Monday, 3 December 2012

Want to Know What OCD Feels Like?

WARNING: OCD friends, this may make you twitch! Enjoy ;-)

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How to Fold a Plastic Bag!

So many people are already doing this, it's just so smart! After finding some instructions, I gave it a shot and this is how it turned out =) Happy folding!

The beginning was a sad sight. I was actually quite disappointed that even though I try my best to use cloths bags as often as possible - I had still ended up with quite a pile.

First I flattened the plastic bag

I folded it in half once

Then I folded it in half again

Starting from the bottom, I folded triangles over and over

(Apologies for the blur!) Kept going up...

I folded the triangles until I reached the bottom of the handles. I then opened the middle of the triangle and simply shoved the handle in!
Here is the end result! Lots of LITTLE triangles!

Give it a try and let us know how you go! I know, it seems like a boring OCD thing to do... but if you are drowning in bags it's worth it. I did it while cooking the dinner. I used 1/3 of the bags we had to create the above pile and the rest were bagged up (pun intended!) and sent to the Woolworths Plastic Bag Recycling bin. In Australia these should be available at all participating Woolworths.

Good luck!

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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Get Organized for Christmas!

Christmas is fast approaching and it's time to get organized for Christmas. Check out our Facebook Christmas Album with round ups of ideas from Pinterest and Google.

*Please advise if you are the original owner of any content so we can reference you accordingly*

Friday, 28 September 2012

DIY: Make a Vegie Patch!

It's Spring School Holidays over in Australia, and what better way to entertain your kids for a few hours than to plant some vegies! The kids can help look after them, watch them grow and by the end, everyone reaps the rewards by eating nutritious organic vegetables or fruits!

This is also perfect for those of you in a rental property. My husband is a carpenter by trade so he knocked up a vegie patch with scrap timber that didn't contact the grass so as not to kill it. Another idea we had (and only decided against this one as it was a given that our 2 cats would be heading straight down to the garden to dig and poop!) was to drill hole in the bottom of a children's plastic clam and use that as a vegie patch. SO much cheaper and easier than purchasing those proper vegie garden setups that start at around $150.00. The clams only cost $20 at BIG W, Kmart and Target. Here is an example of a clam/shell from BIG W:

I promise it is worth the few hours you'll spend setting it up and really, you can be so thrifty it shouldn't cost you much at all! We chose to buy 'easy-grow' vegies that were seedlings.

At first one makeshift box was enough for our babies to get started, but as we soon realised - they were growing up fast and within 2 weeks my husband was making a lot more boxes! So maybe start off with a few if you won't be able to transfer them into bigger pots or purchase more shells as they will need to planted well apart if you don't want to 'dig them out'.

So 3 weeks later here's a look at how our vegies are coming along. We are all loving watching them grow and are pretty proud we haven't lost any of them to death as yet! You'll be able to see just how much we had to spread them out because they are growing so fast.

Left to right: 4 x Tomatoes, 4 x Spring Onions, 3 x Corn


Here come our strawberries

The first tomato is on its way.


Bunches of capsicums are beginning to grow
So there we have it, fairly simple, organic, good for you and the kids and of course - a great learning experience! Why not try it out?!


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Saturday, 22 September 2012

How to: Rainbow Cupcakes

This was so much fun! What kid wouldn't eat a rainbow cupcake (or adult!). This was so simple and had fantastic results... so lets make RAINBOW CUPCAKES!

First we bought a white cake mix. It is important to get a cake or even cupcake mixture that is going to be as white as possible, so when you add food colouring the colours turn out bright, not 'yellowish'. :)

We then mixed the cake mixture as per instructions. Choose what colours you will be making your cupcakes. I found that yellow was a bit on the boring side as it looked like a normal muffin colour. Try to pick at least 3 colours for a great effect.

Separate your mixture into different bowls for each colour. Simply add a few drops of food colouring and mix well until you reach your desired colour.

You then want to spoon the mixture into your cupcake cases, one colour on top of the other.

Cook in the oven (25min max if using cake mix - keep checking them as ovens will vary!) and they will be ready when an inserted toothpick is clean when removed.

