If there is one thing I have re-learned since the start of the year, it would be life is as extraordinary as you make it.
Such a simple truth and statement to make, but one I struggle with because when I’m set in routines day in and day out, life can feel quite ordinary. It’s only when I make time to stop and list all the things I’m grateful for that I can see how extraordinary my life is. I don’t do it often enough because my responsibilities pick me up like a bullet train and I am prone to becoming familiar with the daily grind.
The past 5 months have flown for me and it doesn’t feel like June, although the weather tells me otherwise.
With a good dose of common sense and a resignation that change was in order, I chased the change.
The change I’ve embarked on in the last few months has been good. Still challenging and tiring, but it will bring the desired results to our lives for the better.
It’s been an incredible couple of months where I’ve realised I can handle change better than I thought. I’m positioned in a place where I can help people and I see the value of the work I do. I am also learning something new every day. But with the highs and lows of change comes the exhaustion.
I have never been so tired. (And I no longer have a baby waking me in the middle of the night!)
I thought my body would have adapted to my new changes, but it’s still taking time and I’m trying to get better at resting when I can, instead of squeezing in something else from my to do list.
Of course, when I’m exhausted, I don’t have the energy to do anything extraordinary. Or fun. I’ve preferred to stay at home. There is always something to do around the house.
It takes energy to get out of the house and have fun. I know it’s always worth the effort, but I always have resistance before embarking on the said activity.
The last few weeks I’ve said yes to things I’d normally say no to.
It’s been a recalibration on my part to say yes to experiences that will benefit our family life for the better. They haven’t been earth shattering WOW experiences. But for my girls, they’ve meant something to them. And their excitement rubs off on me and I’m reminded a local trip out of the ordinary can be exciting.
Last Friday, I picked the girls up from school and had a McDonald’s picnic lunch at the local lake. The girls loved it (despite Maggie crying because her chicken nugget hurt her wobbly tooth). Esther even said, ‘mum, this feels like we’re on holidays.’
We then walked around the lake and played on every playground on the route. For a couple of hours we enjoyed the outdoors and it was a lot of fun.
On Saturday, I had a one-on-one day with Esther where we went shopping and had sushi train for lunch. The desire to spend time with my children has never been stronger. They’ve grown from babies to children quite quickly and I do not want my everyday responsibilities to stop me from enjoying them.
An extraordinary life is not hard to attain. It’s stewarding the gifts you have in your home. Your partner, your children, your family and your friends. It’s saying yes to new things, but also doing the same old in a different way. It’s not what you see on Instagram stories. It’s a life you create without the camera on.
Life can be as extraordinary as you make it. But sometimes it needs a recalibration on our part to make it so.
What makes your life extraordinary? Can you believe it’s June? How has the first half of the year been for you? What have you said yes to recently that has made your life all the more better?
Can you remember how you applied for your first job? Or how you were able to source your apprenticeship if you work in a trade? Today, I’m sharing how my dad got his plumbing apprenticeship 40 years ago, with pictures of his letters of acceptance and the plumbing by-laws he used when he went to college.
These days, people secure jobs by searching online and then applying through the relevant contact channels. Gone are the days where jobs were applied by cold calling a company and sending them a letter. Cold calling can still work in your favour, but most companies will have a recruitment agency or a human resources team that conduct job offerings and interviews. Email is the preferred contact for job applications when they’re available, and if you’re well known enough, you may be headhunted on Linked In.
But back in the 1970’s it was different. Very different.
My dad was going through his filing system and found his letter of offer for an apprenticeship from Henry Neylan Pty Ltd. He shared it with me and I wanted to share this history with you.
Back in the 70’s, letters were typed on typewriters and sent via post when applying for a job. Could you imagine the patience needed to wait for the snail mail to let you know if you had indeed been accepted for an interview or whether you had gotten the job? Maybe Australia Post was more reliable back in those days. Probably less people back then to deliver to as well.
My dad was 15 when he applied for his apprenticeship. He was able to secure a position at Henry Neylan Pty Ltd via my great grandpa Pop’s assistance. Pop was the deacon at the City Tabernacle Baptist Church (Wickham Terrace in Brisbane City) and right next door was the Henry Neylan Plumbing office on Upper Edward Street. Pop asked one of the plumbers on site for a business card. This business card was then given to my dad so he could send a letter and his character references for a plumbing apprenticeship.
Dad kept all the correspondence from 1975, even his letter of appointment, where dad would start his plumbing apprenticeship on Monday 26th January 1976 at 8am sharp. Another letter was sent back asking if it were to be Tuesday 27th January 1976, as Monday 26th was the Australia Day Public Holiday. These simple letters reminded me of how email has made contacting each other so much easier and quicker.
When I asked dad why he chose plumbing, he told me he was given good guidance by his parents and those offering apprenticeships back in the day.
My grandpa took my dad to an open night at Yeronga TAFE, where dad could find out what apprenticeships were available. After discussing options with those at the open night, dad was advised a plumbing or electrical apprenticeship was the way to go because of a few reasons:
1. It was a licensed trade. People can’t DIY a licensed trade.
2. There would be limited overheads to start out if you decided to have a business. You wouldn’t need to purchase a warehouse or large machinery to start out. A ute and your tools were all that would be needed.
After the TAFE event, Grandpa told my dad plumbing sounded like the best option for a trade apprenticeship.
Before dad found out if he got a plumbing apprenticeship with Henry Neylan, he was offered a sheet metal working apprenticeship with J Wiley and Co, but the manager asked my dad a crucial question which allowed my dad to make a clear decision on which apprenticeship to take.
The J Wiley & Co manager told my dad that sheet metal workers would be in a shed everyday for the rest of their life doing sheet metal work. But plumbing would allow him to be on a new site everyday and he would get to be out and about. Dad had to be committed to working inside if he were to take on the sheet metal joinery apprenticeship.
It was this question that made dad contact Henry Neylan to find out whether his application for a plumbing apprenticeship had been accepted.
It had and his offer of a position was to be mailed to him. And the rest is history.
Dad also kept his Plumbing Standards “The Sewerage, Water Supply, and Gasfitting Acts, 1949 to 1967”. In the book are notes from when dad went to TAFE. When the by-laws changed, he taped in the overriding laws in the book.
When I did my apprenticeship and would use sticky notes to help me reference the by-laws so I could find them quickly, dad said he would do the same when he was at TAFE. I didn’t think they had post-it notes back then, but when I got his standards book, there were notes just as he told me.
Of course, the by-laws are no longer a 214 page book, but now come in multiple sections in a 4 ring binding folder. My sticky notes are still in each of the pages from my apprenticeship days, which I completed more than 10 years ago. Gosh how the time flies!
Dad also kept his log book and he used this to work out how long it would take to complete a job. These notes would enable him to estimate in the future and know how to price a job accurately. My log book was significantly bigger –an A4 size and had multiple sections that needed to be completed before I could get my license.
While there are a lot of things that have changed in the last 50 or so years with plumbing, one standard has always remained the same – the necessity for a tradesperson with a plumbing license to conduct any type of plumbing work. It’s governed more strictly these days with fines and severe consequences to insurance if work has not been done by the relevant licensed trade.
Now, in 2018, it can be difficult to secure a plumbing apprenticeship, but over the coming weeks, I will be updating my posts on who to contact for an apprenticeship. A plumbing apprenticeship is a great career choice – no matter your gender. There are amazing men and women who have started a plumbing trade and have gone on to do incredible things within the industry. You just never know where a plumbing apprenticeship will take you.
I hope you enjoyed this post down memory lane. I’m glad Dad kept these historical documents so I could share them with you. These documents make up part of my story too, which makes them even more special to keep.
Have you kept old letters or books from the past? Do you enjoy history? Got any stories of how previous generations were able to get their first job or plumbing apprenticeship?
The first is not having enough towel rails to hang up more than one towel. There was also never an allowance for a hand towel holder either.
The second was having no soap holders. We did have soap holders when we first moved into our house. But they were originally installed in a way where the chrome part of the holder just balanced on the two screws that were installed to secure the holder to our shower wall. I rarely use soap, but the one occasion I did put a bar in, the whole holder fell at my feet, smashing the glass dish and chipping a tile in the shower. The screws were so rusted from the way it was installed, the heads came off leaving half the screw embedded in the shower. It has been an eyesore ever since. When the same thing happened to my husband’s side of the shower I knew we had to get new soap holders.
The third was not having a niche or any sort of accessories to hold the bottles of shampoo and shower gel off the floor.
These annoyances were ones I could live with. But it wasn’t until I was contacted by FUSION-LOC and had a look at their stylish bathroom accessories, that I knew I’d found the answer to remove the eye sore mess from my shower floor.
FUSION-LOC are easy to install accessories that work as their name suggests – using vacuum fusion to lock the accessories in place on the wall. They work perfectly on glass, sealed tiles, vinyls and laminates. The design is patented to FUSION-LOC, so it’s a unique installation anyone can do. No tools or drilling are required. The vacuum-fusion pump does the work for you.
The range is stylish and comes in chrome and matte black. The matte black is GORGEOUS. For our ensuite, I’ve used a mix of both to show you what it looks like. Jacob has kept the matte black for his side of the shower. I do have chrome to remove the black should we decide to make the accessories uniform.
I was sent a range of products to install in my bathroom and I put them to the test.
Initially, the soap holders would not seal to our tiles. The reason for this is because they are porous. It’s a very rare issue to have porous tiles. The way to get around that was to install adhesive discs (which can be purchased separately) and then install the FUSION-LOC accessories to the discs.
I was dubious about whether they would hold, but after a month’s worth of showers, our accessories are still in place, and they hold a few kgs of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel products. We rarely use soap, but I’m happy to have the soap holders installed for display purposes.
Here is a video of how I installed the soap holder. It takes less than 30 seconds. For me, it took 34 seconds because I was having multi-tasking issues.
The FUSION-LOC range also includes a towel rail, suction towel ring holder, toilet roll holder and hooks.
