I pulled up on the street and couldn’t see a letter box but recognised the house from my ‘security checks’ on Google Maps. As I walked up the path to the door I was hoping it was the right house. I knocked on the door and was greeted by a young guy holding a baby. “Brooke?” I said to which he replied “well I’m not Brooke but you’re at the right place”
This was the start to my funniest meet and greet to date. Caleb and Brooke are a young couple with two little kids, one of which was on the hip of Caleb and the other that was meant to be in bed but insisted that he wanted to say hello to me every few minutes. If only I was this popular in everyday life. Between all the jokes, laughs and banter we had a run through of everything with the house and Sasha the American Staffy who I would be looking after.
I arrived at the house sit and Sasha seemed just as excited to see me as I was to see her. I unpacked the car, ordered pizza (captain lazy pants) and nestled in on the couch to watch telly. When bed time came around I invited Sasha under the quilt because winter had well and truly set in and I figured both of us could use the extra body warmth. Sasha did not budge the entire night, wrapped up in a ball under the quilt. I woke up and she still would not budge, anyone would think she was playing dead. “Ahhhh Sasha” I said “I too feel like playing dead today and not going into work” Whilst I tried to wriggle from beneath her I started to think how ridiculous it would sound calling in sick due to cute dog asleep on you. I soon realised this wouldn’t fly and somehow managed to get out from underneath her and then climb over her to get out. I popped the quilt back over her and let her sleep for a little bit longer… ahh to be a dog!
Sasha and I soon worked out a pretty good routine at night. I would go to bed and have my laptop ready to watch an episode on Netflix, she would come up for cuddles and lay like a human next to me. Then when it was time to go to sleep I would get her to move to the end of the bed and put the blanket over her to keep her warm.
Sasha was an absolute delight to look after, sometimes she didn’t understand personal space like when she insisted walking across my chest when my alarm went off but her utter cuteness made up for it.
I pulled up to the house sit and saw an unknown male in the driveway with the roller door up, I thought to myself “I must be at the wrong house” I did a uturn and came back and upon return the unknown person had disappeared. I knew I was at the right house as I recognised the porch that I had previously day dreamed sitting on reading my book. I pulled up and parked on the road incase I was at the wrong house and I would only have to complete a walk of shame rather than a walk then reverse of shame. I poked my head through the garage and called out “helllloooooo” and there was no answer. I thought it was odd, and knew that my memory was getting bad but surely I wasn’t getting THAT OLD that I was making things up in my head. Oh no I started to think, I hope someone hadn’t broken in. I opened the door and yelled out hellllooo slightly louder. Still no response, by this point I was becoming convinced that in the few hours that the owners hadn’t been home they had been broken into. My eyes darted around the house quickly ensuring that everything was still in place, I realise now I was more worried about the home rather than the safety of myself #awardwinninghousesitter
I slowly walked through the house, calling out hello and further convincing myself that someone had broken in but not yet stolen anything. I then saw a young guy pressing the roller door button “HA I FOUND THE INTRUDER”. Suddenly he said hello back.
Um, ok what do you mean? I was ready to fight and take down said intruder and he was making pleasantries? This isn’t how it is in the movies!
Whilst jogging my memory for all of Bruce Lee’s moves I realised who this intruder was, it was the owner’s nephew that from time to time comes by. I introduced myself to him and he awkwardly said that he was going to have a shower and that if I need him to call out. I unpacked the car and wondered what an earth I would need in the next 10 minutes that he would be in the shower. I knew what I did need and that was to get to work!
I returned later that afternoon and was warmly greeted by Elmo the doggy and Zara the cat. These two appear to have mixed their identities as Elmo ran away and hid from me whilst Zara would not stop following me everywhere I went…everywhere. She followed me by my side for the next half an hour.
The house was nestled in the suburbs of Hallett Cove and you could see the beach from the porch. The home boasted an incredible extension for the living and kitchen area with big windows that allowed an abundance of light to come through.
Whilst unpacking I noticed there was an air fryer on the bench. I had been waiting for a house sit to have an air fryer and almost couldn’t contain my excitement. Soon enough I was knees deep in potato gems and onion rings, this would now become the next four weeks of my life. Elli Lives … for the airfryer.
