Monthly Archives: March 2012

Get Yourself Organised in a Flash – Kitchen File

Get Yourself Organised in a Flash – Kitchen File

Here is an easy organisational tip to put into place to save you time, space and avoid the fridge or kitchen drawers being covered with unnecessary clutter.
Start collecting menus at you favourite take away joints, pop them in a folder and keep them in your kitchen. You will never have to guess the name of that ‘Chicken Dish with the Nuts’ again and the phone numbers will also be in easy reach on those nights when you don’t feel like cooking.

You can make this folder a one-stop shop for all things food related by adding a few extra sections. My folder also has sections for:

  • Coupons and vouchers
  • Shopping list pro formas
  • Meal planning  pro formas
  • Freezer inventory

Dear Coffee, I Love You Again – 5 Minute Coffee Corner Creation

Dear Coffee, I Love You Again – 5 Minute Coffee Corner Creation

Like many, I have a love affair with coffee.  I am not, however,  one of these people who can’t live without it or a can’t-function-until-its-drunk gal.  What I love is the ritual of sitting down to drink a coffee.  I love smelling the coffee beans, cradling a warm cup and relaxing for the 10 minutes or so while you slowly sip at that perfect brew.

However,  my life became a whole lot busier last November with the addition of Master C to the household and relaxing is not always on the cards.  If I do get to fire up the coffee machine and make a cup, it is often drunk lukewarm or in a rush to satisfy a hungry infant.   I just wasn’t loving my cup of coffee anymore and I was missing the relationship we once shared.  So, yesterday I decided it was ‘Reclaim the Coffee Break’ Day in the Crooked household!

And so the plan was devised……

  1. Change coffee break to mid-morning during Master C’s nap time
  2. Distract Master O  while I sip coffee
  3. Set up the perfect place to enjoy the coffee break

Steps 1 and 2 were easy but step 3 was going to need work and time was scarce.  I had always wanted a coffee nook in my house.  A place where I could go, specifically designed for my coffee drinking pleasure.  Mood lit, comfy chairs, nice china, cloche covered morsels, engrossing reading material, maybe a view and no annoyance.  Keep dreaming Jade!  But maybe I could have just a fragment of this?  With no place  inside to devote to my selfishness  I looked outside.

There  is a no other place where Master O is more entertained than in the front yard.  It was the logical place for my coffee spot and as I had already set up a table and chair set under our front porch, all the area needed was a makeover.  This is what the area looked like pre-reclaim….

Pretty bland and ordinary I know.  But the area has a nice, green outlook and is a relaxing space with a trickling water feature.

So with this spot in mind I went ‘shopping’ about my house for items that could redecorate here.  I am all for recycling.  I love to change things up at my place so items are constantly being rotated from room to room or into storage.  It means that house is decorated in a similar style and I am not spending up big when the redecoration mood takes me.

To brighten and comfy up the black suite I used two red and white cushions that once lived in the spare room.  To add more splashes of red I used one of my felt placemats as a runner on the table.  A small  black flexi tub that once stored toys would be perfect for magazines or books.  Outside there already lived a few pot plants and lanterns which could be rehoused here to help frame and green up the space.  Finally, I had a small black pot in which once sat a lovely plant that I skillfully killed and with a quick trip to Masters it was filled with a $2 potted colour.

So in five minutes, with a little fluffing and moving of pots and only $2 my new coffee spot  looked like this:

So with just a few small changes, the place is now a lot more inviting.  With my favourite coffee cup and a plate of biscuits, I can sit in my front yard and enjoy my coffee.  I can happily watch Master O at play, flip through the latest catalogues and magazines and enjoy the outdoors.  It just goes to show that you don’t need Donald Trump’s budget or a whole weekend to improve a little corner of your world.

Kids Easter Craft – Fingerprint Chicks

Kids Easter Craft – Fingerprint Chicks

The lead up to Easter is one of my favourite times of the year.  I think it has a lot ot do with the weather and the fact that the mornings are crisp but the days are warm with clear, blue skies (well, maybe not here at the moment).  It may also have to do with the fact that I am absolutely addicted to Hot Cross Buns.  I am NEVER the one who complains about the fact the grocery stores have packets of buns for sale on Boxing Day.  However, I always feel if you blink you will miss enjoying the lead up.  With the craziness of the Christmas/New Year season you seem to just get back into the ryhthm of life and Easter is at your doorstep.  So it was Friday just gone that it dawned on me that I had only 2 weeks until the Easter Weekend.  I had not even thought about Easter at all.  So I seized the day and created a craft project for Master O and I.

Last Christmas I fell in love with the Fingerprint reindeer  Bianca at A Little Delightful  completed with her son.  Taking inspiration from this and these cute little chicks you find everywhere at Easter time,

I created a fingerprint chick project.

With little time or effort, I designed and printed some placecards for our Easter table.  Then with some yellow paint, Master O fingerprinted the cards. 

When they were dry, I added the chick’s features with black and orange felts.  To make sure they were going to be sturdy and last if we wanted to use them next year, I laminated them.

I think they are super cute.  Tomorrow we plan to make some matching cards and present tags.

Someone get me a cocktail – STAT! Lychee Mojo

Someone get me a cocktail – STAT! Lychee Mojo

Friday is normally my favourite day of the week.  Master O goes to daycare, I often don’t have a huge to-do list and hubby takes over the night feed so I can get a good night’s sleep.  But today, it has been a shocker! I have a cold and everything has become a little too much for this chicken.  So as I settled my catnapping bub for the 4th time (Lord, give me strength!)  I decided the best way to get through the day was to look forward to 5pm when I would ring in the weekend with a drink in hand.

Hard liquor would no doubt be medicinal given I have a cold, but this dreary weather here in Brissie has me in a funk only a tropical cocktail will fix.

My default cocktail setting is really anything with Lychees in it so I wanted to share with you my version of a Lychee Mojo.  It is based on a cocktail I used to order on a Friday night years ago.


  • 1 Shot Vodka
  • 1/2 shot Paraiso Lychee Liqueur
  • a squeeze of lime
  • Lemonade
  • 2 lychees (fresh or tinned)
  • sprig of mint to garnish
  • Ice


  1. Place ice and peeled and pitted lychees at the bottom of glass
  2. Add liquor and lime
  3. Top with Lemonade and garnish with a sprig of mint

So as I hit publish on this blog post I have had my first sip of my cocktail and it tastes SO GOOD! I feel better about today already. I recommend filing this recipe away in your head under, ‘Drinks to Try Before I Die’.

Have a Super weekend all. Cheers.

You can also see this post at Sumo’s Sweet Stuff

Permanent Posies &a

Welcome to ‘There Was a Crooked House’


Hi.  Thanks for taking time out to look at my blog. I have for quite a while now considered starting a personal blog, and well, here I am.

Firstly, a little about me.  I am a 30-something wife and mother.  I have 2 boys, the eldest is 3 years and the youngest 4 months.  I am a Secondary Teacher but I am currently having some time off to raise my family.  I love cooking and food, shopping, decorating and partying.  I am a perfectionist and organisational super-freak who unfortunately lacks the attention span/commitment to make these traits with benefits!  Hence the reason for this Blog.  There Was a Crooked House will journal my attempt to streamline my, at times, ‘crooked’ life and home.

I love looking for hints and tips to make my life simpler, easier, healthier, prettier and more fun.  While I love to share these ideas with friends and family, sadly these tips don’t always get applied to my life.  I want to make sure I use these ideas in my life and reap the benefits and maybe you too might find them useful.  I know that there will be some epic fails along the way and I hope you laugh along with me.