Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Organising on a Budget - New Bathroom Storage

As an extension of my last post on our Ensuite Bathroom Cupboard makeover , I wanted to show you a little something extra that we added to our teeny tiny ensuite so that we had some more storage space. 

Just like time, space is of the essence, especially in our little bathroom . Even though I have never been a fan of these units in the past,  when I saw the Over - The - Toilet Cupboard , not only on sale but with $2 shipping from Deals Direct turn up on my emails, my mind started ticking. You see, freight for furniture, or any item really, is extremely expensive to get to the Pilbara , so I really wanted to make the most of the deal on furniture. Plus I knew we needed something to fix a few problem areas . 

This is our terrible gorgeous toilet space before

So a few weeks and $90 later, this beauty turned up and my clever husband set to work putting it together . Flat packs are a Blue job in our house for sure!

This unit has holes already pre drilled and for you to be able to attach it to the wall, however, because we are renting we wanted to avoid doing so. Instead we used little wedges (cut from rubber door wedges) to hold the base of the legs up (the floor is slightly sloped to allow for drainage and because I think its just a little dodgy) and also a bunch of command strips around the back of the top cabinet part. 

After a quick trip to our few shops , I found a couple of storage items and that cute enamel bowl on the shelf as a little decoration. 

The white frame is from Typo a while ago. I bought a few as they were out mega cheap and re homed it from another area of our house. 
The enamel tin has some paper type flowers that are scented. Something nice smelling in a bathroom is always a good thing :)

The main reason we wanted some new storage was so that our sharp items were out of reach of the children. With low cupboards, even though they know they aren't supposed to rifle through them, it is always a possibility and temptation. 

So on the top shelf from left to right;
The white tin holds my husbands razor and nail scissors. 
The glass jar is full of nail items, nail clippers, small cuticle cutters, tweezers etc
The cream basket has my husbands small clipper set (he uses on his face) and the various attachments for it 

The bottom shelf holds the commonly used items, so they are at arms reach but still kept clean and safe. 
Deodorants, shaving creams and face items for my husband. The white dish is where he pops his mouth retainer during the day (such a nice night time look!!) and of course the ever practical cotton tips and cotton balls in the glass jars (they were bought as a set of 3 from Thingz for $7)

We are extremely pleased with how the cabinet looks and functions. It has added a bit more storage to the area without imposing on space or practicality. It does shut out a bit more light from the window from what we had before, but that is not a major thing for us. If anything the room stays cooler! 

It was easy to assemble, a good price and great quality . You can't ask for much more than that! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Organising on a budget - Ensuite Bathroom

As mentioned in my previous post, our ensuite bathroom is rather dated. It is a 80's style home and the wet areas havent' changed since the house was built. The laminate on the bench tops is marked, the trim and cupboards have water damage and the shower screen is cracked. Typical rental I guess. However our house is in a good area and we have new tiles and a fresh paint job through out so  I would consider ourselves very lucky. All in all, I do love our home. It works for us and things could always be worse!! 

Having said all that, the ensuite is bad , bad, bad!! Its small, you walk through our Walk In Robe to get in there and I HATE shower curtains. I do miss our large shower and glass shower screen. 

So , when embarking on this organising task, I knew I needed to make the room a little 'prettier' . Add some colour and spruce up the tired old cupboard. 

So here we have a before shot. 
Please note this isn't the before before shot. I had done a tidy up a few months ago and put everything in these baskets. And it doesn't seem that bad , but functionality wise. It just wasn't working for us and the large baskets became a dumping ground for everything!

I wrote a list and set out in search of the particular items I needed. I was lucky and re purposed some baskets I had bought previously and hadn't used and just needed a few new purchases.

The jars and enamel tin are from Thingz (I believe it is a WA chain but I am sure there would be something similar for East Coasters) and the Cosmetic organiser was from Kmart for about the $10 mark .

