What will be ….

My names nicki!

Ive started this blog in an attempt to track my life. Things are changing rapidly for me at the moment. I went from a partying drinking singleton to a relationship and 3 kids in 3 years, our first house and i am now working my way through the minefield of post natal depression.

I want to change my lifestyle and my outlook on life by writing about myself, my family and the things we do to build our home, a healthy life and happiness.

I want to be more aware of what im doing and how we are moving forward.

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Fruit trees, vegetables and grass!

I like grass. I know alot of people dont, especially people like me who want to become fairly self sufficent. 

The tagline #growfoodnotlawn seems to be pretty popular at the moment.

I have kids and kids love playing on grass. They like helping in the garden too, but its not going to hurt to have a bit of a play area for kids and a bit of relaxation area for us either.

So we are growing food AND lawn. Everything a bit at a time and everything slowly 😂

Of course we have 8 acres to grow on and not everyone has that, but even if you do only have a small area it doesnt hurt to have a small lawn area i dont think. Especially if you have kids. 

Im looking forward to looking back at the pictures of our place now, with our patchy seed lawn and barely there vegie garden. The tiny fruit trees and the 5 chooks we have. In the future id like to think we have an orchard of huge trees, a forest of a vegie patch with enough food to share around. Id love more chooks and maybe a couple of sheep and i want a nice patch of green lawn around the house. 

Some things I think you need on your property and things I aim to get myself are

  •  Chooks.

So valuable. They are a source of eggs, they eat your food scraps and convert them into fertiliser full of nitrogen! They turn the soil (whether you want them to or not 🤔) and They can become meat (even though mr j is a butcher this wont happen here… not at this stage)

  • Compost or worm farm

Something i havent done yet. I tried to start a compost but the chooks kept getting in and scratching through. 

I think a worm farm is the way to go for us. Worm juice is amazing for the plants and the soil inside is great also (and full of worms) i also find that the kids really find it exciting, even little ones like ours.

  • Fruit and nut trees

Why buy your own fruits and nuts if you dont need too?! With  the price of them at tfhe moment your crazy not to grow your own. Not to mention the fact that you can make jams, chutney, dried fruit and preserve them. Its a good way to set your self up a bit!

  • Vegetable garden 

Just like fruits and nuts, why buy if you dont need too? If you have the room you should definitely grow your own food. Its better for you in so many ways. You know whats in it, how it was grown, theres no travel miles on the food, your scraps go back to your chooks and worms and your getting the physical exercise of gardening!

  • Livestock 

Beyond chooks, it doesnt hurt to have your own meat. When we were on a larger property we had a few cattle. They supply good fertiliser and lots of meat, but they require better fencing, more feed and they are a pain to home butcher with minimal tools.

With this property we will likely go for sheep. A shedding breed like a dorper. They have alot of meat, we can butcher then easily at home, and dont require as much feed as cattle. They are also worth a few $$ and breed really well with regular multiple births, so if we breed we can sell a few each season to cover the cost of hay.

We have had goats in the past but i dont this we will do that again. Theyre a pain in the neck 😂😂😂

  •  A tractor

Ooooh how i wish for a tractor (not as much as mr j) it would make life so much easier. But we need a bit more money first.

  •  A water tank (or several)

Another thing i wish i had the money for right now! Water from the sky?! For free?! Perfect! 

Not to mention the quality 👌👌

  •  Lawn and a garden

 Again, I like having grass. I also like having a bit of a garden, succulents, flower and the likes. Theyre good to look at nd help with your mental healthy. Theyre fun to plant and i feel like lawn cools the area around your house down. You just need to make sure you get hardy drought resistant types so you arent wasting water.

These are the things im aiming to get and build on within the next 12 months.

Over the years there is so much more to expand on these. More Sheds, solar panels, grey water system etc etc. But right now im focusing on a few things at once.

What are you doing to get your property up and running? Where are you in regards to me? And pointers? (I could use them 😂)

Renovations on a tight budget

We bought our house 6 months ago. It was a bank repression house and not in the best shape.

The worst place was the second toilet.

The cistern was sun damaged and cracked, where the cistern had been bolted in had damaged the walls and it was moulded and flaky.

The top part of the window was missing for who knows how long and the hole had been covered by chipboard. Over time, the chipboard had weathered and when it rained there was water pouring in which had caused the sill to be horribly water damaged.

And to top it off, it STUNK. The smell coming from that room spread through the whole house, especially on hot days and it was horrible.

It fast became our top priority.

Since we had just exhausted every penny we had on our house deposit and moving, it had to be done on a very tight budget.

Luckily for us (i know not everyone has people in the know) we had recently made friends with a carpenter/handy man and while talking to him lookimg for hints he said that for the wonderful price of food, beers and fuel money, he would show us how to do what needed to be done.

We bought a cistern/seat kit from bunnings for $70 and our friend got everything else necessary for us because he got trade discount.

