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The Completed Outdoor Area and Refreshed Driveways

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

 Hello Dear Reader,

This is a big project that has been on our "to do" list for many years but we kept putting it off as we  couldn't find a company that would grind back the existing stamped concrete. Then one day I was sitting in traffic and I saw a truck and on the side was the companies name "Captivating Concrete Solutions" so I thought I would give them a call. Eddie, the owner, answered and after I explained what needed doing he promptly came the next day to give us a quote.

He was so helpful and said he had a machine that grinds back the exisiting finish before applying the new one, he made it sound so easy. He bought colour samples and we chose one called "Mocha Latte"which is a light cream colour with a darker speckle through it. 

We eventually want to paint the outside of the house a similar colour to modernise it a bit so the colours between the house and the driveway will blend better in the end. Truth be told I never liked the stamped concrete and always thought it was way too yellow but we put up with it for over 17 years.

Here is what the driveways looked like before the makeover-

Stained and ugly stamped concrete on one driveway

And plain old concrete on the other 

This is a glimpse of how the outdoor area looked before, it was the same stamped concrete surrounded by black aluminium fencing

And this is how it looks now-

Clean fresh and bright driveways

I just love how modern and new it looks

We finished re-oiling the outdoor setting and I bought cushions for the chairs from Kmart

We removed the black aluminium fencing to open up the space and moved the pot plants around so that it looked more balanced.

We love how it turned out. 

Have a lovely day,


  1. Hi Fiona,

    the driveways look great and your outdoor area looks so spacious and beautifully styled. It's amazing how much difference removing the black fencing has made.

    We often procrastinate when we need to get something done here. I get impatient waiting sometimes and end up making a decision and just get it organised. If it was up to my hubby we would still be without our much appreciated wood heater and filtered water system. I have been waiting 25 years for a rainwater tank🤷🏻‍♀️.

    In reply to your question regarding the meat I use for my Beef Ragu, most recently I used lean gravy beef. I was rather disappointed because it was quite dry after the long cooking time. On the same day, I used cubed oyster blade steak in the Massaman Curry I made and the end result was excellent. The meat was soft and melting but still in cubes. I will use oyster blade or pieces of osso buco when I next make ragu.

    My mum used osso buco pieces or meaty beef short ribs to make Beef Ragu and it was always delicious. We would have the sauce with pasta first and then the meat with salad for our second course.

    I have pulled up the pumpkin vine and harvested three pumpkins. They are all of a good size and one weighs approx 5 kilos. Thank you for your advice. I am looking forward to roasting some in a few weeks time. I am hoping for deep orange and tasty Jap pumpkin. Pumpkin is $4 per kilo at the moment here in Adelaide. Our pumpkins are almost free. They came up in the compost and all we've done is water them a little and I did some hand pollinating. Next summer we will plant some intentionally.

    Sorry for such a long comment Fiona.

    Cheers, Maria xx.

    1. Hi Maria,
      Thank you, we are very happy with how the outdoor area turned out, so much better, it’s so funny to watch the dogs though they still only use the area where the open gate used to be to wander in and out.😂 my mum used to made beef in onion gravy with Y bone steak, I don’t know if that cut of meat is even around anymore (it had the oyster blade on one side of it) and it was really delicious and very tender too, I’ll have to look out for oyster blade the next time I want a slow cook beef. Hope you and your family are all well and happy. All good here. Fi

    2. Good morning Fiona,

      I think Y Bone steak is another name for Texas T Bone steak which isn't readily available in most supermarkets near us. It is a cut from the shoulder and the oyster blade is on one side of it.

      Fortunately the Foodland supermarket I buy the oyster blade from, also has Y Bone steak. We love this cut grilled (in our retro Sunbeam Vertical Grill) simply seasoned with salt, pepper and a little oregano.

      I would love to make your mum's beef in onion gravy if you can remember how she made it and don't mind sharing the recipe. It sounds like a perfect meal for a cold night served with mashed potatoes and maybe some home grown😉 roasted pumpkin.

      Animals are creatures of habit. I can picture Lulu and Pippa using only the area that used to be open. They are such cuties.

      Glad to hear all is good there, Maria xx.