Tetris Champion

Hands up if you ever played Tetris on a Game Boy when you were younger? I attribute my RSI to that game. For anyone who doesn’t know what a Game Boy is, it came after the Etch-A-Sketch but before the Nintendo DS.

Packing up a house and putting everything in storage is just like Tetris. The number one rule is if it will fit in a box, put it in a box. Then you just fill and try not to leave any gaps!

Hopefully I’ll get to unpack my coats before Winter is over! Anyway, I digress. I’ve done my research and discovered a very cost effective way to pack, store and move all our worldly possessions.

Because we have rented a furnished unit for two months, everything gets stored except some clothes, linen and a few toys.

With three kids, full time work and one car without a tow bar, the most efficient and economical option was to hire a shipping container and have it delivered to our current address to fill. We are hiring through All Coast Container Hire and Ed, the owner, has been extremely helpful and great to deal with.

It’s pretty impressive watching the container slide off the back of a flat bed truck!

Once Clarence is in place, we will have the container delivered to our new address. At around $25 per week it is way cheaper and more convenient then a shed at a storage facility, which would have been about $35 a week plus the cost of getting everything there over countless trips. Even with transport costs of moving the container multiple times, it’s still cheaper to do it this way.

Our neighbour has kindly allowing us to store the container in his yard until Clarence is on our block. We thought about putting it out there straight away but don’t want anything in the way of the house delivery truck (that sounds so similar, like it’s just a step up from a pizza delivery car or something?).

It’s just occurred to me, however, that the purchaser of Lazy Days might want access to the back yard through the double gates that the container is blocking. Crap.

Colour coordination

I don’t have any experience with styling/design/making things look pretty. Comfort is top of my priority list…and functionality…and easy to clean! I am going to give it a go anyway and have a pretty mean budget to work with. This is what I’ve come up with so far.

Being domestically challenged (seriously, I suck) it’s slightly stupid to go with white anything. But I’ve found the best thing about white is the ability to bleach the hell out of stains!


Enter Ikea Erktop three seater sofa! Hooray for removable slips! One of these three seater babies will only set us back 500 buckaroos! And when I’ve bleached the covers to within an inch of their lives, I can replace them for only $99. Not only is it well priced, it’s comfy as. I have used the Erktop armchair as a nursing chair for the past 3.5 years and have no complaints. I’ve spent many, many hours sitting/sleeping in the armchair and it’s the bomb.

Now for my super awesome bargain that I insisted on unpacking as soon as I got it home, only to have to repack it and put it away.


This 2.3×1.6 m rug of awesomeness from Freedom is the first new thing I’ve purchased for Clarence and is the determining factor of the “colour scheme”. I got it on sale for $99 and like that it is a cotton and wool blend because I would prefer products made of natural fibres whenever possible.

I laugh a little when I say colour scheme, because our home is so unlikely to be anything but a fun hub of chaos with three kids, two fur babies, two parents who work full time and a garden I’d rather be in/meal I’d rather be cooking.

And last but not least, bathroom AND laundry tiles. When I went into the Beaumont Tiles store the lady who served me was so incredibly helpful (after she recovered from the news that I don’t watch The Block).

In case you hadn’t guessed, or I haven’t spelt it out properly, we are using black and white as our foundation colours. Versatile, sleek and hard to screw up!

Handing down the budget

The government is in the process of crunching the numbers.  My amazing girlfriend Somer of Little Bu asked me about our budget for Clarence.  Hmmm….good question.  I had done up a rough costing estimate of all the big expenses I could think of, and thought I’d been quite thorough, but as with any renovation project, there are plenty of little, unexpected costs that add up to be one big number!

Take the retaining wall we have decided to build on the northern boundary.  Who would have thought a row of bricks could add up to $12000?  Needless to say, we are investigating other options.  My preference from the beginning was timber.  The neighbours have used treated hardwood sleepers for all their retaining walls and it looks great.  The lifespan is approximately 15-20 years, which is fine by us.  By then, we’ll have three grown children to put to work for repairs!  

We costed up a 20 metre retaining wall at 1 metre high (any higher and it is considered load bearing and you need council approval) and for materials we are looking at about $120 per linear metre.  Labor is free and the budget includes materials, excavating, landscaping and beer.  

IronBark Timber Products are local and have all the good. Some example of what other people have built using their products. 





ImageNow I am on the hunt for a native ground cover to plant above the wall to prevent erosion and soften the appearance of the wall.  Any suggestions?  Maybe a trip to Go Green Rainforest Nursery is in order!

Moet for Mother’s Day

The SOLD sticker was stuck on the For Sale sign in front of Lazy Days on Friday afternoon.  
I hadn’t expected to be so emotional but I started reminiscing about all the moments we’ve had in this place over the last six and a half years and got a little teary! It’s the first and only place Steve and I have cohabited so it’s been quite a journey!

A trip to visit our future place of residence quickly dried my tears and all the excitement and anticipation came flooding back!

We cheers’d to all the moments that lie ahead.

Very enthusiastic to come up with things to toast was Jake, who enjoyed his pink lemonade like no bodies business. The little kids weren’t too fussed!

You can see why the tears did not last long…


This is what sold us on the land. Our own private rainforest. It already feels like home. The neighbours dog came for a walk and gave everyone a friendly sniff/lick.

And here we are, real life garden gnome looking happy people!


Let’s get it all out in the open

Who is a fan of the open shelving option in the kitchen?  I am sure in reality not everything about it is fabulous (think dust, creepy crawlies, clutter) and not everyone needs to see their stuff, but I own many things of sentimental value and visual beautiful that are used in the kitchen.  We will incorporate cupboards and shelving.  The ceilings are so high (yippee!!!!!) that I am not sure how it will work with wall hung cabinets?  Might have to jump on a website that let’s you model a kitchen in 3D.


Yep, done right


The kitchen will be the first thing we do to Clarence.  The current kitchen is a little bit, hmmm how to put this nicely?  Gross.  I appreciate it’s retro qualities very much, but it’s not practical for the needs of the modern family!ImageT


Pretty drawings

There is something about architectural plans that make everything seem so doable.  I guess that’s how plans are meant to make you feel, reassured and confident in what lies ahead…not crazy and overwhelmed!  Plum luck that I have an incredibly talented architect for a brother-in-law.  The vision he has astounds me!  These are the plans for Clarence as it is now.    


Ok, very no-nonsense, but it’s much easier for the approval stage to keep things simple.  We will tweak a few things once she has settled into her new surrounds and the bearings and joists have levelled.  At the moment, Clarence is a bit out of alignment from stump movement over the past 100 and something years, but once she is re-stumped, all shall (should!) become level again.  








Blogging vs Clogging

Everyone deals with change differently.  For me, I think blogging will be a good way of keeping track of this period in our lives.  Days blurring into weeks, an opportunity to reflect on all the changes occurring and look back over in time.

My husband, on the other hand, has decided his therapy will be growing a beard and  clogging.  He is the most hilarious person I’ve ever met and if you don’t know what clogging is, don’t waste another second.  Check out the link.

Go on, get your clog on.