If I was to relocate overseas…

I drafted this post a long time ago, maybe 2015 or 2016, but it was even more interesting to re-read given my flatmate moved internationally to live back in Australia.  And his boxes have arrived! So I can report on his decisions below in italics in 2017!

So, work’s restructuring.  I feel confident.  I have to feel confident, I have to lead 60 people through it.  But I legitimately free OK.

The BF’s work (see how old this is?)is making HUGE changes, which could see opportunities internationally.  We could possibly move internationally.

Even if the above is only a dream… people do move house!

If we move far, we would not pack
– almost anything electrical (TV, VCR/DVD, fridge, washing machine, desktop computer, blender, iron, toaster, kettle, food processer) flatmate seems to have sent a computer screen, cables and cords, a modem (how he thought he could wait months for that!)
– second hand/Ikea furniture (dining chairs and table, occasional chairs, IKEA bed frames, buffet, kitchen trolley, coffee table, outdoor chairs and table) yep, he brought no furniture
– linens (towels, sheets, donna covers, cushions) again, all supplied by me in the initial months
– cheaper ‘art’: second hand canvas photo prints (3)! again, none.
– decorator items like birdcages, Astroturf rabbit, ornamental Easter eggs well… no, but.. there has been about 30 tchokees arrive and be put out on a common area.  They are travel souvenirs..

We would take with us
– clothing of all seasons, location dependent flatmate seemed to have sent many clothing items on the slow boat!
– personal electronics like laptops, tablets and phones; toothbrush and hair dryer obviously!

We would store!?
– sentimental items like photo albums and journals and art
– the couches – I love them. They were bought new. They will not sell well. It took me a long time to find the ‘right’ sofa. My parents stored theirs for three years and only just replaced them (stored from 1995-1998)
– cushion covers if I love them – this one totally surprises me!  What WAS I thinking?
– books – I don’t have many, what I do have, is because I WANT to keep them, but with a clear limit (ie one tea chest sized box)

Things I have NO idea about
– cutlery and crockery – they’d last time, but they are heavy so there’d be little point in taking them he’s not shipped either, but… done well to break some glasses and crockery – special skills, cause I can’t recall the last time I smashed something!
– kitchen gadgetry from pots to pans to utensils – which is similar to the above so, the flatmate has bought some things of his preference (cast iron pans) as little things like silicone rings for eggs and oversized ice cube trays.  His choices usually puzzle me!  He’d packed to ship items like a knife sharpener, and got impatient and re-bought one.
– lamps – I LOVE some of them. But again, HEAVY! And electrical, life can be unkind to them when they are out of use Flatmate loves that we have lamps (well… uses them) but thinks one is a little too bright…  Didn’t see the rush to buy a dimmer globe when it blew, so I’m ignoring his feedback :p

What this made me realise? Buying cheaper furniture that I like, whether Ikea or second hand, makes me less invested in keeping it if life changes. That being said, I’m happy with it. I don’t want to upgrade it.

A dreamy future

I think we all have this fantasy of what life ‘might’ be like if only… And I thought I might try to capture those thoughts, so I could perhaps work towards it!

I wish for a home that is comfortable.  It’s lived in.  Everything isn’t rigidly straight and tucked away and perfect, it’s lived in.  But it’s not uncomfortable for visitors – it’s not grimy or dusty or clutter-y.  They feel they can put their cup or mug down – there’s always somewhere nearby and easy, but nothing seems to precious – too breakable or stainable.

There’s people always around – coming and going.  But it’s laid back and casual – it’s not a show.  It’s not a performance.  They will sit and chat to me as I prepare wholesome food.  I no longer think making jam is a sin for those trying to be healthy and eat less sugar, but see it as a way of saving nature’s bounty from waste.  There’s ample containers to store all the things I prepare, and ample room in fridges and cupboards to store things, but not lose things! There’s enough to feed whomever may be around and be hungry.

The bathrooms are clean – no dust bunnies.  Nothing cringe worthy in it’s dirtiness.  There’s no mould growing.  There’s no funky smells.  And the medicine cupboard, it’s stocked, but not over stocked, and anyone may open it and take what they need.  Nothing in there is a secret or taboo or gross.

The laundry is functional – there’s somewhere to hang the clothing needing ironing.  There’s a place for everything to be tucked away.  Things can easily soak.  Lost socks can linger in a special place awaiting a mate.

