Week 31 & 32: Our Boutique Build – Airlie

NOTE:  I typed this post at the time, but had no internet so couldn’t publish it… So here it is, just a little late.  PS:  We are in the house now, have had the keys for a week today!!!  So after realising that living in world with no internet is no fun, I got a little mobile dongle, so I’m back in the world of the living (First world problems hey!!!)


Ok – we are getting close, so very very close.  No actual date yet, but I’m certain it will be done soon, and we will have those keys in our hot little hands.

WEEK 31:

Monday February 15th, 2016 – The water damaged carpet was pulled up, I also saw the security/alarm guys on site too.

Tuesday 16th – Didn’t notice anyone on site

Wednesday 17th – The newer new carpet went in, and I think the missing stone bench top in the pantry went in today.

Thursday 18th – Didn’t see anyone

Friday 19th – Plumbers on site

Saturday 20th – Painters on site.  We completed the rain garden (minus the final pebble layer)

WEEK 32:

Monday 22nd February, 2016: Glass replaced at front door. (should have been translucent but was clear)  We also had our New Home Presentation. (see paragraph further down about that)

Tuesday 23rd – Didn’t see anyone

Wednesday 24th – No idea about today, as my darling boy was in hospital over night. This emergency dash has reminded me that while our new home is amazing it would be nothing without my family in it. I love the house, but I love my family more. It was a scary reminder that the house is not what is important. I am still excited as it’s been a long road, but I’m mindful to be present in life. Deep I know, but true.

Thursday 25th – Plumber on site

Friday 26th – Electrician on site

Saturday 27th – Render fixed

Sunday 28th – Painters on site


So the NHP was an experience – I found it quite stressful to be honest. I think I was wearing rose coloured glasses for the last few weeks/months. lol. I felt the house was perfect, but when your entourage start nit picking and placing blue tape everywhere it is so deflating. Now don’t get me wrong on this – it was essential that this step happen, and I don’t want to notice issues in a few months once we are settled, but I had my eye on the prize and with every piece of blue tape I felt a barrier go up. With the stress building I decided to remove myself and get away from the crowd, so I went on my own and tested every powerpoint. I took a phone charger and checked every single powerpoint – and I am so glad I did as I found 5 double points that didn’t work. Including my daughters whole bedroom. So what were the main issues you ask… Painting was the main issue. We paid for 3 coats of paint, which is an upgrade. It was very questionable that 3 coats have been done. The cavity sliding doors have started turning yellow – they are not white. That is annoying as we don’t even live there yet, it does make me nervous that the quality of the paint they use is ordinary at best. Especially if it is yellowing already. The upstairs rumpus room window had two major scratches (on the outside) so this double glazed window has to be replaced. The butlers pantry window was also scratched, but it was relatively minor. The front and back render had a patch that needed to be touched up. There was a problem with a height variance between a door frame and the roof architraves. It was out by about 1cm. The door frame was straight so it is most likely the roof isn’t so straight. I couldn’t see this without a ruler showing the difference. My concern was that the roof is safe and not going to collapse on us. It’s fine, just not lazer leveled. I’m not sure it is something that noticeable and its not in a spot where I will hang art etc so I really don’t think it is that big of a deal. I hope that makes sense – it’s hard to explain it. lol There was no hot water. The alarm and intercom weren’t working, assuming just not connected. And the alarm sensors are all at different heights – they aren’t even. Just looks weird in each room. There was paint on the tiles and floorboards, and for a house that was apparently cleaned that morning, there were lots of marks on the tiles too. The tiles in the main ensuite don’t sit right around the drain, it’s quite sharp. So the drain is going to raised. There was also an issue with the carpet at the main bathroom being a fair bit lower than the tiled floor – so essentially you could stub your toe – and if that happened I think you would take a nice chunk out as it’s fairly sharp too. Not ideal for the bathroom the kids will use. The staircase wasn’t sanded back very well, and has a few parts that need to be fixed. There were some other things, but these are the main ones and the ones I can actually remember.

My little man loving the "disappearing" dishwasher

My little man loving the “disappearing” dishwasher

Pre emergency dash - hanging out in the pantry.

Pre emergency dash – hanging out in the pantry.


Driveway Decisions

So now that the house is nearing completion we are having to plan and make decisions for handover.   At the top of the list is the driveway.  And with the drive fairly steep we really need it done straight away.  I also hate the thought of dragging all that dust through the house.  Although – there is a lot of dust across the road anyway.

Hubby and I have been getting quotes for the drive and a path around the dead side of the house.  I drove out to Mentone to look at their samples.  This is what I liked.  I always wanted a light colour but now I’m thinking dark.  The lady said the light colour while looks amazing, is likely to look cream against our white house, and is harder to keep clean.  That was enough to push Hubby towards the dark.  I like the dark, but had always imagined light.

