Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm so dizzy......

New information requests.
They came yesterday from planning department.
I am  happy to admit I don't even understand what they had written, let alone what they want.
I spent a night 'learning' the language.
I did new drawings and locations and information and sent them to our Architects (who have been brilliantly helpful) to hopefully collate into what the Planning people want.

My night went badly with little sleep, sick children, and early mornings waaaayyyy before the sun visited.
I wondered outloud what I am doing in cranky tired Mum ramblings.

Buuutttt for all the PITA this is in my life, good things are coming.

*in one week it is my Birthday
*I love Autumn.
*we have many other family birthdays this month
* we have purchased many beautiful plants to put onto our land to attract gorgeous butterflies.

So all in all it is just another hiccup.

For my birthday I wish for......... yep you guessed it.......
Council approval!! Feel free to fill this wish everyone :)

Thanks for coming by...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

butterflies, beautiful gardens, and bubbly kids

I love photography - mainly because I love to take pictures of my children. Sometimes they take my breathe away.....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

sorted.... well sorta sorted

Alright I have discussed with every Council certifier I can find and all is ok currently. We have met what is required and are travelling along (waiting for the next hiccup). Meanwhile real life travels on too.

So my To Do list is looking a little neglected as I have battled Council and a head cold, and seem to be winning both, (well winning a little :)

Buuut I ordered our kitchen today.

So an Artisan Carpenter from our local area is making the kitchen.
 It has two parallel benches (floor plan at the bottom of this post). That will run along the wall behind our dining room similiar to these - but they will be the same length.

One will host our dreamy, magical, double farmhouse sink.
Then next to it will live my much longed for 900mm Gas oven (not purchased yet).
Then happily directly across will live our nearly 3 metre kitchen island. Enough island space to cook with my children, chat, have a wine with friends or a casual dinner.

Then when I spoke to the gentleman carpenter today and expressed my concern over the wasted timber that will need to be cut out for the sink, he said 'would you like to use it for a great chopping board or pot holder for the table', I answered hurriedly ' um yes please!' Perfect.

I think I may paint the legs and shelves white for balance against all the rustic timber.
I have also scored an old meat safe (in need of a bit of paint love) as we have space on the wall meeting the playroom for the fridge and some cupboards (a little reminiscent of the image above, well I hope it will be).

Very happy. How much would all this cost? Ten thousand, NO, Five thousand, No - under two thousand dollars. I can't believe it! Amazing.
Now it is not a huge fancy kitchen with lots of cupboards it is an open style kitchen - but still, I'm very happy.
p.s. I would assume budget savings on the kitchen might buy me a certain kitchenaid I have had my eye on, wouldn't you agree?? I mean it would offer a nice design touch.....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

it all falls down... but we pick oursleves up and start again

On Tuesday afternoon, after lodging what I believed were my final documents for Council my husband placed a call to Environment about the 3 trees we have to remove for access to our site.
The Environment officer made an off hand remark about how the cost to come into bushfire code would break us, and this removal house thing may never happen.

Well DH rings me, I freak out, we both start trawling google and worrying about owning a removal house, and owning land the and the two never meeting, and us carrying a double mortgage and eating a lot of rice and beans :)

Buut I tend to pick myself up after a meltdown with a 'you can't stop me doing this, what do you need' attitude.

So after numerous unreturned phone calls to Council yesterday and much engine searching I feel we are better informed and can easily meet the requirements.

Which appear to be
- lopping the large gum trees on our property (probably just on the house side)
- removing more trees that we would have ever wanted too - but we can plant more elsewhere
- enclosing the bottom of the house where the stumps are with a fine steel mesh to prevent embers entering
- a sprinkler system on the roof, and perhaps around the base of the house

Hardly insurmountable is it - maybe $2000 in cost.

There seems to be a great prejudice against removal homes. A bit like being renters.
Personally I feel it is far better than building a new Colonial QLDer, and am surprised the Council are not in agreement.

But hey, back to fight another day. All things being fair I will do my best to push this through. Now it isn't just a dream it is also our financial future.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I read this quote in an old Notebook magazine and loved it.

"The point of rescuing old furniture is not always about rarity or value; it's also about thrift and resisting our disposable culture."