We installed a suction hook as another place to hang a towel. We will look at getting an additional towel rail to add to our main bathroom in the future as the towel doesn’t dry in winter when hung like this.
Overall, I’ve been really happy with the FUSION-LOC bathroom accessories. If you’re looking for a way to style up the bathroom, then adding these accessories is certainly the easiest and best way to go about it.
Best of all, the accessories can be removed and installed in a different position if needed. All you need to do is remove the cap and use your finger nail to release the vacuum in the centre valve and then remove from the wall. If you use an adhesive plate though, this will damage your plasterboard wall as it is a strong adhesive. You will need to replace these if they are to be removed.
When I head into our shower, it feels like new. It’s a delight to head into the shower and not have to bend to reach bottles of shampoo and conditioner. It’s also been nice not to have towels draped over the shower door.
The FUSION-LOC range is available exclusively through Bunnings. But if you want to get your hands on some for free, the FUSION-LOC team have offered to do a giveaway in your choice of colour accessories.
FUSION-LOC STYLISH BATHROOM ACCESSORIES GIVEAWAY
There will be two prize packs. Each pack will include :
Why do you need FUSION-LOC accessories in your bathroom? You can comment here on the blog, on Facebook under the post, OR via my contact form.
Winners will be chosen on their answer.
Terms and Conditions
This is a game of skill. Each valid entry to be judged on creativity and originality, not by chance.
There are two prizes of FUSION-LOC accessories as detailed above. The winner has a choice of black (RRP$103.80) or chrome (RRP$107.80)
Entries open from 5am Brisbane time Saturday 26th May to Friday 15th June 2018 5pm Brisbane Time.
Prizes are not transferable or changeable.
Prize sent out by third parties will not be replaced in the event they are stolen, lost or damaged in transit or virtually.
Entry is leaving an answer to the question on the post or Facebook and visiting and liking Facebook pages.
A valid email address must be included in your entry.
Entry into any giveaway or competition is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
Entrants must be Australian residents and aged 18 or over.
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to reply and claim the prize. The winner may be announced on Facebook. This giveaway is not endorsed or affiliated with Facebook.
Disclosure: I was gifted FUSION-LOC accessories for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own. This post has been written in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
Winter is always a great time to make some little changes to update your living room to make it feel warmer and to reflect the change in seasons.
In the past, I used to enjoy changing things around in my home to make it look different. Maybe because I was always home with my babies, a change of scenery in the house made me feel less blah. As they say a change is as good as a holiday, and when you have babies at home and all you can see is mess, a styled zone can make a world of difference to your head space.
I have found, once I have nailed a key area in our home, I leave it as it is. I haven’t made too many changes in our house for a while because I’ve had other things to potter around with (kids and work) and I like how things are at the moment. However, there has been one area of our house that has been in need for an update, and they have been the cushions in our living room.
But didn’t I just recently buy cushions for our bed?! Yes, yes we did. You can read about those updates here.
Recently, Jacob said he was getting a bit over our cushions in the living room. I looked at the state of our cushions and had to agree. My DIY project from a few years ago didn’t look so awesome anymore. The pom pom detailing had started to fray and pull off from the cushion. One cushion zip would no longer do up and my favourite round bohemian cushion had started to fade and look a little worse for wear. We didn’t need a complete overhaul of our cushions, but we did need some additions to uplift the space.
I headed to my favourite interiors store, Pillow Talk, and bought some cushions on sale to update our living room. Phoebe was helpful in telling me which ones she liked and which ones she ‘ated’. The things they come out with when they’re three!
I also bought a new insert for one of our big European cushions. The insert in one had started to disintegrate.
I added a faux fur cushion and another round cushion which I’ve had my eye on for a while. I also changed our throw to one I’ve had in the cupboard that would go with all the colours in our living room.
I tend to like an eclectic mix of cushions and try and match with similar colours or patterns – or both. It somehow all works together.
No way are my photos or my living room show room worthy – let’s face it, I do have kids. But it’s welcoming enough to show you what I’ve done.
I’m not sure how the faux fur cushion is going to go with our kids. But so far it is the favourite one to be petted when we’re in the living room.
If you’re wanting to change the look of your Living Room, here are some tweaks that can cost very little money and can make a world of difference to the interior of your home. Many of these you may already know. But this list is a good start if you are not sure what to do or what to change.
1. Move the furniture. Changing the layout is one of the easiest ways to change your living room space.
2. Add plants. Use baskets or fabric planter bags to hide the plant pots. Always read whether a plant can tolerate shade. If you’re not sure on what plants work best inside, you can check out this post.
3. Display books on coffee tables or on TV cabinets.
4. Change the cushions.
5. Add a new inserts to existing cushions to give them more shape.
6. Clean the windows to let the sunlight in.
7. Change the throw – rather than buy new, look at what you already own – even Turkish towels can make a great throw.
Most tapware within Australia is generally manufactured and imported from overseas. Like many Australian made products, tapware that is made on our shores, can often cost more to manufacture due to overhead costs. However, the product can be of a superior quality and finish to many of the imported brands we know and love.
Any tapware that is sold within Australia needs to abide by strict watermarking and WELS standards. If the tapware can’t meet these, they should not be sold or installed.
After incorrectly sharing the place of manufacture for my new Mizu Soothe Mixer, I did a bit of research to find tapware companies that not only design their tapware in Australia, but manufacture it here as well. There aren’t many companies that manufacture their taps in Australia, but I thought I’d share the few with you that I found that did.
Can I admit, I’m not always the best at choosing Australian made products – not just with tapware, but in daily life as well. After the uproar about the $1 milk war and what it was doing to our farmers (and rightly it should be in the media), I swapped to purchasing Paul’s and Norco milk. I think education is key when it comes to choosing Australian made products, and sharing the impact our purchase can have on a family business and on our economy.
And yet, I also have a budget too. So I understand the fight of wanting to support Australian made, and having to choose a product within your price range.
I won’t judge anyone on what brand they choose to purchase. The tapware from the following brands may not be what you’re looking for in your space and that is totally ok.
If you are looking for something bespoke or tailor made to your bathroom or kitchen, then these brands will be able to assist you as they can manufacture it for you. Just contact them directly.
However, if you aren’t limited by budget, are open to design (and colours!) and you are passionate about supporting Australian made, here are the tapware brands you need to know.
Disclosure: These brands state their tapware is designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia. To purchase, check the stockists of each brand. Most can be purchased through Reece or Tradelink. Some may only be ordered through specialist bathroom supply stores.
Faucent Strommen manufactures a range of contemporary tapware out of Kerang in Victoria’s Murray Valley. They are proud of their products and are always looking ahead in design with their tapware. Their Pegassi range of tapware has a high 6 star Wels rating. They offer a personalised approach with their warranty on their products.
Sussex Taps are manufactured out of Melbourne and they offer superior quality and finish with their tapware. You can check out how they manufacture their tapware here. But what makes this company unique is that the business has been passed down through family generations. If you need something bespoke created, the team at Sussex Taps can bring your design to reality.
Ram Taps have been manufacturing tapware for over 70 years and are one of the largest tapware and waste outlet manufacturers in Australia. They specialise in the design and manufacture of bathroom fittings that meet strict Australian Standards. They currently export their tapware overseas to Fiji, Vanuatu, Noumea, & New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, & Dubai.
Brodware were established in Australia in 1964. Their tapware is backed by a 20 year warranty (check the conditions when purchasing though.) All Brodware tapware is designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia, so you can be assured for a quality product.
Astra Walker is an independent family-owned manufacturer and all their tapware and bathroom accessories are engineered in Australia. Astra Walker is the brand to purchase your block-coloured tapware from. They offer a range of contemporary and classic tapware styles and have a 15 year warranty on their products (check conditions when purchasing though.)
Consolidated Brass Tapware is a family owned Australian company that manufactures their tapware in South Australia. Their tapware exceeds Australian standards and they can also customize a tapware design to suit your space. Their tapware range is perfect for Federation, Heritage and Victorian style homes.
Have you heard or had any of these Australian Made Tapware brands installed in your property?
With the gorgeous autumn days and winter on our doorstep, I’ve made an effort to walk the girls to and from school. It’s a lovely stroll to school… providing we’re not late. I enjoy the walk and even though the girls sometimes complain, I know they enjoy it too. The odd eye spy game certainly quietens the protests of walking to school.
Last Monday, we had the unfortunate experience of seeing a dead possum on the road. It didn’t look dead from the way it was lying on the road. Even Maggie, ever the optimistic, said it looked like it was sleeping.
Unfortunately, the possum was not sleeping and was certainly dead. During the week it had been moved from the road next to the footpath where we would walk.
As we had left late a few of the mornings during the week, we had taken the shorter route to walk to school, which meant we didn’t walk past the dead possum.
It wasn’t until Thursday afternoon, I pushed Phoebe in the pram to pick up the girls from school, and our noses twitched to an awful smell which was the dead possum. It had been picked at by the local wildlife for food. Phoebe was quite audible with her description of the smell. It left such an impression on her, as soon as we got to school to pick Esther and Maggie up, Phoebe described the smell to her older sisters.
Maggie asked if we could walk past the dead possum so she could smell it too.
I told her no, it was gross and why on earth would she want to smell a dead possum?
“Muuum, please! I will hold my nose as we walk past!”
“What’s the point of holding your nose if you want to smell the dead possum?” I exclaimed.
To avoid tears of disappointment, we walked past the dead possum. I held my nose. The girls tiptoed past to get the full smelly experience.
“Oh gross, that is disgusting. I never want to smell that AGAIN!” exclaimed Maggie.
I laughed and couldn’t wait to tell Jacob about the FOMO (fear of missing out) of smelling a dead possum.
It gave me the opportunity to explain to the girls that when I say something is not good and we shouldn’t do this or that, I’m not doing it to be a mean mum, I’m simply doing it to protect them.
After we passed the dead possum, and made our way home, it dawned on me how often we can be just like Maggie. We won’t take someone’s word for what they’ve seen or experienced. We have to experience it ourselves before we make up our own mind.
