Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lately ....

It has been a busy few weeks in our house. Lots of parties and catch ups. Meetings and big work schedules. My birthday, friends birthday's and all that life has to offer in between. 
I have so many jobs half finished around the place. Either I am struggling to get supplies or struggling to find the time , so the next Organising on a Budget post is on its way soon, or I am struggling to find the time. Life is busy but full of all the good things.

And this is a little of what we have been up to lately .... 

All of the kids have really been into puzzles lately, not the peg puzzles but 40-60 piece puzzles. So much fun for everyone!! 

Stella lost her first tooth!! She has been waiting for so long and it was wobbly for some time but she was so patient!! She was so happy and proud of herself!

Max and Lacey are loving kindy, and we are learning how to write names and different letters.

Our theme weeks that we used to have a few years ago for Stella have returned. Anything to help with the learning process. We do crafts, collect things from around the home starting with that letter, use flash cards and play games.

We took a day trip to a lovely beach and had lunch with good friends over the long weekend. The weather was warm (as usual) , the company was lovely and it was good for the soul.

The kids loved the beach, and I didn't realise just how much I missed a white sand, no nasties in the water sort of beach!

Crafting and painting. Drawing and colouring in. Always on the cards at our house. Here Lacey is making a Sun, 'S for Sun'.

Stella participated in the school swimming carnival for the first time. They had a ball and it was so well organised and run. Only in the Pilbara is there a tag relay where the kids have to put on a high vis shirt and run around cones!!

Max and Lacey's drawing and writing skills have improved so so much since starting Kindy. Max never used to draw or write anything. Nothing at all. Now he can write his name and can draw the most  gorgeous people!

He drew me this picture for my birthday. That's me with Max and Lacey in my tummy!! So cute!

I had a lovely birthday. The first one without my family around. I miss them dearly but my gorgeous friends and 'Pilbara family' really went out of their way to make me feel special. I feel so lucky to have made such beautiful friends up here. They have certainly made the move easier.
Cards and gifts, morning tea and play at the pool and dinner out at the Yacht Club.  Two gorgeous friends made me birthday cakes, one a Baked chocolate cheesecake that was to. die. for!! Best cheesecake ever ever!
Lucky Liz

I love that Stella is becoming more confident and clever with her reading and writing and I get the pleasure of finding these little notes around the house!! 

Its the big things that make you smile but all the little small things that really contribute to happiness. I want to remember all the little small things.

That's a tiny part of our lives lately ...

Monday, March 10, 2014

A list ...

Later this week, I will be celebrating my birthday. The last birthday of my 20's . Its not anything significant and it will be my first birthday away from my family. However it feels a little different to me. 

I feel like I should have a plan in place. A 'bucket list' of sorts. I know 30 is not that old. But its not super young either. 10 years ago I used to look at people in their 30's and think , they are real adults ... old even and in 12 very short months , I will be a real adult too! 

I didn't ever make a plan for my life. My plans of my future when I was a teenager was to study at university. Then nature took its course and I ended up with Glandular Fever, missing a lot of year 11, with the prospect of having to repeat the year. 
So ... while waiting to commence again I walked into a hairdressing salon and stumbled across a hairdressing apprenticeship .
I can't say it came easy. Because it didn't. It wasn't. Each day was hard work, long hours standing on my feet and a firm boss. But I am who I am today because of that time, and that lady. 

Its amazing how one event can change the whole course of your life. And every cloud has a silver lining. 

A butterfly landed on my hand in the supermarket car park the other day,
it sparked a train of thought about my 'Before 30 List'

I have fit a hell of a lot in my 29 years. I completed an apprenticeship,  I ran a business which at a point had 6 staff members, I have had 4 beautiful children who are my light , I have been lucky to find an amazing man to share my life with. I have a beautiful family, who support us to no end. They are enough family for the both of us . (My in laws are less than supportive which is a shame , their loss I say!)
We have been in our new town for 9 months now. It was a big decision but it has paid off and we are loving life. I am happy, I am healthy and I am lucky. 
I appreciate all the life has to give and has given me. 

But I will make a plan. Set some goals I would like to see through in this next 12 months My "Before 30 " plan. 
Then I may even make a 'Before 40' plan. Just places to see, people to visit, things to do and fears to conquer.  
Why not? 

If you were me, and you were making a Before 30 plan, what would you include? 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Organising On A Budget - The Tupperware Cupboard

For this weeks project for my 'Organising on a Budget' series, I decided to tackle a very well used, but always messy area of our kitchen. The beloved Tupperware cupboard. 

Now these things are always a haven for kids to play in, and I don't think anyone could say that their plastics cupboard is always 100% tidy and organised. 

Our kitchen is very small, with limited bench and cupboard space and I am not 100% happy with the location of everything but really don't know where else the things would work more efficiently , so until I do it is all staying put! 


