Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yesterday ...

My baby sister was married.

It was a beautiful day.

She honoured those we love, and those we love and miss ...

She had a day that celebrated the love they share - with a hope for a joyous and radiant future!

And she was a princess. Through and through.

And I love her.

I hope to post more pics later ... with permission.
I have honestly never seen a more joyous bride.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


When I am so far behind and have about 12 hours work to do before bed do I decide it is a good time to organise and tidy my drawers????

Just wondering!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Think on these things ...

Whatever is true,

whatever is noble,

whatever is right,

whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable—

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Phil 4:8

This has not been a good week or so for me.

Not only I am I dealing with an incredibly inefficient beurocratic organisation and getting nowhere fast, but I have had a few things happen last week that were both unexpected and emotionally draining.

Finding joy right now is tough.

So today, as I blog, I am purposefully finding joy.

God never promised an easy life, in fact he promised trials, ... trials to build strength and character. In James (1: 2-4) we are told "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I don't want the trials. The child in me just wants things to go my own way. All the time.
But mature and complete in my faith - yeah - I want that. And I have a long way to go. So the trials come, and you know, I will get through them, and one day - maybe not till I am in paradise where there is NO pain,but ONE day, I will look back and see how this is part of the plan the Lord has for me.


In other words, as my wise Gran said - "Everything happens for a reason"

So right now - while I face trials, and while I struggle and grieve for a season, I am choosing JOY.

Everywhere I look in my home I see JOY .... and that is what I am believing in today

PS - aren't these roses incredible! I bought them as a must cheer myself up gift.
And if anyone finds a bush that grows them I will have 1 please!!!

Trying to find a doily for the vase made me miss my sweet gran a little bit ... I was so looking for a larger one ... I wish she was still around to make me one ...

But it gave me joy to use something beautiful she had made in love just for ME!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A night out with daddy!

Sometimes I'm not so organised (ok a lot!)
Like booking a ballet concert for my girl to see on the same night as I am working a graveyard shift (so need to rest!)

Sometimes my disorganisation leads to something really special - like last night.

To let mummy sleep (or try to) Daddy took Miss E to her concert.

She was so excited. She got dressed in her prettiest dress ready to suprise daddy.
And she looked beautiful.

I love my man and I love my girl. And I *adore* the daddy he is to her!

I have such special memories of going to see musicals with my dad (when I was much older). I think every girl needs time alone with her daddy.

(and it's kinda nice to see them bonding over something other than footy!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spring is on it's way!

My chickens are back up to their one egg each a day production ... and are going great guns at using up my scraps ...

And veges are getting planted! Hurray!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Arrghhhh! Me hearties!!

Sometimes you just can't be organised because the schools give you one days notice!

Good thing is we have a house full of fabric and we can make a dress up out of almost anything!

I give you Pirate Miss E. She says she is a girly pirate. Doesn't want a scar thank you very much. And says the dolphins will save her if she has to walk the plank.

Oh - and she gets a LOT of fun out of telling me to scrub the poop deck! (what on earth IS that!)

Bath toys ... again!

I hate bath toys. Hate hate hate.

Stupid untidy things that get all mouldy and slimey if you're not careful.

HATE them!

I did a deal with miss e today - I would buy her a set of mermaid bath toys if she got rid of all the gunky yukky ones. Worked ;) Mummy knows her girl!

To make it easier for her to pack them up where they can drain and dry I am trying this bath caddy from the 3M command range.

Just like the hooks, it adhears by tape to the tile, and it pulls off easily if you want to move it. Unlike the hooks it is suitable for wet areas.

So far so good!

Little does she know that any toy that is not put away in the bath is going to become mummy's. Somehow I think that will work when she loses her first mermaid!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Things I love - Organised mums!

Expect to see a few posts featuring products from Organised mums!

They seem to have gotten right inside my head and designed a range of diaries, calendars and stationary that works the way I do! Makes my heart sing!

One big issue we have in our home is making sure everyone is in the right place, at the right time with the right stuff. I am a part time stay at home mum, part time shift worker. Miss E is a busy 5 year old with a demanding school schedule already ;), and several after school activities. And daddy is working pretty full on days at the moment ... and sometimes needs a hand remembering what we have to take on what day and where.

Enter this! The Magnetic Family Organiser from organised mums!

