Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Divine raw salad and apple honey dressing

Well, I said I'd be back at lunchtime! I hope you're all having a wonderful day, enjoying the sunshine if it's sunny where you are! 

I've made myself a salad for lunch. A wonderful, fresh, raw salad with an apple and honey dressing to go with it. 

Ta dah! Pretty, isn't it? Do you see all the colour? A colour variety in your food is so important. It means those foods carry different nutrients that benefit your body in different ways. For example, red fruits and vegetables (like my grated beetroot there) contain lycopene and ellagic acid, which lower the risk of things like various cancers and lowers blood pressure. Then your orange ones (like the carrot) contain beta carotene, potassium and vitamin c, which fight harmful free radicals and help promote healthy joints. I could go on and on, but you get the picture, right? We need to be including a large variety of colours of fruits and vegetables for our bodies to function at their optimum level. 

So, in my salad today I have : Cos lettuce, raw broccoli, raw corn off the cob, grated beetroot and carrot, black seedless grapes and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts. 

The dressing is so very simple but very delicious. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (organic and unrefined) and a teaspoon of organic honey. Shake it all up in a container and pour it over the top. Done!

Happy healthy eating everyone :)


Making a healthier change

Quite some time ago I used to be much healthier. I used to drink green smoothies, eat a lot of raw plant based foods, drink herbal teas and take superfood supplements. I felt SO good. And then it shifted. Slowly, probably for a number of reasons, I drifted away from eating this way and started drinking coffee again, increasing the dairy in my diet, started baking things that weren't so good for me and drank less water and indulged more frequently in alcohol in the evening. 

So now, although I can't call myself totally unhealthy, I'm not the healthiest I've ever been. I don't indulge in a lot of junk food or take away, but I see a rise in processed foods in my diet and a move away from freshness. I think it's time to make a move back in the right direction. 

Inspired to take action by a beautiful blog post over at Farrah Fair, the emergence of a facebook page by a friend of mine called Tribal Spice and the knowledge that I know exactly how to detoxify my life and start eating better, you will see a few more posts on healthy living on my blog. I mean, this blog is called The Everyday Blessings, and what is more joyful or blessed than taking the best possible care of yourself? 

So I begin today. I know from past experience that I need to start slowly. Otherwise I'll become discouraged, feel deprived, suffer massive detox withdrawals and will give up. 

And the best way to begin? Well, this morning I began my day with a cup of herbal Tulsi tea, which is just holy basil, but gives you huge amounts of energy and makes you feel revitalised. Then, I followed it with a green smoothie. What is a green smoothie? Well, be warned, they don't always look green! They are liquid goodness. Based on some kind of leafy green plant matter (spinach, lettuce, kale, mint, parsley....even celery tops!) you add whatever tastes good to you and is good FOR you, some ice and whizz it up. This morning, mine looked like this before the whizzing:

In the bottom there is a combination of baby spinach and some cos lettuce (a really good big handful), a chopped green apple (not peeled), a stray kiwi fruit that I had in the crisper, some fresh strawberries and some frozen blueberries (an incredible superfood full of antioxidants). Doesn't it look amazing? 

Then, I just added a handful of ice cubes, a little splash of filtered water to get everything going and whizzed it up. 
The result? (Get ready for it).

Sludge (thanks to the blueberries!). Hahahahaha, well, that's what it looks like, but I can promise you that it tastes phenomenal. It's like cold freshness in a glass. Starting your day like this will give you so much energy because you're effectively giving yourself a nutrient superboost.
If you think you'd prefer your green smoothie a little, um...greener, then just forgo the berries and add in something like an orange. Then you'll have that beautiful vibrant green that the word 'green smoothie' conjures up. 

So, have I inspired you to try one? I hope so, because you will be amazed at how you feel after you've started your day like this. 

Will I see you back here at lunchtime? I have a simple but lovely salad planned with a recipe for a dressing that is sublime. 

Have a beautiful day,


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Cleaning and Organising Challenge - catch up post!

Hello! Are you sitting down with a cuppa? This post may be a little bit long. I'm catching up on about four days worth of cleaning challenges!! Luckily, I'll mostly be linking you to previous posts I've done on my blog because I've already covered most of it before. I have been keeping up with the challenge though, and my house is looking lovely for it! 
If you're new here and are wondering what I'm talking about, you can find out more information on the cleaning and organising challenge over at The Organised Housewife and can still join in!

