cooling down…

Well the months have rolled on and the kitchen is 99% finished. I will do a detailed post when we get the kick boards, marble tops and tiling done. My bet would be that nothing is going to get finished¬†until the boys go back to school. I ended up quite unwell towards the end so that slowed the process. Thankfully it seems it was a viral thing and has moved on. It wasn’t pleasant and I am glad to be on the mend albeit slowly. Pacing myself has become a priority-not something I am overly good at I must admit.

Holidays have seen slow days, lots of cooking, visitors, sewing and board games. Along with a LARGE dose of screen time which I am considering seriously monitoring upon the return of school…

I have been getting out into the garden which has been enjoyable. I am itching to get going on some more planting. So far I have added 3 magnolia little gems, an orange tree and sorted out the pots at the back door. I have a banksia, cats whiskers hedges and a native to go in once I work out where they will live! The decision has been made to put the vege garden at the front of the house. The stump of the pepper tree that we got rid of is of course in the road at the moment. Michael tells me that he is going to get rid of it but I don’t see that happening anytime soon so I will plant around it to get started.

I have been watching River Cottage Australia to get inspired. I am a big fan of the show-do you watch it? How pretty is this…

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Perhaps we could have a dinner party next to the new beds-want to come?

I also still have guest accommodation on my mind. We love having visitors and it would be lovely if we had some space for them to sleep over. I can totally see something like this in Green Valley-minus the snowy mountains of course (although the way the temperature is going down a bit of snow wouldn’t surprise me ūüėČ

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I am enjoying the cooler change. I rather like getting round in jeans, wellies and a jumper. I do need to get the kitchen and bathroom windows finished and back on before it gets cold…not ideal to be without windows when the wind howls through! Any plans for autumn?

Still washing up in the bath…

The kitchen continues…are you surprised!? Here’s what has¬†happened so far

  • cupboards assembled
  • gas connected
  • hot and cold pipes relocated
  • waste pipe in place
  • tin removed from left side of nook
  • holed filed¬†with expanding foam & silicone
  • GAPING hole that was the entry for mice, rats & possums fixed (by replacing an exterior board)
  • waterproof board cut to replaced vacant space under oven and cupboards
  • gap in floor siliconed
  • new noggins in nook for stability
  • paint scraped

I had no intention of painting the walls but watching the block and reading magazines convinced me to ‘consider the outcome and finish’ and Michael is away so I thought ‘hey, I can smash this out while he is away!’ My fingers are blistered but I got a heap done today.¬†imageWhat is left

  • fill holes, sand walls, paint walls
  • wiring for new lights
  • power point wiring (dishwasher, toaster, kettle etc)
  • insulation in nook
  • VJ board in nook
  • paint VJ board
  • sconce lights, switches & pendants installed (excited about these!)
  • cupboards in
  • sink install
  • tap & sink connected
  • benchtop on
  • silicone around sink and benchtop
  • plinth install
  • spacers (if required)
  • put up shelves
  • marble tops on cupboards beside oven
  • mirrors behind cupboards beside oven (maybe)
  • remove all kitchen paraphernalia from dining room and back into kitchen!

I am also considering two mirrored splash backs either side of the oven. I think they would do their job in making the space feel bigger by reflecting it upon itself. I will have a look next time I am in Bunnings (or Masters, or Mitre 10, or Home hardware… ūüėČ Bloody hell, that list seems loooooong! Today it feels like it will never be over… Tomorrow I will fill the holes and get sanding (wearing gloves this time I think!) ready to paint on Thursday. I haven’t bothered with the ceiling as we don’t have a great ladder to get the job done without injuring myself! Still loving the paint scrapers I bought-if you can get the corner in it peels off like butter…it is addictive! All the chaos hasn’t stopped my baking. This morning before I trashed the space I made a fig & burnt butter tart in preparation for a lovely visitor this afternoon. It was delish! Actually having a visitor coming forced me to get out of my pjs (which I wore all day while paint stripping) and make a place we could sit and chat. It was rather windy so the front verandah got some attention. I think I will be having breakfast out here in the morning-it is lovely!imageI am now sitting on my arse unfortunately without a glass of wine. I don’t think I’ll be too long out of bed to be honest. Hopefully my wrists work tomorrow!

Making it your own*

I love the internet. This is not a new revelation, my love goes waaaaaay back. Back to the time you couldn’t be on the phone when someone was on the WWW and that distinctive noise let everybody know you were about to check your email.

I love that you can ask it questions you wouldn’t dare ask a real person. I love how you can live vicariously through travel blogs, get recipe ideas from cooking pages and keep up with your mates on good old facey. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Facebook as well-unashamedly. UNASHAMEDLY I TELLS YA!!!

