22 April 2014

How do you travel?


Most of us would say we love to travel. Right? I love to travel and experience new places. But truly, I've never really enjoyed the actual part where you have to travel to get where you're going. The driving, the flying, the whatever. Only in the last few weeks have I actually nailed down the realisation that travelling gives me a headache. 98% of trips over about an hour, via any mode of transport and I get a headache, I feel wiped out and exhausted. On the first flight of our last trip overseas, I had one of the worst headaches I've ever experienced - all nine hours in economy with two young kids. We drive the 1.5 hours down the coast to visit family and I'm moving in to headache territory.
 
When I arrive (again, almost any trip over about 1.5 hours) I feel dazed and a little bit foggy, detached from what is happening around me. Is this weird? My only solution at the moment is painkillers, so I need to figure out a better way for my body to cope with being moved from one place to another. Any suggestions?
 
Of course, I love the experiences when I get there!

15 April 2014

Settling in to our new rhythm

The last sunrise at our old home
 
We're slowly settling in to life in our little country/city suburb. There are only a few boxes of random things lying around. Cooking feels less awkward in our weird little kitchen. Getting ready to go to work and school has fallen in to a rhythm which although still new, feels a little smoother. Most things have a place. Quite a few don't, and that's been frustrating and also a work in progress. We're living with a few quirks and pieces to see what works and what doesn't. Having to set up the ironing board in the living area each time we need to iron really does not work, so we're trying to find a solution for that one!
 
After seven long years, we finally have a dishwasher. I love it. Water and energy efficient, it's also time efficient, slicing (what feels like) so much time off our daily cleanup.
 
We've experienced a flash flood here already and that was a very fast method of discovering what doesn't work around the place... Drains and pipes unfortunately did not cope with the heavy rain and we took turns in setting the alram to go out in the rain and dig and clear the drains. Not a fun night, but we got through it and we've identified what needs to be changed and fixed.
 
I saw someone riding a horse in the main street as I drove to work one morning. We wake up with beautiful light slipping through the blinds. We have our challenges with our new space, but it was the right move for us.  
 


1 April 2014

40

I have quite the milestone looming this year. 40 long years on this earth. How to celebrate? I would like friends to gather, family to visit, relaxation, a little bit of buzz, a lot of beach, some body bliss, amazing food, a bit of luxe.

I have not put enough effort in to friendships for the longest time. Too long. Why should I expect them to come together to celebrate my birthday? And so I am already doubting what I can plan, trying to undo my expectations.

I'm looking at houses in Byron for the weekend and quick trips to Fiji. Forty! I'm not usually in to celebrating my birthday, but this one feels different...

20 March 2014

Home


We're home. New home. It's been a crazy time, settling in and simultaneously surviving two extremely stressful and draining weeks at work. I shed a few tears driving home, in the (cold) shower and late at night more than once during that couple of weeks. Add to that - no hot water for seven days. A first world issue but cold cold cold showers for a week really didn't help. We boiled water for the kids but Itay and I just sucked it up. Washing my long-ish hair with freezing cold water at 6am just plain sucked. The hot water episode was full of angst, hour long (seriously) phone calls to Energex and much frustration.
 
We also had no TV, phone or internet for close to two weeks. We're back in the world of computers and TV. The outside areas of our house look far less like they should be featured in an episode of Hoarders. We're not at all finished but it feels easier now.
 
In the middle of it all I had to fly to Sydney for work and had another day of driving for a different trip. Three trips to Ikea in less than two weeks (it's not a quick drive either!). The girl had a sleepover. Swimming lessons. My dad flew overseas for six months. A night out for a 40th, a picnic for the 40th. Our first visitors. A BBQ with new neighbours. (We have lovely new neighbours, a safe little cul de sac where the kids can ride bikes with kids their own ages. It's just lovely.) A dear friend delivering the most excellent homemade food, snacks and fruit on our first Sunday in the house.
 
A new kind of normal. Home.

23 February 2014

Why I'm not feeling excited

People keep asking "are you excited?" and the answer that comes out of my mouth is... no. Not yet. And until last night I wasn't sure why. I think Itay was getting a little frustrated with me, after all, this is our very own house, a dream come true!

After a bit of pondering I realised that it is a sense of the unknown, of change, of uprooting myself and my family and my life from the one place I have spent the longest period of my life. Yes, we've been in our current house for seven years and this is the longest I have spent in any house during my 39 years of living. I feel a sense of tiredness and unease about having to learn the ways of a new house, albeit our very own home. Is this silly? The knowing, the ease of daily life in this current house, it's all about to change and be a bit difficult for a while.

