I was addicted to buying cookbooks and then never using them!

I was addicted to buying cookbooks and then never using them!

Do you have cookbooks you never use? Do you have kitchen appliances that you never/rarely use?

Then read on as we may be able to help each other!

Being a seamstress, it goes without saying that I enjoy making things with my own hands.
I do!
I love to sew. I love to garden. I love a clean house. I love to cook.

It seems I would be well suited to the 1950’s – 1970’s and living in Stepford – but being in absolute bliss to be doing it not because I was being subservient!

So in all my wonderful DIY glory..I still seem to fail slightly in one area. So let me set the scene:

What happens to you when you are out shopping…walking through the shopping mall…gazing in to the shop windows…just strolling…when out of nowhere you are faced with tables and tables of books?

Book Vendor

My reaction? Well, I am instantly drawn to the children’s books and then the cookbooks.

Now you may say ‘there’s nothing wrong with that’. To the outsider, that would seem a fair statement. In reality though, it was wrong for me.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to get a new cookbook and pour over the pages, mouth salivating at all the wonderful photos and ideas of wonderful things I could make using my little collection of kitchen appliances!!

I used to hand over my money – they were all BARGINS on these tables, or the book man who used to come into the office – then couldn’t wait to get home to look through it.

Once I had flipped through it, thinking ‘yep yep yep I will make the one on page 34, 76 and that yummy dessert on page 123 next week’…I would place it on the shelf next to my other cookbooks. Most likely never to be looked at again.

My Cookbooks

Now the cookbooks on this shelf are a small portion of the ones that I had up until a few weeks ago. I had WAY too many.  I stopped buying them about 18 months ago and we recently had a garage sale and then donated a heap to vinnies (thrift store) as well. So my collection is now more manageable. On those occasions where I was needing a particular recipe to cook, I would most often just google it and find it on-line! LOL Crazy!

So it’s a new year right? Some people make new years resolutions…which I don’t find that helpful usually but this year I am making a NEW HABIT!! You can help and join in too as it is VERY SIMPLE!

So my plan is each week, when I am planning the family meals prior to doing the shopping, I am not just going to go through my current repertoire of recipes that are in my heart and head. I am going to select ONE of my cookbooks and I am going to choose ONE recipe that I have NEVER made before and then make it that week.

Once I have made it, I will provide my review of the recipe here so that you may be inspired to try a similar one – or who knows, you may even have the same cookbook or love it so much you will want to go and buy it!

YOU can also do the same each week, grab one of your cookbooks, pick a recipe, make it and then comment back on my weekly post what you tried and you may inspire me or others to try your recipe out or one similar in a cookbook that we have!

Cooking Mags

Even though I found myself in the supermarket this afternoon, lusting over a cooking magazine (of which was part of my addiction of buying cookbooks – anything with a recipe in it really)…I walked away and left it. I knew that most recipes in there would be, in some form, in one of the books I already have.

To clarify, my new habit will involve – lets call it the LMD Cookbook Club:

1 no more buying new cookbooks – I have enough variety in the ones I have to move to any country in the world and be able to cook at least one of their traditional meals

2 select a minimum of ONE new, previously untried recipe each week and make it

3 post a recipe review of the one I made here on my blog (needing this step, as it will add to my motivation to keep going)

4 check out any ones that you have shared and gain inspiration from you on what type of recipe to look through my books for a similar one

5 hopefully making these new meals will also result in needing to use some of the kitchen appliances a bit more that I have especially the food processor and all its attachments

So this weeks choices, as we have SOOOOOOO many homegrown tomatoes to eat, are these  (yes I am starting off with two this week to catch up for last week) :

Chillied Tomato & Garlic Chutney

CHILLIED TOMATO & GARLIC CHUTNEY

Real Tomato Salad

REAL TOMATO SALAD (bit different to the one I usually make)

I look forward to sharing my attempt at these ones which come from two different cookbooks!

So who can relate and who will try this out?

Lets don those aprons and get cooking!!!

Keep smiling!

Michka

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Ladies First

Ladies First

What a crazy awesome week!  So much has been happening here that I am overwhelmed with all things creative and on a complete natural high!

Just to update you where I left off last week. I was up to only having Day 16 – Wardrobe and Day 19 – Lilli May’s Room to complete in the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge. With day 20 being to cook something yummy!

Day 16  – Wardrobe

This little space was a bit of a disaster zone!

It was a miss mash of clothes and gotten to the point where it was hard to find anything..which is not how I normally have my wardrobe set up.

