Monday 31 December 2012

Balloon Pocket - A Fun Addition to a Birthday Card in the Mail

I love to send good old-fashioned mail.  Especially birthday cards!  Today I thought that I would share with you a little something that I added in with the birthday cards that I posted last year.

Sunday 30 December 2012

Organising Cards & Presents for the Year Ahead - 2013

Yesterday I reviewed my presents list for the new year.  I keep a Spreadsheet detailing all of the presents for the year, and this is how I allocate a fortnightly allocation out of our pay that gets automatically transferred into my Presents Account.  The past two Christmas' I have come out with money left in the account (yay!), so this indicates to me that this system works, needless to say that we will be continuing with this system again in 2013.

Saturday 29 December 2012

Two Cute Little Christmas Presents

Pinterest is such a great place to get ideas for presents.  I find it shows ways to turn a gift into something that is thoughtful and much more meaningful.  I am sure that lots of you have already seen either one or both of these little gift ideas, like those floating around on Pinterest, but I just had to share them, as I received both of them from a very special friend this Christmas, and I knew you would love them both!

'Merry Kissmas' Lip Gloss

Friday 28 December 2012

A Lime Green, Black & Silver Graduation

At the end of the school year, I had the pleasure of being involved in decorating our school hall for the year 7 graduation.  We have a beautiful hall (it is not at all like a sports shed!), so it was a lovely space to work with.  The main issue we had was that there was 200+ people for a sit-down meal, so making such a large space look good was our challenge!

Thursday 27 December 2012

Candy Cane Christmas Piniata

I shared with you earlier this month our family tradition of having a piniata on Christmas day.

This year, I decided to make the piniata in the shape of a candy cane...

Wednesday 26 December 2012

My Christmas Cards 2012

This year, I was rather behind with my Christmas preparations, due to the 16 weeks of sickness that I felt at the start of my pregnancy.  Every spare moment was spent resting, so being super-organised for Christmas this year was just not going to happen!

Last year, I put in lots of hours making these handmade Christmas cards.  I loved making them, and I loved giving them.  But this year I needed a solution that was a little less time consuming.  That is when I came up with the idea of a digital Christmas print of my baby bump!

Tuesday 25 December 2012

My Christmas Gift Wrapping 2012 (Red and Gold)

I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas with their loved ones.  I am so blessed to have such an amazing family to share such a special time of year with.

I thought I would share today my gift wrapping from this year.  I obviously chose red and gold to match my 2012 Christmas theme, which I shared earlier this week here.  I always try to keep the wrapping simple, as I always have lots of presents to wrap!  And like last year (you can see that wrapping here), I kept the embellishments flat - so much easier for stacking under the tree and it also means it doesn't get squashed during transporting the gifts...

Sunday 23 December 2012

My Red and Gold Christmas Theme - 2012

Here is a little peek at how things are looking around here this Christmas!

We love our new Christmas tree...

Sunday 16 December 2012

Christmas Baking Treat - Star Cinnamon Cookies

I decided to bake cookies as a Christmas treat for my staff at work.  I found these adorable square pink baking cups at a variety store, and made a simple little label to stick onto the front, which I cut out with my scalloped punch.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Saturday 8 December 2012

Secret Santa - Guess Who? Game

Do you need a creative way to get your Secret Santa to guess who you are?!  At my work, in December we play the game of Secret Santa.  Each day for a week (or two) we provide our Secret Santa buddy with clues (and little presents), so that they can guess who you are.  It is a really fun way to end a busy working year!

I heard about this Secret Santa idea many years ago, and last year, I put it to the test...

Sunday 25 November 2012

Baked Potatoes - Cooking Tip

I posted my favourite Coleslaw recipe recently, and mentioned how great it tastes when topping a baked potato.  Further, I thought that I would share this baking tip that I was once given by a chef... 

