Social Media, addict or recreational user?

I have to admit, I’m still quite the little virgin when it comes to using Social Media sites. I have just joined the world of Instagram, Twitter & something called Tumblr around 2 weeks ago, yay me….. #feelingratherwithit ! and so far so good, I think!

I’m yet to give into the Facebook faze, I say faze as I’m one of those people that thought Facebook would be over and done with quicker than Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, clearly I was very wrong with both predictions and have no psychic ability what so ever.

I have learnt several things though in the last 2 weeks which I have been trying to casually mention in conversation with my “real life” friends that are regular social media addicts, sorry recreational users, of Facebook, (Mr Big & his mates find it quite amusing filling me in on my friends OTT Facebook antics)


  1. If you have had more than half a bottle of wine disconnect all electrical devices, turn off your wi fi & step away from the keyboard
  2. You are not anonymous, your profile picture thingy is seen by everyone
  3. A keyboard warrior is very different from a real warrior
  4. Social media is not therapy
  5. Changing your Facebook relationship status anymore than three times in a month will result in a permanent unstable label being added to your profile forever!


I am definitely your garden variety recreational user at the moment, this may however lead to a more dependent addiction after I have used for a longer period of time. I get the appeal of Social Media, when I receive a new follower or several new likes on my Tweet or Instapic I feel rather impressed with myself, like the cool kids of the wide web world have let me join their table for lunch or something, if I haven’t received new followers after posting I know it is just because the Instagram factory has closed for the day.

Happy Tweeting xxx

Getting it right the first time


When building a new house it can become so overwhelming and time consuming. Trying to visualise and design every aspect to come together perfectly seems almost impossible.
I have read so many build stories from people saying they wish they had planned better before starting the actual construction phase, things like double checking window size and placement.
Simple oversights on your plans can be extremely costly and not to mention annoying for years to come, imagine looking at that window over the kitchen sink that is off centered by 20cm for the next 10 years, even though your visitors probably wouldn’t even notice I guarantee every time you look at it you will !

Things to remember to check on your house plans
• window size
• window placement, are the windows centered in the rooms or exactly where you want them
• is your front door centered. I noticed on our first draft the front door was off centered.
• check which way your doors and shower screes open, will they hit anything?
• toilet placement – again this is one that I have noticed gets missed alot. Are your toilets centered or where you want them. In our powder room I have off centered our toilet to accommodate the hand basin.
• measure, check, re measure every room. As we are building a custom design house Glenn, our sales rep, walked me through and measured a display house to show me the exact size of each of our rooms. This was particularly helpful if like me you have no sense of size, originally I thought our dressing room was to small until Glenn measured the display homes master suite and said it was actually bigger than that, 4m x 3.6m.
• consider the placement of air conditioning unit, gas meter, downpipes, taps
• show friends and family your plans, especially those that have built before to get there opinion

A complete list of what not to forget is available on this great thread on the homeone forum. Definitely a must read for anyone considering building.

I have also found the domain site a great source for information and tips


The Block Shop

As luck would have it Channel 9 latest season of the The Block started just as Mr Big & I embarked on our house design journey.
Needless to say im a huge fan of the show and come Sunday evenings at 7pm when the couple’s rooms are revealed, I threaten politely remind Ms Have’a’chat to only speak if a) it is a life threatening situation, I did have to clarify that her life wasn’t in danger if she didn’t show me the latest funny cat video on YouTube straight away! or b) Neil Whittaker was at the door to offer us his style wisdom.
Last nights reveal, the Kitchen, certainly did not disappoint. As the unofficial 4th judge on The Block I was highly impressed by all of the designs, especially couples Dan & Carleen and Will & Karlie.


                              Will & Karlie’s kitchen – image courtesy of The Block.

The kitchen island in both apartments are to die for and has now got me second guessing the waterfall edges I have chosen for our kitchen. I absolutely love the ledge under the benchtop even though im sure it would drive me crazy cleaning the bits of food off it all the time.
This is the problem with building a house, I’m constantly coming across new ideas and then I start doubting the choices I have made, I pity the poor soul that gets stuck with us at pre start.Watching The Block has given us a few great ideas and definitely a few “avoid at all cost” things as well. Ms Have’a’chat adores Ben & Andy aka “The Boys” and has listed their Glasshouse Coastal Candy Soap creation as one of her ‘wish items’ for her upcoming 9th Birthday, unfortunately it seems everyone else had the same idea and the limited addition soap has sold out. So, if by chance you read this and managed to get your hands on a few bars and are willing to part with one, of course money will be exchanged, I would be extremely grateful, so would my sanity! daughter.


