Beach Cottage Superwoman, Pick a Job and Chalkboard Doors

Tue 23rd, Feb, 2010

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 0 Flares ×


G’day cherry pies.  How ya cookin’?  All is well here, though my legs are sore, nothing like 250 squats, overlooking the sea, perched on top a dirty great Australian rock to get one’s muscles working.

Now, before we start, let me issue a Beach Cottage Warning, this sure is one of those posts, where I ramble, type, ramble, type…you may like to skip right on through ;-)


So, I often get messages from people asking me how I ‘do it all’, how I keep up with everything *and spend copious amounts of time painting things white…and comments along the lines of where does my motivation come from.

And I’ve been musing these comments recently on my morning walks on the beach, headphones in, head down, legs pumping, brain ticking…or not.

You know, I sat down to write this post with an answer, but it didn’t happen, because I don’t know what the answer is.

It’s just, for me, that painting, nesting in this home, making the best of things and trying to take time to smell the roses is the way to keep me outta trouble. 

And that is how this started - that night a few years ago now, in the study I surfed a few homey blogs… and there and then decided to quit whining (about the cottage on Sydney’s Beaches, hello!)and start doing with a place that mighn’t be totally what I wanted but had the potential for us to live a pretty good life right here and now.


What remains constant with me, it seems,  is not the latest fad or fashion in homes but what links my projects, scheming, blogging and treasure hunting is purely and simply, at the bottom line, about me creating the best comfy, simple place that I can, out of what I have now.  

I think, there is though, if you look at blogs and wonder about things such as motivation, an undeniably Superwoman-Who-Decorates feel to things that can make one feel somewhat inferior…and I think the only answer to that is, all images aside, to unwittingly acknowledge that we are all beating to the same drum, with messy kids rooms behind the scenes, overflowing laundry, bathrooms to clean and dinner to cook.


But even with all those life things  floating around threatening to stop me from getting on with it, what keeps *me doing this is it makes me happy and fulfilled…most of the time…I love decorating, I am more than addicted to the thrill of the Vintage Thrifting Chase and I am moved by the soothing power of white paint.

And so as I sit here, towels on the floor, washing to hang, dinner to think about, kids to collect, I will not think about Superwomen, but rather I will share with you a little nugget that, in all probability, you may well have already seen from Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick whose Investment Post inspired me to write this in the first place and I hope that if you want to get started on a project you’ve seen on a blog, in a magazine or heaven forbid on one of those TV makeover shows, these few words from the famous Thrifty Decor Gal, (which are right up my alley), may give you the oomph you perhaps need to get it started baby…



‘I am woman.

Hear me roar.

I am ROCKIN’ it.

I LOVE what I just did.



(I mean, c’mon, ‘I am rocking it’?  This is so *my new phrase !)


Oh and if all else fails, you, most powerful Superwoman, leader of your domain, creator of comfortable Beach Cottages, must get yourself a dirty great vintage door, paint it with chalkboard paint, attack it with sandpaper and swiftly command your troops to set to work

I’m outta here


and take a look at Kate at Centsational Girl’s take on how she doesn’t always do it all here  and  Beach Cottage Inspiration here, where you’ll find Superwoman very much in residence ;-))


see, told ya I’d ramble and leave you at cherry pies ;-)


blogged for Transformation Thursday

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 0 Flares ×

45 Responses to “Beach Cottage Superwoman, Pick a Job and Chalkboard Doors”

  1. Nellie McCarthy says:

    Thanks Sarah, I love how you put everything into perspective, it’s great. I love your door chalkboard list.
    Nellie xx

  2. Michelle says:

    You definately are ‘rocking it’. Well put! Happy Tuesday :-) x

  3. Megan says:

    That’s what I like best about “the beach cottage”. Your cottage doesn’t look all glossy magazine perfect-it’s homey, creative and looks like a family might actually live there. And I love how you change old rough finds into treasures with your white paint.
    Keep on ‘rocking it baby’!!!

