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.

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The Top 14 of 2014

As is blog tradition with Rupert Approves, at the end of each year I like to recap the highlights for the past 365 days. As is also tradition, I tend to do this at the 11th hour in a flat panic.

Here goes:

1. I turned 30. And even though the actual birthday and celebrations around it were average (note to self – LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS) turning 30 hasn’t been as scary as they say. In fact, it’s been downright lovely.

2. My friendship groups solidified. The good ones grew better and the not so good ones… Well, they are non existent. Life’s to short to waste your fun on less than amazing people.

3. We celebrated 1 year of marriage. The first year was bloody tough. We did it. Yay us!

4. We bit the bullet and bought our dream home. Things have been progressing slowly from there but progressing nonetheless. I fall more in love with my space and garden each day

5. Work is good. No dramatic news in the office space, but to be happy and fulfilled in a place where you spend 40% of your life is an achievement in itself.

6. My family stayed healthy and happy for the majority if the year. The older one gets, the bigger this blessing becomes

7. We took a holiday for the first time in over a year and spent 8 brilliant days in Port Alfred. Sea, sun and (virgin) cocktails were just what the doctor ordered.

8. I bought s new car. Traded in my fuel guzzling out of warranty SUV and got a smaller zippier runaround that I love driving each and every day.

9. I ate my first ever chocolate brownie and fell.in.love.

10. I learnt to control my anxiety and went from A type to A minus type. Baby steps, but I’m getting there. I can now leave the office at 5 pm without a shred of guilt and am learning to make more time for me. See, age does have its perks.

11. I had a great year of blogging. Still not where I want to be, but I’m constant,y delighted with the feedback and messages I receive from people around the world – people who have laughed, cried and celebrated with me on this very open and honest journey.

12. My dog babies get more wonderful as the days go by. As I lie in bed typing this (sipping on a Christmas edition chocolate mint Nespresso – can that be considered a bonus point 15?) they are lying with me, intertwined in my legs. Ones snoring, one farting with enough power to destroy a small country, and both filling my heart with the most insane amount of love.

13. I ran my longest ever trail race with one of my closest friends, and absolutely loved it. It was a reminder of just how much trail running has become my number 1 exercise love. As soon as this baby is out I’m going to take it up again. Which leads me to my final point…

14. I fell pregnant. One of the most insane, scary and exciting things that has ever happened to me. I am so lucky to have had the worlds easiest pregnancy, and apart from the fuck me scale reading and the occasional constant craving for wine, I have been so blessed. In 5 months we meet our baby boy and I couldn’t be more excited.

How was your year? If it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, then there’s a whole new one waiting for you in less than 24 hours time.

Wherever you are, make it a good one. Be safe, be happy and be good to yourself.

Thank you for all your support on Rupert Approves over the past year – you guys warm my heart more than a toasted sandwich, and that’s a lot!

Xxx

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It's Our House-Baby!

In January of this year Barry and I decided that 2014 was the year we would buy a house. Not a cluster in a complex, a house house, with rambling gardens, DIY and fixer upper opportunities, a pool, a covered patio and room to run around. A few large trees were also a plus. We gave ourselves a year and our deadline was Christmas time – so we could have people round in groups, and not invite them Noah style – in groups of two’s.

We told everyone about this house, we stared lovingly at the sales brochure and I spent my days Pinterist’ing imaginary furniture into rooms that did not belong to us. We decided (despite the slight over-budget part) that we would make an offer.

To cut a long story short (cue offer being accepted, then lost, then accepted again, The current house we owned that needed selling, sold, then lost, then sold again) we were finally told the place was ours.

You know when new moms say giving birth and looking at your perfect, new infant is the most awe inspiring feeling on earth? Well guys, we gave birth (C section of course) to a one story 3 bedroom child. She’s not new, she’s not perfect, but she’s ours.

Because the folk who bought our house were moving from Durban we had to move relatively quickly – which meant a few months of occupational rent and ‘don’t touch ’till its yours‘ rules. Well today friends, the house was lodged and it is now 100% FNB’s ours.

Cue champagne and excited pig like squeals!

So here she is, our number 73 pride and joy – I cant wait to tuck in, fix ‘er up and make this into a home.

Also, if you’re an out of work landscaper or interior decorator looking for some pro bono work… you know where to come.

(These photos are all taken before we moved in, so yes, we do have furniture and food. And wine, It’s very important to stay hydrated)Image

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…And the lived in debt happily ever after!

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I Need A(nother) Stiff Drink.

