Friday, October 24, 2014

Guest Feature with Gemma - The Bathroom


I am super excited to share with you a new Feature on the blog , called 'Gemma does Housework'. I have been friends with Gemma going on a few years now and we hit it off immediately. We share a common interest of organising, cleaning and decorating even though our tastes are quite different. I LOVE Gemma's home, even though I am not brave enough to decorate that way myself, I can still appreciate it for all its worth.

Gemma has this infectious, chatty , crazy personality and she makes you smile and talk non stop, whenever you are with her and I think that shows throughout her home. 
She is a beautiful Mum to 4 little strawberry kiddos, aged 6, 4, 2 and 7 months  and you could nearly say she has a case of OCD. I miss our catch ups, the flowing coffee, conversations and sharing shopping wish lists!



In the world of Instagram (because it does feel like a world of its own these days! ) she is insanely popular, and once she started sharing a few cleaning pictures, the requests started rolling in. 
"how do you clean ....?"
"How do you store ...?"
You get the picture! To make it easier for all, her posts were given their own hashtag ie: #gemmadoeshousework or #gemmadoeslinen (because her linen collection is super gorgeous!)
If you are in the world of Instagram, be sure to follow - Gemmahealymaver but for now, I am excited to share some tips and tricks from Gemma. These posts will be every Friday, and will cover different areas of her home and life, enjoy 

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Hi all! I'm excited to be contributing to Liz's blog and sharing some of my posts from the insta world. 
Life is a little crazy in our home, with 4 young kids but I have a love for decorating, chucking stuff out and a serious shopping addiction! 

But for now, lets talk bathrooms!

TOWELS||
 I absolutely love IKEA towels for the kids. They have one particular pattern each and there is no swapping. They have two sets each, best!
I also use matching IKEA bathmats and hand towels which are washed more often due to amatuer hand washing skills.

By giving each child a different pattern, they know who's is who, and as they get older , I know who has left their towel on the floor! ha


I use these IKEA GRUNDTAL hooks on my towel rail. They are perfect for hanging multiple towels and the hand towel at one end ( because I can't stand the thought of the kids drying their hands on bath towels). And the best thing about them? The kids can hang their own towels easily and neatly. The IKEA towels have a loop tag in the perfect spot. I also have over the door hangers on just about every door in the house, this is wear our youngest, Hattie, gets her towel hung.


SHOWER|| 
I clean my shower WHILE I shower each Saturday. I have tried just about every product over the years, bleach, shower wipes, enjo and I am back to the good old Bleach.  I use a bleach gel and an IKEA long handle brush. Doing it while you are in the shower is seriously the best, so convenient. Scrub , scrub , scrub all over, leave while you shower then rinse ( I love my hose shower head for this . I then put the bleach all over the drain and around the inside of the drain and leave until my next shower. Super easy!
The worst part is around the shower doors, around the hinges etc. Why so many grooves? I just use the scrubbing brush and wipe with a chux. My shower screens aren't sparkling but they are always clean as. I then bleach and scrub the outside floor tiles and bottom section of the screen. Then rinse off with a chux. The shower is the one thing that needs to be done weekly, maintaining is really easy but cleaning a filthy shower is hell! 


So these are the four products that my bathroom would die without. Bleach, wipes, brush and chux. I literally wipe down the vanities a couple of times a day, whenever in or passing them. I am totally wasteful and use a tissue to spot clean, I wipe the bench top and sink with one dampened tissue. 
The kids are constantly educated about washing down their toothpaste and soap etc and I am always on my poor husbands case, but hey? It has to be done!
On a Saturday, after I do the shower , I bleach the sink and wipe down the bench top with the chux. EASY. 
I use a Viva towel and windex on my mirrors. I end up doing them multiple times a week. All of these jobs are quicker to complete than a cup of coffee, no joke, so easy! I love these IKEA baskets for all of the products that get used daily, and these over - the - cupboard door hooks for the hand towels. I store these cleaning products in each bathroom and every bathroom should have tissues and a bin (mine is in the end cupboard). Just like every kitchen sink must must must have antibacterial soap. Just sayin'  ;)