Now, where were we up to? Oh dear. Only day 6. Well, let's do some catching up.

DAY 7  - Cleaning the fridge. This was the main task for the day, I've already covered how I clean the fridge here. It's not the most fun task in the world, but it is one that's fairly quick to do. Also on the challenge was to declutter your cookbooks, which thankfully I did when we moved house. And to MEAL PLAN! Those of you who frequent my blog will know I'm already a long time meal planner, and I would be lost without it. You can see how I meal plan here.

DAY 8 - Cleaning the toy room. At one time I would have been horrified at this prospect, but since we moved house, we haven't unpacked all the toys yet. So, they are in boxes in the garage, but I think we've pulled out everything we're planning on keeping. So the toy room isn't that bad, because we haven't accumulated a huge amount of toys again yet! It gets vacuumed daily, and dusted often. I do need to work out some kind of storage for the toys, at the moment they kind of sit on the edge of the carpet near the walls. It's tidy-ish, but there's not really a place for everything. I actually am pretty sure what I'm going to do, but I'll blog about it when I get it done. Below is a typical toy room day in our house, but it all gets packed away each evening. And sometimes in the afternoons too!

That's all I needed to do for the challenge for day 8, but you can read about the declutter and organise challenges at the link.

DAY 9  - Today's cleaning challenge was the ceiling fans. I kinda got to skip this one because I can't reach them - even when I stand on a chair! So it's a job for hubby and his ladder (me+ladders+heights=fear) lol!
The declutter challenge was to sort out your junk or utensil drawer. I sorted mine, forgot to take a photo and now it looks like it was never done because my 3yo thought it was fabulous fun to mess it up! 
The organise challenge was to sort out a diary for yourself. I love my diary, I'd be completely lost without it, and rely on it to keep track of everything that goes on in our busy lives!

DAY 10  - The cleaning challenge was the dreaded OVEN!!!!! I have done a previous post on cleaning the oven here. Which wasn't even a post on how to clean the oven, but more a huge whinge about having to do it and trying to motivate myself! Luckily this time it wasn't too bad, and I stuck with using bicarb and vinegar. I do soak my oven racks in Napisan in the bath over night though, which makes them SO much easier to clean! 
Declutter was to do 2 kitchen cupboards. I'm so proud to say mine are organised and decluttered already! Moving house has it's benefits. 
Organise the Tupperware cupboard. Again, I've done a post on this I seem to have a lot more Tupperware now though (the awesome peril of being a demonstrator!) and so I think I'll re do that blog post soon and when I do I'll put it up on my Facebook page. I did clean out my Tupperware cupboard again by the way, and will put updated pics when I revamp that blog post.

DAY 11  - We're at the end of this post! (Nearly). Yesterday the challenge was to sort out the linen cupboard. I've discovered there is a good thing about not having a lot of took no time at all and is now nice and clean and tidy. I have done a post about the linen cupboard before, which talks about how I like to organise it - here.
Also on the list was cleaning the inside of the washing machine. I have a front loader that doesn't like being run without any washing in it (it's a load sensor) so I had to run some cleaning cloths through on a hot wash with some vinegar. It still worked! 

Which brings me to today.....I'm going to be SO good from now on and do a post each day on the challenge. Sorry I got a bit behind, and I'll do today's challenge in a post on it's own.

Thankyou for persevering if you got this far!

See you soon,


Monday, 17 September 2012

My Cleaning Kit

I'm doing so many posts on cleaning lately, that I thought it was only fair to share what I use to clean with! These are some of my favourite products that I think do the job well and save me time. Please note - I am not sponsored by anybody to promote these products, they are my personal preferences only and are subject to change as I try other things!

So, perhaps a look first? And then we can talk about what's in there.

This is my cleaning kit. The whole thing is in a caddy (like a bucket I guess) that I found in Woolworths for about $7. Hiding behind the Viva wipes is a handle, and everything fits around it nicely. I can carry this from room to room when I'm cleaning. When I'm all done, I simply put the cloths into the wash, replace them with clean ones and I'm ready to go again next time. This bucket is a fantastic time saver because I can just grab and go.

So, what's in it? Let's start at the back with the orange packet and work our way around clockwise.