Friday 23 November 2012

Breakfast Buddies

We often get asked if we have any pets, since we live on acreage.  People are often surprised to find that we don't have any pets at all!  Neither of us have ever wanted to commit to the daily chores associated with having pets, and since we both have worked full time forever, it didn't seem fair getting animals and then leaving them at home all day by themselves.  This might change one day when we have children, but for now, it works for us.

Plus, we are so lucky to have so much wildlife in our yard anyway.  Every morning there are at least 50 ducks down by our dam, we have half a dozen water hens that roam the yard, plus we regularly have wallabies grazing on the lawns, and we have a resident kookaburra too.  It is pretty special!

Saturday 17 November 2012

Coleslaw Recipe

I just love fresh, crunchy coleslaw.  This recipe was shared with me quite a few years ago, by a very lovely lady I used to work with.  I love making this coleslaw, and everyone always comments that it is delicious and refreshing!  This also makes a great summer meal, when you bake a giant potato and then top it with sour cream, cheese and a big serve of this yummy coleslaw :)

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes

Today I thought I would share these photos that I took quite a while back of some easy cupcakes that I made.  As per usual, I used my favourite chocolate flavoured packet cake mix, and on this occasion I used chocolate frosting in a can!  Doesn't get much easier than this!

Sunday 4 November 2012

Organising Photos Digitally

With all of the time I have been spending on the couch lately, I haven't done many projects at all.  One project that I could work on from the comfort of my beloved couch was backing up and organising all of my digital photos.

Earlier this year, I bought myself a 1 Terrabyte External Hard Drive.  I wanted something that would last for years, and hold all of my photos, movies and computer files as a back-up.  I have backed up my work laptop, my portable External Hard Drive which has all of my work files on it, my Digital Frame USBs plus all of our photos. 

Friday 2 November 2012

Some Baby Presents

I wanted to share with you some of the amazing gifts that we have received since announcing our pregnancy.  We have been so overwhelmed with everyone's generosity, and I am so impressed with how creative people can be when it comes to giving a little baby gift!

I have always found it hard to know what to give an expecting or new mum, so I thought I would share these fabulous ideas you might like to use yourself.

A Handmade Beanie

My mum got knitting straight away (when I was like four weeks pregnant!) and made this teeny tiny beanie!  It is so adorable!  And is sure to be used a lot, as my baby will be arriving in autumn, as the cooler weather starts to set in.

Friday 26 October 2012

How to Make a Christmas Bauble Piniata

For many years, we have had a family tradition of having a giggle with a Christmas pinata!  I have made many different sorts of pinatas over the years, but the one I made last year was definitely the most beautiful one that I have ever made!  And it was really easy too.  After looking for some pinspiration, I found a design for a simple bauble pinata, that used tinsel to pretty it up.  

Here is my finished product:

Friday 19 October 2012

Organising the DVD Cupboard

As I have been sorting through my boxes of goodies in my study, and putting them into matching boxes for my new-look red and aqua study, I have ended up with dozens of empty storage boxes!  I am seriously embarrassed that this whole bed is full of EMPTY boxes/baskets and storage solutions!  I think I need to stop buying storage containers for a little while ;)

Saturday 13 October 2012

Our Little Miracle

I have the most exciting news to share with you all... I am having a baby!  I just over the moon to be 13 weeks pregnant, due next April.  I am just so excited about being a mummy - I know it will be the most amazing experience of my life.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Sunday 7 October 2012

Friday 5 October 2012

My Study - New Folder Labels

I just love holidays!  I have made so much progress on my study make-over in just a week, compared to the last 11 weeks of the school term!  Just look at how 'refreshed' my old folders look with their new labels:

Thursday 4 October 2012

Cash Stash - Money Savings Envelope (Part 5)

I am interested to see how you are going with your Cash Stash?  Have you started already?  Is your pile of money slowly growing before your eyes?

Today is the last day of this five-part series, with the final tip to help you to achieve your short-term financial goals quicker than you had ever imagined!

