Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beautiful Christmas gift ideas for children...

I am a firm believer of "Less is more"
so I thought I would post today a list of the toys I think are must haves, that are really all a small child needs,they are well worth the money and I think you will find if you decluttered all of the plastic battery operated "things" you would be pleasantly suprised at how their imagination will blossom! Also how easy it is to keep a childs room tidy!
18mths- 3  
  A ball   
 Wooden blocks
A soft dolly or teddybear ( or one of each)
Farm animals ( I cannot recommend the shleich ones more highly)
Play dough
Story books
Play cloths & pegs ( to make little cubbys etc)
matchbox cars
jack in a box
A marble run
A baby doll & pram
A train set
A tea set 
A few puzzles
hula hoop
pop up books
story books
skipping rope
cricket set
Uno cards
knitting nancy ( french knitting)
A little girl doll ( I highly recommend Australian Girl dolls here )
model planes
roller blades
easel, watercolour art book and paints
chapter books ( my girls adore Enid Blyton, and the boys loved the Tashi books)
Dolls house
billy cart
crazy catch
I will leave it at that, I hope I may have given you some lovely ideas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Easy, 5 minute rasberry icecream.

This is so simple!
Firstly you need to have some peeled and chopped ripe bananas that you have frozen.
and a box of frozen berrys, The photo is of rasberrys, but mixed berries, and frozen mango work too.
Sugar, and thickened cream.
Put the frozen berries into your food processor with one of the chopped frozen bananas.
I add a tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of cream but you can sweeten it to taste.
Process until there is no lumps and it is VERY thick
Keep processing in short bursts adding a little more cream each time until it reaches the consistancy of soft serve icecream.
Now serve and enjoy!
If you wanted it dairy free, coconut cream works very well in place of thickened dairy cream.
And is delicious if you used mango instead of the berries! 

My week at home, Wednesday

A normal morning routine today like yesterday!
I thought I'd give a tip on how to achieve the perfect boiled egg.
Put your eggs into a saucepan and cover with cold water, about 1cm over the eggs.
Set it on the stove and bring to the boil, watch the pot because when the water begins to boil put the oven timer on
4mins- soft boiled ( above )
5mins- med, the yolk being firm but slightly gooey in the very center
6mins- hard boiled
Take it immediately off the heat and run under the cold tap until eggs are just cool enough to hold.
or for hard boiled for sandwiches crack the shells slightly and leave in the cold water until they are completely cold, this makes them easier to peel.
I had a very quiet day today, I had a friend and neighbour over for morning tea
we chatted for awhile as morning tea went to near 1.00pm!
I spent the afternoon making chicken and vegetable soup,
and after homework etc the children went to the park, and I baked the bread to go with the soup.
evening routine went beautifully
And  guess what?
I'm doing a little cross stitch,
and having an early night!!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My week at home, Tuesday..

As usual my day began in the laundry, before I woke everyone up. 
9am after my breakfast I put another load on the line, and commenced serious dusting.
To be totally honest I havent dusted properly all school holidays!
Seriously if the cats sat still long enough I would have given them a wipe over with a damp cloth too!
I paid close attention to the playroom today, as the Ikea unit in there gets very dusty and it had become quite untidy, also due to school holidays.
I forgot to take a before photo but here is the after. Much better! I also vacuumed the couch in the room and put a fresh throw quilt on the back.
10.30am and I was up to vacuuming the house, and I gave the toilets and bathrooms a good scrub.
Even though these areas are on the childrens morning duties, they are only expected to do a light clean and a tidy. Twice a week they get a propper scrub especially the toilets, If you have boys you will understand! I recommend a bucket of hot soapy water and a firm brush and I do all around the base and grout. Because drips etc will soak into the grout and there will always be an odour that mopping alone will not remove.
Below is my ensuite, I love plants in bathrooms! I have found peace lillys do very well.
12noon and I hosed the back pergola and our labrador Fletchers outside bed, cleaned his water bucket and watered the pots out the back and our herb garden.
I found a catapillar eating my nasturtiums and promptly fed him to our blue tongue lizard for lunch.
1pm I sat down put my feet up and flipped through some  old issues of my favorite decorating magazines with a cup (or two) of tea!
2pm I tidied my desk and took care of the household correspondance. Then at 2.30pm I made a batch of scones and whipped some cream as I was expecting a lovely lady for afternoon tea after school.
What a shame there was no-one about to lick the beaters! Oh well waste not, want not! Yum!
A quiet afternoon of homework, lovely conversation and scones with jam and cream.
Our evening was much the same dinner, Lilly and Bella-Clare in bed at 7pm. Gracie in bed at 8pm and the boys at 8.30pm all is peaceful as I sit here, I think I'll go and do some of my cross stitch with "Escape to the country" Goodnight!

