Sunday, July 27, 2014

Organising a Storage Cupboard

Slowly but surely I am making my way through the cupboards in our house , tidying, culling and labelling. I will probably reach the end of my list and have to start again but that is ok. I like a challenge and a project!! 

Seeing as though we are renting, we can't permanently add more storage to the house as I would have done in the past and we really have to work with what we have. 
The cupboards are quite random throughout the place. I have no broom/mop/full length cupboard and others don't have the right shelving etc inside of them so you can't use them to their maximum capacity. 
Oh well ... It just means we have to be creative ! Creative with limited shopping and storage options of course ;)

This single door cupboard is near our main bathroom, toilet and laundry and comes off a bedroom (which I use to work out of ). It tended to be a random dumping zone for anything that didn't really have a home so it was one of the most important areas to make over.

This is the before photo (and this was tidied a little while before);

It wasn't too bad but as you can see, some really strange items ended up in here! 

I pulled everything out, purchased some white tubs from Red Dot (will on a day trip to Karratha) and sorted the items groups for the tubs. Luckily we already had the plastic drawers , and they were being a nuisance , taking up space in the store room so it was nice to find them a use! 

Ta -Da!! 

Now this is the home for the kids DSI and tablet devices and their accessories and travel bags ( honestly, they really only play with these items every 4-6 weeks or when we are travelling) we didn't feel the need for them to be anywhere more accessible, plus we love how they are out of reach of the children (giving us the control).
 It is also where I now store our cards, ribbon and wrapping paper for gifts ( I do miss the wrapping station that I created at our old house) and some cleaning items (like dustpan and brush set, a few scrubbing brushes etc. 

These white tubs have made all the difference. They are super cheap and light to pull out , which is important to a shorty like me when they are stored up high!  I made these labels using THIS tutorial and then backed them on some pretty paper before running them through a laminator. I just stuck them to the tubs with BluTack. I want to be able to swap and change around the tubs and contents whenever I like so this method works well. 

All the earphones, chargers and travel bags for the devices are in the tubs and drawers and then I made use of the void of space under the shelf with some baskets from Kmart. As the bottom of the cupboard is where my vacuum cleaner lives,  this basket is perfect to store the different attachments so they are handy all the time. The other under shelf basket houses our double adaptors/plugs as we seem to always need one of these ( especially when we have visitors).

I didn't forget the Miscellaneous tub. Every cupboard needs one in my opinion!! 
This one has a few small gift items that I picked up super cheap at Kmart (like 10c each) such as skipping ropes, wooden cupcakes and a few cars and trucks and I often add them to a present or use the skipping ropes when wrapping gifts. I will keep adding to it anytime I see something on special. 

A few hours of my time, over a few days, $20 for some plastic tubs and we now have a very pretty and tidy cupboard. Got to love that! 
Now onto the next one!! 

Don't forget to check out the rest of my 'Organising on a budget' series .

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our Portable Fairy Garden

After seeing many many gorgeous fairy gardens on the wonderful world of the Internet, on pinterest and on my social media feeds, we decided that perhaps we would like to make one for our home.

Seeing as though we are in a rental, are unsure if we will have to move next year when the lease is up and are in a cyclone prone area, there were more factors that we needed to consider when creating our little garden.
Not to mention the fact that during our summer it is consistently at temperatures of the high 40's , day in, day out for MONTHS on end. The sun is brutal and not many lovely flowers or plants survive the heat onslaught! We hardly survive it!

So .. the garden needed to be portable - so that it can be brought inside or to the shed when a cyclone decides to grace us, so that we can take it to any house we live in and so that we can move it around depending on the seasons and weather. 

Living in the Pilbara means limited shopping opportunities , and really not a lot of choice full stop. If only we had a Bunnings! And a Target and and and and ......
However, we don't, we have a Hardware store but you pay through the nose for anything really, especially a lovely ceramic pot or a half wine barrel (oh how I would have loved to use one of those!!)
Instead , a trip to Kmart , and this lovely tub was bought. It has handles for transporting, its light enough to be less hassle when moving and its a great size. 

All supplies were purchased from Kmart or Thingz ( a WA franchise, its a giftware type shop) and cost less than $40 for everything! If you have more stores to choose from, I am sure you could pick up some really gorgeous items and there are some amazing online stores that cater for these things especially but we went with what we could find locally and rehomed a lot of items we already had. 

The kids were so excited and had a ball helping us put it all together. They really got into the fact that fairies would come and perch themselves in the garden for a rest, the check on the kids or for outings with each other! 

We firstly filled the tub with potting mix (for when we use real plants instead of the lovely artificial ones pictured). 
We then created 'zones' in the garden - a path using some small pebbles (sourced from our front verge hehe) , some small plastic type crystals for the garden sections, a plaque at the back with a saying and some gems on it (both from Thingz)

We added a rock (also sourced from our garden) , some shells for the path edging and an area at the back, some toadstools (actually sharpeners from Kmart, they come in a pack of 2) , a bunch of artificial lillies and a ladybug spinner (from Kmart). 
Not forgetting somewhere for the Fairies to sit when they visit, some chairs from the unused dolls house were rehomed , as was a small bucket (in the front) that I had in my party supplies. 

