Phase 1: Lounge and Dining room part 2

So we painted. And it looked good.  Our plan was to decorate the two rooms and then move on to our bedrooms, unfortunately it doesn’t look like that is going to happen any time soon.  We needed to move bookcases from the bedrooms to the lounge (we have a HUGE book and comic book collection, even with all the extra bookcases, we are still short on space).  After we moved the bookcases, we realised that both of them had water damage, and that the carpet under the cases was moldy.  Its freaken damp.  We’ve abandoned our youngest daughter’s bedroom as it was super damp and moldy, much to her sisters delight they now have to share a bedroom.  The master bedroom wasn’t spared either, we’ve had to move our bed to the middle of the room, away from the walls as the walls were damp as well.


We’ve hung the curtains in the lounge and dining room and used the artwork that we already owned to try to cheer the place up a bit, unfortunately untill we sort out the damp issue, we arent doing anything further.


The solution to our problem is actually quite simple, we have to remove some trees in our yard.  We have been threatening for years to have them trimmed back or removed completely but have never gotten around to it.  Once we’ve removed the trees, we will have to wait a while for the house to dry out before we start removing the carpets in the bedrooms (which we werent planning on doing) and replacing all of the flooring.  So all of our timelines and budgets have been completely thrown for a loop.  At least I get to have a break from painting while I research tree removal companies.

Phase 1: Lounge and dining room (part 1)

DIY is hard.  All those Pinterest hacks and blogs make it look so easy. The Husbeast and myself spent about 30 minutes discussing paint colours before we hit the hardware store.  Our first mistake was taking the kids with us. As much as I love my kids, choosing paint is so hard when I have to “mom”.

Our second mistake was not knowing exactly how much paint we needed. Never trust a sales associate’s advice when it comes to paint quantities.  We have 60 litres of paint, 40 of the lounge dining room colour and 20 of the passage colour.  We can paint our whole house, inside and out and still have paint left over!!

The Husbeast and myself see colour differently, the slightly grey shade I envisioned became a  pinky cream.  The Husbeast could not understand why I was so upset, the colour matched the sample card exactly! (spoiler alert: it did not). So now we have buckets full of paint in a colour that I’m not 100% happy with.  Other paint related disasters include dropping paint on the floor, tripping over a paint tray and spilling paint everywhere, and my personal favourite, sitting down in a paint tray.

Painting is freaken hard, I have no idea who those home decorating shows make it look so easy.  There were days when I wanted to walk out and never return.  Apart from the mess, my arms felt like I had gymming like crazy!   After lots of swearing (me), and crying (also me), we’ve finally finished the painting portion of phase 1.  And now I need a holiday!

Fixing up the fixer-upper (finally!)

We have been living in our house for almost 5 years now.  We knew that the house needed a lot of work when we bought it, the house was damp and dark, the bathrooms were a mess, floors needed to be redone, and the kitchen was dated.  We had all these amazing plans and tons of inspirational pins on Pinterest.  This was going to be our dream house, it just needed some TLC.

It’s been 5 years.  We havent done a single thing.  So the Husbeast and myself have dedicated the next 3 years to the house.  We are going to DIY the shit out of this place.  Of course we just dived right in with only a vague idea of what we are doing, but at least we started.

We’ve decided to divide the house up into more manageable projects and only concentrating on those specific areas at a time.  I refuse to live in chaos just because we have taken on too many projects at once.

Phase 1:  Lounge, dining room

Phase 2: Bedrooms

Phase 3: Bathrooms

Phase 4: Kitchen


Even as I’m typing this I can feel the frustration and irritation that these projects will bring.  The Husbeast and myself both have very different tastes in interior design and we also tend to get shouty when things don’t go our way.  I don’t need a crystal ball to know that this is going to be a true test of our relationship.

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!



