Thursday, 2 October 2014

Organise Your Life - Part 2 The Sanity Folder

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Wowsers you guys - your response to last week's post on organising your life was HUGE. Literally one of my most hit posts ever, so thank you!

So I promised that this week I would share my 'sanity folder' with you. Remember the folder that goes everywhere with you and promises to keep you sane?

Yeah that one.

Holy crap - that was a big call wasn't it?

A folder that promises to keep you sane.

Now I'm quietly pooping my pants in case you read this and then curse me as the white van drags you away screaming "SHE PROMISED IT WOULD KEEP ME SAAAAAANE".

Alright, so truth be told - if the padded suite and straight jacket have already been pre-booked, I can't guarantee that this folder will save your ass, but, it will at least keep you organised enough to know who to call, what you were supposed to be doing (if you weren't being led away by the white coats) and what you were supposed to be cooking for dinner that night.

Basically this 'sanity folder' goes with me everywhere... and I mean everywhere.

In it is everything I need to do for that day (or week) so that if I ever find myself in a position where I am sitting around waiting, you know like at the Drs surgery or sports training yada yada, it means I can still be productive rather than sitting there and twiddling my thumbs.

I worked out that on any given day, there was at least an hour (double that on some days) of wasted time. 15 minutes waiting for an appointment here, 10 minutes waiting at school pick up there, 45 minutes to an hour in the car waiting for sports training to finish.

You get the idea.

Now usually I would be sitting there wasting time and stressing about all the things I need to do. The folder came about as a way of allowing me to use that time to actually do those things that need to be done rather than sitting there just thinking about them.

Enough of the waffling already, let me show you.



  • A folder of some type - the cuter the better... obviously
  • Your Weekly Calendar and Work schedule (if applicable)
  • A daily to do list (see below)
  • A menu planner (see below)
  • A monthly calendar (I use this awesome one from The Organised Housewife)
  • A bull dog clip
  • A note pad

So the idea is simple, I carry the folder around with me and in it is everything I need to get things done when I am out and about - my calendars, schedules, to do list, and all the bits and pieces I need to follow up, do, pay, reply to etc.

Let me show you what is currently in my folder.

1. The folder which has been embellished with cute washi tape and stickers, cause that's how I roll.

2. On the inside cover (on the left) is some cards I need to write when I get a chance - when I buy the card it goes straight into this folder until it gets attached to a gift or posted. I also keep here a list of projects or blog post ideas too.

3.  My weekly work schedule so pretty much wherever I am, I still know what I need to do work wise.

4. My daily to do list which is broken up into 3 columns 
  1. work - things I need to do specifically that day for work
  2. family stuff - appointments, bills to pay, cards to write, rsvps, etc, 
  3. errands- things I need to do or pick up whilst I am out and about

5. My month at a glance calendar so I know where everyone needs to be, special events, birthdays etc

6. Bills that need paying, parties that need an RSVP / gifts to buy, prescriptions or forms to be filled out etc

7. My running to do list, everything gets written on here including long term stuff and then I move it across to my daily to do list as applicable.

8. I keep a copy of my weekly meal planner in here so I can fill out next week's plan when I have a moment.

9. My shopping list, which I add to when I do my weekly meal plan. I also have it handy to grab stuff I need when I am out and about.

So that's pretty much it. Everything I need to function and actually get stuff done when I have unexpected time on my hands or I'm waiting - which let's face it, as a parent, we spend plenty of time waiting around.

It's how I stay sane ... or at least semi sane!

What do you think? Do you do something similar
Would this work for you?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Possibly The Worst DIY Post EVER

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So, I had all the best intentions to put together a fancy DIY post for you today on how to make an insanely cool slip cover for an Ottoman.

In my ambitious mind this post was going to go nuts on Pinterest, DIYers all over the world were going to pin the crap out of it and Better Homes and Gardens would call me up and offer obscene amounts of free product from Bunnings in return for me joining their show as the Ottoman Queen.

