Friday, February 28, 2014

Lime Surprise!

Splice of life. This is the name of my new favourite colour and I have to tell you I'm completely shocked.

A couple of weeks ago I posted some Lime colour inspiration on the Facebook page along with the words "it's not a colour for everyone". At that point I was one of the 'everyone' that didn't really care for it. I could appreciate it's happy bright tones but as far as wanting it in my home well the appreciation didn't go that far.

Then this past weekend I was shopping around for a new cutlery holder for the kitchen sink when I stumbled across this cute country chic looking tin. Lime green on the inside and white outside. ($4.99 at Red Dot WA readers, they also had pink)

I fell in love with it! Not only the tin but the colour also. So when I decided to repaint my knife block I had to find a colour to match and splice of life was the one.

The knife block came out brilliantly.

I did manage to get more than a little dirty while sanding back the black paint, to the point where I had to shower in the middle of the day, but it took about 30 minutes and the painting took under 5. Two hours later and a second coat and the knife block I always hated is now a spectacular pop of colour for the kitchen bench.

The sample pot of paint cost $12 from Bunnings but it is a half litre pot. There was so much paint left over that I re painted the huge frame I'm using as my calendar. I love it in the lime green so much more than the boring blue. Though I will admit that after having given it a light sand I loved the rustic look I had created.

Now I shouldn't have to say it as we are all adults who take care when handling large sheets of glass but just keep in mind the edges of glass from photo frames can be quite sharp. This particular adult ended up with two booboo's, one on each hand.

Of course nothing makes booboo's better faster than Disney Princess band aids.

I not only painted the frame but I also painted the backing board. I had the Husband pick up a new batch of paint colour cards from Bunnings, this time all white, and I have to say it looks a million times better than the rush job I did when inspiration for the calendar first struck.

Now I'm thinking of also doing the bread bin - currently pink - and our raw pine wine rack. While I'm at it I'll probably sand back the spice rack and paint that too. I also have plans for a few months from now to re invent my amazing bar me you'll want to see that post.

As you can see Lime has become our focus colour in our home decorating journey. We are teaming it with white and were thinking black too but as we want our overall look to remain just a little bit country I think we'll go with brown.

Have you been surprised by a colour and your appreciation for it? Which colours will you be using in your own home? Comment below and share the inspiration.


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Lucky Winner is...

The winner of the Joap 600 Liker Celebration is....

Nedgy Wedgy!

Nedgy you have till Saturday to contact Jo to claim the amazing gift pack. Congratulations and enjoy all your Joap goodies.

Thank you to everyone who entered. For those who are new to Living While Renting I hope you'll stick around and hopefully find some inspiration for your own journey. A huge thank you to everyone for your ongoing support of Jo and Joap, let's see if we can hit 1000 likers soon!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Joap 600 liker celebration!

I'm very excited to bring you the Joap 600 liker celebration. My post on Joap last week has been my most popular post to date so I think it's safe to say you all love Joap as much as I do which also means you are all going to love what's coming.

As a thank you to her fans for your ongoing support Jo is holding a giveaway in which the lucky winner will 'buy the awesome prize for .1cent'

Meet the lush treats that are in the gift pack:

3 x Teeny size Soaps: Angel, Pink Sugar & Rose.
1 x Full size Goat Milk Soap: Fragrance Free.
1 x Full size Soap: Black Raspberry & Vanilla.
1 x Guest size heart soap: Violets & Raspberry.
1 x Solid Lotion Bar: Satin.
1 x Lip Balm: French Vanilla
2 x Mini Bubble Bath Balls: Banana & Bed Time Bath.
1 x Test size Milky Bubble Bath: Bubble Gum.
Includes postage to the winner!!
Gift packaged in a beautiful box.

All Ingredients for allergy reference- Sustainable Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Goat Milk, Water, Lye, Castor Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Fragrance Oil, Colour (Titanium Dioxide, Oxide, Cocoa Powder), Tussah Silk, Cosmetic Grade Glitter, Liquid Glycerine, Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate Plus, Fragrance Oil, Bicarbonate of Soda, Cream of Tartar, Corn Flour, Natrasorb Bath, SLSA (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate), Butter Milk Powder, Goat Milk Powder, Bees Wax, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Cosmetic Flavouring & Sweetener.