Hard day at work? Airfryer
Feeling lazy? Airfryer
Had one to many wines? Airfryer
I was starting to become concerned that I would soon be rolling out of this house sit. Between the airfryer, onions rings and potato gems the only exercise I was getting was walking to the bus or going to Aldi to buy, well more onion rings.
I was telling anyone that listened about the airfryer and I’m sure Elmo and Zara were becoming sick of the faint smell of onion rings.
This four week house sit went incredibly quickly and I was due to depart this house sit. I was so sad to go, Elmo and Zara were so wonderful to look after and I really felt like I was at home in this house.
**BANG** My eyes shot open. My heart thumping out of my chest. I lay frozen in fear. I felt paralysed from the neck down and could not get my arm to reach for my phone to call triple zero.
Someone was on the roof of the house, someone was trying to break in.
My mind was going a million miles an hour, it was finally happening. The house I was house sitting was experiencing a home invasion. I was trying to remember all my self-defence moves but I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact I couldn’t move my arms or legs.
Then I clicked… if this was out of the ordinary the dog would be barking… but there was no other noise other than the sound of some sociopath running on the roof. I then remembered my mum talking about the possums on her roof and how they were so loud it sounded like someone was on top of the roof. I started to regain feeling back in my body and I was able to move my limbs, it was then I realised that it was only possums.
The next morning I woke up, happy for my safety I walked out to the most gorgeous blonde man, Bennie! An eight month old Golden Retriever. He was the most handsome doggy and once I uploaded a photo I was bombarded with messages about wanting to meet him. Unfortunately for Bennie he has a fear of being in the car so our adventures only went as far as our feet could take us.
I was only with Bennie for a short time as I didn’t have the full 3 weeks available however the owners were eager to book in the time that I did have available. Bennie and I didn’t waste any time, we were best mates within minutes of meeting. Bennie loved playing with his toys and going on adventures. It was evident that his owners took great pride in teaching him to walk side by side and not pull, which honestly is a god send for my little pudgy hands. Bennie was also lucky enough to go on regular walks with a girl named Kirsty, and when I say regular I mean twice a week kind of regular. Kirsty is a Uni student that does dog walking as a way to earn some extra money and Bennies owners spoke very highly of her so if you’re in Adelaide and looking for a dog walker you can find Kirsty via https://www.instagram.com/kingspetsitting/ .I am not sure of her current pricing but I remember seeing some incredibly good prices a few months ago.
Soon enough it was time for me to part from Bennie and leave him and his roof mates for the next house sitter (whoops probably should have given them a heads up) I decided to take him on an impromptu run to tire him out… so impromptu in fact that I was wearing jeans and thongs. Now I’m in no way a runner and soon the realisation was that I would tire myself out well before Bennie would get a slight puff happening. So here I was saying goodbye, barely able to breathe, hoping that one day we will cross paths again!
I remember seeing the Facebook post, Rhys was in hospital due to a workplace injury with two snapped ankles. After the initial ‘oh my god’ and ‘I hope he is ok’ I remembered that their trip to America was fast approaching. A holiday they had worked and saved so hard for.
I messaged Briony his partner to see what the verdict was for their holiday and she said that due to not taking out travel insurance in time they will be going on the trip regardless of whether Rhys is in a wheel chair or not.
(Note to self people take out travel insurance as soon as your tickets are purchased!)
Due to the impending holiday and immobility Rhys was determined as ever to get back on his two feet…quite literally. Miraculously he was out of a wheel chair the day of departure, I couldn’t quite believe it. I had already envisioned Briony whisking him around in his wheelchair all over the USA.
So off they were on their trip of a lifetime and I was looking after their precious cat – Jemima. In five minutes of my arrival Jemima became Jem Jem and that would be her name for the next five weeks (sorry Briony and Rhys if she no longer answers to Jemima) As I am friends with the owners I am also friends with their friends and had been warned that Jem Jem was well.. a fierce independent woman who takes no shit from anyone.
I was weary of her at first, thinking that any pat could turn into a savage attack of my hand and I’ll end up right where Rhys was in hospital. Soon enough we built a pretty good bond, maybe because I wasn’t trying to smother her in love she actually gave me attention.
