Autumn Declutter Week 5

School and report-writing has been super-stressful, so decluttering and organising has been slightly put on the back-burner for the moment! But that's ok, I've been back into it on my days off this week and have finally achieved a few things!

Next week begins winter, but I will continue with my Autumn Declutter until I get to week 8, because I still have lots to do! Then I'm sure I'll be having another declutter once I go on maternity leave in September, while I'm nesting waiting for baby #2!

Here's a few things I've been up to this week...

Tidying the laundry cupboard

Before:
This cupboard wasn't too bad, I try not to buy too many chemicals and sprays and things, and just stick to what I use.


After:
I wiped down each shelf, folded the cloths in the baskets on the bottom shelf and arranged the sprays a bit neater. I have been loving my 'bits and bobs' caddy which holds my bathroom cleaning products - only $9 from Kmart, and it is so much easier than carting things to each bathroom as I clean!


Tidying my closet

Before:
Miss M has had a field day in this cupboard pulling bits and pieces out. There was lots of things in here that didn't live here but had been relocated by a certain 17-month old!


ARGH!!


After:
Much better! I love having a shoe-rack in this cupboard to organise and hide all my shoes.
I will doing the other cupboards later on (Brendan has one and I have 2 more!)


Behind the sunroom door

Before:
This is more a work-in-progress shot, as we have just attached two hooks to the wall and an ocky-strap to keep the ironing board and clothes horses from falling on Miss M. We literally cannot find another space for these items, but the space behind the door isn't too bad (not ideal, but works for now!) The space can get quite messy though and needed a tidy up.


After:


Creating a storage system for Miss M's art and craft:

Miss M has been doing lots of craft at day care and playgroup and I needed somewhere to either present it or store it. I was happy to just take photos and create a folder on the computer and then chuck it out, but Brendan wanted to keep it. I have a box that holds all her important things (cards from her birth etc.) so things that aren't on a piece of paper will go in there and we've decided that A4 paintings/pictures will go in an A4 folder, and A3 items will go in this A3 display folder. It cost a mint but you can add pages to it and if it gets too full, I can start chucking some of the less special ones. I never want clutter (even as sentimental as it can be) to get the better of me, so I'm glad we have started this now!



Tidying the TV unit drawers

Before:
This is our TV cabinet. These drawers are fairly well unusable as they are almost impossible to get out. Now this has actually been perfect as Miss M cannot get into them at all (I can barely pull them open). We are planning to buy a new white TV cabinet this year, but we will have to travel somewhere to get it (not a lot of options here unfortunately!) For now though, I needed to tidy up the things in the drawers.
In the big drawer is my Wii Fit Balance board, and in the smaller drawers are lots of cords.


We have two of these little black boxes which we use as side tables in our lounge and for storage. One has nothing in it, but the other has lots of CD's which Miss M has pulled in and out and which were in desperate need of chucking or relocating.



After:
I've culled lots of cords and CD's (I need to cull more but Brendan will need to agree!) and put the CD's in the bottom drawer and the cords we are keeping up the top. Now Miss M can't access the CD's and I've emptied a black box, which means she can no longer empty that (and I can potentially use for storage of her toys if I need to!)



That's it for this week! Still plenty more to do - hoping I can be all done in 3 more weeks!


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Pregnancy Diary Weeks 18-21


My pregnancy is generally going well! People ask me how I'm feeling, and I'm honestly just feeling normal (physically), as if I wasn't pregnant, but you can definitely tell now! My stomach is growing steadily, and I've organised all my maternity clothes into piles in the guest room as that's all I'm wearing now! 

I am back to feeling a bit tired this week, but I'm putting it down to working 3 days last week and then going away on a work course for 2 days (essentially meaning I worked 5 in a row, which I'm not used to!) I used the two weekend days to have days at home and really made a point of relaxing, and that's helped. I have been feeling emotional though. Which is totally normal for pregnancy, and totally normal for me (happened last pregnancy many times too). I have cried a few times this week just feeling overwhelmed by lots of little things piling up. It's nothing really to worry about yet, but because I have a history of depression, I'll be keeping an eye on it and will go straight to a counsellor when and if I need to! I'm a big believer in counsellors & psychologists & having a positive mental health! 

I'll backtrack a tiny bit to 17 weeks and 4 days though... I woke up not feeling so good and even before I'd made myself breakfast, I'd vomited. Miss M had been vomiting 2 days before for half a day (well over 7 times in a short period, poor thing!) so I assumed maybe I'd caught that. I had some toast because I was starving but that came back up too. I felt very weak so layed on the lounge until we made a decision for Brendan to come home from work to look after Miss M. I vomited another 5 or 6 times throughout the day (I'd been trying to eat dry crackers, and sip water and it was all coming up - even a hydralyte icy pole wouldn't stay down) and when it got to 12 hours after I'd started with no end in sight, I rang maternity at the hospital and they said to definitely come in and go to emergency and they'd let them know I was on my way. We waited probably an hour until I got onto the worlds most uncomfortable bed, but I had the nicest nurse so that was good! She put me on a drip as I was very dehydrated (so much so that they couldn't get the cannula into my hand and instead put it into my elbow) and gave me some maxalon once the doctor had seen me. I kept assuming it was a gastro bug but they said the symptoms were more in line with hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme morning sickness). The drip made a massive difference - I felt pretty good after a few hours on that as well as a much needed sleep. They took me in a wheelchair to a private room about 9:30pm which was so nice however I got moved back to a ward with 4-beds at about 11:30pm as someone needed the private room. That was fine, I didn't expect a private room anyway! In the morning (and almost 2 bags of fluid later) I was able to keep breakfast down and felt heaps better. The doctor said I was able to go home so I was discharged with a script for maxalon for nausea, in case it happened again. I am so happy to say it hasn't happened again so far! 