Or something like that.

"Yeah, so how'd that work out for you?" I hear you ask.

Weeeellll it kinda didn't really. Work out that is. And the reason would be because clearly I underestimated just how much I suck at creating DIY posts on how to make an insanely cool cover for an ottoman.

In fact, it is sheer luck I even managed to finish this project at all given I nearly threw the damn thing in the pool, twice, because I hated it so much and I wanted it to suffer like it was making me suffer.

I wanted this ottoman to cry and beg for my mercy. Not that I am condoning cruelty against innocent furniture or anything, except for in this case, because this ottoman was pure evil.

Bastard of a thing!

I picked this shabby old thing up from the roadside last summer.

Actually I paid my oldest son 5 bucks to jump out of the car, grab it and chuck it in the boot for me because there were people standing out the front of the house where it was dumped and I didn't want to look like I was a desperate scavenger. Even though I was a desperate scavenger and I was worried that if I drove around the block or waited for those people to move, some other lucky bugger would pay her kid 5 bucks to grab it and I would never see that scabby ottoman again.

So into the boot it went whilst I pretended to shake my head and mouth "kids" with a what can you do shrug at the people watching us.

The ottoman came home with us and lived happily ever after ... in our garage, taking up valuable space whilst I figured out what the hell I was going to do with it.

Finally, just yesterday I decided I would recover it with some funky fabric I had nabbed at Spotlight a while back and once again I was excited about that roadside score.

Slight problem though - my dear husband had taken it to the rubbish skiff at his work only a day earlier.

"Where's my Ottoman from the garage" I demanded hysterically of Carl.

"I threw it out" came his slightly panicked reply.

"WHY would you do that?" I squealed desperately like someone had just thrown out the biscuit tin with our life savings stashed in it.... (not that we actually own biscuit tin with even a single dollar in it, but that's totally beside the point).

"Because it sat there in the garage forever and you hadn't done anything with it" he explained far too calmly for my liking.

"Cause I wasn't READY, but I'm ready NOW, I'm ready to do something with it and now I don't have it and I have all this fabric and I was going to write this really awesome blog post that was going to go nuts and Better Homes and Gardens was going to..... I NEED that ottoman. You HAVE to get it back. PLEASE!" I begged of him.

An hour or two later (bless that man of mine) my ottoman was resurrected from the dead and we were ready to roll.

So I started taking before photos, you know to show how ugly it was before it's incredible transformation and all that, and then I set to work unscrewing legs and pulling out staples to remove the old faux leather cover.

The bastard of a thing didn't like me doing this, nor did it like me either and it stabbed me multiple times with a sharp metal staple like some kind of possessed pouff before Carl stepped it and took over the staple removal for me.

Finally I was ready to cover it with my chosen fabric, except now I discovered that the fabric I had wasn't wide enough to cover it without actually sewing pieces together.

"Damn flipping ottoman mmmph grgr mmph" I mumbled as I set about cutting squares of fabric to sew together.

I dragged my sewing machine out of the cupboard and set about trying to sew all the pieces together, only to discover about one panel in that I really had no idea what the hell I was doing.

"I NEED A GIN AND TONIC PLEASE" I shouted to the hubby from my lady cave where I was wrestling with pins and fabric that did not want to co-operate.

I swore a lot and I stabbed at that stupid thing with pins and scissors. I sewed like a psycho between enthusiastic sips of my G&T and desperate Google searches on how to sew an ottoman cover.

Until finally - TaDa. The freaking thing was covered and I was spent... and semi tanked on G&T.

So I don't have a fancy pants DIY post to present to you today on how to sew an insanely cool ottoman slip cover. But I do have an Ottoman covered with blood sweat and tears and fabulous black spots.

Oh and here's a link to a great DIY how to post on how to make an ottoman cover from some clever clogs who has probably being pinned to high heaven by now and is figuring out what to wear on her Better Homes and Garden debut.


You can't win em all.

