Hello to our new (PINK!) Chicken Coop!

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When we lived at the bottom of my in-law’s garden, there was already an established chicken run, complete with laying hens. It was wonderful having our own fresh supply of eggs (especially as Everly eats 2 eggs just about every day for breakfast…click here to read more about her ‘real food’ weaning & feeding journey) but also because Granny & Grandpa were a mere minute away for visits.

While there is a very old and rusty metal chicken house in one of the farm sheds, Farmboy has been wanting to make his own one for a good number of years now, and so our new home was just the prompting he needed t get started on the project. I will have you know, the pink colour was not my idea, but of course, I am thrilled with it! As there were two options for a primer for the wood (white or pink) the choice seemed obvious to my dear husband, and voila…the pink coop!

Farmboy didn’t work from any plans when we put it together, working from an idea on Pinterest, and his own clever farmboy mind, he whipped together a very snazzy A-frame house, complete with double story roosting space inside, and a hinged door on the side to collect eggs from. The chickens are locked up at night (to keep them safe and sound) and during the day are let out to wonder around their enclosure. We do let them out into the garden too, but they are such social creatures that they are ALWAYS making themselves at home on our verandah, and leaving ‘evidence’ behind that is just impossible to clean.

Here are some photos of the behind the scenes set up, as well as some photo of Everly collecting the first egg (it was promptly dropped, much to our horror) but luckily that evening there were another 5 eggs waiting for us.

We put all of our garden refuse/mulch into their pen, as they love pecking around in it. We also make sure the have straw for roosting and laying their eggs. Oh and don’t forget about Edgar, the man about town. He’s our friendy garden rooster, who lives in the garden, eating insects and other little bits and pieces…he sleeps in the trees! And everyone morning comes along with us to check on his ladies and make sure they are all happy. Funny little thing.

Enjoy

x

Our Farm Cottage - Before & After

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I have been meaning to write this blog post for such a long time (nearly 3 years in fact!) but time has done what it always does, and run away with me. I also find that if I don’t get things done the moment inspiration hit, then I forget about things and get distracted, and so the ideas sit on the back burner until something comes along and inspires me again.

This is what has happened with this blog post. The reason I’ve suddenly realised I HAVE to share it, is because we are doing renovations really soon (a second baby on the way has a way of hurrying things up!) and as baby is due in February, there really isn’t much time to expand our little home. So before the walls get knocked down and we have to move out while the building takes place, I wanted to share some before photos of our little home, as well as photos of how it looks now.

Some background:

We live in a little wooden cottage across the garden from my in-laws. This is the home where Farmboy’s Granny lived in before she passed away. It’s a lovely little home (emphasis on little) with two bedrooms, one bathroom, an open plan lounge/dining area, kitchen and gorgeous verandah area. There is also a two room prefab building outside with a carport, which houses Farmboy’s mancave, and the guest room. With inside having the only bathroom, it makes things a little awkward for guests. My mom has been the most frequent guest, and although she has said she doesn’t mind have a starlight ‘bathroom experience’ in the middle of the night, I know she has just about had enough and we have plans to put in a little Granny flat container home soon.

We are constantly changing things, and as I mentioned above, are about to begin building (we are adding on another bedroom and bathroom and extending the lounge area) and so the photos I have to share with you have been taken along the way during the past couple of years. I hope to have updated images of how it looks currently which I will share soon.

Without further ado (and because this blog post has already taken me nearly 2 weeks to actually put together!) here are the before photos of our home. Things to take particular note of:

  • the colour of the walls

  • the colour of the floors

  • the colour of the ceiling

  • placement of the fridge in the kitchen

  • the curtains


Before…

Work in Progress shots…

We sanded the ceilings and the floors, painting them all white. We used Woodoc 25 Water Borne White for the floors, and painted 2 coats to allow the grain of the wooden floors to show through, and we used a Plascon White Undercoat and Ceiling paint for the Ceilings. Both were really big jobs that we half did ourselves, and then hired some help to finish off. So many people were horrified when I told them we would be painting the floors of our farm home white, but it all came together so well, and has been easy enough to keep clean so far.

The walls were painted with a grey shade (Plascon paint name to be confirmed) and this gave our home a lovely soft and cool feeling.


Some of my favourite DIY projects…


The Lounge

I wanted to do a grey and white theme for our lounge, with a touch of pink. Farmboy was sceptical at first, but after seeing the finished product he says it’s much better than he had imagined it would be. I found the black industrial feel lighting at Mr Price Home, and love how the modern fittings offset the pink, grey and white.

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Everly’s Room

Everly’s room was the guest room until she came along, and the only change from these photos to now is that she is in her cot and not in the bassinet. I loved having two wingback chairs in her nursery, as although it seems like an extravagance, we had a spare one from the lounge above once we got our couch, and so it went in here and became Daddy’s chair for those first few weeks. Her room is my favourite place in the house and I often sit there with friends so having a spare comfy chair has been wonderful. My feeding chair (the big grey one) was a secondhand find that I had recovered in a gorgeous velvet fabric, and the compactum was also a second hand piece I found in Durban which has worked perfectly as a baby changing station. It fits all her cloth nappies so well too!


