Monday, January 30, 2012

Let's Get Organised Wk 5 ~ Fridge/Freezer and Recipe Organisation!!

Wow week 5 already!!!!! Scary thing about doing a weekly mission is I'll know how fast the years going!

Firstly I want to wish all those heading off to school this week goodluck!

Now that we have some basic systems in place we are going to head to the heart of the home - the kitchen.

This month we'll be doing a bit of decluttering and organising, tackling the dreaded plastic and getting ourselves menu planning!!!

This weeks missions:
~ Clean out the fridge and freezer
~ Take inventory of your freezer
~ Declutter your recipe collection
~ Create storage for your recipes

Clean out your fridge and freezer
Pretty self explanatory. Pull everything out of your fridge, tossing the science experiments as you go, then wipe out with some vanilla essence, makes it smell so nice.
Defrost your freezer if need be, wipe out with vanilla and tidy it all up.

Take Inventory of your freezer
This will help amazingly when it comes to menu planning. It will save you money as you can use up what is in there to help plan, plus you will know what needs to be used {not everything can be stored forever}.
Write or type up a list of what you have and how many and keep in your Home Journal, if you have one, or in a section of your Control Centre.

Declutter your recipe collection
Come on, I know you have one. A massive pile of magazine cutting and recipes you've printed out off the internet??? Yep I have one too. I do go through it regularly but it always needs work.
Do your best to keep recipes that you know you will try, forget those really fancy ones that you know you won't have time or the budget for.

Create storage for your recipes
However you decide to store your recipes be it in a book, folder or electronically work, work out a storage system that will work for you.
I'll be back later this week to show you mine.

So that's it for this week. A fair bit of stuff to do but it will hold us in good stead for next week when we get into menu planning!

Have a great week.

Take Care

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lets Get Organised Wk4 ~ My Control Centre and linky!

I thought that I'd share my Control Centre. It's not as pretty as I would like but it's practical and it works for us.
I somehow need to work out how to add a homework station in here for when Ethan starts Kindy (will be just for papers at first).

Firstly this is my whole computer area which is the hub of our home.
It sits on one wall in our family room area and is right next to the kitchen.

This is where I keep all of my important things. The folder is my Home Journal that contains my 
cleaning routines, to-do lists, and lists for birthdays and gifts.
In the magazine holder are my books for keeping track of my Lime Tree Creations, Beccis Domestic Bliss, Down To Earth and scrapbooking commitments, plus my LTC order book and diary.

We prefer to keep the keyboard on the main desk top.
So we use the slide out for our interim inboxes.
The one on the left is mine. Has mostly print outs for recipes, patterns and other stuff that I haven't deal with yet.
As you can see it needs going through.
On the right is the household one, which currently holds bills, notes from the school and anything else that needs our attention.

Next to the computer on the right is our filing cabinet. Only the top drawer is used for filing, the other two house extra stationery, my camera and bits, plus associated computer cords etc.

On the side of the fridge is a magnetic clip that houses all Brians work stuff, mostly rosters and paperwork for holiday applications etc

One of my lovely readers has created her Control Centre and I wanted to share it with you.

I know many Aussie girls have been trying to find boxes like this.
Will Sharyn did!!!

Sharyn found the filing boxes at Ikea!
They aren't expensive really either at 2 for $15 and come in black or white.
So why not split the cost with a friend???
The only thing to mention is that these boxes only hold A4 suspension files which you can also buy at Ikea (and apparently KMart to I have heard).
Files are $15 for 16.
The pencil and letter holders she bought to match from The Reject Shop for just a few dollars each too!
Sharyn has printed off the 2012 calendar pages from
The Organised Housewife.
Love these pages as the have a section for Goals and To Do's for the week.

So how awesome is that?! Thanks Sharyn for sharing.

I'd love to see your Conrtol Centres once you have them set up. Please link up below.
Don't forget to link up your Menu Plans in this fortnights post too.

Take Care

Monday, January 23, 2012

Let's Get Organised Wk4 ~ Control Centre

One way to keep your household running smoothly is to create a Control Centre. This is were all your paper work is, diaries, calendars, control journals {if you use one} etc are all house.
This is where you sort the mail, put notes from school and other outside activities.
You can easily incorporate your Homework Station into this too.

Now that school has gone back for some and is about to go back for others we need to take a look at our routines too. It doesn't matter if we are SAHMs, WAHMs, or if we work outside of the home we all need a daily routine. We'll also take a look at after school routines.

This weeks missions are:
~ Continue with previous missions - is your sink still shiny? how's the washing going?
~ Create a space for a Control Centre
~ Create a daily routine for the household
~ Create an after school routine

Have a read back through some previous posts for some routine inspiration:
~ Morning Routine
~ Afternoon Routine
~ Before Bed Routine
~ Weekly Home Blessing
~ How it all comes together

Here are some ideas for Control Centres:

Now that your appetite is whet, I'll leave you to ponder over where you might be able to set something up.
I'll be back tomorrow with some pics of how I have mine set up and also how one of my readers has created hers. It's awesome and you'll be very excited!

