Monday, August 24, 2015

My Week 34/52

Happy Monday!

Well, great news, I have set up the linky so everyone can share their weekly recap. Unless you can't see it below, which means I've stuffed up somewhere, haha! 


Baby N had his 8 week checkup this week and he's growing well, he's strong and healthy, so that's great! On the weekend I went and signed up to the local cash&carry. It's like a big warehouse where you can bulk-buy things cheaply. 


Like 3kg tubs of Nutella!!! And after that we went to the airport to watch the planes take off and land. 


Hope you had a great week, please feel free to leave a link to your blog post, YouTube clip or Instagram with your weekly planner/project life layout or recap

xx Laura

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Fashion Friday- pop of purple

Hi folks, 

Another miserable, wet day here in Perth. We had Baby N's appointment with the child health nurse this morning and I had to cover him with a blanket to dash from the carpark to the health centre which made me think of Michael Jackson's kids. You'd think with all that money and all those connections, he would have come up with a better way of keeping their identities secret.... 



Anyway, this is an outfit I wore earlier in the week when it wasn't quite so cold! I like to wear skirts when it's wet because all my pants are long and they get damp walking across the grass at school or at home and then my legs are damp all day. The necklace is from Ashloc Designs and the hairstyle is a ponytail, not a mullet which is kind of how it looks in this photo, haha! 

I'm hoping the weather clears up a bit this weekend because we have an outdoor play date plus I have Konga in the park again. But if it rains, we'll manage. :) 

xx Laura 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Kikki K trip

There are a lot of fallacies about life as a WAHM but one thing that *is* true is that we usually get to choose how we structure our day and therefore can sometimes include fun little side trips. 


Today is an errands day for me but I chose to run my errands in an area where I knew I could also duck into Kikki K. 


Ahh, isn't that a beautiful sight? KikkiK is a Swedish-inspired Australian paperware store which has fans all across the globe.


It's not really a stationery store, more like journals and planners and folders. 


Plus accessories like pens, stickers, pencil cases, erasers, paper clips and sticky notes 


A lot of stuff isn't cheap (compared to other sources at least) but it's great for gifts and there's plenty that's cheap and fun to treat yourself with (pens or stickers, for example). 


I used to pass a KikkiK store on the way to and from work each day when I worked in the city but nowadays I don't get much opportunity to visit 


Of course, I know some of you don't have the opportunity to visit a store at all so I hope you enjoyed this little vicarious peek into a Kikki K store. And if you'd like to see what I bought, find me on Instagram  @laura_twenty5seven

xx Laura 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 33/52

Okay, so I'm getting there with the linky set-up. We should be good to go next Monday (ie a week from now). 



Week 3 was certainly one heck of a week! More hospital appointments for me, almost had a car accident on the way back from the hospital (a lady pushed her trolley onto the road in front of me, I slammed on the brakes and missed the trolley but then worried that I had given Baby N whiplash), staffing changes at work, a pupil-free day, parent-teacher interviews, my Mum leaving for her Europe&USA trip, illness and hubby setting the kitchen on fire (a silicone baking mat caught on fire and when he tried to throw it in the sink to douse it, he set a tea towel on fire too!) 

Oh and I found out I have to lose 9kg before my surgery. 

And I'm on a waiting list so I'm not sure when that is. 

And I have more than 9kg to lose anyway. 

So on Sunday evening I went to my first Konga class. Konga is one of the classes in the 'Jungle Body' fitness..... thing?  It's a dance-based class, pretty similar to Zumba really, heaps of fun! They're run all over the world and there's other classes- Vypa is one. I can't remember the rest. Anyway, it was fun and I sure burned a few calories. Here's my sweaty, victorious post-class selfie! 


As always, please leave a comment and tell me about your week or post a link to your weekly recap blog post. 

xx Laura 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cleaning shortcuts for new mums

My mum came over to visit today before she travels through Europe and the USA for eight weeks (if jealousy is a curse then  I am cursed!). I love my Mum, she has helped me through some really tough times, but it's always stressful when she visits. I *know* she's casting her concerned gaze over the house and looking for signs that I'm struggling with a new baby.

Let's face it, between sleep deprivation and the hours taken up with feeding, nappying and rocking, it's hard to keep up your usual standards. So I wanted to share some great little shortcuts I've picked up, starting with housekeeping.

Believe it or not, cleaning is another thing that I miss! I hate general tidying but love to clean. The cleaning supplies aisle at the supermarket makes me giddy- all of those bathroom cleaners and different sponges and brushes! I love to get lost in the scrubbing and hot water and repetition. No time for that at the moment though. But I don't want standards of cleanliness to slip, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms where hygiene is super important. So I've replaced my buckets and brushes with cleaning wipes which are great because I can stash the toilet wipes in the toilets, the kitchen cleaners in the kitchen and the bathroom cleaners such as these in the bathrooms and use them if I have a spare 30secs and notice that one of my older children has painted handwash across the mirror, for example (we have a playroom full of toys, honestly!) 



