They’re just the handiest things to have around and this one just so happens to have helped turn my school morning rush around. I started putting it on the corner of kitchen bench in the morning and throwing everything I need for the day when I walk out the door in it. Wallet, phone, book, glasses, snack, paperwork/letters etc. Now you might think ” well I have a handbag for that purpose”. Good point and I do too but it wont sit neatly on my bench – it falls over and I can’t see into it at a glance – so this just works better for me. Now I don’t take it into the shops or to the bank or out for coffee because I am not 3 (or 90 for that matter). It just it sits on the passenger seat in the car and I have things at hand when I need them.

2. This well loved copy of Under The Tuscan Sun. Found in a rambling country shop in Berrima on a  cold, blustery and wet Saturday afternoon when most normal people were at home. So warm and cosy in the shop we hid out in there for a good while and my apologies to the owner, despite the loveliest range of clothing, artworks, stationary and homewares all I bought was this book off the 2nd hand book rack.



So of course  I’m reading Under the Tuscan Sun a good 10 years after most every body else has.  The movie is  one of my favourites and  as many a movie goes they didn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story which is fine by me but its been a feast to read the original memoir where the countryside and the food and the buildings and Bramisole itself are the leading characters.  And as with all books your drawn head and shoulders into it’s not long before you find some of yourself hidden in there. Its always these stories of fixing up and pulling straight and uncovering beauty that’s been there all along that speak to me loudest and hold me longer.

We arrive at the  house dazed by the events and the grappa. Anna and Lucia have washed the windows and exorcised layers of dust as well as many spiders webs. The second floor bedroom that opens onto a brick terrace gleams. They’ve made the bed with new blue sheets and left the terrace doors open to the sound of cuckoos and wild canaries in the linden trees. We pick the last of the pink roses on the front terrace and fill two old Chianti bottles with them. The shuttered room with its white washed walls, just waxed floors, pristine bed with new sheets, and sweet roses on the windowsill, all lit with a dangling forty-watt bulb seem as pure as a Franciscan cell. As soon as I walk in, I think it is the most perfect room in the world. page 23

What this snippet leaves out is the total shambles the rest of the place is in. Too good. So during this cold and rainy June I’ve had a little trip to the warm Italian country side each time I pick it up.  What drew me in – apart from all of it – wasn’t the idea of escaping to an idyllic life in Italy (although who would argue) but the theme of appreciating and celebrating  the   good and simple things in life and the reminder for me that that has much less to do with location than we might think.  This Instagram feed has been a perfectly timed slideshow to my reading.#tuscanywritersretreat

3. Speaking of books I found out how to reduce my long list of “must read” books without spendings big $. (My kindle for mac app has had one lonely book downloaded on it for ever and my Pinterest board of Books To Read was getting longer and longer). So I now follow the authors of the various books I want to read on Instagram and they very nicely let you know  when the kindle version of their books are on sale. $1.99 for some, $2.99 for others.  Now thats a find.

(Another option is to subscribe to the Amazon  daily deal and it is tailored according to your search history. How handy is that). So I think I might have gone and learnt something after all and it’s just how much I love to have a good read on hand. A good book –  like a friend you can always turn to for a little quiet, solace or even a laugh. Not all of them deep and soul searching, some just a soft place to fall.

4. Next find was a couple of Fan Iris’s.


Now I would really love to say I found them at a beautiful nursery that sold amazing plants and pots and coffee and homewares and that they called my name from across the top of my cappuccino  – – –  but I can’t. I found them on sale in BIG W. Yes thats just how glamorous things get around here.


So I  mention Fan Irises like I chose them especially but I’ve had two empty cement planters for so long that I truly didnt care what went in them. The tags on the Iris’s said “loves pots”, there were two, they matched, they were on sale – so Fan Irises it is. I’m hoping with a bit of TLC they might show me some blooms at the appropriate time.

5. I found this short, to the point but truly inspiring post  “A Filmmakers Journey” by Mitch Teemley.


It’s my goal as a filmmaker to impact people’s lives. But will I? How many people will remember Over-the-Rhine (or my name, “baby”) a thousand years from now? Heck, how many people will remember it five years from now?

Read more of this post here

And this one


The Magical Key to Doing it All – and  of course there is no magical key to doing it all. This one is so worth the read.

Each of you has the capacity to do what’s important to you, but there’s no way that can include everything. If you expect a perfectly clean house, manicured yard, homemade food on the table every night supplied from your flourishing vegetable garden, a fulfilling job, margin for personal creativity, community with friends and family, involvement in the community, 60 minutes of daily exercise, time to read and watch TV, and all the other things you think you should do, you’ll literally become an insane person.

Read more of this post here

6. And I found this very lovely instagram feed   @brushed_ interiors  Its decorating on a budget at its prettiest and finest.



And finally


I found out, which means maybe I learnt –  that even when everything in my world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket (a sturdy cane one probably) that it really isn’t. That there is always a way through, that there is always One who leads, One who makes a way when I  haven’t the slightest  clue. We know it and then there are the days when we live it for real.  This Women Connect post says a little more.

