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Friday, February 24, 2017

Nursery Design - The Perfect Nursing Chair

Sometimes I get stuck on finding the perfect piece of furniture and become a little bit obsessed about it and this is exactly what happened when I tried to find a nursing chair for our baby's nursery.

To start with I asked Mr P what style of chair he thought would be good in the nursery .... He asked what do I needed a chair for? If my death stare wasn't enough the harshly spoken answer that followed along the lines of because I'll be up all bloody night and I need somewhere to bloody sit and rest my bloody head made sense to him and his answer soon turned into ..... Whatever chair you want will be perfect babe! Good answer hubby, good answer!!


So the mission to find a perfect nursing chair began !


I asked my Mum's advice on what type of nursing chair she had with me .... She laughed and laughed and said she didn't have a nursing chair it was the bed, the couch, or whatever was close by! 

Oh how things have changed over the years with us new Mum-To-Be's being spoilt for choice when it comes to all things baby!


I asked my sister in law what type of nursing chair she had and she suggested a glider which is a chair with a foot stool attached. When I sat on a glider in the baby shops it made me feel nauseas with all that rocking I just couldn't do it!

I also felt that this style of chair wouldn't fit with the rest of the furniture in our home and when it was no longer needed in the nursery we wouldn't really have anywhere to put it.


Similar to a glider is a rocking chair and whilst there are some great styles around the movement gave me the same sick feeling as the glider.

The main difference between a glider and a rocking chair is that the foot stool also moves with the glider whereas with the rocking chair your feet are stationery either on a separate foot stool or on the ground.


I read a lot of reviews online for the perfect nursing chair and the Ikea Poang chair was a firm favourite amongst Mums. It's inexpensive and it has movement in the back to bounce back and forth but it's not a rocking chair (although Ikea do a rocking chair version).

The only thing I didn't love about the Poang is the wooden arms as they didn't look very comfortable.


I asked friends who suggested a comfortable armchair with soft arms.

Sounds easy enough but most of the armchairs I sat in at furniture shops had a low back and were quite small and not at all comfortable. Whilst I want the chair to look good it needs to be comfortable first and foremost - practical over pretty!


So I came to the conclusion my perfect nursing chair must have -
Padded arms + A high back + No rocking motion

It suddenly dawned on me that a wing chair has all the makings of a perfect nursing chair.

It has padded arms, the seat is wide and cushioned and it has a nice high back for head support.

Plus it looks beautiful it's a really stylish design so would look great in the living room or bedroom when it's no longer needed in the nursery.


Now because I'm doing the nursery on a budget and didn't want to spend too much on a new chair which would most likely get covered in baby vomit in the very near future so I started stalking Gumtree for secondhand wing chairs.

I couldn't believe my luck when I came across the Ikea Strandmon Wing Chair for half price (RRPs for $399 I paid $150) and it was only 6 months old - the bargain queen strikes again!

I had even recommended to a friend this style of Ikea Wing Chair as a nursing chair when I helped her design her nursery so I don't know why I hadn't thought of this chair sooner!




What I love about this chair is when it's not needed for nursing the baby it can be used as a reading chair in the nursery and when it outgrows the room it would fit in nicely in our living room or even our bedroom.

I'm really happy with our latest addition to the nursery and I'm feeling good about the progress we've made so far in setting up the baby's room ready for her arrival in May!

What would be your perfect nursing chair?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY: How To Oil A Timber Deck With Cabot's Aquadeck

I'm thrilled to work with Cabot's again, an Australian company, that is known for their quality wood oil and stain products on our new deck and patio project.

We tried Cabot's exterior stain to stain our new treated pine patio in 'new jarrah' and today I'm sharing a DIY on how to oil a timber deck using Cabot's Aquadeck.


For our new deck we decided to use an exterior oil instead of a stain because we love the look of the Merbau timber and want to enhance the natural look of the timber which is what an oil does and to protect it from the weather and elements and also from general wear and tear.

You need to leave new wood to settle for a few weeks before oiling it (its best to check the manufacturers directions for this) - our Merbau timber was out in the weather for over 6 weeks before we oiled it.

To oil a new timber deck that hasn't been oiled before this is what we used:



DIY: How to oil a timber deck

1. Pick the oil - We chose Aquadeck in 'Natural' as we want to enhance the look of our Merbau timber and the Aquadeck applies a clear protective coating to the timber but it doesn't stain or change the colour.

2. Clean the deck - Preparation is the key to a successful DIY so make sure the wood surface is clean of any dirt.

We pressure cleaned the deck with our trusty Karcher High Pressure Cleaner which you attach the hose to.

Then we gave the deck a scrub clean - you need to use proper cleaning products suitable to wood and we used Cabot's Deck Clean and applied it with the Cabot's Deck Prep which was a scrubbing brush on a pole and great for getting marks off the timber.

