Showing posts from August, 2013

Ideas for toddlers on long flights

We're heading off on a long haul flight soon to go to my sister's wedding in the UK. Everything's sorted here, hubby has booked the flights and hotels, i've organised our housesitter, but i just had a thought today - what are we going to do to entertain a 17 month old for two long flights (6 hours then 13 hours) with a 3 hour layover in an airport?

Physical activity to tire them out: The layover is fairly easy to handle - lots to look at, coffee for mum and dad, and big open spaces for toddler to run and hopefully tire himself out. Our first flight is a 'red-eye', ie in the middle of the night, so hopefully he'll sleep for part of it, but the 13 hour flight is daytime the whole way. I think though he'll be far too excited to sleep, with the new environment and lots of people around, so i'm planning on getting him to bed extra early so he can have a few hours sleep before we leave, and won't be so crabby even if he doesn't sleep.

Books: I wish …

Building our home: ceilings and plaster

The day after i posted about the render on the outside walls, which was three days after the render had gone up, the undercoat was painted on. This seals the walls against damp and provides a base for the coloured render.

Then the ceilings went in!

Bit of a difference from the previous photo of our bedroom, with no ceiling or plaster!

The day after the ceilings and cornices went in, the plasterers started work. So far they've done about two thirds of the walls. The glazier was also on site around this time, just before the plasterers, and fitted all the windows and doors on the first floor in one day. Looks much more like a house with windows in.

Yesterday, the most exciting part happened - the outside painted render went on. We're so pleased with the colours we chose.

That's Dulux Bearsuit on the blade wall to the left of the balcony, and Dulux Taupe White on the rest of the walls. Looking forward to seeing the scaffolding come down once the plasterers have finished, so w…

Cherry Ripe slice

All I can say to this is... yum. If you like Cherry Ripes, you'll love this. It's like a cakier, very dark chocolate version of the chocolate bar.

I took half to work and it was gone before lunch.

These also freeze quite well, but if you've already iced them you will get a chocolate bloom on the icing (doesn't affect the taste, just the look).

Recipe from My Kitchen Stories.

Cherry Ripe slice


1 cup self raising flour (or 1 cup plain flour plus 2 tsp baking powder)
4 tbsp cocoa
1/3 cup caster sugar (i use raw caster)
150g butter, melted
100g plain sweet biscuits (i used Arnott's Shredded Wheatmeal)

1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
300g glace cherries
400g tin condensed milk

150g dark chocolate, chopped
50g butter, chopped


Add the flour, cocoa, sugar and biscuits to the bowl of a food processor and process until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until well combined. Press into a greased and line…

Building our home: render started

As we're having our exterior walls rendered rather than having face brick, we got to choose the render colour during the selection stage. Our walls will first have grey render floated over them, then they have a thin layer of painted render, which I understand to be render mixed with paint. We've chosen neutral colours as I like to be able to change colour with plants, furnishings etc so neutrals mean it will never look out of place or dated. We went with a colour scheme similar to a house we saw in New Zealand while on holiday, different style to ours but we loved the colours.

All the outer walls will be Dulux Taupe White. We chose Dulux Bearsuit as our feature colour which will go on the garage face and the blade wall.

Inside walls we'll probably do in our favourite neutral, Wattyl Scallopini (which we usually put in a Dulux base). Haven't really thought much yet about feature walls or if we want any particular rooms to be a different colour.

The rendering was starte…

Building our home: roof is up

The roof carpenters started shortly after the brickies had finished. They worked over the weekend and had it all done within a few days. The gutters were attached and then the electrician came by to chase cables down the walls. The plumber was also supposed to be by before the roof went on, but he didn't turn up until a few weeks later.

Didn't take long for the roof sheeting to arrive. We went with a Colorbond tin roof painted in Dulux Surfmist.

Once the roofies started it was up within two days. I could see it as I drove up to the corner on my way to take a photo that night, so exciting to see!

This is also the point at which we needed to get our light fittings to the electricians, but we did that earlier.

They've now started getting ready for the render, so have dropped the scaffolding down to the first floor level (from the roof) and a pile of light yellow sand has been delivered. We're looking forward to seeing them do the outside render, it will really change the …

Building our home: first floor brickwork complete

The house is rapidly growing right now! I keep in mind however that once the roof is on and render down, there probably will be no apparent changes from the outside for long periods at a time.

Two and a half weeks after the slab was down the door and window frames arrived on site, and the sand, cement and bricks. The brickies were on another job the next week, so they started ours a week later, and had the first floor up within a week. They are really fast, we've been so impressed with them.

Someone we're not impressed with is the plumber, and in turn the building manager, who did not pick up on an error before the slab was poured. Not sure if the plumber made mistakes or if he was given the wrong plans, but the front toilet drainage in the floor is too far to the left, probably by 10cm or so, and in the second toilet the drainage is actually in one of the bedrooms! Its at least 15cm into the bedroom where it should be in the centre of the toilet floor! You can see it in the …