Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Long time between catch ups

Hello friends! I feel like lately posts have just been info but I feel like we are in desperate need of a catch up, so grab a coffee (wine), sit down, jump in the bath (whatever makes you happy) and let's catch up!

Life has been pretty busy for us, if you have been reading my posts for a while you will remember that we are building a house in our backyard, well we have been moving along nicely with that little project. All drainage has been completed, dirt piles have developed (a bit random), slab went down, framework up, internal plumbing done and the fascia's and gutters are going up now together with the roof tiles and bricks. It's all happening and I LOVE IT!! I adore watching the house progress out our back windows. Miss 2.5 spends so much time watching the builders, a bit annoying I'm sure, seeing as though every time they look in her direction she waves and yells HELLO through the window, "They can't hear you sweetie there is a lot of noise." She gets a wave every now and then but I swear they have started avoiding the glance at our house. Giving each other the heads up when there is a little girl in her pj's, slippers, rain coat, every piece of jewellery she owns and a sun hat with crazy knotty hair hanging at the window AGAIN!
Love her enthusiasm though!

Anyway.... The back house is moving along nicely. Each weekend my husband and I go for a walk in our new 'house' just checking out the progress. Well he is checking out the progress, I am deciding on furniture placement and pretending to hand things in my walk in closet, never had one of those before, a bit excited to say the least. We don't even have walls let alone cabinetry but I know where every knife and fork with go in the kitchen. My poor husband, I'm sure he really doesn't care whether we have a fruit bowl or a vase with flowers on the kitchen bench but I sure as hell do! Oh just wait for the styling posts, I will make sure I share every new purchase and styling win with you all.
Ok enough on the back house, let's talk front house for a little bit. We have renovated pretty much the whole house, totally fixed up the bathrooms, moved a wall or two, painted every inch of the house and added some new storage. I'm pretty happy with how the inside has turned out. It's certainly not perfect, but let's face it, it never will be. The house was originally built in the 1970's, the owners over the years have added wallpaper, the next owner couldn't be bothered taking it off and now it probably has 25 coats of paint over it. We definitely weren't going to pull it down, the prep work involved in removing wallpaper, sanding the left over glue, patching all the holes, scratches and rough surfaces and then only being ready for the undercoat. Argh it's hard work. We did all of that in our old house and I WILL NOT be doing that again. So inside....tick!

Outside...to be completed.

We have a two story house with brick down the bottom and weatherboard up the top. We also have very hideous fascia's (check out the photo) painted in dark ugly brown, our window frames match the fascia's and gutters with thin (unpaintable) aluminium brown frames and a roof that is so old and mouldy that I'm sure it used to be beige. Well at least it matches the fascia's and gutters ....ugly ugly brown! Our first step was rendering the bottom level, that has started. Scared the day lights out of me when I came home and the house was rendered green....thank god it was just the undercoat of render and the colour gets added later. We have selected the same colour render as we are using on the back house, just hoping to tie both houses together a little bit. Next up will be to clean and repaint the roof then we will be painting the second floor weather boards and fascia's, can't wait to get rid of that brown! Hopefully when we are done both the houses will work together, they are on the same block after all. 

After all that work and money spent on the house we are then getting the landscaping done, we have to wait for the driveway to be laid before we can landscape but looking forward to that. Then......ready to sell! Feels like a huge waste of time and money if we are just going to sell it, but fingers crossed we get a bit more money in the long run and it will add value to the back house, we will be moving into it after all. Ah the sale process, super fun for me but super stressful for so many. I have a few hints and tips when you're trying to find a real estate agent, I'll be sure to post about that shortly as we select our agent. So many people find selling their house stressful and upsetting, and that's completely normal, I on the other hand LOVE it, the idea of cleaning your house, decluttering and getting rid of the crap you accumulate over the years and then having the opportunity to move and set up house in a new place. It gives you the chance to change things up, set up a room differently, use different, sometimes more up to date, styling ideas and I love love love setting up a kitchen. I'm a bit weird I know but it's fun for me so I can't wait. There is so much to do before hand though so I better get moving...


Photos: Styles to Profit on a real Winters day in Melbourne

Battle between Custom Made and Manufactured

My husband and I were wandering around a furniture store last weekend trying to find a new dining table. We need one to fill the gaping hole that is our meals area. I love the round wooden tables with wood and white chairs, I even love the industrial metal chairs and concrete table tops but haven't quite decided on my selection yet. We were also looking for a new desk for the man of the house. He works from home quite a bit and really needs a new desk. He isn't quite sure what he wants either but we thought we might get a bit of inspiration walking around a few furniture stores.

Well we didn't find anything we really wanted!! We ended up just temporarily filling the meals area with this table and chair combo.

I had seen it in the Real Living Magazine recently and loved it then. I was a tad disappointed with the quality of it but for a few hundred dollars what can you expect? Sadly my husband came home empty handed. Whilst he didn't know what he really wanted he didn't find anything he really liked either. 