Jem Jem was an absolute delight to look after and I shit you not I said goodbye to her 15 times before leaving for the last time. I often wonder if I was to drop in for a coffee would Jem Jem snub me or remember me as the crazy chick that just kept on saying goodbye.
House sit 41 was in the North Western suburbs of Adelaide and I was looking after Duke the staffy whilst his parents were getting hitched! I fell in love with the layout of this home. There is something about a big open plan living area with the kitchen, dining and lounge all together and then big sliding doors opening up to the decking and then yard. Duke was another lucky doggy with free access to the home and backyard. When I opened the front door he was happily greeting me at the door (you soon start to realise how useless dogs are at being guard dogs). Duke was an absolute dude and he loved to sleep under the quilt with you, then on top of it, then under it, then up near your head, then down the bottom then not on the bed and then we repeat that cycle. I’m not even sure if he was meant to be sleeping on the bed as I soon discovered that I was in fact sleeping on a blow up mattress, it honestly looked a proper bed! I should have found out the brand of the air mattress as boy was it tough with Duke and his sleeping habits. This was a short house sit and soon enough I was gone and waving goodbye to my new friend as I drove away from the house.
House sit 40 was a repeat house sit from the year before. I was looking after little Ebony or Ebz as I called her whilst her family were getting away for a camping trip. Ebony still blows my mind how much energy she has for being in her older age. She will have run and bound down the hallway and play fetch with me. She is lucky enough to have a doggy door and have full access to the house and backyard whilst I wasn’t home however I almost never left because as you are reversing out the driveway so is watching you with those puppy dog eyes from the front bedroom.
House sit 38 was in the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide in Hillbank. I was looking after Claude and Maximum the 2 burly Golden Retrievers whilst their humans were going on a road trip to see their family. The house was newly redone after suffering a house fire a few years ago. I don’t know what it was about this house but I constantly kept making the wrong turns in the house which I never quite got the hang of. The neighbour across the road kindly introduced himself to me and let me know if there was anything I needed he was just across the road. I like to think of him as Captain Neighbourhood Watch as he was often out the front of the house and on a few occasions I heard him yelling at the hooligans flying down the road. We were going through some crazy heatwave during my stay and I made it my mission to keep the boys as cool as possible as they were strictly outside dogs. I had ice cream containers on the go full of water and made into huge ice cubes. Each morning and night I was putting them in their big water bucket and their paddle pool.
I had just returned from Bali and was straight back into house sitting. This house sit was a short stint for a lovely lady at work whose doggies are her absolute life. She had previously spoken to me about how she has never been able to go away as she does not trust anyone to look after them with the same care and love that she does. Little did she know at this time that I was just starting out as a house sitter and I let her know of my services. Over the year she built up the courage to leave her doggies and visit her father interstate. She opted for a short house sit mainly for her own nerves and this worked just fine with me given I had a few days gap.
Her babies were Jess and Junior, Jess being an English staffy and Junior being an American Staffy. Now staffies are my absolute favourite so it wasn’t challenging for me to bond with them, and in honestly it’s near impossible not to be able to bond with staffies. Junior and Jess were an absolute breeze to look after and I bombarded their owner with lots of photos to put her at ease which she said helped her a lot.
Due to a cancellation I was struggling to book in these particular dates for a house sit. I was scrolling through Trusted House Sitters as I do, looking at all the places around the world that I could one day house sit in and saw one in Adelaide for the dates that I needed to fill. I could not believe my luck I sent through my application as fast as I could because one thing I learnt in the early days is that these spots go fast. Soon enough I had located in the house sit and I was going to look after Charlie and Chloe whilst their humans when away to Renmark. Chloe and Charlie are not your average doggies and I was warned about this whilst on the phone to the client. Everything she was saying was what I had read about Litter Mates.
When I came to the house to meet them I was instructed not to touch or interact with the girls as they are highly strung and anxious. The girls barked and ran around my feet. The owner was concerned that I would be frightened of them however as they were small and their tails were still wagging the statement made me laugh more that worry.
True to their word the girls were very standoffish with me the whole time I was there. We were all happy just keeping our distance from one another.
One day I got a bit ballsy when they had been seeming to warm to be and tried to give one a treat and that was enough to set them off and I was quite sure I was about to say goodbye to my meaty ankles.
