Five Minute Friday – Way

Five Minute Friday= prompt word, five minutes, just write.

No overthinking, no over complicating.

This weeks prompt word: WAY


No way !!!!

Yes way

The first two words shout out big and bossy like they know all there is to know. Like they’ve decided and that’s all there is to it.

The second two are whispered but they’re determined, not easily put off, resilient, resourceful and they just might have a secret weapon up there sleeve.

I spend lot of my life trying to figure out a way to get a thing or two done around here. See when it comes to home projects it’s alway ALWAYS!! been a juggle of limitations of one or another. I’ll have plenty of one thing (ideas and hair brained schemes mostly) and a scarcity of another (money, time, expertise, teams of able bodied tradesmen). The size and shape of the limitation/s changes randomly. At the moment it’s mainly time. Now that I work full time I never seem to be home and being a homebody with a capitol H it presents all sorts of frustrations to my “have to have a project in the works” self. Seeing a few things done, making progress, keeping things fresh and moving adds enormously to my sense of well being. So not having a lot of time to do these things small or large, presents an ongoing challenge.

but I do like a challenge.

And there’s always a way.

There has to be a way.

(My five minutes ran out about here).

One way I’ve worked out to keep things moving along is to simply do smaller projects that don’t take much time. And when I say small,  sometimes they’re minuscule. Ten minutes sometimes. Half an hour to an hour at most other times. Works the same way. Small project done = enormous satisfaction = sanity saved.

Here’s a sample.

I also worked out long ago that a good way to get something done, especially something big is to break it down into smaller parts. Twenty minutes concentrated effort on one thing in succession is my favourite.


I think I might have taken this idea to the next level just lately. You’ve heard of “death by a thousand cuts”. Well this is finished project by a thousand tiny goes at it.

I have a lovely set of French doors leading out to my back deck. Photos below you can see them in the background.

They were given us for free by a client in Kens painting days. They’ve been installed here now a good long while. They’re solid and beautiful but they need a really good sand and oil to make them sing. Famous last words those and who in their right mind wants to or has the time available to sand down a set of double French doors. I do apparently. I decided I couldn’t bare looking at the water stains, the rough edges and greasy finger marks any darn longer.

The only way I could think of that was remotely within my capabilities is to do one teeny tiny section at a time, and because sanding is horrid I decided five to ten minutes a day is the most I was prepared to do it. I’m up to day number five – it’s my weekday project – (the back fence is my weekend project). Just before I leave for work, I put a cloth down, sand for five to ten minutes, wash my hands and go to work.

I have accomplices. Other like minded people egging me on.

It might be a while but I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Any projects happening your way. Would love to here.

To read what other people have done with there five minutes click here.

Also joining in with Grandmas House DIY Link Up


Small Change, Big Difference

Small Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comIt never ceases to amaze me what a difference a small change can make – especially when it comes to our homes and how well a space functions and how much we enjoy it. I’m talking sheer ease and comfort and I’ve had a perfect example of it here at my place this week.

I’ve been using this sweet little stand as a bedside table for a long while now. It was an op shop find that I cleaned up and painted that I just love the look of. It only stands about 50cm high and the little shelves about 25cm across. It’s as cute as a button but as I’ve discovered completely useless as a bedside table. If you look at it sideways it falls over – the slightest bump with a pillow and over it goes along with my cuppa, my phone, my glasses – which is pretty much about all you can squeeze onto it  – and that’s  if you use all three shelves. It’s just too small and things fall off it too easy. With not a lot of room around our queen size bed I thought it would work well being so compact – I was wrong.

Small Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comThing is I have a two perfectly respectable, if not not very inspiring bed side cubbies that I have been using elsewhere. Nothing wrong with them that a sand and a coat of paint wouldnt fix. I’m in no hurry to do either – so for now no longer needed elsewhere I decided to bring one of them back into my bedroom. Sometimes functionality just has to win out over pretty and if you can find that sweet spot where you have both, all the better.

Here she is warts and all – no beauty queen but oh she has talents.

Small Change, Big Difference

You wouldn’t believe the difference it has made to me in sheer comfort and ease. I can do wildly fanciful things like put things next to my bed that I need. Luxury. No upturned cups of tea. I now have a nice solid surface to put my cuppa, my phone, my glasses, a book even. It has a drawer too – imagine !!

