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Friday, July 29, 2011

Million Dollar Makeovers

I've stumbled across a locally based company Million Dollar Makeovers which completely renovate houses in just 2 weeks - they totally strip them, design, renovate, decorate and then stage them for selling - in 2 freaking weeks! 

They mainly do top end hoity toity homes that need a bit of updating and modernising and these homes sell for an extra $1 million after the renovation. Now that’s a profit! My lil house won't exactly fit into that realm after my renovations but as I slowly chip away room by room I can definitely see the impact renovations make to a house.

Here's my 2 favourite renovations

City Beach House
Entrance Before

Entrance After

Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

North Beach House
Living Room Before

Living Room After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

I don't know about you but after those renovations I wouldn't want to sell anymore, I'd be staying to live with all those shiny new things for a while!

[Images from Million Dollar Makeovers]
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tough Love Succulents

I thought it was time to get outside and show you my favourite pots and plants .... well the only one I've managed to keep alive thus far!

I bought this big wide pot and some feature pebbles and potted up a few different types of succulents. The pot looked great under the patio on a low lying table which is a bit exposed so gets the morning sun and  also any rain that falls. But the plants only lasted a few months before the leaves went all soggy and fell off. I think it was getting too much water which succulents don't like.

Not to be deterred I bought some more succulents and tried again. I couldn't resist these ones with the cool flower stems. I potted them up and moved the pot under the patio so it didn't get too wet when it rained and I only remember to water them every few weeks which they seem to like a bit of tough love so they're growing pretty well.

How cool are those stems! Sadly the flowers did dry up after about a month so I had to cut the stems off but I'm hoping they'll grow back. If they don't it's ok the plants still look really nice as they are. Who would've thought a bit of tough love with little watering was all that they needed.

I'll be posting a bit more about the outside of the house in the coming months ... we've barely touched the backyard or front garden since we've moved in and I'm so keen to get a herb and veggie garden growing and to start planning the front garden design.

It's time to get outside and get those dainty nails dirty!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Club: Cockroach by Rawi Hage

July's Book Club read was Cockroach by Rawi Hage

Cockroach is about a young guy who leaves the Middle East and ends up living in the cold reality of an American city. The reference to Cockroach is he thinks he is one: a foreigner, unloved and disgusting. You enter the mind of this guy who's a charmer with women, dodgy with his mates, not trustworthy, but still loyal enough to kill. This book is a real play on the good and bad characters of this person.

Admittedly Cockroach is a pretty weird read and at times crude and disturbing. But I'm glad I read it, it was short and to the point.

I would recommend this book for those that are interested in immigration, to see into the mind of people that come to a different country, and how they are looked at and how they adapt.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Scent of a Weekend

Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend and if you don't get spoilt with some flowers this weekend, then go and treat yourself to some .... that's what I'm going to do!

[Images via we heart it here, here, here]
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shades of Green

I wanted to add a bit of colour to the Living Room to ward of the winter blues so I went a bit crazy on the weekend buying a few different shades of green accessories. The grey throw rug and cushions have gone into the cupboard for some winter hibernation ...


Now there's a mix of greens to contrast against the art and feature pistachio rug

I know I'm being brave mixing shades of greens and mixing patterns but I think it works and besides I thought I'd better take my own advice and go for some wow factor.

Teal throw rug Coles $15, Teal and fuchsia cousin Target $13, White pattern cushions Freedom $6.50 each and Green vase Freedom $35.
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Monday, July 18, 2011


You know those days when you feel like cooking and baking and then cooking some more. Well my Sunday was just like that I had a mammoth cook-athon, I kid you not this is what I made ...

Breakie - A big ole english with poached eggs, hash browns, roast tomatoes filled with herbs and melted cheese and pork sausages

Lunch - Vegetable Soup, full of all the fresh veggies in the fridge and thickened with Pearl Barley

Dinner - Chicken Cacciatore with tomatoes, wine and olives served on a bed of Risoni Pasta

Tomorrow's Dinner - Slow Cooked Curry Sausages and Veggies. Yes I actually cooked up the sausages and chopped everything ready and put it in the fridge so I could just put on the slow cooker this morning before heading off for the day

Dessert - Self Saucing Lemon and Coconut Pudding, it was warm and oozy and delicious

The pudding was timed perfectly to come out of the oven after dinner and I had a smile on my face, lots of praise from my man, and I was thinking hey I really do rock this domestic goddess stuff sometimes!
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Underwater Art

There's one wall in the hallway opposite the bathroom that I haven't got my hands on yet and I know exactly what I want to put there. I have in mind a water scene that will reflect in the bathroom mirror. I was inspired by the stunning shore bathroom on Brooklyn Limestone which you can see more of over here. The water picture looks fantastic in the bathroom - as does the rest of the home on her amazing blog A Brooklyn Limestone in Progress.

I've been scouring etsy for some water art but haven't found the perfect piece yet - here's my favourite finds so far.

Water pictures in the bathroom go together like wine and cheese ... don't you think?

[Images from A Brooklyn Limestone in Progress; By Clare Elsaesser, Tastes Orangy Etsy; By Jason Stillman, Grace Gallery Etsy; ]
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hallway Mirror

After the Feng Shui mirror talk I had a better idea of what kind of mirror I wanted for the hallway, one thats quite simple but still modern. Then it was just having a look around until I saw the one I wanted that was within my $100 budget.

