Monday, 29 April 2013

Back to Butter

In an effort to protect the kids from all the nasties that go into their food these days, we have made the switch from margarine to butter. I have fond memories of my Nanna having butter on everything including her weetbix (dry of course). She used to put a knob of butter on a plate in her cupboard for each day so it would be soft enough to spread. How simple!! How did this small detail get lost in the debate about butter and margarine? Everyone switched to margarine because it was easier to spread. Well why couldn't we have just kept doing what our grandparents did in the old days?

Bring back the butter dish I say!!!

We don't actually own a proper dedicated butter dish so I had to have a think about what I could use to put the butter on that was a least a tiny bit special. Well more special than one of our plain old white saucers that is.

This is what I found:

A souvenier from someones trip to Europe. (I think maybe it was my Dad). These things never normally get seen again so it is kinda sweet that we found a practical use for it.

Well until I find something better that is  :)

Who else is making the switch back to butter and who has a cool butter dish?

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Chicken Feed

We have neighbours across the road who will often bring us fresh eggs from their chickens. Hubby and I have often thought about getting chickens. Infact our house used to have a chicken coop in the back corner where the shed now is.

Our neighbours have gone to New Zealand for 3 weeks so they asked if we would feed the chickens and collect the eggs and feed the little dog. The kids were so excited when they found out our job for the next 3 weeks. The best bit is that we can keep all the eggs. So I think the next few weeks will be filled with omletes, quiche and scrambled eggs.

They have 6 gorgeous hens. We let them out so they can peck around in the backyard. The boys wanted to pick them up all the time. The little dog is a jumper and a licker but very friendly. Poor Heidi got pinnned to the ground and licked all over. I have to run to save her, but that didn't stop her going back for more. She has no fear that kid.
We collected 5 eggs today.

Chicken coops. Good for so many reasons :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Fixing the rose garden

Today is ANZAC day in Australia. I got up early when the kids rose and we made Anzac biscuit. I can't stop eating them. So to burn off some energy I got started on fixing up the small rose garden in the front yard.

It was a mess of lavender and lambs tongues which never grew well because the big paper bark tree blocked all the rain. The poor roses were leaning and needed re-staking too.

Here is what it looked like before (sorry about the dark photo but it was in the morning shadow):

I pulled out all the old plants, removed the leaf litter from the tree above, re-staked the roses, added some compost from the compost bin, sprinkled on some soil wettener, the replanted 2 nandinas from the backyard. The nandinas had to be moved anyway because the extension is going to replace that garden bed. I stole some mulch from the other front garden and gave it all a good water with some seaweed solution.

Now it looks nice and fresh and ready to grow next spring.

Towards the end of winter I will give the roses a prune. I will have to keep the water up to them this year as I'd love some roses to pick to put in the house. Last year the flowers didn't last long.

Grow, little garden, grow!

Laundry storage sorted

My latest project was a long time coming. For about a year now, our laundry has looked liked this:

I put that clothes rack in there just to give me somewhere to hange wet clothes in the winter. It did come in handy but the thing was always in the way. Those brooms and mops also would get kicked over and really needed a place to belong.
So I got inspired to upcycle an old piece of timber that we had been saving for something and some old metal bars that Hubby found at work.
I needed something to hang wet clothes on and a place to put the washing baskets and a place for the brooms.

I saw these and got inspired.

So I set my team to work.

I found a shelf bracket design on the Martha Stewart website and had Hubby scale it to be big enough to hold 4 top rails which I could use to hang clothes over. Then he added a lower rail to hand coat hangers on. Then I gave it three coats of paint, and added 3 double hooks at the bottom.

Here is the final product. I am thrilled and Hubby not longer curses when he walks through the laundry.

This mop didn't have the hole in the right spot to hang it up properly so I tied a cord around it. Am I a genius or what!   Ha ha....

Here is the before and after for comparison. The room just feels so much more spacious. It is amazing how getting things up off the floor make a room feel bigger.

Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Ensuite colours delima

If there is one thing that is true about me is that I really suck at making decisions about colours. You have no idea how long it took us to decide on the colours for the outside of the house. I was torn between doing indian red weatherboards with white trims or the yellow with white and green trims. The scaredy cat in me said to go with the safer yellow. But that was after months and months of looking at greys and blues and everything else that was current at the time.

Now my problem is the ensuite. Do I got crispy white or do I blend it with the colours in the bedroom? The bedroom has green walls, white trims and dark brown furniture. If I stuck with that look I could do the ensuite a bit like this (actually from YHL Blog):

Then the white trims would match the rest of the house, the green walls would match our bedroom and the dark wood would match our bedroom furniture.

Or, do I keep it simple and safe with neutrals like our main bathroom?

Other bathrooms I love:

Way too big for our room but I like the small black handles and white vanity and benches with the green walls and the gorgeous wall lights.

I really like this style vanity either in white or chocolate brown. It is from Pottery Barn but I saw that Early Settler had a similar one but I think they dicontinued it this year.

This is just elegant and I live that window in the show. Ours will have a window but up higher I think.

I love the colours in the room and especiallythose tiles behind the mirrors and thr crispy white towels.

I also have to think which would be the easiest to achieve on a tight budget.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Bargain Baskets

It was a beautiful day here in Melbourne today so I took my baby girl for a walk in the pram whilst dear son 1 was in school and dear son 2 was at kinder. And what did we do in this girly time?? Shop of course.

