Monday, December 11, 2017


I was watering the gardenias the other day and noticed this not-so-little fella. And then another, and another, and another until I lost count. There were hundreds and they were HUGE!!! They were devouring the leaves at a rapid rate leaving (pardon the pun) not much in their wake.

While they are slowly killing what I've spent so, so many long hours tending to, I really didn't want to kill them. They become beautiful butterflies and help pollinate other flowers.

So I'll be picking off these little suckers one by one. I'll never get them all but I can reduce the impact somewhat and they should be happy munching on the mulberry tree in the vacant lot next door.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Backyard Update

Thought it was time to give an update on the backyard, five months after the makeover where we put up the fence, laid turf and created some garden beds.

You'll see that the turf is well established, and believe it or not, no one is more surprised than me! We did this on a super tight budget, with the cheapest (and possibly nastiest) of materials and zero hired labour - just me! A recipe for disaster really, but months on, here we are and the grass is lush and thriving.

While we didn't start with the best of materials, I did spend a LOT of time tending it, like copious watering, fertilising and applying weed and feed, in an effort to get it established. It worked, but certainly cost me - I only just got the water bill for those two months and it was DOUBLE what they normally were. Oh well, hopefully it's a one off.

The plants haven't fared quite as well, with all the cordylines succumbing to too much direct sunlight. The bromeliads are still OK, but I feel will always look a bit sparse.  While I did set myself the challenge to get all the plants for free, I really think I may need to spend some money to get some plants, shrubs and trees that will have more height and create more shade and privacy, especially given next door will start building any day now.

However, I always try and look back to remember how far I've come and given this was the backyard really not that long ago, I'm super grateful for the progress we've made so far.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

New charcoal curtains for the master bedroom - huzzah!

Finally...after many years I've upgraded the 'temporary' curtains in the master bedroom to these divine  charcoal coloured ones and they look ah-mazing!! I was worried that they may be too dark but it's such a large bedroom, it was completely fine. They're made from a heavy, textured wool with matching rubber backing so they totally blocked out prying eyes and the sun.

When I first built the house I didn't budget for window furnishings. I just thought I'd grab some blinds from Spotlight or just whatever not realising how unbelievably expensive they were, even from the discount stores. Collectively, there's almost 20 windows in the house, some double, some triple and not all are standard sizes. One blind alone was $300, so it became an ongoing project that I would just get one at a time, when I could afford it or when they went on sale from the online store I bought all of them from.

This was the temporary curtain for the master bedroom. It was super, super cheap from Spotlight, but did the job for three years so I'm totally grateful. This bedroom faces the front front road so in terms of priorities, this one should have been at the top of the list. But ironically, cause it did the job, it ended up being the last one we changed out. I'll admit, they were pretty nana like, but they kept the space private so no complaining.

Loving these new curtains now though!