Soon enough the girls calmed down, my ankles stayed intact and we were back to playing the distance game again.
House sit 36 was up in O’Halloran Hill, another short stint with two beautiful cats named Harry and Poppy whilst their humans went up to the Sunshine Coast. The owner had been following me on Facebook for some time and saw that I had an opening from a cancellation. Generally I would organise a meet and greet before accepting a job however her sense of humour put me at ease.
The home has been renovated and had a bathroom to absolutely die for. This was one of those times that I took photos of the bathroom because it was exactly what I would love. Grey and white tiles, free standing bath and a wooden bench, I was in heaven. When I first arrived I fed the kids, let them outside and jumped straight into that bath, relaxation was at an all-time high. They had a big back yard with great lawn to read my book in the sunshine whilst the cats had their outside time.
Harry was slightly more sociable that Poppy, and would come up and brush against your legs reminding you that it is dinner time. Poppy would stay away being quite cautious at first although after a few hours she did warm up to me. I learnt pretty quickly that the kids didn’t appreciate being picked up but did enjoy a good pat and scratch under the chin.
What was the cherry on the cake with this house sit is when I went to look up where the bus was it didn’t tell me that I had X amount of metres / km’s to walk. I was a bit confused but figured it must have been close. The next day I went to leave for the bus and the bright yellow stop was next door, literally next door. I have never been so close to a bus stop before, it’s those small things in life that make you smile!
Here we have another house sit I had previously done at the very start of my house sitting career. Being back here gave me so many warm fuzzy feelings. This house I fell in love with, it was here that I realised that house sitting is what I loved to do. I had this incredible sense of ’the world is my oyster’. I stumbled across this incredible videographer Sam Evans and was absolutely captivated by all his work, to this day I still follow Sam via Instagram and Snapchat and love seeing how he has evolved over the past year. It's also the house that I stared on Today Tonight in – click here to see me awkwardly talk about how awesome this lifestyle is.
This time round it was only a short sit which was sad as I love this house and the tribe. The doggies Nellie and Scout have so much personality, the cats have even more and who doesn’t like collecting eggs from chickens.
House sit 34 you may recognise from all my website photos as I was previously here on house sit 17! I was so happy to be back in this house in summer with my favourite tree swing.
The owners have been completing a massive extension of the house which actually started when I was first there. It was so cool to see how the house has been transforming since I was last there. They were worried with how I would find it with the renos in full swing. I guess the biggest thing for me was not walking around in my underwear, or leaving the bathroom door open whilst in the shower. The first morning I was out organising the animals and talking to the tradies, without paying attention I took the hose off the tap to refill the water. Little to my knowledge I didn’t know the tap was running full bore. Whilst being drenched my first reaction was to put the hose back on the tap which is near impossible with furiously running water which made the water shoot straight into my face. My wits finally came to me and I turned the tap off. Credit to the tradies that they managed to hold in their laughter until I started laughing.
I had gotten used to the tradies being there and it was actually really nice having other humans around, it was like having roommates without any of the cons like dirty dishes and unpaid bills. Then one day I woke up and they weren’t there, I was a bit devastated as I had enjoyed their warm presence in the morning.
The last time I was looking after this house it was in the winter, now that it was summer I could really enjoy the beautiful enormous garden and each day I spent time on the lawn reading my book and throwing the stick for the doggies.
Murphy and Taylor absolutely love exploring around Blackwood and there are so many trails to go on. Despite it being daylight savings it always felt like we ran out of daylight quickly and soon enough we had to head back.
Bailey the big fluffy ragdoll had half his size purely from his summed malt! I wish I could half my size come summer, wouldn’t that be the dream!
It was so lovely to be back at this amazing family home and to be able to enjoy it through summer. Here’s hoping it won’t be long before I’m back again!
House sit 33 was booked in last minute by some friends that needed to do a quick trip to Port Lincoln. I had just gotten off the plane from Brisbane and enroute to their home to pick up the keys and have the run through. I was looking after Lexi and Ollie the boxers, they are both nothing short of adorable!
When I arrived the following day Ollie was a little cautious of me although I had been warned that he would (I’m having flashbacks of Dudley from the previous sit)
Adelaide was currently going through one of its brutal heat waves and it was over 40 degrees. Thankfully the house was easy to keep cool and had good air conditioning. The doggies and I spent a lot of time inside as it was just far too hot to be outside. On the first night Lexi joined me in bed for cuddles and Ollie went and slept in his room, yes the doggies have their OWN room with their OWN queen size bed!
