Hi Y’all.  Just getting my southern accent on!  On Thursday (June 15), I’m heading to the USA for nearly 7 weeks.  A BIG trip.  Before I head off, I just want to let you know what’s been happening, and what I’m getting up to while I’m away.

Ensuite Renovation

If you watch instagram stories, you’ll see that I’m in the middle of renovating my ensuite.  So it’s not really a good time to go away, but that’s life right?  Here’s what it looked like on day one when the room was in demolition phase.

ensuite renovation demolition stage

We’ve re-routed the plumbing in the shower.  Created a niche in the shower wall for storing toiletries.  Added a floor drain the the centre of the room.  Fixed the plumbing for the bath.  Built a wall behind the vanity and installed wiring for the wall sconces.  Added wiring in the floor to install an exhaust fan in the ceiling of the room below.

Ensuite renovation construction phase

Once all the plumbing and electrical rough in was complete, the builders sheeted the walls and floor in preparation for waterproofing.  So today (Tuesday) we are waiting for the waterproofer.  Once this is done, the tiler can tile the floors and walls and the painter can paint all the walls.  After that all the fixtures can be installed – the bath, toilet and vanity.  Then hang the mirrors and lights above the vanity.  Finally the shower screen is measured up and made.  Most of this work will be done while I’m away, so it’s really important that I have everything ready and leave clear instructions.

Life is Busy

I don’t know about you, but life can just get crazy busy sometimes.  In the past few weeks I’ve been busy writing blog posts for DIY Decorator.  I’ve completed a number of decor coaching sessions.  My son has done his mid-year Grade 12 exams, and has his formal the same day as I leave (so sad I’ll miss it).  My husband was away for 10 days completing the Shitbox Rally and raised over $20,000 for Cancer Research.  And my daughter has had a full dance workload, and competed at several group and solo competitions.  Oh, and add in the ensuite!!!

decor coaching mood boards

These are two recent mood boards I completed for decor coaching clients.

So why would I be heading away for so long when life is so busy?  Well it’s my job as a mother that’s taking priority.  You see my daughter does ballet.  Not just once or twice a week, but full-time and she’s 15 years old.  And she must be pretty good at it, because she’s been accepted into the Houston Ballet Academy’s summer intensive program and it is 6 weeks long.  So that’s why I’m heading off.  To take her over there and get her settled in.

Here’s a photo of my daughter taken at a recent Bloch photo shoot

USA Road Trip

Now it’s not all ballet for 6 weeks.  Well not for me anyway.  My daughter is going to live in a boarding house while she is at the summer intensive.  It’s a great experience for her to test how it feels to live away from home.

What am I getting up to?  Well for the first 2 weeks, I’ve found a little apartment in Houston, and I’m going to do two things I’ve wanted to do for ages.  One – just take time for me.  Not have to cook, clean and drive family members around.  Just look after myself.

Two – I’m going to write down everything I know about interior decorating.  Not the theory stuff they teach you in design school, but the real and practical stuff.  The lessons I’ve learned from decorating and making mistakes along the way for the past 20+ years.  I have ideas to create a really useful and practical decorating workshop that teaches people how they can decorate their own home with confidence.  I’m not exactly sure what it will be yet, but I know the time has come to do it.

Mrs Howards

Mrs Howard’s Shop

After two weeks on my own, my mum is coming to join me.  You’re never too old to enjoy time with your mum.  We have planned a little road trip.  I won’t bore you with the details but we are making our way from Houston, through Louisianna to New Orleans.  Across the top of Florida stopping at Rosemary Beach (the Cape Cod of the South), and Jacksonville Beach (to hopefully visit Mrs Howard’s above).  Then up to the beautiful Savannah in Georgia.  On to Atlanta, then back to Houston to watch the Ballet Showcase and back home.

Haven Conference

The reason I’m going to Atlanta, is to attend the Haven Conference.  It’s a Blogging conference specifically for DIY and Interiors bloggers.  I’ve always wanted to go but could never really justify the trip.

I’m so excited to be attending.  There are so many wonderful bloggers I have been following for years that will be there.  I really hope I get to meet as many of them as I can.  There’s something different about meeting somebody in person, rather than just chatting on blogs, Facebook or Instagram.

Haven Mentors

So that’s me right now.  I’m madly organising things and checking my itinerary.  Getting US currency and power adapters, and working out how to get 7 weeks of clothes into one suitcase.

The blog may be a little quiet over the next 7 weeks.  I will try to post some of the beautiful houses I hope to see.  If you want to see what I get up to follow along @diydecorator on instagram and DIYDecorator on Facebook.