First thing I did, as usual, is remove everything and then sort the clothes into piles

1 To go back in the wardrobe

2 For our upcoming garage sale

3 To go into storage – out of season clothes

At this time, it is still really cold here so I can’t pack all my winter clothes away and get all my summer ones out..I have to have just a few left in the wardrobe to cover those colder days..like today, which saw snow falling less than 2 hours from our home!

One of the things I discovered that needed to be moved out of my cupboard was my box of denim jeans. Anyone who knows me, would notice that I am a bit of a bohemian dresser, think maxi skirts, long and flowy pants, maxi dresses and vests and scarves. This includes in winter..where I just add leggings under the skirts for warmth.

I am NOT a jeans girl. Never have been. Never will be. I see a lot of my friends live in jeans though so over the years I have dabble in trying to wear them..so much so here is my denim jean collection:

I am currently still holding onto 17 pairs of jeans! I wear a grand total of ONE of these pairs and that ONE pair is only worn on an irregular basis. I KID YOU NOT!! I have tried to find the ‘perfect pair of jeans’ that I am happy with my butt, thighs, tummy and knees in and I just can’t seem to find one that I am happy with.  I have obviously been happy on at least 17 occasions…well happy enough to walk out of the change room to the counter and buy the jeans I have just put on. Then basically all of these pairs have only been endured for one outing before I decide “nup, don’t really like the fit/the way my butt or thighs or profile or knees or legs or whatever looks/feels in these so I am never wearing them again!” Vowing also just to stick to my skirts and be done with it….until my next moment of weakness where I delude myself into thinking that can find a pair of jeans that my butt and I agree with. The argument continues.

So with the box gone and all the other mess, I was able to satisfy my OCD and re-sort my clothes into colour sets…all the white items together, all the black items together, all the blue items together etc……and the jackets all together to the right of the top rail. Ahhhhhh that’s better. 🙂

With that done all that was left was to do Lilli May’s room and cook something yummy. I have made, amongst other things, Lemon Butter and my Absolutely Delish Spring Rolls and I have the photos so all I need to do is find the time to type it all up so that I can share with you…hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out.

The only task outstanding is to do Lilli May’s room, now we tidy this up at the end of everyday, but I actually want to rearrange it so that is going to have to wait. The reason I haven’t made time to do it yet is because not only have I been busy working on customer orders at Lilli May designs,  I have also been busy launching my new range of handmade items –  LADY STYLES – my handmade clothes for the ladies which includes items that are my own design/pattern.

Classic styling.

Superior comfort.

Uniquely yours.

My range at the moment is very bohemian (wow that’s a surprise isn’t it?!) with skirts, pants, tops, aprons, shower caps and vest with more styles to come! If there is something that you want but done see then please email me on lillimaydesigns@gmail.com and I am sure I will be able to assist you.

All items can be made in a range of vintage and modern fabrics. All items can be CUSTOM MADE TO FIT YOU no matter what the size. 🙂 Details of the collection can be found here. WHAT A GREAT UNIQUE GIFT IDEA FOR CHRISTMAS FOR THAT SPECIAL LADY IN YOUR LIFE – be she your mum, aunt, sister, friend, wife or partner!

With my new range I decided to go with the saying LADIES FIRST, and took the time to launch it first before doing Lilli May’s room…that will need to wait a little longer until it is rearranged.

Keep smiling!

Michka

Just add water!

Just add water!

We have just had a long weekend in Sydney. It was gorgeous weather each day so we couldn’t help but go out and enjoy it!

Especially considering we hadn’t had our car for nearly two weeks as we were rear-ended and it was in getting repaired, it was nice to get out and about…a little further afield than our daily walks with the pram or a quick train/bus trip to the next suburb.

So for this reason, I didn’t complete the day 15 tasks until today in the  20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge.

So a quick catch-up on where I am at with the challenge:

Day 15 – garden – completed today, details below.

Day 16 – wardrobe – doing this tomorrow

Day 17 – medicine cabinet – completed already, details here

Day 18 – handbag – I don’t use a handbag. I only have an empty canvas tote that I put my wallet and keys in when we go out and a nappy clutch – the ease of being a WAHM!

Day 19 – Lilli May’s Bedroom – to complete on Friday

Day 20 – Freezer Declutter and Baking day – freezer complete, details here, and I will cook something yummy on Friday to share with you all.

So we are nearly there!

So with new plants at the ready to plant, it was time to get outside!

We put on our hats and sunscreen and out we went.

