Chocolate Cake with Zucchini Squash

At the Home by the Sea, I am always looking to incorporate more vegetables in our diet.

If you have read this blog before you might be aware of my penchant for sweet treats. Especially those with brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon, such as the Danish Spice Cake, or Walnut Streusal Cake.

Fellow blogger Sandy just had to go and post a delicious recipe of Chocolate and Zucchini cake with just those aforementioned ingredients that I love so much.

Clear the hallway! I said when I read the post.

“I am headed for the kitchen.” No sooner had I read the post then the cake was in the mixing bowl.

Here is the result:

Sandy’s Chocolate and Zucchini Cake

zucchini chocolate cake with walnuts

Health Benefits of Zucchini or Squash to your Diet

Zucchini is low in calories, fat, and sugar and is a great source of antioxidants and Folate. It also contains Vitamins (A, E and C) that improve skin integrity, alleviate puffiness, build collagen and fight damage from free radicals. So Zucchini make us look younger!


I reduced the zucchini – I use 2- 3 zucchini amounting to about 500 ml shredded – squeezed it out a little then added a 2- 3 tablespoons of extra flour to Sandy’s recipe.

Find the Full recipe at Sandy’s blog post.

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blogging, home, Uncategorized

Bricks and Tiles

Although a few weeks have passed, progress continues on the little home by the sea.

Our Brick and Tile House.

So now it looks a bit like this:

It has been wrapped in a green weather resistant lining in preparation for the laying of the external bricks and cladding. And my much sought after cornerless butt-joined window has been installed in the MOTH’s mancave/future geriatric bedroom on the lower level.

The first Bricks arrived some time ago, after an initial hiccup with the delivery – read more about that hiccup here. But there was more pallets to come as you see here. The MOTH estimated about 11,000 bricks.

Installing all the electrical wiring, plumbing and services does take time. Which is fine if they do it right. And then there is insulation installed in roof areas and upper walls. This is what makes our new homes more expensive but more energy efficient.

New homes in Queensland must comply with a Six star energy rating. I do hope this will result in a cooler home in summer, but warmer in winter. It has to be better than the previous open plan home which has a partly insulated roof space.

My memories of that home meant we froze in the shadow of a double storey home on the northern side and melted when the summer sun hit the long southern side of the uninsulated hardiplank walls.

Linking to Friendly Friday – Bricks and Tiles

building, Uncategorized

Another Step Closer

If you have been following our building journey, at A Home by the Sea, I can tell you that we are yet another step closer.

The weather Gods were not kind to us this week, but it is becoming more and more apparent that our building team are the very best. The forecast of rain so concerned us given that our upper floor would be open to the elements and the floor is not at all weatherproof!

So we were extremely relieved when our weekly visit revealed the builders had finished the complete guttering and roof (at least the roof that is over all upper floorboards) in just one day.

Timber Frame and Roof Trusses

Great team effort guys! (and girls?) *

*Note: No sexism on A Home by the Sea.

Perhaps they tried their very best given that a week of rain was on its way. I like that they are so conscientious and pro-active. They is very reassuring. We have come this far in four weeks!

And now the remaining roof, more plumbing/electrical on the lower floor comes next!

We decided to take some time out to support local business and mingle with the locals at the Boat Club. There is a great view of the Marina from there.

The large boat in the foreground of the next photo is a Marlin fishing boat, and the official weighing station is on the right of the photo.

I have to say that view was pretty hard to take!

More next week.


Framing a Storey

We have began to visit the little block of land beside the sea each week, as development is beginning to move rather swiftly now that the concrete slab and foundations are down.

Once the concrete slab had cured, and with modern technology, cement cures within a few days, so the termite shield and waterproofing can then be installed. From then, the timber frame can be erected.

Construction methods have changed immensely since the day that my Builder Father-in-law used to knock up homes in six weeks with a team of three.

