Plan B Brisbane Planners Retreat

Planner Stack

I fell down the planner lovers rabbit hole about 4 years ago, and whilst I love all the pretty planner things, it can be quite a lonely hobby as not a single friend or family member shares this passion. Thankfully a group of awesome women started organising planner days so that we could get together regularly to share our love of planning.

We had talked about having a planner getaway and Maddie from Little Tabby Co. decided to make this a reality. She sourced an Airbnb up in Mount Tamborine with room for 10 ladies and the tickets sold out in a flash.

Now I love a girls weekend away and if there are planners involved, I am in! ‘Cedarleesa’ is a beautiful property nestled in a valley, surrounded by greenery.

Cedarleesa Mt Tamborine

A giant shed has been turned into a comfy and cosy home away from home with two outdoor living areas, beds for 10, two full bathrooms with one featuring a spa and a fully equipped kitchen. We were all suitably impressed and ready for a night of fun.

There are chickens clucking around in the grass nearby, the resident dogs just walk right in and make themselves feel at home whilst accepting the never ending pats that were offered.

Australian property life

Meeting the ‘locals’ included feeding these two beauties with a bale of hay that the owners dropped off for us. For a few of the ladies this was the first time they had got up close and personal with a horse, let alone fed one.

Planner Swag

What would a planner girls retreat be without swag? AND we got tons of it, thanks to the generous donations from lots of Aussie planner shops and goodies that Maddie arranged. Do you see that Simply Guilded gorgeousness in that pile?

Maddie went above and beyond in organising activities to keep us occupied during our stay. We all brought a ‘Secret Santa’ gift and had great fun playing the ‘Naughty Santa’ version which allowed us to steal other peoples pressies that caught our eye.

No planner girls retreat is complete without some crafty fun. We were split into pairs and were given a blank Erin Condren spread and a pile of sticker left overs and we had to use just that and washi tape to create the best spread we possibly could.

For dinner we had fabulous wood fired pizza’s and garlic bread that the owners made for us and all we had to do was put them through oven. Whilst dinner was cooking the owners son built us a bonfire so we could toast marshmallows.

Super toasted on the outside and super soft inside…yum!

After a few wines and a shot of Tequila, we played Pin The Sticker On The Planner Spread, with the goal being to try and get the sticker into the box as straight as possible whilst blind folded.


Planner retreat games

I almost won that game, but Maddie was the last one to place the sticker down and it was so close to perfect, she nailed it!

The night was cooling down rapidly so we were all cosy inside going through tons of papers that had been printed out with the intention of making dividers with all the die cuts and other pretties that had been brought along, but not a single one was made, we too busy chatting and snacking on the huge amount of yumminess that everyone contributed to.

Breakfast was toasted egg sandwiches made from fresh eggs that had been collected the day before by the owner and dropped off into the kitchen…..got to love the country way of eating.

When you get 10 ladies together that don’t really know each other, it can swing one of two ways. It can be filled with awkward silence and feelings of uncomfortableness or it can be a time filled with laughter, chatter and sharing the one thing we are all so passionate about and for all of us it was definitely the latter.

None of us wanted to go home, it was just so much fun in such a lovely setting.

Thanks to the huge success of this very first retreat, another is being planned for 2019 and also a weekend Food and Wine cruise in the latter half of next year. Keep your eyes glued to the Plan B Facebook page for details as they become available, as you don’t want to miss out again!

What would be the most important thing for you to have at a planners retreat?

Paint and Sip Class – A colourful way to have fun!


paint and sip fun

When a dear friend suggested we go to a Paint and Sip class for a Sunday afternoon outing, I said yes straight away…there was paint and champagne on offer! She had found out about an art studio heart n’ hoopla that had recently started these fun events and it was not very far from home.

One of my biggest passions is playing with craft supplies but strangely enough, paint plays a big part in my creative endeavours, but not where a canvas is involved. Even though I know my way around all the different types of paint available and can wield a brush, I was a little concerned about playing on a big piece.