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Cash Stash - Money Savings Envelope (Part 4)

I still have to reveal two more ways to help you see your Cash Stash grow before your eyes!

4) 'Left Over' Money

This one applies if you already have a budget, out of which, you set yourself a weekly spending limit.  As I mentioned previously, I give myself a fortnightly allocation (in cash) for the areas of groceries, petrol and spending money (which is my little splurge fund - which I use for things like shopping, eating out, nails, homewares, etc).

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Cash Stash - Money Saving Envelope (Part 3)

Today is Day 3 in my Cash Stash series.  If you have missed the first two days, the links are at the bottom of this page.

Ok, the third way to contribute to your Cash Stash is:

3)  Food and drinks

A really easy way to see money disappear when you are out and about is through purchasing food and drinks on the run.  Not only does this hurt your budget, but more often than not, we resort to fast food, which is not all that nutritious for our bodies.  

I drink a lot of water, and I always take a water bottle with me whenever I go out.  It is so important to keep your body hydrated, and I hate being caught without water.  It also saves money if I fill up my water bottle at home, rather than buying a bottle at a kiosk, not to mention that it is better for the environment.

Monday 1 October 2012

Cash Stash - Money Savings Envelope (Part 2)

Are you ready for the next way to help your Cash Stash to grow into a bit fat pile of money?

Here it is...

Sunday 30 September 2012

Cash Stash - Money Savings Envelope (Part 1)

My Cash Stash system is a savings method that I have acquired over the years, after reading a number of books/articles on managing finances.  This is a system that I have modified to work for me, and I am sure that you can modify it to suit you, if you are serious about saving some of your hard-earned cash!
Although I will admit that I don't do this all of the time, when I am being budget-conscious, I swing back into the habit, and it is surprising how much money accumulates just from these simple principles that give me excess cash (that I would have otherwise spent), which I like to call my Cash Stash!

Saturday 29 September 2012

Organising Finances to use the 'Cash Stash' Savings System

This week on the blog, I have a five-part series which reveals a budgeting method that I have used for many years, which helps me to achieve my financial goals.

In order to run with this system, there are few things that you need to get organised first!  So, I thought I would share these with you today, so that you can get your finances organised, ready to try this new savings method, that recently helped me to save $300 for an Expedit bookshelf for my study makeover, in just over one month!  I didn't go without anything, I didn't do extra work to get more income, I simply managed the money that I had budgeted using the Cash Stash savings system!

Firstly, it is best if you have a budget set up.  This system really works best if you partly operate your money system using cash, which I certainly do.  I get paid fortnightly, withdrawing all money that I have allocated for groceries, petrol, presents, spending, and spend the cash over the next few weeks, rather than swiping my cards.  I have labelled sections in my purse, so that I can keep my money easily organised to manage this system.

Friday 28 September 2012

My Study - The Colour Scheme

It has been quite a while since I wrote about my study make-over....  I guess I kind of lost momentum with it, partly due to lots else happening in my life recently, but also because of my indecisiveness.  I am notorious for not being a confident decision-maker, so I procrastinate making a choice, for fear of it not being 'perfect'.  This is something that I have been working on getting over in recent years, but my study is the prime example of this side of my perfectionist personality rearing its ugly head! 

A big part of my reluctance to proceed with the study make-over has been the fact that I couldn't decide on a colour theme.  I knew I wanted white furniture, but the colours of everything else in there has been playing on my mind.

You have probably noticed that I have lots of red in my house.  I love the colour red!  It was the colour of my year 12 formal dress, I had a red car for 4 years, it was the colour of my bridesmaids dresses and roses at my wedding, and it also happens to be the main color of the Danish flag - which I am proud to have as my heritage.  Red is such a powerful colour, I know when I wear red I am going to have a great day!

