Monday, 30 January 2012

Weekly Meal Plan #3

Good morning! I'm here with my weekly meal plan again :) Linking up today with The Organised Housewife  and sharing meal plans with other bloggers. So click on the button below to head over and join in the fun!

Monday - Chicken Pie

Tuesday - Tuna Mornay with rice

Wednesday -  Butterflied Lamb with potato salad (Australia Day)

Thursday - Beef Bourgignon with rice

Friday -  Sausages with salad

Saturday -  Savoury mince with mash and veg

Sunday - Beef and vegetable stew

Have a lovely day,


The Organised Housewife

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was rainy and stormy here in Darwin yesterday. Just the kind of weather I like best for baking. So I decided to make one of our favourites - chocolate chip cookies. All my baking is gluten free, but I'll  link you to the original recipe that I work from so you can make them not gluten free if you choose. But these are yummy. 

 I think these have just the right amount of crunch and softness, even my hubby loves them! This recipe is based on a recipe I've seen in a couple of places, so I'll credit both. The Organised Housewife and SAHM - the secret to living on one wage both have this same recipe on their sites and I've gone to both at some stage for the recipe. So if you want to make these non gluten free, then head over there and grab the recipe :) I quite like the adaptation I've come up with and it works well for gluten free flour, although doesn't make quite as many as the original recipe. But it would be easy enough and not too expensive to double. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

250g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tin condensened milk (approx 400g)
500g Gluten free SR flour (I use one box of Orgran SR Flour, it's just what I prefer and is found in the health food aisle at your supermarket).
1 cup gluten free choc chips (check the label to make sure they're gluten free if you're buying actual choc chips, but I usually chop up some milk or dark chocolate from a block because most brands are gluten free).

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fanforced) or 190 degrees celsius (non fanforced).
Using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a bowl. Mix in the flour. 
At this stage it may look like it won't come together, but I promise it will. I usually tip it out onto the bench and give it a quick knead with my hands to bring the last bits together and then fold the choc chips through it. 
Roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Press each cookie down a bit. 
Bake for approximately 15 minutes. If you want a crunchier texture on the outside then just keep an eye on them and take them out when they're nice and golden - usually just an extra couple of minutes. It will depend on your oven.

I always end up with less cookies than I could have though, because I lose patience with rolling such small balls and always make bigger ones. But then that makes bigger cookies, and that's a good thing, right?

Happy Baking,


Monday, 23 January 2012

Weekly Meal Plan #2

Hi there! It's Monday, so checking in with my weekly meal plan today :)

Monday - Chicken Sausages and salad 

Tuesday - Jacket potatoes with chilli con carne, sour cream and cheese

Wednesday - Chinese takeaway!

Thursday - Chicken Stroganoff and rice

Friday - Shepherds Pie

Saturday - Sweet and easy chicken curry with rice

Sunday - Roast Pork, roast veg and gravy

I'm more than happy to post any recipes from my meal plans so please feel free to ask.

Have a lovely week,


Saturday, 21 January 2012

An Enchanted Evening

I had a beautiful moment this evening that I wanted to share. I put my two little ones to bed tonight, and we sing a song together every night. My 3yo chose 'I Can Sing A Rainbow'. So we sang it together and they went to sleep beautifully after a very busy day. 

Well. I walked out from putting them to bed and the glow of the sunset caught my eye. I decided to grab my phone and go out to see if I could get a good shot. The light was fading fast so I raced out. And took this:

I was standing there revelling in the most beautiful sky I had seen for a while when I turned around and saw THIS:

A rainbow. 
It was getting dark so it's kind of fuzzy but clearly there. And my phone didn't capture the radiant glow of colour that I saw. I was in heaven. 

