Braandi the aqua dog

Well, what we considered old news, has come to the surface again.

Sunrise on channel 7 are coming to interview Braandi tomorrow morning VERY early for a live interview.

Her dad gave her a lovely brush, and we’ve packed some toys and a bed to take with us to the office, as it’s going to be dark when they do the interview we are going to do it at the office.

This will be the 2nd interview now, Braandi is getting very confident now.

Braandi the aqua dog

Our little girl just loves the dolphins.

Braandi the aqua dog

Braandi the aqua dog

A couple of weeks ago, Braandi was swimming with the dolphins in our canal, when our neighbour Lee Treby happened to be outside and filmed it.

Well, I uploaded it to Facebook and wow, is all I can say, the footage went viral, several news channels picked it up and now she has been on a nightly news program in Perth.

Now, Today tonight have picked up the story and came out to film Braandi swim with the dolphins and it is going to be aired tonight.

Here is a snippet of tonight,s show.

More Julie Nutting doll layouts

I am completely obsessed with the Julie Nutting stamps, I just love them.

Last weekend, I spend several hours preparing my new layouts so that in the evening, I can sit in the lounge room and watch TV with my husband and still craft.

I prepared 10 new layouts and have finished a few already, it takes a lot less time when all the papers are cut and stamped and put into a ziplock bag ready to craft.

Here are some more of my recent layouts.

 Julie Nutting doll layout, I love Mandurah

Julie Nutting doll layout, I love Mandurah







 Julie Nutting doll layout, St Patrick's Day

Julie Nutting doll layout, St Patrick’s Day

 Julie Nutting doll layout, Wine and cheese

Julie Nutting doll layout, Wine and cheese

My Julie Nutting paper doll layouts,

I love art and crafts and my latest projects are Julie Nutting paper dolls. I’m not sure how many  there are, but I just love them,

During times of stress, people do different things, I craft, I can sit in my craft room and watch my TV and craft, be it colouring, cutting or just anything crafting.

I’m going to try and have lots of layouts to sit on my desk at work like a rolodex, with a different theme for each day, so I have set myself a rather large task of creating them.

Here’s some of my first layouts

Julie Nutting doll layout In the lounge

Julie Nutting doll layout In the lounge

This was my first attempt of doing paper dolls, at first I found them quite daunting cutting them out, but I got quite proficient with my knife cutting out all the little bits and pieces. I made this one about 12 months ago before I got any stamps printed them on printing paper and glued them on the board and used my Faber Castell big brush markers to do the shading. It’s about 36 inches long and I made the mistake of glueing the paper for the wallpaper down without wetting it first, so I had bubbles that were hard to remove. So I just put some texture paste with a brick work stencil and covered the bubbles up.

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

This was my first actual layout and I am quite pleased with it. I’m going to try and use multiple craft methods in each layout, stamping, die cutting, stickers, colouring, patterned paper and at least 1 paper doll.

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

I really enjoyed making this one, I had made the BBQ and food stuff ages ago, just needed something to put it on, and the background paper was a sheet already patterned.

Julie Nutting doll layout Let's make coffee

Julie Nutting doll layout Let’s make coffee

I love coffee, so I had to make this one, I think I will make lots of different coffee ones as I have a few stamps and dies to use.

Julie Nutting Doll layout Valentines Day

Julie Nutting Doll layout Valentines Day

Of course with Valentines Day, I had to make one, trying to find 2 dolls of similar size, was my first hurdle, but once decided I thought it came together quite well.

Bush fire prone areas in Perth and surrounding areas

Bush fire prone areas in Perth and surrounding areas

The landscape of building approvals is always evolving. By linking with leading industry experts we can be sure our clients receive the best up to date advice and service. An increasing number of properties are now subject the Bushfire Attack Level assessments and Structerre assist our clients to understand their risk. See an exert from Structerre’s explainer below and visit their website to find out more.

The WA State Government has recently passed legislation which means if you are building a home or performing construction work in a designated bushfire prone area, you will be required to undertake a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment.