The experiences could be anything from going on a holiday, starting a blog, becoming a plumber, choosing to start a family or simply having faith in God. All these things will potentially enrich your life in various ways. (They will also test you and make you stronger in various ways!)
But then there are the temptations in life where we know they won’t lead to good… but we just have to try it to see. We think, what happened to that person won’t happen to me. The problem with this thinking is when we ignore the wisdom from others who have been there and have just survived to tell their tale, we immediately regret when we’ve given into that same temptation.
Listening and acting on the wisdom from others is wisdom in itself.
It seems there is much to learn from our experience after smelling a dead possum.
I’m not sure whether the girls fully understood my explanation about wanting to protect them from something nasty. But I also didn’t want to crush their curiosity either. I knew smelling and looking at the dead possum wasn’t going to give them nightmares. It would allow them to understand a little more about the cycle of life.
I know one thing is for sure for us – we won’t be curious to know what a dead animal smells like.
Been there, done that, and thankfully lived to tell the tale.
Do you need to try things before you believe? Ever done something you wish you had listened to the wisdom of others before you embarked on the said experience? Ever smelled a dead possum?
If you’re looking to install a free standing bath in your bathroom and are limited for space around the bath, a back to wall freestanding bath may be better suited for your bathroom.
On my recent post for Houzz, I shared three of the common trends that anyone who is looking to build or renovate should carefully consider. One of the points I made was the necessity of having enough room around a freestanding bath for cleaning.
Everyone wants to have a freestanding bath in their bathroom, but they may not necessarily have the space to install one.
What many renovators do is find the smallest freestanding bath they can fit in their designated space to get their desired look… forgetting how practical it will be to clean around the said bath after it has been installed with only a small gap around the bath.
Soapy water left on tiles promotes mould and will go a lovey shade of green if it isn’t cleaned. How do I know this? Because my daughters constantly splash about in the bath and even though my bath has been fitted in, the water makes its way under my floating vanity. If I don’t clean it, the water accumulates dust and will go a shade of green within a few days.
This is a really important consideration if you are looking to install a freestanding bath in your bathroom. Too many of these baths are installed with a small gap around the edge of the bath. Ideally, you want a minimum of 500mm space around the freestanding bath for access. If this can’t be achieved, then a back to wall freestanding bath may be your better option. The head and foot of the bath are the only sides you need to consider for an accessible gap.
Here are some ways back to wall freestanding baths have been installed.
There are a number of options for this style of bath in your bathroom. Your local plumbing showroom may be able to show other products available. I took this picture of a back to wall bath installed at the Reece Coopers Plains Showroom.
Here are some back to wall baths I have found online that are available to purchase.
Before purchasing any of these baths, look at the specifications which will show the measurements of each bath. Add 100mm to the length from the top tip of the bath, not the bottom of the bath as this is often tapered in.
On my desk, I have Proverbs 31: 10-31 framed on my desk. It was a handout given a few years ago at church for Mother’s Day that I took home and got framed.
The Proverbs 31 woman is certainly the type of woman I challenge myself to be, although in this day and age, the circumstances can look a little different.
I thought I’d play with the words of the verses which so many women take encouragement and inspiration from. I decided to give it a modern re-do. Maybe you might resonate with the Modern Day Proverbs 31 Woman? All scenarios are based on stereotypical circumstances. Some are exaggerations, and others are situations I’ve had happen in my own life, at one time or another.
Disclaimer: Not all related to me. But most.
Disclaimer 2: This is meant to be tongue-in-cheek!
Modern Day Proverbs 31 Woman
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds… or a spare carpark spot when attempting to shop at Christmas.
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it… especially when she organises his mum’s Mother’s Day gift and Birthday gifts two weeks in advance.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously cooking him dinner, washing his clothes, cleaning the house and organsing the children all her life long so his work life is never interrupted.
She shops for the best linen from Kmart because families are expensive, ya know. She has no idea how to knit or sew, but thank goodness for YouTube, which she uses if she needs to re-sew a button on the kids’ uniforms.
Her mind is often like a trading ship that sails to faraway places – she sometimes imagines she is on a cruise ship sailing to faraway places, with a cocktail in hand, and kids booked in the kidsclub. She brings back exotic surprises homewares to adorn her home.
She’s up before dawn, because the baby wakes at 3am. And then the toddler. And then the whole household is awake before dawn (where’s the coffee?!). If the kids sleep in till 5:30am, it’s considered a sleep in.
She rushes like a banshee to feed the kids breakfast, change the nappies, pack lunchboxes and school bags for the day. She organises her day the night before because mornings are a nightmare and she is never on time.
She looks over a block of land and imagines building a new home. One that has not been destroyed by kids. She considers signing up for House Rules, so her home can be transformed. Reason to sign up – hoarders have set up residence in her home. No matter if she helped create them…
She plants a garden… sorry she puts a million plants around her house but has no idea how to plant or tend to a garden. She honestly has no time for such frivolities. She crosses her fingers the indoor plants won’t die. She makes a mental note to buy plastic plants from Kmart, if when they do.
First thing in the morning she dresses in active wear to look like she’s on her way to the gym. After dropping the kids to school, she dresses normally for the day. She rolls her sleeves because that is her gym workout for the day.
She senses the worth of her work, and is counting down the hours till her kids go to bed.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, with the help from “Home Decorating Mums” and the “Kmart Mums Australia” Facebook Groups.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need – she says yes to the P & C at school, yes to tuckshop duty, yes to women’s ministry at church and yes to sports club secretary for her kids sporting events. Yes, yes, YES to assist all in need…
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows. (She lives in Brisbane where it NEVER snows).
She buys her own clothing online (she’d be permanently nude if she tried to make it). And dresses in colourful designs like white t-shirts with vegemite finger prints and black t-shirts with milky chuck-ups. Sometimes she wears the trifecta of a number three, created by the baby, of course.
Her husband is greatly respected, when he deliberates with his work colleagues. If he doesn’t come home as soon as he finishes work for the day – he’s dead.
She declutters her wardrobe and sells her pre-baby clothes (the ones she hoped to fit back into one day) on eBay.
She is clothed in stretchy jeans and oversized shirts.
She laughs and has no fear of the future… because she has daughters and they look after their parents when they’re old (or so I’ve been told)
When she speaks, she always has something worthwhile to say like ‘Go brush your teeth!’ or ‘Why aren’t your shoes on?’ or ‘For crying out loud, stop fighting.’ There may be other words uttered, not meant for little ears, but are worthwhile to her sanity.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her family. Heaven forbid the children play on their own while she sits to take a break and scrolls Insta stories on her phone.
Her children respect and bless her and her husband joins in with words of praise:
“This dinner is amazing. But maybe try different ingredients in the future.”
“Gosh, you look tired. Can we help clean up the kitchen?”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades, as this mum knows. There are more wrinkles, stretch marks and thigh dimples. And less patience, hair and boobs because their beauty were sucked out by her offspring.
This woman is a woman to be admired and praised.
She survives each day on prayer and coffee.
Give her everything she deserves! A sleep in, a pay rise, a cleaner and a chef.
Festoon her life with praises – giftcards, more coffee and breakfast in bed.
Oh, Modern Day Proverbs 31 Woman, you do deserve a raise!
What do you think? Like my take on the Modern Day Proverbs 31 Woman?
However you celebrate today, may it be a day of love. Love shared with loved ones, and good memories of mums that are no longer with us but played a big part in our upbringing.
For the correct version of Proverbs 31, check out the NIV version or The Message. 😉
The first time I went to a Disney on Ice show was last year when I took the family to see Frozen.
It was a memorable experience and one I’d love to experience again with my girls. They love Disney and are Frozen fanatics. Seeing the show on ice is a memory I know they will carry with them into adulthood.
A couple of months prior to the Frozen Disney on Ice show, Esther and I were flown down to Sydney to attend a Disney on Ice Skating Session and morning tea with Shelley Craft, the Ambassador for Disney on Ice. Esther and I flew down on behalf of Be a Fun Mum. It was an incredible day and it’s one that Esther remembers well.
When I was invited to the Brisbane event to celebrate this year’s show, which is on 29th June to the 2nd July 2018, I knew I had to go. I decided it would be Maggie’s turn to attend the event. It would be our turn for a mummy and daughter date.
Maggie was so excited when I told her she’d miss school to attend the event. She remembered her sister going last year and retorted, ‘I can’t wait to go on a plane to Brisbane.’
I had to explain we lived in Brisbane and there would be no plane flight. But she would get to ice skate for the first time and meet Shelley Craft from The Block.
When we arrived, Maggie was beyond excited to get on the ice and she had no fear about giving it a go. There were professional ice skaters to help the kids as they travelled around the ice with their penguin.
Before we got onto the ice, we got to hear Shelley interview ‘Aladdin’, and he was able to show us some performance moves.
The event is certainly one that has been planted in Maggie’s memory bank. It has been cemented in mine too. I cannot forget the pure joy on Maggie’s face as she made her way around the ice rink.
It may have been the first time I got some momentum with my ice skating too as I got tips from Peter, who helped on the day and handed out our ice skates. If you can’t ice skate, or have never been able to get the hang of it, here are the tips he gave me to try:
1. Have your knees bent. It’s hard to ice skate with straight knees. This also helps with body balance.
2. Take smaller steps or shuffles with your feet.
3. Always look ahead, not down at the ice. The moment you look down, you will lose balance and put more of your weight forward.
4. If you feel yourself falling, don’t try to correct yourself or put your arm out to ‘soften’ your landing. This is how people injure themselves.
Thankfully there were no injuries on Wednesday. Just cold cheeks and frozen hands which could be warmed up with a hot chocolate.
The event was a lot of fun and Maggie got to ice skate for the first time and meet someone famous, whom she thought was from House Rules.
Shelley laughed when Maggie asked her if she was the lady from that show.
If you want to make some memories with your kids these June and July school holidays, take them to see Disney on Ice. It truly is a memorable experience and this years’ show celebrates 100 Years of Magic so all your favourite characters will be in the show – and possibly your own too.
