Back To School: Buying Name Labels

 It’s no secret that I love to label.  I have dedicated much of my life to ensuring everything and every place in our home is labelled!  Labels ensure items find their way home.  This is never more true than all those items that leave your home to visit school, Kindy or work each day!

Pencils, scissors, socks, and books.  If it is leaving your house, LABEL IT! If you LOVE it LABEL IT!

With a new school year ahead now is the perfect time to stock up on name labels.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN LABELS 

QUALITY.  This for me comes before everything else.  Labels are one of those items where you really do get what you pay for.  There are many label companies out there these days but don’t scrimp on quality for the sake of saving a few dollars.  A good label can last for many years, buy it cheap and you may have to buy it twice, costing more money in the end.

Look for labels that;

  • Are Dishwasher Safe (For lunchboxes)
  • Are Washing Machine Safe (For Clothes)
  • Come in various sizes.
  • Are Laminated (paper labels are just not durable)

PRICE.  This is where it pays to be organized.  Finding a great price does not neccessarily mean finding the cheapest. Make a list of the type of labels you will need.  Savings can be found by purchasing a value pack that includes a variety of label sizes and type that best suits your needs. You can buy a cheap pack but if it’s full of labels in sizes you don’t need and doesn’t include a number of the ones you DO need! 

DESIGN.  I am going to be looking at these labels A LOT.  They may as well look good.  Also for younger children, having a particular picture or theme to the labels, assists non readers to identify which items belong to them. E.G My shoes are the ones wit the airplane picture.  I also like to get a variety of colours in my pack to help with colour coding!  I know it is a bit OCD but in the past I have used different colours for different days of the weeks or to even to help identify the left and right shoe (Red for Right, Lime for Left) By putting two matching colour labels

BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING. 

DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Check with your school what needs to labeled.  Some classrooms, especially in the early years have communal pencils,  crayons and even scissors.  These items often don’t need to be labeled.  However, some times it also pays to label everything just the same as at least you are in with a chance of unused items being returned to you at the end of the year.  Ask the class teachers or even parents who  have been at the school before. 

CLOTHING AND SHOE LABELS.  Don’t forget to include clothing and shoe labels.  Have you ever tried to work out whose black velcro shoes belong to who in a see of 25 pairs of identical shoes? Clothing labels generally come in either the stick on or Iron on variety. In my experience although the stick on labels are obviously much easier to use, the iron on ones do last longer. 

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

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 I make up a big table.  If you think I love a good label, you haven’t seen me with a table! Just in word I create a label to track what we have purchased, what we have received, what kind of book cover we will need and what kind of label we require for each item.

By doing this I can easily workout how many of each item, we need and make the most of value packs.

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mini labels, the best option for fiddly pencils and crayons

 This year we needed LOTS of Mini Labels.  EVERY pencil, text and crayon was required to be individually labelled. In past years we have required lots of regular name labels and book labels.  I also made another table for uniforms.  With two children in completely new uniforms this year I needed to stock up on clothing and shoe labels. 

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and so the production line begins!

So who do I use?  This is actually my fifth year of using Stuck On You.  At first when Master O went to child care I choose them because they were cute.  After seeing how durable they were I continued to buy them! I have even bought Little Miss A a few before, not that she has ever really needed a label! 

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Master O chose the Robot themed Designer Book Labels

 

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Little Miss A loved the Sweetie Pie range.

 I must admit, throwing myself into the preparations for Back To School has taken my mind off the fact that my Little Miss A, who has never been away from me, is going to KINDY!!!! 

So are you a labelaholic?  Got your labels sorted for this year?

WANT TO WIN A $25 Stuck On You Gift Voucher? 

We are giving away 2 x Stuck On You Gift Vouchers! Just Enter via Rafflecopter below!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by “Stuck On You.” I have received products in return for my honest opinion and review of their great products!

