Organising For Winter


The temperature here has dropped. By dropped, I mean dived head fist into the single digits.  In the space of  one week we have gone from having the fan on to digging out the blankets.  As the seasons change so does our home.  Different spaces need adapting, organising and replenishing.

When Organising for Winter I start with…..

THE BEDROOMS

Target - Dotty Flannelette Sheet Set

Blankety Beds.  I have two sets of bedding for the kids bedrooms.  Winter and Summer.  For Winter I replace their cotton fitted and top sheets with cozy flanellete.  As I went to do this I realised this would be the first Winter Miss A was not in a cot!  So I purchased these great basic flanellete sheet sets for her bed.  For now I am leaving their coverlets on the bed and adding a thicker blanket on top.  By July I know I will have to get out the thicker quilt covers.

Target - 2 Pk of Holeproof Socks.

Building On the Basics.  This is a great time to restock the kids wardrobes with the basics.  It has been a year since we have needed so many singlets and socks and in that time My Pigeon Pair have GROWN! For Master O I stock up on plain white singlets. These are great for under school uniforms. Little Miss A I can get a little fancier and get a range of white, pink, purple.  I also restock their sock collection.  I find multipacks offer the next value for money and I like to buy at least 5 pairs of socks each.  Socks are a one wear item, take longer to dry and get extra filthy, hence needing 5 pairs! This time of year I also buy the kids a pair of new slippers each.  To help extend the wrdrobe budget I also grab a few plain long sleeved shirts for layering.  They can be worn under a summer pinafore dress, with a summer skirt or under a t-shirt, to give the summer wardrobes a little stretch into winter. With all of these new items coming into bedrooms it also important to cull the old!

15 L Storage Container - Target

Storage. Starting with the socks and singlets I sort, cull and store.  Any socks that are too small, I donate.  Any that are small but I think I could pass on to friends later, I store. I try to do this before buying anything new.  It’s amazing to find that you have items that you had bought, not used and forgotten about! Unfortunately having a “pigeon pair” means that there is rarely anything to pass down, within our family! I also use this time to put cull, sort and store the past seasons clothes.  Little Miss A actually had a whole contianer of clothes that I am sure will still fit this next summer!  I simply took them out of her wardrobe and put them into a storage container. I labelled it with it’s sizes and season e.g Summer Size 3-4.  

Vacuum bags are great for long term storage. Like the clothes that are too small to wear but to good to throw.  But for clothes that we may need occasionally during the current season I like to use a plastic storage container. My trick is to buy a storage container smaller than I think I will need!  It forces me to be more brutal with my culling and is easier to fit and lift on top of the wardrobes.  I like the 15L ones from Target as they are sturdy, clear (not smokey) and have great lids.  They are also only $7!!!

The bedrooms are now “Winterfied”with freshly made winter beds, to cosy up into on a cool night.  Now if anyone knows how to keep “My Pigeon Pair” in their own cosy beds and out of mine let me know! 

This is a SPONSORED POST.  I was paid by Target to give my own opinion and advice on Organising for Winter. 

 

10 Ways With Washi Tape

 

 I must admit I am late to the Washi Tape Party.  I watched on as blogger after blogger fell in love with the stuff and found a million different ways to use it.  But I sat by and put it in the too complicated basket.  Would it come off if I didn’t like it?  What would I use it for?  I am not only often creatively challenged but I am also impulsive and impatient and seriously easily addicted to things.  I am afraid my friends Washi Tape is no different.

So let’s start with the obvious…..

What is Washi Tape?

 Washi Tape is a little like masking tape.  It is easily applied and removed and can also be ripped instead of cut.  But inlike masking Tape it is BEAUTIFUL!  It comes in an amazing array of colours and patterns.

What can I use Washi Tape for?

How long is a piece of tape?  You can use it for a million different things but I will start with 10!!!

 

Organising Cups at a Party! Can’t remember whose cup belongs to who? How about some washi tape to help identify the owner! Or use some colour coordinating tape to help decorate some simple plastic cups for the next children’s Birthday party!

