Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Meal Planning Monday: fortnightly plan

This is the plan we had for this fortnight. I spent just under $200 at the supermarket and then drew up this meal plan: 

We will also use up some meals we already had in the freezer or pantry (such as the meatballs) but then we will have some meals leftover from this shop that will go into the freezer for another fortnight (like the chicken fajita). 

So far I have topped up with bread, bananas, muesli bars, a soft drink, cheese, sour cream, milk and eggs so about $20.  

At the end of the fortnight I'll recap the fortnight and what we actually ate. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Back to school

School went back on Wednesday for children in Western Australia 

This is my eighth 'first day of school' as a parent so we were pretty relaxed. 

We employed the usual tricks to help us get ready and out the door,
  • Lay out uniforms the night before
  • New socks, all labeled 
  • Lunches pre-prepared
  • Bags prepped the night before
  • All back to school supplies labeled & in one bag
  • Hair freshly washed 
  • Early to bed, lots of sleep 
  • Already found out which classrooms to go to. 
Foolproof, right? But Miss 7 managed to lose her uniform between laying it out before bed, and getting up to get dressed in the morning. 

It turns out she had moved it to the end of her bed when she went to sleep so it would be right there when she woke up. But she tends to kick off her blankets in the night so when she was tossing and turning she kicked her uniform down the side and end of her bed, lol. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Meal Planning Monday: why meal plan?

We tend to get into some silly habits over the holidays and just roll with the punches, so to speak. Most of the year, however, we're a meal planning household. We've just gotten back into the swing of meal planning again. Whether you're new to meal planning or stuck in a rut, I thought it might be a good time to list some of the great reasons to meal plan. 

1. It saves time 
If you have a meal plan, you will be more efficient when you are shopping, you will stop wasting time standing in front of the fridge wondering what to make, you can even save prep time by prepping for two meals at once (since you know which meals are coming up) and of course, you can make just one trip to the supermarket per week. 

2. It saves money 
By having a plan, you avoid buying things you don't need, are less likely to waste food and also less likely to panic and buy take away food. 

3. It allows delegation
It is such a relief when I am wrangling kids and nappies and I come out to see hubby has already started dinner because he already knows what we're having that night. 

4. It stops the dread 
I absolutely hate that feeling of frustration when I have to decide on something for dinner, it's a feeling that can last for hours if I'm having trouble thinking of something. Providing a meal for my family should be a joy, not a chore.

5. It reduces waste
Planning ahead means I only buy what I need and anything that might be leftover is pre-planned to be incorporated into future meals. 

6. It stops the endless questions 
My kids: "Muuuuummmm, what's for dinner?" 
Me: *points at list on fridge* 

7. It gives more change for better nutrition 
When you plan several meals ahead, you have the time to make sure that each meal is nutritionally balanced alone and in context with the previous/following meals.

I'm sure there are more reasons, but these are just some of the reasons why meal planning works for us.  

Sunday, January 28, 2018

New Year Post

Happy 2018! 

I have made a goal to blog regularly this year. I had the first few weeks of the year off because it has been sooo busy at work. Normally the time before Christmas is busy (which I guess it was) but due to some restructuring, a lot of things were delayed until after Christmas and so the first week or two back after our break were just ridiculous. 


Here's an image I made of all the calls I took/made over just one morning. It doesn't even include the texts or the emails, nor the fact that some of these individual lines included two or three attempts to call before it connected! 

Still, better to be busy than broke, right? 

I've also been keeping an actual journal, just jotting down some of the things we do each day, some of the things the kids say, what we ate etc. A few months ago we were cleaning out some cupboards and found a journal I kept for a short while around the time my eldest turned one. The kids were in *stitches* as I was reading out the entries. So when it came time to write my Christmas list I knew what I wanted... a journal! :) 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Never ending laundry

Something amazing happened- I got almost caught up on my laundry. A couple of socks still need partners and I have a load of whites soaking. 

Of course, tomorrow is 'wash the bedding' day and I also need to soak and wash all the uniforms for the week. 

But I'll take what I can get :) 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday toddler antics

I'd love to know what runs through a toddler's mind, lol. 

These perfectly spaced little bites crack me up. 