Lilli May’s new cap, a Lilli May designs Cassandra Cap, was also my hat for the September Hat Sew Along over at Liamsolomonsmummy.blogspot.com.au, details on the sew along can be found here. Details on how you can get your very own Lilli May designs fully reversible Cassandra Cap can be found here.

So last weekend we cleared out some old washing tubs and filled them will top grade organic garden mix that we used for our other veggie patches. Details on when we put that garden in only 6 weeks ago can be seen here…how tiny were the little plants then?!

This is how they looked this morning after I watered them – Lilli May loved the spray from the hose on such a warm day!

I love that she loves to get dirty and is not scared of dirt and it was fabulous to have her out there helping me to dig the holes to put the new plants in..

It didn’t take long and we had another area of our garden that we can grow our own food. This area has things like, garlic, chives, parsley, rocket, cucumbers, zucchini, oregano and basil. YUM! Just add water and they will grow!

Now it was over to our previously planted veggie patch. Look how much they have grown!

As you can see there were a couple of casualties in the front row of the main bed (the onions) but the mint and sage are going great guns in their pot!

We also had some cucumber casualties in a pot as well so we decided for some potted colour in their place, much to Lilli May’s delight!

It’s a great idea to plant your favourite veggies in stages, that way you will extend your supply for a longer period and never run out. No point planting them when you pull the last one out as you will need to wait 8 weeks for the next lot to grow!

Lilli May and I had lunch and then she went down for her nap so I needed to do the front gardens solo. They were very easy and didn’t take long. From this:

and this:

To this:

and this:

Aww so sweet.

Now a quick trip out the backyard to hose down the table and remove the weeds that have grown through the cement was all that was left.

Now with the BBQ behind me in the above photo, this is our entertaining area.

Then we have our herbie, compost bin and relax under the trees and read a book area..

That leads to our fun, veggie and trike riding area..

So that is that. Garden done.

I am looking forward to sorting out my clothes tomorrow as I know there will be a lot of them that I can include in our upcoming garage sale as I just don’t need them anymore.

Keep smiling

Michka!

This is where YOU live!!

This is where YOU live!!

Do you feel satisfied and chuffed with yourself when you are asked to do something…and you have already done it??

This means that not only is the person that asked you satisfied, you also are happy that no further effort is require on your behalf. Win win!

Well that explains the week I have had. WIN WIN….and you know what?! A major WIN (details below)!

As Monday saw the dawning of another weeks worth of tasks for the  20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge . This weeks tasks have been a breeze as I had already completed most of them or they didn’t apply to me! Yay!

They were as follows.

Day 11 – Washing Machine – completed when I did the laundry – details here

Day 12 – Dishwasher & Bathroom cupboard I clean the dishwasher everyday…..as I am the dishwasher. Bathroom cupboard was cleaned when I did the bathroom – details here

Day 13 – Cornices – I am doing this tomorrow

Day 14 (today)- The Office – as I have said before about my other creative space The Cougar Cave – I have OCD about these and need to keep my creative spaces clean and organised at all time – so I will share a few photos with you.

Obviously I still have other areas that I can clean and organise. Case in point: two of the main cupboards in the kitchen so lets move on to them.

Firstly I just want to say how wonderful my new-found love of natural cleaners like bi-carb and vinegar! So much so, I have now put my bi-carb in a little recycled spice shaker so I can shimmy and shake it easily where ever my little greeny heart desires before shazza shizza spray my vinegar on it! It works on soooo many things and is super easy and no scrubbing involved!

OK now these two cupboards hold our appliances and bulky items and started like this before I worked my Mich Magic!

First things first is to clear it all out..

..and as you can see we have stored out onions and potatoes in here.

Then its a shimmy and shake and a shazza shizza with my bi-carb-vinegar and then back in with a bit of organisation and whaaalaa!

Noice hey? Plus so much more organised with all the most used items in the one cupboard that is right under the prep bench!

Now to my other creative space where I do all of my photo editing, accounting, emailing and packing and postage etc. Most of my blogging and surfing are done on the laptop and iPad.. so this room is very business like. Well as business like as a breast-feeding, co-sleeping, attachment parent, that home grows veggies, cooks with passion, loves to recycle, rescue, upcycle, hand make items, has incense and candles in every room and meditates to relax. 🙂

So I have the lovely Bob to keep me company in here and he literally does NOT shut up the entire time he is uncovered. He is the happiest little budgie that I have known!

