Sunday, September 30, 2012

This is the blog post

"When we feel stuck, going nowhere -- even starting to slip backward --
we may actually be backing up to get a running start."
-- Dan Millman

This is the blog post I've been thinking about writing for the last 6 months. It's been playing on my mind so much during this time and every time I go to write it, I receive words of encouragement or great comments about a recipe I posted or words I've written. It's time to have a break from the blog.

I could say its because not a day's gone by when I don't grieve for the loss of my mother. Her birthday is coming up on the 12th of October and I think of nothing else.

I could say its because not a day's gone by when I don't grieve for the loss of my marriage. After 40 odd years of wishing to be married with children and have it gone is very hard to deal with. Its time to start making new dreams.

I could say its because I put myself under so much pressure with blogging and social media. I sometimes forget how to live a 'real life'. A life where I don't want to have to think about whether someone wants to see the cup of coffee I ordered in a coffee shop or hear about the stew I made for dinner or the crazy things my kids have been up to. Worrying about whether or not I've shared everything I do on social media consumes me some days. I've realised there are millions of people out in the world who don't have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account. I'm going to be one of them again.

I could say its because I'm seeing my kid's lives flash before my eyes and I feel like I'm not enjoying every precious moment with them or being there for them.

I could say its because I've got two birthdays coming up in November and Christmas without Mum or a husband.

I could say its because of the legal stuff that's coming up from the marriage break down and Mum's estate.

I could say its because of wanting to get my house decorated and my garden in tip top condition.

I could say its because of the 1,000 lessons I need to teach my children to help them be good and capalable citizens of the world.

I could say its because in order to keep receiving the small amount of money the Australian government gives single parents, I have to either work or study for at least 15 hours per week when my youngest child turns 6 (which is November). What does a 48 year old Mum, who thought her days of outside work were over, do? I'm going to find out.

I could say its because of the state of my mental health. Instead of getting better I sometimes feel like I'm worse and all the 'stuff' I have mentioned above is not allowing me to heal. The panic attack I had on Friday night was my wake up call.

I figured this is the last day of the month. Tomorrow is the 1st. The first of a new way of life for me.

To all the friends I've made along the way, I couldn't have nor wouldn't have done this without you. You are all so close to me and I will continue to stay in touch with you via your blogs. Just because I'm not blogging doesn't mean that I won't stop reading them. That's how I got started. I love to read blogs and those regulars I read, your friendship means the world to me. The only other social media platform I'll continue to use is Pinterest. That's where I've stored all my favourite projects I intend on starting.

I'm giving myself at least 6 months to get my life in order, my dreams created, my physical and mental health back and my precious, sweet children my 100% devotion.

Thank you and all my love to you. xx


Saturday, September 29, 2012

18 things to do with compact discs

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

With just about everyone downloading music online, what does everyone do with their CDs? How about all those scratched DVDs? I know I have many. I never let the kids operate any of the appliances in the house for so long and then I find out they were quite adept at doing it but they just didn't take as much care with the disc. Oh well. I'll have plenty of uses for them with these projects I found on Pinterest.

Craft pig
CD hovercraft
Elephant craft
Frog craft
Campfire craft
Animal photo frames
Fish craft
Source: via Hope on Pinterest
Dog craft
Cupcake stand
Christmas ornaments
Earring holder
Chinese drum craft
Source: via Tracy on Pinterest
Angry bird fridge magnets
CD cloth bowl
Use as mosaic tiles for any number of projects


Friday, September 28, 2012

Recycled ideas for gift wrapping

I always paid a lot of attention to gift wrapping before kids. Gifts were lovingly wrapped in a theme, fabric, brown paper, handmade paper, matching gift tags, fancy ribbons. I loved it and put in as much effort with the wrapping as I did with choosing the gift. These days, with the kids in particular, it's usually a roll of $2 paper from the dollar store. I'm getting back to taking more time with the gift wrapping with some of these wonderful ideas to use papers and products you already have lying around the house.

Children's artwork
Puzzle pages
Tea towel (perfect for a cookbook)
Gift bags from any of the above or magazine pages
Brown paper
Sheet music
Woven tissue paper
Homemade gift bows
Doillie embellishment
Take photos of various objects around the house and print
Old book pages turned into gift tags
Wool embellishments
This post is part of domesblissity's THRiVING - Thrifty Living feature.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thriving on Thursdays - Linky Party # 38

Welcome back Thrivers to another week of Thriving on Thursdays. We're one week into a 2 week school holiday vacation. We haven't gone away anywhere, just hanging around home but busy all the same. A trip to the library, to the shops, the park, play dates etc. Gone are the days when the kids just used to stay at home and veg. Its good in a way I suppose. We've had a good balance of staying at home and going out. It's all about creating the memories and having fun. It'll be over before we know it and onto the last term of the year, which I think will be the hardest for my son. I think he's over his first year of school already. Now, onto the most hit links from last week.

kitchen counter command centre
Matchbox Car Shelves by Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Thank you so much to each and everyone of you for linking up. For those that were featured, feel free to grab a 'featured' button from my drop down menu above. Now on to this week's party. Let's see what you've been working on.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Be prepared for a break in transmission