Anyway, the reason for my declaration of love does have something to do with houses. It is continuing to encourage me to decorate our house the¬†way we want. Not for re-sale, not to someone else’s taste. Just the way WE want it.

Working on the kitchen has made me see how limited options are for the masses. Of course if you have a bottomless pit of money you can have things made for you but for us on a budget getting creative is the only way to go if you want something other than greige. Australia seems to be fixated on resale. Why the hell do we try and make decisions based on the thoughts of someone we will likely never meet? I understand if you are renovating to sell this is the goal but if you are making a home why not have the wallpaper YOU want, or the kitchen YOU want to cook in. Choose your favourite colour to paint the outside and make the neighbours talk and for gods sake and enjoy the place you pay for and spend a shit load of time at/in/looking at.

America is all over it-of course. They make their homes their castles and don’t give a rats about whether that ‘one day buyer’ might not like their paint colour choice. So while I go through my stacks of pictures (both actual and on pinterest) I am encouraged to go with my gut and make the house one we love living in (it would have been hard to discourage me but I feel more confident seeing other people doing it-if that makes any sense!?).

Check these babies out if you fancy some pretty decorating…

http://makingitlovely.com

http://www.smittenstudioonline.com

http://www.designsponge.com

Meanwhile the kitchen is progressing and we are going through paper plates at a rate of knots. I am off to IKEA this week to collect the cupboards I have settled on. Still on the hunt for some marble shelves…any tips??

*This is a sweeping generalisation about Australian vs. American design-SWEEPING GENERALISATION

Checking on the progress…

I do look around here occasionally and think ‘bloody hell, we have so much to do!’. It can be a little soul destroying and feel rather overwhelming so I decided to look back at what we started with and what we have now (in the side yard at least). Here is what we started with…
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This fence I took out by myself-that is how old and shit it was, I could pull it out with my bare hands. I did all of this one waiting for the electricity guy to show up…he never did.

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After some mowing by Michael and some weeding by Beau and I this is what it looked like this afternoon. Much nicer! The grass has a beautiful green tinge after all the rain we have had. Can you see the jacaranda in the background? It has thrived since the broad leaf pepper tree got cut down-it is glorious! The fate of the palms is currently in negotiation between Michael and I…eventually I think this area will become the tank section with the chooks being moved somewhere else around the block (yes I have been daydreaming about an amazing house for them!)

IMG_9169And see the plant to the right there? There is a magnolia little gem and a few agapanthus. I think I am going to make a garden with 3 magnolias in total and underplant them with the aggies. (Big thanks to my lovely friends Leesa & Brad and their cutey pants little boys for bringing the magnolia on their way through!)

Yes, no, maybe so…

Turns out using paint stripper was costly and a bit shite. So,¬†I got my hands on one of these babies…

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and lordy lordy it has been a cake walk since!

10836538_10152889481943996_1902483640_nThe jury is still out on what the hell I will do once it is stripped. I am not loving the colour left behind so I think my previous thought about leaving it bare are out. I do love white but then I worry it is boring, then I see things like this and change my mind again!

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I have developed a bit of a black ceiling crush I have to admit….oh well, there is still a bloody lot to do before I will even buy paint so I shall continue to volley ideas around in my own head (and make myself a little crackers).

What are your thoughts on a black ceiling?

Out of work stripper…

It’s been a busy day at Green Valley. First up the RACQ came for a visit to replace our poor old 4WDs battery, the poor love doesn’t get driven much seeing as Michael has a work car and we only all fit in the Carnival. We did take it away to a Wedding recently and had to jump start it with a battery box EVERY time we wanted to drive…that got old quick.

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We got a parting tip from the guy as well to always lock our cars. I thought he was going to give safety as the reason but in actual fact it can wear down the battery as the cars computer can just be on standby so by locking it you are giving it a ‘true rest’. Interesting!

Next up the septic guy arrived to pump out god knows how many years of sludge (and let’s be honest, shit) from the 6ft tank that resides outside the bathroom window. I asked bevy of questions and was answered politely-which was nice. I now know what an outlet baffle is and that ours is broken, replacement needed asap

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It wasn’t as smelly a job as I was expecting so that was a nice surprise. In between visits I have been attempting to strip the bathroom of it’s rather ugly lemon paint. I started yesterday and was quite pleased at the progress however today the paint stripper is doing nothing other than making the paint look fluro…I have no idea why. Google has not been of assistance today so I will keep trying and see how I go.

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I am considering not repainting the walls but leaving them ‘distressed’ and maybe just putting a light milk wash over them.