So first I pulled everything out of the cupboard and sorted it all into piles. I ended up culling and chucking a shopping bag of things we just don't use. Hair products, perfumes I just don't seem to like the smell of, makeup I don't wear because the weather here doesn't allow it etc etc.

I then could see how big each tub needed to be and used these existing ones we had in our house. The white baskets were from a plastic drawer set but you can get something similar from Woolworths. The clear pull out baskets are a Kmart buy and are $3 if you don't live in the Pilbara ($4 for us!! haha) and of course the cosmetic organiser in action.

I have a large tub for cosmetic and toiletry bags, with my nail polishes and supplies in the front. 

A tub for extra items. Surplus supplies that I buy when on special , so spare Tooth paste, makeup or moisturisers. 

And I love how I can see everything in my cosmetic organiser. There is a place for everything and my everyday basics are at the touch of my fingertips. 

The top plastic pull out drawers (with the handle facing inwards because otherwise they stick out too far to close the door with the drain pipe in the back there) . One side is skincare ( cleaner, toner, moisturiser, masks etc) and the other is our perfumes/colognes. 

You may have noticed that I also ran a strip of Washi tape down edge cupboard edge. The laminate is discoloured from water damage and it just didn't look clean and fresh even though I know it is. Washi Tape is the perfect width, easy to apply and remove and such a quick and cheap update. And it made the world of difference in this cupboard. I may have been going a little Washi mad as I go through each cupboard and area around the house! 

Next the baskets needed labels, much to my husbands disgust! He thinks he knows whats in each basket therefore we don't require them . Funny thing is, its him who has issues with putting things away in the right places! 

I used THIS great tutorial from the blog I Heart Organizing. It was super easy to follow and I am totally computer illiterate so I loved it! 
I stuck with a basic colour for the lettering as I wanted to use patterned paper as the border and already had the wash tape going on. 
It was a fluke that I found some patterned card stock in my stash that matched the Washi tape, it was meant to be. 
I then laminated them and stuck them to the baskets with Blu Tack for easy removal. 

I am very pleased with the final product and our newly organised cupboard. I feel happy every time I open the doors and see little bursts of colour , not to mention the fact I can actually find the things I need. Especially in the mornings when time is precious! 

We have also put in some new storage to this small bathroom,  that post is coming in the next few days. We needed a little more storage, and also something a little higher (out of reach of little hands). 

So stay tuned for the next Ensuite organising post. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Organising On a Budget - My Planning Process

Since moving houses (and towns all together)  we have so many new rooms and spaces to organise. When we moved into our house, my husband could not get any time off so it was just me (and the 4 kids) and a bunch of unpackers. Actually, I don't think you can call them that, they seem to just lift the items out of the boxes and deposit them on any available flat surface. Every where!!

Anyway, everything was just chucked in the cupboards and drawers and were never really organised properly. Its driving me nuts!! Its time for that to change and I am a woman on a mission. Nothing is safe!!

So the return of the 'Organising on a Budget' series. If you have been a follower of the blog for a while, you would have seen a few of my other Organising makeovers, and this is no different. 

This series focuses on creating cleaner, more organised spaces but on a low budget. 
Everything having a place , Simplifying and labelling to make spaces more functional and ..... prettier. 

Seeing as though we are now in a rental we are limited with permanent changes, painting etc. However small cosmetic changes can often make the world of difference. Our home is an older style, from the 80's era so the bathrooms , laundry and kitchen are rather dated. Old laminate, cupboards that have seen their fair share of water damage (from leaks or perhaps Cyclone damage) are features in most of the rooms, but I am still on a mission to add some personality and style around the place. 

Other than some gorgeous friends that inspire me to organise and decorate to make our house a home for our family, one of my biggest inspirations is Jen from I Heart Organizing. For other than the obvious reasons , the way she organises , her gift at finding the right tools to complete her jobs but for her sense of style. For personalising everything that she does and for making simple organising tasks look ..... gorgeous!! So that's my goal!!
I have been rather reserved in the past with my colour selection around our home. Putting it plainly, I am boring. Beige, brown and white. Wow! haha I am determined to add some colour and life to our home and make each and every project, not only functional but gorgeous to look at! 

