Update: Operation Pick-Me-Up

Update on the weekend’s purchases made under Operation Pick-Me-Up:

1. The Grown face wash is lovely and looks very nice indeed on the vanity. I’ve been using it to rinse my face in the morning, which is about as much effort as I can muster. Only the tiniest bit is required – the frothing action is commendable given the lack of Sodium Laureth Sulphate (or is it Lauryl?). Verdict: Win.

2. The A’kin facial scrub is a bit weird – it smells as funny as ‘jojo and corn’ would suggest and the actual exfoliant bits are few and far between. I’ve been using it as a face wash/makeup remover in the shower, which is most convenient. However it isn’t making me feel spesh as I’m too busy concentrating on its odd smell. I’ll use it up then replace it with something from Sukin I think. Verdict: Fail.

3. The L’Oreal EverSleek conditioner and serum are the business. I haven’t had a single morning of my usual ’80s rockstar perm gone wrong’ hair since I’ve been using it. The ‘do is still quite frightful first thing, but nowhere near as laughable. Verdict: Win.

4. I don’t think I mentioned buying this, but I finally remembered to get a barrel brush for blow-drying my hair. I gave it a go on Sunday and I think it’s my technique rather than the brush that’s at fault. – I’m really a GHD girl. Verdict: More Practice Required; Still Under Review.

5. The Chanel sunnies are winners-plus, even though I’ve been scrounging for opportunities to put them on in this weather. I am really pleased with their sun-shading abilities, face-comfort, and general feeling of swishness. Verdict: Mega Win.

So did the shopping make me feel like I had the energy to spend a bit more time on myself? I think so. I still haven’t mani-pedi-ed, cleaned my jewellery or gone for a walk, but I have made an appointment at the hairdresser, remembered to shave my legs before seeing my musculo-skeletal therapist, have returned to using eyeliner, and all-around Saturday was a hugely productive day* and that in and of itself makes me feel pretty darn good.

Shopping FTW.


* ALL of our moving boxes are now unpacked; our bookshelves are securely in situ and have books on them; the nursery has made great progress with a pretty display Expedit and only one thing being stored in there; everything that belongs in the study is now in the study; I folded and put away two weeks of washing; and as mentioned we are now returned to a state of modesty in our bathroom with the installation of a blind)


Cleanliness is next to godliness.

Oh my giddy aunt.

I have discovered the most joyous of all events.

It’s a hot shower in your own bathroom in your own home.

(Excuse the iPhone photos; it was all I was up to).

Before. WiIl you just look at the lovely colour scheme.

When we moved into our new home it was disgustingly evident that the previous tenants had never cracked out the bleach or Easy Off Bam. There was mould in the crevices of the shower screen and the grout that once sat between the back of the vanity and the tiles behind was now a black strip of putrid rot. Our shiny white-ish tiles showed every speck of dirt no matter how often they were swept and mopped. The bath presumably leaked, juding by the cracks in its cheap plastic bottom. The pipes squealed when the shower was called into action and each tap required delicate nudging throughout the shower to ensure a steady flow. There was no storage – our possessions sat sadly in shopping bags in the bath.

It was vile. I never went in there without shoes on and I never showered without thongs. It was first and foremost on my list of renovations.

Oh the trim. It made me gag.

We were lucky enough to happen upon some great builders on our first phone call. A father and son team, I dealt with the son who spent a lot of time walking me through their approach and providing advice before I even committed to the project, and whose speedy return phone calls and emails were fan-bloody-tastic. If anyone in Melbourne is after a reliable, responsive and good quality building team, I am more than happy to recommend them.

During. An improvement already!

The bathroom build started in mid-June and for two weeks we had tradies trooping in and out every day. Our cats were in a cattery and I’d take the dogs to my parents’ house each morning and pick them up after work, taking advantage of my parents’ shower while I was there. All things considered, it was inconvenient but not greatly, although brushing our teeth over the kitchen sink got old fast.

During. I thought once the shower was taken out it would reveal a gaping vortex to hell.

