Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bedroom dreaming

Wow time can really fly can't it? I have just realised today that I have not only not posted on my blog for over a week but I haven't even had time to comment on others either. Now I have a bit of catching up to do.

I have over the past week been a little distracted and exhausted by the very slow finishing off of our ensuite and walk in robe, which also impacts on our main bedroom. I so want my bedroom and bed back, a little over sleeping in the lounge on a sofa bed. Can't wait to get back in a redecorate.

So what has been happening besides gastro, head lice, work, Christmas and birthdays parties and planning, painting and cleaning? We have had serious discussions with our builder about a few things we were not happy with, which are now being fixed but at a very slow rate.

We also have had a disagreement about installation of the shower screen, something in our building contract which we think the builders have stated they are doing but they don't. We eventually got to the point of organising it ourselves (and it got installed today and needs 24 hours to set). We will at this stage pay for it and try to get reimbursed. For us is not just about the money but the misleading wording in the contract and discussions we have had with them. If we were clear they weren't going to do it we would have organised a couple of weeks ago as soon as the tiling had been done.

Good news is we have had a shower in our new bathroom even without a shower screen as it was all sealed late last week, we just had to mop the floor and wipe down the toilet after every one.

The other frustrating thing is there is still some minor carpentry work required in our bedroom and hall, which we were told would happen today but didn't, so we still can't sleep in our room. It has now been seven and a half weeks (doesn't help that a colleague of mine has been doing similar work at his house, started three weeks after us and has already finished). Not sure when they will finish off as can't seem to tell us.

What I do know is with the shower screen going in today and the mirror being installed tomorrow (maybe because we organised both ourselves), the bathroom will be finished and ready to decorate this weekend. As soon as that is done I will post some pictures.Thankfully too the building waste that has been sitting in our driveway was cleared today just in time, as we have about 20 kids descending on our house Saturday morning for my daughter's fifth birthday. Fingers crossed we have good weather as the garden is looking great, with all the rain Melbourne has had.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Painting and cleaning

Could it be - we might be able to use our new shower this coming weekend. If so it will almost be seven weeks since we had a shower in our house!

The weekend was spent painting, sorting and cleaning in anticipation of moving back into our bedroom and having a WIR and en-suite bathroom, which for the time being will be our only bathroom.
Corner of shower - still got to paint above, do corking and put in shower screen (to right of picture only as walk in)

Just painted the ceiling and new cornice

We had discussion this morning with the building group about some issues and are hoping all will be sorted asap, I mean Christmas is under three weeks away can you believe!

Looking through the new WIR to bathroom - can't wait to put blue towels on the towel rail

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hugs, thank you and a win

It has been a frustrating hard week as far as the build goes but today I managed to take a step back and focus on the good things.

Lots of hugs and watching how well my two kids play together, making things with my daughter while my son had a long sleep, and receiving a gorgeous gift in the mail from Lisa of Ledamae which I recently won on a giveaway on her blog.

And speaking of blogs, I want to say thank you to all of you out there that read my blog and leave lovely comments. It really is helping make this build process so much easier to handle. I love writing this blog and reading all of yours. I have met so many wonderful people and been reminded of great, easy things to make - like these lanterns and paper chain I did with my daughter today - I was reminded of this reading Buttons by Lou Lou.

We have also enjoyed getting ready for Christmas and started to decorate the tree (my little boy however loves to take of the balls and throw them).

Good news is the plasterer finished today, so we can actually clean up a little and paint this weekend. We do have issues still but one of the company managers is coming to see us Monday. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And so it goes on.....

What a day! Started off being so excited as the vanity, toilet and fittings went in. Then the electrician came and put in all the lights.

So knowing this raced home from work excited about taking photos to share with you. Turned on the lights (which look great) - let there be light! Unfortunately with light we can now see any defects, so to list a few:
  • uneven tiling on walls
  • uneven tiling in shower recess, meaning any shampoo bottle would lean
  • slant on floor
  • bowed wall behind vanity.
This has left me angry and upset, so straight to the pizza store and a glass of red!

Tomorrow we will be having harsh words to our site manager, it needs to be fixed and we are fast running into Christmas and out of patience! Stay tuned for the next episode in the saga.....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Do you notice cornices when you walk into a house?

Old cornice throughout our house

According to my site manager when trying to match our cornice and finding he couldn't get a perfect match - it is fine if they are similar, as only people like him would notice the difference.

Well I don't know about you but I also notice and so we ended up asking them to replace the whole cornice in our bedroom so it did all match.

New cornice (called three step) in our bedroom, WIR and ensuite - obviously needs painting. I actually love it as you can't tell here but makes the ceiling look higher. I am a big fan of old houses and their features so this fits with that.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just a little Christmas red

Out in the garden this morning weeding and pruning. Who knew that Lilly Pilly tree cuttings would look so good in a Christmas display.

It is now raining so we are slowly decorating the house with red, being our favourite Christmas colour and my daughter's favourite all year round.

