Saturday, April 30, 2011

Debt Slashing

2011 has been a pretty good year so far for us with paying off debts. Even though most of the debts were paid out with my claim money and with selling the 2nd car, it has shown us we've come along way from where we were 2 years ago... or even 1 year ago.

Every time we'd have money whether it was a loan increase, or paying out a debt which free'd up more money we would do something to the house... new windows, doors, kitchen, bathroom, the list is never ending, and as a result we were drowning in debt.

Last year when we knew the amount of the claim, straight away we thought about a deck/new blinds/carport. Then I thought well what do I want more out of life? Keep working at a job that makes me miserable, barely see my kids, have a messy and stressful household, but on the up side have a deck, OR, Quit work, use the money to pay out debts, have a happier, calmer household and eventually SAVE for the deck? Well, you know which I chose :)

So the amount we've paid out so far is as follows:

Joint Mastercard:

Limit: 4000
Balance: 3962.45
Current Limit: 500
Current Balance: 0
Actions Taken: Completely paid out the debt and lowered it to the lowest possible limit.

Hubby's Mastercard:

Limit: 8500
Balance: 5673.77
Current Limit: 2000
Current Balance: 0
Actions Taken: Paid off all interest bearing debt, Lowered limit to 2000, then recently paid off the interest free debt. Will cancel card when hubby gets a chance.

My Credit Card:

Limit: 2750
Balance: 790
Current Limit: 0
Current Balance: 0
Actions Taken: Paid out balance in full, Cancelled and cut up the card

Grand Total: 10516.22 :)

Here's what it looks like now :)

We Have a Legal Debt from hubby's teenage days with a balance of 860. We've contacted them and offered a lump sum payment of 40% and for the rest of the debt to be waived, to our surprise and joy, they agreed. We have until the end of May to come up with the $350, or the balance remains at $860.

There's 4 more debts remaining after this legal debt has been paid out, but I won't give figures just yet.

Computer: Has about 17 months remaining
Car has 4 years remaining
Mortgage 2 which is a small mortgage which was a few debts consolidated
Mortgage 1 is the main mortgage and still has a while to go lol

We're very pleased with how far we've come and can't wait til that car loan it gone, that's next on our hit list :) :)

(we aren't paying out the computer debt early as it's a tax thing for hubbys work)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sydney Meats 10% off

If anyone around Sydney is interested in purchasing farm fresh meat in bulk at a discounted price, check out Sydney Meats. We've just purchased a 1/4 cow and can't wait to get it :)

I've not been asked to advertise, I just wanted to pass the specials onto any who's interested :)

ETA: They deliver free to Sydney, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains, and also deliver monthly to Central Coast, Newcastle, Southern Highlands Canberra and South Coast.

21 Day Challenge - Day 11, The freezer

I love this one, it was so quick. If only I realised a lot sooner just how quick most things are, I wouldn't have put them off for so long... hmm nah I probably still would have, lol.

I actually did this one the other day when I had a spare doesn't look like that now, as I've since been shopping, and as we're trying out a fortnightly or maybe even monthly shop, if we can stretch it that far, our freezer is chockers :)

Here's the before pics:

Everything was pulled out and gone through. I gave the whole thing a good clean and put everything back in nicely.

Here's what it looked like afterwards.

I'll show a pic of what it looks like now :D

hehehe :D

We'll have to turn the freezer on in the garage soon, as we've just purchased a 1/4 cow... 36kg of meat.... Hubby's in heaven lol

21 Day Challenge - Day 10, Laundry

This is probably the worst room in the house, as it is an external laundry so unfortunately seems to store all the muddy shoes and dirty bits that quickly get picked up before it rains. My husband has recently excavated the backyard, and with all the rain we've had, equates to a lot of mud...and a lot of mess...

This whole cleaning challenge took about 20 minutes (I still have to vac and mop, but will do that once it stops raining and can get the vac out there)

Before pics:

Lovely white Dryer top there...

This is the artist who decorated my Dryer top. Isn't she cute :) :)
The other artist isn't in the pic, he's too good for us apparantly (He's a Russian Blue and a total snob, but he's cute too :))

First off I started with the cupboard. I pulled everything out, gave it a clean and organised all that was to be put back in.