Also, a huge part of this house is that O was born here. In our bedroom. This is the house we grew as a family. M was only 10 months old when we moved in, so we truly have grown up here. Grown as parents.


We've been taking small load after load of stuff to the new house and this is what it currently looks like. That tiny purple kitchen just pisses me off. This kitchen is a custom made disaster. It's an afwul colour. This is obvious. The design is simply shocking with a terrible use of available space. The cupboards are a joke. The stove and oven sitting on the island? They're a safety issue which scares me. The pantry is just ridiculous. But I have to fill the glass half full, instead of the half empty it's sitting at right now. This is going to be our kitchen as of next Friday night. Suck it up, Blythe!


Here's the cupboard in M's room, with door removed. Obviously we need to touch up the spots where the hinges were located. And our delicious new carpet! I just love our carpet and I'm so happy with our colour choice and the quality. My method for choosing carpet was at first purely physical. Once we ruled out the carpet we thought we liked, I walked around touching every sample. This carpet was the winner. We have a few more years of the kids playing on the floor and I wanted this carpet to be beautifully soft and luxurious. This one feels so lovely and the colour works so well for us. This photo was taken with a flash so the colour loks different in natural light, also doesn't have those ripples in real life!


Here's part of our ensuite. 1985, anyone?!

As I write this on Sunday night, our current home is feeling a little less full, a little bare. We're making progress. We're moving. And once I'd identified why I was feeling a bit stuck, I began to feel a little less stuck. I'm making progress.

21 February 2014

Shades of white

It's been quiet in this space while we pack up our old home space and prepare another for our new home and a new era in our lives.


Here we are... whitey white white white! Check out the incredibly badly designed built in cupboard. That is a cupboard door that can only be completely opened when the door to the room is closed. It will be coming off tomorrow and we'll try to figure out a solution, either swapping the door to the other side or using a curtain. A sliding door would be ideal but not on the cards right now.


Remember the aubergine and yellow wall recess? Here it is again in white. Much better! You can see in the bottom left corner that the carpet is up and the skirting is now white. It was stained wood previously.


Our boy, hard at work clearing a drain. He's loving it!

6 February 2014

Blue and yellow and purple and peach and brown

Our little house needs some loving. It's tired, a litle bit old and a little bit run down. Sorry, I couldn't stop talking about myself there. But the house! We've discovered that even when you start pretty minor renovations, it's time to actually decide big important things like... what is our style? What do we like? What makes us feel comfortable? What do we want to live with?

New paint. So I (we) decided on white walls in Antique White USA. White ceilings. White doors, trim, window sills. I'm still wondering whether we should have a different white on the trim, doors and sills. Same white? Different white? I don't know. Itay, my mum and my dad have all said... all white is boring. But I'm hoping for a very fresh, airy and light feel. I want the walls to be the background will colour in other areas - art on the walls, furniture, cushions, rugs, bed linen... What do you think? Check out my White board on Pinterest. I don't think any of those pins are boring. I think my other boards (pinned prior to buying this home) show that I love airy, beachy, pale and light.

Then there are decisions such as - is it worth the extra money to use special bathroom & kitchen paint which is antibacterial and resists mould? And should we get it on both the walls and the ceiling?

Our cupboard space is dramatically decreasing in our new little house so I'm feeling a bit worried about this. It's been the perfect opportunity to sort through every shelf, drwer, box and bag in our current home. We only have a few areas left - the kitchen and laundry, not so hard. M's room - the most difficult. I am still procrastinating on that one. She has agreed to photos of her artworks, so some progress there. I need to start her room this weekend, preferably without her there!

Most other spaces in our house are ready to be packed. One glaring omission is our desk. We're ditching the desk itself, an awful monstrosity from Officeworks many years ago. We're drastcally downsizing to this tiny, simple desk from Ikea:


It really is tiny but I'm hoping that this forced downsizing in many areas of the house will also force us to stick to a system, put things in their place, file as we go.... Am I crazy for thinking that a new home will change the way we are??!

The purple kitchen is just so purple. I don't even know what to say about it. The pantry is tiny and purple. In a very aubergine kind of way.

Here are some little glimpses of the current state of the house. What do you think?!


Lovely paint in the bathroom. The tiles, they're just so brown and floral.


Beautifully painted here.


I love the 1.5 centimetre of yellow paint that just drifts over on to the blue wall, also seen in the the other blue/yellow photo above. The peeling ceiling is a sweet touch.


 It looks brown, but here's a sneak peek of the aubergine. Love hate a purple feature wall with a recess!


That's our room. Pretty in peach, right? Also the rusted fan. See ya later! See what I mean about being dated, tired and old?

That's what we're looking at right now. Stay tuned for the white episode, coming to this blog and our new house, very soon.