As you can see from the rather lengthy blog title, it's been a busy week. Two weeks ago was one of the most miserable I've had in a long time - pressure to pack up the grotty old kitchen, and trying to organise the children for their one week holiday at their grandparent's house meant that I was rather a frazzled mess.



But it was all worth it when after taking no less than 3 separate plane rides, the last in a tiny light plane, I found myself on Lizard Island, the northern most island on The Great Barrier Reef and as remote as you can get from the realities of every day life. We were guests of friends who had a boat for 5 nights and we were all child free. The boat had a crew of 4 (the luxury!) and we each had a stateroom with ensuite - bliss. We spent the week snorkelling (the reef is within swimming from shore distance), swimming, eating and drinking rather too much, and in my case doing a lot of lazing around reading. No shoes or makeup for a whole week, no housework or meal prep, no builders asking me questions constantly - it was lovely.




Whilst on the boat Mr AV and I celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary. As it was such a big event (!), we decided some decent wine and champagne was in order to go with our dinner of BBQ fillet of Beef.


There was a lot of Kaftan action, and rather a lot of Aperol Spritz for pre dinner drinks



We did go fishing one day... and I managed to catch a rather large Scaly Mackerel... which I threw back (apparently inedible - he will live for another day). I had been tricked into the fishing by being told that I could drink a glass of wine and read a book while doing it. Not so - not only were we out in open (rough) water in a fairly small boat, but it was far too action packed to do either activity. 


After gaining approximately 5 kilos, and catching up on much needed sleep and sun, we flew home via Melbourne, to be greeted at the airport by a 14 degree C chill and lashing rain. We stayed this time at the Grand Hyatt  in the city which was very nice... in a sort of bland international hotel with lots of marble type way (as the wedding we were attending was in a Club next to it, it was handy), and did a bit of catching up with friends for dinner at Movida on the Friday night, and then on the Black Tie wedding on Saturday night. 


Here's a terrible photo of my outfit - a navy Oscar de la Renta via The Outnet rose print dress, and my Shoes of Shame were thrilled to get the opportunity to dance the night away. End result was rather sore legs the next day...those shoes are punishingly high. I had my hair done by my old hairdresser in Melbourne (as I thought it would likely not look so flash after a week in the tropics with no hairdryer). I asked Mr AV to take a photo of my back view for the blog. After taking a few photos of my actual back, we finally got it right, albeit as I was punching lift buttons at the hotel. I may have to fire him from his role as official back up photographer to the blog and find a professional.


The wedding had an ice sculpture (with the tag line "Is This What you Had in Mind" on it - a running joke between the bride and groom) and a seafood buffet in standard High Club Style. I took a pic of the flowers - all different white ones in crystal vases as centerpieces. It was a fun night, and a very late one. Sadly we arrived home on Sunday home to Adelaide rather weary.... and to rather a large mess at home.  




In our absence the old kitchen was ripped out and a new doorway punched through to the hall for the new powder room. They've framed it out, and the start of S's bedroom can be seen. 
 Here are the before pics




Happy days that it's finally gone - it was as bad as it looks (and actually it usually looked worse due to stuff on the bench top - it was a seriously tiny kitchen cupboard wise). Here's what it looks like now



In the back extension, the new kitchen and laundry have been installed. They'll finish it all up this week, and then the painter will start on the kitchen cupboards - they're being done in grey.





In the laundry I decided to go with laminate benchtops in the end - despite having the stone left over from the kitchen bench tops, it was still going to cost $1200 to have it cut and polished to size.  This was compared to $400 for a finished laminate one. So I decided the laminate was fine by me - simple can be good sometimes...


And a couple of other shots of the dining area in relation to the kitchen. That is our dining table under the orange plastic



I've been frantically busy all day - the house is covered in a fine layer of plasterboard dust, we have no food to eat and a mountain of laundry....and of course a lot of things still to decide on the renovation. 
So please excuse the short blog post, and I'll try to come back later in the week. But here are a few more photos of Lizard Island - truly a beautiful part of the world.






Hope you had a good week too xx

28 comments:

  1. Wow that looks just amazing! So glad you managed to have a rest, and how lovely to celebrate your anniversary in such luxury! The wedding sounds as if it was great too.
    Hope the homecoming isn't too traumatic x

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    1. It was lovely - we were so lucky to have been invited on board, otherwise there would've been No Holiday for the AV household until next Jan. Maybe! Feel run off my feet since arriving home!! xx

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  2. 1. love the hair

    2. love the Oscar!