Our dilemma had me thinking how hard it can be to find the exact piece of furniture you had in mind. It's rare to walk into a pre manufactured furniture store and fall in love with one of their items on the showroom floor. Well rare for me anyway.  It drives my husband crazy walking into so many furniture stores and me never finding what I want. One of the downsides of working with interiors I guess. I find a lot of overseas furniture that is beautiful but it's not quite in my budget to have furniture delivered from Denmark to Australia. Got to have a limit somewhere right?!

After coming home almost empty handed I jumped online and started looking into custom made furniture, it can definitely be more expensive but with the quality you receive and getting exactly what you want I feel like the benefits really out weight the negatives in this battle. I think I have found some tables that I love but I think I need to start saving!! 

I absolutely love the work they do at Ingrain Designs and really look forward to the day I can showcase some of their work in my home. And the best part, if there is something I don't like about it....I can change it!

Enough of me though, my husband is STILL looking for a new desk! Argh he is more indecisive then I am. I found some great companies that custom make them like Redfox and Wilcox. Theirs are beautiful, might be more my taste than his though...

Hudson make custom made office furniture as well, the quality of their work looks beautiful to and they probably fit into my husbands tastes a bit better. Really intricate details in their beautiful office furniture.

So when it comes to the battle between manufactured and custom made furniture I know which one I would pick every time. I also love the idea of having a piece of furniture that no one else has. I strongly believe in being an individual and standing out from the crowd. Being yourself not following others, so owning something that is completely and entirely you is amazing and really satisfying. As long as I save my coins I might have enough money to fill up my home with beautiful custom made furniture one day, maybe in about 10 years!! I tend to have expensive taste.

I love discovering new small businesses so if you know of any that you would like to share please let me know. I always like to add to my supplier list!


Monday, June 20, 2016

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Ignore Removal Companies

You’ve found the perfect house; you’ve exchange contracts, and you have your moving date. You’re so close to being in your new home, but there is still so much to organize. Here are some of our top tips for why you shouldn’t ignore removal companies when moving home:

You’ll save so much time

Moving house is hectic, mostly because it’s so fast-paced, trying to squeeze so much into one day. Hiring a removalist company means you’ll have an extra pair of hands (or two), as well as a van. This can significantly cut down how many trips you end up doing, and how long loading takes. More hands make light work and all!

Peace of mind is priceless

Worrying if anything is going to get broken or damaged during the move is one of the most stressful things. It’s inevitable that something will get knocked over or bumped when moving home. Or you can reduce this risk by hiring a removal company. Also, if something does get damaged, such as a TV, you can claim on insurance. Be sure to ask what type of cover they have before the big day.  

Your friends and family will thank you

When you’re moving house, friends and relatives will always offer to help, if they can. Repaying your loved ones with a takeaway and a couple of drinks after a day of heavy lifting is an excellent way to say thanks. Or they probably didn’t agree to 10 hours of shifting and bickering that comes with moving house. Hire some professionals to move your belongings to take the stress off of your friends and family.

It’ll take the stress out of moving

The night before you get the keys to your new home, you’ll probably experience all kinds of emotions. It can be a bit overwhelming and stressful thinking about everything that needs to happen the following day. Hiring a removals company is an excellent way to take some stress out of the day. You’ll know that you have everything you need to get your stuff from A to B, quickly and safely.

Having the right vehicle for the job

Moving a house full of furniture in a car isn’t the best way to transport your things to another property. You’ll end up doing countless trips, wasting both fuel and time unnecessarily. Hiring a man with a van means you’ll get not only support but also the right vehicle for the job.

You won’t end up in hospital

If you’re not used to heavy lifting, you might end up doing some damage to yourself. Lifting lots of furniture all day isn’t how most of us usually spend our days. You can end up causing some serious damage to your back. Or you might end up trying to carry something too heavy, and dropping it. To avoid ending up in accident and emergency on moving day, call in some professionals.

If you’ve got any tips on why else you should hire a removal company, share your thoughts below.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Preparing Your House For Viewing Is Easier Than You Think

When you are getting your home ready for sale, it can be difficult making sure you have remembered everything. Even if you have been through the process many times before, it is still rarely a walk in the park. But there is good news. With a little focus and determination, preparing your house for those viewings can be straightforward. The trick is really in knowing what needs doing and what you can easily leave alone. Once you are clear on that, you can then spend your time actually doing what needs to be done. Part of the problem for many people is that they are unclear on what needs doing at what stage. To help you out, then, we have put together this short post. Here is how to make preparing your house for viewing a much easier affair.


Fix Any Underlying Issues

This is an important place to start, and for a number of reasons. It makes little sense to be putting your house on the market if there is anything seriously wrong with it. With that in mind, spend a good deal of time fixing all of the underlying issues which the house might have. Sometimes, it just so happens that you don’t notice these issues until it is almost too late. Even if you only notice a leaky pipe the day before a viewing, you can still get it sorted out. Call an emergency plumber and have them deal with it as soon as possible. Ultimately, this is a necessary first step in getting your home ready for viewings.

