Archives for category: Outdoors

I've been wearing these clothes for two days now. Considering I've used about 8 tubes of No More Gaps, there's relatively very little on my shirt!

Hello you lovely Blog Readers!

I spent my day (again!)  with a no more gaps gun and a paint brush. I’ve now got  a nasty heach-ache and neck pain from doing the ceiling. BUT I did manage to go outside once or twice just to look at the sky and the garden and breathe.

Just one of the objects of beauty in my backyard.

Thanks so much for your feedback regarding choice of colour for laminate in my kitchen! I’m hearing you loud and clear – Colour, colour, colour!

So, tomorrow I’m going back to the joinery to check out their colour samples. I’m pretty excited and I have to thank you for your feedback that has inspired me to be bold, well, bold enough to pick up a few more samples! Anyway, here’s a picture of the kitchen coming together.

Cabinets are coming together. It's taken our builder two days to get this far. Imagine if we'd tried to do it ourselves! Yikes!

Oh yeah… I dropped in at The Salvos yesterday after going to the dentist and look what I scored for $60! There’s only two in the picture but I actually got four for that price.

Check back in soon because I might need help again once I have a few colour samples.

Rachael x


Was looking for photos on my computer and came across these. Too cute. If you’ve read previous posts, you’ll know that we once had chooks but because of the smell we sent them to my in-laws’ property. Well, whenever they get chicks they send them back to us for a few weeks so the little girls can enjoy their chicky cuteness.  This particular lot was a bit of a worry. Mama Chook squahed one of them. Then the next door neighbours’ Jack Russell took one of them from a teeny gap under the fence.


How pretty is Mama Hen?

Not soooooooooo exciting but our new backdoor was installed today. Trevor, the builder, also took delivery of some VJ-style MDF boards to use for new walls in kitchen. Not as nice as using real timber but it’ll do! It’s going to look exactly the same as real timber and it’s only a small area to clad.

We had originally envisaged that this wall be entirely open. Structurally not possible so this is the compromise.

View from kitchen-to-be.

view of bi-folds and new back door from kitchen

New MDF wall cladding.

So, not sure what’s next for builder on Monday. he’s going to move the toilet soon though. You haven’t see the bathroom yet, have you?


They arrived! They’re installed! They look fab!

The pictures aren’t the best. But I don’t care! They’re here and they’re fab! The kitchen louvres were also installed today but I’ll post pics tomorrow when the back door arrives that will sit beside them. May as well save the reveal until it looks a little more finished.

Also tomorrow…the kitchen wall is coming down. I shudder to think of the amount of dust that is going to settle in every nook and cranny of the house as a result, but, them’s the breaks!

We’ll have to drive up to Ikea soon to purchase a new kitchen! THE EXCITEMENT!!!!!!!!

Doors in place. No glass yet.

Glazier doing his thing.

From inside. That lamp used to hang over dining table. Has to go somewhere else now!


x Rachael

This rock wall was the most exciting thing to have happened at Rachael’s in quite some time. It was built last month (Feb), just before our current renovation began. We’d put it off for years because we had no idea how to find someone who would build the rock wall that we’d envisaged. Then, late last year, Craig happened to drive past a guy building the EXACT rock wall that we wanted. Hurray for Peter Ayres! The whole thing (materials and labour) cost $1100. I love it!



Completed. From bottom terrace. This will be the view from our new kitchen window once reno is complete.

Love that curve!

It’s Friday arvo. Thank god! I know you all want to see pics of the reno but progress has been         S          L           O          W.

So yesterday I blogged about how my love of gardening came about in “Weeds. A girl’s best friend”  because I am conscious of the fact that I’ve neglected the gardening side of our ‘reno’ for some time now. If you want to see other previous posts about the early stages of back yard beautification, then click here  and  here.

In the meantime…remember this pic?

pavers, besser blocks and car in the drive - noice!

And you haven’t seen this one below but take a look at all that space. That’s just one corner of the yard!

Car in drive and a sea of weeds!Early 2007.

You can see how I was a tad excited and overwhelmed when I first moved in here. So much to tame!

Once we’d ripped up the conrete and paving and I’d established some garden on the bottom terrace (see links above), I turned my attention to the bank on the top terrace. It was literally just a sea of weeds on an un-retained bank. But in August, 2008, I got started. Ripped out all the weeds and began to plant.

August 2008. I finally got around to weeding the bank and planting some bits and pieces. I wanted to eventually create a lush, tropical bank of plants and with a retaining dry rock wall

Jan 2009. A little bit of growth!

Feb 2012. Quite lush but still no retaining wall!

AT last! After years of waiting! The rocks arrive!

The reason it took us so long to get the rock wall is that we were petrified of not getting the look that we wanted. How does one purchase a rock wall? I looked in the yellow pages and visited landscape supply places but I couldn’t see anything that I liked. Then, one day before Xmas last year, my hubby just happened to drive past a guy building the exact rock wall that we had in mind. And that’s the end of the story!

Weeds. I hate ’em these days but there was a time (eight years ago, in fact) that they became my best friend.

It was 2003. We had just moved from the noisy streets of Bondi, away from the backpackers and the endless parties, into a rented art deco flat in quiet Clovelly. I was 6 months pregnant with our first child and we felt the need to find a quiet little nook where we could raise Baby.

