December 27, 2011

We made it!

It's funny how having a deadline can push you to achieve what would normally be considered unworkable or unrealistic, isn't it? Sometimes just knowing you need to complete a certain task by a certain time can make all the difference. Otherwise there's no impetus or drive for you to push through and achieve your goal...

But that could just be me.

I can't tell you how many times I have done that in the past, subjecting myself to these crazy mental deadlines - I clearly have a bit of a habit of putting myself under the pump!

However, I am very happy to report that Plan: Installation Flooring and Operation Reorganise House were both successful! I swear sheer stubborn will on my part was partially responsible. Not to mention wonderful organisation and hands-on direction from The Provider to our installers, too.

I think you'll agree, the end result was well worth it:

I am so happy with how it all looks! Exactly like the picture I've had in my head all along. :)

Christmas was awesome at Chez Korol and made all the more special for a couple of reasons: the Groovy Grandma was here and summer finally arrived in Sydney - we had blue skies overhead and sun! The boys eventually roused from slumber at the positively decadent late hour of 9am - a clear sign that the occupants of this house are getting older, perhaps? However, the later start to the day was especially appreciated by me as I had only collapsed into bed at 12.30am that morning!

All my hard work of Christmas Eve doing loads of food prep paid off - the massive glazed ham went straight into the oven, new potatoes cooked on the stove leaving the large bowl of freshly shelled prawns and prepared cold salads sitting ready to serve in the fridge. Voila!

Along with a roast pork neck and baked turkey breast that other members of the family contributed to the lunch, we had MILES of food. Just the perfect build-up before the traditional 'lounging around on the couch in front of the TV' during the afternoon. Noice.

I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas festivities - did Santa treat everyone well? Now we're all looking forward to New Years Eve... I'm so incredibly relieved happy thrilled that there will be no renovating between now and then. LOL.

December 20, 2011

Nothing like Christmas to get you going...

In less than a week I'm having 14 people over to my house for Christmas dinner. We'll toast the day and the season, give thanks for family and friends. The table will be laden with lots of yummy Christmas food, our glasses will be full and afterward, there will be much relaxing on numerous couches positioned in front of the large TV screen, or enjoying the summer sun in deck chairs outside under the pergola. Sounds like the perfect day to me.

Currently though, my back two rooms (rumpus and office) are empty and without floor coverings, the requisite furniture usually in them is stacked wherever there is space in and around my dining room. Boxes of folders, office paraphenalia and toys fill the void under the dining table. DVDs and books are piled on any available flat surface, nestled beside the printer, desktop PC and their neatly coiled cords.

In short, the house looks like a bomb hit it. Twice.

Our empty rumpus room, the office just through that door

For a gal like me who has a 'thing' about having a tidy house, this is a very challenging state of affairs. It has been really difficult to ignore the mess. And the dust! OMFG. Let me just say we would NOT be passing the white glove test right now.

But seeing the concrete floors again reminded me of how life was when we first arrived here. I was pregnant with Son #3 and we'd moved in early to save some much-needed money. The kitchen hadn't been put in, the floors were bare and we'd set up camp in those same back two rooms for three months while the rest of the house was finished. I had an electric fry pan, a microwave and a little gas cooker as my kitchen. (Naturally, the thing I craved the most was a roast dinner but no oven = no roast. *sigh*) It was pretty tough.

I recall having a massive hormonal meltdown a couple of weeks before I was due, tearfully telling the Provider that I simply couldn't bring a newborn baby home to a house with no carpet. He wisely kept his cool, holding me and my burgeoning belly close and telling me not to worry, he'd fix it. We moved upstairs to newly carpeted bedrooms a week later, a mere two days before Son #3 was born. :)

And now we're on yet another renovation journey. It started with me painting over the facebrick walls and repainting the ceiling. New blinds were installed. Carpet and underlay were then removed in preparation for the new floor. And then... uh oh. The discovery of badly uneven concrete beneath the carpet put a bit of a spanner in the works. Installation of the timber floors had to be postponed... concrete had to be attended to... and much stress occurred at the thought of installer not having any time before Christmas! Gah!

However, the Provider came to my rescue yet again, levelling and grinding concrete as needed and arranging for my much-awaited timber floors to be laid this Wednesday. Hooray!