Our ice skating session was a little teaser to the trip we have planned at the end of the year where we get to experience Disneyland together for the first time.
If you need to replace the mixer tap in your kitchen, these plumbing tips will ensure you don’t have any headaches with the installation. While most people get stuck for choice on the style of mixer, there are plumbing considerations to be aware of too.
I’ve known for a couple of months that our kitchen mixer tap needed to be replaced. It had started to leak from the spout and cartridge and so I started researching different mixers to replace it with.
I thought I had a bit more time up my sleeve to save for the one I wanted… until midnight on Friday night, I couldn’t get back to sleep.
I headed out to the living room and all was quiet. And then I heard a slow dripping sound.
I thought it was strange because I didn’t think we had any dripping taps.
On closer inspection at our sink, I found our mixer tap had started to leak profusely through each seam and the water trail from the base to the sink drain was the cause of the sound.
I couldn’t leave the sink mixer any longer. It needed to be replaced ASAP.
The mixers I had been eyeing were this Abey Luz Kitchen Mixer for under $600.
I then saw this Dorf Vixen Mixer for $300 in a Bunnings catalogue.
It combined the two styles of finishes that I liked – black and chrome. But everything in me screamed NOOO to getting my taps from Bunnings. After what I’ve shared on the blog and the experiences replacing cheap mixers from Bunnings, I knew I couldn’t go there.
But the Dorf Vixen Mixer was more expensive at Reece. Also, there things I was concerned with – specifically the base ring, the handle and the black matte finish.
Nevertheless, I gave my local Reece store a call. Serena at the Coopers Plains showroom was lovely and told me she didn’t have any matte black mixers in stock. I told her I’d come and have a look at the range and choose from what was in stock. (She also did a quick search in Brisbane to see if Reece had any stock of the Dorf Vixen Mixer I liked while I drove to the store – how’s that for service?!)
I’m so glad I did this.
The reason it’s important to see your mixer in a showroom is for a few reasons:
1. You can see what it looks like installed in person (no brainer).
2. You can get a feel for the handle and work out your preference for a thicker handle or a pin lever. (I don’t like pin – I find it too harsh in my hand)
3. You can look at the quality of the finish and the quality of the extendable hoses if choosing a pull out spray. (some extendable sprays are fiddly to get back into the spout)
4. You can compare the base of the mixer with what you have installed in your current kitchen.
5. You can test the handle back and forth to get an idea how far the handle can go back. This is necessary to test if you have a wall or splashback adjacent the sink. You may not be able to get hot water if the handle knocks the wall when extended outwards.
If you want to check out the best plumbing showrooms in Brisbane, check out this post. I may need to update it, but it will give you a good idea of some places to head to.
When I looked at my mixer on Friday night, I was limited with the size of my base which can vary from 40mm to 55mm. The reason I was limited was because the base of my mixer was originally installed close to the sink mount edge. If I went for a 55mm mixer, the base of the mixer would have hung over that part of our sink leaving a gap and the potential for water to seep under the mixer which is not ideal.
The other point I had to consider was our budget. I really needed something under the $300 mark. (We are getting our car serviced next week at an unexpected cost of over $1000. GAH! That $600 Abey mixer was going to be a no go. I also needed something in stock.)
While I wanted to get a black mixer, it wasn’t going to be possible with the timeframe. So I chose a Mizu Soothe Square Gooseneck Mixer. It had my preferred handle, didn’t have a base ring plate which is notorious for catching grime, and it came in under budget for a little over $200. It didn’t have the extendable spray, but I was happy to forgo this because I hadn’t had this on my previous mixer.
The Mizu range of mixers is available exclusively through Reece. It is made overseas, (not made in Australia as I first wrote, thank you Mark for this pickup!), but the quality has been assured to ensure it is on par with other mixers that are available through Reece.
It looks so fab in our kitchen and I’ve loved using it. I haven’t added the one-touch tap aerator as it would ruin the new aesthetic of the tap.
If you’re looking to replace your kitchen mixer, here are some plumbing points to keep in mind:
1. Always use a plumber to install your mixer tap.
By law, if you don’t have a plumbing license, you can not install or adjust your cold or hot water pipes. When a tap mixer is installed, the hot and cold water flexes are classed as water pipes. If those flexes aren’t installed correctly and blow out and you can’t prove you used a plumber to install the mixer tap, your insurance may refuse your claim. Not only that, it’s the mucking around that has to be done to fix floors, cabinetry and anything else the water damages in its path. So please please PLEASE use a licensed plumber. I’m not saying this to get more money to plumbers. I harp on about it because it’s the LAW.
2. All mixer taps have flex hoses for their cold and hot water.
There has been a lot of debate about the use of flexible hoses in bathrooms and kitchens because they can burst. Flexes have a 10 year warranty. For peace of mind, when your plumber installs your kitchen mixer, get them to install a flood stop valve or arco valve. The flood stop valve will shut off the water if the hose bursts, an arco valve will give you a chance to turn the water off under the sink, if the unfortunate occurs, without having to turn off water at your street to the whole house. On this note, when my new mixer was installed, the hot flood stop valve wouldn’t work. I will be going back to the manufacturer to give this feedback to the brand.
3. Take photos of the existing tap and the way it’s installed under the sink.
Most tap mixers require a 35mm hole in the sink or bench for installation (this can vary from tap to tap) Check the specifications of your new mixer though and compare to the diameter of your existing mixer. The existing hole should be sufficient, but if not, your plumber may be able to holesaw a bigger hole IF it’s mounted in the sink. If the tap is mounted into a marble benchtop, you may need a cabinetmaker with the right cutting equipment to drill a bigger hole. Avoid this cost by taking a photo of your existing mixer and comparing with the new mixer you’re considering. Also, if you do opt for a vege sprayer mixer, you need enough support under the bench for the extendable hose. Take a picture of the way your existing mixer is installed in the benchtop and under the cupboard. I had a look under out cupboard to see how far the hot and cold water points were from the flex hoses. Sometimes these may also need to be extended to reach the hot and cold water points. If you can give this info to your plumber, it will stop them having to leave the job to get supplies if needed.
4. You can convert a 3 hole hob mounted (bench mounted) tap set to a single mixer.
If you have a hob mounted hot and cold water tap combo and separate spout coming through your kitchen sink, you will have 3 holes in the sink. A kitchen mixer requires only one of those holes. You can convert to a mixer from this combo, but your plumber may need to holesaw a bigger hole for the mixer as the hole for the spout or spindles (depending which hole you choose your mixer to go through) won’t be big enough for the mixer. Also, chrome bungs can be inserted into the two other holes to seal them. The plumbing underneath may also need to be configured to the new installation.
5. Mixers with this round base ring at the bottom are notorious for getting grimy.
Consider getting a mixer without this base ring. BUT this ring is super handy if you have marks from your previous mixer. It acts as a flange so may be beneficial for you.
6. Buy from a reputable plumbing supplier.
This is something I learned on the weekend and I’m so glad I listened to my convictions to go to my plumbing supplier. Your known brands that supply to discount hardware stores are not always the same tapware supplied to plumbing stores. Often a brand will make a cheaper run of the same tap to sell through your cheaper hardware stores. Customers who compare taps can’t understand why a plumbing supplier will charge more for what looks to be the same tap. It’s not the same tap – well it is but uses cheaper materials for composition. From personal experience, you want to purchase from a reputable plumbing store because they not only stock the best brands, they keep a record of your purchase and will assist you with any warranty enquiries.
7. Check the warranty of your mixer.
Every mixer will have a differing warranty. The main stipulation to keep in mind is if the tap needs to be replaced or fixed under warranty in the first 12 months of installation, the labour costs for the plumber to come out and replace or fix will be covered (as are the parts). If the mixer is older than 1 year, labour is your cost, but the brand will cover the replacement of parts or a new tap if needed. Again, check the warranty specifications at time of purchase.
8. Choose chrome or stainless steel.
Chrome or stainless steel are the best finishes as they are easy to clean and look uniform with a stainless steel sink. They don’t fade like matte black or other block coloured tapware which will over the time it’s used.
9. Measure spout reach.
If you have a narrow sink, you may need to consider the reach of the mixer spout to ensure it doesn’t extend beyond the sink bowl. The gooseneck styles are a shorter reach than your standard sink mixer so you should be ok if you replace with a gooseneck style.
10. Can’t think of anything else… but how crazy is this post?! There is much to consider when getting a new mixer tap as you can see.
Hopefully these tips will help you choose the right kitchen mixer tap and prevent any hassles in the future with your new purchase. I’ve been through the process myself, and as a plumber who has put together and installed countless mixers, these tips will ensure a smooth transition through the purchase and installation process and beyond.
What has your experience been with installing a new kitchen mixer? Got any tips that I forgot to add in the post?
The most common tap to have in the kitchen is a sink mixer. It’s the most versatile tap to have installed in a kitchen because it allows control over the spout. The handle also allows for ease of use when turning the water on. One way to update your kitchen is by installing a modern kitchen sink mixer and they can come in a variety of shapes, angles and finishes. In today’s post I’m going to share with you what you need to consider when installing a modern kitchen sink mixer tap.
We were in the market for a new kitchen mixer so I had been doing quite the research on this subject. Our current kitchen sink mixer was leaking from the cartridge. Now ordinarily, I could replace the cartridge to stop it leaking, but the spout also had a leak and the mixer was looking a little worse for wear after constant use. We’ve had the mixer since we moved into the house (around 10 years) so it’s done good innings. I’ve always opted for a standard sink mixer in the kitchen, but I have also been tempted by some of the gooseneck mixers I’ve seen on Houzz. I have been tossing up over design and functionality. Ideally I would like to find a mixer that does both and won’t cost a fortune to purchase.
Since writing this post, we have installed a new mixer and that will be another post to share on here. But for the purpose of this post, here are some styles to consider:
Gooseneck Spout and Pin Lever
This style of kitchen mixer is quite popular and it certainly makes a statement in the kitchen. Practicality wise, unless it has an extendable hose, the spray will only go in direction the spout can turn which is usually a 360 degree radius.