Our bedRoom

Our bedroom is pretty simple. There were already huge cupboards extending from wall to wall, in both our room and Everly’s room, and this makes up for the lack of storage space anywhere else in the house. Farmboy and I made our headboard ourselves using this beautiful Protea fabric from U&G in Durban. The side tables were simple wooden boxes Farmboy made himself, and the lamps are from Mr Price Home. The dressing table was a lovely second hand find.


the bathroom

We didn’t really have the time or funds to make any big structural changes to the bathroom, and so made do with a couple of licks of paint (which makes all the difference!). I also used a piece of voile fabric as a makeshift curtain in the bathroom and it has worked rather well. Painting the ceilings white also made a HUGE difference.

The bath is my favourite feature of the whole house, and luckily we don’t have any water restrictions as we use Borehole water and I’m able to bath every day…bliss when pregnant!


The Kitchen

From the old kitchen, we removed the breakfast counter that was next to the front door, and put the fridge there, which really opened up the space. The best thing I ever did was put a bench in the kitchen, as it has become a real social place to be, and as much as I’d like to tear everything out and start again (I’d love to make it open plan!) it works just fine for now.It’s also amazing how you adjust to things. We have very little counter space, and yet somehow have managed too cook and prepare food for lots of guests as well as our everyday family meals.


My Office Nook

This funny little space used to be the dining room, but as it backs onto the bathroom (and it a really funny space to work with) Farmboy set about making me a custom A-frame desk and office space. I just love it and it fits the space so well. The ceilings in our cottage are vaulted, and the A-frame section of the desk really lends itself well to this.

Also pictured, my Pilates ball. I used this as a desk chair before I was pregnant with Everly, and enjoy it so much more than a standard chair.


And there you have it. Our cosy little farm cottage as it looks now. Once the renovations are done (hopefully by the time the new baby is here in February!) I will share more photos of what the space looks like.

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In the mean time, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our little home.

x


Sunny Winter afternoons spent in the vegetable garden - Life on the Farm

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After a very chilly last few days, the sun came out and Farmboy (yup, I really did marry a Farmboy) and I got stuck into our vegetable garden, cleaning up and getting it ready for planting. A few months ago we put down woodchips in the hopes of reducing the amount of weeding that needs doing, but alas, those pesky weeds shot up in all sorts of places. Our next plan of action is putting hay down, and then opening up little spaces for the seedlings to go. Will keep you updated as to how that helps with the weeds.

We have had a very bountiful vegetable garden since we set it up a couple of years ago. The biggest achievement has been growing and harvesting homegrown vegetables for Everly's meals.

>>> Click here to watch a video on how I prepare her meals, as well as my favourite tools for making the job easier.

We keep getting sporadic pop ups of all sorts of herbs and vegetables that went to seed ages ago...like this crop (is that even the right word?) of coriander. We LOVE coriander in our house, and it brings back all sorts of wonderful memories of our time spent living and working in Asia (click here to read more about that).

And that chilli bush bush you can see below...that was grown from seed and is still growing strong, I don't know how many years later. And you'll also notice whenever my camera is out, Amber is never far away. #AmberTheGinger is one of our very many rescue creatures that make up our family. She's the fluffy (and majestic) ginger kitty you can see below.

And wherever you find Amber, Jade The Tabby is always close by too. Here she she scaling the fence (I have no idea how she managed to do that as she is SO fat and has very-little-to-absolutely-no co-ord, and yet she's the one who catches all the birds and other 'presents' for us. Funny kitty.

We've got a dedicated herb area that has Lemon Grass, Rosemary & Thyme which we just leave to their own devices. It's wonderful being able to pop into the veggie garden for a sprig of rosemary when making dinner.

And there you have it, a few snaps of what our vegetable garden is looking like at the moment. I'll share more once we have planted some actual vegetables, and will share how the straw does against the weeds.

Until next time, here are some more posts on life on a dairy farm...enjoy!

Early misty farm mornings || Life on a dairy farm

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After a particularly bad night (or rather a week of a lot less sleep than usual) I'm going through my photos and reminding myself of all the things I have to be thankful for. And at the top of the list, living in such a beautiful place...even when the whether is grey and cold.

Here are a few photographs from an early morning adventure to feed the calves with Dad. Most mornings, after Evy wakes up and I feed and change her, we walk down to the dairy office to see what Dad is up to. On this particular morning we caught him just in time to hop in the bakkie and go with to feed the calves. What a fun adveture for little Everly.

Everly had so much excitement, she promptly passed out halfway through. I'm treasuring these rare moments of her falling asleep in my arms. She used to easily fall asleep with me holding her, no matter where we were. But now that she's bigger and more alert as to what's going on, it rarely happens anymore.

I'm not sure where the last 6 months have gone to, it's sort of passed in a blur and yet in those hard moments, time has dragged on. It really is true when they say 'The nights are long but the years are so very short' and so I'm going to keep reminding myself to pick up my camera and keep capturing the every day moments so I can look back on them and remember.

