A Dream Home Coming to Life: Part Thirteen

So it’s lucky week 13! I know some people say the number 13 is bad luck, but for me it’s always been lucky. That and the numbers 3 and 7. Don’t ask me why I picked those numbers but ever since I was about 10 years old they’ve been my go to numbers and they’ve done me well over the years.

The purported history behind the unluckiness of that particular number and day (Friday 13th) is actually fairly interesting. There’s a few reasons why people believe the number became to be thought of as unlucky and they all have to do with tardy dinner guests. (I mean, that’s naturally where my mind goes!). Apparently Judas Iscariot was the 13th dinner guest to arrive at the Last Supper, he also happened to be the apostle that betrayed Jesus Christ. The same rings true in Norse mythology with Loki the God of Mischief (I’m guessing he was just running a little late, you know) also showed up as the 13th guest to a dinner held in Valhalla.

It’s also believed that King Philip IV of France ordered the Knights Templar to be arrested, tortured and killed on Friday October 13th, 1307. Now naturally none of these have been confirmed as being true but western civilization has taken this fear of the number 13 to such an extent that a lot of hotels, hospitals and office buildings don’t even have a “thirteenth floor”. And don’t even get me started on the number of restaurants that don’t allow you to book a table for 13 guests.

However you choose to look at it, the number thirteen has always been lucky for me so it’s a damn shame that nothing particularly auspicious has happened this week. It’s probably even worse that nothing has really happened with the build either. Well OK, stuff has happened, it’s just not happening fast enough for me. (Hmmm I think the Leo in me is starting to rear it’s head again!)

I did learn something this week though. That, shock horror, the building world apparently doesn’t move as fast as the Channel 9 hit, The Block does! I mean good gawd! Reality TV isn’t actually real? Since when!!

OK So it’s not quite that bad, the tilers will be out by the end of the week to start tiling the areas that don’t need waterproofing and then come out again next week to waterproof and tile some more. I really can’t wait to see my bathroom tiles on the walls, I’ve actually kind of forgotten what they look like!

On the up side so many of the little things have been done and we really are drawing to a close on the build. We now have quotes from painters and I now have to make the incredibly difficult decision of colour choices so the painters can actually do their thing. All of this while we start packing, keep the rental house “clean” for prospective tenants to come through and oh, did I mention the family wedding and holiday we’re going on? You know, just as key hand over should happen and we have to move out!

Ahhhh it’s all fun and games isn’t it. But that’s life and everyone knows I thrive on chaos and mayhem. It’s just what I do.

So now that I’ve filled your head with random trivia (you can thank me after you rock your next quiz night!) I’ll get to the actual build update. Here it is folks!

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The view coming up and around our driveway. I love that our house is set so far back from the road. 

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It was a gorgeous spring day for sure! It’s just a shame no tradies were on site to let me in!

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OK so not the best pic, but all the skirts, arks and cornices are on. All the doors have been hung, hardware on and all the shelves are up in the walk-in pantry and linen cupboard!

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The screed has been lain in all the wet areas, now we just need it to dry so they can come back to waterproof and then start tiling!

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The beginnings of the race next to what will be the shearing shed. We’ll be needing this shortly as we’ll be pulling off the fat lambs to send to market!

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Those country feels!

Well there we have it folks, another update done and dusted. I’m actually starting to get a bit saddened writing these, though having said that I have just spent most of last night packing, so the excitement does kick in from time to time.

Have a wonderful weekend, I know I certainly will.
See you all next week! Ciao for now xx

Luscious Strawberry Cream Cupcakes

So normally I have an excuse for baking; a family get together, hosting or attending a dinner party or BBQ, a Birthday, something. Yes I know I don’t actually NEED an excuse to bake but I find personally that I do, because honestly, I’d be baking all the damn time otherwise….. and I would most likely be the size of a whale as a result!

Depressing, but true.