That'll leave me just three days to put my house back together before Christmas lunch. *eyes widen slightly* Crikey. I foresee a looong week ahead. But it'll get done. I'll make sure of it!

So come on, tell me: who else is stupid insane crazy enough to renovate during the silly season?

Merry Christmas all.

December 9, 2011

So... whattaya know?

'Tis the season. My life is jam-packed full of 'stuff' at present; some important, some annoying, some minor and of course, other stuff that is just downright bloody ridiculous. We all seem to have this kind of 'stuff' in our lives, don't we? Especially in December. My mind is working in bullet point form today so here a few thoughts about some of the things I know:

  • Nine days in and summer seems to have forgotten us.

What the hell is with that? Instead of gorgeous summer days we're renowned for at this time of year, Mother Nature has instead dished out torrential rain and cold winds. It's like Christmas in July but in December. FFS. Let's hope it warms up soon or my house may be overtaken by the ever-increasing piles of dirty laundry that the Blokes Wot Live Here are so dedicated in supplying. *sigh*

  •  The boys have only one more week of school.

*calculates* OMG. Which means I have little to NO time left to shop for the little buggers. I do, however, have a plan and a solid list (as you'd expect, lol) so even at this late stage I am still confident of getting it all done. I can shop the absolute bejesus out of a shopping mall if required to, let me tell ya! Not a big fan of this method but when under the pump, you do what you gotta do, right?

  • I have finally painted the rumpus ceiling.

And in the process saved a lot of money. Which is kind of helping with the muscle soreness I'm feeling in my triceps, neck and shoulders. Ceiling looks bloody awesome though and now means we can rip the carpet up and get much-wanted timber flooring installed. Lovely man at flooring shop made my day when he told me they can squeeze my job in NEXT WEEK. *dances*

  • My mother, the Groovy Grandma, arrives next Sunday, the 18th.

She's staying for almost 6 weeks (woo hoo!) so the gender balance in the house will be changed a little more in my favour. Noice. This will mean more girly lunches and coffees out and about; always a good thing. She'll be here for my two oldest boys birthday's in January. Plus she's great for lending a helping hand without being asked and provides lovely chat over a nice cuppa. What more can you ask of a house guest?

  • I have just booked a week away for the family in January.

Yay!! I was a little worried I'd left my run too late this year but was lucky enough to snag a lovely place in Fingal Bay, Port Stephens. The area has water that is the most amazing colour; the kind of place where you can do a lot, or nothing at all; it's all about whatever you fancy. I'll be the one on the beach with a book, reclining on a beach towel and looking all Audrey Hepburn with sunglasses and large sun hat. :)

Enjoy the weekend, darlings. Only 14 sleeps to go!

December 1, 2011

Aussie Chic...

Okay, I'll admit it. I was supposed to be Christmas shopping this morning. I didn't mean to go wandering through those furniture shops imagining how fabulous all those lovely things would look in my house. Really, I didn't. And I only ended up buying a table runner so the damage wasn't too bad. I can always go Christmas shopping tomorrow.

But while I'm at it, I have a question. Can anyone tell me why nearly every homewares/furniture shop I went into was packed with decorator items of a French flavour? I'm talking chock-a-block full. Everywhere. I almost expected to hear 'Non, Je Ne Regret Rien' burst forth from the stores' music speakers, it was so prevalent.

Nothing personal against the French of course, I love France and her people (especially my French friends!) but for the life of me, I can't see why shops seem to think Australians want (or need) to fill their houses with metal replicas of the Eiffel Tower, framed prints of French cafe scenes, distressed French Provincial white furniture or fleur-de-lis print decorator pillows.

I mean, do we? I didn't think so but now....

Is it because designers think we need to make ourselves feel sophisticated? Spend 'X' amount of dollars, whack a French print up on the wall and voila! Behold your instant chic! Surely we are a little more refined than that. (Ignores the invariable 'Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!' chorus going on in the background, lol). Hmmm, who knows.

At any rate, I'll stick with my (mostly) unbreakable metal sculpture pieces, picture frames and candles. In a house full of boys, that's about as sophisticated as it gets around here.
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