Over the course of the night Ollie must have decided that I was ok and decided to join in the slumber party. From then Ollie became part of our bestie tribe and he soaked up all the affection he could get his white paws on. This was only a short stay but I’m already booked in for two more sits at the end of the year! It won’t be long until I’m back kids!
As the end of the year was approaching I thought I would take two weeks off house sitting, work and any responsibility and just take life as it comes moving between friend’s shacks, the beach and anything in between. I had been approved Christmas leave from work which is not a given so I was looking forward to being able to have Christmas off with my friends who were also off at this time.
As the date was getting closer it dawned on me that Christmas leave is not a given for me and I should make use of this time off. I started looking at interstate house sits on Trusted House Sitters and found the perfect house sit in Qld. The best bit was their parents were also going to be away and they had a big property with a pool and Foxtel and I was able to use their car to get there!
I had emailed the owner and they seemed as excited as me to come up. Soon enough I was booking my flights to Brisbane to look after the beautiful Great Dane – Dudley!
I was about to become an INTERSTATE HOUSE SITTER -**insert overjoyed excited squealing here**
The house sit was due to start on Boxing Day however flights were a lot cheaper on Christmas night so I organised to fly in after Christmas lunch and stay at their home and they would come back from their Christmas shenanigans on Boxing Day.
Soon enough it was fly out day and mum had dropped me off at the airport. I got into Brisbane and got an Uber to their home. It was this crazy feeling rocking up to an empty house in a different state but I was just so happy to be there. I remember walking up the stairs and seeing their balcony with amazing views however it was dark so I could just see the streetlights but I could not wait to see what the view in the daytime held for me.
Soon enough it was morning and Dudley was arriving with his humans. Dudley was sporting his own hangover from playing at Christmas and was rather tired, me on the other hand was so excited to have a new best friend.
Boxing day Duds and I hung out in the lounge room. Given his size he has his own king single bed in the lounge room! I had big grand plans of exploring every inch of Brisbane but reality was I spent a lot of time in the pool and on the couch watching telly. For the first time in that year I was able to completely and utterly RELAX. I find that back in Adelaide I have numerous to do lists and there is always something that needs doing so when I was able to take that break I really hit it for six.
Dudley wasn’t that interested in me to begin with and I wasn’t sure if it was because we were basically the same size, or a Great Dane trait. Then day three rolled around and BAM Dudley was my best friend attached to my hip. Seriously this guy would follow me up and down the stairs, into the shower and everywhere in between. The only place he wouldn’t follow me is when he knew it was bed time and that he had to go outside. Now just take a second to appreciate when a living being the same size of you refuses to move or budge at all, and you’re trying to lure them downstairs with treats, toys, singing, pretending something is super exciting… nothing would work. There were a few times that I was coming close to giving up and letting him sleep inside but didn’t want to start any bad habits.
Dudley had a box of children’s toys, yes children’s one as normal dog toys would be wayyyy too small for him and he would probably inhale them.Dudley loved to pull out every single one of his toys and spread them around the lounge room, it was like he was a child wanting to show me all the cool toys he has. So each day we went through the process of him pulling out all his toys and then me putting them all away.
From Brisbane I decided that I would go and explore Byron Bay for three days after. Dudley’s mum had kindly offered me to drive her car and meet her in Coolangatta and then she would drive me to Byron.
The day had come that I was leaving the Duds and heading out to Byron, I hooked up my phone and sung my little heart out the whole way to Coolie and then Abby drove me to Byron where we spoke about Dudley, previous travel experiences and future travel plans. Abby was an absolute delight to drive with and there was never a moment of silence. Hopping out of the car was like leaving a good friend behind, we hugged goodbye and I went onto my next venture – to read about my Byron Bay trip click here
House sit thirty was based in the foot hills of Adelaide in the Northern suburbs. I was looking after the 2 Cavaliers whilst the family were taking a holiday in New Zealand. The home was enormous I boasting rooms numerous rooms, a swimming pool and multiple family areas.