The home is bathed in sunshine and warmth. When it’s cold and blustery outside, it’s snug.  When it’s warm and muggy, there’s a gentle breeze.

There’s a garden, with warm sunshine and delicious cool shade.  Things grow with ease. I grow food and fragrant flowers.

The things I’ve realised I prefer in a home

Moving into the lighthouse has helped me further refine what I look for in a home!

  • a sink dimensional to the bench space: there’s no point in a huge sink at the expense of bench space (ie the light house) and there’s value in small sinks as they take less water (thank you loft)
  • gas stoves are wonderful (light house), but 5 burner is overkill for a small kitchen
  • air conditioning being built in is SO much quieter than portable aircons. But if it’s ducted, it needs a timer and zones.
  • insect screens on the windows – I realise now that the 2 bedder was great for having screens on all openings – making the mozzie bait safe (me!); the loft needed one on the sliding door and I would have invested in one, but moved out before my second summer.  Here – the windows all have screens but the bifolds don’t and I notice an increase in bedtime biters if I leave the bifolds open in the dusk hours.
  • dishwashers – for 1-2 person dwellings, a single drawer dishwasher is a brilliant idea.  The loft had a fullsize one, and I seldom filled it for a load.
  • mixer taps! I never thought about the kitchen sink NOT having a mixing tap, and it’s a step more than you really want to deal with when you want to quickly rinse something in warm water.

I still want a bathroom with a window – something none of my past three homes have had.

I always seek out

  • pantry. The light house was super shallow and I think this is the optimal style to not lose things behind other things
  • linen closet. Somewhere that’s central to all people is better than something that will be steamed up in the bathroom.

And all three have had lifts (something that was on my ‘don’t want list’ when I was buying!).  In the two bedder and here, being on level 3, I’ve been pretty thankful to have a lift!

Moving day

I recall thinking I liked moving.  I think I liked having things organised into boxes perhaps?  But I decidedly do NOT like moving.  Not this time!  I’ve moved into my parents home, as in two months time they’ll head overseas for a school year, and I’ll house sit.  It’ll be great to live in a house, with a garden and a pool and a delightful dog.

Pretty back yard

I’m dealing with the crunch of my household of stuff into an existing household of stuff!

Let’s look at the positives

  • No whitegoods.  The ‘light house’ came with a fridge and a washing machine, which aren’t usually included in rentals in Australia.  I did move into that home with a washing machine which I subsequently sold to a guy I dated a handful of times
  • One less sofa: I visited a friend recently who’d moved into a new home.  His floor plan could easily do with another sofa – given there was one two seater and I was there for a six person dinner party.  He and his flatmate agreed to a year long loan, and came and collected the bigger of the sofas the day before the move!
  • Sold second hand items again: I sold some items, all of which I identified as not ‘love’ and ‘long term’ items.  All were Ikea.  They were
    • stainless steel dining room table
    • Kallax four box storage cubby I used in the laundry and bought just for the light house
    • TV cabinet I bought for $25 and sold for $40 + $40 for delivery.  Profiteering right there!

Profit making TV cabinet

  • Clothing rationalised: I went through my wardrobe and donated items I moved a year ago and hadn’t worn.  Yep, two pairs of jeans that continued unworn.  A jacket I kept ear marking to replace, and when I didn’t wear it all this year… out it went.
  • Food pantry: I donated my handful of canned goods to the refugee collection my church runs

Things that I am yet to work out

All loaded into my parents house – but alone I wasn’t game to start moving stuff in newly painted rooms

  • Clothing chaos: when I last lived at home, more than 6 years ago, I owned a wardrobe.  I sold it when I moved to the loft which had built ins, and the subsequent two homes had built ins.  Now I’m back and in a ‘not really’ bedroom, so no built ins.  And the bedrooms with built ins have occupants and are FULL.  I also need somewhere for smalls, and folded items.  A puzzle still to resolve right there.
  • My functionless furniture:
    • A wooden trolley: which houses a small wine rack – no need in my bedroom!
    • A coffee table: at least the wood tones match the fireplace tones
    • Shoe rack: again, there just seems no logical place to put this!
    • Buffet: was my entry ‘landing strip’ where I also store things like hardware, handbags, sewing kit – you know, things people need!
    • Six upholstered chairs: from my dining table which is gone. update: the friend who took a couch also took these chairs.  He’s worth his weight in gold!
  • My parents existing furniture in my room (whilst my parents are still home)
    • Glass fronted book case
    • Antique dining table… and there’s a dozen chairs I think, scattered now throughout the house.  Of course, we also have a kitchen table with modern chairs
    • Piano
  • Art: I have so much art.  And it’s genetic – so do my parents!!  Thankfully most of the house has picture rails, so it’s not a hue struggle to put it up.  Of course, I like to ensure art sort of matches in theme or framing.  At least a large home has a stack of walls

Even two weeks later, there’s still more work to be done!