I love that it sticks right onto my fridge (it is basically one huge magnet) and I love that I can change it every week depending what we have on. Life here is never the same, I work different days and the shifts I work vary. It helps to be able to be flexible.

It does come with magnets for reminders and events. This is my only complaint. There just does not seem to be enough variety of magnets. I would have loved to at least seen some for dance, sport, library, interest item ... the basic things that most families have going on.

At the moment I have the 5 columns set up as "Mum, dad, school, afterschool and menu planning"

However - I think I am going to change this by heading them "mum, dad, miss e, menu and exercise". That way Paul and I can each mark out when we want to work out and try to fit it in so we both get time and can work around Miss E and each other.

The size of this calendar is great - and it seems to be really good quality. What I intend to do is use a 3m Command hook to stick on the fridge for each of us to hang our keys on. This forces us to check the calendar as we are going to leave. It also means we can check what is for dinner that night and make sure *someone* has remembered to defrost the meat!

I think this is going to be a really useful tool. The Australian distributor is McMillan press. I believe they are available now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Organising Hair accessories

I didn't really have it in me for any big organising jobs this weekend. So instead I did a little job I have been looking forward to doing.

Miss E loves cute things in her hair! And she loves too match.

We decided to bring some order to her many, many hair accessories!

School coloured bands and clips are kept in the bathroom in a small ikea lidded container for ease of use. However, I wanted to make the fun ones easy to see and handy to access.

We used a Small jewellry organiser from the storage section of Big W.

I love the small pockets and that each row is zippable to stop the contents falling out.

And this is a work in progress. It's not finished because Miss E wants to do it herself (and bedtime caught up with her!)

As always, I used the command hooks to hang on the inside of her wardrobe door. I love that I can remove them with no marks or holes in the wall! They are my most favourite thing ever! In fact I think they deserve their own post one day!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ready for summer sandal season!

Manicures aren't my thing. In my employment I can't have painted nails, it is an infection control risk.

But toes ... that's another matter! And in summer you are only half dressed without pretty toes - right!

I found this great little clear draw organiser in amongst the kitchen baskets etc at Big W. It was inexpensive and means all my manicure and pedicure items are together and easy to grab when I get a second spare.

In the tray I have my nail varnishes, cotton buds, nail files, clippers, scissors, polish remover and hand cream. Oh - and I've added heal balm since I took this photo!

It makes my heart happy to see it all ready and neat and tidy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Being organised for kids after school activities

Somehow I don't remember being this busy as a kid. At least not at age 5.

Since I often work right up until school pick up time, it is important for me to be ready for any after school activity and not have to run around looking for lost swimmers, goggles, shoes etc.

For each activity Miss E does I have a suitable bag. These hang on the inside of her wardrobe. As soon as she gets home from ballet or swimming, she puts her clothes in the wash and I repack goggles, ballet shoes, hair things etc into the appropriate bag. As soon as the clothes or togs are dry they go back into the bag, and then the bag is rehung in her bedroom.

The night before any activity day, I grab the bag, add a snack and water and put it in the car so we are ready to go.

This works really well for us, and saves that last minute scrambling for a forgotten item (or two!)

A clear cut sign the girl has far too many clothes

Before (and that is just one drawer!)


Most of her clothes are hanging (and we know she will mainly wear dresses in summer)

We've cut her other clothes down to three skirts, some tshirts, leggings and a couple of pairs of pants.

And we do not need jammies! Some how she has 7 pairs of new or almost new jammies for summer!

Even though we have packed away two bags of too small clothes, and two bags for charity, I still feel these are too many clothes for a girl who is at school 7 days a week. I guess there are 8 weeks of school holidays in December/January ... she might need a few more then...

Getting rid of so much stuff should make it much easier for her to handle tho!

From the depths of the pantry

3 cans of peas and carrots ... and we don't even eat them
5 cans of corn

and i think 13 cans of tuna.

We have some using up to do!

Pantry - before and after!

As part of my spring cleaning challenge ... yesterday I finally attacked our pantry...


And AFTER ...

Much better now - I can breathe again!

Skipper's spring cleaning e-book - a sample

Skipper has graciously let me share with you a page from her e-book! They say a picture is worth a 1000 words ... and I'm sure a visual is more effective than me trying to explain exactly what the book is about.

I love how she breaks each task down with a description of what needs to be done so it isn't too overwhelming. And I love how she thinks of the little things too ... after all - who would have though of toothbrush care in spring cleaning!