Farm Foraged Flowers - foraging for flowers with The Holloway Shop

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A few months back my friend Storm (of The Holloway Shop in Cape Town) came to visit us here on the farm.

We spent a wonderful few days catching up, drinking tea, eating delicious homemade meals and delicacies that Storm whipped up from our veggie garden, and most notably, I photographed Storm doing what she does best...forage for flowers and create the most beautiful floral arrangements out of thin air. Click here to see what the warm winter afternoon light looks like on our farm,

Here are some photographs of her working her magic with flowers and fruit and leaves she collected around my home.

Enjoy!

If you're based in Cape Town and looking for a florist, I can't recommend Storm more highly enough. She is incredible talented when it comes to flowers and is so creative with her unique designs, she is in a league of her own. Here are some photos of bouquets she whipped up for her portrait shoot last year:

Winter afternoons on the Farm - Life on a Dairy Farm in Creighton, South Africa

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Winter has been especially mild this year (although as I type this I've been told we are in for one last cold spell before Spring officially arrives).

My good friend Storm (you might remember her as my stylist and florist friend from Korea whom I worked with on numerous styled shoots over the past few years...see posts below) came to spend a few days with us on the farm. It's been a good time to have friends stay with us as the countdown to Baby Hutton is well underway (at the time of writing this I have 4 official weeks to go!).

While Storm was here we spent a most wonderful afternoon chasing the last sun rays and showing her around the farm. Here are some photographs of our afternoon adventure...the golden afternoon light of Winter is always my favorite time of the year to shoot.

For any photographers interested...all images below were taken with my Nikon D750 & 50m 1.4 lens, with a few gentle edits done in Lightroom.

Enjoy

x

Thank you to Storm for taking this family photo below:

Shadow The Korean Jindo at home in South Africa

It's nearly been a whole year since our rescue pup, Shadow The Jindo, arrived on South African soil.

Farmboy and I found Shadow as a teeny tiny little ball of fluff wondering along a dark country road late at night. We were living & teaching English in South Korea at the time, and had absolutely no plans, whatsoever, to adopt a dog. We were far too independent,  loved traveling, and if we were to get a pet, we would absolutely have to bring them back home to South Africa with us. Taking animals to South Africa is FAR more expensive than taking them to any other country (bar the UK which is also crazy) and so it never once crosses our minds. That is, until Shadow came along an stole our hearts.

Here he is as a teeny tiny pup:

If you're wondering what a Jindo is, it's a dog breed native to South Korea. Not much is known about them, and they aren't seen much outside of Korea unless bred by authorised breeders. A lot of the 'street' dogs in Korea are Jindo mixes, just like our precious pup Shadow.

Pure breed Jindo's come in 5 main coat colourings (white, brown/yellow, brindle, black & tan and grey). Shadow is of the 'black & tan' variety, but is most definitely a mix due his long hair and very long ears. We think he is crossed with Husky/German Shepard, but there is no real knowing unless a DNA test is done. He has 100% all of the characteristics of a Jindo (click here to read more about the breed) and we just adore him.

Shadow grew up in our teeny tiny Korean apartment, and is now loving his life roaming the wide open spaces of dairy farm life now that we are home in South Africa. We've had a few issues with him and getting his bathroom routine sorted out (well these issues are more to do with the fact that he is an incredibly private dog when it comes to his toilet time, and now regards out entire garden as his 'home' and will not, under any circumstances, soil his home!). This means he quite literally  'holds it in' until I take him for a walk where we can run free and find a suitably private place to do his business. Funny dog this one haha.

Anyway, here are some recent photographs I've taken of him in the months since we have been home. He is such a happy pooch, and the most incredible dog either of us have ever had. We both can't wait for the many happy years ahead of him as a big brother to our little baby coming along in September this year. My camera is going to be FULL of baby and pup pictures...I can't wait!

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these photographs.

x

You can follow Shadow on his adventures with his cat siblings over on Instagram:

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Life on a Dairy Farm - An update on our new home in South Africa

Life on a Dairy Farm -  An update on our new home in South Africa

As of October 1st, Farmboy and I have officially settled on the family dairy farm here in the little town of Creighton, Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa for all my overseas readers). We have officially been back home since the end of June this year, and spent the last few months roadtripping around South Africa, catching up with friends and exploring the different cities and towns while we decided where we wanted to be settle.

We are so happy to finally report that we officially part of the Creighton community (the town that Farmboy grew up in) and have just finished renovating the little farm cottage at the bottom of the garden of the main farmhouse where Farmboy's folks live. Never in my life did I think I would live so close to my in-laws, but I have to see I am one lucky lady and really struck gold with the family I married in to.

Not only are we given with a constant supply of farm fresh eggs and milk (we do live on a dairy farm after all), but Mum & Dad have been amazing in helping us get settled. Dale officially started working as the assistant farm manager, alongside his Dad at the start of October, and is up for milking at 4h30am every alternative week and spends his days working with his hands. He is in his element, and loving feeling useful again after our time spend babysitting/playing games....ahem, I mean teaching English in Korea.

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