Then I saw a flash of lightning and heard thunder rumble above my head with soft droplets of rain. And my enchanted evening was complete.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

* Let's Do It * - Cleaning the skirting boards

Yes, it's official. Today is the day I am going to bore you all to death. I was walking around my home yesterday thinking that although it was clean, it just isn't clean enough. Something was bothering me. Then I looked down. OMG. Those skirtings could do with a clean I think!
Now, I have to say here that to say 'skirting boards' feels kind of weird. I don't have wooden skirtings in my house. It's fully tiled, so I have tiled skirtings instead. So they're not boards. But, I've always grown up with them being called skirting boards, so I'll stick with that to save any confusion. 

I know how I have always cleaned tiled skirtings, and I'm pretty sure my method would also work for wooden skirtings as well. Well, I'd give it a go anyway because my way is easy. And I love easy. 

But out of curiosity I decided to research on the internet how other people clean skirtings. Let me just say - whoa. There's even videos about how to do it! The common way seems to be this:
  • Dust skirtings first.
  • Use a bucket of warm water with mild detergent and a cloth to clean them.
  • *Optional* Dry off skirtings as you go.
After reading that I decided I liked my way better. Much, much better. Here's how I do it:
  • Clean skirtings with baby wipes.
That's it. As lazy as it may sound, I clean my skirtings with a baby wipe. It removes dust, greasy dust, grime and pretty much anything (crayon, texta, coco pop milk etc) that I happen to come across in my travels. If I need to do some more intense cleaning, then I'll go and get the necessary product. But really, I figure any solution that stops me from having to drag a bucket of water behind me with a 2 yo in hot pursuit is a plus. It might just save me having to mop the floor as well.

So, yes, today's post is insanely boring, but necessary I think. Skirting boards get overlooked often, and they can make the overall feel of a room so much lighter and fresher when they're clean. 

I had to include some photos, so I decided to do a before and after shot. Please don't be too horrified by the before picture, we have some large scale construction going on in our area and towards the end of the last year the whole house was invaded by red dust. Not fun to clean up at all and I'll admit the skirtings may have been missed. Completely.

It looks much better, don't you think? And, um, sorry for the different angles. I promise it's the same section of skirting. I make no claims to be an accomplished photographer.

Well, I'll be back tomorrow with something more fun, I promise!

Have a lovely day,


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Easiest Muffins Ever

Today I'm sharing with you a fool proof muffin recipe. It is hands down the easiest recipe ever. You just cannot mess these up, it's impossible. And they taste fantastic. This is a recipe given to me by my Mum who had the recipe given to her by a friend years ago. 
I  have received so many compliments about these muffins, and the best bit is that you can make them whatever flavour you like :)

Easy Muffins

1 3/4 cups self raising flour (you can use either gluten free or regular flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
4 tbspns melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a muffin tray.
Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix by hand until just combined. It can be lumpy at this stage, it won't matter.
Add desired flavours (banana, apple and cinnamon, pineapple and coconut etc).
Spoon into muffin tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes. 

Choc chip - 2 dessertspoons cocoa powder and 1/2 cup choc chips
Pineapple and Coconut - 4 dessertspoons dessicated coconut and 3/4 cup drained crushed pineapple. Sprinkle with sugar before baking.
Apple and Cinnamon - approx 1 large apple peeled and diced (uncooked). Top with cinnamon sugar before cooking.
Banana - 2 mashed ripe bananas (can also add some chopped walnuts if you like)
Blueberry - 3/4 cup well drained blueberries or frozen blueberries
Strawberry and Apple - half a punnet chopped fresh strawberries (or use frozen) with half an uncooked, peeled, diced apple. Sprinkle with sugar before baking.

There are many, many more variations you can do, just use your imagination!  

Happy Baking!


Monday, 16 January 2012

Weekly Meal Plan #1

 Good morning everyone! I have decided to add a weekly meal plan post to my blog that shows the meals I planned for last week. I will make it a regular Monday morning weekly thing because I love seeing other people's meal plans too for inspiration!
I'll be linking up each week to The Organised Housewife and her meal planning post and others will be joining in the fun too! 
Click on the button at the bottom of this post if you'd like to share your meal planning post :)

Monday - Slow cooker chicken and rice

Tuesday - Oven bake fish, cauliflower cheese and veg

Wednesday - We went to a friend's place for  a BBQ

Thursday - Chicken with spring vegetables and mash

Friday - Honey soy chicken wings with salad

Saturday - Honey and ginger pork with rice

Sunday - Slow cooked roast beef with roast veg and gravy

Have a lovely day and I'll see you all tomorrow!