It’s like why I hide my chocolate stash from myself. If I don’t see it every time I open the pantry them I’m usually OK, if it’s in my face then by damn that choccie will be gone by the end of the day no doubt!…. Now don’t lie, I know you get it too.

Either way, I was in the mood for baking, and that’s all thanks to watching a movie about a chef. (If you haven’t seen Burnt with Bradley Cooper then I suggest doing so! It’s on Stan now.) It sucks though, as I love watching movies about cooks and chefs and I particularly adore watching Nigella Lawson cook, but it ALWAYS results in me in the kitchen! Good lord I’m actually saying this like it’s a bad thing! Hah!

So here I am wanting to bake something, but not wanting to have to eat it, ya know? And I couldn’t think of anyone to gift it to until hubby pipes up that the ladies at his work would love something sweet. BINGO! I didn’t even need a moment to think about what I was going to cook, because hello Spring Weather!! And spring weather means only one thing. Gorgeously red, super juicy, plump strawberries. My number one, all-time favourite fruit…. next to peaches and plums and apricots and maybe pineapple too. I love them all equally, let’s just leave it at that.

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Look at the size of these things!!! Aren’t they amazing!

Now luckily for me Mr D had been to visit some friends of his who just so happen to own Berry Sweet, the BEST strawberry producers in W.A without a doubt. These strawberries are literally the size of your palm and so damn good! So here I was with warmer weather, a mountain of strawberries and some baking plans. I just knew I had to try my hand at some gloriously sweet strawberry cream cakes.

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A Dream Home Coming to Life: Part Twelve

Part twelve, can you believe it? Twelve weeks have both simultaneously seem to move fast and slow. I don’t know whether to say “Thank god it’s nearly over!” or “Wow how quick was that!”…. Admittedly some days it’s a bit of both.

Today though is a bit of a meh day. Honestly not a lot has happened this week, it’s our first decent set back in the actual construction phase of the house. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of things have still happened, I think the builder would most definitely argue that point. But I was waiting for the tilers to start and smash out all the tiling in the bathrooms, laundry and kitchen.

Sadly though they have not come out and won’t be out now until next week. Which also sadly means, since the house is at lock-up stage, I can’t get in to take any photos! From what I’ve seen (from spying through the windows that is hehe) is that all the skirting boards, arks and cornersing are in. All the internal doors have been hung and all of the shelves in the walk-in pantry and linen cupboard have also bee installed. So you know, still a big job! So good for you builders!

This lack of much happening has now given us a chance to start getting quotes on things like painting and decking and has really let us start looking at the property as a whole as well.

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OK so it’s not our property in the pic. But I think it sums up country life perfectly….. you know with Hay fever! lol

Let’s not forget that the point to this whole thing was about us (and especially our children) leading a ‘country farm life’ and if I’m quite honest with myself I think I may have gotten a little side tracked by the fun of building again, especially when it’s the dream home that I keep harping on about.

When all is said and done, and the builders have packed up and left and we have moved in to freshly lain carpets and wood floors and newly painted walls, we’ll still have lots to do…… like DECORATING!!! No, no, wait. I mean it’s all about OUTSIDE! Yes hubby is nodding his head now.

Riiiiight. Because when it comes right back to it, this whole endeavour was to provide a farm life for ourselves where we can be as self-sufficient as possible. So thanks to this lull in happenings we’ve really been able to nut out the exterior of the home and all the fabulous country things we’re looking forward to having again. You know, like water.

Not just any water people. Not this fluoridated c**p you city folks are drinking. I’m talking about good, honest rain water. Water with real flavour!… (Wait that doesn’t sound right…) Rain water though is something I have always missed so I am truly looking forward to getting off scheme and back into the tank stuff.

The other really big thing I’m looking forward to is planting out our vegetable garden. As you may already know, we had a couple of small raised veg beds in our home in Perth and it was fantastic. Being able to walk, barefoot out into the yard on a balmy summer’s evening to pick perfectly ripened cherry tomatoes (that actually taste like tomatoes!) for your salad that night. Mmm! That’s what I’m talking about.