Given that most of my house already has red accents, and the fact that I have so many red storage boxes and accessories already in red, I was pretty keen to stay with red as the key colour of my study, but I knew I wanted another colour to compliment it.  Sometimes red can be quite bold, and I wanted a pastel colour to help calm the 'boldness' down.

The answer to my dilemma came when my sister recently was travelling to America and offered to bring home some goodies.  To my delight, I came across these divine file folders by Martha Stewart, and knew that my problem had been solved!

Thursday 27 September 2012

Christmas Wrapping Paper - 2012

I took the plunge today and bought my Christmas wrapping paper for this year!  It is such a big decision - well for me it is anyway!  I like to have all matching paper, and since I am not that great coordinating patterns, I like to stick with one style of paper for all of our Christmas presents.

The last 5 or so years, our Christmas colours have been Brown and Gold.  You can see where I have posted about this here and here.  This year I decided to shake things up a bit, and I am adding Red to the mix.  At the after-Christmas sales last year I bought up big - lots of red baubles and tinsel, which cost next to nothing!  I am ready for my new-look Christmas in 2012!

So, when it came to the wrapping paper, I knew I wanted red, to help to bring out the new colour I am adding to my colour theme - as I won't have half as many red decorations as I do brown and gold.  This is my cheap and easy way of making our tree burst with the new colour!

Here it is....

Wednesday 26 September 2012

A Summer Serving Tray

The weather is finally warming up, and for us, that means we move our meals to outside on the back patio!  There is nothing like being outside in the fresh air, it sure beats sitting inside in front of the TV!

To make the constant transition from kitchen to patio (which isn't really that far, but the door is always where I have to juggle things!), last year I decided to leave my favourite serving tray out on the coffee table near the kitchen.  This way, I could just pop it onto the bench and fill it up with whatever we need for the upcoming meal.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Snowman Soup - Christmas Gift Idea

Last year I had a great time making 'Snowman Soup' for lots of colleagues, friends and family!  I first found this idea here on the Organised Christmas website (also where I found all of the printables for my Christmas planner). 

It was really easy to source the bits and pieces I needed to put together my twist on this cute Christmas novelty gift idea.... A little bag of all of the ingredients for hot chocolate, along with this cute little poem to make Snowman Soup:

I heard that you've been good this year,
You've done everything just right.
So here is some Snowman Soup
For you to enjoy one Christmas night.

First, pour the packet into a mug,
Then add water - boiling hot.
Next stir with the peppermint stick,
Then, one last thing that I almost forgot!

That's right, you must add the secret ingredient
To make the perfect Snowman Soup,
It's super-sweet and oh-so tasty...
Drop in the Snowman Poop!

All you need is hot chocolate sachets, candy canes, marshmallows and snap lock bags.

Monday 24 September 2012

20 Days to Clean and Organise Your Home - Week 3

This week I loved the outdoors challenge!  My poor back patio area has been very neglected after such a cold winter, so it was definitely time for me to get out there and give it some love.
This is what it looked like before:

Mini Oreo Cupcakes

You all know that I love a cute cupcake, these ones are really easy to make - and don't they just look adorable?!

Saturday 22 September 2012

Rubber Ducky with Cupcake Washers Gift Idea

Following on from my Cupcake Facewasher post last week, today I thought I would share this cute little present for a baby, which has the handmade touch, but takes very little time to put together.


Wednesday 19 September 2012

Cupcake Facewashers Gift Idea

I made these lovely little cupcakes as thank-you gifts for my sister's baby shower last year.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Lemonade Scones

I made these quick and easy scones yesterday morning - they were light and fluffy and yummy!

Friday 14 September 2012

20 Days to Clean and Organise Your Home - Week 2

I have been so proud of everyone who has been doing this challenge with the Organised Housewife!  What an impact she is having on households around our world!  There is nothing better than a little organising challenge, and it is great to see so many people inspired to participate.

