#916 Best pre-party planning day

As I stood there in the kitchen icing cupcakes, just over an hour ago before midnight, I felt content.

Sure the day had been rushed. Manic. Full on, and the only times I sat was when I ate quickly, or was on the toilet… and let’s face it, even that wasn’t long.

But it was definitely one of the easiest pre-party days I’ve had thus far. Not that I didn’t have stuff to do. Not that I didn’t have a massive list of items to tick off my to-do list (that is continuing tomorrow). Not that I haven’t had any chance to chill, bar now.

It was easy because of my attitude. I woke saying “I am going to smash the day!”

And somehow, I did. Baby girl was an amazing assistance through it all, helping me pour flour into the cupcake batter, organising the lolly bags, and helping me wrap presents.

It was crazy, busy, but fun. And I like to remember, that the pre-birthday party stage, is some of the fun-est of them all… because baby girl can experience the anticipation of it all, and sometimes, that really is where the memories are made.

#907 For the love of Baking

I am quite pleased with myself. Pleased in that I don’t despair too much when faced with the task of cooking or baking, whether for myself or for others.

I don’t despair, because… I enjoy it. A LOT.

It is another avenue of my creativity coming forth. It requires thought, planning, precision… but just like the creative process, it also takes intuition, passion, and a healthy dose (perhaps a few tablespoons?) of spontaneity.

I’ve been baking a bit this week in the lead up to my nephew’s 16th birthday bash this weekend. And although I know I don’t mind cooking, the thought of making so much was initially, a bit of a worry in my mind.

How would I get it done?

Would it go as planned?

Would any hiccups occur along the way?

Amazingly, so far, none. Today was the last baking-fest, and each day that I had to prepare or tend to the oven, I’d put on a cd, turn it RIGHT UP, and begin the creative process in my kitchen.

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I have found real happiness and delight in making things with passion. With heartfelt intention. While singing out loud to Queen/Prince/Sia/Michael Jackson, other creative geniuses filling the rooms of our house with meaningful music.

I guess I’ve realised whole-heartedly, how important the act of baking is to me.

It brings people together. It carries on age-old cooking traditions and recipes.

It is magic, at your fingertips. Much like writing 😉

And it creates love and unity. Nothing is more rewarding that your Hubbie and daughter stealing baked goods that you’ve created for a party, knowing how happy it is making their tummies.

I do it, for the ♥

And that is how the magic comes in. You must do everything, out of ♥♥♥

#901 MORE kitchen lit up

Today, we got MORE lights installed into our kitchen area.

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I deliberately took that ceiling angle photo because I am not yet ready to unveil the before and after kitchen shots… that will come when the floor is done. But all I can say is, there are 7 extra lights, and they are so damn bright that if you look directly into the beams, I swear you would think you were going blind as if you were staring directly into a solar eclipse.

Now definitely, lit up 🙂

#878 Kitchen lit up!

***The following blog post is unashamedly, unapologetically, ALL KITCHEN RENO BASED***

It has taken officially 7 months from the bare bones renovation of our kitchen to get new lights installed.

And I am OVER THE MOON.

It wasn’t through lack of wanting new lights. We definitely wanted them. Our old tube fluorescent lighting behind plastic sheeting that looked like it might be some 80s version of a skylight, but an old and dirty and really outdated one, well that had to go.

We just kept changing our mind. That’s what it was. And when we did decide what we were doing, it was deciding what to do with it.

Pick colours, pick lights… and that wasn’t all. Our kitchen guys who we were happy with, well they had all but finished their job… or so it seemed. They went on to start new jobs, move onto new projects, so the whole task of making our minds up about the lights, and their subsequent asses over to our house to help measure and work out the final touches, well it became something like a Freddy Krueger Saturday night special.

As our kitchen man said today “your kitchen has been hanging in my head like a nightmare.”

And we all laughed and laughed and laughed.

Because them not finishing it was our nightmare too.

MWA HA HA.

