Day trip

After a bazillion days of rain and a million times being flooded in at home (only a tiny exaggeration), we finally got to go out for a day trip today!

We used to go for day trips to Dayboro and Mt Mee when we lived in Mitchelton and Enoggera. Since moving here we have really only had time to go on one mini day trip, and as it turns out, we are now only a 20 minute drive from Dayboro…not much of a day trip.

So we decided to go beyond the mountains and see what’s on the other side!

We wound up at Lake Wivenhoe. It was beautiful! Lots of lovely little spots to stop along the way too.

Daniel prepared an amazing picnic consisting of chicken wings, french sticks, tapenade, his favourite amazing Polish potato salad (which takes a billion hours to make, and you have to cut all of the vegetables the exact same size, too tedious for me) and various other assorted goodies. We were finally able to use the picnic set that Coral Homes gave to us. Unfortunately I was feeling really unwell and only managed to eat a few chicken wings and that was it. But Daniel was absolutely loving his potato salad, so it was an excellent picnic by the water!

Hopefully we can fit in some more mini weekend trips soon. We are really hoping the weather is starting to turn around in time for Winter now. There’s still plenty more to explore ‘beyond the mountains’, we’re hoping to also check out Somerset and Lake Manchester soon.

Oh and sneak peek, we’re also working on this little area of the house at the moment:

Still waiting…

Ever since we moved in we have been waiting for a guy to come and take away this temporary water tank. It’s now been about 5 months. We hired the tank from him so that there would be water for the site build. If you have read any of our previous posts from during the build, you will have seen that this guy was nothing but trouble, constantly promising to fill the tank up and then not coming through. The phone conversations we had with him were nothing short of weird. Any time we would try to find out what the delay was about he would make reference to his recent marriage breakdown, very odd and unprofessional. 
The weirdest part of this is that we are also waiting for him to give us the bill for the hiring of his tank. So it’s not like there’s nothing in it for him, you would think he would be motivated to come and get it so he can give us the bill. It’s not even a small bill either! We called him when we were finished with it about 5 months ago, he came and took the other tank and said he would be back for this one and would finalise our bill, and we haven’t seen or heard from him since. So weird!!!

So for now we get to drive past this pile of metal every single day. I truly wonder if he will ever come to pick it up at all. At this point we aren’t going to bother ringing to badger him about it, he knows where it is, he knows we have moved in and no longer need it. Really the weirdest part is knowing that we owe him a substantial amount of money for the hiring and servicing of it, yet he hasn’t bothered to drop off the bill. Surely he wants his money, if anything.

Our advice to anyone who has to hire a tank to provide temporary water is to just go to Bunnings and get the biggest tank you can fit on a ute and call it a day. You won’t have to deal with weirdos like this, and it will cost a hell of a lot less than hiring one. We were pushed to get something sorted very quickly, if we’d had more time we wouldn’t have ended up in this bizarre situation.

Flooded in again!

Today we have been flooded in for the second time this year. My understanding is that this usually only happens 2 or 3 times per year, so it doesn’t seem like we are going too well so far for this year!

I went off to work this morning at about 6:30am, the creek was looking high, but it wasn’t raining much at the time, so I thought it would be okay. It’s a good 40 minute drive minimum to work. By the time I got to work and checked the conditions on BOM, it looked like it was already under. A local blog and facebook page also confirmed the same. I made some hasty decisions and decided to go home (20 minutes after getting to work). 
It was a scary drive home not knowing whether I would be able to get through to Daniel. To top it off it’s our 7th anniversary today, so I was devastated thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to get home. 
I got to the bridge and of course, it had already flooded over well and truly. People were still going through in big 4wd’s but not smaller cars. I ended up driving the car back up the road and parking on top of a hill and got through with another local.

Luckily I didn’t have to stay with family after all!
Plot of the creek. It usually sits at about .89m, currently it’s at 1.89m and rising. This was at 11.15am
12.20pm and it’s now at 2.14m and rising. 8 roads now closed in our suburb,
including at least 2/3 of the bridges we have to cross.