Take Care

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting Down To Earth with Dishcloths

A bit over a year ago I was using Wondercloths for doing the dishes, had done so for years. Anyways ours went missing. It was one of those weeks where I didn't have $2 to go buy a new one so I used an old facewasher instead. It was brilliant! Even better than the Wondercloth! It washed much better too!

Then one day while hanging out the clothes I got to thinking, as you do. Surely I could crochet my own dishcloths??? I had crocheted potholders before so why not a dishcloth????

Then a few days later I stumbled across this post by the lovely Rhonda. How perfect would it be for me to take part in a dishcloth swap! So I signed up! and then joined the forum.

The Down To Earth forum has become me second home. I have learnt so much from the lovely girls (and a couple of guys) that my life will never be the same again! I now make my own washing powder, soap, cleaning products and my passion for crocheting has been renewed as well as I'm about to start sewing too!!!

There is always something going on. Currently there are challenges in saving weightloss, and gardening. I am runnning a Handmade 12 in 12 challenge and also a decluttering challenge which ties in with my Let's Get Organised missions perfectly!

So if you would like to get back to basics, like to slow down a little, make greener choices where possible and make some friends then pop on over to the forum and sign up!

Now speaking of dishcloths. I haven't been too happy with those first dishcloths I made. They have gone very scratchy, which isn't such a bad thing when it comes to doing the dishes, but I'd rather use something that was much softer.
So I made a heap using Bendigo Mills 8ply Cotton.

The first one I made using some other red cotton I had two along with strands of light blue and white

I loved this pattern so much I decided I'd make 5 more. 6 dishcloths plus the few I have from swaps is plenty enough.

 Which colour way is your favourite?

A close up of the texture.

You can find the pattern here.
I made 35 chains for my dishcloths, used a 4mm hook and 8ply yarn.
My cloths measure approx 21cm across.

Take Care

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Giveaway Winner!!!!!

The winner of my New Years Giveaway is...............


Angela can you email your postal address to me at
by monday morning and I'll have it in the post for you.

If I don't hear from Angela by lunchtime monday then I'll draw another winner. 

Thank you every one for your entries.

Take Care

Friday, January 20, 2012

Let's Get Organised Wk3 ~ School Snack

For school snacks I like to have everything ready to go so come packing time I can just grab a bit of that and a slice of that.
As I have mentioned before I buy boxes of Shapes, pretzels, popcorn etc and package up into smaller ziplock bags and store in the pantry.

One of the fave things here is a dry mix. It stores for ages in an airtight container, but really it never last the week.
There's no really recipe but I use pretzels, nutrigrain or sultana buds, banana chips and a choice of dried fruit.
You can add whatever you like though. Different cereals, yoghurt covered fruit etc too.

I also like to bake cakes and slices, individually wrap and pop in the freezer. Place straight in the lunchbox frozen, they'll be defrosted buy recess time and will help to keep everything else cool.
You can even freeze whole grapes and my boys used to love frozen yoghurts too. They used to take until lunchtime to defrost though, but if you buy the ones in tubes they aren't too bad by recess.

So here are some of our fave recipes to freeze.

{can adapt this recipe to have all sorts of flavours and fillings}

I'll be trying some new recipes over the weekend too, can't wait to try.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who loves trying new recipes. So please link up your fave recipes below.
Yes it can be links form othersites too, not just your blog, lets make this a great resource of recipes!!!

Take Care

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Menu Planning 19th January ~ 1st February

Wow almost time to roll over to the second month of the year!!!
I haven't found anything that has inspired me to try a new main meal this fortnight! I can't believe it! I do have some new baking recipes that I'm hanging to try though!

This fortnight includes Australia Day!!!! We'll be having a yummy BBQ complete with lamb chops of course!

So on to this fortnights menu.

Thurs ~ Quiche
Fri ~ Sausages and veg
Sat ~ 20 minute Teriyaki Chicken and Rice (was so yum last fortnight we have to have it again)
Mon ~ Chow Mein
Tues ~ Chicken snitzels with mushie sauce
Wed ~ Ikea meatballs

Thurs ~ Australia Day BBQ
Fri ~ Marinated chicken and veg
Sat ~ Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks
Sun ~ Roast Pork and veg
Mon ~ Beef Casserole
Tues ~ Easy dinner (eggs on toast that sort of thing)
Wed ~ Spaghetti Bolignaise and garlic bread.


Jelly Poke Cake
Pudding Poke Cake

Would love to see what's on your menu for this fortnight. Linky will be open until midnight wednesday 1st Feb.

Take Care

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Let's Get Organised Wk3 ~ Snack Stations

Snack Stations are a great way to pack lunchboxes quickly. even easier for the kids to pack their own lunchboxes!