I am so pleased with my new bargain baskets that I picked up from the Op Shop in Seddon.
I found a big flat one for $1.50 and a smaller cute one with a handle for $3.

Baskets like these are normally pretty pricey so I grabbed them and now I have to find a use for them.
A similar thing from Pottery Barn (soon to opening Sydney; why not Melbourne!!!) would cost $82.
Beachcomber Round Tray
I am thinking the big flat one would be good to sit on the middle of the kitchen island bench with something pretty in it. But what??

Another bit of exciting news is that I submitted the amended plans to council this afternoon. Now we sit back and wait again. The poor kids don't get why we have to wait so much. They just want to get started on the building. They are desperate to get a staircase for some reason. :)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Back to council

It is Monday today and our contact guy at the council, Julian, is meant to be back from holidays today. Hubby is going to call him to see what else we need to submit our amended plans. We have to pay a fee but don't know how much. Scarey!!!

Fingers crossed that is it not too much and that this is an easy process.

No other news right now. Check back later  :)

Friday, 12 April 2013

Yesteryear photos as momentos

I was bored at work the other day and started googling ou street name. I found some awesome old, old photos which I thought would be great to keep so downloaded them to my hard drive.

Check these out.

I think I would like to have these printed out and displayed in frames some where in our house. That first one actually blows up really big and clear so I think I could actually do it pretty large. You can't quite see our house in the second photo but you can still see lots of interesting stuff.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Let there be light

Not sure if I have mentioned it but the vacant block on the left of our house is finally getting a house. The owners are about 5 years younger than us and have no kids. They are building a 2 storey house. Phew! It all sounds great. They showed us their plans and they have a copy of ours.

One issue we are dealing with at the moment is their garage. They would like it to be next to our house and less than the required 1 meter from our habitable (lounge/kitchen) window. In order for this to be ok, we have signed off on the deal. However because we will be losing a fair bit of light they have agreed to pay us $1000 to install a skylight. I am sure it will cost a lot more than that to get one I'd like but hey, we don't want to start off on the wrong foot with our nice new neighbours.

So we have been googling ideas. I'd love electric opening ones but they are super expensive.
I'd love more than one. I'd love three, but again money is an issue. Here are some that I think could look good with our flat ceiling.

I really like the centered ones over the island bench with lights hanging off them. I wonder if we could do that. Also I would put some moudling around it to make it more of a feature instead of just a hole in the ceiling. I haven't forgotten about the window splashback either. That will give some more nautral light over the sink.

Monday, 8 April 2013

That pesky space above our TV

So I was doing my daily read of one of my favourite my favourite blog Young House Love and they had just completed a project that I have been struggling over since we got our flat screen TV last year. What to do with the wall surrounding it??

Here is it currently:

It has an Ikea TV bench under it which had glass in it but I put some paper in there to hide the mess. Not happy with it but it will do until I try that cool frosting idea.

So do I do a shelf or shelves? Some prints? Artwork?  What do you think everyone?

Edited to add:
Sherry from YHL blog just suggested a photo collage around it and I just found these great examples on Pinterest.

I really like the second one beause it is not centered and out TV can't be centered above the cabinet because of the chair next to it.

This is me playing around in Paint.

Brown shelves look better I think.

I think it is too busy.

Here are the final plans

So these are a few days late, but as they say, better late than never. It is so nice to be just that one step closer even though the road ahead still seems so long. I guess one of the plus sides is that the longer it takes us to start building, the more time it gives us to pay off more money on our home loan and get it down before we draw more money out of it again.

So here is the ground floor with new laundry that use to be Heidi's nursery and walk in robe for our ,aster bedroom. Yay! How nice will that be. At the moment every time I buy a new piece of clothing I have to ditch and old one just because we have no space to keep them.

Ground floor
 The second storey has the two bedrooms for the boys and an extra living area for them to set up the wii or TV or whatever.
Second storey
When we were at the Home Show yesterday we saw the coolest bean bag chairs that unzip into beds. They are called Bags 2 beds and I can just picture the boys having friends have sleepovers up there.

So what will this little yellow house look like after all this work is done?
Something like this:

So the top level will actually hang over the backyard and we will make the area under it out outdoor entertainment area.

Here is what it will look like from the street.

So the next step is to finish filling out the forms for the council to lodge the amendments and then more waiting until they are approved. They probably have to put up a board out the front of our house and contact our direct neighbours. They have 2 weeks to object. Cross your fingers everyone because we don;t need any more delays. They 3 kids are not getting any smaller that is for sure!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Amen to Amendments


Hubby called the drasftman today and finally he has finished the plans. He didn't put the right windows in that we asked him too but he said that wont matter as we can put any in as long as they aren't any bigger.

I am too tired now to post a picture so that can wait until tomorrow.

You can now find those plans here.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Shed cleanup II


So today I painted some of the bench in the shed and added some pretty containers.

Our small shed from the outside. Still rubbish outside to dispose of.
Previously you couldn't even walk in the door. Now there is floor space and clean floor space at that. The dirt and leave and vines were covering the floor before.
Here is where I painted the workbench top. Still got more today but maybe another day.

Here is the shelves with paint tins, metal things and plumbing supplies. Also a shelf full of fasteners.

And below are rolls of stuff, electrical things in that big container, drop sheets (ie old sheets), and random things that didn't fit anywhere else. All the tools are on the other side of the shed but I couldn't move those. Too heavy.

So I am thrilled with my efforts and just want to stand in there and look at it.