In defence of clutter

 in defence of clutter

During the past few weeks the kerbs in our neighbourhood have been piled high with an assortment of unwanted junk. It’s the days of kerbside collection and slow ute drive-bys. I was tempted by a few items on those piles. Wicker bed heads crying out to be re-purposed. Chairs that could be comfy again with some new upholstery. All the discarded prams, grubby but otherwise perfectly functional. Abandoned, tiny, little bikes with owners that had outgrown them. Hundreds of dollars once spent and now forgotten. I felt a keen sense of wanting to rescue all these things. Then I remembered that my time was limited and anything gleaned from the roadside would probably end up in next year’s kerbside collection.

It got me thinking about clutter. About the very human practice of obtaining things and then seeking freedom from them. Read more

6 ideas on what to do with this year’s Christmas cards

For a little while we saw a significant drop off in Christmas cards. No doubt because of my own slackness when it comes to sending them. I love them. I love the idea of them. I just never seem to be organised enough to get them out before Christmas. Maybe I should start a tradition of New Years cards. Or mid-year cards. Or implement my 2016 Christmas plan.

When my son started school we started to get Christmas cards back into the house in large numbers. I enthusiastically displayed them, loved reading them and adored looking at them. But as I contemplate the Christmas clean up, I am wondering – what do we do them?
six ways to reuse christmas cards

Here are 6 ideas on what to do with this year’s Christmas cards. 

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The lazy (but organised) girl’s guide to the festive season

The stardust has settled on Christmas and I have finally exhaled. One of my previous roles in life before kids was a project manager. I never quite kicked the habit of reflecting on lessons learned at the end of a big thing. So I have been thinking about the festive season, how stressy it’s all been and how I might be a bit more organised next year.

the lazy girl's guide to Christmas 2016

This is basically a note from my 2015 self to my Christmas 2016 self. My aim is to be one of those smug December people who say “Oh, I had everything organised for Christmas weeks ago.” I know – everyone hates those people. I still want to be them.  Read more

Buying presents for kids that parents won’t hate

Shopping for kid’s Christmas presents is kind of fun. Particularly when you don’t have any of your own (kids that is, not presents). I remember those child-free days, when the toy aisle were corridors of nostalgic remembrance (I had that) and occasional envy (they never had those when I was kid). Now they are battle fields of hostage-like negotiation. Put that back. No, I’m not buying you that. We are here to buy your friend a present, remember? Yes, I think it’s very cool that the dinosaur can move and make noise. No, I’m not buying it for you. I don’t care if every other boy in your class has one. 
Buying Gifts for Kids
If you are buying for a child this year, and don’t have one of your own, chances are that you are thinking about what’s going to impress your little friend. Can I suggest you also spare a thought for their parents?

This handy guide will help.

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September School Holiday Calendar Printable

The week after next we will be on school holidays. I can’t wait.

School Holidays around the corner

Two weeks without shouty mornings and spilled breakfast cereal. I won’t miss “why aren’t you ready yet?” and rousing sleepy heads. I won’t miss making lunches. I won’t miss wondering whether I am on tuck-shop baking this week. I won’t miss remembering excursion forms, incursion forms, teacher/parent interviews, and random notes. I won’t miss homework. I won’t miss ironing tiny uniforms. I won’t miss wondering how little boys can get dirty in the space of five minutes after changing into the ironed uniform. I won’t miss waking the toddler because he has fallen asleep half an hour before pick up time.

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Why I don’t feel guilty about employing a cleaner – and neither should you (and a giveaway!)

It’s school pick up time and groups of mums are chatting together. Jen looks around furtively. Is anyone else in ear shot? She lowers her voice “Maree, someone told me that you have the name of a good cleaner?” Jen has gone out on a limb and is hoping for information instead of judgement. After all, she works part time and the kids are in school, surely she should be able to keep her own house? Maree does’t look judgemental. Maree looks relieved. “He’s okay,” she whispers, “but he just does surfaces, if you want a really good cleaner, talk to Deb.

Why you shouldn't feel guilty about using

I am coming clean (pun intended) – our family pays someone for a fortnightly tidy.  Many of the families I know have a fortnightly cleaner. But we all seem slightly embarrassed by it. Like we are spending money on a luxury we shouldn’t. I don’t think we should feel like that. It’s not that easy to run a household and every thing that can help should be welcomed with open arms.

Seven reasons I don’t not feel embarrassed / bourgeoisie / guilty about employing a cleaner  – and neither should you.

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