Monday, June 18, 2012

Decluttering books and CD's

Our floors are being sanded and polished in a few weeks, and during that time, we will be living upstairs in the separate granny flat.  It means EVERYTHING downstairs has to be moved either to upstairs or outside under cover.  What an interesting few weeks that will be!

I thought I would get a head start, and decluttered these CDs.  I got rid of a handful of them (only my ones, not Phil's), and dusted every single one of them.

 The pile of CDs to be dusted and sorted

 Back onto this black shelf went the CDs.  This shelf was on top of my sewing table, but I moved it to let in more light.

 The children helped me lug all my son's books upstairs, then I dragged the white bookshelf up too.  This bookshelf came with the house, and it has come in handy.  It is fairly solid, and I believe it was used as a tv unit as well (hence the holes in it).

 A big pile of books to sort out.

All the books and CDs looking neat and tidy :D

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mild Renovating - The Kitchen Floor

The lino in my kitchen that Phil installed many, many years ago was only supposed to be temporary.  It was from his parent's kitchen floor that they took up before putting tiles of a similar colour down.  The aim was to see if we liked it, and if we wanted to purchase something similar.  I did...but for unknown reasons, this lino stayed on my floor for YEARS.

Today we ordered some more lino for the floor.  I'm excited!!!

 I had to tape the lino for safety reasons.  I did not want to fall flat on my face with something hot in my hands tripping up over lino.

 I started ripping up the top layer of lino.  Oh, that's why we put a top layer down ;D

 It's, isn't it!

Yup, this was the old lino.    I don't even want to know what is under it!

The new lino looks like stone, and is a light brown and cream tile.  We wanted a thick industrial style lino that would put up with lots of wear in a kitchen area.  It's amazing what they have been able to do with linoleum these days.  So many types to choose from!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Kids Cooking - Chocolate Brownies in the Thermomix

My daughter really wanted to whip up a batch of brownies because she had found a recipe in one of her 'Princess Cooking' books.  I thought she might like to have a go at using my Thermomix.

 Measuring ingredients carefully.  I hadn't converted the recipe so we were still using 'cups'.

Measuring flour before we level off with a knife.

 Into the Thermomix it goes.

Smoothing out the brownies before baking them in the oven.

Sorry, no after photos.  They were the slightly crunchy on the outside type, and were devoured 10 mins after coming out of the oven.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Saturday Child Chore

This was another Saturday chore that my children were asked to do.  They have one each Saturday that I set for them, and they haven't complained yet.

This one again involved a bucket of water each, and a sponge.

 "I want to see that Air Hockey Table shine!"

So they did.

They did a really awesome job.  There were no complaints, no arguments, they just got right into it and cleaned it thoroughly.

Bet they can't wait to see what I have in store for them next Saturday! (I have to think of something fast!)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Council Clean Up Part 2...

Before each scheduled Council Clean up, I do a brief walk around the house and note what needs to go and what needs to stay.  Sometimes if I want to put items aside specifically for the Clean Up, I will put them in the front part of our garage so they're easier to cart out on to the street.

It's also a great excuse to do a little bit of outside cleaning.

 Here's one of the jobs that really is not pleasant.  It's washing off the 'bunny spray' from the Elephant Ear plant leaves.   Basically, un-neutered male bunnies like to mark their territory with their scent by spraying their urine everywhere.  It's just gross.  Even worse when they try and spray YOU! On the plant leaves I find that a bucket of water and a cut up sponge specifically for that purpose works well to bring the leaves back to their usual green self again.

 Sweeping up the carpet leftovers.

 This area of the house irritates me.  I can't do anything with the sheet of asbestos.  It has to stay put until Phil decides to organise for it to be disposed of properly and according to Asbestos regulations.

 I did however get rid of this rusting shelf (but not the bricks)...

...and the bunny hutch that Charcoal loved.  I found it in a Council Clean-up many years ago, and I got some excellent use out of it.  It was falling apart, the wood rotting and wasn't safe for bunnies any more.  It had to go.

