Doing what you’ve gotta do, to get where you want to get.

Hiya peeps.

A few people have asked me how we can possibly afford to build a house when we both haven’t worked at proper jobs for 3 years.

The answer is simple, really.

Sacrifice.

Sacrificing lifestyle now for a better lifestyle in the future.
Sacrificing comfort now for getting into the new house sooner.

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It’s no secret that we’ll be completely broke by the time this house is finished.

We’ve had to scrimp and save, take little bits of work here or there, lucky Kane’s had a few jobs along the way (he’s self employed), I’ve done market stalls and the occasional hair do from home… it definitely hasn’t been easy but I also think we’re pretty lucky to be able to do it this way.

One thing we’ve had to do is give up on “luxuries” to get to our end goal faster.
Not getting my hair or nails done, checking out sales and op shops for clothes, (lucky we both really like vintage stuff!) not buying the little things you tend to grab without really thinking about it; a take away coffee, a magazine or newspaper, always taking water bottles out with us (good for you, good for the environment, and you save money not buying soft drinks)

And it’s kind of impossible to have much of a social life with 2 kids, 2 dogs and trying to save money, and entertaining at the shed can be a bit hard. It’s ok in summer when the weather’s nice, but as soon as it gets cold – forget it!

A really hard one for both of us has been music.
We both have ridiculous cd collections and really love going to see live music, but hey – that’s what birthday and christmas presents are for, right?

And there’s absolutely no way we would be able to do it without help.

All kinds of help that have been absolute lifesavers, from something as simple as watching the kids for a couple of hours so I can help Kane do stuff on the building site, or some fresh veggies from someone’s garden to save us a couple of dollars on our grocery bill, or just a sympathetic ear to complain to when it all gets too hard. To huge things like helping to build stuff, chopping firewood ready for the winter, gifts and loans of cash to help us buy the next lots of building materials.

Doing this has really made me see how blessed we are with wonderful family and friends.

It does make me wonder sometimes though, when people say how they’ve can’t afford things…if you want to do something, if you really want it enough you’ll find a way. I would have said there was no way someone could do what we’re doing…but here we are!

What could you sacrifice to help achieve your dreams?

Till next time lovelies,
This is Beck xoxo

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OMG, where have the last two weeks disappeared to?

This year is flying by at a seriously alarming rate.

I had several blog posts planned, but of course, life got in the way.

So…just what have I been up to?

Well, there was a few days of really gorgeous spring weather here in Victoria, so I spent them outside in the garden doing some pruning and weeding and starting to build a little yard out front of the shed. I wanted to make a little play yard so the kids have an enclosed space to play in, because our main yard is pretty big and includes the building site and lots of other kid-un-friendly stuff, and Miss Scout is a bit of an adventurer and if I take my eyes off her, for even a second, she’s very likely to nick off down to the building site or up the paddock to visit the goats! Also, we have a new four-legged family member joining us soon…

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Can’t wait to go pick up our gorgeous fluffy girl, only a few more weeks 🙂

There’s also been a few more trips to the dentist (exciting I know, but I’m now making up for too many years of avoiding the dentist. There’s a whole lot of work that needs doing now before it gets any worse! Including finishing off the seemingly never-ending root canal that’s been going on for months!)

Kane has been making some good progress on the house, and we’ve also had a bricklayer making the fireplace, a renderer doing some of the outside walls, Kane’s dad doing some internal walls, and my uncle coming up the help with an assortment of odd jobs that we just haven’t had time to get to.

The house is starting to look really awesome.

Our new fireplace

Our new fireplace

I’m starting to get really excited now, it’s finally (after 3 1/2 years!) starting to feel real.

After so many set backs and dramas there was plenty of times I just thought “we’re never going to be able to do this” Now that we’ve come this far, the end is not quite in sight yet, but I’m feeling a lot more confident that we will actually be living in this house one day, that’s not just some far off dream but that it really will happen.

And then add to that some christmas shopping, running around picking up building materials, a bit of a “down” patch last week, and just general day-to-day stuff and somehow it’s been two weeks since I last stopped by this blog…

Oops.

Anyway, I made it back here eventually 😉

Do you find “life” getting in the way of things you wanted to do? How do you manage your time? 

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Listmania 9: Favourite Places

Hooking up with Home Life Simplified again for #listmania.
This weeks prompt was to write about your favourite places around your home.
I found this to be a bit of a challenge because we’re living in the shed while we build and there’s really nothing I like about the shed. So I decided to write about my future favourite places in the new house.

