Category Archives: Clothing

Beyond the Nappy / Diaper Bag: The Kids’ Bag


I gave away the whole nappy bag caper quite some time ago.  I hated that thing. It was undoubtably premature, my youngest isn’t yet two and is still in nappies. It has led to some very embarrassing and annoying events like my son doing a number two, five minutes into a play date and I didn’t have a spare nappy or packet of baby wipes.  Or the time I picked up the kid’s spoon I hadn’t yet cleaned and placed it, complete with yoghurt blob, into my handbag and on top of  my favourite designer purse.

So it was these school holidays that I decided I needed to get my act together.  I assembled my outing must haves and placed them in a kid’s backpack.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Backpack


Take a look what I put inside……

  • Nappy wallet.  This one has a built-in changemat and holds our nappies, wipes, scented bags, hand sanitiser and nappy cream

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Eating out Pack.  I picked up this three sectioned pencil case on clearance at Target.  It holds my children’s cutlery, plastic straws, disposable bibs and hand sanitiser.  I often throw the stray sachets of sugar, sauce and salt in here too. You never know when they might come in handy.  The cutlery set I love to use when out is  Fuel Primary Snap Flatware. It niftily snaps together for easy and compact transport.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Kiddapotomus Tiny Diner Placemat. I love this thing! I have always hated the idea of my kids eating at restaurant and food court tables.  I don’t think they are particularly clean and kids always drop their food.  This is the solution.  It is a suction-capped placemat for kids.  It is wide enough that their hands and food won’t touch the table. It has a nifty little channel to catch any spills which doubles as a holder for the mat when it is rolled up.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Enjo Little Laundry Pack. Another love of mine! This little pack will remove any spill on your clothes while you are out. It comes in a nifty little pouch with a travel sized fabric fibre and miracle cloth. A true lifesaver and means I don’t have to carry a change of clothes around in this bag.  For those too-big-to-ignore clothing problems, I keep a change of clothes in the car kit.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Kids’ ID bracelets. I pop these on the kids whenever we go somewhere with big crowds. It has my mobile number on it just in case they become lost.  You can pick these up from lots of places on the net.Beyond the Nappy Bag: Packing for Kids
  • The Mommy Hook. A great little invention that helps keep all your bags together in one place.  I often use mine to attach the kids’ backpack to the shopping cart or pram

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Baby wipes. What would we do without baby wipes?!

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

The only thing I don’t carry in here that I would ordinarily pack in a bag such as this is sunscreen and insect repellant.  As we live in a super sunny part of the world, I have found it easier to keep large pump packs of sunscreen and insect repellant in the boot of our car and use it before or after we arrive at our destination.

So hopefully, now that I have all these items corralled into one handy backpack, I can avoid those unfortunate and embarrassing parenting events.  Time will tell 😉


Sometimes I Just Hate being Short….


The cold weather is upon us here and I had to go out and buy myself some new winter gear.  You’d  think that would be exciting, hey? But winter means long pants and jeans and I am short.

Apparently, my 5’3″ height is short even by ‘short length’ pant standards, so all my pant purchases need to be re-hemmed.

After procrastinating for about 2 weeks, I finally altered all my new purchases. It wasn’t as difficult as I had remembered the task to be…..maybe my sewing skills have come along a little??

Hemming Pants

Before altering  my jeans I revisited two helpful tutorials at Do it Yourself Divas and Just Something I made.  These gals show you how to reuse the jean hem in your length alteration.  So simple and no need to worry about ruining the look of your distressed jeans with a crisp looking hem.

My next alteration task is shortening the cuffs on a jacket.  While my sewing skills have come along, I think I am still a way off doing cuffs.  Perhaps that is a job for a professional.

Do you have any helpful alteration tips for the vertically challenged?

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party


I thought I would share with you a little party we held with our family after my youngest’s baptism a month ago.