Dave Ramsey made me wanna

So, for reasons I can no longer recall, I started to follow David Ramsey for Australians on Facebook.  I have a history of reading personal finance blogs, and whilst they often drive me insane (the content is very repetitive, and they all want to monetise… And a little ranty). This is how I’ve come to know the bible belt financial gospel guru.  Aside from books, he also has a podcast.  I do not listen to it.

I know the basics – there’s baby steps, and they are pretty darn simple and logical to me, a daugher of a banker

  1. Save a $1000 emergency fund
  2. Pay off consumer debts, start with the smallest debt and work through them.  AKA Debt snowball
  3. Save for (three to) six months of expenses
  4. Pay into your retirement fund at 15% of income
  5. Save for your children’s education
  7. Spend/donate etc

That’s from memory… If I got it wrong, I’m not too fussed.  My post is about what reading all these posts have made me wonder…

How long would it take me to pay off my mortgage?

I kept turning the idea over in my head, and couldn’t work it out.  So I broke it down.

First I’d get my offset account to “fully paid up”.  For long term readers, you might recall that I go to this point with a previous lender.  I am onto my third lender – each time the fixed term component ‘matures’ I review the market and go for the lowest interest rate.  Cause..  loyalty gets you no where.  So I started with

  • ANZ (2 years, all fixed), then went to started in Dec 2011
  • Bankwest (3 years, 20% variable with offset, 80% fixed), and now I’m with
  • ING (2 years, 40% variable, 60% fixed) started in Jan 2017

When I looked at my regular ‘inputs’ to my offset account, I could work out roughly what goes in monthly, less what goes out monthly (namely, moving money out of offset to the two mortgage components), and a quarterly strata bill.  I did a calculation and found out I could do it 10 months.  Which was pretty darn close.  And then… I received an inheritance, quite unexpectedly (and I never count those sorts of things). And now I’m close to 6 months. (And I don’t plan to put all the inheritance onto the mortgage, I plan to purchase two ‘big ticket’ items which I see as heirlooms  – one is a gorgeous desk and the other is getting a ring made.  Cause… a paid of mortgage is great, but the two items will hold memories, and were things I was saving for before this unexpected windfall).  Let’s call that out – it would be January 2018! Wow.  By my birthday!

My place is NOT this pretty

And then, I looked what would happen if the same monthly amount *could* go onto the fixed mortgage month on month, knowing it can’t due to stupid rules.  That’s not the point – the point was to motivate myself with the timeline of when I could have it ALL paid off – and the answer was, that amount would take 2 years and seven months.   I was gobsmacked it was such a small duration of time.  You ‘buy’ 25 and 30 year mortgages!  And I’m talking about August 2020.

Of course, I don’t have a step 5 to fund of Dave Ramsey’s plan.  (And I’m at 12.5% +$50p/w on my retirement). And I’m at prime child rearing age, so I’d happily have this plan hijacked by having kids.  But each month I’m not pregnant (ha! I’m single!) is a month I could shoehorn some money into that mortgage and get closer to that end goal of NO MORTGAGE!

I dream of a garden like this (via)

Oh, and 2020 is a much mentioned year where I work.  Because politician Fred Nile got it written into law that if our company was sold (aka long term leased) there could be NO job reductions until 2020.  Well… provided there wasn’t an agreed forced redundancy policy introduced – and you can be sure our strong union will die fighting a forced redundancy policy.  But there’s this concept of job guarantees (when we have 3,570 employees, and Treasury did also say that could be certain types of contractors) until 2020.  And… well… No one knows where we are at relative to that magic 3,570.  To me, it doesn’t matter.  Working hard is what matters.  Take it a day at a time.  That being said, so many people say ‘well we won’t have jobs in 2020’.  I cannot think that far in front of me, there’s enough going on RIGHT NOW.  But, that some mythical 2020 is when I could have a mortgage paid off.  Imagine… I could be someone who takes in rent from my tenants (ha) and due to the rent differential, could live on the spoils.  Ha! It’s not a plan I conceive actually happening, but it’s fun to imagine!