We played some duplo again today. Little guy did an amazing job of packing up after himself (ok, there are a few strays in there). 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Play dough fun

Today was a busy work day for me so I whipped up some playdough in my thermomix using a  FatMumSlim recipe to keep my two year old busy while I did some invoicing.  

I made a pink strawberry batch and a blue peppermint batch, adding the food dye and food essences with the water. We mixed some of the pink and blue together to make purple too. It makes a really lovely, smooth playdough, it reminds me of the no-cook dough I used to make when I was a Guide Leader. 

Between naps, meals, playdough and duplo I managed to get lots of uninterrupted computer time, which was excellent, and we have some lovely playdough for all the kids. 

Laura x 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cup Day Lunch

So, there have been a few changes since I last updated. 

I still work from home but I now have four children. Four!

And I now have a blogging app that seems half decent :) 

I'll write a post soon to fill in the details but for now here's a pic of a yummy arancini I had at a Melbourne cup luncheon I attended with my friends today 

Laura x 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

my week 5/52 and 6/52

This week you get a two-for-the-price-of-one deal, haha, since last Monday was the first day of the school year and things just got hectic {confession: I ended up being 15mins late to pick up the girls from school. ON THE FIRST DAY!! Officially designated myself as that parent. Don't worry, I at least called ahead to let them know, I didn't just not turn up}. 

Okay so this is week 5. I love the double washi strip at the top and will definitely use it again but I think I'll run it all the way across next time, instead of leaving the date visible. I'll have to look through my tapes and find another combo this will work with. 

And here's week 6. I didn't use any washi this week, just a variety of Kikki K stickers. 

One of which I amended *cough

Many of you might not know but I live with a chronic illness. It's not apparent to most people because it's just my 'normal' and I've adjusted my life to it. But every so often, it wipes me out. Well, that's what happened this weekend. I've been feeling a bit rundown, plus barely sleeping (we moved baby N to a cot in his own room and it's been stinking hot here so he's been waking more frequently than usual) then I cleaned my whole house on Friday. I felt okay, a little tired. Saturday morning I took all three kids grocery shopping. Now, grocery shopping is probably my most draining activity, more than fun runs or anything. So after that I was wiped out. I could barely move from the couch. Sunday I felt a little better so I cleaned out the girls clothes drawers which felt productive but basically involved lots of sitting down surrounded by clothes mountains ;) so it wasn't very draining! 


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Managing my medications

I don't have a conventional work week. My husband and I own our own business and I work from home. But nevertheless, I like to start my week on Monday and prepare for the week on Sunday. 

I take a variety of prescription medications and over the counter vitamins. It can be so difficult to remember to take them, or to remember whether I did take them. One of my medications is particularly tricky. There are all sorts of 'rules' about when you can and can't take it and it must stay refrigerated unless it will be used within 14 days. But there are 20 pills per sheet. So basically it has to stay in the fridge instead of somewhere more convenient like on your bedside table or next to your toothbrush. 

Then when I was pregnant, my dose was changed to 1.5 pills per day. An acceptable alternative is to have 1 pill one day and 2 pills the next. But that's even harder to track. So I started marking the sheets with a permanent marker. 

That definitely made things a lot easier but it didn't help with my other meds and vitamins. So eventually I went and bought a 7 day pill box. 

It was surprisingly difficult to find what I was after (7 days, large compartments but not divided into am/pm etc) but I found this one at a chemist for under $10. 

Every Sunday evening I fill the compartments with my pills, ready for the week. I can keep my meds in the fridge and just have 7 days worth out. I can easily see if I have taken my iron tablets or my B vitamins! The box runs sun-sat but I use it mon-sun so the first compartment stays full until the last day. 

The compartments are easy to open, easy to view and I love that I can fit all my pills in there. I usually leave this pill box on my kitchen bench where I can see it and remember but sometimes I have it in my office. I love that it's right in front of me but takes up almost no room (unlike having all the different bottles of pills out) and it only takes a minute to set up for the week. Since starting this system I've remembered to take my pills every single week! 

So what about you? How do you manage your medications and vitamins? 

Laura x 

Monday, January 25, 2016

My week 4/52

Hello lovelies!