Another tip is to purchase an extension cord and plug that into the end of your vacuum cleaner cord. Hey presto, super-long vacuum cleaner cord. Which means that if you manage to find time to vacuum, you don't need to plug and unplug the vacuum as you move around the house, just plug-and-go.
 

And once you've vacuumed, boil some hot water in a big stock pot and use that to mop the floor (I mix the hot water with a few drops of detergent and a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a mop bucket, others prefer to mix it with white vinegar or commercial disinfectants). As you can see from the edges of the picture below, the heat of the water means that it evaporates quickly and so dries very, very quickly. Life is too short to wait for floors to dry!
 

Of course, the other great alternative is to hire a cleaner, at least for the first few weeks! They generally cost $25-$30 an hour. But if you'd rather save that money for yourself, and keep your sanity, try out some cleaning shortcuts.

Do you have any other brilliant cleaning shortcuts or hacks? Any tips that saved your sanity when you had a newborn in the house and dust bunnies growing in the corners of rooms? I'd love to hear them.

xx Laura

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An infant car seat tip



Look at those tiny, chubby fingers! 

What I'm going to say today might seem really obvious but if you're not already doing it, it could make your life so much easier! 

Instead of trying to coerce baby's arms through a snug, perfectly-adjusted infant car seat strap, simply loosen the straps a lot and buckle baby in as usual and then tighten the straps- and do the same to take baby out. 

Like I said, obvious to some but I must have spent a good month carefully guiding my eldest's arms through the perfectly-adjusted straps before I realised there was an easier way! 

Laura x 

Monday, August 10, 2015

My Week 32/52

Happy Monday :o) 

It's been a while since I did a 'my week' post which is a shame because I really enjoy them. I love sharing my planner decorating and it's great being able to look back on my weekly recaps. Sometimes we don't realise how much we've achieved in a week until we sit down and look back at it. And sometimes we realise we didn't achieve much at all but that's okay, we all have weeks like that. 


Well week 32 wasn't a huge one around here. A few medical appointments and lots of me getting annoyed with my iPhone5 because it was freezing, lagging, failing to connect calls and refusing to show me my text messages. Not good when you conduct 75% of your business via your phone!! Fortunately it was easily fixed once I updated my software and it also forced me to upload all my recent pics and vids, which I had been putting off.


I decorated my planner with this adorable woodland creature washi (some of the cheap decotape brand paper tape so not proper washi) and coordinated it with some tan polkadot tape. Nice and simple and sweet! 

Unfortunately, in trying to fix my phone I deleted a lot of apps, including my Project Life app so I don't have a layout to share. And I've disabled the linkies so that isn't working right now. I'll hopefully have both of those things fixed by next week but in the meantime please feel free to leave a link to your weekly recap blogpost in the comments, I'd love to see what you've been up to! 

xx Laura 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fashion Friday - Wet & Windy

No, you're not seeing things. Yes, it is Saturday. We'll just call this the Saturday edition of Fashion Friday :o) It's not like my OOTD are ever particularly fashion-focused anyway. 



Perth has more than its fair share of mild, sunny days in winter but today is dark, wet & windy. There was even a huge crack of thunder earlier. 



It's the perfect weather for staying home in PJs but I needed to take Baby N and Miss A to the doctor this morning. So we were all up and dressed and bundled into the car first thing. 



I bought this coat on clearance from Big W last year. It's a Chrissie Swan for Avella  coat and I don't *love* it but it was cheap, it's warm and it co-ordinates with the multitude of black clothes in my wardrobe. Besides which, there's not often much need for a coat in Perth. 


I wore it with an oversized black, long-sleeved tunic top, black leggings and my black boots from Torrid. Ignore my weird foot positioning, they're flat heeled, lol. 


Hope it's cheerier weather wherever you are! 

xx Laura 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The best whiteboard cleaner

I don't know anything about the current state of the whiteboard marker industry except that if it's strong, it's probably partly due to me. We have so many whiteboard markers in this house that it's not funny. I'm a lover of stationery, a sucker for bright colours and I use them for work so I must have bought every brand and every colour at least once. 


I use whiteboard markers (and a code of shapes and colours) to mark out our work schedule each night. My little 'assistants' like to draw and write on the map too. 


And I use whiteboard markers to write our shopping list and menu plan on our pantry door. And for the reminders list next to the door into our garage. And my girls use whiteboard markers for homework, to practise writing their name and numbers and to fill out the 'news' outline that comes home each week.  

That's a lot of whiteboard marker that needs cleaning off each week! 


I've tried every whiteboard cleaner I could get my hands on both here and at my last job. None of them were great but some work better than others and after doing a little back-of-bottle research I realised the ones that worked best were the ones that contained a high level of alcohol. 