I've fixed my broken link in the post from yesterday ... but for those who missed it you can get skipper's e-book, cleaning challenges and other tips at domestic guru

Things I love - cloth serviettes

I am TRYING (really trying) to get everyone to use cloth serviettes in my home when they eat. This will not only save my tablecloths and table from sticky fingers - but hopefully save their clothes as well!

Problem is - I hate the waste that paper napkins give ... and I couldn't justify the cost of new cloth napkins! Some places wanted to charge $4 - $6 each!

Enter my new fave place - the op shop! I picked up three lots of great cloth serviettes for under $10! And the best bit is - they don't need ironing! Very happy indeed!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Today's spring cleaning tasks!

I'm counting today, plus the few hours I put in on the weekend after work as my first day or two of the spring cleaning challenge!

So far I have accomplished all the tasks from day 7 and day 2.

To give you an idea of some of what I have done I have
Cleaned my pantry!
Cleaned my linen closet and bathroom drawers
Cleaned my laundry closets
Polished wood items
And lots lots more!

I love that she has a plan - what to clean and how to clean it. And I like checking it off! It appeals to the list maker in me!

Skipper's 15 day spring cleaning challenge

Skipper from Domestic Guru has produced a 15 day spring cleaning challenge E-book.

Finding this has come at the perfect time for me ... just as I am starting to get my cleaning and organising mojo back!

I've found it to be a clear, concise plan to get things done around your home and to do a thorough clean of most areas. I've had to make some changes - I think we all would - every home is different, but overall it's a great plan.

I must admit it is pretty intense - none of this 15minute a day cleaning. But I am looking forward to two intensive weeks and getting my house ship shape for spring!

One thing I am doing is going through the plan and picking the less labour intensive days. I'm assigning these to days that I work, or will be pretty busy. If I don't get the jobs all done on those days, they should be pretty easy to distribute across the days I'm not as busy.

I'll update you on my progress - let's see if I can stick to it!

Never stop learning .. and multitask!

Do you know there are a million ways I want to be a better person.

I want to know more about food and nutrition. I want to learn how to be a better parent. I want to surround myself with music that fills my soul. I want to learn more about organisation techniques, and how to manage our finances better.

The best bit is - I can do that while I clean and declutter and do it all for FREE!

Rarely do I clean without my ipod close by. I subscribe to podcasts on healthy eating, listen to Dave Ramsey talk about money management or fill my world with music.

It makes the time go so fast, and means I get to do something I love at the same time.

See - cleaning can make you a better person!

Today I will...

Today I need some extra motivation !
So I'm off to goal set.

Today I will ...
Tidy the kitchen DONE!
Get the laundry up to date DONE!
Quickly tidy the bedrooms and living areas DONE
Vacuum DONE!

Finish decluttering the hallway closet (almost there!)!DONE!
Declutter the bathroom cupboard ! DONE!
Clean and tidy the pantry !DONE! With pics to follow!

Go for a WALK! ... well it will be done soon ... why do i always leave this to last??

Friday, September 3, 2010

PlanetBox Lunch - Saturday

Tomorrow I am working and I am on the early shift so I need to be ready.

Plus it is my first day out of the house since I started using planetbox, so my first time to use the carry case.

Lunch will be

Chicken and vege wholemeal muffins with roma baby tomatoes, a mix of pepitas, dried apricot and almonds, strawberries and blueberries, and carrot and celery sticks. Oh, and a little bit of dark chocolate in the middle. It's good for you! Has anti-oxidants! In the big dipper I have a cut up orange, and I am adding a banana for morning tea.

Everything fits easily in the case. There is plenty of room for a napkin, cutlery, and my banana (and I could easily add an icepack)

The big dipper sits on the front pocket.

And ready to go.

(this really is purple - but seems to have photographed blue)

As requested by Jill ... my chicken pasta salad ...

I've used this in a couple of lunches this week. I hope you don't get all dissapointed that there isn't a fancy recipe ... it's all very throw together-ish!

Finely dice whatever salad veges you have that will work. I always use very finely diced celery, then this time I added yellow capsicum, and baby roma tomatoes.

While you are doing that boil some wholemeal pasta, and panfry a piece of free range chicken. (yep - I always use free range. Not only is it better for you and gives the chooks a happier life, but you can taste the difference)

As soon as the pasta is cooked drain it and allow to cool.