Categories: Home, Organized, Uncategorized     Tagged , , ,    Comments: 18

100 Kids Healthy Lunch Ideas

Ever feel like after a few weeks into the school year, suddenly your enthusiasm for making lunches wanes?  I start off, full of good intentions and enthusiasm and after a week or two I am back to vegemite sandwiches and a yoghurt.  With two lunches to make this year, and a picky eater, I decided to make a list of ideas for their bento style lunch boxes, to offer variety, inspire me and to hopefully introduce some new items into their food repotoire!

I have written before about how I plan the kids lunches.  Using our lunchbox planner, I I make sure they have a variety of Protein, Calcium, Grains and Fruit and Veg.  I have used this same format to record my ideas in a table.  

Every school has it’s own food requirements and restrictions especially when it comes to nuts, eggs and dairy so check your schools handbook before packing lunch. 

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 I am printing this out, laminating it and attaching it to the inside of my pantry.

You could even use a whiteboard marker to cross of foods they have had that week or to highlight some form each list that you know will be a winner! 

Simply Download and Print 100 Kids Lunch Ideas (918)

Feel free to share the lunchbox love with your friends! 

Categories: Beautiful, Delicious, Life, Lunchboxes, Uncategorized     Tagged ,    Comments: 3

Delicious Bento Lunch Ideas

 Let it be known, I am the mother of THE PICKIEST EATER.  Little Miss A started out well and as a baby would eat anything that came her way, but somewhere after the age of 18 months we found our selves with a child living off vegemite sandwiches and air.  

I do have hope.  Master O was actually much the same until he started Kindy.  Suddenly with an increase in activity, his appetite increased!  He also went to a Kindergarden with a strict RUBBISH FREE lunchbox policy.  Lunches had to be rubbish free in every sense of the word, no plastic wrap or packaged food and no junk food!  I was even sent a note home, in trouble for sending  in blueberry muffins!   But suddenly he wanted healthy food.  Everyone else was eating it and peer pressure in its finest form kicked in.  I now had requests for sultanas, carrot sticks and sushi! We started making our first Bento Lunches and never looked back.  

Our bento lunches are really just package free food in compartments.  I don’t get fancy and haven’t until now bought special cutters or food picks.  Little Miss A loves looking at pictures of  the fancy shaped lunches (especially the Hello Kitty ones) so I am going to give a few a try this year.

So for some inspiration…….

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From The Yumbox Blog, co founder Maia created this yummy bento lunch.

SUSHI!  This one is especially for master O who not only devours Sushi but cucumber too!  I have never thought to cut it into little sticks before.

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Another great lunch from the Yumbox blog

PASTA.  Both kids love pasta and will eat it in any shape or form.  This opens up a whole heap of grain opportunities.  I am thinking pasta teddies, ravioli and macaroni.

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From Another Lunch. One of the first Bento Blogs I ever read!

Salami.  I always think ham and chicken for Protein but Salami would be a winner for both children.

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From Wendolonia. This is the best BENTO blog! This is where I first read about the Yumbox!

RICE.  When all else fails we cook Little Miss A some rice.  Bento supplies often have rice moulds and I would love to give these a try.

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When the mamabelly family became interested in a household rabbit, the lunches followed the theme of the children’s interests! What a brilliant idea!

Bunnies!!!!  Remember her Bunny Birthday?  Just maybe this will be the way to get her to eat carrots? 

 

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Another bento from Wendolonia. I love that she calls the sliced carrots, carrot coins!

Popcorn!  Actually counted as a grain!  Who doesnt love popcorn!

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From Ladybug Lunches. Fantastic reviews and great lunch ideas for a picky little ladybug!

Those little flower hams would be gobbled up in a second.  Master O loves corn but I have never thought of putting it in a lunch box.

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This is cuteness extreme from Bent On Better Lunches.

Lady bugs, this would be the envy of the Kindy playground!  Way too cute for words and such simple but effective ideas.

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Another Bent On Better Lunches Bento! This is a yumbox tray out of the yumbox!

Take any slice/biscuit/muffin and use a cookie cutter to cut it into a heart and it instantly looks appetising! 

I truly believe by supplying small portions of many different foods, in a creative and fun way, that my picky eater may just try something new!  