When the house fights back

Today the Fixer Upper threw another curve ball at us.  I have wondered why on earth there is always a huge puddle of water outside the back door.  I realised that the drain right outside the kitchen door was blocked, which means that every time I wash the dishes or do a load of laundry I basically flood the place. I am sure that the Fixer Upper hates us and just lulls us into a false sense of security before striking back

The Husbeast immediately rode to the rescue, pouring large amount of drain cleaner down the drain (pun intended).  It didn’t work.  He then attempted a daring unblocking mission using a hose pipe, head lamp, long stick and a spade.  It still didn’t work.  After swearing at it, the water level started dropping (at this point I was falling over with laughter).  I haven’t had the guts to attempt another load of dirty clothes. I will wait until the Husbeast does it himself, that way if it doesn’t work, it wasn’t my fault:)


Fixing up our fixer upper

For a “normal” couple, buying a house involves a lot of discussion, online searches, going to open houses, chatting to estate agents etc.  If you are a Jackson, it takes 3 days, 1 show house and 1 online search (it was where we saw the listing for our house).  We spent 15 minutes in our future house before we decided to put an offer on the house.  The offer was accepted the next morning and the rest is history.


Starting to move in

Starting to move in

Moving into a new house is easy, turning your house into a home is the hard part.  When we lived in our flat, every available surface had a picture, statue, painting or knicky-knacky things on.  The walls were painted in warm tones, all the accents were bright reds, dark blues and splashes of pink.   The new place was painted in dark depressing colours, the trees were overgrown which severely limited the natural light coming in and the house seemed dank and cold.  And the master bedroom was a study in fuchsia and brown.   The past 6 months we have spent doing all the major repairs like sorting out the wiring (the taps used to shock you every time you touched them), replacing light bulbs, unblocking drains and fighting with the garden (we have destroyed 3 weed eaters and 3 lawn mowers so far).


The garden won!

The garden won!


Now we are finally starting to turn our house into a home.  The first week we moved in we painted all the walls and cupboard doors in light, bright colours.  Now we have to start decorating and adding personal touches.  It has been a slow process, mainly because the Husbeast and myself have very different tastes in interior decorating.  We have pretty much completed the girl’s bedrooms, it is just a few minor things that need to be completed.

The fuchsia feature wall remains:)

The fuchsia feature wall remains:)

The idea is that we do a little decorating every weekend.  The reality is that I have a lot of ideas and haven’t actually managed to do anything yet.  Hopefully we manage to finish up before Christmas!


Riana’s kitchen nightmares

As I stumbled  walked into my kitchen this morning I stepped into a puddle.  Now in a normal household the puppy would be scolded and the offending puddle would be cleaned up.  In my house the freezer towel gets dragged closer with one foot and the puddle mopped up while making the coffee.   Yep, I have a freezer towel that lives on the floor in the kitchen.


In a nutshell, when we first got married my grandmother gave us her old fridge.  It was positively ancient and most probably caused the hole in the ozone layer.  We promised ourselves that we would replace it soon.  A year later we were given another second-hand fridge/freezer.  Needless to say I was not very impressed as I wanted a shiny new one.  The Husbeast promised me that it was only temporary and that we would replace it soon.  Its been 6 years.  The fridge is constantly frozen, any veggies or liquids in the fridge freeze within days.  The freezer is always defrosting for no reason, hence the freezer towel.  The freezer actually forms so much ice that it pops the door open, defrosting the whole thing.  I can hear that door pop even in my sleep. I once had to cook 7 packs of bacon because the freezer had defrosted while I was at work.  I love bacon:)


Do not even get me started on the stove! When we bought our house we bought the stove as well.  We were promised that it was in prime working condition.  Notice a theme here?  Only the freaken grill works! If you want to use the stove  you have to pre-heat  the plates for at least an hour and then add an hour’s cooking time on as well (for some or other reason the plates do not conduct heat very well).  When did I discover that the oven was not working? On Christmas Eve while I was trying to cook a 3 course meal for my family (all 10 of us).  Great stuff.   Thank goodness for my electric casserole dish, electric wok and slow cooker!  Needless to say we eat a lot of soup, stew and stirfry.  And tuna sandwiches cause I LOVE tuna sandwiches.


Thank goodness no one in this house is a fussy eater! Otherwise they would most probably starve to death waiting for the oven to heat up.