Have you scored anything awesome roadside lately?
Taken on a project that drove you nuts?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Careful When You are Polishing Your Self Righteous Sword

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School holidays huh?

Love them as much as I loathe them, I do.

I love the slow mornings and the absence of homework. I love the easy nights where I couldn't give two hoots what time those little squids of mine finally pass out. I even love the noise, because I like having my family around me and the noise is a constant reminder of how my dream of a house full of kids is now a reality.

I don't however like the endless bickering over crap. Sorry, but there really is no other way to put it because they seriously fight over the dumbest things - like for example, when someone smiles at the wrong moment, or who stands where in the pool when they are playing pool soccer and who is more bored than the other.

For real?

There is a prize for who dies of boredom first????

Holy shitballs I must have missed that memo. What IS the prize, because heck I can pull the best dying of boredom head where my eyes roll back and you can see the whites and dribble slowly trickles out of the corner of my mouth.

I'm good at it. Like REALLY good at it. I have three excellent pint sized teachers.

I had a day last week where I was so flipping exhausted I could cry. You know those days? You have zero patience, every little hiccup feels like an enormous issue and you want to throw chopsticks at the heads of anyone who dares to cross your path.

I had one of those days.

My eyes were hanging out of my head from working two 16 hour days in a row in an attempt to cram a whole week's worth of work into those two days. I wanted to be able to take a few days off to spend with the kids - those same kids that TOTALLY did me in with their arguing.

They were bored, I know they were, I mean of course they were - Mum was working. But it was all I could do to not put on a hello kitty shirt and throw the most nuclear of tantrums and retreat to the ball room at my local play centre, sucking my thumb and hoping that someone would buy me an ice cream and send me to a nice padded cell for a while.

I don't need any ego stroking to survive those kind of days. I don't need to be artificially pumped full of hot air to make me feel like I am not totally screwing this parenting role up up. I just need to vent, and talk about it a little. You know?

But the thing is, we are not supposed to talk like that are we? We aren't supposed to speak of how our children are sometimes so incredibly turdish that they bring us to tears. Well that's what you would think if you based your evidence on what happens to a mum if she dares to go on social media and vent.

This past week I have seen women attacked online and offline for venting. Words and disapproval viciously slung at them for daring to speak that way about their kids. I followed one thread where someone went so far as to say how selfish this mum was for venting because some people are not fortunate enough to have kids and therefore it is downright selfish and ungrateful to say out loud that your kids are driving you insane.


What happened to just keeping it real?

My heart aches for woman who desperately long for children but are still waiting. It really aches... BUT does this mean we need to pretend that every single day of motherhood is a walk in the park?

Often the snide comments come from people who are also just as quick to rebuke someone if they feel they are painting an unrealistic image of family life and how it is all sunshine and roses, finger painting and perfectly behaved cherubs.

Keep it real and be judged harshly and called a bad mum... or paint a pretty picture and be called a fake.

How does one even begin to dodge the mines in that game?

I for one feel better when I read that another Mum has had a shit day... oh man that came out so wrong. I don't mean that I get some kind of sick joy out of another sister's suffering. I mean it makes me feel normal, like I am not completely ballsing this motherhood thing up just because we have a shitty moment, day or week.

I am one of those people who not only like, but need a sympathetic nod from a stranger in a shopping centre when my kids are knocking things over in an attempt to inflict the mother of all wedgies on a sibling. I like it when I can say to someone that I need a bucket of vodka to erase the emotional scarring left over from a day full of refereeing and complaint processing and I like that they know I am only kind of half kidding and just quietly hand me some coping cordial without judgement.

God damn it, I really like it when I vent and someone says "me too" because I feel like I have allies in the parenting gig, people who understand how quickly children can turn from sleepy eyed angels to cranky little oompa loompas. Allies who know I am just having a bad day and that I don't really think my kids are proper piles of poo.

