From this

2011-07-18 01To this

002I am really pleased with how this turned out.  We trusted the skill and judgement of Hans at Montville Joinery and would highly recommend him if you live in the area.

Bringing this piece of furniture into the house has led to some further re-arranging of furniture to best meet our needs and there will be more about that in a later post.

New to Us

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I have been looking on Gumtree for the past couple of months for an armchair to go in the vacant corner of our office/library.  The space was created when we decided that we only needed one bookshelf rather than two.  You can read about the previous steps of the revamping of this room here.

This morning I found a listing on Gumtree for 2 chairs which were to be sold as a pair.  Although I really only wanted a single chair, we decided to take a look as it was not too far from home.

We bought the two chairs and by moving the bookcase slightly we can actually fit them both in.

012They are solid timber and are over 70 years old.  The current upholstery is in excellent condition and works perfectly in this room.  It is great to be able to find quality furniture and give it a new home.

In preparation for more furniture re-arranging tomorrow I have sold this small chest of drawers.

001They are nothing special, I bought them from Gumtree a few years ago when they were bare chipboard and painted gloss white.  I have used them for storing material and craft supplies in my sewing room but now it is time to move them along.  They will be collected tomorrow morning.

Come back tomorrow to see the newly re-vamped TV cabinet and more changes to the location and use of our existing TV stand.

One Last Look

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It is over 3 years since I wrote this post about my intentions to have a cabinet restored.  The wheels move very slowly here but I finally took it to a local craftsman a few weeks ago.

These are a couple of ‘before’ photos.

Silky oak cabinet2011-07-18 01

I am very excited to report that it is all done and we are going to collect our ‘new’ TV cabinet on Sunday so you will see the photos on Sunday evening, I hope.

Tracking 2015 – September


Hold onto your hats!  Money has been literally flying out the door this month!


This is a good example of why we save.

January – $5,144.53
February – $1,783.49
March – $4,350.56
April – $2,385.31
May – $5,961.54
June – $2,939.07
July – $3,537.09
August – $3,601.19
September – $9,406.95

It was certainly no surprise to see that we had parted with almost $10,000.00 of our hard-earned cash in September.

As I mentioned last month, we headed to Singapore for a week and while we had already paid for our airfares and accommodation earlier in the year all of our other spending is included in a lump sum of $1,644.37 for the week.  This comprised of spending on transport, sightseeing, admission costs, groceries, alcohol and eating out as well as a dress for myself and a birthday gift.  We decided not to try to separate it into categories as it was all spent while we were on holidays.  If you are interested you can see the full breakdown of the holiday spending here.

There were 2 other major expenses in September.

The first was $3,050 for a deposit on a hybrid battery system for our solar panels.  There will be significant additional expense for this project sometime in the next month or so.  This is a substantial upfront cost but we believe that it will be a worthwhile long-term investment that will save us even more money and allow a degree of independence from the power grid.  The detail will be forthcoming in a future blog post.

The second large outlay of money was in the holiday category as we have booked our return airfares to Chicago for next year.  I have been watching the release of airfares for 2016 and the pricing and decided that the time was right to secure fares available for the dates and times that we wanted to travel.  Once again, there will be more details about that on my holiday blog.  I hope to get a post written today.

However, on the spending upside, we only spent $55.89 on food for the entire month.  Apart from a modest amount of fruit and vegetables as well as milk and cheese, we simply ate what we had available from the refrigerator, freezer, pantry and garden.  I did not necessarily set out to minimise our spending on food and it was really more about not having the time or inclination to shop as well as being away for a week.  It is good to know that we have plenty to sustain us if the need arises.

Real Life


I apologise for the absence this week and lack of response to your comments.

Just like real-life this blog is filled with celebrations, sadness, routines and the unexpected.

2015-10-03 01My mother-in-law passed away at the beginning of the week and my mind has not been anywhere near my blog.  Due to family circumstances we will have a memorial service next month so we have not had a funeral to attend but there have been many other details to arrange.  This will continue to be the case over the next few weeks but hopefully not to the extent of the past few days.

I am looking forward to reading your previous comments and responding and hope that you will bear with me during this time.

A Blast from the Past


Last week I had lunch at a local cafe and I chose a salmon and dill tart which was listed as gluten-free.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the base was actually rice!  I remembered a long-forgotten recipe which I used to make that was exactly the same except mine used tuna rather than salmon.

You could use any variation of a quiche filling that you wish but this is the idea for the base which is simple and gluten-free.

A quantity of cooked rice – about 1 – 1.5 cups and 1 well-beaten egg.  Stir the egg into the hot rice and press into a pie/flan dish.  Chill until firm then fill and bake as per any quiche recipe.


No Visible Change


I have finally made it to my sewing room and done a small project.

This is one of 4 dresses that I own which are all the same style.

They are perfect in every way – except one.  The do not have any pockets.

001I have another dress that I bought recently and to my delight it has 2 large set-in pockets which are really handy but totally invisible.  This made me realise that it would be a simple project to add pockets to the existing dresses.

The first pocket is done and I am very happy with the result.

002Here is a view looking into the pocket.

003Finally, this is the inside of the dress.

004While this may not be feasible in a tight, fitted dress it is certainly easy in a dress with some fullness below the waistline.

I wear these dresses to work and as I am in an open office I tend to listen to music with earphones on my iPod.  I can leave the iPod on the desk but it is much easier to have it in my pocket so that it comes with me whenever I jump up from the desk to go to the printer/photocopier etc.  Handy to pop a handkerchief in, too.

Do you look for pockets in garments?