Another consideration to be aware of is the placement of the lever. This type of mixer needs to have room for the lever to go back and forwards to get hot and cold water. This mixer is ideally suited for placement on the side of a sink if a wall or window is behind the mixer, or installed in an island kitchen bench. If it’s mounted in the bench against a wall or splashback, make sure the lever is able to be swiveled back and forth. This can be checked at the showroom before purchase.
This style of kitchen mixer is another style of gooseneck spout, but it has a curved or rigid angle to give the mixer a square shape. Again, like the standard gooseneck shape, unless it has an extendable spout, the water spray won’t reach all areas of the sink. This may not worry you, but if you are replacing a mixer with the pull out spray, you will find it frustrating converting to this style of tap.
I love a thicker lever instead of the pin. That comes down to my personal choice. I find the pin is fiddly and too pointy for my hand. I much prefer a solid handle for the lever. I have seen pin levers unscrew or break over time. A thicker handle is my preference all the way.
This is what I currently have in my kitchen and it has been easy to use and super simple to keep clean. I added a OneTouch aerator to the end of my mixer to allow the water spray reach all areas of my double bowl sink. You can also get standard sink mixers with an extendable vege spray.
These types of mixers are often installed in commercial kitchens, however, they have become frequently seen in household kitchens. For me, I find the commercial gooseneck vege styles a bit too big and bulky for my liking. If I were to opt for a vege spray mixer, I’d install a standard sink mixer or a gooseneck mixer with the added extendable spray ability like above.
The most popular kitchen sink mixer colour of choice by FAR would be chrome or stainless steel. Stainless steel is best for outdoor kitchens. Matte black sink mixers have become more widespread in use. They aren’t always kept in stock, so you will need to order this in with your plumbing supplier. I was tempted to install a black mixer just to see how long it would last in the kitchen, until the ones I looked at were powder coated instead of electroplated. If you do decide to get a matte black kitchen sink mixer, get electroplated all the way as this coating will last much longer than a powder coat.
Other colours that are available, but not hugely popular, are your brushed metals. In particular brass, gold and gunmetal. White is also having a comeback.
While it can seem daring to install an alternate colour in the kitchen with your mixer tap, consider how easy it will be to keep clean and the cost to supply as these mixers are more expensive to purchase than chrome.
When looking for a kitchen mixer, buy from a reputable brand and look at the warranty. Many tap mixers have a 10 to 15 year warranty. It’s always ideal to purchase from a reputable plumbing company because if the cartridge in the mixer needs to be replaced, your plumber should be able to source the correct cartridge.
When it comes to choosing a kitchen mixer tap, it really comes down to your preferences of what you like to use. Remember this tap will be used more than once a day. You don’t want to purchase something that feels awkward to use, nor do you want a mixer that deteriorates from constant use.
If you are in the market for a new kitchen mixer tap, here are some brands I suggest. Taking my preferences aside, I’ve featured mixer taps that may appeal to the masses, from brands that have a reputation for producing quality tapware.
Do you have a kitchen sink mixer? Any of these take your fancy?
So this week, you would have read that I have felt a bit blah.
And you know what, it is totally normal to feel that way sometimes.
Life is hectic. Demands from commitments can be draining.
And it’s ok to feel exhausted and creatively uninspired or unmotivated. But I don’t think we’re meant to wallow there.
After sharing about my week of hitting a wall, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been doing to get myself out of my funk, in no particular order.
1. Headed to church.
This was a hard one for me this morning. I just wanted to stay in bed and read and snuggle and do some work that I hadn’t got to last week. But then I remembered this post I wrote and even though I didn’t feel like going to church, I knew I’d feel much better for going. And I was right. Despite getting into the sanctuary late, it was the EXACT place I needed to be to own my feelings and relax in God’s presence. There were no pretenses. I just sat and prayed and listened to the sermon. Today it was all about how to love people and I can tell you, loving people is hard when you are unmotivated. But it was exactly what I needed to hear this morning.
2. Bought a new plant.
I have been meaning to buy one of those elephant ear looking leaf plants for ages. Yesterday, I wanted to get out of the house, so we took the kids to our local nursery. They had a ball running around the plants, and Jacob and I looked at plants for the house. We headed home with this beauty. The basket is from Adairs. I think it sits nicely in it’s spot next to the couch. And pom poms give me great delight. I can’t get enough of those balls of fluff in my house.
3. Spent time with my kids.
I have spent a lot of time with the girls this week, but mostly with Phoebe. Gosh I missed my days with her while I worked. I feel like she’s grown in the last few months and she’s now growing out of her toddler stage into a little girl. She will always be my baby. I’m loving what’s been coming out of her mouth lately. And her smile makes me warm inside.
4. Do things I wouldn’t normally do.
Last night, there was an outdoor movie night at school. The girls were keen to go, but me… not so much. I had things to do, but despite feeling blah about it, we went. And it was a good night. It was cold though! I think Autumn might finally be on it’s way.
5. Head outside.
The days have been stunning of late. Perfect weather to walk the kids to school in and I’ve even spent time outside eating my lunch to enjoy the outdoors a bit more. I do enjoy this time of year and I think being outside has helped me feel a little less blah.
6. Diffuse and apply some oils.
Nice smells make me happy, and some scents can evoke and awaken emotions. Geranium and Patchouli have been my go-to combinations, but I’ve also been wearing Bergamot. Bergamot is the oil of self-acceptance. It helps relieve “feelings of despair, self-judgement and low self-esteem. It invites individuals to see life with more optimism.” It’s been the perfect oil to wear during the day and especially while feeling less myself.
7. Slept and slept in.
Some nights I have been getting more than 8 hours of sleep. I’ve often fallen asleep as soon as my head has hit the pillow. Even on Friday, I was asleep by 9pm and woke up at 7:30am. Sleep has certainly helped me feel much better and has helped me to think more clearly.
8. Acknowledged my feelings.
The best thing I did last week was acknowledge how I felt and I didn’t put extra pressure on myself to keep going like an energizer bunny. I rested and some days, while I didn’t get through the whole to-do list, I got the main priorities done. I think one of the reasons we can burn out is because we don’t listen to our body and we force ourselves to keep going.
After my weekend, I am feeling a bit more motivated to tackle the week and get on top of my to-do list.
I’d love to know what you do when you feel BLAH? What’s your go to remedy for when you need motivation?
When I was doing my training with my new job, I would use the stairs to get up and down from the training room. Every morning I would race up the stairs, hoping it would work off some of the chocolate I would indulge in at 2pm, to get me out of my afternoon slump.
After my 2 minutes of stair climbing madness each morning, I would walk into the training room, with barely any breath to say good morning. My thighs would be burning, despite only going up two flights of stairs.
But I figured it was better to get that little bit of exercise in, than none at all.
One morning I was so eager to race up the stairs, I nearly smashed my face into this wall. Sometimes good intentions can hurt. Thankfully I stopped myself before I broke my nose.
Anyway, since I completed my full time training, I have felt exhausted. My motivation levels have been low and I’ve been more tired than ever.
I spoke with a colleague about how I was feeling and she was feeling the same way. The busyness of the 7 weeks, plus juggling our other work, and ferrying kids around here, there and everywhere, had left us feeling exhausted.
She described it as experiencing the calm after the storm, and I think she’s right.
I think I hit a wall this week and I’ve just done what I’ve needed to do to get through the week.
It’s like I’ve been running up those stairs and I’ve literally hit the wall and I’ve been feeling a little numb. While it’s been lovely to get back into the swing of things at home, I’ve felt a bit blah.
I know my energy levels will change soon. But at the moment it’s affecting how I share on the blog, to doing things around the home and even catching up with friends and family.
This past week, I did the bare minimum of what I needed to do just to get through each day. I’m hoping some early nights in bed and giving my brain a rest from everything will allow my energy levels to resume to where they were before.
The good news is I started doing my shifts from home last week.
I love working from home. I had a few technical difficulties on my first two shifts. But I soon sorted them out. I’m so grateful to be able to do what I do, from home. But while I’m grateful for the job, it hasn’t been smooth sailing on the call front.
Thursday night was my worst night, with many disgruntled customers ringing to cancel their insurance. I did my best to explain why there was an increase to their premium, but my justifications were met with “with all due respect…” and an explanation that all insurance policies were the same. Sigh.
My leader listened to me take calls this week and she told me she was impressed with the way I handled a difficult call, but she also encouraged me not to get so emotionally involved in the calls or I’d get exhausted. So maybe this could also be why I’m feeling how I am.
I want to do my best to help people. But when I can’t help them how they’d like, I feel like I’ve failed them and the company I work for.
I keep telling myself I can only do my best and heck, I’ve only been in this job for 8 weeks. I know I will continue to learn more and get better as I take more calls. I also have to remind myself, I won’t be able to make everyone happy.
So if you’ve wondered why there has been a lack of posts this week, it’s because I’ve tried to catch my breath after an intense couple of weeks.
Hopefuly my creativity will come back in force next week. I have so much in my head that I want to share.
How have you been feeling this month? What do you do when you feel unmotivated and exhausted? Have you hit a wall this month too?
If my children ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I will tell them I’d like a cuddle in bed, a nap in the afternoon and a meal together where we can enjoy each other’s company.
The thing is my girls love to give me a present or two and often there is some help from dad to purchase said gift. So I have been thinking of things that I need that would work perfectly as a Mother’s Day gift and maybe they may make the perfect gift for your mum too? I’ve been given two of these gifts before and they have come in handy throughout the year. So without further ado, here are 7 Mother’s Day gift ideas that will make mum stop and relax.
This may seem like a strange gift request, but it has been YEARS since I have put a fabric tablecloth on my dining table. It may be years before I venture to using fabric tablecloths everyday because the PVC tablecloths are so easy to clean with kids. But when I have people over, I like to have a nice tablecloth on the table and the ones that I have owned since I was married have started to get holes or look a little worse for wear. A fresh tablecloth makes me feel happy and it certainly helps me to relax when entertaining at home. I love the design of this Venice Tablecloth and I know it would work well in our home. The pattern can also camouflage food stains… probably not spag bol, but still, it’s definitely a lovely tablecloth to own and put on the table when entertaining.