Small Change, Big Difference

Funny how you sometimes don’t realise how annoying something has been until you don’t have to contend with it any more.

Small Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comSmall Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comI decided to give the drawer a little facelift before I filled it up. I cut scrap booking paper to fit the bottom and sides and used watered down white craft glue brushed on to stick it down. I let it dry overnight and then sealed it with clear gloss estapol. It took the day to dry and that was it.

Small Change, Big Difference

Small Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comSmall Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comSo just so it’s official, heres a list of five things I LOVE having within hands reach of my bed.

  1. Yes you guessed it – a good sturdy bedside unit that I can’t knock over – uncluttered so I can put things down on it with a little drawer to throw things into.
  2. My glasses and a good book – no more fishing out my glasses from under the bed. Good books? – I’m still reading this one eight months on “A Million Little Ways” by Emily P Freeman. It’s one of those books you read and re read – too good. Small Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comSmall Change, Big Difference
  3. A journalling type book to write in. I don’t do a lot of free hand writing any more but I do like it. Inspired by this post “How I Keep Track of What I’m Learning” I’m trying to get into a rhythm of pondering, reading and writing and having a book and a pencil close by helps.
  4. Hand cream – I don’t care what brand it is as long as it smells good and is nice to my hands that always get dry.
  5. Lolly’s and lip balm – I can’t seem to go long these days without either.

Small Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comSmall Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comSmall Change, Big Difference www.waterintowineblog.comSo she may not win any beauty pageants but she’s all style and good manners to me.

As for my little blue stand, its still around – it’s doing a beautiful job of hiding the double power point in my room and holds my mobile phone while it charges.

Small change, big difference – works for me.

Any small changes just waiting to happen at your place?

Got a minute? – you can read my latest Women Connect post here

Or take a look at some bedroom organisation and storage ideas here. So good!!

collage4-1Linking up today with the  Five After Five Link Up hosted by Syncopated Mama Blogspot

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Coffee and Conversation


Fridays Blog Booster Party

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Celebrate it Sunday

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It’s Just Another Day

And then this goes and happens


And small comforts


Washing and winter sun


The garden – unruly and messy yet glorious


This guy IMG_2508

And these threeIMG_2007

And this girl  – no wordsIMG_1189

Spicy soup


And dinner outsideIMG_2439

And oceansIMG_2445

And sunsetsIMG_2475

And being togetherIMG_2197“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.  Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.  Show them how to cry when pets and people die.  Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.  And make the ordinary come alive for them.  The extraordinary will take care of itself.” William Martin

Tracey xx

I’m linking this post up with Sundays Down Under. Click on the button to find out more and to read other posts in the Link Up.200x200

Think Outside the Door

(Psst – if you are visiting from the Three Word Wednesday Link Up – you can find my TWW post here.) IMG_2384You may want to avert your eyes but I’m about to show you the decorative (and I do use the word loosely) panels that have graced the lower cupboard doors of our kitchen bench since we moved into our house almost 10 years ago. IMG_0648 IMG_2252Yes they are  a thick yellowy brown textured glass – but believe it or not – not quite hideous enough that I felt the need to replace them immediately. But it’s been 10 years now –  I think I’ve been more than fair. I’ve let them be when many a less offensive item in our house was turfed out. Mostly  it was a case of  having bigger fish to fry with our time and money and there was always the question of what I would replace them with. I’ve thought much about what would look good there without having any great lightbulb moment. Something simple and unfussy was high on the agenda but I do love things with a vintage feel so I kept coming back to the idea of some sort of mesh. Old furniture pieces with wood framed mesh doors and windows are a favourite. I remember as a child the “meat safe”  a free standing cupboard with the walls and doors made of mesh – so big you could climb right into it – that was used to keep food  safe from fly’s and heat – the cool room of it’s day. These a few smaller versions I like. thmeat_safe_switcher_18knkql-18knkqr images-4images-5I’m dreaming of a screened in back verandah too where I can stare at my back yard and be safe myself from the four million fly’s that arrive here in the summer – – –