My hospital stay was on the last Friday night of the school holidays. I went back to school/work after Anzac Day at 18 weeks. Miss M went to day care for one day (we have swapped day cares as her last day care mum has decided to stop doing day care) and she had a day with a friend, and then I was on 7-days off again! There will be a lot of work this term with exams and reports due though and I'm already a bit overwhelmed by it all! I can only take it one day at a time though! 

At our 19 week scan we saw our little bubba, and he or she is healthy and growing well! We are having a surprise but the baby had its legs closed anyway, so we couldn't have found out if we wanted to! We got to see the chambers of the heart, and the heart was beating strong, and we could clearly see the spine, ribs, stomach, legs, feet, arms, fingers and of course the head and body! We got a CD of all the images so that's been cool to look at again! 

I'd been feeling lots of little movements, but since week 19 I've felt lots more definite kicks, especially at night and when I lay down for a rest! I'd forgotten how amazing it is to feel your baby! I absolutely love the feeling :) 

I've been still craving toast and fruit and I need to add to my list jelly, peaches and ice cream! I've also started having porridge in the mornings because it's getting colder (I was craving cereal before). It's so nice to be craving things other than sweet food (though a piece of chocolate a day is going down well!) 

At my doctor's appointment at week 21, I have gained 5kgs in total. I am really happy with this. It is just less than last pregnancy at this point but I was really sick with Miss M and didn't start gaining weight till about week 18 with her so I'm doing well. My aim is to only gain another 5kgs before third trimester and 5kgs more in the third, so 15kgs altogether.
I got to see our bubba again on the doctor's mini ultrasound machine which I just love! At the moment he or she has their head up and their feet facing down, which the doctor said isn't an issue at all at this stage - there's plenty of time to swap positions. I have actually seen a different doctor to normal this time, and at week 17, and I will see this one next appointment too (my normal doctor is really hard to get into, even though I've booked all my appointments up to the due date). I don't mind, they are both lovely :)

I've been a bit slack with walking and exercise lately, mainly because of the change in weather and because I was sick in the school holidays. I need to make a habit of going at about 4:30pm most days, before it gets too cold and dark (except on work days if I'm too tired, or if I've been able to go in the morning). 

I think that's about it for the last 4 weeks! My next doctor's appointment is in 4 weeks so I will update you all then!

Week 18


Week 19



19-week Anomaly Scan




20 weeks - half way!



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Autumn Declutter Week 4

I'm getting into a good routine now with decluttering - I usually choose a few things from a big list I've created (just in a note in my phone) and complete them while Miss M sleeps during the day. My aim is to everything decluttered by week 6 (so 2 weeks to go!) These decluttering tasks below were from last week, as I worked and was away this past week! 

Sorting through Miss M's clothes tub
This is a really big tub (not sure if this pic shows it) but it was overflowing because I was keeping every item of clothes Miss M had and hadn't worn. As I was still adding size 0's to the tub, it was just getting far too full.


Before:
This doesn't look too bad, although they needed to be folded a bit neater, but underneath, there was no organisation.



After:
Each pile is organised (e.g. shirts, suits, dresses, swimmers etc.) now and there is a tiny bit more room for the last few items I need to add later on.



Decluttering and organising our ensuite cupboard
Before: I actually had been pretty good in keeping this cupboard tidy, until my little cyclone had started to get into everything! I've been just chucking things back on top as she brings things out to me, so it needed a good declutter and tidy, as well as wiping over each shelf to get rid of the dust.



After:
It looks so much better! I've tidied up each shelf and have sorted through all my necklaces, earrings, bangles etc. and put them into a charity bag ready to go to Vinnies. I'm loving my Kmart hair dryer holder which is just attached to the tiles by 2 suctions (but it seems to be holding so far!)


The bottom drawer in the kitchen

Before: I was a bit sick of this drawer getting messy, with all the odds and ends in here. I decided instead that it needed a new purpose!





My YIAH (Your Inspiration At Home) products were currently being stored like this, because there were too many to sit in the cupboard so I could see them all (even on a 3-tiered stand which I had tried).


After: I have found a perfect spot for my YIAH spices and my bottom drawer has been perfectly repurposed! It is so far working really well!


The 2nd drawer in the kitchen

I don't have a before picture, because this is how this drawer has remained since my last declutter. It's certainly not ideal (I would love separate little areas for everything!) but I haven't yet found anything that works as well as the baskets below. While there is a lot of stuff in this drawer, I can find everything I need easily, and I use everything in this drawer.