The Organised Housewife

Sunday, 15 January 2012

* Let's Do It * - Keeping the kitchen tidy

I think this post is pretty important. I always, always feel better when my kitchen is clean and tidy. Even if the rest of the house falls a bit behind, I think it's a good feeling to walk into a tidy kitchen and be able to prepare meals, bake or just make a cuppa without having to wash dishes or clear bench space. I know we spend a lot of time in the kitchen at our house, I'm always getting someone a drink, or prepping vegies for dinner, making breakfast, splitting up meat to freeze...the list goes on. 
I think it always looks nice to have a clean kitchen too, and one that is reasonably uncluttered. It just makes life easier. So, today I'm talking about the things I do to keep my kitchen that way. It's a continual work in progress and I'm often in there doing something, but it's only for minutes at a time. It's also a good post for me to have on the blog for the times when motivation might be a bit low, I can show myself how easy it is to keep my kitchen clean!

Let me just say before I begin that my kitchen is far from perfect at any given moment. I am definitely not claiming that! But, I am learning along the way (and from my mother) some ways to keep some order to the area.
  • Clean up as you go. Haven't we all heard that one before! But it's so, so true. ESPECIALLY when you're cooking or baking something! I know in my kitchen dishes pile up quickly. But if I rinse or wash things as I use them (or stack them into the dishwasher...ssshhh!) then the bench stays clear of dirty dishes. 
  • That includes appliances! If you use a sandwich maker, blender, slow cooker or some other appliance that is bulky (and annoying) to clean - do it straight away after using it. And put it away in the cupboard if it doesn't have a permanent home on the bench. It will literally take you minutes to do and your kitchen bench won't look untidy.
  • Run your dishwasher through when it gets full. Obviously, if you don't have a dishwasher, this doesn't apply. But I do stack dishes into my dishwasher as I use them, and once the dishwasher is full I just run the load through and empty it when it's done. I KNOW my mother thinks I'm a tad lazy for doing it this way (she'd just wash the cup/spoon/plate) but at least this way they're off my bench and will still get washed. So I don't feel bad about it. 
  • Give your benches a good wipe once a day. In addition to wiping up a spill or crumbs or something, I like to give my benches a really good wipe down each day, moving the toaster and kettle aside to get behind them. This stops any crumbs etc from sitting unseen on the bench which may attract ants and things you don't want in your kitchen! It takes all of 5 minutes to do (because you're doing it regularly) and you have peace of mind knowing they're all clean.
  • Wipe down appliances and cupboard doors once a week. I don't do this every day, unless I manage to drip something down the front of my white cupboards, so I save it as a once a week job. I grab a cloth and some cleaner (water and vinegar or spray and wipe - whatever you use) and wipe down the kettle, toaster, coffee machine, tea and coffee canisters, microwave and cupboard doors. Nothing too drastic, just a once over will be fine. Easy peasy.

And that's it! Basically, if you want to skip the long winded version above, clean up after yourself, stay on top of the dishes and wipe things down regularly. Your kitchen will love you for it and you will love it more because you won't ever spend an hour in there getting things done :)


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Love it, Like it, LINK IT #2

The Organised Housewife

Good morning everyone :) Last weekend I took part in The Organised Housewife's blog party Love it, Like it, LINK IT. And I'm very proud to announce my little blog post made it into the Top 5 most viewed posts! 
I'm featuring my post on Rainbow Cupcakes in today's link up, so make sure you duck over there and take a look at all the wonderful things bloggers have been up to this week! And click on the button below to join in the fun!

I'll be back later this afternoon with my latest blog post and will be back to posting more often after a hectic week.

