Tuesday, December 4, 2012

End of year class gifts

There are only two weeks to go until the end of the school year here in Western Australia which just seems completely impossible. I'm sure somebody has made a mistake and it's only July. 

But either way, Bella's end of year class party is coming up and people have already started handing out the christmas cards, candy canes and other favours at school and after-school care. 

I've probably mentioned it before but Bella has some classmates with some really serious allergies so food gift are usually a no-no. So this year we have made some little 'bubble' favours. 

Aren't they sweet and simple? Bella has written her name inside the little cards which was great practice for her. We also included a little message inside... more on that later. 

The bubbles were from the party section of Big W. $7.48 (or thereabouts) for 24 bottles. 

The tags were also BigW and were only ONE DOLLAR! Bargain! :o) 
The ribbon was $3 from Spotlight for 3m which was just enough, you may need 2 rolls if you have a large class. 

Originally I had threaded the ribbon through the tags before tying on but then I decided it was more efficient if I tied up all the bottles while Bella wrote in the cards and then I tied the cards on afterwards with the silver thread included with the cards. 

And about the message inside- I like to include our phone number and email address, as well as an offer to catch up over the holidays. Working fulltime means we can't do afterschool playdates so school holidays are the perfect opportunity to catch up and keep the network going out of school. 

Laura xx

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Filofax notepaper

About three years ago I decided to splurge and treat myself to a genuine (pronounced "jen-yoo-eye-n" with that showman's twang to it, haha) Filofax and it has been one of my best purchases EVER! 

The one I bought is the Metropol Personal size and it's great, small enough to easily carry around in my bag but still big enough to write in comfortably (and be able to fold A4 meeting agendas in half and stash in my filofax for later)

There's a whole assortment of accessories and extras available for the Filofax but they're all a bit pricey. Which is fine for some things but I can't pretend to be happy to spend nearly $10 on some scribble paper and grocery lists! 

So I make my own instead! It's really easy. 

First I choose my paper. I've used plain A4 before but lately I've started printing pretty papers and using those. The ones I used today are from Graphic Garden and are just gorgeous. 
They print two per A4/letter page. So I print them out, trim the white edges off and cut in half with a guillotine. 

Taa-daa, gorgeous notepaper. These pages are too wide though so I measure how wide I need them to be (trace from another page in the Filofax if need be) and trim with the guillotine again.

Now for the holes.... I take a small stack of the notepaper and lay a piece of paper or tab divider over the top and trace the holes onto the top piece of the notepaper (note- you can trim the height of the notepaper. I don't bother as my notepaper sits at the back of my Filofax, so mine hangs out just like in this pic).

Then I take a regular hole punch, turn it upside down (I usually take the 'catcher' off too), line up the holes and punch. I find this easier than using a one-hole plier-punch as it's easier to see where you're punching.

Excuse the chipped polish. One day I will learn not to have chipped polish when I take tutorial pics. But that days was not yesterday! LOL

Repeat for each hole and each stack of paper. Place in your Filofax, use and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ten Tips for Working Parents

When Bella was 13 months old I went back to work.  I was a single parent with no car who worked almost two hours away (by public transport). We left at 6am so I could walk to daycare in time for when they opened at 6:30am. At 6:35am I caught a bus/train/bus, got to work a little after 8am, worked til 4pm and the caught the bus/train/bus combo back to daycare and then walked home, arriving by about 6pm unless I had to do some grocery shopping first.

Since having Ashley things are a little different. I have a partner now, a drivers license, a job much closer to home. But now there’s four of us to look after instead of two and we still need to be out the door by 7 o’clock each morning. I don’t know how we do it some days. I definitely don’t know how I did it with Bella.

Being a working parent can definitely be hard work but adopting certain habits, routines or attitudes can make it easier. I thought I would write down a little collection of tips for anyone else looking for advice. I’ll go into them each in more depth later on.

1. Be sensible with your money
This might seem an odd tip for a double-income household  but it is the crux of why we leave our babies to go to work. There is NO point working Mon-Fri to spend it all on Saturday.