Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy-Making: Yarn Bombing

{images via Mamamia}

It’s that time of the week again! Friday afternoon! Crack open the champagne, turn on the disco ball, get ready to go crazy!

(And by that I mean: pop the popcorn, turn on the DVD player, get ready to watch Toy Story – again!)

Friday afternoons wouldn’t be quite the same though if I didn’t stop for a second and think on what has made us happy this week. Some weeks it’s harder to find those things, but they’re always there. Even if you have been thrown up on throughout the week.

  • Yarn Bombing makes my heart sing. There is no reason to it other than to bring happiness, colour and joy to the world. These images rock my world. {via Mamamia}
  • I started (and finished) three handmade Christmas presents this week – tutorial to come
  • Sparky had his leave approved for the Christmas holidays – and we’re going camping! It’s been two years and I can. not. wait.
  • I read this article and have started walking of a night when Sparky gets home from work. It’s only been a few days, but I’m digging it. {via Be More With Less}
  • I cleaned out our hideous Tupperware drawer and got it organised. Just in time for Isla to take a very keen interest in it. Awesome.
  • The countdown is on till our next little niece or nephew is born! Days away and we are so excited!

I hope you had some significant happy-making this week?

And I hope your weekends are wondrous, relaxing and happy. xx

Why Writing Every Day May Help You Live Longer.


Every Monday I take care of my sister’s four year-old twins while she works. Then, as repayment, every Thursday she takes Isla and Toby for a few hours. It works well for both of us and the kids get to spend lots of time together. Win-win-win.

Last Thursday I took myself off to have a coffee and read the paper. It was Capital-L Lovely. But the real value of it came when I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the health benefits of daily writing.

I’ve long been a journaller and would swear up and down that writing in a journal for 10 minutes before sleep helps me to:

  • fall asleep quickly
  • sleep very restfully
  • wake up feeling positive

Countless times I would scrawl out line after line of drivel. It would be nothing of any importance. Maybe what I did that day. What I’m thining about. How I’m feeling. All pretty standard.

Then, all of a sudden, this issue, this problem, this thing that had been bothering me would explode onto the page and I would struggle to keep hand and pencil moving fast enough.

It was extraordinary.

This article in the paper spoke about the mental health benefits of 10-15 minutes of daily writing, but even more fascinatingly, the physical health benefits.

 

“It is claimed, for example, expressive writing can help control cancer-related pain, poor sleeping patterns, lung functioning in asthmatic patients and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

It can also improve mood, liver function, immunity, blood pressure and memory. Results are most obvious four to six months after the initial writing episodes.”

(Read more here.)
Amazing, right?

So my suggestion to those of you who need to find some inner-peace, some zen, some simplicity in body and mind – write. Daily.

  • 10-15 minutes. That’s it. You can find that amount of time if you look hard enough.
  • Try to do it first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
  • Just let it flow. Don’t censor it. Don’t second-guess it. Just let your hand continue to write.
  • If you have nothing at all to write, then write that. “I have nothing to write. I have nothing to write. I have nothing…” And I guarantee you that thoughts will make themselves known very soon after.

You can do it anywhere and it takes minimal equipment, yet you will almost undoubtedly feel freer, clearer and calmer. Just give it a week and see. Then let me know – I’d be fascinated.

xx

 

 

Three Blogs You Need to Visit. Today.

I have a sick little girl here today and a teething little boy – so I hope you’ll forgive the short post. My attentions are required elsewhere, I’m sure you’ll understand!! (Ah, the life of the water-fetching, Panadol-dosing, blanket-fixing, squeezy-cuddling Mum.)

I can only assume that if you’re reading this then you have some interest in getting organised, decluttering and slowing your life down. In which case, I’ve got three incredible blogs that I visit regularly and never leave without learning something.

Simplifying life for me means I try to spend less time browsing blogs aimlessly, and I have actually cut back on the amount of time I spend online, but these ones make the cut every single day:

 

Planning With Kids

Nicole is bubbly, intelligent, incredibly organised and has five kids. She’s also one of the top Australian bloggers and I love her. (In a non-strange never-actually-met-her-in-real-life-way.) If you’re looking for guidelines to leading a more organised life with your family, then I heartily recommend adding her blog to your subscribe list.

Zen Habits

The biggest of the big blogs. Leo Babauta writes 1-2 times a week about leading a slower, simpler, more balanced life with his family. He’s full to the brim with simple advice that will undoubtedly help you shift gears and change the way you look at your everyday.