Herein lie two of restoration projects waiting to be finished with images of them sitting in sun drenched spots in our 'Yeronga'.

an old cane rocking chair that is awaiting some white paint love

.........and this 3 piece setting. Lifeline had $30 on it. It is very solid structurally so I have taken off the damaged rattan side panels and have started sanding it back to a smoother finish. The lounge will probably go in the kids play room and the two chairs on the verandah with new covers.

So this is my favourite way of being more green! Can't wait to show you some after pictures.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dream re-ignites...

Well after being a bit exhausted managing school problems, and lots and lots of council paperwork we recieved a small piece of good news. One part of our application has been approved.
Our Plumbing is through! Just Planning and Building approval to go. Well for step 1, and then the real work comes!

So yesterday we went out and spent a nice morning on our acreage.
We spent time planning some outdoor areas, chicken runs, fruit orchards, which views we will see  from our windows ,
and how to wind the driveway through the trees.

It was a GORGEOUS morning. The kids made houses from long branches, and I realised how rejuvenating it is to have that kind of space and peace around, instead of the busy, noisy road we live on.
My husband and son thoroughly enjoyed just hitting pieces of wood with bigger pieces of wood, (funny species men :)

It was just what we needed.  It reinforced how important this is to all of us, and that another couple of months really doesn't matter (well TBH it matters a bit because we would love to be living there now). I realised the process would be tiring and wearing, but nothing worth doing is easy, as they say.

This weeks Goals

* resubmit building application with new additions
* three quotes on the driveway and commence work
* speak to council about tree removal application (this is so we have 9m clearance for the house)
* organise the 3 trees to be removed on our land for the house site
* start getting quotes on electricity trench work
* submit water application for town water
* order 25000 litre water tank
* order kitchen (had to be put-off)
* order solar panels and hot water system

and hopefully this will all get done by Friday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Attic bedrooms/playspace

I am imagining an attic space in our house in the future. Because although to us it is HUGE it only has the 2 'formal' bedrooms - see here.

Although you could probably say it was 3 bedrooms at a pinch, it just isn't enough. We are converting the sunroom off Bed 2 into another bedroom while our children still love sleeping close. But it is short term. We feel we want 4 bedrooms so everyone has a space to call home, away from each other. A retreat so to speak!

Soo I starting wondering about going up. An attic space? Maybe it could host 2 children maybe only 1. Or maybe it would just be a space they could play and escape, and turn the toyroom back into a ncie bedroom. Who knows. Sometimes the nice bit is the planning/dreaming/scheming.

So here are some attic rooms I love.

What do you think? I know my middle child would love a space like this. I would have as a child as well. Would you?

We're going on a couch hunt.....

Well I hate our couches. They are wearing out, are droopy, and just not that comfy.
Plus I don't love the style anymore either.

But with 3 children under 6, and many that visit the new couch has to be pratical.

So do we go leather? Not my favourite fabric to sit-on, hot in summer, cold in winter.
 But oh so easy to wipe clean. Or fabric, maybe with washable slip-covers?
Then what colour. I tend to go lighter (yep I love white, white and more white) but it seems like a silly move with three children who do play in the mud A LOT, oh and there favourite foods are raspberries YIKES.

So here are some I like.
Would love it in a softer colour though. Do you think it would work with throws and soft cushions? Or not comfy looking?

I like this. Looks a little country. The covers are washable, and it would work well with lighter coloured accessories. But would I regret fabric again? Perhaps this teamed with some armchairs in a patterned fabric would create more interest, as it is a big room. Yeah I think just one bigger couch - but chaise or 3 seater, so many decisions!

I just want a comfy space I don't have to stress about, that we can all spread out and watch family movies, or share morning tea with some Mums.

Something with bits of these in it!

Thanks for being inside my head during decisions, love your 2 cents worth!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gorgeous homes

 This house makes me sigh! Ahhhh. If our home ends up with a little of this look i would be incredibly happy!
Simple and lovely

Nice little cottage with simple gable.

                               The roof lines of this one are interesting, probably not for me though.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grey day

It has been a grey cloudy day in my head.

