Wednesday, February 23, 2011

an upside down day

I've read this picture book to nearly all of the classes I've taught in over the years- a child's account of the catastrophic Napier earthquake back in 1931. It's hard to believe that the earthquake in Christchurch is going to be as devastating if not more so. My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones and everyone in Christchurch.
Already there are a few ways to help- Leonie from Kiwiatheart has started a softie appeal and on Paisley Jade's blog there is a list of other ways to help out.  Grab one also has an appeal and has raised over $144,000 already.  And here's two facebook pages with ways to help
http://www.facebook.com/chchcharityauctions
and
http://www.facebook.com/Support.Christchurch.Earthquake
Thinking of you all in Christchurch,
Megan

Monday, February 21, 2011

a mid afternoon snack

One of my favourite mid afternoon treats- a banana, passionfruit, frozen berry and milk smoothie- especially good now that Amelie can prepare most of it which she loves doing and I just whizz it up!
Amelie had a friend over to play this morning- this can sometimes be quite 'interesting' as Amelie is really strong willed and pretty highly strung if you know what I mean! She managed to last about 5 minutes before her first lot of tears and tantrums, however once she had a bit of 'time out' and calmed down the two of them played together really nicely for the rest of the morning. I went into Amelie's bedroom and they had made this little display on the floor. When I said how lovely it was Amelie said "you should take a photo!" and her friend said "you could put it on the internet!" which got them very excited so here it is!
Hope you've had a great start to your week- do you have any favourite smoothie recipe's you'd like to share?
Megan x

Friday, February 18, 2011

Organised Home Project 4: The Nursery/Getting ready for baby

Well, this week's challenge has been much more successful than last weeks! The nursery is coming along nicely and I've managed to get a few things done in preparation for baby number three. It used to be our spare room but now it's all painted and we've moved the furniture around and I've unpacked most of the baby things. At the moment the room is looking quite plain as I am going to wait to see whether we have a boy or a girl before I start crafting a few things and decorating the room more.
I got all the baby clothes out and sorted them into plastic containers in the drawers. I sorted the clothes into bodysuits, nighties, stretch n grow's and outfits....
...and sorted the hats, socks/booties and bibs into containers in another drawer.
When I was pregnant with Stella I sorted the clothes into neutrals and girl clothes but this time I've just put them all together and will just take out the pink stuff if we have a boy!
I've used one of these hanging wardrobe organiser things for the baby's wraps, blankets, cot linen and muslins.
I've packed the baby bag for the hospital. 2 stretch n grows, 3 bodysuits, a wrap, a cloth nappy, 2 muslins, 2 hats, booties and slippers, a nightie and a woollen cardi. I put a couple of newborn nappies in too but the hospital provides nappies and wipes too I think. Probably far too much stuff, especially as I remember with my other two that we just used the hospital clothes and a cloth nappy for a wrap and barely touched the baby bag but at least there'll be something nice to wear home!
(After packing all this into a bag I left it on the bed...wondered why the girls were being so good and quiet...went in there and the bag contents were all over the floor, the bassinet had a doll baby in it and Stella was having a great time playing with the capsule and the baby carrier. Oh well, kept them quiet for a while!)

I haven't packed my hospital bag yet but I found this great checklist from OhBaby. Again, I remember not using even half of what I packed the other two times but at least I have a fair idea of what I'll use this time!
I've got a few baby toys out including these cute velcro balls from Clare at Greenvalley Crafts...
and I bought this lovely baby book the other day.
I've still got a few things to do but at least the big stuff is done now. I'm on the look out for another box frame so I can make a memory box like the ones I made for the girls when they were born.  I used their wrist band and bassinet label from the hospital, some cards they were given, newspaper birth notice, some ribbons from gifts, a little bootie and a few photo's.
and I'll also buy another box file to put things for the baby like their birth certificate, IRD and kiwisaver stuff,  bank statements, warranties for any baby stuff purchased etc.
I can't wait to get into crafting a few things for the baby. I've made a bit of a list of some of the things I would like to make (some are linked to some great tutorials I've come across)
baby ball
* baby quilt
*playmat/baby blanket
*nursery bedding
*crochet or knitted baby hat
*applique baby bodysuit
* baby bibs
* taggie toy
*oil cloth change mat

So there you go! Do you have any tips or hints for organising your baby's room, things that were really handy in hospital or in the first few weeks at home, more baby craft ideas or just general tips and ideas for newborns? If you leave a comment letting us know any of these things (or anything else you'd like to comment on!) you'll be in the draw to win this week's prize- a mousehouse waterproof nappy wallet- it's a great size for your handbag to keep some wipes, a couple of nappies, bib, cream etc. It's also good for a toddler bag to keep a change of clothes, a few snacks and some wipes.
The Linky tools seems to require a subscription now so if you have done any organising this week or linked up to my challenge please leave a comment with the URL of your post so we can all read it- you'll be in the draw too of course!
Next week's project...my wardrobe...maybe yours is in need of a bit of a sort out too? Mine sure is!
Happy organising :)
Megan x

