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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Laundry Room: Organising + Storage

The laundry and powder room renovation has been finished for quite a while now ... almost 1.5 years!

I will share a proper before and after post on that just as soon as I hang some art and find a mirror for the powder room - I can't find the perfect size and style of mirror to sit over the feature tiles no matter how long I've been looking and it's been driving me crazy!

 

Today I want to share how I've organised the laundry since the renovation .....

Putting wall hung cupboards and a bench in the laundry was the best decision we made because it's added heaps of storage to keep everything neat and tidy.

I got busy organising the contents of the new cupboards with these baskets I found in Kmart - 2 baskets for $2.50 and I got 3 packs of baskets as they fit on the shelves nicely.


Labeling the baskets is a must for shorties like me because I can't see the top shelf of the laundry cupboards unless I stand on a step ladder - but what I can see is the labels which tell me the contents of each basket.

I used these Avery dry erase labels on each basket. The labels are re-writable so I used a white board marker so I can wipe them clean and change them down the track if I need to.



The labels are removable too which is handy so you can remove them if you need to change around storage containers.

They also stuck well to these plastic baskets which is great as sometimes it's hard to find labels that adhere to plastic surfaces.


As you can see Lexi our pampered pooch has a shelf just to herself for pet care supplies and dog treats.

I'm slowing working out what else to fill the cupboards with - having no storage in the laundry before means I haven't quite worked out what to put in here yet!


The pull out caddy that we installed inside a drawer is the most amazing organiser - it holds all of the cleaning bottles neatly and is so easy to use you just pull out the drawer and everything's there!

This was part of the flat pack cabinets that we installed ourselves - this pull out caddy is also great in a kitchen (we put a caddy under our sink when we did our kitchen renovation).



We also have a large built in cupboard in the laundry which gives us heaps of storage but the shelves were old and damaged and they weren't secured very well so use to wobble and move whenever we put things on them.

We replaced them with new shelves and wall brackets and it is now a very functional appliance cupboard, as the laundry is just off the kitchen it's useful for all the large appliances that won't fit in the kitchen cupboards.


I am head over heels in love with our renovated and organised laundry, it was once a room that I'd cringe at as I walked into, now I love how fresh and bright and homely it feels.

Now to find that mirror for the powder room and hang some art so I can do a long overdue before and after post!

How do you organise your laundry ?


To see our laundry renovation progress to date check out these posts: 
Laundry/Powder Room Renovation - Demolition Success
Laundry/Powder Room Renovation - Demolition Weekend Plans 
Laundry Renovation - The Final Design
Laundry Renovation - Wood Look Bench Top
Laundry Renovation - Flat Packs Vs Cabinet Maker 
Laundry Renovation - Flat Pack Assembly and Install
Tips for picking out laundry flat pack cabinets
DIY Built In Laundry Cupboard - New Shelving
Powder Room Renovation - It's All In The Flush
Powder Room Renovation - Basin and Vanity: Take Two
Powder Room Renovation - Basin and Vanity
Splash Back Choices - Be Brave Or Play It Safe
Laundry Renovation - Let's Go Mosaic Tile Shopping
Laundry Renovation - Picking The Tiles
Laundry/Powder Room - Floor Tiles Laid
Laundry Before - Our 1960s Laundry/Toilet
edesign Mood Board for the Laundry
Renovating - 5 tips for planning and designing


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Recipe: Easy As Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

If you are looking for a really easy and simple pulled pork recipe with just a few ingredients that you can throw in the slow cooker and forget about until it's time to eat dinner then this is the recipe for you!

I have wanted to do a slow cooked pulled pork for the longest time but I was a bit overwhelmed by all the recipes and different methods to cook it in the slow cooker. Most recipes add liquid like soda or bbq sauce but I wanted a healthier option so decided to make mine fairly simply with a fragrant spicy rub and serve bbq sauce on the side for that smokey flavour. 


Easy As Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients

2 brown onions, thickly sliced
1.5kg boneless pork shoulder 
4 tbs of dry rub (I used a combination of chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, smokey paprika, garam masala and mixed herbs)

Method

1. Make a dry rub with herbs and spices and rub it all over the pork roast. 
(I put my dry rubbed pork in the fridge overnight to let the flavours enhance further but if you don't have time to do this don't worry).

2. Place sliced onions on the bottom of the slow cooker.

3. Place pork roast on top of the onions.

4. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

That's it .... easy as! 

You don't need any liquid as the juice from the pork and onions creates plenty of liquid.


Pull The Pork

5. When the pork has finished slow cooking remove from slow cooker and place onto a chopping board.

6. Use two forks to pull the pork apart. It will be so tender it should fall apart (if it's not put it back in the slow cooker to cook for longer).

7. Place the pulled pork back in the slow cooker to soak up all the lovely cooking juices, season if needed with cracked pepper and salt.

8. I turned the slow cooker back on low and left the lid off so that the juice reduced and by the time I was ready to serve dinner it had absorbed into the meat.


