The Kids Cubby House

One of the things on our to-do list has been to fix the kids cubby house.

We purchased the cubby house for the kids Christmas present in 2014.  Brand new.  Cost around $2,000.  I am not going to recommend the company because despite following their instructions, the timber rotted in the floor boards and at the base of the walls and the roof was also faulty.

This is what it all looked like at the time.  Many hours were spent painting.  Primer and then 3 coats of colour.  A very labour intensive job.  We should have purchased a paint spray gun in retrospect but we put in the hours with my sister-in-law to get it done.

Moving forward 2 and a bit years, the side patio fell down in a storm and that was when we knew we either had to spend time and money fixing it or cut our losses and replace it all together.

Hubby contacted the company we purchased it from and they gave him a very good price for a new roof and flooring.  So good, we mustn’t be the first customers to have experienced this issue.  He headed over and collected the items and then it was time to take the cubby apart and repair it.

We did purchase a spray paint gun and it made the world of difference in regards to speed.  We purchased the Wagner Flexio 867 Paint Sprayer and we do recommend this item.

I have spoken before about my desire to build my own house.  The colours used here are probably close to the colours I’d choose if I was building right now.  They are Dulux Teahouse, Airborne half, Tranquil Retreat and Natural White.

Section by section the cubby was fixed and then it was time for some new finishing touches.

Internally, not a lot has changed.  The blue shelves are the IKEA Beksam spice racks which retail at $3.99 each and painted in the same blue as the door and window frames.  The table and chairs are from IKEA too.  The kitchen is from Hip Kids.  It is not intended to be a kitchen for outside and has been damaged by the water that has gotten in.  Still functional though! I made the curtains from damaged ones I had in our bedroom.

We already had the kids pink Adirondack chair which we purchased from Masters in 2014/15.  The kids door mat was also purchased at the time but unfortunately, the lady doesn’t make them anymore.  I wanted to place a plant by the front door. I popped in at Kmart and they had this fake plant for $20.00.

I then headed to Bunnings and selected this solar powered light which was on clearance for $5.00 and bought the $6.00 bracket for it to hang from.  We don’t need functional lighting as the kids are in bed when it’s dark, not playing in the cubby house, this was more for the aesthetics.  Not bad for $11.00.  I would have preferred to hang it lower but we were concerned the kids may bang their heads on it.

To the side is a little table and chair set from Toys’r’Us which cost us $59.99.

The light blue hanging baskets were on clearance for $5.00 at Masters all those years ago.  We went to the local garden store and got 10 plants for $10.00!  Bargain because if the kids are like me, they’ll be dead in no time!

So, after lots of work, the cubby house has been restored.  We have had lots of rain lately and it appears to be fairly water tight now.  The kids are loving having it back and I am “eating” lots of extra meals, made with love!

Tell me, do you have a cubby in your yard?  Thinking of getting one?  What’s holding you back?

Hunter Valley getaway for 2!

The Hubby and I got away for a night and it was soooooo good!

After taking the kids to their Saturday morning sports, the kids were picked up by my sister-in-law for a sleepover and we made our way to the Hunter Valley!

Hubby is a fan of the band L I V E. Through our relationship I have grown to really enjoy their music too. After taking a break for seven years, they have finally come back together and are touring again. Once we received word we quickly booked accommodation (not soon enough as all that was left at a reasonable price was a motel) and waited for tickets to come on sale. Tickets were purchased and we had something to look forward to. Couple time in the Hunter Valley and a concert. Hip Hip Hooray!

We headed straight to the Motel (Cessnock Vintage Motor Inn), got ready and made our way to The Roche Estate, the concert venue. Parking was pretty easy. Now you can’t take anything in with you food or drink wise. Even water bottles had to be emptied and refilled inside. We had low profile chairs, picnic rug, ponchos and jackets. Thank goodness for the ponchos. The beginning of the night saw me looking like this, trying to protect our bag and cheese platter. 😳

On the food front – we purchased a Camembert and a Smoked Dutch made by The Smelly Cheese Shop, a delicious basil and pecorino dip and some biscuits and a bread stick. The wine on offer was from Tempus Two and we had the Moscato Rosa.