All you need to do to be in the draw is:
*Like Joap on Facebook
*Like Living While Renting on Facebook

It's as simple as that. However if you want extra chances to be the lucky winner, and really who doesn't want more Joap?, you can leave a blog comment below on this post telling us your favourite Joap product or if you haven't been lucky enough to purchase from Joap yet tell us which product you most want to try. Joaps photo albums on the Facebook page are a great source of inspiration if you're stuck trying to pick between products.

Also if you follow the Living While Renting blog by email you'll be in with another chance to win. Simply fill in the field at the top right of the page where it says 'Follow by email'. You'll need to confirm the subscription by clicking on the link in the confirmation email sent to you for this to be valid.

We've made it easy by providing a Rafflecopter entry form below but before you enter please read these heartfelt words from Jo...

"I’d like to start by thanking Skye for allowing me to ‘borrow’ her wonderful blog to host the Joap big 600 liker celebration give away!  I adore her blog, so it’s a great honour to be the topic of her writings again.

Soaping started for me as a means to help loved ones, but I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with making soap! It’s literally taken over my family’s life, and not to mention 1/3 of our house!

So, here we are, a little over 600 fans, and I am truly humbled.   I owe a huge thank you to family and close friends, but in particular a group of 4 lovely ladies and their families, who were my testers for the longest time, way back before Joap was even a thought.  Answering mundane and relentless questions about each product they tried.  You all know who you are, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I love you guys!  But most of all, I thank each and every one of my customers, old and new, because without you all, there would be no Joap.    
Thanks to each and every one of you all.
And most importantly!
Spoil yourself xx"

The Competition will run from today, Monday February 24th 2014, till midnight Wednesday February 26th 2014.

It is open to Australian Residents. International entrants are welcome to enter but acknowledge that they will pay the difference in international post.

Sharing the giveaway amongst family and friends is not a condition of entry but we love it when you share the Joap love around, the more the merrier!
Sharing the Living While Renting Blog amongst family and friends would also be appreciated so more people can find ways to create the home they want now and benefit from the money saving tips provided.
Blog link...

The winner will be randomly selected via the Rafflecopter app.

The lucky Winner will be announced on the Blog on Thursday and if possible (as we all know Facebook can be a bit temperamental) tagged in the original giveaway post on the Joap and Living While Renting Facebook pages. We will also attempt to send a private message via Facebook.

The Winner has till midday Saturday to claim their prize before it is redrawn.

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, sponsored, administrated by, or associated with Facebook.

Good luck to you all,


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, February 21, 2014

More Amusing Than The Comedy Channel...

Yesterday I read what is honestly the funniest thing I think I've seen thus far on Pinterest.

'On a hot day clean out your fridge, it will feel more like a treat than it will a chore.'

Seriously? I laughed out loud, literally LOL'd, and immediately thought "yeah that was not written by an Aussie". You can tell this as no Aussie who has lived through temperatures better suited to the Sahara dessert each summer would suggest emptying out your perishables on a hot day just so cleaning the fridge would seem more fun.

Yeah the milks going sour and the sandwich meats starting to smell funky but it's all good cause I'm not feeling the heat...yeah not going to happen, especially with the price of milk these days.

It did get me thinking though about what cleaning tips I have read that have actually been pretty genius. My magic shower cleaner is one of them. Going on week three of not having to scrub the shower down at all, it's still sparkling and it's because of a simple vinegar and dish washing liquid concoction..thank you Pinterest.

Sticking with vinegar to start with there is the idea to tie a bag -ziplock, sandwich or whatever you have on hand - full of vinegar around your shower head. Apparently this is meant to remove the build up of grime on your shower head. This does not work on 'rental peach' enamel painted shower heads. It does however work on stainless steel.
Then there is the idea to soak paper towels in vinegar and wrap them around your taps to help remove the nasty build up of gunk that can grow right at the back. THIS WORKS! I let the paper towel sit for around two hours and then most of the yucky stuff just wiped right off when I pulled the towel out, the rest came off with a bit of a rub. I used to hate cleaning the bathroom because I could never find an object that would get right down in that gap between the tap base and the sink but now I can call off the search as it's vinegar to the rescue again.