The girls were absolutely adorable and so loving, they loved to come up and snuggle with you on the bed. The girls slept in the kitchen area where they had access to the outside are and it took everything not to fall asleep with them snuggled in the bed.
The big house sit 30 was underway in the leafy north eastern suburb of Adelaide.
The owner discovered me whilst driving behind me on her way to work by the handy sticker work of Littlebo & Co. It’s quite rare that I have any dates available but creepily enough I had her exact dates ready for a booking. The owner was off to work interstate and I was looking after Mimi and the birds in this tropical paradise. The house was like living in a tropical resort, the house boasted an incredible outdoor living area complete with Balinese inspired fans, BBQ, lounge and table. The outdoor area was surrounded by beautiful tropical plants and it truly felt as though you were on holiday.
On my first day there I was so excited about everything in the house, despite being 25 degrees I was determined to pull off the pool cover and have a swim, shortly after that I went for a quick spa and then ran up the stairs to the theatre room and settled in with Mimi to watch some cheesy TV on the big screen.
Mimi was an absolute delight, a spoilt little super star she loved a good cuddle and following me everywhere from the shower in the morning right up until I left for work in the morning. Mimi was very spoilt with her food and her human cooked her up steak, chicken and other gourmet dishes.
House sit 29 was in the inner Southern suburb of Pasadena, just a short walk from the well-known Pasadena Foodland (seriously if you have not been here you need to go!)
I was looking after Otis and Lu whilst their mum and care giver was off to Bali.
Lu was staying with Otis whilst his mum travelled the world for a year. I have known Otis since he was a new born and he gets cuter and younger looking as the years go by, as his mum would say he is the real life Benjamin Button. He honestly looked like a little teddy bear that you would find in a shop window.
Despite knowing Otis many years ago when his mother and I worked together he must not have remembered me as he was very cautious when I first arrived. He would spend a lot of his time under the bed whilst Lu would happily meet me at the door with lots of kisses and cuddles. After lots of encouragement and bribery with treats he finally became comfortable with me and would snuggle up with me on the couch. At night he still remained under the bed however Lu would spend all night under the quilts with me.
The home was a 2 bedroom apartment that the owner was in the process of renovating. This is something that is on my list of possibilities when I am ready to buy so it was great being able to spend time in the home and being able to imagine myself living there.
The owner had the best of the best for all her kitchen equipment and one thing I randomly fell in love with were the Country Road tea towels. So much so I had to buy some for my mum so she could see how amazing they are. So if you’re on the lookout for new tea towels I suggest taking a look at the Country Road ones as they are incredible.
House sit 28 was located on the North Western Coast of Adelaide, just a short 3 minute stroll to the beach I was in heaven. The house sit 28 owners are good friends of mine so I am familiar with their home and their beautiful Border Collie Austin, but there was just something about this sit that made me feel like I was on holidays. I felt like I had just randomly booked a mini get away in a beach house in Victor Harbor.
The couple were off for a short trip to McLaren Vale to celebrate their first year wedding anniversary and I was going to knuckle down and get the website up to date. I knew they had been doing some updating of the house but nothing could prepare me for the beautiful creative space they had constructed. I was immediately in my element and set myself up for the weekend in this room. This was the first time in a year that I actually missed having my own place. I was thinking of all the possibilities of my own place and how I will one day set up my creative space.
Eventually I had to stop day dreaming as Austin was was anxious to go for a walk. I vaguely knew the shortcuts through to the beach but I need not worry, Austin led me straight there. I didn't even have to think. Needless to say we were the only one's on the beach that day. The weather was HORRIBLE it had been raining, storming and we had gale force winds which made for a delightful sand burn to my exposed skin. Regardless of the weather Austin was still in his element running laps along the empty coast line.
House sit 27 was located in the Northern Suburbs of Salisbury Heights. This house sit was a last minute booking due to the mid sit cancellation. The family were going on a Cruise and I was going to be looking after Sophie the Rottweiler. Sophie was very timid and unsure of me and it became my mission for her to feel comfortable with me. I would sit outside with her and try and win her over with treats and lots of praise. It wasn’t until the last days of me being there would she come up when I came outside. Unfortunately for this reason I was not able to get any photos of her.
Due to unexpected travel changes by the client there will be no write up or photos for this sit