All of these Bento’s are created in the Yumbox lunchbox and can be found (along with many more!) on my Pinterest boards.

Categories: Delicious, Ideas, Lunchboxes, Smart, Uncategorized     Tagged ,    Comments: 4

I got married before Pinterest

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land before wifi and iphones, there was no Pinterest.  In fact in this primitive time there was also no Facebook or Instagram or even sending pictures via mobile phones.  It was in this time that we planned a wedding the old fashioned way.  Using bridal magazines, glue and a big old scrapbook divided into categories. Well if you are OCD like me you did.

At the time, I was living in Ingham, North Queensland.  Without so much as a Target or Big W, let alone a bridal store, my nights were spent pouring through the pages of Bridal magazines.  Page by page I added a post it here, a snip of the scissors there and with each little piece of magazine created an image of how I wanted our wedding to be.  In all honesty, it worked out quite well.  With limited options, comes limited decision making.  I made a lot of things myself, like place cards (individual candles in glass jars with the guests name on them) and hade a lot of other things made for us, my wedding dress included.  But boy did that scrapbook come in handy.

This year we celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary and although I wouldn’t change a thing about that marvellous night and the ten years that have followed, I do often wonder if my tastes have now changed and would I choose a different dress or theme? 

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Our Wedding Cake

 

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My Wedding Dress and Bouquet

We were married in a very old church, with an ivory and pink colour palette and roses for the bouquets and centrepieces.  I loved my dress at the time.  Strapless with a tight beaded bodice and a huge box pleated skirt.  But would I still choose it today?

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Would I have chosen something a little fancier, lacier?

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A dress with darling little beaded cap sleeves?

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I can assure you my colour tastes have changed!  Anyone for Mint or tiffany blue?

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 Oh and some more personal touches of course with a little DIY throw in.

That day, ten years ago, seems like yesterday and yet it flew by like no other.  Thank goodness we have the photos to capture the memories.  They are like little snapshots of  time.  It may have been a time before Pinterest, but it was a time we will never forget. 

So would you change anything about your wedding?

This is a sponsored post thanks to bride.com.au All images (except of our own wedding) are taken form there website and there amazing Pinterest albums.

Categories: Beautiful, Celebrations, Uncategorized     Tagged ,    Comments: 0

Creating a School Storage Station – Part 1

I must admit this is not my first School Station.  Master O is about to start his third year at school!  Please don’t ask how that makes me feel! 

Our first station looked like this.

 

This area was set up especially for Prep – Grade 1.  

The drawers worked brilliantly, although his bag was a bit squashed in that bottom drawer I absolutely loved having those two top drawers for homework folders, library bags and everything that came along with going to school!

I also loved the Basket on top for our School File It Folder and storing notes.

But then…..once he got to Grade 1, the homeowrk increased, and once he changed schools, it increased again.  This area was simply too distracting for homework.  It also meant I had three sets of stationery areas.  One in the playroom, one in this area and one in the study for myself.  So we moved Master O into my study.  We set up his desk and noticeboard and stationery across from me in the study.  In general though come homeowrk time we all sit at my desk together!  I have a huge L shaped desk and three chairs.  Little Miss A sits across from me and does some phonics practice, drawing, cutting or experimental writing.  Master O sits next to me so I can talk him through what he is doing.  He is a very self sufficient and independent learner but I love to know what he is learning at school and the best way to do this and to be involved in homework.  The big desk is also great for doing projects (which seem to take up so much room and get bigger each fortnight!)

I digress!  So those handy drawers moved into the study and I took them over as my own as my desk has no drawers in it.  So we went through the last part of last year with a great space for homework but no specific place for storing school stuff.  

and that my friend is where we are at!

What do I need this space to do?