My fears were quelled quickly once we started as we were guided through the process step by step with lots of helpful hints from our fab teacher Teresa.

paint and sip class ferny grove

The hardest part of the whole experience was trying to paint the horizon line straight, and honestly that was only hard because the perfectionist in me hates lines that are not straight!

paint and sip beach class

My favourite tip of the day was to paint clouds using your finger tip…worked like a charm!

painting made fun

My friend Sue (on the right) had never picked up a paint brush in her life before, but look how amazing her painting is!

A quick google or Facebook search should help you find a class not too far from home. Some include your alcohol and some do not. Ours was BYO so we took a little piccolo of bubbles as we both had to drive. For $35.00 we had everything else provided including canvas, paints, brushes and two hours of tuition which I think is a real bargain.

As the beach is my happy place, I have hung mine up on the wall with pride as I never thought I could create something that looked so good. Just like Sue, even if you have never painted a thing, this really is a great way to tap into your hidden creative and end up with a canvas you will be proud of.

With Christmas creeping up very quickly, a Paint and Sip class would make a great gift for that friend that has everything or simply shout yourself an outing and charge it off to selfcare, as it really is just so much fun and nowhere near as frustrating as I thought it might be.

Do you have a creative pastime?

Have you ever been to a Paint and Sip class?

Soul Seasons Planner – A fresh new way to set goals, make plans and stay organised


life planner

My eyes light up every time I see a new planner and if you could just take a quick glance around my office, you would see that my addiction to pretty paper planning is very real. When this stunning Soul Seasons planner arrived on my desk for a review, it was love at first sight.

This planner is quite different from the traditional paper planners currently available. It has been designed to be goal setting work book combined with space to make lists and action plans. As the name suggests this planner is seasonal with this first edition being for Spring 2018, and then the next one will be Summer and so forth, so you get to enjoy that beautiful brand new planner feeling 4 times a year!

Carlie Maree is a writer, teacher and mentor who created this planner as there was nothing quite like this available, that provided enough space for focusing on what is really important to you, keeping on track with your progress and ensuring you did not forget important dates.

SO WHAT IS INSIDE?

As this planner has been designed to be a goal setting work book, combined with a space for recording action steps and time management there is a great introduction to help you make the most of this section.

There is a double page spread for each of the 9 important life goals included so you have lots of room to make notes.

australian seasonal planner

As you move into the planner section you have a full month-at-a-glance page, plus an additional page to make project notes.

australian paper planner

 

At the start of each week (starts on a Monday) you have a two page ‘A shiny new week’ spread, which again gives you plenty of room to really hone into what is most important for the next seven days.

Australian paper planner

AND finally, each day of the week has a full two page spread that includes a to-do list, a half hourly timed list from 6am to 10pm and the opposite page is blank for you write out all your thoughts and feelings.

Soul Seasons Life Goal Workbook

With so much lovely space to play with you could decorate it with stickers, sketch down ideas, add some memory keeping or art journaling, jot down positive affirmations or simply have a great brain dump and get everything down on paper and out of your head.

FACTS AND FIGURES

The first thing you notice about this planner is the awesome cover. It is solid plastic rather than a laminated version that is a common inclusion in many paper planners, so it will withstand the rigors of carrying it with you in your bag.

It measures 24.4cm down and 17cm across (not including the metal coil) so it is a little bigger than an Erin Condren and almost identical to a Happy Planner.

The paper quality is superb at 120 GSM and so this planner is quite thick at 2.2cm. All 260 pages include full colour printing, not just a pretty cover.

planner pen testplanner pen test

The paper passed the pen test beautifully with the exception of the sharpie, but that was to be expected as this style of pen will bleed through just about every paper type.

This beautiful planner is a quality product and if you would love a single place to keep track of your goals and important dates it could be the perfect choice for you. Unfortunately as this new release planner was so popular the Spring edition has sold out, but you can pre-order the Summer addition at a special discounted rate here. …. and it will look like this (mock up image).

Please leave a comment if you have any questions and I will be happy to help.

Do you spend time writing down your goals and creating an action plan to make them a reality?

Have you found planner peace?

The Brisbane Planner Markets

Little did I know that when I discovered decorative planning by shear accident 4 years ago, that I would fall down a rabbit hole of stickers, pens, washi tape and sticky notes, and that there would be enough people in Brisbane that love the same things to justify setting up something as awesome as the Brisbane Planner Market!