 

Reuse any can or jar by decorating it with washi tape. Great for pencils, utensils even cutlery. Cheap and beautiful.

 

Washi tape is so easy to remove it is great for decorating walls. This is such a clever way to frame artwork in a childrens bedroom or play space.

 

A basic photo frame can be colour co-ordinated and personalised to suit any decor with some Washi Tape!

 

OK so this would be time consuming, but oh how creative AND effective! A Washi Tape Keyboard!

Source: google.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

Washi Tape adds interest and colour to these simple glass jars. Group them together, add candles or flowers and you have a gorgeous table centrepiece.

 

A simple wood or cardboard letter, covered in washi tape and attached to a frame makes a great piece of monogram artwork. This would make a great present!

 

You know how much I love colour coding my calendar and planner! Next year I am going to use wash tape instead of pens! Assign a different colour for each family member or for each different activity.

 

How cute is this! I am thinking cake top decoration, children’s bedrooms or seasonal table decorations!

and my very first project with washi tape was inspired by this one!

 

Washi Tape on bulldog clips! I have used them to help colour code my filing system!

Lastly…

Where can I buy Washi Tape?

Well you, the readers told me that one, you put me onto… 

www.chibirun.com

They had an amazing range, great prices and quick delivery!  Even better, they had a whole other range of goodies including the cutest stationary and gorgeous  organising bits and pieces, perfect for my new home office!

Just some of my new collection!

So what have you used Washi Tape for? 

Robomaid Review and Giveaway

One of the perks of building our own home was that it came equipped with a “VacuMaid” in built Vaccuum system.  Or so we thought.  After years of almost daily use, the system died and we then realised how expensive it would be to replace.  Since then we have gone from cheap Vaccuum to cheaper vacuum.. Each has had its good points, but unfortunately none of them did everything well.  Then this arrived……


We have a large house, with a combination of tiles, carpet and rugs.  This house will put the Robomaid through its paces! 

What I LOVED…

Ease of Use – So its a robot.  I thought this might mean that I would require an aeronautical degree to read the instructions and operate the machine!  I was so wrong.  I simply plugged the dock in, charged the machine and then pressed play.  The Instruction manual is clear and easy to understand.  I played around with a few different settings including; following the walls, zig zag and spot cleaning.

The Robomaid can effortlessly fit under furniture.

Perfect Transitions – I think this is what I had been sceptical about.  Could it go from tiles to rug and back again?  Would it get stuck on the furniture?  No and NO! We have a thick rug on the Living room floor and the Robomaid easily transitioned from tiles onto rug and down again.  It did bump against furniture especially the dining room chairs but it then reversed and went around them!  The Robomaid is so compact it even effortlessly slid under our buffet unit. 

It followed the wall to go in and around corners.

Great Strength and Coverage –  I was pleasantly surprised how much this small and light machine picked up.  It seems to map the room and zig zags from space to space.  It didn’t pick up every single bit of rubbish.  SOme spots were missed, but considering it was not a human cleaning I thought the coverage was good.  It really pays to attach the little side sweepers and I found this helped with getting right into the edges.

I can now do two jobs at once!

The Time Factor –  Yes it does take longer to clean a space than it would to vacuum with a standard vaccuum cleaner.  But it’s not my time!  I can set it and forget it.  Or even better I follow it from room to room with my steam mop!  I am getting the floors done in half the time.  I especially like the set and forget mode for the upstairs bedrooms.  I can leave it in a small room whilst I go on the school run and cross one more housewrok job off the list.

Spaces – The robomaid worked well in both our open plan areas and smaller rooms.  The open plan areas naturally took longer to clean and were not cleaned has thoroughly as the smaller rooms.  I would love to play around more with the “invisible wall” function.  This helps section off certain areas and prevents it from falling down the stairs! I think this would help achieve a better clean in the open areas.

Noise – The RoboMaid was actually quieter than our VacuuMaid!

