101 Lunch Box Ideas and a Lunch Box Planner!

Can you believe it has now been 7 years since I first started packing lunchboxes on this blog! The days are long but the years are so short.

What has changed in that time?  We now have Master O entering his last year of Primary school, so no more cute shaped sandwiches or bento lunch boxes.  Its all about BULK!  That kid eats more than an adult!  Little Miss A is STILL THE FUSSIEST eater you have ever seen.  She tends to request the same lunch EVERY day!  Our little Hurricane is now in full time Pre-Prep and lucky for us they supply all his food. He is by far our best and biggest eater and will request eggs with smoked salmon and French toast for breakfast.

But lunchboxes…..Our 101 ideas is essential to keeping the variety going because come mid term, I am OVER making lunch decisions.  The planner helps ensure we are fulfilling a variety of dietary requirements and nutritional needs.  Even better the planner has been helpful in nurturing independent packers of lunch boxes.  They each know they need to pack something form each category.


Don’t forget if you use it to share a picture on Instagram (tag @theorganisednest or Facebook)

Bento Lunch Ideas



Happy Planning!

Organising a Personal Planner

So what goes hand in hand with your FAMILY CALENDAR?

Why a personal planner of course.

Why have a planner? You aren’t always at home, close to your calendar. There will be time out and about, at school, work, appointments, running errands when you will need to refer to your calendar. The planner also allows you to add more detail each appointment or event, including gift ideas, phone numbers, due dates or prices.

What kind of planner? For me personally I like something no bigger than A5 and fairly lightweight so that I can carry it in my handbag. It also helps if it has divided sections so that I can organise not only appointment times and dates, but to do lists, meal plans and blog schedules. All in the one place.

Where do you keep your planner? At home I keep it in our Organisation Station, right by the phone, computer and calendar. When ever I leave for the day I pop it in my handbag.

Having a planner is great but like the calendar you have to USE it EFFECTIVELY for it to work FOR YOU!

Every year I have experimented with a new planner.  This year it is my very own personalised version from personal-planner.com.  

I chose it because,

  • It’s a great size (a5) and light enough for my bag (it also comes in even smaller sizes.
  • I could personalise the contents and cover
  • Birthdays and anniversaries are personalised and printed onto the diary! Yes I am not kidding!
  • It includes space for to do lists (with a box to tick)
  • Each page has plenty of room for a whole family of appointments and meal plans AND blog schedule
  • You can lay it flat.
  • YOU CAN PERSONALISE IT!!!  I know I said it twice but that is really what sold it for me.

Personal Planner ~ Weekly View

Here is mine, but remember you can alter the layout to suit yourself!!!

Everything about it is personalised! You can personalise the cover, colour, the contents, the layout, and even add  birthdays and anniversaries.  It is also great for teachers or students and offers sections for assignment due dates. Here is how I use it…
A Close Up View

 My tips for using a planner effectively.

These are almost identical to my tips for using a CALENDAR.

1. Colour Coordinate.  Ok so maybe I am a little OCD when it comes to colour coding but this is something that has always worked for me.  Each member of the family has their own colour. Any events or activities that are for the whole fmaily also have their own colour.  This allows me to see at a glance who has what happening each day.  I use these same colours on my Calendar  as well.  Meals are written in the family colour and blog schedule in my colour.

2. Location, Location, Location.  The planner goes everywhere with me in my handbag.  This way if I need to record anything I have my planner.  It also holds my shopping list (folded up).  When at home I keep my planner in our Organisation Station.  It is near the phone, computer and where all of our bills and mails are kept.  This means as soon as any dates are confirmed they can be scheduled STRAIGHT into my planner.  If I dont do it straight awy or write it on a piece of paper for transferring later, it doesn’t happen!

3. One and Only.  Until now this has been a hard one.  But where possible I stronly support that you have only one planner.  I have had a work planner, blog schedule, meal plan and a personal planner all going at once and it is CRAZY!!!  I still have a meal plan board (for the whole family to see) but for my own reference I also have it in my planner.  I no longer need a work planner! 

4. EVERYTHING GOES IN THE PLANNER.  My planner is a space to include a more detailed entry of each appointment.   This includes medical appointments (Date, time, Dr, cost) Birthday parties (R.S.V.P number and due date, party date time place, gift ideas)  School events (due date of permission note, items required, date, time place transport specifics) EVERYTHING.  

5.  Take the time.  I take the time once a week to update my diary with what is on the calendar.  This gets everything clear in my head for the upcoming week.  I also use this time to look ahead and make plans.  Buying birthday cards or presents, making sure homework or assignments are done with plenty of time, scheduling appointments.  I find if I set the same time every week to do this task (Sunday night) I will actually do it!!!