Brisbane planner addicts

Just look at that line-up, they are not waiting for coffee!

In the past I would faithfully buy a new diary in December, with full intention of using it religiously to stay organised and I would get to about the 4th of January and it would all but be forgotten for another year. Not long after discovering this strange new crafty world, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway of a Happy Planner from an awesome lady in the USA who knew how hard it was for people outside her country to access all the goodies that are readily available to them. This whole pretty planning thing appealed to me so much as I have always loved playing with crafty things and once I fell down this rabbit hole, I had the perfect excuse to sit down each week and decorate my planner, but best of all I actually use it for its intended purpose every single week.

In those few short years things have changed dramatically. There are lots of incredibly creative people that make all the planner supplies and online stores that import goodies that we crave. Thanks to the tireless organising efforts of Bianca from Washi Tape Australia we have just had the 4th Brisbane Planner Market and Sydney and Melbourne have hosted their own as well.

WW Designs Brisbane Planner Market

I have been a stallholder with my shop WW Designs for all 4 markets, and whilst my business has allowed me to make pretty things for planners which I just love doing, especially if sparkly things are involved, the market is a fun way to spend time with people who love doing what I do and understand the insatiable desire to buy ALL the stationary things.

The Brisbane Planner Market is a great day out for planners obviously, but it is so much more than sticker shops on steroids. You will find beautiful note books, pretty pens, stamping and scrapbooking supplies and you can even take classes to learn a new skill.

This quick video gives you a really good overview of how awesome the day was and the volume of people that made the effort to come along. If you have been sitting on the fence about whether it is worth visiting, it really is a fun day where you get to meet all the great stall holders, buy special release products and not pay any shipping fees….oh and Australia Post can’t lose your goodies! Don’t miss out on this great day because you need to go alone, its a perfect opportunity to meet a new planner friend and if you don’t like crowds, just go later in the morning after the initial wave has passed.

The next Brisbane Planner market is currently penciled in for May 2019. Follow the Brisbane Planner Markets Facebook page for updates so you can get the date in your planner as soon as it is announced, and don’t forget to say hello when you pass my stall!

Did you go the Brisbane Planner Market?

 

Favourite Finds Autumn 2018

The last 3 months have gone by in a flash and have brought so many changes, together with a lot of stress and exhaustion but thankfully there is peace on the horizon and a few great discoveries were made!

A NEW HOME

Its official, I hate moving house! A decision to downsize from a very large four bedroom home with a shed to a smaller home without a shed brought a heap of challenges as not only did we have to pack, we had to do a huge declutter as there was no way everything was going to have a spot in our new place.

It is times like this that being a single mumma is tough as the workload was huge, but we got it done and thanks to a troupe of Miss WW friends who came to our assistance we got it done.

A beautiful lake is now part of my walk and I got to the meet the ‘locals’ on my very first visit.

Not only is moving house hard work, it does not help when you have a ‘little’ accident at work and crush your meniscus. Valuable lesson learned, do not jump down off a pallet with your hands full and land on a concreate slab with all your weight behind it. Your knee will be eternally grateful.

Seven weeks later, it is 95% healed and will eventually be perfect we hope, but at least every step no longer causes immense pain.

WHO NEEDS CARAMILK WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THIS

The release of Caramilk by Cadbury caused downright hysteria. Even though I love chocolate and caramel things, I waited patiently for stocks to arrive in the supermarket and bought I single block so I could try it. Have to say I was quite disappointed with the taste and could not understand why people were buying it in bulk and hoarding it.

Better than caramilk

One of my work colleagues suggested I try this alternative and oh boy, it is so much better and can still be purchased today unlike Caramilk which is gone. Do yourself a favour and buy this if caramel flavoured chocolate is your thing, you will not be disappointed.

CRUELTY FREE SKINCARE

Packing up my bathroom to move was an interesting experience. I was amazed at the amount of products that had amassed in the cupboards. I started reading labels as that is something I really had time for….not. But there were so many items that were literally just chemical cocktails and I had decided that I only want to use products that are not tested on animals, as I don’t see why my looks should come at the price of animal cruelty.