We’d been in Clovelly for a good six months before I gave birth. We hadn’t actually MET anyone in the neighbourhood, what with working full time and not getting home until dark and all. But after giving birth and no longer having to traipse off to paid work every morning (my sole occupation was now the care of this gorgeously chubby bundle of joy) and suddenly I found myself feeling quite foreign in my own backyard.

I loved that I was now a stay-at-home mum.  Baby and I would hang out on the tiny patch of grass that fronted our apartment and watch the world go by. Well, no, actually there wasn’t a great deal to watch “go by” in our quiet little street, and, while Baby  thought that kicking around on a blanket was entertaining enough, the truth was, I was sometimes bored senseless.

Now, bordering this little patch of green was a badly neglected garden bed. I’d barely noticed it before but suddenly it became a thing of interest. Our landlord, Harry, usually came to tend to it but he’d been hospitalised for a time and so the little plot had gone wild with weeds. There weren’t even any actual, real, non-weed plants growing in it. While Baby lay on the mat and tried to figure out how to roll over, I decided that I was going to pull those mothers out! Every last one of them. For Harry! When he was better, he’d come back to a clear plot rather than the jungle of weeds it had become.

Rip, rip, rip. Out they came. It felt great! I had something to DO (besides look after Baby, of course). I was outdoors and, goddamn it,  I was productive! I probably should’ve read a book or something more relaxing but after giving birth it took a while for me to remember HOW to read a book. Anyway, after 30 minutes that garden bed was NAKED!

I stood back and surveyed the scene. What next? I didn’t know how to garden! Wasn’t gardening for, like, old people?

A couple of days later, Adele, a little old Austrian woman, from up the street, stopped and introduced herself. She’d noted the voracious weeding and informed me that she’d drop by again with some cuttings from her garden. Sure enough, the following day I opened the back door and found a few little pots of cuttings, ready to plant.

I planted these offerings from Adele and waited for them to grow. Meanwhile, Adele’s little visits on her daily walk became a part of our routine. Nothing fancy. Just a little chat about my baby, her grandchildren and, of course, gardening.

Another neighbour, Di, who I had watched transform her front lawn into a festival of colour, began to offer me advice and bits and pieces from her garden. Inspired, I went to the nursery and blew about $50 on potted colour. I couldn’t wait to get home and put it in the ground.

Each morning, I’d walk out to my garden and check to see if anything had grown overnight. That’s how excited I was. Adele and Di began to admire my garden. I could tell they felt pleasure in watching the gardening bug catch on.

I was no longer a foreigner in this neighbourhood. I had gardening mentors! Out of the woodwork came a multitude of other mums and bubs and eventually we’d all hang out on the street, or walk to the park together, or play in my little garden or out the front of Adele’s place. Adele became a surrogate grandmother to all the children in the street. And in the end I felt a sense of belonging thanks to that little patch of garden that had once sprouted all those weeds.

Baby's 2nd birthday party. On the right you can see my little garden where it all began.

By the time we moved away three years later, there was quite a nursery of children in the street. Oct 2006. A week before we said farewell to Sydney.

Hello, hello, hello! Sorry to leave you a whole day without posting anything. I went to yoga yesterday after work and then got distracted with domestic chores. Besides there wasn’t any progress to photograph anyway.

But today we DO have pictures to look at. Yay!  You’ll see in the pics below that the frame for the deck roof is complete. Again, yay! Just waiting for the tin to be delivered so the roof can go on. Tomorrow probably. The old windows from the dining area were installed in the kitchen-to-be. By using them, I think we’ve managed to retain the old character of the house. That said, I AM looking forward to seeing the more modern, white aluminium bi-fold doors go in on the deck. I do like things not to be too ‘samey’ all the time. Turns out the recycled windows won’t save all that much money because the builder would’ve spent a fair amount of time stripping the old lead paint off them. They’re still not finished. Oh well.

The windows in kitchen-to-be. No walls yet but we have windows!

From the outside.That insulation paper is giving me ideas about new colour scheme.

Deck roof framing complete.

A view to our new back door. The original plan was to use a big glass slider but since work began it has become apparent that this isn't possible. Have ordered standard door (all glass) instead and will intall a vertical bank of louvres to maintian feeling of light and openess. Is this the world's longest caption?

It’s Saturday morning. Full time work is so over rated. Despite being exhausted from the working week, I managed to stay up to 10.30 last night, re-watching season 3 of the IT Crowd and imbibing 3 glasses of wine, one for each episode. My girls had a friend over to sleep the night and all three of them came in this morning to tap me on the shoulder and inform me that I’d better get up because they had to be at circus class in 15 minutes. Yikes! Overslept!

So, they’re at circus and I’m at home. It’s a glorious day outside but I kinda need to do some housework. Would you like to see the state of my house? Not at all like the photos I’ve posted to date. No, these photos are the REALITY of working full time, trying to run a household and renovating. I’m not including the bathroom because it so feral I can’t bring myself to make it public.

Even outside is depressingly chaotic

I awoke this morning to the sound of our builder ripping the corrugated iron off of the back wall. It’s back up again this arvo. But for an hour or so I had a glimpse of what our space will be like.  Here’s the glimpse…