I didn't have to wait long, I found this beauty in Target on sale for $66. I raced it to the car in the pouring rain and then realised it had a big crack down the side of it. So I raced it right back, fluttered my eyelashes at the young sales guy who said I could swap it if there was one left, I hooned my trolley like a mad woman back to the mirrors and yes there was ONE left! Phew!! 

It's in the perfect spot for a last lip gloss check before running out the door.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sourdough Bread Making Class

I lerve bread, if I buy a fresh loaf I'll keep going back for just 1 more slice, and maybe 1 more slice, until suddenly the whole loaf is gone! Unfortunately I never inherited my Mum's brilliant baking skills so when it comes my baking, my cheesecakes go rubbery, my slices crumble and my attempt at damper is a doughy floury mess. So when my friend told me about this Sourdough Bread Making class I decided to go to a class with her this weekend and I'm so glad I did it was bloody fantastic.  

We had to show up with an apron (I couldn't resist wearing my funky retro one again), bowl, spatular, and $120 and over 4 hours Yoke Mardewi showed 15 of us in her kitchen how to make (and eat!) - pink salt and rosemary sourdough pizza - sourdough spelt fig, sultana and walnut bread - haloumi and mint sourdough bread - and - olive, tomatoe and roast onion sourdough bread. They were as delicious as they sound and I bought Yoke's cookbook (which she autographed for me) so I can try to make these at home.

Yoke's Sourdough is very basic its made from a starter (live coulture), flour, water and salt. That's it. It's made me think twice about buying supermarket bread again when I think about all the additives that are in it. I learnt a lot about buying organic and natural products, soaking grains and even spices before using them so they release their nutrients and it has made me want to buy and eat a lot more natural and healthy food.

I'm really excited at the idea of making my own bread and can see myself baking a delicious savoury loaf to go on a cheese board and making pizza bases for my new pizza oven.

[Book from Wild Sourdough]
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Jarrah Jungle Namesake

As you may know I came up with the name for my blog Jarrah Jungle from all the jarrah that is in the house, the shelves inside the linen cupboards, the wall cabinet in the kitchen, but most of all the jarrah floorboards that run all throughout the house (apart from the bathroom and laundry which is tiled).

When we first moved in we ripped out all the old carpet, filled the nail holes and sanded and sealed the floorboards. But we're not really happy with the finish, they're not super smooth and dirt gets down the cracks between each board. So now as we paint each room we're redoing the floors. The door stays shut for about a week after its oiled to let it set fully before dragging any furniture in and for the strong oil smell to go away. This is the lowdown from start to finish ....

The carpet is ripped up, the nail holes filled and it gets a sand with a heavy duty sander and the edges with a smaller edging sander.

Then all the dust is vaccumed up so not a spec is left before it is ready for its first coat of Tung Oil to seal those raw timber boards. But once the oil is dry you can see those gaps between the boards really stand out .... so that's when we decided to do it again.

We filled every freakin gap between every freakin board throughout the whole freakin house (sorry but it was pretty tedious as you can imagine!)

Then sanded it all back again

Then vacuumed all the dust up so it was spic and span and sealed it with Tung Oil which is painted on with a brush around the edges and then the rest of the floor is done with a woolen mop. It is really strong smelling oil so we usually stay over a friends house the first night, and just keep the door closed for about a week until the fumes dissapper.

All that work and this is the finishing product ... these boards now look like a mirror they are so shiny and full of character. I still can't believe they spent their whole life hiding under carpet until now!

Each time we do a room they seem to come up shinier and shinier or maybe we've just had lots of practice now!

So that my friends is the Jarrah Jungle namesake
If anyone needs any tips on restoring floorboards, ask away I'm happy to help
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Organising The Wardrobe + My Favourite Dresses

I'm doing a bit of wardrobe organising today and counted how many dresses I have which is 75 dresses .... Is that too many? I'm not sure!

Plus there's most likely a few in the wash and maybe a few new purchases still in a shopping bag that didn't get counted too ..... what can I say they were on sale!

I counted them the other day when I was organising my accessories.

I sorted them out the other day, into long day dresses, short summer dresses, evening dresses, formal dresses and work dresses.

They are a bit squashed in there but that's because they're my favourite item of clothing so I have a lot. I love dresses because you don't have to decide on a top and bottom, you just put it on and your done. I always take dresses when I travel they take up less room, are comfortable and easy to wear. My short sleeve dresses I still wear in winter with long sleeves underneath or a fitted jacket.

Here's some of my favourite dresses ......

I bought this dress in Harvey Bay, Queensland when I travelled there with my brother about 3 yrs ago. Harvey Bay is where my parents spent their honeymoon so I wanted to buy something special from there and fell in love with this dress when I saw it.

It's channeling my inner hippie.

I bought this dress from Harbour Town about 8 years ago (maybe longer!) it is so comfortable and floaty and feminine. Its a great travelling dress its travelled with me across most of Australia.

You can dress it up or down that's what I love about it.

I bought this dress earlier this year from Cue for a friends Wedding.

I love the modern cut to it and feel really sassy in it. I've worn it with gold heels and a gold clutch and bling and with black strappy sandals and a black belt, both totally different looks and I love making the same dress look completely different.

So how many dresses is too many? How many dresses do you own?

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

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[All images my own]

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