When the lovely ladies from KOSMEA approached me a while back to see if I would be interested in trialling a selection of their natural skin care range, I did my homework before I said yes and this range more than ticks the boxes of offering ethical products.

The first thing I noticed when I started using the products was that the clarifying facial wash did not foam up, which is proof that it is not laden with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a known skin irritant and is actually used in pesticide. It also did not leave my skin feeling taught and dry, just beautifully clean. All the other products are also a delight to use and incredibly good value for money.

Another favourite product is the jazzy cleansing cloth that is a great alternative to disposable facial wipes. A gentle massage with this cloth will remove all make up and exfoliate in one hit which is so much better for the environment and avoiding the harsh chemicals used in many of the disposable options. They have an extensive range and you can discover it all here.

REUNION

Many years ago we used to live in South Australia. I went to a local area school as we lived almost two hours south of Adelaide. I made some really good friends there, but we all split apart and headed to schools in the city in the hope of getting a decent education in year 11. I moved to Brisbane as the rest of my family had relocated here and thankfully one of those girls is still a great friends after all these years. Three of us had a reunion that involved much talking, eating and drinking as you do.

If you like to sip on a G&T, you have to try this! Not only is it visually fun to make as the colour changes from a violet to a pretty pink when you add tonic water, it is also one of the nicest Gin’s I have tried in a long time. My friend got given a bottle as a gift and hung on to it until we had our get together and I am very grateful she did. Whilst happily sipping away we managed to track down number 4 and phoned her for a catch up. Number 5’s whereabouts still alludes us but one day we just might find her.

DISCOVERING A NEW ‘LOCAL’

It is amazing how long you can live in an area and still find awesome places to eat that you didn’t even know existed!

My bestie invited me out for lunch and she took me to the Samford Lifestyle Centre. How this awesome place flew under my radar for so long astounds me. Obviously they have a restaurant that only has a smallish menu, but everything is made fresh with local ingredients where possible.

Smoked salmon and ricotta patties

These ricotta patties with smoked salmon and homemade beetroot relish were simply amazing. They also make really good coffee and have a cake cabinet full of unique treats rather than the same old slices and tarts that come from commercial kitchens.

Not only can you enjoy dining in rural surroundings, there are shops, yay!  A fabulous gift shop, a nursery, an organic/natural store with skin care, cleaning products, a yarn store, a day spa and more. This is definitely not a place to visit for a quick bite to eat, you really need to allow a few hours to fully enjoy it.

What great new things have you discovered that I should check out this winter, as I really need something to brighten up my most unfavourite season of the year???

Sharing for the Lovin’ Life Linky at 50 Shades Of Age

 

 

 

Super Things To Sip For Your Health!

There is one thing I have noticed since I reached the half century mark and that is the never ending little and not so little aches and pains that seem to be part of everyday life, and quite honestly I don’t like it.

So I have been spending a lot of time researching how I can help ease these annoying niggles by making changes to what I eat and drink without becoming a full on caffeine free, vegan and no more chocolate ever kind of girl, cause that does not appeal to me. I applaud anyone who has given up tasty vices for the sake of your health, and whilst I am prepared to cut down on the not so good for you yumminess, I am not going cold turkey.

Inflammation is often a cause for many of these aches and pains and years of exposure to chemicals, sugar consumption and foods that increase the acidity in our body will trigger a painful response from our body. In the interest of being kinder to my body and thanking it for all the years of hard work, some gentle changes are taking place here rather than a full blown detox at this stage.

Healthy things to drink

 

Here are a few of the things I have been trying and why I am including them in my diet regularly.

WATER

We all know that we need to drink plenty of water everyday. When the weather is hot I guzzle gallons of it with ease, but as the temperature drops I have to make an ‘effort’ to ensure I drink enough. I will often add a slice of lemon and a slice of lime (that I keep sliced up in the freezer in a zip lock bag) to make it a little more palatable, but I have also been making some fruit water and it really tastes good so I get through more with ease.

Green tea, lime and mint – I would prefer to use lime and mint to make a Mojito…..but in the interest of better health, make a cup of tea with a tea bag and allow to cool then place into a large water bottle, with a couple of slices of lime and a few fresh mint leaves that have been torn to help release their goodness. This blend is good for digestion, headaches and congestion.

