Weekly Photo Challenge – Contrasts

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Such a strong cultural contrast between the wonderful city sights of Vietnam and back home here in Australia.

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How To Organise Your Entire Life In Documents

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For as long as I can remember I have been addicted to digital organising.

I am a little bit of a perfectionist at times, so while my physical world may be in shambles occasionally, my PC is pretty well organised. I have folders for everything and sub folders to make things even clearer. Everything from photographs, business documents, DIY and study/work materials all have their homes.

For every major event in my life I also create a spread sheet to track and plan everything. This started with my wedding many years ago and has resulted in mostly everything since also having a spread sheet of its own.

If I’m planning an event, I have a guest list, to do list, gift registry, shopping list, expenditures and other useful information all there in one place, tab by tab in Microsoft Excel. Right now I’m working on a university placement tracker, recording the contact I’ve made with various schools. I am also planning a spread sheet for my best friend’s baby shower I’m organising. Yep… I am addicted!

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Tracking income for my small business is done entirely via an Excel Spread sheet. Invoice details, expenditures, profit, advertising, pre-orders. One stop place for everything.

The greatest benefit for business and finance related spread sheets is the ability to create formulas to calculate totals for costs or stock automatically. You can even have all this data transferring to one main page, giving you a snap shot of all you need to know in one place.

My professional workplace is managed much the same. I have just created a super dooper staff planner, complete with drop down boxes everywhere and a full year of leave, training, and program scheduling to ensure an organised and productive workplace.

The best thing is you don’t even have to be a computer genius to take advantage of spread sheet organising. Basic computer skills are all that’s needed to create basic documents. Of course advanced skills are an advantage, but I can guarantee you will learn quickly and soon surprise yourself with what you can do!

To make your life easier though, I am in the process of creating a whole lot of excel spread sheet templates for various functions that will be available in my Etsy shop soon… for cheap. This means all you really need to do is personalise to suit your needs or simply input your data and away you go.

Stay tuned as they will be ready soon and are guaranteed to help you plan your wedding, party, event, blog & home expenses.

Do you use spread sheets to make your life easier?

{Review} Attipas Ergonomic Toddler & Baby Shoes

My daughter is a fashionista… at the age of almost 19 months. She is always adorning herself with some sort of fashion accessory. A headband… a necklace… or a pair of shoes. Often accessories that don’t match her outfit in the slightest, but hey, kids need to express themselves even at that age.

A recent opportunity arose to review a pair of Attipas ergonomic toddler and baby shoes. I read a little about them and loved the concept. Essentially they are shoes designed to be lightweight like socks, but with far more support.

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While we did not struggle too much to introduce Lily to shoes when she was starting to pull up and work on her walking, so many of my friends have said their much older toddlers were still hating shoes. With this in mind, I was curious to see what Attipas were like.

They come in so many colours and styles. It was tough to choose but I went with gender neutral red, loving that they resemble my red Converse hi-top sneakers.

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Yep, it is winter here. Still warm enough for thongs (flip flops) usually 😉

Our first impression was one of amusement. My mum described them as clown shoes & they didn’t stay on for long. Bearing in mind we were indoors, and Lily was tired, so shoes were not on her agenda!

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The real trial came with a trip to the park. And oh boy did we get them grubby! She was running, climbing, sliding… all that fun park stuff & the shoes did nothing to slow her down. In fact, the lightweight materials likely made it easier.

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And thankfully with a quick wipe over with a wet wipe, they were pretty much clean again. Although another bonus is they are machine washable.

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After the park – but a quick wipe and good as new

We also had her wearing the shoes around the grocery store a few days later. She had a great time running away from me. Then back home, she would normally pull shoes off straight away. It was another hour before we too the Attipas off and only because I took them off her.

I was worried being such a cool day here and the fact that they are plastic inside with breathable air holes that her toes would be cold. Nope. Warm enough without being hot. Excellent!

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Home from shopping – and the shoes look new again after the park trip

Overall, the shoes are great. They initially took a little getting used to thanks to my mum’s ‘clown shoes’ reference, however they are actually really cute and funky looking and don’t look chunky at all. They offer toe and heel protection and are far more supportive and protective of little feet than soft soled pre-walkers and they weigh barely a thing. Lots of colours. Machine washable. Lots of positives.

So next time someone mentions the struggle of having their toddler adjust to shoes, this will be my recommendation. Such a fantastic concept and highly recommended! These will now be our go to casual shoes instead of sandals over winter too as it keeps her little feet a lot warmer!

Check them out for yourself here

 

Digital Project Life Catch Up

With my uni studies set to kick off in less than 2 weeks now, I have found myself full of motivation to get organised beforehand. This time round, it will be nothing like studying as a fresh out of high school teen, with no responsibilities. Back then I was living with my folks, not working, or at least not frequently, with no bills or kids to worry about.

Whole different world this time around. I get to throw study into the mix of motherhood, part time work, running a small business, blogging and scrapbooking. Yep, I’m going to be busy.

Which means making the most of this pre-study period. I have a to do list… of course! And have spent the past few days decluttering like mad. I have several massive boxes of stuff to get rid of which is very cleansing for my hoarding ways. My home office/craft room has a floor. And some desk space. Still a way to go but it’s better than it has been in years. My dining room has almost become a dining room again instead of a sewing room.