So thats my finds for June. What did you find?

Love from my home to yours



Linking up today with Bloggers Pit Stop, Inspire Me Monday Link Party and Celebrate Your Story




20 thoughts on “What I Found In June

  1. I’ve read Under the Tuscan Sun several times, it never fails to transport me to Italy. The Magical Key to Doing it All sounds good- I love the quote you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Tracey, this was fun, to get a peek inside your month of discoveries and accomplishments. I especially loved your basket find (I enjoy collecting baskets too), and your Women Connect post. Is that a group you write with or a subheading for your own thoughts on the blog?
    I hope your day is filled with all things good. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gleniece – thanks so much, so glad you stopped by. Yes theres many a cane basket hanging out at my place. Women Connect are weekly posts I write to the ladies in my church that I email directly to them each Wednesday morning. I then create a page on my blog for each new W/Connect post and link it to the Women Connect parent page so they are easily accessible. Anyone who would like to receive them direct to their inbox can just email me. They keep me writing to a deadline and looking to God!! Doesn’t always leave me a lot of time to write my other posts but I feel that the W/Connect posts are the priority. Have a great day Gleniece x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good morning Trace,
    I always enjoy a good read. Wow, it’s been a long time since I read “Under a Tuscan Sun”. I won a copy of the book from a margarine promotion. (I was hoping for first prize, a return trip to Italy)! I love a good read but I found sometimes that book irritated me. Bad me, everyone else probably loves it! Everything just dove tails together a little too seamlessly, Oh, I ran away to Italy, wrote a book, got made into a movie and now I’m a multi millionaire with all the trimmings, it was so easy! Maybe I’m a bad tempered, jealous old grouch?
    Enough of my book review. Your posts are thought provoking and the photos inspiring. In my home decor my take away would be to add more blue and green colours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jen – lovely to hear from you. Well you know what your not alone, apparently not everyone loved Under The Tuscan Sun. I read some reviews which were not glowing for some of the same reasons you listed. So love, your not the only bad tempered, jealous old grouch LOL! Its interesting though because I didn’t get that smug, “aren’t I clever and fabulous” feeling from it all, in fact it was quite the opposite that warmed me to the book. To me it seemed that she was still pinching herself that she was there, and showed us the rookie mistakes they made, the snubs from the really fabulous people, the feeling of still being a tourist and that they were really only care takers of Bramisole until the next generation. But aint that the beauty of books we all get something different and I haven’t reached the end of it yet. Will keep you posted. And yes to more to blue and green Jen – love it.


      1. Well, phew, it just wasn’t me having a bad hair day spraying verbal graffiti all over your love!y blog!!!! Btw my last 2 bed linen purchases have been white! I went to Sheridan a couple of weeks ago in Arnclivfd and was disappointed that it is just another shop! No more sheeting or super cheap tables to pick over. I have turned my attention to IKEA bargain bin and I am furnishing my house with the end of line and s!lightly damaged stuff. I did make some bathroom curtains by cutting up and sewing one IKEA curtain. My home decorations g efforts are not worth photographing!


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Always room for some straight talking here on the blog Jen. That Arncliffe shop was my go to place for marked way down designer linen and funny that you mention IKEA because I haven’t been in one since they closed the one at Moore Park eons ago but yesterday we all found ourselves at Concord Hospital for Ken to have an eye procedure and just around the corner was IKEA – huge !!!! so we spent an hour wandering and getting ideas for Ethans room. Thank God for that cafe at the end because you need a drink and a hot dog by the time your done – mind boggling but some very lovely things. I was waiting for a siren to go off or bells to ring or even the police to arrive when I went through the register because after an hour I spent less than $10 – which may be a record for IKEA or if not is illegal. Anyhoo have loved hearing from you Jen and your comments and opinions colourful or otherwise are always welcome here. Xx


  4. Great you’ve made a run to Ikea and it is mind boggling colossal! Hope the husband is recovering ok?
    Here is my go to list for Ikea:
    1)If you have small children queue up and put them in free area for one hour.
    2)Head straight to check out area and if hungry buy cheap eat and drink. Once you have your cup for a drink have your fill of soda, rinse with hot water from coffee bar and use same cup to help yourself to a coffee.
    3)Next squeeze yourself via going the wromg way through an open check out into the shop. Do not try being coy and squeeze yourself through a closed check out as sirens and lights will be activated.
    4)Turn left and head straight to the Bargain Bin area. Sometimes you may find the very thing you are after in a slightly damaged box at a great price. Some of the things I have bought from bargain bin are a pair of curtains, a king size bed spread, a moldable foam pillow, a regular pillow, pillow slips, a print in s frame, plates, a white leather chair, a chrome lamp, 2 desks, some large pink study cardboard storage boxes, a large rug and more that I’ll think of later…….
    5) go to check out and make your bargain purchases, if you haven’t already avail yourself of cheap eat and drink as per step 2.
    6) collect children from free play area
    7) Hopefully squeeze all children and bargain buys into your vehicle!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Trace, glad I brightened your day, a little. Yes, feel free to re post my Ikea bargain shoppers guide!


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