Honestly vinegar is starting to become my second love, I no longer detest the smell because it's cleaning powers are so magical that I can't bring myself to hate it. Though I am left questioning, sort of like the Coke argument, if it's so darn powerful then why on Earth are we eating this stuff??

Moving on..

Once upon a time my daughter was not yet two, we had just moved into a new rental and she found a permanent marker...dum dum dum!
Can you see where I'm heading with this?
Black swirls were what she left in her wake along with a mummy standing staring mouth agape wondering how on earth I was meant to get that off.
Toothpaste to the rescue this time and in my house with two very artistic children it's called upon more than I'd care to admit. I did some googling and went to my mummy friends in a panic. Some suggested those magic erasers...waste of bloody money all they did was wet the wall. Then a saint of a woman suggested toothpaste. I was sceptical but desperate so I pulled out an old toothbrush and a tube of paste kept aside for travelling and went to work. I won't lie there was some major scrubbing involved but it worked a treat. No sign that my budding Picasso was ever there.
It's so good it is now my go to wall cleaner. I have two kids under five so it comes out quite often to remove pencil, crayon, food and those black scuff marks that end up every where. Every single mark it removes which is why it's number two on my must have cleaning list (can you guess what's number 1). The brilliant thing too is that it doesn't have to be Colgate. I had a tube of $1 toothpaste with what looked to be Arabic writing that my mother bought from Red Dot thinking I'd use...sorry I like to be able to read the ingredients of whatever goes in my mouth. The thing is it worked. So next time your grocery shopping just throw a tube of home brand toothpaste in the trolley, you'll be thankful you did, trust me.

Next on the list...

Coke - it's not just a drink. At our last rental house when we moved in both the toilets had this horrible rusty looking stain at the bottom of the bowl. I scrubbed with all my usual cleaners - this was BV or before I discovered the wonder that is vinegar - and nothing would make theses stains budge. So I gave in and poured a can of coke into each toilet. You guessed it the stains vanished.
Now I'm not sure of any other cleaning tricks involving coke, except for one involving removing oil from a driveway which I'll get back to you on, but I can vouch that it makes an awesome chocolate cake.

Do you know of any other cleaning tips that are borderline genius? Share them in the comments so we can all reap the rewards.


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Monday, February 17, 2014

The toy invasion

Im not sure about other mums but I often feel that when I gave birth to my first child my house gave birth to a toy factory. And this toy factory has the never ending pack of TimTams magic going on because it doesn't matter how often I do a clean out and secretly sneak out the no longer played with toys their number just doesn't decrease. It makes keeping the toy room, along with the rest of the house, clean rather hard to accomplish.

Two years ago we bought a set of the popular cube shelves from Masters.

It certainly helped to organise the toys in the beginning and then to keep it easy to tidy each day so I highly recommend investing in a similar system.

It's not that simple though, as much as I'd love those nine cubes to be the extent of my children's toy factory, there's loads more.

We also have a soft toy bucket that's overflowing, and a toy box for the big chunky toys. A kitchen where the play food 'should' be kept and a garage for the cars. Oh and then there is the dolls house the husband built for's too big to leave the lounge room but it's home to the action figures, doll house furniture and the little family. Then there is the outside toys. Like I said it's never ending.

I've found some images that may help inspire you in your quest to organise your own toy factory.

My favourite is this bucket invention.

It's simply plastic buckets bought from any of your red dots, Reject shops or even Bunnings, with holes punched in the sides with an ice pick, screw driver or drill then connected by zip ties. I love it.

Here are a few more...

I love the idea of this for older children mine are still under five so not sure it would work. For older kids who build scenes and like to continue playing with them time after time this would work well. It allows for the room to be tidied but their creations can stay together.

I definitely could use this outside. We manage just as much 'stuff' outside as we do in and I loathe seeing a messy yard so this would work well for us.