Based on the results of the assessment, you will need to comply with the bushfire construction requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Bushfire image showing why the bal assessments are important

Image courtesy of Structerre Consulting Engineers

The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment relates to the classification of bushfire intensity levels that a home may experience in the unfortunate event of a bushfire.  It is determined by assessing surrounding vegetation types and distance, the slope of the land, and the proximity of adjacent buildings as well as the Fire Danger Index for the region.

The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment will determine the specific construction and design requirements for existing or proposed structures outlined in the Australian Standard AS 3959 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas.

These requirements aim to enhance the protection of your home against possible bushfires.

A Bushfire Attack Level report provides structural engineers with site-specific information on how to design the structure to reduce the risk of ignition from bushfires.

To help you identify whether or not your site is located in a designated bushfire prone area, the State Government has created a mapping standard outlining the designated bushfire prone areas across WA.

Structerre can provide you with a Bushfire Attack Level assessment in accordance with Australian Standards.

The assessment will rate your site with a Bushfire Attack Level and you will receive specific design advice and requirements on the construction of the property within this area. A Bushfire Attack Level report is typically undertaken at the building permit phase and must be provided to obtain a building permit.

  • What is a BAL?
    • A BAL assessment provides designers with site-specific information on how to design the structure to reduce the risk of ignition from bushfires, ember attack and radiant heat.
    • The result of the assessment determines the specific construction and design requirements that will need to be adhered to, in order to improve the performance of structures against possible bushfires.
    • A BAL rating can range from low, to BAL- FZ – extreme risk (Flame Zone).
  • Why does a BAL assessment need to be done?
    • For any new builds in bushfire prone areas, new legislation means a BAL assessment is required in order to obtain a building permit.
    • To help you identify whether or not your site requires a BAL assessment, the State Government has created a mapping standard outlining the designated bushfire prone areas across WA.
    • These maps are available to view on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) website:
  • What does this mean for you?
    • Building in accordance with the BAL rating and Australian Standards can bring significant additional construction costs for you or your client, sometimes over $20 000.
    • Higher BAL rating = Higher costs

Structerre Consulting Engineers, 22/01/16,

#centralavenuehomes, #smallhomebuilder, #2storyhomes, #perthhomebuilders, #customhomes, #customdesignedhomes, #narrowlothomes, #designandbuild, #narrowblockhomes, #customhomes, #customhomebuilders, #customhomedesigns, #custombuilthomes, #2storeyhomes, #lockup, #lockuphomes, #buildtolockup, #builttolockup, #demolishandbuild, #inhousedesigner

Ways To Use ChapStick (lip balm) You Might Not Know About

When I first started using LipSense lipstick, I was a regular user of lip balm to keep my lips moist, especially in the winter months and when I had a cold.
I would have one in my bag, on the boat, in the office, at home and in both cars, I used to keep them everywhere.
Now that I have been using LipSense for just over a year, my lips are extremely moist and I have no cracking, so what to do with my many lip balms.
I did a little research and found the following article on LittleThings and thought I would share.

Ways To Use ChapStick (lip balm) You Might Not Know About
Photos by Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
There’s nothing like getting a little bit of extra use out of a product that you have lying around your house anyway.
If you’re as thrifty as we are over here at LittleThings, that means trying to get as much use as possible out of everything — just check out all of the non-cooking uses of olive oil to see this ethos in action!
The fact of the matter is, most things have more than one use, and we should all be taking advantage!
There’s no point in spending money on different products for every different dilemma, when one product could be taking care of them all in one fell swoop.
So naturally enough, when we see a tube of ordinary lip balm, we don’t just see a product that can heal our chapped lips, we see a miracle cure for just about everything that ails us!
Scroll through the gallery below to see a few of our favourite uses for this unassuming household product.


#1: Protect Against Blisters
Getting a new pair of shoes is great, but the blisters that come with them? Not so much.
Next time you buy a new pair of flats that will take a few wears to break in, prepare your feet by smearing lip balm on your skin.
Find all the places the shoes rub (like the back of the heels) and liberally coat in balm to prevent those stinging blisters.


#2: Remove A Ring
There’s a special kind of anxiety involved in getting a ring stuck on your finger.
Whether you’re in a jewellery store and misjudged your size, or your fingers are swelling from weather or illness, it can be a real hassle to get a stuck ring free.
Next time it happens to you, grease up the edge with the waxy contents of a lip balm, and watch the ring slip right off.