To begin, I pulled EVERYTHING out of the cupboards. I sorted the items into piles of similar containers and found matching lids for every piece . Anything I haven't used in a while got chucked (yes I know its expensive stuff but if you don't use it , what is the point in having it?!) and anything that didn't have a lid or was damaged or a bit grubby/worn got chucked too. Not actually chucked but I donated the bag of goodies to a friend that moved here with nothing and is starting fresh. She appreciated the extra lunch box items etc.

The cupboards got a good clean, and of course a little washi tape action on the trim again. I am addicted and love seeing a little bit of colour and cheer in our old Kitchen. 

When putting the containers back in the cupboard, I know that everyone has their own system and preference.
 Me? I would prefer the tall items or the ones that I have more of (like the sandwhich keepers for example) at the back and the smaller piles at the front. They are all visable as I have to bend to look inside the cupboard but it makes the small items more accessible. 


I love how it doesn't look as cluttered. How all the containers we weren't using got chucked and how I have found things that I forgot we had!! 
This cupboard is actually on the end and then flows into a corner, so the larger dip platters etc are hiding in there. 

After seeing THIS post on The Organised Housewife, I loved how the little wire drawer was used for lids, and I actually had bought a set for my Bathroom Cupboard makeover and didn't use them (as all the little bits and bobs kept falling through them) so this was a great place for the drawers to be used. 
These drawers are from Kmart and are just a few dollars. 

All the small lids are in the drawers and all of the big lids are either down the side of the drawers or underneath the items themselves. 

And because one cupboard always flows into another , I culled and cleaned our crockery cupboard too!! Sorted the dinner sets, chucked some old plastic plates and bowls and put the items we use the most when preparing food down the bottom , within arms reach ie: grater , measuring jugs 

I feel heaps better about the cupboards now. The items we do have, get used often and because they are neat and tidy, its easy to see where things are supposed to go - for those hubby's that are so lovely to help out but like to dump things in the first spot they see!! Bless their hearts 

Go on, try it. Chuck and clean your plastics cupboard and see how good it feels. Make yourself a glass of vino and snack and enjoy it even more x

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Changers .....

Game changers. In the words of Beth from Baby Mac,  of course!

Lately, we have been lucky enough to have some real game changers in our household. Things that change the way you function, cope and enjoy . Whats not to love? They make a change in this thing we call life and for the better!

First off the list is a minor one, and only cost a few dollars too! 
I found this yummy scrummy Onion Marmalade in Woolworths last week. It didn't take long to empty the jar! We have been enjoying it in ham and salad wraps for lunch and even toasted sandwiches but it would be totally Delicious with some crackers and cheese too!  It seriously reminds me of those yummy relishes that you buy whilst doing a tour of the wineries etc , so some days I like to pretend that is just what we've done!

This thing!! Oh how I love it so!! 
For the last 9 months, since we had to get the head on our vacuum cleaner replaced, I have been battling with it staying on the pole. A long story short, they updated the models so the new head doesn't click into our vacuum pole so when I have been vacuuming the floor rugs, when I pull it back I have to hold the head on!! MOST. ANNOYING. THING . EVER!!
Insert extremely happy face when my husband bought one of these Dyson cordless beauties home the other day! We have been interested and researching them for a while. And finally, its mine. 
Not cheap mind you, but I can vacuum my whole house with this beauty daily. I can whiz under the dining table multiple times a day , to clean up the food and carnage from the kids eating. I can take it outside at the drop of a hat and vacuum the car. Game Changer!!

And lets not forget this little beauty!! Bought from Typo  , for just $10, I finally have music around the house again! I have been having to use the laptop etc as our iPod dock carked it. This is a great little battery operated radio (perfect for cyclones) and its cute too!
We have this Bose Soundlink speaker  on our wish/lust but a bit more saving will have to be done for that first!

So there you have it. Not a lot but enough to change a few things around our home, and all for the better!!
Have you discovered many game changers lately?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Organising on a Budget - New Bathroom Storage

As an extension of my last post on our Ensuite Bathroom Cupboard makeover , I wanted to show you a little something extra that we added to our teeny tiny ensuite so that we had some more storage space. 

Just like time, space is of the essence, especially in our little bathroom . Even though I have never been a fan of these units in the past,  when I saw the Over - The - Toilet Cupboard , not only on sale but with $2 shipping from Deals Direct turn up on my emails, my mind started ticking. You see, freight for furniture, or any item really, is extremely expensive to get to the Pilbara , so I really wanted to make the most of the deal on furniture. Plus I knew we needed something to fix a few problem areas . 

This is our terrible gorgeous toilet space before

So a few weeks and $90 later, this beauty turned up and my clever husband set to work putting it together . Flat packs are a Blue job in our house for sure!