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My Library.
This is the mezzanine level above our new lounge room. This is going to be my hideaway. It’s going to have bookshelves for my many, many boxes of books, a cozy armchair to sit and read in and a nice lamp and coffee table. I can’t wait to have my own chill out space and I’ve always wanted to have a home for all my books.

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My Wardrobe
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I am super excited about this. I have a shoe collection to rival Imelda Marcos. (Not that I get much opportunity to wear all my pretty heels up here on the mountain!) And I’ve always wanted to have the space to display them properly. My wardrobe is going to be bigger that the bedrooms in some of the houses I’ve lived in. I can’t wait to unpack my clothes, I haven’t seen them for so long it’s going to be like having a whole new wardrobe.

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Fireplace.
This pile of bricks is one day going to be a huge open fireplace in our lounge room.
Is there anything more relaxing than sitting in front of a crackling fire with a nice glass of wine when the kids are asleep…?

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Bathroom.

After 3+ years of a combined bathroom/laundry/toilet with a teeny tiny shower and no privacy, I absolutely can’t wait to have a proper bathroom, with a lock on the door!
As soon as I’m finished unpacking the first thing I’m going to do is have a long, hot bubble bath.

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The View.
This is the view from our bedroom upstairs. There’s going to be a little balcony to sit and watch the sun set behind those trees and when it’s dark you can see the city lights
twinkling in the distance.

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Pergola.

This pile of rubble is one day going to be a nice outdoor entertaining area. I can’t wait to be having friends over for a bbq here. It’s so hard to have people over when everything’s so cramped and crowded here in the shed.

All of this seems like an impossible amount of luxury, but I see it as my reward for spending the last 3+ years living in a shed. When we finally move into the house it’s going to feel like a palace! This is what I try to focus on when I get frustrated at living in the shed.

Well, I’d better go and do some work now or it’ll never get finished,
Till next time,
Beck xoxo

What I miss most.

What I miss most about living in a real house – or things you don’t appreciate till you don’t have them.

1. Doors. All kinds of doors. I miss having a proper front door. I miss having doors to rooms. I would especially love a bedroom door, with all four of us sharing a room, privacy is something I can’t even remember anymore.

2. Storage. Cupboards. Places to put things away. I miss having proper kitchen cabinets and pantry. Storage in the bathroom and laundry. Being able to put things away and not have everything out where you can see it. Wardrobes. Being able to actually find the clothes I’m looking for without having to pull everything out.

3. Appliances. I miss my oven, and microwave, and washing machine, and hair dryer, and ( I never thought I’d say this) vacuum cleaner. I can still use these (except the microwave) when the generator’s running, but it’s a serious pain in the a** to not just be able to do a load of washing whenever you think of it, I have to wait till Kane’s got time to get the generator going then I run around like mad trying to do everything at once. Hopefully I’ll have a microwave again when we get a bigger inverter, because it’s really frustrating to not be able to quickly heat up leftovers or sterilize baby bottles or even just to zap the cup of coffee I made an hour ago and haven’t had time to drink yet. It takes so much longer doing everything on the stove and makes more dishes too, and really, who needs MORE dishes to do?

4. A clean floor. Living in the shed with the four of us and the dog, it is impossible to keep things as clean as I’d like. Everything gets so dirty and dusty. I’m constantly telling Kane and Snugglebug to leave their dirty shoes outside, and don’t even get me started on the dog coming in and out a hundred times a day with dirty paws! Drives me crazy. I get tempted to lock them all out after I’ve mopped just so the floor stays clean for longer than 30 seconds!

I know, I’ll get to have all these things again soon (please??) and I’ll appreciate them so much more because of this. In the meantime I’ll just fantasize about having a lovely clean house (what is wrong with me? I think it’s because I hate cleaning so much that I can’t wait till I can do less of it!) So the next time you switch on an appliance or complain about having to put things away, just think of me over here, going a little bit crazy over not being able to.

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The kitchen in our old house. I miss it so much!

Ok, enough complaining, got to tough it out for a little bit longer. Big thanks to everyone who helped cheer me up after my whinge the other day too. I promise the next post will be a happier one 🙂

Till next time.
Beck xoxo

November 20th, 2012

So, that brings us pretty much up to speed. I’m still pregnant, about 6 weeks to go, feels like my belly’s getting bigger by the day! Really looking forward to getting this baby out! I think it’ll be great for Snugglebug to have a little playmate too.

