Making Our House A Home

When we bought our current house, 3.5 years ago, it was love at first site (see what I did there?). Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it looked and felt like it could be our forever home. And it still is, but like every romance, the early days are very rose tinted and you can see no flaws, or in my case, floors.

Not long after moving in I began to realise that we had a fundamental problem on our hands. The flooring of the house was dog shit ugly. Mismatched pink glossy and matte terracotta tiles, broken grouting and jut plain ugly. No matter what I did decor wise, it was basically lipstick on a pig.

When I was pregnant with Carter we redid his bedroom floor and it became the nicest room in the house. I began to hate my flooring, it was cold, unattractive, pink and kitsch.

I started whining about the need for new flooring, and the more I whined, my husband, who quite frankly has the same interest in decor as he does in the Kardashians, would roll his eyes and just tell me to be patient. I also really never thought that we would be able to afford renovations. People who do are clearly laundering money or prostituting themselves. We seemed to be living month to month and I couldn’t fathom the idea of how we would ever save enough to actually fix the problem.

When I took on a second job, I knew it would be demanding, but I also knew it would financially free us up somewhat. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough photoshoots in the word that can cover all the work we needed to do, especially with my time frame (“before we have another baby”) and so we did the only logical grownup thing; We maxed out our bond. I’m telling you this, because I’ve spent the last 15 years of my adult life scratching my head and wondering how people afford nice things. I hate the shadiness of some people when they just wont tell me how they make it work. Even worse, when people are sponsored by the bank of mom and dad and then pretend it’s all their doing. So yes, peeps, our renovations are courtesy of Standard Bank and our 3 job incomes. And those random R2 coins I find in couch cushions. You’re welcome.

So, after 3.5 years of waiting and saving and praying and drinking, we started our renovations today. I am so excited I could platz. (Remind me of this joy in 2 months time when I’m sneezing dust and have no where to live, k?)

Some of the work we are doing includes finally knocking through to the cottage on the property which has been a glorified storeroom since we moved in, and turning that in to our bedroom. Redoing all three bathrooms, re-flooring the whole house (Oh yes, no more pink beauty), updating the kitchen, the patio, the jungle gyms and the garden and adding a playroom/photo editing study for me.

I think I just wee’d a little bit.

Someone ased me if I would be sharing the before and after pics, and as mortified as I am to show you all the existing tiles, I think I have to. And as someone else pointed out this morning: “The worse the before, the better the after”

So, the blog might deviate slightly from babies and booze to home stuff and decor, my other love. I’m going to be sharing and recommending suppliers as well as progress pics along the way.

So, cheers to our little family as we break new ground and begin turning our house into a home.

PS – To confirm just how excited I am, this is a photo of me and 2 taps. Because they’re bronze, and beautiful and ohmygodimfinallyredoingmyhome.

Continue Reading

Baby Rankin Room Reveal

One of the most exciting things about having a baby is knowing that you get to create a space, just for them, in your home.

I have never been one for ‘themes’ and always envisioned a calm, neutral and tranquil space… which mean that the 1980 pink terracotta floors that came with the house had to go! Working in client service, I get paid in smiles (and the occasional pat on the head) so sadly the budget wasn’t there to re-floor the entire house, but we did manage to save enough to put laminate flooring down in the guest bedroom and study (turned nursery).

It made a massive difference!

Floors before

20150303_083625

We inherited some pre-loved furniture – a cot and compactum – which, after serious amounts of elbow grease, sanding, priming and painting look almost brand new.

Being the frugal DIY’er I am I made the mobile and my hubby applied the stickers to the walls.

I sometimes wondered if this room was ever going to come together, and even though there are still some things left to do it’s pretty much complete and I just adore it.

Walking around the room last night to take photos I said to the husband “It still feels like something is missing…” to which he replied “Yes, a baby”

So, minus 1 x baby, I present to you #BabyRankins nursery:

IMG_4599 IMG_4602 IMG_4598 IMG_4597 IMG_4586 IMG_4587 IMG_4589 IMG_4590 IMG_4591 IMG_4584 IMG_4578 IMG_4577 IMG_4575 IMG_4574 IMG_4570 IMG_4569

Continue Reading

Baby Sprout Nursery Ideas

One of the most exciting parts about a baby on the way is undoubtedly the baby nursery. Hell, I will find any reason to decorate and buy things for the home, and here I have the perfect excuse. But, unless you’ve always known what your dream nursery looks like, it can be a daunting experience.

Thank goodness for sites like Pinterest – but also, not thank goodness – because, so much choice!

Luckily for us we know the sex, so that eliminates half the options. I’m also very firm on the ‘no theme’ rule. I’m just not a Disney or Teddy kinda gal.

I’ve always loved prints and have decided this is the perfect-time to pay round with contrast. We’ve decided to keep the nursery neutral – with tones of grey and white and pops of colour. I initially wanted mustard but was met with a raised eyebrow, so we’ve changed it to royal blue.

Friends and family have been totally amazing, and we have been so fortunate to receive a hand me down crib and compactum. Both these pieces need a lot of work, but if now’s not the perfect time to unleash my inner DIY’er, then when is?

Here are just some of the ideas I’m playing around with… but with just over 4 months to go, it’s time to get cracking on making a firm commitment.