Anyway, we are ONE BIG STEP closer today. The lights are up. Oh the drama of the lights…. that look now, well, perfect. Absolutely, magnificently, perfect. We had 3 large fittings, and 2 small, but after a deep and meaningful with ‘our’ electrician (so immaculate was his job, he is not just an electrician, he is now OUR electrician) we realised we had to forgo 2 of the large pieces, and only keep 1, to hang alongside the 2 small.

Surely the lighting store will give me my money back? This must happen ALL THE TIME.

I am writing in caps because I AM SO DAMN EXCITED.

ANYWAYS.

Anyways. The panelling went up onto our recessed ceiling… the lights went up… and though the edges of this tray ceiling is not yet 100% complete, and yes, the floor is still not done (because changing mind often, remember?) today was the first time we looked at our kitchen, and truly went

“WOW.”

Our vision is slowly taking place. And it has only taken me years and years to obtain a kitchen like this. So my social media audience waiting another month or so for the floors to get done, and a much yearned for before-and-after picture to take place, well I am sure you can handle it…

But, just because I am feeling generous, here is a photo of the lights, close-up.

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All shiny and happy and bright. :):):)

#868 Sunday’s ‘Bye Bye Boxes’

It’s 5pm on a Sunday. I have had a great day with the family. A great weekend in fact. The day was fun and productive, we were all in good spirits, and yet in the late afternoon, something in me switched.

It helped that Hubbie was geared up to make dinner. He had been talking bacon-wrapped marinated chicken since lunchtime, and with his music blasting out of our mini portable speaker, I knew he would be right.

Just as well, as my switch, could not be turned off so simply.

It was the stubborn OCD switch, and there were boxes that HAD TO BE UNPACKED.

Bye Bye Boxes time.

Ever since we gained an extra kitchen/hallway cupboard, the OCD bug that has lay dormant in me as I tried desperately to not freak out at the sheer volume of boxes and stuff lying crammed all over our house, well, it woke up, and like a can of worms, it cannot be contained anymore.

It doesn’t even have to be a Sunday. Hubbie doesn’t even have to be home. Just earlier in the week I was going apeshit over another hallway cupboard, reorganising it, and putting in things I had just discovered, all giddy with joy, all at the lovely time of 6pm, which is when I really should have been preparing dinner.

But like I said, I CAN’T HELP IT.

“My name is SmikG, and I am recently addicted to clearing out all of our packed boxes.”

After going through about three boxes this evening, I feel great. Plus I re-filled baby girl’s bean bag with more foam beads, which turns into a messy job even when done in the bathtub as suggested, so beware. I have two more boxes on the kitchen floor just waiting for me to get my eager hands into tomorrow, and not only am I unpacking, but I am doing the tough task of deciding, what actually stays. A lot will. But a fair bit will head off as donations, and I have been getting myself into that mental frame of mind, and reminding myself that

a) if it doesn’t give me any joy, move it on

b) just because ‘I feel bad’ about giving it away or throwing it out, does not make it a valid reason to stay

c) who gave it to me, and how long it has been in my life, is also not an indicator of its staying power – if I can take a photo of it and that be sufficient, then out it goes.

It’s a long process, but this OCD girl is finding it a fascinating and exciting one.

Just by saying –

Bye Bye Bye… Boxes.

 

 

 

 

#856 Lotsa everything day

Today I was fortunate to have many things to be grateful for.

I was grateful for… lotsa.

I was grateful that we visited one of the last schools on our primary tour for baby girl… and we think it is the one. Sure, the school we last visited we also felt ‘good’ about. But this one gave me a certain vibe on the info night I attended weeks ago. And Hubbie and I agreed today, that it felt like our own primary schools that we attended, growing up.

It had a real community vibe, and that’s what appealed to us. The clincher was the realisation that the trees out the front of the school are my trees, and if you don’t know what they are, go and look at the background pic on my smikg.com page…

It was a gorgeous sunny day. Absolutely sublime.