Also in here are my little rescued vintage draws and my beloved mini vintage suitcases. These are all from my and my sister school years and one is my very first one that I had on my very first day at school…in 1979!! Plus the brown one (second from the bottom) was my MUM’S SCHOOL BAG and she is now 61 years old! 🙂 I adore her for giving it to me!

One of the other things I want to show you is this :

See!!! This is where YOU live!!!! In my computer!! 🙂

The last thing I want to show you is that at the office door (which is also our front door) is an abundance of spanish lavender and is such a welcoming sight when you arrive at our home. It’s so nice to have this right here and I love to just sit on the step, close my eyes, listen to the birds, and relax with a lukewarm cup of tea. Bliss. 🙂

The last win I have had this week is not only have I created and drafted yet another pattern but I have also made the item and it has turned out better than I had hoped for and it will soon be available at Lilli May designs plus it’s for the LADIES!!!! Plus there is another item that I am designing and creating that is for the ladies and will be completed soon too!! Awesome yes?!

I had a peek also at tomorrows tasks and it is the garden!!! I have some other things to do tomorrow as well so if I don’t get time for the garden then, we have a nice long weekend to do it! 

Keep smiling!

Michka

Now I am craving a salad!

Now I am craving a salad!

Cleaning cleaning cleaning. It has been a busy 10 days getting our house organised and clean! It is so relaxing having a clean clutter-free house. I know it doesn’t bother some people, to have mess around, however for me, if there is mess then I can not relax. We are now also planning a garage sale (to assist with the de-clutter) for a few weeks time as well, which will be my first ever, so I am a little excited!

So now we are half way through the  20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge and I am still motivated and loving it! As Day 9 and Day 10 tasks were super easy for me, I decided to wait and combine them today. Also yesterday I was working on a new Lilli May designs item for my upcoming Holly Hobbie & Friends Collection – the Retro Bianca!

Day 9 – Ceiling Fans and Kitchen Junk Draw

Day 10 – Oven and Plastic Container Cupboard

I was again relieved to see the tasks for these two days as firstly, we don’t have any ceiling fans, secondly I keep our oven pretty clean at all times and thirdly, we have a fantastic way to keep our plastic storage containers contained and organised.

So first thing to do was the oven.

The only real issue here is some crumbs in the bottom and a few splatter marks on the glass area. As I said in my previous post, that I am going to get rid of harsh chemicals and use more natural remedies, I prepared todays cleaning solution.

Bi carb soda and a spray bottle with vinegar in it. So after sprinkling the bi-carb over the area to be cleaned, I then sprayed on some vinegar.

So as I left that to work its wonders, I moved on to the three draws that need a de-clutter.

We begin like this:

…this…

…and this..

After removing the items that don’t really belong here, that was either rubbish or could go to the laundry (like all the spare light bulbs and BBQ accessories) they were done in 10 minutes!

Bottom draw now has the least used items in there including appliance instruction manuals, can openers and pie cutters etc.

The draw above this now holds the second most used or bulky items like all the egg items, my cake decorating items and meat thermometer etc.

The final draw now has all the most used items in it and is sooooo easy to navigate again.

Now it was back to check the oven and it was only 10 minutes since I put the mixture on.

So I tested it but wiping a bit off and to my delight it had worked!

So I wiped out the inside of the oven and the glass door and whaala!

It looks great!

The last item I want to share is our solution to the plastic container disaster. After spending years searching through either a big draw or the back of a cupboard to find the lid that matches the plastic storage container (some people swear by Tupperware or Decor but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lock & Lock – we have tons of it!)

So instead of chasing all around the kitchen for it, a few years ago we bought this little nifty set of draws for only $15.

Top and bottom draw has the containers.

And the middle draw has all the lids. We love it!! How do you store your containers?

So with the kitchen smelling of vinegar I am now craving a salad. 🙂

Before I go off to make one, I need to confess something and also admit that one of my photos above is not a TRUE representation of one of the draws.

Here is the true ‘after’ photo, can you spot the difference?

Yes they ARE mine. Ok ok ok I have to confess I can’t use chopsticks, so I have my little blue man to help me *blushing*. 🙂 Maybe I am the only person that can’t use them properly…but if I can still get the food in my mouth then that is ‘mission success’ in my eyes!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Keep smiling

Mich

The Cougar Cave

The Cougar Cave

My name is Michka and I am addicted to sewing.

Fabric is my drug of choice and I find myself constantly seeking out new dealers and stashing it so that I can just have it and look at it and eventually create something with it!

Can you relate to that?

