Clare Kinsey


Almost finished!!!!

I wasn’t going to put anymore pictures up of the house until it was finished, and then I was going to use the professional photos to show you all the final result……


I can’t help myself!!!!! The garden is finally looking like a garden after years of looking like a tip! Steve took some lovely pictures today while we were hard at it and so I thought you might like a peek of our work in progress.

Just to remind you of what we started with down the side of the house……

The pebbles were delivered this morning. At first we thought…..”hope we have enough”!

Now after hours of moving them its more like “OMG we haven’t even got half way through!!!”

Bit of planting! I’m well hidden and absolutely filthy……

And the (almost) finished result!!!! What a difference….. It’s all looking so lovely. I can’t wait to show you the whole house finished.



garden makeover

It’s just over a week now since Daisy left for New York and I am feeling sooooooo much better. I have spoken to her a few times and she has settled in well and is enjoying herself. She is going to have such an amazing year. The time difference has taken a little getting used to, she text me at 2:30am the other day before realising I would be in bed! I didn’t mind……

In preparation for selling the house, I have packed up all her things into boxes ready to go to storage. It was a little sad & exciting at the same time. Daisy has lived here her whole life. It will feel very strange to come back to an entirely different house I’m sure!! It feels weird to me to be on the move after such a long time but I’m very excited about it too!

With her things all packed up, I have been able to clean her room and get it ready. I’m very happy with it. It’s such a lovely bright room….

I’ve also been creating a little artwork to fill in some spaces in the house. These have gone into my room.

And this little one has gone into Daisy’s old bedroom. So much fun to do! I love making things like this….. It’s very relaxing and once the house has sold and life has settled down I intend to do a lot more of it!!!
This week has also seen the front yard really take shape. Steve has worked very hard at it and should be very pleased with himself.

The turf was delivered literally at the crack of dawn by a massive truck. At least that’s what they tell me….. I was in bed! 😉

Very quickly the yard became a garden and finally……..

Tadaaaaaa!!!! Of course now we are trying our best to keep it alive after a few very hot and dry days. So far so good! Also we have had Caitlin here this week planting the garden beds…..looking very good with some pictures to come.
I had a property stylist come out to see me today. I think we are pretty much on track with that sort if thing but I did want to hire some furniture for the front lounge and to fill in a few gaps here and there. I don’t want to go buying furniture now especially as we are hoping to go to a smaller home. Anyway she had a few helpful ideas and I look forward to seeing her furniture selection!
Lots to do….. Only a couple of more weeks left until we hand the house over to the agent for auction!!! Eeeeeeeeek!!!!


meanwhile on my block…..

Oh my giddy aunt…… How HOT has it been??! Today I chased the shade so all my painting was done in relative comfort compared to the past few days! Painting in a Melbourne heat wave is not much fun but it has to be done……

The front fence is taking shape…..

Resident chippy and his apprentice worked hard through the heat with very pleasing results. Hope we can get it finished off next weekend. It was so hot but they just kept at it!

I painted the wood bits on the inside yesterday and it was lovely to hear the comments of those passing by who didn’t know I was there…… All positive which was lovely!

The apprentice didn’t stop with the fence either…… He painted! Probably more than he ever has in his life, under extreme conditions at dangerous heights!!!

Anyway, I’m done for the day….. I’m filthy and stinky! Heading to the shower so I can be a girl again!!!
Tradies here tomorrow to give me a hand, lots to do!!!


goodbye summer


Can you believe that summer is over already? I think this year we really have had a proper summer, plenty of hot hot days. Not terribly fantastic weather for renovating, particularly painting as the paint goes gluggy and hardens on the brush very quickly. Not nice at all!!

So much has happened over summer I hardly know where to start. We have been working hard on the house both inside and out to get it ready for market. We made the decision a few weeks ago to sell our house and buy a smaller place down on the peninsula. Yay!!! Dreams are coming true!!! With the kids nearly all flown the coop we just don’t need this big house anymore so the time has come……. Very exciting, and sad and scary at the same time. I have lived here for over 20 years!!! The best years of my life for sure.

So what’s new around here…… Well I had a go at putting in a little vege garden but I think I need to face facts, I’m no gardener and the blistering heat we have had hasn’t helped much. The vege garden is surviving but the herb garden is, well lets be honest, dead!! Pity because it did look rather nice while it lasted.

I’ve still been taking lots of photos and playing around with different apps and filters. It’s so much fun! I’m loving it so much that I think I might have to get myself a real camera. Follow me on Instagram if you like (clare65) Eventually I will put an Instagram button on the blog when I have time to work out how to do it.

