Monday, September 30, 2013

My week 39/52

I used:

You will have already seen this week's layout from my video on my planner set-up but here it is without wobble-vision! The big events this week were the AFL Grand Final and the start of the school holidays! It's also a long weekend here in WA so I've posted this early and scheduled it for Monday- sneaky sneaky! lol 

Laura xx 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My planner set up- September 2013

Yesterday morning, after school drop-off, I sat down to look at my Filofax and my things to do for the day. It's something I do nearly every day except that yesterday I decided to make a little video to explain my current set-up. It's not a very polished video as I literally decided on a whim to make it and filmed it on my iPhone then and there. But if you can get past my Aussie accent and my umms and ahhs you can see how I use my Filofax.

So there we go,my first ever planner video, I hope you liked it.Obviously I lied at the start of the video when I said it was a little vid- it actually runs over 5mins. Meep! And a small confession- having my voice out there on the internet makes me feel realllllly awkward and self-conscious. Its like leaving a very public answering machine message, haha!

Laura xx

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The easiest way to a sparkling fridge

I like to think that I have a pretty good housework routine but it's nothing compared to when I was working outside the home. I would normally do grocery shopping on a Saturday morning and so I would clean the fridge early on a Saturday morning (or even on a Friday night if I was feeling particularly saintly) so that it was the emptiest it would be all week and so that all the fresh food would go into a sparkly clean fridge. Needless to say, I had better things to do than spend all Saturday cleaning and shopping so over time I developed a routine where I could get the whole fridge cleaned in around 20mins with a minimum of mess to clean up afterwards and I still follow that routine now, although I tend to grocery-shop more frequently so my fridge isn't usually very empty when I clean it.

First of all, I run a shallow bath (yes, bath!) of hot soapy water with a few drops of eucalyptus oil.

While the bath is filling, I sort through all the food and throw away the soft carrots, limp lettuce, expired sauce etc. I also empty the Tupperware Fridgesmart containers so they can have a wash. Anything that’s staying goes in a basket (this also is the perfect opportunity to wipe over sticky sauce bottles etc with some damp paper towel). I quickly remove all the shelves, trays, drawers etc and give the fridge interior a bit of a spray with a cleaning mixture (Spray&Wipe or similar) but don't wipe it off, put the basket of food in the fridge and close the door so it can stay cool. I don't keep magnets on the freezer door (because you can see them from the living and dining rooms) but i do have some on the fridge door so I move them around to the side of the fridge. 

Then back into the bathroom to put all the drawers etc in there and give them a quick wash, removing them once clean. The extra space in the bath means I don't splash water all over myself and the floor and the shelves have a chance to submerge and soak. So much quicker than doing them one at a time in the kitchen sink.

Then you can either rinse each individually or refill the bath with fresh water and rinse them in the tub, which is what I do. I pull the plug and let them drain while I go back to the fridge.

I wipe over the interior of the fridge, the seals and the outside.

Then I give the shelves etc a quick dry with a teatowel and put them back in, then unpack all of the food out of the basket.

Here's the processed summarised:
1. Bathroom: Run a bath (put a few drops of detergent and eucy oil in first) (1min)
2. Kitchen: Empty fridge contents and spray inside with spray cleaner (5min)
3. Bathroom: Turn off bath tap, dunk shelves etc and give a good wipeover. (5min)
4. Bathroom: Pull plug, refill with fresh rinse water (2 min)
5. Kitchen: wipe over inside and outside of fridge (2 min)
6: Bathroom: turn off tap, wipe shelves dry(ish) (5min)
7: Kitchen: pop shelves back in (1min)

Also, I've been asked this before so I thought I should clarify- I don't 'bath' my fridge every Saturday morning. When I was working outside the home I tried to do it every Saturday as it would be at least a week before I could do it again. Working from home I tend to think "eh! I can always do it tomorrow" but either way, it isn't/wasn't EVERY Saturday, probably every 2-3 weeks and the weeks inbetween get emptied out and a wipe-over. 

Laura xx

Monday, September 23, 2013

My week 38/52

I've decided to join in with PaperLovestory's weekly round up of planner pages so every Monday (or thereabouts) I'll be posting a pic of my Filofax for the week-just-gone and I'll probably but Project Life layouts in these posts too.