The main question I have been asked via emails or private messages on my facebook page (thank you for sending them in by the way) is ; 

How do you find the time to complete your projects?
Where do you start? How do you know what needs doing?

Great questions and simple answers!!

In regards to finding the time to complete projects around our home, well I am a busy lady. I think all mothers are. It helps that I am an insomniac and find it hard to sleep. But I also don't need much sleep to survive either so that has always been a bonus since having twins! I find I get a second wind at around 10pm and can still go for hours! The most productive hours of my day are after 10pm at night!
I also have a husband that is home on weekends and helps with the kids and our projects and tries to give me some time out to complete my tasks. 
But I prioritise. Having a clean, organised home is important to me. It effects the way I function and cope with every day life and it effects my moods and anxiety levels. Crazy I know!!
But my home is my work place. I am a stay at home Mum and I now also work from home so I think its important to maintain my environment. 
Life in our family is busy enough, the last thing we need is to not be able to find something or for piles of cr*p to fall out on you when you open a cupboard! I can control the appearance and functionality of our home, but so many other aspects of parenting, so I choose to use it to my advantage!

My planning process is also pretty simple. There is still nothing like the good old pen and paper system. Even with all of the technology and devices around these days, I still find it easier to have a hard copy in front of me to refer to.

When returning from holidays in mid January (after spending time in my parents gorgeous brand new home) I felt a little cluttered and unkempt in our house . So I went through each room. 
I made a list and wrote down all the things that needed to be done and all the things that needed to be bought/ things I would like to update.   Whether they were big or small, they were written down. 

I then worked my way through each room, cleaning and making a list of what needs to be purchased to complete each organisational task, if we didn't already have the supplies at home. Easy....

Now that I have made a copy , I have found this gorgeous printable on the I Heart Organizing blog , and I will transfer my list onto here. It looks prettier !!

I love knowing where we are at. What we have bought. Roughly how much things will cost and what sort of a look we are going for. It saves time and money, both things that are precious to each and every  one of us!!

Armed with my list of supplies for my first few projects,  I headed to our main 2 shops in our town - Kmart and Thingz (Thingz is a WA store and is a gift ware type shop).

Kmart have some fantastic organisational products at the moment and for great prices too, so if you are coming on this organising journey with me, that should be your first port of call!

I hope I answered your questions clearly, and I hope you can stay tuned for the first weeks makeover, our ensuite vanity. That post is coming tomorrow !! 

For now though, perhaps you would like to check out some of my previous posts in this series?

Happy Saturday everyone :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tips for your Tresses

In a former life I used to own and run a Hairdressing salon. At one stage I had 7 staff, including a number of apprentices that I used to train.
Juggling motherhood and running a business was definitely a challenge but I did love it! Perhaps not the stress but the work and environment with my staff.

I started working from home when we moved out of our transit housing to our permanent house and its all very new to me. I have always worked in a salon environment but again , I am loving it!
Choosing my work days and hours , being able to be there for my kids, pick them up from school etc but still enjoy my profession is a bonus!
I generally work when my husband doesn't . So afternoons (when the kids don't have activities on) and weekends.

Now that I have shared that little titbit about my life, I wanted to share with you some common questions that clients have had over the years and perhaps a few tips that you may not be aware of.
I am by no means the ducks nuts of hairdressers and each one will have their own opinions just like any other trade or qualification but here it goes.....