  • The drop sheets for painting will be stored with the painting stuff in the garage.
  • I organised all animal bits, like Shampoo, brush, Flea and heartworm treatments altogether in that little yellow tub which originally stored many empty paint pots and playdough pots, so I turfed the lot and reused the tub.
  • Gave the cat and dog heart worm tablet and a flea treatment each
  • Put Hair Clipping sets together in a plastic bag (we have 2, one doesn't work but hubby won't part with it...why? who knows lol)
Then I took that extension cord out to the garage, along with toys that went in the cubby.
Wiped over the Dryer, Washing Machine and top of sink (will give it a good Flylady clean tomorrow)

Here it is now:

Washing related stuff, Hair Clippers, then Pet stuff on the bottom shelf
Top shelf is. Cleaning supplies, Fish food which I'm giving to my cousin, Bath hose and a bag of bags

Much better :) I've shut the door so the critters don't get back in and decorate.

Will update once I've vac'd, mopped and shined the sink

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Organising myself

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed recently as I'm forcing myself to do too much. I'm trying to organise every aspect of my life all at once, except probably one of the most important things - myself.

As a result, I personally feel more unorganised. These are some things I've been trying to tackle all at once

  • 21 Day Challenge
  • Get my family and myself into a routine
  • 30 minute a day challenge (I would like this to be a regular thing)
  • Study and put into practice, Time Management
  • Declutter and organise the house
  • Get out of debt
  • Get a set budget in place
  • Spend more time with the kids
  • Finish unfinished jobs
  • Completing my daily ''must do's''
  • Getting things done asap - dishes, hang washing instead of dryer etc
  • Cutting costs - water/electricity bills, groceries etc
Last night got me thinking about all of the above and how I've been madly trying to get control of it all and in turn have lost site of what's really important, my kids. One of the reasons I quit work was to be with them, and I want to commit to that (as well as everything else lol)..

Which brings me to my decision.

I've decided the month of May is about me. I'm going to use this time to better myself and work out what's most important and to focus on that.

Family is most important to me, but seeing as though one must continue to do the housework/budgeting etc, I've decided Time Management is a priority to successfully get through the above list.

So the month of May I will be learning all about Time Management and hopefully by the end of the month I'll be able to prioritise a lot better and spend quality time with my children.

I can't wait and I'm so excited. I've found a great site full of great information, which I'll be printing out and reading through.

If anyone is interested in joining me you're more then welcome. You can check out the Time Management site here

Quick Tidy - On top of Kitchen cupboards

Above the kitchen cupboards has always been a hot spot for clutter in our family. Anything which needed to be put out of reach of little hands, seemed to go up there.

It was about time it had a good tidy, so I got stuck in and did just that.

Here's the pics. For sum reason I didn't grab a before pic of the pantry side. It's a shame as that was even worse. It had a stool, a rolled up plastic party table cloth, a bubble blower, a lite and easy box and who knows what else stored up there.

This pic shows the sort of stuff that was stored in the baskets. Most of this stuff has been in there since we've bought the place.

Everything was emptied out and found new homes. Some things such as the many bags of shells I've bought over the years, are still in the baskets until I find the time to use them for craft.

It's amazing what you can done in a few minutes if you put your mind to it. I came into the kitchen to get a drink, and ended up with nice clean cupboard tops.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

21 Day Challenge - Day 9, Toy Organisation

Ok.... This one I did not want to do... The thought of organising ALL their toys freaked me out.

When I did make a start on it, I'd only have so long before Mr 1 would come along and undo literally everything I'd done, some one would come over unannounced, the dog would get into the laundry and attack its food bag... There was always something stopping me from finishing. So I decided to tweak it a bit to make it a tad easier in accomplishing this task. I decided I would focus on Miss 4's toys only for now, as sorting through the boys wardrobes has been an ongoing process anyway (I'm almost done yay :))...

At first I felt like I hadn't completed the task as I hadn't organised every single toy, but isn't this whole journey about finding your own way on the road to organisation and simplicity? So if that means I have to tweak the challenge a bit in order to have some organisation then bring it on :) lol

As I finish the boys room and the toys in the lounge room I'll update this post :)

I did a post a few weeks back about tidying up my daughters room, which you can find here
I knew this room wouldn't stay tidy for long, esp. without a system in place for the toys. So that's exactly what we did today.


