Thursday, 25 July 2013

Web-free Wednesdays.......#1

Okay I'll admit that sometimes (read as 'nearly every day') I spend a little too much (read as waaaayyy tooo much') time on the internet.

It kinda just happens.....I log on for a check of my emails and a quick Facebook update and then one link leads to another and I am transported away from my world of cleaning, washing, sorting, hanging, folding, scrubbing, a world of craft, baking, photography.....a world that is so hard to escape......and each click takes me deeper into this world of pictures and stories......

Before I know it an hour (read as 'two to three hours') has passed and my motivation level for returning to my world and tackling my chores is at an all time low (read as 'non-existent').

So I guess it is no wonder that I live in a constant state of disarray and disorganisation.  Upcoming visits from family and friends mean hours (read as 'days') of cleaning just to let them in the door and exclaim 'oh excuse the mess' when really I am thinking 'OMG if you'd seen this place yesterday...'

Too many hours are spent looking for things that have become buried under copious piles of papers.    Too much stress results from said hours of looking for things!!

So in an attempt to better use my time, to better organise my life and house and in an attempt to get some systems in place.....Wednesdays shall hereby be known as 'WEB-FREE WEDNESDAYS' checking of emails, no quick Facebook checks, no hours lost in cyber-space....!!

These hours will instead by devoted to sorting out my household!

Yesterday was my Web-free Wednesday #1 and it was much needed after two weeks of being sick and letting house and life become even more chaotic.

So yesterday went a bit like this..........

2 loads of towels washed, hung, dried and actually put away (yay me!)
3 loads of clothes washed, hung, dried, distributed to appropriate persons to be put away
1 load of pots and pans soaked, eventually scrubbed, wiped and put away
2 loads of dishes from the last few days washed, dried and put away
Lounge room vacuumed....after first picking up lego, barbies, clothes and shoes
Shower sprayed with exit mould
Toilet cleaned
Toilet floor mopped...twice.....because Miss 4 insisted upon 'helping'
Bathroom basins scrubbed to remove two weeks worth of toothpaste and spit (yuk!!)
Bathroom cabinet cleaned and items put back in so they don't actually fall out when you open the door
Bathroom mirrors cleaned
Bathroom floor swept and mopped
Tiles around the bottom of the wall cleaned.
Bathroom door cleaned of millions of little finger prints and of a few artistic crayon creations
Exit mould rinsed from shower....hmmm may have to repeat that process again another day 
Mince defrosted
Kitchen benches wiped....well more like 'scrubbing' to remove pancake mix left to dry solidly by the girls about 3 days ago
Meatballs prepared

2pm rolled around and I was exhausted.....surfing the internet is a lot less physical than power cleaning !!

Well I am pleased with the results of my first Web-free Wednesday and if I keep going at the pace I went at yesterday I might actually have a clean house for Christmas this year...5 months to go and counting !!!

Tune in for next weeks Web-free Wednesday to see what exciting chores I tackle then !!!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Betty Saves The Day....

Somewhere along the way this is how we have come to celebrate certain birthdays with our girls.....

1st....celebrated with family and number 1 cake  
5th.... the girls were allowed to invite a few preschool friends to a party at home which was followed by a get together with family with a fairy toadstool cake
8th....this became the next birthday that the girls could invite friends to and it was a party at home with games and pizza and pinatas
9th....this is celebrated with a watch as the gift and a specially made cake from The Woman's Weekly Kids' Birthday Cakes collection
10th....the girls are allowed to get their ears pierced if they so choose
11th....celebrated with a camera as the gift
13th....the beginning of the teenage years!!  The girls can invite a select few friends for a horse-riding party.  
And we are not quite there yet but I am thinking sweet sixteen will be celebrated by the seven of us going out to a special restaurant and maybe a special cake
So then I should just have eighteenths and twenty-firsts to look forward to!

Now the above has been working fine....the only hiccup is when I don't remember what celebration comes with what birthday!!

So when Miss 8 became Miss 9 last week I set off to purchase a watch and have it engraved.....very pleased with myself!  Though there was the little niggle in the back of my mind that something was missing........

Well finally I realised the missing element was the special cake.  I also realised that my Woman's Weekly Kids Birthday Cakes recipe books had gone AWOL as well.

With time running out....and having the flu as well.....I turned to Google for some much needed assistance.....and there it saviour....Betty Crocker.

Complete with video tutorial, printout templates and simple to follow instructions I was on my way to creating a butterfly masterpiece!