I served this slow cooked pulled pork on flour tortillas with coleslaw, sour cream and bbq sauce.

There are a million ways to use pulled pork - with tacos, flat bread, bread rolls or with rice, pasta, pizza topping or serve with vegetables or salad. Seriously, it goes with everything! 

As mentioned you don't get the smokey flavour as it's more of a simmered method but you can serve with bbq sauce if you want a smokey bbq flavour. The spice rub added lots of flavour and the meat was so tender and delicious for very little effort on my part!

What's your favourite way to serve pulled pork?


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Friday, April 15, 2016

Holiday At Home + A Blog Break

Mr P and I are having a week off work next week so I've decided to sign off the blog for a week as well.

You can still keep in touch with me on the Jarrah Jungle social media pages - InstagramFacebook and Twitter

We will be holidaying at home and plan on doing some relaxing, chillaxing and tv remote holding. Lazy morning sleep-ins, homemade brunch and cocktail hour are all on the agenda.


We'll be doing a bit of DIY (of course!) in the new courtyard garden - in anticipation of the outdoor paving getting laid out here this month we'll be getting some pots and plants set up and finding some outdoor furniture and decor (my favourite part ... the decorating!).


I want to do some Spring cleaning around the house - the bathroom cupboards are getting a bit unruly. Plus the guest bedroom and study which have become a bit of a dumping ground.

I need to do a good clear out and find a new home for things or get rid of them if I haven't looked at them or used them in over a year!


Friends have invited us to stay with them in Jurien Bay a seaside town about 2 hours drive from home. So we may sneak off for a few days and take Lexi on a beachside getaway if we can find a house sitter!


I'm really looking forward to some time off to holiday at home!

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead! Do you have anything exciting planned?


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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Courtyard Garden: Picking The Pavers

We are up to the next part of our courtyard garden design plan which is to lay the pavers, grass and garden beds.

We'll finally be rid of the sand pit out the front of the house where it's been hard to avoid walking the sand in and out of the house for the last few years while it's been like this!

But I can always see the light at the end of the renovating tunnel and I'm so excited that we are ready to pave this area and there'll be no more sand!



We did a final measure of our garden design and used flagging tape to mark out where the garden beds, paved areas and grass areas will be. 

Around the front of the house here we'll have a succulent pebble garden bed with plants in pots and a rain chain feature.


In the far corner and extending over a metre on either side will be a garden bed we'll have built from limestone blocks and we'll fill with lots of yummy vegetables and fresh herbs.

I can't wait to grow my own herbs again I use them all the time in cooking and hate having to buy them from the supermarket!



Once we had all the measurements we worked out how many pavers we will need and how many blocks we'll need to build the garden beds.

The grass we'll get at the end once all the work is done so that we can buy it and lay it straight away.

We are going to pave 65m2 of the courtyard with the remainder being two grass patches in the centre and the two garden beds.


For the pavers we want a limestone/cream coloured paver so that it matches the render and painted exterior of the house and the limestone courtyard fence.

We had a choice of these three samples from two local suppliers .....



The paver on the left is made from limestone where as the other two on the right are made from concrete.

Concrete does heat up underfoot and as this area gets full sun we needed a paver that will stay cool underfoot.

The limestone paver stays cool underfoot and is also a bit cheaper.


These two were my favourites - a beach design and reef design.

The beach design was a bit more of a cream colour whereas the reef design was a bit brighter.




While I liked the brightness of the reef design, in the end we went for the 400mm x 400mm square limestone paver in the beach design (on the left hand side).

This is because it's made from limestone so it will be cool underfoot, was a few dollars cheaper per m2 than the other pavers and matches our house exterior colour perfectly.


We have ordered the pavers from Dan-Stone a local company who make their own limestone pavers and our pavers are being hand made as I type this blog post!

As soon as the pavers are delivered we need to order a load of sand for fill so the courtyard can be leveled and a load of cracker dust so it can be compacted. That's all the supplies we need then the paving guys can get started on laying the pavers.

While we do a lot of DIY projects ourselves, we know when to leave some jobs to the professionals, like this one and I know they will do an amazing job.

What type of outdoor paving do you have? 


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Monday, April 11, 2016

Book Review: Jasper Jones By Craige Silvey

This is a book review of Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

A very good friend lent me this book to read and I absolutely loved it. It has won a heap of awards and was voted #70 of the Top 101 for 2015 with Dymocks Booklovers.

This book has also been made into a screen play which was shown at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia and is being turned into a movie to be released early in 2016.


This is a novel set in the summer of 1965 in Corrigan a small country town in Western Australia and is narrated by Charlie, a thirteen year old boy.

Charlie, a shy quiet book lover becomes tied up with the town rebel Jasper when they make the grim discovery of a young girl who has gone missing.

This novel takes you on the journey of a young teenager and his inner most thoughts and fears of school, bullies, girls, parents, life's journey and purpose.

