Saturday, April 30, 2011

Our Multipurpose Guest Room

Here is our guest room a.k.a Rosie's room. A few days ago I mentioned that Rosie had moved back to her old bedroom after sharing with Harry for almost a year.
Last year we converted her room to a guest bedroom as our actual guest room is downstairs and therefore out of action, pending some upcoming drainage work.
Usually this room is full of pink bedding and Barbies but when we have visitors it is quickly made into a more grown up space with the addition of a new duvet cover and quilt.
I love how the room serves two purposes and although we don't have guests too often, it is nice having somewhere for them to stay when we do.
Rosie also loves going back to sleep in her old top bunk in Harry's bedroom (high novelty factor!) and is quite happy to sacrifice her room for visitors.
It also satisfies my need for regular changes in our home and given that I like to do this often, who knows what lies ahead for this room! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Really, what were they thinking?

Take a look at these beauties. They have resided in our toilet, taking pride of place in a fetching wall display as you walk in the door. The person who hung them obviously planned for them to be there forever, judging by the huge amounts of glue that was used to attach them to the wall.
In fact, they were secured so permanently to the wall that when Taff removed them, large chunks of Gib board came out with them! Yes, he has been a very busy bee over the last few weeks and the toilet was finally tackled. It was a very strange room prior to this. When we moved in it looked to be painted with an undercoat and then for some reason, left unfinished. It was almost like the previous owner ran out of steam.
There are lots of things on the go at our little place at the moment and I hope to share some of them with you in the coming weeks. We have finally got our DIY groove back and I am glad we have, I don't think I could have lived with this tile art for much longer...I mean really, what were they thinking?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: School Holiday Planning

I know that school holidays are a time for relaxing, but I am most relaxed when I have a plan! I am very busy during term time so I always try and cram a lot into our holidays and for me the best way to do this is to schedule the things I want to do.
If you do a Google search you can find loads of free calandar templates and I just adapted one to suit my needs. By scheduling in the places we are going to go, appointments and projects I want to work on, I find I can achieve more and make the most of my days off! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!
I hope you have a great day with your family. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kitchen Sink Organisation

Our kitchen sink (or more specifically, underneath the sink!) has been in need of a bit of organising love for quite some time and I finally disciplined myself to tackle this job in the last week of term.
First I thought I would share my latest bargain discovery and these little gems have become my organising best friends. I usually prefer Sterilite products but since discovering these at K-mart, I haven't looked back.
These storage containers are CHEAP and work out at $1-2 per basket but seem much sturdier than their counterparts at the $2 Shop. They come in loads of different sizes and I have found them really useful for all sorts of organising jobs around the home. :)
Prior to this little project, we had absolutely no organisation going on underneath our sink area. It was simply a case of throwing it in the cupboard and forgetting about it!
While this has worked well for many years, I am trying to introduce more efficient systems in our home, hence the new basket system.
After pulling everything out I sorted it all into categories and then allocated the contents to a basket. Things not only look better now, but it is much easier to find what I am looking for.
And just to prove what a messy lot we are, here is the 'before' shot and the reason why I needed to get this area sorted in the first place! :)
What a mess!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My New Salsa Cushions

I have a thing for cushions and I love the way they transform a room and can give a space a whole new look. In saying that, I really dislike paying a lot for them as you always need several in a similar colour palette and this very quickly adds up to an expensive outlay.
In the last couple of weeks I finally got around to making a few cushions that I have had planned for a while. I like to change the colours in our house often as I get bored easily but the only way to make this cost effective is to make them myself!
I found this remnant at a paint supply store that was closing down about 3 years ago. It was in their clearance bin for $4 and is actually a great quality fabric from a high end UK supplier. I loved the colours and the pattern and have always had plans to make a couple of cushions out of it.
I know, I know, three years is a long time to get around to it but it felt great to finally whip out the machine and give this remnant a new life.
I have sewn a few cushions in my time but due to long stretches in between sewing, I always seem to forget how to insert the zip! I had to consult this You Tube clip to equip myself with some handy hints. :)
These didn't take long to make and I love that they are original and were cheap as chips. At $2 per cushion, it is a great way to give your room a little update. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Sewing Time

Project Life Tuesday for today is sewing time! I love to sew and there is nothing better than the feeling of creating something out of fabric, thread and a few pins. In saying that, I don't get time to sew nearly as much as I would like, so when I do, I really appreciate it.
This photo shows the kitchen table set up as a little sewing station for me on a few recent projects.
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a snapshot of the tools of your favourite hobby. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bennett Family Vegetable Patch