I love those kids of mine, Oh man do I love them. I love them so much that there are days my heart actually aches from being so full of love for them and I would not think twice about laying myself down in front of a truck of brussel sprouts for those little people, or crawling through a tunnel full of smelly feet and snakes, because I love them THAT much.

But please don't expect me to pretend that it is all fairy floss and lollipops ALL the time.

I just can't.

And to those perfect woman who have perfect children, please be careful when you are polishing your self righteous sword that you don't accidentally cut down another mum when she vents her frustrations.

Enough with the unnecessary judging already. We are all doing the best we can.

Truthfully, I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect mum or a perfect child, and so God knows I need to read another mum's occasional venting as much as I need to release a little excess steam for myself from time to time.

Especially in the school holidays.

How are you coping with the holidays... truthfully? 
Do you ever feel like you cant vent for fear of being judged or because you feel guilty? 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Going Troppo - Tropical Inspired Homewares To Tempt You

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I have this tropical crush going on at the moment and no, it has nothing to do with pineapple cocktails... 

OK maybe it does a little, but can you blame a gal?

Whilst I am still all about the colour in home wares right now, I can't help but be tempted by a palette that consists of black, copper and a touch of green. 

Think balmy nights, sea breezes, salty hair and cocktails... GAH the cocktails again.

One of the things I love to do whilst I am *ahem* doing my work for Down That Little Lane, is window shop. Yeah alright, so sometimes I go to second base and actually add to my basket and yes YES sometimes I even go all the way and invite some of the gorgeousness to come and live in our home. 

But I am only human after all.

Here's my picks for the latest Down That Little Lane curated newsletter.

FYI - I accept no responsibility for any lack of control you display. I have none myself so no judging on my part.


Weekend Rewind - What Scares You Most?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Weekend Rewind - What Scares You Most?

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I'm curious to know - What scares you in life?

For me, my list spans a lifetime and goes on and on and on and... yeah, you get the drift.

Mostly it is the things I have no control over that scare me the most. You know, ghosts, intruders, disease, accidents, terrorism, war, tsunamis etc that scare me.

Yep Tsunamis.

Do you know there was this time in my life where I was literally petrified of tsunamis and I was convinced it was how I was going to die.

Morbid much?

I Googled the crap out of them - What were the chances of them happening where I live? Where and when did they last occur in my area? I even had an escape route mapped out for how I would get my family to safety and my plans included an elaborate set up of belts holding us all together so that no one got swept away when the water came gushing through.

I freaked my friends out with this too (sorry Nerilee, Sarah and Charmaine), and I obsessed over them to the point I had nightmares - frequently.

Admittedly this fear came about after watching Deep Impact, and then I went into total overdrive after the Boxing day tsunamis. I even considered moving us up into the hills and digging a waterproof bunker...


These days the things that scare me most aren't the tsunamis (I'm over that now), ghosts (seen one and I survived) or even intruders (I will protect myself in any way I can). Nope I am more scared of the things I have zilch control over - like illness or an accident or something awful happening (God Forbid) to my family and of course, all this latest terror threat literally scares the crap out of me.

Don't even get me started on what I do if I ring my husband and he doesn't answer the phone.

Fear takes my mind to the worst possible places.

I'm afraid of crowds - true!

The thought of going to the Easter Show or a concert or large event makes me break out into a sweat... although I do go, for my kid's sake and usually, when I am there I am totally fine.

What's that spot on my son's neck..... I don't know but it MUST be bad.

Dooms day you say? AGAIN??? Oh Shit!

See what I mean?

It is the thinking or over thinking in my case, that scares me the most.

After 40 years I have finally come to the realisation that my mind is my number one enemy and it is what feeds my sometimes completely irrational fear.

So how does one overcome the fear of your own mind?

Don't think?

Hmmm. I have no answer for that one.

Do you?

What about you? What scares you the most in life?

Have an awesome weekend you guys!

Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella)Sonia's blog (Sonia Styling) or Kelly's at A Life Less Frantic
It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.