Why she has Mr 2.5's baby toy is beyond me...

Absolute chaos... I honestly can't remember the last time I went through this side of the cupboard. I feel so ashamed saying that, but it's the truth...and it's kinda obvious anyway lol

I've got to grab some labels next time I'm out, but I've showed and told Miss 4 what's where, and I made her tell me where things were so I knew she understood.

Bottom shelf is her Dress up shelf... Dress up shoes are at the back in their little box and costumes are in the little pig bag. I couldn't part with it so I put it to use lol.

Middle shelf is all things Barbie


Top shelf is all things doll related

Right up the top I've stolen and that's where I store baby things for the time being, like the nappy bag, bassinette mattress etc etc

This one isn't the neatest but I asked Miss 4 what she would like in there and she told me her big doll set (too big to fit in with the others) and her two fluffy white dogs. I asked her later on what was in the main part and she remembered :)

Ohh and the little child is Mr 1 :) He's walking now and so much happier :) :)

Here we have:

  • Dora the explorer things.
  • Kitchen stuff minus food that's kept in their trolley.
  • Her ball
  • Horses/unicorns
  • Leap Frog thing
  • Medical Kit
  • Skipping Rope
  • That one I think will be reserved for stray stuff
  • Same as this one where ever it is

I have a pic from a couple of weeks back at an attempt to organise the lounge room toys, we did separate and put away a few things but the next day it looked as though we didn't touch it

Watching My Kitchen Rules Grand Final lol

Sorting through the mess.. Most of that was returned to their rightful home... A lot has been brought back... some some one... I wonder who??? lol

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kreativ Blogger award

Thanks to the lovely Sam at I Love Organising for making me a recipient of such a lovely award.
 I'm truly honoured :)

As per the conditions of the award, I will now tell you 10 things about myself.

  1. I would love to go to Tahiti. We really wanted to go for our Honey Moon, but couldn't afford it.
  2. We are aiming to pay off our home loan by the time our daughter is 14, so 9.5 years.
  3. I cannot sew to save my life and would love to learn
  4. I can play drums
  5. My first car was a Ford Laser
  6. I miss my Commodore
  7. It took over a year to fall pregnant with our first.
  8. I love spinach and want to grow some in my vege patch
  9. I had a Bunnings (hardware store) sausage sizzle for lunch :)
  10. We are, as off last night, 100% credit card debt free (will post about later on) YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE :)
The Blogs in which I am passing the lovely award onto are as follows:

These are all great Blogs and definitely worth following. :)

3D Ultrasound - 20 weeks

On the weekend, I had a 3D ultrasound done to confirm baby's gender and to get a look at the bub. Baby is definitely a boy, he was showing the goods as soon as the probe thing was put on my belly lol...typical male :)

We got some really cute pics, but unfortunately he constantly had his arm up covering the right side of his face...every ultrasound I've had he's had that arm up...must get that from me lol...

Anyways here's some pics of our little feller for your viewing pleasure :)

I love the last one, looks like he's doing some model pose showing his "guns" lol

:) :) We can see Mr 2.5 in him, especially around the nose area.

We can't decide on a name. We've gone through so many but nothing seems right... Hopefully it'll come to us soon :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter everyone, I hope you're all enjoying your day, and I hope the Easter Bunny left you all some yummy treats :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Todays routine 21/04/11

I'll be doing a few posts on routines while I'm on my journey to get up earlier, learning about, and putting into practice, time management.

8am: Out of bed, got kids up, got their brekky, started a load of washing, got them dressed, did their teeth and hair. I got dressed, teeth and hair done.

9am: Miss 4 and Mr 2 off to school.

9.15: Back home, hung 1st load, started another.

9.30: Had brekky, chatted with hubby and fed bub his 2nd and 3rd brekky (being mine and my husbands lol)

10am: Made beds, swish and swiped the bathroom, general tidy, re-organised boys drawers thanks to Mr 2 pulling everything out to play 'dress ups'. Fed animals.