  • washi tape (local discount store)
  • loveheart paperclip (DIY)
  • pink stickynote (officeworks)

Week 38 turned out to be a pretty eventful week! Just for school we had a bookweek parade, a teacher strike and an art exhibition all in three days! The teacher strike happened to fall on Ashley's daycare day so Bella and I got to spend the day together. We caught a train into the city and went to the art gallery, museum, had Ben&Jerry's, went to Morning Glory (she came out with quite the Hello Kitty haul!), got caught up in a fire evacuation and ran into one of her school buddies. I kept her home Friday then Saturday we went shopping, went to a 1st birthday party then home to watch the Swans lose to the Dockers in the AFL Preliminary final.

And here's a little sneak peek of this week:

Next week I have to share my latest greatest purchase with you!! I bought them this week but have to finish setting them up first..... cryptic much? lol

Laura xx

Friday, September 20, 2013

First Aid Supplies

I only just realised that the school holidays are nearly upon us! Honestly, if it hadn't been for a tv ad about the Perth Royal Show next week (and me thinking 'weird, the show is normally on during school holidays' - LIGHTBULB!) I'd probably be dropping Bella off to an empty school.

As it happens, she is home sick today which will be a perfect opportunity for us to create our school holiday activity list which is a bit of a tradition for us. It's also a good chance for me to check and update our first aid supplies as we take them with us for quite a few school holiday outings and I thought I'd share what we keep in stock and how we organise it.

This here is our main first aid kit. It’s only little but holds a little of nearly everything we need for first aid. It’s also what I grab if we’re going out somewhere. I have a few bandaids in my handbag so I don’t take it grocery shopping, but use it for trips to parks, beaches etc. It’s stored in the laundry cupboard near the centre of the house so it's easily accessible and even the girls know where it is.

In addition to this first aid kit we have ‘bump buddies’ (cute cold packs) in the fridge, heatpacks and medicines on the top shelf of the pantry and a large first aid kit in a toolbox in our WIR (see below) which mainly holds multiples and bulk packs of the bandaids, bandages, gauze pads etc as well as Deepheat and physio dough for my husband.

This is the contents of my kit all laid out on the table. It fits in a surprising amount, doesn't it? I keep the bandaids, tweezers and Stingose towards the top so I don’t have to tip all of *this* out to get to our most often used supplies. 

Okay, looking at the contents a little more closely, starting with the top section. This is mainly bandaids in a variety of different sizes and shapes (my favourite are the little tiny toddler bandaids! So cute!). The Aqua-protect bandaids are not only useful for use in water- I find them really useful on blisters as the dressing is so large and thin so it doesnt tend to 'catch' and come off. And the 'knuckle' bandaids are genius. There's also crepe bandages (large and small) and some non-stick gauze pads. Obviously the bandage can be used for sprains and splints but it's also useful for holding the gauze pad in place on injuries too large for a bandaid to cover. 

Moving on to bottom left

Hand sanitizer gel and also wipes. These are handy if we're out and about somewhere. Hypoallergenic tape (holding dressings in place, splinting fingers) an eye wash cup (foreign object in eye), a selection of cotton buds for cleaning wounds and applying creams. They're not sterile, obviously. Thermo blanket- in case of extreme cold or shock.

Thermometer. It's a baby thermometer but works the same on adults ;o) Antiseptic cream. Stingose gel for insect bites. Pins (for holding bandages in place), tweezers (splinters and bee stings), a triangular bandage (slings) and a CPR shield that I carry on my keys at all times. 

Here it is all packed up again. Although this box is pretty full, it's not so full that things have to be packed in a certain way or they don't fit. You can probably see I've packed this in completely differently to how it was earlier.

Its important to remember that whatever items you keep on hand, the most useful and valuable thing is the knowledge to use them correctly. Now is a good time to brush up on your CPR and general first aid skills, especially as summer approaches and everyone starts to spend more time at the pool and beach. 

Laura xx

Monday, September 16, 2013

A change of pace

I've been feeling a bit 'off' for the last few days. I may work from home but I also work seven days a week and am 'on call' from 6am Monday to Saturday until 9pm (when I turn my phone onto silent). Even when nothing is actually needing my attention, that level of being 'on' can eventually become quite draining, especially when you've got a sore throat and a bug that you're trying to shake off.

I felt like I was moving two steps forward, two steps back. That's a lot of energy wasted for just going nowhere but I wasn't really sure how to break out of it. As luck would have a set of events transpired which meant I wasn't going to have to work Sunday evening. I had to take a couple of calls and make a couple of calls but that was it. The knowledge that the whole day was mine, largely uninterrupted, was something magical and I made the most of Sunday- I replenished my soul, I filled it to the brim.

