Thursday, 30 June 2011

Organising Kitchen Cupboards - Baking Tins

My baking tin cupboard was definitely my cupboard of shame!  Everytime I opened the doors, I prayed that nothing was going to fly out and hit me in the head!  It was one of those cupboards that you dump the items in and shut the doors quickly, before anything falls back out - eek!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Organising Cookie Cutters

This post carries on from my Organising Kitchen Drawers post yesterday, which you can read here.

So, what what did I do with my cookie cutters that were cluttering up my kitchen drawers?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Cook Islands Travel Journal - Day 2 (Part 1)

Dear Diary,

After only 5 hours of sleep, we crawled out of bed to explore Muri.  
Muri Lagoon

Organising Kitchen Drawers

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Danielle.  Last week she asked me to write about organising kitchen drawers - I cringed!  I have 2 utensil drawers, one neat and tidy, the other an absolute nightmare!  So, I have taken before and after photos to show just what can be done with a little time and determination.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Cook Islands Travel Journal - Day 1

Dear Diary,

We had an event-free morning finalising our packing before Mum and Dad arrived to take us to the airport.  As (my sister) Nicky and (her partner) Simon are living with us at the moment due to their house renovations, we left our home in their capable hands...

We were excited to see our friends Tim and Jennie at the International airport when we arrived.  They were the reason we were going to the Cook Islands - at attend their wedding!  Their gorgeous 2 year old son, Jakob, was already keeping them on their toes, running here, there and everywhere.  I was exhausted just watching them chase him!  Next we saw the rest of Tim's family, at the Air New Zealand terminal.  We said goodbye to my Mum and Dad, and we were on our way to checking in for our holiday in paradise.

- Regular baggage checked in and boarding passes collected - CHECK
- Fishing rods checked in at oversized baggage terminal - CHECK
- Last Australian dollars cashed in for New Zealand dollars - CHECK

Next we went downstairs through Customs - where I was scanned and set off the alarm for 'explosive devices'!  A second scan of my body and my bag, and I got the all clear to go on my merry way.  The customs officer said to Mick, "You already knew she was explosive"...

Time for a coffee and sandwich with the Veivers crew (our friends), followed by a beer and wine to celebrate :)  Before we knew it, it was time to board the 3 hour flight to Auckland, for the first leg of the journey. Both flights, Brisbane to Auckland and Auckland to Rarotonga, were quite uneventful.  We were kept entertained by the movie channel and the abundance of food and drinks offered by our 'Works' package.  The mini ice-cream desserts were my highlight!  Chocolate Choc-Chip on the first flight, and Vanilla-Raspberry on the second - yum!

Cleaning the Bathroom - Swish and Swipe

Swishing and swiping is a fabulous way to keep on top of cleaning the bathroom.  It is another one of Flylady's brilliant ideas, which I have adapted to make work for me and my household.  As with anything, you have to customise it to suit your needs, and in my case, I always try to simplify it so that I actually do it!

What is swish and swipe?
Swish - swirling the water in the toilet bowl with the toilet brush to clean the toilet each day
Swipe - wiping down the flat surfaces in the bathroom each day

Cook Islands Travel Journal

I remember when I was a little girl and we were on a family holiday at Bribie Island, I kept a scrapbook-journal of our trip.  I remember collecting leaves when we went on walks and sticking them in,  along with writing about our adventures of the day.  We had lots of wonderful holidays growing up, but I always remember this holiday more vividly, I think it is because I had the journal to look back on for years to come.  So, when we went to the Cook Islands recently, I decided to try to keep a Travel Journal.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Scented Garbage Bags

Today I thought I would post about scented garbage bags.  They come in pretty colours and lovely fragrances, and it just makes doing the chore of rubbish that little more enjoyable. 

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Outline Marker Pens

Ooooh!  Check out these amazing Outline Pens!  They are so pretty!  Can you believe that this gorgeous writing is from ONE pen?  It is not a silver pen, then outlined in pink - it is just one very, very clever pen!

Cafe Cassadiva - Jam Drops Recipe

Here is another recipe - tried and trusted by my family for many years... Jam Drops

Friday, 24 June 2011

Organising for Christmas - Start Today!