  • The orange packet is Woolworths Select Kitchen and Bath wipes. This is the first time I've bought them as they were on special and I wanted to try them. I'm finding them good for the days I give the bathroom a quick once over. I don't need to dirty a cloth, I just wipe over the benchtops and bath then I'm done. So they do come in handy.
  • The white bottle is Jif. I alternate between Jif and Gumption. I use this with a scrubbing brush to do the tiles on the floor of the shower. It lifts all the gunk out of the grout nice and quickly.
  • Then my favourite. Windex. This bottle is Windex Surface and Glass. I also have a bottle of Windex Kitchen (for the kitchen, lol!). I find Windex is by far the best multipurpose spray I have ever tried. It's fantastic and is definitely a keeper.
  • The pink brush is a Tupperware Tumbler Brush. I'm a Tupperware demonstrator, so I can order these and they are great for getting in hard to reach places, such as corners and window tracks. An old toothbrush is also great though. 
  • Blue scrubbing brush. Just a cheapie I picked up at Big W for $2. 
  • The packet that says Viva is a pack of Viva Shower Fast wipes. I love these. I have glass shower screens and I just rub these over the glass to remove all the build up then rinse with water. The glass sparkles! So easy to use. I also use them for any hard to remove marks in the sink.
  • The little blue and white cloths in the front there are Viva Glass and Mirror wipes. Yes, I am a Viva fan :) These little cloths have changed my world. We have enormous mirrors in the bathrooms (and the glass shower screens) and I hate streaky mirrors. There is nothing worse than cleaning a mirror and it not looking flawless. You just dampen the blue cloth and wipe it over the mirror then use the white one (dry) and go over the top. I was amazed at how beautiful it left my mirrors. They are fantastic. I also use them for my stainless steel fixtures too. 
  • Green Chux cloth. Just a great all purpose cloth that are very easy to throw into the washing machine and use again. Saves money too!
  • The red one is a Chux Collections microfibre cloth. Microfibre cloths are great for dusting walls, dusting in general and wiping down surfaces. They can be used damp or dry and I use mine often. Usually for the walls in the bathrooms!
  • Then just a Chux all purpose sponge/scourer. For any stubborn marks I may come across. 

And that's it! Here's another picture that shows the handle of the caddy better.

I just love anything that makes my life easier. And this little kit certainly does that! Do you have a cleaning kit? I'd love to see yours :)

 Happy Cleaning!


Weekly Meal Plan #10

Happy Monday everyone! There's a bit of a change to this weeks meal plan. Not to the plan itself, but the timing of it. I normally start my meal plan on a Friday, because that's the day I shop, but we've had an absolutely lovely weekend, and I didn't look at my meal plan at all! So it's starting today, on a Monday. I'm able to structure it as a normal week now, yay!
On Friday night we had pizza, (NOT on the meal plan) then Saturday we went out fishing so I made the kids cheese toasties when we got home (again, not planned!) then yesterday we had a lovely big BBQ family lunch (which was a lovely surprise from hubby as he picked up the things for it on the way home from work. We set up the slip and slide for the kids and had a beautiful afternoon together). So dinner was eggs on toast for the kids because no one was really hungry and everyone was very tired! And hubby and I had THIS:

Super yummy mudcrab caught on Saturday when we were fishing. I cooked it up with garlic and chilli and it was divine! 

So, starting the meal plan from today! Which means that because I plan for 14 meals a fortnight, it will stay Monday-Sunday from now on. Here we go!

Monday - Macaroni Beef - which I will take a photo of tonight and update the recipe with it!

Tuesday - Tuna and Pineapple Casserole (recipe to come this week!)

Wednesday - Slow cooked chicken, bacon and potato bake.

Thursday - Tomato sausages and vegies (recipe coming this week!)

Friday - Honey chicken and rice

Saturday - Baked beans on toast

Sunday - Slow cooked roast beef with vegies and gravy

So that's it for this week! A catch up post from the last few days of the cleaning challenge will be up soon. 

Have a lovely week,


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Healthy After School Snacks

My kids (like most I imagine) like an afternoon snack when they finish school. As their mother, I want to be able to give them something that they enjoy, and that is good for them. However, in the rush that is the end of the day, I don't always put much thought into what I'm giving them, and have been known to resort to a cheap shop bought cake or a couple of biscuits. These things are fine sometimes, but it started happening more often and I don't want to feed my kids a heap of sugar as soon as they finish school - and when I'm expecting them to eat dinner in a couple of hours. 