What’s your vote?  Dark or light?




Leave your vote below – and if you have a house with similar colours be sure to tag me on Instagram – @Donovansdaily

Week 6: The roof begins. Our Boutique Home. Airlie.

Monday August 24, 2015; Week 6 of our build saw the roof start.  As I did school drop off a crane had just finished placing the roof trusses on the top of the second storey, and by the end of the day I think most of the roof was done.  This week also saw the windows arrive – they are currently stacked in the garage. Friday the 28th of August the garage roof trusses were completed and on Saturday I noticed the front timber support pole was in.  I didn’t get out of the car this week for a close look as it was raining or I was on my way to an event or work or whatever else was on.  A couple of days this week it was pouring rain, but the carpenters were still there slogging away.  My hat goes off to them – cheers boys!!!

It is hard to actually see the roof from the front of the house as it is so high up, but you can see the timber for the eaves poking out.  Hopefully it looks good – as it kind of looks bald at the moment. lol.

Roof trusses on

Roof trusses on



garage roof is on and windows inside the garage

garage roof is on and windows inside the garage


The timber support at the entrance - this will be covered with bricks

The timber support at the entrance – this will be covered with bricks

The timber support at the front door is a beautiful piece of timber – does seem a shame to box it up.  I’m still interested to see how the eave at the front of the garage will work.

Who has built a double storey – what comes next, roof covering or bricks?  Excited to see more happen.   It’s amazing the difference 6 weeks can make!!!

Week 5: Build it up, build it up build it higher. Our Airlie Build with Boutique Homes Victoria

So I’m a little late with my week 5 update…  It was an exciting week as the second storey went up!!!  It was amazing to see how quickly it happened, and it gave a real insight into the actual height of the house.  And it is certainly big!!!  My son was pretty impressed as I was able to point out his room.  He loves driving by and seeing the builders working – he currently wants to be a builder.  I haven’t been upstairs as yet… I have a small fear of heights and hate climbing ladders. So as much as I want to see and get a feel of the bedroom sizes I’m yet to do it.  I also tend to the have the children with me, and it’s not a place for them, as much as my little man would love to climb the ladder.

Second storey goes up

Second storey goes up – late evening photo so very dark.

Close up at the front of the house

Close up at the front of the house

The Lounge - happy that light does get inside

The Lounge – happy that light does get inside

The kitchen - super excited for our window splash back

The kitchen – super excited for our window splash back

The alfresco

The alfresco

Looking from the backyard to the house. The alfresco and the guest bedroom upstairs

Looking from the backyard to the house. The alfresco and the guest bedroom upstairs

Down the 'dead' side of the house

Down the ‘dead’ side of the house.  Jack’s room is up there!!!

The other side of the house

The other side of the house. Guest bedroom, bathroom, kids retreat, master

Side of house, looking towards the road

Side of house, looking towards the road

Back of house. Alfresco and lounge downstairs. Guest bedroom & Anastasia's room upstairs

Back of house. Alfresco and lounge downstairs. Guest bedroom & Anastasia’s room upstairs

Master Bedroom upstairs

Master Bedroom upstairs

More of our HUGE master bedroom upstairs

More of our HUGE master bedroom upstairs

So it is certainly coming along – and it is very exciting.  The children can now actually “see” the house, and it makes much more sense to them now.

We are going to site… Airlie 38 Boutique Homes Victoria

It is with much excitement that our file was finally moved to the Construction Department – Yeah!!!  It moved yesterday – Wednesday July 15th 2015, and we were notified today (Thursday July 16th) that we will go to site next Thursday!!!  So in ONE WEEK!!!  I’m so excited, and thrilled that this happened quickly with Boutique.  So now I’m just praying for a smooth build, and that the weather God’s are on our side.  I went for a walk this morning around the river, and felt myself daydreaming about the beautiful Airlie – I really can’t wait to see something happen.  I’m also mindful not to get over excited, as we are about to start building in the middle of winter, so I’m sure there will be delays – so please, cold, wet, Melbourne weather, go away until our house is at lock up.

Get ready for progress updates… I’ve never been so excited at the thought of seeing a portaloo!!! lol.


Finally – Approval from Council: Airlie 38 Boutique Homes Victoria

FINALLY – we have approval from council!!!  So the latest delay has finally been sorted, with approval for our setback being granted on Friday (19th of June 2015).  I don’t think our neighbour signed, so council made the decision.  Yeah!!!

Hopefully this is the last hurdle, and now we can actually start building the beautiful Airlie 38.  I’m really trying not to get over excited for fear of further delays or disappointment.  Let’s face it – it has happened far too many times on this building journey!!!  We had to sort out some tile issues with Boutique and re-sign some forms that have gone missing, so with any luck our file will move to the construction department on the 1st July. I believe we will then be assigned another person to assist us with the construction phase, where we will be given a start date!!!  I’m still so disheartened that it’s hard to believe anything will actually happen, but then I catch myself daydreaming about my kitchen, and decorating the kids bedrooms!!!