Fresh fruit straight from the trees, especially figs! Taking Mister L out in his gumboots to feed the chickens and collect fresh eggs for our breakfast. Spending days tending to the ever growing patch of vegetables as a family. Those are the things that make this whole endeavour worth while.

So today I thought I would share a quick (rather rudimentary) sketch the hubby drew up so that we could really wrap our heads around what was going where. I thought you all might like to see it.

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Black rectangle is the house. Brown track is the driveway. Big open space to the right is another paddock with the orchard in the front. What has changed now is the veggie beds and chicken coop (small grey rectangles at the bottom here) have been moved up and to the front of the big empty paddock.

Well that’s it from me today folks. Fingers crossed we get back on track next week (I have no doubt we will) and I can organize to get in and get some more pics! I can’t wait to see the tiling finished, especially because then there isn’t much left to do!

Looking forward to showing you around a completed house soon.
Ciao for now xxx

P>S. I have a little something I’ve clipped together for you all, so swing by my Facebook page tonight at 7pm WST and check it out!! 

 

The Ultimate Yoga Studio for Mums

It was 6 weeks after I had given birth to my son, when my OB had given me the tick of approval, that I started to head back into the world of exercise. It was a little scary at first, I have to admit. It really had only been six short weeks since I not only birthed my son, but that I had a 15cm incision made into my belly. An incision that no longer hurt but that I could still feel every time I tensed or used my stomach muscles…. which I will point out, you don’t realize how often you use them until you can’t!

It was then that an old friend from school started a Mums and Bubs walking group in town. What can I say but Perfect Timing! I joined up and every Tuesday and Friday morning we walked; it wasn’t far or fast but it was great. We walked and talked and slowly I could feel my body returning to some assemblence of normality. (If you aren’t already, why not try a little walk with your Mums group? That little bit of exercise can do wonders for your body and sleep deprived, new-mum brain. Say Hello Endorphin’s!)

A few weeks on and I thought it was time to brave that first session of Yoga. Now I’ve been practicing Yoga (inconsistently) for many years but it wasn’t until now that I truly found the peace in those 30 minutes and simply felt my body relax and exhale.

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How my Yoga practice used to look….

So it became my new routine, every morning when my munchkin went down for a nap (not that he always did) I would slap on a dvd, pull on my stretchy pants and roll out my mat. For thirty minutes I could test my body and feel it stretch and release all those aches and pains. For thirty minutes I could sort of feel like myself again.

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A Dream Home Coming to Life: Part Eleven

Every week I look forward to telling you about what’s happening in our home. About where we are up to and what new things have been built or installed. Every damn week I get so excited about our new life and what will happen once we’re living there.

I also know that every week I come on here and tell you all about how much each stage of the build means to me and about the special meaning I find in each new thing. I suppose I am quite sentimental in that way… something I didn’t think I did much, but yeah, yeah, turns out I am.

This week though is even more special, and not in some heart tugging, cue the violins kind of way. This week is pure goddamn excitement… like jump up and down in one spot, clapping and squealing excitement. Something some of you would remember me doing all too well on the days that I smashed budget at work (now that’s what I call a high!!). This time though it wasn’t over anything quite as exciting or relate-able.

Four words people. Four little words that would either induce similar excitement or eye rolls and groans from you.

I. HAVE. A. KITCHEN!

I honest to god have a  kitchen installed (mostly) and it is one of the biggest things I’ve been looking forward to.

Yeah yeah, I can hear your eyes rolling from here, so stop it!

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PCOS and The 3 Simple Things I Did To Get Pregnant

I’m writing this to you at some stupid time at night… not my normal blogging hours I must admit. So why am I up writing this now you might ask.

Well it’s for a couple of reasons actually.
1. I got some pretty horrible news the other day and in my usual fashion it took me a while to process it and feel the extent of said horribleness.
2. My brain won’t switch off…. yet another problem I regularly encounter. This time though listening to music, reading or watching a TV show I’ve seen a thousand times isn’t helping.
3. I feel anxious and worried and stupidly paranoid.