See you all later,



The Organised Housewife

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes

I first heard about Rainbow Cupcakes at SAHM - the secret to living on one wage. I loved the idea, they were so bright and colourful. So, I've made my own version of them. The same idea, but they're gluten free and I've iced them in vanilla buttercream.

Don't they look beautiful? A whole plateful of rainbow coloured sweetness :) Okay, so the recipe? I have to say, I cheated. 
I used a packet cake mix - I know! I rarely do. But, it's the easiest way to get gluten free perfection every time. I use the Basco butter cake mix. It's light, fluffy, buttery and you'd never, ever know that it's gluten free. It has NO rubbery texture which is common for GF baking, and is easy for the kids to help with, which they did :) 

So I made up the basic cake mix, split it into 4 equal portions in seperate bowls and coloured one pink, one blue, one green and one yellow. Then spooned a teaspoon of each into the cupcake wrappers in no particular order. Then got a bamboo skewer and swirled it through the mixture of each one to even out the tops of them and to mix the colours together a little bit. 
I baked them at 180C for about 10-15 minutes until they were just done. Then put them on a rack to cool. 

*You can easily use a normal cake mix or even make your own butter cake mix for the cupcakes, like the one on the SAHM website (which is what I would have done if I wasn't making GF cupcakes)*

Now, the butter cream :)

  • 125g softened butter
  • 1.5 cups icing mixture
  • tsp vanilla essence
  • Beat the butter until pale and creamy. Make it as white as it will go because this will allow you to colour the icing more easily.
  • Beat in the icing mixture a bit at a time (you can do about half a cup at a time, any more and you'll have icing mixture clouds through your kitchen)
  • Beat in the vanilla at the end.

I doubled the mixture for the butter cream because I was piping it on the cupcakes and I hate running out, but I did end up with a little bit left over.

Then I sprinkled them with little candy flowers just to make them look pretty. 

Wishing you all a sweet afternoon,


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

* Let's Do It * - Sorting the Linen Cupboard

Hello, it's lovely to see you all again :) Today I'm doing a post on sorting out my linen cupboard. Like the other cupboards in the house I've sorted so far, my linen cupboard definitely needed some attention! I had towels shoved on top of sheets, shoved on top of pillowcases, shoved on top of doona get the idea. 

My linen cupboard is tiny. It's the tiniest one I've ever had in a house to date. It's beyond me how someone could build a large home and have a tiny linen cupboard?? Anyway. It's what I have so I will work with it as best I can. 

I decided to use an idea that I've seen on various sites around the place, and one a good friend of mine uses for her linen to keep it tidy. I'm sure this is old news to many, but the brilliance of it astounded me when I first heard about it, so I've decided to share it here. 

  • Sort your linen into their matching sets then fold them all up and store them inside a pillowcase that is part of that set. Amazing! Genius! I thought.

So, that's exactly what I did. I found at the end of it I even had an old mismatched set I put together of an old doona cover, fitted sheet and pillowcase. At least if it's together and I need to grab a spare set (like if one of the kids get sick) then I have one on hand. 

I also put together a bag of an old doona set and some placemats to give to charity. I haven't even looked at these items in the last year, so I definitely won't be needing them!
So, my towels are folded neatly, I can grab a complete bed set at a moments notice (WITHOUT having to rummage!) and it's all nice and neat and organised!

I am so proud of myself with how I'm going with my resolution to be organised this year! I still have a long way to go, but so far so good and it feels terrific!

Now I'm off to vacuum and mop my floors, then all my housework is done for the day and I have a free afternoon in my lovely ordered home :)

See you all tomorrow! I'm thinking with a recipe for something different, what do you think?


Sunday, 8 January 2012

* Let's Do It * - Tidying MY wardrobe!