So still no idea on a start date…

Tile problem:  Boutique now do a hob on showers – which is essentially a little step into the shower.  So of course my beautiful tiles I choose for the master ensuite will look terrible going over a hob, and then the cut lines pushing the water to the drain.  So I have decided to just use plain charcoal tiles on the hob and the base of the shower.  The patterned tile will remain on the floor of the rest of the bathroom.

The tiles and pattern for the floor

The tiles and pattern for the floor

I still love these tiles even though we chose them 12 months ago…  Hopefully I still love them by the time the house actually gets built.  (and everything else we picked!!!)

For those of you that have built with Boutique – how long did it take to get to site from the date your file was moved to construction?



Airlie 33. Display Home – Boutique Homes Victoria. Clyde North

So Victoria has two Airlie 33 display homes – not sure why they didn’t make one an Airlie 38???  The front facade is even the same!!!  Anyway, here are the pictures I took of this display…

IMG_0105 IMG_0104 IMG_0103 IMG_0102 IMG_0101 IMG_0100 IMG_0098 IMG_0099 IMG_0097 IMG_0096 IMG_0095 IMG_0093 IMG_0090 IMG_0088 IMG_0087 IMG_0086I like the styling of the Wollert home better I think.  Although, I do like this carpet as well, and I LOVE the grey floor tiles in the bathroom.  I’m not a big fan of the dark overhead cupboards in the kitchen, I much prefer the white as displayed at Wollert.  So glad that Wollert displayed it white with white as that is how I want it to look.  My hubby couldn’t imagine how it, so thankfully the display opened before our colour selection appointment.

Can you “imagine” different colours, or do you need to see it clearly in the flesh?


Airlie 33. Display home – Boutique Homes Victoria – Wollert VIC

So as you know, we are going to build the Airlie 38, (which is actually 41) by Boutique Homes Victoria.  I thought you might like to see the display home pictures I took of the Airlie 33 located in Wollert, Victoria.  The floor plan is fairly different but you’ll get the drift.

Front lounge…  This is a sunken lounge, ours won’t be.  We only have a window at the front, and we are going to close it in and have double doors.

IMG_1390 IMG_1389 IMG_1387



Laundry.  Ours will have the same layout as this, including the overhead cupboards.  We have a top loader, so going to do a laminate bench top for now.  When we need to replace the washing machine (hopefully many many years down the track) we will change the bench to stone.  We won’t have the tall cupboard – that area will actually become a mud room – so excited for this.  I’ll chat about it another time….IMG_1323


Powder Room – Ours won’t be so fancy… just the basic loo and a standard basin and vanity for us.

IMG_1325 IMG_1326


Kitchen – LOVE this space!!!  I plan on having the white cupboards, the window splash back and the black in the corners.  We will have a “normal” island bench – rectangle in shape not square.  I would love the induction cook top, but sadly I think it will be too expensive, so gas for us.  Our fridge will not be integrated (it’s the giant door next to the coffee machine and microwave)  I look forward to having a fridge with chilled water on demand!!!  No coffee machine either – but don’t worry, we have our trusty Aldi one!!!  I LOVE the sink – it’s a Pete Evans one….   We are going to go with a standard spout on the island bench, and change it ourselves to a funky black one after handover!!!  Would have loved a black sink too, but Boutique don’t offer them and I’m guessing that would be a little hard to change after!IMG_1338 IMG_1336 IMG_1351 IMG_1349 IMG_1343 IMG_1341 IMG_1340





Pantry –  Can’t wait for this either – so much space!!!  Ours will be slightly different as we are blocking the second entrance, so you can only enter from the kitchen and not the hallway.  The window splash back in here is also an upgrade which we are doing  :)

IMG_1347 IMG_1346 IMG_1344


Lounge / Dining / Outdoor Living Space – Again we have changed this area.  We flipped the Lounge and Outdoor Living.  So the Outdoor space will flow from the kitchen, and the Living and dining are next to each other. No fire for us  :(

IMG_1352 IMG_1331 IMG_1329 IMG_1328

IMG_1334 IMG_1333

IMG_1357 IMG_1355 IMG_1354 IMG_1352


Staircase – we are having timber stairs.  I hate trying to vacuum carpet on stairs, a broom will be much easier.  And the carpet wears quickly in the middle, so ends up looking ordinary very quickly.  Not having any of the fancy glass, just normal plaster walls for us, and I think a smaller window.IMG_1382


Upstairs – Retreat.


Master Bedroom – Ours is a different layout, but here are the pictures.