If you have more room to spare a larger storage system with more options could work better for you than the cube shelves. Place a picture as well as the name of each item in the front and it will help young kids learn where everything goes.
What I love most about the above option is that they have a box labelled 'misc'. We also have a miscellaneous box, it's the one that's cleaned out most often yet reproduces faster than rabbits.
This was found at Hepworth, a blog from a mum raising a bunch of boys.

Another favourite is the zoo for stuffed animals. It's cute while serving a purpose unlike my overflowing soft toy box I don't imagine any animals will be escaping from that storage solution.

I think I'll be spending today turning an old unused book shelf into a toy zoo, wish me luck for no stampedes.


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Put the Lime in the Coconut...

Have you ever stumbled across a product and found it so incredibly amazing that you want to shout from the roof tops for all to hear? Something you love so much that you tell everyone you know that they NEED to try it?

This happened to me 12 months ago. A friend introduced me to what has become my luxury item. You know that one item that we find money in our budget for as a treat to ourselves for the hard work we do running a home, sticking to our savings plans, working 9-5, raising our children and everything in between.

The best part about my luxury item, my amazing find, is that by buying it I actually save money when it comes to the grocery shopping.

Let me introduce you to Joap.

Joap is handmade soap. Actually it's far more than just hand made soap. It's beautifully created, artisan inspired, completely natural and great for your skin.

The hardworking creator and soaper behind Joap is the lovely Jo. Hence the name, Jo + soap = Joap. It's brilliant!

Jo spends hours testing each batch of soap to make sure it is of the highest quality before she will offer it for sale, that's every single batch made. Ongoing testing is important to ensure that the soap you take into your shower or bath has been mixed correctly so no nasty chemicals are left behind. This is the same quality of testing you would find happening in a commercial soap lab.

Joap was created when Jo wanted to find a suitable soap to help family members with their sensitive skin after having no luck with any items available over the counter for this reason you can be sure that the soap she creates for you will gently cleanse you skin while nourishing and moisturising. Jo takes the time to source the finest ingredients to ensure that each bar of Joap is gentle on your skin with variations designed specifically for those with sensitive skin issues. Goats milk, coconut milk, butter milk, tussah silk and even vegan options are available. Jo also happens to have the best customer service I have ever come across, she is super easy to work with and will help you find something to suit your needs.

If all of that isn't enough to sell you then wait till you hear some of the amazing scents she has created. In my Joap drawer right now I have my Christmas collection with scents including Elf Sweat, Tinsel, Santas Cookies, Sugar Plum Fairy and Candy Cane. The Crystal bowl on my vanity currently holds Angel - exactly like the Thierry Mugler perfume - Chanel no.5 - again like the perfume - Blue which is like the Ralph Lauren perfume and Island Kiss (my personal favourite) which is like the Escada perfume.
But don't worry if you're not as into your perfume scents as I am because some of Joaps best sellers are scents including Rose, Black Raspberry and vanilla and Lime and Coconut - and if you don't spend the rest of the day singing "put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up" then you're not listening to the right music.

It gets better still as Joap does more than soap. Her range also includes bubble bath bars, these are amazing, create more bubbles than your kids could imagine and come in the same delicious scents that the soaps do. Then there is the bath salts and also recently Jo has added lip balm to her repertoire and with custom orders lotion bars are also an option and let me tell you the lotion bars are supreme. Seriously the best form of lotion I have ever used, my legs and hands LOVE them!

You can find Joap on Facebook along with a link to her hand-made store or you can email Jo at

Don't even think about it, just keep singing and dance on over to her page.

"Put the lime in the coconut and stop by Joap"


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Monday, February 10, 2014

Let's Talk Dirty...

Showers that is. It's one of those must do chores that we all do while cursing our families good hygiene that makes it necessary in the first place.

While scrubbing the shower isn't my most despised household chore it certainly ranks in the top three. I always have to fit it into my shower routine as without fail if I try to clean the shower while clothed myself and the rest of the ensuite will end up dripping wet or blotchy with bleach stains...or both!