Thursday, February 17, 2011

my creative space: polka dot rabbits

One of my favourite magazines is NZ 'Your Home and Garden magazine' and I especially love the back page with it's "Four Ways With..." crafty ideas. Here's this months theme...
I decided last night to give the cute rabbit project a go. I used a soft fleece for the front of the rabbit and fabric for the back. Mine ended up with much skinnier ears, arms and legs than the one in the mag!
I made the grey one for our baby on the way and the red one is heading off to Australia for Monkeemoomoo's Queensland Flood Appeal Dolly Drive.
I made a little bag for the red one using one of my favourite tutorials again. I remember taking about two evenings to make my first little satchel bag when I was just learning to sew and now I can make this little bag in about 20 minutes!
Peek a boo
Hello world!
To see what other crafty people have been up to this week head over to Kirsty's at Kootoyoo.
Thank you for visiting - might see you tomorrow with my 'getting ready for baby' organised home challenge, it's a bit more successful than last week's!
Megan x

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

grey, yellow and turquoise

I am loving these colours at the moment so thought I'd share a few pics with you.

Some of the fabrics I'm loving for some new curtains in our lounge
a few cushion covers I've made lately
 
books in the lounge
A kid -free breakfast at Tay St cafe in the Mount this morning (I think it's only the 2nd time we have done that in nearly 4 years!!!)
and a bump shot (31 weeks!)
Thanks for visiting, hope you are having a great week :)
Megan

Sunday, February 13, 2011

a pocket mirror

A lovely little package arrived from the UK in the weekend- this gorgeous embroidered pocket mirror that I won in a recent giveaway from Jenny Arnott. She makes the most gorgeous embroidered products and has the sweetest blog.  Thank you so much Jenny!
Thanks also to everyone with their commiserations and advice re backing up photo's, I really appreciated all the tips! I have finally ordered all the photo's I uploaded to Snapfish so can't wait to get them.  Although it'll probably take me another year to put them all into albums!

Happy Valentines Day for tomorrow :)
Megan

Friday, February 11, 2011

Organised Home Project 4 : Family photo's/memories

Well, have I been on a mission this week or what....I have decluttered my iphoto albums as well as decluttering my hundreds of bookmarks, files, stickies, itunes music and basically everything else on my computer....decluttered to zero.
Yep, my computer's hard drive ironically decided to choose this week- the week I was finally going to print and sort out out all my photo's from last year- to crash and die with no files to recover. So now I have my laptop back with a new hard drive and absolutely nothing on it which was pretty devastating on the day it happened (Tuesday) but I'm now pretty much over it, probably because it was completely my fault for not backing up anything on my computer and not printing photo's. So if there's anything to be learnt (I'll be like those people caught by the police on TV shows like Police ten7 and Motorway Patrol that lecture you the minute they are caught about the evils of drugs, alcohol and speeding)  and tell you that for the sake of a $150 back up hard drive it's probably worth the money! I thought they were about $500 ( I have no idea why I thought that, don't know why I didn't just go into the Apple store here and find out last year like my hubby kept telling me to do...) but photo's really are priceless and irreplaceable so I'm buying a back up device tomorrow!
Anyway, this weeks organising project is a bit of a failure sorry- no inspiration from me except maybe the urge to go buy yourselves a backup device or print some photo's!!
Luckily I did start uploading the first half of last years photo's to Snapfish so I only lost half a year of pics which I am still sad about but I guess it could have been worse if I had lost the whole year (just trying to make myself feel better as I sure was beating myself up about it on Tuesday!)

Anyway, if you have been on to it and printing photo's or thinking about displaying some on the walls in your home I came across this great post the other day with inspiring ideas for displaying family photo's.

The winner of last week's puzzle bag prize (from last week's Kids Toys challenge) is Dee, check out her organising here.
No prize this week sorry due to my complete failure of this week's project but next week's project will be a goodie, well for me anyway!  It's "'The Nursery/Getting ready for Baby". My hubby has finished painting it this week so next week is all about getting the bassinet put together, sorting out clothes and baby stuff, a bit of decorating and a few other things I need to do.
Thanks for visiting and hope to see you next week with a much more inspiring post I hope!
Megan x
PS: Had a really fab night on Tuesday at our 'Crafty Stitchers' first evening. It was so lovely to chat, see some crafty crochet and knitting projects happening, share a few tips and have a lot of laughs.  Looking forward to the next one already!
PPS: I had some good news this week after my computer drama...a kind friend from my teaching days has given me her old overlocker! She read my post about making the puzzle bags using pinking shears  and she is also is doing a bit of decluttering herself so I'm now the proud owner of her old overlocker. Does anyone have one of these?
I have absolutely no idea how to use it but am going to get it serviced and then get a friend to show me how to get started- exciting!  Thanks so much Sue :) 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

'love' themed goodies

Hello all, I've been a bit quiet on the computer this week but just thought I'd share a few things I've found online tonight with a bit of a love theme, seeing as Valentines Day is just around the corner....
You can also find Naomi Murrell products at Small Acorns
 
 

Happy Valentines Day for Monday!
Megan x

Friday, February 4, 2011

Organised Home Project 3 : The Kids Toys

Hello all, I hope you've had a great week. The kids toys was a project a lot of you wrote as being one of the main things you wanted to get organised and I was definitely one of them too! I am so not complaining about having lots of toys- we are very lucky that our children have so many to play with and also get given lovely toys by friends and family.  But the good thing is that having a bit of a sort out and donating a few toys to charities means you get to do something good while sorting out your own house!

