Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nifty Thrifty Interview

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the sweet, & very inspiring Sadie over at the Nifty Thrifty Decorator. Follow these links to check out what I had to say!

Part 1

Part 2

Happy Australia Day!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DIY Dry Erase Meal Planner

As I mentioned in my last post, my sister and her two girls have temporarily moved in with us. We're only three weeks in, but so far it's only bringing good things.

One of the best parts is having someone to share cooking duties with. One thing you might not know about me is that I HATE cooking dinner. I don't mind baking or cooking for parties, but I find cooking dinner one of the most boring chores I ever have to do.  Sean is a great cook and he likes to cook, but he also works full-time, doesn't get home until 6pm and by then he usually just wants to sit down and eat. So before Jen moved in there were lots of arguments about who would cook and we would often end up getting take aways.

Now Jen and I are taking turns with the cooking. And even better, because she is a health nut I have (almost) stopped buying take out and am actually cooking on most of my nights. Big win!

In honour of our new arrangement I put together a quick paint-chip dry erase meal planner. It helps us keep track of who's cooking on which night. Plus Sean loves checking out what's on the menu before he heads off to work each day! I got the inspiration from here via Craft Blog.

The photos I took of it are all on an angle because I've hung it in the small hallway that our walk-through pantry backs onto. I could have taken it back down off the wall to photograph, but I was feeling a little lazy.

Simple, and definitely not fancy. But it's tucked away out of sight and absolutely perfect for what we needed!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ava's Stationary Station

Recently my sister and her two beautiful girls shifted to Brisbane and moved in with us. From the moment I found out they were coming to stay, all I could think about was that I would finally get the chance to decorate a girls room!

My oldest niece Ava is 6 years old and loves all things girly. Which, when it comes to designing a room is pretty much my dream come true!!

The plan is to start out small, to stick to a very tight budget and to create things that can easily be moved to a new room when they get their own place.

We got started this week and made a little stationary station for Ava to keep her colouring pens and crayons in.

We decided on a tray (which was an old photo frame spray painted white), with a collection of jars to hold her things.

Here's what we came up with...

The best part? Ava absolutely loves it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DIY Instagram Polaroids

A while I go, on someone's blog (I forget who's sorry) I saw the most adorable instagram polaroids.

The second I noticed them I knew I wanted to DIY them, and I finally got around to it on the weekend.

It was really simple...

I picked out a dozen of my favourite photos from instagram, added a polaroid frame to each one using picnik and printed them out onto 200gsm card stock.

Then using my trusty guilotine I chopped them down to size.

I used this little embossing tool and a ruler to create an indent along the inside edge of the frames. It's hard to see in these photos, but it subtly gives the 'polaroids' a bit more depth and makes them look a little more realistic.

You can see it better in this photo of the magnets I added to the back of each photo. I used some magnetic tape that I had in my craft cupboard, but a great way to keep costs down is to cut up and use those advertising magnets that turn up in your mailbox.

And voila, insta-roid magnets!! I love them :)

(PS I'm always on the look out for more people to follow on instagram. my username is @tamsyn_riley)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dummy Dilemmas

We're at the point in Max's life where we think it might be time for him to give up his dummy. It's not the first time we've been here. Sean and I originally agreed that we would take it off him when he turned one, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do it. We then said we would do it once he started walking, we made it 1 hour into that attempt. Next up we said we would try again once he turned two, we didn't even pretend to try on that attempt. Then we said Christmas, we planned on making Santa the 'bad guy' and tell Max that Santa took them away. Part of that stuck because now if you ask Max where his dummy is he will either say 'Santa eat it' or 'Dinosaur eat it'. But they didn't, his dummy is still in his bed or on his bedside table where it's always been.

So, do we try again? I had planned on doing it today. I was going to gather up Max's dummys and get him to throw them in the bin. But we were rushed this morning and I never got around to it. Or if I'm completely honest, we were rushed, so I used it as an excuse to not throw out his dummys.

I think that part of me feels that saying good-bye to the dummy is like saying bye-bye to my little baby. Once the dummy is gone, he will be a fully fledged toddler on his way to becoming a little boy.

Do I even really need to make a thing of it? We've gotten to the point now where Max only has his dummy at nap time and bedtime. He doesn't have it any other time of the day anymore. Do I just let him use it for sleeping until he decides he doesn't want it anymore?

Did you have dummy dilemmas? Any and all advice will be appreciated!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Highs and Lows of 2011

2012 was a rough year for my little family. Definitely the hardest year Sean and I have gone through together so far. But we got through it and we're ready to give 2012 a red hot go.

I don't want to dwell to much on the negative, so I'll just write briefly about it before I move on to the list of my favourite things about 2011.

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Struggling with money - the last six months of 2011 were hard for us financially. I took a lot of time off work, Sean was out of work for 6 weeks and to top it all off I went on a bit of a shopping bender and started to spend more money than I could afford. I'm smart like that...
  • MS - getting diagnosed with MS last year sucked. It has effected me physically, but in these early stages of it I think the mental impact of it is what has hit me the hardest so far.
Not a big list, but both things had a huge impact on how much we enjoyed life last year.

In comparison I have a much longer list of things I loved about 2011... It does make me wonder if I'm correct in considering 2011 a difficult year...

  • Max Learning to Walk - Early on in January my adorable little munchkin realised that he could get places faster if he stood up and walked. It was so much fun watching him find his feet. Definitely one of the highlights of my life :)

  • We had a long weekend with my BFF and her boyfriend in Byron Bay. That weekend the two of them got and engaged and found out they were having a baby!!  
  • I discovered Pinterest (it totally makes it into my 2011 highlights!!) and fell in love
  • My beautiful niece Ava turned six and my sister and I threw her a Pirate Party

  • I put together a gallery wall for one of our hallways. I still love it :)
  • We (finally) tiled our house
  • I made a doormat, which got pinned by Sherry from YHL and has now had almost 1000 page views (which is a big deal for a tiny blog like this one :) )
  • My littlest niece turned one :)

Here's hoping 2012 brings just as many smiles :) (but none of the frowns).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Resolutions

So tell me, what are your resolutions this year? (If you've already posted about them feel free to link to them in the comments section).