IMG_1367 IMG_1366 IMG_1365

Other Bedrooms and Bathroom

IMG_1378 IMG_1375 IMG_1374 IMG_1372 IMG_1371Any other pictures…

IMG_1559 IMG_1384 IMG_1369

Thinking this carpet????

Please note, all these pictures were taken by me.  Boutique have better quality ones on their website.

What do you think?  What are you draws you in, and what don’t you like?



Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – Disneyland

On a recent family holiday to America in April, my daughter celebrated her 5th Birthday.  Her rather extravagant birthday present was a transformation into a Disney Princess.  She is very much into everything girly and LOVES the Princesses.  She was super excited and couldn’t wait for her transformation.  As she wash’t having a birthday party this year, and we can’t see ourselves getting back to America anytime soon, we purchased the Castle package for her.

Upon arriving, she was allowed to choose which Princess she wanted to be.  Of course it was Elsa from Frozen, but of course it was sold out.  We knew this was more than likely going to be the case as staff in all the Disney stores we had visited throughout the States had already told us it was sold out.  Her next choice after what felt like 3 hours of deliberation was Sleeping Beauty.


Her dress was placed in a change room, but upon putting it on, she changed her mind… The staff were wonderful and she was allowed to pick again…  This was the Aurora dress, the one she didn’t end up liking.


Her next choice was Rapunzel, which thankfully she was happy with.  So once she was dressed, a gown was placed over the top and she sat in her salon chair.  Her Fairy Godmother then did her hair, make up and nails.  (She got to choose her hair style too)





She had to blow on her nails and then say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” – the magic made her nails dry.  She loves saying this now when painting her nails at home.


A little more magic with her new wand (part of the package, along with the tiara) to open the curtain revealing her transformation.  This was a priceless moment – the look on her face was just so special.  She was a Princess!!!


With her transformation complete, she now had a photo session.  This did involve a little bit of a wait, and then another wait for the photos.  It was very busy in the Boutique, and a little bit of a production line, but to be honest, Annie didn’t notice at all.  It was heaven in her eyes.


Our Little Man became a Knight.  This involved him getting his hair done – which he was NOT impressed with.  He has long hair and hates it being brushed, unless it is with a soft bristle brush.


A little bit of Mickey glitter, a sword and a shield and all his worry in the world was gone.


After we had the photos in hand, (again part of the package) we were taken to the castle to meet the Princesses.  This made the $US 200 worth every penny!!!  We got to bypass the queue which the sign said was about 2 hours long.  We had our own entry as well.



After a knock, knock, knock, we were taken inside.  Annie was thrilled to see Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty.  I was happy to see how much time and attention the characters gave to the children.  It really was magical.  (So wish I had have had this experience when I was little)





Next was Mulan – she was so sweet.  She asked who they wanted to see next and Jack said Aerial.  So she made them close their eyes, held their hands, and walked them to her.  It was so so sweet.  I couldn’t believe that they could make the experience so personal.


IMG_0659The whole Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience was amazing, and something Annie will remember forever I’m sure.  Although the Castle Package is expensive, I really think it was worthwhile. Annie loves all the bits and bobs she got to keep and still wears her dress up!!!

For more information head to the disneyland website – and be sure to book… this books out quickly!!!




Ahoy me matey’s – Pirate Playground is OPEN!!!

IMG_1167Whilst going for a run around the Maribyrnong River in Melbourne on Tuesday I noticed that a fence was missing… the fence had been keeping out my super excited and lover of all things pirate, son, out of a new giant playground.  A playground in the shape of Pirate Ship.  After dropping my daughter at Kindergarten, Jack and I often walk/ride around the river, and every time we passed the playground he wanted to go in.  It’s hard to explain to a 3 year old that it’s not finished – it looked finished enough for him!!!  One day the fence was open while the workers were there.  He thought it was “open” for him!!!  “Look mum, it’s open” he screamed with delight.  When I explained that the gate was open so they could finish it (and not open for kids) he completely lost it. I wonder if it’s too much to ask that in future councils put up giant tents covering new playgrounds so nobody can see them!!!  lol.

Anyway, it’s open!!!  After completing our walk around the river (Jack in a pram so I could get some exercise) we went to discover the new ship.  Wow – Moonee Valley City Council, you have out done yourself!!!  It is amazing.  We loved it, and I can’t wait to take my daughter.  There was a slide, tunnel, treasure chest and a Captains Quarters to name a few elements.  It won’t be long and I’m sure this playground will become the most popular in the area.  With a number of options for coffee near by, and the beautiful river to set the scene it is perfect!!!  I also believe that there might be another stage – so more equipment to come…. How exciting!!!

I also heard another mum say that the official opening is on July 15 – but I’m not 100% sure on that.

Hope to see you there!!!

Where:  If you go to the corner of Fawkner St & The Boulevard, Aberfeldie – you will hit the  parking entrance.

IMG_1166 IMG_1164 IMG_1163 IMG_1162