For me the biggest plus is the fact that I can use my time on other jobs around the house whilst the Robomaid does the vacuuming.  I also love that it is so easy to take up stairs, place in bathrooms or bedrooms and can easily transition form tiles to carpet to rugs.  I dont think it will replace a larger vacuum cleaner all together.  I would still like to do one big thorough vaccuum once a fortnight and get into the window sills, between the fridge etc.  But overall, I LOVE IT!  Now I have to change My Cleaning Schedule

If I love it, I know you will love it to so we are GIVING ONE AWAY!!!!

Simply enter VIA Rafflecopter below and tell us…..

What feature of the Robomaid do you love the most?

What a great Mother’s Day Present!!!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Using Trays To Organise and Decorate

 There is a little area of our home that needs some love.  It is a low buffet unit in our living room and I just can’t figure out how to decorate it.  Last week at West Elm I spied some gorgeous trays.  I love the way using a tray can group random items together to make it look like a gorgeous vignette! Trays are also a great way to keep items organised! Using a tray helps control the clutter as it provides a confined space for it to live. 

Now for the ‘pin’spiration…….


 

 

Think outside the tray. These are test tubes! This looks like an amazing thrift store find, decorated with a simple, single bloom each!

 
A vintage tray, filled with glasses of assorted shapes but similar size, topped with such amazing flowers.  What a gorgeous centrepiece this would make to any able setting.
 

Source: blog.amyatlas.com via Larissa on Pinterest

That blue lattice urn is just striking! This little vignette would be great in a bathroom or guest room.

 

 

This is a great example of how varying vases are all “brought together” by using a tray, plate, frame.

 

My favourite colour! Such a random scatter of tiny jars but it looks perfect!

Source: rivieramaison.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 LOVE LOVE LOVE!

I saw a display similar to this at pottery barn and it would be perfect for my wooden buffet. 

Source: bhg.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

Tidy up any space and keep it organised with a tray to confine the clutter! 

Now I think a trip to a few thrift stores must be planned for later this week to find a tray and some cute recycled glass vases! Anyone else got a tray display they can show me? Which one is your favourite?

Pottery Barn Kids – Australia

Just when you thought my Pottery Barn posts were over!

I am only half way through my tour!

Pottery Barn Kids shares some floor space with Pottery Barn.  These two stores were the ones I was most excited to explore.  So what do I love about Pottery Barn Kids.  Of course I could go on and on but the one thing I have ordered before and will be ordering again is the Bedroom Linen and Decor.

Americans just know how to dress a bed.  I have struggled to find complete bedding sets in Australia especially, cot skirts.  I cna not put into words how divine the Nursery bedding is and the rugs!   At last you can buy a COMPLETE set of matching bedding including pillow shams, bed skirts, curtains, wall art and even rugs.  Not only that but the styles are classic and will grow with your child.  Versatility is the key to good nursery design and no one does versatile like Pottery Barn Kids.

Brooklyn – Nursery Bedding – PB Kids
Dahlia – Nursery Bedding – PBKids
Hayley – Nursery Bedding – PBKids
Maya – Nursery Bedding – PBKids
Camille – Nursery Bedding – PBKids

Do you see what I mean about COMPLETE sets?  The rugs are like nothing else on the Australian market and AFFORDABLE!  Most of the cots convert and the furniture is designed to create easy transitions from Nursery to Toddler to Child rooms. 

 I just had to show you the Tulle Bed skirt and matching rug! 

The Retro Play Kitchens will give a certain Swedish Supplier a run for their money!

Check out those “Anywhere” chairs.  With removable, washable and durable covers that can be monogrammed.

Sorry Jen!  This was the only photo I got of the gorgeous rugs!  You can check out Jen from The Interiors Addict post HERE

The children’s bedding was just as gorgeous.  The layered beds are great for Australian Climates as you can dress your bed according to the weather.  It also allows you to build up a set over time.  

The canopies can be created in various ways depending on your preference.  The canopy itself comes in a variety of colours and then you can add accessories such as tulle bows or butterflies as you like. 

My photos do not do it justice! 

The Boys bedding did not disappoint. Although I was not as taken with the boys display on further inspection of the shelves there was a variety of both Licensed and classic bedding. 