I picked on Hubby when I found out L I V E were performing at a winery in the Hunter and not somewhere in Sydney. Had they gotten old and developed a taste for red wine? What a great location though!  If they do perform in Sydney next time, I hope its at a venue like the Domain where you’d be able to create the same type of atmosphere.

After doing my best to manage and navigate my way through many tantrums from my 4 year old I was ready to unwind and have some fun. Hubby and I managed that. We sang our heart out to every song, either hand in hand or arms wrapped around each other, dancing away. The best!

Ed (the lead singer) mentioned they’d be back in March next year. Can’t wait!!!

Sunday morning saw Hubby enjoy a sleep-in (why can’t I sleep in anymore?!?!?!) and brunch at Peterson House in their Restaurant, Cuvée. We enjoyed the Bubbly Breakfast which includes bacon, eggs, mushrooms, potato rosti, spinach and tomatoes. It was all so lovely but the rosti with rosemary and seeded mustard was delicious!!! We had a little walk around (how gorgeous is the sandstone on the building!) and bought the kids a little chocolate treat from the chocolate shop onsite and made our way home. I was too tired to visit other wineries and do any tastings, and we’ve also been there several times in the past, so home it was.


The trip home saw us reunited with the kids and three loads of washing and preparations for the week ahead, ready to start a new week.

How was your weekend? Have you been to the Hunter? Where’s your favourite place to go?

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Eco Olive Farmstay

When I decided earlier in the year to use some of my long service leave and take all of October off, I also knew it was time for a holiday as well and commenced looking for a place to stay.  I like to have a good look and then chat with the hubby and discuss pricing etc. We also invited some family friends along who have 3 boys – 2 of which are the same age as our kids.

My brother and his family stayed at Eco Olive Farmstay this time last year and it was on my list to look into. Located in Big Hill, NSW (just over 2 hours from Sydney) this is a very relaxed farm stay experience that has been just what we needed.


We checked in on Saturday afternoon and were warmly greeted by the owner/host, Monica. She showed us around, advised us of a few things, asked if we wanted her to get the fire going and then left us to it. A few minutes spent unpacking and then we went on a quick walk around the top area of the property, saying hello to the sheep and chickens.

Our days following this followed a pattern of waking up, heading out with Monica to feed the animals, head back to play games/read books, have lunch, siesta, afternoon tea, wine time, playing again, dinner, showers, dessert/toasting marshmallows on the fire, kids to bed and a board game for the adults and finally, bed.

The highlight of each day was heading out on the back of Monica’s ute and feeding the sheep, cows, geese and chickens and collecting the eggs from the chicken coop. Monica is a farmer and wealth of knowledge on all the animals and workings of the property. She knows every centimetre of her property and we listened intently, asked lots of questions and had a blast. Some tips included:

  • Leave an egg in each nest so that the hens know where to return to lay more.
  • Hold your hand flat as you feed the sheep.
  • Stay onboard the ute when feeding the cows as they’re too large and unpredictable.

And so much more.

This property is well appointed with plenty of fun activities to do.  There are two trampolines, various swings, a games room with air-hockey, ping pong, chalk board, balls, goals and many more activities.

The property has 3 bedrooms (1 with a queen bed, 1 with 2 sets of bunks and 1 with 2 single beds that can join together) 1 bathroom, 2 toilets and a generous enough kitchen/dining/lounge area that accommodated the 9 of us well.  The kitchen was well stocked with appliances and crockery/cutlery.  We did our shopping in advance and didn’t leave until our last day at checkout time.  There is also wi-fi access as well.

I would definitely head back with our family.  The experience allowed us to take things slowly, spend quality time together and also try new things as well.

Monica’s property can be located here and here.

Have you stayed at a farm before?  Did you enjoy the experience?

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please give it a like. If you have anything to say, leave a comment, I’d love to chat. If you think it would be of benefit to someone, please share.