This is another item on the want list that I haven’t ventured to purchase because the kids take domain over the bath. But I have started to have baths after the kids are in bed, and finding a none-wet spot to lay my book, can be impossible. I reckon this caddy would work for me, and would only be used by me when in the bath.
Royal Essence Bath Bomb
I shared about these bath bombs this time last year. I love them and definitely love the surprise inside. There is a Mother’s Day range available, but for myself, a classic oatmeal, milk and honey bath bomb will do me just fine. Each bath bomb comes with a surprise ring inside. It’s two gifts for the price of one.
Jacob bought me a breakfast tray last year for Mother’s Day and it has been put to great use throughout the year. It’s been great for breakfast in bed (when I’ve been sick), or reading my Bible or writing lists before heading to bed.
Miss Pots Pouches
Plants are a great gift for mum and they tend to be the gift that keeps on giving. The best indoor plants I haven’t managed to kill have been the Jade Plant, Peace Lily and Zanzibar Gem. If your mum doesn’t have a green thumb, these plants are going to be the ones to go for. Gift your plant in a Miss Pots Pouch and your mum will love it.
Dotty Pillow Cases
I’m a fan for mixing linen to create different looks in the bedroom. One of my top tips when trying to change up the bedroom linen is to use patterned pillow cases. These dotty pillow cases certainly caught my eye because I have a thing for spots. I would love to have these on my bed and to sleep on at night.
This has been on my wish list for a while: a car diffuser. Our car can carry a number of interesting smells from takeaway to well…something that has been let away… if you know what I mean. This car diffuser will make the car smell nice, and hopefully keep all things calm in the car.
I’d be stoked to get any of these for Mother’s Day. I’m sure your mum would love them too.
What is something you’ve had your eye on that would be lovely to receive on Mother’s Day?
Disclosure: There are affiliate links on this post. If you choose to purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Check out my disclosure policy for more details.
On Friday I finished my full time training with my new job. Woohoo!
Since I’ve finished the training, I’ve given myself time to breathe and haven’t forced myself to blog or get writing done because my mind has needed a break.
Late last Friday afternoon, I got a little graduation certificate to say I had survived the induction training and then there were drinks and nibblies at the office which then proceeded to more celebrations at the hotel across the road.
When I got home on Friday night, I felt relieved. Sad I wouldn’t be sharing a training room with my colleagues, but relieved that the juggle the last 2 months have required would be over. I don’t honestly know how two parents can work full time with children. I know many do, and so if you are that family, I take my hat off to you.
For me though, there were things that I missed incredibly and they were made all the more prominent while I was at work.
While I may have missed the Easter hat parade and Cross Country events, I realised it wasn’t these events that made me feel like I was missing out on my kids. It was the simple moments of just hanging out with them or walking them to school.
Even working through the school holidays made me miss them a lot because usually we would have done craft of would have gone to the movies or done some fun expeditions.
Anyway, the interaction at work that made me realise how much I missed them was on an afternoon while taking calls.
I took a late break because I had been on a long call and had missed my break by 45 minutes. As a result, I was the only one in the lunch room, although I had company as there were two young sisters in the relaxation area.
The office has been designed so older children can be brought to work if a mum needs to come in to work and they don’t have care available. As it was the school holidays, the two girls were taking turns on the massage chair.
While I was sitting at the lunch table, I observed their interactions with each other. The youngest sister was complaining to her older sister that she was taking too long in the chair. The older sister obliged and let her little sister on, but then the little sister wouldn’t get off so her older sister could have another turn. The banter between the siblings could have annoyed me and had it been my two daughters, it probably would have. But right at that moment, the banter between the two reminded me of my girls and I actually got teary. I must have really missed them, if I missed their fighting!
I realised I not only missed my girls presence, but also the annoying banter because that annoying banter meant they were present in my life.
While my girls can drive me crazy with their fights, it’s just part of the parcel of having kids. It’s all part of their learning to live with others. And it trains me to be patient and helps me build my skills when dealing with conflict.
No matter the season I’m in, there is always something to cherish from it. And the things that I say I probably won’t miss, may be the things I miss in the future, when my kids have finally flown the nest.
This morning I got to walk my girls to school and it was good. It felt so good. There was complaining about walking to school and who was going to carry the school bags, but I took it in stride because I’ve missed it. And it made me smile, because I know this is exactly where I want to be.
What are the things you miss when life changes? Have you ever been confronted with something you didn’t think you’d miss after a change?
When designing a bathroom, there can be many items to consider from the layout to material and fixture selections. For most, the aim of the bathroom is to have a minimalist look that’s easy to clean, however a focal point is important to add some character to your bathroom. A bathroom focal point can draw the eye to certain areas of the room and evoke personality.
I spend a bit of time each week on Houzz, choosing pictures to fit a pitched article or for my own blog posts. During this research, I’ve come across a few interesting focal points that I’d regard as unique.
Most designers will opt for a feature wall (tiles, wall paper or even paint) to block coloured tapware or fixtures. Here are some bathroom focal points that have played on these features and gone beyond the norm. I’d love to know which ones catch your eye.
Feature Tiled Wall
The most common way to add a focal point in the bathroom is with a tiled feature wall. Add some block coloured towels and wham, you’ve got some instant personality in the bathroom. A double vanity basin is slowly becoming to norm for most bathrooms, to allow more than one person to utilise the bathroom at once. What’s interesting in this bathroom is the basins look to be different sizes. Not sure on the reasons but it’s definitely an interesting bathroom design decision that I’ve seen.
Mosaic tiling can be a great focal point in the bathroom, adding colour and drama. The mosaic tiling in this powder room is stunning. When choosing fixtures with mosaic tiling, go for classics (chrome tap, white basin).
There is a lot going on in this bathroom, but I like it and I think it’s quite balanced. The tiled heart and light fitting might not appeal to the masses, but it certainly got my attention. I could see this bathroom being an ensuite or in a day spa suite for couples.
The cactus print is on trend right now, so when I saw this cactus bathroom, I thought it looked brilliant. Ensure any wallpaper you install in the bathroom is steam and water resistant to prevent it bubbling off the walls. This particular wallpaper is vinyl – so many not be for everyone, but it still caught my eye all the same. You can purchase the wallpaper on etsy.
I could definitely see this rainshower being in a boutique holiday home. How divine would it be to shower in here overlooking the trees? While this design is not one many would put in their bathroom, a round window can be used as a focal point in your bathroom.
Concrete is becoming more popular for use in bathrooms. I’ve seen it used on floors and the walls, but more concrete fixtures are coming out in basins and free standing bath tubs. The concrete taps in this bathroom below are certainly unique. It’s a raw and rustic look, that can be softened with furnishings and greenery. Anything unusual in bathroom taps and fixtures will lend themselves to being the focal points in a bathroom.
We’ve seen timber used in many applications in the bathroom, but this is the first time I’ve seen it as a bath spout. When installed against a plain white tiled wall, the wooden spout certainly stands out. Not only is it a focal point, it is a conversation starter. It’s available in Australia as well.
In the last 6 weeks, I have had very little time to spend with God reading His Word and reading books on faith that encourage me and lift me up. Heck, I haven’t had much time to read my favourite blogs and keep up with the goings on on the internet. The latter is probably a good thing.
There are seasons in life when it feels like there is not enough time to get everything done that you’re supposed to. And since starting this job, I’ve tried to keep all my regular engagements, but things like getting up early in the morning to spend time with God have often been replaced with quick prayers and getting on the computer to sort out after school care for the kids or changing my super or writing articles for my regular clients.
I believe in having margins. Or blocked out time for fun and relaxation. But sometimes, when you navigate a big change it can be hard to even fit that in. Especially in our situation where we have two parents working full time, three kids that need to be rushed around to various places, plus the general household chores and paperwork that needs to be sorted. It can feel like there is no time for fun and the bed is the only beckoning place you want to be in because you’re so exhausted from doing all the above and more. So time for God can become non-existent.
It’s in those seasons when everything hits at once that time with God is placed down the priority list, however it should be placed at the top of the list because when life demands more from you, you need to rely on a higher source to get you through so you can give more of you to others.
Despite my busy schedule, I’ve been able to spend time with God, making use of my time where possible to talk to Him, listen to Him or read my Bible. I thought I’d share the ways I have been spending time with God when I have felt like I haven’t had time to scratch myself. Maybe you can do some of these to help you too, because I know I’m not alone with this.
1. Make prayer with God the first conversation of your day.
When I wake up at 5am, I lay in bed and thank God for another day and pray for the day. I know I can’t do what I do each day without His strength. So I pray. I continue this conversation throughout the quiet moments of the day – even before I get on the phone at work to take calls. I also pray in between calls when the phones are quiet.
2. Read the Bible during breakfast.
I’m usually on the computer scheduling social media posts or putting the finishing touches to articles while eating breakfast. But there have been other mornings where I have deliberately chosen to sit at the dining table with my breakfast and Bible open, ready to read a scripture or three to prepare for the day.
3. Worship during the drive to work.
If I had a choice between podcasts and music, music would win hands down, and so that is what I listen and sing to while I drive to work. It’s a 30 minute drive to the office. I spend most of that time listening to the words of the worship songs, singing and praying for people in my life. Right now my favourite song is this
4. Contemplate over memorised scripture.
Remember when you went to Sunday School and you were made to memorise Bible verses? Well depending on how well you went with that will determine how you go with this. Repeating memorised scripture in my mind allows me to dwell on the word and it certainly makes a difference to my spirit when I’m pushed for time and can’t get my hands on a Bible. Bringing those verses to my mind that I know off by heart can bring quiet reflection into my soul.
5. Read a Bible that makes reading the Bible easy to understand.
When I’m pushed for time, but hungry for the word, I will read The Message. I’ve often found myself reading whole books of the Bible because I’ve found what I’ve been reading so interesting or moving.