So I've compiled a list of healthy after school snacks. Things that are a little bit out of the ordinary and things that are more obvious. You'll notice there's not a total ban on sugar, but I do have a preference towards home made treats as opposed to shop bought ones. Shop bought treats are convenient, but I can't control the amount of sugar (and other processed ingredients) that are put into them. I think most things in this list are quite balanced, not too labour intensive for mums to do and are things that kids will still enjoy.

- Milo yoghurt (see photo above). Easy to do and something my kids love, this is sure to be a winner. It's just vanilla yoghurt with a sprinkle of milo on the top. There's a bit less than a teaspoon of milo added to the yoghurt you see here, and I've just used the end of a teaspoon to swirl it in a little bit.

- Ants on a log. An old favourite with the kids in our house. It's simply celery sticks cut to child size, filled with peanut butter and has a few sultanas sprinkled on top. 

- Frozen yoghurt tubs. Pick up the individual yoghurt tubs when they've been reduced in price at the supermarket and pop them into the freezer. An instant sweet, cool treat for the kids after school. 

- Frozen banana dipped in chocolate. Do this with half bananas so they're easier to handle. Push an icy pole stick into the end of it and half dip it in melted chocolate. You can also dip it in some crushed nuts too. Lay on a baking tray lined with baking paper and freeze. Once frozen you can wrap them individually or put into a container to stay fresh. Perfect summer treat!

- Sushi. Making sushi is a bit on the fiddly side, but it's an unusual and healthy snack for kids. Make the filling inexpensive and keep it simple by using tinned tuna, cucumber, corn and avocado. Even ham and tomato! Let your imagination go wild and make it according to your child's taste.

- Cheese, crackers and sultanas. Kids love a bit of variety on a plate. Vary the type of cheese and crackers to keep it interesting. Try some more unusual cheeses like Edam or Swiss too. There's a big range of kids cheeses available now. We use rice crackers most of the time, but it's certainly not limited to these!

Frozen Fruit Crush. Use tinned fruit salad for this when other fruits are not in season or for convenience.

- Yoghurt Berry Pops. Easy to make ahead of time, these are sure to be a favourite with the kids. Perfect for Summer or a warm Spring afternoon.

- BBQ Popcorn. A nice change from plain or sweetened popcorn. Store in an airtight container. 

Corn thins with peanut butter or vegemite. A nice and easy snack. The corn thins are a great staple for the pantry and taste like popcorn! Always a big hit with my kids.

- Fruit or savoury muffins. Use my never fail muffin recipe to either make muffins full of fruit or omit the sugar and add grated cheese, carrot, corn and zucchini to make delicious savoury muffins. The butter in the recipe can also be substituted for rice bran oil or similar and the milk for rice or soy if you'd like to make them dairy free.

- Pikelets. So easy to make and can be frozen! Add grated apple and cinnamon to them for something a bit different.

- Rice Paper Rolls. Kids love these, full of rice noodles and raw vegetables. If you're feeling inventive, make a peanut dipping sauce for them too. Kids love dip :)

- Homemade cakes, biscuits and slices. Make your child's favourite treats for that special 'sometimes' after school snack.

- FRUIT. Any way you'd like to present it, whether it's threaded onto skewers to make wands, rockmelon 'boats' complete with pirate flag, cut with cookie cutters into animal shapes or just cut up on a plate, fruit is a winner with most children. Freeze melon for the warmer weather. 

I hope you find this list useful. If nothing else it might inspire you to think of something new that your child will love! A little bit of forward planning goes a long way and will save you a lot of time in the afternoons. Many of the above ideas are either designed to be frozen or can be frozen easily, which means the most you'll need to do is put it in the fridge in the morning and it will be ready to eat after school.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Cleaning the Bathroom

It's Day 6  in the 20 Day Cleaning and Organising Challenge, and today we're focusing on the bathrooms in the house. You might have noticed I haven't put up a post for Day 5, but I'm still working my way through that. It was to clean the floors (something I do regularly anyway) but also to organise the pantry. Mine was in desperate need of some organising, and while it's now cleaned out, it's not quite there with being fully organised, but it will be done by the end of the week. So I'll do up a big pantry post when it's finished. 