So now we are stuck at home. It’s not even that rainy, but there must be a lot of rain coming down from Mt Glorious into the creek. Little bit sad that we won’t get to go out for dinner. I had a backup plan of going to get takeaway Thai food at Samford if it was too rainy to go out for dinner, but now we won’t even be able to do that. Anniversary chicken nuggets for dinner it is!

Update: Still flooded in today (Tuesday) and missing work once again. Very over it at this point. My car is also playing up, so I am counting on being able to get it to the mechanic tomorrow. Stop raining sky!

Wild

Yep, this morning we found this guy wandering around just near our patio. What a surprise! I saw a glimpse of his leg walking past the window while I was in the media room, and sure enough, it was a big Goanna! 

It’s exciting to see the wildlife around here. I hope the Monitors around here aren’t too tame, as the ones we’ve encountered before in picnic areas have been a bit too willing to come up close to people. At Mt Tamborine we once had about 4 circling us while we cooked our barbecue lunch, it was kind of scary.

We also seem to have a lot of bats hanging out in the forest behind our place, they’ve been getting very noisy during the night lately and sound like they are trying to kill each other. Fun!

Delivery!

We recently started getting Coles home deliveries. I think it’s one of those ‘this will change our lives forever’ kinda things.

Since we moved, grocery shopping has been a real grind. Either I go on my home from work on my own…and end up not having the motivation to do it properly, ending up with the wrong stuff, and we run out of food really quickly. Or otherwise we had been getting home from work and then driving back into town together at about 6:30pm. It’s usually 8:30 or later by the time we get back, it takes us nearly half an hour just to get to the nearest Woolworths. There’s a local IGA but prices are not too appealing. Plus if we shop at night we end up wanting takeaway on the way home. Its also rather depressing getting home and realising you only have about half an hour to relax before it will be time to go to bed.

We worked out quite a while ago that Woolworths won’t deliver out here, and we just assumed Coles would be the same. We went to a neighbourhood party a few weeks ago and discovered that quite a few of the locals get theirs delivered by Coles.

So last week we got our first home delivery, and again tonight. The delivery fee ranges from 7-9 dollars depending on the day. You can choose a time slot. We choose the 5:30 to 7:30pm time slot to allow us both enough time to get home from work. They bring the food right into your kitchen and put it on the bench.

Our favourite part is that the food is still super cold unlike when we bring it home ourselves. Even the toothpaste was cold! Plus it feels really fun when you unpack it all and remember what you ordered. The ordering process is also much better, you don’t get as distracted or splurge on un-necessary items as much. Plus it helps us to plan our meals out a lot more.

Now if only one of us could do our job from home, we’d barely even have to leave.

Pop!

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. We did our best to get our Christmas spirit on this year, despite all of the stress we’ve had lately. Daniel and I volunteered to make the desserts to go with my Sister in Law’s yummy Christmas lunch. 
I ended up making Gingerbread Men and Nutella Cheesecake. Daniel spent many grueling hours becoming the cake pops master!
The cake pops take a long time, there’s the baking of the cake balls, carefully cutting the edges off, melting the chocolate to attach the sticks, then melting more to coat them. I think Daniel did an amazing job! He even stayed up until midnight Christmas Eve to get them finished! 

I ended up making my Gingerbread dough the night before Christmas Eve and rolling and cutting them ready to bake the next day. I got up at 5:30 in the morning to bake them. I went off to work hoping it might be a slow day (haha stupid). I finally got home and started decorating the gingerbread men while Daniel worked on our air conditioning project (we’ll share once it’s complete and installed). In the midst of all of that I also drove to Bunnings to buy screws for Daniel as we knew it would be a while before we could get there again which would slow things down with our other project.

The Nutella Cheesecake was super easy to make. It ended up being a hit for dessert. Personally I felt it was a bit too cream cheesey for  my liking. But no one else seemed to mind.
Let’s be honest, I think I would have preferred to just eat an entire jar of Nutella by myself, unadulterated by cream cheese…

Blinds finally!

We finally have some privacy with the installation of our new blinds from Franklyn. The waiting time was pretty ridiculous, but I guess being the lead up to Christmas that was to be expected.

They were due to be installed on the 8th of December, but unfortunately the poor installation guy was sent to the Gold Coast equivalent of our address rather than the Brisbane one. So about a week later he came and installed them.