Some of you may have seen on Instagram that I had a funny moment where I realised I had used the same argyle scrapbooking paper for a clipboard and my desktop (actual desktop, as in, table top) 

Well I decided to take it further when I noticed that I had some argyle washi tape. Well, not really washi, this is the cheap, shiny stuff. 

I didn't do anything fancy, just lots of argyle paper tape. Simple :)

As for the content of my week? Well I spent about 7 hours of it at Centrelink over three days. Centrelink is our government agency that covers welfare, our Medicare program and also family assistance. So even if you're not receiving a welfare payment from them, you have to deal with them for the payments they give to all families.

Well, they prefer you to do everything online but the system is glitchy and Baby N keeps getting bumped out. So I had to go into the offices, wait approx 2hrs to see someone who would send an email to an IT team to update my info from the backend overnight so then I could go in the next day to move on to the next step. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

I also spent three whole days updating my iTunes, backing up my iPhone 5s, updating the software on my 6, downloading my backup onto my 6, trying to wipe my 5s (don't forget your restrictions password, folks! iTunes had to spend 8hrs downloading software to restore my phone because I forgot my password and couldn't do a normal reset), then setting up my 5s for my 5yr old to use. 

Honestly, there wasn't much else of the week left! We also went to the local markets, ikea, visited my mum, had people over, worked and spent a whole day at a theme park which was really fun. My 5 year old went on a giant water slide and loved it. It's the tallest, longest and steepest funnel slide in the world! You'd have to pay me a handsome sum to get on it!! 

Okay, well that's enough from me, I want to see your planner layout. Share the URL to your IG pic or your blogpost in the linky below :) 


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why your playroom organisation isn't working


I'm not much of a Pinterest-er. My account got locked a couple of years ago as a precaution because of 'suspicious activity' and I can't unlock it because the 'confirm email address' email never arrives. So I haven't pinned anything for years but I still have the odd browse every so often. 

The thing I've noticed is that when Pinterest first started, it was inspiring. It was a collection of fairly practical and clever ideas that were achievable, if we ever bothered to try. Nowadays it's just next level. Beautiful but staged, faked, made-by-professionals, promotional. The clever, achievable ideas were overshared and became old news before we even had a chance to get down to the hardware store and buy the bolts to install pot lid holders inside our cupboard doors and an extendable rod to store our spray bottles on. The pins du jour are things we know our friends haven't attempted, and we'll probably never attempt, but we enjoy drooling over anyway (lavender meringue icecream cake, I'm looking at you!) 

So what is the point of my little Pinterest rant? Well, increasingly the things we pin are unrealistic BUT also increasingly, when we search for something online, we end up with a result from Pinterest. If, for example, you google toyroom organisation, you'll likely get multiple Pinterest boards full of images of playrooms with carefully labeled bins, Lego sorted by colour, neatly arranged teasets, dolls tucked into cradles, dress ups hanging by size, books precariously placed on narrow shelves, etc. 

If you ask any order-loving parent, this is their dream playroom! The problem is, the playroom isn't for them. 

Kids see things differently. We might group Duplo Lego blocks and wooden blocks together, because they're both construction materials. My kids think wooden blocks go with little animal figurines because they use the blocks to build the walls of their zoo. Duplo makes cakes, so it goes with the teaset. Plastic beds share space in the wooden dollhouse with wooden beds and wooden dolls. And the 'baby' dolls don't have a home, they're constantly perched on hips, wrapped in towels, sat at the table, tucked into beds (ranging from actual beds to laundry piles). 

Now, the wooden blocks don't actually get jumbled in with the animals, but they're near each other. And we don't sub-categorise, loosely grouped is good enough. Alllllllll the colours of the Lego rainbow co-exist happily in our Lego tub. The system makes sense to our kids and so they can find toys easily and put them away easily. If I expected them to follow some kind of Pinterest vision, I may as well expect them to sort the toys according to the Periodic table. 

If your children are struggling to keep their toys (or other things) organised, talk to them and use their input to improve the organisation. You might find they don't care if the barbies, hot wheels and digipets are jumbled in the same tub. Plus, in addition to making clean up easier, it may stir their imagination. They may go to play with a digipet but see the hotwheels and decide to draw a giant race track, for example.