Onto the bathrooms! One thing this challenge is teaching me is the value and importance of a regular cleaning schedule. Since I began mine a few weeks before the challenge started, I'm finding that a lot of the tasks that The Organised Housewife is setting I'm already on top of. That is such a good feeling! It's letting me focus on some of the not-so-everyday jobs like window cleaning, pantry organising, wiping down the clothes line....etc. And I'm loving it. 

The list of tasks for today is quite long, but they don't really take much time at all. The more often you clean your bathroom, the quicker it is to give it a really good clean. So, I wipe down my benchtops and mirrors and clean the toilets daily. I also vacuum the floors daily, which takes care of hair and dust accumulating in the bathroom. Then, once a week on a Thursday, I give the bathrooms a really good clean that covers the shower screens, tiles, grout, taps, bath, walls and window sill. So, this list details what I do once a week, and I was quite pleased to see that Katrina's list matches up with mine nicely. I don't feel like I'm missing something! 

  • Spray shower with cleaner and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, use a brush to remove the hard water build up from around the taps. An old toothbrush is ideal.
  • Pop open the plug hole and give the entrance of the drain a good scrub too.
  • Clean the toothbrush holder.
  • Wipe over the vanity and all the items on it.
  • Wipe over and refill the soap dispenser.
  • Wipe down window sill.
  • Clean the window.
  • Wipe out the bath tub and tiles.
  • Wipe the sink/s.
  • Scrub out the shower and screens. I like to use a scrubbing brush to get right into the grout and corners, but I use Viva Shower Fast Wipes for my glass shower screens. They are fantastic and make the job so easy.
  • Clean the toilet.

The cleaning products I use for the bathroom are: all purpose cleaning spray (I like windex surface and glass, but any all purpose cleaner is fine) for the bench tops and sinks, the Viva wipes for the shower screens (I also use them for stubborn marks in the sinks), a bit of Jif or Gumption for the grout in the shower, Viva glass and mirror wipes (brilliant!) for the mirrors and all purpose spray and toilet cleaner for the toilet. 

As I usually clean my bathrooms on a Thursday, I'll do them today as part of the challenge, but will mop on Thursday instead of today. So I'm just swapping things around this week in the spirit of the challenge. But I will get back to normal when it's over. 

  Enjoy your day!


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Spring Cleaning

 Well, it is Spring! Blue skies, washing waving on the line and a cool breeze. It feels strange talking about spring, because living in the tropics, we don't really have spring! But, the arrival of this season in southern states usually coincides with the cool dry season ending and a hint of the build up (the beginning of our hottest time of the year) appears. Now, for those of you who have just shivered through winter, spring is a wonderful time to throw open those windows, let in that scented air and freshen up your home in time to spend those summer months outdoors. 
For those of you in the tropics with me, this time of year is a good time to give your home a good clean to get rid of the dust that may have blown in and accumulated during our dry season. It's good to get rid of it now while it's still dry! Once that humidity sets in and the rain begins, that dust will absorb moisture and that's where mould begins. 

So, I've compiled a list of tasks to do around the house that are appropriate for this time of year. They are outside of the normal cleaning routine, so they're not intended to be done all in one day or even one month! Spread them out over the season if you wish, so when the season changes again you are ready with a fresh and clean home. 

- Clean Windows: It is amazing how much brighter your home feels when the windows sparkle. It lets more light in and gives a clearer view of the outside world and makes you want to throw open those curtains!

- Wash Curtains and Blinds: Throwing open the curtains to let in the light is a much nicer thing to do when they're not loaded with dust, small cobwebs and full of grimy marks from little hands. Wash the dust out so you're not breathing it in and you'll have a happier and healthier household. 

- Clean Carpets and Rugs: Lots of dust likes to hide in carpets. Plus there's always the possibility of hidden mould in the fibres from things being spilled. The change in season is a good time to hire a professional or hire a steam cleaner to go over all your carpet and rugs and get rid of those nasties. 

- Clean the Refrigerator: This can be a big job if you've left it too long between cleans. But it's never too late to sort it out and makes meal planning so much easier. Mine is due to be done soon, so I'll update my refrigerator post with a few more photos as I clean it out. 

- Dust your Light Fixtures: A build up of dust in a light fixture isn't just unhealthy for your family when it all filters down on top of everyone, it can be dangerous because light fixtures get hot. Clean them twice a year to remove any build up that occurs. 