As nice as the girls stuff?  No.  But better than what we currently have in Australia? Yes.

Pottery Barn Kids, Bondi store will also offer events for children including tea parties, storytime sessions and seasonal craft. Check online for bookings.

Children are made to feel at home in the store and encouraged to play, touch and enjoy. Their are instore children’s bathrooms, a lift for prams and plenty of space.

Pottery Barn Kids have the price point right, an understanding of their customers needs and have created a personalised and hands on experience of shopping with children. 

We are making progress people, slow but steady.

Pottery Barn Opens in Australia


I have always loved shopping, I mean always.  I don’t spend a lot of money.  I like to think I am a savvy shopper.  If you have been around this blog long enough you will know I buy things I love.  Even if it is from a thrift store, second hand market or dollar store.  Sometimes I dont even buy, I just love to make mental wish lists, browse the stores, admire the window displays, circle the catalogues.  

Which brings me to Pottery Barn.  For years I have coveted EVERYTHING pottery barn.  Firstly thorugh catalogues sent to me by very kind friends in the states.  Then online and when they would not ship I began parcel forwarding.  Last year I was finally able to take them up on their international shipping.  My favourites were the bed linen, office and organising pieces and of course the SEASONAL DECOR! 

When I found out that a Pottery Barn would be making its way to our shores, I squealed with excitement, literally!  No more International Shipping Rates! No more disappointment at the online checkout to find out that the item doesn’t ship Internationally.  I was going to go INSIDE A POTTERY BARN store and experience it all for myself. 

I started making plans of when and how I would get to Sydney to see the Bondi Store. 

Then in the mail came my very own INVITATION, selaed with wax, to the PREVIEW of all four Williams Sonoma owned stores.

The rest is history.  I booked those flights as quick as I could.  Started making wish lists and pinched myself more than once.

The store did not disappoint.  Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn kids are next to each other and share some floor space.  The store is spread over two levels and the merchandising feels as if you have walked into a luxurious coastal chic home. I wished to just take whole spaces and transport them into my own home.  Even the stores gorgeous dark timber floors and white cabinetry had me drooling.

Now I think I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

 


The cushions, the rugs, the bedding, the seaside decor and all that glass, beige and blue!
These photos are so blurry as I couldn’t stand still for long enough.  There was just so much to look at.  Just when I thought I found something I loved, I would find soemthing I loved even more.  I regret I didnt buy more, and wish I had of gone in with a better plan of what I would buy as all that shiny gorgeousness was so distracting.
I just couldn’t believe, that after all this time struggling to find decor items that are my style and suit my homes colour palette, I was now in a store with an abundance of perfection.  I seriously could have grabbed anything in Pottery Barn and it would be a perfect fit for our style and life style.  The fabrics are washable and durable.  The furniture classic, functional and solid.  The prices are comparable to most big box Australian furniture stores.  They offer FREE in home design consultations and for $99 will deliver your furniture in Sydney, assemble it and take away the rubbish.  
The negatives…..just two…
 
 
1. It is in SYNDEY!  I havent quite figured out the furniture shipping costs to Brisbane, but I don’t think it will be cheap.  Decor, bed linen etc,  though ships from as little as $12.95!!!!!
2. They don’t stock the complete range.  I am assured the range will expand as they settle in but I couldn’t find the Recharge Station (I know you were all looking for that!) or the Daily System (for Office Organisation).  They also didn’t have those anchors I wanted or that bedside lamp for Master O’s room.  I actually hadn’t stopped to think that because of the different Australian standards (for electrical and plumbing) items such as vanities or lamps will be hard for them to stock. 
 
 
BUT THEY ARE HERE!!!!!  POTTERY BARN IS IN AUSTRALIA! If nothing else they are going to change the face of Australian Retail Homewares and challenge the competition to listen to their customers, expand their ranges, offer better in store service and online experiences.   Let’s just hope they are listening. 
 
This is NOT A SPONSORED POST.  

A New Addition

I bet that title had you wondering if we were adding to our family?  

No, I am afraid my baby making days are over.  

