Category Archives: Shopping

Easter Decorating


I am a sucker for a cute Easter decoration. I have picked up a few bits and pieces in the last week and I have my eye on a few more. Here is what I have bought so far. Where possible I have included a link to the store where you can buy them….

This cute Easter egg garland.Easter Decorating

A pair of hanging Easter eggs.

Easter Decorating

This set of Easter bunnies. They remind me a little of the “Guess How Much I love You” storybook.

There Was a Crooked House Easter Decorating

These crockery sets for the kids. I have been searching  for some Easter themed crockery for the kids for years.  It is virtually non-existent. If you are Australia and know of anywhere that is selling Easter crockery, I’d love to know too!

There Was a Crooked House Easter Decorating

There Was a Crooked House Easter DecoratingAnd finally, we now have a family of mossy bunnies.

Easter Decorating

We only have a week and a half of school left before we break for Easter holidays. I can’t wait! I love this time of the year.



Bargain Buy Inspiration


It is no secret that I love a bargain. I am a bargain buy junkie – I get a complete rush from grabbing what I want at basement prices.

In the last week I have grabbed some little gems that I thought I would share with you.

I picked up these two Jamie Oliver bruschetta boards for $3 each at my local grocery store. I can see these getting a workout on the nights we fire up the pizza oven.There Was a Crooked House

These lovely patterned bowls were only $2 each from the Reject shop….

01There Was a Crooked House

Also at the Reject shop, I found this canvas print in the throw out bin.  As St Patrick’s Day is approaching and the kids and I have been talking about it, I thought we could fashion it into some sort of St Patrick’s Day artwork. Stay tuned….

There Was a Crooked House

I am always on the look out for cute partyware and these ice cream themed pieces just had to come home.

There Was a Crooked House

I have stocked the kids’ craft cupboard with two great items. The oh so versatile paper plate…….There Was a Crooked House

These four packs cost me 60 cents.

I also grabbed this 15 metre roll of contact for $2. I have pinned some great craft ideas using contact, so I can’t wait to use it.There Was a Crooked House

So there you have it, some of my favourite bargains of the week. What have you picked up for a song this week?


Best Buy: Chalkboard Speech Bubble


I fell in love with the idea of using chalkboard speech bubble messages in photos ages ago.  I love how they can add such whimsy and meaning to ordinary photos.

My intention for at least the last 2 years has been to create my own chalkboard speech bubble, but do you think I could get the motivation to do so?  So when I saw Target had magnetic, chalkboard speech bubbles on sale, I rushed out to get one.

So what do I intend to use it for, you ask?  I think it will be a great way of recording times my 1-year-old says a new word.

Speech bubble chalkboard photos

Or recording  funny things my 4-year-old says or does.

Speech bubble chalkboard photos

Keeping a track of important days or events.

Speech bubble chalkboard photos

Or just for a bit of fun.

Speech bubble chalkboard photos

This way I will not only have a written record of these memories but a visual one too.  I can’t wait to get creative with my bargain buy!
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

Taming Loyalty Cards in Your Wallet


It seems like just about every store these days has a loyalty card.  You know what I am talking about….those credit card like annoyances that take up every slot in your wallet.  My wallet was so chock-a-block full of them that I rarely found the one I wanted, which meant I missed out on the points, offers or discounts they provided.

A little while back I showed you how I tamed my coffee loyalty cards in a plastic sleeve.  You can read about that here.

Taming Coffee Loyalty Cards

This has served me well with the mostly cardboard cards,  but I had not thought it suitable to apply to plastic cards.  I wanted something  that was robust, easy to flip through and access whilst I completed my transaction at the checkout but had yet to come up with a solution.

It was an amused sales clerk, watching me go through dozens of card slots looking for a particular card, that suggested I put the cards on a key ring .  What a simple, yet brilliant idea!

This morning I gave my wallet a good clean out and gathered up all my loyalty cards.  There was a lot, and that was after a massive cull!

Taming Store Loyalty Cards

I grabbed the electric drill and a small drill bit and began drilling holes through all the cards.  I leant on a piece of wood to ensure a cleanly drilled hole.  The whole process took only a few minutes. If you have a quality hole punch, it would probably do the trick too.

I threaded the cards onto a key ring that was lying around unused.  It is probably a little small, but it will do until I find a larger one.

Taming Store Loyalty Cards

Taming Store Loyalty Cards

I know this will work a treat.  No more hissy fits for me at the checkout! Nothing will slow down this little shopping buff!