    3. love the boat and the island snaps

    4. what's a High Club Buffet? I luff a seafood buffet but my sister says No.

    5. exciting re kitchen! less so re dust and laundry.... x

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    1. I was joking about High Club Buffet - sort of like being a High Anglican (all the pomp and ceremony of the catholic church but without actually being Catholic). They do love a Buffet in the clubs, and this one was quite the stupendous buffet spread, as it did have an ice sculpture and all (key, in my opinion).
      V. exciting re the kitchen, but the dust, mess and chaos is appalling. xx

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  3. The glamour of everything, the island, your hair, your outfit are all so wow!
    My kitchen looks like the before and is destined to stay that way.

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    1. I just can't believe your kitchen is as bad as mine was!! It was a glamorous week - there was a 5 storey yacht moored near us - it had a helicopter on the back.... a bit of a glimpse of the lifestyles of the rich and the famous (and I liked it a lot....!) xx

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  4. I love boat trips! Just being on water does wonders. It must have been wonderful to get away! I would love to myself but am too tired. Hit my wall the other week as well!

    Love movida so much! Had my last meal in Melbourne there two years ago...your hair looks lovely like that and love the dress. I can't believe hw much progress has been done in the kitchen! Funny enough I am getting a greyish kitchen as well. But still not 100% confirmed, might go with whatever is shortest lead time! Glad you're back xx

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    1. It was SO GOOD to get away. Words cannot describe how much better I feel for having a mental break (and physical too - sleep ins were very good for me).
      We are in such N, I'm telling you - the grey kitchen will look fab (plus you'll get a good range of grey paint to choose from with all the Farrow and Ball colours, which are so reliable) xx

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    2. that should read we are in *synch*.

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  5. Argh I think blogger ate my comment! I was saying I love boat trips and glad you had an amazing time!
    Your hair looks fab and love the dress, I think that hairdo is so nice but wouldn't even know how to ask for that style.
    Your kitchen has come along so quickly! I am also going greyish but right now it will be whichever. Olof has shortest lead time bc I am over all this building malarkey. Have totally hit the wall on the whole situation. Congrats on wedding anniversary! Glad you're back xx

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    1. No! It didn't, but weirdly this second comment came through 3/4 hour after the first.

      The hairdresser did a great job. I showed her a chignon I'd pinned on Pinterest, and told her I was channeling Betty Draper (except not her fat/ psycho phase). She knew just what to do (turns out she is a massive Mad Men fan, so really worked it). xx

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  6. Nothing wrong with a high club buffet - I completely agree that an ice sculpture is mandatory, as are piles of prawns and some sort of freshly shucked oyster type arrangement. Your wedding outfit looked gorgeous.

    The boat trip looked amazing and I am officially jealous. So glad you had such a fabulous time. Was very impressed with your fish too.

    Hope the kitchen is moving along and a rapid pace so you are no longer kitchen-less....

    Take care.
    T
    xx

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    Replies
    1. I was pleased to get a whole fish on my line - we did have a shark incident (bronze whaler) that ate half of a Trevalley that one of the others caught. He pulled up about 1/4 of a fish and we could see the shark trailing us. Was very exciting!
      Am hopeful I will have an operational kitchen in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Fingers crossed! xx

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  7. Truly living the glam life...the dress, the hair, the boat, and most importantly the St Henri....!!!

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    1. Oh yes - the wine was very nice... and definitely out of the ordinary. Alas, the glamour is most seriously over. I am surrounded by a horrible mess....! xx

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  8. Apologies to Housewife in Heels as I accidentally deleted your comment with my fat finger on the iPhone. But I did laugh about your 'business trip' on a boat. I must say that I am missing the cook on board quite a bit (although for ongoing weight management, it's probably better if we don't have 3 courses at all meals in future!!) xx

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  9. wow it all looks fantastic you have all the fun . maybe it's being surrounded by smoke but everyone in Sydney seems a bit...flat

    Adelaide has been voted as a must visit city in 2014 by Lonely Planet ...have you been at work behind the scenes?