  4. Alison Gibbs says:

    Great post sarah.
    Love how you ‘tell it as it is’

  5. Alicia says:

    most excellent post Sarah! You have got me inspired (again) to go through our old stables out the front and see if I can find a door to chalkboard paint (caue I am rockin it too lol)

  6. cherrie says:

    Funny that. I know we all have things to contend with, like teenagers laundry and where all the socks have gon, but I also like to be motivated for good by seeing the good sides of real homes (not plastic ones). That’s why I like your blog. It is real and affordable and beautiful as well. Maybe I need to be shamed just a little to work to be supermum. Anyway, just thought I’d let you know I painted my bookshelf today with a little bit of help from my daughter. Not sanded, just painted, so I’ve got a lovely bleeding through of the original stain. Cherrie

  7. susan says:

    love your door! what a super idea. i have to say i can relate to everything you’ve said. thanks for the smile and inspiration to get moving! have a great day! susan

  8. Brilliant post! Loving the door as well!

  9. Ginger says:

    Oh if I had to show you my laundry situation today, I would die. The clothes are clean and even folded, but put away, not today! I just love the idea of doors leaning casually against the wall, just set here and there to take up that expanse of wall space. Unfortunatley, my babe is 5 months and soon to be crawling/walking and I fear he would clunk himself….I think I will have to figure out a way to attach it to the wall without it looking…well, attached to the wall.

  10. Vanessa says:

    Sarah! That is one great idea! I do have a wall painted with chalk paint but it’s mostly used to wirte random thoughts on it… I should definitely start making a list of to do’s and get everything done! Have a great day! Vanessa

  11. Lisa Hafey says:

    I *magnetic* chalkboard painted a wall that was outside the kids’ rooms – it’s brilliant – when they have parties they draw a picture up on the wall and play “pin the tail” or whatever on it using magnets. The last birthday party was an alien party, so given we have bulk-loads of Doctor Who magnets courtesy of Doctor Who Adventures mag, what else to play but “stick the Doctor in the TARDIS”?

  12. Marcia says:

    Thanks for the post, I think you put into words how a lot of us women feel. I saw a t-shirt on a little girl yesterday at the preschool where I work, she was only about 4 years old, but I thought “her mom is training her early” go mom! The t-shirt read “Girls Rock”. Oh so true! marcia

  13. I am obsessed with Chalkboards and I think there are some many creative ways to use them! Using a glass door is brilliant! As always, I love love love it! Thanks for having the urge to nest, create, and share!

  14. Melissa says:

    JUST what I needed to “hear” today. Thanks for the perspective!

  15. Great – Rockin Super Woman.

    I found an old window similar to your door – attached hooks on the bottom for market bags and a pad of paper/pen so I can keep a running market list and tear it off when I go shopping. It’s in the laundry room next to the door by the driveway so there’s no forgetting.

    Now, I’ll add a “cuddle mum” note on it – love that!


  16. GRACE GARLAND says:

    love, love, love this idea! i need a whole door for my to do.

  17. desiree says:

    Couldn’t have said it better–Great post and I do feel a little more empowered to tackle some of the overwhelming (ie.laundry) jobs that bring me down! Love the chalk board door…does the “pick a job” system work in your home? I need a new system to perk up my troops.

  18. Shar Yates says:

    I am so going to look for a door like that! Love it! I have a non-decorating question to ask: you said that when you do your beach walks, that you have your headphones in. I walk the beach on weekends and part of me wants to take my ipod, but the other part wants to just hear the waves. But, when I have the ‘pod, I usually walk longer and get more exercise. So, do you still hear the waves? I know, silly question, but just curious!

  19. Jennifer says:

    What a fantastic idea with the chalkboard paint and a list of chores, I love it. I will definitely try to incorporate that. It is so important to do something that you love, and your efforts are always gorgeous.

  20. Tammy says:

    Love your perspective. I needed this today. Now I am off to do something – anything – on my long list of to do’s.

  21. Love love it!.. besides the fact i love big chalkboards.. Can’t wait til my little ones can read.. and clean ovens :-)

  22. Kirsty says:

    Loving the door – alas it wouldn’t be big enough for my list of to-do’s! I found what you said about your place quite ironic, because there are hundreds of us who would lurve a house like yours! Keep on rockin’ it! x

  23. Sharon Forward says:

    Well put Sarah Do you have ESP? because I have been thinking a lot lately how does she do it all? A very real and as always inspiring blog. Love the door.

  24. Bella Casa says:

    Really cute idea. I’m glad that works for you.

  25. I think the door is a great idea, though I would pick mopping the laundry before a lot of the others ;)

    I am so with you on getting things for the house that you can have NOW, I have zero patience to save up for things.

    Mel xxx

  26. desiree says:

    wauw .. Life IS as simple as you want to make it ;)

  27. Amanda says:

    The door is such a cool idea Sarah, I was thinking of getting an old coffee table for the kids room and painting the top with chalkboard paint so they could draw on it….probably just another project to add to the list! Oh yes also wanted to tell you (and you probably already know this) but Anthropologie are shipping to Australia….Yay yay yay!!!!