  • Professional products , purchased from a hairdresser , supplier or store are better for your hair. And I am not just saying that because I am trying to sell you something , because clearly I am not. Professional products are more expensive to buy , yes, but they are also made with more expensive ingredients. This is for a reason. The silicone in the conditioners are water soluble. Meaning every time you shampoo your hair , you are rinsing out the conditioner from the time before. It is not building up on your hair shaft. The cheaper supermarket versions are NOT water soluble and therefore every time you condition your hair , it is putting another layer over the shaft. The build up can create chemical reactions with certain colour treatments, can make your hair feel slimy and even make your hair feel oily prematurely. 

  • Always shampoo your hair twice when washing it. The first shampoo removes surface dust, dirt, grease etc and the second one is cleansing your scalp and inner hair shaft. Condition once as normal . 

  • You should always use a conditioner , even if you have super fine hair and feel like it weighs it down. The conditioner is the product that closes the hair shaft (like tiny scales ) and prevents it from being damaged by different elements (heat, abrasion etc). If you do have fine hair, perhaps using a spray in conditioner would suit you better? Something that is light but still nourishing.

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  • Try and use hair elastics that have no metal components. So a plain, elastic all the way around. The metal will rub and cause breakage.

  • Try and wear your hair in a different spot every day. One day wear a high pony tail, the next day a bun, the next day a plait for instance. Like with anything, wearing your hair in the same spot day in, day out, can cause breakage from hair ties. 

  • If you find your hair is having a rough time ( sound silly but it does happen, it goes through stages just like any other part of your body) it can be largely due to hormonal issues, stress/anxiety and changes in the weather/seasons. 

  • It is natural to lose between 100-200 hairs a day. There is nothing to say what is 'normal' however I wouldn't be stressing if you are losing this much. Hair goes through a life cycle and when the cycle is complete it falls out . There are always more growing to replace it. However if you are worries, taking a vitamin supplement like 'Hair , skin and Nails' can help or consult your doctor 

  • After having a baby or if you are breast feeding , you may experience more hair loss than normal, I certainly did! You will notice a few months after increase in hair loss that small tufts of hair will be growing around your hair line. This is new growth and although they are annoying for styling/straightening, its certainly a good thing!!
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  • Using a silk pillowcase can be helpful for fine/damaged hair. It is a lot softer on your hair, especially if you are an unsettled sleeper and tend to toss and turn a little. Sleeping with your hair out is recommended

  • You shouldn't brush your hair when its wet. After washing your hair, detangling it with a wide tooth / afro style comb is best. Brushes are a little too rough on the hair shaft when it is in a fragile state. When your hair is wet it is more susceptible to damage.

  • Regular hair cuts are best for the condition of your hair. So every 6-8 weeks is optimum. I know this is not always achievable and I am not the best role model for this. I have 4 little kids and I am busy , I know how it goes but the more often you can do it , the better. 

  • Your hair generally grows around a centimetre a month. If you are trying to grow your hair, perhaps getting a trim every 8 weeks , but only taking off a centimetre or less. You will notice the increase in condition and growth in no time! 

  • If you are a regular heat styler, I would recommend using a heat protectant spray. This is a product you spray or rub through your hair either when wet , before you blow dry or when dry before you use straightening irons. It puts a protective coating over your hair shaft to protect it from the heat of the straightener. For instance, if you are using a GHD styler, they are at an average temperature of 210 degrees. Over prolonged use, this will take its toll!

My last piece of advice, and something that I have always said to my clients -  Love and care for your locks. Your hair of hair is your best accessory.
You wear your hair every day! Some people chose to spend more money on a pair of shoes or some craft supplies etc (just mere examples and I am guilty for it myself) yet can't justify spending a few dollars on good quality products and trim every now and then.
Treat yourself and your tresses and care for them . You will reap the rewards with a good looking do and will feel better for it !

So there you have some little pieces of info that literally just rolled out off the top of my head. Obviously take from it what you will , perhaps you learnt something new today, perhaps it reminded you of something you already knew but need to put into practice again!

Are there any other hints/ tips or advice you would like to share?