This was a job I just couldn't put off any longer. I needed to do a serious cull and was having trouble sifting through clothes I no longer wear just to find something I liked. A complete waste of my time! I had clothes in there that I no longer wear because they're either too big or too small, plus my body shape has changed slightly since having my fourth baby so things that looked good before I had him just don't anymore. 
My taste in clothing has changed a bit in the last 12 months too. So, definitely time for a wardrobe revamp! Like when I did the kids wardrobe, I pulled everything out of my wardrobe in big piles on my bed to be sorted. 
They were sorted a bit like this:
  • things to be kept
  • things to go to charity
  • things to be sold (just a couple of good quality maternity things and a formal dress)
Of course, I had help -

Then everything I decided to keep was folded neatly or hung up and put away. It is such a relief to open the cupboard doors now and see this -
 And this - 

 It's definitely not perfect, and could be sorted into better piles, but they are odd shaped shelves and can't really hold multiple piles, so for now this will have to do :)

See you tomorrow!


Saturday, 7 January 2012

* Let's Do It * - Organise the Tupperware cupboard

I've decided to change the wording on my blog slightly. I'm starting to feel the word 'task' doesn't exactly fill me with excitement to go and get it done. It makes it sound like a chore, rather than something positive for me and my home. So, I'm going to be renaming my 'task' posts and instead they are going to be my 'Let's Do It' posts. It sounds more positive, more focused, and hopefully will have me racing to get it done!

So, today, let's organise the Tupperware cupboard (it's not strictly all Tupperware, but I grew up with my mum calling her plastics cupboard the 'Tupperware cupboard' so it just kind of stuck). 

I promised a before and an after shot of this, so here goes!

 It was a bit on the messy side, don't you think? It was helped on it's way enormously by my 'helpful' 2 year old, who loves emptying out my cupboard and playing with everything. It's not uncommon to have to search the toybox for missing containers! 
I try not to get too worried about how it's looking. I usually like to have all my lids stored in a big container and stack my containers, bowls and things neatly together.
It did get to the point though that I couldn't find what I was looking for (which you can clearly see from the photo above) and I was spending far too much time with my head inside a cupboard searching for a random piece of plastic. 

The whole exercise took me about 20 minutes from start to finish, including giving the shelves a wipe down, so it wasn't time consuming at all. 

One thing I have learned from being a Tupperware demonstrator is that you should never seal your containers and store them with their lids on as this can trap smells and even create mould inside both the container and in the grooves of the seals. Especially if there is still a bit of moisture in the container somewhere.

Here it is all finished!

 Much better I think! I find corner cupboards quite difficult to organise because of their odd shape, but I'm quite pleased with it this time :)
 Now to keep my 2 year old away from it!

Take care,


Love it, Like it, LINK IT

Good morning! I'm posting to tell you all about a fantastic little project I am participating in that was dreamed up by The Organised Housewife. 
It's called 'Love it, Like it, LINK IT' and each Saturday, The Organised Housewife opens a space on her blog for other bloggers, like me, to choose their favourite blog post of the week with her readers and fellow bloggers! What a gorgeous idea, don't you think? I've chosen my blog post Tidying the kids wardrobe which I really loved because it was such a great declutter day for me! 

So, head on over to The Organised Housewife to check out the other lovely bloggers that are taking part and I'll be back later today with a before and after shot of my Tupperware cupboard. Yep, that's my task for today :)

See you all later, 


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Meal Planning

We did grocery shopping today for the week today, so I thought it was a good time to do a post on meal planning. I wrote my meal plan and shopping list yesterday, so I had it all ready to go today. I really don't like sitting down at the last minute and trying to think what we'll have for dinner, I prefer time to think it through and research and decide.

Years ago, I used to meal plan all the time. I actually used to plan a fortnight's worth of meals at a time and was very organised in that regard. Then, for a few reasons, I stopped meal planning and started flying by the seat of my pants and often deciding what was for dinner a day at a time. Needless to say, this used up huge amounts of my time going to the supermarket every day, wasted huge amounts of money impulse buying every day and dinner was often cooked late if I didn't get to the shops till late in the afternoon. NOT very organised at all, I'm ashamed to say.