Whilst it may not have been perfect upon close brought a smile to Miss 9's face...and it produces oooh's and aaaah's from her siblings...that's a result in my book!

It was as simple as making a round cake....cutting it into 4 pieces as shown below ......then assembling those pieces to form the butterfly shape.  I whipped up some frosting which kept looking more and more grey the more I tried to make it look purple!!  The frosting was then applied to the cake....decorations added and voila....a butterfly is born !!

Now to gear up for a 5th and a 16th in a few months time !!!!!!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

That Wasn't on the To Do List....

I have been a tad sick this past week......yes trust me to get sick at the tail end of the school holidays.....the end where uniforms need to be sorted again, lunches prepared, homework finalised...add to that my mother-in-law's 80th , my daughters 9th (picture making 30+ cup cakes when all you'd rather do is crawl under your doona and hide), hubby going away for work...

So it really was time today to try to tackle some of the rapidly accumulating washing, the mountain of dirty dishes, pay some bills and put away the grocery delivery (in love with on-line grocery shopping at the moment!!)...and that was just for starters!!!

But thanks to a not very well hidden bag that contained a pom-pom making kit  Miss 4 insisted that we make pop-poms.....great!

So it is now washing has been done, the dishes are still dirty , bills remain unpaid,  I managed to put the cold items in the fridge from the groceries....huge achievement....oh and I managed to find the bag that contained chocolate and eat copious amounts of that....but other than that eeeek!!

So now I have to set off to pick up the girls with my only achievement of the day being  that I have made pom-poms!

Though I must say that thanks to the pom-pom kit from Klutz it was foolproof to make pom-poms.....even I could do it !!!!

All we had to do was wrap our wool around the rainbows as Miss 4 called them.....technical term is pom-pom maker....but we will stick with rainbows !

Do this with both sets of rainbows then join your rainbows to form a circle, snip the wool along the groove, tie a strand of wool around your cirlce, double knot it...

remove the rainbows and voila...!!!  A pom-pom!!.....

or a bunny rabbit tail......

Easy peasy!!  then we moved on to pom-pom monsters!!

The kit from Klutz is great.....the pom-poms are easy to make.  We found it a bit hard to fashion some of the pony tails and hair styles...and gluing on the shoes, eyes etc.. can be a bit tricky....or I could have just been losing mummy patience lol !!  But overall this was a great little investment that comes with 5 different colour wools, heaps of bows and eyes and lots of bits and pieces for decorating and the rainbows can be used over and over to create pom-poms forever !!!  There's even a comb to comb your monsters hair!  The recommendation is for ages 8 and up which would probably be accurate for them to make the pom-poms by themselves....but Miss 4 loved helping to wind the wool and to decorate the pom-poms so 4 and over if you are willing to do some of the creating would be my suggestion.


This would definitely be a great stocking filler.....seriously time to start shopping with Christmas only 5 months away !!

I have no idea why my photos are all sideways....they are right way round when I edited them etc.. but now they are being today you get sideways photos !!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Another Hidden Treasure....

So after revealing one of my favourite hidden treasures yesterday (check out the blog below if you missed it !!)......I have decided to let you in on another of my favourite places....

Well since they are both hidden away in the same little estate you probably would have come across it anyway!!

So here it is...... Reverse Garbage in Sydney.  You will never know what you are going to find is an absolute treasure trove....

Reverse Garbage is committed to reducing landfill and promoting sustainability and has been for many years.  Inside this building you will find stage props, parts of floats from the mardi gras, furniture, fabric, wood, paper, records, books, craft supplies and some of the craziest things.....

Here's a look at what was there on our most recent visit....

Reverse Garbage even run children's workshops during the school holidays to help to make them aware of the value of recycling and re-using.

Another of the places that I love to go is a different experience every time you go there !

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Hidden Treasure....

Tucked away from street wouldn't even know it was fact I only stumbled upon it's existence earlier this is my hidden treasure.....o

I love everything about this place...from the building itself made of the eco-library stocked with books on sustainability....the workshops that they hold...the friendly staff....their whole approach to diverting waste from landfill.....and the items that they have for sale at fabulous prices....

You just never know what they are going to have inside those walls so each time you go there is like a new experience.  You can fossick through old tools, boxes of knobs and handles, there is furniture, old wares, kitchen items, pictures, glass jars, banners, frames....a little bit of everything.

The consignment area greets you as you walk in and its goods are hard to resist.  Here you will find wonderful items that have been restored or perhaps re-purposed by some truly creative people.