Everything we put out was picked up bright and early Thursday morning.  Hooray!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Council Clean Up Part 1

We have a Council Clean-up in our area 4 times a year.  They always fall on school holidays as well which is usually handy for me.

I had an idea of the things I wanted to get rid of, and started to round them up.  The Council has requested that people only stack a 1 metre cubed pile of rubbish on the curb.  I have so much I would like to get rid of though, and I doubt anyone else would want it.

First thing was the carpet we ripped up...

... and a broken whiteboard, and why do I need to keep boxes?  The recycle bin was overflowing, so out went the boxes.

I found a rusted shelf left behind by the previous owners, an old plastic table and chair left behind by a previous renter and another box. We added a solid brown desk which I had really thought hard about throwing away but no-one wanted it, so out it went.

Looking around the house, I can't even tell that I decluttered anything.  *Sigh* It never ends, does it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chores with Water...couldn't be more fun!

My son has a rather large collection of Nerf Guns.  I'm not the biggest fan of the things but unfortunately I only get half the say in these sorts of matters.  Phil and Matthew get 1/4 each ;D

Back to the Nerf Guns...

I did a bit of a dig around my garage and I came across some old milk crates.  Goodness knows how long they had been sitting in my garage. It was time to put them to good use.

But first, they needed a thorough clean:-

 Enter: Child Labour...I mean...chores.

If there's water, a bucket and a sponge involved...this child will get his hands dirty.  Just a little ;D

Drying off in the sunshine once all the cobwebs and dust had been washed off.

These two crates made a perfect home for Nerf guns in my son's wardrobe.  They make it much easier for him to pack them away too.  I have to say, this has been the first week I haven't peeked into his room and seen Nerf guns all over the floor.  Yay for garage finds!

Friday, April 20, 2012

In my Bedroom this time...

Ripping up carpet, that is.  The last room in the house to have the carpet removed.

I really should have taken a 'before' photo to show you what complete knuckleheads the previous owners of the house were.  Most of the carpet was an ugly green colour, but in the very centre of the room was a patch of cream coloured carpet.

When we first moved in to our house, the real estate agent explained that the owners had a water bed and didn't think you could actually move them.  So when the green carpet was laid, they left the water bed where it was and carpeted around it.

Yup.  Clever!

 I was very pleased to see great looking floorboards again.

 The carpet in the house is now ALL gone!

 ...but there are a gazillion little annoying staples to pull out.  I'm still pulling the rotten things out!

Looking very pleased about a job well done.  Back to staple removing!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

There's a Party in my Laundry!

Seriously, there is!

Phil decided for some random reason to install a party light in there.  Goodness only knows!  I certainly don't have a party every time I do my laundry, that's for sure.

The problem is that I can't do any laundry at night - because I can't see well enough in there.

It is also where our outside toilet is...and for goodness sake I don't want to see what is glowing... (I'll let your imagination do it's thing there!)

 Phil's Party Light Bulb in the gross light shade that is in my laundry.  Goodness knows why we didn't replace that when we replaced all the other light fittings in the house.

 My hand towel glows really well!  Apparently my camera likes to have parties in there too, and glowing objects make blurry pictures.

Who would have thought that the inside of toilet paper rolls, Phil's underwear, Pink Napisan containers and power points switched on glow under a party light bulb?

Now the question remains.  Is Phil going to remember to take the party light bulb out before my family come over to celebrate Jacki's birthday in a few weeks, or are some of them going to get the surprise of their life?

Friday, April 13, 2012

To Sand or Not to Sand, That is the Question.

Our carpet is green and gross.  I'm not sure why it has taken us so long to actually do something about it (probably my husband's lack of enthusiasm to do anything about the house until we actually purchased it), but we're going gung-ho now!

The carpet is sitting either in neat rolled up piles outside (my handiwork), or in a mishmash heap (Phil's) ready for the Council Clean-up next weekend.