This year I plan to have three snack stations. One in the pantry fro dry goods, one in the freezer for cakes and muffins and another in the fridge for yoghurts, fruit and cheese.

This is my snack box at the moment. I need to get a few more things for in here.
When my big boys would pack a lunch box I used to buy boxes of Shapes and divvy them up into small ziplock bags. I think from memory I would place 15 biscuits in each bag?? Much cheaper to buy a box and separate than a bag of individual ones.

Here are some other ideas
Popcorns a great alternative to chips.

If you don't have room in your pantry maybe  you have a drawer you can use?
Great idea to have spoons and napkins etc here too.

The pic here on the left is a fridge station, the one on the right a pantry station.

I am yet to start my back to school baking but I do 

Frozen breakfast station
Brekky wraps and fruit ready for smoothies

and a lunch/snack station
frozen muffin pizzas, orange slices and grapes.

I will be baking lots of cakes, muffins and scrolls though, recipes to come in the next few days.

Lastly is a fridge station. I'll be buying my baskets tomorrow for this, but in the mean time here's some more inspiration.

I hope these pics of some awesome snack stations has motivated you to make your own. I'd love to see them if you do, please link up below.

Take Care

Let's Get Organised Wk2 ~ Homework Station ~ I found it!!!!

Remember how I was saying that I found the perfect station for me but was pre Pinterest? Well I found it!!!

Out of sheer coincidence Kat from The Organised Housewife reposted hers this morning! You can see the rest of the post here. She has fab ideas! Thanks Kat!

Take Care

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Let's Get Organised Wk3 ~ Organising a Deep Pantry on a Budget

We have a very deep pantry in our house. While it stored heaps it can be rather difficult to make everything accessable. We are renting too so any changes we wanted to make couldn't be permanent plus I wanted to make sure anything I bought could be easily adapted to use elsewhere whenever we moved from here.

I found the best thing to use was plastic baskets. I'm sure I could have bought some very pretty material lined baskets but they would have added to the cost and while they are very pretty they aren't very practical. Could you imagine soy sauce or something spilling all over those pretty covers???

So here is my pantry and how I have it sorted out.

I'll take you shelf by shelf and starting at the top.

 At the pack is a bag full of plastic folks and spoons, next to that {you can't see it} is a container with plastic plates and bowls and paper napkins ready for birthday parties.
In front are the takeaway containers I freeze individual meals up in for Brian to take to work.

The blue tubs {there is one behind too} store my bulk purchases of herbs and spices.
I house my salt container here too, used mostly for making playdough.

 The grey tubs {again there is one behind} house baking supplies. The ones I use most like dried fruit, choc chips etc are in the front. The one at the back houses dried pulses etc.
In the middle section of the shelf is my desserts station, I need a basket for this area though.
Please ignore the peeling wallpaper the previous owners used as lining, it's aweful!

More of my dessert station.
At the back are my spare flours.
And in front are our beverages ~ spare tea bags, milo, hot chocolates etc

 This shelf holds most of my cooking supplies.
On this side the herbs and spices I use most, along with stock powder and gravy.
Right at the very back are my sunflower, pepita etc seeds. In front of that is cornflour, custard powder, cocoa etc.

This side is flours, sugars, coconut etc all housed in my Tupperware Modular Mates.

 At the back of this shelf is a plastic tub containing pasta. We keep a square container for our sandwich wraps on top of this as it's about the only place it fits.
I have a container that houses packet mixes. I don't buy many. It's mostly packets of french onion and chicken noodle soup in there. But I do have a couple of packets of Ikea meatball gravy and some yoghurt mixes too.
In front are mostly condiments, sauces and spreads.

This side is for cans.
All the canned fruit together, canned pulses together, cans of baked beans and spaghetti together,
and mini cans of flavoured tuna for lunches together too.

 The old wooden bread bin at the back stores all my cake decorating supplies. 
Food colourings, piping bags, patty cases, sprinkles etc.
Infront of that is a glass container that normally stores medium grain rice but we are out.
Then there is the large bottle of tomato sauce and some cordial
{we don't drink cordial much but always keep some on hand}.
Nest to the cordial is a box where we stock things for quick snacks like 2 min noodles, pasta and sauce,
packets of oats and cup a soups.
Essential box for teenagers!

Next is the dry snack box.
Here I keep crackers, my own dry snack mix {recipe coming}
I also keep mini cans of baked beans and spaghetti here for toddler lunches and snacks.
This basket is for the littlies.

Snack box, eggs and some cartons of long life milk.
Right at the back are the flavoured vinegars.

 The botton shelf!
Right at the back is the bread maker,some juice and spare cereal.
In front the vegie bin.

At the back is the deep fryer which I raelly should get rid of as we just don't use it!
Cereals in front.

So that's it!
As you can see I stick to the rule of thumb of keeping like with like. I have the items I use mostly in the middle shelves so they are easily accessable too.

Would love to see your pantries. Please link up below.

Take Care