Everyone has been helping out with the renovations. Jessica pulled down all the pickets off the front fence in about 15 minutes flat!! She was like a machine. The fence will be replaced next weekend by Charlie I hope. Steve has begun clearing the front yard of rubbish so we can put a garden in.

Inside is nearly finished. Just those fiddly last bits to do like skirtings and architraves. Also have all the doors to paint….. Blah!!! It is looking very beautiful I have to say and I can’t wait to see how it looks through the lens of a professional photographer!!

I am going to need to organise more furniture too. I don’t want to buy anything especially if we are going to a smaller place so we will probably hire a few pieces.
It hasn’t all been hard work though. There have been a few days here and there where a quick visit to the beach has been in order to cool off. I can promise you next summer I will be spending a lot more time on the beach!!!

This past weekend has been fantastic! Steve and I have got the back of the house just about finished with the painting and the girls had a couple of friends over and made a fantastic job of the side fence…..


I loved listening to their giggles all day and am really impressed with how much they got done!
My next bit of news is that 2 of my girls are heading off overseas this year. Britty heads to Canada towards the middle of the year and my little Miss Daisy is heading to NYC in 16 days. She will be gone for around 13 months……maybe longer. To say I will miss her is an understatement!!!! In fact I will say no more about it right now or I will start bawling. So I will leave you all with a picture of my beautiful baby girl.

Ill try not to leave it so long between posts next time and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you are so inclined!


see ya 2012

As the year draws to an end it is a wonderful time to reflect on the year that was 2012. It’s been a big year for me in so many ways. Some of the stand outs for me are……

My baby girl has finished school and done very well! I have officially grown my children to adulthood and that is an amazing feeling…..

Part way through the year I made the decision to “change what I could & stop worrying about what I couldn’t”. This has had a hugely positive impact on my life – everything improved!!! I took the advice of a lovely friend who asked me “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” At the time I was feeling totally overwhelmed with the amount of work still to be done on the house and this changed how I approached it all & I started to enjoy it again…..

I started my blog! I had no idea how much I would love it. It is so much fun, writing, taking pictures, putting it all together – love it!! Even bigger bonus is that people actually read it!! Who would have thought?!

What I am most grateful for this year is that my family are all healthy and although there have been challenges this year we have survived unscathed. My heart bursts with how much I love them all.

So….. New years resolutions for 2013…. Do you make them? As a rule I don’t because I suck at keeping them. This year though I am making myself a few promises!

I’m going to get healthier & stronger. Starting to feel my age (actually older than my age) so better get on and do something about it.

I’m going to keep blogging & taking pictures & learn as much as I can along the way.

I’m going to finish keep working on the house & enjoy every moment of it!!!

To all my family & friends & everyone who has joined me on my blog journey so far, THANK YOU for being here with me. I hope 2013 is your best year ever, filled to the brim with love & happiness.

And now without further a-do……. MY NEW DO!



ensuite renovation

Our ensuite bathroom, as it was, kind of reminds me of a bathroom you might find in a caravan!! It was so pokey & dark….. Just awful!

See what I mean……

Even though it’s small, it is quite functional and for that reason there was no reason to move things around. This also saved money as the plumbing was able to remain in the same position. The only exception to this was that the new rain shower head comes from the ceiling rather than the wall. Best shower EVER!!!!!

The shower takes up one end of the room with a graded shower base and frameless shower screen so it all appears bigger. There was no need to change the window either. The room is made brighter by the use of big white tiles, lots of glass, and a big mirror above the vanity. The tiles on the walls aren’t flat, they have a bit of a wave to them which allows them to reflect light in ways you might not expect.

A floating vanity also gives the impression of more space.

The pebble feature tiles give it that lovely coastal feel that I just adore! So happy with the finished result.
Let me know what you think 🙂


front verandah before & after

I’ve finished the front verandah!! I mean really finished it! Here’s what we started with…..

And here it is now…..

I really really wanted a blue door but just wasn’t sure about it. Finding the right blue can be really difficult. Inspiration came from one of my favourite blogs, A Beach Cottage. When I saw it I just knew I had to do it at my place – so a big thank you to Sarah for inspiring me to take the plunge!

What does the family think? Well – when I first mentioned I was going to paint the door blue there were a few raised eyebrows. I’m used to that sort of reaction here. Pretty sure they all love it now it’s done 🙂

We are now looking pretty for Christmas! I hope all your Christmas plans are coming together…..