Something like this (this is wallpaper!)

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The ceiling will be gapped, repainted fresh white and re-corniced. I figure if we get to the end of the stripping and sanding process we would be ready to paint anyway so it wouldn’t have been a waste of time. Any tips of some non working paint stripper…is it a weather issue or the fact that I washed the brush in water and perhaps it wasn’t dry enough for re-application…anything?

Tooth & Bishop anyone?

As I continue to um & ah over opening a brick and mortar store I keep researching EVERYTHING.

I came across this today and thought it quite hilarious.

Hipster business names

Because, you know, it’s all about the hipster these days (I do believe Michael and I were called that very name when our Wedding photo was in the Sunday style mag-achieviement or no?).

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What kind of shop do you think I should open…?

That, Sir, is NOT Pimms!

Michael is away.

The housework is done (for now at least)

I am ready to watch a show I have been looking forward to.

I reach into the back of the booze cupboard to pull out the pimms and this is what I find…

IMG_8175Yeah, NOT Pimms.

I had cut up the orange & cucumber.

I hadpicked mint out of the garden.

I had the ice cubes at the ready.

What a let down…ice tea it is then…cheers!

(I should probably get out the gumption as well and give that spot on the bench a right seeing too!)

Carl, Beet & their 7 boys…

A friend of mine told me recently to ‘get out of the house’ daily. Even if it is just a walk or up the road for a coffee. I have taken her advice and it seems to be making the weekdays a bit nicer. This morning after helping at school with reading, Fox and I headed to our nearest coffee shop to hang out for a while then we went for a drive around the surrounding town. Fox had been up since 5.30 so was super cranky and I knew he would fall asleep so I would be able to take pictures of nice houses (and fences) and he would be able to recharge.

We weaved around some pretty roads and ended up on dirt tracks that gave beautiful views of the valley. Then we found this…

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At the top of a steep dirt and gravel road sits this amazing hand made rock wall. There is a lovely view, the breeze is gentle and it is quiet. I (of course) chatted with a gentleman who was checking on his paddock. He told me that the street is named after his Great Aunt who lived on this very hill her entire life. You can still see the chimney stack-unfortunately the house burnt down many years ago.

He said that¬†he and his wife used to own a few other properties but have let them go over the years as none of their 7 sons wanted to take them on. They¬†had 7 sons! They also had a daughter but devastatingly she passed away on her 4th birthday due to a brain tumor. He told me it took him a good many years to even talk about her passing. His eyes got a bit wet as he told me he has also lost his beautiful wife whom he misses ‘every single god given day’. Her name was Beatrice ‘Beet’ for short and his name is Carl.

Carl said he and Beet loved babies (and would have happily had more!). I could have sat and chatted with him all day-people are fascinating. As it turns out, one of his Daughter in laws teaches our twins on Thursdays and Fridays! How funny.

I also chatted to Carl about a house for sale ‘by owner’ down the road. He told me that old Jack owned it and still lived in it. They used to be neighbours and all of their boys played with Jacks boys as well as 4 more from another family down the road-sounds like the perfect boys upbringing if you ask me!

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This little lady is on 2.5 acres and has all its original windows. I do love our little abode but this one has tugged at my heart strings as well! It reminds me of my Grandmothers stuco house in Ipswich-gorgeous. I would love to get inside. Maybe I could ask Carl to introduce me to Jack…

We finished our little jaunt with a stop at my favourite antique shop. I picked up a mirror for the bathroom and a Christmas present for Mum & Dad. I also spied this…

IMG_8738It didn’t have a price and I didn’t ask-pretty sure I didn’t want to know ūüėČ

Au revoir tuckshop!

Well…I have thrown in the apron and conceded defeat as the convenor of the boys school tuckshop.

I have had 1 person rostered on turn up when they were supposed to. Every other lady that put their name down has texted at around 4.30pm the¬†night before to say they wouldn’t be in…hard to not think it is personal but I think it is more of the general ‘slack arse-we should have the convenience without actually doing anything attitude’ around these parts. I emailed my resignation (effective Dec 12th 2014) in but am yet to tell the P&C-considering I am one of 4 that goes to the meeting it is unlikely that anyone will notice-until they can’t order reheated pizza and chocolate milk for their kid (and send in their order on a post it with not enough money).

Ironically, tomorrow is ‘Say thank you to tuckshop day’ and I won’t even be there. I will be fancy pantsing it at a Wedding and I couldn’t be happier to be heading there instead of reheating chicken nuggets.

Anyway, say g’day to your tuckshop volunteers¬†this week and say thanks…they deserve it!

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As a result I will be free on Fridays come December 12th, wanna hang out?