Monday, February 17, 2014

A ' lovely ' Afternoon Tea

On Friday, seeing as though it was Valentines Day, I threw a little afternoon tea for my family. 
I was a lucky girl and received some gorgeous roses from my husband (only the second time in 11 years) so they made the perfect centre piece. Everything else was just a bonus! 

Some cute place mats , red spotty paper plates and serviettes (I bought them last week on sale for 50c , so I bought a stack for events, cyclones and camping) and little milk bottles with love heart straws (bought on clearance from Typo a while ago and I put them away).
They all combined to make a very cute afternoon tea!

The kids were so excited and could not wait to sit down for their special little treats but we waited until Dad got home and it was so nice to do as a family!!

I had made some yummy Orange cakes (using THIS recipe) in the Thermomix for a play date/morning tea that morning so we had some left. A cute cupcake wrapper and topper from a kit from Woolworths and they suited the day perfectly.

And every year I like to make a love heart cake for the kids as a special Valentines treat. This year was certainly no different and I went with a simple chocolate cake , with butter cream icing. Pink of course!! Some heart sprinkles, a few cake toppers and ta da!! Yummo!

We had some very happy and chatty kids on our hands!! It was so lovely to all sit down at the table and chat about our days. The conversations the kids have always seem to make me smile and laugh! Love 

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Happy ....
Its been a challenging past 12 months, but I can honestly say that this feeling that I have, is happiness.
Contentment, joy, excitement and above all , I am happy.

Almost 9 months ago , my husband and I made the massive decision for him to accept a position in a new town. A month later , a truck and crew were packing our belongings and we were heading to the Pilbara.
We relocated our children and lives away from our family and closest friends , to embark on a wonderful journey.

Originally we set out with a 5 year plan. To move up here , work hard and save money to be able to return to our home town and build our dream home. To be able to afford the luxury of me staying at home to look after the kids and raise them, only returning to work when I want to, not because I have to. Yes they were big sacrifices to make , to leave my parents and family behind and uproot the kids from everything they have ever known but we know now, it was the right thing to do.

This move has been the making of us. We are closer in our relationship. We have had to rely on each other more than ever before. We had no one else when we moved here but that's certainly not the case anymore.
Now we are lucky enough to have beautiful caring and generous friends , life long friends. Not that we don't have those back home, but everyone is in the same boat up here.
Our friends have become our family when we have don't have any close.
Everyone is just so ..... friendly.
Friends that call me to check to see if I have lost it crying on the first day of school. Friends who offer to have our FOUR children when I need a little time out. Friends who you laugh, talk and cry with.

And we are happy.
Everyone has their ups and downs and it just so happened that last year (or more so the year before )  was a little of a downer for me (until the end of June) . I learnt some home truths about friends and friendships , unfortunately the hard way but it all makes you grow and appreciate things that little bit more.

And at the start of July, our lives changed. And as my husband says to me "the Pilbara has changed
you Morrison"and it has.
I am happy , content and loving life.
And I hope you are too! And if not, have faith that your turn will come. The future will be brighter and tomorrow is a new day. There is a wonderful life waiting for you to live it, don't miss the opportunity!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentines Contact Hearts

As a part of our Valentines Craft sessions, we did a few of the good old Contact Hearts!!
If you have been a follower of the blog for a while, you know that I have done these many many times before. I love that the contact system can lend itself to so many different themes and crafts , each with great outcomes!! 

They are always a hit in our house, because they are pretty and sparkly and can go on display on our sliding doors (as a stained glass window type effect).

Lately I have been setting out the craft supplies and using these cheap plastic white trays from Kmart, to try and help contain the mess!! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't .....

A little chopped up tissue paper in your choice of colour/s , some heart confetti (Woolworth had small packs in their Valentines area for a few dollars) and some chunky glitter (from our craft stash).

Sprinkle sprinkle, stick stick, fix the contact . Repeat repeat repeat! 