We've just started 2 weeks of school holiday vacation and after the first day yesterday being a little bit 'busy', blog posts might be a little random over the next two weeks. "Thriving on Thursdays" will still go ahead and I'll try to get blog posts up when I can. Going by the way I felt last night was anything to go by and if I could learn to type and edit photos with my eyes closed, the blog posts might be a little bit few and far between.
If you're on vacation, I hope you're having a nice time.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 3 - Nearly finished the Organising challenge

Week 3 of the "20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge" by Kat, The Organised Housewife saw us tackling some major appliances and major clutter spots, for me. I had a busy week with the kids and one was home on one day so I didn't get as much done as I would've liked but I've started tackling some major jobs which have been on hold for months, if not years. Here's how I went.
Day 11 - Linen cupboard
When your life has turned into complete turmoil and you just try to keep up with the basics like looking after the children, washing and keeping them clean, the laundry soon piles up as it did in my bedroom and in order for me to get into my bed late at night, the linen was often just squeezed in wherever I could find a spot. I used to really value my linen and the order I kept it in. I loved seeing my towels all fluffed up and folded the same way and everything within arm's reach. I'll hopefully have got it back now but I'm in the process of changing the winter bed linen over to the summer bed linen which means washing and putting it into Spacesaver bags. I've been doing that all over the weekend so can mark this job off as finished over the holidays.
I also have a couple of lavender bags in the linen cupboard, just to keep it smelling fresh. I use a mixture of equal quantities of dried lavender and dried thyme with half a dozen cloves. If you don't sew, you can pick up small organza bags from the dollar store.
Day 12 - Bathroom Cupboards
This part of the bathroom wasn't too bad. I have a basket for ointments, a basket for bandages and a basket for body/bath/shower lotions. Every time the kids bump themselves, they go for a bandaid so that basket can get a little out of hand. I also grabbed the ointments from the wall bathroom cabinet and put them down here too. That's kept them all together now. My medicines and tablets are all kept in the cupboard over the fridge, out of harm's way. The blue Charlie Brown bag is for sanitary products.
Day 13 - Kid's artwork
I can actually say the kid's school artwork is starting to slow down now that my daughter is in Grade 2. My son, on the other hand, never really got into it. Where my daughter has probably filled 3 boxes in the last 2 years, he's barely filled 1. The biggest problem I had was that I'd take the artwork out of their school bags to put in the designated box in their rooms but it tooks ages to get there. I've now brought that box into the living room, near the command station where their school bags are. The only thing I really decluttered from their artwork was the hundreds of bubble/string/butterfly pictures and just kept the really good ones. I'll ultimately take a photo of most of it, get a photo book printed and frame about half a dozen of the really, really good ones. My daughter is quite talented and has produced a few good pieces.
 During the clean up, I also stumbled across one of the soft toys I'd sewed for her from one of her dinosaur pictures from scraps of fabric. From about the age of 3, my daughter was obsessed with dinosaurs. She is still very interested in them and for about 4 years spoke of nothing else but being a paleontologist (I had to google the spelling) when she grew up. This isn't the picture I designed it off. I couldn't put my hands on that for now, but it was similar to this.  I made about 3 different dinosaurs which 2 obviously have disappeared. This was one of her favourites, "the looooooong neck" she used to say.
Day 14:  The Office
I don't have a home office. I use this old computer desk right near the front door as a dumping ground and a place to house the laptop. It's actually been a dream of mine to have an old fashioned writing bureau. This challenge Kat set us today actually got me started on sanding back the bureau I'd recently purchased. I hope to have it finished over the next couple of days so will share my new home office space and command station with you then.
Day 15:  Kid's Clothes & Patio/Outdoor Area
This is another area that needs a bit of work, both the back undercover pergola area and the entry way into the front door. I'm in the process of making new cushions covers for some outdoor furniture that was given to me as well as making over a small table for the area out the front. Now that it is school holiday time, I can get the kids involved in the weeding and painting. I'll share the results with you shortly. While I was working on changing the winter bed linen over, I did the kid's clothes as well and got working on trying to move all of my daughter's clothes and personal items from her old room into my son's room, now that they're sharing. The wardrobe in her old room is nearly empty and then I can start making that into my sewing/crafting room. I made sure I gave each shelf a good wipe down before putting the clothes in. It can get a bit dusty in there.

I don't make things too complicated with their clothes. I fold them but they have to pack them away. Pyjamas, school clothes and play clothes are folded and kept on shelves and my daughter's dresses are hung on hangers. Their underclothes are in separate sets of drawers for each child with undies in one drawer, socks in another and singlets in the last. They aren't the neatest in putting away or taking their clothes out at ages 8 and 6 but keeping it like this makes it easy for them.
Over the next 2 weeks while the kids are on vacation, we'll be pottering around home, having a few play dates, maybe a trip to the cinema and a few swims at the beach and pool. I'll be trying to keep on top of things with the last week of the 20 day challenge upon us this week but what doesn't get done will wait until the kids go back to school. I can say that I've made so much progress but have about 4 baskets of bits and pieces that were decluttered from the rooms over the last couple of weeks that just need sorting. Most of it is rubbish or will be sold on ebay. After about 12 months, I've finally started listing things on ebay again. I used to be onto it as soon as the kids outgrew their clothes or I just no longer needed something. I'm hoping to make enough from the sale of all this clutter to put towards our Christmas vacation.
How are you going? Are you keeping up with the challenge? If you'd like to get started, check out the details on Kat's blog, The Organised Housewife.

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