Brighten Up

Colour scheme is a massive influencing factor for people when they are viewing houses. The good news here is that changing your colour scheme at home is a quick way to improve the overall effect. This can be great if you don’t know what exactly to do, but you know that something needs doing. Changing the colour scheme is as simple as grabbing a paintbrush and spending a weekend painting the walls. If you get the whole family involved, it can be a doddle.

Remember Kerb Appeal

Most of the work is done, in fact, before anyone gets into your home. They say that first impressions are what really count. Well, as that is true for people, it is just as true for your home. When you are getting your home ready for viewings, it is vital not to forget the outside kerb appeal. You need to ensure that, when people are arriving, they are immediately amazed by the state of your house. Work hard to keep your front lawn as pristine as possible. If necessary, invest in a new knocker for the front door, or perhaps repaint the door. With these little changes, you can make a world of difference.

Keep The Pets Out

When you have people coming over for viewings, one great tip is to keep your pets away. If you can have them stay with a friend for the day, then that is ideal. Pets often give an impression of uncleanliness. Though this might not be accurate or fair, it’s true that many people get turned off by dogs and cats. It pays to do everything in your power to avoid putting people off.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Getting Things Done!

I am about to tick off one of the last major events of the year and I'm not gonna lie.......I'm so excited about it!! This year has been huge, one big deal after another with very little down time. Even when I have had down time I have had a million things on my mind. Sure Christmas is still coming a little too quickly but I am already getting organised for it with a few presents done. Christmas happens every year so I can prepare for it and handle it. Because I have been so busy with a million things happening this year there are plenty of things I should have done that I haven't or areas of my life that have missed out a bit.  After this weekend and the exciting WEDDING I will be re-evaluating my time and dealing with some of those poorly addressed areas. My list is constantly growing but here is where I'm gonna start:

Spring Cleaning
I know how fun can that really be????
I hate some parts of cleaning but love the others. I hate vacuuming and mopping floors, I would LOVE to have someone come and do that along with cleaning my bathrooms every two weeks, until I can have the luxury of that it's all me! So I'm going to start by setting myself a bit of a routine, I'm one of those people that likes to write things down and keep lists and I know if I start by writing a routine I will manage to keep it going for a little while. So that ticks the boring stuff off
the list, but what about the big stuff. Here is the start of my spring cleaning list, this is the stuff that excites me because I absolutely love organising things so this is right up my alley! For those others of you who love organising things, check out this blog, Jen is amazing and so creative!!

1. Clean out the pantry and Fridge/Freezer
2. Clean out the Tupperware Cupboard
3. Organise my Inventory
4. Organise my craft and sewing storage
5. Find a new storage solution for my make up
6. Clean out my wardrobe
7. Clean out Madison's clothes and pack away ones that not longer fit
8. Organise filing cabinet
9. Sort through boxes ........ yes I still have plenty of boxes full of stuff from my old place
10. Set up Laundry and organise cleaning products......that's right, I have not organised my laundry since I moved in back in June!
The list is continuing to grow every day, I'm hoping to tackle one job every week until they are completed. The only problem is that every time I finish one job I find another that I need to do. Hopefully by say.....June 2015 I will be finished and the house will be all nice and clean.

I have been lacking big time in this area, I love exercising but struggle a lot with the motivational side of things. I don't have a gym membership because I was finding it too hard with my job and my daughter so I decided that I would try and do it myself. The weather is lovely now so I want to get outside and walk/run as often as possible, I can definitely do this with Madison. I also got a yoga mat for my birthday with some great fitness clothing to try and help motivate me to get up that little bit earlier and do some pilates/yoga. I found an amazing pilates instructor on YouTube, her channel any blog is called Blogilates. She is amazing, her blog is awesome and I follow her on instagram to keep up my motivation to get exercising. Check her out!
I'm gonna start exercising on my own then at the beginning of December I will be completing her beginners work out calendar. You can find that on her blog if you want to join me! We can help motivate each other to finish the month...Christmas might be a day I'll have to miss but there are rest days in the calendar so I will just switch one of them out for Christmas Day.

Time Management
Because I have been so run off my feet lately I have been finding my days are all joining together and I can't seem to get things done in time or I'm forgetting about things and almost missing appointments. As I said above I am a list maker and big on writing things down, I have been using my phone lately for all notes and calendar entries but I don't really like it. It's just not easy to see the week ahead at a glance which I really need. I also want to be able to distinguish who things are for, for example when Madison has an appointment I want it to be easily recognizable without having to click like 4 buttons. If Ben is going away I want to know when he is leaving and when he is getting back just by skimming the pages, again not pressing 8 buttons and guessing dates etc. So I'm already getting things in place for a 2015 planner. I'm hoping to set it up now and include the end of 2014 in it so I can start using it straight away. I have seen so many different planners that are nice but not exactly what I want. So I thought I would DIY it, I will be sure to share it with you and show you my finished product. I'm a tad excited about it but right now it's just in my mind, I really need to get it done. I've been using this one from Kikki-K as my inspiration but am simply not prepared to pay $75.00 for a planner, hence the DIY.

So these are the things that I'm planning on working on over the next few months, what about you? I'm looking forward to tackling my projects and sharing the before/after results with you. I would love to hear about your projects so please feel free to share.