BATH TOYS||
Ever wondered what a whole roll of toilet paper plus a bath full of water and 3 kids equals? THIS!! ARGH and you can just imagine the state of the kids. Oh dear!
Anyhoo I was asked about bath toys, so here it goes!
We have had many different bath toys over the years. The Tupperware buckets and boats have been loved and stashed (buckets in the bath spell bathroom flooding). BOON bath toys would have to be my favourite. But at the moment we have 2 things, Schilech animals and Barbie dolls. They seem to work perfectly together.  Any toys that fill with water like rubber ducks or squirting toys with small holes, they spell mould. I love the look and function of this VARIERA waste basket from IKEA. Oh so cheap to replace!
CLEANING BATH TOYS||
I like to fill the bath with hot water and Pinocleen and leave the toys and basket to soak overnight. Obviously keeping the door closed and empty first thing in the morning for safety purposes.
And toilet paper? Yeah I suggest you keep that well away too! haha


HAIR STYLING||

I stash one brush (a wet brush, if you don't have one, google and order NOW!) and a wide tooth comb, a water spray bottle and some dry shampoo spray in this handy IKEA basket, hung with the Grundal hooks. 



HAIR ACCESSORIES||
So as you can see, we aren't too big on hair accessories. My girls hate clips, traditional headbands hurt their heads etc. This is the top drawer of the vanity, using the IKEA SKUBB storage boxes to organise.  One box per item and one box of toothbrushes. These are the Target ones, use for a little bit and chuck. All the kids have their own colour.



So thats about all there is in the way of Bathrooms in my house. I could babble on for ages , and not achieve much more but this is the way I do things here.
Stay tuned for next week for my Linen storage.  Thanks for having me!
Gem x
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Wow, how cool is Gemma's bathrooms?! Loved this post and I am certainly inspired to give my bathrooms a good once over. I hope you have liked the first Gemma Does House Work feature, its nice to be able to bring you a little something different. Everyone does things in their own way, its a matter of finding what works for you. And this certainly works for Gemma !! Its gorgeous, and SPOTLESS!!
L x



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Goodie Goodie Granola




After sharing a piccie on my Facebook page yesterday of a tray of freshly toasted Granola that I had made, I had quite a few requests for the recipe. So here we are ...

I have never been much of a breakfast eater. In fact I haven't eaten the meal for years. 
I know , I know, its the most important meal of the day. I really should eat it and I am trying to make the change to my diet and carve some time to prepare and enjoy this crucial meal of the day.
I am not a fan of milk, so cereal is out. I am trying to lay off the bread, so toast it out. I leave home at 7:40am after getting 4 kids ready, so it has to be fast, filling and of course, tasty.
Enter my new found obsession..... Granola. 

Full of yummy goodie goodie goodness, nuts, seeds, oats and topped with more yummy stuff , whats not to love?

And seeing as though I have passed my new obsession down to the kids, and it can get quite pricey to buy Granola from the supermarket (small box for big $$) I decided to make my own. 
This is only my second time at making Granola,  but I now know what flavours I like etc so I think I am on to a winner!
The base of this recipe is from Sarah Wilsons I Quit Sugar Coco- Nutty Granola  which I then changed and added to as I pleased, based on a little research on some Granola boxes in the supermarket. 

So here is my Granola,  because its full of lots of goodness, and tastes like a goodie too!

GOODIE GOODIE GRANOLA



    INGREDIENTS

    - 5 cups oats
    - 2 cups of nuts, roughly chopped ( I used a combination of Pecans and Almonds)
    - 3 tbsp chia seeds
    - 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
    - 1/2 cup pepitas ( I used a seed comination mix of sunflower and pepitas so 1 1/4 c)
    - 1/2 cup sesame seeds
    - 100g coconut oil (can also use vegetable or sunflower oil)
    - 100ml rice malt syrup, plus extra to drizzle during toasting (You can substitute for Golden syrup)
    - 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
    - 1 cup coconut (I used desiccated)
    - 1 cup of dried fruit - e.g.  apricots/cranberries/sultanas
   



Combine all ingredients in a LARGE mixing bowl (this makes quite a bit of mixture) and spread it out on a baking tray. You may need to do a few batches, I used 3 trays. 


Bake in a pre heated oven on 160 degrees for about 10-15 mins (depending on how much you like it toasted), then remove, stir and turn the granola, drizzling a little more Rice Malt Syrup and bake for another 10 mins or so. 

Remove and allow to cool before sealing in a container. 
(I like this container to store a large batch and I can use a scoop)




Serve as you wish.  I like to have my Granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit and 2 of our kids like it with just milk . Its filling, satisfies you for hours and tastes super yummy. Have a try at making it yourself, change it up to suit you and  your tastes/ allergies etc. 