So. I'm back to meal planning again. This time for good! 
I'm going to tell you how I go about meal planning, but it's not the only way by a long stretch! So, here we go:

I meal plan weekly now, for a few reasons. 
  1. I don't have to think up huge lists of meals at once, I do 7 at a time.
  2. I don't end up with a huge shopping list that just looks daunting (and expensive!).
  3. The fridge doesn't end up over crowded with things that might end up being forgotten or that go to waste.
  4. I can take advantage of the weekly specials, without missing the weeks in between.
What I usually do to create my meal plan is this:
  • Sit down and browse online at the catalogues for Woolworths, Coles and Big W. Big W because they often have bulk buys of laundry powder, toilet paper etc on special and I usually do my whole shopping list at the same time as my meal plan.
  • I make a note of the things like meat specials, fruit and veg specials, any items I buy on a regular basis and anything I think I'd use for meals.
  • I go through my fridge, freezer and pantry for anything that needs to be used up or for weeks when I'm on a stricter budget than others, I try to use what I already have in my pantry to save money.
  • I then think about what I want to cook for the next week. I usually choose a few tried and tested things we all love plus a couple of new and interesting things. I often trawl the Taste recipe website for inspiration and enjoy going through my cookbooks for things I've forgotten about. 
  • Once I've decided what we're eating I make a list of ingredients. I write down every single ingredient I need that I don't already have at home. So, all the things I need to buy.
  • I add these things to my shopping list.
  • I type up a meal plan, detailing what we'll be eating on each day of the week, print it out and stick it up on the fridge. This also stops me being asked a hundred times a day what's for dinner!
And that's pretty much it. I love how a meal plan takes all the guesswork out of dinner and I love how I know I have all the ingredients ready to go for each meal and can prepare ahead of time if I have a busy afternoon coming up.

Have a great evening everyone!


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

* Let's Do It * - Tidying the kids wardrobe

Well, what a day! A day spent completely at home but one that was entirely productive and lovely. I had promised my 3 yo daughter that I would bake biscuits with her this morning, so we did. Three kinds. Chocolate chip, Cherry and Sprinkles. It's always great fun baking with little ones and she had such fun tipping the flour and sugar into the bowl. So did my 2 yo little boy, but I did spend a lot of my time moving packets out of his reach and stopping him from sticking his fingers into the bowl every ten seconds. 
Then an electrician came by to replace a ceiling fan and I got to my general daily cleaning from my list. Meal planning and a grocery list for tomorrow was fit in there somewhere too.
Finally, I had time to do the wardrobe. Oh my, what a mess! Clothes that were long outgrown, clothes we had been given but hadn't sorted through, clothes that are for every day (when we could find them!), clothes that are for special occasions, new clothes from Christmas and winter clothes that are not needed right now! A LOT of clutter in that wardrobe.

So, with my two little helpers I pulled out shelf after shelf of clothes. Oh yes, old baby blankets too. There were piles of stuff! So I sorted through them into the following piles:
  • Clothes that we are keeping - a skirt pile, a dress pile (which will be hung in the wardrobe when I buy some hangers tomorrow), shorts piles, tshirt get the idea.
  • Clothes we are donating to charity. This includes baby blankets too. 
  • Clothes to give away to friends with younger children who might have use of them.
  • Clothes that are stained but still fit - these went to the laundry into a bucket of Napisan Oxi Action to be soaked (perhaps in vain but we'll see).
Well, there were two whole garbage bags full of clothes going to charity. As well as a big bag of clothes to give away. And the rest went neatly back into the wardrobe.
 Aaahhh. Neat and tidy once more. Dressing my youngest two will be so much easier and less time consuming in the mornings now, and I love saving time! If you could imagine these shelves stuffed full of clothes (and this is only half the wardrobe) then you have some idea of the decluttering I did! 
And I have still to do my older two's wardrobes but I'll enlist their help so that will wait for another day. 
I hope you all had equally productive days!


Good Morning Everyone!