I'm not usually one to care about what I use to clean with, I'm not the organic natural type, my only prerequisites for a shower cleaner are that it minimises scrubbing and is cheap.

I'd been seeing the vinegar and dawn dish washing liquid shower cleaner around quite a lot and decided to try it and let me tell you it fits both my prerequisites.

As I mentioned in my homemade face mask post some American recipes don't work so well with Australian ingredients. I thought that may be the case this time as every recipe I read for this magical cleaner all called for the 'blue dawn' a dish washing liquid brand not available in Oz.

I first tried it with the Coles brand yellow liquid that we use. Mixed it with some vinegar and poured it on the shower. It did the trick. I wiped it off straight away and there was no scrubbing needed just a simple easy wipe across the shower floor.

I then actually read all the tutorials for making this and saw that they say to heat the vinegar before adding the dawn. I also searched the options available at my local Coles and decided to try Palmolive. It's purple not blue and was on sale for $2.20.

This time I heated the vinegar and fair warning if you have a sensitive sniffer wear a mask as heated vinegar is not pleasant. I heated 1 cup of vinegar - just plain old Coles brand that costs about $1.50 a litre - for 90 seconds. Then added 1 cup of Palmolive - the Palmolive covers the yucky warm vinegar smell - gave it a stir and poured it into an empty spray bottle. You can pick spray bottles up cheaply from most grocery stores, kmart or your local two dollar type store.

I sprayed my shower then left it about four hours till I showered. Gave it a light wipe again and washed it down with water and hey presto I had a sparkling shower. I've left the bottle in the shower and give it a spray after each use and thus far I still have a sparkling shower with no further wiping/scrubbing required.

I have to say I am truly in love with this purely because I always saw the benefit in those expensive brand name cleaners that you're meant spray after each shower I just never liked the price tag.
This mix is a fraction of the price. I still have enough Palmolive to make another batch but won't need to do so for at least two weeks that brings it to under $4 every six weeks for shower cleaner. I say $4 because I believe using the cheap yellow liquid I first experimented with and heating the vinegar would do the trick as well and the cheap yellow stuff is only $1 a bottle so even if Palmolive isn't on sale when you next do the shopping you can still get all the ingredients needed.

I highly recommend giving this a go. Just imagine all that relaxing you could be doing instead of scrubbing the shower.


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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Our Facebook week

This week on Facebook we looked at some fantastic ideas for creating your home in the style you want.

Jazzing up the laundry room by decorating your washer and dryer. This can be done using contact, wall decals or I found an amazing site called that has loads of murals to pick from or you can upload your own image.

The re purposed doors was one of my favourite from this week. Old doors can be found at salvage yards, thrift stores if your lucky, your local tip shop and if you want to spend a bit more antique stores.

They can be turned into almost anything, my favourite is the bedside lamp stands and the entry table.

Shoe ladders to store or showcase your pretties. These look great, can be made or bought to suit any style and for most just one will do the job. If you need more try making them a centre piece so everyone can see your collection.

The top of my favourites list this week is the re purposed old suitcases. These add a touch of personality to any room. Use them to store out of season clothes at the foot of the bed, turn it into a bed for your beloved pet or make it a centre piece as a coffee table.

My favourite though is this vanity. Add some extra long legs and a mirror and you have the perfect place to store make up and jewellery. The best bit is you can close the lid and keep it all locked away from prying little fingers.

We also discussed this amazing garden aid. A home made rain water tank that can be installed to help save on the water bill.

I did some research for you all and found a price guide. A 100lt water tank can be bought at Bunnings for $69. If you want something a little smaller and cheaper you can pick up a 60lt rubbish bin that will do the trick for $15. Tap attachments, depending on what style you're after, cost between $4 and $15 and the hose will set you back $24 for the entire reel and fitting set.
So at it's cheapest you're looking at around $60. This is pretty good if you live in an area that sees a lot of rain, just think how much it could save you on your water bill.

Happy Saturday to you all,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Saving money one face mask at a time

It's time to save us all some money in the beauty department.

This April I'll be turning 31 a fact I am completely and utterly ok with.