#3: Seal Small Cuts And Hangnails
If you’re prone to paper cuts, or acquire new hangnails every other day, it might be a good idea to keep some lip balm handy.
Lip balm is no substitute for a bandage, but it’s a great way to seal a small sore spot or cut from the elements and encourage it to heal.
Next time you get a hangnail, use a clean lip balm to cover it up and keep it from getting worse.


#4: Tame Your Flyaways
Most of us are involved in a daily battle to keep our hair under control, and ordinary lip balm might be the secret weapon we’ve been waiting for.
For one thing, if you like your hair slicked back in a ponytail or bun, you can use some balm to keep the frizz under control.
Meanwhile, between eyebrow waxes, you can keep your stray caterpillar hairs under control with a little taming lip balm.


#5: Soothe a Sore Nose
Perhaps the best known alternative use for lip balm is on a chapped nose!
When you’ve had a cold for a few days, the misery of being sick is only enhanced by the misery of your nose slowly growing more raw and sore every time you blow it.
Next time, make sure to smooth on lip balm between sneezes to help protect your nose and keep the pain at bay!


#6: Open Sticky Windows
Windows warp and change with the seasons, which means that every time the weather changes your windows probably get stuck.
Whether they’re wedged open and refusing to close, or stubbornly stuck shut, lip balm might be the solution.
Use the balm to grease any part of the window track you can access, then put some muscle into it. You should finally conquer that tricky window!


#7: Shine Your Shoes
Don’t let a few scuff marks on your shiny new shoes get you down!
If you own leather shoes, it’s a good idea to take them to a cobbler from time to time for shining and minor repairs.
But in between, you can give them a tune-up by applying a little lip balm to scuffs and rough patches, and rubbing it in thoroughly.


#8: Keep Your Laces Tied
If you’re one of those people who trips over your shoelaces every time you stand up, this is a tip to bookmark.
Next time you tie your shoes, double-knot them, then lacquer the knot with plenty of lip balm.
The slippery balm will cause the laces to pull against each other, slowly tightening the knot as you move.
Which of these awesome lip balm hacks do you think you’ll use?
Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE these brilliant ideas with friends and family!


Pack Enough Supplies in a Suitcase To Travel For A Year

Expert Packer Manages To Stuff Enough Supplies in A Suitcase To Travel For A Year


I‘ve been flying on airplanes for nearly two decades, but only last year did I stop checking a bag and started exclusively using carry-on luggage.

Checked bags cost a fortune! Airlines act like they are giving you a deal if they say that the first checked bag is only $25. Remember when it was free and they gave you food for free, too?

If you’re like me and have vowed to never check a bag again, then you need to watch Rachel Grant’s packing video. She manages to squeeze 100 items into a tiny carry-on bag!

These items aren’t just small travel products, either. She transfers an entire rolling rack of clothing into her carry-on luggage. She is my hero!

This level of expertise doesn’t come easy. It takes a bit of practice and skill, but using her tips, anyone can do this. Maybe not 100 items, but try for at least 75!

Her biggest help in packing like this is using rubber bands to compress things like shoes, Ziploc bags to suck out any extra air, and packing cubes to keep things as organised as possible.

Now, don’t think you could pack 100 sweatshirts in your bag. Rachel suggests using lightweight fabrics so this hack is perfect to use if you’re going on vacation to the beach. You don’t need much else besides your bathing suit anyhow!

If you need to use multiple suitcases, then you can also use these expert packing hacks to maximise every ounce of space you have in your suitcase!

How many items can you pack in a carry on bag?

Don’t forget to SHARE this with all of your friends and family!

Writing a blog

Writing content for blogs can be time consuming but also rewarding, unfortunately, we have had an extremely difficult year personally, so I have not put a lot of time into my blog or any of my ventures.

I have however been writing an absolute ton of blog posts for our main business, Central Avenue Homes.

We have just renewed our website and created a new logo, so to get things moving, I have been creating blog posts for our new website.

Hopefully, our new website will be up and running fully in the very near future, so I can concentrate on this blog.

Please check out our new website and logo and let me know what you think..