  1. Contain School Items
  2. Be easily accessible and at a childs height but alos be neat and tidy
  3. Be flexible in its arrangement for different children’s needs

1. So what do I need our School Station to contain;

  • School Bags
  • School Hats
  • Homework/message Folders and Planners
  • Library Bags
  • School File It Folder
  • Artwork Folder (Miss A)
  • Sheet Bag (Miss A)
  • Individual timetables/schedule

After careful thought I don’t want it to contain school shoes.  School shoes and especially Kindy shoes have a habit of coming home full of sand.  So they can stay in the garage! 

How do I want to contain it so its neat and tidy, flexible and easily accessible?

  • I think I need a combination of baskets, shelves, drawers and hooks.  
  • I dont want to hang the school bags.  We have had bad luck with hooks in this house and I dont want any more damage to my walls.  
  • I also want the end solution to be flexible.  I am still thinking about moving this station to the study so whatever I use I want to be able to relocate it easily.  As they get older they can also then move it to their own bedroom.  
  • It has to be able to be configured in different ways for different children.  Because my children are quite spaced apart in age (3+years and 4+Years) they are always going to have very different school needs.  By the time Baby #3 starts school Master O will be starting High School!  So I think each child needs their own station.  Master O’s will need to be able to hold sports equipment and Little Miss A’s, a sheet bag for Kindy.
  • It can’t be too tall.  Little Miss A needs to be able to open and close everything herself. 

After writing all this I am automatically thinking of my old friends IKEA Expedit and Trofast.  The fact that the Trofast has both drawers and shelves and comes in a variety of heights has me thinking it may be the answer!  Although the frames are both a similar price,  it is much cheaper to buy the Trofast drawers and shelves (around $5) than buying baskets or drawers for an Expedit (between $10-20).  

 What will work in the space? 

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 4.59.37 PM So this is where I am thinking.  It is where everything else organisational is located and would make the space feel complete.  I do worry as this space is at the opposite end of the house to the garage (where we enter the house) and the study (where we do homework).  But for now I think its worth a try!  

So let’s get planning!!!! 

I am such a visual person that I had to literally piece it all together in pictures.

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 I will go into more detail tomorrow but you can start to get the idea! 

Categories: Home, Organized, Uncategorized     Tagged ,    Comments: 1

The Family Launch Pad

We finally finished off our Launch Pad!  Just in time for school to go back! 

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As you can see we used what we had 

  • A 2 x 4 IKEA Expedit Unit
  • The Bird Fruit Bowl (on the top) – Reject Shop a few years ago
  • A Tin Container – Reject Shop a few years ago

and bought a few new bits

  • 8 x Medium Trofast Containers from Ikea
  • Vinyl Labels form Etsy.

The space consists of three main areas.

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  1. The Errands Box
  2. The Everyday Station
  3. Storage Baskets

1. THE ERRANDS BOX

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This our go to place for all kinds of lists, notes and items that we need to take with us when we go out.

Receipts of items that need to be returned, the latest sale item I want to check out, our shopping lists and to do lists.  We check this box before we leave the house.  I fill out our shopping list as we run out of items and as this area is right next to the kitchen it is super handy!

2. EVERYDAY ITEMS

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 5.52.32 AMWe have had this space happening for a few years now.  It is our household go to spot.  Runny Nose?  Wipe your face? About to go outside? Everything you need for going out or even staying in is here.  By having all of this in the one spot it makes getting ready to go out quicker and if I am busy in the house and the kids need something they know exactly where to find it. 

3. THE STORAGE BASKETS

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This is probably the most important area of the whole “Launch Pad” 

We now have EVERYTHING organised, labelled and stored in the one place.

On the top Left to Right.

Hats, Drink Bottles, Lunch Boxes, Lunch Bags

On the bottom Left to right

Emergency, Bags, Organisation, Handbag

The top ones are pretty self explanatory.  On the bottom the Emergency box holds torches, power leads and a tool kit.  The bags container holds our recyclable bags.  Great to use for show and tell items, extra library books, returning tupperware! 

The Organisation box is my special little box of supplies!  I have a secret love for its contents! 