11.15: Dropped Hubby down my parents as he is borrowing my dad's car for work. Chatted to Mum, Dad, Nan and Pop for a bit.

11.50: Returned home and put bubs to bed.

12pm: Hung next load out.

12:15: Had lunch and chilled for half an hr

12.45: Made a start on the room (everything was put in it's rightful home, wiped over, vac'd every nook and cranny)

2.30: Bubs woke up, he had lunch and I had another lunch lol. We played for a bit.

3.15: Got washing off the line.

3.30: Got ready to pick up the kiddies.

3.50: Got to mums (Miss 4 is having a sleep over) Chatted with the family for a bit, kids ate chocolate, played, rode bikes/scooters/go carts.

4.30: The boys started getting grumpy as they were both very tired so started getting ready to come home.

5pm: Back home, started dinner and refilled our drink bottles and put in freezer ready for our trip to the Easter show tomorrow (which reminds me I'm meant to be baking snacks to take...ooops lol)

5.50: Ate dinner, Bub watched telly for a bit, while Mr 2 and Mummy picked clothes for tomorrow.

6.30: Cut both the boys hair (Bubs first hair cut :) ).

6.55: Boys in the tub.

7.10: Boys off to bed. Mummy watched TV and ate Bread and Butter Pudding :)

7.30: Blog time :)

8.18: Still Blog time lol :)

Tomorrow we'll be up at 6am and at 7.15 meeting at my parents, ready for everyone to head of to the show by 7.30... Everyone meaning, Me and my family, so Me, DH, Miss 4, Mr 2 and Mr 1, My mum and my nephew (5y/o), My Brother and his Fiance. We'll be having lunch with my sister, My nephews mummy, as she's working at the show. Should be a fun day and I can't wait to see the kids faces light up :)

We're taking our own food and drinks (I might be naughty and buy hot chips cause I LOVE hot chips lol)...

Hubby and I have agreed $20 each for the kids for showbags, except for the little feller, he's happy with food so we'll get him a couple of the choccie bags, so a lolly/chocolate one plus a character one, or how ever they want it as long as its within the amount allocated. I personally would rather them stick to food bags that way we don't have all that uneeded cr*p coming back into the house. Me, I'll get chocolate heheheh :)

I hope everyone's doing well with their journeys :)

Day 4 of Bedroom make over - 30 minutes a day

I've finished the room :) I can't be happier! It's amazing how big, free and airy the room feels. I spent a little longer then 30 minutes in here today, but once I saw the end was near I couldn't stop :)

Here's the end result:

I absolutely love it :)

The first post on the challenge with the before pics can be found here

I'd like to say a BIG thankyou to Sam at I love organising for starting this challenge and keeping me motivated :)

What I've learnt along the way:

  •  Only buy things you absolutely need to avoid ending up with overwhelming clutter.
  • Do a regular clean to stay on top of things.
  • Don't leave things for tomorrow.
  • Don't let it get to that point, where you'll need to endure this pain again lol.
  • Allowing things to get that messy isn't setting a good example for my kids.
  • How happy I am with the room once it's clean :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Half way there and in need of a routine.

I'm 20 weeks pregnant today, and if the next 20 weeks go as fast as the last 20 weeks, then I really need to get my butt into gear and get myself and family into a routine before the baby arrives.

The scary thing is, the hospital are expecting an earlier and quicker birth then my previous which arrived a month early after a 2.5 hr labour. He was so tiny and definitely not ready to come out, and as a result had heart issues, so I'm hoping the hospital are wrong. But better to be prepared I guess.

I'm a night owl and have serious issues with going to bed early, as much as I'd love to I just can't seem to, and as a result I sleep in. Hubby's a gem he does afternoon shift and is a morning person so he does the brekky run in the morning and lets me sleep in... For some weird reason I can't focus unless I've had 10 hrs sleep...

I would love to be able to get up at 7am (or even earlier) to prepare myself for the day and have some quiet me time before the kids wake up. Our days at the moment are very rushed and stressful... For eg.
We get up do the whole brekky, teeth, dressed etc, then its dishes, bed making, washing, tidy up, lunch, Hubby off to work, I'm buggered and longing for bed but its only 1pm. Hubby never gets a break or time to himself, there's always something else that needs doing...

