Making the most of what we’ve got

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As part of my new minimalism mindset I’m really making an effort (1 week in!) to reassess how we can make the most of what we’ve already got. Not that I would have necessarily bought more toys in the last week, but I have started to think about how I can re-work some of our existing toys to increase their longevity and interest.

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Kids don’t need stuff

I’m sure everyone already know this, but I sometimes need a reminder. Kids just don’t need more stuff, more toys, more specific craft, more books. They have beautiful little imaginations and love to pretend. We’ve spent hours playing fairies in the garden using rocks as ‘beds’, leaves as ‘blankets’ & flowers as ‘fairies’. I’m also a big fan of using the basic things kids love (mainly water or anything with a different texture) to increase their solo playing time. Solo play has so many benefits (least of which means you can actually enjoy a hot coffee or get something done!), including bringing out their imagination and encouraging calmness. Here are a few activities we’ve done recently which have kept Audrey (almost 3yrs) entertained for an extended period. This idea also happens to fit in with my ‘less stuff’ mindset. win win!

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Attempting less excess

The road to minimalism.

It’s taken me a while to write this post, but I’ve been stewing on it for a few weeks now so feel I have to write it out. It started on Christmas day, we had been to my in-laws and were on our way to my family’s house, the kids were asleep in the car and I just felt sick.

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House update

Forever Home

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the house. We’ve had a fair bit going on but not too many decisions being made about the house.

Plans were submitted for DA in November, the way our local Council goes I’d be surprised if we hear back before March 2017.

Normally you wouldn’t have an engineer draw up plans until you’ve receive DA, something our architect has repeatedly told me, but we can’t wait that long and I have the benefit of having an engineer for a husband. So we’ve started designing the house (fingers crossed Council don’t make any changes, but I guess there is a risk).

Our main reason for starting this early is so we can get a jump on the building process. I’d like to get quotes from builders early in the New Year and have someone locked in to start as soon as we receive DA. It also means we can start planning other things in advance, one of the main things is the flooring. As soon as a friend of ours (who will be doing the final engineered drawings) looked at it he recommended a way we can achieve a polished concrete floor. This was the best phone call I’ve had in a while, I felt like Christmas had come early! I’ve been wanting a polished concrete floor for a while but thought it was off the cards as it would be too expensive/difficult. The only problem is now it’s back on the cards i have to change a lot of other things so it doesn’t look too industrial. I think more timber back into the kitchen and some changes to the staircase as well.

Back to the drawing board!

A few staircases I’m loving.

5 crafts in under 5mins

Paper plate decorating

I think I mentioned it once or twice but Audrey loves craft and anything that keeps her occupied while I have a coffee is a winner. But, this time of year it’s hard to find 5 minutes to prepare anything so I’m always on the look out for easy prep crafts. Hopefully using things I already have since our craft cupboard is overflowing and I know we’ll soon have lot of extra wrapping paper and boxes to add to it.

These are 5 craft ideas we’ve done recently which kept her occupied long enough to prep dinner, feed Fred or regroup with a coffee. Plus aside from the prep they don’t require much instruction or involvement from me (does that sound like lazy parenting???).

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Christmas Gift Guide

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Christmas Gift Guide, for the kids who have everything.

Our house looks like a toy store, seriously it’s been hard coming up with gift suggestions for Grandparents when we own everything. Even after culling all the unused toys or those that we’ve outgrown we still have so many. I’m sure most people are in the same boat.

Plus with both kids having birthdays in Feb, the inescapable influx of plastic is really starting to stress me out. But, at the same time I do love Christmas and shopping so I’m really in a bit of a rock and a hard place.

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The best hedge plant ever

The best hedge ever

I’m no gardener, I’m not even terribly interested in gardening, although I seem to be writing about it a bit lately – homegrown veggies & natural mozzie repellents. So when we needed a hedge to cover the front of our house and block it from the main road, I had one brief…zero maintenance. Continue reading The best hedge plant ever

Bathroom Layout

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When I first designed the layout for our current bathroom I was still pregnant with Audrey and not really thinking about how the bathroom layout would work with a baby let alone a toddler and a baby 2years later.
Our bathroom design was based on how we could best fit in the freestanding bath is already purchased online. We also needed to maximise the space given its the only bathroom in the house. Continue reading Bathroom Layout

It’s all in the detail

Our home

We’ve been going back and forth with our architect on our plans lately. I’m sure he probably thinks some of my ideas are totally ridiculous (and may have mentioned that one of my grand ideas would resemble a supermarket entrance….eeek!) but lucky we have a great working relationship. It’s starting to get to the pointy end of the plans where we can specify features and make sure some of the detail is factored in now. Continue reading It’s all in the detail