  28. Brismod says:

    Who was the lucky one that cleaned the oven?? Great “to do list” door – looks great. I don’t think I could have one though – a constant reminder of our domestic failures!

  29. I love your perspective. It’s very refreshing. I’ll have to go over and read your about me post because I’m interested now. I often feel like I don’t have what I want to work with (house wise), but you’re right. I need to be happy with what I have and make the best of it. It’s a very inspiring and refreshing way of looking at it.

  30. Sally says:

    Love it Sarah!!!
    I’m just going to have to find some treasure shops in my area.
    You’re posts are an absolute delight!!
    You are at the top of my blog favorites!!

  31. Jackie says:

    I hear the roar from “down under” Wonderful post! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR lol

  32. Niki Lea says:

    Thank you for this post. Over the past few weeks, I have stopped reading some of my favourite blogs because I just can’t live up to their perfection. Ironically, they make me feel much like fashion magazines used to.

  33. Kathleen H of Indiana says:

    G’day Sarah! Great post. I feel that way sometimes, glad to hear others have piles of laundry, dishes in the sink, etc. Yes, this cherry pie feels like the pits occasionally. Love your chalkboard and lists. Keep on inspiring me!!!

  34. Cindy S says:

    Sarah, You most certainly are “Rockin’ It!”, you have come up with another gorgeous project. I LoVe that door. I have an old unused door, I shall have to think about that one.
    Keep on Rockin It!
    Cindy S.

  35. 250 squats? I had to stop there and rest…apparently we now have nothing in common any more (‘cepting Batman maybe LOL)
    Good bye my friend..I am off to your side of the world again.

  36. Pearl Maple says:

    oh too funny, I am rockin’ it
    we could all do with a bit of that kind of spark

    it is amazing how refreshing it is to paint your whole place white

  37. Hi Sarah…sorry been a bit remiss re leaving messages on your blog…(always read them)..

    BUT you have a way with your words/english…it is wonderful…
    & me?? oh ME…with my law degree … am quite pathetic re expressing myself…

    But here goes…

    HEY girl…you ROCK..!! your BLOG is awesome..
    Lovin white…Lovin beachy CHIC…
    Lovin it all…

    Flea/junk market finds make me SOO HAPPY…

    SOO i have been a busy 52 yo “CHICKY BABE”??? paintin’ hat boxes/cases…frames…chest of drawers…

    in between my 4 x tennis lessons..the OLD girl is rockin with white paint..& stuff N that!!

    (sounds quite pathetic when I read it back…BUT what the heck……??!!)

    xx andrea

  38. Julienne says:

    Nice to know you are not all quite as intimidatingly perfect as I first thought! Thanks Sarah nice rambling with you!

  39. susan says:

    I’m going to have to poach this idea from you. I am currently doing a massive renovation of my gorgeous beach house in Noosa….. I have a staircase that leads into my kitchen. I was tossing around painting the wall at the top of the stairs with chalkboard paint… but the door idea suits me best. then it’s mobile.

    Love it thanks. Did you ever get onto Redbubble??

    Susan :):)

  40. D-lyn says:

    I love the chalk board idea!
    It is beautiful and so everyday!
    I love that combo!

    cove visit

  41. Kim says:

    so….. when do we get to see whats in the bags????don’t you just love ikea ?? is yours right in town or is it a trip for you too?

  42. You are SO rocking it! And brave for putting your list for all in the cottage (and world!) to see. My list remain in a constant state of “undoneness” but since I keep my list to myself no one knows. ;-) Yup…I’m pathetic like that!

  43. Jeanine says:

    how much are you paying? love to take an assignment off of a door with a chalk board in it!!

  44. sarah louise says:

    thanks for sharing your heart, sarah! well said. (o: we’re all so blessed & just need to open our eyes to see it! i just HAD to show my 16-yr-old your chalkboard door. too cool. he gives me a ROUGH time for ‘collecting’ old doors. they make me happy! who can throw them away?! i have them stored in the basement where he’d like to work on motorcycles (there’s enough room for both ‘collections’!). i don’t have any doors just like yours (for a chalkboard) but will definitely keep it in mind. your post (& project) is so inspiring. (o: thanks, sarah! have a great day!

  45. Julie M. says:

    Ha! Sweet project. That is just like the front door to my wee porch! I’m fixing to replace it soon, though, with a sturdier antique french door.

    I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend,

    : )

    Julie M.