Hello there! Just letting you all know my task for today is going to be the wardrobe of my two little ones. Lots of sorting to do there! I have quite a busy morning though, so I'll be back later today with a post on cleaning out the wardrobe :)
Have a lovely day and I'll see you all later!


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Cleaning the Refrigerator

Okay, this is about all I'm prepared to share of my fridge. It's not pretty. Actually, it's not too horrible, but after the busyness of the holiday season it's a mess. So I thought making my fridge the task for today would be a good idea for a couple of reasons. 
Firstly, it just needs a good clean out. I'm sure some things in there are out of date and there are the final bits of leftover Christmas food and baking that no one is going to eat which means I'm having trouble finding the things we do want to eat. Too much clutter and just too much 'stuff'. So a big clean out is definitely required. 
I also want to do my fridge today because it's nearly pay day, which means it's nearly time to go grocery shopping again...and I'm not too sure where I'd put it all at the moment. Plus, I can't possibly meal plan effectively if I have trouble figuring out what's good in the fridge! 
And lastly, my hubby is still home on holidays so getting things done that are usually cumbersome with small children underfoot is just a good idea in general.

So, how I clean the fridge.
  1. Take everything out of the fridge and put it on the benches in the kitchen.
  2. Clean out the door of the fridge first so the more perishable things like milk can go straight back in. If you live in cooler climates you can probably do the whole fridge without having to worry about this, but here in the tropics it needs to go back in! I use a bucket with warm soapy water (dishwashing liquid is perfect) and a cloth to wash  the shelves in the door.
  3. Take out all the shelving and vegetable crispers and give them a good wash in warm soapy water.
  4. Take a bucket of more warm soapy water to the fridge and give it (and the seals) a good clean.
  5. Wipe out the fridge with some vanilla to both kill any odours and make it smell nice.
  6. Replace shelving and crispers.
  7. Check over all the food you took out and throw away anything that is out of date or is going off.
  8. Wipe over any messy bottles or jars and replace food items back in fridge.
  9. DONE!
Have a great day and I'll see you all later!


Monday, 2 January 2012

Daily Cleaning List and some other things

I've been working out a daily cleaning list of things to do that will maintain all the hard work I've put into cleaning my house. I hope it will keep it clean with a fairly minimal effort, leaving me time to do a new task each day (or couple of days depending on how big the task is).
I'll probably add to the list, or remove things as I work my way into a routine that works for me. 
So far I've come up with:
  • Dishes (these get done during the course of the day as needed so by the end of the day the dishwasher is all loaded and ready to go with no dirty dishes on the bench or in the sink).
  • Wipe down kitchen benches/stovetop and generally keep the kitchen clean as I use it.
  • Bathrooms - wiping down benches, sinks, showers and toilets quickly and giving the glass a once over.
  • Any laundry that needs doing.
  • A quick vacuum of the floors with my Ergorapido cordless vacuum.
  • Dust/wipe down any main surfaces.
  • Make beds.
  • Pack away toys and tidy playroom.
That's it so far, but I'm sure I'll be adding to it as I go along. Some things I'll only do weekly or monthly  though, so as I work out those lists I'll do a new post for them.

Some other things I plan to include in the blog (and my life!) as I go along are:
  • Meal planning (it's been sooo long since I did this properly and it's high time I got back into it)
  • Organising my diary and calendar for the year (I'll be doing this one fairly soon).
  • Big projects like cleaning out my wardrobe, sorting my linen cupboard, washing windows and window tracks, and decluttering cupboards I haven't opened in ages.
And I'm sure I'll come across more things to do in various areas of my life as well. 
The oven went well today by the way. The vinegar and bicarb certainly did the trick, although with my disgraceful oven I had to do two applications and it could really use a third. I'll make cleanng my oven a monthly thing though I think so the job won't be as big next time!

Take care all and see you tomorrow morning with a new task!