Now every time the doom and gloom mongers say ‘2020’ I will think about having no mortgage.  What fun!

Feel free to check in, in a few months.  Who knows, I might get seduced by international travel, and adjust this back a month or two… Let’s see.

The lighthouse

Just like I lived in the loft when I started this blog, let’s call place 3 the lighthouse.  I’m not sure what to call place 2 – the 2 bedder?  That’ll work!

So the light house, is not, in fact a light house! It is, however, VERY light.  My father suggested my last two homes had been caves! How rude! But there was some truth in

This 2 bedroom apartment has windows on both sides of the apartment, so it’s great for cross breezes.  There is a corridor or hallway that exteds from the front door to the built in laundry cabinet (see the picture below), and off this, initially, is a loggia (code word for strange balcony, I’ll come back to that), then the living kitchen open plan.   The corridor then closes in and you have the first bathroom, the first bedroom, then the master bedroom with the ensuite which tucks in behind that laundry cupboard.  The corridor has windows all along it, so walking out of the bedrooms you face narrow floor to ceiling windows, which has a central courtyard.

Central corridor

You can imagine the apartment building as a large O, with a central courtyard.  What this means is there’s lots of light bouncing around all the white external walls.  It also means you get a show from all the other apartments! I can tell you the ground floor neighbours use their loggia as a study and a gym, complete with weights and foam matting.  My upstairs neighbour has an elaborate cat climbing thingie, but great ferns in other windows.  Another neighbour has found this heat means he seldom wears a shirt…  See what I mean!

Once inside the ‘true’ apartment, this is teh view (the loggia is behind me

Right, so back to the this loggia.  The loggia runs the width of the apartment – from the central courtyard to the exterior building wall.  At each end is a hinged bi fold door, which are HUGE – I’d estimate at least 2m by 3m tall?  So with both open, you get a great breeze through.  All other windows in the apartment are hopper style – which is very safe for small climbing toddlers (there are none as current residents).  They aren’t as great for getting air in and around the apartment, but better than nothing.

The loggia as the dining table location – the table is pretty weather proof, the chairs less so!

The apartment is also airconditioned – ducted through out.  Sadly, as this is clearly ‘on budget’ for a development, it’s not zoned, so it’s all on, or all off, which seems overkill when I didn’t have a flatmate, or when we’re sleeping.  It also doesn’t have a timer.  And… for those followers on my personal Facebook, the centralised components of the air conditioning in the building has ALREADY had issues, even though the building isn’t even 6 months old.

Opps, a ceiling hole!

The air conditioning isn’t the only sigh that there’s been corners cut in this building – two ‘exit’ signs have fallen out of the ceiling.  I can wiggle the exterior door handle to the garage and easily get access without my keys.  I’m so pleased I’ve not bought the place, that’s for sure.  I really think this has been built for people to buy off the plan, and largely for investors to rent out.  I might be wrong, but… well we’ll see.

To there’s some candid shots of my new place – I’ve now hung all the art, and sometimes I even clean up! Actually – I find my flatmates is tidier then me, which is a lovely blessing.

Black white and gold

So a while ago, I think I mentioned I was planning a spectacular 60th for my mother.  I saw this inspiration picture on BetterAfter:

Pretty right? via
Pretty right?

With that in mind, my mum and I worked on a spectacular celebration with her friends and children. And we went literal, unlike Lindsay who went with an interpretation:

Lindsey's table
Lindsey’s table

So let me start with the hallway:

The were LED tea lights (about the ONLY time I'd tolerate single use plastic tea lights!)
The were LED tea lights (about the ONLY time I’d tolerate single use plastic tea lights!)

Some recent TV show inspired the vase of tulips (50!) and you see the gold on the door - it had a big gold bow on it!
Some recent TV show inspired the vase of tulips (50!) and you see the gold on the door – it had a big gold bow on it!

Now for THE table

Hand written menus for individual choices
Hand written menus for individual choices

Unlike the inspiration, we went for some flowers on the table:

Hand made by me
Hand made by me

How would people know where to sit? Solved that with a US purchase in Jan of a special little pen for writing on glass and porcelain:

Simon says sit here!
Simon says sit here!

Now all the rest of the shots I just wanna share for sharing’s sake:

Seems similar right?
Seems similar right?