All that's left to do now is remove more annoying little tiny staples from the floor, and figure out whether we want to sand the floors and lacquer them, or put down floating floorboard.

We're still deciding...

 Bunnings had a really good deal on these floating floorboard last weekend.  Phil bought 10 of them for $10 (an opened slightly damaged box) to see if he liked the look, and to 'play' with them.  My guess is that Bunnings might be out of stock on these ones by now - just my luck.

 He even played with a roll of underlay.  He was able to get an estimate of how many packs he would need to do the hallway.

 *Sigh* MORE annoying little staples to remove!  Seriously, these things are the absolute worst part so far about ripping the carpet up.  If we were to put new carpet down, we'd just hammer these down but as my Grandfather says; "If you're going to do a job, you may as well do it properly" and the last people definitely didn't do a proper job.  We're going to a good job *crosses fingers*!

 My tools of the trade for this task.  Can't forget the all important ipod docking station!

THE best invention ever!  I can't believe how much easier this makes pulling out those staples.  We were using a screwdriver and pliers to remove them, but this does it much faster.  Should have bought two of them Phil!  One end is a hammer, the other end is kind of like a pointy screwdriver.  The middle acts as pliers but the curve in the head means that you can 'rock' the tool to get the staples out.  Brilliant!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stumpy Is Getting Bolder

This Eastern Blue Tongue Lizard is getting bold!  It no longer hisses at me but tries to jump up on to my hand instead of waiting for grapes to be put down on the concrete in front of it. I didn't even know they could jump!

 Mmmmm grapes!

 Swallowing grapes and dribbiling.  They crush grapes up in their jaws then wait until they have two or three lined up, then gulp them all down.  It freaked me out at first because I wasn't sure what was wrong.  You can see a mass on the outside of their neck moving down internally.
 Trying to eat hair and struggling.  I pulled it out and it gagged.  Are they even supposed to have a gag reflex? - gross!

 Back to grapes.  Much better.

These were juicy grapes.  They squirted whenever 'Stumpy' crushed them.  I hope it's tail heals.  It is still weeping a little, and I'm not so sure that's a good sign.  It seems happy enough though, and will continue to be looked after as long as it visits.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday Family Chores

Recently I have been organising a Saturday chore for the family to do together (or at least for the children and me to do if Phil is out working).

A few weeks ago I decided we were going to have some water fun aka cleaning the garage door and fence near it.

 One of the tools of the trade...a soaking wet sponge.

 While the children were occupied I took the opportunity to do some gardening.

 I don't think Jacki was soaking wet at that stage, but it didn't take long for the children to end up with suds running down their arms, and then the sponges started flying!

 The ground was soaking wet, and so were we!

 The children weren't quite finished with soaking each other...I things, so I moved them to the front porch where they cleaned the bars.  Ahem...

This was 3 hours later and there was still a lot of water around. My camera isn't waterproof, so I didn't get to actually take photos of everybody soaked, but the children definitely loved this project.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mildly Renovating

Faced with the prospect of having to move if my son doesn't get into the High School we know he needs to go to, we have started to tidy the place up...which we were going to do anyway.  But now there is a deadline.  Eek!  Phil and I (mostly "I") have come up with a schedule of things that have to be done around the house.  No ifs, no buts.  Bit by bit they will get done!

The first job was ripping up the carpet in the hallway.  It was gross green stuff that really should have been removed long ago, but we didn't.

 I did this much all by myself!  It took me 10 minutes of solid work, but boy were my legs and arms wobbly for hours after that!

 The floorboards are in excellent condition!  The carpet is so very green!

 Then Phil stepped in to help.  He does a much better job.  He has muscles, you see!  It took him half an hour to do the rest of the hallway.

 But he says when he got to this part of the hallway, he was feeling that jelly-like wibble wobble in the arms and legs.  I got the job of clearing out the carpet and underlay, and sweeping up the remains.

Just the carpet in the two bedrooms to go now :D (and a time frame of one week to remove all the little 'staples').