I have even painted my toenails red and got a red mask for an upcoming masquerade party.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Friday, November 26, 2010

All I want for Chirstmas is a shower

A shower for Christmas in the house that is or a fantastic outdoor one, I have been having regular showers, just not at home.

We are now into our fifth week without a bathroom but we have at least had movement. The plasterer finished yesterday and the waterproofer was here today. The tiler is due on Monday, after that I am not sure but here's hoping by the end of next week we can have a shower at home. Or is that just expecting too much from our builders?

Luckily it has been warm this week which meant we have been able to wash the kids with a bucket of water out on the deck. Nothing as glamorous as these outdoor showers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Keep out!

Sometimes you have to laugh or you might cry - it is my daughter's fifth birthday in a few weeks and yesterday we gave out her party invites at kinder.

Then last night got home from work to find plasterboard mess and dust in the driveway (the plasterer has finally been) and all over the footpath and front porch and a sign on the fence saying - Danger, construction site, unauthorised persons keep out. Now that is going to go down well with parents rocking up with their kids for my daughters birthday party. Maybe I should tell them we are going with a Bob the Builder theme, rather then the fairy / magic one we are having.

Oh the joys of living in a house you are renovating!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas in the City

I find the Melbourne lane ways, arcades and streets beautiful in Spring but when you add Christmas decorations to this it is even better. I am happy to see the City of Melbourne has gone with red, silver and gold, just what I am planning for our house.

Beautiful Royal Arcade - love the stain glass window - blue and red my favourites

My father in law and his partner were visiting from Adelaide this weekend and so we spent most of it in the City - enjoying the buzz, trying out different places for coffee, visiting Santa's cave in Myer and today walking around the Botanic Gardens - perfect weather for it all.

Kids enjoying the water path in the Ian Potter children's garden

Love a vegetable garden like this, how good is the seat around it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Out in the garden - getting ready for birthdays and Christmas

The sun is out today and it is a perfect 23 degrees, great gardening weather. Wonderful to be outside and get away from what's going on inside.

Our beautiful Canadian Maple we planted a few years ago is going well and so are our herbs and geraniums, we have had good rain fall this year but now time to mulch before the hot summer arrives. Especially as next week it is predicted we will have a week of days all over 30 degrees.

Next plan is to weed, tidy, plant flowers in pots and get ready to set up a fairy garden for my daughters birthday in December. Shhh, its a surprise!

Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


On an episode of the English show Grand Designs I was watching the other night, Kevin McCloud stated something along the lines of - when building people want three things, a great design, to meet their timeline and budget, but unfortunately you hardly ever get all three.

So if this is the case what would you give up? I suppose if I really had a choice probably timeline and at this point that is exactly what is happening, so maybe I should be sort of happy about that?

Anyway on a bathroom that was meant to take three to four weeks we have really blown our timeline. We are now nearing end of week four and still no sign of a plasterer. We have been told we may get one this Friday but not sure as yet as they haven't chosen which one they are going with. We are meant to find out tomorrow exactly what is happening, so fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Basil - smell, taste and colour

Basil, the perfect plant to adorn your kitchen table or island bench. The smell is divine, the colour of the leaves vibrant and uplifting and a great addition to that summer pasta, bruschetta or salad.

So even though the weather was fairly wet this weekend and so couldn't do much in the garden, with basil now in season I just had to get some for inside the house and I think it looks great in this blue pot.
Brief moment of sun shining through

Hope you had a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I have been tagged - 4 things about me

I have been tagged by wonderful Trish at A Dream House for Trish to share 4 x 4 things about me. This is the first time I have done one of these so a little exciting and lots of fun for me. Thanks Trish.

4 things that..... are usually in my handbag

Besides the usual purse, money, keys
  1. Small tube of Paw Paw Cream
  2. Aseop hand cream
  3. Mentos
  4. oh and things for the kids - tissues, wipes, museli bars, and a spare pair of undies for my daughter!

4 things that..... are in my bedroom

Hubby and I on our honeymoon

My usual bedroom has currently got a lot of dust, builders tools and boxes filled with bathroom fittings but ignoring this, normally though:
  1. My antique dressing table which was the first piece of furniture I bought.
  2. Turquoise vase filled with leaves or flowers from our garden.
  3. Various pretty boxes containing costume jewellery.
  4. Last but not least my gorgeous brown eyed hubby (he has the longest eyelashes which everyone comments on and luckily my daughter inherited).
4 things that ..... I would like to do but never did

The main piazza on the island of Capri, Italy

Like Trish, I too think never say never and don't really have any regrets...but things I haven't done or haven't done enough of yet:
  1. Travel - have seen the East Coast of Australia, Japan, UK and parts of Western and Central Europe but want to see Eastern. Also love to see New York and Canada, South America, more of Asia, South Africa and of course more of Australia. On this I do wish I had lived in London when my friends and brother and sister did but maybe something I will just have to do down the track.
  2. Learn Italian past the basic beginners Italian I do know.
  3. I often wish I studied Architecture or design at University, but renovating the house and this blog lets me dabble in the area and who knows maybe one day.
  4. Do all the piano grades.
4 things that .... you don't know about me