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 6.02.28 AMIn my handbag I keep a clear little bag of tricks.  I always have in it

  • Breath mints
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Band Aids
  • Tissues
  • Baby Wipes
  • Paw Paw Ointment
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Panadol
  • Deodorant

This little bag has been the best organisational tool EVER.  It means wherever we are I am prepared for anything! Birthday Parties, the beach, the park, shops, the school run. Of course the only way I can carry all this, without looking like Mary Poppins, is to have everything in travel or mini size.  Whenever sample/mini/travel sizes are on sale I buy a few and keep them handy in this storage container.  Before going out I check my bag to see if anything needs topping up. The best place for these items are the dollar stores.  Big W also has a huge range of miniatures! 

and the last box is for my handbag!  I desperately needed a home for my little mint beauty and this seemed like the most logical place! 

The only thing not in this spot is our swimming gear.  We just have too many towels, togs, swim shirts, goggles, flotation devices and bags for this area, so for now that lives in the laundry. 

But what about the school gear?  School bags and hats and library bags?

I assure you they have not been forgotten and are getting a little place all of their own!

I will share our plans for them tomorrow!

 

Categories: Home, Organized     Tagged ,    Comments: 4

Creating a Family Launch Pad

Have you got your lunch?  Where is your hat?  Has anybody seen the sunscreen? 

I have always thought the last 30minutes before leaving the house, to go anywhere, are the most stressful.  Getting children ready involves a plethora of STUFF.  So last year I set about making a family “Launch Pad”

A “Launch Pad” is an area in our home that contains EVERYTHING we may need to “Launch” into our day.  With any organising project I always start with

What do I need this space to do?

  1. Contain every day items that are needed for our day
  2. Be neat and tidy
  3. Easily accessible and identifiable

1. So what do I need our Launch Pad to contain;

Everyday items like 

  • Sunscreeen
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Baby Wipes 
  • Tissues
  • Aeroguard ( I am a huge target for Mosquitoes so take it every where I go)
  • Hats

School Items:

  • Lunch Boxes
  • Lunch Bags
  • Drink Bottles

Errands

  • “Green” Bags (Recyclable cloth bags)
  • To do list clipboard
  • Shopping List Clipboard
  • Container for items that need to be returned.

Handbag Organisation

  • Refills for the small items I keep in my handbag.

If there is any space left we think it would be a good place to also keep our Emergency Kit.

By listing everything I want to be in this area it gives me an idea on how big of an area i need, how many baskets and ways in which I could group items together. 

How do I want to contain it so its neat and tidy?

For us  I love labelled open storage.  Open storage does not have lids.  I have a thing about lids!  I heard once they are like a barrier to putting things away!  They are also one more thing to loose or get frustrated by when little fingers can’t open them. My favourite open storage systems are shelves with baskets or similar size plastic containers.  I was dreaming of something like a Trofast unit or maybe an Expedit (both form Ikea)

How will I make it easily accessible and identifiable.

Our playroom Trofast and Expedit works so efficiently and it is easy to grab items (for everyone) and even easier to put them back where they belong.  The bonus is when they are away it looks neat and tidy.  The containers are easy to slide in and out and also easy to add labels to.

I dont want a flimsy shelf unit but something that looks good in an open plan house and is sturdy.

So now that I have a clear idea of what I need.

What will work in the space? 

 

Here is an old picture of the space.  We no longer have the School Zone in this space as Master O has moved into the study with me.  There is also now a small breakfast table in this space.  To the Right is our kitchen and to the left the outdoor area. On the other end of this room (where I am standing to take the photo) is the Playroom.

This is the perfect location.  Lunchboxes, lunchbags and drink bottles are handy to the kitchen but out of the way.  This area is also close enough to outside to be a handy location for hats and sunscreen.  It is also hidden enough from our main living areas.  

After careful consideration we decided to use what we have in the way of storage.  This Expedit unit was upstairs not being used very efficiently.  This is the perfect spot for it as it fits so neatly under the window.

So I have some lists of needs and wants and a location. 

Now for some major sorting, organising and labelling with many more progress pics to come! 

Do you have a launch pad in your house? 