- Clean Ceiling Fans: Once ceiling fans get very dirty they start flinging it everywhere! Avoid this and give them a good wipe over with some mild detergent and water. Just remember to turn them off first! :) 

- Clean Skirting Boards: We often forget about our skirting boards, and it really makes such a difference to the look of a room when they're done! They're a good thing to add to your spring cleaning list. 

- Clean the Oven: Chances are the oven has had a good workout over the winter months and this is a job that is often put off. It's not the most pleasant of tasks, but if you do it seasonally, it will be much easier than if you put it off for 6 or 8 months!

- Organise the Pantry: If you haven't done it recently, getting your pantry organised is such a good feeling. It's nice to keep order in your home, inside and out. It's also a good chance to look over the canned food you may have stockpiled over the winter months and start using them up in preparation for summer cooking.       

I'm going to be focusing on these tasks in more detail in the coming weeks, letting you know how I tackle my spring cleaning. 
Enjoy brushing off the dreariness of the cooler months and welcoming in the warmer weather. 


    Weekly Meal Plan #9

    It's weekly meal plan time again! Feel free to link to your meal plans below as well :) 

     Friday - Slow cooked Beef Massaman Curry and rice

    Saturday - BBQ with friends. A delicious selection of meats and salads with individual strawberry pavlovas for dessert.

    Sunday - Devilled sausages and veg (but hubby has gone fishing, so maybe fish instead!)

    Monday - Barbecue meatloaf and pumpkin casserole. Both are CWA recipes, and I'll do a blog post on them with the recipes this week.

    Tuesday - Red lentil spaghetti

    Wednesday - Lazy Weekend Chicken with mash

    Thursday - Chilli Con Carne with rice and sour cream

    You can look forward to a few recipes being posted in the coming week, more posts about the cleaning challenge and I'm compiling a post on Spring Cleaning too! So stay tuned :)

    Have a lovely week,


    Wednesday, 5 September 2012

    How to make your laundry sparkle

    Well, I have completed today's task in the 20 Day Cleaning and Organising Challenge, that Katrina is running over at The Organised Housewife. Today was cleaning the laundry and some associated tasks. Here are the things that I did:

    • Cleaned the laundry sink and taps
    - I used Windex and a chux cloth then used a microfibre cloth to polish over the stainless steel fitting.
    • Wiped over all surfaces (luckily I don't really have any)
    - Those surfaces I did have I used Windex and a chux cloth.
    • Wiped over the washing machine and dryer
    - Again, good old Windex. It cleans SO well, it's my staple cleaner in the house.
    • Used the brush attachment on the vacuum to clean the dryer of all lint and fluff
    • Washed the window
    - I used some warm soapy water to wash the window, then used Viva Glass and Mirror Wipes to go over the windows to make them streak free.  
    • Dusted all the walls
    I used a Chux reusable microfibre cloth
    • Vacuumed and mopped the floor

    The organising task was to get a laundry routine in place. I sort of already have one, I put on one load a day and then on the day I strip the beds I wash all the bedding and on the day I clean the bathroom I wash all the towels and bathmats. But it occurred to me today that I have a huge cupboard in the laundry and I'm only using one shelf. I store all my cleaning products and laundry powder nice and high so that my small children can't get to them, and that leaves about four big shelves underneath that are empty. I'm thinking about getting some tubs or baskets to label and use to sort my washing. Perhaps darks, coloureds, whites and towels/sheets? Hmmm, might have to see what Martha thinks about it. I might have to check out her laundry systems and get some more ideas. 

    Then the decluttering task was to declutter the laundry pile. I am up to date with my washing at the moment, so I don't need to worry about that. Luckily. 

    So, do you want to see some piccies of the finished result? 

    Nice and clean and organised! I am loving this challenge, I'm really cleaning things properly, not just giving them a once over and it's nice to have some direction. Then all I'll need to do is schedule the bigger tasks into my calendar so I don't miss them in the future!

     See you tomorrow! I wonder what the next challenge will be?


    Cleaning the main bedroom

    Good morning everyone! Just doing a quick catch up this morning with a post on my Day 2 Challenge - the main bedroom. It's just going to be a short post, I didn't need to do very much to get my bedroom sorted out. Thank goodness! Here is a run down of some of the tasks that were set for this challenge.