Strawberry and Kiwi fruit – This one is very easy and just needs a few slices of each fruit placed in a large water bottle and allow to steep for 30 minutes before drinking. This one is good for boosting immunity and blood sugar regulation.

Pineapple, lemon and pomegranate – This is one of my favourites and it is the prettiest colour too which makes it more inviting. Chop up a full slice of pineapple, 2 slices of lemon and a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds. This one is great for helping the lymph system to flush out toxins and pineapple is great for reducing acidity.

Boost your magnesium

Another great way to guarantee another bottle of water is downed each day is to add a magnesium dissolvable tablet. A few months ago I started taking this Swisse supplement to help with aching shoulders that are partly contributed to my job. Magnesium deficiency is incredibly common these days as a lot of our produce is grown in soils that are overworked and depleted of this vital nutrient. Magnesium can also help with calming the nerves, assisting better sleep and increasing energy and I will have all of those please! They say if you crave chocolate that can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency, better make sure I don’t forget my dose today.

TURMERIC

Turmeric is one of the most talked about herbs at the moment when you look for ways to reduce inflammation. This distinctively flavoured and bright coloured powder is an easy add to stir fry’s but unless you want everything to taste like curry, it is easier to drink it.

Pukka tea have a blend called ‘turmeric gold’. It makes consuming turmeric more palatable with the addition of lemon, cardamom and green tea. It makes your mouth tingle a little bit but it is not nearly as overpowering as I thought it might be.

TAKING IT UP A NOTCH

When the Bondi Beach Tea Co. reached out to me and asked if I would like to sample some of their wares, I put my hand up straight away and said yes. You only have to take a peak at their website and see that their blends are perfect for those that want to tackle inflammation and detoxing head on and lose some kilo’s along the way.

They also have beautiful blends for helping you sleep or unwind after a tough day. In my pack I did receive the Heartburn blend which is one ailment that I do not suffer from but it does contain Spearmint (great for heart health and is high in iron for energy), Lemon Balm (can help with anxiety and insomnia) and Chamomile (which is soothing and calming) plus a few other goodies that tastes beautiful and is a great drink for this stressed out mumma, who is currently packing all the boxes for a house move.

Bondi Beach Tea Co tea strainer

Loose leaf tea requires a tea strainer and how cute is this silicone one that bends over and hugs your mug whilst the tea is brewing.

When all this moving is out of the way I just might have to try a detox program together with their easy meal plan as its all about fresh starts for me at the moment. You can find all their goodies here.

SIP ON SOUP

One of the few things I like about cold weather is making soup. Its an easy way to eat a warming healthy meal.

I have spent plenty of time scrolling through Pinterest searching for some new soups to try this season.

This is my favourite find so far. Pop everything in the crockpot and a few hours later dinner is ready and there is some left over to stash in the freezer.

warming vegetable soup

Thanks to a Pinch Of Yum for this fabulous recipe.

Every little thing we do to improve our health can have big benefits down the track, I hope you find some of these ideas easy to incorporate into your everyday.

What is your favourite healthy habit that you have discovered this year?

Discover what other bloggers are loving this week #LLL at Write Of The Middle

 

Disclaimer – I am not medically trained and only offer these suggestions for your consideration. Before undertaking any alterations to your diet, including the addition of any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your doctor to ensure that they will not have negative effects on any medication you may currently be taking.

 

 

 

 

Mini Food, Big Fun

I have always loved making mini food for parties but have not done any for quite a while, so when I was choosing a menu for Easter, I decided to do the whole meal bite size. It is a really fun and easy way to feed guests whether it is for a party or just a casual get-together.

Mini Food tasty fun

 

All you need is a packet of disposable shot glasses and any food that is cooked or will set in the fridge as you can’t put these plastic ‘glasses’ in the oven. The two above were super quick to make and disappeared in a flash. Best of all they can be done in advance so you don’t have to spend all your time in the kitchen.

MINI PRAWN COCKTAILS

Simply layer finely shredded lettuce, cooked prawns that have been chopped into small pieces, Masterfoods Seafood Cocktail sauce and a mini lemon wedge.