Hmmm this is a hard one as trying to think what would be most interesting....
  1. I have worked as a DJ in a night club and ran a music street mag for a short time.
  2. I suffered postnatal depression after my second child, my little boy was born and even though I was 'better' by the time he was six months probably didn't really feel myself until he was about 18 months (he is now nearly two and a half).
  3. I love music and dancing and love to sing and dance madly around the house with my kids to pop music, even Britney.
  4. A little accident prone, as a child fell down stairs in the Eiffel tower and a week later fell off a swing in Switzerland. Now continually stubbing my toe or hitting fingers - mind you have never broken a bone (touch wood).
Now I know I have technically given more than four things to some of the questions but that is another thing to add as my Mum says I started talking really young and haven't stopped since! Probably why I now work in communications.

Now the deal is I have to tag 4 people. This is really difficult because I read so many great blogs and have met wonderful people. So I have chosen 4 I enjoy and women who often leave lovely comments on mine. Enjoy!

Laura at My Summerhouse

Bec at Memory Garden
Sonia at Rain and Sage
Nessa at NessaKnit

Christmas, birthdays, toys and storage

Well Christmas is fast approaching and we also have my daughter’s birthday five days before, so with this in mind I have started lists and shopping.

It quickly made me realise that I also need to think about storage or reducing the amount of kids toys in the house before they get all the new ones (especially as of January we will be living in half a house for six months).

As the only grandchildren on both sides they tend to get a lot. We are always telling family not to buy them so much but living interstate they see it as a great opportunity to make up for time not spent with them.

This reminded me that the second post I wrote on this blog was all about the toy invasion in our house – see here.

In summary I have found Ikea a great place for good, inexpensive storage options, use bookcases as much as possible and regularly reduce the toys by giving to friends with younger children or to the Salvation Army.

I also am looking at and recommending to others gift ideas that aren’t toys that I know the kids will still love, like a family pass to the Zoo, books, craft things and outdoor items including mini garden sets.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week three and counting

Magical picture we bought at the St Kilda markets - maybe for one of the kids new bedrooms.

If you are a Seinfeld fan you may remember the episode where George's father kept chanting serenity now to remain calm, well that is what I am trying to say to myself today - serenity now!

Why, because we are heading into our third week without a bathroom and were told today that we still don't have a date for when the plasterer is coming. I was told at the beginning of this there would be days when no one turns up and so was expecting it but didn't think it would be consecutive days on such a short job. We were told the new bathroom (ensuite) and walk in robe would take three to four weeks, hmmm!

So this could mean another few weeks of heading around to friends houses for showers and bathing the kids, my daughter and I sleeping in the lounge on the sofa bed (not overly comfortable for two adults, so hubby still sleeping in her bed) and on the days we have various tradies, cleaning up after they have left. All leading very quickly into Christmas and my daughters and my birthdays in December.

So serenity now! Not as hard because at least we are having beautiful weather this week. Good for getting out an about. And tomorrow I am heading off with my daughter to a getting to know her school session, I can't believe she turns five soon and is starting school next year, very exciting but a little sad at the same time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sea (or tree) change

Ever thought about or actually had a sea (or tree) change?

Every Friday night Hubby and I watch the English show Move to the Country. We love it and often think, wouldn't that be a nice thing to do, especially if you could get an old character filled home with land. Also just recently a good friend of mine announced that she is moving from an inner City suburb of busy Melbourne to the beautiful, somewhat more peaceful surrounds of the Adelaide Hills. This got me to thinking could I do the same?

The Grampians, Victoria - cottage we stayed in last Christmas

Funnily enough I already have but the other way around. As a young child I lived just outside a small English village and walked down a country lane surrounded by green fields to school. I had a beautiful forest just down the road that we would go for walks in every weekend. Then at the age of 10 I moved with my family to the Adelaide Hills where I could see a hill with sheep and horses out of my bedroom window.

But then in my late 20s (10 years ago) decided to move to a inner City suburb of Melbourne with my then fiancé, now husband. So the question I suppose is more, could I go back? Part of me would like to, especially as my parents still live in the Adelaide Hills and my oldest close friends are there, but a lot harder now with children and I do love the buzz of Melbourne.

I also wonder how easy it would be to sell our home, one we have now lived in for nearly seven years, are currently renovating and last but by no means least brought our children home to just after they were born. We have planted trees in the garden and watched them grow, we measure our children against them.

I know from reading others blogs that some of you have renovated then sold or made big changes. Love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Italy - my colour inspiration

Packing up bookcases has meant a trip down memory lane as we pull out photo albums and the photos of Italy are certainly among my favourites.

My colour inspiration - Mediterranean blue, blooming bougainvillea, pots of red geraniums, white wash buildings, natural stone and the list goes on......


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