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    1. rest assured that the fun is definitely counterbalanced by all the not fun bits, smr! Hope the smoke haze clears quickly, the fires have been really terrible (and so early).
      Adelaide is a great city to visit - just not for shopping. But the heritage buildings, food, wine, climate, galleries and beaches are definitely worth the trip, so it doesn't surprise me that it was up there with... Paris, Shanghai or Vancouver! (ok, maybe a little surprised) xx

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  10. Wow, I am pushing my eyeballs back in my head after seeing all these photos!! So glamorous! But it sounds like you got some much needed and well-deserved rest (I am secretly very envious - it has been over a year since I had a kid-free weekend). You look drop dead gorgeous in the Oscar dress and the "Shoes of Shame". Congratulations on your wedding anniversary, and hope everything goes well with the upcoming work on the kitchen.

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    1. The rest part was absolutely the best bit of the holiday... you don't realise how exhausted you are until you stop for a bit. It was also good to be out of internet and phone range, so we were completely in a relaxation bubble. Fingers crossed we're in the home stretch now with the renos, and it will go smoothly (ish) xx

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  11. Your holiday looks and sounds wonderful Heidi - a week on a boat in the tropics would be blissful - much nicer than kids doing Year 12 and Uni exams!! Kitchen and laundry looking good. Your large dining table looks tiny in such a large spacious area! Love the Oscar dress with the shoes of shame and gorgeous hairstyle - very glam. How are you managing without a kitchen? Do you have a temp space set up somewhere with your fridge m/wave, etc. Hope you have a great week and survive the chaos of being kitchenless. Jo xx

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    1. Oh Jo - you're clearly in a verrrry trying phase this month with exams! Hope they all go smoothly... I'm so excited to have the dining table free standing in a room - it's always been pushed up against a wall in all our previous houses. We've had to temporarily decamp to my in laws due to lack of hot water. We will be back in another week most probably. I'm waiting for them to get the power into the new kitchen and fridges, and water into the laundry so that I can do dishes, but I have a Thermomix, so the cooking part will be fairly easy without the oven or cooktop installed. It's just all a horrible mess everywhere as we can't move the kitchen equipment into the kitchen until they've finished painting it and all the dusty trades have finished. xx

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  12. Happy Anniversary Heidi! Looks as though a wonderful relaxing time was had by all - except the fish! Such a good picture of you with your catch though - you looked so happy and excited. Love Oscar, the flowers and your hairstyle. Never mind about the mess and cleaning, it will pass - you're just about in the home straight now and you'll love Christmas in the finished villa! Think of that and don't let the plaster dust get to you. Pamela xx

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    1. Thanks Pamela! It was really fun fishing, never thought I"d say that as I've generally found it very dull in the past... probably because I never catch anything! I'm trying to keep focussed on the end. It's not a lot of fun though in this particular phase... xx

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  13. Wedding outfit and hair is amazing... so chic. I think you styled the Oscar dress better than Olivia Palmero in the Outnet promos.
    Looking at your photos makes me realise that a break is long overdue for me. Sadly I'll have to wait until Christmas!
    The kitchen looks great. I hope you've adjusted back into your routine well x

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    1. Thanks Charlotte - you're so kind! I think they made Olivia in the dress look more casual, but as it was a black tie wedding, I thought an updo would make it look dressier. I love that dress so much, and was so happy to wear it (and thankful too that it had longer sleeves, as it was a really cold day and all the girls in strapless dresses etc were freezing).
      Book a holiday, then you'll have the anticipation! It's been long overdue for us this year, I've put off holidays each end of school term thinking I shouldn't go anywhere, and it's been a trying year in the house in general. xx

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  14. I want to write a long comment, but I am lethargic. Low on iron and I need my kitchen back so I can cook myself up some red meat! Your previous kitchen! ICK. What on earth was the bench top and splash back? The cabinets look kinda nice, only need a lick of paint hehehehehe. Your hair do and dress is very pretty.
    I NEED TO BE ON THAT BOATTTTTTTT!!!!! Your new kitchen looks so grand and wonderful! Plenty of cupboard space in there. Can't wait to see it all gussied up.
    I'm now lusting after a laundry reno and powder bathroom.
    Exciting.

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    Replies
    1. Those would be the 'marble' benchtops and splash back. They were tiles, with horrible gunk filled grout lines that could not be adequately cleaned. The cupboards were solid wood doors, but they were falling off their hinges, so I had to be careful how I opened them as they would fall on your toe otherwise. I am SO HAPPY it's gone.
      I think everyone needs to go on the boat. It was a lovely break, and I feel very lucky. I'm now well and truly back in reality with the 3 year old with a bout of gastro. Ick. xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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