Despite a hiccup with The Narrowest Bath In The World, we ended up being delayed by only a couple of days. It was the next two weeks when we had a fully functional bathroom but no shower screen (and therefore no use of the shower) that was toughest, although we’d been warned that having the screen measured to fit would be time-consuming but worthwhile.

Before. We also had a charming toilet suite with original tiles … and asbestos.

Before. Lino tiles in the laundry – the owners even considerately left us some spares in case we liked them so much we wanted to extend their spread.

And it is. We’ve been shower-functional for about a week and a half now, and the ease and joy of being able to use a clean, shiny, relaxing and functional bathroom at will makes me happy beyond all measure.

After. I haven’t finished painting the window frames.

The Narrowest Bath In The World

Oh Friday night. Couch, puppies, TV, husband, home-made garlic bread. 

This week has been a revelation in feeling well. I didn’t realise just how much I was struggling and that almost all of it was due to having a virus (and I have the impaired liver function to prove it). Now that I am almost better I just feel like I am ‘normal’ again – they say this is the golden trimester and I can now appreciate that, instead of experiencing unnatural exhaustion, out-of-the-blue spew alerts, and various other weird and nasty symptoms (heart palpitations, dizzy spells and hot flushes. Sounds like menopause).

Our bathroom renovation started this week (no more showering in thongs!), and naturally the first drama occurred on Day Two, morning. I had forgotten to amend our order for an S-trap toilet to a P-trap. Could we get one on site today? Uhhh … I’m at work. A few phone calls and all was resolved – we can do a swapsie with our supplier on Saturday. Easy peasy.



I expect that my finished bathroom will look something like this.

Day Two, afternoon. The shower-bath we bought off the specs in a brochure, which looked exactly like our old one, is narrow at shower end. Very narrow. Freakishly narrow. The builder, his dad and their plumber have never seen one so narrow. It looks nothing like the spec drawing. We should look at it before they frame it up. Really, we should. And if we want to change it, it’ll probably be about $2000 to move the plumbing that the plumber had spent all day putting in.    

And what happened next is what happens when Things Just Work. My builder identified two alternate options to replace The Narrowest Bath In The World, and the timeline on Day Three, morning, went like this:

  • 8:10am: Call Supplier 1 re Bath 1 (recommended by builder). None in stock. Doesn’t refer to supplier. 
  • 8:15: Call Supplier 2 re Bath 2 (which we wanted anyway). No Supplier 2 branches keep it in stock, but there’s one at the warehouse in Dandenong he can have at his store by 11am tomorrow. Purchase over phone. 
  • 8:20: Advise builder. Builder asks if we can get it in today to prevent further delays and cancellation costs.
  • 8:25: call Supplier 2. They have someone at the warehouse right now and can have it at their store by 10:30am. Advise builder of same.  
  • 8:30: Supplier 2 calls and asks if we want it delivered to home as they’re going past anyway. Yes please. Advise builder not to bother collecting it. 
  • 8:35: Builder asks if Supplier 2 can advise when they leave warehouse so builder can arrive on site. 
  • 8:40: Call Supplier 2. Driver has just left warehouse. 
  • 9:30: delivery of Bath 2 to home, within 90 minutes of first calling Supplier 2. 
  • 10:00: send customer compliment to Supplier 2.

I can take credit for some of this – making decisions quickly, sourcing baths with the keen scent of a scavenger – but most of it goes to Supplier 2, who was friendly, professional and went out of the way to help me. We’re still stuck with $2000 of extra, unexpected costs, but that is far far better than living with a shower base that was, quite literally, only as wide as the length of my husband’s foot where you were meant to stand under the shower. I’ve also negotiated a return of The Narrowest Bath In The World with the shop that sold it to us, and they were, to their credit, excellent about the whole thing. And I’m also grateful to my builder for stopping to think that we should really check out The Narrowest Bath In The World before he built it in. We’ve ended up with a bath that will suit our needs over the coming years much better, and I can’t wait to get to use it. 

There’s no real lesson here; just to be clear, realistic and nice when dealing with people who you want to help you out.