I've got my daily 'must do's' which are quick little jobs which help keep some things in order, but I need to get into a routine and stop this morning madness.

Please help me lol... I've never been good at sticking to routines/schedules, but it's time I learnt. I have to change...

What are your day to day routines like?

Day 3 of Bedroom make over - 30 minutes a day

Today would probably have to be the day where I have made the most progress. I think I'll leave the pics til the end where we can see the end result :)

Today I have accomplished:

  • Threw out more rubbish
  • boxed up more things for garage sale and op shop
  • Removed all garage sale and op shop items from the room (will be going in garage)
  • sorted though the majorly over flowing box of cards that was stashed under the bed, into boxes for each child, hubby and I will share.
  • sorted through another box of 'stuff' and put in rightful home
  • stripped bed and changed sheets
  • found more of my friends baby shower pressies and placed with the rest (3 of my friends are preggers :))
  • rounded up linen and put back in linen closet
  • found more of bubs clothes and put away
  • recycled more paper
  • sorted out box which should be holding books, but instead had baby stuff like silver photo frames and the like. But now has books (We have no book case lol)
  • General tidy
  • Put clothes away
Apart from a few things I'm yet to find homes for, I'm almost done with this room. The main problem is all those silver baby things... I really need to get some shelves...

Once the room is nice and tidy, I want to give it a good wash over with sugar soap (walls, fans etc) as this is on my list of things to do before baby arrives, which you can view here

I hope everyone else is doing well with their organising :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

21 Day Challenge - Day 8, Coat Closet

Another one I couldn't wait to get started on :)

It was jam packed with clothes, shoes and other junk. I didn't touch hubbys section, even though I could go crazy purging his clothes (he's worse then a girl when it comes to his clothes lol) He would not be impressed, so I'm leaving that up to him.

I pulled out all my jackets and was met with this...

I pulled everything out, gave it a vac and placed my shoes back in... Ummm I have a lot of my thongs missing... I'm slowly finding them as I'm cleaning my room lol (Hubbys shoes are in another section and that'll be posted in the main closet challenge)

Much better :)

Day 2 of Bedroom make over - 30 minutes a day

I'm making slow progress in my room. I'm finding I'm going through more and more boxes that I dig out along the way. Normally I'd get overwhelmed and just want to get the room clean and ignore all the boxes full of stuff... But one thing I've learnt along the way, I can't just sweep it all under a rug.

So I've been sorting out these boxes and putting the 'stuff' in it's rightful home. I'm amazed at how much space I've freed up...and hopefully not to be filled with other 'stuff'

Things I've accomplished today:

  • gathered up a friends baby shower gifts and put them in gift bag ready for her party.
  • found some craft stuff and ended up cleaning out the craft cupboard (not in bedroom lol).
  • boxed up garage sale items.
  • Put pack of newborn nappies in hospital bag, ready to go
  • sorted through paper
  • shredded unwanted paper (i bought a shredder today FINALLY :) I've been wanting one for ages and I absolutely love it )
  • rounded up recipes and placed in recipe folder
  • placed all Dr referrals and prescriptions in a zip lock bag on our cork board
I really need to find a place to put all the garage sale stuff...we usually put it in the garage but it tends to get forgotten about...

There's still so much to do, but I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bedroom make over - 30 minutes a day

Sam over at My endless to do's and Sherrie at Simple Living are doing a daily 30 minute cleaning/organising task in a room or area of their choice. Sam has chosen to do a different area each day, and spend 30 minutes getting it organised. Sherrie has chosen an area to focus on for the week.

I love both these ideas, but will also stick to one room for the week, as I've started so many things without finishing and would LOVE to actually get something completely finished.

So the area I have chosen for this task is the main bedroom. Why? It's an abdolute pigsty! There's garage sale stuff, stuff to be donated, baby stuff, boxes to be sorted through, things to be put away, things to be thrown away, things to be filed and a whole lot of other junk which needs to be organised!

When we bought this house, my mum and my sister did a wonderful job in decorating the room for us as a house warming/christmas gift, so when I look around and see this mess, I feel absolutely terrible in more ways then one.