6. Spend larger chunks of time in the Word.
Sunday night is my time to spend reading the Bible. Even if the week has been super busy, blocking out an hour or more on a day that you can read the Bible will be beneficial for you and your relationship with God. For me Sunday night’s work as I’ve usually had a nap in the arvo and don’t feel so tired to be getting to bed early.
7. Don’t stop going to church.
It can be so EASY to stop going to church when life is busy and work is overwhelming. We didn’t go to church last Sunday because the weekend was full of engagements and I was super tired, but over the last 5 weeks, we have made a conscious effort to go to church – even over Easter. We don’t do this for brownie points or to ask for forgiveness for sins, we go because the worship, fellowship with other believers and sermons bring encouragement to our life.
8. Don’t feel burdened by spending time with God.
Spending time with God should be something we enjoy and want to do. It shouldn’t feel like an obligation. In saying that, we do have to make choices on how we spend our time. And we may not always feel like spending time with God just as we sometimes don’t feel like spending time with our spouse, kids, friends or time at the gym or whatever else that can sometimes feel like an obligation or too exhausting to do. But if we don’t make those choices to spend time on things that matter, we will find our relationships and health will deteriorate. The same can be said about our relationship with God. We need regular communion with God through prayer and the word. If we want to live the grand plans God has designed for our life, He won’t reveal it to us through Netflix (or maybe He might). But generally, watching TV hours on end won’t get us off the couch nor allow us to engage with others in our life. God wants our attention so He can also speak to us.
I hope this post encourages you to find snippets of time to spend with God. And my ways, may not be your ways. You may find other ways to spend time with God, and that is super ok. Just make sure you’re spending time with Him, because to live your best life, you need your creator to be part of it.
How do you spend time with God when life is overwhelmingly busy? What are your favourite verses to dwell on when life gets crazy?
In wall mixers have been a popular style of tap for showers and baths. But more recently, in wall basin mixers have become a trend. There are many benefits to having taps installed in the wall, but there are also some key considerations if you decide on this style of tap for your renovation or new build. Here are some things to consider when deciding on in wall basin mixers.
Save bench space
One of the reasons many opt for a wall mounted mixer is because it saves having a tap installed in the benchtop. This can be beneficial if you are wanting a vessel basin and have opted for a slim vanity bench. To save space, a wall mounted mixer is one way to grab back much needed bench space.
Mixer taps are a more recent design in tapware, so the adoption of wall mixers has generally been a slower process. But more and more bathrooms are adopting this style of tap – especially in the shower. When installed over a basin, sink or bath, it offers a contemporary look.
What you need to know BEFORE you decide on in wall basin mixers
If you decide to have this style of tap installed, you need to let your plumber and builder know at the beginning of the renovation or new build, as the services will need to be roughed in the correct position. Should the mixer be roughed in the wrong position, this can potentially affect the whole design of the bathroom. The matching fixture will need to be moved to meet the spout to look balanced in design and to catch the water from the spout.
Before demolition, a detailed plan with measurements of where the tap and spout needs to be will ensure the tap is in the right position, above the basin/bath/sink.
When you choose your in wall basin mixer, choose a reputable brand that has longevity. Usually a mixer will last a number of years and can be fixed by replacing the cartridge. But if you’ve chosen an unusual or cheaper brand of mixer, the moment it starts to leak, your plumber may find it difficult to locate the right cartridge. If a cartridge can’t be sourced, the taps will need to be ripped out – which will incur considerable cost if tiles have to be removed, let alone the compromise on the waterproof membrane.
Be wary of any cabinetry or mirrors that are installed above the wall mounted mixer. Usually the mixer will have a flange or plate that conceals the hole where the mixer has been installed. Also make note of whether the lever will point north or south. The lever will need room to move so the water can be turned on and off. You don’t want to have cabinetry above the lever that makes turning the tap handle difficult.
With good planning and design, you should have no issues with this style of mixer. I have had friends who were swayed by their plumber to install a mixer into the benchtop rather than in the wall. Don’t be swayed by what a tradie thinks is easier to ‘fix’. Usually a renovated bathroom will last 15 to 20 years, and by then new taps will be replaced when the bathroom is redone again.
Do you like the look of in wall basin mixers? Do you prefer your taps in the wall or through the bench?
I have finished 5 weeks of my full time training in my new job and I’m feeling exhausted. This full time business is full on. And I’ve been putting pressure on myself to do everything I was doing before I got the new job, while doing the new job.
Quite early on when I started the new role I told myself to not get caught up in trying to do it all. But I’ve found myself doing the opposite.
I have nothing to prove to anyone. (I don’t think… or maybe I need to think about this a bit more) It’s the reality of full time work and working away from home which have condensed the hours I would normally have to do the work I was doing (and will continue to do) before I had this job. I’ve been trying to fit it all in.
But it’s been a bit like trying to fit an elephant’s butt over a toilet. There is only so much weight a pan (and floor) will take.
You can imagine how relieved I felt when it was Easter weekend last week. Moments of contemplation were soon lost between the hustle of what gets pushed to the weekend as there have been no hours during the week to get them done. The weekend was broken into snippets of cleaning the house, decluttering, going to church, Easter egg hunts, going to the movies to see Peter Rabbit and catching up with family. So my breaks were still family related.
But nothing beats lying on the couch and zoning out for a while don’t you think?
The nights have been a busy routine.
Each night when I get home, after the girls are fed and put to bed, it’s straight on the computer to get articles with deadlines written, social media posts scheduled, emails answered, invoices sent, comments replied to, pitches for the next lot of articles sent and the list goes on. I enjoy doing all of this, but there have been some nights where I have come home from work feeling exhausted, and have yearned to chill out and watch Netflix. It’s taken discipline to do what is a priority each day. And while I’ve exercised this muscle for years when the girls were babies, holding a full time job and business has been a different ball game.
I also didn’t factor in the nights I’d be completely washed out with a migraine and would have to go to bed at 7:30pm.
Or the night Phoebe didn’t sleep, so I didn’t sleep and my eyes were falling out of my head yesterday morning, right before I had to start taking calls.
I have always known new challenges aren’t always smooth sailing. But I nevertheless put pressure on myself to keep performing. This constant pressure has meant I have made mistakes.
I missed a copy deadline by a week not realizing I had been given it and when I submitted it, I was told it was ok, but read a little rushed. Not my best work, which highlighted my pressure to perform can sometimes affect my performance.
The pressure to do it all has been my doing and not at all from those who have given me the work. I could have asked for a break for 7 weeks, but I didn’t.
What has helped me in the last week, has been considering the long-term consequences of maintaining my obligations and the effect it has on the future. Asking myself what is most important has been the key to not fall into a heap, in tears, overwhelmed with it all.
Wednesday night was my test to see what I would choose.
After my migraine on Tuesday night I missed a night getting work done. Jacob and I had planned to have a date night on Wednesday as the girls were sleeping over at grandma’s and pa’s.
There was temptation to blow the night off and get work done. Even Jacob suggested to get takeout and stay home so I could catch up on work.
But my marriage is important. And I wouldn’t have been able to do these past 5 weeks without Jacob’s help. He needed to be my focus on Wednesday night, so we headed out to a local Indian restaurant and had a date night. It was great talking about the weeks that had been, things we wanted to get done and everything that was in our head, with no interruptions from children. I was glad I made that decision and it was a poignant reminder that choosing to spend time with those we love, is not time lost, but time where priorities realign.
There are only two more weeks of this full time business, before my hours reduce and I can start working from home. The short-term pain will be over and the juggle to do this role and my writing work will become easier. I remind myself why I’m doing this, and while it may feel a bit crazy right now, I know it’s all part of the process to where I want us to be.
If there is one thing I have learned from this experience, it’s yes, I can do it all, but not very well. I’ve needed a village to help me as us mums do A LOT to keep the cogs of family life going. And I’ve had to let some people catch the balls I’ve had to drop. (Thanks mum and dad) I’ve even thrown a few balls to God to deal with.
My prayer life has been constant. Living out of my comfort zone drives me towards God and certainly not away.
High pressure situations aren’t all bad. They certainly show us our capabilities and can be an opportunity to clarify our priorities.
Thanks for sticking around for the journey and sorry for the distance between posts.
How was your Easter? How do you deal with high pressure situations? Do you put pressure on yourself to do all the things?
If you’re in the initial stages of planning a bathroom renovation or a new build, you will no doubt be looking at bathroom trends to assist with your fixture and tile choices. One of the trends that shows no sign of waning is the use of black and white patterned floor tiles.
It would have to be one of my favourite bathroom trends at the moment. I love patterns, and the bathrooms that I’ve seen doing this trend well, have paired their bathroom back with neutral walls and matte taps and white or black fixtures.
Black and white is a classic colour combination for the bathroom, so choosing patterned tiles in this colour palette can allow for the introduction of textures and one other colour to add more interest to the bathroom.
Another benefit of choosing a black and white patterned tile for the floor is the cost. As you’re only laying this type of tile on the floor and not all the walls, you can opt to choose more budget friendly neutral tiles or groutless panels for the walls, and still get a dramatic look for your bathroom.
I scoured Houzz for some of my favourite bathrooms with black and white patterned floor tiles. The bathrooms in these images have got the right balance. The only one that I find a little too busy, is the bathroom with the yellow ceiling. A large white tile on the walls would be been more suitable for this style of bathroom.
A patterned floor tile can add personality to a neutral bathroom. The hardest decision will be deciding on which pattern to use. I love them all, but if I was to choose my favourite, I’d choose the Moroccan style patterns. I think they can suit various interiors as well.
This bathroom trend may not tickle your fancy, but it certainly is a great way to add a unique focal point in the bathroom.
What do think of black and white patterned floor tiles in the bathroom? Is it a trend you like as well?
I was captured by the character of Jamie Fraser in Outlander during the Season One episode of ‘The Devil’s Mark’.
If you have no idea what TV show I’m talking about, you can read about it here, and you may like to binge fest this Easter weekend on Netflix to catch up with those of us that are big fans of the show. (Also I will warn you, if you’ve never watched the show, I have disclosed some parts of season one for the purpose of this Easter post.)