It turns out that rubbing alcohol (which you can find in the first aid section of the supermarket for around $10) works better than any whiteboard-cleaner mix and costs around the same per ml anyway! So we use rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. A little goes a long way so we use it straight from the bottle but you could put it into a little spray bottle. 

So if you find your whiteboards are looking 'ghosty' or smudgy, give the rubbing alcohol a try (just please remember to keep it out of reach of little hands as it is poisonous). 

Monday, August 3, 2015

I do love a good salad

'They' say that breastfeeding helps you lose weight but sadly, that's never been my experience. Although I always lose weight during pregnancy (35kg with my first pregnancy and 15kg with each of the next two), I maintain or gain during breastfeeding. I have to assume it's partly due to spending so many hours (many, MANY hours) sitting down feeding and partly due to forgetting to eat until I'm starving and then reaching for whatever is quick and easy, which usually means processed and unhealthy. 

Of course, it's not just a matter of maintaining my shape (which is round. Definitely round, lol). I am my baby's sole source of nutrition so it's important that I'm getting enough nutritious food to be able to pass on the good stuff to him. 

So okay, I've eaten a ridiculous number of muesli bars from the kids 'school snack' box in the pantry and okay, I ate a teaspoonful of Nutella last week (we had run out of bread. As if that excuses it, haha. But I swear it was the best thing I've ever eaten). But I've also been making a huge effort to eat my fruit and veg. About two-thirds of my fridge contents are salad ingredients, mainly pre-prepped so I can throw together a salad quickly. 

And I've been making fruit platters for after school when the kids are starving. Chopped fruit seems to get eaten more readily than whole fruit- that applies to adults as well as children! 

Here are a few snaps of some of the things I've eaten this week (not including the muesli bars and Nutella binges, lol) 





Monday, July 27, 2015

Perfect choc chip cookie recipe


There's nothing quite like a hot cup of tea on a cold winter's evening. Except maybe a hot cup of tea with a bicky on the side. Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside; these chocolate chip cookies are perfect. 


Ingredients:  
0.5 cup salted butter 
0.5 cup brown sugar
0.5 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla essence
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup choc chips 
(All half-cup ingredients are equivalent to 125 grams) 



Method:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 celcius (160 fan-forced) and grease a baking tray or line it with baking paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a bowl mix the softened butter (I mixed over a sink of warm water as it was particularly cold in our house) with the sugars, egg and vanilla essence. 

3. Stir in the flour (you may find it easier to use your hands towards the end). And then mix in the choc chips. 

4. Roll small balls of the mixture (bouncy ball size) and place on the baking tray. 

5. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 10-15mins (biscuits will still be soft). Cool on the tray for a minute then transfer to a cooling rack (I pick them up with an egg slice)


I honestly have no idea how long these will keep for. Mine always get eaten before they get a chance to go stale. Full batch is approx 4000kcal and will yield 20-40 cookies, depending on size of cookies. 

So not an every day food but a delicious and fool-proof recipe for when you feel like something yummy! 

Enjoy xx 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Don't be afraid of 'hard'

I'm incredibly lucky to have a job where I work from home, with many tasks carried out over the phone or internet, although this means that I never actually see a lot of the people who I regularly deal with. Because of this, some people were not aware that I was pregnant until recently and some were not even aware I'd had a baby.  In fact, one lady only found out this afternoon so there may still be people who don't realise. 

The general reaction has been a sort of politely bemused horror. 

I was induced on Friday the 26th June and I worked until a little past 5pm that evening and then went into hospital at 8pm, as booked.

I responded to two calls on the Saturday and let the rest go to voicemail. Our little boy was born on the Sunday morning, I went home Sunday afternoon and napped that evening while my husband sent out the schedule. We don't send out a schedule Monday night but the next schedule, the one on Tuesday night, I did myself. 

I basically took one day off work. 

Is that because my husband is selfish or lazy? Not at all! He was (and is) willing to do whatever he can to help me during these early newborn days. But he knows what I'm like when I have made up my mind on something. Anyone who stands between me and my goals will be annihilated, lol!


He has helped in lots of other ways- school runs, grocery shopping, cooking.  But I like things done a certain way; it's much easier to do them myself. Besides which, 'wahm' is part of my self-identity. I don't see why two things which are important parts of my life can't co-exist. 

And I guess that's the answer to when people keep saying "I don't know how you do it!". I've never expected it *not* to work out and so I just do it! Sure, I guess it can look hard, when I have an invoicing deadline but can only type with one hand because I'm feeding a hungry baby who never seems to be full! But if I stopped and thought about how hard it could be, I'd be wasting valuable time and letting myself be defeated before I'd even begun. 

The fact is, hard does not mean impossible. Hard means it takes effort and so it must be something important, something you really want. Frankly, life is too short to waste time on the unimportant stuff. 

So work hard,
Play hard, 
Make the important stuff happen and enjoy the life you've created for yourself xx