Ready for a feast
Ready for a feast

Lastly, the cake (apologies for the fugitive-ly taken photo in the car, lest we have an accident and mum never see it!):

Yummy inside and out!
Yummy inside and out!

Overall, I LOVED planning for this – I hand sewed the white ribbon onto all the napkin rings, which was definitely the most intense part.  But I love hand sewing.  Everything was perfect, I’m told, and I was pretty happy with how things turned out. I realise the part of ‘entertaining’ I stress about is the food – everyone being happy and full and eating.  If that’s outsourced, I love the rest of it (Which isn’t to say I don’t like baking, but it’s like baking or event coordination, not both).

So I’m available for hire 😉 You pay bills (I covered the flowers in the end, mainly cause I wanted free reign – there was another HUGE bouquet in the kitchen you didn’t get a photo of cause I forget which was Birthday Girl’s request on our market trip).

Party planner instead of engineer? Maybe… just maybe!

My future garden

I’ve been completing longer walks to different areas in the past few months, and I’ve been very actively compiling a list of plants and trees I’d like in my future home.  Seems my green thumb from the herb garden is expanding (rapidly!).  Oh and an update on said herb garden – something’s demolished the mint, the thyme and most of the parsley.  It’s just started on the sage, and something has taken up residence on the chives.  I’m so sad.  There’s some sort of small flying insect – like a mini mosquito.  The BF says we should spray, but I’m loathed to spray something I might then eat.  Big FAIL on this vegie patch 🙁 I’m pretty torn on how these might all work in a garden, but I love the following ‘statement’ trees:

Japanese Maple (I think)
Japanese Maple (I think)

  • Magnolia Grandiflora: lucious glossy leaves with a velvety brown underside, complete with large cup like flowers that smell of a light lemon pudding
  • Japanese maple: the most daintly shaped leaves in some amazing tones, from lime green to burnt orange to red
  • Frangapani: whilst the ultimate in ‘bogan chic’ (you can get decals for you rear windscreen eyeroll), their scent screams summer, and given my mother missed out as having them as her wedding flower, I always feel a strong affinity to them.  I’m not sure if I prefer the traditional white with yellow centres, or the pink toned flowers…

Statement Frangipani (SO many at the front of terraces in Sydney)
Statement Frangipani (SO many at the front of terraces in Sydney)

Beyond the trees, I love the following

  • Pruned hedges: Buxus are great, and work so well as a formal min fence, particularly in all the period terraces around Sydney
  • Gardenia: I smell gardenias and it takes me back to boarding school – it’s the smell of Christmas dinners, playing on the last night of term, preparing for exams, and for the end of year.  Even though I had one of these in my childhood garden, it still screams ‘school’ to me, and I still love it!
  • Succulents: sadly I don’t know the name of the pictured succulent

PS I did try a triptych of these three plants with www.picmonkey.com, but after crashing the computer twice, sadly it’s a no go.  I don’t have the patience for those shenanigans

Buxus hedge - so formal! Great for making corsages too.
Buxus hedge – so formal! Great for making corsages too.

Oh the smell of summer (sorry the flower is overexposed, but just admire the glossy leaves)
Oh the smell of summer (sorry the flower is overexposed, but just admire the glossy leaves)

Name please?
Name please?

I would LOVE a passionfruit vine – I love the flowers.  But I’ll make that another post when I collect a few more photos 😉  And some more flowery plants too.

How about you?  What’s in your ‘dream’ garden?  My focus in this post is ornamental plants, rather than fruiting and flowering trees or vines (Lois, this post is for you :).

Packed and then the empty loft

I took some photos as a ‘memories’ of the packing and moving process. This is probably the last I’ll share of the old house (at least the last of photos you’ve never seen before).  I’ll also review my ‘tips‘ (they’ll be the dot points scattered throughout)

Boxes stacked in piles, ready to be rolled out. I thought they were high enough, but the movers got one or two more boxes on each pile! So this tip:

  • use as many uniformly sized boxes as possible – they stack easier This worked well

More packing chaos!
More packing chaos!