Well I was so excited when I read about what todays tasks were in the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge because it meant that I got to hang out in my favourite room!!! My Cougar Cave!!

Day 8 – The Spare Room/Craft Room

The only thing is, is that I really didn’t have much to do to clean it up. As there is nothing in this room that I would class as ‘clutter’! I really like to keep my Cougar Cave tidy as I don’t feel creative when there is mess. I love every single item in here. I love the aura that this room has. I love the way it inspires me. It is Lilli May designs. So there was nothing to throw out…and only a few things to tidy up.

Here is how it looks before :

Who wouldn’t want to walk through this door everyday if they are greeted with such a bright and happy fabric filled room! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this place!

The only real areas I need to tidy is a couple of shelves on my wall of fabric, under the table and in the middle draw on my vintage dresser/desk.

So here is some of my stash and these shelves are pretty tidy…

There are a couple of shelves on this side that need a tidy up. My favourite shelf is the top one in the below photo. It holds all my Holly Hobbie goodness, genuine vintage HH fabric on the left part and the vintage HH bed linen on the right side

Then on to another of my little vintage wardrobes.

This one is just great for my Cougar Cave. It is the perfect size to store all my little bits and pieces that need to be locked away from little hands. 🙂

So as you can see, I already keep this space pretty tidy. So let me share a few of my special items.

First is one shelf that I have dedicated to little vintage items that I have collected.

My most loved thing here would have to be my original Textiles And Designs Year 7 School Book! From 1987 kiddies!!!

As I have said before, I fell in LOVE with sewing when I was introduced to it in Year 7 so I cherish this school book that has captured those first few moments that I shared with sewing.

Like learning to sew in straight lines…

To naming the machine parts…

There are so many cute little pages in this book that I loving decorated with my pudgy little 12 year old hands, the BEST one though is this:

My official SEWING MACHINE DRIVER’S LICENCE! How awesomely cute is that!!! So proud of 12 year old me!

Another prize possession in here, sitting above my window sill where my incense burner sits, next to a love note by the Husbando and a keepsake from when I went and saw the Dalai Lama, are my cotton reel holders that my lovely wonderful mum gave me for my birthday.

See how they are cute little vintage sewing machines with a heart on them!

OK, now one of the places that needs a tidy up are a couple of the shelves and this took a whole 5 minutes if that.

Now my little Holly Hobbie lamp has more space.

One other spot that needed a quick tidy was under my cutting table. From this…

…with my original sewing box from Year 7 …

..to this…

There was only one place left to tidy and that was the middle draw in the dresser. This is where I also keep my sketch book of design ideas, proposed fabric combinations, measurements etc for current designs, lists of items I want to make and other notes, swatches etc of things that inspire me.

From this:

5 minutes later. Wahla!

Again today was super easy AND I got to share my second favourite space with you. My favourite is in one of Lilli May’s cuddles. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the snoop. Do you like my Cougar Cave and do you have a room all to yourself?

See you tomorrow.

Keep smiling!

Michka

Its all clean where we get clean!!

Its all clean where we get clean!!

Hellloooooo Monday!

It was easy to get out of bed this morning as it was overcast weather! I adore the rain and would be happy for it to rain everyday!

However, even though we were out of bed and there was a chance of rain to look forward to, there was this little sense of doom and gloom that I could not shake. Oh yes. Oh my. Oh dear. TODAY WAS CLEAN THE BATHROOM DAY in the  20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge!!!

Because I knew this day was coming, we have not cleaned it for at least 3 weeks now (except for surface wipe downs of the basin etc) and Lilli has been having showers with me so standing up. Now the husbando is a tradie…so he can get pretty dirty and…ok ok ok enough excuses..lets get into it. Sigh. As soon as Lilli May went for her nap, I got changed and slapped on some rubber gloves!  

Day 6 – Bathroom

Are you ready?!! Here are the before shots. Eeeek

Like my green gloves?!

OK! Well there you go! YUK.

First thing I did was remove all items from the bath/shower, cupboards and floors etc. Then I sprayed on mould remover on all tiled surfaces, with the window open and the exhaust fan on. Then I cleaned the toilet. 🙂

Rather quickly it started to look great!

One weird, but wonderful thing about our toilet, is that it has this little hand-held water shooter. We ONLY use it to clean the toilet. I don’t want to know what its other uses may be as we just don’t roll that way!  It is a great cleaner!

(please note I nearly dropped my camera in the loo trying to get this photo whooopsy)

Next up was the cabinet. Lots of items just chucked in here without much need for them.