* Let's Do It * - Cleaning my oven *sigh*

This is the first task I'm setting myself. I decided to tackle the one I dislike most while my motivation is high! 
I probably should back track a little bit and explain that I'm starting this resolution with a (mostly) clean house. In the days between Christmas and New Year we all pitched in as a family and got the main house cleaning done. I figured that beginning a year of learning to be organised would be made much easier with a clean home, so that I could set myself tasks like the one above without feeling like there's a million other things that should be done first. 
I'll write another post later today with my daily cleaning list I've made for myself so that I can spend a short time maintaining my home each day while getting stuck into things I've put off and that make my home feel 'not right'.

Which brings me to...the oven. My nemesis. Well, maybe that's going a bit far, but if there's one job I dislike more than any other in the house it's cleaning my oven. Perhaps if I did it more often and it wasn't such an onerous chore then I might be more cheerful about it. But this is my Year of Organisation so from here on in it WILL be done more often. Let me introduce you to my task for today -

You might think this is a bit random for a first post, and I imagine I may be a bit all over the place for a while until I settle into a rhythm and figure out what I'm doing. So please forgive me! The reason I chose my oven as my main cleaning task of the day is because my kitchen is clean apart from this one thing. To clean my oven will make my kitchen completely clean. So that's what I'm doing. In my post later today I'll go into more detail about other things I plan to put in this blog though, so you'll have some idea of the path I'm following :)

So. Oven cleaning. I'm not even going to pretend to be an expert on this one, so will just admit I've done some research and have decided on the chemical free vinegar and bicarb option. I'll let you know how it goes.


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

A new year has begun. And it's a time for goals and resolutions to be made. I have neglected my blog for quite a while now. There's a few reasons for that. Firstly, I just don't seem to have time. Secondly, I haven't been able to think what to blog about. I know I said when I began this space of mine that I'd fill it with lovely little moments of my life - and there have been many - but I don't record them. I don't take the photographs nor do I take the time to write it all down. There is one big reason for that that seems to have affected many parts of my life over this past year.


I have none. At all. My home is so chaotic that I can't think past the pile of laundry or the mess on the kitchen bench. I have learned over the years that I am much MUCH happier in a clean and tidy home. Everything else just falls into place because I'm happy and content. My mind is clearer, I feel more motivated, more energised and just happier in general. 
So, if I know this, why don't I just keep my house in order? I hear many of you asking this and I'll tell you why. Another single word.


Let me explain. 
I am actually quite good at cleaning and tidying. Once I get started I actually ENJOY it. Yes, you heard me right. I find keeping house quite soothing. I love being organised. Love it. And when the motivation hits me I can keep it up for weeks and weeks at a time. I am the modern day Martha Stewart when the mood takes me. But (and it's a big But), I don't maintain it. Inevitably I fall into a hole and everything goes down the drain. All that work and effort completely wasted because I let it go to waste. And the above word is the reason why. I have no strategies to keep everything in place. I have no laundry system, I have no cleaning schedule, I forget birthdays and anniversaries because I don't keep a diary or calendar. I get to a point where I think I'm 'done' so I just stop. If I had some strategies and routines in place I'd just check them and carry on (I hope).

So. I have made a big New Year's Resolution. To be organised. To maintain my home (needed for my sanity) and to learn how to become actually organised, not just able to clean a home. To implement strategies and routines so that my family's life (and therefore my own) runs more smoothly. I know how much happier I am when all this is happening. I'd like to find a way to make it permanent. I have looked at and followed various housekeeping websites and blogs and have gained many great ideas. But I think until I try things out my own way I'm invariably going to fall into a hole trying to follow what works for other people. I need to find my own way. 

So I remembered my blog. What better way to document how I go with my resolution this year. I'll be setting myself daily challenges and tasks to complete and who knows what else? It will make me blog every day (something I find soothing in itself). It will make me document my family life more because I'll be blogging! AND most importantly, it will give me something to look back on when I feel motivation slipping and will be able to show myself exactly what I've achieved and how I can do things better. 

Feel free to hold me accountable to this! I'd love it if you followed my progress and give me a kick in the butt if I slip up! This resolution is important to me. I need to form new habits and that only takes time. 

Take care,