I’m tired all the time, my hair is falling out in fat chunks and I’m living on wine and carbs. No, not pregnant (thanks everyone, for naturally jumping to that conclusion) just exhausted and in a bit of a quarter year slump. Not surprising that the last few months have been CA-RAZY! In the last 4 months so much has happened and gone down that I’m not surprised my scalp resembles a Chinese Crested Powder Puff (Also, does the dog on the right not look like Bon Jovi??). Here’s whats been happening:

Powder Puff

1. We got Married (Two piccies, because, I can)

Married! Married!

2. We got back from Honeymoon to the news that my mom in law had suffered a very bad stroke after the wedding. The next few weeks were severely stressful with tears, hospital visits and scary ‘what ifs’. (Side note – she is 100% recovered :))

3. We were broken into on Christmas.

4. So…. we decided to sell our house

5. I turned 30 and felt like this (except I didn’t even get a cake)

Birthday Cake

6. I sold my house on my 30th birthday

7. We found our dream home, put in an offer, lost the offer, put in another offer, and got it!

Look – garden, pool, space for actual people!

House

New House

8. We are moving to said house. Tomorrow. And I’m working. Which means poor husband is going to be multitasking the bejaysus out of the day.

9. I’m going on an adventure weekend with Mercedes Benz as part of their launch of the new GLA. This weekend. Moving weekend.Look ma – I’m famous! —> http://www.glaadventure.co.za/the-bush-adventure

10. We gained a little niece. World – meet Emma (also, isn’t my nephew the cutest??)

Daniel and Emma

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My February Must Haves

February – the month of ‘lurve’ and here’s what I’m hearting right now:

1. Samsung S4

I’ve really surprised myself in the past year – I went from using a MacBook Pro to a dodgy Dell (not my choice) and more recently have switched from an iPhone to (gasp!) a Samsung Galaxy S4. Many people have asked, with pained voices, ‘but why’? Here’s why:

Imagine you ate a bowl of oats every single day for 2 years. At the end of the 2 years you got a box of oats in a thinner, longer box. But inside was just oats. The same oats you’d been eating for the past 24 months. 

That’s how I feel about iPhone. Love the things but really, yawn. 

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2. iPod Nano

One of the Apple products I wont deviate from is the iPod – I’m a happy owner of the Classic er… Classic, the shuffle and most recently the latest Nano. It’s little, and cute and purple. Plus it’s half the reason I go to gym.

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3. Houzz

Right – so last month I told you my favourite website was property24. This month it’s anything to do with houses and interior design. Because, well… we have finally found our dream home! (More about that in my next post). This app allows you to join QnA forums on anything from fixing a leaking sink to remodeling your bedroom. It’s full of inspiring and beautiful photos and ideas and it’s also bound to terrify your husband into credit card subservience (Costly Smegg appliances, anyone?)

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4. Le Creuset

We were lucky enough to receive a whack of Le Creuset goodies for our wedding – including 3 delicious cast iron pots. I’m not delusional and understand that food probably tastes the same after cooking in them – but man alive – they’re just so beautiful to look at – and make cooking a whole lot more enjoyable. They also have the added benefit of weighing a million kilos – so my guns are looking sharp. 

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5. “Gone Girl” by Elizabeth Flynn

Having put down a few books lately due to them being as exciting as a packet of spots socks I was ecstatic to stumble upon this read. It’s superbly written, easy to get into and full of suspense and intrigue. I had a post book sad after reading this one – read it and let me know what you think.

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6. Modern Family

Definitely not a new TV show but still the funniest one I’ve seen. I feel like it’s the ‘Friends’ of the 2000’s – you know, the kind of TV show that you can re-watch episodes of, and never get bored. 

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7. Plants

As a kid my parents would drag me to Keith Kirstens nursery – wailing and screaming – so they could buy plants. Nowadays I drag my husband wailing and screaming and am obsessed with anything green and grow-able. I’m really looking forward to digging in (literally) into my new garden and making full use of our new space. 

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8. Cars

My current SUV, gas guzzler that it is, has served me well – but it’s time for a downgrade to a smaller more fuel economical car. I’m currently deciding between a Mercedes B Class or BMW 3 series. Any advice from a petrol head would be much appreciated. 

9. Fro-Yo

Obsessed. Fill my tub with your berry flavoured deliciousness, and get.in.my.belly.

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10. Trail Running

Loving this sport the more I do it. I have a faithful running buddy Shan and we take part in as many night races as possible. We even do pretty well considering the wine vs. training issue we find ourselves in.

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Our ‘Where’s Wally’ themed race for Halloween 2013.

 

 

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