Carnival Party Preparations


A big thank you must be sent to Cassadiva for alerting her reader’s to this super cute Ferris wheel cupcake holder on sale at Homeart here in Australia.  Amazon also have similar ones here.

I popped out this afternoon and bought one for my sons’ carnival themed birthday party later in the year.  It is going to look so cute on the dessert table.

I had chosen the carnival/circus theme after picking up these great Paper Eskimo invitations, tags and table runner on clearance at Myer.

Everywhere I look these days I am finding gorgeous decorations to suit the theme.  A lot of the variety stores are stocking the Shmick party range that has a huge selection of lovely carnival inspired items.

I also grabbed some circus toys and hats on a trip to Ikea. These will be perfect as prizes or to put into party bags.

I am certainly going to have fun preparing this party for my boys.   It is a bit hard not to go crazy over all the amazing party products that are around these days.






Ticking Off the To- Do List…..& Additives to Avoid Guide


This weekend gone I was really itching to make some progress around the Crooked Household. 

I  made a huge dint in my spring cleaning of the house and garden and I put in place a few organisation strategies to keep me sane as the holiday season approaches.  I’ll be sharing these with you over the next week.

One little, but important, task I completed was creating a ‘Additives to Avoid’ guide for me to take shopping.

I have been on a bit of a mission in the last little while to strip back our diet and eat more fresh and unprocessed food.  A big step in that plan was the addition of the Thermomix to the household.  I am now making from scratch a lot of the foods I used to buy or avoid buying because of all their preservatives, colours and other nasty additives.

While the process has been relatively easy so far, there are certain foods and various times where store-bought will be the only option.  In these cases, I want to avoid those additive that are known to be harmful, especially for children.

My plan on the weekend was to pool what information I had on undesirable additives into a card to take shopping.  As it turns out, there was no need for a long session at the computer to generate such a document.  I found this fantastic compact shopping guide on  Hopper’s website. 

Not only did I find that, but I now know that Hopper’s sell a huge range of natural food colours and cake decorations.  These are sometimes hard to find.

I fired up my trusty laminating machine and made a few sturdy guides for myself and my family.

I love it when  items on your to-do list virtually tick themselves off!

We are loving….


We are loving …. Sun2Sea Sun Protection Clothing……

Today has really marked the start of  Spring for me here in Brisbane.  The day was super bright and the temperature quite warm.   Everything about it  just called for you to be out amongst nature and to enjoy the day. 

I decided to take the boys to the local koala sanctuary, Lone Pine.  They have a heap of koalas, obviously, but lots of other Australian fauna such as kangaroos, platypus, crocodiles, wombats, dingoes and parrots. 

The boys love days out  like this but there is always the little whine when it comes to sun protection.   They are good with wearing hats and sunnies but they really dislike putting on sunscreen.  No wonder.  You have to stand still while Mum slathers it on and it makes you all greasy.  That is why I love the sun protection clothing I bought for us. 

It is all 50+ protection rating and can be used in wet or dry conditions.  Perfect for fishing.  In fact you can buy shirts with a fish check on the sleeve to measure your catch.  The shirts all have long sleeves, so less sunscreen application – yeah!

The boys each have a cool camo patterned one which has a slightly thicker weave and is good for winter, and a lighter plain shirt for warm days.

I have my own zip up hoodie version.  It is great just to throw on over skimpier summer clothing when you take the kids to the park.  It saves me trying to cover every bit of exposed skin with sunscreen for a quick 20 minute play at the park.

I try to keep a shirt for each of us in the car so that even in the most impromptu of outings, we can always do the right thing when it comes to sun protection.

Lightening up my Entrance


Today I thought I would share with you the little shake up of my entrance I completed this morning.

The entrance of my house can look quite dark despite a large glass door.  The reason stems from the fact our bedrooms sit off this main hallway.  As Master C is now mobile I need to keep the doors closed, reducing the light to the  hall.

I decided that a little shifting of wall hangings in this area would help until we can again keep our doors open.  Take a look at what was here before. 

As you enter the house I had a canvas print hung.

Then on the other side of the double doors to the study sits our hall table and some more canvas prints.

I had quite fancied putting a canvas print gallery in our living room, so I removed the prints I had hung here for that project.

I scored a large square Ribba frame in the clearance section of Ikea some time ago.  It has a great aluminum finish.  I hung this at the front door and unsure of what I wanted to put in it, I have settled for the moment on some left over scrapbooking paper from my command centre project.