Here are the results we had!

For our icing we coloured the pre-mix a light blue. We then put white sugar in a bowl and added a few drops of blue food colouring. Once the cupcakes were iced we dipped them in the 'blue glitter'. Looked very cool!

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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Simple Hair: For girls!

I had to share this with you! I am self-confessed Pinterest addict and lover. Follow us here! Pinterest

So when my 7 year old daughter was attending a disco, who better to consult for hairstyle advice than Pinterest! I found really fantastic and easy hairstyles to create. We decided to create this awesome hairstyle, don't ask em what it's called but my daughter has dubbed it the 'Spiderweb'.

How cool did it turn out! She loved it and so did her friends. :)

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail! - Eat Clean

Happy Friday!

So I thought I would share with all the busy people out there (is anyone not?) how I attempt to eat clean! Does this have much to with organising? Absolutely! Organisation is the key.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to PLAN. Plan ahead for the week. Whether you work, have children or just always reach for the 'quick fix' solution when your hungry - a plan is going to be your answer!  As they say, FAIL TO PLAN = PLAN TO FAIL!

Everyone's plan will vary depending on time restraints and obligations. For me, I will try to plan my week on a Sunday. I will cook bulk healthy meals such as stir fry's, chicken and veg, salmon salad etc. Portion them into an appropriate meal size (check out Measure Up for educated advice) and freeze them. Put on in the fridge for the next day so you have no excuses.

This week's stir fry. Yum!
If you have children who attend care/school, try making up snacks and lunches on a Sunday. Or if you have a chance, at night time. Vegemite sandwiches are actually awesome frozen and should be thawed out by their lunch time. Check out Eating Well - Kids Lunches for some ideas and recipes.

I would like to suggest that you start off with an easy Meal Plan Template. Try this one from Frugal Living -  Weekly Planner 

You will use the days to plan meals and can use the notes as a shopping list. If you would like more complex Meal Plans, there are so many printable templates available online. Or you could even create your own! I hope this post helps you on a Clean Eating journey. Stay healthy and live life!

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Favourite Belongings

Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite aspects of my home. There are some things in my house that just make me smile. :) I hope you like them too!

My little boy has a boat themed bedroom, here is a massive pillow I picked up for him! So cool :)

Bits and pieces I have picked up for my little boys room.

The baby bunting I made to match his duvet and bedroom theme

Decorative tile hanging leading out to the backyard

Entry table with beautiful battery powered fairy lights
One of the storage baskets for toys!

Re-purposed! This material was used at the reception table for our wedding. It now sits on the cabinet holding the plasma. I love it so much I had to reuse it.

Our giraffe has been with us for a while now. He has endured many moves, lost his head and had it screwed back in. But we still love him!

Using our statue as a book stand!

A beautiful canvas a girlfriend made me when we relocated cities. It proudly watches over our family room

My daughters room. Dare to dream!

My daughters room, a painting from her Aunty and 2 x bali flags framing her bedhead which were used at our wedding

Our dressing table. Simple yet so meaningful!

I hope you like some of the things that I love! Have a look around your home - what are the keys pieces/areas that you love? De-clutter them! Make them stand out! Reposition them so you see them more often! Our mind loves to play tricks on us, and you who knows? Maybe seeing things that make you smile in your home more often will make you feel happier too!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Combating Bossy Boots

Hi all! As promised here is my blog post on how I am attempting to combat my little Miss Bossy Boots and enforcing rules around the house.

The great news is, if you are reading this because you are having the same problem, research suggests that bossy children are actually very creative and bright children. So all is not lost. Children can be bossy for several reasons, it could be that they have a dominant personality, they could be resembling an adult (although adults know the limits!) or they could be seeking attention. Either way it can become an issue as they develop and are faced with social environments as they will find their bossy behaviour is not accepted among other children.

Bossy children also like to 'bend' the rules or attempt to negotiate rules and consequences. They can attempt to manipulate situations to result in a better outcome for them or even use tantrums to avoid not getting their own way. Now obviously everyone's situation is different and I'd like to point out that my Miss Bossy Boots is 7 years old and whilst not everything I have said applies to her, she certainly needed intervention.