    • Take the sheets off the bed and wash them (my day to do all the beds is usually a Wednesday, but I did our bed a day early as part of the challenge - less to do today!).
    • Put pillows/cushions out in the sunshine to air out (I did the same with our doona).
    • Vacuum mattress
    • Flip mattress (I was due to do this anyway, so it was a good reminder to get it done).
    • Pick up all clothing off the floor (I didn't have any! Yay!)
    • Clear all paper clutter and other clutter off surfaces (again, I didn't have any!)
    • Dust (I did need to do some dusting, especially over the tv and dvd player).
    • Vacuum floors (I did the whole house and mopped as well, I ran out of time to mop on Monday)
    • Organise the top drawer of the bedside table (I really did need to do this. It did have a whole pile of junk in it that I would throw in there when I didn't know where else to put it. So lots thrown out and some more put away. All that's in there now is some books, my journal and a pen. 

    As I finish reading my books, they'll go back to the bookcase, but now it gives me some space to keep a few things. When we get to clearing out the wardrobe, I'm hoping to free up the other drawers in my bedside table so I can keep some candles and other things in there too. 

    So, now I have a lovely clean, tidy and organised bedroom. And today it's onto the laundry!

    See you this afternoon,


    Tuesday, 4 September 2012

    Cleaning under the kitchen sink

    I'm a bit behind, aren't I? I have been busily doing the Organised Housewife's 20 day cleaning and organising challenge (you'll find the button in the sidebar). So, before I get going on cleaning under the kitchen sink, I'll quickly fill you all in on what I've been doing!

    The last pre challenge task was goal setting. I'm admittedly a terrible goal setter! But, I did decide to set myself a few. These were goals we hope to achieve by the end of the challenge. Okay, I set myself two. But they're biggish ones, and ones that have been bothering me for quite some time! 
    The first one is ORGANISING MY PANTRY. This job is soooooo overdue it's not funny. And I have all the containers etc (or most of them) to do it. I just need to do it!!! I have a feeling this will be a future task in the 20 day challenge, so I'm glad about that. I promise to do a full blog post on my pantry when I get it done.
    The second one is ORGANISING MY LINEN/STORAGE CUPBOARDS. Unlike my last house, I'm lucky enough to have an abundance of storage space in the form of cupboards. But, this has resulted in me just throwing things in there when they don't seem to have a home. It's not atrocious, but it does need to be sorted out and I need to work out some long term storage solutions to keep it all organised. I have a few ideas so I'll let you know when I get to it.

    Day 1 of the challenge was the kitchen. Now, it wasn't doing absolutely everything in the kitchen, but it was a general clean and tidy up including cleaning the microwave and decluttering and organising The Cupboard Under The Sink. None of this challenge really bothered me, luckily I've been pretty up to date with my housework thanks to my routines, and they really have been a sanity saver. My dishes were up to date, I had a clean and tidy kitchen every night, and most things were in order. I did need to clean my microwave though, so it was great to get that done. And I REALLY needed to sort out the cupboard under the sink. You know, the one that you go to all the time to retrieve cleaning products, cloths, bin bags etc but can never find what you need because it's all just a big mess? Yep, that one. I did take photos as I went along, but I'll show you the end result first, just because I like looking at it :)

    It's nice, isn't it? And I can find everything!!! It's awesome.
    But, I know you want to see the mess, don't you? Well, I admit I forgot to take a messy cupboard shot, I was so excited about cleaning it up! But I remembered when it was all out on the bench.

    And, there was more on the other bench too. Blergh. Not very soothing for the soul at all. So, I sorted through that mess, and threw some things out that I hadn't touched for the last 6 months (whether it was because the product didn't work, or I just didn't need it ) and put some of the rarely used items in the laundry, like the BBQ cleaner, the bleach, etc. Then, I wiped out the cupboards.

    So they were nice and shiny and clean. Then I went to the supermarket and bought some of those little white plastic baskets to put all my cloths and things into so I can see exactly what is there and how many of everything I have. A VERY handy thing when I'm doing my shopping list!! 
    Here's the pretty one again :)

    I love it. It just makes things SO much easier. I'll do a post later on about what's in this cupboard and what I use it for. I have some favourite things I like to use and they're working quite well at the moment. 

    Now, today's task was the main bedroom, but I'll do a quick catch up post on that tomorrow. then tomorrow I'm onto the laundry, which I'm quite excited about because my laundry is pretty darn good! So there won't be too much to do. But I'll fill you all in tomorrow and then I'll be back to blogging daily again. I have lots of ideas for posts coming up that I'm excited to share :)

    Have a lovely evening,