                                   Actual Wish List for Birthday by Ms Have’a’chat

How fantastic would it be to create a personalised scent for your home? Im not talking a slap together few drops of lavender and eye of newt, I mean work with a perfumer to design a quality fragrance / scented products just for you. Has anyone done this? Or can recommend somewhere to do this? 
Any way back to The Block, while searching online for the elusive soap I came across The Block Shop, I must admit I had no idea this site even existed, so please excuse my belated excitement. This is fantastic, almost everything seen in The Block apartments can be purchased online from this one convenient site.

Reminder to self – please read own Blog ‘The True Cost of Building’ before making any purchases online!

I have also decided, SUMMIT HOMES PLEASE NOTE, that I want a Site Supervisor like Keith or Dan, man they are on the ball, their no nonsense approach to ensure the quality of the build is definitely something every home builder deserves and let’s face it should get.
After reading quite a few horror stories on the Homeone forum from a wide variety of different building companies, SUMMIT HOMES PLEASE NOTE, Mr Big & I will definitely be employing the services of an independent building inspector throughout the various stages of our build.

I wonder how Mr Big & I would go if we were on the block?


The Cost of Building…..the real truth!

Mr Big & I are both 37 years old, but for the purpose of making me feel better and just in case any of my friends read this and work out I’ve been lying to them for years let’s pretend in 33, 33 sounds so much nicer…. I plan on documenting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the real cost of building a house……age has nothing to do with building remember!

The Cost of Land

I stumbled across our block of land when dropping Ms Have’a’chat off at her friends birthday party. 748sqm of prime real estate right by the beach. I jumped online and sent an email to Satterly.
“Good afternoon Ms Prez, thank you for your enquiry, for the bargain price of $420, 000 including fencing and a front landscaping package this beautiful block of land could be yours” Ouch, now to convince Mr Big to spend almost half a mil on a chunk of dirt!
I need to do some research before hitting Mr Big up.
I compare sale prices for the area and find some helpful ammunition information, the block 3 doors down, that is around the same size but is facing the beach, just sold for $680, 000, technically we are getting a bargain I tell Mr Big.
We meet with the Sales Rep from Satterly and put in an offer of $395, 000.
I won’t bore you with the back & forths but in the end they accept our counter offer of $405, 000. We pay the deposit and I promise Mr Big to curb my shoe shopping addiction.


Stamp Duty on land

I actually have no idea why the hell we have to pay it, im assuming it is so we receive mail to our new address, anyways it cost us $13, 000!!!!!

Cost of the House

Tomorrow im meeting with Glenn from Summit Homes to receive the final costings of the changes I made last week. Mr Big is away at work until Monday.
The costings so far –
1. Summit Custom Design – Display specification
– 31c ceilings to living, dining, kitchen, scullery, master suite, entry & alfresco
– stacker doors with recessed sill to alfresco
– 1200mm stain grade front door
– stone benches throughout
– waterfall edges to kitchen
– undermount sinks throughout
– overhead cupboards in kitchen and laundry
– undermount rangehood to kitchen
– hobless showers
– flush sliding door to block noise from Ms Have’a’chat & her friends end of the house
– grano with mesh to alfresco
– black drainage grate to alfresco
– hot / cold water and gas to alfresco
– single clear glazed door to laundry

BASE PRICE $ 317, 900.00

Extras –
– recessed ceiling to entry with scaffolding allowance $775
– bi fold panel windows to theatre with stone servery benchtop $9,195
– provide cladding to front elevation $ 6, 492 (we removed one wall of clading last week and added a portico instead)
– add freestanding 1700mm bath $4, 002
– added 1200mm high tiling to wet areas $2, 700
– air conditioning 10 outlets 6 zones $11, 900
– upgrade to three phase power $218
– add carpets to bedrooms, study, activity and theatre $3, 283
– interior wall painting $7, 376 (removed, will get our own painter in after handover)
– rectified porcelain tiles throughout remainder of house $13, 100

Tomorrow I will receive our site works costing, rough guesstimate $16, 000
Add portico cost roughly $10, 000
Extend tiling to alfresco
Im pretty sure I added a few extra items so will update tomorrow.
Glenn also reminded me that he hasn’t applied a discount yet so hopefully that will cover a few of the added extras we want.

Wow, this sure does add up quickly. Not to mention we haven’t even factored in lighting, the pool, window coverings or back landscaping yet and im guessing my dressing room fit out will be pricey as well. Hmmm maybe time for me to get a job!