 

Categories: Uncategorized     Comments: 0

We are back!

What A Christmas!

On the 21st of December my little sister welcomed her first child into the world, baby Charlotte.  Thankfully we were already on the long 2 day drive up north and I got to meet and hold Charlotte when she was only one day old.  She is such a cute little bundle of pink perfection and I made sure to get my cuddles in!

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The obligatory in front of the tree photo.

 

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Not so scared now!

 

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Ready for Christmas day!

 

Christmas was how it always is in North Queensland!  Full of family, copious amount of food, traditions and SWIMMING!   The kids lived in the pool and it was simply amazing to see Little Miss A who has a fear of water on her face JUMPING into the pool!

I survived the week without being sick and more importantly survived a total of four days in the car without losing my sanity or the contents of my stomach (there were a few close calls)

So here we are.  27+ Weeks pregnant, 2 very sun kissed and tired kids and a whole lot of Christmas mess to clean up, oh the toys!!!!

But I am already thinking ahead and heres what’s on the agenda for

The Organised Nest;

  • How we created a Family Launch Pad
  • How we use a family Calendar and Planner to stay organised
  • Plans for our School Storage Station
  • Teaching your child to recognise and write their name
  • Organising and Buying School Name Labels
  • What to look for in School Shoes
  • Creating Organised Routines and Systems for the School Morning Routine
  • Creating Organised Routines and Systems for the School Evening Routine
  • Back To School Teacher Gifts
  • Beginners Guide to Bento Lunch Boxes
  • Beginners Guide to Bento Lunch Box Accessories
  • Storing Hair Brushes/Sprays/Accessories

and so much more!!!!

Which topic are you most interested in??

Categories: Beautiful, Celebrations, Uncategorized     Tagged    Comments: 2

Decorating for Christmas

Each year I take decorating for Christmas a little further.  Another little niche in the house gets a little Christmas flair.  This year as I unloaded the decorations from their storage boxes I couldn’t help but wish I had of taken more photos of our decorating from last year!  

Although I started with full force, and even attempted to make my own Christmas bunting this year, it took a delivery of fresh flowers from fresh flowers.com.au to really get me motivated to make a start!

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 Aren’t they divine.  As much as I love fresh flowers they are a rarity in this house.  Take one unromantic husband add the inability for us to grow our own and having no florist within 30kms and you get a flower less home.  This coming year I am going to unashamedly buy flowers for MYSELF!!!!

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The first area I started with was our buffet unit.  This is the one piece of furniture I am still undecided about so I thought by decorating it I might just learn to love it.

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  • A simple red table runner (Kmart $8)
  • A gorgeous potted Poinsettia wrapped in hessian and a green satin ribbon (freshflowers.com.au)
  • A white ceramic reindeer (Reject Shop $2)
  • A printed plate repurposed for display in a recipe book stand! (Kmart)
  • and the Noel sign, which was given to me by a student a few christmases ago! 

Above the buffet unit, hangs or advent calendar.  It’s a series of miniature numbered stockings in red, white and green fabric that I bought from Lime Tree Kids a few years ago.  Our picture shelf remains the same all year with the addition of a few lonely Christmas cards and tree decorations that have somehow made their way up there!

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The dining table was the next area to get Christmafied! Ok so this area is a little OVERWHELMING.  I searched every where for a simple white linen table runner.  The search continues.  White would be able to used all year round, but if you going to go overboard with the red and green why not do it for Christmas! This years Christmas Table centrepiece is a box of blooms for Freshflowers.com.au  

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They are just gorgeous and when this picture was taken they were already a week old!  I can’t believe how well they have lasted! I only wish Christmas was at our place this year so I could share them with our family.

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 6.22.03 AMOver the years we have sourced and collected these “Royal Doulton” Christmas Plates.  It all started in an antique store in Boonah where my husband discovered a Christmas Plate with his year of birth on it!  Knowing I love things like that he bought it.  What I didn’t realise is that this would turn into an endless quest for the rest of the set.