Who is Boss?

Your child needs to recognize who is the adult and who is the child. Your child should know who is in charge in the family (in our case it's Mum and Dad) and there is no alternative (i.e. Child A thinks they can be in charge of Child B because they are older). You may think this is an obvious point, but it may be worth pointing out to your children when you set ground rules who is in charge of making the rules and enforcing them. Whilst over-controlling is not necessary (children still need free/imaginative play), it is still important to be firm, straight-forward and consistent when enforcing rules.

Setting the Rules

Bossy children love to think they enforce the 'rules' or that they can just create their own. Wrong! It is time for you to set out the rules. With smaller children it will be through clear communication and reminders. For me, I used signs around the house. Now it is up to you how many rules you make and how you want to enforce them, but can I suggest to not go too overboard as too many rules can make it too difficult for the child to comprehend the boundaries. 

We placed one set of main rules (Big Rules) in our main living area which are to be used in our whole house.

I then printed and laminated rule cards to place in different rooms of the house to remind my child of rules for that area. By laminating them I am able to write on them with whiteboard markers and erase and change the rules as needed. This allows us as parents to be adaptable to their age and limits.

Choices and the word 'Yes'!

When children are given responsibility or told to do something they simply don't want to, their answer is no  - followed by excuses, tantrums or just general rebellion. We want to avoid this! Provide the child choices where you can. They can still have the responsibility but get to make choices within them. For example, let them pick out their own clothes to wear for the day. Let them choose between a range of healthy snacks if they are hungry. Or in our case, let them choose which chore they are going to do today. 

To implement this element of choice we created 7 chores for the 7 days of the week. Our child knows it is required to complete one chore a day, but they get to choose which chore it will be. Once that chore is done it is ticked off (whiteboard marker!) so all chores are rotated through the week.

Now the other element is saying 'YES!'. We are always telling them no, but what about sometimes saying yes so they can feel rewarded? Can I please play outside? Can I please use the paints? Can I please play with lego? Kids are messy, they are a lot of hard work, but that doesn't mean we have to reduce the mess and work they create for us by saying no all the time. Imagine the fun they will have and the childhood memories you will create if you said yes a little more often? (Obviously enforce rules during activities though!)

All Alone

Children crave attention! If your child feels like they are never getting quality one on one time with you, they will create diversions to gain your attention and these can end up being through bad behaviour. Particularly if they have siblings, these can gain up on you very quickly. If they have younger siblings, allow them to go to bed 20 minutes after the younger ones and read a story with them. Play a game with them once in a while. Let them present to you something they have created and emphasize how proud you are. Just a little bit of time a day can show them how important they are and quash attention seeking behaviours!

So there we have it! This is how I am combating my bossy boots, I hope this helps to combat yours! xx

Thursday, 2 August 2012

I have been.. organising of course!

Hi everyone,

So it's been fairly quiet on the blog because I have been organising! I know, I know.. shouldn't I organise my time so I can blog too? Well to be honest I haven't had anything extraordinary worth posting!

But here is a little bit of what I have been up to:

We gave these away as part of a Life in Order presentation on organisation! Aren't they great! (bought from $2 shop)

Got new boxes for the Xmas gear so it would fit in the bottom of the linen cupboard. It takes up a lot less space now!

All the sets inside the pillow case :)

Hang reusable gifts bags using a hook in the linen/storage cupboard where you store your vacuum/mop/broom.
Organising my linen cupboard - using protective bags for our winter blankets as we won't need them for a while and it ensures they don't get dusty. I like to wash them prior to storage too.
This is 4 x pillows (one European size), 1 x queen electric blanket, 1 x single electric blanket, 1 x queen duvet, 1 x single duvet - Vacuum bags are magical!
Towels folded... until other family members get their hands into it!
On a side note, for my international followers, you may not that I spell organise with an 's'. That is how we spell it over here in Australia! :) Get organising! xx