MINI THAI BEEF SALADS

Layer shredded carrot, finely diced cucumber, small slivers of beef and a few pieces of red onion.

(To make the beef, fry or BBQ a 500gm piece of rump steak and allow to rest wrapped in foil for 10 minutes. Mix together in a glass bowl 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of fish sauce, 1 red chilli finely diced and one spring onion chopped. Slice the meat into slivers and then place in the marinade. Making this the day before required allows the flavours to develop a lot more.)

Here is a few other ideas that I have done in the past:-

Tomato bruschetta with tiny toast fingers, diced chicken with mayo and sundried tomatoes, mini ‘buckets’ of hot chips, mini fried rice cups, potato salad with crispy bacon bits. Any food that can be cooked in advance and served cold or gently warmed will work.

Filling them full of sweet things for dessert is fun too. Chocolate mousse, Tiramisu, Eatons Mess, cheese cake, fruit salad, jelly and custard all work really well. Jelly shots with a splash of Vodka are always popular.

I usually buy a packet of cocktail forks from the supermarket to serve with mini food just to make it a little easier to eat without having to tip the food into your mouth. Small spoons work better for desserts and I get these from my local cheap shop.

The best part is cleaning up, you just through it all in the bin when you are finished. But if you want to be more environmentally friendly I also have a big stash of mini latte glasses that I have used when I want the event to have a bit more formality and I just pop them in the dishwasher at the end of the night.

What is your favourite party food that you could serve in mini form?

Sharing for The Lovin’ Life Linky at Write Of The Middle

 

Are Your Old Makeup Habits Making You Look Older?

make up tips for aging skin

 

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The One Minute Mojito

It might be the first day of Autumn, but you sure wouldn’t know it if you are outside today here in Brisbane. It is so hot and steamy that my new favourite drink will probably make an appearance today. The One Minute Mojito was an accidental discovery I made on an equally hot day a month or so ago.

 

a quick and easy mojito

 

Scrolling through Facebook as you do on a hot Saturday night at home, someone posted an image of this cool and refreshing looking drink and I wanted one immediately. Having rediscovered my love for Mojito’s at Christmas time, I decided to see if I had the ingredients needed to make such yumminess.

This version is not 100% correct to the true recipe, but it is a quick and easy alternative that tastes great and has far less sugar than the original version and I am all about less sugar at the moment…but that’s another story for another post.

Follow these simple steps and you will be sipping in no time.

  1. Get a large glass or mason jar and place two slices of lime in the bottom and muddle it with a spoon to help release some of the juice.
  2. Add a shot or two of Bacardi.
  3. Fill the glass 3/4 full with ice and add 4 torn mint leaves.
  4. Top up the glass with Schweppes Lime Infused Soda Water. (Not sponsored, its just the best stuff)
  5. Add a straw and you are ready to drink……enjoy!

Now my next job on the to-do list is to buy a mint plant and have it growing in a pot so I always have some fresh leaves at hand.

What is your favourite go-to drink for a really hot day?

Sharing for #LLL at Write Of The Middle

 

Favourite Finds This Summer

Summer has sure thrown some hot days at us over the past few weeks and the last couple of rainy days have brought great relief. I love summer but as I can’t spend every day at the beach unfortunately, so I am always looking for ways to make coping with the heat a little easier. Here are some of my favourite finds that have helped me survive the heat wave.

DRY FINISH SUNSCREEN

At the beginning of summer Miss WW spent a couple of weekends away at the beach and scored herself some pretty bad sunburn. I keep reminding her to apply ALL the sunscreen ALL the time to protect her beautiful skin, it easy to get caught up in all the fun and forgetting to reapply regularly has not been happening. I tried to get her to use good old zinke stick especially on her nose, but most sunscreens tend to make her break out and she hates that.

dry finish sunscreen helps avoid breakout

After checking out all the sunscreens on the shelf these two have proved to be real winners in our house. Dry touch sunscreen is the bomb! That heavy and sticky feeling that is often experienced with normal sunscreen is no more. Both of these only take a couple of minutes to ‘set’ and you don’t even feel as though you have sunscreen on. Miss WW is happy to reapply regularly and neither of them caused her to breakout. That’s a major win in my books as life in Queensland without sunscreen is just not on.

