Tag Archives: Laundry

Beyond the Nappy / Diaper Bag: The Kids’ Bag

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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 😉

 

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Under the Sea: Kid’s Artwork Design Shirt

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Here is a cheap art activity you can do with your kiddies and they will feel pretty proud of themselves doing it.

Pick up cheap cotton t-shirt.  I picked this one up on clearance at Target for $1.73. Bargain!

Kid's Art Shirt

Kid's Artwork Shirt

Using a dressmaker’s pen, get your child to draw their t-shirt design onto the fabric.

Kid's Artwork Shirt

After placing a piece of paper in between the shirt’s front and back, trace over your child’s  drawing with laundry pen.

Kid's Artwork Shirt

Kid's Artwork Shirt

Wash the shirt to remove the dressmaker’s pen marks and its ready to wear.

Kid's Artwork Shirt

You of course could skip a step and allow your child to use the laundry pen to draw the picture.  Just be aware that there are no ‘do overs’ and that on some fabrics the pen can bleed quite easily.

To keep with our Under the Sea theme, Master O drew some sea animals – fish, jelly fish and sea urchins. So cute.
Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: I should be Mopping the FloorCherished 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,   A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts,   The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun RamblingsClean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday:  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:  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

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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!

Safer All-Purpose Cleaner

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I am quite allergic to all sorts of cleaners.  In a bid to find some safer cleaning alternatives,  I have been making some of my own cleaning solutions.  You can read about the first one I tried, Miracle Shower Cleaner here.

As an all-purpose  cleaner, I have been using  The Organised Housewife’s  concoction.  I am finding it really good.   It is easy to make and costs next to nothing.  I recommend giving it a go….

All-Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients

  • 2L jug
  • spray bottle
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ½ cup detergent
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 4 tsp borax
 Instructions
  1. Place hot water, detergent, vinegar and borax into jug, mix to combine
  2. Fill the jug to the top with water (room temp), stir
  3. Pour into spray bottle

I use this spray in the kitchen and as an all round surface cleaner throughout the house.  I have read that some people even use it to clean spots on the carpet (but make sure that your detergent doesn’t have a colour added to it).  You could also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to give it a nice scent or antibacterial property.

Happy cleaning.

Cleaning the Washing Machine

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It is easy to forget that the machine that cleans for us needs to be cleaned too.  In the past I have endeavoured to clean our washing machine every 4 months or so but since I have become a mother of two, I have been slack.  Really slack.  The machine was yuck. So yuck it spit up lint and dirt all over my white duvet.

I know the duvet looks pink…I took the picture while it was hanging on the line between red sheets.

I can’t tell you how angry I was with myself.  I hate washing, but what I hate even more is re-washing things.

So before I had to rewash my duvet and put on the 3 other massive loads I had waiting, I had to stop and give my washing machine a little TLC.

To clean my machine I gave all the outside surfaces a good wipe over.  I then wiped over the inside surfaces that gather dust and soap reside like the inside of the lid and the lip of the drum.

Very dusty and dirty

I removed the detergent and fabric softener drawers and the lint catcher and gave these all a good scrub.

Don’t miss the grime that is hidden behind your detergent drawers!

Once this was done, I could virtually sit back to leave the machine to take care of its own internal cleaning.

I like to use vinegar and bicarb to clean the soap scum and nasties from my washing machine.  Not only are they a cheap alternative to commercial cleaners, I know they are safe for my family and the environment.

For my top loader, I programed it to run a normal wash and once it was filled with water I added 2 cups of vinegar and ½ cup of bi carb.

For front loaders, Stay at Home Mum suggests  you add 2 tablespoons of bicarb to the detergent drawer  while adding ½ cup of white vinegar to the drum during a normal wash.

I have put a reminder on the calendar to ensure I don’t let this job slip through the cracks. No more re-washing for me!  Ha!  Who am I kidding?

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

Reviving Little Boy’s Clothes

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Growing up in a family of girls didn’t really prepare me to be the Mum of boys.  As my eldest is getting bigger, the differences between girls and boys are glaringly, and at times, frustratingly obvious. 

At the moment my 3-year-old seems to be skillfully wearing out the knees in all his long pants.  With all his climbing and scooting around on the carpet playing with toys, most of his pants are near perfect except for the holes in the knees. I don’t recall ever doing that as a kid.

Thankfully, the cold weather is leaving us here in Brisbane so I didn’t have to face replacing his winter wardrobe.  However, I could not bare to throw out these almost  perfect pants because of a few holes. 

So, out with the sewing machine, a couple of quick hems and his long pants have become shorts. 

So with a little effort I have saved on his summer wardrobe budget as I don’t have to buy as many shorts.  I also don’t feel wasteful, throwing out so many pairs of pants.

Placemats for All! Messy Kid Solution?

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Sitting at dinner last night, I watched how my 3-year-old, almost expertly, made a mess everywhere BUT the placemat I had put under his dinner plate. We have a glass top table and after every meal time it is filthy!

I have tried to cut down on the cleaning up by using tablecloths, but as a new one is needed virtually every day, it was adding to the laundry and ironing – which I hate! I have placemats, as I said. They are easy, wipe-clean things but they are too small and do nothing to soak up the spills. 

A few days ago I posted an easy placemat sewing tutorial for my outdoor table.    I was so happy with how it turned out.  So last night, as I watched the finger marks extend across the tabletop, I knew I need to make a few.  But these couldn’t be just any placemats, they had to be massive, kid’s mess-worthy placemats.

Ratting around in my material box I found some appropriate material for the job.  After a  few minutes at the sewing machine, I had whipped up the first kid’s messy-saving placemat.

Hopefully this will be big enough.  It is 45 x 70 cm.  Tonight is 0-its first trial run.  If cuts down the clean up, I will be running up a few more of these on the weekend.

Do you have any tricks to help clean up after littlies’ meal times?