Whilst it was a tense read about a disappearance and a crime that had been committed, it was also funny and witty and the bantering between friends and family was very clever (and very Australian as well!). It dealt with confronting issues like racism and bullying and handles them honestly and openly.

The storyline is strong right from the start to the very last page, it was a brilliant story, cleverly written and accurately expressed in the words of a teenage boy.

I recommend this beautiful Australian novel to all readers and suggest you read the book now before the movie comes out as no doubt it will be a smash hit!

I give this book 5 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read


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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A DIY On How To Install Metal Support Poles For A Shade Sail

Earlier this month we came up with a shelter solution for our courtyard garden which was to install a shade sail over the seating area.

We tweaked our initial shade sail design of 5 poles down to 4 poles in the end as we felt 2 poles were too close together (less than 1 metre between them) and not necessary and the 4 poles was a better design, it looks better and is less expensive as we don't need an extra pole!


We put two days aside for this DIY over the Easter Long Weekend and surprised ourselves by smashing it out in just one day which meant more time to relax and overdose on chocolate over the Easter break!

A step by step on how to install metal support poles for a shade sail

Mr P ordered two 8 metre long square steel support poles for the shade sail and had them cut in half to 4 metre lengths. 

Then to protect the steel from rust we had them powder coated in Classic Cream to match the limestone fence pillars they will be next to and exterior house colours of the render and paint. The cream colour of the poles is a perfect match and they blend in nicely with the surroundings.



Then Mr P got busy digging the holes for each pole - our poles are approx 3500 high so the footings need to be 1200mm deep in the ground and 400mm square (which is about the size of a shovel head).

We had to dig carefully as we laid gas, water pipes and underground power in this area and even though we have a good idea of where the pipes are we still need to be extra careful. It's better to take your time with these things than to go smashing through something and then have to fix it!




We were also up against the retaining walls and concrete footing of the limestone fence so we weren't able to dig holes too close to the brick pillars like we wanted to, so the poles will be set into the courtyard a bit instead of flush against the pillars.

But as the poles are to be installed on a 5 degree angle leaning back towards the pillars this has worked out fine.



Once the holes were dug the pole went in and we measured from the top of the brick pillar for the right height.

The poles will have high and low points for the shade sail to be attached to as this allows water drainage - we have 3 low poles and 1 high pole in our design.



We removed the pole from the hole, drew a line around the pole where it needed to be cut, using a mini level as a guide and ruler in one!

Then used the electric grinder to cut down the pole to the right height.




Because we are extra cautious we also spray painted the ends of the poles we had cut as they were now bare metal. We used a primer spray paint to protect it before it went into the ground to stop any rust developing.

When Lexi hears the rattle of the spray can she looks at me like she's thinking ... Here we go again any excuse to spray paint something!



Once all the poles were cut to size and spray painted they were ready to be secured in the ground in concrete footings.

We put the pole back in the hole, centered it on the brick pillar and using a level let the pole lean back by about 5 degrees (one bubble on the level). The reason you lean the pole back is the shade sail can be pulled tighter when the pole is on an angle.

You can install the poles straight but they will bend inwards once you apply tension. Plus you won't get as tight a pull on the shade sail and let's face it .... No-one wants a sloppy flappy shade sail do they!?



We then poured a 100mm layer (about 10kg) of blue metal gravel down each hole around the pole.

The gravel provides a base for the concrete footing and is great drainage for the metal pole in the ground which stops dampness and rust from developing.



We then secured each pole to the pillar with tape and bubble wrap so it stayed in position at the right lean angle.

This is so when the heavy concrete is poured into the holes the poles won't move.



Next we were ready to mix up some concrete for the footings  - we used 18 bags and each bag was 20kg - and we put about 4.5 bags of concrete in each hole to make the concrete footing.

We borrowed a cement mixer from my parents which made it so much easier than mixing by hand! We simply added the bag of cement, added water until it got a nice consistency, then poured it into a bucket and poured the cement into the hole on top of the layer of gravel.




We poured the concrete into the hole making sure to keep an eye on the level to ensure the pole didn't move as we poured the concrete in.

A couple of buckets of concrete went into each hole, any splatters of concrete we sprayed clean with the hose, and it was left to set for 48 hours.




So the 4 poles are secure in their concrete footings and won't be going anywhere rail, hail or shine!

You can see how the shade sail is going to define the seating area in the courtyard it's going to create a really nice space to relax with privacy and shelter.


We will now get in touch with Big Fat Snapper who are making the shade sail so they can come out and do a final measure now that the poles are in and they will make the shade sail out of canvas. 

Now that the poles are in the ground we can go ahead and get the paving and lawn laid in the courtyard which we started getting quotes for last weekend ...... so excited to see progress out here!

How did you spend your Easter break? Did you tackle any DIY projects?


Sharing with link parties:
Curly Crafty Mom - The Creative Corner
The Dedicated House - Make It Pretty Monday
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
The Plumbette - Home Improvement Thursday


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