COOL COTTON FOR HOT DAYS

Wearing long sleeves in summer for sun protection is a great idea, but ahhhh no, its too hot for that! I was invited to a picnic in the park on the banks of the Brisbane river and rain was forecast for that evening and I thought it might get a bit cool once the clouds rolled in.

Cool cotton for hot summer days

This super light, 100% cotton long sleeved top from the Portobello range by Vivid International (gifted) turned out to be a perfect choice and was so cool to wear in the hot afternoon. The best thing about this top is it comes all rolled up and when you wash it you roll it up again and its crinkled look does not require ironing.

Just love the colours in this one!

KEEPING DRINKS SUPER COOL

Hot weather requires cold drinks and tiny little ice blocks that melt in a flash don’t help the cause.

Giant ice blocks are the answer and this awesome ice cube tray was one of my fav finds from Kmart and cost a whole $1.50 each. Buy a few and store them in a large plastic container so you always have plenty on hand.

keep cool with giant ice cubes

Freezing coffee in these and adding one to a glass of milk makes a very yummy iced coffee too!

RELAX WITH A GOOD READ

Just before Christmas my mum went to a charity market and bought three books for $1.00. She liked the look of the covers and thought they would be a good romance novel read. Had she read the back and saw the words such as warlocks and vampires she would have put them back in a flash. I am so grateful she didn’t.

The Infernal devices a great summer read

So not have I only devoured the three part The Infernal Devices book series, I am on the 6th and final installment of The Mortal Instruments. Miss WW has been a big fan of these for a few years and I showed zero interest in reading them. They are thrilling reads will lots of plot twists and I won’t mention that they are listed as ‘Young Adult’ reading….because I am way past that stage of life and just love reading them. This is one of new habits that I have been working on to go with my word of the year ‘Joy’.

The only other thing I need to find is a mascara that will not give me panda eyes when the heat is on. I have tried so many and not one of them has done what it promised! Any suggestions?

Have you found any great things this summer to help you keep cool?….and moving to the Southern States is not an option as I hate winter, even our pretty mild Brisbane version.

Sharing for #LLL at Write In The Middle.com

Hello 2018!

Hello 2018, I am very glad to see you.

Last year was full of challenges and exhaustion from over work and under relaxing, so this year things must change and I have to make myself a priority.

For the last few years I have chosen a #wordoftheyear and it all seemed like a good idea at the time, but I honestly did not live by my choice of word or achieve all the goals I had set.

So this year I will be doing things a little differently. There will be no goal setting, or making promises that might not be kept, instead there is a word and a question to ask myself every time a decision needs to made.

planner page makerMy word for 2018 is JOY!

I made myself this little page maker for my planner so that every single day I see a reminder that I get to choose to do things that bring me joy or things that wear me down.

Pushing myself to the brink has got to stop. Feeling guilty about taking downtime has got to stop. Stressing about the future has got to stop. Not expressing my true feelings has got to stop.

Less pain more fun is the plan!

I have big list of all the things that I love, and whilst I will not be throwing all responsibility to the wall, I am starting small by taking 15 minutes a day to just do whatever I like and will build on this as I adjust to being a little selfish. Small steps are better than no steps at all.

It is time to start filling the cup before it runs completely dry.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2018 and make sure you fill your cup, often!

Do you pick a #wordoftheyear and if so what is it?

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10 Things To Do Now To Make Christmas Easier!

10 things to do now to make christmas easier

As soon as the Christmas magazines hit the stores, I know it is time to get myself organised. In years past, I would have already done all my shopping and would coast into the festive season with ease, BUT life has been chaotic and I am behind this year, but starting now I am getting on it.

I love Christmas, cause I love sparkly things and I get to play with them for a whole month and nobody thinks I am nuts. With a little bit of planning and action, get these jobs done in November and you will have more to time to enjoy the season rather than running around trying to get everything done.

christmas planning 2017

One – Make ALL the lists!

