The past twelve months have scooted by (so damn quickly) and with the year coming to a close, what better time to review the highlights, changes and challenges of 2015.
The purchase of our Canungra property (House 4) in December 2014 started with a bang by hosting our first family Christmas luncheon, New Years Eve bonfire, my sister’s 21st birthday (with over 80 guests) and my 30th birthday.
We’ve come a long way since fossicking through the long grass to locate the front door… To manicured lawns, secure horse paddocks and a chicken coop fit for a king (plus eight chickens and a few mice). It’s now a home we’re very proud of and enjoy sharing with our friends, family and pets.
Throughout the year we continued to expand our knowledge with further industry training such as my onsite White Card qualification and attendance at two Pro Blogger events. We also managed to squeeze in a submission for The Block 2015 auditions, and were both singularly shortlisted in the top 20 applicants to host a brand new Foxtel home renovation television series. However unfortunately we were not successful in progressing for an interview, and to be honest weren’t too keen to relocate to Melbourne.
nooks & cranny blog roll
We proudly launched our online blog turned website exactly one year ago in mid December 2014 (thanks to the help of Krista and Paula at Flux Digital). This quickly followed with the buzz of our first guest appearance on Interiors Addict, highlighting How to Create Beautiful Kitchens on a Budget. Since then, our blogging experience, online friendships and content base has grown exponentially. Not to mention a real-life coffee catch up with Jen Bishop herself. *pinch me*
12 month snapshot:
- 7x Guest posts and media appearances including our most highly clicked post Our Guide to Brisbane’s Best Homewares as featured on Hello Queensland.
- 12x Expert interviews with epic highlights including Interiors Addict Jen Bishop and Cedar & Suede Carlene Duffy.
- 5x DIYer Projects of the Month.
- 4x Product giveaways valued at over $300.
- 457x Nespresso coffee pods consumed.
- 50x Business Card builder’s pencils disseminated at networking events.
- 1x Live Presentation at Masters Home Improvement (watch this space).
- A suite of e-products and services including my mood board design service with woo commerce functionality.
- 4x FREE DIY Resources plus an opt in enticing readers to join our DIY Gang to receive weekly exclusive content (recently implemented on 25 September 2015).
- 1x About Us infographic (which has since set the style and tone for our entire website).
Our day jobs
Our everyday work does more than pay our bills (if we’re lucky, ha, just kidding). We’re fortunate enough to have created businesses that support our lifestyles. For me, that’s operating my freelance business Nikki Dudley Freelancing from home (and the occasional client premises or offsite CBD meeting). I’m very grateful for my current client portfolio and the magnitude of publicity we’ve worked to receive, including gold accolades at the recent Queensland Tourism Awards. Plus I also enjoy supporting Luke with our construction company hobbs building & interiors, such as assisting with our first commercial new build for Windaroo Vet Surgery (which also happens to be my mum).
Luke has been doing an amazing job project managing his trades and suppliers, all while installing the steel frame himself to save costs wherever possible. This year hobbs also took on a young apprentice (who has since resigned), a casual employee and many fantastic subcontractors who’ve lent a working hand. With these added complexities of staff and human resources it has also meant we’ve needed step up our accounting, which I internally operate via Xero (another business milestone).
Health and travel
For us health and travel kinda go hand-in-hand. After an epic twelve months overseas in 2012-13 we weren’t quite sure that anything back in Australia was going to match up. And to be honest Luke was a little depressed about packing up his snowboard and picking up a tool belt.
However, after some serious health issues in March (which we won’t go into depth here), our subconscious’ were telling us to s.l.o.w.d.ow.n. We listened by ticking off some fabulous holidays to Moreton Island, Nightfall Wilderness Camp and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. We both now feel energised and excited about getting back into our health and fitness – perhaps with a marathon or Ironman on the cards for Luke – and more cycling for moi, including a recent accomplishment of riding 28 kilometres to O’Reilly’s on Monday afternoon (1,000 metres above sea level) clocking in at 2 hrs 40 mins.
We’ve also managed to nourish ourselves with regular yoga sessions at Canungra Yoga, meditation on the lawn mower (ha it’s true), remedial massages and a fortnightly organic veggie box delivery. Plus afternoon wine and gossip by the creek is always good for the soul.
2016 and beyond
We have BIG plans for next year. Which probably doesn’t come as a surprise to our close friends and family. You need to think BIG. Articulate your plans to your support network. And make them happen.
For us this
may will include:
- Undertaking a pre feasibility study for a creekside tourism cabin on our block, aimed to attract brides and grooms of the nearby vineyards.
- Jet setting back to Whistler, Canada for a well deserved six week snowboarding holiday with good friends.
- Engaging an architect to initiate our renovation plans including some serious earthworks.
- Reviving the old Kubota tractor including the slasher and plower. Who knows, we may just grow sunflowers, kale and raspberries for a living via a road side stall.
- Building a DIY rustic pizza shack home to a cosy wood fired pizza oven. Can. Not. Wait. For. This.
So tell us DIYers, what plans and projects are on your horizon for 2016?