This unit has holes already pre drilled and for you to be able to attach it to the wall, however, because we are renting we wanted to avoid doing so. Instead we used little wedges (cut from rubber door wedges) to hold the base of the legs up (the floor is slightly sloped to allow for drainage and because I think its just a little dodgy) and also a bunch of command strips around the back of the top cabinet part. 

After a quick trip to our few shops , I found a couple of storage items and that cute enamel bowl on the shelf as a little decoration. 

The white frame is from Typo a while ago. I bought a few as they were out mega cheap and re homed it from another area of our house. 
The enamel tin has some paper type flowers that are scented. Something nice smelling in a bathroom is always a good thing :)

The main reason we wanted some new storage was so that our sharp items were out of reach of the children. With low cupboards, even though they know they aren't supposed to rifle through them, it is always a possibility and temptation. 

So on the top shelf from left to right;
The white tin holds my husbands razor and nail scissors. 
The glass jar is full of nail items, nail clippers, small cuticle cutters, tweezers etc
The cream basket has my husbands small clipper set (he uses on his face) and the various attachments for it 

The bottom shelf holds the commonly used items, so they are at arms reach but still kept clean and safe. 
Deodorants, shaving creams and face items for my husband. The white dish is where he pops his mouth retainer during the day (such a nice night time look!!) and of course the ever practical cotton tips and cotton balls in the glass jars (they were bought as a set of 3 from Thingz for $7)

We are extremely pleased with how the cabinet looks and functions. It has added a bit more storage to the area without imposing on space or practicality. It does shut out a bit more light from the window from what we had before, but that is not a major thing for us. If anything the room stays cooler! 

It was easy to assemble, a good price and great quality . You can't ask for much more than that! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Organising on a budget - Ensuite Bathroom

As mentioned in my previous post, our ensuite bathroom is rather dated. It is a 80's style home and the wet areas havent' changed since the house was built. The laminate on the bench tops is marked, the trim and cupboards have water damage and the shower screen is cracked. Typical rental I guess. However our house is in a good area and we have new tiles and a fresh paint job through out so  I would consider ourselves very lucky. All in all, I do love our home. It works for us and things could always be worse!! 

Having said all that, the ensuite is bad , bad, bad!! Its small, you walk through our Walk In Robe to get in there and I HATE shower curtains. I do miss our large shower and glass shower screen. 

So , when embarking on this organising task, I knew I needed to make the room a little 'prettier' . Add some colour and spruce up the tired old cupboard. 

So here we have a before shot. 
Please note this isn't the before before shot. I had done a tidy up a few months ago and put everything in these baskets. And it doesn't seem that bad , but functionality wise. It just wasn't working for us and the large baskets became a dumping ground for everything!

I wrote a list and set out in search of the particular items I needed. I was lucky and re purposed some baskets I had bought previously and hadn't used and just needed a few new purchases.

The jars and enamel tin are from Thingz (I believe it is a WA chain but I am sure there would be something similar for East Coasters) and the Cosmetic organiser was from Kmart for about the $10 mark .

So first I pulled everything out of the cupboard and sorted it all into piles. I ended up culling and chucking a shopping bag of things we just don't use. Hair products, perfumes I just don't seem to like the smell of, makeup I don't wear because the weather here doesn't allow it etc etc.

I then could see how big each tub needed to be and used these existing ones we had in our house. The white baskets were from a plastic drawer set but you can get something similar from Woolworths. The clear pull out baskets are a Kmart buy and are $3 if you don't live in the Pilbara ($4 for us!! haha) and of course the cosmetic organiser in action.

I have a large tub for cosmetic and toiletry bags, with my nail polishes and supplies in the front. 

A tub for extra items. Surplus supplies that I buy when on special , so spare Tooth paste, makeup or moisturisers. 

And I love how I can see everything in my cosmetic organiser. There is a place for everything and my everyday basics are at the touch of my fingertips. 

The top plastic pull out drawers (with the handle facing inwards because otherwise they stick out too far to close the door with the drain pipe in the back there) . One side is skincare ( cleaner, toner, moisturiser, masks etc) and the other is our perfumes/colognes. 

You may have noticed that I also ran a strip of Washi tape down edge cupboard edge. The laminate is discoloured from water damage and it just didn't look clean and fresh even though I know it is. Washi Tape is the perfect width, easy to apply and remove and such a quick and cheap update. And it made the world of difference in this cupboard. I may have been going a little Washi mad as I go through each cupboard and area around the house! 

Next the baskets needed labels, much to my husbands disgust! He thinks he knows whats in each basket therefore we don't require them . Funny thing is, its him who has issues with putting things away in the right places! 

I used THIS great tutorial from the blog I Heart Organizing. It was super easy to follow and I am totally computer illiterate so I loved it! 
I stuck with a basic colour for the lettering as I wanted to use patterned paper as the border and already had the wash tape going on. 
It was a fluke that I found some patterned card stock in my stash that matched the Washi tape, it was meant to be. 
I then laminated them and stuck them to the baskets with Blu Tack for easy removal. 