We left a small patch at the front bare as I wanted to source a small off cut of fake turf , and put a call out on our local community facebook page. 

Our prayer was answered by a lovely lady we know from dancing, and she had this cute grass mat with flowers that she had used for a birthday party. 
I shaped it with the garden shears and created a cute little grassy area. 
Some renovations also took place when I rediscovered the white bird house in our store room cleanup - so out with the rock, and in with the cute house. Perfect!! 

Our little fairy garden is a constant work in progress. It gets changed and added to constantly by the kids with things they have found or made.  Every child that comes to visit likes to stop and check out all the magic as its at our front door, and I have no doubt they all request one from their parents too!! 

Our portable , magical Fairy garden has been in place for a few months now (sorry for being so late to share) and we all still love it! Everything is wearing well and its easy to care for, we just clean a few loose leaves off it occasionally. 

It wasn't hard, nor expensive and its amazing how something so small, can create so much joy, imagination and magic in our little cherubs. Totally worth it! 

Maybe you would like to make one too? I would love to see them if you do!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lately ......

Lately ..  I have been the blogger that doesn't blog. 
A Mum enjoying the slower pace of the school holidays
A lady going mad because all of my favourite shows (that I like to watch online) are on season breaks! (first world problems here peeps) 
And a crazy DIY-er with a few projects on the go, paint in my hair and all over my arms and waiting on bits and pieces to finish them all off!

Lately life has been busy, the weather has been glorious (in the sunny Pilbara) and we have plenty to look forward to. That always seems to make the days and weeks fly by!

Hubby has started a shift roster, which is bittersweet. Long days , where I am literally doing everything and he is just eating, working and sleeping but then bigger blocks of time off. We can take day trips, I can work a little more and we have more time to spend together.  Like I said ... bittersweet. 

I seem to have found my crafty mojo. The only problem being , I want to have a go at everything that has been on my wish or 'to do' list for a while. So much I want to do, so little time and so little supplies in this town! Oh how I miss Spotlight!

I have so many projects and bits and pieces to share with you all, but here is a bit of whats been happening in the Team M house ....

The painting of shadow boxes, these ones are from Cotton on Kids

And this is from Kmart (it was beige and hessian but I undercoated them with this white before painting on the colour coats)

A photo on Instagram inspired me to tizzy up the kids kitchen! It is nearly completed , just waiting on some yummy wrapping paper I am using as a splash back and I will definitely be sharing the finished product!

Post coming soon!!

School holiday fun has meant lots of plays at the park,  lots of scooter riding, a day trip to Karratha , and a trip to the movies yesterday! So excited as it doesn't happen very often up here, and it was Angus' first time!

The weather has been chilly, for Pilbara standards, and I took the opportunity to whip out the beloved boots! Such a novelty!

More paint projects, baskets and lids. Frames for walls and hooks. Fun fun 

One of the finished mini projects , a simple Ikea jar , a spare knob glued on the top and a touch of spray paint. A cute update for my 'Tea and Coffee Cupboard" revamp. Again, another post to share when the labels have arrived and I am finished!

I have crates of fabric begging to be turned into something pretty and a few bunny dresses and skirts were the prefect starter projects! 

Late afternoon walks along the paths and lookouts to kill time while waiting for Daddy to finish work. This really is a beautiful part of the country, and somewhere that people just never want to visit.

And the most important thing of all. I've been busy being a Mum to my 4 cherubs. When I posted this photo on instagram I wrote this ;

Motherhood is sleep deprivation and self doubt, testing and a content challenge. You lose a lot of who you were before but become so much more in the process. Today I feel lucky to have 4 happy , healthy kids (and I will use this post to look back on next week when school holidays start and they are fighting like cat and dog)

And they have been fighting , but they have also been playing beautifully. I still feel the same a few weeks later, at the tail end of the holidays , thankfully!!

Happy Saturday everyone, I am looking forward to sharing some new things soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Capturing a personality ...

Sometimes when you capture and image of a person, you can look at it and almost see their whole personality laid before your eyes. When I saw these images on my computer screen, I could almost hear the little cackle that our dear little Lacey makes. I could see her little personality shining through the screen. These images are the perfect captures of the essence of Lacey. 

She is determined,
Strong willed,
And often pretty naughty

But she is also super affectionate,
very loving,
gives THE BEST cuddles out of all the kids.
She is smart
she is loyal 
And is so caring when it comes to her siblings

This girl is going to run the country some day! Or at least do a darn good job at ruling the roost at her own home, with her own husband and family. 

It is always hard to get a good photo of Lacey as she just won't stand and pose for you, so these are already cherished. 
This is our Lacey ... 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stella's 6th Birthday Party

Early last month our biggest girl turned 6. 
I swear it is 6 going on 16 , she is just growing up so fast. Her love of One Direction (Harry in particular) , High School Musical and all the things that I thought would be beyond her years. Alas, that is not the case, such a big girl now. 