But I have just been welcomed into a new family…

A few weeks ago I was asked to become a part of an amazing family.  

The WILLIAMS SONOMA family.  

Williams Sonoma Inc encompasses the three dreamy American homewares stores – West Elm, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn Kids.  I am joining some incredibly inspiring Australian bloggers to share with our readers all that is Williams Sonoma.  

 

The FIRST AUSTRALIAN stores open in Bondi Junction on May 2nd.  But never fear they will also have online shopping! I am predicting we will  see Melbourne and Brisbane openings, sooner rather than later.

Can you believe it?  I have shopped at Pottery Barn for years!  First via parcel forwarding and then by paying international shipping prices, just to have a little piece of their gorgeous range in my own home.  I have a rather empty suitcase I will be taking with me to Sydney, that will hopefully return VERY full! 

I will be posting a whole heap of photos from the Launch Event on May 1st.  

Follow

#PotteryBarnAus or #mppPotteryBarn

on Instagram for all the divine finds!

Home Office Organisation Inspiration

The Home Office Makeover is well under way.  This is going to be a long and slow process but hey we have made a start.

This room is a VERY dificult shape to work with.

With its multiple windows, 2 doors and angled wall, it is making positioning furniture VERY difficult.

The entry to the study, is right off the entry of our house AND it has no door on it!  This was part of the original house plan and I now really wish we had of included doors.  It is a 9ft high opening and not a standard door size so doors are not going to happen!  The benefit is though that I have a nice view form the desk to our front entry table!

We have a medium sized Expedit unit to include, to provide storage primarily for folders. 

 

A bit like this.

So with that in mind…..The first question…..

Do I lay the Expedit on its side?

Source: decorpad.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 This creates a second bench, (I already have a long table) and frees up wall space for shelves. However, I wouldn’t like to use the bottom shelves for folders as they would be hard to get at.  The bottom shelves would be better for boxes or baskets. However I really don’t need 4 basket spaces. I feel like this would be a wasted space. So do I stand her up?

 

Source: centsationalgirl.com via Larissa on Pinterest

This would make the best use of all shelves AND could go on either wall. I could still use the bottom two for baskets but would have 6 spaces for folders and magazine holders.  I could also use the side of the unit to hand some clipboards? Laying it down would mean it could only go on the angled wall.

So what say you? Up or down? Vertical or Horizontal? Rearrange the whole room? 

I will post some pics on Instagram today to give you a real view of the MAYHEM! Follow the hashtag #mppoffice on Instagram.

Fishing for Home Office Organisation Ideas

Pencils, Pens, Highlighters, Scissors, Paper Clips the office bibs and bobs list, goes on and on.  I have been searching for a way to organise and store these items so that I can always find what I need! 

We have a great office space but it is in an embarrasing state at the moment.  But we are making a start.  One of the big problems is that even though I have a large desk it has no drawers! 

 I rectified that quick smart with these nifty little drawers from you guessed it The Reject Shop.  They were $30.  Great deal but wait there’s more…..I had specifically gone to the reject store with a purpose.

Remember this project?  

 Well more than 6 months on our “Fishing Tackle Box, Battery Organisation” was still working except for one minor detail.  After constant use over the Christmas period the lid had broken off!  So I bought a new one to replace it.

Once home I assembled our drawers and used the broken Tackle Box to check that it would fit inside one of my new drawers. This would be a great place to store my battery container. You would never believe it.  

Perfect fit!  One Reject Shop Tackle Box, sans lid, fits perfectly inside one Reject Shop drawer.  That is no coincidence my friends, that is called organisational destiny. 

So of course I needed more tackle boxes.  EVERYTHING was going to have a compartment!  I would be able to sleep at night knowing each little item had its very own home! So this happened.

Introducing my new top drawer.

Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful! I used some scrapbooking paper leftovers to line the base just to make her pretty.  These containers are brilliant as the dividers can be moved around to create perfectly sized compartments.

I may have then looked at what else I could organise in the same way. 