See the little glass shelf in the cupboard, and see the little peg things that stick into the side of the cupboard that the shelf rests on? Well these little suckers got me a good one today. After I cleared out every thing I took the shelf out and cleaned it, then decided to re-position the shelf to a higher position. I grabbed on to the first little peg and pulled and twisted. It didn’t budge, so I tried another one. It didn’t move either. I took my gloves off and tried both again. It was then, just before giving up that I realised that they are screwed in!

In my 38 years I have never come across little pegs like this that are screwed in! Well played bathroom cabinet. Well played.

I am so happy with how the cabinet (with its stupid screwed in little peg things) now looks after it has been cleaned and reorganised!

Then it was onto the shower/bath. I wiped down all the surfaces (they have had the mould remover on them now for about 30 mins) and then where there was a particularly bad area of scum etc I used my secret weapon!

If you have never used one of these you are in for a treat!! They work like magic on the soap scum! It is just a matter of rubbing it over where all the scum is (like you could see in the bottom edges of the bath) and it seriously gets wiped off. No scrubbing necessary!

Ta dah!!

How awesome does it look?!

I have another little secret weapon for all of you that have a shower curtain. As you would know, it gets soap scum etc on it to and this photo shows the before and after shots of the same area of the curtain.

Just wipe it down with one of these. Simple. Easy. Effective.

My final two tips for today. First, if you plan on using bleach like I did, then make sure you get changed into old clothes like I did because you may get bleach on them. (I am such a professional…NOT)

My last tip would be, if you have a Ruffian that you bath or a bath to clean, and if you don’t have already, then get yourself one of these to kneel on. Your knees will love you for it!

So now that it is all spick and span, I have thrown out all the nasty chemicals as I plan to now maintain this clean space with more natural cleaning solutions like vinegar and bi carb etc.

I am so happy this job is done and I am very satisfied with the results. It is so clean in there that I felt like we needed to get clean somewhere else before we had our shower in there tonight! 🙂

Oh and the gorgeous shower cap that Lilli May is wearing in the photos are from Lilli May designs and if you wish to order one from a range of boy and girl fabrics in child or adult sizes, with or without a ruffle added, details can be found here.

I am back on the cleaning horse and can’t wait for the next days tasks! Until then…

Keep smiling

Michka

1 Tequila..2 Tequila..3 Tequila…

1 Tequila..2 Tequila..3 Tequila…

What comes next?

I used to go out on a Friday night after work and live this song….

I can’t remember what comes next now though…

Maybe I cant remember it because I am a mum now, and for me, I would prefer to stay with my little Ruffian than go out partying on a Friday night…I am enjoying not waking up hung over on a Saturday that’s for sure!

Oh hang on…thats right! The next bit is FLOOR!!! 😀

Day 5 – Floor

Todays tasks in the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge is to clean the floors! 🙂

So basically this involved picking up all the items off the floor so that the vacuuming can be done.

Meet Bob. This is our Budgie, full name Silent Bob. He used to live with Jay but Jay died nearly a year ago 😦

Bob lives in our home office, surrounded by my handmade curtains, my old primary school ports and is constantly chirping all day until he is covered up at night. He is a happy little thing and Lilli May adores him. Anyway, more on Bob at another time.

Bob is also a great dropper of feathers. So we use the little vacuum nearly everyday to suck them up.

This is something Lilli May loves to do…so she also did it today for me too.

Whilst she was doing this I moved all the mats off the floor throughout the house and move the furniture, that I could, as well. See this mat after 1 day?!

So THAT’s where the TMNT badge of Dadda’s went?! Under the toy chest.

We went out for morning tea, and when we got back home we vacuumed the rest of the house. Then we had lunch and then whilst Lilli May slept…

…I did this…

Then I sewed the rest of the nap time.

Well that is the first week down of the challenge! I love our newly organised rooms! We will be getting all the ‘repair’ items on my list over the weekend and I also plan to clear out the pantry.

So have a fantastic weekend and enjoy it no matter what you decide to do!

See you next week.

Keep smiling

Michka

Today’s Blog is bought to you by Cold Chisel and Poison!

Today’s Blog is bought to you by Cold Chisel and Poison!

Well today was Day 4 of the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge.

I can’t believe how fast this week is going!

Time for you to snoop in another part of our home. 🙂 Todays schedule also included a quick trip out this morning for a ‘in home’ consultation (yes laa dee daa) to measure up a new Lilli May designs item. So the before photos were taken before this and we started on the room after breakfast and after we got back home.