Today is exactly 6 months to Christmas!  Yay!  I just love Christmas - it is such a beautiful time of year, if you are planned and organised for it. 

My family has always celebrated Christmas in the biggest way possible - I have the most wonderful parents who made Christmas a month-long celebration!  On December the 1st, we not only put up the tree, but the house was decked out with festive decorations on every flat and hanging surface.  Mum even swapped the dinnerware over to a Christmas dinnerset for the entire month - and I am so excited that I have finally bought my own Christmas dinnerset this year (in March - it was 60% off!), so I can continue this wonderful tradition in my own home.

So, let's start planning!  It is never too early.  I find the best way to plan is to write lists - lots of lists :)  I found this great free download here, which gives you a great starting point for Christmas planning.

Organising Recipes

Today I want to share with you a new system that I am trialling for organising my recipes.  It is simply hanging files on a wire frame, with recipes divided into categories.  Easy!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Cupcake Toppers

I am a huge fan of cupcakes!  I just love them!  They are perfect for any occasion and so easy to transform to suit any event.  Earlier this year I discovered 'cupcake toppers'.  They are such a great way to make cupcakes even more wonderful!

Handbag Organisation

We girls all love to carry lots of bits and pieces with us everywhere we go!  I got this beautiful new handbag and matching purse for my birthday this year. 

While I just loved the colours and the sparkles, functionally, I was struggling with it.  It was like a big bottomless pit, and I could never find anything inside, plus the sides were 'caving in', from the weight of all of my goodies in the side pockets.  Not the best designed handbag from my perspective, but I was determined to make it work.

Decluttering Your Wardrobe

We all find it hard to part with our old clothes - we always think we just may need them down the track ;)  Well, today I have a great tip to help you to declutter your wardrobe - and you don't even have to throw a thing out today! 

All you have to do is turn all of the hangers in your wardrobe around the wrong way.  Yep, that's it!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Thank You!

Last night I celebrated 1000 hits on my site!  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog for the past 10 days.  I have been so overwhelmed and excited by all of the great comments and feedback that I have been getting from you, my awesome readers :)  I can hardly contain my excitement!  I am really loving my blogging journey and in only 10 days it has been an amazing ride for me - all thanks to you!  I am also humbled by your kind words and am very grateful for the time that you have invested in my blog.

Cassadiva has lots more to come...  Yesterday I bought the domain - which is super exciting!  And I am currently investigating a Cassadiva facebook page!  I am so enthused by all of the possiblities ahead of me and can't wait to continue on this wonderful journey with you all :)

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your amazing support of my little blog!

Cassadiva  <3

Errand Basket

A little while ago I needed a solution for the pile of 'stuff' that used to mount up near the front door - borrowed things to return to people/places, jobs to do, colour swatches for current projects, etc.  That's when I came up with the idea of creating an 'Errand Basket'.  This is my central location for all of the bits and bobs that need something done with them in future outings.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Organising Accessories

Today, I am delighted to share with you how I organise my accessories.  I am lucky enough have the most amazing accessories cupboard!  I love to colour coordinate ribbons, bows, headbands, necklaces, bracelets, earrings - you name it, it has to match! 

Fill Your Kettle Before You Go To Bed

You have one job tonight before you go to bed - fill your kettle and/or coffee machine.  I promise you will be so thankful tomorrow morning when you wake up and flick the switch :)

I have lined up our coffee pods, so that we can make our coffees by simply popping in the pod tomorrow morning.  Sometimes I get out out the coffee cups and teaspoons too.  It is lovely to be greeted by this in the morning - you can thank yourself!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Home Routines App for iPhone

Today I am going to share my favourite app for my iPhone with you.  It is so nice to me :)

The Home Routines app is a fabulous digital To Do list for housework, routines, jobs and more.  Once you set it up it so helpful to keep on track with keeping your home as your haven.

Laying Clothes Out For Tomorrow

Laying out my clothes at night is another trick I do to make my mornings run smoothly.  By choosing clothes the night before and hanging them on my special 'outfit' hangers, I don't have to make any decisions in the morning, which can be a huge time-waster if you are hopeless at decision-making like me!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fridge Organisation - Slicing & Dicing

A big tip to getting organised in the fridge is to spend some time arranging everything when you are unpacking the groceries.  If I want anything to get eaten, it must be either cut up, out of its bag or clearly visible in the fridge.  We all know that question, 'What is there to eat?', which usually gets asked just after having spent $200 at the supermarket!  I can see you nodding your heads ;)  Therefore, everything must be in the line of sight, and ready to be eaten, or it will not get touched.