The house is still progressing, slowly but we’re getting there.

I have to say, I’m really proud of myself for sticking it out for this long, and now that the end is almost in sight, I feel like I can finally start to relax just a little bit. We still have a lot to do, it may still take awhile, but it will happen one day.

It’s starting to look like a real house!

We’ve been through some wild weather, huge arguments and some of my very darkest days have been in this shed but in the last 2 1/2 years there has also been some of my happiest ever moments and greatest achievements. Our marriage, the birth of our daughter, learning how to do things I never thought I would do, working at building our house, and just hanging out as a family, watching Snugglebug grow.

I never thought I’d say this,  but I wouldn’t change a thing.

All the tears and stress have been worth it and it’s really brought Kane and I closer than ever, I’m sure that if we can survive the last few years we can survive anything. I don’t think I’d appreciate things quite so much if we hadn’t had so much stress along the way.

There’s still a hell of a lot of work to do here and I have absolutely no doubt there’ll be more dramas along the way too, but I’m also excited to see what happens next.

Till next time,

Beck xxx

Shed Life, april – oct 2012

April – May 2012

Still building the walls, started planning the gardens. Feels like we’re making some really good progress here, everything’s going pretty well. Had a pretty low-key 30th birthday.

Hang on, what’s this nauseous, squirmy feeling in my stomach…….. why am I so tired lately………

I remember this feeling…

Yep, I’m pregnant.

Hi there lil’ Peanut

Not unplanned, but a whole lot sooner than expected. We’d only just started talking about trying for another baby later this year. Oops.

So that means no more pouring concrete or climbing up and down  ladders and scaffolds all day for me. (Not that I could even if I really wanted to, I’ve had way worse morning sickness than last time.)

July – August 2012

The build is progressing, slowly, but still going. It doesn’t help that we’re having one of the coldest, wettest winters ever this year. Poor Kane is still out there every day, slogging away at it. Rain, hail, wind, snow whatever, he never stops. The poor things been so stressed because everyone keeps telling him he’d better hurry up and get the house finished before this baby comes! I really wish we could, but unless we magically come into a large chunk of money very soon, it’s just not going to happen. It’ll get finished when it gets finished.  I can’t say I really love the idea of having another baby living in the shed, but I did it with Snugglebug, I can do it with this one too.

September – October 2012

The walls are all finished! Yay! No more concreting. Now onto beams, rafters and internal walls.

Still sick, this morning / all day sickness is never ending! I do feel bad that I’m not out there helping on the build anymore, but between puking most of the day, crap weather and a very active toddler to keep up with, I just generally am not up to it. Luckily Kane’s dad has been coming up to help out a lot, which has been really nice of him, especially staying in a caravan in such miserable weather to help us build this house.

Till next time

Beck xxx

Starting the big build…

We’re building out of this stuff called “Insulbrick” which is kind of like hollow polystyrene lego that all clicks together to make your walls and you fill it up with concrete and steel. We chose this stuff because it has great insulating and soundproofing properties, it’s got a really good fire rating, which makes it perfect to use in “bushfire-prone” areas, it’s easy to use to build yourself and it’s cost effective.

Woo hoo!!!!  The start of the walls

Usually when building with this stuff, you’d build all your walls, then get a concrete truck and pump to come and fill it all up for you. Because we’re working to the tiniest of budgets we’re doing it all ourselves. We bought an ancient looking cement mixer on eBay, stuck a new motor on it and mixed our concrete and filled our walls all by hand using buckets and wheelbarrows. (It might be slow going, but it’s a really great full-body workout!) As the walls got higher, we started using the bobcat to lift the wheelbarrow full of concrete up the the required height. (Really funny to watch, but hey, whatever works!)

Using the bobcat to lift concrete

After a couple of weeks of concreting we were almost finished the ground floor walls and our wedding date was upon us. So we scrubbed off all the concrete dust, got ourselves prettied up and got married. It rained all day and a few things didn’t go exactly to plan, but I think it was perfect.

Our Wedding

After the wedding, we left Snugglebug with my parents and headed up to Bright for a few days of well-earned relaxation before heading home to keep building…

Till next time,

Beck xxx

 

 

(for more info on Insulbrick, check out http://www.danishconstructions.com.au/insulbrick/ )