I happily took baby girl to kinder late because of this tour, and discovered a coffee truck in the outside car park.

I wasn’t planning on having coffee… but when one is presented with such, one MUST HAVE.

I’ve never seen it there before, because I’ve never been 1 hour late to kinder. I must hang around and ‘help’ them on some other occasions me thinks…

I headed off to do some furniture and flooring window shopping/research on my own, and we all know as a parent, anything you do ‘on your own’ is gratitude enough, especially since such simple tasks such as wiping your butt and having a shower are often accompanied by a little person.

Our kitchen progressed that little bit more today… we have an extra cupboard for storage, hooray!

And speaking of the kitchen… perhaps the best part of the day was dancing around it in the evening before dinner, with Hubbie and baby girl, to her favourite song Go Bang by Pnau.

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Our socks may be mismatched, but let me assure you, we are family folks.

It’s a happy day when you don’t quite know what you are most grateful for…

So let’s just be grateful for it ALL 🙂

 

 

 

#851 In hot water

When you move to an old house, that just so happens to also be your dream house… well you’re happy, that’s to be expected. But at the same time, the time comes where you need to start renovating, and removing the old, from your old house.

And each time we give our house the much-needed facelift it so desperately needs, we breathe a united sigh of relief: “Ahh. Another thing down.”

Let me provide you now with a song by one of my favourite groups:

It is totally relevant, let me assure you. Because it is related to our most recent house facelift. Queen sing about being Under Pressure as a bad thing… sure, when you’re rushing to work, rushing home, rushing through life… trying to make ends meet, being pulled left and right by family and friends, trying to find the money to make it through… Sure, that pressure is SHIT.

But not all pressure is shit. For example, like that essential water pressure you require to come out of a tap.

Segue eat your heart out.

Our house was built sometime in the early 80s… and we may have inadvertently found out the actual year, when we first reviewed our building inspection report before buying the house, and found on a photo of the very old electric hot water unit, the year ‘1980.’

1980! Not just the house, but the electric hot water unit! Who even has electric hot water units these days?

Until this morning, we did.

We were living on the edge for a year and a half. Because of the age of the system, we were told that changing it to a newer hot water unit was imperative… and instead of doing it immediately, we waited…

Why? Because priorities. Other things seemed more important. Also $$$. And then again, I mean, it was still working… just for how long, we didn’t know.

But we made it. We made it through without the dreaded ancient thing exploding on us. It used to make this insane screeching sound, each time the faucet was turned to hot. This shrieking was reminiscent of the horror scene from Psycho, with longer pauses between screeches, and the screams themselves prolonged. Hear, have a listen from 1:10 (or if you wanna freak yourself out watch the WHOLE THING):

I am not kidding you when I say our hot water system would screech like that when you turned it on. We grew accustomed to the racket, the ongoing Psycho shower scene of our life that we were stuck in, like a really horrible episode of the Twilight Zone, yet at the same time not so accustomed so as to turn it on in the morning to wake up a certain princess. No siree, I wasn’t going to let Hubbie, or myself, risk that.

Freezing cold water for every early morning it was.

And the pressure! Ever since renovating the kitchen, well the old hot water system suddenly couldn’t keep up with the new tapware and plumbing. It was frustrating, having a new kitchen, new applicances, all shiny and new and workable, and then there was the

SCREECH SCREECH SCREECH

psycho theme going on in the background, with non-existent water pressure.

But today. Ohhhh today. This:

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We finally got our new gas hot water system installed. It is huge, it is situated outside, NOT in the prehistoric ‘attic’ position, and well, there is pressure.

It is HOT, but it is set at a certain temperature so it is not scalding. I won’t develop 3rd degree burns when I turn the lever a little too much to the bottom when washing dishes.

It may be the most boring as batshit post to some, but to me, to us, it is everything…

Looking forward to turning up the heat tomorrow morning… and no more of this –

psycho shower scene