Initially dropped a child, who used to be secure and happy, off to school in floods of tears, as she was again taken from my arms. Everyday I am wondering if we have chosen the 'right' place for her, and it is wearing me down.
The day did not improve as I spoke to a different lady in planning today.  Who informed me "No they haven't accepted your planning proposal, you were wrongly informed'. (bang head repeatedly against wall).

It is a coffee, chocolate, and lying in bed kinda day, but my two little ones do not agree.

Hoping everyone else a bright blue sunny kind of day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Can we do it?

Sometimes I am  almost paralyzed wondering how we will manage an acreage when I look outside and our 600sqm isn't mowed and toys are littered around.

But today it reminded me of the process of moving from having just one child to two (or three if you are blessed with our kind of craziness).

You wonder how you could possibly look after another child, when one takes up all your time. Then life happens and you manage it. Sometimes it is a struggle, and sometimes pure joy.

I figure this is what maintenance will be like for us on the new property. Some jobs will be great like vegetable gardening, planting gorgeous flowers,

 but others like spraying weeds, constantly mowing, and whipper-snippering will been mundane. The mundane helps to breed the appreciation for more special activities, and I am hoping may help to keep our children more grounded as they become old enough to take on some outside tasks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My day upcycling

Upcycling - to re-use a waste material for a better environmental outcome.

Only three instances today as far as I am aware.

* Well I used my bi-carb the other day for pikelets, but no 'shebang' you know what I mean, no explosive bubbles, so I figured the barely used packet was on it's way out. I added it to a bit of eucalyptus in a jar shook it around and now have a deodoriser for 'ahem' odours in the house.

* upcycling number 2 was it was the day to clear out the nesting boxes. This hay and added nutrients (yep you know what I'm talking about) is great on the garden. I throw it over thickly and water it down. Makes a great mulch with the added nnutrients seems to give the plants an extra boost!!

* some jeans I love that I tore a hole in when I walked past a screw got a gentle mend today. Such a calming activity to hand sew, I wish I made more time for it.
The jeans are now good for a venture to the park or gardening as the winter approaches. They were just worn in, I'd hate to part with them.

* Oh and I guess I'm kinda upcycling my body currently :)

Well it has kinda gone to a wasteland, so I have started some decent fitness programs and am trying to add lots of incidental exercise, so maybe it can be my 4th project???

So my four upcycled waste products for today. Not much I know but every little bit helps - anything you have upcycled lately??

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Planning is through!!

Well we got approval for planning - although can't wait to see it in writing as they told me over the phone yesterday. The next step is Formal Building approval which should be through in 10 working days if all is ok (which we are really hoping).

Which means - wait for it - the house could arrive in 3 weeks!! I say 'could'  because our experience with Council shows that anything can hold this process up.
So perhaps the week of the  1st of March.

Now I am getting a lot of visits everyday, so I thought I'd throw it out to you.
Anything you want to know about the process of moving an old home?
About the house specifically?
Would love to here from everyone! No more lurking introduce yourselves :)

Now here are the pics of the rooms that have had Asbestos removed and disposed of.
Front wall on the left as you view the house has been removed.

This is the inside view of that wall. Plus the lino in this room is the worst type of asbestos so it has also been removed.

Same room.

Falso ceiling in laundry/bathroom space and walls have been taken out.

Kitchen completely gone!

Again the lino down the hallway is the severe type of asbestos so it has gone as well.

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget to say 'Hi'!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Good life Wednesday - Blog party A beach cottage

A good life
Holidays = re-connecting, fun, laughter, rest, joy -
we love our Daddy and have missed him playing while he was away for work!

This post is linked to A Beach Cottage - who is my biggest decorating inspiration currently.
Love the work.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A cup of tea without a biscuit is a wasted opportunity....

Well this week is kitchen decision time. 

So we need to narrow down how country, white, filled with character,  and rustic we want it.
Of course on the smallest of budgets.

oh and it still has to be eco-friendly, and hardy. Not much to ask is it??

White paint and wood need to blend.

And some pieces need to have been pre- loved.....

I'll let you know how I go.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lunch box ideas

One cannot think well, sleep well, or live well,
if one has not dined well.
Virginia Woolf

I have realised that my love of lunchbox packing is not a shared love.
 For me it is a new love inspired partly by this blog which i could never fully replicate, I am not an exact enough personality!!