Usually I can tell you where in a story I come to like a character. Sometimes it can take one episode or one chapter and other times it can take a fair few. It took a few episodes for me to see the pull of Jamie’s character in Outlander. I couldn’t understand the hype from those that were Jamie fans.
But there was one particular scene in the TV series that was a turning point for me as I got to understand Jamie’s heart. It was his ‘aha moment’ immediately after his new wife’s confession that had me join the thousands of women worldwide who crush (is that the right word?) on the curly, red-haired Scotsman.
The series of books and now popular TV series is based on the simple story of a combat nurse called Claire Randall who in 1945 finds herself transported back to the Scotland of 1743. She unexpectedly travels through stones while on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank in Scotland. The story develops as we follow Claire in her attempts to get herself back to her time. But a series of events finds her marrying a highland warrior, Jamie Fraser, to save her life.
The turning point for my fixation on Jamie Fraser was immediately after he rescued Claire from being beaten for being a tried as a witch in court. It was the moment in the woods where Claire told her husband her ‘witch’s mark’, on her upper arm, was a scar from her small pox vaccination which she had received from the future. When Jamie heard about where Claire had come from, he not only believed her, he showed remorse as he realised he had punished Claire for disobeying him, when she had been trying to get back to her own time. Once he realised his mistake, he was upset and apologetic for hitting her.
Claire consoled her husband, and tearfully explained he wasn’t to have known what she had just told him.
But Jamie still felt the weight of his actions. He had hit his innocent wife, and his reaction after realizing his error was the moment I jumped onto team Jamie.
Jamie’s reaction is one that is rarely displayed in public. (Unless it’s been caught out by the media). A public display of shame is often shared because one’s been caught out from doing the wrong thing, not always acknowledging the wrong they have done. But acknowledging our faults is something we must display if we want to be in right relationship with God.
I have come face-to-face with my own personal shortcomings. And in those moments, I’ve had to make a decision. To arrogantly ignore what I’ve recognized in myself and allow pride to defend my actions, or acknowledge my guilt and shame, and confess my failings to God.
And the wonderful thing is, God doesn’t want to leave me feeling guilty and shamed. He wants me to live in the freedom and forgiveness, made possible when Jesus died on the cross.
This is why the Easter message is so powerful. God could have told humanity – go fend for yourself, you effed up. He could have ghosted us – like many of us do when someone does the wrong thing to us (and they are immediately given the silent treatment).
But instead, He responded with love and forgiveness.
The Easter message should be an ‘aha’ moment for humanity. A moment where we contemplate what God has done for us and the significance of Jesus dying on a cross.
Where the innocent was beaten and crucified for our transgressions.
Our aha moment should be time to understand the grace God has given us and the lengths he went to to restore us to Himself.
As a result of Easter, I don’t want to miss the future God has in store for me, hence why I have faith and believe in the cross.
So this Easter, it’s my prayer that you have your own ‘aha moment’ with God and the message of Easter. Be open to hearing from Him. May you know how deeply you are loved, and be reflective on the incredible sacrifice that was made possible because of His love.
The real test of someone’s love towards you is their reaction in time of need, and God’s reaction was one that went beyond human understanding. Sacrificing a son, to save the many. While there are many hurts that we continue to face in this lifetime because of sin, our future is sealed for better things because of Jesus’s death on the cross.
If you reflect on your 20s, you’re bound to have fond memories of good times and the youth that you often took for granted. You may also have regrets about things you should or shouldn’t have done. I believe missed opportunities will always present themselves again at the right time, because I’m optimistic like that. But I wanted to share with you six things I don’t regret doing in my 20s.
Around two years ago, when I was fully immersed in my 30s, I felt like I may have missed the opportunity to live a little wilder in my 20s. At the time, I had three children under five, so I’m not sure whether the feelings were prompted from being on call to three little people day in and day out, or whether it was a spiritual lie, prompting me to do something outrageous to break my ‘good girl’ mold. But I got through that thinking, and upon reflection have no regrets.
When I reflect on my 20s, I wasn’t like most twenty year olds. I was determined to be a good adult by studying and getting a full time job as soon as I could so I could start saving for a house deposit. I never went clubbing. I never got drunk. And I wasn’t interested in partying through the night.
But that headspace and discipline set me up to make some wise decisions in my 20s. I thought I’d share with you six of those decisions that I don’t regret today.
1. Telling my dad his dating rules sucked
Technically this happened when I was 17, but it set me up for one of the best decisions of my life and all before my 21st year.
After I graduated from school, my dad told me that I wasn’t allowed to date until I finished my tertiary education. He didn’t want a relationship to distract me from finishing my Diploma in Business Marketing. I remember sitting Dad on my bed and nicely telling him (with a little exasperation) that I couldn’t wait that long. I had taken Jacob to my formal the previous year. I knew I was the one for him, and how unfair it would be to make him wait for me while I completed my studies? Dad relented. Jacob and I got together when I was 20, and I was in a steady relationship from that point onwards. We got engaged and married before I was 21. This April, we will have been married for 13 years.
Was it a good decision to get married so young? I believe so. We got marriage counselling before we headed down the aisle and we had talked on length about what we wanted in life. While we were in love with each other, we were also grounded and were in it for the long term.
2. Buying our first house
When Jacob and I were newly engaged, we pooled our money together for a house deposit. At that time, it was about looking for a house we could afford. It also needed to be near public transport so Jacob could get to work as we only had one car, and couldn’t be too far from my work at Salisbury. It needed to have access to our church and a shopping centre (a girl needs to shop get groceries). Forest Lake ticked all those boxes at the time. We spent a whole day looking at cottages and villas, and by the end of the day, we knew which house we wanted. We took my parents through, who also thought it would be a good starting house for us, and made an offer that night. Once accepted, we bought our first home. I was 20 and Jacob was 24.
3. Starting and completing my plumbing apprenticeship
A year after Jacob and I had been married, I changed jobs, but realised I wasn’t happy with my work situation. I have always been a forward thinker. I knew I wanted to have children, and wanted to have an established business that I could earn an income from while I had kids. I also knew our existing house was not a forever home either. We needed to upgrade to a bigger family home.
I discussed this with my Dad, who suggested a few days later that I become a plumber and take over our family plumbing business. So at the age of 22 I started my plumbing apprenticeship.
During the apprenticeship I regretted starting it. It was hard. I was out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. There were tears. There were frustrations. But I knew I couldn’t quit. And I didn’t because when I was 25 I completed my apprenticeship. It was a relief when it was finished. But then, the business changed a bit due to the global climate and reigning in the business to create a better lifestyle.
4. Upgrading our home to a Stockland estate
During the first three years of being in our first home, there were things that needed to be done to the house.
We painted rooms, laid new carpet in the bedrooms, installed an air conditioner in our main bedroom, changed the taps, replaced the hot water unit, installed a new roof on the existing pergola and replaced the sleeper retaining wall that housed a family of termites. Buying an older home for our first home didn’t come without expense.
But then there was a real estate boom in Brisbane. Houses were being sold at record prices. We had been eyeing off a newly developed Stockland estate in the next suburb over. I walked through display homes with my Mum as she and Dad decided to build their next house. I knew that this was going to be our next move. Stockland was going to be the place Jacob and I would raise our family.
I fell in love with the new residential community, Parkwood Estate. I loved the suburban feel. It felt like the right place to raise a family. There were gorgeous parks that I could imagine taking my future children to. It was also in the vicinity of shopping centres and public transport.
The house and land packages were affordable. But by the time we made our move, many of these had been snapped up. We opted to buy a display home. The design was exactly what we were after and the price was right for our budget. The display home was more than we could have ever dreamed of to raise our family in.
If you’re in the market to purchase your first home, consider your lifestyle both now and in the future. There is peace of mind when buying a house and land package in a Stockland estate because there is likely to be very little maintenance in the first 5 years of living in your new home. You also have freedom to choose what you want from the start when it comes to colour and material selections.
If you’re still unsure about where to buy your first home, Stockland have created My Place, which offers tips about purchasing your first property. Knowing what to expect before you head down the home building process is important, and Stockland offers great tips to help you through the process.
5. Overseas travel
Getting into the work force, and saving money like crazy, still allowed for a few overseas holidays. Jacob and I managed to go to Africa on a mission trip before we got married. During the earlier years of our marriage, we went to New Zealand, Fiji and Europe, spending one week in London, and another week in Paris. When we got home from Paris, I thought I had a severe case of jet lag. But it seemed visiting the ‘City of Love’, set us up for the next stage of our life.
6. Having children
I was 26 when I had my first child and I had my last child two days after I turned 30. The last half of my 20s consisted of baking and raising babies. All the while juggling plumbing work and writing this blog. They were busy and crazy years that are a bit of a blur because having babies in quick succession can do that to you. I don’t regret having my girls when I did. But I do feel like I’ve lived a lot of milestones in one decade.
They say your 20s are the years when you’re free to do what you want. It’s the years of finally getting out into the world by moving out of home, going to university and travelling overseas. But my 20s were years of making decisions that would set Jacob and I up for the future. It certainly hasn’t come without its challenges, but after writing this post, I certainly don’t have regrets.
Now my thirties are about paying off the mortgage, raising the kids and getting them through school, while creating wonderful memories together along the way.
I still remember when we first moved into our current home, and feeling like it was empty. But now, as I look around, it’s full. Full of Shopkins, Duplo and Lord knows what under the couches. But seriously, it’s full of love and life. Full of fun and laughter. And for that, there are absolutely no regrets.
Disclosure: This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy. All opinions are my own.
Rebecca Senyard is Brisbane’s Award winning female plumber! She started her apprenticeship in 2006 and received her plumbing and drainage license early 2011. Rebecca received the Dux Qld Plumbing Apprentice and Australian Apprentice of the year consecutively in 2008 and 2009. She also received the “Judges Outstanding Achievement Award” in 2009 at the Construction Skills Queensland Training Excellence Awards. On World Plumbing Day March 11, 2016, Rebecca was named the first Female Plumbing Ambassador.