I’m also trying to tick off some of my creative projects now while there’s time too. Playing serious catch up on project life as I’m still a month behind. And hopefully I can have a mega scrap session in the next week to create some projects for my scrapbooking design team commitments for the next month or two. Every little bit helps!

But enough about all that. I thought I would share my latest 3 weeks worth of project life covering from the end of April til mid May. The rest of the album for this year is here.

{Tasty Tuesday} Bulk Green Smoothies

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When life gets busy, it can be hard to find time to prepare healthy meals and snacks. We end up tempted to just grab the quick and easy, which may not necessarily be the healthiest choice.

I’m guilty of making some pretty lousy food choices sometimes. I am addicted to chocolate in a big way. I’m not adverse to the occasional pizza or other fast food, and I quite fancy a good old Aussie BBQ, with snags and steak on the BBQ… salad optional!

Sometimes these choices take their toll… more so on my self-respect than on my actual waistline (thank you good genes… or whatever it is that keeps my weight stable). I’m sure you know what I mean though… one too many bad choices and your body is craving a detox. Oh yeah!

Green smoothies are fabulous and so packed with goodness. They are also a great meal substitute sometimes, instead of making those poor choices such as that meat pie for lunch. However, they can be time consuming to prepare. That’s why you should freeze them!

Ingredients

  • Fruit  (berries, apple, orange, banana, mango etc)
  • Greens (Fresh spinach or kale)
  • Oats
  • Seeds or nuts  (chia seeds, almonds, sesame seeds etc)
  • Liquid (water, almond milk, coconut water etc)
  • Dates – optional

Preparing Smoothie Mix

1. Wash, peel and cut up all your different fruit and set aside.

2. Set up sandwich bags for your smoothie mix. You can fold over the top to make them free standing which helps a lot.

3. Pour quarter a cup of oats and a tablespoon of your chosen seed/nuts into each bag. Throw in a handful of greens and around 1 cup of fruit.

4. Seal the bags and freeze.

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Even my cats like fruit & veg

 

Making A Smoothie

1. Grab out a bag of frozen smoothie mix. You may want to do this earlier in the day or even the night before, as it can take a while when frozen. Throw the mix into a blender.

2. Add 1.5-2 cups of your chosen liquid. Blend.

3. Add in dates to sweeten if you desire, and extra liquid if needed to reach your preferred consistency.

4. Enjoy your green smoothie and feel fabulous!

 

So there you have it… a green smoothie method for even the busiest or laziest of people. It takes about an hour or less to make up 2-3 weeks worth of smoothie bags and only a minute or two to prepare on the day.

As far as ingredients go, throw in whatever you like. My husband likes to add a dollop of yoghurt into his for a thicker consistency. I tend to stick with almond milk to give it a lighter flavour. Frozen berries are an easy option. Mango is fabulous! Banana is a superfood. I could keep going…

What is your favourite smoothie combo?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Between

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{DIY} Scrap Buster Cards & Other Useful Ways To Use Your Scraps

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I’ve mentioned before that I have a wee bit of a hoarding problem. In fact, I’ve confessed this quite openly just recently. My hoarding extends to many things. Some useful… some far from it.

One of the items to do hoard is scraps of scrapbooking paper. I have an Ikea expedit cube full of scraps and offcuts from the scrapbooking pages and cards I have made over the past several years. Yet I’ve probably opened this cube maybe 2-3 times to actually find supplies, as compared to the hundred times I’ve opened it to hoard another scrap or 5.

Enough! It was time to act on the scraps. And here is the perfect solution – HANDMADE CARDS

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Cards only require small pieces of patterned paper and I’ve always considered it such a waste to throw reasonable sized pieces out so putting 2 and 2 together, my hoarding does have use.

It also makes me feel better about the more than $1 spent on each piece of paper on average over the years and often not using the whole sheet. So it’s a thrifty method as well.

Materials:

  • Blank cards or cardstock
  • Scissors/cutting tools
  • Adhesive
  • Embellishments
  • Paper scraps

Here are some of my most recent scrap buster cards:

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You can make cards with a special occasion in mind, future events or generic themed cards you can use for last minute occasions. I like to keep a variety of all occasion cards on hand in case I haven’t the time to create one. Saves buying an over priced store brought card.

You can find a stack of inspiration on Pinterest for cards if you are stuck. It’s always my go to place for inspiration for anything.

And here are a few other stash buster tips:

Make a card or two out of scraps immediately after finishing a scrapbook layout – this means they don’t end up in the scrap box and you’ve just created a couple of projects in just a few minutes more.

Use them for kids craft – let your kids have fun with your scraps by giving them paper, a glue stick and scissors (depending on age) and let them make you a masterpiece. Keeps them entertained for hours which is an extra bonus.

Donate them – local schools, parents with kids, local craft groups. Ask around. You never know who might jump at the chance to make something wonderful out of your unwanted scraps.

Don’t limit yourself to just cards – sometimes scraps are all you need to finish off the next project you are working on, whether it be a scrapbook layout, Christmas tags, or an off the page mixed media project, remember to check the scrap box. Saves cutting up another piece of paper sometimes.

Looking for more ways to declutter in your home? Here’s some.