The first thing I do is empty the fruit out of the plastic bags and into my fruit drawer.  Then I do the same with the veggies.  This is not rocket science, but seriously it makes a difference between it getting eaten or not. 

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Erasable Pens

Today I want to share with you these amazing pens that I was recently introduced to.  They rub out!!!  Yes, that is correct - a marking pen that you can erase if you make a mistake :)  I just love stationery - and when I find a gem like this, I feel it is my duty to share!

I have always been a big 'pencil' person, as I hate to see crossing out in my diary, on lists, etc.  So, I always wrote in pencil so that I could erase any mistakes that I made.  Now, I have these pretty coloured marking pens by Pilot called Frixion, and I can rest assured that if I make a mistake I can simply rub out my error - how exciting!



Laundry - A Load A Day

This is certainly not one of my favourite jobs in the world, but I do have a few tips/ideas that help me to keep on top of the ever-growing laundry pile!

Firstly, I live by the Flylady theory of 'a load a day keeps Mount Washmore away'.  Every night as part of my Evening Routine (I will post about this soon), I put a load of washing in the machine and pour the detergent in the dispenser.  I don't press start, I just leave it sitting there. 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

I love Rubbish Day!

Yes, that's right.  Friday is our Rubbish Day and it would have to be my favourite morning of the week!

In my Happy Heart post I discussed the huge role that your attitude plays in daily life.  I experience the wonder of this every Friday...

Packing for Paradise

We recently had the luxury of going on holiday to the Cook Islands for our friends' wedding.  Seriously, that place is paradise!  Before the wedding on Rarotonga, we had a quiet escape on Aitutaki.  We were lucky enough to stay in these Overwater Bungalows - this place is heaven...
Yes - I took this photo myself.  It is not out of a travel brochure!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Make Your Own Cleaning Spray

Cleaning - you either love it or hate it.  Either way, it has to be done.  So, why not make it fun?!

A friend gave me this wonderful recipe a few years ago, and I don't know how I ever survived without it.  It is cheap, free of harsh chemicals and when you put it in a pink spray bottle - it is so much fun!  I bought these hot pink spray bottles at Kmart last week for not even $2 each.  I have also bought pale pink spray bottles from Ikea in the past.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Happy Heart

Before I start to post about organisation and keeping house, I believe it is important to reflect on 'why' we strive to have a clean and organised home.  In my opinion, it shouldn't be about keeping up appearances to  please visitors and guests, rather - it is because you deserve the best in life!  You deserve to feel like your home is your haven, your special place, your retreat from the busy-ness of daily life. 

We all deserve to wake up to a clean kitchen and a kettle full of water, so that all we have to do is flick the switch and you are on your way to the welcoming aroma of coffee to help you start your day.  We all deserve to walk into the bedroom at night-time, and be greeted by a warm glowing lamp and the covers turned down, waiting for you to snuggle under them for a good night's sleep.  Do these things magically happen by themselves? Of course not!  But if you choose to have the attitude that doing small things like this are a blessing, you will soon realise that they are not a chore, rather they are a special treat for you and your loved ones.

Monday, 13 June 2011

My First Post

Welcome to the wonderful world of Cassadiva!

Firstly, I will tell you a little about myself.  Family is so very important to me - I am a doting wife, daughter, sister and aunty to my very special family.  My home is my special place, and I love cooking, cleaning, organising, sewing, scrapbooking and more.  I also love spending time hand-making presents, planning parties and generally adding 'prettiness' to everything that I do!  My home is set on two acres, so I also enjoy getting outdoors and gardening.

So, why do I blog?  Over the years, I have enjoyed giving tips and ideas to friends and family on home organisation.  While I am certainly no expert in the field, I do love sharing the little things that I do which make my life simpler, just from having a system that works for me.  Which brings me to my brand new blog, Cassadiva...  the platform for me to share lots of ideas for home organisation, recipes, printable templates and much more with you all.
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