As promised, here are the updates from my meeting with Glenn today.
Firstly, Mr Big please read! I actually saved us some money today, the extra costings came in cheaper then expected and I managed to not add or upgrade anything, yay me!
Updated costs –
– Enclose bedrooms 2, 3 and 4 WIR’s with door $1, 254
– Upgrade all internal doors to deco 1s doors $2, 247
– Upgrade toilets to back to wall $774
– Upgrade stone to Carrara $1, 500 provision
– Tile alfresco in rectified porcelain tiles to match living areas $3, 410
– Provide 3 x banks of pot drawers to kitchen $ 2, 169
– 2 x Hafele bin drawers for scullery and kitchen $1,146 Each
– Provide full panel glass in lieu of standard to ensuite, bathroom, living & dining windows $635

With the changes we had made last week and by deleting the painting and extra cladding we actually ended up with a credit today of $5, 084.
Then add the Site cost provision of $15, 550
……and we are nudging the 400k for the house already ! Can anyone say “I believe we are seriously close to over capitalising here”
I think Mr Big & I may need to get the red texta out tomorrow night when he comes home.

Our Vision

I guess I would class my design style as modern minimalist. I like clean lines, monochromatic tones of whites, greys & blacks, and loathe clutter. Whilst I appreciate everyones individual taste, personally I’m not a fan of the shabby chic or farmhouse country look and my only love of anything old or antique is my collection of vintage designer handbags.
The Vision for our new home is to create a light, bright space with clean lines and lots of natural light. We will keep the palette neutral with tones of white & grey and add splashes of colour through art and accessories. How hard can it be?????


I signed up to the Homeone forum when we first started looking at blocks of land and can honestly say it has been my greatest source of information so far on what to expect when going through the rollercoaster ride of building. This online group of wonderful, equally obsessed people have not only armed me with valuable knowledge but their ideas, suggestions and design tips have helped shape the vision for our new home, may I add these great suggestions have also cost Mr Big a small fortune!
I have also replaced my love of online shoe shopping with scrolling through Houzz & Pintrest looking for inspiring looks.

Colour Palette
Sitting down at the local café armed with my colour charts of stone, laminate and paint colour selections and a cup coffee I calmly unfold the giant sheet of colour choices and stare in disbelief, I had no idea how many shades of white actually existed in this world. This is crazy, how the hell do I decide what will look better, what if I get this wrong, our whole house will be a disaster if my choice of polar white cabinets instead of white silk cabinets clashes with the Frosty Carrina stone, which I’m now second guessing unsure if the veining is to subtle for the look I’m trying to achieve ……… I need to calm down before I end up in a shade of off white straight jacket. I start searching on Google and put together a selection of moodboards to better prepare me for this monumental task and remind myself to stop being a drama queen.

Luckily Mr Big & I have very similar taste and agree that our kitchen & scullery colours will be light stone tops (still undecided on exact colour, waiting for samples to arrive), Polar White in a silk finish for the cupboards and for the splash backs we love the look & flow of matching the benchtop & the splash back the same .



Once upon a time…….

It all started with the simple words, maybe it’s time to buy another house!……and so our search begins, dozens of home opens and online property searches and still no closer to finding our new dream home, we make the decision to build it!

Having never built before hubby, my Mr Big, gosh he will love this, and I decide to jump in head first, do our research and get going. We start looking at blocks, put together our wish / must have list and tour every known display village in the Perth metro area.

THE BLOCK – we put a deposit down on a fantastic piece of land in The Break at Secret Harbour. The block is 748sqm with a 22m frontage only 4 houses away from the beautiful Secret Harbour beach and we are on our way.

THE HOUSE – Unable to find the exact design we want we head to a Summit Homes display and meet our creative design guru, better known to most as Glenn Williams. Within a few days Glenn sends us a design for our new home and I fall in love, Mr Big simply asks How much does it cost? Thankfully the house is in our budget and after a few adjustments we end up with our soon to be new home.

We have a total of 383.95 sqm of living space including the alfresco and garage.

So my new obsession begins, never did I think I would be excited by the detail of the perfect cornice design or find myself discussing the placement of a spandrel, little lone know what a spandrel actually is! Little Miss Have’a’chat, our beautiful 8 year old daughter, has become my side kick on our Sunday afternoon ritual of display house visits looking for inspiration ideas and colours for our new house while Mr Big is away working hard to pay for it, bless him.


1. Single storey, yes I know, why would we only have one storey when we could take advantage of ocean views from a second storey you ask? Well its quite simple, Mr Big & I are lazy and are not fans of walking up and down stairs!

2. In no particular order, open plan living with a seperate area for Miss Have’a’chat & her friends, a large Master Suite, plenty of storage, stone benches through out, waterfall edges to the kitchen island, a scullery, over head cupboards, lots of natural light, high ceilings and spacious bathrooms.

3. I wanted a large dressing room that a Kardashian would be envious of, a deep soaking freestanding bath tub and a seperate area to do my hair & make up. Like most red blooded men Mr Big wanted a huge garage, a theatre room with a huge TV and a great sound system, a large alfresco and techy stuff that does really cool stuff! Miss Have’a’chat wanted pink walls, a four poster bed and a picture of boy band One Direction on her bedroom wall

I hope you enjoying following our journey.