DIY: Sprucing up a crusty bathroom on a budget!

For the past three months (gosh it took ages) we have been sprucing up one of our bathrooms.  We probably could have done it quicker had it not been for laziness, out of stock items and problematic plumbing - but we got there in the end. I will not go into chapter and verse about what we did and how we did it, but instead let the pictures do the talking.

Here are the BEFORE pictures:

I am not the biggest fan of classic heritage bathrooms (unless done well), but because we plan to do a complete renovation down the track, we did not want to invest too much effort and money into this project.  You can't tell from the pictures, but we were dealing with leaking and corroded taps, chipped enamel fixtures and a water damaged wood vanity.  We set our budget at not more than a few hundred dollars.

In the end we sanded back, re-stained and varnished the vanity as well as replaced all the tap ware and fittings. We came in well under budget thanks to some great bargain finds at Bunnings and Recollections and reviving what we had (basin, vanity and mirror). I also replaced the wooden door knobs on the wood vanity with some nice shiny stainless steel ones from IKEA to match with all the other chrome fixtures.

Here is what our bathroom looks like now:

I'm pretty happy with the results, but in hindsight, I wish I had gone a shade darker with the stain... there's always something!

May Purchases... Thank you eBay saved searches!

Do any of my readers utilise eBay saved searches? I do and this is the second month in a row where something I have been looking for for months has finally turned up. Maybe due to the wardrobe culling trend taking the world by storm? And maybe this is was my sinister plan all along... to write about how good it feels to cull and eBay and then snipe all your culled bargains on eBay.

Anyways, back on topic, May was another lean month in the spending department (possibly I was subconsciously preparing myself for the blowout that June would prove to be - more on that another day). I have spent just under $200 and added the following items to my wardrobe:

Weekend by Jane Lamerton striped short sleeve top, Witchery long sleeve leopard sleeve sweat and Country Road 'Sian' biker boots

The Country Road boots are the same style that I took to the US with me last year and then unceremoniously culled (maybe a little before their time) to make room in my luggage for all the shopping that I did.  I have missed them a lot, but now I have them back!  The morning of the auction ending I set two alarm clocks to remind myself that I had something to bid on and and then I patiently sat in front of my laptop and sniped them in the last seconds. I was red faced and my heart was pounding and my boyfriend thought I was a lunatic... but I got them in the end... I got them! So happy.

The Witchery Philip Lim knock-off leopard sleeve sweat, found on the sale rack, was acquired using mostly Witchery reward vouchers and it is for wearing around the home. I'm now on the hunt for some funky tracky-dacks (tracksuit/sweat pants) to go with it.

I found the Weekend by Jane Lamerton navy and white striped short sleeve top during one of my de-stressing lunchtime "walks". There was only an 8 and a 14 left on the rack (reduced to $25 from $59.95) and I opted for the 14 for a loose look. Given how happy I've been with my three quarter sleeve Jane Lamerton tops I bought last year, I think this was a good buy and it is unlike all my other striped tops.

Edited to add:

Don't know how eBay saved searches work?

You can save your searches on eBay.  You will be emailed daily (if you so elect) when items matching your search terms are listed.

After entering your search terms in the search box, simply click "Save Search" (circled in red below):

A pop-up window will come up where you can elect to be emailed daily when items meeting your search terms are listed:

Never miss an item you have been searching for!

Images sourced from:,, (archives) and

All Day Heels follow up...

I think it is only fair that I do a follow up post about my experiences with All Day Heels after recently receiving this comment on my last post from Sara Yared from All Day Heels:
Just for transparency, I’m Sara from All Day Heels. I hope you don’t mind my posting here but I was wondering if you’d had another chance to try out Insolia? You did mention you had bought more a while back so I was curious to see if they’d worked out for you? I'll try and elaborate a bit on them to give you some answers.
Firstly it sounds like you did try them in a pair of already very uncomfortable heels? Here's the thing. We say that you can typically wear your heels around 3 - 4 times longer in comfort when wearing them with Insolia. This is great for a pair of heels you can usually wear for 2 hours as you should then, by extrapolation, be able to wear them for 6 - even 8 - hours. Not so good, however, for a pair of shoes you can only wear for 5 minutes before they start to hurt. You'll only then get maybe 15 or 20 minutes wear. In other words there is only so much 'correction' they can do :)
Also, you are correct in saying that not all shoes are created equal. I have found varying degrees of success depending on the shoe I put them in. I’m not even sure myself if this is just tine degrees of placement or the shoes but I have definitely noticed they work better in some shoes compared to others.
As far as placement goes the trick is to have the tiny raised ‘bump’ at the front of your heel so it can rotate the bone and ‘lift’ you. You should feel some pressure, just not pain.
In regards to the backing strip, I couldn’t agree more! We’ve now improved this feature and our next batch – arriving any day now – has a vastly improved backing strip that you can peel off in a cinch.
Finally you are right about high arches. The shape of the Insolia contour is quite similar to the shape of the bottom of a foot with a higher arch. The "sameness" of the foot bottom to Insolia contour tend to negate some of the weight shift effect. Interestingly, some of the women who have higher arched feet do not need Insolia...they are already comfortable in HH shoes.
It is possible they just don't work with your feet and it's why we offer a money back guarantee. And we really do encourage people to take us up on this if they can’t get them to work.
You can see more about how they work here:
Best regards and thanks again for your fair and honest review."

I should be honest in writing that when I first tried All Day Heels I was looking for a product to put in my most uncomfortable shoes to make them comfortable. I know, I don't ask for much at all - only a modern day miracle of science!

After years of running around the city to and from work and at work in the most glamorous high heels, one day (around the time I hit 30) my feet just let it be known that enough was enough.  This made me quite sad, especially after I piled on a few kilograms... as there is nothing like a pair of heels to add some lift and elongate the body to appear slimmer.

Since failing to see any results when using these All Day Heels inserts in my D&G pumps (which by the way I ended up selling on eBay), I decided to try these inserts in a pair of mid-heel Country Road points.  These points seemed like the perfect candidate, since after only wearing them once they caused some pain in my metatarsal bone below my big toe (don't be too impressed, I had to look up the name of this bone). It may have been the combination of points plus heels that did it, but I was devastated to be in pain after paying $100+ for a pair of shoes which appeared seemingly comfy in shop, but weren't.

I write this post to inform you that after trying the All Day Heels inserts in these Country Road points, the heels are still a part of my shoe collection. Although, not my most comfortable heels (my round toe Country Road pumps win that prize), I can actually wear them now without feeling like I have just broken my big toe after only taking a few steps.

Thus far I have not tried the inserts in any other shoes as I have not felt the need after culling almost all shoes which were uncomfortable and otherwise shopping for shoes more wisely.

It's good to know though that if I do buy a dud pair of heels I can try All Day Heels in them to improve their comfort somewhat.  I do believe that sometimes miracles do happen, but just not the turning heels into flats type of miracles...

**In case anyone is wondering... I have not received any payment in money or in kind for writing this post.  I only felt that I should finally write a follow up post since I said that I would many moons ago.