Friday, October 17, 2014

New Cushions

After searching high and low, in bricks and mortar stores and all through the internet, for cushions for our living area that were both affordable and nice to look at , I finally gave up the hunt.
Instead I settled in, deliberated and procrastinated , over purchasing some fabric that would become our new cushions. I knew what I wanted, but I didn't at the same time, so this seemed the best option. Plus this is a high traffic area of our home , as we only have the one living area, and the kids dominate this space for most of the time , so spending a small fortune on a few pretty throw cushions was simply not an option. 

I ordered this yummy loot from Fabric .com , and with postage it all cost about $75, and I have PLENTY of fabric left over for other projects (I used one of them for the  lamp I recovered, see post HERE). I used an existing quilt that we have laying over the lounge as the inspiration for the colours and just chose a few to highlight in the throw cushions.



A bit of time on the sewing machine, lots of pretty, creative mess and a few curse words (always the way when I am driving a sewing machine) and our cushions were complete! I made them all with a simple envelope closure at the back , which makes them easy to take off and throw in the wash quite regularly. 




The end result? Pretty cushions, all a little different. All a little wonky, all needing new inserts ( I just popped the ones I had already in them and they aren't all the right sizes) but I love them all the same! 


I love the Pom pom trim detail, I love how they all pick up different colours and complement each other and I love the felt flower (that my sister made and I have already ) that pinned onto the green spotty one and adds some pretty detail.


I love the few pops of colour in the lounge area now. I am trying to be more daring and I am really enjoying the fresh pops of brightness here and there.





With the covered lamp (that ties in with the cushions) , our new throw cushions and a good decull and reorganise of the space, our lounge feels like a new room! 

All up I think the 6 cushions have cost about $30 to make, with so much fabric left over , so for $5 a cushion, I can't complain! It was nice to have a project in mind and be able to get a little crafty and whip something up on the sewing machine. I really think that even beginners to a sewing machine could make some cushions covers and its a really great, low cost way to snazz up any space! 
Easy to make, easy to clean and look cute. Perfect. 
And a bonus? When I get sick of these ones, I can whip up a whole new set and the look of the room will be different again! Love it! 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Organising on a Budget - A Quick Bedside Drawer Tidy



My favourite kind of Organising projects would have to be the super quick yet super effective ones, and this is certainly one of those. 
My bedside drawers are always a bit of a shambles, especially the top drawer. It tends to be a dumping ground for anything on the drawer top that I don't want there, anything that my husband wants to put away that is mine and then the things I like to use before bed also. Crazy! 

I know the before shot really isn't that bad , but it was still a small problem area in our home , and I am working through them, one at a time!



Coles has been killing it in the "Dollar Dazzler" section , with lots of kitchenware items that I purchased for the Caravan for just a few dollars , and also these cute rolls of wrapping paper for $2 a pop. I loved the patterns and set them aside to do more with them than wrap a present, only to be chucked in the bin shortly afterwards. So what better way to use them, than a pretty drawer liner?



I simply measured the drawer, cut the paper to size and secured the corners with some double sided tape underneath. 
I added a few little tubs that I bought from Kmart for a couple of dollars , containerised the frequently used items ( heel balm, moisturiser, paw paw cream) and re homed the things that didn't belong here. 



Now its a pleasure to look at and is user friendly. Win win. And all for less than $10! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Insta happenings

I am a great lover of the App Instagram! A wonderful network of photo sharing, commenting and forming 'relationships' with people through the power of images and comment love. 
I have recently started a blog Instragram account, where I will be sharing bit and pieces from around my home and life. I often load piccies on to Instagram and then forget to do so on Facebook etc, so if you would like to follow more of the Bizzy Dayz journey, you can find me HERE, or the username is , wait for it ... bizzydayz

Meanwhile, here is a few Instagram snaps of our life lately ;


Twin LOVE 


Sunday arvo happenings


An invitation to a "Frozen" party calls for Anna hair and a coronation dress!


