Kitchen Makeover: Part II

Our DIY home reno really is a labour of love…a looong slow labour (Kitchen Makeover: Part I was completed this time 2 years ago!), on an incredibly low budget…

The first eye-sore that needed dealing to were the blue benchtops

kitchen before

We covered them with Grey Slate vinyl [get it here]. Surprisingly not as hard as I thought it was going to be to apply and the vinyl is very forgiving when you need to lift and reposition it. The trick is getting it started right and then the rest will follow easily. I began at the far bench (the least used area, and also least seen area, in case I didn’t apply it perfectly) then worked my way across the kitchen doing the sink area next,   then getting some help from Katja at Vinyl Home to get my tricky curved benchtop looking perfect.

This Christmas, we are stoked to be one of the first customers to use Vinyl Home’s newest product – the self-adhesive tiles! We went with the white/white Subway Tile [get it here].
Prep-work is super important to ensure a lasting application, so I scrubbed and degreased the existing tiles, then we did a final wipe-down with methylated spirits before applying the new subway tiles.

In total, we used 6 packs (of 10 sheets).

kitchen before after


Sunday 14th May is Mother’s Day!

mothers day aucklandSunday 14th May is Mother’s Day!

Whether you plan to save or splurge, here are some easy ideas to help celebrate
the Mums in your life and make sure they have a fabulous day…

Continue reading “Sunday 14th May is Mother’s Day!”

Cute teacher gift, on a budget


For those of us with kids at school, we are probably all done for the year now, but I wanted to share with you our very last minute (done in 15mins) and very low-cost (we actually already had everything at home so it didn’t cost us anything) teacher’s end-of-year gift.

You will need:
1x terracotta pot (this one is 12cm, from Bunnings, cost $1.25)
1x vivid
1x plant
soil to suit the plant you’ve chosen
accessories (optional)
child to do the work (you’ll probably need to do the ‘ruler’ part)

Step 1: Draw on the ‘ruler’
You can wing this, but I used some masking tape to stick on a tape measure so that I could easily and quickly mark the inch measures. Remove the tape measure and add the numbers (or get your child to number it)

Step 2: Hand over the pot to your child and have them write “thank you for helping me grow” on the side, and their name on the bottom of the pot

Step 3: Fill the pot with soil and your chosen plant. We can’t keep anything alive at hour place, except weeds (yes, I have managed to kill air plants and a cactus) so we used a succulent cutting from our neighbour’s garden, upon her recommendation that it will require very little attention or effort to keep alive. We put a base layer of small stones (found in the garden) topped with some potting mix (which we had in the back shed).

Step 4: Make it pretty (optional). We used a toadstool decoration which we had left over from Mika’s Fairy Garden Party)

That’s it! SUPER easy and really cost effective, especially if you have lots of teachers to gift to! Best thing is that it’s really quick (a win for us hot mess mums who cram everything into the night before the last day), and it’s so cute with your child’s handwriting on it.



I didn’t think I would, but I DID!
With time to spare even!

You can find all the details on this restoration project here.

I’ve learned a lot about myself through my last 2 mini-renovation projects…that I am 10x more impatient than I realised, and that it’s impossible to hide reno projects from the kids (I’m also pretty certain that buying another renovation-home was a bad idea…) but we’re in love! I can’t wait for Mika to officially “unwrap” it on Christmas Day (hopefully with all the furniture done). I’ve spent a lot of time playing with it already, and now I’m trying to decide on the colours for the furniture…


So close, yet so far…

Sometimes it feels like you’re getting nowhere…I’ve been sanding, and painting, and painting, and then painting some more…

It wasn’t until it took everything outside to check the paint coverage in natural light, that I realised just how well it’s all coming together!

Dollhouse reno halfway.jpeg


AND really, I need to cut myself some slack – I’d also been finishing off the last few details on the Kmart Kitchen hack:


The subway tile splashback is even better in real life! You can find all the details on this makeover here.

Now all we have to do is try and wait until Christmas morning to open up all the wooden kitchen accessories coming from Le Toy Van and Hape.
Hurry up Christmas! I want to play with all the toys!!


At home, with the Foxes…

The Foxes at Takapuna Beach

Who are the Foxes?
This is a long-overdue introduction!
I’m Jenni, stay-at-home-mum to 2, and wifey to Mr Fox.
We live on the beautiful North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand.
These are my ramblings on life, and the things I love.

Is the grass really greener?
I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and all I have to say is: everything comes with a price.

Continue reading “At home, with the Foxes…”