Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Winter Fun!

Each month, a friend and I love to treat our kids to a craft and baking activity based on a certain theme. This month the theme was WINTER!

With the fire going on an overcast day, the kids did a winter craft - we made a snowman!



The snowman craft idea is from Pinterest. Using a blue background, I drew the outline of a snowman. The kids stuck on a top hat out of black card (Miss M's is upside down haha!), some googly eyes, a green ribbon scarf, and then some cotton wool for the snow on the snowman's body.


Then using white paint, the kids painted snow around the outside!


The finished product is very cute!


The kids also enjoyed an indoor picnic on the loungeroom floor using Miss M's new Kmart kids picnic set!



On a separate afternoon, we made special milkshakes using whipped cream (to mimic snow), marshmallows and sprinkles (for winter normally this would have been a hot chocolate, but Miss M dislikes anything hot!) They turned out super cute!




My friend also made the kids pikelets with jam, cream, marshmallows and sprinkles (just because they are delicious, and to use the whipped cream while we had it!)


And some for the adults as well!


Winter is such a versatile theme with endless possibilities - thanks to Pinterest for the ideas!




Tuesday, 4 July 2017

IKEA & Kmart Trip!


Earlier this year, my sister-in-law, best friend and mum decided we'd do a trip to IKEA! The nearest one is 5 hours away, and because two of us have kids, we decided, why not be a bit crazy and do the whole thing in a day!

So on Saturday, 3rd June, we left our hubbies with the kids, and hit the road at 5am ready for a big, but exciting day! With 4 drivers, the driving itself wasn't too bad at all.


We obviously had to fuel up along the way... with lots of coffee stops!


Including Maccas for breakfast...



We arrived at about 10:30am at Logan IKEA.


No IKEA trip is complete without staged pics in the showroom right?



I had been to IKEA only twice before and both times were very brief. To make it a real experience, we obviously had to have lunch in the restaurant - Swedish meatballs of course!








I had made a list of things I wanted to buy, but of course there is always so much more I want to buy! We had fun playing tetris getting all our boxes into Mum's car, before we were off to our next stop, KMART!


At about 3pm we were fueled up and hitting the road, ready for the 5-hour trip back home. We were all exhausted! We had to have dinner at Maccas on the way home of course, just for good measure. Actually I don't think anything else was open haha!


The next day, the fun bit began - putting the flat packs together! Mum had purchased a Kallax unit with doors and drawers to make a kids toy area at her place.


She also bought a kids kitchen for my girls for Christmas, but of course we couldn't wait that long! We got the utensils and saucepans as well.


I absolutely love the white pantry tubs I bought, and wish I'd purchased more!


The kids picnic table is so cute, and was only $59!


I bought the MALM dresser for the girls, and I just love how nice it looks!


I bought 3 of these - 1 for plastic bags, and 2 for my wrapping paper!


I also bought some more 79c mugs, some $1.99 straws, snaplock bags in 2 sizes, and a tub that sticks to the bathroom wall for our kids toys (we no longer have a bath in our rental so we've culled lots of bath toys).


Mum bought these cute corner hands ($7.99 for 8) so that my kids don't hit themselves on the corners of her furniture.


I love the kids bowls, plates, cups and cutlery, and Mum also bought a $2 sippy cup.


At Kmart, I purchased:

 - clipboards for the kids artwork ($2.50 each)
- wooden ice cream set ($8)
- Kids headphones ($10)
- wire blackboard baskets ($5 each)
- wire wastepaper basket ($4)
- 2 waterbottle covers ($4 each)
- purple pencil case ($3)
- 2 sets of 3 pairs of socks ($2 each)
- Frozen stationery set ($5)
- Elastics game ($3)
- Bubble machine ($6)
- Candles ($1)
- Flannelette PJ's ($10)


How good does the kids artwork look on the clipboards on the wall of their room?!


The trip was a great success! I stuck to my budget and got everything I needed and wanted! Hopefully it can become a yearly event!



Celebrating 2 years blogging - top 10 most viewed posts of the last 2 years!