Monday, October 8, 2012

My week at home, Monday...

Good morning! Here I am at 6am about to wake the children. I thought I would start by telling you that probably the most necessary part of keeping on top of things is getting up an hour before the rest of the family. It gives me time to shower, do my hair&makeup and dress in peace and quiet with a nice cup of tea. I also hang the load of washing I put on overnight, put another load on, make my bed and give the ensuite a quick once over. It makes a huge difference and really makes each day start off fresh and positive! Usually I would make Shane a cuppa and bring it in while he gets ready for work, but he's away at the moment( again!) so moving on to morning routine!You will find details for our morning and afternoon routines HERE.

Children are off to school and It's breakfast time for mummy, A good breakfast is so important! Porridge, fruit salad, a boiled egg and a pot of tea, this takes less than 15mins to prepare and it is so lovely to sit down after a hectic morning to a nicely set table and a delicious breakfast everyday, on weekends we eat as a family at the big table. I've had this little breakfast routine for years it is so worth doing.
9am and I watered the pots out the front, and pulled out a few weeds.
I then hung more washing, vacuumed and mopped the floors.
11.40am I braced myself to tackle
Lets just say that after the busy school holidays it was not looking it's tidy and uncluttered best!




Before I knew it it's 3pm and children are due home!
Afternoon tea time
Homework and dinner preparation.
Bring in all the washing.
followed by baths and showers
5.30pm Dinnertime! ( I have a bell you know, they litterally come running)
After dinner and I take Stevie to Airforce Cadets while big kids do the kitchen clean up and Lilly watched disneys "Sword in the stone"
7pm and I'm home folding and sorting all of todays washing.
Putting Lilly and Bella-Clare to bed.
And then writing this!
8pm Gracies off to bed.
9pm Off I go to fetch Stevie. my darlings Josh and Pat stayed up to watch the girls while I was gone.
10.30pm and here I am more tea in hand ready for bed!
Good night...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My week at home....

Every day this week I am going to post about exactly what I do housekeeping wise, and how I do it.
This will include my housekeeping routine, meal plans, errands/budget , exercise etc. I'm hoping that I can show you all that running a clean, organised and welcoming home with a large family is not as difficult as some might think, and you dont have to sacrifice your health, sleep or sanity to do it! All it takes is persistance, a positive attitude and yes, discipline! I'm not advocating that you chase the children around with a stick, ( I am joking, I do not chase my children with a stick!) But a firm well thought out routine makes a HUGE difference, so does having set boundarys of what is and is not acceptable behavior in our home.

                                                 Here is my "Spring cleaning list"

This is the list of household tasks that make up my Spring seasonal clean. The list stays fairly similar for each quarterly clean, with only a few differences relevant to each season.

# Wash all doona inserts and covers also decorative cushion covers / pillowcases, hanging cushion/pillow inserts on the clothes line in the sun for a good few hours to kill dustmites. Starch and iron doona covers and cushion covers / pillowcases well, and make up the beds. If changing linens etc for a different Spring/Summer look, store them appropriately in the linen press.

# Wash all couch slip covers and throw rugs. Also wash any decorative throw cushion covers from living areas and hang inserts on the line as for bedrooms. Be sure to iron the couch slip covers before putting them back on or they just wont look as nice.

# Clean out and re-organise pantry.

# Thoroughly clean refrigerator and freezer, removing shelves/drawers etc and washing in hot soapy water and drying really well. Pull it out from the wall vacuum and mop underneath ,aswell as wipe over the sides and the back.

# Laundry- clean washing machine and dryer, tidy laundry cupboard and wipe over all walls and ceiling for dryer "fuzz" Pull out machines, vacuum and mop underneath.

# Tidy and wipe down kitchen cupboards, drawers and shelves re-arranging things if necessary.

# Tidy and wipe down bathroom vanity cupboards, drawers etc as for Kitchen.

# Tidy linen press, checking items for wear and necessary repairs/replacements.

# Clean all ceiling fans, air conditioner vents and filters.

# Clean all skirting boards, windowsills and wash down the walls in every room with sugarsoap. ( The children help with this as it is a huge job)

# Wash all windows inside and out. The best way for inside is a bucket of hot soapy water with a cup of vinegar, a dish sponge, a good squeegee and polish dry with a glass cloth. Outside I use a soft indoor broom again hot soapy water and vinegar and I rinse with the hose then squeegee. The broom is great for security/fly screens. ( this is also a huge job, it will take an entire afternoon so I plan for it)

 Well thats my list. It takes at most 2 weeks to complete, some of them I manage a few in one day. It makes everything else easier on a daily basis when these things are done once a quarter.

I will begin my " Week at home with Carli " posts on Monday evening,I hope you enjoyed your weekend!