I am very pleased with the final product and our newly organised cupboard. I feel happy every time I open the doors and see little bursts of colour , not to mention the fact I can actually find the things I need. Especially in the mornings when time is precious! 

We have also put in some new storage to this small bathroom,  that post is coming in the next few days. We needed a little more storage, and also something a little higher (out of reach of little hands). 

So stay tuned for the next Ensuite organising post. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Organising On a Budget - My Planning Process

Since moving houses (and towns all together)  we have so many new rooms and spaces to organise. When we moved into our house, my husband could not get any time off so it was just me (and the 4 kids) and a bunch of unpackers. Actually, I don't think you can call them that, they seem to just lift the items out of the boxes and deposit them on any available flat surface. Every where!!

Anyway, everything was just chucked in the cupboards and drawers and were never really organised properly. Its driving me nuts!! Its time for that to change and I am a woman on a mission. Nothing is safe!!

So the return of the 'Organising on a Budget' series. If you have been a follower of the blog for a while, you would have seen a few of my other Organising makeovers, and this is no different. 

This series focuses on creating cleaner, more organised spaces but on a low budget. 
Everything having a place , Simplifying and labelling to make spaces more functional and ..... prettier. 

Seeing as though we are now in a rental we are limited with permanent changes, painting etc. However small cosmetic changes can often make the world of difference. Our home is an older style, from the 80's era so the bathrooms , laundry and kitchen are rather dated. Old laminate, cupboards that have seen their fair share of water damage (from leaks or perhaps Cyclone damage) are features in most of the rooms, but I am still on a mission to add some personality and style around the place. 

Other than some gorgeous friends that inspire me to organise and decorate to make our house a home for our family, one of my biggest inspirations is Jen from I Heart Organizing. For other than the obvious reasons , the way she organises , her gift at finding the right tools to complete her jobs but for her sense of style. For personalising everything that she does and for making simple organising tasks look ..... gorgeous!! So that's my goal!!
I have been rather reserved in the past with my colour selection around our home. Putting it plainly, I am boring. Beige, brown and white. Wow! haha I am determined to add some colour and life to our home and make each and every project, not only functional but gorgeous to look at! 

The main question I have been asked via emails or private messages on my facebook page (thank you for sending them in by the way) is ; 

How do you find the time to complete your projects?
Where do you start? How do you know what needs doing?

Great questions and simple answers!!

In regards to finding the time to complete projects around our home, well I am a busy lady. I think all mothers are. It helps that I am an insomniac and find it hard to sleep. But I also don't need much sleep to survive either so that has always been a bonus since having twins! I find I get a second wind at around 10pm and can still go for hours! The most productive hours of my day are after 10pm at night!
I also have a husband that is home on weekends and helps with the kids and our projects and tries to give me some time out to complete my tasks. 
But I prioritise. Having a clean, organised home is important to me. It effects the way I function and cope with every day life and it effects my moods and anxiety levels. Crazy I know!!
But my home is my work place. I am a stay at home Mum and I now also work from home so I think its important to maintain my environment. 
Life in our family is busy enough, the last thing we need is to not be able to find something or for piles of cr*p to fall out on you when you open a cupboard! I can control the appearance and functionality of our home, but so many other aspects of parenting, so I choose to use it to my advantage!

My planning process is also pretty simple. There is still nothing like the good old pen and paper system. Even with all of the technology and devices around these days, I still find it easier to have a hard copy in front of me to refer to.

When returning from holidays in mid January (after spending time in my parents gorgeous brand new home) I felt a little cluttered and unkempt in our house . So I went through each room. 
I made a list and wrote down all the things that needed to be done and all the things that needed to be bought/ things I would like to update.   Whether they were big or small, they were written down. 

I then worked my way through each room, cleaning and making a list of what needs to be purchased to complete each organisational task, if we didn't already have the supplies at home. Easy....

Now that I have made a copy , I have found this gorgeous printable on the I Heart Organizing blog , and I will transfer my list onto here. It looks prettier !!

I love knowing where we are at. What we have bought. Roughly how much things will cost and what sort of a look we are going for. It saves time and money, both things that are precious to each and every  one of us!!

Armed with my list of supplies for my first few projects,  I headed to our main 2 shops in our town - Kmart and Thingz (Thingz is a WA store and is a gift ware type shop).

Kmart have some fantastic organisational products at the moment and for great prices too, so if you are coming on this organising journey with me, that should be your first port of call!

I hope I answered your questions clearly, and I hope you can stay tuned for the first weeks makeover, our ensuite vanity. That post is coming tomorrow !! 

For now though, perhaps you would like to check out some of my previous posts in this series?

Happy Saturday everyone :)