Ok time to share. I've always been big busted so the ladies were heading towards sags-ville before I had the kids now two kids later they're well and truly residents. I started growing 'silver' hair when I was 20 - honestly it sparkles in the sun so it's not grey it's most certainly silver. My eyes went at 25. One day I could read the signs on the train platform the next I couldn't, so I've been a member of the four eyes club going on 6 years now.
As you can see my body has been doing this ageing thing for a while so the only area I thought I should start concentrating on now that I'm heading towards middle life - ok suddenly not so ok about being in my 30's - was my skin. I've always been pretty lazy with skin care. I'm notorious for starting a skin care regime and stopping a week later for no other reason than I simply 'forget' to keep it up.

It was because of my laziness that I got excited when I stumbled across a home made face mask meant to do the same as the Biore pore strips. It consisted of two ingredients, was easy to make and apply and cost a fraction of the price. I was sold.

The tutorial I followed was from an awesome American blogger 'Petit Elefant' and you can find it here. I followed her tutorial step by step and even have my own before and during images - warning this means you're about to get a glimpse of my face 'warts and all' so to speak - I was a little skeptical as often American 'recipes' don't turn out so well with Australian ingredients but that wasn't the case this time.

Here's how it works...

You will need:
*Un flavoured gelatine which you can by at Coles or Woolworth's in the baking section. I got mine at Coles and it cost $2.34.
*milk of any kind - I stood looking in my fridge for far too long wondering if the kids full cream milk would be better than the adult HiLo milk and eventually went with the HiLo and it worked a treat so really any milk will do.

Apart from the above two ingredients you will need a small container to mix it in - make sure it's microwave proof - and a table spoon.
The original tutorial uses a paddle pop stick or suggests a make up brush to apply but I used my fingers and for reasons I'll get into soon I'm very glad I did.

Right so first things first you need to wash and dry your face.

Here's me all clean and ready to go...

Now pour one tablespoon, for me one table spoon equaled one sachet, of gelatine into your container. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk into the gelatine. I used two. It will clump together and that's what you want.
Now put your mixture into the microwave. The original tutorial calls for 10 - 15 seconds, now I'm not sure on any differences between American and Australian appliances but I did 12 seconds and my mixture came out HOT.
You are meant to apply the mix immediately after taking it out of the microwave and this is where I am grateful for having used my fingers. As soon as I stuck my finger in the mix it burnt and I knew if I had applied it using another instrument I would have scalded my face...not nice.
So I suggest putting it into the microwave for 5 - 10 seconds, start out at 5 if you're concerned and work up.
The mixture goes creamy, give it a stir and apply immediately to all or part of your face.
I concentrated on my nose, chin and forehead as they are my trouble areas. Keep in mind this is gelatine you are working with, it gets sticky quick!

Once it's on leave it to dry for around 15 minutes. If it gets uncomfortably hard at closer to ten minutes then you can go ahead and remove it.
I left mine closer to twenty because it looked shiny which I mistook as it being wet and not ready. I was wrong gelatine is shiny even when dry.

Once your time is up decide where you're going to start and peel off... Carefully.

I'm not going to lie this part hurts especially on the upper lip, cheeks and around the eyebrows but persist if you can because it seriously works. I won't post the close up but I did take one if anyone wants proof that it pulls pores.

Once it's all off and you're finished crying because you managed to not only clean your pores but wax your eyebrows too rinse off and enjoy the refreshed feeling knowing it cost you at most .60 cents.


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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side...

It's not true, not even a little bit. It could be because three of our bordering neighbours don't actually have grass but that's beside the point. The guy across the street has a patch of sand where once luscious grass used to live. But us? Well we rent so naturally we have to break the law to ensure beautiful green grass year round.

As many of you who rent may know you sign a lease saying you will maintain the lawns and gardens. Now we are good people - totally blowing our own horn but we are upstanding citizens if I do say so myself - so we do as we agreed. But by sticking to the terms of our lease we are faced with breaking a state water ban.

We live in Perth. Our summers are HOT! Not just HOT! But stupidly dry and "oh my gosh shoot me" HOT! Come October 1st we are allowed to turn our reticulation systems back on or start using sprinklers but we have to make sure we only use them on our allotted days, I think if you have a bore you are allowed one extra day.