I purchased a large round bevelled mirror to sit above the hall table to help reflect the light in the area. It has also given me a spot to check my hair and make-up before I step out the door.


Overall I think removing the canvas prints has made the area less busy and the mirror and aluminum finish frame has helped lighten the area.

Project Inspiration


I don’t really know how I ended up at the shops, spending money.  It was certainly not my intention.  My plans for yesterday were far removed and much more productive than they ended up being.  Anyway,  I had a ball and  made some great finds. Take a look.

I have gushed before about my love for typography.  You can see it creeping into the Crooked household in some of my DIY art pieces which you can read about here and here.  Yesterday I noticed a whole heap of quote plaques had arrived in homewares store, Earthborn.  I fell in love with just about every one of them but I just had to take home this one.

One of the favourite children’s books in our household is, ‘Guess How Much I Love You’.  For anyone who knows the book, you would recall Big Nutbrown Hare says this to Little Nutbrown Hare at the end of the book.  We love that line and often say it to each other. 

I also picked up this great print from the clearance section in Target. 

I initially bought it for its frame as it  is a  huge shadow box.  There was no way I would ever be able to buy the frame alone  for the price they were selling  the whole print.  I had thought I could use it to put together a collection of the boy’s keepsakes to hang in the play room, but the print is growing on me.  My little brain is morphing another project I wanted to do into this print and frame.  Until I get the time to give it a go, and to show you guys, I thought I would hang it.  I replaced this old triptych in the hall with the print. 

It is all quite fitting as this hall leads to the bathroom and laundry which both have a seaside theme.

Finally, another bargain purchase was this wall sconce at 75% off. 

I plan to give this a little makeover and hang this outside when we finish our patio area.

I really didn’t need to add more projects to my massive list but I really couldn’t walk past these bargain inspirations.  Now to pencil in some crafting time!


Little Boys Room Freshen Up. Part 2 – Decorating


Last week I overhauled my 3-year-old’s room.  I posted about improving the storage here, so today I thought I would show you how I have started to decorate it.  It has been quite inexpensive.  I have taken advantage of some great sales and I made some of the pieces myself.

So starting at outside his door…….

I framed and hung a series of pictures of him we took a few months ago. He chose the poses to photograph and which ones he liked best.  This was his idea as he wanted a set of pictures like  the ones that hang outside his brother’s door.

On his door I applied a decal with his name I ordered from online store, Bright Star Kids.  I decided on placing it a little differently than I intended and ran it up the side of the door.  It is lovely and bright  and the quality of the sticker is great.

Inside his room….

I picked up a set of 3 star canvas from the kids bedding section in Target.  I got these quite a while ago so I don’t remember what they cost me but I know they were significantly reduced.

I wanted something to hang above his bed and to tie in with his pirate print doona cover.  After wracking my brain for a while and not really liking anything I came up with, I decided to frame one of the pillow cases from his bed pack.  I picked up a suitably sized frame from Target, 50% off.

I had purchased a large red magnetic board from Ikea to put in Oliver’s big boy room well before he was even out of the nursery. Before I even attached the board, they were discontinued and I picked up another for an even better price.  These were perfectly siz0ed to fit either side of his window and serve as a place to practice his letter and number skills with magnets.  To attach pictures to the magnetic board I picked up some pirate theme pegs from a craft fair and attached magnets to their backs using glue.

I mentioned in the previous post that I wanted to set up a little gallery to hang pieces of Oliver’s art.  Previously, I had pegged his art to a canvas I had painted and jazzed up with wooden letters spelling, ‘Look what I did today’.  It was cute but it was starting to be a little droopy and we wanted to have more hanging room.  

On my last trip to Ikea, I picked up some Nyttja frames in a variety of sizes and colours.  These are great for kids rooms because they not only come in a range of bright colours and are reasonably priced, but they are lightweight and have plastic fronts instead of glass.

 I have made the gallery smaller than I originally intended but I know I can always add to it later.  Depending on the artwork I end up framing, a less is more approach may be in order ;).

To inject a little more interest into the display, I took some the wooden letters I had around the house and spray painted them blue and stuck them to one of the small frames.  I will pop a picture of my little monkey in the ‘My Work’ frame.

On his side table I have his Freedom lamp, picked up from the throw out table.  Adding to the nautical theme brought out in the linen, I used some felt scraps and thick cotton thread to sew a sail boat picture and I popped it in a frame that I was no longer using.

So that is what I have done so far.  I will no doubt tweak and add things in the coming weeks and I will share that with you when I do so.