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 Finally just before last Christmas we had managed to accumulate a set of six!  They are actually quite high once they are on their stands and I have struggled to find the right place for them, when this year it dawned on me, on top of the piano!

Of course we have also decorated the tree, our wall unit and entry table!  Can anyone say OVERBOARD!  Well actually I don’t care what anyone say’s I hope one day my kids will remember me as the mother who went crazy at Christmas filling the house with festive cheer. 

 

Thank you to freshflowers.com.au for the beautiful box of flowers and inspiring me to get started on my decorating! You can order online and have fresh flowers delivered the same day!  Perfect! 

Categories: Beautiful, Celebrations     Comments: 0

Best Books for 7 – 12 Year Olds

By now you will know that I am passionate about the joys and benefits of children reading.  Every Day, Every Where, Every Thing.  

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to stock up on books for the year ahead.  For me growing up Christmas holiday’s meant uninterrupted reading time!  EVERY Christmas I asked for books and then later on Magazines.  The Baby Sitters Club (or anything by Ann M Martin) Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and then later the Bronte Sisters.  Oh how I hope my children love books as much as I do!!!

I must admit, in this technological age, finding books that children love, and getting them to read them is getting harder.  I strongly believe it doesn’t matter what they are reading as long as they are reading!!!!  Especially for boys, find a topic that interests them and find any book you can on the topic and suddenly you will find them immersed in books! 

So here are some of my favourite for that tricky 7 – 12 Year old group we suddenly find ourselves entering!

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1.  Dork Diaries.  This is currently an International Bestseller.  A series of chapter books that is so relatable it’s got that tween market captured.  They are a classic coming of age series dealing with not fitting in, feeling like a dork, heartbreak and embarrassing moments.  This is like a “girlier” version of Diary of A Wimpy Kid.  These are flying off the shelves and I would personally invest in a book set.  I would have loved this series as a child! 

2. Hey Jack.  This is where Master O is at.  Perfect for early readers the contexts are age appropriate and appealing to 6-9 year olds and the large print and simple vocabulary make them a great series of first chapter books.  Jack is a character from the hugely popular Billie B Brown series. He has made the transition over to a more boyish series and the stories are full of grossness, pranks and friendship dilemmas   We went with the box set as part of our “Something to read” Christmas gift giving.

3. Skylanders.  Remember what I said about finding an interest?  Master O Loves Skylanders as do most children in the 7-12 age bracket.  There are numerous books that give great insight into the lands, characters and strategies of Skylanders.  These books contain great facts about each character and my two love to look at the pictures and have Master O read out all the information.

4. Boy Vs Beast.  These are a step up in difficulty and context from Hey Jack.  The monster/alien/robot/beast theme is extremely appealing to the 7-9 year olds.  These books are a hit in the Grade 1/2/3 classroom and have a line up at the library.  The story lines are surreal and supernatural but have kids, especially boys hooked on this popular series.

5.  The Magic Faraway Tree or anything by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. These are the children’s classics. The characters and story lines are as appealing now as they were 30 years ago.  These make for great bedtime read aloud stories or perfect to set the imagination running wild of more independent readers.  Do not rely on the movies to tell these stories.  They really are at their best when read!

6. The Baby Sitters Club.  Well just BECAUSE!!!  Oh how I loved this series!  I was slightly obsessed and even had a small collection of related paraphernalia   Not sure that many 11 year olds actually baby sit in this age but the friendships and new story lines in each book have you dying for the next one! I still have a few oldies in my collection but will definitely be buying THE WHOLE SERIES for Little Miss A.

So they are my hot book tips for this Christmas.

 Books immerse your child in  another world, introduce new vocabulary and concept, strengthen reading skills and strategies and give them some valuable SCREEN FREE TIME!!!  

A perfect gift for your child at any time of year. 

 

This post was sponsored by Dymocks.  I was paid to give my opinion as a Mum and Teacher on some of the best book buys this Christmas!  All books mentioned above are currently available at Dymocks. 

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Categories: Beautiful, Celebrations, Kids, Smart     Tagged ,    Comments: 1