So I thought in case it might be useful to anyone I would write about how I organise myself to pack lunches for my kids - without going insane. Now I am no dietician, my kids eat white bread from bakers delight which is low GI, they have sugar and butter etc, I am far from a perfect in this regard, alright in most regards :)) 

First I start with a list of what my child likes 'best to eat', (and your husband if you are relegated to packing his, which I am now).
I save it on the computer so I can update it as the taste changes -

Step 1


Nibbles for cupboard
Popcorn for the air popper
Dried apricots
Bread sticks (easy to make)
Tinned fruit
Wraps - Mountain bread keeps for ages and has no preservatives, so a favourite with us.

Bananas - whatever is in season
Snow peas
Cherry tomatoes
mini cucumbers
*Plus I usually have tinned fruit and frozen berries for when I haven't shopped.

Fridge stuff
Cream cheese
Favourite dips, hummus or Tzatziki or salsa

Step 2 Baking, just a little - I buy mini muffin cases and bake a double batch which stocks the freezer. Then the next time I make fruit pikelets I do a triple batch and freeze them. Only took me about 40 minutes and I made 64 muffins, which packs a lot of lunches.

Step 3 - Plan and pack the night before.

So this changes but for example I might buy fresh bread which gives us 2 days of sandwiches (rolled or cut with shape cutters), then we have wraps or pita, or vita wheats, and then I buy fresh bread again before the weekend.

I looovvvveee the Nude food lunch boxes. Easy to fill a little section, fits an apple well etc.

So our main menu

Lunchbox 1
Ham, cheese sushi sandwiches - you just roll them crusts off
Cherry tomatos, carrot sticks, cucumber and dip
Banana muffin

(the picture is not an exact replica, just tomorrows lunch)

Lunch box 2
Vegemite vita wheats
yoghurt with muesli
bread sticks w/ cheese

Lunch box 3
Chicken and avocado pita pocket
fruit salad/ fruit kebabs
Cheese shapes with mini cutters
mini muffin

Lunch box 4
Chicken wrap, cream cheese and salad stuff they like
Salsa and carrot sticks
Boiled eggs - i take out the yolk as my kids don't eat it and it crumbles through the lunch box, yuck!!!
small container of tinned fruit - pineapple is a fav here!

Lunch box 5 - freezer/pantry lunch box when I haven't shopped
mini Quiche - bacon, leek, cherry tomato
mini muffin
Popcorn and dried fruit trail mix
crackers and cheese (we seem to always have cheese)

So I guees this gives you a rough idea. I am planning to start making drinks to include for my twins as their lunchbox goes in the fridge.

I figure this lunch will make my daughter smile when she opens her lunch box tomorrow,
and that makes me happy!

Need to make some farmy type purchases

Well it is farmy type purchases to us. Perhaps just acreage type purchases.
  1. Trailer - for clearing bush and general maintenance on 4 acres.
  2. A ride-on mower that can deal with long wiry grass.
  3. Slasher to keep the weeds down.
  4. Chain saw (this make me a little nervous as my husband needs his hands to work :))
  5. Big axe, and wood splitter
  6.  A whole lot of wire and posts to make some fenced yards for the chookens.
Then the children have their own list - which will mostly go unfulfilled

  1. threehorses
  2. some cows
  3. A stable
  4. an elephant
  5. lambs/goats
  6. some ducks.
Sadly the for them the ducks and lambs/goats were the only concession. We are considering two muschovy ducks. Apparently they eat mainly flies (tick) they don't quack (tick) they hatch chickens eggs and duck eggs well (tick). So we plan on a pair and hopefully ending up with some ducklings in the near future.
The lambs or goats we haven't decided on a breed yet. I was hoping if we have goats we could milk them so apparently we need to get them young.

p.s. as an aside Yasi has been so devastating to an area we left behind just over 12 months ago. I thought I'd pop some holiday snaps as I am sure Mission Beach and Tully will need your tourism after the clean-up.

It wasa gorgeous place to visit 18 months ago ( a great winter holiday 28 degrees most days) it will be again.