I am finding it hard to do before/after photos of the little projects I have been doing, as I am mostly doing them late afternoon/night and it just is not the prime time for taking good photographs without the natural light... 

So, rather than post some awful before/after pics of how I am going with the challenge, I thought I would link back to some of my posts that show how I already organise some of the areas in my home that have been in the challenge this week.  And thankfully, most of these systems are still working a treat in my house, so it is just fine-tuning and tweaking that I have been doing to make sure that things are still running smoothly.

I am still in love with how I organise my baking tins, everytime I open the cupboard door...

Organising Baking Tins - here

Friday 7 September 2012

My Planner - Daily Planner Page

Following on from my post last weekend on My Planner, today I will share my daily planner page.  This is my planner page for my working week - I use one page per day.  As mentioned previously, I find commercial diary pages don't suit my needs, so I have designed my own pages, based on what I need and use.  I have changed my daily planner template numerous times, although the one I am currently using has definitely lasted the longest and has been the  most efficient.  So, here it is...

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Erasable Highlighters and Felt Pens

Last year I wrote about my favourite pens - the Frixion eraseable pens, which you can read about here.  I just love these pens - they come in a range of colours, and the best part is that they rub out!  You loved them too - I got so much great feedback about the pens from people who hadn't heard of them before!

I noticed a little while back that there have been some new additions to the Frixion family, so I thought I should share them with you!

Firstly, there are a erasable felt-tip pens! 

Sunday 2 September 2012

I Love Spring Time!

I love this time of the year!  I love the warm weather and I especially love the flowers that fill our garden!

Here are some of the beauties that I have to look forward to coming back to my garden in the coming months...

Friday 31 August 2012

My Planner

Over the years I have been on the quest for the perfect diary or daily planner.  I think I have tried them all!  Bound diaries with 1 page per day, 1 page per week, 2 pages per week, and more.  I have never liked the inflexibility of pre-made diaries - I don't like the time constraints of hourly/half-hourly times from 7am to 7pm listed - does anyone actually schedule their day using all of these?  And there is never enough space to write myself reminders and to-do lists too!

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Homemade Father's Day Card

On the weekend, I shared some happy snaps from our Father's Day last year.  I showed you the 'shirt' card that I made for my dad - which was so easy to make!  Today I thought I would share how I made it!

Sunday 26 August 2012

Father's Day 2011

Since Father's Day is just around the corner, I thought I would post some pictures of our 2011 Father's Day.  I found these great free printables online here, and got a bit creative with them...

Friday 24 August 2012

My Christmas Planner

It is only four months until Christmas!!  About this time last year, I decided to make myself a Christmas Planner to help me stay organised in the lead-up to and during the Christmas season.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Pantry Organisation

My pantry - one of the most important cupboards in the house!  Since I have been blogging, I have had numerous requests to share how I organise my pantry, and thanks to Larissa at My Pigeon Pair, I am finally coming through with the goods!  

Larissa is starting a series, called One Space At A Time, which you can read about here, where she will be linking up bloggers' and readers' organisation tips for a certain area of the home.  Larissa's idea behind this series is: together we can motivate, inspire and challenge each other to transform our homes and lives “One Space At A Time” - and this week it is the pantry!

So, here is a picture of my organised pantry.  It is like my little shop!  I love having lots on food on hand, so that I can cook or bake whatever my heart (or tummy) desires at short notice.  

Friday 17 August 2012

Planner Pages Organisation

I feel like I haven't been making much progress with my study makeover, so this week I decided to do a couple of little projects that have helped me feel like I am getting somewhere...  Today I will share how I store my used planner pages, prior to archiving them.

I found this gorgous napkin stand at Ikea recently, and knew that I just had to have it.  What for?  I did not know, but I bought it anyway.  I thought it was just perfect for vertical paper storage (my newest organising passion), so I brought it home and stood it on my desk empty for a few weeks.  At only $3.99 I think it was a bargain, and I knew I would find a use for it sooner or later!

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