The 3rd drawer in the kitchen

Before: This drawer didn't take me long to declutter, but the results are great!


After:



The top of the fridge

Before: SO dusty! I don't think this photo accurately shows just how dusty it was!


After: Much tidied, and no dust! I need to remember to dust up here more often.



And that's it for the past two weeks. I'll be back into this week hopefully, still plenty more to declutter and clean!




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Homemade Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Kids!

Mother's Day is this Sunday, and just like I did for Father's Day last year (click here), I thought I'd have a look for some gift ideas to give your Mum!

All the ideas below are from Pinterest - I could spend hours trawling through it on my phone, it's such a wealth of ideas!

Photos of all generations
I love this idea! It would be interesting to do it each year, and see how each person grows and changes!

Handprint tree
This is a simple idea, and the kids would definitely have fun creating it!



Flowers in painted tins
How sweet is this idea! Kids can paint old tins or jars, and then have fun planting pretty flowers for Mum.



Footprint picture
This particular example is for Grandma, but can easily be adapted for Mum, and would be easy and fun to make!



Photos of the kids
I would love this as a Mum! Even younger kids can hold up a sign for a photo, and by adding a nice frame, you have an easy and cheap gift, that means a lot!



'All about my Mum!'
I love this idea, and would be fun for the kids to do each year to see how their answers change from year to year! You could easily create a personalised version for yourself on the computer, with your own questions too.



Homemade sugar scrub
There are many recipes on the interest for homemade bath products that would be ideal to give to Mum - sugar scrub, bath bombs, bath salts etc. Add a nice jar and ribbon, and you have a fantastic gift!



Homemade cards
I love how effective these cards are, and they would be simple to make - just take some coloured card and a piece of white paper, and let kids add their own designs (or use craft punches). These teacup flower pots look lovely!



Baked goods
What mum wouldn't like some baked goods?! I love how these cookies are presented in a simple but effective way using a paper plate.



Flower bouquet
How sweet is this! Bake some cupcakes, and arrange in a flower pot (you could use a foam ball from places like Spotlight with toothpicks) and allow kids to decorate.



'Spa in a jar'
This idea has endless possibilities - find an empty jar (or purchase a nice one) and fill with pamper items Mum loves - nail polish, spa/bath items, even a chocolate or two as a treat!



Candles
Candles are always a great gift idea, especially lovely smelling ones, but how much better would it be to allow kids to create their own pattern or design for Mum! This one uses baking paper and a hair dryer to attach (google for specific instructions!)



'Mum's emergency stash'
I know I would love this! Using a plastic container from places like Bunnings (I have one of these to store my batteries), fill with Mum's favourite chocolates and lollies, for when she needs that sugar-hit!




Poem/Plaque
I thought this plaque was a cool idea, using MOTHER as an acronym. Kids could just as easily use their Mum's name as an acronym and write a poem as well.



Mother's Day Pill Box
Using a cheap pill box from the chemist, add your own writing/design to the front, and fill with little notes or chocolates for Mum! Such a cute idea.


For all these ideas, just search 'Mother's Day Gift Ideas' on Pinterest (or even on Google). Hopefully some of these ideas will be helpful in the lead-up to Mother's Day this year. To all the Mother's (and those wonderful carers and Father's who do both jobs!) out there, I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends!

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Autumn Declutter Week 3

Week 3 in my decluttering challenge for myself was really productive! I went back to work this week, but only for 2 days, so had the other 5 to do a little decluttering each day!

Cleaning out the cutlery drawer

Before:
This picture doesn't look too bad, but the drawer was full of crumbs (no idea how crumbs make their way in here!) It was really simple to clean out though - when most of the cutlery was being cleaned in the dishwasher, I took the remaining items out and gave it a wipe over, and then put everything back in!



After:


Wiping down the kitchen cupboards

Before: dusty and with the usual kitchen spills (though this picture doesn't look too bad!)


After:

I did all the cupboards, and it really did make them look sparkling new again!



Tidying the Master Bedroom

Before: This is Brendan's side of our room... he's not as into organising and cleaning as I am!




After:
I put away the clean clothes, and anything that didn't belong on the dressing table, dusted and wiped over all surfaces and vacuumed the floor. It looks so much fresher!





Tidying our desk (in the living area)

Before: this desk is a bit of a dumping ground, and as I type this, it almost needs another tidy up again! Brendan was in the middle of an assignment here, and we definitely need to work out a system for filing his uni and teaching resources (click here for how I organise mine).

After:

Deep cleaning the kitchen benches

Before: One morning this past week I spilled sugar on the bench, so it was the perfect chance to give the kitchen benches a really good clean.



After:




Before:
(I had started moving the toaster and jug here before I remembered to take a pic!)




After:





I even got motivated to do the microwave!




There's plenty more to come next week, especially as it's an ongoing process! Hopefully it motivates some decluttering and deep cleaning around your house too - share it with me on my Facebook page (and share my Facebook page with your friends and family!)

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