We have a bore and a reticulation system however...

It must have been installed by Tim the Tool Man Taylor as it's a half assed job. It doesn't cover all the yard so come October when the weather starts to warm up half the yard starts to die off as the sprinklers don't reach it.

So can you see our dilemma? We are abiding by the state water laws because our lease also says we are to pay any fines incurred by watering on the wrong days - and well it's nice to do our bit to help save the H2O - but if we don't water the parts of the yard not touched by the sprinkler we receive bad reviews at our three monthly inspections.

Well let me tell you I may have found a solution. I say may of because I've already mentioned we live in HOT! Dry Perth, I'm not sure we'd get enough rain for this to work. For everyone else though, not in Perth, this should work a treat to help save on the water bill, keep your gardens and lawns in tip top condition and abide by any state water bans.

It's a home made water tank! I think it's pretty neat and it's also so easy to assemble. I'm thinking it may cost a bit to get set up - I'll come back to you on the weekend after our next trip to Bunnings and give you an estimate - but what it will save you makes it worth it.

You hook it up to your down pipes and when it rains it's collected in your tank/container. Next time you need to water a flower bed or dry patch of grass use the rain water and the numbers won't go up on your water meter.

Follow this link here for a complete tutorial on how to set it up and enjoy watching your grass grow.


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Monday, February 3, 2014

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's Off To School We Go...

But when we get home where are we going to keep our school bags?

Miss Four starts Kindergarten on Tuesday and as per her schools request we have 'A bag big enough for us to put a lot of stuff in'. Now my Miss Four may be as tall as her six year old cousin but her school bag still swallows her up. There's room enough for her lunch bag, change of clothes, hat and whatever arts and craft she brings home each day plus some spare room for Mr Two to stow away inside. It's HUGE!

She loves it and she picked it so there is no issue there. No the issue will be where to keep it when not at school. Despite living in a four bedroom house with two living areas we don't have a lot of space free - not because we have a lot of crap but because my mother lives with us and that is a story for another day, trust me! - and it's going to really start irritating my neat freak side if it's just thrown in a corner till next school day.

I started researching School bag organisation ideas and was pleasantly surprised to see some pretty fantastic options for a rental home, meaning options that didn't involve screwing hooks into the wall.

So many options for big and small spaces...

images found @,,

Metal clothes racks which you can pick up at your local cheap stores or even Ikea, old bookshelves - just remove a few shelves and add some hooks - bench seats with under seat storage baskets, even multiple laundry hampers will do the trick. All you need is a dedicated spot for school bags, coats and shoes. Please note if you don't have children but you do have a partner who needs just as much stuff for work these ideas will work for that too...I for one cannot wait for The Husbands work bag to stop being dropped on the dining table each afternoon and don't get me started on the smelly steel cap boots.

My favourite option though was the hutch

and I had employed The Husband to build it. Though before heading to Bunnings on Saturday we were discussing how to move furniture around to make the laundry and back patio work better and I had a light bulb moment. The eyes lit up, I smiled from ear to ear and the Husband groaned at the thought of what was to come.

You see about 18 months ago we, well The Husband, built a new dining table and since I hate to throw out anything that can have a second life the old round dining table was turned into a sand box for the kids.

The kids barely used it, they prefer to dig holes in the grass, so this sand box was sitting out side looking messy and creating clutter. We had decided that it would need to go in order to help tidy up the back patio and that's when my light bulb went off. If I stood it up on its end, added a few hooks and a coat of paint it would be the perfect school bag organisation centre.

I was pretty chuffed with my idea and needless to say so was the Husband but more importantly so was the bank account.

Did you guys know that a sample tin of paint from Bunnings cost under $9?? I didn't so I did a little happy dance on the way to the car. Twice. Turns out Bell Pepper green was not the colour for me so I had to go back for Ivy League green instead.

After a coat of paint and adding some hooks you'd never know it was a dining table or a sandbox.

Now just to make it through her first day of school, I have a feeling it won't be as easy.


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