I may have collected a hook or two over the past few years!  These were in all little packets scattered over the house.  A quick roll call and they were lined up, sorted and introduced to their new homes.  Now I know exactly what we have and what we need, well when it comes to hooks at least.

The Other Drawers….

I now have more desk space, less clutter all over the office and can find exactly what I need when I need it.  Even better did you notice that the drawers on wheels?  I actually wheeled it out to the dining room the other day to work at the table! Totally handy! Unless of course you need to work in the closest Mc Cafe. Not sure I could go that far.

Yesterday I started work on one other wall in the office.  It is going to be a HUGE job but it has to be done!  I am drowning in Office clutter! 

What is your biggest office organisation problem? 

Do you love a good tackle box as much as me? 

 

I’m Dreaming of a White Kitchen…..

I’m dreaming of a White Kitchen, just like the ones I see on Pinterest.

Ok tell me you didn’t sing along just then.  I love to start my day with a little inspiration.  For some it is a quote or matra, others meditation, me pretty pictures of divine homes. Particularly kitchens.  Any mother knows that Kitchens are a focal point of the family.  We have a great functioning and nice Kitchen and there are many things I love about it but I would never say no to a new kitchen.

So what is on my wish list…….

1. White Glossy Subway Tiles.

Source: bhg.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

They are just so simple, classic and fresh.  Perfect for a light and airy kitchen splash back.  Every kitchen I pin somehow has white subway tiles.  We currently have an off white tile that does suit our home but this added to the black bench top and no window, equals a not so light kitchen.

2. A Feature Tile Above The Stove.  

The same colour tiles but either framed or used in a herringbone/diamond pattern.

Source: thisoldhouse.com via Larissa on Pinterest

See what I’m talking about? Just a little bit of interest but nothing OUT THERE. I am in love with Herringbone tiles and even wooden floors laid in a herringbone pattern! I don’t think I am quite daring enough for either so this little nook is perfect!

 

But just in case in the next year I become a bit daring, LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern! Classic yet somehow contemporary.  Oh and you know how I love chevron and this tile layout reminds me of that! I am hoping that having something gorgeous to look at whilst cooking may actually encourage and improve my culinary skills? Maybe?

3. A Big Double Hung Window.

providing a view to the kids playing peacefully outside in the manicured gardens. Bonus if it also does duty as a servery. 

 

This is the perfect window placement. Above the sink so I can wash and watch at the same time. How swoon worthy is this kitchen in general! Did you notice the two sinks? 

4. Gorgeous Pendant Cape Cod Style lights above the counter.

 

Not only will they light up the kitchen they are just gorgeous to look at. Place my order for 2 or 3 pretty please. Oh and if you can’t find the previous window these will also be just fine thanks.  Oh and whilst your taking orders, check out that ceiling! Put me down for one of those.  And just because I like to find fault.  We have our sink in a similar position and it is NOT GOOD!  It is right in the middle leaving no bench space on either side.  I know it looks good to divide the space so symetrically but completely unpractical if you are a bench space lover like me. 

 

I could do a whole post on lights, they really do make the room and are an easy way to update an existing space. This kitchen is a close colour palette match to our current kitchen. We have black granite bench tops and white cupboards. Black seemed like a great idea at the time. It stands out like a sore thumb as we have nothing else black in that area! Before I found the Method Granite Spray they were also impossible to keep clean as you see very streak and bit of dust, which brings me to the next point.

5. White Counter Tops and Cupboards.

Source: bhg.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

I am not thinking all white. I love this hint of grey through the marbling.  And sorry to offend, but whoever thought that was a good Microwave spot does not have children! Way too close to little exploring hands!  

Source: houzz.com via Larissa on Pinterest

Love the hint of grey in the benches, but would be sure that everything else is white. But do you spy what I spy just hidden around the corner……

A Desk Nook! I have noticed these appearing on new home plans lately titled “e-nooks” now this my friends was obviously designed by a mother and is a BRILLIANT idea!

and that my friends, is a whole other post…….

So are you dreaming of something in particular? Come dream along on my Kitchen Pin Board

It can include winning the lotto to afford everything above!