As of the 24th of last month (June) this year, I have been blogging for 2 years! I started in 2015 to give myself a creative outlet as I navigated my way through motherhood, and because Miss M was quite settled and relaxed back then (at 6 months of age) and I needed something to do! I also wanted to document the start of my decluttering and organising journey. The blog has evolved to include lots of different things - celebrating Christmas, birthdays and everything in between, organising, decluttering, mummy stuff, DIY, documenting the changes on our house, moving towns, my second pregnancy, Miss O's entry into the world, teaching & going back to work, exercise, health, recipes, Thermomix fun, goals, budgeting, shopping, spring cleans and self care!

I've had a total of 38,992 views on all blog posts in the last 2 years, with the highest views on any blog post being 5,988!

Here are the 10 most-viewed blog posts. Click on each link to have a read!

10. 'A change to menu planning in 2016' (446 views - 2016)

9. 'Putting our house on the market' (466 views - 2017)

8. 'My journey with PND' (499 views - 2017)


6. 'Mummy stuff - Mamabake' (587 views - 2016)

5. 'The most delicious pumpkin bread' (588 views - 2017)

4. 'Calling all Kmart addicts' (604 views - 2015)





Documenting memories - creating a photobook each year



My girls usually both sleep at midday each day, so once a month I'm able to sit down, have a coffee, watch an episode of something and work on my photobook spread for the previous month. 

I use Big W photos online (just because I like that you can get free postage as you can get it sent to a local store), and I do a double page spread each month, from Dec - Nov (eg Dec 2016 - Nov 2017, so that I can get them printed well before Christmas, either to use as Christmas presents or to show family if we go away for Christmas). 


I began when Miss M was born (2.5 years ago) as I was taking hundreds of photos each month and figured if I didn't do something with them, they'd end up just sitting on the computer! 

I complete a two-page spread each month so that it's not overwhelming, and this means I am backing up all the photos on my phone each month as well. It probably takes me about 1-2 hours depending on distractions (and often I do it over 2 days - I upload the photos onto the computer and the website one day, and layout the pages the next). 

The size book I use is roughly A4, and the amount of pages I use (2 for each month x 12 = 24 pages) costs about $40. I like to add in a blurb on each page of the highlights of that month. You can add pictures, text, embellishments and backgrounds as well - the possibilities are endless! I have kept it to a white background with black writing for the highlights section, and because I like to fit as many photos as I can on the 2-pages, there is no white space between the photos. As the kids get older and I either don't take as many photos or find I'm too busy, I plan to choose less photos each month - if you had a few kids you could even just choose 1 photo of each and 1 of all of them - and this means your layout would take considerably less time, but it means you are still documenting your child's growth and memories made each month. 


I choose the best photos of the girls, but I also choose a range that show real life - messy faces, messy rooms, the tantrums, their angelic sleeping faces, selfies etc. 

I love flicking through our past photo books; so far I have 2. Miss M also loves to see herself as 'Baby M' and loves to point out her Aunties, Uncles, Grandparents and friends. 

If your kids are older and you wish you'd done something similar, start now! But instead of going back and documenting every single month, perhaps do a 10-page photobook for each year, with the best photos from that year. I guarantee you'll love the finished product! 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Decluttering, Cleaning and Organising My Parent's Kitchen!




[My Parent's Kitchen - Before & After]

The house I grew up in from the end of 2002 until I went to Uni is a big 2-storey house with lots of room, and lots of clutter! Over the next few months, Mum and I are going to tackle different spaces around the house. I used to really dislike cleaning and tidying things (especially my room!) but have really come to love the feeling you get when you see what you can achieve in a short amount of time, plus I love feeling so much lighter for it (and having more space in the house!)

I began cleaning out each cupboard, by taking everything out, and asking Mum whether she'd like to keep it, chuck it, or donate it. Anything she didn't love or use had to go. I gave each cupboard a wipe out, and washed up anything that had dust/dirt from the cupboard on it. Then as I put it back I organised everything and made sure it suited the cupboard it was in, for practicality reasons. Here are some before and after pics! 

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WHOLE KITCHEN BEFORE: 



WHOLE KITCHEN AFTER: 




And a new toaster and kettle! 


The whole space feels so much lighter, cleaner and organised, and it felt great to get rid of things that had been in those cupboards for almost 17 years. 

Almost 2 years ago, I decluttered Mum's pantry, you can read about it here!