Day 4 – Lounge Room

So this is how we started…

So not too bad really.

First things first was to turn on some tunes on MTV Classic channel and then remove the items that don’t belong, take the cushions out to get some sun and pack the toys back in the toy box. Yes our bears wear shoes. Volley’s to be exact.

We decided when Lilli May started walking at 8.5 months (YES you read that right), that we would store away our glass coffee table and not have one. It has been a great idea as not only does it allow us extra space in the lounge room for her to play, it is one less thing for her to climb up and stand on (which she does to anything and everything) and it means that we aren’t tempted to have any hot drinks etc near her. Well I use the term ‘hot’ loosely..as we all know that I love lukewarm tea. 🙂

Now isn’t this little bit of interior decorating TO…..DIE…….FOR!!!

This stunning unique layering of a black scarf and a deep crimson red scarf are the perfect accessory to cover the glass door of an evening if someone is up watching TV so that the light doesn’t shine through into the bedroom (through the office) and you are too busy to take the time out to make the roll-up blind that you have all the parts for that you purchased months ago. Simple, yet very effective. *blushing*

As this door leads to our home office and the front door, I want a blind here and not a curtain, as I want to be able to have the light come through when I need it during the day but need the door closed to keep my little Ruffian out of the office. I will make the blind sometime in the next few weeks. I promise and I will Blog to prove it (gee now it’s out there I better actually do it)!

As Poison was pumping out of the speakers, I dusted and clean all the speaker surfaces….

Dusted and cleaned the bookshelf (which we picked up second-hand last weekend) and the TV, DVD player etc…

Then in my quest for more natural light, I looked at the curtains….

..and I decided to remove them for good and I will replace them with some framing curtains. I love the extra NATURAL light we now have and you can see the lovely window details now as well. Win win.

Bonus: as I took time out to admire the new improved windows, we had a bit of a yell-a-long and dance to Cold Chisel.

Since we have been in this house, it has been winter, so we havent ever opened the window in the lounge room. If we wanted air flow we just opened the glass panelled door and the front door was right there. So I wasnt that surprised to find really grotty windows and lots of spider webs on the outside of them.

So after some spray with bug spray, and clean inside and outside, the windows were much cleaner than the paper towel was. Eeeewwww.

Next was the cabinet. We had only recently packed this so not much to do here except a quick tidy of the draws.

Have you ever played Skip-Bo?!?! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this game! Grew up on it with my sister and mum on a weekend at the kitchen table. FUN!  We preferred this over Uno, what about you??

After all the dusting of the shelves and rearranging of the contents of the draws I replaced our very hi-tech “keep Lilli May out of the draws and cupboards” devices…

…tiny squares of cardboard. Jams them shut and even I struggle to get them open. Cost = zero!

It was great to finally organise the new (used) bookshelf too by putting some more candle holders and happy snaps etc on display….

..including my original Strawberry Shortcake doll from the (shhhh) early eighties when I was 5 that Lilli May loves to play with. Also the orange pumpkin is from the 70’s as was a favourite of my sister and I – its Cinderella’s pumpkin that she travelled to the ball in and has the little mice and all!! Cute hey?! Another fav is this picture of the Husbando and I at the V8’s up in Darwin for my birthday a few years ago. The note is a message he wrote on a post-it for me years ago (he was living in Perth & I in Sydney, and he left this note under my pillow on a day he flew back to Perth from spending a weekend with me) when we first started seeing each other. Awwwwwwww how romantic is he?!

The mat was next to attack…when we bought this, we thought “oh yeah, black would hide dirt etc”…but this mat shows up EVERYTHING and we have to vacuum it a few times a week!

 

Lucky for it that it comes up so nice after it is vacuumed to ensure it is not banished to Gumtree/eBay!

Now, the last thing left to do today was to vacuum the couch.

Before I show you the final pics of the lounge room, I wanted to share two last photos with you. The first was taken on Tuesday afternoon and the second was taken this morning of the same spot. It was almost like Lilli May took a look around the lounge room the other day and thought to herself ‘this room is pretty organised already, she wont be able to fill a whole blog post on this, so I better help her out’.

So she grabbed a biro, from me whilst I was on the phone IN THE SAME ROOM AS HER SITTING ON THE TOY BOX (so yes I only have myself to blame), and decided to decorate the lounge….in 10 seconds flat she did this:

Being the knowledgeable Stepford Wife that I am, I worked my magic…

….and it was gone. I guess I still have a photo of her lovely artwork to keep as a memento. Monkey.