  • wear pants with pockets – failed at this last weekend, and spent my life asking for things out of other’s pockets, namely keys! worked
  • label boxes on two adjoining sides – at least one should be accessible/viewable when stacked/moved then no one read these but me 🙁
  • consider a ‘car load’ for odds and sods – I have a list of what I think will be in this load did this, later than hoped with the hospital visit
    • birdcages
    • lamps
    • magnetic notice board
    • ironing board

You can’t beat plastic for protecting furniture. I’d kept the bags the sofas came in. I don’t usually keep packaging, but I couldn’t trash that much plastic, and I knew it was hardy enough to use again (unlike the flimsy mattress bags we bought)

Plastic wrapped furniture
Plastic wrapped furniture

Oh below you see the arm liberated from the sofa… That was a task and a half, but the BF and I are a good team and we got it done with minimal irreparable damage.  The put back together has not happened yet…

  • create a list for the order of packing, starting with the least used items (like linen closet stock piles, out of season clothing etc) Or just do it all right before the move day
  • consider the order of stuff onto the truck vs off the truck, therefore, I’ll pack my entry buffet first, so it comes off last – in both cases, it’ll keep the entryway clearer in both homes. So simple, and yes, this is what happened

Packed to go
Packed to go

  • make sure you have all the tools you need for your flat pack items (thanks Ikea, I have so much Ikea in my house!) – allan keys, shifting spanners etc mostly worked, but the movers having a drill to borrow was a bonus!
  • remember to have toilet paper (more than one roll!) at both houses.  Thankfully there’s a four pack left at the new home! worked
  • as above, it’s useful to have scissors/knives for opening boxes and cutting tape at both locations seemed to happen, by magic rather than planning
  • work out a ‘food plan’ cause at some stage eating will be needed <- ekk something I’ve not done yet! Nope, Dad did that!

Packing up progress
Packing up progress

I seemed to clean this place endlessly – on moving out day (when I had nothing to do but await the movers finishing emptying it). Then again the day after, in the morning, til I needed to be at the new house to receive the new fridge. Then again that same afternoon – to meet the agent and do the condition report for the new tenants. I won’t bore you with photos of the all the chips and dents… cause I have those too! Just some errie empty home photos. It was so echo-y, and both bigger and smaller all at once.

  • keep cleaning and hardware products at the ‘outgoing’ house for the final touch ups Ideally some at both house would be better!

Empty house
Empty house

  •  roughly hash out what will go where (furniture items particularly, but you can get crazy and go down to cupboards!), and where ‘other’ stuff will go, such as all the boxes! didn’t do well, so I keep moving things in the kitchen to the BF’s frustration
  • spend the ‘pre’ move time getting things back to their rightful owners, dropping stuff at recycling centers or thrift stores etc. The less the move the better! (I’ll be rehoming my bokashi compost box to my parents, my sewing machine, 1 microwave and a toaster to some friends in need, excess craft stuff went back to the Co-op, and I have a box to give the op (thrift) shop already) Did this well! But then there’s a little be of ‘collecting it all back’ too!

Empty view out to the balcony
Empty view out to the balcony

Good bye old house – let the new tenants love you as much as I do!

A new (blogging) home

Howdy all… Do things look a little different to you?  Me too – I’ve moved house in the virtual sense too!

So the BF bought me a domain (isn’t he a romantic) and now that I live with him in captivity, we ‘moved house’ in the virtual sense too.  So instead of being livetolist.wordpress.com, I’ve dropped a pesky nine letters and a colon, and said goodbye to the free-ness of WordPress. Now I am THE www.livetolist.com  So, if like me, you love a great bookmark, I’d suggest updating it.  But rest assured, if you don’t, I’ll still magically turn up, cause I have a funky redirection in place.

I’m not sure what this means for now, but I’m assured it gives me far greater visuals on statistics, which I quite like.  Otherwise, from the back end, it looks the same but with more bells and whistles.

Anyhow, if you’re having any issues, please let me know, so I can iron out the kinks.

Now for some snapshots of my new place:

The kitchen and the open shelves
The kitchen and the open shelves

I love my blue glasses - the smokey candle, not so much!
I love my blue glasses – the smokey candle, not so much!

A bathroom ledge is so useful, loving it!
A bathroom ledge is so useful, loving it!

Wine rack - I feel like a grown up with a whole dozen in there!
Wine rack – I feel like a grown up with a whole dozen in there!


Finally a way to display my Venetian mask!
Finally a way to display my Venetian mask!

I did try to take it easy this weekend, focusing on my ‘top 3’ tasks per day – many weren’t DIY or house related, but meals out for a birthday and the church’s patron saint’s festival’s lunch. I’ve been a little stressed out, so I really did take it easier on myself with respect to the house (and the blogging). I feel much better for it too!