When the chicken is cooked remove it from the heat and cut into strips or cubes. Stir the chicken through a couple of spoons of a good wholegrain mustard to coat the chicken and give the salad flavour.

When everything is cool toss it all together and store in fridge till ready to use.

Hope you enjoy!

Making progress! The office

I've done a lot of 10 minute blocks today. But I am so pleased with the progress.

I still have quite the pile of stuff in the corner to sell, I can't avoid that.

But my floor is clear! And so is my desk!

I'm still not game to shwo you the complete before pic ... but to explain what it was like ... this is our old computer desk that was in a corner in the room ...

(and this wasn't the worst of it!)

And here it is after - I've used it as a space for Miss E (aged 5) to create.

The boxes below the desk hold her pens, pencils etc. I still have a few things to change here but I love the concept.

And here is my real desk!

I still need to sort out the cables ... but that will happen later. I celebrated by buying these great bright noticeboards in pink and purple - $5 each from the "Reject Shop"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just 10 minutes ...

What's the worst room in your home?

Without a doubt mine is the office which is in the garage.

My plan way back when was for it to be a space for the computer with room for me to sew, create, scrap.

And room for Miss E to work beside me.

Well - it became the place to house the garage sale stuff. And then it became the place to be the dumping zone for pretty much everything. And then it became such a disaster I don't let anyone know it IS a room so they don't go in there. I would padlock it if I could.

Well - I want my space back. I want to sew and I need a place to do it. And I am going to get it.

I find this room so overwhelming so I am going to do it 10min at a time.

The rules are clean for 10min. No more no less. If I want to keep going - just another 10.

Until it is done.

I'll keep tabs on how long it takes me. Right now it feels like it will take a month or two ... but I bet I can suprise myself.

Oh - and a before pic? Well I have taken one. Not sure I can bring myself to post it. Maybe with the after. Maybe.

More planetbox lunches

These are packed ready for tomorrow.

Mine ...

Orange segments (in big dipper), more of that yummy chicken pasta salad, strawberries and blueberries, vegie sticks (with hommus in the little dipper), almonds, dried apricots and peanuts

Miss E's school provides lunch. But she will be home tomorrow

These are the magnets she picked ...

And her lunch

Caterpillars (celery with peanut butter and sultanas), dried apricots, cherry roma tomatoes, chicken drumstick with brown rice, strawberries and blueberries and a few choc dots in the teeny tiny middle tray for fun. And oranges in the big dipper for a vitamin c boost to chase her cold away ...

A little accountability is a very good thing ...

I had a lot to do today.

My house is a bombsite. That is a week planning for camping, a week recovering from camping which included a week of being sick.

Sometimes accountability comes in the strangest forms.

Like the time waster that we call Facebook.

Thank you my friend for kicking my behind and helping me set goals and get things done! Same time again Monday???

(OH - and the bedroom took all of 30 min ... not the 6 hours and I don't know why I have been avoiding it)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our first planet box lunch

Strawberries (fresh from a roadside stall in Maleny of course!)
Vege sticks (with hommus in the little dipper)
Orange segments (from our tree)
and a Chicken pasta salad. Which by the way is easy. And YUM.

I think I like this new way of being accountable for what I eat. Sure beats a jam sandwich.

Things I love - the planet box!

We do our best to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our home. I know the use of plastic for food storage has a big question mark over it, and with some of the health problems I suffer I just like to reduce the amount we use, and especially for Miss E.

We also like to pack lunches without using a heap of cling wrap and plastic baggies. They cost a lot of money - they are wasteful - and contribute to our rubbish problems.

I was so excited to get to try the PLANET BOX

On their site they describe it as a "Lunch transportation system". The different sections encourage you to pack a balanced lunch (One for sandwich/pasta etc, one for fruit , one for vege, and the teeeny tiny centre one for the occasional treat)

The containers seal well, and as long as you don't pack liquid they seem to keep the food where it should be.

They also come with two sealable individual containers, for yogurt, dressing etc ...

Magnets on the front allow you to customize the planet box and are a fun gimmick for the little ones!

I love the concept so much, I am going to use it to pack my lunch for the next day, even though I stay at home most days. That way I can plan what I want to eat in advance, and it is easy to eat when I want to. Hey - now that the weather is beautiful I can even grab a book, my planet box and coffee and go outside or to the park!

So far I am thrilled with the planet box. It's a great organisational solution for lunch for us. I'll post pics how we use it as time goes on!