If you manage to tear yourself away from these delights you can make your way through all of the books and records, the electrical appliances and furniture.....

But wait, there's you move outside you will not be disappointed.  Here you can find old doors, timber, windows, chairs, tiles at bargain prices and bikes galore.....

Once I reach this point I usually go back inside and do it all again.  Luckily for my budget I don't live close enough for frequent visits because every time I do go there I fall in love with so many of the things!!

This was my first ever purchase...hubby and I saw these and had to have them....$30 for a pair of light fittings...they are amazing...

and my most recent purchase from our visit this week.....only $ is so old door frame with metal insert...will look wonderful hanging on the wall in the bedroom....

So what is this place.....where is it located....oh my I'm not sure I'm ready to share my hidden treasure!!

But for the sake of reducing landfill and saving our environment for future is The Bower Re-use and Recycle Centre in Sydney....I love it !!!!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Getting Organised With a very DISORGANISED Mum of Five Girls #3 Sport Tips

I have been a soccer mum for some 6 years now...early mornings, freezing cold, grass stains, muddy!!  

For the last two seasons I have had my eldest 3 daughters playing soccer...mostly at conflicting times at opposite sides of the district!  My poor hubby works most Saturdays so sport became added to my to do list!

Now not being a morning person, especially on a Saturday, I would often find myself in a frenzy trying to get 5 kids ready for an epic day of soccer.  We would be searching for shin pads, shorts would have gone missing overnight and there would always be one of the girls whose socks would be rolled up in a ball festering in a corner still dirty from the previous weeks game.

So it was time to 'attack' this soccer thing and 'go for goal' 

Here's how I have improved my game   ;-)   

Tip # 1...... Have a 'game plan' ( aka system)  ....

This is how my system works....

*  On game days and training nights soccer boots, socks and shin pads are to be removed at the front door upon arrival home and left on the front verandah....this will eliminate mud tracked through the house and will keep the odour outside!

*  All drink bottles to be emptied out and kept in the cupboard til next week.

*  Hit the better time than the present to scrub that dirt off and soak a few bumps and scrapes!  So one after another the girls would shower leaving a pile of shorts, compression gear and jerseys in the bathroom.

*  It worked best for me to gather up that pile of clothing in the bathroom, ensure that everything was accounted for, gather the socks from the front verandah and get it all into the wash ASAP!!

*  Once washed and dried I kept the soccer clothes in a plastic tub in my linen cupboard.

*  Once boots and shin pads had aired and dried out they were kept in a plastic tub which lived near the front door...this kept them all in one place...and kept the odour trapped!  Frequent freshen ups may be required with Glen20 or the like...

Tip # 2...... Be prepared....

As I said earlier I am not a morning person!!  So if I leave everything til the morning it is inevitable that there will be some sort of 'obstruction' .... or something will be forgotten.....

So now the only thing left til morning is having breakfast and getting dressed.  I make sure the girls get dressed entirely in their soccer gear so that we can't turn up to the game to find that shin pads or the like have been left at home!

Like a good old girl scout I have everything else prepared ahead of time and I keep it in the back of my car so we are ready to roll.....

Here is what I have in my tub.....

*  sunscreen.....okay I know that soccer is a winter sport but a lot of those trial games and early season games are still in quite warm weather and it is best to be prepared!

*  aeroguard....I hate flies.

*  snacks and drinks.....with multiple games to get to we spectators need a lot to keep us going!!

* beanies, hats and jackets....coz someone is going to forget.

*  blankets....add a wind chill factor to a winters day and you can never have enough blankets.  Also needed for those 1.00pm soccer games that are often started in delightful weather but by the time the game ends...well let's just say it's cold!!

*  wet weather is inevitable that at some stage throughout the season you will get rained on.

* games, toys, books, pencils etc...  .....because quite frankly there is only so much soccer that Miss 4 and Miss 8 can watch...and that is usually in single digits.  It also works well to swap these toys around every few weeks to keep them interested.

*  picnic blanket....essential !!

*  wipes....because we can't go anywhere without somebody making a mess or spilling something!

So that's my soccer tub that stays in the back of the car for the duration of the season and I just have to add drinks and snacks and mix the toys and games up a bit each week.  

It is also great because if hubby is not working and is able to take the girls to their games it can be popped into his car.  And lastly is is perfect for impromptu stops at the park too.

So there's my soccer mum tips that keep me 'on the ball' !!!!!