Breakfast with Harry Potter and Fireman Sam


Banana Bread, everyone favourite 



Planting some Capsicums and Tomatoes


Food prep for dance concert rehearsals 


For the love of laminating


Afternoon smoothie pick me ups


Plumb tuckered


$5 roses are the best kind!
(and puppy toilet training treats)


Strawberries on sale, means yummy strawberry jam 


Being read a book by your big sister? Now that is something special


The power of an image should never be under estimated. 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Re covering a Lamp

Since moving into our home, and beginning our 'rental' journey, I have been more inspired to add some colour to our home. I have been in the safe zone for so long, using mostly whites, tans , beige's and browns to decorate and I still love that look, however when you rent there aren't many things in the house that have control over, other than your soft furnishings. 
The window treatments can't be changed, you are limited as to what you can hang on the walls and can't change anything big (like cupboards, paint , bench tops etc). 
So whats the solution? 
Well my solution is to add colour with new throw cushions, recovering lamp shades, pretty table runners and painting a few items around the place. So far so good!
After sharing some piccies of my recovering adventures, I was asked a few questions, so what better way to answer everyone , than to show you just how I covered my lamp shade. 
Now I am NO expert, I am really not sure if this is the proper way to do it but its what worked for me. 


Recovering a Lamp Shade 


Supplies;

I started with a neutral colour lampshade that came with our standard lamp (the lamp itself was $20 from Target). 
Fabric to the length of the diameter of your shade
A hot glue gun
A can of Spray Adhesive (mine was purchased at Spotlight)



Spray your first section, with the nozzle about 20cm from the shade. 
Its best to spray the lamp shade in small sections, because the Spray Adhesive dries quite quickly. 



Lay your fabric over the area that has the wet spray adhesive, ensuring that you have a seam allowance on either side ( I measured my fabric and added 3cm to the width to allow for this)



Smooth with your hand as the fabric is rolled on , to remove any air bubbles or creases in the fabric.

Continue this process for the rest of the lamp shade until you have covered it all .



This is what it should look like when it is all covered, with the seam allowance on the top and bottom.



Cut off any excess fabric, leaving another 2-3m for the seam , and fold it over. I ironed my seam so that it would sit flat on the lamp shade ( just gently ran the iron over the fabric and lamp shade)


Run a strip of hot glue just under the seam and press to flatten.



Next we need to fold the small seam on each rim over and secure with a line of hot glue as well. Again, its best to work in small sections as the hot glue cools and sets quite quickly.
Run a length of glue, fold the fabric over and wait a few seconds until it sets, repeat the whole way around.


Ta - Da! 
There you have an updated, brighter and customised lamp shade to suit your living area and colour scheme. 
And it only took an hour or so. Now I am looking for my next victim to be recovered! 
Its addictive!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Refreshing for the New School Term

We are only a few days into our first week of school holidays here in WA, however , we are going away for most of break so I really wanted to get organised and sorted early.

With only one Term to go of school, the kids school bags, shoes and supplies are getting a bit grubby, disorganised and need a little refresh. 

Each holidays I like to give the kids school bags a wipe over. They are made of a PVC type fabric so can't really be chucked in a machine (well its no benefit) but just by using a spray bottle and cloth, they come up sparkly and clean!



I like to use a Eucalyptus spray (diluted using the Eucalyptus cleaning solution) for the initial clean and then a quick once over with Pinoclean for a disinfectant of germies!


All our kids have a whole set of school clothes as a spare in the bottom of their larger pocket ( I just bought generic and plain items from Best and Less) of their school bags. 
When I was away a few weeks ago, I picked up this handy plastic pencil case, perfect for storing wet or soiled items or to keep the clothes safe from lunch box spills. 



The change of clothes now has a new home and it folds nicely in the base of her bag.



Stella has a little zippered purse in the front pocket of her bag (I don't quite trust Max and Lacey with one yet hehe) and this holds a few dollars in change. Just in case she needs to buy something from the Canteen, I forget money for an excursion or 'ice cup Friday'. 
I simply topped up the change, cleaned it up and popped it back in the front pocket. 


Before the term ends, its also a good idea to check your kids school supplies, pencil cases and other items like hats etc incase they need a top up or replacement. Some teachers may send a note home (Stella's teacher has a small printable she uses where she ticks the item that needs to be replenished) but you could also ask your children.
Stella needs new Wind up crayons , and because we are heading into our extremely HOT summer, I bought a new roll on Suncream for her to use at break times. 


All the kids sneakers have had a run through the washing machine and look like brand new and all their school hats have had a thorough wash and dry in the sun (helps to kill any left over germs).

I am now free to go on holidays, enjoy myself and return home and not have to worry about back to school preparations. 

I think I may just try and be this organised more often!