– – – but for now I’ll settle with fly wire cupboard door inserts !! So I  bought – probably 8 months ago –  a roll of the strongest gauge black aluminum flywire I could at Bunning’s. I think I put off actually starting on it  because I wasn’t sure it would work – but enough with being not sure and theres only one way to find out so last week I found my staple gun and got it done.  I took the doors off and laid them flat and cut the fly wire  an inch or so wider than the openings. I had enough mesh to fold the panels of fly wire double making it less transparent. I didn’t try to fit it inside the recess of the door just staple gunned it on the back  taking care to get it as firm and taut as I could and not to bend  it in the wrong places because once there is a crease in it – its there to stay. IMG_2375 IMG_2351 IMG_2352 IMG_2376Works for me. I’m not sure it’s a permanent solution – the kids hands or knees may end up going through it or mine but it seems strong enough for now. I’ll let you know how it fares.

And about my cleaned off shiny bench top – she doesn’t always look so put together even though that’s how I like her  best – clutter free and prettied up just a bit –  but being right in the heart of the house –  she works hard and is much put upon by all. A lot of the time she looks like this. IMG_1936But I have to face it – while ever I want to cook and create and live life, there will be some sort of mess going on on my kitchen bench. That works for me too. But lets have another pretty one to finish. IMG_2402 Tracey xx

This post is linking up with Works for Me Wednesday and Celebrate It SundayJust click on the buttons and scroll down the page to find out more. WFMW-Logo


The Beauty of a Quick Fix

Brain therapy, mini breaks and the power of paint.


I love a project and I especially love a project that’s quick and easy, that can be done on the spur of the moment and that requires almost zero planning, time, skill or money. Sound good? They work for me every time.

Lots of the changes we make around our homes are on a  bigger scale and have to be planned out and budgeted in and saved up for and thought out to the enth degree – and well it does my head in a bit – so it’s nice to do a few things towards making progress around the house that require none of that. You just launch in, enjoy and see what happens.

For me it’s like brain therapy.  They say a change is as good as a holiday – so we’ll call these little projects mini breaks – they keep my hands busy and my brain in neutral for a little bit. They put some space between me and all of the things I’m thinking so hard on – and my brain comes back all rested and refreshed and I have something pretty to show for it too. Get’s the creative juices flowing  too – you’ll be all motivated and tackling a bit bigger project in no time at all. And the best bit – if you muck it up it doesn’t matter – theres been no great investment – you can pop it in the back of the car to drop at the op shop or if it’s that bad – I’ve had a few – why not drop it straight into the bin!!

So of my zero skill quick fixes – painting is my favourite – a lick of paint is the quickest way to transform something from blah to beautiful, from soul destroyingly awful to cute and whimsical or whatever it is your going for with very little effort. Small items of furniture, pots, photo frames and chairs are most often on my hit list and these are two little items I’ve done recently. No fancy painted finishes sorry – just a couple of coats of paint – that’s it.

I bought both these items from the op shop for I think $5. I like a little table and I particularly liked this one with a shelf. I remembered to take a before shot just in the nick of time but they always look so bleak




No good wood here, no antique waiting to be uncovered, just some pretty ordinary veneer and particle board – all scratched up and knocked about but they were solid and I had an idea of where both would go. Both got the same treatment – a coat of ESP to clean and prime – which you put on with a cloth and then wipe off.


I didn’t wait 90 minutes. About 20 I think and then we just slapped on the paint. Olivia helped so there was a lot of paint being slapped. We did two coats of low sheen interior acrylic. The paint for the hall stand was a paint sample pot that I already had and the colour for the little table was concocted by mixing some white into a tin of dark tealy bluey green that I found in the garage.You have to wait a little bit in between coats but if your outside and its a sunny day after 30 minutes your good to go..

So here’s the little table looking all pretty in Olivias bedroom.





And the hall stand looking all smart and saying Welcome at the front door.




Now if you are wanting to tackle something a bit more on the crafty and clever side here is some inspiration from pinterest.



My sister Jen posted this pic on her Facebook page recently and inspired me to create a new pinterest board Favourite Dresser and Cubby Do Overs . Take a look –  there are some really beautiful makeovers here – all so clever – and inspiring. I especially like the chalkboard ones.

So thats it – a quick fix up can go a long way at my place towards keeping me calm and sane. Any quick fixes or brain therapy happening around yours? Would love to hear.