The Cabot's Deck Hand Bucket is really handy as it shows you how far to fill the deck clean too and then how far to top it up with water so no measuring required.

After we cleaned the deck we left it overnight to ensure it was completely dry.

Lastly, we went over it with the vacuum to ensure it was clean and ready to be oiled. We have a Karcher wet/dry vacuum which we use just for our renovations so we don't dirty or damage our inside vacuum.




3. Oil the deck - It's really important that the deck is dry before you oil it so we waited 24 hours before applying the first coat of oil just to be sure it was completely dry.

Give the oil a really good stir with a stick and then decanter some into a bucket - we used the Cabot's Deck Hand Bucket as it fits the applicators perfectly and was easy to move around the deck.

To apply the oil we used a large flat paint brush to apply the oil all around the edges of the deck just as you would 'cut in' when you paint a room.

Then to apply the oil to the rest of the deck we used a Cabot's Decking Oil Applicator which is a lambs wool applicator on a pole and perfect for flat surfaces for the main areas of the deck. Dip the applicator into the oil and push flat to remove any excess as you don't want to apply the oil too thickly or it will take forever to dry.

Start from the far corner and move down in long even strokes aiming to cover 3-4 boards at a time, work slowly to ensure good coverage and no streaks are left behind.



4. First coat - The first coat of oil took about 1.5 hours to apply on a 10 meter long deck. The oil was a nice consistency and good to work with soaking into the timber and giving even coverage. It has a sheen to it which helps you see where you've applied the oil too and it has a very light brown pigment in it but is mostly transparent and once applied it evens out the colour of the wood to make all the wood look consistent.

5. Second coat - It is dry enough to re-coat after 2 hours however we left it for 24 hours as it was still a bit sticky and tacky. The second coat took the same time to apply about 1.5 hours, after first cutting in with a brush and then applying with an applicator for the rest of the deck. We used a new lambs wool applicator for the second coat.

6. Drying time - It takes a week to cure completely although you can walk on it lightly we kept off it until the 7 days were up to ensure it was completely dry and set so it wouldn't mark or scratch. The weather and temperature has a lot to do with the drying time and as Perth had a cooler change in temperatures and our deck is covered and not in direct sunlight it was still a bit tacky after the first week and so we left it a total of 2 weeks to cure before we moved any furniture onto it.

7. Coverage & Maintenance - A 10 ltr tin of oil did 2 coats with enough leftover for re-oiling down the track. The deck will need to be oiled every 1-2 years. Our deck is completely undercover of the patio so we may not need to re-oil it as often as it's protected from the elements.

Cabot's have a Deck Wash which you can use between oiling to remove any build up and debris which will be what we will do next time rather than oil it again too soon.




8. Clean up - The oil is water based which makes clean up really easy just wash the brush out with water. We didn't keep the lambswool applicators we threw them after use. I prefer to use water based products as there's little to no smell and clean up is easy without the use of chemicals or cleaning products.

And that is an easy weekend project of oiling and protecting a timber deck to enhance the natural timber and protect from wear and tear and the weather.

The new deck and patio space looks amazing I can't wait to set it up with our outdoor furniture and BBQ and enjoy our outdoor entertaining space.


Sharing with link parties:
Curly Crafty Mom - The Creative Corner
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
The Dedicated House - Make It Pretty Mondays


Disclosure: Thanks to Cabot's for providing me with the oil products for review. I have not received any payment or compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Club Book Review: Red Hill By Jamie McGuire

My book club resumed meeting again in January after having a break for our Book Lovers Christmas Party in December.

The first book we read this year was Red Hill by Jamie McGuire.


This is a thriller about a deadly virus outbreak which takes over the world and those affected continue to affect others with a single bite which turns them into flesh eating zombies.

There are a number of stories told parallel to each other of friends and families and how they managed to escape the zombie apocalypse and all the stories join into one as they find themselves together at a safe haven named 'Red Hill'.

The writing was fast paced, thrilling and intense to read it kept me engaged the whole way through. It's about zombies so as expected it had blood, guts and gore but it wasn't too terrifying to read. The love stories added interest and excitement but they weren't all realistic which caused lots of good discussion at our book club meet up.

I found the story to be very similar to The Walking Dead TV series which I'm a big fan of (I even have the board game!) - the characters, location and zombie theme are almost identical.

I recommend this book to zombie apocalypse enthusiasts.

I give this book 4 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Nursery Design: Drawers + Change Table

To come up with a design for our nursery I've been trawling through Pinterest admiring the most adorable nursery rooms and getting inspiration for setting up a nursery for our new addition.

It's not hard to see that I really love the look of a chest of drawers that doubles as a change table with a change mat on top.