Ubiquitous heavily-filtered Instagram picture
Now that may sound really spiritual and deep but the reality is- I replenished my soul in the cheesiest of ways, with things I'm mostly ashamed to admit to:

I slept in
I made pancakes for breakfast. With sprinkles in the batter
I watched far too much tv, things I wasn't even interested in.
I ate a fastfood burger for lunch. On my bed. While watching a dvd. 
I napped
I ran around the park with the girls for a couple of hours
Made dinner for the girls, had a glass of Baileys&milk for my dinner.
I went to bed early, read part of a book then fell asleep early.

In fact the only productive things I did all day were to load the dishwasher and rescue a puppy that ran onto the road on our way back from the park.

Honestly, it was like I rebelled against everything I believe I am and want to be. But it was everything I needed. It was like I re-calibrated. 

It reminded me that I unload and reload the dishwasher forty thousand times a week because I want to, because I like clean dishes and a tidy kitchen.
I choose tidying up over tv because I want to.
I eat healthy, nutritious foods because I want to.
I get up early because I like to get things done instead of laying there thinking about getting things done.

It reminded me that the life I live is the life I have chosen. Sure, this past week has been a bit miserable with the spectre of a cold hanging over me but for the most part, my life is the way it is because I have chosen it and I can also choose to change it. Backing off from my responsibilities felt indulgent but it also reminded me of the rewards I reap from those responsibilities. 

Heh, I guess my slothful Sunday ended up being kind of spiritual after all!

Laura xx

P.S:~ Please don't tell my Mum I ate Hungry Jacks in bed. She would die of shame. My Dad, on the other hand, would just wonder why he hadn't thought of it first. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Decorating my planner pages

I’ll preface this post by saying that I love my planner. Despite all of the technology available to me, I still prefer to use pen and paper to plan my week and record my days. Of course, for a while I tried to use my phone and my email calendar but I found that I often fell out of the habit of using them. Then I realised that it was because there was nothing special about them, nothing to make me notice them or want to use them. I got over my embarrassment at not being tech-savvy and instead embraced washi tape, scented pens, stickers and cute paperclips. Each weekend I look forward to spending 5 minutes decorating my planner for the week ahead. And if that sounds childish… maybe it is. But it makes me happy and keeps me organised!

That confession aside, I thought I’d share with you how I organise my planner for the week ahead. My planner is a Filofax Metropol in the ‘personal’ size and, as I have previously mentioned- I love it! The Metropol is a bit of an oddball in the Filofax world because it is made of PU rather than leather but since mine is sharing handbag space with juicebottles and hairbrushes, that is a good thing!

Things I use: Washi tape, pens, single-hole punch, scissors, stickers, paperclips.

I remove all the little loose bits and open up the week ahead. There may already be some things marked that I have known about for a while. I choose my washi tape and where I am going to put it. For this layout I am going to put the washi down the centre (see pics at the bottom of this post for other layouts).

Once the washi tape is on, I use the holepunch to punch the holes. If you’re worried about the punched washi tape sticking, you can dust it with chalk first. However, I have rarely had a problem with the washi sticking and in fact I sometimes punch stickers out of the washitape (see pic at bottom of page)
Repeat with the other page.

Then I add in my appointments for each day. Unlike some Filofax enthusiasts, I don’t have a colour-code for different categories of appointments but I like to try and keep the colours co-ordinated at this point (although later on I’ll add things in with whatever colour pen I have on hand). I’ll also add in our menu plan if I know what we’re having.

When I have something that needs to be done that week but not on a specific day, I write it on a stickynote so it can move from day to day.

Then I add my stickers/decorations and put all the loose bits back in (bookmark/ruler and cleaning checklist). Now I have another little confession- I took the above pictures ahead of time so the days are not quite as 'full' as they might be. 

And below are some of the other ways I use the washi tape- in the first picture I have used the washi tape at the top and bottom of the pages and in the second picture I have used the washi tape at the bottom and then punched washi stickers to place at the top. 

Laura xx

P.S- do you think I like argyle much? ;o)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome and welcome back

So, the long and the short of it is that I was hacked and lost my blog. Why? I really don't know. Not that there was a lot here anyway and not a lot of particular value. Anyway, as luck would have it the domain that I actually WANTED became available and so, since I am no longer contributing to Lovely Living and some of the other places I have been writing for, I decided to start again here.

So today, in a quiet moment, instead of relaxing with a cup of tea or watching daytime tv, I've been working on this blog. It will probably get tweaked a little bit in the upcoming days/weeks but the bones are there. 

Laura xx