I’ve also spent a fair bit of time on Pinterest creating boards for our clients and other people who might find inspiration for decorating or when designing their new come.


Difficult times

20161116_145636I would like to preface this post by apologising for the length of it.

After an extremely difficult year, and an even more traumatic fortnight, we are now able to get back to some normality in our lives.

With the death of Greg’s brother Stephen (RIP) earlier this year and 5 friends inside 9 weeks we, have come to realise even more so than before, that life is precious and can change in the blink of an eye, so we must do what we can, when we can and enjoy the time we have with friends and family while you are able.

For those who don’t know, Greg and I were to be on a cruise to the south pacific 2 weeks ago with 40 of our friends to celebrate a 60’th birthday, unfortunately, due to my honesty in ticking a box to say I had been unwell in the previous 2 days, (I now know that if I had my time again, I would probably tick the other box), that I was denied boarding the ship.

Well, first there was extreme anger, and then disappointment and then the extreme anger returned with the way we were treated by the ground staff of the cruise line, we arranged to fly home the next day, and to his credit, Greg found some humour in the extremely upsetting situation, joked that we have now done a mystery flight to Sydney as we had no idea we would be back home so soon.

The day after we arrived home, Greg went to visit Mum Grainger in the nursing home only to be told that she had been taken to Peel hospital.

He went to visit and she had been moved onto a ward from ED, the next day he visited her early in the morning with Bryce for an hour or so, we were going to go again after lunch as we had a few things to do, however no sooner had Greg arrived home, he received a call advising him that Mum Grainger had been taken back to ED, and that’s where the stresses of the next week began.

Unfortunately, a couple of days later Mum Grainger passed away peacefully at St John of God.

It’s times like this when you appreciate the friends and family who surround you.

No funeral is fun, and to make the service a little easier to bare, as we wanted to celebrate her life and not mourn her death, we asked that people wear colour the service, and as her favourite colour was green, a few of us chose to wear that colour in her honour.

We, as the family were asked to be at the funeral home at least ½ an hour before the service so that we could greet the attendants, and to my absolute delight (yes I did burst into tears) my good friend Linda, in a green blouse no less, was seated on the lounge in the waiting area.

Then to my further delight as we were greeting old friends from our early days and friends of Mum Grainger, so many of our new good friends were there in that room with us to share our sorrow and shower us with their love and support.

Please know that Greg Grainger and I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us on this very sad occasion.

We would also like to thank everyone who has sent their love and wishes, please know that we treasure your friendship and support.

Would you wear Active wear (gym clothes) to the shops?

Would you wear your active wear (gym clothes) to the shops?

In the below article Michelle Bridges encourages people to wear their active wear  out  just in case they are going to train.

My friends and I were discussing this very subject on the weekend and all of us agreed that gym wear, and let’s face it, that’s’ what it is, was designed to wear to the gym, admittedly, we are all over 50, but some of my friends certainly have the figure to look great in anything, we all agreed that wearing active wear is the same as wearing leggings.

I absolutely abhor leggings worn as pants with nothing to cover the front and back bottoms no matter the age and size of the person.

I wear longer leggings most days, but they are worn as bottoms that warm my legs under tunics and longer tops in winter, and shorter ones in the warmer months more for discretion, exactly what they were designed for,, and I find that active wear falls into the same category, underneath wear.

I don’t wear activewear myself, but it looks as though it would be like putting on hold me in underwear, tight and an effort to put on, I prefer to wear something that is easy to put on and take off and more importantly, something that I look good in and is appropriate for the outing I have planned.

I decided to do a little research after reading your post and went looking for some articles on this subject this morning and found an article by the Daily telegraph Active Wear: – Is gym wear suitable for streetwear, and found it very interesting reading.

The author decides to put wearing active wear out and about to the test, albeit a little long, the result of experiment is very interesting indeed.

My friend Robyn from Paterson Personal Styling, made the following comment:-

Sorry, Michelle, but I don’t endorse it. It’s lazy dressing. Why not wear your pyjamas all day just in case you feel like a nap?

That said, I agree with Robyn’s comments  wholeheartedly, maybe someone might start a trend of wearing pyjamas out and about, a trend that I won’t be following.


What are your thoughts