Not only is this a great use of space as you don't need a separate change table which will take up room but it's also budget friendly as it's less furniture to buy.






I have chosen the Ikea Hemnes 8 drawers (see first photo above) as it's the perfect size in length to accommodate a change mat and change supplies at easy hands reach.

The height also had to be considered and it's a perfect height as it's the same height as most change tables - not too tall for me to use and not too low for Mr P.




As I'm trying to design the nursery on a budget I have been keeping an eye on Gumtree and managed to find the exact drawers I wanted, brand new, still in original packaging, on Gumtree for almost half the price.

Now I'm impatiently waiting for Mr P to assemble the flat pack drawers so that I can set them up and share them with you!

What did you use as a baby change table?


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DIY: How To Stain A Pine Patio In 7 Easy Steps With Cabot's

I am thrilled to work with Cabot's an Australian company known for their quality wood oil and stain products on our new deck and patio project.

We tried their exterior product range for oiling our new timber deck and staining our new pine patio which I'll share in two separate blog posts.

So what is the difference between a stain and an oil ?

If you like the look of the timber and just want to protect it you use an oil - this is what we are using for our timber deck as its made from beautiful Merbau timber and we want to enhance the natural look of the timber and protect it. With an oil you paint it on and it absorbs in and drys like a clear coating so your natural timber can shine through in all its glory.

Whereas if you don't particularly like the look of the timber and want to change it to a different colour then you use a stain - this is what we are using for our treated pine patio because we don't like the look of pine and want to stain it a darker colour to match the Merbau timber deck.



What do you need to stain a pine patio ?

You don't need a lot for this DIY which keeps the cost down considerably, all you need is the stain, a paint brush, buckets and drop sheets that's it!
  • Stain - We used Cabots Deck and Exterior Stain (water based) in 'New Jarrah'
  • Paint brush - A wide angled brush works best for painting around framework
  • Small bucket - To decanter stain into and keep refilling as you work
  • Large bucket - Filled with water to wash brushes when finished
  • Drop sheets - To protect work area


How to stain a treated pine patio in 7 easy steps

1. Pick a colour - Once we decided to use a stain we had to pick a stain colour and narrowed it down to two colours New Jarrah and Marbau. We painted the stain onto some treated pine off-cuts to see which one we liked the best and the New Jarrah has a nice red tint to it whereas the Merbau was a bit too brown so we went with the New Jarrah. Besides how can I call my blog namesake Jarrah Jungle and not pick jarrah!

2. Get the site ready - Before you start be aware you need to leave new wood to settle for a few weeks before staining its best to check the manufacturers directions for this (our pine was out in the weather for over 4 weeks before we stained it). Make sure the woods surface is clean of any dirt or dust before you start, we used rags to wipe the pine clean. Put down drop sheets to protect the ground from any drips (in our case our beautiful new deck!) and you are good to go. We worked from a scaffold which made it so much easier and safer to access the patio from that height.

3. Get the stain ready - Give the stain a good stir with a stick and then decanter a small amount into a bucket to work from. Put the lid back on the stain to keep the air out so it stays in good condition. Keep refilling the bucket with stain as you need to.

4. Paint it on - Pick up your paint brush and start painting the stain on using long fluid strokes. Remember if you leave a blob of stain and come back a minute later it will dry like that blob because the stain absorbs into the wood. So clean up any drips and blobs as you go with the paint brush.







5. First coat - The first coat always takes the longest - it took us 10 hours to paint a 10 meter long patio with ceiling frame work and side poles. The stain absorbed quickly into the pine and it was really good to work with and gave great coverage. A 4 ltr tin of stain did the first coat.

6. Second coat - It is dry enough for re-coat after 2 hours however after 10 hours of staining spread over the weekend we didn't get around to doing the second coat until a few days later. The second coat always goes on a lot quicker than the first, uses less product, and best of all it took us half the time.  We used about 3 ltrs on the second coat.

7. Clean up - The stain is water based which makes clean up really easy just wash your brushes out with water. This is why I always prefer to use water based products - there's little to no smell and clean up is so easy without the use of chemicals or cleaning products.

And that my friends is how in 7 easy steps you can turn a treated pine patio
into a more expensive looking timber patio !




I am so happy with how it's turned out all thanks to Mr P who worked like a trooper in the hot summer heat to get the patio stained and ready for the carpenter to finish it off by installing the roof sheeting and new fence.

Coming up next I'll be writing a blog post on How to oil a timber deck using Cabot's exterior products.

What would you like to stain at home ... Outdoor furniture? A deck? Something else!


Sharing with link parties:
Curly Crafty Mom - The Creative Corner
The Dedicated House - Make It Pretty Monday
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays


Disclosure: Thanks to Cabot's for providing me with these stain products for review. I have not received any payment or compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: The Crossroads By Pamela Cross

This is a book review of The Crossroads by Pamela Cook that was published by Hatchette Australia on 29 November 2016.