Becoming Minimalist

Joshua Becker is a regular suburban dad who, along with his wife and kids, has adopted a lifestyle of “rational minimalism”. While it may be a little hardcore for many of us right now, the way he has gone about simplfying life, getting out of debt, decluttering and moving forward is truly inspiring. In fact, his ebook “Simplify” is the first I ever bought. It’s well worth a look.

Tell me, which inspirational blogs do you go to? Do you visit them daily? Weekly?

 

Organise Your Home: Meal Planning

{via lumesire on Flickr}

There seem to be two types of people in the world: those who plan their meals a week/fortnight/month in advance and shop accordingly, and those who decide each day what they want then go buy the ingredients.

You can break the latter down further into another two categories: those who are happy doing this, and those who find it stressful. If you’re one of those people who like to work out your meals each day, then this post may not be that useful to you. If, however, you want to get off the daily-meal-planning roundabout, then read on…

I’m a steadfast meal planner. It saves my sanity at about 4:00 every afternoon, and saves Sparky’s sanity when he’s doing the groceries on the weekend.

Our system isn’t complex or detailed, nor does it require any fancy forms, apps or templates.

Have A Plan of Attack

Here’s what to do:

  • Grab a piece of paper.
  • At the bottom of the page, list out Monday through Sunday, with two columns beside each day of the week.
  • Beside each day, write what you will have for dinner that night. Include the main dish and any sides. (Vegetable lasagne and green salad, for example)
  • ThenĀ  note any meals the kids won’t eat (if applicable, of course!) and add an alternative for them.
  • Write down your lunch options too. (This can be easy enough – Sparky and I batch cook something on Sunday for our lunches during the week and the kids eat sandwiches so this only requires one extra meal on the list).
  • Keep note of any standing arrangements you have. (We have takeaway on a Friday night, for example).
  • Note anything you need/want to bake during the week.

That’s it. Your Meals are Planned.

  • Then, using the same piece of paper, make your shopping list.
  • First run through each of the recipes, listing each ingredient, not forgetting the sides.
  • Then go through and add any fruit, staples, toiletries, cleaning supplies etc you might need.

Then, the best part (for me), I send Sparky and Isla on their way and an hour later, the groceries are done. Just like magic!

The Best Things About Meal Planning:

– we undoubtedly save money because we know exactly what we need when we shop
– it’s relatively quick and painless when we do go shopping – no agonising over ingredients in the aisles
– we avoid pressure purchases or spontaneous buys (with the exception of lollies. only sometimes though.)
– no more panicked trips to the shops during the week, when I’ve realised I forgot the cream. I don’t miss those at all.

Tell me, do you meal plan? Do you want to but don’t have the time/energy?

 

Happy-Making: Sonic

{via Re-Nest}

Friday – hooray! That means family movie night tonight, a day in the garden tomorrow and hopefully a whole lot of chill-time.

Before I retire for the weekend though, here are some things that have made my week wonderful:

  • this article on the emotional bond we have to our stuff – via Becoming Minimalist
  • our sweet peas are finally blooming!
  • this incredible handmade treehouse/guesthouse in the Catskills – via Re-Nest
  • buying Isla’s summer wardrobe staples for under $100! (Thank you, ebay and Target)
  • spending six hours clearing out the store room and deciding we will be holding one Final Garage Sale Ever to clear out the things we no longer need (or never needed in the first place)
  • finally coming to terms with the fact that I really am finished with my jewellery business and deciding I will sell off the remaining stock/findings/elements/packaging to one buyer (if you’re interested, please let me know!)
  • 20 minutes, a cup of chamomile, nutella on toast and the new frankie
  • listening to the as-yet-unreleased album by our amazing cousin, Cody. Keep an ear out for Blood Red Moon – it’s incredible.
  • watching Toby eat his first (and second and third and fourth) piece of watermelon
  • sitting in a cafe, drinking a coffee reading the paper, alone. (I battled with guilt, believe me, but it was worth it!)
  • this hilarious offering from my brother-in-law and friends. if you or your man are into gaming, or you remember playing Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega MegaDrive as a kidĀ  – check it out!


I hope your weekends are wonderful, and that you can take some time to just soak it in. Even ten minutes. Even if it means you have to get up at five AM. Like I did this morning. It’s worth it. I promise.

Coffee time!

xx