Here's what seems to be the 'storage area' in our house.

I feel so ashamed about these photo's but I guess it's gonna keep me motivated to get rid of it all :)

Here's some more pics of the rest of the room.
Please note, the first pics were taken on Saturday and I have spent some time since then organising and cleaning it up.

Things I have done already are;

  • boxed up gifts
  • sorted all bubs clothes into plastic tub ready for soaking once it's time
  • boxed up easter eggs
  • bagged up stuff for Op Shop
  • boxed up all loose coat hangers
  • thrown out rubbish
I will do more posts as I go along.
I can't wait til this room is finally organised and (relatively) clutter free :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm changing my outlook on life...

...because of this...
...which led to this...
I'll explain what happened in a moment.

As you know, since I've become a SAHM, we've been finding it a little tough financially, and selling the second car was an option we had been considering. After our visit to the Dr last week, our decision was made for us - we had to sell the car. Our 2.5 yr old son may require surgery. We both decided we were not going to go public, even though we don't have health cover. We want to know and trust the person who will be performing the surgery (if he does require it, which hopefully he doesn't) and we will find the money to pay for it somehow. We have found a brilliant and highly recommended Pd Surgeon, and we're looking forward to meeting with him.

Which leads me to the sale of the car.

My husband listed the car on E-Bay and we both had a price in mind in which we would not go under. Little did we know, the head gasket was blown...or I should say will go at any time.
The man that came to look at the car brought his mechanic who told us how much it'll cost to get fixed, so we contacted our mechanic who is a good mate and he second that the head gasket was on its way out and it would be costly to fix.

When hubby came in and told me what was wrong, I got so upset and emotional and felt like a tonne of bricks was coming down on me... this was just our luck... every time we want to do something, it either goes wrong or we have to go through the worst to get there. Then I stopped and thought... wait a minute... what if I was driving down the freeway doing 110km's with my children in the car and it blew??? The car was broken. We don't need the extra stress of keeping it and getting it fixed. What if something else went on it, after we got it fixed?

My husband didn't want to sell it for $4500, which is what they'd offered to pay for the car as is. We did not want to go under $6500.... I said sell it. It's broken, I don't want it, we need the money, get rid of it. I was happy... why I don't know. I was laughing and I was happy... I was not dwelling on it and thinking why this why me...??? Something made me stop and think of the positives rather then the negatives.

I loved that car it was good looking and I fell in love with it the second I saw it... but it was time to let it go... and I'm happy :) It was the right decision...

And then this...

My 2.5 yr old son has had high temps which have been yo-yoing since Thursday. The first pic was how I found him when his temperature rose for the first time (within this cold/flu) on Thursday. I took his temp and it was 39.5. I managed to get it down and he seemed fine, he was back to his normal loud, crazy, lovable self. It was up and down on Friday, but yesterday, he was really lethargic and I could not get it under 38.1. His eyes were rolling back in his head and he passed out. I rang mum who told me to wake him up and take him to the after hours GP or the hospital. I woke him up and his eyes rolled back in his head again and he started having a seizure. I didn't know what it was at that point in time, I thought he was having a shaky wake up moment... I took him to the lounge room, put him on the lounge, went and got changed ( I was rushing so wouldn't have been more then 2 minutes) came back out and he'd passed out again. I woke him up and he had yet another fit. I had never experienced that with my children before. We went to emergency and his temp was at 39.5 again, and we found out he had Febrile Convulsions/seizures brought on by the fever. I was in shock as I'd never heard of this before, and seeing my child hooked up to machines absolutely killed me. He is at risk of having more seizures if he gets another temperature/fever and have been advised to go straight to ER if he has another episode.

This didn't break me either. It was like a test or something. Even though as stressful, scary and upsetting as it was, I was and still am happy he is OK. He is such a strong willed boy and I'm so thankful to be his mum :)

So, I've decided not to let negative things in my life bother me, and to focus on the positives. Yes my son was in hospital last night, but he is happy and well :) Yes we lost money on the car, but we still sold it and made some money which we didn't have to begin with :)

So far this change had been working and it's a change I'm welcoming :)