    If you don’t already have some to-do lists done, sit down today with a notebook and start making them. The easiest way to not forget any of the important things you need to remember, keep this list handy so you can keep adding to it as you remember things.
    Include lists for gifts, food, shopping, decorations, events, travel arrangements and cleaning. Carry a red pen with your notebook to tick of things when they have been completed, as that is such a satisfying things to do.

Two – Stocktake the PANTRY

    Don’t do what I did one year and try to start a Christmas bake-a-thon without caster sugar! Take a good look at each shelf on the pantry and make a list of everything that is running low, or you know you will need extra of and buy them now when you next grocery shop. Or put in an online order and have it all delivered. If you have a little spare space in a cupboard don’t even unpack it, just put it away until you actually need to start using it.

Three – Wrapping supplies!

    I always stock up on gift wrap and cards at the Boxing Day sales. If your stash is looking a bit bare, buy all that now. Why not add it to your online order and have it delivered at the same time. Make sure you include paper, gift bags, cards, tags, sticky tape and ribbon if you like to use it. Setting up a gift wrap station in a spare room makes things easy for quick access, but if you don’t have room, keep all the supplies in washing basket or cardboard box so that it is quick to grab and you don’t have to waste precious time collecting what you need when its time to wrap.

Four – Eat from the freezer!

    For the next two weeks make an effort to use up all the things you have stashed away in the freezer. Having space in your freezer is a must at Christmas time, so eat up things that are lurking in there so you can make space. When frozen nibbles, berries and other goodies go on sale you will be able to grab them knowing you have room for them. Its a great way to build a stash and save some dollars.

Five – Stock up on gift cards on sale!

    Keep your eye on your junk mail in the lead up to Christmas. Supermarkets will often offer discounts on gift cards in the lead up to the big day. Instead of spending hours looking for the perfect gift for those hard to buy for, a gift card can save your sanity and if you feel that gift cards a little impersonal you can always add a little gift as an extra.

Six – Pick a Theme!

    Whether it is a colour or symbol theme, picking one now can help you create a cohesive look for Christmas that will have others thinking you are totally awesome. Traditional, pastel or metallic are these easiest colours schemes to work with and using a tree, bell or star as your centering object if you want to pick one can make your shopping trips quicker. When you choose a new decoration or ten, candles, serviettes or any other festive items, if you stick to one style you can grab what you need without having to decide which ones you prefer. The end result is a home and table that all fits together beautifully.

Seven – What needs a wash?

    Christmas tablecloths can get a little musty from being hidden away in the linen cupboard for a whole year. Pull yours out now and check if they are clean and ready to use. If not, wash and iron them now, so they are ready to go. If you are having guests coming to stay with you, make sure sheets and towels are ready for the onslaught.

Eight – Find it fast!

    Every year I go through a pile of recipe books and magazines trying to decide what to make. When it came time to make a final list and grocery list sometimes I could not remember which book or magazine it was in. Now I make a list with the recipe, book or magazine it is in and the page number so that I can find it in a flash. Recipes from past magazines are now stored in a lever arch file in plastic sleeves and the ones I want to use are placed on the top so I have instant access.

Nine – Count the cutlery, and the plates, and the glasses!

    Miss WW is chief executive dish washer in this house and at her last birthday party afternoon tea, I discovered I had a whole TWO teaspoons to my name. Yep, 4 cutlery sets including my good one no longer included teaspoons. No idea where they have gone, but probably they ran away with all the single socks. Needless to say, more have now been purchased and if you are entertaining at your home, make sure you have enough of all the basic supplies required to eat a meal comfortably. If not add them to the shopping list asap!

Ten – Pencil in some ME time!

    Save your sanity and pencil in some time just for you. Book in to have your hair done, nails painted, a massage or anything that will give your some time to yourself. Hairdressers and beauticians will be busy as everyone wants to look their best so if you have a favourite book them now so that you don’t miss out. Your happiness will flow on to all those around you so make yourself a priority this year.

*****

Make this the year to coast through Christmas with ease and grace and leave the stressing last minutes rushing around to everyone else. Start today and spend 15 minutes getting those list done and the rest will flow.

How sorted are you for Christmas?

What is your favourite tip for getting it all done?

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