Ta da!! Pretty, sparkly hearts on our door!! (excuse our tropical back yard and totally professional phone reflection, at least its reality right?!)

And seeing as though Stella was at school, I knew she would be sad to miss out , I created a tray for her to do when she got home. Easy peasy!

Did you do any Valentines crafts? Perhaps something different than the norm? I am getting a little bored of these ones and must make an attempt next year to think of a newbie!!

Happy Saturday Peeps!! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines Class Gifts

So .... tomorrow is the big V- Day! 
Valentines Day is either a day you love or loathe! 
I personally love it, not because I receive flowers or gifts or anything (my husband conveniently doesn't believe in doing that!) but because its a day that you show you care for someone. 
Show you love and appreciate them, their friendship , or just a day to .... be nice. 

This year I was organised enough and found a few printables that I love and knew they weren't going to be too involved in pulling the gifts off. 

So tomorrow , Stella will be taking along some cute pencils that I decorated with washi tape (they are from Woolworths for just a few dollars for a pack of 25) . With some tags that I found HERE.

Seriously easy , yet so cute and I am sure the kids are going to love them!! 
I just printed the pages, cut out the hearts and Stella wrote her name on the bottom. Make 2 small slits in the sides and thread the pencil through. Done !

We also happen to be going to a friends for a play and swim so along with some fresh Orange muffins (they are delicious, I may have tried one already!) , I thought it would be nice for the other kids to take some small gifts for their friends too! 

Whilst browsing Pinterest , I found this printable HERE and thought it would be a cute idea. And I mean, what kid doesn't love bouncy balls?

I only had white paper so I just printed them out and let the kids colour in the slogan area. 

I backed each tag to some coloured card stock and trimmed with a little washi tape , popped a bouncy ball in a clear bag and stapled the tag to the top. 
Voila!! Cute as anything !
And again, for just a few dollars (the bouncy balls came in a pack of 6 bought from Woolworths in the Party supplies area)

They are going to be so proud and happy to hand out these to their friends! 

And we can not forget a little something for Stella's teacher either!! 
Again, Pinterest came to the rescue and I found THIS printable . 
However I decided to just use the tag from the printable and not the full patterned wrap, so I just cut around the slogan circle and stuck it on some coloured card stock that I had cut to the width that I wanted for the jar. I then covered over the paper with some clear contact so that it is more durable. 

The Back to School clearance sales at the supermarket meant that I picked up some coloured pens for $2 and the gift is complete. 

Practical , thoughtful and gorgeous! Every teachers dream, right?!

Gift giving doesn't have to take a lot of time , nor cost a lot of money. 
But the thought is there, and that is what matters most! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Life... Its all about the numbers ...

45 minutes I was waiting for a rent inspection today ...
8 minutes later than normal, I arrived at school to no car parks ...
31 days until my 29th Birthday ...
4 kids, aged 5, 3, 3 and 2 live here ... they are devine x
406 posts I have written on this very blog ...
2 times I have thought about making myself a coffee today ... still no coffee
7.5 months of living in the Pilbara and we love it ...
5 times today Max has told me he doesn't have school tomorrow, poor love ...
13 times I have said 'I love you' today and there are plenty more to come ...
31 minutes ago my husband took the kids to swimming lessons ... silence is bliss
4054 days I have been with said husband ... and I love him more every day ... especially when he gives me said silence ...
1 ham and salad wrap was eaten for my lunch today ... first lunchtime meal in a while, I must make an effort to have it more often ...
2 pairs of tap shoes are the vain of my existence at the moment ...
2 flat packs have been erected by gorgeous husband so far this week, one more to go ...
26 February is when I can watch the next Greys Anatomy episode and I am hanging out ...
7 days down of the term .. lots more to go ...
76 days until I see my Mum and Dad x

And in a minute I should go and cook the Taco Mince for our dinner tonight. Taco Tuesday .....

Leaving you with some 'lately' snaps ...