Pamela Cook lives in NSW and writes Australian fiction with a country heart and published her first book in 2012 - this is her fourth book. When Pamela is not writing she spends as much time as possible riding her handsome quarter horses Morocco and Rio, trying to get through her reading pile and attempting to perfect her yoga poses.


This is a story set in the small outback town of Birralong in Queensland and there's three feisty women who tell the story - Rose the mother who runs the old local pub and is struggling to keep it maintained, her daughter Stephanie who lives on a local farm and is dealing with drought and the distress this brings to her family and lastly Faith who discovers Rose is her birth mother and travels from Sydney to the outback town to meet her.

The main characters are all well defined, likable and I warmed to them straight away. The rest of the characters from the regular 'bar flies' to the town gossip are exactly who you would find in a small country town and added a lot of charm and entertainment to the story.

This is your traditional outback rural story and romance, it was a sweet story, although it moved a little too slow for me until the last few chapters when all the family dramas seemed to come to a mad rush at the end.

Overall this was an enjoyable read and if you're looking for a little bit of cringe-worthy (in a good way) romance in a beautiful Australian setting then this book is for you.

I recommend this book to rural romance fans.

I give this book 3 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read


The Crossroads can be purchased from the author here and Hatchette Australia


Sharing my book review on Good Reads here and Netgalley


Disclosure:  NetGalley partner with bloggers such as me to help promote authors and their books and I was given this ebook published by Hatchette Australia to review. As always, all opinions are my own.


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Friday, February 10, 2017

Nursery Design - Working With What We Have

With Mr P and I expecting a new addition in the Jarrah Jungle home I've been busy planning our baby's room in my head for months and months and now we're ready to actually start setting up the nursery for our sweet little girl due in May.

I don't want to spend a fortune on the nursery and have given myself a $700 budget for all the furniture and decor. I'll mostly be using furniture we already have and need to get just a few other things and then make them all work together so everything looks like it was meant to be together and not the mix matched collection of furniture that it is!


Working With What We Have 

I have an Ikea cube bookcase in dark wood which needs to stay in the nursery (which use to be my study/craft room) as there's nowhere else to put it in the house and I also need to keep my books on the shelves.

But I'll clear some shelves and make it more baby friendly by adding cute ornaments and baby books. Just recently I had a big clear out and donated a heap of books to charity but I'll be doing another purge to make room for some baby books as I'd love for our little one to be as addicted to books as I am.

Excuse this old photo but it's the only neat and tidy one I have as I've accumulated so many books in the last 5 years since purchasing this bookcase it's overflowing!


When I found out we're having a girl I knew a wardrobe was a must to hang all her pretty dresses and coats - already our little one has a better wardrobe of outfits than me!

I have an Ikea wardrobe which was in the Guest Bedroom and was storing our winter coats and travelling gear which I have managed to squash into our Master Bedroom wardrobe so I can move this wardrobe into the nursery.

I plan to add a few shelves in the wardrobe to store baskets and boxes so I can organise all the baby's things like linen and nappies and anything else baby related I can fit in here!


We have been given a beautiful timber cot which has been in Mr P's family for many years and I love the sentimental thought that it's been passed down through the family.

Unfortunately the timber doesn't match the other white and dark wood furniture so Mr P is going to paint the cot white so it matches in with the other furniture in the room.


Our only purchase so far is the Ikea Hemnes chest of drawers which I've had my heart set on for ages and managed to buy on Gumtree brand new and still in it's original packaging for a bargain $320 (its RRP is $449).

I did my research and read a lot of reviews before settling on these drawers which will double as drawers for the baby's clothes and also as a change table by placing a change mat on top. I don't have space for a separate change table and don't want to spend money on something I may only use for a short time so felt the drawers were a better long term investment.

These drawers are the perfect height for Mr P and I and I can put the change mat on one side so I can stand on the end of the drawers to change the baby (as changing side on may be difficult), and it's long enough to have the changing supplies and nappies on top at hands reach.


My other purchase will be a nursing chair but I'm still undecided whether to get a proper nursing chair like a glider (a chair and footstool that moves back and forth), or a rocking chair, or if a really comfortable big armchair with a high back would be better as it could be moved to another room when it's not needed in the nursery anymore.

What type of chair would you have in a nursery?


I'm trying to be practical in my choices and get pieces that can be used later for other purposes rather than for just a short time in the nursery.

I'm also shopping from home for items we already have that will look good in this room like the rug, light fitting, art and wall decor.

I'm slowing chipping away doing a little project here and there and hope to have the room ready in the next few weeks so I can really start 'nesting' as they call it!

What are your must haves for a Nursery?


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