With the kettle on and the incense burning, welcome to our organised and clean (and light and bright) lounge room.

Come on over and have a cuppa and a sing-a-long with us! We do have coffee…but lukewarm/cold tea is my speciality!

See you all tomorrow for the next installment. 🙂

Keep smiling!

Michka

Find me a cat and pass me its tail!

Find me a cat and pass me its tail!

Last night I had the best sleep. I am putting it down to my incense that I had burning in our room during the day and the relaxation that comes with knowing that the room is clean.

I have incense burning everyday in the house, usually in the lounge room, the cougar cave and the bedroom. Due to the clutter that had accumulated in the bedroom, I havent been able to have it in there for a few weeks. Something I wont let happen again.

So with this very restful start to the day, and after we dressed and ate breakfast, we set about todays tasks in the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge.

Day 3 – Laundry

Our laundry is outside and is attached to the garage.

So what hides behind the green door..

Ahhh clutter!!!

As we rent, we are limited in what we can do with the house. At the moment the outdoor toilet doesn’t work. The owner had someone come and ‘fix’ the leak, but it still leaks…on the list now is to contact our plumber mate JJ and get this fixed (we love JJ). 🙂

One of the other things that we want to do is repaint the laundry (including fixing the horrible paint chipped floor) – this has been approved by the owner. Due to this, we havent spent a lot of time cleaning the laundry as we have had it in our plans in the last month that we would be painting it so we can clean it out then. But as they say, there is no time like to present – if I clean it now then it will be all ready for prepping and painting when we are ready.

I started by clearing out everything first.

One item which I am not proud of, yet is does the job, is my garbage bag. It was hanging off the towel rail behind the metal shelving unit.

It is used to put rubbish in that finds its way to the laundry and also all the lint from the washing machine and the dryer. So it is necessary, yet ugly. *blushing*

It already looked better with all the clutter removed!

Next came the sweeping then washing of the floor.

During this sweeping, as I was moving the dryer out of the way, I had a light bulb moment! I grabbed my tape measure (and being a dressmaker, seamstress, designer, sewer, sewist – or what ever you want to call it – I knew where 4 of them were) and measured.  To my delight the measurements matched up!!

I was able to relocate the dryer! YAY!!! This also means no more twisting when unloading the washing into the dryer!

Then I washed the floor and waited for it to dry. It was then time to stop for some morning tea and I joined Lilli May where she had been playing whilst I had been cleaning.

In the sun. Bliss!

Then it was back to work for me. I cleaned the glass and the window frame. Then a full dust, wipe down and vacuum of the machines, the walls and the floor.

Washing machine after a clean.

Dryer before a clean.

Now please note the placement of the washing powder. I had it on the right top of the dryer, then the left (like in this photo) then the middle. Yes my OCD was in overdrive! I need it to be just perfect! I have since decided to have it on the right of the dryer top, so that it is nice and close to the washing machine where I need it….plus it saves sprinkling the powder all over the top of the dryer. 🙂

Then I placed all the items back in that BELONGED in the laundry including unpacking that box that was in there on top of the toilet and putting away the items in the cupboard.

Just check out the spaciousness of it now!!!

FIND ME A CAT AND PASS ME IT’S TAIL….as I now have a room big enough to SWING IT IN!!

As you can see the space between the tub and the shelving unit is perfect for storing the dirty clothes basket (which stays in the bedroom until wash day) and the laundry basket too! Plus this is the perfect height for loading up the basket with the ‘just washed’ clothes..no more bending over! My back is going to love all these changes!

Also I still have lots of storage space now on the shelving unit…and I can now store the horsies behind the door (instead of outside the laundry like they were before).

But what is she going to do with the lint and fluff etc I hear you ask?

Well something that has been on my to make list for months was finally created today and I LOVE IT!!!

Meet a new Lilli May designs item : The Laundry Lint Bag (coordinating Peg Bag coming soon)

Made in water-resistant fabric it is perfect for damp places like the laundry. Or you may want to use yours on a towel rail in the bathroom or garage! Lots of sizes and different designer fabrics available – contact me for details.

I also love how the black and white blossoms coordinate, but are not matchy matchy, with the blossoms on my handmade curtains.

Our laundry is now so inviting and most of all it is now very user-friendly too! I love it!

I hope you enjoyed yet another snoop into my world! See you tomorrow for Day 4!

Keep smiling!

Michka