Yes, you heard right, we finally have a vegetable garden!
All the credit for this must go to Karen. She came for a visit a few days ago and worked her magic to transform the garden from sad and neglected to awesome and fab!
We have literally done nothing to the garden in the almost two years we have lived here. The previous owner had this raised bed built for his wife as a birthday present, to prevent her from straining her back, so sweet. :)
One afternoon while we were at work, Karen cleared out the mass of weeds and who knows what else, to unveil a patch all ready for planting. She took us to the garden shop and together we chose some vegetables suitable for planting in cooler weather (who am I kidding, she chose them, I would have no idea!).
Rosie and Harry helped with the entire planting process and absolutely loved being out in the garden. They have been regularly checking their vegetables and have been very excited to see the growth that has taken place in the last few days.
Watering the garden has proved to be such a popular job that it must be shared and they each take turns watering throughout the week.
It is fantasic looking down and seeing our new little vege patch. Thanks Karen for all your help in getting us up and running with this little project. It is very motivating!
And just to prove how overgrown this patch really was, take a look at this photo...
which was taken 10 months ago!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Harry's Belated 4th Birthday!

Harry turned 4 on 20 December 2010 and for a long time I thought I had got away with not holding a party. That was until I found out he was mentioning it to friends at preschool and they were all waiting for their invites! lol.
Parties are usually pretty stressful affairs for me and I really didn't feel up to catering a large party at home this year. I needed the easiest solution possible...enter the party packages at Lollipop's Playland.
I have to say, I loved this solution so much. All you do is choose your theme and bring the birthday cake on the day. No setting or clearing up and they provide everything from the food to the loot bags.
Harry chose the boy racer theme and invited eleven of his closest friends from preschool. They had a great time and I could finally relax and enjoy the party myself, instead of running around like a headless chicken like I usually do.
We had an awesome day and Harry was so thrilled to have all his friends there to celebrate his special day...even though it was four months late. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Money Saving Tip for the Day

This is such an easy little money saving tip but one which I have never got around to doing...until now!
With dairy prices in NZ going through the roof I was looking at a more economical way of managing our cheese use. I am not a huge cheese fan but my children and husband are. At one stage we were going through a 1kg block each week. Lots of toasted cheese sandwiches going on, I suspect!
The only cheese I really use is in the meals I cook for dinner and this is almost always in a grated form. To buy cheese already grated is extremely expensive so when I saw these cheese blocks on sale for $4.00 each, I decided to make my own. They were due to expire in 5 days time but they were perfect for something like this which will be frozen anyway.
I used one zip lock bag for each 750gram block and labelled them with the date. I also made sure to lay them flat so that they would be easier to access in the freezer. I ended up with three large bags of grated cheese for $12.00 and not only did it save a lot of money, but it saves me so much time when preparing dinner.
If I am making dishes such as lasagne or mac and cheese, I throw the cheese in straight from the freezer, otherwise I take it out and defrost it if I want it fresh. This only takes a few minutes. I am so converted to this method that I will be doing this all the time in future as I love anything that saves time and money! Give it a go. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Family Dinners

Family dinners, oh how I love them. Good food and good company, there is nothing better in life.
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a snapshot of your dinner table, ready for a special meal with those you love the most. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Harry's 4th Birthday Cake

I recently posted here about holding Harry's 4th birthday party a few months late. Ok, I won't win any mother of the year awards for that one but he was thrilled to finally celebrate his birthday with his friends from preschool.
After consulation with Harry and our cake expert (aka Karen) we were in agreeance that this number 4 cake was the easiest, I mean best, option! :)
It is from the Australian Woman's Weekly Party Cake book (thanks Sarah!) and was actually really easy to make. We used a mixture of chocolate cake with a small section in vanilla.
Lots of red butter frosting later and Karen had the cake looking fab.
Then it was time to tint the fondant grey and get rolling. The roads were super easy to make and tic tacs were used to mark out the lines.
We found some cars from the $2 shop and used one of Harry's wooden trains for the railway section (licorice).
I thought Karen did a fantastic job of the cake and Harry absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it as a simple option for any little boys turning the big four. :)
I will share a few photos from the party in the coming week. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

DIY Update: Roof Painting

Yep, we have action again on the DIY front! Taff has been very enthusiastic about getting back into the renovation of our brick and tile beauty. I use that term affectionately as otherwise I would despair at all the work that lies ahead. True, there has been a fair amount of work that has already taken place but we have had a quiet few months on the renovation front. :)
It was with this renewed enthusiasm that Taff took himself onto our roof a few days ago and our very sadly neglected tiles received their first coat of Resene Ironsand. I was quite worried about him being up there, it is very high after all, however as you can see, he was in his element.
Even Rosie and Hunter found a good position to watch all the action from!
The spray gun made it all a lot faster but you do need to ensure that you have perfect weather conditions for it. Any wind at all and there can be disastrous consequences and potentially very unhappy neighbours!
It was the first coat of possibly many, the roof is close to 50 years old and in original condition. This means a lot of work but we are excited to be tackling another project on this (mostly!) fun journey. :)