I wish we had Etsy in SA
I wish we had Etsy in SA

Grey + Felt - What's there not to love?
Grey + Felt – What’s there not to love?
Look, more deer heads :)
Look, more deer heads 🙂
I just love how calm and airy this room is!
I just love how calm and airy this room is!
I love the raw wood in contrast to the chalk board wall
I love the raw wood in contrast to the chalk board wall
Current obsession: Anything deer head and horn related.
Current obsession: Anything deer head and horn related.
A rocking chair needs to be plain and simple so it can be integrated into the rest of the house once I'm done with it
A rocking chair needs to be plain and simple so it can be integrated into the rest of the house once I’m done with it
This is the linen company we have chosen... now just to decide on a print and a colour.
This is the linen company we have chosen… now just to decide on a print and a colour.
Love the mosquito net draped over the cot.
Love the mosquito net draped over the cot.
A rug adds the perfect finishing touch to  room.
A rug adds the perfect finishing touch to room.
The one new item we've bought is a bookshelf. I can't wait to fill it with hundreds of stories!
The one new item we’ve bought is a bookshelf. I can’t wait to fill it with hundreds of stories!
Continue Reading

My April Must Haves

It’s that time of the month again where I count down my top 10 must-have items for the month:

1. Labello Lip Butter

Image

It’s creamy, it’s pink it smells angelic and it works. ‘Nuff said.

2. Home decor.

Obsessed doesn’t even cut it. I spent my last ronds on this rug today which leaves me with R7 to get through the month. Worth it? Totally.

Image

3. Antiques and quirky collectibles

We have been helping my almost 90 year old Oma move out of her home, and with that comes a treasure trove like you cannot believe. I’m lucky enough to have been given some gorgeous items, including (my favourite) being this chair. It’s currently resting under a window in my entrance hall. I’m not sure if I should recover it though – your thoughts?

Image

4. Up-cycling

Keeping in mind that I have a mere R7 left to my name, I’m becoming quite thrifty and learning to use old things in a new way. My friend Amy gave me some gorgeous leftover fabric and I convinced my mom to sew new slipcovers for these revolting old orange ottomans I had lying around. The result? Gorgeous! (Clearly Bella’s also a fan – shown here inspecting the before and after)Image

5. Triathlon training.

Yes, I’ve entered another one. Its happening in Durbs, and because of that my training needs to step up a notch (by stepping up I mean removing myself off the couch ad doing some bloody exercise. I find that new workout gear always gets me motivated – and I’m loving the selection of fun sports bras and tops from Cotton On.

Image

6. My TV

Sies – bad habit I know but in my defense we didn’t have one for a month and I Nearly Died. It’s good to have you back, TV actor friends.

7. Living Seeds

I’m a huge fan of planing herb and gardens and up until now have used this formula:

Buy Seeds

Buy Potting Soil

Plant Seeds

Hope for the best.

Thankfully, help has come along in the form of Living Seeds – a local website dedicated to all things that grow. The site tells you what is grown best, when, planting tips and you can also buy online. I’m currently growing garlic, garlic chives, beetroot, onions, lettuce, kale and cauliflower.

8. My Dogs

I flipping love these frogs! Rupert and Bella are just fabulous. They eat my furniture, dig holes, at times cannot wipe their own bums, are awful watch dogs and can fart bad enough to empty a room, but I love them. Here they are in all sorts of glorious pictures.

ImageImageImageImageImage

 

9. My Stove

Nerd alert right. I don’t care. She’s silver, and shiny and cooks with gas and I.Love.Her

(If anyone feels like tossing some ideas for a splash-back for the wall as well, that would be super)

Image

10. Woolworths cappuccinos

It’s been a tough call, deciding between Seattle and Woolies in the competition of ‘who makes the most delicious cappuccino’. However, Woolworths wins by a fraction. (I think its the kraft paper coloured cups and the extra creamy froth that did it for me)

Image

Continue Reading

DIY for Party Planners

Ive had the honour (see what I did there?) of being a bridesmaid for several of my lovely friends – and one of the best things about that is knowing that with each bash comes new opportunities to make fun DIY items for the celebration.

I’ve put together large affairs and very intimate ones, and waned to share a few fun DIY craft tips, for anyone looking to throw a bit of a celebration for a bride to be. (Or any celebration really)

(Tip: If you aren’t Photoshop adept, find a designer fined like I did with my colleague Kim, big help!)

Make your own photo booth by pasting wallpaper or wrapping paper on a large flat wall. The one I used below was for a 1950’s inspired party hence the red polka dots. I borrowed the frame from an art gallery and bought props from China Town (budget!). I also supplied a chalk board and chalk for people to write their own messaging.(Board and props not pictured in the image).

DIY Backdrop
DIY Backdrop

For the same party we labelled the various cheeses with wedding themed names (Bridesmaids Brie, Garter Gouda… you get the picture). I also labelled all the wine glasses with fun sayings from the ’50s and the definition. This also helped with people knowing which glass belonged to them. 22 bottles of wine later however, no-one really cared.

Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Handmade Wine Labels
Handmade Wine Labels

If you are hosting a smaller gathering, instead of using name tags for the table use a photo of the (insert guest of honour) and all her guests, then prop these on the table using a frame or crocodile clips. What I did with these was add a section on the photo and asked each guest to write a message. The bride-to-be got to take these home as a momento from the night.

Personalised Place Cards
Personalised Place Cards

A fun idea if you are hosting a baby shower is to ask all the guests to bring a baby photo of themselves. The mom-to-be then needs to guess who is who. This can also be used for birthdays or bridal showers. If using it for a birthday – ask the guests to bring a photo of themselves at the age they have known the birthday girl for. She then needs to guess who is in the pic. Failure to do so results in a tequila fine (Really, my favourite party trick!)

Who's the baby?
Who’s the baby?

 

Continue Reading