Even though she acts like a big kid, she is still a little girl , so I wanted to throw her a pretty , girly party. Stella opted for a small party with just a few girl friends, over a big party with lots of kids. I can't say that I was disappointed ! 

So here is Stella's 6th Birthday party

Seeing as though there were only a few girls invited, I opted to make the invitations myself. It only took about 30mins all together and I used all the materials that I already had on hand. Actually the whole party was created and decorated using items from around our home and things I already had in my Party tubs. I think the only purchases were the pink roses on the table and the paper plates. If you want to throw a party with maximum impact but with little outlay, shop from around your home. Pick a theme or colour scheme that you love, because you are bound to have items laying around that you can use.

Anyhoo , this is the way the invitations turned out. 
I used a pretty floral backing paper, I wrote a cute poem to give all the information needed on the invitation and wrapped the invites in doilies and bakers twine. A few butterflies cut using the Martha Stewart butterfly punch and they were complete. Perfect!

And the overall party table 

With only 4 little ladies (plus Stella and Lacey , the boys went out with their Dad for the afternoon) , I didn't go too overboard with the food spread. Some apple and sultana muffins are displayed in the cupcake stands (from Target a few years ago ) 

The gift bags were purchased from Woolworths , and were a perfect match to the party table. They had a few pens, notebooks, and a killer python. Easy on the lollies, bigger on the girly stuff. Win win really! 

And a rare photo of Stella and Mum , in front of her party table. She was so excited and had a great time.

And our 4 little cherubs, its hard to master a photo with all 4 looking good :)

As part of the girly afternoon, each little lady got their nails painted at our express nail salon. Boy did they think they were special!! So sweet! 

We also sat around the table and made pretty bracelets and necklaces , I bought this cheap bead kit from Kmart and added a few we already had. 

They all had such a great time creating their bracelets together. 

We also popped some popcorn and sat down and watched a girly Tinkerbell movie, on a mattress I had layed out with rugs and pillows (sorry the only photo I have , has the girls all together.) It was like a mini slumber party, an insight of the years to come! 

And this year , after Stella went through the Australian Womens Weekly kids cake book, she picked the pool!! The picture in the book is quite dated and I knew I wanted it to look more girly so this is how it turned out! 

Who knew you could get bright blue jelly? The jelly was actually placed on a small blue Tupperware lid, so that when I cut the cake, I could lift the lid off and just a yummy chocolate cake was left. 
The little Lego ladies and sun lounges were a perfect addiction. 

And the princess and her cake at candle time!! 

It was a lovely afternoon , with gorgeous little ladies , having a great time together. It was lovely to have a small , all girls party. We were able to do the activities at ease and even though the house was noisy , it was filled with giggles, playing and sweet conversations. 

If you are thinking of throwing a small, girly party, I would recommend it to anyone!! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Our Break away ..

I have had a little blogging hiatus lately, not by choice, but more just lack of time. So I guess I did make a choice, I chose to spend time and live in the moment with my family and try and make it up to you later!! So I promise, in the efforts of sucking up, I will have quite a few blog posts to come!

But for now, some snaps of our family holiday just before the school holidays started! We took the last week of term off, travelled about 760km south, while my parents travelled roughly the same distance north and we met in a gorgeous , small, seaside town for a week of rest and relaxation! 

We camped in a tent, while my parents had a caravan that they borrowed from friends and we had a ball! The kids were in heaven with their grandparents there and Dad on holidays. We spent our days at the beach , swimming, snorkeling , building sand castles. Our afternoons having some nibbles and beverages and taking the time to catch up and just chat. The things you can't do when you live 1300km from your family! 

So here is our holiday in photos .... 

The scenery on the way down was just lots of this. We have had a dry wet season and it is showing on the Pilbara soil! 

I made sure to pack lots of simple activities for the kids. Play dough, colouring in books, blackboards and the best of all - Paint with water books!! A cup of water and a paintbrush and its hours of entertainment! 

Fun in the sun , the bay is protected, clear and just stunning! 

Its not a holiday without a few G & T's !! 

Because we travelled south, the weather was much cooler than we were used to in the morning and at night so we felt it a little. Daddy did not complain when he scored more cuddles though!

This lovely friend was under my chair and my husband warned me not to move!! Who does that?! Of course I ran and jumped on the Engel fridge!! 

No summer holiday is complete without an icecream! 

I just wanted one nice photo of our 2 girls together!! 

Always dancing and prancing together! 

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Poor Angus was so worn out when we went out for dinner on our last night, he didn't get to eat his meal and fell asleep on the chair! 

Road side toilet breaks on the way home. One for the 21st book!! 

Doesn't it look terrible? All that white sand and the clear water? All of the big snapper and sting rays you can see while snorkeling? The tropical fish, the warm water, the protected bay? 

Needless to say it was a beautiful week, spending time with my parents and taking some time out as a family. We have re booked for next year and can't wait!! 

The kids favourite things? 
Building sand castles
Grandma and Poppy
And sleeping in a tent ! 

Easy to please aren't they?!