This was the toy situation in our house...
* too many little bath toys that were taking me ages to pick up out of the bath every night (ok not every night, just when I could actually be bothered!)
*playhouse toys out of control
I think Every Single Toy was tipped on the floor that day!
*dress-ups all over the spare room floor most days
*paddling pool toys all over the lawn (the kids hardly played with them, Stella just threw them all out of the pool after getting in)
*toy storage containers and cupboards bulging with toys
Toy cupboard in the lounge
Plan of attack
1. I went through the dress ups and just kept 10 things in Amelie's room now and put the rest away
2. We had this neat road bath toy set with cars, trucks etc. Most nights Stella just tipped the entire bag into the bath and didn't even play with them! So I just chose 1 or 2 of each thing like 1 car, 1 truck etc and probably only kept a third of what was in there
3. I declucluttered heaps of the playhouse and paddling pool toys.
4. For the toys in the lounge and kitchen I made myself choose 10 toys to get rid of. 
5. I took all the toys and some of our books (not the kids books as I can't get rid of any of them!) and some other stuff to the Salvation Army shop.  Women's Refuge, Plunket or places like Bernardos are other great places you could possibly donate toys too.
A lot of stuff leaving our house yay!
The really amazing thing I have noticed since all this decluttering is that they are actually playing with the toys sooooo much more than before when they just tipped them all out and moved onto the next mess! And it is so much quicker to tidy up after they've gone to bed because firstly there's less toys and secondly there's more room in our storage places to throw them all!
Much better... well for now anyway!
And don't forget...having a tidy house and having an organised house are two very different things I think! My house is hardly ever 'tidy'- there are always toys and books all over the floor, things set up by Amelie using cushions/furniture,...and the day I can walk in a straight line from one place to another in our house without side-stepping something will be a miracle! I don't worry about picking anything up till both girls are in bed though unless I've got someone coming round, otherwise I would just spend my entire day following them around and picking stuff up! 

So here are some things I use for toy organising...
* Whenever I buy pillowcases or sheet sets I keep the plastic zip bags they come in- they are great for puzzles or other little things. I've also made some fabric puzzle bags too.
* In the lounge I've got a couple of storage containers that don't scream 'kids' even though there's kids stuff in them
Kids books in a little basket
 * I like using soft rubber buckets like the pink one below for toys. They fit heaps and they can squeeze into whatever space you have. They have heaps at Briscoes- I got this one for $8 on Sunday when they had their big sale. 
Kitchen toys and books
I also like Ezibuy for their storage containers -that's where I got these for Stella's room a few years ago.
* I re-use cute boxes to keep puzzles and little things together too- this spotty box had a set of toiletries in it
* I like using a trug type container for crafty stuff- easy to throw everything in when Stella throws it all over the floor (did I mention Stella has a throwing habit...) and with the handle it's easy to move around depending on where Amelie feels like drawing that day. 
Blue trug from The Warehouse
* Although I haven't tried it, I really like the idea of toy rotation where you bring out different toys each week. Of course, you need good out of sight storage for this to be able to work!
* I use bookcases for all the girl's books but I love this idea and want to make one for Amelie's room.
Melanie's office nursery book slings
* and finally, here is some drool worthy storage inspiration rounded up by Lil Magoolie.

Phew, that's another project done (for now!) and it really has made a difference to the overall feel of the house I think. I don't know much about feng shui but it really does feel like the house has a more positive energy and is somehow 'lighter' if you know what I mean!  Would love to hear any of your tips or storage ideas too.

It was so great to see the link up's and read all the comments last week thank you :) The winner of last weeks prize is Wendy.
This week's prize is two zippered bags for keeping puzzles and other little things together. Just link up with your organising pics, leave a comment telling us about some organising you've been up to, or let us know any tips or ideas you've got and you're in the draw.
Next weeks project is family photo's/memories. Some things I would like to get done are either print out and put all of 2010 in some albums (oh boy, thats a big job!) or make some books using Snapfish, make another DVD of the girls, print some family photo's to put in a collage type frame, delcutter my iphoto albums and print and frame some photo's of the girls for a wall in our hallway. A couple of these have been on my to-do list for over a year at least! The latter part of this week has gone a little pear shaped though -sick child, quick trip to Auckland needed (unrelated to sick child!)- and we've got a wedding next week so even if I get one of these done next week I'll be happy! Maybe you've got heaps of photo's to print out or put in albums as well, or you've been wanting to frame a few special photo's too.

Happy organising :)
Megan x
PS: If you are decluttering fabric or old clothes at the moment check out this website- Sarah would love to hear from you! http://www.sewitforward.co.cc/

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