Houses are larger and timber frames comes in pre-fabricated pieces. A Nail gun secures everythin in place in one day. The bottom storey was completed in just one day.

It is an exciting time, seeing all the preparations and plans emerge from the soil and take shape in front of your eyes. It is kind of like a young child growing up all too fast.

The second storey is due for completion today and the roof will be installed next week.

Looking good.


Wilderness It Is

The builder informed us an error had been made and they had delivered the wrong brick to the Little Home By the Sea.

I thought it had to be wrong, but what do I know?

Tim checked into it and found they had delivered the wrong bricks. Austral will swap them over. That feels a lot better now. I can sleep again.

This is the Wilderness design – Blackbutt – with two shadows looming over.

It even looks black. Quite different from the grey with white flecks, seen below. They realized the bricks delivered on the palettes that had sat there for several weeks were completely wrong. Thank goodness we checked.

The waterproofing was complete and excess soil removed and spread out. So now we were starting to get an idea of the internal size of the rooms and yard.

More will become obvious when the frame begins at the end of this week. Then it will really look like a house.

Frame starts soon

Looking forward to that.

It was a gorgeous day in the bay with only a SW zephyr. Perfect beach weather, really. How lucky are we to have a piece of paradise to retire too.


Still Waiting

We are still waiting for Council. They have already made us change our plans by moving the house over somewhat. We are now closer to the road and have to fence behind our garage. The change cost over $1000 more.

When Council rejected the relaxation application by the Builder and suggested a compromise, it had to go back to the Developer for their approval. Back and forward. It is painful waiting.

The builder is set to go. They await the green light and have already scraped the block in anticipation. Except the cut for the alfresco area now has to move over 350 mm.

In the meantime, the MOTH is stockpiling more gadgets and furniture.

blogging, home, Uncategorized


January 2019

  • Settlement on Block of Land
  • House Design Selected, Sited on Block and Preliminary Tender signed
  • Visits to Design Studio to begin selecting lighting/fixtures/styles/tiles

February 2019

  • Colour Selections Day and Plan Meeting
  • Electrical Plan
  • Illegal dumping of excess turf on block

March 2019

  • Finalisation of Preliminary Plans
  • Changes to Doors and Locks in Laundry, Plasterboard cut out in Study
  • Deletion of separate Tower unit in Kitchen
  • Extension of Kitchen bench and Upgrade of Ceasarstone benchtops
  • Microwave space in Kitchen island bench and Pot Drawers Added
  • Cavity slider moved in Bathroom
  • Pendant light added to Lounge
  • Addition of extending laundry tap
  • Colour Presentation by Dulux

April 2019

  • Construction Plans, Specifications and HIA Contract signed
  • Submitted to Developer Certifiers for Covenant approval
  • Submitted to Council for Approval
  • Shopping for Furniture
  • Neighbours house begins construction

May 2019

  • Contract Variation due to Balustrade Aqua Vista Glass (Subcontractor) pulling out of Contractual Obligation and Agreed Quote
  • 9th May – Contract Variation Signed off to conform to Adjusted Steel Design, Builder supplied Balustrade and Covenant Fencing Requirements (150 x150 posts)
Site Scrape
  • 9th May – Site Scrape and Level to Block and damage to Fence noted
  • 14th May – Council refused Relaxation but suggested compromise. House siting plans must be redrawn and moved eastwards 350mm. Result – cost blowout of another $1000. It must also be approved of by the developer.
  • 17th May – Re-submission to Council and Developer
  • Lounge suite purchased
  • Bedside cabinets and Recliner purchased as Furniture shop closing down after orders submitted.
  • 21st May – Final Council Approvals Received from Suncoast Building Approval. Clearly Council has outsourced this process.
  • 22nd May – Base stage payment effected.
  • 24th May Breakfast bar stools snapped up by the MOTH.
  • Bricks arrive on block. Temporary fencing erected.

June 2019

July 2019

August 2019

September 2019

October 2019