Right so the first two things probably make sense, especially if you know my family. The last though, well this particular brand of anxiety is from one trigger and one trigger alone. PCOS.

For those of you that don’t know what PCOS is, it is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Something I was diagnosed with at the ripe old age of 21 after being admitted to the emergency department several times over the course of a couple of years with crippling stomach pains. Yeah it took that long to diagnose. PCOS means I have (at last count) many cysts growing on my ovaries and it means I don’t always produce an egg during ovulation. There is an awful lot more to it than that so feel free to check out the link above or speak to you GP, I won’t bore you with the details now.

Any way you look at it having PCOS means pretty much one thing. It means you may either never have a child or that you may have a rough time getting pregnant. It differs for everyone, so I’m not going to tell you how it is and expect you to think that every single woman with PCOS you meet goes through the same thing. In fact some women with PCOS never really know they have it and fall pregnant just like everyone else. Some never get to experience pregnancy or childbirth and some, like me, take every goddamn step under the sun over the course of several years to improve their chances of conception… and succeed. The first time that is.

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I had forgotten how much I like to beat myself up over this whole issue.

 

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A Dream Home Coming to Life: Part Ten

“For some people, life is the process of knocking through walls to get out.

For others, it is the building of walls”. – Simon Van Booy

So many steps had to happen to bring us to this point in our build. Some big, some little. Concrete pad going down, walls going up, cladding on, plumbing in, deliveries…. on and on I could go. Some how it is the construction of these walls that has made me truly feel like this house is becoming a home.

Not only that but it saddens me a little too, it means the building of our home is drawing to a close and thus that chapter of our lives. I suppose one could argue the fact that chapters begin and finish constantly in our lives and even the ‘building of our home’ could be interpreted in a different fashion.

Really the construction of our home will never be finished. It is each day started, each day finished, each day lived that will ‘build’ our home. It will grow again with the (hopeful) addition of more people (you can read about THAT topic here!). It will continue to grow with our memories and the actions we take each and every day.

It will adapt. It will change. Just like we as people will. Just like our family will and thus our home will never be truly finished. It’s a nice thought really.

I mean when does a house stop being a home?

Is it when you leave? Is it when you sell it and move onto another one? Or does it never actually stop being a home, specifically your home. Perhaps we carry a little piece of these places around with us. I know I do, to an extent.

My very first home, on my parents first farm in Cunderdin is quite literally etched into my memories. So much so that I think it subconsciously affected my choices with the first home we built. It wasn’t until my dad came to visit the site one day and pointed it out that I realized. That first home we (my husband and I) built near Rockingham all those years ago had a striking resemblance to that very first home in Cunderdin. Funny huh.

Well geez why stop there? If you look at the floor plan to this home we’re building now and the floor plan of the house my parents currently live in, I think you’ll find quite a few similarities. Interesting again that I consider these two places to be the homes of my childhood… we have lived in many other places you see, including our farm here in Toodyay.

So why don’t I consider that one as much of a home? Is it because we only lived there a few short years? Or is it something else? Something… more.

Any way we look at it. A home is more than four walls and a door. And for some of us our life has been about building those walls.

Now onto this week’s update.

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I swear I say it every week… but it looks like a real home now!

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Master Bedroom through to the en suite on the left and theater room on the right. 

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Still… that view! 

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It’s not a house update without a pic of my little dude. I swear he’s going to grow up to be a builder!

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One of the front views… since I go on and on about the back view so much. Pretty much everywhere you look there’s a great view…. one of the many joys of living in the country huh!

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OK so nothing has actually changed outside (except for a new skip bin) but it’s just so good to look at!

Well that brings us to the end of another week and another house update. I have some great news too! The tiling starts next week…. yay! and we are off to buy an oven now as the builders have requested it. Gosh, just the thought of my kitchen going in is making me giddy!

Stay tuned for all the action folks! Ciao for now xxx