 Can’t wait to get started?  


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Plan and Prepare for….CHRISTMAS!

Christmas is coming!  Well almost. The countdown has well and truly begun in this household!  Being a teacher Christmas preparations always begin early as I spend Term 4 with my class learning about Christmas round the world, the Nativity and all things red, green, glittery and joyous.

In case you have been hiding under a rock, or perhaps you are new to “My Pigeon Pair” I am an obsessive organiser (maybe it was those years as a Girl Guide reciting the motto Be Prepared?).  Christmas is no different.  So let the preparations begin!  We alternate Christmas’s between home (My Husbands family) and Away (My Family).  This year it is my turn!!!  So although I do not need to prepare the food (I am sure I will help out!) There are still a million thigs to do.  I have broken up my tasks into fortnightly groups.

Here is my first fortnightly list.

October 3-17

  1. Print off Christmas Planner and start filling it in.
  2. Search online for kids matching Christmas Outfits.
  3. Finalise Kids present list. – Ok so I haven’t started!
  4. Start list for presents that need to be sent.
  5. Book Accommodation for trip.

The first time on this list, is the MOST IMPORTANT.

The Christmas Planner.

The Organised Housewife ~ Christmas Planner ~ $9.95

This is the one non negotiable.  Remember my folders in our family Organisation Station?  It is the same concept but all about CHRISTMAS!  This year I am using the sensational “Organised Housewife’s Christmas Planner” 

It contains…….

  • Calendars for October-December
  • Weekly Planner
  • Guest List
  • Gift Checklists
  • Letter to Santa
  • To Do Lists
  • Budget Tables
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Baking and Cooking

The list goes on and on….there are over 40 pages!  

Over the coming weeks I will show you more about how I use my planner but to start, just buy it, print it and assemble it.  You will feel organized and accomplished already! 

To purchase the planner just click on the cute flashing ad in my right sidebar.

So what are your first steps when planning for Christmas?

Visit The Organised Housewife for all the details!

Organise me!!!!

Kids. Work. Home. Meals. Blog. Appointment. Meeting. Husband. Kindy
We run a tight schedule.  
Sometimes I am not sure how we fit it all in, but magically it just happens.
I love to be organised and am a list making and planning addict.
I have struggled to find a planner/diary to assist my addiction.
I needed something that could keep track of many different people and events on the same day.

Whilst visiting Seven Cherubs, I read Naomi’s mention of the Inner B Mum Organiser.
Surely if it can help her keep track of seven cherubs it is the answer to my prayers!
So with no frther ado the lovely Valerie from Inner B (a mum herself) sent me a Mum Organiser.

The Inner B
Mum Organiser

Aren’t they gorgeous.
There is even a new Turquoise colour.
But it is not just about looks and you can see pictures like these any where online.
I am a visual person and I need to see it in action.
So here it is the real deal, a week in my Inner B.

1. Large area to plan weekly goals and daily space for the Mum Organiser!
Here I write appointments, staff meeting times, bill due dates and pay day!

2. A space designed for Birthdays/Anniversaries. I use this space to plan and jot ideas for my blog posts

3.  Four spaces designed to use for other members of your family.  
I have used the top one for my husband jotting down his commitments, meetings, work schedule and wether he needs to look after the kids!
The next two are for the kids.

4.  The bottom section I use to record our meal plans for the week.
This has worked so well as I can plan meals according to the information recorded in the areas above.
Who will be home for dinner, is it a busy day, could we use leftovers for the next days work lunch?

5. This large open area is great for adding more goals for the week an inspiring quote.  I also add my school term and week dates in this area for work.

6. A handy monthly calendar is printed on each weekly overview.

As practical as the weekly lay out is, the planner also includes yearly and monthly overviews and more checklists than even an addict like me could ever use. 

The Mum Organiser is bulkier than my last planner but with inbuilt pockets in both the front and back cover, spots for business/store cards and room to take notes its worth taking it out and about.

Priced at $24.95 this Australian designed planner, 
 is half the price of a similar one I was looking at from the U.S.
The clever ring binder design means you don’t have to rebuy a whole new planner each year.

The Inner B blog also spoke about some great accessories that are compatible with the Mum Organiser.

Love the idea of a ziplock bag!!!

The Inner B blog is a must see.  It’s innovative and clever organising ideas are amazing!
Go check out the one about what to do with all those store loyalty cards!

Stylish looks, practical design and layout, customisable accessories and an affordable price tag make the Inner B an exceptional Mum Organiser.
Now if only it could make dinner and Kindy lunches, whilst attending a staff meeting and doing the washing I would truly be organised!
The fine print.  I was not paid for this post but did receive an Inner B Mum Organiser to keep!!