Here they are:

We chose blockout roller blinds for the media room in charcoal. At some point we’ll be painting the media room a darker colour, and the charcoal will fit in a lot better then.

In the spare bedrooms we’ve got translucent roller blinds in ‘Cloud’ colour. Eventually we’ll put curtains over them as well. For now they just provide privacy, but no blockout.

We’ve also got Cloud roller blinds in the laundry, as well as the rest of the long windows in the living area.

We chose panel gliders for the patio door and activity room. I really love those.

Now all we need to work on is something for the bay window in our bedroom, and the cutout in the living room. We would really like shutters for both. But we are starting to think a bit more about curtains for the bay window. When we have some money again, we’ll allow ourselves to think about that a bit more seriously.

Blogger photo/space size limits

Recently I was writing a post on ‘Before’ pictures. When it came time to actually upload the photos I discovered that I had reached our Blogger storage limit. The obvious suggestion from Blogger/Google was to purchase more storage (haha). I’m all for having online storage, but I was dead set against this. We buy enough different storage devices and online storage as it is without being sucked into yet another ‘easy direct debit’.

After searching the internets for a little while, we discovered that this is a common issue, and that a lot of people unfortunately just give up on blogging.

What we did discover (and hopefully I have interpreted this correctly), is that photos under a certain size don’t count toward the storage quota. There’s a Google support page which appears to support this and talks about Picasa limits. Since I’ve started resizing the photos it seems to be letting me upload them and so far it seems to be working. Fingers crossed that this is correct and not just a short term solution, as we just cannot afford to be paying for yet another thing.

The way I do it is to just right click the photo I want, select ‘open with’ and choose ‘paint’. I then go to resize and reduce the percentage to 25% and then re-save it to the desktop as a jpeg. I then later just delete the smaller photo from the desktop after I’ve uploaded it with Blogger.

Let me know if anyone else has any tips or tricks or knows if this is a true solution.

Christmas has come early!

We’ve waited about 3 months and our couches FINALLY arrived today! We are absolutely in love with them, and it’s given me a whole new appreciation for the rest of the house too. Everything looks a lot more complete now. We played around with them for a while, we definitely need a few little pieces of furniture to go with them, but that can wait. 
Here they are! Our guests will finally have somewhere to actually sit!

This is what the area looked like before:

We were also supposed to get our blinds installed today. However the poor installation guy got given the wrong address and ended up going to the Gold Coast instead of Samford Valley. Really annoying as we’ve already been waiting about 8 weeks for them to be made and installed. So they might be installed one night this week, or possible Thursday during the day. It will be really great to finally feel like we have some privacy, let’s hope it gets sorted out this week!
Update: The blinds are going to be installed on Thursday. YAY!

Before:

If a photographer came to our house, I think all they would get is a huge bunch of ‘before’ pictures. One day, when we have money and time (haha) we might work towards an ‘after’ picture. I don’t mind putting it out there. We’re young, we don’t have a lot of cash to splash around, and the things in our home do not look like what you would find in a display village. But it’s home.

Well here are some more before’s:

This is creamy coloured coffee table given to us by Daniel’s Brother. it’s not in the best condition, but I am confident I can do something cute with it. I’m planning something pinterest inspired, it will probably  involve mod podge, scrapbook paper and paint. We’ll see. We cant afford to buy anymore furniture, so as soon as the final set of couches arrive, it will be all diy and hand me downs from here on out.

This very sweet and charming chair was an offering from Daniel’s Mum. It’s no in amazing condition but there’s something very sweet about it and I just love it. I think it will look right at home once we have the couches for the living room.

Daniel’s Brother also brought over their old dining set in his ute. Again, it’s not in great condition, but it’s so damn cute. I love the burnt look it has. I’m not sure what we’ll do with it, but I again I’m envisaging some kind of pinterest inspired re-do. For now we are just glad to have some kind of dining table, mainly because it will off set my urge to go out and buy a dining table. So the final decision was to have a hand me down until we are ready to buy what we really want. One day I would really love a big farmhouse style table and pair it with some ultra modern chairs.