It wasn’t a huge or lavish affair.  I wanted things to be low-key and simple (well as simple as I can allow things to be) given the event was coming off the back of ripper party season and the weather was sweltering.  As it was a mid-morning affair, I choose decorations and food that could be prepared the day before, allowing me to enjoy the party instead of being crazy busy.  I must apologise as  I didn’t photograph everything, but hopefully there are enough to give you an idea of what it was like.

I have wanted to have a baby elephant themed party for one of my boys for such a long time.   When I came across a whole heap of blue elephant party items on clearance, it was locked in.   After all, this was probably my last opportunity to throw a ‘cutesy’ themed party for my growing boys.

So, the theme – elephants. The colour palette – blue and chocolate with the addition of polkadots for some fun.

The food table had a milk and cookies kind of vibe.  I had a variety of plain and flavoured milks in pitchers for guest to pour into their own miniature milk bottles.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

All of the sweets I made the day before.  Mini Oreo topped cupcakes, vanilla and white chocolate cake pops and brownies.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Instead of a cake, I decided on a two-tiered Oreo stacked ‘cake’.  I got the idea from a Martha Stewart show and just had to recreate it. I topped this with a little wooden elephant I painted blue to suit the theme.

Blue Elephant Baptism

Other sweets on the table included blue and white M&Ms and butter cookies.  We also served up cut fruit as a healthier sweet option.

For those who preferred savoury to the sweet, we had a variety of sandwiches and rice paper rolls.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

To decorate, the food table had a blue and white polkadot material backdrop.  You can read how I do these here.  Pinned to the backdrop were some blue and chocolate paper garlands I made on my sewing machine.  I love how these look and they are really simple to make.  You can see my blog post on how to make these here.

The coordinating partyware was used to decorate the patio where I had the tea and coffee station set up.  I neglected to photograph this but you can grab a glimpse of it to the side of this pic.

Master C, the baptism babe, with Nanny and cousin, Miss L.

Master C, the baptism babe, with Nanny and cousin, Miss L.

The baptismal boy was dressed to fit the theme in his blue and white polkadot elephant shirt.  I got the talented Linda from Loui with Love to embroider this especially for the day. Amazingly, after a couple of Oreos, this shirt still remained clean.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Despite being dreadfully hot, it was a lovely morning.  I was delighted that my planning, and restraint, resulted in a relatively fuss-free event.   It seems I may be learning a thing or two as I get older.

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,t SimpleFireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday: A Rosie Sweet Home, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer

Creating a Smoother Day – Morning Routine


Previously, I had written about my New Year’s Resolution to make my days run smoother.  I realised the key to success would be my morning and evening routine.  Last week I listed some of the tasks that I included in my evening routine to ensure my following day started off on the right foot.  Today, I thought I would share with you my morning tasks that ensure that the rest of the day runs smoothly for me.

  • Go for a walk – This is the first thing I do every morning.  I find I feel a lot more energised and ready to face the day after a walk

  • Drink a glass of warm lemon water – this gets the fluid intake going early in the day and the lemon aids all sorts of things such as digestion and the immune system

  • Unpack the dishwasher – as the dishwasher was run while I was sleeping, the dishes are dry and washer is then ready for dishes used throughout the day
  • Do any last lunch box preparation and packing
  • Unload the washing machine – the cycle, set on timer the night before,  finishes just as I am returning from my morning walk.  While I am happy to wash clothes, I loathe hanging them out and bringing them in.  This is hubby’s task.  Until he reliably remembers that each morning there is washing to hang up, I unload the washing machine and place the full clothes basket in the hall so he can’t miss it.

  • Make the beds

There are also things on the ‘not to do’ list as well.

  • Turn on the television 
  • Hop on the computer to check emails, Facebook etcetera
  • Be side tracked by non-urgent tasks (usually cleaning tasks).  They can wait till later.

By completing this small list of tasks, I immeasurably improve the running of the rest of  my day.  I have still left ample time in the mornings to have a play with the kids, eat breakfast, shower and dress for the day in a very civilised fashion.

Between the morning and evening tasks, things are running relatively smoothly in the Crooked Household.  Far less flying by the seat of our pants moments!