This included a window and seal, spack and filler for the wall and sealant, as well as a new hose and fitting for the toilet.

It took a day to do the job and im so glad we had the help as we are very new to the handy man thing (so of course we bought a fixer upper 😂)

It definitely looked alot better and the smell was greatly improved, although later on down the track we found the route of the smell was actually the seal around the bowl of the toilet.

Since we arent replacing the bowl yet, we have just used bathroom silicone around where the seal is and when we replace the bowl we will replace the seal.

In the end the entire cost including the materials (and lunch) was around $350 (give or take a bit) to replace a window, toilet, fix a wall and seal the base of the toilet.

We still need to paint and put in a shelf but it difference in looks and smell is astronomical and 110% better than it was when we first moved in!

Some things i recommend if you are trying to do renos on a budget is

1. Talk to people! Theres always someone who knows someone who knows how to do it. Normally that person can do a cashy or help you in some way.

Recently we were given 4 litres of ceiling paint by a friend of a friend whos a painter just because he wasnt going to use it anytime soon.

2. Pay for quality the first time.

A cheap reno can soon become expensive if you are paying for replacements constantly. There is quality even in the cheap brackets.

3. Ring around for quotes and dont be afraid to barter price.

4. ALWAYS offer food and drink. 

We arent arseholes people. You might be paying people but theyre still human beings.

What renos have you done on a tight budget? Have you found any little tricks that make a huge difference to the looks of a room?

Saving money shopping online!

Ive always wanted to live a fairly self sufficent life. 

I cant see myself ever being the kind of person to be 100% off the grid, but id love to do most of my own fruit, vege and meat (handy that Mr J is a butcher) have solar panels and the like.

Now that we have our own property this is actually a dream that could be acheivable… except for the fact that I not only dont know where to begin, but I also have no money to start.

So far we have a few hens (always need more) and a few fruit trees.

I tried planting a small (rather dismal) vegie patch with things i had gotten from others but it was decimated by the chooks pretty quickly 😂 lesson learnt. So now i want to build a fenced in area for my vegies because i like the chooks to be free range, and so do they. 

Everything here is a work in progress (including myself) and all requires money, so my first step (as mentioned in my last post ) is frugality!

Ive started with the little steps, not buying unless needed, turning things off at the power point and i discoved just how much i spend impulse shopping at the supermarket!!! 

I did my first online shop with woolworths online yesterday and my shop was $131 including nappies, formula and other  toiletries. Normally its at least $200. Im sure ive missed a few things and it will probably be more next time but if i can keep it under $150 thats a huge win.

Ive always been a terrible impulse shopping and I have a habit of leaving my list at home. Its also far more convenient (and less humiliating) than trying to drag 3 kids 3 and under around a supermarket every week.

The 3 monsters

I always thought that online shopping was a terrible thing, laziness and a way for shops to get rid of workers etc, but when you look into the past there was once a time many things where delivered. Milk for example!

 Im going to try going to the farmers market in our nearest city once a fortnight as we dont have one here, but im unsure on whether there will be savings. Im interested to see. Its also a good place to get some more chooks, eggs and handmade/secondhand goods.

Have you tried online shopping? What did you think?

Starting out with the bare minimum

Let me introduce myself and my family. It will be easier if we are familiar.

Theres me, my partner Mr J and our 3 kids, mr P (nearly 4), miss S (2) and miss A (7 months)

We have 2 dogs (Old fat dog nirvana and baby pup pearl jam), 2 horses Roy and Star and a few chooks…. for now.

About 6 months ago me and Mr J bought our first place together. A fixer upper 4 x 2 on nearly 8acres about 50km from nowhere special, rural Western Australia. We love it. Its the perfect place for our little monsters to grow up and thrive.

We dont have much and we probably never will so my aim in life is to have us living as best we can. Simple, cheap, eco and self sufficient.

Im a long way from all 4 of them at the moment, so its going to be an interesting journey!

The last 12 months hasnt just brought us a house, but our 3rd child, another dog and our first ever nice car! Weve been on a big holiday and it feels like life is running at full speed at the moment. We have decided its time to slow it down (alot) and focus on us, our kids and our property to try and acheive some things on our fast growing to-do list!

My first goal is to bring in a bit of frugality to our family. With Mr P starting kindy next year i will need to tighten the strings a bit to keep us in the green. Challenge accepted!

Luckily for me new years is coming up and its a great time to start making a few resolutions!

With such a huge year we have found ourselves running out of money constantly and living paycheck to paycheck. With me as a stay at home mum and 1 low income we are always going to be on the back foot, but we know what we can acheive as a couple when we put our minds to it.

Ill be writing a budget in the next few days and giving Mr J his allowance (hahaha yea right 😂)

I find we waste alot as well i will be working on ways to reduce our household wastage on food, power, water etc.

Any tips would be much appreciated.

Is there anything you are doing to reduce your waste, save money or build savings? Do you have any new years resolutions?